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Chapter  Twelve


As much as we would like to think that the universe revolves around us, it doesn't. Yea, I know, that is hard to accept. However, it's not all about us. That was Lucifer's problem as well.

The Bible is a record of God's dealings with mankind and only of what God wanted to be revealed. We tend to think that nothing was happening before we came onto the scene. Meaning, that all of existence started with the first chapter of Genesis and not before. That is what I was taught as well.


However, we covered previously that there were things going on prior to man's creation. God was busy long before us. We are given a very small glimpse of that past history with God's creation of the angelic host and His historical dealings with them. The period of time of Lucifer's rebellion and fall. Of the kingdom that was given to him being destroyed. Of angels that followed Lucifer being cast out of heaven. All of this happened in a different chapter in God's history book of which we are given so little information. 

Those of us that hold to a creationist viewpoint are told that this all took place just prior to man being created and during the early days of Adam & Eve.  Most likely during the six days of creation.  The existence of prehistoric life would also need to fit into this period as well. The reasons are several. 

First, there can be no acknowledgment of any length of time longer than what can be approximated from Adam to the present through genealogy. To go beyond that would somehow be giving in to the notion of evolutionary ages. That, of course, is a no-no. And, it would be admitting that possibly science may be right concerning the potential age of the earth and the universe as older than we theologically allow. This is not acceptable and is one reason the Gap Theory is rejected. But, can you imagine what things would be like if Luther was a "go along to get along" kind of a guy. To not even consider the thought places Young Earth creationists in an awkward position of rejecting valid aspects of science that is foolish because it does not fit a narrative. And forces other theories that are hard for believers to wrap common sense around. 

And, much of this pretzel twisting is centered on the main reason for holding this position. That is the topic of death.


However, before we approach the topic of death, I feel that it is important that we first address another subject that we are familiar with, that being the matter of "law". The reason for reviewing this first will become clearer as we proceed forward.

We find that there are just and fair laws that have been established within society, as well as those laws that are active within our personal lives. These laws fulfill specific roles to help govern, maintain order, provide direction, give structure, and offer a standard of acceptable public and private conduct. Without them, we would quickly plunge into utter chaos and ultimate ruin. 


We have seen how quickly lawlessness can take over when there is a disruption of a society's normal civil structure, personal conviction, a moral code, and abandonment of the rule of law when individuals are left to the dictates of their own hearts.

There are governmental laws that have been put in place to give uniformity of structure, provide safety, and an agreed-upon social means of conduct.

We have laws that are meant to govern our politics and the means by which it should function. There are laws for business, travel, schools, employment, and so on. We have certain moral laws that we find that are universal, no matter where we go in the world. As a human race, we do not look to murder, steal, cheat, and so on as a standard rule of acceptable conduct. The "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" has been passed on down from one generation to another and is found in every culture, no matter where one goes around the world. These are codes of conduct or fundamental principles that guide human decency and conscience. They are laws God has established in every person, in every society in every generation, revealing not only the reality of God's Word but the origin of these universal laws:

"For when the Gentiles, who have not the law (Law of Moses which is the Ten Commandments) do by nature the things contained in the law, these having not the law, are a law unto themselves; who show the work of the law written in their hearts..." Romans 2:14-15

In other words, the laws that found their way onto stone tablets, which Moses carried down from the mountain to the Jewish people waiting below, were merely representative of what laws men naturally knew were right to do because these laws were already written in their hearts. 

How did these natural, universal moral laws find their way into each person? God put them there, hard-wired into the very fiber of every human being. The conscience that you and I have points to the reality of these laws and their existence every time we know when we have done something wrong.

The Bible is replete with references to the existence of scientific, societal, moral, and spiritual laws. Laws that we recognize originated from the ultimate Lawgiver.


We find that God has instituted laws for certain purposes which are used to govern, control, guide, maintain, bring order, and propel all of creation, both man and the universe. 

The laws that we find within nature also provide order and structure. These laws serve a role in maintaining conditions vital for the continuation of life. The very acknowledgment of the existence of these laws demonstrates that the physical world could not have come about by mere accidental chance, or through any evolutionary process.

Laws are first conceived and designed through means of some level of intelligence and then established through implementation. There is no natural process known to man that can develop, implement and enforce any known law, therefore, negating any serious continuation in the belief in evolution.


