Monday, February 24, 2014

In The Beginning, Chapter Ten - Day Six, Part Three

The Garden Of Eden

Genesis 2:8-15The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush.14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.”
As we continue to read on in Genesis chapter two, we see a continuation of what happened on day 6. The next thing we see is a garden - Eden.

Planted, Not Created

Genesis 2:8The Lord God planted a garden…

Read this account (from Genesis 1:11-12) of what happened on day three: “Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Do you see the difference? On day three, God created the plants - they just sprang up from the earth. But here, on day six, God planted the trees and plants in the garden! This means that God took the seeds from the trees and plants that He created, buried them in the ground, and then brought them up to maturity. Why would God take the time to do it this way? Why didn’t He just pull the trees up out of nothing - like He did on day three? The answer, I believe, is in the timing of events on day 6.
Remember what’s happened so far on this day. First, God created all the different kinds of land animals. After that, He formed the first man out of the dust and breathed His own nature into him. And then, He planted a garden. Now that we can see the order of things, we can infer that Adam was standing right there as God started the process of seedtime and harvest.
Here was God demonstrating to Adam the most powerful law in the earth - the law of sowing and reaping. This principle is found throughout the scripture! It is impartial and unchangeable. But what’s more, this natural law is an illustration for a more powerful spiritual law!
The law of sowing and reaping is the reason that Abraham was blessed with descendants as numerous as the stars - because he gave up his natural family when he and Sarah left them behind. This law is the reason Abraham’s descendants still have possession of the promise land today - because he let go of his own homeland.
This law is the reason that millions are still faithful to King David, considering him to be the best king Israel has ever had - because he sowed faithfulness into King Saul.
This law is the reason Israel was punished in Babylon - because they sowed the seeds of rebellion.
This law is what opened the way for Jesus to come and die for us - because Abraham was willing to offer his own son, Isaac. And this law is the very reason for the believer’s new nature - because Jesus sowed His life to replicate it in ours!
And this process all started when God stood beside Adam and planted a garden!
It is interesting to notice that God would not break His own law, once it was in place. God created every plant with “its seed in itself” - each of them designed to reproduce after itself. So when God was ready to plant the Garden, He didn’t violate this process by creating anything new. Instead, He operated within His own law by taking seeds from the plants that He had already created and planting them. This is how important seedtime and harvest is in God’s eyes!

Where Was (Is) It?

