By Mike Conn
In the beginning God created a perfect world. He created the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air and the beast of the field, and all was perfect in every way. We know this because while it was in the process of being created, it was repeatedly referred to as “good” (Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25). At the end, He summed His work up by saying that “it was very good” (Genesis 1:31). With this description of “good” and “very good” in mind let us imagine what this very good world must have been like. There is reason to believe that the Spirit of God was in complete control of all events. The original Hebrew language indicated that God’s spirit “hovered” over the creation like an eagle over its young.
In Genesis 1:2 we are given a hint about the Spirit of God hovering over the creation. It says, “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” The Hebrew word that is translated “moved upon” is rahap and it means to “brood” or to “hover” over. This Hebrew word found only three times in the Old Testament and it is translated “moved upon” in Genesis 1:2, “fluttereth” in Deuteronomy 32:11, or “shake” in Jeremiah 23:9. The word “flutter” is defined as to “oscillate rapidly.” Several translations say “hover” instead of “moved,” among them The New International Version and the New Living Translation.
“God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss” (Genesis 1:2, The Message).
On Genesis 1:2 Clarke’s Commentary says that the “hovering,” “fluttering,” “moving” Spirit of God was like magnetic attraction, by which all things were caused to gravitate to a common centre.”
This indicates that the Spirit of God was similar to a hen or an eagle that completely covered its eggs, allowing its warmth to penetrate the unhatched eggs. This seems to mean that as the warmth of a bird hatched its eggs, so did God’s Spirit penetrate His Creation to the fullest extent. In another place the Scripture says that the creation was held together by “the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3) and all creatures, evidently, yielded to the control of God’s Spirit. All animals, insects, fish, etc. yielded to the Creator in every way. Faith in God held everything together and everything was predestinated to have an orderly existence that would never end and would always be described as “good.” The obedience of all creatures to the will of God seems to have been what made it a perfect world.
Fowls Of The Air
Jesus indicated that the “fowls of the air” still have the ability to trust in their Creator. Furthermore, He indicated that humanity could have total trust and confidence in God like the fowls of the air do.
“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, 0 ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?” (Matthew 6:26-31).
A code of conduct is also observable within the animal kingdom. Animals are obedient to instincts and inclinations. Squirrels gather nuts in fall, ants lay up food during harvest and birds fly south before winter. This God-given instinct is not very strong in the heart of the human race. Man’s written code of conduct on almost erased at the Fall and obscured by his rebellion. However, a new way of writing the law of God on the human heart was prophesied by Jeremiah. He said that God would “write his law in their hearts” (Jeremiah 31:31). This indicates that man must be “born again” in order to be part of the new creation.
God wants His people to live like, the fowls of the air, in an environment that is free from worry and care. This will tend to elevate them to a higher realm and allow them to be more like God. The church was brought into being to function as a seed that would bring the creation back to its original state. This island of tranquility in a sea of trouble will eventually subdue the creation. It was to be something that would live by faith. This movement was to be made up of people who were obedient to God by being “led by the Spirit” (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18).
Paul said that every man possesses a “measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). This “faith” was originally designed to make us harmonious with God. When a Christian acquires an attitude of mature faith he becomes one with God and “all things” begin to work for his good (Romans 8:28). This marvelous state of perfection begins to take place at salvation. We are saved by faith and walk by faith, for “without faith it is impossible to please” God (Hebrews 11:6).
As The Waters Cover The Sea
Isaiah said the day will come when the earth will be so full of the Spirit of God (as it was in the beginning), that it will be similar to how “the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:9). This seems to be a description of a perfect world where God will be in control of everything. The future kingdom of God seems to be an exact replica of the original creation that was in the beginning.
“And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6-7).
A World Without Death
With the power of the Spirit “hovering” over the creation and with the Spirit of God covering the earth like the waters that “cover the sea,” nothing happened by accident. In such an environment everything must have been worked “after the council of his own will” (Ephesians 1:11), and death was non-existent. This means it was a perfect world, and this is a description of how the world will be someday.
