How, Why, and When: The Judgement of God (Past and Future)

COPYRIGHT WARNING

Many people mistakenly assume by the present inaction of God to judge their sins that God’s love will not allow Him to condemn them to hell.

God is the embodiment of love. He is the reason that love exists at all. He is also a God of justice and He cannot permit sin to go unpunished forever (see Prophecy 208). The Lord has appointed a time in which He will judge every thought, word, and deed of all people. Those who have placed themselves under the saving power of Jesus sacrifice will be found not guilty. Those who stubbornly refuse to submit their lives to Jesus and rest their sins squarely on His sacrifice, will bear the penalty for those sins themselves.

To bow the knee is an absolute requirement

Since the cross, where Jesus made atonement for the sins of the whole world, the forgiveness of sin and a full pardon from God for all past wrongs is available to anyone who willingly comes to God. In order to receive His forgiveness—first, the knee must bow to Jesus as Lord, then an acknowledgement is made that He is the only Savior. Bowing of the knee and the heart are two necessary fundamentals of true repentance. God will accept nothing less than the absolute surrender of the life that He is going to save. The bowing of the knee is seen as the visual evidence that the heart has been humbled and is repentant and ready to submit to Jesus’ authority. Without repentance and a submission to Jesus as Savior and Lord, there can be no forgiveness of sin or eternal life.

Many will bow the knee but not the heart

At the end of the seven-year Tribulation, when Jesus returns to earth with His church, He will set up the kingdom promised to David that many of the Old Testament prophecies speak of (see The Prophecies of the Messiah’s Kingdom). All the earth will be required to bow their knee to Jesus in submission to His authority, without dispute or right of appeal. Jesus has earned this right by His death and resurrection to defeat sin and death forever.

There will be many during this one thousand-year reign who will bow their knee but not their heart. They will submit to Jesus’ authority outwardly; but in the heart, they will remain in rebellion.

At the end of the one thousand years, satan who has been kept in chains, will be released for a short time to gather all those whose hearts are in defiance towards Jesus (Revelation 20). In this, we learn that one of the purposes in God allowing satan’s continued existence is to manifest the true hearts of people who have a disposition towards rebellion against God. All of those who join satan in this final rebellion will be dispatched to the Lake of Fire, forever.[1]

The devil is chained for 1,000 years

Revelation 20:1-3 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.

All those who die without Christ await judgment

Revelation 20:5 But the rest of the dead (unsaved) did not live again until the thousand years were finished.

The Bible is very specific in that those who refuse to accept God’s offer of forgiveness, through Jesus’ sacrifice, and then die—have no second chance at salvation after their death.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment

If a person dies without Christ, he is held in hell with all others who have refused Jesus as their Savior. They will all await their judgment at the end of the one thousand-year reign of Jesus when they will be raised from the dead to stand before the Great White Throne of God (Revelation 20:11). Their judgment will be based on their own insufficient works for salvation instead of Jesus’ perfect sacrifice which made salvation certain.

At the end of the 1,000 years, satan is released to gather the rebellious

The true heart of those who bowed their knees but not their will to Jesus during the one thousand years will be manifested by the release of satan, who will gather all the rebellious to fight against the Lord. God will supernaturally destroy this entire army of recalcitrants and end their defiance, once and for all, along with satan and his demons.

Revelation 20:7-14 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. 11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Forgiveness and salvation have an expiration date

God has appointed a limited time in which He will withhold judgment and allow the opportunity for repentance. The Lord has appointed a time certain in which He will judge sin and assign all those who remained unrepentant—to hell. We should never mistake the present lack of action by God as an indication that He will not judge in the future. The purpose for God presently withholding judgment is to allow time for people to change their mind and come to Jesus. We all live in a period of grace in which we may repent and be saved. We must nevertheless remember that judgement will come against all sin and rebellion in the future.

2 Peter 3:5-7 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

Since God has on two former occasions, destroyed the earth for sin, He will certainly destroy the earth one final time because of sin. At Genesis Chapter one, we see that God originally created the earth to be good and created it to be inhabited.

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:

I believe that it is a mistake to assume that because Adam was created by God about 6,000 years ago, that this is also the age of the earth. Although the theory of a young earth is widely held today by many learned and wise people who believe in the Bible as the word of God, it is not certain from the Bible that we can prove conclusively that the earth is young; in fact, the opposite may be true.

Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The term In the beginning is translated from the Hebrew, bere’shith, a starting place for creation and the beginning of time.[2] Before God created the heavens and the earth, time did not exist. In the Hebrew construction of this first verse—as God created the heavens and the earth in the beginning, so also will He create the heavens and the earth at the end.

Isaiah 65:17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.”

The statement In the beginning, re’shith in Hebrew, is a declaration for a starting place of specific duration. The beginning of the Hebrew year is called re’shith hashshanah; the end of the year is called aharit shanah.

Deuteronomy 11:12 a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year (re’shith hashshanah) to the very end of the year (aharit shanah).

For the person who speaks and understands Hebrew, the text from Genesis 1:1 is clear. God is making a declaration of His creation, but He is also making a statement about the end of time or the last days: “As things are at the beginning, they will be at the end.”

