Welcome to EBible Fellowship’s Bible study in the Book of Genesis. This is study #17 of Genesis, chapter 1 and we are going to read Genesis 1:14-18:
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
I will stop reading there. In our last study we were looking at the word “seasons.” It is Strong’s #4150. It is translated as “set time,” as we saw in Genesis, chapter 17 and as “time appointed” in Genesis, chapter 18 in regard to the birth of the promised son Isaac to Abraham and Sarah. We saw it was also used in Exodus, chapter 23, as “time appointed” in regard to the Passover and other set feast days that God has established in His calendar.
We also know that these set times or appointed times and seasons relate to various spiritual times and seasons of God’s salvation program. First of all, it taught the sacrifice of Christ that was slain before the foundation of the world, but it also pointed ahead to the coming of the Messiah into the world in time to demonstrate by going to the cross what He had done. When Jesus went to the cross He was dying, again, as the Lamb at the set time of Passover to show forth that He had already paid for sin at the foundation of the world.
The lights that God established in the firmament of the heavens pointed to the Gospel lights, which are also for “seasons” in God’s timetable of times and seasons in God’s overall programs of salvation and judgment. So the appointed time of Passover also, in turn, pointed to the appointed time of the coming of the Christ and the fulfillment of the spiritual meaning of Passover.
Likewise, Pentecost was a set time in God’s calendar for “firstfruits” and it was fulfilled by the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost in 33AD.
God kept or observed these “set times” in His calendar. He commanded Israel to keep these appointed days in their seasons, but the fullness of the meaning of these set times were realized when they were fulfilled spiritually. We read that when Pentecost was “fully come,” as we read in Acts, chapter 2, that was when the spiritual dimension of this feast was finally fulfilled by God when the “appointed time” had arrived in God’s program.
There is an interesting verse where this word, Strong’s #4150, is found in Psalm 104:19-24:
He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth. The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens. Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening. O JEHOVAH, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
In verse 19, it says, “He appointed the moon for seasons.” The word “appointed” is the word translated as “made” in Genesis 1, verse 16, where it says God “made” two great lights. It is another way of saying that God created the moon and the reason He made the moon was for “seasons,” just as God told us in our passage in Genesis 1:14: “and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.” So we know that the moon was made by God for seasons. We have talked about how the Israelites followed the lunar calendar and the first day of a new month was the first day of the “new moon.” They would keep track of their months by the moon and after a certain number of months a year had passed and they could keep accurate observance of God’s ceremonies, sacrifices, feasts, and so forth.
But what does the moon represent? The moon points to the Law of God, the Bible. We will look at a couple of places to show this. It says in Psalm 89:35-37:
Once have I sworn by my holiness that I will not lie unto David. His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon, and as a faithful witness in heaven. Selah.
Here, David is a picture of Christ. God is saying that the throne of Christ will endure forever as the “sun” before Him. This would have to refer not to the literal sun, but to God Himself: “It shall be established for ever as the moon.” Again, the literal, physical moon in the heavens is not eternal; it is a created part of this creation which will eventually be destroyed. So the moon cannot be established forever and, therefore, it represents something that is established forever and that would be the Word of God. Remember, it says, “The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever,” in 1Peter 1, verses 24 and 25. The moon pictures the eternal Word of God, so when God says that He “appointed the moon for seasons,” this is the moon that was said to be under the feet of the woman that brought forth the man child, in Revelation 12:1:
And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
Why is the “moon” under the feet of the elect? It is because it represents the Law of God and God’s elect are no longer married to the Law; they are no longer under the condemnation of the Law and they are no longer subject to the penalty of the Law for sin. Therefore, they are not under the Law, but the Law is, as it were, under their feet. God appointed the moon for “seasons” and, again, that would refer to the Word of God that was made for seasons. It was made for appointed times. It was made for God’s set timetable concerning His program for the Passover, the coming of Christ the first time, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit the first and the second time, and so forth. The Word of God was given for the seasons that would reveal the duration of the church age, the beginning of the Great Tribulation, the beginning of the Day of Judgment, and so on, as God says in 1Thessalonians 5:1:
But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
This is interesting. We want to look up that phrase, “Ye have no need that I write unto you,” because God used it in the previous chapter, so we want to compare this phrase to where it us used elsewhere to help understand what God is saying. In the previous chapter, God said in 1Thessalonians 4:9:
But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
He said, “Ye have no need that I write unto you,” and that is because they have already been “taught of God,” which means that it had been written elsewhere in the Scriptures that we are to love one another. So, in the next chapter, when He says, “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you,” it is because the “times and seasons” can be learned elsewhere in the Word of God, the Bible. Therefore, there is no need to at this point to write of them because the “times and seasons” are already written about in Scripture. Then the rest of the passage goes on to tell about the “time” of the coming of the Lord and that is because God appointed or made the moon for “seasons.”
