Worship the Creator
August 30, 2020
Dr. Andy Woods
Good morning, everybody. It’s nice to be back. Thank you to Will Miller, who filled in last week. If you could, open your Bibles to Genesis 1:14. The title of our message this morning is, “Worship the Creator!”
We’re going to be returning to Wednesday night Bible study this coming Wednesday night, and we’re going to be starting the Book of James. You say, “Well, I already know everything there is to know about the Book of James.” No, you don’t! In fact, you might even be shocked to learn that his name isn’t even James. Did you know that? His name is Jacob. So, why do we call him James? Those are the cutting edge questions you want to think about as we’re getting ready to study Wednesday night.
On September 23 we’re not going to be having our normal Wednesday night speaker. We’re going to have Kelly Shackelford. He is a lawyer, he’s been on the cutting edge of freedom of religion issues, and I think now is the time when we need his ministry. Amen?
Just having returned from the West Coast, I know of three pastors who are having their whole churches shut down via the force of law because of the COVID-19 issue. So we’re entering a time in history where the United States is finally catching up with the rest of the world in terms of the government coming against the church. So, I hope you’ll come out on September 23 and have a good listen to Kelly Shackelford.
We have started, as you know, a verse by verse study through the Book of Genesis. Genesis chapters 1-11 is very simple: it’s the beginning of the human race. And that section has four parts: Creation, Fall, Flood, and national dispersion. We’re just now inching our way into Creation, and we’re actually still in chapter 1. We’re going to be in chapter 1 longer than it took God to create the heavens and the earth, I guess.
Chapter 1, as you know, is an overview of Creation. Chapter 2 is not focusing on the six days anymore; it’s focusing on Day Six. So we’re not even there in chapter 2 yet; we’re still working our way through chapter 1. We saw what I would argue is the most important verse of the Bible, Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
If you can believe what that says, believing the rest of the Bible is pretty easy. It’s even easy to believe a Man can walk on water. It’s easy to believe that the dead can be raised. What’s so hard about that? Because in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth!
We saw verse 2 where we have a description of the cosmos, particularly the earth. Not in some sort of ruined state, but in a state of incompletion; it hadn’t been filled and formed yet. It’s a lot like a canvas that is placed in front of a talented painter or a typewriter is placed in front of a talented author. And you’re in expectation, “What is this talented person going to do with this canvas or this typewriter? What is this skilled Potter going to do with this lump of clay? What is he going to create?”
And the Spirit of God was moving on the waters in anticipation of what was coming. Therefore, what starts to unfold is the Creation week where God begins to fill, and He begins to form our world and our universe. We have studied verses 3-5, the first day of Creation, when God said, “Let there be light.”
We’ve studied the second day of Creation, where God created the sky and the waters above and the waters below.
Then we studied the Third Day of Creation, where suddenly land—or earth—comes up out of the waters and vegetation begins to appear on the land.
And what we’re moving into here is Days Four, Five, and Six, as time permits. Days One, Two, and Three are basically shaping; Days Four, Five, and Six are populating.
Day One is light. Then, in Day Four, God says, “Let’s put luminaries to continue the light.”
Day Two is water and sky, but Day Five is sea animals and birds in that water and sky.
Day Three is land and vegetation, and that correlates with Day Six as God creates land animals and man.
So, Days One, Two, and Three: shaping. Days Four, Five, and Six: populating.
We’re now in the populating section, moving into Day Four. Notice what it says here in Genesis 1:14-15. It says, “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth’; and it was so.”
It’s interesting that when God speaks, He doesn’t need His decision ratified by some kind of committee. He doesn’t need to stay up late at night looking at the electoral college, wondering how the votes are going to come in. He just speaks and it happens! And on this particular day, Day Four, He speaks, and the luminaries populate the sky.
It mentions here something very interesting—an increment of time—signs, seasons, days, and years. I find this to be very interesting because we think, in our arrogance, that we invented increments of time. We think somehow the calendar is a human invention. The fact of the matter is, God is the One Who created the world with signs and seasons and days and years. Those are all increments of time.
And He didn’t even consult man’s opinion. Man doesn’t even exist yet. Man won’t even come on the scene until Day Six; we are still in Day Four.
It’s also very interesting to me that when you go to the final two chapters of the Bible, Revelation 21 and 22, those increments of time will continue. It says in Revelation 22:2, “…in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month…”
So apparently months, weeks, years, days, these are part of the handiwork of God. They were in existence long before man came into existence, and they will be in existence in eternity future.
As you look at verses 16 and 17, you start to see the sun and the moon itself come into existence. Look at verse 16, “God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth.” So the sun and the moon come into existence.
Now, it’s interesting that a lot of people think that if you are a Bible student you somehow are anti-science. You’re a member of some kind of society that hates science. And I found the opposite to be true. I found that the Bible makes statements far ahead of its time, scientifically. For example, Jesus made this statement in Matthew 24:29. He says, “‘But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun [speaking of the end times] will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light…’”
Now, it’s interesting that throughout history people thought that the sun was a source of light and the moon was a source of light. They didn’t have the foggiest idea that the moon is not a source of light; it just radiates, or reflects, the sun. And isn’t it interesting that little old Jesus, a carpenter way back in the first century, understood that? Because He says here, “the sun will be darkened.” And once the Lord darkens the sun in the end times, then the moon will not give its light. Giving the idea that the moon is not a source of light; it just radiates it—reflects the light of the sun.
Well, Who is Jesus Christ? Who does He think He is, anyway? The Creator or something? The fact of the matter is Jesus Christ is the One Who created the heavens and the earth; of course He would understand these basic realities.
John 1:3 says, “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him not even one thing came into being that has come into being.” Colossians 1:16 says, “…for by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominions, or rulers, or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.”
The fact of the matter is that Jesus has the greatest credentials that have ever existed. He is not just your Creator. As if that weren’t enough, He is the One Who stepped out of eternity into time to die on a cruel Roman wooden cross 2000 years ago to absorb the wrath of a holy God in our place. He is also your Redeemer.
He didn’t just create; He redeemed. He stepped into creation. He stepped into time when creation went astray and paid a sin debt that we could never pay to restore us. So, when somebody is living their life outside of Jesus Christ—no knowledge of Christ—no relationship to Christ—never having trusted in Christ—they’re missing the point of their existence. Jesus did the two greatest things He could ever do for any person: He created them, and He redeemed them.
It’s interesting here that it talks about the stars coming into existence. Now, I mention this very quickly because this is sort of a stumbling block for many people. People say, “Well, you know, if this happened in a 24 hour period, aren’t the stars a great distance away from the earth? So how could the light of the stars have traveled that fast to make it to the earth so that the light was visible on Day Four?” I have a very simple explanation for that: God created things in maturity.
He created them for the purpose for which they exist in original Creation. His original purpose for stars was to illuminate the earth, and God essentially performed a miracle and allowed the light to appear instantaneously.
It’s kind of like the water to wine in John 2. You know the saying? “We will serve no wine before its time.” Wine has to go through a fermentation process. And Jesus, in John chapter 2, just accelerated the laws. And the steward said, “You brought out the good stuff for late.” The wine that flowed there defied the normal process of time so that it could become instantaneously drinkable for the purpose for which it was made.
Same with Adam in the garden. If you were to walk in the Garden of Eden and see Adam there, how old was he? He probably looked—I don’t know—20 or 30 years old—something like that. He certainly has verbal skills. He is sexually mature, “Be fruitful and multiply.” He’s naming the animals that God brought to him. And yet, you would look at him on Day Six and figure out, “This guy is less than 24 hours old!” God does this all of the time.
So this whole issue of starlight and time? I particularly am one who is not hung up on that. People get very hung up on it, and I was explaining this to somebody once. I’ve got people in my immediate family—this becomes their reason for rejecting Christ. I don’t know if God is really going to tolerate something like this as an excuse on the day of judgment. Because it’s a very simple explanation: God created things for the purpose for which they were created.
I mean, if God created the stars for the purpose of illuminating the earth, is it too hard for God to accelerate the laws of nature and allow the lights to be visible immediately on Day Four? I was trying to explain this to someone, and he said, “Well, I can’t believe that.” And I said, “Why not?” And he said, “Because that would be a miracle!” I’m thinking to myself, “Isn’t that what everything’s about here in Genesis 1? Isn’t it a miracle? What’s the problem?”
Now, I know a lot of you, based on some of the questions you’ve asked me, are much more scientifically sophisticated than that. You want some other answers. So, because a lot of those answers are really above my pay grade, I like to reference people that can answer those kinds of things. I do recommend the work by Russell Humphreys. His book is entitled Starlight and Time. Humphreys talks about how the speed of light is not constant—and all of these kinds of things.
Another guy is Carl Baugh. He talks about the stretching out of the heavens. In the Bible the lights—the stars—may have started at one distance but were stretched out later. In other words, there are answers for these kinds of things if you really want to delve down deep into it. But the bottom line is these are very flimsy excuses for rejecting your Creator and Redeemer—particularly when answers are available.
And, generally, what happens with people is they’ve already made a decision that they don’t want Jesus. And the reason they don’t want Jesus is because Jesus makes a moral claim on their lives; He claims moral authority on their lives. People, by and large, want to be their own god, they want to call their own shots, and so they just come up with these excuses as to why they’re not going to believe the Bible. And they come up with these “starlight and time” type excuses.
