I have to be honest and say that my Covenant Creation studies over the past few months have really blown me away. They have opened up so many doors. They are opening up doors in doorways that I didn't even know existed. The bible is truly bottomless in it's treasure chest of gems.
I've had a few opponents make a few false statements about what I believe and of course you'll always have a couple haters here and there like with anything else. But the clarity and revelation has been off the charts as of late. I am eternally grateful to God the Father for giving me eyes to see and helping me to communicate these incredible truths to those who He puts in my path.
Recently a fella who sternly rejects Covenant Creation made the argument that I was applying words and giving them meaning however I wanted and to fit my paradigm. He used the animal argument a lot. He said I was twisting things for my own benefit. Nothing could be further from the truth of the matter.
What this man fails to realize is that the bible is a complex book that incorporates many different styles of literary genre.
For instance in many places we see prophecy and metaphoric language used. In other places we see Apocalyptic imagery used. Many times we also see real, literal, things happening as well. The argument that this man made was that essentially since animals are used some places in scripture, then we have no right to say they are used as imagery elsewhere. I would most certainly disagree with that conclusion and state that the real deal is that since animals are used as imagery in places in the bible, we should be EXTRA cautious and pay special attention to them when we come across them. We should not just assume literal each time we pass a word that represents an animal of sorts.
People rule out the possibility that Genesis was an apocalyptic, and prophetic text without even considering if it might be so. After all, the END of the story in Revelation which shows the DE-CREATION of the sun, moon, sea, earth, and heaven, clearly is not physical literal as we all know. Isn't this important enough to at least CONSIDER that perhaps the START of the story may sort of follow that pattern as well?
For those who have followed my studies, you've seen just how much animals, plants, etc are used to portray people in the scriptures. We aren't just talking 5-10 times. We are talking hundreds of times. If you took every instance where an individual animal was used as imagery for a person in the bible, you'd most likely be in the thousands. My study below will contain at least 20 maybe more examples. Never mind outer biblical ancient Hebraic sources. The book of Enoch alone would probably add over 1000 usages as well.
Point is, let's not be so quick to dismiss something based on how wild it sounds. (Pardon the animal pun) Let's be Berean and do what we did when we came to Preterism.
Ezekiel 34 is another one of those real "thorns" in the side of those who reject Covenant Creation. The chapter is just overflowing with animal imagery to speak of Israel and those around her. I am going to simply quote portions of the chapter below with some quick commentary as we progress. As you read, please keep in mind the language used in Genesis creation and the same animals mentioned. Not only that, but the "way" these animals are mentioned. It's one thing to just say "beast"or "bird". But when you use specific terms like "beast of the field" and "birds of the air", there is likely more there than meets the eye at first glance.
The chapter speaks of the irresponsible Shepherds of the people of Israel pictured as "The Sheep". The chapter begins like this...
"And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed THE FLOCKS? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock...... So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and THEY BECAME FOOD FOR ALL THE BEASTS OF THE FIELD when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.” Ezekiel 34:1-6
Now clearly we see some striking language here. The ENTIRE context is on the people of Israel. Also known as "THE SHEEP". God literally says that these SHEEP were scattered and BECAME FOOD FOR ALL THE BEASTS OF THE FIELD.
Now, who here believes God was speaking about literal sheep and literal beasts of the field here? Nobody? Good. Me neither. The next passage reads...
"Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: “As I live,” says the Lord God, “surely because My flock became a prey, and My flock became food FOR EVERY BEAST OF THE FIELD, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed My flock”— therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord! Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, and the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them.” Ezekiel 34:7-10
Clearly again nobody here believes this is about real animals. This is clearly imagery for God saying that Israel was always under the threat of foreign invasion and persecution. They had no Shepherd. The next passage reads...
"For thus says the Lord God: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day. And I will bring them out from THE PEOPLES AND GATHER THEM FROM THE COUNTRIES, and will bring them to THEIR OWN LAND; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys and in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in good PASTURE, and their fold shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down,” says the Lord God. “I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken and strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong, and feed them in judgment.” Ezekiel 34:11-16
Now isn't it amazing what Ezekiel is doing here? He literally begins by calling Israel "sheep" and scattering the sheep. He says that God would then seek His sheep out and deliver those sheep from all the places they were scattered. Then in the same VERY NEXT breath he says...."I will bring THE PEOPLES AND GATHER THEM FROM THE COUNTRIES"
Wow. Do you see what He did? He just revealed who the sheep were and where the places where they were scattered were. The sheep were "His people" and the places where they were scattered was "the countries".
But notice how he just jumps right back into the imagery again in the next sentence. He says I will feed them on the mountains and feed them in good PASTURE. etc
Animal imagery used for the people of Israel as well as the countries where they were scattered. The chapter continues..
"And as for you, O My flock, thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I shall judge between CATTLE AND CATTLE, between RAM AND GOATS. Is it too little for you to have eaten up the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the residue of your pasture." Ezekiel 34:17-18
Do you see the same language used in all the other animal accounts? The word "cattle" is used everywhere. It's in Genesis creation days as well when God said...
"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" Genesis 1:25
The chapter continues...
"I will make a covenant of peace with them (the sheep), and cause WILD BEASTS to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the WILDERNESS and sleep in the woods. I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing. Then the TREES OF THE FIELD shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of THOSE WHO ENSLAVED THEM." Ezekiel 34:25-27
Clearly again here are people everywhere. No argument from anyone.
The chapter ends by God saying how in this New Covenant no BEASTS will feed on His people as prey. It ends like this...
"And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall BEASTS OF THE LAND devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid. I will raise up for them a GARDEN of renown, and they shall no longer be consumed with hunger in the land, nor bear the shame of the GENTILES anymore. Thus they shall know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and they, the HOUSE OF ISRAEL are My people,” says the Lord God.’ Ezekiel 34:28-30
Notice the language again. Israel the people, would no longer be prey for the beasts. God would raise up a new GARDEN (Genesis imagery again) in the New Covenant. Which is what we see ironically in Revelation with the Tree of Life back in that garden.
In conclusion, we should not get upset over this. We should at the very least let it keep our options a bit more open that perhaps Ezekiel is using the same literary genre that the author of the early Genesis chapters used. That being prophetic, apocalyptic imagery to describe the creation of a Kingdom People for God. A Covenant people. A garden of God.
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The fulfilled message scares people. It scares people because it wrecks presuppositions and long held traditions within the church. To me though, that isn't scary at all. In fact, if it makes sense of the scriptures far better than the former way, then so be it. I am all for it.
I cannot stand hearing people say "well that could lead somewhere bad so I will stay away from it."
Bottom line is that we should go where the bible leads. Whether or not it wrecks your traditional cherished beliefs. Whatever makes the most sense and fits within the scriptures the best should be "where we go". Period.
The passage I want to look at here comes from Romans chapter 1 and we all know it well.
People quote it all the time to speak of humanity in general. They say that humanity as a whole has known God and yet has denied Him therefore they (humanity as a whole) is without excuse.
But as I am about to show, this portion of Romans 1 is actually only concerned with Israel. Natural Israel. God's Old Covenant bride.
Let's start by quoting the passage from Romans 1. Here it is...
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, FOR GOD HAS SHOWN IT TO THEM. For since the CREATION OF THE WORLD, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, ALTHOUGH THEY KNEW GOD, they DID NOT GLORIFY HIM as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.
Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who EXCHANGED THE TRUTH OF GOD for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason GOD GAVE THEM UP to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due." Romans 1:18-27
Ok, so obviously there is a LOT there. But let's focus on a few things that Paul says about these people whom the wrath of God was revealed against in those last days. Paul lists the following details about these people. Let's see if it rings any bells based on everything we know about Israel in the Old Testament.....
-These people suppressed the truth in unrighteousness
-God showed them His attributes but they denied them
-Although they KNEW GOD, they did not glorify Him as God
-They were not thankful and became foolish and darkened
-They changed the glory of God into corruptible images
-God gave them up to lustful living
-They exchanged the truth for a lie
-They engaged in vile passion and sexual sins
Ok so keep those key things in mind and let's start connecting some dots.
In Numbers 25, we read a bit about Old Covenant natural Israel. Let's take a look at what it says...
"Now Israel remained in Acacia Grove, and THE PEOPLE BEGAN TO ENGAGE IN WHOREDOMS WITH THE WOMEN of Moab. They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods. So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel." Numbers 25:1-3
So right off the bat we see whoredoms. Harlotry with women of Moab. Sexual sins and lustful living. For the sake of keeping this short I will only give one example of each but let me assure you, there are TONS TONS TONS of examples all throughout the Old Testament of Israel engaging in wicked acts of sexual sin. They had exchanged the glory of the true God and worshiped false gods and in turn, sexual sin was part of this. Doesn't this match what Paul says about these people in Romans 1?
Let's now look at 2 Kings where we will read more about Old Covenant natural Israel...
"For so it was that the children of Israel had sinned against the Lord their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt, from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and THEY HAD FEARED OTHER GODS, and had walked in the statutes of the nations whom the Lord had cast out from before the children of Israel, and of the kings of Israel, which they had made. Also the children of Israel secretly did against the Lord their God things that were not right, and they built for themselves high places in all their cities, from watchtower to fortified city. They set up for themselves sacred pillars and WOODEN IMAGES on every high hill and under every green tree. There they burned incense on all the high places, like the nations whom the Lord had carried away before them; and they did wicked things to provoke the Lord to anger, for THEY SERVED IDOLS, of which the Lord had said to them, “You shall not do this thing.”
Yet the Lord testified against Israel and against Judah, by all of His prophets, every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways, and keep My commandments and My statutes, according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you by My servants the prophets.” Nevertheless THEY WOULD NOT HEAR but stiffened their necks, like the necks of their fathers, who did not believe in the Lord their God. And they rejected His statutes and His covenant that He had made with their fathers, and His testimonies which He had testified against them; they followed idols, became idolaters, and went after the nations who were all around them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them that they should not do like them. So they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, made for themselves a MOLDED IMAGE and two calves, made a wooden image and WORSHIPED all the host of heaven, and served Baal. And they caused their sons and daughters to pass through the fire, PRACTICED WITCHCRAFT and soothsaying, and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. Therefore the Lord was very angry with Israel"
2 Kings 17:7-17
Again, do you see what I see? Literally everything Paul said in Romans 1, we see Israel doing here. Worshiping images, serving other gods, etc.
Now check out what Psalm 78 says...
"They did not keep the covenant of God; They refused to walk in His law, AND FORGOT HIS WORKS AND WONDERS THAT HE HAD SHOWN THEM.. Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers, In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan. He divided the sea and caused them to pass through; And He made the waters stand up like a heap. In the daytime also He led them with the cloud, And all the night with a light of fire. He split the rocks in the wilderness, And gave them drink in abundance like the depths. He also brought streams out of the rock, And caused waters to run down like rivers. But THEY SINNED EVEN MORE against Him By rebelling against the Most High in the wilderness." Psalm 78:10-17
Do you see a match to what Paul said in Romans 1? God showed them His attributes yet they denied him anyway. God did all these incredible things before them and yet they DID NOT GLORIFY HIM. God revealed Himself to them and yet they were foolish. Seems like another perfect match to me.
Now for the icing on the cake, let's look at Exodus 32....
"They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a MOLDED CALF, and WORSHIPED IT and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!’” And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people!" Exodus 32:8-9
Wow. Did you see a Golden Molded CALF in there?
What did Paul say in Romans 1 about this people whom the wrath of God was now revealed against? He said...
"Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an IMAGE made like corruptible man—and birds and FOUR FOOTED ANIMALS and creeping things."
Now, the four footed animals is a direct match to the GOLDEN CALF. Paul is speaking directly about Israel and their history here. This is a direct flashback to the Exodus account of them worshiping the calf. Young's Literal Translates the passage from Romans like this...
" and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of fowls, and of QUADRUPEDS, and of reptiles."
The cow or the "golden calf" is directly tied to Old Covenant Israel and this is exactly what Paul is referring to when speaking of the wickedness that was going to be judged in those last days.
Lastly, I know you must be thinking, well what about everyone else. If this is just about Israel what about everyone else?
Well consider what Paul said in Romans 1 about these people whom he was speaking of. He said this...
"because, ALTHOUGH THEY KNEW GOD, they did not glorify Him as God, NOR WERE THEY THANKFUL"
Ok now keep that in mind. These people whom Paul was speaking of "KNEW GOD" and they were "NOT THANKFUL".
Now let's go to another letter that the same guy, Paul, wrote to the Ephesians and let's see what Paul says about the Gentiles there...
"Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, HAVING NO HOPE AND WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ." Ephesians 2:11-12
Wow. So Paul actually says that Gentiles were once WITHOUT HOPE AND WITHOUT GOD IN THE WORLD. He says they were ALIENATED FROM ISRAEL.
Alienated means distanced, far away.
So how could he also be talking about Gentiles in Romans 1 when he said "ALTHOUGH THEY KNEW GOD, THEY DIDN'T GLORIFY HIM NOR WERE THEY THANKFUL"????
Doesn't make any sense! Total contradiction!
On one hand Paul says that they "KNEW GOD" and on the other hand he says "THEY HAD NO HOPE AND WERE WITHOUT GOD"??
See the problems? It's abundantly clear.
The only people who were ever in Covenant with God and the only people who ever "KNEW" the true God and saw His Divine signs and wonders but yet did not glorify Him as such and instead traded the glory of the true God for images made like cows, was Old Covenant Israel.
Paul in Romans 1, with keeping the theme of the soon approaching last days judgment, is speaking of Old Covenant Natural Israel.
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Today I want to take a look at the third day of Creation when God created herbs, grass, seed and so on.
The fruit! The vegetation! Everyone wants to know what these things represent if not intended on being taken physically literal!
If the claim is made that the things mentioned in Genesis 1 are not to be taken literally as in their physical descriptions, then of course we need to have answers for all of the things and not just half of them. It's a challenging task especially since we are dealing with the fact that words can be used allegorically or spiritually and they can also be used literally and physically in the very same sentence in the bible.
For instance "let the DEAD bury their DEAD."
Clearly we know the word "dead" truly only has one meaning. Yet in the bible we are dealing with spiritual realities and physical realities so we use the context to decide which definition works best in each instance.
Same thing with allegory or imagery. We know that sometimes words can be used both ways. For instance we know that the word "sea" is used to portray the Gentiles many times in scripture. Yet at the same time we can't just assume it must remain the same every time we see it because we know that isn't the case. Like when they were at the "SEA" of Galilee.
The point is we need to sharpen our hermeneutic in order to understand what the authors are speaking of. There is no "one size fits all" method of word interpretation in the Holy Writ.
This study today is challenging. Do I claim to be spot on? No.
In fact, the Day 3 creation of herbs and seed etc is one of the hardest topics in Covenant Creationism.
With all that said, I think I am prepared to at least take a worthy stab at it.
I am going to present two options that I see could fit.
We have made extremely strong cases for the "light & darkness" being spiritual light and darkness. We have also made extremely strong cases for the "dry land & water" being covenant people and non-covenant people. The "earth" and the "sea" as speaking of covenant and non-covenant people.
We have also made an extremely strong case for the "beasts of the field, birds of the air, creeping things, fish of the sea, and cattle" as being imagery for people. Whether it be groups of people, social classes of people, different age group, etc. But the case is strong. The examples are EVERYWHERE in the bible both Old Testament and New.
So based on everything that we've been able to connect using nothing but the scriptures, one must at least admit that there is indeed "something there". But of course, that takes us to the herbs and seed. What on earth (pardon the pun) could that be speaking of?
Let's begin with option #1...
We will start by reviewing what we know about Genesis 1 leading up to the Day 3 creation account.
What do we know so far?
1) We know that right at the start of the story BEFORE we even get into any Day 1 creation, we have "chaos and confusion" on the earth. The text says the earth was "without form and void" which is "tohuw bohuw" in the Hebrew. Meaning confused and chaotic. So we know that.
2) We also know that BEFORE we even begin Day 1 creation, we have the "earth" there as mentioned in point 1. We also have the "waters" there already before Day 1 creation begins. The text says that "darkness was on the face of the DEEP. And the Spirit of God hovered over the WATERS." So clearly we know that there was an earth already there and waters were already there BEFORE day 1 creation even begins.
