Heavens and Earth…Before and After the First Man!
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In this booklet, we will address many puzzling questions pertaining to the ancient history of planet earth, the history of man and the purpose of his life, questions that only provoke a confusing array of responses rather than reasonable and sensible answers. Was there a world prior to Adam, and if so, what did it look like? What purpose would it serve to have a world without modern mankind? Is everything that exists simply the product of an accidental “evolutionary” process, initiated and developed through mere time and chance, or did God really create everything? The Bible says that He did! With this perspective, then, where can we find meaningful and believable answers to the following questions?
For instance, did God create voracious dinosaurs and other vicious creatures? Have some of them survived? Did man coexist with dinosaurs? Why are there aggressive animals today? Are the biblical Leviathan, Behemoth, Rahab, and other serpent-like sea creatures just figments of imaginary fairy tales and fables? Does the Loch Ness Monster or Ogopogo really exist? Could creatures such as Bigfoot, Sasquatch or Yeti exist today? Were there giants on the earth at one time, and if so, did all of them die out? Who was the Neanderthal Man? Was he an animal, a modern man, or was he identical with the biblical giants of old? Were biblical giants the offspring of sexual intercourse between angels and humans?
How long has modern man existed? Does the Bible say that God created the physical universe and the earth about 6,000 years ago, and that he accomplished this feat in just 6 days? Does God have a 7,000-year plan for mankind? Was the earth created in a state of utter confusion and destruction, or did the earth become this way? If it became destroyed, how and why did this happen?
Who ruled the world prior to Adam, and who has been ruling it ever since? Are fallen spirit beings responsible for much of the evil in the prehistoric and ancient world, as well as modern times? What was the initial potential of these spirit beings, and why did they fail? What is the purpose and potential of mankind? Since God created the physical earth and the universe, why does the Bible say that He will create new heavens and a new earth? Will they be physical or will they consist of spirit?
Join us in this interesting search of the Bible to find answers to these and many other questions.
Part 1 Dinosaurs Before Man?
Some believe that God created the earth in six days, and that He created dinosaurs and man at the same time. Others reject the Bible altogether or consider its stories as fairy-tale inventions by uneducated minds. But then there are those who point out that the Bible does not teach that God created the universe and the earth in six days, nor that all animals were created together with modern man at the same time. This begs the question: Does the Bible allow for the existence of dinosaurs prior to the creation of modern man?
We will explain in the following pages that dinosaurs were created and did exist PRIOR TO modern MAN, and that they became extinct BEFORE the creation of man (Adam and Eve), due to a universal catastrophe which engulfed the entire earth.
We will explain the cause for this catastrophe. We will show that God subsequently restored the surface of the earth and brought into existence modern man at that time, as well as the kinds of animals and plants which are basically still known today. (However, God did re-create some dinosaur-type sea animals when He created man, as will be discussed in Chapter 3 of Part 1). A subsequent worldwide catastrophe at the time of Noah wiped out all land animals, birds and insects (but not necessarily sea animals), except for those which were preserved in the Ark.
We will also respond to “objections” which are raised against our conclusions. These objections claim that the earth is only 6,000 years old, and that God created all dinosaurs and man together at the same time—“in the beginning”—and that all of those dinosaurs, as well as man, continued to live together on this planet until they were destroyed in the flood at the time of Noah. As we will show, this erroneous idea is not based on the Bible.
Part 1—Chapter 1 The Creation and Destruction of the Earth
In our free booklet, The Theory of Evolution—a Fairy Tale for Adults?, we explain that neither the universe, nor the earth, man, animals or plants were the product of either atheistic or theistic evolution, but that GOD created everything “by fiat.” However, we do not deny that modifications did and still do take place within a species—different “types” or “breeds” of dogs or cats, for instance—but such modifications do not occur from one species (cat) to another species (dog), or from a reptile to a bird, or from a bird to a mammal, and most certainly not from an animal (ape) to a man!
God Created the Heavens and the Earth
In the chapter, “The Proof of Creation,” in the aforementioned booklet, we state the following:
“While scientists tell us the beginning of the universe began with a ‘big bang,’ the Bible tells us something altogether different. God says in Genesis 1:1, ‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.’ The word ‘heavens’ is plural, referring to the entire universe. [This will be explained in more detail in Chapter 3 of Part 1.] In Isaiah 45:11–13, God says, ‘Thus says the LORD, the holy One of Israel, and His Maker: …I have made the earth, and created man on it. I—My hands—stretched out the heavens, and all their host [the stars, planets, etc.] I have commanded.’
“The New Testament confirms these claims in Hebrews 11:3, ‘By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.’ Hebrews 1:10 tells us, ‘You, LORD, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.’ Again, we are told that it was God who brought into existence everything there is. Revelation 4:11 states, ‘You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.’…
“Note God’s purpose for His creation in Isaiah 45:18, ‘For thus says the LORD Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited.’ The Hebrew word for ‘in vain’ is ‘tohu,’ which means ‘empty’ or ‘in a state of waste.’ When God created the earth, it was not created in a state of being empty or waste. Rather, we read in the book of Job, that the angels were delighted when they saw the beauty of the earth, as God had created it. Job 38:4–7, ‘Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth… when the morning stars [high-ranking angels, compare Isaiah 14:12, New International Version] sang together, and all the sons of God [lower-ranking angels in this case, compare Job 1:6; 2;1] shouted for joy?”’ The angels would not have shouted for joy if the earth had been an empty, wasted, uninhabitable planet, which had to wait millions of years for physical life to evolve. No, the earth was created in a beautiful condition, capable, at the time of its creation, of supporting life.”
God Created Angels Before He Created the Earth
Before continuing, please note that “angels” were already in existence when the earth was created. We read that God created everything. “God” is a translation of the Hebrew word “Elohim,” which describes here a Family of God Beings, currently consisting of the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ. That is why “God” said, “Let US make man in OUR image” (Genesis 1:26). God the Father created everything through Jesus Christ (John 1:1–3; Hebrews 1:1–2)—the visible AND the invisible (Colossians 1:13–18, especially verse 16). Angels are created beings, and we will present the biblical fact in this booklet that one-third of them were placed on the earth for a special purpose. We are not told in the Bible how long ago the earth was created, nor are we told how long prior to the creation of earth the angels came into existence by the hand of God. But remember that God did NOT create the earth “in vain”—in a state of emptiness and destruction.
The Earth BECAME Void and Empty
In the chapter entitled, “The Earth Became Void and Empty,” our booklet on evolution states:
“With this in mind, let’s read Genesis 1:2, ‘The earth was without form [Hebrew ‘tohu’], and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep.’ A more correct translation would be, ‘The earth became void and without form.’ Some translations, like the Companion Bible and The New International Version, have made notations to this effect. [The German Elberfelder Bible states in a footnote as well that the translation can be rendered as, “became” (“wurde” in German)].
“We saw that Isaiah 45:18 tells us that God did not create the earth in vain, or ‘tohu.’ The Hebrew word for ‘in vain’ in Isaiah 45:18, ‘tohu,’ is the same word used in Genesis 1:2, and rendered there, ‘without form.’ So we read in Isaiah that God did not create the earth ‘void’ and ‘empty,’ but we also read in Genesis 1:2 that the earth was ‘void’ and ‘empty.’ Since the Bible does not contradict itself, the only explanation is that the earth, which had NOT been created ‘void,’ subsequently BECAME ‘void.’
“The reason why some translate Genesis 1:2 as, ‘The earth WAS void and empty,’ rather than, ‘The earth BECAME void and empty,’ is based on the fact that the Hebrew word, translated ‘was’ or ‘became,’ can indeed mean both, based on the context. The word in Hebrew is ‘haya.’ It is up to the translator to decide whether to use ‘was’ or ‘became,’ and unless the translator understands what transpired here, based on what the Bible says elsewhere, the resulting translation is going to be misleading.
“Let’s look at some examples that show that the Hebrew word ‘haya’ can mean ‘became.’ As a matter of fact, in the following passages, the word ‘haya’ can ONLY mean ‘became,’ and NOT ‘was.’ Genesis 2:7 says, ‘And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man BECAME [haya] a living being.’ Let’s also read Genesis 19:26, ‘But Lot’s wife looked back behind him, and she BECAME [haya] a pillar of salt.’ Another interesting passage is found in Deuteronomy 27:9, ‘Then Moses and the priests, the Levites, spoke to all Israel, saying, “This day you have BECOME [haya] the people of the LORD your God.”’ Finally, 2 Samuel 7:24: ‘For You have made Your people Israel Your very own people forever, and You, LORD, have BECOME [haya] their God.’
“Many theologians and scientists have correctly postulated that the state of emptiness, described in Genesis 1:2, occurred long after the state described in Genesis 1:1, when God created the earth. For instance, Joseph Free, Ph.D., Professor of archaeology and history, published a book in 1950, entitled, ‘Archaeology and Bible History.’ He writes on pages 19 and 20, ‘The date of the creation of the universe is an entirely different question from the date of the creation of man. The universe may have been created shortly before the creation of man…or long before, depending on whether or not a long period of time is involved in the first two verses of Genesis. [T]he original creation of the universe and the earth is described in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Then a period of time followed during which “the earth was without form and void.” … This period of time may have been of any length, and could include the geological ages observable in the earth’s surface… After this cataclysmic period, the putting of the world in order is described in Genesis 1: 2b, 3 ff…
“‘In the nineteenth century George H. Pumber in his book, ‘Earth’s Earliest Ages,’ popularized this view that there may have been a long period or gap in Genesis 1:1, 2, and it is sometimes charged that the whole idea is due merely to his book. The possibility of a gap or a long period of time in Genesis 1:1, 2, has, however, been held by many competent theologians…’ …”
We will address later what caused this cataclysmic period, and why the earth, after it was originally created in a state of beauty, BECAME a wasteland. Before the earth became “void and empty,” animals had already lived there. It is important to remember, however, that man did not exist at that time. His creation is described in Genesis 1:26, AFTER God had made the earth habitable again, and after He had created the types of animals which still exist today for the most part. An interesting passage describing the re-creation or the renewal of the surface of the earth can be found in Psalms 104:30, “You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; and You RENEW the FACE of the earth.”
The Bible Confirms a Catastrophe Prior to the Creation of Man
In our aforementioned booklet on evolution, we present scientific evidence that the earth did, in fact, BECOME void and empty through a worldwide catastrophe, and that this cataclysmic event caused the extinction of the dinosaurs and other pre-Adamic animals. We will not take the space here to repeat these findings, but we recommend that our readers study our booklet in that respect. Herein, we will continue with quotes from said booklet, showing the BIBLICAL evidence for this worldwide catastrophe and God’s subsequent restoration of the surface of the earth and the ultimate creation of man.
God Renewed the Surface of the Earth
In the chapter, “In the Beginning…,” we say the following:
“The Bible confirms a catastrophic event in the past that destroyed a previously beautiful earth. This event produced darkness and devastation that God had to remove when He renewed the surface of the earth. Looking at Genesis 1 more carefully, we can see that the darkness was the result of comets or asteroids hitting the earth, as well as subsequent volcanic eruptions. Genesis 1:3 says that God said there should be light, and that there was light. But then we read that subsequently, God made the sun, the moon and the stars. Is this a contradiction? Was the great skeptic Voltaire correct when he asked sarcastically, ‘How could there be light, when there was not a sun yet?’ The answer becomes clear when we remember what happens when a meteor or an asteroid or a comet hits the surface of the earth. The smoke from the flames can darken the sky for months, even years. Sunlight could not come through. God had to eliminate the darkness so that the light of the sun could shine through to the earth.
“But still, how can it be that God made the sun on the fourth day, after He had already made light on the first day? The answer is that the Hebrew word translated ‘made’ in verse 16 can also be translated ‘had made’ or ‘will have made.’ One must always consider the context. Remember in Genesis 1:1, ‘In the beginning, God made the heavens and the earth.’ God did indeed make the sun, moon and stars in the beginning, though we are not told the time frame of the original creation of these elements. Therefore, verse 16 must be correctly translated that God HAD already made the sun, moon and stars. Then on the fourth day God eliminated all the smoke and dust so that the sun, moon and stars could be viewed again in full clarity and strength.
“Reading verses 14 and 15 again, ‘Then God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night… and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth.’ In other words, let them become fully visible. Until then they divided nothing, as there was still a lot of smoke and ashes.
“Commentator R.K. Harrison, in his ‘Introduction to the Old Testament,’ points out that Genesis 1 is written as if the writer was on the earth at the time he wrote, and describes the phases of re-creation in the way he would have seen them. From that standpoint, the writer would have seen the sun, moon and stars on the fourth day when God removed the darkness caused by the fallout…”
Why Covered with Water?
In our above-quoted booklet, we continue to address the question as to why the earth was covered with water, as verse 2 of Genesis 1 tells us. We explain that huge tidal waves can be produced by volcanic eruptions and earthquakes in the oceans, and we give numerous historical ancient, as well “more modern” examples to that effect.
We state: “…scientists tell us that even today, in order to see most of the earth flooded with water, not too many spectacular occurrences are necessary. For instance, Bangkok, Thailand, is located only one meter above sea level. A large portion of the Netherlands is actually under sea level. Many developing countries, in fact, are threatened by the possibility of tidal waves or tsunamis. So it is possible, even from a scientific view, that meteors, asteroids and comets hitting the earth, combined with resulting earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and sinking of the earth, as well as huge tidal waves or tsunamis, could have resulted in the surface of the earth being covered with water.”
Why the Initial Catastrophe?
In our chapter, “Punishment for Sin,” from the same booklet, we begin to answer the question as to WHY such worldwide destruction that destroyed the dinosaurs occurred after the earth had been created in a beautiful state—so much so that the angels shouted for joy! We state:
“The cause for the destruction was sin. The Bible tells us that angels occupied the earth prior to man and their leader was Lucifer. But Lucifer became proud and haughty. He induced the angels under him to fight against the very God who created them. Of course, they lost…
“Lucifer’s name, meaning Lightbringer, was changed to Satan, meaning Adversary. The angels under him became known as demons. And because of the sin committed by Satan and his angels, the earth that they inhabited was destroyed. This physical destruction, caused by sudden catastrophes, explains part of the fossil record. Remember, fossils can only be formed in a sudden way. Gradual changes don’t create fossils. Some fossils were formed during other catastrophes, such as the world-wide flood. Again, such catastrophes took place because of sinful conduct of the inhabitants of the earth. A lesson we should learn from this is that sin has a price—you reap what you sow. The fossil record proves that evolution did not take place, and could not have taken place. Rather, fossils establish the existence of sudden catastrophes.”
We will discuss Lucifer’s sin and rebellion in much more detail in the next chapter of this booklet.
Part 1—Chapter 2 Satan and his Demons Responsible for Destruction of the Earth
In the first chapter of this booklet, we explained that “in the beginning” God created the heavens (the entire physical universe) and the earth, but due to a catastrophe, the earth BECAME void and empty. God subsequently restored the surface of the earth within six days. We also pointed out that God made man at that time. However, the earth was not originally created in a state of emptiness, corruption and decay. Before God created the physical universe and the earth, He had already created angels and other spiritual “things” (regarding the existence of spiritual “things,” please see our free booklet, Angels, Demons and the Spirit World, pages 59–62).
Angels Occupied the Earth
In said booklet, we stated the following in the introduction:
“The Bible reveals to us that there was a time when only God existed. However, that statement is coupled with the biblical understanding that God actually consists of two beings—the Father and the Son. John 1:1 tells us, ‘In the beginning [before anything else was created] was the Word [the Son of God—Jesus Christ], and the Word was with God [God the Father], and the Word was God.’ God has always existed. There was never a time when God (both the Father and the Son) did not exist.
“The Bible does not tell us what God did before He began creating within the spirit world and then the physical universe. We are told, however, that there was a time when God started His Work of creation. We might speculate that God spent a lot of time in planning His creation. We are not told, however, how long this took nor what God did before He began to plan His creation.
“We humans tend to think of creation as referring to the physical universe—the galaxies, the suns, the stars and planets, and our own earth and the life forms on it, including man. God, however, did not start His work of creation by creating physical things. He first created spiritual things. This spirit realm still exists today, but since it is invisible to the human eye, many choose not to believe in it. However, when rightly understood, the spirit world is much more real than the physical world. It is, in fact, permanent, unlike the physical world, which is temporary. The created spirit world has existed much longer than anything physical, and it will continue to exist for all of eternity.”
In the first chapter of this booklet, we pointed out that when God created the earth, the angels shouted for joy because the earth was created in such a beautiful state!
We also alluded to the fact that some angels occupied the earth prior to man, and that they were led by a beautiful archangel and cherub by the name of Lucifer. However, as we mentioned, he and his angels rebelled and tried to fight against God. They invaded the third heaven, but they were defeated and cast back down to the earth where they still live and rule today. Lucifer’s name was changed to Satan or the Devil, and the angels under his rule became known as devils or demons.
Lucifer and his Angels Sinned
In our booklet, Angels, Demons and the Spirit World, Part 2, “The World of Demons,” we stated under the section “Lucifer and Satan”:
“The Bible reveals that God created all of the angels. They were not created as robots, but as spirit beings with the power to choose and to decide. One high-ranking angel, a cherub by the name of Lucifer, rebelled and sinned against God (Isaiah 14:12–15; Ezekiel 28:11–17). Lucifer wanted to ‘ascend to heaven’ to dethrone God (Isaiah 14:13). He wanted to ‘ascend above the heights of the clouds’ (Isaiah 14:14). This shows us that he was here on earth, because he wanted to ascend above the clouds of the earth to go to heaven. When he sinned, he was thrown back to this earth (Isaiah 14:12).
“He became Satan, which means enemy or adversary. Lucifer, or Satan, was already here on earth when Adam and Eve were created. We are told that the serpent was already here in order to deceive Eve when Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden. The serpent is identified as Satan the devil (Revelation 12:9). Since Satan appeared to the first man and his wife as the deceiver, he must have lived on this earth prior to man as Lucifer—when he was not yet the deceiver—before he tried to ‘ascend to heaven.’
“Actually, before he was sent to earth, Lucifer had been trained in heaven before the very throne of God, and he had angels under his command. We read in Ezekiel 28:14 that he was the anointed cherub who covers. Recall that the cherubs covered the throne of God when God appeared to Moses in the Tabernacle. Also, we read in Ezekiel 28:14 that Lucifer was on the holy mountain of God in heaven (compare Hebrews 12:22). When he sinned by trying to ascend from this earth to heaven to dethrone God, he was cast out of the mountain of God (Ezekiel 28:16). Christ later said that He saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning (Luke 10:18).
