THE CLOCK OF GOD, Part 1, TRUMPETS OVER BABYLON

Goodnews Christian Ministry

"Sound the trumpet in Zion, give the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the country tremble,
for the day of the Lord is coming, yes, it is near." ---Joel 2:1

CHAPTER 4

Six Thousand Years

"By the word of God the heavens were made, their whole array by the breath of his mouth...He spoke and it was created; he commanded, and there it stood."
Ps.33:6-9

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A famous scientist once said, 'The Bible teaches us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go'. To a certain extent this is true. The Bible is the meaning of science, not its replacement.

That is why it is written, "Do not try to discover what is beyond your powers. Concentrate on what has been assigned you, you have no need to worry over mysteries. Do not meddle with matters that are beyond you; what you have been taught already exceeds the scope of the human mind. For many have been misled by their own presumption, and wrong-headed opinions have warped their ideas." (Si.3:22-26).

What science has done is to prove scripture completely correct when it says that most of the works of God go unseen. "The storm wind itself is invisible, and most of what he does goes undetected." (Si.16:21).

The universe is infinitely larger and more complicated than any of us can imagine -- God has made a physical creation that extends so far beyond the scope of the human mind to contemplate that it thoroughly neutralizes intellect.

But the Bible is not about that, because as immense and aged as this universe is, everything in it is destined to be destroyed. Reaching into areas science has no ability to go, the Bible teaches what is beyond the scope of physical search. It begins where science stops, taking us deep into the arena of the invisible.

And as far as the beginning is concerned, science and the Bible both agree. There was nothing and then suddenly, in a blinding flash, there was everything. The end will come in the same way -- but in reverse.

Scripture says God brought the entire universe into being with a single command of His voice. He then spent the next six days fashioning His creation into the world we know today. Measuring the time-lines given to us in the Bible, the Holy Spirit has brought us to an understanding that our creation is now almost 6000 years old.

These two revelations by the Spirit have become a major battleground of faith and now form unlikely trench lines separating the forces of this world from the people of God.

Tracing the Bible's stories through history the Jews long ago discovered that the chronology it detailed covered an era of slightly less than 6000 years. This conclusion forms the basis for the time-frame around which the Jewish New Year is celebrated.

According to Jewish tradition Adam and Eve were created in the Garden of Eden in the fall of 3761 B.C. To orthodox Jews, this was the year 'one', the first date in natural history. Jewish scholars maintain that every subsequent event listed in the Bible can be traced from this beginning.

Ignoring Adam and Eve, Christians measure their calendar from the birth of Jesus Christ. As a result, what is to Jews the beginning of the year 5756, is for Christians the fall of 1995.

When Jesus unsealed the secrets hidden in the scriptures, he showed us that God's Book was written in divine metaphor. Everything in the Bible has a higher hidden meaning. Not just its statements, but its dates as well. This is why Christians could change the calendar. The Bible was leading to Jesus Christ.

Adam and Eve led us to disaster and Jesus rescued us from that disaster. So a new era began when Jesus appeared. The world of the past was gone; swept away by Christ's Gospel.

Buried in a literal interpretation of the scriptures, the Jewish leaders rejected Jesus and sent him to crucifixion. This polarized the two Houses of Israel. In this polarity, one stood on the Bible, the other on the Gospel -- the two dates of creation signaling the two points of view.

The clear boundaries between these two groups have become blurred over the ensuing years. Many Jews no longer take the Bible literally. But a growing group of Christian fundamentalists now do. Further complicating the picture, into this mixed soup has jumped a fourth party, the disciples of science and their ideas about evolution.

In terms of logic, the issues appear clear, but they are not. The battle would not be raging so intensely if they were. And the fact that the world is about to be destroyed adds immeasurably to the debate. How can there be evolution where there is Armageddon?

Evolution leads to extinction only when something better has made the old obsolete. Since scripture has set a day for the world to end, that 'something better' must be Jesus Christ who confirmed the end as a fact soon to happen.

Since scripture has shown us that "one day to God can be like a thousand years to man", the six thousand years that have passed on earth since Adam and Eve appeared can be reinterpreted as six days in God's calendar.

