The Mountains of Prophecy

Prophetic Gaps



John Hoole - July 10 & 17, 2011




Note:  Click on photos, graphs and charts for larger version


Hebrews 9:27 says:  "It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment."  Should the Lord delay his return, we shall all someday die.  This verse tells us that after we die, we will come before Christ to be judged.  What this verse does not tell us is how long after we die that we will be judged.  Most agree that between death and the judgment, there is a gap of time.  Some died thousands of years ago - others died today.  But one day, all will be standing before their Creator to be judged.


In our last lesson, we learned that prior to the judgment, all who have died will be resurrected.  That is true of whether they are saved or lost.


Acts 24:15 NIV


15     And I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.


A similar passage is found in the gospel of John.


John 5:28-29 NKJV


28     Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice

29     and come forth--those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.


The two verses we just read speak of two groups of people to be judged.  They speak of the righteous and the unrighteous.  All people who have ever lived are in one of these two groups.


What we do not see in these two verses is whether there is a difference in time and location, as it relates to the resurrection of life versus the resurrection of condemnation.  But when we examine other Scriptures, it become plain that there is a difference, not only in the location, but also on the timing of these two resurrections.


When we go to the book of Revelation, chapter 20, we are told of a time gap between the resurrections.  In the passages we read a moment ago in Acts 24 and John 5, there is a gap of time that is not seen in those verses.  And this is something that happens often in Scripture, where, right in the middle of a sentence or verse a gap of some duration is found.


We find this depicted in the New Testament about some Old Testament verses.


1 Peter 1:10-11 NIV


10     Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care,

11     trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.


This verse tells us that the Old Testament prophets did not fully understand what they were writing with regard to the salvation that would be coming via their Messiah.  The difficulty they had was they could not reconcile how the Messiah would both suffer and be glorified.  He would die, yet bring salvation and become a king.  They could not fully understand how both could occur.


The prophets wrote about the Messiah's suffering and they wrote of the glory that should follow.  But Peter tells us there was nothing in their prophecies that told them of the timing of it all.  Whether the glory was to follow immediately or after some interval, they did not understand.  And if there was an interval, they did not understand if it was to be short or long.


Even the disciples, after being with Jesus for more than three years, still did not understand.  They thought Jesus was their Messiah, and would soon set up His kingdom.  But then He is crucified, and their whole world falls around them.  They feared for their own lives and hid themselves from the Romans.  But then Jesus shows up alive, and their joy returned.  After all this, they still believed that Jesus was going to set up His kingdom.


On the very day Jesus left to return to His Father, he and the disciples were on the Mount of Olives.  And just minutes before Christ leaves them to return to heaven, they ask Jesus a question.


Acts 1:6 NIV


6       So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"


                   They still did not get it.


Peter would later, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, write what we read a moment ago in his first letter.  He now understood that all the prophecies about the coming Messiah indicated two comings.  His suffering would occur in the first and His glory in the second coming.  And in the next verse - 1 Peter 1:12 - the apostle writes that the Old Testament prophets did not write for their benefit, but for those living later.  The prophecies about both comings of the Messiah was for our benefit.  Peter says that this truth is being revealed to us, for our benefit.  I will have more to say about this passage in Peter's first letter later in our lesson.


The fact that the glory experienced by the Messiah would follow the suffering, is a pattern repeated elsewhere for the followers of Christ.  It is also found in the first letter of the apostle Peter.


1 Peter 5:10 NKJV


10     But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.


Before taking you further into looking at the Prophetic Gaps and how often they occur in the Bible, I want to stop and cover some Bible basics to set the groundwork for this study.


One of the most obvious facts about the Bible is that it is divided into the Old and New Testaments -- sometimes referred to as the old and new covenants.  Though the entire Bible bears witness to a gracious, loving God,  there is a sharp contrast between the basic revelation of the Old Testament when compared to the New Testament.


