God’s Tender Mercy in the Coronavirus Fiasco

From God’s Heart to Yours…

In these times of unprecedented chaos, in these times of heightened anxiety, in these times of panic, lockdown, and despair – there is a blessing. What the enemy means for harm, God has allowed – yes, allowed – and has purposed for good! He is purposing it for YOUR good!

Wake up!

“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you!” (Ephesians 5:14)

“I am not slow to fulfill my promise as some count slowness, but am patient towards you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

Oh people, it is time to come to the Lord! Come to Him in fear and trembling! Come with weeping and sackcloth and mourning! Mourn for your sins. Come to Him in repentance!

“The LORD is near to all who call on Him to all who call on Him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18)

I am God – There is No Other

8 “Remember this and stand firm,
recall it to mind, you transgressors,
9 remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me,
10 declaring the end from the beginning
and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My counsel shall stand,
and I will accomplish all my purpose,’
11 calling a bird of prey from the east,
the man of my counsel from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
I have purposed, and I will do it.
12 “Listen to me, you stubborn of heart,
you who are far from righteousness:
13 I bring near my righteousness; it is not far off,
and my salvation will not delay.
(Isaiah 46:8-13)

God is allowing this never-before-seen warning to say He is coming! “Behold, I am coming soon, and My reward is with Me, to give to each one according to what he has done.” (Revelation 22:12) What more does He have to do to wake up people from their spiritual slumber?

It doesn’t matter what you have believed before this moment. It doesn’t matter what you have done. Jesus is calling to you – “Come to me! Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest!” (Matthew 11:28)

Don’t be afraid! Fear not! Stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will work for you today! (Exodus 14:13)

“Yet even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
and rend your hearts and not your garments.”
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love;
and he relents over disaster.
Who knows whether he will not turn and relent,
and leave a blessing behind him
(Joel 2:12-14)

Oh, please listen to His warning! Open the door of your heart today! “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20) Have you fully opened this door to Him? Do you know?

(Please go to https://followingjesusdaily.org/2018/10/05/what-must-i-do-to-be-saved/ for more on this).

Have you opened the door partway a few times? Have you been keeping Jesus out on the porch with the screen between you? Please read – https://redmoonrapture.org/2019/03/15/blessed-assurance-a-guide-to-rapture-readiness/.

Do you want to believe? Do you want to follow Jesus but don’t know how? Have you believed in the past, but “lost faith”? Do you want to come back? Do you have questions or concerns about following Jesus that you need answered? Have you turned to Jesus today, and asked Him to save you? Please message me! Through Facebook. (Stephanie Dawn or Following Jesus Daily page). Or email me. (fjdministry@gmail.com). We will pray for you! For your needs, for spiritual blessings!

“See to it that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if the people did not escape when they refused Him who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape if we reject Him who warns us from heaven? At that time His voice shook the earth, but now He has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth, but heaven as well.” (Hebrews 12:25-26)

I realize this is going to sound absolutely and completely crazy. I assure you that I am a fairly regular, quiet, average person. I live in a decent house, have a good job, and pay my taxes. And yes, I am in “lockdown” too. But, my dear ones, what if this coronavirus was specifically allowed by God as a sign that a time of trouble upon the earth is about to begin? He has issued other signs too!!!

If you were looking for a sign – this is it – https://redmoonrapture.org/2017/06/29/sign-sign-everywhere-a-sign-the-convergence-is-now/

If I am wrong, then all that happens is I look foolish. If I am right, then your life may be at stake. So how can I keep silent?

What I am about to tell you, I believe is true. God is issuing YOU an offer. It is no coincidence that you are on this page. He is offering you this choice because He loves YOU. He wants you in His family. But He loves you enough to let you CHOOSE. He will hold you accountable for your choice.

The one true God personally loves YOU more than you could ever imagine!
God writes of His love for you – https://redmoonrapture.org/2017/08/11/you-are-loved/

Heightened by the coronavirus, the feeling is electric – the anticipation famine, economic collapse, natural disasters, global uncertainty. It is being felt in all religions and in all communities. Humanity is rapidly approaching a point of no return. This is all prophesied in the Bible:

https://redmoonrapture.org/2017/09/01/overview-of-coming-prophetic-wars/

https://redmoonrapture.org/2017/05/26/the-four-horsemen-seals-1-4/

Now, you do not have to agree with me on this. In the end, it doesn’t matter. It’s not a salvation issue. I have nothing to gain by your agreeing, and nothing to lose by you disagreeing. But it’s on my heart to share. I do believe that the feelings of humanity are correct. “The Apocalypse” is almost upon us. God is about to act swiftly and decisively. Life as we know it is going to suddenly and permanently change. Every single human being on the planet will be affected. It will be a time of chaos, destruction, and confusion. Fortunately, God has not left us in the dark about what is to come. While most religions delineate vague notions of an “end times scenario”, the Bible is very detailed and specific about what is going to come upon the earth.
(For an overview, please see https://redmoonrapture.org/2017/06/21/gods-mosaic-a-whole-scripture-overview-of-things-to-come/?preview_id=5424&preview_nonce=10560d8fbf)

SOON.

My beliefs compel me to share with you what I know. If you don’t agree, that’s ok. No hard feelings. Come to Jesus anyways. It’s all about Him. Our purpose, our hope, our meaning, our joy. Come to Jesus. Return to Jesus. Keep your eyes on Jesus. For all of us, the cry of is to turn our eyes upon Jesus!

Why do I think it is soon? I believe God has appointed 6000 years for humans to rule the globe, and that our time is almost up.

Is it now 5993?
(https://redmoonrapture.org/2019/06/07/what-time-is-it-on-gods-celestial-calendar/)

What is this rapture business?
(https://redmoonrapture.org/2019/06/01/the-rapture-of-the-church-our-blessed-hope-in-jesus-christ/)

For those who believe in the possibility of Jesus calling us up to take us home, I would encourage you to study Pentecost – the Feast of the Lord that ties everything together for the church!
(https://redmoonrapture.org/2018/04/27/everything-you-need-to-know-about-pentecost-the-feast-that-ties-everything-together-for-the-church/)

My dear friends, listen to the still small voice of God in your heart today!

Lord, Teach Us To Pray!

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“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.”

(Matthew 6:9-13)

While the Lord’s Prayer is often one of the first passages of scripture we memorize, how close do we pay attention to the words as we repeat them? Do we think about the meaning behind the words?

The other day I was reading my children a book about Martin Luther (The Barber Who Wanted to Pray, by RC Sproul). Luther is well-known for his dedication to prayer, and would often spend hours on his knees in fervent communion with God. At one point, his barber asked if Luther would teach him how to pray. The result was a letter entitled “A Simple Way to Pray”. In it, Luther instructed his friend on how to meaningfully pray through the Lord’s Prayer.

Since reading this account, I have been praying through this beautiful passage. In doing so, something struck me as I meditated on the words. I want to share with you what I believe are prophetic portions in the Lord’s Prayer!

“Your Kingdom Come”

All creation is yearning for Jesus to restore and rule His Kingdom (Romans 8:19-23). Jesus gives us an example to specifically pray for this! When will His Kingdom come? At the Second Coming when Jesus sets up His Millennial Kingdom!

“Your Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven”

We long for Jesus to rule humanity, with His will being carried out upon the Earth. Looking over history, it is blatantly obvious that when human will is done upon the earth, it results in a mess of sin and suffering. When we pray for God’s Will do be done on earth, we are praying for the literal fulfillment of all biblical prophecies. There’s a lot more that could be said, but I’m going to keep it simple – “Please come, Jesus, and fix everything better!!!”

It’s the next two phrases I think we need to mine more deeply.

