The Good News of the Judgment

THE AGE OF THE EARTH (see also Creation Ministries International: http://creation.com/how-old-is-the-earth)
by Ken Ham


A. There seems to be "indisputable" evidence from science that the earth is billions of years old (5 billion according to current consensus). A normal interpretation of the Biblical data seems to imply, on the other hand, that the creation of the earth (and Man) was relatively recent.

B. In the age-old debate between the Bible and science, the issue of the age of the earth is perhaps the most troubling to Christians who wish to be intellectually honest to both the scientific data and God's revelation in His Word.

C. This conflict not only sets many Christians against the scientific community, it also has become an intense intramural debate between Christians who hold to an old earth and those who do not. It is this debate which is the focus of this outline.

D. It is important to note that this conflict did not really come to the fore until the advent of evolutionary theory, which as a process is quite slow and requires enormous amounts of time; and, the subsequent discovery of data that indicated that the earth was ancient.

E. The disagreement between the two sides is a factor of about one million!

II. Important Presuppositions

With regards to the age of the earth debate, we believe the following presuppositions (assumptions) are non-negotiable for the Christian World-and-life view.

A. The Inerrancy of Scripture

No, the Bible is not a textbook of science. However, when it refers to the things which can be measured and checked by the scientific method it should stand as accurate. This assumption rejects the view that the Bible is only accurate and authoritative when it speaks about spiritual matters. This view leads to unbridled subjectivism since the interpreter would then become the ultimate authority in discerning what is "spiritual".

B. Creation Ex Nihlo

This assumption rejects the "amoeba to man" theory in the light of the clear teaching that the "kinds" of living things were created fiat with apparent age. Example: Adam as a full-grown male. Hence the creation will naturally appear older than it is.

C. The Unity of Truth

Contradictions between the natural world and Scripture are only apparent. Ultimately, when both are properly interpreted they will be in harmony. This assumption rests on the fact that God is the author of both.

D. The Primacy of Scripture

The Bible is the primary arbitrator of truth and meaning. When an interpretation of a passage of Scripture is so clear in that it agrees with that of the great exegetes throughout church history, and after all grammatical and lexical resources are exhausted to the point that it can yield no other interpretation, yet still stands in contradiction to the consensus of science, then science must yield.

III. The Young Earth Position

A. Stated: This view holds that the earth is thousands as opposed to millions or billions of years old. God created the earth and its features, flora and fauna, by calling them into existence in six consecutive 24 hour days. The creation, therefore, had the appearance of some (a key word) age at the moment it was called into existence. The great sedimentary features of the earth's lithosphere and the fossil evidence are largely the result of the universal Flood of Noah. An ice age immediately followed the Flood as well as stone age conditions for humankind.

B. The Evidence for a Young Earth

1. Biblical

a. The Genealogy of Gen. 5 may have gaps (missing names), however, there is no evidence from the text of gaps in the chronology. If the purpose is only to show line of descent (as old-earthers say) then why include the date markers? Assuming there are no breaks in the chronology, there are 1656 years between the creation of Adam and the Flood.

b. There is almost unanimous agreement that Abraham dates to about 2000 B.C. (Middle Bronze Age according to archaeologists) The chronology of Gen. 11:10-32 (Shem to Abraham) may also have missing names. Only 10 names are mentioned possibly for symmetrical reasons. There are 222 years between the Flood and Terah when the figures are added. This genealogy more than likely has some chronological gaps. However, this does not mean that many generations are missing, or that thousands of years may be inserted in the gaps to accommodate modern archaeology which does so on the basis of radiometric dating and speculation. There seems to be good historical evidence for putting the Flood at about 3000 B.C. (at the earliest). See W. Hallo's article: "Antediluvian Cities" in Journal of Cuneiform Studies 23/3:61-62. For more evidence for this date for the Flood see "The Date of Noah's Flood" by David Livingston in Archaeology and Biblical Research 6/1/93, pp.13-17.

c. The preponderance of linguistic evidence is that the "days" of Genesis 1 should be interpreted as 24 hour solar days. There is no evidence for large gaps to accommodate the geological timetable, nor is there a need to.

d. Other Scriptural passages seem to indicate that creation was sudden (an event rather than a process!). See for example Psalm 33, verse 10 in particular. Therefore, long ages seem superfluous.

2. Scientific

a. The Decay of the Earth's magnetic field. The earth is like a giant magnet with a magnetic field which is decaying at a known rate. When projected backward to the point where the magnetic field would be too strong for life, we find that this only projects back about 10,000 years. Old earthers and evolutionists respond that the field declines but is periodically regenerated. Currently, there is no evidence for this, and it would seem to be in violation of the second law of thermodynamics. See The Earth's Magnetic Field, by R.T. Merrill and M.W. McElhinney. Pp. 101-106; and for additional references to scientific papers see The Age of the Earth by John Morris (Master Books, 1994).

b. Comets

According to evolutionary theory, comets are supposed to be the same age as the solar system (five billion years). However, from observed data they are decaying much to fast. Their rate of decay would indicate a young solar system. See F.L. Whipple's article: "Background of Modern Comet Theory" in Nature 263(Sept. 1975), P. 15.

c. Sediments Current geological theory says the ocean floors are 200 million years old, but at the present rate of accumulation there should be many kilometers of sediments. The fact that they are only about 800 feet thick argues for a young earth.

d. Fossils out of Sequence.

According to the evolutionary time-scale pine trees appeared about 350 million years ago. However, pine pollen has been found in rocks that evolutionists date at 1.5 billion years! This evidence has been independently verified and casts doubt on the geological timetable. See G.F. Howe's article: "Creation Research Society studies on Precambrian pollen" in Creation Research Society Quarterly, 24 (Mar. 1988)173-182.

e. Polystrate Fossils. These are fossils of tree trunks that penetrate several layers of sediment which according to accepted geological literature were deposited slowly over long periods of time. However, the tree trunks would have decayed unless the sedimentation had occurred rapidly.

f. Amount of Helium in the Atmosphere. All naturally-occurring radioactive elements give off helium as they decay. If the decay has taken place over billions of years there should be vast amounts of helium in the atmosphere. The actual amount indicates that the earth could not be more than 50,000 years old.

g. History Appears Suddenly about 2900 B.C.

Written history begins suddenly about 5000 years ago. Any evidence beyond these dates is based on speculation or radiometric dating. It should be obvious a tribe often exists which may be using only stone age tools contemporaneously with an advanced civilization (even today!). That civilization seems to have suddenly appeared full-blown is still a great enigma to archaeologists. The pyramids of Egypt were not built by primitive people! Two Russian scientists writing in Scientific American concluded from a computer study of the evolution of language, that the original Indo-European language began somewhere in Eastern Turkey (ancient Ararat) around 6000 years ago! See the March 1990 issue.

h. No Stone Age Skeletons.

