Does God Expect Man to be Able to Tell Time?
THE AGE OF THE EARTH & THE FUTURE OF THE EARTH
I think among many Christians the Age of the Earth could not be more of a non-issue. For others there is a huge division of those who passionately defend an Old Earth vs. those who support a young earth. On face value, it would seem not that relevant. But I firmly believe upon further examination of the Scriptures there are not options open to us who are commanded to "contend for the faith once and for all delivered to the saints" (Jude: 3). I also believe that if the age of the earth question were rephrased to ask "Does God expect man to be able to tell time?" and we can Biblically support the answer to this question, there then would remain no longer any doubt about man’s response to the question and the question of the age of the earth would no longer be open to private interpretation. I further maintain, that if the Bible is absolutely clear on this subject, it does not matter what science says. And my defense below does not depend on science, though it does answer some of the questions that science raises.
I think that one of the biggest arguments used by both Evolutionist and old earth Biblical Creationists which causes confusion in Christians, and buckles the knees of even many young earth Biblical Creationists, is the distance of the stars question. If the stars are so far away, then how could the earth be young? This is a very good question. Even many young earth Creationists, including astronomers, physicists, and geologists have varying and intriguing models to defend a young earth. But these models are, in great part, very dependent on science alone. And I believe that the Bible does not contradict science (when, in fact, the science is truth), or if it does, as in the case of miracles, then we are informed in the passage. But science explains only the physical and natural world and it often fails miserably at that.
But there are some very important Scriptures which are left out in these formulas for explaining the age of the earth. Both Old Earth and Young Earth scientific models are flawed in this respect. They leave out the invisible. Hugh Ross’s Universe (an old earth advocate) is solely governed by Physical laws. But the Bible has both physical (visible) and invisible laws and governing principalities. It is not even a matter of natural vs. supernatural, as even the natural world and universe is governed by the invisible. Here are the Scriptures that must be addressed:
Romans 1:20: "For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."
This Scripture is amazing in two respects. First, it has man seeing and understanding from the beginning of Creation. So there is no billions or even millions of years that the earth was here before man appears. He is here from the beginning. But this passage is significant in a second respect that "invisible" qualities are used to govern the Universe, but they are qualities that continued PAST Creation week to this day.
Colossians 1:16: "For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and INVISIBLE, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."
Once again the main principle of the Universe here is NOT visible. Christ the Invisible God holds everything together, not Newton’s or Einstein’s Laws or anyone else’s laws who ever lived.
Hebrews 11:3: "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen (the physical universe of earth, sun, moon, and stars) is NOT MADE OUT OF WHAT WAS VISIBLE." It was made of what is INVISIBLE.
Here is where the natural laws and that which is visible, as the only explanation of what has been observed, completely collapse. Men such Hugh Ross and Big Bang supporters have almost everything made proceed forth from visible materials and debris left over in this imaginary explosion. Both Old Earth and even Young Earth Scientists, even Christians, often give us E=MC2 (Energy = Mass times the square of the Speed of Light) Theory of Relativity. The Big Bang Theory of the Age of the Earth tells us that the earth is 4.6 billion years old. But in order to come up with that figure, they would have to be able to measure the Universe. Dr. Hugh Ross confirmed that the Universe can be measured. In an interview he states: "Now that astronomers have measured the universe, we have means for measuring the Creator." How can any Christian claim to be able measure the Universe, let alone measure the Creator, God, who is INFINITE? For Job and the Prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah soundly refute this speculation:
Job declares in the Chapter 38:5 "Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?" Verses:18-20: "Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all. Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof, That thou shouldest take it to the bound thereof, and that thou shouldest know the paths to the house thereof?" And verse 33: "Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?"
Jeremiah 31:37: "Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD."
The Prophet Isaiah further demolishes Hugh Ross’ conjecture that the Universe can be measured:
Isaiah 40:12: "Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance?"
