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The Shape of the Universe, Hominids, and the Genesis Gap

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Question #1:  Just a note to say thanks for your material on the Genesis Gap. I found it while looking for responses to Dr. Dino's odd treatise on this. I am not a scientist, but I am a Bible believer and appreciate you carefulness. Science worshiping churchmen are as dangerous as science worshiping lost men, at least in my opinion. Hovine is certainly characteristic of the former lot. One comment: you make a statement/question about the universe/firmament having a shape. I take Isa. 40:22's reference to God creating it as"a tent to dwell in" to be very helpful. He gave Moses (and David) a pattern for a tent for Him to dwell in--and the pattern of the true tabernacle He originally pitched in the heavens. Just a thought, but the Tabernacle does certainly match the heavens, as you demonstrate with the three-division issue. Anyway, just wanted to send a word of thanks and appreciation. I know they are often needed!

Response #1:  Thanks much for your encouraging comments. They are, indeed, greatly appreciated. I think what you say about "science worshiping churchmen" is positively on the mark. When one begins to compromise with the Word of God, there is no end of it. I also am intrigued by your helpful observation. To add to it, the most holy place (i.e., the holy of holies) is a perfect cube in its shape, and so is the New Jerusalem – three dimensions of complete equality and inseparability, yet distinct (a perfect picture of the Trinity). I had never thought of seeing the universe as such a shape too (preconceived “scientific” ideas about it, no doubt), but I believe you are correct in your suggestion that Isaiah 40:22 may give us a biblical basis to posit just such a shape for the universe as a whole as well. Anyway, I will be sure to make a note of this for when I cover the New Jerusalem in greater detail in the upcoming part 6 of "Coming Tribulation".

In our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the perfect Builder of all things.

Bob Luginbill
 

Question #2: 

Dear Sir,

I have a question, and I would be happy if you can answer it. First I need to say once I was a believer, but over time I have found it hard to disbelieve the scientific evidence of evolution, old earth, fossil records, etc. Then I have found the book “Earth's Earliest Ages” by G. H. Pember, and also your ICHTHYS website. That brings me some hope to my meaningless life again. I think about that matter a lot, but still I have some unresolved questions. So here is the main problem (question) which troubles my mind:

Between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 there is a gap, right? In this gap there is a room for dinosaurs, and maybe even for the whole evolution (caused mainly by Satan – if I understand it correctly). But what about hominids? Where did they come from? Did they belong to the primeval creation originally or did they arise from the second creation, namely from men? If the first be the case, then why do they so resemble to men (having the intelligence, and also some primitive form of religion)? Is that just accident? Were they possessed by the fallen angels, who caused some kind of mutation on them, probably to make them serve or worship Satan (as some imitation of the elect angels serving and worshiping God)? Or are they the offspring (or descendants) of men possessed by the fallen angels after the second creation (i.e. in some times following the Genesis 1:2)? I wonder why (if the first be true) God created men (after crashing the old earth together with all the fallen and mutated).
 

Response #2:

The first thing that I would like to do is to encourage you to have faith in the Lord Jesus no matter what. No matter what your eyes may see or your ears may here, everything in this temporary, material world is evanescent and ephemeral. As true believers in Jesus Christ, we must walk by faith, not by sight (2Cor.5:7; cf. 2Cor.4:19), and remember that the putative origin of "all things" according human eyes is inherently deceptive (Heb.11:3). For it is faith that is the true foundation of all underlying reality which is at its core spiritual and not material (Heb.11:1 ; cf. 1Cor.2:12-16).

From your e-mail it is not entirely clear to me whether you have stumbled upon some of the e-mail responses I have posted to ichthys.com, or whether you have been reading the major study on this issue (so I give you the link to the latter here just in case: Part 2 of the Satanic Rebellion Series: The Genesis Gap). As you will see in that study (or have already seen), I do suggest that many if not all of the problems posed for biblical chronology by the so-called "fossil record" may be explained by the Genesis gap. However, I am very reluctant to get into the specifics of that record. I have learned, for example, in my secular historiographical work that archaeology is an extremely speculative and imprecise subject – how much more so paleontology for which we have absolutely no literary record to guide us, outside of the Bible, that is. And so I have tried to stick very close to scripture without wandering any further into pure speculation than scripture seems to me to allow.

