The Holy Spirit is the power of God—not a personage, entity, consciousness, or part of the Godhead or a trinity. The Bible speaks of the Spirit as the power or mind of God, the power of love and of a sound mind. It emanates from Him and thus can be said to be "poured out" (Titus 3:5-6), "breathed" (John 20:22), and used to "fill" (Acts 2:4) and "anoint" (Acts 10:38).
Martin G. Collins
The Holy Spirit
Verse 2 pictures the earth as a cold, dark, uninhabitable place covered with water: "The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep." Why would this be? Other scriptures indicate that God originally created the earth perfect and beautiful and ready to be inhabited (Job 38:4-7; Isaiah 45:18). And since the sun had already been created, why would the earth be dark?
The best explanation for this condition is that a great destruction had occurred when, sometime in prehistory, Helel (who became Satan) and his angels rebelled against God's authority and tried to overthrow Him (Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezekiel 28:12-16). This great war (Revelation 12:7-8) apparently caused an enormous amount of destruction to occur in the solar system. The resultant interplanetary debris and dust, some of which descended into earth's atmosphere, prevented the light from the sun and moon from reaching the earth.
Earl L. Henn (1934-1997)
Genesis 1: Fact or Fiction?
The true God is the Author of the Bible, and He used His sovereign authority to determine the revelations it contains and the sequence in which they are given. Since Adam and Eve, believing in the existence of the true God and His Word has been the principal challenge affecting the quality of life mankind thinks it must have for happiness and prosperity. These beliefs have eluded human understanding—not because God has hidden Himself, but because men refuse to accept the clear evidence He provides in the creation.
Imagine that the Creator God sat us down in a room by ourselves and presented a short film summarizing the Bible's first ten chapters. What would we see? What would it teach us about His character, purpose, and plan?
Authors and filmmakers are creators in their own way. They prepare an outline, a story flow, they wish to follow either to entertain or to educate their readers or viewers. Have we ever wondered why God began the Bible as He did? Consider this simple overview as a factor of utmost importance to our well-being in relation to life's purposes.
Have we ever consciously noted that the Bible begins in Genesis 1 with God creating order from what appears to be the result of either a destruction of a previous system or an array of disparate parts, fashioning them into a form appropriate for His next step? Either way, as the story unfolds, the role He plays emerges. The primary point is virtually impossible to miss: Supreme order and direction in what He will reveal originates in and from Him. Though normally invisible to humanity, He is clearly in control, initiating what will happen and also continuing to completion what He began.
The orderly progression of time and activity continues as God arranges, piece by piece, the environment in which later events will take place. Created elements appear in a natural progression. First, there must be light. From this point on, everything coming into view is made new and in sparkling, showroom condition.
Last of all, the two humans are designed in the image of God Himself. They, Adam and Eve—who will set in motion the human side of the action—are created, given life, and presented gifts, which are examples of His grace: earth and all it contains for their use within the boundaries He set. They immediately begin to use what God freely gave them as gifts.
What has God chosen to show us thus far? First, He is the Author of all that is. Second, He brings order out of lifeless chaos. Third, perhaps our Lord's flesh-and-blood brother sums it up best in James 1:17-18:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
What has God revealed of Himself to this point without saying a word except for what He commanded to bring into existence? It is purposefully instructive.
Genesis 1 shows that He is a God of order and that He has a distinct purpose for each step He takes. He is a God of awesome powers, moving mountains, seas, rivers, valleys, and vast oceans of atmosphere into place. Greenery and animal life appear. Nothing happens randomly. Every step proceeds as He directs. He is in control as He purposefully establishes His sovereignty over everything He has brought into existence.
John W. Ritenbaugh
Leadership and Covenants (Part Ten)
God originally created the earth with such perfection and beauty that the angels shouted with joy! Our Creator does all things in an organized manner and completes all His works in exquisite splendor. But the earth had somehow become formless and chaotic so that God had to refashion it before man could be created.
Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Basic Doctrines: Satan's Origin and Destiny
How Does the Bible Explain Fossil Ages Over 6,000 Years (Genesis 1:2)?
Scientists often date fossils such as dinosaur bones and those termed "human" or "early man" thousands, tens of thousands, or even millions of years before the creation of Adam. Although we understand the interest generated by this subject, it is not the primary duty of the church to enter a field that properly belongs to geologists, paleontologists, and anthropologists. None of the facts discovered by science contradict the Bible, though certainly many of the theories proposed by scientists to explain their facts are at odds with God's Word!
God's church has been commissioned primarily to announce the good news of the soon-coming Kingdom of God to humanity now on earth—those descended from Adam, who the Bible shows was created nearly 6,000 years ago. As a part of that message, we explain the fact that there was a previous world of immense duration (revealed in simplest form in Genesis 1:1-2) over which angels were given rule. Please see Isaiah 14:12-14 and Ezekiel 28:11-16.
Isaiah 45:18 states clearly that God did not create the world a chaotic wasteland: "Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited. . . ." It is evident, however, that the previous world ended in chaos and destruction because of the rebellion of the angels (Genesis 1:2; Jude 6). Whatever forms of breathing, physical life that existed at the time of that titanic destruction would have died in it (Isaiah 14:12; Luke 10:18). Then followed a week of re-creation (Psalm 104:30). On the sixth day of that week, God created man and endowed him with human spirit. Any accurately dated fossils older than 6,000 years would consequently be pre-Adamic.
The Bible is God's revelation of knowledge that man cannot discover by himself—primarily spiritual knowledge concerning the purpose of life and the origin of creation. Basically, the Bible deals with the 7,000-year plan of God for the descendants of Adam and has only sketchy glimpses of what occurred before—or what shall come after this period.
From the Bible we know that Adam and Eve were the first humans made in the image of God and given a human spirit to make possible the wondrous functioning of the human mind. They were created for the purpose of enlarging the Family of God. This is the important knowledge about human life—the incredible human potential—which can be learned only from God's revelation, not from the fossil record.
Genesis 1: Fact or Fiction?
Did God Create a Devil?
Pitfalls of Scholarship
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Genesis 1:2: