By Tim Rowe
Our quest in understanding the deeper truths of the battle of good and evil starts in the book of Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 28:11-15 (New Living Translation):
Then this further message came to me from
Son of man, sing this funeral song for the
King of Tyre, Give him this message from
the Sovereign Lord: You were the model
perfection, full of wisdom and exquisite
You were in Eden, the garden of God. Your
clothing was adorned with every precious
stone-red carnelian, pale-green peridot, white
moonstone, blue-green beryl, onyx, green
jasper, blue lapis lazuli, turquoise, and
emerald-all beautifully crafted for you and
set in the finest gold. They were given to
you on the day you were created.
I ordained and anointed you as the mighty
angelic guardian. You had access to the holy
mountain of God and walked among the stones
You were blameless in all you did from the
day you were created until the day evil was
found in you.
The “King of Tyre” is a figure of speech antonomasia, which means that the name of an office, dignity, profession, science, or trade is used instead of the proper name of a person. For example, sometimes we refer to Queen Elizabeth as “Her Majesty,” or the President as the “Commander in Chief.” Here the King of Tyre is not a human king, but is used of the devil, the god of this age.
The devil was originally a powerful guardian archangel called Lucifer. He was the mightiest and most exalted supernatural being that God had ever created. He was the model of perfection for a created being, with the distinguishing characteristics of full wisdom and exquisite beauty. God gave Lucifer all the capacity of wisdom and beauty He could give a created being. God also gave Lucifer complete freedom of will to love, serve, and obey Him, or to rebel and disobey Him. God did not force allegiance to Him. God did not create robots that were programmed to always act in a certain way. God wants His creation to freely love Him because they appreciate His wonderful goodness, mercy, faithfulness, and love. God created Lucifer, and he was magnificent in wisdom and beauty. You would think that Lucifer would be so thankful to God for His goodness in giving him such perfection, beauty, and wisdom. Lucifer should have praised his wonderful Creator for all the blessings He bestowed upon him. He was God’s top aide and His trusted archangel, and he was given great responsibility in God’s kingdom. Lucifer was not created evil; rather, he was created the model of perfection. Lucifer chose by his freedom of will to rebel against God and reject His goodness. Lucifer chose to be deceitful, unjust, and dishonest. Lucifer chose evil over good, and his heart became corrupt and full of destructive evil.
The Hebrew word for “blameless” in verse 15 means: wholeness, soundness, completeness, without blemish, and perfect. The Hebrew word for “evil” in verse 15 means: unjust, unfairness, sin in its nature as deceitful, dishonesty, that which is not equal and right, unfairness in dealings, unrighteous, bad dishonest dealings in secret and injustice in speech and actions. Lucifer was whole, sound, perfect, and without blemish in all his ways and actions initially, but something happened that allowed evil to take root in God’s magnificent created angel. Lucifer became deceitful, dishonest, unrighteous, and unfair in his actions toward God, His Creator. Lucifer became unjust in his speech and actions, and through deceit and dishonesty tried to usurp the throne of His Creator. Even with everything that God gave Lucifer, he became unthankful and unjust in his dealings with God and his responsibilities in God’s kingdom. By deceitful, unjust, and dishonest words, Lucifer attempted to persuade all of God’s angels to follow him in an attempted overthrow of God’s kingdom. The goodness of his heart was replaced by wicked pride as evil engulfed his entire nature.
Ezekiel 28:16,17 (NIV):
Through your widespread trade you were
filled with violence, and you sinned. So I
drove you in disgrace from the mount of
God, and I expelled you, O guardian cherub,
from among the fiery stones.
Your heart became proud on account of
your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom
because of your splendor. So I threw you to
the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.
Lucifer became proud because of his exquisite beauty and believed he deserved tobe worshiped and adored like God. His wisdom became perverted and corrupted because of his splendor. He thought he should be the ruler of God’s kingdom and direct the entire creation to exalt and worship him. His intense desire was to be God, and he did not want to settle for anything less. He caused a massive war in heaven and was expelled from the heavens in disgrace. He committed the sin of high treason against his Creator and was banished from the mount of God. He was thrown to the earth with the angels he had convinced to join him in his rebellion against God.
How persuasive his words must have been to those angels. He used his perverted wisdom to convince these angels to follow him into evil and destruction. The Hebrew word for “corrupt” means: to ruin, to spoil, to mar, to decay, to rot, to make good for nothing, to pervert something to the purposes of deceit, and it implies the loss of integrity and virtue. Lucifer’s wisdom became perverted for the purposes of deceit. His wisdom became ruined and spoiled. His wisdom lost its integrity and virtue. His corrupted wisdom attempted to hinder and destroy anything loyal to the one true God.
Lucifer’s heart also became filled with violence which in the Hebrew means: cruelty, injustice, and to act violently and vehemently in thought, word, or deed against truth, right, justice, and goodness. Lucifer became the chief enemy of His loving Creator, and became cruel in every fiber of his being. Lucifer does not care for anything but to inflict violence, injury, and destruction on all of God’s creation. He cruelly wants to hurt the heart of God in anyway possible. Lucifer does not care who he hurts, who he kills, or who he destroys to get at the heart of God. Lucifer violently opposes the goodness of God. Lucifer hates the goodness of God and does everything in his power to blind the hearts and minds of people to God’s goodness. Lucifer also vehemently attacks the truth of God’s Word and its good message. He became selfish and so full of himself that he ruined his perfection before God. His brightness and splendor blinded him to the love and goodness of God. Intense pride in his beauty caused him to commit evil against God. His heart was so lifted up with pride that he ceased to praise and exalt his Creator. As Proverbs 16:18 so aptly states: “Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” Pride blinds us to the goodness of God.
The book of Isaiah sheds some further truth on Lucifer and his fall from heaven.
Isaiah 14:12-14 (New King James Version):
How are you fallen from heaven. O Lucifer,
son of the morning! How you are cut down
to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 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;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.
The word Lucifer means “the shining one, the morning star, the light-bearer, and the day-star.” Lucifer was the light-bearer and brilliant morning star of God’s original creation. Lucifer’s brilliance and light were so beautiful and breathtaking he was referred to as God’s angel of light, the shining one. He was to shine the light of glory upon God, not himself. Lucifer was to bring great light to God’s creation; he was to enlighten God’s creation on the magnificent glory of God and His goodness. His wisdom, his light, and his beauty were all given to Lucifer so that His Creator, the one true God, would be glorified. The incredible knowledge that Lucifer had of the nature and character of God, namely, His goodness, His mercy, His love, and His greatness makes his fall from heaven almost incomprehensible. How could God’s trusted guardian of light betray him? How could this beautiful light-bearer turn his heart to darkness? How could the most beloved of God’s created angels plot to destroy his loving maker?
Lucifer became obsessed with himself and his beauty, power, and wisdom. His heart became filled with intense selfishness and pride, as illustrated by the repeated use of the pronoun “I” in verses 13 and 14. Lucifer said “I will ascend, I will exalt, I will sit, and I will be like.” He thought he was just too good, too wise, and too beautiful to play second fiddle to anyone. God needed to move over for Lucifer wanted to be worshiped and praised by all of God’s creation. A better translation of a part of verse 13 is “ I will exalt my throne above the star, God.” That is arrogant talk to say “my throne” and to say that it will be exalted above the throne of God Almighty. It is amazing how pride will cause someone to exalt himself above God and to foolishly think that he does not need God. Pride hardens one’s heart to where they become blind to the goodness and love of God. Lucifer’s obsession was to be like God, to occupy His throne, and to direct all worship, loyalty, and praise toward him.
