The Flood

FloodThe Flood

In the Egyptian episode, the rods and serpents supply us with God’s statement of how He could conduct His affairs.  But a clear scientific explanation is not provided of how the water turned to blood, how each plague followed, and how the firstborn of the land died.  It would be of considerable help if it were, but such information is not essential to faith.

In the report on the flood, however, it is different.  God has given us sufficient evidence in various parts of the Bible to establish the scientific way in which the flood came.  The study of this great cataclysm will be taken up from this angle.

When it is seen what caused the flood and how it came, powerful confirmation will be given to the truth that God does not execute the sinner nor destroy the earth.  Far from actually sending the flood, God held it back as long as He could.  It finally came because He could no longer prevent it without forcing His presence where it was no longer desired.  There is no difference between God’s behavior during the flood and the decimation of Egypt.

Conditions before the flood were radically different from what they have been since.  They key to that difference lies in the state of the sun and the moon, the former having been seven times as hot as it now is, and the latter having been equal to our present sun.  This means that eight times today’s heat and light was being beamed upon the earth before the flood.

The scriptural evidence is found in Isaiah 30:26:  Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord binds up the breach of his people, and heal the stroke of their wound. (KJV).

This is both a prophecy of the future and a description of the past. God is telling what He will do when He will bind up “the breach of His people” and will heal “the stroke of their wound.” This is restoration, the bringing back of that which was already there.  If this involves increasing the sun to seven times it present intensity and the moon to equal the present sun, then this is how it was before “the breach of His people” and the infliction of “the stroke of their wound.”

It will be when the Creator makes a new heavens and earth that this restoration will be achieved.

Therefore, for the moon to increase in brightness to equal that of the sun in its present state, it will have to become a self-luminous body.  It will cease to be a reflector and will be “upgraded” to a little sun.

With these two orbs of fire jointly serving the new heavens and new earth, a vastly changed condition of things will prevail from what they do now.  This would appear so drastic as to cause many to think that the scripture predicting this has to be understood only figuratively.  The words are to be understood literally. Of that time, it is proclaimed, “All nature, in its surpassing loveliness, will offer to God a tribute of praise and adoration.  The world will be bathed in the light of heaven the light of the moon will be at the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold greater than it is now. The years will move on in gladness (The Ministry of Healing, p. 506).

It is logical to query whether this statement can be literally accepted on the obvious expectation that eight times more heat would be unendurable.  What hope would anyone have if the temperature rose 960 degrees F?

While this overheating would be unendurable if the present atmospheric conditions existed, the placement of the layer of water above the earth would solve the problem.  This protective covering would absorb all but the heat necessary to produce a perfect climate on the entire surface of the earth below.

The condition existing on this planet before God began to form it into a habitable home were reproduced during Noah’s time.  When the ark rode the stormy seas, the flooding was so complete that no dry land appeared. The record in Genesis 1 shows that it was the same in the beginning.

In the beginning God Created the heavens 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 was hovering over the face of the waters (Genesis 1:1, 2).

Not one square inch of rock, sand, or soil penetrated the unbroken expanse of water.  It was not until the third day that the dry land appeared.

Then God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear” and it was so.  . . . So the evening and the morning were the third day (Genesis 1:9, 13).

These verses establish that the entire earth was submerged prior to the third day.  What is of great interest now are the events of the second day.  Thereon God took a tremendous quantity of water and elevated it above the surface of the earth where it remained in a state of suspension.  Some concept of the volume of water thus raised is given by the story of its return to earth to produce Noah’s flood.

And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights (Genesis 7:12).

This was no localized storm. It rained over every square inch of the earth’s surface for forty days and nights in an unbroken downpour the like of which has never been repeated.

We do not know how deep the flood was in the early creation days, we are told that even after the Lord had elevated an enormous amount of water, that which remained had to be gathered in one place in order, even then for the dry land to appear.  This would be achieved by reshaping the earth’s surface.  Some parts must be heightened, others lowered. This water would then naturally gravitate to the lower areas, thus forming seas.

This meant that a great deal of the land was higher than when the entire surface was flooded.  Yet when, in Noah’s day, the waters that had been placed high above the earth on the second day of creation returned to the earth, it was so vast in quantity that it flooded the world again.  From these evidences it is established that an enormous volume of water was lifted into suspension on that second day.

Then God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.” Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so. And God call the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day (Genesis 1:6-8).

The marginal reading for “firmament” is expanse.  The word “heaven” has several applications.  There is the heaven where God dwells, the starry heavens, and finally, the atmospheric area around this earth where birds fly and Clouds float.  It is this last to which reference is made there.

