Augustine claimed that God created time and space such that it's inappropriate to ask of God "when" or "where" He was before the creation. God essentially invented "when" and "where" and what we understand as the cause-and-effect sequence.
From a secular view, Stephen Hawking claims that time itself began with the Big Bang  and that before this we cannot conceive of time. Creationists reject the Big Bang but find it interesting that even the secularists agree with the need for a beginning. Nobel laureate George Wald (1906-1997)claimed that "time itself performs the miracles", that time has the power to create, and is responsible (through evolution) for mankind, ultimately claiming that time created God. Ironically, secularists deny that Christianity is the product of evolution even while asserting that everything is the product of evolution.
Some secular scientists and philosophers have asserted that "time" is a "miracle worker", such that given enough time, anything is possible. They ascribe God-like characteristics to "time" and place their faith in "time" as well. In Greek mythology, "Kronos" is the father of all the primary deities including Zeus. "Kronos" is the root word of "chronos" or "chronus" from which we derive the English word for "time" (e.g. chronologue, chronometer, chronology etc). In both of these philosophies, all things are derived from "time", and "time" is sovereign over all things.
God created time Genesis 1:1 Titus 1:2 and as such is sovereign over it, not subject to it. We are first introduced to this concept at the very beginning of Creation when God declares that "one day" has now passed Genesis 1:5 . We also learn that God marks the passing of a day starting in the evening (dusk) and ending the following evening. Even today, Jews continue to recognize the start of the Sabbath on Friday at sunset, ending Saturday at sunset. Many Christians believe that the "Sabbath" is on Sunday, but this is incorrect. God never changed the Sabbath anywhere in Scripture. Christians celebrate the Resurrection on Sunday as "the Lord's Day" but this is not the Sabbath day.
As God continues the Creation Week, it is clear that "One Day" is represented by one rotation of the globe, independent of the position of other celestial objects. This is God's provision of time so that humans understand God's meaning of "One Day". Progressive Creationists attempt to redefine this meaning into something other than one rotation of the globe, misunderstanding that this is God's definition to man.
In addition, God establishes the heavenly bodies on Day Four Genesis 1:14-19 for the specific purpose of tracking time. The celestial bodies therefore, are purposed to mankind as a giant clock. In Genesis 1:14 delineates between days, years and seasons. This is he clearest evidence that the Author never intended days to be confused with years, nor for days to be redefined as "many years" or "indefinite periods". Such a definition would useless for marking time, which is the stated purpose for the celestial bodies. Additionally, God uses the Creation Week in Exodus 20:10-11 to define the Sabbath, clearly equating one ordinary week to Creation Week.
- 1 Purpose
- 2 God's Sovereignty over Time
- 3 The Celestial Clock
- 4 Anisotropism
- 5 Secular Confusion
- 6 Consistency of God's Laws
- 7 Prophecy and Time
- 8 Frame of Reference
- 9 Simultaneity and Synchrony
- 10 Deep Time Past
- 11 Deep Time Future
- 12 Time Travel
- 13 Significant Versus Insignificant
- 14 Applications and Insights
- 15 Devotional Example
- 16 References
For mankind, time constrains simultaneity and enforces causality. This simply means that time "keeps everything from happening at once" and it provides a foundation for a consistent cause-and-effect existence. God provided a means to measure time as He expects mankind to understand it (Genesis 1:14 ). God has equipped mankind to understand past, present and future (Ecclesiastes 3:11-15 ).
Time serves to express God's definition for one of the measurable boundaries of His creation. It also expresses God's equal provision for all quarters of his creation, in that time is provided to all in the same measure. Some have said that time is the most valuable commodity because it is offered freely but cannot be purchased. In this sense, Time is an expression of God's gift in Jesus Christ.
It is appropriate then, that God uses time (through the prophets) to show mankind that God exists outside of time. As mankind perceives his cause and effect existence, deliberate access to objective knowledge of future events is impossible. Foretelling future events, especially as it relates to the advent of Jesus Christ, gives mankind the necessary evidence for reinforcing faith in God's existence.
As space, matter and time are the core foundation for the physical world, time acts as a controlling factor for the other two. No more than one instance of matter can occupy space at the same time. This uniformity of the natural world is the basis for science. Secularists depend on the constraints of time to defend long ages, but attempt to disparage time when defending its lack of consistency (see Relativity).
Ultimately the purpose of time is to glorify God, who through time expresses his greatest characteristics and most intimate nature.
God's Sovereignty over Time
Creationists who believe in long-ages for the Earth and Cosmos, also implicitly reject God's sovereignty over "time". The Bible says "in the beginning" Genesis 1:1 and also says that time had a beginning Titus 1:2 .
Interestingly, secularists claim that the concepts of space, matter and time are said to have started simultaneously by the Big Bang. So while Long-Age creationists accept long ages because the secularists claim that they have to, they may not understand that the secularists also assert that Time had a beginning.
Ecclesiastes provides a detailed description of God's perspective on time, and claims that God has sealed history and that what we encounter even today has "already happened" Ecclesiastes 3:15 . In the Frame of Reference discussion below, we can see how God, outside of time, can experience the transpiration of events before humans.
God declares for his own name that he is the great "I Am" Exodus 3:14 which is a name that cannot change in any age.
We measure change using time. In our existence, anything affected by or subject to time will slowly change. yet Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever Hebrews 13:8 . God never changes Malachi 3:6 and in him is no variableness nor shadow of turning James 1:7 .
The above verses reveal that God is not subject to time, but is in fact sovereign over it, and that God created time for his own uses.
Time = God's Greatness
God uses time to express his very greatest qualities. Without time:
- Justice is instantaneous
- Mercy is nonexistent
- Human faith requires time to grow
- Humans are saved through the foolishness of preaching, which requires time to execute
- Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God, which requires time for the hearer to understand and respond
- God's loyalty and faithfulness are expressed over time
- God's patience and longsuffering are expressed over time
- God delivered his words through prophets over time
- Godliness is often something developed over a long period of time
- Wisdom is acquired over time, foolishness is in-the-moment
- Loyalty and faithfulness are experienced over time, but disloyalty is in-the-moment
- Admiration is earned over time, attention is in-the-moment
- Sin is always in-the-moment and eschews the constraints of time
- The worst characteristics of mankind are exhibited when time is set aside for immediate gratification - including impatience, iniquity, gluttony, murder, adultery, avarice, willfulness, anger, railing, lust, sexual immorality, lying and deceit, defrauding, theft etc.
God has leveraged time itself to express His greatest qualities to mankind, and has required mankind to use time in building the best qualities mankind can have. God adjures mankind to Ephesians 5:18 redeem the time because evil will ruin it.
Is God Bound By "Time"
Progressive Creationists typically view God as an entity that is bound by "Time". In essence, God is progressing forward on the "river of time" at the same rate as the rest of us. God may regard one day as a thousand years 2 Peter 3:8 , but this time dilation does not mean that God "travels time" or somehow "gets ahead of us". As such, they believe that God can "see into the future" and "show this future" to prophets, and thus "orchestrate" things in the here-and-now to eventually bring future things to pass.
They imagine the creation as a giant chessboard with many permutations happening at every split second, but God is able to master it all and make things happen. For example, in this viewpoint, God shaped history so that all things would converge at Bethlehem for the birth of Christ. This view of "Time" presumes that God is not sovereign over Time, but that Time is sovereign over God.
The appropriate way to regard the relationship between God and Time, using the "river" analogy, is that mankind is sitting on a river with a dense fog downriver and a light fog upriver. God is present on each end of the river and all points in between. There is no part of the river where God is not. In Revelation, Jesus Christ claimed to be "Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending...which is, and which was, and which is to come"(Revelation 1:8 ), and repeats "was, and is, and is to come" (Revelation 4:8 ). So in fact, Jesus Christ is in all times at the same time, and is simultaneously the very definition of the beginning and end.
