Let us start by turning to Esther 8. I will begin reading in verse 10. It says in Esther 8:10-12:
And he wrote in the king Ahasuerus' name, and sealed it with the king's ring, and sent letters by posts on horseback, and riders on mules, camels, and young dromedaries: Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey, Upon one day in all the provinces of king Ahasuerus, namely, upon the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month Adar.
I will continue reading in Esther, but I would like to first make a comment. If this could be said of any book of the Bible, this could be said of the book of Esther. Esther is a book that focuses in an unwavering manner upon a date. The book of Esther is a book that has as its main theme the setting of a date, and that date is the 13th day of the 12th month.
Actually, this date is set back in Esther 3; then the rest of the book – chapters 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and even 10, which is a prolog – deals with a date that has been set for Purim, which is the 13th day of the 12th month. Of course, this date itself was picked by lot; and the Bible tells us, “The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.”
We can see God’s hand in this date because of the numbers. The number 12 points to fullness, and the number 13 points to the end of the world. So this date has everything to do with a date for the end of this earth and for the completion of Judgment Day. It really is pointing to the end of all things.
What happens on that date? Initially, the Jews were to die, but this turns around and all of the enemies of the Jews or all the enemies of God and His people are the ones who perish.
This is actually just an excellent description of what takes place at the end of the world because God’s people are delivered. They are spared. They do not die, just like the Jews in the book of Esther. On the other hand, all of the enemies of God’s people or all of the unsaved and the enemies of the Kingdom of God do perish.
So here God has set up a date in the book of Esther, a date that has the number 12 for fullness in relationship to the fullness of time, and a date that has the number 13 that indicates the end of the world. It is a date where all of the Jews’ enemies are killed and perish.
So we can see how this book itself is on display in the Bible as a testimony from God Himself that there is nothing Biblically wrong or that there is nothing in the Bible that would prohibit setting a date for Judgment Day. Actually, the book of Esther testifies that God has set a date, that God will publish this date and that God will make this date known to all people. This tells us that God would tell all people of a particular date in which it will be Judgment Day.
He has done this, as the date of May 21 went into all of the world. The beginning of the end was when the world heard the date of May 21. It was only up until that point that they had to find salvation. If they did not find salvation by May 21 before God shut the door to Heaven, they might still be physically continuing to live at that point and into this period of time; but for all intents and purposes, they have already been experiencing the judgment of God. Now it is just a matter of waiting out the days until they do perish.
So some people make the statement that date setting is a sin. They just think that it is a sin to set a date. In response, we would have to say that it could be a sin. If someone were setting a date based on a dream or on a vision or on any kind of supernatural revelation that they thought they had outside of the Bible, this would be sinful. This would not be done faithfully at all. Or if someone set a date and they were not following the Bible’s guidelines, if they were not following the Bible’s hermeneutic for coming to truth, if they were not carefully searching Scripture and comparing Scripture with Scripture and making sure that their conclusions harmonized with the whole Bible, if they carelessly set a date in this manner, this could be sinful.
But if people go to the Bible and as they study the Bible of this matter as well as of in any other matter – because the setting of a date is really a doctrine – as long as it is derived from the Bible and the methodologies of the Bible of comparing “here a little, and there a little” and Scripture with Scripture, as long as these methodologies are closely followed and they are finding the information in the Bible itself and nowhere else, then the date that comes forth is from the Bible. We know that the Bible is the Word of God. The Bible tells us, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine,” and that doctrine might be election or that doctrine might be Christ slain from before the foundation of the world or it might be the doctrine of time.
We may have found in the Bible, as we have, the genealogies that have established a timeline of history and that have also shown us that God does nothing randomly. He does nothing accidentally or haphazardly. He does everything perfectly and systematically in a very orderly manner. This is why we see relationships between this key Biblical date and that key Biblical date.
So we lay things all out and we find that these time patterns or timelines point to specific dates. For example, May 21 is a date that came from the Bible. Who set that date? It came from the Bible, so God set that date. God is the One who put His finger on that date. No one could have managed to scheme this up. I do not care how brilliant they might be, no one could manage to arrange the Scriptures and to work things out so that the church age could end in 1988 and so that a 23-year great tribulation could begin, with the first part of it being 2300 evening/mornings and then it ending and landing on September 7th, the first day of the 7th month, to begin a Jubilee period of sending forth the Gospel once again of the latter rain; and then have the 6100 days of the latter rain conclude with a full 8400 days of the great tribulation and on the date of May 21, after a full 23 years of great tribulation.
All of these things were worked out years in advance of the information of the flood. This information in relation to the flood was noticed by someone. Whoever it was who saw this information did not even realize how things would turn out until a later date when things were pointed out; and what was finally pointed out was that the date of May 21, which was a full 23 years and a full 8400 days, was the underlying day of the 17th day of the 2nd Hebrew month, the very day that God shut the door of the ark in the days of Noah. Not only this, but it was in the year 2011 that the 23rd year concluded on the 17th day of the 2nd month. It was the year 2011 that was 7,000 years from the flood, and the year 2011 was the only year in which May 21 would be the 17th day of the 2nd month. When we looked at a Hebrew calendar for at least a 20-year period from the year 2000 through the year 2020, it was only in the year 2011 that May 21 was the 17th day of the 2nd month. It was not the 17th day of the 2nd month in any of the other years in that 20-year span.
