APPOINTED TIME / HOUR
Though appointed time means a time someone has decided for an action, in the Bible it is a God-designated time for an event or an observance. God is in control of time management. He ordered the Israelites through Moses when to observe the holy days. “The LORD said to Moses: Speak to the Israelites and tell them: The following are the festivals of the LORD, which you shall declare holy days. These are my festivals:” (Lev 23:1-2).
1. Sabbath: “The seventh day is a sabbath of complete rest” (Lev 23:3).
2. Passover: “The Passover of the LORD falls on the fourteenth day of the first month, at the evening twilight (Lev 23:4).
3. Feast of Unleavened Bread: “The fifteenth day of this month is the LORD’s feast of Unleavened Bread” (Lev 23:6).
4. Pentecost: “Beginning with the day after the sabbath, the day on which you bring the sheaf for elevation, you shall count seven full weeks; you shall count to the day after the seventh week, fifty days. Then you shall present a new grain offering to the LORD” (Lev 23:15-16).
5. New Year’s Day: “On the first day of the seventh month you will have a sabbath rest, with trumpet blasts as a reminder, a declared holy day” (Lev 23:24).
6. Day of Atonement: “Now the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement.* l You will have a declared holy day” (Lev 23:27).
7. Feast of Booths: “The fifteenth day of this seventh month is the LORD’s feast of Booths, which shall continue for seven days” (Lev. 23:34).
God also commanded to observe jubilee on every fiftieth year (Lev 25: 8-11).
According to the book of Ecclesiastes, “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. A time to give birth, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant …” (Eccl 3:1-8). The timing of God is unknown for the humans. “God has made everything appropriate to its time, but has put the timeless into their hearts so they cannot find out, from beginning to end, the work which God has done” (Eccl 3:11).
APPOINTED TIME (HOUR) OF JESUS
God the Father determined the timing of His Son’s incarnation. “When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to ransom those under the law, so that we might receive adoption” (Gal 4:4-5).
One an occasion when the feast of Tabernacles was near Jesus “did not wish to travel in Judea, because the Jews were trying to kill him” (Jn 7:1). To his brothers he said “My time is not yet here, but the time is always right for you” (Jn 7:6). For Jesus, time or hour was the time of fulfilling his mission through his passion, death, and resurrection. “Before the feast of Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father” (Jn 13:1).
Whenever the time of Jesus’ passion, death, and resurrection was not nearby, he said, my hour has not yet come. At the wedding of Cana in Galilee, Jesus said to his mother, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come” (Jn 2:4). While Jesus was teaching in the Temple, the Jews “tried to arrest him, but no one laid a hand upon him, because his hour had not yet come” (Jn 7:30).
While speaking about his second coming, Jesus said only the Father knows the time. “But of that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” Mt 24:36; Mk 13:32).
DEMONS’ APPOINTED TIME
God has allowed the evil spirits to influence the humans only until the time of final judgement (Enoch 16:1, Jubilees 10:7–10). When Jesus came, the demons knew that the appointed time for their destruction had not arrived. Jesus, who had power over the evil spirits, expelled them from the demoniacs to liberate them from their bondage. He did not destroy the demons.
When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes, he met two demoniacs coming from the tombs. They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?” (Mt 8:29). They knew their God determined time of departing with the accursed people “into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Mt 25:41) will be at the last judgement.
Those who ignore God believe they are in control, or the nature which is God’s creation, controls them. “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Ps 14:1). God determined our time of birth and death. Though God gives us the freedom to select between good and evil, He expects us to work according to the divine plan.