“Lead Us Not Into Temptation”

While Jesus promises not to allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear, are we really to pray not to be tempted at all?  Scripture is clear that we *will* be tested and tried, throughout the church age. We are to consider these trials and tribulations a joy:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame (Romans 5:3-5)

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:6-7)

Is it possible, then, that “lead us not into temptation” doesn’t mean the regular trials of faith and life that we are certainly to encounter and are even to embrace? Let’s look at the interlinear to see!

LeadStrong’s 1533 eispheró – to bring or lead, to carry inward

TemptationStrong’s 3986 peirasmos – an experiment, a trial, temptation; trial, probation, testing, being tried; temptation; calamity, affliction. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon adds the additional insight of “adversity, affliction, trouble”.

Does a trial, testing, calamity, affliction, and trouble remind you of something you have probably studied often – the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7)?  Could Jesus have been encouraging us to pray “do not carry us forward into the Times of Trouble”? Does He suggest this elsewhere as well?

I believe He does:

“But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36)

What about the word Jesus chose for temptation, that we are to pray to not be led into? It’s not the same word He uses for the “greatest tribulation”, which begins long after the rapture event. Instead, He uses the word for trouble and trial, which is also used here:

Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial [peirasmos] that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. (Revelation 3:10)

then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials [peirasmos], and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment… (2 Peter 2:9)

Jesus tells us to pray that we will not be led into the hour of trial that is coming upon the whole world, and that we will have the strength/worthiness to escape all these things that are going to take place!  The only way we can be worthy to escape is through His blood as our covering – being born again into the family of God.

“But Deliver Us From (the) Evil (One)”

If we are to pray not to be led into the time of trouble on earth, what else are we to pray? That we are to be delivered from evil, in general? Or is there a more specific meaning here?

DeliverStrong’s 4506 rhuomai – to draw to oneself, deliver; I rescue, deliver (from danger or destruction). From HELPS Word-studies – “properly, draw (pull) to oneself; to rescue (“snatch up”); to draw or rescue a person to and for the deliverer.”

Note the term “snatch up”? Sounds kinda like the harpazo, or rapture, doesn’t it! Where else is rhuomai used? Let’s see!

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver [rhuomai] me from this body of death? (Romans 7:24)

When do we get delivered from this body of death? At the resurrection/rapture event!

For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers [rhuomai] us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)

…and if he rescued [rhuomai] righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue [rhuomai] the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment… (2 Peter 2:7-9)

As in the days of Lot, we will be rescued before God’s wrath pours down on those who “refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:10).

EvilStrong’s 4190 ponéros – evil, bad, wicked, malicious, slothful. It is also translated as “evil one”. From Thayer’s Greek Lexicon – ὁ πονηρός is used pre-eminently of the devil, the evil one: Matthew 5:37; Matthew 6:13; Matthew 13:19, 38; Luke 11:4 R L; John 17:15; 1 John 2:13; 1 John 3:12; 1 John 5:18f

It is important to note that in the Greek, there is a definitive article tou (the) in front of ponērou. Thus the translation is most accurately rendered “the evil (one)”.  We are to pray to be delivered from the evil one, satan, himself.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is teaching us to pray for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.  This includes the petition that we would not be led into the time of trouble on earth (the “tribulation” or 70th week of Daniel), that we would be delivered from the evil one (satan, including his unholy trinity of the antichrist and false prophet), and that Jesus would come and establish His millennial kingdom on earth.

Built in to the Lord’s Prayer is a plea to be raptured!!! Isn’t that amazing!??!!

Can we corroborate that elsewhere?  Do we see hints of this anywhere else in scripture?

Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! (2 Peter 3:11-12)

Peter speaks of waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God (the day of the Lord). We know from our scripture study above, that the rapture occurs BEFORE the day of the Lord, and so when we pray for the day to haste we are also praying for the rapture!

Lord's Prayer.jpg

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read Blessed Assurance:  A Guide to Rapture Readiness.

This article was first published as “The PreTribulation Rapture in the Lord’s Prayer“, June 1, 2019.


Further Resources:

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

A Prayer for the Weary Watchmen

watchmanforjerusalem.jpg

On your walls, O Jerusalem,

I have set watchmen;

all the day and all the night

they shall never be silent.

You who put the Lord in remembrance,

take no rest,

and give him no rest

until he establishes Jerusalem

and makes it a praise in the earth.

(Isaiah 62:6-7)

 

My dear watching friends,

As we enter another “high watch day”, I want to give you some encouragement and to pray for you. As the days turn into weeks, the weeks turn into months, and the months turn into years (for some of us!), it’s easy to get distracted with the cares, concerns, and lures of this world. Perhaps even easier, we can fall prey to melancholy – when our eyes are open to the stain of sin in the world, it’s hard not to see everything as corrupted! We know of, and long for, the perfection we were created to enjoy. It’s like the black claws of the evil one have torn into everything that God made “very good”, and everything is broken. How it feels like we have overstayed our welcome on earth! The world wants to boot us out, and we just want to go home. I know it’s hard some days, when all we are wondering is – “is it today? is it today? is it today?” – but we are called to persist – to occupy until He comes!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

(Hebrews 12:1-3)

It’s the last leg of the race. Push ahead so as to win the prize! It’s in our grasp. The finish line is near. Gather every ounce of strength you have left, and pour it into serving our King. Draw near to God like never before! Ask Him – plead with Him – to sustain you. Get on your knees and pray, children of Zion!

Mount Zion.jpg

 

I hope we hear the precious call of Jesus today – “Come up here!”. I hope the trumpet sounds and calls us to assembly. In the meantime, while we watch, let’s cast off everything that distracts us from Jesus!

God wants to be first and foremost in our lives, not out of control, but out of LOVE. He loves you so very much that he wants you to bask in His love. He wants you to be enveloped in it, comforted by it, reassured by it, and empowered by it. This is why His greatest commandment is to love Him best, first, and most of all. This is how you will experience His love! Everything in your heart that is a barrier between you and God, today is the day to get rid of it. Release it all to Jesus!

 

Dear Father,

How we long for You. Thoughts of You consume our minds and our hearts, and we desire nothing more than to be in Your presence. Nothing in this world compares with what You have prepared for us! We believe that You have readied a place for us, and that You will call us home to be with You soon. The Spirit within us cries – “Even so, come, Lord Jesus!”

It is the desire of our hearts that Your kingdom come and Your will be done as it is in heaven. We long to see the restoration of all things, and groan along with creation as we wait. Lead us not into the upcoming time of trouble, but deliver us from the evil one. We trust in Your goodness and Your mercy towards those who love You.

Please forgive our thoughts, words, and deeds, where we have wandered from Your will. We long to cast off this body of sin and death, so that we will no longer wrestle with doing what we don’t want to do, and not doing what we ought to do. We recognize that You, and You alone, are our Savior. We come before You and humbly bow our knees. Please clothe us with Your righteousness, and wash our hearts as white as snow. Thank You for Your faithfulness, which endures throughout the generations. Hide Your word in our hearts, that we might not sin against You.

Jesus, we pray for conviction in our hearts over anything that doesn’t please You. Reveal to us if we are harboring secret sins or temptations. Everything that is hidden in darkness, bring into Your glorious light. Shine Your Spirit in our hearts to break the chains that bind us! Give us Your power to defeat the sins that entangle us. Addictions, gossip, lies, coveting, jealousy, rage, pornography, lust, unforgiveness, theft, idols, gluttony, pride, and envy – we command the power of these over us to be broken in the mighty Name of Jesus Christ! The Name at which every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that You are Lord. We take these sins and we nail them to the cross of Christ. Fill us to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit that there is no room in our hearts for anything else!

We pray for opportunity to witness to those who may not have a saving knowledge of You. Please open the eyes of our loved ones to see You. Open their hearts to understand the depth of their sinfulness and their need for Your salvation! We plead with You, Lord! Save them!!!! We know You hear our cries, and we know Your hand moves when we gather together in prayer. So tonight, right now, we all stand together in unity, praying for the salvation of those You have impressed upon our hearts.