This difference is captured in the simple statement of John 1:17, which says "For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”


The Old Testament is not entirely Law, nor is the New Testament entirely grace but there is a broad contrast between the two.  The Mosaic Law, with its more than 600 laws, dominated the Old Testament from the time of Moses until the time of Christ.  The law was not devoid of grace, for salvation in the Old Testament was still by grace and forgiveness.  By contrast, the New Testament emphasizes the doctrine of God’s grace.


The New Testament plainly discloses that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the whole world.  This made the experience of God’s grace available to us.  God can now forgive those who trust in Christ because the price has been paid.  According to Hebrews 12:24, Jesus is the Mediator of a new covenant that is based on His shed blood.


Early in this series of lessons, we have looked at the central group of people mentioned in the Old Testament.  The nation of Israel – the Jews.  We discussed the many promises given to their ancestor, Abraham, and later also to Isaac and Jacob, then again to Moses and again to David.  Some of the promises of God have been fulfilled, but a number of them find no fulfillment anywhere in the Bible or history.  That means some are yet to be fulfilled.  Those yet unfulfilled have led to some disagreement as to how these prophecies will be fulfilled.


All agree that there are saints in the Old Testament, that is, there was a body of believers whose sins are forgiven and who will have a blessed eternity in the presence of God.


Disagreement exist as to whether these Old Testament saints are part of what we today call the church.  Some have gone as far as to say because Israel rejected their promised Messiah, they have been rejected by God.  These people believe that the promises made to Israel will now be fulfilled in the Church.  This is the New Israel, with the New Covenant.


I don’t know how much you have thought about this, but while growing up in the church, many of the songs we sang had themes alluding to the promises of God to Israel.  How often have we heard and sang about heaven being our “promised land.”  Songs like:


                   I’m Bound for the Promised Land,

                   We’re Marching to Zion.

                   Beulah Land

                   On Jordan’s Stormy Banks


My brother, Ken, my father and I used to play an instrumental trio of Camping in Canaan’s Land.  The second verse starts, “Out of Egypt I have traveled.  This is still one of my favorite songs.


I really don’t have a big problem with these songs.  1 Cor. 10:6 says that many of the things in the Old Testament, serve as “examples to us…”  But I don’t want you to think the Church has taken the place of Israel in prophecy.


In this same First Corinthians chapter, Paul states that there are really 3 groups of people.


1 Cor 10:32 NKJV


         32     Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Gentiles or to the church of God,


                      We should not confuse these three.


When God called Abraham to begin a nation, Abraham became the first Hebrew, and his children became the Jews, or Israelites.  This family will continue to be a distinct entity through the rest of history.


The church is the Body of Christ, which began on the Day of Pentecost, and they will go to heaven in the Rapture.  It’s makeup is different from both Jews and Gentiles, although both Jews and Gentiles can become part of the Church today.


God has a clear prophetic plan for all three – Jews, Gentiles and the Church.  The saints of the Old Testament are NOT part of the church.  That means they will be resurrected at a different time than the Church.


In our introductory lessons on End Times, I made the statement that the very fact that the Bible contains predictive prophecies, some of which has already been fulfilled, makes it a unique book.  No book of any other major world religion can make such a claim.  And history has consistently taken the stand as a reliable and authentic witness to the accuracy of Bible prophecies.


Isaiah 42:9 NKJV


9       Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them."


The claims of the Bible are truly supernatural.  Its words come directly from God, who alone declares the end from the beginning.


2 Peter 1:21 NIV


21     For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.


         Holy men of God, who were guided by the Holy Spirit, wrote of great world events centuries before they were to come to pass.  And as I read and reread all that the prophets wrote, one thought or theme keeps coming to the forefront.  Even though there is a marked difference between the Old and New Covenants, there is a singular theme painted through all of its pages. 


Whether it is the study of Prophecy or any other Doctrine of the Scripture, it can be seen that CHRIST is the central Theme of it all.  He is the essence of history.  As one person put it:


                   “History is His-story”


Luke 24:27, 44 (NIV) says:


27     And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.


44     He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms."


Jesus says that the Old Testament spoke about Him.  The entire Bible and my Lord stand or fall together.  If the Bible is not the Word of God, then Christ is not the Son of God.


