Goodnews Christian Ministry

The Third Day

"Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces, but he will heal us;
he has struck us down, but he will bandage our wounds;
after a day or two he will bring us back to life.
On the third day he will raise us and we shall live in his presence."
Hosea 6:1-2

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The "third day" is a beautiful moment in scripture. It is the day Christ returns.

But first, it is to be a terrifying moment for Babylon.

The Bible tells us the 'third day' is the day of Babylon's Wrath, the great tribulation that marks the burning of the "tares" and the plowing of the field of the harvest.

The "third day" is the last of the three "days" that mark the age of Christ on earth.

These three "days" can be seen clearly in the Christian calendar. In keeping with Peter and the Psalms, "A day to God is like a thousand years to man" (2 Peter 8; Ps.90:4), each one of these three God-driven days is structured to last 1000 years on earth. The 'third day', though, is to be dramatically shortened for the sake of mankind's salvation (Mat.24:22).

But first, there is one problem. Some teach that the Christian calendar is based on error. They say they can prove that it began on the wrong date.

Jesus was born, according to the events of the New Testament, sometime betwen 4 B.C. and 6 B.C. Why the discrepancy? Why does the calendar that we thought was supposed to be based on the birth of Christ not coincide with the correct year? Was it Roman error? Or did it happen by the design of the Holy Spirit?

Theologians have mildly pondered this question for ages. Up to now it has lingered as one of Christianity's big unknowns, and we have talked about it occasionally in years past on this website with confidence that the date of our calendar did not come from serendipity, but from the Holy Spirit for some important and unknown reason. That answer has now been given.

Today we can see that the first of those three days did not relate to His birth at all, but to the advent of the "third day", the day when He was to return. It wasn't the start of Christ's millenium that was of concern to God, but the end of it, the "Second Coming" when all creation is to be made new and glorious.

This shows that the official advent of the "third day" has been, all through history, a matter of prophecy by the Holy Spirit. It was prophesied in advance ­ by the calendar itself. Anyone throughout history with simple understanding could have calculated and predicted it if God had allowed this knowledge to be known ahead of time. But He didn't.

God changed the focus of the calendar for us ­ so that we might understand these times that are before us today, and know what time it really is. God was being merciful with us. He created for us an alarm clock. That is why the Christian calendar is based on the start of the 'third day', not the 'first day'. God did this so we would be able to read and understand the handwriting on the wall when it appeared, and know that it was, indeed, the very handwriting Daniel predicted.

This shows once again that our God (who counts every hair on our head) is very legal. His creation goes according to the book. That Book is the Old Testament. Jesus told His apostles that he was obligated to keep all the prophecies and work in accordance with all the rules set down by the Torah in order to get us out of that Law by just means.

That is why principals like the "third day" and the "seventh day" are so important to our understanding of His purpose. These are manifestations of the Law and the Prophets that God needed to keep so that His legality could not be questioned and our belief in Him, in seeing these signs, fortified.

It is written in the Torah that the people must "wash and clean for two days and on the third day, see God face to face." (Ex.19:10). Because the entire Old Testament is a book of prophecy, we now know that this mandate applied to Christianity. It defined the age of Christ on earth. The first two days of washing and cleaning referenced baptism and repentance and the obedience of the Gospel. The "third day" was different. It would bring God ­ the return of Christ.

"The Lord 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, the Lord will descend on the mountains of Sinai in the sight of all the people." (Ex.19:10)

We know from scripture that a day to God is like a thousand years to men (Ps. 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8).

This same formula God has applied to the era of Christ; in fact, He has even applied it to the era of Adam and Eve. In the case of Christ we see three days. In the case of Adam and Eve, seven days ­ each day representing a thousand years, and all structured toward today's date. For instance, today, in the Christian calendar, the date is 2006 (just over two days). In the Hebrew calendar (dated from Adam and Eve) today''s date is 5764.