Teach us to be good ambassadors for Your kingdom. In this world of ungodliness, where people are calling good evil, and evil good, may we be beacons on a hill – shining the light of the gospel clearly and brightly. Give us discernment in these dark days. Let us not lose sight of our main purpose, which is following You and making disciples of all nations. We want to love you best, more than everyone and everything else, and to pour out Your love to those around us. Flow through us! Guide us into abiding in You. Ripen the fruit of the Spirit in us – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. As we put You first in our lives, we trust You to provide our daily needs.

Lead us into Your truth, and teach us by Your Spirit. Teach us to fear You, for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. Open our minds and our hearts to the knowledge and understanding of the scriptures. Thank You for Your word, it is more precious to us than diamonds.

In Jesus Name we pray,

Amen

 

Stand firm, my dear brothers and sisters. He is near, even at the gates!

 

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. So we do not lose heart. Though the outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

(2 Corinthians 4:1,6-10,16-18)

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What Time is It (On God’s Celestial Calendar)?

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God is a God of order, not chaos.  He reveals patterns and sequences, templates and types.  God is outside of time, but He has a plan involving time from before the foundation of the world.

…for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’  

(Isaiah 46:9-10 ESV)

An interesting study is trying to discern the time we are in.  I believe most of us would agree that we are in the season of Jesus’ return.  I would suggest many of us are interested in studying just how close His return might be.

 

The Prophetic Calendar – 7000 Years

My first post on God’s calendar,  God’s Prophetic Timeline, discussed how the years allotted to humanity parallel the 7 days of creation and the Sabbath cycle.

And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. 

(Genesis 2:2-3 ESV)

When Adam and Eve “fell”, their “work week” began.  No longer would they enjoy the pleasures and life of ease in Eden, but would have to work, strive and toil for the essentials of life.  Ever since, all creation longs for the Sabbath rest on the 7th day.

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From the Sabbath cycle, we can discern that humanity is granted approximately 7000 years of existence on Earth.

6000 years of human government

+ 1000 years of Jesus’ government in the Millennial Kingdom

= 7000 years

To support this belief, Jews have always acknowledged that the seven day creation week symbolizes a seven-thousand-year plan for humanity.  Each prophetic “day” represents 1000 years of the earth’s story.  (See Wikipedia – Year 6000)  The dispensation model for understanding God’s ordering of the ages of humanity also affirms this interpretation.

But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

(2 Peter 3:8 ESV)

The Jubilee Cycle, of 7×7 years followed by a Jubilee year, would also seem to correlate.  In Genesis 6, God said:

“My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” (v3 ESV)

This 120 year period was a literal time period before the global flood, but it has been suggested that it is also representative of 120 Jubilee cycles.

120 cycles x 50 Jubilees = 6000 years

I know that there has been a lot of speculation regarding “Jubilee years” lately, and the last several years have been suggested as candidates.  I would suggest that the Jubilee year has more to do with the restoration of Israel and the redemption of the whole of creation than it does with the church body.  I understand that the Feasts of God apply to all the redeemed, but the Jubilee would seem to apply more specifically to Israel.  As such, I would suggest that the Jubilee cycle ends on the 6000th year, ushering in the eternal Jubilee and the 7th Day of Rest for humanity.  This would place the Jubilee year at the Second Coming of Christ – Year 6000.  The last thousand years, the Millennial Kingdom, will see the Earth restored to near Eden-like conditions with Christ ruling on His throne.

 

What Time Is It?

I think many of us are aware that there are inconsistencies in the calendars that are used today and that have been used in the past.  Every feast day that comes up, the true calendar becomes an important consideration.  I believe we need to use the calendar in the sun, moon, and stars – the Mazzaroth – to determine God’s timelines.  It’s the only one that humans can’t mess up.  Genesis 1:14 declares

“And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years”.  (ESV)

(What are the feast days, you ask?  God set appointed times on His calendar from the beginning of creation.    The sacred times, or seasons, are the fixed or appointed times when God would meet with His people.  These appointed times are illustrative pictures for humanity of God’s redemption plan.  For more on these feasts, please see The Feasts of God – His Appointed Times).

Now let me just say, knowing what “time” it is isn’t a salvation issue.  Studying the calendars and pressing in to God in prayer over this is just something that I have been interested in.  All I want to do is share my findings with you, that it might springboard your own studies and thoughts.

With that said, here are my suggestions:

  • It shouldn’t require complicated calculations to figure out
  • It should involve the sun, moon, and stars
  • It should be supported by scripture

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Since Jesus is not currently here ruling in the midst of us, and we continue to live under the curse issued in Genesis 3, humanity must still be in our “work week”.  What most of us are interested in (me!) is how close we are to our “Sabbath Rest”.  Let’s see what we can discover!

 

So Many Calendars

One of the challenges to knowing exactly what year it is, is that the tracking of time has changed throughout human history.  A number of calendars have existed, some based on the sun (solar), some on the moon (lunar), and some on a combination of the two (lunisolar).  The Julian calendar was established in 45 BCE, and refined in 1582 CE to become the Gregorian calendar that is still in secular use today.  This calendar is based on “anno Domini nostri Jesu Christi” – “in the year of Our Lord Jesus Christ”, the presumed year of the birth of Jesus (which was probably more like 3-4 BC not year “0” that the calendar uses).  Anno Domini was renamed to the “common era” or “CE” about 350 years ago to remove Jesus from the picture.  Although this calendar gives us reference to the current age, the “Church Age”, it doesn’t give a picture of the entirety of human history.

Gregorian calendar – June 9, 2019

Well, what about the Hebrew calendar?  The Hebrew calendar is a lunisolar calendar, using intercalary months instead of leap years to make up the time difference between the lunar and solar years.  It is based on starting year counts at the creation of the world.  It also has gone through a few revisions and there is a discrepancy between the Orthodox Rabbinic calendar and the Nazarene calendar.  Currently, in 2019, the Orthodox Rabbinic year count is 5779.  The Orthodox Rabbinic calendar is based on a book called the “Seder Olam Rabbah”, which was written in 240 CE (AD).  Unfortunately, there is indication that there are up to 240 “missing years” in this calendar, which may or may not be deliberate.

Orthodox Rabbinic calendar – 6 Sivan, 5779

Orthodox Rabbinic calendar + 240 Missing Years – 6 Sivan, 6019

The Orthodox Rabbinic calendar, 5779, would place us several centuries away from the Second Coming of Christ.  The signs of the times (Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign) would suggest otherwise.  What about if we add in the 240 missing years to get 6019?  This would seem to put us into “overtime”.  Regarding both of these calendars – let me ask you this.  Do you think God, who is Sovereign and pre-planned this from the foundation of the world, would mix up His own year counts?  With the amazing preciseness of scripture, I am inclined to believe that God has orchestrated the symphony of humanity perfectly.  So let’s keep looking.

Remember all the begats and the age counts in Genesis?  These are actually extremely useful pieces of information when determining the age of the Earth, the timeline of the Great Flood, and the dividing of the Earth.  When combining the genealogical information in scripture with archaeological evidence, it appears that we have around 6000 years of human history.  Without getting into a creation debate, here are some articles if you are interested in the numbers:

begats.jpg

The Nazarene calendar uses the accounts in the Old Testament to date the year, much as current creation science does.  This is where God’s careful recording of genealogies comes into play!  All Scripture is there for a purpose, to lay out God’s plans and purposes.  Using numbers supplied in scripture, we can discern this timeline:

Adam to the Flood: 1656 years
Flood to the birth of Abraham 454 years
Abraham to the Exodus 430 years
Exodus to the First Temple 480 years
First Temple to the Exile 393 years
Exile to Second Temple 72 years
Total 3,485 years

Next, to count how many years there were between the building of the Second Temple until the year [2019] (i.e., now), we must switch to the Western (Roman) Gregorian calendar. The reason for this is that Scripture does not record these dates for us.

