The Holy Bible quotes two beginnings, making it enigmatic to ordinary readers. To start with, the Bible shows God as having neither a beginning nor an end. This presentation intends to help readers demystify themselves of the common misunderstanding. We will start with what is depicted in the Book of Genesis, before delving into the encoded beginning in John’s gospel Book.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters”(Genesis 1:1-2 NIV).
This passage of Scripture refers to the material universe, with its attribute of starting, changing and ending. Anything that begins, has to have an end, in this world. This can be described as one of the most profound mysteries in the Bible, whose manifestation cannot be disputed.
The material universe was created to have a duration of time in its existence. The animals that we perceive today are assumed as different from those of olden times, although resembling the same ancestral equation. The material earth, as known today, is the mother of everything existing, organically.
The grass and trees are subject to wearing out, over time. They succumb to rotting and getting swallowed up in the soil, from where they sprung. The same fate awaits every material object known to exist, including human beings.
To Adam, he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil, you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow, you will eat your food until you return to the ground since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust, you will return”(Genesis 3:17-19 NIV).
As shown in the above passage, Adam is included in the composition of the earth. Adam existed physically; therefore, he was poised to return to the same earth from where he and his descendants came. However, Adam carried a special attribute which we will refer to, later.
But, suffice to say anything that is as material as earthly, comes to an end. Jesus said; “Heaven and Earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away”(Matthew 24:35). This, therefore, confirms the fact that what was created at the beginning (Genesis 1:1), is poised to come to an end.
The description of everything created at the beginning (Genesis 1:1), carries an attribute of ending, at some point. The components of earthly objects carry the time factor. Scientifically, time is static. The movements, from one place to another, are attributed to the material universe. Throwing a stone from one place to another creates duration before it lands at some distant point, elsewhere.
The distance relates to timing, determined by energized velocity before the stone reaches the destination, whether swiftly or slowly. The swiftness or the slowness of that stone is dependent upon the time it takes to reach its destination. This is how time is measured and calculated, in our evaluation of material objects.
My age bears the length of time, related to my existence, since the day of my birth. All my achievements or failures are covered for the duration of my lifespan, measured during earthly existence. The same applies to other individuals, including beasts of the land, and every other physical object.
Some objects are more durable than others but poised to eventually come to an end. The existence of the earth, as the mother of everything that physically exists, might outlast everything. This is, but a glimpse of the physical universe mentioned in Genesis 1:1.
Genesis 1:2 described a chaotic earthly condition. From then on, what is observable to ordinary humanity, is the assumption of the physical creation in the considered six-day week of creation. That is not true. The misunderstanding can be uncovered on another day. But suffice to say the six-day week is a rearrangement of what had been created in Genesis 1:1 but which had become chaotic.
The state of confusion that the earth is caught up in, confirms its submission to manipulation. The Biblical story shows a powerful angelic cherub that became discordant and was thrown down to earth. Paul alludes to him being the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). This links the condition of the earth, found in a state of confusion in Genesis 1:2.
“You were anointed as a guardian cherub, for so I ordained you.You were on the holy mount of God; you walked among the fiery stones. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created till wickedness was found in you. Through your widespread trade, you were filled with violence, and you sinned.
“So I drove you in disgrace from the mount of God, and I expelled you, guardian cherub, from among the fiery stones. Your heart became proud because of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendour. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings”(Ezekiel 28:14-17 NIV).
Our point of interest, today, is that the material creation comprises what is covered in Genesis 1:1. There is no need to conflate the Genesis term, with the beginning mentioned in John’s gospel Book. Neither was John conceptualizing the quantifiable objects to God, having a beginning point of entry.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him, nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it”(John 1:1-5 NIV).
One of the common misrepresentations, by most Christians, includes assigning the term “beginning,” in John’s Gospel Book. Such Christians would have failed to grasp that God has neither a beginning nor an end. The term “Word,” in the above passage refers to communication. John’s description of the time factor concerns information dissemination, and commencement of availing information about life, to humanity.
Remember, after the Garden of Eden incident, humanity was reduced to death. But, more accurately, humanity was dead, according to the Scriptural reference. Our ancestor, Adam, ate the forbidden fruit that God had said should not be eaten. The penalty for eating that fruit was death, as highlighted by Jesus when advising one of His potential followers as follows:
Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father” But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead”(Matthew 8:21-22 NIV).
