I read an article about our interpretation of the biblical term “stretching out” and how it’s lead to various unsuccessful attempts to create a Biblical model of the creation of the universe. I started to meditate on my own interpretations and though they have already been mentioned here and there, I saw something really beautiful. I hope you can see it also.
The article I was reading was at http://creation.com/tension-not-extension-in-creation-cosmology. Essentially, modern Biblical creationists had interpreted the frequently used term of “stretching out” of the stars to support an elastic expansion of space time, but the author, John G. Hartnett, pointed out how this stretching out was derived from the assembly of tents, but tents are not elastic.
I have mentioned this term in chapter 25 and 26 but I have not used the elastic metaphor. I have used it as an unfolding of God’s pre-ordained plan. But Hartnett’s comments reminded me how a tent is unfolded as a covering and then made secure by tying it down and stretching it out on all sides. Then I took note of how in Genesis 1:17 God said that He placed the stars in the heavens. This ‘placed’ word speaks of fixed and established forever. OK, so ‘stretching’, which has the connotation of securely fastening; and ‘placed’ are not in opposition, but it still remains that some initial unfolding before becoming fixed is implied.
You really have to be into Physics to get excited about the article, but Russ Humphreys and John Hartnett went on to share how they felt it essential to have a correct exegesis of scripture before they could see what was happening on a cosmological level. Well, now it’s my turn and it is exciting to review all these things in one place.
In chapter 25, I explained how Moses would have pictured the light of Genesis 1:3 appearing, with no apparent light source. It was just like the sky lighting up at dawn, before the sun appeared. Now, imagine yourself in a small boat, so far out to sea that no land is seen in any direction, and then picture the sky lighting up at dawn. From east to west the sky lights up and as you look around, you sense the canopy above you, and better still, you are in the dead centre.
I hope this word picture derived from Genesis 1:2-3 showed you what I could imagine. I saw the whole universe light up above me, in two dimensions, but surrounding me in three dimensions. I felt at the centre of it all with the flat horizon of the sea surrounding me in all directions. In the COI model we see the whole universe, so to speak, being unfolded and set in place above us. The event horizon that I first used to describe the outside of the shrinking ball of energy in appendix C4, is like a canopy being drawn in around me. The heavens, which speak of the majesty of God, are being laid out just for me.
I took note that the sky lights up from east to west at dawn. In the evening, after the sun sets, the sky darkens from east to west. The COI model describes the universe being created from the outside to the inside, so it also has this concept of a transit from one side to the other.
In the beginning, is about the beginning of time. It is not about the appearance of space. Eternal life with our eternal Father is about time but somehow another sort of time. Our eternal God has no beginning and no end. That was a bit too obvious, wasn’t it? But you see, the COI Model starts with a pre-existing volume filled with energy. The whole thing starts up when God ordained time and this operates on the volume of energy to produce space–time and matter. So the COI Model seems to pick up on the start of time and does not concern itself with the volume of the universe having to appear. Appendix C3 is the most beautiful example of this, if you really want to picture what happens before time began.
Of course, a feature of chapter 26, is to link light and time, so God’s first step in ordaining light is a picture of time starting. Then God reinforces this by calling the light day and the darkness night. This defines the day as the unit of time. But for a long time I had wondered what all the effort was in separating light from darkness in verse 4. But again, Einstein’s now iconic equation, E=mc˛ or m=E/c˛, shows that the light symbolises how the Energy in the ball is converted into the Matter of the universe. The darkness then represents the dark void of outer space between the stars and planets. But even without the physics, all the matter we see in the universe is either emitting light, as a star, or is a planet or moon reflecting the light of our sun. So, using light to represent this matter is intuitive, once you change your paradigm.
Can you see that matter was never evenly distributed and then clumped together? The separation was clear from the start. The COI model captures this, especially in Supplement 3, when I introduced shrinking bubbles of PTE as an alternative to white holes.
I wanted to show you how the brilliantly chosen words in Genesis 1:1-5 conjure up emotive and beautiful insights that directly reflect the process behind the COI universe. But frankly, most of this was something I saw in hindsight. I was not drilling down into isolated words looking for how God created the universe. It was not about some excellent microscopic, sub-atomic, exegesis of the text. Rather, this and many other insights came when I saw Jesus in the text. I also saw the heart of the Farther. Although the text presents itself as historical documentary, it was screaming out for someone to see God reveal His heart and His Son.
