THE GOOD NEWS MINISTRY AND MISSIONS OUTREACH PROCLAIMING THE SOON RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST!
REVEALING THE EARTH'S "FINAL GENERATION"
Standing On The Edge of Eternity!
--The Last Days On Planet Earth--
With out a doubt, one of the most significant Prophecies of the Bible is the Prophecy of "The Final Generation."
The Bible clearly tells us about that one generation, the generation that will be alive at the end of this age, would be the "Final Generation." that would be "Standing on The Edge of Eternity" - The last Generation of this age. The "Terminal Generation" if you like.
"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." (Matthew 24:32-35)
Jesus was sharing a important key prophetic understanding, the parable of the fig tree. And it has inflamed the hearts of a whole generation. You see Jesus said that this generation, would be the "Final Generation." That "This generation", would not or "shall not pass" away (die off, be Raptured or Caught Up) until "all These Things be fulfilled".
Paul Explained what would happen to the True Christian Believers of this Final Generation: "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep (die) , but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead (In Christ) shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." (1Cor:15:50-51)
See why you will probably be part of "The Final Generation" that will not die off , but rather be translated and transformed into "new and glorious bodies" at The Rapture - to then live under the rulership of Christ and His glorious Kingdom on earth forever and ever.
The generation that saw the budding of the fig tree. The Generation that saw the fig tree putting forth it's leaves its branch tender, Jesus said when you see a tree come back to life, as all the trees do out of the dead of winter, it begins to sprout and become green and burst forth it seemed to be dead but it returns to life.
Jesus said "that when you see this happen you know that summer is nigh so to when you see the budding of the fig tree know this that My coming is nigh even at the very door. and the generation that sees the budding of the fig tree shall not pass away till all these things be fulfilled." That is until the Lord returns.
The Budding of The Fig Tree!
The next obvious question is: What is the budding of the fig tree? If the generation that sees this budding is the "Final Generation" the last generation of this current age, then pray tell what is this budding?
Well scripture interprets scripture and the prophets in the old testament, (Jeremiah 24, Joel chapter 1, Hosea chapter 9, Micah 4), amongst a host of others, identifies the "Fig Tree" for us as the "Nation Israel."
The Fig Tree is the Biblical Emblem or symbol of the nation Israel nationally. When Jesus was coming into the city, He saw a fig tree that had lots of leaves but no fruit and he cursed it and it dried up and we can explained how that was symbolic of His going into Jerusalem the capital city of the nation. How they had lots of leaves the Jewish people did, lots of leaves the nation Israel had, but no real fruit. (Luke 13:1-9)
They had religiosity but no real relationship with God. So Jesus cursed that fig tree and spoke of the curse that was about to come upon the nation Israel, how they would go through terrible times.
The Nation Israel still looks at the fig tree as a national emblem or symbol. Canada has the beaver and maple leaf, America has the eagle, Britain has the lion, the Russians have their bear and Israel has the fig tree, as an emblem of their country.
Israel The Fig Tree!
Ancient Evidence that the Fig Tree is an emblem or symbol of Israel: Apocalypse of Peter (Ethiopic edition)
The Apocalypse of Peter is a non-canonical manuscript from approximately A.D. 120 that it is an early Christian commentary on Jesus famous prophecy given to His disciples on the Mount of Olives regarding the signs to His return in the last days. This remarkable manuscript documents the understanding of the early post-apostolic Church that Jesus's famous prophetic parable about the budding of the fig tree was widely distributed, taught and understood by the Jewish Christians to be a clear prophecy of the rebirth of the nation Israel in the last days prior to Christ's return. Although the numerous historical references to the ancient manuscript attest to The Apocalypse of Pete as having once been in wide circulation, the Apocalypse of Peter was ultimately not accepted into the Christian canon.
I. And when he was seated on the Mount of Olives, his own came unto him, and we entreated and implored him severally and besought him, saying unto him, "Make known unto us what are the signs of thy Parousia (return)and of the end of the world, that we may perceive and mark the time of thy Parousia (return) and instruct those who come after us, to whom we preach the word of thy Gospel and whom we install in thy Church, in order that they, when they hear it, may take heed to themselves that they mark the time of thy coming." And our Lord answered and said unto us, "Take heed that men deceive you not and that ye do not become doubters and serve other gods. Many will come in my name saying 'I am Christ'. Believe them not and draw not near unto them. For the coming of the Son of God will not be manifest, but like the lightning which shineth from the east to the west, so shall I come on the clouds of heaven with a great host in my glory, with my cross going before my face will I come in my glory, shining seven times as bright as the sun will I come in my glory, with all my saints, my angels, when my Father will place a crown upon my head, that I may judge the living and the dead" and recompense every man according to his work.
2. And ye, receive ye the Parable of the fig-tree thereon: as soon as its shoots have gone forth and its boughs have sprouted, the end of the world will come." And I, Peter, answered and said unto him, "Explain to me concerning the fig-tree, [and] how we shall perceive it, for throughout all its days does the fig-tree sprout and every year it brings forth its fruit [and] for its master. What (then) meaneth the parable of the fig-tree? We know it not." And the Master answered and said unto me, "Dost thou not understand that the fig-tree is the house of Israel.? Even as a man hath planted a fig-tree in his garden and it brought forth no fruit, and he sought its fruit for many years. When he found it not, he said to the keeper of his garden, 'Uproot the fig-tree that our land may not be unfruitful for us.' And the gardener said to God, 'We thy servants wish to clear it (of weeds) and to dig' the ground around it and to water it. If it does not then bear fruit, we will immediately remove its roots from the garden and plant another one in its place.' (Ref: Luke 13)
3. Hast thou not grasped that the fig-tree is the house of Israel? Verily, 1 say to you that when its boughs have sprouted at the end (times), then shall deceiving Christs come, and awaken hope (with the words): 'I am the Christ, who am (now) come into the world.' And when they shall see the wickedness of their deeds (even of the false Christs), they shall turn away after them and deny him to whom our fathers gave praise, the first Christ whom they crucified and thereby sinned exceedingly. But this deceiver is not the Christ. And when they reject him, he will kill with the sword (weapons) and there shall be many martyrs. Then shall the boughs of the fig-tree, i.e. the house of Israel, sprout, and there shall be many martyrs by his hand: they shall be killed and become martyrs. Enoch and Elias will be sent to instruct them that this is the deceiver who must come into the world and do signs and wonders in order to deceive. And therefore shall they that are slain by his hand be martyrs and shall be reckoned among the good and righteous martyrs who have pleased God in their life." (Apocalypse Of Peter)
What Jesus is saying here is profound. In talking to his disciples about the "End Times" He says listen, learn a parable. Think this through! My Father Planted His "Fig Tree" [Israel] in the garden, but it produced no fruit. I sought it's fruit for three years (The length of Jesus's Ministry) and there was none. (Luke 13:1-9) Therefore it was cursed, to wither and dry up, until the Time of The End, when it shall once again be revived and spring back to life. The generation which sees the budding of the "fig tree", a tree that seemed to be dead, lifeless, but suddenly springs back to life as all the trees do in spring time, will be the "Final Generation". (Matthew 24:32-35)
You see Israel, for centuries seemed to be a dead tree.
