Does the Bible allow for the existence of dinosaurs prior to the creation of man? (Part 4)


In the last three installments of this series, we explained that God created the earth in a beautiful and peaceful state, and that He had placed Lucifer and one-third of His angels on this earth to administer God’s government. We also showed that they rebelled against God and became known as Satan and his demons. The earth became void and empty and God 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 they were not vicious creatures when God created them, but they became that way under Satan’s influence.

In this installment, we will dig deeper into the purpose of Lucifer’s and his angels’ placement on earth. What exactly were they supposed to do here? We will also try to shed additional light on the question as to how some of the dinosaurs became aggressive and ferocious creatures, such as the infamous Tyrannosaurus Rex.

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 abode and 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 angel’s 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…”

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!…”

Taken all of these statements together, they are opening up 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 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.”

This does not mean that God gave angels the power to create physical things or beings out of nothing, but it appears 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 then began to work on his angels to follow his destructive thinking, the peaceful environment of the earth began to change gradually. Before wrong thinking set in, the animal world, which had been created by God, was in no way hostile or aggressive. But as we pointed out in a prior installment, 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.

We also read 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; nor are we told, specifically, how they “gave in” to Satan’s influence, but the Bible shows 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 God changed or at least temporarily subdued whatever violent nature existed in them. We do not read that any of the animals reacted aggressively towards 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; and in due time, the tower of Babel was built under Nimrod in open defiance of and rebellion against God. Satan was still ruling this world, and he is still ruling it today, and 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 even apart from actual possession, even the demonic influence of man and beast can affect them and drive them to ferocious actions. When Satan and his angels developed their hostile attitude towards God—which could have lasted for millions or billions of years—their evil thinking was also directed towards and influenced those creatures under their control–the animal world. And we must not forget that animals had and have personality. Apparently, some animals were and are more “receptive” to wrong influences than others.

Animals have a spirit (Ecclesiastes 3:21). This animal spirit is different from the human spirit (1 Corinthians 2:11), but 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 by dealing with their spirit. When He commanded the sea monster [a huge “fish” or sea animal of unknown identity which God had especially “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 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. There is much more information on pages 17-26 of our free booklet, “The Theory of Evolution—a Fairy Tale for Adults.”

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 this—that Satan and his demons created “ex nihilo” 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 that not only their nature changed, but also their physical system, including their digestive system 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 page 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 within a species or a “kind” did and do occur, and they could have included changes pertaining to the digestive system in animals. It is possible that Satan and his demons might have helped in bringing about those changes in pre-Adamic animals—rather than 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.

We know that in the Millennium, God will reverse the process. Wolves and lambs will peacefully live 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 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 did later destroy 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 be describing a 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 have [also] been 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.

Lead Writer: Norbert Link

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