APOSTASY. The Bible also predicts the growth of apostasy (falling away) from Biblical faith within the Church, towards the last days of the Church Age:
“Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth” (1Timothy 4:1-3).
See also Matthew 13 and 2Peter 3:3-9. This apostasy will reaches a climax in the Tribulation in Mystery Babylon (Revelation 17) - a world-wide ‘harlot’ church. Again this requires the time just before the Tribulation to see a great increase in apostasy and the beginnings of the formation of a unified apostate church. This has certainly happened over the last 100 years.
ANTICHRIST. The ultimate incarnation of evil, a devil-possessed man will be revealed and come to power in the Tribulation. For a short time he will head a One-World Government, Economy and Religion. This final manifestation is presently being held back by the Church (2Thess 2:3-8), but the spirit of antichrist has been at work in the Church-Age (v7). So the full manifestation of antichrist is in the Tribulation but it is even now working in the world (1John 4:3).
Thus it is increasing and growing as we approach the end until it manifests in the antichrist himself. Thus its increased activity is a sign of being in the last times: “as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time” (1 John 2:18). The spirit of antichrist denies faith in God and Jesus Christ (1 John 2:22, 4:3; 2John 1:7) and instead declares the divinity of man and his evolutionary rise to godhood. Thus, the unprecedented growth of New Age religion, atheism, evolution and secular humanism in recent times is another sign of the end - as Peter predicted: “Knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His Coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation” (2Peter 3:3,4).
The ultimate aim of this satanic spirit is to displace God and Christ from human affairs. Thus it is working towards establishing a One-World Government, Economy and Religion ruled over by the antichrist.
One-World Religion: At Mid-Tribulation antichrist destroys the harlot church in order to replace it with a One-World Religion centred on the worship of man as god and the worship of antichrist himself as the supreme god, supported by satanic miracles. Thus in the end-time we would expect to see the rise of inter-faith, one-world religious movements, which in the name of unity, downplay the emphasis on an objective Creator God and His revelation, and replace this it by subjective seeking after ‘spiritual forces’ and experiencing the ‘divine’ power within. This New Age religion developing today is occultic. Different religions are seen as offering equally valid subjective ways to experience the ‘divine’.
A One-World Government and Economy will also be set up at Mid-Tribulation. This means that the time just before the Tribulation will see great forces of Globalisation at work along with rapid advances in communications and technology to make this possible. Again this is uniquely true about our time in history. Global economic and political forces are eating away at national sovereignty, preparing the way for a One-World Order. The UN and IMF are manifestations of these forces at work. After World War 1, mankindstarted to rebuild the Tower of Babel (for the first time in 4500 years). God will let it reach its full proud height before sending it crashing down.
2. The POLITICS leading up to the Tribulation (Part 3 has more on this).
Israel and the Middle-East. Prophecy requires Israel to be back in the land before the Tribulation and to become central to world affairs. The final battle is over Israel. The Tribulation starts with antichrist making a peace treaty with Israel, so there must be Middle-East tension requiring a 'saviour' there.
Europe: The Tribulation sees a Revived Roman (European) Empire headed by the antichrist making a final bid to establish a One World Government (see Daniel and Revelation). These situations can’t just appear - their seeds must be growing in the years just before the Tribulation. We certainly see great forces at work to form a Federated European Union, the heart of a Revived Roman Empire. The developing governmental structure of the EU is well-described by the feet (10 toes) of iron and clay (Dan 2), the form of Rome in the Tribulation before antichrist becomes absolute dictator at Mid-Tribulation. There has not been a European Political Unit since the Roman Empire.
A clear sign of the end-times is that we see one forming today! The end-time Revived Roman Empire is developing before our eyes as prophecy predicts.
Russia: Political conditions must also line up (which they do) for the Russian invasion of Israel in Ezekiel 38,39, which probably takes place before the Tribulation. It pictures her as a large, powerful country, invading Israel for spoil.See Book 3 for more details of this invasion.
3. The Tribulation is a time of ADVANCED SCIENCE (which tells us that the years leading up to it are ones of great scientific progress)
- INCREASE IN KNOWLEDGE and WORLDWIDE TRAVEL (Daniel 12:1,4)
- WORLDWIDE T.V: the broadcast of the death and resurrection of the two witnesses will be seen across the whole world at one time (Revelation 11:7-12).
