Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #8 of Genesis chapter 1 and I will read Genesis 1:3-5:
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
As we were discussing in our last study, we noticed that God created the light first and then on the fourth day he “attached” the light to the light bearers, the sun, moon and stars. From that point on, the light bearers brought the light. They were completely tied to the light, but light existed as a substance before the light bearers were created. We thought that was interesting. God first created light and then He created the celestial bodies as the light bearers.
We also saw that God has done a similar thing, spiritually. Of course, that would be one of the reasons that God would create in the order that He did. What I mean is, why did God not create the sun, moon and stars on the first day and then say, “Let there be light”? The reason is that everything was meant to teach us something. We have learned that Biblical history is an historical parable that teaches us about the Gospel and God’s program of salvation. And we have learned in recent years that Christ made atonement for the sins of His people from the foundation of the world and the Bible also relates “light” to salvation. For example, Psalm 27, verse 1 clearly links the two together.
So there is “light” first; that is, there is salvation first, spiritually. Historically, God created the light and then later He created the light bearers. Likewise, God first provided salvation for His elect through the death and resurrection of Christ, which was the acceptable sacrifice, and then later God ties that salvation that was already finished from the foundation of the world to His Word and to the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, who would about 11,000 years later enter into human history. It is really a wonderful picture of God’s magnificent salvation program and it is a confirmation of a doctrine we learned at the time of the end as God opened up information that had been sealed until the time of the end. We learned that Christ had finished all the work of atonement as He made payment for sin at the foundation of the world. That is when He was the Lamb slain and that is when salvation was finished insofar as making payment for the sins of all His people. This meant that God could never destroy these people and He could never fail to apply the blood of Christ to these people because their sins were already paid for and they could never “die in their sins” as unsaved people. There was salvation already.
As we mentioned last time, this is how God created the world – He created the world with the work of salvation already performed by the Lord Jesus Christ. It was as if the blood was already in the “basin” and as history unfolded, God dipped His Word, as it were, as hyssop into the blood and applied it to each individual that was to become saved. The first one we can identify is Abel and God later speaks of His overall salvation program, starting with Abel, when He says, “from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias.” Beginning with Abel early on, God applied the blood that had already been shed by Jesus, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Then the Word of God made application of that blood to the soul of Abel. That is why Abel’s offering was acceptable because Abel was trusting in the work of Christ and the blood of Christ had washed away his sin. God found the first of the elect and He would then continue to save a large company of people, perhaps as many as 200 million during the entire history of the world. This is an important point. Remember that verse in Hebrews, chapter 9 that says, “without shedding of blood is no remission.” There are those who insist that this was speaking of something done “in principal” because God knew that Christ would die at the cross and, therefore, God could save Abel because Christ’s blood had been shed “in principal.” No, that cannot be. The Bible makes a matter-of-fact statement: “Without shedding of blood is no remission.” The blood must first be shed. The Lamb must have been already slain. When God used the historical picture in Egypt of the death of the firstborn, God told the Israelites to first slay the lamb and then apply the blood with the hyssop to their doorposts. The lamb had to be slain first and then that blood covered the house of the Israelites and the “messenger of death” passed by them. That is how it was with salvation. Christ had to first be slain and then the blood could be applied because “the life is in the blood.” He had to be slain to make the blood available. You cannot say, “Well, Jesus will die 11,000 years later, but His blood was available to be applied to Abel and Noah and David and all the saints that lived over thousands of years.” According to the doctrine that insists Christ died for sin at the cross, there was no blood that had been shed for all these people in the Old Testament. They were not the great number of saints that would come later, but at one time there were seven thousand in Israel that had not bowed the knee to Baal. And what about the people of Nineveh? God saved many of the Ninevites. All these people died and they entered into heaven in their spirit essence. They are all there, but no blood has been shed, so how could their sins have been remitted? According to the Bible, that is not possible. You must first have the shedding of blood in order for there to be remission of sin. That is the order of things.
Again, this is the understanding that we have in our time. We have mentioned it many times, but let us read about it in Revelation 13:8:
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
The first part of the verse refers to those that worship Satan at the time of the end. In the next part of the verse it is speaking of the Lord Jesus, who is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. It is a Biblical statement that Christ was slain then. Remember that John the Baptist said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Again, this would agree with Hebrews 4:3:
For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
It is interesting (and we will talk about this when we get to the seventh day of creation week) that God established the seventh day as a “day of rest” already at the end of the first week of creation because the works were finished from the foundation of the world – the atonement was finished. So, from the very start, God could establish the seventh day as a “day of rest,” a day of resting in the completed work of Jesus Christ.
