The 7,000 Year Pattern

Scripture: Mark 9:1-2
Date: 04/18/2009 
The topic of this presentation is "The 7,000 Year Pattern." Seven represents a complete cycle in the Bible. There is a pattern of 7,000 years in history. A miniature picture of the second coming of Christ is found in the mount of transfiguration.
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Note: This is an unedited, verbatim transcript of the live broadcast.

Turn with me in your Bibles, please, to the book of Genesis. In Genesis 1:31, of course, the Lord made the world and six days. “And God saw that everything He made, and, indeed, it was very good. And the evening in the morning were the sixth day.” He was complete with His creation after six days. But we have seven days in our week. That takes you to 2:1-3, “Thus the heavens and the earth and all the hosts of them were finished. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had done; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because in it he rested from all his work which God created and made.” I'm not going to launch into a message on the seventh day Sabbath at this point. I'm glad you're all here, and we are remembering this day that God set aside at creation as a holy day.

I want to talk about a pattern of seven that you see in the Bible. In the message today would be The 7,000 Year Pattern. Without leaving Genesis 2, if you go over and you read in verse 15, “And the Lord took man, and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden, you may freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat; for in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.” Now, I think everyone here knows what happened. Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree. And did they drop dead that day? Now, but it says here, “in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.” Well, the Bible says Adam lived 930 years. Well they did die spiritually that day. They did begin dying physically that day. But it does say, “in the day… you will die.”

There's a scripture in the Bible that helps us understand this and it’s in II Peter 3:8. [In] Some prophecies, one day equals a thousand years. And I want to read you some of these verses. II Peter 3:8, “But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord of one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years, is one day.” Now, I think that's an interesting passage to consider. “In the day you eat thereof, you will surely die.” Did any man live more than one millennium? Did they all died in that first millennium? And if with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are as a day, then you can be confident that every word of God is true; things happen exactly as God foretold they would. Peter was quoting from that verse in Psalm 90:4, “For a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is passed.” And again, Psalm 84:10, “For a day in your courts is better than a thousand.”

I believe the Lord is coming very soon. Preachers have been saying that for 2000 years, right? And I always remind people, one of these days one of us is going to be right. And so I keep saying it. Not only that, but I am an Adventist and Adventists are a people who believe in the imminent advent, or return of Jesus. And I still am an Adventist, but I believe that there are very strong reasons. Now I could go through the list of the signs of the times. And I could talk about the exponential explosion of technology, and how if the Lord doesn't come soon there'll be nothing to come for. Jesus said, “Except those days be shortened, no flesh would be saved.” And how the “whole creation is groaning and travailing under the burden of sin.” And all of the global problems with crime, and overpopulation, and pollution, and global warming. And I could go on and on and talk about all the signs of the times, the immorality, and the crime, and I've got a long list of those signs that I could give you. But there's something else. There's a pattern in the Bible of timing that God uses.

Now, warning, now hear this, caution, alert. Whenever you start talking about the nearness of the Lord's coming, and you mention the word time, some people perk up and they hope you're going to set a date for the Lord's coming. Other people become very nervous, and they're afraid you're going to set a date for the Lord's coming. And I want to go on record right now, make it very clear, that we can know when that time is near, but you cannot know when that time is. We know that it is near now, but we do not know when it is going to happen. In Matthew 24:36 Jesus made it very clear. “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” No man knows the day or the hour of His coming. Now Jesus knows, but if you know somebody and they say, “You know, I found that day. I found the year.” I wouldn't listen anymore to anything he had to say. You've got to be very careful.

I hear a couple of characters that are on TV. Some people are starting to make a big deal out of this Mayan calendar. Well, the Mayans, I was down there in Belize; they're not doing too well as a civilization. And I wouldn't go by their calendar to try and figure out when the Lord's coming. And then there are a couple of radio hosts. And they say they've got it figured out. And they are telling everybody. They've got the date fixed. Of course, one of these guys has set several dates, and they've all fallen on the ground. So you've got to be careful once you start running into people that set that time. But did Jesus say we can know when the time is near? Matthew 24:33, “When you see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” We can know when we're at the threshold, when we're at the door, when we're living in the last generation I think we can know that.

