Sunday, May 15, 2011

Does God communicate to man in terms of time?

A common response to the Biblical question is 'One day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day.' God doesn't see time as man does. To the contrary, when God speaks to man, God uses language and time words tha...t man can understand. God's years are endless; "from everlasting to everlasting thou art God" Psalms 90:2. Isaiah calls Jehovah "the Father of eternity" 9:6-9. But the fact that God is above time does NOT mean God does not communicate to man in terms of time.

When God communicates with his creation He communicate in a understandable way. For example when God promised Noah that it would rain for forty days and forty nights. It rained forty days and forty nights exactly. Genesis 7:12 And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.

When God communicated with Abraham and promised that he would have a son Isaac, the same time next year Genesis 17:21 it was exactly one year later that Sarah Abraham’s wife gave birth to Isaac. Genesis 21:1-3 And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, (at the set time of which God had spoken to him). And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him whom Sarah bore to him— Isaac.

When God communicated with Moses He swore that Israel would wonder in the wilderness forty years because of their sins Number 14:32-33 'But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. 'And your sons shall be shepherds (in the wilderness forty years), and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness.

It was exactly forty years when a new generation of Israelites entered into the promise land. Joshua 5:6 For the children of Israel (walked forty years in the wilderness), till all the people who were men of war, who came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they did not obey the voice of the LORD to whom the LORD swore that He would not show them the land which the LORD had sworn to their fathers that He would give us, "a land flowing with milk and honey."

If God truly does not communicate with man by time statements that are to be understood why did God say? Galatians 4:4 But when the (fullness of the time had come), God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, That language is very powerful and significant as we look in the book of Luke.

God communicated to a just and devout man named Simeon by the Holy Spirit that he would (not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ). ” He was a man of faith with an earnest expectation of the arrival of the Messiah in his lifetime. Luke 2:25-26 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that ( HE WOULD NOT DIE BEFORE HE HAD SEEN THE LORD’S CHRIST).

Moved by the Spirit, Simeon went into the temple courts. He picked up Jesus and said, "My eyes have seen your salvation." (Luke 2:27-32) The announcement from God of His birth was made privately and Simeon saw the fulfillment of that promise in his lifetime. We note also that Simeon had a clear view of the work of Christ. Before the gospel was ever preached he speaks of Jesus as “the salvation which God had prepared before the face of all people – a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”

It is one thing for God to promise something and not give any indication as to when he would fulfill the promise, for then man has no indication of when to expect fulfillment. It is an entirely a different thing for God to indicate a time frame for fulfillment then man expects that fulfillment for it is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18)

Jesus/God communicated to his disciples that SOME OF THEM WOULD NOT DIE UNTIL THEY SEE HIM COMING IN HIS KINGDOM. Matthew 16:27-28 "For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. "Assuredly, I say to you, (there are some standing here who shall not taste death) till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom." It seems to have escaped the notice of many that the Bible was written in the common languages of their respective authors. The New Testament was not written in some mystical form of Hebrew.

In Matthew 10:23 Jesus also promised his the disciples. “When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to YOU, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel BEFORE THE SON OF MEN COMES. Do you see the problem it has troubled honest Bible students for centuries. What has changed with God to kept his promise to Simeon but did not mean his promise to the disciples?

I maintain that God is faithful to keep his promise to the Old Testament saints as well as the New Testament saints. Scripture demands we believe he keep his word not only in the way he promised BUT WHEN HE PROMISED TO KEEP IT AS WELL.

Many do not realize the Bible gives an example of man attempting to change the meaning of time words used by God; and God's response. In Ezekiel 12:21-28 it say, And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Son of man, what is this proverb that you people have about the land of Israel, which says, '(The days are prolonged, and every vision fails)'? "Tell them therefore, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "(I will lay this proverb to rest), and they shall (no more use it as a proverb in Israel)." But say to them, "(The days are at hand, and the fulfillment of every vision). "For no more shall there be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. "For I am the LORD. I speak, and the word which (I SPEAK WILL COME TO PASS; IT WILL NO MORE BE POSTPONED; FOR IN YOUR DAYS O REBELLIOUS HOUSE, I WILL SAY THE WORD AND PERFORM IT,” SAYS THE LORD GOD.” Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, "Son of man, look, the house of Israel is saying, 'The vision that he sees is (FOR MANY DAYS FROM NOW, AND HE PROPHESIES OF TIMES FAR OFF) "Therefore say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "(NONE OF MY WORDS WILL BE POSTPONED ANY MORE, BUT THE WORD WHICH I SPEAK WILL BE DONE),”says the Lord GOD.'"

Reader, what is the practical difference between Israel of Old denying "at hand" and "soon," and modern day man who reads the New Testament time statements and say they did not mean "soon” and “at hand”?" John says in the book of Revelation-- no less than ten times that its predictions "must shortly come to pass," were "at hand," were to happen "quickly," there would be "no more delay," etc, etc. When we deny the first century application of the at hand and soon time statements in the Bible we deny the words of God. "Therefore say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "(NONE OF MY WORDS WILL BE POSTPONED ANY MORE, BUT THE WORD WHICH I SPEAK WILL BE DONE),”says the Lord GOD.'"

The question here is one of communication. Can God communicate with his creation in an understandable way? The Bible says He has.