verse 6-8 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, andMessage 1 of 9 , May 31, 2000View Sourceverse 6-8 "And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the
waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the
firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from
the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God
called the firmament heaven. And the evening and the morning were the
The firmament is the atmosphere, the air that we breath. Notice that
God called it "heaven." This may well throw light on what Paul said
about being caught up to the third heaven. I believe that the
atmosphere is the first heaven, the stars are the second heaven, and the
third heaven is where God dwells.
But it is very interesting that Genesis clearly says that the firmament,
or air, divided the waters that were below it from the waters that were
above it. Many have assumed that this merely means the clouds. But
Gen. 2:5 clearly says that it did not rain. Apparently there was no
rain until Gen. 7 and the flood.
How could the beautiful "garden of Eden" exist with no rain? The study
of this is fascinating, and has led to some interesting scientific
Apparently the waters above the air were different from the clouds. A
brilliant physicist told me that if you could pump water up to a certain
point high above the earth, that it would stay there. It seems that
there was a water shield, or canopy, high over the earth. At that
height it would not be a liquid, but a solid, and clear. Some believe
that it would have a faintly pink color.
This canopy explains many things. We have dug up tropical plants and
animals from under the polar ice, where today it is freezing all the
time. How did they live there? In fact, there is much evidence of
tropical type plants and animals existing all over the world. This
whole world was a tropical paradise.
But how could this be? Where were the poles with the snow and ice?
They didn't exist at that time. This is because the water canopy turned
this whole earth into a green house with an even temperature. It would
also diffuse the light from the sun, so that night would not be nearly
as dark as it is today.
There were streams, rivers, and lakes. But there was not so much water
on the surface of the earth. Today by far the largest part of the earth
is covered with water. This was not the way God planned it in the
Have you ever seen plants growing in a bottle, or a tightly closed
tank? The air is humid, and the soil slightly damp, and the plants do
not need watering, since there is enough water in the soil for them.
The whole earth was watered in much the same way--from water in the
earth and the moist air which did not dry them out.
This also explains something else. Many scientists today have puzzled
about how the dinosaurs could live. Their lungs are so small for the
size of their bodies that they could not take in enough oxygen. In
spite of the movies, if you brought one of the large dinosaurs back to
life today, it would die for lack of oxygen.
But at that time, with the canopy overhead, there was much more oxygen
in the air, and greater air pressure. This not only enabled the
dinosaurs to live, but was much more healthful for every creature.
Today, if we build a tank with a very similar atmosphere, we call it a
"hypobaric chamber." This has been found to be very healing. We can
put people in it for a period of time each day and greatly increase
their ability to heal from almost anything. It forces much more oxygen
all through the body, which is wonderful for the body's health and
What happened to that marvelous canopy that turned the earth into a
paradise? You can read about it in Genesis 7. This is where much of
the water from the flood came from. Apparently, because God did it
directly, or because He allowed it to happen, something damaged the
canopy, and it came down on the earth.
We will look at the flood later in our study of Creation versus
Evolution. But, very briefly, let's look at what happened when the
The surface of the earth was much more even at that time, with less
high, ragged mountains, and deep ocean basins. Partly because of the
flatter surface, the water of the canopy covered the whole earth. But
the weight of it broke up the surface, causing the crust to buckle and
bend. This forced the ocean basins down, and the mountains up. As the
ocean basins sank, the continents rose higher and the water ran off into
There is much scientific evidence of all this happening, but we will not
go into details at this time.
I believe all this explains other texts which say that God will create
"a new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness." (II
People have asked me why God was going to make a new heavens. I believe
this means the heaven that we have been studying today. That is, the
atmospheric heaven will be renewed and replaced. Once again this earth
will be a wonderful green house, a tropical paradise for man to live
in. And most of the earths surface will be habitable, not just the
small portion that is today.
verses 14-19 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons,Message 1 of 9 , Jun 5, 2000View Sourceverses 14-19 "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the
heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and
for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the
firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
"And 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. And God set
them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon 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. And the evening and the morning
were the fourth day."
