Timing is everything
When telling a joke -– the pregnant pause leading to the
punch-line is all important. In sport, some people have the knack of hitting a
ball for miles -– this achievement is not dependant on the size of the
individual, but on the timing of the stroke. Even turning up for work 'on time'
affects the dynamic within the workplace. Timing is everything! When the timing
is not quite right, the effect or outcome of the activity is minimised. When
dealing with bible prophecy, one of the natural enemies of our humanity is
impatience. As Habakuk 2:3 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." Sometimes in our enthusiasm we
interpret 'before the time' and grow erroneous fruit.
References to Gods prophetic clock -– and a great deal of
discussion and commentary around specific current events in relation to biblical
prophecy gathered momentum following the historic '1948 miracle' - Israel
becoming a Nation.
It has been largely accepted that the prophetic time piece
began to tick from May 15, 1948 - the fig tree spoken of in Matthew 24
midrashically referring to Israel. Barry (Smith) used to teach that 1967 was
another significant date, which could represent the 'start of this
generation' -– in that year Jerusalem was put back in Jewish hands for
the first time in 2520 years. Ezekiel's prophecy in chapter 37:12 refers to
the 'dry bones' (Jewish people) being called out of their 'graves'
(graves: referring to any country the Jewish people lived in other than the land
of Israel), and being 'revived, or brought back to life' (returning to the
land which God had called them to).
At this point the fig tree begins to bud and put forth
leaves, and what commences is the all important timeline for those who watch the
Scriptures and the signs of the times: 'this generation shall not pass
until all of these things be fulfilled' Matt 12:34. The big question has
always been 'which generation was Jesus referring to?' From the Greek word
genea (generation) -– meaning space of time, this writer, along with many bible
theologians, prophetic commentators and Rabbis alike interpret this
generation to being the generation immediately following the birth of the
Nation of Israel in 1948. As with any midrashic type or picture, there can be
many fulfilments of a given prophecy, but one final or ultimate fulfilment...so
Jesus was making reference to both the generation of people He was speaking
with, and to us!
The timing of Bible prophecy and the ability to correctly
interpret events as foretold in the Scriptures was discussed in Daniel 12:4 "But
thou oh Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even unto the time of the
end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase". An increase in
knowledge -– and many running to and fro. Daniel is uncertain of the timing
(verse 6) "...how long shall it be to the end of these wonders?" The answer
given (verse 7) "a time, times and an half." Well, thank goodness knowledge
will increase -– hopefully we'll 'get it' soon. Interestingly, Daniel
himself found the answer something of a riddle, and asked again (verse 8) "...Oh
my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?" And He said "Go thy way
Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end."
Then, a context is painted -– a context which I believe is fore-shadowed by the
contexts of Noah, and Lot -– (Verse 10) "Many shall be purified and made
white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall
understand: but the wise will understand."
An increase in knowledge in the sciences, communication,
business technology and manufacturing technology is evident. I quote from a book
"Why I believe...these are the last days" (published by Southwest Radio
1. 75% of all medicines and drugs in use today have been
discovered in our lifetime.
2. 90% of all the scientists who have ever lived are alive
3. The atom has been split and nuclear weapons are so
destructive that one such device exceeds in power all the bombs and artillery
shells exploded in world war one and world war two combined.
4. There has been development of a space exploration program
that has sent men to the moon, and space ships to other planets in our solar
5. There is exaltation of man's intelligence through an
education explosion which boasts the doubling of mans knowledge every two and a
6. There has been the invention and development of radio,
television, and other mass communication systems with capabilities to broadcast
news around the world in a matter of seconds.
7. There has been the invention and development of the
computer, making possible a cashless economic system whereby all the world may
one day be working, buying, and selling with nothing more than code marks and
Let's keep a biblical perspective of an increase in
knowledge though. Knowledge has increased in all areas, with it material wealth
has increased, and we are truly in a superior position than any other group of
people before us -– BUT the most pampered generation of all time is less happy!
The human condition - the heart of man has not improved for all of our increased
knowledge. Ghandi was asked what he thought about Western Civilisation. "Yes"
he replied. "I think it would be a good idea."
I think I agree with Mahatma -– so does 2 Timothy 3:7,
speaking of the end times, which tells us that there will come a time when
people will be, "Ever learning, and never able to come to a knowledge of the
truth". And we know that the truth sets us free.
2 Thessalonians 2 further adds (verses 10-11) "...because
they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, and
for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a
Knowledge will increase -– but only the wise will understand
People will be ever learning -– but never able to come
to a knowledge of the truth.
Those who don't love truth -– will be sent (by God) a lie.
Sometimes, the truth of God will 'offend us' and we will
choose 'our own way' rather than take up the challenge of God's truth. The
rich young ruler had done everything he felt he needed to do when he asked Jesus
the question "Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus
reply was exactly what the rich young ruler did not want to hear - 'You have
money -– it is your treasure, give it to the poor'...
Our first loyalty must be to God's truth -– for then
knowledge will increase.