Three Periods Of Time
Dr. Joe Temple

Introduction

Open your Bibles, please, to the book of Daniel, chapter 12. We will begin our reading with verse 5:

Daniel 12:

5Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.
6And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?
7And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
8And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
9And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
10Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.
11And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
12Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.
13But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

Shall we bow our heads together for prayer: Our Father, we have read Thy Word and we acknowledge before Thee our need of the anointing of the Holy Spirit, that the message of Thy Word may be delivered in the power of the Spirit. We ask, our God, that those who listen may be enlightened, that the truth of this particular portion of the Word of God may be understood. For we pray in Jesus' name and for His sake. Amen.

An Epilogue To The Book Of Daniel

For the past several weeks we have been thinking about the last vision in the book of Daniel, beginning with chapter 10 and going through verse 4 of chapter 12. The verses which we have just read are somewhat of an epilogue—that which follows the main body of any particular book.

The epilogue is related to a number of questions which arose from the material which was presented through Daniel and subsequently to us in the vision, for the vision which Daniel had, you will remember, was related to the time of the end. Daniel wanted to know more about the time of the end, as did the angels who were standing there by the River Ulai, as is indicated in verse 5:

Daniel 12:

5…Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river.

The Vision Seen By Daniel

Were we to take the time to go back to chapter 10, we would find that Daniel is in exactly the same place where he was when the vision first began. But new personalities have appeared, for there was only one person when Daniel first began to look at this vision; this we see in verse 6:

Daniel 12:

6And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river…

The man clothed in linen was upon the waters of the river, or more accurately above the waters of the river. This verse of Scripture does not say he was sitting or standing on the water; it says he was above the waters of the river in a cloud. We discovered when we were looking at chapter 10 that this man is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. So the angels asked the Lord Jesus Christ about the time of the end, the length of it.

The Length Of Time

Listen closely to what we are talking about. They were not asking how much longer it was to be before the time of the end began; they were asking how many days would be encompassed by the period of time known as the time of the end. The answer is given by the Lord Jesus Christ to the angels in verse 7, and we will be looking at that in a few moments. But Daniel as well asked the question in verse 8 when he said, “O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?” That is, “How much time is allotted for the end of these things about which we are talking?” In verse 11 the Lord Jesus Christ gave Daniel a period of time, and again in verse 12 the Lord Jesus Christ gave Daniel a period of time.

So in this paragraph at which we are looking, there are three periods of time which are given as being related to the period of time referred to as “the time of the end.”

The first period of time which was given by the Lord Jesus Christ as an answer to the angels is not new. We have seen it in chapter 8 of the book of Daniel. We have seen it in the book of Revelation, and we will notice that particularly in a few moments. But the two other periods of time, the one which is given in verse 11 and the one which is given in verse 12, are found nowhere else in the Word of God. Daniel is the only individual who gives us this particular information.

God Deals With Man In Set Periods Of Time

In these introductory remarks, I have made reference again and again to a certain period of time, and I would like to say that unless we understand that God deals with the human race on the basis of periods of time, or on the basis of ages, we will not be able to understand this passage of Scripture. So though this may be repetition for some, I would like to lay some groundwork for our understanding of this particular portion of the Word of God.

Turn with me in your New Testaments, please, to the book of Hebrews, chapter 1. In this chapter we have a record of the manner in which God is speaking to the human race in these days. We read from verse 1:

Hebrews 1:

1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Let us stop for just a moment and think about what we have read. The first verse tells us that in times prior to the New Testament times—that is, in times prior to the time when the Lord Jesus Christ came to the earth—God spoke to the human race through the prophets. The Old Testament is full of the writings of the prophets. But from the time when the Lord Jesus Christ came to the earth on to the present hour, God has spoken to us through the Lord Jesus Christ. He has spoken to us through the apostles who were commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ. He has spoken to us through the Holy Spirit who was sent to the earth by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ - The Center Of God's Plan

So the Lord Jesus Christ is the central character of the ages in which we live, called here in the book of Hebrews “these last days.” We need to keep clear in our minds that the last days began with the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ the first time, and they will conclude with the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ the second time. Why is the Lord Jesus Christ the center of all of God's operation? Look at verse 2 again:

Hebrews 1:

2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Look at the word worlds . There are three Greek words in the Scriptures which are translated worlds . One of them refers to the world system which is operating in this world. One of them refers to the inhabited earth. The other should never have been translated world because it refers to ages or to periods of time. So actually what you are reading in this second verse is that God, in these last days, has spoken unto us by His Son whom He hath appointed the heir of all things and around whom He planned the ages, for that is a more definite statement—around whom he planned the ages .

