Hi Dr Luginbill,
I enjoy your sight and I am still going through it. I want this to be short So, you made these statements:
" Angels, on the other hand, as creatures, can only exist within the creation, and are, therefore, subject to time and space."
"At some undisclosed time following His creation of the heavens and the earth, God created the angels (Ps.148:2-5; Col.1:16). This event took place after the original ex nihilo (i.e., "out of nothing") creation of the universe described Genesis 1:1, and before the restoration of the earth (described also at Job 38:4-7)"
When I read Job 38:4-7 It sounds like the ALL the angels were already existing when the earth was created (ex nihlio):
"I laid the foundations of the earth ... laid the measures... foundations thereof fastened...laid the corner stone thereof. When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"
If the earth was created (at once beautiful WITH form and NOT void), then what time and space were they existing in. My answer, which I am quite sure about, would be there must have been a (time and space) place other than our (time and space) universe. If you see what I am confused about, what are your thoughts?
Good to make your acquaintance. The heavens and the earth were created at Genesis 1:1. Between verse one, where all is perfect, and verse two, were all is dark and condemned, we find the rebellion of Satan and his angels. Please see the links: SR2 "The Genesis Gap" and "Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers".
Job 38:4-7 as translated in many versions does make it seem as if the angels were around before creation. Of course that is impossible by definition unless they are God – which they are not. The problem is only apparent, however, and is the result of faulty translations in some of the English versions which do not take into account that Job 4:7 begins a new section in the Hebrew grammar, one wherein the topic is changed from the original creation to the reconstruction of the earth during the seven days of re-creation in Genesis 1:2ff. For more on all that, please see the link: Job 38:4-7
As to your hypothesis, Genesis 1:1 states very clearly that "as the first thing" (bereshith) "God created the heavens and the earth". Thus this creation of the present heavens and earth is the only one, at least in biblical terms, and that is my entire basis of belief when it comes to these things. Finally, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in dying for the sins of the world cannot be underestimated, nor the unfathomable fact that in order to do so He had to become a human being. Think about that. God has wed Himself to us, saved human beings, for all time in an irrevocable way through the incarnation and the formation of the Bride of Christ. We are not an after-thought or something that can be re-thought later on. This creation is the creation, and it is perfect. The only proof we need to see that this is unequivocally so is that it is to this creation and to us that Jesus has come.
For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.
Hebrews 2:16-18 NIV
Yours in the precious Lord Jesus who bought us – and whose we are for all eternity.
Nice to receive your kind response,
I am in agreement, so far, that Satan fell during V1 and V2. That God has a different place other than OUR universe for angels to be in (3rd heaven) seems plausible. In other words, our dimension came after the abode where angels first came to be and then our universe. ALL the angels shouting for joy seems to be before the rebellion and verse 2 and thus before the reconstruction. Are you of the opinion that the "ALL" in Job 38 did not include Satan?
Let me say it like I see it so far:
1: God (always existed) before Genesis 1:1
2: Angels are created (ministers of fire) Heb 1:7 with the place of their creation being the created 3rd heaven (perhaps)
3: Then the foundations are laid of the earth and the heavens we know (atmosphere and the universe) Heb 1:10 compared with Job38:6-7
4: After the Universe is created the angels have some share in its upkeep or Government and Satan rebels;
5 This brings us to verse 2 (tohu bohu)
In His Love
You're very welcome.
It's an interesting suggestion. However, here is how I understand these matters. In terms of biblical geography, along with Hades the third heaven is separate from the (twin) heavens and the earth but is definitely a part of the universe which God created "at the start [of all things]" in Genesis 1:1 (for a chart the essential "biblical geography", see the link: "The Waters Above"). It is hard to see how creatures made within this universe and for this universe could exit the created universe, yet we see both angels and human beings in the third heaven (cf. Rev.6:11; 7:9), and also in Hades (Lk.16:19-31; 1Pet.3:19; Rev.20:1-3; 20:12-15). So it seems reasonable to suppose that all three major regions of biblical heavenly geography were created at the same time, and the Genesis 1:1 represents a complete and ex nihilo creation of all things. There are several reasons for preferring this view:
1) The Hebrew phrase bereshith, "at the start", states as emphatically as possible that this is the first act of God's creation rather than the next in a series.
2) The Plan of God entailed everything that will happen in human history as well as in angelic history, so that our creation is not a reaction in the sense of God being surprised by Satan's revolt. Therefore the need for some pre-creation followed by a secondary one at Genesis 1:1 is doubtful and the purpose would seem confusing (if such were the case).
3) Earth, not the third heaven, was the original paradise, the place where God communed with the angels before Satan's revolt (Ezek.28:13; see the link: "The Seven Edens"), and earth, not the third heaven, will be the place of the final paradise, the New Jerusalem (Rev.21-22). In my view this argues strongly for the earth to have been created ab initio with the heavens.
4) If the third heaven were created first and the heavens and the earth later, when was Hades created? As the other place in heavenly geography clearly separate from the (first two) heavens and the earth, it has more in common with the third heaven than it does with visible creation. But while under the hypothetical the need for the third heaven would be to have a place for the angels to exist, there was certainly no need for Hades (i.e., for any of its three compartments of the Abyss, Torments, and the subterranean paradise) before Satan's revolted. In fact, the third heaven is the redoubt, so to speak, where God in His holiness maintains His separation from a sinful world until all sin and rebellion has been purged away once and for all. That is to say, like Hades, its purpose only comes into play after the revolt of Satan and it is useful only as long as the historical process is still running its course (and in this way is precisely parallel to Hades).
