Something has been bothering me for a long time. Years actually. You know, how sometimes someone will make a statement, and you think to yourself “that’s not right! I know it’s wrong, but I just can’t quite place my finger on it”. That’s what it was like for me.
It concerns a small phrase that a demon said to Jesus Christ, some 2,000 years ago.
And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? Matthew 8:29
I have heard pastors, and recently Brannon Howse, of Worldview Weekend say “Satan doesn’t know when the End Times are, so he always has to have an Antichrist waiting in the wings.”
The problem with this statement is that the demons do know approximately how much time they have, which is very apparent in this statement from Matthew 8. There is no way the demon could have made this statement to Jesus, if he didn’t have a pretty good idea of how much time he had left.
If the Son of God had come to torment him, then it must be the time! Unless, God had already indicated approximately how much time they have. He knew he had some two thousand years to go, so why was the Son of God interfering with him now?
I am so surprised at how so many Christians read this and it just doesn’t register. I shouldn’t be, I guess, since it took so long to register with me.
Hosea said something totally relevant to this subject;
I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early. 6:1 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. 2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. Hosea 5:15-6:2
Jesus left this planet some forty days after he was raised from the dead. Hosea here is telling us that His return is based on the time he left. He will return two days from when He left, not two days from the time Israel calls for Him, as some have tried to say. The “affliction” in verse 15 is the Tribulation period.
Will Israel live for only one 24 hour day in God’s sight? No, they will live and reign with Him a thousand years, along with the Church! The third day is the third thousand-year-day after the ascension! He is saying that Jesus won’t return for Israel until after the first two “days” are over.
Peter, referring to Psalm 90:4, told us that the statement “A day with the lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” is a direct reference to Jesus’ return, and to the days of Hosea 6:2;
3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of… 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. 2 Peter 3:3-5, 8
If Hosea is telling us that Jesus’ return won’t occur until 2,000 years are over, and it appears this is what he is saying, then His return is not imminent until that time. If the demon in Matt 8:29 knew that he had at least 2,000 years to go, then it stands to reason that Satan doesn’t have to have an Antichrist waiting until the End Times. What were men like Nero, Dioclesian, Napoleon Bonaparte, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao, then? Practice runs, dress rehearsals, and attacks on the gospel, but none of these men were ever intended to be the real Antichrist. I also think that he will produce another before the real Antichrist shows up.
The author of Hebrews also speaks of the reign of Christ as if it is a Sabbath, or seventh day, rest.
4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. 5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. 6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: 7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. 8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. Hebrews 4:4-9 (Note: the Jesus here is Joshua)
The day of the Lord is a thousand-year-day which begins with the Tribulation, and Armageddon, and goes on throughout the millennial reign of Christ. This is the seventh day of the earth’s history. This is why God gave Israel the sabbath as a day of rest. It is a picture of the coming reign of Christ.
When Christians changed the Sabbath to Sun-day they changed the picture God gave us and made it meaningless. It is true that we can, and should, worship Christ every day of the week, but it is wrong to say the command has been changed to Sun-day. There is no place where Scripture says the command has been changed from the Sabbath to Sun-day. It was changed because the pope claims to have the authority to change the commands of God. This is another reason why the protestants are daughters of the Harlot.
Getting back to my point; If the whole of earth’s history will be wrapped up in one week, then it is wrong to say that Jesus could have returned at some point before the end of the second thousand years after the ascension. It is still true that no man knows the day nor the hour of His return, but we do indeed know the season, and we will see the signs shortly before the time. It is important that we are watching for those signs.