Two Thrones At War (continued)
A Cataclysmic Change
Genesis 1:2: And the earth was [become] waste and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
Something terrible must have taken place that has plunged the earth into the condition here revealed as one of utter disorder and desolation. The God of order could not have planned such disorder. The God of light did not purpose such darkness. Both must be the result of a cataclysmic overthrow.
That between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 some universal catastrophe has taken place is certain from Isaiah 45:18, which expressly declares that the earth was not created in the condition described in Genesis 1:2. What follows in Genesis 1:3-19 is the restoration of an earth in ruin. There is every evidence that something has taken place which has provoked God to anger, which was expressed in judgment (Jeremiah 4:23-26; Isaiah 24:1). Throughout Scripture there is one thing that ever called forth the anger of God in judgment. That thing is sin. God once brought a flood upon the whole earth because of sin. Is there any ground given in the Word for believing that the ruined earth of Genesis 1:2 was God's judgment upon some terrible sin?
Let us glance for a moment throughout the entire Bible. It is a book of warfare. Two thrones are at war. We discern rival sovereignties. We read of two kingdoms. We are everywhere conscious of a clash of wills. As a result we face throughout Scripture irreconcilable opposites: life and death; light and darkness; love and hate; godliness and godlessness; righteousness and sinfulness; holiness and iniquity; liberty and license; truth and lies; obedience and lawlessness; grace and judgment; heaven and hell.
The stage of battle is set in the first pages of Genesis and is the never ending theme until we reach the very last pages of Revelation. There we find a new heaven and a new earth wherein there is "no more curse ... no more death ... no more sorrow, crying or pain ... no night." There we find again as at the beginning "the throne of God" the very center of everything in heaven and upon earth.
In the light of such facts honesty compels us to face and answer this question. What caused this warfare in God's universe? Where, when, and how did it begin? But the question to be answered to too serious to permit any theorizing or speculation. We will get no convincing or conclusive answer except we find it in the Word of God. Do we find it there? Most assuredly. God who is Light would never leave us in darkness regarding something that imperiled His own relationship to His own creation and to the frustration of His own eternal purpose.
Genesis 3 clearly reveals the beginning of this warfare on earth. In the Garden of Eden there is an enemy of God, who impersonates himself in "the serpent." Who is, "the serpent"? The Word tells us, for it always interprets itself (Revelation 12:9).
We have seen that the universe as it came from the hand of God was perfect, and that in it there was but one will, the will of God. There was but one kingdom, the kingdom of God. There was but one King, whose rule over the whole universe was undivided and absolute. God had no rival. But our Lord speaks of a "kingdom of satan" in direct opposition to the "kingdom of God" (Matthew 12:25-28). He also speaks three times of one who is "prince of this world" (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11) who is judged and cast out. He speaks of "the world" that "hates" Him and His (John 7:7; 15:18, 19) and is in direct opposition to Him.
It is evident that an enemy of God came upon the scene and that warfare ensued both in heaven and upon earth. In the parable of the tares among the wheat, Jesus Himself declares this "enemy" to be "the devil" (Matthew 13:25, 38, 39). But in God's original creation there was no devil. But from Genesis 3 to Revelation 20 there is a devil in unceasing warfare against God. The greatest and the most irreconcilable of all opposites in the Bible is God and satan. God is the author and first cause of all life, light, love, godliness, righteousness, holiness, liberty, truth, obedience, grace, and heaven. satan is the author and first cause of all death, darkness, hate, godlessness, sinfulness, iniquity, license, hies, lawlessness, judgment, and hell.
(continued with # 45)