What is Spiritual Warfare?

Machew is a guest writer to ETM, and as such the views expressed in this article may not be the views of ETM and its staff.

It is incredibly important for the church as a whole to understand spiritual warfare.  Too often Christians delegate their struggles to their flesh not realizing that much of what you think and feel doesn’t originate from you at all.  We have a very real enemy that will stop at nothing to get you to convince yourself with his lies to undermine your walk with Jesus and to make destructive decisions in your life.  For this reason, I write this article.

Before I start with Spiritual Warfare, I need to lay down some Biblical Context:

We will start in Genesis:

Genesis 1:26-30 (NASB)(emphasis mine)

26Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.

27God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

28God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.

29Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;

30and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.

So what is the point I want to make in this passage? God gave Adam and Eve delegated authority to rule over the Earth. We all know how this story ends, the devil comes in the form of a serpent and Adam and Eve eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and they fall because of sin. The devil had no authority over the Earth before the fall. So how did he get his authority?

When Adam and Eve came into agreement with the devil’s assessment of reality, they sinned. And because there was no atonement for sin at the time, they were separated from God and their agreement with the devil essentially handed over their delegate authority over the Earth to the devil. (John 12:31, John 14:30, 2 Corinthians 4:4, Matthew 4:8-10)

Next I will give some basic groundwork to what spiritual warfare is.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NASB)(emphasis mine)

3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,

4for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

5We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

So according 2 Corinthians spiritual battles happen in our mind and thought life. Why is this the case?

In Matthew 4:8-10 Jesus is tempted by the devil, as the devil offers Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world if he bows down to him and worships him. The devil still had the authority and rulership over the Earth from Adam and Eve. But after the resurrection of Jesus, He says to His disciples in Matthew 28:18 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me

If Jesus now has “all authority” over the Earth, this means that the devil now has no authority. Jesus took back Adam and Eve’s authority from Satan. He was able to do this because their sin was now completely atoned for.

So the question you probably have now is: “How then is the devil able to do so much evil on the Earth?”

The question to ask is: How did the devil gain authority in the Garden of Eden?

He hasn’t changed his strategy at all. Look at 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 again. The battle is in our mind. The weapons formed against us are thoughts and speculations that exalt themselves above the knowledge of God. Why are these weapons used? Because the devil needs your agreement in what he wants to do before he has authority to do it. Jesus gave back authority over the Earth to humans. Before Jesus dies on the cross He states the following to His disciples:

Matthew 16:19 (NASB)

19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

So the devil is able to steal, kill, and destroy when humans come into agreement with what he says (thoughts, emotions manifested from thoughts).

This is what 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 is talking about when it says the weapons of our warfare are not carnal. The fortresses that it is referring to are areas in our thought life that we are in agreement with the devil. The devil builds on your current agreements with him, to bring in more deception into your life. Essentially the agreement with the devil (fortress) is a place where he can hide in your life and have authority in that area of your life. This fortress is what the enemy hides behind to assault you with more lies, to try to gain more ground in your life.

So to review: The devil is only able to operate on the Earth through human agreement.

So what does this mean?

The devil is only able to operate in your life through your agreements with his lies, and the agreement of lies that the people in authority over you believe (ie: parents, teachers, government authorities).

This is why it is so important to constantly be studying and filling your heart and mind with the Word of God. The Word of God is what reveals deceptions you are believing, that allow the enemy into your life, and the lives of those under you.

Hebrews 4:12 (NASB)(emphasis mine)

12For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

For this to work though, you need to be born again and filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s help is a necessity in understanding the Bible and to know how it applies to everyday life.  Only through the Holy Spirit does the truth of the Bible penetrate your heart and actually change you (2 Corinthians 3:6, John 16:13, John 14:16-17, Romans 8:27, Isaiah 11:2, Ephesians 1:17).

The current situation we face is having a whole world of people where most people are not born again, and the devil is able to wreak havoc over the Earth because people are constantly in agreement with him. But God has given believers the keys to His kingdom. God’s Kingdom is superior to this kingdom(the Earth), and Jesus tells us to model our prayer like this:

Matthew 6:9-10 (NASB)(emphasis mine)
9″Pray, then, in this way:

‘Our Father who is in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name.

