Creating the Heavenly Bodies on the Fourth Day

Hi S____,

If, after qualifying that this was all done in six evenings and mornings, we refuse to believe it is literal evenings and mornings, and as you conclude, the point in doing that is to show us that we are not to take the evenings and the mornings as literal days, then how can we know that anything in scripture is literal and physical?
I explained to you that when the scriptures qualify anything, then we are to accept those qualifying statements. When we are told that the sun stood still for a full day when Joshua was fighting the Canaanites, I hope we do not conclude that none of this is literal or that it didn’t really happen, just because we cannot understand how that is possible.

Jos 10:12 Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.
Jos 10:13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

I have already been through the same thought processes you are now experiencing. As I have quoted before:

Rom 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
Rom 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

If God grants us the faith to believe He created the entire universe, then He can also give us the faith to believe that He did it in the time and in the order in which He tells us He did it. “Let there be light” does not say ‘Let there the sun and all the other stars of the heavens’.
Here is the creation account:

Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

If God can create this earth, can He not also provide the light for six evenings and mornings without the stars of the heavens? I have no problem with that at all if that is what He says He did.
Here are His words about the order in which He created the earth and the universe:

Gen 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.
Gen 1:7 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.
Gen 1:8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Gen 1:9 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.
Gen 1:10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:11 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.
Gen 1:12 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.
Gen 1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

Now we come to the fourth day:

Gen 1:14 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:
Gen 1:15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
Gen 1:16 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.
Gen 1:17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
Gen 1:18 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.
Gen 1:19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Being human and knowing that the earth revolves around the Sun, we think in natural human terms. We cannot just naturally imagine that Christ Himself is the Sun, and that the sun consists in Him, or that He is capable of lighting the earth without the sun. But that is exactly what we are told, and all we need is the faith to believe the order in which He reveals that He did it all. It is really no harder than believing or accepting that a virgin conceived a son, or “Sun”, without first having a male to contribute sperm. The one is no harder to believe than the other:

Mal 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

So the physical sun is but a mere type and shadow of the true light which lighted and still lights this world:

Joh 1:9 That [ Christ] was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

So light does not depend on whether the sun was created before the earth. The physical sun consists and has its being in Christ and not vice versa.

Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

So there was no need for a physical sun moon and stars to exist before Christ could have the power and the means to create the earth just as He tells us He did it. He was quite capable of providing light and causing the earth to rotate on its axis without the other heavenly bodies. If we cannot believe what He says here in Genesis, then we might also have a hard time believing in Joshua’s long day, or Hezekiah’s long day.
We are told that all of the accomplishments of the first three days were completed and then the stars were created on the fourth day. So He created the stars, of which our physical sun was but one of billions, on the fourth day.
You ask:

Answer:
What this all serves to tell us is this principle on which God operates:

1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

The sun and stars are all types of the heavens and the spiritual realm, and that is why the Lord made them after He made the earth. It was not to tell us that when He qualifies a matter we are to ignore those qualifying words.

1Co 4:6 Now these things, brothers, I applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us ye might learn not to think above that which is written, so that ye may not be puffed up, one over the one against the other.

You said this also:

Yes, we do go in circles when we have no way of knowing what is to be taken as literal and what is to be take as spiritual. That is why we must be careful never to “think above what is written”.
The only way you can know that the fire of the lake of fire is not literal is because those words have been qualified elsewhere in scripture as spiritual words which save mankind instead of tormenting him for eternity:

Jer 5:14 Wherefore thus saith the LORD God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them.
1Co 3:13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

So when we have such clear qualifying statements, then we know that the fire of scripture saves us, likewise when the days of creation are six times qualified as being six evenings and mornings of the earth rotating on its axis before the sun is even created, and we are told that the natural precedes the heavenly and the spiritual, then we know why the Lord created the earth in the order in which He reveals it to us.

1Co 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual [ the sun], but that which is natural [ the earth]; and afterward that which is spiritual.
1Co 15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
1Co 15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
1Co 15:49 And as we have [ first] borne the image of the earthy, we shall also [ afterward] bear the image of the heavenly.

That is “the glory of a king to search out a matter”. That gives us a spiritual lesson which we do not get if we ignore the qualifying words which agree with the fact that we are plainly told that what was accomplished was done “instantly” in six evenings and mornings.

Isa 48:3 I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly [ Hebrew – instantly], and they came to pass.

That is quite a qualifying verse which tells us that the evenings and mornings are to be taken literally as being literally spoken into existence. Christ made “the best wine” in an instant, and He also spoke the world into existence “suddenly”. God could have spoken it all into existence in six seconds, but He did it in six evenings and mornings, for the purpose of creating man on the sixth day and giving man the number six, with all that number reveals.
He created the physical earth before the physical heavens for what that reveals. When God does something it is “a short work”.

Rom 9:28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.

The last thing I want to do is to offend you. I hope you can appreciate my own position of being an easy target for every yellow journalist who is out there. Your experience with my detractors has graphically demonstrated how the forked- tongued serpent operates within his children. I truly believe you are seeking the Truth.
If I believed for one moment that you wanted me to teach against the scriptures, I would not be writing you. But in regards to the subject of the order in which the universe was created, I hope you can also accept that I cannot “think above what is written” in any of our correspondences. I try hard to conform all of my thoughts and doctrines to what is written and not vice versa. Believing in a virgin birth does not require that you check your brain at the door. Neither does a six literal evening and morning creation. But both do require faith in the word of God.

Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Your brother in Christ.
Mike

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