It is interesting, the manner in which the Bible is constructed. God is describing how creation came into being, what happened to His perfect creation, and how He will redeem it again to its former glory. Each one of the depictions describe prophetically how God will accomplish these things. God is not only telling us what He has done; He is declaring to us what He will do in the future.

As God created the heavens and the earth at the beginning of time, space, and matter, so also will He create these things again at the end of the current duration of time, space, and matter. The literal idea of Genesis 1:1 is that “the last things will be as the first things.” God is predicting the future, at the beginning of the Bible, in the very first verse.

Genesis 1:1, Isaiah 65:17 and Revelation Chapter 21:1 are identical in their declarations:

Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Isaiah 65:17 For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; And the former shall not be remembered or come to mind.

Revelation 21:1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.

Genesis declares the beginning of creation; Isaiah declares the prophetic intent of creation, to remake all creation again, perfect and without sin; Revelation reveals when this new creation will occur; at the end of the age.

The primary intent of God’s declaration of creation, in Genesis 1:1, is to predict the end, when the last shall be as the first, a new heavens and a new earth, perfect and good.

A cataclysmic earth before Adam

There is a hint in the second verse of Genesis 1 that when God first created the heavens and the earth, they were perfect. During some cataclysmic event which took place in the distant past of earth’s history, the earth became formless and void.

Genesis 1:2 The earth was (could be translated “became”) without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

It is my opinion that the account of Genesis 1:3 in which six days of creation are described; are a restorative creation, not the original creation which is described in verse 1.

We should remember that all of the comments and observations made concerning the scriptures are the opinions of men and women who endeavor themselves to understand what God has written. We must deduce from the entirety of the text of the Bible what God is saying and how He intends that we understand what is written. In reality, and this is what is often not stated in Bible commentaries, we do not know everything, and we will not know exactly what God intended here in the accounts of Creation in Genesis 1:1-2 until the Lord finally comes for us and we are in heaven. Based on all of the evidence of the Bible, I make these observations and I do not do so hastily.

Conclusions based on careful study

It has taken this author 39 years of serious study to reach a reasonable conclusion for the things I write here for your consideration. I have concluded that although my observations are credible based on what the Bible reveals, they are not often accepted by many other scholars. It seems that the primary reason for opposition in this regard is due to traditions long held by the creationist viewpoint as well as the fear of being ostracized by their colleagues who do not hold these principles as credible. No one wants to be seen as being outside the mainstream of commonly held sound principles of Biblical interpretation.

The problem with joining such an association is that we place ourselves in the same group as the Pharisees who would not receive Jesus as the Messiah, not because the evidence failed to show Him to be the Messiah, but because the general consensus among the so-called experts of that day said that Jesus was not the Messiah. I fear not that I will be ostracized, but more so that the Lord would not be pleased should I concur with conclusions that I cannot honesty endorse.

For most of my Christian life I too was a young earth creationist. After an extensive study, over three decades, I realized that I was wrong, and the entire premise of the young earth was likely wrong.

We should deduce here that if God was desiring only to inform us that He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, verse 2 of Genesis 1 was unnecessary. The story of the original creation of the heavens and the earth could be accomplished without verse 2.

Genesis 1:1,3 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

Notice how efficiently this depicts the creation of the universe and the earth without any confusion. The fact that verse 2 exists at all is a stunning indication that God is trying to convey a message to us that something occurred which caused the earth to become formless and void. This required His intervention by great power to restore earth to a place that would be suitable for Adam, the beginning of God’s salvation story for all creation to behold.

The Hebrew meaning for the words found in this second verse of Genesis 1, reveals a stunning period of earth’s history which left it formless and void (Hebrew: tohu wabohu).

There are two other places in the Old Testament where the phrase formless and void, tohu wabohu, are used in precisely the same context as Genesis 1:2.

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: “I am the LORD, and there is no other.

The following verse from Jeremiah 4:23 is considered by many Bible Prophecy Scholars to be the pinnacle of evidence for the original creation of the universe in reverse.[3] Here Jeremiah sees the earth as it was in Genesis chapter 1, verse 2, in a state of formlessness and being void. Notice the language that is used to describe this event: there was no man, all the birds had fled, the fruitful land was a wilderness, all the cities were broken down…

Jeremiah 4:23 I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void; And the heavens, they had no light. 24 I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, And all the hills moved back and forth. 25 I beheld, and indeed there was no man, And all the birds of the heavens had fled. 26 I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness, And all its cities were broken down At the presence of the LORD, By His fierce anger.

As Jeremiah is speaking a prophecy of the last days when the Lord will destroy the heavens and the earth, here he refers us back to an earlier destruction of the earth in Genesis 1:2, when God destroyed the earth and made it formless and void.

Touhu—Strong’s number 922—confusion, desolation.
Wabohu—Strong’s number 8414—under judgement.

Genesis 1_2 judgement[4]
From Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon. The term wabohu defines judgment as occurring in context of Jeremiah 4:23 and Genesis 1:2.

