Age of man

 

Here we are in 2016; many decades, centuries and even millennia have gone by for mankind but the speculations about how long man has been on this earth and how old the earth is continues to be debated! Sciences estimates billions of years for earth and others think at least 10 million years or more for man as “evolution” has progressed—still others that lean more to creation and the Bible say approximately 6000 years. Does the Bible give some answers to this dilemma and is it possible we are in the last days of this age?  

 

Most seem to want to reject the only real evidence, and most of those that embrace the Bible for answers, do not except what it actually reveals.

Get your Bible and follow along with what we are going to see, as we look at some Scriptures and what they reveal on this subject throughout this article!

 

Have you ever wondered why God did not make everything in the Bible perfectly clear for the average person who reads it? He did not, you know, and many details are also not included in Scripture about some things. For example; we notice that the age of Adam, when created is not given nor Cain and Abel when born, (Gen.4) is not given, but when Seth is born it is? (Gen. 5) Cain has a wife in Chapter 4, but we are not told when she was born or anything else about her or any other women even existing. A great amount of details are missing! How many children were actually born to Adam and Eve, or even between their creation and Seth coming on the scene is not disclosed. All we have on Adams age at the time is; Gen 5:3 And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.”

Many people who spend considerable time reading the Bible have very little true understanding of it, even though they may think they do, because they have read through many of the passages. Yet all of these left out details are hardly ever noticed, or perhaps at least considered. People may know what the word says and yet not really grasp what we need to learn from it, including what is not recorded. The age of earth and man is one of those areas where there is a wide variety of misunderstanding, joined with a lot of speculation, because many Scriptures are ignored that are given, simply because they may be located somewhere else. For example In Gen 1:1 we read; “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (NKJ) Yet the very next verse says; “The earth was without form, and void;” and from this, many assume that is the first state of earth’s creation and God begins to work from that state. However, when we study into this, we find this wording for verse two in the ASV (American Standard Version); V.2 “And the earth was waste and void”; (ASV) which could not support life. We also see from this same translation in Isa 45:18; “For thus saith Jehovah that created the heavens, the God that formed the earth and made it, that established it and created it not a waste, that formed it to be inhabited:--” (ASV) Okay, if God created the earth to be inhabited, something must have happened to cause the earth to be “without form and void” or waste and empty as those words mean.

 

What does this begin to reveal??

We find statements in the NT about ages and worlds and this will help in this search for the approximate age of mankind.

 

Turn to Matt 28:19-20 where Christ is commissioning the Church of God (COG) as to what the COG is to be doing until He returns.  V.19        "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,   20   "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. (NKJ)

(KJV & ASV have “world” here instead of “age”, as it is in the NKJ, so let us get the definition of the word “world” from Strong’s concordance.    #165  aion (ahee-ohn'); properly, an age;” --let us also check another passage from Christ where He uses this term. Matt 12:32 (NKJ)  "Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” Again the ASV & KJV use the word world—but the meaning of “world” is actually age, so this is indicating we are living in an age and there is another age to come. So obviously then by going back to Gen.1:1, we can begin to determine it is talking about a previous age for earth, one that we know very little about. Further study into this throughout Scripture reveals a few more details of various other things that were created before earth was first created, then a cataclysmic battle after it was created that rendered it waste and empty, the state we see recorded there. Ps.104:30 indicate the earth was renewed and other passages show this will happen again in the future.

 

From these other passages, we can know that there are at least two different “ages” being talked about in the Bible, possibly more—considering how the stages of time are divided up. This obviously would mean that one of those “ages” is this present age we now live in. Gal 1:4 tells us this, speaking of Christ  V.4  “Who gave himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:” (KJV)  WORLD  here, from Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, is also  aion” ^165^, (same as Strong’s shows, and means) "an age, a period of time," marked in the NT usage by spiritual or moral characteristics, is sometimes translated "world"; the RV margin always has "age." Satan the devil now rules in this age (2Cor.4:4) but will not be permitted in the age to come or the kingdom of God. (Rev.20:1-4)

 

So however brief, details about the creation and age of man, and approximately about how long mankind from Adam has been on this earth; enough is revealed for us to know approximately.

However, some will read the first verse in Genesis and conclude that the earth has only been in existence for around 6,000 years, because the genealogies found later in the Bible only add up to about that much time, and many have traced this out to come to that conclusion. Genesis 1:1 & 2 has also been concluded by some that these go together—that is—that the earth was created without form and void in its beginning. Here is how the NAS translation words this passage given earlier; Isa 45:18 “For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, {But} formed it to be inhabited), ---.” (NAS)

Others conclude that the evidence of bones of dinosaurs and huge land animals on the earth means they existed here alongside of man, possibly until the flood—even though the Bible never really mentions any of these animals. Still others will conclude that because of science’s carbon dating, providing data that shows the earth has been here for billions of years; man must have been here in some form, a lot longer as well, even way before the genealogy of man through Adam and “creation week” began. Many ideas “spin off” of these “theories” when what the Bible does say is ignored! When a person chooses to ignore things that are clearly revealed in Scripture—this is what happens.

 

We are told this in 2 Tim 2:15   “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Isa. 28:9-10 probes our minds with this; V.9 "Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts?  (These are questions that God obviously wants us to ponder) Then in V. 10 God states this; “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little." We have to search out truth by finding different Scriptures throughout the Bible that lends understanding to whatever our subject may be.