God's omnipresence in this regard, is elevated from being merely "everywhere" to additionally "everywhen".
The primary aspects of the physical world (Space, Matter and Time) are an expression of the Trinity
- Space = Holy Spirit
- Matter = Jesus Christ
- Time = God the Father
How do we make the correlation between Time and the Father? God expresses his greatest qualities through Time, as such he uses time as a means to fortify his own trustworthiness. God is plainly clear about his own trustworthiness and takes great umbrage to being called a liar1 John 5:10
The Celestial Clock
In a prior section is noted that God provided timekeeping through the celestial heavens.. The concept of time and its passing is deeply important to the human mind, so a deliberate deception in this regard is a direct indictment of God's integrity and trustworthiness. Can we trust the stars to tell time? Or are the stars a gigantic lie? "Changing the truth of God into a lie" is a very consistent secular response.
Trusting in a constant speed of light (see section below on Synchrony) and the apparent vast distances in the heavens, secularists assert that light has required millions of years to arrive to Earth. If this is true, then absolutely nothing we see in the heavens represents reality, that is, here-and-now reality. Light from the Sun ostensibly requires 8 minutes to arrive. Light from Proxima Centauri, our nearest neighbor star, some 4 years to arrive, and so on. If nothing is trustworthy in the celestial heavens, why did God tell us to trust it, especially for something so deeply important as measuring time?
Creationist do not doubt the vastness of space and have no reason to. In fact, when we compare the sheer scale of the heavens to Earth, we can easily presume that the heavens represent over 99 percent of human understanding of physical reality. As the creation is a physical expression of God's character and handiwork, and intended to constantly declare His glory , systematically twisting the meaning of the celestial heavens, especially as it concerns the measurement of time, is a direct assault on God's trustworthiness.
Ironically, if secularists accepted God's word at face value, a wide range of possibilities are open for examination, including faster-than-light travel. It actually provides a foundation for many mysteries that are unexplainable in standard models. The sections of this page address many of these in context.
The Creation is described in context of how a human would see it while standing on the Earth. God does not describe the Creation as though he is standing on the Moon and wants mankind to see it from this perspective. Even Christ said that he would deliberately explain heavenly matters using earthbound examples John 3:12 . therefore any convention aligning with anisotropism is aligning with a Biblical convention.
For example, God asserts that the celestial bodies are immediately useful for marking time. However, if we accept secularist descriptions of the nature of light, we are met with a dilemma. According to secular science, light speed is a constant, and would require over 4 years for the light from the nearest star Proxima Centauri to reach Earth. If this is true, then Adam and Eve would experience a black night sky, except for the Moon, for over four years. This hardly seems immediately useful.
Jason Lisle proposed the Anisotropic Synchrony Convention (see Cosmology) which explains why light behaves in the manner expected in Genesis 1, arriving instantly from distant stars and behaving locally as though constrained.
God describes his perspective of time as dilated from earthly time 2 Peter 3:8 Psalm 90:4 in that one thousand years is as one day. Many theologians have attempted to apply this in various ways, one of which is the overall lifetime of the Creation. If the Creation is slightly less than 6000 years old and the book of Revelation describes a 1000-year time of rest Revelation 20:2-4 . This grand-total of 7000 years can be mapped to the 6-day creation plus a "sabbath of rest", the thousand-year reign of Christ
When scientists discover aspects of the creation that are incongruous with their view of the cosmos, they concoct the most bizarre theories. For example, when particles appear to be in instant communication across vast distances (quantum entanglement), rather than set aside their presumptions about he speed of light, they they presume that the particles must be connected by wormholes.
As God claimed the celestial heavens are no more than a clock, why would scientists go to such great pain to manufacture a story that everything we see in the heavens is a lie? It is because of the nature of time and the meaning of time. If the meaning of time can be twisted, and the measurement of time deemed unreliable, this negates the truth of Scripture by calling into question God's control over the entirety of the Creation's history. In short, if the Creation has been in place for millions of years, God is a liar and untrustworthy. If the celestial heavens are a lie, God is untrustworthy. If we cannot depend on time itself to enforce causality, the words of the prophets are meaningless, and the identity of Jesus Christ is a lie.
These are all very serious matters, requiring the believer to be on-guard about any claim from secularists as it relates to Time.
Consistency of God's Laws
God promises the uniformity of nature Genesis 8:22 which is what makes science possible. The secularist will claim that they don't need the Bible, nor this Bible verse to do science. However, this is irrelevant. The ability to do science is founded on the uniformity of nature and the consistency of its behavior. All scientists make a presumption about this uniformity but only creatonists have a justification for this presumption.
Why is this important? Secularists continually appeal to unknown forces (dark energy, dark matter, Oort Cloud) to affect the visible universe. They also appeal to a suspension of the natural forces Hawking at some point in the past. The Big Bang theory purports that time did not exist and the physics before the Big Bang were different, or the Big Bang would never have happened. The Law of Biogenesis, that life only comes from life, is the only scientifically repeatable observation available to scientists Why then to they appeal to the notion of life having been "seeded" here by space aliens  or via Panspermia? For both cases (and many others) it is because they must believe that the uniformity of nature was somehow suspended, even for nanoseconds, somewhere in the universe to allow for the Big Bang or the spontaneous origin of life from non-living material Abiogenesis.
The uniformity of nature and the consistency of God's laws form a boundary for science and thought that, according to God, inexorably lead the human mind to understand the existence of God Romans 1:20
Concerning "time", the consistency of a 1-second-per-second existence for humanity anchors the human mind to cause-and-effect. The Bible is replete with cause-and-effect examples. The most important of these, for purposes of man to fully understand his place in time, are:
- The Creation - the beginning of time
- The Fall - explaining the condition of the world today, and the human need for a Redeemer
- The Crucifixion - explaining the redemption from the Fall and God's answer to mankind's need for a Redeemer
- The Resurrection - God's formal acknowledgement that the Crucifixion redeemed mankind, with a promise of eternal life
The above timeline was carefully and deliberately prepared by God before the foundation of the world Revelation 13:8 . The most important event in all of physical space, mattter and time is the Resurrection, without which the other events are rendered meaningless. Likewise Jesus himself claimed that without the Creation and Fall, the Crucifixion and Resurrection have no foundation 1 Corinthians 1:23 Luke 16:31 Luke 24:27
Prophecy and Time
Using the words of prophets, Jesus Christ described his own identity, which was the foundation of all his teaching and the reason for his mission, and is the foundation of Christianity, "Who do you say that I am?" Matthew 6:15 Luke 9:20 Mark 8:29
A primary means for mankind to understand that God is real and exists outside of the Creation, is how God used the prophets as messengers of future events. Humans naturally understand the unpredictability of the future. If someone can consistently predict the future, this is only possible if the information is truly coming from the future.
The purpose of a miracle or a prophetic truth was not merely for the prophetic truth alone, or the miracle alone, but to set apart the miracle-worker as someone who speaks for God. The prophets spoke over 300 prophecies concerning the birth and life of Christ, all of which were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Many of these were out of the control of a mere human, such as time and place of birth, time and place of death, method of death and the circumstances of it, etc. The probability of any other person in history to fulfill even one-tenth of these prophecies is statistically zero. However, even if another person could fulfill them all, only one actually rose from the dead.
