TIME FOR SOME GREAT QUESTIONS...
AND SOME PRETTY GOOD ANSWERS
Mark Hutzler, Eschatologist
I'm curious, did you start at 4000 B.C. because of Ussher? Here's what I have below with a different starting date of 3900 B.C. -Adam to Abraham = 1948 years-Abraham departs from Haran = 2023 (1948+75)- Abraham has vision (Gen. 15) 430 starts here (Galatians 3:17) to the Law-The Law to building the temple = 480 years. (1 Kings 6:1) I have used the date of 967B.C. of when the 4th year of Solomon's reign (1 Kings 6:1)- 967B.C. + 480 years + 430 years + 2023 years = 3900B.C. When Adam was created. This would make 2100CE the 6000th year from Adam. If you disagree in any way, I would like to know where and discuss further. All the best, Seth
Hi Seth, Great questions and well put. Firstly, I simply began with Gen. 5.3 - Adam was 130 when Seth is born. So 130 years before that Adam began keeping track of birthdays. So this is when death entered Adam. No one can say for sure when Adam was created - period. There is no way of knowing exactly how long he was in the garden before the fall. Impossible. So... we do know when Death entered him and he began to die - so we know when the fall took place. 130 years before Seth was born. Now we can begin counting forwards - strictly following the biblical record. So yes, indeed we get to 1656 - the flood - 1948 Abram - 2023 he leaves his father's house (his father is still living). I have an extensive study on Abraham's life (too much to get into here). I have 430 years starting at 2048 AM at the birth of the seed... Issac to 2478 the Exodus.
In my timeline, I do point out that many chronologists differ on this time period, as mentioned in Adam Clarke's Commentary regarding 1 Kings 6.1. But I have this period of 480 years from the Law to the Temple from 2520 AM to 3000 AM. King Davids reign was 2960AM to 3000AM. The Temple construction begins.
When it comes to the Great Sabbath Week... I see it like this... From the fall of man... which is when sin entered the world and when the 'clock' as we know it starts - there was no time prior - as we understand time. Things were eternal in the garden - BEFORE the fall. So we need to not look at the beginning of creation but from the fall - when the prophecy God gives to Satan starts. The SEED shall crush your head. Sin enters the world and Adam begins to die. 130 years later Seth is born. So we have a beginning. Not at creation but at the start of death. From here using the genealogies in the bible we count forward to Abraham then to David and onwards to Christ. From Adam to Abraham 1948 years and when Abraham is having a covenant with God in Gen. 15, he is 82 years old. Seven years into his journey to and in Canaan. The year ---- 2030 AM. Jewish tradition teaches that Abram returned to his father's house teaching about ONE true God when he was 52 --- the year exactly 2000! This has been taught for millenniums.
So... Adam to Abraham's covenant 2030 years. He took 30 years to really leave his father's house. Sad - but its true. From 2030 and Gen. 15 forwards 2000 years is exactly Jesus hanging on the cross. 30 AD. From the cross in 30AD forwards 2000 years is our year 2030CE --- I still use AD. So that's the math. 2000 + 2000 + 2000 ---- to our year 2030. Only then will it be 2000 years after the cross. That is indisputable. Israel becomes a nation in our year 1948. Coincidence? Abram is born in 1948. Abram finally goes to a place God has prepared for him in the year 2023 at 75 years of age. Could it be.... that the church could go to a place God has prepared for us in this year? Just a question.
Thanks so much for your reply. I have also gone back and forth on the statement that Stephen makes, "after his father died". How can this be reconciled?
Hi Seth, great dialogue. Yes, the Stephen comment can be confusing. But now let's shed some light on it - as I see it. All are free to have other opinions.
Some things to keep in mind - the bible in the genealogies is not giving us these characters and dates on a whim. There is a purpose. They all lead to, and lay evidence down, pointing to Christ. Matthew 1 - This is the family of Jesus. The garden prophecy of the One who would come - is going to happen. The bible is tracking this family from the garden to the Cross, to show us that there can be no doubt. So to assume that for some reason the dates are incorrect or not specific is -- to me, --- troubling. I choose to believe it as it is. So when it states that Terah was 70 when Abram was born - that's what I go with. Not 130 to fit what Stephen states about Terah being dead.