If the Stone Age lasted for over 100,000 years as evolutionists assert the world's population of these primitive peoples over this period of time should yield billions of stone age skeletons since they were known to bury their dead. However, few are found. See E.S. Deevey, "The Human Population," Scientific American 203 (Sept.1960) 194-204.

i. Radiohalos

These are microscopic rings of color formed in radio-active rock crystals. They are evidence of radio-active decay. According to this evidence, radio halos of Polonium-210 found in Colorado Jurassic, Triassic, and Eocene formations were formed within months of each other rather than hundreds of million years. See Creation's Tiny Mystery by Robert Gentry (1986).

j. There is much more evidence that could be listed here based on various calculations depending on known uniform rates. For example, if the earth is of great age there should be much more salt in the ocean, much greater population, much larger deltas, etc. For a list of over 100 of these calculations, see pp.18ff. in The Illustrated Origins Answer Book, by Paul Taylor.

IV. The Old Earth Position

A. Stated: The earth, according to scientific evidence is at least 5 billion years old. The universe is as old as 20 billion years.

B. Varieties of the old earth position:

1. The naturalistic evolutionists (the scientific establishment). This group denies any outside agent of creation, only the necessity of time (lots of it) and chance.

2. Theistic evolutionists, those who believe God chose the process of evolution to work His plan. This group generally holds that the early chapters of Genesis are largely figurative, and that only the "spiritual" content of the Bible is inspired.

3. Old-earth Creationists: This view denies any macro-evolution yet believes the scientific evidence for an old earth and cosmos is undeniable. Their goal is therefore to seek ways to harmonize this evidence with the Biblical account of Creation. Some attempts of accommodation are as follows:

a. Gap Theory. Great gaps of time are inserted between verses 1 and 2 of Gen. Chapter One. This view is sometimes called the re-creation theory in that it posits another creation that was destroyed. The geological ages and fossils of extinct species (e.g., dinosaurs) are the only evidence of this age before Adam. This view was popularized by the notes in the old Scofield Bible and is no longer popular. Other put the gap between the days of creation (Progressive Creationism). Gaps of time are also postulated in the genealogies of Gen. 5 and 11.

c. Day-Age Theory. This view interprets the Hebrew word (yom) "day" as an age. Some holding this view in the past have tried to see parallels between the "days" of creation and the geological ages. A problem with this view is seeing creation ex nihlo as a long drawn-out process. The theistic evolutionist would not have this problem.

d. The Days of Revelation View. It sees the days of creation as days in which the revelation was received. In other words, the revelation of creation came over a 6 day period. On the 7th day the revelation ceased. This view is currently gaining in popularity.

e. The Literary View. Believes the form of the literature of Genesis is such that it cannot be taken as strictly historical or chronological in nature (i.e. the days are not necessarily in chronological order. The sun was obviously created before the earth, etc.). Rather, the purpose of Genesis One was theological. Moses wrote it this way as a polemic to demolish the pagan ideas of creation held by the people of Canaan. This view is also gaining in popularity. See "Climbing out of the Swamp." by Clark H. Pinnock, Interpretation, April, 1989.

Note: The above views are often held in combination. For example, almost all would see gaps in the genealogies of Gen. 5 and 11, and most would agree that Genesis One should not be read in a strictly literal manner. Old earthers generally denigrate the effects of the Noahic Flood. Most hold to a deluge of only local or regional effect.

C. The Evidence for an old earth

1. Astronomical Evidence:

Almost without exception OE's hold to the Big Bang Theory for the beginning of the universe. They assume the evidence for this model is overwhelming. If it is true, then all celestial objects are moving away at a rapid rate from the center of this big blast. Hence the universe is expanding outward. This rapid expansion is known from the Doppler Effect of light (Red Shift). Some galaxies are known to be billions of light-years from the earth. If light from these distant bodies is now reaching earth it must have taken it that long (billions of years) to get here.

2. Radiometric Dating: It is based on the decay of elements (and isotopes of elements), all of which decay at different known speeds. For example, the isotope, carbon 14 decays to carbon 12 at a known rate. When an organism has died no more carbon 14 is ingested. The ratio of C14 to C12 is measured and age is calculated. Other radiometric methods are used for inorganic material such as rocks. Using radiometric dating, some igneous rockshave been dated at 3.5 billion years. Moon rocks have been dated at 4.5 billion years.

3. Geological Evidence-the Sedimentation Process: There exists in eastern U.S. layers of sedimentary rock that are 40,000 feet thick. According to the known processes whereby such sediments are laid down, vast amounts of time are necessary. Other examples given are huge sandstone deposits in the American Southwest and coral reefs in tropical oceans.

4. The Biblical Evidence. OE's simply argue that Bible does not give specific times of events before Abraham. II Peter 3:8 is often quoted to support the Bible's use of indefinite periods of time. "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day."

V. Observations and Concerns

A. About the Young Earth View (YEV)

1. The YEV is commendable in the way it approaches the Biblical text. The Bible is assumed to be both inerrant and the primary source of meaning. Many of its proponents are skilled in the original languages of the text. An added note of interest is that non-christians, or non-evangelical exegetes who are also skilled in the languages of the Bible, acknowledge that the plain meaning of the text yields a creation of 6 days duration.

2. However, in their zeal to prove the Bible and the claims of a young earth, YE's often tout scientific evidence to support claims which in many cases lacks either credibility or sufficient verification. A recent example is the view that the speed of light is slowing down. If true, all radiometric methods of dating (which show an old earth) would be skewed. Currently, the evidence seems to be strongly in favor of the constancy of the speed of light. For further discussion see: Perry G. Phillips. "A History and Analysis of the 15.7 Light Year Universe." Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation. Mar. 1988.

3. YE's need to bring forth a much better effort in rebutting the geological evidence given for an old earth. The recent work of Dr. Steve Austin of the Institute for Creation Research is commendable in this regard. His work on the rapid formation of the Grand Canyon and the geological dynamism of the recent Mt St. Helens catastrophe are two examples.

B. About the Old Earth View (OEV)

1. Those who hold the OEV, because they are so convinced of the evidence, often are guilty of strained exegesis when interpreting the opening passages of Genesis. For a classic case of the scientific tail wagging the theological dog see the work of Hugh Ross, and that of Newman and Eckelmann.

2. OE's minimalize the effects of the Noahic Flood. It would certainly seem that if such a Flood were a universal catastrophe of a year's duration, there would be some geological markers. OE's admit to none. Indeed many OE's hold to only a local inundation. To deny the universal character of the Noahic Flood again seems to go against the plain meaning of the text which continually uses universals to describe the Deluge.

3. OE's accept the Big Bang model as a proven model. The media also portrays it as proven, however, it has been under considerable attack from scientists within the discipline of Astronomy. See Marvin L. Lubenow. Bones of Contention. Chapter 18, "Is the Big Bang a Big Bust." The old earth-cosmos is totally dependent on the Big Bang hypothesis being true.

4. It seems awkward to hold the twin concepts of an ancient earth and sudden creation in tandem. Aside from the theistic evolutionary view (which utilizes the time) the great ages seems to be pointless.

5. OE's are guilty of not thoroughly examining many of the presuppositions of some of their scientific conclusions. Many are at variance with Christian presuppositions, and may, if taken to their logical conclusions, have grave theological ramifications (e.g. death occurring before the Fall).