Begin with the writings of Moses and go all the way through the Bible to the Book of Revelation, you will continuously be confronted with this central Figure of all history.  All of the ceremonial Laws of the Old Testament were a type or a foreshadow of Christ.  He was the Sacrificial Lamb that would come to take away the sin of the world, once for all.  (Exod. 12  cf. 1 Cor. 5:7-8, John 1:29)


In John 1:45 NIV, even before Jesus had selected his 12 apostles, Philip recognized that Moses and Old Testament prophets wrote of Jesus.


45     Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote – Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."


In Acts 8:26-40, we find the Ethiopian Eunuch reading the book of Isaiah.  Philip expounded on that passage.  Then in verse 35 (NIV), we read:


35     Then Philip began with that very passage of Scripture and told him the good news about Jesus.


Revelation 19:10 tells us that……


                   ”…..the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”


Note what that verse says.  Jesus is the central feature of prophecy.  Prophecy is intended to glorify Jesus Christ.  After all, this book of Revelation is a revelation of Jesus Christ.  It reveals Him.


So, we see that Jesus is the central topic or theme of all the Bible.  Many of you have heard my one-paragraph commentary of the whole Bible.  “The Old Testament is primarily a story of a nation.  The New Testament is a story of a Man.  This nation was to nurture and bring forth this Man, who was to be the promised Redeemer.”


Now let’s go back to Genesis 3 & 4.  We are going to quickly look at the very first prophecy concerning Christ.  When Adam and Eve buried Abel, their #2 son, after he was murdered by his brother Cain, try to imagine their thoughts or feelings.


While you are thinking, let me set the stage to this scene (Gen. 4:1-10).  Prior to this event, Adam and Eve had enjoyed, for a time, the experience of living in perfect harmony with God.  We don’t know how long it lasted.  Their fellowship had been such a beautiful thing.  They had been created with the ability to live forever.  They had never known what it was to sin.  They were, for a time, perfect and totally without sin.  Thus, they had never felt guilt or remorse.  Can you imagine such a state?


Then came the temptation, then the act of disobedience and the sudden knowledge of sin within themselves.  In but a moment, they had gone from a state of joy, peace and security, where they freely enjoyed God’s companionship to embarrassment, remorse, anxiety and fear of their Creator.  Sin does the same today.


In the wreckage of their shattered lives, God had lined up the three of them --  Adam, Eve and Satan (the serpent) before His judgment bar.  To each of them was meted out a severe punishment – a curse if you will.


Sorrow, pain and struggle was to be Adam’s and Eve’s portion in life.  And, ultimately, the dust of the earth was to reclaim their bodies at death.






God had predicted that the woman would experience pain in childbirth, and that from among their descendants, One would come who would bruise the head of the serpent.


In Genesis 3:15, (NIV) we find God giving His judgment upon Satan, the serpent.


15     And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."


This portion of Scripture in the 3rd chapter of Genesis is the first prophecy God gives about the coming Messiah.


To pictorially show the relationship between this and other prophecies concerning Christ, I want to start drawing a mountain range.  I call it “The Mountains of Prophecy”.  So that you don’t think I’ve gone too far afield, consider this verse.


Micah 4 NIV


1       But in the last days, it shall come to pass, that the mountains of the house of the LORD (temple) shall be established…..


We have seen one prophecy about the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ.  Genesis 3:15 refers to Him as a Son (the woman’s seed).




                   We title it “A Son.”


Because of the promise God gave them, Adam called his wife Eve because she was the mother of all living (Gen. 3:20).  In due time, first Cain and then Abel were born, and the prospect of the promised redemption from sin seemed to rest in one of these two lively boys.  As each child is born in turn, I can just imagine Adam and Eve pondering the questions: Is this the child who will deal the fatal blow to the head of Satan?”


