The very first verse in the Word of God commences with the words, “in the beginning”. What happened? God (Elohim, because there was God the Father and God the Son) created the heavens and the earth, the world in which we live. There are about four beginnings in the Bible that I would like to make brief notes of, in time sequence.
There is a beginning even before God created the earth. We find this is John 1:1, “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”. We are told that God existed even before the creation of the world, and further in John 1:14, we read that the Word was made (became) flesh. In other words, God Himself came down to earth in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. John therefore brings God to man, and we see the grace of Christ shown throughout the gospel. However, this beginning is from eternity past. Before the world was made, there was eternity, and God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit existed. You might ask, how do you know this, were you there? No dear friend, I was not there when God created the earth, and I was certainly not there in eternity, but I believe this by faith because God is true and He cannot lie. We too must accept this by faith, and it is the Holy Spirit who works in our hearts to enable us to have this faith to understand these things. So, the beginning in John 1:1 is the first beginning, before time ever began.
The next beginning is in Genesis 1:1, when time actually began. It is very interesting that in the first two verses of the whole Bible we are introduced to the Triune God, or as more commonly known, the Trinity. We have Elohim, which is the correct Hebrew term in this instance, and if you can read Hebrew, the first verse will read, “in the beginning Elohim created…” Then in the second verse we read about the Spirit of God hovering, so the Holy Spirit actually existed with Elohim. It was Elohim that said, “let us…” throughout the course of the first chapter of the Bible, so it is clear there is another Person involved, who is God the Son. In Colossians 1:16, we read that the Son created all things. Please read the previous verses, especially verse 13, where we have reference to His dear Son.
The third beginning is found in 1 John 1:1, which is quite interesting that we have these references, Genesis 1:1, John 1:1 and 1 John 1:1 all refer to the beginning. In 1 John we have the beginning of the manifestation of the perfect life of Jesus Christ when He was on the earth. John writes that they have seen, looked upon and touched the Lord Jesus when He was a Man on earth. The life that was manifested is the true eternal life that was with the Father from the beginning, but now John and the other disciples saw that life and, in his epistle, he reports it so that we too can enjoy this life while we are on earth. The Lord Jesus became a Man. He was not eternally Man, but ever since He came in the flesh as a Man and completed His perfect work on the cross, He is forever the blessed Man.
The fourth beginning is found in Revelation 3:14, “the beginning of the creation of God”. Does this mean that He was created? Far be the thought! He was never created, because He co-existed with God in eternity past, and when this present world passes, eternity will exist, and He will exist forevermore. So, then, what is this reference speaking about? It refers to a new creation in God. When we come to know Christ as our Saviour, we are in Christ, and we are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We still have the old nature in us, but at the same time we are a new creation, all things are become new. This is what is referred to as the beginning of the creation of God, in relation to each individual true believer in Christ.