3) We also know that on Day 1 creation, God breaks up and penetrates that "darkness" by the phrase "let there be LIGHT".
4) We also know that once Day 3 comes, God separates the "waters" into their own place and He brings the "dry land" to it's own place. Once He does this He then gives these places names. He calls the waters "SEA". And He calls the dry land "EARTH".
Ok so now let's just recap quickly and look at these facts from the Covenantal viewpoint...
The "earth" (people) were confused and chaotic (without form and void) and "darkness" was over the face of the "deep". The Spirit of God was hovering over the "waters" (people) looking for a people to illuminate and call His own. He finds them and says LET THERE BE LIGHT. He breaks up the mass darkness by calling these people and giving them "light".
Then, as another way to describe what He did there, we read that God separated the "waters" from the "dry land". Waters being the nations outside of Covenant. Dry land representing His Covenant people. Waters representing being unstable and rocky. No foundation. While the dry land represents being planted firmly, grounded, stable with good foundation.
But then we read that God names these two things. He names the water as "SEA" and He names the dry land as "EARTH".
As a side note, take that thought back to Genesis 1:1 and now does the statement "The "EARTH" was without form and void and darkness was on the face of the "DEEP" have a different meaning?
It should! That fits lovely with the "EARTH" (God's Covenant people) being confused and chaotic before He called them into Covenant. The "DEEP" being covered in darkness representing the darkness of the nations.
But back to the fact that God calls His people "EARTH" here. I will quote the line again here and then I want you to notice something....
"And God called the dry land EARTH, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas." Genesis 1:10
So let's just assume that we agree that the "EARTH" there refers to the Covenant people...
The "EARTH" is what God shined light upon and what He made "dry" and "stable". Now guess what the very next verse says about this "earth" (people)...
Remember this assumption before looking at the verse below...
"EARTH" = "COVENANT PEOPLE"....
"Then 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. And 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." Genesis 1:11-12
Now, are we starting to see something come together?
Most preterists understand the "SEA" of Revelation 21:1 to be referring to the Gentiles or the nations outside of Covenant. There would be "no more sea" in the new heaven and earth because there was no Jew or Gentile in Christ.
If we know that the "SEA" refers to the Gentiles and if we know that God said the opposite of that "SEA" is the "EARTH" in Genesis, then don't we have a very strong argument that the "EARTH" of Genesis 1 is the Covenant people? We most certainly do.
Now, if Genesis Day 3 creation immediately follows that up and says...
"The EARTH brought forth grass, herb, seed, and FRUIT..."
What can we assume therefore?
We can assume that the "EARTH" is PEOPLE.
We can also assume that these PEOPLE were going to bring forth FRUIT!
Didn't God say this exact thing to them...
"BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY" Genesis 1:28
Perhaps the being "fruitful" there isn't just speaking of children. Perhaps it has a deeper more Spiritual meaning. Perhaps it goes with the whole "good tree bearing fruit" theme we see. Or the "sow seed" theme. The garden imagery is used everywhere.
Remember the parable of the mustard seed?...
"Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.” Mark 4:30-32
How awesome is that imagery for ya?
Jesus uses tons of "seed, sown on the ground, sown on the earth, grow, herbs, large branches" language to depict what?
PEOPLE BEARING FRUIT. THE KINGDOM BEARING FRUIT.
The Kingdom of God is PEOPLE.
The seeds that are sown, the great herbs that bust forth, the seeds that "sprout" could all be imagery for the bearing fruit and being "fruitful". Living in that "lush garden" again. God's presence where there is the Tree of Life.
Jesus said the Kingdom of God is within you. It's in us. He is in us and we are in Him.
After all, what happened to the Covenant people when they fell?
THORNS AND THISTLES!
I don't know of ONE preterist that believes that literal thorns and literal thistles began popping up on the earth.
Most likely this has a spiritual aspect to it whereby it represents no longer being sons but rather servants. Slaves. In bondage instead of free. Producing bad fruit. Most, if not all Preterists would agree with the symbolic nature of "THORNS AND THISTLES".
So if the "thorns and thistles" had a much deeper meaning. If it was picture imagery for what they would deal with and what they would "bring forth" after they fell...
Then why is the "herbs and fruit" from BEFORE they fell, any different? Why is this literal?
To me the fact that the "earth" (PEOPLE) is what is bringing forth the herbs, seeds, and fruits, is strong enough to make a case that this is speaking of the fruit that the people of God should have produced. Good fruit. After all, they were supposed to be a light to those around them. (See how the light to darkness thing is always there?)
I think a very strong case can be made for the fruit and herbs and seeds representing the fruit that comes from being in God's presence. That garden fruit. The good fruit that is produced when we are walking with God.
I also believe that there is a VERY strong BIBLICAL case made for the herbs, seeds, and fruit referring to children or people themselves.
The "EARTH" (people) bringing forth "SEED" (children).
How many times in scripture is the word "seed" used to speak of offspring? A lot.
This angle would also work with the "be fruitful and multiply" passage as well.
After all, the passage in Genesis does say that "the seed was in itself according to its kind".
There is literally TONS of passages both in the Old and New Testament which depict people as grass, trees, etc. Garden imagery is carried throughout the whole narrative.
Ezekial 31 is a classic example of people being portrayed as trees. The passage is long but please give it a read the whole way through to catch the overwhelming usage of trees and plants to speak of people. Check it out...
"Now it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, that the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his multitude:
‘Whom are you like in your greatness?
Indeed Assyria was a cedar in Lebanon,
With fine branches that shaded the forest,
And of high stature;
And its top was among the thick boughs.
The waters made it grow;
Underground waters gave it height,
With their rivers running around the place where it was planted,
And sent out rivulets to all the trees of the field.
‘Therefore its height was exalted above all the trees of the field;
Its boughs were multiplied,
And its branches became long because of the abundance of water,
As it sent them out.
All the birds of the heavens made their nests in its boughs;
Under its branches all the beasts of the field brought forth their young;
And in its shadow all great nations made their home.
‘Thus it was beautiful in greatness and in the length of its branches,
Because its roots reached to abundant waters.
The cedars in the garden of God could not hide it;
The fir trees were not like its boughs,
And the chestnut trees were not like its branches;
No tree in the garden of God was like it in beauty.
9 I made it beautiful with a multitude of branches,
So that all the trees of Eden envied it,
That were in the Garden of God."
Now I know what you are thinking. Probably sounds like "WHAT THE....???"
Don't worry, it's a tricky one.
But let's see what conclusions we at least CAN draw from what is said.
- We know for a fact that the entire focus is on ASSYRIA being portrayed as a "GREAT, TALL, CEDAR WITH FINE BRANCHES".
-We know that its height was higher than all the "OTHER TREES IN THE FIELD" and it's "BRANCHES LONGER TOO". Also the beasts of the field raised their young under its branches. In its shadow, all great nations MADE THEIR HOMES.
-We also know that "The Cedars IN THE GARDEN OF GOD could not hide this great big cedar called Assyria.
-No other tree in the garden of God was like it in beauty. And all "THE TREES IN THE GARDEN OF GOD ENVIED THIS CEDAR. The text even calls it "ALL THE TREES OF EDEN ENVIED IT".
So just what the heck is going on?
Well, the one thing is for sure here...
If the Cedar is a Kingdom or if that Cedar represents an empire of people, or just people in general, then the only natural and logical conclusion to make is that "ALL THE TREES OF EDEN WERE ALSO REPRESENTATIVE OF PEOPLE TOO"
Think about it, Ezekial says...
"ALL THE TREES OF EDEN ENVIED IT (THE CEDAR)"
How can a literal tree ENVY another literal tree?
Ezekial 17 is another classic example of this. When the prophet portrays the New Covenant Gentiles as "dry trees" etc. Check it out...
"Thus says the Lord God: “I will take also one of the highest branches of the high cedar and set it out. I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and will plant it on a high and prominent mountain. On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it; and it will bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a majestic cedar. Under it will dwell birds of every sort; in the shadow of its branches they will dwell. And all the trees of the field shall know that I, the Lord, have brought down the high tree and exalted the low tree, dried up the green tree and made the dry tree flourish; I, the Lord, have spoken and have done it." Ezekial 17:22-24
Now of course nobody in their right mind would interpret that as literal trees knowing that God has brought down the high tree and exalted the low tree. That's silly.
This is again just picture imagery. Garden imagery speaking of people.
Just to prove that this theme is legit everywhere in the bible, here are some other texts using these things to speak of people...
"For, all flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away," 1 Peter 1:24
"As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes." Psalm 103:15
"You have swept them away like a flood, they fall asleep; In the morning they are like grass which sprouts anew. In the morning it flourishes and sprouts anew; " Psalm 90:5-6
"As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes" Psalm 103:15
"Therefore their inhabitants were short of strength, They were dismayed and put to shame; They were as the vegetation of the field and as the green herb, As grass on the housetops is scorched before it is grown up." Isaiah 37:27
Now those are just some. But clearly there is enough there to make a solid case that when it comes to imagery, there is plenty to prove that grass, flowers, herbs, seed, tree etc were all repeatedly used to speak of people.
Now the question should be asked therefore...
Where do these prophets get their imagery from?
Is this one story? Is it one story from cover to cover? Is God consistent in the usage of His imagery?
It is my sincere belief that we CAN conclude that all of this PROPHETIC IMAGERY BEGAN IN GENESIS 1. Or at least is related to and speaking the same way as Genesis creation.
I believe that the bible is one story from cover to cover and what was established for us in the Genesis account, can be held in the other prophetic texts as well.
Now, I will be honest and admit that the end of Genesis 1:29-31 is challenging me. Obviously those verses seem to be implying herbs and fruit that is literally physically able to be eaten. Although I can think of some ways that portion could be applied spiritually as well.
I am content with knowing that the bible very often speaks of things literally and metaphorically in the same chapter. Sometimes even in the same sentence. So is it impossible that we would have imagery of grass and herbs early in Genesis 1 and literal grass and herbs mentioned later on in the same chapter? Absolutely not. In fact it's very much possible.
Whatever your opinion is at the current time, this is a tough one. We know it refers to something, but what is the question. Considering all of the allegory/imagery we've been discovering in the Genesis 1 account, it is my sincere belief that Day 3 is no different.
If I had to pick option 1 or 2, at this time I would lean towards option #2 as I see so many passages portraying people as grass, seed, herbs, plants, trees etc.
Remember, the context is usually on Israel when these things are being said. So if the creation of all these seeds, herbs, grass, and trees in Genesis 1 is speaking of the Covenant people, then this works just fine.
This was the creation of a Covenant people who was designed to plant seed and til "the ground" and sprout up good fruit and multiply.
Either way, we will continue to dig and I am sure the answer will surface.
Thanks for reading guys. If you've enjoyed the study please give it a like and feel free to share as well.
Lions, tigers, and bears.....
Imagine lions, tigers, and bears bowing down to pray to God in an open field.
Buffalo and cows shouting out praises to God.
Or perhaps ducks, geese, and raccoons singing the timeless classic 'Holy Holy Holy' out by the pond.
Sounds funny but this is what we would imagine when we come across certain passages in the Old Testament if we aren't familiar with the ancient Hebraic mind and how they used certain words and certain symbols or pictures to describe people.
If you haven't followed my creation studies, you've probably missed the many examples of "beast, birds, cattle, creeping things, and fish of the sea" being used to describe people in the scriptures.
I've used numerous texts to prove the point from the bible. I've also referenced outer biblical sources such as the Animal Apocalypse in 1 Enoch which lists about every animal imaginable to describe humanity.
There was the quote from the Zohar believed to be written in the 1st century during the Roman persecution which reads..
"There are many kinds among Israel that are called cattle and beasts. One is from the side of the serpent and another from the side of idolatrous nations, who are like animals and wild beasts."
- Zohar 2 Beresheet A29
There is much in the book of Sirach containing animal imagery. A commentary of the book writes this about one of the portions of the Sirach...
"In verse 19 the use of a lion as imagery for those who are rich has a biblical precedent in Psalm 35:17 and 58:7, though more frequently it is used to depict an external threat. (example Jeremiah 5:6) The animals hunted by the lions, which in Sirach 13 represent the poor, are the "wild asses of the desert". The poor are also compared to wild asses of the desert in Job 24:4-5. The context of Job 24 like Sirach 13, addresses the fact that the wealthy and powerful seem to prey on the poor and exploit the defenseless members of society."
The lions referenced there as being symbolic of the rich in that day reminds me of when Peter told the believers to "look out for your adversary the devil, he roams around LIKE A LION looking for someone to devour."
It's been my position for a long time now that the devil there pertains to the opposition, that being the Pharisees and Judaizers. They were the wealthy upper class who roared like a lion looking to devour the believers. Makes perfect sense to me.
We see the Gentile Kingdoms in Daniel as "beasts". We see the "beast from the sea" and the "beast from the land" in Revelation. We see Paul contending with "beasts" in Ephesus over the gospel and so on.
In Isaiah 43 we read this...
"Behold, I will do a new thing...I will even make a road in the wilderness, And rivers in the desert. The BEAST OF THE FIELD WILL HONOR ME. The JACKALS AND THE OSTRICHES, Because I give waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My people, My chosen. This people I have formed for Myself; They shall declare My praise." Isaiah 43:19-21
Now again, in the context here we see people. Clearly the subjects here are people.
God is saying He is going to do a "new thing"...sound familiar? ("Behold I make all things new")
He says the "beasts of the field, the jackals and ostriches", will honor Him in that day.
He will give water to those who thirst. To His chosen. To the people that He will form for Himself and they shall declare His praise.
This looks a lot like the wolf lying down with the lamb, Gentile and Jew coming together and finding peace in Christ. Sounds a lot like the New Covenant to me.
But in that passage we have 3 animal groups mentioned.
The Hebrew word for "beasts" is "chay".
This words main definition is "living man, life of man, relatives, and sometimes it means animal"
The strong majority of its usages refer to humans.
Considering that the Hebrews used pictures when they spoke and they used animals to represent people, this works just fine.
The Hebrew word for "jackals" is "tanniyn".
This word means "dragon, serpent, sea monster, venomous snake".
In fact, some translations substitute the word "jackal" with "dragon".
This is a perfect example of the concordances NOT picking up the picture language and metaphorical imagery used in the bible. Do we really believe Isaiah was saying that literal DRAGONS and literal SNAKES would bow down before the Lord in that day? Of course not.
So the "jackals" or "dragons" to me speaks to people yet again. If that doesn't sound too convincing, it's ok. Look at what word is used for "ostriches"...
The Hebrew word for "ostriches" in the passage is "bath". This word is used 588 times in scripture and 526 of those times it means "daughters". Human daughters.
So we have the beast, jackal, and ostrich. 2 out of three of those are clearly defined as "people". The jackal doesn't really translate well in our lexicons but clearly we can see that it is picture language for a person as well. But who?
To me, when applying a proper interpretation to the passage in Isaiah, I believe that the proper way to interpret the following passage...
"Behold, I will do a new thing...I will even make a road in the wilderness, And rivers in the desert. The BEAST OF THE FIELD WILL HONOR ME. The JACKALS AND THE OSTRICHES. Because I give waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My people, My chosen"
Would be just like this....
"Behold, I will do a new thing....I will even make a road in the wilderness, And rivers in the desert. The foreigners (beasts/Gentiles) will honor me. Their sons (jackals) and their daughters (ostriches) too. Because I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to My people, My chosen."
We see how smooth that works. It just makes sense based on how they used these terms.
We know that "the wilderness" represented the Gentile nations. The "desert" as well. God was going to make roads from the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Beautiful imagery of the rivers of living water extending to the Gentile people. These also plays well into Ezekial's vision of the "dry tree" becoming the "green tree" in the New Covenant.
As a side note and something to ponder for later...
When Jesus went away for 40 days into the "wilderness", was He really going into the deep dark forest as people say? :)
Or based on the fact that we know "the wilderness" was the Gentile nations, could it be safe to say that when Jesus went out of there to fast for 40 days and went into the wilderness, was He simply going into a foreign land with foreigners? After all, the text does say...
"Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him." Matthew 1
Do we see "wild beasts" in this "wilderness"? Is that Gentiles in their own land?
Who are the "angels" aka "messengers" who were ministering to Him?
These are some of the effects of having our ducks in a row. Things begin to get answered elsewhere. But we will save that for another day.
