Satan, Sin & Death in Deep-Time
The Pre-Adamite World and Ancient Origin of Satan
Every Bible-believing Christian knows that when the serpent tempted Adam and Eve to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17, 3:5, 3:6, 3:22), the man and the woman lost their innocence and died spiritually. Adam's transgression allowed death to enter into the world of man:
"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"
(Romans 5:12 KJV)
"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
(Romans 6:23 KJV)
The Serpent (Satan) was an enemy of God before he tempted the man and woman, which is obvious by the fact that the serpent tempted Adam and Eve to disobey God. That would mean that Satan MUST have become a sinner and an enemy of God sometime prior to the Adam and Eve's temptation and fall. And if sin "entered" Adam's world, where did it enter from? That brings up an important question:
IF Death results from Sin. WHEN AND WHERE did Satan Sin Against God?
It could NOT have happened during or shortly after the seven-days of Genesis, else the serpent (a.k.a. Satan, Lucifer) would have been responsible for Death entering man's world, not Adam. The Bible does not say that (Romans 5:12). That means Satan's sin MUST have happened before the world of the seven-days of Genesis, in a previous world that was on the face of the Earth prior to the world of Adam. And this is revealed by the Holy Bible. The Bible says that God made "worlds" (plural):
"Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;"
(Hebrews 1:2 KJV)
In the above verse, the writer is speaking to us who live in this 'present evil world' (Galatians 1:4) on the face of the Earth. If ours is the first and only world ever created, then why does he refer at the end of the verse to "made the worlds" (past-tense & plural). And if there was a previous world before ours, what does the Bible say about it?
The Holy Bible says in the very first verse that:
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."
(Genesis 1:1 KJV)
And I'm sure that every Christian would agree that, when God created the heaven and Earth "In the beginning", that God created everything perfect and holy (whenever He did it). But the Bible also tells us that Satan sinned against God sometime after God created the heaven and Earth:
"Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
(John 8:44 KJV)
"He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil."
(1 John 3:8 KJV)
So, if the Spirit of Truth tells us that God created the heavens and Earth perfect and sinless "In the beginning" and that Satan was a "murder" and "sinner" since "from the beginning", and we know from both the Holy Bible and common sense that the Serpent was an evil entity before Adam sinned (Genesis 3:1), then WHEN did Satan sin?
"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
(Genesis 1:2 KJV)
It happened sometime after Genesis 1:1 but before Genesis 1:2 and SIN is the reason why the "earth was without form, and void" and there was great darkness over the face of what remained of the original creation.
Why was SIN (and by implication, death) already in existence before the seven days creation and before Adam sinned? For that answer we must look to the writings of Isaiah and Ezekiel and Job. There, in the prophetic and wisdom books of these men, the Holy Ghost speaks concerning the ancient origin of Satan, which is a key doctrine to unlocking and understanding this great mystery of SIN.
In the passages below, the prophets are speaking against the "king of Babylon" (Isaiah 14:4) and the "prince of Tyrus" (Ezekiel 28:2) who were mortal men of history. But the Holy Ghost is speaking here against more than mere evil men. He is directly addressing an ancient, unholy, and malevolent spirit that motivated the evil deeds of these historical and mortal men. That ancient being is the spirit and person of Satan (Lucifer). Prophetically, the Holy Spirit is also addressing the spirit of an evil man yet to come, the antichrist (2 Thessalonians 2:1-10).
"12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. 16They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, [and] consider thee, [saying, Is] this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;"
(Isaiah 14:12-16 KJV)
"13Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone [was] thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14Thou [art] the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee [so]: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15Thou [wast] perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 16By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee."
(Ezekiel 28:13-17 KJV)
Even a casual glance at the passages tells you it speaks of things that could not possibly be attributed to the actual acts of any human king or prince. No man in history has ever "walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire" or "fallen from heaven." These verses are spiritually addressing a being named "Lucifer" who is also known as the "anointed Cherub" (a.k.a. Satan). The main setting of these verses is the Earth's ancient past, geologically VERY "Deep-Time" if you will. Some of the other words and phrases (in bold) are important to note.