Consequently, Lucifer fell from heaven and was cut down to the ground. The word “fallen” in verse 12 in the Hebrew means: to fall, to drop, to prostrate, to be overthrown, and at it root is a violent circumstance or event. The words “cut down” in the Hebrew mean: to cut off, to cut down, to cut asunder, to break off, to hew down, and implies a degree of violence. The word “ground” in the Hebrew means “earth” and refers to the planet Earth in this verse. This was a violent confrontation against God orchestrated by Lucifer. It was not a debate; it was not an argument; it was not a campaign; this was an all out war. Lucifer caused a mutiny in heaven and convinced a third of God’s angels to forsake their loving Creator and follow him into battle. Lucifer and his angelic army were overthrown and fell from heaven. He lost his exalted position in heaven and was cut off from the throne of God. He was cut down and broken off to the earth having forfeited his exalted position as mighty guardian archangel and light-bearer because of his rebellion.
Lucifer became creation’s first criminal, first rebel, first outcast, first evildoer, and first liar. He hated God even more intensely for having kicked him out of heaven and taking his authority and high rank from him. He no longer was God’s trusted archangel, and by his choice, he became God’s chief enemy and antagonist. The devil’s heart burned within him with unrelenting rage to get back at God and destroy all the good things of God. The devil is the father and originator of evil, as his entire nature became corrupted with every evil characteristic. The fallen angels who followed his folly became his captains, lieutenants, sergeants, and devoted servants in the kingdom of darkness. This army of evil spirit beings became the sworn enemy of the goodness of God and His purposes . They would do everything in their power, under the direction of the devil, to obstruct, impede, limit, confuse, and deceive the world about the true knowledge of God, and the truth of His Word. It was a battle of worship and allegiance of the souls of every man, woman, and child on Earth. It is the classic battle of God’s goodness against the devil’s evil.
Revelation 12:7-9 (NIV):
There was war in heaven, Michael and his
angels fought against the dragon, and the
dragon and his angels fought back.
But he was not strong enough, and they lost
their place in heaven.
The great dragon was hurled down-that
ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan,
who leads the whole world astray. He was
hurled to the earth, and the angels with him.
This is the first war in the history of the heavens and earth, and it was a massive spiritual fight against Michael, the mighty warrior archangel and his good angels, and Lucifer and his evil angels. Even given the wisdom and power of Lucifer, he was not strong enough to defeat God’s angelic warriors. The word “strong” in the Greek is ischus, which means: inherent strength or the strength that dwells with you; it is the strength or might one has in possession and ability. Lucifer’s plans of rebellion were doomed from the beginning, because he does not possess enough inherent strength or ability to defeat God. God Almighty is always stronger, always mightier, and always more powerful then the devil. Pride, ego, and arrogance blinded Lucifer and his angels to the truth that they did not have the strength, power, weapons, or ability to defeat Michael and his angels. This does not mean Lucifer was not strong or powerful, but he was just no match for the power of God The consequences were severe for Lucifer and his wicked angels, as they lost their place in heaven and were hurled down to the earth. To fight against God and His Word is always a losing proposition.
The Word of God uses four names to describe Lucifer in these verses, namely,“dragon,” “serpent,” “devil,” and “Satan”. The word “dragon” was a large kind of serpent, great fish, or sea-monster. It is interesting that the first usage of the word“dragon” in the Bible is in Deuteronomy 32:33 and refers to “the poison of dragons.” The first trait set forth in God’s Word about the dragon is its poison. The word “poison” in the Hebrew is chemah, which means: heat, rage, hot displeasure, indignation and burning anger. It has also been used of poison or venom of animals. The term “dragon” in the Bible emphasizes its hot displeasure and burning rage. It also emphasizes its deadly poison or venom.
The devil has a burning anger and white hot rage against the God of goodness. The devil as the dragon is so enraged at God that he injects his poison into the world in an attempt to paralyze and destroy the good things of God. It is amazing that the heart of the devil is so full of indignation and anger against God, his loving Creator. He absolutely hates that God is good and just. He also has the bitter taste of defeat in his mouth at the hands of the archangel Michael and his mighty angels. The dragon rants and raves about the loving nature of God and has an unquenchable fury against the goodness of God.
Some additional characteristics of the dragon are revealed in Jeremiah, where King Nebuchadnezzar is compared to a dragon.
Jeremiah 51:34 (KJV):
Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon hath
devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath
made me an empty vessel, he hath swallowed
me up like a dragon, he hath filled his belly
with my delicates, he hath cast me out.
The dragon attempts to devour, crush, and swallow people up. He makes people like empty vessels in the time of trouble. The dragon’s ways lead to emptiness, worthlessness, and a life without true purpose or meaning. He will fill you with his tainted delicacies, but ultimately casts you out when you no longer serve his purposes. The dragon loves to intimidate and promote fear through his appearance. The dragon looks fierce, big, and powerful, but he was thoroughly routed in heaven and hurled in defeat down to the Earth. To follow the world system of the dragon is to ultimately experience crushing defeat. The dragon is the devourer and destroyer of people’s lives.
Lucifer is also referred to as “the serpent” which emphasizes his subtlety, craftiness, and ability to fascinate. It emphasizes his deception by crafty lies and falsehoods. A good word to describe the actions of the serpent is “enchantment.” Revelation 12:9 boldly states that this serpent “deceives the whole world.” The word “deceive” in the Greek means: to cause to wander, cause to err, to lead astray and a seduction from the truth. The word “world” in the Greek means: the inhabitable earth and emphasizes the inhabitants or people of the earth of all races, genders, ages, and geographic backgrounds. The serpent specializes in delusion and seduces people from the truth of God’s Word. The serpent leads people astray into error and causes them to wander aimlessly in a wasteland of the doctrines and opinions of men. We will study this word in greater detail when we look at Eve and the serpent in Genesis 3.
Lucifer is also referred to as “the devil,” which is the Greek word “diabolos,” which means: the slanderer and the false accuser; the one who throws out accusations, slander and false charges to hurt, destroy, and damage its object of scorn. It comes from the word dia meaning “through,” and ballo meaning “throw or cast.” Wuest, in his Word Studies Greek New Testament, says:
One word is “diabolos,” which in its literal meaning
refers to one who falsely accuses another or slanders
him. The word comes from another word which literally
means “to throw through.” Thus it means “to riddle
one with accusations…it was used not only of those
who bring a false charge against one, but also of those
who disseminate it concerning a man and do so
maliciously, insidiously, with hostility.