The era during which Christ's message has been broadcast across the earth is likened in scriptural metaphore to the light of the sun shining on earth, thus it is called a "day" or the "Daylight". It represents (from the Old Testament), God's "Day of Atonement". Because it represents a single day, it fits into scripture's formula as a period of one thousand years.

Since the world has already witnessed the preaching of Christ for over 2000 years, there must be in scripture something that countervails the descrepancy. That can be found in the prophecy of Joshua who foresaw God stopping the sun in the sky to prevent its setting, keeping it shining on the earth for almost a second whole day longer, making one day into almost two (Joshua 10:12-14).

That is what we see in the preaching of Christ on earth. God has lengthened the "Day of Atonement", making one day into almost two. That brings us to today's date, a date that shows two days of "washing and cleaning" (baptism), leading to the arrival of the third day (January 1, 2001). Fortunately, though the third day has arrived, preaching has not ended. Nor will it, not even in the darkest part of the night ahead.

The age of Adam and Eve is longer. It is described in terms of seven days, a date we can see defined by the calendar of Judaism. By that calendar, today's year, as shown above, is 5764, which means that only 236 years remain until the advent of the seventh day, the year 6001 arrives. The seventh day in scripture is God's day of rest when, by Law, everything that belongs to God must be returned to Him irrevocably. What we see, then, in the two "houses" of Israel are two different calendars. The end of the world is defined in each of them.

Because the Day of Atonement signals a thousand years by symbolism, it is propheticallly referred to as the "millenium". The Book of Revelation offers a different interpretation of the term, defining it to the thousand years Satan will spend in the chains of the Abyss (Rev.20:1-7). Michael the Archangel locked Satan there so that Christ's message could be spread with minimal interference across the earth.

It is Satan's incarceration that allowed the nations to incorporate Jesus into their political structure, creating on earth the era of Christian world rule. Today that rule has ended. Not a single nation on earth save the Vatican, has allowed Jesus Christ to remain a part of its political structure. The United States was one of the last nations to evict Him in 1963. This rejection of God is called by Paul, the "Great Revolt".

The Revolt is the signal that Satan has been released from the Abyss, insuring that the "night" Jesus warned about is immediately ahead:

"When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive all the nations in the four quarters of the earth Cog and Magog, and mobilise them for war. His armies will be as many as the sands of the sea; ·they will come swarming over the entire country and besiege the camp of the saints, which is the city that God loves. But fire will come down on them from heaven and consume them. ·Then the devil, who misled them, will be thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet are, and their torture will not stop, day or night, for ever and ever." (Rev. 20:7-10)

Fortunately the tribulation will not last 236 more years (the date of the 7th day in the Hebrew calendar). Mercifully, God has shortened the days for the sake of the survival of the elect. This is especially relevant since some of the tribulation seems to have been with us for a hundred years already. No one can look at the events of the 20th Century and not see the Wrath in them. Their violence is so obvious and the horrors of their events so sweeping across vast populations of the world, there can be little doubt that the leading edges of the tribulation, like the darkened clouds of a great impending hurricane, have already started passing through.

According to the Christian calendar, the "third day" began on January 1, 2001. That tells us the millenium has already ended. The third day is at hand.

How much over it is, however, is not clear. Did it end when Satan clambored up out of the Abyss just before the first World War? It had to be some time in the 20th Century. Those years saw the advent of the Great Revolt, two world wars, poison gas, scores of genocides, atom bombs and even the Church thrown out of government and the Bible banned. We may never know the exact date the millenium of Christ ended, but we can be sure the end happened just shy of two days (2000 years) because Joshua tells us the sun was stopped in the sky for "almost" a whole day (Josh.10:13). The word "almost" in this prophecy shows Christ's Day of Atonement set just before the end of the "second day".

The sign of the "third day" came in the form of the "handwriting on the wall of Babylon". The prophet Daniel interpreted that handwriting as the definitive signal that the end of Babylon's days were at hand. Nine months into the "third day", that signal was written in flaming images crashing across the walls of Babylon's towers. Soon, the walls gave way and came crashing to the ground, the towers with them. The symbolism was clear to everyone who watched. The east had launched its attack. The walls of Babylon were coming down, and with them its towers. The Book of Revelation leaped to life in horrifying images broadcast live in real time from one end of the earth to the other. The entire world watched in stunned disbelief the inscription that was being etched into the memory of their eyes.

In that moment peace was gone. Babylon's dome of protection had disappeared. It's shield lay broken on the ground. The "third day" had received its message. It signaled war, mixed with terrorism and economic collapse. The message was clear, the "third day" would be a day of fire and destruction ­ a day of bitterness for Babylon.

Fortunately there is still time to leave. What we saw in New York was not the attack on Babylon, but a warning of it. It was a MESSAGE, written by the east, but coming from God. It broadcast to the world a last chance for salvation; a final opportunity for the world to change its ways and turn to back to the Lord before the main event arrives to take its place. God's call to leave is now more urgent than ever. The handwriting by the east has terminated the prosperity of Babylon forever. None of the magnificence and ease of her past will ever return. She is to be completely broken down and plowed under. Do not expect otherwise.

The only safe place from all this destruction is in church; working for God instead of mammon.

"Let us set ourselves to know the Lord; that he will come is as certain as the dawn. His judgments will rise like the light, he will come to us as showers come, like spring rains watering the earth." (Hos.6:3).

With Babylon's dome of protection now removed by the arrival of the "third day", all safe havens outside of God are going to disappear. They are disappearing right now. That can be seen in the symbolism of Martha Stewart: everything Babylon calls good or thinks of as good is to be torn down and put to the torch. The people of this world outside of God have suddenly become vulnerable to catastrophe that was once thought unthinkable. Unemployment, loss of homes, economic crisis, these are only the first signs of the chaotic environment the days ahead are predicted to bring. One has only to look at the prophecies in scripture, especially those in the Book of Revelation, to see what is expected to occur in the times that lie directly ahead.

Yet there is still a place of safety in all this: under the umbrella of God. The more dissociated society becomes, the greater the response in churches will be to that chaos. The wagons will be circled around those who still believe, and the wall of grace that is the Holy Spirit will remain strong, protecting all who seek shelter behind Him.

In this, the old saw is true, there is safety in numbers, and especially when those numbers are filled with the kind of power strong faith can bring. God demands pooled resources. Sharing is essential to Christian morality and that is something almost never to be found in the secular world where "mine, mine, mine" is the eternal mantra. The time has come to circle those wagons of faith. The enemy is at hand. Satan has already been released from the Abyss knowing that God has granted him a brief return to take control again of his corrupted world and drive it full steam into the wall of Armageddon.

No one who puts their faith in Christ will be foresaken. God has let us know the mystery of his purpose and that mystery promises eternal life to everyone who holds on to their faith to the end.

"May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception to know what hope His call holds for you. May he enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what rich glories He has promised the saints will inherit and how infinitely great is the power that He has exercised for those of us who believe." (Eph.1:17-19).

"You can tell this from the strength of his power at work in Christ, when God used it to raise Jesus from the dead and to make him sit at his right hand in heaven, far above every Sovereignty, Authority, Power or Domination...He has put all things under his feet and made him, as the ruler of everything, the head of the Church; which is his body, the fullness of him who fills the whole creation." (Eph. 1:19-23).

Thanks be to God, there is still time to join this salvation and become a part of it. Those who have waited to this final day, the last moment in time before making a decision to come into His vinyard, should procrastinate not a minute longer. If you were waiting to know when it would be too late, you are almost eye-witnesses to that fateful occasion. Only catastrophe awaits those who stay on the other side. The place of safety from the Anger now falling upon the world is still open to those who have the eyes and ears to see, hear and believe in Him and accept His offer.

But don't wait. Scripture says: "You must put your hope in Christ before He comes" (Eph.1:12). That is the rule that governs salvation. Do not lose faith!

 



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