Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Seventh Day

The book of Genesis records that God created everything in six days and then on the seventh day He rested. Why did it take God six days to create everything and why did He need to rest on the seventh? After all, He is God. I’m sure He could have spun the universe into existence in the blink of an eye without needing any rest afterwards. Being a believer of the Bible as being the infallible truthful Word of God, I do believe that He did it as it is written but I also believe that God does things for a reason.



In 2 Peter 3:8 it says, “But beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” And in Psalm 90:4 it also says, “For a thousand years in Your sight, are like yesterday when it is past”. These statements are in the Bible for a reason, but for what and why? Could it be that God’s procedure of creation is also a foreshadow of His plan and timetable for man’s destiny?



While there exists much scientific evidence of the earth being much older than 6,000 years this can still be true in light of the scriptures. There is what is called the gap theory. Meaning that scripture does not tell us how much time may have existed between verses 1 and 2 in Genesis. Verse 1 being, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Verse 2 being, “the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep”. The theory suggests there could be thousands of years between those two verses. Then starting in verse 3 God begins to count the days and what He creates within those days. Of course this does suggest that man has only roamed this earth for 6,000 years and leads us to the debate of evolution, which is a topic for another time. For this study lets just stick to scripture and what God is telling us.



So the question remains, why does God tell us in His Word that He created the earth and the life within, as we know it, in six days and rested on the seventh? Could the beginning be a harbinger of the end? After all, the Lord does declare in Isaiah 46:9-10, “remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done.” The book of Isaiah is a fantastic resource for hearing the words of the Lord directly as many chapters reveal the Lord speaking in the first person. Here He is telling us that He declares the end from the beginning. We are given another hint that the end is determined from the beginning in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” Jesus also tells us in Revelation that He is the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end.



To understand this concept it requires circular thinking and an understanding of “prophetic time”. Prophetic time moves in a circle and in cycles. When you come to the end of a circular cycle you are back at the beginning. When 60 seconds is up you start over and begin counting the next 60 seconds. You don’t come to the end of 60 seconds and say “Ok, now what?” Rather, you get a minute out of it and then start counting minutes while the 60 second cycle is still rotating within the minute and then so on with an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year, a decade, a century, a millennia and so on. Cycles within cycles that never stop moving. If you were to remove or add 1 single second from within those cycles all of time would be thrown off and the divine order of things would be disrupted. Interesting how the last few words in the Bible are of Jesus warning us not to add or take away from the words which are written in this book. If the Bible is a prophetic book declaring the destiny of our existence from beginning to end, (which I firmly believe it is), then surely every word in it must be there for a reason and like the divine cycles of time, cannot be tampered with.



Based on Isaiah 46:9-10 we can conclude that God reveals the end of things by encoding them in the beginning of things and that the future is hidden in the past. But why the big secret, why not tell us things straight up so that we can be warned clearly without doubt. First of all, God loves us and would not leave us unwarned, nor would he deceive us with riddles. Just take a look at what He is saying in Isaiah 48:16, “Come near to Me, hear this: I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was I was there.” This is a clear indication that He is not hiding anything from us. Its all in His Word. All we have to do it is pick it up and read it and not try to rely on our own understandings.



So if a thousand years with the Lord is as one day perhaps the Lord is telling us that the six days of creation are representative of the 6,000 years of man’s existence in a sin cursed world and the seventh day of rest is the 1000 year millennium of Christ’s reign on earth after He returns, spoken of in Revelation 20. (Ironically the 1000 years of Jesus’ earthly kingdom are mentioned six times in Revelation 20). The last 1000 years being the “day of rest” as sin will have been wiped off the face of the earth and Jesus will reside as King of Kings and show the earth what it will be like to live in true peace and harmony, …hence, a day (or thousand years) of rest!



