Comments on Prophetic Timing
Jul 12, 2017
I awoke this morning with a word about prophecy.
Everyone wants to know what is happening in the world around them, and people are trying to make sense of it. I learned many years ago (1970’s) that if you can help people understand the world and where it is heading, people respond. Perhaps this is because there is so much chaos and uncertainty, and the “rapture” solution is inadequate.
Prophecy is more than a gift of the Spirit. Prophecy is first about knowing what will happen in the time ahead and understanding the divine purpose in those prophesied events.
Secondly, prophecy often reveals hints about timing. Normally, the timing given in Scripture is rather obscure, except in cases of short-term prophecy that was fulfilled long ago. But most Bible prophecy is long-term, and the people hearing the prophecy for the first time did not need to know when it was to be fulfilled. It is only when those prophecies are ready to be fulfilled that the generation needs to know and understand what is coming to pass.
For this reason, greater revelation is needed in those generations. This is also a good reason why God must have prophets in every generation—especially the generations that see the transition from one age to another. I believe that we are one of those generations today. Revelation comes to everyone who has ears to hear, but God also raises up prophets of various kinds with specific revelations that can guide the people through the turbulence of the shifting times.
In such times, it is important not only to know what is happening, but why. To know why, one must know when things happen. To know when, one must know the law and the judgments of God as He deals with the nations—especially the feast days, which reveal the overall structure of all prophetic timing.
If you know when an event occurred (or will occur in the future), then you will know why it is happening—if you know the history of the feast days and their prophetic meanings. When you know why events happen, then you know the purposes of God, which often take the form of divine judgments in the earth, as revealed in His law. If you know this, then you have some basis of understanding the mind of God and His ways.
Knowing God’s Ways
Many believers today are more interested in seeing miracles than in knowing the mind of God. They are more oriented toward God’s acts than in knowing His ways. I suppose it has always been this way, for it seems to be part of human nature. Psalm 103:7 says,
7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel.
Israel knew God’s acts, but Moses knew God’s ways. Israel saw what God did, but they had little or no understanding, so they did not know why. They remained confused most of the time. But God explained things to Moses, who had ears to hear. So Moses had understanding that went far beyond knowing or seeing the acts of God.
Understanding timing is a large part of understanding God’s ways. When God judges the nations, He does not sentence them to an open-ended judgment. Judgment is subordinate to time, and it is a function of time, because the judgment always fits the crime (sin). Hence, a biblical judge was required to be able to calculate how long a sinner was to be sentenced to labor, if the man could not pay the debt incurred by his sin. Those who had no skills in simple mathematics were not called to be judges, for they were incapable of righteous judgment.
To know God’s ways requires study. Those who are unable to study will never know the ways of God. So Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 12:12 KJV, “much study is a weariness to the flesh.” But Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV, “study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Study does indeed weary the flesh, although it helps when we enjoy learning. The joy of discovering new insights into the mind of God is hardly matched by anything else, at least for me. But this is not just a matter of reading books. Even the Bible itself is just a book, unless the Holy Spirit turns it into the word. The Holy Spirit is our Teacher (Luke 12:12; John 14:26), not the book itself. The Holy Spirit can teach you with or without a book.
The value of books is that you have opportunity to learn things that the Holy Spirit has taught others. In fact, the Bible is the record of revealed truth to inspired men from the past. One thing I have learned well is that God does not reveal everything to any one person. For this reason, we all need each other, for if we know only what God has made known to us, we will be lacking in many areas. We must combine what God has shown us with that which He has given to others. That is how the Spirit leads us into “all the truth” (John 16:13).
Secrets of Time
I first began to learn about timing in the early 1970’s. Those studies were limited in value, but they made me aware that many modern historical events were linked by known biblical time cycles. In the 1980’s, I learned from others how the judgments of God could be seen in spiritual warfare and times of intercession. This added new features to my understanding of time.
