Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  Titus 2:13

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Gen. 1: 14-19




BY THE end of the third creative day whatever was left of the third canopy fell to the earth and completed the deposit of the third layer above the original crust of granite, basalt, gneiss and crystalline rock formed by the scum arising out of the boiling caldron of which the earth once consisted. This third canopy was less dense, i.e., had proportionally less solid and more fluid matter, than the two lower ones. It was this fact of its consisting of more volatile matter that made its contents work their way up and remain above the other two canopies. Its fall greatly enlarged the expanse and thus increased the range of earth's atmosphere. At the same time the gaseous matter in the expanse became less dense because spread out over a larger expanse, much of its disappearing through absorption by the vegetable world, especially by the trees, and through escaping into the higher canopies and the stratosphere. The more solid substances of this third expanse settled down into the third stratum of the earth. At first this stratum like all others was very soft, being mixed with much water, but gradually during a period of many thousand years it hardened into rock. It felled and covered many of the forests and turned them into the deepest of our coal beds.


It will be noted that the description of the fourth creative day's work mentions nothing as being done on



our earth. From this we are not to infer that nothing happened on the earth. Rather we are to recognize that as the falling of the third canopy enlarged earth's expanse and atmosphere and thus continued to bring forward toward perfection the work begun on the second, and progressing through the third day, ever purifying the atmosphere, so the separation of the land and water and the production of grass, plant and tree, which began in the third day, continued to operate during the fourth epoch, evidenced by the fact that many coal deposits lie between the strata deposited in the third and fourth creative epochs. Apparently no new thing as such was creatively started on earth in the fourth day. Thus during it there was only an improvement of things formerly begun. The wisdom of this is manifest from the fact that before animal life could exist, not only would conditions have to improve on earth, especially the purification of its atmosphere from its rank gases, which occurred as above explained, but light in larger quantities had to be supplied to the earth in order to animal existence. Hence between the creation of the vegetable and the animal worlds light in greater abundance had to be supplied in order to furnish certain necessary living conditions for the various orders of animal life that were to be placed in this earth. Hence we find that the supply of such light in sufficient quantities had to come before the creation of the animal world. Accordingly, the fourth creative epoch logically required that a greatly increased supply of light should reach this earth from the heavenly luminaries, if it should be followed by epochs devoted to the creation of earth's animals. Hence we see that the ordaining of the sun and moon and stars to serve as light bringers to the earth is properly placed by the creative record of Genesis. Infidels who boast of the advancement of science during the 19th and 20th centuries as their peculiar possession are at a loss to explain how Moses



3,550 years ago could give such a logically and chronologically correct account of the progress of Creation in Gen. 1.


Nor are we to understand that the work of the fourth creative day consisted in creating the sun, moon and stars. This would make the record of that day's creative work contradict both the Bible and science. To begin with the latter, science proves that many of the stars are so far distant that it has required millions of years for their light, traveling between five and six trillions of miles a year, to reach our earth, which of course proves that they were created long before the fourth creative epoch. Again, such a view contradicts the statement of Gen. 1: 1, which shows that the heavens, i.e., the sun, moons, planets, asteroids, comets and stars, were created long before the first creative day. How long before we do not know, but in the case of some stars it was, as just shown, millions of years ago. Again, this view contradicts the fact that light, however faint, came from without to this earth during the first creative day (Gen. 1: 3-5). We know that before our earth received its scum, which resulted in its being enveloped in thick darkness, it was a self-luminous body. These facts prove that neither in Gen. 1: 3-5 is the first creation of light referred to, nor in Gen. 1: 14-19 is the original creation of the sun, moon and stars referred to. Rather, the first set of these verses refers to light first coming to our earth from without, after the earth had received its scum covering; and the second set of these verses refers to the light of the sun, moon and stars first breaking through the unfallen canopies of earth to the degree that would make them as bodies visible to animals, if there had been any of these on earth at that time. In other words, a sufficiency of the canopies had fallen so that the sun could have been thus visible in the beginning of the fourth creative day and the stars at its end, and the moon some time after its middle.