Frame of Reference
Events are experienced from a "frame of reference" that is affected by location and motion. Einstein asserted that motion is entirely relative as is time or simultaneity. For example, a person who sees lightning strike a location in one frame of reference has a different experience than a person who sees it from another frame of reference. Let's say a person standing on a train platform sees a train approaching and lightning strikes the train. A person who is inside the train may experience something different. To underscore this, let's say that the train is traveling at the speed of light when the lightning strikes the train. And let's say lightning strikes the front and back of the train simultaneously. The person on the train will experience the light striking the front of the train sooner (the speed of the train will meet the light halfway) than the light striking the back of the train. Likewise if a person on the back of the train shines a light toward the front of the train at the same time a person on the front of the train shines a light to the back, the person on the back of the train will see the light before the person on the front of the train. These are of course mathematical thought experiments and presume that the speed of light is constant.
To simplify the observation concerning motion alone, if a person is standing on a train platform and sees a train approaching, we consider that the platform is standing still and the train is in motion toward the platform. But from the frame-of-reference of a person sitting on the train, the train is stationary and the platform is moving toward the train . Einstein asserted that these frames-of-reference are equivalent in every sense, not just in perception, but physical reality.
From a Creationist perspective, this plays into how "worldview" affects a person's scientific frame-of-reference. A person will only regard the evidence, testimony and other Evidence artifacts from their personal starting point, or frame-of-reference. This of course has no effect whatsoever on physical reality. A person committed to understanding the universe in the absence of God has no bearing on the actual existence of God. They are arbitrarily excluding God for personal reasons. They may claim that it's for objective science but this is not reasonable. Excluding evidence or context because it disagrees with one's worldview is not an objective approach. Secular scientists claim that the Bible is the only context that creationists have, arbitrarily excluding other contexts. However, nobody can claim for certain what existed in a time before the Bible's record. It is outside of science to observe, repeat or examine. Claims about it are therefore not scientific, but borne on a worldview or frame-of-reference.
Along these lines is the classic Twins Paradox. One of a pair of twins hops in a spaceship, flies fast enough to achieve a relativistic speed and when he returns to Earth, his twin brother is 12 years older than he. However, since Einstein posited that motion is dependent upon a reference frame of the observer, we can also say that even though one twin was in the spaceship, if we imagine him standing still and the Earth moving away at a relativistic speed (both are equivalent) then the first twin will be older than the second. Einstein said the effect was based on motion alone, yet scientists have attempted (and failed) to solve this riddle with over fifty different explanations, the last of which discard Einstein completely. The most recent of these is the notion of a "jump frame" which posits that the action of the spaceship stopping and turning around, is what changes the frame of reference. However, if we simply change the parameters of the experiment and have the spaceship leave Earth, take a very long circle to come back (there is no stopping and turning around) the "jump-frame" explanation collapses. Keep in mind that Einstein's assertion was based on motion alone. The movement of the twin at relativistic speed is what creates the time dilation. Whether one twin is in motion or the other twin, is irrelevant.
Concerning motion and a frame-of-reference, all observations are better explained if we consider light-plus-velocity of the moving object rather than a constant speed of light alone. As a simple example, if we are in a spaceship moving at the speed of light, all light inside and outside the spaceship should appear to be standing still. If we exceed the speed of light, it should appear that all lights inside the spaceship (e.g. diodes, lamps, etc.) have gone dark. No light behind the observer could ever catch up. No light wave in front of the observer could ever arrive to the observer's eyes. They would always fall behind. If however, light is a function of its intrinsic speed plus the velocity of the spacecraft, the observer would not experience any odd effects inside the spacecraft. Looking outside a window however, space would appear completely dark since all waves fall behind the observer before they arrive.
This is the problem that the mathematicians cannot solve, and will not solve, largely because Einstein was wrong about his assertion concerning motion. A simple illustration can reveal why. If a person wants to hit a nail with a hammer, we see that in one frame of reference, the hammer is in motion upon the nail. The nail in the meantime is stationary. As is the board in the wall where it sits. As is the wall. As is the house. As is the planet Earth. As is the Solar System, as is the Universe. All of these are stationary in relation to the moving hammer. If we take the position that the hammer is standing still and the nail is in motion toward the hammer, then the board is also in motion, as is the wall, as is the house, the Earth and ultimately the Universe itself. We can see how this simply collapses without further discussion. And yet scientists continue to defend it as though it represents reality.
However, an important aspect of frame-of-reference is time dilation. God says that one day to him is as a thousand years on in the Creation, so clearly time-dilation is recognized in Scripture 2 Peter 3:8 . The Twins Paradox attempts to explain motion and time dilation, but poorly. Starlight and Time is an excellent treatment of time dilation and provides more insight into the mechanics of time. In attempting to explain the constant speed of light using Jupiter's Moons  a missing factor is that, if the speed of light is not constant but instantaneous, simple time dilation explains the observation better than a constant speed of light.
The Anisotropic Synchrony Convention resolves these anomalies by first presuming that the assertions concerning a "constant" speed of light do not satisfactorily explain all observations, even in secular terms.
Simultaneity and Synchrony
Frame-of-reference is an important concept when determining a timeline of causality, or rather, when is something simultaneous?.
One of Einstein's chief mathematical problems was the definition of simultaneity. That is, how can we know for certain whether two events happen at the same time? He posited that the constant speed of light keeps us from knowing exactly "when" something happens because light requires a finite time to depart the event and arrive on our eyeballs, notwithstanding the additional time required to convert the image into the retina, optic nerve and visual cortex. However, Einstein never proved that the speed of light is constant, nor is it required of his equations. He simply stipulated it for purposes of convention:
Einstein's stipulation of the constant speed of light has been disproven for quite some time. This opens up application of another convention. We must, however discard the notion of the constant speed of light. Oddly, even though voluminous works refuting Einstein have been accumulating for many decades, the average scientist clings to Einstein's stipulation as though it is reality. Creationists (both layperson and scientists) have avoided the question, do not resist the assertion, or openly embrace the constant speed of light. One notable and praiseworthy exception is Jason Lisle from the Institute For Creation Research with the Anisotropic Synchrony Convention.
Anisotropic Synchrony Convention
The convention by which any model is measured is a function of human selection, such as whether we choose to use English or Metric. Neither of these conventions is wrong or inaccurate, but are different ways of measuring. The Biblical point-of-view, for everything from the Creation account to the rendition of miraculous events is expressed in terms of a human's-eye-view, or an anisotropic frame-of-reference. The Anisotropic Synchrony Convention, as opposed to the Einsteinian Synchrony Convention, is the frame-of-reference through which humans experience the physical world.
Synchrony conventions deal with simultaneity of light and time. The Einsteinian convention suggests that the speed of light is always constant. However, the one-way speed of light has never been measured. Einstein needed an anchor for simultaneity so he stipulated that the speed of light is constant without actually proving it, physically or mathematically:
That light requires the same time to traverse the path A > M as for the path B > M is in reality neither a supposition nor a hypothesis about the physical nature of light, but a stipulation which I can make of my own freewill in order to arrive at a definition of simultaneity" [emphasis is in the original].
More importantly, the speed of any moving object is determined by the formula distance/time. Since Einstein asserted that time is relative, it means that one of the variables in the speed equation is relative. Thus the speed of anything, including light, is also relative. To claim that the speed of light is constant essentially denies Einstein's assertion that time is relative. This is one of many inconsistencies in Einstein's assertions
Any measurements of the speed of light require reflecting the light to create a two-way path. However, the instruments used to measure the speed also operate at the same speed we are trying to measure. There is no way to mask their influence on the measurement. To further complicate matters, Einstein suggested that when two clocks, side-by-side are synchronized, simply moving them apart causes them to go out-of-sync. Therefore if we attempt to synchronize clocks, move them to distant locations and measure the speed of light, the clocks are already out-of-sync making the measurement impossible.
