This final Key needed to understand the Redemption Chronology is fairly well known: Antsey, Bullinger, Watchman Nee, Mauro, Gordon Lindsey and Larkin, but the earliest writer I know of that understood this key is again Sir Edward Denney.
God’s main purpose in the 7,000 years of human history is Redemption. Therefore He counts time according to a Redemption Chronology which measures the progress of his Plan of Redemption in the earth. (The Cross of Christ is the key point at the heart of God’s Redemption Calendar). In the Old-Testament God moved His Plan of Redemption forward through His people who would bring forth the Messiah. So He measures Redemption-Time according to His representatives (people) at that time (whether Gentiles, Israel or the Church). But man’s free will means that even His people sometimes rebel against God’s Plan in sin and so delay it. During such times God’s Plan of Redemption came to a halt until His people came back into fellowship with Him. Now we shall see that during such times GOD DID NOT COUNT THAT TIME. Therefore we call it UNRECKONED TIME. God does not count time during which His purposes are delayed because of sin. God overlooks this time period in His Redemption Chronology. This is the forgiveness of God! 1John 1:9. He REMEMBERS OUR SINS NO MORE! Just as God blots out our sin so there are times of history He blots out of His Redemption Chronology! This is another principle that shows that God deals with man – in forgiveness.
*Application to our own lives. The times you were in sin will be blotted out of God’s record as far as your personal chronology is concerned. They have no value to God and in his grace He blots them out. Thank God He blots out the times of sin. But what a shame to enter eternity with little of your life remaining that has not been blotted out. Only as your life is in fellowship with God can you bring forth that which is eternal in value. God's plan and destiny for you is built into your spirit but it is only as you walk in fellowship with Him, that His plan can come forth into your life (Ephesians 2:10). When you get out of fellowship God's plans are put on hold (the clock measuring the progression of God's purpose in your life is stopped).
Thus we see God’s Sovereignty and man’s free will working together. Free will is genuine and has a real effect on the course of time, but with regard to the Purposes of God, He is still sovereignly working out His plan according to His Timetable and man cannot impede it.
God’s Redemption Chronology does not count unreckoned periods and we must apply this principle to put together the Bible Chronology correctly. Its effect on the course of time as we experience it is to lengthen it, for if God has allocated say 500 years on His Redemption Chronology to accomplish something but His people are out of fellowship for 50 years that are unreckoned, then the total time that must pass on earth is 550 years in order for the 500 years be fulfilled on the Redemption Chronology. Since the Plan of Redemption is suspended for those 50 years, Redemption-Time is also suspended, and so another 50 years are required to fulfil the cycle.
We will now consider an apparent contradiction in the Bible, which reveals this wonderful key to us. Without this key the contradiction is unresolvable but with it the scriptures harmonize beautifully.
1Kings 6:1. “it came to pass in the 480th year after the children of Israel were come out of the Land of Egypt, in the 4th year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv the second month, that he began to build the house of Jehovah.” This verse says that in the 480th year after the Exodus Solomon began building the Temple.
It seems quite impossible to reconcile the statement with that of St. Paul in Acts 13:17-22: “The God of this People of Israel chose our fathers and exalted the People when they dwelt as strangers in the Land of Egypt and with an high arm brought He them out of it.” Acts 13:17. This describes the Exodus.
“And about the time of 40 years suffered He their manners in the wilderness.” Acts 13:18.
“And when He had destroyed seven nations in the Land of Canaan, He divided their land to them by lot.” Acts 13:19. We will see that this took a further 6 years
“And after that He gave unto them judges about the space of 450 years,
until Samuel the prophet.” Acts 13:20.
We shall show later that Samuel ruled 31 years
“And afterward they desired a king and God gave unto them Saul the son of Cis, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, by the space of 40 years.” Acts 13:21
“And when He had removed him, He raised up unto them David to be their King.” Acts 13:22a. We know David ruled 40 years.
After David came Solomon who had reigned 4 years before he began building the Temple. Now 1Kings 6:1 gave 480 years from the Exodus to the Temple.
For the same period of time these verses give us 40 years in the Wilderness,
+450 years of the Judges
+40 years for Saul
which is a total of 530 years which is 50 years more than 1Kings 6:1! We have not even included in this total the time from Jericho to the division of the land, the time of Samuel, the time of David and the first 4 years of Solomon.
In fact the full breakdown for this time period is:
“In the Wilderness 40 years.” (Acts 13:18).
Jericho to the Division of the land 6 years
The Judges until Samuel 450 years (Acts 13:20)
Samuel 31 years
Saul 40 years
David 40 years
The first 4 years of Solomon 4 years (The Temple was started in his 4th year).
The total time then from the Exodus to the building of Solomon’s Temple is:
40 + 6 + 450 + 31 + 40 + 40 + 4 = 611 years
But 1 Kings 6:1 tells us that this time is only 480 years!
