The problem confronting the study of prophecy is man wants to impose his temporal, sequential perspective on God, the Author, who is infinite and eternal. God and man’s approach to time, regarding prophecy, is radically different. The key to understanding events in prophecy and their timing; therefore, are tied to the fact that God is in heaven and man is upon the earth.
A careful analysis of II Peter 3:8 reveals that the context of this verse is the day of the Lord (II Peter 3:10). Given this fact, what is uttered in verse 8 should be taken literally. If one ever hopes to recognize the timing conflicts inherent in the other prophetic views and move toward a harmonious resolution of seemingly contradictory verses, The Day of the LORD view is the only avenue toward a resolution of these conflicts. If this truth is ignored, men will pigeonhole God and doctrines will emerge (and have emerged) that are not consistent with the nature of God, nor his overarching prophetic plan for man.
1. The upper left clock represents the past. It is that second which has already elapsed. It is the "twinkling of an eye" which just slipped behind the present. The "twinkling of an eye" is the smallest individual unit of time known, and is the only unit of time which is indivisible. It is the point at which time ceases. It is light—the attribute that most superlatively distinguishes God from the rest of his creation. This light is the holiness of the Godhead. It is reflected in the righteousness of God's character. It is evident in the person of Jesus Christ!
2. The upper right clock represents the present. This is a period which is sandwiched between the past and the future. It is that moment which is slipping into the past and bursting forward into the future. Is this present, which is so infinitely small, and God who is so infinitely large, capable of allowing Providence to interpose himself in such a period of time as this? The present also separates us from life on this side of the grave, and death which is awaiting the breath of God to be extinguished on the other side of the grave. Death, or sin, is the cause for the past and the future, for it is in the effects of sin (and entropy) man ages.
3. The bottom clock represents the future. It is tomorrow. It is next week. It is a year from now. It is a human lifetime. It is separated from the past by the present. While the future cannot glimpse into the past, the future ultimately slips into the past. The future looks forward as we anticipate it from our youth. The past, recollecting our youthful memories, causes us to peer into the past that can never be re-claimed.
4. The #1 represents how God views time and how an eternal perspective profoundly affects what is understood from God's viewpoint regarding prophecy. The #1 is what ties all of the clocks together, namely, eternity. Because history is seen by God through the lens of the present, this eternal perspective solves all of the timing problems with men who are caught between the past and the future. A great example of this 'supposed dilemma' can be found in Revelation 20:2 where those killed during the three and half years are considered part of the "first resurrection." Of course, so are those saints who were resurrected and raptured at the commencement of the opening of the sixth seal. They, too, are part of the "first resurrection." Lest we forget the saints who die during the millennium, they are also part of this "first resurrection." Remember, Jesus spoke of only ONE resurrection of the just. God's present (eternity) is the key that unlocks the door of many future prophecies still awaiting fulfillment.
Several key things to remember when examining Daniel 9:24-27: