THE END OF DAYS
For over three thousand years God has patiently waited for His kingdom to produce good fruit. He personally interacted with His chosen people, communicating through his servants the prophets. He gave them instructions, warnings, and trustworthy information concerning future events; but Israel had better things to do than listen to their God.
God was generous in His dealings with Israel, clearly defining His expectations and the timeframe within which they were to be accomplished. God demonstrated loving kindness and patient endurance in His dealings with Israel; but there is a limit to His forgiveness.
Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22 (NASB)
Many have said to me that what Jesus meant is, there is no limit to forgiveness, if this is true then why didn’t He just say; there is no limit? His answer to Peter indicates that there is a limit, but it is not seven times, it is seventy times seven; or four hundred ninety times. God confirmed this specific limit of forgiveness in His dealings with the children of Israel. As presented earlier, the restoration calendar was established with a day/year timing. The limit of forgiveness is noted in its function. God commanded Israel to let the land rest (enjoy a Sabbath) every seventh year (see Leviticus 25).
“Then the land will enjoy its Sabbaths all the days of the desolation, while you are in your enemies’ land; then the land will rest and enjoy its Sabbaths. All the days of its desolation it will observe the rest which it did not observe on your Sabbaths, while you were living on it. Leviticus 26:34-35 (NASB)
…in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely seventy years. Daniel 9:2 (NASB)
God had clearly and specifically connected the Restoration Calendar with the limit of forgiveness. God also connected Sabbath year violations with the exile; the number of years the exile would last would be determined by the number of violations. Jeremiah wrote that it would be seventy years, and Daniel recognized this time was close to its end.
Daniel’s prayer was a humble request for God to remember His promise and restore His people to the land of Israel. The angel Gabriel was sent to inform Daniel that God would allow the next generation, the children born to those in exile. There would be a specific length of time in which Israel was to accomplish God’s plan, e.g., exactly four hundred ninety years, and it would start with the decree to “restore and rebuild Jerusalem”. In 457 BCE King Artaxerxes issued a decree to restore national sovereignty to Israel and rebuild Jerusalem. Four hundred eighty-five years later, the Son of God announced that time had run out; the kingdom was taken from the Jews and would be given to all who would commit to complete the requirements for restoration. The parable of the marriage feast (Matt. 22), and those who were invited, explain the two opportunities afforded to Israel, followed by an invitation to all peoples of the earth.
Sin kept the children of Israel from becoming the kingdom of God. Sin continues to enjoy success among those who have accepted the invitation and are waiting to be escorted to the marriage feast. A white robe/wedding gown is required to be worn by every guest. This white robe is the proof of righteousness. This wedding garment is not handed out at the door, as though it were a gift; it is a product of character, the evidence of holiness. Each guest has successfully completed the process of sanctification through the operation of the sanctuary in the heavens.
Two times Israel reached the limit of forgiveness. Both times they chose the path of disobedience, seventy Sabbath year violations, and seventy weeks of years. The restoration calendar would end with the conclusion of seventy weeks of Sabbath years – (70 x 49 years) 3430 years in total. The day before the Spring Equinox of 1994 was the last day of the Restoration calendar. You may ask the question then, if the calendar ended at that time why are we still here?
God sent His Son into the world as a witness for the truth, His testimony is true, and it is the standard by which all other teachers teaching is to be compared and judged. The Son of Man testified to the truth, and all those who are truthful listen to Him and obey His teaching (John18:37). The Son of God revealed to John, His disciple, that at the end of days the last offspring of the Woman (Revelation 12:17) would have two distinctive qualities; they keep the commandments of God, and hold to (have) the testimony of Jesus. The testimony of Saul/Paul is not the testimony of Jesus.
When the Restoration Calendar ended in 1994 CE the four angels, who were holding back the four winds, had been instructed to release these four winds at the time of the end; and no later than the end of the Restoration Calendar.
Next I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the world back to keep them from blowing over the land or the sea or in the trees. Then I saw another angel rising where the sun rises, carrying the seal of the living God; he called in a powerful voice to the four angels whose duty was to devastate land and sea, ‘Wait before you do any damage on land or at sea or to the trees, until we have put the seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God’. Then I heard how many were sealed: a hundred and forty-four thousand, out of all the tribes of Israel. Revelation 7:1-4 (JB)
Delay: 1) Put off, Postpone 2) to stop, detain, or hinder for a time.