5) The presence of men and angels in both Hades and the third heaven as mentioned above suggests an integral connection with the visible universe of both regions. To the extent that the universe is a purposeful whole, to that extent any prior creation of any part is unlikely.
6) I know of no scripture which suggests that a prior creation of the third heaven is the case (or of its analog Hades for that matter). The verse in question, Job 38:7 (explained at the link previously provided), is not, in fact, an exception. Here is how I would render the context by amending the NIV:
Job 38:5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?
Job 38:6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone--
Job 38:7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
Job 38:8 "Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb,
Job 38:9 when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness,
REVISION of NIV:
Job 38:5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?
Job 38:6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone? [STRONG STOP]
Job 38:7 [NEW SENTENCE] "WHEN the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy . . .
Job 38:8 . . . who shut up the sea behind doors, when it burst forth from the womb,
Job 38:9 when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness?
Translated in this way, "the angels" sing for joy at the reconstruction (Genesis 1:2ff.), whereas verses 5-6 are not part of the same sentence. It would certainly be an effective rolling argument for our Lord to make, pointing out to Job that he didn't have any experience of original creation (Job 38:4-6), nor of the post Genesis Gap reconstruction of the earth (Job 38:7-11), nor of present cosmological wonders (Job 38:12-15), nor of the present invisible underworld (Job 38:16-17), etc.
(3) Keep this foremost in your mind: in the end times cynics will ridicule [the truth], acting out of their own selfish lusts (4) and saying, "Where is that 'return’ He promised? Everything is the same now as it was since the beginning of the world, since the time our forefathers passed on." (5) But it escapes their notice in asserting this, namely, that there were heavens long ago too, and an earth, which was [re-]established out from under water (i.e., the "waters below") and through [the midst of] water (i.e., the "waters above") by the Word of God – (6) [and that it was] through these two [sets of waters] that the world of that time (i.e., in Noah’s day) was [again] deluged by water [from above and below] and destroyed. (7) Now the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire by that same Word (of God), preserved for the day of judgment and the destruction of godless men.
2nd Peter 3:3-7
Compare this expanded and explained rendering of 2nd Peter 3:3-7 to any of the versions and it will be obvious that the above is not an easy passage to understand if the true biblical sequence of creation and re-creation is not firmly grasped. I think that this failure (i.e., of a deep grasp of the true theology of these things on the part of biblical translators) is behind the incorrect amalgamation of Job 38:4-6 and Job 38:7-11 as well – which actually describe two entirely different events (original creation and re-creation respectively).
Finally, the "sons of God" are angels, and this term often includes fallen angels as well (e.g., Gen.6:2), even in this book, the book of Job (Job 1:6; 2:1). I am quite sure that they too were delighted to have the "lights turned back on" when God reconstructed the heavens and the earth during the seven Genesis days – although not, however, delighted enough to repent and throw themselves upon His mercy (which would have been the proper response).
Please feel free to write back about any of the above.
In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,
Enjoyed your insight.
Just to be clear I have only some slight incline to say the third heaven was made first, but here are some of my thoughts on the subject
1Angels (which are spirits) were created first, either one by one or all at once, but ,in either case, they began to be.
2The place of their creation was in 3rd heaven (the heavenly host luke 2:13 ) where God's throne is (being the first heaven from God's perspective).
3Whether He made His place/throne (Ps 33:14) first and then added the other two heavens in away so the angels observed is not clear, but it does make sense.
4 We know the heavens were streched as a curtain and spread out like a tent (observationly it appears to still be occuring) and By him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: This leads me to believe there is a place outside of the visible realm.
Being first does not mean seperate although stages might happen like that because the recreation was in stages.
I see God asking some questions of Job about the creation of the earth (not the heavens) and then qualifying the WHEN of it refrencing the the first creation because at that time ALL the angels were rejoicing together.
Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Who hath laid the measures thereof, or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened or who laid the corner stone thereof; WHEN the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Then God asks a different question which seems to fit the time when God made judgement against the first creation clouding it over and leaving it in a wet flood type darkness which is the state it was in before the recreation
Or [who] shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, [as if] it had issued out of the womb? WHEN I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, And brake up for it my decreed [place], and set bars and doors, And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed? CF AMO 5:8
This next appears a little ambiguous to me, but seems to be God is referencing how He acually acomplished the judgment that took place. Which was before the thick darkness, before the recreation. Apparently he made the dayspring have influence on the earth in such away to shake it , turninig it as clay is squished out and at that time the wicked's light was removed.
Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; [and] caused the dayspring to know his place; That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? It is turned as clay [to] the seal; and they stand as a garment. And from the wicked their light is withholden, and the high arm shall be broken.
Folowing the train of thought, if the above is talking about that judgment this next part might be refrence to Hell's making. I do not believe that God would make it before Satans rebellion.
Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth? Have the gates of death been opened unto thee? or hast thou seen the doors of the shadow of death? Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all. Where [is] the way [where] light dwelleth? and [as for] darkness, where [is] the place thereof, That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths [to] the house thereof? Knowest thou [it], because thou wast then born? or [because] the number of thy days [is] great?
