Articles, Stories, and Items of Interest

God's Calendar

by Richard Drake

Have you ever stopped to wonder at the order in God's creation? Have you ever gazed into the vast heavens at night and wondered how each tiny speck of light out there could have its own orbit and not collide with another tiny speck of light? What about the order that we find here on our own planet that we call natural law? Could we even survive an instant if there was no order in the universe? Sometimes it is interesting to entertain these and many more questions about God and the way that He runs His universe, but that is not the purpose of this article. One question seems to keep coming around and around. If God is in fact a God of order, then would it be too much to expect that the Bible is also a book of order that spells out a calendar or timetable that God has predetermined will take place?

Consider the following thoughts in this paper carefully and prayerfully. Scientists can easily and accurately tell how long a day is by observing a physical phenomonem that occurs approximately every 24 hours. The earth makes one complete rotation on its axis. Likewise scientists can determine the length of a year by measuring the length of time the earth takes to make one trip around the sun. A month is determined by measuring the length of time that the moon takes to make its journey around the earth. Have you ever wondered what determines that a week has seven days? It cannot be matched to any natural phenomenon observable by scientists. It does not fit neatly into a month or year.

A rather astounding fact emerges when different cultures are studied around the globe. Every culture has a week of seven days and all of the days in each culture are in synch. Day 1 of the week in Europe is also day one of the week in the remotest parts of Africa. How could this possibly happen, particulary since the week is not obviously tied to any natural phenomonon? There is only one answer that makes any sense--God said so. Genesis 1:1-31 records how God created our planet and everything on it in six days. Notice how the narrative ends in Genesis 2:1-3.

2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

The week is the critical foundation that God builds His calendar on as we shall soon see.

In order for God to truly be a God of Order, He must follow patterns in a consistent manner, which He does throughout the Bible. Start looking for these patterns and you will be amazed at what you will discover. Exodus 20:8-11 records the fourth commandment which sets forth man's work week and worship pattern.

20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Sounds like a repeat of Genesis 1:1-2:3 doesn't it? Notice that God worked for six days and then rested on the seventh day. He then commanded (the 4th commandment) that man should use the same pattern that He established.

In order that His people would never forget this pattern, God did a rather interesting thing. The story is recorded in Exodus 16:23-30.

16:23 And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning.
24 And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.
25 And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field.
26 Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.
27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none.
28 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?
29 See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.
30 So the people rested on the seventh day.

Every week for forty years God's people were reminded that they were to work for 6 days and then rest on the seventh day. Keep in mind that a double portion of manna fell on the 6th day. Man had six days to work and do his pleasure, but the seventh day was God's day that He made holy. The sabbath was to be a day of rest for man. Notice that the number 6 is man's number and that 7 is God's number. The number seven means perfect or complete. Man was created on the sixth day and was given 6 days to labor. Interestingly, Satan is referred to as a man in Isaiah 14.

14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
16 They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
17 That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners? Isaiah 14:12-17

Notice in verse 17 that God says that Satan "opened not the house of his prisoners." Satan is not only referred to as a man, but as someone who has prisoners. You will soon see the significance that Satan is binding man in sin and that Christ will release man from sin. All of this is pointed out in the sabbatical and jubilee system that we are studying. Another interesting note is that if 6 is man's number and Satan is referred to as a man, then that gives the reason why the number 666 is Satan's number. He wants to be like God, Whose number is 7, but as a man he can never make it, thus his number of 666.

Another pattern is ready to surface. Notice what Leviticus 25:1-7 says.

25:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD.
3 Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof;
4 But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.
5 That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land.
6 And the sabbath of the land shall be meat for you; for thee, and for thy servant, and for thy maid, and for thy hired servant, and for thy stranger that sojourneth with thee,
7 And for thy cattle, and for the beast that are in thy land, shall all the increase thereof be meat.