We easily recognize that jumping off a cliff sends us in a downward direction. We call that the law of gravity. Maybe the law of stupidity. Maybe both. Rubbing a balloon on one's head of hair and lifting it up demonstrates the law of static electricity. Or testing the notion of sticking a wet tongue on a cold light post reveals yet another law. These are demonstrations of some of the natural laws that exist.

When we consider the various natural laws that exist, we should ask ourselves when were these laws established. Logically, one would have to conclude that the answer would be at the beginning. Such things as the law of gravity, genetics, physics, and many more all had to have been established at the very start in order for the present universe to exist and function in an orderly way. This only makes sense. 

Let us consider the Earth's ecological system for a moment. It is a closed system that is both self-regenerating and self-maintaining. From plants and insects to atmospheric and ocean life, we find an interwoven balance of natural laws in motion that is truly fantastic in its structure, balance, and operation. A structure that is much too complex for us to remotely consider relegating this system's existence to some random, accidental event.

In confronting Job face to face, we get a sampling of some of the Scriptures that reveal these laws and when they were put in place as God began His interrogation in Job 38:1-41 and Job 39:1-30. Here are a few:

How about the Second Law of Thermodynamics?

"Of old you have laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They shall perish, but you shall endure; yes, all of them shall become old like a garment, like a vesture shall you change them, and they shall be changed." Psalms 102:25-26

"Lift up your eyes to the heavens and look upon the earth beneath; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall grow old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner ..." Isaiah 51:6

Or, the Earth's air currents?

"The wind goes toward the south and turns about unto the north. It whirls about continually, and the wind returns again according to its circuits (an established course or route)" Ecclesiastes 1:6

"Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now your loins like a man, for I will demand of you, and you answer me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if you have understanding. Who has laid the measures of it, if you know? Or, who has stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are its foundations fastened? Or, who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or, who shut up the sea with doors, when it broke forth, as if it had issued out of the womb, when I made the cloud its garment, and thick darkness a swaddling band for it, and broke up for it my decreed place, and set bars and doors and said, "This far shall you come, but no farther; and here shall your proud waves be stayed?"

"Where is the way where light dwells? And as for darkness, where is its place, that you should take it to its domain, and that you should know the paths to its house? ...

By what way is the light parted, which scatters the east wind upon the earth? Who has divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder, to cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is, on the wilderness in which there is no man, to satisfy the desolate and waste ground, and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?

There is typically no problem among those of faith agreeing to the idea that God established these laws from the very start of the creation process. We find that the universe cannot exist without laws having already been established to govern it. Nor, can our solar system and life on earth exist without natural laws already in place to maintain it. God would have to have already created these laws in order for His creation to function.


However, we also find within this creative system the establishment of the food chain, natural aging, and death.

So when were these laws placed within this system?

The logical answer would seem to be that they were established at the beginning along with the other laws in completing the self-regulating ecosystem. However, the theological answer presented is a different one. This is due to one law in particular. The law of death. 

This subject does present a dilemma, and where dialog begins to get rather convoluted unless there is a willingness to be objective. My hope is that by taking a systematic approach as we proceed from this point, we will all be able to come to a reasonably balanced conclusion. I am not asking you to accept or agree with me on this topic, merely consider its merits.


Throughout my years growing up in church, in Bible classes, and through Bible college, I was taught the traditional theological position that has been accepted at face value for generations regarding death. That being death did not exist until after the fall of man. Like many, I simply accepted this standard teachingHowever, over time, due to other studies of other topics did I realize that, although not completely wrong, that statement seemed to be only partially complete. 

The following notes are not given to try to convince you of my position but preferably to challenge you to think for yourself and determine the merits of these notes based on that. I simply ask you to apply some common sense and reason as we proceed.


In discussing physical death, it would seem reasonable to believe that natural death (aging) has existed from the beginning of creation, serving a vital role within the natural environment as it currently does in maintaining an ecological balance, and in God's overall plan. Natural death gives way to new life through this natural cycle.


And, it seems only logical that a basic food chain was established at the beginning as well, with birds eating their diet of worms as an example, in order to maintain creation and a means of keeping a balance of nature with regard to overpopulation, for without it the earth would be overwhelmed with the fast replication of insects, plants and such.