The supreme irony is that Dr. Hugh Ross claimed in his debate with Dr. Kent Hovind on the Age of the Earth on the John Ankerberg Show that these very Prophets back up his claims. The truth is that NO man can measure the Universe. That does not mean it is infinite, as God can measure it. God, alone, is infinite. His Creation is finite.
In the Theory of Relativity, along with the Big Bang Theory, where is the invisible spoken of in the above Scriptures? The answer is NOWHERE. I don’t know what percentage, if any, is attributable to the physical laws vs. the invisible laws. It might be 40%, it might be 99.9% invisible. It might be even be 100% invisible and the natural laws are only pale distorted images like Paul describes ("we see through a glass dimly"). Plus, what is seen in the physical laws today has been subject to the curse from the Fall of Adam and the Second Law of Thermodynamics. And, if as the Scripture reveals the "heavens wear out like a garment" (Psalm 102:26), what we see today may not even be recognizable. Though I should point out, if man is still without excuse according to Romans 1:21, according to what is still seen visibly, these distortions would have to have limits.
Romans 1:21: "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened."
For, we are still without excuse, even with these distortions. If Christ alone is holding the electron together from flying apart at the seams, no physical law known or unknown to man is going to hold it together. And if God says in the beginning "Let there be light" no physical law is going to bind him from bringing starlight to the earth instantly, because it is Christ himself, using his invisible attributes and laws that we do not know, who is bringing that light instantly to the earth. Those stars do not exist because they obey some natural law, but because God spoke them into existence instantly, named each one by name. The stars may be innumerable to man in that he can’t count them all, but that does not mean there are an infinite number of stars. To God there is a FINITE number of stars.
Psalm 147:4: "He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names."
The Apostle Paul ampliflies on the fact of God creating a finite number of stars by stating that the stars differ from one another in glory.
I Corinthians 15:41: "There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory."
Psalm 102:25-26. "Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens [are] the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed:"
A garment is finite. It has dimensions. Ask any tailor. If a garment were infinite (the heavens) they would never wear out!
The Universe can't be infinite, only God is infinite, his creation is finite. He does not create a clone trait of his Omnipresent nature. If it were infinite it would impossible for the anything to come and go from the Third Heaven, since an object would have to traverse infinity to get to the earth. The Apostle Paul and Elijah would still be on their way to the Third Heaven and could never return. But the Bible clearly reveals that they did come back!
Here are two more Scriptures which prove that the heavens are finite:
I Kings 8:27 "Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You".
This makes his presence greater than the vessel, the vessel must have boundaries and capacity.
Ephesians 4:10. "He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things."
Jesus Christ ascended to fill the Universe. If the Universe were infinite, it could never be filled. QED
So, this brings the next set of Scriptures which defend that God not only moved things great distances in the twinkling of an eye during Creation week, but he itemizes how he did it throughout Biblical history (this Present Age) and will do as he prophesied in the Age to Come.
Below I would like to add a list where god performs works over great distances, being covered instantly from Heaven to earth, earth to Heaven, and different places on earth as fast or even faster than the speed of light, unbound by the speed of light:
SATAN’S FALL LIKE LIGHTNING FROM HEAVEN
Luke 10:18: "And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven."
Genesis 5:24: "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him."
SATAN TRAVELS TO AND FROM THE EARTH SEEKING WHOM HE MAY DEVOUR, at least at the speed of light, and according to the Book of Job was able to approach God’s throne in a dialog with God.
Job 1:7 "And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it."
SENDING MANNA AND QUAIL FROM HEAVEN
Exodus 16:31 "And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey."
Exodus 16:13 "And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host."
Job 2:2: "And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it."
ANGELS ASCENDING AND DESCENDING ON JACOB’S LADDER
Genesis 28:12: "And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it."
