The Beginning - Part II
Excerpt from the book The Fall of Man by Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart
“And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.” —Genesis 1:2-8
The Spirit Of God
The phrase, “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters,” presents the beginning of life, i.e., re-creation. Because it is so important, please allow me to say it again: The moving of the Holy Spirit is the beginning of life.
We will find that every act of the Godhead carried out on this earth is done through the person, agency, work, power, ministry, and office of the Holy Spirit. The only exception to that would be the ministry of Christ in this world in His first advent, but even then, the Holy Spirit functioned in every single capacity of His conception, birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection (Lk. 4:18–19).
This corresponds with the statement we have previously made, to use the vernacular, God the Father is the owner, God the Son is the architect, and God the Holy Spirit is the builder. But yet, one could use any of these designations for any one of the Trinity, and it would be correct.
Psalm 33:6 tells us that God made the world by His Spirit, and one might quickly say that by the same mighty worker, the new creation is effected in the soul.
The Holy Spirit works exclusively within the parameters of the finished work of Christ.
There is every evidence that in the mind of God, even before this particular time, God through foreknowledge knew that He would create man and that man would fall.
It was determined in the mind of the Godhead that man would be redeemed by God becoming man in order to go to the Cross, where the price would be paid for man’s redemption.
Peter said: “Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold … But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (I Pet. 1:18–20).
The Holy Spirit
From this moment of re-creation, the Holy Spirit has been in the world. He superintended the giving of the word of a limited reconciliation to the first family immediately after the fall. This is carried out in Genesis, Chapter 4, and is summed up in the sacrifices, which epitomized the coming Christ.
Up unto the time of the Cross, which was about 4,000 years from the time of the fall, the Holy Spirit was limited in what He could do because the terrible sin debt hung over the heads of all of humanity.
The blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin, so the debt remained (Heb. 10:4). As a result, when the saints of God died who lived before the Cross, Satan could still claim them as his captives, which he definitely did; consequently, their souls and spirits went down into paradise. Because the sin debt was still there, they could not be taken to heaven when they died (Lk. 16:20–31).
However, when Jesus died on the Cross and, thereby, atoned for all sin, which removed the sin debt, He went down into paradise, which was in the heart of the earth.
Concerning that visit, Paul said: “Wherefore He said, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?” (Eph. 4:8–9).
Leading Captivity Captive
The term “He led captivity captive,” is strange, but it means the following: As stated, every person in paradise, which included all the patriarchs and prophets of old, were actually held captive there by Satan. He could not put them over into the burning side of the pit, but, still, they were his captives. However, when Jesus paid the price on the Cross, He went down into paradise and took those who were captives of Satan and made them His captives. He did this because now the sin debt was paid by what He did at the Cross. In other words, Satan had no more claim on them, and neither does he have claim on any believer in the world today.
Now, when believers die, due to what Jesus did at the Cross, their souls and spirits automatically go to heaven to be with the Lord (Phil. 1:23).
Concerning how the Holy Spirit works within our hearts and lives as it regards our sanctification, Paul said, “For the law (a law devised by the Godhead) of the Spirit of life (Holy Spirit) in Christ Jesus (this law is based on what Jesus did at the Cross) has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:2).
To sum up, every single thing the Holy Spirit has done in this world, is doing, and shall do is based entirely on the Cross of Christ. The Cross is what makes everything possible (I Cor. 1:17).
The Word Of God
“And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (Gen. 1:3).
The phrase, “And God said,” presents the manner in which creation, or re-creation, was carried out. Some 10 times this phrase is used in this exact manner, with the exception of the last time, where it says, “And the LORD God said” (Gen. 2:18).
By the use of the term, “And God said,” we are given very little information. Probably, the phrase, then, is metaphorical and actually means that God enacted for the universe a law.
However, from these three words, we do learn some things. First of all, we learn from this that God makes no preparation, employs no means, and needs no secondary agency. He speaks, and it is done. His Word alone contains all things necessary for the fulfillment of His will. By speaking, God gives to nature a universal and enduring law.
As well, His commands are not temporary but eternal; and whatever secondary causes were called into existence when God, by a word, created light, those same causes produce it now and will produce it until God recalls His word. We have then, here, nature’s first universal law.
The phrase, “Let there be light: and there was light,” presents the first universal law.
Are we to understand that this light now brought into being by God was independent of the sun, the moon, etc.? Calvin and Augustine said that it was; however, I think not! God certainly could have spoken light into existence without the sun, etc.
Nevertheless, I think the light came from the sun, and what we see in Verses 14 through 18 speaks of the regulation of the sun, moon, and stars.
Light travels at the speed of 186,000 miles a second. Incidentally, we are told that the universe is expanding at that particular rate, which means that the Word of God saying, “Let there be light,” is still at work.
The Light Was Good
“And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness” (Gen. 1:4).