Here God seems to have finished making the point that He is very old (eternal) and the rest of the chapter talks about his knowledge, wisdom and power.
Having finished reviewing the section I. The Purpose, Creation and Nature of Angels I decided to comment, as it seems that there is nothing pertinet that I have read quickly from the information that follows. .[ I've have made comments or objections under your outline (if nothing then I am in agreement)].
1.The Purpose, Creation and Nature of Angels
1) "Angels... can only exist within the creation, and are, therefore, subject to time and space".
Angels are not "flesh and blood" .. spirit (pneuma) does not have flesh and bones as you see Me having"
From Satan.s rebellion you wrote: Angels have no strictly material bodies of their own.
If you accept the following definition – (from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/matter) b : material substance that occupies space, has mass, and is composed predominantly of atoms consisting of protons, neutrons, and electrons, that constitutes the observable universe, and that is interconvertible with energy then 'spirit is' NOT material, and then I would find it hard to accept the statement Angels are subject to time and space. I believe they are allowed their present perception of time although God can take one forward or back by spirit, at least to observe (ex. Genesis/Revelation).
As to space, they are not limited otherwise they could not go through walls as they have no extension in space. They do have awareness of matter and space and can thus interact with it [and even shout for joy about it].
So, I conclude the statement "angels can ONLY exist within the creation" a contradiction to "angels are spirits".
2. The Creation of Angels:
"At some undisclosed time following His creation of the heavens and the earth, God created the angels ..."
I see evidence for Angels existing 'before' the earth ,as I already have stated. Although I can see the point that they might have been created later if you take the statement "and ALL the sons of God shouted for joy?" only to mean the elect Angels and they are shouting for the recreation. But in my mind this puts Job 38:8-11 (as the first destruction) out of place.
3. The Nature of Angels:
1) Angels are finite beings: As created beings, angels are dependent upon time and space. (same as 1 above)
6) Angels will ultimately be inferior to mankind: Angels will not always be superior to mankind. Just as our Lord's humanity is, in resurrection, superior to angels in every way (Heb.1:4 - 2:18), so also we are destined to share that superiority with Him in our resurrection (1Cor.6:3; Heb.2:5)
I am not sure we will be superior in nature, but for sure we will judge angels per scripture.
In the previous email I had previously given you my interpretation and exegesis of Job 38. Since your comments on that passage are concerned with advancing an alternative view without at the same time directly refuting anything I shared with you, it seems we shall have to agree to disagree on that subject. The division of the text as I shared it with you based upon what the Hebrew says is consistent with what the theology of these matters suggests, namely, that verse 37 should be taken with what follows rather than what precedes, so that the angels "shout for joy" at the reconstruction of the earth rather than at its original creation. In addition to demonstrating the validity of this position from the Hebrew, I also gave you a list of other reasons for this preference and am certainly willing to defend any of them. I appreciate that you have a different view, but for the reasons already advanced I prefer my own, your comments notwithstanding.
As to the points that follow, as I have often had occasion to remark in the past, the materiality of angels versus their spirituality is a false opposition conditioned by scholastic philosophy and complicated by our present "scientific" world-view. Beyond all argument, angels are always described in scripture as being in one place at a time. Therefore their spiritual nature is certainly different from God's, for God is omnipresent within the universe, exceeds the universe to an infinite degree, and is not limited by time and space whatsoever: He existed before He ever created it (regardless of the number of "phases" one wishes to see in that creation). Similarly, human beings possess a spirit (the "soul" is essentially a synonym for the heart and not a tertium quid; see the link: "The Soul versus the Spirit"), but it is restricted in its location to the human body of the person in question (whether this corrupt body, the interim one, or the resurrection one). Therefore because something is "a spirit" in biblical terms does not mean that it does not possess a set of limitations which are not related to it being "material" in the way scholasticism or modern physics would see it. On all this please see the link: "The Nature of Angels". This also addresses two further points you make which depend upon assuming the absolute nature of this material/spiritual opposition.
As to whether in Job 38 "all the sons of God" are taken to be only the elect or might possibly include the fallen as well makes no critical difference that I can see to the interpretation. In order to have any such effect, it seems to me that one would have to understand the "all" as necessarily referring not only to all the angels but also would somehow have to imply that all the angels were still "elect" at the time. Since that conclusion is not warranted by the flexible application of the phrase "sons of God" in scripture (i.e., it can be applied either to all angels whether elect or fallen, or to the elect alone), this verse will "work" for the re-creation scenario no matter how we conceive of it.
Finally, we human beings are different from angels in our possession of a genuine, tangible body, which is material by any definition. Angels were curious about a similar difference from themselves in the animal life of the pre-Genesis gap fauna of the earth, and Satan exploited that curiosity to further his plans for rebellion against God (see the link: "Satan's Revolutionary Platform"). In the grace and wisdom of God, by way of sin and the fall and by means of Christ's sacrifice, we who believe in Jesus will be resurrected, and the final, eternal body we shall possess on that great day of days will be of the same type which our Lord presently enjoys (cf. 1Jn.3:2). Angels do not have bodies, and this fact alone coupled with the future lack of the present inferiority of our earthly bodies now suffer under is a clear mark of superiority. It certainly stands to reason that since our Lord became a human being, and is unquestionably superior to angels, that His Church will likewise be superior to angels (Heb.1:7; 2:16; cf. 1Cor.6:3). Lastly, not only do we know that Jesus is superior to angels in every way (Heb.1-2), but the "judgment" of angels cited just above most likely refers to the incarceration of the demons at Christ's return at the hands of His Church – and to be able to cast demons directly into the Abyss certainly requires a measure of superiority over them (see the link: "The Incarceration of Satan and his Demons").