To me, Stephen could have been talking about something else. What could that be?
Stephen is filled with the Holy Spirit. A new man in a new birth. As Jesus stated that His 'family' was with him while his mother and brothers were at the door. Luke 8:21. The exact quote is "My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice." This is something that Terah never did. He was an idol maker - he fashioned them in his workshop and sold them. The Midrash goes into this in detail and the Rabbis have taught this to their students for .... well, thousands of years now.
Abram was the eldest. His birth was prophetic and he had to be sent away for his own safety as a child. He was raised by Noah and Shem and learn the One True God. Returning at 52 (2000AM) he preaches and converts many to this new 'religion' and draws the attention of a wicked King (Nimrod) who is bent on killing Abram.
So they flee. Gen. 11. Terah gathers his children and their slaves, followers, etc, and they run away from their home - the breadbasket of the world - the lush lands of Mesopotamia. The only reason to leave these lands is if you HAD to or, God was asking you to. For Abram it was the latter - for Terah the former. They flee upriver to Harran - a city with a curious name close to that of the dead brother of Abram - Haran. More on that later.
God has asked Abram to LEAVE his father's house. The reason is, that his father's house is NOT a house of faith in God. Remember, Laban, grandson of Nahor - Abram's brother. He too was an idol worshipper. Not something he figured out on his own but something he learned from his father - Terah. This is one of the reasons God asks Abram to leave his father's house in the first place - despite the first commandment with promise --- honor your father and mother. God is pulling Abram away from this idol influence. But there is so much more here. This is why Abraham never returns here and even forbids his son Issac from ever returning to their kin. He does send a servant to fetch a wife - but neither Abraham or Issac ever return to this area to meet with the family.
Abram is the eldest. The son that will inherit all that Terah has. The son that is to care for Terah in his old age. All that would give a son pride and a feeling of self-worth is in how he cares for his parents as they age. The earthly treasures and wealth accumulated by Terah would pass on to Abram. But God says no. Leave your fathers house, his wealth, his lands - God is saying there is nothing here for you. Nothing that you can inherit here that I can't give you a hundredfold. God is saying literally, "I have prepared a place for you - an inheritance". This should sound familiar to believers.
If we mess about with the dates to accommodate what we don't understand Stephen talking about - we do the following:
- change the date of Abram's birth from 1948. A very important year.
- change the date of Abram's departure at 75 yrs. 2023. Another very important year.
- change the date of the First Divine Covenant God cuts with him in 2030. Again, another radically important year being exactly 2000 years from the Second Covenant which was Jesus hanging on the cross in 30AD.
The dates are not accidental. The genealogies are not just rough estimates... they are there for a purpose and the math.... as is the nature of math is not flexible. 2 + 2 will always be 4. Universally and in any language. So a study of the math of the Bible reveals God to unbelievers. See the works of Ivan Panin.
So then what is Stephen talking about. Natural death of Spiritual Death? When God spoke to Adam He said, "If you eat of this tree ye shall surely die." In Hebrew that is 'die the deaths' or another way "in dying ye shall die". Plural. Spiritual Death was immediate - physical death took 930 years. Abram returns to his father's house, knowing the One True God and begins proselytizing. There is a funny story the Jewish Rabbis have told for thousands of years about Abram destroying his father's idols. If we believe Stephen is talking about natural death then we go back to Genesis and redo all the numbers to fit our own theory - this has the effect I outline above. If on the other hand, we understand that Stephen is talking about spiritually being dead - then we understand that Terah was not going to stop praying to his idols. That God has a reason for saying - "Get out of your father's house." - Because his father is still alive. See Luke 12:53. (Father against son). Eph. 2:1 states that we were all 'dead in our sins'. So many more.