ELIJAH’S SACRIFICE CONSUMED INTO HEAVEN
2 Kings 1:10: "And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty."
ELIJAH’S CHARIOT (He went to heaven and even came back from the 3rd Heaven at Mount Transfiguration, just like Paul did and we will do at the Rapture. To do this, they all have to go even farther than the ends of the first and Second Heavens.)
2 Kings 2:11: "And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven."
AXEHEAD FLOATS (this completely capsizes Newton's Law of Gravity)
II Kings 6:6: "And he cut down a stick, and cast [it] in thither; and the iron did swim. "
SENDING DREAMS FROM HEAVEN TO JOSEPH AND DANIEL
Genesis 37:5: "And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more."
and Daniel records:
Daniel 2:19: "Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven."
THEOPHANIES OF CHRIST
(such as appearing to Abraham, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace):
Genesis 19:27 "And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:"
Daniel 3:25: "He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."
STAR OF BETHLEHEM
(A normal star could not go west to east, then cut south for several miles. Now here is a case where God brought the whole star from the ends of Heaven...not just its light.) "Suddenly a heavenly host appear at the birth of Jesus....then disappear"
Matthew 2:2: "Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him."
Luke 2:13-15: "And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us."
JESUS DESCENDING INTO THE LOWER PARTS OF THE EARTH
Ephesians 4:9: "Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?"
Mark 9:31: "For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day."
Mark 10:34: "And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again."
Luke 9:22: "Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day."
Luke 24:7: "Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again."
JESUS MAKES INSTANT APPEARANCE AFTER HIS RESURRECTION
John 20:19: "Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you."
PHILIP BEING INSTANTLY TRANSPORTED IN THE SPIRIT TO ANOTHER GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION
Acts 8:39 : "And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing."
Acts 8:40 : "But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea."
PAUL VISITING THE THIRD HEAVEN AND RETURNING TO THE EARTH
2 Corinthians 12:2: "I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven."
CHRIST’S RETURN TO THE MOUNT OF OLIVES
(If it takes as long as the speed of light for Jesus to get to Heaven and back, we can’t expect to see his return for millions of years, plus we would see him returning as we would see Haley’s Comet approach the earth, but the Bible says no man knows the day or the hour; we would be able to chart his return from the Heavens...it would be hard to miss Him if he is brighter than the sun. And Paul and Elijah could not have returned to the earth again. We would still be waiting for their first return.)
Zechariah 14:4: (& Revelation Chapter 19: 11-16) "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south."
Acts 1:11: "Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."
EVERY PRAYER THAT EVERY SAINT HAVE EVER PRAYED ARRIVING INSTANTLY IN HEAVEN
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
ARRIVE OF THE NEW JERUSALEM (Revelation Chapter 21)
Note that the above examples of the Bible recording that God moved things great distances in the twinkling of an eye, are not confined to God’s initial creation, but how he continued to do these things throughout Biblical history and promises to do at the end of the Present Age, and will do in the Age to Come. It is amazing to me that the same Christian will passionately defend an old earth, in that it took the starlight billions of light years to get here, while at the same time defend the Rapture, where in a twinkling of an eye we will instantly arrive at the Third Heaven with Jesus, which is even further than any star in the known and unknown Second Heaven. Isn’t this is a classic case of straining at a gnat but willingly swallowing a camel?
Now this brings me to the two most famous Scripture used by Christians who defend an old earth, and therefore begs the ultimate question: does God intend for man to know what a day is and does he expect him to be able to keep time?
Here are the two Scriptures:
II Peter 3:8: "But beloved (talking to Christians), be not ignorant (sounds a lot like God wants us to know), that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day."
Psalms 90:4: "For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night."
