And so we reach Day 3 and 6!!!
If you’ve been following the previous entries, the framework is Day 1-3 (formation), Day 4-6 (filling). And of course, the last entry I’ve hinted that Day 1, 2 and 3 have some significance we shouldn’t overlook, and we’ve been dealing with the doctrine of choice. If Day 1= incarnation, Day 2 = death, then surely Day 3 must be of some significance (and that Day 6 will fill in on that significance, notably, the day that man was made, though I will look at the image of God specifically in the next entry).
Genesis 1:9-13 –
“And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth (or Land, ESV footnote), and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants (or small plants, ESV footnote) yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, day three.”
Genesis 1:24-31 –
“And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds – livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make man (Adam, the generic term for mankind in Hebrew) in our image; after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on earth.”
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply & fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth. And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. And to very beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, day six.”
Now, I’ve been hinting on the theology of the separation of waters, the sea, the river of life (Psalm 1), but what of the theology of the land, the plants, the earth? So on the third day we see the waters retreat to a place called the ‘Seas’ (nothing like the ‘seas’ as we see it today), so that it is in no way a threat to the land (Jeremiah 5:22). What is this in preparation of? The grass and herbage, the seed-bearing plants, the fruit & seeded (trees) – and everything according to its kind. Yet, none of these things have sun-light, and only the Light shining which is separated from darkness. How were these grass and herbage, the seed-bearing plants, the fruit & seeded (treets) to give new life?
Let’s look @ John 12:24 and 1 Corinthians 15:35-49 – for we had borne the image of man in dust, and will bear the image of man in glory. Who is this image of man in glory? Who is the glorious righteous man? Who is the blessed one? Christ (Psalm 1). Yet, there were different seeds, trees, herbage, each according to its kind – what fruit are we to bear? What tree are we to be part of? (Genesis 2:16-17; Leviticus 26:4; Deuteronomy 21:22; Judges 9:7-15; Matthew 3/7/12; Romans 11; Galatians 5; 1 Peter 2:24). Palm, broom, green, fig, balsam, cedar, tamarisk, olive, poplar, almond, plane, sycamore, lotus, laurel, fir, apple, fruit, cypress, dry, leafy, myrtle, wild, cultivated…tree of lebanon, tree of good and evil, tree of life. What are these but a display of the variety of which the Trinity accepts, and that all these trees must go through the cycle of death to have life, through the markings of the sun and moon and stars and seasons (Day 4, in cultivation of the seed sown on Day 3). It is a choice which we make, the inevitability of death that comes to every tree… yet which tree do we wish to be grafted into? Rebirth is absolutely necessary, and God laid down that formation, that framework, long before man was made. This is a peeking into the mind of the Trinity before creation, the preparation for a bride for Christ.
Now we have (1) livestock (e.g. cattle), (2) creeping things, and (3) beasts of the earth (wild beast). In Jonah, we see that the beasts also repented; in Leviticus 11 we see a differentiation between clean and unclean animals, split hooves (being clean) and what their feet look like and the way they eat. These beasts which touched the earth, was like Christ in Psalm 8, made lower than angels like man. Do what we eat make us unclean? Of course not. Then what theology do we have of the unclean and clean animal? What can the creation on Day 6 witness to the creation on Day 3?
And these beasts were to be (1) fruitful, to (2) multiply, to (3) fill the earth. But man has to subdue them… and all of this is done in preparation of everything for the Lord.
Note: Let “us” make man – this occurs again at the Tower of Babel when the Trinity goes down to confuse man’s understanding of one another. Is this an indication of the one yet many Elohim, the Trinity? Or JW’s explanation that whenever God speaks in plurality, he is referring to himself and angels? It is of course easy for us to explain it with angels… because that so conveniently fits the progressive revelatory view of the Trinity being preached without clarity until the NT saints. Why is it so hard to accept that the Trinity is preached here? As Dev states, why not assume Christ is in everything unless proven otherwise? Why start with extra-biblical non-Christological views as presupposition, rather than Christ our logos as the first assumption?
v. 27 – “he created them” — a contradiction? No… God created ‘them’ was an accurate way of speaking, even before the creation of Eve – for Eve was not made of the dust outside of Eden, but made and cut from her head, Adam, just as Levi had paid his tithes to Melchizedek when he was in Abraham’s loins (Heb 7:9). So Paul exegetically uses the same Christian logic in explanation of Adam’s sin being carried down to his descendants – it is not a question of nature vs. nurture even. That is a secular argument. It’s not that simple. It’s not that we ‘copied’ Adam from a clean slate @ birth, or that we inherit little bits of Adam further down the lineal line — we were actually IN Adam, all of us, and that when he sinned, we also sinned; even before the Mosaic law was given, when all the saints from Adam to Moses were supposedly without the law, they still died (Romans 5). For what other way can we then be grafted into the tree of life; that we are sinners because we were IN Adam, that we are righteous because we are IN Christ.
And what of the first Adam made to rule over earth, but a witness and a prophecy to the second Adam ruling over everything (Psalm 2:7-8)? How can there be two rulers? Of course not… Adam was merely a shadow and type; Christ was the truth and always has been and will be.
