The Thing That
By Pastor F. M. Riley
March 14, 2018
"The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be: and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun," Ecclesiastes 1:9.
Solomon was right! Over many years in the Lord's ministry, intensely studying God's inspired Word, I have repeatedly seen how events which have occurred in the past, have been repeated day, years, or centuries later in human history. This is still happening today, even as I write.
These repetitions of events, especially spiritual events, are referred to in the New Testament numerous times as types and shadows, Colossians 2:16-17; Hebrews 8:5; 10:1.
In this study, by the grace of God, it is my intention to take the greatest event which has ever happened in human history, and demonstrate to our readers how it is just about ready to happen again, but this time to all true believers. Please carefully read every word in this study, and then rush to share with others what you have just read.
The Crucifixion of Christ
Some 2,000 years ago, the Lord Jesus came into the world, born as the Son of Mary and the Holy Spirit of God, a perfect sinless man; a true human being, for the express purpose of sacrificing Himself in order to redeem fallen mankind from sin and death. He repeatedly told those to whom He was preaching that He would be rejected and crucified by His own chosen people to whom He had been sent, Matthew 15:24; 26:1-2. And so it happened exactly as Christ Himself had predicted.
The Timing of His Crucifixion
On the calendar which the Lord God gave to the nation and people of Israel in Exodus 12, the first month of the Jewish year is the month of Abib. Centuries later, when disobedient Israel suffered 70 years of Babylonian captivity, the name of that first month was changed to Nisan. So any place the inspired Word speaks of Abib or Nisan, it is speaking of the same month; the first month of the year on the Jewish calendar.
The Lord Jesus Himself predicted the "date" of His crucifixion in the passage in Matthew 26:2; "Ye know that after two days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified." And so it happened exactly as the Lord predicted. The Lord Jesus Christ was crucified on the Jewish Passover. The Jewish Passover always occurs on the 14th day of Abib on the Jewish calendar, Leviticus 23:5.
The Lord's body was then released to a wealthy disciple of Christ, Joseph of Arimathea, and buried that same day in Joseph's tomb which he had made for himself; a tomb in the beautiful garden of Gethsemane. This is why some today say that the Lord was buried in "a rich man's tomb." Because it was Passover, and the next day was "the feast of unleavened bread," regarded as a special sabbath by the Jews, the disciples of Christ rushed to prepare the Lord's body for burial before the day would end at sundown [approx. 6 p.m.]. This too was spiritually significant, for the Lord had repeatedly told His disciples that He would be in the grave for three days and three nights, Matthew 12:40; Mark 8:31; John 2:18-22. And so it came to pass exactly as the Lord Jesus had predicted.
The Timing of the Resurrection of Christ
The crucifixion of Christ was carried out on Wednesday, Abib 14. His body was placed in the tomb before sundown; the beginning of a new day as the Jews reckon time. His body was then in the grave Thursday night, Thursday day, Friday night, Friday day, Saturday night, and Saturday day, exactly 72 hours. The Lord then was resurrected or raised from the dead exactly at the moment that Saturday was ending and Sunday, the weekly Sabbath was beginning, thereby fulfilling Jewish Law, and His own predictions to the letter. Glory to God!
Another way of setting forth this same truth is that the body of Christ Jesus was in the grave on the 15th, 16th, and 17th of the Jewish month of Abib, and was raised exactly as the 17th ended and the 18th began.
Yes, I am very much emphasizing this truth for our readers, for I have a purpose in doing so.
The Dispensation of Grace
This present Dispensation of Grace was to be a 2,000 year period of time, or in God's reckoning of time, "two days" in God's great week, Psalm 90:4; 2 Peter 3:8. This two day, or 2,000 year, period of time is typified over and over again throughout both the Old and New Testaments. The Lord Himself, during His personal ministry, repeatedly taught that He would be gone from Israel for "two days," before He will return. Dear readers, those "two days" have, or are about, to expire, and it is time for the Lord to come again.
The Signs of the Times
The Lord Himself told His disciples over and over again to "watch," and gave to us various "signs" that we were to watch for, which would indicate the shortness of time and the soon coming of the Lord Jesus to resurrect and rapture His Church and all true believers to glory.
