"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." But, when was the beginning? This has been a subject for debate since science began to understand how to find the date of things long since dead. "Science" has insisted the earth is billions of years old. "Bible scholars" insist God created the earth only 6000 years ago. Some have claimed that God created the earth billions of years old in order to "confound the wisdom of man." Some claim God created the earth untold millennia ago and only re-established life on the planet 6000 years ago. This last group has received ridicule from both the "scientific community" and "Bible scholars." However, I believe it is this last group that has actually come closest to the mark. Those who belittle this scenario call it "The Gap Theory" due to the time gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2. Their terminology assumes that this "theory" cannot be proven, but the Bible itself bears considerable proof. These two verses alone point to the "gap". The question is did God create the earth devoid of all life. Some would point to the billions of lifeless planets throughout the universe and say that He created all planets, including the earth, this way. But, those planets were never intended to sustain life. God always intended the earth to be a life-bearing planet. It therefore does not follow that He would create it devoid of life. Admittedly, this attempts to apply human reasoning to God's methods, but I believe the premise to be sound. Let me explain.
Genesis 1:2 states, "And the earth was without form and void." But, is this a correct translation? The scholars of King James' court accomplished the first translation of Hebraic scripture to English. They worked, not from Hebrew texts but from the Latin Vulgate and other supporting texts. While their translation is, for the most part, accurate it lacks certain connotations that render proper meaning to key scriptures. For instance, the word translated "was" in the first passage of Genesis 1:2 is seldom translated this way. But, this was the only translation that made sense to the King James translators. This word is most commonly translated "became". But, this would indicate a change in the created status of the earth and did not fit man's understanding of his surroundings or his limited knowledge of God. Some might ask, "But what of the newer translations?" The newer translations did not depart from the King James translation because there seemed to be no reason for such a departure. "Why would God create this planet, teeming with life, only to obliterate that life?" The word translated "void" actually means "devoid of all life" or "a vacuum". So the status of the earth in Genesis 1:2 is that of a completely dead planet. The earth was as lifeless as its moon. All translators of scripture have seen no problem with the assumption that God created the earth that way. "Science" insists there is no evidence of the earth being lifeless at any time. However, there is physical evidence in the layers of the earth's crust that for an "indeterminate period" the earth was completely devoid of all life. Several years ago, I "happened" upon a program on "The Discovery Channel." A geologist was at the White Cliffs of Dover and was explaining the various layers visible there. He came to a layer that was gray in color and explained that it was inexplicable. He admitted that they had no explanation for this layer and could not even tell how long the period had lasted, "since the layer contains no remnants of life, not even bacteria. The only thing we do know," he explained, "is that it ended around seven thousand years ago." He went on to explain that the layers below that layer contain abundant life, as do the layers above. But, this layer is completely lifeless. He further explained that this layer has been found virtually everywhere in the world and it is uniform in thickness, approximately one-quarter inch. By this time, I was on the edge of my chair. But, what he said next completely set me back. He stated, "We don't understand this, but we know it to be impossible. Therefore, we discount it and go on." I sat in complete disbelief. "We discount it and go on?" This is not only ludicrous it is simply bad science. The fact that this layer exists is empirical proof that it is possible. Before anything can be scientifically discounted it must first be scientifically explained. By their own admission, geologists are at a loss when it comes to explaining this layer. This means that when they "discount" it, they are merely throwing it out to prevent anyone else finding a viable explanation. The presence of this layer is not expounded in any geological text. Neither is its presence made known in any geology class. The only ones, it appears, that know about this layer are geologists whose field of study has brought them in contact with it and those who happened to see the same program I saw. The fact that "Science" cannot even determine how long this period lasted means that "Science" is incapable of determining the age of the earth.