6. OE's have not adequately refuted much of the scientific evidence for a young earth listed earlier.

VI. Summary

Taken at face value, the Biblical evidence seems to clearly teach a young earth, i.e., the universe was created in place with some inherent age. A growing amount of scientific evidence seems to be supportive of this position, but it is not an open and shut case.

On the other hand, there is some evidence that seems to indicate that the earth might be very old, e.g., the geological evidence given above. However, OE's tend to down-play the intensity that a universal Flood may have had. YE's believe these massive layers of sedimentation could have been deposited in such a catastrophe. If it is the clear teaching of Scripture that the earth is young (thousands of years old), and that Creation was an event rather than a process, then science will ultimately yield its secret and be found in harmony with God's written Word. For the Christian, science is a tool to be used, not a basis (foundation) for constructing a world view. Ultimate truth can never be found starting from a finite (man) perspective.

VII. For Further Reading

A. The Young Earth View

Ackerman, Paul. It's a Young World After All.

Howe, Frederic E. "The Age of the Earth: An Appraisal of Some Current Evangelical Positions." This article is an excellent survey of the problem and is found in two parts in Bibliotheca Sacra. Jan-Mar. 1985, and Apr-Jun. 1985.

Lubenow, Marvin L. Bones of Contention. See Chapter 18-20, including Appendix.

Morris, Henry M. and Morris John D. Science, Scripture, and the Age of the Earth.

Morris, John D. The Age of the Earth.

Whitcomb, John C. The Early Earth.

Youngblood, Ronald. ed. The Genesis Debate. See Chapter 3.

B. The Old Earth View

Van Till, Howard J., Young, Davis A., and Menninga, Clarence. Science Held Hostage

Newman, Robert C., and Eckelmann, Herman J. Genesis One and the Origin of the Earth.

Ross, Hugh. Creation and Time.

Ross, Hugh. Genesis One: A Scientific Perspective.

Ross, Hugh. The Creator and the Cosmos.

Young, Davis A. Creation and the Flood.

Young, Davis A. Christianity and the Age of the Earth.

Further Discussion:

Many Christians take the position that there is a gap of millions of years between verse one and verse two of Genesis chapter one. However, the obvious intent of the author of Genesis is to show that the entire creation of the universe event took place in six literal days, and not millions of years and then followed by six days to form the earth and life on the earth. There is not even a hint that the author intended the reader to insert a gap of millions of years between verses one and two.

Here is some great material by Henry Morris on the gap theory that some are suggesting.

"'In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth' (Genesis 1:1).

'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.' (Genesis 1:2).

Many people assume there is a great gap in time between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2. Most of these do this to accommodate the geological age system of billions of years of supposed earth history in the Genesis record of creation. The idea is something like this: billions of years ago God created the spacemass-time universe. Then the geological ages took place over billions of years of earth history. The different forms of life developed that are now preserved in the fossil record. These life-forms represent those ages - the invertebrates of the Cambrian Period, the dinosaurs of the Cretaceous Period ... finally the mammals, birds and 'ape-men' of the Tertiary Period - just before the recent epoch.

Then the idea is that, at the end of these geological ages, a great cataclysm took place on earth, with Satan having rebelled in heaven and many of the angels following him in that rebellion. God, therefore, cast him to the earth, and the earth underwent a great cataclysm, leaving it finally without form and void, and with darkness on the face of the deep, as described in Genesis 1:2.

Subsequently, according to this idea - usually known as the 'gap' theory - God then re-created or reconstituted the earth in the six literal days of creation recorded in the first chapter of Genesis. The argument for this theory makes verse two read, 'The earth became without form and void' (some would render it 'The earth became waste and desolate'), as though it had previously been a beautiful world. But now, because of the cataclysm, it was a devastated remnant of a world, so that there was a change of condition. It became without form and void.

'WAS 'MEANS' WAS'


A significant problem with this idea is that the Hebrew word for 'was' really should be translated 'was'. It should not be translated 'became'. It is the Hebrew verb of being, hayah, and normally it is simply translated 'was'. In all the standard translations of the Old Testament, that is the way this verse is rendered. On some occasions, in an unusual situation if the context requires it, the word can be translated 'became'. There are some instances like that in the Old Testament.

By far the tremendous majority of times, however, when the verb is used, it is simply translated 'was'. In the absence of any indication in the immediate context that it should be rendered by a change of state, where it became something which it wasn't, one would normally assume it was simply a declarative statement describing how the situation existed at the time. The earth was, in response to God's creative fiat, initially without form and void.

Some people use Isaiah 45:18 as an argument for the use of 'became' in Genesis 1:2. In this verse, Isaiah says that God created the earth not in vain He formed it to be inhabited. The word 'in vain' is the same as tohu; that is, the same word translated 'without form' in Genesis 1:2. So 'gap' theorists say that since God did not create it that way, it must have become that way. But again, the context is significant. In Isaiah, the context requires the use of the translation 'in vain'. That is, God did not create the earth without a purpose; He created it to be inhabited. Genesis 1 tells us then how He brought form to the unformed earth and inhabitants to the empty earth. It was not really finished until He said so at the end of the six days of creation.

The word tohu is actually translated 10 different ways in about 20 occurrences in the Old Testament. Isaiah 45:19 has the same word, and there it has to be translated 'vainly' or 'in vain'. It is also proper to translate it that way in Isaiah 45:18. It depends on the context as to how it is to be precisely translated. In Genesis 1:2 the context simply indicates the earth had no structure as yet. It was unformed; it was not even spherical at that point, but was comprised of only the basic elements of earth material.

Furthermore, it is important to note that the verse begins with the conjunction, 'and' (Hebrew waw), and this same conjunction introduces every single verse of the first chapter of Genesis, so there is a sequence of actions implied. There was this happening, and then this happened, and then this happened, and then this ... each following directly upon the other. When it said that God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was without form and void, the implication is that this was immediately following the creation.

Another argument of those who advocate the ,gap theory is that the word 'darkness' suggests that something is wrong with the creation. But Isaiah 45:7 says that God created the darkness. In order for there to be day and night, which was necessary for the further activity of God and man upon the earth, there must be day and night. So God actually had to create darkness. Thus there is nothing implicitly wrong with it being dark. God created it that way. Darkness later came to represent, in some contexts, a symbol of evil - as opposed to light - since 'God is light and in Him is no darkness at all' (1 John 1: 5). But in the context here there is no evil connotation suggested.

On the other hand, there are many overwhelming difficulties with the 'gap' theory, and we really should not accept this as the interpretation of Genesis 1:2. The idea that the geological ages took place in between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 is precluded by the plain biblical statement in the Ten Commandments, where God said, 'In six days, the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is' (Exodus 20:11). That is, He was telling man that he must work six days and rest one day because God worked six days and rested one day. The context goes on to say that everything in heaven and earth and in the sea was made in six days. There could have been nothing left over that was not made during the six days.

The 'gap' theory, on the other hand, would require that only the surface of the earth was reconstituted in the six days. The earth's core, the basic structure, the great fossil beds containing the remnants of the dinosaurs, and so on, all of this would predate the six days of Creation. But God says specifically that everything in the earth and in the heavens and in the sea was made in the six days.

