Bible Genesis & Geology

Introduction: The Four (4) “Creations” of the Heaven and Earth

 In the Holy Bible there are four (4) distinct and separate Creations of the heaven and the Earth. Each of these are the beginning of four different Biblical Ages. In chronological order, they are:

1 The Initial Creation of the “heaven and earth” (Genesis 1:1 & Job 38:4-11 KJV)
Time frame: “In the beginning”
Pre-existing conditions:  Eternity past. God created them Ex nihilo, "out of nothing"
2 The First Regeneration of the “heavens and the earth” (Genesis 2:1 & 2:4 KJV)
Time frame: About 6,000 years ago
Pre-existing conditions:
"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
(Genesis 1:2 KJV
)
3 The Second Regeneration of the “heavens and earth” (Isaiah 65:17 – 25 KJV)
Time frame: Following the Great Tribulation and before the one-thousand years reign of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the Earth (Revelation 20)
Pre-existing conditions: "I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger."
(Jeremiah 4:23-26)
4 The new Heaven and new Earth of Eternity (Revelation 21:1 KJV)
Time frame: Eternity following the Great White Throne Judgment
Pre-existing conditions: "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works."
(Revelation 20:11-12 KJV)

The following characteristics apply to the four respective Creations:

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea."
(Revelation 21:1 KJV)

The “sea” spoken of in the above verse is the same one referenced in this verse:

"For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it."
(Exodus 20:11 KJV)

The "sabbath day" of the above verse (and Genesis 2:2) represents a promise given from God and points to the future reign of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the Earth, when He returns as the King of Kings. You see, there are seven-days in the Genesis account. Each of those days, that were literal and 24-hours long, can also represent one-thousand years of human history. According to the Biblical chronology, there has already been about six-thousand-years of human history since the creation of Adam and Eve.

 "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."
(2 Peter 3:8 KJV)

Consequently, the seventh-day represents the seventh day of the one-thousand-years of future human history which is detailed in Revelation chapter 20:

"And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea."
(Revelation 20:1-8 KJV)

So the seventh-day of human history begins after the third Creation event. And the fourth Creation event takes place after the one-thousand years of Revelation 20. To be truthful, very few "Christians" accept the literal interpretation of Revelation 20. Very few even know about the third Creative event, and even fewer know about (or accept) the second Creative event. For that reason, let's first analyze the third Creation event to see what the Bible reveals about it.

This is Creation #3 that takes place after the Great Tribulation:

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.”
(Isaiah 65:17 KJV)

As compared to the present evil world we live in (Galatians 1:4), the third Creative event will bring fourth some interesting changes on the Earth. I have added numbered word-points to the rest of Isaiah's passage to make it easier to point these out:

But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, {1} I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in {2} my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall {3} die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: {4} for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. {5} The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and {6} dust shall be the serpent's meat. {7} They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.”
(Isaiah 65:18-25 KJV)

{1} - God creates Jerusalem. He creates a whole city to replace that which was broken down at the end of the Great Tribulation. This Jerusalem is NOT the "New Jerusalem" of eternity (Revelation 21:2).

{2} - These are the Hebrew people, who survived the Tribulation destruction.

{3} - The word “die” denotes that there is still human death during the one-thousand-year reign of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Earth. (see: 1 Corinthians 15:26 & Revelation 20:14)

{4} - The people will have age-spans like those that were on the Earth before Noah’s flood (trees live hundreds of years)

{5} - The animals will once again be vegetarians and have no fear of man (as they were in the Garden and before the flood).

{6} - The serpent shall still be eating dust (see Genesis 3:14).

{7} - This is a righteous world, but not the final one.