Then in 1991, I heard teachings from Lalo Cadona, who took the study of timing to a whole new level. His father, in 1946, had discovered the principles of Cursed Time (414 years), Judged Time (434 years), and Blessed Time (490 years). His son (Lalo) took that understanding to a new level in the 1980’s, and when I heard him teach, I recognized that this was something I needed to learn thoroughly.
So in April 1991, I went to his house and spent a week with him, taking copious notes to be sure that I understood everything that he was saying. Then I returned home (to Arkansas) and spent the next six weeks at the Arkansas State University library in Jonesboro, Arkansas. I read dozens of history books to see if I could verify Lalo Cadona’s prophetic time line.
After six weeks, I finished my study. I found three clear discrepancies in Lalo Cadona’s historical time line, but my studies also proved his basic principles. Once I cleared up his historical errors, I found many more examples of Cursed Time cycles than he had known. He only knew of one such cycle—from Adam to the flood, 1656 years (414 x 4)—and so he was handicapped by this. It was remarkable that he had discovered so much with so little.
Then I began to discover that I myself had gone through a few cycles of Cursed Time in previous years. That is when I came to understand God’s purpose for my own times of tribulation. I also learned that Cursed Time is actually a grace period. God’s “curses” are judgments, but they are designed to give a grace period so that men have time to repent before the judgment is carried out. Why? Because God is love, and His judgments are corrective in nature.
I saw this in the examples of my own life, where I had gone through cycles of Cursed Time. I was brought low, but I was not destroyed. Each time, God brought me to the place of repentance.
I then saw the biblical examples of Cursed Time in that same light. This was a major key in understanding the mind of God insofar as His judgments were concerned. I also saw that Cursed Time is not imposed upon people for every sin, or even for really bad sins. This cycle focuses primarily upon callings. Cursed Time is imposed either when a person is trying to fulfill a calling that is not his, or if a person is NOT in his calling when he ought to be.
It appears that Cursed Time is God’s way of bringing His people into their callings. But God also uses this in a negative sense, such as we see with Ishmael, son of Hagar the Egyptian. He was brought into this world to be the chosen seed of Abraham, but he did not have that calling, as Abraham learned 13 years later. Ishmael’s mother was Hagar, the daughter of Pharaoh (through a concubine), as we learn from the book of Jasher. So Ishmael himself was the grandson of Pharaoh and thus represented Egypt itself.
Ishmael was in a calling that was not his. He could have renounced it, but he and his mother contended with Isaac and Sarah for the honor of being “chosen.” He did not realize that his claim to “chosen” status put not only him, but Egypt under Cursed Time. Hence, Egypt was destroyed 414 years later as Israel left Egypt in the time of Moses.
For details, see my book, Secrets of Time, chapter 5.
The point is even as Lalo Cadona took his father’s revelation to a new level, so I did also with Lalo’s revelation. We all build upon the revelation of others with that which the Holy Spirit reveals to us.
Frustrations of Prophetic Timing
Revelation is progressive, increasing as we draw near to the fulfillment of past prophecy. If we try too hard to see the future, we tend to develop eyestrain. I have found that there is a time for every revelation, and if we manage to extract something before its time, it usually works against us, because we can never get more than a distorted or incomplete picture. It is better to work with God on matters of revelation and to understand that some things are best kept secret for now.
There are always problems with those who try to date the return of Christ. This happened in the year 1000 A.D. and again in 1844, 1917, 1948, 1967, 1988, 2000, etc. All of those dates were important in other ways, but they were not the time for Christ’s return. God is doing many things in the earth. Christ’s return is not the only thing to watch for. Problems come when we make assumptions about important dates that we see coming. Assumptions are never based on a complete picture, so there is always some element of surprise when the actual event arrives. This can leave people frustrated and embarrassed.
To know timing is like having a stove with which to prepare your spiritual food. The stove is very handy, but it can also burn you, if you are not careful. Those who have been burned may get rid of their stove, but it is much better to learn how to use it properly.
Dr. Stephen Jones