The first thing that one should see here is WHO is Peter talking about? The Lord, of course. Secondly that it does not say a day "is" a thousand years. But even if you try to insert this length of day into the Genesis account of Creation for old earth (Day Age) proponents such as Hugh Ross (or Christians who are Evolutionists, for that matter), it doesn’t help them. If a thousand years equals a day, then Creation Week is only Six Thousand Years. Even six thousand years is a drop in the bucket to old earth "Big Bang" proponents, which demand billions of years. You could only add the six thousand years from Adam to today plus the six thousand years of Creation week and you only get 12-13 thousand years....hardly enough. But let us examine this Scripture even more. It is certainly clear that this passage is saying that time, whether days or years, is created by God. But, God is not bound by time, particularly if he knows the future. But, the question remains, is man bound by time? Does the age of the earth or duration of a day or year make any difference to man in God’s eyes? Well let us try to substitute the word "man" for the word "Lord" in this Scripture, for that is what you would have to do in order to make any case for the old earth model:
II Peter 3:8 "But beloved (talking to Christians), be not ignorant (sounds a lot like God wants us to know), that one day is with man as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day." Of course, this rendering is absurd.
Psalms 90:4 would, likewise, have to be rendered: "For a thousand years in man’s sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night." This, of course is an equally untenable meaning of a thousand years, as both Scriptures must refer to God’s perspective of time, NOT man’s. And even then the passages don’t mean that one day IS a thousand years to the Lord, but simply that God is not bound by time....man is!
Now allow me to show you what man, who can now make a day mean anything he wants...any length of time, can do with certain Scriptures and commands.
THE SABBATH DAY
Jesus said that the Sabbath was meant for man. Actually, he made the other six days for man also. The only difference is that he worked on those six and rested on the seventh day. If this Sabbath day could be an indeterminate length, how could man (Adam) know its beginning or end in order to rest? How would Adam ever know when the first day of the week began again. Doesn't the length of the 7th day (Sabbath) determine the length of the other days (1-6)? How would Adam know when the first day would begin again to repeat the cycle? If the Sabbath Day is made for man and he does not know its length, then how would he know when the Sabbath Year begins in order to leave the ground fallow when the Law of Moses was given? So critical was this in God's mind, that in disobeying the Sabbath Year for 70 Sabbaths, God collected them anyway (to restore the land), by sending the Israelites into captivity for 490 years (70 times 7). (Good thing for the Israelites that a day was not a million years or they would be in captivity for 490 million years.) How could God be so cruel? Unless he had reason to expect that they were responsible for knowing when a year was up and when six years had expired, to leave the ground fallow for the seventh year? Or, in other words, be able to tell time. Furthermore, how could they know when 49 years was up to celebrate the 50th year (Year of the Jubilee) to set debtors free? God created the sun and moon to govern the seasons (each season is 3 months) and years: Genesis 1:14 and reconfirmed in
Genesis 8:21-23: "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease."
Day and night...that’s 24 hours for days and that is four seasons!! (Some have argued that there were no seasons if the earth were untilted until the Flood. But here we clearly see Seasons in the beginning from Genesis on.) So his people could not miss when a year was up!
Hugh Ross in his Old Earth Theology tries to maintain that the days in Genesis were not literal 24 hour days, yet God defines a day ("yom") in this very first Chapter of Genesis 1:14-19. So, a day is day, even here. And, if a day is not a day, then what is a year? What is a season, if it is not three months?
Exodus 12:40-41 reads: "Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day (NIV: to the very day) it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt." Now doesn’t "to the very day" mean "to the very day". The text does NOT say about four hundred and thirty years". So, does God expect his people to keep time precisely? The answer is unequivocally and absolutely YES.
How could Noah record such a precise journal of how many days it rained, how many days the earth was deluged during the Flood, if he had no idea what a day was, in terms of duration? Noah even recorded the number of days he was floating on the waters high above the earth. If Noah recorded it, God wants us to know it. Joshua was given precise instructions in terms of days, to march around the city of Jericho, etc., by God, which he had to obey before God would destroy the city. Now, if a day could mean anything and Joshua could not tell time, it would make obedience impossible. Finally, when Jesus cursed the fig tree upon his triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Jesus condemned them because "they did NOT know this very day of his visitation."