It is therefore reasonable to believe that the cycle of life found in nature was already present prior to sin. I am aware that this is contrary to traditional theological teaching that many, including myself, have received, but let us consider a few things as we move along.



expelled from eden

With regard to man, there is a reason that the Tree of Life was in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were to be physically sustained indefinitely by the fruit of it and therefore immunized from the processes of natural death. A law that was already in place.


When sin entered into their world, physical death came to mankind by means of being separated from the Tree of Life as they were expelled from the Garden and no longer able to eat of the tree. This separation exposed them to this natural law of which they were no longer immune to. It is at this juncture that we also find that Adam and Eve violated a spiritual law that was in place which subjected them to the law of spiritual death. 

God's prior warning to Adam not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil indicates that these laws were already in place as God told Adam what the outcome would be should Adam not heed God's command. 

A law has to first be established and in force before someone can violate it. And Romans 8:2 lets us know that there is "the law of sin and death."

It is hard to say how many times Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the Tree of Life but we do see its powerful effects, for even after being expelled from the Garden and separated from this tree, Adam lived to be 930 years old. The life expectancy of the following descendants of Adam started to slowly decrease in years with each passing generation as their immune systems became more diluted from the generation before them. 

It has only been more recently that life expectancy has increased. This is mainly due to the improvement in medicine in helping our immune system, and in maintaining our health. Something the Tree of Life did organically. 

God did not have to expound on the subject of death with Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:17, for they were already aware of this law due to their surroundings beyond the Garden of Eden. And, as it related to tending to the garden which would have had to produce the cessation of some type of natural life. If you have ever tended to a garden, you know the process of plucking, pruning, clearing, cleaning, cutting, and more to keep the garden cleared and productive. Heard of composting?


This simply shows that the law of death was already present in its natural use.


I know we like to romanticize things. We envision the Garden as being like heaven. A fantasy world unlike any other. But the Garden was not that. It was special in what it provided as a safe haven, sustenance, and for living. Sure, it was unlike any other. And, it had things in it that were unique and beautiful. 


Physical death became a universal reality for man after the fall due to their banishment from Eden and this separation from the Tree of Life. Spiritual death was the personal separation and altered state from God that also occurred and was passed on to all of mankind. Scripture is clear that sin brought forth death to mankind, not to all of creation simultaneously:


"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world (dealing with order, arrangement, organized humanity), and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men.." Rom 5:12


Due to one man, sin entered human society (Gk. "kosmos" as used primarily in N.T. to refer to humanity), and death due to that sin, and so death passed on to all humanity. Comparing other Scripture references that use the same Greek word "kosmos" for world, we see that definition is determined by conversation, which is most often referring to humanity, such as:


"..the world cannot hate you, but me it hates because I testify of it, that its works are evil." Jn. 7:7


"The Pharisees, therefore, said to themselves, "Perceive you how you prevail nothing? Behold, the world is gone after him." Jn. 12:19


"And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, "These that have turned the world upside down are come here also." Acts 17:6


"First, I thank God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world." Rom. 1:8


"..and be not conformed to this world, but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind."  Rom. 12:2


"But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world." 1 Cor. 11:32


"The world by wisdom knew not God.." 1 Cor. 1:21


"..that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation." 2 Cor. 5:19


We could go on but I believe you have grasped the proper understanding of the term "world", taken from the Greek word "kosmos", as it is meant to be understood in its common New Testament application. That is, due to sin, death entered into the world, that world being the world of mankind, not death entering into all of creation. We have incorrectly placed death within nature as starting at the same time and being caused by the same thing.


Genesis 3:17-18 states that the "ground" was cursed. This produced thistles and weeds that have complicated all of life, along with the growing process, causing mankind to work by the sweat of the brow. Death is not inferred. Obviously, Adam didn't have to initially deal with weeds in the Garden. That had to have been nice. They did have to keep it from overgrowing more like landscapers. 

Romans 8:22 points out that the whole of creation, referring to both mankind and all the rest of creation groans and travails in pain together due to the curse until now.

There are conflicting approaches to Romans 8:17-25. Some have chosen to have this portion of Scripture, as it uses the word "creature" to refer to creation. And some Bible versions have actually changed the word "creature" to "creation". It is interesting though that it was not changed in the other places that the same Greek word (ktisis) is used, such as:


"..preach the gospel to every creature.” (revealing that every creature is referring to people. No sense preaching to a frog right?) Mark 16:15


"Therefore if any man be in Christ, 'he is a new creature, old things are passed away." (2 Cor. 5:17)


"For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision avails anything or uncircumcision, but a new creature." (Gal. 6:15)


"Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature." (Col. 1:15)


".. the hope of the gospel, which you have heard, and which was preached to every creature under heaven..." (Col. 1:23)


Again, these are obvious references to mankind.