And now I'm going to take you down a little road. And some of you have heard before about the 7000-year theory. I think it's more than just a theory. I think there's a lot of evidence. For a while, there they talked about the theory of the speed of sound. Well, then they proved it and all of science is built on that and it's not a theory anymore. We understand the speed of sound. I talked about the theory of the speed of light, and we know now it is a fixed fact and we make all kinds of scientific calculations, and our lives are governed by that--the speed of light. There are certain laws that at some point are a theory and then you look at a pattern and pretty soon you say, “I think I can trust it’s a fact.” Well, I don't want to be too arrogant so we’re going to talk about it like it's a theory. But there's a lot of evidence Bible for what we call millennial week.

Six days the Lord creates the world. He rests the seventh. The earth now is, according to Bible chronology. Now I know that everyone argues about the age of the earth. You might be talking about the age of the rocks and the age of the planet. I don't even want to go down that road. I'm talking about the Bible age. When you add up the ages of Adam and Seth and Enos and Lamach and Methusela and Enoch and all the Bible characters, all the way through Abraham, all the way to the time of Christ. We know they add up to a certain number. And there are some variations where it gives and takes a little bit. The chronologists argue about the exact number, but it's pretty approximate that right now the earth is 6000 years old. Virtually all Bible scholars agree with that, give or take when the starting date is.

If you use Bishop Usher’s chronology, which has sort of been a benchmark. I remember one time sitting down with a friend with a calculator. We had this long bible study, and we just added up all the dates in the Bible and all of the ages, and we came up to about 4000 BC for the time of creation. We were so excited when we found that others had said that for thousands of years, or for hundreds of years, anyway. So how many of you have seen these chronology charts? You can buy them at Costco. It's got the Bible chronology, talking about creation, according to the Bible. It's all about 4004 BC. The first 2000 years of the world's history God preached the gospel through the patriarchs. That goes from creation, when Christ created the world, up until Abraham. That's the age of the patriarchs. They were not Jews. God's people were people like Adam and Seth and Enoch and Methuselah and Noah and Shem. And God had His people. Then about 2004, exactly 2000 years later, Abraham is born. For the next 2000 years God preaches the gospel through the nation of Jews. That was the age of the Hebrews. That's from about 2004 BC until Christ. That is the age of the Jews, or the Hebrews. God had this special people. To the Jews were committed the oracles of truth.

Then for the next 2000 years; by the way, Jesus was born about 4 BC. I know that always throws people, that Christ would be born four years before Christ. But when they set up the dating method they did it before they had a lot of the information in, and they found out that King Herod the great, no question about it, he died about 2 or 3 BC. He's the one who killed all the babies in Bethlehem. Christ had to be born before he died. So they pretty much fixed the date of Christ's birth about 4 BC. And by the way, Jesus was baptized when He was about 30 years of age, in AD 27. We know it was AD 27. We know He was 30 years of age, Luke 3. So you can do some basic chronology and say He couldn't have been born in the year zero. They just messed up and by the time they realized their mistake, the whole world had accepted and written all these documents with this AD/BC dating method. It was too late to go backwards and redo it, so we're stuck with in an accurate calendar. And our calendar’s messed up in a lot of other ways. Why is February so short? Tell me a good reason for that. Why do you have some months with 31 days? You know why? I was amazed to hear this. July has 31 days, named after Julius Caesar. He wanted a month named after himself. When Augustus Caesar came along he thought, “I'm going to name a month after myself.” But it didn't have enough days. So he took days off February to make August just as long as July. And the Romans, they named the months. September is supposed to be the seventh month. October is supposed to be the eighth month—it’s the 10th month. November is supposed to be the ninth month in Latin. It's the 11th month. December, deca, supposed to be in the 10th month. It's the 12th month. The calendar is messed up, but it's too late to change things. It's amazing that we ever got into daylight savings time. If we were not a young nation we never would have done that. But we were just young enough where it didn't matter.

They couldn't change it. So Jesus was born 4 BC. Then if you go approximately 2000 years from the birth of Christ, that puts you at 1996. Keep in mind, BC, you go backwards. You go 2000 years from there and you count backwards for years from the year 2000. You get to approximately 1996, 1997. It depends on what you do with that first year. So the world is 6000 years old. You've got 6000 years, like six days and Revelation 20 says, “we live and reign with Christ for 1000 years.” It's like a Sabbath. Six days you work, one day you rest. You get 6+1=7, right? So there's this pattern here. And based on that pattern, when Jesus comes it's the beginning of the millennium. We are in heaven then, so He comes before that 1000-year period begins. We're living right now in this very narrow strip between the two.