10’Your kingdom come

Your will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

So then we are to bring the dominion of God’s Kingdom to Earth (God’s government/way of doing things), whether it be through the salvation of others, loving the unlovable, giving all of your possessions, or worshiping Him through praise. In the words of Matthew 6, His “…Kingdom Come…Will be done…On Earth As it is in Heaven.” So if it is happening in heaven it should be happening here. If it is not happening in heaven it shouldn’t be happening here. When God’s kingdom is brought to Earth it enforces what Jesus did on the cross and destroys the work of the devil in our lives, and in the lives of others. Spiritual warfare cannot be won by human strength as 2 Corinthians 10 tells us, but as indicated, only by divinely powerful weapons. And we have no divinely powerful weapons by ourselves. But we do have God’s Word; whether it is from the Bible, something God has spoken to you recently, or something God told you before. God always backs up His Word with the resources of His superior Kingdom. But just reciting God’s word isn’t enough!

His Word Becoming Who We Are:

When we read the Bible, have relationship with Him through prayer (conversation), and meditate on what He has said or is saying, it opens our hearts to receive His Word and Truth. Truth that we only believe conceptually or intellectually will falter when tested. But Truth that has become a part of us deep down in our core, our very being, and heart can never be shaken. This is why we are not only supposed to hear and read the Word but receive it implanted into our hearts (James 1:21). And as James 1 describes the Word of God given to us will be tested but proven true to us by experience through perseverance in the testing trial. Once we have God’s Word truly implanted in us, because it has proven to be true under testing and trial, no argument, emotion, or lofty thing will ever be able to get us to doubt what God has said. And we are then able to stand firm, in boldness, and in confidence against the devil’s lies. When we are able to fully believe God’s Word deep in our very being, we are finally actually fully capable to “Submit…to God” which is when God uses His divinely powerful weapons, giving us what we need to “Resist the devil” causing him to “flee from you” (James 4:7) Until we truly believe what God has said and have the faith to believe it, it is impossible to submit to God(specifically submitting to what He has said to us). As Hebrews 11:6 says it is impossible to please God without faith.

God brings every believer through this process for our benefit, that His Word would literally become a part of us, so that we would become the walking Word of God. God’s plan is that we would literally become the image of the Living God. The devil has no weapon that works against this kind of believer.

Blessings,

Machew

Did Jesus exist in the beginning with God?

I have been a follower of Jesus for years and have spent a lot of time reading His Word, so I sometimes forget that not everybody knows the basic beleifs of Christianity. I take it for granted that people just believe the stuff every Christian should know.

Take for example this simple question, “Did Jesus exist in the beginning with God?” Before anything was created, before time, did Jesus exist in the beginning? I asked sixteen professing believers I work with this question, and was shocked at how few knew the answer.  Twelve of those sixteen did not believe that Jesus existed in the beginning, and was just the first created thing.

Did Jesus exist in the beginning?

John 1:1-2 simply states this when it says

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.

And who was the Word? Just a few verses later John clearly tells us

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’” (John 1:14-15)

Who was it that became flesh to dwell among us, the only begotten of the Father (John 3:16)? Who was it that John bore witness to? It was Jesus. Jesus existed in the beginning with God, and not just existing with God, but Jesus was God in the beginning! (He is still God today of course. 🙂 )

Isaiah the prophet heard a message from God where God the Father said

Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: ‘ I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. (Isaiah 44:6)

God is the First and the Last, nothing existed before God and nothing will exist after Him, He is it, the first and the last. In Revelation Jesus identifies himself as ” I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” (Revelation 22:13) The Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the greek alphabet, in English it would be the A and the Z. There are no letters before A, and none after Z. Jesus is the first and last, the beginning, and the end.

How is it that both God the Father and Jesus can be the first and the last? This is only possible because Jesus is God. Remember what John 1:1 said, “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Both are God, both are one being, one diety, even though they are individual.

I Am

In the Old Testament God would refer to himself as simply “I Am” (Exodus 3:14). That in itself is an awesome statement, which I will cover in a future article. Jesus later when talking to the Jews told them “Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”” (John 8:58). Jesus is not only saying that he existed since before his physical birth on earth, but he is identifying himself as being God, as being the I Am. Jesus again identified himself as the I am when he was being arrested in the garden. The soldiers asked if Jesus was “Jesus of Nazareth” and Jesus replied in such away that the soldiers fell to the ground. “Now when He said to them, “I am He,” they drew back and fell to the ground.” (John 18:6)

Jesus is the Creator

When God is creating man He says “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness;” (Genesis 1:26). Who is God talking to here? Who is God refereing to by saying “Us” and “Our”? God is not a single being but three, completely seperate beings, three deities that are the same. The Word was with God and the Word was God (John 1:1). This is an example of how Jesus did exist in the beginning.

Not only was Jesus with God in the beginning, before creation, but Jesus is the creator. John 1:3 says “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” Jesus did not come to die for his Father’s creation, but his own. Isn’t this amazing? Jesus knew what he would have to go through, he knew all of the suffering he would face before he created us, yet he still choose to do so!