We see this Greek word translated as "creation"  in places such as:


Mark 10:6 "But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female."


Mark 13:19 "not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. And except that the Lord shorten those days, no flesh should be saved.."


2 Pet. 3:4 "..Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation (not simply beginning of creation but of the creation, again a reference to the start of man when the promise was first given)"


Rev. 3:14 "These things says the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God."


The interesting use of "the creation" is to signify once again man, and separate from simply "creation" or "creation of the world" as is the case in Romans 1:20 where it specifically states "the creation of the world.."

I contend that we have erred in associating the position and condition given to man as being the same as with the rest of creation when we are discussing death, when in fact we are told that man was created unique and given dominion of the rest of creation, with the command to subdue it. In making this association, we have wrongly concluded that death did not exist period, before man sinned and only became a reality when he did, thus impacting all of creation due to this one act.

Listen, the knowledge of good and evil was already present and real before Adam and Eve at of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. How did this knowledge of evil come to exist? Can one say that God is the author of evil? Of course not. Logically, the reality that knowledge of evil was accessible means that so was the ability to do evil once having that knowledge. So too is the reality that death was already present but its accessibility and impact were contingent on a different action. 

Some feel that somehow believing that death was already present within God's creation does one of two things. One is that it makes a mockery of the atonement message of mankind needing redemption. I am not sure how one can conclude that when the fact remains that man still is in need of being redeemed from this fallen state, from the clutches of the law of death brought about by universal sin, and from our own personal sin. The second would be placing God as being responsible for death and suffering. Again, laws are in place for certain purposes and reasons. Warnings are established for certain laws in order to avoid negative consequences. God did just that, yet those warnings were not heeded. Therefore the responsibility and blame are not on God who, even now, continues to warn both you and me of consequences for actions that will not result in our favor. 

Again, what God established with the natural environment and throughout the universe has to be understood as separate from His plan, approach, and dealings which He has established with mankind, for they are not the same. 

Part of the struggle in accepting death as in the beginning is our notion of what is meant by paradise and our emotional feelings that have created an inability to apply some reason.




Part of the struggle in accepting death as in the beginning is man's notion of what is meant by "paradise". We somehow get into a Pollyanna mindset when we begin to discuss certain aspects of Scripture and end up in a bunch of theological or philosophical gobbly goop. This is one of those areas. 


The term "paradise" conjures up more independent and personalized definitions than virtually any other word. The reason is that most people take a subjective approach to what "paradise" means for them. Talk to a male Muslim and you will get a "man's world" viewpoint from the 7th century of 72 virgins waiting for them on the other side. But talk to a feminist and chances are paradise to her would be the absence of any perceived male domination.  Many of us picture paradise as lounging in a hammock on a sandy beach, the warm sun and slight breeze bathing us as we sip on something, and with nothing but time on our hands. Of course, none of these are based on any objective truth, just our own preference, belief, and subjective feelings.


Christianity likewise has had its struggles in avoiding colorizing or embellishing the term beyond what we really know about the subject. We project this subjective view onto our belief system and onto Scripture. Yet we read that God's ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. What He considers "good" is oftentimes, and very frequently, different than what we consider to be good. We tend to have our own view of what God meant in Genesis 1:31 when He said " was very good."


The word "paradise" has referred to different places in Scripture. Old Testament saints were in a place called paradise that held them prior to Jesus' death and resurrection, for Scripture states that Jesus was to be the first fruits of resurrection from the dead. Therefore this paradise they were in was not Heaven. This is why Jesus told the thief on the cross that he would join Him in paradise that same day for He was headed to this location to liberate those saints who would follow after Him in resurrection power. The event of Jesus' ascension into heaven did not happen until three days after His burial. The Garden of Eden was called paradise. And, Heaven is also called paradise. Yet all three are different from each other.


The Hebrew word for paradise refers to a park, forest, or orchard. In the Greek, it refers to a place of future happiness. Heaven is surely a destination of present and future happiness. And in Revelations 21:4 we are told that at the end of all things, that being the conclusion of God's dispensational dealings with mankind, there will be no more death or dying. That is still yet to come when God will make all things new. 