Now the Temple was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.  (Ezra 6:15)

Secular historians inform us that the sixth year of the reign of Persian King Darius took place in approximately 515 BCE. When we add 515 years to the [2019] years that have elapsed since Yeshua’s birth, we find that the Second Temple was built approximately 2520 years ago:

Second Temple built 515 BCE
Years elapsed since Yeshua’s birth [2019]
Total [2532] years

Now, to find the approximate age of the earth today (in the year 2019), we should add the number of years from the Creation to the building of the Second Temple (3,485) to the number of years from the building of the Second Temple until now (2,532). This will give us the approximate age of the earth in the year 2019 CE:

Creation to the Second Temple 3,485 years
Second Temple to 2019 CE 2,532 years
Years since the Creation (approximate) 6,017 years

(Source reference: Paul D Newman)

Bible Genealogy calendar – 6 Sivan, 6017

Using scripture as the backbone for our calendar is important.  I believe God gave us these specific ancestries and year counts on purpose – not just to verify Jesus’ bloodline.  However, using the biblical genealogies alone also puts us into “prophetic overtime”.  Since I do not believe this is a possibility, we need to keep searching.

 

The Calendar in the Sun, Moon, and Stars

The genealogies listed in scripture are useful pieces of information in the calendar of humanity.  However, after the Flood, they are based upon calendars which changed over time.  Thus, I suggest we need to corroborate these numbers with the calendar in the heavens.  Remember this verse?

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years’

(Genesis 1:14 ESV)

God provided the sun, moon, and stars to serve as signs and to mark days and years.  The sun, moon, and stars have remained unchanged by humanity, even when the earth changed its’ course.  Is there any sign in these heavenly bodies that can give us a clue as to what “time” it is on God’s unchanging clock?

Well, yes there is.  Interestingly, when prophecy watchers started scanning the thousands of years of human history and future for a specific sign in the sun, moon, and stars described in Revelation 12:1-2, they found only one match.

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.  She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.  (Revelation 12:1-2 ESV)

The sign occurred on September 23, 2017 and is detailed HERE.

Rev12 sign

While the sign in fulfillment of Revelation 12:1-2 only occurs once, watchmen did find three other partial alignments.  These partial alignments occurred on September 11, 3 BC (Jesus’ birth?), August 27, 70 AD (destruction of Second Temple), and August 5, 3915 BC.  All extremely significant events for humanity.

 

August 5, 3915 Sign in the Sun, Moon, and Stars

Adam and Eve were created to be eternal beings, and in their perfection were granted to eat freely from the Tree of Life.  We are not told how long they were in their perfected state before they sinned, but I’m not sure it matters to us at this point.  It was only when they FELL and became physically mortal that time would begin.  It was when they FELL that humanity’s day counts and “work week” began:

…cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat breadtill you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”  

(Genesis 3:17-19 ESV)

Mankind was allotted 7000 years before this form of heaven and earth would be complete and we would return to our eternal state (either with God or apart from Him – the choice is up to each one of us).

Regarding the alignment in the sun, moon, and stars on this date, see this excerpt from Unsealed:

There is a near perfect match on this date (though not as precise as the 2017 alignment).  In fact it is such a close match that it has been speculated that this could have been the date of the Fall of Mankind when God spoke these eerily relevant words to the devil and to Eve in Genesis 3:15-16:

And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”

To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”

Interestingly, in this dialogue the same three entities mentioned in Revelation 12 are also present: the serpent (Revelation 12:9), the woman, and the male child.  The planet Saturn, which some have speculated represents satan, happens to be near the heel of The Lion.

 

The calendar in the sun, moon, and stars would seem to possibly give us a date for the fall of mankind to be August 5, 3915 BCE.  What year would that put us in now?

3915 BC + 2019 (current year) – 1 (no year “0”) = 5934 years

Celestial Calendar – 6 Sivan, 5934

Using the Revelation 12:1-2 sign in 3915 BC puts us decades under 6000 years, right?  Or does it?

 

360 Versus 365.25 Days Per Year

At some point between the Flood and Today, the earth wobbled in its orbital path and gained a few days per year.  I would think it is safe to assume that the “fountains of the deep bursting forth” and the “windows of heaven opened” of the Flood had something to do with it.  The Bible doesn’t provide a lot of detail on this, but we know the post-Flood world was a significantly different environment than the pre-Flood world.  We also know that this instability of the earth’s crust lasted for a period of time – a few hundred years.  Scripture tells us that the land was divided (the crust shifted) “in the days of Peleg” after the Flood (Genesis 10:25).  So it took a while for things to settle down and come to their current resting place.

The result that pertains to us, is that somehow we ended up with approximately  365.25 day-years, instead of the 360 days per year from creation.  The length of a year is currently cited at 365.242190 days.  (Wikipedia)

Interestingly, the Bible uses a year length of 360 days in both Genesis and Revelation.

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.

(Genesis 7:11 ESV)

At the end of 150 days the waters had abated,  and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.

(Genesis 8:3-4 ESV)

In Genesis chapters 7-8 we are told the Flood covered the land from the 17th day of the 2nd month to the 17th day of the 7th month.  This time period totals 150 days.  This would only be true if each month had 30 days in it.

…they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.  And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days

(Revelation 11:2-3 ESV)

…and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.

(Revelation 12:6 ESV)

…so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.

(Revelation 12:14 ESV)

And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished. 

(Daniel 12:7 ESV)

Forty-two 30-day months = 1260 days = “time, and times, and half a time” (“time”= 1 360-day year).

I would assume God uses 360 day years in His word for a reason, not just because the numbers round nicer than 365.25.  I would suggest that God has allotted 6000 years for humanity to rule based on the original creation of 360-day-years.

This is where I both agree and disagree with the Enoch/Zadok calendar.  I agree that God created the Earth with a 360-day solar year orbit.  Each month was 30 days, and the moon phases likely obeyed this 30 day pattern.  I also agree that after the rapture of the church, the Earth will once again have 360-day solar years with 30-day lunar months.  I believe that the resurrection / rapture event will be so severe as to cause the earth to sway and change its orbital path once again.

For the windows of heaven are opened,
    and the foundations of the earth tremble.
The earth is utterly broken,
    the earth is split apart,
    the earth is violently shaken.
The earth staggers like a drunken man;
    it sways like a hut;
its transgression lies heavy upon it,
    and it falls, and will not rise again.

(Isaiah 24:18-20 ESV)

Compare this to Genesis 6:

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened. (v.11 ESV)

earth reeling.jpg

Where I disagree with the Enoch/Zadok calendar is in laying the 360-day-year model on top of our current situation.  The Earth did change in orbit and tilt.  I believe the Earth will change in orbit and tilt.  While the sun, moon, and stars remained in place, the Earth’s relative position to them changed.  Thus, our perspective of them changed, and our observance of them had to change.  I do believe we can correct for this, though.

To figure out what year we are in, we need to account for the discrepancy between how the earth was created (360-day years) and how it is now (365.25-day years).

Biblical Precedence to Correcting for 360-Day-Years

Prior to the Global Flood, the Earth had 360-day years.  Subsequent to the Rapture, the Earth will have 360-day years.  It is the interim time we wish to correct for, in order to discern the current year.

We don’t want to just go ahead and apply corrections to day counts to support our theories without some sort of scriptural basis to do so.  Fortunately, I believe we have several instances that supports this correction.

