The Creation
 Part 2 

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Quotes by Jesus are in orange.

patience

God values patience enormously, and He has taught us its importance by making it be one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).  God has demonstrated vast amounts of patience throughout history—for instance, during the time Noah was building the ark (1 Peter 3:20a), in His dealings with Israel (Nehemiah 9:30a), in waiting for those who will come to salvation (1 Timothy 1:16; 2 Peter 3:9b,15), and even while crafting those destined for destruction (Romans 9:22).

“Patience is better than pride” (Ecclesiastes 7:8b).  Rather than create everything in a “whirlwind” time frame (six literal 24-hour days), and boast with great pride about how quickly He was able to do it (which He certainly could have done if He had wished), God chose to make His creative process last billions of years.  As such, He devoted an immeasurable degree of time and effort to exquisite detail, thereby demonstrating, far beyond our comprehension, His praiseworthy attribute of patience.

There are numerous examples in the Bible demonstrating that God has a propensity toward not  “rushing” the things that He does.  As such, it would be completely out of character for God to “jam” the creation of the universe and everything in it into six, literal 24-hour days—that is, into a period of time which, from God’s perspective, would be considered infinitesimal.

“The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty” (Proverbs 21:5).  The Lord diligently planned and painstakingly crafted this universe and everything in it, and the “profits” of His work are those who love Him and understand that His ways of righteousness are supreme.  I believe that had the Lord been hasty in His creative work, it ultimately would have failed to help Him attain His goal of obtaining, for Himself, an “elect” people that He will take into His next, perfect Creation, after this one has been discarded like a worn-out garment (Isaiah 51:6; Psalm 102:25-28; Hebrews 1:10-12).


pain and work

From our very limited human point of view, it is difficult to comprehend how the unpleasant and difficult conditions in this world could have been planned by God, from the beginning, to be this way.  The belief of many is that such adverse circumstances could not have existed prior to Adam and Eve’s sin, and that God’s so-called “perfect” Creation was ruined by human rebellion and sin.

As a result, such things as “pain” and “work” are not recognized, by many, to have been present in the world prior to humankind’s original sin.  Pertaining to pain, though, it is written that Eve’s pain in childbearing would be greatly increased (Genesis 3:16a), indicating that there already would have been some pain experienced in childbirth, even without Eve having sinned.

As for work, it is written that God put the first man, Adam, into the Garden of Eden “to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15).  All  work involves entropy (the transference of energy from one locality to another), which has been an integral part of this universe and earth since the beginning of all things.  Entropy would have been part of even simple tasks done by Adam’s body, such as breathing, talking, walking, chewing, and digesting food.  Without entropy that increases, no living thing—including any plant or animal existing prior to the creation of Adam—would have been able to process the energy necessary to do even the tiniest amount of work.

Incidentally, God told Moses to have the people designate a place where people could go to relieve themselves (that is, eliminate their digested waste) and to dig a hole and cover up their excrement (Deuteronomy 23:12,13).  This is because God moved around among them and did not want to see anything indecent (23:14).  We know that God walked around in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:8).  There is no reason to doubt that Adam and Eve, in their state of entropy, eliminated digested waste.  So either God did not consider their excrement to be “indecent” before they sinned; or else they did cover it up, but that detail is not included in the text.

After Adam and Eve sinned, pain and work were increased—not only as part of a woman’s birthing process, but also in the way mankind tilled the soil to obtain food from it.  Prior to the spiritual fall of Adam and Eve (via sin), Adam’s tending of the ground (work) was a pleasurable and very fruitful experience, because it was done in the Garden, a place specially prepared and blessed by God and containing trees that were good for food (Genesis 2:9a).

Following Adam’s sin, though, the ground was cursed, and God decreed that only “through painful toil” would Adam be able to eat of it (Genesis 3:17b).  Then Adam and Eve were banished from the fruitful land of the Garden to the cursed wilderness outside of it, from which Adam initially had been formed (3:23)—which had not been a Garden-of-Eden-like paradise even before Adam’s sin.  Because Adam and Eve had broken their relationship with God, due to disobedience, their work on earth became less efficient and productive, and the amount of pain in their lives was increased and intensified.


appearance of age

There is increasingly overwhelming scientific evidence, especially since the onset of the new millennium, that the universe and the earth are very ancient (about 13.7 and about 4.56 billion years old, respectively).  As such, some within the “young-earth” creationist camp have adopted the point of view that, for whatever reason, God made everything that we see look really old, even though they believe everything is relatively young.  Personally, I have a huge problem with this position.