Why is this important?

The final question I want to look at is why is it important that Jesus existed in the beginning with God?
If Jesus did not exist in the beginning with God, then you must conclude that Jesus was not God and therefor could not live a perfect life and die for our sins, or you must conclude that God can make other gods. If God could make other gods then it makes God a lot less unique in the universe and we could claim that there are other gods to follow and Jesus isn’t the only way.

No, Jesus had to be God, part of the Trinity, One God.  As we read and study the Bible, and as we get to know Jesus closer, we cannot help but conclude that Jesus did indeed exist in the beginning with God.

Theistic Evolution

A huge debate going on right now is on the topic of Naturalistic Evolution (also known as Neo-Darwinism) and Intelligent Design.

Advocates of evolution seem to have the popular view, or at least they are the loudest, since if you ask most people they assume that evolution is the only theory on the origin of species. According to the movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, even mentioning another side of the argument can cause many to lose their job, which continues to promote the idea that evolutionary theory is the only theory out there.

But there is another theory, Intelligent Design (I.D.). Intelligent Design is often times viewed as a “religious” or “theological” view, but it isn’t. It is a scientific theory that states that certain things in nature are so complex that it is impossible for them to come to where they are in a fully natural way. This tends to be a common belief among Christians as Christians believe that the God is the designer.

One other theory, called Theistic Evolution. This theory states that God used evolution in the creation of the world. This is mainly a way to try and merge what the mainstream scientists believe with what the Bible says.

Theistic evolution however, is nothing more than an attempt to harmonize God’s perfect Word with man’s imperfect thoughts. Let’s look at what the Bible states on this issue.

Origin of Man

Genesis 1:26-28

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

According to this passage man is an intentional creation from God, made in a distinct way different than the rest of the animal kingdom. None of the other animals were ever created with the description of being made in the image of God.

Another interesting point, is that when God created every animal, He spoke them into existence, but man, God formed man with His hands, and then breathed the breath of life into them.

Genesis 2:7

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 being.

According to evolutionary theory:

Human evolution, or anthropogenesis, is the part of biological evolution concerning the emergence of Homo sapiens sapiens as a distinct species from other hominansgreat apes and placental mammals.

Where the Bible says that Adam is a specific man created by God distinct from all the other animals where evolution says that man emerged from other animals in the animal kingdom and eventually became a distinct species. These views are completely in contradiction. Jesus mentions Adam as being a specific individual, so if we say that Adam was not an actual created person then we say that Jesus is lying.

So when your world view challenges what the Bible says, which will you decide is right?

Origin of Death

Pay careful attention to this point, because it involves one of the basic fundamental beliefs of Christianity.

1 Corinthians 15:21-22

For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

Romans 5:12

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—

The Bible is clear that Death is a product of sin, a product of one man breaking God’s laws. This world was intended to exist without death, and one day we will return to the perfect state of the world.

The theory of evolution states something quite different. According to evolution, death has been around for millions of years, and it is necessary for natural selection to take place. Death is a natural process a part of the natural world.

Don’t miss that point, according to evolutionary theory, death is a natural process necessary for life to evolve, but according to the Bible death is unnatural, it is a product of our sin. If death is a natural product that God created from the beginning for the process of evolution then Jesus’ death would be in vain, because it would not be a penalty for sin it would be a natural process.

Jesus knew no sin

Hebrews 4:14-15

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Isaiah 53:5, 12

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.

2 Corinthians 5:21

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

So if you believe in Theistic evolution, then Jesus’ death was for nothing, it couldn’t have been a penalty for sin, it couldn’t be Him paying that penalty for us, and we are lost still. This whole concept is deeply important to our salvation. In the old testament it was the slaying of a lamb that would be sufficient as a sacrifice, again, the death of an innocent would cover the sins of man.

So when your world view challenges what the Bible says, which will you decide is right?

7 Days of creation is in the wrong order

Day 1: God creates the world and light
Day 2: God creates the sky, and separates it from the ocean
Day 3: God creates dry land and plants
Day 4: God creates the sun and moon
Day 5: God creates sea creatures and birds of the air
Day 6: God creates land animals and man
Day 7: God rested

Some say that God used evolution but that each day was really a representation of a long period of time, thousands or millions of years per day. But we have a problem here, plants are created before the sun is, and we all know plants can’t survive and reproduce without sunlight. Also, Birds of the air are created before land animals, and according to evolutionary theory birds evolved from land animals.

