So we have covered the first and second subheadings under the first major category of theology proper, on the greatness of God, and the subheadings are God the immortal spirit. And last time we covered God the Triune person. Now we’re going to look at a third subheading, God the Creator. And this is going to take us a few, a few weeks to get through because there’s a lot here.
As we’ve talked about before, the creation is kind of like the prism through which God’s attributes are, How do you say that refracted. Or, and just so that we see all, it’s like the single beam of light coming through a prism and, and, casting all these hues of color. It’s the same properties of light, and yet we see it in different ways.
Same thing with creation. God’s, God’s, the simplicity of God and his Being passes through the prism of creation and out comes all this refraction of, as we perceive it, even though it’s all the same thing, you know, we can’t separate his eternality, from his omnipotence, from his holiness, from his love, from his justice. We can’t separate those things. And yet they are separated out so that we can see and understand.
So this is gonna be, you know, we’ll try to keep this as, as, focused as possible and targeted. We do want to spend a little time in the text. We will, Lord willing, get to, get to that later today and then, but we want to start here. We said God is immortal spirit. He’s immortal, life giving, he’s one, he’s unchanging. He’s, also, triune person; one substance shared equally, eternally, without confusion by three persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
We say that those three persons are distinct from one another, without confusion, at the same time coequal, consubstantial, or we could say coessential, sharing the same essence with one another. So with all that in our, in our mind about who God is, we’re ready to consider God the Creator.
And we had to cover, I wanted to cover the Trinity of God. Trinitarian in nature, because all three persons were involved in the creation. Can anyone cite biblical references that support that statement: that all three persons of the Godhead and the Trinity were involved in creation?
Audience: Genesis one, two, and three.
Travis: Genesis: One, two, and three. Joe.
Audience: Yeah, that’s what I was saying. Elohim is plural.
Travis: Elohim is plural, but, that’s, that allows for a plurality of persons but it doesn’t specify. So that’s, but that’s true. We could just say Elohim. We could say well there you go. But what’s the verse reference. Anybody want to give a good verse reference.
Audience: The spirit was over the. And, and, I think that’s one.
Travis: What was the over, though? What was the Spirit over? Where is it?
Travis: He is over the water. Where was that? Where is that found?
Audience: Genesis 1, verses two and three.
Travis: Genesis 1:2. Yes. You didn’t raise your hand, teacher. All right. Genesis 1:2. So we got, you didn’t say it or cite it, but, “in the beginning God.” Right. So there’s Elohim. But that’s what you were saying Elohim. So that’s one person. We’ve got the second person. Genesis 1:2. Got to start with Scott.
Audience: Genesis 1:26.
Travis: Genesis 1:26 is?
Audience: “Let us make man in our image.”
Travis: Okay. All right. So there again, there’s a allowing for a plurality of persons there. But that’s God said. So that’s Elohim. Yeah. Chuck.
Audience: John 1:1.
Travis: John 1:1.
Audience: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and Word was God.”
Travis: Okay, so that says that tells us that there’s, there’s, there are now two persons in the Godhead. But it doesn’t say anything about creation in that verse. Where does it say it?
Audience: John. John 1:3.
Travis: 1:3, Yeah, that’s right. Good. So, and you guys know. Yeah,
Audience: Colossians 1:16.
Travis: Colossians 1:16, which says?
Audience: “That the Lord Jesus created all things visible and invisible.” This says, ‘he’, talking about the Lord Jesus Christ, was in the big, “From the beginning, created all things visible and invisible.”
Travis: Colossians 1:15, “He’s the first born of all creation. For by Him all things are created, both visible and invisible, whether thrones or rulers and dominions or authorities, all things are created through Him and for Him.” Right? So, so then we think about what does it mean that he’s first born? Obviously, he’s created, right? So is Michael the Archangel. Am I gettin off on that? Okay so what?
Audience: I can tell you what it doesn’t mean, that he was, that he was born in the sense that, you know, in, in, his divinity, I should say, that he was not born. He’s, he’s always been. He’s always. He preexists.
Travis: Preexists. But, but, it does say first born.
Audience: Born of all creation. But it says, Prototokos, which we translate first born. So what it actually means is the right of the first born. The right traditionally given to the first born is his.
Travis: So when it says first born we don’t believe it means first born.
Audience: Well it just doesn’t always mean first born in the same sense. It doesn’t mean born first, it means it means, Prototokos. It means the person given the, the, authority to take all the land from the dad and to divvy it up to, to, the brothers. First in eminence. Position.
Travis: Position. Okay, good, good. You guys are budding apologists here. Developed apologists. Yes, Joe.
Audience: Is that like David and like Israel, in the Old Testament, were called first born. And they weren’t either First Nation or.
Travis: Good. Good. Excellent. All right, Scott.
Audience: I have another passage.
Travis: For which person of the Trinity.
Audience: All of them.
Travis: No, I’m looking for individual persons. But if you want to give us your passage.
Audience: I was going to say Mark 1:10.
Travis: You did, you did like, make the effort to raise your hand up.
Audience: So I was just going to say Mark 1:10 and 11.
Travis: Say it again.
Audience: Mark 1:10 and 11.
Travis: What’s it say?
Audience: It says, “And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And the voice came from heaven. You’re my beloved Son. With you I am well pleased.”
Travis: Okay, good. So the baptism passage, throwing. Throwing? Showing three, give me one of those. Showing three persons present at the same time. Good. Yeah. What I’m trying to do, though, is tie it to them and their involvement in creation. So. So, yeah, but good. Yeah.
Audience: Just. I can’t, I don’t have the reference here at hand in Hebrews where the word of Christ sustains all things. But that’s not created, I guess it’s, created and sustains all things. Isn’t that in Hebrews?
Travis: That’s Hebrews 1:2. Yeah, good. All right, so by him all things. By him All things are created. Going back to Colossians 1. I like the Colossians 1:16 passage very full. But yeah, Hebrews 1, John 1:3, Hebrews 1:2 and three. So on there. Yeah, Good. So, yeah.
So anyway, there, there, are. What, what, we should say about this is that it’s not just that we have identify individual passages throughout the scripture. You see it’s, it’s, almost like, I think Brett was making this point. I can’t remember on, on, what we were talking about, but Brett was making the point about how, you know there’s no, it’s not, not, like there’s some kind of argument in scripture that says, now I want to explain all this to you. It’s just assumed, as you get in, God speaks as if he did it. He doesn’t make a big deal out of it. He just, “In the beginning God” and then he moves on and you see the three persons as, as, scripture is unfolded in the progress of revelation. We see increasing clarity on the involvement of the other two persons in, in, all things. Okay. So that’s good, a good start.
So we’re going to be in Genesis 1, but, but, before we do that, I’m gonna have you look up a couple of passages and I’ll get some readers here. But want to, want to state the doctrine, some of the basic elements in the doctrine of creation, and talk about the doctrines of theology that are proper, that are kind of revealed in creation, before we look at Genesis one chapter one.
But God is, God is creator and that’s, we see that from the very beginning, the very first verse of the Bible, “in the beginning, God created the heavens on the earth.” And it’s, it’s significant that when, as God introduces himself on the pages of divine revelation, that’s where He starts is; I made it all. I want you to know that; I made everything.
Basic elements of the creation doctrine, we would say that that verse, “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” If, if, in the beginning God created, if he’s the subject and then there’s the verb created and everything is create, comes out of him, then we realize that prior to the moment of creation God existed.
So the subject was there before the verb and the action went forth. He existed in self-sufficient perfection just as he has after all, after creation, but he existed prior to everything being made: heavens and earth. Prior to creation, God existed. He has existed.
God created the, that’s a second point, is that God created the universe as we see in Genesis one. He created the universe by what we call divine fiat or decree or proclamation. Basically, it’s let it be done. It’s an edict, an authoritative pronouncement.