To take the matter from the other side, consider your concern that hominids had some sort of primitive religious culture. My response would be "according to whom?" They left no writings, so that has to be largely a speculation. Given what I know of the vagaries of dating technologies (Carbon 14 et al.; please see the link: in Satan's Rebellion Part 5, “Science and the Bible”), intrusion layers, and good old-fashioned human arrogance and error, I have certainly never come across anything that has struck me as terribly persuasive. I would say that the suggestions which you propose are, if there be anything to these archaeological "finds", good ones. But I have seen too many of these archaeological and paleontological "truths" exploded or morphed or changed so completely over time so as to not be particularly worried. There is more to all of this than meets the eye, but scripture has provided us with all the information we need to know if we are but men of faith who put our trust in God no matter what our eyes may tell us:
 

By faith we understand that the ages have been constructed by the Word of God, so that what we see (i.e., the material world) has not come into being from the things we now see.
Hebrews 11:3
 

Who among us could blame Daniel for thinking he would immediately perish when thrown into the lions' den, or his three friends from supposing the same as they were about to be tossed into the fiery furnace? But to the consternation and surprise of all they trusted God anyway, and were delivered – not materially – but spiritually and supernaturally. This is the God we worship, the One who made all things in an instant (Gen.1:1; Col.1:16), who sustains them by His Word of power in the Person of His Christ (Heb.1:3), and who will – also in an instant – destroy the present order of things in a fiery renewal to re-create a universe wherein only righteousness will dwell (2Pet.3:10-13).

God has answers to all of your questions. If you but trust Him and seek Him, He will lead you into all truth. On your question of "why God created man?", I would refer you to Part 3 of the Satanic Rebellion series: "The Purpose, Creation and Fall of Man". Everything in God's plan has a very definite purpose, and so does your life. It is certainly not meaningless. God has something very specific for you, namely, to believe in, grow in, and serve His Son in a particular way that He has ordained for you in eternity past.

I hope and pray that this e-mail will in some small way help to lead you to the discovery of that purpose and its proper execution, that we may all rejoice before the throne of Christ on that great day of days at the eternal rewards you have earned in this temporary material world.
 

Remember the days gone by, when you first saw the light, when you persevered through that terrible trial of abuse. For you were publicly exposed to humiliation and persecution, and shared the lot of others who experienced the same. You supported those in prison, and accepted the confiscation of your belongings with joy, because you knew you possessed a more valuable estate, and a more lasting one. So don't throw away this conviction of yours – it leads to a great reward. You need to keep persevering so that you may carry off in victory what has been promised – after you have accomplished God's will.
For yet a little while, how short, how [short the wait], and He who is coming shall come, nor will He delay. "Then shall my righteous one live by his faith, but if he shrinks back, My heart takes no pleasure in him."
Now we are not possessed of cowardly apostasy which leads to destruction, but we have faith which leads to [eternal] life.
Hebrews 10:32-39
 

Yours in our dear Lord Jesus Christ,

Bob Luginbill
 

Question #3: 

First, thank you for your ministry. It is very meaningful to me. I'm reading Part 2A of the Essential Doctrines study and have a question about Genesis 1:1-2 which you excerpt on page 10 of the pdf version. You have:

"Before all else, God created the heavens and the earth. But the earth came to be ruined and despoiled – darkness lay upon the face of the abyss while God's Spirit brooded over the surface of its waters."

I went over to www.biblegateway.com and looked at several different translations and none of them (I only looked at English versions) had anything like "But the earth came to be ruined and despoiled". Specifically, none of them reference a previous action suggesting the earth "came" to be ruined and despoiled.

If I discount that phrase it is making other parts of Part IIA harder to come to grips with. I'm not
disagreeing with you, I just don't understand how you came to that translation. Could explain that further? If you have already covered the answer to this question somewhere else, I apologize. Again, thank you very much for your work.
 

Response #3:

No need to apologize for such questions - I commend your efforts in checking things out from scripture. In my view, that is a basic Christian responsibility which all too few Christians take seriously enough (see the link: Read your Bible: A Basic Christian Right and Responsibility).

This issue is indeed covered in great detail in part 2 of the Satanic Rebellion series: The Genesis Gap. Failure to translate Genesis 1:1-2 correctly has been at the core of many misunderstandings and doctrinal inconsistencies (not to say gross errors) which have implications for one's understanding of everything else in the Bible. Simply put, the bulk of the English translations out there follow a well-worn path of ignoring both the Hebrew syntax which clearly splits verses one and two (i.e., it begins with a strong "but" in Hebrew), and also of ignoring the meaning of the vocabulary describing the earth after judgment (i.e., the phrase tohu vabhohu is made to seem benign whereas elsewhere in scripture these words designate the results of disaster and usually, as here, stemming from divine judgment). One would think that the darkness would be a clue. After all, God is light. Would He ever make anything originally dark and without light? God is perfect. Would He ever make anything originally imperfect and actually the antithesis of perfection (even the devil was originally made perfect: Ezek.28:12-15)? But rather than repeat all the exegesis and arguments here, I invite you to follow the link to the Genesis Gap. Here are some e-mail responses which deal with other aspects of the same issue:
 

The grammar behind the Genesis Gap.