The pattern of 6 days of work and 1 of rest is now applied to 6 years of work and then 1 year of rest. What a God we serve! He is not an unfair taskmaster that requires us to labor under a life of toil and care. He not only has given us the Sabbath day to rest on every week, but He also planned a sabbath year every seventh year for the land to rest. It is no coincidence that Matthew recorded Jesus' words:

28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30

God says that we must do as God did in order to enter His rest.

8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Hebrews 4:8-10

Environmentalists are saying that if all of the factories in this world would shut down for one day in seven then the earth would heal itself! It is true that if man had followed God's instructions then the earth would not have "waxed old". However, keeping one day in seven misses the whole point. God set aside one particular day in seven to be kept holy--the seventh day itself. Satan wants us to believe that God is not particular about which day we worship so long as we worship Him. People can only enter God's rest on His terms and people who are destroying the earth certainly are not following God's terms. It is no coincidence that God says that He will destroy those who destroy the earth.

18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. Revelation 11:18

God uses the number 7 in some rather interesting ways. The number 7 means perfection. We will soon see that God uses seven to multiply blessings and curses upon His people. Moving up God's calendar we can see that He often sets up a period of time and then multiplies it by seven to denote another period of time. This point will become rather significant as we shall see. Take a look at Leviticus 25:8-12.

8 And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years.
9 Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land.
10 And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.
11 A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed.
12 For it is the jubilee; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. Leviticus 25:8-12

Notice that the Jubilee year was not only a year of rest, but also of release and restoration. Slaves were freed and property was returned to the original owners. Ellen White states in 6BC 1095:

"The gospel of Christ reflects glory upon the Jewish age. It sheds light upon the whole Jewish economy, and gives significance to the ceremonial law. The tabernacle, or temple, of God on earth was a pattern of the original in heaven. All the ceremonies of the Jewish law were prophetic, typical of mysteries in the plan of redemption."

If this statement is to be taken at face value, which it should be, then we can say that this whole system of sabbaticals and jubilees pointed forward to the plan of redemption which includes what Jesus is going to do at the second and third comings. He is going to release us from our slavery to sin, give us a perfect nature, give us a sabbatical millennium of rest, and then restore the earth to its state of perfection at creation. We have so much yet to learn from the study of the Jewish economy. Consider the following quote:

"The significance of the Jewish economy is not yet fully comprehended. Truths vast and profound are shadowed forth in its rites and symbols. The gospel is the key that unlocks its mysteries. Through a knowledge of the plan of redemption, its truths are opened to the understanding. Far more than we do, it is our privilege to understand these wonderful themes. We are to comprehend the deep things of God. Angels desire to look into the truths that are revealed to the people who with contrite hearts are searching the word of God, and praying for greater lengths and breadths and depths and heights of the knowledge which He alone can give." Christ Object Lessons p. 133

Another interesting point is made in Leviticus 25:20 and 21.

20 And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase:
21 Then I will command my blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years.

God did not require the Israelites to follow Him without giving them sufficient reasons. He provided food for them in advance of the years that they would not till the land. In fact He provided them with enough food to last until the harvest after the sabbatical year was completed. What a God we serve!

God made a covenant or contract with His people. If they would follow Him and obey His commandments then He would pour out tremendous blessings on them.

Blessings:
3 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.
5 And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time: and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
6 And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.
7 And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword.
8 And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.
9 For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.
10 And ye shall eat old store, and bring forth the old because of the new.
11 And I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you.
12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. Leviticus 26:3-12

Can you think of a better way to live life on this sinful earth than to follow God and receive these blessings that He promised? All the food, shelter, protection, and love that only God could provide were to be given freely to His people! The other side of the agreement contained a terrible price to pay if the people chose not to follow God.