So does this mean that man lived with dinosaurs? Just read the last two chapters of Job where God talks about 2 “prehistoric” creatures that Job is actually looking at, or search or lake beds where we find men’s footprints along side dinosaur footprints.

Also, when God created the plants, and each animal, He commands them to reproduce according to their kind. According to neo-Darwinism each animal reproduces and eventually creates a different kind, this is completely against what the Bible says.

So we have a big discrepancy here, these two accounts of creation cannot mix at all.

Biblical Age of the Earth

Genesis 5 gives us a detailed account of how old the age of the earth is. This gives us 2 important pieces of information. For one it shows that the Bible considers these people to be literal humans, giving them specific dates that the were born and died on. Neo-Darwinism blurs the line of when the first human appeared, there are several stages of advancement and there is no distinction of when the first human appears in history.

Also this tells us clearly how old the earth is. We know that Adam was created on Day 6, “And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth” (Genesis 5:3).

Seth was born when Adam was 130 years old, so he was born in the year 130. “Seth lived one hundred and five years, and begot Enosh.” (Genesis 5:6). Enosh is born when Seth is 105, since Seth was born in the year 130 we can easily calculate the year that Enosh is born (130 + 105). Enosh is born in the year 235.

This process can be repeated, Genesis 5 goes all the way to Noah, and then you can continue through other chapters of the Bible such as Genesis 10 and Matthew 1. Not all chapters give an exact date, but you can easily estimate the life of one person. Through this process you can estimate that the Earth is aproximately 6,000 years old. Obviously not long enough for macro-evolution to create life.

If the Bible meant for the Genesis account to be taken as an analogy or a symbol, then it wouldn’t give such details. Doing this research is very interesting, you can see how the lifespan of people was much larger before the flood, so we can assume that something major happened in the flood that changed the climate so humans couldn’t live as long. These are all interesting topics to consider and research but they are outside the scope of this blog.

The point is that the Bible is clear on the creation account, it gives specific details and the gospel message itself is founded on the very beginning, that God created us unique and different than the animal kingdom, making us with souls where other animals don’t have souls. It is because of our sin that death is in the world and it is for that very reason that Jesus was able to come and live a sinless life, and die taking our place on the cross, He took our place under God’s wrath.

Conclusion

Theistic evolution however, is nothing more than an attempt to harmonize God’s perfect Wordwith man’s imperfect thoughts

The main reason people do try to mix these theories is because evolution is popular right now, but the popular scientific theories are not always correct. We need to rely on God and not man.

For those who think that this means we check our brains at the door and follow the Bible blindly, you couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many websites on Intelligent Design that talk about the science that proves that there must be an intelligent force behind the creation of everything. We as Christians know who that intelligent force is.

Check out some other resources such as http://apologetics.org, or subscribe to a podcast called Darwin or Designwhere they discuss these issues and interview some top scientists on a weekly radio show. If you have questions feel free to ask us at http://www.EternalTruthMinistry.com

Don’t compromise your beliefs just because someone says they have evidence to the contrary, we know from courts that both sides have evidence, but both are not correct, just because you have evidence doesn’t mean you have all the facts about the evidence. Look into all sides for yourself, know the facts for yourself. God gave you a mind, use it.

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An Inductive Study Through Genesis 1

-About 10 billion years ago there was a densely packed point of energy that was infinitely tiny. In fact, that infinitesimal point of energy was all there was. In it was contained all space, time, and what would eventually turn in to matter. For reasons that are still unclear – this singularity as it is called, exploded! Energy radiated outward and congealed into tiny proto-particles, which further combined to form electrons, neutrons and protons. These combined to form atoms and molecules. These then began to clump together to form minerals and larger bodies of matter called gas. These gases and minerals further condensed as they cooled and formed stars and planets. These stars and planets then began grouping up into clusters called galaxies.

-But an interesting thing happened on at least one of the planets circling round one of those stars in one of those millions of galaxies. As the planet cooled from its superheated state after the explosion of the singularity, on this particular planet, which was the exact distance from its star necessary to allow it, some water formed. Now liquid water is unusual in the universe because it requires a very narrow temperature zone. Most water is either hard in the form of ice or its hydrogen and oxygen have been split apart by intense heat. As chance would have it, this planet was just the right distance from the nearest star to allow the formation of liquid water. Clouds formed, and the rain came down and washed over the rocks, wearing them down into stones, and pebbles and eventually sand and finally dirt. Then as more stones were carried by the rain down over the dirt, some of the dirt molecules banged together and formed little square shaped buttons.

