The Earth was Without Form and Void...
by Richard Billingsley
Hang on to your seats, because this article is not what you think it is.
Genesis 1:1-2 (KJV)
Over the years I have heard several teachers use this verse and others like it to build a doctrine that God originally created the Earth as a pristine perfectly beautiful planet that was ruled by Lucifer until Lucifer rebelled and in the ensuing war devastated the Earth, turning it into a shapeless rock void of any life. This is often referred to as a pre-Adamic civilization, because it existed before Adam was created in Genesis. This doctrine tries to creates a theology claiming that God does not create things that are void or imperfect or without form and would never create the Earth in this way and therefore something must have happened that caused the earth to become this way. And guess what? They are right! Unless He had a plan and purpose in doing it.
I recently asked God, how He would respond to this teaching and he gave me a very interesting response. He said there is nothing wrong with the application of these scriptures in this context. But the problem is not with the scriptures they are using, it is in their frame of reference, because it is too focused or narrow. When they read these scriptures all they see is the creation of the Earth. Their focus is on the Earth, not the whole of God's creation. Then with that theology they take the nature of God and that everything He does is perfect and try to create a doctrine where there had to be a Pre-Adamic civilization. Because, there is no other explanation for why God would create the Earth without form, void and shrouded in darkness. This belief was fine when we were immature and ignorant about the ways of God. But God has been restoring our understanding of His ways and it is time that we step up into our maturity before God and understand what He is doing here.
In the verse above, The King James Version uses the singular word form "heaven," but the word itself is actually the plural form "heavens" and that single interpretation changes everything. The heavens here is more than the atmosphere of this planet, much more. When we talk about "heavens" I want you to pull your vision back, away from the singular focus of the Earth, away from this little solar system we live in. I want you to push your vision back beyond the edge of this galaxy, to the very edge of the universe. I want you to see these "heavens" encompassing the whole of God's creation including all the galaxies in this universe. Thousands upon thousands of galaxies in all shapes, sizes and colors, scattered in clusters throughout the universe. This what you should be seeing when you read the "heavens" spoken of in this verse.
When you think how God created the heavens or universe. He created it perfectly in order exactly the way He planned it, all of the galaxies and the stars and planets in them were created perfectly for his creation, man. Nothing in it was out of place, nothing in it corrupt or worthless. Everything was created exactly the way God intended it to be.
Now, if that is the case, why does verse 2 say the Earth was without form and void, covered in darkness? Hang on because I am about to stretch your brain a little. That's okay, you will love it when I am done and you really want to see this from this from God's point of view and why He did it this way. Everything God does is perfectly logical and planned out eons into the future. We need to stretch our thinking to understand why God did it this way.
So, let me ask you a few questions. When a couple has a child they naturally want their child to learn how to manipulate and put things together. What do they do? Don't they get a box of tinker toys or building blocks and give them to the child? Of course, any good parent would want their child to learn these basic building skills, right? So, what does the parent do? Do they buy this box of building blocks and set the sealed box in front of the child and say; "Ok, son, here are your building blocks, have fun? The box is complete, fully assembled and requires nothing from the child. No, of course not. The parent opens the box, then does what? They dump it in front of the child, creating a "perfect" mess to play with. Then the parent gets down and plays with the child teaching them how to play with the blocks. Learning to turn that mess into something beautiful.
Are you getting the idea? Now, push back from that stack of building blocks and that mess that was created. Push back into that vision of the universe and all those galaxies and stars and planets, to see all of God's perfect creation. Created for whom? For His children, for YOU! Now, consider this. All those planets that are out there. They are unfinished planets, the building blocks, the tinker toys that God wants us to play with. They were created in a "perfect unformed" state so we could learn how to create and build on a planetary scale. Am I stretching your brain? Good! Those who are about to be glorified in the Rapture are not going to be laying around playing harps throughout eternity. We are going to be working, building God's kingdom and eventually that work will encompass moving man out into the stars. When we are ready, God is going to teach us to do the exact same thing He did with the Earth, to other planets out in the universe. He is going to give us assignment and say: "Richard, see that rock of a planet over there? That's yours. Go and make it beautiful." Giving us an entire universe (heavens) in a "perfect" mess to learn and play and turn it into a complete and fully blessed "heavens." God wants our thinking to get away from this single tiny planet and all the religious junk that the world has dump on us and get us to thinking like Him on His level.
When God created the heavens He scattered unfinished planets throughout the galaxies, then chose one planet (one building block), the Earth and it was without form and void and shrouded in darkness. If you would allow me, let me show you the above verse with a slight modification. The original Hebrew text does not have punctuation marks and the words "heavens" and "earth" are actually "heavens earth", and all the other words were added by translators to help us understand the context of those words. These two words (heavens earth) side-by-side also have an implied shift in focus from many "heavens" to a single "earth." There is no conflict in translation if we make one minor adjustment. If we move just one period:
Then God spoke and began the process of creation of this earth as an example of how we are going to learn to create and reform planets just like God. What we don't see in this creation story is the whole story of God's plan. That is found in the rest of the Bible and the Bible is going to be used for Eons into the future and we are going to look to this story of creation as our own example of how we are supposed to build or create our own planets. I could go off in dozens of different directions here, but let's stay focused.
When God finished the creation, what did He do? He planted a garden East of Eden. It was a beautiful garden and perfect in all its ways and placed man in the garden to take care of it. Those who teach that God doesn't create anything imperfect, miss a very important point in this story. When God created the Garden of Eden, what was outside that garden. God created the Earth from a formless void, but from what we learn when Adam and Eve were driven outside the garden, it was an untamed wilderness. Why? Because if Adam and Eve had not fallen, they and their children were told to "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and manage it." Their job was to tame that wilderness out there and turn the rest of the Earth into a Garden of Eden. And when they had finished blessing this Earth, move to another planet without form and void and turn it into a Garden of Eden also and bless it in the same way.
God's creation is perfect and the universe was created exactly the way He wanted it, a great big "perfect" mess for His kids to play in. There was no Pre-Adamic civilization that was destroyed by a rebellious Angel Lucifer turning this planet into a lifeless rock. Up to this point Lucifer was the highest form God had created. Until the creation of Man, Lucifer was praised and admired for his beauty and talents. Lucifer had no framework in his life to even imagine that something could be created greater than he was, because the only one greater than Lucifer was God. Lucifer was exactly where he wanted to be, right next to God and loved all the attention. Lucifer fell and became Satan when God created Man and saw that God had given man creative power like God, that he did not have. He questioned what is this "man" that God would even leave His throne in Heaven and visit man and walk with man. God had never done that with him. God crowned man with His own glory and gave man dominion and power over this new creation. He was no longer the highest creation of God, he was now below man and was sent to be a servant to man. He was placed lower than man and he became envious, bitter and wanted that power for himself.
Isaiah 14:13-15 KJV
That is how Lucifer fell, not as some rebellious angel ruler of a planet that existed before Earth was created. But when he saw God create man who was like God, suddenly there was something greater than himself that was like God. He became envious and jealous and wanted what man had so he could restore his place next to God. Then he devised a plan, which caused the fall of man, and with it fell himself. But God had a plan for His man…
When we step back and look at these things from God's point of view, all these scriptures make perfect sense and fit within the proper context of scripture as ONE Creation. We should stand in awe and respect of God that He LOVED us so much that He would create a universe such as this. How can we do anything but praise God and cast off the ways of this world and release our own PASSION for Him to live our lives to be true imitators of God as precious children.
Live in God's LOVE!