These accusations and false slanders are thrown through a person and are meant to pierce the heart and soul of that person. It is the malicious use of lies to malign and destroy. One of the chief objects of these false accusations and slanders is the character and nature of God. The devil slanders God daily by falsely accusing Him of all the evil in the world and painting His character as cruel and uncaring. The devil slanders God by attacking the truth that God is good and trying to convince the world that God has more of his evil characteristics so that people will lose faith and hope in God. He uses his corrupted wisdom and intelligence to weave a masterful web of subterfuge to confuse people about the nature of God. He has also been relentless in his attacks on Christianity, as he inspires doctrinal divisions, hatred, lack of unity, and unholy and fruitless lives within the Body of Christ. Revelation 12:10 calls the devil “the accuser,” who is ruthless and persistent in his accusations and slanders day and night against the children of God. The devil is constantly throwing words, ideas, and lies, seeking to divide marriages, families, communities, nations, and religions. He stirs up evil, by way of his accusations, to bring about some destructive purpose. He loves to cause confusion, envying, strife, bitterness, covetousness, and hatred by his accusations.
He bombards an age with destructive themes, ideas, values, lifestyles, and modes of thought, that people inhale this corrupt atmosphere just as they inhale air. People form habits, ways of thinking, and lifestyles based upon this atmosphere set up by the god of this age, the devil. The culture can become so anti-God that it can easily draw us into its destructive web. The Bible is not using these words haphazardly, but God wants you to know the nature of the devil and his schemes so you are not “ignorant of his devices.” (II Corinthians 2:11). That is why it so important to study the Bible and know God’s words of truth so we are not deceived by the false allegations of the devil. I have practiced law for 25 years and know how slander or gossip can take on a life of its own and spread like wildfire, destroying reputations and lives along its way. The devil’s slanders and lies are like this, for he sees that they are spread and rapidly disseminated throughout the earth. We must be diligent to speak the truth as Christians and spread the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the goodness of God in our communities and around the world.
The New York Times published an article a number of years ago on whether the devil was real, and cited a survey by the Barna Research Group that found that nearly two thirds of Americans do not believe the devil to be a living entity. They agreed that Satan was “not a living being but a symbol of evil.” There is even a book by a professor at Columbia University called The Death of Satan which discusses the declining belief of Satan as a real being in our culture, including the religious culture. This is one of the most cunning deceptions of the devil-to get people to believe that he is a myth and does not exist. This allows him to work freely behind the scenes with no detection and no blame for the unspeakable evil that he causes in the world. Again, don’t be fooled, because if the Bible is the inerrant and accurate Word of God, then the devil does exist, and he is active in the promotion of evil around the globe.
Ray Steadman in Spiritual Warfare states:
The devil is real, he is active, he is working day
and night, trying to subvert and undo and defeat
God’s plan in human history. The devil is our enemy.
And this is war. There is a spiritual war going on
behind the scenes of human history, and that spiritual
war in the unseen world is driving events in our own
visible world. There is no peace in the material world
because there is a war now waging in the spiritual
world. There is nothing more meaningful, more
relevant, more real that we could be involved in than
the cause of God in this vast spiritual war. The biblical
teaching of spiritual warfare shines a spotlight of truth
on the basic problem of human existence and human
John Eldridge, in Epic-The Story God is Telling and the Role that is Yours to Play, writes:
I am staggered at the level of naiveté that most people
live with concerning evil. They don’t take it seriously.
They don’t live like the Story has a Villain. Not the
devil prancing around in red tights, carrying a pitchfork,
but the incarnation of the very worst of every enemy
you’ve met in every other story. Dear God-the Holocaust,
child prostitution, terrorist bombings, genocidal
governments. What is it going to take for us to take evil
seriously? Life is very confusing if you do not take into
account that there is a Villain. That you my friend, have
“One of things that surprised me when I first
read the New Testament seriously was that
it talked so much about a Dark Power in the
universe-a mighty evil spirit who was held to be
the Power behind death, disease and sin….
Christianity thinks this Dark Power was created
by God, and was good when he was created, and
went wrong. Christianity agrees…this is a universe
at war. (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)
Is there any doubt that we are in the midst of a spiritual warfare against the devil? If you want to know why the evil in this world is so despicable and horrifying, you only have to look at the nature of its originator. The devil is raging with cruelty, hatred, hostility, and anger against God and the human race. The devil will use any evil, any harm, any method, and any scheme to crush people and swallow them up. He is a liar, a thief, a murderer, and a slanderer, and he revels in the havoc and destruction he has brought to people’s lives. Thank God that He has not left us helpless. but has provided us great deliverance and salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Colossians 1:13 (Phillips Translation):
For we must never forget that he has rescued
us from the power of darkness and reestablished
us in the kingdom of his beloved Son, that is, in
the kingdom of light.
Who delivered us out of the tyrannical rule of the
darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of
the Son of His love, in whom we are having our
liberation, procured by the payment of ransom.
Yes, by a strong arm he rescued us from the lawless
tyranny of darkness, removed us from the land of
our bondage, and settled us as free citizens in our
new and glorious home, where his Son, the offspring
and representative of his love, is King.
Thank God for rescuing us from the power and tyranny of the prince of darkness of this world and giving us citizenship in His kingdom and birthright into the family of God. This mighty deliverance is available to all those who come to Christ and accept him as Lord and Savior for their life. The deliverance and salvation available in Christ far exceeds any influence or power of evil in the world.
The last name used for Lucifer was “Satan” which comes from the Hebrew word meaning adversary. Satan is the great adversary of God, Christ, and the Word of God. Satan works to oppose, obstruct, and hinder anything to do with God, His Son Jesus Christ, and the truth of the Bible. He stands in hostile opposition to the goodness of God. He is the enemy of God, the enemy of Christ, the enemy of the Word of God, the enemy of the children of God, and the enemy of goodness of God. He stands in opposition to God and His people. This is not any small contest or minor skirmish. Satan is in ferocious opposition to God. The conflict is relentless and cunningly waged. Whatever God is, whatever God honors, whatever God treasures, and whatever God delights in, Satan stands against. This is battle that roars all around us.
When Lucifer and his rebellious angels were hurled to the earth, it had a cataclysmic effect on the heavens and earth. It threw the entire creation into chaos, as the earth became a wasteland of ruin and emptiness. Lucifer, the shining angel of light, was cast out of God’s presence in heaven and thrown down to the earth, and this caused the entire earth to be engulfed in complete darkness. The entire planet was destroyed as it was deluged with water. It became without form and void. Empty. Dark. Wasted. Ruined. God Almighty is not the author of confusion. He is not the Creator of chaos or disorder. God is a God of purpose, design, and order. When God moves the result of His works is goodness not evil; loving design and purpose, not disorder and chaos. The world was in a state of destruction as water and the absence of light obliterated every form of life upon the earth. Evil entered the world for the first time.
Let’s look at the first chapter of Genesis again, as we did in the beginning of this book, and explore in greater depth some of the foundational truths of the Bible.
Genesis 1:1,2: (English Standard Version):
In the beginning, God created the heavens and
And the earth was without form and void, and
darkness was over the face of the deep. And the
Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the
Verse 2: (Darby Translation):
And the earth was waste and empty, and darkness
was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God
was hovering over the face of the waters.
Verse 2 (The Message Bible):
Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless
emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded
like a bird above the watery abyss.
