How much Time left?
“After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up,
and we shall live in his sight”. Hosea 6:2
“How much time have I” is the question I invariable need to ask the Pastor or Minister when I am invited to take the pulpit and preach the sermon. Usually in this part of the world they allow me about 20-25 minutes, while in other parts of the world I have been told that I can take as long as I need to get the message across. Sometimes in the Far East when I have preached for about an hour and a half, they will start the service all over again, and expect another equally lengthy sermon from me.
I have been known to preach six times on a Sunday. Today my Radio Schedule allows me about 20 minutes,
so you can breath a sigh of relief … now!
My Sermon today entitled “How Much Time Left?” is about the position of Gods Clock in relation to His timetable. There is much confusion both in the World and in the Church about what the Bible calls the “End Times” and nowadays, as in the days when Jesus himself lived amongst us, there is still the question … “when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” A question posed by the Lords disciples in Matthew 24. Most of us are familiar with the Lords response in verse 36 where he says: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only”…. and there we are generally content to leave the matter. However, we do so to our great disadvantage, for although we may not know the day, nor the hour, as Paul himself shows us, we need not live in ignorance “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night“. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2
We do not and will not know the day, nor the hour, but this does not mean that we cannot know the time and the season?
Today, I will go to great lengths to show you how you can know when the Lord will return, and how clearly the Bible makes it to those who take the time to look. Of course our focus should not be on the season, but on the Saviour, not on the day,
but on the Deliverer!
First of all then, I want to look at what the Bible teaches us regarding days, years, weeks and seasons. The apostle Peter reminds us in 2 Peter 3:v 8 “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”.
Just as God created the world in Six days, and rested on the Seventh, so it seems he planned the world to work for six days and take rest on the seventh, only these days would be 1000 year long days. There are those who would have us believe that our cultures and civilizations are millions of years old, and that the reason why such things cannot be accurately proved is due to a lack of documentary evidence, but they assure us that scientific evidence does apparently exist.
In the same way, they would argue that instead of us having a Creator, we have evolved and are even still in the process of evolution. But in all the years of my lifetime, people have been people and have not looked any differently at birth than they do today. Of course when I was growing up, I did not put safety pins in my nose, but in my nappies!
So you must judge all things for yourself, suffice to say that “Darwin” will never make a Monkey out of me!
I want to show you that Gods first FOUR days ended when Jesus was rejected by his own people the Jews, and crucified
in AD33. Jesus then looked towards the “Gentiles” and offered “the Kingdom and Heaven” to them first. Acts 28:28
and Paul tells us in Romans 11:25 & 26
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer,
and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:”
This brings me to my text in Hosea 6 v2
“After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight”.
It is important that we understand that here the Prophet is speaking of the revival of the Jew, and their acceptance of Jesus as Messiah, and about Two of those 1000 year days.
In other words, he could have said, “after 2000 years he will revive us and in the following 1000 years we shall live in his sight” And that is exactly what he means!
Allow me to give you some dates and figures which will help determine where we are today.
If we begin in the year AD33 the year of our Lords Death on the cross, and go backwards, 33 years, add to this 1 year (for BC1 and AD1) are not the same, then go back 490 years to Daniels 70 weeks decree, then from there back 560 years to the Dedication of the Temple in 1019-18BC then back 621 years to the Exodus in 1639BC, and back a further 505 years to Abraham’s birth in 2144BC, we have (in all of that) what we may call the “Age of Israel”. (as accurately dated as the Bible allows) Backwards from there 352 years brings us to the time of the Flood, and to a change of calendar. At the Flood, the year changed from 354 days to 365.24 days. This means that the new calendar began at 2496BC, when Noah came out of the ark, and going backwards then 1657 years of 354 days, equals 1606 solar years exactly to Adams creation. in 4102BC Adam was created 4 days before Jesus was born, 4 of those 1000 year days.
