Time Has An End

by Harold Camping
Family Stations Inc.


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The foregoing chapter describing the ultimate terror “Judgment Day” presupposes that there is a God. If we could know that God did not exist, then obviously, there would be no Judgment Day. If there were no Judgment Day, the ultimate act of terror described in this study could not happen. Thus, the worst terror this world would then face is further terrorist activity by evil men.

If we could know that God did not exist, then
obviously, there would be no Judgment Day.

Indeed, there are those who desperately try to prove that there is no God. Consequently, they dream up fantasies such as evolution. In spite of the utterly impossible nature of evolution, there are those with brilliant minds who tenaciously cling to this preposterous idea. They must do this because if they admit there is a being who created this universe, then they logically would know that they must someday answer to this Creator Being.

They know this intuitively because God has created mankind in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). The Bible tells us about the way mankind was created. In Romans 1:18-20, God informs us:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.

Furthermore, in Romans 2:14-16, God declares:

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another; in the day
 

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when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

. . . while people would wish there were no higher being
called God, deep in their hearts they know there is a God
with whom they somehow must relate.

Thus, while people would wish there were no higher being called God, deep in their hearts they know there is a God with whom they somehow must relate. Genesis 1:27 informs us that man was created in the image of God. Even though that image was severely marred by man’s sin, mankind cannot claim that he has no knowledge whatsoever of God.

Man’s problem with God becomes very serious because mankind was created in the image of God. Therefore, all mankind knows consciously or subconsciously that he has sin in his life. In his heart, he knows there is something terribly wrong when acts of murder, stealing, and other vicious acts against his fellowman are committed. He also knows fundamentally that somehow the scales of justice must be balanced. The only Judge who is qualified to perfectly accomplish this is that Infinite Being who created this universe.

Thus, to many, the idea of the existence of a Creator Being, who is called God, is a completely unacceptable idea. Therefore, to avoid this altogether unacceptable conclusion, they have concocted crazy ideas such as evolution.

Evolution’s Absurdities

The notion called evolution can be easily shown to be utterly impossible. Consider a simple object like a table. How did that table come into existence? No one can deny that a human being designed it and then carefully constructed it. Under no circumstance can anyone conclude that over a long period of time that table somehow evolved. Every person with even the slightest intelligence knows that.

Jump now to a human being with his more than three billion pairs of DNA in his genome. Obviously, the design of the human genome is a million times more complex than the design of the table. Thus, if a simple object like a table requires a designer, certainly, a being as complex as a human being also requires a designer. Furthermore, if this table had to be manufactured by someone after it was designed, it should be immediately obvious that a human being also has to be made by someone. For that matter, everywhere we look in this universe, we find millions of objects far more complex than a simple table. If a simple table could  

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not be a product of evolution, then neither can any of these other millions of objects in the universe be a product of evolution.

The very fact that intelligent men and women slavishly maintain the idea of evolution is a fact in itself that proves there is a God who created the universe. The conduct of these individuals in believing in the supposed reality of such a preposterous idea as that of evolution in itself indicates that deep in their being, perhaps in their subconscious mind, they know that there must be a divine creator. What other reason could there be that would cause intelligent men and women to try to believe in such an impossible concept as evolution?

We might take note once more of the truths we are given in the Bible that show why some humans insist on believing in evolution. In Genesis 1:27, we read:

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

God further teaches in Romans 1:18-20, which we quoted and want to quote again because of the importance of this statement:

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.

Remember, again, we read from Romans 2:14-16, where God instructs us:

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another; in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Significantly, God takes note of the foolishness of those who try to deny the existence of God by indicating so in both Psalm 14:1 and in Psalm 53:1 where we read:  

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The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God.

Frankly, they are in complete denial.

Given all of the foregoing information, one should not be surprised that it is especially the individuals with great human intelligence who would be most desirous to somehow prove any reliability at all in the concept of evolution. With superior human intelligence that God Himself gave them, they know there must be a Creator Being, and that Creator Being is someone to whom the human race must answer. But in their panic to silence this totally unacceptable conclusion, they have developed and tenaciously cling to this impossible idea of evolution. Frankly, they are in complete denial.

We have learned from Romans 2:14-16 that God’s Law is written on the hearts of man. We can see this principle in action in a number of ways. One way we see this is when we note that primitive peoples offered sacrifices to appease the angry gods. Not infrequently, these oblations included human sacrifices. Intuitively, they concluded a life must be sacrificed as some kind of an ultimate payment for their wrongdoing.

As we have already learned from Romans Chapter 2, God’s Law to some degree is an integral part of man’s personality. Therefore, naturally he knows there is some kind of a higher being that governs his life. Apart from the Bible, he knows very little about this higher being. He does know, however, that he must somehow find that intelligence — he must find this higher being — so that he can pay suitable homage to this being. He may decide, therefore, that the sun, the moon, or the constellations of the stars is the supreme intelligence. He, therefore, will worship the sun, or he may follow the ideas of astrology. Or, it is possible that he may believe some animal is that supreme intelligence that he must recognize and worship. Thus, like the ancient Egyptians, he might worship an image of a calf. Or he may decide that a supreme intelligence called God can be designed by the worshiper himself. So, he carves a tree or a rock until it resembles some kind of living person. In this way the Buddhist pays homage and worships a Buddha carved from a tree and gilded with scarlet, silver, and gold paint.

In our modern sophisticated society, we have been influenced to some degree by the Bible. So, we believe there is a higher being whom we cannot see who has ultimate control over our life. Or, if we want to demonstrate our own superior intelligence, we can follow the lead of the atheists and evolutionists and attempt to insist that there is no God. As we witness their rejection of the existence of God, we can know how greatly mankind can be in denial of the fact that there is a Supreme Intelligence who rules the world.  

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The big question is: where do we have
information about this Supreme Being?
The big question is: where do we have information about this Supreme Being? Countless books have been written to explain this Supreme Intelligence whoever or whatever it may be. Worldwide religions like Buddhism and Islam have been developed in an effort to describe this higher being and how man is to relate to him. Unfortunately, all of these attempts to find this higher being and properly worship him are developed by the minds of men. Therefore, whatever wisdom that is offered can be no greater than that which is in man’s mind alone.

As we saw earlier in this study, the world all around us with its billions of complex structures cries out for an acknowledgment that there must be an infinite mind that has designed and created this vast universe. Where can we go to find out about this great intelligence? Since man is simply one of the creatures who inhabits this universe, he is not qualified to find this supreme God. This is so even though he strives mightily to come to a solution as to who is this God.