The first is the 430 Days of Laying of Ezekiel:

“Then lie on your left side, and place the punishment of the house of Israel upon it. For the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their punishment.  For I assign to you a number of days, 390 days, equal to the number of the years of their punishment. So long shall you bear the punishment of the house of Israel.  And when you have completed these, you shall lie down a second time, but on your right side, and bear the punishment of the house of Judah. Forty days I assign you, a day for each year.  And you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem, with your arm bared, and you shall prophesy against the city.  And behold, I will place cords upon you, so that you cannot turn from one side to the other, till you have completed the days of your siege.”  Ezekiel 4:3-8 ESV

Ezekiel literally laid on his side for 430 consecutive days to represent the punishment Israel was facing for disobedience.  God even strapped him down so that he couldn’t turn.  FOR OVER A YEAR.  70 years are most certainly accounted for in the Babylonian Captivity.  But there were still 360 years remaining.

430 days laying.jpg

After their captivity, by and large the nation of Israel did not repent.  Many didn’t even return to the Promised Land, and most didn’t obey God’s commandments.  Even after the rebuilding of the Temple, Israel remained in rebellion.  Israel’s continued disobedience resulted in a greater punishment coming into effect.  This was forewarned by God through Moses in Leviticus 26.  In this chapter, God states four times that He will increase their punishment “sevenfold” if they continue to disobey.

360 remaining years of punishment x 7-fold = 2520 years of punishment remaining

2520 years x 360 days = 907, 200 days

907, 200 days divided by 365.25 days (current Gregorian calendar) = 2483.778 years (2483 years, 9 months, 10 days)

What do we do with these numbers?  Well, there are two different time periods that might qualify:

“The Servitude of the Nation” – prophesied to last 70 years – Started by the first siege of Nebuchadnezzar in 605BC.  This lasted 70 years to the day – using the prophetic 360 day-year – ending in 536BC in Nisan (March/April) .  Using this calculation:

2483 years, 9 months, 21 days  MINUS 536 years [3-4 months/unsure day] PLUS 1 year (no year “0”) = 1948 year [undetermined month/day]

Restoration of Israel as a Nation – May 14, 1948

“The Desolations of Jerusalem” – prophesied to last 70 years – Started by the third and last siege in 587/6 BC and resulted in the destruction and desolation of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem.  This also lasted 70 years, until 516/7 BC, when the Second Temple was finished.  Using this calculation:

2483 years, 9 months, 21 days  MINUS 516/7 years [unsure month/day] PLUS 1 year (no year “0”) = 1967 year [undetermined month/day]

Restoration of Jerusalem to Israel – June 7, 1967

It seems that Ezekiel’s 430 days of laying prophetically predict the scattering and regathering of Israel within days or months, when a 360-day-year correction is applied to our current orbit.  It is interesting that God uses the prophetic year of 360 days, even though Ezekiel certainly lived far after the Flood and the days of Peleg.  (For more on Ezekiel’s 430 days, please see: Ezekiel’s 430 Days of Laying)

Ezekiel’s 430 days of laying remind me of the 70 weeks prophecy given to Daniel, of which Jesus expected His people to be aware.

And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. (Luke 19:41-42 ESV)

The second example of 360-day-year correction is found in this 70 Weeks of Daniel prophecy.  Although Daniel’s prophecy was given post-Flood, when the Earth was surely in 365.25-day-year orbit, the dates given to him were in 360-day-years.

In Daniel 9:24, Daniel is given a prophecy:

Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city

Seventy weeks uses the Hebrew term “weeks” or “sevens”, which is a period of 7 years (much like our decade is a period of 10 years).  Seventy sets of seven years, or 70 weeks of years, is 490 years. Israel was to look for their anointed one, a prince, their Messiah, in 7+62 “weeks” from the decree issued in 445 BC.  69 weeks of years = 483 years.

The word to restore and build Jerusalem was given by King Artaxerxes in the month of Nisan in the 20th year of his reign.  Nisan 1 in his 20th year of his reign corresponds to March 14, 445 BC.  We learn from several places that a prophetic year is 360 days long.

483 years x 360 days = 173, 880 days

173, 880 days / 365.25 day-years = 476.06 years

445 BC – 476.06 years + 1 (no “year 0”) = 32 AD

[Or, 444 BC – 476.06 years + 1 = 33 AD (see here)]

Throughout His ministry, Jesus concealed His identity as the Son of God, at least in public.  This was so that He could proclaim Himself as Messiah on the very day foretold in the Scriptures.

palm sunday.jpg

Jesus deliberately arranged to enter Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the 10th of Nisan, 32 AD in fulfillment of Messianic prophecy (Zechariah 9:9, Psalm 118:26, Daniel 9:25).  On that day, he rode in to Jerusalem on a donkey while the crowd cheered Him on as the Messiah.  This was exactly 173, 880 days after Artaxerxes gave word to rebuild Jerusalem.  (For more on Daniel’s 70 Weeks, please see Daniel’s 70 Weeks)

Once again, in the example of Palm Sunday, it seems we have precedence not for laying a 360-day calendar over top of our current one, but for correcting our current orbit to an equivalent 360-day orbit.

There is Scriptural precedence given for correcting our calendar to a 360-day-year prophetic calendar.

So, What Time is It Really?

Let’s summarize so far:

  • Word of God – From scripture genealogies, we can place the global flood at 1656 AM (anno mundi, years after creation)
  • Mazzaroth – From the sun, moon, and stars, it seems we can possibly place the fall of man on August 5, 3915 BC
  • Prophecy – There is biblical precedence to correct for a 360-day-year Prophetic Calendar

 

First 360-Day Correction Calculation

In my original calculations, I guessed that things settled down to balance out to 365.25 days/year, on average, right after the flood.  To adjust current years to the prophetic 360-day years, it means humanity has existed for an extra ~5.25 days per year since the global flood.  If our allotted days are only 6000 360-day-years, we have actually “used up” more years than our calendars currently indicate.  Correcting for these extra days and converting them to 360-day-years:

3915 (Fall) – 1656 (Flood) = 2259 years humanity lived BC

+ 2019 years AD – 1 (no year 0)

= 4277 years lived with “extra days”

4277 x 365.25 (current days/year) / 360 (prophetic days/year) = 4339 360-day-year equivalent years since the Flood, lived by humanity

4339 (post flood years) + 1656 (preflood years) = 5995 years (+/- approximately half a year)

(Calculation 1) Prophetic Calendar – 6 Sivan, 5995 

I think we are getting much closer in our calculations here, but I’m not sure we are quite there yet.  The main concern with this calculation is that we don’t know how long the earth reeled for and when its’ orbit settled into 365.25-day-years.

Was the earth’s orbit affected when the land was divided post-flood in the days of Peleg?  What about in the days of Joshua?  The book of Joshua records for us a unique occasion where the “sun and moon stood still” to allow the Israelites to defeat their enemies.  How was the earth’s orbit affected at this time, or was it?

And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day. 

(Joshua 10:13 ESV)

Through the work of Daniel Matson at Watchfortheday, it seems that another adjustment to the Earth’s axis may have occurred around 713BC during the days of King Hezekiah – documented in 2 Kings 20:8-11, when the sun’s shadow went backwards 10 steps.

And Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What shall be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord on the third day?”  And Isaiah said, “This shall be the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that he has promised: shall the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?”  And Hezekiah answered, “It is an easy thing for the shadow to lengthen ten steps. Rather let the shadow go back ten steps.” And Isaiah the prophet called to the Lord, and he brought the shadow back ten steps, by which it had gone down on the steps of Ahaz. 

(2 Kings 20:8-11 ESV)

How do we factor in these additional uncertainties, or can we?

 

Should We Just Give Up?

I spent quite a bit of time in mental anguish here, wondering if God just wants us to give up trying to figure out what time it is.  I pleaded with Him – “Do You really not want us to know the time we are in?  You tell us to watch, to be ready!  You say You will not do anything without revealing it to Your prophets.  We know we are in the season, but You suggest we can know more than that.  Please help me, Lord!”