Theologically, there is also a very grave difficulty with the 'gap' theory. The Bible says there was no sin or death until man brought them into the world. According to the 'gap' theory, however, there had already been billions of years of suffering and death in the world, represented by the fossils and the sedimentary rocks of the earth's crust, which are supposed now to identify the geological ages. According to the 'gap' theory, at the end of the geological ages Satan sinned and was cast to the earth and then there was a great cataclysm, so that the geological ages with billions of years of suffering and death took place before Satan sinned and certainly before man sinned.

The Bible, on the other hand, says specifically that 'by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin' (Romans 5:12), so that there was no death in the world until man brought sin into it. The , gap theory would require billions of years of suffering in the world before man or even Satan had sinned, and that means that God Himself would be directly responsible for sin in the world. God could not be the author of sin. So the 'gap' theory is precluded theologically."

The Yellowstone Petrified Forests


Evidence of Catastrophe

Yellowstone National Park, the oldest national park in the United States, spans parts of three states: Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. It is famous for its geothermal activity, including 10,000 hot springs and 200 geysers, including 'Old Faithful' (see photo). There are also mountains, including one of black obsidian (volcanic glass), cooled and hardened basalt lava flows, deep valleys and canyons, rivers, lakes, forests, petrified wood (wood turned into rock), and wildlife.

PETRIFIED FORESTS?

In some places in Yellowstone Park, erosion of a hillside reveals layers of upright petrified trees. At Specimen Ridge, there are said to be 27 layers, while Specimen Creek contains about 50. This means that the Specimen Creek formation is especially huge - its total vertical height is 1,200 metres (3,400 feet). This raises the question: how did the petrified tree layers form?

THE EVOLUTIONIST EXPLANATION

Evolutionists and other long-agers usually teach the following scenario:

Each layer is the remains of a forest.

Each forest was buried where it grew by volcanic ash and other debris .

Dissolved minerals were soaked up by the trees, petrifying them.

After about 200 years, the ash weathered into clay, then into soil.

A new forest grew on top of where the previous one had stood. From the well-preserved tree rings, the oldest tree in each layer was about 500 years old on average.

The new forest was buried by volcanic ash, and the process repeated.

The entire stack of layers was eroded, such that their edges are now exposed in a cliff (see diagram on p. 21 of the magazine).

If this scenario were true, it would have taken nearly 40,000 years to form the entire series at Specimen Creek. However, since this scenario is based on the unobservable past, it is not part of normal (operation) science, as this deals with repeatable observations in the present. But as we will see, there are certain features of Specimen Ridge that make no sense under this explanation.1

PROBLEMS WITH THE LONG-AGE SCENARIO

Growing trees have extensive root systems, usually 20-30% of the total dry mass of the tree. But the Yellowstone petrified trees have their large roots broken off, leaving 'root balls'. This happens when trees are forcefully pushed out of the ground, e.g. by a bulldozer.

A forest buried in place would be expected to have many petrified branches and much petrified bark. But the Yellowstone petrified tree trunks, mostly 3-4 metres (10-12 feet) tall, have very little bark and very few branches. Something has stripped most of the bark and broken off most limbs, leaving only knots in the trunks.

Some of the trees extend into the 'forest' layer above. But if the next layer had to wait hundreds of years for the ash covering to weather into soil (so the 'next' forest could grow), then the exposed tree top would have completely decayed. But if the trees were all laid down quickly, this observation should not be surprising.

When trees fall in forests, especially with a flat floor, they have an equal chance of lying in any direction. But in the petrified 'forests', the prostrate (lying down) trees tend to align in the same direction. Also, even the upright trunks are turned so their long axis is aligned the same way. This is consistent with a common force, e.g. moving water or mud, having acted on both after they were uprooted.

If the layers had been buried by volcanic eruptions thousands of years apart, the mineral content of each would probably have been quite different. But the mineral content remains the same throughout over a kilometre of vertical height. This suggests one or few volcanic episodes, with many pulses within each episode, all within a fairly short time frame.

Growing forests have definite soil and humus layers, with lots of rootlets as well as a thriving animal population. However, the petrified 'forests' lack all these.

Studies of the Yellowstone plants, including pollen analysis, show that there are many more plant species than would be expected in a forest. And often the pollen doesn't match the nearby trees. However, this would be explainable if the trees had been uprooted and transported from several places.

In a real forest, plant debris forms an organic layer on the forest floor. The deeper the material, the older it is, so the more time it has had to decay. But the petrified forests lack this pattern of greater decay with depth. There are also finely preserved leaves - since leaves do not retain their shape for very long after they fall off the tree, these leaves were probably buried very quickly.

Volcanic minerals such as feldspars quickly weather into clay when exposed to water and air. But the petrified 'forest' layers lack clay. This suggests that none of the layers were exposed for very long.

The patterns of particle sizes in rock layers often indicate how they formed. Consider a bag of mixed nuts - often they will be randomly mixed. Or, if they are shaken, the large brazil nuts end up on top as the smaller nuts fall down through the gaps. But many rock layers which have been laid under water show patterns different to these. The large grains have sunk to the bottom, and been covered by smaller grains - a pattern called graded bedding. Also, if the water is moving horizontally, alternating layers of coarse and fine grains form.2,3,4,5 The Yellowstone 'forests' are associated with rocks which contain these laminations, consistent with being formed under water. Some beds of coarse material have tongues of ash penetrating them. Also, such flat beds would seem to require a lot of water so the material can flow over such large distances. Some volcanic rocks in New Zealand that are generally accepted to have been deposited under water look very similar to the Yellowstone rocks.1

Under normal circumstances, a tree adds a growth ring every year. The thicker the ring, the faster the tree grew in that time, and this depends on the weather, among other factors. So trees growing at the same time and roughly in the same area should show matching patterns of thick and thin rings. On the other hand, trees growing hundreds of years apart would show different patterns. Because he believed the biblical framework, geologist Dr John Morris predicted in 1975 that trees in different layers of the Yellowstone formations would have matching patterns, rather than completely different ones.6

Years later, Dr Michael Arct analyzed cross-sections of 14 trees in different levels spanning seven metres (23 feet). He found that they all shared the same distinctive signature, and that four of them had died only seven, four, three and two years before the other ten. These ten had apparently perished together, and the evidence was consistent with them all having been uprooted and transported by successive mud flows.7

NEW EXPLANATION NEEDED

As shown above, the slow 'one after the other' explanation for the Yellowstone petrified trees is incompatible with the evidence. It also clearly contradicts a straightforward reading of Scripture which teaches a young age for the earth (see How long were the days of Genesis 1? and Six Days? - Honestly!). We weren't there to see it happen, and we should not trust such scenarios when they contradict God's infallible written Word. Starting from a biblical framework, we should expect that the 'forests' were buried recently, and probably by a catastrophe.