As Cain and Abel grew, it became apparent that God’s blessing was in a special way upon Abel.  But now, the one which seemed to have all the promise was dead.  That left only Cain. And how could God use Cain, the murderer, to fulfill his purpose?


It was in this context that another son was born whose name was Seth.  This Hebrew name means “appointed.”  And Adam and Eve accepted this child in the place of Abel.


As Seth grew up, it became more evident that God’s purpose for the fulfillment of his promise rested in Seth and his posterity.


Notice Genesis 4:26  (NIV).


26     Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time men began to call on the name of the LORD.


         The purpose of God to provide a Redeemer through a Godly seed begins now to unfold in the Old Testament.


We have seen that amidst the curse, a promise of a Son who would be the redeemer and destroyer of the workings of Satan was given.  And people began to look for their coming Messiah.


As prophecy begins and continues to unfold, other features and characteristics of this Messiah are added.


For instance, Jeremiah 23:5-6 (NIV) says.


5       The days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King shall reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land.

6       In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.


Let’s add another mountain peak to our picture.  The title for the second peak – “A King.”


Isaiah 52:13 NIV


         13     See, my servant will act wisely; he will be raised and lifted up and highly exalted.


                   The title for the next mountain peak is “A Servant.”


Isaiah 53:3 NIV


3       He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.


                   Title the next peak – “rejected.”


Isaiah 53:9 NIV


9       He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.


                   Title the next peak – “Death – He will die.”


Micah 4:1-2 NIV


1       In the last days the mountain of the LORD's temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and peoples will stream to it.

2       Many nations will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.



We can add two more peaks to our mountain range from this Passage.


                   Title one peak – “Many Nations shall worship Jehovah.”


                   Title another peak – “Jerusalem will be where the throne is.”


Isaiah 9:7 NIV


7       Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.


                            Title the next peak – “He will be king of the house of David forever.”


Have you ever been traveling, and viewed a distant mountain range.  Like the diagram on the board, the mountains in the foreground are quite visible and clear.  But there are others where only the tops are visible.  And from your vantage point, it is difficult to determine if they are all part of the same mountain range or if there is any great distance between the mountains that are in the front and those behind them.  And if there is, we have no appreciation of its size or distance.  There may even be lesser mountain peaks in between, but from your point of reference, you have no knowledge of that fact.


This is somewhat how it is with prophecy.  In giving the characteristics of the coming Messiah, the O.T. prophets failed to consider that there might be more than one coming with some span of time between them.


One of the characteristics of many of the end-times prophecies we are faced with, is that predicted events which appear side-by-side in the same text, may, in fact, be separated by long ages of time.


It’s sort of like this mountain range.  Looking at it from the front, it may all look like a single mountain range.  But, looking at the same mountains from the side may show a great distance between several mountain ranges.  What might these mountain peaks of prophecy look like if we viewed the landscape from the side rather than the front.  The Old Testament prophets are like the man in this pictorial representation which you see on the screen.


They did not recognize that the coming of the Messiah was more than one coming.  Neither did most of the Jews understand this when Christ was here.  To them, Jesus didn’t fit the picture they had of the coming Messiah.  Their views were slanted to Him coming as a King to deliver them politically.


The Old Testament prophets looked across the mountain tops of prophecy.  They saw the birth of Christ in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2).  They recorded his Calvary experience (Isaiah 53:1-2).  They mentioned the day of Pentecost.  And the Holy Spirit revealed to them information about His second coming.


The problem was, they were looking across mountain tops, not even taking into account any valleys between the mountains in the front and those behind them.  They saw them mostly as different parts of the same event – not two events.


How do I know that for sure?  We earlier looked at the writings of the apostle Peter in his first letter.


         Look at what Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:10-11. NIV


10     Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care,

11     trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.


The prophets tried to understand what they wrote about, especially about the grace that was going to come to them and God’s people.  It says they searched intently and with great care.  Verse 11 says what they were searching intently about.  They were trying to understand the timing and the events that they wrote about.  Especially about the Messiah’s suffering and the glory that would follow.