Luke 19:42,44: "Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day (NIV: "on this day"), the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes." "And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation."
I take this to mean not just day in general, but literal day, because the Prophet Daniel prophesied the exact number of years and days from the Decree to rebuild Jerusalem.
Daniel 9:25: "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times."
Once, as in Exodus 12:40-41, we see one of the most important events and prophecies being fulfilled TO THE VERY DAY. But again, if a day can mean virtually any length of time, God was again quite cruel, to then blind all of Israel for their failure to recognize Him and the day of his visitation. In other words, he held them accountable for knowing the length of a day and the numbers of days to his visitation.
So clearly, the Sabbath Day was sundown to sundown (after the 4th day of creation), or 24 hr. prior to the sun's creation. If one of the seven days is 24 hours, then all of the seven are 24 hours. If they weren't, the cycle of a week would be totally destroyed. The cycle of a year would be destroyed. The cycle of seven year Sabbath would be destroyed. The Jubilee cycle would be destroyed. Noah was on the ark for 300 million years. How was Noah then so able to even keep track of every day, month, and year and record them so precisely? Miriam was put outside the camp for leprosy for 7 million years? Jonah is in the whale (the great fish) for 3 million years? Christ is in the grave for 3 million years and would still be there today, according to this logic. Jesus Christ prophesied of himself that he would be in the grave three days. He gives us this in Scripture and we are not supposed to count?
So, God tells the Israelites, as one of the Ten Commandments to "Remember the Sabbath and keep it, holy"....requiring them to keep it but then not clue them in what a day is and how long it is? How would they know how to keep this day "holy", as compared to the other six days, if they weren’t expected to be able to tell time to set this time aside? If the Seventh Day, as Hugh Ross maintains, is perpetual, with no break, how could you even have ANY days that were NOT holy, from Day Six in Creation, until today and beyond?
Now, there is one Scripture that I have never heard used to defend that a day really is a day and that the earth is really young. And that is:
Zechariah 14:6-7: "On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a UNIQUE DAY, without daytime or nighttime -- a day known only to the Lord. When evening comes, there will be light."
This is one of the most powerful Scriptures in the entire Bible, which actually defines not only what a day is, but what all days must do. All must mean all. Note that we have to be talking about a real 24 hour day, because it describes what takes place when sunset arrives, which is the beginning of an evening. Now, when evening comes it is always dark (for the whole earth, though not always observed in Alaska) always has been. But, here we have an evening come, when it is light. This is not normal for what happens in the evening. This Scriptural passage says that, except for one unique day, light at night has never happened. And this passage is talking about the Lord’s return, so it encompasses ALL time, where, when evening comes, it would be dark, EXCEPT on this UNIQUE Day. The only way this could be unique is if there were NO other days, ever, that when evening came, it would be light. So, this would have to include the first six days of Creation Week (and the Seventh for that matter too). Otherwise, we would have at least six more unique days, when evening came, it would be light. But, even Genesis itself records that the evening part of the day was dark. (Joshua extended a day for 12 hours, but when evening came it was still dark, so this is not an exception to the rule of Zechariah’s Scripture.) This is astounding, because it leaves NO days throughout history, from the beginning of Creation, that were not days as we know them. This puts an absolute lock on young earth creation, based on Scripture, therefore, refuting old earth theology and cosmology.
Hugh Ross and many old earth proponents argue that it would be deceptive of God to give us the impression of apparent age of the star, based on the speed of light. But God has created much more complex things in a very short period and in most cases in the twinkling of an eye, or no longer than one day. This all may result in God’s Creation having apparent age. How old will our glorified bodies look? However old they look does not really matter, because any age they appear still means they were only a twinkling of an eye old.
EXAMPLES OF GOD CREATING THINGS INSTANTLY OR IN A MATTER OF DAYS OR MONTHS:
CREATES LIGHT ON DAY ONE
Genesis1:3: "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light."
