Part 2: The Old Heavens and the Earth

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series The Generations of the Heavens and the Earth

Before a Christian can “walk in the Spirit” (Rom 8:1), it is necessary to accept some basic Biblical  truths. One of these is the “Old Heavens and the Earth” mentioned in 2 Peter 3:5-7 involving Lucifer’s Flood.

Some Christians may question why there is a need to have any knowledge about such things, but God has His plans for mankind. In this, God has revealed His “secret things” to His prophets throughout all generations (Acts 3:21). Therefore God requires every child of His to listen, learn and understand what he wants to reveal to them (Rev 2:7)

Biblical truth commences with the basic issues before God can reveal other Biblical truths. This is because God requires to know how people handle or mishandle each doctrine He shares with us.  Such a process helps Our Creator assess our spiritual condition (or our relationship) with Him. This assessment ultimately determines where we will spend eternity. Therefore, this article reveals Biblical truths about the history of the Earth prior to Gen 1:3. 

Some may consider this teaching controversial, but it is clearly stated in scripture.  In this, these notes should be “studied” (2 Tim 2:15) to determine if they contain truth or not.  Regardless of the result produced, studying helps one become “approved by God“.  The more study and the application to what has been learned is undertaken, the more one becomes “approved”.

I have come to appreciate that God continues to challenge His people with new Bible topics.  Controversial topics such as the “generations of the Heavens and Earth” (Gen 2:4) help God’s children understand other spiritual issues.  This is because each topic contains ‘truth’ that ALL Christians must desire to pursue fervently (2 Thes 2:10).

The First Generation of the Heaven and the Earth

The Bible reveals that the Earth as we know it had a previous existence. This also applies to the Heaven that was associated with the Earth back then.

The image below reveals that there are three generations of the Earth’s evolution.  Scripture reveals the Old (or Original) Earth, the Present Earth, and in the future – the New Earth. The following verses of scripture identify these three states of God’s purposes of using the Earth. The ‘Gap Theory’ is the Biblical doctrine that reveals the Old Heavens and the Old Earth that existed between Gen 1:1 and Gen 1:3 — (2 Peter 3:5-7).

Creation Timeline
A timeline from God’s original creation to the New Heavens and New Earth

“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for NEW heavens and a NEW earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”

2 Peter 3:13

As shown above, the Bible records that both the Heavens and the Earth have “generations“. Therefore, the ‘Old Heaven and Old Earth’ could be used as the senior figure in a typical family (e.g. the grandfather). For there to be a ‘younger Heaven and Earth’, these could associate to be a son and a grandson.

“These are THE GENERATIONS of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth

Gen 2:4

Comparison of the Two Floods

The first verse of Genesis, chapter 1 states that in the beginning, “God created the Heavens and the Earth“. In verse 2, it implies that “waters covered the Earth”.  It also states that “…the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep”.  So, it makes one wonder why God would create something as beautiful as the Earth and leave it in darkness and covered in water at Creation.

The truth is this.  The Earth created by God “in the beginning” (possibly millions of years ago) is identified as Label 1 in the image above.  It is the same Earth labelled 2, indicating ‘the waters covering the darkened Earth.’

The Bible reveals things about what the Earth was like back then, as stated in the verses of scripture below. I have added emphasis to the words to highlight important points.

“I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the HEAVENS, and they had no light. {24} I beheld the MOUNTAINS, and, lo, they trembled, and all the HILLS moved lightly. {25} I beheld, and, lo, there was no MAN, and all the BIRDS of the heavens were fled. {26} I beheld, and, lo, the FRUITFUL PLACE was a wilderness, and all the CITIES thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.”

Jer 4:23–26

The above verses highlight this watery state of the Original Earth prior to it being destroyed by God through an enormous flood. It is believed that this ‘Flood” represented Lucifer’s Flood because of its total destruction; its long length and that the Earth and the stars in the Heavens did not shine.

In Noah’s Flood, the sun continued to shine while the ark was on the waters (Gen 7 and 8). An explanation of what likely happened here follows.