So God created the universe and we see that He speaks. He speaks it into existence. He proclaims or, or, decrees it to be so. He created in ex nihilo, that is not from any preexistent matter: out of nothing. Want to make a, a, note here, sometimes when you talk to unbelievers or, you know, anybody who’s educated in philosophy, you’ll say we believe in creation ex nihilo and they’ll say, Oh well, ex nihilo nihil fit, out of nothing, nothing comes. We’re not saying that there isn’t anything prior to creation. What’s prior to creation? God is prior to creation.
So all we mean when we say creation ex nihilo, it’s not from any preexistent matter. So, ex nihilo nihilo fit, out of nothing, nothing comes. That does not negate what we mean by create, creatio ex nihilo. We affirm “in the beginning God” and then we move on from there. There wasn’t, absolutely nothing before creation. God is there. Just God created. He was there, and then put everything into motion using no preexisting matter, that’s important.
The beginning, the end of the universe. Another point of, of, of, doctrine about the Bible’s teaching on creation. The beginning, and we could say, the end of the universe, as well, is by God’s free and sovereign and spontaneous will. Okay, if we want to emphasize free will, I’m all for it. Let’s emphasize God’s free will and God shows his free will in the creation story.
I remember reading John Calvin, big section, where he, he’s dealing with the objections to the sovereignty of God, and he goes back to creation. That’s where he starts. He says God is absolutely sovereign in his choices in making this creature thus and putting its limitations and that creature in this way, We have no, we don’t look back at the animals and say it’s not fair that they can’t have heaven and speak. And it’s not fair that the birds can fly and the fish, you know, fish can’t, or the fish swim, but the birds can’t. We don’t say anything like that.
God has prerogative over how he makes everything. Why wouldn’t he have prerogative in salvation too? So why wouldn’t he have prerogative over all of his works? He does. He has sovereign prerogative and perfect free sovereign will.
One more point. So, So, what did I say? God preexisted at creation. Self-sufficient perfection. That’s one point. He created the universe by divine fiat and ex nihilo. He, the beginning of the universe and the end, as well as, by God’s free, sovereign, spontaneous will and everything in between, we should say.
And then lastly, the universe is not independent. The universe is completely dependent, wholly dependent on God, for its origin, for its maintenance, for its sustenance, for its preservation. One you want to write down on that point. One passage I love on that is Psalm 104 and just read Psalm 104 and see the, the, Psalmist rejoicing in the fact that God brought everything into existence, but also sustains it all. And if he pulls back his hand of sustenance, everything falls apart and dies.
So the, the, doctrines of Theology proper revealed in creation. This is a, another point here. So we talked about the basic elements of the doctrine of creation. Here’s, some of the doctrines of Theology proper that are revealed in the creation doctrine. When, when, God created the heavens and the earth, and then everything that we see afterwards. We see that, it revealed that, in contrast to creation, God stands above his creation as completely and utterly and altogether limitless. Okay. Limitless. He’s limitless. God, God is revealed in scripture as limitless. And from very early on, too.
I want, I want to get some people to read. If you want to hold up your hand, if you’d like to read, I’ll call on you. So let’s start, let’s start on this side of the room. I always start on this side. Wayne, why don’t we start with you. Genesis 21:33. Chuck, Psalm 90, verse two. Brett, 9, Psalm 93, verse 2. Bryce, Psalm 103 verse 17, and okay and then Isaiah 40 verses, verse 28.
So the Bible, Bible reveals God is limitless. He’s, his life-giving spirit is limitless, not bounded by space and time, and we describe therefore, God therefore as infinite. He’s not limited or bound to the confines of space. We describe him as eternal. He’s not limited or bound to the confines of time.
So time and space in the moment of, “in the beginning,” that’s when it all started. Okay, time and space are created there, and God is infinite and he is eternal. Let’s go through those passages, starting with Wayne, Genesis 21:33.
Audience: “And he planted a Tamaris tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of Yahweh.”
Travis: Okay, there’s. I think there’s something more to that. But let me see what I was thinking, when I.
Audience: Currently I need a Tamaris tree.
Audience: It’s not I’ve seen the woods it’s not.
Travis: It’s, not the Tam.
Audience: Mine says, “and called on the name of the everlasting God.”
Travis: Yes, yes, that’s right. So what, what are you? What version are you using? Are you using the New Living Translation? That erases things about the truth.
Audience: No, it’s the LEB.
Travis: All right, so here’s my ESV. “Abraham planted the Tamaris tree in Beersheba called there on the name of Yahweh,” which is really significant because that is the I am and, and, then it says,” the Everlasting God,” or El Olam. Okay, El Olam. God. Everlasting. The everlasting God, which, which, is an indication of limitlessness. Chuck.
Audience: So Psalm 90, verse two says, “Before the mountains were born, you brought or you brought forth the whole world from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.”
Travis: Okay, “From everlasting to everlasting,” that’s using boundless limitless language. You know it’s, we, from and to, those are prepositions that are kind of bound by time or space, but that’s all we have to work with, right. So we just think of it’s, it’s, kind of like a number chart, it goes infinity that direction, that direction number line. I mean so yeah, Brett.
Audience: “Your throne is established from of old. You are from everlasting.”
Travis: “You are from everlasting” notes next Psalm 103 verse 17.
Audience: “But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him and His righteousness to children’s children.”
Travis: Okay, so there you see, it says in Psalm 90 and Psalm 93 that God is from everlasting to everlasting. There, what Bryce read is his mercy. So we’re taking one of His attributes. Let’s sing, single out one of his attributes and see that in the same way that God is everlasting, from everlasting and everlasting. A singular attribute is from everlasting to Everlasting, which again goes back to the doctrine of divine simplicity, that you really can’t separate out God’s mercy from his love, from his omnipotence, from his holiness, from his, you know, on and on it goes. All of them infinity, all from everlasting. And Josh, one more Isaiah 40, verse 28.
Audience: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary. His understanding is unsearchable.”
Travis: Okay. So we have a, a, limitless. Read that one more time. I just want you to listen out for the different aspects of limitlessness in that verse.
Audience: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or” grow work or “grow weary. His understanding is unsearchable.”
Travis: Okay, So what, what do you hear in that verse that is limitless about God.
Audience: His understanding.
Travis: His understanding. What do we call that? What’s another word for that theological term?
Travis: Omniscience. Omniscience. He’s absolutely all knowing. What’s another one?
Audience: His almightiness. His strength.
Travis: His strength. His strength is, is, without limits. So what do we call that?
Travis: Omnipotence, right? He’s all powerful; that he doesn’t ever grow weary. There’s no like, he’s not like reaching into stores of energy and somehow sa, saying, boy, I hope I have more effort to protect these people. No, it’s always there. What else?
Audience: He’s eternal. The everlasting God.
Travis: Okay. He is the everlasting God in his own person. Eternal. And boy, that, that’s an incomprehensible doctrine for us creatures, who are limited in time and space. There’s one more. What else?
Audience: Did we already say Omniscience?
Travis: We did, Yeah. Omniscience. Omnipotence.
Audience: He’s the creator.
Travis: Okay. He’s a creator of what?
Audience: The ends of the Earth.
Travis: The very ends of the Earth. So go all to all the boundaries that we can think of and let’s just, you know, by extension, the boundaries of the universe. Boundaries of what, whatever boundaries there are, God is beyond them. Okay. So what do we call that? Omnipresence. So, so in that verse we think of the three omnis coming out in demonstrating God’s absolute om, om, limitlessness.
So I’m gonna read a couple of theologians, because we always have to read a couple of theologians and we’ll start with, with, Berkhof here. And I wanna, I want to read what Berkhof just, he, he uses the term infinity. The infinity of God to talk about the limitlessness of God.
So here, listen to a few lines from, from, Berkhof. He speaks of the limitlessness of God, and then he has three headings under that: his absolute perfection. Or he speaks of the infinity of God, and he speaks of his absolute perfection, his eternity, and then his immensity, immensity. That’s sometimes a term you’ll find used from the theologians of divine immensity. Meaning he’s big, okay, he fills all.
“The Infinity of God is that perfection of,” of, “God by which He is free from all limitations. In ascribing it to God we deny that there are or can be any limitations to the divine Being or attributes. It implies that He is in no way limited by the universe, by this time-space world, or confined to the universe.
“It does not involve His identity with the sum total of existing things, nor does it exclude the co-existence of derived and finite things, to which he bears relation. The infinity of God must be conceived as intensive rather than extensive, and should not be confused with boundless extension, as if God were spread out through the entire universe, one part being here and another there, for God has no body and therefore no extension.”
So think of no extension space. That’s what a spirit is. “Neither should it be regarded as a merely negative concept, though it is perfectly true that we cannot form a positive idea of it. It is a reality and God fully comprehended only by Him.” Amen to that.
So under his “Absolute Perfection”, just this, “this is the infinity of the Divine Being considered in itself.” So when we say El Olam, God everlasting, this is what he’s talking about. “It should not be understood in a quantitative, but in a qualitative sense; it qualifies all the communicable attributes of God.” Like Bryce read about; mercy, that’s a communicable attribute.
“Infinite power is not an absolute quantum, but an exhaustless potency of power; and infinite holiness is not a boundless quantum of holiness, but a holiness which is, qualitatively free from all limitation or defect. The same may be said of all infinite knowledge and wisdom, and of infinite love and righteousness.”
Skipping on, that’s on absolute perfection in his Being, in his attributes. Then His eternity; “The infinity of God. In relation to time is called His eternity. The form in which the Bible represents God’s eternity is simply that of duration” that of duration “through endless ages.” We read Psalm 90, verse two. You can also read Psalm 102, verse 12 and Ephesians 3:21. “We should remember, however, that in speaking as it does the Bible uses popular language, not the language of philosophy.
“We generally think of God’s eternity in the same way, namely, as duration infinitely prolong both backwards and forwards.” That, “this is only a popular and symbolical way of representing that which in reality transcends time and differs from it essentially.”
Is important to think rightly about this issue of eternity and transcending time; that God is not bound by time. Philosophers who do, are stumbling upon this doctrine, which is an incomprehensible doctrine. It’s kind of like, if I make an analogy to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who stumble upon the doctrine of the Trinity, which is fundamentally incomprehensible to us because we’re one Being, one Person. God is one Being, three Persons. And they look at that and they say ridiculous. And so they come up with some other explanation.
That’s what philosophers do with the eternity of God. They say God outside of time. I mean the succession of moments. He thinks one thing and then thinks another thing. That’s a, you draw a line between that and that’s time. Philosophers cannot comprehend this. Neither can we. And so they reject it and say God is within time. And they find all kinds of ways to explain that.
“Eternity in the strict sense of the word is ascribed to that which transcends all temporal limitations. That it applies to God in that sense is at least intimated by Second Peter 3:8. “Time,” says Doctor.” That’s Second Peter 3:8, “With God, a day is a thousand years, a thousand years a day.” Right.
“‘Time,’ says Doctor Orr, ‘strictly has relation to the world of objects existing in succession. God fills time; is in every part of it; but His eternity still is not really this,’ really this, ‘Being in time. It is rather that to which time forms a contrast.’”
So time, the succ, succession of moments, forms a contrast. Our reality forms a contrast to what God experiences; no succession of moments. Can he understand succession of moments? Sure, he’s omniscient. Can he interact with us in the succession of moments in our lifetime? Yes, absolutely. That’s the doctrine of omnipresence. It’s, it’s a, it’s, it’s demonstrating his immanence, his nearness to us. But in his transcendent holiness, he’s eternal. Okay.
“Our existence is marked off by days and weeks and months and years; not so the existence of God. Our life is divided into a past, present, and future, but there is no such division in the life of God. He is the eternal ‘I am.’ His eternity may,” may, “be defined as that perfection of God whereby He is elevated above all temporal limits and all succession of moments, and possesses the whole of His existence in one indivisible present.” Pretty, pretty heady stuff.
Audience: Why is it funny in that book that he unloads all this on page 30? Like, how does he scramble your head with the rest of the book?
Travis: I’m sorry?
Audience: He’s got, Berkhof has lots more to scramble our brain cause he’s like on page 30 with stuff.
Travis: Oh, page 60. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Audience: So it’s It was like (can’t hear the speaker)
Travis: Here’s, here’s what I, what I think is kind of cool. Even theologians quote theologians. Right? So, so we’re, we’re, in good stead, you know, good stead with him. So anyway, so that’s, that’s, his and we need to understand and not, not, think, okay God’s eternal, and he’s, he’s, he’s, outside of time. Got it, I’m good and move on as if, as if, there are no philosophical challenges.
And, and, I don’t want to say problems. It’s a problem for the philosophers. It’s a problem for us. It’s not a problem for God. It’s just, it is a challenge to our, to our minds. And so if you get into discussion with people, don’t be ham fisted about these doctrines. You know what I mean by that? Don’t be.
Travis: Yeah, don’t be arrogant. But don’t also, don’t be so just like ham fisted meaning, you know, bludgeoning people with something that we don’t even fully comprehend and understand ourselves. Okay? So, so be humble and yet stated boldly and clearly. I love the fact that it’s in contrast to everything men know. And this is it. It shows that this had to be revealed.
So thirdly, “His immensity. The infinity of God may also be viewed with reference to space.” Okay. So when we think about infinity of God and in reference to time, we call it eternal. This is immensity, in reference to space “may be defined as that perfection of the Divine Being by which He transcends all spatial limitations, and yet is present in every point of space with His whole being.
“It is a negative and a positive side, denying all limitations of space to the Divine Being, and asserting that God is above space and fills every part of it with His whole Being. The last words are added, in order to ward off the idea that God has diffused through space.” Anybody know what that’s called? You call it Pan anthean entheism, Panentheism, that it all in Theism. So God is in everything. God’s in the chair. He’s distributed through all space and all matter and all that, “so that one part of His Being is present in one place, another part in some other place. We distinguished three modes of presence in space. Bodies are in space circumspect, circumscriptively, because they are bounded by it; finite spirits are in space definitively, since they are not everywhere, but only in a certain definite place.”
We want to ask at this point, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? Anybody know? Was that your sigh, Joe? Okay. Easy over there. Someone else is sighing, all right? And then in distinction. So we got bodies right here we understand that. We’re in, we’re, we’re, extended in space, and a limitation here. Finite spirits also, not everywhere but only in a certain definite place. We see the Bible evidencing that. “And in distinction from both of these God is in space repletively, because He fills all space. He is not absent from any part of it, nor more present in one part than in another.
“In a certain sense the terms ‘immensity’ and ‘omnipresence,’ as applied to God, denote the same thing, and can therefore be regarded as synonymous. Yet there is one point of difference that should be carefully noted. ‘Immensity’ points to the fact that God transcends all space and is not subject to its limitations, while ‘omnipresence’ denotes that He nevertheless” nevertheless “fills every part of space with His entire Being. The former emphasizes the transcendence, and the latter, the immanence of God. God is immanent in all His creatures, in His entire creation, but is in no way bounded by it.”
One more section here. For your edification, “though God is distinct from the world and may not be identified with it, He is yet present in every part of His creation, not only.” Well, I’m not going to read those Latin terms to you. This does, “this does not mean, however, that He is equally present and present in the same sense in all His creatures.” That’s interesting.
