There a has been a battle for the earth since man was created. This battle rages between the forces of good and evil. God, and those on His side against Satan and those on his side. Most men, religious or otherwise, are oblivious of the battle and its origin hence they cannot participate or participate effectively as required by God.
There is a reason for this battle, a clearly laid out battle plan, clear goals and the bible is the compass. Those who participate must know the rules of engagement. It is incumbent therefore for man to study the word of God and have a clear understanding of His plans and purposes in order not to be led astray. The bible enjoins us to-
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth (2Ti 2:15).
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive (Eph 4:14);
The first three chapters of Genesis and more particularly the first two verses give us reasons to search and explore a period which appears to be unaccounted for. This search leads us to discover a rebellion before the creation of man, the location of the rebellion, the principal actors, and so on. Genesis is the book of beginnings. The beginning of heaven and the earth, plant animal and human life.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
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 (Gen 1:1-2).
The first verse speaks of the creative act of God. It introduces a dateless past (eternity past), God, heaven and earth. Two locations are mentioned to have been created, the heaven (i.e., the rest of the universe without earth) and the earth.
The heaven in this context is the whole universe which includes the three heavens, the sun, moon, stars, angels and so on. God created all these millions and billions of years ago. Man can only imagine a dateless past and the vastness of the universe but cannot fathom it. That is the wisdom and power of the God we are called to worship.
We know from the book of Job that the heaven was created before the earth. In Job we are told that when God created the earth, the morning stars and the sons of God (angels) that were with Him in heaven sang and shouted for joy respectively (Job 38.7). They had observed the creation of earth from heaven.
God had asked Job-
Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding (Job 38:4).
When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? (Job 38:7)
Satan was referred to be among the sons of God in Job 1.6 and Job 2.1
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them (Job 1:6).
Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD (Job 2:1).
This shows Satan was one of the sons of God, (an angel) in heaven when God laid the foundations of the earth. He was among the sons of God who shouted for joy when “the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy” as they both marveled at God’s work when He created earth.
God is all powerful (omnipotent), all knowing (omniscient) and all present (omnipresent) and created the earth out of nothing. It must have been perfectly created.
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear (Heb. 11:3).
The Prophet Isaiah confirms this perfectly created earth in his book. (Isa 45:18) He said God created the earth not in vain (not void, not formless, not as a waste) to be inhabited-
For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else (Isa. 45:18 ).
The State of the Earth
Why then is the earth referred to as “without form and void” (confusion and empty; formless and empty; waste and void) in Gen 1.2?
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 (Gen 1:2).
The earth was created perfect for the morning stars and the sons of God to sing and be joyful at the magnificence of God’s work. God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing. He cannot out of nothing create something in a bad state.
Since we know that God created earth perfect initially (verse 1) what transpired between Gen 1.1 and Gen 1.2 to change the state of the earth from being perfect to “without form and void?
Two things are worthy of note.
The first, history of mankind from Adam to present day is approximately six thousand years. Yet archaeology dates earth and various things in the earth millions and billions of years old. This implies that there is vast period between verse 1 and 2.
The second, in the first two chapters of Genesis only three things were created, the heaven and the earth (Gen 1.1), animal life (Gen 1.21) and human life (Gen 1.26-27).
… God created the heaven and the earth (Gen 1.1).
And God created the whales and every living creature…and every winged fowl… (Gen 1.21)
“And God made the beast of the earth…” (Gen 1.25)
“So God created man in His own image…” (Gen 1.27)
All the other things were called to manifest from the ruined state of the earth which was entirely in darkness and covered by water.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light (Gen 1:3).
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters (Gen 1:6).
And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so (Gen 1:9).
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so (Gen 1:11).
Hence, besides the specific things God created- heaven and earth, animal and human life- all other things which were restored were from the initial creation (Gen. 1. 1).
One of the most thrilling things about the bible is the fact that God makes man record pre-history (events before man was created) and history (events after man was created). He also reveals future events (prophecy) to Israel through His prophets. God only deals with Israel. He deals with the rest of the world through their relationship with Israel. He reveals and makes His prophets record things that happened in heaven before as well as after man was created. (Since Isreal has been blinded in part for rejecting and crucifying the Messiah, (Rom. 11.25) God only deals with the world today through the Church, the Body of Christ).
The Bible records all these including God’s the plans and purposes for man through prophecy through His Prophets and these are recorded in the Prophetic Books of the Bible. The beginning of man and the end of man are all recorded. It is a complete book that need no additions or subtraction. Hence everyone should read this book. It is the most sold book in the world. The first to run off the printing press. The whole world is shaped through its content. God has caused to be recorded as His word to man. He is the Almighty God, He is eternal.
Eternity is the absence of time. Eternity is the past, present and future rolled into infinite space outside time. Since He is eternal and dwells in eternity what he has reveal in the bible has come to pass as far has He is concerned and no man can change it. The Bible is the word of God and is eternal. His word does not return to Him void.
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Isa 55:11).
God spoke to man audibly through His prophets. These are recorded by them or by scribes for man.
For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost (2 Pe 1:21).
