Answers to Bible Questions
Scriptures are from the KJV of the Bible
(Q) Why does God say in Genesis 1:1 that He created the “HEAVEN” and the “EARTH?
(A) The answer to this question is of vital importance if we are to understand the Bible properly. God could have said in Genesis 1:1 that He created the universe. So why did He make the distinction between the HEAVEN and the EARTH?
This article will help explain why a lot of people see what they believe are contradictions in the Bible. Anyone who is looking and searching for spiritual truth needs to know how to “rightly divide” God’s Word in the Bible. We will attempt to help you the reader to understand that the Bible needs to be studied from a “dispensational” point of view. This view comes from the Bible itself and is not just some made up theory. It’s God’s way of helping us to understand the Bible as He intended.
If you do not know anything about “rightly dividing” God’s word “dispensationally” then I suggest you go to my home page and click on “Introduction to the Bible” and read all eight parts. You should also read the article in the FAQ section “What does the word dispensation mean and what are the different dispensations in the Bible.” These two articles will help you to better understand “this” article.
In Genesis 1:1 God had a very good reason for saying He created the “HEAVEN” and the “EARTH.” Let’s find out what that reason was.
When we search the scriptures looking for truth we will find something very interesting. We will find that God had a special purpose for the “EARTH” distinct from His purpose for the rest of the universe. God also had a “VERY SPECIAL” purpose concerning “HEAVEN” which He kept hidden In Himself until He revealed that purpose to and through the Apostle Paul.
God’s purpose concerning the EARTH and Christ’s reign upon it is the subject of prophecy, 11 Peter 1:16-19. His purpose concerning HEAVEN is the subject of “the mystery,” Ephesians 2:4-10; 3:1-4. There is a connection between prophecy and mystery because both purposes are centered in Christ. While prophecy centers in Christ as King of Israel on the EARTH, the mystery centers in Christ as the glorious Head of the Body, God’s HEAVENLY people.
All the Scriptures in the Bible are basically divided into these two great purposes, one concerning the HEAVEN (the mystery, grace, and both Jew and Gentiles in one new body of believers), and one concerning the EARTH (prophecy, law, and the Jewish nation of Israel alone).
I want you the reader to understand that there is a big difference between prophecy and the mystery. Prophecy is that which was “spoken” or reveled by the mouth of all of God’s holy prophets “since or from the time the world began,” Romans 1:1-3: 1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2 Which he had promised afore (before) by his prophets in the holy scriptures, 3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; and the mystery is that which was “kept secret” since or from the time the world began until it was revealed through the Apostle Paul, Romans 16:25: 25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began.
Now for those who claim that there is only one gospel in the Bible, the above paragraph should present a problem. How could “one gospel” which was “promised afore by His prophets in the Holy Scriptures,” Romans 1:2, be the same gospel “which was kept secret since the world began,” Romans 16:25? Both of these gospels are different, but the subject is the same — Jesus Christ.
Our churches today have made a great blunder because they are confusing and mixing the hope, calling and program of Israel, (the EARTHLY program) with the hope, calling and program of the Church, (the HEAVENLY program) which is designated, “the Body of Christ.” Many today are being taught the great blunder of mixing law and grace, which mixture produces a perverted gospel. This great blunder includes frustrating the grace of God by bringing into the reign of grace some of Israel’s program from under the reign of law. They also have failed to rightly divide the Word of Truth as to the different ministries of Peter and Paul, as stated in Galatians 2:6-9: (this is the Apostle Paul speaking) 6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man’s person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me: 7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; 8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) 9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
Now it does not take a person with high intellectual understanding to comprehend that there is a difference between the gospel of the uncircumcision with the gospel of the circumcision. The circumcision was part of the “EARTHLY” program for the nation of Israel and the uncircumcision is part of the “HEAVENLY” program for today including both Jews and Gentiles.
I would like to point out the fact that for the last two thousand years from the time of the calling of our Apostle Paul in Acts 9, all who have been saved (true Christians believers) were saved under the “HEAVENLY” program. No one for the last two thousand years could ever be saved by the “EARTHLY” program because that program has been temporarily set aside during the age of grace in which we now live, (the “HEAVENLY” program). This is why it is vital to understand the difference between the “HEAVENLY” program and the “EARTHLY” program.