“In the Hebrew, the word translated as ‘Lucifer’ in the Authorized Version and in many other translations, is ‘helel,’ or ‘heylel,’ which means ‘lightbringer,’ ‘shining one,’ ‘morning star,’ or ‘shining star of the dawn.’ The word ‘Lucifer’ is the Latin translation of the Hebrew word ‘helel,’ or ‘heylel,’ conveying exactly the same meaning. It is therefore appropriate to use this word in describing the cherub who later became Satan (‘sawtwan’ in Hebrew).
“Satan, the prince of darkness, is still ruling on this earth. Revelation 2:13 tells us expressly that Satan has a ‘throne’ here on earth. He holds the people of this world captive to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26). He has authority over all the kingdoms of this world (Luke 4:5–7). He is called the ‘ruler of this world’ in John 14:30. He is even called the ‘god of this age’ in 2 Corinthians 4:4. Satan is called ‘the prince of the power of the air’ in Ephesians 2:2.”
Why Did Satan Sin?
Why did Satan rebel against God? We read that he wanted to become like the Most High (Isaiah 14:14). This refers to God’s position. God was the ruler of the universe, while Lucifer was “only” the ruler of the earth. It appears he craved more. This conclusion becomes even more compelling when realizing in what state Lucifer had been created. We read that he was “the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” and that “every precious stone was [his] covering” (Ezekiel 28:13). For a while, he was “perfect in [his] ways,” but then “iniquity was found in” him and he “became filled with violence within” (verses 14–16). He became guilty of sin (same verse). It started with pride—his “heart was lifted up because of [his] beauty” and he “corrupted [his] wisdom” (verse 17).
He apparently began to think that because of his “perfection” and great wisdom, he could do as good a job—if not better—than God, ruling not just the earth, but the entire universe! He passed on this line of selfish thinking and pride to the angels under his command, who, sadly, began to adopt his reasoning. We do not know how much time passed until the angels had convinced themselves that they should follow Lucifer—it could have taken thousands, if not millions of years. A human example could be seen in Absalom, and how he persuaded the people of Israel and Judah to assist him in his rebellion against his father David. When one wants to find “fault” with another being over some real or imagined “injustice,” one can quickly do so. And with that mindset, one can even blame and disagree with God regarding actions that He takes (compare Revelation 16:8–9, 21).
Rather than quickly repenting, Lucifer and his angels continued to “become futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools” (compare Romans 1:21–22), until they became “haters of God” (verse 30). Their hate caused them to launch an attack against God in heaven, thinking they could actually knock Him off His throne and take over the rule of the physical universe and the third heaven, where God dwells, including the spiritual “things” in the third heaven.
We might even conclude that it was ultimately Satan’s goal to rule over all the other angels as well, but he must surely have known that his attack on God would not bring about this immediate result, and that it would have required a long period of time to convince God’s angels to follow him. Since his short-term goal was to rule the universe, he had to knock God off His throne and subdue God’s angels in spiritual warfare. He might have thought that, in time, he would perhaps be able to convince God’s angels to submit to him as well, since he had been successful in persuading the angels under his original command to obey him.
Angels Followed Satan
Referring especially to the role that Lucifer’s angels played in this appalling spiritual rebellion, we stated the following in Part 2 of our aforementioned booklet Angels, Demons and the Spirit World, under the section, “Angels Became Demons”:
“Lucifer was not the only spirit being who rebelled against God. The angels under his control accompanied him and became known as demons thereafter. A reference to that rebellion is made in Revelation 12:4, stating that one-third of the angels (referred to as ‘stars’) followed Satan and became demons. This indicates that the other two-thirds of the angels stayed loyal to God…
“We read in Jude 6 about angels who did not keep their own domain (the earth), but left their own abode in order to go to heaven to dethrone God. They are now reserved in everlasting chains under darkness; that is, they are angels of darkness. They are still ruling this earth under Satan (compare Ephesians 6:12 where demons are called ‘the RULERS of the darkness of this age’). They are ‘chained,’ or held captive, by their own spiritual perversion. We read in 2 Peter 2:4 that ‘…God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell [in Greek, tartarus, describing a condition, rather than a place] and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment.’”
Lucifer Trained by God in Heaven
Lucifer had been trained at God’s very throne in heaven, as one of the cherubim “covering” the throne with his wings, and inasmuch as God later created the earth and placed Lucifer there with one-third of all created angels, it follows that Lucifer was trained to administer God’s government of love and justice among the angels and to rule with them on the earth, which, as you will recall, was created in a beautiful state. As God would later give man the charge to “have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on earth” (Genesis 1:28), it stands to reason that a similar charge was given by God to Lucifer and his angels.
We do not read that Lucifer and his angels created the animal and plant world that existed at that time—long before the creation of man—but we read that everything was created by God through Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:16). We also read that the angels shouted for joy when the earth, including the animals, was created, which would imply that all the animals were peaceful, not ferocious creatures.
Animals Originally Created in a Peaceful State
When God re-created the surface of the earth and created the more “modern” animals, they were created with a peaceful nature. God placed Adam and Eve in a beautiful garden and instructed them to “tend and to keep” it (Genesis 2:15). The animals were brought to Adam so that he could name them—including lions, crocodiles, snakes and serpents, scorpions and other animals that are “wild” and potentially aggressive today, but which were apparently tame then. As we will explain, they became wild due to Satan’s influence and sin. Something similar happened to the dinosaurs prior to the creation of man—they too became wild due to Satan’s influence and sin. God did not create them as vicious animals as we see them sometimes portrayed in movies today.
Animal Nature Changed
There is no biblical evidence that God created any of the animals with a vicious nature. We do find, however, that the nature of animals changed when they gave in to Satan’s influence. We read, for example, in Genesis 3:1 that “the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.” While Satan is described as a serpent and as a dragon (Revelation 20:2), it appears that Eve was confronted by and spoke to a real serpent in the Genesis account. Satan gave the serpent a voice —in the same way that God gave a donkey a man’s voice to speak to the false prophet Balaam (Numbers 22:28; 2 Peter 2:16).
We read that the serpent—the animal—was more cunning, or more subtle, than every other beast of the field. Later, God punished the serpent, stating that it was more cursed than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field (Genesis 3:14). God pronounced punishment on a literal, physical serpent, as well as, of course, on Satan the devil who used the serpent.
Did God create the serpent with a cunning and subtle nature? The Hebrew word for “was,” in Genesis 3:1, is “haya,” which, as we saw, can also mean, “became.” It appears that the serpent, under Satan’s influence and control, had become more subtle and cunning than the other animals. At that point, its nature had changed.
In due course, under the influence of Satan, the nature of other animals also changed. In fact, the nature of certain animals became so evil that God decided to kill them in a flood. We read in Genesis 6:7 that God was sorry that He had made man and beast. Genesis 6:11 tells us that the earth was corrupt and filled with violence. Genesis 6:12 adds that all flesh had corrupted their way. This includes the animal world. Genesis 6:13 states that the end of all flesh had come, and that the earth, due to Satan’s influence and control, had become filled with violence through them. Genesis 7:21 states specifically that the term “all flesh” includes at least all of the land animals and birds, as well as man: “And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man.”
Animals Became Hostile in the Pre-Adamic World
God did not create Lucifer and his angels as evil monstrous creatures either. As we saw, they became that way, and as the nature of the animals changed in the post-Adamic world, under Satan’s influence, so it is fairly certain that the nature of the animals changed as well in the pre-Adamic world. As Lucifer decided to rebel against God, his own nature changed, and as he was able, in the process of time, to influence the angels under him to follow him in unrighteous conduct, their nature changed too. This, in turn, had consequences for the nature of the animal world under their control. Peaceful animals became vicious and hostile. Some began to attack and devour each other. We do not know whether some animals were originally created as flesh-eating creatures, or whether they became that way, but in any event, they were not created by God as vicious creatures.
When God created the animals at the time of Adam, it does not appear that they were flesh-eaters. Rather, we read that God gave “green herbs” for food to the animals (Genesis 1:30). We also know that after Christ’s return, the lion will again eat straw like an ox (Isaiah 11:7). In any event, the lion’s original tame nature at the time of Adam’s creation will ultimately be restored.
Why—Exactly—Did the Earth Become Void and Empty?
It appears that when Satan and his demons launched their attack against God, all flesh on the earth had corrupted itself. And just as God destroyed the animals in the Flood at the time of Noah, He might also have destroyed the pre-Adamic animals when Satan and his demons were thrown back to the earth. This spiritual fight between God and Satan would not have automatically brought about destruction to the physical surface of the earth, so an additional action was necessary.
It is also possible that Satan and the demons caused the physical destruction of the earth, or that they had a part in it. It is possible that the twisted and perverted minds of Satan and his demons destroyed the surface of the earth and the animal world in rage and anger when they realized that their fight against God would prove unsuccessful. Satan is THE destroyer (Revelation 9:11); he will destroy whatever he can! He will motivate man to destroy this entire planet just prior to Christ’s return, because his wrath is very great (Revelation 12:12)! The mindset of demons is equally destructive! They can influence people whom they possess to become self-destructive (Mark 5:2–5) and to kill themselves (Mark 9:14–22). The demons caused a herd of swine to kill themselves when they possessed them (Matthew 8:30–32).
Satan’s rebellion against God caused the earth to become void and empty, and all the animals were destroyed, including the dinosaurs in existence at that time. God restored and renewed the surface of the earth and made it habitable for man to live on it. But due to Satan’s influence, the earth has become corrupted again today (compare Hosea 4:3), and when Christ returns, another renewal of the largely destroyed earth will have to occur, so that a Millennium of peace and happiness can begin.
Part 1—Chapter 3 Renewal of Heavens and Earth, and Creation of “Sea Monsters”
We discussed in the first two chapters of this booklet that “in the beginning” God created the heavens and the earth, but that Satan’s rebellion caused the earth to become void and empty. We also showed that God restored the surface of the earth within six days. In addition, He also brought order to the chaotic condition of the earth’s atmosphere and the universe which was also affected by Satan’s rebellion.
Some claim that Exodus 20:11 and Exodus 31:17 show that God created the universe and the earth, including mankind, within six days, but they allege that there was no time gap and no catastrophe between His initial creation of the heavens and the earth, and the creation of modern animals and man. Is this true?
We read in Exodus 20:11:
“For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day….”
Also, we read in Exodus 31:17:
“… for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested…”
Rightly understood, these passages do not state that God created heavens and earth, including modern man, within six days.
God Creates, Makes and Forms
Genesis 1:1 records that in the beginning, God “created” (Hebrew “bara”) the heavens and the earth. However, in Exodus 20:11 and 31:17, we read that He “made” (Hebrew “asah”) the heavens and the earth. In many cases, the word “create” describes an act of bringing something into existence which did not exist before, while the word “made” refers to the prior existence of something which is “formed” into a certain recognizable appearance. For instance, God “created” man (Genesis 1:27; 5:2; 6:7), but He also “made” man (Genesis 1:26), and He “formed” man (Genesis 2:7). These three terms are not identical, as some suggest, but they express three different aspects of God’s actions. God “created” man—that is, no man existed prior to this; but He also “made” him from pre-existing “material” (the dust of the ground), and He “formed” him from that dust to give him a certain appearance. Later God “made” (literally “built”) Eve from one of Adam’s ribs (Genesis 2:22). In other words, the dust of the ground existed before Adam was made from it, and Adam’s rib existed before Eve was made from it.
On the other hand, nothing physical existed when God “created” the heavens and the earth. Rather, God brought the physical heavens (the universe) and the earth into existence at that time (Hebrews 11:3).
When we read in Exodus 20:11 and 31:17 that God “made” the heavens and the earth in six days, the reference is to the RENEWAL of the earth’s surface after Satan’s rebellion, as well as the renewal of the earth’s atmosphere (the first heaven) and apparently a certain renewal or restoration of order for the universe which had also suffered turmoil due to Satan’s rebellion. (Meteorites and asteroids, as well as stars which exploded millions of years ago might give testimony to the fact that the universe suffered some destruction, even though God had not created it that way.)
God speaks of three heavens—the first heaven describes the earth’s atmosphere with its clouds and birds; the second heaven refers to the physical universe with its many galaxies, suns and planets; and the third heaven refers to the spiritual heaven of God, where He and His angels dwell.
That there is more than one physical heaven can be seen in Genesis 1:1, where we read, “In the beginning God created the HEAVENS and the earth.” Also, in Genesis 2:1, “Thus the HEAVENS and the earth were finished, and all the hosts of them.” These verses imply that “the whole material universe was created simultaneously with the earth” (Herbert W. Armstrong, “Mystery of the Ages,” p. 45).
The first two heavens—the physical heavens—can be divided into the earth’s atmosphere and the space beyond our atmosphere, commonly called the universe.
The atmosphere or the “first heaven”—the air that surrounds the earth—refers to the space where the birds fly, the clouds and the wind roam, and from which the dew comes. We read in Genesis 1:20: “…let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” We also read, in Genesis 27:28, that God promises to give “the dew of heaven.” Finally, we are told in Deuteronomy 33:28, that Jacob’s “Heavens shall also drop dew.”
The physical universe, which is beyond this earth’s atmosphere, can be described as the “second heaven.” It represents the space where we find the sun, the moon, the stars, and all the other planets that God has created. We read in Genesis 1:14–17 that God referred to the sun and moon as “lights in the firmament of the heavens” (verses 14, 15), and that He “set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth” (verse 17). David pondered, in Psalm 8:3, over God’s “heavens, the work of Your fingers,” specifically mentioning “the moon and the stars, which You have ordained.”
In addition to these two physical “heavens,” we find that the Bible speaks about another heaven, a heaven composed of spirit—the third heaven—where God lives. No human being has ever ascended to this heaven (compare John 3:13). There is only One who went to this heaven after His resurrection, and that was Jesus Christ. We are specifically told that David did not ascend to heaven (Acts 2:34).
Only Jesus Christ Went to the Third Heaven
It is therefore obvious that Elijah did not go to the third heaven where God’s throne is. We read in 2 Kings 2, verses 1 and 11, that Elijah was taken up “into heaven by a whirlwind.” We also read that his disciples understood that Elijah did not go to the third heaven, as they were concerned that “the Spirit of the LORD has taken him up and cast him upon some mountain or into some valley” (verse 16). In fact, God transported Elijah to another place here on this earth where he continued to live until his death. He wrote a letter and had it delivered to king Jehoram, AFTER he “went to (the first) heaven,” as Jehoram became king right at the time of Elijah’s disappearance (2 Kings 1:17; 3:1). The contents of the letter is given in 2 Chronicles 21:12–15, referring to the evil deeds of king Jehoram that he had committed after Elijah had been taken away and transported through the air to another place here on earth.
On the other hand, the Bible tells us that some have seen or even gone to the third heaven “in spirit”—in a vision. We read that John went to God’s throne in heaven “in the Spirit” (Revelation 4:1–2). We also read that Paul “was caught up to the third heaven” (2 Corinthians 12:2), referring to this experience as “a vision” (verse 1).
As we see from 2 Corinthians 12:2, the heaven which is called God’s dwelling place is referred to as the “third heaven.” No additional heavens are mentioned. Notice this comment taken from the Nelson Study Bible: “The Hebrew word for heavens may refer to the physical heavens, the sky or the atmosphere of earth…, or to the dwelling place of God (Ps. 14:2), the spiritual heaven. The expression is probably derived from a word meaning ‘to be high, lofty.’”
The third heaven is, according to the Bible, located “on the farthest sides of the north.” Lucifer described his plan to dethrone God in this way, in Isaiah 14:13–14, “‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne [here on earth] above the stars of God; I will sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High [or, I will be the Most High].’”
We also read that “promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south” (Psalm 75:6, Authorized Version). Rather, it comes from the north—from God’s dwelling place in the third heaven.
There are indeed three heavens, not “seven.” The Encyclopedia Britannica, ed. 1959, sheds some light on the wrong concept of “seven heavens.” It points out, “In the cosmogonies of ancient peoples there was a plurality of heavens, varying from three to seven, the higher transcending the lower in glory.”
In addition, note this comment from Rienecker’s Lexicon of the Bible, “At the time of the Old Testament, Judaism knew of a plurality of heavens, which number was determined in LATE Judaism as seven. The Holy Scriptures know nothing of this number. Paul speaks of the THIRD heaven in 2 Corinthians 12:2–4. The letter to the Hebrews states that Christ was seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens (Hebrews 8:1). It adds that He, as High Priest, passed through the heavens (Hebrew 4:14) to enter into the most important heaven, where He appears in the presence of God for us (Hebrews 9:24).”
Although it is taught by traditional Christianity that we will go to heaven when we die, this is NOT the biblical teaching. For more information as to what happens to us when we die, please read our free booklet, Do We Have An Immortal Soul?
God “Made” or Restored the Destroyed Surface of the Earth in Six Days
Returning to our discussion on the re-creation of the surface of the earth after its destruction, God renewed—“made”—the earth in six days by giving it the topography, form and appearance (with mountains, oceans etc.), which it generally still has today.
We read in Genesis 1:7 that God “made” the firmament by dividing “the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament,” as He had divided earlier the light from the darkness (verse 4). All of these “divisions” and their exact meaning are explained in our free booklet, The Theory of Evolution—A Fairy Tale for Adults? In short, Satan’s rebellion had caused the earth to be covered with water (verse 2), and it had also brought darkness on the earth due to the dust and debris (verse 4). Conditions had to be restored which made the earth’s atmosphere breathable and the earth’s surface habitable for plants, animals and mankind.
To recap, God renewed the surface of the earth, and He renewed or “made” the first heaven in six days, in that He removed the dust and debris from the atmosphere and “made” it breathable for physical beings.
God “Made” or Restored the Heavens
Since we read that God “made”–not “created”–the heavens (plural) in six days, He not only created or restored conditions pertaining to the first heaven—the earth’s atmosphere—He also dealt with the second heaven—the universe. He restored some order in and to the universe, as we read that Jesus Christ upholds or sustains the universe today by His mighty word (Hebrews 1:3). The Living Bible translates this passage as follows: “He regulates the universe by the mighty power of his command.” The Revised English Bible states that “he sustains the universe by his word of power.”
Jeremiah 31:35 adds that God “gives the sun for a light by day and the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night,” again showing God’s involvement in the universe. David was amazed about the stars which God had created, some of which he could observe on a clear night (Psalm 8:3–4), stating that God counts them all by name (Psalm 147:4). Isaiah adds that God “BRINGS OUT their host by number” (Isaiah 40:26).