In Matthew 16:1-3, the Pharisees and Sadducees, the religious leaders of Israel at that time, came to the Lord Jesus, asking Him to give them a "sign" as proof that He was indeed the promised and long awaited Messiah of Israel. What the Lord gave them on that occasion was a blistering rebuke, ".....O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the time?"
This same question could be asked of many religious people today. Folks, one "sign" after another, which the Lord told us believers in His Word to "watch" for, has already come to pass in these days in which we are living.
One of the most recent and important "signs" set forth in God's Word, was the Solar Eclipse [August 31, 2017] and the Lunar Eclipse [January 31, 2018], in which the Sun was darkened, and the Moon became blood red. The inspired Scriptures explicitly state that these "signs" would occur just before "the day of the Lord" [the Tribulation], and now they have occurred. If the reader is a true believer, don't you think you should be "watching" for the Lord's coming?
The Timing of the Resurrection and Rapture
Some of our readers may not be aware of it, but in correlating the Jewish calendar with our Gentile calendar, the first month on the Jewish calendar during this present year begins on March 18th; which is also the 1st day of Abib. This is two days before the official beginning of Spring. So is this important?
Read the Song of Solomon 2:8-13, which speaks of the rapture of the Lord's Church and people taking place during the Spring of the year.
Then fourteen days later, March 31st, is the 14th day of Abib, the Jewish Passover, and the day Christ was crucified.
The next day is then Abib 15, and Easter, the day America has set aside to observe the resurrection of Christ. But it is also firstfruits, the day a sheaf of firstfruits is brought to the Jewish priest, and he waves that sheaf in the air before the Lord, Leviticus 23:10-11. This waving of the sheaf in the air by the priest in ancient times was a type or promise of the future resurrection to come; a type of the resurrection of Christ Jesus, and of the believer in Christ. Glory! Glory to God!
In relation to the Passover on Wednesday, Abib 14, the Lord Jesus Christ came forth from the grave three days and three nights later on Abib 18. This year Abib 18 falls on Wednesday, April 4th. Isn't this fascinating? Is it possible that the resurrection of New Covenant believers will take place on April 18th, the same date on which Christ was raised from the dead? Or does the Lord God regard His resurrection and the resurrection of His people as an unbroken sequence? Carefully read Ephesians 2:4-6, and see how the Lord speaks to you.
Oh glory to God! No! I do not have the answers to these questions myself, but we don't have long to wait to find the answers. However, it certainly appears that here is a classical example of Solomon's statement, "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be: and that which is done is that which shall be done:....." The crucifixion and resurrection of Christ Jesus occurred on these very days of the week, I have pointed out in this study, and is appears that our resurrection and rapture is going to take place in a repetition of those same days. "Coincidence?" Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Glory to God! We true believers are going "home."
The first Bible Study I wrote and posted this year was about 2018 being the year of the resurrection and rapture of God's people. I have had no reason during these first three months to change my mind.
I do hope and pray that every reader of this study has been saved, by placing your personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of your soul. If not, or if there should be any doubts in your mind, please, please, read, and ask God in prayer for the grace to believe John 3:16, 3:18, 3:36, 5:24, 14:6, Acts 4:12, 16:30-31, Romans 10:8-13, Galatians 3:26, Ephesians 2:8-10, and many other precious Scriptures in God's Word setting forth "the way" of salvation. I truly do want to meet you face to face in glory when our Lord comes for us. Please don't disappoint me!
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Permission is granted to any true believer, or Bible believing Christian ministry, to reproduce this study to share with others, or to quote from it in context as written.
Once more I truly thank my dear readers for their love, prayers, and gifts, for this ministry and this old preacher, which some have shown from time to time. Your blessings upon this old preacher man and this ministry are truly appreciated, and this comes from my heart.
Please address all comments, questions, and correspondence to me at: Pastor F. M. Riley, 14275 County Road 8120, Rolla, Missouri 65401.
My new email address is: email@example.com.
Those who would like to speak to me personally can reach me by phone at: 573-202-6493. I am an old man, and not in the best of health. When you call, please let the phone ring until I have time to get to it.
May God bless every reader with His grace is my prayer.
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