Thanks for reading guys. If you've enjoyed this study please give it a like and feel free to share.
We have been looking closely at the beautiful picture imagery contained within the Genesis creation account lately.
For those who have been following along, we've seen many things that just aren't adding up. We've also seen many things that are actually picture imagery for something else. Such as the "beasts of the field, birds of the air, creeping things" clearly in MANY places being used to represent people. Perhaps different classes or groups of people in that culture.
For those who have not read these studies I encourage you to do so as they sort of tie into one another and without the proper foundation, someone could be a bit confused by just jumping in.
But assuming we have all been staying up to date, I'd like to take a look at the portion from Genesis 2 which speaks of the "helper" that God was going to give to Adam.
The portion begins with God taking Adam and placing Him in the garden. To me, a wonderful picture of God bringing us into His presence. Taking us from the kingdom of darkness and transplanting us into His Kingdom of "light".
From there, we see God warn Adam to stay away from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Once He warns him about that, the passage then says....
"And the Lord God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." Genesis 2:18
Now, I wanted to quote that passage alone first before quoting the entire passage. Take special notice of what is important there. That being, ONE WHO IS "COMPARABLE" TO ADAM. What I will try to demonstrate in this study is that when the text says "comparable" it does not mean what people think it means. It does not mean that there were no other human beings on earth so God was going to bring another human being to Adam. It refers to Covenant. There was no one else in Covenant with God besides Adam. There was no one else with "light". I want you to take notice of how the passage transitions from the portion quoted above into the very next sentence. It's truly incredible.
God says that it is not good that Adam be alone. The VERY NEXT sentence says...
"out of the ground God formed EVERY BEAST, BIRD, etc"
So does this make any sense? God states that He is going to make a helper for Adam and then immediately we see the formation of these "beasts, birds, and creepers"???
Take a look at the passage in full below. Please pay special attention to what God does here.
He announces that He will create a helper for Adam. THEN, He says He formed the "animals" from the ground and brought them to Adam. BUT NOTICE that immediately after the formation of these "animals", God says that THERE WAS STILL NO HELPER COMPARABLE TO ADAM.
Here is the passage in full...
"And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him." Genesis 2:18-20
Now wait a minute...
God announces He is going to make a helper for Adam. Clearly we know that this had to be a person that was going to be brought to Adam.
Then God forms all these "animals" from "the ground". These animals are CLEARLY PEOPLE!
He brings these people to Adam because Adam would have dominion over them. Adam gave them names. Symbolic for something indeed. Perhaps God was bringing people to Adam and Adam was giving them roles within the New order that God had created. The new "dry land" that He formed from the "sea" was a new order. Perhaps Adam as the head of that order was placing these people in positions and giving them roles. Whatever Adam was doing with these people, we can all agree that Adam had the high position over them. He had dominion over them. Which is why we see Adam "naming them".
But notice that once all these "beasts" are formed and Adam positions them where they need to be, THERE IS STILL NO HELPER COMPARABLE TO ADAM!!
What does this demand therefore?
Well, it shows undeniably that the "animals" here are people!
If God brought all those animals to Adam AND YET STILL there was no helper COMPARABLE to him.....this shows that the animals of the text are people.
I hope that this is as clear to you as it is to me.
Take note of how the portion transitions. It goes from...
-God stating that Adam needs a helper
-God brings all these "animals" to Adam
-Yet still there was no helper comparable to Adam even after all those "animals" were brought to him
Give the passage one more read in full and see if you can pick up on this incredible imagery...
"And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him." Genesis 2:18-20
How awesome is the bible? How deep are the words contained within?
Thanks for reading guys. If you've enjoyed the article please give it a like and share.
A word that the traditional Genesis proponents love to use when it comes to what they think they are looking at in Genesis creation. You may have heard them say this exact sentence...
"We are looking at 6 LITERAL DAYS OF CREATION"
Everything there is 100% LITERAL!
Well, that's just wrong. Not true at all.
In fact, if 1 small point isn't literal in the account, doesn't that sort of tarnish the whole thing as being literal? I mean, you have these 6 full days of supposed material creation. If one of those days doesn't make sense and is impossible to be speaking literally, doesn't this cause one to question the other 5 days too? Of course it should. But the majority won't even acknowledge the overwhelming inconsistencies in Genesis creation. They don't even want to discuss them.
In a little back and forth I had with a woman who holds to the literal Genesis view recently, she said this exact sentence to me...
" It doesn't have to "work" it is to be believed by faith."
This statement right here, is the thorn in the side of ever coming to a true knowledge of the deeper things of God.
People read the bible and take it at plain face value especially in Genesis. Not ever considering that perhaps in the deep wonderful mind of God, there are MUCH deeper truths that we are reading.
But what is even more ironic is that this same concept is not held when they arrive at the conclusion of the story. Not even close.
For instance, these fulfilled proponents understand that the "SEA" that is seen as "no more" in Revelation 21, is NOT literal.
They understand that the "SEA" here represents the Gentiles. The rocky sea which was in "darkness". The "sea" was always separated from the "the dry land" which represents Israel and those who know God and have that stability and foundation.
That concept is agreed upon by literal every person who holds to the fulfilled view.
When John said "I saw a new heaven and a new earth and there was no more SEA", we all agree and understand this as saying that the wall of separation has been broken down in Christ. There is neither sea nor dry land in Christ. There is neither Gentile nor Jew in Christ. The wolf has laid down with the lamb in peace, in Christ. Outsiders can come into Christ. The Covenant promises are available for all men by the grace of God in the New Heaven and Earth order.
But these folks have no clue where that "SEA" was ever created.
Where is the passage in the bible which deems the "SEA" as the confused Gentile and chaotic pagan nations?
Still searching for one?
Where "darkness" was on the face of the "deep" (waters). The Spirit of God hovered over these waters and then called a people to Himself.
He then went on in Genesis 1 to create the dry land and SEPARATE it from what?
So when we see that the "SEA" is no more in Revelation 21, we are looking at the removal of the separation.
But people refuse to accept that because they understand that if the "sea" isn't literally water in Genesis 1, then they have to deal with everything else as well.
But let's take a look at just a few of the MAJOR problems with a LITERAL interpretation of Genesis creation. These are just the real simple problems that I feel comfortable sharing together in this study. There are dozens of problems but these I feel are simple enough where I can combine them into this one study and show a consistent pattern of "problems" within the account.
LIGHT & DARKNESS
We read about the light and the darkness in the very opening verses. The text reads...
"Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day." Genesis 1:3-5
So we see that God creates this "light" here on Day 1. He divides it from the "darkness". So we have the creation of "light" and "darkness" or "Day" and "Night" here in Day 1 of creation.
Now, how many of us know how we get LITERAL light? What gives us light?
The sun right? Well, guess when that sun is created?
Not until 3 days later.
Check it out...
"Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then 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. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day" Genesis 1:14-19
So here we have on the FOURTH day, which is 3 days later, the sun and the moon created. Hmm, what's going on here?
How could "light" and "darkness" be created in Day 1 but the things that provide those things were not created until Day 4?
The answer is because the "light" that was created in Day 1 was illumination. God illuminated a people of Himself. He "divided" those people from the darkness. Humanity was in darkness up until that point. God said "let there be light" and He divided a people away from the deep "dark" sea. The darkness that was on the face of "the deep", wasn't literal darkness. It was spiritual darkness. The light wasn't literal light, it was spiritual light.
So right away we can see how the "IT'S ALL LITERAL" argument crumbles just one day into creation.
EARTH AND WATER THERE FROM THE START
The next argument is so apparent that I am shocked that people don't pick up on it.
Did you know that before any creation day even begins, the "earth" is already there. So is "water".
Now, how on earth (pardon the pun) is the LITERAL earth already existing BEFORE day 1 creation begins???? Isn't the Genesis creation account about the creation of EARTH ITSELF!?
If it is, then something is terribly wrong. Check out the opening passage of Genesis 1...
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 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." Genesis 1:1-2
Now we have to understand that the very first sentence is a title statement. The author says...
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth"
It isn't until the second verse that we actually begin reading about the actual creation of that heaven and earth. So technically Genesis 1 could start like this if we removed the title sentence...
"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."
Now, I will ask you to recognize that this sentence is giving us information about the state of whatever it is we are looking at BEFORE any creation days begin. This is BEFORE Day 1 creation even starts. Yet what do we see that is ALREADY there?
The earth is already there. It was just "without form and void"
The WATERS are already there. They were "darkened" God says.
So we have the EARTH and we have the WATERS already in existence BEFORE we even begin Day 1 creation!! How ???
Isn't this about the creation of EARTH itself?????
This is supposed to be about LITERAL creation of LITERAL earth and the LITERAL universe!
Yet the earth is already there when we enter the story. So are the waters.
Disclaimer: of course I do not believe that the earth and the waters represent literal earth and waters there. ;)
As an interesting add on, Revelation 17:14 says this...
"Then he said to me, “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues"
So we have "the waters" being defined as "people".
VEGETATION WITHOUT SUNLIGHT?
Those of us who have a green thumb understand that trying to grow plants, herbs, trees, etc without sunlight is a lot like trying to force a newborn baby to eat an entire cheese pizza. It's just not happening.
In the first point of this study we showed how the sun wasn't created until Day 4 of the creation account.
But guess when all those herbs and plants were created? Yep, they were created on Day 3 BEFORE the sun even came to be. Check it out...
"Then 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. And 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. So the evening and the morning were the third day." Genesis 1:11-13
So we have the LITERAL creation of LITERAL herbs and plants but with NO SUN!? Interesting.
HERBS ONLY FOR ALL THE BEASTS?
On the 6th day we read this...
"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. Also, 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. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day." Genesis 1:29-31
So here we see that God gave Adam every herb and seed and tree for fruit for food here.
But then we see that God also gave those same herbs, seeds, and trees for fruit to the "BEASTS OF THE FIELD, BIRDS OF THE AIR, AND CREEPING THINGS"
Now of course for those who have been following my studies, you have seen how these terms are very often used as imagery for people. Constantly in the scriptures. It's apparent that these three phrases in particular (beasts of the field, birds of the air, and creeping things) are used very often to picture people.
But if this is literal, that means that God only gave the herbs, trees, and fruits for these BEASTS to eat for food?
Do you know how many animals REQUIRE meat in order to survive? All manner of cats for one. There are many. So how on earth were all these carnivore's going to survive if this is a LITERAL account of what God gave them to eat?
Unless of course the beasts, birds, and creepers represent people just like they do everywhere else in scripture.
These are just 4 examples of why LITERAL creation cannot be true. It's impossible.
Never mind when we get to the Tree of Life in the Garden, do we take that literal? Or do we know that was picture imagery for Christ? Christ is the "Tree of Life" everywhere else. So was He a literal fruit bearing tree in the garden with literal fruit that could be plucked off and literally eaten?
The point is, if these things are not literal, we have to remain consistent and realize what it is we are looking at here.
There is WAAAAAY too many things that are not literal in the account to be able to pick and choose what's literal and what's not. The only reasonable conclusion is to understand we are looking at picture imagery and allegory for actual events that took place in some form at the beginning of God's "creation".
Of course the story is true and the events are true in whatever way they actually occurred. (No I do not believe they ate literal fruit that gave them knowledge of sin)
We are looking at picture imagery that represents much deeper and much greater spiritual meaning. To see these things is to open up a whole new world and a whole new understanding of just how incredible our God is.
The bible is a spiritual book.
Thanks for reading guys, if you've enjoyed the study please give it a like and feel free to share.
The Breath of Life in Genesis.
When we think about this, we most often get the image of what the picture in this article shows. A man, laying motionless on the ground, God breaths this breath of life into this man and suddenly the man's eyes open up and he is PHYSICALLY alive.
What's incredible is that many in the Preterist, or fulfilled theology camp, believe that this is 100% speaking of PHYSICAL LIFE. God bringing a motionless, lifeless man, to PHYSICAL LIFE.
Isn't that a bit inconsistent with the way we understand "LIFE & DEATH" in the holy writ?
I mean, of course the bible speaks of physical life and death no doubt. But I am talking about what is really important. What is really the central focal point of the entire story. That being, eternal life. Life in God's presence. SPIRITUAL LIFE. Things "unseen". Spiritual truths.
To automatically assume that the "Breath of Life" that we see breathed into Adam depicts the start of his physical existence, is a grave error.
I was going back and forth recently with a fella who really dislikes the idea that Genesis is not about the creation of dirt and rocks. His main argument was the "breath of life" argument.
Before I explain what this is, I would like to say that just because the Covenant Creation framework may not have every point locked down air tight, does not make it any less true. The entire "literal Genesis 6 days of creation" concept is so easily refuted, that one would have to be incredibly bias not to see it. I mean come on. Light was created on Day 1. The sun, which provides light, literal light, wasn't created until Day 4. So if this is LITERAL CREATION......you already have as Donald Trump would say, a "HUGE" problem. To me, having one single problem as such, destroys the entire 6 LITERAL days of creation argument handily. I don't even have to present any of the other roughly 100 or so scriptural arguments against the traditional view. That one is plenty and it should cause any serious student of the Word, and any serious lover of truth, to consider that perhaps there is a problem. I digress.
In Genesis 1 on the 6th day, we have mention of the creation of "man" (Covenant man). This is not the literal creation of the first people. Rather, this is the functional positioning of a certain people into Covenant with God. Bringing already existing people out from darkness and into light. Into His presence.
The start of Genesis 2 pronounces that the heavens and earth (The Covenant Order) was finished and the author then sort of bounces back and begins explaining the generations of that Covenant Order. He begins by explaining in IMAGERY how that first man, Adam, was brought into Covenant. He writes...
"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." Genesis 2:7
Now, few things we need to look at.
First of all, the dust argument is toast. "Dust" is used everywhere as symbolism. When Preterists rightly understand that the resurrection of the dead, both the just and unjust out of Hades, occurred in AD70, they know that these were raised "UP FROM THE DUST OF THE EARTH" as Daniel the prophet says in chapter 12. Yet not a single Preterist holds to a literal dust interpretation here. In other words, Preterists do not believe that the dead spirits were raised from literal dust. Preterists also do not literally interpret the same dust reference in the very next chapter when we see God tell the serpent that he will eat dust all the rest of his days. Did a literal snake begin snacking on literal dust? If the dust here isn't literal, why is the dust one chapter earlier in the same literature, literal?
While dust is used both literally and allegorically in the scriptures, dust to me in these instances represents being brought out from nothing. Emptiness. Adam was called out from the darkness and given light. He was formed from that empty mode of existence into the first man walking with God. He came out from the dust.
More importantly for this study though, we want to look at this "Breath of Life" that God breathed into the nostrils of Adam.
The first thing I will say is that this is no way shape or form, literal life. Adam was already alive. This is why the text says...
"And MAN (Adam) BECAME a living being"
The man was already alive there. Read it again. The man, who was "dead" prior, BECAME a living being.
Since when does the bible give a hoot about physical death my Preterist friend? What did Jesus mean when He said...
"Let THE DEAD, bury THEIR DEAD"
He was saying let the SPIRITUALLY DEAD, bury their PHYSICALLY DEAD relatives.
Death and Life have different applications in the scriptures and we need to be careful to make sure we are remaining consistent throughout each instance we see the terms. So the "Breath of Life" was God giving "LIFE" "SPIRITUAL LIFE" to Adam. Prior to this, darkness was on the face of the deep, the earth was in confusion and chaos (tohuw bohuw). ALL PEOPLE WERE DEAD. WITHOUT GOD. NO "LIGHT".
But then God said "LET THEIR BE LIGHT"!
We know that the bible says "Eve was the mother of all LIVING"
Right away we take that literally and think, PHYSICALLY! But no.
Eve was the first Covenant woman. The first woman to have that "Breath of Life" and be created in the image of God. She was indeed the mother of all "LIVING", just not in the sense that most people understand as physically. She was the founding mother of all those in Covenant.
But I think that many opponents of the Covenant Creation view have an issue with this idea that the Breath of Life only came to those in Covenant and everyone else did not have it. In fact, I know that is the case because the fella who I was recently going back and forth with brought up this very thing.
He appealed to Genesis 7 in the Noah account as proof that not only Adam and Even and God's people had the breath of life. He said that animals also had the breath of life. He is right. However, his understanding of those animals is way off. ;)
Let's begin by quoting a passage in question which speaks of this same "Breath of Life"....