There has been a lot of discussion and controversy over the location of the Garden of Eden. It’s been the object of countless searches throughout history. This is primarily because many believe that the Tree of Life is still there,  and so finding the garden would be the key to immortality.  Many people - even well-versed Christians - believe that the garden must still exist somewhere in the Middle East, because we still have rivers named Hiddekel (that is the Tigris) and Euphrates. It is sad to think that the second chapter of God’s Word has become nothing more than a treasure map for many believers!
To their credit, most Christians who believe that the Garden still exists somewhere haven’t wasted their time searching for it or supporting those who are. Most Christians believe that the Garden is still in the Middle East somewhere, but that we could never find it. They take Genesis 3:24 (“So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.”) to explain why something like the Garden of Eden could exist in the most well-known area of the globe without being discovered. They claim that the cherubim are still there, guarding the way into the Garden.
Personally, I don’t believe that the Garden of Eden still exists on earth.You see, seekers of the Garden forget one important detail: The entire world was destroyed by Noah’s flood! Everything, including the Garden of Eden, was wiped out and buried by the flood waters. Not only does the Garden not exist today - but there is no Biblical way for us to know where it was!
At this point, some people would be quick to point out that the Hiddekel (or Tigris) and Euphrates rivers mentioned in Genesis 2 still exist in the Middle East. From what verses 10-14, you can see that the Garden was located at the place where the Tigris, Euphrates and two other rivers meet. So if you could find the place where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers meet, you’ll find the Garden of Eden, right?
Not exactly. A simple look at a map of the Middle East will show you a problem with this idea - the two rivers never meet! The only time they ever come within 20 miles of each other is near Baghdad, Iraq. At their sources - where they should meet, according to Genesis 2 - The Tigris and Euphrates are nearly 50 miles apart! And don’t forget, there are two other rivers that are mentioned in this passage that don’t even exist in our current world!
Does this mean that the Bible is giving us faulty geography? Not at all! Remember, the whole face of the earth was ripped up and destroyed by water during Noah’s day! We wouldn’t expect to see anything left of the pre-flood world - including these four rivers!
Someone may ask,”then why do the Tigris and Euphrates still exist?” I would suggest that they aren’t the same rivers as what flowed through the Garden. As Noah and his family entered the post-flood world, they would have carried the old names of the pre-flood landmarks with them. I believe that the Tigris and Euphrates in the Middle East were named after the original rivers that flowed out of Eden, but that’s where the relation stops!
We see the same thing in America – New England, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire – All of these places were named after locations in the Old World. The old names were brought to the New World by European explorers. This undoubtedly happened as Noah and his family began to explore the new and strange world after the flood.
So does the Bible say where the Garden was? I’m not so sure. Genesis 2:8 does say, “The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden…” That’s it. That’s all the information we have about where this Garden was. In this flood-scarred world, it’s impossible to know where the land of Eden was...and really, it doesn’t matter! All we need to know was that it was in the land of Eden!
It’s possible though, that this phrase may not be referring to a geographic location at all!
In Hebrew, the word that we read as “eastward” is qedem. It’s the adverb that describes God planting this Garden. It’s true that qedem can mean “eastward” - as in “going east” or “doing something in the east”. But qedem can also mean “of old” or “anciently” - as in something that was done in ancient times. It is very possible that this is the meaning of qedem in Genesis 2:8 - after all, you would be hard-pressed to find an event more ancient than this!
The word Eden itself may not even be a location. It’s the Hebrew word for pleasure! So what has traditionally been translated as “planted a garden eastward in Eden”, may actually be saying, “In an ancient time, the Lord God planted a garden of pleasure.” That’s a little different meaning, isn’t it?
Now though, Eden has come to refer to the Garden of Eden - an actual place. This was the case in Ezekiel 28, 31, and 36 - all of which are referring to the actual Garden. In fact, every time there is a place called Eden in the Bible, it’s the Garden in Genesis. Other than this, there is no “land of Eden” ever mentioned.

What about the Tree of Life?

If the Garden was destroyed by the water of Noah’s flood, what happened to the tree of life? Was it destroyed too, buried in some unknown rock layer? Actually, no. The Bible tells us where it is. Believe it or not, the Tree of Life is not on earth anymore. After Genesis 3, we don’t see it again until the book of Revelation.
Revelation 2:7 shows us where the tree is now - He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” That’s as clear as could be! The tree of life isn’t somewhere on earth - it’s in Heaven!
One day though, the tree will be brought down to the new earth with the New Jerusalem. That’s what Revelation 22:2 tells us,  “In the middle of its [the New Jerusalem’s] street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month.” Apparently, there is more than one now! This makes’s had 6,000 years to reproduce!