-As more pebbles banged into the buttons, they etched little numbers on them. Over a couple billion years, these buttons ended up being bumped into a plastic frame that snapped into a case with diodes, memory chips, and an LCD display. But wait, it was without a power source. Not to worry, other rocks and minerals had been banging together to produce batteries, which by chance rolled into a slot in the back of the plastic case, and voila – a Calculator!

-Ridiculous? Of course! And yet you and I are asked to buy this scenario when it comes to the origin of living things. Yet the engineering and mechanics of the simplest cell make the technology of a pocket calculator look like a toy!

-The human eye, the human brain are feats of complexity and engineering NO EVOLUTIONARY SCENARIO could ever explain!

-If it all began with the Big Bang – with that singularity that exploded – you’re still faced with the question of where did THAT come from! Logic demands something which has always been, which owns its own existence and which is greater than the cause and effect universe in which we live. The very first verse of Genesis solves that dilemma.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

-As would be expected, the book of Genesis shows us the beginning of many things – the universe, life, culture, society, sin and death, religion, nations, languages, and the Jewish people and the nation of Israel.

-But there is one thing Genesis does not reveal the beginning of – God! And that is because God has no beginning. By the very definition of what we mean by God, He’s eternal.

-If God had a beginning, He would not be God because He would owe His existence to something greater – and that would be God.

-The word “God” here in v. 1 is “Elohim” which is the plural form of the generic Hebrew word for God which in the singular is “El.” Elohim is used for God some 2000 times in the OT! That’s a bit shocking when you realize how fiercely the Jews hold to idea of God being  One. Anyone familiar with the Bible knows its straightforward teaching that there is only one God!

-Throughout most of history Christians and Jews have stood out as unique because while the rest of the world believed in many gods, they professed belief in only one. So why do we find the plural title Elohim used here and in so many other places in Scripture? Christians see in the use of the word “Elohim” a clue to the Trinity or the triunity of God.

-As we track through the Scriptures we see that while there is indeed only One God, this God manifests Himself in Three distinct Persons, The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.

-The word “created” used here is the Hebrew word “bara” and means “to create out of nothing.’

-In Rom. 4:17 Paul writes – “God calls those things which do not exist as though they did.” That’s what God did in the creation – He called, He spoke, and the universe leapt into existence.

-In Heb. 11:3 we read – “The worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.”

-Another word is used in Gen. 1 for God’s creative action. It’s the word “asah” and is translated as “make.” It means to fashion something out of pre-existing material.

-Some of God’s creation was merely a molding of what was already there; that’s asah. But occasionally God brings something completely new into existence; that’s bara. Man can only “asah,” he can only take what already is and fashion it into something different. Only God can “bara.”

-The word “heavens” is the Hebrew word “shamayim” and can be translated “space.” “Earth” is “erets” and means “ground.”

-”In the beginning” translates the Hebrew “bereshith” and speaks of that which is first. The beginning here is the first of time.

-Based on Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, modern science refers to the universe as the space-matter-time continuum. Astrophysicists now understand that the universe came into being at a fixed point, and that space, matter and time are all intimately linked to one another. Genesis 1:1 affirms that and shows it’s origin in the creative act of God.

Genesis 1:2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

-God is not a deity of chaos and disorder. His nature is order and symmetry – so after speaking the basic constituents of the physical universe into existence, He set to work shaping them into an orderly arrangement.

-Here in v. 2 we see that at first matter was formless. There was no light – meaning there was no energy. But then the Spirit of God began to move and shape the matter.

-We read that “the Spirit hovered over the face of the waters.” The word hovered is an interesting choice because it pictures a unique action of moving back and forth. A good modern translation would be “vibrated.” “In the face of” means in the midst of something. And the word for “waters” is even more obscure; it refers to something juicy or soupy.

-What we have in v. 2 is the Spirit of God taking the basic un-energized constituents of the universe from v. 1 and energizing them so that they begin to form into the shapes, structures and forces of our universe.

Genesis 1:3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

-In Hebrew – the language is even simpler. “Elohim said – Light be! Light was!” One of the primary forms of energy God created was electromagnetic energy – light!

-Though it may not be obvious in a casual reading, these first 3 verses of the Bible reveal The Trinity. In v.1 we have the Father birthing and initiating the universe out of nothing. In v.2 we see the Spirit energizing and shaping the raw stuff of the new creation into something useful. And in v.3 we find the Word of God, the Son illuminating the creation.

Genesis 1:4-5 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

-We will now see the process of creation divided into days. Some consider these to be literal 24 hour days. Others see them as pre-scientific descriptions of long ages of time; epochs of earth history. Those who see the days of Genesis 1 as epochs usually try to fit some kind of evolutionary scenario into them.

-I believe what we see here are literal 24 hour days.

