The text below is taken from chapter 3 (The scope of the final times) and part of chapter 4 (The third day) which gives a summary of A. Leenhouts' message. The title of the book refers to the moment at Carmel, in the Old Testament where God showed the Jewish people who the real God was. The "competition" was between Elia and the Baal prophets. Leenhouts' message includes that the Jewish people will face a future parallel to the Carmel event.


Contents



Introduction
Called in 1948 - Concealment impossible

The code
The fixed order in God's work of fulfilment

The fulfilment of the cycle of the feasts of the Lord

The Mount of Olives - The old calendar of feasts - The transfiguration on the mountain - God's penultimate secret - The Feast of Tabernacles - Temple and court - The three basic aspects

The scope of the final times

The third day

The wedding in Cana - The woman of Samaria - The miraculous fishing - The bringing in of prophecy - Spear and hammer

The Hiel-building
A mirror of the final times - Lest ye should be wise in your own conceits - Israel

Competition of the altars
The border-situation - A legitimate attitude of faith - The form of the competition of the altars - Elijah's altar and the status of the Jewish people - The impossible proposition - The unavoidable dilemma - The Arabic world

Themes of the vertical dialogue
The kingdom of peace - The primeval mount - The circles of Jezebel - Crossed hands - The afikoman of the final times - Elijah's cup put to the lips of king Saul



The scope of the final times


The scope of the final times will only become clear when we have seen the scheme pursued by the Apocalypse, when it speaks of the '... things which must shortly come to pass...' (Rev.1:1). The scheme is as follows:

Chapter 4: The throne.

Chapter 5: The Lamb is in the middle of the throne.

Chapter 6: The general view of world-history.

Chapter 7: A vision of consolation, in which the safety of the church is guaranteed.

Chapters 8, 9: The first series of plagues, described in the language of the signs of the plagues of Egypt, ending in the intermezzo-event of Revelation 10.

Chapter 10: The fulfilment of the Feast of Tabernacles within the frame of world-history, the revelation of God's penultimate secret, all as a pledge and prelude of the day of judgment, on which God's mystery will be fulfilled.

Chapters 11-20: These chapters form one whole, and all deal with the last round of history.

Chapter 11: In the same way as chapter 6 dealt with the general view of world-history in its entirety, so does chapter 11 deal with the general view of the last phase, the short half time.

Chapter 12: This chapter gives a recapitulation, a retrospective view and a summary of the basic motives, which govern the struggle of all times. The deepest background is laid bare, and the released satan turns his wrath against the remainder of the woman's seed.

Chapter 13: In this chapter we read how he will do this. He calls for the anti-christ and the false prophet.

Chapter 14: Now that is made known how the devil will organize his final attack, it will also be described in what way God will come with His counter-attack. But this will be preceded by a vision of consolation, in which, exactly as was the case in the first series of plagues of chapters 8 and 9, we are ensured the safety of the redeemed.

Chapters 15, 16: The second series of plagues, likewise described in the language of the signs of the plagues of Egypt. The last seven plagues are beginning to show.

Chapters 17, 18, 19: These chapters deal with a peculiarization of the last plagues. Here is described the judgment of the great whore, the antichrist and the false prophet, and finally the satan.

Chapter 20: This chapter concludes the cycle 11-20, and reveals to us how the satan was bound for one thousand years and had to be released for a short time.


In this scheme is clearly expressed the literary methodical procedure, which is so characteristic for the Revelation, viz. in putting the main idea in the first place and unfolding the details afterwards. The apocalypse opens up like a fan. World-history unfolds itself from the throne of God, in which THE LAMB has received a central place. Furthermore, everything has been placed in the sign of Jesus' victory. It is from this joyful a priori that they sing, prophesy and explain what is to come. It is one mighty LITURGY OF THE PASSOVER. The Lord has truly risen. Now He must rule as a King, until He has brought all His enemies under His feet. To these enemies even belong the elect people of revelation, Israel, for as much as and for as long as they belong to the alliance hostile to the Messiah (Acts 4:27).