And when we look at the language used in Gen. 1: 14-19, it favors such a view of the work of the fourth creative epoch. Nowhere in this section is the Hebrew word bara (he creates, brings into existence) used. And the word asah, rendered made in v. 16, should better have been here rendered appointed, as it is in similar connections properly so translated (Job 14: 5; Ps. 104: 19). An examination of this section proves that, not the creation of the sun, moon and stars is here set forth, but their acting in certain ways toward the earth is the subject set forth. Thus v. 14 says, "Let there be lights [luminaries] in the firmament [expanse] of heaven [not the atmospheric expanse is here meant, but that of the celestial spheres] to divide [here is proven that the luminaries' mission toward the earth, not their creation, is set forth in this verse; for the language of v. 14, "let it be, etc.," is the same in v. 3, where, not the original creation of light, but its shining from without on the darkened earth, is set forth] the day from the night [it is the mission of these luminaries to separate day from night]; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years [here again plainly the various missions of these luminaries is given and the whole verse shows that their purpose, not their creation, is set forth in v. 14]. By its repetition v. 15 emphasizes the idea of their purpose, and not that of their creation—"Let them be for lights in the firmament [expanse] of the heaven to give light upon the earth; and it was so."

Properly translated, v. 16 proves this thought with greater force: "And God appointed two great lights to govern, the greater light the day, the lesser light and the stars to govern the night." Here again, not the creation of these heavenly bodies, but their appointment to their mission of governing day and night on earth, is given. When it is recognized how they were thus appointed, immediately it is seen that their creation is not meant. God appointed them to the work



of ruling the day and night by letting a sufficiency of the earth-girdling canopies fall to the earth, whereby these luminaries that were in their respective places for untold millennia penetrated through the remaining canopies with a sufficiency of light to govern day and night. The movement of the earth on its axis in relation to the sun resulted in these luminaries ruling the day and night after the hindering canopies fell. Vs. 17 and 18 add their part of the proof to the same effect. "God set [arranged by the canopies' fall] them in the expanse of heaven [again, not the atmospheric expanse, which then was within the fourth canopy] to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness; and God saw that it [not they, these heavenly bodies, but their mission] was good." Thus we see that everything in vs. 14-18 proves that, not the creation of the heavenly bodies, but their adjustment to their mission as to the earth's receiving light, etc., from these, was the work of the fourth creative epoch. This explanation harmonizes vs. 14-19 with v. 1 and vs. 3-5 and the Bible record of creation as to light and the heavenly bodies with science, while it is the darkness of the Dark Ages that, expounding vs. 14-19 as referring to the creation of the heavenly bodies, makes these verses contradict vs. 1, 3-5 and science. From the standpoint of these explanations we are able to see daylight in the record of the fourth creative period as it is presented in vs. 14-19.


In v. 14 it is stated that God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens." This command was given by God to the Logos, our pre-human Lord, through whom God did the creative work as through an agent (John 1: 3; Col. 1: 17). The Logos in turn gave this charge to His assisting angels, who with Him carried it out. As we have already intimated, they carried it out by letting at the extreme end of the third creative epoch the remainder of the third canopy fall



to the earth, and at the beginning of the fourth creative epoch by clearing away such vapors, etc., as prevented the sun from becoming so bright in relation to the earth as would have made it visible to man, had he been then on the earth. The fall of the last portion of the fourth canopy at the extreme end of the fourth creative period accomplished the same for the stars, which, according to record, reached the same condition relatively to visibility from earth during the fourth day. Sometime between the beginning and end of the fourth day, probably a little after its middle, the moon reached that condition of visibility possibly by the fall of the inner, more dense, part of the fourth canopy; for it is not necessary for us to conclude that each canopy in its entirety fell at the end of its respective period. Rather, it is more probable that the denser parts of each canopy fell earlier than its more volatile parts. This would make the last part of each falling canopy consist of more or less roily water, except the last canopy, which consisted of translucent and pure water, as is evidenced by the color of the glaciers, which, as we know, were formed in the extreme north and south and on mountains from the waters and snows of Noah's flood. So viewed, we have a reasonable and factual proof of the fact that the heavenly bodies, which were created very many years before the chaotic period of the earth (v. 2), did not assume visibility from the earth until the fourth creative epoch. How harmonious with facts the Mosaic record is!