Now I want to give you a little more evidence. I'm not the only one that says this. Not only did Martin Luther say this, and many other great Bible scholars say this, E.G. White says this. For instance, look in the book Great Controversy, page 518. “The great controversy between Christ and Satan has been carried forward for nearly 6000 years. It is soon to close.” 6,000, soon to close. “For 6000 years Satan's work has made the earth to tremble. He has made the world as a wilderness and destroyed the cities thereof.” “He has opened not the house of his prisoners. For 6000 his prison house has received God's people, and he would have held them captive forever, but Christ has broken the bonds and set the prisoners free with His coming after 6000 years.” So there's a pattern here that you can see in the Bible for this millennial week.

Now, what is the condition of the world after Jesus’ coming? You read in Revelation 20 that when the Lord comes the earth is destroyed by the brightness of His coming. You can read in Jeremiah 4:23, the earth is broken down, the cities are destroyed. There is no man. By the coming of the Lord this has happened. And so the earth is desolate after the Lord comes. Is that right? What's the condition of the world when Jesus comes? When He comes like a thief and the elements melt with fervent heat, it's desolated.

When the children of Israel were carried away because of their unfaithfulness, the land was left desolate. Listen to what it says in II Chronicles 36:21, “To fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths: as long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill 70 years.” When the land is desolate it’s keeping Sabbath. Our world will keep a 1000-year Sabbath, while we live and reign, and we keep a Sabbath with the Lord. We're going to be worshiping with Jesus for 1000 years during that millennium of rest, right? So 6000 years on earth, then 1000 in heaven for a total of 7000. Then He comes back, He makes a new heaven and a new earth.

You see also this pattern of six days you work, one day you rest. Like that 1000 years of rest in heaven, six days working with the gospel. Some examples that you find for this. In Mark 9:1-2 Jesus has an experience called the Mount of Transfiguration. He says, “Verily, there are some of you here that will not taste of death, till you see the kingdom of God come with power.” He makes this statement that says, “You’re going to see a miniature of the second coming.” And that after He makes that statement it says, “After six days He takes them up.” It says, “til they see the kingdom of God present with power. After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and He led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves: and He was transfigured before them.” Of the Lord is glorified, as He will be when He comes. He’s surrounded by clouds, as He will be when He comes. Moses is there representing the law. Elijah is there representing the prophets, like the two witnesses. Moses represents those who have died and are resurrected. Elijah represents those who will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Elijah was caught up, he didn't die, right? And God the Father is there. Christ is coming in the glory of the Father. It's a miniature picture of the second coming.

But it struck me one day. He says, “After six days he took them up.” Why would it say that? Because it's after six days, six millennial days, we go up. Exodus 24:16, “Now the glory of the Lord rested on mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days.” We all know Moses was on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights, but he waited at the base of the mountain. Six days. “And on the seventh day,” in other words, after six days, “a call to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. And Moses went up into the mountain.”

Six days he waits. After six days he goes up. You see this all through the Bible, this pattern. With Jericho. How many times did they march around Jericho? It was actually 13 times. They marched around it one time for six days. And then they took Jericho the seventh day. They took the Promised Land on the seventh day. When do we go to heaven? After six days. After six days, they marched around the city seven times on the seventh day-- a total of 13 marches. Then they blew the trumpets. Will there be trumpets blowing when Jesus comes? Joshua, which is Jesus in Hebrew, leave them in. They take possession of the Promised Land. He comes with glory, destroys the enemies. When Christ comes He’s going to destroy. “All the tribes of the earth will mourn.” That's talking about all of those that are not part of the tribe of Christ. They’ll mourn.