This correlates the age of human civilization with the first six days of creation as described in the Book of Genesis. In this sense, the seventh day and the seventh millenium are symbolically related.

This relationship is at the heart of God's purpose as far as Babylon is concerned. As every Christian knows, the seventh day marks the completion of God's work in this world. It is the day of rest. And as far as the end of the world is concerned, it marks in millenial terms the perfect Jubilee -- the time, according to Moses, when everything that belongs to God must return to God. (Lv.25:8-10).

Daniel uses the term "seventy weeks of years" (Dn.9:24) to describe this End, proving that it is not just an ordinary seventh-seven (in the terms of Leviticus), but the seventieth-seven -- and therefore the ultimate Jubilee of God.

That climactic 'seventh day' is now only a short time away. According to the Jewish calendar, the epochal seventh millenium (the seventh day) will dawn sometime in October in the year 2239 A.D., 246 years from now at this writing.

In light of this fact, the literal interpretation of the scriptures takes on renewed significance because it means that we are now locked on a countdown to the end of the world which will come to completion within the 6000 year framework that the Jews and fundamentalists have defined as the age of creation -- a creation that applies as far as Jesus is concerned, only to human history (from Adam and Eve to Armageddon).

Because we exist in 'a time cut short', the world's extinction will almost surely occur even before the seventh day arrives. Bypassing completely evolution's physical processes, human history will have begun and ended entirely within the seven day boundary fixed by scripture.

Both of these calendars, then, (both Christian and Jewish) have divine significance. They mark the two sets of dates defined by the House of Israel in its relationship with God. One embraces the 6000 year history of God's people on the planet -- a time corresponding to the age of human civilization -- and the other defines the time period needed to build God's new creation in heaven.

The termination of these chronologies can be seen in Daniel's prophecy in which he indicated that the Rebel in the last moments of history will attempt to change the Christian calendar. Having ended the rule of Christ, the Rebel will have no use for the calendar describing it.

Historically, the basic issue facing Christianity has always been this: do we glorify the planet earth or do we glorify its replacement kingdom in heaven? Is the material world the sine qua non of creation? Or is it as Jesus said, just an outer garment -- a shell made by God to house the divine creation God has hidden within it?

Biblical literalism deifies the earth -- the outer shell. This approach to the Bible was the veil that blinded the Jews to the hidden truths of scripture. It is a veil still there. For instance, a Jewish rabbinical court in Jerusalem recently banned pictures of dinosaurs on commercial products in Israel because, they ruled, animals that lived millions of years ago mock the Bible's contention that the world is only 6000 years old.

Peter and Paul tried to squelch this kind of obsession for worldly things when they threw out all the rules and regulations of the Old Testament and left only the rules of Jesus in its place.

In doing this Paul told the world that there were no special days or seasons or years as far as God was concerned. "...How can you want to go back to elemental things like these, that can do nothing and give nothing, and be their slaves? You and your special days and months and seasons and years! You make me feel I have wasted my time with you." (Gal 4:9-11).

They replaced Mosaic Law with Apostolic Law; setting us free from the severe constrictures of the Old Testament and replacing these with the freedom of Christ offered by the New Testament.

As soon as this declaration became scripture (Acts 15:1-29), Christians were irrevocably freed from all the rules and obsessions of the Old Testament and were bound only to the commandments of Jesus. The change in the calendar confirmed this separation beyond doubt.

God permitted the Apostles to demote the authority of the Old Testament and even to change the years that defined it so that only Jesus and His Gospel would be seen as absolute. They had to do this so that the Torah's veils would not return and hide Christ. When taken literally, the Torah could be made an adversary of Christ. It was on just such a point that the Sanhedrin justified His crucifixion.

And because of these same veils, the Old Testament is often seen as an adversary of natural law as well. We can see that in the discoveries of science. Yet natural law works for God because God created it to do so. Whatever science discovers, God made. So scientific discoveries only serve to reinforce what Jesus said: the Bible is not about this world. It's truths are pointing to a higher reality.

While science sees only the physical universe (the dying half of God's creation) the Bible was designed to reveal another world: God's eternal and hidden creation in heaven.

