the six days of creation literal days of twenty-four hours each?
<ANSWER>--The word "day" as used in the Scriptures,
signifies a fixed period of time. We read of a forty year day;
"the day of temptation in the wilderness." (`Heb.
3:8,9`.) Again, we have the Scriptural statement that "One
day with the Lord is as a thousand years." (`2 Pet. 3:8`.)
A year is frequently spoken of as a day; as, "I have appointed
thee each a day for a year." (`Eze. 4:6`.) Furthermore
the entire Gospel Age is called "The day of salvation."
--`2 Cor. 6:2`. When considering the statements of Genesis respecting
the six creative Days or periods, or epochs, we should not limit
our thoughts to a twenty-four hour day, but examine the subject
and see what period of time is signified. Doing this, we find
that a twenty-four hour day could not be meant, for the sun
did not appear until the fourth of these creative days; hence,
in the first three of these creative days there could have been
no twenty-four-hour-day period such as we now note. We would
not, however, go to the opposite extreme and join with so-called
Scientists in their claim that there were millions of years
elapsing in the creative period. We find satisfactory evidence
in the Scriptures, that one of these creative "days"
was a period of seven thousand years and, hence that the entire
creative week would be 7,000 x 7 = 49,000 years. And although
it is, we believe, quite reasonable ample for the work represented
as being accomplished therein--in ordering and filling of the
earth, already in existence.
there two works of creation as narrated in the first and second
chapters of Genesis, (`Gen 1` and `Gen 2`)or are these simply
two accounts of the same works of creation? (E.M.)
<ANSWER>--The first and second chapters of the book of
Genesis are wrongly divided. There are two accounts of the work
of creation and the division of the chapters should show this
and be in harmony with divisions contained in the narrative.
The first account ends with the third verse of the second chapter,
and the second account begins with the fourth verse of the second
chapter. The first account relates to the epochal division of
the work as arranged by the Lord. The second account is a commentary
on the first, explanatory of details, "These are the generations,"
or developments, of the heavens and the earth and their creatures,
from a time before there was any plant or herb. The first and
principal account gives the word "God" when speaking
of the Creator, and the second, or commentary account points
out that it was Jehovah God who did the entire work--"in
the day" that He made the heavens and the earth--thus grasping
the whole as one larger epoch day, including the work of the
six already enumerated.
give the Scripture evidence for the statement that the seventh
creative "day" is a period of 7,000 years (Questioner.)
Harmonize with the fourth commandment. (R.M.)
<ANSWER>--The Scriptural evidence that this is a period
of 7,000 years is clear. "God rested (from His work of
creation) on the seventh day." When `Psalm 95` was written
God was still resting; nor had any change taken place when the
Epistle to the `Hebrews was written, for there (ch. 4`.) is
held out to the Church the offer of sharing in God's rest. Even
when the Kingdom of Heaven is established God's rest continues,
for the work of the Kingdom is committed into the hands of the
Son. At the close of that reign of 1,000 years (`Rev. 20`) the
Son will deliver up the Kingdom to the Father, "That God
may be all in all." Since there are about 6,000 years from
the creation to the second coming of Christ, and 1,000 years
of Christ's Presence, it follows that God's day of rest is about
7,000 years long. During His long "day" God has not
been entirely idle, but has done such Sabbath-day works as have
in His wisdom been deemed works of necessity. The work of restoring
the human race from its degradation--during the last part of
that day will also be Sabbath work. Like the ox or ass, it has
fallen into a pit, and God has made provision for its restoration.
The fourth commandment does not say that God worked six days
of twenty-four hours and then rested the other twenty-four.
The Jewish Sabbath and its system of Sabbaths are types of the
greater Sabbath--the heavenly.
explain how God rested on the 7th creative day.
Jehovah God rested his work of creation, ceased to prosecute
it, because in his wisdom he foresaw that his designs could
best be executed by another means. God saw best to permit his
creature Adam to exercise his free will and fall under temptation
into sin and its legitimate penalty, death--including a long
period, 6,000 years of dying and battling, as a convict, with
evil environment. <47> God saw best to permit
him thus as a convict to do a part of the subduing of the earth;
that to bring it as a whole toward its foretold Paradisaic condition
would be profitable to man under the circumstances; that it
would be expedient that man realize the principles underlying
divine righteousness and the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and
be thus prepared for the grace to be brought to the world in
one of the chief reasons for Jehovah's cessation of the creative
work undoubtedly was that it might be accomplished by another--by
his Only Begotten--in a manner that would not only glorify the
Son, but glorify the Father also, by displaying the perfections
of the Divine attributes as no other course could do. This was
by the giving of his Son to be man's redeemer--an exhibition
not only of Divine Justice, which could by no means violate
the decree that "the wages of sin is death," but which
simultaneously illustrated Divine Love--compassion for his fallen
creatures to the extent of the death of his Son on man's behalf.
Divine Wisdom and Power will also ultimately be exhibited in
every feature of the arrangement when completed.
may be suggested that for the Father to desist from the perfecting
of the creative plan in order that the Son might do this work
during the Millennium, by processes of restitution, would be
no different from the previous creative operations, all of which
were of the Father and by the Son-- without whom
was not anything made that was made. But we answer, No. The
relationship of the Son to the work of restitution with which
this Seventh Epoch-Day will close and bring terrestrial perfection,
will be wholly different from any of his previous works. In
all the previous creations the Son simply acted for Jehovah,
using powers and energies not in any sense his own; but in this
grand work to come he will be using a power and authority that
are his own--which cost him 34 years of humiliation, culminating
in his crucifixion. By that transaction, which the Father's
wisdom and love planned for him, he "bought" the world,
bought Father Adam and all his progeny,
and his estate-- the earth--with all his title to it as its
monarch "in the likeness of God." The Father delighted
to honor the "First Begotten," and therefore planned
it thus, and rested, or ceased from creative processes, that
the Son might thus honor him and be honored by him.
rested, not in the sense of recuperating from weariness, but
in the sense of ceasing to create. He beheld the ruin and fall
of his noblest earthly creation through sin, yet put forth no
power to stay the course of the death sentence and started no
restitutional procedures. Indeed, by the law which he imposed,
he precluded any opportunity for his exercise of mercy and clemency
toward Adam and his race, except through a ransomer. The penalty
being death, and that without limit--everlasting death, "everlasting
destruction" --and it being impossible for God to lie,
impossible for the Supreme Judge of the universe to reverse
his own righteous decree, it was thus rendered impossible for
the Creator to become directly the restorer of the race, or
in any sense or degree to continue his creative work in the
condemned man or in his estate, the earth.