Another problem with prophecy is the temptation to say, “Just tell me what happens. How (or when) is it all going to end?” I think God deliberately obscures prophecy just like He does His deeper truths for this reason (among others). I’m not saying those questions don’t enter in when studying prophecy, but I am saying if that’s your motive, you’re going to be frustrated. I’ll say it again, studying prophecy should be to understand our God.
God doesn’t have to tell us what He’s going to do. Yet we learn in Amos 3:7 that “Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.”
The Mormons stopped by my house a few years ago to proselytize me. I asked them why they thought their book was superior to the Bible. Then I asked them if their book had prophecies. They assured me it did. I said, “Great! Tell me two prophecies of your book, show them to me, and then tell me when and where they were fulfilled, and we can talk further about your faith.” They said they’d have to come back. I said, “Sure, just come when you’ve got those answers. I’ll be in this same house.” They have never been back.
Prophecy and prophesying are so much a part of the faith of a believer that Paul admonishes us not to despise prophecy [1 Thes. 5:20], and instructs us that prophecy is a gift [1 Cor. 12:10, 13:2]. In 1 Cor. 14 we learn prophecy profits and edifies the church, is a sign for believers, and convicts unbelievers.Peter warns us to heed the prophetic [2 Peter 1:19-21], to not take prophecy in the Scriptures as private interpretations, and reminds us prophecy does not come from man but the Holy Spirit.
Prophecy is necessary by God’s own word, and thus we should heed it, study it, and desire it. Prophecy affirms God is who He says He is. Prophecy edifies our faith and stands as a marker for unbelievers.
[If you haven’t read part one, you can read it here. I’m going to build on it, so it would be helpful to read it first.]
Revisit the concept of time being cyclical, and God’s ways repeat
The advocates of the Olivet Discourse and Revelation being completely fulfilled in 70 A.D. can never seem to answer when and where Christ appeared? And if it be true these prophecies are fulfilled in 70 A.D., what is the fulfillment of these Scriptures?
- 1:7 tells us “BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.” I’ve looked up the Greek on this and “every eye” means every eye. When did Christ appear that every eye saw Him? Such an event would have to have been recorded somewhere in historical and especially church history.
- Matt 24:30-31 “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with A GREAT TRUMPET and THEY WILL GATHER TOGETHER His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.” Again, give me the historical record of this happening. Even if it’s a “spiritual” event, or “allegorical” as some say, what’s it representing? Where’s the clear portrayal of its fulfillment?
I’ve never been able to reconcile this until I understood the concept of cyclical history and cyclical prophecy. Larry emailed me and reminded me of Eccl. 3:15: “That which is has been already and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by.” We can learn from this that although prophecies have had prior fulfillments, future fulfillments are not only possible but probable — especially when the past fulfillments are partial.
At some point either Christ is returning or we’re living in some misleading allegorical drama. I think the clarity comes when we return to the concept of the Creation Days.
Consider the Acharait-Hayamim [Last Days] is the span of time between the Advents
Try to think of the “last days” Scripture speaks of, as the days between Christ’s first advent and His second, and not a seven or forty (or whatever) year window. Recall that Peter quotes Joel at Pentecost about the last days [Acts 2:17]. This is your place marker.
Pentecost marks the commencement of the Last Days. Christ’s second advent marks the end.
Speaking of “Days”…
The ancient Israelites understood the Creation Week to be a template for the whole of Creation. Each day of Creation represented a period of time on earth. This is significant, and almost the sole reason I cannot subscribe to the “all of prophecy is fulfilled” doctrines. There really is a beginning and end.
The concept is simple: each creation day represents a thousand years on the earth.
The Creation Week tells the seven “day” plan for the story of the Messianic redemption. Moses hints at this in Psalm 90:4: “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it passes by, or as a watch in the night.”
As does Peter in 2 Peter 3:8-9: “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day.”
If this sounds too allegorical or like poetic figurative language, let’s pick up where we left off.
Remember my questions with Genesis 2:16-17 [NASU]:
The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
Does it make more sense when you read Genesis 5:5 [NASU]? “So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.”
If Adam’s “day” was the first thousand years, Adam died “in the day that [he ate] from it”. Could it really be this simple? If a day equals a thousand years in the sight of God, Adam died in the day he ate the apple. No one has lied, and the Scripture is satisfied.
Hebrew roots teacher Avi Ben Mordechai explains that in the Sanhedrin written teachings as far back as 200 BC, they taught:
The Tannarebe Eliyyahu teaches: The world is to exist six thousand years. In the first two thousand there was desolation; two thousand years the Torah flourished; and the next two thousand years is the Messianic era…”
In the *Book of Jubilees, “we’re told Adam died 70 years short of 1,000 years because 1000 years are like one day in the testimony of heaven.”
The Hebrews and ancient patriarchs understood the messages of God because He painted a picture for them. He painted it in Creation, in the stars, and in nature. Then He gave them feasts to practice dress rehearsals for appointed times. If we’ll lay down our religious rhetoric and well-intentioned but mistaken notions and teachings, we can learn!
In the last article I concluded asking how Simeon and Anna knew the Messiah would occur in their lifetime. Yes, I recognize the Holy Spirit revealed it to them. But there’s more to this story. Recall that Simeon was “looking for the consolation of Israel”. What does that even mean to a 21st century western civilization ear???