Some seriously question if God made the sun after making the earth,
because it seems to them that the sun is the center of the universe, the
earth goes around it, and God probably would have made the sun first.
These sometimes suggest that what God did on the fourth day was to make
the firmament clear so that the sun, moon and stars could be seen.
They reason that the account was written by a prophet, in this case
Moses, and that God probably gave him a vision in which he watched the
creation take place. Then he described it as it appeared to him. As
God cleared the atmosphere, the sun, moon and stars could be seen.
We do know that many revelations in the scriptures were given in that
way. But I am not convinced that it happened that way. It says that
God "made" the sun that day. It doesn't just say that it "appeared."
What I think--to God the most important thing is not the material parts
of the universe, even though they may impress us. To Him, what is most
important are the intelligent beings that He made. It was man that He
loved enough to give His Son for.
So I believe that this whole solar system was built for man. It doesn't
appear that any other living things exist on other worlds in this solar
system. So He made the earth as man's home, and all the rest of the
solar system just to balance out the earth. The sun was to warm and
light it. The moon makes tides, which keep our oceans fresh for living
things. It also gives us light at night. As God said, "For signs and
for seasons and for days and for years."
There is a larger question about the universe. Are all the other suns
and planets of the whole universe just for man? I don't think so.
There are several others verses which lead me to believe that there are
other inhabited planets in the universe, perhaps billions of them.
Did God make all of that great universe on the fourth day of the
creation of this earth? Some people think so, because it says that God
made the stars.
But we have some reason to believe that there were other inhabited
planets before the earth. Besides, why would God take a week to make
earth, and make all the other planets in one day?
There are a couple of possibilities here. Perhaps the "stars" that it
says that He made are the planets of this solar system. That would make
sense. If He made the sun and the moon on the fourth day, why not the
other planets that go around our sun? They appear to be empty of life
Another possibility, if the "stars" mentioned are the whole universe, it
is possible that the text does not mean that they were all created on
the fourth day. It says that God made them, it doesn't actually say
that He made them that day. In that case, the author just threw in the
remark about the stars so that the reader would know that God not only
made the earth and solar system, but that He created all the vast
If that were the case, the text would come out like this: "And God made
two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser
light to rule the night: (God also made all the stars.) And God set them
in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth." (verses
We don't really know, and may not until we get to heaven. But one thing
we do know: God is the Creator, not only of this earth, and also of the
solar system, but also of all the fantastic and wonderful universe
to be continued.
verses 27-28 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and God said untoMessage 1 of 9 , Jun 13, 2000View Sourceverses 27-28 "So God created man in His own image, in the image of God
created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them,
and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the
earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and
over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon
So man was commanded to multiply and fill the earth. (I think that is
one of the few commands of God that has been consistently obeyed!) And
man has dominated the earth all right--but he has forgotten that he
rules subject to God, and as God's representative.
Man is in rebellion against his rightful ruler, God; and yet expects to
dominate this world. And he often does it more as Satan's representative
than as God's.
verse 29 "And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing
seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the
which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for
The first diet, the one originally planned for man, was a vegetarian
diet. This was God's ideal, The "meat" mentioned here means food, not
flesh. Permission to eat flesh of living creatures was not given until
the time of the flood. After the flood, when survival was difficult and
food scarce, man was given permission to eat flesh. But a well-balanced
vegetarian diet is still the most healthful.
verse 30 "And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the
air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is
life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so."
The original diet for all animal life was vegetarian also. Many people
do not realize this. Animals were not originally made to prey on one
another. This is the result of sin. There was no death, nor pain, in
any living thing until sin entered the world. And it is to be done away
Isaiah pictures the earth made new as being returned to the original
plan: "The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall
eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They
shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD."
And Revelation pictures the new earth as containing no death or pain at
all: "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall
be no more deth, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any
more pain; for the former things are passed away. And He that sat upon
the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. . . ." Rev. 21:5-6.