God expected the Jews to be aware of the time:

You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

(Luke 12:56 ESV)

It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.  

(Proverbs 25:2 ESV)

For the Lord GOD does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.

(Amos 3:7 ESV)

Remember that Jesus’ triumphal entry was able to be counted down to the exact day.  The restoration of Israel was able to be counted down to the exact year.  And here is where I believe God impressed upon my heart the Key of Enoch.

Enoch.jpg

For days, I couldn’t get Enoch off my mind.  Tradition, plus the extra-biblical text of Enoch, holds that Enoch was both born and raptured on the same day of the year – Pentecost.  I had just written a series on Pentecost and how it intimately relates to the body of Christ (Everything You Need to Know About Pentecost, the Feast that Ties It All Together For The Church).  What if God raptured Enoch, pre-flood, at 365 years exactly to give us a clue?  If we use the number 365.0 in our calculation as the correction factor, does that adjust for all the wobbling the earth went through?  You’ve got to admit that it is kind of interesting that Enoch would be raptured specifically at 365.0 years old (instead of, say, 360, or 492, or 253, or….).

Second 360-Day/Year Correction Calculation (From Enoch’s Rapture):

I considered that it might be Enoch’s rapture date that should be used for the 365.0 day correction start point instead of the Flood.  Enoch was raptured 669 years prior to the Flood.  That number surely must be significant in some way?  What if we are to take it into account in the calendar correction?

August 5, 3915 BC – Fall of Man

17 Iyar, 1656 AM (3915 – 1656 = 2259 BC) – Flood

Enoch’s Rapture Date = 669 years prior to the Flood at age 365

= 2259 + 669 = 2928 BC on Pentecost

August 5, 3915 BC – Pentecost 2928 BC = 987.05 years x 360 = 355,338 Days pre-Enoch Rapture

Pentecost 2928 BC – Pentecost 2019 AD (-1, no “year 0) = 4946.0 years

x 365 = 1,805,290 Days post-Enoch Rapture

Total Days of Humanity = 2,160,628 / 360

= 6001.7 years (the date as of Pentecost, June 9, 2019)

(+/- up to 1 year)

 (Calculation 2) Prophetic calendar – 6 Sivan, 6001.7

This calculation would seem to put us into prophetic overtime.

 

Third 360-Day/Year Correction Calculation (From Global Flood):

Using the global flood as a start point, instead of Enoch’s rapture, we get:

August 5, 3915 BC – Fall of Man

17 Iyar, 1656 AM (2259 BC) – Flood

3915 – 1656 = 2258.7 years pre-Flood

+ 2019.05 years (Pentecost, Sivan 6) – 1 (no year 0)

= 4276.75 years lived with “extra days” (from Flood until today)

4276.75 x 365 (Enoch days/year) = 1,561,013.75 days

1656 (pre-Flood years)  x 360 = 596,160 days

1,561,013.75 + 596,160 = 2,157,173.75 days / 360

= 5992.15 years (the date as of Pentecost, June 9, 2019)

(Calculation 3) Prophetic calendar – 6 Sivan, 5992 

Prophetic calendar – Pentecost 2020 (~May 31, TBD) – 6 Sivan, 5993

 

Using the flood as a start point would seem to be logical, since we know that is when the earth was changed from its’ 360-day year course.  It doesn’t, however, take the time gap between Enoch’s rapture and the flood into account, if that is meant to be a clue.

 

Let’s Review

I would suggest that by using the clues God has given us in scripture and in His celestial calendar, we can come close to knowing the current year on God’s Prophetic Calendar. As far as how to put all the pieces together, and which is most accurate, I cannot say I know for sure.  I hope, though, that the above calculations have made sense and have given you ideas for further research.

In summary, as of June 9, 2019 (Pentecost) the “time” could be:

Gregorian calendar – June 9, 2019

Orthodox Rabbinic calendar – 6 Sivan, 5779

Orthodox Rabbinic calendar + 240 Missing Years – 6 Sivan, 6019

Bible Genealogy calendar – 6 Sivan, 6017

Celestial Calendar – 6 Sivan, 5934

(Calculation 1) Prophetic Calendar – 6 Sivan, 5995

(Calculation 2) Prophetic calendar – 6 Sivan, 6001.7

(Calculation 3) Prophetic calendar – 6 Sivan, 5992

 

I am persuaded to continue to weave together all of God’s clues. Stay tuned for Part 2!

 

pentecost.jpg

Note:  This article was previously published as What Year is it Really?  (Is it 5991?) on April 27, 2018, and Calendars, Calendars, Calendars… 360 Days Versus 365 Days Per Year – The Clue of Enoch on May 28, 2018.


Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

God’s Prophetic Timeline – 7000 Years of Humanity

The Fig Tree Sign and Israel’s Rebirth

Ezekiel’s 430 Days of Laying

The Terminal Generation

Revelation 12 – A Sign in the Heavens, September 23, 2017

Year 6000 – This Wikipedia page discusses the Jewish expectation of the Messianic Age to begin at year 6000 at the latest.  Their calendar is off (see the discussion on the missing years, and the 360-day calendar conversion above), but this shows the Jewish belief of the 7000 years destined for humanity.

God’s Challenge!  Understand My Plan by Douglas Berner

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

The PreTribulation Rapture in the Lord’s Prayer

Lords Prayer2.jpg

“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.”

(Matthew 6:9-13)

While the Lord’s Prayer is often one of the first passages of scripture we memorize, how close do we pay attention to the words as we repeat them? Do we think about the meaning behind the words?

The other day I was reading my children a book about Martin Luther (The Barber Who Wanted to Pray, by RC Sproul). Luther is well-known for his dedication to prayer, and would often spend hours on his knees in fervent communion with God. At one point, his barber asked if Luther would teach him how to pray. The result was a letter entitled “A Simple Way to Pray”. In it, Luther instructed his friend on how to meaningfully pray through the Lord’s Prayer.

Since reading this account, I have been praying through this beautiful passage. In doing so, something struck me as I meditated on the words. I want to share with you what I believe are prophetic portions in the Lord’s Prayer!

“Your Kingdom Come”

All creation is yearning for Jesus to restore and rule His Kingdom (Romans 8:19-23). Jesus gives us an example to specifically pray for this! When will His Kingdom come? At the Second Coming when Jesus sets up His Millennial Kingdom!

“Your Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven”

We long for Jesus to rule humanity, with His will being carried out upon the Earth. Looking over history, it is blatantly obvious that when human will is done upon the earth, it results in a mess of sin and suffering. When we pray for God’s Will do be done on earth, we are praying for the literal fulfillment of all biblical prophecies. There’s a lot more that could be said, but I’m going to keep it simple – “Please come, Jesus, and fix everything better!!!”

It’s the next two phrases I think we need to mine more deeply.

“Lead Us Not Into Temptation”

While Jesus promises not to allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear, are we really to pray not to be tempted at all?  Scripture is clear that we *will* be tested and tried, throughout the church age. We are to consider these trials and tribulations a joy:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame (Romans 5:3-5)

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:6-7)

Is it possible, then, that “lead us not into temptation” doesn’t mean the regular trials of faith and life that we are certainly to encounter and are even to embrace? Let’s look at the interlinear to see!

LeadStrong’s 1533 eispheró – to bring or lead, to carry inward

TemptationStrong’s 3986 peirasmos – an experiment, a trial, temptation; trial, probation, testing, being tried; temptation; calamity, affliction. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon adds the additional insight of “adversity, affliction, trouble”.

Does a trial, testing, calamity, affliction, and trouble remind you of something you have probably studied often – the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7)?  Could Jesus have been encouraging us to pray “do not carry us forward into the Times of Trouble”? Does He suggest this elsewhere as well?