That should help you in your evangelism because there’s a lot of people out there who are seeking answers. There are a lot of people who are hiding behind things because they won’t believe. And you really want to not waste your time with people who have already made a decision not to believe. Because once you answer one question, they’ll come back with another one…and another one…and another one. It’s not even so much a condition of the intellect; it’s a condition of the heart. I want to spend my time on someone who really has an honest intellectual objection to Christianity—see if I can remove that so that he might thereby come to Christ.
You’ll notice verse 18 which says, “and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good.” There is nothing astray; there is nothing wrong with original Creation. Everything is being created in a state of God’s original design. Verse 19 says, “And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.”
Now, I believe it was our last lesson together—or perhaps the one before—we did a lesson, “How long is a day?” We believe that the Days of Creation here are six ordinary 24 hour days—six earth rotations if you like that vernacular. And it becomes obvious that that’s the case, because it doesn’t just say “day.” It says, “first day…second day…third day.” In other words, it uses the word YOM (or “day”) with a numerical ordinal modifier. And when that combination is tracked all the way through the Bible, 359 times, it will always refer to a 24 hour day.
And if that weren’t enough evidence, God makes it even clearer by saying, “evening and morning.” That’s obviously an Earth rotation. And if that weren’t enough evidence, Exodus 20 verses 8-11 and Exodus 31:15-17 says God deliberately stretched it out this long. See, everybody’s upset, “You mean God did it that fast?” My question is, “Why did it take Him so long?” He could’ve just snapped His fingers, or spoken, and everything would’ve come into existence. He deliberately stretched it out over six 24 hour days as a pattern for the Israeli workweek.
Now, your Monday morning might be tough, but it’s not going to last a billion years. It’s an ordinary 24 hour day—and Tuesday, and Wednesday, etc. So we need to just take God at His Word on page 1.
This raises a very interesting question because here the sun and the moon and the stars are coming into existence. And we ask ourselves, “If the sun and the moon and the stars are coming into existence on Day Four, how is it that we have light on Day One?” Genesis 1:3, you’ll remember, says, “Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.”
Now, how can that be when the sun doesn’t even come into existence until Day Four? Well, here’s a newsflash—are you ready for this? God can create light without the use of a secondary source. God is not dependent on the sun for light. Why would God be dependent on that when He Himself is clothed in light itself? Psalm 104:2, of God, says, “Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak.”
First Timothy 6:16, of God, says, “who alone possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light…” First John 1:5 says, “This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.” God doesn’t need the sun; God Himself is light.
In fact, when we get to Revelation 21 and 22 one day, we are going to see, in the eternal state, that the sun won’t exist then either. Did you know that? Revelation 21:23, of the eternal state, says, “And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it…”
Revelation 22:5 says, of the eternal state, “And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illuminate them; and they will reign forever and ever.” It’s not a big hang up at all to see light before the sun; that’s what eternity apparently is going to be like.
And I believe this: I believe God deliberately did it this way. He deliberately allowed light to come into existence before the sun came into existence. He deliberately allowed light to come into existence on Day One before the sun came into existence on Day Four. Why would God do something like this? Because he knew the propensity of man to worship the created thing rather than the Creator. Hence, the title of this message: “Worship the Creator!”
Because man, Romans 1:26-27 and following, has a tendency to worship creation rather than the Creator Himself. And God knew that people, in the course of time, would worship the sun. The Book of Deuteronomy speaks of this. Deuteronomy 4:19 says, “And be careful not to raise your eyes to heaven and look at the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the heavenly lights, and allow yourself to be drawn away and worship them and serve them, things which the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.” People would have a tendency to worship the sun.
Now, the last two weeks I was in California and then I was in Florida—West Coast beach, Florida beach—and I saw the sun worshipers. In fact, I probably became one myself. I mean, those beaches are just so beautiful! It’s so easy to just be mesmerized by what you see, and it so easy to forget that God is the One Who put these things together!
And whenever I was tempted to worship the sun rather than God, I would think back on the Creation week. And the Holy Spirit would say to me, “Check the order! Light comes into existence: Day One. Sun comes into existence: Day Four. Worship Me. Don’t worship the created thing.”
There is a school of thought out there that says, “Well, the sun really didn’t come into existence on Day Four; it just became visible. It sort of broke through the clouds, and it was visible to man on Day Four. But we all know the sun existed a long time ago!” Now, why do people believe such a thing? The answer is: they have already bought into a cosmology—big bang cosmology.