The Bible Reveals the Complete Truth

Wonderfully, this Supreme Being Himself has revealed who this Supreme Intelligence is. Amazingly, He has written a book (II Peter 1:20-21), which we call the Bible, in which He describes very much about Himself as well as how He brought this universe into existence. The Bible therefore is the most amazing and important book in the entire world. No other book can stand in its shadow. No other book is so absolutely true and trustworthy as the Bible (John 17:17). (Please see the Preface to this present writing.)

Because the Bible is so impeccably true and trustworthy, it immediately becomes unacceptable to mankind. This is so because it describes in detail who mankind is and how humans fit into God’s long-range plans. The Bible reveals that mankind was created in the image of God and therefore is accountable to God (Romans 1:18-23; 2:14-16). It reveals that God created mankind to serve God perfectly (Genesis Chapters 1-3; Revelation 22:3). And the Bible sets forth all the rules and principles mankind is to obey in service to God (Matthew 4:4).

Among these laws is the law concerning the perfect justice of God (Romans Chapters 1-6). This law stipulates that if an individual disobeys any of the Biblical Laws, he must someday stand before God as the Righteous Judge to answer for breaking God’s Law. The Bible calls this act of disobeying any of God’s Law “sin.” And because sin is rebellion against God, the Creator and Judge  

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of the world, the penalty for sin, as described by God’s Law, is enormous. The penalty is to be damned forever in a place the Bible calls “the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15). It is a place where “the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever” (Revelation 14:11).

Because mankind knows he has sinned, he therefore finds
the Bible to be a totally unacceptable book.

Because mankind knows he has sinned, he therefore finds the Bible to be a totally unacceptable book. He absolutely does not want to think about a penalty for sin as great as that of eternal damnation. Consequently, as we have learned earlier, he blindly tries to become an atheist or an evolutionist. Or, he tries to design or become part of a religion with which he can be comfortable. In any event, he tries very hard to believe that the Bible is not God’s Book and that it has no authority over his life.

This kind of thinking cannot and will not change the fact that the Laws of the Bible will be carried out. Whether this individual likes it or not, in time, he will be standing before the Judgment Throne of God to answer for his sins. God has a complete knowledge of each and every sin that each and every individual has committed (Hebrews 4:13). These sins may be sins of the mind, or sins of action, or sins of words, but each sin will be found out. And any one of the sins is sufficient to cause the sentence of eternal damnation to be decreed (James 2:10-13).

The fact is, if we want to be completely honest and realistic about our life, we must learn everything we possibly can about ourselves. And there is no other book that can begin to tell us about ourselves as the Bible is able to do (Psalm 119). Wonderfully, the Bible not only discloses to us the awful consequence of sin, but it also has much to say about the magnificent plan God has provided whereby a great multitude which no man can number will be rescued by God (Hebrews 7:25; 9:26b-28). This is God’s salvation plan whereby many individuals will come to know that Jesus Christ is their Savior.

Mankind wants a salvation over which he can have some control.

However, even God’s plan of salvation is altogether unacceptable to mankind. The Bible indicates that this plan depends entirely on God’s mercy and  

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God’s sovereign decision as to whom God has named to become saved (Romans 9:14-24). Because of man’s sinful condition, he will never come to Christ on Christ’s terms (John 5:38, 40). Those terms emphasize that an individual can make no contribution whatsoever to his salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). He must wait entirely upon God’s mercy as to whether or not he will become saved (Lamentations 3:26). This also is unacceptable to mankind. Mankind wants a salvation over which he can have some control. This he believes will more certainly make it possible for him to become saved, if and when he wishes to do so. At the same time, it is subconsciously satisfying to his ego that he is able to make some contribution to the grand work of his salvation (Romans Chapter 3, and Chapter 11, verses 5-6).

The consequence of all this is that most individuals will find fault with the Bible (Psalm 50:16-17; Romans 9:20). They will argue that it is no more authoritative than any other religious book. For example, they believe that the Islamic Koran or some book of that nature has equal authority. Or, they will readily believe those who claim that the Bible has errors and contradictions within it. Or possibly, they will simply ignore the Bible because they are too busy with their life.

Additionally, there will be those who might acknowledge the Bible as God’s Holy Book, but they will pick and choose among the wealth of Biblical statements to extract those statements that appear to support what they wish to believe God’s salvation plan should be (Matthew 23:23). In other words, the problem mankind faces is not that of the integrity or the truth or the authority of the Bible. The problem is that people ordinarily will not humbly submit to the Bible as the Word of God which is of supreme importance to each and every human being (Luke 12:57; John 7:24).

Only God Can Convince You

Arguments are frequently set forth as to why we are to believe that the Bible is the trustworthy Word of God. But no matter how convincing these arguments may be, these arguments will not cause anyone to begin to trust the Bible as the authoritative Word of God. This is so because it absolutely requires an action by God Himself working in the life of an individual to cause that individual to humble himself in the presence of the Bible, trusting that indeed the Bible is the Holy Word of God and is to be obeyed (John 3:21; Philippians 2:13). Therefore, the most meaningful way to address the question of the authority of the Bible is by means of the Bible itself. The words that we will quote are God’s words. They are the voice of Almighty God Himself. In other words, we do not have to defend the authority and the trustworthiness of the Bible. The Bible is  

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always constant and consistent. It is the sinful nature and lack of understanding of man that casts doubt on or brings disagreement about the teachings of Scripture. We know that only God Himself can give an individual spiritual understanding so that he will trust implicitly in God’s Word the Bible.

With these principles in mind, let us listen to God’s own words concerning the nature and truth of the Bible.

Psalm 2:1-4:

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.

Psalm 2:8-11:

Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

Psalm 108:4:

For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.

Psalm 117:2:

For his merciful kindness is great toward us: and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever. Praise ye the LORD.

Isaiah 40:13-15:

Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as
 

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the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.

Isaiah 40:17:

All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.

Isaiah 40:28:

Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.

Isaiah 41:4:

Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.

Isaiah 46:9-10:

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.

Isaiah 48:3:

I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass.

Matthew 24:35:

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

John 17:17:

Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
 

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In the first chapter of Romans, God makes a series of statements in which He assures us that every unsaved individual knows deep in his heart there is a God who is the Creator, He is God to whom they must answer. We have quoted these verses before, but they are so important, we are going to quote them again. We read in Romans 1:19-21:

Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

And then God goes on to say in Romans 1:28-32:

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient . . .who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

God knows the hearts and minds of all mankind (Jeremiah 17:10). In these verses, God is speaking to us and assuring us that, without question, each and every human being is quite aware that there is a God to whom he must answer.

