Message NotesFrom Here To Eternity – Part 2 Page 1
Sunday September 28th 2014
From Here To Eternity
1). 1Th 5:1 ¶ But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.
a). We had begun last week by establishing where exactly our ‘Here’ is as we begin to detail the events that must transpire as we move towards the endless ages beyond the Millennial Kingdom.
b). And what we had noted last week is that our position on what we call the timeline that sets out God’s 7000 year plan for Man is not nearly as important as where we are in our progress towards being fully prepared for our appearance at Christ’s Judgment Seat.
c). And in connection with this we had looked at some verses from 1 Thessalonians Chapter 5 where Paul writes to the ‘church’ in Thessalonica concerning ‘the day’, which contextually refers to the resurrection/rapture of all the eternally saved and the judgment that will immediately follow – and as we see from our opening verse this morning there was an expectation that they understood the ‘times and the seasons’ with respect to this – something that should also be true for us.
d). The reference to ‘times’ we will remember must take us to God’s divinely perfect plan for restoring a ruined creation, 6 days of work followed by a 7th day of rest – this is the very bedrock of God’s purpose for Man and we should understand this from the foundational picture in Genesis through to its fulfillment in the Millennial Kingdom - 2Pe 3:8 ¶ But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 ¶ The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night……….
e). That which we see here in 2 Peter connects directly with our verses in Thessalonians. Peter’s reference to ‘one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day’ are the very ‘times’ that Paul writes about – and if we continue a few verses later in 2 Peter, this connection is made very clear
From Here To Eternity – Part 2 Page 2
for us – 2Pe 3:14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation--as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
f). These then are the ‘times’ that we should know about and according to Peter this is knowledge that we must not allow ourselves to forget so that we should not fall from our own steadfastness, being led away ‘with the error of the wicked’.
g). And so, it is what we know from the scriptures concerning ‘the times’ that we must focus on and not the events that we see in the world around us no matter how much they may appeal to our desire for the Lord’s return. The scriptures do not teach that there are events in the world that we should look to; rather they teach that we should look to the scriptures themselves as our sole authority.
h). Then in conjunction with this we had come to realize that even though we may understand ‘the times’ and be in anticipation of the Lord’s return, that day will still come as a thief in the night if we are not properly prepared for it and being in the process of being properly prepared is what ‘the seasons’ are all about.
i). Seasons have to do with planting and harvest and it is of paramount importance that we understand this from a scriptural perspective –
Ga 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
This present time then is the season for sowing, and we are to sow to the Spirit, in anticipation of the season of reaping when we shall receive the fruits of that which we have sown - Joh 12:23 But Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone;
From Here To Eternity – Part 2 Page 3
but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.
j). Now is the season for dying to self so that we might reap life for the age to come, all of which we find typified in the experience of Ruth working in Boaz’s field – Ru 2:23 So she stayed close by the young women of Boaz, to glean until the end of barley harvest and wheat harvest; and she dwelt with her mother-in-law.
k). And all of this pictured through the experience of Ruth is brought about in our life by the work of the Holy Spirit – Joh 16:13 "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
The Holy Spirit who is even now searching for a Bride for God’s Son in the antitype of Abraham’s oldest servant seeking a bride for Isaac from amongst Abraham’s family.
l). And so to set out the sequencing for us – beyond the point of our eternal salvation the Holy Spirit begins to reveal to us that which is the purpose for our being eternally saved - Ge 24:53 Then the servant brought out jewelry of silver, jewelry of gold, and clothing, and gave them to Rebekah………
1Co 2:9 But as it is written: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him." 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
All of which necessitates our making a decision just as Rebekah does –
Ge 24:58 Then they called Rebekah and said to her, "Will you go with this man?" And she said, "I will go."
A decision to be accompanied by the same determination which Ruth exhibits-
Ru 1:16 But Ruth said: "Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. 17 Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The LORD do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me." 18 When she saw that she was determined to go with her, she stopped speaking to her.
m). And so it is as we continue on our journey under the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit through the scriptures that we begin working in
From Here To Eternity – Part 2 Page 4
the field with respect to the barley and wheat harvests, work that continues throughout the course of our Christian life, in conjunction with making the preparations pictured through washing ourselves, anointing ourselves and putting on our best garment whilst all the while moving inexorably towards Christ’s Judgment Seat.
n). This then is where we are, this is our current location within God’s plans and purposes for us – if we were to draw the line on our timeline that says, ‘You Are Here’, we are ‘Here’ in the time of preparation, in the season of sowing, engaged in the spiritual warfare. And the most significant thing we are now to be looking to is neither our physical death nor the rapture per se, but rather our appearance at Christ’s Judgment Seat.
o). Mt 25:23 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'…………….30 'And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
2). We have then I hope, established where we need to be with regards to being prepared for what is to come next for us, realizing that our position on God’s 7000 year timeline makes the coming of our appearance at Christ’s Judgment Seat very close indeed.
a). But as we consider what it means to know ‘the times and the seasons’, to know where we are, it is essential to realize that we also need to know where God’s chosen people Israel are, as what awaits us in the future is inextricably linked to what is to come for them. To understand and believe that which the scriptures teach concerning Israel is an integral part of having faith to the saving of the soul because not only has the Word of the Kingdom become leavened with respect to Christians in the present age, but it is also leavened with respect to Israel as well. If we believe what the scriptures teach about us and the coming Kingdom of Christ then it is incumbent upon us to believe that which the scriptures teach about Israel and that same Kingdom.
