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Originally published in "The Lord's Coming Herald & Wesleyan Bible Prophecy Advocate," Second Quarter, 2012

Times And Seasons

“But of the times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you” (I Thessalonians 5:1).

“Times” refers to periods of duration. “Seasons” refers to periods of change. “Times, times, and a half” is the apocalyptic expressions for those periods of duration marking this present age. Jesus referred to it in Luke 21:24 as “the times of the Gentiles.”

The destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A. D. marked a change of seasons. Jesus referred to this change of season in the parable of the fig tree given in Matthew 24:32-34, Mark 13:28-30, and Luke 21:29-32. Note that the change of season referred to in the parable of the fig tree is the arrival of “summer.” Now this stated arrival of summer is not the time of the coming of harvest, for the arrival of summer it is only the beginning of the growing season, and not the end of it. Jesus told us in Matthew 13:30 and 39-43 that the “harvest” season is the end of the age, at which time He will appear to effect the eschatological day of judgment. Thus, the second coming of Jesus Christ did not occur in 70 A.D. as radical preterism would have us to imagine.

The “times of the Gentiles” began, prophetically speaking, with the rise of the Babylonian Empire in 606 B.C. (Daniel 2:31ff.; 7:1ff.). The seven “times“ of Israel’s punishment under the hand of Gentle domination (see Leviticus 26:18, 21, 24, 28) occurs in seven cycles of 430 years each (Ezekiel 4:5-6; Galatians 3:17; Daniel 12:11-12).
In this latter passage of Daniel 12:11-12 we find seven cycles based on the 430 years. The 1,290 days (days being interpreted as years) is three of those cycles (430 times 3). The 1,335 days (years) of Daniel 12:12 is another three cycles, plus part of a seventh (all of it equaling the “time, times, and a half” formula, “half” meaning the dividing of a time, and not necessarily the exact middle of it, see Daniel 7:25).

The total length of the seven divisions of time is 2,625 years (the 1,290 of Daniel 12:11, plus the 1,335 of Daniel 12:12). The beginning of the times of the Gentiles was 606 B.C. The end appears to be about 2019.

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