CREATES WATER ON DAY ONE
Genesis 1:2 "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
DIVIDES THE WATERS ON DAY TWO
Genesis 1:6: "And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so."
CREATES PLANTS AND TREES ON DAY THREE
Genesis 1:12-13: "And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the third day."
CREATES MOON AND STARS ON DAY FOUR
Genesis 1:14: "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:"
CREATES CREATURES OF THE SEA, LAND, AND AIR ON DAY FIVE
Genesis: 1:20,24: "And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven....And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so"
ADAM AND EVE CREATED FULLY FORMED ON DAY SIX
Genesis 20:27: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."
SPEECH (FIRST HUMAN ADAM SPOKE)
Genesis 2:23: "And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man."
Genesis 5:24: "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him".
GLOBAL FLOOD (Genesis Chapters 5-9)
BRAZEN SERPENT (healing reverses decay rate)
Numbers 21:9: "And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived."
CLOTHES AND SANDALS OF THE ISRAELITES IN THE WILDERNESS NEVER WORE OUT IN FORTY YEARS (total suspension of decay rate)
Deuteronomy 29:5: "During the forty years that I led you through the desert, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet."
SUN AND MOON STAND STILL FOR TWELVE HOURS
IN JOSHUA’S BATTLE OF JERICHO
(suspends time and decay rate for entire solar system)
Joshua 10:13: "And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day."
EGYPTIAN PLAGUES (Exodus Chapters 7-11)
PARTING OF THE READ SEA (SEA OF REEDS)
Exodus 14:21: "And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided."
GUIDING THE ISRAELITES IN A CLOUD BY DAY & PILLAR OF FIRE BY NIGHT
Exodus 13:20: "And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:"
MIRACLES OF JESUS CHRIST:
CHRIST’S FIRST MIRACLE OF TURNING WATER TO WINE
(accelerates decay rate), (John Chapter Two)
CHRIST CASTING OUT DEMONS INTO A HERD OF PIGS
Matthew 8:32: "He said to them, "Go!" So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water."
CHRIST HEALING THE WOMAN’S TWELVE YEARS OF BLEEDING WHICH HAD STOPPED, RESTORING HER MENSTRUAL CYCLE
Luke 8:43-45 "And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped."
CHRIST WALKING ON THE WATER
John 6:19: "So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid."
CHRIST RAISING LAZARUS FROM THE DEAD AFTER FOUR DAYS
(reverses decay rate)
John 11:17,43: "On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days...When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!"
Matthew 17:2: "There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light".
THE RESURRECTION (demolishes decay rate)
Luke 24:46: "And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:"
NEW CREATION (BEING BORN AGAIN)
John 3:3: "In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again."
GLORIFICATION (AT THE RAPTURE) (demolishes decay rate)
I Thessalonians 4:16-17: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."
NEW HEAVEN AND EARTH (demolishes decay rate)
Revelation 21:1: "And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea."
So because these were all done instantaneously or very rapidly, God is deceiving us because of the apparent age they often portray? There is NO deception, if God told us what he did!
As to whether or not God expects us to tell time from the beginning, he gives us the genealogy of Christ four times in the Bible. If God did not give these and expect us to be able to tell time, there would be no way of determining your inheritance, something so critical to all of the tribes and clans of Israel. How would you properly identify the Messiah, without keeping track, in time, of his lineage?
I would now like to address a few points in on this subject of "time", though I have also addressed it above. Christians who have trouble with a global flood cannot then accept the clear account in Genesis, that God flooded the whole world with water, when he created it, before he brought dry land out of the water?