A recent catastrophe has given us some insight into what might have produced the Yellowstone petrified 'forests'. On 18 May, 1980, Mt St Helens in Washington State erupted with the energy of 20,000 Hiroshima bombs. Although tiny by the standards of most eruptions, this eruption flattened millions of trees in 625 square kilometres (240 square miles) of forest. The eruption also melted snowfields and glaciers, and caused heavy rainfall. This resulted in a mudflow that picked up the fallen logs (some of which traveled upright), so that both forks of the Toutle River were log-jammed. An earthquake, Richter magnitude 5.1, caused a landslide that dumped half a cubic kilometre (one-eighth of a cubic mile) of debris into the nearby Spirit Lake. This caused waves up to 260 metres (860 feet) high, which gathered a million logs into the lake, forming a floating log mat (see photo on p. 21 of the magazine). Most of them lacked branches, bark and an extensive root system.

Since roots are designed to absorb water, the remains of the roots on the floating logs soaked up water from the lake. This caused the root end to sink, and the log tipped up to float in an upright position (see photo on p. 21 of the magazine). When a log soaked up even more water, it sank and landed on the lake bottom. Debris from the floating log mat and a continuing influx of sediment from the land (in the aftermath of the catastrophe) buried the logs, still in an upright position. Trees that sank later would be buried higher up, that is on a higher level, although they grew at the same time. This was confirmed by sonar and scuba research by a team led by Drs Steve Austin and Harold Coffin.8,9 By 1985, there were about 15,000 upright logs on the bottom. Later, the lake was partly drained, exposing some of the bottom, revealing upright logs stuck in the mud (see photo on p. 21 of the magazine).

There is ample evidence that petrifaction need not take very long. Hot water rich in dissolved minerals like silica, as found in some springs at Yellowstone, has petrified a block of wood in only a year.10

Imagine if the logs on the bottom of Spirit Lake were found thousands of years later. Evolutionists would probably interpret them as multiple forests buried in place, rather than trees living at the same time that were uprooted, transported, and then sunk at different times.

WHY DOES IT MATTER?

One historian of science, Ronald Numbers, (a former Seventh-day Adventist) placed his faith in fallible human theories about the past, and used this as an excuse to apostatize (fall away from his professed faith). As he said in his book on the history of creationism,11 a supposedly objective study:12

'I vividly remember the evening I attended an illustrated lecture on the famous sequence of fossil forests in Yellowstone National Park and then stayed up most of the night ... agonizing over, then accepting, the disturbing likelihood that the earth was at least thirty thousand years old. Having thus decided to follow science rather than Scripture on the subject of origins, I quickly, though not painlessly, slid down the proverbial slippery slope toward unbelief.'13

Of course, he was not following 'science', in the sense of repeatable observations in the present; that is, the type of science that sent men to the moon.

More importantly, he presumed that he knew all the facts, which he obviously did not. We should remember the lesson of 'Piltdown man'. Before the hoax was discovered in 1953, this convinced many that evolution was true. Those convinced included the eminent English Christian surgeon Arthur Rendle Short, who unlike Ronald Numbers never apostatized. But Rendle Short agonized over long ages of death and suffering, which clearly conflict with the biblical teaching that there was no death before the Fall (Genesis 1:29-30, 3:19; Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:21-22).14 There is evidence that his view was moving back to biblical creation, although he didn't quite live to see 'Piltdown man' exposed as a hoax.

We now have answers to both the Piltdown and Yellowstone challenges. We should remember, if confronted with other 'unanswerable' challenges to the biblical world view, that even if we don't have all the answers, God does. And He, in His good time, may raise up godly scientists to discover them.

REFERENCES AND NOTES

Much information comes from Harold Coffin (with Robert Brown), Origin by Design, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Washington DC, 1983.

Ronald Numbers, The Creationists: The Evolution of Scientific Creationism, University of California Press, 1992.

Although well-researched, his prejudices are evident. The book majors heavily on personalities, with subtle (and some not-so-subtle) character assassinations, while the high scientific qualifications of many creationists are downplayed. He invariably gives the last word to the evolutionist, which often leaves an impression contrary to the facts as can be seen upon checking the sources. However, he exposes the 'strained efforts' of re-interpreting Scripture to fit evolution, and the deceit of some theistic evolutionary college professors '[s]tretching the truth to the breaking point' (p. 182) when trying to hide what they really believed from conservative parents and donors. See also review by Prof. Edgar Andrews, Origins (Journal of the Biblical Creation Society) 8(20):21-23, 1995.

Ronald Numbers, Ref. 11, p. xvi.

See the book by his son, Prof. John Rendle-Short, Green Eye of the Storm, Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, 1998, Part 3; and the shorter account 'From theistic evolution to creation', Creation 19(2):50-51, 1997

Jonathan Sarfati First published in: Creation Ex Nihilo 21(2):18-21, March-May 1999

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Biblical Creationism and Modern Cosmology
by Bill Diehl.

Some believe that God only made the earth bring forth plant and animal life in six days. The Hebrew text of Genesis does not intimate that there was pre-existing matter or light or time prior to the six day creation account. Some want to believe that the earth was a lifeless chunk of matter prior to the six day creation. Others want to believe that the sun, moon, and stars were all in existence prior to the creation account.

The darkness of the universe and the "missing mass" could be the result of the speed of light having been drastically slowed as the result of the fall. By slowing the speed of light God could have isolated earth from the rest of the universe because of the enormous amount of energy required to travel even at 25% of the speed of light. The faster the speed of light, the more energy that would be contained in the matter of the universe. Thus traveling at the speed of light would be very feasible.

Theories of origins are always based upon extrapolations from data which only exists in the present. Neo-Darwinianists are forever declaring that their extrapolations are "scientific fact" which they are NOT. Opinions regarding origins are not even in the realm of theory because they are not repeatable, observable, provable, or disprovable. An evolutionist looks at the Grand Canyon and say, "A little bit of water and a whole lot of time produced this canyon". A young earth Biblical creationist looks at the Grand Canyon and says, "A whole lot of water and a little bit of time produced this canyon." The recent explosion at Mt. St. Hellens has blasted away a lot more than trees and mud. It has blasted away a lot of evolutionary myths that sedimentary rocks have been laid down slowly over millions of years. There at the site of the mud flows, six hundred feet deep layered sedimentary formations were produced in a matter of hours. If this were not an event witnessed as it happened, the evolutionists would have us to believe that these thousands of sedimentary layers took millions of years to deposit.

I think that the pomposity of the evolutionists' statements is truly laughable and their condescension to us who are "immature" and engaging in "fantasy" is amusing. I guess that if Christ were here and would declare that the accounts of the young earth creation and the world wide flood of Noah in Genesis were true and factual they would be just as condescending with Him about His belief in a literal recent six day creation of heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them. Also they could tell Him how the specifically given 900 year plus or minus life spans of pre-flood patriarchs and the division of the languages and the peoples of the world at the tower of Babel are mere myths. They certainly would even tell Him how the account of the fall of Adam and Eve and also account of the Jonah and the fish are mere fable.