Recently a secularist proposed that the light itself could carry a synchronization signal to sync two distant clocks. The synchronization data could be encoded into the beam of light, transmitted to a distant clock, where it would be decoded and applied to synchronize the distant clock. However, the electronics required to encode and decode the signal, also to transmit and receive the signal, all have built-in delays that operate at the speed we are trying to measure! How can we be sure that the constraints of the measurement tools are not artificially influencing the measurement, or even falsely clamping the measurement to their own limitations? For example, if we "floor" the accelerator of a car, it will reach a maximum speed and no further. If we then claim that the speed of our car is the "fastest that any car can go" then we are constraining our conclusion to the scalability and capacity of the tools we used to make the measurement.
The Anisotropic Synchrony Convention presumes that the human observer is in a unique location. Light arriving from a distance source travels at a different speed than light traveling from a local source. Likewise the light reflecting off a surface may travel at a different speed than light arriving from an emitting source. For example, light arriving directly from the Sun travels at an unknown speed, but light reflecting from the Moon has been physically clamped to a fixed speed, offering the illusion of a constant speed of light. This convention was the universal convention of observation prior to the 1600s. It basically means that to human perception, things that are observed are happening now, not at the end of light-speed propagation delay as with the Einstein convention. Light from the Sun arrives at the same time it is emitted. Light from distant stars arrives at the same time it is emitted. Sagnac proved  that the speed of light is different depending on its direction. This is also observed with signals propagating through space-based satellites. The signals moving in one direction are different velocity than the other direction. The experiments further proved that the speed of light, as humans experience it, is directly associated with the proximity of the observation to the center of the Earth. This strongly underscores the validity of the anisotropic model.
This is not only supported by the Biblical view, it is actually the convention the Bible uses. God gave mankind stars on the Fourth Day of Creation and clearly intended for them to be used immediately. The nearest star to Earth is four light-years away, so under the Einstein convention the night sky would be devoid of stars for four years after the Creation. This is incongruous with the context and provision of the Fourth Day.
Is there physical or cosmological support for this view?
- Black holes have such strong gravity that no light can escape. However, gravity only acts between bodies with mass, meaning that a photon has mass. The standard model however, claims that photons have no mass.
- For a particle-with-mass traveling at the speed of light, time stands still. It departs and arrives simultaneously. n short, photons do not require light-years to arrive to earth.
- Recent assertions on quantum entanglement recognize the instantaneous interaction of particles across vast distances, eliciting discussions of wormholes to explain the behavior
- Spiral galaxies are seen all over the heavens at widely ranging distances, yet all of them look the same with their spiral arms in relatively the same positions. Instant arrival of light explains this effect.
- O-Type stars are highly energetic and are expected to burn-out their fuel in a few million years. They appear the same all over the heavens, at varying distances, with no other stars that look like a winding-down O-Type star. Instant arrival of light explains this effect.
Deep Time Past
The Bible describes past events in our near-past but has nothing to say about deep past, that is, the alleged time before the Biblical accounts began. With no eyewitnesses coupled with the inability to trust deep-time dating methods (all of them produce varying results even with the same method test-over-test), the Scriptural account of Creation remains the oldest known written artifact, the earliest testimony of an eyewitness and in secular scientific terms remains the most controversial words ever written.
The Bible's account of the past, especially as it includes the Creation, Fall, Flood, Confusion at Babel, the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, all pivot on a common fulcrum. The Bible is an account of how people lived and behaved in the past. The accounts are depictions of the person and mission of Jesus Christ.
Conversely, scientific endeavors cannot recreate events prior to the Biblical record. They are not observable, repeatable or measurable and so are not part of science. Ken Ham made this point in a 2014 debate with Bill Nye, that scientist attempt to equate historical science with observational science, and claim that Evidence for both can be interpreted in the same context. A reasonable person knows that this isn't true, for everything from judicial proceedings, validation of ancient documents, paintings, artwork or even fine wine. The past is not reproducible and we have no baseline artifact of a known age that can objectively validate long-age claims.
- No single dating method is universally accepted
- Many dozens of dating methods exist but none of them agree with each other
- For any given dating method, many different dates are received, requiring the evaluator to choose among them
- Secularists consider the purported "age" of the Earth and Cosmos as indisputable, even though they cannot agree on even one dating method
- Many dozens of evidences exist for a young Earth and Cosmos but these are arbitrarily dismissed by secularists as invalid
- Secular mankind sees the past as stretching backward to extraordinary duration, while the future as-they-know-it is very brief, ending at human death. Conversely, the Bible depicts the past as very brief, with the future stretching forward for an unimaginable duration.
If someone were to tell us that the Empire State Building is the tallest building in the world, we may well object by pointing to several other buildings that are much taller. Then the person says "But we don't count those. We only count the ones inside the borders of New York State". While this may sound ridiculous, it is exactly the approach taken by secularists when dismissing evidence for a young earth. They don't count it because it's not part of the world they accept. It is not welcome inside the borders of their understanding.
Creationists on the other hand, readily welcome and always challenge the claims of secularists as to long ages. The challenges are not on arbitrary grounds, but on the significant questions that secularists don't - but should - think are important. Secularists truly believe that creationists are mind-numbed robots answering to the Pied-Piper tune of their local pastors. They simply cannot accept that a thinking, breathing human could possibly disagree with their assertions concerning long-ages.
As a note, "age" is not an intrinsic property of matter. It is an effect of time. As such, the human mind must apply comparative analysis or cognitive abstraction to determine age.
- Comparative analysis in the sense that if we know the age of one object, we can compare another object to it.
- Cognitive abstraction in that we must know the age of the other object, and the only want we can know for certain is with eyewitness documentation or the eyewitness themselves. In deep time problems, there is no human eyewitness who can verify long-ages. Conversely, the creationist has an eyewitness, that is God, who wrote down what he did (a birth certificate) and gave it to mankind just after the Creation. We know this from the evidence that Genesis is a compiled work and Moses simply edited, compiled and cared for the parts of Genesis, presented to Moses as a set of written diaries.
Deep Time Future
In Revelation are described numerous events and conditions of the near and deep future. The primary aspects of this picture for us to understand in the present include:
- Jesus Christ rules, and will continue to rule the Creation and everything in it   
- The present human existence is temporal and meaningless 
- Humans should comport themselves in hope and respect of the deep future rather than temporal gratification 
- Human death is a transition, all humans will be resurrected, some to eternal life and some to damnation.
- God has generously and sacrificially provided for the eternal future of all humans
- The Bible depicts the future as exceeding the imagination of mankind, including its duration. Conversely, secular mankind sees the past as stretching backward to extraordinary duration, while the future as-they-know-it is very brief, ending at human death.
The very notion of time travel is unthinkable without the human ability to understand history Ecclesiastes 3:11 . Likewise God claims to have fixed the past Ecclesiastes 3:15 and also claims "that which is to come, has already been", such that the future also has some degree fixity as well.
God has placed the understanding of history-and-future into the heart of man for the specific purposes of fortifying God's trustworthiness through the prophets. Humans naturally know that the future is unpredictable. If a prophet can see the future and it comes to pass, this draws the human heart toward trusting the source of the prophet's information.
Concerning false prophets Deuteronomy 3:15 , God recognizes the power of his spiritual enemies, acting invisibly to humans, can orchestrate future events and then inform the false prophets of their intentions. All this for purposes of deceiving humans into forsaking God.
The primary difference here is that (a) God is sovereign over time, not bound to it and (b) the events of the future have already happened in God's frame-of-reference. These are not events he intends to orchestrate. They are certain events that humans have 'not yet experienced'.
If we presume that God's creation is complete and the architecture supports all the things God intends to show mankind, then we may presume that God has placed mechanisms in place to show the future to humans, as evidenced by His revelation to the prophets. There seems to be at least three cases where God has physically transported humans across time, achieving time-travel as we commonly understand it.