Thus, in God’s creative organization, He left some water upon the earth, but the remainder He stationed high above and completely around the world.  In between there was an atmospheric heaven. How high that mantle was we do not know.

God made reference to it in his conversation with Job when He said, “where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? . . . When I made the clouds its garment, and thick darkness its swaddling band” (Job 38:4, 9).

Thus a deep, protective, insulating mantle of water vapor cocooned the earth, just as clouds partially and periodically do today.  The height and thickness of this was precisely calculated by the Creator to produce the perfect climate upon earth.

Having positioned the water vapor, the Lord then Commissioned the sun and moon to hold it there, as well as to give light to the earth.

Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.  Then God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night.  He made the stars also.  God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness.  And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day. (Genesis 1:14-19).

The sun and moon were not established in the appointed orbits to give only light to the earth.  Scripture clearly testifies that they were to “give light upon the earth, and “to be ruler over the day and over the night,” and “to divide the light from the darkness.”

The purpose of giving light to the earth is easily understood, but more study needs to be given to the meaning of the phrase “to rule over the day and over the night.” To rule is to govern, to exercise a controlling influence of some nature or the other.  In the light of Scripture’s evidences revealing the physical conditions existing at the time of creation is something of the nature of this rulership becomes apparent.

The Sun and moon shared a responsibility beyond that of lighting the earth.  An enormous amount of water had been elevated above the globe where it rode in suspension to form a complete mantle.  To hold it there required a considerable supply of heat, without which there would be a cooling that would result in condensation and precipitation.

The arrangement was a masterpiece of balanced technology.  The amount of heat produced from the sun was calculated to keep just the correct volume of water vapor at the optimum altitude.  The percentage of heat energy absorbed in this process left sufficient sunlight to filter through, producing the needed heat to warm the earth and the dwellers of thereof.

But effective as the water mantle was in absorbing the greater part of the sun’s energy, and thus protecting the world below from its searing blast, God’s purpose for it did not end there.  It served to conserve, distribute, and equalize the warmth reaching the surface.

Today, the cloud cover is never completely around the globe, but it was in the original design.  This resulted in there never being a loss of the accumulated warmth near the earths surface.  There was a limit to the rise of the convection currents that obliged them to flow upward and then outward, generating breezes and gentle winds that evenly distributed the warmth from pole to pole.  Thus, there was a relatively uniform climate all over the planet, devoid of sweltering tropical regions and frozen polar zones.  A more perfect condition could not be imagined.

In effect, the earth was located within a giant greenhouse with the temperature inside being maintained at the best possible comfort level for people, animals, and plants.  With no adjacent areas of great temperature differences, thee was nothing to generate storms, low or high-pressure systems, or any form of violent weather.  Instead, there was a climatic pattern of perfect stability and reliability.

The witness of fossils is of great value in the search for information about the antediluvian world.  They verify incontrovertibly that there was a uniform climate over the entire planet prior to the cataclysm that produced those fossils.  In the frozen north are fossil remains originating from plant and animal forms that are now found only in the temperate regions further south.  As these plants and animals are only able to grow in temperature zones, it can be concluded that those which are now frozen wastes were then beautiful verdant, temperature climes.

Perhaps the most amazing finds of all are those of the mighty mastodons, which were the elephants of that antediluvian period.  These have been discovered frozen in the icy wastes of Siberia in perfect condition.  The evidence shows that they were overwhelmed by a most sudden catastrophe, for in the mouths of some were yellow buttercups that had not been chewed but were perfectly preserved.  Such vegetation does not grow in frigid regions, and its presence in the mouths of these great beats testifies to two things.  First, the climate in that part of the world which is now frozen waste was such as to support the vegetation and provide the animals with a climate in which they could live, and second, it proves that they were overwhelmed suddenly and disastrously.

The location of modern coal and oil fields also provides us with evidence of the geographical distribution of ancient forests.  These are not confined only to those areas where the climate today is such as would produce mighty forests, but are also to be found in the frigid regions of the earth.

In the past few years, tremendous stores of crude oil have been discovered in the frozen waters of northern Alaska, from where, despite the forbidding nature of the terrain and the present climate, people are determined to bring the oil out to the world.  Likewise there is vast coalfield in Antarctica.

All these things tell their own story of what was there in the past, leaving no doubt that the overall climate of the earth was such as to produce vast forests that were not restricted to the temperate and tropical zones as we now know them.