Anyhow, we see then that the new man - Stephen - filled with the Holy Spirit is speaking to a spiritually dead audience and narrating the story of Abraham. A man of faith in God who was spiritually alive in a spiritually dead household - from which God separates him. Pulls him out of a dead world and into a land prepared for him. Out of an earthly inheritance and into an inheritance prepared for him from the God of heaven. This event takes place in the 75th year of Abraham's life in the year 2023 and this is not a coincidence but is there as a clue for us - the church - in our time. God is calling you out as well. Out of an earthly inheritance and a sinful world that does not know the voice of God and into a heavenly purpose and inheritance. The best is yet to come. And come right quick too.
Hi Mark, Thanks again for your kind response. Let me just state first, since this isn't a salvation issue and believe you're my brother in Christ, I also agree we can have different opinions, respectfully of course. I must have misunderstood your position before. I do see how some people can have the opinion referencing Stephen's comment about Terah. But I have always and will still hold the position that the numbers are stated as is, as you put so nicely. I really agree with everything you have said. I have also done some extensive research on Abraham life's from other sources and came to the same conclusions about Terah. When I started the timelines years ago...I knew that everything had a purpose and reason so trust me, brother, we are on the same page, and it's so exciting to see the Truth in genealogy.
As for the birthdays and fall of man, I don't disagree that the years is all we have to go on, but we might have a difference of opinion on if Adam was created 130 years after Seth's birth or did time start at the Fall. If you claim it started in the Fall of man, then it disregards God's previous work in the 4th day when HE set the sun and moon for seasons and years. At that point in Day 4, God planned for us to use his creation (sun and moon/tilt of earth) for time. So to me, and only my opinion, we can't state how old Adam was when he was created, but just that 130 after he was created, he bore Seth. The fall came somewhere after he was created obviously, but the Bible doesn't say. The Book of Jubilee's, however, states it happened in the 7th year after Adam's creation in the garden. Just something to think about. Thanks again for your time replying to this Mark, if you're like me, this is a topic you love to discuss so feel free to let me know anything you have uncovered and curious if the 6000th year for you would be 2030 A.D.? All the best
Hi Seth, Yes indeed - 2030 I believe is going to be a key year, as will be 2023. 2030 will be indisputably 2000 years since Christ hung on the cross. An interesting note is that both Jewish Talmuds (Jerusalem and Babylonian) record that the miraculous events that normally occurred on Yom Kipper ceased 40 years prior to the destruction of the temple in 70AD. That's because Jesus paid the price in full in 30AD.
Regarding the garden. I personally see Adam and Eve in the garden for quite some time prior to the fall. Time did not exist - as we know it - during this period. Much like our concept of time in heaven. There is no sin or death - all life was not trapped in a death cycle. Time as we know it - the death cycle, began at the fall - and all of scripture and the purpose of Christ is to destroy the works of death and return us to a place with no death - and hence no 'time'. Eternity. No, we can't state how old Adam was --- meaning how many rotations around the sun he witnessed before the fall, but that would not matter as there was no death at work in his body.
Yes, God created the stars and lights in the sky as a way of tracking time and for signs towards us. But was he doing this for Adam before the fall - or was He looking down the road to you and me? Was He knowing that He would use the stars to communicate to man the plan of redemption? Was He planning on showing us signs in the skies to get our attention and to show us (fallen man) that He has things under control and a way that He can show us that Christ is coming - and coming again?
So if it was one year or a hundred years it would have made no difference to him physically. It's kinda like walking in heaven and watching God make a flower --- come back in a while and ask - "how old is that flower?" Well, how long were you gone? How long had it been since God made it? Without a measurement of time, there is no way to know for sure and it probably doesn't matter as you couldn't tell one way or the other, for its as perfect a hundred years later as the day He made it. But, regarding the question of garden duration prior to the fall, we do have some things to consider. Adam had grown accustomed to walks with God in the garden. Eve was told her childbirth pain was going to be increased. Adam had to name all the animals - (today we have roughly 30 million - at one per minute it'd take 50 years). The bible story of redemption starts in the fall - because it's then we need redeeming. So the story picks up with the main characters - the family from which the Redeemer would come. Do you think Adam and Eve had other children in the garden? Who did Cain marry and who was he afraid would kill him? Abel and Cain were grown - within the 130 year period of Adam's life. For Adam was 130 when he had Seth to replace Abel. Are we to believe that many other children were born during this 130 period and that these others left the safety of staying in the group (something not seen anywhere in the bible with families - not until the Tower of Babel and confusion and languages separates humanity).