I hope you find the above to be helpful, and look forward to any further questions you may have on this subject.
In Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior,
Loved your reply
I consider disagreement over such things a form of fellowship, in fact I was thinking to day how enjoyable it is to have such discussion with a fellow brother. Not everyone is willing to agree to disagree. As scripture is somewhat lacking on exact information searching and thinking is how we can discover. I have definitely received insite from you and have found your site extremly rich in information regarding the subect.
I shoot this off quickly as I have company right now, but I intend to see if I can verify that the division of the text based upon what the Hebrew reveals " that verse 37 should be taken with what follows rather than what precedes" , with the assumption that the angels "shout for joy" at the reconstruction of the earth rather than at its original creation"
By the way I am not really trying to advance my view, but I am trying to see which view is true.
Peace through our Lord and Saviour,
Thank you friend!
Yours in Jesus,
Cut to the chase: I have a copy of the 2009 edition of The Scriptures that is put out by The Institute For Scripture Research, and it is the only translation I have seen that comes close to suggesting any hint of a gap between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.
The Scriptures translates these 2 verses as follows:
1.In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth. 2. And the earth came to be formless* and empty, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of Elohim was moving on the face of the waters.
*Or the earth became
Just thought you might be interested in this translation if you aren't already aware of it.
God bless and thank you for all your work.
I'll pass this along the next time I do a posting on the Genesis gap.
I appreciate your help - and thanks much for your good words as well.
In Jesus our dear Lord,
Greetings from South Africa,
I am surprise that both people for and against Genesis Gab deliberately ignore two plain Scripture evidence / questions.
1. When did Satan sinned and become the devil? The Bible introduce us to Satan in his already fallen state in the garden of Eden. It happened before Adam and Eve. Plain and simple.
2. What sin did Satan commit to become the devil? Ezekiel 28 say that Satan's sin was the violence he used against people, nations with kings. "They" in the commerce, mercantile, trade in precious stones (that Satan use to cover his temples, sanctuaries) cause Satan to use violence. Plain and simple. There was people before Adam and Eve (approx. 500 years).
Please feel free to make use of any information contain in my book Creation and Prophecy with the benefit of the Bible in the Afrikaans Language. In the translation of my book into English I was even force to create an new English word to explain Sheol / Hades. This is the reason why English people do not know what happen at death. Bye the way - Jerusalem is Babylon the Great where the Antichrist will sit and pretend he is God, the Messiah.
Good to make your acquaintance. As to your first point, I heartily agree, and I certainly do make use of this evidence in my treatment of this teaching and extensively so; please see the links: SR2: The Genesis Gap, and "The Waters above and the Genesis Gap" (the latter link will lead you to many more links on this topic).
On point two, I can't agree that there were any human beings around before Adam and Eve. For instance, scripture tells us that the earth was uninhabitable before the seven days of re-creation (see the previous link), and also that Adam and Eve were created on the sixth day. That doesn't leave time for "other people" – unless these were a previous, destroyed civilization, and, apart from the fact that I know of no scriptural evidence for it, there are a number of doctrinal complications with that idea (redemption of humanity by the work of Christ, for one). Please see the link: "The Shape of the Universe, Hominids, and the Genesis Gap."
The references in Ezekiel are applicable to Satan's "trafficking" with angelic kind before the judgment on the universe on the far side of the Genesis gap (for an explanation of the hermeneutic issues see the link: "The Cycle of Judgment, Restoration, Replacement"). This passage (Ezek.28 – along with Is.14) is one of our two main windows into the devil's machinations in seducing a third of angelic kind. See the link: Satan's Character, Sin and Fall.
On life after death, please see the link: "Our Heavenly, Pre-Resurrection, Interim State".
On mystery Babylon, since antichrist is only removed and his forces only destroyed at the second advent, and since Babylon's destruction precedes Christ's return and is accomplished by the beast's minions (Rev.17:16-18), Babylon cannot be Jerusalem. And, after all, Christ returns to Jerusalem and saves the city at His return.
Like birds hovering overhead, the LORD Almighty will shield Jerusalem; he will shield it and deliver it, he will 'pass over' it and will rescue it."
Isaiah 31:5 NIV
Yours in Jesus Christ our dear Lord and Savior whose return we eagerly await,
Some of my friends on Facebook are discussing Creationism. Please comment on the following statement.
Thank you, brother,
Yours in our Lord Jesus,
"There are many fine scientists and science philosophers involved in the ID debate, though I think the common claim that ID is not necessarily theistic is disingenuous. I have no problems with theism, and its separation from science is an artificial, cultural construct rooted in the philosophy of science and steered by atheist domination of the field since the so-called Enlightenment.
An intelligent design doesn't yield a material result until an intelligent builder follows the design. I know of only one Builder (omnipotent and omniscient) capable of creating the species from His designs.