Verse 1 of Genesis chapter 1 tells us that in the beginning of the creation of God, everything was perfect. Verse 2 of Genesis 1 suddenly and abruptly changes this perfect creation by an apparent cataclysmic event which took place in the form of a judgment by God. The earth is described as becoming formless and void with the Spirit of God hovering over the waters in anger.

The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

The fact that the land was covered with water and darkness, defines this event apart from the good creation God had made; earth became formless and void as a result of God’s judgement.

2 Peter Chapter 3 describes the principle that men forget: it was by the word of the Lord that the heavens were created, then the earth was standing out of water, then it was covered again with water.

2 Peter 3:5-6 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old (Genesis 1:1 at creation), and the earth standing out of water and (then again in Genesis 1:2) in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.

Scholars have assumed that this verse is speaking of the great flood of Noah. The problem with this assumption is that these verses of scripture do not specify that particular flood. There is not a single inference to Noah or the flood that occurred at that time in the entire context of Peter’s description of the judgment of God that destroyed the earth by water.

Therefore, it is completely reasonable that these verses from 2 Peter 3:5-6 could be describing the heavens of old (the dateless past), being formed by the word of God (13.7 billion years ago); and the earth being ready for habitation had advanced life forms that were destroyed (at the fall of Lucifer), during a cataclysmic event when the earth was destroyed by God and covered with water. Finally, about 6,000 years ago, the waters that covered the earth were receded to allow land to reappear a second time during the six days of re-creation that are described in the Book of Genesis chapter 1, verses 3-31.

Peter’s words are a fitting description for what may have occurred in Genesis 1:2.

Genesis 1:2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

2 Peter 3:5-6 …the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.

The term deep, in Genesis 1:2, is a reference to the deep water that covered the earth, that prevented light and life from being seen. There are many occurrences in the Old Testament where the judgement of God is exhibited by the use of water.

Judgment of the world

Genesis 7:17 Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth.

Judgement against Egypt

Exodus 7:17 Thus says the LORD: “By this you shall know that I am the LORD. Behold, I will strike the waters which are in the river with the rod that is in my hand, and they shall be turned to blood.

Exodus 14:28 Then the waters returned and covered the chariots, the horsemen, and all the army of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them. Not so much as one of them remained.

Judgment at Marah

Exodus 15:23 Now when they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter. Therefore the name of it was called Marah.

Judgement of the Amorites

Joshua 5:1 So it was, when all the kings of the Amorites who were on the west side of the Jordan, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea, heard that the LORD had dried up the waters of the Jordan from before the children of Israel until we had crossed over, that their heart melted; and there was no spirit in them any longer because of the children of Israel.

Judgment of the earth, described by David

2 Samuel 22:8-16 Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations of the heavens trembled and quaked, because he was angry. 9 Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him. 10 He bowed the heavens and came down; thick darkness was under his feet. 11 He rode on a cherub and flew; he was seen on the wings of the wind. 12 He made darkness around him his canopy, thick clouds, a gathering of water. 13 Out of the brightness before him coals of fire flamed forth. 14 The Lord thundered from heaven, and the Most High uttered his voice. 15 And he sent out arrows and scattered them; lightning, and routed them. 16 Then the channels of the sea were seen; the foundations of the world were laid bare, at the rebuke of the Lord, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils. (ESV)

Here, David acting in the capacity of a prophet, describes the earth under a judgement of God, covered with darkness and water—which is identical to the context of Genesis 1:2 when God covered the earth with water and it became formless and void.

This is just a few examples from the scriptures that we could use to make the case that Genesis 1:2 could certainly be a reference to a previous judgment of God. There is far more evidence to reach this conclusion than there is to determine that this is simply a statement of the earth before it was read for man. For this reason, both theories having credibility, they are reasonable explanations for the text of Genesis 1:2. Many scholars today would have us believe that a cataclysmic event is nowhere supported in the Bible and the only credible answer for Genesis 1:2 is the “not ready” state of the earth before God made it habitable. I would vigorously disagree with this interpretation, based on the evidence that I have presented to the contrary.

We must remember that the fall of Lucifer is an established fact. This fall occurred before Adam was created, for He is seen in a fallen state in the Garden when Adam and Eve are tempted to eat of the fruit.[5] In the book of Job, God tells us that when He created the heavens and the earth, the angels were already in existence, shouting praised to God in response to His creation.[6]

Where do we place the fall of Lucifer in the chronology of the earth if not in the distant past, before Adam was created? The judgment of Lucifer was not limited to heaven only, it also affected the earth as Lucifer was a prince here before Adam was created.[7] God describes Lucifer as responsible for the earth becoming a wilderness, and destroying all its cities.[8] When did all of this occur? I submit that it is reasonable, from the scriptures, that we understand this fall took place before the six days of Genesis 1:3-31, when God restored the earth, after having taken it out of darkness when it had been destroyed in judgement; at a time in great distance from Adam’s creation.

When God creates, it is alway good

God does not make things that are not good and then cause them to be good. When God creates, it is always perfect and good at the beginning. The fact that we see a creation of God which is described as formless and void is an indication that something occurred after God created the earth good and ready for inhabitation.

