People think the Bible is about religion, but we beg to differ. It is about reality. God is real, His Kingdom is real and what He does has to do with reality. For example, Israel is living proof that the God of the Bible is alive and well and keeps His promises:
# Abraham was the original ancestor of the nation of Israel.
- God called Abraham to move from Haran and go to Canaan, about 1921 BC (nearly 2,000 years before Christ). 1
- God promised the land of Canaan to Abraham’s descendants. ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ 2
- The history of Abraham’s descendants had many ups and downs. There were two exiles where they were removed from their promised land (first by the Babylonians from 605-586 BC and then by the Romans in 70-136 AD). From then on they were banned from Jerusalem, except for the Passover Feast.
- Then the miracle happened. In 1948 on May 18, ‘for the first time since September 8, A.D. 70, the Holy Land by official Gentile action belonged to the Jews.’ 3 The Jewish state is living proof that God kept His promise to Abraham.
# God would bless all people on earth through Abraham.
‘…and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’ 4 The promise has to do with Jesus. He was a descendant of Abraham and through Jesus all nations on earth have the potential to be blessed. The followers of Jesus are part of the multitudes who have been blessed through Jesus.
# God promised blessings to Israel’s friends and curses to its enemies.
- God promised that those who curse Abraham’s descendants will be cursed and those who bless them will be blessed. ‘…I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse.’ 5
- Abraham’s descendants, almost like Jesus, are hated without reason. People invent false reasons on which to base their hostility. It all boils down to hatred of God. But God warned people that it is a dangerous exercise to curse Israel, as many do.
# Are the Jews as numerous as the stars in the sky?
- Did God’s promise to Abraham come true that his descendants will be as numerous as the stars in the sky? 6 It doesn’t seem so because Israel is a small nation.
- Yet Galatians 3:7 says, ‘Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.’ So not only the Jews but also gentile children of God through Jesus, are Abraham’s descendants.
- Jesus told the parable of the rich man and Lazarus to illustrate this. The rich man is in hell after his death (he probably did not prepare for eternity but concentrated only on material wealth). The poor man is in heaven at Abraham’s side. 7
- So Abraham welcomes every person who dies as a believer in Christ, in heaven, as another of his children. There must be multitudes of Abraham’s ‘descendants’ already in heaven with him – as numerous as the stars in the sky.
# Remarkable hatred against God
- The following scene describes the hostility against God, ‘When the thousand years are over [while Satan will be in the Abyss], Satan will be released and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth…. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city He loves.’ 8
- Look at the remarkable fact. For a thousand years the devil will be inactive. The moment he is released, he begins to deceive people to prepare to attack God’s city, Jerusalem. Isn’t it a remarkable proof that he is alive and hates God and His people?
- Incidentally, that is also the devil’s last act of rebellion on this earth, ‘And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into to the lake of burning sulphur.’ 9 Then the devil will inherit his final destination where he will be tormented day and night for ever.
The hatred of the devil and those he influences against God’s people, is an outstanding evidence in real life that there is a God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is alive and well. Israel is living proof of the living God and we can trust Him to fulfil His promises.
- Genesis 12:1-3
- Genesis 15:18
- Willmington’s Guide to the Bible, Dr H L Willmington, Tyndale House Publishers, inc., 1981, p 977
- Genesis 12:3b
- Genesis 12:3a
- Genesis 15:5
- Luke 16:22-23
- Revelation 20:7-9
- Revelation 20:10
The question is, ’Did Jesus know when creation happened?’ Scripture tells us, He did. From the dates in the Old Testament, Jesus could easily determine when the universe was created: it happened only a few thousand years before He came to earth.
To many followers of Jesus, a young earth cannot be true, because they are convinced that evolution proves that the earth is old, very old. To believe that the earth was created only a few thousand years ago would make them a laughing stock in the eyes of the world. We will discuss the findings of ‘science’ in future blogs. Before that we want to give attention to the following aspects:
# God has a ‘construction project,’ His eternal Kingdom on earth.
- If God used billions of years of evolution to create the heavens and the earth, why don’t humans stretch out their creation projects over many years? Made in the image of God, we often mimic God’s ways. For example when humans select people for a certain work, or construct large projects, we do it according to God’s ways: we plan, design and execute.
- Normally a person who wants to construct some big complex, also plans, designs, and executes it. Does he finalise the plans, dig the foundations and then wait ten years to pour the concrete? Does he then slowly begin to build the walls after about 20 years and put in the conduit for the electricity after about 15 years, et cetera? Then finally, after 60-70 years he finishes the project and the people can move in and use it?
- Maybe there are people out there who do that, but God is not like that. He designed, planned and began to execute His project as He explains in Genesis 1.
- Why would He take 13,7 billion years before He began to gather a Bride for His Son, Jesus the Bridegroom? Jacob worked 7 years for Rachel, but normally when a man loves a woman, he wants to marry her and settle down.
# The Creator message of the Bible is consistent throughout.
If the Bible begins with God the Creator, that is what we should find right through to the end. Interestingly enough that is exactly what we find. God is Creator from Genesis to Revelation. God created the first heavens and earth by His power, and He will create the new heavens and earth by His power. It is a consistent message.