From this standpoint we can readily understand why vs. 14-19 say nothing about the creation of the heavenly bodies, but describe their mission relatively to the earth. And this, too, is to be expected, since from Gen. 1: 2 to the end of the chapter the creative works are described from the standpoint of effecting or being related to the earth. Our attention in passing should be called to the position assigned to these heavenly bodies in the creative record. It will be noted that the record



does not place them in the expanse that was between the waters under it and over it (v. 7). It places them in the expanse that was immensely removed above the waters that were above the expanse mentioned in vs. 6, 7. This is another fact that implies the correctness of the canopy theory. And certainly the facts of science prove the Mosaic statement on this subject to be true. Having stated in v. 14 the positions of the heavenly bodies, their mission as the main subject of vs. 14-19 is then discussed.


Their first mission is described as that of dividing between the day and the night. And certainly this is true; for the rotation of the earth on its axis in relation to the sun, moon and the stars, especially in its relation to the sun, brings about this division between day and night; for that part of the earth that its rotation causes to face the sun gets its day from the sun shining on it; and that part of the earth that its rotation causes to be turned away from the sun gets its night from the sun's rays being withdrawn from it and from the light shed upon it by the moon and stars or even from the absence of the light of all of these heavenly bodies. By these operations of these natural bodies the beneficences of day and night are bestowed on plant, beast and man. The many benefits and opportunities of day and of night prove this. As beneficial as the succession of day and night is to man, beast and plant, so injurious would the continual presence of day or night be to them. Thus we see the wisdom, power, justice and love of God shining out of the marvelous provision of day and night. Yes, the division between day and night is the first purpose of the heavenly bodies as to our earth.


The second mission of the heavenly bodies is that they serve for signs, which are both physical and symbolic. They serve for physical signs of location. Their related positions enable the mariner to locate his exact position in the seas, as they enable travelers in desert



and uninhabited places to locate their positions. A Godsend are they often to the lost in enabling them to find their way. Thus they are good signs for position and direction. The careful study given to their position in relation to the earth from generation to generation enables the knowing to understand where to look for each one at any hour of any day of the year. Thus they are dependable signs of position and direction. This fact is also used to great advantage by the astronomer. And in this fact the dependability of God's creative works is seen. Hence the astronomer can determine the positions of the heavenly bodies many millennia of years in the past and in the future, even as planetariums show this factually before our eyes. They, especially the moon, give useful planting signs. The sign use that astrology makes of the heavenly bodies is occultism and demonism, with which God's people should have nothing to do, observer of times (Deut. 18: 10).


But the chief sign use of these heavenly bodies is symbolic; e.g., the sun has many symbolic sign uses. It, first of all, symbolizes God as the light (the Giver of true knowledge) of the universe and of His people. (Is. 60: 19, 20; Ps. 84: 11.) Then, secondly, it represents our Lord as the light of the world (John 9: 5). Then, thirdly, it symbolizes the Bible as the light-giver (Rev. 1: 16; 10: 1, comp. with 2 Cor. 4: 6; Rev. 19: 17; 22: 5). Fourthly, it represents the true Church as the light of the world (Matt. 5: 14). Fifthly, it represents Jesus and the Church as the Millennial light of the world (Mal. 4: 2; Matt. 13: 43). Sixthly, it represents the New Testament (Ps. 121: 6; Is. 13: 10; 30: 26; 60: 19; Luke 21: 25; Acts 2: 20; Rev. 12: 1; 21: 23, etc.). Then, seventhly, it represents the nominal as the counterfeit of the true Church (Rev. 9: 2; 16: 8). Eighthly, it represents the pope as the counterfeit sun of the Romanist Church (Jer. 15: 9). It is, ninthly, used to symbolize fierce temptation (Is. 49: 10; Matt. 13: 6; Rev. 7: 16). And, finally, it represents Satan