The words "garden of God" reveals that there was vegetation on the Earth, even way back then. The word "Eden" represents a specific geographic place on the face of the Earth. It was the same location on the face of the Earth where God later planted another garden and formed Adam and Eve (Genesis 2:8), where (as Satan) the serpent tempted the man and his wife. That same place was, in Lucifer's day, said to be upon the holy "mountain of God" and the "sides of the north" which, Biblically, identifies the geographic location as where the city of Jerusalem is now located:
"And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD."
(Isaiah 66:20 KJV)
"Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King."
(Psalm 48:2 KJV)
This Lucifer (Satan) was not an angel. Angels do not have wings. Lucifer was a cherub, a winged creature with great power. He was not one of the "sons of God" or "morning stars" (the Angels) spoken about at the time of creation:
"Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb? When I made the cloud the garment thereof, and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it, And brake up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors, And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?"
(Job 38:4-11 KJV)
Lucifer had a higher place of authority and glory within the creation and the cherub was said to be "anointed", indicating he had a high position of holy service to the Lord when he was created. Note in Ezekiel 28:13-17 that the "anointed cherub" had a covering containing jewels similar to what was on the breastplate of Israel’s high priest. The breastplate of the priest had 12 jewels (See the breastplate of Aaron in Exodus 39:10-13 and Minerals of the Bible). Lucifer had a covering of nine jewels set in gold. Similar, but different numbers. The "tabrets" and "pipes" indicate an association with music, the implication being that Lucifer (the 'Light Bearer') was involved in the performance of worship.
The word "covereth" implies that he was the steward over the entire physical creation of the original Earth and heaven, in the beginning. This was also the beginning of the Kingdom of Heaven, (a subject discussed in greater detail elsewhere on this website). The "stones of fire" reference is obscure, but the Hebrew word indicates something akin to building stones. It could indicate there was a Temple of Fire upon the holy mountain at that time. Keep in mind that "fire" can be a physical and/or spiritual component:
"And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain [was] full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha."
(2 Kings 6:17 KJV)
"And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed."
(Exodus 3:2 KJV)
"And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and [there were] seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God."
(Revelation 4:5 KJV)
"For our God [is] a consuming fire."
(Hebrews 12:29 KJV)
That, in a Biblical outline, defines who Satan was (Lucifer), and where his story begins. His original purpose and position was second only to the Lord God in power and glory, but he wanted more than his anointed lot, he wanted to be worshiped like God. And that act of rebellion was his trespass against the Lord God. That SIN brought DEATH into the ancient heavens and Earth. The Doctrine of Satan provides additional and specific Biblical detail about this malevolent spirit entity.
When Lucifer rebelled and transgressed against the Lord God, he became the first created being to SIN, and it was a long, long time ago before Adam or his world was even created. It was a sin documented in the Holy Bible that occurred countless eons ago. We know this by two things: The law of Sin and Death (Romans 8:12) that states DEATH COMES BY SIN (Romans 5:13). If there is evidence of death in Earth's Deep-Time geologic record, it is there for only one reason, SIN. There can be no other Biblical explanation.
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."
(Proverbs 9:10 KJV)
Geologists have observed a record of life in the fossil record (more accurately, a record of death) back in Deep-Time as far as 3.8 billion years ago. From a Biblical standpoint, this tells you that death has been on the Earth for at least that long. Death results from Sin. The Doctrine of Sin makes this clear and sheds light on the entire Deep-Time issue.
Did these fossils sin? NO, but someone who had stewardship over the creatures of God’s creation did sin. SIN is key that unlocks the Mystery of Genesis 1:2 and Biblically resolves the Science vs. Scripture issues of origins, entropy, and the fossil record of death found in Earth's Deep-Time.
