Genesis chapter one, verse one, says: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Augustine, great preacher and interpreter of the Bible, declares the following in his book The Literal Meaning of Genesis: “By heavens we mean the spiritual things, and by earth, the material things.” When we speak of the two creations, may no one think of the spiritual things as being created together with the material ones, because they are different creations. The material creation comprehends the universe, the nebulae, the galaxies, the planets, the stars, the comets, etc. (Gen. 1:14-19). The spiritual creation does not comprehend the matter, for it is a spiritual creation. The god of the Old Testament is the lord of the material creation, and so the Bible declares: “The earth is Jehovah’s, with its fullness; the world, and those who dwell therein” (Ps. 24:1; Is. 42:5). Jehovah also eats meat and drinks milk. He appeared to Abraham with two more angels with him. Abraham called Sara and asked her to prepare a cake, a young calf, and butter, and ate with Jehovah (Gen. 18:1-8).
The spiritual creation began in Jesus Christ. In the book of Revelations we read: “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been killed” (Rev. 13:8). If the world was established when Jesus died on the cross, it was not established in the time of Adam, or before. For this reason the evangelist Luke declared: “The law and the prophets were until John. From that time the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it” (Luke 16:16). The spiritual creation began 4,000 years after the first Adam. Jesus, therefore, is the beginning of the new creation, in other words, of the spiritual creation; and the Bible calls him, the last Adam. Now, the word “Adam” comes from the Hebrew Adamah (ground), for he was made from the dust of the earth (Gen. 2:7; 3:19).
Jesus is the last Adam, because he is the last man made from the dust of the earth. John declared: “The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). And Paul says: “So also it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit’” (1 Cor. 15:45). Jesus born of flesh is the Jesus made of the dust and subject to all the weaknesses and temptations of the first Adam and his offspring (Heb. 4:15). We believe then that the Word became flesh in the baptism of Jesus, for the Word is God (John 1:1), and God cannot be tempted (James 1:13). Jesus born in flesh was tempted for thirty years in his flesh, and when he was baptized, God, the Father spoke, saying: “Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee” (Luke 3:21-22 – Jerusalem Bible).
When Jesus was tempted, the temptation came from the flesh, in other words, from inside, for he was tempted as we were. After his baptism he was tempted by Satan, but he was not tempted from the inside. James explains: “But each one is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then the lust, when it has conceived, bears sin; and the sin, when it is full grown, brings forth death” (James 1:14,15).
We will compare the two creations to see if they are alike or if they are different:
- In the first creation, darkness existed first: “Now the earth was formless and empty. Darkness was on the surface of the deep. God’s Spirit was hovering over the surface of the waters” (Gen. 1:2). In the second creation, light existed first: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1-4). “The true light that enlightens everyone was coming into the world” (John 1:9). “This is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5). The creation of God, the Father, does not begin with darkness, but with the light, which is Jesus (John 8:12).
- In the first creation, darkness prevailed. The psalmist talks about Israel, when it left Egypt: “He led them also by a straight way, that they might go to a city to live in. Let them praise Jehovah for his loving kindness, for his wonderful works to the children of men! For he satisfies the longing soul. He fills the hungry soul with good. Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, being bound in affliction and iron, because they rebelled against the words of God, and condemned the counsel of the Most High” (Ps. 107:7-11). And 1,000 years later: “Therefore is justice far from us, neither does righteousness overtake us: we look for light, but, behold, darkness; for brightness, but we walk in obscurity. We grope for the wall like the blind; yes, we grope as those who have no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the twilight; among those who are lusty we are as dead men” (Is. 59:9,10). In the second creation, light prevails. Jesus said: “Again, therefore, Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). And he said to the disciples: “You are the light of the world. A city located on a hill can’t be hidden. Neither do you light a lamp, and put it under a measuring basket, but on a stand; and it shines to all who are in the house. Even so, let your light shine before men; that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 5:14-16).
- In the first creation, the Sun was black, for even if it was present, it did not illuminate: “For you have not come to a mountain that might be touched, and that burned with fire, and to blackness, darkness, storm, the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words…” (Heb. 12:18,19). The one speaking from the midst of darkness was Jehovah (Deut. 4:11-12; 5:23). And Jehovah is a Sun (Ps. 84:11); therefore, black Sun. The Sun of the second creation is light, and brightens also those who walk in darkness. Jesus said: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust’” (Matt. 5:43-35).
- In the first creation the people of Jehovah spread darkness wherever they went: “When they came to the nations, where they went, they profaned my holy name; in that men said of them, These are the people of Yahweh, and are gone forth out of his land” (Ezek. 36:20). The people, before they were scattered among the nations, profaned their own land (Jer. 19:4; Ezek. 22:8). They profaned the sanctuary (Ezek. 23:38). Jehovah wanted to have a great name among the nations, but Israel profaned the name of Jehovah among the nations (Mal. 1:11,12). In the second creation, the people of God, the Father, takes the resplendent light: “Do all things without murmurings and disputes, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you are seen as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:14,15).
- In the first creation, Eve drags the first Adam and his offspring to sin and death (Gen. 3:6,17-19). In the second, the last Adam, Jesus Christ, saves his Church, in other words, his Eve. Paul explains the mystery, saying: “For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy. For I married you to one husband, that I might present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve in his craftiness, so your minds might be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11:2,3). And Paul adds: “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave himself up for it; that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the assembly to himself gloriously, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27).
- In the first creation, the future and eternal inheritance was the earthly Jerusalem, because the first covenant, the one of Jehovah, promises only that. In the second creation the inheritance is the heavenly Jerusalem, in other words, of heaven. Paul explains the enigma, revealing that the earthly Jerusalem is Hagar, the Egyptian, whose children are slaves with her. This is the covenant of Sinai. But Sara is the figure of the heavenly Jerusalem, and Isaac is the figure of the children of promise, in other words, of those who were born again, begotten by the Holy Spirit. Read Gal. 4:21-26, and John 3:3-6. We can prove by the epistle to the Hebrews that the spiritual creation has already been made: “But you have come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable multitudes of angels, to the general assembly and assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better than that of Abel” (Heb. 12:22-24). It is not written, You will come, but, You have come!
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira