In The Beginning Bible Study, Lesson 1.
We want to take a closer look at the creation story. God’s Word is complete and total. This means that we should be able to discover all truth through His Word. So let’s begin “in the beginning.”
To begin, we read that God created. But we have to ask ourselves, who is God? The person who opens a Bible for the first time may not know anything about God. I suppose the Bible could not describe God in one book, because you can not explain God in a few words. He is so vast that even volumes of books could not tell you everything about Him. He is above our limited language because He has no bounds, no limitations. We can say that God is awesome, great, and mighty, but this just does not say enough about God. So, like the writer of Ecclesiastes 7:24, we ask this question: “That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?”
Well, you know what they say: “A picture is worth a thousand words.” God is quite the Artist, and He has painted a beautiful picture of Himself for us in the Word of God. What we see there is that God is love: “For He so loved” that He created a place for us, a world with all of its beauty. And that is where we are going to start.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us, “God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”
As we look at God, the Master Builder and the Great Artist, we will see through His masterpiece—His creation—who He is.
We know that God is a Spirit as Yeshua tells us in John 4:24, “God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
So we say this: We know that everything has a beginning except for God, as Psalm 90:1-2 tells us, “Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were born or You gave birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.”
If God is a Spirit, then He lives in a spiritual world, a world we will not understand till we cross the great divide in death.
If God is a Spirit, then what do we make of Ezekiel 8:2? “Then I looked, and behold, a likeness as the appearance of a man; from His loins and downward there was the appearance of fire, and from His loins and upward the appearance of brightness, like the appearance of glowing metal.”
Or Isaiah 6:1-4?
It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s armies! The whole earth is filled with His glory!” Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.
And how about Revelation 1:10-16?
On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet, which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.” I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
We see so many other scriptures that refer to God being in the likeness of man, or refer to the throne room of God as if it were a place here on Earth. We must understand that it is all about perception. What the writer saw may not be the way it is, but only the way he perceived it to be, as Exodus 33:20 tells us, “But He said, ‘You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!’”
So what about the throne room of God? We know that it exists, because Acts 7:44 tells us, “Our fathers had the tabernacle of the testimony with them in the wilderness. It was constructed exactly as God had directed Moses, according to the pattern he had seen.”
And Hebrews 8:5 also tells us, “They serve a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle, ‘See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.’”
Both of these verses quote from Exodus 25:40, “See that you make them [the implements of the tabernacle] after the pattern for them, which was shown to you on the mountain;” yet the creation story does not tell us when the throne room of God came to be. So it must have existed before He made the heavens and the Earth.
Let’s look at the beginning so that we can understand the end.
The Throne Room
We know that God is a Spirit, so He had no beginning and He has no end. He has no need of time, space, or even air. Before God created, nothing existed, not even His angels. So why would God need a throne room when there was no one to attend to it or to attend to Him? Also, a throne room is for a king. If nothing existed before creation, who would God have been king over? So we can make the assumption, I think, that God created His sanctuary, His throne room, at the same time He created His angels but before He created the heavens and the Earth.
Revelation 4 describes an awesome scene from the throne room of God. It gives us such a clear picture of who God is and the continual worship of God in the heavens:
After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.” Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.”
With the stroke of the brush, God continues to paint a picture of Himself. We do know that God rules and reigns above all of His creation. He is the Most High God and there is nothing higher than Him.
Genesis 14:18-22 tells us this about God Most High:
Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High (El Elyon) and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and keep the goods for yourself.” But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “With raised hand I have sworn an oath to the Lord, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth…”
Psalm 57:2 also uses this title for God: “I cry out to God Most High, to God, who vindicates me.”
Psalm 78:35 says this: “They remembered that God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer.”
Psalm 113:4-6 tells us, “The Lord is exalted over all the nations, His glory above the heavens. Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?”
Isaiah 57:15 tells us, “For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, ‘I dwell on a high and holy place, and also with the contrite and lowly of spirit in order to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.’”
Even though God is the Most High God who is high and lifted up, He still draws near to those who are humble and lowly of spirit.
Let us continue on as we look into the creation story.
There is so much that we do not understand about God. So much mystery surrounds Him. We have so many unanswered questions. What was it like before He created? Where and how did God exist? The Psalmist writes in Psalm 139:6, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain it.”
Before God created, God had to plan. He is a Master Architect. He laid out His plans of just the right way to create the universe. What elements should He use? Just how far apart should He place each planet, each star? What about the types of trees? Should He have just fruit trees or shade trees, big or small trees? And colors: everything should have its own color. The seasons, the weather, and this animal and that creature… and of course, what about man? God planned it all out and designed it all to perfection. Hebrews 11:10 says this of Abraham: “For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”
Before the Foundation of the World
The rabbis believed that God created seven things before he created the universe as explained in Genesis 1.