Jesus was born 4100 years later in the year 2BC
(remember there is no year zero)
Now Israel will have to wait 2 days, (2000 years) for her Saviour, and in that time the Gentiles, the full number of the gentiles will come in. So we may simply conclude that if 33AD was the end of the fourth day, and it was, then 2033 will be the end of the 6th day, but before then, there are some other indications that point to this date. Remember however that we are not supposed to be looking for a sign, but looking for a Saviour, and this is the point of my whole message today. We are looking and watching and waiting for Him;
at least I hope we are?
The day and the hour we cannot know, but the time and the season, we can most certainly know, he has told us – and I am excited about the season and the time that is upon us, as I hope you are too. Are you waiting on Him as your Saviour and your friend, or will you next see him only as your Judge?
Jesus also gives us clear indication of when He will return.
Turn to Matthew 23 and verse 37, where he says:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, (and that word means Israel – the Jews) thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which
are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, ‘Blessed is he that cometh
in the name of the Lord‘“.
This leads me back to the question posed by the disciples…
“when shall all these things be?”
In Matthew 24:37 Jesus adds “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”. Remember that in Noah’s days, although there was provision made, and warnings given, the imminent danger was ignored.
I have already quoted from 1 Thessalonians 5 v2
“that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night“.
No thief announces his arrival in advance, but Jesus is not coming as an ordinary thief? Jesus is not coming to steal what is not his own. Initially, Jesus will come suddenly, unexpectedly, and call or catch away His Church, His faithful, His Body of believers. The world will wake up some morning soon, and millions of Christians all over the world will simply have gone. For some it will have happened in the middle of the night, for others, on the other side of the world, in the middle of the day. For some in the early morning, and others in the late afternoon, but suddenly, unexpectedly, and without any warning, when it happens – the whole world will change. Will you be taken, or will you be left behind?
That Day and that Hour , we cannot, and should not try to predict with any accuracy; that is Gods secret! Yet there are also some dates which we shall take time now to consider.
In Matthew 24:34, Mark 13:30 & Luke 21:32, Jesus himself testifies that “This generation shall not pass away,
until all these things be fulfilled”.
He was of course speaking of the Generation alive in the Israel
of those things of which he was speaking – happening, …
and we know that in the Bible the word “generation” invariably refers to “threescore and ten” or 70 years.
Some of you will remember that in 1947, the British government announced it would withdraw from the Mandate of Palestine, stating it was unable to arrive at a solution acceptable to both Arabs and Jews. The newly created United Nations approved a Partition Plan for Palestine (United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181) on 29 November 1947, which sought to divide the country into two states—one Arab and one Jewish.
Jerusalem was designated to be an international city—a corpus separatum—administered by the UN. Following the 1947 United Nations decision to partition Palestine, on 14 May 1948 David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization and president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared Israel a state independent from the British Mandate for Palestine. This is that Generation currently bearing witness to the present Last Days Scenario of which Jesus was speaking, and 70 years from 1948 brings us to 2018. This date could be much more significant than most of us appreciate, and it is all I can say at this point.
What I do know for sure, is that before the “Rapture” the catching or calling away of the Church, there must be a time of global hardship, and a time of global harvest, and that these two things will run concurrently, both at the same time. The Hardship within the World, and the Harvest within the Church.
This all will happen some time before the end of the sixth day
in or around 2033. Before that there must be seven years of Tribulation and Great Tribulation, (Dan 9:27, 12:7 & Rev 13:5) and seven years of clearing up after it (Ezek 39:9) But if we take those 14 years from 2033, we not surprisingly arrive in 2018/19. Now even if these scholarly chronological figures researched and studied, and calculated over hundreds of years are a little out (give or take a few months in either direction – for there are several references
to the period of the cleansing of the temple, … the bottom line is this, we have not much time left!
Only at the beginning of the 7th day, the 1000 years of the worlds rest, will God raise up “resurrect and restore” Israel and she “shall live in his sight”. Ezekiel 37:5 & Hosea 6:2. Together with a restored Israel, the whole Church (both Jew and Gentile) will return a Glorious Company to reign and rule in life with Him our Saviour and Bridegroom,
for a Thousand Years.
