and Other Indications of the Nearness of the Lord's Coming
                                                                  by Bruce Anstey                                                           Back

The Lord has promised, "IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE ARE MANY MANSIONS, IF IT WERE NOT SO I WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU. I GO TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU. AND IF I GO AND PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU, I WILL COME AGAIN, AND RECEIVE YOU UNTO MYSELF, THAT WHERE I AM, THERE YE MAY BE ALSO." (John 14:2-3). He has also said, "SURELY I COME QUICKLY." (Revelation 22:20). The proper hope of the Christian is to expect the Lord to come at any moment. The Lord has not revealed a specific date as to when He would come that it might ever be a present hope for the church throughout the whole period of its sojourn on earth. The Apostle Paul in his day included himself in the number that expected to be caught up at the coming of the Lord. He could say, "WE WHICH ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN SHALL BE CAUGHT UP TOGETHER.." (1 Thessalonians 4:17, 1 Corinthians 15:51).

Satan is doing all he can to get the church to settle down in this world. One of his main ways is to take away from the church the present hope of the Lord's coming. Many dear Christians today through poor teaching have given up this hope and are not looking for the Lord to come at any moment. Instead they are looking for events in prophecy to be fulfilled first. This is a mistake. Prophecy, properly speaking, is not being fulfilled today. Prophecy is not to do with the church, but with Israel and the nations that will populate the Millennial earth. Since Israel has been set aside presently for their rejection of Christ, prophecy has been suspended (see Daniel's seventy weeks, Daniel 9, Romans 11) until the fullness of the Gentiles is come in and the church is taken to glory. We are not waiting for prophecy to be fulfilled, we are waiting for the Lord to come. There are, however, certain unmistakable indications that should lift up our hearts heavenward in fresh expectation of the Lord's near return.


REVELATION 3:14-22. In Rev. 2-3 we are given seven successive stages of decline in the moral state of the church from the Apostles' day right down to the last days prior to the Lord's coming to take His people to glory (Rev. 4:1). The seventh and last stage is that of Laodicea in which the professing church is portrayed in a despicable condition of indifference to Christ. The Apostle Paul also described the condition of the Christian testimony in the last days as being in the most awful state of ruin in which moral and doctrinal evil would prevail. (2 Timothy 3:1-9, 4:3-4). This condition of things accurately describes the present time in which we live and should lead us to the sobering conclusion that the Lord is coming soon.


This passage of scripture shows the revival of the truth of the Lord's coming (rapture) and other related truths would take place in the church's history just prior to the Lord's coming. The Midnight Cry has gone forth! A little more than a hundred years ago God graciously revived this hope and other truths to the church. With more than a hundred years now having rolled by and the church still on earth only leads our souls to conclude "THE LORD IS AT HAND." Philippians 4:5.


In MATTHEW 24:32-34, MARK 13:28-30, LUKE 21:29-32 the Lord Jesus taught that when the fig tree (symbol of Israel nationally) would bud again and shoot forth leaves, His coming would be near. Israel, after many long centuries without a country, has apparently begun to bud again. In 1948 Israel came into view again as a nation declaring its independence. With the leaves of profession only and no fruit Godward, the Jews are ready to receive their false Messiah, the Antichrist of which prophecy speaks. The Lord went on to say "AND ALL THE TREES" (Luke 21:29), referring to the other nations in the Middle East. Egypt and Libya have come into prominence in recent years. The Arab nations also are busy making agreements with Russia to supply munitions to them whom we know will eventually be in league with Russia (Daniel 8:24-25). The nations in Europe too are lining up in the Common Market which could be the forerunning of the ten nation kingdom of the Beast (Daniel 7:7 etc.). All these things are only foreshadows and not the fulfillment of these scriptures, which will take place in the tribulation after the church has been taken to glory. Again this should cause us to soberly realize that "THE END OF ALL THINGS IS AT HAND." (1 Peter 4:7).


