I know it may be hard to believe but, now that our critique of Vignette #9 has been completed, Act 1, Scene 1 of God’s One Big Story has finally come to an end. Of course, this means that it’s now time for us to climb back on board the Truth Train, leave the first of the fourteen stages in our production, and move on to Stage #2.
We have spent a considerable amount of time at Stage #1, and that’s because the part of the Bible being presented here, covering the first eleven chapters in Genesis, is one of the most important parts of the entire Bible Story. Some of the reasons for this are…
- It introduces us to the sovereign God of the Universe;
- It explains how He brought the Earth and Mankind into being, and how it and we got into the mess that we’re in;
- It presents, either in literal or figurative form, a number of the Main Characters of the Story; and,
- It serves as the Overture for the rest of the Story, set to begin at Stage #2, where Act 1, Scene 2 will soon be getting underway.
That being said, let’s all return to our seats on the Train and get comfy; for, as we journey from Stage #1 to Stage #2, we will again be Making the Most of Our Travel Time by reviewing the first three of these reasons, which will lead us into a preview of the Overture that follows.
- The Introduction of God
Back in …Where It Is Showtime for God’s One Big Story!, we found that our introduction to God began in Genesis 1:1, the very first verse of the Bible…
…In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…
…and, from this very brief but powerful verse, we learned some key pieces of information about the Being who is both the Author and the Main Character of the Book…
- From Elohim, the name used for Him here, we learned that God is a Trinity of Three Unique Persons who are united in One Divine Purpose;
- From His appearance in our Story before the existence of anyone or anything else, we learned that God is Pre-existent and Eternal—that He was Before all Things, Over all Things, and the Originator of all Things; and,
- From the things that He does, we learned that God is All-Powerful, All-Knowing, and Present Everywhere at All Times.
Then, during the rest of this chapter, we learned that…
- God created everything from nothing;
- He executes His will through His spoken Word;
- He evaluates or makes judgments about everything He makes;
- He orders, organizes, and controls everything—even the darkness and chaos; and,
- He has the power and will to bless the things that He makes.
- The Creation of Earth and Man
As for God’s Creation of the Earth, we learned that this was accomplished in a very orderly and systematic way over the course of six days; with Him, during the first three days, calling into being the Kingdoms of Light and Darkness, Sky and the Sea, and the Land; and, during the last three days, making and creating the Rulers over those Kingdoms in the forms of the Sun, Moon, Stars, Fish, Fowl, and Animals. In Between the Vignettes, we learned that this massive undertaking—done with such precision and attention to detail—was for the sole purpose of providing Man, The Capstone of God’s Creation, with an ideal place to live.
In Another Learning Interlude, we learned that once He had their earthly home ready, God set about the task of Creating the Man and Woman who would be living there; fashioning them into male and female beings so much like Himself that they could readily be adopted as His children. However, when we got to the Fundamentals of the Fall, we discovered that just looking like God was not going to be enough to guarantee their adoption into His Family. Before that could take place, the Man and Woman would have to be Holy, like God—something that would be proven if only they could maintain their innocence in the face of testing. Unfortunately for them, for the earth, and for us—they failed, with disastrous results.
3. The Characters Presented
Up to this point in our Story, our Cast of Characters has consisted of…
God, the Father;
God, the Word who, according to John 1:1 and 1:14, is the Son, Jesus Christ;
God, the Holy Spirit; and,
Man and Woman.
But, with the testing of Adam and Eve, another very shadowy Character made his way onto our Stage. Initially appearing in the guise of the serpent who tempted the first Man and Woman into sinning, he was none other than Satan—aka Lucifer, the Devil, and the dragon mentioned in Revelation 20:2.
Although he has remained largely invisible, Satan’s activity in and influence upon our Story has been evident throughout it. For, as we learned in…
…he was no doubt instrumental in inciting Cain to murder his righteous brother, Abel, and in Cain’s refusal to repent.
As a result, Patterns of Generational Sin and Patterns of Conflict Between the Righteous and the Wicked, which would go on to wreak havoc in all future generations, became established—something which was made evident to us in…
…where life on the earth had become so corrupt that God decided it must be destroyed with a universal Flood. And, later in…
…we witnessed Satan’s reappearance on our Stage, initially in the person of Nimrod—the first incarnation of the Antichrist in our Story—and then, as the power behind the creation of Mystery Babylon—the spiritual Harlot of false religion who would eventually lure the nations of the world away from the worship of the one true God, and into the worship of the Devil.