A Mountaintop Meeting Place

Eden was on a mountain - this is certain. First of all, we can see four rivers flowing out of Eden, but none coming in. Since water flows downhill, Eden was most certainly elevated. Even today, all of our rivers originate in the mountain ranges around the world. Where else could you have a river flowing out, but none flowing in?
But the strongest case for a mountain-top garden is found in Ezekiel 28:13-14. In this passage, we see Lucifer (Satan, before he fell) was “in Eden, the Garden of God . . . the Holy Mountain of God.” So Eden wasn’t just any was the Holy Mountain.
Eden was so much more than just a Garden as we know them today. Certainly, it would’ve been the site of some beautiful greenery and amazing sights. But there was more to this place than simply having some natural beauty. This was the place that God chose to meet with his favorite creation!
This statement may rub some religious hair the wrong way: But I challenge you to try and find out where the scriptures say that Adam and Eve lived in the Garden! You won’t find it! Certainly, they had responsibilities in the garden. Certainly they spent a considerable amount of time there. But nowhere does the Scripture say that this was their home! In fact, the language and wording of Genesis 2:15 hint at the idea that they only visited the Garden!
Genesis 2:15 “Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.” The Hebrew word for the phrase “and put him” is yanach. This word is a verb that means “to rest.” It doesn’t implicitly carry the idea of permanence. It simply means “to give rest to, to cause to rest, or to make quiet.” This is what God did with the man He had just made - He gave him rest in the Garden. Connect this to verses two and three of the same chapter, where God instituted the seventh day as a day of rest. Now you’re starting to see a whole new picture, aren’t you?
As long as we’re challenging sacred dogma, here’s another challenge: Try finding where the Bible says that the serpent was in the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil when he was talking to Eve. You won’t see it anywhere in Genesis chapter three. In fact, if you look at the way that the serpent and Eve are both referring to the “all of the trees in the Garden”, you can see that this conversation probably took place outside of Eden!
We have been so tied into a certain story, that we haven’t been able to see anything else going on in Genesis chapters two and three. We’ve assumed that Adam and Eve lived in this natural paradise called Eden, and that God would come to their garden home from time to time to visit with them. We’ve seen Eve having a conversation with a snake that’s hanging out in the Tree of Knowledge. And we’ve seen them kicked out of their garden home when they sinned. But what if this wasn’t what happened?
We know that God has always had a meeting place with His people. With Jacob it was Bethel. With the Israelites, it was the Tabernacle. After the Tabernacle, it was the Tabernacle of David. After the Tabernacle of David, it was the Temple. And when His people were in exile, they still prayed facing the place where they used to meet with God
Even in the New Testament, we see that God has houses where He meets with His gathered people - just look at 1 Timothy 3:14-15. “These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”
Even in the future, God will never abandon this concept of a meeting place. In the Millennial Reign of Jesus, the nations will be coming to Jerusalem once a year to meet with God. In the New Earth, the nations will be flowing into and out of the New Jerusalem, worshipping and bringing offerings.
God always had - and always will have - a place to come and meet with His people. I believe that this is what happened in the Garden of Eden. God, in all His glory and majesty, stepped out of Heaven into the Garden to meet with Adam and Eve. At the same time, Adam and Eve left the place where they lived to meet with Him in the Garden!
We’ll see this in much more detail in a later chapter, but I hope you’re seeing this Garden as more than a natural beauty! This was the place where Heaven met Earth! It has even been suggested that the river that flowed through the Garden was water flowing down from Heaven itself! The water that formed four rivers may have been coming out the the throne of God - as described in Revelation 22:1 - “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Absolutely amazing! The Garden of Eden - mankind’s first meeting place with God!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

In The Beginning, Chapter Nine - Day Six, Part Two

The First Man
Genesis 1:26-27 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.

Forming The First Man

After God was done creating and filling the world, he was ready to put his most precious creation in it! Creation was ready to meet its new master. Now let’s look at Genesis 2 - the story of day 6 in much more detail:
Genesis 2:4 This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,”
Genesis 2:1-3 tell us about the seventh day (we’ll see this later), but from verse 4 through to verse 25 is the detailed story of the sixth day. God jumped back a day to give us more details about the most important part of the creation week. This is how we know that Genesis 2 is telling the story of day six: Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2 both tell the story of the creation of man and they both end with the creation of the woman.
But while Genesis 1:26-27 give us the summarized, headline version of God’s creation of man, we can see a more detailed version of this same story in Genesis 2:4-7. In the creation of man, God took a much more personal, much more intimate approach. But first, He did some prep-work!
Genesis 2:5-6 before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground.
First of all, let’s not hold onto dogma that isn’t based in scripture. Some teachers have used these verses to teach that it never rained before Noah’s flood. They have  tried to make the claim that the mist that’s mentioned in verse 6 was how the whole earth was watered before the flood. But let’s keep the text in context! When we read verse 6, we can see that the phrase, “For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth…” is referring to the same time period as the next phrase: “...and there was no man to till the ground...” This is not speaking about the environment over a long period of time, but was making mention of the time just before man was created.
These verses were the beginning of the story of man’s creation. The reason that God caused a mist to come up out of the ground was because it hadn’t rained yet - and God needed wet dirt for what He was about to do!
After watering the dirt, God did something that must have shocked all of creation...
Genesis 2:7a And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground...
God stepped out of His heavenly throne-room and into the earth. Stooping down into the damp dirt, God began to shape it into a body. It was similar in some ways to the animals. It was made from the dirt, like theirs. It had some features in common with theirs; such as bilateral symmetry, four limbs, and all of the same internal and external organs. But after forming this body, God did something that made this creature very different from the animals!