The Apostle John
In the book of Revelation, John relates that he is caught up in the spirit. Each time this concept "caught-up" is used in Scripture, it means a physical transportation. John also says that he "looked" and he "saw", such that the events were physically transpiring before him. He is asked to physically measure the city of God. At the end of all this, his is physically transported back to his original location. What we witness in this account are the aspects of physical time travel into the future, a time-slip effect whee John is fast-forwarded to various events in "hops" and then physical transport back in time.
A basic aspect of science is to observe what we see in the physical world and attempt to reproduce it. Powered flight inspired by the flight of birds and bees, for example. As we see God describe this "tour" for John, we also note that God showed the future to various prophets as well. So by definition, time-travel is not only possible, it's built-in to the architecture of the Creation. It is how God intended to show himself outside of time for informing prophets, ultimately to fortify God's trustworthiness. One of the greatest proofs of God's existence is the fulfillment of prophecy.
The Two Witnesses
Two persons in the Old Testament did not see death.
- Enoch was taken Genesis 5:24 . We read later Jude 1:14 that his testimony was the coming of the Lord with ten-thousands of his saints. Enoch was the seventh from Adam, so was taken prior to the Flood. What part of the future did he prophesy about? There were no saints to come with the Lord prior to the Flood. More importantly, where did Enoch go? Where did the Lord take him?
- Elijah was taken up in the presence of Elisha 2 Kings 2:11 in a chariot of fire to "heaven" but in this case it uses the Hebrew word for "sky". Where did Elija go? Where did the Lord take him?
The Lord could not take either of them into his presence in the heavenly realm. Humans may only approach the throne through the blood of Jesus Christ Hebrews 10:19 . Likewise, Jesus said that no man had ascended into heaven John 3:13 . It is understood that the Biblical Cosmology regards a "place of comfort" for the believers who died in faith prior to the Resurrection. This is a chamber of Hell (Sheol) where the unredeemed souls must wait on Jesus Christ to receive them. Jesus mentions this in Luke 16:19-31 , the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man. The rich man lands in Torment but Lazarus is carried by angels to Abraham's Bosom, the place of comfort for believing souls prior to the Resurrection.
This presents a problem in that neither Enoch nor Elijah may enter heaven.
In the book of Revelation we are introduced to two witnesses who have the characteristics of Elijah and Enoch. Elijah causes the rain to stop and of course Enoch's testimony of ten-thousands of saints makes perfect sense. They preach, are slain in the streets of Jerusalem and then rise from the dead three days later.
Some have speculated that the second witness is Moses, but there are two primary reasons why it cannot be him. Firstly, the Bible says it is appointed to a man once to die, and Moses had already died and decayed beyond the capacity to resuscitate as Christ had raised others. Being slain in the streets again would endure a second death, which the Bible claims is damnation. Secondly, these witnesses are in Jerusalem but Moses was forever denied entry to the promised land. Lastly, Enoch lived in the middle of the first 2000 years of Earth history where Elijah lived in the middle of the second 2000 years of Earth history. One represents the Gentiles (Enoch) and the other the Jews (Elijah). Their ministries are then inclusive, global and cause no confusion about their mission. Were Moses and Elijah in place, the message would appear exclusive to Jews and the Jews would fight over which one to follow.
Where does this leave us? God physically transported John into the future. May we presume that God also transported Elijah and Enoch into the future, as the two witnesses? In their frame-of-reference, Enoch would be standing and the Lord would take him and immediately place him on the Temple Mount. Elijah would rise into the sky in a chariot of fire and be deposited on the Temple Mount simultaneously with Enoch. This scenario is not only Scripturally supported, it is the most reasonable conclusion.
Causality is the primary aspect constraining time-travel into history. Anything that will impact cause-and-effect, according to time-travel aficionados, will create what is called the "Butterfly Effect". That is, according to Chaos Theory, the fluttering of a butterfly on the plains of the Midwest can be the catalyst for setting off typhoons in the Pacific. Small actions have a ripple-effect. In history, the removal or death of one person could have a profound effect, as exemplified in It's a Wonderful Life.
God says in Ecclesiastes 3:15 that he requires that which is past, or rather has sealed history as unchangeable. Such a paradox of "going back in time to kill my grandfather before he could have any children" would not be possible. Time-travel in science fiction has side-stepped this aspect by asserting that history has already accommodated the time-traveler. That is, the time-traveler cannot change history if the traveler is already a part of it. This of course means that the time traveler must visit history to participate in it, which challenges the aspect of human choice. If the time traveler refused to participate in history where he is expected, will history remain the same?
It is such cause-and-effect lineage issues that create unresolvable paradoxes in the human mind. God has meticulously laid out an original architecture with a primary goal of eliciting the trust of human minds. The extreme form of this is found in cinema Butterfly Effect where a person goes back in time to deliberately change the past. Or in Back to the Future, TimeCop, Men In Black 3 where future-reality suddenly changes, eliciting the need to go back into history and set it right.
In the book The Man Who Folded Time, the main character travels back into history, shoots Jesus Christ and then returns to the future to review a Christ-less world. He decides that he doesn't like it so goes back in time to stop himself. If this is the case, why didn't he stop himself the first time he tried it? And if he stopped himself, why would he need to be present at all? In Deja-Vu the main character goes back in time by four days to stop a catastrophe and succeeds but gets himself killed in the process. The premise is that he succeeded so that his present-day counterpart will not have to go back in time to stop it and therefore will not die.
Based on Ecclesiastes 3:15 we can know that God protects the integrity of past events. He does not arbitrarily change the past in order to affect the future. This is the foundation of his trustworthiness after all. If trusting his words is, as he claims, the most important thing a human mind can ever do, his holiness compels him to protect those things that might violate causality.
Significant Versus Insignificant
If we accept the premise that God has laid out a specific. prescribed architecture and created time as part of it, we must also consider that God exists unchanged in every nanosecond of time, all once. To the point, God's omnipresence is understood as everywhere and everywhen.
This also requires us to consider that God is in all places, sees all things, all at once, all over history. This elicits the question of how much God knows, to the point of knowing the individual fate of each human. Will they make it to heaven? To hell? And when was this known? For example, if God knows that a person will go to hell, why would he create this individual? This is not theoretical, since Jesus said exactly this about Judas Mark 14:21
However, God also describes himself as patient, longsuffering, waiting, planning and other aspects suggesting that he both causes and anticipates certain cause-and-effect sequences. Classic questions around these dichotomies are centered in Predestination and Election which are simply too extensive and complex to deal with here.
Superficially we may surmise, however that God has certain inexorable events (e.g. Crucifixion, Resurrection, Rapture, Great White Throne) that transpire at a time-certain. God also has persons (Judas, Pharoah, Paul, John, The Beast of Revelation, Abaddon of Revelation) who interact in history with prescribed outcomes. God also makes certain statements about humanity. The lifetime of a person is prescribed Job 14:14 . The time of a person's death is appointed Hebrews 9:27 . God has the capacity to extend a human life 2 Kings 20:1-6 . God has the capacity to restore youth, effectively extending life. Abraham notes that Sarai is fair and so does Pharaoh Genesis 12:11-16 . Sarah is later described as stricken in age Genesis 18:11 yet still attractive enough for Abimelech to want her for a wife Genesis 20:2 and shortly thereafter Sarah conceived a child with Abraham Genesis 21:2 .
Clearly God is sovereign over time, how it affects humans and thus how those humans will interact with others to create significant intersections in history.