“He does not dwell on earth as He does in heaven, in animals as he does in man, in the inorganic as he does in the organic creation, in the wicked as He does in the pious, nor in the church as he does in Christ. There is an endless variety in the manner in which He is immanent in his creatures, and in the measure in which they reveal God to those who have eyes to see.
“The omnipresence of God is clearly revealed in Scripture. Heaven and earth cannot contain him.” And then there’s, “1 kings 8:27; Isaiah 66:1; Acts 7:48,49; and at the same time He fills both and is a God at hand, Ps 139:7-10” ‘Where can I go from your presence?’ Right. “Jeremiah 23:23,24; Acts 17:27,28.” Okay.
So here’s a question for you. In hearing all. Where am I? Where am I? Here. If, if, God is eternal, infinite, and immense or omnipresent; Is God present in hell? Explain your answer. Does God go to hell?
Audience: So go to being different from present from present?
Travis: Present within. Is he in hell? Alright, so you’re making a distinction, but are you willing to make a declaration. Doug.
Audience: Yeah, in a sense, yes, because he holds everything together, and so without his presence holding it together, nothing would exist. Despite which he defines and, I can’t remember the reference right, but talks about the, the lake of fire, where they’ll be separated from his presence.
Travis: Separated from his presence. So there’s a hole within the.
Audience: No, not necessarily. We’re home. Well.
Travis: Let’s, let’s go over here, Gary.
Audience: Psalm 139, says, “Where can I go to hide myself? If I go to Sheol, make my bed in Sheol, O Lord God Thou are there.”
Travis: In Sheol some, this is true, but I’m going to push back with the devil’s advocate. It is true. But Sheol is not the same thing as a lake of fire. It’s two different things and Sheol is, is, like, say a holding tank until the final judgments, like jail before we go to prison, you know. And while we’re getting sentenced or whatever, so. But that, that is no, that’s an excellent passage. “Where can I go from your presence?”
Audience: Can we say that he is present in hell, but they cannot see him. So because it says there, what does it say about you’re, you’re in the lake of fire where you do not, you’re not see his presence? I don’t know.
Travis: Good. That’s, that’s good. Well, there is a distinction. Yeah. Brett.
Audience: Well, just like thinking it’s his wrath and they are conscious in their eternal torment. And in like you were saying, I think it was two weeks ago, if we, if God wasn’t a person we wouldn’t have personality. So it’s a similar thing, as far as if God, if God’s not something to be conscious of, then there, there, would be no consciousness. So, so, and, and, then just what you read about his, his presence is differentiated. In the wicked and then the rights, blah, blah. So, so in, in, that same sense it, it, could be away from his direct media presence, kind of like we are now and still have God present there con, consciously tormenting the, the, wicked.
Travis: All right. Anybody else want to add to this. Lee?
Audience: And the word it comes to my mind is manifest. His manifest presence is not in hell. But his real presence is there, although invisible. He’s in this room right now, but his manifest presence isn’t available to us, if you will. Now there’s a way. There’s expressions of it, yes, but not, not, in that sense.
Travis: What attribute of God is acutely sensed in Hell?
Audience: Wrath, Justice.
Travis: Justice. Wrath. Law. Yeah, I think. I think the conscience in hell will be turned on. All the, all the layering of callousness over the conscious and unconscious of the unbeliever will be removed. That will be like a pure virgin conscience that accuses, and accuses, and accuses for all of eternity.
Audience: Nobody would be able to pretend their crazy.
Travis: No, it’s a it’s a terrifying reality. When I think of my own conscience and how my conscience can rip me apart inside over sin. And I think about, wow. And that’s a conscience that’s not fully perfected. It’s, it’s, a conscience that’s still being informed by the truth. I think about all my confusion being removed. If I were to feel the weight of every single sin, how that would rip me apart inside. I, I’d be undone. That’s a horrifying reality just on, on that point alone, let alone everything on the outside. Bodies resurrected for that judgment. Man, I saw one hand. Let’s go to you Nick, and then we got to move on.
Audience: Yeah, I was just thinking, he’s present there, like an executioner is present with the person he’s putting to death. There’s no fellowship between them, but he’s very much there.
Travis: So there’s a real presence, but not a relational presence, we might say. That’s kind of how I make the distinction in my head. I use the term relational. So he’s not relationally present. And that’s what, that’s what Berkhof was saying with regard to; He is present in all places, but in different varieties in different ways. So he’s present with the animals, but not in the same way he’s present with me and you. Okay?
He’s present with believers, but not in the same way he’s present with unbelievers. That’s definitely relational. He’s actually put his spirit with us. So there’s a, there are different, how do I put it, realities, experiences of his presence. And God is sovereign even over that.
So, couple more things out of Hodge, just to talk about God’s infinitude in relation to space, “infinitude of God, and as so far as space is concerned, includes his immensity in his omnipresence. These are not different attributes, but one of the same attribute, viewed under different aspects. His immensity is the infinitude of his being, viewed as belonging to His nature from eternity. He fills immensity with his presence. His omnipresence is the infinitude of his being, viewed in relation to His creatures. He is equally present with all His creatures, at all times, and in all places. He is not far from any one of us. ‘The Lord is in this place,’ and may be” may be “said with equal truth and confidence, everywhere.
“Theologians accustomed to distinguish three modes of presence in space.” We’ve already read this from Berkhof. “But bodies are in space circumscriptively. They’re bounded by it. Spirits are in space definitely. They have an ubi. They are not everywhere, but” only “only somewhere. God is in space repletively. He fills all space. In other words, the limitations of space have no reference to Him. He is not absent from any portion of space, nor more present in one portion than another. This of course is not to be understood in the extent of extension or diffusion.
“Extension is a property of matter and cannot be predicated of God. If extended, he would be capable of division and separation; and part of God would be here and part elsewhere. Nor is this omnipresence to be understood as a mere presence in knowledge and power.” He, “it is an omnipresence of divine essence.
“Otherwise the essence of God would be limited. The doctrine, therefore, taught by the older Socinians that the essence of God is confined to heaven (wherever that may be), and that he is elsewhere only as to his knowledge and efficiency, is inconsistent with the divine perfections with the representations of Scripture. As God acts everywhere, He is present everywhere; for as the theologians say, a being can no more act where he is not than when he is not.” So just think about that in relation to, again, the doctrine of Hell.
Audience: Would you read that last part again. The last one again.
Travis: Oh, that’s such a common phrase, I mean, “As the theologians say, a being can no more act where he is not than when he is not.”
Audience: When he is not, not where he is not.
Travis: Where and when.
Audience: Who are the Theologians. Is there a footnote there?
Travis: No, it’s so common.
Audience: Everybody knows. Just talked about it yesterday.
Travis: Yeah, our kids, our kids learn that in kindergarten.
Audience: Like, you have an ear to hear the theologians.
Travis: So thank you, Hodge, for making us feel like an idiot. All right, so it’s Charles Hodge. So here’s, here’s, eternity, just, just, very, very briefly on eternity, the infant, “the infinitude of God relatively to space, is his immensity or omnipresence; relatively to duration, it is His eternity. As He is free from all the limitations of space, so He is exalted above all the limitations of time. He is not more in one place than in another, but is everywhere equally present, so He does not exist during one period of duration more than another. With Him there is no distinction between the present, past, and future; but all things are equally and always present to Him.”
That’s why He’s the great ‘I am’. “With him duration is an eternal now. This is the popular and Scriptural view of God’s eternity. ‘Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hast formed the earth in the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.’” I’m going to skip that. Let’s see what is. Okay? So it’s a bunch of passages here.