When you study it and you see the movies that they produce at the various public museums, you’ll see the cartoon, or the movie, or the order. And they’ve got to do it as a cartoon, don’t they? Because no one was there with a camera last time I checked (man doesn’t even exist yet).
They’ve got the sun coming into existence first. Then, later on, the earth comes into existence, etc. So what happens to people? They believe that that’s a scientific fact because that’s what the teachers all say, “This is science! This is exactly how it happened!” So they come to the Bible and they try to make the Bible fit their presuppositions.
For years and years and years I did this as a Christian! Because I was taught—going through the public school system—that evolution is a scientific fact. I didn’t know any better. So when I got saved at the age of 16, I would come to the Bible and try to make it fit the evolutionary paradigm I had been taught. Over the course of time, I discovered that the more I tried to do that, it was like mixing oil and water. The world has one philosophy, God has a completely different philosophy, and it’s just a matter of which one you believe in, which one you want to have faith in. You’ve got to have faith in something—or someone—because no one was there. You’ve got to trust someone’s word for it. And I could either trust the words of a bunch of scientists in their lab coats with fallen intellects who weren’t present hypothesizing about what happened, or I can trust God.
You see, when you become a Christian and you begin to walk the walk of sanctification, what you will discover with God is that He is not interested in coming into your house and changing a few pieces of furniture around. He’s not interested in coming to your house and maybe putting a little bit of fresh paint on the walls. What will God do? He will take a wrecking ball to the foundation of your home, and He will rebuild it the way He wants it rebuilt.
So many times we’re fighting God when the fact of the matter is it’s a matter of submission. You trust God; you allow Him to rearrange your thoughts. And nobody likes their file drawers rearranged—yours truly included. It’s uncomfortable! It’s uncomfortable to admit that you had something wrong. It’s uncomfortable to admit that you taught something wrong, or you believed something wrong. And so many people spend their whole lives resisting that as Christians.
I think that may be one of the things Paul is speaking of when he admonishes us to not resist—or quench—the Holy Spirit. Don’t spend your life fighting God and trying to fit God into some kind of box that’s unsupportable from the Bible; let God tear down the foundation of your house. Because as that foundation is torn down, there’s freedom in that.
Jesus said in John 8:32, “‘…you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” Make your whole life miserable? No. “‘…you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” There is nothing more emancipating in the life and walk of the Christian than discovering the truth of God’s Word and building your life on what He has revealed.
So people basically believe the sun was in existence and it just became visible on Day Four because they’ve already bought into a big bang cosmology. Now, they get a lot of this from Genesis 24:12 where the verb ASAH (which is used there in verse 16) is used to show or to reveal. “Well, that’s what ASAH means in Genesis 24:12; so that’s what it means in Genesis 1:16.
They are not understanding that ASAH has a broad semantic range. ASAH can mean “create” because Genesis 1:26-27 uses ASAH and BARA together to describe the creation of man. So ASAH can mean “to reveal” or “to show” somewhere else, but that’s not what it means here.
There was no sun before Day Four. There was no moon. There were no luminaries. And if God wanted to say that they just kind of appeared through the clouds because they already existed, there’s another verb He could have used to make sense of that and communicate it clearly. It’s the verb RAAH.
RAAH is used in Genesis 1:9 which says, “Then God said, ‘Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear’…” I mean, if God wanted to say that the sun just appeared through the clouds because it already existed and it broke through the clouds on Day Four, why doesn’t He use the word “appear”? He’s used that earlier. But He doesn’t do that; He uses the word ASAH, which in this context means “to create.”
Luminaries are not created until Day Four. “They really only became visible to someone standing on the earth,” is a viewpoint known as progressive creationism. Why are we worried about what man can see on the earth anyway? Man doesn’t even exist yet.
Just take the Bible for what it says! Day Four: God spoke, and the luminaries came into existence. Not because God needed the light, but He has shaped—Days One, Two, and Three—and now He is populating.
We come now to the fifth day of Creation, where the sea animals and birds are coming into existence, Day Five. Notice, if you will, verse 20. “Then God said, ‘Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.’” So the sky is already in existence (I think that was Day Two), and now God puts birds—or flying animals—into the sky. He is no longer shaping, as we have said; He is populating.
Look at verse 21. “God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.” And God said, “I’m really doing a lousy job here…” No—God said it was good! So, birds in the sky and sea creatures in the water. Sky/water, Day Two. Now we’re on Day Five where He’s putting creatures in the sky and sea creatures in the oceans or the water. And it keeps saying over and over again that it was good.