God describes everything He made as very good.

Genesis 1:31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

To imply that God made the heavens and the earth and they were in a formless and useless condition (not ready), then God made them good, is a contradiction of all other statements of God’s creation in the Bible. Whatever the Lord creates it is always good from the beginning. God did not create Adam in a rough form and then refine him. Adam was created perfect, as was Lucifer—perfect from the day of their creation.

Ezekiel 28: 5 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.

When God creates, it is perfect from the beginning. Lucifer was perfect until he initiated sin that caused what God had made to no longer be perfect and good. The fact that Genesis 1:2 describes an earth which became formless and void demands that sin had occurred to cause this action of judgement by God.

We misrepresent God in His perfection and power when we state that “in the beginning He created the heavens and the earth,” but the earth was created formless and void and God had to refine it and make it inhabitable for man.

When God created the earth, he made it ready for inhabitation from the beginning.

Isaiah 45:18 For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, …Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited…

The fact that Genesis 1:2 states that the earth became formless and void, is a statement of judgement by God. As a result of sin, something cataclysmic happened to His original creation on earth, requiring God’s judgement and placement of the earth into a formless and void condition.

Most Biblical scholars will agree that Genesis 1:2 is a statement by God that the earth was formless and void before God made it good. What seems to be missing from the conclusions of many good men is that God does not make things formless (tohu) and void.

Not ready, state

It is an error to state that Genesis 1:2 is describing the earth before God took it from being formless and void and made it inhabitable for people. If this were true, why are there no statements similar in describing the formation of the universe? Verse 1 of Genesis states that God created the heavens and the earth in the beginning. The earth was already in existence and inhabitable, before verse 2 begins a short narrative describing a cataclysmic event of judgement. The form that this judgement took can only be conjectured as the fall of Lucifer and the kingdom that he ruled over on the earth.

The remainder of Genesis Chapter 1 tells us the story of a recreative work of God on the earth which was in a state of emptiness. The light that is seen, comes from the sun which had already been created but was not visible on the earth because the planet was covered with water and had no land or atmosphere that allowed the light to be seen. As God brings that land up out of the waters and defines boundaries for the water, He makes an atmosphere whereby the sun can be seen, then the light appears on the earth. This allows the seeds which are already present on the earth to spring forth, and the creation of animals and man is made possible.

Deuteronomy 32:10 is commonly used by those in opposition to the Genesis 1:2 position that the earth became formless and void. Their opinion is that the term empty (tohu) in Isaiah 45:18; God did not create the land to be empty (tohu) but made it to be inhabited, carries the same meaning of Deuteronomy 32:10, where formless, also tohu is used to describe a wasteland and uninhabited desert.

Deuteronomy 32:1-13 “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; And hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 2 Let my teaching drop as the rain, My speech distill as the dew, As raindrops on the tender herb, And as showers on the grass. 3 For I proclaim the name of the LORD: Ascribe greatness to our God. 4 He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He. 5 They have corrupted themselves; They are not His children, Because of their blemish: A perverse and crooked generation. 6 Do you thus deal with the LORD, O foolish and unwise people? Is He not your Father, who bought you? Has He not made you and established you? 7 Remember the days of old, Consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; Your elders, and they will tell you: 8 When the Most High divided their inheritance to the nations, When He separated the sons of Adam, He set the boundaries of the peoples According to the number of the children of Israel. 9 For the LORD’S portion is His people; Jacob is the place of His inheritance. 10 He found him in a desert land And in the wasteland, a howling wilderness; He encircled him, He instructed him, He kept him as the apple of His eye. 11 As an eagle stirs up its nest, Hovers over its young, Spreading out its wings, taking them up, Carrying them on its wings, 12 So the LORD alone led him, And there was no foreign god with him. 13 He made him ride in the heights of the earth, That he might eat the produce of the fields; He made him draw honey from the rock, And oil from the flinty rock…”

What is interesting about Deuteronomy 32, when we read the entire context of these verses, we see that God is seen as the Creator, and in verse 4, all His work is described as perfect. Verse 5 describes how man corrupts what God has made, and this leads to the conclusion of verse 10, where man is found in an empty and uninhabited desert.

When the entirety of Deuteronomy 32 is read, it brings us to the exact same conclusion that we reach when we read Genesis 1:1-2 and Isaiah 45:18. God created the heavens and the earth; they were perfect and ready to be inhabited. The reasonable conclusion is, they would be immediately inhabited. Something happened that changed what was perfect and caused God to judge the world and make it formless and void.

This is what Peter was describing:

...by the word of God the heavens were of old (Genesis 1:1 at creation), and the earth standing out of water and (then again in Genesis 1:2) in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.[9]

In Genesis 1:3-31, God describes for us the six days in which He brought the earth out of this judgment—from formless and void and made the earth good once again. Of course the rest of the story is that after God placed Adam on the earth, he and Eve, by their sin, placed the earth in further judgment which would end, once again in the total destruction of the earth. Finally, at the end of the age, God will create a new heaven and earth that would once again be perfect and good from the moment that God created it.