Let us go back to Genesis 1:3-4:
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
The “darkness” indicates the necessity for salvation. As man would fall into sin and God foreknew this and He brought the light and he “divided the light from the darkness.” It tells us in Ecclesiastes, chapter 2 that “light excelleth darkness.” The light expels the darkness or removes the darkness.
Let us take a look at the word “divided.” It is Strong’s #914 and it is a word that God uses to describe making a separation. God uses this word when His Law is given and when He wants to distinguish between the clean and unclean and between the holy and profane. It is always best to read the Scriptures to see how a word is used, so let us do that. Let us go to Leviticus where this word is used three times; two times it is translated as “separated” and one time it is translated as “put difference.” It says in Leviticus 20:24-26:
But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am JEHOVAH your God, which have separated you from other people. Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean. And ye shall be holy unto me: for I JEHOVAH am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.
The word “severed” is also that same Hebrew word, Strong’s #914, so the word is used four times in this passage. God had divided the Israelites from the nations of the world. This is said using the same Hebrew word in 1Kings 8:52-53:
That thine eyes may be open unto the supplication of thy servant, and unto the supplication of thy people Israel, to hearken unto them in all that they call for unto thee. For thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth, to be thine inheritance, as thou spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord JEHOVAH.
God chose Israel and separated them from all the other people of the earth in the Old Testament for many centuries. The outward representation of the kingdom of God was the nation of Israel. Of all the nations of the world, only Israel was representative of God’s people. The peoples of India or Assyria or Babylon or Egypt or Ethiopia were not God’s people. It was only Israel and God was the one that made that determination by calling them by His name and working through them. He gave them His Word and He moved prophets of old to speak His Word and bring His divine revelation. He gave them Laws, as He instructed Moses and many of the prophets. These laws made distinction and caused this separation to occur all the more. For example, in Leviticus God spoke of clean and unclean animals and fowls, but the people of the nations did not view animals as “clean” or “unclean.” They would eat a pig, a cow or any other animal. It did not matter to the Gentiles or nations of the world, but God separated the animals into “clean” and “unclean” animals. Then He commanded the Jews, a people He had separated from the nations, to eat only certain “clean” animals, but not the others. That further distinguished the Israelites from the nations. Actually, that is what God’s Laws accomplished, again, and again. God’s people were circumcised, but the people of other nations were not circumcised. The Law of God or the Word of God made “separation” between God’s people and others. The more Laws God gave, the more the separation became noticeable and the more the Israelites stood out from the other nations. God gave them Laws concerning sacrifices that the other nations did not have and God gave them feast days and all these things served to highlight the difference between the people of God and the people of the other nations.
But, this was the fault that God also found with Israel later on because one of the big points of separation was that Israel was to serve and worship God alone. The other nations might give recognition to JEHOVAH, but they also would have no problem with giving recognition to any other idol or any other god. It was all the same to them, but Israel was to be different. They were to worship the one, true God of the Bible and to observe His Laws and this would cause a very definite distinction and the nations of the world would realize there was something different about Israel.
God says in Ezekiel 22:24-26:
Son of man, say unto her, Thou art the land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation. There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof. Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.
The word “difference” is our word, Strong’s #914. You see, this is the temptation for the corporate body or for those that only profess to be the people of God. God gave Laws that makes them quite different from everyone else. However, in the time of the apostasy and the “falling away,” the people of God lust after the world and they really desire to be like the world. They want the things of the world. The problem is that the world is to see a big difference between themselves and these people of God, but the pastors and elders and deacons that should be the prophets of God have lost sight of the distinction between “clean” and “unclean” and between “holy and “profane.” They lose sight of the truths of the Word of God, the Bible.
Here is what God says of His people in 1Peter 2:9:
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
So the people of God are called out of darkness into the light and the light is salvation and the light identifies with the Word of God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the light divides from the darkness. God has given His Word, which was entrusted to Judah of old and to the New Testament churches and congregations. The churches were to be like a shining light on a hill to shine into the world and into the darkness and to show the difference that the Word of God should make. God gave the churches commandments just as He had done to Israel of old. He gave them the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper and, most of all, He gave them doctrines. For example, He gave them the Sunday Sabbath and it was His holy day. They were not to do work on that day or to treat that day as any other day of the week. For centuries the churches were obedient to that Law and as they followed that Law they were showing “light” to the nations. That is why there were laws on the books called “blue laws” in America wherein businesses were not to operate on Sundays. If you go back several decades you will find that sports, like baseball, were not played on Sundays. Imagine that! There were professional sports teams that would not play on Sunday. Why? It was because people would not allow it, but now there has been a loss of “distinction” and it all started with the churches when they began to lose sight of the light of the Word of God. Darkness replaced the light and the separation began to disappear between the corporate church and the world – you could not tell one from the other. There was no difference between “clean” and “unclean” and between “holy” and “profane.”