It is impossible to separate one from the other.
b). In one sense every Jew is in the same place as every other eternally lost person at present – in order to be eternally saved they must both hear and receive the gospel of grace - Ac 16:31 So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."
And should any individual Jew do that very thing then they become a Christian and part of the new nation, the one new man in Christ and cease being a part of the house of Israel and having done this they may find themselves in exactly
From Here To Eternity – Part 2 Page 5
the same place as we presently find ourselves – Ga 3:26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
c). However, we should note that despite, in one sense, being the same as all the other eternally lost, Israel remains God’s firstborn son, although not at present possessing the rights of inheritance, and the promise given to Abraham still holds true for those of his lineage through Isaac and Jacob despite their unbelief – Ge 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
With the latter part of this promise still remaining yet future.
d). And in addition, that which God spoke to Cain, who is a type of Israel, following the slaying of his brother Abel, still remains in force - Ge 4:15 And the LORD said to him, "Therefore, whoever kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And the LORD set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him.
e). So even though God is not dealing with Israel as His household servants today, but is focused on an entirely new set of servants, the Church, that which God has said remains in effect during this time and remains irrevocable.
f). Then from another perspective we find Israel at this time in a very unique situation, almost in what we could describe as suspended animation, awaiting God’s attention once again.
3). We will of course remember that which God had told Israel through the Prophet Daniel - Da 9:24 "Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy. 25 "Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. 26 "And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;
a). We will remember the 70 ‘weeks’, the 490 years, promised to the nation to finish transgression and make an end of sins – and we will also remember that after 69 ‘weeks’, 483 years, Messiah was cut off leaving the
From Here To Eternity – Part 2 Page 6
final 70th ‘week’ the final 7 years still to be fulfilled. Well in the simplest sense it is right here between the 69th and the 70th ‘week’ that we find the nation of Israel today, a time gap that has spanned 2000 years in which, as we see from-
Ac 15:14 "Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name.
b). A time then when Israel has been set aside in the antitype of the death of Sarah recorded in - Ge 23:2 So Sarah died in Kirjath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan,
An event that takes place within the panoramic sequence presented in Genesis Chapters 21-25 and also pictured through Christ leaving the house and going to the sea in the Matthew 13 Parables - Mt 13:1 ¶ On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea.
An event fulfilled shortly before the Lord’s crucifixion – Mt 21:43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.
c). Then, continuing from the perspective of the Matthew 13 Parables, we have just seen that Jesus went out of the house, signifying the setting aside of Israel, and sat by the sea, signifying the time of this present dispensation when He is dealing with the Church. Following on from this we then find this recorded in - Mt 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house.
We see here that Jesus returns to the house again, signifying His dealing with Israel once again during Daniel’s 70th ‘week’ – Israel then, at present, is in that period of time between Jesus leaving the house and returning to the house. These are all just different ways of expressing the same thing.
d). And then, from yet another perspective we find Israel in the place of the partial fulfillment of the Feast of Passover - Ex 12:5 'Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 'Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. 7 'And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.
e). Jesus is Israel’s Passover Lamb, as John the Baptist clearly states –
Joh 1:36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God!"
And having killed the Lamb for a nation at the Lord’s crucifixion they have completed that seen in Exodus Chapter 12 verse 6, but they have not yet done that seen in v7 – And so today Israel is between the killing of the Passover
From Here To Eternity – Part 2 Page 7
Lamb and the appropriation of the blood – they are between that seen in Exodus 12:6 and that seen in Exodus 12:7.
f). And then in fulfillment of that seen through the type of Cain and Abel,
Israel has slain their Brother and they are now in the time of being fugitives and vagabonds upon the earth - Ge 4:10 And He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground. 11 "So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. 12 "When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth." 13 ¶ And Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is greater than I can bear!
The time will yet come though when Israel will cry out to the God of their fathers in the antitype of that seen with Cain in v13, but that time is not yet – and so we find Israel in a time between Genesis 4:12 and Genesis 4:13.
g). And then from yet another perspective we find Israel in the time pictured between the rejection of Vashti - Es 1:2 But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king's command brought by his eunuchs; therefore the king was furious, and his anger burned within him.
And that pictured through the acceptance of Esther - Es 2:17 The king loved Esther more than all the other women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight more than all the virgins; so he set the royal crown upon her head and made her queen instead of Vashti.