Revelation 21:1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.

We see repeated examples in the Old Testament for periods of time when the people of God disobey Him and the land (ha’ares) becomes uninhabitable (tohu), as the people are sent in exile to other nations. This is precisely what happened in Genesis 1:2. Something occurred that caused God to make the earth uninhabitable.

Jeremiah 4:22 “For My people are foolish, They have not known Me. They are silly children, And they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, But to do good they have no knowledge.”

Notice how in verse 22, the Lord relates the foolishness and sin of Israel to the following verses in Jeremiah 4:23-26. Here Jeremiah is describing the precise events of Genesis 1:2 in the exact same language that Moses wrote to depict the earth becoming without form and void because of sin. Jeremiah describes the earth in a state of ruin. There was no man, the birds had fled, and all the cities were destroyed. This is certainly a reference to Genesis 1:2 and what occurred on the earth when it became formless and void.

Jeremiah 4:23-26 I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void; And the heavens, they had no light. 24 I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, And all the hills moved back and forth. 25 I beheld, and indeed there was no man, And all the birds of the heavens had fled. 26 I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness, And all its cities were broken down At the presence of the LORD, By His fierce anger.

This is an amazing description by Jeremiah of the events of Genesis 1:2 which give us greater detail than we find anywhere else in the Bible.

1. The earth was without form and void.
2. There was no light.
3. The mountains and hills were moved.
4. There was no man.
5. The birds had fled.
6. The once fruitful land was a wilderness.
7. All the cities were broken down.

All this happened at the fierce anger of the Lord.

What is most compelling regarding these verses from Jeremiah is that they depict the precise events of Genesis 1:2.

Genesis 1:2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Jeremiah 4:23-26 I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void; And the heavens, they had no light.

Jeremiah describes Israel as a wilderness by a direct act of God. He relates the events of Genesis 1:2 to the sin of disobedience that Israel committed against God which caused the Lord to make Israel a desolation. It is possible that Jeremiah’s description is a reflection of the same sin of disobedience which occurred on the earth before man was created, when Lucifer sought to elevate his authority above that of God and was cast out of heaven.

A Summary of the creation of the heavens and the earth:

Genesis 1:1-2 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The first verses of the Bible gives us an indication that the heavens and the earth were created by God at some indeterminate time in the past. When we study the Book of Job, the oldest document in the Bible, we find that when the earth was originally created by God, Lucifer and all the angels were already in existence, and watched in amazement as the Lord spoke the Cosmos into being.

Job 38:4,7 (The Lord speaking to Job about the creation of the earth) “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. 7 When the morning stars (angels) sang together, And all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

Lucifer’s creation:

God describes Lucifer as the highest of all God’s creation and perfect until he chose to sin against God.

Ezekiel 28:15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.

Isaiah Chapter 14 and Ezekiel Chapter 28 both describe Lucifer before his fall.

Lucifer’s sin occurred after the earth was created but long before Adam was created by God. Before Adam is spoken of in Genesis chapter 1, Lucifer, the greatest of all the angels, is described by Ezekiel 28:13 as in Eden, perfect. After his fall he is seen in the Garden once again in opposition to Adam’s creation, seeking to cause his fall.

Genesis 3:4-5 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.

The creation of Lucifer, perfect in every way:

Ezekiel 28:12 …You were the seal of perfection, Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.

He was in Eden, the Garden of God before Adam was created:

Ezekiel 28:13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering

We see that Lucifer was in the Garden of God on the earth and was perfect, long before Adam was Created. This was not the Garden of Eden of Adam; it is called by a different name: The Garden of God.

He was on the Mountain of God, walking in the midst of the fiery stones:

Ezekiel 28:14 “You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.”

Perfect until he coveted God’s title:

Isaiah 14:13-14 …For you have said (Pre-Fall) in your heart: “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also 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.”

Ezekiel 28:15-18 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you. 16 By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones. 17 Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you. 18 You defiled your sanctuaries By the multitude of your iniquities, By the iniquity of your trading; Therefore I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, And I turned you to ashes upon the earth In the sight of all who saw you.

Verse 14: Lucifer is a cherub, an angel who was on the Holy Mountain of God, before Adam was created and placed on the earth.
Verse 15: He was perfect from the day he was created.
Verse 16: Lucifer is described as trading, a description of the work he was doing on the Mountain of God, before God created Adam.[10] As a result the Lord destroyed him. The Hebrew word used here is wā·’ab·beḏ·ḵā, to kill or make perish.[11] It seems that upon his fall Lucifer may have lost his physical body while retaining his eternal spirit. This is perhaps why we see him as satan in the body of the serpent in the Garden of Eden. This is much in the same way that we see the angels who were disobedient to God, came to earth and died in the flood of Noah. They are now without physical bodies, described as demons.
Verse 17: It was pride over his beauty that caused Lucifer to fall. Notice that at his fall, God laid him before kings so that they might gaze at him. These kings were on the earth with Lucifer, and they were all here before Adam was created, later in the Garden of Eden.
Verse 18: Lucifer is described by God as defiling your sanctuaries—a place of worship on the earth on the Mountain of God before Adam was created. God says that He turned Lucifer to ashes upon the earth, in the sight of all those who saw him fall.