There's another pattern there in the Bible. You can see it in a Jewish law regarding a servant. Exodus 23:10-11, “Six years you will sow your land, and gather in its produce, but the seventh year you'll let it rest and lie fallow; that the poor of your people may eat.” You were to leave it desolate. It was to keep Sabbath. “That the beasts of the field might eat. In like manner, you shall do with your vineyard, and with your olive grove.” They were supposed to sow their seed and cultivate things for six years. The seventh year, leave it desolate, don't do anything. And this is what's happening. Who is the sower in the parable? Jesus is. What is the seed? The word of God. For how long has God been sowing the word in this world? It didn't start 2000 years ago. Was there the word of God before Jesus? Did the word of God exist before Moses? It talks about Enoch, a preacher of righteousness. They were preaching the word of God all the way back in Noah's day, all the way back in Adam's day. For 6000 years God has been sowing the gospel seed.

And what happens when Jesus comes? Revelation 14:15, “And another angel came out of the temple, and cried with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, ‘Thrust in your sickle, and reap: the time is come for you to reap; the harvest of the earth is ripe. So he who sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.” The Jews had a law; six years you farm your land. Then you've got this harvest and then you don't farm anymore that next year. Christ is coming soon to harvest the seed that He has been sowing. He's going to separate the wheat from the tares, right? That happens after six years. It's like after six days, after six millennia, Christ is coming to harvest the earth. He's been sowing the seed.

If you had a Hebrew servant. This is Exodus 21:2. You could buy a Hebrew servant. He'll serve you six years. “And in the seventh he will go free and pay nothing.” This world has been in bondage for 6000 years. Is Christ coming to save the slaves and set them free? It's going to be at the end of the 6000-year period. Now I don't know exactly when that is, but I see a pattern here all through the Bible. And I'm confident enough that it's going to fit. I don't think the Lord is suddenly going to say, “Well, you know, I think I'm going to make it six and a half thousand years. Then we'll make it seven and a half.” I think His word is going to be precise. It says you and I don't know exactly when it is. You know why? If I told you that tax time is going to come sometime next year, but I didn't tell you it was April 15, when would you get your taxes ready? As soon as possible, right? Because you knew you were going to pay a penalty, a big penalty, if you don't get them ready on time. But because you know it was the 15th. I won't ask for a show of hands. I'll assume all those who just giggled ran to see their CPA, were running to get to the post office before it closed, and file your taxes. When we know the date we tend to wait until last minute. We don't know exactly when it is. God is saying it’s soon and we need to be ready now.

You find also, Enoch, he did not die. Enoch’s in heaven now. It tells us about Enoch in the book of Jude. Enoch went up like we're going to go up. Jude 1:14-15, “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam.” Isn't it interesting it would say that? And if you read in the chronologies of Bible, there are six generations before Enoch, and then Enoch goes up. [missing?] Is the seventh. After six, right there in that interval, he goes up. It says here he was a preacher of righteousness. What did Enoch talk about? “Behold, the Lord comes with 10,000 of his saints, to execute judgment on all.” So here you've got the seventh generation. He goes up, and what is his message? It's about the second coming. I think God is trying to tell us something here in these messages.

When Jesus comes at the end of the 7000-year period, at the end of the millennium, New Jerusalem comes down. It's called the wedding of a lamb, right? When finally the honeymoon city comes down to the earth. It's called the bride of Christ. How long did Jacob serve that he could get Rachel? Seven years. And so it's after the 7000 years, that New Jerusalem comes down. I know that sound a little out of pattern, but actually it matches with what I was talking about.

Another story in the Bible that illustrates the point. In II Kings 11:1-3 and we read about King Josiah and when he was crowned. It tells us that, “When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead,” this is the daughter of Jezebel, “she arose and destroyed all the royal heirs.” Now you realize, the royal heirs are her grandchildren. That's pretty brutal. This lady is cold -blooded.

The daughter of Jezebel. She was a pagan queen who had married a Jewish king. She didn't want anyone reigning over her. She wanted to reign. So she tried to annihilate all the seed of David so that she could be on the throne. Several times in history the devil has tried to exterminate what he thought would be the Messiah's seed. Back when the children of Israel were in Egypt, the devil knew one of those Jewish baby boys is going to be the Messiah that would conquer him. So he had them thrown to the crocodiles, trying to kill them all. And then he heard later it was going to be from the descendents of Judah, and from the descendents of David, so he tried to destroy the seed of Judah. He tried to destroy the seed of David. The devil kept trying to prevent Jesus from coming.

“But Jehosheba,” the aunt of Joash, picked him up when he was one years old, spirited him out of the temple before Athaliah’s soldiers could kill him, hid him in the temple of the Lord. Jehoiada, the high priest, knew he was there. They hid him, they tutored him, they trained him, prepared him to be king, waiting for the right moment. They knew they couldn't keep him hidden much longer. He needed to get out of there. And when he turned seven years old, for six years he's hidden in the temple of the Lord.

Matter of fact, this is the next verse, 3. “So he was hidden with her,” Jehosheba, “in the house of the Lord,” for how long? “Six years, while Athaliah reigned over the land.” I like that picture of Babylon, that woman in Revelation 17. She reminds me of Athaliah. It represents this wicked, pagan woman who has corrupted the true worship. That's what Athaliah did. By the way, this is the only female queen of God's people, northern or southern kingdom. She was a pagan queen, daughter of Ahab and Jezebel. She reigned over the land, stops the worship of God in the temple and causes all kinds of problems. But the real king, the son of David, is hidden in the temple of the Lord.

At the end of six years, as the Sabbath was beginning. Jehoiada, the high priest, said, “Now as the Sabbath begins, I want the guards to stand around the king. When the people come to the temple to worship we’re going to pull the trumpets, we’re going to bring him out, we’re going to pour the oil on him, we're going to give him the law,” that’s what they did for the king. They gave him the royal law. They gave him a scepter, the crown on his head, they poured oil. There's a coronation ceremony. “We're going to bring him out of the temple. He'll be coroneted. We're going to shout, Long live the king! And we’re going to create basically a coup. We’re going to overthrow Athaliah.”

Now where is Jesus right now? Is He in a temple in heaven? When He comes will there be trumpets? Is He going to come at the end of a millennial 6000 years as a millennial Sabbath begins? Isn't that what happened here with Joash? You read it; it's in there. Will there be trumpets blowing? It says, “The people rejoiced and the same day Athaliah and all who followed her like Babylon were destroyed.” It's a parallel for what's going to happen in the very near future. When our Jesus, our Joash, our Son of David, comes out of the temple the trumpets will blow. It's going to re at the end of these 6000 years, at the beginning of a millennial Sabbath.

That's what I think that we're on the verge of Christ's coming. You find seven times many, many times in the Bible. Example, how many times did Naaman bathe before he was made new? Seven times he dipped himself. . How long is it going to be for the earth is made new? After 7000 years. A day with the Lord is as a thousand years. God is going to create a new heavens and a new earth. That's when eternity is going to begin in one sense for the world.

Now you might be thinking, “Pastor Doug, you've given me a pattern here that makes me think if the world is about 6000 years old, and here we are now, 2009, shouldn't Jesus have come? Back like in 1996, or at least the year 2000. And I kind of went out on a limb during our Net 99 program. It was pretty exciting in New York City when they had a big clock on the wall, counting down to the millennium. Everybody was talking Y2K, the end of the world, and taking their money out of the bank and burying 5 gallon buckets of food. People all getting ready for the end. People are burying buckets of food now, but it's because of the economy. And I told people; I went out on a limb, I said, “I don't think Jesus is coming in the year 2000 because everyone's looking for Him.

They think it's going to happen.” My Bible says, “in such an hour as you think not.” The church had sort of woke up a little bit during the ‘99 year. We had Net ’98; we had Net ’99. There was a lot of evangelism, millennial fever, people were excited. I said, “No, He’s not coming now.” They look like they are awake. Or it's going to come when they look like they're asleep. That's what the Bible says. There's an apparent delay, just before Jesus comes.

You might be thinking, “Well, the Lord is late. His word is not fulfilled.” No, it just looks like that to us. This is what Jesus said was going to happen. It would appear that there is a delay. For instance, Matthew 24:48. What does Jesus talk about in Matthew 24? What's the principal subject? The second coming, the signs of His coming. When He ends that chapter He says, “If the evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delays his coming.” He warns us against thinking, “Well, He’s never going to get here. I may as well eat, drink, and be merry.” It says, “The Lord of that servant will come in days not looking for him.” And it makes you think about a story that happened in the Bible, one of the prominent stories in Jewish history, where Moses went up the mountain after God spoke to get the Ten Commandments. They made the covenant with the Lord. That's what we call the old covenant, the Old Testament. The Ten Commandments written on stone. Moses goes to get them, but he doesn't come right back.