However, there is no biblical evidence to suggest that God had ever created physical life anywhere else but on planet earth. Nor do we know for sure (as the Bible does not specifically state this) whether due to Satan’s rebellion and his attempt to knock God off His throne in the third heaven, some “damage” occurred there so that God had to “restore” conditions pertaining to the third heaven as well. But it is interesting that Christ told us to pray to the Father: “Your Will be done On earth as… in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). (Note that the clause “it is” in “as it is in heaven” is not in the original and was added by the translator.)
Genesis 2:4 distinguishes between the original creation of the heavens and the earth and subsequent events. We read in the Authorized Version: “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.”
Commentaries rightly point out that in this instance, “in the day” does not refer to a 24–hour day, but it designates an unidentified time span. It describes the time when God “made” or renewed the surface of the earth and the earth’s atmosphere (the first heaven), and when He brought back order to the universe (the second heaven). Two different times are described in Genesis 2:4: First, God “created the heavens and the earth”—as we know, this occurred “in the beginning”—but then, at a later time, He “made” them—that is, He gave them or restored the form, appearance and ordered structure which they basically have today. The Revised English Bible renders Genesis 2:4–5 as follows: “This is the story of the heavens and the earth AFTER their creation. When the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, there was neither shrub nor plant growing on the earth, because the LORD God had sent no rain…”
The New Scofield Reference Edition explains that there is no discrepancy between the events described in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, stating:
“It is often said that Genesis 2:4–25 is a second account of creation differing from that in Genesis 1:1–2:3. In point of fact, however, Genesis 1 tells of the creation of the whole universe, including [at a later time] man and woman; while Genesis 2 specifically describes the origin of man and woman without repeating the story of the creation [and renewal] recorded in Genesis 1.”
God Created Great Sea Creatures on the Fifth Day
We read in Genesis 1:21 that God “created” great sea creatures and birds—showing that many of those types of animals did not exist before. Most “modern” animals of the post-Adamic time are generally quite different from many of the animals which existed prior to Adam. As will be explained below, this does not HAVE to mean that God did not create any dinosaur-type animals when He renewed the earth. We do not know if these were similar to those dinosaurs which had existed before Adam and which became extinct. In any event, God would not have created violent animals at the time of Adam. We do read, however, that subsequent to Adam’s sin, some animals became wild and aggressive, as we discussed before.
Does the “Loch Ness Monster” Exist?
In this context, let us deal with the question of whether the Bible says anything about the modern existence of “sea monsters,” such as the “Loch Ness creature.” Surprising as it may seem, the Bible indeed has much to say about the existence of certain elusive creatures. It is entirely possible that some of these creatures, such as the “Loch Ness monster” in Scotland or similar “lake monsters” in other parts of the world might exist today.
First of all, let us examine some interesting Scriptures which clearly describe animals which are generally believed today to be myths or legends, or which are thought to have become extinct. Some have attempted to apply living known animals, or Satan, or world powers, to the biblical descriptions, but those attempts must be considered as totally inadequate.
For instance, the Bible has much to say about a creature called “Leviathan.” This animal clearly existed at the time of Job and is described, in detail, in the 41st chapter of the book of Job. Some have said that a crocodile is described there, but this is utter nonsense. The description of Leviathan in the book of Job and in other places refers to a living animal but it does not remotely apply to a crocodile. Some have said that the description of Leviathan in the book of Job is merely a description of Satan. However, clearly an animal is described in Job 41, not a spirit being (even though some of the characteristics of Leviathan might very well, in a symbolic sense, apply to Satan).
We might also consider additional passages outside of the book of Job that refer to Leviathan. Psalm 74:14 says that God “broke the HEADS of Leviathan in pieces, And gave him as food to the people inhabiting the wilderness.” Some might want to dismiss this passage as simply mythological, claiming that no known animal existed or exists with more than one head. This claim is not necessarily accurate. Even today, sometimes animals, due to mutation or birth defects, are born with more than one head, so there is no reason to believe that the passage in Psalm 74 must be understood in a mythological, rather than a literal way.
Psalm 104:25–26 clearly identifies Leviathan as a real, living water animal, co-existing with man: “… The great and wide sea, In which are innumerable teeming things, Living things both small and great. There the ships sail about; There is that Leviathan Which You have made to play there.”
There are additional biblical passages which might refer to Leviathan and/or other unidentified “sea monsters.”
Serpents in the Sea
Amos 9:3 states: “And though they hide themselves on top of Carmel, From there I will search and take them; Though they hide from My sight at the bottom of the sea, From there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them.”
An interesting statement can also be found in Isaiah 27:1: “In that day the LORD with His severe sword, great and strong, will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan that twisted serpent; And He will slay the reptile that is in the sea.”
Some contend that God is strictly referring here to world powers, comparing them with Leviathan and other strong animals. It may be so. We find similar comparisons in other passages. For instance, King Nebuchadnezzar is described as “a monster” in Jeremiah 51:34, and in Ezekiel 32:2, God compares the Pharaoh of Egypt with a young lion AND with a “monster in the seas, Bursting forth in your rivers, Troubling the waters with your feet, And fouling the rivers.”
In any event, the fact that God compares world powers or individuals with Leviathan and other sea creatures suggests that these creatures do exist. God compares Pharaoh with a lion AND with a monster in the sea. Since lions are real animals, it is reasonable to conclude that this particular sea monster exists as well. Also, God speaks in the same context of Leviathan as the fleeing serpent and the twisted serpent, AND of the reptile in the sea. We all know that reptiles exist. Why would God mention Leviathan in the same context if THAT creature was only mythological or allegorical?
Does Canada’s Ogopogo Exist?
We should understand that the alleged sightings of the “Loch Ness monster” are only one category among literally hundreds of other sightings of additional “lake monsters” all around the world. Another famous “lake monster” is the “Ogopogo,” a creature reportedly living in the Okanagan Waters in Canada. The description of that creature is very similar to the description of the “Loch Ness monster.”
We are not saying that the Leviathan of the Bible is necessarily identical with the “Loch Ness monster” or with the “Ogopogo”—nor, of course, that these modern creatures have more than one head—but we are saying that the Bible allows for the existence of “sea monsters.” And if the “Loch Ness” monster or “Ogopogo” exist today, they would not have been the end product of an “evolutionary development,” nor would they be “living fossils,” but God would have created them one day prior to Adam, and, as water animals, they would have survived Noah’s Flood.
There are many reports of sightings and even some photographs of the “Loch Ness monster” or the “Ogopogo” or other lake creatures from all over the world–too many to be summarily dismissed. We cannot say that all of these reports and pictures are fake (even though undoubtedly many are); or that none of these sightings are legitimate; or that they all were the result of highly imaginative minds; or that they were hallucinations caused by Satan the devil. Again, undoubtedly, some, if not many, of these “sightings” would belong to those categories.
Books have been written trying to identify the “Loch Ness monster” or the “Ogopogo” as a pre-Adamic long-necked plesiosaur, a marine dinosaur thought to have been extinct “for about seventy million years,” and they have tried to explain how and why that creature was able to survive in sweet water lakes. (Those explanations are clearly wrong, since these kind of creatures would not have been in existence for more than 6,000 years.) Others have tried to explain the numerous sightings by pointing at a variety of known existing animals or other natural phenomena.
Orangutans and Giant Squids
However, these explanations fail to consider that even today, we sometimes discover previously unknown species, or animals which were thought to have been long extinct. For instance, although legends existed for centuries of a “hairy man living in the trees,” it was only fairly recently that the Orangutan ape was discovered by scientists.
The same can be said for the giant squid which lives in the oceans. Although there had been some speculation for centuries that it might exist, scientists were only recently able to discover certain body parts of the giant squid, such as the portion of a long arm, with tentacles, in the belly of a sperm whale, enabling them to calculate the enormous size of that squid. Even in more recent days, new, previously unknown species were discovered. Cadavers from animals were found–and pictures taken–which look like the cadavers of previously unknown modern animals or of those considered by misled scientists to have become extinct “millions of years ago.”
Reports about Loch Ness and Ogopogo
Many eyewitness reports of the “Loch Ness monster” or of the “Ogopogo” have been published, but members of the Church of God view those reports correctly with caution, not knowing how reliable they really are. However, in light of the biblical evidence, it is possible that some of those reports are accurate and that these and other unknown creatures do exist. As a consideration of this question, we are setting forth below an eye witness report about an encounter with the “Ogopogo.” The report was written by Delia Messier, wife of Rene Messier, an ordained pastor of the Church of God (CGCF) in Canada. The report, relating events which took place in about 2007, is reliable and also makes reference to eye witness reports from two other Church of God ministers and their families:
“The beautiful Okanagan Lake has a famous legend of an elusive water creature called the Ogopogo. This lake is almost 100 miles long with under-water caverns. For many years stories of sightings of the Ogopogo living in the Okanagan Lake have been heard and told. A family of three of our friends told my husband and me that they saw [about 25 years ago] Ogopogo’s head appear in front of them, as they were standing on the pier one fall day. They told us: ‘It lifted its head out of the water, then quickly disappeared when it saw us.’ Another family had also told mutual friends that they had seen it, but never having seen it myself, and being an elusive creature not common to public acceptance, one tended to dismiss the stories.
“One day, driving along the lake heading towards Kelowna, I saw something on the water that was strange. Looking hard at what it was that I saw there in the water, I have to say that it was at first unrecognizable. Nothing I had ever seen before in all these years living near the lake fit what I was observing. It was puzzling as it was not any type of water craft I would normally see, not a motor boat, not a canoe, not a Sea-Doo, not a paddle wheel, not a water skier, not a sail boat. Trying to identify what it was, I had to eliminate what it wasn’t, but there it was–a big head sticking out of the water, erect and moving smoothly straight forward, with a long wake trailing behind. It had a very big head, shaped like a horse’s head, with the long face and nostrils which a horse has, and with rounded short ears.
“The lake was quiet that day, as it was in late fall and the usual summer tourists had gone for the season, so this big water animal, gray or dark green in color like a wet rock, kept swimming leisurely. There was nowhere for me to pull over on the highway, but as long as I could see the lake from the road, the animal stayed above water and kept moving forward. Now I do believe the legend is true; that there is the Ogopogo living in the Okanagan Lake, and that our friends truly saw it, just as I did.”
From this it follows that an elusive creature seems to exist in the Okanagan Lake and that similar creatures might also exist in Loch Ness and in many other lakes around the world. What is especially interesting is that the words of the Bible, speaking of unknown “sea monsters” co-existing with man, have to be viewed as literal truth, rather than myth, legend or fiction.
This sea monster would have been created by God at the time of Adam, and since it lived in the sea, it would have survived Noah’s Flood. Other “monsters” might have been created at the time of Adam as well. For instance, the Bible speaks about another creature in the book of Job, called “Behemoth.” As mentioned, some have suggested that Leviathan describes a crocodile, and they also claim that Behemoth describes a hippopotamus. But this is definitely not correct. The margin of the New King James Bible admits that Behemoth is “a large animal, exact identity unknown,” and that Leviathan is a “large sea creature, exact identity unknown.” (Another possible “pre-historic” sea-monster is called “Rahab.” It will be discussed in Chapter 4 of Part 1 of this booklet.)
Aaron’s Staff Turned into a “Dragon”
We might also point out that it was Aaron’s staff which became a “serpent” before Pharaoh and which swallowed up the “serpents” of the magicians (Exodus 7:9–12). We should note that the “serpent” in the episode with the burning bush is NOT the same kind of creature as the “serpent” in the episode with Aaron and Pharaoh. Friedman, Commentary on the Torah, points out on page 11, that the word used in the latter episode is “tannin” and describes “some giant serpentlike creatures that were formed at [recreation]… Later, Aaron’s staff (and the Egyptian magicians’ staffs) turns into such a creature (not merely a snake!) at the Egyptian court.”
In fact, the meaning of the word “tannin” is “dragon.” Friedman adds on page 192 that Aaron’s staff turned into a serpent. “Not a snake. This is different from the snake (Hebrew nahas or nachash) that Moses’ staff became in Exodus 4:3. Moses performed the miracle for the Israelite elders (4:30). Now, in front of Pharaoh, Aaron’s staff becomes a ‘tannin.’ This is the term that is used for the big sea serpents that God makes on the fifth day of [re-]creation (Gen. 1:21). They are not merely snakes, as people have often pictured them. They are extraordinary creatures…”
If Leviathan and Behemoth, among other “serpents” or “dragons,” are in fact unidentified dinosaur-like creatures which God created at the time of Adam, then this would explain why sometimes bones of human remains and of dinosaur-like animals are allegedly found together. These are, of course, some bold assumptions, and are only valid IF these claims are true and IF the scientific explanations are indeed correct in regard to such findings. In any event, they would not prove that God created the heavens and the earth in six days, when He created man, but they would show that after God renewed the surface of the earth, He did create some dinosaur-type creatures. A few of those creatures might have still existed at the times of Job and Moses; and some of them might even still exist today—or did so very recently–in very secluded areas or in the murky, dark and inaccessible waters of some lakes or the oceans.
Part 1—Chapter 4 Why Was Lucifer Placed on this Earth?
In the first three chapters of this booklet, we explained that God created the earth in a beautiful and peaceful state, and that He placed Lucifer and one-third of His angels on this earth to administer God’s government. We established that nowhere do we read in the Bible that God created the universe and the earth within six days; nor, that God’s physical creation occurred only about 6,000 years ago. Rather, we read that God created the heavens and the earth “in the beginning”—whenever that “beginning” was. It could have been millions or even billions of years ago. We also explained that Lucifer and his angels rebelled against God and became known as Satan and his demons. The earth became void and empty, and God subsequently renewed the face of the earth within six days and created man.
Before these cataclysmic and chaotic events, dinosaurs and other pre-Adamic animals roamed the earth. We showed that there is no indication that they were vicious creatures when God created them, but the implication is that they became that way under Satan’s influence.
In this chapter, we will dig deeper into the purpose for Lucifer and his angels being placed on the earth. What exactly were they supposed to do here?
We will also try to shed additional light on the question of how some of the dinosaurs became aggressive and ferocious creatures, such as the infamous Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Why on Earth?
In his book, Mysteries of the Ages (copyright 1985), Herbert W. Armstrong addressed the question as to what exactly Lucifer and his angels were instructed to accomplish when God gave them the earth as their place of residence. In the chapter, “Mystery of Angels and Evil Spirits,” the following is stated on page 73 (hardcover edition):
“It is revealed in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28, that God placed the archangel Lucifer, a cherub, on a throne on the earth. He was placed there as a ruler over the entire earth. God intended him to rule the earth by administering the government of God over the earth. And the government of God was administered on earth until the rebellion of the sinning angels. How long these angels inhabited the earth before the creation of man is not revealed. It might have been millions–or even billions–of years…”
After explaining the sin and rebellion of Lucifer and his angels and the subsequent destruction of the earth’s surface, the following is stated on pages 74–75:
“What God creates, he has created for a purpose–to be used, improved, developed, preserved and maintained… [With the angelic sin, the] preservation and development of the physical earth and all its original beauty and glory ceased–and physical destruction to the surface of the earth resulted… [Genesis 1:1] shows the creation of a perfect, if unfinished earth, glorious and beautiful. Verse 2 reveals the result of the sin of the angels…”
Further addressing the purpose of Lucifer’s and his angels’ rule on this earth, Mr. Armstrong continued to state on page 77:
“God creates in a principle of duality… What had been created was perfect as far as it existed up to that point. But it was not yet a finished or completed creation. God intended the angels to add their own workmanship to the earth’s surface. He intended them to work over the surface of the earth, to improve it, to embellish it, beautify it…”
Later, on pages 84 and 85, he states:
“Lucifer… had been stationed at the very throne of God [in heaven]. He was trained and experienced in the administration of the government of God. God chose such a being, well-experienced and trained, to be the king ruling the government of God over the angels who inhabited the whole earth… As long as Lucifer continued in this perfect way, there was happiness and joy unspeakable over the whole earth. There was glorious peace–beautiful harmony, perfect love, cooperation. The government of God produced a wonderfully happy state–as long as Lucifer was loyal in the conduct of God’s government…”
The Initial Awesome Potential of Angels
Continuing with a quote from page 88:
“Apparently the entire universe had been created also at the time of the earth’s creation. There is no evidence… in God’s revealed Word, nor in science, that any of the planets in endless outer space had been inhabited with any form of life. But God does nothing in vain. He always has a purpose. Apparently all such planets in the entire universe NOW are waste and empty–decayed (tohu and bohu)–like the earth was, as described in Genesis 1:2.
“But God did not create them in such conditions of decay–like our moon. Decay is not an original created condition–it is a condition resulting from a process of deterioration. Evidently if the now fallen angels had maintained the earth in its original beautiful condition, improved it, carried out God’s instructions, and obeyed his government, they would have been offered the awesome potential of populating and carrying out a tremendous creative program throughout the entire universe…”
And again, on pages 89–90:
“… it is well to understand the nature of God’s original creation… It is perfect, but subject to a beautifying finish that God intended angels to accomplish. The original ‘unfinished’ creation was produced by God alone. But he intended angels, prehistorically… to finish this part in God’s creation–of adding the final beautifying and utilitarian phases of what shall be the FINAL COMPLETED CREATION! And whether or not it had been revealed to the angels, it was a supreme TRIAL AND TEST. It was to be the PROVING GROUND of obedience to GOD’S GOVERNMENT and their fitness to develop into final finished creation the millions of other planets in the vast universe…
“So the angel potential was to take over the entire universe–to improve and finish the billions of physical planets surrounding the uncountable stars, many of which are SUNS… [God] intended angels to have a vital part in the final creation of the endless universe!…”
Taking all of these statements into consideration presents a mind-boggling scenario. It is obvious that Lucifer and his angels had to fulfill a purpose when placed on this earth. As Mr. Armstrong describes their purpose, it included the development, embellishment, beautification and improvement of the earth’s surface (and apparently, ultimately, of the entire universe to make it possible for dead planets to sustain physical life). As quoted above, Mr. Armstrong even hinted at the possibility that God’s purpose for the angels was to “carry out a tremendous creative program throughout the entire universe” and to “have a vital part in [its] final creation.”
Angels Not Given Power to Create Physical Things Out of Nothing
This does not mean, however, nor do we want to suggest, that God gave angels the power to create physical things or beings out of nothing, but it does appear that they would have been given the opportunity, if they had stayed loyal to God’s government, to somehow participate in God’s awesome plan of finishing the creation of the entire universe.
We need to emphasize again that God created the earth in a beautiful and peaceful state, and as long as Lucifer and his angels, who were stationed on earth, followed and administered the government of God, that peaceful state of tranquility was maintained. But when Lucifer allowed pride to enter his life, and when he subsequently began to work his destructive thinking on the group of angels for whom he was responsible, the peaceful environment of the earth began to change gradually. Before this wrong thinking set in, the animal world, which had been created by God, was in no way hostile or aggressive. We pointed out in Chapter 2 of Part 1 of this booklet that some of the animals became vicious under Satan’s influence, as later the “serpent” in the Garden of Eden “had become” more cunning than other beasts which God had made.