As recorded in the Book of Esther.
h). And then again we find Israel in the time Pictured through Jonah in the belly of the great fish and through Lazarus prior to the Lord calling him out of the grave.
i). And all that we see here with regards to the nation of Israel is part and parcel of our knowing ‘the times and the seasons’.
4). But as we know, from knowing ‘the times and the seasons’ the present time for us and for Israel does not continue beyond its appointed limit, and very rapidly a change will occur beyond which nothing will ever be the same again.
a). And that which precipitates this change is the very thing described in
1Th 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
And experienced by the Apostle John and recorded in - Re 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet,
From Here To Eternity – Part 2 Page 8
11 saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last," and, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea." 12 Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
And - Re 4:1 ¶ After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."
b). It is of course the resurrection/rapture of the Church to appear at Christ’s Judgment Seat – the search for the Bride will have been completed, the work in Boaz’s field will be done and Rebekah and her maidens will be in the presence of Isaac.
c). This will mark a change in the seasons as this will no longer be the season for sowing, but the season when we will reap that which we have sown. This will no longer be a time for work, but a time to receive the wages we have accrued for the work we have done – the time to buy the extra oil will be over - Ec 3:1 ¶ To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: 2 A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; 3 A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; 4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; 5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; 6 A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; 7 A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; 8 A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace.
d). This will no longer be the time of the ministry of the High Priest but the time of the Judge, and we shall all be judged according to our works. This will be the time of the separation of the faithful from the unfaithful, the wicked from the just – and we shall all be there without exception –
Ec 3:16 ¶ Moreover I saw under the sun: In the place of judgment, Wickedness was there; And in the place of righteousness, Iniquity was there. 17 I said in my heart, "God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, For there is a time there for every purpose and for every work."
Ps 1:1 ¶ Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall
From Here To Eternity – Part 2 Page 9
be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper. 4 ¶ The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
e). I know these will all be very familiar to us, but let’s just review some more of the scriptures that speak about this time - Mt 13:47 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet that was cast into the sea and gathered some of every kind, 48 "which, when it was full, they drew to shore; and they sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but threw the bad away. 49 "So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, 50 "and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
Mt 22:12 "So he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless. 13 "Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 14 "For many are called, but few are chosen.[ lit. called out of the called]"
Mt 7:21 ¶ "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
1Co 3:11 ¶ For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
From Here To Eternity – Part 2 Page 10
Re 3:21 "To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'"
5). We have no way of knowing how long a period of time the Judgment of all the eternally saved will take and what the time gap will be from the resurrection/rapture of the Church to the beginning of the Tribulation, but the scriptures do set out for us an order of events so that we can know how things transpire - Ru 3:8 Now it happened at midnight that the man was startled, and turned himself; and there, a woman was lying at his feet. 9 And he said, "Who are you?" So she answered, "I am Ruth, your maidservant. Take your maidservant under your wing, for you are a close relative." 10 Then he said, "Blessed are you of the LORD, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich. 11 "And now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you all that you request, for all the people of my town know that you are a virtuous woman. 12 "Now it is true that I am a close relative; however, there is a relative closer than I. 13 "Stay this night, and in the morning it shall be that if he will perform the duty of a close relative for you-good; let him do it. But if he does not want to perform the duty for you, then I will perform the duty for you, as the LORD lives! Lie down until morning."
Ru 4:7 Now this was the custom in former times in Israel concerning redeeming and exchanging, to confirm anything: one man took off his sandal and gave it to the other, and this was a confirmation in Israel. 8 Therefore the close relative said to Boaz, "Buy it for yourself." So he took off his sandal. 9 ¶ And Boaz said to the elders and all the people, "You are witnesses this day that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, from the hand of Naomi.
a). In the foundational type from the Book of Ruth we see that Ruth is recognized on Boaz’s threshing floor and as a consequence of Ruth being there Boaz the next day goes to the gate of the city in order to redeem the inheritance for her.
b). That which we see here in the type in Ruth is exactly fulfilled in the antitype as seen in the Revelation. In Chapter 1 of the Revelation we see the resurrection/rapture of the Church and the Church appearing in the presence of Christ who is now seen as Judge. Chapters 2 and 3 then deal with the judgment of the Church and will result in the separation of the overcomers
From Here To Eternity – Part 2 Page 11
from those who have been overcome – the overcomers will be recognized as the Bride of Christ in the antitype of Enoch, Rebekah and Ruth.
c). It is in the Revelation Chapter 4 that we find the 24 Elders casting down their crowns of rulership, the crowns that will be worn by the Bride during the Millennium, who has been revealed as a result of the judgment seen in the previous 2 chapters.
d). Chapter 5 then takes us to that pictured through Boaz at the gate of the city - Re 5:1 ¶ And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, "Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?" 3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. 4 So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. 5 But one of the elders said to me, "Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals."
e). All of this though we will have to pick up again next time, if the Lord is willing.