Though a creationist, I struggle with young earth creationism. I am told by biblical Hebrew scholars that Hugh Ross' explanation of day-age, based on yom, is incompatible with other uses of the word in the Bible. Since I don't know Hebrew, I have to take their word for it."
Good to hear from you. I take it that it is the last paragraph about which you are soliciting a comment? The "age-day theory" is incorrect (although the Hebrew word yom can indeed refer to a larger period of time as opposed to a day; e.g., Daniel's 70 weeks of days = years at Dan.9:24ff.). The seven days of Genesis chapter one are literal, although they do represent the pattern of human history in the plan of God to follow: 7,000 years, the millennium of which is the Millennium, after which eternity begins.
The Lord certainly could have created the universe with the appearance of age (as He did indeed create Adam and Eve fully mature), but the correct solution to the geological "problem" is to be found in the "Genesis Gap", the untold eons-long interval which exists between Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" and Genesis 1:2 "But the earth became ruined and despoiled". Satan's creation and rebellion (along with the judgment upon the universe which resulted) accounts for the fossil record and explains many other things as well. The seven days are days of re-creation: God had previously and originally created the entire universe in an instant from nothing, and did so perfectly. The seven days are meant to be instructive about the future pattern of God's plan in replacing the devil and his angels with believing human beings in perfect love yet without violating His perfect justice.
You can find out more about these matters at the following links:
The Genesis Gap (SR 2)
The Seven Days of Human History (in SR 5)
The Waters Above, the Firmament, and the Genesis Gap.
The Genesis Gap: Questions and Answers
Opposition to the Genesis Gap from the Creation Research Institute et al.
The Shape of the Universe, Hominids, and the Genesis Gap.
The Grammar behind the Genesis Gap.
Questioning the Genesis Gap
Whatever Happened to the Genesis Gap?
Where Can I Find More Information on the Genesis Gap?
Ex Nihilo Creation
Tohu in Genesis 1:2
Yours in Jesus our dear Lord,
Thanks again for all the help your insights are helpful. Once again I had a question. It seems with more answers comes mores questions sometimes.
In the original Eden, what were the angels doing with the dinosaurs and such? were those beings their original abode? If Angels are capable of dwelling in the heavens, how did the darkness cast on earth before the recreation affect them and were the holy angels affected by the destruction of the original earth? What use would the 1st Eden be for angels if they have heaven?
You're very welcome. As to your questions, in my estimation the dinosaurs are probably a result of satanic manipulation of the pre-Genesis gap fauna of the original earthly Eden (see the link: in SR 1, "Satan's Revolutionary Platform"). This was against God's will and followed Satan's revolt. There have been a number of paradises in creature history (and will have been seven when history is complete; see the link: "The Seven Edens"). The pre-Genesis Gap Eden (different from the later one of Adam and Eve) was also on earth and was the original place God met with His angelic creatures, not the third heaven. It was paradise in a way that the third heaven, devoid of physicality, could never be. Had there been no revolt, this is where all angels would have enjoyed a continuous blessed existence with the Lord forever. Like Hades, the third heaven is "not of this world". The third heaven, God's present location, is His "battle-headquarters", occupied by Him only as long as the present conflict with the devil and his forces still rages. At the end of history, God the Father will have His own advent and return to earth, the New Earth (the ultimate Eden or paradise; cf. the tree of life in Rev.22:2), to dwell with mankind again in the same (but now better) place (Rev.21:3; 21:22-23). Scripture does not say where the angels were when the original universe was plunged into darkness and inundated with the primordial deep. It seems beyond question that the elect angels were already in the third heaven whence God had voluntarily sequestered Himself in response to the devil's revolt and usurpation of the original earth. Whether the fallen angels were temporarily "let in" to the third heaven (they do still attend there from time to time: e.g., Job 1-2), or, what I believe is more likely, were forced to remain in the other part of the world, namely, Hades (see the link for a chart of the heavenly geography), is not specified by scripture, but the "sons of God" who sing for joy at the re-creation appear to be elect angels (Job 38:7), thus arguing for Hades over the third heaven as the temporary location of Satan and his demons – they had, after all, already been judged and condemned (e.g., Jn.16:11; cf. Matt.25:41), even though not yet "executed" by being consigned to the lake of fire.
Hope you find this all helpful too!
In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,
It's been some time since my last email, and while I haven't progressed as far as I would have liked to, I am glad to say I'm well on my way to walking a better walk with Christ. I had another couple/few questions, but I'm glad to say there is nothing truly distressing me this time, and this is a simple knowledge-seeking email this time. For one, I recall the passage where Jesus spoke of 'if your hand causes you to sin, best to cut off your hand than to have the whole of you cast into hell', and I'm not entirely sure what this refers to, since I don't think it's literal, right? Is Jesus merely speaking of how we're already sinned, and how as believers we should live our lives in sacrifice to honor and worship him to be saved? I could use some clarification on this.
Also, another thing: back when I read Genesis Chapter 1 and 2, how God created the Earth, and I have to admit, I was surprised. I was shocked at just how in-grained the teaching of evolution and of how the Earth being formed and cooled over billions of years was in my mind, since that's what I was taught as a child from school (I grew up mostly in Charter or Public schools). I don't want to think about evolution or anything when reading this part of the Bible, but my thoughts keep being drawn back to that, as if it's still clinging onto that teaching since it sounds more 'reasonable', if that makes any sense? Obviously, we can't forget/unlearn what we've learned, especially over years growing up, so what can I do to kind of push those thoughts away. I'm not sure if they're causing doubts, but I want to believe what Genesis says, and am trying to. Any ideas on what I can do?
