A Tribute to my Father on the 17th Anniversary of his death

A Tribute to my Father.
My great earthly father, Houston Sheets Jr. Passed away 17 years ago on August 15, 2000.  17 in the Bible represents Victory and during this month of refection on my Father I received an email from my great friend, mentor and pastor, Francis Riley. I posted his email below.
A few days before dad died,  we talked at his hospital bedside, after he signed a living will that blocked Dr's attempts to keep him alive on life support for his terminal cancer.
He told me he wasn't leaving me anything of world value except a rifle and a pair of cowboy boots,  but what he was leaving me was priceless and eternal and that is John 16:13.
Dad then made me promise to memorize John 16:13 and to confess "The Spirit of Truth Abides in me and He teaches me all the things and guides me into all truth" and to confess that "I have perfect knowledge and understanding because I have the Spirit of God in me, I have the mind of Christ " Amen!
Then, I remember telling my dad Jesus Christ was going to bring us all home soon. He cried, with tears gushing out of his eyes and said, " yes, very soon.  See you in glory son, I love you. "
I love you Dad. Thank you.  See you soon in glory. Amen!
Well. It has now been exactly 17 years and I think it most appropriate to read Pastor Riley's  study this day.
God bless you abundantly dear Pastor man Riley great man of God.  See you very soon in glory.  Thank you for fighting the good fight.
                                                                                           By Pastor F. M. Riley below:
                                                                                           August 21, 2017
     "For as Jonah 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," Matthew 12:40.  
     "Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for He hath torn, and He will heal us; He hath smitten, and He will bind us up.
     After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.
     Then shall we know if we follow on to know the Lord:  His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth,"  Hosea 6:1-3.  
     The term, "three days," repeatedly occurs in the Scriptures.
Depending on the context, each time it occurs, it is either speaking about three literal 24 hour days, or it is speaking of a longer period of time which is reprented by the "three days."   
     Obviously, in the text above referring to Jonah, the "three days and three nights," were literal 24 hour days.  Most certainly the "three days and three nights" the Lord Jesus spent "in the heart of the earth," was a literal period of 72 hours.  
      However, the text Scriptures in Hosea 6:1-3, should be clear enough to every reader, that the "three days" being spoken about are actually three thousand years, each thousand year period representing just one day in God's great Week [Plan of the Ages].     
     It is explicitly stated in 2 Peter 3:8, "But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day."  See also Psalm 90:4, which inspired Scripture explicitly states that one thousand years represents or typifies "yesterday when it is past," and also "a watch in the night."  So here are three Scripturally authorized symbols which can be applied, in finding a correct meaning for a thousand years, where it is mentioned in the inspired Word.
      The entire gospel of our salvation is based upon the "three days and three nights" our precious Lord Jesus spent in the heart of the earth, there defeating death and hell, and then coming forth victorious over the grave for us all.  Praise the Lord!
The Three Days   
      However, in this Bible Study I want to emphasize the "three days" mentioned in the text in Hosea 6:1-3.
      Here, the Prophet Hosea, with a great burden for his Israelite people, was inspired of God to cry out to them to "Come, and let us return unto the Lord..."  Hosea knew how Israel, as a nation and people, had departed
 was obviously a source of great grief and sorrow to Hosea.
      But remember that Hosea was a prophet of God.  As such, Hosea knew that the Lord God had a plan of redemption for the nation and people of Israel.  Even as Hosea was calling for his people to "return unto the Lord," yet he knew that their return would only be accomplished according to God's plan.  This is why Hosea was inspired of God to say,
     "After two days will He revive us: in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight," 6:2.  
      Now we know that the days mentioned in these Scriptures were not literal 24 hour days, for now some 2,000 plus years later, the nation and people of Israel have still not turned to the Lord in repentance and faith, and been redeemed.  As a nation and people, they are still awaiting their time of redemption.  However, if we apply the inspired statement set forth in 2 Peter 3:8, to these "three days" set forth in Hosea's prophecy.....
They Fit Perfectly
     It was in 33 A.D. that Christ Jesus, the Lord, said to the nation and people of Israel, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee:  how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!  
     Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, You shall not see Me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord," Luke 13:34-35.  
     Dear readers, let's examine this statement of our Lord for just a moment.  It is glaringly obvious that the Lord Jesus loved Jerusalem, and the nation and people of Israel, and had long desired to see them turn back to God.   But as time passed, they became more and more corrupt and apostate as they sought out and followed false gods.  
      Notice that the Lord explicitly told them that their "house" was left unto them "desolate."  I have to believe that this was a reference to the Temple.  In other words, the Spirit of the Lord would no longer abide in the Temple.  The prayers made there would no longer be heard.   The Temple had become just an empty shell, totally devoid of the Lord's presence.  I am not trying to be offensive, but this reminds me of some churches today.  May the Lord have mercy upon us all.  
      The Temple of the Jewish people being left "desolate;" without the Spirit and glory of God in it, due to the apostasy of Israel, was prophetically portrayed in the days of the prophet Ezekiel.  See Ezekiel 9:3-11.  In this passage in Luke 13:35, the Lord Himself stated that the Temple was literally "desolate;" empty of the presence of the Lord.  
