Time Has An End

by Harold Camping
Family Stations Inc.


Patterns

449

God uses a very interesting device in conveying truth. That device is the giving of a pattern by which the object to be built or formed will be correctly finished. This is a method or procedure we can readily understand. For example, if an individual is going to make a garment that will fit properly, it is extremely helpful if a pattern can be obtained that will show how each piece of material from which the garment is made should be cut. This ensures that the garment will fit well and no material will be wasted.

Likewise, before the temple was built by Solomon, we read in I Chronicles 28:11-12:

Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat, and the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things.

This same concept is conveyed in I Timothy 1:16:

Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

In this citation, the life and conduct of the Apostle Paul is declared to be a pattern to follow for those who would live in a God-glorifying way.

Likewise, God gave Moses the pattern for the objects that were to be placed in the tabernacle. For example, we read in Numbers 8:4:

And this work of the candlestick was of beaten gold, unto the shaft thereof, unto the flowers thereof, was beaten work: according unto the pattern which the LORD had shewed Moses, so he made the candlestick.

Significantly, this is the method God used when He gave much information concerning His Gospel plan. We read in Hebrews 8:3-6:  

Patterns

450

For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.

This citation is teaching us that the pattern that typified or showed God’s Gospel program were the various laws that governed the activities of the priests as they performed their duties in the temple.

Biblical Patterns of the Great Tribulation

In this study, as we have traveled down the highway of time, we have made many references to three dramatic events that appear to be related. They are as follows:

  1. The experience of Jacob when he was commanded to leave the promised land of Canaan and go with his entire family to live in the heathen land of Egypt. The year was 1877 B.C.

  2. The experience of the nation of Judah when the armies of Babylon destroyed Jerusalem in the year 587 B.C.

  3. The traumatic experience of true believers of our day as, in this time of Great Tribulation, they are commanded to leave their local churches.

It might be noted that superficially, there is no resemblance that can readily be seen between the great tribulation that Jacob experienced in 1877 B.C. and that which was experienced by the nation of Israel in 587 B.C. Furthermore, superficially, there does not appear to be any resemblance between either of these two tribulations and the Great Tribulation of our day.  

Patterns

451

God has provided two distinct patterns that clearly
sharpen the focus of events relating to the
Great Tribulation of our day.

However, God has provided two distinct patterns that clearly sharpen the focus of events relating to the Great Tribulation of our day. Remember, it is during the period of the Great Tribulation that the final activity is taking place as God is completing the unfolding of the Calendar of History.

When we discover the precise fit of these two patterns as they are compared with the details of the Great Tribulation that has come just prior to the end of the world, we will be greatly encouraged that we have properly understood the Biblical information concerning the end of the world.

. . . as God gives understanding of the metaphors
and parables of the Bible, the understanding of the teachings
of the Bible is greatly increased.

Only when we thoroughly understand that Christ spoke in parables so that we clearly see the spiritual meaning of these events, can we see the precise relationships that exist between them. This is an excellent illustration of the Lord’s assertion in Mark 4:11-12 that He spoke in parables so that those who were not true believers would not understand. For the true believers, the fact is that as God gives understanding of the metaphors and parables of the Bible, the understanding of the teachings of the Bible is greatly increased.

Now, let us briefly outline the two great tribulation patterns recorded in the Bible.

Pattern 1. The first pattern is that of Jacob having to leave the promised land (Canaan) to go to Egypt to escape the grievous famine that was occurring (Genesis 43:1; 46:2-3). The total time duration was seven years. It was divided into two parts in that it was after the first two years of the famine that Jacob and his family left Canaan. The year he left Canaan was 1877 B.C.

Pattern 2. The second pattern is that of Judah during the seventy-year period from 609 B.C. to 539 B.C. It, too, was a time of great affliction that was divided into two parts. The first part ended when Jerusalem and the temple were completely destroyed by the armies of the Babylonians.  