Did you catch that last phrase?  They were having great difficulty understanding both the suffering and the glories of the Christ.  The difficulty was that they didn’t realize they were talking about his two comings.  His first would be filled with suffering and dying and His second would follow with glories as the King of Kings.


That was essentially what we were seeing in the mountain range we built earlier on the screen.  The attributes of the Messiah that are depicted in the foreground represent his first coming, i.e., Son, Rejected, Death and Servant.  Those peaks in the background represent His second coming.


One big thing the Old Testament prophets missed entirely, was the great valley between the two mountain ranges representing the first and second comings.


In 1 Corinthians 2, Paul quotes Isaiah, who admitted he did not understand all that God had in store for mankind.


1 Cor 2:7-10 NIV


7       No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.

8       None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

9       However, as it is written: "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him"-


That is a quote from Isaiah 64:4Then Paul adds verse 10.


         10     but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.


The ability to separate the first and second comings of Christ was very difficult for the Old Testament prophets.  But, in verse 10, Paul says these things have been revealed to us by the Holy Spirit.  The New Testament prophecies often clarified the end times prophecies of the Old Testament.  And that is why the Old and New should be studied together.


There are several passages that give the indication that the Old Testament prophets did not always fully understand what they were prophesying.  Earlier, we looked at 1 Peter 1:10-11, speaking about the suffering of the Messiah and glories He would experience later.  If we looked at the following verse - verse 12 - we find this stated:


1 Peter 1:12 NIV


12     It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.


Peter tells us that what they wrote about the timing and circumstances of the Messiah's coming was not for their own benefit.  The apostle says it was us that was being served with this information.  This topic was so interesting that even the angels were trying to understand it.


Daniel also did not fully understand what he had been asked by God to write.  In the last chapter of his book, Daniel asked for an understanding of what he heard and wrote.


Daniel 12:8-10 NKJV


8       Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, "My lord, what shall be the end of these things?"

9       And he said, "Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.

10     Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.


            I believe we are living in the day when the Holy Spirit is making us aware of what Daniel wrote.


I have taken you through this detail to show that, with very few exceptions - maybe no exceptions, the Old Testament prophets did not prophesy about event during what we call the “church age.”  They skipped over it in their writings.


The Church is a distinct body of believers which was not present on earth during the Old Testament period.  In accordance with God's program and timetable, the Church is on earth between the two advents (comings) of Christ.


And in keeping with the Old Testament skipping over the Church Age, the Old Testament also tells us nothing of the resurrection of the Church.  This was a "mystery" later revealed through the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15.


1 Corinthians 15:51-52 NKJV


51     Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — 

52     in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.


The 15th chapter of Paul's first letter to the church in Corinth is known as the resurrection chapter of the Bible.  And right in the middle of it, the apostle introduces us to a "mystery."  The Greek word is MUSTERION.  When this word is used, whether by Paul or another New Testament writer, it signals that there is going to be a revelation of a new truth not known before.  It refers to a secret, previously known only to God, but that now is being revealed to the Body of Christ.


There are a number of mysteries of God that are revealed during the writing of the New Testament.


         The "mystery of the kingdom of God" is mentioned in Matthew 13.


         The "mystery of the blindness of Israel" found in Romans 11.


         The "mystery of the church as the bride of Christ" in Ephesians 5:25-31.


         The "mystery of the lawlessness" that culminates in the Antichrist in 1 Thessalonians 2:7.


In 1 Corinthians 15, the Holy Spirit is revealing to the apostle Paul some of the details about the resurrection of those belonging to Jesus.  But it also adds that some at that time will never die, therefore they will not need resurrecting.  But they will be "changed."


Again, what this tells us is that the rapture of those who are part of the Church of Christ was unknown to the Old Testament prophets.  The Old Testament spoke of the death and resurrection of Jesus and the salvation of Gentiles, but there was no mention of the Church and certain aspects of the church age.