The Bible contains numerous indications that God did not create the earth as a lifeless planet. There are even scriptures that point to the fact that Adam was not the first man on earth. The first of these is Genesis 1:28, where God told Adam and Eve, "be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth." The words translated replenish mean "to fill again with one's own kind." They are the same words used in Genesis 9:1 when God told Noah and his family to "be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth." Why would God tell Adam to do the same thing He would tell Noah to do 1657 years later if man had not been here before? Very little information about this "pre-adamic world" is given us and the information given has been heavily debated. The most belabored question is "If this world existed, why wouldn't God give us more information about it?" The answer is "It is not important to our salvation." Another question is "Why would God create this world and populate it, then destroy it?" The reason for its destruction is found in Isaiah 14:4-17. In this passage, God is likening the king of Babylon to Lucifer, the "son of the morning." Verse twelve speaks of Lucifer's fall from heaven and states that he had "weakened the nations." Lucifer's fall from heaven took place at some time prior to the time of the Garden of Eden for in the garden he was the tempter. If man did not exist before Adam then what "nations" did Lucifer weaken? II Peter 3:4-8 speaks of a flood that caused the world to perish. The word in verse 6 that is translated perish means "to make lifeless" or "to utterly destroy". This passage cannot be a reference to Noah's flood for it did not leave the world lifeless nor did it utterly destroy the earth. Therefore, it must refer to another flood. To theologians who ascribe to this premise, this flood is known as the "Flood of Lucifer".
Both science and the Bible support the earth being eons old. However, neither can place an exact age on this planet. But, together they can come "close" to dating the earth's age. The Bible gives virtually no information on when "in the beginning" was. It is obvious that God is referring to the point in eternity that He chose to begin to create. Close examination of this shows that God first created the things unseen. This would be the angels and perhaps other realms beyond our understanding. The angels were then witness to God's creation of the finite universe. This must have seemed a great mystery to them for they would have no concept of anything limited. This order of creation becomes evident when one reads Genesis 2:2. God ended His work and rested on the seventh day. This would imply that all things were finished, but look back through the first chapter and you will find there is no mention of the creation of the angels. It therefore follows that the angels were created before the beginning of Genesis 1:2. Many would argue that God created everything only 6000 years ago and made the earth appear to be billions of years old to confound man's wisdom. However, they must overlook the fact that "God is not the author of confusion." (I Corinthians 14:33) While I Corinthians 1:27 says, "God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise." it does not imply that God is the author of man's confusion. On the contrary, man is the author of his own confusion. Man chooses to believe that he has found all truth, yet he dismisses anything he does not understand and calls it "impossible". That, in itself, is confusion.
Religious man is no better than his "scientific" counterpart. He discards or discounts entire sections of scripture because they do not coincide with his preconceived notion of God or His creation. Proper interpretation of scripture is viewed as heresy by those in "religious authority" when it does not line up with their erroneous teachings. A case in point is the Priests', Pharisees' and Sadducees' handling of Jesus' teachings. Jesus, as God, was the true author of "The Law and The Prophets." As such, He was the final authority of their meaning. Yet when He spoke the truth, the leaders of the day called Him heretic and demanded His death. Today's "religious authority" can be as closed minded as those of Jesus' day. Show them scripture that supports the truth of the world around them and they will resort to rhetoric, claiming that you are misinterpreting the passage or that the passage in question cannot be taken literally. It would never occur to them that their interpretation may be the faulty one or that God would speak to us in plain language.
God established His creation with a specific order and purpose. The insight "It's Nothing Physical" explores this order and purpose in more detail. Suffice it to say, that when God began to create He knew that a certain order to that creation would be necessary. Before the purpose of that creation could come to fruition, certain elements would need to be in place. The timing for these elements would need to be perfect. God's timing is always perfect. This is because He exists in the past, present and future simultaneously. He knows exactly what will happen at any point in time regardless of what outside forces may act on the given situation. This concept is difficult for our finite minds to grasp. However, the infinite nature of God allows Him to instantly know every possible scenario and this allowed Him to know, from the beginning, what would be necessary, both in substance and timing, to bring His ultimate purpose to fruition. This means that it was not only necessary, but essential to His purpose that the ancient world perish in the fall of Lucifer. It was essential to His purpose that the earth lay dormant during the untold eons while Lucifer degenerated into the being now known as Satan. The timing of the re-creation was essential to His purpose for He knew that Satan would be watching for an opportunity to gain power over some portion of creation. This is why Proverbs 16:4 says, "The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil."
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