Now, you’ll notice in verse 21 the repetition of the expression each produced “after its kind.” That became one of the key phrases I began to study which eventually caused me to reject the theory of evolution in totality. Because evolution basically teaches “From the goo to you by way of the zoo over billions of years.” So, if you want to go visit your great relatives, you go to the Houston Zoo and look at the orangutans. The problem is that’s a different species. Humans and animals are different species.
You don’t have one species turning into another. Now, they’re looking for that. They call it the missing what? The missing link. Think about this for a minute. If this has been happening for billions of years—as we’re told—there would be missing links everywhere. But they can’t find a single one! That’s why it has the title “missing link.” The missing link is still missing.
You see, the Bible does not support the idea that one species transfers or transforms into another over billions of years, thanks to the survival of the fittest. The Bible is very clear, and it says over and over again that things produce after their own kind. They don’t metamorphosize into another kind.
Notice verse 22. “God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.’” So, to these sea creatures and animals in the sky (birds, etc.) He gave them reproductive capacity.
Then you look at verse 23 and you see a familiar formula. It says, “There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.” YOM, plus the modifier numerically, plus the expression “evening and morning” makes it crystal clear that God did this in a 24-hour day—period.
Now, you say, “How does all of this relate to us?” Well, here we go: Day Six. Now land animals and man (humanity—man and woman) come into existence for the very first time. Day Six is the creation of man.
The creation of man (or humanity) occurred on Day Six. Notice what it says there in verses 24 and 25. “Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind’…” Do you follow where it keeps saying that? “…and it was so.” No debate. No council meeting. No disagreement. God is just speaking, and these things are happening.
Verse 25, “God made the beasts of the earth after their kind…” Boy! It keeps saying this an awful lot. “…and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.” Notice, again, the repetition of the expression “after their kind”; that is anti-evolutionary. Evolution is predicated on one species transferring into another—what’s called vertical evolution—something that they can’t find evidence for. In fact, when I first got exposed to evolution, I remember sitting in a grade school classroom. We opened our books, and we saw a picture right there of the missing link.
As a very young child I thought, “Well, they found the missing link.” Only to discover later that what they actually found was a tooth of an extinct pig, and everything else in the drawing was an artist’s rendition of what they know the missing link is going to look like once they find it. And this is the complete and total brainwashing that goes on, as the humanists have taken control of the educational system and are brainwashing kids!
The fact of the matter is Jesus was very clear about how you treat kids. “‘…but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.’” (Matthew 18:6) This is a very serious issue that’s happening, and we have to think very carefully about it. What does God think about all of this humanistic propaganda?
But what you see here in verses 24 and 25 is land animals are now coming into existence. On Day Three land comes from the sea; vegetation has already appeared. And now God, Day Six, even before He creates man, is putting land animals on the land. And this raises, of course, a very interesting topic.
What in the world are we going to do about the whole subject of dinosaurs? I found it very interesting to learn that the number one reason the youth leave Christianity is no one has ever offered them a credible explanation about dinosaurs. So, what we do about these dinosaurs? What do we do about these creatures from the fossil record that are giant and they have no parallel with animals that we know?
The first thing to understand is the word “dinosaur” is not even found in the Bible. The word “dinosaur” was invented by a man named Sir Richard Owen in 1841. Prior to 1841, no one even use the expression “dinosaur.” It’s kind of a new verbal invention.
I believe dinosaurs—whatever you want to call them—large beasts, strange beasts that have no parallel with beasts that we know today— are right there with the beasts that are mentioned on the earth in verses 24 and 25. If you want your biblical discussion of dinosaurs, it is probably right there.
Because I think this—and I’ve shared this with you before when we were in Day Two—that at one point in time a ball of water surrounded the earth. You say, “Where in the world are you getting this from?” I’m getting it from Genesis 1:7 when it talks about the expanse—or sky—and then it talks about waters above the expanse.
Psalm 148:4 talks about “waters that are above the heavens.” It’s not something we’re starting a new church over; it’s a model. At one point in time there was a sphere of water that surrounded this earth, creating a greenhouse effect, filtering the sun’s ultraviolet rays, allowing people and things prior to the Flood… Because I think this is how God brought the Flood—He released this canopy.
Prior to the flood, man is living into his 900s and animals are growing out of proportion to what we know them today because of this greenhouse effect. And when God brought the Flood, He released the canopy. And a lot of the fossils that we find in the fossil record are result of the Flood.
There are strange things happening in the fossil record. I’ll show you some pictures when we get to the Flood about animals caught in a fossilized state as one animal is consuming another. Animals caught in a fossilized state with the spine bowed backwards. You look at things like this and it doesn’t give you the impression—at least to me—that these fossils accumulated over billions of years!