At the beginning of the Apocalypse there is to be observed a sharp antithesis towards the blinded Jews, as we read in the opening words: '... they also which pierced him...' (Rev.1:7), and in the letters: '... synagogue of Satan...' (Rev. 2:9, 3:9) but it is and it will remain the book '... of him which is, and which was, and which is to come... ' (Rev. 1:4, 8).
Twice we hear in the opening words the Name of Jahwe in this way, and also in the final times this Name is twice full of majesty in the exodus which is brought about through the power of that Name. Revelation 8 and 9, 15 and 16. It is in the first place the Name of the eternal fidelity to the chosen people.
So, when is described which 'must be hereafter' (Rev. 4:1) it is the two series of plagues of the chapters 8, 9 and 15, 16 that form the main element of the Apocalypse. Here we find the actually composing forces of the history of the final times. Everything else is, as was said before, either a general survey of the entire field up to the end, a sort of title-chapter, e.g. chapter 6, or a prophetic pointing to the consequence of such a series of plagues.
With the chapters 7 and 14, too, we have already fully arrived at the symbolism of the exodus. For the angel ascending from the East has '... the seal of the living God...' (Rev. 7:2). It reminds of the sign of the blood, that the children of Israel had to smear on the lintel and two side posts of their houses, so that the angel of death would pass over them. The one hundred and forty-four thousand are the 'redeemed from the earth' (Rev. 14:3). They are '... sealed... of all the tribes of the children of Israel' (Rev. 7:4). With this is meant the CHURCH OF CHRIST WHICH HAS COME TO ITS FULNESS FROM JEW AND GENTILE.
It is important to see this, also in connection with the place and the function of chapter 7 as against the following chapters 8, 9 and 10, and 11: 1.
In chapter 7 is announced with prophetic certainty - it is characteristic for the prophets, because of their being certain, to talk about the things which 'are not yet' 'as if they were' - that, which IN THE WAY OF A REVERSED PESACH, a punishment with 'Egyptian plagues' (Deut. 28:60; Rev. 8,9) becomes a reality in chapter 10, viz. the coming to its fulness of Christ's church from Jew and Gentile in a breakthrough of the Kingdom of God.
Israel's conversion will play an important part in it (Acts 15:15-18). The church will come to its fulness (Eph. 1:10, 22, 23; Eph. 4:12 fv.; Col. 2:19). That is why Revelation 11:1, in which the 'temple' is mentioned, belongs to the complex of chapters 7, 8, 9 and 10.

'In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit' (Eph. 2:21, 22).
The crown to any exodus is the habitation of God among His people: 'the temple' (Ex. 15:17; Is. 56:7; Ez. 40...; Jonah 2:4).
However, this is only to be achieved within the framework of the ancient COVENANT of Leviticus 26 and Deutoronomy 28. The Name of the divine revelation is I AM THAT I AM. Since Jesus was rejected He has, as the actual KING OF ISRAEL (Acts 2:36-40), the right to punish His disobedient people with a reversed

Pesach, according to '... all things which are written ...' (Luke 21:22-24) in the old covenant.
Immediately after the urgent appeal of a Pesach- and Pentecostal fulfillment, and after the definite rejection also of the witness of the apostles, the cycle of feasts comes into operation, but this time as a cycle of punishments. These punishments are announced in Revelation 8, 9 and l 5, 16 in the symbolic terms of the Egyptian plagues.
Instead of the joyful cycle of the great harvest-feasts, which have such a central place in the cult of the temple, there will come a CONTRASTING COUNTERPART of these feasts.
The chapters 8 and 9 remind us very clearly of the Egyptian plagues. Compare:
a) the 1st sounding angel to the 7th Egyptian plague (Ex. 9:22-25);
b) the 2nd sounding angel to the 1st plague (Ex. 9:19-21);
c) the 4th sounding angel to the 9th plague (Ex. 10:21-23);
d) the 5th sounding angel to the 8th plague (Ex. 10: 1-20).

Such a strong application of the ancient covenant of Deuteronomy 28 to the final times is, however, imaginable only if the 'Paschal Lamb' and the 'exodus from Egypt through the Paschal Lamb' have already been offered by the Lord, and then been rejected by the Jews. The Paschal motive in Revelation 9:4, 'no passover of the judgment without the seal of God', is not merely a terrible fate of any group of people from any number of nations. Deeply moved, and trembling before God's holiness and the Jews' great STATUS of being the elect, I say that we can only 'comprehend' all this against the background of the rejection of the Lamb of God, in which the measures of the fathers was filled up (Matth. 23:32). I have put the word 'comprehend' in quotes, because for me this passes the wit of man. It is only from the high STATUS in which the Jewish people have been placed by God, that we can make out that the plagues are put as a contrasting counterpart of the cycle of feasts, i.e. in terms of the cult. This is also in the line of the ancient covenant of Deutoronomy 28.
Because the exodus through the blood of the Paschal Lamb is a redemption unto the priestly service (1 Peter 2:9,10), the rejection of Jesus Christ is an iniquity in the cultic sphere. As for Israel, it was in the first place an official sin, with the high priest at the top. They did it in God's uniform, being the chosen people, with the Torah in hand:

'... We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God' (John 19:7).