Now, I have a habit of taking things too far, and that is what I am going to do now, if I have not already. I had seen the Father’s heart and I had seen Jesus, the light of the world; through whom all things were created. I saw how the text was inviting this view. I had seen much of this beautiful play on words relating to time and light that I have just summarised. On an excitement scale of 1 to 10, I was at about 11.2! How exquisitely God had laid things out.
I had no anticipation or desire to take things further. I just wanted to tidy up a few details in Appendix C3 to be more consistent with these insights. About a decade or so earlier I had seen a movie where the opening scene was a zoom from a satellite view of the whole world, to the headlines on a newspaper. That image had stuck with me for many years and seemed just right to picture all the heavenly hosts focusing their attention on the Father and the Son as they created this universe. Up till then I had pictured galaxies spreading out, but this time for no reason I can recall, I changed it so that all of heaven kept zooming in as the universe appeared. Then, in a moment that defies explanation, I froze as I realised that I had pictured a new model for the creation of the universe.
The next few days, then weeks and a few ongoing refinements over the next year saw Appendix C4 and the supplements unfold. I have left it pretty much as it unfolded. To me, it felt like this was something that I was shown, not something that I discovered. The Son honoured the Father by walking in obedience to the Cross to redeem His children and His bride. The Father has now honoured the Son from the very beginning, even page 1. Seeing and acknowledging both the Father and the Son in Genesis 1, was the missing ingredient.
If you think that you can come up with an exegesis, a fancy word for seeking out the meaning of biblical texts, and not include Jesus in it, then the best of luck to you.
It just sounds like I have claimed divine inspiration. Try and see it like this: I have honoured God; I have claimed no dream or vision; I have verified everything against the Word of God, and even I was surprised. OK, that seems to have toned it down a little. Have I claimed perfection? No, it may still be that some technical details of a supernatural event are beyond us, but the COI universe has brought many features of the universe within our grasp and it has gutted the godless alternative.
Of course this has to be subject to scrutiny. Don’t applaud the COI model as you would God ordained truth like, “by no other name than Jesus can a man be saved.” Creationist scientists are searching for physical models and in the past there have been some presumed break throughs that didn’t hold up after deeper scrutiny. If this model does hold up then it is important to me, and perhaps also to God, that this is not seen as man’s striving finally paying off, but something that God has chosen to reveal now.
OK, now add God’s Timetable for mankind to the COI Universe and other things in the book, and ask why now? It’s my opinion that Jesus wants to recapture the heart of His bride before He returns. If these things be revelations from God about His sovereignty over time and His role as creator, He did not show them to me to make me look good. He wants to show you everything as He showed Adam and He wants intimate time with you. So, talk to Him. Don’t pray – it will just make you get all holy and righteous and try and pretend to be something He knows you are not. Talk to Him and don’t forget to stop and listen. It usually won’t happen the way you think it should, but it is His desire. It was Jesus’ expectation.
A few years ago I was walking down the hallway at home and I was a little frustrated at the absence of anything happening, and so I said quite boldly to God, “What do you want from me?” I did not expect an answer – I was just venting my feelings. But His reply shocked me. It was immediate and clear. His voice was soft, “It’s you I want, Nick.” When you hear this voice, you will know and your heart will melt.
Psalm 139 is something very special to me. I have placed a big star (***) next to it in my Bible and it has a semi-permanent post-it note on that page so I can find it easily. Yet what I am about to share came only after I was preparing the above comments, nearly 6 months after the book was published. Yet it underscores the message in the most beautiful way. Here are verses 11 to 16:
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
12 Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
(Psalm 139:11-16 NASB)
I am now going to invite you to see something that no exegesis will ever allow you to see, but only your heart can see. For brevity, I will refer to verses in Psalm 139 as 139:11 and verses from Genesis 1 as simply 1:2. So that you don’t have to switch between this article and other references, I will remind you of Genesis 1:2-5.