It looks to me like God brought judgment suddenly and instantaneously via the Flood, and the animals were fossilized—many of them in that particular condition. And those animals, as you discover them, look different; and they look larger than the animals that we know today. People say, “Those are dinosaurs.” I tend to call them the great beasts that God made on Day Six that lived in this greenhouse effect environment with the ultraviolet rays of the sun being filtered, growing to dimensions that we don’t have today. And they were fossilized in that condition. That’s my explanation for dinosaurs.
You say, “I don’t like your explanation.” Okay, you come up with a better explanation. I’m telling you this much—you had better come up with something because that is the number one reason the youth are leaving Christianity. People are asked by their kids or their grandkids, “The professor at college or the public school teacher said this. Hey, Grandpa, what do you think? What do you think, Grandma? What do you think, Mom? What do you think, Dad?” And your average Christian is just completely caught flat-footed!
So the youth think that the real science is out there somewhere, and all we’re doing in here is just a bunch of fables. Jack and the Beanstalk! 1 Peter 3:15 is very clear, “…always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect…” Are you equipping yourself to give these kinds of answers? Are you in a church that even cares about stuff like this? Or is it just three points and a poem every Sunday? There’s no equipping going on. May the Lord help us to understand this.
I also believe that Noah took some of these so-called dinosaurs—perhaps when they were infants or perhaps when they were hibernating or whatever—into the ark. I think some of them passed in the ark from the pre-Flood world to the post-Flood world and began to live in that new environment without the greenhouse effect. And they sort of discovered that the world wasn’t really equipped for them, and they died out.
What is the oldest book of the Bible? It’s the Book of Job. Did you know Job talks about dinosaurs? Job 40:15 says, “‘Behold, Behemoth, which I made as well as you; He eats grass like an ox.’” Have you met a Behemoth lately?
Have you seen a Leviathan lately? The Book of Job talks about a Leviathan. “‘Can you drag out Leviathan with a fishhook, And press down his tongue with a rope?’” Come on, Andy! Everybody knows that’s a hippopotamus. Really? Does a hippopotamus have a tail like a cedar ? No hippopotamus I’ve ever seen!
So, the fact of the matter is a lot of these so-called dinosaurs could have continued in the post-Flood world and, in fact, are recorded for us in the Book of Job. In fact, did you know this? That there are dragon legends all over the world? All over the world there are these pictures and portraits and carvings in caves and stone and rock of animals that don’t look anything like the animals of today! And where did those strange caricatures come from? The figment of someone’s imagination? That’s kind of odd because the animals look very similar in these portraits as you move from culture to culture. Or could it be that they were looking at the real thing and they carved it into the wall?
It’s interesting when you study Josephus, when you study Marco Polo, when you study Herodotus; there are examples in those historical ancient books of what we might today called dragons. Some call them dragon legends. I don’t think they are legends at all! I think they were seeing something that perhaps made it from the pre-Flood world into the post-Flood world—something that we would call dinosaurs.
When your kids ask you about dinosaurs, why don’t you tell them this? “Look, the word “dinosaur” doesn’t even come about until 1841. So we see these beasts coming into existence.
Now God, verses 26-28, moves to the absolute pinnacle of His created order, which is the creation of humanity, man and woman. Notice what it says there in Genesis 1:26-28. “26 Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”
A couple of things to notice here. Do you see the word “our”? “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image’…” It is plural. Who is the plurality? A lot of people say, “Well, He was talking to the angels.” As Dr. Toussaint used to say, “That dog won’t hunt.” Because the angels are not made in God’s image.
There is some sort of plurality. There is some sort of discussion taking place here at the very beginning, and I think it’s a very early reference to the tri-unity of God, the plurality of God. God is One, but He has decided to express Himself in three separate Personages: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. And that’s why it says “our” in Genesis 1:26. It’ll say the same thing in Genesis 3:22. It’ll say the same thing in Genesis 11:7.
In fact, when God calls Isaiah into the ministry, He asked this rhetorical question, “Who will go for Us?” Now, of course we’ve got to wait until the New Testament to get a crystallize definition of the Trinity: one God Who has expressed Himself in three separate personages: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Each of which share in full deity, but Each is unique according to its own personage. I’ve got to wait till the New Testament to get that doctrine crystallized and clear, but I think it starts forming very early in the Bible.
And that’s how progressive revelation works. God will reveal the truth. And as the Bible unfolds, He won’t contradict what He originally said. If He contradicted what He originally said, He would be a what? A liar. And God can’t lie. He just adds more details; it just gets clearer.
And by the time you get to the New Testament you see, Acts 5, the Holy Spirit is called God. John 8, the Son is called God. Countless references—the Father is called God. It’s the mystery of the tri-unity—or the Trinity.