Jesus referred to death, as descriptive of the penalty pronounced against Adam, at the Garden of Eden. In short, humanity was pronounced dead, but left in need of life, whose information origin is God’s Word. In other words, death is poetically described as darkness, before the provision of life. This is different from the beginning of creation, in the Book of Genesis. John’s mission, in His writing, revealed God’s communication, which pointed at the information about the restoration of life.
John’s narration is that survival information comes through the Word, whose information is represented by Jesus, but directly coming from God. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth”(John 1:14 NIV).
Earlier, we covered the reality that Adam was of the earth, according to Adam’s configuration, described in Genesis 2:7. This shows Adam, being of earthly origin, pronounced as would return to dust, from where he came. Another common error by ordinary humans is conflating the configuration of Adam with Man’s creation, as pronounced in Genesis.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:26-27).
Henceforth, we perceive a special creation, not similar to what existed at the creation in Genesis 1:1. This special creation appears as having a beginning, but it does not have an end. It is important, therefore, to notice the impossibility to allocate timing factors to that special creation. If God bears no beginning and no end, the specialized creation would also bear neither beginning nor the end. Otherwise, it cannot be a special creation.
The fusion of humanity into God’s Kingdom makes it impossible to separate human’s specialized creation, from God. Otherwise, God would not be sincere in pronouncing this special creation as describing God’s image. Bear in mind that the time aspect is not connected with God. Therefore, those having acquired the status of being God’s children, like Jesus, carry no time factor.
It is unnecessary to speculate on the significance of God’s image, when Jesus, who is the way, the truth and the life, is available. Jesus was as human as we are, but without corruption. The physical nature that Jesus wore, was corrupt; but His actual personality was not corrupt.
Jesus, therefore, came to grant us the methodology of overcoming corruption that engulfed humanity. Similarly, any human being can be observed as corrupt, like any human known to be corrupt. But the Spiritual personality of any human is not corrupt. This becomes possible when aware of the difference between physical and Spiritual personalities. That information is made available by Jesus, whose character portrayed the exact image of God, as depicted in Genesis 1:26-27.
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word”(Hebrews 1:3 NIV). This describes what is exactly portrayed in Man created in God’s image. Jesus did not participate in the calamitous confusion, initiated at the Garden of Eden incident. But this does not take away the fact that Jesus is part of humanity. The lack of awareness of this profound information is a result of death, pronounced at the Garden of Eden. See [The prodigal Son parable and the mystery of Man].
The Bible is encoded with Spiritual information, showing that humanity is not part of this world. When Jesus insisted on not being of this world, He revealed that humanity was also not part of this world. Believing in Jesus implies a willingness to identify with Jesus, rather than identify with anything in this world. This is what heralds the piece of information, codified in John 1:1-5.
God’s Word, as availed to Humanity, had been accessible even before Jesus. There is nothing untrue about what is recorded in the entire Old Testament Bible, except possible typographic errors. However, the Godly information needs to be accessed on a gradient formula. What Moses wrote in Genesis is clouded in mysteries, to remain unclear to ordinary humanity.
But those appreciating the existence of God, as being willing to change can easily connect with Jesus, in communication. Abraham, David and various other personalities, including prophets, had no problem with God’s communication. This is even without the physical Jesus. However, the Jesus’ generation carried the privilege to access Jesus in person. Those of our time, do so, through Biblical testimonies, recorded in Scripture.
Although Jesus spoke in parables, His followers were helped to understand the mysteries of God’s Kingdom. Jesus’ sacrifice grants humanity the privilege of regaining life, lost at the Garden of Eden. The chemistry of this, removes the veil, dividing life and death. The death of Jesus on the cross conditioned humanity to then access what had, all along, been inaccessible to humanity.
Living in this world gives humanity diverse challenges, in the duration of physical existence, until reaching the point of decay. Surviving in that condition is futile, but describing the confusion that humanity wallows in. Hence, John mentions Jesus as the light that serves to remove darkness. To overcome death, one needs physical death in Jesus, who then grants life.
Several other aspects of the Bible can be confusing to ordinary humanity. However, to those willing to explore, keeping themselves open to understanding, there would be more to learn and grow. No one holds the monopoly of understanding in this world, except Jesus. All humans, regardless of background, can now access Godly information through Jesus.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.
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