- THE MARK of the BEAST (Revelation 13:16-18) is a means of controlling the masses, whereby people receive an identifying mark in their body which allows them to buy and sell. Only recent computer technology makes such a system possible. With implanted computer chips ‘big-brother government could oversee and control all buying and selling in a cashless society, as well as knowing where everyone is.
The world with advancing technology, is moving towards registering every person with a number, so that Government can have complete records including all financial transactions. Plans are being laid for a global economic framework and for the use of standardised Smart Cards with computer chips to facilitate and record financial transfers. Biometric identification technologies have now been developed which can scan fingerprint, face or retina and convert the data into a number for identification. Many good justifications will be given for each new level but they are all steps toward preparing society psychologically and technologically for the ultimate system which will integrate all of these into one standardised and unified system of global control - the mark of the beast. To be part of this system one will have to deny the true God and give all allegiance to the State and its leader, but most will do it because without the mark and your number, you will be excluded from society and under the threat of death if captured (for treason).
- THE IMAGE of the BEAST (Revelation 13:14,15) seems to have life and be able to speak and interact with people. This could involve advanced virtual-reality computer technology.
- WEAPONS of MASS- DESTRUCTION Mankind is about to destroy itself when Jesus returns (Matthew24:21,22). Therefore man must first develop nuclear weapons and the capacity to wage World-War (only true since1945).
- TRAVEL and COMMUNICATIONS allow world-wide preaching of the Gospel in the Tribulation (Matthew 24:14). To prepare the way for all this, the century before the Tribulation must see a great increase in TECHNOLOGY. Clearly this is uniquely true about the last 100 years - with computers, planes, etc.
4. “LIKE THE DAYS OF NOAH” More signs to recognise the near approach of the Tribulation can be deduced from the fact that Jesus compared the last days to the time of Noah: "As the days of Noah, so shall also the Coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the Ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the Coming of the Son of man be" (Matthew 24:37-39).
This passage is part of His answer to Question 3, and so He is describing the time before the Tribulation. Noah’s Flood is a type of the Tribulation. Both are times of world-wide judgment (Matt 24:39; Luke 21:35). The days before the Flood of Tribulation judgments fall upon the whole world, will be like the days of Noah before the Flood of God’s judgment was poured out upon all flesh. Therefore we would expect the special characteristics of Noah’s time will be repeated before the Tribulation.
The days of Noah were marked by:
1. MUCH OCCULT ACTIVITY and ILLICIT SEX (Genesis 6:2,4).
The strict barriers God set between humans and angels were broken, resulting in massive demonic infiltration of humanity in Noah’s time. The satanic control and miracles of antichrist probably means that in the days of his birth and growth occultism is used widely and is well-developed on the earth. We see this clearly in our time with the mushrooming interest in these things in the last 40 years.
2. GREAT WICKEDNESS, CORRUPTION and VIOLENCE everywhere -
a major decline of all moral standards (Genesis 6:5,11,12).
3. MATERIALISM and GODLESSNESS (Matthew 24:38). The 120 years in which Noah was preparing the Ark were marked by steadily deteriorating moral conditions with society forgetting God and pursuing natural things.
4. HOMOSEXUALITY. A similar passage compares the last days to the days of Lot (Luke 17:28-32) in Sodom and Gommorrah - again marked by the throwing off of all moral restraint, resulting in the growth of violence and open HOMOSEXUALITY. Again this is characteristic of our times.
5. A POPULATION EXPLOSION (Genesis 6:1) - this happened during the 20th Century in an unprecedented way. There must be a huge world population in the Tribulation for there is a single army of 200 million (Revelation 9:16). Thus, the time just before it must see great population growth as Jesus predicted. This has uniquely been true of the last 100 years.
6. SCIENCE The time of Noah was a time of great SCIENTIFIC PROGRESS,
as evidenced by the building of the Ark. We have only made ships that big in the recently. The last 100 years have been unique in rapid scientific progress.
It is evident our days parallel the days of Noah!
