According to the Time of Life

We are going to look at two scriptures in Genesis 18 and II Thessalonians 1. Genesis 18 is a very good chapter to begin to understand how the mysteries of the Kingdom are found. There are many things in this chapter that speaks of the mysteries that are held in the Word of God.

Genesis 18:1 And the Lord appeared unto him (Abraham) in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day.

On the surface, this is not speaking of a whole lot. Abraham lives in a tent, and he is sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day, about 12 or 1 o’clock. Something is about to happen.

Lord - Jehovah. Already we see that Jehovah, meaning Jesus Christ, is involved.

Appeared is an imperfect verb, which means it keeps happening.

Mamre - fatness

Tent door - What is unusual about this particular tent is the fact that the word for “tent” in the Hebrew is the very same word for the tabernacle;the tabernacle was where they worshipped. The tabernacle had not been built at this time because it was Moses who gave the instruction and got the tabernacle built. But already this verse is speaking of the tabernacle simply because the tabernacle was God’s dwelling place. It is important for us to understand that. And we know what the door represents - I am the door of the sheep (John 10:7).

So, in this one verse there are a lot of different things speaking of New Testament truths. I told you once the New Testament is hidden in the Old Testament and the Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament. That is an important spiritual principal that we need to remember.

Genesis 18:2 And he lifted up his eyes and looked…

This is a key. If you lift up your eyes, what happens? You begin to see into another realm. Well, Abraham lifts up his eyes. He is getting a new vision of something, a new revelation. What is he seeing?

Genesis 18:2 …and, lo, three men stood by him…

Is there any time in the Scriptures when it talks about three? There’s Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Noah’s ark was three levels. There is 30-fold, 60-fold, and 100-fold in Matthew 13. Faith, hope, and love in I Corinthians 13. All the way through the Bible you see places where it speaks of threes. The number three speaks of things of the Spirit, the different levels, the different realms.

Genesis 18:2 …and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground.

I found it interesting when I read this that three men stood by Abraham, but then he saw them and ran to meet them. If they were by him, why did Abraham run to meet them? When you begin to see the mysteries of the Kingdom and think about it in a natural way, sometimes it doesn’t make sense, but it is all speaking of spiritual things. So, Abraham sees these three men because he is looking into a different realm. He is seeing things that other people do not see. Then he bows before the Lord.

Genesis 18:3 And said, My Lord, if now I have found favor in Thy sight, pass not away, I pray Thee, from Thy servant.

There is revelation. Abraham lifted up his eyes and suddenly he saw three men, but he knew who they were. That is why he said, My Lord, if now I have found favor in Thy sight.

Genesis 18:4 Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree…

What does the water represent? The Lord cleanses us with the water of the Word (John 15:3), and in John 13, Jesus washes the feet of the disciples with water.

Feet - What do the feet represent? How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that brings good tidings… Isaiah 52:7. Feet represents the apostolic ministries for they are the foundation of the Church.

And rest yourselves under the tree - What does this tree represent? The cross.

So, there is the washing of the water of the Word, cleansing the feet of the apostles, and the communion under the tree of the cross. That is where we will meet the Lord.

Genesis 18:5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort your hearts; after that you shall pass on: for therefore are you come to your servant. And they said, So do, as you have said.

What does bread represent? The bread is made from wheat. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:48).

There is a lot here that we’re not mentioning, but that’s okay. I just want you to get a handle on everything in this Old Testament is pointing to something in the New Testament. It’s not just this chapter, but all of them.

Genesis 18:6 And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.

Sarah is in the tent, that tabernacle. Who does Sarah represent? Sarah is the Church.

How many measures of fine meal? Three measures of fine meal. Here we are back to the three again.

Genesis 18:7 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetched a calf tender and good and gave it unto a young man; and he hastened to dress it.

The calf tender and good represents the calf without blemish, as Christ was as a sacrifice.

Genesis 18:8 And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

Eating represents partaking of the Word. We are told to take the Word and masticate it, chew it, let it become a part of you.

Now we’re getting down to the good part.

Genesis 18:9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.

Where is the Church? The Church is in the tabernacle, and inside the tabernacle is where the worship takes place.

Genesis 18:10 And he said, I will certainly return unto you according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah your wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.

The Lord is saying the Church is going to have a son. A son will be birthed in the Church. It is also interesting that He says, “I will certainly return.” The verb “return” is imperfect tense, which means it’s not just a one-time returning, but the Lord will return and return and return. We’ll pick that up again in II Thessalonians 1.

The Son does not come forth in the Church until the Church has come to old age. If you study all the women of great importance in the Bible, they are first barren and then the Lord opens their wombs so they can have a son. It pictures that what God is doing is not capable under man. It’s not man doing it, but God is doing it. But He has to do it in a way that is miraculous, so this is not something of man but something of God.

Genesis 18:11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well-stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.

So, you see, the Church reaches an old age and is unable to bring forth what God wants her to bring forth. She cannot do it. Where is the Church today? It has reached that old age where it cannot deliver the Son of God the way it should.

Genesis 18:12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?

That is the unbelief of the Church. “We’re old age now. We can’t bring forth this new thing in God.”