Retributions:
14 But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments;
15 And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant:
16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
17 And I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.
18 And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
19 And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass:
20 And your strength shall be spent in vain: for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits.
21 And if ye walk contrary unto me, and will not hearken unto me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.
22 I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your high ways shall be desolate.
23 And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;
24 Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
25 And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
26 And when I have broken the staff of your bread, ten women shall bake your bread in one oven, and they shall deliver you your bread again by weight: and ye shall eat, and not be satisfied.
27 And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me;
28 Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.
29 And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat.
30 And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcases upon the carcases of your idols, and my soul shall abhor you.
31 And I will make your cities waste, and bring your sanctuaries unto desolation, and I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours.
32 And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it.
33 And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.
34 Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.
35 As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it. Leviticus 26:14-35

God said that He would send all of these retributions on the people if they did not repent of their sins. Notice that God multiplied the punishments seven times each time the people walked contrary to Him. He says this four times in verses 18, 21, 24, and 28. Nebuchadnezzar used the number seven in a similar way:

19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. Daniel 3:19

Leviticus 26:20-25 records that God would use four punishments against His disobedient people: famine, plagues, wild beasts, and a sword. God uses the number four to mean "fully prepared". After being warned of four judgments to be carried out seven times more, the people were fully prepared to meet the consequences of their foolish choice. God does not punish His people without first telling them in advance the consequences of their choices for evil. He even makes life miserable for them along the way in order to bring them back to Him. People must repeatedly choose to reject God, against all evidence of His Providence, in order to be lost. The astounding thing is that most people reject God in spite of everything He does to try to save them!

The land would eventually get its rest regardless of the choice that God's people made. Notice verses 34 and 35 of Leviticus 26.

34 Then shall the land enjoy her sabbaths, as long as it lieth desolate, and ye be in your enemies' land; even then shall the land rest, and enjoy her sabbaths.
35 As long as it lieth desolate it shall rest; because it did not rest in your sabbaths, when ye dwelt upon it.

Revelation 6:8 makes a rather interesting prediction of what is going to happen in the very last days.
"And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth."

God uses the same punishments today that He said He would use against the Hebrews if they did not keep their end of the contract with Him. The world has refused to keep the commandments of God and He is going to destroy the world with these same four judgments.

A fascinating story is told in Ezekiel 4:1-6.

4:1 Thou also, son of man, take thee a tile, and lay it before thee, and portray upon it the city, even Jerusalem:
2 And lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mount against it; set the camp also against it, and set battering rams against it round about.
3 Moreover take thou unto thee an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between thee and the city: and set thy face against it, and it shall be besieged, and thou shalt lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel.
4 Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity.
5 For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.
6 And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year. Ezekiel 4:1-6

Imagine a full-grown man laying in the dirt in front of city hall in your town playing with the dirt and building a dirt city, erecting a fort against it, and then laying siege to the city! We would think that he was a nut, but he definitely would get our attention. Poor Ezekiel laid out there for 390 days on his left side and then for 40 days on his right side for a total of 430 days. Each day represented a year that the Jews had disregarded God's commands. Ezekiel's trust in God and his willingness to do whatever God asked, even in the face of derision and ridicule, is an object lesson of what we must be willing to do for God in our day. What was the significance of Ezekiel's object lesson and were the numbers given simply random numbers? Consider Jeremiah 29:10.

10 For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. Jeremiah 29:10

Jeremiah predicted that the Jews would spend 70 years of captivity in Babylon before being allowed to return home. How does a prediction of 70 years in captivity fit in with the picture of God's calendar? Isn't this simply another random number? 2 Chronicles 36:20, 21 sheds light on this issue.

20 And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia:
21 To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years. 2 Chronicles 36:20, 21

Remember that God had warned His people in Leviticus 26 of disasters that would occur if they did not keep up their end of the contract and that the land would get its rest one way or another. If we apply the 430 years of Ezekiel 4 with this text in 2 Chronicles 36 we should end up with 70 sabbaticals that the Jews violated. Follow the math closely and you will see a beautiful picture beginning to emerge.