The phrase, “And God saw the light, that it was good,” refers to the fact that what it was designed to do, it would do.
It was designed not merely for illumination, although that certainly is one of its great purposes, but, as well, plants have to have light to survive and grow. So, there is a life-giving property of sorts in this light made by God.
Light And Darkness
The phrase, “And God divided the light from the darkness,” does not imply that darkness has a separate and independent existence, but that there were now periods of light and darkness.
Taking this particular statement of the dividing of light from darkness into the spiritual sense, we know that light and darkness can never be joined together. As the Scripture says: “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness” (Eph. 5:11).
In heaven, there is nothing but perpetual light, while in hell, there is perpetual darkness (Mat. 8:12; Rev. 21:23–25).
This which we are studying is the first day of the week. Likewise, Christ rose from the dead on the first day of the week. It carries the aura of a new beginning.
“And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And the evening and the morning were the first day” (Gen. 1:5).
By using the phraseology, “The evening and the morning were the first day,” we know these were literal 24-hour days.
The phrase, “And God called the light day,” is not meant to be a time measure, but rather a character description. But yet, as we shall see, at this particular time, the word day is part of a 24-hour period.
The phrase, “And the darkness He called night,” has to do with the revolution of the earth. In the manner in which God made man, the work and rest cycle is figured into this 24-hour revolution of the earth.
The First Day
Some claim that these were not 24-hour days, but rather undetermined periods of time, but the phrasing, “The evening and the morning were the first day,” as stated, limits these days to a 24-hour time period. The word day can be used to designate any period of time and is often used that way. However, the attaching of the words evening and morning seem to nail it down that in this instance, God is speaking of a literal 24-hour time period.
The idea that the word day, as it is used in this chapter, represents some indefinite time period, possibly even thousands of years, is mostly because men doubt the ability of God to bring all of this about in such a short period of time. However long God took to bring the earth back to a habitable state is really of no consequence, but I think enough scriptural evidence is given to nail down the 24-hour time frame. While it’s certainly not proper to overstate the case, it’s not proper either to understate it. Understating the case always limits God, while it is virtually impossible to overstate the case as it regards God. He is able to do all things.
“And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters” (Gen. 1:6).
Firmament in the Hebrew means “expansion.” God divided the waters, making the oceans and the seas on one side, or as one might say, on the bottom, and their clouds, with the ability to give rain, on the top, with a clear space between. Had not the waters been divided by the atmosphere, human life could not exist.
The phrase, “And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters,” refers to an expanse between the waters, so to speak, called “the atmosphere.”
While most probably have never given it much thought, the atmosphere is necessary for the transmission of sound. If there were no atmosphere, the bell could ring, but it could not be heard. The music could play, but it could not be heard. The voices could lift up on high as they sing the anthems of glory, but there would be no sound. So, we see that all of this was actually made for man.
Divide The Waters
The phrase, “And let it divide the waters from the waters,” refers to the fact that before this was done, not only was there water all over the earth, but, as well, it seems that water also filled the expanse that we refer to as the atmosphere. The Lord divided these waters and separated the clouds, with some of them filled with water, i.e., rain, from the waters that covered part of the surface of the earth.
And God Made
“And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so” (Gen. 1:7).
The waters “under the firmament” pertain to the oceans, seas, rivers, etc. The waters “above the firmament” pertain to the water that’s in the clouds, which comes down as rain upon the earth.
The phrase, “And God made the firmament,” refers to the wide-open expanse above earth’s surface, reaching up to the clouds and beyond, with that marvelous mixture of gases that form atmospheric air, which are necessary for man’s existence and activity.
Waters Under And Over The Firmament
The phrase, “And divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so,” is not contrary to, but in accordance with, science.
The creation that God has devised presents the laws by which rain is formed and the earth watered. This is constantly referred to in the Bible as the chief natural proof of God’s wisdom and goodness (Acts 14:17).
Six times the phrase, “And it was so,” is used. It speaks of the resistless energy of the divine Word. As creation functions accordingly, we should, as well, function, always eager to do the will of God, so much so, in fact, that His Word becomes our command.
“And God called the firmament heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day” (Gen. 1:8).
“Heaven,” as referred to here, pertains to the atmosphere around the earth.
God adjusted the firmament on the second day of re-creation.
The work of the second day is not mentioned as being good because the work of day three had to be carried out before this part was complete.
The phrase, “And God called the firmament heaven,” is not the same meaning regarding heaven as in Verse 1.
In Verse 1, “the heaven” refers to the entirety of the universe. “Heaven” in Verse 8 refers to the atmosphere around the earth, which goes up about 45 miles from the surface before it begins to lose its gravitational pull.
The phrase, “And the evening and the morning were the second day,” as well, speaks of a 24-hour time frame.
This article is an excerpt from the book 'The Fall Of Man' by Jimmy Swaggart.