As God brings man into existence, He says this, “‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…’” Verse 27, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” This is what makes people so valuable. This is what made Christ want to leave the power and the privilege of heaven to become one of us so that we might be redeemed.
There is something inherently valuable in people. Even people that you don’t like, even people that cut you off on the freeway, even people that get on your nerves—they are valuable! Even people you don’t agree with! They are valuable. Because unlike any other created thing God has ever brought into existence, people bear God’s image.
What does that even mean, that we bear the image of God? I’ve been struggling with this for a long time! We’re even different than the angels in that we bear the image of God. We’re different than the animals in that we bear the image of God.
In fact, Jesus was criticized for healing people on the Sabbath. Can you imagine doing such a terrible thing? And Jesus, in Matthew 12, turns around and He says, “Well, you pull out your ox out of the ditch on the Sabbath, don’t you?” “Yeah, we do that.” “Well, I just healed a man. Is not man (or people) more important than an animal?”
We’ve got to get this straight because culture is getting very confused on this! Animal-rights—it’s almost like—are being elevated over human rights! What an out of proportion way of thinking. People are valuable. People are important. This is why we’ve got to preach the gospel—so they don’t go to hell! Because part of being an image-bearer of God means you’re eternal! You didn’t always exist, but from the point of conception onward you will continue to exist.
You are going to be alive somewhere a million years from now. Did you know that? Every human being will be alive somewhere a billion years from now—a trillion years from now! Why? Because they’re made in God’s image, that’s why! It’s either heaven or hell! So we need to get the message of the gospel to every creature, which is what Christ told us to do, did He not, in Mark 16.
And part of being an image bearer of God is this awesome thing that God has given you called volition. You can choose! God is not going to override you and coerce you into Christianity. If you don’t want Jesus and you want to make a decision against Christ, God will respect your decision. He’ll bother you about it until your dying day, but the decision is yours!
If God overrode your volition, He would be overwriting how He has manufactured you. We have something, a power within us, that most of us don’t even realize. We have the power of will. We have the power of “Yes.” We have the power of “No.” And the smartest thing a human being can ever do with their will is to give it right back to their Creator. There’s nothing smarter; there’s any more intelligent than doing that.
In fact, did not Jesus, God in human flesh, role model that for us when He said repeatedly, “Not My will be done,” but what? “Thy will be done.” The Son’s will was not overridden. Christ volitionally gave it back to the Father. And foolish is the person who won’t do that! We so easily take up our own way of doing things. And we resist the things of God just because we have the power to do it, and yet we’re the ones who suffer in the end. Image bearers of God! Think about that.
Now, how many genders do you see here? Because if I were to go and fill out a new Facebook profile today, do you realize there are about 74 genders to pick from? The fact of the matters is, there are only two genders and it doesn’t have anything to do with how you emotionally feel at any given moment. I don’t know how we got so insane that we thought gender had something to do with what goes on between my ears. It’s a matter of biology: male and female.
This is why those who want to bring in this gender-neutral society hate the Book of Genesis, have worked overtime to destroy the Book of Genesis, and have worked through higher criticism to pretend that the whole Book of Genesis is just a myth! This is why, when Marxists come to power in any culture and they want to bring in all this gender neutrality stuff, they know what they’re doing. The first people they declare war on is the church!
Right now on the West Coast I can name three pastors who are being shut down, fined, penalized, threatened with jail because they believe the Bible. They are standing in the way of a Marxist, gender-neutral revolution. And it’s going to get difficult to be a Christian in the United States. They might even call you the F word: fundamentalist. Which is the very worst thing they can call you in their minds, “You’re a fundamentalist!”
Well, let me tell you something. I just flew back from Florida. I got on that plane and I prayed to the Lord that the pilot was a fundamentalist, that he understands numbers and direction and “gas tank empty, gas tank full.” I hope he is literal with all that stuff. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a fundamentalist. A fundamentalist is just someone who believes in the fundamentals of the faith, who attaches to the Bible the same literalness and authority that it deserves! That’s all a fundamentalist is. It’s turned into a pejorative.
So He says to them, male and female, sexual reproduction, “Be fruitful and multiply.” And here you see coming into existence for the first time the Kingdom program, “Let them rule,” authority. “‘…rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”
In verse 28, “subdue.” Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the sky and over every living thing that creeps upon the earth. That’s the beginning of the Kingdom of God! God will rule over a man, the first Adam. Adam will govern Creation along with his wife, the two of them, jointly, because He said to both genders, “Rule and subdue.” The two of them jointly will govern Creation for God; that is the original structure that God instituted.
