The story of origins, as given by an atheist, may commence with the words, “The beginning created the heaven and the earth.” See 2 Peter 3:4.
The story of origins as it is found in the Word of God begins with the statement, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
I believe the Word of God. I believe that by the Son of God “were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible [such as the heaven and the earth themselves] and invisible [such as the very first moment of time – the beginning]” (Colossians 1:16).
The first verse of the Bible shows God creating three entities simultaneously:
- The beginning (time)
- The heaven
- The earth
Now what exactly is meant by “God” in Genesis 1:1? Naturally, the three members of the Godhead,
- The Spirit
- The Father
- The Son
God the Father created all things by Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:9). All things were made by Jesus and nothing was made without Him (John 1:3). But to create anything, Jesus sent for His Spirit (Job 33:4, Psalms 104:30), that is, He used His Hand (Job 26:13, Acts 7:50, Hebrews 1:10… “hand of the Lord” is a term used to refer to the Holy Spirit; see Ezekiel 8:3 & 37:1),
We see that “the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead” (Romans 1:20).
The “things that are made” when God “created…the earth” were 1) time, 2) the heavens, and 3) the earth. These three created things tell us of “the invisible things of him…even his eternal power and Godhead.” These three created things tell us
- of the Holy Spirit who, like time, has no physical form yet permeates and influences all things in the most intimate way
- of the Father who is “most high” (Mark 5:7), like the heaven
- of the Son who is that Member of the Godhead in whom we are to live, just as we are to live in the earth.
What About the Six Days?
“For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day” (Exodus 20:11). This clearly took place long after “the beginning” when “God created the heaven and earth” (Genesis 1:1), when Christ “laid the foundations of the earth” and made the heavens with his Hand (Hebrews 1:10). Read the first three verses of the Bible. Once God “created the heaven and the earth,” the “earth was without form and void” and darkness covered its shoreless ocean. Nevertheless, its “foundations” were in place. At this point the firmament/heaven (vs. 8) had not yet been created, thus the “heaven” which God created back “in the beginning” could not have been the firmament – the atmosphere of the earth – but must have consisted of at least the universal fabric of interstellar space, the “heaven of heavens” (Deuteronomy 10:14, Nehemiah 9:6). The “heaven” created in the first moment of time (Genesis 1:1) may also have included the Holy Mountain of God (Ezekiel 28:14). We know that prior to the six days during which God made the heaven and earth, “there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not…he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Revelation 12:7-9). Clearly heaven, earth, and angels (messengers) existed as creations in time and space prior to the famous week of creation. Before the six days of creation, we know that Lucifer boasted, “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God” (Isaiah 14:13). In order for him to liken angels to stars at that point in universal history, literal stars must also have then existed. Thus, when the Fourth Commandment says that “in six days the Lord made heaven and earth,” it refers to a time long after “the beginning” (Genesis 1:1), a time even more recent than the creation of the messengers (angels) and those sinless, alien races which angels were made to bear messages to; it refers to a time when God…
Developed earth…previously a dark, lifeless planet of water reeling through the darkness of intergalactic space, but developed into the planet we as humans were made to live on.
Brought into being the sun, the moon, the solar system, and the stars (Gensis 1:16) which can be seen from earth (the Milky Way Galaxy).
What are we saying?
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
[Here we find the created beginning of time, space, the universe, and a dark, lifeless water-planet – “the foundations of the earth.” Here we find the very first event, literally the very first thing about history that can be meaningful to time-dwelling, space-dwelling creatures.]
“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.”
[This describes the state of the earth through the unknown eons during which God created and dwelt with the angels, during which He developed other areas (even alien races) of the universe, during which the “stars of God” burned brightly and a war was fought in heaven resulting in Satan and his angels cast out.]
“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.”
[Here is introduced the famous creation week.]
Who was Jesus in the Beginning?
Multiple Bible witnesses testify to the fact that Jesus was the Son of God, the “only begotten” of the Father, long before the virgin Mary’s pregnancy. Long before the Incarnation, Solomon referred to God’s Son: “Who hath established all the ends of the earth? [Obviously God has.] What is his name and what is his son’s name if thou canst tell?” (Proverbs 30:4) So did Nebuchadnezzar: “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God” (Daniel 3:25). Jesus had a glory with the Father “before the world was” (John 17:5). His glory was “the glory of the only begotten son of the Father” (John 1:14). Jesus did not become God’s Son once He was born as a babe in Bethlehem, for “God sent his only begotten Son into the world” (1 John 4:9). Jesus had to have been God’s only begotten Son already, before coming to earth as a man, in order for it to be true that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16).