Animals Under Satan’s Influence
We read in the Bible that at the time of Noah’s Flood, “all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth” (Genesis 6:12). This is a reference to man as well as land animals and birds of the air (Genesis 7:21–23), but nothing is mentioned about animals living in the oceans or in rivers and lakes. Friedman’s Commentary on the Torah remarks that the reference to the corruption of the earth applies “to the dry land, and not the sea. That is why there will be no destruction of sea creatures. It is the land that will disappear, and land creatures will die.”
The Menge Bible explains that the term “all flesh” in this context refers to humanity and animals. Friedman agrees, stating that the phrase “all flesh had corrupted its way” refers to “all animal life, not just humans.”
Man as well as land animals and birds of the air had “given in” to Satan’s influence. The Bible does not tell us exactly in what way they had corrupted themselves, except that they had engaged in rampant violence and, apparently, bestiality (see the implication in the Soncino Commentary) and cannibalism. We are also not told, specifically, how they “gave in” to Satan’s influence, but the Bible does show that a degree of “culpability” existed even in the animal world.
When God brought the animals to Noah to enter the ark, it appears that He changed or at least temporarily subdued whatever violent nature existed in them. We do not read that any of the animals reacted aggressively toward Noah and his family. However, after they had left the ark, most humans, as well as (some) animals, became vicious and perverted again. Even Noah’s grandchild Canaan abused Noah sexually. In due time, the tower of Babel was built under Nimrod in open defiance of and rebellion against God. Satan was ruling this world then, and he is still ruling it today. Christ tells us that when He returns, the conditions will be like they were at the time of Noah (Matthew 24:37–39; compare also 2 Peter 2:5).
We know from the Bible that when Satan or his demons possess a human being, that person can become very violent, but when the possession ceases, he behaves gently and peacefully (Luke 8:26–36). We also know that Satan and his demons can possess animals to cause them to do violent things (Matthew 8:28–32). But apart from actually possessing a person or an animal, even demonic influence can affect both man and beast and drive them to vicious actions. When Satan and his angels developed their hostile attitude against God, which could have lasted for millions or billions of years, their evil thinking was also directed toward influencing the animal world. Animals do have personality and apparently, some animals were and are more “receptive” to wrong influences than others.
Animals do have a spirit (Ecclesiastes 3:21), though it is different from the human spirit (1 Corinthians 2:11). The Bible reveals nevertheless that a non-physical component resides in animals, and it is through that animal spirit that God—and also demons—can influence animals. When God commanded the ravens to bring food to Elijah, He influenced them through their spirit. When He commanded the sea monster [a huge “fish” or sea animal of unknown identity which God had specially “prepared” at that time, see Jonah 1:17; compare also Matthew 12:40] to spew out Jonah onto dry land, He influenced its animal spirit. And so, Satan and his demons can do the same thing. This is, of course, even more true for people. God—as well as Satan and his demons—can influence a human being by dealing with his human spirit. For more information on this subject, read pages 17–26 of our free booklet, The Theory of Evolution—a Fairy Tale for Adults.
Some Dinosaurs BECAME Vicious
When the Satanic rebellion developed on the earth for perhaps billions of years—even before it found its climax in the actual spiritual attack and war in the third heaven with the goal to knock God from His heavenly throne—some of the animals, being influenced by demonic forces, became vicious and hostile, and it appears that they also became flesh-eaters (At the time of Adam, God created all animals as “vegetarians,” but after Adam and Eve’s sin, some became flesh-eaters. The implication is that God had originally created the pre-Adamic animals as plant-eaters as well).
We do not read in the Bible, nor do we feel comfortable suggesting that Satan and his demons created “ex nihilo” (out of nothing) flesh-devouring dinosaurs and other vicious animals, but we know that they existed, even though we do not know for sure HOW ferocious and aggressive they really were. Hollywood is most certainly not a true guide in the matter, and fossils and bones can only tell us so much. In any event, God did not create them as vicious animals, to be sure. The only remaining answer would be that they became that way through Satan’s influence. Is it possible, then, that not only their nature changed, but also their physical systems, including their digestive systems and their nutritional “needs” when they became flesh-eaters? Neither the Bible nor science would prohibit such a conclusion. Even though we know that the Evolution concept is wrong, demanding a scientifically impossible macro-mutation from one species to another, we also know that micro-mutations did and do occur; that is, changes WITHIN a species.
We stated the following on pages 15 and 16 of our booklet, The Theory of Evolution—a Fairy Tale for Adults:
“Animals were not created in such a way that they could develop from one kind or from one species into another kind or species. The Bible does not allow for big mutations, that is, for changes from one species into another species, or perhaps more accurately, from one kind into another kind. We are using here the word ‘species’ loosely, but we should realize that the Bible talks about ‘kind,’ not ‘species.’ The Biblical definition of ‘kind’ might include several species, the way some scientists identify ‘species.’ …
“The point here is that evolution requires changes and transformations from one species or kind into another species or kind, but all our past and present experiences show that those mutations or changes did not, and do not occur. And remember, NO fossils have been found to prove that any such changes occurred in the past. A bird brings forth birds… A bird does not produce anything else but birds, it does not produce a fish or a mammal. And no fish evolves or changes into a bird, and no reptile into a fish. Rather, all animals reproduce according to their kind. No scientist is able to have a horse produce a dog, or a shark or a crocodile.
“Darwin’s big mistake was to assume that, since little mutations or adaptations within a species do occur, big mutations or changes from one species into another must have occurred as well. This, of course, was a wrong assumption. On the other hand, it is true that animals within their own species can change or adapt to their environment. Darwin saw on the Galapagos Islands that certain birds had, within their species, brought forth minor changes. And so it is today. Of course, we can breed different species of dogs or cats—but they will always remain dogs or cats. Within the species of cats, one can cross-breed. But one cannot breed a dog with a cat. Likewise, the birds, which Darwin observed on the Galapagos Islands, did not develop into other birds, and most certainly not into mammals.”
Mutations Could Have Included Changes in the Digestive Systems of Animals
Mutations within a species or a “kind” did and do occur, and they could have included changes pertaining to the digestive systems in animals. It is possible that Satan and his demons might have helped in bringing about those changes in pre-Adamic animals; and instead of beautifying and improving God’s creation on earth, including the animal world, they degraded and polluted it.
When man can “experiment” with relatively unaggressive bees and “produce” highly aggressive killer bees, or when he can actually breed hybrids (such as Ligers) which would not even occur in nature, then Satan and his demons could most certainly have worked on the nature of some pre-Adamic animals. And when not only God, but also demons are able to change staffs into serpents (Exodus 7:10–12), then fallen angels might very well have had some responsibility and culpability in contributing to the change of the nature and the eating habits of some animals prior to Adam and Eve.
God Will Reverse the Process
We know that in the Millennium, God will reverse that process. Wolves and lambs will live peacefully together; and so will leopards and young goats; calves, young lions and fatlings; as well as cows and bears (Isaiah 11:6–7). Formerly “aggressive” and poisonous snakes, such as cobras and vipers, will become friendly and harmless to man, including little children (Isaiah 11:8). Also, flesh-eating and meat-devouring lions will eat straw like an ox (Isaiah 11:7). This will require some alteration in the physical make-up of lions, including their digestive systems and nutritional needs.
When we consider that, following Satan’s rebellion, the earth became void and empty, the cause for the physical destruction and the elimination of all animal life at that time could have been due to Satanic and demonic wrath and/or it could have been due to direct punishment from God, as He later destroyed the human and animal world at the time of Noah’s Flood.
In this context, let us review a few Scriptures referring to God’s destruction of “Rahab.” In some cases, this is a figurative reference to Egypt (Isaiah 30:7; Psalm 87:4), but in other cases, it seems to describe a real pre-Adamic sea monster. For instance, we read in Isaiah 51:9 that in the ancient days, in the generations of old, God “cut Rahab apart And wounded the serpent.” Notice also the reference (correctly rendered) in Job 9:13: “God does not restrain His anger; Under Him Rahab’s helpers sink down” (Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures). Tanakh adds in a footnote that Rahab is a “primeval monster.” The Elberfelder Bible states likewise that Rahab is a “sea monster in primitive times or of remote antiquity.” The Menge Bible comments to Job 9:13 that “Rahab was a legendary monster (a sea monster) that opposed God and was overpowered by Him in primitive times.”
If we were to conclude that Rahab was a pre-Adamic dinosaur-type sea monster (while Leviathan might be a post-Adamic dinosaur-like sea monster), then it would have been God who destroyed Rahab (and other vicious animals) following Satan’s rebellion. This, in turn, would mean that God would have brought about, at least in part, the worldwide catastrophe which destroyed the pre-Adamic animal world, because it had apparently corrupted its way on earth AND in the sea.
Part 2 The Neanderthal Man—Animal or Human Being?
The following reproduces much of a research paper which the author wrote in 1982 while studying at Ambassador College in Pasadena, California. The relevance of the paper has not lost its impact, so we are including it in this booklet which addresses the creation of man and the pre-Adamic and post-Adamic world. Headlines were supplied in italics.
In 1856 the remains of a creature, later called “Homo Neanderthalensis” or the “Neanderthal Man,” were discovered in a cave in Western Germany. The remnants were carelessly dug up by two laborers so that many parts were lost. Only the skull and several parts of the skeleton were saved. At once a division arose in regard to the skull. Some scientists acknowledged it as modern and human and some thought it would belong to an unknown and primitive type of early man.
Even today, more than hundred years after this first discovery, the question still seems to be unanswered: Was the “Neanderthal” a human being as you and I or was he a primitive type of early man, not fully developed according to the evolution theory?
In order to answer this question, we have to recognize that scientific explanations in general may not be entirely correct. The Neanderthal is a good example which shows how interpretations of science can change.
The former belief of science was in many aspects different from what it is today. In the main two early discoveries of skeletons of the Neanderthal Man led to the older scientific interpretations. The first find occurred—as mentioned above—in 1856. The surviving fragments were given to J.C. Fuhlrott, founder of the Natural Science Society, who recognized a low skull with massive brows and bowed limbs, an ulna of the lower arm with an injury on it. He concluded that this skeleton was ‘antediluvian,’ that it was a fossil of a real man who had got washed into the cave by the Flood itself.
Professor Schaafhausen, however, anatomist at Bonn, who was asked to give his judgment next, stated that he was not sure at all that the skull was even ‘diluvial›; on the other hand, he felt that it must be older than such inhabitants of Europe as the Celts and the Germans. It is also interesting to note that Huxley, the great advocate of evolution, regarded the skeleton as one of modern man, as “Homo Sapiens.” Darwin kept silent. Only William King of Galway articulated his belief that the skeleton belonged to a primitive type of human and therefore named it “Homo Neanderthalensis.”
The La Chapelle-aux-Saints Discovery
The next important discovery was made in 1908 in southern France. Three French priests had undertaken the excavation of a small cave near the village of La Chapelle-aux-Saints. Below the modern floor of the cave they found remains of a woolly rhinoceros, an extinct bison, a reindeer—and the skeleton of a Neanderthal-type man. The skeleton included the skull and most of the bones of the body. The remains of this skeleton were sent to the anatomist and paleontologist Marcellin Boule, director of the French Institute of Human Paleontology. He maintained that the body was that of an old man of the Neanderthal type and assigned its geological age to the Pleistocene period (120,000–10,000 B.C.). His memoir on this skeleton was published in 1908. In the main, he described it and with it the whole species of the Neanderthal Man as having massive brow ridges over the eyes and a puffing-out of the bone below the orbits, so that instead of a “canine fossa” there was a convexity. According to these examinations, the Neanderthal Man was viewed as a squat, stunted fellow about five feet one inch tall, or 155 cm. He was described as having a short, thick-set and coarsely built body and a shaggy covering of hair over most of the body.
Change of Scientific Explanation since 1955
However, since nearly thirty years [Note again: This article was written in 1982] we can find a changed scientific belief in the above-described appearance of the Neanderthals. This change started to take place in 1955, when William Strauss and A.J.E. Cave, professors of anatomy, re-examined the skeleton of La Chapelle-aux-Saints. They found that the forty-to fifty-year-old man was rotten with arthritis. The forward thrust of his head, noted by Professor Boule, was due to a wry neck, and the stunted stature and stooping posture were due to arthritic lesions in his vertebral column. Some scientists also realized that the great German pathologist Virchow had even stated in reference to the very first discovery of the Neanderthal Man in 1856 that this creature was a victim of disease and that he—Virchow—had upheld this conclusion for over thirty years. At that time another important fact was brought back to mind, namely that the cranial capacity of that skull of La Chapelle-aux-Saints was very great, about 1,600 c.c., and that meant that the size of the Neanderthal’s brain was not less than that of modern man. Moreover, it was clearly asymmetric in the same way as that of modern man.
Many More Discoveries
Since 1856, when the bones of the first Neanderthal Man were discovered, a very large number of remains of other creatures have been unearthed in caves of Europe, Asia and Africa. Among them are the Man of Spy, the Man of Krapina, the Man of Jersey, the La Guina Man, the Mousterian Man, the Peking Man, the Rhodesian Man and, of course, the Chapelle-aux-Saints Man. They all are classed together as the Neanderthal Man. Soon scientists realized that there was such variability in points of detail among the many known Neanderthal-type skulls that there was none that could be called “typical.” Therefore, many scientists believe today that the species had already divided up into a number of racial variants before the Neanderthal Man disappeared, comparable with the variants that can be seen in the races of living man today. Some scientists go even further than that and state that the Neanderthal Man is no ancestor of the modern living man, but that he developed separately and independently of the modern man.
So, the scientific world today has no specific description of THE Neanderthal Man and it is not even sure that he was a forefather of modern man. However, most scientists profess that the Neanderthal was not a human being, although even this question is not kept without arguments. For example, Sir Arthur Keith, author of the book, “Antiquity of Man,” felt that the Neanderthal Man was certainly “not a dawn form of humanity.” And William Strauss and A.J.E. Cave wrote in their report about the fossil from La Chapelle-aux-Saints: “If he could be reincarnated and placed in a New York Subway – provided that he were bathed, shaved and dressed in modern clothing – it is doubtful whether he would attract any more attention than some of its other citizens.”
No Human Being?
In recognition of this kind of confusion whether or not the Neanderthal man was a human being, we want to look very carefully at the archeological records discovered by scientists. Many scientists—and sometimes religious people as well—believe that the Neanderthals were no human beings. They feel that they are supported by some of the following discoveries.
The main argument for this belief refers to the primitive way in which Neanderthals lived. There is little doubt that they dwelled in caves which protected them from the cold during the cold seasons and that they hunted wild animals, either individually or collectively. When they had killed an animal, they used stones or stone tools to remove the skin and ate the meat raw or roasted over the fire, while they used the skin to cover their bodies and to sleep on. It is believed, too, that they ate carrion. But these facts do not prove by themselves that the Neanderthals were no human beings. Even today primitive tribes are known living in the same way the Neanderthals did—for example, the tribe of the Tasaday on the Philippine islands—and no scientist states that these people are not human.
Limited Language Capabilities
Another argument why the Neanderthals are not considered as human beings is the assumption that their language capabilities were limited. Philip Lieberman and Edmund Crelin of Yale made a series of measurements of the skull of the fossil found at La Chapelle-aux-Saints. The measurements suggested that the Neanderthals lacked a modern pharynx and that they were unable to utter some vowel sounds or form some consonants. On the other hand, both scientists stated that Rhodesia Man, another creature of the Neanderthal race, had a slightly more modern pharynx. These controversial results do not prove that the Neanderthals were not human. First of all, do we know that the fossil from La Chapelle was representative for the whole race of the Neanderthals? As a matter of fact, this was not the case because the results were different in regard to the Rhodesia Man. Furthermore, these results prove that the Neanderthal Man could speak—and this is also true for the Chapelle-aux-Saints Man—although the vocabulary might have consisted of fewer consonants and vowel sounds. Therefore, limited language capabilities are also no proof for the assumption that Neanderthal Man was not human.
“Nephilim” without Spirit in Man?
But there is still a third argument for this belief which is brought forth mainly by religiously-oriented people who state that the Bible mentions the Neanderthals as “nephilim” and distinguishes them herewith from the modern living man. In Genesis 6:4, the King James Version translates the Hebrew word “nephilim” with “giants” and reads: “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came into the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” It is considered that these “giants” were descendants from the ancient Neanderthal types, from “pre-Adamic races.” [Note that this passage will be discussed in more detail in Parts 4 and 5 of this booklet.]
According to this theory, the Neanderthals were creatures without the spirit in man, and that means without understanding; they were not fully conscious of their own self-existence as we are self-aware and conscious. In other words, without the spirit in man, the Neanderthals should have lived on the level with animals (1 Corinthians 2:11).
However, the following discoveries will prove that the Neanderthal lived beyond that level and, therefore, that he was a human being.
Use of Tools and Weapons
It may be questionable, indeed, to make a certain distinction between animals and human beings in regard to several aspects. The fact that the Neanderthals used tools and weapons might not be considered as proof that he was human, because it is also known that apes [and monkeys] use sticks as weapons. But the scene would change fundamentally if it could be proved that the Neanderthals believed in religion, in life after death, in a supernatural being. No animal, lacking this certain non-physical element in its brain, which is called the “spirit in man,” is able to think about itself, its own future, life after its death. If we can prove that the Neanderthal believed in religion, then we can also prove that he was fully conscious and aware of his existence, that he had the “spirit in man,” and that he was a human being.
We know today that the Neanderthals were cannibals. They sometimes killed and ate one another. For example, in 1899 twenty Neanderthals were found at Krapina, [then called] Yugoslavia. Skulls had been smashed in and limbs had been split lengthwise, so that the marrow could be sucked out. Many scientists believe today that the Neanderthals were cannibals because of religious reasons. In some primitive societies today, natives believe that they can acquire strength and courage by eating the flesh of an enemy. In this connection, it is interesting to note that Neanderthals are believed to have eaten the brain of their strongest enemy, the cave bear. Other discoveries have shown that the Neanderthals widened the opening of the skull so that they could reach into it and scoop out the brains and eat them. This is exactly the same way in which modern cannibals perform.