Always good to hear from you, my friend.
Our Lord has the perfect way of expressing everything. His statements about cutting of hands and ripping out eyes work on every level. Clearly, if a person is thinking correctly, anything would be better than spending eternity in hell. And if it were a matter of depriving ourselves of a particular body part to avoid hell and get to heaven, well then, that would be worth it! Of course, 1) it is much easier than that to get to heaven – easier for us because our Lord Jesus did something so much more difficult than plucking out His own eyes: He died in the darkness for all of the sins of the entire human race, purging them in the fire with His blood; 2) even if we deprived ourselves of all of our body parts it would a) not make up for a single sin, and b) not keep us from sinning, so that c) it would not make any difference to our salvation; 3) so this is a perfect way for our Lord to get our attention completely, making us realize a) how important the issue is, b) how impossible it is without Him, so that c) we will be open to the gospel and accept it eagerly. In short, no reasonable person will pluck their eyes out, but anyone listening and taking the statement to heart will realize how important salvation is and be helped to make the adjustment of changing their mind and diligently seeking how to be saved (which is of course by believing the gospel).
As to evolution, in my view it takes more faith to believe that we human beings are the product of a google times a google of accidents rather than coming directly from the creative hand of God. And of course "the heavens proclaim the glory of God" (Ps.19:1) so that every human being is without excuse since all knew about Him from their earliest days (Rom.1:17-32; see the link: "Natural Revelation"). It is only when people become "smart" (i.e., reject the truth and substitute some lie they prefer to the truth) that other explanations are entertained. The Genesis Gap (see the link) does much to explain how the fossil record can exist and yet Genesis 1:2ff. also be absolutely literal. I would believe the Bible in any case, and I do not even really care for making apologies about when it seems to the cognoscenti to be contradicted by "science", but it is a fact that the truth of a gap of untold eons between the original creation and the subsequent re-establishment of the earth following the devil's revolt (i.e., the seven days) offers a complete explanation for the "problem". Here are some other links on all this:
Science and the Bible
The problem of science and the Bible
Charles Hodge and Charles Darwin
Is the earth ever described as round in the Bible?
The origin of the four seasons
The shape of the universe according to the Bible
Outer space and the Bible
Please feel free to write back about any of the above.
In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,
Hello Dr. Luginbill,
I have a question that I haven't seen an answer to regarding dinosaurs. The bible says that God destroyed the earth with a flood. It seems that only land creatures were taken into the ark. I don't see why the sea creatures would be destroyed by the flood since they live in water. This could very well mean that today, prehistoric sea creatures could still live in the oceans and other parts of the world where there are large areas of water. What do you think?
Good to hear from you. In my understanding of these things, the entire world before the seven days of God's restoring of the earth was destroyed in judgment as a result of Satan's revolt. Not only was the universe "blacked out", but the earth was inundated with water which seems to have turned to ice. With no light and no warmth, I don't think anything could have survived. Of course when the Lord restored the world, it does say in Genesis 1:21 "So God created the great creatures of the sea . . ." (NIV), and the Hebrew word, taniyn/tanyim, is used throughout the Old Testament to refer to all manner of very large denizens of the deep (cf. Job 7:12; Is.27:1; Ezek. 29:3). The sea is a vast place, and it is certainly possible that there exists (or existed) large creatures which have yet to be discovered. It is also possible that they resemble prehistoric creatures. After all, the fossil record shows that the pattern of life before the judgment of the Genesis gap was similar to what we have today (a fact which evolutionists misinterpret all the time). There is certainly every possibility that when the Lord restored life to the earth, some species He created were exactly like of at least very similar to ones He had created before – human beings resemble angels in general terms (we are both "humanoid" for want of a better term) even though we are different in critical ways and even though the angels were created long before Adam and Eve. So as to a straight lineage for deep sea creatures from the time before the gap, I think this would have been impossible.
Yours in Him who is the Author of all life, our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I have a question that needs to be answered about the grammar of the Genesis gap. I have several Hebrew Grammars that predate Gesenius’ Grammar. Is Fields correct describing the three clauses as Circumstantial Clauses? Or can these clauses be something else, like Disjunctive Clauses. And if I describe the clauses as Circumstantial Clauses, will that come back to get me? I have a knowledge in Hebrew and Greek. And I cannot help but see the strong disjunctive (contrasting) force that Genesis 1:2 has, especially in the LXX. I agree with your view, especially about Fields. I was able to contact the people who are the caretakers of Arthur Custance’ library and his work. One more question. Did Thomas Lambdin support a gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2?
Thanks for your research,
Good to make your acquaintance – and that's for your good words.
As to your questions, Lambdin uses the terminology "disjunctive clause" to describe the situation such as we have between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 (i.e., a waw followed by a non-verbal element to indicate a strong contrast). This is a type of circumstantial clause (that is what Gesenius called them, but in his analysis there are several types); Lambdin's terminology is more descriptive (so I prefer it). It is often the case in the grammatical analysis of complicated ancient languages that there are multiple ways to describe such things.