"On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark-- they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life." Genesis 7:13-15
Now, if you have not been following my posts and if you somehow stumbled upon this article, this may not make much sense to you. But I would suggest that you take a look at the study titled "Fowls of the Air and Beasts in Genesis. Literal or not?"
In that study I demonstrate completely that the bible uses animals as imagery for people REPEATEDLY. I am not just talking once or twice. I am talking dozens upon dozens upon dozens, and yes, upon dozens of times. This style of expressing things in picture language is everywhere in the scriptures. Hosea spoke of God making a Covenant for Israel with the "birds of the air, the beasts of the field, the creeping things." Of course we know this speaks of the New Covenant where there is neither Jew nor Greek. We know the animals represent PEOPLE. We know that the "wolf" was going to lay down with the "lamb" in the New Covenant. Symbolism for Jew and Gentile in peace in Christ. Nothing literal about it.
As a side note, if you haven't read 1 Enoch 89 yet, do yourself a favor and do so. Enoch has his animal apocalypse vision and chapter 89 spans from Noah, shown as a white bull with his three sons also shown as bulls. Enoch literally describes every single person as a different type of animal. Wild beasts and birds. He even speaks of when they exited the ark and these bulls (clearly noah and his sons) began repopulating the land. But he describes them as "giving birth to lions, wolves, bears, goats, etc" He is using animals, or beasts on the ark, to speak of people. It's fascinating stuff and it just serves to show the mind of the ancient Hebrew and how they would have understood some of these stories.
Now, we know that Noah and his family had the "breath of life". Meaning that we know they were righteous and they were in Covenant with God. God was establishing His Covenant with Noah as the new head, since he was wiping away all of His former Covenant people in the soon approaching flood.
So we see Noah enter into the ark with his family and we see all these ANIMALS entering into the ark with them. But I am fully convinced that these were NOT animals.
These were PEOPLE.
But I know what you are saying. It says that these animals also had "THE BREATH OF LIFE" in them just like Noah so your premise cannot work. But not so fast.
When Noah went out and gathered up these "animals" and brought them into the ark, what was he doing?
Well, the first thing we need to understand is the ark and it's type to antitype theme. The Ark is symbolic for Christ. The Ark was their covering or their protection from the coming Judgement. Just like Christ is the covering and protection as well. They went "into" the ark. We go "into" Christ. The ark "saved" them. Christ "saves" us. The typology is incredible here.
So now imagine this...
Noah is going out and warning PEOPLE of the impending doom that is headed their way. "The flood was coming" he told everyone! Most ridiculed him and mocked and were washed away. But not all did. Some believed him. Some had faith and were counted righteous. Some entered into that ark with noah and his family. Some received the "Breath of Life".
Does the text make more sense now when it says...
two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life."
Those who entered into the ark were righteous because they believed Noah. THEY HAD THE BREATH OF LIFE ALSO.
The word "flesh" in the scriptures, most times refers to people. So the two by two of all FLESH in which was the breath of life, represents people who were walking with God. People who had been made alive.
Picture outsiders coming into Covenant with God. We know that outsiders in Israel's day could enter into the Covenant by way of circumcision. They were called "beasts of the field, birds of the air, creeping things, cattle, fish of the sea" yet we know that they entered into Covenant with the Israelites.
We know that the prophets spoke of the day in the future when the New Covenant would be made and all of the "beasts of the field, birds of the air, creeping things, fish of the sea" would be able to enter into that Covenant that God would create.
So when we see these animals entering the ark who had the breath of life, these are outsiders who listened to Noah and who were counted as righteous. They indeed had "the breath of life" as well.
In the chapter prior (Genesis 6) we read...
"And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die."
Now again, what was God doing in the flood?
He was judging His Covenant people. God looked down at His people and was grieved in His heart because of the wickedness that He saw in what He "created". So the floodwaters would come to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life. He was going to destroy all flesh who were in Covenant with Him. After all, that is what the breath of life represents. They were created in His image.
As a side thought, when we are made a "New CREATION" today, are we re-created physically? Nope. The creation has nothing to do with how we physically came to be. So when God looked down and saw the wickedness of what He "CREATED", it does not necessitate that this means physical creation. What He created was an order. A "heaven and earth". A people out from among the people of the earth.
The word for "earth" is always "erets" which simply means "land".
Just like Preterists rightly understand the word "ge" in the new testament as local land, "erets" is no different in the old testament. We need to be consistent on both ends. The start isn't about the entire universe while the end is only about a local land.
In Genesis 7 we also read this ...
"And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died."
Again we see an incredible distinction made.
We have two groups that the text here mentions.
We have the "all flesh that moved on the earth, which included the birds, beasts, cattle etc"
And we have the "all on DRY LAND who had the breath of life"
So why would the author need to make this distinction?
I think people read that text and automatically think that the dry land refers to just basic land. In other words, the opposite of the sea or waters. They would say that the author simply meant that everything on the land died because the sea creatures of course did not die in a flood.
But the text says "all on DRY LAND"!
Let me ask you something...
Is there such a thing as "WET LAND?"
Does the bible ever describe these things any other way than "land" and "sea"?
Of course not.
What is the point in all of this?
Well remember back in Genesis 1 when God separated the dry land from the seas? He said...
"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. And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas" Genesis 1:9-10
Well, this imagery was Him separating His Covenant people (dry land) from the seas (outsiders).
Remember how "darkness" was on the face of the "deep"? Do you see how the darkness (not literal darkness but spiritual darkness) was on the face of the "deep" which is "waters"?
But when God separated that DRY LAND from those "darkened waters" what did He do?
He said LET THEIR BE LIGHT UPON THE DRY LAND!
He illuminated a people while he left the rest in darkness. The dry land received the light while the darkness remained on the "deep".
When the text refers to "all on DRY LAND who had the breath of life", it is making a distinction here. But of course the judgement fell on those Covenant people. The Dry Land was the Covenant people whom God looked down and saw the wickedness and judged in the flood. The beasts on the earth and the birds and the cattle were destroyed as well because of their proximity to the judgment area.
Did you ever think about what Genesis says here?...
"And God called the DRY LAND.....EARTH"
Is the sea not part of the literal "earth"? Why wouldn't God also call the sea part of the "earth"?
So the seas are totally separate from the earth based on the passage. Earth is it's own thing. Seas are it's own thing. Do you see the inconsistencies here? Of course opponents would never admit it, but they do see it too.
So in summary:
When we look at the totality of how animals are used as imagery in no less than 100 places in the Old Testament (most likely way more) we need to ask ourselves if Genesis is any different? Is Genesis a totally different story than the rest of the bible? Or is the bible one story from cover to cover?
When we look at outer biblical sources such as Enoch, we see exactly how much they relied on animals as imagery. We even see the Noah story completely depicted as animals. In fact, Enoch takes that animal theme and runs it all the way to Jesus. It's incredible stuff.
We also see Jesus in the New Testament BREATH on people and what do they receive? Take a look...
"And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit." John 20:22
Jesus BREATHED the Holy SPIRIT of LIFE upon them. Why would God giving Adam the "SPIRIT OF LIFE" in the Old Testament be different?
When we look at the Noah text we need to understand it in light of the culture and in light of the full biblical narrative.
There were always outsiders coming into the Covenant from the start. Noah brought both clean and unclean beasts into the ark with him. (PEOPLE)
These people were given the BREATH OF LIFE because they believed God and it was counted to them as righteousness.
Just like foreigners entered the Covenant of Old, Noah's story is no different.
The beasts who had the breath of life simply refers to outsiders who had been brought into safety.
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One of the main objections to the Covenantal view of Genesis creation is the animals. What's up with the darn animals!?
I mean, nobody can argue that there are TONS of scriptural proofs and biblical parallels which show that something isn't quite adding up in Genesis. For instance consider these few quick points...
-The earth was said to be "tohuw bohuw" BEFORE the creation days began. That phrase means "confused and chaotic, without purpose." This phrase is used in Jeremiah 4 to speak of the state of the people of Jerusalem in Jeremiah's day when they were wicked. If the earth was "confused and chaotic" before anything was even created, how then does that work? What was confused and chaotic if nothing was there yet?
-The first words of Genesis 1 are a title statement. An opening title statement. "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". This title statement is made and then we begin hearing about how that "heaven and earth" was created. The author says next "The earth was without form and void (tohuw bohuw) and darkness was on the face of the deep and the Spirit of God hovered over the waters." So right away one needs to ask, how did the earth and the waters get there if this is BEFORE any of the creation days began? We have the very start of the creation account before ANYTHING was "created" and we see that the EARTH was chaotic and God's Spirit was hovering over the face of the WATERS. If God created the earth and the waters during the 6 days of creation, then how come they are already here before Day 1 creation even begins? Doesn't add up!
-We see "light" created in Day 1. Yet the sun isn't created until Day 4.
Those are just a few of the early problems with a literal Genesis creation account.
Genesis creation to me is a vivid picture imagery of the creation of Israel. Not Israel in the sense of the literal people who were called Israel. But rather, where they came from. It was an account and a history of their history. Where the Covenant and the walking with God began. The author uses pictures and imagery to describe this incredible moment when God gave a distinct man "light" out from a world full of darkness, paganism, and confusion.
This study will share some thoughts on the "birds of the air" that we see in Genesis. This is a tough one for anyone to understand. Let's not forget we are going back thousands of years, to the ancient near eastern cultures, and we are then incorporating their style of metaphor and imagery. This is not an easy task and does require some work.
If you read my study last week on "Satan" that will help greatly in understanding this as I will tie some passages from that study in with this one to hopefully demonstrate what I am trying to demonstrate.
The Satan study, in my opinion and also in the opinions of a couple hundred others in the preterist community based on the support of the study, proved that "Satan" most often refers to a person in Scripture. We know that Jesus referred to Peter as "Satan" when Peter was trying to thwart the plan of God. We also know that whoever tempted Jesus with an offer to obtain an authoritative role on the peak overlooking the land, was also told to "get behind me Satan". The same words that were said to Peter, were said to this man who tempted Jesus as well.
We know that the "Synagogue of Satan" in Revelation was the synagogue where the Jews worshiped. They were the "Satan" as they were direct opposition to the cause of Christ and the mission. They were the "enemies" who would be put under His feet at the end of the age and who pierced Him.
When Peter warned that the believers to be on guard because the devil roams around looking to devour them, Peter was speaking of the Pharisees, scribes, the higher ups within Judaism who were persecuting them fiercely.
The "Satan" simply means anyone or anything that is in opposition. In opposition to Christ and to the gospel.
Now that I have briefly recapped the Satan study for you, we are going to look at Mark chapter 4 to see if we can tie this all together and shed some light on who these "fowls of the air" could be.
In Mark chapter 4 Jesus is teaching the multitudes in a parable. He is about to use pictures and symbols to explain something much deeper. He is going to use imagery to explain a deep truth. He says this...
“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it." Mark 4:3-4
So we see Jesus using imagery here. He says that the birds came and "DEVOURED" that seed that was spread. The result of this was that the seed wouldn't sprout and grow. Of course Jesus is speaking in parables here but what's interesting is that shortly after in the same chapter, we see Jesus actually reveal exactly what this passage means. He says...
"And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts." Mark 4:13-15
So the meaning of the parable is that the seed is "the word that is sown in their heart". That word is sown, and then someone comes and takes that seed or that word away. Who is that someone who comes and takes that seed away?
Satan. Jesus says that Satan comes to take that away.
Well, who was "Satan" in that day? It was those who were the "opposition" to Christ and His gospel. It was those who were of the Old Covenant system of Law.
It was PEOPLE.
The gospel was sown and then PEOPLE came, adversarial PEOPLE came, and took that seed away. They "devoured that seed" said Jesus.
So now if we know that the "Satan" is clearly "people"...
And if we know that Jesus equates the "Satan" to the "birds of the air" in the same chapter....
Then what does the "birds of the air" symbolically and metaphorically represent?
The "birds of the air" is imagery for people.
If we are having a hard time seeing that, just look at what Jesus says in the same chapter shortly after about these birds. He speaks the parable of the mustard seed and look at the imagery that He uses here...
"Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR may nest under its shade.” Mark 4:30-32
So one must ask the question...
Was Jesus speaking of literal birds coming under a literal tree here to nest under that tree's shade? Or was Jesus using "birds of the air" as imagery to speak of people coming into the Kingdom of God and finding rest?
It's not even a question. Jesus was speaking of people. Jesus was equating the "birds" to people in His imagery. In His allegory.
Now one must ask, if the "birds of the air" was used by Jesus to speak of people in the gospels, is it at least possible that the "birds of the air" in Genesis in some allegorical way, represents people as well?
After all, we are still speaking of the same ancient culture here. Whoever you believe wrote Genesis, was clearly from the exact same ancient cultural mindset as Jesus. Not to mention both places are inspired by God. If the very mind of God spoke about people as "birds of the air" in the parables, then why wouldn't the same mind of God speak of people as "birds of the air" in Genesis? Did God not inspire both?
Before we go any further, as a disclaimer, I will state that of course there are many places in scripture where we see literal birds being referred to. There is literal references and there are metaphorical references. This is no different than anything else we see in the bible. Often times we see the "sea" or "water" referred to and we know it is literal. Yet many times we see the "sea" and "water" referred to and we know it represents people or Gentiles. We also see land and earth referenced often as literal land. Yet we often also see "earth" and "land" as speaking about people. So the argument that birds are used literally elsewhere, in no way holds any weight here. It's irrelevant.
But to add to my conclusions above, I'd like to look at what those birds were said to do to the seed that was sown...
Jesus said the birds of the air would come and "DEVOUR" the seed so it wouldn't sprout.
We must look at that word "DEVOUR" and take a look at a couple other places we see this concept.
Peter in his first letter writes this...
"Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to DEVOUR."
So here we have Peter warning the believers that their "adversary" in that day, "the devil", was roaming around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to DEVOUR.
Was there a literal lion roaming around? Of course not.
But Peter is again building upon the same consistent theme of the rulers of THAT AGE (Old Covenant Age) being called the "Satan" or the "Devil". They were the opposition to Christ and His mission.
As Jesus said in the parable, the Satan would come and devour the seed which was the word of God so it wouldn't sprout. That's exactly what the Jews and Pharisees were doing. They were trying to pull the believers back into the bondage of the Old Covenant and law. Which is Paul's entire focus in his letter to the Galatians. He was instructing them to NOT fall back into that bondage.
So the "devil" who was roaming around looking for someone to "devour" links this right back to the "birds of the air" that would come and "devour" the seed that was sown. Again, the birds of the air is just imagery for people.
Another "devour" example comes from Revelation 12...
"And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. His tail drew a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to DEVOUR her Child as soon as it was born."
Again, building upon the same theme, this shows the same "devour" language which pertained to those who were in opposition to Christ and His people in that day.
So we can see clearly how this is all coming together very nicely.
"Birds of the air" represent people. It's imagery, allegory, for people. It is picture language representing something much greater.
If that seems hard to believe, let's take a look at another text...
Remember the passage above about the Kingdom and how the birds of the air would come and find shade under it's branches? Well check out this passage from Ezekial 17 which speaks of the same concept. Take note of the Kingdom imagery and what is used to clearly, no doubt, represent people......
"Thus says the Lord God: “I will take also one of the highest branches of the high cedar and set it out. I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and will plant it on a high and prominent mountain. On the mountain height of Israel I will plant it; and it will bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a majestic cedar. UNDER IT WILL DWELL BIRDS OF EVERY SORT; in the shadow of its branches they will dwell. And all the TREES OF THE FIELD shall know that I, the Lord, have brought down the HIGH TREE and exalted the LOW TREE, dried up the green tree and made the dry tree flourish; I, the Lord, have spoken and have done it.” Ezekial 17
Now, isn't this incredible?
We have Ezekial the prophet writing the exact same way. Imagery. Allegory. Ezekial was a lot closer to Genesis as far as when it was written. We can still see that they were using allegory to represent greater truths.
Unless of course you believe that the birds dwelling under the Tree was literal here? Unless you believe that literally THE TREES would know that the Lord did this? Let's be real here. These things are representations of PEOPLE. God said He would bring down the "HIGH TREE" and exalt "THE LOW TREE". Sounds a lot like what we know about how God brings down the prideful and exalts the humble. Ezekial also says that the God would "DRY UP THE GREEN TREE" and He would "MAKE THE DRY TREE FLOURISH".