Jesus came to lead us to this other world -- to this 'something better' that has made the old world obsolete. If we join ourselves to Christ we can escape the extinction destined to overtake this planet -- and we can live forever. God's true message, then, is about heaven.

In literal terms, however, the Old Testament does not even talk about heaven, it glorifies the earth. And that is why the Apostles replaced it. This world is corrupt and dying and so it must not be viewed as the supreme monument of God's creation. Temples, stones, walls, altars, flesh, and even dinosaur bones -- these are all passing away. And once gone they will never be remembered. (Is.65:17).

That is why Jesus came to lead us away from all these material preoccupations. He freed us completely from Adam and Eve and their entire existence -- and like Lot's wife, we are not supposed to look back. Our passion should be with heavenly things, not earthly things.

The similarities between Sodom and Gomorrah and our earth are clear. We have already seen how Jewish obsession with physical rituals blinded them to the spiritual truths of Christ, and when we allow ourselves to indulge in the same kind of obsessions, a similar spiritual darkness of our own is inevitable.

Paul said, "Are you foolish enough to end in outward observances what you began in the spirit? Have all the favors you received been wasted?" (Gal.3:3). "Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and the perishable cannot inherit what lasts forever." (1 Cor.15:50).

The fact that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God proves that our soul is greater than our flesh. God made the physical world first, and then put souls made in His own image into that world -- later when the time was right. That time was 'right' six thousand years ago.

God, then, has put us into one kind of world to lead us to another -- and we should not get the two different worlds confused. We live in this world only to get to heaven.

The flesh of man is not supreme. Nor is the Old Testament which glorified it. Jesus has removed us from both because He is changing creations. That is why the date of Christ has replaced the date of Adam and Eve. Yet both sets of dates still have important meanings.

Nowhere do these two meanings become more obvious than in the warfare currently being waged by the scholastic community against the word of God. It is an unlikely battle. There should be no disagreement. God made the world and He made the natural laws that govern it. He also guided the words which make the Bible. They should not disagree.

When He unwrapped its veils, Jesus showed us a Bible filled with metaphor. That revelation should have made it easy for us to reconcile any discrepancies. But it has not. And the answer is not simple blindness.

Part of the reason why all these arguments now swirl about in a fog is that the discoveries of science -- the natural laws of God -- are being controlled and manipulated by a cadre of irreverent pagan scholars who currently command the institutions of higher education. These individuals are not as interested in presenting the pure discoveries of science as they are in manipulating the data to promote their own belief in human insignificance.

Jesus, these scholars maintain, is simply the promoter of a human conceit that mankind and the earth are somehow very special in the universe. Something they are convinced is not the case.

What science discovers, God made; but what the professors teach has become another matter. In California, for instance, a professor may not say in a science class that God created the world.

Scholars there have solicited the backing of the state to make unprotestable their promotion of the godless concept that the creation was formed accidentally and randomly out of the elements of chaos. No God. No divine order. Just chance. And underlying this chance, chaos.

This has created a ruling aristocracy in the academic system which has sided with Satan by taking a position which denies a creation based on the order of God and promotes one designed in the image of the dragon -- angry, anarchic and chaotic.

There can be no doubt that chaos forms the fundamental framework of this world because Satan is its true master, but the order here did not come from Satan. Order comes only from God. God has taken the chaos of this world and formed it into a temporary order so that He could raise us up out of our captivity to Satan's chaos and show us the light of escape.

We did not evolve to birth here, we were placed here for decontamination. "...Satan, you must know, has got his wish to sift you all like wheat..." (Luke 22:31). Cleansing comes by our own choice. Order is leading us to order. If we follow Jesus we will be cleansed and live forever. If we follow chaos, we will end up in the eternal flames of the burning lake.

So we are not dealing with pure issues of natural law and biblical law. Those two work together. Instead, we are caught in the middle of Satan's war. On one side are the priests of this world and on the other, the warriors of God. One group is trying to use education to prove that God doesn't exist and the other the Bible to insist that He does. And in the end, God will prove the latter true.