They thought he would have come sooner. In the Bible tells us in Exodus 32:1, “Now when people saw that Moses delayed.” Moses is late. Then what do they do? They began to get sloppy about obeying God. They began to compromise with the religions around them. They began to fall into idolatry. Why? Because it looked like he was late. They said, “We don't know if he's ever coming back. Maybe we had it wrong. Let’s change things around a little bit. Let's revive things.” It is the church doing that today? Are they adjusting their worship and compromising principles because, after all, “Maybe we were wrong. Maybe He’s not coming back for a while.” So God's people became distracted with the ways of the world, is what happened. And then he came. Just in the midst of their party he came.

You also see that in Matthew 25, the parable of the ten virgins. How many of them go to sleep? 100%. If a woman represents the church, and these are virgins, they're supposed to be the good people, how many of them go to sleep? All. That's better than I have here. I only have 20% go to sleep at Central. It says the Lord's going to have 100% asleep when He comes. So I'm not doing so badly. But how many wise and how many foolish? Those that have the reserve of the Spirit, they were looking for Him, they waiting. They were ready. “And then at midnight,” this is the part I wanted you to notice, “while the bridegroom was delayed.” That's three times now I've seen that. Appears to delay, there's a delay, delay, apparent delay. Is he laid? In other words, we are right on schedule, because a delay is part of the biblical schedule. Did you get that? God is not late. God is not sloppy. It just seems like He’s late to us. Based on our calculations, we thought He would have been here now. But when He finally does come you're going to find out He is right on schedule.

Another story in the Bible that helps to illustrate this. In I Samuel 13:8. God wanted to establish Saul as king. Saul had been chosen by the Lord. Samuel really liked Saul, head and shoulders taller than everybody else. He was going to have a great victory over the Philistines, even though they were outnumbered. They were not supposed to go into battle until the priests came and blessed them. And remember, before the children of Israel went to battle the priest would stand before the people, he would bless them, and he would say, “If there's any among you that are afraid let him go home, lest he incite fear in the hearts of the other soldiers.” The priests were to address the soldiers before they went into battle. Remember the story of Hophni and Phinhias [?]?

The priest that let them into battle and they took the ark with them. And so they were supposed to wait for their priest and their judge, which was Samuel. But it looked like he was a late. He said, “I'll be there after six days.” On the seventh day he was going to come. At the beginning of the seventh day he wasn't there yet. And they said, “Oh, we're worried. The people are getting nervous. The soldiers are leaving me.” King Saul said, “I'll just pretend I'm the priest and I'll do it myself.” He had become so full of himself being king he figured he could do anything. God has sacred offices that He’s appointed to certain people and you shouldn't presume to take those offices. There are distinctions.

And so you read here, “He waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel, but Samuel didn't come to Gilgal.” “ So Saul says, Bring me a sacrifice, I'll offer it.” And just after King Saul had finished offering this sacrifice there's a commotion in the crowd and Samuel walks up. And he says, “What are you doing?” He says, “Well, you seemed to be late, you were delayed and so I forced myself. I did it. I did the part of the priest.” And Samuel said, “You’ve done very foolishly. Now you're going to lose the kingdom. God was going to establish you as king, but because you became impatient, you lost your patience, you're going to lose your kingdom.” What does the Bible say about the ones who get to the kingdom? Here is the, what? Patience of the saints. During this time of delay is when we need to really be praying, because that's when a lot of people lose their faith.

Someone said once the difference between courage and cowardice is about five seconds longer of patience. People just give up a little too soon. And just as he had got done; if he had waited another half an hour history would've been different. Same thing, children of Israel, if they had waited one more day for Moses, but the became impatient. God is telling us to wake up. Is God going to come on time? Book of Habakkuk 2:3, “The vision is set for an appointed time, but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie: though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” So which is it? Did it tarry or did it not tarry? He says, “though it tarries.” What he means it is though it appears to tarry, wait for it, for it will not tarry. It will surely come. And so for those who are saying, “It looks like the Lord is late,” I can promise you when you see Him come, you will not think He’s late. Most people will think it was too soon, when He comes.