Either the Bible account of the six day creation of the world and the fall of Man is true history or the account of the plan of salvation through Christ's redemptive act on Calvary is a cleverly devised fable. The more I see of evolutionary views coming from the official denominationally sponsored church organizations, the less I am wanting to be identified with any of these denominations. I realize that there are many leaders in these denominations who wish that evangelical Bible believing church members would just disappear with their "foolishness". It would be very interesting to listen to their views of what constitutes the plan of salvation and the meaning of the cross of Christ and then compare them with the Bible also. But then we have been hearing the unbiblical soteriological and cosmological teachings coming from the many mainline denominations for many years and are well aware that even regarding the definition of the gospel a falling away has taken place. Which group will give the final warning to the world before Jesus comes?-- the theistic evolutionists or the "lunatic" evangelical young earth creationists? Time will tell.

My comments regarding the theistic evolutionary theory of origins that is making its way into the Christian church are NOT an "emotional outburst". This is an example of how the liberal "intelligencia" with in the church like to condescendingly label evangelical young earth Christians who speak out against these humanistic inroads. When their arguments are shown to be out of harmony with the clear testimony of the six day creation account of the Bible and not as "scientific" as they would have us to believe, they immediately pat the evangelicals on the head and attempt to "calm down" the "hysteria". Let all be assured that these issues are VERY RELEVANT to the ultimate direction in which the Christian church will continue to move. If these evolutionists are allowed to take over the church, God will cause the very stones to proclaim the Biblical message of the six day creation; the Fall of Man; the entrance of sin, suffering, death; the world wide flood of Noah, the vicarious forensic nature of the atonement of our Lord upon the cross for the justification of all repentant sinners who trust in His precious blood; and finally the seventh-day Sabbath as the sign of faith for all who worship the one true Creator God who made all things in six literal days. Make no mistake, if theistic macro-evolution is true, the plan of salvation through faith in the sinless life and atoning death of Christ is meaningless.

The false views that are entering the Christian church like a flood are NOT something to CELEBRATE but rather something to afflict our souls over and then to rise up to meet and oppose as the final LIE of ANTICHRIST. To suggest that these false teachings are examples of "creative thinking" within the Christian church is to give a new name to describe APOSTASY!! These men and women who wish to put strange fire upon the altars of the Christian faith ought to go all the way and move on to the altar of Baal where they belong. God is in control of His final warning message to the world and He is not going to allow these priests of Baal to defile and pollute His church. Babylon has fallen and she will never rise again.

God clearly made the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars on the fourth day. Here is Psalm 136:5 to prove that the greater light mentioned in Genesis 1:16 was the sun and the lesser light was the moon:

"To Him that by wisdom made the heavens: for His mercy endureth for ever. To Him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for His mercy endureth for ever. To Him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever: The sun to rule by day: for His mercy endureth for ever: The moon and stars to rule by night: for His mercy endureth for ever."

"And God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens, to divide between the day and the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens, to give light on the earth. And it was so. And God made the two great lights, the great light to rule the day, and the small light to rule the night, --and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens, to give light on the earth, and to rule during the day and during the night, and to divide between the light and the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning--a fourth day."

It is clear that if one concedes that the sun and the moon were "made" on the fourth day then one must also concede that the text states that the stars were also "made" on the fourth day. The verb "made" applies with equal force to describe God's creation of the sun, the moon, and the stars equally. In other words, God made the sun, the moon, and also the stars on the fourth day of creation.

The question some raise as to what was the source of the light that shown on the first day to make the daylight if the sun and the moon and stars were not yet created. The Bible does not really tell us the source of this light, but we can see that since it did cause the "day" portion of the first 24 hour period, the earth that was then covered only by the sea was rotating and thus causing the night to fall on the portion away from this light source.

The text in 2 Corinthians tells us that God simply commanded the light to shine out of darkness. This certainly adds information to this question of where the first light of day one came from. I would say that the light that God created and caused to shine on the first day probably simply existed and shone due to the command of God and did not necessarily radiate from the person of Christ. I believe that the Genesis account of creation is describing the creation of the first matter (the empty dark earth with the sea covering the surface), the first energy (light), time (the sun, moon, and stars to determine the day, month, year, and seasons), and space (the firmament above the water). Thus we have the basis of the fundamental principles of physics and the beginning of the physical universe as we know it, live in it, and experience it as created beings able to praise God and worship Him as Creator of universe in six days and rest with God on the seventh day.

Age of the Universe

Any objective Hebrew scholar interpreting the creation account of Genesis will admit that the account is that of the creation of the entire universe and not merely the creation of this solar system, or merely this galaxy, or merely the creation of life on a formerly lifeless pre-existing earth.

Furthermore, any scholar reading the first eleven chapters of Genesis must conclude that the author of Genesis believed that the creation of the universe was a very recent event within the timeframe of slightly less than 6,000 years from today. The writer of Genesis certainly believed the genealogies AND ages of the patriarchs given in these chapters to be accurate and reliable. He obviously wanted the reader to understand that the earth was not more than a few thousand years old from "In the beginning" to the exodus of Israel from Egypt.

There certainly are genealogies in scripture which are not complete genealogies. Matthew's genealogy is certainly an incomplete genealogy and is intended mostly to show his Jewish readers that their national history revolved around three great national eras: the era from the call of Abraham to David's reign; from David's reign to the Babylonish exile; and from the exile to the Messiah. He only mentions 14 individuals in each era and obviously leaves out some of the lineage to make his point that the birth of our Lord is the ultimate fulfillment of the promises made to Abraham that his "seed" would bless all nations.

In the minds of God's people, David's kingdom was the golden age of their history and they all longed to see that glorious age which was lost at the Exile return with the ushering in of the even more glorious Messianic Age. Mathew through the use of the 3 eras shows that the Messianic era and the end of the age had arrived in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus we see the wise men of Matt 2 ask "Where is the baby born to be king of the Jews?" The theme of the Davidic Kingship of Jesus is the dominant theme throughout the synoptic (common viewpoint) gospels. The "Kingdom of God" phrase is everywhere and in almost every parable and encounter with the Jewish leaders. Yes these genealogies are incomplete genealogies to enable the gospel writers to make a theological point. However it is well understood that the word "son" (ben) in Hebrew can mean also grandson or descendant. So one is not concerned if certain individuals are left out of the genealogies of the gospel accounts and the genealogies of Ezra 7:1-5 1Chron 6:7-9 and Ezra 3:2.

The genealogies of Gen 1-11 are unique from Matthew though. These genealogies give the ages of the patriarchs when their male children are born and they give the ages of when the patriarchs die. The Genesis account gives therefore not only a genealogy but also a chronology for the number of years from the flood to the Exodus. Depending on the date which one ascribes to the Exodus, one can give a relatively dependable number for an approximate age of the Earth from the birth of Cain to the present time. Regardless of the date one ascribes to the Exodus, one can say that the age of the Earth is approximately 6,000 years old and not much older than that. Regardless of when one places the Exodus, the Genesis reckoning of the Masoretic text for the time from the Adam to the Exodus is 2513 years.

If one accepts the date of 1445 BC as the date of the Exodus we can give an approximate date for the beginning of the populating of the Earth as 3957 B.C. These computations depend upon the fact that Genesis gives the ages of the patriarchs. The fact that these ages are recorded means that one cannot say that there are links missing to the account. It is within these observations of the Genesis account that I made the statement that the Earth is young and less than 6000 years old.