And both the Lord Jesus Christ and the Apostle Peter specifically testified of its coming:

"And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
(Matthew 19:28 KJV)

 "Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."
(2 Peter 3:13 KJV)

Take note that Lord Jesus Christ Himself called this Creative event a "regeneration" in its nature, so you know this is a Biblical definition. And also note that Peter said "heavens" (plural) which, in our King James Bible, also distinguishes this as a regeneration event, as compared to the first and last of the four listed Creative events. That is why the word "heaven" in Genesis 1:1 and "heavens" in Genesis 2:1 in the KJV are different, because the Holy Spirit is speaking of two different things. And that is why the singular word "heaven" is given in Revelation 21:1 (the fourth Creative event) because that "new heaven and new earth" are different than the "new heavens and new earth" of Isaiah 65:17. Compare:

For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.”
(Isaiah 65:17 KJV)

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea."
(Revelation 21:1 KJV)

Revelation 21:1 also clarifies another important point: It clearly tells us that the first three Creative events all take place on the same core planet that exists now. Not until the fourth Creative event are ALL THINGS made completely new.

In Isaiah 65:17-25 the prophet has outlined, in great detail, the conditions on the face of the Earth after the third Creative event, but what will be the conditions on the face of the Earth before that happens? For that information, we can turn to the book of the prophet Jeremiah who prophesied about the conditions of the world in the immediate aftermath of the coming Great Tribulation:

 “I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, {1} and all the birds of the heavens were fled. I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and {2} all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger. For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end. For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it. {3} The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein. And when thou art spoiled, what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson, though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold, though thou rentest thy face with painting, in vain shalt thou make thyself fair; thy lovers will despise thee, they will seek thy life. For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers.”
(Jeremiah 4:23-31 KJV)

I am aware that there are many “Gap Theory” supporters who claim that Jeremiah 4:23-31 is speaking of Genesis 1:2, because of the similarity of the words “without form, and void” used by the prophet, but they are mistaken. This passage clearly is speaking of the conditions on the Earth at the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. A breakdown of word-points refutes that notion:

{1} Birds were not even made at this point in the Genesis narrative, so to say they have fled indicates they are present, at this time.
{2} There were no cities present at the seven-days of Genesis – they came later (Genesis 4:17).
{3} Again, there were no cities in the Garden in Genesis, but a city (Jerusalem) is spoken of through the rest of the passage.

Jeremiah 4:23-31 is future prophecy, it is not a description of a past event. Having said that, however, Jeremiah 4:23 is instructive in rightly-dividing the Bible to determine the validity of Genesis 1:2, the conditions on the Earth prior to the second Creative event.

Summation:

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the Bible interpretation “Rule of First Mention” but, if not, it is well stated in this paragraph from another Bible website:

The law (or principle or rule) of first mention is a guideline that some people use for studying Scripture. The law of first mention says that, to understand a particular word or doctrine, we must find the first place in Scripture that word or doctrine is revealed and study that passage. The reasoning is that the Bible’s first mention of a concept is the simplest and clearest presentation; doctrines are then more fully developed on that foundation. So, to fully understand an important and complex theological concept, Bible students are advised to start with its “first mention.”

Application of the Rule of First Mention to the phrase “without form, and void” strongly supports the doctrinal application of a singular truth to both the Jeremiah 4:24 and Genesis 1:2 occurrences. Specifically, if the term, “without form, and void” in Jeremiah 4:23 denoted the conditions on the Earth prior to a future “regenerative” event, then the use of the same, exact phrase in Genesis 1:2 implies that the creation of the heavens and Earth following the seven-days of Genesis was ALSO a “regenerative” type of event.

The same use of the Rule of First Mention, if applied to the only two occurrences of the word “replenish” in the King James Bible , reveals the Bible’s definition of the meaning of the word.

"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth."
(Genesis 1:28 KJV)

"And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth."
(Genesis 9:1 KJV)

The context and meaning of the word “replenish” as used following Noah’s flood is clear and unmistakable to a reasonable person. Therefore, applying the Rule of First Mention to the word’s first use in Genesis 1:28, the BIBLE’S definition of the word settles the question. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ll take the authority of the King James Bible’s definition of the word “replenish” any day over some Victorian era English dictionary’s definition.

On the page that immediately follows, we will further discuss the so-called "Gap Theory" (Creative event 2) and the Church history behind the interpretation. And in other pages on this website we will show you multiple reasons why there is, indeed, a time-gap between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 in the Holy Bible.

Next Page:  Gap Diagram

The History of the Genesis Gap Interpretation and its Basis in Bible Doctrine

 

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Gaines R. Johnson
The Bible, Genesis & Geology Ministry

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