Since God has put a knowledge of God in the heart of each and every human being, it is God’s purpose that they also should be told that the Bible is the Word of God (Jeremiah 22:29; 36:1-3; John 20:30-31). To assist them in this knowledge, God makes many statements whereby they can know the Bible is God’s Word. Some of these are as follows:

Isaiah 42:9:

Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

II Timothy 3:16:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for
 

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doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

II Peter 1:21:

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Prophecies Given and Fulfilled

As we read these verses, we learn that God is emphasizing one important way we can know that the Bible is true, and that is, whenever God prophesied concerning a future event, that event always came to pass. For example, there are numerous prophetic statements sprinkled throughout the Old Testament that give details concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus as Messiah, details such as the city in which He was to be born (Micah 5:2), the tribe of Israel from which He was to come (Genesis 49:10), and the ugly reception He would receive from the Jewish people (see Psalm 22, Isaiah Chapter 53, and many other references), were all prophesied hundreds of years before they were literally fulfilled.

An excellent illustration of this characteristic of the Bible can be seen in a noteworthy fulfillment of events that were prophesied concerning the nation of Israel. The Bible predicted that, with the exception of a small percentage of the people of this nation, as a nation they would never accept Jesus as the Messiah. The Bible indicates this rejection would continue all the way to the end of the world (Isaiah 6:9-12; Amos 8:14; Mark 11:13-14; Romans 11:5-10, 25).

This prophecy is remarkable for two reasons. The first is that, in A.D. 70, Jerusalem was completely destroyed by the Romans, and for almost 1,900 years after this, the nation of Israel had no homeland. Effectively, they had disappeared from the world scene as a viable nation among the nations of the world. Therefore, how could they continue to reject Christ all the way to the end of the world, if they no longer existed as a nation that could reject Him?

The second reason this prophecy is remarkable is the importance of the name Jesus Christ on the world scene. Every nation has its favorite sons that they are proud to own and acknowledge because of the contributions that they have made to the world. Jesus Christ is a true Israelite from the tribe of Judah and the family of David. One would think that by now, Israel would be only too ready to acknowledge Him as one of their favorite sons even though they may not agree altogether with His theological teachings. However, the Bible already prophesied almost 2,000 years earlier that Israel would continue to reject Him all the way to the end of the world.  

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To make this prophecy become true, they would have to again become a nation. Indeed, they would have to become a nation existing close to the end of the world. Only in this way would there be credible evidence that they would still be rejecting Christ all the way to the end of the world. This prophecy is given in the words of Romans 11:25:

For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

The whole chapter of Romans 11 is speaking of the sad fact that, except for a remnant chosen by grace, the nation of Israel would remain in blindness. Verses 5 through 8 declare this fact:

Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (according as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.

Verse 25 prophesies that this blindness would continue until the fulness of the Gentiles would come in (that is, the Gentiles’ coming to a saved relationship with Christ). In other words, as long as one non-Jew remained anywhere in the world who was to become saved and still remained unsaved, this blindness would still be on national Israel. Thus, this prophecy virtually demands that Israel would have to exist as a nation very near the end of the world. Only in this way could there be a clear indication that this prophecy had been fulfilled.

Fact is, the Bible prophesies in another place that before the end of the world, Israel would be a nation once again. This fact is found when we understand the language of Mark 13:28-29 where we read:

Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near: so ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.
 

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This whole chapter of Mark is speaking of the time of the Great Tribulation, which comes just before the end of the world.

Frequently, God uses the figure of the fig tree to represent the nation of Israel. For example, in Mark Chapter 11, Jesus cursed a fig tree indicating it would never again bear fruit. This incident, recorded in Mark Chapter 11, verses 12-14, and verses 20-21, is pointing to the fact that Israel, represented by the fig tree, would never again as a nation bear spiritual fruit (that is, trust in Jesus as their Savior). But the Mark 13:28-29 reference also discloses that as a harbinger of the nearness of the end of the world, it would again be a nation. It would be a fig tree with leaves. That is, it is a fig tree that represents Israel as a viable nation. But this fig tree would produce no spiritual fruit precisely as God prophesied concerning it in Romans 11:25. That is, as a nation they would reject Christ as their Messiah.*

Therefore, these two prophesies of Mark Chapter 13 and Romans Chapter 11, while sounding quite different from each other, in actuality are teaching the same truth, namely, that very close to the end of the world, Israel again would be a nation. But they would be a nation that still rejects Christ.

To our amazement and astonishment, these prophecies literally came true. In 1948, after almost 1,900 years of non-existence as a nation, Israel again became a nation with their own homeland. Moreover, after having continued more than fifty years since then as a viable nation among the nations of the world, Israel still rejects Christ as their Messiah even as Romans 11:25 had prophesied.

This prophecy is only one among a great many that the Bible has predicted would eventually come true and did come true. God repeatedly has demonstrated that He has the power, ability, and authority to make each and every one of His prophecies come to pass.

One of the greatest prophecies of the Bible is yet to be fulfilled: the return of Jesus Christ and the end of the world. We dare to look into these prophesies because we know we can trust the Bible. As we see how God has worked out His salvation plan down through the ages, we will see how He will bring history to a grand and awesome conclusion for which we all must be ready!

We should be impressed with the fact that only God
could have written the Bible.


* Readers are invited to obtain from Family Radio a free copy of the book The Fig Tree, which gives much information about the Bible’s teachings concerning the history and future of the nation of Israel.  

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All of the information in this study is based upon prophecies from the Bible. As you read this study, I trust you will begin to understand that this writing is a result of the meticulous accuracy of the Bible, not the surmisings of man. And this study serves to put on display God’s faithfulness in bringing these prophecies to fulfillment. We should be impressed with the fact that only God could have written the Bible.

Scholars can rave about other books that they have written, but they are nothing compared to the exquisite accuracy and integrity of the Bible. Need we say more to defend the Bible as God’s Word? Indeed, all we must do is begin to carefully read it. But there is more that should be propounded before we begin to examine the Bible’s teachings concerning the unfolding of God’s plan for the history of the world. We should realize that the Bible is a divine instruction book for the human race.

THE BIBLE: An Instruction Book

When any of us purchase a computer or any complicated piece of equipment, the device normally comes with instructions concerning its use. In very similar fashion, God has given the earth to mankind, and He, too, has provided an instruction book to assist us in realizing the greatest blessings as we live on this earth. In His divine mercy and wisdom, He gave this book to mankind. This book is the Bible.

The instructions given with the purchase of a sophisticated instrument, or even a simple piece of furniture that must be assembled before it can be used, usually do not describe the object’s density or chemical composition or any other intricate details concerning the materials used in the manufacture of the purchased object. Hopefully, however, there is enough information given so that maximum usage and enjoyment of the equipment can be obtained.