If one postulates that you assume God works through the Laws of Nature that he created, then I agree that he normally does that. But, we still don’t know all of the laws of nature he created. Secondly, based on what I presented about the "invisible" laws, we have no idea what impact or limitation God himself has imposed on the natural laws. But once again, based on all of the Biblical examples above, he preempts them at will. We know for certain God breaks the natural laws we can observe. That is how we know it is a miracle. But what about his laws we can NOT observe? There is a whole lot going on in the unseen world. But we have no idea what is occurring in this realm. The Scriptures give us occasional windows into this unseen world such Saul bringing Samuel’s spirit, the Archangel Michael in a perpetual battle defending Israel, as described in the Book of Daniel, other visions of the prophets, Jesus Christ’s description of the torment of the rich man in Sheol, and the war in Heaven described in the Book of Revelation.
But as a whole, we are not given the ability to peer into the unseen world and, in fact, are prohibited from doing so.
God certainly does work within the framework his own created natural laws, in the observed physical Universe, but he also periodically suspends them as well as works simultaneously in the invisible realm. So, I hope my arguments from Scripture about God’s "Invisible" laws that govern the Universe are compelling.
Many people (including Christians) will say something like: "When someone asks me the age of the universe, I simply shrug and say ‘it depends’. I think it is actually the most correct answer. "
Comment: If I could humbly disagree. Reason: God tells us the age of the Universe, then he tells us what to do during this Present Age (once again using my above arguments). If one is forced to use the words "it depends", then my answer would be, it depends on if you are man or the Lord. And, it depends on where you are (on earth, or in heaven). If I were God, I would then ask back similarly to his dialogue with Job. "Where are you?’ Answer: "On the earth or in heaven". God’s second question: "Who are you, the Lord or Man?" Answer: "Man."
So does God want us to keep time? Absolutely and unequivocally YES! And if he does, he expects us to know the age of the earth (at least upper limits).
Regarding the Canopy Theory of a water vapor surrounding the earth prior to the Flood, then collapsing to produce the Flood, I should underscore that it definitely rained. But it did not rain until there was a canopy created by the fountains of the deep filling up the sky. And God certainly could have created rain without dust. But ,we know there would be dust, if "all" of the volcanoes blew into the Sky. Mt. St. Helens should put that to rest. The water condensing on the dust gives it the gravity to fall to the ground. This still keeps it as a judgment. Remember, that there was enough water to cover the earth in Genesis Chapter I, AFTER God has placed the waters above the sky (space). And, even if you support the Canopy Theory, even the most generous limits of a canopy by young earth Christian geologist models maintain that a canopy would only add several feet more water to the surface...which is virtually nothing when compared to the volume of water that would be needed to totally submerge the earth. I know that the canopy creates a good model for the barrier needed. But, that is also assuming that we know, with absolute certainty, that there even was a need for a pre-Flood barrier; to do what? Produce long life spans? I have seen various charts of the drop off in longevity since Adam. But the fact is, you can’t find a convenient place to put the Flood. The downward slopes in life spans, though somewhat jagged, are quite uniform right up through Moses, when life spans really taper off to 60-100 years. I continually hear about this 120 years life span after the Flood. But, you can’t find one person in the Bible who lived to be exactly 120 years.. the closest you get is Joseph who lived 110 years. But Joseph lived almost 700 years after the Flood. The only true Biblical support for a deterioration of life spans is really the effects of the original curse and Fall of Adam. Scripture:
Genesis 6:3: "And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years."
"I will no longer tarry with man and his days shall be 120 years" is a prophecy of the number of years until the Flood. (Though I personally think that the Flood had some impact on longevity). Then there is another problem with this supposed rosy quasi-Paradise pre-Flood. That is Genesis 5:29, which Lamech, in referring to Noah states:
Genesis 5:29: "He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed."
It does not sound to me like there was much of a paradise on earth going on here up to the Flood. In fact, it is implied that the ground would be better after the Flood. The Flood perhaps rototilled the entire earth, leaving the soil more user-friendly for agriculture. The ground would still be cursed until Christ recreates Paradise. But the effects of the curse were reduced by the irrigation caused by the Flood. We certainly would agree with Lamech today, for those of us who drive cars and heat our homes with the fuel that would only be available to us, if there were a global deluge, which buried all of the vegetation deep underground, to create oil, gas, and coal. Who knows...you may have even put a little "Harry"...a Flood victim from Mesopotamia into your last tank of gas.