Mark, very interesting points, let me ask first about the 30 AD year, for I always had the crucifixion and resurrection - 33 AD, here's why. Luke 3:1-3 'In the 15th year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar... John the Baptist begins his baptism of Repentance.' This is before Jesus' 3+ years of ministry/teaching. Since Tiberius Caesar became Caesar in 14AD (Universally known) then this places John the Baptist ministry at 29AD then Jesus 29/30AD -33AD. Is this something you have considered?
So is Luke just wrong? No. I agree with Luke, that in the 15th year of Tiberius' reign - John was busy baptizing. Now let's look into this some more. Firstly, as many Kings in the past, we have here, a case where there exists a co-regency. We see this with David and Solomon, Amaziah and Uzziah, Hezekiah and Manasseh --- to use Egyptian examples: Thutmose III and Amenhotep II or Amenemhat I and Senusret I --- if you'll permit some humor - we also see this in the movie The Godfather --- Marlon Brando, still alive defers to Michael as the new Don of the family, whose voice is to be heard and obeyed.
While Augustus was still alive he had appointed Tiberius to be his heir and this was established in 12AD. Coins were minted to this cause.
A section of the Full Bible Timeline
Reckoning from a Co-regency of Tiberius with Augustus. Some interpretations recognize a decree establishing a "co-regency" in 12 CE, with Tiberius ruling as a colleague of Augustus in the provinces. This is described by the Roman historian, Suetonius: "After two years he (Tiberius) returned to the city from Germany and celebrated the triumph. . . . Since the consuls caused a law to be passed soon after this that he should govern the provinces jointly with Augustus and hold the census with him, he set out for Illyricum on the conclusion of the lustral ceremonies; but he was at once recalled, and finding Augustus in his last illness but still alive, he spent an entire day with him in private." (Augustus 97:1; Tiberius 20-21) The triumphal celebration was on October 23, 12, 2 and he became colleague shortly thereafter. Thus, his "co-regency" is usually dated from late October of 12.
The fifteenth inclusive year by dynastic reckoning might be dated from the end of October of 26 until October of 27, with the first Passover of Jesus' ministry in 27 or 28. The fifteenth year has also been claimed to be from January 1 to December 31, 26, with the first Passover in 27. Also, if Jesus was baptized early in the year, as on the traditional January 6, then His first Passover could theoretically be as early as 26. This reckoning from a "co-regency" allows a three-and-a-half-year ministry ending in 30 CE.
If Luke reckoned from the fifteenth year that Tiberius was colleague then this might fall before the earliest possible year when Pilate became governor in the autumn of 26. If John baptized Jesus near the end of the fifteenth year from the "co-regency," October of 27, then this interpretation also will satisfy the first Passover of Jesus' ministry falling in 28. The baptism of Jesus still could not fall in 26 CE, with the first Passover in 26 or 27.
Tertullian, full name Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, c. 155 – c. 240 AD, was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. Of Berber origin, he was the first Christian author to produce an extensive corpus of Latin Christian literature. He also was an early Christian apologist and a polemicist against heresy, including contemporary Christian Gnosticism. Tertullian has been called "the father of Latin Christianity" and "the founder of Western theology." Tertullian also wrote extensively on the correct dating of Revelation and identified the Emperor of that time period as Domitian and not Nero.
Tertulian (being a Roman) would have used a Roman calendar system of dating reigns of emperors. So, the part year of AD 14 would have been considered Tiberius' accession, and AD 15 would have been year 1, and so on. Hence the Lord would have been revealed in AD 26. It would have referred to his baptism in the year that John began baptizing, and by the time Jesus came out of his wilderness temptation, the beginning his ministry would have been early AD 27.