God created seven things before He created the World. They are the Torah; repentance; the Garden of Eden; Gehenna; the Throne of Glory; the Temple; and the name of Messiah . . . The name of the Messiah, as it is written [in Psalm 72:17], “May His name endure forever; before the sun His name endures.” (b. Pesachim 54a)
Genesis 1:1 reads, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” When we read “In the beginning,” what comes to our mind? Well, for one:
John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” We also know this about the beginning from Revelation 22:13, which says, “I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” So we learned that before God created anything, His Word, the Torah, was from the beginning. We know that God was from the beginning and that His Torah was also. This means that when God entrusted His Torah to Israel on Mt. Sinai, it was not something new and only for a specific group of people, but as Romans 3:2 tells us, “Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God.” Why? Because Israel was the only group of people who worshiped the One True God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, at that time. We also see that before God even laid the foundation of the Earth that He loved His Word, as John 17:24 tells us, “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.”
Around the time when Yeshua and His disciples walked on this Earth, there were several different Aramaic translations of the Hebrew Scriptures that were popular. Some of these translations, called Targums, function more like commentaries or paraphrases than as literal translations. Some of the translators of these Targums pondered how it could be that an infinite, limitless, spiritual God interacted with a physical, finite world. Some of these early rabbis and translators believed that God somehow manifested Himself in a distinct way in order to interact with the physical universe. They called this unique manifestation of God the Memra, which is Aramaic for “Word.” In the Targum, God creates the World through the Memra. For example, in one of these Aramaic translations, Genesis 1:1 is translated like this: “From the beginning, with wisdom the Word of the Lord created.” In the same translation, Genesis 1:3 likewise says, “And the Word of the Lord said: ‘Let there be light’; and there was light by His Word.” This is the equivalent of what we read in John 1:1. It is not as if the Word, or the Memra, is a separate deity, but rather as John puts it, the Word is God. It is an “emanation,” or a facet of God.
God’s Torah is God’s wisdom. Proverbs 3:19-20 says, “By wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations, by understanding He set the heavens in place; by knowledge the watery depths were divided, and the clouds let drop the dew.”
Proverbs 8:22-31 tells us in Wisdom’s own words:
I, wisdom, was with the Lord when He began His work, long before He made anything else. I was created in the very beginning, even before the world began. I was born before there were oceans, or springs overflowing with water, before the hills were there, before the mountains were put in place. God had not made the earth or fields, not even the first dust of the earth. I was there when God put the skies in place, when He stretched the horizon over the oceans, when He made the clouds above and put the deep underground springs in place. I was there when He ordered the sea not to go beyond the borders He had set. I was there when He laid the earth’s foundation. I was like a child by His side. I was delighted every day, enjoying His presence all the time, enjoying the whole world, and delighted with all its people.
WOW! That is some Scripture about the personal relationship between God and His Torah (His Word), and we know that the Torah became flesh and dwelt among us. We also know that if God’s Torah was the foundation to His creation, then His Torah should be our foundation.
Isaiah 40:28 says this: “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is an eternal God, the Creator of the whole earth. He does not get tired or weary; there is no limit to His wisdom.”
Psalm 111:10 speaks of wisdom like this: “The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.” The same Hebrew word is used as “In the beginning” (reisheet). Wisdom and God are inseparable, or we could say God and His Torah are inseparable, or we could say God and Yeshua are inseparable. All three are the same. God is so beyond and above His creation!
Ephesians 1:4-6 tells us that we were chosen before the foundation of the world.
Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us for adoption to Himself as sons through Messiah Yeshua, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved.
Also in Romans 8:29-30,
For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.
Titus 1:2 tells us, “In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.”
We also don’t know why people were predestined to be eternally saved or eternally damned other than we know that God knows the beginning from the end. As the Scripture tells us, He is the beginning and the end. He is all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present.
The rabbis believe that all of the souls that have ever lived and will ever live in the future were formed during the creation week: “You should know that all the souls that existed from the time of Adam the first man until the end of time, were all created during the six days of creation” (Midrash Tanchuma, Mishpatim 3). The souls are kept in heavenly storeplaces and are implanted into humans when they are ready to be conceived. If this is true, then God knew the character of our souls from the very beginning: He knew those who would choose Him and those who would reject Him. Some of the rabbis believe that Messiah can’t come until the last soul has been put into a body.
Lamb of God
We also see before the foundation of the world that the Lamb of God was slain.
