Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Were the six days of creation geologic ages or literal 24-hour days?

     The day-age theory, espoused by progressive creationists and theistic evolutionists, alleges that each day of the creation account in Genesis 1 represents geologic ages (millions of years) instead of ordinary 24-hour days. Here are six simple reasons to reject this theory in favor of a more straightforward understanding of the text.
1. Whenever the Hebrew word yom (“day”) is preceded by a numeral, it always refers to a solar (24-hour) day (Gen. 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31; cf. Num. 13:25; 14:33-34; Ex. 20:9-11).
2. The phrase, “So the evening and the morning were the first day” (Gen. 1:5), is used over 100 times in the OT and always refers to a 24-hour day.
3. If “day” in this context refers to geologic ages, then each “day” would be millions of years of continuous darkness followed by millions of years of continuous light.
4. Adam lived through the sixth and seventh days (Gen. 1:26-2:3), but he did not live for geologic ages (Gen. 5:5).
5. The Jews were commanded to work six days and rest one day each week because this was the pattern of creation recorded in the Genesis account (Ex. 20:8-11).
6. If God had wanted to describe creation in six literal 24-hour days, how could he have stated it any clearer?
--Kevin L. Moore

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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

What is meant by Christ coming “with all his saints”?

     We read in 1 Thess. 3:13, “so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints” (NKJV). Then Jude 14 states, “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints.’”
     Since the Lord is to come for his saints, not with his saints (1 Thess. 4:16-18), this apparent discrepancy needs further clarification. The Greek word hagioi, rendered “saints” in some translations, actually means “holy ones.” Who are the “holy ones” who will accompany the Lord at his second coming? The Bible gives a clear answer: “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy [hagioi] angels with Him …” (Matt. 25:31). The “holy ones” who will accompany Jesus at his return are holy angels (cf. Matt. 13:39; 2 Thess. 1:7), not the living and resurrected faithful who will meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess. 4:16-17).
--Kevin L. Moore

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Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Isaiah's “New Heavens and a New Earth”

     Are the “new heavens and a new earth” of Isaiah 65:17 and 66:22 the same as the “new heavens and a new earth” in 2 Peter 3:13 and Revelation 21:1? No. A major problem among many interpreters of OT prophecies is the failure to consider the immediate historical context, the common use of symbolism, the subsequent dispensation in God’s overall scheme, and NT information showing the fulfillment of these prophecies.
     Isaiah’s prophetic ministry covered the period between 740 and 698 BC, during which time Assyria rose to power and conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel. While much of Isaiah’s message warned of impending doom, particularly against Judah and Jerusalem, it was also a message of hope including a number of messianic prophecies (2:2-4; 7:14; 9:6-7; 11:1-16; 42:1f f.; 53:1 ff.; et al.). All of these prophecies were fulfilled over 1900 years ago when Christ came to earth, suffered on Golgotha, and set up his spiritual kingdom (the church).
    The expression “new heavens and a new earth” was a figure Isaiah employed to symbolize the new spiritual and moral arrangement to be set up by the Messiah some 700 years after these words were penned. Paul writes concerning this new order: “that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth — in Him” (Eph. 1:10 NKVJ). Again he writes: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17). Isaiah foretold that this new spiritual arrangement would center on “Jerusalem” (65:18-19; cf. 2:3). Not only did the church begin in Jerusalem (Luke 24:47), but the church is figuratively described as “the heavenly Jerusalem” (Heb. 12:22-23). Other symbols Isaiah used illustrated that one’s spiritual stature, in this new system, would no longer be assessed by length of days (cf. Matt. 11:11; 18:1-6; 20:1-16), and there would be spiritual security under God’s providence (Isa. 65: 20-24). While many are tempted to take Isa. 65:25 literally and envision animals among the inhabitants of God’s kingdom, remember that the same symbolism is used in 11:6-9 in a context which clearly portrays the initial coming of the Lord (cf. 11:1, 10; Rom. 15:12). The idea conveyed is that under the Messiah’s reign the “animal nature” of man is to be transformed (Rom. 8:5-10; 2 Cor. 5:17) and one-time enemies will be at peace (Eph. 2:13-17).
     To remove these prophecies from their historical context and attempt to directly apply them to a time yet in the future is to completely skip over the wonderful workings of God in the 1st century AD as he set up the new spiritual arrangement under Christ. Peter and John, living in this new Christian system as citizens of God’s spiritual kingdom (Matt. 16:19; Rev. 1:9), simply borrowed the figures used by Isaiah to symbolically describe the next arrangement in God’s scheme (2 Peter 3:13; Rev. 21:1), namely the future heavenly realm [see previous post <Link>].
--Kevin L. Moore

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