In essence, God’s imparting an “appearance” of great age to the universe, if the universe actually were young (say, only a few thousand years old), would qualify as God’s being a deceiver and a liar.  In fact, since God has commanded us not to deceive nor to lie to one another (Leviticus 19:11bc), this indicates that He is neither a deceiver nor a liar (Titus 1:2).  God is not  like Satan, who is both a deceiver (Revelation 20:10a) and a liar (John 8:44).

Since God apparently created Adam as a grown, adult man, it often is speculated, by those who embrace the “young-earth” viewpoint, that God could have created the universe in a “mature” or “full-grown” state as well.  A problem with this idea is the fact that only man, not the universe, was made in God’s “image” (Genesis 1:26a,27a).  As God did not “grow up” or “expand from a smaller size,” neither did Adam; however, the same cannot be said of the universe.  (Of course, another implication of man’s being made in the “image” of God is that we share a triune—spirit, soul, body—nature with God.)

It is reasonable to suppose that Adam possessed the attribute, along with God, of being always “fully developed,” since he, too, had the capacity of living forever in that created form, had he not sinned.  (I believe he would have lived forever, if he had been allowed to eat of the tree of life—Genesis 2:9b).  Since God exists from “everlasting to everlasting” (Psalm 90:2), He always has been, and always will be, the same.  God was not “raised” from infancy to adulthood, and presumably neither was Adam.  This is just one of the ways that Adam was created in God’s image; however, the same is not true of this universe, which was not  created in the “image” of God.

Today, we can observe the furthest boundaries of the universe with the aid of extremely high-powered telescopes and other technologically advanced equipment, such as the Hubble Telescope (see “A Dime’s Worth of Difference”).  Unlike Adam’s spirit, soul, and glorified body (assuming he will acquire the latter one day), which will live on for eternity, this present universe (heavens and earth) will pass away and will “die,” in that it will cease to exist.


cosmic expansion

Although I do not  believe that the universe is a “life form” or that it is “alive” (an assertion, made by some, with which I completely disagree), the expansive growth of the cosmos is similar to that of a living organism.  Our universe’s beginning was as that of an imperceptibly tiny point—or “seed,” as it were, which was implanted into the “womb” of emptiness and whose “fruit” has expanded or “grown” into a gigantic cosmological “body,” containing life (on earth, at least).

Interestingly, two of Jesus’ parables about the “kingdom of God” appear to illustrate this:

Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like?  What shall I compare it to?  It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden.  It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches.”  Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to?  It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough(Luke 13:18-21).
The infinitesimal mustard seed is implanted and then grows and spreads out into a large organism (tree), which eventually is capable of harboring and sheltering life.  Furthermore, a baking loaf of bread, containing leaven, is similar to an “inflating” universe as it expands.


frame of reference

There is yet another possibility concerning the amount of time it took God to create the universe.  Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity predicts certain things about matter, space, and time.  For instance, the faster something moves, the slower time passes relative to it.

This fact actually has been proven by setting two identical atomic clocks to exactly the same time, placing one on a spacecraft orbiting the earth, and leaving the other one behind.  When the one which had been traveling at a high rate of speed returned, it was running a little slower than the one which had remained stationary.  This is because time actually had passed slower relative to the swiftly moving clock than to the fixed clock.

Now, consider the tremendous amount of mass in the universe and the extraordinarily high velocities at which matter traveled for a time, following the initial expansion of the universe from an infinitesimal, outwardly-exploding point.  It may be that the absolute period during which God created everything was very short (i.e., six 24-hour days) relative to Him, as He can move through space infinitely fast.

However, this same period could seem to have been very long (i.e., billions of years) relative to us, positioned on the earth and observing the distant past through very high-powered telescopes, while traveling through space at a greatly reduced velocity.  If true, both theories (six literal-days and six age-days) could  be correct, depending upon one’s frame of reference or position of observation.


the second greater than the first

There are several examples in Bible accounts where the second of a pair was blessed more than, or in some way was greater than, the first one that came before it.  Similarly, I believe that the second Creation will be greater than the first.