THE GOSPEL Noah was able to preach the Gospel to the whole world (Hebrews 11:7; 2Peter 2:5). His massive Ark would have aroused great curiosity and everyone would have heard of and gone to see it. Noah preached to them the coming judgment and the Good-News of the salvation God offered if they believed His word. Likewise by the end of the Church-Age the Gospel of salvation from judgment (including those of the Tribulation) must be preached to all nations (Mark 13:10) in fulfilment of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15). In Revelation 5:9 the raptured Church in Heaven consists of people from every people-group. As the whole world before the Flood could hear the Gospel, so the whole world before the Tribulation likewise. This is happening in our times as never before.
By mentioning all the trees with the Fig-Tree as signs operating even before the Tribulation, Jesus is confirming that the birth-pangs of the Tribulation will be experienced to a degree in the special time (100 years or so) just before the Tribulation and so are signs that the Tribulation is close. It is interesting that Jesus compared the end-time to Noah's time when there was a special period of 120 years (Genesis 6:3) which was the final build-up to the flood, during which Noah preached and got the word out to all those living on the earth that judgment was coming but that God had provided a way of salvation to all who would believe and trust in Him. But they were so immersed in their materialistic lives and pleasures that they ignored the WARNING SIGNS and got taken by surprise. Noah disappeared into the Ark before the judgments of the flood fell and took them all away. Likewise the Church will be raptured (disappear) before the judgements of the Tribulation fall upon all the earth.
God gave them the SIGN of METHUSELAH (as well as the visual aid of the Ark). Enoch the prophet warned of the flood and named his son Methuselah meaning: "when he dies it shall come." He was the Time-Clock for the Flood. His ‘passing away’ was the deadline for the Flood.
The Clock started at his birth and ran for his lifetime. As he grew older he was a sign that the Flood was approaching soon, bringing a new dispensation. Methuselah gave the general but not the exact time of the Flood.
The very year Methuselah died the Flood came!
Methuselah was 187 when Lamech was born (Genesis 5:25)
Lamech was 182 when Noah was born (Genesis 5:28)
Noah was 600 when the Flood came (Genesis 7:6)
Now 187 + 182 + 600 = 969 years.
And Methuselah lived 969 years! (Genesis 5:27)
God’s grace is seen in that Methuselah lived the longest of all men.
So they had a Sign and a Time-Clock just as we have the Fig-Tree (Israel). Theirs was the life-span of an individual; ours is the life-span of the generation who saw the Fig-Tree spring up.
All these signs give the general time of the end (of the approaching start of the Tribulation), however the exact timing is not given: “but of that (exact) day and hour (of the start of the ‘end of the age’- see Question 3) no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only” (Matthew 24:36). God has kept this day (the start of the Day of the Lord) secret so that we always stay ready. In fact Jesus says life will be going on as normal for the world and they will be taken by surprise as it was in the days of Noah when the Flood came suddenly upon an unsuspecting world. Jesus will come as a thief in the night to take believers away. There will be no special sign to tell the world the Tribulation is about to start except the Rapture itself and then it will be too late. This is in contrast to the Second Coming, for the Bible gives a clear calendar of events by which someone in the Tribulation could know exactly the date of the Lord’s Return. Moreover life at the end of the Tribulation, at the time of Armageddon, will be far from normal as the Book of Revelation makes clear. So there is a quite different set of signs for the Tribulation than the Second Coming.
After giving the general signs of the Fig-Tree and all the Trees, Jesus then gave the final sign that would happen just before the Tribulation starts - the RAPTURE OF THE TRUE CHURCH. Luke 21:28 connects these signs with the Rapture:
“Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption(the resurrection of the body in the Rapture) draws near.” The Church is restraining the final manifestation of evil (2Thessalonians 2:6-8). So the disappearance of the Church will result in the sudden release of evil causing the Tribulation to begin. Revelation confirms that in the Tribulation evil comes to its fullness and is then judged by God. Thus the Rapture is the final sign to the world that the Tribulation is about to start. No one can know the day of the Rapture and the start of the Tribulation.