Patterns

452

We will find that the tribulation experience of Jacob and also the tribulation experience of Judah are patterns that identify very closely with the conclusions to which we have already come in this study. Furthermore, because our conclusions concerning the present Great Tribulation fit these patterns so closely, we will be greatly encouraged that we are correctly understanding God’s closing program for the churches and for the world which ends with Christ’s return.

We will discover at least fourteen distinct parallels or similarities between the two patterns themselves as well as between them and the present Great Tribulation, which will end with Christ’s return at the end of the world. To facilitate the setting forth of these parallels, we will use the word “JACOB” when speaking of the great tribulation Jacob experienced in 1877 B.C. We will use the word “JUDAH” when speaking of the terrible tribulation Judah experienced in 587 B.C. We will use the phrase “PRESENT GREAT TRIBULATION” when speaking of the present time of Great Tribulation.

We must remember that the tribulations of “JACOB” and “JUDAH” are facts of history. They are the patterns that God has given us. The tribulation we call “PRESENT GREAT TRIBULATION” is the Great Tribulation we are presently experiencing. We will find that it is precisely patterned after the “JACOB” and “JUDAH” tribulations.

Parallel Number 1: EACH TRIBULATION WAS A TIME OF GREAT TRIBULATION.

JACOB: Acts 7:11 speaks of this time as a time of “great affliction.” The Greek word which is translated “affliction” is the identical word translated as “tribulation” in Matthew 24:21. Therefore, God speaks of Jacob’s experience as “great tribulation.”

JUDAH: The Great Tribulation spoken of in Matthew 24:21 was typified by the destruction of Judah in 587 B.C. Therefore, it is very extensively written about in Old Testament books such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Zephaniah, etc. In each book, the destruction of Judah is used as an example of the end of the Church Age, at which time all the local churches throughout the world would come into judgment. In the Old Testament, God wrote in the Hebrew language rather than in the Greek (Greek is the language of the New Testament). Therefore, we do not find the exact words, “great tribulation.” However, the idea of great tribulation is expressed in many ways in these books. For example, Lamentations 2:2-7 clearly describes the enormous tribulation the nation of Judah experienced at that time in history. We read in these verses:  

Patterns

453

The Lord hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: he hath thrown down in his wrath the strong holds of the daughter of Judah; he hath brought them down to the ground: he hath polluted the kingdom and the princes thereof. He hath cut off in his fierce anger all the horn of Israel: he hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy, and he burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, which devoureth round about. He hath bent his bow like an enemy: he stood with his right hand as an adversary, and slew all that were pleasant to the eye in the tabernacle of the daughter of Zion: he poured out his fury like fire. The Lord was as an enemy: he hath swallowed up Israel, he hath swallowed up all her palaces: he hath destroyed his strong holds, and hath increased in the daughter of Judah mourning and lamentation. And he hath violently taken away his tabernacle, as if it were of a garden: he hath destroyed his places of the assembly: the LORD hath caused the solemn feasts and sabbaths to be forgotten in Zion, and hath despised in the indignation of his anger the king and the priest. The Lord hath cast off his altar, he hath abhorred his sanctuary, he hath given up into the hand of the enemy the walls of her palaces; they have made a noise in the house of the LORD, as in the day of a solemn feast.

PRESENT GREAT TRIBULATION: God declares in Matthew 24:21:

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

          Parallel Number 2: THE PHYSICAL HOMELAND IN EACH PERIOD WAS AN EXTERNAL REPRESENTATION OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

JACOB: The land of Canaan, which the family of Jacob had to leave, was an external representation of the kingdom of God. Abram, the grandfather of Jacob, had been told in Genesis 17:8:

And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.

JUDAH: The land of Judah, which all of Israel was commanded to leave,  

Patterns

454

was also an external representation of the kingdom of God. This was so because the land of Judah and Jerusalem was an integral part of the land of Canaan (Isaiah 5:13; Jeremiah 5:30-31; Lamentations 1:8).

PRESENT GREAT TRIBULATION: The local churches physically in evidence throughout the world were a divine institution designed by God to be the place identified with true believers (Acts 2:41-47; I Corinthians 7:17; Revelation 2:1-5). Thus, it too was an external representation of the kingdom of God. That is why God frequently speaks of them as Jerusalem, Judaea, Zion, the temple, etc. (See The End of the Church Age and After, pages 62-67).

Parallel Number 3: THE PEOPLE OCCUPYING THAT HOMELAND WERE ALSO A REPRESENTATION OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

JACOB: The entire family of Jacob was also given the name Israel. Israel, which means Prince of God, is a name that is repeatedly used to signify the kingdom of God (Genesis 32:28; Isaiah 48:1-2).

JUDAH: All of the nation of Judah, which, after the year 709 B.C., included anyone who was a blood descendant of Abraham, was looked upon by God as the external representation of the kingdom of God (Psalms 74 and 137).

PRESENT GREAT TRIBULATION: All the members of the local congregations, which are located throughout the world, are an external representation of the kingdom of God.

Parallel Number 4: EACH HOMELAND HAS A LONG HISTORY OF OCCUPATION. THE NUMBERS OF YEARS HAVE WITHIN THEM NUMBERS SIGNIFYING JUDGMENT.

JACOB: Abraham had come to the land of Canaan in the year 2092 B.C. Jacob and his family were commanded to leave Canaan and go to Egypt 215 years later, in the year 1877 B.C. The number 215 breaks down into 5 x 43.

    5 signifies salvation or judgment
    43 signifies salvation or judgment

JUDAH: Israel became a kingdom with Saul as their first king in the year  

Patterns

455

1047 B.C. The kingdom of Israel ended in the year 587 B.C. when it was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon. 1,047 - 587 = 460 years. The number 460 breaks down into 2 x 10 x 23.

    2 signifies the caretakers of the Bible
    10 signifies completeness
    23 signifies judgment.

PRESENT GREAT TRIBULATION: The Church Age began a few weeks after Jesus returned to Heaven in A.D. 33. Satan took his seat, that is, he began to rule in the churches most likely in A.D. 1988.

    1,988 - 33 = 1,955 years. The number 1,955 breaks down into 5 x 17 x 23.
    5 signifies salvation or judgment
    17 signifies heaven
    23 signifies judgment.

Parallel Number 5: EACH TRIBULATION BEGAN WITH FAMINE.

JACOB: Genesis 41:54-56 declares:

And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do. And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt.

JUDAH: Jeremiah 21:6-7 declares:

And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence. And afterward, saith the LORD, I will deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people, and such as are left in this city from the pestilence, from the sword, and from the famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of their
 

Patterns

456

enemies, and into the hand of those that seek their life: and he shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not spare them, neither have pity, nor have mercy.

Jeremiah 14:1-4 declares:

The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah concerning the dearth. Judah mourneth, and the gates thereof languish; they are black unto the ground; and the cry of Jerusalem is gone up. And their nobles have sent their little ones to the waters: they came to the pits, and found no water; they returned with their vessels empty; they were ashamed and confounded, and covered their heads. Because the ground is chapt, for there was no rain in the earth, the plowmen were ashamed, they covered their heads.

PRESENT GREAT TRIBULATION: Amos 8:11 declares:

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.

A famine of hearing the Word of God means that God is no longer giving people in the churches ears to hear; that is, they hear the Word of God with their physical ears, but that Word is not spiritually applied to their hearts because God the Holy Spirit has left the churches.

In Revelation 11:7-8, we read of the killing of the two witnesses (the true believers) by the local congregations. They are not physically killed but they are killed in the sense that their voice is no longer heard in the congregation. They have been driven out of the congregation. This sad fact is recorded in Jeremiah 14:16:

And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; and they shall have none to bury them, them, their wives, nor their sons, nor their daughters: for I will pour their wickedness upon them.