My reasons?

1) The text is really pretty straightforward!
It’s obvious the author intended his readers to take these as literal days because he repeats the formula again and again that we see here in v. 5 – “So the evening and the morning were the first day.”

2) Most day-age views are driven by a perceived need to reconcile the theory of evolution to the Creation account of Gen. 1.
They’re an attempt at accommodation to a godless theory, an attempt to harmonize secular science with what ends up being merely a poetic mythology of creation. The theory of evolution is simply really BAD SCIENCE! So to bend and twist scripture to accommodate it is a vain pursuit.

-Dr. Hugh Ross has gained a lot of attention and support for his theory called progressive creationism. This view holds to the day-age theory.

-Here is how Ross himself defines Progressive Creationism – “The hypothesis that God has increased the complexity of life on earth by successive creations of new life forms over billions of years while miraculously changing the earth to accommodate the new life.” Ross rejects the theory of evolution, but he says that the earth has seen many different periods of God’s creative action in setting the world stage, and then bringing increasingly complex flora and fauna, plants and animals onto that stage.

-One stage arises, then dies off and God starts over again. This all takes place over billions of years. Of course, this makes the straight-forward reading of Genesis 1 a meaningless pursuit because there’s no correlation between the scenario of the progressive creationist and what we find here!

-Thus, the Genesis account of Creation is reduced to the place of poetic myth; and when you do that, then you cut the heart right out of the gospel because the work and message of Christ is all based on the events of Genesis 1-3 being literally true.

-One of the clear evidences for the young age of the universe is the earth-sun system. Our sun losses about 1,200,000 tons of mass every second. If you chart that back over billions of years the sun would be too big and too hot to allow the existence of the earth, let alone life on earth.

-Here in vs. 4 and 5 we see God dividing the light and the darkness. These two things He separates into two phases and calls them “Day’ and “Night.’ Since we have a period of light and a period of dark we can infer the earth is now spinning around an axis and there’s some kind of light source shining on earth.

Genesis 1:6-8 Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” 7Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. 8And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.

-The word firmament simply means expanse. This refers to the atmosphere, which is the way the word “heaven” in v. 8 ought to be understood – sky. These verses speak of the firmament standing between the waters.

-There were waters above and beneath it. The waters beneath would be the oceans and seas. The waters above refer to the vapor canopy that existed above the atmosphere at that time.

-It is this vast and dense shell of water we’ll see collapse in ch. 6 that produces the torrential downpour of the Flood.

-One of the things that appears almost mythological in the early chapters of Genesis is the super long ages of people; some living to be over 900 years! Yet immediately after the flood, the lifespan of man declines to about a hundred years.

-Why the major difference in life-expectancy? Well, interestingly, the vapor canopy that existed prior to the flood would have had a number of significant positive effects on earth. The atmospheric pressure would have been significantly higher – leading to more oxygen in the blood stream of humans and animals. The higher pressure would also have retarded the growth of viruses, thus reducing disease. The vapor canopy would have shielded the earth from all the harmful effects of solar and most cosmic radiation. The canopy would have acted like a greenhouse ceiling, allowing for increased plant growth.

-But the canopy allowed sufficient plant growth and nutrition to support all animal life. In fact it proliferated in abundance, as the fossil record and the world’s oil reserves reveal.

Genesis 1:9-13 Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so. 10And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. 12And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13So the evening and the morning were the third day.

-On the 3rd day we see the emergence of dry land and vegetation. It should be noticed that God created plants as fully formed things. The plant was first, with its fruit and seed and coming from it. If God had simply planted the seed in the soil of the earth, it would not have been ready for the birds to eat in 2 days when they were created.

-When God created plants, He made the plant, not the seed first. That means He drew up out of the soil a whole plant. If one of the trees was cut – how many rings would there be in it? Who knows!

-When Adam was created, how old did he look? Don’t know, but he wasn’t an infant. The point is this – at this stage of the creation, God created the first things with an apparent age to them. They were mature and complete – perfect in their creation!

-In fact, as we just saw, the plants were grown in soil. But what is soil; where does dirt come from? It’s the product of the weathering of rocks – a process which takes hundreds of years by normal aging.

-All of this leads us to the conclusion that though the earth is in fact young, it may at points appear aged simply because necessity demands it to.

Genesis 1:14-19 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night;

-”The firmament of the heavens” here is the expanse of space – what we call outer space.

and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

-On the 4th day God created the celestial lights, the stars, planets and the moon. Now we seem to have a problem because vs. 3-5 told us there was light on day 1 before the creation of the sun on day 4 in v. 16. Where was the light coming from before the creation of the sun?