I would be surprised to learn if Lambdin believed in the Genesis gap. As far as I know he was a Harvard scholar who concentrated on the nuts and bolts of Semitic languages (as opposed to someone who was trying to understand the Bible from a believer's standpoint).
Yours in Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,
I know that you have taken allot of heat on your beliefs concerning the Genesis Gap. And I thank God for people who will not bow to religious spirits. Personally, I had to by-pass the scholarship of the last two hundred years to see what truly was said about the Hebrew and Greek languages. While I still use Modern Hebrew and Greek Scholarship, I find that most scholarship today is tainted with Higher Criticism. I have had to buy several Hebrew Lexicons, Hebrew Grammars and Greek Lexicons predating the 1800's. I know what you said about the Disjunctive Clauses, according to Lambbdin. And following modern scholar in Hebrew, it is find to keep. I will probably teach it that way and another way that I just find out. Hebrew grammarians of the 1500's and 1600's did not recognize the Disjunctive as so described by Lambdin. Further, the old grammarians saw that the WAW had more functions that presently taught. Now, there are seen three or four noted functions of the WAW, but that is not true! To the old grammarians, the Disjunctive clause tied to the Disjunctive functioning WAW only had one meaning and that was of "or". Further, the old grammarians saw that the WAW of Genesis 1:2 is actually what they called, the Adversative WAW, which means strong contrast or difference between what was first and what was later. The Hebrew Grammarians held that the Greek conjunction δἐ, whenever it appeared in the Greek Translations of the Old Testament--Text of Aquila, Text of Symmachus, Text of Theodation, and the Greek Septuagint--was representing the Adversative WAW. Driver himself noted that the sign of the Adversative function of the WAW is clearly seen and known by the use of this one Greek Conjunction. In Geensis 1:2, we have the phrase οʽ δεʽ γη ....." That is the Adversative WAW translated in Greek by the Greek Adversative Conjunction δἐ. In Modern Hebrew Scholarship, the Adversative WAW is combined into the Disjunctive use, but that was not the case in the old grammarians. The Adversative WAW demands a break between Genesis1 :1 and 1:2 because of that conjunction. The Adversative WAW in Latin was translated as Autem or Sed; in Greek, it was always by the Greek conjunction δἐ. Further, the Lexicons of today say that the Hebrew Verb בָּרָא and the Hebrew verb עָשה are the same in meaning, but that is not the true. The first word means only create, Creavit ex nihilo (He Created out of nothing), in the Kal Verb Pattern while the second verb never meant create, according to the very old Lexicons, but only to do, to make, and to perfect. And Exodus 20:11 should be translated "perfected." This means that God, for some reason, had to perfect, repair, restore, and so forth His creation. That infers the fall of Lucifer. Schindler in his massive Lexicon Pentaglotton (1612) saw this and recognized the difference in both words. I am still studying on it, and I will definitely keep you updates…..
Thanks for a very helpful and encouraging email. You make a good point about the classical versus the modern scholarship: I get almost no help from anything written after WWII (and that includes commentaries and reference works on both testaments). The older stuff is definitely better. Lambdin's point is a good one, but as you point out it was noticed earlier, just described differently. As I often try to make plain to my advanced students in Greek and Latin, "grammar" is merely a set of descriptive propositions which we modern readers have noticed about these ancient languages. Grammatical principles are only "true" if they are true. And there are of course many ways to describe the same essential thing, and some ways are more helpful than others. Lambdin focuses on the clausular structure; the older grammarians and lexicographers focused on the individual conjunctions – they both get to the same place. In Greek, de is usually a pretty neutral conjunction (and often does mean just "and"), but the positioning of it in these cases is significant in my view. The point about autem, "moreover/however", in the Vulgate is even more interesting (and that is what we find for waw at Genesis 1:2). Any way one slices it, there is more going on here than a simple "and".
Keep on fighting the good fight of faith in the truth. In Jesus our dear Lord,
Did you ever hear of a very old Greek Lexicon for the Greek Septuagint: The Novus Thesaurus Philologico-Criticus Sive Lexicon In LXX. ac et Reliquos Interpretes Graecos, ac Scriptores Apocryphos Veteris / Schleusner, Johann Friedrich Londini: Jacobi Duncan, 1829. COMPLETE IN THREE VOLUMES. You will love this. Schleusner recognizes the Greek conjunction δἐ only as "Autem." It appears more fuel to the fire!
I will add this to the material.
One more question, and then I will leave you alone for awhile. I knew you are very busy. I accept 100% that the Genesis Gap represents a clear understanding of the Fall of Lucifer. I forgot your stance though on Geology and the Genesis Gap.
True Light Ministries Inc
I try not to get too involve in the particular question of historical geology because it is essentially an extra-biblical one. "Science" has much to say about the geological past, but its picture changes day by day. The evidence is very selective (i.e., an extremely small portion of what survives has been analyzed and studied) and the means for analyzing it are highly imperfect (i.e., no one really knows, for example, the rate of deterioration of Carbon 14 because we have been studying it for a very few years and no one was around a million years ago to measure it). Since the scientific model used to "prove" that the Bible is in error is laughably suspect, it seems to me a false trail to spend much time refuting already shaky positions which are very elastic anyway. So while it is certainly fair to observe that the Genesis gap completely removes the objections people have about the fossil record "contradicting the Bible" – because of course we can have absolutely no idea how long the angels and the first creation were around before the judgment and the re-construction of Genesis 1:2ff – this is a rabbit I would rather not chase: I believe the Genesis gap because that is what the scriptures teach, rightly and carefully considered. Therefore I would believe it even if it complicated things in terms of how the Bible is viewed by "science". Apologetics is not my aim nor my strong suit. As long as I can help believers who are troubled by such things to see that there is no reason at all to be troubled, that is about as far as I wish to take this line of inquiry. That said, I do have a few things on the site which address this issue if you are interested:
Science and the Bible
The problem of science and the Bible
Charles Hodge and Charles Darwin
Is the earth ever described as round in the Bible?