In The Beginning There Were No Carnivorous Animals
In the beginning all animals ate vegetation and there were no carnivores or meat-eating creatures. Death, even to animals, was foreign and everything was held together by the “word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3). Death was nonexistent. If death did not exist, then disease, pain, sickness or affliction did not exist. If these did not exist, then fear did not exist. If fear did not exist then frustration, sorrow, worry, and bitterness did not exist. The list could go on and on.
Unlike our world, it was a very peaceful place where life reigned. This means that there was no accidental death. God perfectly coordinated and carefully controlled all activities of every creature. The steps of animals, and the flight of winged creatures was under the control of the Spirit of God and functioned in the realm of “good.” It is not out of harmony with reason to believe that God charted the course of every flying insect as well as the movement of every creature. We know that He provided food for everything (Psalms 145:16). We also know that, “In him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
What a wonderful world it must have been before the Fall! It was a place where the Spirit of God was so powerful that everything fell under Its control. It was a world where nothing went wrong and evil had no place. Thus, God was able to predestinate every event in every moment of time.
Adoration Of God By The Angels
No wonder the angels continually praise Him “day and night” (Revelation 4:8), and at the foundation of the earth the “morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy (Job 38:7). God’s marvelous control of his creation may be the reason Isaiah saw such adoration among the angelic host in heaven.
“I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke” (Isaiah 6:1-4).
John saw something similar to Isaiah, but added that the angels praise Him because He “created all things” and He did so for His pleasure. He described it this way:
“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. And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, 0 Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:8-11).
God’s Ability In A Fallen World
Some may be skeptical of a position that believes God can control every creature and thinks that this idea is nothing but an unnecessary exaggeration. But perhaps this position will become more clear if one considers the control that God exerts over the present world.
1 Control Of Fish, Wind and Insects
The Book of Jonah describes the rebellion of Jonah and his refusal to preach to the Nineveh. God, who has everything at His disposal, simply punished the wayward prophet. God exercised power over sea creatures and prepared a “great fish to swallow Jonah.” He also “spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land” (Jonah 2:10). God “prepared” a “gourd,” a “worm,” and a “vehement east wind” (Jonah 4:6-8).
2 God’s Control Of Beasts
The prophet Balaam was hired by the King of Moab to curse Israel so God sent an angel to oppose him. However, Balaam was not able to see the angel so God used a donkey to deliver a message to the backslidden prophet (Numbers 22:28). The voice of God came from the lips of a beast of burden. How incredible!
3 God’s Power Over A Rooster And A Fish
God exercised control over a rooster to crow at a precise moment as a sign to Peter that Jesus’ prediction had come true. This happened in order to convict a wayward apostle (Matthew 26:74). In another place Jesus miraculously used a fish to deliver money to pay the Temple tax for Himself and Peter (Matthew 17:27). He also filled the nets of fishermen at least twice (Luke 5:3-7; John 21).
4 God’s Control Of Domesticated Animals
At one point in Israel’s history God allowed the Philistines to capture the Ark of the Covenant. Afterward the Philistines began to experience awful plagues. When they wanted to get rid of the Ark they placed it on a cart and hitched the cart up to two milk cows who had just given birth to calves. It was against their nature to leave their calves behind, but this is what they did. They pulled the cart with its precious cargo back to the land of Israel. The only logical conclusion that can be understood is that the two milk cows were under the influence of the Spirit of God. They were obedient to Him as in the original creation.
6 God’s Control Of Human Beings
God has the ability to control human activity. How else can it be explained that God has brought forth things in human history that ordinarily would not have happened? He raised up Josiah to fulfill His will concerning Jeroboam’s idolatrous altar (II Kings 13 & H Kings 23:15-19). He raised up Cyrus the king of Persia to fulfill His will in letting the Israelites return to their land (Isaiah 45). Concerning the “great whore” of Revelation 17, He put it into the hearts of earthly kings “to fulfill his will” (Revelation 17:17).
God Is Sovereign
The control that God has over fish, fowl, mammals, insects, plants, people and wind appears to be proof of His ability to control the creation. Since all these examples happened in a time when the creation was under the influence of the devil, how much more was the control of God before Satan took over and will be after Satan is no more.
Isaiah indicated that in the future kingdom nothing will be destroyed or even “hurt.” (Isaiah 11:9). This is a description of a “very good” creation similar to the one that God made in the beginning.