In the year AD. 70 and concerning this nation of Israel, it seemed as though they were dead. For in the year AD 70 the Romans came down into Jerusalem, destroyed the city, and took over the country. And the people the Israelites, the Jews, were scattered through out the whole world. they had no homeland any longer.
The name Israel was changed to Palestine by the Romans, which means land of the Philistines. They wanted to eradicate even the memory of Israel. "Governed by God" is what Israel means literally. The Romans said that from now on this land will be called Philistia or Palestine the land of the Philistines, and the Jews, were scattered everywhere.
This is not surprising. For you see in (Deuteronomy 28), centuries earlier and fifteen hundred years before the actual event took place, God spoke prophetically about Israel.
God said this in Deuteronomy:
"And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other;...... And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see." (Deuteronomy 28:64-67)
In other words, God Says my people are going to be scattered through out all the nations of the world.
God spoke prophetically back in (Deuteronomy 28), about misery and sorrow, persecution and problems. But wait! God not only prophesied that they would be scattered through out the world but He also prophesied that a miracle would take place.
I will regather My people says the Lord.
In (Jeremiah 23) God said this concerning the "Last Days". " I will gather the remnant of my people out of all the countries whither I have driven them and will bring them again to their folds and they shall be fruitful and increase and I will set up shepherds over them therefore behold the day shall come, saith the Lord that they shall no more say the Lord lives that brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt but they shall say the Lord Lives. which brought up and led the seed of Israel out of the north country and out of every country wither I had driven them and then they shall dwell in their own land."
Check it out, (Deuteronomy 28:64-67), God said you are going to be scattered amongst all the nations of the world.
But then Jeremiah comes on the scene and says but wait, that in the "Last Days" He's going to regather you again and bring you back to the land out of every country including the north country which is Russia. There shall be a mass immigration, an Exodus, and I will bring you back into your land once again.
When the Jews were scattered something happened historically that never happened previously in world history. Now without a homeland and with no place to hang their hat, no place to call their home, the Jewish people kept their identity, their language, their religion, their ethnic flavorings. They kept intact as a nation, as a people with out a homeland for almost 2000 years
They retained their identity, no other nation in the history of the world has ever done that. Every other nation in world history, once they loose their homeland, within two generations they are lost, that is they're swallowed up by other countries. They are assimilated into other cultures. Do you ever hear of Babylonians today. Any of you have neighbors that are Assyrians? It doesn't work that way. Once a nation looses their homeland within two generations they loose their identity.
But the Jews and only the Jews, as the Bible prophesied, kept their identity not for two generations but for two thousand years. Wave after wave of persecution, tremendous prejudice and bigotry. Satan trying to destroy them climaxing in Auschwitz and Treblinka in the holocaust.
Adolf Hitler, inspired by the devil himself attempted to annihilate the Jewish people in their entirety. But Satan's plans always backfire, and all that happened was that world sympathy for the first and only time turned towards the Jewish people after World War 11 after the holocaust and they said these people deserve a land of their own. They've lost 6 million in the ovens of Auschwitz and Treblinka and other concentration camps. The world said give them a land.
The Rebirth of Israel
On May 14th 1948, something happened that never happened in world history, before or since, a nation was reborn.
May 14th 1948 Israel became a nation once more with a homeland. The fig tree blossomed. The fig tree that appeared to be dead, dry, withered and hopeless, suddenly springs back to life, putting forth branches, sprouting leaves, blossoming, producing fruit, and putting down deep roots. The fig tree blossomed. Just like Jesus said would happen. Just like Bible teachers for centuries had been predicting and teaching must happen. Israel must be born again if you would, nationally, and it happened in 1948.
That's the budding of the fig tree. Now what does this mean?
The generation that sees this budding is the "Final Generation". Which generation is that?
-------Its us! -----That is our generation. We are that "Final Generation" We are the generation that is seeing the fig tree bud.
That's what the excitement was and still is. The generation that saw the miracle of the budding of the fig tree take place. Jesus said that this generation would be the "Final Generation" and that: " My coming is nigh even at the very door."
No man knows the day or the hour but of the times and the seasons Paul says you should not be ignorant. You should know the seasons. what season? The season when the fig tree blossoms. What does it mean?
Its The "Final Generation".
The Year 2000 - Beginning of The End - A Major Prophetic Turning Point.
We are approaching a most interesting time historically and prophetically as far as God's calendar goes. The year 2000, has been for centuries, from the earliest church fathers Irenaeus, Lucadaeus, and a number of other men who were writing back in the year 150 AD. These men were pointing to, this time, the year 2000 AD, as being the start of a cataclysmic time prophetically, an important time, why? Think carefully about this.
Scoffers a Sign of the Last days
Lets turn to (2 Peter) Peter has something intriguing to say about the "last days", and about God's time calendar that's being used. Peter says this: in (2 Peter 3:3) "Knowing this first that there shall come in the last days, scoffers, walking after their own lusts, their own desires, and they shall say where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers have fallen asleep (died) all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation"
Then they (scoffers) shall say. We've heard about the promise of His coming. We've heard the rap on the Rapture. All things continue on as they were before, just like they always have and always will. Peter says hey! That is an indication that you are living in the last days. When people start to say ahh! we've heard all this before and they start scoffing. Right then that is a sign of the "Last Days".