In Italy, workmen found in a cave a single Neanderthal skull with a widened opening, surrounded by an oval ring of bones. It is also possible that the eating of Neanderthals were accompanied by a certain kind of bear ceremonies, described below. In 1965 bones of about twenty Neanderthals were found in a cave at Hortus, France. The human bones were mixed up with animal bones, as if the ancient inhabitants of the cave drew no distinction between eating human and animal flesh. Above Vaetis in the Tamina Valley, there is a “dragon cave” in which large numbers of cave bear bones were found. The skulls and bones were laid in niches or stone chests. They were arranged in deliberate order and carefully covered with stone-slabs. Neanderthal men had decapitated the bears and then buried the whole heads. Sometimes thigh bones were thrust through the cavities in the skulls. Other finds have been made near Valden, Switzerland, and in Silesia. Some scientists assume that the Neanderthals performed solemn dances around the heads of the bears. Interestingly, such bear ceremonies and bear sacrifices occur to this day among certain tribes of Northeast Asia. These are strong indications that Neanderthals were cannibals because of religious reasons. If so, they certainly were human beings.
Burials with Food and Tools
But there is still another aspect which makes it quite impossible to believe that the Neanderthals were animals. Scientists agree that the Neanderthals have buried their own dead. Most scientists also agree that the burials were religiously motivated, for the “departed” were supplied with tools of stone and sometimes other goods. Some scientists think that these stone tools were meant to help the “soul” against the bears and other problems of the “afterlife.” For example, a skeleton of a sixteen year old Neanderthal youth was found in 1909. Typical artifacts had been laid aside the body, so that there was evidence of some form of ritual burial. One year before, in 1908, the Neanderthal skeleton near the village of La Chapelle-aux-Saints was found. It lay extended full length on its back, with the head pointing to the EAST (probably indicating some kind of sunrise worship). Beside it were artifacts and fragments of red ochre. Across the skull lay several limb bones of bison, one of which was still connected with some of the smaller bones of the foot and toes. From this it could be suggested that the flesh had been on the bones when they had been placed with the human body. Therefore, they were meant to provide the “soul” of the Neanderthal with food. The same custom is known about the old Egyptians.
Belief in an Afterlife
These discoveries certainly show that the Neanderthal Man believed in some kind of life after death and, because there had to be someone who would grant him this future life, he also believed in a supernatural being or supernatural beings. Accordingly, Neanderthals were aware of themselves, lived on an incomparably higher level than animals and were, therefore, human beings.
Older Than 6,000 Years?
Scholars of the Bible will ask: If the Neanderthal was human, how is it possible that he was older than six thousand years, as science states, because God created man only about six-thousand years ago? [Note that the question of the time of man’s creation will be discussed in Part 3 of this booklet.] This important question will be answered now.
It is true that scientists declare today that Neanderthals are 40,000 [or at least 30,000] years old. But it is also true that the only method which has been used in order to determine their age, was the carbon fourteen dating [the Radio-Carbon method]. Even the bristlecone pine tree-ring chronology, another method to determine the age of living or dead organisms, is based on the carbon fourteen dating. Therefore, we want to take a short look at this method in order to find out how it works and whether or not it is accurate.
The Carbon Fourteen Dating
The carbon fourteen dating is based on a simple process. Cosmic rays bombard the upper atmosphere with tremendous energy. These rays produce great numbers of fast-moving neutrons which collide with nitrogen atoms in the atmosphere. The bulk of these atoms are chemically transmuted into carbon fourteen. This carbon fourteen combines with oxygen—as does ordinary carbon—to produce carbon dioxide which is diffused through the atmosphere. This carbon dioxide contains radioactive carbon fourteen—it makes up a tiny fraction of all the carbon dioxide available to plants for photosynthesis. When the plants use carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, they automatically absorb this carbon fourteen. Afterwards these plants are eaten by animals and humans and therefore, carbon fourteen is added to their bodies, too. At death, however, an organism no longer takes in carbon fourteen. Instead, the amount possessed by this organism at death begins to decay.
According to some authorities, every 5,730 years, and according to others, every 5,745 plus/minus 50 years, one half of the carbon fourteen decays and changes into nitrogen fourteen. During the next 5,730 years (or 5,745 plus/minus 50 years), half of the remaining carbon fourteen will decay—only one-fourth of the original amount will be left—and this process continues, until all carbon fourteen is decayed. Accordingly, by measuring the amount of remaining carbon fourteen in a dead organism, which was alive once, scientists are believed to be able to estimate when that organism died.
No Proof for Basic Assumption
When Dr. Libby developed this method in the late 1940’s, he conducted experiments to discover the present production rate of radiocarbon. He first calculated the present average production rate of free neutrons in the outer atmosphere, then the present production rate of carbon fourteen. After this, he determined the average rate of decay of carbon fourteen in modern living organisms. Finally, he calculated the total present amount of carbon in the world’s exchange reservoir. At this point, he made the following assumption: If the production of carbon fourteen had proceeded at a constant rate for many thousands of years, then the amount of carbon fourteen present on the surface of the earth would have reached a constant value, because a condition had been established in which the rate of formation of carbon fourteen was equal to the rate with which it disappeared. Of course, this assumption was never proved.
C-14 Method Not Reliable
Now we will see whether this method is accurate, although the proof for the basic assumption is lacking. It is clear that the dating would not be correct if there were any change in the production rate of carbon fourteen—for example, a change caused through universal catastrophes. As a matter of fact, at least two worldwide catastrophes have occurred. The first catastrophe happened when Satan rebelled against God (Isaiah 14:12–14); this gigantic battle destroyed the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:2) and with it, for example, the dinosaurs. The second universal catastrophe was the tremendous deluge in the days of Noah. It is quite obvious that a gigantic battle between spirit beings, which led to a demolition of the surface of many planets, could change the production rate of radiocarbon. But how could, on the other hand, the deluge alter this production rate?
Alteration of C-14 Production Rate at Deluge
Many scientists believe today that the earth was once surrounded by a shield of water vapor. The Bible, too, contains certain indications for this assumption. In Genesis 1:6–7, it is mentioned that God, when He renewed the “face of the earth” (Psalm 104:30), “divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament.” And in reference to the deluge the Bible states that “all the fountains of the great deep” were “broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened” (Genesis 7:11). This shield of water vapor prevented that many cosmic rays could bombard the upper atmosphere. The situation changed, however, when the shield disappeared at the time of the deluge. But this happened only about 4,000 years ago and this means that the enormous amount of radiocarbon necessary for the establishment of the equilibrium was not reached and that the specific amount of radioactivity of living matter is much less than the rate of production calculated from the neutron intensity.
But there is still another aspect which shows that the carbon fourteen dating is not accurate. The method postulates that every organism assimilates the same rate of carbon fourteen independent of the environment in which that organism lives or had lived. Professor Melvin A. Cook [1968 Nitro-Nobel Gold Medal winner] has shown, however, that this assumption is wrong. He expressly stated:
“Living mollusks are sometimes found deficient in Carbon 14 to such an extent as to appear to have been dead as long as 3,000 years. This is due to carbonate-ion exchange in salt water in contact with old calcite and dolomite deposits. These mollusks are in an environment of old carbonates, and during their life cycle, they assimilate those carbonates that have no radiocarbon in them, rather than to be in steady state with the atmosphere. The reverse (dates that are too low) will also happen by involving carbonate-ion exchange in freshwater lakes which become high in alkalinity and thus tend to absorb carbon dioxide from the air to form new calcites and dolomites.”
Therefore, the only method being used to determine the age of the Neanderthals, the carbon fourteen dating, cannot be proved as being accurate. Accordingly, there exists no proof at all that the Neanderthals are older than 6,000 years.
Neanderthal Man Was a Modern Human Being
The conclusion is that Neanderthal was no animal. It is true that he probably was no representative of a culturally high-standing race; more likely the opposite is true in that he was a degenerated descendant of humanity, as a certain unnamed German anatomist had suspected when he wrote that the Neanderthal “may have been one of these wild men, half-crazed, half-idiotic, cruel and strong, who are always more or less to be found living on the outskirts of barbarous tribes.” But whatever the Neanderthals were, one thing is certain: They were distinctly human.
This ends the reproduction of the research paper. At this point, we would also like to quote from an article, which was published in the Washington Post, dated June 19, 2014:
“In a cave in northern Spain, a team of scientists has retrieved the remains of 28 prehistoric humans, members of an enigmatic species that could be described as a little bit Neanderthal. They had Neanderthal faces, with heavy brows and protruding noses. They had powerful mandibles and mouths that could open extremely wide, indicating that they used their teeth as gripping tools. But they didn’t have the large skulls or other robust skeletal features seen in the prototypical Neanderthals who, hundreds of millennia later, roamed Ice Age Europe.
“The discovery does not dramatically change the general picture of human evolution, but it complicates it a bit, providing new evidence that there were many distinct, and largely isolated, human species existing simultaneously.
“[Scientists] think these proto-Neanderthals possessed the power of speech and lived in social groups. There are few human ancestors more intriguing than the Neanderthals, who could be described as the best example in the history of the planet of an intelligent species that has gone extinct. They had large craniums and larger brains than modern humans (although that doesn’t mean they were smarter). They existed as recently as about 30,000 years ago, when their kind disappears from the fossil record.
“How they died out, and why, and to what extent they may have interbred with anatomically modern humans is an ongoing source of debate and contentiousness among highly credentialed scientists. But as a species, the Neanderthal vanished. In their place came anatomically modern humans, who evolved in Africa and are the ancestors of everyone alive today.
“The Neanderthals, [one expert] said, ‘obviously were very intuitively smart. They were great toolmakers. They were ingenious. They were resourceful. They were living through difficult times.›”
In addition, The Independent wrote on January 28, 2015:
“The partial skull of an anatomically modern human who lived alongside the Neanderthals about 55,000 years ago has been unearthed from a cave in northern Israel, scientists say. It is one of the oldest non-African skulls of Homo sapiens and comes close to the date when modern humans migrated out of Africa, eventually to colonise Asia, Europe, Australia and the Americas… ‘It has been suspected that modern man and Neanderthals were in the same place at the same time, but we didn’t have the physical evidence. Now we do have it in the new skull fossil,’ said Bruce Latimer, a palaeontologist at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, who took part in the study. ‘Modern humans and Neanderthals likely encountered each other foraging for food,’ Dr Latimer said.
“Modern humans share a small percentage of their DNA with Neanderthals, suggesting that limited interbreeding had taken place at some point in the past. However, it is not known when this contact took place, or whether it had occurred somewhere in Europe or the Middle East… [Some scholars claim] that interbreeding with Neanderthals could have taken place in the Middle East rather than in Europe.”
As we explained, these scientists are totally off on the dating, as they are using a completely unreliable method—the Radio Carbon Dating. But this article proves once more that the Neanderthals lived “alongside” “modern man,” and that interbreeding took place between them. What it really shows is that Neanderthals were modern human beings, interbreeding with other human beings.
God created modern man about 6,000 years ago [as will be discussed in Part 3], and the Neanderthal was a modern man. [This conclusion reflects also the long-standing belief and teaching of the Worldwide Church of God under its late human leader, Herbert W. Armstrong.] Science is wrong to assume that modern man—including the Neanderthal—is older than 6,000 years. Man did not evolve. Rather, he was instantaneously created by God. The concept of “human evolution” has been scientifically disproved. For more information, please read our free booklet, “The Theory of Evolution—a Fairy Tale for Adults?”
Part 3 Does God Have a 7,000–Year Plan for Man?
We have already alluded to the fact that modern humans (Adam and Eve) were indeed created about 6,000 years ago. Now we will present biblical proof of this fact and we will also point out that God has a 6,000-year plan for man’s rule, followed by 1,000 years of godly rule over man in the Millennium.
The Weekly Sabbath and the Millennium of 1,000 Years
In Hebrews 4:9, Paul draws an analogy between the weekly Sabbath and the Millennial rest at the end of man’s rule, comparing the coming Millennial rest with a Millennial “Sabbath” of 1,000 years. Several Scriptures indicate a 7,000-year plan of God—comprising a “week” of seven 1,000-year “days.” God gave man 6,000 years (or 6 “days” of 1,000 years each) to prove that man, under Satan’s influence, cannot rule himself. These first six “days” of 1,000 years each will be followed by the seventh “day” of 1,000 years, called the Millennium, during which Christ and His elect will rule this earth (compare Revelation 20:4–6; 2 Peter 3:8; Psalm 90:4).
God also gave us a rest on a weekly basis—the seventh day of the week—the weekly Sabbath. Paul states that just as God rested from His work on the seventh day (Hebrews 4:4), so man is to rest from his work during the weekly Sabbath, and also during the Millennial Sabbath at the end of man’s worldly rule when the first 6,000 years of God’s plan for creation have expired. As the weekly seventh day of God’s re-creation ended God’s work, so the weekly Sabbath lets us rest from our work, and the Millennial Sabbath of 1,000 years will end the rule of man under Satan’s influence, to be replaced by God’s rule.
But is there really any evidence for a 6,000-year plan? Consider this important Scripture in this regard: “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8). This verse provides a basis for believing that God is working out certain parts of His plan in the context of 6,000 years.
Three Times Fourteen Generations
Consider this additional fact concerning the length of time that has transpired leading up to the time of Jesus Christ’s birth: “So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations” (Matthew 1:17). Before Abraham and before the Flood, the Bible records life spans of certain individuals, and from these, a general idea of the number of years of that period can be derived. However, even with this information, experts vary when it comes to exact numbers.
For those who accept the biblical record, it is apparent that we are now living in what can be generally understood as the period of time that is now about 6,000 years since God first created Adam and Eve. The most poignant conclusion for us is that we are now living in the generation that will witness the establishment of God’s Kingdom on the earth!
One Day AS a Thousand Years
Some have pointed to 2 Peter 3:8, claiming that God allotted man exactly 6,000 years to rule this earth, and that after exactly 6,000 years, Christ will return. However, that is not what 2 Peter 3:8 conveys. The Scripture reads: “… with the Lord one day is AS a thousand years, and a thousand years AS one day.”
This Scripture does not provide us with a fixed date. The Greek word for “as” is “hos,” and it can also be translated as “about.” (Compare Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible, under “about.”) In fact, the Authorized Version translates this word 14 times as “about.” For instance, the word “hos” is correctly translated as “about” in passages such as Mark 8:9; Luke 2:37; 8:42; and John 1:39. From this we can know that 2 Peter 3:8 conveys the principle that in the eyes of God one day is ABOUT 1,000 years—not necessarily exactly so. (Compare chapter 4 of our free booklet, When and How Will Christ Return?)
Historical Belief in a 7,000-Year Plan
The concept of a biblical 7,000-year plan and the creation of man about 6,000 years ago has been believed by Jews and Christians alike over the millennia. The historian Edward Gibbon wrote in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that this concept was taught by Rabbi Elias around 200 B.C., who expressed the common belief that it had been taught by the prophet Elijah. The Encyclopedia Judaica explains that this tradition can even be traced back to Moses.
The apocalyptical epistle of Barnabas, which was written around 130 A.D., addresses the 7,000-year plan as well, and Irenaeus, a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of the apostle John, wrote in Against Heresies in 150 A.D. about the 7,000-year plan of God. Bishop Latimer wrote in 1552 A.D. that the world would exist for 6,000 years. Some modern Jewish and Christian authors uphold the biblical teaching of a 7,000-year plan as well (compare Edward Chumney, The Seven Festivals of the Messiah, copyright 1998).
Others who taught a 7,000-year plan include Commodianus and Methodius in the third century, and Lactantius (tutor to the son of Roman Emperor Constantine) in the fourth century.
The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge pointed out that the “early fathers most commonly looked for the second advent at the end of 6,000 years of the world’s history.” The Encyclopedia Britannica (11th edition) wrote about the Talmud: “The view most frequently expressed there . . . is that the Messianic kingdom will last for one thousand years… ‘Hence the world will last for six thousand years of toil and labor; then will come one thousand years of Sabbath rest for the people of God in the kingdom of the Messiah.’ This idea must have already been very common in the first century before Christ.”
This view is also confirmed in the Jewish New Testament Commentary, by Dr. David H. Stern, on 2 Peter 3.
For further information about the belief in a 6,000– or 7,000–year plan, please see the box on page 25 of our free booklet, Should You Fight in War?
God Pronounces a 6,000–Year Sentence
In Mystery of the Ages, Herbert W. Armstrong wrote the following in 1985, in the chapter, “The Mystery of Man,” pages 120–121:
“When God ‘drove out the man’ from the Garden of Eden, and barred reentrance—lest he go back and receive eternal life in sin (Gen. 3:22–24)—God PRONOUNCED SENTENCE!
“God [in the Person of Jesus Christ] said, in effect: ‘You have made the decision for yourself and the world that shall spring from you. You have rejected me as the basic source of knowledge–you have rejected power from me through my Spirit to live the righteous way—you have rebelled against my command and my government—you have chosen the ‘GETTING,’ ‘TAKING’ way of Satan. Therefore I sentence you and the world you shall beget to 6,000 years of being cut off from access to me and my Spirit—except for the exceedingly FEW I shall specially call. And that FEW shall be called for special service preparatory for the kingdom of God. They shall be required to do what you have failed to do—reject, resist and overcome Satan and his WAYS, and follow the ways of my spiritual LAW.
“‘Go, therefore, Adam, and all your progeny that shall form the world, produce your own fund of knowledge. Decide for yourself what is good and what is evil. Produce your own educational systems and means of disseminating knowledge, as your god Satan shall mislead you. Form [your] own concepts of what is [good], your own religions, your own governments, your own life-styles and forms of society and civilization. In all this Satan will deceive your world with his attitude of SELF-centeredness—with vanity, lust and greed, jealousy and envy, competition and strife and violence and wars, rebellion against me and my law of LOVE.
“‘After the world of your descendants has written the lesson in 6,000 years of human suffering, anguish, frustration, defeat and death—after the world that shall spring from you shall have been brought to confess the utter hopelessness of the way of life you have chosen—I will supernaturally intervene. By supernatural divine power I shall then take over the government of the whole world. With reeducation, I will produce a happy world of PEACE. And on repentance, I shall then offer eternal salvation to all. After a thousand years of that happy world to come, I will resurrect from death to mortal life all who have died uncalled during this present 6,000 years. Their judgment shall then come. And on repentance and faith, eternal life shall be offered them.
“‘During this 6,000 years, when I myself shall cut them off from me, they shall not be eternally judged. Only, as they sow during their lifetimes, they shall reap. But when I open eternal salvation to them, there shall be no Satan to hinder or deceive them—no Satan for them to overcome. Those few called during this first 6,000 years shall have to reject and resist Satan’s pulls and overcome. But those who overcome shall sit with me in my throne, and have power under me to rule all nations under my Supreme Rule.’”
