In reading the account of creation, we are struck with some mysteries, mysteries man has puzzled over for since time began. What is it that God has revealed to us? In the beginning God. Certainly, we see, in the beginning, God was already there. He had no beginning, and has no end. He is eternal. In the beginning He created, out of nothing, the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. Here we see the creation, let me challenge you to visualize this. Close your eyes and tell me what this looks like, without form and void. Perhaps you visualize the sphere of earth in the deep with no defining features. But is not a sphere a form? Oh, I know many might say it only refers to the external features it had, prior to it being finished, and that is true, but perhaps there is more to it. At the same time, I have trouble wrapping my mind around what it looked like at this point in time. How do you create something without a form? The only things I see that might not have form is perhaps, ideas, concepts, i.e. non-material things. Those wouldn’t apply here.
Isaiah 48:13 (ESV)
13 My hand laid the foundation of the earth,
and my right hand spread out the heavens;
when I call to them,
they stand forth together.
Jeremiah 33:2 (ESV)
2 “Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name:
We see here God not only created the earth, He also formed it. Forming it had to have occurred after verse 2 of the book of Genesis chapter 1. At this point I’ll switch gears and come back to this later.
Genesis 1:27 (ESV)
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Genesis 2:7 (ESV)
7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
Do you see how intrinsically linked man is with the earth, man was formed out of the dust of the earth. Not only was he created, he was also formed. As I will allude to later, man may be more intrinsically linked to the earth than previously thought.
2 Peter 3:5 (ESV)
5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God.
How many of you have ever stirred a teaspoon of sugar in a glass of water, and then observe the resulting mixture? Tell me, what form does the sugar have? Can you see it? Or is it without form and void? Is it possible the earth was created dissolved, contained in a formless mass in the Deep which contained all the elements necessary for the earth? Is there anything new under the sun?
2 Peter 3:10–12 (ESV)
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!
There is one word in relation to what we are discussing that I want you to take note of, “dissolved”
luō (λύω , (3089)), to loosen, especially by way of deliverance, sometimes has the meaning of breaking, destructively, e.g., of breaking commandments, not only infringing them, but loosing the force of them, rendering them not binding. λύω — loosen; unbind; unfasten (33×) +NT +AF
There is a time coming, when He will loosen, unbind, and unfasten the entire cosmos, doesn’t it indicate that at one time He had to tighten, bind, and fasten it? Earlier I mentioned that we were intrinsically linked to the earth, formed out of its’ dust. Let’s look momentarily at how we are formed, all of us as we know it today.
Psalm 139:11–16 (ESV)
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.
If this is true of us, could it also be true of the earth, from which we were formed? “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.” When I was young, I tried my hand at knitting, one long piece of yarn, put together with knitting needles, to fashion a form. Once created, it didn’t come apart, it retained whatever form you were forming it into. Now, it doesn’t matter that it was dark in my mother’s womb, He sees all. You’ll note, there was also no light created yet at Gen 1:2, when the earth was still without form and void, light was created in verse 3. However, before verse 3, we have one more statement. “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” This has been a statement that many have diligently toiled over. What was He doing hovering? Was He forming the inward parts of the earth? Was He knitting together the earth in the large amniotic sac of the Deep? Was the Earth’s frame not hidden to Him when it was being made in secret, when it was intricately woven in the depths of the Deep? Did He see the earth’s unformed substance? Are we that intrinsically linked?
Ecclesiastes 1:4 (ESV)
4 A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.
Isaiah 65:17 (ESV)
New Heavens and a New Earth
17 “For behold, I create new heavens
and a new earth,
When the New Earth is created, is it created out of unformed substance from the old earth or created new? Much debate has gone into this. Perhaps we can’t see the forest for the trees on this. It need not be one or the other. So, let’s move back to the question at hand by considering what happens to us when the Lord returns for His own.
1 Corinthians 15:36–43 (ESV)
What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39 For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. 42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.
When the Lord was resurrected, was He the same person? Undeniably yes, He was both, the same person and with a new body. Inherent in the resurrection is the concept of continuity, the person resurrected is still the same person, albeit changed.. That is undeniable, it would make no sense any other way. Why? Glad you asked the question. How would God’s judgement and reward system work if it wasn’t the same person? What you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, something of what we are survives death, who we are. More than likely it has to do with our DNA, our unique blueprint of who we are, and not just a clone, the real us survives this transition, even though we are changed. Both statements about the Earth are true, “the earth remains forever”, and,” I create new heavens and a new earth”, both are also absolute. The word “Forever” means just that, forever. And “Create” means to create out of nothing. What this indicates is that both are true, the New Earth is both the real (same) Earth and a new creation, the same, but with a new body. Just like us, the earth retains what it is, it’s identity, and also receives a new body. Both are true. In the case of the earth I suppose DNA may not be a suitable term, however what DNA is, may suffice. That would be, blueprint. Far more precise than any ordinary blueprint, in that what comes about is the same entity with a different body. This is a continuity of the Earth, in which the Word of God makes two seemingly contradictory statements to still be true. (Forever, and New) It’s kind of like a family name, let me illustrate, how long is the throne of David going to continue?
Isaiah 9:7 (ESV)
7 Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.
The Throne of David will continue on into perpetuity, under the rule of the Messiah.
Romans 8:19–21 (ESV)
19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
There need be no tension between the two statements concerning forever, and new. I believe we will find both to be true, it is both Earth and New. God will be true to His resurrection principle, of restoring that which He took not away, and both Forever and New will be true. He will sanctify (make holy, perfect, set apart to Himself) the New Earth.
Will He put Earths’ ingredients into the Deep and use this same process to bring the New Earth into being? Why not? What is true of us?
Ephesians 5:26–27 (ESV)
26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. You see, we are sanctified by the washing of water with the word. What is the Deep. The Deep is simply water, His water, He owns it all. And we know, He is the Word of God.
Revelation 19:13 (ESV)
13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.
The possibilities are intriguing. We may find our connection with the Earth goes much farther that we could have imagined. We may find that it is sanctified in the much same manner as we ourselves are. At any rate He is going to create a New Earth for His New bride, we the Church. May God bless you with these few thoughts, and may He be honored and glorified by them.