Types and Shadows — The Two Days of Hosea

After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him.

[Hosea 6:2]

The often neglected book of Hosea contains one of the most fascinating prophecies in all of Scripture about the timing of the return of Jesus Christ. As I have studied this passage, I have become ever more convinced that the LORD gave Hosea a prophetic key that plainly unlocks the general timeline between the first and second coming of Messiah.

Jesus commends those who stay awake and who are ready and watching for His return in hopeful expectation. Knowing that we are called to discern the signs of the times and recognize the nearness of the Lord’s return, Hosea’s prophecy becomes that much more interesting.

Let’s take a closer look.

I Will Return Again to My Place

I will return again to my place,
until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face,
and in their distress earnestly seek me.

[Hosea 5:15]

Hosea spent his entire ministry warning Israel of her idolatry and spiritual adultery and at the same time calling her back to God. Israel repeatedly had been unfaithful the LORD by playing the whore with other gods and eventually would suffer exile for her apostasy. It is within this context that Hosea provides a fascinating prophecy.

Notice the LORD — speaking through Hosea — says that He will “return again to His place until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face” [Hosea 5:15]. At this point in redemptive history [8th Century B.C.], the Lord Jesus had not yet come in the flesh, much less had a chance to return to His place.

Yet the LORD tells Israel that He will return again to His place (in heaven) and will not come back to restore the Kingdom until the believing remnant of national/ethnic Israel experiences true repentance and calls in faith upon the name of the Lord. Obviously the LORD can’t return again to heaven unless He first descends from heaven to earth, which is at the heart of the gospel message. The Word became flesh.

If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man … that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

[John 3:12-13,15]

In the fullness of time, the Creator entered His own Creation. God so loved the world that He sent forth His Only Son, born of a woman, to redeem mankind through His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of the Father on high. Jesus echoes Hosea’s language in the gospels.

The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.

[Luke 9:22]

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4And you know the way to where I am going.”

[John 14:1-3]

What Hosea prophesied looking forward to Jesus, we now see by looking back through the cross, resurrection, and ascension of Christ. Jesus came and returned to His place again by ascending to the highest position of authority in the universe.

So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.

[Mark 16:19]

And when he [Jesus] had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight10And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes,11and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.

[Acts 1:9-11]

Since the Lord has already returned to His place by ascending to heaven, we are awaiting the Day when Jesus will rise up and leave His place in heaven to come tread the earth in judgment.

Hear, you peoples, all of you;
pay attention, O earth, and all that is in it,
and let the Lord GOD be a witness against you,
the Lord from his holy temple.
3For behold, the LORD is coming out of his place,
and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth
.
4And the mountains will melt under him,
and the valleys will split open,
like wax before the fire,
like waters poured down a steep place.
5All this is for the transgression of Jacob
and for the sins of the house of Israel
.
What is the transgression of Jacob?
Is it not Samaria?
And what is the high place of Judah?
Is it not Jerusalem?

[Micah 1:2-5]

After Two Days He Will Raise Us Up

To understand the context of the passage, it is necessary to circle back to Hosea’s prophecy.

Come, let us return to the LORD;
for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
2After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him
.
3Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth
.

[Hosea 6:1-3]

Hosea prophesied that after “two days” both the house of Israel and Judah would return to the LORD in repentance and faith during a time of great affliction. God promises to “revive” them after two days and on the “third day” to raise them up so that they may forever live before Him.

As I have already pointed out, this prophecy applies both to the first and second comings of Christ. Remember, after coming the fist time Messiah returned again to his place — which is the Ascension of Christ — and then after two days Messiah will return and resurrect His people.

The Apostle Paul echoes Hosea and connects his prophecy to the first coming of the Lord.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 

[1 Corinthians 15:3-4]

So how are we to understand Hosea’s prophecy concerning the 2nd Coming of the Lord?

First, we must recognize that God has revealed to us the prophetic pattern of redemptive history in the original 7-Day creation week in Genesis 1. Each of the six days of creation coincide with an epoch of 1,000 years of redemptive history, which means that the Biblical and historical timeline of human history falls within a literal 6,000 year period. The 7th Day Sabbath established by God also represents the prophetic Day of the LORD, when Christ returns to rule His kingdom for 1,000 years, which is equivalent to one day of rest. I have written extensively on this topic, so to discover more read the following blog — The Day of the LORD.