[This is a crash course so I can’t spend a lot of time on details. I’m going to rush through them, and I apologize. It’s not how I like to teach, but I’ll give you enough to study and pray about on your own. You’re welcome to email me with questions or for more details.]
I’m just going to touch on this, but here’s your foundation:
Gen 1:14 [NASU] Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years…”
[Is it just me or has anyone else wondered what the light was on the first day of creation? Gen 1:3 [NASU]: “Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.” I think it was this.]
If Creation Week was a template for the Messianic story, as the ancient Hebrews believed and taught, every day’s creation was symbolic. God purposes and designs, and he purposefully created the sun, moon and stars on the FOURTH DAY. He could place the created objects on any day and at any time. They were created and placed to tell a story and with a message. Now look at this:
Malachi 4:2 [NASU]: “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings…”
Why “sun” instead of “son”? Because the Sun symbolizes the Messiah. The Hebrews knew that. They knew the Messiah would appear on the Fourth Day. Daniel prophesied the Messiah’s appearance, and he gave dates. They knew it would be on the Fourth Day, and they knew the Fourth Day was drawing to a close. The Messiah had to come.
Avi Ben Mordechai writes:
“The concept that Ha Mashiach would come in the fourth day was so understood in ancient Israel that when the fourth day arrived (the Jewish years 3001-4000), Messianic expectation flourished!”
The Messiah came at the end of the Fourth Day, at the close of the millennium. He fulfilled Daniel’s prophecy and He was the fulfillment of the Passover Lamb. He was crucified on the Passover, (“like a lamb led to slaughter”). See Luke 22:7-13.
His burial began and represented the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Feast of Unleavened Bread is symbolic of Christ’s burial, in which sin (leaven) is done away with by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
Christ was resurrected on the Feast of Firstfruits, the third day. “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.”(1 Cor. 15:20)
Christ was crucified the 14th of Nisan, buried the 14, 15, 16 and rose on the 16th.
[I can explain all of this in greater detail. Just ask me.]
Now fifty days after the Feast of Firstfruits, the Israelites had the Feast of Pentecost. (pente = 50) Pentecost is a harvest festival in which new grain offerings are made. Two loves of leavened bread are brought before the Lord and waved as an offering of thanksgiving. It’s understood that the two leavened loaves represent Israel and the Church.
The Firstfruits of the New Covenant were birthed here at Pentecost, fifty days after Christ’s resurrection.
If you’ll recall in Acts 2:1, the believers were gathered on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out. Remember that Pentecost is a harvest festival.
God laid a template for His plan, and then He instructed His people on how to prepare for it. He gave the feasts as dress rehearsals to keep appointments. The spring feasts were fulfilled in Christ’s first advent. The fall feasts will be fulfilled in his second advent.
The Third Day
If Christ’s first advent was fulfilled on the Fourth Day (fourth millennia), then His second advent will be fulfilled on the Seventh Day. The Seventh Day (of the week of 1000 year days) is the same thing as Christ’s Third Day (after His first advent). If the Creation Week template is the model for God’s Redemption Story, this is consistent with how He’s done things before.
Now look at Hosea 6:1-2 [NASU]:
Come, let us return to the Lord.For He has torn us, but He will heal us;He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days;He will raise us up on the third day, that we may live before Him.
Time does not permit me to break this all the way down, but if you’ll do your own study and really pay attention to the words in these two verses and also this whole chapter, the Spirit will show you what you need to understand.
But what you’ll see is Christ disciplined His people (for two days, or two thousand years). Those two days are the days after His arrival, so they have to be the fifth and sixth millennia. “He will revive us after two days…”Well if He came on the Fourth Day, and disciplined for two more days, He will bring His restoration on the Seventh Day. Full circle.
Moses’ foreshadowed this on Mount Sinai when he instructed the people to consecrate (and wash) themselves for two days and be ready on the third day. [Exodus 19:10-11] If we’d get in the habit of looking for repeated patterns and types in the past, it will help us understand the future.
Remember Ecclesiastes 1:9:
That which has been is that which will be, and that which has been done is that which will be done.So there is nothing new under the sun.
God repeats what He’s done before us, in ages past. Sure, some of the details change, but He doesn’t. And He spelled it out in the beginning what He was doing, what He was going to do, and He declares that His plan will hold and He will do it. [Isaiah 46:10 NASU]
At the beginning I announce the end, proclaim in advance things not yet done;
and I say that my plan will hold, I will do everything I please to do.
One more thing…
Remember Genesis 6:3? “Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.’” This plays back into the Creation Days.
People after the flood lived over 120 years of age. This is not talking about the lifespan of a man. This is talking about how long God is willing to basically put up with the waywardness of humanity.
I can’t remember off the top of my head where I learned this, so I can’t source it just yet. But somewhere on my eschatology journey I learned this was 120 jubilees. A jubilee is 50 years. 120 jubilees, therefore, is 120 x 50 = 6000. Six thousand years. This is the only explanation that has made sense to me. Could it be this simple, yet hidden?
Could it be as simple that God showed us the end at the beginning, and the beginning is the key to the end?
Do you not know? Have you not heard?Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? Isa 40:21 NASU
If there’s still an interest, I’ll continue. Feel free to email me for resources, questions, and/or dialogue.
*Book of Jubilees from the Ethiopic, 4:28-29, p. 20 sourced from Signs in the Heavens, by Avi Ben Mordechai
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