When did Death begin within the Creation?
The heaven and Earth have a spiritual history that is revealed by the Holy Spirit through the words of the Bible, the book of 'The Rock of Ages'. The heaven and Earth also have an ancient natural history that can be deciphered from geological observations. It is the book of 'The Ages of the Rock'. Both books are faithful accounts that cannot and do not contradict; both books originated from God Himself and have been preserved across time by God Himself. God cannot and does not lie.
God created everything ex nihilo (out of nothing). Owing to the characteristics of a pure and Holy God, His creation would have been perfect and holy from its very inception. He unleashed the physical creation and brought forth the universe through the nuclear force of Fusion. Created stars multiplied themselves and generated offspring, a multiplicative effect increasingly and constantly creating new matter as atoms fused (became one), releasing energy in the processes that spawned the higher elements. From elemental hydrogen new elements formed and, in turn, those elements fused with others to make even heavier elements.
But when the fusion process obtains to the element of iron (26 Fe), continued fusion then requires more energy than is created by the fusion process itself. The star rapidly expands as it burns up its remaining fuel, then suddenly collapses upon itself creating the heavier elements above iron in a supernova, which then explosively scatters all of the star's elements outwards like seeds into space. These seeds of elemental material then coalesce elsewhere, producing new stars and planets accrue around them creating a solar system. It was all a pure and holy process; the life-cycle of the physical universe, multiplying and constantly growing. This is how the heaven and Earth was created.
In examining the heavens and Earth today, we observe an additional nuclear process within the creation. It is called Fission, a divisive process that tends towards degeneration and is the antithesis of the nuclear force of Fusion. It is a process that produces death, not life; an instability feeding off of instability within in the atomic structure of some atoms. It is a form of decay. It is heat death. It is not a holy process. And just because this process is observed to now exist within the creation (and as far back in Deep Time we can presently observe), does not mean it has always existed within the creation.
Fission radioactivity is deadly. We know from the Bible and the Holy Spirit that death comes by sin (Romans 5:12), but where and when did the 'sin' originate that brought forth death in antiquity within the physics of creation? We can see evidence of death in geologic deep-time extending billions of years into the past. We know from observations of uranium decay (half-life) that this deadly process is, indeed, ancient in nature. The big question is, how did the power of death originate, and why? It occurred long, long before Adam and Eve, so Adam's sin could not have been responsible for the death seen in the fossil record of deep time. So how else do you explain it?
The key to unlocking this mystery of science is in the Holy Bible. The Holy Bible is centered on the redeemer sent from God, the Lord Jesus Christ. The answer to the mystery is found in Christ's Atonement on the Cross (Colossians 2:2-3).
To resolve the mysteries of the geologic record, indeed the mysteries and observations of all the physical sciences, requires the wisdom of the one who created them, the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 3:9). All the mysteries of the Holy Bible, indeed the correct interpretation of its words, require the wisdom of the Person who is the Word, and who became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14) in order to comprehend the magnitude of the Atonement across time and creation. It is only within this context of the holy that we can see through the darkness that obscures the human mind’s intellectual reasoning (Isaiah 1:18). The interpretation of the book of ‘The Ages of the Rock’ (Earth's Geology) must be subject to the authority of the book of ‘The Rock of Ages’ (The Holy Bible), and that book's rightly-divided correct interpretation requires the illumination of the Spirit of God Himself. The order of authority is the Holy Spirit, the Bible, then the Geology.
"The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."
(1 Corinthians 15:26 KJV)
"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."
(Romans 8:2 KJV)
In the next chapter, we discuss the important differences of the words "Earth" and "World" in Rightly-Dividing Biblical Doctrine and Interpretation.
The words "Worlds" and the "Earth"
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Gaines R. Johnson, D.D., D.Th.
The Bible, Genesis & Geology Ministry
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