A perfect picture image of Gentiles, who were once "dry", now flourishing. A perfect picture image of how the Kingdom was taken from them and given to a new nation producing fruit. Flourish-Fruit.
I trust that this study has linked some things together for us and it hopefully will serve to demonstrate that the bible very often uses picture, allegorical, imagery to speak about greater things. It uses animals and trees to represent people groups.
This study so far has been focused only on the fowls of the air in Genesis. Of course there are "beasts of the field" and other groups of people that need to be explained as well.
One thing I found interesting about the "beasts of THE FIELD" is that they are referred to as being outside of the garden. It seems as though we have "the garden" where Adam and the people of God dwelled. Then "outside" of that garden were the "beasts of THE FIELD".
We see that when the curse was placed on Adam, God is banishing them from the garden and God says this...
"Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb OF THE FIELD."
So now Adam would no longer be in that wonderful garden full of fruit and everything they needed and full of blessing and instead they would be banished from the garden and would have to eat of the herbs of THE FIELD where the BEASTS OF THE FIELD were. Seems likely that these "beasts" were people outside of Covenant. If that isn't convincing enough, the following passage surely will be...
Look here how Hosea describes the day when God would make a new covenant for the remnant of Israel with those who were once alienated from His promises, the Gentiles....
"And it shall be, in that day,” Says the Lord, “That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’ And no longer call Me ‘My Master,’ For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, And they shall be remembered by their name no more. In that day I will make a covenant for them with the BEASTS OF THE FIELD , With the BIRDS OF THE AIR, And with the CREEPING THINGS OF THE GROUND. Bow and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, To make them lie down safely. “I will betroth you to Me forever" Hosea 2:16-19
Now is God talking about making a Covenant that included the Israelites and LITERAL beasts and birds and creeping things in the New Covenant? Of course not!!
God is saying He would make a Covenant for them WITH those who were once outside of the Covenant! The beasts, birds, and creeping things! PEOPLE!!
There should be no doubt after that one but look what Hosea says shortly after in the same chapter...
"Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, And I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; Then I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they shall say, ‘You are my God!’" Hosea 2:23
The entire focus is on PEOPLE. Bringing foreign people (birds, beasts, and creeping things) into the Covenant with them. Doesn't this all just line up wonderfully with Peter's vision of the unclean beasts coming into Covenant? It sure does.
We see the "beast" theme everywhere in scripture. Beast Kingdoms. Surely this referred to Kingdoms of people. Paul also "fought with beasts" at Ephesus. Surely he wasn't wrestling with Lions. He was contending with "men" (people) over the gospel.
In Isaiah 30:6-7 we read the following...
"The burden against the BEASTS of the South. Through a land of trouble and anguish, From which came the LIONESS AND THE LION, The VIPER AND THE FLYING SERPENT, They will carry their riches on the backs of young donkeys, And their treasures on the humps of camels, To a people who shall not profit; For the Egyptians shall help in vain and to no purpose."
Now just how on earth are a lioness and lion, a viper, and a flying serpent carrying their riches on the backs of young donkeys?? And their treasures on the humps of camels??
Clearly the lioness, the lion, the viper, the flying serpent, and the "beasts" in general are people here.
Check out this one from Job 12:7-8...
“But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you; Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you." Job 12:7-8
Woah Woah Woah! Beasts who teach!? Birds who tell!? FISH WHO EXPLAIN?!!!
Clearly these are people. Pictures and imagery and symbolism for people. Gives a whole new meaning to Jonah being in the "belly of the fish" eh? Perhaps a literal man didn't really live in the belly of a fish for that long after all. Perhaps Jonah was just in prison or captured by a foreigner. ;)
I believe I have given PLENTY of scripture to back my claims here. How does one have the right to interpret the "beasts, birds, and creeping things" of Genesis any differently than what I have just shown above?
The countless examples of these terms referring to PEOPLE, are being interpreted literally in Genesis as if God was literally forming literal beasts, literal birds, and literal creeping things.
That snake who was more cunning than the beasts of the field...
Yea, that was a person too.
Genesis is the same as all the other books in the bible. It uses metaphor, symbolism, and allegory to portray other things. Greater things.
While not everything is clear as far as the imagery used in Genesis, there is much that is clear. There are incredible inconsistencies and things just do not add up taking the traditional Genesis literal creation view.
This article has demonstrated how "birds of the air" is often used as imagery for people groups. The "trees" are also used as imagery for people. The "beasts" are also used as imagery for people. The "creeping things" are also used as imagery for people. The "fish of the sea" are used for people.
If you refuse to acknowledge this that is ok. I don't expect all to agree. But what a blessing it has been to understand Genesis in it's proper light and to be able to match the bookends.
Genesis- The Beginning of the Covenant people
Revelation- The end of those Covenant people
Thank you so much for reading guys. If you've enjoyed the article, please give it a like and please share it. People need to hear this stuff. Atheism thrives off of mainstream Christianities erroneous Genesis beliefs.
For me, being a big fan of consistency, Covenant Creation solved so many problems.
I knew that Universalism wasn't taught in the scriptures even before I understood Preterism. I just could not see it anywhere......except for the handful of passages which equate the "all in Adam" to the "all in Christ". Which also equate the "one man's trespass for all" to the "one's man's act of righteousness for all". Taking the traditional Genesis creation view absolutely demands Universalism. If Adam was universal and all were in him, then the same is true of Christ today. No two ways about it.
But, if Adam was covenantal and not universal in scope. If Adam was a distinct person called out and given light who then was cursed when he sinned and all of his descendants received that same curse even though they didn't sin according to the likeness of Adam....
Well the story becomes much clearer. All those in Adam's lineage died and all those in Christ's shall live. As in Adam all the Covenant men died so also in Christ all the Covenant men shall live. Just as Adam's sin brought death to all the Covenant men so also Christ's act of righteousness brings life to all the Covenant men.
Covenant Creation also solved the "Heaven & Earth" dilemma for me too. As a Preterist I knew that the heaven and earth that we saw destroyed in Revelation wasn't literal and that is was imagery for something greater and more important. It was the destruction and the passing of the Old Covenant and the Covenant people associated with that Covenant.
So I was being dishonest and inconsistent with my Genesis views as a Preterist. Why would Genesis creation be any different than Revelation de-creation? Why would Genesis speak about the beginning of the literal physical cosmos as in mountains, lakes, hills, clouds etc, and be somehow connected to the end of the story which was about the destruction of a people and a Covenant? It just didn't make sense. Trust me, I am on board with the natural to spiritual theme in the scriptures. 100%. But, starting with mountains at the beginning of the book and then magically ending up with people at the end of the book, just isn't my idea of a consistent hermeneutic.
So needless to say, Covenant Creation has filled in countless blanks and has really tightened up the story for me. Preterism did that significantly 4 years ago and now Covenant Creation has taken that even further thankfully.
But of course like with anything in life, there will always be haters. Haters who just hate because it's the thing to do. Some people call them trolls online. Others call them too stuck in tradition. But what's most surprising is the amount of Preterists who are against Covenant Creation.
They are so on board with Covenant DE-creation at the end of the story, but yet so opposed to carrying that same hermeneutic to the front. The same hermeneutic that I see people claim has really taken their biblical understanding to a new level (Covenant Eschatology). Yet to not apply the opposite of that, which is Covenant Creation, is a tragedy.
Covenant Creation has worked it's way through many of the objections just like Preterism has done. Yet most people are unaware of these conclusions because they are afraid to dive in. Just like anything else, new studies are coming out and showing how the way people traditionally understood Genesis may not be exactly what the author, or God, had in mind.
But there is one passage, one argument, that seems to always come up from the most vocal of critics of the Covenant Creation view.
The critics know that we who affirm Covenant Creation, also for the most part anyway, believe that the bible only speaks of TWO Heaven & Earth's.
The Old Heaven and Earth & The New Heaven and Earth
Just like Revelation 21:1 says...
"And I saw a NEW heaven and a new earth, for the FIRST heaven and the first earth did pass away, and there was no more sea."
Only two heaven and earths mentioned there.
The Old Heaven and Earth and it's mode of existence was Law. Law, Laws, and more Laws.
The New Heaven and Earth and it's mode of existence is Grace. Amazing Grace.
This began when Adam sinned. He was immediately placed under the bondage of Law which Paul calls the curse of the Law. That bondage was linked to the Old Heaven and Earth all the way throughout the Old Covenant and their journey through the generations. Now, of course the Covenant was passed onward and was established and continued with different heads and with different modifications etc. For instance at Sinai when the laws increased which also brought "an increase of sin" according to Paul.
Paul even goes as far in Galatians when referring to the two Covenants, in speaking of the bondwoman vs the freewoman. Bondage verses Freedom. He uses Sinai as the prime example because of course he is speaking to Israelites but in no way does this exclude all those prior to Sinai who were still in bondage none the less because they were also under Law. We see Cain and Abel sacrificing to God with rules on how to do so. We see God command Noah to build an altar and sacrifice to Him as He would establish His Covenant with Noah after the flood subsided. The Laws were always there. Long before Sinai. This was the bondage and as Paul called it, the curse of the Law. As Paul said "the WHOLE CREATION was groaning" with those garden of eden birth pains that were placed upon them by God when Adam sinned. That includes everyone from Adam forward. Bondage did not begin at Sinai.
But those who oppose Covenant Creation try to use the passage in 2 Peter chapter 3 to refute the view. Some cling to this passage with all they got. I will admit, I have heard only a couple somewhat satisfying explanations of the passage to date. It's a tricky one because the way it's worded can mean a couple things. But just the other night I sat down to really take a look at the passage that seems to be the number 1 go to passage for anyone anti-Covenant Creation and low and behold, I feel that the answer came to me. It now seems so clear.
I am going to start by quoting the NKJV of the passage that is used against the view. Then from there I am going to quote the same passage from Young's Literal Translation and I want you to see something that should leap out of the page at you once it's pointed out.
Here is the NKJV version....
"For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men." 2 Peter 3:5-7 NKJV
Now, at first glance and even at second and third glance, this passage makes it seem like we are looking at a total of 3 heaven and earth's in scripture. They arrive at this conclusion by examining and looking at the way it is worded and especially focusing on the word "but". They believe this passage shows the following:
Heaven & Earth #1- From Adam to Noah
Heaven & Earth #2- From Noah to AD70
Heaven & Earth #3- From AD70 onward today
Now, if you can't see how they get that, please go back and read the passage. I have always said the passage is tricky myself. It's no surprise that there is much confusion on it. But now check this out. Check out the literal translation of the passage and read it carefully....
"for this is unobserved by them willingly, that the heavens were of old, and the earth out of water and through water standing together by the word of God, through which the then world, by water having been deluged, was destroyed; and the present heavens and the earth, by the same word are treasured, for fire being kept to a day of judgment and destruction of the impious men." 2 Peter 3:5-7 YLT
Do you see what I see? It's pretty exciting stuff. If you don't see it, here is my verse by verse commentary of the YLT translation through my interpretation. My comments are in parenthesis below each verse...
"for this is unobserved by them willingly, that the heavens were of old, and the earth out of water and through water standing together by the word of God..."
(Now, first thing we need to see is that the "heavens were of old and the earth" is speaking about the "Heaven & Earth" of that day. Of Noah's day. Well, we know that Heaven & Earth represents Covenant and those who are in Covenant with God. It's how "heaven" and "earth" connected. So if Heaven and Earth represent Covenant people here, go back and read the passage above with that in mind and then come right back here...
Still not getting it? Ok try it this way. I am going to split the verse up to make my point...
"for this is unobserved by them willingly, that the heavens were of old, and the earth................. out of water and through water standing together by the word of God."
In Noah's day, what was brought "OUT OF WATER" and what was brought "THROUGH WATER"???
The Heaven & Earth was! The Covenant People were! Noah and his family were brought OUT OF WATER and THROUGH WATER.
The rest of the passage says that they came out of that water "STANDING TOGETHER BY THE WORD OF GOD."
Who came out from that WATER judgment STANDING TOGETHER BY THE WORD OF GOD? Noah and his family did! The "heavens and earth" did! It was by the word of God that they survived that flood. Just as God gave them "His WORD" that they would come through the flood, that is exactly how it happened.)
Next portion of the passage reads..
"through which the then WORLD, by WATER having been deluged, was DESTROYED;"
(Now, I don't know about you, but how does one equate the "Heaven & Earth" that I just showed above as Noah and his family to the "world" that was destroyed by water? You cannot!
THE WORLD was destroyed by WATER the passage says. But guess who was saved "OUT OF water" and "THROUGH water"? The Heavens & Earth that God called out. God's Covenant people. Noah and His family.
The "heaven & earth" of this passage is absolutely NOT the same as the "world" that was destroyed by water. The "heaven & earth" of old was brought THROUGH that water and preserved.)
The last portion of the passage reads as follows...
"and the PRESENT heavens and the earth, by the same WORD are treasured, for fire being kept to a day of judgment and destruction of the impious men."
(People when they see the word "present" automatically assume "new heaven and earth!" But no no no.
The "present heavens and earth" simply means the Old Covenant people living during Peter's day. That's all. This has nothing to do with a totally new Heaven & Earth. At all. All Peter is saying is that the "present" heaven and earth or the "present Covenant people" BY THE SAME WORD (the same guaranteed word that God promised Noah with) were being reserved for fire and the day of judgment and destruction.)
Now I know that is a lot to think about but let me try to summarize what the passage is saying again and then I will quote the passage so you can read it again and think about it for a moment.
The passage in a nutshell is saying that the heaven and earth of old (the Covenant people) were brought OUT OF water and THROUGH that water (the flood) and were kept standing by the word of God. (by the promise of God)
The passage then says that through which the "then WORLD" was destroyed by water. Not the "heaven & earth" as some suggest. But simply "the world". Everything they knew. Everything they were. Their whole mode of existence. Their "world" was destroyed by the flood.
The passage concludes by saying that "the PRESENT heaven and earth" (the present Covenant people alive in Peter's day) were being reserved for fire on the day of Judgment when Christ would come to judge those who pierced Him. This in no way demands a new heaven and earth at the flood. In fact, this just demonstrates that the "heaven & earth" was carried on from generation to generation and "the present" "Covenant people" were reserved to fire and it was assured by the same word of the Lord that assured Noah would come OUT OF and THROUGH the flood waters.
Now, take a look again at the passage and see if you can now see what Peter is really saying...
"for this is unobserved by them willingly, that the heavens were of old, and the earth out of water and through water standing together by the word of God, through which the then world, by water having been deluged, was destroyed; and the present heavens and the earth, by the same word are treasured, for fire being kept to a day of judgment and destruction of the impious men." 2 Peter 3:5-7
I trust that you see clearly now that Peter was in no way speaking of a so called second of three "heaven & earth's" here in this passage.
As one last little bonus passage that ties in nicely with this, I would like to look at 1 Peter 3:20 where Peter is yet again speaking of Noah and that same flood scene. It reads...
"when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved THROUGH WATER."
Do you see what I see there? The same exact reference to being saved "THROUGH WATER"
But this time in 1 Peter 3, Peter says "Noah and his family" as opposed to when he said "the heavens and earth of old" in 2 Peter 3.
The Greek word used in both passages is "dia" and it means "THROUGH".
Noah and his family, the old heaven and earth" were saved OUT OF and THROUGH water while the rest of the world, the known world around them, perished. In that same way and by the same word of God, the heaven and earth that was present in Peters day, was reserved for fire on the day of judgment.
2 Peter chapter 3 does not in any way shape or form affect the Covenant Creation framework. In fact, it does nothing but support it.
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I personally love consistency and harmony when it comes to the scriptures. I look for these two things whenever I am reading because finding links and tying things together helps to see the bigger picture.
I am going to quote a bunch of quick passages from the book of Genesis. I hope you will take into account the word "generations" in each passage. I hope that you will also see how each time it is used, it's being used in reference to people. There will be a bunch of them but please stay until the end to see it come together....