Daniel was told that the end days would be marked by the rapid pace of life and the increase of knowledge. Even a cursory look at the history of man would show that there has never been a day like this for knowledge in every field whether it be medicine, technology, science, etc. It is indeed a mark of these times in which we live and would again confirm "THE TIME IS SHORT." (1 Corinthians 7:29)


This indication being figurative, only suggests 2,000 years approximately. To see this more clearly it is necessary to understand something of God's dispensational ways with Israel. Because Israel so utterly failed in every way under the Law and rejected the Lord Jesus Christ as their Messiah, they have been set aside for a time while God has been sending out the Gospel of His grace to the Gentile world to take out of it a people for His name (Acts 15:14, Romans 11:11-27). After this present period of God's dealings among the Gentiles, He will take up with Israel again to bring them into blessing according to the unconditional promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. There are many references in scriptures where two days appear suggesting that this present period of grace, when Israel would be set aside, would be approximately 2,000 years. Although we dare not set dates as to then the Lord will come, we can see in a general way that the church has been on earth nearly 2,000 years. Our calendar now shows 1987 years since the birth of Christ (B.C.), but it is common knowledge that the calendar years have been tampered with and are out some four to five years. Christ was really born in 5 B.C.--see JND Translation Bible, page 28 (xxviii) in preface. It is in reality then, 1991 to 1992 years! If the tribulation period to come of at least seven years could be taken off (we do not know) the number of 2,000 years, how much nearer we are to the time when the Lord shall descend with a shout to call us away (1 Thessalonians 4:15- 18). This surely should encourage our hearts to look for the Lord to come at any moment! The following references are some passages of the "TWO DAYS" in scripture.

HOSEA 6:1-3.

The repentant in Israel are here speaking in this scripture. "AFTER TWO DAYS (the present period of grace of approximately 2,000 years) HE WILL REVIVE US: IN THE THIRD DAY (the coming 1,000 year reign of Christ called the Millenium) HE WILL RAISE US UP AND WE SHALL LIVE IN HIS SIGHT."

LUKE 10:30-35.

In this scripture "THE CERTAIN MAN" fallen in the wayside by predators is a picture of the awful condition to which man has fallen through Satan's operations. In the ditch of sin man is "HALF-DEAD" before God. He is physically alive, but spiritually dead. The Priest and Levite who wouldn't help show that religion can't save man in his condition. The Samaritan who appears on the scene to rescue the man is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ, the rejected Saviour. He rescues the man and brings him, not back to Jerusalem which answers to the old order of things in Judaism, but to an inn, which is a picture of the assembly, where he receives the help, food and fellowship he needs. After leaving the man in the care of the host (the Holy Spirit), he pays for his stay at the inn with two pennies, promising to "COME AGAIN." This suggests the time that he would be away would be two days. Although this scripture does not mention "TWO DAYS" directly, there is reference to it when Matthew 20:2 is applied ("A PENNY A DAY"--i.e. a penny was a day's wages, hence two pennies would be two days).

JOHN 1:29 -JOHN 2:11.

In John 1:29-51 we have 2 days (vs. 29 and 35 are one day - notice it says in vs. 35 "AGAIN" linking it with vs. 29). The details found in these two days are that which characterize the church period. Reference is made to : Christ being known as the Lamb of God and the Son of God, the Spirit's descent and baptism, Christ's dwelling place (the assembly), and the Gospel going out bringing others to Christ. On the third day (John 2:1- 11) there is a carriage which foreshadows Israel's reunion with the Lord in a coming day. "IN THAT DAY, SAITH THE LORD, THOU SHALT CALL ME MY HUSBAND." (Hosea 2:16-margin. Isaiah 62:4-5). The Lord then gives the new wine of the Kingdom to all at the marriage which speaks of the joy that will fill that day.

JOHN 4:1-54.

This chapter opens with the Lord Jesus rejected by the Jews in Judea, the responsible ones of the nation, (vs. 1-3). This is a foreshadow of the nation rejecting the Lord and eventually crucifying Him. Being rejected, He leaves them and goes to the Samaritans, which are a people of Gentile extraction, and there reveals Himself to a poor sinful woman and her people, (vs. 4-42). This pictures the church being brought in out of the Gentile world while Israel is set aside (Acts 15:14, Romans 11:16-20). It is to her He reveals the passing of the old Judaic order and the introduction of true Christian worship in spirit and truth. It is also of note that He did not do miracles in Samaria. He used only His Word to win them, which is the character of the testimony of the Lord in this Christian era not marked by signs and wonders. He remains "TWO DAYS" (vs. 40) with the Samaritans and is known by them as the Saviour. hen, after the "TWO DAYS," He departs from the Samaritans and returns to his own people, the Jews in Galilee which picture the poor despised remnant in Israel receiving blessing from the Lord in a coming day (vs. 43-54). The nobleman that comes to Him suggests the leaders who have caused Israel to reject Christ will repent first (see Joel 2:12-17). The Lord then raises up the nobleman's son which is another foreshadow of Israel's national resurrection (Ezekiel 37:1-28, Daniel 12:1- 2).

JOHN 10:39-JOHN 11:46.

Here the Lord Jesus is again seen rejected by the Jews who tried to stone Him to death. He escapes out of their hand into a place beyond Jordan outside the land of Israel where many people believe on Him and are blessed. This again is a picture of the Lord leaving off His dealings with Israel for a time on account of their rejection of Him and turning to the Gentiles. He remains there in that place working among those who believe on Him for "TWO DAYS" (John 11:6). In chapter 11 Lazarus is seen dead which is figurative of Israel's condition before God. Mary and Martha in their sorrow are a picture of the godly Jewish remnant in the coming day that will call for the Lord to return (Psalm 6:3-4). Then, after "TWO DAYS," the Lord goes to Lazarus and raises him up and so Israel will be raised up at the Lord's second coming (Ezekiel 37:1-28, Daniel 12:1-3).

ACTS 20:7-12.

In this passage we have a little picture of the church of God in its proper order as it was in the early days of Christianity. They were in "THE UPPER ROOM" (Luke 22:12, John 13-17), "GATHERED TOGETHER" (Matthew 18:20), "BREAKING BREAD" (1 Corinthians 11:23-26), on "THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK." There is a suggestion here of two days, "THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK" and "THE MORROW." The happy scene was disturbed by the fall and bringing up again of Eutychus which tells the story of the church slipping into the world from the position it once held and then graciously being recovered in a remnant testimony. The whole meeting, however, did not break up until the "DAY BREAK" on the morrow, which speaks of the Lord's coming (rapture) to close up this dispensation.

EXODUS 19:10-11.

Here the Lord is hidden from Israel's view for two days prior to His coming down in the sight of all the people to make a covenant with them on the third day. he two days again answers to this present dispensation during which the Lord has remained hidden from Israel and the world who have rejected Him. The third day answers to the time of the Lord's public manifestation at His second coming or appearing (Revelation 1:7, Titus 2:13). Although Israel failed to keep the law given them in that day, in the day to come the Lord will make an everlasting covenant with Israel and they will keep his law (Hebrews 8:10, 10:16-17, Ezekiel 36:26, Romans 11:25-27).

JOSHUA 10:12-15.

In the ninth chapter, Israel failed in their responsibility and consequently the Gibeonites who were Gentiles were brought in. As a result of the failure they were called to "SAVE" the Gibeonites (Joshua 10:6). This again tells the story of the opportunity that has been given to the Gentile world to be saved in the face of Israel's failure (Romans 11:11-20, Acts 15:14). After conflict all that day, Joshua seeing that they didn't have time enough to complete the victory, called for the sun not to go down, and it stood still over Gibeon for another whole day. Here we have two days, and a lovely picture of this lengthened out day of grace where the sunshine of God's grace has stood over this world until the fulness of the Gentiles be brought in (Romans 11:25). There was "NOT A DAY LIKE IT", and surely there has not been a day like this present one when souls throughout the world have been saved by the thousands. After the long day in Gibeon, Israel returned to "GILGAL" (v.15), the place of self-judgment. Israel, after the day of grace has run its course, will be brought to self- judgment and repentance before the Lord, and then into the blessing of the Kingdom (Psalm 51, Zechariah 12:9-14).

2 SAMUEL 1:1-2.

In 1st Samuel David was rejected by his brethren and resorted to Ziklag which was a place outside the land of Israel's possession (1 Samuel 27:4-6). David abode there "TWO DAYS" before he moved forward on the third day to publicly take the throne in Hebron. David in his rejection answers to Christ at this present time rejected by Israel and the world. The third day answers to the time when the Lord will come in power and glory to take the throne in Israel and reign as rightful King over all. (Zechariah 14:9, Isaiah 32:1).

2 KINGS 19:35-20:11.

In this passage we see that after Sennacherib and his Assyrian army were defeated by the Lord, Hezekiah who was "SICK UNTO DEATH" is raised up on "THE THIRD DAY" to health again. Sennacherib and the Assyrians are a well known type of the Russian Hordes (Ezekiel 38-39) who are going to come upon Israel in their last days. Hezekiah is a picture of the condition of Israel spiritually before God at the point of death. Hezekiah laid in this condition for two days before he called upon the Lord the third day and was raised up. So with Israel when they will call upon the Lord in their distress, (Joel 2:15-17) at the end of the great tribulation, they too will be raised up as a nation and their enemies vanquished.

JONAH 1-3.