Now while the Bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. Matthew 25:5 (NASB)
And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land lifted up his right hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, WHO CREATED HEAVEN AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE EARTH AND THE THINGS IN IT, AND THE SEA AND THE THINGS IN IT, that there shall be delay no longer, but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, then the secret intention (mystery) of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets. Revelation 10: 5-7 (NASB)
There are two separate delays. The first delay began when the “ten bridesmaids”, the kingdom of the heavens, failed to complete their mission. As Israel had done before so too had the people of this calling. Their expectation failed to materialize and they were greatly disappointed; the Bridegroom did not come as expected. This is a classic case of the blind leading the blind; although those who believed in the Second Advent and had the Sanctuary message as one of their core beliefs, they also failed to realize that the “gospel of grace” contradicted this understanding. Grace does not require an operating sanctuary, the sole purpose of which is to accomplish the sanctification process. The sanctification process removes the confessed sin from the sinner and transfers it to the horns of the altar of incense in the Sanctuary, thus the sinner is cleansed from that sin. When the last sin is exposed and confessed the person is righteous (without sin). God’s plan for His kingdom is that it be filled with righteous/holy people. The bridesmaids failed to complete the sanctification process, therefore their expectation never materialized.
The kingdom of the heavens is a kingdom in the wilderness (spiritual wilderness). This spiritual wilderness is a place in between the world and the kingdom of God. The Israelites were supposed to be a physical demonstration of this when they followed God out of Egypt (the world) and before they reached the Promised Land (Kingdom of God). The kingdom of the heavens is a people learning about the God of their kingdom. The people of the kingdom of God must know God, for they must worship in spirit and truth. You must not worship who you do not know, for the devils masquerade as god. If your worship is based in a lie you are worshipping the god who lies. Only those who know the truth, know the true God, the God of truth.
Had the Bridegroom come in 1844 CE, He would have come to judge the world. No one knew the truth, no one was righteous, therefore the whole world would have been destroyed by fire. The end of the Restoration Calendar was to be the time when the true God would pour out His four dreadful judgments on the people of earth (see Revelation 6: 7-8; Deut. 32 “The Song of Moses). These four dreadful judgements are: Sword, Famine, Plague, and Wild Beasts.
The Bridegroom was delaying His return because He knew His bride was not ready. As described earlier, the bride needed to be ready when the bridegroom came to her house or the wedding would be cancelled forever. The fact that the Bridegroom is delaying, would indicate that His Father had said He could go get His bride. Remember what the Bridegroom said to His disciples about who alone knows the time! (Matthew 24:36). If the Son was never to know the time when He could go get His bride He would never (ever) be able to go get His bride. The Father did reveal the time of the wedding to His Son (Rev. 1:1-3). There is a process which will insure that the bride is ready when her bridegroom arrives so the marriage will not be cancelled. When the father told his son the date of the marriage the Son then began this process to insure that His bride would be ready when He arrives at her house. Upon arrival the bride and bridegroom will go to His Father’s house for the marriage supper (see Revelation 19:9). The book of Revelation includes the instructions for the preparation of the bride of the Lamb.
And I seemed to hear the voices of a huge crowd, like the sound of the ocean or the great roar of thunder, answering, ‘Alleluia! The reign of the Lord our God Almighty has begun; let us be glad and joyful and give praise to God, because this is the time for the marriage of the Lamb. His bride is ready, and she has been able to dress herself in dazzling white linen, because her linen is made of the good deeds of the saints.’ Revelation 19:6-8(JB)
There are three separate groups in the hierarchy of the Kingdom of God. The first group are the priests, the second the people of the kingdom, and third the people of the nations. Each group has a standard equivalent to the performance of those in each group. The first group, the priests, are those who have learned the truth about God, obey His commands, and have done so without any supernatural signs and wonders. This first group is described in Matthew 24:42-51, Revelation 1:1-3; 3:4-6 and 7-13; 7:1-4; 14:1-5. The 144,000 are the priests. The second group described in Matthew 25:1-13; Daniel 2:44; 7:18, 27; 8:13-14; 12:7 Revelation 2:12-29; 3:1-6 and 14-22; 5:9-10. The third group explained in Revelation 7:9-17; 11:2-3; 13:7-9; 14:6-13; 15:1-4; 19:6-9; 22:1-2.
Each group will be explained in part (4) of this paper.