Feel free to write back any time.
In Jesus our dear Lord and Savior,
Another set of questions. Please answer when it is convenient.
You wrote: Beyond that, we are in a position to know more about the symbolism too, seeing animal sacrifice the non-meritorious principle of faith. Something else is slaughtered for us and gives up its life. Vegetables, on the other hand, do not even have a spirit.
Do animals have a spirit then?
It is always a blessing to hear from you, my friend. Apologies for the time-lag. I have been ill for some time now (not serious -- a bad chest-cold that has slowed me down for the better part of a month), and I let it "cramp my style" more than I should. As to your questions:
Yes indeed (that is the main reason I would hypothesize that animals will not face oblivion any more than human beings will).
Who knows if the spirit of man rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?
Since you hypothesise that animals will not face oblivion on the one hand, but have a spirit on the other, does it mean that they are not able to make decisions that have a moral value? I thought the gift of the spirit was equal to the gift of free will.
Many creatures have spirits, but not all creatures are made in the image and likeness of God. That is the distinction. The image of God is what constitutes the free-will and self-determination that fundamentally separates mankind from the lower animals.
You wrote: 'For the perfect mix of spirit and body which God provided for our first parents was undeniably superior to any creature-possession that the devil could ever hope to engineer'.
Does that mean that devil has got some creative power? Or did you mean (which could be suggested by the 'possession' part) the devil 'taking over' a body of another creature?
It seems clear to me that much of the pre-flood fossil record is a result of Satan's genetic engineering of the fauna of the original earth (see SR2: The Genesis Gap). Since mere human beings can and are involved in these sorts of activities today, and since we have the clear example of the Nephilim who could never have come into being without some such demon-to-material-body interaction, this should not be seen as surprising. I wouldn't call it "creative", however.
Another question that appeared in the discussion and one I found very interesting relates to pre-Adam humanity. According to my limited knowledge what was pre-Adam was not humanity in a Godly sense of the word. Even if there were creatures that were biologically similar (I understand that you don't believe in theory of evolution - I completely agree that it could have never brought the human being that God created, but would you say there could be room for other beings, like animals, to change over time?), they were not given the Spirit and free will the way Adam was. Let me know what is your view on this.
You are correct that in my view evolution is an impossibility. I have written about this elsewhere (see especially the link: "Science and Bible"), but suffice it to say here that while "species" to change within a range, they never actually change into other species – at least not as biblically defined "after their kind" in Genesis chapter 1. Nor am I aware of any evidence whatsoever that such a thing can happen. Evolution is a theory developed to explain the fossil record (one which ipso facto denies the possibility of any divine hand in the process). It cannot be reduplicated in a laboratory, and that is true even if science gets to the point of "creating" something "new". That, after all, would not be evolution but manipulation. And that is precisely what it seems Satan and his fallen angels did with the fauna of the new earth (see the link: "Dinosaurs"). Whether or not "pre-Adamic humanoids" existed (the fossil record is anything but certain and the methods for dating anything before the flood are entirely suspect because for one thing the flood changed the earth's magnetic fields dramatically; see the link: "The Problem of Science and the Bible" in SR 5), they would not in any case have been human beings created in the image of God with free will and the necessity of choosing their eternal future.
Linked to the above is the question relating to the pre-Adam civilization. Was there any? Could there have been one? My question there relates also to the extent that the earth was wiped out after Satan's rebellion and what could have endured. Since we've got a fossil record of pre-Adam creatures, could it be that some buildings, or rather ruins, could date pre-Adam as well? So firstly - could the pre-Adam 'hominids' have achieved a level of intellectual development so as to elevate buildings (so although they were not given a Spirit and free will, they could have had the body and the intellect and emotions)? Secondly, if so, could any traces have endured what the world went through due to God's dealing with Satan? Thirdly, could you specify the extent to which God 'wiped' the earth out, as certain things were allowed by God to endure?
In light of the previous response, absolutely not – nor is there any evidence of the same whatsoever. If any fossils of humanoids really do go back to the time before the re-creation of the world in Genesis 1:2ff., they would have been like apes or chimpanzees – intelligent enough by animal standards but distinctly not human. As to the extent to which the world was destroyed, the entire universe was blacked out lacking all light, and was completely inundated in its entirety with the universal "sea" or tehom, the cosmic deep which had to be separated into the waters above and below for life to re-emerge on earth when reconstructed by God during the seven Genesis days. This is one reason why, for example, while there is light on the first day, the coalescing of light into the light-giving bodies on the fourth day has to follow the separation of the waters on the second day. For a discussion of these matters and the role of the "firmament" in holding back the two sets of waters, see the link: "The Waters Above, the Firmament, and the Genesis Gap").