“Throughout the Bible He is called the eternal and everlasting God; who only hath immortality. The primal revelation of Himself to his covenant people was as the ‘I am.’ What is taught in these and similar passages, is, first, that God is without beginning of years or end of days. He is, and always has been, and always will be;” and, and, and always will be. “And secondly, that to him there is neither past nor future; that the past and future are always and equally present to him.”
This just want to tell you that this helped me a lot when I, when I’m thinking about the reality of my salvation. I’m thinking about how my, I’m, I’m 2000 years after Christ. How could he? How could my sin be on him 2000 years ago. Oh yeah, because in the eternal God and in the infinite God there is no boundary; everything is laid before him. So all of his people, all who believe their sins are placed on Christ. His, His, perfection of righteousness is placed upon them. And that doesn’t, doesn’t, matter when it happened, matters that it did happen. And yet in our reality, there’s a historic time and place in space; reality of a crucifixion. And the truth of all of this is bound to events in history, events in time, through incarnation. Now.
Audience: Just a question. I don’t know if you want to address it now or not, but in that whole thing of eternity, when we’re out of this body, we’re in, in, the presence of the Lord eternally, is, you know, if we can put it like that, we will still be bound in some way by time.
Travis: I think we’ll be bound by space and time still, because that’s what we are.
Audience: So there will continue to be for us progressive revelation.
Travis: Yes, in the sense that God, we will still be learning. I think moment by moment, day by day more about an infinite God to where there is no end. So yes, that I think, I think that’s the, as we’re learning here. We’re just like how, my, my, soul is, my soul anyway, is, is, thrilled by what I’m reading. I, I, absolutely love to learn more and more about God and his reality, and that’s never going to stop. I mean the same joy that I find in studying scripture, in understanding and interpreting. That’s what we’re gonna do for all of eternity, and yet without weakness, without confusion, without limitation, definitely without sin.
Audience: Just a follow-up thought, is that, in some ways there have to be time markers. In present; in that reality.
Travis: Well, go to Revelation chapter 22. You guys there, Revelation 22. Well, we could actually back up to Revelation 21 and start there. “I saw a new heaven and a new earth; first heaven and first earth passed away, and the sea was no more.” So there’s a new heaven and a new earth. There’s an old heaven and, and, earth. And that’s, you know, Second Peter three, going to be consumed in fire. God’s going to completely destroy this present reality. And then, and so all those, sorry, all those, you know, earth conservationists, you know, God’s going to take care of this place.
Audience: There will be global warming.
Travis: Yeah there will be global warming. There’s no, no, time to make a, a, movie or money off of it though. And then, so, so, there’s going to be a new heaven and a new earth which indicates what, space and time; indicates matter in motion. Okay. So the sea was no more. What’s that about? What’s a, what’s a sea to us? Sea indicates a division between lands, a division between peoples. This is how I think of it. I think of, of, God taking away all that divides humanity, bring them together in one commerce.
Audience: In Commerce too, and commerce too.
Travis: Yeah, yeah. And commerce and, and, all that.
Audience: We won’t have that commerce stuff like that.
Travis: Yeah, the industry, building and everything, but not maybe that commerce and buying, selling, trading and everything, because not
Audience: But not literally the oceans that sea that’s not a literal seas.
Travis: I think it’s, I think it’s saying the sea was no more is, is, could, I don’t know if that means that there’s absolutely an absence of water. I’m not sure that it means that, because it could be that if there is still land. But you know, the, some of the creation, creationists who are scientific, they think of Pangea.
They think of that, that, one continent, you know. If you look at a map of the Earth, it’s like, hey, I could actually kind of put that together into one and, and, maybe it was the flood that divided all that. So some, some people will say that could be. So maybe God is going to bring that back together and it won’t be devastated or separated by the cataclysmic judgment, you know.
Audience: The only reason I think that, is just that he references a new heavens and a new earth, and then, and then, he mentions no more seas. So we’re talking about the physical new creation. That’s just been my understanding of it. Does it make sense that he’d be speaking literal, literally about heavens and earth and then figure, figuratively about the seas?
Travis: No. No, I don’t think so.
Audience: I think they would be just, it would be one or the other one. Yeah, yeah, I agree.
Audience: Let me just plug my two cents.
Travis: So I’m, I’m missing maybe what you’re saying then. Yeah. He’s not speaking. I’m not speaking. I’m not trying to say this is figurative. I’m saying it’s literal.
Audience: All I’m, all I’m pointing at is that when the, the, interpretation of the word ‘seas’ how’s that to be, to be understood, of that which divides. Or is it to be understood.
Travis: I’m just saying that seas in our present world mean a division of land masses and division of peoples that’s, that’s, the practical import of that. And that’s how we live is, we live with, and I was in the Navy, so you live having to cross oceans
Audience: Two thousand mile borders.
Travis: And, and, so the same thing here. The sea was no more. So there’s no taking away that division that which divides people. So is, is, there is there water around All that I don’t know is that is that what it’s indicating? I’m not sure. I’m not sure what the literal reality of that’s going to be. I’m just I, I, don’t want to get hung up on this point so and I’m getting hung up.
So I want to skip down and go to. Okay so verse 10, Revelation 21:10 “He carried me away in the spirit to a great high mountain. Show me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. It’s radiance like a most rare jewel, like a Jasper, clear as crystal. It had a great high wall with twelve gates, the gates at the gates, twelve angels on the gates. The names and twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed,” which tells me that oh I should say this. Verse 14, twelve Foundations on them with the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the lamb.
Some people teach believe that when we go to heaven our mind will be erased from all of our sin because obviously sin is going to bring sadness into our mind. I don’t believe that. I believe that our, we will have a memory, but it’s a perfect sinless memory that will then rightly interpret and understand and have the, I mean God sees sin and yet he is not devastate. I think we’ll be made like God in that way; to say that we can then look back and appreciate and, and, we have to have a memory to understand the meaning of the twelve tribes and sons of Israel on all those gates and the twelve names of the apostles on the foundations.
So then you see the city is measured in verses 15 and, and, on the, the, foundations of the wall adorned with every kind of jewel. In verse 19 and names all the jewels. So again we’re talking about this radiance, this, this majestic splendor, I think, I think all of that is going to come out in vivid color and it’s going to be a reality that we walk around on.
“The Angel showed me the river of the Water of Life” in verse 20. Chapter 22, verse one, “Bright as crystal flowing from the throne of God and the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city, and also on the on either side of the river, the tree of Life.” It’s interesting, either side of the river, ‘the’ singular tree of life.” With its twelve kinds of fruit yielding its fruit each month.”
there’s again time succession of moments the leaves of the tree for the healing of the nations.
So again, not to not to get too involved in that, but just to say, I do believe that there is a physical, I mean Christ right now is in a resurrected body at the right hand of God. He’s, he’s, literally physically bodily there. We, like him are going to be there as well. We’ll be also on a new heavens, on a new earth. So all of this, again as I think about God’s relation to time and space is being not bounded. I just think of that term limitlessness. He’s limitless. We are limited and that’s by design, okay.
So as you think about other attributes we could add to the attributes of affinity and eternity, revealed in contrast to the creation, the limitations of the created order. Just think about all those attributes. Just think about his power, his knowledge, his energy, his will, his attention. Like you know, is God paying attention to me, or does he notice what’s going on? Yes, He does. Never loses his attention.
He’s never distracted. He’s never looking at his cell phone when you’re trying to ask him a question. He’s not limited with regard to his will. He’s not limited with regard to his decree, his plans, his ambitions, his purposes. Nothing is limited, and that is in contrast to everything in our reality. It’s in contrast to everything. That’s why it’s really difficult to, to, to, think about God like, what was he doing before creation. I don’t no. David?