So Tertulian's system fits well with an AD 30 crucifixion. There is a growing consensus among Bible scholars that this date fits the facts better than the other popular option of AD 33. Also, the Tertulian schema does not contradict the gospel of Luke as first appears. Yes, Tiberius became sole emperor on the death of his adoptive father, Augustus in AD 14. However, it is a well-known fact that he had become co-regent with his ailing father two years earlier in AD 12. In that year, he was made supreme military commander over Caesar's armies and provinces. Ancient coins from Antioch dated AD 12 display the head of Tiberius (as shown above) and documents attest to his reign being fully in force from that time. Thus, his inauguration in AD 14 as emperor was only a formalization of a reign that had begun two years earlier.
Therefore, the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius (as Luke put it) would make Jesus' baptism AD 26, just the same as Tertulian's conclusion, albeit by a different method of getting there. Neither Luke or Tertulian were mistaken!
If we indeed date the ministry of Jesus starting in 29AD and his death on the cross at 33AD then the question begs - how old was He when He hung on the cross? It is well established that Christ was not born in 1AD. What if we say - 5BC for his birth? Then at his death in the year 33 AD, He would have been 37 years old. (There is no year 0).
I have Christ born in the year 3BC and on the cross in the year 30AD - aligning with the ancient historians as well as the Jewish Talmuds - that the cross occured on 30AD.. He is 33 years old on the cross. Matching the age of Issac, the foreshadowed sacrifice in the Old Testament.
The above theroy also works with the prophecy in Daniel 9. See Full Bible Timeline sections below.
A section of the Full Bible Timeline
A section of the Full Bible Timeline
For a great read take a look at what the Jewish Rabbis have taught for a couple millenniums. In the centuries following the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem (70 CE), the Jewish people began writing two versions of Jewish thought, religious history, and commentary. One was written in Palestine and became known as the Jerusalem Talmud. The other was written in Babylon and was known as the Babylonian Talmud. The below is posted with permissions from N. Federoff & T. Peterson,
We read in the Jerusalem Talmud:
"Forty years before the destruction of the Temple, the western light went out, the crimson thread remained crimson, and the lot for the Lord always came up in the left hand. They would close the gates of the Temple by night and get up in the morning and find them wide open" (Jacob Neusner, The Yerushalmi, p.156-157). [the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD]
A similar passage in the Babylonian Talmud states:
"Our rabbis taught: During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot ['For the Lord'] did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-colored strap become white; nor did the western most light shine; and the doors of the Hekel [Temple] would open by themselves" (Soncino version, Yoma 39b).
What are these passages talking about? Since both Talmuds recount the same information, this indicates the knowledge of these events was accepted by the widespread Jewish community.
The Miracle of the "Lot"
The first of these miracles concerns a random choosing of the "lot" which was cast on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). The lot chosen determined which of two goats would be "for the Lord" and which goat would be the "Azazel" or "scapegoat." The picking of the lot was done by having two lots in a bag. One was white (for the Lord) and the other was black (for Azazel). The priest would reach in with both hands and select a lot per hand and raise them both out of the bag and over his head. To have the white lot in the 'right' hand was meant to the Jewish culture as a good omen. The right hand was a sign that God’s favor was on the priest and the people.
But for forty years since 30 AD, the High Priest always picked the black stone in the right hand. To the Jews - this was a bad sign. If we do the math on the odds of this happening it would be close to 5.5 billion to one!
The Miracle of the Red Cord
The Red Chord was used in two parts. One was tied to the head of the Scapegoat that would bear the sin of the nation away into the wilderness to be devoured by wild animals. The second part of the cord was tied to the doorpost of the Temple so all could see it. It is reminiscent of the scarlet cord that Rahab was instructed to hang from her window and the blood of the Lamb on the doorposts of the home during the Exodus.
Every year as the Scapegoat was led away, out of the city, people would line the streets and yell, "Take our sins and be gone! Take our sins and be gone!" From time to time this goat would wander back into villages, having found its way back from the wilderness, so they began to toss the goat off a cliff to break its legs, making it easy prey for wild animals.
So every year, the red cord hung off the scapegoat and the Temple door, and once the scapegoat was taken into the wilderness and it was killed the scarlet cord on the Temple door would turn white.