It is not just any stone that has been rejected, but a precious corner-stone, chosen by the Most High Himself. In their capacity of 'builders', i.e. officially, they have rejected this stone, and therefore this stone has become '... a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence...' (1 Peter 2:6-8).
The Jewish people truly have divine credentials, and they acted officially when they filled up the measure of their fathers (Matth. 23:32). They already acted officially when they killed the prophets and stoned the divine messengers to death. Stoning to death was an official deed, a religious judging, a judging in the Name of the Lord.
This is the line we have to take in the exegesis when describing the judgments through the use of the terms of the feasts in the Apocalypse. The purpose of the counterpart of the Pesach, announced by 'priestly' sounding angels, this strange fulfilment of prayer (Rev. 8:5), this liturgical wording, is not in order to express the judgments as sharply as possible, on the contrary..., herewith Jahwe recognises their high official status IN SPITE OF their stumbling:

'For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance' (Rom. 11:29).

When Israel is deserting its highly official service of priests in the rejection of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, this form of cult reveals in the announcement of the judgments that Jahwe has not cast off His people. His Name is I AM THAT I AM. They may be suspended from performing their high OFFICE for 'a moment', some thousand years, and a few pips may have been torn off their uniform, but their office, their 'radical' as a people of priests is standing.

Israel being the representative vanguard of mankind, when they stumbled, world-history was disrupted, and now everything is rushing for the abyss. However, there is a border-line, an 'until'. Jesus says:

'For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled... for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled' (Luke 21:22-24).

Paradoxical as this may sound, yet the exile, as a counterpart of the original exodus, the reversed cycle of feasts, is again God's working on a new exodus for the benefit of the people with whom an eternal covenant was made (Deut. 30:1-10; Is. 54:9 fv.; Hos. 2:13 fv.).
Never will the exile have the last say in the matter. The 'Egyptian plagues', as the counterpart of the exodus, will never strike the people down to absolute destruction:

'... in wrath remember mercy' (Hab. 3:2).

The limitation of the judgment appears also from the five months of torment in Revelation 9:5 and 10. This refers to the time of threshing, mentioned in Leviticus 26:5. At the Feast of the Passover, in the first month, the sheaves of the first fruits of their harvest were already waved before the Lord in grateful acknowledgment of their exodus from Egypt. In the second month already they could start threshing, even if the wheat harvest was brought in later. The month of the Passover and the five months in which the corn was in the barns, form together six months. Then follows the seventh month, in which the wine harvest was brought in. There will be a time when this month, too, will come over Israel and the world as a month of judgment. Then the wine press of the wrath of God will be trodden, and the vials of the wrath of God will be poured out upon the earth (Rev. 14:19).
But then, this will be the last round of history, and the last series of plagues in which we clearly see the characteristics of a contrasting counterpart of especially the Feast of Tabernacles. Then the vials of joy will have become vials of wrath, but chronologically this will come after the divine intervention of Revelation 10.

Revelation 7, 8, 9 and 10 form together a complex of chapters that deal with 'the first exodus from Egypt', i.e. the breakthrough of the Kingdom of God. When this pre-fulfilment comes to an end, and the great falling away is spreading, then 'the last exodus from Egypt' will come, the last exodus-battle of God, in which the realm of darkness will definitely be destroyed. The element of the chronological arrangement and construction of history may not be ignored in the exegesis. In cycle I of the chapters 8 and 9 the events culminate to a climax, coldly reminding us of the fact that the climax will really start at a very concrete point of time in the future:

'And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men' (Rev. 9:15).

The above has taken us somewhere in the field of history, and when the seven thunders utter their voices we will have come way further into history, and as soon as we have arrived at Revelation 17:12, in which the ten kings receive the power for one hour with the beast, we will have come much further in history.
The woes come and pass successively, and the historical sequence is not to be denied. Eliminating the element of the chronological proceeding means making the Apocalypse unreadable. Full of sense the aeones are in basic proportion to each other. They are mighty blocks piled on top of one another.