It will be a thousand years free from Satan. The Devil will be bound and only released for a short time at its end. Then he will be given power to test those born during that 1000 years, to see if they are truly loyal to the Kingly rule of Jesus. After that brief period of testing, Satan and his angels (his demonic host) will be cast, together with all of Hell itself,
into The Lake of Fire. (Rev 20:14)
The final portion of my text in Hosea 6:2 says “and we shall live in his sight” … so to conclude this message today let us consider what will we be doing on that Seventh day, that
1000 year long day? Let me explain; because we shall certainly not be living as we live now. What does the gospel tell us about this Kingdom and its King Jesus?
Remember its the gospel of the Kingdom!
The fact that the glorified Christ is in the earthly scene and is visible to those in the millennium is unquestionably an important factor in the spiritual life of the period. As is anticipated in Jeremiah 31:34, everyone will have the evidence before him that Jesus is indeed the Son of God and all that the Scriptures claim of Him is true. Missionary effort will be unnecessary for the knowledge of the Lord will be universal as Isaiah says, “For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:9) Jesus as the world ruler of the millennial kingdom will be the object of worship, and the universal instruction in Biblical truth as well as the many demonstrations of divine power and the abundant ministry of the Holy Spirit will foster a spiritual life on a world-wide scale unprecedented
and unimagined in the history of the world.
The millennium will be a period which will feature personal righteousness as well as national righteousness in keeping with Solomon’s prediction: “In his days shall the righteous flourish, and abundance of peace, till the moon be no more.” (Ps 72:7). The righteous rule of Christ Himself is described in specific terms in Isaiah 11:3-5. The absence of war and universal peace (Isaiah 2:4) will provide the context in which all life will flourish. The praise of the Lord and the joy which will attend the blessings of that period are described in Isaiah 12:3-4 and Isaiah 61:3-7.
In addition to the presence of Christ the power of the Spirit will tend to foster and promote a deep spiritual life.
Although difference of opinion has existed concerning the exposition of Ezekiel 40:1—46:24 , which describes temple
worship and sacrifices in the millennial scene, whether this should be interpreted literally as many pre-millenarians do or symbolically, in either case it supports the concept of a worship-filled life in the millennial kingdom. Taken as a whole the millennial kingdom will be characterized by righteousness, joy, and peace on a world-wide scale similar and I recon superior
to that which was enjoyed by the early church?
Important changes will also occur on the face of the earth at the beginning of the millennium such as the division of the Mount of Olives (Zech 14:3-8). Jerusalem is seemingly elevated to a high plateau (Zech 14:10) and the rest of the land will be depressed. These changes in typography are related also to the division of the land pictured in Ezekiel 48:1-27; & 45:4-19.
The multiplied details of every aspect of life relating to the millennium makes untenable the efforts to spiritualise all these Scriptures and make them conform to the present age. The description of this period is so graphically different in all of its aspects that it demands a literal fulfilment in the period following the second coming of Christ. The millennial kingdom will be the crowning work of Christ prior to the eternal state.
Revelation 21&22 presents the glorious picture of that eternal state following the millennial reign. In Revelation 21:1-8, the introductory passage states the main features of this period. The old heaven and earth will have been dissolved and a new heaven
and a new earth created in which circumstances are radically different than in our present earth as indicated by the cryptic
statement “the sea is no more.” The new heaven and the new earth are seen as the resting place of the holy city, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven and orbits or rests above our planet, and to and from which there is continual interaction, and it is described as a bride adorned for her husband. (A beautiful city) In this new blessed estate God will be in fellowship with His people and present in the world. Sorrow will be no more, evil and unbelief will be excluded, and all will be able to partake freely of the blessings which God will shower upon them; nothing forbidden and nothing denied.
So as we come to the end of our Service, … Can you sing
as the Men of the Choir now do …
“We’ll be there, praise the Lord, we’ll all be there”?
I sure hope so. God Bless You