Whatever happened to the Genesis Gap?

Where can I find more information on the Genesis Gap?

Questioning the Genesis Gap

Tohu in Genesis 1:2 and the cause of the darkness.
 

Thanks for your kind words. It's always a pleasure to hear that these materials have proved helpful.

In our Lord Jesus,

Bob Luginbill
 

Question #4: 

Dr. Luginbill,

I continue to enjoy and be challenged by your writings. I wrote earlier saying that I was going to use the material in the Satanic Rebellion to help me in teaching a Bible class and I just wanted to let you know that it has been received well and with great interest. I have used your organization and information as the basis of a discussion of the gap between Gen1.1 and 1.2. I am following that up with a discussion of the information about Satan's rebellion, God's reaction and the consequences for the original earth. I want to thank you again for your work because it has enabled me to organize my own thoughts and create these lessons. It is with great awe that I often sit back contemplating the works of our unfathomable God and his plans for all creation. Glory to his name!

I thought you also might be interested that the class discussion questioned my presentation of the gap, which is good. People in the class are not so open-minded that their brains fall out. For me, accepting the idea of a gap has never been a big issue, rather it has answered my own questions and made sense to me as well as being affirmed by the Spirit's leading in my study over the years. The continuous interpretation of these two verses always struck a note of discord in my mind. I find that very interesting, because I do not have the ability to read original text, as you do, yet the Spirit of God put a question mark in my mind. It just didn't seem to square with the rest of scripture and what I knew of God. Further, I recall this feeling early in my life, and I wondered about it for many years, before I read books and encountered other Christians who explained the possibility of a gap and its implications. The older I get the more I am in awe of our God. He is able to prepare our hearts for the things we need to know, if we are willing to listen to him. It is evidence to me that the Word is indeed living and active!

Thanks again, brother in Christ,
 

Response #4:

Thanks so much for this update. I am most interested in your testimony about Genesis. I can certainly affirm that without the ministry of the Spirit we would be incapable of understanding anything. Without His help, the Bible would seem "foolishness" to us, since all these things are spiritually discerned (1Cor.2:14). That said, it is also true that God uses prepared people, and He often prepares us over a very lengthy period. I praise God that He has seen fit to put you into service in such a crucial way, and I am very thankful that these writings may have made some small positive contribution to your work for the Lord.

It is always good to hear when fellow Christians who love the Word of God are not immediately dismissive of investigations into the truth of scripture. Too often nowadays, the dedication to the Bible which many espouse is only skin deep. May the Lord continue to encourage you in your godly quest to know the height and depth and breadth of all of His truth.

Finally, I would like to say that I am thoroughly impressed by both your enthusiasm and your hard work. I would say that your church is truly blessed to have someone like yourself laboring so hard in the Word of God and taking such pains to make its wonders accessible. Keep up the good work – there is certainly a reward that lasts forever for every such help to the Body of Christ.

Your brother and friend in the Lord who bought us, our Savior Jesus Christ.

Bob L.

Question #5: 

About one year ago I came upon your website as I was preparing for a series of Bible studies on the Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ. I was/am very impressed with the comprehensiveness of your studies, and blessed by your willingness to freely share what you have been learning. I recommended your site to others. Your work has helped me to articulate more definitely the truth of a post-trib rapture/resurrection, and of the reality of apostasy by believers. While I am commenting, I want to be honest to say that, despite your fine argumentation, I am not able to agree that Genesis speaks of a re-creation, whatever questions remain as to when Lucifer, Michael, Gabriel, and the other angelic hosts were created. The Hebrew language for the words 'barah' and 'asah' standing alone do not allow for that interpretation, and throughout the remainder of the Scriptures are never referring to the Genesis account in such a way. There is a current tendency by some to say that the new (hadasha) is a re-newed covenant, with its own defective and even disastrous ramifications. This sort of re-vision could also distort some of our understanding and teaching about present and future things.

