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Passage #1 – Genesis 1:1

Prelude to the Promise

By Mike Mazzalongo     Posted: Sun. Apr 7th
Mike discusses the first and foundational passage preserved that would eventually serve to denounce various false ideas invented by sinful men through history.

I want you to imagine, when you're in this class, I want you to imagine a world where the Bible as we know it has been taken away. It is perhaps the year 2050 AD. Government, big tech, academia, the news media, and Hollywood have entered into a devil's scheme to undermine the veracity and limit access to the Bible, as well as shame and condemn those who believe and use the Bible as their spiritual and moral guide for life in this world.

Not too hard to imagine, I think. And this has been achieved gradually, as government has drifted to the extreme positions setting up leaders who completely embrace policies and agendas that are devoid of any Christian principles, and these are aided and abetted by big tech and academia, who help formulate and establish and disseminate a new narrative about life and death, where God is not considered or even ever mentioned. This has been easy to do because the mention of God or the use of the Bible, these things have been removed from the government, from academia, and other areas for decades.

And so once the new life narrative has been set by primary education, in conjunction with the government complex, it's an easy matter for this to be unilaterally affirmed by big tech and the constant repetition of this message by the news media for the serious manner of repeating this kind of propaganda, that there is no God, that the Bible is not really worth anything, and also repeated by the entertainment industry, who dress up the lies so they can be swallowed whole as diversion or emotional comfort, and of course the lies continue to be peddled to the next generation through the corrupted university system.

Imagine a world like this. Imagine 30 years of this taking place, and arriving at a period in time when interplanetary travel is common, and all communication is digital because there are no more paper books being produced, which would then be a great victory for extreme environmentalists. Oh, there may be some cooks who have stashed books in their attics, and there are rumors of hidden bunkers containing thousands of original copies, but printed material is all created now, all processed, all stored and transferred from something called the quantum memory storage unit, and this unit distributes digital information to a chip, which is embedded in our brains, which are capable of reading and storing and sharing with others via chip-to-chip transfer, meaning in the future, we simply exchange thoughts.

These data chips are also capable of displaying information that the eye sees as a hologram, and the ear can detect as sound, so that most entertainment and news and distance communication are all transferred in this way, chip-to-chip. One curious thing, however, about this future world. In all of this wizardly communication, no Bible is archived in the QMSU, the quantum memory storage unit. This is because it was deemed to be fanatic and dangerous to the well-being of society, and it was purged along with all other controversial material and quote hate speech.

In this regard, the embedded chips were programmed in such a way that they would not receive or transfer or store any material that would be taken from the Bible. Now, this would be a close version of the utopian and godless world dreamed up in John Lennon, singer, songwriter with the 20th-century band called The Beatles.

This song, very popular even to this day all over the world. In his lyrics, Lennon posits the idea that a peaceful, united, prosperous global community of mankind would only be possible if we remove the idea of God and the practice of religion. That's his point. His implicit suggestion is that belief in God, and by extension, the manufacture and sustainment of religion by the single greatest resource of religion, which is the Bible, all of this should be eliminated. The logic is simple. No God, no war. Therefore, no Bible, no God, no war. That was his plea.

Imagine living in a world like the one I have just described, a world of dazzling communication technology, but one that had successfully managed to suppress the access to and the spread of God's printed Word. In such a world, believers would need to carry with them the essential message of the Bible in an extremely abbreviated format. In other words, they'd have to do it in just simple human memory since, as I mentioned before, the embedded data chips could not accept or retain Bible verses. You'd have to do it old-school way, just from memory.

Of course, the average person would have great difficulty memorizing or accurately remembering the contents of just one Bible book, in an attempt to create and maintain faith, let alone memorizing all 66 books that make up the Old and New Testament parts of the Bible. Who could do that? Perhaps 66 books were impossible to memorize, but what about seven? Not seven books. What about seven passages? Could we find seven passages that encapsulated all 66 books of the Bible? Seven passages that, if memorized or remembered, would keep the essential message of God's Word intact in a person's mind, in a person's heart? Seven passages that could explain God's overall plan of salvation, accurately identify Jesus, and provide a lost sinner the good news by which his sins would be forgiven and his future glory guaranteed? Could all of this be done with only seven passages of Scripture?