So why was Yeshua, the Word made flesh, appointed to be the Lamb of God before the foundation of the world? We will see as time goes on.
Revelation 13:8 says this: “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”
Hebrews 9:11-12 tells us:
But when the Messiah came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, He went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.
As it continues in Hebrews 9:23-26,
It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Messiah did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; He entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did He enter heaven to offer Himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise Messiah would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But He has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
So we may not understand how the Lamb was slain before the foundation of the world, other than that God sees the beginning and the end all at the same time. But we do know that the sanctuary of God needed to be purified just like the earthly temple needed to be purified before it was used, as we just saw in Hebrews 9 and also as we see in Ezekiel 43:18-20:
Then he said to me: “Son of man, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: These are the statutes of the altar: On the day it is built to offer up burnt offerings on it and to sprinkle blood on it you will give a young bull for a sin offering to the Levitical priests who are descended from Zadok, who approach Me to minister to Me, declares the Sovereign Lord. You will take some of its blood and place it on the four horns of the altar, on the four corners of the ledge, and on the border all around; you will purify it and make atonement for it.”
This brings us to God’s name (YHWH). Exodus 3:13-15 tells us about God’s eternal name.
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is His name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I Am has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This is My name forever, the name you shall call Me from generation to generation.”
Over the years, many scholars have debated on the correct pronunciation of this name. Many have agreed that this name is more of a verb that expresses past, present, and future tenses all at once. He is the one who was and is and is to come as Revelation 1:8 tells us, “’I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.’”
In quantum physics we might call this a superposition of all possible states. Quantum physics says that the particles or waves that make up our universe, including us, can exist in all possible states at once. When a particular particle is singled out, it then becomes a part of that specific location or time. With God’s name it is similar, being in all states, dimensions, and times simultaneously, but when one lives today, we reduce His name to our present state. He becomes my God and my refuge in my present trouble as Psalm 46:1 tells us, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us, “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” So we see that there is a lot to unpack in the first few words of Genesis 1 before God began to create the heavens and the earth.
Which brings us back to, who is God? We have learned a few things about God, but as we go on we will learn even more, because you know what they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” God is quite the Artist, and He has painted for us a beautiful picture of Himself in the Word of God; and what we see is that God is love, as the Psalmist writes in Psalm 36:5-9,
Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, Your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, Your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals. How priceless is Your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They feast on the abundance of Your house; You give them drink from Your river of delights. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light.
For God so loved that He created a place for us, a world with all of its beauty, and that is where we are going to start.
We also know from the Scriptures that the angels were created before the foundation of the world, as Job 38:4-7 tells us,
Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?
So let’s stop here and take a closer look at the angels who were created before the foundation of the world.
Well, we know that the angels are created beings. Only God is eternal, without a beginning or an end. Angels have several purposes. We know that they are agents of God. We know that there are ministering angels, as Hebrews 1:14 tells us, “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” We also know that there are angels who are sent to give messages, like Gabriel to Mary in Luke 1:26, “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth.” We know that there are Cherubim who stand guard at the entryway to the Garden of Eden to protect the Tree of Life, and quite possibly these same angels guard us as our guardian angels. But think about it: when a person dies, that guardian angel is now assigned to one who has just been conceived. We know that God keeps watch over us even before we are born, as Psalm 139:13-16 says,
For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.
Psalm 91:11-12 tells us, “For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” God’s angels are with us from the beginning to end of life.
We know that angels have ranks, like the archangel Michael who came to help fight the prince of Persia. In Daniel 10:13, the angel Michael is called “one of the chief princes,” and in Jude 1:9 he is called, “the archangel Michael.”
We see the Seraphim angels worshiping God continually in the throne room of God crying out, “Holy, Holy, Holy” in Isaiah 6.
