In my last blog, I began laying a FOUNDATION--of which we can DISCERN the TIMES and SEASONS. Let's return to 2 Peter 3:8-10. (Remember, this passage speaks to people who are WILLINGLY IGNORANT concerning the PROMISE of Jesus' return.)
"But, beloved, be NOT ignorant of this one thing, that ONE DAY is with the Lord as a THOUSAND YEARS, and a THOUSAND YEARS as ONE DAY."
"The Lord is NOT SLACK concerning His PROMISE, as some men count slackness; but is LONGSUFFERING to us-ward, NOT willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the DAY OF THE LORD (defined elsewhere as the TRIBULATION HOUR) will come as a THIEF IN THE NIGHT..."
Who are those that are UNAWARE--who SUFFER a ROBBERY by a THIEF that comes in the NIGHT (during the hours of DARKNESS)? Who are those who find themselves cast into the TRIBULATION JUDGMENTS?
Those who are WILLINGLY IGNORANT concerning the TIMES and THE SEASONS! These are people who SCOFF, saying that Jesus WON'T come, that He NEVER came in times of the past, and certainly He WON'T come THIS time either. These are people who DWELL IN DARKNESS, because they are CAUGHT in the NIGHT by the THIEF (scripturally, THE THIEF is a bad guy--Satan, who LIES and STEALS). These people are EXHORTED by the Apostle Peter to REMEMBER a truth--a FACT related to GOD'S TIMING.
(Also remember this--TRUE CHRISTIANS are CHILDREN of the DAY--we are of THE LIGHT--we are NOT of the NIGHT or DARKNESS.) See 1 Thessalonians 5:4-11.
The FACT concerning God's TIMING is wrapped up in a certain phrase: In the eyes of God--"a THOUSAND YEARS is as ONE DAY."
This is NOT an INSIGNIFICANT thing! The TIMING shown HERE bears a STRONG RELATIONSHIP to God's APPOINTED schedule in dealing with SINFUL mankind. The REFERENCE takes us back to the VERY BEGINNING, Genesis chapter one, where we see God create the WORLD, and ALL things in RELATION to this present WORLD--in SIX DAYS. On the SEVENTH DAY, God declared a SABBATH. In the SEVENTH DAY, God rested.
How does this bear WITNESS to the idea, that to God, A DAY is AS a THOUSAND YEARS?
By carefully counting the GENERATIONS from the TIME of Adam, we discover an amazing fact. The EARTH is NOT as old as geologists claim. We find that FOUR THOUSAND YEARS passed between Adam and the FIRST COMING OF JESUS CHRIST. From the TIME of Jesus to our present day, another TWO THOUSAND YEARS have passed. Looking at scripture which PROMISES the MILLENNIUM (another THOUSAND YEARS), we understand that the SEVENTH THOUSAND will be a TIME of REST for the WORLD--with Jesus reigning in His earthly KINGDOM. This is the SAME PATTERN as God resting on the SEVENTH DAY after the creation.
The SEVEN DAYS of creation are a TYPE or a MODEL of ALL the YEARS in which God will deal with SINFUL mankind. Just like the CREATION lasted SEVEN DAYS, the FULL TIME of God's MINISTRY with mankind on the PRESENT EARTH will cover SEVEN THOUSAND YEARS. Therefore, ONE DAY, in the eyes of God, is as A THOUSAND YEARS.
The ABOVE explanation is NOT the only UNDERSTANDING concerning the issue. In Galatians 4:4-5 we read this:
"But WHEN the FULLNESS of the TIME was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the ADOPTION of SONS."
What was the FULLNESS OF TIME that is mentioned here?
As I stated in the previous paragraphs, when we count the GENERATIONS from Adam to Jesus, we find the answer. God's FULLNESS OF TIME for JESUS to walk the earth as GOD in the FLESH OF A MAN was FOUR THOUSAND YEARS. Jesus was born near THE END of the FOURTH DAY after creation.
What did God create during the FOURTH DAY? THE SUN! This is NOT a coincidence! Toward the evening of that FOURTH DAY of a THOUSAND YEARS--the "TRUE SON" shone His light on the earth.
Well, that's wonderful, and it SHOWS God's GLORY. But how does this apply to the END TIMES and the Second Coming of Jesus?
To find this structure as it APPLIES to the END TIMES, we need to look at a PROPHECY which was given to ISRAEL in Hosea 5:15 -- and continued into Hosea 6:1-2.
(This is one of those places where A CHAPTER BREAK DISRUPTS THE FLOW OF UNDERSTANDING. Remember that in the original Bible scrolls, there were NO chapter breaks. The chapter breaks were added later--and THEY ARE NOT DIVINELY INSPIRED.)
Let's look at what the prophet Hosea wrote:
JESUS is THE ONE speaking here by prophecy. He says, "I will go and RETURN to My place (heaven), TILL they (Israel) acknowledge their offense, and SEEK My face: in THEIR AFFLICTION they will SEEK Me early."
(And here is what ISRAEL will say as THEY SEEK their Lord) "Come, and let us RETURN unto the Lord: for He has torn, and He will heal us; He has smitten, and He will bind us up. AFTER TWO DAYS will He REVIVE us: in the THIRD DAY He will RAISE us up, and WE SHALL LIVE IN HIS SIGHT."
I get GOOSEBUMPS every time I REVIEW this PROPHECY! Do you UNDERSTAND what's being said here? Oh, this is so RICH. And it offers a GLIMPSE of God's TIMING--a SUBJECT we are EXPECTED to KNOW.
When Jesus was born near the end of the fourth ONE THOUSAND YEAR day, and preached in the early part of the FIFTH DAY, Israel (as a whole) REJECTED their Messiah, and Jesus RETURNED to His place in heaven.
During the the time when Jesus is IN HEAVEN, God and Jesus DIRECT their attention to a NEW group of people, the Church. During the CHURCH AGE, Israel was SCATTERED all over the world, and suffered INTENSE pograms, persecutions and a HOLOCAUST. Indeed, Israel was AFFLICTED. They were torn. They were smitten. Now pay close ATTENTION to the NEXT words!
AFTER TWO DAYS (AFTER TWO THOUSAND YEARS), God will REVIVE Israel. Indeed, as time crept toward the YEAR TWO THOUSAND, Israel as a NATION was REBORN on this earth. It happened on May 14, 1948. And since 1948, Israel has been in a CONDITION of BEING REVIVED.
The time-frame? TWO THOUSAND YEARS. TWO DAYS. And INDEED it's happening exactly like it was PROPHESIED.
There's MORE! Israel speaks in this prophecy and says, "In the THIRD DAY (the beginning of the THIRD THOUSAND YEAR span), He (Jesus) will RAISE us (Israel) up, and WE WILL LIVE IN HIS SIGHT."
That's a DIRECT reference to THE MILLENNIUM! The Millennium will transpire during THE THIRD ONE THOUSAND YEAR PERIOD AFTER Jesus rose into heaven those many years ago.
What is our date? 2011, of course. We are ALREADY entering into the TIME-FRAME of the THIRD DAY. This understanding TELLS us that the Second Coming MUST be at the VERY DOOR. And since the Second Coming is so close, then the Rapture of the Church MUST be even closer.
Isn't this the MOST FANTASTIC NEWS? There is NO DOUBT that the Rapture CAN occur at ANY INSTANT!
Even with all this information, some STUBBORN voices insist that the Second Coming of Jesus might NOT occur for another 100 years or more. Is that assumption accurate, according to these scriptures?
Can the TIMES and SEASONS be narrowed even further?
(Remember--this exercise is NOT an attempt to set a DAY or HOUR for the Rapture. But it IS a LIGHT which SHINES on the GENERAL TIME-FRAME in which we NOW live. We can see the things PROPHESIED--that are SOON to happen to Israel--and by that KNOWLEDGE, we DISCERN that the AGE OF THE CHURCH has nearly COMPLETED its course!)
In the next blog, I'll focus upon the words of Jesus from Matthew 24:34, where He says, "Verily, I say unto you, THIS GENERATION shall NOT PASS, till all these things be fulfilled."
What was Jesus talking about? WHO did He tell these things? And HOW LONG is a generation?
Do you sense the SHORTNESS of our HOUR--from what I shared today? AFTER the next blog, our understanding will be even STRONGER. We LIVE in the VERY TIME-FRAME for what's prophesied to become fulfilled. And God does NOT want us to be IGNORANT of the TIMES and SEASONS.
Have an absolutely blessed day. Let your heart be warmed with joy--and singing in anticipation!
EVEN SO, COME QUICKLY, LORD JESUS. WE LONG TO SEE YOUR WONDERFUL FACE!