The word “was” in the phrase “the earth was without form and void” is the Hebrew word hayah, which means: to become, to fall out, to come to pass, and to happen and should be translated “became” in this verse. In Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible , hayah was translated “had become,” which is very important in understanding the truth of what the first few verses of the Bible are telling us.
Genesis 1:1,2 (Rotherham Emphasized Bible):
In the beginning (at the first) God created the
heavens and the earth.
Now the earth had become waste and wild (tohu
va bohu) and darkness was on the face of the
roaring deep (tehom-the abyss, abussos Septuagint)
but the Spirit of God was brooding on the face of the
The earth was never created a wasteland of emptiness, but it became that way because of the cataclysmic spiritual war between Michael and Lucifer. The Bible speaks of three different heavens and earth; they are not in layers, but in sequence, three distinct and separate periods of time. The first heaven and earth was in Genesis 1:1. It was created perfect by God, and no darkness or emptiness ruled God’s creation. However, when Lucifer and his fallen angels were cast down to the earth, the entire earth became tohu va bohu in the Hebrew. Tohu in the Hebrew means: emptiness, confusion, nothingness, wasteland, worthless, waste, barren, and desolation.” Tohu is used in other scriptural passages to clearly indicate a dramatic disordering, and therefore a falling into chaos. It is not used in the Hebrew to imply something that is not yet complete or in the process of being created. It is something that is in disfavor, worthless, and desolate. The Hebrew-Greek Study Bible, King James Version states, “One thing is very clear: tohu has a very negative connotation.”
The word bohu in the Hebrew means: emptiness, waste and void. Strong’s Dictionary gives the meaning as “an indistinguishable ruin.” It is also used in the sense of something being destroyed, not built, and something that has been reduced to chaos. It is something that is useless and empty that had before been in order and good arrangement.
The word “deep” in the Hebrew means: abyss, a huge surging mass of water, roaring waters, and has the idea of disturbance, uproar, and commotion. It is deep waters which have what seems like a bottomless depth and are disturbed, roaring, raging, and surging. They are in state of turmoil. This condition of the deep, raging water is also described in the book of II Peter.
II Peter 3:5-7 (King James Version):
For this they are willingly ignorant of, that
by the word of God the heavens were of old,
and the earth standing out of the water and
in the water:
Whereby the world that then was, being
overflowed with water, perished:
But the heavens and earth, which are now,
by the same word are kept in store, reserved
unto fire against the day of judgment and
perdition of ungodly men.
Verse 6(b) English Standard Version:
The world that then existed was deluged
with water and perished.
Verse 6 (NIV):
By these waters also the world of that time
deluged and destroyed.
Verse 6 (Wuest Expanded New Testament):
Through which the ordered world of that
time having been deluged by water, perished.
The “world that then was” or “the world of that time” is the first heavens and earth referred to in Genesis 1:1. It was in perfect and beautiful order. The original condition of this heavens and earth was one of perfection, not chaos. God did not create a desolate, formless mass of waste and confusion. Some cataclysmic event happened to throw the original creation into ruin, and we know from the scriptures that it was Lucifer’s war in heaven and his expulsion to the earth. This was such a monumental spiritual catastrophe that it disrupted the entire physical creation of Earth and destroyed it. The ordered world of perfection perished as it was overflowed and deluged with water. The word “overflow” in the Greek means: to overwhelm with water, to submerge, to deluge, and from which we get our English word ‘cataclysm.’ This was not the flood of Noah’s time, but was a cataclysm of much greater scale that completely destroyed the earth.
Verse 7 refers to the second heavens and earth, which we live in now, when it states “But the heavens and earth which are now.” The second heavens and earth are not destroyed by water, but by fire, according to verses 7 and 12, which refer to the future. Revelation 21 and II Peter 3:13 refer to a new and glorious heavens and earth that will be created after Jesus Christ comes back and the events of the book of Revelation are fulfilled. This is the third heavens and earth- a part of our hope that we can eagerly anticipate.
In II Peter 3:6, the word “perish” in the Greek means: to destroy, to entirely abolish, to render useless, and to ruin so the thing ruined can no longer serve the use for which it was designed. It is utter devastation and complete loss of one’s intended purpose. The ordered world of that time was rendered completely useless for the purpose that God had intended. It lay in absolute devastation, submerged in water, and surrounded in darkness. This world has become a complete wasteland, desolate, empty, barren, and in absolute ruin. It is in utter chaos and full of confusion and disorder. In other words, it is a mess. This chaotic world is engulfed in darkness with a total absence of light. The darkness is thick and impenetrable. Roaring, surging waters have deluged the entire world. The first heavens and earth were in absolute disorder and desolation-in ruins. This wasted condition of the earth is never called “good” in Genesis, because it was not. It was the consequence of evil being thrust upon the earth. This state of confusion and desolation on the earth is contrary to God’s nature of goodness, for in Him there is no darkness, confusion, or disorder.
This wasteland of desolation on the earth was caused by Lucifer’s evil rebellion, as God did not create the world in this state or have anything to do with such destruction. The book of Isaiah makes this clear.
Isaiah 45:18 (King James Version):
For thus saith the Lord that created the
heavens: God himself that formed the
earth and made it; he hath established
it, he created in not in vain (tohu ), he
formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord
and there is none else.
God did not create the earth in a tohu condition or as a barren, chaotic wasteland. It fell into ruin and was not created that way. God created the earth to be inhabited. God formed, fashioned, and shaped the earth for His wonderful purposes and would not create it in a desolate condition. He made the earth according to his perfect order and arrangement. God is emphatically stating that he did not create the earth in the tohu va bohu condition that we find it in Genesis 1:2. God should know how He created it.
Jeremiah 4:23 (King James Version):
I beheld the earth, and lo, it was without form
and void (tohu va bohu); and the heavens
and they had no light.
Bible in Basic English:
Looking at the earth, I saw that it was waste
and without form; and to the heavens, that
they had no light.
God looked and beheld the earth, his magnificent creation, and saw that it was a wasteland. He beheld that it was in ruins, empty, desolate, and without any light. The entire earth was in darkness, deluged, and destroyed by raging water. The word “beheld” in the Hebrew means: to see, look at, inspect, perceive, consider, give attention to,and look intently at. God did not turn His back on the earth, but was intently looking at the damage, and He was considering how to bring His goodness back to the earth. God was giving all his attention to this catastrophe and thinking what the best plan was to restore order to His creation. This truth is also set forth in the last sentence of Genesis 1:2 when it states, “the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” The word “hovering” in the Hebrew means: to brood over; to hover with a gentle wavering or fluttering motion as of a bird over her young. It is like a bird brooding over its eggs and giving them warmth until life springs forth. The Spirit of God Almighty was hovering, fluttering, and brooding over the surging waters and dark emptiness of the earth, as He was about to hatch a plan of goodness and love to heal the earth and show forth His magnificent works.