The Bible delineates significant events and persons of history from those which are insignificant. In fact, God places no value on mankind's temporal existence and mocks those who do so James 4:14 . An inestimable number of souls will eventually cast into the lake of fire, physically and spiritually representing a trash heap Matthew 13:30 . These are souls that are necessary for the subsistence of the creation but have no significant value in the deep future. Likewise the vast majority of events and pursuits of man's existence are worthless Ecclesiastes 9:9 Luke 16:9 . Only those few people and events that are significant to God have any bearing on the final outcome of God's overall architecture. The principle of the "remnant" is replete throughout Scripture. Only a few were saved on a boat, only a few will survive the Tribulation, only a few will ultimately be faithful by the time Christ returns 2 Thessalonians 2:3 .
May we presume that if a person were to travel through time, that as long as they did not intersect or interact significantly with this remnant of individuals, that they would be just as free to engage in human affairs as in any other timeframe?
Perfect Will vs Permissive Will
Some modern-day theologians have divided God's will into "permissive" vs "perfect" because they cannot imagine the idea of God's will being associated with certain unseemly behaviors of believers. They imagine that God's will for mankind is perfect but that God "permits" certain things in what they call his "imperfect will".
If God says that something is wrong, we have no reason to accept that it is right-for-now, or that the wrongness will be set aside because God "permits" it. God says if we confess our sins he will forgive them. That we are fallen and prone to error, has nothing whatsoever to do with God's will. It is inappropriate to claim "God's will" for things that are products of fallen minds in a fallen world. Example, a man lies to his boss and gets a promotion. This means that God "permitted" the action because of an imperfect world. Did he? Or does God plainly say that he is not mocked, and we will reap what we sow? Galatians 6:7
These concepts are once again a confusion of how God expresses Himself through Time. God has already withheld his wrath from believers through the blood of Christ. His Spirit indwells the believer, witnessing to the truth. This does not remove the sin nature of the believer. God says that he commended his love to us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us Romans 5:8 . This form of love is a faithful love, or loyal love. God has chosen Time as the vehicle through which He will express his loyalty. After all, we can only understand loyalty over time, because faithfulness requires time to experience it.
What does this mean? That Christ died for us before we were even born. His blood paid for the sin we had not yet committed, because we weren't born yet. What does this say of us now? That Christ only died for the sins we've committed and not the one's we haven't? Of course not. The "permissive" doctrine is borne on the notion that God is not sovereign over time, but experiences our committing sin against him along-the-way, rather than understanding that he has already forgiven all of our sins. Why do we confess our sins? To maintain fellowship, not to maintain salvation. God interacts with mankind in real-time, in-the-moment, in fellowship. God walked with Adam in the cool of the day Genesis 3:8 . God stepped down from heaven to be with mankind in real-time John 3:13 .
God says he began a good work in us Philippians 1:6 and will be faithful to complete it. We believe that he will, in time. God can make this promise to us, because to him, existing both in the present and in the future, this has already happened.
"Permissive" is simply a poor choice of words for the more direct definition of Grace and Mercy. God does not "permit" sinful behavior, He judges it. The human condition is immersed in it. Claiming that he "permits" such behavior is no different than saying He "permits" the sky to be blue. The sky is always blue. Humans are always evil. He is graceful and merciful, offering forgiveness and withholding his wrath through the blood of Jesus Christ. That mankind sins, and that the believer commits sin, is not indicative of God "permitting" anything. A clear example is where God "permitted" Joseph's brothers to sell him into slavery because God knew that in the end it would all work out. Even Joseph says "You intended it for evil but God used it for good." The simple fact is, humans "are" evil Matthew 7:11 but understand how to do good things. A "permissive" scenario would presume that Joseph's brothers were "good most of the time" but committed evil against Joseph. In truth, Joseph's brothers were evil, Joseph was evil, Jacob was evil, all of them were evil because all humans are evil all the time Jeremiah 17:9 . God uses his might to draw good from the evil stew of humanity that is only evil from their youth Genesis 8:21 . Joseph was not offering this explanation to his brother as a means to explain how God "permitted" him to do it. He was offering an explanation of how God can make good in spite of the evil men do, and in spite of the fallen creation. This is a far more hopeful message considering that we are surrounded by the same fallen world, fallen minds and evil intentions of others. Knowing that God is actively making good out of this in our behalf, is what we would expect a loyal father to do.
In short, the doctrine of "permissive" will is derived from mankind's false belief that man is good most-of-the-time and occasionally evil, when God says man is evil all the time even while understanding how to do good.
It is clear that once we understand how God sees us, how we should regard time and eternity, it calls us to higher understanding of his will for us, and increases our faith. When we sin, we may not inquire as to God's permission. When evil befalls us, it is not because God has forsaken us or allowed evil to happen. It is because we live in a fallen world. God never said he would offer us infinite protection on this earth. Many Christians have been horribly martyred for their faith. Jesus himself claimed that thieves will break in and steal Matthew 6:19 and that we should not invest in this earth, but in heavenly things.
Applications and Insights
Nowhere is the Creation's architecture more profoundly exhibited than in God's interaction with humans across time and through time, using prophets to deliver His words, and validating His words on their lips through both miracles and the fulfillment of prophecy. Concerning Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Over 300 prophecies foretell His birth and passion. Over 400 prophecies foretell his Second Coming.
Christians have always been fascinated by this subject, and it is clear that Christ wanted this. The mechanics of His coming are described as something believers should not only hope for and anticipate, but watch for as the time nears. No differently than a bride who sits at the edge of her bed each evening when she knows the time for her bridegroom has come and he will appear on any given evening.
Timeline of the Advent of Jesus Christ
The promise of the Messiah is initiated by God immediately upon the Fall of Man as a message of hope to Adam and Eve, primarily to Eve, in that the Redeemer would be born of a virgin Genesis 3:15 . Over the following millennia, the many prophecies to follow this formed a specific, unmistakable intersection in history that no one person could possibly fulfill in human terms. In the dialog of a particularly popular drama presentation on this subject, Jesus is called "the most expected baby that ever was". Some of the prophecies were given in dual context, that is they were offered as part of one event but extended into the future. It is clear even from the first prophecy that humans did not have the complete insight on God's plan. For example, when Eve gave birth to Cain, her comment, literally translated, means that she thought Cain was the Redeemer.
The complete prophecies concerning Christ's coming are detailed in Evidence That Demands A Verdict by Josh McDowell. By McDowell's own testimony, he constructed this book while he was an atheist, on a challenge from some school chums to disprove the Resurrection. The more he researched, the more he came to the inexorable conclusion that the Resurrection is the most historically verifiable and supported event of all human history.
God has unfolded his plans slowly over time to draw out the faith of believers. Some take this to mean that God was "tinkering" or "improvising", but God makes it clear that the plan for Christ's entry into history, his death and Resurrection were planned from the foundation of the world. Every account in Scripture has some application in either foreshadowing the coming of Christ, the mission and roles of the Trinity, Christ's relationship to man, God's relationship to Christ etc. For any of the seemingly sidetracked accounts, each of them dovetails into the theme of God redeeming the entire Creation through Christ, and the overall purpose of the Creation to testify to Christ's glory. A "tinkering" God is not a sovereign God. If God must "tinker" or "orchestrate" his plans through the manipulation of events or people, this makes Him subject to Time, when in fact God is sovereign over Time and not subject to it.
Isaac and Rebekah
Concerning the manner in which Abraham selected a wife for Isaac we see the "types" of the Trinity and the Bride. Abraham is in the role of the Father, where Abraham's servant is in the role of the Holy Spirit, Isaac is in the role of the Son, and Rebekah is in the role of the Bride. The mechanics of the account are that Abraham sends the servant to find a bride for Isaac, who by this time is over 40 years old. The servant goes to Abraham's home country and sets up specific criteria through which a bride will be chosen. He selects Rebekah, brings her home to Isaac and they unite. This account dovetails with the the spiritual mechanics of the Gospel, in that Gods sends his Spirit to call a Bride (a believer), and once chosen, the Bride is presented to the Son. We note that Rebekah was not looking for a husband, but was in the right place, at the right time and did what was expected.