Evidence has already been advanced to show that the moon was then a heat generator equivalent in power to our present sun.  God carefully designed it to fulfill a specific and important role, which in the Scriptures is declared as being to rule the night while the sun ruled the day.

There certainly have been far-reaching changes since Adam’s time, for not only has the moon been extinguished but it no longer occupies the night sky alone.  At times it rides the daylight hours with the sun. Its original appointment was the night while the sun commanded the day.  Each was faithful to its appointed sphere so that they never appeared at the same time.

The scientific necessity of this is readily discerned.  During the day the enormous heat energy from the sun kept the canopy of water vapor in place, but as the earth turned away, there would be a cooling of this mantle to the point where flooding rains would mar each night.  A lesser light was required to give just enough heat to prevent the excessive cooling of the water vapor, and yet not too much heat so as to allow some condensation to irrigate the vegetation.  The moon, riding the night sky opposite the sun, provided exactly what was needed.  Each night there was just sufficient cooling to produce a ground fog that bathed all the plant life with a gentle dew, thus meeting the moisture requirements for each day.

For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground (Genesis 2:5, 6)

No more perfect system could have been devised. There was no pounding, windswept rains deluging one area at the expense of another, leaching the soil of its life-giving nutrients and eroding the land into the sea.  There were no severe contrasts of climate, ranging from the blistering heat of today’s tropics to the frigid cold of the polar regions.  Everywhere there was a pleasant balmy climate and atmosphere, which was delightful, invigorating, and congenial. Neither were there vast oceans as we have them today.  All the water was suspended far above.  The earth was almost entirely elevated land with only pleasant rivers and lakes well distributed by the perfect design of a marvelous Creator.

Any comparison between things as they then were and are now immediately shows that great changes have taken place.  The sun has been reduced to one seventh of its brightness, and the moon has gone out.  The great water canopy is no longer suspended as a protective veil and insulating blanket above and around the earth.  The moon and the sun no longer sustain the same relationship to each other.

The climate has changed.  Deserts dominate vast areas; huge, restless oceans occupy the greater part of the globe; great mountain ranges divide nations, control the weather, and create useless wastelands on their lee side; and the northern and southern caps are frozen solid.  The earth is now watered by leaching rain in place of the gentle mist of Adams garden.

When and how did all these changes take place? Were they gradual, occupying centuries of millenniums of time, or were they climatic, happening in a few days or weeks?

God has not left this as a matter of guesswork.  The scriptures plainly tell when and how it took place.

Certainly the changes did not take place to any significant degree prior to the flood.  When Noah announced the coming of a deluge by a global rainstorm to last for forty days and nights, the antediluvians scoffed at the idea.  It had never rained in all of human history.

In the days of Noah a double curse was resting upon the earth in consequence of Adam’s transgression and of the murder committed by Cain.  Yet this had not greatly changed the face of nature. There were evident tokens of decay, but the earth was still rich and beautiful in the gifts of God’s providence.  The hills were crowned with majestic trees supporting the fruit-laden branches of the vine.  The rest, gardenlike plains were clothed with verdure, and sweet with the fragrance of a thousand flowers.  The fruits of the earth were in great variety, and almost without limit.  The trees far surpassed in size, beauty, and perfect proportion of any now to be found; their wood was of fine grain and hard substance, closely resembling stone, and hardly less enduring.  Gold, silver, and precious stones existed in abundance (Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 90)

Furthermore, the great scientific minds of that day could prove mathematically that no rain was possible because of the continued generation of heat by the sun during the day and the moon by night.  They also boldly declared, as scientists do today, that the sun would continue its radiation to heat energy, for millions of years. Yet, like the Pharaoh who was not yet born, the people of that age had lost sight of the essential knowledge that nature is not self-acting but requires the continued presence, control and sustenance of God.

The world before the flood reasoned that for centuries the laws of nature had been fixed.  The recurring seasons had come in their order.  Heretofore rain had never fallen; the earth had been watered by a mist or dew.  The rivers had never yet passed their boundaries but had borne their waters safely to the sea.   Fixed decrees had kept the waters from overflowing their banks.  But these reasoners did not recognize the hand of him who had stayed the waters, saying, “hitherto shalt though come, but no further,” Job 38:11

As time passed on, with no apparent change in nature, men whose hearts had at time trembled with fear, began to be reassured.  They reasoned, as many reason now, that nature is above the God of nature, and that her laws are so firmly established that God himself could not change them.  Reasoning that if the message of Noah were correct, nature would be turned out of her course, they made that message, in the minds of the world, a delusional grand deception.  They had done before the warning was given.  They continued their festivities and their gluttonous feasts; they ate and drank, planted and built, laying their plans in reference to advantages they hoped to gain in the future; and they went to greater lengths in wickedness and in defiant disregard of God’s requirements, to testify that they had no fear of the Infinite one.  They asserted that if there were any truth in what Noah had said, the men of renown – the wise, the prudent, the great men- would understand the matter (Patriarchs and Prophets. Pp. 96, 97).