And so when you go around and you say, “The Lord is coming soon,” you have every right to say that. Because right now I see more than I ever have seen before the signs of His coming are all around us. These changes that are happening in the world, in the governments, in the finances, is it just me or do you see that there's a consolidating of power? The Bible says that there's going to be a consolidating of worldly power. It doesn't say the nations are going to merge. They’ll not cleave one to another, but they’re going to consolidate financially because in order for the world to control the buying and selling, those who don’t worship the beast and his image, they cannot buy or sell. There needs to be some consolidation of an international monetary system. That’s what’s happening right now.

And if you didn’t know it, and I don’t know what party you’re with. It really doesn’t matter. I think we all agree, we are losing freedoms. The government is taking over banks and financial institutions, even corporations now and insurance companies and auto companies. And that all fits in with the final scenario. We never thought it would happen in America. Well, you’re seeing it happen. It’s like when Jesus stood up and said, “This prophecy is being fulfilled in your very ears.” Well, let me announce today, friends, you’re seeing another step in prophecy is not in front of us anymore, it’s now behind us. And so it is going to happen.

The very place where Peter says, “Be not ignorant of this that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as a day.” Same chapter Peter says, “Knowing this first,” II Peter 3:3, “Knowing this first, that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning.” Peter has told us exactly what it would look like. It’s exactly what’s happening now. He said in the last days people are going to say, “Oh yeah, second coming, second coming. We’ve been hearing about that. They’ve set so many dates.” Why are they saying it? Scoffers, mockers, mocking those who believe in the imminence of His coming. Why? Walking after their own lusts. It makes them nervous to think about Jesus coming soon because they are walking after; they are living for the world, walking after their own lusts. So they scoff and they mock.

When God told Noah, “I'm going to send a flood,” He didn't tell exactly when. When Noah first announced that wickedness was great in the earth, and God was going to destroy the world I think a lot of people were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they helped Noah build the boat. They believed. They participated, But as the years went by and the boat took shape and the sun kept coming up just the way it always did, and they saw no rumblings and the water levels in the rivers in the lakes was not going up or down, and they said, “You know, everything just seems to keep going on the way it's always gone on.” Maybe during the delay they lost faith. And you know, when they finally did see the rain and say, “Oh, maybe he is coming,” then the door was closed.

It was too late. By the way, they were in the ark for six days. Then after the sixth day when the seventh day came, it began to rain. And so I think God has given us a pattern. You're living in that generation that ought to be so excited because I really believe. I don't know when He’s coming. I'm pressing on with ministry to try and build things up as much as I can. I'm not running for the hills, yet. So now is the time for us to get ready, friends. Don't fall into the common mistake that Peter refers to: becoming distracted with the cares of this life, and begin to say, “Well, the Lord’s delayed His coming.” And began to eat and drink with the drunken. You begin to scoff and mock and become like the unbelievers.

I'm always fascinated with the stories that I read about some of the ancient mariners. If you were watching the news yesterday you saw where everybody was on the tarmac to welcome these sailors as they came home, who had been internationally known, who had fought off the pirates; and the captain who had been rescued. Those families are used to their spouses going away to sea and sometimes they don't see them for weeks. But they're phone calling and text messaging, and they are able to have some kind of communication. Years ago, when sailors went to sea, they had no radio; they had no satellite telephone.

Karen and I went on a cruise to Alaska a couple of years ago and it was amazing. Here I'm on a boat out rocking in the ocean, I'm able to get on the Internet. They've got some satellite thing that rotates. It's amazing to me how they could do that. There I am, on a ship out in the ocean answering e-mail. How pathetic. I'm on an Alaskan cruise working like that. But their husband would go away and they didn't know when they’d come back. Sometimes it depended on the end of the fishing season, or the whaling season, or what ever they were doing. And they’d watch the horizon. It could be weeks; in some cases it was months.

You read about Joseph Bates. He is his wife, Prudence, goodbye. He would go to sea. He would sail from Providence. He’d go to the coast and he'd sailed down around Florida, around South America, around Tierra del Fuego, South America, back up the other side to San Francisco. Might drop a couple of letters in the mailbox at San Francisco and say, “ I made it to San Francisco. See you in a year and a half.” And then he'd begin the journey back down around. How'd you like to be in that kind of marriage arrangement? But the wives that loved their husbands, when they went to sea, and they knew it was getting near time when the season was over and they should be back, they spent a lot of time scanning the horizon, being ready.

