OUR VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLD
The first and second articles of our Orthodox Symbol of Faith concern the visible and invisible world composed of numerous and complicated constituent parts. These worlds were originated and created by our triune God, who is undivided in essence, and is the Creator of all. The world was derived from nothing and was came into existence being wrought by His will, wisdom and power. This was over a long period of time and thus there were different beings and their orderly succession over periods of time.
In the first article of the Creed the Father is identified as the Maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible; and the second article clearly says that through the Son all things were made and without the Son nothing that was made existed. Besides the Father and the Son’s activity there is an inseparable activity of the Holy Spirit which is creative, and it is through the Holy Spirit that the entire existing creation is preserved and maintained in life. The world, composed of visible and invisible and complicated parts is the work of the one Triune God, and outside of this nothing exists.
The dogma concerning creation and the world’s dependence upon God is mentioned in Holy Scripture: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth:” (Gen. 1:1). “Whatever the Lord pleased, that He did in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deep places” (Ps.135:6). “By the Logos of God were the heavens made, and all the host of them by the spirit of His mouth” (Ps. 33:6). “All things were made through the Logos of God, and without Him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3). “You send forth your spirit and they are created; and you renew the face of the earth” (Ps. 104: 30). Besides these references we offer the following historical knowledge.
First God made the heaven, the world of immaterial spirits called angels. It is called invisible because it is not seen but is understood by the faithful. We do not see this world through our bodily eyes but through our intellects, and it is called the intellectual world. It is also referred to as the spiritual world and the angelic world, because it is made of spirits and angels. This world consist of three hierarchies, each being made of three orders of angels. The highest and first is the Cherubim, Seraphim and Thrones. The second is the Dominions, Principalities and Powers. The third order is the Governments, Archangels and Angels. God also made the earth or matter unseen and unorganized which was water and fire and terrestrial particles and this was separate from the angelic world. But when the devil who had been one of the angelic with ranks of followers revolted, after this the Lord proceeded to create the visible world.
And said: “Let there be light and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And evening and morning were one day. This day was not the 24-hour day we are familiar with, for the sun moon and stars were not yet created. The heavens above us were made on the second day and was called heaven. And God commanded: Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 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. And God called the firmament heaven. And God saw that it was good, and the evening and the morning were the second day.
On the third day God separated the dry land from the waters, and ordained that plants and trees should spring forth. And so it came to pass. God commended: Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place and let the dry land appear and it was so. And God called the dry land earth, and the system of waters he called seas. And God saw that it was good. And God said: Let the earth bring forth the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind., whose seed was in itself upon the earth, and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass and herb yielding seed after its kind upon the earth. And God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day.
On the fourth day God made the sun and the moon and the stars, saying: Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth to divide the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and for years. And let them be for lights in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth. And it was so. And God made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser to rule the night; He made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of heaven to light upon the earth, 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. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
And on the fifth day God made the fish of the sea and the birds of the heaven, saying thus: Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that has life, and the fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven, and it was so. And God created great monsters, and every creature that moves, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after its kind. And God saw that they were good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters and the seas, and let the fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
On the sixth day God also made living creatures on the dry land, saying, Let the earth bring forth living creatures after its kind, cattle and creeping things, and beast of the earth after its kind. And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth after its kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creeps upon the earth after its kind. And God saw that it was good.; On this day, after making the living creatures on the dry land, He made also man.
Through this historical narrative we see the time sequence of making the two worlds, visible and invisible. All things were created by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit the Maker of heaven and earth and of all things that were made. On the next installment we will deal with the creation of man.