In the first part of this series, we explained that “in the beginning” God created the heavens (the entire physical universe) and the earth, but that due to a catastrophe, the earth BECAME void and empty and that God restored the surface of the earth within six days. We also pointed out that God made man at that time. However, the earth had not been 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”–see pages 59-62).
In this booklet, we also stated the following in our 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 our first installment of this series, we pointed out that when God created the earth, 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 with the name of Lucifer. However, as we explained, he and his angels rebelled against and tried to fight God and 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.
In Part 2 of our afore-mentioned booklet, titled, “The World of Demons,” we stated under “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 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 for 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 a better job—than God, in 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 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, but 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 His angels in a spiritual warfare. He might have thought that in time, he would perhaps be able to convince God’s angels as well to submit to him, as he had been successful to persuade the angels under his original command to obey him.)
Referring especially to the role which Lucifer’s angels played in this appalling spiritual rebellion, we stated the following in part 2 of our afore-mentioned booklet, under “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 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 as to how to administer God’s government of love and justice among the angels and as to how to rule with them on 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), so 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 which 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 its animals, was created, which would imply that all the animals were peaceful and not ferocious creatures.
When God recreated the surface of the earth and created the more “modern” animals, they were created in a peaceful state. God placed Adam and Eve in a beautiful garden, telling them to “tend and to keep” it (Genesis 2:15). The animals were brought to Adam so that he would 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 sin; and something similar happened to the dinosaurs prior to man—they too became wild due to sin. God did not create them as vicious animals as we see them sometimes portrayed in movies today.
In our Q&A on the cruel nature of some of today’s animals, we stated the following:
“There is no biblical evidence that God created animals at the beginning with vicious natures. 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 — as later, 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 — that is, 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 pronounces punishment on a literal 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 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.
“Under the influence of Satan, in due course, the nature of other animals changed, too. In fact, the nature of 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.’’
God did not create Lucifer and his angels as evil monstrous creatures either. As we saw, they became that way. 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 nature changed, and as he was able, in the process of time, to influence his 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 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 became wild subsequently. But its tame nature will be restored.
It appears that when Satan and his demons launched their attack against God, all flesh on the earth had corrupted itself. And as God destroyed the animals in a Flood at the time of Noah, so He might have also destroyed the animals at the time prior to Adam, 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 Satan’s and his demons’ twisted and perverted minds, in rage and anger, destroyed the surface of the earth and the animal world under their control when they realized that their fight against God would prove unsuccessful. Satan is THE destroyer (Revelation 9:11); he loves to destroy whatever he can. He will inspire man to be willing 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). They also caused the 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 (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.
(To be Continued)
Lead Writer: Norbert Link