You might ask, is this something we see often in the Old Testament?  Can we accurately and definitely show that Old Testament writers skipped this age entirely.


Let’s look at a few example.  I think you will see that skipping the church age is the rule, not the exception for Old Testament prophets.


Probably the clearest example of this principle is found in Isaiah 61:1-2.  This passage was quote by Jesus in Luke 4:17-21.  Let’s read Luke’s account first, where we find Jesus reading from the scroll of Isaiah in the synagogue at Nazareth.


Luke 4:17-21 NIV


17     The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18     "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,  

19     to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." 


Jesus closes the scroll and hands it back to the attendant.  As He reads the book of Isaiah, Jesus ends his reading by doing a strange thing.  He doesn’t finish at the end of a sentence, but at a comma.  It goes on to say those in the synagogue sat there staring at Him.  He then adds, “This day is the scripture fulfilled in your hearing.”




It is because the next phrase in Isaiah 61:2 reads:  “And the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn”….  This was excluded because it was not fulfilled at the moment Christ read these words.  In hind sight, we know it would not be filled for at least 1900 years later.


God’s day of vengeance will occur at the end of the Tribulation period.  In His first coming, Christ demonstrated His grace and mercy in His death on the cross.  In His Second Coming to earth, He will show forth his vengeance.  This is amazing - Jesus stopped at a comma, and thereby, indicated a gap between his first and second comings.  This prophecy in Isaiah skips entirely past the age in which we now live, and does so within one sentence.


By this single act of Christ, He, the infallible Interpreter of Scripture, laid down the principle of the “gap interpretation.”


I call this gap “The Great Parenthesis.”  It is like God put a big parenthesis around the church-age, setting it apart from what He was prophesying about the Jews, and the rest of the world.  The title, The Great Parenthesis, is not my creation.  I take it from a book by the same title written by Dr. Harry A. Ironside, who passed away in 1951.  The book is 130 pages in length.  That should tell you that this idea of the Old Testament prophets skipping over our age, is not something that happened just 2 or 3 times.  Ironside writes an entire book on this topic.


So let’s look at a few more examples.


Joel 2:28-31 NIV


28     And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.

29     Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.


30     I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke.

31     The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.


Most of you will recognize part of this passage, as being what was quoted by Peter on the Day of Pentecost - the birthday of the Church.  Peter says that verse 28 & 29 were fulfilled on that day.  But verses 30 & 31 speaks of events which will happen during the time of the Tribulation.


Isaiah 9:6-7 (NIV) is very familiar to most of you.


6       For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given,…..


         …….and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7       Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever…….


The whole Christian community rejoices in the knowledge that Christ came as a child nearly 2000 years ago.  But a gap of at least 19 centuries is represented by the very first comma.  “Unto us a child is born” speaks of Bethlehem.  All that follows speaks of the future Millennial reign, where Jesus will be sitting on the throne of David in Jerusalem.


Zech 9:9-10 NIV


9       Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.


10     ….and He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. 


Verse 9 speaks of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  In the New Testament, you can read about it in Matthew 21:1-11.  On the other hand, verse 10 looks ahead to the Millennium, when Christ reigns for 1000 years.  Someday verse 10 will be done just as literally as verse 9.  But between the 2 predictions there is this great parenthesis of time.


By now you should be able to see that the idea of a great parenthesis is not isolated case.  The Old testament prophets skipped over the Church Age.  That is, the nearly 2000 years from the time of Christ until now.


And most of the examples I showed you concerning the parenthesis,……related to Abraham’s seed.  Isaiah’s prophecies focus mainly on the Israel and their Messiah.  Ezekiel spoke of the restoration of Israel to their own land as well as the Millennial land.  Zechariah was most concerned about the events that will take place at the 2nd coming of Christ.


Next week we will look at another amazing prophecy which also includes the parenthesis.  We find it in Daniel 9.  Mostly it is referred to as “Daniel’s 70 Weeks.”  Daniel 9:24-27.