One must be very careful when one makes statements that the Bible is merely a history of the covenants and not necessarily an accurate history of the world. The Judeo-Christian religion is not primarily a religion of experience, it is a religion based on historical acts in history in which God has intervened in history in His saving acts. Therefore one ought to say that the history of the world recorded in the Bible is an inerrant historical record of God's covenantal dealings with Man from the fall to the present day. The reason that Christians must be insistent upon the use of the term "innerant" historical record is that if the history recorded in the scriptures is in error then we have no way to know which part is erroneous and which is true history. We have to begin to pick and choose what is true and thus open the flood gate to denying whatever "facts" rub us the wrong way and one can then disregard those which do so.

Make no mistake about it, the first step to eventual complete denial of the Christian faith is to take a compromising position in the matter of the reliability of the historical record of the Genesis account. I say this while being fully aware of the so called problems with the presumed length of the Egyptian dynasties and the claims made for ages of recorded history.

There are those who are determined to read into the word of God what is not there. Here is the text of the Fourth Commandment of the Decaloge:

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD thy God .....For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it."

Notice we see from the commandment that God "made" in six days: 1.) Heaven, 2.) the Earth, and 3.) the Sea. Further note that the text also states that God made "all that is in them" in six days as well. There is no hint that God merely made the Sun, Moon, and Stars to "appear" from a fog or out of the darkness. Heaven and "all that is in" heaven was made in six days. Earth and "all that is in" the earth was made in six days. The Sea and "all that is in" the sea was made in six days. There is not ONE Bible text to indicate that there was a pre-existing material universe prior to the Creation account of six days of creation of Heaven, Earth, and the Sea and ALL that is in them.

Now let us look at the first five verses of the Genesis account:

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 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. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day."

There are two parts to this first creation day, the "Night" and the "Day". During the dark part of the first day, God created the heaven, the earth, and the "deep" or the sea. The Spirit of God was moving upon the surface of the sea and darkness was upon the face of the sea which covered the entire surface of the earth during this dark part of the first day. Then God speaks to create light which dispels the darkness of the "night" and the "day" portion of the first creation day begins. It is the creation of the "light" which begins the daylight portion of the first day.

Please notice that the first verse of Genesis states "In the beginning God created the heaven and earth...and...the deep (sea)....". Notice the identical order and wording of the Sabbath commandment. "In six days the Lord made heaven, and earth, the sea and all that in them is."

Some mistakenly wish to teach that the dark twelve hour portion of the first day was actually a period of millions or billions of years during which the earth and heaven and the sun, moon, and the stars were actually created. They teach that there is an enormous gap of time between where the text states "In the beginning...." and where the text states "...and God said, "Let there be light...". In other words, they teach that the first creation day does not actually begin until the text states, "and God said, Let there be light....".

This "gap" theory is the real "pure bunk" that some are attempting to cram into the meaning of the text. There is no "gap" in the text of the creation account between the "night" and the "day" of the first 24 hour day. This "gap" only exists in the minds of those who wish to vainly harmonize the secular teaching that the universe is twelve billion years old and came into existence as the result of the "big bang". The Bible simply does not teach this and any attempt to interpret the first five verses of Genesis to teach this is a vain imagination. Even many secular scientists are abandoning the "big bang" theory.

The Bible teaches that the angels were present at the creation of the world and therefore did indeed exist prior to the creation account of Genesis. Very little is said about the fall of Lucifer and the angels which joined him in his rebellion. We know that because Satan was in the garden of Eden that his fall occurred prior to the Genesis creation.

It is a common tactic of the evolutionists to attack the mental powers and sanity and reasoning powers of those who accept the Bible as it reads. I would like to see their "scientific" explanation for the other miracles in the Bible such as the account of Jonah, Elijah, and Christ. How did Peter walk on water? How did Elijah call fire down from heaven? How did Jonah live in the belly of a fish for three days? "How, how, how, how can these things be?", said doubting Nicodemus and doubting Thomas. The answer is simple. God is above natural law and Nature is subject to His will and word.

The simple straight forward Biblical view of cosmology is very transparent as chronologically follows:

1.) Sometime before the creation of the material universe which is defined in Genesis as Heaven (not just the atmosphere of earth but including the Sun, Moon, and stars), and Earth, and the Sea, there was a rebellion of one third of the angelic spirits lead by Lucifer who became Satan.

2.) God created the material universe in six literal days and rested on the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a memorial to the creation of the entire universe.

3.) A very short time after the creation week, Satan induced the Adam and Eve to rebel also, resulting in the entrance of sin, and suffering, and death.

4.) Within 2,000 years, mankind had become so hardened in sin that God destroyed the world by a world-wide flood, but by His unmerited grace saved Noah, his wife, three sons, and their wives, and the animals which went into the Ark.

5.) Approximately 4,000 years from the Fall, our Lord Jesus Christ came into the world as the Savior of the human family for all repentant sinners who believe in His sinless life and atoning death and resurrection from the dead for the forgiveness of their sins.

6.) The believing community, called the Church, is awaiting the return of our Lord Jesus Christ who will save His people in His kingdom which will come on Earth when He re-creates a new Heaven and Earth without sin and rebellion.

This is the obvious cosmology of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Some like to compare this cosmology to the false medieval belief that the earth was flat and that the Sun revolved around the Earth, but this comparison is a false comparison which is designed to destroy faith in the clear Biblical cosmology.

The secular scientific community overlooks and refuses to accept one important event which occurred simultaneously with the fall of Man. Entropy entered the universe. It is in the area of entropy and its implications where one can find the answer to the apparent old age of the galaxies and stars. When God cursed the "ground" as the result of sin, this curse extended to all of the laws of physics and biology. "Work", was now required to accomplish all of Man's goals and aspirations. This newly required input of more energy to produce and enable mechanical and chemical and biological mechanisms extended even unto the realm of nuclear physics and the properties of the atom and electromagnetic energy. The entire creation groans in travail awaiting the restoration of all things new. There will no longer be the pale of darkness which has settled over the entire universe as the result of sin.

Angels do not have physical, material bodies. Our Lord Jesus Christ did not have a physical body until His incarnation when He came into the world as a human being. The Heaven which was created during the creation week consisted of the galaxies, stars, and the earth's solar system. Obviously the place where God and the angel's "dwell" was not created during the six days of creation. The apostle Paul does mention being caught up to the "seventh heaven" and where he was shown things that no human had ever seen. This seems to indicate that the realm of God and the angels is not a part of the physical creation but rather is a purely spiritual realm which we know next to nothing about and of which the Bible says very little. This is NOT to say that there is no physical place called the Sanctuary in the universe where now Christ our incarnate High Priest sits upon His throne ruling the universe. The 24 elders who observe the proceedings of the Sanctuary are of those who were raised from the dead at the resurrection of Christ. They have a glorified resurrection body as does our Lord. They dwell in a physical place in heaven called the Sanctuary. This is all that can really be said of the place where God the Father dwells and where Christ now is set down in His throne. This explanation is not "off the wall". This is the clear teaching of the Bible.