So here is a distinct and definite statement that God deals with the human race on the basis of ages or periods of time. Turn, please, to Paul's letter to the Ephesians, chapter 3, as I emphasize one or two things to you about these ages.

Ephesians 3:

1For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
2If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
3How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
4Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)
5Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

Notice this verse particularly:

Ephesians 3:

2If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

The age in which we are living today, beginning with the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ and ending with the return of the Lord Jesus Christ for His Church, is called the Dispensation of the Grace of God because God is acting according to grace in this age in which we live. That is the reason a so-called atheist can go out in the midst of a thunderstorm and shake his fist in the face of God and say, “If you are really God, strike me dead,” and God pays no attention to him. This is not the Age of Judgment . This is the Age of Grace , the Dispensation of the Grace of God .

The Age To Come

Turn, please, to Ephesians, chapter 2, verse 4:

Ephesians 2:

4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Notice in verse 7, the Apostle is writing in the Age of Grace, but he said there are other ages yet to come after this particular age in which we live. If you will glance at chapter 1, you will understand even further about this, for if you will look at verse 7, you will read the words:

Ephesians 1:

7In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
8Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
9Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

Dispensation Of The Fullness Of Times

Look at verse 10 very carefully now:

Ephesians 1:

10That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Did you notice in verse 10 the name of another age that is yet to come— the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time ? We are living in the Dispensation of Grace . There is another age yet to come. It is called the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time . In between the Dispensation of Grace , the age in which we are at the moment, and the Dispensation of the Fullness of Time , which is related to the future, is a very brief period of time about which the book of Daniel has been speaking in more than one chapter.

The Latter Days

Go back, please, to the book of Daniel and refresh your memory as I call to your attention the fact that Daniel has referred to this period of time which is to follow immediately the age in which we live. He referred to it in chapter 2, verse 28:

Daniel 2:

28But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;

Turn, please, to chapter 8 of the book of Daniel and notice verse 17:

Daniel 8:

17So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.

In Daniel, chapter 2, this period of time is referred to as the latter days . In Daniel, chapter 8, verse 17, it is referred to as the time of the end . Look at chapter 11 with me, please, and notice verse 35:

Daniel 11:

35And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.

Here we learn that the time of the end is a time that is set on God's program as a future date. Will you notice verse 40 of chapter 11, where we read:

Daniel 11:

40And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.

Notice, in verse 40, when the Antichrist is going to enter into the land of Palestine where he will be attacked by Egypt and by Russia. It is at the time of the end. If you will look at chapter 12, verse 4, you will read again:

Daniel 12:

4But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

So we are thinking about the period of time known as the time of the end . Once again, let us remember that in verse 6 the angel said, “How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?” That is, “How long shall it be to the end of the time of the end?” Again, in verse 8, Daniel asked the question about the time of the end, for he said, “O, my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?” Or literally, “How much time will it take in the time of the end to bring all of these things to pass?”

Seventy Periods Of Seven Years

We are told in chapter 9, if you will turn back there for a few moments, how long the entire period of time of the end will be. It seems from the reading of Daniel, chapter 8, and Daniel, chapter 12, that they were more interested in the last part of the time of the end, and that is the reason the Lord Jesus Christ gave the answers which he gave. But the entire time of the end is described in chapter 9. You will remember that when we were looking at that particular portion of the Word in verse 24 we were told that there were seventy weeks. We mentioned to you that this word is not really weeks ; it is sevens . It is a word which must always be related to the subject under discussion. What he is saying is seventy sevens , and of course the subject under discussion is years, so it is seventy sevens of years, or four hundred and ninety years. God said to Daniel, “Four hundred and ninety years are designated for me to accomplish all that I have in mind for the nation of Israel.”