This is really very clear language by God.

Lucifer was a prince over the earth before man was created. He had rulership over kings, and there were other beings that may have been angels or some other humanoid type of beings. Lucifer coveted the power that God had over all creation, and he was not satisfied with the rule God gave him on the earth.

Lucifer’s fall:

Lucifer is said to defile his sanctuaries. A sanctuary is a place of worship. Lucifer defiled the place of worship to which he was in authority over—by proclaiming that he is God and then commanding that all who were on the earth to worship him. There is an amazing similarity between this event and the events which take place during the seven year Tribulation as the antichrist, during the midway point of the seven-year Tribulation, will also defile the Temple at Jerusalem and demand the exclusive worship of himself by the inhabitants of the earth.

It was for this reason that God cast Lucifer out of heaven and destroyed him. In the same way, after the antichrist commands the world to worship him as God, the 21 judgements described in the Book of Revelation are unleashed upon the kingdom of the antichrist and those who do worship him.

God will not permit any being to take his place as the sovereign God of the earth. When Lucifer sought this title for himself before Adam was created, God destroyed him. When the antichrist seeks the title of God and His worship during the middle of the seven year Tribulation, God will destroy him also.

Jesus said that He saw satan, cast out of heaven:

Matthew 10:18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

Lucifer destroys the earth:

After God dethroned Lucifer and took away his right of rulership, something cataclysmic took place on the earth which was caused by Lucifer’s rebellio—instituted by God’s judgement.

Lucifer is cast out of heaven, dethroned, and he becomes satan, resulting in the earth being made a wilderness.

Isaiah 14:17 Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms, Who made the world as a wilderness And destroyed its cities

Lucifer sought to ascend into heaven and take rulership from God. He was therefore cast out of heaven to the earth.

Isaiah 14:12-15 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ 15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.”

Notice God’s reference to Lucifer’s fall, that he weakened the nations. This is not a future reference but a current statement of the events which took place when Lucifer fell. God cast Lucifer out of heaven back to the earth before the very nations and kings to which he had formerly ruled over.

God judges the world, places it in a state of suspension:

Upon its destruction, God places the earth in a deep freeze and covers it with water with no light, no land, and no life. The term darkness was on the face of the deep, in Hebrew (Tohu wa Bohu), implies that a judgement has taken place.[12] This was not simply a declaration that the earth was in a state of emptiness before God formed it for habitation, but that it was habitable and then became a wasteland by the action of God’s judgment.

Genesis 1:2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

When we arrive at verse 3 of Genesis Chapter 1, God is ready to take the earth out of its suspended state and bring forth life again.

The creation of Adam:

Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Adam placed in the Garden of Eden:

Genesis 2:15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.

Eve created from Adam:

Genesis 2:21-22 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

The serpent, satan, is seen in his fallen condition in the garden:

Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

The question would logically be: “If Lucifer has already fallen and is seen here in the Garden at the creation of Adam and Eve, when did he fall?” The answer is obvious: He fell at some point in time, before the six creative days described in Genesis Chapter 1.

At some distance to the time when Adam was placed on the earth, the fall of Lucifer had already occurred, as described in Isaiah Chapter 14.

Isaiah Chapter 14 and Ezekiel Chapter 28 both describe Lucifer before his fall and the events which caused his fall.

Some commentators have erroneously stated that this is a description of the king of Tyre. It is obvious that the king of Tyre did not walk in the Garden of God nor was this king or any other man called a Cherub. The Cherubim are the chief of all angels who are seen in heaven with God. Clearly the king of Tyre was possessed by satan who commandeered his body to accomplish the work of satan in the kingdom of Tyre.

I am always amazed as I read the commentaries of great men who have written on the fall of Lucifer and the specific verses of scripture in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28. There is a large dodge occurring in these verses by Bible commentators when they seek to make a point that the subject of Ezekiel 28 is the King of Tyre. Even with the greatest of embellishment, a man or a king could never be referred to in the Bible as a Cherub.

The word Cherub or Cherubim is used 95 times in the Old Testament and always in describing a heavenly creature. There is no precedence for calling a man or a king a Cherub anywhere in the entire Bible. It is clear by the context of Ezekiel 28:14-18 that satan is being described. This anointed cherub who covers is an angelic creature who has fallen from heaven. It would take great exegetical license to make the anointed cherub who covers, the king of Tyre. It would be perhaps the worst Biblical Hermeneutics imaginable to stretch these verses to fit a premise which cannot accept that Lucifer was a ruler on the earth over kings and people, before Adam was ever placed on the earth.

The evidence for this fact is the Bible, not conjecture nor the traditions of men. The conclusions drawn here for who this being is and what has occurred in Genesis 1:2, are taken only from the words of God in Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28.

