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If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 48

God and the Calendars

Picture 1 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 48
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Welcome to this new section! Let’s pray together:
Heavenly Father,

Since we began this set of lessons about Bible prophecy, we have studied many periods of time, many prophetic calendars.

Today, we ask You to show us why these calendars are important for our understanding of the prophetic message You want to give us.

In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.
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2 Peter 3:8 Comments
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. Many sincere people believe that, since God is not subject to the notion of time, He doesn’t attach any importance to the day and hour the events of our lives take place on earth.

This lesson will demonstrate that, on the contrary, God has a very precise calendar, on which the fulfillment of His prophecies is based.
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Genesis 1:14 Comments
And God said,

«Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night.

And let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.»
First, the Bible says that God is orderly.

Out of His infinite wisdom, He established laws and principles so that His creation may function with harmony and regularity.
1 Corinthians 14:33
For God is not the author of confusion.
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Acts 17:26 Comments
[God] has made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation. The order God established also affects the dimension of time.

The chronology of events is not the result of chance: God intervenes at precise moments in history, so that His prophetic calendar may be fulfilled.
Ecclesiastes 3:1
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
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2 Thessalonians 2:3,6 Comments
Let no man deceive you by any means.

For that Day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. (...)

And now you know what withholds that he might be revealed in his time.
God’s prophetic calendar is not only accurate as to the length of foretold events, but also as for the order in which they will take place.

So far, our lessons have always attached great importance to the chronological order of prophecies.
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Galatians 4:4 Comments
When the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law. Jesus’ life is an excellent illustration of God’s calendar.

The Bible often says that the events of His life on earth took place at a precise moment, «when the fullness of the time was come».
Mark 1:14,15
Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying,

«The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.»
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The life of Jesus on earth indeed followed a very precise calendar:
«These words spoke Jesus in the treasury, as He taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on Him, for His hour was not yet come.» (John 8:20)

«Then Jesus said to them, “My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. (...) Go you up to this feast: I go not up yet to this feast: for My time is not yet full come.”» (John 7:6,8)

«Jesus knew that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world to the Father.» (John 13:1)

«Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.» (Matthew 26:45)
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Acts 1:6,7 Comments
«Lord, will You at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?»

And [Jesus] said to them, «It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in His own power.»
Just like His first coming, the second coming of Jesus will take place at a very precise moment, set by the Father and known by Him alone.
Matthew 24:36
But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but My Father only.
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2 Peter 3:9 Comments
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Because of our impatience, we might think the return of Jesus is delayed.

But, in fact, Jesus will return exactly at the appointed moment.
Ephesians 1:9,10
[God has] made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He has purposed in Himself: that in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him.
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The Bible is clear: God has set a date for the end of time.
«Behold, I will make you know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.» (Daniel 8:19)

«Both of these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.» (Daniel 11:27)

«Some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.» (Daniel 11:35)

«But you, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.» (Daniel 12:4)

«Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.» (Revelation 1:3)
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The day of judgment is also fixed in God’s calendar:
«And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men everywhere to repent: because He has appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that Man whom He has ordained; whereof He has given assurance to all men, in that He has raised Him from the dead.» (Acts 17:30,31)

«God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.» (Ecclesiastes 3:17)

«The nations were angry, and Your wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should give reward to Your servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Your name, small and great; and should destroy them which destroy the earth.» (Revelation 11:18)
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Daniel 2:44 Comments
In the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Finally, God has also set the day when His eternal kingdom is established.
Daniel 7:21,22
I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High.

And the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.
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Jeremiah 25:12 Comments
«And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation,» said the Lord, «for their iniquity.» Daniel, a captive in Babylon, knew the importance of God’s calendar.

When he saw that the seventy years of Babylon’s domination were about to end, he prayed God, to remind Him of that promise upon which he depended so much.
Daniel 9:2,3
I, Daniel, understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that He would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

And I set my face to the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications.
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2 Chronicles 36:20-22 Comments
And them that had escaped from the sword [King Nebuchadnezzar] carried away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, (...) to fulfill three score and ten years.

Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia.
After seventy years, God intervened, just as He had promised.