In a letter written in 1987 by the Letter Answering Department of the Worldwide Church of God, the following was stated:
“Charts which list biblical events in time order… are accurate enough to show that human life was created about 4,000 years before the birth of Christ. History makes it clear that almost another 2,000 years have elapsed since then—making a total of nearly 6,000 years of human civilization to date. In short, man’s ‘week’ is nearly over, and God’s great millennial rest will soon be here.”
“In That Day” Adam Would Die
We might also want to consider that God told Adam that in the “day” he ate of the forbidden fruit, he would surely die (Genesis 2:17). Yet Adam lived to be 930 years old. Some commentators explain this by saying that Adam died before the first 1,000–year day was completed, since a day is as a thousand years with God.
Two possible objections need to be addressed. First, why do scientists tell us that modern man is much older than 6,000 years, and why do Jews believe that we are living in about 5775—apparently with at least another 225 years to continue before the expiration of 6,000 years of human existence?
Is Modern Man Older Than 6,000 Years?
Our German booklet, EVOLUTION–ein MÄRCHEN für Erwachsene?, discusses the estimated age of modern man (“homo sapiens”), which, according to “scientific” calculations, allegedly far exceeds 6,000 years. We dispute this and point out why the scientific methods of determining the age of some fossils is very faulty. We explain that especially the commonly used radiocarbon method is unreliable, as some scientists do admit.
For instance, a convincing rebuttal of the accuracy of the radiocarbon method to determine the age of “human” fossils can be found in the book, In Search of Noah’s Ark by Dave Balsiger and Charles E. Sellier (copyright 1976, 1979). Other scientists who went on record to question the accuracy of the scientifically determined age of “human” fossils include David Hatcher Childress (in a television interview with Charlton Heston) and Robert Gentry. (Compare Dennis Crews, Mystery of the Rocks, copyright 1990. Compare also our discussion regarding the radiocarbon method in Part 2 of this booklet.)
When considering the age of man, we must understand that modern man (Adam and Eve) was created with a human spirit (the spirit in man or of man) which distinguishes man from animals. We do not question the possibility that fossils might have been found that would have pre-dated Adam and Eve, which might have had similar “appearances” as modern man. However, they would not have been human beings, but rather ape-like creatures. “Lucy” is a classic example, which was clearly NOT a human being, but an ape-like creature. (Of course, the possible existence of such pre-Adamic ape-like creatures proves in no way the accuracy of the evolution theory. Modern man did not evolve from these creatures.)
Jewish Counting is Inaccurate
Let us now address the second question: Why do the Jews count the years differently than we do? For instance, the year 2014 is Elul 5774–5775 according to Jewish reckoning. The Jewish calendar puts creation at 3760 B.C.E., but this date is quite impossible. It has been suggested that the Jewish calendar actually begins with the time or birth of Enosh—grandson of Adam and Eve—who was born 235 years after the creation of Adam (Genesis 5:3–6). However, no plausible explanation has been given for that conclusion.
A letter from the Letter Answering Department of the Worldwide Church of God explained this puzzle in this way (compare also The Good News, November–December 1987 edition):
“… the Jews count their years from 3761/3760 B.C.E. (Before Common Era). That is the year of the commencement of the lunisolar calendar. In the century following the fall of Jerusalem (A.D. 70) certain Jewish scholars took the date 3761/3760 B.C.E. and assigned to it the time described in Genesis 1 and 2. Thus, the Jews preserved the correct date for calendar calculation but mistakenly associated it with the creation week.
“Actually, Creation occurred over two centuries prior to the beginning of the lunisolar calendar. The basic fact on which the lunisolar calendar is based, the average length of the lunar month, would have taken more than two centuries of measurement and observation to determine.
“The Jews celebrate their new year in the autumn. The Bible refers to two different years, the civil and the sacred. In ancient Israel, the civil year began in the autumn, on the first day of the seventh month. It is comparable to the fiscal year in the United States. It was more or less the legal year, which was used to reckon the reign of kings and other chronological events. The true sacred year of the Bible begins with the month of Nisan (also called Abib), in the spring (Ex. 12:2). The sacred year portrays God’s great plan.”
From all the biblical and historical evidence, facts and records available to us, we must conclude that the Jewish reckoning for the time of man’s creation is wrong, and that the 6,000 years of human rule which have been allotted to man, are almost over. This means that the return of Jesus Christ to restore the Kingdom and Government of God here on earth is very near. However, we are not to set dates, though we are to watch in order to determine the signs of the times (Matthew 24:32–35). Christ warned us very specifically:
“Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming… Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:42, 44).
Part 4 Biblical Giants—Then and Now?
Does the Bible teach the existence of giants prior to modern man? Did they exist after Adam’s creation? Do giants exist today?
There are indeed several references to post-Adamic giants in the Bible, and several words are used to describe giants, but there is no biblical reference to the existence of giants prior to Adam. All giants mentioned in the Bible are those in existence since Adam… not prior to him. Some existed prior to Noah, and some since Noah. We will show that biblical giants were human beings who descended from Adam and Eve. If giants existed prior to Adam and Eve, then they would have been animals without the spirit in man.
In Job 16:14 (Authorized Version), we read about Job’s complaint against God: “He breaketh me with breach upon breach, he runneth upon me like a giant.” Here, the word for “giant” is “gibbor” and is defined as “mighty” or “a strong one.”
Another word for “giant” is “nephilim,” which can first be found in Genesis 6:4, at the time of Noah: “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became [note: the word “became” is not in the original and was added by the translator] mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”
The Ryrie Study Bible explains that the meaning of the word “nephilim” is “to fall,” and continues: “… to fall upon others because they were men of strength.” The commentary concludes: “Evidently they were in the earth before the marriages [between the sons of God and the daughters of men], and were not the offspring of those marriages who became mighty men (military men) and men of renown (of wealth or power).” This conclusion is correct, as more fully explained in Part 5 of this booklet where we discuss the question of whether angels had intercourse with women.
All human beings, including those giants, died in the Flood, except for Noah and his family. However, “nephilim” giants are mentioned again long after the Flood, at the time of Moses. They must have been descendants of one of the three sons of Noah who were with him in the Ark.
The “nephilim” (giants) are mentioned in Numbers 13:32–33, when the spies returned from the Promised Land of Canaan and gave a bad report about it:
“And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, ‘the land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in their own sight, and so were in their sight.’”
These “giants” are also mentioned again in the books of Deuteronomy and Joshua, as well as in other books, but different Hebrew words are used, showing however, that they all describe the same kind of people.
According to Young’s Analytical Concordance, one such additional Hebrew expression is the word “raphah,” which can be found in 2 Samuel 21:18–22, at the time of King David. The word “raphah” has the meaning of “fearful one” or “giant,” inasmuch as his huge stature struck fear in the heart of men:
“Now it happened afterward that there was again a battle with the Philistines at Gob. Then Sibbechal the Hushathite killed Saph, who was one of the sons of the giant. Again there was war at Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed the brother of Golitah the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also was born to the giant. So when he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him. These four were born of the giant in Gath, and fell by the hand of David and by the hands of his servants.”
When turning to the parallel passage in 1 Chronicles 20:4–8, the Hebrew word for “giant” in verses 4, 6 and 8 is “rapha,” according to Young’s Analytical Concordance, but as we can see from these two examples, the words “raphah” and “rapha” have the same meaning (“fearful one”; “giant”). “Rapha” is the most commonly used expression and can be found, for instance, in Deuteronomy 2:9–11 where Moses told the people of Israel, prior to the occupation of the Promised Land:
“Then the LORD said to me, ‘Do not harass Moab, nor contend with them in battle, for I will not give you any of their land as a possession, because I have given Ar to the descendants of Lot as a possession.’ (The Enim had dwelt there in times past, a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim. They were also regarded as giants [Hebrew “rephaim”–plural form and related to “rapha,” according to the margin of the King James Bible], like the Anakim, but the Moabites call them Emim…).”
These gigantic people (“rephaim”) might also be mentioned in Genesis 14:5 in connection with the events surrounding Lot.
Giants at the Time of Moses
In Deuteronomy 2:19–21, Moses continues:
“‘And when you come near the people of Ammon, do not harass them or meddle with them, for I will not give you any of the land of the people of Ammon as a possession, because I have given it to the descendants of Lot as a possession.’ (That was also regarded as a land of giants; giants formerly dwelt there. But the Ammonites call them Zamzummim, a people as great and numerous and tall as the Anakim. But the LORD destroyed them before them, and they dispossessed them and dwelt in their place…).”
These gigantic people (called “Zamzummim”) might also be referred to in Genesis 14:5.
As Moses continues with his narrative, he points out that in regard to the kingdom of Og in Bashan, only one mighty giant survived. We read in Deuteronomy 3:11, 13:
“‘For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of the giants [in that area and belonging to that people, as we read about other giants at the time of David]. Indeed his bedstead was an iron bedstead. (Is it not in Rabah of the people of Ammon?) Nine cubits is its length and four cubits its width, according to the standard cubit… The rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, the kingdom of Gog, I gave it to the half tribe of Manasseh (All the region of Argob, with all Bashan, was called the land of the giants…).’”
Reference to Og, the king of Bashan, is made in Joshua 12:4 and 13:12 as the “remnant of the giants.”
Giants at the Time of Joshua
When Joshua led the people of Israel into the Promised Land, they had to contend with giants who were still living there. The “Valley of Rephaim” (“Valley of the Giants”) is mentioned in Joshua 15:8 and 18:16. In Joshua 17:15, Joshua tells the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh: “‘If you are a great people, then go up to the forest country and clear a place for yourself there in the land of the Perizzites and the giants, since the mountains of Ephraim are too confined for you.’”
Giants at the Time of David
As mentioned, giants existed at the time of David.
We have all heard about the giant Goliath who was killed by young David. Goliath was from Gath, “whose height was six cubits and a span” (1 Samuel 17:4).
The Benson Commentary states:
“Goliath of Gath—For to this city the Anakims fled when Joshua rooted them out of the land of Canaan, Joshua 11:22. And here they propagated a race of giants; that is, people of great strength and stature. Whose height was six cubits and a span—At least nine feet nine inches…”
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible adds:
“Goliath of Gath – One of the places mentioned in Joshua 11:22 as still retaining a remnant of the sons of Anak; Gaza and Ashdod being the others. The race of giants (the Rephaim, from… râphâ’ ) is mentioned again in the account of David’s Philistine wars [in] 2 Samuel 21:15–22; 1 Chronicles 20:4–8… Six cubits and a span… would equal about nine feet nine inches. The bed of Og king of Bashan was nine cubits long.”
Matthew Poole’s Commentary writes:
“Whose height was six cubits and a span; which is not strange, for besides the giants mentioned in Scripture, Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus, and Pliny, and others, make mention of persons seven cubits high, which is near double to an ordinary man’s height.”
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible says:
“… the coffin of Orestea, the son of Agamemnon, is said… to be seven cubits long; and Eleazar, a Jew, who because of his size was called the giant, and was presented by Artabanus, king of the Parthians, to Tiberius Caesar, is said by Josephus… to be seven cubits high; and one Gabbara of Arabia, in the times of Claudius Caesar, measured nine feet nine inches, as Pliny… relates, and who elsewhere… speaks of a people in Ethiopia, called Syrbotae, who were eight cubits high…”
We also read that Goliath was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was 5,000 shekels of bronze (verse 5), or “156 pounds 4 ounces,” according to the Geneva Study Bible. His iron spearhead weighed six hundred shekels (verse 7), or “between seventeen and eighteen pounds” (Barnes’ Notes on the Bible).
In addition, we read about an encounter of one of David’s mighty men with an Egyptian giant in 1 Chronicles 11:23.
Post-Flood Giants Descendants of Canaan
In a letter by the Letter Answering Department of the Worldwide Church of God, the following was stated about giants:
“The Bible indicates that men of great size lived both before and after the Flood…. The giants who lived after the Flood were some of the offspring of Canaan, one of Ham’s sons [Ham was one of the three sons of Noah]. These descendants of Ham were living in the land of Canaan when the Israelite spies went through it… When the Israelites conquered the lands east of the Jordan, they encountered Og, King of Bashan. He was the last of the giants on that side of the river…
“Three chiefs of the giants lived in Hebron until Caleb took the city… After the conquest of Canaan by Joshua…, remnants of the giants were still living in the Philistine cities of Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod. The most famous of these was Goliath… A later encounter by David’s ‘mighty man’ with four other giants is recorded [as well]…
“These giants terrorized Israel periodically from the time of the entry into Canaan until late in the reign of King David. The Bible says nothing further about giants from that time (about 1,000 B.C.) on.”
We also need to realize that there were very tall people and warriors in the Bible who were of Israelite stock, such as King Saul (1 Samuel 9:2; 10:20–23). They would not have been descendants of the Canaanite ”giants” of the Bible as described above, but could be considered “giants” in their own “right”—even though they did not reach the height of the Canaanite “giants” of the Bible.
Even though nobody is specifically identified in the Bible as a “giant” after the days of David, does this mean that all giants became extinct? It is of course known that there are very tall people alive in these times (as there are little people in existence today as well), but these KNOWN tall people do not seem to reach the height of the giants of the Bible, and even apart from their height, there seems to be another fundamental distinction between many (but not all) of the modern tall people and the giants of the Bible. As one website puts it:
“So were all of these giants just people who developed gigantism? Although gigantism may account for some of the ancient giants, this proposed solution falls short of explaining many of the biblical accounts.
“Modern gigantism is often caused by abnormalities that lead to excessive production of growth hormone. It is highly unlikely that Goliath, the nephilim, Anakim, or most of the other Old Testament giants suffered from such a condition since they were often described as warriors or ‘mighty men,’ while modern ‘giants’ are usually awkward, uncoordinated, and endure several physical ailments. There have been some rare cases where the person could accurately be described as a ‘mighty man.’
“Furthermore, modern gigantism is not hereditary, whereas the Bible often describes giants as being the offspring of other giants (e.g., Deuteronomy 9:2; 1 Chronicles 20:6). So the groups known as giants were not simply made up of individuals with the modern form of gigantism.”
We might also think of historical tall powerful men since the birth of Christ. For instance, it is said that Charles the Great—Charlemagne—was a very tall man, and he was of course a mighty warrior. But again, his height did not seem to remotely reach the height of the Canaanite giants of the Bible. In any event, this does not mean that he should be considered to be a descendant of the ancient Canaanite giants of the Bible. On the other hand, modern “giants”—very tall people—with physical ailments could of course be the end result of decades, if not centuries, of degeneration.
True Giants Today?
Note also that the Bible does not say that ancient powerful giants, the “heroes of old” as mentioned in Old Testament times, were totally extinct—that they all died out. We do read that they were “dispossessed’ from areas which they once inhabited and that they appeared subsequently in other areas. Therefore, can we rule out that “giants,” as described in the Bible, could exist today?
Bigfoot—Illusion and Fairy Tale, an Animal or a Human Being?
Speculation abounds regarding encounters with tall hairy creatures around the world, commonly referred to as Bigfoot, Sasquatch, the Russian “Abominable” Snowman or Yeti. Many consider these stories as mere fabrications and fairy tales, while others believe that not all of the independent reports over many centuries (some of them highly reliable) could simply be made up.
Some who believe in the accuracy of at least some of the eye-witness accounts conclude that they might be “demonic illusions.” Certainly some of the “encounters” might very well be of demonic origin, but this could not explain all witness accounts and findings (including unexplained huge footprints, hair samples, etc.). Others see in them huge ape-like animals, which could be a distinct possibility. Still others view them as missing links between pre-historic men-like creatures and modern men—a totally wrong idea, as humans did not evolve, and therefore, such missing links did not and do not exist. In addition, if there were giants (gigantic ape-like animals) prior to Adam, they would have been destroyed with all other living physical creatures (such as the dinosaurs) when the earth became “void and empty.” Today’s “giants” in the form of “Bigfoot” would have to be ape-like animals or humans—descendants of beings which or whom God created when He renewed the surface of the earth, within six days, about 6,000 years ago.
Still others view Bigfoot and Yeti, etc., as fully human—modern representatives of homo sapiens, albeit perhaps in a wild, savage and degenerated state. This is also a distinct possibility. Hunters who allegedly had close encounters with Sasquatch reported that they were determined to shoot and kill “the beast,” but refrained from doing so when they looked into its eyes, which were perceived to be “distinctly” human.
One might ask how “hairy” creatures could qualify as humans. Even though the Bible does not specifically say that the ancient GIANTS were hairy, it does include a few examples of “hairy” men. For instance, we read that Esau, when he was born, was “like a hairy garment all over” (Genesis 25:25).
The Pulpit Commentary remarks that literally, it says, “‘all of him as a cloak of hair’… the fur cloak, or hair mantle, forming one notion… the child’s body [was] covered with an unusual quantity of red hair…”
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible adds: “his body was all over full of hair, which stood as thick as a garment made of hair…”
Esau’s condition did not change when he grew up. In fact, it increased. He is referred to as a “hairy man” (Genesis 27:11). Gill’s states that Esau “was covered all over with hair; as with a hairy garment; so he was born, and so he continued, and no doubt his hair increased.” This condition was so severe that his blind father, Isaac, was tricked into believing that Jacob was Esau, when “skins of the kids of the goats” were placed on Jacob’s hands and on the smooth part of his neck, so that Isaac did not recognize Jacob (Genesis 27:16, 23).
The Hebrew words quoted above and used for hairy or hair are also applied to “rough” garments (Zechariah 13:4, Authorized Version) or a “rough” goat (Daniel 8:21).
We also read that Elijah was a “hairy man,” or the “owner of hair” (2 Kings 1:8). Many interpret this to mean that he was wearing a long beard and long hair [even though nothing is mentioned that he ever took a Nazirite vow (compare Numbers 6:1–21) or that he was a Nazirite from birth, such as Samuel, compare 1 Samuel 1:11]. Others claim that he was wearing a hairy cloak or mantle of sheep or goat skin or of camel’s hair (1 Kings 19:13), comparing it with the mantle of camel’s hair which John the Baptist wore (Matthew 3:4).
However, these conclusions are not compelling. The Nelson Study Bible states: “Although hairy may refer to Elijah’s garments, the usual translation ‘hairy man’ is supported by the ancient versions.” It is possible that Elijah had a similar appearance as Esau. In any event, the Bible knows of the existence of human beings who were covered all over with hair, as with a hairy garment.
In addition, cases are known of people with the so-called “werewolf syndrome” or “hypertrichosis,” who might even pass on their condition to the next generation. One website describes this condition as follows:
“Hypertrichosis is a rare genetic condition that results in extreme hairiness… There is some speculation that Esau, son of Isaac and twin brother of Jacob, may have had hypertrichosis. He was described in the Old Testament as born covered in red hair, and was referred to as a hairy man by his brother as an adult.”