Only Seven Years Yet To Be Fulfilled

We are told in Daniel, chapter 9, verses 25 and 26, what is going to occur in four hundred and eighty-three of those years. In verse 27 we are told what is going to happen in the last seven years of that four hundred and ninety year period. As we pointed out to you when we were studying the Word, between verses 26 and 27 is the Age of Grace in which we live at the present time. When the Age of Grace is over, then verse 27 will begin:

Daniel 9:

27And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

The Great Tribulation

If you will go over to chapter 12, you will remember that we learned in verse 1 that when the Antichrist breaks his treaty with the Jews and sets up what the Lord Jesus Christ calls the abomination of desolation , which actually is an image of himself to which he commands all men to bow down and worship, then there will begin a time of trouble on the earth such as the world has never known.

So this time of the end is seven years in its entirety, but is three and one half years in its greatest intensity. The whole period is called the Tribulation . The last three and a half years are called the Great Tribulation .

With these thoughts in mind, I would like for you to notice again the questions and the answers and relate them to the facts which I have tried to give you. Notice that in Daniel, chapter 12, verse 6, one of the angels said:

Daniel 12:

6And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?
7And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

That is, when the holy people, the nation of Israel, is made utterly desolate, when the Antichrist has accomplished all of his purpose with them, then the time of the end will be completed. But it is going to take time, times, and half a time of intense activity on the part of the Antichrist before this actually comes to pass.

Three And One Half Years

This phrase, “time, times, and an half,” we have found mentioned before in the book of Daniel. Go back, please, to chapter 7 and notice with me verse 25. In this chapter the Antichrist is described for us. We are told in verse 25 what he will do in relation to God:

Daniel 7:

25And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

That is, the nation of Israel will be turned over to the Antichrist without any reservation whatsoever until a time, times, and a dividing of time—or time, times, and half a time. Now this that is written in chapter 7 was written in Chaldean or Aramaic, whichever name you want to use; this is the language in which this particular section of the book of Daniel was written.

Chapter 12, where we read, “time, times, and an half,” was written in Hebrew. Listen closely to what I am saying because it verifies the authenticity of the message and the veracity of the Word of God. When we read it in chapter 7 in Chaldean, the word that is translated time is elsewhere translated “year.” When we read it in chapter 12 in Hebrew, the Hebrew word that is translated “time” is elsewhere translated “year.” So what we are reading in Daniel, chapter 7, is, “A year, two years, and half a year,” or three and one half years; and what we are reading in chapter 12, “time, and an half,” is “a year, two years, and half a year.” or three and one half years.

Forty-Two Months

Turn with me, please, to the book of Revelation, and let us notice how though Daniel wrote the book of Daniel in the Old Testament, and John wrote the book of Revelation in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit wrote them both. Though these men were separated by thousands of years, there was no mistake as far as the accuracy of the Scripture is concerned. You might wonder how this could be if you did not believe in the inspiration of the Word of God.

In Revelation, chapter 11, John said:

Revelation 11:

1And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
2But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.

The Devil Has But A Short Time

John says here that the nation of Israel is going to suffer at the hand of the Antichrist for forty-two months. Forty-two months is three and one half years. If you will look at chapter 12 of the book of Revelation, you will notice in verse 11:

Revelation 11:

11And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.
12And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

How long a time is a short time?

Revelation 12:

13And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
14And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

The time, times, and half a time are the forty-two months of chapter 11. They are the time, times, and dividing of time of the book of Daniel. They represent three and one half years. If you will go back to chapter 12 of the book of Daniel once again, remember that the angel said to the Lord Jesus Christ, “How much time is allotted for these things which are related to the time of the end to be brought to completion?” The Lord Jesus Christ said to the angel, “time, times, and an half,” or three and one half years.