So God put His finger on that date. We were correct. That was where the 7,000-year timeline fell. That was the day that the door was shut. That was Judgment Day, the end of the great tribulation and the day of transition. God caused the churches to drink of the wine of the wrath of God and judgment began at the house of God, but then He caused all the nations, as God said to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 25, to drink. Do they think that they would not drink of this cup if He first caused His own people to drink of this cup? Of course, they would drink; and so He has begun to give the nations of the world the cup of the wine of the wrath of God. Judgment Day began on that date and that date comes from the Bible; therefore, God set that date.
If anyone has a problem with date setting, talk to God. Go to God. Complain to Him. Tell Him that you do not like the genealogies that He has placed in the Bible. Tell Him that you do not like how all of these timelines fit together so neatly and so perfectly. Tell Him that you have a problem with the way that the end of the church age and the great tribulation and all of these things fell on one particular day.
Do not complain to God’s people. We are not smart enough or wise enough. We do not know anything. All we are are messengers. The book of Esther calls us postmen. We run and we carry the message of the King. If the King says that the date is the 13th day of the 12th month, who set that date? Was it the postmen? Who set that date in the book of Esther?
It goes back to Haman, yes; but the date was written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s ring. The king, therefore, takes full responsibility for the setting of that date. It is given in His name and it is unalterable. It is unchangeable. That date is set in stone. No one may change a law that a king of the Medes and the Persians has given, and this date stays consistently the same throughout the book of Esther. It is one day that is published to all nations and it is the 13th day of the 12th month.
It was the king who set this date, and so God has set the date for Judgment Day. God is the One who is the date setter. If people think that date setting is sin, people better watch out what they are saying. We do not want to strive with our Maker. We do not want to argue with God. If He has opened up these things from the Bible, and He has, if we are disappointed or not or confused or not or troubled by current events or not, we had better watch out. If we are striving with God, we are bound to lose. We are bound to end up in just grave and serious trouble if we are striving with God regarding something that He has declared.
Going on in Esther, it says in Esther 8:13, which we spoke about last Sunday:
The copy of the writing for a commandment to be given in every province was published unto all people, and that the Jews should be ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.
I think that we went into this pretty well last Sunday. We do know that the Jews are typifying the elect and we know that when God says to them to be “ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies,” this was not typical.
It was a common question to ask, “Are you ready,” like we read in Amos 4:12:
Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.
After reading a verse like this that tells us that we have to “prepare to meet thy God,” we have to ask, “Are you ready? Are you ready to meet God?” This is what we would ask people, because we were concerned about people and concerned about their preparation and if they were ready.
What is the only way to be ready to meet God? The only way is to have Christ as Saviour. Otherwise, we are not ready. If we are not ready, we will experience the judgment of God. But the day to get ready to meet God was the time leading up to the end of the latter rain when God had flung the door of Heaven wide open and was saving a “great multitude, which no man could number.” All over the earth, it was being called out to people, “Prepare to meet thy God! Are you ready? Now is the time! Now, before the day of His wrath comes. Seek the Lord that you might be hid in the day of His anger. Seek Him. Go to Him. Cry for mercy. Beseech Him that He might spare you.”
So this idea of asking the question, “Are you ready?” is quite different than what we read in Esther 8:13. The Jews were to be “ready against that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.” This is not saying, “Be prepared to meet God”; that is, your spiritual condition is that you need to be a child of God. This is language that is telling God’s people, “Be prepared to execute judgment, to bring vengeance, to avenge yourselves on your enemies.”
We talked about this and we again want to emphasize that the Bible never allows or permits the people of God to exact vengeance in this life. We are not to seek revenge. We are not to go after anyone if they have done something to us. If reviled, we revile not again. We pray for people. We do not try to get even with people at all. This is not something that a believer would do. God instructs us to forgive. How often are we to forgive? The Bible tells us, “Until seventy times seven.” We are not to hold grudges and we are not to be vindictive. We are not to strike back.
The only exception to this is the end of the world or Judgment Day. It is then that God brings judgment on the world and it is then that He utterly destroys His enemies forevermore. Since they are enemies of God and His Kingdom and since God’s people are citizens of the eternal Kingdom of Heaven, they are our enemies also. On that day, we are fully and completely aligned with God and no more with anything in this world.
This world is passing away and a new Heaven and a new earth is coming in; and so we identify with God and His Kingdom. Therefore, as God destroys His enemies, in that way we are with Him destroying them also, which is just as it says in the little book of Jude, the Epistle that comes right before the book of Revelation. It says in Jude 1:14-15:
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
So Christ Jesus the Lord is coming “with ten thousands,” the great company of the elect or the completeness of His saints, “to execute judgment upon all,” because we are with Him. This is how we are to avenge ourselves on our enemies and be ready against that day.