Audience: Yeah. Well, right on that point, you know, we think of space, you know in our, in our minds with conceptualized space is like a shape, you know, like a box or a or a globe or something. Then we try to think God is beyond space, so God is outside of the globe. But even that in itself, is shows our limitations because we’re thinking in spatial terms, right. Same thing for time. And we think of the continuum as a stop and an end or it doesn’t put down the end, but we think of God is like before the beginning, but still the same limitation we’re still thinking in, in terms of times before, we’re still applying spatial reasoning to try and observe, not space.
Travis: We’re still applying temporal reasoning. To think beyond time.
Audience: We had to think in terms of boundaries.
Travis: Can’t help it.
Audience: Time, space, whatever. That’s. That’s. And if we didn’t, if we weren’t doing it that way, then, you know, we would be like God. We would not be human. We would not be human. Right.
Travis: And, and, think too; just, just, reflect on, you know, as you, as you think in weeks, months, years to come, think about how precise the biblical language is. Even though when it speaks perspectivally, you know, with, with using symbols and, and, all the things we’re familiar with. Metaphorically, it’s still speaking very accurately, never contradicting the things that we’re kind of summarizing, in kind of crystallizing into this doctrinal form. Never contradicts it. And so, everything we’re, everything we’re describing is the summary of scripture and we’re being helped by these minds. But wow, the scripture is so perfect.
Audience: That’s the reason it’s so obvious that man could not have come up with this.
Travis: Yeah, and we should say that everything about God revealed in creation and all these attributes revealed in contrast to creation, limitations of creation in time and space. It’s so clear that these are revealed doctrines, and it’s, and it’s understandable why people continue to come up with, you, we look at; how can people believe in evolution. What did I just say, evolution. I meant evolution. I don’t know if I said that right.
Audience: Did you now? You said evolution. You said evolution.
Travis: We say how, how, can people think, think, that way and, and, it’s just the, if we, if we compare it to creation myths from other cultures that God, you know, made everything on top of the back of the turtle and, you know, is the turtle moving, is the earthquakes and or the back of an elephant or banana leaf or you know whatever the different cultures are that say, here’s how it was done.
It’s just as ludicrous as the current secular theory of evolution and, and, and why wouldn’t they. Why wouldn’t they come up with some alternative. Because they have to explain their origins. They have to know where they come from and where they go. They cannot stop thinking in terms of beginning, and then, what’s going on between, what’s wrong with the world. They have a worldview. Yes, Joe.
Audience: I just, I think that’s an issue of accountability. I had a professor tell me one time that if I believed in God, then I would have to be accountable to him.
Travis: Yeah, that’s an honest admission, isn’t it?
Audience: Yes Seriously. He’s right. Yes, Sir.
Travis: And you should. And, and you know, you always wish you could go back and have that conversation again. And you just answer with the retort; and if you don’t believe in God, you’re accountable to him.
Audience: It’s not contingent upon your belief.
Travis: It’s like walking into a courtroom and saying, I don’t believe you exist, Judge. It doesn’t matter. You’re going to prison. Okay, so the limit, the limitlessness of God as we see, unpacks all the other omnis of God, as well. So his omn, omnipresence, his omniscience, his omnipotence. That’s Bancroft, pages 78 to 89, that whole section. Okay, so we’ve kind of just summarized Bancroft’s Omnis, if you go back and read that, if it’s been a while, you know that’s what he’s talking about in those, those pages.
The biblical account of God as the creator, in fact, after this, after this lecture, if you go back and read it, you’ll, you’ll, say, bing, bing, bing; You just hit all the points there and, and, it just makes perfect sense.
Audience: What pages was that again?
Travis: Pages 78 to 89 in Bancroft. So, I want to transition with the time we have left into looking at scripture in Genesis chapter one. So go ahead and turn your bibles, Genesis 1.
Audience: You’ve got to love a class, where you go from Genesis to Revelation in the same hour. Or, actually, backwards Revelation to Genesis.
Travis: Yeah that’s right.
Audience: Time is really moving by.
Travis: Andy Nielsen, Andy Nielsen be very, very pleased.
Audience: There’s a reference in Ecclesiastes that Lord seeks the things that are passed. Right. And shows that exact thing. Thing.
Travis: And God has put eternity into the hearts of man.
Audience: Yes. I was just going to ask you, would you preach on that for a while? Someday. Maybe Someday. God has put eternity in man’s heart. Is it that we can actually comprehend eternity.
Travis: It means we have a God shaped hole in our heart. Pascal.
Audience: You can preach on that detail in Luke and Acts by then you’ll understand each other. I’ll be dead by then. Yes, you’ll almost be.
Travis: We’ll be there any day. Never mind. Sorry about the birds trail. So the biblical account of God is the creator of the heavens and the earth provides everything that’s necessary for the establishment of a, of an incontrovertible, unassailable worldview. We there, there’s, some incredibly potent arguments we can make from the fact that God is creator. Before we do that, I like, I’m going to come back and we’re going to have a session where we say okay, it’s because God created all things.
Now what? What does that mean for our reasoning? What does that mean for our interaction with others? Okay? Apologetically, evangelistically, for the people of this world. But before we talk about any of that, we’re going to spend some time making observations in the biblical text. And is this Genesis 1:1, the creation account? Genesis 1:1 through 2:3 and today is one through seven.
And it says in Romans that by reading this creation account, we learn, we learn about God. What can be known about God? Romans 1:19 and 20. “What can be known about God is plain to us, because,” because, “God has shown it to us. 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.”
His eternal power, limitlessness, and power, obviously divine nature, even is his divine nature, and some things about his nature, his affinity, his eternity, even his multi, you know, multiplicity of persons. The fact that there is personality in God and the personality is known by another person. We can surmise that, from looking at the fact that we are persons. Okay.
So for, we’re going to go through each day of creation. We’re going to read a set. I’ll have one of you read the section and then we’re going to ask two questions; reflect on it a little bit. First of all, first question, what did God create or accomplish on that day? We just want to observe the text and say what did he do? And secondly, we’ll say, what does that work, on that particular day, reveal about God? What does it tell us about him?
So today we’re going to, just the rest of the time and then next time; sustained reflection. Meditation on the wonder of God, our creator and our sustainer. Let’s start. Who would like to read Genesis 1:1 to 5? We’ll probably just get through day one here. Yeah, Lee.
Audience: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness is over the surface of the deep. And the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, ‘let there be light and there was light. God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light day’ and the ‘and the darkness he called night. And there was evening and there was morning one day.’”
Travis: Okay, what an awesome section there. Let’s, let’s, talk about; What did God not, not. What does this teach us about God yet? How to hold that? Let’s just observe. What did God actually do? What did he create? What did he accomplish? Yeah, Doug,
Audience: This is really cool, because light is not just light. That’s what he created. But that is a fundamental force of nature that creates everything else. Because electromagnetic forces is what holds us all together. That’s what makes atoms work. And because there’s light, because there’s those electromagnetic forces, this gives meaning to matter. Yes. Thank you, Doug Berkhof.
Travis: Well, we’re not so, so, Okay. So unpack that a little bit. This gives. I love that statement. This gives meaning to matter. How?
Audience: Well. I mean, when I teach, taught chemistry, I mean, I tell them that everything we talk about in chemistry is just the interaction of electromagnetic radiation. That’s all it is.
Travis: That’s all it is.
Audience: That’s all it is. So, we do a whole, well, you could teach chemistry for a lifetime and never get over it. And all of your talking about, is that interaction of electromagnetic, gration, radiation and.
Travis: Right. That’s what that whole periodic table is. And demonstrates the different ways that electromagnetic radiation is showing up in what we perceive as different elements, right.