Life Science reported on June 6, 2011, that “Scientists have discovered a genetic mutation responsible for a disorder that causes people to sprout thick hair on their faces and bodies. Hypertrichosis, sometimes called ‘werewolf syndrome,’ is a very rare condition, with fewer than 100 cases documented worldwide. But researchers knew the disorder runs in families, and in 1995 they traced the approximate location of the mutation to a section of the X chromosome (one of the two sex chromosomes) in a Mexican family affected by hypertrichosis.”
As mentioned, the Bible does not describe ancient giants as “hairy” people, but it does indicate a genetic mutation or disorder in the case of at least one giant (apart from their height, the precise cause for which is still open to debate). Remember that one particular giant was described as having twelve fingers and twelve toes (compare again 2 Samuel 21:20 and 1 Chronicles 20:6).
Similar “abnormities” have been reported elsewhere. The condition is commonly referred to as “polydactyly”; that is, a birth defect resulting in extra fingers and/or toes.
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible states that “Pliny speaks of one M. Curiatius, a patrician, who had two daughters that had six fingers on an hand, and were called ‘Sedigitae’, six-fingered; and of Volcatius, a famous poet, called ‘Sedigitus’, or six-fingered, for the same reason; and elsewhere, from other writers he makes mention of a people that had eight toes [on] each foot; so Ctesias speaks of a people in the mountains of India, which have eight fingers on each hand, and eight toes [on] each foot, both men and women.”
The Benson Commentary adds that “Tavernier, in his relation of the grand seignior’s seraglio… says, that the eldest son of the emperor of Java, who reigned in the year 1648, when he was in that island, had six fingers on each hand, and as many toes on each foot, all of equal length.”
Based on all of the foregoing evidence, we cannot exclude the possibility that giant human beings (such as Bigfoot) exist today. Some of them could even be hairy people. They could be, but would not have to be, descendants of ancient Canaanite giants as described in the Bible. If they were, this would mean that not all of those ancient giants are extinct, but that some might have survived and procreated over the centuries and millennia, and that remnants with a hairy genetic disorder—perhaps known as Bigfoot or Yeti—might still live today in remote wilderness areas and in secluded high mountain terrains.
It is interesting to consider that many sightings of Bigfoot or Sasquatch have been reported in North America (California, Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho) and Canada (British Columbia), and that these reports include ancient “legends” told by American Indians. Although many American Indians descended from Tiras, a son of Japheth (one of the three sons of Noah), some historians feel that “Native American” tribes might also be, to an extent, descendants of ancient Canaanites who migrated to North America.
In light of the biblical and historical evidence of very tall people, as well as hairy people with genetic disorders—including hypertrichosis, which seems to run in families and for which there is still no known cure—it is not totally unreasonable to assume that mighty and powerful human “giants” known as Bigfoot, Sasquatch or Yeti might exist today in fairly inaccessible terrains in different parts of the world.
Part 5 Did Sexual Intercourse Between Angels and Women Produce Giants?
Some believe the Bible teaches that at the time of Noah, angelic beings produced giants through sexual intercourse with women. In fact, this belief is wide-spread and sometimes referred to as the “most controversial concept” in the entire Bible. For proof, proponents refer to Genesis 6:1–4. This passage reads:
“Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose… there were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.”
Giants Not Offspring of “Sons of God” and “Daughters of Men”
Note that the Bible does NOT say that the giants were the offspring of the sons of God and the daughters of men.
As mentioned in Part 4 of this booklet, the Ryrie Study Bible states: “The giants were on the earth before the marriages of Gen. 6:2, and were not the offspring of those marriages.”
Some translations wrongly imply that the giants were the offspring of those marriages between the “sons of God” and the “daughters of men,” while other renderings, sticking to the original wording in the Hebrew, show that the giants who were on the earth at the time, and afterwards too, were NOT the product of such sexual relationship.
Regardless, some claim that the sons of God were angelic beings, while the daughters of men were mortal women.
“Sons of God” Not Angels in this Passage
First of all, let us remember that God made animals and humans according to their kind (Genesis 1:21, 24–28). Animals can only reproduce other animals, according to their kind (two dogs can produce another dog, but they can’t produce a horse or a bird), and men can only produce humans (they can’t produce animals). Since men and angels belong to a different “kind,” it is impossible for that reason alone that they could produce human offspring.
Angels Cannot Sexually Reproduce
In addition, as created spirit beings, angels do not reproduce sexually or by any other means. Jesus made this very clear. He said in Luke 20:34–36 that the “sons of this age,” i.e., human beings who live today, “marry and are given in marriage.” One of the purposes of marriage is reproduction, as well as having a sexual relationship (compare Genesis 1:28; 2:24). Married couples are to become “one flesh”—including sexually. Christ told us that those who are worthy of attaining the resurrection to eternal life will not marry or be given in marriage, but they will be, in THAT sense, equal to angels. They will be OVER angels in authority and essence (1 Corinthians 6:3; Hebrews 2:5–8), being children of GOD, not of angels, but they will be EQUAL to angels in the sense that they will no longer “marry”—physically—and engage in sexual activities.
“Sons of God”—Descendants of Seth
As mentioned, some quote Genesis 6:4 for the false idea that angels [allegedly referred to as “sons of God” in this passage] married women and produced human offspring prior to the Flood. Although it is true that in rare instances, “sons of God” can refer to angels (compare Job 1:6–8; 2:1), it refers most of the time to human beings (compare Malachi 1:6; 2:10; Luke 3:38; Romans 8:14; Revelation 21:7). This is also the case in Genesis 6. God decided to destroy sinful men—flesh—not angels. We read that all flesh and every MAN died in the flood (Genesis 7:21–23). Because of this, some commentaries point out that the term “sons of God” might, in this instance, refer to the “godly line of Seth” (compare Ryrie Study Bible). Halley’s Bible Handbook allows for the possibility that the “sons of God” were “leaders in Sethite families who intermarried with godless descendants of Cain. These abnormal marriages… filled the earth with corruption and violence.”
“Daughters of Men”—Descendants of Cain
Even though the “sons of God” (human beings) belonged to the line of Seth, and might have worshipped the true God (compare Genesis 4:26), they took for themselves whatever women they wanted, including those who did not believe in and worship the true God (compare God’s warning in Malachi 2:15 and in 1 Corinthians 7:39; 2 Corinthians 6:14). The consequence was that “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).
The commentary of Jamieson, Faussett and Brown agrees that Genesis 6 refers strictly to human marriages, stating: “‘the sons of God saw the daughters of men’–by the former is meant the family of Seth, who were professedly religious; by the latter, the descendants of apostate Cain. Mixed marriages between parties of opposite principles and practice were necessarily sources of extensive corruption. The women, irreligious themselves [that is, not worshipping the true God], would as wives and mothers exert an influence fatal to the existence of [true] religion in their household, and consequently the people of that later age sank to the lowest depravity.”
Matthew Henry agrees with this explanation: “The sons of God (that is, the professors of [true] religion) married the daughters of men, that is, those that were profane, and strangers to God and godliness. The posterity of Seth did not keep by themselves, as they ought to have done. They intermingled themselves with the excommunicated race of Cain.”
Similar the Soncino Commentary, identifying the “sons of God” as “the sons of princes and judges,” referring to the fact that the word “Elohim” (in “sons of God” or “Elohim”) always implies rulership and can refer to human judges (compare Exodus 4:16; 7:1). It goes on to say that “thus the very men who should have defended justice openly committed violence” and that they took wives “by force,” including those “married to others.”
“Sons of God” Not Evil Angels or Demons
Some claim that “the sons of God” were evil angels or demons who cohabited with women. Of course, if righteous angels could not do so, neither could evil angels.
However, the Living Bible interprets the passage in Genesis 6 in this way: “In those days, and even afterwards, when the evil beings from the spirit world were sexually involved with human women, their children became giants, of whom so many legends are told.”
The Nelson Study Bible states: “The phrase [sons of God]…clearly means, angels… some of Satan’s angels, spirit beings, took on human form… and, out of perverted lust, seduced women…”
The Ryrie Study Bible prefers this explanation as well, stating that with the sons of God, “more likely, a group of fallen angels [is described] who, because of this unique sin, were confined… These are the fallen angels who sinned grievously by cohabiting with women.”
There are numerous problems with these explanations. Even though righteous angels are sometimes referred to as “sons of God,” fallen angels or demons are NEVER described in the Bible in that way. Demons are simply NOT described as “sons of God.” In addition, and as mentioned before, even when speaking of righteous angels, the term “sons of God” or even “gods” refers most of the time to human beings (compare Psalm 89:6–7, New American Bible: “Who is like the LORD among the gods?”; compare Psalm 82:6–7 with John 10:34–35. See also Isaiah 45:11; 2 Samuel 7:14.)
Notice Scofield Reference Notes, which state:
“Some hold that these ‘sons of God’ were the ‘angels which kept not their first estate’ (Jude 1:6). It is asserted that the title is in the Old Testament exclusively used of angels. But this is in error (Isaiah 43:6)… we are expressly told that marriage is unknown among angels (Matthew 22:30). The uniform Hebrew and Christian interpretation has been that the verse (Genesis 6:2) marks the breaking down of the separation between the godly line of Seth and the godless line of Cain.”
Sin of Angels Prior to Creation of Man
Note again that some commentaries (quoted above) propose the idea that the fornication of angels with women constituted the sin for which the fallen angels were immediately confined. This, too, is erroneous. The sin of the angels, as mentioned in Jude 6 and 2 Peter 2:4, did not refer to fornication with women at the time of Noah, but as we have seen before, it describes sinful rebellious conduct against God which occurred long before the creation of man.
We state the following in our free booklet, “Angels, Demons and the Spirit World”:
“The Bible reveals that God created all of the angels. They were not created as robots, but as spirit beings with the power to choose and to decide. One high-ranking angel, a cherub by the name of Lucifer, rebelled and sinned against God (Isaiah 14:12–15; Ezekiel 28:11–17). Lucifer wanted to ‘ascend to heaven’ to dethrone God (Isaiah 14:13). He wanted to ‘ascend above the heights of the clouds’ (Isaiah 14:14). This shows us that he was here on earth, because he wanted to ascend above the clouds of the earth to go to heaven. When he sinned, he was thrown back to this earth (Isaiah 14:12). He became Satan, which means enemy or adversary…
“Lucifer was not the only spirit being who rebelled against God. The angels under his control accompanied him and became known as demons thereafter. A reference to that rebellion is made in Revelation 12:4, stating that one-third of the angels (referred to as ‘stars’) followed Satan and became demons. This indicates that the other two-thirds of the angels stayed loyal to God…
“We read in Jude 6 about angels who did not keep their own domain (the earth), but left their own abode in order to go to heaven to dethrone God. They are now reserved in everlasting chains under darkness, that is, they are angels of darkness. They are still ruling this earth under Satan (compare Ephesians 6:12 where demons are called ‘the RULERS of the darkness of this age’). They are ‘chained,’ or held captive, by their own spiritual perversion. We read in 2 Peter 2:4 that ‘…God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell [in Greek, tartarus, describing a condition, rather than a place] and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment.’”
The sin of angels occurred long before the creation of men. It does not describe any sinful sexual conduct with women at the time of Noah.
Derived from Jewish Fables
So, since the Bible does not teach that spirit beings cohabitated with women, where does this idea come from? The answer is, from uninspired Jewish folklore, fables, fairy tales and legends, contained in the book of Enoch and in Hebrew myths.
Commentaries admit that the idea of angels marrying mortal women is derived from Jewish folklore, especially from the apocryphal book of Enoch. For instance, Unger’s Bible Handbook admits: “Barclay, in his commentaries on Jude and 2 Peter, also concludes that Gen. 6 talks about angels fornicating with women, thereby heavily relying on Jewish folklore and mysticism and the apocryphal book of Enoch.” Other commentaries explain that the book of Enoch “interprets” Genesis 6:2 as describing angels fornicating with women (compare Jamieson, Fausset and Brown commentary on Jude 6).
Book of Enoch NOT Inspired
However, the problems with the entire uninspired “book of Enoch” are massive! We know, of course, that the biblical Enoch did not write it, but that it comes “from many writers and almost as many periods… It includes at least four quite independent books” (Richard Laurence, The Book of Enoch). Please read chapter 8 of our free booklet, The Authority of the Bible, which shows why the book of Enoch is neither inspired nor reliable in any way.
Terrible Blasphemies and Demonic Teachings in the Book of Enoch
In chapter 7 and in other places, the book of Enoch states that 200 holy angels from heaven decided to take wives for themselves from the daughters of men, cohabited with them, “teaching them sorcery, incantation, and the dividing of roots and trees, And they conceiving brought forth giants… these devoured all which the labor of men produced; until it became impossible to feed them… they turned themselves against men, in order to devour them…”
The demonic nature of this interpretation becomes even clearer, when reading chapter 15 of the book of Enoch:
“Now the giants, who have been born of spirit and of flesh [Note: the only One who was ever born “of spirit and of flesh” – or better, who became flesh when the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary–was Jesus Christ; see discussion below], shall call upon earth evil spirits, and on earth shall be their habitation. Evil spirits shall proceed from their flesh, because they were created from above; from the holy Watchers was their beginning and primary foundation. Evil spirits shall THEY BE upon earth, and the spirits of the wicked shall they be called. …”
So, according to the book of Enoch, these giants BECAME evil spirits which “are born in earth” and which “shall rise up against the sons of men, and against women, for they come forth from them during the days of slaughter and destruction.”
These incredible Jewish fables become even stranger when considering what is explained in the book Hebrew Myths—The Book of Genesis. It states that holy angels—the “sons of God”—were sent down to earth to teach mankind truth and justice, which they did for 300 years. Then they lusted after mortal women, but also after men and beasts, and produced the giants, called the “Fallen Ones.” In absolutely corrupting the truth, these false Jewish fables claim that “in those days only one virgin, Istahar by name, remained chaste.” Istahar or Ishtar was in reality a very immoral woman, also known as Semiramis, the mother-wife of Nimrod, who was later worshipped as a Babylonian goddess. The Jewish fables claim, however, that Istahar flew to heaven where she took sanctuary. In the book of Jeremiah, we read about a pagan goddess residing in heaven, called the queen of heaven, who has been identified as Astarte or Ishtar, who was worshipped by the apostate Israelites (compare Jeremiah 7:18; 44:15–25). (As pointed out in Part 1, Chapter 3 of this booklet and as will be discussed below, there is no “queen” residing in heaven, since no human being ever ascended to heaven, except for Jesus Christ after His resurrection and glorification.)
Don’t Rely on Jewish Fables
The Bible warns us not to rely on Jewish fables, such as the uninspired Apocrypha, which are even included in some versions of the Old Testament. We read in 1 Timothy 1:3–4: “… charge some that they teach no other doctrine, nor give heed to fables…” We are also told in Titus 1:13–14 that we are to be “sound in the faith, not giving heed to Jewish fables…”
Enoch Not in Heaven
These Jewish fables, which are contained in the uninspired fairy tale of the book of Enoch, also claim that the “wise and virtuous Enoch also ascended to Heaven, where he became God’s chief counselor, henceforth known as ‘Metatron.’ God set His own crown upon Enoch’s head, and gave him seventy-two wings.”
All of this is utter nonsense, of course, as Enoch never went to the third heaven, but died and is in his grave, until he will be resurrected at the time of Christ’s Second Coming (compare John 3:13; Hebrews 11:5, 13, 39–40.) Please read chapter 7 of our free booklet, Is That in the Bible? The Mysteries of the Book of Revelation, which discusses what actually happened to Enoch when he was “translated,” and why he did not go to the third heaven.
In addition, there is only one Mediator between God the Father and men—the Man Jesus Christ (see 1 Timothy 2:5).
The book Hebrew Myths—The Book of Genesis points out on page 104 that the interpretation of Genesis 6 in the book of Enoch is derived from an UGARITIC MYTH of how “El,” a Semite bull god, seduced two mortal women and fathered divine sons with them.
It is interesting, though, that even these fanciful Jewish tales offer an explanation for the events in Genesis 6 which come closer to the truth. They say: “Others, however, make the Sons of God pious descendants of Seth, and the Daughters of Men were the sinful descendants of Cain… Adam, on his deathbed, ordered Seth to separate his tribe from the Canaanites; and each Sethite patriarch publicly repeated this order, generation after generation. The Sethites were extraordinarily tall, like their ancestor; and… won the name ‘Children of God.’” It is also claimed that the “Daughters of Men” were “Goddess-worshipping Canaanites” who “were notorious for their orgies and premarital prostitution.”
We will now present additional reasons why the idea that angels cohabitated with mortals and produced children is utter nonsense!
Angels Do Not Become Humans
Note first of all, that Christ and His righteous angels, when they appeared in Old Testament times AS humans, did NOT actually BECOME humans. Jesus Christ BECAME flesh—a human being—at the time of His First Coming, but not prior to then.
We read that God, in the person of Jesus Christ, together with two angels, appeared to Abraham, and they ate and spoke with him (Genesis 18:1–15). Christ and His angels appeared as men (verse 2). But this does not mean that they actually WERE men—flesh and blood human beings. They simply manifested themselves AS human beings. If the two angels had BECOME human beings at the time of Abraham, they could have died, but God’s Word tells us that His angels CANNOT die (Luke 20:34–36). If Christ had become a flesh and blood human being at the time of Abraham, He also could have died at that time. But this would have been impossible. He had to become a human being at the time of the New Testament in order to be able to die.
Christ did not become a human being prior to His human birth. In Old Testament times, He, as a Spirit being, was able to manifest Himself as a human being, but He was NOT actually a human being. The same is true for angels. They never BECAME humans.
Angels Do Not Marry
Some might respond that as angels, they could eat physical food, so why could they not engage in sexual conduct? They refer to the record about Sodom and point out that the men of the city wanted to have sexual intercourse with the two righteous angels who were staying with Lot. But this passage does not say, of course, that such intercourse took place. In fact, it did not occur, and the homosexual men of the city did not know that these were angels who had manifested themselves as men. The Bible clearly says that angels DO NOT marry nor are given in marriage. Some respond that this does not mean that they COULD NOT marry. This “distinction” is academic and immaterial, since righteous angels DO NOT marry. Genesis 6 clearly states that the “sons of God” took “AS WIVES” those whom they wanted. The New Jerusalem Bible renders Genesis 6:2,4 as follows: “… the sons of God, looking at the women, saw how beautiful they were and MARRIED as many of them as they chose… and had children by them.” The New International Version says: “the sons of God… MARRIED any of them [the daughters of men] they chose.”