To help clarify the difference purpose of the Heaven compared to the earth in Genesis 1:1 try looking at it this way from the following list about each program, it is only a short list, not a complete list:
Purpose of the Heavenly program: it’s about the mystery given to Paul; it’s about grace through faith alone for salvation with no law keeping or works (this does not mean we have a license to sin); it’s about spirit baptism; it’s about the Rapture of the Church; it’s about the “Body of Christ; it’s about the gospel of the grace of God; it’s about Christ’s “HEAVENLY” ministry; It’s about the Jews and Gentiles becoming one new man so both can be reconciled to God by the cross; it’s about the greater commission given to all true believers in 11 Corinthians 5:17-20; It’s about knowing Christ as our Lord and Savior through the cross; It’s about believers who are part of the Body of Christ being blessed with all spiritual blessing in “HEAVENLY” places in Christ.
Purpose of the Earthly program: it’s about prophecy given to the holy prophets; it’s about law keeping; it’s about water baptism; it’s about faith plus works for salvation; it’s about the gospel of the kingdom to be here on earth; it’s about the nation of Israel; It’s about Sign gifts; It’s about the great commission given to the 12 disciples in Matthew 28:16-20; It’s about the second coming of Christ at the end of the great tribulation; It’s about Christ’s “EARTHLY” ministry; It’s about knowing Christ as the Son of God; It’s about the Jewish believers from the nation of Israel being blessed with “EARTHLY” blessings.
Our Churches have been mixing these two programs together like a smorgasbord and people wonder why there is so much confusion understanding the Bible. For centuries Christians have been emerging from the corrupted Christianity of the dark ages and the progress has been very, very slow. Christians, trying to escape from one religious blunder, have gone into another, and denominationalism and tradition have much retarded the recovery of “Body” truth and have become a great hindrance in the matter of obeying II Timothy 2:15 for the intelligent, Scriptural selection of God’s spiritual program for members of the Body of Christ, so that members might walk worthy of the calling wherewith they are called, Ephesians 4:1.
Virtually every group, assembly or organization of Evangelical Christians has incorporated in its Church creeds and instructed its members to practice, something Israelitish (mixing the programs) something of religion which the Lord never intended for the period of grace. The selection from the Bible of scriptures that belong to God’s spiritual program and the rejection of that which does not belong is sometimes no easy task. This is why this site teaches the Bible according to II Timothy 2:15 which say’s: 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. In the Greek ”rightly dividing” means to cut in a straight line. In other words we need to be dividing the “HEAVENLY” program from the “EARTHLY” program. The whole Bible is the Word of God and true but, the “EARTHLY” program is not for our obedience today, it’s only for our learning, Romans 15:4: 4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Because of traditions and fear of men, nearly every organized group of Christians has arbitrarily mixed or carelessly selected from the Four Gospels, the Psalms and Prophets, and the Book of Acts, some of the messages and program of Israel which have no rightful place in the Body of Christ. From the “EARTHLY” ministry of Christ and His apostles, and from the Church of the “Acts” period, they have selected some of those religious programs that seemeth good to them without apology or explanation and nearly one hundred percent of them have, intentionally, or unintentionally, carried over something that rightly belonged to Israel’s God-given program, but which has no place in God’s spiritual program for the Body of Christ.
Christian men apparently have failed to note that both the Old Covenant and the New Covenant were Israelitish, Jeremiah 31:31- 37.
Many Christian preachers have preached to God’s people, under grace, in the Body of Christ, the “EARTHLY” kingdom promises, made to Israel, belonging to an entirely different dispensation.
Christians have for centuries been taught that Abel, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Daniel, John the Baptist, Peter and Paul all belonged to the same Church. Their preachers and teachers have failed to differentiate between Jesus of Nazareth in the midst of Israel in Palestine, and Paul’s mystery, “Christ in you the hope of glory.” Acts 2:22 and Colossians 1:24-27. Many of them have overlooked the fact that Jesus on earth was Israel’s minister of the circumcision, sent only to Israel, made under the law to redeem Israel, Romans 15:8; Matthew 15:24; Galatians 4:4-5.
As Jesus Christ, on earth, was a minister of the circumcision, sent only to Israel, and was born King of the Jews Matthew 2:2, we find these words in the first verse of the first Record of His “EARTHLY” ministry: “The Book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.” Matthew 1:1. And although in Luke 3:23-38, we find the genealogy of Mary back to Adam, yet we learn in Luke that Christ was sent to the sons and daughters of Abraham, Luke 13:16 and Luke 19:9. Christ did not speak of Adam and the covenants God made with man before the circumcision of Abraham. In the first and second chapters of Luke we learn that Christ was born of the seed of David, in the City of David, in the house of David, to take the throne of David, to fulfill the promises which God made to Abraham and David concerning Israel, Luke 1:67- 80 and Luke 2:27- 32. The gospel of the kingdom is mentioned in Matthew 4:23; Matthew 9:35, and Matthew 24:14, and in Mark 1:14, and Luke 9:6. “The kingdom of the heavens” is mentioned more than 30 times in Matthew. This kingdom had to do primarily with Israel established in their own land under their true King David. The kingdom message and program of Matthew 10:6- 8 will not fit into the “dispensation of the grace of God” which Christ committed unto Paul in Ephesians 3:1- 2 and the “all spiritual blessings in the HEAVENLIES” for members of the Body of Christ in Ephesians who are seated in the HEAVENLIES in Christ, Ephesians 2:5- 6 and Ephesians 1:3- 4. There is a great difference between the gospel of II Timothy 1:9-11 and “the gospel of the kingdom.”
Compare Matthew 10:6- 8 which say’s “But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand . . . . Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils, freely ye have received, freely give.” with II Timothy 1:9-11 which say’s: “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” Whereunto I (Paul) am appointed a preacher and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.”
Think of the confusion and failure that would result if an evangelist should try to carry out in this day of grace the program of Matthew 10:6-8.
The kingdom of heaven, mentioned in Matthew 10:6, was not given to Gentiles in Christ before the world began; but was promised to Israel after Abram was circumcised. In this period of grace the evangelist preaches eternal life through faith in the crucified and resurrected Christ, and then the pastors and teachers teach the members of the Body of Christ to walk by faith and not by signs. No “grace” messenger would preach for this dispensation, “heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils; freely ye have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8.
In the gospel of the kingdom (the EARTHLY program) the King, David’s throne, and Israel restored, are in view. The gospel of grace (the HEAVENLY program) the gospel of the uncircumcision, is a grace message for the salvation of individual sinners who were once aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers of the Covenant of Promise, Ephesians 2:8-13. The nations are yet to be brought to God by the preaching of “the gospel of the kingdom.” Zechariah 8:23; Isaiah 61:19- 20. The “kingdom” age is to follow this present age after the Rapture of the Church which can happen at any time. Under the New Covenant all Israel is to know the Lord, Hebrews 8:8-10; Romans 11:26. This is to be for the fathers’ sake (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), Romans 11:27-29.
While it is true that no sinner, since the creation of man, has been saved apart from the shed blood of Christ, it must be seen that “the gospel of the kingdom” and “the gospel of the circumcision” (all EARTHLY) are linked together. Peter had the keys of the kingdom of heaven and the gospel of the circumcision, Matthew 16:17-18; Galatians 2:7-9.
Before and after the death of Christ Peter was given the task of preaching to circumcised Israelites, Matthew 10:5 and Galatians 2:8-9. He did preach to one company of God‑fearing, Jew‑loving, praying Gentiles, Acts 10:2 and 22. Note below in Acts 10 and Titus 3 how different peter’s message is to those Gentiles and Paul’s messages to Gentiles. Why? Because the Gentiles were different and because Peter had the keys to the kingdom of heaven and the gospel of the circumcision (EARTHLY), while Paul had the dispensation of the grace of God and the gospel of the uncircumcision (HEAVENLY).
Acts 10:34-35: “When Peter opened his mouth and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him:”
Titus 3:5-7: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit; Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ offer Saviour.”
In the Book of Acts there is no record that Peter, or any of the Twelve, preached outside of the land of the circumcision, or, with the exception of the household of Cornelius, to any but the circumcision. If they did for a while, Galatians 2:7-9 brought that ministry to an end. This has reference to the “Acts” period.
Thus we see, from the day Abram was circumcised, about 1893 B.C. Genesis 17, until Cornelius was saved Acts 10, until the Holy Spirit said, in Acts 13:2 “separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them,” both Israelites and Gentiles received blessings from God on the condition of circumcision. Therefore the gospel of the circumcision takes us back to Genesis 17:6-16, about 1893 B. C.
But then we have the gospel of the uncircumcision, the gospel of reconciliation, and the calling according to God’s grace and purpose in Christ before the foundation of the world, Galatians 3:8 and 2:7; II Corinthians 5:17-21; II Timothy 1:9-10.
Note the words to Paul in Acts 26:16:
“But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou host seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee.” Here we note that Paul received his revelations on the installment plan. The student of the Scriptures must recognize the principle of progressive revelation (confined to the limits of the Bible) and see how new revelations from heaven may supplement Divine truth previously revealed, or may supersede it. This should show us the fallacy of red‑lettering the words which God spoke in His Son in Matthew, Mark and Luke, as though these words were more important for the members of Christ’s Body than the messages of Romans, Ephesians, Colossians and other Books. The words which Christ, from heaven, gave Paul for the members of His Body are as much inspired as are the words of Jesus in the Gospels and are equally as important for the obedience and practice of believers in this day of grace. In fact, we dogmatically affirm that all Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, should be studied in the light of Romans, Ephesians and Colossians, if we would rightly divide and rightly appropriate and apply the Word of Truth.
Please read this verse in II Corinthians 5:16 very carefully: 16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. This verse is never read from the pulpit in our mainline churches—why not? Are they afraid of what it is saying or do they not understand what it says? Our churches do not want to believe this verse because if they did they would have to admit they have been teaching wrong doctrine—why, because this verse plainly says that we should not be following or teaching what Christ taught while He was here on the earth. You see what Christ taught while He was here in the flesh was right and good, but who was His message for at that time, THE JEWS, THE NATION OF ISRAEL WHO WERE UNDER THE “EARTHLY” PROGRAM. As I said before the “EARTHLY” program for the nation of Israel has been temporarily put on hold, Romans 11:7-14: (our Apostle Paul talking) 7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded. 8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. 9 And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence unto them: 10 Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. 11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. 12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? 13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: 14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. Acts 28:25-31:25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, 26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: 27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it. 29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, 31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
The point of this article is to show that the “HEAVENLY” program is the program everyone has been under for the last two thousand years. We are living in the dispensation of the grace of God given to our Apostle Paul, Ephesians 3:1-9: 1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, 2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: 3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, 4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) 5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; 6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: 7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
All the books in the Bible are true and accurate with no contradiction if you “rightly divide” them. But, the books in the Bible which are under the “HEAVENLY” program and are for our obedience today, are Romans through Philemon. All theother books in the Bible are for our learning, Romans 15:4: 4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. The Apostle Paul is our Apostle for this age of grace in which we now live in, Romans 11:13: 13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office. Paul is the pattern we need to follow for salvation today, I Timothy 1:15-16: 15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. 16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. All who have lived for the last two thousand years will be judged by “Paul’s gospel,” not the gospel of the kingdom under the “EARTHLY” program, Romans 2:16: 16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel, (Paul’s gospel or HEAVENLY program).
Please understand, we do not put Paul above Christ, but God has made Paul the pattern we are to follow in this dispensation of grace given to Paul to give to us.
Are you following the “EARTHLY” program that has been temporarily set aside which was only for the Jewish nation of Israel or are you following the correct “HEAVENLY” program for today? I hope you are following the “HEAVENLY” program which is the only way to be accepted into “HEAVEN” when you die, Ephesians 1:3-14: 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.
All who have been saved during the “EARTHLY” program will inherit the “EARTH” at the second coming of Christ. Read all of Zechariah 14:1-21, but I will quote a few verses to show that Christ will rule here on the “EARTH” when He comes back at the second coming: Zechariah 14:4,9,16-19: 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. 16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This all has to do with God’s “EARTHLY” program for His “EARTHLY” people.
All who have been saved during the “HEAVENLY” program will inherit “HEAVEN” at the time of the “Rapture” of the church called the “Body of Christ.” Philippians 3:20: 20 For our conversation (or citizenship) is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Ephesians 1:3: 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: Colossians 3:4: 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
All the saved from both programs will receive new bodies fit for eternity according to which program they were under.
There is much more that could be said about the “HEAVEN” and the “EARTH,” but for now I will close this article. I hope you can understand a little better what the “HEAVEN” and “EARTH” programs are all about from this article.
May you enjoy this beautiful green “EARTH” while you wait for that awesome “HEAVENLY” hope in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.
Maranatha (Lord Come)