A “Living Soul”

Like we’ve just seen, the difference between the man and animals wasn’t in his body - that was similar in many respects to animals. Every living creature that God made had a body.
But, hear me carefully, there is something else that every living creature has. Every animal that God made - as well as the mankind - has a soul. The soul is attached to the brain. It includes the mind and thoughts, the will and desires, and the emotions.
While some animals have a higher intelligence than others, every animal has some degree of thought and reason. Every animal has its own desires and wants - though they mostly surround feeding and reproduction. Every animal has its own emotions - albeit some have much deeper emotions than others (elephants, for example are even known to feel sorrow over the death of a herd member).
The soul (in Hebrew, “nephesh”) is a natural part of every living creature, including man. (As a side note, this is why a lot of Christian seem to be stuck in their old nature. Before we were saved, our lives were ruled by our souls. And as long as a believer operates out of his intelligence, his desires, or his emotions...he is no different from the animals. Yikes!) Although humans have a much higher soul than other creatures, it is still just as natural as theirs. It wasn’t the soul that made this new creature different from the other creatures. There was something else in this man; something that separated him from the rest of creation.
Genesis 2:7b “...and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
As this lifeless body laid on the ground, God breathed into him the breath of life. Then, this man became a “living being.” The Hebrew term for living being is “Nephesh Hayah” – literally “a living soul.” This term is actually referring to the spirit of man. With this impartation of the spirit, the man became three parts - spirit, soul, and body.
The literal term for spirit is “living soul” - I believe this means that our spirit is a higher form of our soul. What do I mean by this? Well, just like our soul has thoughts, our spirit has thoughts. Just like our soul wants things, our spirit has desires. Just like our soul feels things, our spirit has emotions and feelings. But our spirit is made to exist in a higher form than our soul! What makes it higher?
God is a spirit...more specifically, He is THE spirit. John 4:24 tells us this: “God is Spirit.” So when God breathed into the man, He was imparting His own nature into him - he became like God! Notice that this verse doesn’t say that man had a living soul - it says that he became a living soul. This means that, unlike any other creature that God had made, man became a spirit that had a soul and lived inside of a body.
Angels are spirits without bodies. Animals are souls and bodies without spirits. But here was a creature that was capable of operating in the natural world and the spiritual! Imagine the angels’ surprise at the amount of attention that God gave to this lump of dirt! Imagine their shock as God laid Himself on top of this earthly body.
In 2 Kings 4, there is a beautiful picture of what God did when He breathed life into the man. It’s the story of Elisha and a little dead boy:
When Elisha arrived, the child was indeed dead, lying there on the prophet’s bed. He went in alone and shut the door behind him and prayed to the Lord. Then he lay down on the child’s body, placing his mouth on the child’s mouth, his eyes on the child’s eyes, and his hands on the child’s hands. And as he stretched out on him, the child’s body began to grow warm again! Elisha got up, walked back and forth across the room once, and then stretched himself out again on the child. This time the boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes!
I believe that this is what happened in Genesis 2. You see, with all of His new creations watching, God laid down on this body He had just made, putting His hands on the man’s hands, His feet on the man’s feet, His mouth on the man’s mouth, His eyes on the man’s eyes. Then God breathed part of His own Spirit into the man – and He became a spirit like God! If this is how the man came to life, then imagine his first sight when he opened his eyes! God wanted the first thing that the man saw to be His own face!
So now, earth had a creature that was just like God. God named him Adam - which means “red.” Some speculate that he got this name because he was made out of red dirt. Others believe that he may have been redheaded. Another possibility was that his name was a reference to his lifeblood, something that no other spirit had.