As the phrase “begotten of” means “gone out from” (Strong’s) in the sense of being born, we may initially infer that Jesus was brought into existence at some point in time by the Father. We may infer that the Father is infinitely older than His Son. While this inference at first seems reasonable, it directly contradicts the clear fact that Jesus created that “invisible thing” which was the first moment of time itself (Genesis 1:1). It viciously antagonizes the truth that Jesus “is before all things [including time and space], and by him all things [including time and space] consist” (Colossians 1:17). The inference that once upon a time, Jesus did not exist but in time the Father brought Him into existence fully disagrees, 1) with the Bible fact that as its Creator, the Son stood with the Father above, beyond, and superior to time, and 2) with the equality (Philippians 2:6, Revelation 1:8; 21:22) of Jesus Christ with God the Father.
As we noted before, Jesus had a specific glory with the Father “before the world was” (John 17:5) – that is, before “the beginning” of time when the foundation of the earth was laid. That specific glory was “the glory of the only begotten son of the Father” (John 1:14). Clearly then, Jesus’ glory as the “begotten son” extends above or beyond time. Jesus existed as the Father’s Son beyond “the beginning” in the reaches of unimaginable, divine everlastingness. It must be true that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are equally old. Their “age” consists of a finite amount of time (which has elapsed since “the beginning”) plus a state of being called “everlasting” which is fully beyond the comprehension of time-dwellers.
Question: How are we then to picture the “begottenness” of the Son of God apart from the false view that at one point in time Jesus did not exist? Answer: By beholding Jesus as His creation of time reveals His own nature.
“The beginning of the creation” was, by definition, the first present moment of time and was itself a creation. Now just as Jesus is said to be any other element of His creation such as a lion, a lamb, or a rod, so Jesus is called “the beginning of the creation of God” (Revelation 3:14); He is called a present moment of time. But why?
What is time like?
Well, time has three parts, three dimensions you might say – past, present, and future. The past developed and gave birth to any situation which now is, but the present moment – the current state of affairs – once existed in but has now come from what used to be the future. This is at first hard to understand; perhaps an example will help.
Let right now be a present moment in which I am rock-climbing. My past developed my current experience and brought it forth. My past contains all the packing of supplies, it contains the entire drive to the location of the climb and every step up to the face of the cliff. These experiences along with all others which compose my past effectively gave birth to my current experience on this rock. On the other hand, my future once contained this exact present moment in which I am clutching a nob with one hand while the other is jammed in a crevice, one leg dangling while the other strains to thrust me upward. This present moment has come from that future.
It is very natural to see the present moment as the “son” of the past (its “mother”) and the future (its “father”). But unlike a human son, the present moment has always just been born and has always just been conceived. Simultaneously, it is always unimaginably productive, as it is always accomplishing all dynamic change.
We asked the question, why is Jesus said to be “the beginning,” a present moment of time? It is because Jesus is the Father and the Holy Ghost’s Son. While on earth, Jesus Himself said that He “proceeded forth and came from God” (John 8:42). God? The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4). The Father is God (James 3:9). The same concept is repeated later in John 16:27-18. “I came out from God. I came forth from the Father.” Jesus “proceeded forth” or “came out” from the Holy Spirit who was responsible for Mary’s pregnancy and Christ’s birth (Luke 1:35)…Jesus was born of the Spirit…but Jesus “came from” or “came forth from” the Father. We know that all this took place at the time Jesus became a man. However, the reflection we see of the Godhead in time itself shows us that all this takes place constantly, even beyond the limits of time – even more than “constantly” – and at a spiritual level we cannot conceive of. Suffice it to say that time likens the feelings of the Father and Holy Spirit toward the Son 1) to the feelings of father and mother who are in the act of conceiving a child, 2) to the feelings of father and mother holding their newborn son in their arms for the first time, and 3) to the feelings of the same watching their son accomplish some great feat such as the creation of a great masterpiece. Time says that the Father and the Holy Spirit feel all this over the Son simultaneously and at least constantly. While it is true that Love is not a feeling, love certainly involves powerful feelings. How astounding then that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son.”