There is one pre-exodus, followed by a pre-sabbath, and a definite exodus, followed by the eternal sabbath. Expressions such as 'the seven last plagues' in which 'is filled up the wrath of God', speak of peculiarity and conclusion, of a being-destined-for a-fixed-period-of-time and a well-defined-situation of these plagues. The seven thunders with their own voices as well as the six trumpets beg; the same features.
This concept is further confirmed in the unity of the series of chapters 11-20. It would be difficult to speak of series I - exodus, series II - definite exodus as a curve of the final times, if the chapters 11-20 did not form one strict unity, too.
While these chapters flowed from the seer's pen, his eye was indeed fixed at the same view, viz. the short half time, dealt with in almost every chapter in such expressions as: forty-two months, twelve hundred and sixty days, short space, half a time.

CONCLUSION: The fulfilment of Revelation 10 divides the final times in three phases, and thus the scope of the final times becomes visible. First there is a line downward. Israel's cycle of feasts is contrarily applied in judgments up to and including the five months' threshing time.

But before this reversed application of the feasts - the Feast of Tabernacles included - by means of the vials of judgment, there will be an interval, for then will be fulfilled God's Penultimate secret: Revelation 10. Revelation 10 contains the positive merciful fulfilment of the Feast of Tabernacles: Here is the line upwards.
The two composing forces of this fulfilment will be: the coming in of the fulness of the Gentiles, and connected with it the fulness of the house of Jacob (Rom. 11:25).
In chapter 2, page 31, of this manifest the question has risen: And what about the fulfilment of the Feast of Tabernacles, as God so punctually gave the fulfilment's of Pesach and Pentecost ? We may now, through this exegesis of the Revelation, see that God is consistently working on according to the program of the calendar of feasts.
There is no vacuum, and no discontinuation with God. Immediately after the Jewish people's rejecting the double fulfilment of Pesach and Pentecost, God goes on, and He first applies the cycle of feasts as a cycle of judgments, and then He goes straight towards the border of the Feast of Tabernacles. With Israel mankind will come to the border of the 'sixth and seventh month'. Speaking in the symbolic language of the Apocalypse, this border is burning hot, as hot as the feet of the intermezzo-angel in Revelation 10.

'...and his feet as pillars of fire... '

This fulfilment will be, at its time of realization, a radical border, the conclusion of a phase in history, a fulfilment of the times of the Gentiles, a line under the addition of the unrighteousness of the nations, a border-situation of 'to be or not to be'.
The Great Day of Reconciliation threatens to turn into the great doomsday for Israel, but also for the entire world. The atom-death for everything and everybody is coming near threateningly and alarmingly. The impasse is getting an absolute character... Is it God's fist ready to strike, which is held over the ancient territory and over the entire planet? Yes - the final words of the Old Testament are approaching mankind as A DIVINE ULTIMATUM.

The third day


'If I remain silent for two days, do you really think, 0 man, that there will never break a day of fulfilment over My redeemed?'

These words, which the Lord spoke to me in 1948, caused a thorough change in the entire pattern of my expectations. My spiritual horizon was shifted to a new distance.
Indeed, I had not expected fulfilling deeds of the Lord any more within the framework of earthly times. I had only expected a straight line downward, only the cutting through of the thread in the return of Jesus Christ.
But a turn in history through a beneficial intervention of God? ... No! It had all been beyond my horizon. Soon it became clear to me that these two days meant the two thousand years after Christ, which have almost come to an end. So, there would be a third millennium of resurrection. A fulfilment of the Feast of Tabernacles.
As this prophecy spoke of a two days' silence, which means no deeds of fulfilment, and a third day of fulfilment, my attention was in quite a new way fixed on the message in the New Testament:

'For I deliver unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; ,and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures... ' (1 Cor. 15:3,4).

The miracle of His resurrection has by the Lord's care been adapted to His methodical acting in the entire history of revelation. Already in Genesis we find the coming of 'the third day' in exact accordance with the laws of God. The author gives the image of a bird brooding on the waters, on the chaos, as it were on a big world-egg.
On the third day we see the 'integration' of the drought with the wealth of plants and trees. On the third day life rises from the deadly chaos.