Image of God
This topic is not without its variety of interpretations. I will lend my small views – is the image of God a physical trait? Is it a character trait? Adam (man), who were without the Spirit, were then given the ruah of God… is it therefore both physical (dust) and character (Spirit) traits? Is it a matter of transfiguration then? Is it an anthropomorphic fare? WE look like the pre-incarnate God, the image is both male and female. It is not a far stretch to realise how the church, the bride of Christ, is the very image of God; that marriage, is a picture of this image of God. Can angels also be images of God? Unlikely… Christ did not die for angels, the genderless angels who won’t share in the eternal kingdom in the same manner.
Ephesians 5 states that Christ’s love for the church and the church’s submission to Christ is the truth which marriage points to. It is no surprise that man, the image of God, clothes the church, the bride of Christ in her wedding clothes in sanctification and preparation for the great Wedding feast, enveloping the woman to also be in the image of God. Of what surprise to then see that woman is also the image of God, yet also be called into the race of “Adam”? Is woman also in the image of God? Yes… only because she was cut from Adam, and destined to be with Adam. Is “Adam” also in the image of God? Yes… only because they were cut from Christ, and predestined to be with Christ (Ephesians 1). If Adam is to father his son Seth in his own likeness (Genesis 5), so also the Spirit will sanctify us into His (Christ)’s likeness. Will every person in the world ultimately choose Christ? A quote from one of All Souls Clubhouse’s talk (taken from You are the Christ blog):
Very many Christians argue that we should love someone because they are special,
i.e. they are walking image-bearers, thus they deserve respect and honour and love
He then continued to say this is a whole bunch of nonsense,
since at the fall, the image of God was utterly destroyed
The illustration he used was this:
Like an old Victorian house which they’ve kept the front or façade of it
but they have demolished everything within it for renovation,
so once you look past the shell, it is only dust and destruction
That seems to be a good analogy of what remains of the ‘Imago Dei’
All was lost at the fall, with only a shell remaining,
That image, that likeness corrupted, ruined, devastated by sin
Thus only in Christ is that image remade new, rebuilt,
that Victorian house is renovated with a stunning new interior,
and in fact we wait for the exterior to be destroyed and rebuilt as well
An unbeliever is like a thing that does not exist
broken pots waiting to be smashed
A shadow, destroyed by the sun
A nightmare, vanishing with like a dream
Whereas those in Christ are clay jars that hold burning torches within,
also waiting, except we long, groan for the day of revelation
Why then do we love our neighbour?
Not for anything that they are,
but rather for Who Christ is,
and what Christ has done for us on the cross,
We love because God loved us first…
We forgive others because our debts are forgiven
We honour others, because all authority is given to us by Christ
We are patient with others, because of the Father’s patience
We are generous with others, because He will supply all our needs
We are kind with others, because He showed pity on us
We suffer and bear others, because He suffered so that by the grace of God, none of us need taste death.
v. 29-30 – So man’s food is every herbage and every tree with seed – why do we have to eat things with seed in it? Genesis 3:15 – because we ultimately will feed and drink from that Seed and water which will cause us no more thirst or hunger.
Naturally we can see the link between the seed, the fruit, the new life which must come necessarily from death first, that everything which God created was good – but not perfected until the High Priest ascended into the Holy of Holies (Hebrews 9). So also, Adam made his choice which man had to go through – to die first, before gaining new life and getting caught in the rapture of the Day. But it is a choice we make: what kind of tree will we partake in? Will we also be nailed on the tree with Christ and die a physical first death, just to be reborn to be caught up into the Holy of Holies? Will we regain the true image of God, not the image of man in dust, but the image of man in glory of heavenly bodies? For indeed, the world was made good – but yet to be perfected.
John 10:17 – “The reason the Father loves me is that I lay down my life only to take it up again.”
So also, the death of the Seed will be taken up into a tree of life; the death of us will be taken up into a body of Christ; and the death of Christ will be taken up to be at the right hand of the Father where he belonged all along. Did Christ only take his place at the Father’s right hand after his death on the cross followed by his ascension? No – everything was accomplished before creation even began; and Day 3 and 6 were merely shadows and copies of what the Trinity had already established before creation. Creation was merely a theatre of his glory, visible through the death of seeds, trees, men and Christ – and proclaimed and shouted on the cross and on Ascension day. But the Son garnered the Father’s love when he laid down his life and took it up again… an indication that Christ had not only done this once but had done this already in the past, for the Father did not cease loving him pre or post-incarnation as the Messiah.
And we are still left with the doctrine of choice – just as Esau rejected his destiny to stand by Jacob’s side, so the Benjamites reverted their curse to rejoice in theirs by putting their faith in Christ. God did not elect some to be saved and some to be reprobate: he gave all of us a choice, a choice displayed through these days of creation. Will we choose the dry land, the inevitable death of seed and beasts, which will be reborn in a state of glory and not mere goodness but perfection? Or will we choose the seemingly peaceful waters, without foreseeing the heavenly waters crashing down on us ending not only in first but second death in the impending lake of fire? Are we Rahab, or are we the hardened Pharoah?
Nay, we are preaching something very simple. We were made to be in the true image of God – Christ, the Light incarnate of day one, whose death was preached on day two.
But if we reject the doctrine of resurrection preached by Day 3 and Day 6, then we, like all the unsaved men, will be stuck on Day 2 and 5… and will never see the glory of the blessed Day 7, the eternal Sabbath, the glorious unending Jubilee.