Who are these scoffers?
Well they certainly are not all unbelievers. Unbelievers don't believe in Jesus any way. So why should they scoff? Some do, but for the most part they are completely disinterested. Unfortunately and another major prophetic sign of the "Last Days", is the fact that these scoffers are mainly members of the Christian Church, professing Christians that have cooled off, become Laodicean - "Backslidden", and are now complaining.
Where is the signs of His coming? Where is He? We don't believe He's coming back at all. Maybe we have been conned. Maybe its time to get out of this Christian stuff any way and move on to something else. This is another major prophetic sign. The abandoning of the True Church. Jesus said that in the "Last Days" many shall cool off and abandon the True faith. That there would be a falling away of believers. " Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils..." (1Tim:4:1)
Behold I come Quickly!
Now he goes on to say, in (2 Peter 3:8) "but beloved, be not ignorant, of this one thing that one day is with the Lord as is a thousand years, and a thousand years, is as one day". Where is the promise of His coming? Didn't He say "behold I come quickly" in the book of Revelation? And that was two thousand years ago. Hey! He's not coming!
Listen, He is coming quickly, when you look at it from His perspective. A day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as a day. Therefore, the Lord has only been gone for two days. To us its been two thousand years, but for Him its only been "two days."
Jesus says "Behold I come quickly", a couple of days defines quickly I would think. A quick return. But what intrigues us here is this idea that from the Lord's perspective, that a thousand years is as a day, and a day is as a thousand years.
So what we have learned? One thousand years of earth's time is only one day of God's time. That's simple enough to understand. God's prophetic word at its simplest. One of God's days = 1000 years of earth time.
Adam's One Day.
This answers a question, for us that we all have often had. Well now Lord, you told Adam that if he ate of that forbidden fruit, that tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that in that day thou shalt surely die. But Adam lived to be 938 years old. What does that mean? Well from God's perspective, a day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as a day. So Adam died, within that day, towards the end of that day, within one day, you see. Because from the Lord's perspective, a thousand years of earth time is equal to one day of God's time.
So God kept His promise perfectly. In fact, He let Adam go out towards the very end of that day. But Adam didn't extend himself beyond that day. When we begin to think this through, the ramifications are many. For the early church fathers taught, and I believe it to be true. That the account in Genesis of creation, that is the seven days, is not only history but is also prophecy. That this world is destined for seven thousand years or seven days, and that's all. On the seventh day of creation, God rested.
Entering God's Millennium
We know from the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and a host of others, that in the seven thousandth year, if you would, is going to come a day, a thousand year period of time, called the millennium. When there is rest and peace. When the wolf lies down by the lamb. When weeds don't spring up. When disease doesn't break out. When wars don't exist any more. When men study war no more. Every man shall abide under his own vine. He starts to make things right. He brings all remnant peoples and nations under His control. He sets up God's government here on Earth, where He will rule all nations. He (Christ) and those of us who return with Him start to clean up the earth. He starts to bring God's government into effect. He rules with a rod of iron. Then righteousness shall prevail. When does that happen?
In the Millennium, which is that one thousand year period, that one day, The day of the lord. The old testament calls it. "the day of the lord". When He rules and reigns on this planet.
You see Jesus comes for us during the rapture and take us to heaven for one Shabua or week of seven years. [Shabua = week of seven years].
"In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." (John:14:2-3)
"The Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (I Thessalonians 4:16-17).
We get to know Him intimately. We are rewarded by Him, for our stewardship and ministries. Then He comes back down to earth, permanently. We come with Him, and the kingdom is established, for a thousand years. At the end of that thousand years, this world as we know it is destroyed by fire. The planet itself is not destroyed only the works of man and Satan here on the earth are completely removed and burned up the Bible says. And a new world is made. This old world passes away. God renews the earth - rejuvenates it - He puts in place a new set of blueprints. He rebuilds the earth to His specifications. A new heaven* (referring to the atmosphere) and a new earth (referring to the surface). That has never been tainted by sin, at all. It going to be exciting. Its going to be wonderful. But that seventh day you see, is going to be the millennium. That one thousand year period. What does this mean?
* -[our forefathers had no real word to describe the atmosphere - it was often referred to as the first heaven - the area directly above the earth's surface]
Well, where does the week [Shabua, or week of seven years] start?
In the year 1670, a brilliant thinker, and great theologian, named Arch Bishop Usher, did some calculations that have with-stood computer confirmation. By taking the genealogies of the Bible and particularly the genealogies of Genesis, if you add up the years of the genealogies which are given, very carefully, very laboriously. You come back to the year 4004 BC. When Adam appeared on the scene around 4004 BC. or approximately 6000 years ago, as we approach the year 2000 AD. Are you with me? 4004 BC!
You say wait a minute, you didn't go to school dude! We thought you read a little bit. We know the earth is billions of years old. That men have been on the earth for multiple millions of years. What are you giving me this rap that the first man "Adam" appeared in 4004 BC or 6000 years ago. Listen, science, is not at all committed to an ancient earth theory any longer.
A very interesting article by Dr. Stewart Ross Taylor, a brilliant astronomer, and thinker - not a Christian, not a Bible believer. Dr. Stewart Ross Taylor, wrote a book called: " Lunar Science - A Post Apollo View"
You recall Apollo, the first manned flight to the moon about 30 years ago or so. Do you recall or remember that? When the Lunar Module landed on the moon it had these huge legs. Four huge legs that were attached to the lunar module. These legs were twenty five feet in length with big round bottoms or cushioning Pads. Then the astronauts stepped down, and said "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind". Did you ever think why is it that they had to climb down that far to make that statement? What is going on?
Did you know in their calculations that the scientists were absolutely convinced, believing the moon was 4.6 billion years old and knowing from already previous satellite studies, on the accumulation of meteorite dust. That there would be on the moon, because the moon being 4.6 billion years old, and realizing the rate of meteor dust that is accumulating in the atmosphere of the Earth. That on the moon there would be at least 2000 feet of accumulated lunar meteorite dust all over the surface. So these legs with these big cushion pads were built. So that it might settle into the dust and not sink all the way down. That it would compact the dust as it settled. Then they were hoping that it would not sink indefinitely into this sea of dust, this accumulated dust.