This is the beginning of the second heavens and earth which still exists today. God could have forsaken the earth and kept it in a state of ruin forever. He could have refused to get involved and let the war in heaven permanently leave the earth in desolation. God, in His great love and mercy, decided to move swiftly to bring goodness, beauty, and excellence back to his creation. God could have reasoned that His most trusted second in command, Lucifer, had betrayed Him and simply walked away, letting the earth remain formless and empty forever. The whole earth was engulfed in darkness yet the Spirit of God was moving, hovering, and brooding over the indistinguishable ruin of Earth waiting to bring forth its glorious restoration. In the darkest moment of history when all seemed lost and hopeless, the God of all goodness began to move, began to restore, began to heal, and began to hatch a magnificent renewal of the earth. Look at the wonderful heart of God! Lucifer was not going to get the last word. Lucifer was not going to win a battle by the earth continuing to be a wasteland. God did not allow the earth to remain engulfed in evil. God in His infinite wisdom had deeply considered how best to bring his goodness and loving purpose to the earth. God would begin to speak forth and bring about the new second heavens and earth.
Genesis 1:3-5 (Message Bible):
God spoke: “Light!” And light appeared.
And God saw light was good and separated
light from dark.
God named the light Day, he named the dark
Night. It was evening, it was morning-Day One.
Suddenly, out of the chaotic darkness, God spoke His mighty word “Light!” and light brilliantly appeared again in His creation. Darkness crumbled at the spoken Word of God. God is light, and He brought His light back to the earth. This light was good and absolutely necessary as a condition of life. The Word of God, whether spoken or written, is the foundation of the goodness of God. The Word of God produces goodness in our lives. The Word of God brings light to our lives and chases away the darkness. No matter how dark a circumstance or problem may be, the light of God’s Word can overcome all darkness and evil. Nothing can successfully stand against and overcome the spoken Word of God. Whenever God acts, whenever God moves, whenever God speaks, whenever God operates, and whenever God works, it is to bring His goodness and His good will to pass. The result of God’s works is always goodness and never evil. God’s Word will separate the light from the darkness in our lives and establish us firmly in His goodness.
How breathtaking this must have been as God began His spectacular work in remaking, redesigning, and fashioning the earth back into order. God’s goodness would be the framework of every single work He performed in restoring the earth. God saw that the result of everything He did was goodness. The word “saw” in verse 4 and throughout the first chapter of Genesis whenever the Bible states “God saw that it was good,” is the Hebrew word ra’ah. This word means “to perceive, to consider, to look at and inspect, to behold with intention and purpose” In this verse it means, “to see with delight and to look upon with pleasure.” God put great thought into this renewal and restoration of the earth. He considered it deeply and looked upon the earth with great intention and purpose so that His goodness would be interwoven into every element of the earth. No detail was ignored as the master builder lovingly shaped, formed, and designed the earth to His good specifications. God was thrilled and delighted with the goodness of His handiwork. God took enormous pleasure in making every aspect of His repair and restoration of the earth full of His goodness.
Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible has a wonderful paraphrased beginning to verse 3, the beginning of God’s plan of goodness for the earth:
And things being so; such being the state of
the earth; God said [and thus the renewing,
re-creating divine acts commence].
God saw the state of ruin and desolation on the earth, but He had a magnificent, superb plan to bring about a complete renewal of the earth. The earth would be so beautiful, so outstanding, and so glorious that only God could design and adorn such an awe-inspiring paradise. How powerful is the Word of God, as by the spoken Word this spectacular work of Almighty God began!
Each verse, except one, beginning in Genesis 1:3 and ending in Genesis 1:31 begins with the word “and.” If you include the first four verses of chapter 2, there are 102 separate acts of God, and each one begins with the word “and.” In today’s modern English class, we would be reprimanded for bad grammar and get a poor grade if every sentence in our report began with the word “and.” However, God is not a flunking grammar student; the usage of all these “ands” is a wonderful figure of speech in the Bible called polysyndeton. E.W. Bullinger, in Figures of Speech Used in the Bible, elaborates on this figure of speech:
Polysyndeton or many-ands is the repetition
of the word “and” at the beginning of successive
clauses…The Laws of Grammar decide for us
how the conjunction “and” should be used. If
we are enumerating a number of things, we (by
usage) place the conjunction immediately before
the last. This is the cold law, which leaves what
we say without any special emphasis. But this
law may be legitimately broken in two different
ways for the sake of emphasis. In order to attract
the attention of the hearer or reader, we may
either use NO ANDS, or we may use MANY
ANDS. Man may use these figures, however,
without sufficient reason, and unwisely: But
the Holy Spirit ever uses words in all perfection,
and it behooves us carefully to note whatever He
this calls our attention to…When he uses “many-
ands” there is never any climax at the end. Instead
of hurrying us on, breathlessly, to reach the
important conclusion; we are asked to stop at each
point, to weigh each matter that is presented to us,
and to consider each particular that is thus added
God marks these opening verses of the Bible with the figure of speech polysyndeton because he wants us to carefully consider everyone of the 102 acts of God set forth in His restoration of the heaven and earth. Each one of God’s mighty works is emphasized as being equally important. Every work, labor, and word of God produced something good, useful, and beautiful. God’s good acts produce things that are necessary and useful for life in every category. There is pulsating, active, energetic, and harmoniouslife at the center of God’s goodness. These introductory verses of God’s magnificent work ascribe everything to the living God who is making, acting, creating, moving, and speaking. God is the mover, the maker, the creator, the designer, and the builder. In these verses “God created” is used 5 times, “God moved” is used 1 time, “God said” is used 10 times, “God saw” is used 7 times, “God divided” is used 2 times, “God (or He) called” 5 times, God (or He) made 7 times, “God set” 1 time, “God blessed” 3 times, “God ended” 1 time, “God (or He) rested” 1 time, and “God (or He) sanctified” 1 time. God is emphasized as the only originator and mover behind the magnificent restoration and renewal of the earth. Every star, every rock, every mountain, every blade of grass, and every living being had the stamp of God’s goodness on it. Nothing that God spoke, made, called, blessed, created, or set had one ounce of evil in it. All of His works were an awesome testimony to the goodness of God.
John Eldredge, in Epic: The Story God is Telling and the Role That is Yours to Play, wonderfully describes this awesome moment of God’s unfathomable love and goodness:
Suddenly a voice breaks the silence and there is
light. Another word is spoken, and the great
canopy of the heavens is unfurled, a sky more
blue than you’ve ever seen it, yet translucent
when it is dark to reveal the stars that lie beyond.
Yet another word, and the seas draw back to
reveal the land masses of earth. Again a word,
and mangos laden the branches of their trees,
blackberries burst forth on the bushes, cabernet
grapes drip from the vine, fields of sunflowers
stand upright, their happy faces to the new sun.
And the sun-a whirling ball of fire balanced in
the heavens just close enough to warm the earth,
yet not too close to do harm….Imagine the most
beautiful scenes you have ever known on this
earth-rain forests, the prairie in full bloom,…the
Alps under a winter snow. Then imagine it all on
the day it was born…And it doesn’t stop there.
Into this world God opens his hand, and the animals
spring forth. Myriads of birds, in every shape and
size and song, take wing-hawks, herons, warblers.
All the creatures of the sea leap into it-whales,
dolphins, fish of a thousand colors and designs.
Thundering across the plains race immense herds
of horses, gazelles, buffalo, running like the wind.
It is more astonishing than we could possibly imagine…
We have grown dull toward this world in which we
live; we have forgotten that it is not normal or scientific
in any sense of the word. It is fantastic. It is a fairy tale
through and through. Really now. Elephants? Caterpillars?