I will pour their wickedness upon them is not referring to the wickedness of those who were killed. It is the wickedness of the killers. This idea is further expressed in Psalm 79:1-3:  

Patterns

457

O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps. The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth. Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them.

Because God has left the local congregations and because the true witnesses have been driven out, God is no longer applying the Word of God that is preached in these congregations to the lives of those people in the congregations. Therefore, it is like there is no Word of God being preached. Thus, the churches are experiencing intense spiritual famine.

Parallel Number 6: GREAT TRIBULATION: A TWO-PART PROGRAM.

JACOB: The seven years of famine that endured in the days of Joseph were divided into two significant parts. The first part was two years in length. During these two years, Jacob and his family remained in the land of Canaan even though there was great famine within the land of Canaan.

During the last five years of famine, Jacob and all of his family came into Egypt and remained there for the duration of the famine and even for a long time afterwards. Thus, the seven years was divided into a two-year part and a fiveyear part.

JUDAH: The great tribulation period that fell on Judah officially began in the year when the last God-fearing king who reigned over Judah was killed. That king was Josiah who was killed in battle in the year 609 B.C. This was the year that the seventy-year tribulation began for Judah. First they were subjugated to Egypt, and then they came under the authority of Babylon. In the year 587 B.C., Jerusalem and the nation of Judah were totally destroyed by the armies of Babylon. This was twenty-three years inclusive after King Josiah was killed in battle. During the remainder of the seventy years, Judah did not exist as a nation in the land of Canaan.

PRESENT GREAT TRIBULATION: The Great Tribulation spoken of in Matthew 24:21 is also divided into two periods. Revelation 18:8 speaks of the Final Tribulation as “one day” and Revelation 18:10, 17, and 19 as “one hour.” Likewise, Revelation 17:12 speaks of this time as “one hour.” In Revelation 14:7, this time is spoken of as the hour of His (God’s) judgment.  

Patterns

458

The context in which the above one-day and one-hour citations are found show that these phrases refer to the entire Great Tribulation period.

However, in Revelation 8:1, we read:

And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

We have shown that this half hour is the first part of the Great Tribulation period. This first period is followed by the remainder of the Great Tribulation period during which time, for the sake of the elect, that is, for the sake of those who had been elected by God to become saved and had not yet become saved, the Gospel continues to go into the world. However, it is a Gospel for which no local church, anywhere in the world, has any mandate or authority to bring it to the world. This latter period is spoken of in the Bible as the latter rain and as the time of the end of the year harvest (Matthew 13:39; James 5:7).

Parallel Number 7: THE FIRST PART OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION PERIOD FEATURES THE NUMBER 23.

JACOB: As we have learned, the great tribulation of Jacob’s day was divided into two parts. The first part was two years in length. Jacob and his family, which included all of Israel who lived in the land of Canaan at that time, left Canaan and came under the protection of Joseph during the remaining five years of famine. Genesis 45:6 declares:

For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.

A full two years equals 24 months. However, nowhere does the Bible say two full years in connection with the famine Jacob and the world were experiencing (compare Acts 7:23). Therefore, if 23 months had passed at which time Jacob came into Egypt, it would still be permissible language to state two years had passed.

There is precedence in the Bible to think of the number 24 as the number 23. In I Corinthians 10:8, we read:

Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
 

Patterns

459

This citation is speaking of a plague that came upon Israel just before they were to cross over the Jordan River into Canaan, the promised land. We read in Numbers 25:9:

And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.

This is truly a curious situation. Why does God give the number 24,000 in Numbers Chapter 25 and the number 23,000 in I Corinthians Chapter 10? We know there is no contradiction. The 23,000 is the number of those who were killed in one day. Thus, 1,000 of those who were killed in the plague were killed the day earlier or the day following the day when the 23,000 were killed.

