Saturday, December 18, 2010

Turn out the lights; the party's over.

The Word for today:
Daniel 11:21-12:13

Mark this: Daniel 12:7-8
Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished. Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, "My lord, what shall be the end of these things?" And he said, "Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end."

Daniel sure has a lot to say about time.

Yesterday, we noted that time is expressed in its relationship to Jesus, who at his First Coming caused the calendar to split into two parts--B.C. and A.D.

Today, we will look through scripture for some hints about time--time itself--in the future.

First, we'll go way back to Exodus. There, in the 12th chapter, we see a picture and prophecy of Jesus to come:
At Passover, a lamb was slain to atone for the sins of the people. This ritual sacrifice pointed straight to Jesus, as John the Baptist pronounced when Jesus began his public ministry:
The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)

We know that since Jesus, time is defined in terms of B.C. and A.D.  But you might be surprised to find out that Passover, which is but a picture of Christ to come, also caused time to be re-calibrated:
Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, "This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: 'On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household. (Exodus 12:1-3)


Could there be another recalibration of time in the future? The book of Daniel doesn't say whether he will succeed, but it does tell us that Antichrist will attempt to change the calendar:
He shall speak pompous words against the Most High,
Shall persecute the saints of the Most High,
And shall intend to change times and law.
Then the saints shall be given into his hand
For a time and times and half a time. (Daniel 7:25)

My guess is that the reconfiguration of time will be part of an attempt to eradicate references to the name of Jesus Christ.

In this regard, the future is now, because an ever-increasing number of countries, including Israel, number their years as C.E. ("Common Era") instead of A.D;
and refer to B.C. as B.C.E. ("Before Common Era.")

But any way they seek to label it, time is in God's hand (1). God has numbered the days of the kingdoms of the world, just as surely as he numbered the days of King Belshazzar in Daniel chapter 5.

It's difficult to precisely translate the message--MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN--that a disembodied hand wrote on the wall at Belshazzar's banquet, but American popular culture has a close equivalent:
"Turn out the lights; the party's over."
They can label time any way they will. They can slice it or dice it however they want. But the bottom line is that the hand of God is on the switch.

(1)  see Job 14:5; Psalm 31:15; Psalm 139:16

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