"This is the book of the generations of Adam." Gen 5:1
"These are the generations of Noah" Gen 6:9
"Now these are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth" Gen 10:1
"These are the generations of Shem" Gen 11:10
"Now these are the generations of Terah" Gen 11:27
"Now these are the generations of Ishmael" Gen 25:12
"And these are the generations of Isaac" Gen 25:19
"Now these are the generations of Esau" Gen 36:1
"These are the generations of Jacob" Gen 37:2
Now I did not quote all of the passages that use this word "generations" to speak of people in Genesis. There are many more. In fact EVERY single time the word is used (towledah), it is in reference to people.
So we can see exactly what this book Genesis is about can we not?
Is it not all about the generations of people?
The generations of God's first Covenant people all throughout the lineage leading up to Moses? It sure is.
Now consider the opening introductory passage in Genesis, just prior to when we see Adam brought into God's presence. We read....
"These are the generations of the HEAVENS AND THE EARTH when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens." Genesis 2:4
Does it make any sense whatsoever, that God here is speaking of generations of literal dirt and literal oceans, and literal grass, and literal sky? When immediately after this passage we start getting into the generations of Adam, Eve, Abel, Seth, Noah, and on and on.....
No it does not.
The "generations of the heaven and earth" means the generations of God's Covenant Order and it's people.
It was how "heaven" connected with "earth" throughout those generations.
Now, if that made sense to you which I am hoping it did, let's consider what the first passage of the entire bible states. It reads...
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1
So are we looking at the literal creation of a literal heaven and a literal earth there?
We are not.
We are looking at God establishing a new order. He was bringing order and establishing a connection of sorts between Himself and "earth" (a people).
So when we see the creation of "heaven and earth" we are seeing God give light to a people and call them into a new order that He was creating. He was putting function to already existing things. Separating his people "light" from the rest "darkness". Separating his people "dry land" from the rest "waters".
The 6 days of Creation show the order being laid out within this new "heaven and earth".
Imagery is used heavily within this describing of the order.
But when we understand this concept, once we get to chapter 2 where we see that the Heavens and Earth were finished....we are then taken to the "generations of that heaven and earth".
We are taken to the generations of the new order. Which of course center around the PEOPLE of that new order. The Covenant people.
Thanks for reading guys. If you've enjoyed the short study please give it a like below and feel free to share as well.
The term "heaven and earth" or the individual words "heaven" and "earth" are used in a variety of different ways in the bible. We need to allow context to drive the meaning. We cannot force the same meaning upon the words in every instance. The bible can be tricky in this regard but this is why we let scripture help us out. We let scripture interpret scripture.
"Heaven and Earth" was the establishment of an order. A new order. A new Covenant. The term can also be used to represent God's Covenant people. It can also be used to represent how God interacted with that people and through which means He Covenanted with them. For instance, the Law. Take this passage for an example...
"When you beget children and grandchildren and have grown old in the land, and act corruptly and make a carved image in the form of anything, and do evil in the sight of the Lord your God to provoke Him to anger, I call HEAVEN AND EARTH to witness against you this day" Deut. 4:25-26
Clearly this is NOT Moses calling literal heaven and literal earth as in the mountains and trees to witness against the Israelites. Clearly this is Moses calling the Law to witness against the children of Israel because of their Idolatry. The Law said, "you shall have no idols".
I am going to list a few examples of how Moses addresses the assembly of the house of Israel in Deuteronomy. I won't list them all because there are more but check these out...
"And Moses called all Israel, and said to them: “HEAR, O ISRAEL, the statutes and judgments which I speak" Deut. 5:1
“HEAR, O, ISRAEL: The Lord our God, the Lord is one" Deut. 6:4
“HEAR, O ISRAEL: You are to cross over the Jordan today" Deut. 9:1
So Moses continually calls out to the people of Israel and begins it with "HEAR, O ISRAEL!"
He does this much more too but look at how he changes it up in Deuteronomy 31-32...
"Then Moses spoke in the hearing of all the assembly of Israel the words of this song until they were ended: “GIVE EAR, O HEAVENS and I will speak; AND HEAR, O EARTH, the words of my mouth" Deut. 31:30-32:1
Moses still speaking to the exact same people (Israel) and he refers to them the exact same way "HEAR!" But yet this time he calls them "Heaven and earth".
They were the people (Earth) with whom God (Heaven) communed with and dwelt among.
So the "Heaven & Earth" can mean a few things but it ALWAYS involves the order that God created back in Genesis. The things it can mean are:
-The order itself (the Covenant arrangement)
-The people of that order themselves (the people of that Covenant)
-The Law of that order (that which witnessed against the people of that Covenant)
Now doesn't Genesis 2:4 make much more sense now? It reads...
"These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created"
And immediately after that statement we see Adam formed. Then we get to Abel. Then Seth. And then we continue on through the "generations" of that Old Order. We continue on learning the story of all the people (generations) who made up that entire Old Heaven and Earth.
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At the start of the story, in Genesis, we see the "seed of the serpent" mentioned as having enmity with the "Seed of the woman"
If you've followed these Creation studies you've seen how the Israelites used animals as imagery for people literally all over the pages of the bible.
We actually see in Isaiah 30 a mention of people portrayed clearly as serpents. Check it out...
"The burden against the beasts of the South.Through a land of trouble and anguish,
From which came the lioness and lion,
The viper and fiery flying serpent,
They will carry their riches on the backs of young donkeys,
And their treasures on the humps of camels"
So here we see Isaiah speaking about Israel's futile confidence in Egypt. The entire context of Isaiah 30 is PEOPLE. Egyptians, Israelites, PEOPLE.
We see Isaiah say that these beasts would "carry their riches on the backs of donkeys and camels".
Literal beasts carrying riches on other animals? Seriously?
But Isaiah also says that they would carry these riches through "a land of trouble and anguish" "FROM WHERE THE VIPER AND SERPENT came"
So we have "beasts" carrying riches through a land where the viper and serpent came from.
So do we have the right to interpret the "beasts" there any different than the "serpent"?
No we don't.
This was animal imagery used for people.
We also see Jesus at the end of the story, in the gospels, calling the Jews and the Pharisees...
"BROOD of VIPERS"
The "seed of a serpent" and the "brood of vipers" is the same exact thing.
"seed of serpents" = "brood of vipers"
These Pharisees and pushers of the Law in the last days of the Old Covenant were those who we see predicted in Genesis chapter 3 as going to have enmity with the woman's Seed (Jesus).
The entire gospel account is basically Jesus calling out these serpents of the Law. These accusers. These opposers. These "Satans". These "sons of Satan" who dwelled in the "synagogue of Satan". These people who were full of all wickedness and sinfulness.
Do you see the enmity between the "seed of the serpent" and the "Seed of the woman" there?
Pretty easy to see once we get our ducks in a row.
We see how this clearly connects Genesis chapters 2-3 with the end of the Bible.
Indeed the Seed (Jesus) did crush the head of the serpent.
He returned in vengeance to avenge the blood of all the prophets whom they killed from Abel to Zechariah (Matthew 23)
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The funny thing about those who say that the "creation" in Genesis is literal material creation, is that they overlook some crucial evidence which proves otherwise.
For instance "creation groaning".
In Romans 8 we see Paul write the following...
"For we know that the WHOLE CREATION has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now." Romans 8:22
Now couple things to note...
First we see the term "whole creation".
Second we see the link to the garden with the term "childbirth".
Remember the childbirth curse given in the garden?
So we must notice that the "creation" that was groaning was groaning in CHILDBIRTH PAINS...
Where do we see those pains begin?
Adam and Eve!
Now, where is Paul getting this "creation groaning" language from?
Exodus chapter 2...
"Then the children of Israel groaned because of the bondage, and they cried out" Exodus 2:23
So Paul is drawing from that.
In Romans 8 Paul says...
The "whole creation" "groans".
Exodus says the same thing but words it as...
"the children of Israel" "groan".
See the link?
Children of Israel are groaning = Creation groaning
The Children of Israel are the Creation.
Genesis Creation was the creation of a people set apart for God.
Israel was Adam.
We begin with the "Adam" as the people of God at the start of the story. As we transition through the generations of the Old Heaven and Earth, we see that Israel actually comes out from the lineage of Adam. So the Covenant continued on through that lineage. Through the generations of the Heaven and Earth.
When Paul said that the WHOLE CREATION groans UNTIL NOW in Romans 8, he was not just speaking of the people who literally had the name "Israel".
Paul was speaking of everyone from Adam onward.
Bondage did not begin with the forming of the people Israel. That bondage was around since Adam. The curse brought the bondage. As Paul says, the bondage was the curse of the law. The ministry of death.
So the "WHOLE CREATION" that was groaning was Adam all the way through the entire Old Heaven and Earth generations.
Thanks for reading guys. If you've enjoyed the short study please give it a like below and feel free to share as well.
We can see clearly from Isaiah 65 that in the New Jerusalem, the curse is reversed.
We see Isaiah say that no longer would children be brought forth for trouble as reversal of the bringing forth children in sorrow curse.
We also see Isaiah say that Gods elect would long enjoy the work of their hands and they would plant vineyards and eat of their fruit. This is a reversal of the ground curse.
So in Christ we are made NEW creations and nothing biologically happens. The reversal of this curse has nothing to do with a physical change either. It represents a status change from servant to sonship.
Old Covenant Israel was in bondage. New Covenant Israel is free.
Servant vs Son.
Slave vs Heir.
But the point is that the "creation" curse was given in the garden.
Israel came from the lineage of Adam.
The Old Covenant creation, the Old Heaven and Earth, began in the garden. It was God forming His people.
We see laws right away. Abel and Cain sacrificing to God for sin. Where did they get these commandments from to do so? These are Covenant people.
We see God command Noah to build an altar and sacrifice to Him on it because God was establishing His Covenant with Noah since He would wipe out all of His former Covenant people in the flood. God even says "I will establish MY covenant with you" to Noah.
God did not say "I will establish A covenant with you."
God said "I will establish MY covenant with you."
If I said to you "I am dropping off a child to you" that is much different than me saying "I am dropping of MY child to you."
One shows ownership and possession. Big difference. God was establishing a pre-existing Covenant with a new head...Noah.
We know for a fact that they were in Covenant because Hosea 6:7 says it plainly...
"They LIKE ADAM, transgressed the Covenant. There they dealt treacherously with me"
Hosea equates Israel's transgression of the Covenant with Adam's transgression of the Covenant. Clearly showing again that they were both under those same Covenant terms even though Israel had way more laws given to them than Adam did.
Thanks for reading guys. If you've enjoyed the short study please give it a like below and feel free to share as well.
We all know the passage from Paul about the identity of a person who has been brought into the body of Christ.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, HE IS A NEW CREATION; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" 2 Corinthians 5:17
God's first creation Heavens and Earth in Genesis was an order that involved people.
God's new creation in the New Heavens and Earth is a New order that involves people.
Nothing biologically changes in a person when they become a new creation in Christ. It's a Covenant term. They are brought into Covenant with God and given eternal life.
Creation language stays consistent the whole way through.
We see the FIRST and ONLY creation account in Genesis 1-3. God forming His people out of a world steeped in paganism and darkness. He said "let there be light" and He gave them illumination to be His witness to the world. Of course it didn't really work out that way.
The SECOND creation account is in Revelation 21.
There are only 2 creation accounts.
If we are in agreement that the new creation has come (and indeed it has) then the first creation MUST have passed away.
"Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for THE FIRST heaven and THE FIRST earth had PASSED AWAY." Rev 21:3
Only 2 "Heaven and Earth's".
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When trying to think of a title for this study, I wanted to come up with something that would be really blunt. I didn't want to hold any punches. I wanted the title to anger and upset people so much, that they would have no choice but to give it a read. I understand that this may not be the best way to get people to openly consider a different view but hey, it's worth a shot.
So I came up with "Adam sinned BEFORE the fall". What do you think?
Is that blunt enough? That might upset some people. If it does, it is called "cognitive dissonance" and the definition is the mental discomfort experienced by a person who simultaneously holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values.
When we come across a position or a view that doesn't go smoothly with our dearly held long time view, we get uncomfortable. The easiest way to react is with anger and hostility towards the challenging view. This is an unfortunate situation because most times it also prevents the person with the long held traditional view to ever honestly even hear or consider that there could be a better and more sound way to understand the scriptures in that particular area.
But enough about that. I want to take a closer look at Adam in this study. I want to look briefly at a few of the things that we've heard about or been told about Adam and see if they are actually true when held up to the clear things we read about him in the bible.
This topic has earned me many labels amongst Christians. Particularly in the Preterist camp (where I would fit in for the most part) I have come up against some resistance here. Preterists are a funny bunch sometimes. Most of them are 100% down with challenging just about any long held traditional belief when it comes to the New Testament and the end of the story. BUT, (and this is a gigantic BUT) when you ask them to consider that perhaps the start of the story needs to be re-worked a bit...
no. NO. NO. NO. NO!!!
Not happening. Just not possible, they say.
So in this study I plan on demonstrating why the following 3 things about Adam may not be exactly what you've been told by your Sunday School teacher, but they are totally true none the less.
1) Adam sinned BEFORE the fall
In order to really understand how this conclusion is so easily obtained through the scriptures, we must be able to allow Paul to explain it for us. If we have any reservations or if we have trouble trusting that what Paul says about the matter is completely true, then we won't ever be able to come to any clarity on whether or not Adam sinned before the fall in the garden.
In order to find our answers, we need to first look closely at Romans chapter 5 and read what Paul says here. He writes..
"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned--(For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law" Romans 5:12-13
So Paul takes his audience back to Adam. There can be no argument here. The "one man" by who sin entered the world, was Adam.
Paul says that UNTIL the law came, sin was IN THE WORLD. BUT Paul says, sin is not imputed to anyone when there is no law to hold a person accountable.
Now, here is where people get held up. They believe that "the law" that Paul is speaking of there is the Mosaic Law. It's a safe nestling place for people to say that the Mosaic Law was what Paul meant here. But there is a major major problem if this is true. Paul says this about the sin that was in the world UNTIL the law came.....
"SIN IS NOT IMPUTED WHERE THERE IS NO LAW"
Paul says that YES, sin was present in the world. BUT that sin was not imputed to anyone yet. The reason was that the Law hadn't been given yet. The command hadn't been yet spoken. Therefore they had no "knowledge" of breaking any command and therefore could not be held guilty.
But the person who disagrees will say that this is false and that it was the Mosaic Law which was being spoken of by Paul. Well, if that is the case, then your entire bible narrative changes. What do I mean by that?
Well Paul is abundantly clear that sin is NOT IMPUTED where there is no law.
So if Paul is speaking of the Mosaic Law here, then this means that EVERYONE from Adam alllllll the way to Moses and the giving of the commandments, had ZERO sin imputed to them.
Think about it. Paul is taking us to a time in history when SIN WAS PRESENT.....BUT WAS NOT IMPUTED.
So that is either Adam, or it's Moses. If it's Moses, then that means there was NO IMPUTATION from Adam to Moses. If that is the case you might as well just start over because everything changes. That means Adam wasn't a sinner in the garden because he wouldn't have had any sin imputed to him. That means that in the day that he ate of the fruit, he DID NOT die, contrary to what God told him.
The consequences of wrongly applying Paul's words to the Mosaic Law in Romans 5 are tremendous. Paul is no doubt, taking his audience all the way back to Adam, BEFORE the Law (the command) came to not eat of the certain tree.
Consider this powerful tidbit that we read from Paul just 2 chapters later in Romans 7. He writes this...
"What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died." Romans 7:7-9
So can we see what Paul is doing here? He is again taking us all the way back to the garden. When he says "I was once alive without the Law", he is not speaking of himself. He is speaking of Adam as the headship of God's people. Why was he doing this?
Well because just 2 chapters earlier, Paul was explaining that Adam was alive until the law came. Even though sin was present, it wasn't imputed because there was no law yet. So again Paul is just building on the same concept here. He says "but sin, TAKING OPPORTUNITY BY THE COMMANDMENT"...
Think about that for a moment. It was actually the commandment that gave the opportunity for sin to kill. Think about that. Sin was already present. But there was NO COMMANDMENT given yet so sin had no power. But sin, TAKING OPPORTUNITY BY THE COMMANDMENT which was given by God, produced in Adam that evil desire. Do we see how this works now?
Paul, taking his audience back to Adam, says that apart from the law sin was dead. It had no power. It couldn't kill. BUT, when THE commandment came, sin lived, and he died.
