The 3 creations to a glorious eternity

God reveals Himself in the Bible as Creator.  In this blog we want to discuss the remarkable logic of God’s 3 creation events.

# The first creation event, Genesis 1

  • The first creation is a ‘prototype’ (a preliminary stage or event) that God spoke into existence in six days.  It is the natural universe we live in, but God warns that it is temporary.  It exists only to give each person time to accept or reject God’s invitation to be part of His Family.
  • 2 Peter 3:10-13 explains the demise of this present universe.  ‘[T]he day of the Lord will come like a thief.  The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare….   That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat….’

# The second creation event, the Cross 

    • On the cross Jesus paid the penalty for sin.  Those who accept it, become part of God’s Family, the Bride of Christ.  Jesus is the Bridegroom.1  We read, ‘The bride belongs to the bridegroom’ 2 (to differentiate, we use capital letters: Jesus, the Bridegroom and the Bride of Christ).
    • We see an analogy to this when God created a bride, Eve, for the bridegroom Adam.  Just as Eve was created out of Adam’s side, the Bride was ‘created’ out of Jesus’ pierced side.

# The third creation event, Revelation 21:1

After God’s big bang [the massive fire which will destroy the present heavens and earth], He creates a new heaven and earth:

    • ‘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.’ 3
    • ‘Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth.’
    • ‘…the new heavens and the new earth that I will make…’ 5

The final act

  • Finally the great wedding will come, ‘Hallelujah!  For our Lord God Almighty reigns.  Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory!  For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His Bride has made herself ready….’
  • The Family: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, the Bride and the holy angels will all live together on the new earth.
  • Everything will be bright and shining in the glorious light of the Lord.  Eternally!

Conclusion

The Bible is a ’Creation’ book.  Our Creator God created the first heaven and earth.  Then He ‘created’ the Cross which led to the creation of the Bride, the Church.  Then comes the creation of the new heaven and earth where the redeemed, the Bride of Christ, will live eternally with the Bridegroom.

References

  1. Matthew 9:15
  2. John 3:29
  3. Revelation 21:1
  4. Isaiah 65:17a
  5. Isaiah 66:22a
  6. Revelation 19:6-7

The Bible has 66 books

Sometimes followers of Jesus forget that the Bible has 66 books.  They think that the Old Testament is old and of no value.  So they only concentrate on the New Testament.  Therefore they describe themselves as ‘New Testament Christians.’  What do they mean by that?  Basically they consider the Old Testament as part of an ancient revelation that has no bearing on today’s followers of Jesus.  So they can disregard it.

Please note:  We refrain as far as possible to talk about ‘Christians’ since the term has become very malleable.  People do what they want, live as they please, and then claim they are ‘Christians.’  The terms ‘Followers of Jesus’1 or ‘People of the Way’ 2 are more precise.  Jesus said, ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.’ 3  Thus both ‘follower of Jesus,’ and ‘people of the Way’ refer to disciples of Jesus, ‘… the Author and Perfecter of our faith.’ 4

Why did God give us two Testaments?

Logically a shorter Bible would have been very nice, easy to read, and probably easier to understand.  Yet there are some logical reasons for the Old Testament.

The two Testaments explain who Jesus is and why He came.

  • It is the Old Testament that gives us His genealogy, the preparation for His coming and the reason He came.  Genesis 3:15 already promised that He would come.  We can trace the genealogy of Jesus from Adam, Abraham, David and many others.
    • Why is the genealogy of Jesus important?  It teaches that Jesus is not only the Son of God, but also the Son of Man.  That is why He can forgive people’s sins and restore us to God the Father. 5
    • Without the Old Testament witness, the devil might object to God why he cannot be forgiven also?  If Jesus was only the Son of God He might have been obliged to redeem the devil and his fallen angels.  But as fully Son of Man He only redeemed man.  Since the demons are not human they were not redeemed.
    • Jesus took ‘…the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.’ 6   Without the information of the Old Testament, it would be illogical to say that Jesus became a man.  God is a God of logic.  Thus the Old Testament is very important with its background information in history.
    • In an age of growing unbelief, it is important to show that the Bible is not ‘religion.’  It is reality.  Jesus is not just some mythical figure.  Because His ancestors were real historical persons, He is real, alive and well and sits at the right hand of God the Father in glory and majesty.
  • The New Testament reveals that Jesus was co-creator with God and the Holy Spirit. 7  Thus the Trinity, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit were all involved in creation.
  • The Old Testament and the New Testament agree about the central doctrines.  For example the resurrection.  Many people think it is a New Testament teaching. No, the book of Daniel already mentions it, ‘Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.’ 8

Types link the two Testaments.

A type is a picture which God gives to teach us some important facts.  It is not just a story.  A type is a real event that happened, but it is also a picture of some future event.  There are many types in the Old Testament that point to Jesus and link the Old Testament to the New.  Please note that these types again rule out a human origin for the Bible.

  • Joseph was a type of Christ.  He was rejected by his brothers, suffered unjustly and became a ruler.  There is no mention of any sin Joseph committed.
  • Abraham and Isaac were a type of God the Father who would sacrifice His Son on our behalf.  With Isaac’s sacrifice, God provided a ram.  It demonstrates that we don’t have to die for our own sins.  God would provide the substitute, Jesus.
  • The tabernacle and temple are a type of God’s presence among His people.  God appeared to Adam, Noah, Abraham and Moses.  He spoke to them, but when the Israelites came out of Egypt, God wanted a visible dwelling place among them.  So He instructed Moses how they had to construct the tabernacle.  It was a very precise plan, because it pointed to Jesus who would come and tabernacle among people. 9
  • The sacrifices and priesthood.  The lamb is another picture that we continually meet throughout Scripture.  God made clothes of animal skins for Adam and Eve.  So He probably killed innocent animals that died in their place.  That is why Abel’s sacrifice of a lamb from his flock was acceptable to God.  Besides the many sacrifices throughout the Old Testament, we meet the Passover Lamb again in 2 Corinthians  5:7, ‘…For Christ, our Passover Lamb has been sacrificed.’