-Quite frankly, we don’t know because we’re not told here. A plausible explanation is that prior to the formation of the sun, God Himself was the light of the world.

-This would be a nice fulfillment of John 1:4 and would coincide with God being the light of the new heavens and earth.

-Notice in v. 14 that the celestial lights were given not only to light the earth but to be for signs and seasons, for days and years. The ancients looked to the heavens as their primary time-piece. The calendar was kept by watching the heavens. This was crucial because they were an agricultural economy and the seasons of sowing and reaping were their life-blood.

-All the ancient cultures had elaborate and accurate records and procedures for calculating the time of year. Because their economy was tied to the time-piece of the skies, astronomy became the first science. It also became one of the first religions for it wasn’t much of a leap in the fallen heart of man to see the stars as exerting power and influence over their lives.

-This may account for the fact why God waited till the 4th day to create the heavenly lights. They aren’t first, but later, after the creation of plants – because God wants to impress upon man that they are just tools He’s created, signs to be used – not deities to be worshipped.

-It’s interesting to discover that the calendar of the ancients was based on a 360 day year. Imagine if it was off what a problem that would be in just a few years to their planting cycle. We see this reflected even today in the 360 degrees of a circle and the 60 seconds of our hour. But a change occurred at some point that added an additional 5¼ days to our year.

-What happened that may added these days to the original calendar will be discussed in later studies of Genesis.

Genesis 1:20-23 Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” 21So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

-On the 5th day we see the creation of marine life and the birds. Note that in v. 21 we have the word created; this is that word bara. We find this word used here because God is doing something totally new and unique – He is creating conscious animal life.

-Notice as well that God blessed the sea creatures and birds and told them to reproduce – filling the earth with their presence. God is in to LIFE! And a part of life is the production of more life.

Genesis 1:24-26 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. 25And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

-Now we see the land creatures created. The words here describe everything from insects to reptiles and mammals.

-But notice the emphasis on kinds we see throughout this chapter. As God creates the plants and living creatures, He creates them according to their “kinds” and tells them they are to reproduce according to their kinds.

-This is the Holy Spirit’s answer to the theory of evolution which has simpler life forms giving rise to higher and more complex life forms over long periods of time. According to Evolution, life moves from a state of lesser complexity to higher complexity. One species gives rise to another through the process of mutation and the mechanism of natural selection.

-According to Biblical Creation, God created plants and animals in fixed kinds. You may have an abundance of variation within a kind, but it will remain fixed within that basic creature.

-For instance, there are lots of different kinds of dogs. But a dog is a dog is a dog; they all possess the ability to inter-breed. A dog never becomes a cat. And in the fossil record we see no transitional forms between a dog and a cat.

-When Charles Darwin first proposed his Theory of Natural Selection which gave rise to the modern theory of Evolution, the science of paleontology, the study of fossils, was young and the fossil record was sketchy. What was lacking was the transitional forms that evolution demands as proof that one species gives rise to another through mutation and adaptation. Darwin expressed his confidence that as the fossil record was filled in the transitional forms would be found and the gaps in the record would be closed. Armed with this positive outlook, a whole generation of evolutionists went out into the field to discover the missing links.

-But as the fossil record has grown, the gaps have gotten wider, not smaller. This is the very opposite of what the theory of evolution demands.

-If Darwinian evolution is true, then the fossil record has to have an abundance of transitional forms between one species and another – for ALL the forms of plant and animal life we have on the planet today. This ought to be a massive body of fossils.

-If Darwin’s theory is false, then what we expect to find in the fossil record is a lack of transitional forms, and instead we expect to find creatures that just appear fully formed with no antecedent forms. Which do we find?? The latter!

-In fact, because this is what we find in the fossil record, Darwin’s theory has had to be updated to what is now called Punctuated Equilibrium. PE says that species go along for long periods without change, and then shazam – they experience a quantum leap.

-When this idea was first proposed many years ago, the man who invented it was ridiculed and made the laughing stock of the scientific community because it is so patently absurd. Now – it’s the currently accepted theory.

-Despite all these machinations – the text here is very clear – and it squares perfectly with what we find in the real world – that plants and animals remain fixed within their kinds.

-How the Biblical idea of kinds relates to the scientific field of taxonomy is not clear. You may remember the divisions of taxonomy: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.

-At what level does a “kind” relate to this system? At the species or genus level? Friends, never forget that the whole taxonomic chart is man-made and artificial. The Bible divides the plant and animal kingdoms up into kinds.