SIGN (3): The RAPTURE
Matthew 24:37-44: “But as the days of Noah, so also will the Coming
of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day
that Noah entered the Ark, and did not know until the Flood came
and took them all away, so also will the Coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
The context for this passage is not the Second Coming. After v27, the subject changed to when the Tribulation would start. Those who apply this to the 2nd Coming either see a Post-Tribulation Rapture or the removal of unbelievers in judgment in v40,41. The Coming of the Lord described in Matt 24:36-44 is not His Second Coming in power and glory, but His secret unannounced coming as a thief in the night. The Day of the Lord (Tribulation) starts with Him coming to His Church as her Bridegroom to take her home and it ends with Him coming with His Church as King of Kings. This is the first and therefore foundational Biblical passage on the Rapture. Its context is as part of the answer to the question about the signs for the Tribulation. Therefore, Jesus teaches a Rapture of believers before the Tribulation. Some deny this on the basis that the Rapture is part of the Mystery that was only revealed through the Apostle Paul. But it was Jesus who started revealing the mystery near the end of His ministry (Matthew 13), including the Church (Matthew 16) and the Rapture (John 14:1-3). Paul was called to bring the revelation of the Mystery to completion.
The subject is the start of the Tribulation (v36), also described as the Coming of the Son of Man (v37,39,44). He comes like a thief (v43) and removes the believers from the earth (v40,41). This is the Rapture. No one knows when He will come and release the unsuspecting world into the Tribulation (v36,39, 42,44). That time has many parallels with the days of Noah (v37).
1. Conditions will be similar - the world will be ripe for judgement.
2. Normal life will be going on until the very day it happens (v38,40,41).
3. God provided an escape for believers. The Ark is a picture of Christ.
In the Ark, Noah was protected from judgment, and was lifted up ABOVE the Flood waters. Likewise, true believers in Christ will be safe. They will be lifted up above the Flood of Judgements. The believers in Noah’s time were removed to safety before judgment fell. So the Church will be removed by the Rapture before the Tribulation starts (v40,41). As Noah was removed before the judgments of the Flood suddenly fell on the world, so the Church will be removed before the judgments of the Tribulation suddenly fall upon the whole earth.
As Noah’s family disappeared into the Ark before judgment fell, so the true believers will be raptured (taken to safety) before the Tribulation judgments fall upon all the unbelieving world. This is because the Tribulation is a time of God’s wrath and judgment and God always provides deliverance from judgment for His people. A Kingdom always pulls out its ambassadors before it wages war. They are all taken home and then judged and rewarded for their service in that foreign land. As soon as they are safe, judgment falls. Likewise as soon as God pulls out His ambassadors in the Rapture, judgement (the Tribulation) will fall.
4. The final sign for the world that the Flood was about to fall was the disappearance of the believers. Likewise the sign for the world that the Tribulation is about to start will be the Rapture (disappearance) of the Church. God shut the door signifying it was then too late for the rest to escape. So also, when the Rapture happens and believers go through an open door into Heaven, the door will shut and there is no escape for the rest of the world who must go through the Tribulation (Luke 21:35,36).
5. The very day Noah entered the Ark judgement fell (v38,39; Genesis 7:13). The unknown day of the Coming of the Lord as a thief (the Rapture) is identified as the very same day the Tribulation begins. See 1Thessalonians 5:1,2.
Luke 17:28-30 is a similar passage: “As it was also in the days of Lot:
they ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.” Again we see that the very day Lot escaped judgement fell. Jesus says it will be the same at the Rapture. As soon as His people are removed there is nothing to stop God moving in judgement.
6. The Flood was a world-wide judgement, so also the Tribulation (v39).
This is confirmed in a Luke 21:34-36, which is part of this comparison passage with the days of Noah: “Take heed to yourselves, lest ... that Day (the start of the Tribulation) come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth (like the Flood). Watch therefore and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape (like Noah) all these things that shall come to pass (in the Tribulation), and to stand before the Son of Man (in the Rapture)."
7. They did not know when the Flood would come until it did (v39).
Likewise no one can know when the Rapture is (v42,44). There is no special warning sign. This passage teaches that the Rapture is imminent - that is -
it could happen at any time. As those in the time of Noah could know the general time of the Flood from Methuselah (‘when he dies it shall come’) we know we are in the general time from the Fig-Tree (‘the generation that sees her put forth her leaves again shall not pass away’). Although these signs tell us we are in the general time of the end, no one knows the day or hour of the Rapture and the start of the Tribulation. Only God knows when - the exact time is hidden from humanity (v36,42,44). This is so we get and stay ready.