It still does stand that in order to be ready, we would have to be saved; but this is all taken care of by now. The difference is that it is not the time now. This is because if someone is unsaved, they cannot become saved. Salvation will not happen, even though God still allows anyone to go to Him and to cry out for mercy at this time. All the way to the end, anyone can cry for mercy. The difference is that they would do so recognizing that the door is already shut and that they would be beseeching the Lord that He might have done a work of grace in their hearts already that they might not be aware of or a work for others that they might not be aware of. Therefore, we pray more accurately, “O God, having had mercy, have mercy.” This is how the believer can pray to God for anyone today. We can continue to pray that He might have mercy for those who would qualify.
Then we read in Esther 8:14:
So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace.
We have talked about this. This decree of Purim, which was a change, was an additional decree that was giving the Jews information that they were to fight back. They were to slay their enemies. This decree carried as much weight as the earlier decree. It was sent out in the same manner and the ones carrying this message did not slack. They were “hastened and pressed on.”
This word for “pressed on” is found in Esther 3:15 and it is also translated as “hastened.” This is a strong emphasis that this must be done urgently, as we read in Esther 8:14:
…being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace.
I would like to say something that is not part of the Bible study, even though this is derived from the Bible study. We desire to share this information and God’s people have been sharing this. With our limited resources, we are not in the same position that we were in a year ago. We do not have the money available, there are not as many people, and so forth. There are just a lot of reasons why this message cannot be shared with the world in the same manner that it was previously. But I would like to suggest something tonight to all of you. I hope to write something up and post it soon, Lord willing, on Facebook and wherever else I can. I would like to suggest that we take this word and post it, which is like I just said. I would like to write something up and post it.
This happens to be the word that is used in the book of Esther where it speaks of:
…the posts that rode upon mules…
It is interesting that when we go on these social media websites with all of our modern technology, we post in these groups. We post on Yahoo groups. We post messages on Facebook. We post on our wall or in groups there. There are actually many situations today where we post things. There is also MySpace. There are individual websites and blogs where things can be posted.
I would like to suggest that we develop – and I am going to try to work on this – a short and very direct statement or paragraph that describes the feast of Purim and that maybe gives a Bible verse or two, and that we post this. I will post this on my Facebook page and then I am asking everyone on my Facebook page and all of my friends to copy it and post it on their page – all of them. I do not think that they all will, but I can ask them. I am also going to ask them to translate it into their various languages. It will be very short, so it will not be a lot of translation work.
So I would like to suggest that we post this information about Purim and that we ask people to post it on their page and that they on their page also ask people to post it. We will ask our friends and our fellow believers to post this on their pages and then ask their friends to post it also. Ask them as they do so, to continue it.
It will sort of be like those chain emails that we get that a lot of times serve no purpose, but this is perhaps something that we can do and that God can use. I do not know how far this will go. We can also put this on our EBible website and ask people to post this information. Maybe this will not go very far at all. Maybe it will only be a few thousand more who hear about this, but we will have done what we could. But the truth and the fact is that Esther 8:14 commands:
So the posts that rode upon mules and camels went out, being hastened and pressed on by the king's commandment. And the decree was given at Shushan the palace.
We have seen all along that the king represents God. King Ahasuerus is a picture of God Himself. Mordecai who wrote the law is a picture of Christ, the Word of God. And since the king has set his seal to it, it is in his name and it as if he has given the commandment. This is a commandment that this message be posted in all of the 127 provinces and in all of the languages of the people of the provinces. This is to go forth.
So, now, here it is. Here is the writing. Here is the letter and this is to be carried; and so the postmen, first of all, do not debate this. They do not unwrap the scroll and start to read it and decide whether or not it is worthy of their time and effort to carry such a message. After all, some of these postmen had to travel far. When we look at a map and we see where Shushan the palace was, which was in an area around Babylon or the Iran/Iraq area, and then look at how far India and Ethiopia is from there, we can see how far this was.
So they had to get on their animals, their horses, their mules, their camels, and their young dromedaries and ride for quite some time. It took many days and many weeks in some cases to reach the outlying areas of the kingdom and the furthest provinces. Yet they had to hear, and so this message was carried and hastened and pressed on by the king’s commandment. This decree was given at Shushan the palace, and the word “Shushan” identifies with the word “lily” and Jesus is the “lily of the valleys.”
God is instructing us that this command is coming from the king, it is written by Mordecai, and the decree is given at Shushan. So there is just a very large emphasis that this is from God and that this news is to be spread.
Then we read in Esther 8:15-17:
And Mordecai went out from the presence of the king in royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and purple: and the city of Shushan [or the city of Christ] rejoiced and was glad. The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honour. And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king's commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.
We will stop here.