But Daniel was interested in all that he had seen in these visions, and he realized that he saw much more than had been mentioned. He did not see how all of this could transpire in three and one half years. And so in Daniel, chapter 8, verse 8, as we have already seen, he asked a question concerning the time. In verse 9 the Lord Jesus Christ said, “Daniel, don't you worry about it. It is not for you to worry about right now because it is not going to happen right now. It is going to happen in the future; however, I do have something to say about the time.” And so in verse 11, he said:

Daniel 12:

11And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

The Beginning Of The Three And A Half Years

Notice in verse 11 the starting point. The starting point is when the Antichrist takes away the sacrifice and sets up the abomination of desolation. That was the starting point in chapter 9. That was the starting point in chapters 11 and 12 of the book of Revelation.

In Revelation, chapters 11 and 12, from the starting point, which was the abomination of desolation, to the end of this period of time, was to be three and one half years, or one thousand two hundred and sixty days. But notice verse 11 and get fixed in your mind that the answer which the Lord Jesus Christ gave to Daniel was not one thousand two hundred and sixty days, but one thousand two hundred and ninety days, which is thirty days beyond the period of time that God originally said in chapter 9. Is there a contradiction? Is there some mistake? Not at all!

We believe that Daniel is giving us additional information that no other prophetic writer gave. He is giving us not only the terminal point of the Tribulation period, one thousand two hundred and sixty days, but he is carrying us thirty days still farther, to say that something is going to happen at that time. Then will you notice that in chapter 12, verse 12, he said:

Daniel 12:

12Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

One thousand three hundred and thirty-five days, seventy-five days beyond the three and a half years, or forty-five days beyond the one thousand two hundred and ninety days. And he says in relation to this next period of time that the man who is living at that time is going to be particularly blessed.

Christ Returns To The Earth

We should have clear in our minds three periods of time—one thousand, two hundred and sixty days; one thousand, two hundred and ninety days; one thousand, three hundred and thirty-five days. There is no problem with the one thousand, two hundred and sixty days, because the Scriptures repeatedly say that that is the time when the Lord Jesus Christ will return to this earth. One thousand, two hundred and sixty days after the Antichrist makes his appearance where everbody will see him, and there will be absolutely no mistake about it, the Lord Jesus Christ will make His appearance.

If you are familiar with what the Bible has to say in relation to the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, you know that a great many things happen besides His feet literally standing on the Mount of Olives as chapter 14 of the book of Zechariah says they will do some day. We are told in the Word of God that when the Lord Jesus Christ comes back, He is going to come back to gather together out of all the corners of the world His elect, the nation of Israel. We are told that when the Lord Jesus Christ comes back, when His feet actually stand upon the Mount of Olives, He is going to gather all the nations of the world, and He is going to judge all the nations of the world for the manner in which they have treated Him, His Word, and His people. That judgment is described in chapter 25 of the gospel according to Matthew.

When the Lord Jesus Christ comes back, He is going to fight the battle of Armageddon, and there is going to be a tremendous catastrophe; the cleaning up after the battle of Armageddon will be a tremendous job in itself.

Millennial Reign

We could go on, but these various things that are to happen should indicate to us that there has to be time for the things that are suggested in the Word of God. So I am going to say to you that one thousand, two hundred and sixty days mark the time when the Lord Jesus Christ comes back to this earth and His feet stand upon the Mount of Olives. I am going to suggest to you that in the next thirty days, all the various things that are to occur related to the ruling of the extra forty-five days, or a total of seventy-five, the millennial reign of Christ is going to begin. The Lord Jesus Christ is returning to this earth for the purpose of ruling and reigning for one thousand years, but He cannot rule and reign for one thousand years under the conditions which are described in the Word of God unless things are changed. And things are going to be changed. This earth is going to be renovated. Men are going to be changed, and the knowledge of the Lord is going to cover the earth as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9).

We may be prone to think that all of this could happen in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye. But therein lies the difference between the Rapture of the Church and the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ. You need to get these two events fixed in your minds, for you are vitally concerned with one and not so concerned with the other save as you want to understand the Word of God.