The two Testaments show that God is faithful.

The big question today for many is whether they can trust God, especially when it comes to problems?  The Old Testament history testifies to God’s faithfulness.

  • God promises Abraham a country, ‘The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.’ 10
  • Because the Jews were unfaithful, they were exiled.  God brought them back.  Then they were again exiled and banished from their land after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD by the Romans under Titus.  The land was basically ‘expropriated’ from them.  Yet in 1948 the miracle happened and it became their country again.
  • This shows us that God fulfilled His promise to Abraham.  The reason the world hates Israel is that they show that God keeps His promises.

Conclusion

The Old Testament in particular teaches us in history that the united Trinity, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are real, faithful and we can trust them completely.

References

  1. Revelation 17:14
  2. Acts 9:2; 19:9; 22:4; 24:14,22
  3. John 14:6
  4. Hebrews 12:2
  5. Colossians 1:15-23
  6. Phillipians 2:7
  7. John 1:2; 1 Corinthians 8:6; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2
  8. Daniel 12:2
  9. John 1:14
  10. Genesis 17:8

What would you include in a guide to the Bible?

How would you explain what the Bible is to someone who has never heard of the Bible, or who was fed anti-Bible propaganda by the secular media?  It is still the privilege of believers, guided by the Holy Spirit, to testify about the Kingdom of God. It is only God’s Word, the Holy Bible that makes the difference between eternal life and death.

When I became a follower of Jesus in 1976, they told me to get a Bible and read it. Despite some rudimentary teachings, I had to figure out what it was all about by myself.  After 42 years of study and meditation on God’s wonderful gift to us, and with the help of the Holy Spirit, we want to write a booklet to help people get a good idea of Scripture.  The return of Jesus is much nearer and time is precious, so we want to go for short and easy to read.  Some aspects we want to cover:

A.  The Bible is the only one of its kind.

It is the only book of its kind that was ever written in history.  There is no book like it, and there never will be, because,

  • All we know about God, creation and the eternal Kingdom comes from the Bible.  That means the Bible is extremely valuable since it is the only book that reveals the invisible God.  It is a single edition book.  It had no updates, no revisions and nothing is ever changed.
  • This Book is so important that there have been concerted efforts to destroy it since the time of the Roman Empire.  Governments have spent billions to get rid of the physical Bible and/or to undermine and destroy faith in its message.
  • The Communist efforts to rid their countries of churches, pastors and Bibles must have cost billions.  Why such expenditure? Does the Bible teach followers of Jesus to bomb government buildings, to assassinate leaders, to organise coups?  No, none of it, yet even today we read about the persecution of Christians in China and North Korea.
  • The strange aspect of the Bible is that it causes some to love God and others to  ridicule Him.  Hatred and actions against God’s Book and His followers are normal, but because of better communications, we know more about it.  It will never stop since the ruler of this world, the devil, hates God and His followers.

B. The Bible is not that easy to understand.

  • Followers of Jesus agree that the Bible is a marvellous, special book.  It is unlike any other book ever written in human history.  Yet it is not easy to understand, because it consists of different books written by various people (inspired by the Holy Spirit) who lived hundreds of years apart.
  • Why did God, who is all-knowing and almighty, not give us a book that is easy to understand – something like, ‘The Idiot’s Guide to Understanding God and His Kingdom?’
  • Why didn’t God explain who He is, what He plans to do and how He plans to do it, step by step?  No, it was not written in textbook style that begins with A and ends with Z.  One can almost call it ‘disorganised.’
  • For the person who comes into contact with God’s Word, it might be a bewildering experience.  God relies on His children to nourish and feed new believers.

C. Strange aspects of the Bible

It consists of  a compendium of 66 books that were written over a period of 1,400 years by around 40 writers who lived in different times (Genesis dates to around 1,500 BC and the last book, Revelation, before 70 AD).  And… it makes mind boggling statements like:

  • God spoke the universe into existence in six ordinary 24 hour days.
  • An ax head floated and a person walked on water – scientifically impossible.  People know it can’t happen.  Why do we know it is the truth?
  • A few loaves and fish were multiplied to feed thousands.
  • God is ‘a Three-in-One’ King.
  • A brilliant light, fire, four living creatures, wheels that move in many directions (the book of the prophet Ezekiel).
  • They nailed the King of the Jews to a Cross.  It was supreme humiliation by the Roman overlords.  However, on the third day, His grave was empty.  His body was never found.
  • Angels blow trumpets, a huge mountain all ablaze falls into the sea and there are strange creatures that look like frogs (in the book of Revelation).

Conclusion

Despite all the seeming problems or questions, the Bible is truth, from A to Z.  There are logical explanations for the miracles.  Six day creation is a fact.  So it is our desire in 2018 (also see 2018 Resolution), to help people along the journey of the narrow road, a road that leads to eternal wealth and health.

But, please, we need the help of our readers.  Let us know which aspects about the Bible we should include, what questions people ask, et cetera.  Thanks, and a blessed 2018.