In conclusion, I find it inconceivable that God would give us such a precise blueprint of time in mornings, days, evenings, seasons, years, Sabbaths, genealogies, and a host of prophecies containing days, weeks and years, with specific, even cataclysmic dire consequences (curses for disobedience), which are directly tied to these various time frames, and, likewise, blessings were accrued to those who were obedient. Then conclude that God did not intend for man to tell or keep time, right back to the beginning of the earth and the universe. So I do not think we can answer the question "How old is the earth" with "It depends". Jesus himself, on the Road to Emmaus, thought it was important enough to tell these disciples everything about who he was from the beginning of Creation.
Luke 24:27: "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself".
I cannot imagine that he would do this, if he did not think it was important to have them have a reference point in time of who he is. Without this blueprint of time and genealogy, there would be no way of identifying and knowing for certain who the Messiah would be. God gave the whole future history of Israel in the Prophets and the whole future history of the World to his prophets. Jesus is so concerned about our perception of time and identifying signs, particularly the End Times, that he gave us some of his greatest warnings about being deceived in the last days, as do the Apostles Paul, Peter, and John. This warning would be unimaginable, if time and the fullness of time did not have to be reckoned by mankind. How could we ever discern the fullness of time if we could not keep time, and be expected to keep time, so that it does not come upon us unaware. Paul said to the Thessalonians concerning the return of Christ that "of the times and seasons you have no need for me to tell you". He did not say this because they did not need to know, but because had already told them. The Antichrist is referred to as one who will try to "change the times and the laws" (Daniel 7:25). How could we identify him, if we do not know what time or laws are, so that we could recognize when he changed them? So, it was important that they knew. We are also called to gather together that much more often, as we see the day of our redemption draw near.
Luke 21:28: "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh."
How could we even comprehend how to comply with this instruction, if we have no reliable mechanism of time, in order to obey that command? The age of the earth is directly connected with how old the earth will be when Christ returns. We will not know the day or the hour, but we will know when it is even at the door, because we remained vigilant and forewarned and prepared for this very time.
Matthew 24:33: "So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors."
When he comes is dependent on when he came and when he descended from Adam.
Regarding physical or natural laws (visible vs. invisible), I think there is also an important distinction between man's laws, which are visible vs. God's law of the natural order, given by Divine Revelation. Example: both gravity and entropy are physical and observable laws. But, gravity is a law based on man's observation. Entropy, on the other hand, is a physical law too, but it was given by God's revelation in the Scriptures, such as the "heavens wear out like a garment", and physical death. This does not mean that an observable law of man is not true, as it is pretty hard to argue against gravity. Also, both gravity and entropy were not always here but were introduced and are temporary. Death was not originally natural, but introduced because of the Fall. And death won't be here in the New Heavens and Earth, or for that matter neither will the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Death will be the last enemy thrown into the Lake of Fire. Our glorified bodies will certainly not be bound by gravity. Newton’s and Einstein's equations are man made, so are not the final authority. We always talk about the known universe having to obey the three laws of thermodynamics, and that they must follow uniformitarian principles. But, we must be very careful here, because the 2nd Law (entropy) is also a God given law. But, it is temporary. Furthermore, if life must come from life, there could never be a beginning of life in the natural, according to the Law of Biogenesis, because you would have to go backwards to infinity, since you could never get life without parents that had life. But, from a Biblical view, life never began without God breathing it into what he had formed....it would NEVER live. But, God was not life in the natural sense (biogenetically), as he is INVISIBLE...that is, until he came as the Messiah (excluding Old Testament Theophanies). Though once life was here, I certainly would agree with this law.
In conclusion, I think the best statement that can be made whether God expects man to be able to tell time is in Jesus Christ’s own words: Matthew 16:2-3: "When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?"