If this theory is true then that would mean from Adam to the birth of Jesus would have been the first 4,000 years and from Christ’s first advent to His second coming is the remaining 2,000 years which is the time that we are currently living in which is referred to as “the Church Age” or the “Age of Grace”. That being the case that would also mean that the remaining 2,000 years are almost up! There are even several references from scripture telling us of this 2,000 year period and its closure. These references are almost always in regards to the re-birth of Israel and the Jewish people. The land and the people that God has remarkably preserved throughout the ages specifically for His return! Lets examine them keeping in mind that one day with the Lord is as a thousand years.



In Exodus 19:11 the Lord tells Moses to consecrate the people for 2 days and on the third day the Lord will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. This is very representative of the 2,000 year, (or 2 days), “age of grace” that we currently live in before the Lord returns to be “in our sight”.



In Hosea 6:2 it says, “after two days He will revive us; on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight”. This is in regards to Israel. We have seen with our very eyes the beginning of Israel’s revival with Israel becoming a nation again in 1948. No other nation in history has ever been eliminated out of existence and come back into existence but miraculously Israel has done it twice! (The first being in the Book of Ezra after King Cyrus allowed them to return to their land after 70 years of captivity in Babylon). Jesus also gave us a prophetical sign of this coming to pass when He cursed the fig tree after entering Jerusalem saying “Let no fruit grow on you ever again”, (Matthew 21:19). Immediately the fig tree withered away. The fig tree of course is representative of Israel, (see Hosea 9:10). Then in Mark 13:28-31, Jesus tells us to learn the parable of the Fig Tree to understand when we are close to the end of the age. He says, “when its branch has become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also when you see these things happening, know that it is right at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” Now when a fruit tree begins to bear leaves in the spring that means that the fruit is soon to blossom on it in the summer. Israel becoming a nation again in 1948 was the Fig tree bearing its leaves but Jesus said it would never again bear fruit! Furthermore, the generation that sees this happen will not pass away. A generation according to Psalm 90:10 is 70 years or 80 if by strength. Lets do the math here. 1948 plus 70 brings us to 2018. If by strength we are graced with an extra 10 years then we are looking at 2028 at the latest for the return of the Lord. Either way, it will be in our lifetime! Even though Jesus said we will not know the day or the hour, He did say that we will know when it is right at the door!



Now even though Israel is a nation again the Jews for the most part still reject Jesus as the Messiah and live under the Old Law. However, in recent years many Jews in Israel are converting and becoming what is known as Messianic Jews, or “completed Jews” and are accepting and realizing Christ as the Messiah and as their Savior. This conversion of the Jews cannot fully take place until Jesus returns and is in their presence. So the fact that so many are now starting to convert is a stark sign that He is coming very soon. Preparations for the coming third temple that He will reside in are also well underway as well. This can be observed at http://www.templeinstitute.org/main.htm



Another symbolic sign of the 2,000 year age of grace that we live in is in John 11 where Jesus waits 2 days before going to raise Lazarus from the dead. This is symbolic of the 2,000 years before Jesus returns and raises His faithful from the dead at the Rapture.



In Matthew 17 we see the account of the Transfiguration. Where Jesus takes Peter, James, and John up to a mountain and is transfigured in front of them in their presence. His face shined like the sun and His clothes became white as the light and Moses and Elijah appeared with Him speaking to Him and the Father spoke from the clouds announcing Jesus as His Son. This was no doubt a preview to the three apostles of the glory of what His appearance will be like at His second coming. But what is most noteworthy about this account is that in verse 1 it says, “after six days Jesus took Peter, James and John up on a high mountain...”. If this was a preview of His glory at His second coming than it happened after 6 days! Just like the creation theory.



The Transfiguration event also parallels the description of the rapture in Thessalonians 4:16-17:



“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”



Similarly, at the Transfiguration, Moses represents the dead in Christ because he experienced death. Elijah represents those who are alive at the time of the Rapture because he never experienced death, (see 2 Kings 2:11). They, the dead and the alive, join Jesus and are transformed. Also the Old Testament saints and the New Testament saints are together during this event as represented by Moses, Elijah and the three apostles. Although they are not in the air, they are on a “high mountain”. A cloud envelopes them and they are “with the Lord in the clouds”. Lastly the voice of God is heard and we know from other scriptures that the voice of God is like the sound of a trumpet. (See Exodus 19:19, Revelation 1:10 and Revelation 4:1). So the Transfiguration appears to be a rehearsal for the Rapture!



