Robert A. Sabin
Genesis 1:1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. God was in no way a part of the creation. He was absolutely external to the created universe. The Hebrew word translated "created" is "bara" (baw-raw') which means "made from nothing." The Bible says the things which are seen were not made of things which do appear, Hebrews 11:3. That means that everything in the universe is made from nothing. The Bible says Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3).
The best guess the scientists can make about the origin of the universe is the "big bang" theory. This theory holds that there was a time when all the matter of the universe was at one time condensed into a single particle which is hypothesized to be infinitely smaller than that of an electron. An electron is a very minute particle of matter. It cannot be photographed and it cannot be seen. It is infinitely small. The electron is so fast it travels as fast at the speed of light around the nucleus of an atom. So fast, scientists say it is literally every place at once. This ability to be every place at once allows it to form a so-called "shell" on the outside of the atom. Scientists say the mass of the universe was once condensed into a single particle infinitely smaller than an electron. The scientific world basically agrees that everything that is, was made from nothing. There were no raw materials.
"In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth," repudiates atheism because it says there is a God. It repudiates dualism, the theory that holds there are two creators at work in the universe. An evil creator, who is responsible for the things that are evil, and a good creator, who is responsible for the things that are good. Genesis 1:1 teaches one God created the heaven and the earth, repudiating polytheism. Elohim, the uniplural noun, is used with a singular verb, "bara" created. In the beginning Godone God! It repudiates materialism, which holds that matter is eternal. Some theories about the universe say that matter has always been. Astronomer Fred Hoyle said a hundred trillion tons of hydrogen are created from nothing in the universe every year. The phrase, "In the beginning God," repudiates the materialistic theory because it says God created ("bara" from nothing) the heaven and the earth. So matter is not eternal. There was a time when it was not.
This verse also repudiates uniformitarianism, the belief that everything is now doing what it has always been doing. In other words, everything is slowly evolving. Uniformitarians believe the matter of the universe is, and has always been, in a state of flux and change. Subtle changes are taking place in living creatures, and some day man will evolve into something else as he has evolved from lower forms.
Most importantly, Genesis 1:1 repudiates pantheism, the belief that God is in the creation and, is the creation. God is the tree; He is the rock. He is the building; He is the air. He is the creation as we see it. Pantheism holds that God permeates, and is all. Pantheism should not be confused with believing that God is omnipresent. God is omnipresent; He is everywhere. David could say that if I ascend up into heaven, thou (God) art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there (Psalm 139:8). But God is not the created world. In fact, He is completely external to the created world.
God is related to the world as a sculptor is related to his sculpture, or as an artist is related to his painting, and an author is related to his story. The sculptor is not the sculpture. The artist is not the painting. The writer is not the writing. The sculpture, painting, and writing are productions. They are produced by the one that creates, and what one creates, can be created again. Perhaps it will not be exactly the same. It may be better.
God is infinite; He existed before the world existed. He still exists, co-existing with the universe. The universe is finite, having a very definite beginning and ending. The universe will end. Scientists postulate that our sun will shine about five million more years. Then in a great burst of energy, it will swell up, engulf and consume the planets before shrinking into a white dwarf. They claim the sun will eventually burn itself out, and the whole universe come to a great cataclysmic end. Whether that is so or not, I do not know.
The Bible says that heaven and earth shall pass away (Matthew 24:35). It also states, the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, ...the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up (2 Peter 3:10). 1 Timothy 6:16 says that the Lord only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto.
God creator created everything just by speaking. It was not hard. "Let there be light and there was light" (Genesis 1:3). "Let the waters bring forth and they brought forth, Let the earth bring forth and it brought forth" (Genesis 1:20,24). God was not put to a test to make the universe. You say, "Mankind was a more difficult product." God formed Adam out of the dust of the ground; it must not have been too tough. He took a rib from Adam's side, spoke a word, and turned it into a woman. That was not too hard for God. This whole creation was not such a magnificent production so far as God is concerned. To us, it is absolutely unfathomable. With just a little word, it all came to be. It was really easy for the creator. The Bible says that in six days (Genesis 1:31), it all came to be, and simply through spoken words.
When God made this finite universe, He made man subject to death. He told Adam and Eve, "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" (Genesis 2:17). Eating will bring an end to your existence. Thus there was a threat against humanity even in the original creation. The Bible says, "no man hath seen God at any time" (John 1:18). That means that Adam and Eve did not see Him. We read in the Bible that God walked with them in the cool of the day, and He spoke to them. When Satan came to Eve, it seemed to her that what he had to say was just as official and believable as what the Lord had said. Satan said, "Hath God said you will surely die. God knows that you will not die. God knows that if you eat this you will be as wise as He is" (Genesis 3:4, 5). Somehow those two bits of advice were played against each other, and the weight of evidence plus the attractive fruit, seemed to be on the side of the devil. So Eve actually partook of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Then the finiteness of humanity became evident.