God spoke and it was all created and in a few more years He will speak again and it will all dissolve in fire. When that happens, the fractals will come apart and order will be no more. And all this will happen before the 6000 years have come to an end.

So what does the 6000 years actually define? The age of the earth? As far as the fundamentalists are concerned, yes. But in historic terms it encompasses something more important -- the age of human civilization. (See Graph)

According to the Jewish calendar Adam and Eve were born in a garden near the Euphrates river in 3761 B.C. And according to the history books the earliest civilized life on earth began two or three hundred years later (about 3500 B.C.) in nearly the same place -- in the fertile valleys of Babylon and Egypt. The coincidence should be obvious.

If we choose to accept the historical framework then, we can see that the 6000 years defines the age of Babylon. It encompasses the borders of planetary civilization as it is described in the books of human history -- the time period Jesus called 'this generation'.

Dinosaurs and stone-age people are irrelevant here because they do not involve this generation. It makes no difference whether this planet has been stationed in space for 6000 years or 6 billion years. All that counts is 'this generation' -- the generation Jesus came to visit and convert.

This population began to form itself into society 5800 years ago in preparation for the Gospel's message and today, at the end of that message it has begun arming itself with hydrogen bombs and missiles in preparation for its predicted collapse in the valley of Armageddon. All of this neatly encompassed within the boundaries of the 6000 years.

What is even more obvious in this description is the role of the House of Israel. Human society became civilized as soon as God placed His people into it -- as soon as God gave it a soul. A new kind of order appeared when this happened -- one that initiated civilized behavior. This placement started with Adam and Eve 5800 years ago.

When God implanted Adam and Eve here, there already existed people for their children to marry. From the very beginning there has always been a division between the people of this world and the people of God.

So the 6000 years does not define the beginning of outer creation, it describes the beginning of God's creation. It is the time of the soul and therefore it defines the appearance of the people of God in this world and all the things that have transpired here since they showed up.

Jesus has specified that the kingdom of God is internal. We can see Adam and Eve in the same way. God is spirit (Jn.4:24), so if God made us in His own image, that image has to be spirit as well. It has to be like the soul.

What is significant in the Spirit's revelation is the 6000 years itself, not physical evolution. The time-frame tells us the date of the End. Not exactly, of course, because the time has been cut short, but the date gives us great cause for concern because there is very little of it left.

Science sees evolution only because it looks perpetually backward. Everything it sees, it sees from a rear window. The bigger the telescopes, the farther back in time we see. The more sophisticated our instruments, the better we can read the ancient rocks. The Bible is just the opposite. It always looks forward. It is all about the future and that is why the Book is filled with writings of prophets.

Scripture tells us what is going to happen tomorrow and how we can escape these events through spiritual conversion -- by transforming our souls into the Spirit of God through faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible was not written so that we should argue over dinosaurs, but so that we could see our future.

The reason why scientists are at odds with God is that all scholastic studies are keyed to matter, not spirit. And because their only view is backward, they must postulate a material future based on past events. So science always looks behind. It can read the biology of the past, but it cannot tell the future.

The only front windshield on this planet is the Bible. Because Jesus has removed its blinds, the Bible now tells us clearly where we are going. According to Jesus, this world is headed for catastrophe -- total ruin -- and only those who follow the path He has prescribed can survive its cataclysmic demise.

Looking at the past, the scientists see a creation growing from simplicity to perfection through an evolution punctuated by catastrophe -- i.e., a chaotic world molded into perfection by disastrous events. Looking ahead, the Bible shows a flawed creation doomed by catastrophic events, with rescue by faith in God its only option. Only in the fact of catastrophe do the two agree.

It is not man or catastrophe that leads to perfection, only faith in Christ. Faith in Jesus overcomes calamity. "Up to the time of John it was the Law and the Prophets; since then, the kingdom of God has been preached and by violence everyone is getting in." (Lk.16:16).

As far as the Bible is concerned it is the sins of the people that have brought all the upheavals.

To science, people mean nothing. The scientists see a universe that considers mankind insignificant and irrelevant.

In Christ, however, people are the most important entity in the creation. For the Bible the whole issue is people, and so it speaks to us in a spiritual language about people.