Leviticus 25 pointed out that there were 7 weeks of years in a Jubilee cycle or 49 years with the 50th year actually being the Jubilee year. However the 50th year was also the first year of the next Jubilee cycle. Notice that there are actually 8 sabbath years in a Jubilee cycle--years 1, 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, and 49. Follow the math in the box to the right and you will see that the Jews violated 70 sabbath years in the 430 years spoken of in Ezekiel 4. God's prediction came out exactly to the year! The Jews violated 70 sabbaths of years and they were in captivity for 70 years, which allowed the land to have its rest for 70 years. The prediction in Leviticus 26 was exactly fulfilled down to the very year! Another issue to consider is that the number 70 appears to be the limit of God's patience. We have just seen that the land was desolate for 70 years due to the fact that God's people had violated 70 sabbath years. Consider Daniel 9:24-25 for more evidence to support this point.

24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. Daniel 9:24-25

Notice that 70 weeks of probation were given to God's people to get their act together. 70 weeks is actually 70 x 7 = 490 years because prophetic time is reckoned as a day for a year (Ezekiel 4:6--"I have appointed thee each day for a year."). God's people were given 490 years (70x7) to finish transgression, make an end of sins, make reconciliation for iniquity, and bring in everlasting righteousness. At the end of 490 years they were to anoint Jesus (the Most Holy) and to seal up the vision and prophecy. If they had done as God desired for them to do, then Jesus' first coming would have also been His last. Prophecy of the end times would have been sealed up forever because there would have been no need for it. Revelation would never have been written and history would have been totally different from what it is. God had big plans for His people if they would only have followed Him. From the decree to rebuild Jerusalem in 457 B.C. to the stoning of Stephen in 34 A.D. is 490 years. The stoning of Stephen in 34 A.D. is the point in time when the Jews probation finally ran out and the gospel then went to the Gentiles. Note again the limits of God's patience--the number 70.

Jesus and His disciples were familiar with the time frame given in Daniel 9:24-25 so it is no great surprise that Jesus gave the famous reply to Peter's question found in Matthew 18:21-22.

21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22

The limit of God's patience (70) keeps surfacing. Remember that blessings and curses are often given in multiples of 7. We explored that concept earlier in this paper. Here again is God's patience (70) multiplied 7 times for a total of 490, which ties directly back to the 70x7 concept used in Daniel 9.

The final piece in God's great calendar is rather interesting because it pulls the parts of the calendar together and makes sense out of each piece.

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. 2 Peter 3:8

If all of creation took 6 days with the 7th day being a day of rest, then it makes sense that the sin problem on this earth is also given 6,000 years (6 days to God) of toil under sin with the 7th millenium being a 1,000 years (1 day to God) of rest and release from sin. Remember that the Jubilee was for rest, release, and restoration to the rightful owners of the property that they had lost. In like manner Satan has kept us in slavery to sin for six thousand years (6 days to God), but Jesus' 2nd coming releases us from slavery to sin. We then enjoy the millenium sabbath of rest in heaven with our Redeemer. At the end of the 7,000 years God finally erases sin from the universe and restores the earth to its original perfection and then returns it to its rightful owners. Note that 7,000 years is 70 centuries--the total limit of God's patience.

God's calendar presents such a beautiful picture of God and what He is doing for us! Understanding this picture also puts the emphasis back on the weekly cycle of six days of work with the 7th day being a day of rest. This mini model of God's calendar is a weekly reminder that God has set a limit on the length of time for the sin experiment to take place in His universe. It also highlights the Sabbath, the 7th day, as being extremely important in this contest with Satan. This explains why Satan is working so hard to void God's Sabbath and to insert his own day of rest because if man can be kept from understanding this vital Sabbath issue then his mind can ultimately be diverted away from the Lord of the Sabbath and his destruction will be assured. The Sabbath issue will be the focus of attention in the battle between Christ and Satan at the very end of earth's history. In studying the Jewish economy we have found that the Sabbath has much more meaning behind it than we have realized. Ellen White makes some rather interesting comments about proclaiming the Sabbath more fully:

"And at the commencement of the time of trouble, we were filled with the Holy Ghost as we went forth and proclaimed the Sabbath more fully. This enraged the churches and nominal Adventists, as they could not refute the Sabbath truth. And at this time God's chosen all saw clearly that we had the truth, and they came out and endured the persecution with us. I saw the sword, famine, pestilence, and great confusion in the land. The wicked thought that we had brought the judgments upon them, and they rose up and took counsel to rid the earth of us, thinking that then the evil would be stayed." Early Writings p. 33-34

This whole story that God has outlined with the Jews is just a mini model of what is to happen to the whole earth in the very near future. Read the following texts in light of the Jews' story and see if you find new meaning in these texts.