I mean if you didn't dust your house for 4.6 billion years, what would you house look like 4.6 billion years later? The scientists were very very surprised indeed. They discovered that the lunar module set down with out going down a bit. In fact, the greatest depth of lunar dust that was measured thus far on the moon was only two inches. Now that presents a problem.
If there is only two inches of lunar dust - and they said the moon is 4.6 billion years old, something is not right here. So a number of scientists are now saying, including Dr Stewart Ross Taylor, that the moon can be no more than 10,000 years old maximum!
These are not Christians trying to talk science into something. They are scientists that are dealing honestly with the data. They are now saying, that is a group of lunar scientists and astronomers, that the moon is no longer 4.6 billion years old. That it has to be only 10,000 years old or less.
There is all kinds of scientific debate going on in scientific circles about the dating of the earth. Carbon dating is very questionable and its circular in reasoning. They are now saying that the earth does not necessarily have to be the billions of years old that some scientists have been persuasively doctrinating our culture into thinking.
Do you know that recently, scientists took samples of the lava that came from Mount Saint Helens, the Volcano that erupted only twenty years ago, That they took these lava samples and subjected them to scientific dating. The results startled them, that is the scientists, these lava samples when subjected to scientific dating, came out to be thousands and thousands of years old, but in reality were only twenty years old! The world's scientists were shocked, now they are reconsidering the accuracy of scientific dating. They are now saying that this world is not as old as they once thought. Scientific dating is misleading and not a very accurate barometer of how old the earth is in reality. Shocking and eye opening - it puts a whole new perspective in place as to just how old the earth really is. It is not as old as they previously thought. [Rep: http://www.icr.org/research/sa/sa-r01.htm ]
But let me say this. Even if you opt for an ancient earth theory that shouldn't bother anyone a bit. I still believe that the genealogies of Genesis take you back to 4004 BC or 6000 years ago.
The Original Creation - *See note at bottom of Page
Because you see, in (Genesis 1) - "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." (Period). This was a done deal. It was completed and finished. Then the second verse (Genesis 2) says "And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep...". So how did we get from a completed creation of heaven and earth and end up with a earth that was now without form and void?
The Hebrew words for "without form" and "void" is "tohuw" and "bohuw" without form and void "tohuw" and "bohuw". It means chaotic. It means totally turned upside down in a state of total confusion, empty and wasted. God created the heavens and the earth. Then next thing we know the earth is without form and void. It ended up in a state of chaos and total confusion. So what happened? - Well we turn to Isaiah for the answer.
In the book of (Isaiah 45:18) "For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: ...."
Now we've got a problem. (Genesis 1) says "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" The earth then became "tohuw" and "bohuw". Isaiah says when God created the earth it was not in vain. He did not make it "tohuw" and "bohuw". Contradiction? - No! solution. What is that solution? We can clearly see that some cataclysmic event took place between (Genesis verse 1 and Genesis verse 2). Between those two phrases a catastrophe took place.
Darkness falls upon the face of the earth
Then something cataclysmic occurred, a disaster of tremendous proportion came upon the earth.
For (Genesis 2) tells us: "And the earth was (became) without form and void; and darkness was (now) upon the face of the deep."
Now we can clearly see that between the First creation; where God had already completed His making of heaven and earth, that all of a sudden, the Earth was now, "without form" (tohuw), and "Void" (bohuw) and was now in a state of, "darkness" (choshek).
The Hebrew words for "without form", and "Void" from the original Hebrew text of Genesis is: "tohuw" and "bohuw". and the word for "darkness" is "choshek".
The Hebrew word for "without form", is "tohuw" which means, "to lie in waste and desolation, to be in a state of confusion, and chaos, without inhabitable form".
The Hebrew word, for "void" is "bohuw" which means, "to become empty, desolate, in indistinguishable ruin, and void".
The Hebrew word for, "darkness" is "choshek" which means to be in a state of, "misery, destruction, death, sorrow, wickedness, obscurity and darkness".
The earth had become a place of chaos, and confusion, a shadow of its former glory and created magnificence.
We know that God is not the author of confusion or chaos.
"For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace...." (I Corinthians 14:33)
What was it that had happened to this original first creation of the earth? The earth had now become "without form" and "Void" and in "darkness".
It was obvious that God had not created the earth in such a terrible condition. Something terrible had happened to the earth after God had originally created it.
I believe it was then between those two verses of (Genesis 1 and Genesis 2), That the highest angel named Lucifer launched a rebellion against God. He was cast out of heaven, and down to the planet earth. Where Paul calls him the god of this earth. Where Jesus calls him the prince of this earth and as Satan came to the earth, this earth became "tohuw" and "bohuw" When Satan hit, this original creation got wiped out.
Then God pronounces His judgement against Lucifer now Satan for his rebellion and you can read about it for yourself in: (Jeremiah 4:23-36, Isaiah 24:1 and Isaiah 45:18) Where it clearly indicates that the earth had undergone a cataclysmic change as the result of a rebellion and divine judgement. The face of the earth bears everywhere the marks of such a catastrophe.
So if you present your relics and you wish to embrace that particular view point, you can present your bones and your fossils. We shouldn't have any problem with that. They were part of the first creation. So we can relegate the bones, the fossils and all the relics -to the first creation. That very first creation of (Genesis 1) That original creation that was totally damaged, subverted and perverted beyond recognition, by the rebellion of Satan and his demon hoards and then no conflict of science with the Genesis cosmogony remains. No conflict with science at all. Its no wonder that such bizarre creatures existed on this earth during this time of rebellion and judgement - all this happened within the confines of the first creation period.
The New Creation or Re-Creation
But the Bible teaches that something happened. And then God re-created the Earth and that is why God told Adam to replenish the earth the word there is "to do again" - to replenish. That's why God told Adam that he was to go and subdue the earth - subdue from who? - Subdue from Satan who had now set up his headquarters here on this earth. Adam here is your job. You are to subdue the earth. You are to replenish it, subdue it and recapture it. That is your assignment Adam, to recapture the earth. And of course we know what happened. Adam failed miserably. Then we know what happened next. God had to send His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to straighten out the problem as He is going to do eventually.
