“Time” is an immutable unit of measure. It is the universal benchmark to measure the productivity of all resources in the business world. The growth of assets, i.e. profit, is measured for a specific period of time. Interest is always calculated as a function of time, predominantly a year. A year is defined as the precise time it takes for the earth to orbit the sun. Time cannot be hoarded, accelerated, slowed, or stopped; it can only be utilized as it passes at an incessant rate. The earth is traveling at approximately 66,000 mph as it makes its annual trek around the sun. And on the way it rotates on its axis every 24 hours and tilts as it orbits to determine the seasons.
As one would expect, a concept as important as the time dimension has a biblical basis. Time is expressed in the Bible either as a point in time, i.e. “when,” or as a period of time, i.e. “how long.”
“Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens…and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years…” Genesis 1:14
The solar system is the original chronometer, or clock. It determines and measures the time dimension and in turn helps us to understand biblical history and prophecy.
There are several significant numbers used in the Bible relative to the time dimension. Perhaps the most significant is the number 7 and multiples thereof. The first reference to the number 7 relates to the first week.
“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work…, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” Genesis 2:1-2
There is a profound application of this concept that we can apply as a teaching tool to allow us to understand the future.
And the LORD spoke to Moses…“When you come into the land which I give you…Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the LORD…” Leviticus 25:2-4
The Israelites were further told that if they disobeyed these instructions they would be exiled into a foreign land. History confirms that they did in fact disobey.
Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts; “Because you have not heard My words…shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.” Jeremiah 25:8, 11
The period of exile was 70 years which equaled the total number of Sabbaths that they had profaned. This meant that they had missed 70 Sabbaths which covered the total period of 490 years.
“…he carried away to Babylon…to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.” 2 Chronicles 36:20-21
A similar period of time outlines the end of this age. The prophet Daniel is given a profound revelation by the angel Gabriel.
“Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city…” Daniel 9:24
The Hebrew base for the word “weeks” means a week of years or 7 years. Therefore, the time period in the above scripture is 70 weeks of 7 years each or 490 years. The 70 weeks were then broken down into three segments of 7 weeks, 62 weeks, and 1 week.
“There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks…and after the sixty-two weeks Messiah (Christ) shall be cut off, but not for Himself…Then he (antichrist) shall confirm a covenant with many for one week…” Daniel 9:23-27
Therefore, the end of the 69th week would be marked by the death of Christ. This prophecy was fulfilled in finite detail. Then if 483 years of the prophecy have been fulfilled, there remains 7 years to complete the total of 490 years.
And so it is. The 7 remaining years commonly referred to as Daniel’s 70th week is yet to be fulfilled. The Bible did not reveal that there would be a time gap between the 483rd year and the final 7 year period. After Christ was crucified God set Israel aside temporarily and turned His attention on establishing the “church.” The sequence of events leading up to the death of Christ is well documented by history and the events of the approaching 7 year period are well documented by prophecy.
According to the Bible this 7 year time period will immediately precede Christ’s return to Jerusalem with great power to establish His earthly rule. The end of the 7 year period will be clearly known.
“For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven…”
“But of the day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matthew 24:27, 29, 36-39
The return of Christ will be experienced by everyone then living on the earth. Sadly the Bible reveals that history will repeat itself as people will not be watching for His return and will be living as if the Bible was a myth.