-One of the tricks evolutionists like to use is the example of micro-evolution. We would expect that God would include in the genetic makeup of the plant and animal world the capacity to adapt to a certain degree to its environment. So an animal might show small signs of adaptation, like skin color, or minor structural changes like increased lung capacity or adding on more fur.

-These are what are called micro-evolution, small changes that facilitate an animal or plant living in a different environment. But the plant or animal is still in the same species. Evolutionists use examples of micro-evolution as proof of macro-or cross species evolution. But they are without foundation for there are simply no examples of this kind of change in the evidence at hand.

-A study of the history of evolution shows that Darwin was NOT the originator of the idea; he merely developed a mechanism for it and then popularized it in his book, The Origin of the Species.

-Darwin’s mechanism was “survival of the fittest;” the idea that only the fittest animals survive due to their superiority and winning out over others in the never ending game of competition for food and space. At first glance, this seems reasonable – a kind of common sense reaction.

-But the more time you spend in nature, the more you realize that many things defy this idea. One simple example is the peacock. The peahen is attracted to the peacock with the biggest plumage. Yet the larger the plumage, the more vulnerable the peacock is to predators. So what eats the peacock, can eat the chicks too.

-Or consider the whole development of the male and female. There is simply no evolutionary scenario you can develop that makes the development of the male and female, along with pregnancy or egg laying an advantage.

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

-God says, “Let Us” – Who is He speaking to? It can’t be the angels because man isn’t created in the image of angels and we don’t see the angels involved in the creative process. God the Father is speaking here to the other members of the Trinity.

-Man is unique in God’s creation because He bears the image of God. He is patterned after God in ways the animals are not. Man has a moral consciousness; he possesses reason and volition.

-But man has even more than the image of God, that image is in the “likeness” of God as well. Man doesn’t merely possess a moral conscience – he knows right and wrong, good and evil. He doesn’t possess the intellectual capacity of God but His thinking is in the same vein as the thoughts of God.

-It’s this likeness to God that was marred and all but lost in the Fall. Man continues to bear the image of God, but the likeness has been so distorted, so bent that it is often difficult to discern.

-As soon as God registers His intention to make man, He includes that this new thing He is about to create will be over the rest of the creation. It will have dominion over all the animal kingdom. This establishes something new in the creation, a ranking of relationships.

Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

-The word “created” here is bara. This is only the 3rd time we find the word. It was used in v. 1 of the physical universe; in v. 21 of conscious animal life, and now of mankind. Yet in this verse, bara is used 3 times!

-What’s crucial is that we see that while man may share some of the physiology of the animals he is something new and unique in God’s creative order. He possesses a level of life and existence that is not shared by the animals. The emphasis in this verse is on both the uniqueness of man’s creation and the fact that man is fashioned in God’s image.

-For that reason the final phrase is all the more interesting for it tells us that this image includes both the male and the female. In the Bible we see God in primarily the masculine mold not because He is more like a man than a woman but because it better captures the flavor of our relationship to Him. In other words, as Initiator, He is the Father, we are the children. As the Savior, He is the Groom, we are the Bride and so on.

-But God, in His nature and essence is a combination of all the positive traits of male and female. We see the feminine side of God in such passages as His saying that He would gather His people under His wings as a hen gathers her chicks. [Matt 23:37] We see it when He refers to taking Israel to His bosom and nursing her. [Isa. 49:13-15 66:13] We see it in those passages which speak of God giving birth to Israel. [Deut. 32:18 Job 38:28-29 Isa 46:3-4]

Genesis 1:28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

-When God blessed man and woman, He told them to be fruitful and multiply, filling the earth. Here’s one of the fields that we need Christians who think biblically to apply themselves. We’re told by many secular environmentalists that mankind is a cancer on the planet and that we need to roll back the population lest we damage the environment irreparably.

-But God said – “Be fruitful and multiply.” Who should we listen to? GOD.

-If man lived by the principles of Biblical justice, equity and stewardship, the planet could easily accommodate several billion more people with no problem or danger to the environment. The threat only comes when people forsake the way of God and pursue their own selfish interests.

Genesis 1:29-30 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.

-Prior to the flood, the diet of man and animals was vegetarian. It wasn’t till after the flood that God gave man permission to eat In n Out burgers.

Genesis 1:31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

-At the conclusion of each step of the creation, God had given a eulogy-a good word. Now as He looks over the entire scope of the creation – He announces His good pleasure with all He sees – it is VERY good.

-This reinforces and reminds us that the creation is a good thing because it is God’s thing. As His redeemed, we ought to rejoice in its goodness and take delight in it, showing a lost world what it really means to be redeemed to the Creator and His creation.

Taken from a sermon by Pastor Lance Ralston.