And you had a couple of thoughts, philosophies that prevailed. Some wives, the house was a mess and the kids were a mess and no work was done. And they'd nervously look on the horizon for the mast of their ship approaching because, you know, the earth is round. First they'd see kind of the sails, and then the ship, as it would come. They didn't have motors back then, they'd come in slow. They'd say, “I’ve got time. I see they're coming. They'll be here in about five to eight hours.” They go rip, snorting around, trying to clean up the house, clean up the kids and tidy things up and fix up the yard and do everything so their husband will come home and think they've been good. Kick out their boyfriends. But every now and then the ship got in at night. And all of a sudden they'd hear a knock at the door. They'd say, “Honey, I'm home.” And everything was in disarray and the boyfriend had to hide in the closet. You realize of course, I'm kind of making this up as I go. I hope you don't think that's the way it is with all the messages.

But the faithful wife, she always had everything in order. She didn't have to worry about a boyfriend in the closet. And they were ready. They kept the light on in the window. I remember reading a quote here. A faithful proverb, “The wives that loved their husband most wait the best.” I read about one fisherman's wife who kept the light burning in the window so her husband would always know that she was waiting for him. And one time he didn't come home. She kept the light burning for 50 years until she died.

But our Savior, our Husband, is coming home. You don't have to question about that. He promised to come back and He is going to come back. Our whole fate is built upon that. And friends, we are living in the day when it is soon. I want to be ready. I really do. I want to go to heaven, don't you? I can't wait. I want to get out of this world. What's the key? We've got to keep our eyes on Christ. Fix your eyes on Him, you'll become like Him. Look for and long for His coming. Is that your desire? Well, I'd like to invite you to turn to our closing hymn. We are using the same closing hymn, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.

We are living, friends, in a very exciting time. I think we all agree, there is no other time in history like the days in which we live. With the populations exploding and the technology exploding and all of the interesting challenges. I think it's safe for us to all know and believe that the signs tell us that Jesus is coming and that time is near. We don't know the day and the hour, but we know it's near. And we see a pattern in His word. God keeps a perfect order in the way He does things. According to the pattern, six days you work and one day you rest. And a day with the Lord being like a thousand years. We’re at the end of that 6000 years. We're living in that window of scheduled delay right now, when Jesus could come at any time. And the final things, when they do happen, will happen very quickly. I think we've all seen how quickly things can happen.

That's why we’ve got to be ready now. You can't wait until April 15 next year. You can be ready right now. It starts right now. If you don't know that you're ready, but just giving Christ your heart. Maybe you've been saying in your heart, “My Lord delays His coming.” And you've been thinking too much about the world. You don't know if you have one more day. Nobody here knows that. You need to be ready and you need to be ready now. If there are some here and you don't have that peace and assurance and you want to give your heart to Christ and except Jesus and ask Him for a new heart, ask Him for victory, why don't you come as we sing the last verse in this song. You just come as you are, you turn your eyes on Him and He can work a miracle in your life. You can have that peace and that assurance. Come as we sing verse three together.

Father in heaven, Lord, we are thankful for the reminder that as the disciples slept and as those ten virgins slept, there’s a risk your people could be sleeping near the end. That we might believe that you’re late or there seems to be some sort of delay, but Lord, you promised that would happen. That there would be that concept. Lord, we’re living in that time right now and we can hear almost a universal snoring among your people and we need to be awake. There’s no reason that we should be asleep.

You’ve told us that we are children of the day. That that day should not over take us as a thief. Help us to wake up. I pray that we could be living in a state of preparation right now. That if we knew Jesus was coming in a week, if we really believe that, Lord, we’d be ordering our lives accordingly right now. Help us to do that. Bless each one who has responded to the invitation this morning. Help them to know that through Christ's blood their sins can be washed away and that they and consecrate themselves to Him.

If there are any changes we need to make in our homes or in our lives in order to be a people who are looking for and hastening that coming, help us to make those changes. And Lord, not only are we coming to you, we have a message to go for you and tell a world that is dying about your salvation. As we go from this place, may we live it and may we share it. We thank you and we ask in Christ's name, amen.

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