We can see the admixture of God's people with those of the world around them throughout the scriptures. Who did Noah's grandchildren marry? Who did the sons of Jacob (Israel) marry?

From the very first day, the people of God have been reaching out into the world, civilizing it, and bringing it toward the greatest order of all which is Jesus Christ. From the beginning God has been leading the world toward the millenium.

And here both Testaments agree, when the devil is released from the Abyss and comes out to destroy the millenium by gathering all the people of the world against the House of Israel, the civilization created by the existence of that 'House' within it will collapse and disappear in flames.

So those who look backward must change their view. The 6000 years listed in the scriptures is not about the beginning of the world -- it has nothing to do with dinosaurs or even with cave men. Instead, it describes the tenure of God's children on the planet -- from the moment their captive spirit was implanted here until the day to come when the prison gates open and all who choose Jesus are free to join God in the glory of His true kingdom.

This concept leads us to the future, not the past. It defines the end of this world, not its beginning. Six thousand years is the time limit for the captivity. The only 'evolution' it deals with is our transformation from flesh to spirit by the 'holy selection' of the angels when they sit on the banks of the end of time and pick and choose from the net of God. (Mt.13:47-50).

Those they select will live forever. Those they discard will live no more. Survival of the fittest is a term that can only apply to Jesus Christ because nothing outside of Him will survive. If God made the physical world in the image of that divine plan, it would only figure.

Adam and Eve were the first souls but the clothing they wore (flesh) made them only half alive because that clothing was subject to sin and only lasted 70 years -- and then it wore out. When Jesus came He brought the 'wedding garment' of the Holy Spirit which, when put on, covers our soul with a body that is eternally alive.

But to put it on we must take the old off first. We cannot do this simply by dying. Our soul is attached to our flesh by a spiritual bond that can only be cut by an act of God. That is the meaning of baptism, where Christ's death becomes our own. So baptism removes the outer garment.

If we then exchange our mortal body of flesh for a new heavenly body offered to us by God, we will live forever. Only Jesus can give us this new body. He alone has the magic formula that makes this exchange possible.

Survival of the fittest, then, is the 'race' of Paul by which this transformation is achieved. Only when we follow Jesus by faith can we change these clothes. That is why the Apostles changed the calendar and the Law -- so we wouldn't look back and glorify the garment that baptism legally destroys, and which is passing away. The Torah glorifies the flesh and so it is full of traps for those who take it literally.

Evolution is meaningless in the face of Armageddon. Wickedness has implanted in creation an automatic self-destruct, and all creation is scheduled to come to an end because of it. Catastrophe is going to terminate this world, not make it perfect. And Jesus said this calamity will happen in our own time -- before the society of man has passed away.

This means that whatever role evolution played in the past, it has ceased to be a factor in the creation process. It is true that a part of life is scheduled to rise to a new height and go on after the physical universe is destroyed, but as we have seen, this will not happen by physical evolution. A 'fittest' will survive and be selected for eternal life. But that new life does not evolve. It comes suddenly through baptism and faith. And it comes to us, not to our descendants.

And when it comes, it will take us instantly to a level vastly higher than anyone can now foresee physical evolution ever building to. The highest evolutionary life-forms in science fiction are like 'Q' in the stories of Star Trek. Yet the new life that Christ revealed is far higher than that, and we do not have to wait for a problematic evolution to create it long after we have disappeared.

In all the stories of science fiction the battles between good and evil still rage, showing that no matter how sophisticated these civilizations become, they still are built on the contamination of Satan. Even 'Q' exhibits a streak of evil.

By sending Jesus into this universe, God has put a stop to evil. There can be no further spread of evil anywhere in the universe because God's light is now racing through it and vanquishing Satan's disease from one end of the sky to the other.

Order and chaos are not locked on a perpetual stage of conflict. Jesus has brought the battle to an end. Evolution is over. All the arguments of science to the contrary fail to grasp the importance of sin in the creation process. Wickedness stops evolution cold. Sin will always bring higher life to death and the only 'evolution' out of that death is Jesus Christ.

