The Third Year
The wonder of the prophecy of the Lord is that it is “multi-layered.” For example, I have written before of my belief that the prophecy of the 70th Week found in Daniel 9:27 could refer to both the 3½ year ministry of Jesus on earth and the final 3½ years of the Tribulation period. The number “three” occurs many times in the Bible in the form of three days and three years. There are some wonderful pictures, or types, or foreshadows involving three years, as noted below.
In searching the Bible for the phrase “the third year” and “after three years” I was surprised by the number of occasions these phrases were found. And many of them present a fascinating picture. Here are some of them:
Quite obviously, I do not know three years after what. I do not know if my theories about the pictures I have shown above are valid. But in Glory, the Lord will explain it all. May His name be praised always!
- The third year is the year of tithing. (Deuteronomy 26:12) This is the bringing forth of that which belongs to the Lord, and a picture of the Church, which belongs to the Lord, being returned to the Lord in the third year.
- Daniel and his three Jewish relatives were trained for three years, and after that they were able to enter the king’s service. (Daniel 1:5) This gives us a picture showing that after three years the Church will be able to enter the service of the King in His kingdom! But three years after what?
- After three years Paul went up to Jerusalem. (Galatians 1:18) Jerusalem and Mount Zion are earthly representations of Heaven. Again Paul, as a type or picture of the Church, shows that after three years the Church could go up to the Heavenly Holy City. And again, three years after what?
- Xerxes the king, in the third year of his reign, gave a great banquet for all his princes and servants. Xerxes is a type of the Lord Jesus in this picture. In the third year he gave a banquet for his princes (angels?) and his servants (followers of Jesus). “Blessed [are] they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.” (Revelation 19:9)
- The banquet of Xerxes lasted 180 days, or one-half year. (Esther 1:2-4) Adding the conclusion of the six month-long banquet to the three-year reign would be 3½ years. The result of this banquet was placing Esther, a Jewess, on the throne as queen. And through Esther came the defeat of Haman and his obsessive plan to exterminate all the Jews. Prophetically, after 3½ years, the Satan-empowered Anti-Christ will make plans to eliminate all the Jews, but this time the plans will again be thwarted. It will be done by the Lord Jesus upon His Return.
- Daniel received two visions in the third year foretelling coming events. (Daniel 8:1-3, 10:1-6) He received both of these visions while standing by rivers; the Ulai Canal and the Tigris River. The “river” is a symbolic picture of the boundary that separates this physical world from the spiritual world. We sing about crossing the river in hymns. Just as the Children of Israel crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land on the third day (Joshua 3:2), someday, perhaps in the third year, the Church will cross the river into Heaven.
BACK to Lesson Archive.