So, the “sons of God” could not have been righteous angels, as angels do not marry. The same is true for demons, as we have seen, so the “sons of God” could not have been demons. But there is still another reason why the sons of God could not have been demons.
Fallen Angels Cannot Materialize Themselves
When angels sin, they cease to be righteous angels and they become fallen angels or demons. As such, they cannot materialize themselves any more as humans, let alone become humans. Unlike God’s holy angels, demons cannot appear as human beings, and for that reason alone, they could not have produced human offspring with women.
Notice the following comments in our above-mentioned booklet, Angels, Demons and the Spirit World:
“It appears from Scripture that demons cannot materialize themselves the way that angels can. Demons cannot appear as men. They can, however, create an illusion, or an apparition that might look very real to people… We find the following interesting record in Mark 6:47–50: ‘Now when evening came, the boat was in the middle of the sea; and He was alone on the land. Then He saw them straining at rowing, for the wind was against them. Now about the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea, and would have passed them by. And when they saw Him walking on the sea, they supposed it was a ghost [Authorized Version: a spirit], and cried out; for they all saw Him and were troubled. But immediately He talked with them and said to them, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”‘ The disciples thought they saw a ghost or a spirit, that is, a demon. The Greek word for ‘ghost’ is ‘phantasma,’ which has the meaning of ‘phantasm’ or ‘apparition.’
“In Luke 24:36–42 we find another passage that sheds some light on the inability of demons to materialize themselves. We read: ‘Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence.’
“Christ manifested Himself to the disciples as a being with flesh and bones. He even ate food in their presence to convince the disciples that it was He, not a spirit or a demon. The Greek word for ‘spirit’ is ‘pneuma’ and can refer to demons (compare Matthew 8:16; 10:1; 12:43, 45; Luke 4:33, 36; 6:18; 7:21, etc.). We understand, of course, that Christ is not a being with flesh and bones. Rather, at His resurrection He received a spiritual body and became a life-giving Spirit (1 Corinthians 15:44–45, 50). He was able to manifest Himself, however, as a person with flesh and bones… angels can manifest themselves as human beings as well. Demons cannot. Christ used this opportunity to show His disciples that He was not a spirit or a demon, because demons cannot manifest themselves as human beings with flesh and bones.
“We read in Job 4:12–16 about Eliphaz’ encounter with a spirit: ‘Now a word was secretly brought to me, And my ear received a whisper of it. In disquieting thoughts from the visions of the night, When deep sleep falls on men. Fear came upon me, and trembling, Which made all my bones shake. Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair on my body stood up. It stood still, But I could not discern its appearance. A form was before my eyes; There was silence; then I heard a voice…’ Eliphaz saw some kind of a form before his eyes but he could not discern the appearance of the spirit. This indicates that it was a demon, as the Bible does not show that God’s angels appear to man in such a way. It was something like an apparition—a phantasm. It was what the disciples thought they saw, too, when Jesus was walking on the water.
“Another encounter with a demon is recorded for us in 1 Samuel 28… King Saul consulted a witch to find out his future. During a séance, the witch ‘saw’ a demon, who pretended to be the dead Samuel. Saul could not see the demon. The demon spoke through the witch to Saul. We note again that the demon did not materialize himself as a being with flesh and bones. Rather, it was an illusion.”
The idea that righteous or fallen angels cohabited with women—and that they could perhaps do so again today– is a demonic and blasphemous abomination! The sons of God in Genesis 6 were not angels or demons, but they were male descendants of Seth (third-born son of Adam and Eve), who sinned when marrying unrighteous female descendants of Cain (Adam and Eve’s unrighteous first-born son who had murdered his righteous brother Abel).
This happened at a time when there were giants on earth. Clearly, Satan and his demons were behind these events, in that they influenced the descendants of Seth to marry the unrighteous descendants of Cain (whom they had also influenced, of course, to become, and stay, unrighteous), but this does not mean that Satan and his fallen angels physically fornicated with the women.
Part 6 A New Creation—What Will We Do as God Beings?
Lucifer and his angels were placed on this earth to beautify it and to subsequently finish the creation of the entire universe under God’s direction. They failed. It is man’s potential to succeed with this task, but much more than this is involved. Angels were created from the outset to help man and “to minister for those who will inherit salvation” (Hebrews 1:14). Angels were never offered the incredible potential which humans were offered. As we discussed in Chapter 4 of Part 1, angels were never given the power to create life out of nothing—just to finish the creation of the earth and the entire universe under God’s explicit direction. As we will see now, the potential of man is so much higher and all-encompassing!
The Bible teaches that it is the potential and destiny of man to enter the Kingdom and Family of God; that is, to become immortal God beings. The Bible tells us that we who are called today will BE what Christ is today. We will be like Him—as He is. We will share the Father’s and Christ’s very divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). We are to inherit “all things” with Christ!
Ability to Create
As God beings, we will, of course, have the ability to create, in the same way as God the Father and Jesus Christ create. This potential was never given to angels! They were to finish the creation of the universe under the directive of the God Family—and under the directive of man, after he has been made immortal. But even as immortal members of the God Family, we will always be UNDER the authority of God the Father and Jesus Christ. We will never do ANYTHING contrary to the Will of the Father and the Son. As God beings and members of the God FAMILY, we will be TOTALLY unified with the Father and Christ—we will think and act EXACTLY as they do!
Christ, a Life-GIVING Spirit Being
1 Corinthians 15:45 tells us that Christ is “a life-giving spirit.” That is, He is a Spirit being who can give and create LIFE! In fact, that is what He did before He became a human being. That is what He is doing today, and it is what He will continue to do after His return to this earth! We know, for instance, from the book of Revelation, that all living things in the oceans and rivers will have died before His return (Revelation 16), but we also read in several passages that there will be fish in the Millennium (Ezekiel 47). This shows that God will create LIFE, in this case, physical fish. He created life when the surface of the earth was renewed; and He created (“had prepared” or “had made”) a great fish or “sea monster” to swallow up Jonah (Jonah 1:17).
Re-creation of Dead Pets?
This understanding has wide-ranging consequences. Some have wondered about the fate of our pets, when they die. Even though the Bible does not say anywhere that animals will be resurrected the same as human beings, there is nothing in the Bible that says that they will not be. We read that animals have a spirit, and while Solomon states that the spirit in man will go back to God who gave it, he also ponders the fate of the spirit of animals, with no decisive answer given (Ecclesiastes 3:21). Consider that God can CREATE animals—including those resembling our pets. When scientists can clone animals today, how much more are God the Father and Jesus Christ able to create animals or to re-create (or resurrect) those which the God Family had created in the first place.
It follows then, that since we will be as Christ is, we will be given the same capabilities.
The Entire Universe Waits for Us
Romans 8:20–23 tells us that the entire creation (the entire universe) waits for us. Why? As we will discuss below, to be transformed into the glorious liberty of the children of God. The entire physical creation will be freed from corruption because it will ultimately become spirit too. But not until God creates new heavens and a new earth—long after Christ’s return. So, what are we going to do prior to God’s new creation?
Beautifying the Earth
When Christ returns, this earth will lie in a state of total ruin, so we will assist Him in the momentous project of rebuilding the ruins so that the earth will become a beautiful paradise. Just as the Father, through Christ, restored the surface of the earth after Satan’s rebellion, so the Father will restore the surface of the earth, through Christ and us under Christ. We will assist Christ in beautifying the earth, which includes CREATING physical life. Once we have entered the Family of God as immortal God beings, we will have the same abilities and capabilities which God the Father and Jesus Christ have. We will rule angels and possess more and higher powers than they do. We will heal people. We will assist Christ in judging mankind. And we will rule forever and ever (Revelation 22:5). Over what or whom will we reign, forever and ever?
Beautifying the Universe
First, we will reign under Christ over man. But once God’s plan for physical mankind has been completed and all human beings who have qualified will have become immortal God beings (while those who committed the unpardonable sin will have been burned up in the lake of fire), then what will be the next step in God’s great master plan? It appears that we will begin to rule over and beautify the vast universe. Romans 8:18–23 tells us that “the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility in hope; because the creation itself [the entire universe] also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption [or “decay,” compare New International Version and Revised Standard Version]… into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now…”
This passage indicates that once we are God beings and full members of the God Family, we will participate in the process of beautifying and finishing the creation of the presently unfinished universe. The universe is in a state of decay—the planets are, from all that we can tell, waste and empty. But it is our human potential to become God and, under the leadership of God the Father and Jesus Christ, to free the universe from decay and corruption.
This has been the long-held understanding of the Church of God under its late human leader, Herbert W. Armstrong.
In his book, Mystery of the Ages, chapter 3, “The Mystery of Man,” he wrote on page 103 [hard copy version]:
“Once… man [has been] BORN INTO the divine FAMILY of God, restoring the government of God to the earth, [he will] then participat[e] in the completion of the CREATION over the entire endless expanse of the UNIVERSE!”
In Chapter 7, Mystery of the Kingdom of God, he stated on pages 355–362:
“God says… that he has decreed the entire universe–with all its galaxies, its countless suns and planets–everything–will be put under man’s subjection… Why should the whole universe—the creation—be waiting with eager longing for the actual birth and appearing of all these sons of God to be born into the family of God? The… verses [of the Bible] portray a universe filled with planets in decay and futility—yet as if subjected now to this dead state in hope!…
“Could the whole universe with its myriad of other planets have been created for the eventual purpose of sustaining life?… when we (converted humans) are born of God—then having the power and glory of God—we are going to do as God did when this earth had been laid ‘waste and empty’… Christ… was renewing what had been destroyed by the rebellion of the sinning angels…
“[The Bible] indicates precisely what all astronomers and scientific evidence indicate—the suns are as balls of fire, giving out light and heat; but the planets, except for this earth, are in a state of death, decay and futility—but not forever—waiting until converted humans are BORN the children of God; born into the very divine family of God, forming the kingdom of God… even the whole universe is to be ruled by us, who, with God the Father and Christ, become the kingdom of God… We are to be given jurisdiction over the entire universe! What are we going to do then? These scriptures indicate WE SHALL IMPART LIFE to billions and billions of dead planets, as life has been imparted to this earth. We shall create, as God directs and instructs. We shall rule through all eternity!”
Imparting Physical Life
The foregoing quotes describe our role as God beings in helping, under the direction of both God the Father and Christ, to beautify and impart LIFE to the entire physical universe. (However, this will NOT include the creation of human life, as that aspect of God’s master plan will have already been completed.)
In addition to the beautification of our physical earth and the physical universe, the Bible reveals even more.
We have already pointed out that after these events, God will create new heavens and “a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” The new heavens (including the entire universe) and the new earth will no longer be physical—consisting of matter—but they will be spiritual—consisting of spirit. When the heavenly Jerusalem (a city consisting of spirit) descends to earth, it will descend to an earth consisting of spirit.
Spiritual Colonization of the New Heavens
The Bible not only speaks of the physical colonization of the universe as a type or forerunner, but also ultimately of our spiritual “colonization” of a universe that has been transformed into spirit.
The heavenly Jerusalem will come down from heaven after the physical earth and the physical heavens are burned up, and after God creates new heavens and a new earth (2 Peter 3:7, 10–13) which will remain (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22). In 2 Corinthians 4:18 we read: “…For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
Lamsa renders Hebrews 12:27 in this way: “And these words, once more, signify the CHANGE of things which may be shaken, because they are made in order that things which cannot be shaken may remain.”
Romans 8:18–23 tells us very clearly what those invisible things will be: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption INTO the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption [sonship], the redemption of our body.”
Physical Universe Changed into Spirit
We saw in verse 21 that the creation will be delivered from corruption “into” (“eis” in Greek) the glorious liberty of the children of God. Moffat renders verse 21 in this way: “The hope being that creation as well as man would one day be freed from its thralldom [bondage] to decay and gain the glorious freedom of God’s children.” The Revised Standard Version writes: “…the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and OBTAIN the glorious liberty of the children of God.” The Luther Bible states, “The creation, too, will be freed from bondage of temporary existence INTO the glorious freedom of the children of God.”
The Greek word for corruption or decay that is used in verse 21 is “phthora.” It is the same word used in 1 Corinthians 15:42, where we read: “The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.” It is also used in Galatians 6:8: “For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption.”
This physical creation, patterned after God’s spiritual creation, waits to be delivered from corruption to obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. The glorious freedom which the universe will receive, includes freedom from death! In that new universe, DEATH will be unknown, and so also will decay and corruption. In order to obtain such freedom from death and corruption, this universe will have to be changed into SPIRIT, as we also will have been changed into Spirit beings. In this way, the new heavens and the new earth will remain, for only the things that the human eye cannot see will remain.
What will remain is the new earth and the new universe, consisting of spirit (what the human eye cannot see). The physical existence will not remain forever; that is, the physical earth and the physical universe, which can be seen by the human eye, will be changed into spirit (which cannot be seen by the human eye).
Time Not an Issue
We do not know how much time will transpire after the end of the third resurrection period and before the physical earth and the heavens will be dissolved (2 Peter 3:11–12); new heavens and a new earth will be created (2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1); and the heavenly Jerusalem will descend to earth (Revelation 21:2). As Spirit beings, time will be of no consequence for us. For God, 1,000 years are just as one day (2 Peter 3:8) and “like a watch in the night” (Psalm 90:4). We do not know how much time will be spent to beautify the physical earth and maintain its beauty, while colonizing the physical universe, before God will create new heavens and a new earth. The Bible would allow for millions, if not billions or trillions of years, if viewed in human terms.
Some may ask why we should even colonize a physical universe, if it is only to be burned up later? The same question could be asked about this physical earth, which we will beautify and rule for a very long time after Christ’s return. It too will be burned up. But the emphasis is on the creation of spiritual heavens and a spiritual earth which will last forever—not on the temporary physical universe and the earth which will expire. Nothing physical will last forever.
In the Past: First Spiritual, Then Physical
We need to remember that the Spirit world existed first and that God created Spirit beings and “things” within the Spirit world before He created the physical. We read of a heavenly spiritual city, a spiritual temple, a spiritual mountain, a spiritual altar and a spiritual tabernacle, as well as spiritual trumpets, spiritual clothes, etc. After this spiritual creation, the physical universe and the earth were created—first the spiritual, and then the physical.
In the Future: First Physical, Then Spiritual
In the distant future, that process will be reversed—first the physical, and then the spiritual (1 Corinthians 15:46). When man was created, he was a physical creation with the potential of becoming a spiritual creation—a Spirit being. And so, the physical world and universe will ultimately be changed to consist of spirit as well. Once the beautification of the physical earth and the physical universe (as a first physical step) has been completed, they will be transformed or changed into something spiritual. As we hinted above, physical animals which died might be brought back to physical life, so also they might ultimately be transformed into spiritual existence. (After all, even angels have animal-like features, but they existed first, and the physical animals were, to an extent, created after their pattern.)
But we do not suggest that our work of beautifying the earth and imparting life to the universe (physical and spiritual) would include the creation of human beings. This phase of God’s master plan will have concluded with the third resurrection. And we do not suggest that we will ever create angels, or that God will create additional angels. Nothing is mentioned about this in the Bible. Rather, it appears that God created all the angels He wanted to create before He created man, as they were apparently created FOR man (Hebrews 1:14). But since we believe that we are going to create, at first physical, and then later spiritual life on earth and in the universe, it remains to be seen what type of life this is going to be.
Beyond Human Imagination
What exactly God has in store for us after the new heavens and the new earth have been created, we do not know. But we do know that God says we will rule forever and ever, and that His peace and government over the new earth and the entire new universe will have no end. God the Father will dwell on the newly-created earth, consisting of spirit, and the New Jerusalem, consisting of spirit, will come down from the third heaven, after the physical earth and the physical universe have been dissolved. Undoubtedly, the new earth will be God’s headquarters over the entire (new) universe, and it appears that we will be assisting God in the way that He directs.
For more information and Scriptural evidence on this intriguing subject, please read our free booklets: Angels, Demons and the Spirit World; God Is a Family; The Gospel of the Kingdom of God; Biblical Prophecy—From Now Until Forever; and Are You Already Born Again?
Before there was a physical creation, God who is Spirit, created a spiritual (third) heaven, the angels and spiritual things. Much later, “in the beginning” of His physical creation, He proceeded to create physical heavens—including the universe—and the earth. He created many life forms on the earth, but at that time, man was not yet created. God placed Lucifer and one-third of the angels on the earth to administer God’s government and, under God’s directive, to beautify the earth, with the purpose of also beautifying the universe, but they sinned and became known as Satan and demons or evil spirits. Under their influence, some or even much of the once peaceful animal life changed into vicious dinosaurs and other aggressive creatures. A universe-wide catastrophe ensued and the earth became void and empty. All physical life became extinct at that time.
About 6,000 years ago, God re-created the surface of the earth in six days by creating “modern” plants, animals and modern man on the third, fifth and sixth day, respectively. Adam and Eve procreated and all human beings, including those called “Neanderthal Man,” and the biblical “giants,” sprang from them. At that time, on the fifth day, God also created dinosaur-type sea-living creatures such as Leviathan and Behemoth, some of which might still exist today in secluded and fairly inaccessible waters, perhaps known as “the Loch Ness monster” or “Ogopogo.”
This original re-creation produced peaceful animals, but due to Satan’s influence, man, land animals and birds corrupted themselves. Man and beast became violent, and humans (not angels) engaged in unholy marriages. As a consequence, another earth-wide catastrophe ensued, and man and beast (but not necessarily sea creatures) were destroyed in a Flood (only Noah, his family and the animals in the ark were saved).
The surviving animals and humans procreated to fill the whole earth. At that time, giants developed again (descended from the offspring of Noah’s family—originally to a large extent from Canaan, Ham’s firstborn son). Most of these later became extinct, but some might have survived and may have become known in modern times as Bigfoot, Sasquatch or Yeti.
Today, Satan and his angels rule this world, but their rule will end when Jesus Christ returns to set up God’s righteous government on earth. The Bible speaks of several “worlds.” We read about sinning angels who occupied the world prior to man (2 Peter 2:4). We are then told about the “ancient world,” which was destroyed in the Flood (verse 5); the “present evil world” (Galatians 1:4, Authorized Version); and the “world to come” (Hebrews 2:5). That future world will not be under subjection of the angels (same verse).
When God created man, He purposed to bring him into His very Family and to give him rule over the earth and the entire universe, to administer His government over His physical and spiritual creation. Once man has qualified and has become a God being, God will direct him to restore and beautify the earth, and finally, to “colonize” new heavens and a new earth (2 Peter 3:13).
God’s plan will succeed, and you could have a part in it.