GOD’S WORKS of Creation is a subject that is largely misunderstood. The objections that many scientists make to what is supposedly the Christian’s view of creation is based upon the creedal views of the Dark Ages, which are neither based upon the Bible, nor upon the results of scientific study. But when properly understood, there is complete harmony between the Biblical view of creation and true scientific findings.
The Nature of the Creative Act
Bible believers universally acknowledge God as the Creator of the universe – the heavens, such as the stars, planets, etc. and the earth. What is meant by the word creation? We answer: It is used in two senses: (1) as a process or action, and (2) as the product of such a process or action. The creeds have defined the process or action as the making of all things out of nothing, but this definition is contrary to every Biblical use of the word. The Bible defines creation as the process or action of making new things out of previously existing substances. The Hebrew verb for creation is bara, and its corresponding Greek verb is ktizo. We encourage our readers, with the help of a concordance, to look up the verses in which these words are used in the Bible to prove the Biblical definition of creation.
The World of Spirit
Creation has apparently acted in two spheres: the world of spirit and the world of matter. In the world of spirit, creation as an act has produced a spirit world inhabited by spirit beings. We know that spirit substances exist, though we do not know how many there are, nor do we know much about the spirit world and its conditions. The lowest order of spirit beings, called angels in the narrow sense of that word, have bodies made of fire (Hebrews 1: 7). Perhaps the higher orders of spirit beings have bodies made up of other spirit substances than fire.
The Creator Himself, being a Spirit, must have a body that consists of a spirit substance. John 5: 26 reads: “The Father hath life in himself.” This expression proves that God has immortality because He has life in Himself, which implies that His body consists of life principle. Jesus attained immortality in His resurrection (John 5: 26), and the saints also obtained this quality in their resurrection (1 Corinthians 15: 53, 54, 45-49).
God was not created, He is eternal, but He is the Creator of all things, animate and inanimate. The Hebrew word resheth and the Greek word arche are translated beginning in connection with God’s various creations. God’s first creative work was the creation of the Logos, the pre-human Word (John 1: 1, 2); second was the creation of the various orders of spirit beings, other than the Logos (Colossians 1: 16); and third was the creation of the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1: 1), prior to the six creative days (Genesis 1: 3-31).
The World of Matter
In the world of matter, creation as an act has produced a material universe, animate and inanimate, consisting of 118 known chemical elements. Although the Bible does not reveal how God created the physical universe, one scientific theory states that it was formed out of gases by a condensing process. If this theory is correct, before God began to create the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1: 1), space was filled with gases of many varieties, and out of these He brought the heavens and earth into existence. These gases may have always existed, or they may have come from something else previously existing. As Christians, we may leave the unrevealed things in the Lord’s hands, being content to study those things which He has revealed to us (Deuteronomy 29: 29).
God’s Laws of Nature
God, being a God of order (1 Corinthians 14: 33, 40), created both nature and its laws. He never violates those laws, but uses and manipulates them for His creative purposes, resulting in a reign of law throughout the animate and inanimate universe. These laws of nature may be defined as the rules of existence, actions and relations, wherewith God has endowed animate and inanimate matter by giving it various properties, as essential to its varying constitution and as regulating its existence, actions and relations. By the end of the Millennium, perfect man will learn to perfectly manipulate these laws to his blessing. And just as God has used the laws of nature to produce the universe up to its present state, He will forever continue to do so, as He eternally continues His work as Creator in bringing new suns, planets and creatures into existence and unto perfection.
The Term “Day” as a Period of Time
The creeds contend that God somehow magically created the billions upon billions of suns and planets of the heavens in less than a twenty-four hours’ day, and in the rest of that twenty-four hours’ day and in the five following twenty-four hours’ days completed His creative work, leaving the universe as a completed work in exactly six days of twenty-four hours each. This view though is not Scriptural, reasonable, nor factual.
The Bible refutes this creedal view by frequently using the term day to refer to periods other than twenty-four hours. For example, Genesis 2: 4 speaks of the entire creative period as a day, which was obviously a period of more than twenty-four hours. God calls Israel’s tempting Him for 40 years in the wilderness a day (Psalm 95: 7-11). The Bible speaks of years, designating them by the terms, the days of Adam (Genesis 5: 4, 5), the days of Noah (Genesis 9: 29), etc. Frequently the Bible uses the term day to mean an age. For example, the Gospel Age, a period of over 1,900 years is called the day of salvation for the Church (2 Corinthians 6: 2). Also, the Millennial Age, the 1,000-year period of Christ’s reign over the earth is spoken of as a day (2 Peter 3: 7, 8; Revelation 20: 4-6).
How long was each of the creative days? The seventh day (Genesis 2: 3, 4; Exodus 20: 9-11) mentioned in connection with the six creative days is a period of 7,000 years, which is strong proof that the other six days are days of the same length. This makes a total of 7 x 7,000 = 49,000 years total for the six creative days, plus the seventh, or day of rest. That the seventh day is a period of 7,000 years is proven by the fact that God’s rest began just after the creation of Adam (Genesis 1: 26-2: 3). According to Bible chronology, the first 6,000 years of God’s rest day was reached in 1874, so His rest day will be completed in 2874 A.D., at the end of the Millennium.
The Six Creative Days
The Genesis account does not reveal how long a period of time elapsed between the creation of the earth and the beginning of the creative days, whose purpose was the ordering of the earth for human habitation. The creative days are divided into four parts: (1) Two days (14,000 years) were devoted to the ordering of the earth preparatory for animal life. (2) The next two days (14,000 years) were devoted to bringing forward vegetation and the lowest forms of life – shellfish, etc. – and laying down limestone, coal and other minerals. (3) The next two days (14,000 years) brought forward living creatures that move in the sea and on land, with vegetation, etc., still progressing, all preparing for the introduction of man, the earthly image of His Creator, “crowned with glory and honor.” (4) Man’s creation, the final work, came at the close of the sixth day and the beginning of the seventh: as it is written, “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he made; and he rested” (Genesis 2: 2).
The Rest Day
The seventh day of 7,000 years is styled God’s day of rest, for there He rested from His work of creating. Foreknowing the permission of sin and its dreadful effects upon mankind, He did not actively use His power to overthrow sin and uplift mankind. Instead He rested the matter in the hands of the Redeemer, to be accomplished through His sacrifice for sins and His glorious reign for the release of mankind from sin and death. The work of the Messiah, Jesus and His Church, in His thousand-year reign soon to begin will complete the creation. Not only will the race be brought to human perfection, but man will have obtained the needed experience with good and evil. The earth will also be gradually coming to a state of perfection – paradise restored worldwide. Both human perfection and the perfection of the earth were fittingly represented in Eden, when Adam was in his Maker’s image – a King. Praise God for such a wonderful prospect!