Rapture Of The Church

The Rapture of the Church is the event which is next on God's prophetic program. The Lord Jesus Christ is going to come into the air right above this earth and catch up from the earth all born-again believers. That is the reason we call it the Rapture . It is a catching-up. Every born-again believer is going to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Read about it in I Thessalonians, chapter 4. Read about it in I Corinthians, chapter 15. The bodies of those of our loved ones who have died, whose bodies are lying in the grave today, will be raised from the grave, and immediately afterward we will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. If you read the passages of Scripture which describe that great event, you will read that it all happens in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye (I Corinthians 15:52). If you understand the Bible, you know that there is no prophecy yet to be fulfilled before that event occurs; not one thing has to be done before it happens. It can happen in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. That is the reason it behooves every one of us to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior and to be ready for the Rapture of the Church.

The Revelation Of Jesus Christ

The second thing that I am talking about, the Revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, is not going to happen in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, as we have been reading. The Lord Jesus Christ will come from Heaven, His feet will stand upon the Mount of Olives, and He will be on this earth for seventy-five days, busy about things related to the establishment of His eternal kingdom upon the earth. Then the millennial reign of Christ will begin.

You see, there is a difference—one in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and one over a period of time. What is your reaction to this? How do you feel about it? Well, let's look for a moment at how Daniel felt, and perhaps we will be able better to understand how we should feel about it. In Daniel, chapter 12, verse 13, the Lord Jesus Christ said to Daniel:

Daniel 12:

13But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.

More literally, this verse of Scripture is, “But go thou thy way till the end come; for thou shalt rest, but thou shalt stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” Daniel was an old man when he wrote these words. He was tired. He was weary. He was a faithful servant, and he was anxious for the Lord to come. The Lord Jesus Christ said to him, “Daniel, I am not going to come right away; it is not time yet. Go about your business. You'll die, Daniel. You won't be alive when I come. You'll die. But don't be discouraged. Don't be disappointed. Don't give up hope, because when I come, you will stand in thy lot at the end of the days (You can change the word lot to inheritance and have the exact meaning.); you will stand in your inheritance at the end of the days.”

Our Privilege Of Seeing God's Word Fulfilled

Beloved, the situation is not quite the same. And yet the application, I think, is comparable. We have been studying together the book of Daniel for quite some time. God has laid out the future for us here in the book. There is no need for any of us to wonder what is going to happen. All we need to do is to familiarize ourselves with what is in the book, and then sit back and read our newspapers and watch things happen.

Many years ago when I was teaching the book of Daniel, and I said that Egypt would some day be a leading nation, strong enough to attack a world ruler, people smiled and said, “That is twisting too much from the Word of God.” But we read in our newspapers today that Egypt is a leading nation—not as powerful as we are, of course, but powerful enough that nations stop to consider how she might feel if they do certain things. She is back at the forefront of the stage of the world today. Russia was a great big slob of ignorant people compared with what she is now when I first began to talk about these things. Now she is such a powerful nation that if she flicks her finger, everybody trembles. You see, you just sit back and watch how God brings to pass the fulfillment of His Word. And mark what I tell you; He is going to fulfill every bit of it!

Our Expected Course Of Action

But what are we to do about this? We are to follow the advice that God gave to Daniel. We are to go on our way. That means to go about our business. No, we are not supposed to get up on the top of the hill, dressed in a white sheet, and say, “We may as well wait because the Lord will be here.” We are not supposed to sell our businesses at a loss and say, “What is the use of holding on to them; Jesus is coming.” We are not supposed to sit down and let all the people of this country be robbed of all their rights and say, “What is the use of trying to hold on to them; Jesus is coming.” We must go about our business. We must go on our way. That is what God said to Daniel. That is what He says to us today.

Our Hope In Christ's Return

He said to Daniel something that I don't think is going to be true of some of you. He said to Daniel, “Daniel, you are going to die. You won't be alive when I come.” I do not believe that that is necessarily true of you who are here now. I trust the Lord will be good enough to let me live till Jesus comes. I don't know whether He will or not, but if I am able to understand what the Bible has to say about the signs of the times, I say with firmness—even though you may think that I am an idiot for saying it—I say with firmness that I believe some of you will hear the trumpet sound. I believe that some of you will hear the voice of the archangel. I believe that some of you will be space travelers without benefit of practice, for the Lord Jesus Christ is going to come and catch you up to be with Himself, and that soon.