as a counterfeit of God, as Sun (Is. 24: 23). The moon is used symbolically to represent Jesus as the giver to the Church of the light derived from God as the Sun (Is. 60: 20). Its main symbolic use in the Bible is as a representation of the Old Testament and Law Covenant (Ps. 121: 6; Cant. 6: 10; Is. 60: 19; Joel 2: 31; Matt. 24: 29; Luke 21: 25; Rev. 12: 1; 21: 23). It is also used to represent the fallen angels as getting light from Satan, a counterfeit sun (Is. 24: 23). The stars have various symbolic uses. First they represent our Lord (Num. 24: 17; 2 Pet. 1: 19; Rev. 2: 28; 22: 16), then the twelve apostles (Rev. 12: 1), then the seven messengers of the seven churches (Rev. 1: 20; 2: 1; 3: 1), then the Ancient and Youthful Worthies as true teachers in the Millennium (Dan. 12: 3), then, finally, false teachers (Matt. 24: 29; Jude 13; Rev. 8: 10-12; 12: 4). These Biblical considerations prove that the sun, moon and stars are used as symbolic signs.


The next mission of the heavenly bodies is to mark seasons. The four seasons of the year are here especially meant. This marking is mainly indicated by the sun in relation to the earth as the latter revolves about its orbit. The axis of the earth is inclined away from the plane of the ecliptic 23°. This makes it change its position toward the sun as it revolves on its orbit 46° every six months and then returns. Thus it makes the revolution about its orbit once a year. The motion seems to be that of the sun, and thus we speak of it in popular language, e.g., at the vernal and autumnal equinoxes we say that the sun has reached the equator, and at the summer solstice we say that the sun has reached its northernmost point, and at the winter solstice we say that it has reached its southernmost point. Actually and scientifically at these times the earth by its eccentricity or inclination on its axis has in its revolution about the sun alternately exposed its northern and southern hemispheres more or less directly to the



sun's rays, while the sun in relation to the earth has remained stationary, except for the slight aberration that the gravitational attraction of the planets causes the earth to make in its orbit. It is this inclination in its orbital motion, making the earth stand in different zone relations to the sun, that makes our seasons, as well as marks them. But these seasons are also marked by the position of the stars, which also, due to the earth's inclination on its axis and revolution on its orbit, seem to change their positions relatively to the earth, and come into the same positions relatively to the earth the same days 50.2 seconds later each year, due to the precession of the equinoxes. Accordingly, the sun and the stars by their positions relatively to the earth mark the seasons, and in the case of the sun makes our seasons. It is this fact that is referred to in our text, when it says of them, "Let them be … for seasons."


V. 14 also states that they were to serve for days and years. This is true of all three sets of heavenly bodies—sun, moon and stars. It will be noted that no mention of the planets is made in vs. 14-19. In fact the word planet occurs but once in the Bible, where the margin suggests for planets twelve signs or constellations (2 Kings 23: 5). We are, therefore, to understand that in this section they are included in the expression stars. These bodies do serve to mark days and years. Actually the sun makes the days in connection with the earth's axial movement; and in connection with the earth's movement about its orbit the sun makes and marks the solar year and the moon makes and marks the lunar year. It will be noted that no mention is made of the month period in this verse. While not asserting positively that the months are indicated by the word "days" in this verse, it would not surprise us, if such were the case, especially as the office of the heavenly bodies is in the first part of this verse shown to be to mark and make days. If in



this verse the expression "days," which in the Bible is used to designate a great variety of time periods, does refer to months, a frequently mentioned Biblical term of time, then it is doubtless the lunar month that is here meant. But we do not stress this point; we only mention it as probable, in view of the otherwise absence of specific mention of the month and the presence of the previous mention of the day, in the first part of this verse.