     Then in 70 A.D., the Temple building itself was destroyed by the Roman army, and the Jewish Temple worship ceased.  
      I have gone into some detail to emphasize these truths, because this statement was made to Israel over 2,000 years ago.  Or, we can Scripturally say, over "two days" ago.  
     This means, that we believing Gentiles who are living today, are now living in the "third day" of this prophetic period prophesied by Hosea.   We are in it! We have arrived!  We are already 17 years into this "third day."      
The Appointed Time is Here!
     The Prophet Hosea clearly and explicitly stated that the Lord will "revive" the nation and people of Israel, and he explicitly told us when this will happen, "After two days.......in the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight," Hosea 6:2.  
What This Means to New Covenant Believers
     This means that a number of different prophecies are all converging together during this same period of time.  
     The inspired Word is quite clear that the resurrection and redemption of Israel as a nation and people will occur during the coming seven year Tribulation period, which follows this present Dispensation of Grace, Daniel 11:45 - 12:1-1-2; Revelation 12:1-17.   
      But the Word is also clear that we Gentile New Covenant believers will not enter into the Tribulation.  Therefore, the resurrection and rapture of the Lord's New Covenant Church and believers will occur at any minute of any day now.  
     We are already living 17 years into "the third day" spoken of by Hosea in Hosea 6:1-3.  So since we New Covenant believers are to be resurrected and raptured before the Tribulation period, and since Israel as a nation and people are to be redeemed during the Tribulation period, we are running out of time.   Glory to God!  Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord!   This can only mean that the resurrection and rapture of God's people living today is "right at the doors," Matthew 24:33.  It can and will occur at any minute of any day now.   
Other Indicators
     Even as I write the long awaited solar eclipse is occurring today.   The inspired Word tells us explicitly that the heavenly bodies placed in the heavens above the earth, and what goes on there, is for "signs" to mankind living on the earth, Genesis 1:14-19.   Is this solar eclipse, occurring right now while I write, a "sign" that this present dispensation is swiftly coming to an end, and the Tribulation period is about to begin?  It certainly could be, for today is also the last day of the fifth month of Av on the Jewish calendar.   If so, then the resurrection and rapture of all New Covenant believers could occur at any second now!  Think about it!  Are you ready?  
     However, tomorrow is the first day of the month of Elul on the Jewish calendar.  And tomorrow is the first day of a forty day count leading up to and ending on Yom Kippur, the Great Day of Atonement.  Count it for yourself on your own calendar.  
     There is no question in my mind that at some point between right now and Yom Kippur, the Great Day of Atonement, the resurrection and rapture of the Lord's Church and all New Covenant believers will occur.  If not today, then why during this period?  I'm so glad you asked!
     Because the very first great event which will occur during the Tribulation period, will be the redemption of Israel, with 144,000 Israelites out of the twelve tribes of Israel, turning to the Lord Jesus with their whole heart, being saved, sealed, and commissioned to preach "the gospel of the kingdom.....in all the world for a witness unto all nations," Matthew 24:14; Revelation 7:1-8.  What better time for this redemption of Israel to occur, than on Yom Kippur, the Great Day of Atonement, during this "third day" of 2017?  
     Seventeen [17] is the number in the Bible signifying, "Victory."  Then if these events come to pass as it appears to me that they will, the Lord's Gentile Church and all true New Covenant believers  will have Victory this year, 1 Corinthains 15:53-54.  But so will redeemed Israel, who has been waiting so long for their redemption.  This present year of 2017 will be the year of Victory for both groups.   Praise the Lord!  Hallelujah!   Glory to God!   What a Great and Awesome God we believers serve.  Praise His Holy Name!  
     I think it ought to be obvious to our readers, that my purpose in writing this study was to impress upon every reader the shortness of time, and the urgency of the hour.  We are living in the "time frame" right now of the rapture of God's people, and the redemption of Israel.  
     Are you saved?  Truly saved?  I am not asking if you attend the services of, or belong to some church.  I am asking if you truly know the Lord Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior, and have the sweet assurance of forgiven sin and salvation in Him?  If not, then read the following Scriptures in God's Word, and as you read, pray for the Lord God to reveal Himself to you........  I want to meet every reader in Heaven in a few more days.  Please don't disappoint me!
      Read John 3:3-7, 3:16, 3:18, 5:24, 14:6, Acts 4:12, 16:30-31, Romans 10:8-13, and Ephesians 2:8-10.   
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     Permission is granted to any true believer or Bible believing Christian ministry to reproduce this study to share with others, or to quote from it in context as written.  
     Thank you again dear brothers and sisters in Christ for your prayers for me and for this Bible Study ministry.  I know that it is about over, for our Lord will soon come for us all.  I also thank each one who has felt led of the Lord to share their gifts with us from time to time.  Every blessing is so much appreciated.  
      Please address all comments, questions, and correspondence to: Pastor F. M. Riley, 14275 County Road 8120, Rolla, Missouri 65401.  I hope to have a new phone, if we are still here at the end of this month, but in the meantime my phone number is still 573-201-0491.  I have signal problems, so if you don't get through when you call, just keep trying.  


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