Creation and Re-creation 5: Fish and Birds
There are two ways in which we can view the creation and re-creation work from redemptive perspective: historical and personal.
First, let us review the days of creation applied in the historical aspect. The first day creation of light alludes to the time of Adam, when the light of God’s Word was first introduced.
But darkness came through the fall, and then the enlightenment and utterance of the Word came in the 10th generation, during the days of Noah, which is foreshadowed by the second day. Like the expanse on the second day, the ark became the separation point between those who were above the waters and those who were under.
Then, darkness came in through Ham again; and 10 generations later, the spiritual soil of faith was found in Abraham, who became the foundation/land upon which the seed of God’s Word could sprout forth and bear fruit. To Abraham, God promised the seed/descendants and land. God made Abraham cross over the waters to the land of promise. Later, Abraham’s descendants also moved out of Egypt to go to the Promised Land. God moved waters to let dry land appear for them just like the third day of creation.
Then, in the land, God appointed bodies of light to govern. The task of the bodies of light were to shine, govern, and divide (consecrate). To Israel living in the Promised Land, God sent the prophets to shine the light of God’s Word, kings to govern, and priests to consecrate. But were they governing the day or night? They were not source of light, but reflectors of light. They were for signs of how the Messiah would come, and markers for seasons/time when the Messiah would come. Then, finally, the Messiah, who is the greater light, came and shined upon darkness. This is the work of the fourth day.
We will think about the personal aspect of the creation and re-creation work in the conclusion today.
But first, let us think about the 5th day of creation. On the second and third days, God separated the waters. The remaining waters that had gathered to one side was called the sea, which represents the fallen world. In revelation, the beast comes up out of the sea, and the dragon pours water out of his mouth after the woman in Rev 12, that she and her son might be swept away with the flood. When the Wormwood falls to the waters, the waters become bitter to kill. On the contrary, Revelation also speaks of the sea of glass before God’s throne in heaven, and the river of living water in the New Jerusalem. And Rev 21:1 states that there is no more sea in the New Jerusalem.
Then, what are the fish that live in the sea?
Matthew 4:19 (NASB95) — 19 And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Matthew 13:47–50 (NASB95) — 47 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea, and gathering fish of every kind; 48 and when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away. 49 “So it will be at the end of the age; the angels will come forth and take out the wicked from among the righteous, 50 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Fish are the beings that live in the waters below. They represent the people who live in the world. Among them some are caught in the net (church). Hence, fish represent people who need salvation.
Through the atoning work of Jesus on the cross, the era of the church has begun; and through the Apostles, even Gentiles can now come into the net (church) to receive salvation. Those who come into church by receiving Jesus are baptized in water and by the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself showed us this process as an example, and John the Baptist testified about it.
John 3:11 (NASB95) — 11 “Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony.
John 1:33 (NASB95) — 33 “I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’
Just as God created fish of the sea and birds of the air on the fifth day, we are to be born through water and regenerated through the Holy Spirit. Our bodies are born through the water, but we need to be born again through the water and Spirit (water baptism and Spirit/fir baptism).
Apostle Peter also testified when he was baptizing Cornelius and his family.
Acts 1:5 (NASB95) — 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Acts 10:47 (NASB95) — 47 “Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?”
Acts 11:16 (NASB95) — 16 “And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
Acts 11:18 (NASB95) — 18 When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”
Baptism of water is the baptism of forgiveness, lifting us from death to life. And the baptism of the Holy Spirit is the baptism that lifts us from life to eternal life, into the spiritual world.
John 3:5–6 (NASB95) — 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
That’s why the Lord called his disciples and promised them that they would become fishers of men. We need to be pulled out from the waters of this world and enter into the spiritual world in order to live.
The birds that were sent out from Noah’s ark represent heavenly beings.
Exodus 19:4 (NASB95) — 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself.
Isaiah 46:11 (NASB95) — 11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.
John 1:32 (NASB95) — 32 John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him.
John 8:13 (NASB95) — 13 So the Pharisees said to Him, “You are testifying about Yourself; Your testimony is not true.”
John 12:14 (NASB95) — 14 Jesus, finding a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written,
If the waters below represent/symbolize the world of sin where the fish live, the sky in which the birds fly represents the spiritual/heavenly realm. The birds, therefore, represent those who can reach the heavenly/spiritual level even though they are earthly beings.
God described himself as an eagle in the Bible. In other places, God compared His messengers and workers to eagles. And He also depicted the Holy Spirit through a dove.
Reverend Abraham Park once preached: If the fish symbolizes our body, the bird symbolizes our soul. Death in the flesh is the way of life in God’s righteousness, and the soul lives forever in God’s love. That is to say, fish only live in water, and birds only live on land and fly freely in the air. Under the law expressing God’s righteousness, our bodies are destined to live a life of salvation, like fish that only live in water, now being able to live in the arms of God’s love. 5000 years of redemptive history relates to the fifth day of Genesis creation .
John 1:29–34 (NASB95) — 29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 “This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ 31 “I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.” 32 John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 33 “I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ 34 “I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”
Revelation 12:12 (NASB95) — 12 “For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”
We are physically born through water. But as Jesus said, we need to be born again through water and Spirit. This is called “regeneration” or “being born again.” Through this rebirth, we are to be born into the spiritual world of heaven, and start living our life, even on earth, in which our flesh follows the spirit, not the other way around.
Romans 8:5–8 (NASB95) — 5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
The things of the flesh (fish) and the things of the Spirit (birds) explained by Jesus in the Gospel of John
John 8:15–19 (NASB95) — 15 “You judge according to the flesh; I am not judging anyone. 16 “But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me. 17 “Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true. 18 “I am He who testifies about Myself, and the Father who sent Me testifies about Me.” 19 So they were saying to Him, “Where is Your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also.”
John 8:21–30 (NASB95) — 21 Then He said again to them, “I go away, and you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come.” 22 So the Jews were saying, “Surely He will not kill Himself, will He, since He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” 23 And He was saying to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. 24 “Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.” 25 So they were saying to Him, “Who are You?” Jesus said to them, “What have I been saying to you from the beginning? 26 “I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world.” 27 They did not realize that He had been speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. 29 “And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” 30 As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him.
Conclusion: The recreation work that Jesus teaches us in the Gospel of John is the work of regenerating me into a person reborn as Spiritual man.
Jesus came into this fallen world as light. The Word came to find us personally.
When the Word comes to us, the darkness is revealed and separation begins to take place (first day). The good and evil that were mixed up in us get distinguished and divided in our hearts and life (second day). This leads us to make boundaries and differentiate or draw lines with more discernment and control in order to stay away from sin (e.g., setting aside LD for worship, not going to places of sin, etc.). In other words, we make more space for the Word of God to root down and sprout forth in our life (third day). The Word of God becomes more defined and faith grows to be more firm. Our relationship with God becomes more intimate and personal, leading us to have spiritual fellowship with God (fourth day). We receive the Holy Spirit through the Word (not emotional) and we are born again, but our faith does not end there (fifth day).
Then, what happens on the sixth day of my creation and re-creation work? Faith grows and matures to be a true man who can keep and take care of the place where we and God can dwell together, enlarging its borders and sharing the LIFE and blessings with others. We become the spiritual man that can be called God’s son.
Romans 8:19–30 (NASB95) — 19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body. 24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it. 26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.