He gave rise to the Medes and Persians, in order to bring about the fall of Babylon.
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Isaiah 60:21,22 Comments
Your people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation.

I, the Lord, will hasten it in his time.
God often intervened in history, so that His prophetic calendar might be fulfilled, according to the promises He had made to His faithful people.
Acts 7:17
But when the time of the promise drew near, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt.
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Daniel 5:26,30,31 Comments
[Daniel said to Belshazzar,] «God has numbered your kingdom, and finished it.» (...)

In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom.
At the appointed date, God brought about the fall of Babylon.

At the end of times, He will do likewise for spiritual Babylon, the apostate Church.
Revelation 17:17
For God has put in [the ten kings’] hearts to fulfill His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
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John 7:30 Comments
Then they sought to take [Jesus].

But no man laid hands on Him, because His hour was not yet come.
We see that, although God gives men freedom of choice and deed, He reserves the right to intervene at precise moments so that His prophetic calendar may be fulfilled as planned.
Proverbs 19:21
There are many devices in a man’s heart.

Nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.
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God’s calendar will always have precedence over that of the nations:
«The Lord brings the counsel of the heathen to nothing: He makes the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the Lord stands for ever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations.» (Psalm 33:10,11)

«Take counsel together, and it shall come to nothing; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.» (Isaiah 8:10)

«[I am] declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure.”» (Isaiah 46:10)

«The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turns it wherever He will.» (Proverbs 21:1)

«There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.» (Proverbs 19:21)
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Numbers 23:19 Comments
God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent.

Has He said, and shall He not do it? Or has He spoken, and shall He not make it good?
In light of God’s unyielding faithfulness toward His prophetic calendar, we must give it our undivided attention, and thorough study.
Revelation 9:15
And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.
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Picture 20 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 48
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We have already studied these prophetic periods
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Picture 21 If I Were Told the Future Lesson 48
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We have yet to study these prophetic periods
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Psalm 102:13 Comments
You shall arise, and have mercy on Zion.

For the time to favor her, yes, the set time, is come.
The study of God’s calendar is all the more important since the fulfillment of the very last prophecies is imminent.
Luke 21:24
And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations.

And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
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Revelation 12:12 Comments
Therefore rejoice, you heavens, and you that dwell in them!

Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and of the sea! For the devil is come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has but a short time.
Satan and his angels, as for them, know that God’s calendar is always accurate, and that, according to this calendar, they have a very short time left.
Matthew 8:29
And, behold, [the demons] cried out, saying,

«What have we to do with You, Jesus, You Son of God? Are You come here to torment us before the time?»
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Revelation 10:6,7 Comments
[The Angel] swore by Him that lives for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He has declared to His servants the prophets. In fact, very soon «there should be time no longer».

The seventh trumpet will sound, announcing the long-awaited return of Jesus, our Savior.
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Habakkuk 2:2,3 Comments
And the Lord answered me, and said,

«Write the vision, and make it plain on tables, that he may run that reads it.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie.

Though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.»
As we wait for this glorious event, let’s work with perseverance in God’s harvest.

If the return of Jesus seems to delay, let’s not be discouraged, «for the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie».
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Let’s thank God for all His blessings:
Lord God,

This world is definitely tainted by sin in all its forms.

But Your inspired Word teaches us that, in spite of the influence of evil and men’s bad decisions, You have a precise calendar which will be fulfilled exactly as You foretold.

We heartily thank You for not having left us to our sad fate, but offering us salvation in Jesus Christ.

In His precious name we pray.

Amen.
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Lesson 48 - Test The test of Lesson 48 is waiting for you!

Source of the Pictures of this Lesson
Header Picture: ANDERSON, Harry. In: «Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories, volume 5» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.142,143. Used by permission. Copyright ©1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1976 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 1: Photo in: «Master Clips 500,000» by IMSI, CD #17, SSGP1879.JPG. Screen 2: In: «Photo Gallery 25,000» by Media Graphics International, CD #1, BW086.JPG. Screen 3: Michelangelo. «Creation of the Sun and the Moon», Sistine Chapel, Vatican. In: «Michelangelo and Raphael in the Vatican», Vatican Polyglot Press, 1983, p.73. Screen 4: PROVONSHA, Clyde. In: «Daniel 10-12: Palestine and Probation’s Close», G.C. Ministerial Association, 1976, p.1. Screen 5: «Hourglass and Shadow». Photo from the Web site: www.corbis.com. Image ID: CB007962. Screen 6: In: «Revelation Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1986, lesson #4 («La Merveilleuse Bonne Nouvelle de l’Apocalypse»), p.1. Screen 7: COLEMAN, Ralph Pallen. In: «The Way, the Truth, and the Life», Philadelphia, The John C. Winston Company, 1958, p.103. Screen 8: In: «Egermeier’s Bible Story Book» (EGERMEIER, Elsie E.), The Warner Press, 1963, p.395. Screen 9: JUSTINEN, Lars. In: «Questionnaire Adulte de l’Ecole du Sabbat», Pacific Press Publishing Association, Third Quarter, 1996, front cover. Screen 10: PROVONSHA, Clyde. In: «The Triumph of God’s Love, volume 2» (WHITE, Ellen G.), p.536. Used by permission. Copyright ©1952, 1980 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 11: TANK, Darrel. In: «Ministry» magazine (June-July 2000), Seventh-day Adventist Ministerial Association, p.40. Screen 12: PROVONSHA, Clyde. In: «God Cares, volume 2» (MAXWELL, C.Mervyn), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1985, p.506. Screen 13: Picture by AYRES. In: «Premiers pas» (PADDOCK, Charles L.), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1964, p.151. Screen 14: HARLAN, Russell. In: «The Bible Story, volume 6» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.76. Used by permission. Copyright ©1955, 1983 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 15: BELLINI, Giovanni (c. 1430-1516). «The Baptism of Christ» (detail). In: «The Reader’s Digest Bible, Illustrated Edition», Reader’s Digest Association Far East Ltd., 1990, p.838. Screen 16: REMBRANDT. «Belshazzar’s Feast». In: «Who’s Who in the Bible», Publications International Ltd., 1995, p.49. Screen 17: REMMEY, Paul. In: «The Bible Story, volume 7» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.164. Used by permission. Copyright ©1956, 1984 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 18: In: «The Watchtower» magazine (May 1, 1991), Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, p.10. Screen 19: In: «La Révélation - le grand dénouement est proche», New York, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1988, p.9. Screen 20: Photo by BAKER, John. In: «Signs of the Times» magazine (July 1990), Pacific Press Publishing Association, p.23. Table of Screen 20: First picture: CONVERSE, James. In: «God Cares, volume 1» (MAXWELL, C. Mervyn), Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1981, p.124. Second picture: «Orion Nebula». In: «Microsoft Encarta 98 Deluxe». Third picture: «Tree Locust». In: «Microsoft Encarta 98 Deluxe». Screen 21: Photo by NAZARIO, Steve. In: «CORDmagazine» (Special Edition 2000), Union College, front cover. Screen 22: In: «Prophecy Seminars», Seminars Unlimited, 1989, Daniel lesson #22 («Daniel’s people delivered»), p.1. Screen 23: DORE, Gustave. In: «Angels: An Endangered Species» (GODWIN, Malcolm), Simon and Schuster, New York, 1990, p.93. Screen 24: PROVONSHA, Clyde N. In: «Votre Bible et Vous» (MAXWELL, Arthur S.), p.333. Used by permission. Copyright ©1959, 1987 by Review and Herald® Publishing Association, USA. All Rights Reserved. Screen 25: In: «Photo Gallery 25,000» by Media Graphics International, CD #1, AW021.JPG. Screen 26: Photo in: «Master Clips 500,000» by IMSI, CD #17, 29110036.JPG.
Any copyrighted images not bearing a statement of permission, are used for the purpose of non-commercial scholarly commentary or criticism in accordance with section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law, and with article 29 of Canada Copyright Act (Chapter C-42), which by law can be without the consent or endorsement of the copyright holder. Images lacking attribution are either known or assumed to be in the public domain, or have an as yet undetermined status. Anyone having knowledge of proper attribution for an image is requested to contact us via email below so that it can be correctly noted. It is our intent to comply fully with applicable laws regarding intellectual property rights.

Lesson 48 - Test The test of Lesson 48 is waiting for you!