Browsing further in the old book, we see Abraham in a state of great excitement go to the mount of Moriah, the mountain which God will point out to him, and when on the third day he lifts his knife over his son's breast to slay him, then the knife has gone: '... neither do thou any thing unto him' (Gen. 22:1-19; Ex. 19; Lev. 17:11) the substitute is there, and life is revealed before him and his offspring. God had provided for Himself a lamb for a burnt-offering.

In Genesis 31 we read about the decisive moment in Jacob's life, when he disengaged himself from Laban, and by God's order started herewith the termination of his exile, which was reported to Laban 'on the third day'. When centuries later his offspring has grown to be a nation, and when by God's strong hand, they are delivered from the Egyptian death, then on the third day they get a revelation of God, in which the Eternal reveals Himself for the first time in world-history as Israel's God in a holy covenant.
The third day was, to put it with all devotion, the wedding-day. God accepted Israel as His bride.
Some theologians think, and this is in my opinion quite an acceptable concept, that there is a link between the wedding at Cana and the making of the covenant in mount Sinai, both taking place on the third day (Ex. 19:11).
The first signs of the glory of King Messiah among His people are conveyed therein, that the feast of the covenant, which had ended in a deadlock, will go on, and that the stagnation of the wedding of God and His church will be put to an end through a miracle, of which the Messiah only knows the formula.

In Joshua (Jos. 1) we read how exactly on the third day Israel went into Canaan, in which we may see a prelude of the resurrection of Christ, who as the first born out of death enters the Canaan of imperishability - exactly on the third day -, according to the Scriptures.

Neither can it be a coincidence that exactly on the third day Saul's death (2 Sam. 1:2) was reported to David, and that herewith on the third day David's kingdom began. God confirmed the anointment by the prophet Samuel. The fulfilment came on the third day.

Striking is also the book of Esther (Esth. 5:1), in which we read that in the border-situation of the entire nation, when in principle the people were marked for death, it was exactly on the third day that Israel rose from the deadly danger, gained the victory, and Haman fell.

The prophet Jonah, too, should be mentioned here. The history of his life is a prophetic reflection, showing a prophetic resemblance with Jesus' own death and resurrection:

'For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth' (Matth 12:40).

What happened to Jonah is characteristic for the course of the history of the Jewish people. They will rise on the third day of the Lord.
Furthermore, there is the second temple, which was also dedicated on the third day of the month of Adar (Ezra 6:15).

And very special is Hosea's prophecy:

'... for he hath torn, and he will heal us: he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. lifter two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight'

(Hos. 6:1-3).

Thus we see that 'the third day' takes a sort of key-position in the Old Testament. Systematically there comes a turn unto life from a deadly situation, and this is also the course in the New Testament.

The wedding in Cana

We mentioned already Jesus' intervention during the wedding in Cana, where on the third day He made the continuation of the wedding possible (John 2:7). The six water-pots had to be filled with water up to the brim. Then followed the simple command:

'Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast.'


The water had become wine, even a wine of superior vintage. The better wine comes later!
Figuratively speaking, I dare put the six pots of dirty water of six thousand years of world-history in the sight of the Messiah, with the certainty in my heart that on the third day of the Lord He will have the formula to turn all deterioration unto the wine of 'the times of refreshment'.
The better wine comes later! The wine of the fulfilled Feast of Tabernacles. This was the beginning of His signs, through which His glory was revealed, literally said: His supremacy, His Messianic Kawod. It is not the first time that a beginning was significant and characteristic for the entire course of life and the life-work of a judge or prophet, and in this case it concerns THE MESSIAH.

The woman of Samaria

'... and he abode there two days' (John 4:40).

Something happened in those two days, something going far beyond a pastoral talk with just any Samaritan woman. Indeed, this story contains a much deeper dimension, perceptible especially from the closing words. And it is from these closing words that the beginning of the discussion and the entire context of this history should be approached.

'In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of ... My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields;for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth, receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together'
(John 4:31-36).