Snow? At what point did you lose your wonder of it all?…
we were born into a world as astonishing as any fairy
tale…Creation unfolds like a great work of art, a master-
piece in the making. And just like you can learn about
an author by the story he tells, you can learn a
great deal about an artist by the work he creates.
Surely you can see that God is more creative
than you can possibly imagine…creation is growing
in precision and intricacy of form and movement
and color. Personality is woven into it all. And it
is building to a crescendo.
Words fall far short in describing the glory and wonders of the restored heaven and earth. God’s handiwork is simply breath-taking and inspirational. God did not leave the earth a wasteland, but made it more amazingly beautiful than anyone could have ever imagined. God’s wisdom, love, and goodness are emblazoned in every detail of the heavens and earth, and give daily witness to the greatness of our God.
So what was the reason or purpose that God restored the earth from its desolate, dark, and empty condition after the fall of Lucifer? E.W. Kenyon, in The Father and His Family, sheds some light on this question:
What is the reason for the earth? …The heart of the
great Creator God had a yearning, deep, mighty,
eternal. It was the primordial passion for children.
The Father heart of the Creator God longed for
sons and daughters. The yearning passion took form
and God planned a universe for His Man, and in the
heart of that universe He purposed a Home…When
love laid the foundations of this mighty universe,
He planned, He purposed it all to be the Home of
His Man. It was to be Man’s birthplace, Man’s Garden
of Delight, Man’s university where he would learn
to know his Father God…He filled Earth’s bosom
with deposits of iron, copper, silver, and gold, with
uncounted varieties of metals, chemicals, and resources
that would respond to the touch of His Man. He
covered the face of the Earth with mountains, valleys,
ravines, plateaus, and prairies, lovely rivulets and
mighty rivers, and a garment of green intermingled
with many colored flowers and thrilled with joy the
heart of His Man. The mountain sides are covered with
giant forests, whose trees are filled with singing birds
and droning insects, whose dainty wings beat against
the genial wind and make a melody for His Man. Fruit
and vegetables abound in profusion, spelling out in
nature’s language the love of the great Father heart of
God for his Man…God’s heart yearned for children, and
He craved for sons and daughters. He had angels to minister
to Him as servants, but He wanted children…What a
place that Man must hold in His heart, in his dream,
in His Eternity!
God restored the earth because He wanted to be a Father and have children who would love, cherish, and have a deep intimate relationship with Him. He had a deep yearning for sons and daughters with whom He could walk and talk with, and share a strong union of heart and soul. He renewed the earth more beautiful and breathtaking than anyone could imagine so that His man and woman could be fruitful, have a family, and live with Him forever in paradise. God wants His children to enjoy His goodness and His wonderful presence forever. God is not an isolated, indifferent, and cold Creator, who distanced Himself from the human race. God longed to get involved in every detail, every breath, and every circumstance of His children’s lives. The earth was prepared for this grand endeavor of God and His children. His man and woman were strong, wise, and full of His nature. He did not form, make, and create robots, but gave them freedom of will to choose to love Him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Adam and Eve were created for the special purpose of living in the blessings of fellowship with their heavenly Father. God was to be an intimate parent, friend, adviser, helper, companion, giver, and provider to His children forever on this wonderful paradise on the earth. No sickness, no death, no poverty, no crime, no hatred, no violence, no tears and no destruction existed in the original paradise of Genesis chapters 1 and 2. Everything was in perfect harmony in God’s creation. Adam and Eve were deeply and intimately connected with God Almighty and no fear, doubt, ingratitude, inferiority, or lack of confidence existed between them. Adam and Eve were formed, made, and created to live in the fullness of the presence of God and to worship Him. This is what God always wanted. This was God’s dream. God wanted to be with His children; He wanted to delight in them and treasure them; He wanted to be close to them; He wanted His children to delight in Him and come running with joy into His presence. He put Adam and Eve at the pinnacle of His creation and set them apart from all the birds, fish, cattle, and animals on the earth, for they were created in the image of God. Adam and Eve were designed to have a personal, vital, and living relationship with God.
Genesis 1:26-28 (King James Version):
And God said, Let us make man in our image,
after our likeness: and let them have dominion
over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of
the air, and over the cattle, and over all the
earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth
upon the earth.
So God created man in in his own image, in the
image of God created he him; male and female
created he them.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them,
Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth,
and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of
the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every
living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Genesis 2:7 (King James Version):
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 soul.
Isaiah 43:7 (King James Version):
Even every one that is called by my name for I
have created him for my glory, I have formed him;
yea, I have made him.
God Almighty began His awesome masterpiece by forming Adam’s body from the dust of the earth. The word “dust” in the Hebrew means: lumps of soil, loose earth, or dirt and the accompanying dust particles that go with it. The New Jerusalem Bible translates this word “soil,” and the Anchor Bible translates it “clods in the soil.” The word “ground” is the Hebrew word adamah, from which we get the name Adam, and means “red earth” referring to the redness of the soil. So God formed Adam’s body from loose soil of red earth or red clay. The Hebrew word for “formed” means: to form, fashion, shape, or cut and is used of a carver, joiner, smith, and most often of a potter making vessels of clay. It is to mold into a form that has a purpose. It is to press into a shape that has function and order. God took great care and skill in molding, fashioning, and forming the human body into an awesome, magnificent masterpiece of intricate bones, muscles, nerves, skin, organs, and tissue. The wonders of the human body formed by God from the loose, red earth still fascinate the fields of science and medicine today. How wonderful and good God is to form such a beautiful and functional body that can be used to glorify God and to enjoy all of His creation.
Isaiah 64:8 (NIV):
Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay,
you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
The word “potter” is the same Hebrew word yatsar that is translated “formed” in Genesis 2:7. What a great mind picture of the mighty God tenderly and lovingly forming the body of His man and woman with whom His heart yearned and craved to have intimate fellowship. God, as the potter, spared no detail in forming the beauty and intricacy of the human body. According to Tyndale’s New Bible Dictionary, before the invention of the potter’s wheel, all pottery was built by hand. God, as the Great Potter, personally formed our bodies with His hands and fashioned every single part with great purpose and love, as the human body reflects one of the most amazing works that God has ever done.
Psalm 139:13,14 (Holman Christian Standard Bible):
For it was You who created my inward parts;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will praise You, because I have been
remarkably and wonderfully made. Your
works are wonderful, and this I know very well.
Psalm 139: 13-15 (The Message Bible):
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God,-you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I
worship in adoration-what a creation!
You know me inside and out, you know
every bone in my body; You know exactly
how I was made, bit by bit, how I was
sculpted from nothing into something.
God is the Divine Sculptor, and He chose the most unlikely material He could find in loose, red earth and red clay. From the simplicity of red dirt, our loving Heavenly Father molded and fashioned bit by bit, bone by bone, tissue by tissue, and organ by organ the magnificent human body. How remarkable, marvelous, and wonderful is the body that the Master Potter and Artist sculpted from a lump of clay. The human body is the most extraordinary physical machine and instrument ever made in the history of our heavens and earth. Only God could conceive, design, and fashion such an amazing, wondrous physical body. It is a testament to our Creator’s intellect and wisdom.
