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LESSON 1 Ė GODíS TIMETABLE
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LESSON 1: GOD’S TIMETABLE
STUDIES IN PROPHECY BY DAVID BOYD LONG
Man's timetables are always contingent. Weather, strikes, mechanical failure, bomb threats, hijacking, many things cause frustrations, delay or cancellation. Still it is good to have a plan, but one must remember all man's plans are fragile. God the Almighty has a timetable for His dealings with men and nothing can upset it. There are many spirit beings who do everything they can to foil God's plan, but they cannot. God's timetable cannot fail. This new book on prophecy is based on three premises:
1. God is omniscient, He knows the end from the beginning.
2. God is omnipotent, He is well able to carry out His own plans.
3. God has told us something of His plan for man in the Holy Scripture.
David Boyd Long has been studying and teaching God's Word for many years. In this book, with pungent, irreversible argument, Scripture after Scripture is elucidated to substantiate the doctrine that Christ will come for His Church before the great tribulation sets in, before the Millennium. Similarly, every stage of God's Timetable is presented with Scriptural authority in a heart-warming manner.
God's Timetable Contents:
God has a Timetable for the World
God's Timetable for Israel's Future
God's Timetable in terms of Gentile World Empire
Links between Prophecy in Old and New Testaments
Coming World Rulers - Civil and Religious
The Coming of the Lord to take the Church away
Final Convulsions of a Dying world
Future Judgments from God: When? Where? Why? Who?
Christ's Coming in Glory and His Kingdom on Earth
The Eternal State: The sevenfold consummation of the purpose of God
GOD HAS A TIMETABLE FOR THE WORLD.
Bible Prophecy is simply God's revealed plan for the future of His creation. This creation, which was once perfect, Genesis 1.4 etc., was later marred by the entrance of sin, Genesis 3.17, but has been promised ultimate blessing and perfection through Christ and His work, Romans 8:18-25. In spite of this declared purpose of God many people seem to feel that events simply drift along, occasionally pushed forward or backward perhaps by men in positions of power. The Christian believes that God is working out His own program at His own pace and according to His own timetable, for he knows that the Bible says, for example:- The Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men and giveth it to whomsoever He will, Daniel 4.25. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it ... until he come whose right it is, and I will give it to him, Ezekiel 21.27. I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle .. then shall the Lord go forth and fight against those nations ... and His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives ... and the Lord shall be king, Zechariah 14.1-9. The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool, Psalm 110.1 with Matthew 22.44. God hath put in their hearts (i.e. the kings of Europe) to fulfil His will ... until the time of God shall be fulfilled, Revelation 17.17. These, and many other Scriptures, make clear to believer that God not only has a plan and a timetable, but that He has given us this timetable in His Word - The Old Testament part of this timetable is found clearly in Daniel 9.24-27, which, in turn, is linked to the New Testament development of the theme in Matthew 24.1-31 by the Lord Himself. This, as we shall see later on in studies, is amplified, detailed, and carried to in the book of Revelation. Such a statement, that God has revealed to us in His Word, frequently evokes a sceptical response, we believe there is an obvious and fair test for such affirmation. Such a test might be simply stated in this way: Has God, in the past, committed Himself to any timetable? If so, is it subject to checking and confirmation? Was it adhered to beyond any possibility of coincidence. If such timetables can be found in the Bible, and if they have been fulfilled as stated above, then we may confidently believe that what God has done in the past He can and will in the future. We ask the reader to consider a few examples.
TIME-CHECK - ABRAHAM TO THE EXODUS
In Genesis 15.13-16 God gave Abraham the outline of a plan for his descendants, which contained a very sped time-check open to confirmation as it, unrolled in the future. Read the passage carefully in a good that is, an accurate translation, and mark its main points.
1. The immediate descendants of Abraham would be strangers (pilgrims) without possessing the land for 400 years from the time of the statement.
2. The whole nation would become slaves. (serve)
3. They would be afflicted and oppressed.
4. The nation so treating them would be punished (judged) by God.
5. This direct intervention of God in judgment would open the way for their liberation (they shall come out).
6. At their liberation, they would have "great substance" or wealth, though they had toiled for centuries without pay.
7. In the fourth generation they would "come hither again," that is, they would return to Palestine where the conversation was taking place.
Here, unlike the mumbled double-talk of the pagan oracles, all is clear, concise, emphatic, and it does not take much Bible research to prove that every one of the seven statements was fulfilled to the letter:-
1. From Genesis 15 to Exodus 12 is 400 years. In Exodus 12.40 we are told that, the total period of sojourning was 430, but that would be counted from Abraham's entrance into the land in Genesis 12, thirty years earlier.
2. Though no one could have foreseen slavery for the whole race, yet it actually came about and is historically attested.
3. Even as slaves they were treated with unusual cruelty and oppression in Egypt.
4. God did finally intervene, breaking Egypt's power.
5. Only through that judgment was Israel liberated, not by legislation, change of Egyptian attitude, or revolt of the Israelitish slaves.
6. In spite of more than 200 years of unpaid slavery, Israel did come out with great wealth, because the Egyptians forced this wealth on them to hasten their departure on the night of the Exodus to avert further catastrophe, Exodus 12.35-36. So great was this wealth that in the desert they later built with it the Tabernacle, lavishly ornamented with gold, silver, and gems, which they could never have possessed by any other means.
7. It was in the 4th generation that they were liberated, as God had said; Levi, who went into Egypt with Jacob, followed by Kohath, Amram, and Moses.
This first section of timetable takes us all the way from covenant with Abraham to the Exodus from Egypt, all meticulously spelled out and all miraculously fulfilled.