. . . the Bible is an exceptionally extraordinary
instruction book that the Creator of all
things has given to us!

Similarly, in God’s instruction book, the Bible, He does not give us details about the chemical composition of any of the billions of objects He has created. In His instruction book, He does not give details concerning electrons and radio  

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magnetic waves. But He does tell us how and when this universe came into being (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-3). He does tell us how to best relate to everything God has created so that we can have the most blessed life (Deuteronomy 30:19-20; Matthew 11:28-30). Indeed, the Bible is an exceptionally extraordinary instruction book that the Creator of all things has given to us!

Not only has the God of the universe given these instructions in the Bible, He has also created mankind with an ability to read and have some understanding of these instructions. Thus, we should begin to see that the Bible is supremely important.

If a complex instrument like a computer is given to an individual who has received no instruction whatsoever in the science of computer technology, and no instructions come with the computer, what is the likelihood that he will ever benefit from the use of that computer? It is more likely that, in a short time, he will have destroyed that computer because he made all the wrong attempts to make it work.

Likewise, mankind, without the instruction book the Bible, cannot achieve the security and happiness he desires. Fact is, the Bible shows that if anyone follows the rules of the Bible, there is a possibility he can have the absolute highest blessing and happiness. That blessing is to become eternally a child of God, serving Him and reigning with Him for evermore (Romans Chapter 8). Truly we must realize that the Bible is a super-supremely valuable book of instructions that God has given to mankind. What a pity that people do not want to carefully read this instruction book.

We might take note that sometimes instruction manuals that come with complex objects are difficult to understand. The more complex the instrument is, the more likely it will be that the instructions may be difficult to follow. Thus, we should not be surprised when we discover that the Bible is difficult to understand. The Bible gives us information about infinite God who has no beginning and who spoke and brought this world into existence (Psalm 147:4-5; Isaiah 48:12-13; Colossians 1:16-17; I Timothy 1:17).

The Bible speaks about God’s perfect justice that demands eternal damnation for those who violate even the smallest of God’s rules (James 2:10- 12). It also describes a love in which God Himself, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, made payment for sin on behalf of the rebellious humans He came to save (John 3:14-16; 10:11-15). You will recall that God created mankind to serve God perfectly (Matthew 5:48; I Peter 1:15-16). Yet, without the impartation of salvation by God to man, mankind is doomed to fall short of the perfection God demands (Romans 3:23). Thus, instead of having the highest blessing and maximum happiness, man ends up under the wrath of God, under eternal damnation (John 3:36). The Bible tells us that when God saves a man, He removes  

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rebellion from the heart of man (Ephesians 2:12-17), so that once again, he can serve God acceptably (Hebrews 12:28).

As sinful humans, we cannot understand these awesome actions of God. We only argue and exclaim that we cannot trust the Bible. For example, we may contend that the Bible cannot be any more trustworthy than any other book that calls itself the Word of God.

However, God comes to the rescue! God can cause people to approach the Bible very humbly, recognizing that it is God Himself who is speaking (Psalm 65:4; Jeremiah 30:2; Romans 2:4). God Himself can work in the minds and hearts of men to make them begin to understand more clearly the instructions given in the Bible (Psalm 119).

This does not mean that those to whom God begins to give understanding of the Bible will become experts in Bible truth, increasingly being able to clearly understand each and every verse of the Bible (II Peter 3:16-18). Rather, it means that those who are assisted by God, in the person of the Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 2:9-10), to understand the Bible will primarily and most importantly begin to understand that they are sinners who unquestionably deserve the eternal wrath of God as payment for their sins (Ezra 9:6, 13; Psalm 119:9; I Timothy 1:15). And they will increasingly understand that only God Himself, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, can make payment for sins (I John 1:8 - 2:2). Of all the truths set forth in this instruction book, these may be considered foundational if other truths of the Bible are to be understood (Hebrews 5:13 - 6:2).

How wonderful that God has given us such a magnificent instruction book! What a pity that most people do not want to carefully read it!

But much more must be said about the Bible. We shall see next that it is the supreme Law Book of the universe.

The Bible is the Supreme Law Book of God

The peoples of the world have little or no awareness of the fact that the Bible is a law book. Even among serious Bible students, the same ignorance of the Bible exists. However, in this study, we will see that the Bible reveals its major character as a law book. For example, in it God sets forth the laws, decrees, ordinances, statutes, and commandments by which God governs. The Bible sets forth all the rules and principles mankind is to obey for the service of God (Deuteronomy 10:12-13; 31:24-26; Micah 6:8).

Surprisingly, God Himself has made Himself subject to
the same laws to which mankind is subject.
 

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Surprisingly, God has made Himself subject to the same laws to which mankind is subject. In Psalm 138:2 we read:

I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

This remarkable and surprising citation spoken by God Himself and given as a tenet of God’s holy Law informs us that God Himself is subject to the Word of God. The Word of God is the Bible, which is the Law of God. The words “laws,” “statutes,” “decrees,” “ordinances,” “commands,” etc., are synonyms found many hundreds of times in the Bible. For example, in the longest Psalm of the Bible (Psalm 119), which has more than 170 verses, we see that virtually each and every verse makes reference to the Law of God. The Bible (the Law Book) stipulates how each human being is to conduct himself. The King, who rules over mankind and who has established the laws by which he is to live, is God Himself. He created this world together with mankind to bring praise and glory to Himself as the matchless Creator (Deuteronomy 4:32-40; Romans 11:36; Revelation 4:11). He created mankind in His own image and placed him in a beautiful perfect universe (Genesis 1:27 - 2:9; Isaiah 45:18).

However, because mankind was created in the image of God, God immediately established laws by which mankind was to live as they serve God as their King (Psalm 97:7-10a). If humans were to continue in the perfection in which they were created, they would have to continue to be as righteous as God Himself is righteous (Matthew 5:45-48). They, therefore, would have to perfectly obey all of the commands set forth in God’s Law Book (Galatians 3:10).

Therefore, to test man’s fidelity to God, God immediately set up the testing arena by which our first parents — Adam and Eve — could be tested. God had already begun to lay down laws by which they were to live as God’s servants. They were placed in a beautiful garden and commanded to dress (till) it and keep it (Genesis 2:15). But also in that beautiful garden, God placed a tree, giving it a very intriguing name, “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” (Genesis 2:9b). God then gave Adam and Eve the command that they could eat of every tree in the garden except one, and in the day that they would eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they would surely die. Genesis 2:16-17 says:

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
 

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Already therefore, in the second chapter of Genesis, we can understand that God is a God of law. He sets forth the laws by which mankind is to live, and He also indicates the penalty that will be placed on the lawbreaker. To these first laws that were given to mankind in Genesis Chapter 2, God eventually added hundreds of additional laws. All of these laws are recorded in the Bible, the Law Book of God.

The law given to Adam called for death as the penalty
for breaking the law.

The establishment of law also requires the prescribing of penalties for breaking that law. The law given to Adam called for death as the penalty for breaking the law (Genesis 2:17). As God continued to write His Law Book, the Bible, God became more and more specific as to what that death was. It was not physical death. It was a death far more terrible. When God created man in His own image, He created mankind to live forever even as God continues to live forever (Genesis 3:22). However, God’s Law Book, the Bible, also sets forth the principle that when man sins (breaks the Law of God, I John 3:4), the penalty is eternal damnation. Mankind will exist forever in the future, but instead of living in the highest good and happiness, they are to be punished for their sins by being cast into Hell for all eternity as payment for their sins (Jeremiah 17:4; Matthew 25:46; Luke 12:5; Romans 2:7-8; 6:22-23; Revelation 14:11).

God has established the Law and He has decreed the punishment that man must receive as a consequence of breaking that Law. But a judge is also required to adjudicate the matter. The Law Book (the Bible) therefore tells us who the judge is. The Judge is God Himself who created man and who established the Law. In Psalm 7:8, God declares:

The LORD shall judge the people . . . .

In Psalm 9:8, the citation is given:

And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.

However, since there is a judge who must judge the world, there must be a trial at which judgment will be made. God describes that trial in II Corinthians 5:10:  

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For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

This trial will take place at the end of the world. We read in John 12:48:

He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

We see, therefore, that the trial will occur on the last day of this world’s existence. To know more about this trial, we can turn to Revelation 20:11-12, where we read:

And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

How to Escape the Wrath of God

Thus far, we have before us some basic truths that show that the Bible is a law book. Since all of mankind have sinned against God, all of mankind stand guilty and can expect to receive punishment for that sin (Romans 2:3; 3:19). However, the Bible also discloses to us that there is a way of escape from the wrath of God. That way of escape is a result of the amazing mercy of God (Psalm 103:10-11). That way of escape is also an integral part of the Law of God.

Remember earlier we learned that God Himself is subject to this same Law Book. He is the way of escape that has been set forth in the Law Book. The Bible decrees that since Christ is God, He has to carefully and meticulously carry out all that the Bible says about how this way of escape would occur. This is very important because Christ Himself who is God is the Savior (Isaiah 43:11; Luke 2:11; John 17:1-4; Hebrews 1:1-3, 8). He is the One who must bear the enormous wrath of God in order to provide the means by which this way of escape will operate (Isaiah 53:6; Romans 3:24-25; II Corinthians 5:21; I Peter 3:18). We are also delighted to know that this is all spelled out and set forth in the Law Book (the Bible) and that God Himself must perfectly carry this out because He has placed Himself under that law.  

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That way of escape is the Gospel of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:8). It is the good news of salvation (Hebrews 2:3a). It is a plan by which God’s perfect justice is perfectly satisfied (Romans 3:23-26). It is a plan by which there will be many who escape the consequences of their sins (Isaiah 53:11). Instead of being cast into Hell on the last day, they will end up in the highest bliss forevermore as sons of God reigning with Christ in the “new heavens and a new earth” (Romans 8:16-18; II Peter 3:13; I John 3:2; Revelation Chapter 21).

As we have learned from Psalm 138:2, the Word (the Law) of God is above His name. Therefore, when God in His great wisdom designed His plan of salvation, the Law of God could not be set aside or violated in any way. Sin is sin. The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23a). The death that God has in mind for all those who are guilty of sin is that they are to be eternally damned to Hell. The way of escape had to meet all the requirements demanded by God’s Law.

When we carefully analyze what was required by God’s Law as satisfaction or payment for the sins of those God would save, we see that the solution is beyond our wildest imagination. It is an incredible act of God’s love, mercy, and grace. Only an all-wise and perfectly loving God could conceive of such a plan and carry it out to fulfillment. In so doing, He must keep the Law of God perfectly.

The plan called for finding a substitute or stand-in for guilty man. That substitute would have to meet the following very rigorous qualifications:

  1. He must be a human being because it was humans who rebelled against God by transgressing His perfect laws (I Corinthians 15:21).
  2. He must be a perfect human being without any sins of his own (II Corinthians 5:21; I Peter 2:21-22) .
  3. He must be able to bear an enormous load of sin because every sin of every individual for whom he would become a substitute would have to be laid on him. He must bear the guilt for each and every one God intended to save from the wrath of God (Isaiah Chapter 53; Romans 5:11-19; I Peter 2:24).
  4. He would have to be an individual who was able to endure a super enormous punishment for the sins that were to be laid on him and not be utterly and forevermore consumed in his attempt to pay for those sins (Romans 4:25; I Corinthians 15:20-22).
  5. He had to be entirely willing to experience this horrible wrath of God that He Himself, being a perfect person, did not deserve at all (Matthew 16:21- 23; Luke 22:41-42; I Peter 3:18).

Could such a person be found? God’s perfect righteousness demanded that the rescue plan for sinful man could not violate in the slightest degree any part  

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of the Law of God. The Bible reports that God looked for such an individual but none could be found. In Isaiah 63:5 we read:

And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.

Of course, such a qualified person did not exist anywhere. Remember we read in Romans 3:10-12:

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Given this sad fact, that there could not be a human anywhere who could begin to provide the way of escape, God Himself had to do the impossible. God Himself, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, took on a human nature (Philippians 2:5-8). Christ, who is called the Son of God by God Himself, also became the Son of man. By being born of Mary (Matthew 1:18-25; Galatians 4:4- 5), He took on a human nature. He thus met the qualification of being part of the human race.

He Himself, however, had no sin. We read in II Corinthians 5:21:

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

God then gave to Christ all those whom God had chosen to save (that is, to experience the way of escape from Hell). We read in John 6:37:

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

In John 17:2, we read that as Jesus was praying, He declared:

As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

However, in order for Christ to have these who were given to Him eternally, He had to provide payment for their sins. Otherwise, they would first  

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have to spend eternity in Hell to pay for their sins. Since eternity is forever, Christ would never be able to take them into Heaven as His own. Therefore, the sins of these individuals, every dirty, rotten, awful one of them, were laid on Jesus Christ who had been named by God to be their substitute or stand-in. Again, note II Corinthians 5:21:

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

We read in Isaiah 53:5-6:

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

The “us all” in these verses are all those whom God had elected to be His people and who had been given to Christ by the Father (John 17:2, 9, 11-12, 24). The Law Book (the Bible) further declares in Ephesians 1:3-7:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace.

Since Christ is the Substitute provided by God to satisfy the demands of God’s Law Book on behalf of those whom God planned to save, Christ had to be and was altogether willing to endure the punishment that would be equal to that which should have been endured by each and every one whom God had elected to become saved (Hebrews 9:26b-28). It is only because the Lord Jesus never ceased to be God that it was possible for Him to carry out this enormous requirement and thus pay for the sins of His people (Isaiah 63:5; Luke 22:41-42; John 10:28-30).  

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Only God can see all the sins of which Jesus has become guilty.

The trial of Jesus was about to begin. The Judge was God Himself. But in God’s perfect justice, the Judge must also be represented by a human judge. God selected Pontius Pilate who represented Caesar, the highest ruler of the world in that day, to be that judge (Matthew 27:2). Jesus was to be brought to trial to discover His guilt or innocence. Only God knows that Jesus was terribly guilty. Only God can see all the sins of which Jesus has become guilty because each and every sin of each and every person whom God had given to Christ had been laid upon Him (Isaiah 53:6). Fact is, Jesus could have never returned to Heaven unless full payment had been made for every one of those sins (John 17:1-5; Hebrews 1:1-3).

What a terrible situation! Jesus realized the enormous punishment He must bear to satisfy the perfect justice of God. There could be no lessening of the punishment demanded by God’s Law. There could be no pity or mercy shown Christ. He was guilty before God’s perfect Law. God was under the Law of God (the Bible), so that He had to perfectly exact a punishment that would be completely equal to that which should have been endured by each and every one of those whom God had elected to salvation. That punishment was the fact that each of them should spend eternity in Hell.

No wonder, as Jesus was preparing to go before Pilate, the sweat was pouring off His body like great drops of blood to the ground (Luke 22:44). No wonder He prayed in astonishment, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me” (Matthew 26:39). The cup is the cup of God’s wrath that He must endure until the payment for each and every sin that had been laid on Him had been made (Mark 14:23-24; John 18:11).

No one will ever know the awful suffering Jesus was beginning to suffer. We do not know how God was punishing Him (Isaiah 53:10). We obtain a little insight as we see Him hanging on the cross. The cry was wrenched from His lips, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). We will never understand the supreme horror of God forsaking God, for as Christ suffered, He never ceased to be God (Matthew 27:54; Philippians 2:8-11).

He was nailed to a cross to show the world that He had become cursed by God. We read in Galatians 3:13:

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.
 

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As we see Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, piteously praying that the cup of God’s wrath might pass from Him, we also see His perfect obedience, His perfect willingness to be the Substitute as He declares, “not my will but thine be done” (Luke 22:42b). Christ was the perfectly willing Substitute.

He was also the perfectly capable Substitute. Before the daylight hours ended that Friday afternoon, we hear the wonderful words from the lips of Jesus from the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30). He, for sin, had fully paid the penalty demanded by the Law of God. The Law of God had been fully satisfied. God could now legally forgive the sins of those whom God had elected to become saved (Isaiah Chapter 53; Romans 5:11-19).

We thus see that as God provided a way of escape for the elect of God so that they would never have to stand for judgment, the perfectly righteous justice and integrity of God was perfectly maintained (Romans 3:26). In II Corinthians 5:10 we read that every human being has to stand before the judgment seat (Greek bema) of Christ. When Jesus stood before Pilate to receive the condemnation of God for the sins that had been laid on Him, the same Greek word (bema) is used by God in describing Pilate’s judgment seat (Matthew 27:19; John 19:13).

Thus, by Jesus having been found guilty for sin and making payment for sin as God brought His wrath on Him, the requirements of II Corinthians 5:10 (that each and every person must be tried before the judgment seat of Christ) was completely satisfied for His elect. That is why God can declare in Romans 8:1:

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus . . .

That is why the Law also declares in Revelation 3:10:

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

The word “temptation” in this verse should be translated “trial.” This verse is assuring true believers in Christ that they will never be brought to trial. This is so because Christ as their Substitute has already stood for trial on their behalf.

We thus should see that the whole context and message of the Bible is very legal. It is no wonder the Bible repeatedly speaks of itself as the Law.

One of the major messages of the Bible — that it is the Law Book — is frequently obscured because of the complex language God uses. It is also  

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obscured by the numerous historical events that are recorded throughout the Bible. But when we begin to understand that the Bible is a law book, we can be greatly helped in our understanding of phrases that are otherwise very difficult and complex. We also are helped in our understanding of those historical events that are recorded all through the Bible. Invariably we find that sin brings judgment. This is true whether it is a sin of a wicked nation like Babylon (Jeremiah Chapters 50 and 51), or sin in a holy place like the temple in Jerusalem (John 2:13-17), or in the local congregations at the end of the Church Age (Jeremiah 6:10-19; Matthew 24:15). The more clearly we understand the Bible to be a book of law, the more clearly we will understand the otherwise more difficult parts of the Bible. Of course, we must never forget that only God can lead us into any truth (John 14:6; 16:13; 17:17).

This brings us to the present situation that exists in the world. More than six billion people are living today. Unless they are saved or become saved, each and every one is destined to stand before the judgment seat of Christ to answer for their sins. And as this study will show, we are only a short time from that awful event. The final judgment has already begun. This is so because God’s judgment is presently upon all of the local congregations throughout the world (I Peter 4:17). (See The End of the Church Age and After and Wheat and Tares, available from Family Radio.)

But now we should begin our study of the timeline of the unfolding of God’s magnificent salvation plan. In the process, we will learn much about God’s timetable for the end of the world.

Writers of history are interested in a variety of events that they consider to be significant markers of the passage of time. The rise and fall of civilizations, the development of scientific knowledge, the occurrence of some wars, and the appearance of certain notable or notorious rulers are some of the markers that emphasize the movement of time through the history of the world.

However, the Bible is the only true and trustworthy document that embraces, with perfect accuracy, the history of the world, and it utilizes an entirely different kind of time marker. It shows us that the timeline of history is governed by the unfolding of God’s salvation plan, which He has provided for the world. The Bible is extremely accurate and true in all that it declares, so we know that in the Bible we have a perfect record of the history of the world.

The Creation of Time

The Bible is the supreme Law Book that proclaims the message of salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. We have already examined to a tiny degree this amazingly perfect legal solution to the problem of sinners and their  

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transgression of God’s Law. Now, the Bible speaks of Jesus being from everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 41:13).

In between these two “everlastings” is the time of the
existence of the planet Earth.

In between these two “everlastings” is the time of the existence of the planet Earth. When God created this universe, He also created time. Fact is, on the fourth day of creation, He created the magnificent celestial clock which is our solar system. The sun, the planets, the earth, and the moon are all integral parts of this huge celestial clock that ticks off the days, the months, the seasons, and the years. We read in Genesis 1:14-18:

And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.