History And Prophecy
But wait! What does this mean? -I believe we really can look at this Genesis account, as not just being history, but of being prophecy, as well. Think about it - for 6 days God reformed the earth and created the progenitors of all its present life and then - the Sabbath - or rest - God rested on the seventh day. This began a weekly cycle in which man is to work for six days and rest every seventh or Sabbath day. (Exodus 20:9-11).
In Hebrews 4:3-11, the Apostle Paul explained that the seventh day Sabbath pictures the wonderful era of peace and rest that follows this current age of God's grace. The Apostle John was inspired to write that this coming era, beginning with Christ's return to set up His kingdom, will last 1,000 years (Rev. 20:1-4) - a time we simply call the Millennium.
As the seventh day represents a 1,000 year period in God's plan, it follows that the previous six days of the week also represent 1,000 year periods. The Apostle Paul brought our attention to this principle in discussing the anticipation of Christ's return: "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." (2 Peter 3:8)
God rested after 6 days of re-creation -Things were right - a 6000 year period - a day is as a thousand years - and a thousand years is as a day. Starting a 4004 BC, after 4 days or 4000 years - you are at or about the year 1 AD. The first coming of Jesus Christ. Then there are 2 more days or 2,000 years - from the time that Jesus came - until we come up to 2000 AD. Then we will come into that seventh day, that 1,000 year Millennial kingdom ruled by Christ in person! it will be wonderful.
The Year 2000 AD. Signaling The Time of The End.
Is there any indication Biblically that this would hold true?
We read in (Hosea 6:1-2) in speaking of God's working with the Jewish people He says this: " Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn us and he will heal us; he hath smitten us, and he will bind us up. After [two days] will he revive us: in the [third day] he will raise us up, and then we shall live in his sight.".
Speaking of the "End Times" here in (Hosea 6:1-2). For two days they are going to be torn. The Jewish people are going to go through hard, tearing difficult times. But on the third day - the day of resurrection - on the third day - that seventh millennium - that year that begins somewhere in and around or somewhere just after 2000 AD - on the third day - we will be revived. Israel shall be fully restored when Jesus rules and reigns from Jerusalem.
Then its the millennium. That one day - the seventh day, that one thousand year reign of Christ. When he sets up His Kingdom here on earth. It centers around Jesus who reigns in Jerusalem and Israel becomes the most important nation once again. Interesting - it maps out perfectly - 4004 BC. Then 4 days later, if a day is as a thousand years - Jesus comes to earth as a child grows up, is rejected and is killed. He rises again and returns to heaven. And for the next two days or two thousand years Israel, that is the Jews, suffer greatly until they are restored to the own land once again.
Israel is torn because they rejected Him at His first coming. We will not have this man rule over us. Thus Jesus told them that they would go through desolation and destruction because they rejected Him [speaking of the cursing of the fig tree].
For two days or two thousand years, they are going to be torn - and smitten - but on the third day - that day somewhere in and around or somewhere just after the year 2000 AD. And for the next thousand years - that millennium - that seventh period of time - they will be fully revived and indeed they will - this is thrilling.
This concept was well known amongst the Jews of the apostle Peter's day. About 200 years before Christ, Rabbi Elias wrote; "The world endures six thousand years: two thousand years before the law, two thousand years under the law, and two thousand years under Messiah's (grace) " Then the Millennium reign of the Messiah will begin. ("Millennium," Adama Books, 1986, p.263)
The famous secular historian, Edward Gibbon, wrote in his celebrated work, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire:
"The ancient and popular doctrine of the Millennium was intimately connected with the second coming of Christ. As the works of the creation had been finished in six days, their duration in their present state, according to a tradition which was attributed to the prophet Elijah, was fixed to six thousand years. By the same analogy it was inferred that this long period of labor and contention, which was now almost elapsed, would be succeeded by a joyful Sabbath of a thousand years; and that Christ, with the triumphant band of the saints and the elect who had escaped death, or who had been miraculously revived, would reign upon earth till the time appointed for the last and general resurrection" (Vol. 1, p. 403).
The encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion reports that the Tannaim - that is the rabbis' of Christ's day - based such an interpretation on Psalms 90, written by Moses: "for a thousand years in Your sight are as yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night" (v.4)
The Tannaim said: that as there were six days of creation, the world would last for 6,000 years. The seventh "world day" would be the 1,000 years of Messiah's rule (Sanhedrin 97a; Avodah Zarah 9a)
According to Edward Gibbon, the 7,000 year plan of God was "carefully inculcated" in the early church.
Some scoffers say that the 7,000 year plan of God is nothing but Jewish fables and mythology, but the Apostle Peter had something wonderful to say about the prophetic sayings of these Holy Men of God, these old time prophets: " For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2 Peter 1:16-21)
We are not alone in this interpretation - The "Church Father" Irenaeus in the year 150 AD. - wrote concerning the book of Genesis - "This is an account of things formally created as it is also a prophecy of things that are yet to come. For the day of the Lord is as a thousand years and in six days created things were completed; It is evident therefore, that they will come to an end at the end of six thousand years." - which is around or somewhere just after the year 2000 AD.
Lactantius said this he wrote in the year 300 AD. "Because all the works of God were finished in six days. It is necessary that the world should remain in this state that is for six thousand years. Because having finished works, He rested on the seventh day and blessed it. It is necessary then at the six thousandth year that wickedness should be abolished out of the earth. Then righteousness should then reign for a thousand years."
The writings of Rabbi Ketina - Hippotylus - Justin Martyr - Methodius- Victorinus and a host of others who were writing as early church fathers, who were saying wait - "As we study the scriptures - the year 2000 AD. holds tremendous significance - prophetically"
Lactantius - was arguing with Plato over the age of the earth - like many of us are still arguing today - and he says to Plato "But we whom the Holy scriptures instruct to the knowledge of truth know the beginning and end of the world respecting which we will now speak in the end of our work. Therefore let the philosophers who enumerate thousands of ages from the beginning of the world, know that the six thousandth year is not yet completed But when this number is completed, consummation, must take place." Interesting to me stimulating for me - what we are saying is:
The generation that sees the fig tree bud - is indeed the "Final Generation" This generation shall come to an end. The generation that saw the fig tree blossom. Jesus shall come. We are much closer then perhaps any of us are suspecting.