Ezekiel 1:4-28 gives us a glimpse of the appearance of an angel like no other place in Scripture. It says this:
I looked, and I saw a windstorm coming out of the north—an immense cloud with flashing lightning and surrounded by brilliant light. The center of the fire looked like glowing metal, and in the fire was what looked like four living creatures. In appearance their form was human, but each of them had four faces and four wings. Their legs were straight; their feet were like those of a calf and gleamed like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands. All four of them had faces and wings, and the wings of one touched the wings of another. Each one went straight ahead; they did not turn as they moved. Their faces looked like this: Each of the four had the face of a human being, and on the right side each had the face of a lion, and on the left the face of an ox; each also had the face of an eagle. Such were their faces. They each had two wings spreading out upward, each wing touching that of the creature on either side; and each had two other wings covering its body. Each one went straight ahead. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, without turning as they went. The appearance of the living creatures was like burning coals of fire or like torches. Fire moved back and forth among the creatures; it was bright, and lightning flashed out of it. The creatures sped back and forth like flashes of lightning. As I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the ground beside each creature with its four faces. This was the appearance and structure of the wheels: They sparkled like topaz, and all four looked alike. Each appeared to be made like a wheel intersecting a wheel. As they moved, they would go in any one of the four directions the creatures faced; the wheels did not change direction as the creatures went. Their rims were high and awesome, and all four rims were full of eyes all around. When the living creatures moved, the wheels beside them moved; and when the living creatures rose from the ground, the wheels also rose. Wherever the spirit would go, they would go, and the wheels would rise along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. When the creatures moved, they also moved; when the creatures stood still, they also stood still; and when the creatures rose from the ground, the wheels rose along with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked something like a vault, sparkling like crystal, and awesome. Under the vault their wings were stretched out one toward the other, and each had two wings covering its body. When the creatures moved, I heard the sound of their wings, like the roar of rushing waters, like the voice of the Almighty, like the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings. Then there came a voice from above the vault over their heads as they stood with lowered wings. Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell face down, and I heard the voice of one speaking.
So we see these incredible angelic beings and a God of power and fire, both very awesome.
Colossians 1:16 tells us, “For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Paul gives us a peek into the spiritual realm by telling us that God created thrones and powers, rulers and authorities.
Ephesians 1:19-23 says this:
That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Messiah from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.
Also in Ephesian 3:10-11,
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to His eternal purpose that He accomplished in Messiah Yeshua our Lord.
And again referring to Messiah, 1 Peter 3:22 tells us that He “has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to Him.”
It is quite clear that the angels have rank and authority.
So let us continue with Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
We see that God created not only the earth, but also the heavens. The heavens are not only the sky where the birds fly, but the heavens are where the planets orbit the sun and where all of the galaxies exist. The heavens also include where the angels dwell. So we see here three levels of heaven. We begin to see that God was creating space.
But verse 2 begins to speak about the Earth. Wait! We know that God created the heavens and the earth, which included the entire universe, and yet God does not tell us how He created the heavens and the Earth, or any planet for that matter. We do know that God spoke many things into existence, but it does not tell us that He spoke the heavens and the Earth into existence. Let’s look even closer.
There was no space before God created it. God was it. He has no bounds, no limits—He is endless. So God had to create the space for His creation, and how did He do that? Well, if everything was God, then God had to remove a part of Himself to do that.
Let’s look at Isaiah 6:1 for a clue. It says, “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of His robe filled the temple.” God’s train represents His glory. Now, let’s say that the temple was all God, His presence, before the creation of space. We see that His train filled the whole temple. So to make space, God had to pull back His train, or Himself, as one would pull back his garment, to make room for us. This created the space we now call the universe.
The universe is so big that scientists estimate that there are billions and maybe even trillions of galaxies. Even though only one million have been catalogued, even fewer have been named. Each galaxy has millions and even billions of stars held together by interstellar gases, dust and dark matter and its own gravitational pull.
The study of galaxies and stars and how they are born and die is a fascinating study, but for us now we must ask ourselves, why did God create so much space? Wouldn’t one galaxy have been enough—like maybe just the one we live in? He could have, but the Scripture tells us in Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Every time we look up and see the creation of God, every time we look around us, we see the glory of God. Man is without excuse, as Romans 1:19-20 tells us,
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
Hugh Ross, an astronomer and pastor, has this to say about the beginning of the universe and how it points to God:
It’s [the] Theory of General Relativity that predicts there’s a beginning to the universe. Until Albert Einstein’s theory came along, astronomers and physicists thought the universe was infinitely old. The Theory of General Relativity now said, “No, it’s finite in time. It has a beginning,” which implies there must be a Beginner who was responsible for bringing the universe into existence. . . . There must be an agent beyond space and time that created our universe of matter, energy, space and time.
Ross says that because General Relativity has been proven to be true, it follows that the universe must have had a beginning, “Which means that likewise we have confidence that there must be a God beyond space and time who created our universe.”
In the study of the universe, you see that the universe and how it operates is really like one giant clock; and since the time that God put all things into motion, the galaxies have been growing and depleting as time has gone by. For as we will see, God also created time. Since God mentions the Earth first, maybe our galaxy was created first and the other galaxies grew out of ours.
Scientists have discovered that each galaxy has what is called a “black hole,” and these black holes are like a giant incinerator, as one black hole violently absorbs another black hole which then causes that black hole to enlarge. Black holes will also absorb stars or anything else that may enter into its gravitational pull. So just as the universe grew larger and larger, these black holes eventually will cause the universe to grow smaller and smaller until only our galaxy will be left once again. This is an interesting observation about black holes: “I think the standard story is that they lead to the end of time,” said Douglas Finkbeiner, professor of astronomy and physics at Harvard University. So it seems that the void that was from the beginning will be once more, for the God who created time is also the God who is in control of time.