We do not readily recognize that when God planned the salvation program for the planet Earth, He established a very precise time frame for the unfolding of this marvelous salvation program. We do know that before God created this universe and before He created time, He had already designed His entire salvation program. He had already named each and every person that He planned to save. God’s method of saving was already worked out. The Bible reports that Christ as the sacrificial Lamb was “slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8b). However, along with these super-important details of God’s salvation plan, God also developed a very detailed time program that pre-scheduled each event in this salvation plan. God summarizes this principle in the language of Ecclesiastes 3:1, where we read:

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
 

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This verse emphasizes that there is a time to every purpose under the heaven. That is, time is of essence wherever God’s will is to be done. This principle is further detailed in the next seven verses of Ecclesiastes Chapter 3 as God declares that there is:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

Each of the statements in these seven verses relates to aspects of the unfolding of God’s salvation plan. God illustrates this as He, at various junctures in His salvation plan, speaks of the particular event being addressed as occurring in accordance with a previously-planned time program. For example, in Acts 7:17, God speaks of Israel in Egypt. This verse states:

But when the time of the promise drew nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt.

Or again, in Mark 1:15, where God says:

. . . The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

The phrase “the time is fulfilled” indicates that this moment when Jesus began to preach in Galilee was in accord with a previously-planned timetable.

The same principle is stated in connection with the first coming of Christ. Galatians 4:4 declares:

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.

The same kind of language is found in Ephesians 1:10, where we read:  

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That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.

Similar language is used in Luke 9:51, where we read:

And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.

When God speaks about the time plan for the end of the world, He declares in Daniel 8:19:

. . . Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.

Similarly, in Habakkuk 2:3, God says:

For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

From the above Biblical references, we should understand that God’s whole salvation plan for this earth was carefully pre-programmed to follow a very precise time schedule.

God’s whole salvation plan for this earth
was carefully pre-programmed to follow a very precise
time schedule.

Now we should realize why God has put so much time information in the Bible. Earlier, we briefly looked at Acts 7:17 in which the time for Israel to go out of Egypt is spoken of as having almost come. Then, within the next few verses, God makes four distinct time references. In Acts 7:20, we read:

In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up in his father’s house three months.

In Acts 7:23, we read:  

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And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.

Also, in Acts 7:30, God says:

And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush.

And in Acts 7:36, we read:

He brought them out, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red sea, and in the wilderness forty years.

Obviously, the amount of time required for each event to occur is a very important part of the Gospel message.

. . . the whole Bible is a calendar that details
the various important milestones in the unfolding
of God’s Gospel plan.

Thus, we should not be surprised when we learn that the whole Bible is a calendar that details the various important milestones in the unfolding of God’s Gospel plan. To understand this Calendar will be one important goal of this study. We will discover that these important milestones did not occur in any random or haphazard form. Instead, we will discover that each event is time-related to other important events in a very distinct pattern that must have been previously carefully designed.

One curious fact is that there was also a time for God to enlighten the minds of His people, so that they might know this Biblical Calendar of History. Amazingly, it is only in our generation that this calendar has been found in the Bible. Why God waited until this time when we have come almost to the very end of time before He made the calendar known is a puzzle in itself.

We can speculate that because the Bible does not reveal a probable date for the end of the world, people have not taken seriously the idea of a judgment day. A day of reckoning has been largely dismissed because it always has been projected so far into the distant future. But the teaching of the Bible is that at any  

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time that awful day is close at hand. This is so because when a person dies, the next moment he will experience will be the moment he has been resurrected to stand before Christ as the Judge.

Perhaps God did not want to encourage premature discussion of this subject which is very interesting and enticing to some people but which might intrude upon the most important focus of the Bible — salvation. Perhaps this is one of the reasons for Jesus’ words in Acts 1:7 after the disciples asked Him if this were the time that He would “restore again the kingdom to Israel” (Acts 1:6b). Jesus replied to them:

. . . It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

However, as we have come very close to the very end of history, a discussion of the possible timing of the end of time itself enhances the warning that Christ is coming as the Judge of all the earth. Thus, the need for salvation is greatly magnified. It should cause mankind to search the Bible more carefully than ever in an effort to find truth.

This surely gives major insight into what God teaches in Daniel Chapter 12, that is, the principle of progressive revelation. Daniel Chapter 12 teaches that there are many things in the Bible that are sealed up until the time of the end. That is, as we come to the end of the world, there are many teachings of the Bible that God did not allow earlier searchers of Bible truth to understand but which are now becoming increasingly understood.

Certainly, it is the duty of a faithful Bible teacher to share the doctrines he has come to understand as God has opened his understanding to Bible truth.

True Believers Are Watchmen

Moreover, the Bible teaches that the true believers are watchmen. We read in Ezekiel 33:2-6:

Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: if when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him
 

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but he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.

We read in Luke 12:37-38:

Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

The watchmen, the true believers, are faithfully to sound the warning concerning what they can know from the Bible about the closeness of Judgment Day.

In any case, at this time in history, when we have approached very close to the time when the world will come to an end, God has revealed the fact that the Bible gives us a detailed calendar of the history of this earth. As God opens our understanding of this very interesting and important subject, we learn afresh how difficult it is to understand the Bible. Fact is, God has hidden the necessary Biblical information concerning the Calendar of the Bible to such a degree that no Bible students or theologians have come to an understanding of it until our day.

Incidentally, we must understand that an enlarged understanding of this important subject did not come because someone is smarter or more worthy or more holy than those in the past who have searched the Bible for truth. It is only because we are now living at a time when God is revealing many truths of the Bible to His true believers who are earnestly searching the Word. God has prophesied concerning this matter. Daniel 12:9 declares:

. . . Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

Eternity Past

We will learn in this study that time began in the year 11,013 B.C. However, God’s Law Book, the Bible, reaches into eternity past. We, of course, do not understand eternity. Our minds were designed to identify with time. Time is regulated by the great celestial clock that God spoke into existence on the fourth  

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day of creation. But prior to the first day of creation, time did not exist. There did exist eternity, however, which our human knowledge cannot measure. The best we can say is that what existed before time was “eternity past.”

We will also learn that there is an “eternity future.” We will see that this concept identifies with the end of time which will come on the day that Christ, the Judge of all the earth, comes to end this earth’s existence. At this point, however, we will read several passages that give a little insight into eternity past.

In speaking about eternity past God uses the phrase “from everlasting.” We read, for example, in Psalm 41:13:

Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.

Again, in Psalm 90:2, we read:

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

God also uses language such as “before the foundation of the world.” Now, in this present universe, planet Earth is the most important planet because it serves as the locale for God’s salvation program. Therefore, God uses the words “before the foundation of the world” to refer to eternity past. We read in John 17:24:

Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

Again, we read in Ephesians 1:4, as God speaks of His grand plan of salvation:

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.

In yet another example, I Peter 1:18-20 speaks about Christ as the Savior:

Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the
 

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precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.

From these Biblical citations we learn that not only did there exist an eternity before the creation of time, but also, that God’s plan of salvation was worked out in meticulous detail before the first day of creation.

Because God is infinite in every aspect of His being,
He knew every individual who would be born . . .

Because God is infinite in every aspect of His being, He knew every individual who would be born at any time during the duration of the history of the world, even before He created time. God also knew that our first parents, Adam and Eve, whom He would create, would rebel against His Law and plunge the whole human race into rebellion against God (Romans 5:12). As a consequence, that rebellion could only bring the righteous justice and wrath of God against mankind. But because God is a God of salvation, the Bible tells us that He would choose to withhold His wrath from many who are just as deserving of eternal punishment as all the others. Therefore, in eternity past, before time began, God had already chosen those whom He would save. He already had prepared for their salvation by choosing to become their Substitute in Christ, “in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). The Lord Jesus Christ was to be their Savior so that in principle, He, as the great I AM, the ever-present One (John 8:58; 17:5), was “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8b).

Earlier, we learned that the death of Christ was payment for each and every sin of those whom He came to save. Since Christ, in principle, was slain from the foundation of the world, we may conclude that He knew about each and every sin that would ever be committed by those He came to save.

In addition to the verses quoted above, we read in Matthew 25:34, where God says:

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

We also read, in Hebrews 4:3, that God says:  

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For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

God's great and wonderful salvation plan was the motivating
cause for His creation of this amazing planet Earth.

Thus, we learn that God's great and wonderful salvation plan was the motivating cause for His creation of this amazing planet Earth. We, therefore, should not at all be surprised to learn that what governs the timeline of earth's history is the unfolding of God's marvelous work of salvation. Everything connected with God's salvation program works to unfold the greatest event in all of history. No earthly story, no human saga, no sprawling epic can come within an eternity of matching what God is declaring in His Word the Bible. Fact is, God's magnificent salvation plan is the very substance and essence of history. How then, and when, and where did it all begin?

Before the start of any great trip, whether it be a journey to the South Pole or an ascent to the top of the earth's highest mountain or a trip to the moon, enormous and detailed preparations must be made. So too, before the beginning of the unfolding of God's salvation program, enormous preparations were made. In no particular chronological order, those preparations included but were not limited to the following:

  • Creation of the universe to demonstrate the glory of God as Creator.
  • Creation of time.
  • Creation of planet Earth, the locale where God's salvation program would be developed and which eternally would identify with mankind.
  • Creation of mankind in the image of God.
  • Naming of Christ to be the Savior.
  • God's choosing of all those who were to become saved.
  • Creation of angels to be servants of God. Some would be used of God as His servants in His salvation program, some would rebel and become instrumental in the rebellion of mankind.
  • Creation of the great celestial time clock (our solar system) to mark the passage of time and also to provide types and figures
 

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    of various aspects of God's salvation program.
  • Establishment of the Law of God which began rather simply and finally was expanded to become the entire Bible.
  • Christ, in principle, dying for the sins of those who were chosen to salvation so that from the moment mankind sinned, salvation was an existent reality.
  • The establishment of a testing arena where our first parents could be tested concerning their obedience to God. This testing arena was the beautiful Garden of Eden, which was located in the perfect world that God had created. This garden was to typify how the perfect kingdom of God (consisting of those who would become saved) would exist in a world which would become altogether sinful. (See also The Glorious Garden of Eden, available from Family Radio free of charge.)
  • Establishment of the seventh-day Sabbath as a day of rest. God Himself rested on the seventh day of creation (Genesis 2:1-3). This was a tremendous sign pointing to the fact that we must never try to achieve salvation by our own efforts. (See also Sunday: The Sabbath, available from Family Radio.)
  • The institution of marriage which would point to the beautiful fact that those who were recipients of God's salvation would become married to Christ (Genesis 2:23-24; Ephesians 5:25-
  • 33). (See also What God Hath Joined Together, available free of charge from Family Radio.)

Within a very short time, God's whole salvation plan for mankind was set into motion.

  • Desiring to be a king like God, the angel Lucifer rebelled against God.
  • Taking on the form of a serpent, Lucifer tempted Eve so that she disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit.
  • Eve gave the forbidden fruit to Adam. He, too, in disobedience, ate of it.
  • Mankind became spiritually dead. They no longer were energized by God, and God no longer dwelt within them.
  • Also known as Satan or the devil, the serpent was cursed but was given the right to rule over mankind.
  • Mankind was cursed and became completely infected by sin because God no longer energized them. The whole human race
 

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    became subject to eternal damnation in both body and soul.
  • Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden of Eden wherein was the tree of life. The cherubim with a flaming sword, placed at the entrance of the garden, represented God as the Judge. God was portraying the fact that the only way for anyone to get into the kingdom of God (the Garden of Eden), wherein is Christ (the tree of life), is for that person first to be judged for his sins. This meant that no one could ever enter into Heaven, wherein is Christ, unless he first spent an eternity in Hell paying for his sins, and because eternity is forever, this excluded all mankind from Heaven unless a capable and willing substitute could be found to pay for their sins.
  • The earth itself was cursed so that in many ways, it became an enemy of man. Thorns, thistles, poisonous animals, poisonous bacteria, carnivorous animals, etc., resulted from this curse. Immediately, man's life span began to become shorter and shorter.
  • Adam and Eve discovered their physical nakedness which was a picture of their spiritual nakedness, that is, God could readily see their sin-infected personality.
  • God killed animals and provided animal skins to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve. This action pointed to the essence of God's salvation plan that must unfold. The killed animals represented Christ as the Savior who must die, that is, He must suffer eternal damnation for the sins of God's chosen people.

All of the above are from the most reliable history book of all ages. The Bible is completely without error and will stand any test it may be given. It is God's supernal revelation of truth to each and every one of us.

Now that we have briefly outlined the fundamental elements of God's marvelous salvation plan, we will go through the Bible to discover God's Calendar, which is, indeed, the oldest and best Calendar, yes, the perfect Calendar of the history of the world. Once we have accomplished this, we can again begin at the beginning and proceed down the timeline of history, giving some details that relate to all-important milestones in the unfolding of God's salvation plan.


Chapter 1 Table of Contents Chapter 3