Chapter 2 verse 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. This clearly includes more than the earth, and seems to includeMessage 1 of 9 , Jun 14, 2000View SourceChapter 2 verse 1 "Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all
the host of them."
This clearly includes more than the earth, and seems to include more
than the solar system. The language apparently takes in the whole
universe. Does this mean that the earth and its solar system were the
last to be created by God?
Perhaps God created last the world that He knew would rebel, thus making
it possible for every created world to observe personally the results of
verse 2 "And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had made;
and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had made."
If each day represents long periods of time, what about the seventh
day? Was that a long period of time also? I think it makes much more
sense that it means exactly what it says--each day was a normal, 24 hour
day, marked by the sun and moon as God said on the fourth day.
And why did God rest? Was He tired? Was creating exhausting even to
God? I think most Christians would say that was unlikely--even
impossible. Then why did He rest? The answer I think the most
reasonable is that He was setting an example to man.
verse 3 "And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because
that in it He had rested from all His work which God created and made."
What does it mean that God blessed the day? Does that mean that any day
we choose to keep for God is blessed? Or did God bless a specific day?
And what does it mean that He sanctified it? The word means that He set
it apart for a holy use. There are many who say that the Sabbath was
not commanded for man to keep before Sinai. Then what was it set apart
for at this time?
The Sabbath was not set up as a shadow or type of the Christ to come, as
were the yearly sabbaths of the Jews. It was a celebration of creation,
an acknowledgment that God is the Creator, and we are His creation.
This is the great fact upon which His authority is based.
Because the fact of creation is the foundation of God's authority in
this world, this has been a point of terrific attack by the enemy of God
and man. If he can undermine our faith in God as Creator, he has
undermined God's right to rule.
The Sabbath also, as a symbol of that right to rule, has been under
But there is evidence that it was known and kept by many nations before
there ever was a Jew. Tomorrow we will look at that evidence.
Yesterday I promised you evidence that the Sabbath was known before there ever was a Jew. First of all, let s look at the institution of the week. All otherMessage 1 of 9 , Jun 15, 2000View SourceYesterday I promised you evidence that the Sabbath was known before
there ever was a Jew.
First of all, let's look at the institution of the week. All other
measurements of time: days, months, years, hours etc. are measurements
that have to do with the rotation of the earth, the time the earth takes
to go around the sun, etc.. All of these measurements come from nature.
The week is different. There is not a thing in nature to give us the
week. Yet almost every human that we have any record of, just about
every nation and culture on the earth, has had the seven day week. And
not only that, but for all, the first day is the same. That is, the
week doesn't begin on Tuesday in one culture, and on Friday in another.
In just about every one, Sunday is the first day, and Saturday is the
seventh, although the names differ.
Now, how did that happen if evolution is true? The week must be one of
the oldest things in our cultures. Where did it come from? The only
clue we have is Genesis 1 and 2. Which, to me, is another indication
that creation not only happened, but happened in seven days just as the
Bible said. Why, if creation days were many years long, would all the
nations of man keep seven literal days because there were seven long
periods of creation? How would they even know to do that?
We can understand the Jews, since God commanded it. We might even
understand some nations close to the Jews. But what about the
aborigines of Australia and the people of China? What about the Indians
of North America? Why would they have a week? Even natives in the far
islands--where did the week come from?
The only thing that makes sense to me is that they all came from Adam
and Eve and their children, and they all were taught of creation week.
The knowledge was handed down through the generations. Although the
cultures which didn't have a written record gradually lost or twisted
the story of creation, the custom of the week persisted.
But this is not all. The reason God called the seventh day, "the
Sabbath," is because the word means "rest." The people of Israel were
commanded to rest that day, so they called it "rest day" or Sabbath.