Genesis 18:13 And the Lord said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?

Now, you talk to some of the people in the church world today and tell them, “Christ is going to come forth in the church. The Son of God is going to be birthed in Christians.” They will laugh at you. “No, we’re waiting for the rapture to take us to heaven.”

Genesis 18:14 Is any thing too hard for the Lord?...

God has a way that He has to do everything the hard way, because we must believe.

Genesis 18:14 …at the time appointed…

The word “time” here is “season.” We’ve talked about seasons many times. We go from one season to another season. In each season, there are characteristics of the Lord that we are to appropriate in that season. This will continue one season after another season until you have appropriated that which is necessary. The next thing that happens is you have reached a season that is appointed.

Genesis 18:14 …I will return unto you, according to the time of life…

What is the time of life? Let’s turn to II Thessalonians 1.

II Thessalonians 1:10 When He shall come to be glorified…

When He shall come is future tense the way it is written. But the Greek reads: Whenever He comes to be glorified. Didn’t we just read in Genesis 18 where the Lord says, “I will return at the time of life,” and the word return is in imperfect tense, which means it happens over and over and over again? So, whenever He comes, the Lord has been coming since the Day of Pentecost in Acts into the lives of people. This is the time of life when the Lord Himself comes forth within you to be glorified.

Now, go back to verse 4 of the same chapter. Paul is speaking to the church of Thessalonica. The church in Thessalonica was a tremendous church. God did some great things there, but one of the greatest things about it was that the church was only in operation for a few weeks and was moving into some terrific things.

II Thessalonians 1:4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God, for your patience…

Not patience, but steadfastness! Your steadfastness and endurance. We don’t want to have patience. “Well, we have to be patient. God’s going to work this stuff out one day.” No! We’re not going to be patient. We’re going to be steadfast and believing.

II Thessalonians 1:4 … for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure.

If you haven’t experienced any persecutions and tribulations yet, you need to be concerned because it means you are not doing anything. When you begin to function the way God wants you to function, it will upset people. Remember when Jesus was born?

Matthew 2:1-3 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2 Saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him.
3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

Jesus was just a baby! He hadn’t done anything yet, but He appeared, and all Jerusalem was troubled. Even Herod the king was troubled. I tell you, when the Lord begins to be born in you, it will mean trouble from within and without. That trouble means you will get some persecutions and tribulations. So, when you come under the persecutions and tribulations, thank God for it. It means you are doing something right. If you’re not being persecuted, it means you are not doing anything.

Now back to II Thessalonians 1.

II Thessalonians 1:5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer…

Do you want to be counted worthy of the Kingdom? Then don’t worry about those persecutions, those tribulations. Don’t worry about “all Jerusalem.” What is Jerusalem? That is the church world. When the church world turns against you, don’t let it be a problem. That is a good thing.

II Thessalonians 1:6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you….

Do you see that? Christ begins coming forth in you and you begin responding in the way that you should, and you are ministering His presence, speaking His word, that stirs up the enemy. Suddenly some persecutions and tribulations begin to come against you. What does that become? A righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you. When you start suffering the persecutions and tribulations because of your righteousness, that gets God in action to protect you and to bring judgment on that is coming against you.

II Thessalonians 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels…

Are you being troubled with these things? Alright, that’s the ministry of rest to you. It will turn glory loose. All heaven will be moved. You will enter into a rest. Hebrews 4:5 speaks of entering into a rest. David didn’t enter it; Joshua didn’t enter it. None of those guys found this rest, but there remains a rest these are the one who will enter into it.

But look at all the things that happened beforehand. So, when these troubles begin to come, don’t say, “Woe is me.” But say, “Alright, we’re functioning! We are moving ahead. We’re doing something. We are accomplishing things. Jesus is being revealed from heaven with His mighty angels.”

His mighty angels are the messengers. They are James, John, Andrew, Peter, Philip, Paul, all of them will be involved. I tell you all of heaven, all the angelic host will get involved with us. We will not be alone.

II Thessalonians 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Where will this fire take place? It will take place within us. All the things within us that don’t know God, not just the persecutions and tribulations we talked about, but it will be a time when the fire of God comes into you and destroys the works of the flesh, things that have been a hindrance to you and holding you back. That carnal way of thinking is going to come down.

What are you going to do with that fire? Start spreading some of it around - the fire of the Holy Spirit.

II Thessalonians 1:9-10 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power;
10 Whenever He comes to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe…

This is the time of life that was spoken of in Genesis 18. Do you want the Lord Himself to be glorified in you? Do you want Him to be admired in you? I do. I want that.

II Thessalonians 1:10-12 …in all that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power.
12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

That is how this happens - because of His grace. The word “comes” in verse 10 is erchomai. It is imperfect tense so it’s not a one-time coming but a continual coming. The Lord has been coming in the saints of the past and He will continue coming in the saints of today. The saints of the days ahead, He will be coming forth in them. He wants to be admired and glorified in us. That doesn’t happen unless He is functioning through us.

“By faith I’ve got Jesus in me.”

Well, let Him move through you. Let Him function in your life. That is how the Lord is glorified.

Copyright © 2017 by Henry DuBose