“The wolf also shall dwell with the Iamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatting together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea” (Isaiah 11:6-9).
“All In All”
Some day the earth will return to this perfect harmony and oneness with God. Evidently this is what the scripture means when it says that God will be “all in all.”
“And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all” (I Corinthians 15:28).
Not only will creatures return to their original state and the lion lie down with the lamb, the bear eat straw like the ox, and serpents become harmless, but fear will not be present. Neither animals nor humans will ever experience fear or worry. Toil and labor will be nonexistent and disease and dying will have no place in that environment.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4).
The Apostle Peter said that all things will be restored to their original state. The ability that the saints have to operate in faith will envelop the entire creation. This will bring back the original order of creation.
“Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began” (Acts 3:21).
Adam’s transgression was a sin of cosmic proportion. He fell from being the corporate head of the original creation when he allowed himself to be influenced by the first lie. The serpent was allowed to solicit and tempt our first parents. The entire creation was corrupted by the sin not rebellion of man and was no longer under the total from influence of the Spirit of God.
The cosmos was lost when man exercised a will that like and was contrary to God’s will. Eve yielded to a spirit that presented a new concept and Adam yielded to a thought that was out of harmony with his Maker. The spirit world and the physical world separated into two different places. Man no longer was able to exercise his spiritual senses without confusion.
All created things fell under the dominion of Satan. The cosmos went from having a real God to a false god. It went from living by faith to living in fear. It went from life and peace to death and destruction. It went from a happy atmosphere to a competitive atmosphere where only the strong survive and weakness is exploited. Certain animals grew teeth that could be used for tearing and eating flesh. Competitiveness and rivalry took the place of peace and harmony. A thick cloud of deception descended over the earth and a veil of evil was “spread over all nations” (Isaiah 25:7).
Competition and rivalry arose within the heart of the human race and they began to do things to each other that previously had not been possible. They experienced feelings of envy and hatred that the “god of the world” produced within them. The human race tasted evil when Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, and all his children became “children of wrath.”
“Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others” (Ephesians 2:2-3).
Cain became the murderer of his own brother. Abel died because he was approved by God, and Cain became the first “vagabond.” Trouble divided the first family and sin not only separated men from God but it separated them from one another. Eve became the first of many brokenhearted mothers, and the earth reeled “to and fro like a drunkard” and was moved out of its place (Isaiah 24:20).
Salvation By Works
In Genesis 3 man was instructed that he had to work for his sustenance, and he automatically assumed that he had to “work” for his salvation. This thinking would later complicate his relationship with God and prove to be a great stumbling block. Ironically, when a man loses his works nature in spiritual things, he begins to return to the state of faith in God that was a part of the original creation. He begins to function in the original plan that held the entire creation together.
Adam’s transgression caused Jehovah God to simply withdraw, and the creation was left to its own destiny. The creation resisted the control of its Maker, and evil took over. The earth became a hostile environment and animals began to die, with some even becoming extinct. The entire creation began to groan in great pain and agony. No wonder Paul said,
“For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now” (Romans 8:20-22).
Mournful Minor Key
Musicians tell us that the sounds of earthly creatures are usually in a minor key. The mournful cry of turtledoves, the lowing of oxen, the bleating of sheep, and the sound of the wind are all mournful cries of a fallen world that longs for fellowship with its Creator.
There has been an age old question about why Paradise was lost. More precisely, why did God allow the serpent to tempt man and why did He allow the carnage and chaos to begin?
Perhaps it should be understood that when God finally restores all things and Satan is no longer able to deceive the nations, history will reveal part of the greatness of God. Eventually “every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” (Romans 3:19). This will enhance the manifold attributes of God that the previous kingdom was ignorant of. Without the Fall, man may have never been made aware of God’s mercy, justice or love. The unsearchableness of God and the depth of His power would have remained undiscovered. But now we behold God in a greater way and we are able to “serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling” (Psalm 2:11). Therefore let us thank Him for all things.
“0 the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen” (Romans 11:33-36).
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).
Article “God’s Perfect World” written by Mike Conn is taken from New Testament Treasures In Job.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”