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Particulars of Christianity:
303 Bible Cosmology


Heaven and Earth, Replaced or Restored:
Genesis 1 and Angels

Cosmology: Introduction and Definitions
Part 1: The Old Testament - Buildings in Heaven
Bodies in Heaven: Angels and Spirit Bodies
Humans and Angels: How Similar are We?
Hell in the Old Testament
Part 2: From Christ's Death to His Return
Part 3: Christ's Return Through His Millennial Reign
Part 4: The Final Judgment and Eternity
Replaced or Restored: "Restarts" vs. the First Start
Replaced or Restored: Genesis 1 and Angels
Replaced or Restored: Precedent Reveals Restoration (Part 1)
Replaced or Restored: Precedent Reveals Restoration (Part 2)
Replaced or Restored: More on the Creation of Angels (Part 1)
Replaced or Restored: More on the Creation of Angels (Part 2)
Cosmology: Composite Chart
Cosmogony Illustrations



The key to this study is applying a principle known as the "law of first reference." The "law of first reference" is the hermeneutical (interpretive) principle that a concept is defined the first time it appears in scripture. This law applies two ways to this topic of the new heavens and earth.

First, it applies to understanding the terms "heaven" and "earth" in Genesis 1.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Understanding exactly what is meant here in Genesis 1 is crucial to determining exactly what is included in the phrase "new heaven and new earth."

Because the term "heaven" is applied to the expanse, which separates the water into 2 layers on Day 3 and because the term "earth" is applied to the dry land that emerges on Day 3, some might erroneous suggest that verse 1 is simply foreshadowing the creation of the heaven on Day 2 and the earth on Day 3 rather than actually describing their creation as occurring on Day 1. However this is not true. Verse 1 is not simply foreshadowing events yet to come on Days 2 and 3, but is, in fact, describing the actual creation of the heaven and earth on Day 1. We will establish this fact in the points below.

The Hebrew word for "earth" is "erets" (Strong's No. 0776), which means, "land" or "earth." "Erets" can convey anything from "whole earth as opposed to a part" to simply a "district, region, or territory." However, districts, regions, and territories are divisions of a large body of dry land, such as a continent. But, there is no dry land until Day 3. Consequently, there can't be any districts, regions, or territories before Day 3, and so "erets" on Day 1, must refer to the "whole earth."

However, the earth is without form and void because it is beneath the surface of the water until Day 3 when God gathers the waters that are beneath the heavens together into one place and causes the dry land to emerge where the waters were cleared away. This gives the earth form and shape in the midst of the waters. Specifically its form is defined by the edges where it met with the waters. Then, also on Day 3, God calls for the earth to bring forth all forms of plant life. This fills the earth so that it is no longer void or empty. And as verse 10 states, "earth" is the term used to designate the dry land as opposed to the water. (For an illustration of the events on Days 1 and 3 as well as the other days of creation, please visit the "Cosmogony Illustrations" at the end of this series.)

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters…9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

However, the earth, the solid part of the planet, clearly does exist even before the seas are moved off of it to define its shape and the plants come forth to fill it on Day 3. There are several proofs for this.

First, if the earth did not exist prior to Day 3 but only came into being on Day 3, then verse 2 would not need to make any statement describing its status or condition. Only if the earth exists at the time of verse 2 is there a need to describe its status as being without shape and empty. The fact that verse 2 describes the condition of the earth prior to Day 3 indicates that it did exist before Day 3; it was just formless and empty.

Second, if earth did not exist until Day 3, there would be no mention of the earth at all before Day 3. Yet there clearly is.

Third, if the earth did not exist until Day 3, then the statement "God created the earth" should be found on Day 3. Instead, the phrase "God created the earth" is found on Day 1 in the first verse of Genesis, followed immediately by a statement of the earth's condition after that initial creation on Day 1 as it awaits Day 3 when its condition would change by giving it form and filling it with plants. Conversely, Day 3 does not describe the earth being "created," but instead uses the Hebrew word for "appearing." The Hebrew word for "appear" is "ra'ah" (Strong's No. 07200). It is the same word used in verse 4, which says that "God saw the light." However, in verse 4, "ra'ah" is rendered in the Qal conjugation (designated by the second number in the quote below), which means, "to see."

Genesis 1:4 And God saw (07200) (8799) the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.

By contrast, in verse 9, when "ra'ah" is used concerning the land, it is rendered in the Niphal conjugation (designated by the second number in the quote below), which means, "to appear, to be seen, to be visible."

Genesis 1:9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear (07200) (8735): and it was so.

Consequently, since Day 3 does not describe the creation of the earth, but only the emergence of it from beneath the waters so that it becomes dry and visible, we know that the earth is indeed created on Day 1, which is the only Day where the verb "created" is applied to "the earth."

Fourth, the fact that Day 3 includes a description of a change in the earth's status informs us that the earth already existed before Day 3, having been created on Day 1. The word "land" in verse 9 is italicized in the King James Version, which indicates that there is no corresponding word in the underlying Hebrew but that the English translators perceived "land" to be implied. In the Hebrew, only the word "dry" appears and it is the word, "yabbashah" (Strong's No. 03004), which means, "dry land, dry ground."

There a very simple picture going on here. There is the liquid, the water. And there is the solid, the earth. At first the solid part is wet because it is submerged under the water. And on Day 3, the liquid part is moved around allowing the solid part that was formerly wet because it was beneath the water to become visible and dry.

The fact that the earth it is "wet" on Day 1 and Day 2 is not directly stated, however, the fact that the text specifically says on Day 3 that "dry" earth "became visible" for the first time demonstrates that the earth was previous wet. And, in turn, the designation that the "dry" receives the action of "becoming visible" rather than the action of "being created" on Day 3 itself demonstrates that the earth was present on Day 1, because Day 3 is clearly describing a change in the condition of the earth from its previous state under the water to a new state in which it is dry. Such a change of condition and the need to describe the change in condition would not be possible unless the earth already existed and was in a different condition previously.

Additionally, in verse 10 we learn that the title "earth" is not only the term for the solid substance of the whole planet, but the title "earth" is also assigned to the dry substance that emerges from beneath the water. This is intended to establish conceptual continuity between the "earth" or substance that is initially under the water in verse 1 and the dry substance that emerges as the water is gathered together. Thus, the term "earth" is the name of the solid substance of the planet whether it is under the water and wet or above the water and dry. It is all "earth."

Lastly, Peter confirms this model in which the earth is both present under the water from Day 1 and then emerged out of the water on Day 3. He also confirms that the term "earth" is applied to the solid substance both above the water and below it, establishing the conceptual continuity between the two.

2 Peter 3:4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing (4921) of (1537) the water and in (1223) the water.

Here when speaking of the beginning of creation, Peter specifically states that not only did the earth "stand out of the water" but it was also "in" the water. The Greek word for "standing out" in verse 5 is "sunistao" (Strong's No. 4921), which means, "to place together, put together." It occurs 16 times and is translated 10 times as "commend," 2 times as "approve," 1 time as "consist," 1 time as "make," 1 time as "stand," and 1 time as "stand with." It is also a compound word comprised of the Greek words "sun" (Strong's No. 4862), which simply means "with," and "histemi" (Strong's No. 2476), which means, "to cause or make to stand, to place, to stand, to place in the presence of others, or to establish a thing." The Greek word for "of" at the end of verse 5 is "ek" or "ex" (Strong's No. 1537), which means, "out of." And, the Greek word for "in" is "dia" (Strong's No. 1223), which means, "concerning place, in or with." Consequently, Peter is saying that the earth was not only established or made to stand "out of" the water, which would refer to the emergence of dry land on Day 3, but it was also established or made "in" the water, which refers to its creation on Day 1 when it was initially just beneath the water.

In summary, we know that the earth was present under the water on Day 1 and that it was wet. Consequently, we can see that the phrase "in the beginning God created…the earth" in Genesis 1:1 refers to the creation of the solid substance of the planet in an initial condition of being wet and shapeless because it is covered by water and empty because there are no plants or animals on it. Conversely, since we know that the earth exists prior to Day 3, we know that verse 1's declaration that "In the beginning, God created…the earth" is not meant as foreshadowing of what is about to occur on Day 3 but has not yet occurred. Likewise, we can also conclude that verse 1's adjoining declaration that "In the beginning, God created the heaven" is not meant as a foreshadowing of what God is about to do on Day 2 when he stretches an expanse to divide the waters, but like the earth, this is the declaration of the actual creation of heaven.

As we move forward, we notice that the Hebrew word for "the deep" in verse 2 is "tahowm" (Strong's No. 08415), the primary definition of which is, "deep, depths, deep places, abyss, the deep, sea" and the secondary definitions include deep in the sense of "subterranean waters," in the sense of "abysses of seas," in the sense of "primeval ocean," and in the sense of "the depth of a river." In fact, after Genesis 1:2, "tahowm" occurs 7 times in the first 5 books of the Bible (Genesis through Deuteronomy) and the first 6 of those occurrences it clearly refers to deep waters (Genesis 7:11, Genesis 8:2, Genesis 49:25, Exodus 15:5, Exodus 15:8, Deuteronomy 8:7) with the seventh occurrence also very likely referring to the same thing (Deuteronomy 33:13). Therefore, we can conclude that the phrase "the deep" in verse 2 is simply another way of describing the waters. Specifically, this phrase denotes that there is a lot of water, enough to cover the earth very deeply.

This is a very simple picture. You have the solid substance, the earth. Then on top of that is water in a very deep abundance. Above the water is the heaven. And the entire thing is in darkness, with no light.

How do we know that the heaven is above the water initially on Day 1? Very simple. As we discussed earlier, the Hebrew word for Heaven is "shamayim" (Strong's No. 08064).

08064 shamayim dual of an unused singular shameh
from an unused root meaning to be lofty; TWOT-2407a; n m
AV-heaven 398, air 21, astrologers + 01895 1; 420
1) heaven, heavens, sky
1a) visible heavens, sky
1a1) as abode of the stars
1a2) as the visible universe, the sky, atmosphere, etc
1b) Heaven (as the abode of God)

The definition of "shamayim" says that it is derived from "an unused root" word meaning "to be lofty." The English word "lofty," which is here being used to define root word from which the Hebrew word for "heaven" comes from, simply means "elevated" or "rising to a great height." It is considered synonymous with the word "high."

"Lofty - 1a: elevated in character and spirit: noble b: elevated in status: superior 2: having a haughty overbearing manner: supercilious 3a: rising to a great height: impressively high lofty mountains b: remote, esoteric - synonyms see high." - Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary

Consequently, the very name "heaven" designates that it is the highest part; that it is "above." Therefore, it seems quite clear that after the earliest segment of creation, Day 1, the heavens were above the water. Now, we could deduce instead that the "heaven" is placed beneath or somewhere in the middle of the waters, but that event hasn't happened yet and doesn't happen until Day 2. So, if we spoke Hebrew and all we only had the first 5 verses of Genesis, if that was all that we had read, and you read about earth being formless and void because it was covered with deep water and also about "shamayim," a word that comes from a word meaning "lofty," where would we perceive the "shamayim" was situated in relation to the earth and the water? We would perceive from the words used and the description that of all the things mentioned, that the "shamayim," or heaven, was the term for the highest component and was therefore above the other elements mentioned, above both the earth and the water.

The institution of darkness is also interesting. Like the mention of water, the darkness is mentioned without any statement that God "calls it forth" or creates it. But we know that the physical state of darkness must have been a deliberate decision on God's part. Scripture is clear that God Himself is light, and not just metaphorically but in the sense of actual light (Isaiah 60:19-20, John 1:1-14, John 8:12, 1 John 1:5, James 1:17, Revelation 21:23, and Revelation 22:5.) At first, before He creates, He is all that exists. So, when he calls forth things into existence, they should be in the presence of light, His light. But it isn't. As we can see below, light isn't created until the last half of the first Day.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

This means that the earth, the deep water, and the heaven above it were all in darkness for the first half of the day until light was created. Verse 2 states this specifically. Since God is light, yet the first things he created were not in the presence of light but were in darkness, this means that physical darkness was initiated by God's choosing even though we find no description of God calling darkness forth or explicitly saying that God created it.

We can conclude similarly concerning the water. Like the darkness, there is no explicit statement of God calling it forth. But like the darkness, this does not mean that the water was already there before God created the heaven and earth or was eternally existent before the creation week of Genesis 1.

To summarize Day 1 as recorded in Genesis 1:1-5, effectively verses 1-2 inform us of the creation of the solid substance of the earth, the creation of the liquid water, which covers the solid substance of the earth, the creation of the darkness, and the creation of the heavens. And subsequently, verses 3-5 inform us of the creation of the light, which completes the events of Day 1.

This means that the initial conditions on the start of Day 2 in verse 6 have the solid material at the bottom, the liquid part in the middle, and the heavens "on the top" above the wet material. Although not necessarily the case, this would in turn imply potentially and perhaps most sensibly that the heavens were the gaseous part. (Once again, for an illustration of the events on Day 1 as well as the other days of creation, please visit the "Cosmogony Illustrations" at the end of this series.)

Then Day 2 begins. As we can see from the quote above, verse 5 ends with the sentence, "And the evening and the morning were the first day," denoting the end of Day 1. Thus, verse 6 begins Day 2.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters…6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

The Hebrew word for "firmament" in verse 6 is "raqiya" (Strong's No. 07549), which means, "an extended surface or expanse." So, the first thing to happen on Day 2 is that God takes the deep waters and divides them, stretching an expanse between them. This expanse is then also given the shared title of "heaven" along with the heaven, the high or lofty part, which is above the waters on Day 1. This is all that happens on the second day. (For an illustration of the events on Day 2 as well as the other days of creation, please visit the "Cosmogony Illustrations" at the end of this series.)

So, at the end of Day 2, the final conditions are as follows. The solid material is beneath a layer of water, which is itself beneath a new expanse that is also called heaven. On top of that new expanded area is the rest of the water, which was formerly also part of the deep waters covering the solid material. And since there has been no new statement concerning the component that was deemed the "heaven" or "high part" on Day 1, which by definition would have been above the waters, we assume that it is still in its original position above the uppermost part of the waters. Consequently, above the expanse is more water and above that water is more heaven. Thus, there are 2 places for the water and 2 places deemed heaven and the entire picture is arranged as dry land, water, heaven, a second layer of water, and a second layer of heaven.

As Genesis 1 moves forward, it denotes that the birds fly and the sun, moon and stars reside in the lower layer of heaven, the expanse between the waters. (For an illustration of the events on Day 4 as well as the other days of creation, please visit the "Cosmogony Illustrations" at the end of this series.)

Genesis 1:6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day…14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. 16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. 20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.

The idea that there are 2 places deemed heaven is interesting because it explains another phenomenon that occurs very early on here in Genesis. In verse 1-20, the word "heaven" appears 7 times (verses 1, 8, 9, 14, 15, 17, and 20). In verse 1, it appears to denote the high or lofty part of creation that is above the deep waters that are covering the earth. In verses 8-20, it clearly denotes the expanse that is stretched to divide the water into a higher and a lower layer. In each occurrence, heaven is rendered in the singular form. Yet, the very next time that "shamayim" is used after verse 20 it is rendered in the plural form, "heavens."

Genesis 1:31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

This makes perfect sense if our interpretation so far has been correct. The high part of creation on Day 1, the part above the waters, is a heaven singular. And the expanse stretched to separate the waters on Day 2 is a heaven singular. And consequently, when the entire creation is complete at the end of Day 6, God refers to the heavens plural being finished. Clearly, it was understood that God was counting off 2 separate heavens, one created above the waters on Day 1 and one created between the waters on Day 2.

Now, as we have seen above, the heaven created on Day 2, which is an expanse between 2 layers of water, includes both the sky where the birds fly and space where the sun, moon, and stars reside. Thus, when Genesis 1:31-2:1 declares that at the end of Day 6, "the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them," we know that the birds, the sun, the moon, and the stars were all created in that creation week. After all, the birds, the sun, the moon, and the stars are part of "all the host of" the expanse called heaven, which spanned between the 2 layers of water. However, the phrase "and all the host of them" is a "catch-all." Because it is a generalization it has the effect of including anything and everything residing in either of "the heavens" or "the earth," even if it wasn't specifically mentioned.

What is interesting is that Revelation 4 describes God's throne as being situated above a sea of glass.

Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. 2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne…6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

We notice from verse 1 that John is said to see this as he goes up into heaven. This sea of glass is also described in Revelation 15:2, where martyred saints are said to stand offering praise to God and once again this is described as something that John sees "in heaven."

Revelation 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. 2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

In both Revelation 4 and 15, not only do we see God's throne above "a sea" but we also see 7 angels who are later given the last plagues, the 24 elders, and the 4 living beasts residing there with God and attending to him.

Revelation 4:4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. 5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. 7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. 8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

Revelation 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. 2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

In addition, although Revelation 5 does not mention the sea of glass specifically, it does identify the same setting by again referring to what is "round about the throne." And surrounding the throne are ten thousand times ten thousand angels and many more thousands of thousands.

Revelation 5:11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.

From these passages, it seems like God resides above a layer of water or sea and residing there with him are millions or perhaps billions of angelic beings. If that is the case, then we know when the angels were created. Even though Genesis 1 may not specifically mention angels, if the angels reside where God resides, then they reside above the second layer of water. Consequently, they are part of the host of one of the heavens. They are not part of the host of the heaven that was stretched as an expanse between the waters on earth and the waters above. But they are part of the heaven that was created on Day 1 above the waters before the waters were separated by another heaven between them on Day 2. And that is where we find them in Revelation, with God around his throne above a sea. Consequently, the argument from silence, which arises from the absence of any specific mention of the angels in Genesis 1, entirely disappears. (For an illustration of the status of creation at the end of Day 6 as well as the other days of creation, please visit the "Cosmogony Illustrations" at the end of this series.)

Additional indications that angels might have been created on Day 1 come from putting together what Genesis 1:2 says about the earth with Revelation's statements that the angels reside above the second layer of water.

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Verse 1 of Genesis 1 states that in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. We have already seen that the heaven mentioned here in verse 1 is not the place where the sun, moon, and stars are (outer space) or earth's atmosphere (where the birds fly). That heaven (outer space and earth's atmosphere) wasn't created until the separation of the waters on Day 2. In verse 2, however, Genesis states that the earth was shapeless and empty. This statement, in verse 2, that the earth is shapeless and empty may, by contrast, at least hint that heaven was not empty.



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Cosmology
(Days of Creation)
(Figures 1-6)




Cosmology Chart