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The Invisible Mysteries of Creation that Old Earthers Will Regret!

Does God Expect Man To Be Able To Tell Time? Does God Expect Man To Use His Spiritual Brains? James you have written the best article I have ever read on this subject! Thank you!

Written by: James Sundquist [contributing writter for Creation Evangelism with Kent Hovind]

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". 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 question 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.

Col 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 or Einstein?s Laws or anyone else 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 as Hugh Ross and Big Bang supports have almost everything made come from visible materials and debris left over in this imaginary explosion. Both Old Earth and even Young Earth Scientists even as Christians often give us E=MC2 Theory of Relativity. But in this theory 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 reveal the "heavens wear out like a garment", 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. 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 them by name and said (through the Apostle Paul) they differ from one another in glory.

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 he performs works over great distances being covered instantly from Heaven to earth, earth to Heaven, and different places on earth as fast as if not even bound by the speed of light:

1.Satan's Fall like lightning from Heaven
2.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)
3.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)
4.Enoch' Translation
5.Elijah's sacrifice consumed into Heaven
6.Sending dreams from Heaven to Joseph and Daniel
7.Theopanies of Christ (such as appearing to Abraham, Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego in the fiery furnace)
8.Sending Manna and quail from Heaven
9.Paul visiting Third Heaven and returning to earth
10.Jesus descending into the lower parts of the earth
11.Jesus Resurrection
12.Jesus instant appearance in the upper room
13.Jesus going back to Heaven and returning before Ascension
14.Philip being instantly transported in the spirit to another geographic location
15.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, but the Bible says no man knows the day or the hour (we would be able to chart his return from the 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.)
16.Angels ascending and descending from Jacob's ladder
17.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.)
18."Suddenly a heavenly host appear at the birth of Jesus....then disappear"
19.Every prayer that every saint has ever prayed
20.The Rapture
21.Arrival of New Jerusalem
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 most famous Scripture used by Christians who defend an old earth and 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 is the Scripture:

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."

The first thing that one should see here is that WHO is Peter talking about when he says what a day is? 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 different 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." This becomes absurd.

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 next week began? 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 w ould 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 with the earth tilted 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? 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? 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 entry triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Jesus condemned them because "they did NOT know this very day of his visitation." I take this to mean not just day in general, but literal da y, because the Prophet Daniel prophesied the exact number of years and days from the Decree to rebuild Jerusalem. Once, 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 hrs 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 always has been. But here we have an evening come when it is light. This is not only not normal for what happens in the evening. This passage says that it 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 eve ning 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 a 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 very short period and in most cases in the twinkling of an eye or no longer than one day. The resulting creation having apparent age. How old will our glorified bodies look? However long 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 months:

1.Plants, Animals, Adam and Eve created fully formed the same day, All Life, Speech, Global Flood, Enoch's translation, Brazen Serpent (healing reverses decay rate),
2.Clothes and sandals of Israelites in the Wilderness NOT wearing out for 40 years, (total suspension of decay rate),
3.Joshua's Battle where sun stops for 12 hours, (suspends time and decay rate for entire solar system),
4.Elijah's chariot into Heaven.
5.All of the Miracles including healings and deliverance of demons:
6.Red Sea parting,
7.Other Egyptian plagues,
8.Water to wine (accelerates decay rate), casting out demons, woman's 12 years of bleeding stopped and her menstrual cycle restored
9.Raising the dead (reverses decay rate)
10.The Transfiguration
11.The Resurrection (demolishes decay rate)
12.Philip being Transported in the spirit
13.New Creation (being born again)
14.Glorification (at the Rapture) (demolishes decay rate)
15.New Heaven and Earth (demolishes decay rate)
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 the 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. I agree that he often 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 that we have no idea what is going on.

Again if one postulates that we have to assume that God works by his own created natural laws unless there is some compelling reason for it be otherwise. I hope my arguments from Scripture about "Invisible" 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, then tell us what to do during this age (once again 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 canopy. I should underscore that it definitely rained and that 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, even the most generous limits of a canopy by young earth Christian geologist models adds only several feet more water to the surface...which is virtually nothing. 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? Produced long lifespans? I have seen variou s 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, though somewhat jagged, are quite uniform right up through Moses when it really tapers off. I continually hear about this 120 years lifespan 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 lifespans is really the effects of the original curse and Fall of Adam. Scripture "I will no longer tarry with man and his days shall be 120 years is prophecy of the number of years until the Flood. (Though I certain 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:

"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. Perhaps the effects of the Flood. We certain 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 may have even put a little "Harry"...a Flood victim into your last tank of gas.

In conclusion, I find 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 contain days, weeks and years, with specific, even cataclysmic dire consequences (curses for disobedience) tied to these various time frames, and likewise blessings 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. I can not 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. God gave the whole future history of Israel in the Prophets and the whole future history of the World to his prophets. Jesus saves some of his gr eatest warning about being deceived in the end times, as does the Apostles Paul, Peter, and John. This 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 recognized 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. How could we know to do that if we have no reliable mechanism of time in order to obey that command? Ho w old the earth is directly connected with how old the earth will be when he 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. 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 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 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 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:

"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?" (Matthew 16:2-3)

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