Appointed Times, A Much Closer LookHandbook 4: Article 13 - Part 2 - Appointed Times, Appointed Work in the Midst of the Years

"...in a little while..."

A Time to Overthrow:

"'But now take courage and work, for I am with you,' says the Lord of hosts. '...My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear... Once more, in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. And I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms of the nations...'"

Haggai 2:4-6, 22

"Behold. the nations are like a drop from a bucket,
And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales...
All the nations are as nothing before Him,
They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless."

Isaiah 40:15, 17

"Why are the nations in an uproar,
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
The kings of the earth take their stand,
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His Anointed:
'Let us tear their fetters apart,
And cast away their cords from us!'
He who is enthroned in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury..."

Psalm 2:1-5

Appointed Times of Earthly Kingdoms and the Advent of the Kingdom of God:

"Now In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar dreamed dreams and his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him... (his) spirit was anxious to understand the dream...

Daniel said to the king, 'There is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the end of the days... You O king were looking and behold, there was a single great statue,... its splendor was surpassing, standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome. The head of that statue was of fine gold; its breast and arms, silver; its belly and thighs, bronze; its legs, iron; its feet, partly iron and clay.

You were looking until a stone was cut out without hands and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay, and crushed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and gold were crushed like one and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.'"

Daniel 2:31-36

"And in the days of those kings (represented by the great statue) the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be passed on to another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will endure forever.

Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold, that great God has made known to the king what will take place after this; so the dream is true, and its interpretation is worthy."

Daniel 2:44, 45

Consider:

"The stone which the builders rejected, this became the chief corner stone... he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces but on whomever it falls, it will scatter like dust."

Luke 21:6

"And coming to Him as a living stone... you also as living stones are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood... "

1 Peter 2:4, 5

Again:

"...it is a little while..."

"...Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven. And this expression, 'yet once more,' denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, in order that those things which cannot be shaken may remain."

Hebrews 12:26, 27

A Time to Tear Apart:

"Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world shall be cast out."

John 12:31

A Time for War:

"And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. And the dragon and the angel waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole inhabited earth; he was thrown down to earth, and his angels with him."

Revelation 12:7-9

"How you have fallen from heaven,
O shining one, son of the dawn!
You have been cut down to the earth,
You who have weakened the nations!
But you said in your heart,
'I will ascend to heaven;
I will raise my throne above the stars of God,
And I will sit on the mount of the assembly...
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds;
I will make myself the Most High.'"

Isaiah 14:12-14

"You had the seal of perfection,
Full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
You were in Eden the garden of God...
You were anointed cherub who covers,
And I placed you there.
You were on the holy mountain of God;
You walked in the midst of the stones of fire.
You were blameless in your ways
From the day you were created,
Until unrighteousness was found in you...
Therefore I have cast you as profane
From the mountain of God...
From the midst of the stones of fire."

Ezekiel 28:12-16

"'Behold I am against you, O destroying mountain,
Who destroy the whole earth,' declares the Lord,
'And I will stretch My hand against you,
And roll you down from the crags
And I will make you a burnt out mountain.
And they will not take from you even a stone for a corner
Nor a stone for foundations,
But you will be desolate forever,' declares the Lord."

Jeremiah 51:25, 26

Ponder this from Part 1:

"And the seventy returned with joy, saying, 'Even the demons are subject to us in your name.' And He said to them, 'I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. Behold I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy..."

Luke 10:17-19

And this:

The restoring of God's House and the destruction of the destroying mountain.

"...This is the word of the Lord to Zerubabbel saying, 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the Lord of hosts. 'What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubabbel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of "Grace, grace to it."' And the word of the Lord came to me saying, 'The hands of Zerubabbel have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. For who has despised the day of small beginnings? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubabbel -- these are the eyes of the Lord which range to and fro throughout the earth.'"

Zechariah 4:6-10

And Consider:

"Truly I say to you, if you have faith, and do not doubt... if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it shall happen."

Matthew 21:21


"...now is the time for judgment..."

"For it is time for judgment to begin from the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, where will appear the godless man and the sinner?"

1 Peter 4:17, 18

A Fixed Day of Judgment:

"The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all, life and breath and all things; and He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, if perhaps they might find him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist...

Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men when He raised Him from the dead."

Acts 17:24-31

"Then Jesus said, 'I came into this world for judgment -- as a Separator, in order that there may be a separation -- to make the sightless see, and those who see may become blind.

Some Pharisees who were near, hearing His remark, said to Him. 'Are we also blind?' Jesus said to them, 'If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, "We see;" your sin remains.'"

John 9:39-41

"For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, 'As I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.' So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God."

Romans 14:10-12

"For we must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ so that each one may receive according to what he has done in the body, whether good of evil."

2 Corinthians 5:10

A Summary of Past Judgments:

"Before God created the universe, He established a principle to govern it -- the principle of authority. He Himself, would be the highest authority and at the same time the source of all authority. Under Him would be several archangels and under them would be many angels. On earth would be man, a little lower than the angels, and under man all other living creatures. That is how God arranged to govern the universe."

Watchman Nee

However, the history of the world and of man in the world is a epic tale of a different principle, one introduced by Satan and his angels when they abandoned their proper abode -- the principle of rebellion.

We see Adam and Eve embracing Satan's principle, being expelled from the Garden of Eden.

We see the children of Israel refusing to obey God's commandment to walk in His ways over and over through their generations until the kingdom is taken from them and the promised land vomits them out, their temple is destroyed, and they are carried away by their enemies.

We see the organized visible church being called to account in our generation for throwing off His yoke of obedience over and over through the centuries and God removing His Spirit from their midst.

"The church did not attain to God's purpose, nor did she even know God's purpose."

Watchman Nee

What will God do now? Will He do what He has done so many times before? What was originally meant to include everyone will be passed on to a few who at least in the beginning are obedient. Originally the entire nation of Israel was invited into priesthood (they were to be a kingdom of priests) but when they fashioned the golden calf and bowed before it, God removed from them this privilege and designated one tribe, the Levites, to serve in their place.

The Levites were priests through the generations until the time of Jesus. But they too fashioned their own god, worshiping at the altar of their man-made traditions. They rejected the Son and instigated His death. And the kingdom that Jesus announced by His coming was taken from them and given to the church; the church was to be a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. But the organized visible church also fashioned its own calf of gold, and rejected the authority of its Head. And the kingdom has now been taken from them. Their houses also lie desolate.

Perhaps the commission in Handbook 2 holds a measure of understanding.

"But now for a brief moment grace has been shown from the Lord our God, to leave us an escaped remnant and to give us a peg in His holy place, that our God may enlighten our eyes... to give us a reviving to raise up the house of our God, to restore its ruins..."

Ezra 9:8


"...now for a brief moment..."

The only appointed time with an urgency!

The appointed time with a commission, an appointed work!

"O Lord, who may sojourn in Thy tent?
Who may dwell on Thy holy hill?
He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness;
And speaks truth in his heart..."

Psalm 15:1, 2

"Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
And who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood (or in vain),
And has not sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive a blessing from the Lord
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Thy face..."

Psalm 24:3-6

"O send out Thy light and Thy truth, let them lead me;
Let them bring me to Thy holy hill,
And to Thy dwelling places."

Psalm 43:3

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