Time will cease to exist to measure out beginnings and endings, for which death is a part of, and in place of it will be eternal life in a world that will always be in the present. The Tree of Life will once again, according to Scripture, be for continual sustenance and for the healing of the nations. A new heaven and a new earth, with God being present, will take on a whole different aspect of life and existence. And a different set of laws will govern it for we see, as an example, that the law of death will no longer have a place and purpose in God's plans for the future.


As far as a present or past place being like a park, forest, or orchard, the Garden of Eden qualifies as that but even then (against the subjective notion of paradise for many) Adam still worked by caring for the garden. It was paradise in that Adam and Eve only knew the goodness of God, His blessings and knew nothing of evil, struggle, pain, personal death, sickness, suffering, and so on until they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The reality is that we are dealing with two different meanings which bring with it two different conditions.


very good

Due to this idea that death within nature did not exist prior to Adam, creationists and those of faith are forced to believe and espouse then that dinosaurs had to have died off after the fall of man, often attempting to fit their extinction after the Flood of Noah, and consequently, a narrow view that the Earth can be only 6,000 years old or so based on calculating biblical genealogy. An untenable position that makes Scripture out to be a farce, seeming to contradict the facts that we have when in reality Scripture does not state how old the universe is. This one subject alone has helped fuel the battle over science that is not required or necessary.

How can we justify the long length of time it takes for light from distant stars to visually reach us? Or, explain the longest living tree being 9,500 years old without having to tap dance around the young earth model. It is painful.


What makes it difficult for many to consider that death could remotely be involved in creation from the beginning are the negative, personal feelings and fears that have been attached to it. This is often attributed to the sense of loss and separation from loved ones that pass away due to death. Or, by those that view death as final. The suffering that, in actuality, is not caused by death but by the effects of a fallen world we are subject to. And lastly, of fears, many have of what really happens during and after death that makes it difficult to see any logic, value, purpose, or meaningful role in God placing death within His creation.


However, we acknowledge the benefits within this self-contained, self-maintaining ecosystem we call Earth when we observe the constant natural processes of death, seasons, rebirth, and new life that arise out of it but rarely acknowledge the importance of its existence in the world. 

God has a different view than we do. He sees the long game. We see myopically. He understands the beginning and the end. We struggle to understand right now. He has already experienced death and tells those that believe in Him to fear not, and yet we do. We see death as horrible. God sees it as needful.

There is great effort to point out that in Genesis 1:31 at the end of all God had created, He saw every thing that he had made, and said it was very good. The argument is made that God would not be able to call all that He did in the first chapter of Genesis "Very good" if the earth revealed death, decay, and suffering. Some even suggest that sin would have had to already be present if death was also present. This idea is due, to a large degree, to the notion that death and sin are inseparable, and not recognizing that laws would have to be present before effects can be noted. This points out the unfounded marriage made between man and nature, as well as death and sin. In other words, death can only exist in nature at the same time that death is found in man. And only due to the same reason. Meaning that death can only come into existence due to sin and so it is man's sin that brought forth death. Not only to man but to nature. The thought that natural death in nature could have already been present is fully rejected.

Our view of death is, I believe, different than God's view of its purpose and existence.

We read at the end of each restorative day where God saw that what He did was good, then Genesis 1:31 concludes the chapter with God seeing the final culmination of those days put together and states,


"..God saw everything that He made, and behold, it was very good."


This simply means that the totality of all that God did at the end of this process was much better, more fitting than what it was. More beautiful, more suitable, serviceable, desirable, and whole with regard to where it was in verse two, causing God to be very pleased. It means no more, no less. And, surely this would also be a true statement if it was that Genesis Chapter One represents God restoring earth as I believe is the case. 

There is this undue emphasis being placed here by certain theological circles to make this verse say more than it does. Understand that things that are renovated are much better than they were in their degenerative state. But that does not mean that you cannot see signs of its past life if you look to uncover it.


Classic and antique cars are wonderful, and I have complimented the work of some owners by stating "very good job!". Yet, underneath is the original skeleton from which it was restored. They are not perfect or without a marred history. They are simply in a renewed state and stage in their existence. 