A Whole New Perspective

When you read through the Biblical account of mankind’s origins, you can’t help but notice how much difference there is between this and what is taught inside most college classrooms! We’ve seen the amazing amount of care that God took when He created the first man. Is it any wonder, then, that the demonic fairy tale of evolution is trying to reduce mankind into just an intelligent animal? I wonder if Satan gets amusement when he watches humans - the ones who should have dominion and control over all creation - lowering themselves by saying “we’re no different from any other animal.”
We could literally spend pages pointing out why the theory of evolution is wrong on the topic of human origins. We could point out (again) the credibility issues with evolutionary timelines. We could focus on each link of the evolutionary chain from apes to humans - and how each individual is either fully ape or fully human. We could pinpoint the hoaxes (such as Piltdown man) and the shoddy science (like Nebraska man) that occasionally pop up in the paleo-anthropology field. We could even demonstrate the absurd fact that nearly every fossilized ape that has been dug up has been branded as the missing link in human evolution at some point! But debunking human evolution isn’t the goal of this writing.
The goal in this chapter is to give a fresh perspective on where we came from. Every believer needs to understand this one point...that we have been truly made in God’s own image! We are not just another part in the animal kingdom.
With the forming of Adam, creation was nearing an end. But God still wasn’t done with His work yet!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

In The Beginning, Chapter 8 - Day Six, Part One

Genesis 1:24-25 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
The beginning of day six brought the creation of every ground-living animal. Every kind of insect, every kind of amphibian, every kind of worm, every kind of mammal - every kind of land animal was created on the first part of day six!
Notice what verse 24 says though: “Let the earth bring forth the living creature…” This was the exact same phrase that was used in verse 11, “Let the earth bring forth grass…” You see, God didn’t just create these creatures out of nothing, like He did with the sea and flying animals on day 5. The earth brought forth these animals! In other words…all of these creatures sprouted out of the dirt at God’s command!
Why is this important? We’ll see it in more detail in the next chapter...but for now, understand that mankind and the land animals were both made from the dirt.

Every Land Animal!

Now, you must realize this...every creature means every creature. Get rid of the secular idea that all of the kinds of living and extinct animals were separated into different ages of time!
The Paleozoic Era” - the age of ancient reptiles and giant amphibians
The Mesozoic Era” - the world ruled by dinosaurs
The Cenozoic Era” - the rise and rule of mammals
Christian, these terms mean nothing to you! Don’t compromise what the Bible clearly says to accommodate the ideas and opinions of fallen man!
When you start from the Bible, you can see that each and every kind (take note of that term) of land animal was created on day 6. This means that dinosaurs, giant insects, elephants, and horses were walking around together by the afternoon of the sixth day. If you believe the Bible, how else could it be?
So many believers get confused, especially concerning dinosaurs! But it’s not complicated. God created land animals on day 6. Dinosaurs were land animals. So the Bible does clearly tell us when God made dinosaurs, doesn’t it?
Let’s read these verse one more time: Genesis 1:24-25 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
From these two verses, we can see three categories of land creatures that were created by God on the beginning of day 6:
      1. Cattle

This would include most of the animals that have been domesticated as livestock. Almost certainly, the entire family of bovidae would be included in this category - considering it includes all oxen, sheep and goats. These are the “clean” types of livestock.
It is also possible that other livestock may have been included in the “cattle” category. Horses seem to be especially designed for human use. Camels and llamas also play a vital role in many cultures around the world. Even hogs are a valuable livestock animal and may have been included in this category.
      1. Every creeping thing