TIME-CHECK - EGYPT TO CANAAN
Immediately following the liberation from Egypt, we have another prediction by God involving verifiable time factors. The distance from Egypt to Mt. Sinai, approximately 150 miles, was covered in two months by the slow moving horde of probably more than one million people, Exodus 19.1. They stayed in camp at Sinai about one year, Numbers 10. There God made His covenant with them, gave them His laws as well as instructions for the building of the Tabernacle, and there this building was made and erected. They left Sinai the second month of the second year from Egypt, Numbers 10:11, and would likely take about the same time, two months, they reach the borders of Palestine at Kadesh-barnea, Numbers 12.7; 13.26; 32.8. Here they disobeyed God in refusing to cross over and take possession of the land, staging a rebellion and in their desperation threatening to kill Moses and those who stood with him so that they could "return to Egypt," Numbers 14: Because of this rebellion God said that the whole nation would wander around in the desert for forty years until all over the age of 20 had died; a sentence from which only three men were exempted, Moses, Caleb and Joshua, Numbers 14.30. reason for the number of years - forty – is explained as one for each day they spent in spying out the land instead of taking God's word for it in faith, Numbers 14.33-34. This prediction was again accurately fulfilled, for not until forty years later did the surviving younger generation cross Jordan into Canaan - led by Joshua and Caleb as God had foretold.
TIME-CHECK - THE BABYLONIAN EXILE
Many predictions, useful in confirming the accuracy God's Word, we pass over, because they are not directly connected with the subject of timetables. One very striking time-check, however, appears in connection with Israel's exile in Babylon, and this we urge you to study carefully. In Leviticus 26:40-45, about 1,500 years before Christ, God told the Israelites through Moses that if they disobeyed His Word He would punish them in a variety of ways. One thing was mentioned specifically, namely, that if they did not allow the land to enjoy its sabbatical rest by lying fallow for one year in seven He would take them away from the land into captivity, so that in their absence the soil would run wild and uncultivated making up in this way for the sabbatical years they had denied it - a year for a year. After entering Palestine, the Hebrew people were ruled by a succession of judges, priests, and prophets for somewhat less than 500 years, and during that time they apparently did not fail in this particular matter. But during the latter period of about 490 years under her kings, we gather from several passages that this sabbatical year of land-rest was violated, as indeed were many of God's laws for their well-being. God remonstrated with His people through the voices of the prophets, without much result, and at last, Jeremiah, about the year 496 B.C., brought them a message of judgment from God in Jeremiah 25.8-12. This was to the effect that, since they had refused to listen, and continued to violate the year of Sabbath, God was going to do as He had threatened in Leviticus 26 by removing them to Babylon for a period of seventy years. Again, as at Kadesh-barnea, there is a mathematical justice or retribution in this. In violating for 490 years the one-year-in-seven rule, they owed the land 70 years of rest, so God is saying that they will remain in Babylon as exiles for exactly that period. Far from such an exile appearing at that time to be inevitable, a great many false prophets and advisers were busy saying how foolish such a prediction was, and persecuting Jeremiah for continuing to make it. Nebuchadnezzar had invaded Palestine twice in the preceding years and still everything was going on much as usual in the land, so the false prophets prophesied "Peace, peace!" and there was little sign that God would keep His word and send Israel into exile. Yet six years or so later the Babylonish armies came on a final military operation. They captured and dethroned the king, deported the mass of the population to Babylon and scorched the land with fire and sword, leaving it a desolation where little but wild animals remained and these in time took over whole areas of it. The keeper of the national chronicle writing by divine inspiration in 2 Chronicles 36.20-21 says that all this was done so that the land might make up her lost sabbatical years in fulfilment of the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah. God's Word was again fulfilled to the letter, as it had been in the previous instances, and they remained in Babylon for 70 years until God overthrew that nation by bringing the Medes against them. Later, with a change of dynasty a Persian king called Cyrus allowed the Jews to return to their land exactly 70 years after their deportation. Jeremiah, who had remained in the land with a small and poor remnant, understood this timetable. So did the writer of 2 Chronicles 36.22, and so did Daniel who was one of the deportees, Daniel 9.2.
At this precise moment when this timetable was running to a close, God gave Daniel another timetable involving another period of 490 years of Israel national history, which would carry right through to the coming of Messiah and His rejection and "cutting off" by His own people; the subsequent destruction of the holy city by the Romans, and then, after a long period of dispersion, to the kingdom of Messiah and the consummation of God's plans for Israel and the whole earth. Surely, if as we have seen God has so meticulously kept to all His other revealed timetables we have no reason to doubt that He will keep to this last one given to us in Daniel 9 and which we shall consider in the next chapter.
TEST LESSON 1 - GOD'S TIMETABLE
TRUE (yes) or FALSE (no)
1. God sets up whom He will in the kingdoms of men - TRUE .......................... FALSE ..........................
2. The timetable of God is found in 2 Kings 12 - TRUE .......................... FALSE ..........................
3. Abraham was told his seed would not possess the land for 600 years - TRUE .......................... FALSE ..........................
4. From Genesis 15 to Exodus 12 is 400 years - TRUE .......................... FALSE ..........................
5. The Jews were treated kindly by the Egyptians while in Egypt - TRUE .......................... FALSE ..........................
6. The children of Israel camp at Sinai about one year - TRUE .......................... FALSE ..........................
7. There were only four men of war that went into the promised land - TRUE .......................... FALSE ..........................
8. A Sabbatical year was one year out of every seven - TRUE .......................... FALSE ..........................
9. 490 years is the key to God's timetable - TRUE .......................... FALSE ..........................
10. Daniel give us the present timetable of God - TRUE .......................... FALSE .........................
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Updated May 2012 by Shelly Allen