- God's Spirit seeks the souls
- The Spirit seeks out believers at a specific location
- The Spirit calls the potential believer
- The unsaved but potential believer is not seeking God
- The Spirit chooses the believer
- The Father gives souls to Christ
- Christ honors the Father's selection and does not cast them out
Construction of the Ark
Using time to draw out faith, is the construction of the Ark requiring 100 years to complete. The most complex cruise ships in existence dwarf the Ark in size and are outfitted per-cabin with personalized technologies such as plumbing, communication, television and various services throughout the ship. Yet it takes less than 10 years to fully construct such a craft. Nothing prescribes Noah to work alone or even conscript help to build the Ark, yet it is unlikely that he and three sons fully constructed it with no assistance. In either case, 100 years for construction is arguably several times longer than actually necessary. If we presume, for example, that Noah needed fully 90 years to construct the Ark, then he and his family would have waited ten years for the water to arrive. What if they took three times longer than a modern cruise ship (30 years) and waited 70 years for the waters to come? Even waiting for one year, or even one month for the water to arrive would be maddening to the average believer today. God uses time to build faith.
Concerning the Flood, Peter points out that this was a time, like Noah's, that elicited scoffers mocking God's promises. We may surmise that Noah had to endure the scoffers, but considering that the Lord himself was working alongside him with specific instructions, this would have mitigated the ridicule and certainly bolstered Noah's confidence.
Using time to draw out faith, God promised to Abraham that Christ would be his descendant and his seed would multiply as the stars of heaven, Abraham was childless and his wife was barren. They were already too old to have children. God repeats this promise to Abraham and Sarah but now includes Isaac in the promise, even before Isaac was born. Both Abraham and Sarah were over ninety years old by the time this promise was fulfilled in Isaac.
When God required Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, we note that neither Abraham nor Isaac had any objection whatsoever, and that Isaac, required to carry the wood up the mountain, was clearly old enough to overpower and flee his aging father. However, that God himself had promised both of them that the Redeemer would come through them, we read later that Abraham fully expected God to stop him, or raise Isaac from the dead. This tells us that as much as God was testing Abraham, we see that Abraham was testing God. Either God is a God who keeps his promises, or he's not God at all. Knowing what God had already done for him, God's request to Abraham was not received with alarm, but with hope. Abraham knew God was about to do something amazing, and God did not disappoint him.
Anecdotally, this passage begins with the first reference of the word love, as God asked Abraham to take his son, who he loves. As the first appearance of a word is supposed to set it's context thereafter, we see in the New Testament that the first use of the word love in each Gospel is an expression of God's love to his Son Matthew 3:17 Mark 1:11 Luke 3:22 John 3:16 . This shows us that God's definition of love is far more than a "feeling of I like you" or what modern scholars and media have reduced it to. Love in God's definition is unconditional loyalty. He claims to watch our backs and to provide for our future. He does all this in real-time, caring for us personally and individually.
The Passover and the Passion
This discussion points out the timing of the Passion as it relates to the prophecies, particularly the Passover. We notice that the time and location of Christ's birth are somewhat fuzzy in comparison to the hour-by-hour detail of Christ's ministry and mission leading to his death and Resurrection. The Passover was not given to the Israelites in direct context of a prophesy, but neither were any of the other "feast" days. It is instructive that God commanded the Israelites to remember and follow the Passover with zeal. We learn during the events of the Passion that Christ is in fact the Passover Lamb and the events of the Passover dovetail perfectly with this important celebration. God provided for the Israelites in Egypt, that their firstborn sons would be spared if they put the blood of a lamb on their doorposts, and this would cause the Lord to "pass over" the house to the next one.
- Nisan 10 - This is the day the passover lamb is selected for the sacrifice. This is also the day that Christ rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, angering the religious leaders into 
- Nisan 13 - The evening before Passover, when the disciples ate with Christ
- Nisan 14 - The day of Passover, preceding the feast of unleavened bread. Jesus is Crucified on this day. More importantly, the hours he is on the Cross are the same hours that the Temple priests made their Passover sacrifices.
- By the close of this day, Jesus is off the cross and in the tomb before Sunset
- Was Jesus killed on Thursday or Friday?
- The scribes and pharisees asked for a sign but Christ used this question as a teaching moment, reminding them of Jonah and Nineveh, and that Jonah was in the belly of the fish "three days and three nights", with the claim that Christ would do likewise. While many scholars claim that "being raised on the third day" is enough to justify the notion that Christ was killed on Friday, it does not fulfill Christ's specific claim of three days and three nights. We have seen theologians perform extraordinary violence to the Scripture to accommodate a Friday Crucifixion, with no real justification for it.
- At a minimum, Christ had to have been Crucified on Thursday in order to have at least three full nights. Some would suggest as early as Wednesday in order to have three full days and nights (however, this would not work for reasons explained shortly).
- If Christ is designated to be killed on Nisan 10, knowing that "after 2 days" is the Passover, this places the Passover beginning on Wednesday evening, with Passover ending on Thursday evening.
- How can we see a Thursday Crucifixion if we know that the following day was a "Sabbath"? John notes that the following day was a "high" day, not a regular Sabbath day. In modern culture, Jews combine High Sabbath Days (Feast Days) with Regular Sabbath days (e.g. Saturday). But the first-century Jews did not do this. As John claims the following day was a high-day we know it was the Feast Of Unleavened Bread, which always follows Passover. General church history has blurred the picture of this week with traditional understanding of the regular Sabbath, disregarding John's specific note that it was a high day. Why would John call it out as a high day if it was a regular Sabbath, even if the high-day fell on the regular Sabbath? In other words, if the following day was a regular Sabbath anyhow, then taking Jesus off the cross would have already been a priority. That it was not, suggests that the Romans had to be told of a special condition (the following day was not a regular Sabbath) in order for them to accelerate Christ's death.
- Nisan 15- The High Sabbath Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Christ is in the tomb. One full night has passed. This would be the full day Friday.
- Note that if the Crucifixion is on Wednesday, the High Sabbath Feast of Unleavened Bread is on Thursday, making Friday nothing special. Mary could have visited the tomb on Friday.
- With two back-to-back Sabbaths, Christ's prophecy is fulfilled and Mary would not be able to go to the tomb until Sunday morning.
- Nisan 16- The regular Sabbath day. Christ remains in the tomb. A second full night has passed. This is the full day Saturday.
- Nisan 17- The first day of the week, at the end of the third full night (dawn) Christ rises from the grave.
- The first day after the Sabbath on Passover week is called the Feast of Firstfruits (Day of Firstfruits)  and is the day Christ rose from the dead. Although it is a Feast, it is not a High Sabbath day.
- Christ is called the "firstfruits of them that slept" directly connecting the timing of his Resurrection with the promise of resurrection to the saints.
The Passover and the hour-by-hour explanations invite the believer to dig deeper for broader meaning. Superficially we see Christ being led to his death as foretold by the prophets, and Christ raised from the dead to conquer death and hell. More deeply, we see the connections to the original Passover and the lockstep pace which the Passion follows the Passover days.
Timeline of the Rapture
Jesus said that no man nor angel knows the time of his Second Coming, except for the Father Matthew 24:36 . Jesus said that the day would come as a thief in the night 1 Thessalonians 5:2 2 Peter 3:10 . The complete purpose for keeping this moment a secret cannot be known, but superficially this protects humans from being deceived by demons or humans who may want to declare a certain date. Many people have declared a date for the Rapture in recent decades. Clearly all of them were wrong.