The term “creeping thing” encompasses every creature that worms, crawls, or scurries along the ground. Several verses in Leviticus chapter 11 gives us a little more insight into what was included as a creeping thing:
Leviticus 11:20-23 All flying insects that creep on all fours shall be an abomination to you. yet these you may eat of every flying insect that creeps on all fours: those which have jointed legs above their feet with which to leap on the earth. These you may eat: the locust after its kind, the destroying locust after its kind, the cricket after its kind, and the grasshopper after its kind. But all other flying insects which have four feet shall be an abomination to you.
Leviticus 11:29-30 These also shall be unclean to you among the creeping things that creep on the earth: the mole, the mouse, and the large lizard after its kind; the gecko, the monitor lizard, the sand reptile, the sand lizard, and the chameleon.
Verses 20-23 tell us that all insects are creeping things. I know a lot of people accuse the Bible of claiming that insects have four legs when they actually have six. But it does no such thing! The Bible simply counts the first two pairs of legs as being the same, and then adds in the last pairs as different from the other four. Scientifically speaking...this is accurate. The back set of legs are very different from the first two sets. This difference is obvious in insects like grasshoppers and katydids, but it also exists in other insects like ants and honeybees.
Verse 29 tells us that some mammals were also categorized as creeping things. Moles are specifically mentioned, so other insectivores such as shrews and hedgehogs would also be considered creeping things. Mice and mouse-like animals are also mentioned - bringing the majority of rodents into this category as well. That these two types of animals are mentioned gives us a general idea of what other mammals would be in this category, anything that scurries along the ground would be considered a creeping thing. This would include weasels, all of the smaller rodents, and many other small mammals (bandicoots, squirrels, badgers, etc).
The ending of verse 29, along with verse 30, speaks of reptiles - specifically several types of lizards. It appears that any type of lizard, large or small, is considered a creeping thing.
Finally, verses 41 and 42 show us the general definition of a creeping thing: “And every creeping thing that creeps on the earth shall be an abomination. It shall not be eaten. Whatever crawls on its belly, whatever goes on all fours, or whatever has many feet among all creeping things that creep on the earth...
So any animal that crawls along the ground is a creeping thing. This includes animals that crawl on their belly (such as snakes and caecilians), animals that crawl on four legs (such as lizards, frogs and rodents), and animals that have multiple legs (such as insects, spiders, and millipedes). This is the definition of a creeping thing - and they were all made from the dirt on day 6!
      1. Beasts Of The Earth

Essentially, this category includes every other land animal.  Generally speaking, this includes all of the larger land animals that hold themselves up off the ground. Mammals like rhinos, kangaroos, apes, bears, cats and entelodonts are all beasts of the earth. Other beasts of the earth include larger reptiles, such as dinosaurs and the bigger types of dicynodont, and even the large flightless birds known as ratites.
All of these fall into the broader category of “beasts of the earth.”