But this is a significant reference because as we learned earlier, God speaks of the Great Tribulation as “one day” (Revelation 18:8). Thus, we see by the usage of the phrase “one day” that there exists an identification of the number 23 with the Great Tribulation. Therefore, since the two years of the famine are not specifically spoken of as two full years, and because they do identify with the great tribulation of Jacob’s day, could not the two years be looked upon as 23 months instead of 24 months, even as the plague featured in Numbers Chapter 25, in which 24,000 died, is identified with 23,000 in I Corinthians Chapter 10?

JUDAH: As we have learned, there was a distinct break in the seventy years of tribulation experienced by Judah. It was in the year 587 B.C. when Jerusalem was destroyed. This terrible tribulation began in the year 609 B.C. and continued to be experienced in the year 587 B.C. when Jerusalem was destroyed.

Therefore, 609 - 587 inclusive equals 23 years. The tribulation began in the year 609 B.C., and it was during the year 587 B.C. that Jerusalem was destroyed, indicating that both of these years can be included as the first part of this seventy-year tribulation period. We thus see that these 23 years inclusive identify with the probable 23 months of the tribulation experienced by Jacob.

PRESENT GREAT TRIBULATION: In the Book of Daniel, God prophesies concerning the coming of the Great Tribulation at the end of the world. During that time, Satan will be the apparent winner in the local churches. Daniel 8:11-12 describes his actions:

Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practised, and prospered.
 

Patterns

460

A commentary on these verses is recorded in Daniel 8:23-24, where we read:

And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.

These statements were fulfilled when the present Great Tribulation began. In this connection, the question is raised in Daniel 8:13:

Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?

The question is, “How long will Satan be able to prevail so that Christ and the Gospel are vanquished?” Remember we read earlier in Revelation 8:1 that there was silence for about one half hour. That half hour, which was the first part of the Great Tribulation, identifies with these verses we are reading in Daniel Chapter 8.

In answer to the question of how long this situation would continue, the answer is given in Daniel 8:14:

And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

The word “days” in this verse literally, in the original Hebrew, reads “evening mornings.” This is like the language of Genesis Chapter 1 where an evening morning was a day of twenty-four hours. Therefore, we would suspect that Daniel 8:14 is describing 2,300 twenty-four-hour days. At the end of these 2,300 days, the sanctuary (the holy place) would be cleansed (literally, “be made righteous”). This citation thus appears to be speaking either of the entire Great Tribulation period, or it can be speaking of the first part of the Great Tribulation period.

The key to this question must relate to the phrase “the holy place be made righteous.” Before the beginning of the Great Tribulation, the local churches were  

Patterns

461

the “holy place.” This is so because the Bible was present there, and these churches had been given the task of evangelizing the world. But then there was silence in Heaven for half an hour. Effectively, during this half-hour period, there was no salvation going on. However, immediately following this half hour of silence, came the latter rain. During the latter rain, the final harvest of true believers takes place, and the “holy” place shifts to the sending forth of the Gospel by individuals outside of the local congregations. Therefore, in that sense, the holy place has been cleansed or made righteous.

Thus, it would appear that the 2,300 days (evening mornings) of Daniel 8:14 is the literal duration of time of the first part of the Great Tribulation period. Thus, in the great tribulation of Jacob’s day, the first part of this period was in all likelihood to be considered as 23 months. Likewise, the first part of the seventyyear tribulation period that fell on Judah was 23 years, inclusively. And the first part of the Great Tribulation of our day, when Christ is judging the local congregations, is 2,300 literal days.

Parallel Number 8: THE ENTIRE GREAT TRIBULATION PERIOD RELATES TO THE NUMBER 84.

JACOB: The tribulation period experienced by Jacob encompassed seven years or 84 months.

JUDAH: The tribulation period experienced by Judah endured for seventy years, which is 840 months. Again the number 84 is in view.

PRESENT GREAT TRIBULATION: Earlier in our study, we learned from II Peter 3:8 that a day is as 1,000 years in God’s sight and 1,000 years is as a day. We also learned that this statement was made in the context of reminding us of the Flood of Noah’s day and of the coming end of the world at which time the entire universe will be destroyed by fire. We learned that A.D. 2011 is precisely 7,000 years after the Noachian Flood. Therefore, there is a distinct possibility that A.D. 2011 could be the year when the world is brought to an end.