What has clearly occurred in Ezekiel 28:14-18, is Lucifer’s fall as compared to the King of Tyre and his fall. Both were consumed with their own pride, their trading which Tyre was world-famous for, and their desire to be a god. God is simply describing a heavenly creatures fall in contrast to an earthly kings fall, by using familiar terms that we can identify with.

Solid evidence and a reasonable conclusions: Old Earth, Young Creation.

This is why the earth is described in Genesis 1:2 as without form and void, with the Spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters.

Beginning at Genesis 1:3, God commences the restorative process of bringing the earth out of the former judgement, as it was covered with water. It is interesting that the Lord gave us a hint what the earth being covered with water indicates when He revealed the great global flood of Noah. In this, He revealed how this is possible, and the fact that the earth being covered completely with water, is evidence of a judgement by God. We should not be surprised to learn that there was an earlier judgement of God which also cause the earth to be covered with water, described by Genesis 1:2.

Beginning at Genesis 1:3, the earth is described as bringing forth plants from seeds which were already on the earth. Notice in Genesis 1:11, the Lord said that the seeds which brought forth grass and fruit trees came from the seed which were already in itself on the earth. These seeds were already present on the earth before God began the six restorative days of creation.

Genesis 1:11 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so.

At the second flood which occurred on the earth during the time of Noah, the earth was again destroyed by water in a global flood, the evidence for which, we see today in the geologic record. Billions of bones covered in one massive layer of sediment. All of these fossil’s coming from the exact same moment in antiquity, were placed in the geologic soil of the earth as a record from past history that a global flood had occurred.

For this reason among many others, the earth very well may be 4-5 Billion years old. Earth does not have to be only six thousand years old to fall into line with the text of the Bible. I believe that careful attention was not paid to Genesis 1:1-2 in comparison with the rest of the Bible, in drawing a conclusion that the earth is just a little older than Adam. The geologic record does not confirm this premise, nor do we have to try and squeeze the age of the earth into a six thousand-year period of time to make it fit the Bible.

In considering the true age of the earth, let us be clear that no young earth creationist today can prove that earth is only 10,000 years old without a massive stretch of the facts. In the chapter, The Moment of Creation, I document several scientific facts that confirm that the earth is billions of years old, not thousands.

We cannot reconcile the true age of the earth without knowing when Lucifer’s fall occurred. Young earth creationists claim that Lucifer fell during one of the six days of creation. Let us say that he fell on day one. On day six, man is created. Young earth creationists tell us that the six days of creation were six literal 24 hour days. This places an incredible burden on the five 24 hour days that occurred before Adam was created, in explaining the entire process of Lucifer’s creation rule and fall. It just doesn’t work. There is no possibility that Lucifer was created, obtained rulership, sought to elevate himself above God, was cast out of heaven, and was destroyed on the earth, all in five 24 hour days.

On this basis alone, the young earth theory simply does not work.

I believe the six days described in Genesis 1:3-31 are six literal 24 hour days. This is due to the language, evening and morning, the first day, an so forth. However, God does not state that He created the heavens and the earth during these six days. This creation is stated in verse 1. Beginning at verse 3, we see how the earth was brought out of an uninhabitable condition, to be made suitable for life by God.

These facts being rational, not knowing how far in the distant past the Heavens and the earth were created, there is sufficient time for the creation of Lucifer and the angels, a rebellion in heaven, Lucifer being destroyed, and his arrival on the earth in the form of the serpent in the garden of Eden after Adam’s creation.

You can see why this premise holds much greater credibility.

We might ask why young earth creationists object so fervently to an older earth, and Lucifer’s fall taking place millions of years before Adam’s creation. It really comes down to one specific objection: This would mean that sin and death would have occurred before Adam’s sin and death. Of course this is true. Even if we placed Lucifer in the garden on the first day, he sinned and died before Adam is created on the sixth day.[13] Therefore, sin and death existed before Adam was created. In the first chapter of this book: The Moment of Creation, I answer this chief objection of the young earth creationist under the sub heading: Death before death.

Rightly dividing the word of truth

If we simply and rationally seek to place the fall of Lucifer in the correct place of ancient history, we come to the conclusion that his fall was at a period of time, long before the fall of Adam. This does not destroy the principle that sin came into the world through one man, Adam. For sin did come by Adam, to all men, but Adam’s sin was not the first in the universe; that distinction belongs to Lucifer. His sin and his fall clearly occurred before Adam was created, for in Job 38, God Himself describes the angels being present at the creation of the universe, in Genesis 1:1.

For further information on this subject of an old earth, young creation, see Prophecy 50.

When we try to place the creation of the heavens and the earth, as well as the fall of Lucifer—in the six days of creation, we simply do not have enough time to make all of these events fit. It is only when we examine the descriptions of Isaiah 14, Ezekiel 28, and Jeremiah 4:23-26, where we find that Lucifer was a prince on the earth over some type of kingdom. As a result of his fall, cities and people prior to Adam were destroyed, and the earth was placed in a state of emptiness, as described by Genesis 1:2.

Why in the world would anyone have a problem with the existence of intelligent beings here on the earth before Adam?

Genesis 1:3 begins the restorative creation of the earth, with Adam and Eve being made by God and given dominion over this newly replenished earth.

