THE THIRD DAY

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THE THIRD DAYCopyright Š 2012 Robert B. Thompson. All Rights Reserved

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright Š 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth. (Hosea 6:2,3)

On the third day he will restore us.

Marvelous things are prophesied concerning the third day. The expression "the third day," or "on the third day," appears several times in the Bible. "On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee," and so forth.

For us personally, I think the third day comes after the second time we are pruned. We are pruned the first time after we have been saved for awhile, that we might bring forth more fruit. If God feels we can go on to much fruit, we will be pruned again.

Historically I believe the third day is beginning now, and those who wish to bear much fruit can enter into Jesus in an even greater way than they have to this point.

There were three great observances of Israel, at which time each male was to come to Jerusalem. On the Passover. On the feast of Pentecost. And on the feast of Tabernacles.

It is my understanding that the personal spiritual fulfillments of the two preliminary observances of Tabernacles, the Blowing of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement, are taking place today.

The Blowing of Trumpets signals the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to the consecrated believer to declare war against the enemy that dwells in him or her.

The Day of Atonement is the reconciliation to God of the consecrated believer, during which all worldliness, lust, and self-will are removed and Christ comes to full stature in his or her personality.

The feast of Tabernacles, which of necessity must take place after the believer has been reconciled to God in his or her personality, is the coming of the Father and the Son to dwell forever in the transformed individual.

These three aspects of the feast of Tabernacles constitute the "third day" of the Christian redemption.

The three aspects of our personal redemption from sin and rebellion and our total reconciliation to God have begun in our day, I believe. They are at once the most marvelous opportunity and the greatest danger possible to us. They are the greatest danger because there is so much deception operating in the world, as the climax of the Divine redemption approaches us.

The only way we can avoid being deceived is to walk carefully in the Presence of the Lord Jesus, patiently carrying our cross of deferred gratification.

Moses is dead, so to speak. The anointing for leadership is on Joshua. This means Christ, the good Shepherd, is becoming the Lord, strong and mighty in battle. The land of promise stretches before us. It is filled with all the promises of God.

We have not been here before. We must forget the past and press forward in Christ until we attain to the fullness of eternal life. We must learn to live by the Life of Christ, communicating with Him at all times, presenting every aspect of our life to Him that we may gain His wisdom and strength as we come against the enemy in our land.

As you read your Bible, be alert to the expressions "on the third day"; "after three days"; and so forth.

I believe the following passages give us some concept of the opportunities of the "third day":

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee,and two other disciples were together. "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. (John 21:1-3)

They caught nothing!

How often we spend years patiently serving the Lord. In some instances there is little to show for our efforts. But we keep on, faithfully performing the tasks that Jesus has set before us, knowing that we have a reward in Heaven.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. (John 21:4)

We may not realize it but we are living in the morning of the Day of the Lord. The past centuries of the "night" are coming to a close. A glorious morning is at hand. Remember, the darkest hour comes just before the dawn!

He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?" "No," they answered. (John 21:5)

They did not know that the stranger who called out to them was Jesus. I have been preaching a lot lately about listening to Jesus. This appears to be a new thought to some. Maybe things are different now and it will be more customary for believers to hear from the Lord.

I have been a Christian for many years. It seems that today the Lord is more present than ever before, at least to me. I have a feeling the Judge is standing at the door and is close to all who will take the time to listen to Him and talk to Him.

So much Christian work appears to be carried on in the dark. It is as though we assume we are supposed to do this or that, but we haven't really heard from Jesus. I'll tell you I do not want to do anything any more unless I have checked it out with the Lord.

I think people hear from the Lord in different ways. I hear a voice in my mind, being careful to screen out false voices. I do not know how other people hear from the Lord; but I am persuaded if they commit their way to the Lord He will get through to them in some manner.

The third great work of redemption is taking place now, and we shall miss the day of our visitation if we do not pay attention to the Lord.

He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. (John 21:6)

I believe this is true today. Though we have labored for many years, seemingly "catching" little or nothing, it is time now for great fruitfulness, a harvest that we have not imagined. The "third day" is the time when the spring rains water the earth and the wheat comes to maturity.