Event Comparison Between Lucifer and Noah’s Floods

Lucifer’s FloodNoah’s Flood
1. Earth made waste
(Gen 1:2; Jer 4:23)
1. Not made waste
(Gen 8:11-12,22)
2. Earth made empty
(Gen 1:2; Jer 4:23)
2. Not made empty
(Gen 6:17-22; 8:16)
3. Earth made totally dark
(Gen 1:2; Jer 4:23)
3. Not made totally dark
(Gen 8:6-22)
4. No light from heaven
(Gen 1:2; Jer 4:23)
4. Light from heaven
(Gen 8:6-22)
5. No days (Gen 1:2-5)5. Days (Gen 8:1-22)
6. All vegetation destroyed
(Gen 1:2-12; 8:11-12,22)
6. Vegetation left
(Jer 4:23-26)
7. No abating of waters off the earth
(Gen 1:6-12)
7. Continual abating of waters
off earth (Gen 8:1-14)
8. Waters taken off earth in
one day (Gen 1:10)
8. Months abating off earth
(Gen 8:1-14)
9. Waters removed supernaturally
(Gen 1:6-12)
9. Waters removed naturally
(Gen 8:1-14)
10. God rebuked the waters
(Gen 1:6-12; Psalm 104:7)
10. No rebuke of the waters
(Gen 8:1-14)
11. Waters left quickly
(Psalm 104:7)
11. Waters gradually receded
(Gen 8:1-14)
12. God set bound for waters
(Psalm 104:9)
12. Bounds already set
(Gen 1:6-12; 8:2)
13. All fish killed because sun
withheld (Gen 1:2,20-23;
Jer 4:23-26)
13. No fish killed, only land
animals (Gen 6:18-8:22)
14. No fowl left
(Gen 1:20; Jer 4:23-26)
14. Fowls preserved
(Gen 6:20; 8:17)
15. No animals left
(Gen 1:24-25; 2:19)
15. Animals preserved
(Gen 6:20; 8:17)
16. No man left
(Gen 1:26-28; Jer 4:23-26)
16. Eight people saved
(Gen 6:18)
17. No social system left
(2 Peter 3:6; Jer 4:23-26)
17. A social system left
(Gen 6:18; 8:22; 2 Peter 2:5)
18. No ark to save life
(Jer 4:23-26; 2 Peter 3:6-7)
18. An ark made to save life
(Gen 6:14-22; 1 Peter 3:20)
19. Cause: fall of Satan
(Isa 14:12-14; Jer 4:23-26;
Ezek 28:11-17; Luke 10:18)
19. Cause: wickedness of man
and fallen angels (Gen 6:1-13)
20. Result: necessary to make
new fish, fowl, animals, man,
vegetation (Gen 1:3-2:25)
20. Result: no new creations
made, for all things were
preserved (Gen 6:18-8:22)

Further Analysis of Lucifer’s Flood

The opening words of Genesis 1:2, “The earth was without form, and void,” are the same words used in Jeremiah 4:23, “the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void”.  Therefore, it appears God gave both Moses and the prophet Jeremiah the same ‘vision’.  He did this because “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” (2 Cor 13:1).  We must not exclude the Apostle Peter in this assessment too. 

In this, God has revealed to His prophets what this ancient world was like prior to the six days of Creation from Gen 1:3 onward.  

What these three prophets saw in their vision was that the Earth was in a state of judgment from God. The secular writings of mankind have not recorded the Earth ever going into a sustained period without the sun shining. If the sun did stop shining, a great chill would quickly occur and all life on Earth would cease immediately.  Therefore, what is described here must have happened a very long time ago and NOT during Noah’s Flood.

The Bible reveals that the following sequence of events took place on the ‘Old Earth’.  These events brought about its creation, its sinfulness, and its final judgment from God.

In this, God the Father created the Old Heavens and the Old Earth in magnificence and splendor. It was absolutely beautiful. Jeremiah described it as a “fruitful place.”  This is shown in the image as Label 1.

Creation Timeline
A timeline from God’s original creation to the New Heavens and New Earth

Do Archaeology and the Bible Agree?

Archaeology indicates that prehistoric animals such as dinosaurs probably lived in this period.  If that was so, they must have co-existed with humans, who lived in “cities” back then (Jer 4:25–26).