Abraham had two sons, Ishmael and Isaac.  Although Ishmael was the elder, God promised Abraham that He would establish His everlasting covenant with Isaac, not with Ishmael (Genesis 17:19-21).

Isaac had twin sons, Esau and Jacob (the latter being called Israel).  God appointed the older to serve the younger (Genesis 25:23b); and later, Esau gave up his birthright as the firstborn to Jacob (25:31-34).

Jacob's third son Judah also had twin sons, Zerah and Perez.  Zerah's hand came out first, so technically speaking he was the “firstborn” into the world.  However, Zerah drew back his hand, and Perez was the first to emerge fully from the womb (Genesis 38:27-30).

Jacob's first son, Reuben, legally had Jacob’s birthright.  However, Reuben disqualified himself to receive this birthright by sleeping with one of Jacob's concubines, Bilhah (Genesis 35:22).  As a result, the rights of the firstborn were passed to Joseph, who was the first son of Rachel, Jacob's second wife (1 Chronicles 5:1,2).

Furthermore, when Jacob was near death, his son Joseph brought his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, to be blessed (Genesis 48:1,2,8,9).  However, Jacob chose to put the secondborn, Ephraim, over his older brother, Manasseh (48:10-20).  So Ephraim received the rights of the firstborn.  (See birthrights.)

King David—a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah, and Perez—had another man killed and took his wife, Bathsheba, as his own.  Because this displeased God (2 Samuel 12:14,15), David and Bathsheba's firstborn son, whose conception was steeped in sin, died on the seventh day after birth (12:18a).  However, their second son, Solomon, was loved by the Lord (12:24,25).  Solomon succeeded his father David as king (1 Kings 2:12).

Not only did God give Solomon greater wisdom than any other man (besides Jesus) before or since, and more riches and honor than any king (1 Kings 3:12,13, 4:29-31a, 10:23,24), God also promised Solomon that his royal throne would be established over Israel forever (9:5).  Thus, the first son, a product of sin, died; but the second son became the wisest and richest man in the world.

Therefore, a very exceptional blessing was bestowed upon all of these “second-placers”:

  • Isaac,
  • Jacob,
  • Perez,
  • Solomon,
  • Joseph, and
  • Ephraim.
This blessing was that through this special lineage of second-born men, Jesus—the Messiah and Savior of the world—would come (Matthew 1:1-3,6,16).

first and last Adam

The first man, Adam, had perfect communion with God until he sinned.  The fact that he sinned, however, was an indication that he was imperfect from the moment he was created, having been formed out of the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7).  Adam did not become imperfect because he sinned.  He sinned because he was imperfect; otherwise, he could not have sinned.  Due to his sin, Adam’s right to reign over this Creation was revoked; then, at some time later, he experienced physical death.

“The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam [Jesus], a life-giving spirit” (1 Corinthians 15:45).  The first man from the earth, Adam, was imperfect and was steeped in darkness and death; whereas, the “second man from heaven” (15:47), Jesus, was perfect and radiated light and life (Matthew 17:2).  Adam was imperfect because he was merely an image of God; whereas, Jesus was the only perfect man because He was God incarnate.

As the “last Adam,” Jesus had perfect communion with the Father, and He never lost it because He never sinned.  Jesus took sin, death, and the fleshly nature of man to the cross.  He rose on the third day; and through Him, anyone who believes in Him can be made alive forever (1 Corinthians 15:22).  Moreover, Jesus came once to die for mankind’s sin, and He will come again to “bring salvation to those who are waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:28) and also to “reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15b).

Before sin even had occurred, this first Creation contained darkness (a manifestation of evil) and even evil itself (contained within the tree of the knowedge of good and evil, as well as within Satan).  Like Adam, this Creation is beset with darkness, evil, and death.  Just as David and Bathsheba’s first son died on the seventh day (2 Samuel 12:18a), this Creation also will die at the end of the seventh “day”—in the sense that it will “flee away” (Revelation 20:11b), having ceased to exist.  Following the Millennium, this universe will wear out and be discarded (Psalm 102:25,26; Hebrews 1:10-12), and it will “pass away” (Revelation 21:1a).