Jesus experienced something like a prophetic FATA MORGANA, a prophetic mirage of His glorious future, so that behind that one 'stalk' of the Samaritan woman He saw the radiance of the full harvest of the Kingdom of God. His mind abode by the perspective of Amos 9: the plowman is close upon the heels of the reaper, the promise is coming close to the fulfilment, and the fulfilment makes the promise into reality.
He abode there two days. This is extremely remarkable, because after those two days He was back in the Jewish territory, and there, after first having healed the nobleman's son, He healed a man in Bethesda, who had been ill for thirty-eight years. And it was precisely for thirty-eight years that Israel was punished in the wilderness (Deut. 2:14).
When the fulness of the Gentiles comes after two days of the Lord, Israel will also be raised up. We should also take into account that the gospel of John was written after the Apocalypse. John knew and kept the penultimate secret of Revelation 10. He knew that Jesus' feet were going the way which He would later go after His glorification through the Spirit, viz. through the Gentile world and the fulness brought there - back to Israel. The apostles, too, had to learn to reckon with this perspective, mentioned before in Amos (Acts 15:14 fv.). In this connection Paul spoke of 'the ways of God' (Rom. 11:33).
Here, John 4 also deals with the ways of God. In John 2 and 3 we read how in Israel itself all the doors were shut. His own received Him not. Then He had to go through Samaria. Here is not meant a mere geographical need, as if it were the only way to Galilee. Being such a contaminated pagan territory, the Jews avoided Samaria, even so much so, that if only the shadow of a Samaritan tree fell on them, they needed a cleansing bath.
This 'must' has the same weight as the 'must' we meet in the announcement of His suffering (Matth. 16:21), it is the 'must' because of an official program, which He had to carry out on earth in the FATHER's service.
When in Judea the opposition arose, and the contours of His suffering and dying became visible, the Father put another 'must' on Him, viz. His way through Samaria, a symbol of the Gentile world, who would receive Him.

Then Jesus could not eat. He saw the ultimate aim of His work on earth. It was His meat to DO the will of the Father. He saw the full harvest gleaming before His eyes. In view of this heavily laden ending, and the sublime result of the meeting with the Samaritan woman, we may, without fear of committing an illicit allegory, listen in this history to a message about the ways of God through the Gentile world during the two days of the Lord, which were meant for the fulfilment of the times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24). What, according to John 4, we find in Samaria - read: in the Gentile world - is:
a) respect for tradition (John 4:12, 20);
b) the oecumenic question: in which mountain one should worship God (John 4:21);
c) Jesus' answer: 'salvation is of the Jews';
d) the thirst of living water, by which, according to John 7:37-39, is meant the Spirit;
c) the disclosure of her marital state, being the condition for receiving this 'water'.

This message is very up to date: '... he whom thou now hast is not thy husband' (John 4:18). For six thousand years the entire Gentile world has had many a 'religious' romance and many a living together, and has in essence not had: THE HUSBAND - THE BRIDEGROOM.
Jesus will be THE SEVENTH, the HEAVENLY BRIDEGROOM. He will, while speaking, reveal Himself, and He will have Himself identified at the fulfilled Feast of Tabernacles. He will give to the straying nations the living water, but the meeting will indeed take place at about twelve o'clock in the afternoon, when it is very hot.
That this woman should have come at that particular hour, and could not draw water from the well in the cool morning hours, found its cause in a sort of exile due to her conduct. Much exile is taking place in the Gentile world, and also in what is called 'the Christian or ecclesiastical world'. Entire nations politically expel one another, and in many countries people are tortured. There is much thirst, much uprooting, and many a fatiguing trip is made to the well in order to get what is most essential to live. And the root of it all is: '... he whom thou now hast is not thy husband'. No sooner had the Messiah spoken these words of self-revelation, than the alienation had left this woman, her thirst was quenched, and she became, as a witness, a fountain of water, springing unto eternal life (John 4:14).

The miraculous fishing

Jesus' third appearance after His resurrection teaches us that the third day of the Lord will come with its fulness along the ways of God's acting in dispersing and gathering. The Eternal, Israel's Holy One, is standing on the shore of world-history. God is acting, and here we might also speak of a repetition, as in a fugue, of the same theme: dispersion and reunion.
It begins already with Adam's fall in Paradise. God placed the original promise as a contrast to the dispersion in the exile from Paradise, gathering His own in the holy line.
He raised prophets such as Enoch.
The matter does not end with the dispersion of Babylon. God called from the ends of the earth an Abraham, and in him all families will be blessed. His offspring experienced a severe exile in Egypt, but in Moses' calling they were visited by the Lord and gathered together in the Promised Land. He disperses prince and people to Babylon, but He also brings them back again.
He has Jerusalem destroyed, disperses the elect people among all the nations, but in a unity which He has intended and with a destination which He has decided on, He will bring them back in the ancient territory.
And when later that which calls itself church, has in essence obtained a Babilonic character, He strikes it with a confusion of tongues, which no human organisation can remove, but in the mission regarding the Jewish people made clear by the Lord, the Christian church will be united, and together with the Jewish people they will become one fold, and one Shepherd.
And the purpose of all this is, that the world may believe that Jesus was sent by the Lord. This will be the miraculous fishing of THE THIRD DAY.