We have also learned that A.D.1988 is the probable year when the Great Tribulation of our day began. The period from A.D. 1988 to A.D. 2011 spans 23 years, and given the fact that the number 23 is used in the Bible to signify judgment, we can see the likelihood that the entire period of the Great Tribulation could be 23 years. What is remarkable is the fact that each year has 365.2422 days within it. Thus, our calendar shows each year as 365 days with each fourth year as a leap year of 366 days. In a period of 23 years, there are five leap years. Thus, eighteen years of 365 days plus five years of 366 days equals a total of  

Patterns

462

exactly 8,400 days. Thus, we see that the number 84 is also prominently in evidence in the present Great Tribulation period just as it was in the tribulation periods experienced by Jacob and by Judah.

Parallel Number 9: GOD TESTS THE BELIEVERS BY COMMANDING THEM TO LEAVE THEIR HOMELAND.

JACOB: As we learned earlier, because of the famine in Canaan (the land that externally typified the kingdom of God), Jacob and his entire family were commanded to leave Canaan and go to Egypt. We read in Genesis 45:9-10:

Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not: and thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast.

That this was God’s plan for Jacob is emphasized by the language of Genesis 46:2-3:

And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation.

Therefore, we read in Genesis 46:5-7:

And Jacob rose up from Beersheba: and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. And they took their cattle, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him: his sons, and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters, and all his seed brought he with him into Egypt.

This meant that God had abandoned the land of Canaan leaving it to be possessed only by unbelievers.

JUDAH: In similar manner, at the time great tribulation had come upon Judah and Jerusalem, God commanded in Jeremiah 21:8-10:  

Patterns

463

And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death. He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey. For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the LORD: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.

In similar fashion, God declared in Jeremiah 38:2-3:

Thus saith the LORD, He that remaineth in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth forth to the Chaldeans shall live; for he shall have his life for a prey, and shall live. Thus saith the LORD, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which shall take it.

This meant that God had abandoned Jerusalem and Judaea so that they would be possessed only by unbelievers.

PRESENT GREAT TRIBULATION: As we learned earlier, the 24th chapter of Matthew teaches very plainly about this time of Great Tribulation that has come just prior to the end of the world. In Matthew 24:15-16, God commands:

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.

The holy place and Judaea signify the local churches that are located all over the world. They are the holy place because throughout the Church Age, they had been entrusted with the Bible by which they had been commanded to send the Gospel into all of the world. But now Satan, as the man of sin, who in this verse is called the “abomination of desolation,” is ruling in all the local congregations, and the believers have been commanded to flee to the mountains. The mountains are a figure pointing to God Himself. We read in Psalm 121:1:

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
 

Patterns

464

In this verse, the word “hills” can also be translated “mountains.” The local churches have become Babylon because Christ has abandoned them and given them to Satan, who is typified by the king of Babylon, to rule over. This is stated, for example, in II Thessalonians 2:3-4:

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Satan is called a man because in Isaiah Chapter 14, he is typified by the man Nebuchadnezzar who was king over Babylon. To take one’s seat is a figure of speech that expresses rulership. Thus, God commands the believers, in Revelation 18:4:

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

Thus, we must understand that God has abandoned the local congregations, leaving them entirely to unbelievers.

Parallel Number 10: TRUE BELIEVERS WHO OBEY THE COMMAND TO COME OUT ARE UNDER GOD’S PROTECTION.

JACOB: Jacob and all of his family came to Egypt and settled in the land of Goshen. They were under the care and protection of Joseph who, as the ruler second only to Pharaoh, was a type of the Lord Jesus Christ.

JUDAH: Judah was told in Jeremiah 29:4-7:

Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon; Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be
 

Patterns

465

carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.

PRESENT GREAT TRIBULATION: Those who have been driven out of the local congregations, or in obedience to God’s command have come out of the local congregations, continue under the protection of Christ who has promised the true believer: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5b).