However, this present, dark universe will be replaced by another, brand new universe, full of light (Revelation 22:5).  The second and last, perfect Creation to come will be incomprehensibly greater than this first, imperfect Creation, just as perfect Jesus was infinitely superior to imperfect Adam because He was the embodiment of God.  In a similar manner, Isaac, Jacob, Perez, and Solomon were second-borns whom God placed above, and gave to them greater blessings than, their elder brothers.

Here is a quote from God Himself:  “I am making everything new!(Revelation 21:5a).  “New” is not  the same as “renewed” or “restored”; something that is “new” has not existed before that point.  Furthermore, something “new” does not  have flaws which have been repaired; rather, being “new,” in the purest sense of the word, signifies that something is without defect or blemish, from its inception.

Thus, a brand new realm will come into existence when God creates again, after the seventh “day” of rest is over.  However, that  perfect, pristine heaven and earth of the future will “live” on—immaculately, gloriously, and eternally—with no end.


old and new Creations

When Jesus returns at the end of the 70th Week, He will renovate and reconfigure much of the present heavens and earth (an imperfect Creation) into a glorious, magnificent, “Garden of Eden” state, which will last an additional 1,000 years.  However, this will not  be an act of “creation” but, rather, of “remodeling.”  The Millennium will be the final period of the seventh “day” of God’s “week,” where the seventh “day” (during which we presently exist) is a lengthy Sabbath of cessation from any creative work of something out of nothing.

Thus, contrary to what is believed by most (scientists and people of faith alike), this universe (the visible and invisible heavens and earth) will not  continue to exist for eternity.  Rather, after the Millennium is over, this realm of Creation, and even “time” as we know it, will be terminated.  Then God will create a new heaven and a new earth (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1,5), which will exist throughout the eternal realm.

forever vs. eternity

The one-way “time line,” on which we presently exist, had a beginning (2 Timothy 1:9b; Titus 1:2).  Similarly, at the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:11-15), there will be an ending of time as we presently perceive it.  As such, it is conceivable that “forever” (as distinguished from “eternity”) actually has an endpoint, which very well may be when this present Creation, along with our familiar dimension of time, are annihilated and will pass away after the 1,000-year period is completed.

As God’s “great white throne” appears, just prior to His final judgment at the end of the Millennium (Revelation 20:11-15), this old  universe (“earth and sky”) will cease to exist:

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it.  Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them (Revelation 20:11).
If there will be “no place for them” (earth and sky), I believe this indicates that they will be gone.  This should not be surprising, since Jesus said this:
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away (Matthew 24:35; Luke 21:33).
Speaking of the Messiah to come, who would be in the line of David (Matthew 1:1,6), God said,
Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness—and I will not lie to David—that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun; it will be established forever like the moon, the faithful witness in the sky (Psalm 89:35-37).
David’s line of kingship will culminate with the rule and reign of Jesus.  Furthermore, there is an indication that His throne will endure as long as the sun and the moon, which have been established “forever.”  However, at the end of the Millennium, the sun and the moon will pass away when the present heaven and earth pass away, and then the creation of a brand new universe (“heaven and earth”) will take place:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea (Revelation 21:1).
Furthermore, in the eternal new Creation to come, there will be no need for a sun or a moon.  This is because the glory of God will be its light, and there will be no night (Revelation 21:23-25; 22:5).

The first heavens and earth—the present universe as we know it—will have disappeared; they will have perished  and will have been discarded  (Psalm 102:25,26; Hebrews 1:10-12).  The Psalmist used the words “perish(ed)” and “discarded,” rather than “renewed” and “remodeled.”  The renewal and remodeling of the present heavens and earth—in a sense, “washing a dirty garment”—already will have taken place, 1,000 years earlier, following Jesus’s return.

On the contrary, the destruction of this universe will be comparable to “throwing out the garment” altogether.  It will be like “cutting off” or “circumcising” the present Creation on the eighth “day”—which happened to all Jewish boys (Leviticus 12:3), including Jesus (Luke 2:21).  Likewise, on the first day of the week—which, in effect, is the eighth day of the previous week—Jesus rose from the dead (Mark 16:9) in a new, glorified, imperishable body.  Similarly, this present Creation will be terminated and displaced, with a brand new, pristine, immaculate Creation appearing in its place on the eighth “day.”