Therefore, there will be no special signs preceding the Rapture, as there will be before the Second Coming. The Flood came during normal conditions on earth with men eating, drinking, and marrying. All these are normal human activities, not sinful in themselves. Likewise the Rapture will come at a time when things are normal on the earth. People will be at their normal work,
not suspecting that something major is about to happen (v40,41). This is clearly not true for the Second Coming as the Book of Revelation shows. Thus God has made the Rapture imminent so that we be always ready.
“Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken, the other left” (v40,41). The believers are taken by the thief in the night - Jesus Christ. In v43, Jesus describes this event for the first time as a thief in the night, who comes and goes unseen by the unbelieving owner (v43) and whenever this phrase is used later, it refers to the Rapture. To the world, Jesus will come as a thief in the night taking the precious things from the earth. A thief comes unannounced, at a time you don’t expect, with no warning signs.
Paul in 1Thessalonians 5:1,2 expounds this prophecy of Jesus:
“The Day of the Lord (the Tribulation) so comes (begins) as a thief in the night (the Rapture). For when they say, “Peace and safety!”
(there will be no special warning- normal conditions on earth) then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman (the Tribulation). And they shall not escape.” The whole world will suffer. It will be too late to be part of the Rapture. As God shut the door when Noah entered the Ark, so the door into Heaven will be shut immediately after the Rapture. The thief removes something that must be a restraining force, resulting in a sudden onset of destruction.
WHO IS TAKEN in v40,41? Some say that it is the unbelievers who are taken from the earth (by death) as in v39, and that this passage refers to the Second Coming. However, this event happens at the Judgement of the Sheep and Goats (Matthew 25) when everyone is standing before Christ, not while they are at work. Moreover, the Greek word used for ‘took’ in v39 is completely different from ‘taken’ in v40 and 41. Verse 39 describes the unbelievers taken away by the Flood. The word means to be swept away, as in judgement. On the other hand, the word used for ‘taken’ in v40,41 means ‘to take to be with someone’ as in Matthew 1:20: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to TAKE to (be with) you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit”, and Matthew 17:1 “Now after six days Jesus TOOK (to be with him) Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves.” See also Matthew 18:16; 20:17. So this is talking about Jesus, coming for His Bride and taking us to be with Himself. It is exactly what Jesus talks about in John 14:2,3 which is the next time He describes the Rapture: “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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” It is for salvation, not judgement. ‘That Day’ in Matthew 24:36 is the same as ‘that Day’ in Luke 21:34, which is then described and defined in Luke 21:35,36 as the first Day of the Tribulation the opening of the Day of the Lord when ‘all these things’ will come to pass, but from which an escape is provided for believers. This confirms that the time under discussion from v36 is the Rapture and start of the Tribulation.
In Matthew 24:36-44, Jesus is telling us to watch (to be ready) so that we will escape the Tribulation, by going up in the Rapture. Noah was ready, but the others carried on, oblivious to the threat of judgement. Noah was removed to safety, they were swept away. You can prepare and be ready like Noah or just carry on like the rest. Those who were ready were those who were saved. Those who were lost were the unprepared. Likewise at the Rapture there is a separation into two groups (v40,41). Some will be ready, some will not. Believers will be removed to safety and soon after, the judgements of the Tribulation will come upon the whole world.
In view of these things Jesus warns us: “Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched... Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matthew 24:42-44).
Likewise He says: "Take heed (be alert) WATCH and PRAY for you know not what hour your Lord shall come" (Mark 13:33). WATCH and discern the signs of the times (know that we live in the last generation). This will keep us spiritually alert and praying, staying ready for the Lord's Return.
Then follows Matthew 24:45-51, a parable teaching that watchful readiness is to be busy labouring not just passively looking at the sky. The judgement on the unbeliever (in v21) who is not ready for the Rapture is executed at the Second Coming. This is the transition to Matthew 25 which starts: “Then shall the Kingdom of heaven be like...” Thus the point in time of the judgements of Matthew 25 is the Second Coming (not the Rapture). In the midst of describing these judgements Jesus warns those living before the Rapture to be ready for His Coming so that they may escape these judgements (v13)Luke states this warning of Jesus very clearly in Luke 21:34-36: “But take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be weighed down (overcharged) with carousing (dissipation), drunkenness and cares of this life, and so that Day (the DAY of the Lord -Tribulation) come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth (do not be like those in Noah's time who ignored the preacher and got destroyed in the flood). "WATCH therefore (for the SIGNS - let them alert you that Jesus is Coming soon and live accordingly - get ready!) and PRAY always (do not be spiritually asleep - prayerless, absorbed in the cares and pleasures of this life) that you may be counted worthy(ready) to escape (in the Pre-Tribulational Rapture) all these things that shall come to pass (in the Tribulation), and to stand (resurrected) before the Son of man" (in Heaven- by means of Rapture) This is not just a protection from the troubles but an escape from them by being moved out of the world to stand before the Son of Man. This can only be done by the Rapture before the Tribulation. Jesus taught a Pre-Tribulation Rapture.