In chapter one God communicated His mind to Jonah making him a responsible witness to the Ninevehites. The nation Israel was given a similar privilege having the oracles of God committed to them (Romans 3:2). They were put into at responsible place of bearing testimony to the world of the true knowledge of God (Romans 2:18-20, Isaiah 4310. But Jonah rebelled and went out from the presence of the Lord refusing to testify to Nineveh. Israel has also rebelled against the Lord and has failed in every way to render a proper testimony of Jehovah to the world (Romans 2:23-24). As Jonah was thrown overboard, Israel in the ways of God has been set aside for a time being dispersed into the sea of nations (Matthew 21:21, Revelation 17:15, Leviticus 26:33, Psalm 44:11). After Jonah was thrown into the sea, the Gentile sailors turned to God. This again is a picture of salvation coming to the Gentiles through Israel being set aside (Romans 11:11, Acts 28:25-28). The affliction Jonah passes through in chapter two is another picture of the awful persecution that has been the Jews' lot down through the long years of their dispersion. On the third day Jonah comes into view again and is willingly used as an instrument of blessing to the Ninevehites. This is a foreshadow of Israel's restoration when they will be brought into prominence in the Millennium and used of God to the blessing of the world. (Isaiah 60:1-5, 62:1-3).


The two days are seen in a different way here. It is necessary first to have a simple understanding of the dispensational outline of the chapter before the two days can be seen. There are seven yearly feasts in the chapter which give a foreshadow of events from the cross of Christ on to the coming Kingdom of Christ. They are; (type) (anti-type) 1. The Passover..................The death of Christ(1Cor.5:7 2. Feast of Unleavened Bread.....Practical Holiness (1Cor.5:8 3. Feast of Firstfruits..Christ Risen and Ascended(1Cor.15:23 4. Feast of Pentecost.....Church formed into one body(Acts2:1 5. Feast of Trumpets...Israel Gathered From Nations(Mat.24:31 6. Day of Atonement........Israel Repents(Zech.12:9-14, Ps.51 7. Feast of Tabernacles....Millennial Kingdom of Christ(Ps.72 The first four feasts have been typically fulfilled, the last three are yet to be fulfilled. All the feasts except the middle two were celebrated on specific Jewish calendar days and answer to the Jewish order of things observing times and seasons (Galatians 4:9-10). But there was no calendar date mentioned for the Feast of Firstfruits and Feast of Pentecost which answer to this present Christian dispensation. They were both simply to be kept on the first day of the week. These two first days stand out from the rest of the feast days and mark this present period of approximately 2,000 years.

MATTHEW 15:1-39.

In the first part of the chapter the Lord exposed the apostasy in Israel at the time of His first coming as being corrupt and gone far from God. After pronouncing His judgment upon them He departed to Tyre and Sidon which are Gentile cities of Syria (see Acts 21:3). This was a symbolic action showing that the Lord's dealings with Israel would be postponed for a time to visit the Gentiles in this present day with the Gospel of His grace (Acts 15:14. A gentile woman was blessed there on the principle of faith, being a sample of the material of which the church would be composed. After dealing with the woman He returned into Jewish regions taking a place in Galilee where he administered blessing to all as a foreshadow of His Millennial Kingdom. All were healed (vs. 29-31), according to Isaiah 35:5-6, and satisfied with bread (vs. 32-39), according to Psalm 132:15. Here again it was on the third day (vs. 32) blessing was dispensed.

MATTHEW 17:1-9.

The account of the transfiguration of the Lord Jesus Christ on the mountain is a preview of His Millennial Kingdom glory. This took place "AFTER SIX DAYS" figuratively indicating that the Kingdom of Christ would be established after 6,000 years of man's history on earth have expired. Christ came into the world after 4,000 years or four days (see JND Translation Bible, page 30 [xxx] in the preface), leaving two days or 2,000 years for this present day of grace. These unmistakable indications ought to lead us to the sober, yet happy expectation of the Lord's coming for us at any moment. "YET A VERY LITTLE WHILE, AND HE THAT SHALL COME WILL COME AND WILL NOT TARRY." "AMEN EVEN SO, COME, LORD JESUS." Hebrews 10:37 (JND Trans.), Revelation 22:20.

The world says "WHERE IS THE PROMISE OF HIS COMING?" (2 Pe.3:4) Christendom says, "MY LORD DELAYETH HIS COMING." (Luke 12:45.) The believer who is watching and waiting says, "EVEN SO, COME, LORD JESUS." Revelation 22:20

"He and I in that bright glory, One deep joy shall share. Mine to be forever with Him, His that I am there. -"

--posted by Arne Herstad, email horse@ix.netcom.com                                                                           Top --  Back