Where will the old heavens and earth go, at the end of the Millennium?  Earth and sky will have “fled” from the presence of God, as He sits on His great white throne to pass final judgment (Revelation 20:11).  They will have “passed away” into ultimate death and nothingness.  Perhaps they will have been thrown into the “lake of fire” (2 Peter 3:7,10,12), into which death, Hades, and everyone whose names are not found written in the Book of Life will be cast, at the end of the millennial period (Revelation 20:14,15).  I suspect that this great fiery lake of burning sulfur presently may be located in another dimension, completely separate and undetectable from our realm of length, width, height, and time.

This present universe was made by and through God, the Father and Son (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2).  Jesus Himself affirmed, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away(Matthew 24:35).  This parallels yet another clear declaration by Jesus, “It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law(Luke 16:17; cf Matthew 5:18).  Together, these two statements, by our Creator, seem to testify not only that this old Creation will pass away and disappear, but also that God’s supreme and perfect Law/Torah—as spoken by Jesus, the Word of God (John 1:1,14)—will continue on eternally, just as His new covenant will do, and it will be as true and applicable in the new Creation to come as it is now.

final judgment

In the Bible, words like “forever” and “everlasting” have been translated (or mistranslated) from words such as olam (in the Hebrew), aion (in the Greek), and alma (in the Aramaic).  These words more properly signify an age, eon, or era, which denote a lengthy but finite period of time.  Perhaps, then, “forever” (the period that this present Creation and everything in it will exist, until the end of time as we know it) should be distinguished from “eternity” (which will be the continuance of the new Creation’s existence, without end).

This present Creation, and everything in its present form within it, will last for a finite period of time.  Following the Millennium, the “living dead,” standing before God’s throne, will be judged according to the deeds they had done during their lives, as recorded in the books of their works (Revelation 20:12,13).  Ultimately, those not written in the Book of Life will be thrown into the lake of fire, which is the second death (20:14,15).  There would seem to be two possibilities as to the amount or degree of punishment that these souls will experience:

  1. Even one sin or failure to meet God’s perfect standard results in the first (physical) death (Romans 6:23a).  Eternal life, or avoidance of the second (soul) death, can occur only as a gift of God through belief and faith in Jesus Christ (6:23b), including profession of Him as Lord and conviction that He was raised from the dead (9:9,10).  However, without acceptance of His atoning sacrifice for personal sin, there is no chance of salvation.  If only one sin, of any type, can separate us from God forever, then in that sense all sins are equal; and it would seem that the degree of punishment in the lake of fire would be of equal amount and intensity for all who go there.

  2. The other possibility is that, although one sin is enough to condemn anyone to suffer the first and second deaths, the degree of God’s punishment of unsaved souls depends on the number and severity of sins committed during life.  Thus, there may be a higher intensity of punishment for those who have committed more or greater sins and less good deeds, while there may be a lower amount of punishment for those who have committed fewer or lesser sins and many good deeds.

In the latter instance, if there are varying levels and measures of punishment, maybe the more wicked souls, with a greater number of evil works to be burned up, will spend a longer time in the lake of fire than the less wicked souls, with a lesser number of evil works to be burned.  If this is the case, it could be that the awareness, perception, and consciousness of all of the unsaved souls that wind up in the lake of fire, the “second death” (Revelation 20:14,15), eventually will come to an end, albeit after different lengths of time.

Furthermore, Paul explained God’s punishment in store for those who do not know Him and who do not obey the gospel of Jesus Christ, and John implied the consequence of not believing in God’s Son:

He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.  They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power... (2 Thessalonians 1:8,9).

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
Paul indicated that non-believers will be punished with “everlasting destruction,” and John implied that non-believers will “perish” rather than have “eternal life.”  In both cases, it sounds like those people’s souls will be destroyed and cease to exist, and they will remain in a state of permanent annihilation and nonexistence, eternally.

All of this would seem to challenge the concept that lost souls consciously will endure an unending eternity of torment and suffering.  Just as the first death of the physical body involves a loss of awareness of the corporeal senses, perhaps the second death of the non-glorified spirit body will bring about a permanent loss of consciousness, and even a nonexistence, of the soul.  This would seem to be more in line with a merciful God who would not punish individual, finite beings, who are guilty of a finite number of sins, to an infinite degree or for an infinite amount of time.