Notice that Jesus told them exactly what to do. They were obedient, and this brought the desired results.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, "It is the Lord," he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. (John 21:7)

There is this about the Apostle Peter. Although he had been fishing all night and caught nothing, he still was ready to serve the Lord. When John told Peter it was the Lord who was standing on the shore, Peter acted. When we hear from Jesus today we are to "jump into the water." Although our work may have been discouraging to this point, let us keep ready to serve Jesus diligently when He speaks to us.

The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. (John 21:8,9)

Notice that Jesus did not need the 153 large fish they had caught. He already had enough fish and bread for them to eat. He must have created the food, just as He did the loaves and fish on a previous occasion.

Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you have just caught."

Even though Jesus did not need that they bring more fish, He asked them to do so anyway. I think He was seeking an occasion to discourse with them and did not want them to feel foolish.

It is that way with us. We labor for years attempting to accomplish something when Christ could finish the work in a moment. The truth is, Christ does not need our help. He created the heavens and the earth, so what need does He have for us?

Jesus lets us toil on and on at tasks He could finish effortlessly. So it is not that He actually needs us. Rather, He wants our love and fellowship. As we continually perform the work He asks of us, He teaches us so many things, doesn't He—lessons we would not have learned had He done all the work by Himself.

God does not really need our help. This is why we must listen to Him and not attempt to work for Him. He gives us wisdom and strength for that which He is asking us to do. There is no need for us to work ourselves to death trying to accomplish what God has never asked to do.

Somewhere it says, "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength; but you would not have it so." Christ's yoke is easy and His burden is light. So let us not weary ourselves in the fire while we walk in the light of the burnings we have kindled ourselves.

On one occasion I was ready to run off to some foreign field, and I asked the Lord to show me where to go. God answered me by saying, "I love you."

There are times when God requires of us that we labor until we are exhausted. This is not often true, but it can happen. However He soon comes to us and directs us to rest.

God's commands are not grievous!

This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead. (John 21:14)

"On the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence."

When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" (John 21:15)

The last time we heard from Peter he was denying the Lord. Now Jesus was acknowledging that he was forgiven by commanding Peter to feed His lambs and take care of His sheep and feed them.

Jesus asked Peter if Peter loved Him. In a way this was reflecting back on Peter's denial of the Lord.

Now Peter had a heavy weight on Him to show that he loved Jesus by feeding and taking care of Jesus' sheep. This same weight was on the Apostle Paul because Paul had held the coats of those who stoned Stephen.

I think this same weight is on all of us, compelling us to serve Christ faithfully and diligently. We all have sinned and it is only through the sacrifice of Christ that we can be forgiven by the God of Heaven.

"I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, "Follow me!" (John 21:18,19)

Tradition has it that the Apostle Peter was crucified upside down. Jesus is telling Peter that Peter's love would be tested to a far greater extent than was true in the house of the high priest.

After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth. (Hosea 6:2,3)

We now are in the greatest of all times, as far as the work of redemption is concerned. There shall be danger, as I have noted, both spiritual and physical.

There shall be revival in the midst of trouble. The revival will not be of the kind we think of ordinarily but a revival of maturity. The Christian churches are filled with spiritual babies. It is time now for the babies to grow up to the fullness of the stature of Christ.

The mature saints that come out of this revival will be the ones who serve as the "two witnesses" of the Book of Revelation. The number "two" refers to the fact that each of the witnessing saints will be filled with Jesus so that two people actually are preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom—Jesus and the saint in whom Jesus abides.

I do not say that blood will not be shed in the coming days of chaos in America and the world. It shall be shed. There shall be intense persecution, just as in the early days of Christianity.

But in the midst of the trouble God will take care of those who are faithful to Him, bringing some of them and their children to peace and joy in the spirit world, and shielding others so no harm can come to them while they are bearing witness of the soon coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.

Sin shall abound in the future, but Divine grace shall much more abound.

So we have absolutely nothing to fear, provided we keep close to the Lord Jesus and obey His every command.

The lukewarm church-attenders shall be blown about as so much chaff. But those who know the Lord shall be strong and do exploits.

Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time. (Daniel 11:33-35)

"Let us press on to acknowledge Him"!