The next office of these heavenly bodies mentioned in this section (v. 15) is that they serve as luminaries. This is perhaps their chief mission, though so far as the sun is concerned, to give warmth is one of its chief missions. To both of these missions man and beast and vegetable are greatly indebted for preservation in existence and for most of the blessings of existence. What could we do without light and warmth? Without these the vegetable and animal world would long ago have passed out of existence, in fact we can scarcely see how they could after their first beginnings have reproduced themselves. Hence we see their indispensableness to the animate world. They exercise their office from the positions in which they have been placed by the Creator—in the expanse of the heavens. And the charge that God gave for them to exercise this part of their mission (v. 15) was carried into execution—"and it was so" (v. 15). That the Mosaic account is speaking of the heavenly bodies from the standpoint of their relation to the earth and not from the standpoint of these heavenly bodies in themselves, is very evident from the statements of v. 16, that the two great lights are the sun and the moon. As a matter of fact, there are stars that are intrinsically very much brighter and larger than our sun, let alone than our moon, which is much less bright and large than even our planets. E.g., Canopus is intrinsically 77,000 times brighter than our sun, but its great distance from our earth (652 light years) makes it appear less



bright to us. S Doradi, a star of the ninth magnitude, in the larger Magellanic cloud, is 600,000 times brighter than our sun. Again, Betelgeuse is immensely larger than our sun, being in volume 26,000,000 times larger, but its great distance from us makes it appear smaller to us. That the language of v. 16 is restricted to earthly relations is also evident from the statement that the day that the sun, and night that the moon and stars govern, are earth's day and night. We have already explained v. 16 sufficiently as teaching, not the creation of the heavenly bodies, but their being arranged to fulfill their respective missions of governing earth's days and nights. Of the earth's two great lights the sun is both intrinsically and apparently the greater.


The mission of these heavenly bodies toward the earth is again emphasized in v. 17. The way they were adjusted in the expanse of the heavens to cause light to shine upon the earth is a twofold one. Firstly, their absolute position in the expanse of the heavens was intended in due time to have this effect and, secondly, the removal one after another of earth's canopies increasingly allowed their light to penetrate to the earth. V. 18 in its first clause repeats the mission of these heavenly bodies, as their mission is stated in vs. 16 and 14. This repetition is doubtless to emphasize the fact that this section, vs. 14-19, does not treat of the creation of the heavenly bodies, but of their mission toward the earth. Thus in this section the Lord has repeatedly shown us that the work of the fourth day was not the creation of the heavenly bodies, but of adjusting matters connected with the earth so that these heavenly bodies might then begin their Divinely intended mission toward the earth. And the seven thousand years of the fourth creative epoch were sufficient to introduce this mission of those bodies. As the beginning of that period witnessed the sun smiling in bright and warm rays upon the earth in a way as would make it visible to animals, had any then existed, so perhaps a little after



the middle of that period witnessed the same condition existing as to the moon, and the end of that period found in existence a similar condition as to the stars, all of which increased in these activities as one after the other of the remaining canopies fell to the earth.


And v. 18 also assures us that "God saw that it was good." Indeed the light of the sun, moon and stars is good. It gives us all the pleasure of sight. It brings to our view the good things that we need for our preservation, and apprizes us of the dangers from which otherwise we would receive no warning. It blesses the vegetable world with beneficence, from whose bounty we are dependent for the supplies of many of our needs, and it ministers much of similar blessing through these to the lower animals; and through these come not a few of his blessings to man. The warmth that the sun sheds upon us has many blessings for us. These are manifest in the modifications that it imparts to the seasons whereby varied blessings are bestowed upon the vegetable, animal and human worlds. To its heat we are indebted for the setting into motion of winds and electrical storms, whereby our atmosphere is purified. Evaporation is another benefit of the sun's heat, whereby the clouds are made and bring the blessing of rain. From this our lands are helped to produce, our wells and streams are replenished for man's, beasts' and plants' good. Its vivifying action produces earth's fruitage for the blessing of man and beast. Yes, every plant and every animal are indebted to the sun's light and heat for the support and sustenance that they give to life. Surely "God saw that it was good"! Yea, this fourth day witnessed its small beginning—there was an evening— and ending—and there was a morning of the fourth day.


In closing our discussion of the fourth creative day we desire to quote a few pertinent Scriptures. Several of these we will find in the book of Job: "Which commandeth the sun and it riseth not; and sealeth up the



stars, which alone spreadeth out the heavens and treadeth upon the waves of the sea, which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south." "Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days, and caused the day spring to know his place? Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? Or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons" (Job 9: 7-9; 38: 31, 32)? From these passages we note that in the days of job, a contemporary of Abraham, men had already given names to some of the constellations and the stars. By Mazzaroth the twelve signs of the Zodiac and by Arcturus the Bear are meant. The following passages from the Psalms are eloquent descriptions of the heavenly bodies: "O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth! Who has set Thy glory above the heavens. When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained, what is man, that Thou are mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him?" "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath He set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it; and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof." "He telleth [counts] the number of the stars; He calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power; His understanding is infinite" (Ps. 8: 1, 3, 4; 19: 1-6; 147: 4, 5). So beautiful and wonderful are the heavenly bodies that poor fallen man has often been prone to worship them, against which the



Lord has had to warn His people (Deut. 4: 19; 17: 3; Job 31: 26-28; Jer. 8: 2). It is well for us to admire, not worship the heavens as expressing God's glory.




Ye many twinkling stars, who do hold

Your brilliant places in the sable vault

Of night's dominions—planets, and central orbs

Of other systems, big as the burning sun

Which lights this nether globe, yet to our eye

Small as the glowworm's lamp—to you I raise

My lowly reflections, while, as bewildered,

My vision strays o'er your ethereal hosts;

Too vast, too boundless for our narrow mind,

Warped with low prejudices, to unfold,

And sagely comprehend. Thence higher soaring,

Through you I raise my solemn thoughts to Him,

The Mighty Founder of this wondrous maze,

The great Creator! Him, who now sublime,

Wrapt in the solitary amplitude

Of boundless space, above the rolling spheres

Sits on His silent throne and meditates.


The angelic hosts, in their inferior heaven,

Hymn to the golden harps His praise sublime,

Repeating loud, "The Lord our God is great,"

In varied harmonies. The glorious sounds

Roll o'er the air serene, the aeolian spheres,

Harping along their viewless boundaries,

Catch the full note, and cry, "The Lord is great,"

Responding to the seraphim. O'er all,

From orb to orb, to the remotest verge

Of the created world, the sound is borne,

Till the whole universe is full of Him.


Oh, 'tis this heavenly harmony which now

In fancy strikes upon my listening ear,

And thrills my inmost soul! It bids me smile

On the vain world, and all its bustling cares,

And gives a shadowy glimpse of future bliss.



Oh, what is man, when at ambition's height!

What even are kings, when balanced in the scale

Of these stupendous worlds! Almighty God!

Thou, the great Author of these wondrous works!

Say, canst thou cast on me, poor passing worm,

One look of kind benevolence? Thou canst:

For thou art full of universal love,

And in thy boundless goodness wilt impart

Thy beams as well to me as to the proud,

The pageant insects of a glittering hour.


Oh, when reflecting on these truths sublime,

How insignificant do all the joys,

The gauds, and honors of the world, appear!

How vain ambition! Why has my wakeful lamp

Outwatched the slow-paced night! Why on the page,

The schoolman's labored page, have I employed

The hours devoted by the world to rest,

And needful to recruit exhausted nature?

Say, can the voice of narrow fame repay

The loss of health? Can hope of human glory

Lend a new throb unto my languid heart,

Cool, even now, my feverish, aching brow,

Relight the fires of this deep-sunken eye,

Or paint new colors on this pallid cheek?


Say, foolish one, can that terrestrial fame,

For which thou barterest health and happiness—

Say, can it soothe the slumbers of the grave,

Give a new zest to bliss, or chase the fact

Of everlasting punishment condign?

Alas, how vain are mortal man's desires!

How fruitless his pursuits! Eternal God!

Guide thou my footsteps in the way of truth,

And oh, assist me so to live on earth,

That I may die in peace and find a place

In thy high dwelling! All but this is folly,

In the vain illusions of deceitful life.



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