In fact at the Rapture we shall all stand before Christ and His Judgement Seat , when we will be judged as Servants for rewards. This provides extra motivation to stay ready for the Lord’s imminent coming and occupied in His service:
Mark 13:34-37: “It is like a man (Jesus) going to a far country (heaven), who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming--in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning- lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” This is His Coming in the Rapture because believers in the Tribulation should know exactly when He will return.
HOW TO BE READY
(1) Receive Jesus as your Lord and Saviour.
The main way we get ready is receiving and trusting Jesus Christ and His death on the Cross as our salvation, and following Him as our Lord.
(2) Prove the genuineness of your faith by a changed life.
Those who carried on same life in Noah’s time proved their unbelief by their lifestyle, they were not ready because they did not believe. Some may have professed faith but it was an empty profession because it did not change
their life. They carried on oblivious to Noah’s warnings.
Are there other indications that Jesus will come in our generation?
(1) PETER gives us a clue. When speaking of the time-period left before the end and the TIMING of the Lord's Return, he gives the key: "With the Lord ONE DAY is as 1000 years and 1000 years as ONE DAY"(2Peter 3:8). History is modelled on the CREATION WEEK of 7 DAYS = 7000 years. God counts time in sevens and the Creation Week is a Type of a WEEK of history = 7000 years. We stand at the end of 6 DAYS = 6000 years and therefore the final SABBATH DAY OF REST (1000 years, the Millennium - see Revelation 20) is about to begin when Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath will rule (Mark 2:28).
(2) HOSEA'S PROPHECY OF 2000 years (Hosea 5:14-6:3).
Hosea saw the cutting down of Israel and her restoration.
"I (Messiah) will be like a LION to Ephraim and like a young LION to the house of Judah.” Jesus came as their KING but they reject Him - therefore:
“I even I will tear them (cut them off) and GO AWAY (back to Heaven).
I will take them away (from the land) and none shall rescue.
I will return to my place (the ascension to the right hand of God the Father) UNTIL (this implies He will return after a time) they acknowledge
their offence (the specific sin of rejecting Him as their King).
Then they will seek My face. In their TRIBULATION they will earnestly seek Me (saying): "Come, let us return to the Lord, for He has torn, but He will heal us. He has stricken but He will bind us up" (these are the words their leaders will use to call Israel back to accept Jesus as Christ).
Next, He gives a clue as to how long it will be before Christ returns to restore Israel. "AFTER 2 DAYS (2000 years) He will revive us. On the 3rd DAY (the 1000 year Millennium) He will raise us (Israel) up that we may live in His sight. Let us know, let us press on to know the Lord. His going forth (out of Heaven in His 2nd Coming) is established (certain and at a fixed time) as the morning sunrise (He comes as the Sun of Righteousness to start a new DAY of human history. What is the fixed, appointed time? AFTER 2 DAYS = 2000 years from His ascension to Heaven in AD 33). He will come to us as the rain, like the latter and former rain on the earth” (spiritual blessings in the Millennium).
So, Hosea 5:15-6:3 speaks of Christ being rejected, then going to Heaven for TWO DAYS (2000 years) before returning to a repentant Israel to reign over them for the THIRD DAY (1000 years, see Revelation 20).
We are presently near the end of 2000 years from His First Coming!
There were 4 DAYS (4000 years) from Adam to the Cross. Here Hosea predicts there will be 2 DAYS (2000 years) from the Cross to the Second Coming. This makes 6 DAYS, leaving 1 more DAY of 1000 years, the Sabbath DAY of rest, the Millennium, the 3rd DAY of Hosea's prophecy.
Therefore we stand near the end of 2000 years from the Cross and we see Israel restored to the land in preparation to be restored to the Lord!