As for Revelation and the matter of the 144,000, your connecting them with the ministry of the 70 sent out by the Lord Jesus is interesting. I am still of the mind, though, that rather than being evangelists, they are preserved through the tribulation period and God's wrath, just as Cain was marked/sealed for protection, and also the men who sighed and mourned over the abominations being done in Jerusalem. No doubt they will be witnesses on behalf of God, but not necessarily for the sake of Jesus during the period of trouble. Anyway, we will see after its done, that it will be exactly the way that the Lord said and meant! Thank-you again for your stimulating study and work to instruct the saints and to prepare us for the times ahead.

In Christ with you,
 

Response #5: 

Thanks so much for your supportive words. I am very happy to hear that these materials have proved useful to you. The pre-trib position and denying the possibility of believer apostasy are indeed two of the most dangerous false doctrines out there at the moment (in my view), both of which I was taught by others to believe, and both of which I was led by scripture to reject. Ultimately, it is all about what the Bible says (or should be for all who are committed to following Jesus with an undivided heart). I also appreciate your recommendation of the site and your willingness to benefit from it in spite of the fact that you clearly have reservations about some of the teachings. That is a difficult thing for many of us to do. Every point of truth is important, but there should be some sense of proportion and restraint in the haste with which many are willing to break fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ (or so it seems to me). The truth is absolute, but if we are absolute in all matters of interpretation, however small, then we will either be led to believe nothing from any authority or to believe everything a certain authority may say without any circumspection or discrimination (hardly a salutary state of affairs, especially in light of the apostasy to come). This is a long-winded way of saying that I certainly do not take offense at your objections.

I would certainly agree with you that one cannot defend (or refute, for that matter) the thesis of re-creation in Genesis 1:2 solely on the basis of the verbs bara` and 'asah. That is not my position. Indeed, I find it an all too frequent mistake in exegesis in both Hebrew and Greek to place far too much weight on vocabulary items, assuming that they always have some specific technical sense, for this invariably disappears when actual passages and occurrences of the word are checked (as opposed to merely consulting a lexicon). It is an odd thing, especially since in the modern languages with which I am familiar the flexibility of language is very clear to see, and no doubt stems from insufficient preparation in Greek and Hebrew.

That said, both the verbs bara` and 'asah, while not determinative to the interpretation I have advanced, do each have a semantic range which is not inconsistent with that interpretation. That is to say, if a gap was understood at Genesis 1:1 when these verses were penned, no better vocabulary choices could have been made to support that teaching. Given the flexibility of any of the Hebrew verbs which might have been chosen, could the author have made the point any more clearly than he did? I think not, and this distinction in the meaning of the creation verbs is occasionally reflected elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible:
 

For thus says the Lord, Creator (bore`) of the heavens. He is God, Shaper (yotzer) of the earth. He founded it ('asah). He did not create (bara`) it a ruin. Rather He formed it (yetzerah) to be inhabited.
Isaiah 45:18
 

While the prime intent of this passage is not to teach the Genesis gap, it is certainly consistent in terms of its vocabulary choice with that thesis, and in fact difficult to explain without understanding the gap and the re-creation: viz., "He did not create (bara`) it a ruin (= tohu; cf. Gen.1:2, vehaaretz hayetha tohu vebhohu)."

I would certainly also agree with you that the esoteric interpretation of the new covenant you mention is fraught with potentially disastrous effects for all who might try to apply this wrong-headed view as a template. And I do take your point that seeing the present earth as re-newed might have an equally problematic effect if untrue. The converse of that premise, however, is equally true. For it is not just that the Genesis gap explains for us "what happened with Satan". The proper understanding of earth now versus earth then, of Man's true place in divine history, and of the delimited nature of that history and its near future resolution are all to greater or lesser degrees dependent upon getting this doctrine right. Put simply, rejecting the gap generally goes hand in hand with a subtle de-emphasizing of angelology and eschatology (which in turn can lead to confusion about every other aspect of the Christian way of life).

Still, I am open to any and all specific objections, problems or questions you may have with this teaching. One last word on the 144,000. I would certainly agree that the sealing is for protection. But unless we are to assume an additional echelon of resurrection not mentioned in 1st Corinthians 15:23-24, Revelation 14:1-5, especially coming as it does immediately after the "mark of the beast" and concomitant persecutions in chapter 13, seems to me difficult to take in any other way but that the 144,000 have passed from this life (in martyrdom; see the link in CT 4, "The martyrdom of the 144,000").

Again, I very much appreciate your kind comments and your honest questions. As you so pithily put it, we are all going to know even as we are known once our Lord returns!

In our Lord Jesus Christ who came into this world to testify to the truth,

Bob Luginbill

 


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