Hebrew 1:10-12 tells us,
You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of Your hands; they will perish, but You remain; and they all will become old like a garment, and like a mantle You will roll them up; like a garment they will also be changed. But You are the same, and Your years will not come to an end.
Revelation 8:12 says,
The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night.
And again in 2 Peter 3:10-12 it says,
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat!
This end time scenario certainly sounds like the violent takeover of one black hole absorbing another, and we know that our galaxy will be the last takeover as recorded in these Scriptures. But as we go on, we will see that this Scripture also tells us about the creation.
It is believed by scientists that there was a great explosion of gases and matter, which left these huge boulders floating in the atmosphere. They believe that Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars (what are called the “Inner Planets”) were formed at the beginning, and from them the gases, dust particles, and dark matter and the gravitational pull of the four planets helped form, over time, the rest of the planets, or what are called the “Outer Planets” of the solar system, as they collided with these planets to form the other planets. The remaining boulder-like fragments are in an area of the solar system which is called the asteroid belt (but there are still meteorites that come close to Earth, and some have even come through our atmosphere burning up as they fall to the ground). Beyond the asteroid belt we find what are called the frozen planets of Neptune (which, like Saturn, has rings) and Pluto along with several moons. These planets are billions of miles from the sun.
One thing for sure: we know that all the planets are made of the same materials and they all had water on them at one time. So what happened to all the planets except Earth? At one time the universe was alive with water and maybe life—no, not aliens, but maybe plant life or microscopic life. At one time all the planets were close together before being thrown into outer space by the inner planets.
We know that creation is very much a mystery for us. As humans we do not always understand the great power and authority that God has. So if scientists say that the universe was because of a big bang, and if it was, it could only have been God who could have created the matter that did not exist and only God had such power to cause such an explosion.
We want to start by addressing the power of God. We know from Scripture that God is fire, as we see in Ezekiel 8:2, “Then I looked, and behold, a likeness as the appearance of a man; from His loins and downward there was the appearance of fire, and from His loins and upward the appearance of brightness, like the appearance of glowing metal.”
When Moses wanted to see just the glory of God, he could not or else he would have died. Exodus 33:18-23 tells us,
Then Moses said, “Now show me Your glory.” And the Lord said, “I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim My name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” He said, “you cannot see My face, for no one may see Me and live.” Then the Lord said, “There is a place near Me where you may stand on a rock. When My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove My hand and you will see My back; but My face must not be seen.”
God’s power, His might, and His glory are so powerful! If you would imagine the most powerful nuclear bomb that we possess, and then magnify it even 100 times (and that is just a figure, for no one knows just how powerful God is, but just for the sake of conversation), you can see why no one could even see God’s face because they would burn up. Our eyes cannot look upon an explosion such as that without it damaging our eyes because of its brightness. So God had to put Moses in the cleft of a rock and cover him, and after He had passed, Moses could only see a glimpse of God’s glory. Only such power, such force, could have created the universe.
I know you will say that Scripture tells us that Moses spoke face to face with God, so what about that? Galatians 3:19-20 tells us, “The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator. A mediator, however, implies more than one party; but God is one.” And this is also mentioned in Acts 7:53, that the people of Israel “received the law as delivered by angels.” “Face to face with God” means that Moses was in God’s presence. He could no way have looked into the face of God and lived, at least not into the true face of God.
It could only have been God who had the wisdom to create a world such as He did. He created a magnetic field around us to protect us. He placed the Earth just in the right spot so that we would not be overcome by the heat of the sun, and an orbit for each of the planets so that they would not collide. God turned the creation of chaos to peace. He told the waters that they could only go so far to create the dry ground. When God spoke, His Word went out from Him and created, for He calls those things that are not as though they are, as Romans 4:17 tells us, “He calls into being that which does not exist.” God has such authority over His creation that when He speaks all of heaven and Earth obey. Everything God did was measured by His wisdom and authority.
We could go on and on, but if anyone gave a hard look into creation, they would have to see the truth, that there is a powerful, awesome God who is bigger and greater than His creation.
Genesis 1:2 reads, “The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” But wait! If the world was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep, where did all the water come from? God never said, “Let there be water” in the first verse. So what is going on? We see here that even though God removed Himself and that there was left a void and nothing but darkness, we also see that there was water. Isn’t that interesting that there should be water . . . Why water?