The World That Then Was
When we examine the history of mankind, we see all the benchmarks to record his story and are identified by dates of wars, broken treaties, and alliances. Why is there so much turmoil, division and mistrust? Contracts between nations, among the states, and people need to be scrutinized before entering into any agreement. What are we to think when we read in the book of Jeremiah 17:9 that the heart is deceitful? The Book of Isaiah 64:6 says that our righteousness is as filthy rags. Why does the word of God say these things about men? The Bible gives us the answer to these questions if we will search the scriptures honestly.
The Apostle Peter, upon whom Jesus Christ says He will build His church, has interesting scriptures that should stimulate anyone’s mind. Yet, few usually address or expound the meaning of these verses.
2nd Peter 3:5, “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: 6, Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7, But the heavens and the 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.”
We read in verse six where the earth was overflowed with water perished. Why and when did this happen? Jeremiah describes in the forth chapter of his book what had happened to the earth after God had created it. It tells us of a katabole, a Greek word meaning the casting down, or the overthrow of the earth after God had created it. Katabole is an interpretation of the English word for foundation. This expression is used ten times in the New Testament. Matthew 13:35; John 17:24; 1st Peter 1:20 are just a few scriptures that emphasize the importance of these verses.
Matthew 13:35, “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, saying, “I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation (katabole) of the world.”
What Jesus is referring to here is that Genesis 1:1 describes the foundation or founding of the original creation of the earth. The word for foundation is the Hebrew word themelios. This word themelios has a different meaning than katabole. Both words refer to the founding or foundation of the earth. The first refers to the founding of the earth in a positive way, as in the original creation, but the word katabole is the overthrow or the casting down of the earth in a negative way. God never intended for the earth to experience such an upheaval.
Isaiah 45:18, For thus saieth 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.”
In Genesis 1:2, God used the expression, tohu and bohu to mean that the earth became waste and empty. The word tohu means to be formless, as water is formless, and bohu means to be empty. We are vessels to be filled with God’s life within us as our found treasure, 2nd Corinthians 4:7. What was the cause of this destruction?
Isaiah 14:12, “How art thou fallen from heaven O Lucifer; son of the morning: how art thou cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! 13, 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: 14, I will ascend above the heights above the clouds; I will be like the Most High.’ 15, Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”
The name Lucifer in the Hebrew dictionary is number 1966 and means, in the sense of brightness; the morning star. Isaiah gives us a little more of a description of Lucifer in the age that was.
Isaiah 14:16, They 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; 17, That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?”
Jeremiah 4: 23-26 “I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form , and void; and the heavens, they had no light. I beheld the mountains, and lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly. I beheld, and lo, there was no man, and all the birds of heaven fled. 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.”
This is the earth age and its destruction which Peter describes as the world that was, caused by Lucifer and the angels who followed him, Revelation 12:4. This is not describing Noah’s flood, which is of this second and present earth age, the age of the judgment of all men. The flood of Genesis 6 had the family of Noah, birds, and no mention of cities which were destroyed. In verse twenty-two, God tells us of the shortcomings of His children during this present earth age, because there is hardly any teaching of the 1st earth age and its overthrow, yet the scientific community know that this earth had undergo turmoil at one time.
Jeremiah 4:22, “For My people is foolish, they have not known Me; they are sottish (Stupid) children and they have none understanding: They are wise to do evil, but to do good, they have no knowledge”. 23, “I beheld the earth, and lo, it was without form; and void; and the heavens, they had no light.”
This was the situation of the earth when God looked upon its upheaval. the perfect earth which God had created and its foundation, themelios, the founding, became destroyed. The katabole, the foundation of destruction, brought with it tohu and bohu. This is the age in which Peter identifies as the age that was.
2nd Peter 3:7, “But the heavens and the 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.”
The first age was destroyed when Lucifer rebelled against God along with the angels who were under his charge.
2nd Peter 2:4, ” For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment.”
God’s Children Will Be Born Into This Second Earth Age in Physical Bodies.
Ezekiel 18:4, tells us that God says, “All souls are mine”. Each of God’s children are created by God and are called souls. These souls are His children which were created and manifested in a spiritual body just as God had a spiritual body. At the creation of the earth, God’s sons shouted for joy, Job 38:7. This is the age that was before some of the angels had sinned.