The moment of the Rapture sets off a number of different events in Scripture and starts the final countdown on the Lord's physical return to the Earth. The rich wedding imagery Christ offered in his parables about the kingdom of Heaven align with the traditional Jewish wedding ceremony to wit:
- The groom pays a dowry for the bride upon betrothal
- The groom goes away to prepare a place for them to live
- The groom returns at a known season of time, but an unknown exact time
- The bride is expected to be ready when the time draws near
- The head groomsman or best man announces the bridegroom upon arrival
- The groom and bride are married and begin their marriage supper
- The groom and bride begin their wedding week
- The groom and bride take up residence
The Scriptures concerning the basic timeline of these events include the mention of several key events and persons in this time frame:
- The Son of Perdition (also called the "AntiChrist") is to make a covenant with Israel for 7 years Daniel 9:27 , mentioning that sacrifice shall cease in the middle, but this would require a Temple within which to make sacrifices, so this also prophesies the restoration of the Temple. The Temple Institute is dedicated to its restoration and is ready to begin construction even today
- The Son of Perdition does not precede the Rapture, but his arrival is a sign that it has already happened 2 Thessalonians 2:2-5 . Therefore this 7-year covenant with Israel will be after the Rapture.
- As noted above, the 7 years is also likened to the wedding week, the reserved time after a wedding in which the newlywed couple are alone in fellowship
- The Two Witnesses in Revelation do their work in the first 3.5 years of this seven years. They send mighty plagues all over the earth
- Jesus claimed that the time before his return would be characterized as the days before the Flood and before Sodom, a completely routine existence but the Earth being shattered with angelic mayhem  and plagues is hardly routine. This is evidence that the believers will be removed before it begins.
- The forms of salvation used for Noah and Lot are instructive, because these are pictures of "evacuation before judgment"
- The first 3.5 years is a time of false peace, enabled by the first horse of the Apocalypse, the AntiChrist. Some hold that this represents Christ, but the crown on the rider is a "stephanos" crown (one that is earned) while Christ's crown  is "diadema" crown (of a recognized ruler). The rider uses a bow-and-arrow (the weapon of a warrior) where Christ's weapon is a sword. Christ arrives to take his kingdom where his enemies are destroyed by the brightness of his coming , but the rider is on a mission to conquer by assimilation (conquering and to conquer) and is not a swift and complete victory)
As a note, the proponents of the mid-Tribulation and post-Tribulation views claim that those who accept the pre-Tribulation view are stubborn, hard-headed and unwilling to listen to other views. This is a mischaracterization of what pre-Tribulation believers accept. The pre-Tribulation view is not only supported by more Scripture, it dovetails with human nature.
For example, the Son of Perdition is described as someone who will rise from obscurity and completely take over the world's economy, religion and government (Revelation 13), and will have magical powers. Even someone with magical powers would have problems with coalescing all of the world's leaders into a common government. But no such person could control the economy of the world. And absolutely no such person could bring all religions together under one tent. However, in the aftermath of millions of people disappearing worldwide, the governments of the world would set aside their differences and engage a global economy. With no remaining Christians to claim universal truth, this opens the door for a new world religion, inclusive of all peoples. Only a person with magical powers, entering history at the exact moment of opportunity could bring this to pass as it was foretold.
The above is a "pre-tribulation" view of the Rapture and the Second Coming as separate events. The primary Scriptural support for this view is found in the mechanics of the Jewish Wedding but also the words of Christ as he described his return. That it would be as a "thief in the night", that it would be during times as routine as those in Noah's day, and in Lot's day. And like Noah and Lot, the Rapture is a picture of "evacuation before judgment".
The Tribulation is described with events that are hardly routine (angels preaching to mankind, seas boiling, loss of wildlife, all sea creatures die, etc). The Tribulation is also described as a very fearful time as it pertains to the heavens, the elements, plagues and all kinds of heaven-sent maladies and calamity. The time before the Flood and Sodom was clearly fearful in terms of violence, but not fearful in terms of the heavens shaking or other global calamities openly imposed by God. Rather, life is described as routine, everyday, lacking any sort of delineation from prior days or days-to-come. These are clear indications from Christ that he intends to deliver his bride from the judgment of the tribulation, as a "thief in the night".
The time of Christ's coming is intended to offer hope and comfort for believers, 1 Thessalonians 4:18 and not fear or dread.
A father knows that his daughter's closet light bulb is out. In the same hour, he realizes that his son intends to go on an outing with friends and might need some gas in his car. So he hops into his son's car, goes to the store to get the lightbulb and fills the tank on the way back.
While his daughter is still sleeping, he replaces the bulb. Later in the day, his daughter calls from another room "Dad, the light in my closet is out." And this prompts the son to ask, "Oh yeah, I'm going to need some gas for my car." As a humorous jest, the Dad says "done" and goes about his business.
An hour later both of them come to him with the same requests and wonder why he said he would do it but hasn't lifted a finger. It's done, the dad says, watch - and he wiggles his fingers like a magic spell and says "Poof!" a new lightbulb, and "Poof!" a full tank of gas! I love my job! He laughs. But the children are unimpressed. He says no-really! But they just cross their arms. He says "Don't believe me, go check!" But they won't budge. He says okay, suit yourself. The two of them think their dad has lost his mind. She goes up to her room to figure out how she will replace the bulb herself and finds that the light already works. Likewise the son goes out to his car, thinking he'd better leave early enough to stop off and get gas, only to find a full tank. The operant factor here: The provision for their need had already been met even before they had asked, they simply had not experienced it yet.
This "not experienced it yet" is an important factor in understanding God's provision through time. Many things we ask of him, we get impatient and don't let him do his work. He may have already provided for us before we even ask. Clearly in the case of Jesus Christ, he provided for us while we were yet sinners, and even before we were born.
- Genesis 1:14
- Romans 1:25
- Psalm 19:1-3
- (Einstein 1961, p. 23)
- Colossians 1:13-20
- Philippians 2:10-11
- Romans 14:11
- James 4:14
- Matthew 13:30
- Ecclesiastes 9:9
- Luke 16:9
- Matthew 6:19-20
- Hebrews 9:27
- John 5:29
- Romans 5:8
- Revelation 11:3-13
- 1 Kings 17:1
- Revelation 20:14
- Matthew 25:1-13
- Isaiah 9:6
- Genesis 4:1
- Revelation 13:8
- Romans 8:22
- Colossians 1:12-22
- Psalm 19:1-5
- Genesis 24:1-67
- Ephesians 4:4
- Matthew 20:3
- Romans 9:11
- 1 Thessalonians 5:24
- Romans 3:11
- Matthew 20:16
- Matthew 22:14
- 1 Peter 2:9
- John 6:65
- John 6:37
- John 17:24
- Genesis 7:6
- Psalm 27:14
- Psalm 37:9
- Isaiah 40:31
- 2 Peter 3:4
- Genesis 15:4-5
- Genesis 17:19
- Hebrews 11:17-19
- Isaiah 58:8
- Jeremiah 29:11
- Romans 3:11
- Exodus 12:3-6
- Matthew 26:3-4
- Matthew 12:38-41
- John 19:31
- Leviticus 23:11
- 1 Corinthians 15:20
- John 17:12
- Genesis 29:27
- Revelation 11:3
- Revelation 11:5-6
- Matthew 24:37-44
- Revelation 14:18-19
- Revelation 16:1-21
- Revelation 6:4
- Revelation 19:11-15
- 2 Thessalonians 2:8
- 2 Thessalonians 2:9
- Revelation 14:6-7
- Revelation 16:3
- Luke 21:25-27