The third thing that God said to Daniel I can say to you with assurance, and that is, you will stand in your lot in that day. You will stand in your portion. You will stand in your inheritance in that day.

God has been good to most of us, probably all of us. I don't think any of us is really hurting for anything. Beloved, I remember what the Word of God says. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable (I Corinthians 15:19).” I could not begin to tell you how good God is to me. He is so good to me. I never want for anything. He gives me the desires of my heart. He is good to me. But I want to say to you that if I didn't have a hope of something better on, I would be disappointed. Thank God I know that I will stand in my lot along with Daniel and Abraham and all the rest of them in that day, and with you. The reason is that I know the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior.

Invitation To Trust Christ

Listen closely to what I am going to say in the next few seconds. Most of the people who come to Abilene Bible Church have already been born again. They have had an experience of grace in their hearts and are interested in what God has to say. But to my mind, it would be a tragedy if you are here while I am speaking so definitely of things that are yet to come to pass—to my mind it would be a tragedy if you are here, and we just assume that you knew the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior. Do you really know Him? Have you really trusted Christ as your Savior?

Now listen closely. I am not saying, “Have you joined the church?” I am not saying, “Have you been baptized?” I am saying, “Have you trusted Christ?” I want to put it simply because we may never again be together as we are now. Permit this illustration because it will speak more than I can otherwise.

Saved By Christ Plus Nothing

This past week I got a call from one of the hospitals here in town that a man was dying. He had just a very, very short time to live, and he was greatly troubled because he did not know whether or not he would go to be with the Lord when he died. So I hurried to the hospital and walked into the room. The man had had four strokes, and there was not any way he could respond to me, but his wife told me the story that some years back he had trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior. She said he was wonderfully converted. I said, “What are you worried about then?” She said, “He never did go through with it.” I said, “What do you mean, never did go through with it?” She said, “Well, he never was baptized and joined the church, so he can't go to Heaven. Our hearts are breaking.” I said, “Where did you hear a thing like that?” She said, “I hear it all the time.” I said, “Well, you are hearing it wrong.” I went over to the bed because the man could hear me, though he could not respond, and I gave him what I refer to as the plan of salvation—the story of how Christ died for his sins according to the Scripture, and how if he would take his place as a sinner and say in so many words, “I believe You did die for me and I do now receive You as my Savior, based upon the Word of God, 'As many of you as receive the Lord Jesus Christ, to them gives he the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name'(John 1:12),” he would be saved. I asked him to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior.

I left to go to a Bible class, and went back after the Bible class. The doctor had been there and told them it wouldn't be very long; he could not possibly last the night through if things went ordinarily. I went back by the next morning, and to my amazement, that man had regained consciousness and his wife was feeding him some light liquid. When I walked in the room she said, “Daddy, this is Joe Temple, and he was here last night.” He said “I know, I know.” And I said, “Mr. Jones, you couldn't talk to me last night. You can talk to me now. Tell me, are you trusting the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior? Are you trusting the Lord Jesus Christ and the Lord Jesus Christ alone—not the Lord Jesus Christ and baptism, not the Lord Jesus Christ and church membership, not the Lord Jesus Christ and a good life, but the Lord Jesus Christ alone? Are you trusting Him alone?”

That man's hand was resting on the bed, and he reached out and got hold of my hand, and tears poured down his cheeks as he said, “Brother Joe, I don't have any doubts about it now. I know I can't live, but everything is going to be all right.” His wife said to me a short time ago, “Do you know what I believe? I believe that God let him regain consciousness just long enough to let us know that everything is all right.”

Do you know what made it all right? He placed his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is what I want to leave with you. I want to be sure that everybody here has placed his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.

Shall we bow our heads together for prayer: Father, we thank You for the privilege of preaching God's Word. We thank you for the opportunity of presenting the Lord Jesus Christ. We do long for the coming of the Lord. And we would ask in faith, Our Father, that when the Lord comes for His Church, not one person within the sound of my voice will be missing because we are all members of the body of Christ by virtue of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is in Jesus' name that we pray. Amen.


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