For the first time ever, rain fell, beginning its torrential and incessant downpour seven days after closing of the door.  Thus the change came suddenly.  Up to a certain day, it had never rained. With the advent of that day, it rained, not gently and then increasingly but with an absolute deluge.

The water literally dropped out of the sky.  At the same time, mighty underground supplies burst forth completely out of all control.

But this change could not have occurred unless changes had first taken place in the sun and moon.  There is only one way in which rain can come, Suspended water vapor must have cooled down to condensation point. Today this takes place when rain clouds drifting in from warmer areas either encounter a cold air front or are forced to rise and cross a mountain chain.  In each case the saturated air is cooled. The water vapor turns to heavier-than-air water droplets and rain is the result.

But there were no great mountain barriers in Noah’s day, nor was is possible for traveling saturated air to encounter a cold front, for thee were no polar regions to generate them.

There was only one way for the water vapor above the earth to be chilled and that was for the moon and sun to begin to wane in heat production.  This they did.  The moon went out altogether, and the sun faded to one seventh of its former brightness.

The first appearance of rain in Noah’s day is positive proof that it was then that the extinguishing of the moon and the dimming of the sun took place.  Confirmation of this is proved in both Isaiah and Peter.  The evidence from Isaiah has already been quoted.  Here it is again: “Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord binds up the breach of His people, and health the stroke of their wound” (Isaiah 30;26, KJV).

A healing is the restoring to an original condition.  If, in this healing work, the sun and moon are to be brought back to what they were, then it had to be at the making of the breach and the wounding that the sun and moon suffered their reductions.

There is only one point of time when a great stroke was delivered against humankind that produced a terrible breach of human population and that was the flood.  It was not when Adam and Eve sinned, for the punishment did not fall on them at that time due to the instant interposition of Christ. So great was the stroke and the resulting breach in the human family that total extermination almost resulted.

What caused the sun and moon to lose their powers is a question yet to be determined, but the answer will come as we proceed.  First, some consideration must be given to New Testament evidence that great changes took place at the flood.

In our next post we will explore the subject of these “Great Changes”

We will look at the promise in Isaiah 60:20 that in the new earth the sun will no longer go down nor the moon withdraw.  What is the physical restoration reality of nature in this, which is a reflection of the spiritual restoration reality of the character of God in humanity?

According to Peter, the power of God’s word “reserves” our present world until judgment, at which time fire will break forth.  That same word reserved the old world until water broke forth. What is he talking about? How does God’s word “reserve”?

What happens when there is no more reservation?

Why is the radiocarbon dating method inaccurate when testing pre-flood material, and how does it actual confirm the Scriptures? Hint: It has direct relation to antediluvian meteorological or atmospheric conditions.

If you have not read all the posts in the series, I invite you to click on the links below.

01 He Wanted to Teach Respect 05 Approaching the Study of God
02 Why a Tree to Teach Respect 06 The Constitution of the Government of God06 The Constitution of the Government of God
03 The End of the Great Controversy 07 A Perfect Law
04 Isaiah’s Wonderful Prophecy 08 God’s Principles Tested
09 A Summary of God’s Constitution 13 The Supreme Revelation
10 Contrasting Statements 14 Urged to Destroy
11 Statements and Principles 15 Magnifying the Law
12 Does God Destroy – But How 16 Go the Second Mile
17a An Eye for an Eye 18 The Mystery of Iniquity
17b An Eye for an Eye 19 The Mystery-Unfolding Cross
17c An Eye for an Eye 20 The Way of the Cross
17d An Eye for an Eye 21 Is God a Criminal
22 Rods and Serpents 26 Great Changes
23 The Upraised Rod 27 Concepts Reviewed
24 The Showing of God’s Power 28 Sodom and Gomorrah
25 The Flood 29 An Execution


Published by The Bible In Your Hand

Hi, I am Pastor Lester Bentley, a devoted husband, father, and Pastor for the Northeastern Wyoming District of the Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. I am committed to the great gospel commission as stated in Matthew 28:19, 20.

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