As God told Israel through Isaiah the prophet:
''Come, let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet [crimson], they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as [white] wool'' (Isaiah 1:18).
This occurred year after year, but suddenly stopped in 30AD. Remaining red the cord hung off the Temple door until removed by a priest. This would have been quite startling to the community as the symbol of the sin substitute, the scapegoat, was no longer accepted by God after 30AD. So much was this a disturbing event that in the years that followed the Jewish Rabbis made a note of this in both Talmuds.
It is obvious that some event took place in 30 AD to cause the annual atonement to be no longer something that God recognized.
By contrast, and according to ancient Jewish beliefs, during the rule of Simon the Righteous, a High Priest around 300BC, the lot for the Lord came up in his right hand for 40 straight years and the scarlet cord would always change color.
The Miracle of the Temple Doors
Also in both Talmuds, the Jewish Rabbis acknowledge, that the Temple doors swung open every night on their own. Now, these were not small doors and it took three men on either door to push them closed each night and open them each morning. But for forty years, beginning in 30 AD, the Temple doors were found open in the morning, a sign of impending doom, that the Temple itself would be destroyed.
The Jerusalem Talmud states:
"Said Rabban Yohanan Ben Zakkai to the Temple, 'O Temple, why do you frighten us? We know that you will end up destroyed. For it has been said, 'Open your doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour your cedars' " (Zechariah 11:1)' (Sota 6:3).
It is clear that the Temple ceased to be significant to God and that He had set up a new temple, inside the hearts of those who would come to welcome the Holy Spirit into their hearts. These doors we must open to Him.
"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me."
The Miracle of the Temple Menorah
And yet another strange occurrence during the years from 30AD until the destruction of the Temple in 70AD. There was a large lamp inside the Temple. A seven lamp Menorah in the Temple. This large Menorah had seven branches to it and each housed a place for oil to sit in a reservoir. Every night the priests would leave for the evening but the western lamp was never to go out. So it was topped up each night so that in the morning they would find it still burning.
Yet for 40 years, from 30AD on, the priests would find the western lamp unlit in the morning. The flame had gone out. No matter what they did they could not keep the lamp lite overnight.
Earnest Martin states:
"In fact, we are told in the Talmud that at dusk the lamps that were unlit in the daytime (the middle four lamps remained unlit, while the two eastern lamps normally stayed lit during the day) were to be re-lit from the flames of the western lamp (which was a lamp that was supposed to stay lit all the time it was like the 'eternal' flame that we see today in some national monuments)...
"This 'western lamp' was to be kept lit at all times. For that reason, the priests kept extra reservoirs of olive oil and other implements in ready supply to make sure that the 'western lamp' (under all circumstances) would stay lit. But what happened in the forty years from the very year Messiah said the physical Temple would be destroyed? Every night for forty years the western lamp went out, and this in spite of the priests each evening preparing in a special way the western lamp so that it would remain constantly burning all night!" (The Significance of the Year CE 30, Ernest Martin, Research Update, April 1994, p.4).
Once more a sign that God had moved out of the Temple in the year 30AD. There can be no doubt that it was this was the year of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. When we couple these facts with the fulfillment of Daniels prophecy of 70 weeks we see that the prophecy was right on the mark for the revealing of Christ at His baptism, as God announced from the heavens,
A voice came from the cloud, saying, "This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him."
Let us be those that hear His voice.
Of late in our Thursday night Bible study, we've been discussing what we might like to study of the fourth term or the year. We are considering an end-times study. The discussion quickly turns to signs of the time, and then people draw lines between what is happening, and what the Bible says...
I've been thinking about this, and the similarities with a woman who is expecting...
Events are in place, and we know the outcome - a baby will arrive. We can see signs, and over time those signs change and become more evident. We can draw conclusions about delivery dates from evidence we can measure (scans etc can tell how far along in her pregnancy she is).
But ultimately, no one knows when that baby will come. Late? On time? Boo!! I'm here today!!!! Even on the day, no one would put a time on the arrival!!