We are the "Final Generation" and of that we can be most certain. and by using God's divine calendar of a day being a thousand years and a thousand years being a day. Perhaps that year 2000 AD. does indeed hold tremendous significance and tremendous importance.
Our Current Calender- Just where are we in Time?
Due to the fact that the Jewish calender and our current Romanized calender and their predecessors were and are not very accurate and that they contain significant errors, We cannot determine exactly when the 2000 years of the Church Age started and when it will end. Our current Romanized calender could be out by as much as 12 years or more. The Jewish calender is purported to be out by 230 or so years because they left out the reign of certain kings or dynasties. We must therefore allow for human errors and discrepancies.
Side Bar: Mythical Mayan Calendar Revelations!
An interesting side-line to the year 2000 as a major turning point in Eschatological- Prophetical studies is the Fact that for years now, major scientists, astronomers and mathematicians have considered the fact that the Ancient Mayan civilization have the most accurate calendar that the world has ever known. The Mayans of Mexico were master mathematicians and time experts. They understood time and space more accurately than us. Now I am not into the Esoteric, I use the Bible as my reference book and this subject is beyond my abilities to analyze, but I thought I would throw it in any way as an interesting side-line. According to Mayan Myths and Writings, The Mayan Long Count Calendar apparently ends its thirteenth and final End Times cycle in the year 2012 AD. This is the date on which the Mayan calendar abruptly, and with finality ends. Apparently this time represents the end of time as we know it.
This current World Age will come to an end. Civilization as we know it will be dramatically changed and we know it will. When Jesus Christ returns to this Earth a whole new time period begins with The Millennial reign of Christ. Perhaps the Mayans have it nearly right - Perhaps not - only time will tell - an interesting sideline and a baseless fear for all those that are in Christ. This mythical revelation has however stoked a mass of hysteria, with esoterics and survivalists alike, as they scramble to dig in and survive this supposed 2012 Mayan Apocalypse. For us Christians, however, we know Christ will return one day and we are getting closer to that return as each day passes by- interesting to me -stimulating and thought provoking.
Let us take one more look at (2 Peter 8:3) "Be not ignorant of this one thing that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years" - don't be ignorant of that a day is as a thousand years, a thousand years is as a day. God's week of human history is coming to completion rapidly. The six days of man are coming to completion. Six thousand years, and then on into the seventh thousand year - The Millennium - That last thousand years and then the whole thing is wrapped up gang - New heavens and new earth - The coming of Christ is nigh.
Where is He? Lets take a look at ( 2 Peter 8:9) "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." We seem to be in overtime.
In (Luke 21:24) - Jesus said "that the city of Jerusalem would be trodden down by the gentiles until the time of the end" in the Greek end means end - over - Jerusalem would be trodden down by the gentiles until the time of the end.
In 1967 0f June for the first time in almost 2000 years the Jews stormed into Jerusalem and in that incredible six days war and liberated the city. At that point that was the last warning prophetically that we are at the time of the end.
How Long Is A Generation? - Setting The framework and "Discerning The Times"
Christ once said to the people of His day, ".... When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?" (Matt. 16:2-3)
God evidently intends that people should be able to discern the signs in the skies of the time that indicate what we may expect to happen in the future. They are called in Scripture the "signs of the times". Our ability to interpret the significance of the things we see developing in the world around us depends on our fore knowledge of what the future holds in store. That's why God gave us the prophetic Scriptures. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God," and that includes the prophetic Scriptures.
God is omniscient. He knows every detail of the future, and exactly when and how it will take place. In the prophetic Scriptures He has revealed the events of the future to the extent it is good for our generation to know. We do well to discover and give heed to what He has revealed for our generation.
How long is a generation? We Don't Know or do we? We have some pretty solid biblical clues. A generation theoretically is the period of time from when you were born until the day you die.
Biblically a generation could be anywhere from Forty Years (The disobedient generation that wandered in the desert for 40 years.) (Num:32:13) to all most a Hundred Years (The 400 years or 4 generations that the Israelites spent in Egyptian captivity.) (Gen. 15:13-16).
The biblical life expectancy of the average person was "Threescore years and 10 " or 70 years, with the possibility of reaching 80 years of age. This would be your Generation, from the time you are born until the time you die.
(Psalms 90:10) "The days of our years are threescore years and ten ( 70 yrs.); and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years ( 80 yrs. ), yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."
So lets put in place a theoretical Generational framework. If The major prophetic turning point that marks the beginning of the Final Generation, is "The Budding of The Fig Tree" that is the rebirth of the Nation, Israel, when did that officially take place?
May 14th 1948. Israel became a nation once more with a homeland of their own.
So lets add 80 years to 1948, this brings us to: 2028 AD. Maximum life span. If a Generation was only 40 years (Num:32:13) we come to 1988 AD Minimum. The Average time of a generation would be 70-80 years, which would bring us to 2018-2028 AD. The Maximun time of a generation would be 100 years, which would bring us to 2048 AD.
So what we are saying here is that Theoretically the end of the Generation that saw the Fig Tree blossom would be somewhere between 1988 AD. Minimum and 2048 AD. Maximum (if a generation is 100 years) with 2018-2028 AD being the Average.
We must also remember that a new generation comes on the scene approximately every twenty years. This means that at any one given time there are approximately 3-4 generations alive at any one time overlapping one another. This means that those born at or after 1948 will be included if they are still living, that is you, your children, grandchildren or great grandchildren. they will all be part of the Final Generation.
Are we saying that this time frame is set in concrete and not adjustable by the mighty hand of God? Absolutely not!
It could be shortened or even extended, depending on the direction mankind chooses to take. The further the world departs from God, the shorter the time will be. The closer to God the World gets, the longer the time will be.
"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened." (Matthew 24: 21-22)
But what we are saying here is that the Return of Christ is going to be much sooner then what most people realize.
Another important point we should recognize, is that Jesus left this earth around the year 33AD. It would then be significant to note that by allowing 2 days or 2000 years for the Church Age, that this would then bring us up to the year 2033AD as pertaining to a ball park figure of passing time and an expectation of Christ's Return!
That's what the excitement was and still is. The generation that saw the miracle of the budding of the fig tree take place. Jesus said that this generation would be the "Final Generation" and that: " My coming is nigh even at the very door."