This is a difference of 131 years.
We will see that Paul’s statement is in agreement with the total of years traced through the Book of Judges. So we get the same contradiction if we add up the times of the judges. Is the Bible in error or is God leading us to a revelation of the Redemption Chronology (His way of reckoning time)?
The history of the period of the Judges is summarized in Judges 2:11–23.
There are 7 Cycles of a repeating pattern:
(1) Israel goes into sin.
(2) Israel as a result comes into bondage to foreign nations – she loses her own sovereignty.
(3) Because of the oppression she repents and prays to God for deliverance.
(4) God answers by raising up Judges who bring deliverance.
(5) When the Judges died Israel falls from God again and the next cycle begins.
During these times of Servitude they were under the enemy’s dominion and God could not forward his Plan through his People because there was no fellowship. When you break your fellowship with God His work in and through your life stops until fellowship is restored.
Now remember one part of Scripture gives the time of Exodus to the Temple as 480 years, while another gives the same time as 611 years –a difference of 131 years! If we calculate the total of the 7 periods of Servitude recorded between Judges 3:8 and 1Samuel 7:2,3 we find it to be exactly 131 years!
PERIODS OF SERVITUDE
(1) Under Cushan-Rishathaim (Judges 3:8) 8 years
(2) Under Eglon, King of Moab (Judges 3:14) 18 years
(3) Under Jabin, King of Canaan (Judges 4:3) 20 years
(4) Under the Midianites (Judges 6:1) 7 years
(5) Under the Philistines and Ammonites (Judges 10:8) 18 years
(6) Under the Philistines (time of Samson) (Judges 13:1) 40 years
(7) Under the Philistines,time of Samuel) 1Samuel 7:2,3) 20 years
= 131 years
How Denney came to this revelation
So far we have two 490 year Redemption Cycles for Israel:
We have now put up the Framework - the Redemption Chronology:
Next it remained to investigate the period from the Dedication to the Decree. Was it also a 490 year Cycle? YES! We will see that it is560 years - 70 years unreckoned (the time of the Babylonian Captivity) = 490 years!
So now we have three 490 year Redemption Cycles for Israel:
We have already seen that the Birth of Abraham was the key starting point for the Age of Israel (being 2 DAYS from Adam). Is Abraham to the Exodus a 4th Cycle? YES! We shall show that it was 505 years, of which 15 years were unreckoned, making 490 years!
So we now have for the history of Israel:
1. God measures A WEEK of 7 DAYS of 1000 years each.
2. Every Jubilee Cycle He adds a 50th year of grace.
3. He does not count times when His people’s sin cause the plan of redemption to be suspended.
(We have seen it is like counting days to pay an employee: Weekends are not reckoned, but bank holidays (jubilees) are added).
It is now clear why it is called Redemption Chronology - it measures the progress of the Plan of Redemption and causes time to flow in 490 year forgiveness/jubilee cycles. Through making the Redemption Chronology the governing chronology, God has caused the very structure of time to be stamped with redemption.
*Now we can put all the pieces together into the Framework and if we have discerned it correctly they should all fit perfectly.
. Denney had already seen that God measured time in Jubilee Cycles. He saw from Daniel 9:24–27, God measured a cycles of 490 years to the Cross. He reasoned that in Daniel 9 God had revealed His use of the 490 year Cycle and so he expected Israel’s history to be composed of these 490 year cycles. Surely the first 490 years of Israel’s national history starting at the Exodus would clearly patterned out by God. He was encouraged by 1 Kings 6:1 which confirmed his idea. The Temple was begun in Solomon’s 4th year -the 480th year after the Exodus. Therefore when the Temple was finally dedicated, after its building and furnishing, 10 years later in Solomon’s 14th year, exactly 490 years had passed since the Exodus! But then he faced the contradiction we have discussed.
What was the solution? Denney was led to Matthew 18:22 on FORGIVENESS:
“Jesus said, I say not to you, until 7 times: but, until 70 TIMES 7.”
70 times 7 years (490 years) had relation to the FORGIVENESS OF GOD. The 490 years from the Exodus to the Dedication of the Temple wereYEARS OF FORGIVENESS when God’s people were living in forgiveness and fellowship with God and not under judgement. Therefore he knew that the 490 years could not possibly include the years of Servitude. He calculated the total of the 7 Servitudes to be 131 years which was time outside of and not included in the 490 year Cycle of Forgiveness. This meant the total time from the Exodus to the Dedication was actually 621 years (490 + 131 years). Thus in the RC from the Exodus to the Dedication there ran one Major Jubilee Cycle of 490 years. However this Cycle did not count the 131 unreckoned years, so the total time was 621 years. Thus Denney discerned that God uses a Redemption Chronology which is different from ours. Because of sin’s disruption, Bible time can seem to have no pattern, but when we apply unreckoned time to remove the effect of sin, we see God’s perfect sovereign ordering of time.