And I have been thinking about the end times, and how people are making comment about what they see happening in the world, and that we must be near the end because XYZ is happening...they look at the evidence and draw conclusions to what is means. Some even put dates on events yet to happen.
A phrase in my mind is: We are told to watch and wait, but not to speculate. This another poor earthly analogy of glorious things that are to come to pass.
Any discussion comments?
Thanks & Regards,
I totally agree. That is a good analogy that is often used because it is so appropriate. Indeed we are to watch and wait. There are many parables that end with that command... watch therefore. One of the most common used is that of the 10 virgins. Five foolish and five wise. Yet what do they all have in common. They all slept. They all were snoring until someone alerted them. Someone had a lamp burning and was outside watching... waiting... looking. Yes, some had oil and some did not. But the parable does not end with - make sure you have oil. I know that is important. What I am saying is that parable ends with --- watch therefore. Yet there was only one watching. This is who I want to be --- one that can give the warning - one that is watching - one that not only has oil in my lamp, but my lamp is burning all night while I watch. One that is sounding the alarm to wake up a sleeping bride. We are the watchers on the wall. We are the ones who sound the alarm.
One thing about the bride and the end times. Perhaps you have read this on my site already, but here it is anyhow. What is the destiny of the bride? We as Christians get fixated on the 'bride'. But that is NOT our role. Think about it. When is a woman a bride? She is the fiancee the day before the wedding - without legal say in her future husband's household. So many other covenant analogies.. but I won't get side tracked here... She is the bride of only one day. The Wedding day. But being the bride on this day is not her destiny. This is not her purpose. One this day she still has not legal say in her husband's household - no authority to rule. Once she says those vows though, once that part of the ceremony is over, she turns to the witnesses and is presented as the WIFE. No longer the bride. She was the bride for about 25 mins. or so. Now everything is different. Now she has the authority in her husband's household and can tell the guy how to dress and when to take out the garbage... lol. In the eyes of the courts she has rights.
Our destiny is not to be the bride. It is to be the wife. Our bride mindset needs to be replaced by that of the wife.
A young woman named Kate a few years back got married to a prince. You can be sure that for months leading up to this wedding they were a crew of people from Buckingham working with this young woman to teach her how to talk, walk, dress etc... so that she could be prepared to be a princess. A wife to a prince. It was not so much about being the bride to him... it was about knowing how to be a future queen. How to talk to the media - what was appropriate to wear - how to rule a people.
The Holy Spirit is stirring up inside you right now your purpose. Your passions. Your giftings. Not just for kicks - but so that you will be ready to step into your purpose in the times that are ahead. He is trying to get us all ready to reign with Him. Are we listening and are we learning to hear Him so that the things we need to learn are being learned now? Do we know how to love unconditionally - without taking offence. Do we know that if we make up our minds in the morning that we are going to love unconditionally today - that we become bullet proof - unoffendable? No matter what someone says or does... we have already decided to love them radically... so it does not matter. We are dead so that He may live through us and He is love. Love gives up the right to be right. I can lay it down. I don't need to win the argument. I can love through it. Love makes you wildly powerful - because you can lay down the right to be right. You can love them - no matter what. His love. They shall know we are Christians by our love - not by our judgmental attitudes. We don't need a seminar on forgiveness or a twelve step program to learn how to forgive - we don't need any of that. We only need to learn to love. Forgiveness is a by-product of love. Love radically. Love fully. Love unconditionally. It is this that we will stand in judgment over... did we learn how to love? It is love that will guide us to rule and reign with Him. Not some hardened religious rightness.
If we believe in what those shepherds experienced and believe that '48 was a significant year - if we learn from the life of Abraham, the father of Israel, and learn the patterns to his life and those playing out today in the nation of Israel - perhaps we can see that things are coming and coming quickly. Imagine a generation - it could be ours - it could be soon, it could be tomorrow - that will witness the next 'alien' invasion - Jesus coming in the same manner in which He left - wow. As the bride we need to be the wife in our thinking. If we believe in the millennium and believe it is soon... why do we not teach it? There are more prophecies about that time period then there are about His first coming! Yet it is a subject seldom talked about or taught. He is coming to set up a new era - a thousand years of His reign and you have a purpose and destiny in this time period.