Two Deaths

The Bible is clear that death exists on two levels. That being physical death and the other being spiritual death. Sometimes we conflate the two. 

While we personally seem to be more consumed by the topic of physical death, what we find prominent throughout Scripture is not God's joint concern with us about physical death, but rather His attention and focus on spiritual death. It is a theme that permeates God's Word from beginning to end, and for which Christ went to the Cross to address. We can reasonably conclude through Scripture that there are two separate laws in effect by which these two different classifications of death are governed. At question is when these laws were established. 


Statistically, there are on average 150,000 people or more who die each and every single day. Of those, about two-thirds or 100,000 of them die due to age-related causes, meaning that as we age things just begin to wear out to the point that eventually we die a natural death. This is also true for the rest of creation. This is one of the aspects of the law of physical death as it applies to both man and nature.

The theological answer that is typically given as to when physical death came into existence is generally phrased along the lines of "after man sinned" or "after the fall of man". This answer, however, is flawed due to a generalization that is not correct. That flaw is of lumping man and nature together. It should be understood that God sees and deals with man and nature differently. I submit to you that the laws for both physical and spiritual death were established from the very beginning, but for man, the impact of these laws upon the human race was attached to a condition which we will discuss at a later point.

In discussing physical death, it seems reasonable to believe that natural death, or aging, and the law that governs it, has existed from the beginning of creation, serving a vital role within the natural environment, ecological balance, and in God's plan. As we covered earlier, our planet is a self-contained and self-maintaining system for which laws were put into place for a specific purpose and function. The law of death is one of those laws.

When we consider the basic food chain that exists in maintaining creation and the means of keeping a balance within nature from overpopulation, we must conclude that this was established in the beginning as well. 

Prior to the fall of man, God gave Adam the opportunity to give names to all living creatures. These names are still used today around the world. We find that Adam was rather specific as to giving names to creatures based on their nature. Here are some examples:

spider food.jpg

Lion - the inference is that of a beast that is fierce, frightening, and strong. Especially the teeth and paws.

Vulture - denotes a keen-sighted bird of prey

Wolf - ravenous, devouring prey

Spider - swift weaver

These names were specific. What would cause Adam to name these creatures as he did? Common sense would indicate Adam was doing the same, applying common sense. He named them based on what he observed as to their character, nature, and physical makeup. In this case, they were carnivorous. 

If we were to simply note the physical characteristics of animal life, we would be able to easily point out that from the beginning the wild kingdom was well equipped to hunt and kill its prey, or in avoiding becoming one. Claws, fangs, poisonous tails, fast legs, powerful jaws, camouflage and so much more indicate that offensive and defensive mechanisms were in place for a reason. 

By the way, missing are pre-historic names. Why? Logically it would seem that they were not around at the time or Adam would have named them too. No wonder we get these long, weird names from scientists as they seek to identify them from what remains.

To press this thought a bit further, in the beginning, how did frogs survive? How about the shark with its powerful teeth and unending search for prey make it? Did spiders not spin their web prior to man's fall to catch their prey? When did carnivorous plants become, well, carnivorous? What about the anteater? Apparently, we are to assume they were not anteaters at first. However, they were created with that ability just in case? Come on now! I am merely asking you to think!


The orthodox response to this question has been that all life, in the beginning, was vegetarian. Again, this is based on the conviction that death did not occur prior to the fall of man. Therefore, the only answer that can be given based on this is of a vegetarian existence. 

I firmly believe that the present cycle of life found in nature was already present prior to sin. I am aware that this is contrary to traditional teaching that many, including myself, have received, but let us consider a few things as we move along.

The Garden of Eden was a very special place. It was distinctly different from the rest of the planet and is where God placed Adam, Eve, the Tree of Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Genesis 1:30 should not be viewed as exclusive, meaning that every green herb was the only food for every beast of the earth, every fowl of the air, and everything that creeps. These three make up land life specifically, leaving out all other living things. And, it merely means that all three categories are capable of eating green herbs to sustain themselves. This would be important guidance for Adam not only to feed himself and a coming family but feedstock for animal life he might utilize for things such as we do today with farm animals. Why else would Adam need to know this and why was it necessary for God to point this out? 

After the flood, we see that God mentioned to Noah that not only would every green herb continue to be for food but "every moving thing that lives shall be food for you.." 