No man knows the exact day or the hour but of the times and the seasons Paul says you should not be ignorant. You should know the seasons. what season? The season when the fig tree blossoms. What does it mean?
Its The "Final Generation".
Stretching out the Generational Time Frame!
But the Lord has stretched out this generational time frame. He is allowing it to be stretched out a little longer - still within this final generational frame work -because in His Grace, His Mercy, he wants you saved - not willing that any should perish - he's not slack that means he doesn't just say Oh! well he is not slack concerning His promises but is long suffering towards us not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance for your sake.
That's why He has been quietly waiting. Stretching things out a little at a time. With holding judgment. Covering us with His Grace-His Mercy. Waiting things out patiently. Then He comes quickly, like a bolt of lightning. For enough is enough and sin cannot be allowed to continue any more. Judgment day comes. So too is God's heart for you and for me that all might be saved. That you might not have to go through that terrible experience. (2Tim. 3, Matt. 24) And so too is God's heart for you and for me. Realizing that judgment inevitably is coming to this planet. It has to.
GRACE A LIMITED TIME OFFER!
Sin Cannot be allowed to rule any longer! The Period of Divine Grace and Mercy Expires!
(Revelation 14) talks about the world is ripe with iniquity. In other words sin has had its full course. It can not go on anymore. The period of Divine Grace and Mercy expires-comes to an end. Sin cannot be allowed to go on. There are too many Aids infected babies, too many drug addicted children, too much starvation, too much disease, too much environmental damage, too much immorality and crime, too many wars and terrorisms, too much false religion and doctrines. The world must be judged and set right. Jesus, when He comes back, is coming with a rod of Iron. What that means is that He is going to strongly and firmly make things right. Only then will there be Sabbath that seventh day of peace, rest and rightness.
What is Grace? Grace Means "Unmerited Favor and Mercy" It is the period of time that our loving God has put aside, where He has suspended Judgement on Human kind. This time period is Known as the "Grace Period." It is the time in which God allows you to get your act together - to Work Out Your Salvation - To make up your mind as to just who you are going to Follow.
Are you going reach out and accept the invitation to be "Saved" and to Follow Christ, to seek and find Salvation? Are you going to align your self with God? Are your going to reject God and instead remain "Unsaved" and remain under the control of Satan instead? The Time of Grace is the Hour of Decision - A walk through the Valley of Decision It is a "Limited Time Offer" and will soon expire! The Time of "Divine Grace" Started With Christ's Death Burial And Resurrection and continues on until it ends at the time of the Rapture and the start of "The Great Tribulation." You are running out of time!
God has got to come back. Sin cannot be allowed to go on. He must return and execute Judgment on this God Rejecting World. But today He sets before us His grace. His "Unmerited Favor and Mercy" He says partake of Me. Please understand that I love you. The Lord is trying to communicate to us that we have to genuinely and truly repent or be destroyed. He is pouring out His Holy Spirit upon all flesh, then the end will come. (Acts:2:17) "And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh:..."
Where Do You Stand?
The time is short. We have to get our priorities in order. We have to come out of this world system and separate ourselves from it. I say the truth about what the Lord is saying to you today. What are you doing with God's GRACE? Are you frittering and throwing it away? Are you too busy playing "Church"? Or are you to busy, being more involved with the world and the things of this world, than to actually get down on your hands and knees and genuinely, truly repent of your sins? Or to have a True and Genuine Biblical, full immersion water Baptism? To truly, genuinely be able to receive the True Holy Spirit of God? (Acts 2:37-39)
Don't get caught up in this world. Its going to burn. (2 Peter:3:10) All of your toys, trinkets, certificates and trophies, and all of our clothes and books and possessions its all going to burn. The pleasures and allures of this deceiving world are honey to the taste and pleasure to the senses, and like the Venus Flytrap, the demonic forces of the world suddenly, without warning, close up around you, trapping you to your death. When you eat of the world's temptations, its pleasures and diversions, then sudden destruction comes upon you, enslaving and destroying your body, your mind and your soul.
Get your priorities in order!
"O taste and see that the LORD is good: ...." (Psalms 34:8) said David. Taste and see, eat of Him today - and then - and then - check out so to speak of this world's mindset. Of living for things here and now. Set your heart on things above not on the things of this world.
For you baby boomers, you need to get radical. You need to get zealous for the Lord. You need to realize that Jesus Christ is coming again soon. You don't have time to play around. You really don't. We don't have time to pursue stupid things any longer.
I am saying get your values back in order. Get your priorities right again. Begin to minister and serve. Make worship and prayer a priority and Bible study essential. Street witnessing, handing out Bible tracts and continue soul winning. What ever it is that you use to do, do it again. "Behold My coming is nigh even at the very door."
For you that are older, realize this. You have already discovered at this point in your life. That this world is not where its at. You already know that. You are watching the younger ones learn that the hard way. You are wiser. You already know that the things of this world are bogus and fake. That its a trick. its a mirage - its not true- its a lie, its all smoke and vapors. For you that are older, continue setting an example for the rest of us. Continue to make the Lord a priority in your life. We are looking to you in a very real sense. Please keep the fire hot, the priority right.
For you that are in your teens and early twenties - learn from the yup of the yuppie would you - it just doesn't work - it doesn't work - this whole thing of things is not where its at. We need you in your teens and twenties to be an example of a true believer - not despising your youth - time is short. You are the "Final Generation" so set your hearts on things above. Take the kindness of God's grace, His mercy and goodness - and get out of this world's system. Really! Live for heaven. Keep eternity's values and views, seek first the kingdom and you will be happy - presently - and you will be rewarded eternally and you will be grateful thankful - constantly. Know this - my coming is nigh - Jesus says - at the very door .