You see it in Psalm 8:4-6, “What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?5 Yet You have made him a little lower than God, And You crown him with glory and majesty! 6 You make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet…”
Let me tell you something, folks. The moment you were created, you were destined for authority. Your purpose was not to have authority just for the sake of authority. It was to govern under the authority of God. And how this structure gets perverted in Genesis 3, where humanity stops ruling creation for God. But they start listening to creation, in particular a talking snake, and they rebel against God in the process. A top to bottom perversion of what God instituted. And this is how Satan became the god of this age; he usurped the authority structure that God had established. The technical name for this is the office of theocratic administrator, somebody who governs for God.
What, then, is the point of the Bible? The point of the Bible is how that structure comes back! Because, you see, in the thousand year Millennial Kingdom, which will take place on this earth, on this terrestrial ball, an earth that God cannot allow to go out of existence until this structure reemerges. God the Father will rule—not over the first Adam but over who? The last Adam.
I love the song that we sang earlier, except for one line in it. It said, “second Adam.” Biblically, as far as I understand it, the Bible doesn’t use the term “second Adam.” Because if there is a “second” Adam, there could be a third one, right? And a fourth one, and a fifth one. The Bible, of Christ, will use the expression, “last Adam,” the final act. The last Adam is Jesus Christ.
God the Father will rule over the God-Man, God the Son, Jesus Christ. And along with His wife… Now, who would His wife be? We’re the bride of Christ, aren’t we? We’re now His bride; at this point we’ll be married. We’ll be His wife. The two—as we are functioning under His delegated authority—will govern creation for God for a thousand years. The point of the Bible is how this structure comes back to the earth. That’s your destiny in Christ!
You are destined for authority. The Corinthians were all upset and suing each other in 1 Corinthians 6 over petty things, and Paul says, “What is the matter with you people? Can’t you resolve these minor issues? Don’t you know that you will judge the angels! Don’t you know who you are? Don’t you know the authority that you’re destined for?”
And you say, “Wait a minute, Pastor. I’m not experiencing any authority right now. All I’m experiencing is setback, heartbreaks, and tribulation!” Well, do you know why you’re experiencing setback, heartbreaks, and tribulation? Because God is preparing you for your regal office! He is shaping your character in such a way.
Just like Joseph. Joseph went through a lot of difficulty from age 17 to age 30. But age 30? Katie, bar the door! Second in command of all of Egypt, and all of his life experiences were preparing him for that role. That’s what God is doing in your life right now as I speak. Anything that’s happening to you is, as one man put it, training time for reining time. God is preparing you for your role. He’s preparing you for that thousand year Kingdom which comes into existence after Christ comes back.
Here is a quote from J. Dwight Pentecost. The reason I’m closing with this is I don’t want to get into verses 29 and 30 and communicate to you that man was originally created as a vegetarian. Because this is Texas, and I’m looking forward to the Longhorn Steakhouse a little later this afternoon.
- Dwight Pentecost says, “Apart from the reign of Christ…here on earth…And apart from this rule, God’s purpose for man would never be brought to conclusion. God’s purpose for the earth would be unrealized and the problem generated by Satan’s rebellion would never be resolved. Thus the physical, literal reign of Christ on the earth is a theological and biblical necessity—unless [otherwise] Satan is victorious over God.”
Satan is going to win a round in Genesis 3, but it is not the final round. God is going to win the final round because what was established in Eden will be brought back. And that’s who you are, and that is your destiny in Jesus Christ.
And the foolishness of looking at that future and saying, “I’m not interested. I want my own way.” Really? You’re going to turn this down because something else is more important to you? Our exhortation is to not turn this down—and to get in on the ground floor of this.
And you get in on the ground floor through the gospel. The gospel means “good news” because Jesus did all of the work to bridge the gap between fallen humanity and a holy God through His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. You don’t get into this by doing a bunch of stuff; you get into it by relying upon the work He did for you. And you rely on that work by faith.
Faith is the only condition necessary to be involved. It’s not a matter of walking an aisle, joining a church, giving money, vowing to try harder. That has nothing to do with it. It’s as simple as receiving a gift. And you receive this gift by faith alone in Christ alone. It is something that you can do now, even as I’m speaking.
The Spirit could be convicting anybody—in the building, or listening online, or listening after the fact—of their need to do this. Our response is to submit to that conviction by following through with what the Spirit wants you to do, which is to believe—or trust—in the finished work of Christ. And in a nanosecond, you just changed your eternal destiny! If it’s something that you need more explanation on, I’m available after the service to talk. Shall we pray?
“Father, we’re grateful for Your Word, Your truth, Your future for us, and how it begins as early as Genesis chapter 1. Be with us as we walk through this very important section of Your Word.
We’ll be careful to give You all the praise and the glory. We ask these things in Jesus’ name.” And God’s people said, “Amen.”