The statement of our Lord to Nicodemus regarding the spiritual nature of "heaven" is hinting at the fact that there are aspects of God's kingdom which are beyond the physical material universe in which we dwell. Only Christ who came from this realm could reveal the true nature of this realm.

"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."

Who are the 24 Elders in Revelation? Under the terms of the Levitical Covenant in ancient Israel, the King or High Priest as judge and his Elders as witnesses would hear and decide the cases of all who were indicted for sins and wrong doing as violators of the terms of the theocratic covenant. These "elders" in Revelation are representatives from the twelve tribes of spiritual Israel, two representatives from each tribe. They witness the judgment of the world as all either respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and receive the verdict of "life" or reject the Gospel and receive the verdict of "death". As Paul in Romans 1 states "He who is justified by faith shall 'live'." And Peter could say that the "judgment must begin at the house of God" at Pentecost and then go to all the world in judgment. Christ is now set down in His throne in judgment since His enthronement at Pentecost and His witnesses to the judgment scene are the 24 elders who are earthly witnesses to the judgment. As they behold the justice of God, they proclaim the justice of God's verdict upon the world and worship and give thanks and praise to Christ for His mercy and justice.

Here are just a few of the texts which show who the Elders of the sanctuary are. Notice that Moses and the Elders sit down and have a covenantal meal with God Himself. This meal prefigured the covenantal meal of the New Covenant, the Lord's Supper which Christians celebrate in commemoration of the sacrifice of our Lord for our sins:

Exodus 24: 1 "And he said unto Moses, Come up unto Jehovah, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off: 2 and Moses alone shall come near unto Jehovah; but they shall not come near; neither shall the people go up with him. 3 And Moses came and told the people all the words of Jehovah, and all the ordinances: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which Jehovah hath spoken will we do. 4 And Moses wrote all the words of Jehovah, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the mount, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. 5 And he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt-offerings, and sacrificed peace-offerings of oxen unto Jehovah. 6 And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. 7 And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that Jehovah hath spoken will we do, and be obedient. 8 And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which Jehovah hath made with you concerning all these words. 9 Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the ELDERS of Israel. 10 And they saw the God of Israel; and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and as it were the very heaven for clearness. 11 And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: and they beheld God, and did eat and drink. 12 And Jehovah said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee the tables of stone, and the law and the commandment, which I have written, that thou mayest teach them. 13 And Moses rose up, and Joshua his minister: and Moses went up into the mount of God. 14 And he said unto the ELDERS...."

"And if the whole congregation of Israel err, and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done any of the things which Jehovah hath commanded not to be done, and are guilty; 14 when the sin wherein they have sinned is known, then the assembly shall offer a young bullock for a sin-offering, and bring it before the tent of meeting. 15 And the ELDERS of the congregation shall lay their hands upon the head of the bullock before Jehovah; and the bullock shall be killed before Jehovah. 16 And the anointed priest shall bring of the blood of the bullock to the tent of meeting: 17 and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before Jehovah, before the veil. 18 And he shall put of the blood upon the horns of the altar which is before Jehovah, that is in the tent of meeting; and all the blood shall he pour out at the base of the altar of burnt-offering, which is at the door of the tent of meeting. 19 And all the fat thereof shall he take off from it, and burn it upon the altar. 20 Thus shall he do with the bullock; as he did with the bullock of the sin-offering, so shall he do with this; and the priest shall make atonement for them, and they shall be forgiven. 21 And he shall carry forth the bullock without the camp, and burn it as he burned the first bullock: it is the sin-offering for the assembly."

Leviticus 8 "And at the door of the tent of meeting shall ye abide day and night seven days, and keep the charge of Jehovah, that ye die not: for so I am commanded. 36 And Aaron and his sons did all the things which Jehovah commanded by Moses. 9:1 And it came to pass on the eighth day, that Moses called Aaron and his sons, and the ELDERS of Israel; 2 and he said unto Aaron, Take thee a calf of the herd for a sin-offering, and a ram for a burnt-offering, without blemish...."

Numbers 11 "24 And Moses went out, and told the people the words of Jehovah: and he gathered seventy men of the ELDERS of the people, and set them round about the Tent. 25 And Jehovah came down in the cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and put it upon the seventy ELDERS: and it came to pass, that, when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied..."

"And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of Jehovah standing between earth and heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the ELDERS, clothed in sackcloth, fell upon their faces. 17 And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done very wickedly...."

Ron, the "sons of God" who presented themselves before God in the Book of Job are not "other Adams" from other "worlds". These are angels who are called the "morning stars". Satan came into this assembly as the representative from the earth to complain unto God regarding Job. Even Satan is called a "morning star" in Isaiah:

"How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, that didst lay low the nations! And thou saidst in thy heart, I will ascend into heaven,..."

"How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning ! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! {O Lucifer: or, O day star} 13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven....."

All this discussion is very interesting, BUT the bottom line is that one can only learn the age of the universe by reading the word of the God who created the universe. If one were able to go back and to look at the newly created earth after the first week, one would see Adam and all the life forms and the earth itself as fully mature and fully functioning and one would be inclined to say that this creation is "obviously" many years old and NOT recently created. However, Adam was created as a MATURE fully developed human being. The entire universe was created as a MATURE functioning universe eventhough it was only one day old and freshly brought into existence by the Creator's hand. The ONLY way to know the age of the universe and the human family is to read the account in the Bible and learn that the universe, Man, and all the other life forms are only 6,000 years old. Genesis 1-11 clearly state the ages of the patriarchs. Their life spans are clearly given and tell us that the age of the earth from the creation to the present is very young and not millions or billions of years.

Some wish to ascribe a long period of time from the creation of Adam to the Fall. But the first of many children born to Adam and Eve were Cain and Abel. The Genesis account gives no indication that Adam and Eve waited thousands of years before having children. The narrative flows quickly from the creation of the universe in six days to the Fall and the entrance of sin and death. All attempts to understand the speed of light and the distances to the stars to "prove" an ancient universe are futile due to the fact that the universe and the world were created mature and fully functioning.

Compromises with the Biblical account always lead to a forsaking of the high view of scripture and lead to the adoption of theistic evolution and humanism in one way or another. Nearly all of my Christian friends from college who adopted the ancient view of the universe and the world have forsaken faith in Christ as the Savior of the world who died for our sins upon the cross of Calvary. They eventually became full blown humanists and reject evangelical Christianity. Unfortunately only time will tell where those people who are now advocating billions of years for the age of the universe will eventually end up in 10 or 15 years from now. As I have stated, most who adopt this view eventually end up forsaking the Bible altogether as a truthful record of creation and the plan of salvation.

Every Christian denomination has and still is going through this upheaval with the sad results that are evident in all of the once Christian universities where now humanism is the prevailing philosophy. It is not humanism which will take the gospel to all the world. It will be the humble Bible believing Christians who will invite all the world to come out of Babylon and live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God who will receive the seal of God's approval and rest in God's true Sabbath rest. Biblical creationism and the Gospel of Jesus Christ go hand in hand. To forsake one is to eventually forsake the other. The Sabbath will be an outward sign of faith in Christ as our Creator and also as our atoning sacrifice for our sins.




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