2 The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light day, and the darkness He called night.
(Genesis 1:2-5 NASB)
In 139:11, King David, the author of this psalm, is concerned about some overwhelming darkness. Note the darkness in 1:2 and 1:4, as the starting point of creation, yet verse 139:12 continues and tells us that there is no darkness to God. So darkness is a place we can’t see into, but God can see, dare I say foresee. David alludes to God’s light that makes night as day and this is the light that I see in verse 1:3 – the light of the world that created the entire universe. You just have to read and re-read John 1:1-5. It’s a bit of a distraction from my arguments here, but it’s a revelation you have to grasp:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
(John 1:1-5 NASB)
Verse 139:13 then talks about forming us in the womb and how wonderful are God’s works. Take note of how verse 139:16 mentions God seeing our unformed substance. The Hebrew words word here translated as “unformed substance” is golem which, according to the NAS Exhaustive Concordance, is derived from galam, meaning embryo. Do you see how intimate this is? Now add to this verse 139:15 where David elaborates on the place of his creation, the womb, describing it as a secret place, in the depths of the earth. The womb and the depths of the earth are both places of darkness.
And now the prize for those who joined all the dots together… Genesis 1:2 described the earth as formless and dark, and mentions its depths surrounded by water. Then later, the earth breaks through the waters, (childbirth where the waters break), and from the dust of the earth Adam appears. The earth is at the centre of the heavens, that is, the universe, and now it is the womb that will bring forth His children. Now we can see that man, who was brought forth from the dust of the earth, has in fact come from that womb. Back in verse 139:15, this was a secret, but never hidden from God. This is the mystery that I have sought to reveal in in Part 3 of the book, namely that Genesis 1:2 was God picturing, seeing, the earth, before it was formed. He was even seeing mankind, His children, before the beginning of time. Then the light of 1:3, but also alluded to in 139:12, made this universe and the earth as its womb. Finally, John 1:4 tells us that this light brought life.
OK, let’s step back a second and breath in and out. Wow, I was getting excited again. Suddenly David has allowed me to see below the apparent mechanics of creation and discover the most intimate picture of God bringing His children to birth. But there is yet something more in verse 139:16… This verse again talks about God seeing our unformed substance, even using the embryo derived word. Recall that I have linked this to verse 1:2 where He is picturing the earth, unformed before the beginning of time. Then in verse 139:16, David says that all his days (all of David’s life), were written before the very first day (his birth) had come to be.
Now the earth as a womb was beautiful, but do you see what verse 139:16 has said when I see it reflecting something from Genesis 1? Everything that David had been describing in 139:12-15, was about God seeing David’s future while he was still formless in the womb. But now this has become a shadow of God seeing the purpose of all of creation in this formless earth before the very first day had occurred. And this first day was when He, Jesus, as the light of the world, brought it forth in 1:3. So Genesis 1:2 is truly a part of the introduction before time began. It truly is a picture of God’s heart as I have proposed in Part 3, and the whole universe, including the now fully formed earth, was before His gaze at the end of day 1.
And now it gets still better. David is picturing his days as written down before the first one, the day of his birth, had occurred. Well, the creation account details everything that God did up to the creation of Adam, that is, until Adam breathed his first breath of life. It was all written down. But now switch to the prophetic view of these days in God’s Timetable. Now verse 139:16 is fully revealed because all “the days ordained”, not “for me” but “for all mankind” have been revealed. In fact, the NASB translation places “for me” in italics because they are implied from context, but not present. It is almost as if God wanted to allude to all the days of mankind were written before mankind, through Adam, was first created.
I struggle to grasp what I have just described. First, there was the intimacy of God picturing His children being brought forth from the womb of the earth – not just the mechanics of creation. Then I saw how this was showing God’s awesome ability to see all this before time began. And finally I saw the confirmation that God had written it all down, all the days ordained for mankind, in what I have called God’s Timetable, even before the first breath of Adam’s life.
How did I miss this beautiful thing when I was writing the book? This is now so precious to me. David’s psalm is so intimate and revealing of the God I know as Father. I must have read it many times over the years that I developed the book. Well, you won’t see it until God wants you to see it. All during the book my focus was to demonstrate the support in the Bible for my propositions. But this article started when I wanted to share some beautiful things. Truly this is beautiful, but for those who constrain their understanding to what a strict exegesis of the plain text is saying, then this is just emotive, wishful imagery that cannot be allowed to influence what Genesis 1 is really saying. Well, they are right. This message is not for your understanding but for your heart. Beauty is grasped by your heart and at the end of the exercise; we can see and feel God’s heart. You won’t find that in the plain text. But I so respect these people who have held to the plain text when others have perverted or even denied it. Now I simply feel sad for these others — they have neither the plain truth nor the beauty of God.