When does the Bible indicate that the tribulation will begin?
Consider the timeline in relation to II Peter 3:8:
“But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
Consider it is also in conjunction with Genesis Chapter 1 in which the creation of the world, the universe, and all that is in them, including mankind is described as being completed in six days.
Notice that the first six days of creation were for man’s benefit (Isaiah 45:18 says that the earth was formed to be inhabited), but the seventh day was for God – a day of rest. So, consider the following hypothesis: If 1,000 years is to God as a day, according to the timeline, we can see that man has just about used up his “six days” or 6,000 years (if our calendars are at all accurate). Are we about to enter into God’s day – the “seventh day” or the final 1,000 years?
We are seeing the signs of the times in the wars, earthquakes, famines, and pestilences we hear about on the news daily. Terms being used today such as “global economy,” “global politics,” and “new age” are all indicative of the fact that we are very close to the end of our age. The stage is being set for Daniel’s 70th week (see Daniel 9).
“Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, `How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.'”
Move on to Chapter 11. We’ve come through the blind man which was healed of blindness which he had since birth; sin is mentioned as well as with the impotent man; they were next to the pool which indicated a need for cleansing. Now to Lazarus and he’s dead.
“Then when Jesus came, he found that he (Lazarus) had lain in the grave four days already.”
What does I Peter say in regard to a day in God’s mind? A thousand years is but a day, and a day is but a thousand years. So, picking up the analogy that we are dealing with the Nation of Israel just like the blind man who had been blind since birth, how long has the Nation of Israel literally been spiritually dead? 4000 years. That takes you back to Abraham at 2000 BC So, I think the four days of Lazarus’ death is an indication that Israel, nationally, is spending 4000 years spiritually dead. But what will happen at the end of the 4000 years? She will be brought back to life. I realize this is a little bit backwards, but come back to verse 6; hopefully you are getting the picture. But here in verse 6, word came to Jesus that Lazarus was sick, and they knew that if Jesus would come that He could heal him.
“When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he (purposely) abode two days still in the same place where he was.” And then what will He do? He will go to where Lazarus is and raise him from the dead. Look at the Book of Hosea for a moment:
“COME, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.” The pronouns here are the Nation of Israel.
“After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.”
What are the two days? Well the two days since the Cross is how long? 2000 years. What’s going to be the third thousand years? The Kingdom. See how beautifully this all fits. Now, back to Lazarus for a moment. He calls Lazarus forth. Does Lazarus contribute anything? Nothing. Remember he came out of the tomb. And that is the picture of Israel. One day they are going to be called back to life, nationally, and we will get to it in our next lesson.