Parallel Number 11: THE LAND OR LOCATION FROM WHICH THE TRUE BELIEVERS HAVE COME OUT WILL CONTINUE TO BE WITHOUT THE PRESENCE OF TRUE BELIEVERS TO THE END OF THE GREAT TRIBULATION.

JACOB: The Great Tribulation is identified with a seven-year famine. When Jacob and his family left Canaan to go into Egypt, the land of Canaan was left to those who follow Satan (unbelievers), and the famine continued until the end of the seven-year tribulation period (Genesis 45:4-13, 17-21; 46:1-27; Acts 7:11-15).

JUDAH: When Judah and Jerusalem entered into this seventy-year tribulation period, those who remained under the blessing of God lived in Babylon. For the entire time of this tribulation, after Babylon destroyed Jerusalem, the land of Israel remained as a hostage of Babylon, and Israel could not return. It was only at the end of this seventy-year period that Israel could return to Jerusalem.

PRESENT GREAT TRIBULATION: This tribulation will continue until the end of the world when Christ appears as the Judge of all the earth. The local churches will be experiencing the action of God in preparing them for the last day. This action of God’s wrath upon them will continue all the way to the end of the world. Those who remain in them will be sent a strong delusion (II Thessalonians 2:11). To use the language of the parable of the wheat and tares (Matthew 13:27- 30), they are the tares that are bound in bundles to be burned.

Parallel Number 12: EACH TRIBULATION PERIOD IDENTIFIES WITH THE NUMBER 43, MAKING THE NUMBER 43, IN THESE CASES, IDENTIFY WITH JUDGMENT.

JACOB: The number 43 is prominent in two ways. First of all, it was after 215 years of occupancy in the land of Canaan that Jacob came into Egypt. The  

Patterns

466

The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell: and if thou knowest any men of activity among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.

Throughout the Bible, God uses the idea of shepherds to represent those who are to bring the Gospel. For example, Jesus is the Good Shepherd, and the true believers are His sheep (John 10:7-15). JUDAH: In Jeremiah 29:4-7 we read:

Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon; Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.

PRESENT GREAT TRIBULATION: The true believers live in the world but they are living here as representatives or ambassadors of the Gospel. They are the two witnesses of Revelation 11:11 who during the second part of the Great Tribulation stand on their feet and “ . . . the Spirit of life from God entered into them . . . and great fear fell upon them which saw them.” The true believers have come out of the local churches, the external representation of the kingdom of God during the Church Age. And to “seek the peace of the city” is altogether identified with the true believers, outside of the local congregations, who bring the Gospel to the world with Christ as the Prince of Peace. The fear of God comes upon those whom the Holy Spirit is saving as they hear the true Gospel that is sent into all the world during the second part of the Great Tribulation.

Parallel Number 14: THE DIVISION OF EACH TRIBULATION PERIOD INTO PARTS IS VERY SIMILAR.

Please note the similarities as shown in the following chart.  

Patterns

468

JACOB
First part was 2 yearsEntire Tribulation was 7 years
2 years equals 28.6% of 7 years
JUDAH
First part was 22 yearsEntire tribulation was 70 years
22 years equals 31.4% of 70 years
PRESENT GREAT TRIBULATION
First part equals 2,300 days Entire Great Tribulation appears to be 23 years, which equals 8,400 days
2,300 days equals 27.4% of 8,400 days

It is very significant that these three events, which superficially appear to be altogether unrelated, are so similar in their time relationships. We know that it is extremely unlikely that these similarities are merely coincidental. In each case, the period of time encompassed by the entire event is broken very decisively into two parts. In all three, the ratio of the first part of each event to the whole time of the event is nearly the same. This can only be true because all three events follow the same pattern.

We should be greatly impressed by these fourteen parallels that exist between the patterns themselves. We should be even more impressed by these fourteen parallels that exist between the two patterns on the one hand and the present Great Tribulation on the other. These many parallels can be true only if we have correctly understood God’s Timetable for the final end of history that encompasses this present Great Tribulation period. We are given great assurance that our present understanding of the timetable of the unfolding of God’s salvation plan during this present Great Tribulation is accurate. We must remember that all of this material is derived solely from the Bible. Because it is new to our ears does not in any way diminish its value and authority as truth.

Again it should be emphasized: We should be greatly impressed that God in His divine mercy has hidden within the Bible these two patterns of the Great Tribulation of our present time. Thus, we can receive great assurance that our understanding of the bits and pieces of information that were scattered throughout the Bible have been correctly assembled and understood.  

Patterns

469

A Brief Summary

By means of the two Biblical patterns which we have just extensively examined, God has very carefully given us the design and character of the events that must take place just prior to the end of the world. These Biblical patterns that were set forth when the Patriarch Jacob and his family entered into Egypt in the year 1877 B.C., and when Jerusalem was devastated by the Babylonians in the year 587 B.C., in fourteen different ways demonstrate what we should expect regarding the closing events prior to the end of the world.

Significantly, now that we are more than halfway through the expected timetable of these closing events, we have seen that everything called for in the Bible, which relates to these closing events, appears to be right on schedule.

Moreover, we should recall that in II Peter Chapter 3, God spoke about the worldwide judgment of the Noachian Flood together with a clear statement of the coming Judgment at the end of the world when the whole universe will be consumed by fire. We have learned that, in that chapter of the Bible, God strongly appears to link the date of the Noachian Flood, 4990 B.C., to A.D. 2011, which comes precisely 7,000 years after the Noachian Flood, as the date for the Final Judgment. 4,990 + 2,011 - 1 = 7,000 years. (Remember, we must subtract one year when adding Old Testament years to New Testament years because there is no year zero.)

Furthermore, we have taken note of the fact that the last time God spoke to Old Testament prophets, giving them information that became an integral part of the Bible, was in the year 391 B.C. The last time God will speak in the New Testament era will be on the last day of this world’s existence when He will come with the voice of Christ as the Chief Messenger (I Thessalonians 4:16). It appears that will happen in A.D. 2011. Surely it is not coincidental or accidental that 391 + 2,011 - 1 = 2,401 years, and that the number 2,401 is made up of the extremely significant numbers 7 x 7 x 7 x 7. As we noted in Chapter 8 of this book, the number 7 signifies complete perfection, and the number 4 (4 sevens) signifies universality or the extreme end. We do know that the end of the world will be the end of time when all of God’s work in connection with the existence of this universe will have been perfectly completed.

Additionally, we have taken note that, in connection with the history of the world, there are three great judgments in view:

  1. The Judgment on the world by means of the Noachian Flood.

  2. The Judgment on Christ as He went to the cross to pay for the sins of each and every person who would become saved.
 

Patterns

470

  1. The Judgment at the end of the world when all of the unsaved are judged.

We also learned that the number 23 invariably signifies God’s Judgment. Therefore, we must also be impressed that the following parallels exist between the timing of these three judgments.

  1. 11,013 B.C. (Creation year) to 4990 B.C. (Noachian Flood Judgment year) = 6,000 + 23 years.
  2. 4990 B.C. (Noachian Flood Judgment year) to A.D. 33 (year when Christ was judged) = 5,000 years inclusive + 23 years.
  3. 11,013 B.C. (Creation year) to A.D. 2011 (possible Final Judgment year) = 13,000 + 23 years.

Indeed, we wonder how likely is it that all of the above is coincidental or accidental. Surely, we must take into very serious consideration the likelihood that A.D. 2011 may be the year that ends this world’s existence. And we must act in light of the Bible’s admonitions clearly stated in Hebrews 2:1-5:

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.

Remember II Peter 3:11-12:

Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
 

Patterns

471

But now, we should briefly examine what the Bible teaches concerning that which takes place following the end of time.


Chapter 10 Table of Contents Chapter 12