Let Us Pray Together--
Shall we Pray : I think Jesus of how you spoke strongly to those in your generation. Who missed understanding your first coming because they didn't understand the scriptures that were given to them. May this not be true with us - Lord this day - I pray - that each man - every women - each sister every brother - that we might see and understand - that your word has made it clear that the times we are now in are significant - that your coming is nigh - how this world needs you Lord - how we need you- the disappointment and pain - and pressures - and problems and famines, wars, terrorisms, starvation - abortions - diseases - the environmental damages, the weariness Lord that the people in this world feel how we need you - how we need you to come and to reign and to rule - to make things right - to wipe away the tears - how we look forward to seeing you Jesus in that seventh day - the Sabbath day - ruling with righteousness - with peace on this planet - at last - How I pray Lord that we would be - a fellowship, a family - that we would be living - in the anticipation - 0f your coming - ready - fervent - How I pray Lord - that we would not be like the five foolish virgins - who's oil had run out - when the bride groom came - they were locked out - and Left Behind!, the door was closed to them. - but may You fill us with the oil of Your spirit - in such a way Lord - that in these days we burn bright and -that we hail your coming - with a fervency of heart - Lord only you can do that - I know that no teaching - no preaching - no studying - in and of itself - will make that happen - its got to be you Lord - touching our hearts - touch us Lord - and may this week we be those that grab on to others and invite them to come along - and see many people saved - in the weeks, months and days ahead - come quickly Lord Jesus - thank you that your coming is nigh that you are at the very door. We bless you and bow before you and give ourselves again - to you - today - in Jesus name we pray. Amen -\
Audio Bible Studies!
Let Us Pray Together--
PRAY: "God be merciful to me a sinner. Receive me now for Christ's sake. Cleanse me from my sin by your precious blood, shed on the cross for me; lead me to be Baptized and fill me with your Holy Spirit. Teach me to pray each day; to read Your will for my life from your word, the Bible; and help me to worship and serve You in the fellowship of your church. I thank you Lord Jesus Christ. AMEN!
*NOTE - Earth's Age: Does the Bible Indicate a Time Interval Between the First and Second Verses of Genesis?
We are introduced to the account of the creation of the earth in Genesis 1:1-2: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep."
The original Hebrew wording, combined with a comparison to other passages of Scripture, has led some to conclude that a considerable time interval is indicated between these two verses. If such an interval is indeed intended, there is no discrepancy between the Bible record and scientific discoveries indicating that the earth is up to several billion years old. If, on the other hand, there is no such gap, then the earth itself must be only around 6,000 years old which most scientists consider an impossibility.
Do other passages, as well as history, shed any light on this question?
Some scholars propose that Genesis 1:2 can or should be translated "Now the earth became without form, and void . . ." as opposed to the common rendering "The earth was without form, and void . . ." Others dismiss this idea entirely. They assume the original Hebrew word hayah must be translated "was" and then assume the earth was originally created in this disorderly way.
However, as can be seen from many Bible helps, both translations of the term are possible. Only the context of the chapter and book can determine which one is correct. Gleason Archer, professor of biblical languages, comments: "It should be noted in this connection that the verb was in Genesis 1:2 may quite possibly be rendered 'became' and be construed to mean: 'And the earth became formless and void.' Only a cosmic catastrophe could account for the introduction of chaotic confusion into the original perfection of God's creation. This interpretation certainly seems to be exegetically tenable . . ." (A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, Moody Press, Chicago, 1974, p. 184).
In a footnote Archer adds, "Properly speaking, this verb hayah never has the meaning of static being like the copular verb 'to be.' Its basic notion is that of becoming or emerging as such and such, or of coming into being . . . Sometimes a distinction is attempted along the following lines: hayah means 'become' only when it is followed by the preposition le; otherwise there is no explicit idea of becoming. But this distinction will not stand up under analysis. In Genesis 3:20 the proper rendering is: 'And Adam called the name of his wife Eve, because she became the mother of all living.' No le follows the verb in this case. So also in Genesis 4:20: 'Jabal became the father of tent dwellers.' Therefore there can be no grammatical objection raised to translating Genesis 1:2: 'And the earth became a wasteness and desolation' (ibid.).
Some scholars also argue against translating hayah "became" instead of "was" in Genesis 1:2 because they assume this interpretation came about only recently, after geology revealed the strata of the earth to be very old. Thus they consider this explanation a desperate attempt to reconcile the Genesis account with modern geology. The explanation that there existed an indefinite period between the initial beautiful creation described in Genesis 1:1 and the earth becoming waste and void in verse 2 has been called, sometimes disparagingly, "the gap theory." The idea was attributed to Thomas Chalmers in the last century and to Cyrus Scofield in this century.
Yet this interpretation that the earth "became" waste and void has been discussed for close to 2,000 years. The earliest known recorded controversy on this point can be attributed to Jewish sages at the beginning of the second century. The Hebrew scholars who wrote the Targum of Onkelos, the earliest of the Aramaic versions of the Old Testament, translated Genesis 1:2 as "and the earth was laid waste." The original language led them to understand that something had occurred which had "laid waste" the earth, and they interpreted this as a destruction.
The early Apostolic church theologian Origen (186-254), in his commentary De Principiis, explains regarding Genesis 1:2 that the original earth had been "cast downwards." (Ante-Nicene Fathers, Christian Literature Publishing Company, Buffalo, 1917, p. 342).
In the Middle Ages the Flemish scholar Hugo St. Victor (1097-1141) wrote about Genesis 1:2, "Perhaps enough has already been debated about these matters thus far, if we add only this, 'how long did the world remain in this disorder before the regular re-ordering . . . of it was taken in hand?" (De Sacramentis Christianae Fidei, Book 1, Part I, Chapter VI). Other medieval scholars, such as Dionysius Peavius and Pererius, also considered that there was an interval of time between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2.
According to The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, the Dutch scholar Simon Epíscopius (1583-1643) taught that the earth had originally been created before the six days of creation described in Genesis (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1952, Vol. 3, p. 302). This was roughly 200 years before geology discovered evidence for the ancient origin of earth.
These numerous examples show us that the idea of an interval between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2 has a long history. Any claim that it is of only recent origin that it was invented simply as a desperate attempt to reconcile the Genesis account with geology is groundless.
Perhaps the best treatment on both sides of this question is given by the late Arthur Custance in his book Without Form and Void: A Study of the Meaning of Genesis 1:2. Dr. Custance states, "To me, this issue is important, and after studying the problem for some thirty years and after reading everything I could lay my hands on pro and con and after accumulating in my own library some 300 commentaries on Genesis, the earliest being dated 1670, I am persuaded that there is, on the basis of the evidence, far more reason to translate Gen. 1:2 as 'But the earth had become a ruin and a desolation, etc.' than there is for any of the conventional translations in our modern versions" (1970, p. 7).