# The concept of truth in the Bible is consistent.
- Jesus asked His Father in John 17: 17, ‘Sanctify them [my disciples] by the truth; your word is truth.’ With that Jesus defined truth as the Word of God. That means He implicated His Father in this whole issue of the truth, ‘…I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father, who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.’ 1
- Jesus testified, ‘When He, the Spirit of truth [the Holy Spirit] comes, He will guide you into all truth.’ 2 As we know, the Holy Spirit inspired the different writers of both the Old and New Testaments. 3
- God does not lie or change is mind. In Numbers 23:19 we read, ‘God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should change His mind….’
- 1 Samuel 15:29 says, ‘He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change His mind; for He is not a man, that He should change His mind.’
- The New Testament reminds us in Hebrews 6:18, ‘…God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie…’
- It is also in Titus 1:2.
- God’s words are trustworthy. When God promised David that one of his descendants (Jesus) would sit on his throne eternally, David said, ‘O Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your words are trustworthy….’ 4
# Truth is important.
God is building His Kingdom with citizens of the highest calibre, people of truth and honesty like His Son and the Holy Spirit. In the last book of the Bible, Revelation. God tells us, ‘…the cowardly, the unbelieving…the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulphur.’ 5 God requires truth and not lies in His people. That is why He, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are the embodiment of truth.
The Bible is our witness that Jesus spoke the truth. He who is Truth will sit on the right side of the Father on His throne in the New Jerusalem, loved and adored by His billions of followers. His followers are those who know He speaks the truth and He cannot lie. Neither can Scripture.
- John 12:49
- John 16:13
- 2 Timothy 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21; 1 Thessalonians 2:13
- 2 Samuel 7:28
- Revelation 21:8
We want to ask an interesting question in this blog: when Jesus was on earth, did He know when creation happened? It is rather logical that He did, as He created the sun, moon and stars, the timekeepers (the New Testament repeats three times that Jesus is the Creator 1). Let’s look at what Scripture reveals.
# Jesus’ references to the age of the earth
- When they questioned Him about marriage, He answered “Haven’t you read…that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female.…” 2
- In Mark 13:19 He said, ‘Pray that this will not take place in winter [the coming persecution], because those will be days of distress unequalled from the beginning, when God created the world….’
# If Jesus referred to the ‘beginning’ twice, did He know when it all began?
- As a Jew, Jesus knew the Old Testament Scriptures very well. To illustrate it, He was twelve years old when His parents left Him, by mistake, in Jerusalem after the Passover. When they went back to look for Him, they found Him in the temple, ‘…sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions.’ 3 By the time His active ministry began at the age of 30, He must have known a lot more. The Jewish Scriptures, the 39 books of the Old Testament, provide the date of creation.
# The date of creation
Let’s look what the Old Testament reveals about the age of the earth:
- Daniel’s prophecy in chapter 9:24. Basically the Holy Spirit revealed to Daniel that from the crucifixion of Jesus backwards to the decree to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem was 483 years. 4
- The exile in Babylon lasted 70 years. 5
- The times of the kings of Judah were about 390 years.
- It was 480 years from the building of the temple by Solomon till the Exodus. 6
- Backwards from the Exodus to the covenant with Abraham was 430 years. 7
- From Noah to Abraham was 427 years.
- The combined lifespans from Adam to the flood was 1,656 years. Genesis 5:3-32; 9:29; 11:10-26 give the ages of the patriarchs. The genealogies were very important to show the human bloodline of Jesus: born of a woman, Son of Adam, Son of God. 8 (After Jesus the New Testament no longer gives genealogies. When you are spiritually reborn by the Holy Spirit, God becomes your Father. Your human genealogy isn’t necessary for God’s records.)
- If you add up those dates, the creation happened around 4,000 years before Christ. 9
# We live about 2,000 years after Jesus.
- The 4.000 years before Christ plus the 2.000 years after Christ add up to 6.000 years. Therefore Biblical chronology shows that the heavens and earth were created about 6,000 years ago.
- The secular world and many theologians ridicule that date. They accept the findings of ‘science:’ the earth is 4, 5 billion years old.
- Their opinion of Jesus and the age of the earth is the same as that of the teachers of the law, Pharisees and others who called Jesus’ disciples, ‘…unschooled ordinary men.’ 10
The Old Testament reports thousands of years. It does not mention millions or billions of years anywhere. In Psalm 90:4 it is written, ‘…a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by.’ From this it is obvious that the idea of millions or billions of years does not come from the Bible, but from an outside source. Not even eternity is measured in billions of years, because there are no timekeepers in eternity.11
- John 1:3, Colossians 1:16, Hebrews 1:2
- Matthew 19:4
- Luke 2:46
- Nehemiah 1,2
- Daniel 9:2
- 1 King 6:1
- Exodus 12:30
- Luke 3:23-38
- NB! The above dates are a very abbreviated version according to FN Jones in his book, The Chronology of the Old Testament, Master Books, 1993-2005. There are other similar books like Usher’s and Thiele’s. Since it requires an intensive study, we only summarised the main points.
- Acts 4:13
- Revelation 21:23; 22:5