God continued His awesome work of art by making within this awe-inspiring human body of Adam a living soul.
Genesis 2:7(b) (The Message Bible):
And blew into his nostrils the breath of life.
The Man became alive-a living soul!
God made Adam a living soul by breathing into his nostrils the breath of life. God is the source of all life, and this wonderful, intricate human body was made alive when God breathed life into it. What an amazing mind picture of God and Adam face to face- God made His man alive for the first time by intimately blowing into his nostrils vibrant and vital life. As Job 33:4 states, “the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” God was as close to Adam as his physical breath, and every breath he took was to remind him of the God of all life who made him a living being. Without the breath of God, no animal or human could exist on the earth. When the breath given by God is gone, the physical body dies. The soul is the animating life force that makes us alive, and every living cell of the human body has soul in it. The soul gives us physical life and enables us to move, to breathe, and to live for the glory of God. The soul is the vital principal of life for the physical body and it originated only in God. Soul is breath life, and according to Leviticus 17:11, the soul life of the flesh is in the blood. God breathed life into Adam, and his body began to pulsate with blood flowing through the arteries, into the heart, and throughout the entire body. The first heartbeat of Adam began with the breath of God.
It is interesting that there is no substitute for blood in the human body. With all the marvels of medicine and science, they still cannot manufacture blood. Only our Creator made blood and designed the human body to reproduce it and utilize it. Blood cells are produced in the bone marrow, and the body even has a feedback system that tells it when it needs to make more red blood cells. Blood is the critical factor for the life of the physical body. Without blood there is no soul life, and the physical body would be dead. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to every cell of the body. The circulatory system keeps approximately five liters of blood circulating constantly throughout the body. God’s great wisdom in the design of the body and soul and how they are intertwined and work together is truly breathtaking.
God’s final work of artistry in Adam was to make him in His image by creating inside of him spirit and thus giving him a spiritual nature. God gave Adam and Eve His own divine nature.
John 4:24 (Holman Standard Christian Bible):
God is spirit, and those who worship Him
must worship him in spirit and truth.
Luke 24:49 (Amplified Bible):
See my hands and My feet, that it is I Myself!
Feel and handle Me and see, for a spirit does
not have flesh and bones, as you see that I have.
The image of God is spirit, as God does not have flesh and bones. God created in Adam and Eve the spirit of Almighty God, and this enabled them to fellowship with God and be His loving companions and intimate friends. The spirit of God allowed them to live and move in the blessed presence of God. It established a living connection with God, and it enabled Adam and Eve to fully share their lives, thoughts, desires, worship, and entire being with God. This was a Divine union with His children that God had earnestly desired in His heart before He had gloriously restored His creation. The spirit of God allowed a heart to heart communication with their Creator and enabled them to walk in spiritual wisdom and strength and grow in a deeper, intimate spiritual relationship with their Heavenly Father.
The spirit of God created in Adam and Eve was the crown jewel of their creation. It was created so they could glorify God in their actions and serve and obey Him. For a person to act, love, and imitate their father, they must have their father’s nature. This spiritual nature was pure, holy and good, and inherently had interwoven into it the characteristics and traits of God Almighty. It was the pinnacle and height of God’s goodness in the forming, making, and creating of Adam and Eve.
Psalm 143:10 (King James Version):
Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God.;
thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of
II Samuel 23:2 (New Living Translation):
The Spirit of the Lord speaks through me; his
words are upon my tongue.
The spirit of the Lord created in Adam and Eve was good, and it enabled God to teach, to speak, and to lead His children. By the spirit of the Lord, the words of God are upon the tongue. The intimacy of God sharing His words of instruction, comfort, encouragement, and love are all of part of the spirit of the Lord that rested upon them. The spirit of God is the connection that allows God to give us knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. The divine nature was to rule and lead the mind and body into God’s presence and into His Word. God desired earnestly that Adam and Eve get to know Him, who He is, and what He represents. God zealously wants His children to see, to know, and understand His goodness. This divine nature created in Adam and Eve was the connection to their Creator that enabled them to get to know just how good and loving their God is. Each and every day, the knowledge of God and His greatness, glory, and grace was to grow and become deeper and deeper as they walked by the spirit of Almighty God.
The word “spirit” in the Hebrew is ruach, and it is interesting that its basic meaning means “air in motion, such as wind, breeze, or breath.” You cannot see the wind,but its manifestation upon the earth can be powerful. It can drive seas into a tempest; it can move clouds and shake trees; it can change weather patterns and blow objects away. The wind is invisible, but the demonstration of its power is often mighty. In the Book of Exodus, the Red Sea was driven back with a strong east wind as Moses stretched out his and over the sea. The sea was made dry, and the children of Israel miraculously crossed to the other side.
The spirit of God in Adam and Eve was invisible to the human eye, but when they walked by the ruach of God, there would be a strong demonstration and manifestation of God upon the earth. This manifestation could be as simple as His loving presence and encouraging words, but it had an impact on their heart and soul. Whenever the ruach of God moves, it has an impact and effect that accomplishes His purposes. The ruach of God glorifies God by the manifestation of His power, love, presence, and goodness on the earth.
Ruach also has a meaning of “breath” as we use breath to formulate words. We speak with our breath, and our vocal chords make our breath vibrate as it transmits the sounds of the words. Psalm 33:6 declares this truth, “ By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” God’s words make known the character, will, and thoughts of God. The ruach of God is essential to receive the living words from the heart of God. The ruach of God was absolutely necessary for Adam and Eve to understand and live in the word of God. The God-breathed words of their Creator are linked and communicated by His spirit upon Adam and Eve. This is why the ruach of God was so important to Adam and Eve, their responsibilities on the Earth, and their intimate communion with God.
So God wondrously formed, made, and created Adam and Eve as a threefold being of body, soul, and spirit. Adam and Eve were perfect in body, perfect in soul, and perfect in spirit. God placed them in paradise upon the earth so they could love Him, worship Him, fellowship with Him, and live with Him forever. God blessed them and told them to be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth. Their lives rested completely and fully in the blessing of God. God desired the entire human race to live with Him forever in paradise in perfect love, health, peace, and joyfulness. The blessing of God permeated everything upon the earth and surrounded Adam and Eve in all aspects of their lives. Physically, mentally, and spiritually Adam and Eve were blessed of God.
God also gave Adam and Eve dominion over all life upon the earth. The word “dominion” in Genesis 1:26 in the Hebrew means: to rule, to have dominion, to dominate, to tread down as a wine press with the feet, to reign, to subjugate, and to prevail against. Adam and Eve had the God-given legal right to rule and have dominion over God’s entire creation on the earth. All things were figuratively under their feet, as nothing could overcome or prevail against them as long as they exercised this authority in accordance with God’s will. Adam and Eve were to be God’s appointed representativeson the earth and were clothed with authority to rule with God as a visible monarchs upon the earth. Man and woman were to be God’s designated over-rulers on the earth, and with this authority, they were custodians and stewards over all the works of God’s hands. Mankind was never intended to fall or perish. Men and women were to reign and to rulein great God-given authority and power over every aspect of His created works on the earth. What an awesome privilege and responsibility that God bestowed upon Adam and Eve!