The Lord met Adam and Eve and pronounced these words to them, Dust thou art and unto dust shalt thou return (Genesis 3:19). You are not permanent. You are not eternal. You will go back to the grave. God, peeved with His creation and aroused to pronounce a judgment upon it, said some things that were probably hard to listen to: "You are not going to have a happy life; you are going to earn your bread by the sweat of your brow; in travail you are going to bring forth children, in sorrow you are going to conceive and the ground is going to bring forth thorns and thistles unto you when you work the soil. It is going to testify to you that you are not going to live forever" (Genesis 3:15-18).
That has been our experience friends. There is not much evidence in this world to assure us that we are going to live forever. If you are looking for evidences of eternal life on this earth, you will look very, very hard. What you will find instead is cemeteries, full of people. I don't know anybody today that ever heard again the voice of a loved one after death has been final. Death is so permanent. The creation is all decay. The buildings decay. The cars break down and decay. There is very, very little hope of a resurrection in the Old Testament.
The Lord said to the devil in Genesis 3:15, I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Who was He talking about? The seed of the woman! Who was this seed of the woman? He was talking about Himself! In the beginning was the Word. That is God's envisaging of what He Himself would be. God made the world, but He did not make it without a thought in His mind that someday He would come into the world, take up humanity, be born of a woman, be made of a woman and be made under the law. God determined that. The Logos, God's foreknowledge of Christ's coming, held this world together. The Bible says, by him all things consist (Colossians 1:17). That means "are held together." Jesus Christ is the glue. That is not a very good expression, but he was the glue that held the universe together. The thought of Christ (in God's mind) was what held it all together for four thousand years from Adam until Mary.
What a great day the resurrection was! Nobody had ever resurrected from the grave under his own power. Nobody had ever resurrected from the grave never to die again. Lazarus got called forth from the grave, but they eventually had another funeral in Lazarus' house. The widow of Nain's son was healed. But she also experienced another funeral. Death reigned. That first Easter was such a marvelous day because it was absolutely the first time any one ever raised Himself from the dead. The Bible says, "But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept" (1 Corinthians 15:20).
The God that made Adam was born, underwent generation and came into this world becoming a part of the creation. The uncreated one became a creature so that we created ones, could become eternal. Jesus came forth from the tomb alive! The angel said, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen Luke 24:5. The Lord said, "I am alive forevermore" (Revelation 1:18).
The God of the Jews in Old Testament times was not part of creation. That would be precarious to have had a God who was a creator and not have had some concept of Him coming into the world. It would have been frightening to believe that He was just the creator. Who is to say He will not tire of the creation? get bored with it? get interested in something else? go off and leave it? He certainly could have, as great as He is. This huge universe of ours does not fill up all the expanse of God. For all we know it could be but an electron in comparison with the great God. It did not take Him much to make it. In comparison with God, we are not very important. The Bible says so. It says, "what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:14). We are like the grass. We grow up, and then we wither and then we die. 1 Peter 1:24. We do not live very long.
On the Day of Pentecost, the Spirit that moved on the face of the waters in the beginning and lived in the man Christ Jesus, took up residence in those that received the baptism of Holy Spirit. In John 14:23 Jesus said, we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. We. What did he mean by "we"? Are there two divine persons in the Godhead? No, but Jesus was a man born at Bethlehem. He had an identity. God, the creator, had an identity. There are aspects of the created one: He was an historical figure, born, possessed of finiteness, destined to die. Then there were aspects of the uncreated one, the unique being. He was eternal, never to die. God brought that eternal, uncreated unique being together with the created, historical figure who would die. He put them together in such a way that they are inseparable.
When one receives the Holy Ghost, they have the Spirit of the uncreated God abiding in them. However, it is the Spirit that took up permanent residence in the man Christ Jesus. Jesus was not a temporary abode for God. When you receive the Holy Ghost you get the Spirit of God, but the Spirit of God alone could never save you. You get the Spirit of the risen Christ. The Bible says, "If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies" (Romans 8:11). It was absolutely necessary that we got a "we" in us, that we got an "us" in us. It was not the "us" of two divine persons, but it was the "we" and the "us" of God and man. It was the "we" and the "us" of the child and the son, those are terms of finiteness. The mighty God, the everlasting Father, the one that had no beginning and will have no endthose are terms of infinity. John said, "Which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of Life" (1 John 1:1). That is what you receive. That is the One that came and made his abode in our hearts. It is a marvelous thing to receive the glorious baptism of the Holy Ghost. You do not get the Spirit of the second person of the Godhead. The Spirit of the Almighty God, who had lived in a body and overcame death, hell and the grave takes up residence in you. He rose from the dead and is alive forever more!!! The Creator became part of creation. Therefore, we can have the Spirit of God in our hearts. He has made us as though we were uncreated. He has made us eternal. He has made us like Himself. We will never die!