Lucifer/Satan knew what he was doing during that age. He was a high ranking cherub who wanted to be like God by exalting himself. Lucifer’s name was changed to Satan in the Garden of Eden, and is called the son of perdition by Jesus in the Book of John, 17:12. Judas is not the son of perdition. The word perdition means to perish. Judas was used by God to fulfill prophesy. He also repented of his betrayal of Jesus and gave back the thirty pieces of silver which he threw into the Potters Field. The angels who followed Lucifer in the age that was were deceived by him just as many of us are deceived today. God is not going to have this earth age destroyed as it was destroyed after the initial creation. That is a reason all of God’s children are passing through this present earth age, for their testing. God needs to find out who His children will follow, Lucifer/Satan, or the only true God and Father who redeemed us through the sacrifice of His Son. God has given all men and women free will, to make their own choice. There will be a White throne judgment for everyone, saint and sinner alike.
1st Corinthians 15:51, “Behold I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed”. 52,” In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet will sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed”. 53,” for this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality”.
We read that God created all souls. Nowhere in scripture are we told that these were living souls, imbued within with God’s uncreated life. Yes, they were alive but without the presence of God within them. Godly- life can only come from God, who has the uncreated eternal life to give. Trees plants, animals, as well as man are alive and living but will eventually die. None of these have the life of God. God’s purpose from the very beginning was to first create man and then to form man by filling him with his very life. No more to be as unstable as water.
In Genesis 2:7, God for the first time breathed His life into Adam, and Adam became a living soul. This is the difference between the age that was and this present evil earth age. This present earth age, God’s children have within them a spirit by which to connect with God’s Spirit, referred to as the inner man, Ephesians 3:16, which is not visible to the human eye, but nonetheless will produce and become a new man, Ephesians 4:24. Only the outward part of a man can others see. The new man is a new creation brought about by God’s Holy Spirit which can’t be seen, but can be realized to others by what he does and what he says.
This putting on as verse 53 above says is the same as putting on an article of clothing. What happened in the Garden? Adam and Eve found themselves naked because of listening to someone else’s voice, God’s adversity, Satan. We need to put on Christ and His righteousness, Romans 13:14; Galatians 3:27.
When the disciples of Jesus asked Him to show them the Father, His reply was, “if you have seen Me you have seen the Father”, John 14:8-9. Jesus was the outward manifestation of the image of God. His Spirit within Him was mingled with the Spirit of His Father. They could see Jesus but they could not see the Father within Him, because God is Spirit, John 4:24. We being His children, have the same image and spirit within us as well as our appearance outward. The word image in the Hebrew dictionary is number 6754 and means, to shade,phantom, an illusion, a representative figure. All of God’s children will have to put on in- corruption and immorality or they will not have any part in the new Kingdom Age. This is the reason that there will be no sorrows, shedding of tears, and destruction in the Kingdom of God. All of God’s children will be brought into a new Earth and Heaven age with the very presence and life of God. Adam failed as far as history shows and we would have failed the same way. Jesus Christ, the last Adam, the second person of the Godhead, didn’t fail.
Hebrews 2:14, “For as much then as the children, (souls created during the age that was) are partakers of flesh and blood, He also (Jesus Christ) Himself took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.
Because of the changing from mortal to immortal as the scriptures say, we will return back to God, only now, because of the work of Jesus, we will have God’s purpose, His eternal life within us, fulfilled. At that time, we will not be sons and daughters who only have the image of God outwardly, but we will be sons and daughters who have put on the Divine Nature of God inwardly.
1st Corinthians 15:50, “Now this I say brethren, that flesh and blood cannot enter the Kingdom of God”.
Our flesh and blood will return to the ground and our new nature will return to God thus God’s purpose is accomplished. The wars and conflicts between men will cease and not be remembered anymore. all men will be content and satisfied because everyone will have put on the righteousness of Christ. Praise is given to our heavenly Father for His work.
1st Corinthians 15:54, “So when this corruption shall have put on in-corruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, “death is swallowed up in victory” 55, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”