It is represented in a moving miniature: An invisible Hand drives the fish apart, and then, when at His command, the net is thrown out on the other side, they are brought together again, as it were by a wireless, to one big shoal of fish, and thus they are drawn towards the shore to Jesus. Who else can pronounce a parable in this way?

'... It is the Lord' (John 21:7).

He gives this microfilm about His future, and with it He teaches His disciples and us about the task to world-mission, so that through the power of His resurrection we may be brought in and used in the miraculous fishing.
However, the great condition is: east the net on the other side, which is the side of the great THEME: dispersion and gathering. This is the theme on which the apostle Paul orientates himself in Romans 9-11. There will be no miraculous fishing outside God's plan regarding the Jewish people in dispersing and gathering unto their destined fulness as Kingdom of priests.
With all appreciation for the numerous faithful missionaries and evangelists, nothing has been caught in the night of the times, compared to what is to come. Nothing so significant that it could have been called a breakthrough of the Kingdom of God. Much fishing has been done, many times for their own benefits, for their own institutes, and many nets were not drawn towards the Lord and towards the coming Messianic meal on the shore (Is. 25). The net must be cast on the other side - also today.

The bringing in of prophecy

The second element in this event, represented in a parable, is the bringing in of prophecy. Why did not Peter, or Thomas, or Nathanael, or one of the other disciples come to the conclusion: '... It is the Lord.' Why should it exactly have been John? Was it his intellectual capacities that made him the first to understand the situation, since the one man associates and concludes faster than the other? Could he possibly have remembered the miracle of Luke 5, or had he perhaps, in a flash, assimilated the fundamental ideas of the moment: a command to use a method, peculiar as far as the techniques of fishing are concerned: cast the net on the other side..., after having caught nothing during the whole night..., and then suddenly a full net!
A Psychological explanation will not do here. This points to the miracle of the special prophetic office. John was the disciple, who '... was leaning on Jesus' bosom' (John 13:21-25). This expression is adapted from the custom of giving the eldest son or guest the place of honour when reclining at table, so that he lay with his head nearest to his host. No wonder, that in that particular place the most intimate thoughts were exchanged. It is the place of revelation. It is also in the light of this parable that John 1:18 should be understood:

'No man hath seen God at any time,. the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.'

Jesus in the bosom of God the Father; John in Jesus' bosom! When the coming betrayal was announced all the disciples, also Peter, respected John's position. Peter did not walk past John in order to throw himself at Jesus' bosom, but he did take the lead in a certain sense. He gave John a sign, so that the latter might ask Jesus. Here the shepherd as it were applied to the prophet for help in order to receive a revelation regarding the mystery of the treason.
The revelation came, and it came in very remarkable language: the Lord used the bread of the Passover for it.

The two apostles are also seen in each other's company at the resurrection of the body of Christ.

'Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed'
(John 20:8).

John believed; Peter was astonished in himself (Luke 24:12). The one who believes is nearer to Jesus' heart than the one who wonders. Thus, at the miraculous fishing John was the first to come to the prophetic conclusion of belief: '... It is the Lord.' He did not just call it out, he told Peter, him being the address for his prophecy! Then Peter became active: he girt his fisher's coat unto him and cast himself into the sea - thus showing the others the direction, so that they could follow by boat - and finally he drew the net on the shore.

'Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord...' (John 21:7),

he trusted John's word and office. He did not tarry with casting himself into the sea until he had observed with his own eyes or had assimilated with his own mind that it was the Lord. He became active at John's word, and since here the success o world-mission is meant, we see the two offices co-operate towards the completion of Christ's mystic body: the church.
After all the apostle John has, figuratively speaking, remained in Jesus' bosom through the Holy Ghost. Will then the disclosure of God's penultimate secret, Revelation 10, be given to him who pretends to stand uniquely in Peter's office by virtue of apostolic succession? The narration of the third appearance is also in this respect a sign planted on the roads of God by the Holy Ghost; they are roads that lead to the fulfilment of THE THIRD DAY OF THE LORD.