Audience: And light is just the, the, the vehicle between those, two kind of, so and just keep trying to take apart matter to find the smallest matter and they keep finding more and more powerful energy. And then never find the actual matter. So it’s like he upholds all things by the word of His power. It’s all energy. It’s all God’s energy holding the whole thing together. There’s no actual matter. It’s just God’s energy. And the more you go down into it, the more you release, more and more powerful it is.
Travis: yeah. If you split an atom, watch out.
Audience: Right? If you split an energy
Travis: Energy comes out, right? Yeah.
Audience: And how much of that is really nothing, anyway? There’s nothing, actually, there, you know, because most of that is empty space by, far. God is energy. Boy, this is so close to science geeks.
Travis: The science geeks are uncorked.
Audience: I have my hand raise.
Travis: Put the lid back on. It can’t be done. Yeah Chuck.
Audience: It just amuses me. It’s interesting, but it’s amusing me how the secular world are gonna be, they’re searching for this unified theory, you know, of all, you know, one thing, you know, we’re sittin here, we have spelled G O D. Well you know with a capital G.
Travis: Yeah, it’s what Paul said in Act 17. “What you worship in ignorance, I proclaim to you.” That’s what we say to this unbelieving world. What you, what you, you know, groping about in the darkness. I’m going to proclaim to you. I’m going to tell you about it. Okay, So what else did he do? And, and notice you said he created life. What did he do before he created life?
Audience: He spoke.
Travis: Spoke. He decreed life.
Audience: He created. And it’s amazingly, mathematically beautiful. You know, just in so many ways. It’s so ordered and so.
Travis: Jesse are you hearing this? Is your heartwarming and glowing right now?
Travis: This is Jesse right here.
Audience: Oh, I know.
Travis: It’s his wheelhouse.
Audience: Amazing. Yeah, it is. Yeah. And he’s a God who speaks. Yeah, we, we, we, don’t ever want to go over that.
Travis: Okay, Wait, wait, wait. You’re, you’re, getting beyond. We’re going into grass. What did he actually do? And then what does this tell us about God?
Audience: God Spoke. That’ll be like next week for maybe three weeks.
Travis: It’s, it’s, impossible, isn’t it, for us to not go there? Huh. Like, we just think of what he did immediately. We think of this. What does this tell us about him? Yeah. So we’re trying to discipline ourselves.
Audience: He created time also.
Travis: Okay, how do you, how do you see that?
Audience: Night and day. Night and day.
Travis: Day and night. That’s right.
Audience: When by the way, the star didn’t exist yet, he still ordained daylight. There was light before stars.
Travis: Light before stars, right?
Audience: And the world was not turning.
Travis: Right. You know, it’s interesting the, the, term is, the Hebrew term for light is Ohr and the term for the luminaries is maor. They’re light bearers. So that’s what you want to think about it, as God created the greater lights and the lesser lights than maor they’re light bearers. Gary, what else did he do?
Audience: The one thing that somebody said on the sound he spoke. They went back to the earliest form of energy that they could detect. It was sound waves.
Travis: Sound waves.
Audience: Whose ‘they’? Some scientists, as they were revealing some things, somebody brought an article when we were doing our college career and the earliest form of energy that they were able to discover was sound waves. That’s what I thought, well, that makes sense.
Travis: Interesting. So. So what else? Look at the text. And what else did he do? What else did he accomplished? Yeah.
Audience: He made the first declaration of value. First value statement in history.
Travis: Oh good. I didn’t catch that one.
Audience: Declared it.
Travis: Okay, good. Where, where’s that value? Just say it.
Audience: God saw the light was good.
Travis: Okay, good. That’s a good one. Excellent. What, what else did he do? Yeah. Chuck.
Audience: 24-hour day.
Travis: Okay. Day named light. Darkness called darkness day, and named it day and night.
Audience: He made the first distinction.
Travis: First distinction.
Travis: Separating. Separating.
Audience: The light from the darkness.
Travis: Okay, what else?
Audience: Does the speaking mean that there’s someone there to hear it? Like couldn’t he have just thought it or?
Travis: Like the tree falls in the woods and no one’s around to hear it. So does it make a sound. Yes.
Audience: Yes. Yeah. He could have thought it but he chose to speak it.
Travis: He spoke it. And does it indicate that there is someone there to hear it? Yes. Three persons in a triune God. First of all, what else, though? What else?
Audience: He saw.
Travis: He saw. Yes. God saw that the light. Okay, what else? But this is what he says. What else did he do? He said separated.
Audience: The spirit of God was hovering over the water.
Travis: Okay, good. So we’re coming back to what he did. The spirit is there hovering. With there’s water though. So what do we see there?
Audience: No idea.
Travis: Okay, we’re seeing. Well, at the, at the very least, we’re seeing, we’re seeing what we’re seeing. He created solids and liquids, right? We’re seeing matter in different forms. Solids with liquids and we can assume gases, but with begin becomes more explicit that there are gases when he says in verse, let’s see. Well, verse six, like, “God said,” on the second day, ‘Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.’ He made the expanse and separate the waters under the expanse from the waters or above the expanse. And it was so, he called the expense heaven.”
Okay. So there’s a, this expanse created that’s definitely gas. There’s gas in the expanse, but there’s solids, liquids, and gases. There’s earth and water. What, what else? What are we missing? There’s something very essential that we’re missing. We’re seeing the material world. Yes, Bret, Scott, and then.
Audience: Oh, I see. So, so I’ll just be clear. Genesis 1:1 and 2 is the summary and then it’s, then it’s.
Travis: no, no. Genesis 1:1 through 5 is day one. I know, I know that people teach that. Oh that’s the summary. And then we get into day one. No. Genesis 1:1 through 5, is day one.
Audience: So we know what it said heavens and earth and separate of those two after. Is that what you are looking for?
Travis: Nobody said, said, that. You’re right. Let’s go to Scott and then Paul and then we’ll come back to you.
Audience: So does that mean that God created. He, he, So what was the day.
Travis: You’re supposed to give me an answer, not ask a question.
Audience: I’m really wondering about this water thing. Because he create, did he create the earth and then water was first thing in the earth, or that’s really. So was the water preexisting with God? Or is the water.
Travis: Preexisting matter, yes, along with God. There’s a dualism. So I, I, know you didn’t want to hear this, but yeah, I believe. no. So, So, what there is, is there is a land mass, there’s earth and it’s covered over by water. So that’s the earth that’s formless and void. It’s got no form because the water’s not giving it any shape. It’s void. It means it’s not filled. And, and, this is what you’ll see in the creation account. You’ll see days one through three are forming, days four through six are filling. Forming and filling, roughly.
Audience: He created that first.
Travis: He created that landmass, water around it, formless void. Spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters.
Audience: But he hasn’t said anything. I’m not trying to argue with the I’m really trying to figure it out. So what? And we’re spending time on this, right? Is it okay to just? It just quick or someday we’ll spend time on it?
Travis: No, we’re doing it right now, get to your question.
Audience: So, so, he hasn’t said anything and there’s already the face of the waters, the, the, the, face of the deep, earth and the Heavens and the earth and he hasn’t said anything I always think. So, so how does that work out if it’s not a summary statement? I’m not arguing with you, I promise.
Travis: I just, it just works out in the fact that it, it, works out in the fact that the, the, the verse three starts out with a waw=consecutive, a vav-consecutive. However, you want to say that, and it shows a continuation of the narrative. It doesn’t show a distinction between a summary statement and then here’s day one. The whole thing in the grammar is
Audience: So grammatically it can’t be a summary statement.
Travis: No, you don’t separate it out.
Audience: But, but, how do you, how do you, how do you have things before he spoke, is what he’s saying.
Travis: He just created things. So the first thing he wanted to say is let there be, “let there be light,” right. Okay. By faith, we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that, what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. It’s created by the word of God. So he’s just not telling us that.