I want to make sure we understand this because some people have begun to join the chorus of those that say, “We are not to know the end. We cannot know the day or hour because October 7, 2015 was not the end of the world, as we had thought.” We were incorrect about that, but let me give us all an admonition. Even though we were incorrect about October 7, 2015 and even though we have been incorrect in the past (like October 21, 2011) when we also thought the world would end we have to be careful that we are not looking at our own miscalculations and then concluding, “We cannot know because we were wrong about October 7, 2015 and October 21, 2011.” We could even include September 7, 1994. But this is looking outside the Bible and looking to our own experience to develop the doctrine, “We cannot know the day or the hour.” We are not permitted to do that. Even if we were incorrect 100 times, it is not Biblical proof that we cannot know the times or seasons; it is just proof that we failed 100 times. In order to come to right doctrine, we still have to go to Scriptures like Ecclesiastes 8:5: “A wise man’s heart discerneth both time and judgment.” We also have Amos 3:7: “Surely the Lord JEHOVAH will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” As it also says in 1Thessalonians, chapter 5, Christ will not come as a thief for the brethren. There are many other verses that still stand. The only way to draw a conclusion that one cannot know when the end of the world will be is through analyzing the Scriptures and not through personal experience.
It is true that we looked at the Bible when we came up with the date of October 7th, which was incorrect, but do we throw up our hands and give up? That is pride if we say, “Well, if I could not figure it out, it cannot be figured out.” This is not the way for a child of God to come to any truth. We have to keep the focus on the Word of God, the Bible, and the Bible was “appointed” by God. He appointed the moon for the purpose of “seasons.” He appointed the Law of God, the Scriptures, for “seasons.”
The Bible is profitable, therefore, for learning God’s timetable and His program of “times and seasons.” That is exactly what we have seen; God has opened up information concerning His program. For example, there was the time of Israel and then God rent the veil of the temple in twain and soon after was the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost in 33AD that ushered in the beginning of the church age. Then came the end of the church age with God’s judgment upon the churches at the beginning (and during) the Great Tribulation period. These things have become known to us through the Bible or through the “moon,” the Law of God, which God appointed for seasons. I just wanted to mention that before we move on in our study.
By the way, this word “seasons” is translated as “time appointed,” and we have seen that the moon or Law of God was appointed for seasons, so let us look at Daniel 8:19:
And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.
This is a reference to the end of the world. It also says in Daniel 11:27:
And both these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.
The word translated as “time appointed” is our Strong’s #4150. Let us look at one more verse. It says in Daniel 11:35:
And 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.
It is yet for a “time appointed” or a “set time.” Again, think of Psalm 104:19: “He appointed the moon for seasons,” or set times. He made the moon for seasons. God gave His Word, the Bible, for this purpose. It was one of many purposes, but it was certainly an important purpose that His Word be given for “seasons” or appointed times. This is why it says in Habakkuk 2:3:
For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
The word “vision” is a word God used to relate to the Bible. It was the Word God gave to His prophets and they wrote them down. We can understand the pronoun “it” to be the masculine pronoun “he,” because it is speaking of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this verse God tells us the vision or the Scripture concerning the end and it is “yet for an appointed time” or set time. It says, “But at the end He shall speak, and not lie,” so we can expect that God will speak (through His Word) to reveal the set time of the end. He has done that, in large part, already. We are still living in this world, but we are not in total ignorance of the end time because we know the church age has come and gone. We know God has brought judgment on the churches and that, too, has come and gone. We know the day when God shut the door of heaven and put out the Gospel lights and the Tribulation ended. We know we have entered into “those days after that tribulation.” We know this because the “sun, moon and stars” were darkened and they were a “sign” of the coming of the Son of man and of the end of the world. So, we have all this information at our disposal, which God has already revealed, but we continue to search the Scriptures concerning the duration of Judgment Day.
We were incorrect about October 7, 2015 being the end and, therefore, we were incorrect about the duration of Judgment Day. It is a longer period of time than we had thought, so we continue to search. We are also trying to understand what October 7, 2015 was, since so many Scriptures pointed to that day, but we will keep that in mind as we continue to search for the completion of Judgment Day. That is information we currently lack, but we do have a great deal of information that God has already revealed to us. He has confirmed much information already, but it is just a matter of the remaining bits of information to come as we continue to study the Bible.