Physical life is nebulous in this creation to begin with -- a 'foreigner' to the chaotic 'mist and darkness' of the universe. It exists on a very fragile thread by the power of God. The hostility of the universe makes life's creation and stability here rare at best.

God has formed this creation on a base of chaos on purpose in order to show that Satan is the base on which He has had to work. Jesus has come into this 'foreign world' -- this prison Satan has entrapped us in -- and offered a way of escape. God made the whole universe just to provide a way for this evacuation.

Having formed the universe for this purpose, God will commit it all to flames once His purpose is achieved. The processes of the past -- from the beginning to now -- only pointed to Christ. And with His appearance here, those processes no longer matter.

Using sophisticated equipment scientists have shown that God has brought us to life in the middle of an immense extragalactic explosion -- as it is going on -- and thus in an environment that is extremely hostile to life.

We can see in this planet how precarious its development to the point of man was, even when all the right conditions were met. The hostile factors in this universe severely limit the number of planets able to reach the stage that this world achieved.

Yet even if there are others which did survive to this point, the presence of wickedness throughout creation would bring them to a point of disaster no different than ours. They, too, in their sinful violence, would come to a time where the balance of terror reached termination proportions. Wickedness would blast them out of existence -- and at the same stage of development.

Satan's presence is everywhere in the universe. Wherever we look we see death, and death is Satan. Only where there is no Satan is there no death. And a place like that is not in this universe. Jesus himself told us this. And we can look out in space and see it for ourselves.

Jesus said that he had other people who were not of this flock. We take that to mean that God favors people in other churches, but it can also apply to the universe as well. "Beyond is the sea, great and wide, teeming with countless creatures both great and small." (Ps.104:25).

Since God has created this immense universe to seek out and save what Satan has hidden away in it, there is no reason why we should try to limit God's ability to replicate His salvation anywhere in the heavens. The scientists would have us believe that outer space is teeming with other civilizations. But wherever the radio telescopes probe, there is only the sound of silence. Teeming? No. Some? Perhaps.

But one thing is certain, Jesus is the culmination of the growth process. The war rages only where God has planted His seed. It means nothing that a planet has biology. It must have the Spirit of God in it as well if it is to be like ours. And this is what the 6000 years is all about. It is the time of the seed of God.

And that seed had nothing to do with evolution. It was breathed into man's flesh when the conditions were right. The universe was made only for Christ's appearance in it. It was made so that evil could be destroyed. God brought it into existence with a command from His voice, and it will all end abruptly with another command when Jesus returns to take us out of it and into God's new creation in heaven.

The Word of God which created the universe is true. God has sworn to uphold it, and we have seen in the lengths that Christ went to in order to keep the Law in Judea that God will not allow His word to be broken. Whatever scripture defines, God will do. That is because God has power to do with creation as He pleases.

We see into that power only dimly and so the descriptions we give and the truths we see are only partial descriptions and partial truths. "For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect; but when perfection comes, all imperfect things will disappear." (1 Cor.13:9-10).

None of us want to admit that our sight has flaws -- especially since we live in the guidance of the Holy Spirit. But if imperfection applies to Paul (as he has said that it does) how could it not apply to us as well?. We want to be perfect. But only God is perfect.

While we see its words as metaphors, encompassing sophisticated truths that bring us to deeper understanding, the simplicity of the Bible's literal truths have not been taken away. Scripture contains two truths, not just one. And that is the real issue. Hidden behind the literal words of one truth is a cascading fountain of greater truth.

The Bible is a book filled with concealed pictures illustrating a creation incredible beyond imagining. It defines a future world filled with happiness and eternal life. And Jesus is the only roadmap that leads from here to there.

God wants us to see the higher truths behind His words, because in that vision our faith is made stronger and the roadmap more visible. When we settle for the simplistic answers and then close the book, we close the book on understanding as well.

Ultimately, though, both views will be proved right. The Christians and Jews will combine. Their calendars will coalesce. That which is metaphor and that which is literal will unite in the return of Christ. And when this happens -- when Babylon collapses in sin and disappears -- all the truths of the Bible will be vindicated once and for all.

NEXT
Clock of God, Chapter 5,
"Two Cities"

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