Audience: Oh, oh, okay, I got it. What, what about the fact that he, we, we might have already said this, but that he just brought the idea of speaking.
Travis: Yes. Yeah, he, he, brought in. Yes, he spoke.
Travis: Okay. Yeah. He spoke in good King James English.
Audience: That’s right. Just like Paul, just like James. He speaketh.
Travis: He, he spoketh. He spake. He spake. So you, we’re missing what Gary said. So Gary,
Audience: Well, it says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” So there is a separation. We have heavens, plural, and we have the earth. And there’s more than one heaven. There are, I think there are three heavens, but I, I think we’re only talking about two of the heavens. The third heaven is the one where he lives. But that’s, that’s, when Paul was called up to the third heaven. So I’m thinking there are two and then there’s the third heaven’s where, where, God exists. But heavens, at least two heavens.
Travis: So when did he create angels?
Audience: Before time. Before the beginning.
Travis: Before time?
Audience: I think so. I think they were there to witness the creative act.
Travis: He didn’t create them before time?
Travis: He created them in time.
Audience: But Job tells us that the angels were witness to God’s creative act
Travis: Right. So they were created day one.
Audience: In the heavens?
Travis: Right here. God created the immaterial and the material world.
Audience: I’ve always wondered about that.
Travis: But it’s good. I mean, that’s exactly right. People think that because of, because of, go back to Job, everything that’s created thrones, dominions, rulers, authorities. Christ created them and Christ created them and says everything started here. Okay.
Job 30, hold it just a second. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?” God interrogates Job, “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements – surely you know! Who stretched out the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”
So even, in what it says here, it, it, very quickly summarizing, is accurate. It didn’t create the earth and then the heavens. It created the heavens, immaterial world and the earth, material world. So you see the heavens, the immaterial world, all the angelic realm, created, and then earth. So here’s the earth and the foundations are set here in this gravity and everything in the earth that holds it down all together. And then there’s water. The spirit of God is hovering over the water. Let there be light. There was light.
Audience: Are, are, you making reference then, so, is, to me properly understand that, are you saying then, that the invisible realm is a different dimension? That’s the way we’d think of it.
Travis: I’m not saying. What’s that?
Audience: Well, so this also gets back to a question that I was going to ask. Right. When you, when you, look at the waters before the formation of the, the, Dome, right, within the waters, the implication to me would be that waters here is an anthropomorphism, right. Not water as we know, water in the sea, etcetera, but the reference to the whole of space.
Travis: I’m not seeing, I’m not seeing it as any kind of anthropomorphism. I’m seeing this as literal.
Audience: So that the heavens that Gary alluded to, the three heavens, they’re literal locations in time and space, just like.
Travis: Just and we’re saying and that’s what we read in, in, Hodge and Berkhof talking about, there’s physical bodies, material bodies. They’re also immaterial beings of angels, but they are limited. They, are, can only be in one place at one time. If you’re reading Daniel right Michael, I was in one place, couldn’t get the other place, sorry. So but, but, they’re in one place. So they’re and they interact not in a different dimension, but in the material world. Immaterial beings in the material world. Confined to the material. Well, confined to
Audience: So that the third heaven is not a different dimension. It’s actually further up than the first two, which is, as I understand the first heaven is where the birds fly. The sky, correct. And then
Travis: And that’s not been, that’s not been created yet and we’re going to get to that and that’s called sky. That’s the raqia, and the expanse God called heaven and we’re going to get to that.
Audience: In day two.
Travis: Day two, but that’s, and that’s profound. The fact that he did that, and then he named it heavens is very profound, and what he’s trying to do there. Yes.
Audience: So okay, so it’s cool. I just realized as far as the summary thing goes, if you, if you don’t have a summary view of one through five or one through two, then, then, all of a sudden day and night make more sense. Cause if you already have the earth, that nobody talked about. I mean, God didn’t speak to or whatever it doesn’t.
But anyway, if you already have the earth then you can have day and night because if he separates light from darkness then the earth revolves and you have one 24-hour day, where, where, a person would experience light and dark, and darkness in that revolution.
So that. Are angels created at this point. That’s good, I mean, because that’s the one problem I always have with the summery view. Which is the only view I really understood. See, I think I got that in college or something like that. Somebody told me about the summery view and then that made sense, a certain thing. But I guess one thing that doesn’t make sense of, that I’ve always had a problem with is, well then how do you have day? And because it says there was evening and there was morning the first day, you can’t have that with a summery view because the earth doesn’t exist to have evening and morning. You just have the separation of light and darkness, and the sun is not, you don’t have to have the literal sun that we experienced.
Travis: You just have to have light and dark.
Audience: To have a 24-hour day, you just have to have a light source, the separation of day and night.
Travis: And what is that light source at this point.
Audience: It’s just light. It’s just light. He said, “let there be light.”
Travis: And where is heaven? Ah, up?
Audience: The third
Travis: What are the waters sitting in? Well, the waters are just covering the whole landmass, the whole everything’s covered, right at this point. I mean there’s just, it’s, it’s, kind of flowing. You think about this kind of like moving orb or whatever of and the spirit of God is there ready to get to work and form it and fill it. Okay?
Audience: I’m usually a fairly bright guy, and at this point, I’ve got Jello brain.
Travis: Yeah Jello. Yeah. That’s a figure in Jello. Perfect analogy. And that is an anthropomorphism. Right? All right, you guys, listen, we, we only had time to actually say; what did he do? He created.
So let me just read what I had and I really like what Nick said. He created the immaterial and the material world. The heavens, not the terrestrial and celestial heavens, but the Samayim, the, the, immaterial heavens and their host. That’s Job 38:7. He created the heavens and the earth. God created solids and liquids and we could say gases; earth and water. God created the solid as the foundation, as we read in Job, the, the, bases, the what were its bases sunk on with its foundations. That’s the solid, as the foundation, the liquid covering the solid.
And you read that in Psalm 104, verse five and six, as well. He decreed the light. He created the light, energy, life, the principle that sustains life. Those electromagnetic forces and everything. God separated the light from the darkness, God named light and darkness, day and night. And God marked evening and morning, distinguishing the first in the sequence of all subsequent days. And God declared value. He called it good, saw it was good. okay. Then we’re going to learn what? What do we learn from all that? What does that tell us about God? We’ll get back to that next week or next time. Next time we come together. September 9th.
Let’s pray. Father, I want to thank you for who you are. We are just now entering into day one of creation and already our minds are scrambled. Wayne, used the term. Our brains are Jello. And that really is what happens when we start to contemplate these realities about who you are, your infinitude, your eternity, all the omnis that are asserted about you. We, we, see all these things in contrast to what you’ve made in creation. Thank you for creating us in your image, for giving us minds to ponder and reflect upon and, and, and, try to understand.
Thank you for giving us a curiosity. That we could reach out for things that we don’t understand and, and, try to pull them closer to grapple with them. Thank you for giving us a sense of awe. giving us a sense of wonder. That not everything here is explainable. It’s incomprehensible, fundamentally to us, and, and, yet we stand back and realize that you have been so gracious to reveal these things about yourself to us.
We are not like the pagans who try to bring all of creation, and even you, into their finite understanding and only believe what they can finite, finitely understand and comprehend. We’re thankful that you are beyond our comprehension and understanding. We’re thankful that you are timeless and that our sin really was dealt with on the cross. We’re thankful that you have atoned for our sin. That you brought us close to you, reconciling us to yourself in Christ.
We pray, Lord, that you continue to help us to ponder these things and then to live our lives anchored on these truths. We thank you for what’s coming tomorrow in the time of worship together and celebration of the truth. We pray that you continue to shape and form our Church, and then fill us with all your goodness, and help us to proclaim your excellencies. We love you. Thank you for the day. Pray that you bless it in Jesus’ name.