Species Vs. Biblical Kind

Genesis 1:24-25 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
In these two verses, we see the phrase “according to its kind” five different times. Understand that the animal kinds that were created on day 6 weren’t necessarily what we consider “species”.
Today we have almost nine million species of living animals classified. But the boundaries of Biblical kinds are much broader. What defines an animal kind? Simply put...any animals that can breed together and produce offspring are members of the same Biblical kind of animal. This means that donkeys, horses and zebras are all the same kind of animal. Lions, tigers and leopards are the same kind of cat - even though they’re different species. All eight species of bear are members of the same kind.
How does this apply to the creation week? God created each kind of animal with an enormous amount of genetic information written on their DNA. This amount of information would result in a number of variations from individual to individual. Elephants, for example, would have individuals with longer hair, others with shorter hair, and still others with hardly any hair at all. Some wolves may have had lighter colored hair, some may have had very dark hair, and most would have had a variety of colors at the same time. All of these variations - as well as others that affected size and shape - were confined within each kind of animal.
As the animals began to gradually lose some of this information, the various kinds of creatures began to separate even further, into species within the kind. (This wouldn’t have happened much before the flood – so the creatures in the ark were probably good representatives of the original kinds. But in the new environments that formed after the flood, this “speciation” really took off.)
To illustrate how this happened, lets take a look at the wolf kind:
As we have already said, the original kind that was created had the information for both long and short hair. As members of this kind began to populate the cold arctic areas (after the flood), those that were born with shorter hair had no defense against the cold weather. Because of this, the short-haired varieties froze to death and failed to pass that information on to the next generation. So within a few generations, the arctic population became strictly long-haired wolves.
At the same time, a similar change occurred in the color of the wolves’ hair. The animals with darker hair would have been easily spotted by their prey against the snow-covered ground of the Arctic. They would have had a much harder time hunting down their food; while the light-haired individuals would’ve had a much easier time. After several generations, the light coloration would become the dominant trait among this wolf population.
Put these two adaptations together and - voila! - you get the Arctic Wolf! These types of changes were occurring all over the world after the flood, as the highly adaptable kinds began to change into the various species inside their new habitats. The original big cat kind descended into both lions and leopards. The original elephant kind radiated into huge and hairy mammoths as well as small and naked dwarf elephants.
Don’t get confused, though! This adaptation is not evolution! The theory of evolution requires massive amounts of added information, but this speciation occurs because of the loss of genetic information! Many times, so much of the original information is lost that the resulting species no longer retains the ability to interbreed with other members of its kind...meaning that they no longer have any way to regain the information that was lost! If these new species were then placed in a different environment, they would no longer have the means to adapt and would quickly go extinct.
The theory of evolution has tried for over a hundred years to eliminate the boundaries between animal kinds. Every animal that has ever existed, evolutionists say, must have evolved from another type of animal. Bats evolved from shrew-like creatures. Birds evolved from reptiles. Whales evolved from hoofed land-animals. This is what is taught in modern biology classes - in spite of the fact that none of this has ever been observed!
What we see is entirely different from this evolutionary “ad hoc” story! We do see many types of animals changing - sometimes it’s in size, sometimes it’s in color, sometimes it’s in habits. But what we never see, is one kind of animal changing into another kind. Although we’ve seen many different changes inside the horse kind, we’ve never seen anything other than horses! We’ve seen many changes in the finch kind - but we’ve never seen a finch change into something other than a finch! There are definite boundaries within the genetics of every animal - and these boundaries were there from the beginning. These are the boundaries of the created kind.

What We See Now Isn’t How It Was Then

When you’re picturing the creation of the land animals, it’s easy to imagine lions, tigers, zebras, giraffes, and polar bears walking around. But this is not at all what it would’ve been like!
God didn’t directly create lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards and snow leopards on day six. Instead, He created the big-cat kind. This original kind had all the genetic information that was necessary to produce each of these different species, but it wouldn’t have looked very much like any of them!
Zebras, giraffes, and polar bears wouldn’t have been there either. Each of them is a member of a much larger kind that was created on day 6. Instead of zebras, you would’ve seen the original horse kind (the ancestor to horses, zebras and donkeys). Instead of giraffes (as we know them today) you would have seen the ancestor to the giraffe and okapi. Polar bears have descended from the original bear kind (what would’ve been seen on day 6) through the same process that brought about the Arctic Wolf - the loss of information for short or dark hair.
In the very last sentence of Genesis 1:25, we can see another way that creatures back then differed from creatures now, “And God saw that it was good.” Things were good. This wasn’t an animal kingdom that was filled with violence and bloodshed - like we see now. You see, there were no predators. There were no parasites. There was no hunting. Everything in the animal world was at peace.
So, what about the animals that are predators now? What were they eating then? At the risk of jumping too far ahead, let’s take a look at Genesis 1:29-30 to find the answer: “And God said [to Adam], “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so.
The animals were vegetarians! Every one of them lived on fruits, seeds, and leaves. That means every animal that we call a predator now - from snakes, to weasels, to the mighty T-rex - was originally a plant-eater. Everything was good!

A World That Was Ready

By the end of the sixth morning, the world was ready for God’s final creation. The seas were filled with aquatic plants and animals. The skies were lit up by the sun, moon and stars and were filled with all kinds of flying creatures. Dry land was beautifully decorated by plants and supplied with fruits and vegetables; while each and every kind of animal was roaming about freely, feasting on the fresh vegetation. Now it was time for world to know what...or rather, was created for!