The same way that the disciples transversed two time periods ...old testament one day and then they found themselves in a new testament period the next. Think about that! The way the thought about themselves, the way they taught, the way they ministered all changed. They went from fishermen into world changers, standing before Kings and Caesars - teaching. Yet this time those leaders were not receptive. Now... now they will be. Now we will be those who transverse two time periods... the new testament into the millennium. You have a purpose and a destiny in this time period. You are the bride to become the wife to rule and reign with your King/Husband. He is the King of kings. King of not earthly kings --- but you as a king and priest in His kingdom. As the disciples discovered who they are and a new life and purpose from the foot of the cross as victims of disaster to mighty men of faith who would change the world - so too we - in this time - in this generation - stand in a world trapped in the clutches of sin - still. And we will witness not another cross, not a resurrection - as powerful as those moments were - but better yet -- a sky cracking, earth changing, kingdom shifting event - the second coming.
Familiarity breeds contempt. We have been talking about the second coming for so long that we now just enjoy the talk and scarcely believe it in our hearts. Or... do we truly believe? Noah believed the word. He built an ark over 100 years under blue skies. During that 100 years he prepared not only the ark - but himself and his boys to learn how to rule and reign in a new world. One that would need a new government, a new religious system, a new educational system, a new economic system. Am I saying that they aced it. No. Naturally we all know the failures that followed. The fact that sin remained. But the model is there for us to learn from. What do you suppose Noah dreamed about while he was building the ark for 100 years? Not the terror of the flood. But the new kingdom that would appear after the disaster.
We get fixated on the tribulation, when we should be excitedly talking about how the Holy Spirit is stirring up our spirits with thrilling purpose and destiny - as we learn new things and discover our giftings in this time. For there is no difference between now---- and then. We will seamlessly move from this time into a millennium kingdom as He makes His appearance. Yes, there will be tribulation. Perhaps we both believe in a rapture - perhaps not. But either way we believe that rough times will be ahead for a short period... perhaps the church will be here for it, perhaps not. Not so important. What is really important is - are your ready or at least getting ready ... and what do I mean by ready?
Imagine you could go back and talk with Peter, John, and the crew while they stood around the cross feeling defeated. Imagine you could paint a picture in their hearts of what the next fifty days were going to hold and what would happen to them on the day of pentecost. How would you affect they way those guys saw themselves and how their hearts would soar, knowing that this was not the end --- but only the beginning of something powerfully new. A new destiny and purpose for them. Imagine then, these guys throwing themselves into learning how best to prepare for it. To get a jump on preparations.
We have great insight in this generation. We have history as our guide. Now if you truly believe He is coming soon. If you want to have a discussion about the end times. I would challenge you guys to focus not on the tribulation or the signs. But on the kingdom and how you can --- now --- not then --- but now --- develop the spiritual muscles to become the wife that is your destiny to be. (Like young Kate being taught how to walk and talk so that she was ready - day one - to step into the world and represent the house she was being joined to). The co-ruler with Him teaching a new world, under His governance how to love. A new government will need to learn how to rule. A new education system will need to learn how to teach. A new financial system will need to learn how this works under His leadership. Your destiny and purpose ignites in this kingdom. Some of you are fulfilled and spiritually alive when your teaching kids, when your teaching painting, when your building or in construction, healthcare, the sciences - etc. You find that in your spirit desires are awakening.
The Desire is the Confirmation that the Destination is there! You don't need a sign to tell you your on the right path. He has seeded these things in your spirit. Not your body. In your spirit. He is awaking these desires in you so that they can mature and develop - because this desire is something that you'll be doing during the millennium. (If we were living in the disciples time - I'd say it like this -- these are things you'll be doing after Pentecost). Our concept of heaven skips over the millennium and we think as Christians that we'll be on some kind of vacation! Nope. Sorry. We have a destiny and work to do during this period the bible calls the millennium. Let's talk about that.
Loads of love brother,