So the commandment. The SINGULAR commandment (THOU SHALL NOT EAT!) came and gave sin a perfect opportunity to kill. And it did just that.
When we consider the name of the Tree that they ate from, we should really see this laid out even more clearly for us. The Tree was called, "The Tree of the KNOWLEDGE of Good & Evil."
Why do we suppose that God called it that? Why wouldn't He just called it the "Tree of Good & Evil"?
Well, because again, the Tree did NOT create the good and evil. The Tree just gave KNOWLEDGE of already existing good and evil. Sin was already in the world remember?
Eating of that Tree only brought knowledge of it. It did not create it. This is crucial and undeniable.
Furthermore, Adam and Eve were "naked and unashamed" before they fell. Why?
Well again, they had NO IDEA about their nakedness. They had no guilt. Why?
Sin was already in the world remember? But yet they had no clue. They were "naked" but yet they were unashamed because they were not yet guilty. They had no consciousness of their sinfulness.
But when THE commandment (thou shall not eat!) came, sin took that opportunity and broke the commandment and they died. It was at THAT point that they KNEW they were naked and they were ashamed. They knew of their guilt now because the Law had showed it to them.
By the way, were they really literally "naked" and did they really literally eat from a tree that made them aware of evil? Most likely not. These seem to be symbols and pictures of greater truths. They represent something greater. Just like the Tree of Life represents Jesus Christ. We don't suppose that Jesus turned Himself into an actual Tree that they could have eaten off of. Symbols.
In conclusion of #1, there is boatloads of scriptural proof to prove that sin was in the world BEFORE the command came in the garden, but yet sin was not imputed where there was no command yet. So they were alive UNTIL they broke that command at which time, they died.
2) Adam was NOT created immortal
Another tough pill to swallow for many. Most people believe that God created Adam perfectly sinless and perfectly immortal and his sin caused him to fall and caused mortality.
But at the very surface of this argument there are some very obvious and fatal problems.
The first being that if God created Adam sinless from the beginning, then how did Adam sin? That just doesn't work.
The second problem is that if Adam was "immortal" from the beginning, then that means God created Adam "UNABLE TO DIE". This is the very definition of the word "immortal". So this doesn't work either.
The third problem is that we just demonstrated in point #1 that sin was clearly in the world BEFORE the command not to eat of the tree came to them. But it wasn't imputed to them because there was no command yet. So this shatters the idea that Adam was perfect prior to the fall. Paul flat out says that sin was around.
But perhaps the most fatal blow to the idea that Adam was created immortal from the start is what we read in Genesis 3:22.
Adam and Eve had sinned and eaten of the fruit. God had just finished placing them under the curse of bondage. He then says this..
"Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” Genesis 3:22
First thing to note there is the fact that the result of them eating the fruit was that they now KNEW good fro evil. They didn't CREATE evil by eating the fruit. They simply understood it now. They were illuminated to something that was already there just non-active. Now though, it had gained power and become active.
The second and more important point here is that Adam and Eve could have taken of the Tree of Life. But when? THIS WAS AFTER THEY HAD FALLEN.
God says that if they would have taken of the Tree of Life and eaten, they would have what?
So clearly they had not yet possessed immortality prior to that point. God was stating that He would ban them from the garden so that they wouldn't be able to eat and live forever. Meaning clearly that they DID NOT possess eternal life or immortality in any way prior to that.
3) Adam was in Covenant with God
It's funny to me how you can show someone something plain as day and yet sometimes it isn't good enough for them. Their traditional beliefs are too strong for them to ever let go, so they refuse to submit to what is plain as day.
For instance the fact that "Adam" both the man, and the people, were in Covenant with Yahweh.
Hosea 6:7 when speaking of Israel and her adulterous behavior says...
"But like Adam, they (Israel) transgressed the covenant; There they dealt treacherously with Me."
Adam was both the first Covenant man and Adam was also a people. "All those in Adam" said Paul.
Adam was the very start of the first Covenant lineage. It would be through those forthcoming generations, that Israel would come, and eventually the Lord Himself as well.
We see God give Cain and Abel commands to sacrifice on an altar. These are Covenant practices given to Covenant people. God did not command pagan nations to abide by His laws and statutes.
We see God command Noah to build an altar and sacrifice to Him on it as well after the flood subsided. God was establishing or continuing His Covenant with Noah after wiping out all of His former Covenant people for their wickedness. Which is why God says to Noah...
"I will establish MY COVENANT with you."
This wasn't a new Covenant. This was a Covenant of old. A Covenant that was made with Adam just like Hosea referred to when he said that "Adam transgressed the Covenant".
It only takes a little bit of work and a bit of humble honesty to see clearly that the following is true:
1) Sin was in "the world" before the commandment was given to Adam in the garden but it wasn't imputed to them until that commandment was given.
2) Adam was NOT immortal and perfect before the fall.
3) Adam was in Covenant with God.
Imagine what these 3 key points do to traditional Christianity and the long held Genesis theories held by millions upon millions of people?
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Was Adam in Covenant with God?
I remember when I first started to study the bible nearly 6 years ago. I had no clue what I was doing. I overlooked so much. I had no concept of "Covenant".
Covenant is such an important theme in the scriptures. God is a Covenant making God. In Hebrews, just prior to the destruction of the Temple and all the elements associated with that Old Covenant, we read that "the first Covenant was flawed and there is need for a new one" and "what was becoming old was about to fade away" etc (paraphrasing)
But it didn't dawn on me just how far back the Covenants went until maybe not even a year ago. I had always heard bits and pieces about Genesis being actually the creation of a Covenant people rather than about material creation. Of course at the surface that seems stupid, but man was I wrong. When I dug in and actually started to study, it began making total sense. The first "Heaven & Earth" was a Covenant order and a Covenant people just like the New "Heaven & Earth" is new Covenant and a new people.
But not many people understand these concepts. Within Preterism there are very few who take the time to really see the full, complete, story. From cover to cover. It's as if figuring out the end is sufficient enough. The beginning isn't as important and we can continue to hold onto childhood fables there and be just fine. Well, no. It just doesn't work that way.
People often come to Paul's statement that "as in Adam all men died, so in Christ all men shall live" and they rightly apply an equal interpretation to his statement. It says what it says.
If "all men" died in Adam....Paul makes sure to let us know that "all men" will live in Christ. Which of course, means Universalism is the truth.
Paul also said "Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." Which again, being fair, really does show universal reconciliation.
But this is not at all what the bible is telling us. In fact, the bible isn't concerned with anyone other than COVENANT PEOPLE.
Picture it this way....in a movie, we have 3 or 4 main characters. The movie focuses on them the whole time yet all throughout we have other characters that intertwine with the story line. But no matter what, the focus is still on the 3 or 4 main characters the whole way through. Same thing with the bible.
The "all men" who died in Adam, were Covenant people. Adam's sin brought death to God's people. This was not "all people" as the bible wasn't concerned with the pagans who worshiped false gods. In fact, when God said "let their be LIGHT" in Genesis 1, He was giving illumination of Himself to a people whom He was calling away from all of that pagan worship and darkness.
Just as the "all men" in Adam is limited, so is the "all men" in Christ. The "all men" in Christ who will have life, are Covenant people. Unique and distinct.
Adam was a NATURAL man AND a NATURAL people. Let's not forget that! Adam (the man and the people) was a unique people called out and was supposed to be a light to the darkness in the world. A testimony of the true God among all the false gods. A people to "til the ground" and spread and plant seeds that would grow and bear fruit.
Christ is a SPIRITUAL man AND He is a SPIRITUAL people. Christians are a unique people called out and are supposed to be a light to the darkness in the world. A testimony of the true God among all the confusion and lies in the world. A people bearing true fruit.
But let's consider for a moment what God did to the "world" when He flooded it back in the days of Noah...
Wickedness was rampant and God was grieved over His people that He created. God wasn't grieved over ALL people because ALL people were already wicked and depraved from the start. Remember, darkness was on the "face of the deep" according to Genesis. People were already in darkness and paganism so this was nothing new. God was grieved over the wickedness of what HE CREATED...that being, His Covenant people that He called out to be a light to the darkened world around them. So what did He do about it?
He washed them away in a flood. But He said something to Noah. He said this...
"And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth (land), to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth (land) shall die. But I will establish MY COVENANT with you; and you shall go into the ark—you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you." Genesis 6:17-18
Now, why would God say "I will establish MY COVENANT with you?"
Was God introducing something totally new here? That is, was He introducing a new concept- that being a Covenant? Was the Covenant concept totally new here? Is this the first time we see it?
Why wouldn't God say "I am establishing A covenant with you"? Instead, He says "I will establish MY Covenant with you."
Well consider this...
As soon as Noah comes off the ark in His new headship position of this Covenant with God, God gives him instructions and commands or laws. God tells Noah to build an altar and make sacrifices to Him.
So we have God establishing His Covenant with Noah. We also have a major component of that Covenant seen in the building of an altar and the command to sacrifice to God on it.
So now we have to take ourselves back to some of the very first people mentioned in Genesis. Cain and Abel.
Remember when Cain and Abel brought sacrifices to the altar for God? God found Abel's sacrifice acceptable and Cain's to be lacking.
Why was Cain and Abel sacrificing to God on an altar here just one generation removed from Adam and Eve?
Isn't this the same command that God gave Noah when He established HIS COVENANT with Noah? It most certainly is.
So when God wiped away His people in the flood and established HIS COVENANT with Noah, do we see what He did? He was carrying it over and continuing it through Noah. Which is why He says "MY Covenant". This was not new.
Lastly, when Paul in Romans 5 & 7 speaks of sin entering the "world" through one man (adam), he speaks of "THE commandment" that came to adam. "THE" commandment. Singular. Not plural. One commandment that came from God.
What's a commandment? Is it not a Law?
Lastly for now, consider what Hosea wrote in chapter 6 about Israel....
"But like ADAM they transgressed the covenant; There they dealt treacherously with Me." Hosea 6:7
We see clearly here that Israel transgressed the COVENANT just like who? Like Adam. Bingo.
This is just the tip of a HUGE iceberg but Adam was most certainly in Covenant with God.
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We all know the story from Sunday school.
That talking deceptive LITERAL snake slithers down and gets Eve to eat of the tree.
As someone who never understood biblical language, imagery and metaphor, this was pretty easy to believe. But think about it...a talking snake who deceived and caused all mankind to die???
In Genesis chapter 3 after the "serpent" convinces Eve to sin against God, God says this to the "serpent"...
"So the Lord God said to the serpent....On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust. All the days of your life. And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:14-15
Who here has seen a snake devour some "dust" for it's meal? :)
Anyways, if we keep the "snake" language in mind and take a look at how the Jewish Pharisees, the opposition of Christ, were referred to in the New Testament accounts, we should see a striking resemblance. Here are a few passages...
"But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “BROOD OF VIPERS! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" Matthew 3:7
Brood? Meaning, children? Or, offspring? Or, descendants?
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. BROOD OF VIPERS!" Matthew 12:33-34
Jesus referring to them as again, "SONS OF A SNAKE?"
“Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt. SERPENTS! Brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell (gehenna)?" Matthew 23:31-33
Woah! Jesus just called them the EXACT same thing we see the deceiver in the garden called!
Does this mean that they were literal "snakes"?????
Or were these deceptive, opposing, cunning, and wicked, PEOPLE?
Now remember when God promised to put enmity between the seed of the "serpent" and the seed of the "woman"? Who was this referring to?
Could it be the enmity between the BELIEVERS IN CHRIST and the PHARISEES OF THE LAW?
Look what we read Paul write to the Romans in the very last chapter of the letter, roughly 10-15 years before the entire Jewish Law system, temple, sacrifices, and everything associated with it would come crashing down...
"And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet SHORTLY." Romans 16:20
Kind of matches the Genesis prediction that God would crush the head of the serpent does it not?
Is the "satan" there in Romans 16:20, the "opposition to Christ?"
When Peter was told "get behind me SATAN", was Jesus calling him a literal devil with horns? Or was Jesus saying "you are opposing my will Peter"?
Look how the vivid metaphoric symbolism describes the enmity between the Pharisees (seed of serpent) and the believers (seed of the woman) during that time...
"Then from the mouth of the serpent spewed water like a river to overtake the woman and sweep her away in the torrent." Revelation 12:15
The point is, if we are going to hold the "serpent" as literal in the garden....we MUST hold the "serpents" as literal in the gospels.
If the serpent in the garden was a babbling deceptive literal reptile, then so were the Pharisees whom Jesus called serpents and warned about being tossed in the fiery "hell" located just outside the city walls known as Gehenna.
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I love Cain and Abel.
They make the case for a Covenant Creation in Genesis very easy.
Most believers take the following approach to Genesis...
Genesis describes God creating the very first biological man and woman. These two were NOT really connected Covenantally to the people who later on in the story would be called "Israel". As we progress through this HEBREW book which is describing HEBREW history, we see Abel, Seth, Noah, etc but these are NOT YET CALLED "ISRAEL". Israel wasn't created until Jacob so therefore Adam and Eve and all of the early characters of the story are not relevant to Abraham and the story that begins with him.
This is the majority view.
But remember when we were just starting to see the truth about fulfillment? Remember how silly it was when we started to see the clear and obvious truths in it? We would probably laugh at ourselves for overlooking passages such as Matthew 10:23, Matthew 16:27-28, and Matthew 24:34 etc
Are you ready for a good chuckle?
Check this passage out....
"By faith ABEL offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks."
Do you know where this passage is from?
This is the "faith" chapter in the book of HEBREWS.
Written by a HEBREW, written to HEBREWS, written about the history of HEBREWS.
So if the "HEBREW" account doesn't span back all the way to Adam, then what is Abel doing here in the Hebrew faith chapter?
Certainly Abel wasn't called a Hebrew back then, but the point here is that this is one story from cover to cover. This is one Covenant people in view. One "Heaven and Earth" and the generations of that Heaven and Earth are always in focus. Spanning all the way from Adam right on down to Christ.
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The first 5 books of the bible...
Most people believe they were all written by Moses.
This short study isn't concerned with alternate views on who the author was but rather it's concerned with the content of the 5 books.
Does it make sense that Moses would write EXTENSIVELY about his people, the Israelites, throughout well over 2/3rd's of Genesis, all of Exodus, all of Leviticus, all of Numbers, and all of Deuteronomy, but yet would write about the formation of rocks and dirt for the first few pages of Genesis?
Or better yet, he would write about random people totally unrelated to his culture and genealogy up until around chapter 10 of Genesis and then from there onward would go on to write nearly 5 entire books all about Israel?
Genesis is about the genealogies of the first people (Israel before they were ever called Israel) in Covenant with God.
Leviticus is about Israel's ritual practices.
Exodus is about Israel's exodus.
Numbers is about Israel's exiting bondage and their journey to take the land God promised them.
Deuteronomy records speeches Moses gave to Israelites before they entered the promise land.
Do we see a theme here in each of these books? Who is the entire focus on?
It makes little to no sense, that Moses would write these 5 books with 98% of them being about Israel's journey in GREAT DETAIL. Yet the first 2% of these books is about the formation of the extremely importantly substances of dirt, rocks, and grass as well as people that were totally unrelated to Moses' cultural story.
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In Hebrews chapter 1 the author is speaking of the Kingdom of God.
He mentions that they were currently living in the last days and he starts quoting from Psalm 45 and Psalm 102. He writes...
“You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. THEY WILL PERISH, but You remain; And they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will fold them up, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will not fail.” Hebrews 1:10-12
Now, most of us understand what he was saying. He was very close to the end of the age and the consummation of the Kingdom age.
So what "heavens" and what "earth" is he speaking of?
What "heavens and earth" would PERISH?
What "heavens and earth" would "grow old like a garment"?
Clearly this is NOT LITERAL.
Clearly, we all understand this to be speaking of God's Old Covenant order and people. That whole arrangement would vanish. It would be removed. He wouldn't remember it anymore. He would make a New Covenant with a NEW Jerusalem.
We see Isaiah speak of this day in chapter 51 where he says...
"And I have put My words in your mouth; I have covered you with the shadow of My hand, That I may plant the heavens, Lay the foundations of the earth, And say to Zion, ‘YOU ARE MY PEOPLE.’”
So God says He would plant the "heavens" and lay the foundations of the "earth" and say to Zion, "YOU ARE MY PEOPLE".