Mankind was always physically able to eat all things but God did not give any guidance on it until here. And, all creatures that eat other things have always been physically able to eat every green herb. Interestingly, we do not read where God says after the flood that land life's dietary intake was also to change to include other foods other than every green herb. In fact, we don't read anywhere where it ever did change, or where change was instituted.


So when did lions begin to eat meat? Or, a snake catching rodents to swallow? After the flood? Not mentioned. After the fall? Not there either. One can only conclude this omission is due to the fact that the food chain has always been the same from the beginning. God did not mention it because the guidance and direction He gave to Adam was not exclusive worldwide but a means by which man would care for livestock in his possession in the Garden, which by the time of Noah had become common knowledge. We see this care being exercised on the Ark as Noah and his family had to feed a boatload of animal life.


One thing that did change for the animals found on the Ark was the fear of man that was instilled in them. This would only make sense for God to do since after spending a year with Noah and his family, and the rest of the animal kingdom, the last thing you would want is an Ark full of house pets, or with there being only two of each kind, a short-lived food supply for man or beast. Just as God did at the Tower of Babel when He scattered man for a purpose, so it is that we find it was important here as well to scatter the animal kingdom.  

Should we take a microscopic look into nature that exists beyond the naked eye we would find a whole different world of parasites and killers. 

We do not find anywhere in Scripture, after God's initial creative acts as found in Genesis, where we read of God needing to set up or establish the law of death. Whether it be the law of physical death, or of spiritual death. What we do find are warnings. Warnings can only be given if someone is aware that something exists for which others need to be made aware. 




Possibly the biggest reason most reject the idea of death being remotely involved in creation from the beginning are the personally held feelings, experiences, and fears that we have attached to it. These feelings are often attributed to the sense of loss and of separation from loved ones that pass away. With cruelty and suffering attached to death, it is difficult to see any logic, value, purpose, or meaningful role for God placing death within His creation. 

However, it is not death itself that is the cause. It is a fallen world and mankind's fallen nature that exposes each of us to disease, infections, injury, cruelty from others, aging, and more. Death is merely the cessation of life. It is not what leads to it. Death is not the cause of pain and suffering. It is the end of it.

There have been many who saw death as a blessing when a loved one finally passed away after a long battle with some disease. 

Our experiences and limited understanding cloud our ability to objectively view things more from God's perspective than from our own.


We find that God made "coats of skin" for Adam & Eve. Coats of skin God took from some animal or animals that either He Himself slew or took. It has been said that since this was the first recorded death in Scripture, which was after man's sin and due to that sin, that this is the starting point of death's existence. However, this should not be taken to mean anything other than it was simply the first recording of it as it was pertinent to the narrative. 

We seem to elevate nature to the same level that God gave only to man, and something He Himself has not done. You talk to a hunter and killing a deer is a matter of food. To an activist, it is killing Bambi. 

Although we most often approach this event theologically in pointing out how sin brings forth death, in this case, I tend to think God was also looking practically at this as well since not only had Adam and Even become acutely aware that they were ashamedly naked but that they were also getting ready to be booted out of the comforts of the Garden paradise that had been their only home, and out into the harsh world beyond Eden's borders.

We have come to hate death because it has separated us from our parents, children, friends, or loved ones. It causes a change in our lives when we prefer things to stay the same. It brings an end to relationships that we wish could continue. Death brings with it guilt for those who feel they did not spend more time with those who passed. Or, the regrets for things said and done that were not made right. The missed opportunities to say "I'm sorry!". The list goes on.

With such emotional pain and anguish, why would God, or anyone, look to instill death within creation? I tend to look at it this way. We buy an item with a set of instructions. Assembly seems simple enough and we think we can figure it out quicker than trying to understand that folded piece of paper. We end up with an extra piece, sometimes pieces that don't seem to be too important until we find that the purchased item will not function properly, completely, or at all. 

Why? Who would have figured that this one little piece that was left out held the key to everything else working as it should? Oh, the details!

We might not fully understand all the details that were necessary for this massive universe to take shape and to work, and we might not like or agree with all the pieces, yet each is necessary. 

For you and me, death will be a split second of time, of the conclusion of this life and the start of a different one. We are only given a glimpse of what eternal life will be like. Death becomes the door. We shed this mortal, natural body that has been aging and wearing out since the day we were born to enter into God's presence. That day is approaching for each of us. Are you ready?

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