At this time, it seems Lucifer attempted to become EQUAL with God while in Heaven (Isa 14:14).  He did this by causing rebellion among the angel population (Rev 12:4).  God then cast him and his angels to the surface of the Old Earth “as profane” (Ezek 28:16).

Lucifer’s Role in This Destruction

“And he [Jesus] said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”

Luke 10:18

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to THE GROUND [the Old Earth], which didst weaken THE NATIONS! {13} For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven [from the Old Earth], I will exalt my throne [on the Old Earth] above the stars [or angels] of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north [in Heaven]: {14} I will ascend above the heights of the clouds [of the Old Earth], I will be like [or equal to] the most High [God].”

Isa 14:12-14

While on the Old Earth, Lucifer (now Satan) corrupted (or “weakened the nations ruled by men under God.  He did this by introducing corruption into the structure of society that God had previously established (Isa 14:12).

The situation became so bad that God “in His fierce anger” not only broke down “the cities, but also made “the fruitful place a wilderness (Jer 4:26).

Did God Rotate the Earth 90 Degrees?

To illustrate the fierceness of God’s anger, it is possible that He tipped the Earth 90 degrees on its axis in a very short period; thereby putting the north and south poles instantly at the equator (Isa 24:1). 

Similarly, with the equator moved instantly to the poles, this would have the effect of instantly killing grazing animals in the tropical and subtropical regions through suffocation and instant freezing. This helps explain why extinct mammoths have been found with grass still in their mouths and stomachs after being dead thousands (or millions) of years.

Refer to the website for more information about these ancient animals.

Some interesting comments from the website are reproduced below because they add clarity to what has been claimed above.

Carcass puzzles: As if the existence of frozen carcasses isn’t mysterious enough, several aspects of the carcasses are very puzzling. A number of carcasses, as well as a few skeletons, have been discovered in a general standing position. It looks like the animal sank in a bog, but generally Siberian bogs are not deep enough to bury an animal that size…Strangely, scientists investigating three woolly mammoths and two woolly rhinos, including the Beresovka mammoth, found they all died by suffocation. For a live animal to die of suffocation, it had to be buried rapidly or drowned…Not only is it difficult to explain the upright burial, but even more challenging is the question of how these many mammoths and other animals ended up inside the permafrost layer. Both carcasses and bones had to be buried quickly, below the summer melt layer of the permafrost, before they rotted.”

Also, this article seems to confirm the above statements. 

Did God Extinguish Light from All the Stars?

Scripture indicates that God turned out all the ‘lights in the heavens” at this time (i.e. He prevented the sun, moon, and other planets from giving forth their light).  This means that the Earth, the solar system and the universe were placed in total darkness (Jer 4:23). Therefore, all natural life died on the Old Earth because of the deep freeze that followed.

It then seems that God the Father caused regular earthquakes and volcanoes to erupt throughout the Earth. This would then explain the meaning of where Jeremiah says, “I beheld the MOUNTAINS, and, lo, they trembled, and all the HILLS moved lightly” (Jer 4:24). The lava flows down the hills and mountains, together with enormous earthquakes occurring continually would present the picture of a darkened Earth as viewed from the gloominess of space with the movement of lava giving the impression of “hills moving lightly.”

This judgment from God served a three-fold purpose upon the Earth:

  1. To destroy the evidence of the Old Earth that represented Satan’s corruption of God’s original creation.
  2. To create some warmth in the Earth so that it contained ‘waters’.
    Water is a cleansing agent whereas ice is a preservative.  Therefore, this could be why God wanted the waters to flood the Earth.
  3. The volcanoes and lava also symbolize His fury, anger, and wrath.

“For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.”

Deut 32:22

How Long Did the Earth Remain in Judgment?

The Old Earth then remained in this state for an indeterminable time, which is shown in in the image as Label 2. This period could have been for thousands, tens of thousands, or even millions of years, because God has little regard for time (2 Pet 3:8).

After God’s wrath had subsided, scripture tends to indicate that He asked His Son Jesus Christ to redeem the Heavens, the Earth and all of His creation from the perils of sin and the judgment that invariably follows. 

How God did that is explained in the Part 2 of this series.

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