I believe the chart below helps provides a helpful visual of how one day with the LORD is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day.

Exposing Post-Trib Deceptions
7 Days of Redemptive History = 7,000 Years

So just to clarify, here is the pattern of the prophetic day as represented by 1,000 years.

  • From Adam to Abraham there were approximately 2,000 years = 2 Days.
  • From Abraham to the First coming of Jesus there were another 2,000 years = 2 Days.
  • From the Ascension of Jesus to His Return to Earth there is another 2,000 years = 2 Days.
  • The Day of the LORD is the final 7th Day of Rest = 1,000 year Millennial Kingdom.

So if I am interpreting Hosea’s prophecy accurately, the Lord Jesus will return 2,000 years — or 2 Days — after His first coming and ascension to heaven. Consequently, that means that if Jesus was crucified, resurrected and ascended to heaven approximately 30-35 A.D. — depending on which scholar you ask — then we should be able to calculate His return to be about 2,000 years later, which means that we could expect Jesus to return somewhere around 2030-2035 A.D.

Notice also that Hosea places the timing of the resurrection of the dead to take place after two days = 2,000 years = from Messiah’s first coming. The Scriptures all agree that the resurrection of the righteous occurs when Jesus Christ returns from heaven to earth in power and great glory to gather His people to Himself. [see Daniel 12:1-3, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, Matthew 13:36-43, Matthew 24:27-31, John 11:17-27, 1 Corinthians 15:20-28, Revelation 14:14-20]

For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

[John 6:40]

I am fully aware that many may struggle with the possibility of associating any kind of date with the return of Jesus because of the unfortunate doctrine of “imminency,” which teaches that Jesus could return at any moment and that it is impossible to know when His coming will be.

What many people don’t know is that this is not a Biblical concept. Quite to the contrary, Jesus and the prophets consistently challenge believers to discern the signs and be prepared and ready for His coming. Hence Jesus says, “when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates” [Matthew 24:33].

In Their Distress They Will Seek Me

I will return again to my place,
until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face,
and in their distress earnestly seek me.

[Hosea 5:15]

The final compelling component to Hosea’s prophecy is found in his reference to the great tribulation — also known as Jacob’s trouble. Notice the condition Hosea provides for the Lord’s return. The Lord is waiting for the national repentance of both Israel and Judah when they confess their sin of unbelief and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is both Savior and Lord.

The Bible contains dozens of prophecies about a believing remnant of Israel turning to the Lord Jesus Christ after going through the fires of the great tribulation. Hosea just so happens to use the very same word for tribulation that is used throughout the Old Testament to describe the final time of Jacob’s trouble at the end of the age. It is the Hebrew word tsar — צַר — which means narrow, a tight place, adversary, affliction, anguish, close, distress, enemy, flint, foe, sorrow, strait, tribulation, trouble.

Here is just a sampling of passages describing this unprecedented time of distress.

Alas! That day is so great
there is none like it;

it is a time of distress for Jacob;
yet he shall be saved out of it.

[Jeremiah 30:7]

And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. 31The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and dreadful day of the LORD comes32And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.

[Joel 2:30-32]

At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. 2And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

[Daniel 12:1-2]

Jesus also affirms that He will not return until Israel acknowledges her guilt and calls upon the name of the Lord in faith.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 38See, your house is left to you desolate.39For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”

[Mt. 23:37-39]

The prophet Zechariah and the Apostle Paul add some important finishing touches to this prophecy.

And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.

[Zechariah 12:9-10]

Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,

“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
27“and this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”

[Romans 11:25-27]

If Hosea’s fascinating “Two-Day” prophecy is correct, then we are fast approaching this unprecedented time of great tribulation that will lead to the end of this present age — or the completion of 6,000 years. If that is true, then the Day of the Lord Jesus Christ is critically close, and His coming Kingdom of 1,000 years is drawing near — even at the very gates!

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus!

Published by Marcus Walker Van Every

I am ... A sinner saved by the grace of God A son of my Heavenly Father A servant of the LORD Jesus Christ A husband to my beautiful bride Abigail A father of three amazing sons A son A brother An ambassador for the kingdom of God A herald of the good news A preacher of the gospel A shepherd of God's people A worship leader A Student of the Bible A surveyor of the prophetic word A co laborer in God's mission An apologist for the faith A chronicler of the times A writer A lover of music A singer/songwriter A coach A baseball purest A Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Cardinals fan

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