"A Day to God is Like 1000 Years to Man"
To understand this quotation, we must return to the early part of the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament called by the Jews, 'the Law'). When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt (itself a parable of our being led by Christ out of this world to the promised new world God has created as the reward for our redemption), he gathered the entire procession at the foot of a mountain in the desert of Sinai.
There, God was supposed to descend from the holy mountain and come down to speak to the people in person, to give them the divine commandments from heaven that they were all obliged to obey.
Moses told them that they were to wash and clean for two days and on the third day, God would appear before them. "God said to Moses, 'Go to the people and tell them to prepare themselves today and tomorrow. Let them wash their clothing and hold themselves in readiness for the third day, because on the third day God will descend on the mountain of Sinai in the sight of all the people." Ex.19:16.
The reference to God's personal appearance on the 'third day' became a prophetic theme and is repeated in the Old Testament in several different ways, an indication by the Holy Spirit that this time reference has important prophetic overtones.
The 3-day reference, when combined with the 'thousand-year' metaphore, meshes perfectly with the age of Christ. It has been almost exactly 2000 years since He first appeared and brought an age of washing and cleaning to the world in the form of His Gospel.
It was revealed to Daniel (Dan.9:24) that a specific time-frame existed for mankind to cleanse itself in the holiness of the Gospel brought by Jesus.
"Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and your holy city,
for putting an end to transgression,
for placing the seals on sin,
for doing away with crime,
for introducing everlasting integrity,
for setting the seal on vision and on prophecy,
for anointing the Holy of Holies." (Dan 9:24).
The time-frame, i.e, the seventy weeks decreed in the Book of Daniel for expiating crime and building in its place holiness on earth, corresponds to the Mosaic reference that the people should wash and clean for two days.
The two days, when linked to the metaphore of the difference between God's days and man's days brings us to the age of Christ, i.e., 2000 years. (each 'day' representing a thousand years). See 2 Peter 3:8 and Psalm 90:4.
The metaphore further indicates that on the third day, the Lord will appear; i.e., the third millenium is the age of Christ's Second Coming. This indicates that His appearance will occur some time after the new millenium that is now on our doorstep takes place. When the year 2000 occurs, the world will enter the 'third day'. A very momentous occasion because it represents the millenium in which Christ is scheduled to return.
Of course, the 'third day' in virtual terms can last a thousand years. But there are many indications that Christ's return will occur very early on the third day. Jerusalem has been rebuilt. This is practically the headpiece of the prophetic end-times. That city is the gallows on which Satan and his followers are to be executed. And the nations are already beginning to form themselves into alliances aimed at the extermination of Jerusalem. Ignored and left in almost desolate isolation from the momentum of history for centuries, Jerusalem has suddenly once again become the focal point of world politics.
Moreover, Christians have come under a withering secular attack worldwide. The Christian momentum of the world's most powerful governments which ruled human affairs for the last 2000 years has virtually disappeared in our own lifetime. The Tribulation that fronts the doorway to Christ's return could not possibly occur without this abandonment by the world of the cleansing water of the Gospel so critical to God's schematic of redemption.
And there seems to be a prophetic indication to the shortness of the 'third day' in the life of Jesus, Himself. The three day metaphore was repeated in His execution and resurrection. Christ's rising occurred extremely early on the third day. So early, in fact, that it had already taken place by daybreak. That is why many churches now hold Easter Sunrise services.
The fact that Daniel was prophetically referring to Christ in all of this is confirmed by his earlier testimony (Dan.7:9 to 7:14), in which Daniel sees in vision the appearance of Christ before God. This vision is one of the consumate confirmations in the Old Testament that the entire book had all been written with Christ in mind.
The 'washing and cleaning' refers to our turning our lives over to Jesus and renouncing our past behavior and spending the rest of our lives cleansing ourselves in the living waters of the Gospel and the lifestyle it commands of us. Not an easy road, of course. And that is why the reference to the washing and cleaning. It is a process where we stumble, get back up and continue the journey. And it applies, not just to ourselves, but to all the people around us. In the church, in the community and in the world. And it applies not just to the people in our own church, but to all the people in all the churches that proclaim Jesus throughout the globe. And it applies to an immense line of people that have been qued up through the ages, as if standing in line, awaiting their turn to hear the message from heaven, as death and new birth exchange the populations of the planet.
And it perhaps pertains even to a population that extends far beyond this planet as well. Possibly to planets scattered throughout the universe. "And then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory; then too he will send the angels to gather his chosen from the four winds, from the ends of the world to the ends of heaven." Mark 13:26-27).
We have no idea how extensive God's creation is (or was) that Satan tried to destroy, only our own position in it, and the value of what has been offered to us, and the critical need for our urgency to accept it with our whole mind, body and soul before the offer is terminated. We have been given two days to wash our clothing and hold ourselves in readiness for the third day. And that third day is now only about 21 months away.
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E.C.S.Leavenworth III; Goodnews Christian Ministry.