I believe He does:

“But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36)

What about the word Jesus chose for temptation, that we are to pray to not be led into? It’s not the same word He uses for the “greatest tribulation”, which begins long after the rapture event. Instead, He uses the word for trouble and trial, which is also used here:

Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial [peirasmos] that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. (Revelation 3:10)

then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials [peirasmos], and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment… (2 Peter 2:9)

Jesus tells us to pray that we will not be led into the hour of trial that is coming upon the whole world, and that we will have the strength/worthiness to escape all these things that are going to take place!  The only way we can be worthy to escape is through His blood as our covering – being born again into the family of God.

“But Deliver Us From (the) Evil (One)”

If we are to pray not to be led into the time of trouble on earth, what else are we to pray? That we are to be delivered from evil, in general? Or is there a more specific meaning here?

DeliverStrong’s 4506 rhuomai – to draw to oneself, deliver; I rescue, deliver (from danger or destruction). From HELPS Word-studies – “properly, draw (pull) to oneself; to rescue (“snatch up”); to draw or rescue a person to and for the deliverer.”

Note the term “snatch up”? Sounds kinda like the harpazo, or rapture, doesn’t it! Where else is rhuomai used? Let’s see!

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver [rhuomai] me from this body of death? (Romans 7:24)

When do we get delivered from this body of death? At the resurrection/rapture event!

For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers [rhuomai] us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)

…and if he rescued [rhuomai] righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue [rhuomai] the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment… (2 Peter 2:7-9)

As in the days of Lot, we will be rescued before God’s wrath pours down on those who “refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:10).

EvilStrong’s 4190 ponéros – evil, bad, wicked, malicious, slothful. It is also translated as “evil one”. From Thayer’s Greek Lexicon – ὁ πονηρός is used pre-eminently of the devil, the evil one: Matthew 5:37; Matthew 6:13; Matthew 13:19, 38; Luke 11:4 R L; John 17:15; 1 John 2:13; 1 John 3:12; 1 John 5:18f

It is important to note that in the Greek, there is a definitive article tou (the) in front of ponērou. Thus the translation is most accurately rendered “the evil (one)”.  We are to pray to be delivered from the evil one, satan, himself.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is teaching us to pray for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled.  This includes the petition that we would not be led into the time of trouble on earth (the “tribulation” or 70th week of Daniel), that we would be delivered from the evil one (satan, including his unholy trinity of the antichrist and false prophet), and that Jesus would come and establish His millennial kingdom on earth.

Built in to the Lord’s Prayer is a plea to be raptured!!! Isn’t that amazing!??!!

Can we corroborate that elsewhere?  Do we see hints of this anywhere else in scripture?

Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! (2 Peter 3:11-12)

Peter speaks of waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God (the day of the Lord). We know from our scripture study above, that the rapture occurs BEFORE the day of the Lord, and so when we pray for the day to haste we are also praying for the rapture!

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Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read Blessed Assurance:  A Guide to Rapture Readiness.


Further Resources:

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

The Rapture of the Church – Our Blessed Hope in Jesus Christ

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Whether you have studied much or little about the pre-tribulation rapture of the church, I want you to be confident that this belief is well-supported by scripture.

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:11-14)

While we are watching the signs of rumors of wars, third Temple progress, attitudes in society and in the church, among others, the BIG EVENT – the resurrection of the dead in Christ and the transformation of living saints into resurrection bodies – is almost upon us. After the transformation from temporal to eternal, a literal “catching away” of those who believe in Jesus will occur. This is commonly known as the rapture, from the Latin translation of “caught up” – rapiemur (from rapio). The Greek word is harpazo (Strong’s 726). Both mean “we are caught up” or “we are taken away”, and suggest suddenness and aggressiveness. HELPS Word-studies defines harpazo as “seize by force; snatch up, suddenly and decisively – like someone seizing bounty (spoil, a prize); to take by an open display of force (i.e. not covertly or secretly).” (Source)

The rapture isn’t going to be a secret, but it will be sudden! Let’s examine the scriptures pertaining to this glorious event!

First, passages that promise to spare the saints from wrath:

Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. (Revelation 3:10)

“But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36)

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. (Romans 5:9)

For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 1 (Thessalonians 5:9-10)

For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)

We are not destined for wrath! God has never poured out His wrath upon His righteous ones in the past, and He won’t do so in the future either. How is God going to spare us from wrath? It’s all a part of the gift of transformation from temporal to eternal.

Second, passages talking about our transformation from temporal to eternal:

Listen! I am telling you a mystery: We will not all fall asleep, but we will all be changed [allasso], in a moment, in the blink of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. For this corruptible must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal must be clothed with immortality. When this corruptible is clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal is clothed with immortality, then the saying that is written will take place:

Death has been swallowed up in victory.

Death, where is your victory?

Death, where is your sting?

(1 Corinthians 15:51-55)

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Philippians 3:20-21)

For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just. (Luke 14:14)

I would suggest that these two passages have a near and a far fulfillment, which is common in prophecy:

Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. (John 5:28-29)

And 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 12:2)

This transformation, or changing, occurs in the twinkling of an eye – instantaneously. The dead in Christ will be transformed – rise from the grave and be united with a resurrection body. Then, we who are alive and remain, will be transformed into our eternal bodies. Together we will all be caught up to be with the Lord. The dead who are not in Christ will be resurrected in the second resurrection – the one to judgment at the Great White Throne.

Because a lot of people have confusion over the resurrection events I will summarize:

First Resurrection

  1. Jesus and the Many Saints – approx. 32-33 AD – 1 Corinthians 15:20, Matthew 27:52-53 (note: the FIRST harvest of the Feasts of God – Unleavened Bread)
  2. Main Resurrection / Rapture event – hopefully this year 🙂 – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (note: will this be on the SECOND harvest of the Feast of God – Pentecost?)
  3. Tribulation Martyrs – between second coming and millennial kingdom – Revelation 20:4,6 (note: the THIRD harvest of the Feasts of God – Tabernacles)

Some believe that the Old Testament saints will be resurrected from the dead along with the church pre-tribulation, and some believe that they will be resurrected from the dead along with the tribulation martyrs post-tribulation. From our perspective as the alive body of Christ (the church), I would suggest this isn’t an issue to raise any ruckus about; what is clear is that they will be raised at some point and rule with Christ during the Millennial Kingdom.

Second Resurrection

Occurs after the millennial kingdom, in 1007+ years – Revelation 20:5,11-15, John 5:29b.  Includes all unbelievers from the beginning of time. It would also seem to include any believers who may have passed away during the Millennial Kingdom.

Third, passages predicting the “harpazo” of the saints:

Just as man is appointed to die once, and after that to face judgment, so also Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await Him. (Hebrews 9:28)

“She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne” (Revelation 12:5)

“Your heart must not be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if not, I would have told you. I am going away to prepare a place for you. If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1-3)

Note how Jesus said He will receive [Strong’s 3880] us unto Himself as you read the next passage:

Two men will be in the field; one will be taken [received, Strong’s 3880] and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken [received, Strong’s 3880] and the other left. (Matthew 24:40-41)

Interestingly, Strong’s Concordance states the word used, paralambanetai, #3880, has the common usage as “I take from, receive from, or: I take to, receive; I take with me”. HELPS Word-studies further adds that this taking is “aggressive; to take (receive) by showing strong personal initiative”. (Source) The ones aggressively taken, harpazo‘d, will be received unto the Lamb. There are those who disagree with this interpretation, but this is not a salvation issue so we can “agree to disagree”.