Psalms 8 elaborates on this wonderful truth.
Psalm 8:3-6 (American Standard Version):
When I consider thy heavens, the work of
thy fingers, the moon and stars, which thou
What is man, that thou art mindful of him?
And the son of man, that thou visitest him?
For thou hast made him but little lower than
God, And crownest him with glory and honor.
Thou makest him to have dominion over the
works of thy hands; Thou hast put all things
under his feet.
God Almighty made man and woman just a little lower than Himself and crowned Adam and Eve with glory and honor. The NIV Application Commentary explains:
Crowns in Israel were normally wreaths woven
of flowers or palm branches. Israelite kings and
priests wore a nezer crown signifying their
consecration to God. Other pagan kings were
said to wear atarah or keter crowns, a sign of
royal authority. Crowns of the atarah type,
decorated with flowers, were worn at banquets
as a sign of honor and elevation.
The Hebrew word “crownest” also means “to completely surround and encircle.” Adam and Eve were given great regal authority and crowned with God’s glory and honor. The word “honor” in the Hebrew means: splendor, honor, beauty, and majesty worn like an ornament for all to see. “Glory” in the Hebrew means: something that renders a nation, person, or place respectable, something that gives dignity and a badge of greatness, and an excellence that makes something praiseworthy and commendable. It means to make someone important and to cause one honor by putting him or her in an honorable position. In the Greek, it is the appearance of a person or thing that attracts attention and commands recognition. It embodies the idea of brilliance, splendor, and radiance. When the word “glory” pertains to God it is the revelation and manifestation of the full splendor, radiance, and magnificence of everything God is and represents. Glory comprises all that God is for us for our good and the fullness of all the good that is in Him.
God Almighty completely encircled and surrounded Adam and Eve with splendor, honor, majesty, and beauty as a witness for all His creation to see. God gave Adam and Eve a respectable position of authority and dominion that gave them honor, dignity, and a badge of excellence. As God’s regal authority upon the earth, they were to represent the magnificent radiance and splendor of the goodness of God Almighty and bring honor and glory to His name. God made Adam and Eve to have dominion over the works of His hands. The word “dominion” in Psalms is a different Hebrew word and means: to reign, to be superior in power, authority and dominion as a governor, and to exercise authority. Adam and Eve were to be superior in power, authority, and dominion on the earth and rule as governors. God put all things under their feet. This authority and power was derived from God, and ultimately Adam and Eve were responsible before God for its rightful exercise.
Hebrews sheds some additional light on the dominion and authority of Adam and Eve.
Hebrews 2:6-8 (Bible in Basic English):
But a certain writer has given witness, saying,
what is man, that you keep him in mind? What
is the son of man, that you take him into account?
You made him a little lower than the angels; you
gave him a crown of glory and honour, and made
him ruler over all the works of your hands;
You put all things under his feet. For in making man
the ruler over all things, God did not put anything
outside of His authority; thou we do not see every-
thing under him now.
Hebrews 2:8 (Amplified):
For you have put everything in subjection under
his feet. Now in putting everything in subjection
to man, He left nothing outside of man’s control.
But at present we do not yet see all things subjected
to him (man).
The word “subjection” in the Greek means: to place or put under in an orderly fshion, to bring under firm control, and to yield to governance or authority. The Greek word was also used to describe the arrangement of military implements on a battlefield in order that one might carry out effective warfare. God placed all of His works in an orderly fashion under the firm control and authority of Adam and Eve. Nothing was left outside of their control and authority. God gave Adam and Eve this wonderful dominion so they could govern effectively with godly order and arrangement.
However, turn on the television set, pick up the newspaper, and listen to the radio. Something has gone terribly wrong. Evil is rampant, and daily the world and its inhabitants are ravaged with death, disease, poverty, oppression, war, injustice, and diasters. Mankind seems helpless under the constant barrage of evil with no ability to stop it. Mankind no longer has the dominion and authority over the earth. Adam and Eve lost and forfeited this power, as Hebrews clearly states that at present we do not see all things under the dominion and authority of man. Something happened that seized Adam and Eve’s original dominion and left them to suffer the consequences.
It is very important to understand that the original dominion and authority given by God to Adam and Eve in Genesis 1 was a conferred right. A conferred right gives one the absolute right to exercise the right, but it can also be forfeited by transferring it to another. It is not an inherent absolute right, as it can be lost by the free will decision to give the authority and power to someone else. God conferred upon Adam and Eve the right to have dominion and authority over His entire creation on the earth. Adam and Eve had the legal right to use this power and authority in any way they wanted. Kenyon states in The Bible in Light of of our Redemption:
Adam possessed such complete authority over creation
that he had in his hands the legal right to confer that
dominion to another being…we shall see that he did this
Adam and Eve did not only have the complete authority and right to exercise or transfer their God-given dominion over the earth, but had freedom of will to obey or disobey God. Their life in paradise, their intimate fellowship with God, and their living in the blessing of God was all conditional and could be lost. This sacred heritage of legal dominion could vanish away if Adam and Eve chose to disobey God’s commandment. Even Lucifer and all his fallen angels could not resist or overcome this legal authority and dominion if Adam and Eve remained loyal and obedient to God’s commandment.This commandment was set forth clearly by God so there could be no doubt or confusion.
Genesis 2:16,17 (New American Standard):
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying
“From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;
But from the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat
from it you will surely die.
John Eldredge, in Epic, The Story God is Telling and the Role that is Yours to Play, sets forth God’s heart on this commandment:
“Trust me in this one thing,” God says to us. “I
have given the entire earth to you, for your joy.
Explore it; awaken it; take care of it for me. And
I have given you one another, for love and romance
and friendship. You shall be my intimate allies.
But on this one matter you must trust me. Trust
that my heart for you is good, that I am withholding
this for a reason. Do not eat of the fruit of the Tree
of the Knowledge of Good and Evil…or you will die”.
The root of the word “commanded” in the Hebrew means to make firm and establish. When God’s commandment is followed, it will establish that person and make them firm and steadfast. God always has the best interests of His children in mind. God is saying, “Simply trust me and I will establish you in my goodness.” God’s commandments are not haphazard, without purpose, or just a set of rules. God’s commandments are always to protect and preserve His people. God gave Adam and Eve tremendous freedom to live and fulfill His purpose. Adam and Eve were not programmed robots, but were free to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. They were truly free to live in the blessing and presence of God forever. Nothing could hinder God’s wonderful blessing and hand upon their lives, as long as they stood with their loving Creator and walked according to His Word. God’s commandment in the garden of Eden was not grievous or burdensome to follow. God is the author of freedom, and the amazing blessings of liberty are only available to those who live for and follow Him. Adam and Eve had complete freedom of will to say “no” to God and His blessing. They could choose to reject God’s Word and disregard His authority, but there was an extremely high price for this disobedience. Everything was at stake, and Lucifer knew it.
From The Magnificent Goodness of God and How It Will Transform Your Life. Order at http://www.amazon.com/Magnificent-Goodness-Will-Transform-Your/dp/1615795154/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310770471&sr=8-1