“very good” vs. “perfect”

God called the things He created “good” (Genesis 1:4,10b,12b,18b,21b,25b), and He called all of His creation, upon completion, “very good” (1:31a).  Ever since the beginning, this Creation has been “very good,” in that it has involved an extremely detailed, wondrous, and quite lengthy process, performed by God, to prepare this realm for human existence and interaction with God.

However, this Creation never has been ideal, in the way that we, in our limited comprehension and understanding, would view “perfection.”  His works are perfect (Deuteronomy 32:4) in the sense that God has generated and crafted them, precisely, to achieve what He ultimately wants to accomplish with His plan of the ages.

This imperfect universe, in which entropy and decay take place and in which pain and suffering impact every human life, may still considered to be the perfect work of a perfect God, since it perfectly fulfills His overall good purpose.  This Creation has been corroding and deteriorating from the very beginning, and it always has been tainted by sin, at least commencing with the prideful rebellion of Satan (1 John 3:8a) which, presumably, was before Adam and Eve were created.

Furthermore, even before the creation of the world, Christ the Lamb was chosen, eventually to be slain and to shed His blood (1 Peter 1:19,20a; Revelation 13:8b).  He was predestined  to die for humanity’s sins because God preordained  man to sin so that he would need a Savior, rather than to depend on his own merit and works to attain eternal life.  It was inevitable, given enough time, for Eve and Adam to choose to sin, since they were imperfect.  Had they been perfect, they never would have opted to sin.

Before Eve and Adam ever sinned, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:9) was present in the Garden of Eden.  Thus, evil had been “implanted” into the world from the beginning.  Had it been a perfect world, in the sense of being pristine and immaculate, evil would not  have been present, and Eve and Adam could not  have chosen it.

On the other hand, God’s new Creation (Revelation 21:1a), in the future, will be perfect  from its inception.  This does not  mean that this present creation will become perfect when Jesus comes to rule and reign.  There will be sin and rebellion by mortal people during the Millennium, thus making it necessary for Jesus to “rule them with an iron scepter” (Psalm 2:9; Revelation 19:15).

Ultimately, though, the new, perfect Creation will come in conjunction with the passing away of the old, imperfect creation, as well as the elimination of rebellion, sin, and death.  Paul wrote that “when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears” (1 Corinthians 13:10).

The new Creation never will be tained by sin, nor will it decay or deteriorate; and righteousness always will reign (2 Peter 3:13).  I also believe it is quite possible that God will create that perfect realm in an instant of time, unlike the billions of years that He took, with virtually infinite care and patience, to create this one.  Degeneration, entropy, and sin had  to be incorporated into this present realm at its inception.  These things were intricately “woven,” by the infinitely brilliant Mind of God the Father, into the delicate “fabric” of this universe, which will wear out like an old “garment,” ultimately to be “discarded” (Psalm 102:25,26; Hebrews 1:10-12).

It would take, essentially, an infinite amount of time for an inately flawed person (which each of us is) to create something that, according to God’s standards, is “perfect.”  Similarly, I feel it is reasonable to suppose that it would take a great deal of time for a perfect God to create a “very good” (not pristine and perfect) universe.  Sin complicates everything and has had to be “factored into” the outcomes of all actions, which I believe were set forth by God in the beginning.  This Creation represents the “old order of things,” which will pass away (Revelation 21:4c).

On the other hand, absolute perfection is simple and natural for God, which is why it may take only a brief moment for the brand new Creation to come into existence.  In fact, it could be that the new Creation already exists but presently is “concealed” or “hidden,” awaiting its magnificent revelation at the proper time.

That fresh, pure, unspoiled Creation, in which the New Jerusalem will exist, will not be a “restored” or a “renewed” form of this present one, as many suggest.  In that brand new, flawless, untarnished Creation, there will be no death (Revelation 21:4b), which will have been tossed into the lake of fire at the end of the Millennium (20:14a).  Since death is the penalty for sin (Romans 5:23), then all sin and iniquity will be absent from the moment the new Creation appears; not even a hint or trace of evil or darkness ever will be present in the realm of the new Creation.