Man lives in time and is constrained by time to fully comprehend God and what He has revealed to us. That is why he needs and has the aid of the Holy Spirit in grasping the Word and the things of God.
Even Jesus told us that we need both physical and spiritual food to survive.
And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God (Luke 4:4).
God’s word is spiritual food.
What Happened Between Genesis 1.1 and Genesis 1.2
God had created a perfect earth which was to be inhabited as mentioned above (Isa. 45.18).
Why is it then in a state of waste and formlessness (Gen. 1.2)?
“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. ….” Gen 1:2
The other places in the bible which the state of the earth or place on earth is referred to as without form and void is after and in the context of God’s judgement.
The Prophet Jeremiah in describing the future state of Judah and the earth after God’s judgement said
I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light (Jer 4.23-26).
He said this in relation to the land of Judah (Jerusalem) after God future judgement on it for breaking His covenant. This judgement he beheld affected Judah and the state of the earth.
Similarly, Isaiah in recording God’s future judgement on the earth, the world at large, said
Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof (Isa 24:1).
Since Adam had not been created who rebelled or sinned against God to bring judgement on the earth?
The only other beings created before Adam were angels as we observed in the verses above when God laid the foundations of the earth (Job 38.4) it caused the morning stars to sing and the sons of God (angels) to shout for joy (Job 38.7).
God imposed judgement due to the rebellion of some angels in heaven. Satan and his company of angels in heaven wanted to usurp the throne of God. Prophet Isaiah records for us an event that predates the creation of man –
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For 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: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High (Isa 14:12-14).
Satan’s plan from his statement above was a coup against God his creator. He only thought in his heart and God knew and booted him out of heaven to earth.
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:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will be like the most High
We know that the personal pronoun “I” when used is often followed by a statement of pride.
Satan’s rebellion was due to the pride as recorded by Prophet Ezekiel concerning Satan –
Thine 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 (Eze 28:17).
Satan had lifted himself in pride with the intention to usurp the throne of God. God cast him out of heaven to earth, though he still had limited access to heaven as we see in the book of Job when he presented himself with the other angels. It was in reference to Lucifer’s fall that Jesus said to his disciples in Luke’s Gospel –
And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven (Luke 10:18).
Jesus made this observation in His pre-existence nature. He existed with God in the beginning. John records Jesus’ pre-existence in the opening verses of his Gospel-
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. (John 1:1-3).
Jesus Christ is the Word of God, the agent of all creation.
This judgement of Satan and his group of other rebellious angels, being cast down to earth, caused a cataclysmic effect that made the earth become without form and void. God did not leave Satan to enjoy the once beautiful and perfect place He created.
The bible does not mention how long the earth was in this state before God restored it and created man. In Genesis chapters 1 and 2, God restored the earth so that it can be inhabited by man. After restoring the earth, He created man, planted a garden in the section of it and put man in it.
Gen 2:8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed (Gen 2:8).
The bible says God made man in His Image
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 (Gen 1:26).
God not only made man in His image, He also gave man dominion over the whole earth which was Satan’s domain and to which Satan ruled and had dominion.
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 (Gen 1:28 ).
At this time Satan was known to have been in the Garden of Eden before and after his fall.
Satan in Eden before his fall. Prophet Ezekiel records –
Thou 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 (Eze 28:13).
He was probably the governing angel over earth as he came to present himself to God as did the other angels from time to time.
Satan in the Garden of Eden after his fall
Now the serpent(Satan’s tool) was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (Gen 3:1)
Satan still visits heaven and presents himself to God after the fall
Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.
And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it (Job 1:6-7).
However, He was cast to the ground because of pride which caused his rebellion against God.
Thine 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 (Eze 28:17 ).
Satan was cast to the earth. It is this same earth that God gave man dominion subject to only one condition, to always obey God. If man obeyed God, he kept, dominated and ruled earth for God. If man disobeys God, he hands dominion back to Satan who was there in the chaotic ruined state before him.
Satan must have been jealous and livid. Man was made a little lower than angels and given dominion over Satan’s territory, earth. An inferior being as far as Satan was concerned. Satan will not have it.
The Psalmist tells us about man’s elevated position-
When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! (Psa 8:3-9)
This must have really angered Satan. His territory. He must therefore make man disobey God to reestablish his dominion of earth.
Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat (Gen 3:1-6) .
Man disobeyed God through Satan’s manipulation and Satan took back control of the earth.
Even Jesus in His time and at His temptation did not dispute that earth was Satan’s domain. Satan had rightly told Jesus that the earth had been delivered to him.
And the devil, taking him (Jesus) up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine (Luke 4:5-7).
Jesus did not dispute it. He just said He was not interested but will rather worship the Lord
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve (Luke 4:8).
Man lost the God given mandate to be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth and most importantly dominate/rule earth on behalf of God. God’s plan to redeem man is revealed in the Bible so that mankind can regain possession of earth from Satan. Man has no excuse for not taking advantage of this foreknowledge.
There are two camps, those who side with God and work towards achieving God’s plans and purposes as revealed in the Bible and those who side with Satan working with him to thwart God’s plans and purposes. There is no middle ground. He who is not for Him is against Him.
He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad (Mat 12:30).
Make your decision today. Choose!!