Now getting back to the creation theory and the 7th Day. Not only does God rest on 7th day but the Bible also shows us that God measures time in sevens with rest for His people always being on the 7th day. In the Old Testament the Jews were commanded to work 6 days and always rest on the 7th, that being the Sabbath. Passover lasts for seven days with the last day, (the 7th) being a day of rest. Then the 7th week after Passover comes another day of rest known as the Feast of Weeks (a.k.a. Pentecost). In the 7th month on the Hebrew calendar there are 3 feasts of rest. They are Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kipper and the Feast of Booths (or Tabernacles). Every 7th year was a year of rest for the land where in Exodus 23:11 the Lord says to leave the land unplowed and unused. Then every 49th year, (7 x 7), comes a year of Jubilee (see Leviticus 25:8-17), which is a year of rest for the land and also liberty for all people including the servants and workers.



So in conclusion we can see that the Lord has provided us with several clear, prime examples of the timing of His coming. All we have to do is examine how it all began. There is something to be revealed from the beginning. Even Genesis and Revelation parallel each other. In Genesis the world began with man dwelling with God in paradise until sin cursed the world. In Revelation Jesus will return and bring the world back to a land of perfection and rid the curse of sin from the land providing a glorious day of rest for us all!



Come Lord Jesus!


By: Matt Leasher

2 comments:

Timothy said...

According to the grace of God

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Your hearts are opening up to understanding, and you know that Christ Jesus shall return in 2018. I pray that you shall visit this site for more insights and inspiration unto the things to come: http:\\theelects.org

Grace be with you.

What's In A Name? said...

You believe that I should "know" that Our Lord will return in 2018. How should I know this? We are told to WATCH, to be watchful, to be ready, and to watch the "signs".

We should never set dates. I would be interested to know how you came up with the year 2018 for I believe Christ's return is far sooner than that! He is standing at the door.

When I read my Bible, I run across words like, "For ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh" (Mat 25:13). I also read, "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come" (Mat 24:42). I understand that to mean, "You're not going to know until I come for you."

Other people throughout history have read the same words of Jesus and have come up with different interpretations of what He intended. They've somehow managed to get around all restrictions against precise date setting. On a number of occasions, by doing so, they created pure havoc. The following is a list of some past failed attempts at date settings and some dates yet to come. Here are various years people have “set” or “predicted” Christ's return, unsuccessfully, of course.

53 AD, 500,1000,1033, 1186, 1420, 1524, 1526, 1534, 1650, 1660, 1666, 1809, 1814, 1836, 1843, 1844, 1859, 1881, 1910,1914, 1918, 1941, 1967, 1970, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1991, 192, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2,000, 2002, 2004, 2011-2018 &2060.


An untold number of people have tried to predict the Lord's return by using elaborate timetables. Most date setters do not realize that mankind has not kept an unwavering record of time. Anyone wanting to chart, for example, 100 BC to 2000 AD, would have to contend with the fact that 46 BC was 445 days long, there was no year 0 BC, and in 1582 we switched from Julian Years (360 days) to Gregorian (365 days). Because most prognosticators are not aware of all of these errors, their math is immediately off by several years.

I believe we will never know the exact day of Christ's return for His Church. It is God's nature to act independently from man's thinking. If He returned on a date that someone had figured out, that person would deprive God of His triumph. When it comes to His glory, God doesn't share the spotlight with anyone.

The return of Jesus Christ for His Church will easily be the most important event in history. The glory of heaven contrasted with our lives on earth is like comparing the job of running a hot dog stand with the job of serving as President of the United States.

Finally, when it comes to knowing the general time frame of Christ's return for His Church, the Word of God is more generous. Jesus forewarned us of a number of events that will take place. When we see the predicted events coming together, we can conclude that time is short. Most of the prophecies will take place during the tribulation. Any forewarning of their arrival would make the rapture all the more likely, because it will occur at the start of the seven-year tribulation period.