But was Israel the only nation that called the seventh day "the rest
I have a chart of the names of the days of the week in many, many
different language. A large portion of these, 76 to be exact, call the
seventh day "the rest day" in their own language. They are from
far-flung areas all over the world. Some of the areas: Assyria,
Ethiopia, Africa (several languages), Persia, Turkey, Russia, China,
Java, Borneo, Greece, Italy, Spain, Germany, Poland, Bohemia,
Lithuania---the list goes on and on. In some of the countries some
languages and dialects do and some don't. In some countries, like
Africa, many different ones do.
Why should so many nations call the seventh day "the rest day"? Did
they all learn it from the Jews? That hardly seems likely. If they
had their own names for the days of the week (and they surely must have
called them something) then why would they change their name for
Saturday to "rest day" just because the Jews called it that?
The only thing that makes sense to me is that when Adam handed down the
knowledge of the week, he also told them that the seventh day was "the
rest day." Even those nations that stopped resting on that day (which
was most of them) continued to call it "the rest day." Some of the
nations changed the names of the days of the week to names which honored
their heathen gods, the sun, moon, and stars, etc.. (This is where we
get "Saturday" or "Saturn's day.") But others continued to call them by
the ancient names that had been in their culture from the beginning.
I have not heard any other explanation that I found convincing at all.
Since the idea that the soul is not a disembodied spirit, but the whole, living person, is considered so radical today, I thought it helpful to send some textsMessage 1 of 9 , Jun 21, 2000View SourceSince the idea that the soul is not a disembodied spirit, but the whole,
living person, is considered so radical today, I thought it helpful to
send some texts which make me believe that our tradition is wrong on
"But the soul that eateth of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace
offerings, that pertain unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him,
even that soul shall be cut off from his people." Lev. 7:22. Can a
disembodied spirit eat? Or is it the living person who eats? Is it only
the "spirit" of the person who is cut off? Or was the whole person sent
away from his people?
"Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul
shall be cut off from his people." Lev. 7:27. (Same questions. There
are quite a few texts that speak of a soul eating.)
"The soul which hath touched any such shall be unclean until even, and
shall not eat of the holy things, unless he wash his flesh with water."
Lev. 22:12. Here the soul touches something, is not allowed to eat
something, and is to wash his flesh. Sounds pretty physical to me!
"And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any work in that same day, the
same soul will I destroy from among his people." Lev. 23:30. Here a
soul works, and can be destroyed. I thought tradition said a soul was
immortal, therefore could not be destroyed?
Another verse where "soul" includes not only people, but animals as
well: "And levy a trbute unto the LORD of the men of war which went out
to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the
beeves (cattle), and of the asses, and of the sheep:" Num. 31:28.
As far as the soul being an immortal, intangible part of us, David
didn't think so. He said: "But those that seek my soul, to destroy it,
shall go into the lower parts of the earth." Ps. 63:9. So he believed
that the soul could be destroyed.
Ps. 78: 50 says, "He made a way to His anger; He spared not their soul
from death. . ."
Ps. 116:8 says, "For Thou hast delivered my soul from death. . ."
Ezekial 18:4 says, "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Not live
And Jesus said, "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not
able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to DESTROY both
soul and body in hell." Matt. 10:28.
Verse 8-9 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the LORD God to growMessage 1 of 9 , Jun 22, 2000View SourceVerse 8-9 "And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and
there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the
LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for
food; the tree of life also in the midst of the
garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil."
So God particularly prepared man's home, especially planting for him a
garden. Isn't it interesting that man's first home was a garden? He
also gave him the tree of life, which could make him live forever, and
the tree of knowledge of good and evil to test man's loyalty to his
verse 10-14 "And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from
thence it was parted, and became into four heads. The name of the first
is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where
there is gold; and the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and
the onyx stone. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is
it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia. And the name of the
third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of
Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates."
We cannot at this point locate exactly the place where Eden was. This
is not surprising, since the flood may well have altered many features
of the landscape in the area. It is possible that the rivers named may
even have been different than those which now bear the same name. After
the flood, men may have named new rivers and countries after the rivers
and countries they had known before.
