Our Evil Twin
An important lesson in government

“The morning and evening star”—as many civilizations called it—is easily the third-brightest object in the sky, coming only after the sun and moon. The Romans named it “Venus” after their pagan goddess of love. Some even referred to it as the “light-bringer,” or Lucifer. Anciently, it was venerated by Native American, Greek, Persian, Hindu, Chinese, and Vietnamese astrologers. Even up to the early 20th century, science fiction writers fantasized about it as a habitable paradise, often with a refined culture and a beautiful, illustrious human presence.

However, contrary to previously popular presumptions, Venus actually displays some of the most abominable destruction in the universe.

And yet—astronomers agree—Venus wasn’t always this way.

In many ways, Venus is quite similar to Earth. Compared to other planets in our solar system, our next-door neighbor is closest in terms of both mass and diameter. We are also both composed of similar material. But, in terms of habitability, Venus is one of the most dreadful, inhospitable, nightmarishly horrific places in the solar system. This is why Venus is sometimes nicknamed Earth’s “evil twin.”

The Bible shows that Earth, Venus, and the rest of the universe were all ruined during the satanic rebellion. Genesis 1:2 in the Hebrew says Earth became tohu and bohu, meaning “waste” and “empty.” While we don’t know the specific details about the state of Earth after the Satanic rebellion, looking at Venus can give us a glimpse into what Earth might have become had God not intervened.

Day 1

On the first day of re-creation, God brought light to Earth and established a day-night cycle (Genesis 1:3-5). By this point, Earth’s rotation would have been fixed. What about Venus’ rotation?

To begin, Venus is upside down. It spins backwards, meaning its northern and southern hemispheres were flipped at some point. Astronomers have no clue what caused this, but it’s certainly not natural. Venus also has an extremely long day—longer than its year. This contributes to Venus’ lack of a magnetosphere, making it extremely susceptible to solar flares. This would, over time, strip away lighter elements from the Venusian atmosphere, leaving only a thick blanket of poison to cover the planet.

Day 2

That brings us to day two of re-creation, where God restored Earth’s atmosphere (verses 6-8). The Earth had previously been covered in some kind of “water” (verse 2), so the destruction on Earth was a bit different from what we see on Venus today. However, many astronomers believe Venus once had massive waterbodies similar to ours. Some even go so far as to say it had oceans. However, these oceans were boiled, and the lack of a magnetosphere caused much of the hydrogen and oxygen to be blown away into space.

Venus’ new atmosphere, a heavy cocktail of carbon dioxide and sulfuric acid, initiated a runaway greenhouse effect. This increased the planet’s temperature to an unthinkable heat: 860°F—hot enough to melt lead and boil Venus’ sulfuric acid rain. Combined with an atmospheric pressure 95 times as intense as Earth’s, high noon on Venus is a constantly ominous yellow dusk with mountaintops covered in metal “snow.”

Day 3

Venus isn’t much better from ground-level either. On day three of Earth’s re-creation, God separated land from sea (verses 9-13). By this point, Earth would have plate tectonics—helping strengthen Earth’s magnetic field and giving our magma a “release valve.” These forces still affect the movement and growth of Earth’s continents today.

But on Venus, there are no plate tectonics. Rather, Venusian magma is constantly building pressure underground, essentially making Venus a single, planetary supervolcano. Occasionally, massive “pancake domes” form from lava oozing out in cracks along the planet’s surface, each nearly 40 miles in diameter.

To add to all this, Venus is dotted by about 900 impact craters. Because of their uniformity, astronomers agree that they must have all come from some kind of massive destruction event.

Evidence for the satanic rebellion is everywhere on Venus. If you want to know what tohu and bohu look like, Venus is a great place to start.

Romans 8:22 says that “the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” Today, Venus is groaning loudly. And, without God’s intervention, Earth would still be suffering a similar fate.

Days 4-6

On day four, God set Earth’s heavenly bodies in place (verses 14-19), which affect Earth in multiple ways. However, God didn’t give them the treatment He was giving Earth: the animals He made on days five and six (verses 20-25) wouldn’t have been able to live anywhere except for Earth. The same goes for man.

Now, God could have fixed Venus’ rotation, given it a magnetic field, created plate tectonics, restored its water, and blessed it with a habitable atmosphere. Doing so, actually, would have virtually no effect on humans at all. Most likely, Earth would have had the same history, techonological advancements, and humanitarian problems—only with a slightly different speck in the sky. Plus, God surely wasn’t pleased with the state of our next-door neighbor. So why didn’t He end the nightmare on Venus?

Because that’s our job.

When God originally created Venus, He did it with a purpose in mind. In Mystery of the Ages, Mr. Armstrong writes: “There is no evidence either in God’s revealed Word, nor in science, that any of the planets in endless outer space had been inhabited with any form of life. But God does nothing in vain. He always has a purpose … God did not create them in such conditions of decay—like our moon. Decay is not an original created condition ….”

God originally intended for the angels to govern and beautify the entire universe. They were to put “the icing on the cake” for planets like Venus. But instead, one-third of the angels, led by Satan, brought Earth, Venus, and the rest of the universe, to its current disastrous state.

“As God surveyed this cataclysmic tragedy, he must have realized that since the highest, most perfect being within his almighty power to create, had turned to rebellion, it left God himself as the only being who would not and cannot sin” (ibid).

So, the solution? Make more Gods.

On day six, instead of recreating Venus, God made man in His own image (Genesis 1:26-27). It was this new creation that would one day have the task of finally bringing to Venus what God had brought to Earth. Now, instead of angels taking over the universe, it would be man’s job—not just to repair it—but to beautify it.

Notice this important point Mr. Armstrong makes: “God the Creator preserves, improves and enhances what he creates by his government.” When the universe was destroyed, it was chiefly because of rebellion against God’s government.

When we look at Venus today—its toxic atmosphere, its boiling-hot climate, and its crater-ridden surface drowned in lava—it gives us a picture of what rebellion against God’s government looks like. When we rebel against government—refusing to listen to our parents, teachers, bosses, or others in authority for example—we are headed down the exact same path that brought Venus where it is today.

This is why God made us physical—able to change, grow, and overcome. As Mr. Armstrong brings out, the one thing God cannot create instantaneously by Himself is perfect, righteous character. We have to learn to submit to God’s government. When we do that, we show God that we can be entrusted with the universe.

Our entire purpose for overcoming in this life is to make sure that there will never be another planet like Venus ever again.

As we draw close to God by praying every day, studying the Bible, obeying those in authority, serving God’s people, and throwing our hearts into God’s Work, we are taking our first steps in Venus’ restoration project! In fact, we are preparing for much more than just renewing the face of Venus. We are preparing to beautify it in the way God always intended but has never yet had happen! All this is only possible, though, by God’s government.

Day 7

Earth’s re-creation didn’t end with man. On day seven, God created the Sabbath by resting (Genesis 2:1-3). This day, created specifically for man (Mark 2:27), would give him a weekly opportunity to draw close to his Creator, come under God’s government, and prepare for his future role in beautifying the universe.

God hasn’t begun restoring Venus yet, but He began sowing the seeds for it all the way back in Genesis 1. Soon, we will have the task—as Gods—of restoring God’s government to Earth’s twin. Doing so, we will beautify it, making it more gloriously brilliant than any astronomer of antiquity could have possibly imagined.