Well, this futuristic scenario that I've just described is a little far-fetched, even though we can see how some of these things might threaten us, given what is going on in our world today. I know a lot of people who would love to live in a world like this: no Bible, no God, no religion. Who knows? Future generations of believers may have to struggle with similar issues in the decades to come.

In the meantime, allow me to use this futuristic introduction to establish the basis for a brief series of lessons entitled The Bible in Seven Passages. If for any reason we had to memorize key passages in order to keep the overall message of the Bible alive in our minds, these are the seven passages that I would recommend. I'm not saying they're the only ones, I'm not saying you'd have seven other ones, but these are the seven that I would choose.

Passage #1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
- Genesis 1:1

If Genesis is the foundational book of the Bible, then verse one of Genesis is the foundational verse of Genesis. The Bible is the most produced book in history. It's the most read book in history, therefore, verse one, where most people begin to read even if they don't finish the Bible is the most-read verse in the Bible, in history, in the world.

"If a person really believes Genesis 1:1, he will not find it difficult to believe anything else recorded in the Bible."
- Dr. Henry Morris
The Genesis Record - 2009

This verse does not try to prove the existence of God, it merely assumes it. Of course, it was written before any disbelief occurred, before any false system of belief to reject God was developed, so it doesn't attempt to prove a self-evident fact. However, this verse does contain the information necessary to refute all of man's subsequent false ideas about God and about the creation. It's as if God knew what man would ultimately think up to deny God, and so in the very first verse, God preempts any possible false ideas about Himself.

7 Main Philosophies Refuted by Genesis 1:1

  1. Atheism - Atheism says there is no God, but Genesis 1:1 says that God is the one who created the heavens and the earth.
  2. Pantheism - Pantheism says that everything is God. The trees are God, the rivers are God, the stars are God. Pantheism is a form of thinking where people deify nature or give nature a force of its own, but Genesis 1:1: says that God is separate from His creation. He is not part of the creation. He existed first, and then He created the world. He is before the creation, and He is after the creation.
  3. Polytheism - Polytheism teaches a multiplicity of gods. The Greeks, the Romans, and nearly every ancient people, as well as primitive peoples today in Africa and South America and various eastern countries are polytheists, and yet Genesis 1:1 says that only one God created all things, not many gods.
  4. Materialism - Materialism says that all is matter and matter has always been. Matter is the only thing that exists. Communism, for example, is based on materialism, and the main idea is how to distribute materialism equally. However, Genesis 1:1 says that matter had a beginning. At some point, it did not exist, and then God brought it into existence.
  5. Dualism - Dualism is an ancient idea developed into different systems by Plato, the philosopher, and later on the French philosopher Descartes. Basically it says that there are two powers at work in the universe, good and evil, and the interaction of these two is responsible for all that we see. Hinduism explains the beginning of the world as an interaction of these two powers, good and evil. Genesis 1:1, however, states that what we see was created by only one power, God. The Bible accounts for evil, but evil is never at the same level as God. There is only one supreme power at work according to Genesis and it was manifested at the very beginning.
  6. Humanism - Humanism teaches that man is the ultimate reality. There is nothing higher or nobler than man. Many good works are done to benefit mankind, and they're done because of people who hold this philosophy. However, Genesis 1:1 refutes this idea, because it teaches that God, not man, is the ultimate reality, because God was here before man was here, and God is the creator of man, and not the other way around.
  7. Evolution - Evolution is our most prevalent idea today. It says that time and chance working on eternal matter are responsible of for the universe. However, Genesis 1:1 says that in the beginning, a specific time, God, not chance, created, it didn't evolve, it was created, the heavens and the earth.

7 Theories that are Destroyed by Genesis 1:1

  1. Naturalism teaches that all is matter
  2. Deism says that God created things and then was not involved.
  3. Agnosticism that we can't know, is destroyed by Genesis 1:1, because we do know. The Bible tells us what's going on.
  4. Monism which teaches Genesis without God. Everything just happened. Genesis doesn't say everything just happened. Genesis said God made these things happen.
  5. Determinism says it's all fate. Genesis 1:1 doesn't talk about fate. It talks about a deliberate, willful action. God created the world.
  6. Pragmatism teaches, whatever works is whatever is good. Genesis 1:1 says God willingly created something objectively, which is the creation.
  7. Nihilism - might makes right

All of these various human ideas are different ways to deny the simple truth of Genesis 1:1 and replace it with a man-made idea.

Genesis 1:1 - The Words

We'll save the phrase in the beginning for a little later.

1. God

The Hebrew word Elohim, which stresses the majesty and omnipotence of God, it's a plural noun, Gods actually, but it's used in a singular fashion in this verse. This immediately suggests the dynamic nature of God, who is at the same time one yet more than one, somehow. People say, "Where do you get this idea of the Trinity?" The word Trinity doesn't appear in the Bible, but the word Elohim appears in the Bible, and that's Gods, not in the singular, so we learn about the nature, the dynamic nature of God, by studying what the Bible says about Him.

2. Created

The word created refers to the unique work of God, never used in reference to humans. In the Bible, humans never create anything. The word means to call into existence something from nothing. In the Bible it says man forms or fashions but only God creates. The whole system of faith rests here, either random particles which always existed generated by themselves a more complex orderly universe and then graduated to intelligent beings capable of applying and developing intelligence.

In other words, the same matter that made a rock also made you. You have a choice of believing that, or that an intelligent being, God, created you. Which one do you want?

3. Heaven

This does not refer to the stars and planets, but to the space where these are situated. When we refer to our existence, we talk about the space-mass-time universe, the basic components of our existence. The heaven would refer to the space component, since the time component has been introduced, in the beginning, and the mass element is about to follow. No word is used in the Bible to express this idea of space, so the term heaven is used, as in the idea of the expanse of the universe, the space of the universe.

4. Earth

In the first verse, God created the heavens and the earth. Again, there's no word in the Bible that refers to matter, so Moses uses the term earth, land, which describes the creation of the next basic component, which is matter, not yet shaped or formed, but now in existence.

5. In the beginning

I have said that the universe is a combination of the elements of space, matter, and time. Science teaches that each of these elements is necessary for the universe to have a meaningful existence. If there is space and time, but no matter, then the universe is empty. Nothing happens. If there is matter, which includes energy, and time, but no space, then there's no movement, just one big mass. So time is the third and most important component, because it permits perception of the matter and the space. Genesis 1:1 says that the element of time was called into existence along with space and matter to comprise the space-time-matter continuum, which we call the universe was not yet formed.

The next verses go on to explain how God fashioned the raw materials of creation into the universe that we now can see. Some authors say that verse one is the summary of events but as we said before, the summary of Genesis 1 is given in chapter two, verse four where it says these are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created. Also, all the other sections of Genesis have no titles, only these summary statements showing the end of a particular generation. So therefore, all this to say, the first act of the first day of creation was the bringing forth of the building blocks of the universe, the time-space-matter universe.

If you were translating Genesis chapter one verse one into modern scientific English, you might end up saying this:

The transcendent, omnipotent Godhead called into existence the time, space, matter universe.

With this one verse committed to memory, or simply remembered, all of these related ideas are stored in there as well.

All the ideas that are destroyed, are destroyed simply from Genesis 1:1. From just those few words, you can respond to all the false philosophies that I've talked about, seven major philosophies and seven theories. These 14 ideas of man that have been prevalent in our society for centuries, are all put aside simply from Genesis 1:1.

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Dr. Stafford North
Professor of Bible
Oklahoma Christian University