But the very detail given makes this sound like a historical record, not
simply a myth.
Also it sounds as if gold and precious stones were common in some areas,
and may well have lain on top of the ground, rather than being buried as
they are today.
Verse 15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of everyMessage 1 of 9 , Jun 23, 2000View SourceVerse 15 "And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of
Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man,
saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the
tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in
the day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die."
It seems likely that these events are not given in chonological order.
The author, after giving the order in which all these things were
created, is now discussing these occurrences by topic. Having told of
the special planting of the Garden as a home for man, he indicates that
when, or right after, man was created, he was placed in the Garden and
given the care of it.
When that occurred, man was given strict instructions about the tree of
knowledge of good and evil. Why did God place this tree in the garden
at all? Why allow man to be tempted with such a thing? Because God had
given him the wonderful gift of free will, and now man must be tested as
to how he will use it. Would he believe God and obey? Or would he
disbelieve and choose his own way.
Free will is a wonderful and dangerous gift. Why did God give it to man
in the first place? Couldn't God have made man so that he would just
automatically always do the right thing and obey God?
What is God's greatest command to man, the most important one of all?
Jesus said it was this: "Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." (Matt. 22:37.)
So what God wants most of all from man is his love. But love infers the
choice of the loved one over every other. Love is impossible without
freedom. Love that is coerced, that is not free, is not love at all.
God could not have man's love without giving him freedom.
But freedom can be dangerous. What if man makes unwise choices that
bring very bad results? How can man always know what the results will
be? Unlike God, man doesn't know everything, and he doesn't have
foreknowledge. There is one way that man can exercise free will without
causing any problems. That is, if he will trust God to tell him when
choices are bad.
There are many choices which man can make, which are fine and will
produce only happiness. If man will simply believe God when God tells
him that a choice is dangerous, all will be well. But if he thinks he
knows better than God, and goes against God's directions in these
things, man can get into an awful amount of trouble.
This is why belief, trust, what we call "faith" is so important. Man
must be tested to see if he will exercise faith in God, if he will
believe what God tells him. So God designs a test that is soooo
simple. God doesn't ask a hard thing. After all, man has a great
abundance of trees and fruit, far more than he needs. He certainly
doesn't need the fruit from this one tree. It is a small thing to ask.
Does man have faith enough in God to pass the test?
Verse 18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. An help meet for him, means a helperMessage 1 of 9 , Jun 24, 2000View SourceVerse 18 "And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be
alone; I will make him an help meet for him." "An help meet for him,"
means a helper suitable for him. God planned companionship, knowing
that He had made human beings to need social interaction.
Verses 19-20 "And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of
the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see
what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living
creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle,
and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for
Adam there was not found an help meet for him."
This states that the animals and birds were formed from the ground--that
is, they like Adam were made of the elements of the earth. Again we are
not concerned with exact timing here, but with certain details that were
not told earlier. We know that the birds were formed the day before--on
the fifth day. But after Adam's creation, they were all brought to him
for naming. You notice the point of all this is looking for
companionship for Adam.
Adam looks at and names all the creatures. They are all interesting,
but he longs for someone or something closer in nature to himself. Did
God not know that the animals were not suitable for the close
companionship that Adam needed? Of course He did. Then why did He
bring them to Adam? Could it be that He wanted Adam to see the pairs of
animals-- the buck and the doe--each animal male and female--so that
Adam would develop a desire. God like us to desire the things that He
wants to give us, so that we will appreciate them.
Verses 20-23 "And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam,
and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh
instead thereof; and the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man,
made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is
now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man."
Why did God take this very singular way of creating the woman? Why did
He not just form her out of the ground, as He did with man and all the
animals? I think He was trying to teach a very important lesson--the
closeness and unity that He wanted to exist between a man and his wife.
They were to feel that they were truly one--part of each other. There
was to be a bond that could not exist with anyone else. Would to God it
had always been that way!