2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Ye have seen all the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, and upon all the cities of Judah; and, behold, this day they are a desolation, and no man dwelleth therein,
3 Because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke me to anger, in that they went to burn incense, and to serve other gods, whom they knew not, neither they, ye, nor your fathers. Jeremiah 44:2-3

24:1 Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof.
2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.
3 The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word.
4 The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish.
5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
6 Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. Isaiah 24:1-6

This text in Isaiah 24 shows the end results of the sin problem. Man has broken his covenant with God and as a result the curses spoken of in Leviticus 26 are poured out on the earth in the form of the 7 trumpets and 7 plagues spoken of in Revelation.

23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light.
24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.
25 I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.
26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place was a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the LORD, and by his fierce anger.
27 For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end. Jeremiah 4:23-27

The land is made desolate at Christ's second coming, but the end of the sin problem does not happen for another 1,000 years. No man is alive on the earth during this time and so Satan has plenty of time to contemplate the results of his bad choices.

2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. Revelation 20:2-3

God revealed to David some of what would happen at the end of this world.

8 But thou, LORD, art most high for evermore.
9 For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. Psalm 92:8-9

8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. Revelation 6:8

9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger. Isaiah 13:9-13

18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. Revelation 11:18

Dear friend, the time for making a choice to serve God is nearly up. 6,000 years of sin is nearly upon us and God's coming is imminent. Yes, God's calendar is nearly complete. We are approaching sundown on Friday night of earth's history. Remember that Friday is the 6th day of the week and that sundown signals the second coming of Christ and the beginning of Great Sabbath in heaven. Probation closes a little while before the second coming--that is why we must be prepared for Sabbath a little time before sundown Friday evening. The sun is almost down and the world is getting ready for an exciting time on the town. The dance halls are filling, the bars are tuning up for an evening of fun, and the football stadiums are buzzing with anticipation. Matthew 24:37-39 is being fulfilled right before our eyes.

37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood theywere eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Matthew 24:37-39

Noah preached for 120 years that God was going to destroy the earth with a flood. God gave the people ample warning of what was approaching. It was not a case of the people not being warned, but rather that they chose not to believe the warnings that were given to them. In the same way God is giving ample warnings that we are approaching the end of time here on earth. What we choose to do with that knowledge will determine our destiny just as the peoples' choices in Noah's day determined their destiny. Prayerfully consider the following verses.

5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6

Notice that verse 4 shows that we are not in darkness about the second coming of Jesus and that it will not overtake us as a thief--only the wicked will be caught off guard.

3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. Revelation 3:3

Jesus says that He will come as a thief on those who are not watching and they will not know what hour He is coming. This verse is stated in the negative. If we rephrase it in the positive the meaning for us becomes clearer. "If therefore thou shalt watch, I will not come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt know what hour I am come upon thee." God is such a God of love that He has given us a calendar that gives us ample warning that our time on this earth is about over. He has not yet revealed the day and the hour of His coming, but even that will soon be made known. Amos 3:7 says:

7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. Amos 3:7

Can we believe God at His word? He says that He will do nothing, but He reveals his secret to His servants the prophets. God will give us the information and timing of His coming when He sees that the time is right.

God has given us a clear warning and a clear choice. How we respond is up to us. Pray that we do not delay and that we will make the right choice! The end is truly imminent!



 
Next is: Next is: Join us for Feast of Unleavened Bread, April 11-18, 2017.

Spring 2017, Camp Meeting Schedule
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"While we must hold fast to the truths which we have already received, we must not look with suspicion upon any new light that God may send." (GW p.310)
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