For the past 6,000 years since the creation of man and his fall, God has patiently waited for all people to receive the promise of His coming Messiah. All of the descendants of Adam—up to the arrival of Jesus, were saved by looking forward to the coming Messiah. Those from the time Jesus completed His sacrifice for sin—up to the present day, are saved by looking back to Jesus’ sacrifice. In the end, all people are saved in precisely the same way—the blood of Jesus Christ. No one will make it to heaven who has not had their sins cleansed by Jesus’ sacrifice.

The authority for rulership that has been given to Jesus as the Messiah is the subject of this 211th Old Testament Prophecy. Isaiah 45:23 reports that every knee will bow to the Messiah, and His rulership over the earth will be absolute. Jesus has secured this right to rule the earth by defeating satan at the cross and His exaltation above every other being.

All those who live on the earth as human beings have the supreme privilege to willingly bowing their knee to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior today. Isaiah prophesies that a day is coming when the knees of even the rebellious and the haters of Jesus will bow their knee and give to Him the glory and dominion that is rightfully His, forever.

For those who die as infants (in the womb or out), those who are adolescents or are without the mental capacity to understand sin or their need for a Savior, the atonement of Jesus’ sacrifice having already paid for their sins, will cover them by the Grace and Mercy of God and they will all make it to heaven.[14]

Those who have never heard of Jesus Christ will still be without excuse because they knew that God exists by the thing which He has made.

Romans 1:20-21 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

This is the second witness against unbelief which God has placed internally in the heart of man. We are “hardwired” at our creation with an inner knowledge that there is a God. The evidence of this is seen in the universal desire of all people all over the world to worship.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.

All people understand that sin is wrong, and they carry the proof of this knowledge by a guilty conscience. In even the most remote villages found on the earth where no one has been told about Jesus Christ, people are found to have an awareness of their sin and a desire to do something about it. This knowledge of God and the awareness of sin’s guilt has been spiritually wired into the soul of every person by God. It is this knowledge that exists in all persons, which God will use to judge whether these remote people who live in isolated areas of the world are worthy of eternal life or disqualified from obtaining it.

If a person responds to this inner knowledge that God exists and turns towards Him in sorrow for his sins, those sins will be placed under the blood of Jesus Christ and he will be granted eternal life. God is not unfair nor unjust to consign a person to hell who has only limited knowledge of all that God requires or has done to put away sin. Even the slightest movement towards God in repentance will be enough for God to grant that person eternal life.

We see evidence of this from one of the two thieves who were being crucified next to Jesus. This thief had no opportunity for any good work, no completion of baptism or membership in any church; yet upon his simple statement: Lord remember me when you come into your kingdom, Jesus told him: Today you will be with me in paradise.

2 Timothy 4:1 …the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom.

As with Isaiah’s prophecy in chapter 45:23, Jesus as the Messiah will have the final say on the eternal state of every person. It is with certainty that having given His life for the sins of all people, for all time, Jesus will quickly forgive and grant eternal life to anyone who makes even the slightest movement towards Him in sincerity and humility. Those who stubbornly refuse to give Jesus His rightful place in their heart and in rulership over their life, will in the end, still bow their knees to Him. As Jesus is finally seen in His full glory and majesty on the earth once again, everyone will fall to their knees in humble submission to His great light and power.


NOTES:
[1] Revelation 19:20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Revelation 20:10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
[2] Strong’s #7225, Hebrew Lexicon for the Old Testament.
[3] Commentators have been unstinting in praise of this beautiful vignette, and rightly so. It has been acclaimed one of the most forceful passages in all prophetic literature (so Cornill, Prophets of Israel). For vividness, simplicity, directness, breadth of reference, and gravity of subject matter, the verses are unique in Scripture. From a contemplation of Israel’s calamity, the prophet is led by the Spirit who inspired him to witness (mark the fourfold reference to his seeing) cosmic catastrophe (v. 23). Chaos engulfs the physical world. It is the story of Genesis 1 in reverse. It may be taken to describe the coming Day of the Lord (so Bright). All nature is upheaved and no area of life– geological, terrestrial, celestial, human, ornithological, horticultural, and demographical– is left untouched (vv. 24- 26). The apocalyptic overtone is unmistakable. Expositor’s Bible Commentary.
[4] Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon, Unabridged, Electronic Database. http://biblesuite.com/hebrew/922.htm
[5] Genesis 3
[6] Job 38:7
[7] Ezekiel 28:2
[8] Isaiah 14:17 Who made the world as a wilderness And destroyed its cities
[9] 2 Peter 3:5-6
[10] Strong’s Hebrew #7404, Merchandising, or Trading.
[11] Strong’s Hebrew #6, to Destroy, cause the death or perish.
[12] Jeremiah 4:23-26
[13] Ezekiel 28:16, The Hebrew word used here is wā·’ab·beḏ·ḵā, to kill or make perish. Strong’s Hebrew #6, to Destroy, cause the death or perish.
[14] This is my personal opinion based on the body of evidence presented in the Bible.