The World That Then Was

2Peter 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished

‘World’ [Greek: kosmos] social system. The one that then was, being deluged with water, perished. This refers to the pre-Adamite world that totally perished by the flood of Genesis 1:2 and Psalm 104:5-9. There was no man, bird, or any other life left after this flood (Jer. 4:23-26). This was when Lucifer rebelled (Isa. 14:12-14; Ezek. 28:11-17; Matt. 13:35).

‘That then was’ three periods of the heavens and earth: The world that then was (3:6; Gen. 1:1-2); the heavens and the earth which are now (3:7; Gen. 1:3-2:25); the new heavens and new earth (3:13; Isa. 65:17; 66:22-24; Rev. 21-22).

‘Overflowed with water, perished’ the pre-Adamites period can be seen clearly from the two social systems that are mentioned here by Peter. One was before the one which is now and the other after the one that then was (3:6-7). The former social system perished by water and the present one will perish by fire (3:6-7). The former social system was created “in the beginning” and was destroyed by the flood of Genesis 1:1-2. The present social system was created in six days since the flood of Genesis 1:2 (Genesis 1:3-2:25). The flood of Noah did not destroy all the social system on earth between Adam and Noah for some was preserved in the ark to continue that social system after the flood, but the social system that then was before the present one utterly perished. Not one man, bird, or animal was left alive (3:6; Gen. 1:2; Jer. 4:23-26). No reference in Scripture can be found of a change in the heavens and the earth in Noah’s day, as in Adam’s day (Gen. 1:3-2:25). This proves that “the world that then was” had to be before Adam’s day because “the heavens and the earth, which are now” came into existence at that time and not at the time of Noah. There was no man, bird, vegetation, or any other life left after the flood of 2Peter 3:6 and Genesis 1:2. They were made again in the six days (Gen. 2:4-9). That they had been here before Adam is clear from Jeremiah 4:23-26.

There have been and will be a total of three social systems on earth: (1) The pre-Adamite, the one that then was before the present heavens and the earth (3:6); (2) The Adamite sinful social system, from Adam to the new heavens and the new earth (3:7) and (3) the Adamite sinless social system in the new earth (3:13; Isa. 66:22-24; Rev. 21:1-22:5).

Peter taught two distinct ends of two sinful careers of the earth: The world that then was. The pre-Adamite social system had a sinful career or it would not have perished in the flood of 2Peter 3:6; Genesis 1:2; Jeremiah 4:23-26; Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:11-17 and Matthew 13:35. The present Adamite sinful social system making the present sinful career of the earth. It will come to an end during the Millennium (3:7, 10-13; 1Cor. 15:24-28; Rev. 20:7-10). If 2Peter 3:6 pictured Noah’s flood it would be clear, for Peter always mentions Noah or eight persons if he refers to this flood (1Pet. 3:20; 2Pet. 2:5). Others also make it clear when they refer to Noah’s flood (Isa. 54:9; Matt. 24:37-38; Luke 17:26-27; Heb. 11:7). There is no doubt of a universal flood before Adam (3:6; Gen. 1:2; Ps. 104:5-9). Since God never sends a flood unless judgment is necessary, there must have been a social system to be banished before Adam.

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