There’s a theory, only hinted at in Scripture, that Planet Earth
had been the domain of Satan prior to his rebellion.
Although he was only a created being, Satan was an
enormously powerful dignitary in God’s Universe (Jude
1:9). He was the overseer of the Cherubim (the
guardians of God’s Throne) and a leader of the angelic
host. He was God’s most impressive creation (Ezekiel
28:12-15). Because of his position, his power, and
his beauty he became proud and rebelled (Ezekiel
14:13-14), bringing about a judgment that destroyed
All this seems to have happened between
Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2.
Hints of this in Scripture are
1) an alternate (and some say more literal) rendering of
reads, “But the Earth became formless and void”, rather
than “and the Earth was formless and void.”
2) In Isaiah 45:18 the
Lord said He didn’t create the Earth that way, using the
same Hebrew word that’s translated formless in
but formed it to be inhabited. Putting these two points
together hints at a judgment sometime after Earth’s
3) The angels already existed at the time of the Genesis creation
account. They shouted and sang for joy when the Lord
laid the foundations of Earth (Job
38:4-7) so they must have been created earlier. If
so, then Satan must have been created earlier was as
4) The serpent seems to appear out of nowhere in
although there’s no mention of him in the creation
account. Also the Hebrew word translated serpent comes
from a root meaning enchanter, which could mean it was
not an ordinary animal. And Eve didn’t seem to be
reluctant to converse with him, indicating she might
have recognized him for who he really was.
Let me hasten to add that I don’t believe in a pre-Adamite
civilization. The Bible clearly calls Adam the first man
(1 Cor. 15:45). It also says the animals were created on the same day
as Adam (Genesis
1:24-26) so I don’t believe dinosaurs or any other
animals preceded Adam’s creation.
After Earth sat submerged in ruin and darkness for who knows how
long, God said
“Let there be light” (Genesis
1:3) and the six day Genesis creation process began.
It helps to remember that the Bible is not a book about
eternity, it’s about the age of man. As such it begins
with the creation of the first man and ends when the
Millennium ends seven thousand years later. It gives
only vague hints about what happened before the Age of
Man began and what will come after it ends. All we
really know is that there was an eternity past and there
will be an eternity future.
God’s first instruction to Adam and Eve was to give them dominion
over Planet Earth, telling them to subdue it and
populate it (Genesis
1:28). Satan, whose domain Earth had formerly
been, responded by causing them to sin (Genesis
3:1-13). As a result of their sin, Adam and
Eve fell from immortality to being mortal, carrying all
their descendants with them (Romans
5:12). The creation was also placed in bondage to
sin (Romans 8:18-21), and Satan snatched control of Earth back from Adam
Eve and has held it from then until now (1
John 5:19). This is why Jesus referred to Satan as
the prince of this world (John
12:31, 14:30, 16:11) and Paul called him the god of
this world (2
Jesus redeemed the creation (bought it back) with His own blood
at the same time He redeemed us, but He won’t move to
actually assert His claim to it until just before the
beginning of the Great Tribulation at the sound of the
The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices
in heaven, which said:
“The kingdom of the
world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his
Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever” (Rev. 11:15).
And in Rev. 12:10 we
“Now have come the
salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and
the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our
brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night,
has been hurled down.”
In the mean time, the Bible tells us Satan is in charge here, and
there are numerous references to demonic powers
influencing life on Earth to confirm this.
Satan had representation in all the Gentile Empires of Biblical
times. He was called the king of Babylon in
Isaiah 14:4 and the king of Tyre in
Ezekiel 28:11. An angel spoke to Daniel about being detained by the
“prince of Persia” and requiring help from the Archangel
Michael to get free (Daniel
10:13). He also said he would soon be doing battle
against the “prince of Greece” (Daniel 10:20) although at that time the Greek Empire was still 2
centuries into the future. And the Roman Empire became
so evil that many see the Roman Emperor Nero as one of
history’s clearest models of the anti-Christ.
Does anyone believe things are different today? After all,
Gentile Dominion won’t end until the 2nd Coming. Adolph
Hitler was another model of the anti-Christ, and Nazi
Germany showed how pervasive evil can become when a
nation is under the influence of the occult. Ronald
Reagan called the Soviet Union an Evil Empire. George W.
Bush referred to nations supporting international
terrorism as an Axis of Evil. And since the United
States entered its post Christian era, who can deny that
evil has had a much stronger influence here as well.
As for evil in the Church, Paul said those who introduce false
doctrine into the body
apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of
Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as
an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his
servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their
end will be what their actions deserve (2
He said we would see this becoming more prevalent as the end
times approach. In
1 Timothy 4:1
he wrote, The
Spirit clearly says that in later times some will
abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and
things taught by demons.
In Our Lives
On a personal level the Bible warns us about the influence of
evil in our lives. In
Ephes. 6:12 Paul wrote, For
our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against
the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers
of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of
evil in the heavenly realms.
The fact is the world is an evil place where bad things happen
without reason and it will be that way until the Lord
comes to restore it (Matt.
19:28, Acts 3:21). It’s not because God created it
that way or even because He wants it that way. It’s
because when our first parents sinned they unleashed a
force of evil on this world that has put all their
descendants in bondage and contaminated even the
History has shown that God only lets sin and rebellion go to a
certain point before reigning it in. Even during the
Great Tribulation, when He will remove His agency of
restraint altogether (2 Thes. 2:7), He will put an end to evil’s reign before it can
completely destroy mankind (Matt.
Is God In
This brings us back to the original question, and here’s my
answer. I believe things will turn out exactly like God
said they will because He’s already seen the end, and He
saw it from the beginning. But does that mean I believe
God is in total control of everything that happens in
the mean time? No I don’t, and I think I’ve shown above
that the Bible supports my opinion.
I believe when we become Christians we become aliens behind enemy
lines. I believe we can expect God’s help in surviving
if we turn over control of our lives to Him. But I think
there’s a lot more to that than most people understand.
When Jesus said to take up our cross and follow Him (Luke
9:23) He was calling us to do what He was doing.
And what was He doing?
Matt. 26:39 tells us He laid down His will in favor of His Father’s
Romans 12:1-2 explains that’s exactly what we’re
called to do.
Therefore, I urge
you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your
bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to
God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not
conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be
transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will
be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good,
pleasing and perfect will.
We’re to lay down our will for our life and embrace His will for
our life instead.
In Ephesians 4:22-24
Paul put it this way.
You were taught,
with regard to your former way of life, to put off your
old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful
desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
and to put on the new self, created to be like God in
true righteousness and holiness.
I’ve seen a lot of people who give lip service to this command,
and a few who actually obey it. But even those who do
obey realize the world remains an evil place, and bad
things can still happen.
Jesus said that in this world we will have trouble (John
16:33), but He also said He came so we can
have an abundant life (John
10:10). We gain this blessing by laying down the
life we have planned for ourselves and picking up the
life He has planned for us. In this way we can
experience a personal world where He is in total control
no matter what is happening in the world around us, and
where He is working even the bad things that happen
together for our good (Romans
Paul said our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the
glory that will be revealed in us (Romans
8:18). For that reason, he said,
“we fix our eyes
not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is
seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”(2 Cor. 4:18). This life is temporary. It’s the next one that’s
This is also why Paul told us to live by faith not by sight (2
Cor. 5:7), because even when we’re experiencing the
adverse effects of this evil place, we can know that God
has promised to work everything together for our good.
Therefore, no matter how bad things might be, we can
take heart in the fact that He has overcome the world,
and through faith in Him we will too. Selah 10-20-12