4. The Overture of the Story
Before our production of God’s One Big Story began, we learned from All the World’s a Stage—and Life Its Cosmic Drama that the device used in its presentation was going to be the same type of “story-within-a story” device so often used in the works of William Shakespeare. For our purposes, this meant that the stories of real people recorded in the Bible were going to be used by God to tell more than one story—that is, in addition to the Earthly Level Story being recounted, elements from each individual story were going to be used to help tell the Prophetic Story taking place on a Heavenly Level. In Act 1, Scene 1, this meant that every event from the Creation of the World to the Rebellion at Babel, and the subsequent division of the people into Nations, would have its spiritual level parallel; a parallel forming a theme or motif that would reappear later in the Story.
This concept will become easier for us to grasp if we think of the first eleven chapters of Genesis as the Overture to the entire Bible. In much the same way that an overture introduces to the audience the musical themes which will be running throughout an opera or play, Genesis 1-11 introduces us to the spiritual themes which will be played out in the rest of the Bible Story.
- The story of Creation becomes a picture to us of the spiritual process of Re-creation or Rebirth, where we go from darkness to light, chaos to order, and from death to life in response to the Word of God and the “hovering” work of the Spirit.
- The story of the First Adam and his wife, Eve, becomes a spiritual picture of the Second Adam, Jesus, and His Bride, the Church—who, like Eve, was fashioned from a “rib” (the disciples) taken from the Second Adam as He slept in death.
- The story of the Two Trees in the Garden serves as a picture of the two “salvation” alternatives available to mankind—either the counterfeit system of works or the genuine system of salvation through faith in Christ.
- In the story of Cain and Abel–where God’s acceptance of Abel’s offering by faith and His rejection of Cain’s self-righteous offering provoke Cain to envy, anger, and the murder of his brother–we are provided with a spiritual illustration of the wicked’s rebellion against and persecution of the righteous; as well as, a picture of Cain as a type of Israel—the brother who, after his slaying of the righteous Son, is marked for protection as he begins his wanderings in the wilderness of the world.
- In the long “Reign of Death” taking place between the stories of Cain and the Flood, we are shown how living life in the power of the flesh has affected all men, and ultimately led to their Deaths.
- In the translation of Enoch before the judgment of the flood, we are given a picture of the Rapture which will take place prior to the Great Tribulation, when those who are “walking with God” will be translated to heaven without dying.
- In the lawlessness and demonic activity preceding the Flood, we are given a picture of the conditions existing before the Tribulation, as self-absorbed humanity abandons faith in God, violence increases, and doors are opened to ever-increasing satanic activity.
- In the story of the Flood, where the wrath of God is being poured out from heaven against the unrighteousness of men, and a small righteous remnant in the Ark are being spared, we have a picture of the Tribulation, when the wrath of God will be poured out from heaven against the unrighteousness of men, while a righteous remnant is preserved.
- In the story of Noah after the Flood, when those in the Ark come out to a new earth and enter into a new covenant with God, we are given a picture of the “new world” which will exist when Christ sets up His Millennial Kingdom following the Tribulation–where the righteous remnant will live on a cleansed earth, under a new covenant with God, for a thousand years.
- In the rebellion at Babel, we are given a prophetic picture of Satan’s final act of rebellion—when, at the end of the Millennium, he is released from his thousand year imprisonment to test those who are born on the earth during that time.
- And, in the Judgment of the Nations at the Tower of Babel, we are given a picture of the final Judgment of the Nations—when the Lord gathers the nations and judges them according to the way they have treated His “brethren;” separating the “sheep” nations from the “goat” nations, and giving each one its due reward.
In the event that this concept still proves to be a little difficult to understand, perhaps this graphic will help show how the events in Scene #1 prefigure some of the most important future episodes in the Story…
Now that we have an idea of the real meaning and significance of the opening scene of our Story, we can move forward to Stage #2, better prepared to appreciate what Act 1, Scene 2 is all about.
Whenever I think of an “overture,” the Bugs Bunny Theme always comes to mind–so I just had to include it at this point in our Story. I hope you enjoy this brief bit of levity…