We can see this same imagery here as Isaiah is looking ahead to the day when God would create this NEW Jerusalem and would plant a new heavens and earth and say YOU ARE MY PEOPLE.
We also see this even more clearly when we get to Isaiah 65 verse 17. Isaiah had just gotten done speaking of Old Covenant Israel and how she would starve and thirst. He contrasts that to New Covenant Israel and how she would eat and drink. When Isaiah gets to verse 17 he says "AND I SAW A NEW HEAVEN AND A NEW EARTH, AND THE FORMER WILL BE REMEMBERED NO MORE."
Lastly, in Revelation 21 wee see John in the first verse, see the New Heavens and the New Earth. He also says that the FIRST heaven and earth had "passed away".
Not second, not third, but the FIRST heaven and earth had passed away.
"Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away." Rev 21:1
That is because again, this is speaking of a Covenant order and a Covenant people.
There have only been 2 Covenant orders made by God.
1) The Old Heaven and Earth
2) The New Heaven and Earth
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The goal in these short creation studies is to show the consistency between Genesis and Revelation.
Many people see the beautiful connection between the Tree of Life in Genesis and the Tree of Life in Revelation. They understand that what was lost in Genesis, was found in Revelation at the end of the age when the Lord returned to consummate His eternal Kingdom.
They know that the Tree of Life is not a literal physical tree in either place.
They understand the cosmic language used in Revelation is not literal. But they hold the cosmic language as totally stiff wooden literal in Genesis. Do you see a major inconsistency there?
Again, if the Tree of Life, which was created very early on in Genesis is NOT literal, why are the other things literal? Or is this telling a different story using metaphor and pictures?
In Genesis 4 we see Cain murder Abel. God asks Cain where Abel is and Cain says he does not know. So God says...
"And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood CRIES out to Me from the ground." Genesis 4:10
We have Abel's blood crying out to God from the ground. This is in Genesis chapter 4, pretty much the very beginning of the creation account. Now let's go to Revelation...
Most of us know that Revelation is John's vision of Israel's last days. It is a vivid and metaphoric vision full of symbols which depicts the horrors that would befall Jerusalem and the people in those last days. All of the events were said to be right at the door when John penned the letter sometime around AD62-65. Look what John writes in chapter 6...
"I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they CRIED with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Revelation 6:9-10
Do we see the direct connection between Genesis and Revelation? There are martyrs who are crying out to God asking how long until they are avenged.
Remember in Matthew 23 when Jesus called out the Jews and told them that they were a "brood of vipers" and they were the "sons of your fathers who killed the prophets and wise men" and Jesus says that it spanned all the way back to the "blood of righteous Abel"?
Well guess what this means?
This means that Israel's last days judgement involved the blood of Abel. Abel's blood was crying out to God asking "how long God until you avenge me?"
Why would God avenge Abel's blood on Israel in her last days?
The answer is because Abel was one of the martyrs who's voice was crying out in Revelation and who Jesus mentioned when He predicted judgment coming upon them for the slaughtering of all these righteous ones.
Again, just another example of why Genesis and Revelation are directly linked.
Genesis is the beginning of Israel and Revelation is the end of Israel.
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People, preterists in general, are very quick to dismiss any alternate views on Genesis creation. In fact, 9 out of 10 of them will quickly label you confused and lost if you even so much as suggest that Genesis isn't speaking of the creation of material earth and the creation of the first biological man.
They usually appeal to an argument that sounds like this....
"WHEN ONE TAKES THE PLAIN AND LITERAL MEANING OF THE WORDS, YOU CANNOT UNDERSTAND GENESIS ANY OTHER WAY THAN LITERAL CREATION".
But what is strange is that these same "literalists" in Genesis, use a totally different approach when they get to the other end of the bible.
If we were consistent with that interpretation method, NONE of us would be preterists.
We would most likely be futurists who believe in a bodily visible future Second Coming of Christ. We would most likely believe in a literal destruction of the literal cosmos and a literal creation of a totally new heaven and earth in our future. We would believe in a future "caught up" type rapture. We would believe in a literal physical bodies popping up out of dirt resurrection. And so on.
The point is that we use our brains and we use what the text gives us to form our views. We look at the full story and let the scripture interpret scripture. If we are confused about one portion, we let other portions shed more light on it until we work it out. This is just what we as preterists do and by doing that, we have come to very strong and very undeniable conclusions. However, if we were to just read the New Testament texts at face value, and as the 9 out of 10 people above would say, "just interpret them for what they say", we would all be futurists today.
Preterists do a good job of connecting dots. They are able to find links and common phrases, words, statements in the scriptures, and connect them to other portions of scripture to gain further clarity and piece the story together.
What if I told you that one portion of scripture contains SIX statements that match up to Genesis creation language? Not one, not two, not even three, not even four, no not five, BUT SIX.
Six descriptive statements in succession in another chapter of scripture that link up and match six descriptive statements that we find in Genesis creation language?
If it were one or two statements, then ok, perhaps it's a stretch. But when we have 6 statements, in succession, which mimic what we read in Genesis creation, we should take a closer look and consider what that could mean.
The book of Jeremiah has always been one of my favorite Old Testament Prophets. It contains many topics to write about. But a while back, chapter 4 blew my mind and really confirmed for me that I am pointed in the right direction with my take on Genesis creation. Of course I don't have it all figured out and nobody does. But there is PLENTY there to suggest that not everything is as meets the eye as so many people would argue.
I had always recognized Jeremiah chapter 4 (especially around verse 23) as important to understanding the Genesis chapter 1 creation language but recently something really clicked for me when taking a look at Jeremiah 4:22-26
In this study I want to briefly take a look at those passages and see if I can help others recognize the incredible similarities.
The chapter begins with Jeremiah giving warning to Israel about her wickedness and evil. God warns the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem that their wickedness is piled high and judgment is imminent. God says that because of His fierce anger, their cities will be laid desolate.
In verse 19 we start reading about the sorrow for those people. The trumpet was going to sound and war would rush in and they would be judged. Verse 22 then says the following...
“For My people are foolish, They have not known Me. They are silly children, And they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, But to do good they have no knowledge.”
So the main thing to keep in mind here is that the entire context of chapter 4 is what?
PEOPLE. The wickedness of PEOPLE who were alive in that day. PEOPLE.
But now take a look at what the next passage says. Verse 23 reads...
"I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void; And the heavens, they had no light.
Now, it doesn't take a theology degree to recognize the clear Genesis language being used here by Jeremiah the prophet. He is still speaking about the condition of THE PEOPLE in that day in Judah and Jerusalem is he not? Of course he is. This is the whole context of the chapter.
But he says that "the earth, was WITHOUT FORM AND VOID".
That is the EXACT SAME Hebrew phrase used in Genesis 1 when we read the condition of "the earth" BEFORE the creation days begin.
The world in Genesis 1:1 was "without form and void" (Hebrew- "Tohuw Bohuw") meaning "in confusion and chaos"
The world in Jeremiah's day was also "without form and void" (Hebrew- Tohuw Bohuw) again meaning "in confusion and chaos".
So if Jeremiah uses this Hebrew phrase to refer to the wickedness, darkness, sinfulness, and ignorance of the people of his day in Judah and Jerusalem, then why is it so far fetched to believe that the author of Genesis isn't doing the same? It is not far fetched at all.
The latter half of verse 23 in Jeremiah 4 reads...
"and the heavens THEY HAD NO LIGHT"
Does that ring any bells? It should!
The condition of the PRE-GENESIS CREATION earth was what?
Remember that we see in the very beginning that "DARKNESS WAS ON THE FACE OF THE DEEP"?
What did God do?
He said "LET THEIR BE LIGHT!"
He gave illumination of Himself. Of the One true God in the midst of all the darkness and paganism and ignorance and all the "Tohuw Bohuw" (confusion and chaos)
So we have Jeremiah saying that "the heavens had no light" to refer to the state of the darkness of the people in Jerusalem and Judah.
And we have the author of Genesis using this same imagery of darkness and God giving "light".
Again, clearly showing that it is not far fetched at all to understand the condition of the world BEFORE Genesis creation, as evil, wicked, darkened. If the "heavens had no light" refers to people in Jeremiah 4, then it's plausible to consider that the darkened state we read about in Genesis 1 is the exact same concept.
So already we have 2 of the same statements and same concepts here in Jeremiah 4 to describe PEOPLE and their wickedness and their having no fear of the true God. These 2 statements are mimicked in the Genesis account and we see the same condition there BEFORE the creation days begin.
Verse 24 reads...
"I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, And all the hills moved back and forth."
Jeremiah in verse 24 then sees the mountains trembling and the hills moved back and forth. This is the opposite of the forming of the dry land that we see in Genesis. This may represent the instability and chaos of Israel in Jeremiah's day because as we know Israel is often called the "land" or the "earth" in scripture. The mountains trembling and hills moving could speak of Israel's chaos in that day. No peace, no stability.
Why would Jeremiah choose to use "mountains and hills trembling and moving" as his way to describe the wickedness of PEOPLE in Judah and Jerusalem? That doesn't really make much sense does it?
Well again, the imagery he uses is mimicked in Genesis 1. If Jeremiah uses this language to speak about people and conditions involved with people, then it is again plausible to consider the same for Genesis.
Verse 25 reads...
"I beheld, and indeed there was no man, And all the birds of the heavens had fled."
Now the funny thing is that when people read this, they automatically assume that it's not literal. Why? Well of course there were men alive in Jerusalem when Jeremiah said this because the whole point is mans wickedness. This "no man" means there was no man who worshiped God. Evil was rampant. There was "no man" who feared God.
We see the exact same language in Genesis creation when God said there was "no man" to til the ground.
Again, Jeremiah is taking us back to before God called His people out of darkness in Genesis 1. He takes us back to the state of the world before God gave a people "light". There was no man who knew Him in truth. Same thing was true of Jerusalem in Jeremiah's day. That is why Jeremiah uses Genesis language to describe the lack of righteous men in Jerusalem.
Jeremiah also in that same verse, verse 25, says "and all the birds of heaven fled".
Clearly drawing off of Genesis language again. In the garden scene we see birds of heaven present. Whatever they represent, they were mentioned as part of the garden blessing. So Jeremiah is taking us back PRIOR to God creating His people and blessing them and he (Jeremiah) is comparing that day in Genesis to his current day again.
So far we have 5 of the same Genesis creation language references used here in Jeremiah to describe the state of the people in the day God would judge them.
In verse 26 Jeremiah then says ...
"I beheld and the fruitful land was a wilderness"
Clearly yet again drawing from Genesis 1 creation language. It wasn't until God was forming His people/His first creation, that we see the creation of the seeds and the fruits and the beautiful fruitful land filled with every good tree and seed for food....
Jeremiah says that the people of his day bore no fruit and their land was a wilderness. Again, symbolizing the wickedness and comparing that to the world before Adam was created. There was no "garden" before God called Adam into light. The world was a wilderness with no fruit. Same thing in Jerusalem in Jeremiah's day.
What's the point here?
The point is that we need to recognize what Jeremiah was doing in this portion when describing the state of evil and wickedness in Jerusalem during his day sometime in between 625bc and 586bc....
Jeremiah was using the picture of the Genesis PRE -garden world, to describe Jerusalem in his day.
To the finest detail his description matches the Genesis PRE- garden world. He uses 6 of the same descriptions.
But what do we know FOR A FACT is present in Jeremiah's day?
The whole context is people.
Jeremiah 4:22-26 shows us the state of Jerusalem in Jeremiah's day. They were wicked. They had no light. They worshiped idols and false gods.
Jeremiah 4:22-26 also shows us CLEARLY what the Genesis account is really all about.
Genesis shows us a world steeped in wickedness and pagan worship before anyone had any true knowledge of the One true God.
It shows the calling of a people out from those nations who were in darkness and confusion.
What is interesting is how Jeremiah uses the same seemingly Universal Cosmos sounding language that we see in Genesis 1 but yet Jeremiah is only describing the judgment of a very local area. Judah and Jerusalem. Yet he says that the "earth was without form and void". Jeremiah's prediction had nothing to do with the entire earth at all.
As a side note, I found this comparison very interesting...
In Genesis 1 we read that darkness was over the face of the deep "And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters."
What is interesting is that the "waters" there in my opinion represented people. People in darkness. Remember, that darkness was over the face of "the deep". Surely God isn't speaking about literal darkness on literal water right?
Well, if we go to the other end of the story in the book of Revelation in chapter 17 we read this...
“The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. Rev. 17:15
So in Revelation we are told that the "waters" were actually people, nations, tongues etc.
To me that is interesting because it seems that the waters in Genesis 1 also represent peoples, nations, and tongues. Darkness was upon them. The Spirit of God hovered over them and eventually God said....
"LET THERE BE LIGHT"
Which by the way, light was created on day 1. The sun didn't come about until day 4. How is there light without sun for the first 3 days? Something just doesn't add up.
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The earth was already there before God created the "heavens and the earth".
Sounds silly right? But it was.
If we are really understanding Genesis 1:1 correctly, we can see that verse 1 is sort of an introductory statement. The author says...
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
Verse 2 follows that up with a statement about the pre-functional state of the "creation". Verse 2 reads...
"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."
So we have an introductory statement in verse 1. We then have the start of the creation account itself in verse 2. Verse 2 is the start of the creation of the "heavens and the earth". But what is already existing in verse 2?
The earth is already there! The waters are already there!
What's my point?
Well most times people take verse 1 as the start of the creation of the literal heavens and the literal earth.
But, try this experiment...
Remove verse 1 and just imagine Genesis 1 starting like this...
"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."
Would you now recognize that the earth was already there? The waters were already there?
Of course you would.
Genesis 1:1 is an introductory statement and verse 2 begins the actual creation account. The giving function to an already existing material creation that is. Because the earth and the waters are already created when we begin the account.
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This study will be for the "thinkers" out there.
Those who aren't content just taking everything at face value and who understand that God's word is an ocean of wisdom with unimaginable depth.
It surely will upset a few people but that's ok. It's only for those who like to consider things a bit deeper than the norm.
As I have shown in previous studies, we see right off the bat in Genesis 1:1, that there is CONFUSION, DISORDER, and CHAOS in the world.
Nations had no illumination of the true God. They had no "light". The Hebrew term is "tohuw bohuw" in Genesis 1:1 and it is also used in Jeremiah 4:23ff when Jeremiah spoke of the wickedness in Jerusalem in his day. Same concept.
Sure there were plenty of people living in Jeremiah's day, but there was "tohuw bohuw"...disorder, confusion, chaos, paganism.
We come to the marriage institution in the garden. God has already formed His Covenant man, Adam. He has breathed His life into Him.
We see God bring Eve to Adam and they are married.
We see Adam say that Eve is "bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh" in Genesis 2:24
Interestingly enough, this same term "of my bone" and "of my flesh" is used in Ephesians 5:30 to speak of our union with Christ. Yet, we know that we were not LITERALLY taken from Christ's literal bones and flesh. Also in 2 Samuel 5:1 we see the same as all the tribes of Israel came to David and said they were his bone and his flesh. Clearly not literally his bone and flesh, but showing their union to David.
So the "bone and flesh" statement by Adam simply represents Eve's union to him.
We then see the declaration of God about marriage. He says...
"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." Gen 2:24
So let's think logically here for a moment...
If Adam and Eve are the first 2 humans in all the earth, that would mean there were no "fathers and mothers" living before them. This would also mean there was no procreating before them either.
So we actually have the institution of marriage coming BEFORE any mothers, fathers, or children even existed??
Adam and Eve hadn't even had children yet and God says..."a man shall leave his MOTHER and FATHER and be joined.."
Who is God speaking of here?
Adam and Eve wouldn't have even understood the concept of child birth or mother and father yet if the traditional view is correct. Yet God tells them that from that point on, a man would leave his mother and father and be joined to his wife.
The true story here is that Adam and Eve both had mother's and father's. Their marriage institution and joining together was the FIRST example of this God ordained union, in a world that was full of CHAOS and DISORDER and WICKEDNESS.
God was bringing ORDER, STABILITY, FORM, and FUNCTION, to His Covenant people.
The pattern of marriage began here and continued from here.
Thanks for reading guys. If you've enjoyed the study please give it a like and feel free to share as well.