 

Based on what we have already seen, we should be able to safely conclude that it is very possible that the huge land animals, such as dinosaurs, roamed this earth in a previous age before man, when the earth was first created, because it was created to be inhabited in its beginning. This would put a huge gap of time between verse 1 & 2, as the rest of Scripture dealing with this seem to show. We find that Gen.1:1 is also not the beginning of every existent thing that was created, only the heavens and earth. John 1:1 is the true beginning recorded in Scripture, and if you notice when you read that, there were two God beings mentioned there before anything was created. This will help use better understand Hebrews 1 about created angels (Read this in your Bible) and when that might have been. Gen.1:26, which IS within “creation week” we should read here. Gen 1:26 “And God said, Let Us (Those two God beings mentioned in John 1:1-2) make man in Our image, after Our likeness:” showing that these two God beings were involved in the creation of all things (See John 1:3)  which includes man and that man is the only creature in God’s likeness, even though angels and many other creatures were created previously.

 

So obviously these two God beings had a plan from the beginning, (John 1:1-3) when they first started creating, and many NT Scriptures reveal that God had predetermined things that would be in that plan, dealing with both man and angels—some fail-safe mechanisms one might say—would be put in place for the reproducing of God beings through mankind. Turn with me, though, to the last book of the Bible. Rev 13:8-9 says, dealing with end-time prophecy; “All who dwell on the earth will worship him, (Beast) whose names have not been written in the Book of Life (Now notice this) of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.  9  If anyone has an ear, let him hear.”   So let us hear and grasp this!  Let us go back now and read verse 14 of John 1.  John 1:14        “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”  When did this happen and what does this mean? That should be easy to answer for most Bible readers—this was when Christ was begotten in Mary’s womb and then later born of the flesh.

 

But did you pick up on the fact that He was determined to be slain from the FOUNDATION of the world? When was that and what is this “foundation of the world” being spoken of here, as noted above? I am relying totally on Scriptural revelation and a little common sense. It is obvious that what is being talked about in Rev.13:8 are human names that are not written in the Lambs book of life—and that He, the Lamb was decreed to be slain at the foundation of this world or age; so again, when did human beings come to be? Well, that takes us back to Gen.1 and creation week, if we believe the Bible—but this would only start applying after man had chosen to sin, which is the cause Christ was to be slain for! There was no need for Christ to be sacrificed until after that first sin in humans had occurred. Heb 9:22 says “And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.” (Forgiveness) If Adam had not sinned, Christ would not have had to die, so hopefully you can grasp this aspect of the start of this age of sinful man was at their listening to Satan and then sinning. It began when Adam and Eve sinned.

But now how does this translate into six thousand years of this age? We see this also in Eph 3:9   “And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:”--(KJV) (The word “world” has the same meaning #165-aion-seen above, meaning age)

 

Satan, who had rebelled against God, long before man was created, (Isa. 14:12-14 & Ezek. 28:14-15) is the one who caused the chaotic condition to the earth found in Gen.1:2 and there are several Scriptures that can be searched out to prove this. This completely destroyed the surface of the earth and every living thing at that time. We are not given the length of time that passed between Gen. 1:1 & verse 2, so the earth could have been waste and empty for thousands or even a million years or more. The book of Revelation ch.12 further reveals that the devil was cast back to the earth along with one third of the angels who are now demons, because they rebelled with him and fought against other angels. So this was in an age previous to man and the devil is here on earth when the creation of man took place.

 

WE find this in Matt 1:17 “So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.” This is a total of 42 generations—but it does not tell us how long the average generations is. Some speculate that a generation is one hundred years—translating this period to be 4200 years—which is far too long to fit a 6,000 year scenario at the return of Christ. There are other calculations, such as one generation figured it at 40 years (1680 years) and some even 30 years (1260) and so on, which would then be added to the rest of the time to get the overall period. (One could also try and count the genealogies found in the Bible, considering also the ruling time of kings, but the ones who have done that have also came up with different conclusions.)

 

God shows us that Satan will be bound for 1,000 years while Christ and the saints rule on earth in the kingdom of God. This period is considered a Sabbath rest, patterned after the 6 day week and the seventh day rest. Notice this command; Exod 20:8-11 V.8 "Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.  9  Six days you shall labor and do all your work,  10  but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.  11   For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.” Considering a day for a year, that God sometimes uses, (Num.14:34 & Ezek.4:6) the six days of creation and then the Sabbath rest can be a type of seven thousand years, but after that comes a time of judgment.

 

This and everything else involved seems to indicate that in God’s plan for dealing with sinful man, there are to be 6,000 years which Satan rules on this earth as the god of this world or age, (six days to him, as he is in the spirit realm -2Pet.3:8) ending at the return of Christ and Satan being bound. Let us read these verses in conclusion. Turn with me to Rev 20:4-7   “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. 7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison.” Satan will then have his final judgment and be banished forever. After this is the judgement period for the “rest of the dead” as it comes. (V.11)

 

It should be clear to any true Christians and believers of the Bible that we are in the last days of the age of sinful man under the influence of Satan! I hope this article has given sufficient Scriptural texts and enough food for thought to show that God does have a plan and that plan for this sinful age of man appears to have been set at the sin of man and was most likely to be 6,000 years that are almost up! There are some that have written that these 6,000 years were to be divided into 3 segments or ages of approximately 2000 years each. If the “Christian” age was to be 2000 years from the time Christ began His ministry or to build His Church—that time started in either 27 AD, or on the day of Pentecost in 31AD or CE—which would run out by 2027 or by 2031. But then we have to consider that Christ said those days (Perhaps end time years) would be cut short or no one would be left alive. (Matt.24:22) Many other things could have been gone into for consideration—but the intent of this article was mainly to get us focused on the fact that we need to believe the word of God and the probability that this evil world (Age) ruled by Satan is almost over. We all need to be preparing ourselves for that fact. However, we do not know the exact day or the hour and must be watching. This is why Christ said for true Christians to watch themselves spiritually and the happenings going on in the world around them! (Luke 21:36)

 

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