At the end of the Millennium, Satan will have been cast into the lake of fire, never being able to escape (Revelation 20:10).  Likewise, no one who is capable of sinning ever will enter into the new Creation (21:8), nor will anything impure, but only “those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (21:27).  The latter will live in the presence of the Almighty God, and will commune intimately and perfectly with Him, for all of timeless eternity.

“Very good” is better than “good,” but it is not nearly as good as “best.”  “Best” will be “perfect”; but “very good” is not, nor has it ever been, “perfect.”  This present Creation, indeed, is “very good”; but the perfect new Creation to come will be the “best.”


good and evil

In Genesis 1:4, God called “light” good, but He did not describe “darkness” that way.  Moreover, He even separated  light from darkness.  Why did He do this?

Throughout the Bible, darkness has been associated with evil and with non-Godliness (for example, Job 24:13-17, 30:26).  I feel that here is an indication, right near the beginning of the Creation account, that evil inevitably would be found in darkness.  Isaiah seemed to reflect this concept—associating “light” with prosperity and peace, and equating “darkness” with disaster and evil—here:

I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7—NIV).

I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. (Isaiah 45:7—KJV).
Furthermore, in the brand new Creation to come, there will be only light and no darkness or night (Revelation 21:23-25, 22:5)—thus no evil.

The tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:9) was present in the Garden of Eden even before man sinned.  It was not  a perfect world, free of evil.  Darkness was “waiting” for man to learn about evil and to rebel against God.  Then evil could begin to attain its full potential in the dark hearts of sinful, disobedient humankind.


an imperfect Creation

One might question, and understandably so, why a perfect God possibly would have created this realm, in which we presently exist, to be imperfect, from its establishment (see “very good” vs. “perfect”).  One even might be compelled to believe that, if God spent billions of years creating, crafting, and fine-tuning this universe and earth into what we now observe it to be, He actually is an imperfect  God, desperately “struggling” and constantly “tweaking” things to make everything as “good” as He possibly can, since He initially was incapable of making it perfect.  Frankly, nothing could be further from the truth.

The fact is that God easily could  have created a perfect, complete universe, in an instant of time—which very well may be how He will create the brand new heavens and earth (Revelation 21:1a).  Our present universe could  have contained perfect angels inhabiting the heavens and perfect people inhabiting the earth.  None of them ever would have disobeyed God, sinned against God, nor transgressed against each other.  From the moment of Adam’s creation, and forevermore thereafter, God could  have communed perfectly and harmoniously with mankind, without having had to contend with, nor having been grieved by, mankind’s stubbornness, disobedience, and sin.

Of course, the latter type of existence would have been equivalent to communicating and having a “perfect” relationship with “yes-robots” who, by their very essences, always would have been good, righteous, and upright.  Because they never would have been aware of the concept of evil, they never would have had the opportunity of choosing  between good and evil.  That is, they never would have been able to choose God and goodness, willingly, since a choice involves deciding between two or more options, and the only option ever available to them would have been God and goodness.

What kind of eternal existence would this have been for God?  Presumably, it would have been monotonous, unstimulating, and unfulfilling to Him.  His greatest creatures (humans) could not have loved, esteemed, praised, or worshiped God the way He desired, because these actions involve free will choices, which would not have been given to angels, nor to mankind, in a perfect, pristine universe containing no evil or sin.

In this present, imperfect Creation, there always was the potential for man to sin and die (Genesis 2:17), from the time that Adam and Eve came into existence.  On the other hand, in the new Creation to come, there will be no more death (Revelation 21:4), nor even anything impure or sinful (21:27).  Best of all, death will have “died” (20:14), along with the old, flawed Creation (as explained in the old and new Creations section above); and everyone will choose, willingly, to obey God and to follow His commandments forevermore.


free will

God made the knowledge of evil available to angelic and human beings, inside of an imperfect Creation, knowing that they frequently would choose it—and, in fact, I believe “pre-programming” them to do so.  Only this way, eventually, could God have a Creation which will contain, exclusively, those who will realize

  • that evil always leads to chaos, sorrow, pain, and destruction;
  • that God and goodness are the only possible paths to permanent happiness and prosperity;
  • that personal free will sometimes involves choosing evil (at least, as long as evil is present in the realm in which one exists); and therefore
  • that our determination to abandon choosing evil, permanently, demonstrates the ultimate possible choice of eternal love of God.

In our present imperfect, perishable, mortal bodies of death, we are slaves to and prisoners of evil and the sinful nature (Romans 7:23-25).  In our future perfect, imperishable, immortal bodies (1 Corinthians 15:53), with which we will be “clothed” at the Rapture, we will be free of sin (which results when we make selfish, evil choices) eternally.  As such, we will be able to enter God’s new Creation (Revelation 21:1a).

In that new and perfect Creation, never again will we choose evil, because evil will not exist there.  We always will think first of God, and others, rather than ourselves.  Perhaps even the free will that enables us to choose evil will have been given, voluntarily, back to God.

I, for one, am more than willing to give my free will back to Him and allow Him to “re-program” me only for works of goodness and righteousness, with only His perfect Will being done within me, for all eternity, just as the Will of Jesus will be done on this present earth after He returns (Matthew 6:10).  It would seem that the ultimate, supreme act of free will would be to choose to adopt and embrace God’s Will as our own, permanently, thereby abandoning our own defective free wills for all eternity.


other issues

There are numerous other issues separating the creation camps of “young” universe/earth and “old” universe/earth.  In fact, the number of differences separating these two opposing views is huge.  An exhaustive study of these differences cannot be done properly in a mere commentary, such as this one.  A detailed study of these topics is covered in many excellent books on the market.

Here are some common questions, concerning creation, which are better addressed outside of this commentary:

  • Is the account of Creation, in Genesis chapters 1 and 2, supported or refuted by modern science?
  • Are the creation accounts in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 complementary or contradictory?
  • Does belief in an “old earth” equate with a belief in evolution?
  • Can it be shown that all life was created, rather than that it began on its own and evolved into what we see today?
  • Does modern science show that the universe had an actual beginning, or does it show that it always was in existence?
  • Is the universe expanding from what originally was a single point, or did it begin with some other configuration?
  • As the universe expands, is it speeding up or slowing down?
  • It is possible for the universe to stop expanding, begin contracting, and ultimately go back to being a single point again?
  • Are there multiple universes in existence, or only this one?
  • How did the moon come into existence?
  • Is God’s ultimate plan a restored “paradise” or a brand new, pristine Creation?
Rarely do I recommend books to those visiting my website.  However, since I am unable to cover numerous important issues adequately in this commentary, concerning the Creation and how modern science absolutely supports it, I wish to refer the reader to three books—all written by astrophysicist Hugh Ross, Ph.D.—which thoroughly and meticulously encompass important matters not discussed in this commentary.  Great attention is paid to detail, and thorough documentation is included.

  The Creator and
the Cosmos

(Audio Book, 7 CDs)
  — for atheists, agnostics, and evolutionists who are skeptical that a personal God created the universe and everything in it, including the earth and all life upon it.
  A Matter
of Days

(255 pages)
  — for “young-earth” creationists who believe that the word “day” in Genesis 1 must  indicate strictly a “24-hour” period.
  The Genesis
Question

(208 pages)
  — for those who believe that the creation account, described in Genesis 1 and 2, is a mere fantasy having nothing to do with real science.


other sources

Further information can be found about the “old-earth” view at Reasons to Believe and at Answers in Creation, and about the “young-earth” view at Institute for Creation Research and at Answers in Genesis.

Dr. John Ankerberg, of the Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, used to embrace the “young earth” view of Creation.  Now he strongly accepts and supports an “old-earth” view of Creation.  A comprehensive article by Dr. Ankerberg generally reflects my positions on the topics of creation and evolution.  The views, quotations, and documentation of numerous authoritative sources have been included in this lengthy article.  The first part of the article discusses the “creation vs. evolution” issue, and the second part of the article discusses the two major views about creation (“young-earth” vs. “old-earth”):

1) DOES SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE TODAY SHOW THAT GOD CREATED
THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH?

2) WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT WHEN GOD CREATED?

Here is another very lengthy commentary, by an unknown author, which generally reflects and details my views:

The Bible & Science...What's a Christian to Do!
(or GO HERE to the actual website, in case there is an update to the article).

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Who Is God? Was Jesus God? Good Thursday
 
The Chronology of Revelation The Rapture The Endtimes
 
The Final Battles The Beasts  The Creation 
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God’s Covenant: with Israel or the Church?    End of the Age: 2020?
 
 
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