Fourth, passages containing the transformation, catching up, and sparing from wrath:

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, in the same way God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep through Jesus. For we say this to you by a revelation from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly have no advantage over those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17)

This is such an encouraging passage of scripture! The trumpet in the Old Testament (shofar) was used to summon for worship or to summon to battle. To believers, this trumpet blast will mean – Come Up Here! To angels, this trumpet blast will mean Prepare For Battle!

We see that the souls of those who have died in Christ are currently WITH GOD, and Jesus will bring them with Him when it is time for Him to call us home. (This refutes the concept of “soul sleep”). We then see Jesus descending from heaven with a SHOUT (not a whisper, this isn’t a secret!)! The bodies of the dead in Christ are then resurrected and transformed into an eternal body like Christ’s own. These bodies join their waiting souls! Then, all believers who are alive on earth will be transformed and caught up (harpazo) with them. (This refutes any notion of a time gap between transformation and catching up).  These words are to be an encouragement!!!

As a pregnant woman about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pains, so we were before You, Lord. We became pregnant, we writhed in pain; we gave birth to wind. We have won no victories on earth, and the earth’s inhabitants have not fallen. Your dead will live; their bodies will rise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust! For you will be covered with the morning dew, and the earth will bring out the departed spirits. Go, my people, enter your rooms and close your doors behind you. Hide for a little while until the wrath has passed. For look, the Lord is coming from His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. The earth will reveal the blood shed on it and will no longer conceal her slain. (Isaiah 26:17-21)

Totally amazing Old Testament rapture passage. Isaiah 26 clearly reveals that the dead will rise and enter their “rooms” (where Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us), after which God will pour out His wrath on the inhabitants of the earth. Before the mystery of the rapture was revealed through the apostle Paul, no one understood the meaning of such passages – however, they were clearly there, waiting to be understood at the proper time. I personally believe that since Isaiah was writing to the Old Testament saints, this indicates that the they, too, will be resurrected PRIOR to Daniel’s 70th week.

Fifth, Other Passages Where People are Harpazo’d:

And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried [harpazo] Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. (Acts 8:39)

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up [harpazo] to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. And I know that this man was caught up [harpazo] into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. (2 Cor 12:2-4)

And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force [harpazo] and bring him into the barracks. (Acts 23:10)

The teaching of a carrying, seizing, snatching, or catching up/away is found a number of times in scripture. In each case it is sudden and does not rely at all upon the person being carried away by the Spirit of God. Of note, the word is also used to describe how no one else is able to snatch, seize, or carry away:

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch [harpazo] them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch [harpazo – pluck, seize] them out of the Father’s hand. (John 10:28-29)

God, in His omnipotence, is able to carry us away at His will. Also in His omnipotence, He is able to prevent anyone else (human or spirit) from taking us away from Him. How reassuring is that! We are safe in His hand.

 

Sixth, Salvation Before the Day of the Lord:

Note that God’s WRATH begins at the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is not defined by “tribulation” or “great tribulation” or “greatest tribulation”, but by God’s wrath encompassed in the Trumpets and Bowls. The “greatest tribulation” that Jesus mentions in Matthew 24 comes from the antichrist, who will be seated in the Temple proclaiming to be “god”. We will also be spared from this “greatest tribulation”, but that’s not why we are spared. We are spared from God’s wrath, which begins far earlier than the “greatest tribulation”. God’s wrath would seem to begin once the Yom Kippur ceremony has been performed in heaven (at the end of Seal 7), but all the world recognizes that the time of His wrath has come at Seal 6. I personally believe that all 7 seals open at the moment of the rapture, and their effects are felt throughout the entire 70th week of Daniel.

Consider all the below occurring within milliseconds:

  • the resurrection of the dead in Christ, their transformation, and uniting of their bodies and souls
  • the transformation of the living in Christ, and their catching up to be with Jesus
    the removal of the “Restrainer” from the earth (the indwelling Holy Spirit in the body of Christ)
  • Apocalyptic Horses 1-4 released from restraint and lunge forward to begin their tasks
  • The entire world recognizes that the wrath of the Lamb and God (one on the throne) has come

“When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. The sky vanished like a scroll that is being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. Then the kings of the earth and the great ones and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” (Revelation 6:12-17)

Who can stand? Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord can stand.

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9-10)

This is also shown in Acts 2, when Peter quotes Joel 2:

“And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”

Note that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved – when? BEFORE the day of the Lord begins.

[I understand that many within the pre-tribulation rapture watching community will disagree with the timing of these passages and that is ok. This is not a salvation issue. It isn’t even a rapture timing issue (we all agree in a pre-tribulation rapture, where no believer will face the wrath of God). I want you to understand that it’s okay to consider different possibilities for how exactly Revelation chapters 4-6 play out in a pre-tribulation way. NONE of us have it figured out 100% correctly! So please don’t throw out the rest of this article because you believe the rapture MUST be pictured with the open door in Revelation 4, with billions of us represented by only 24 elders.]

Subsequent to the resurrection / rapture event, the heavenly Yom Kippur ceremony begins:

When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them. And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne, and the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth, and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake. (Revelation 8:1-5)

In the earthly Yom Kippur ceremony, performed yearly as a shadow to the heavenly ceremony, we see the following performed:

  • prayers, from all the people
  • half an hour of silence
  • the high priest enters the holy of holies only on this one day, the day of atonement
    he stands at the altar with a golden censer, offering incense to God, until the entire chamber is filled with smoke
  • the end of the ceremony is marked by the Tekiah Gedolah – a long, loud blast from the shofar

More on the Yom Kippur ceremony can be found on the Temple Institute website and Messianic applications can be found on the Hebrew For Christians website.

This pattern of rapture followed by the Day of the Lord can also be seen in 2 Thessalonians 2:

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him [the rapture], we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day [the day of the Lord] will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed… (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3)

The pattern is Rapture (our gathering together to Christ) – the man of lawlessness revealed (immediately post-rapture) – the Day of the Lord begins.

The rapture is an event, not a day. The rapture is not connected at all to the Day of the Lord. We are swept out of the way before the Day can begin. Whenever scripture mentions “that Day”, or “that great and terrible Day”, it is referring to the Day of the Lord, which is the time period of God’s wrath throughout the 70th week of Daniel (7 years). It culminates at the 7th bowl and the Second Coming of Christ. The Day of the Lord has to do with Israel, not the church.

 

Seventh, the Lord’s Prayer:

I want you to take a close look at the Lord’s Prayer with me:

“Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.”

(Matthew 6:9-13)

Your Kingdom Come

Jesus gives us the example to specifically pray for Him to come back and set up His Millennial Kingdom!

Your Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven

We long for Jesus to rule humanity, with His will being carried out upon the Earth. We are praying for the literal fulfillment of all biblical prophecies when we recite these phrases. There’s a lot more that could be said, but I’m going to keep it simple here – “Please come, Jesus, and fix everything better!!!” It’s the next two phrases I think we need to mine more deeply.

Lead Us Not Into Temptation

While Jesus promises not to allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear, are we really to pray not to be tempted at all? Scripture is clear that we *will* be tested and tried, throughout the church age. We are to consider these trials and tribulations a joy:

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame (Romans 5:3-5)

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:6-7)

Is it possible then that “lead us not into temptation” doesn’t mean the regular trials of faith and life that we are certainly to encounter and are even to embrace? Let’s look at the interlinear to see!

LeadStrong’s 1533 eispheró – to bring or lead, to carry inward

TemptationStrong’s 3986 peirasmos – an experiment, a trial, temptation; trial, probation, testing, being tried; temptation; calamity, affliction. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon adds the additional insight of “adversity, affliction, trouble”.

Does a trial, testing, calamity, affliction, and trouble remind you of something you have probably studied often – the Time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7)? Could Jesus have been encouraging us to pray “do not carry us forward into the Times of Trouble”? Does He suggest this elsewhere as well? I believe He does:

“But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36)

What about the word Jesus chose for temptation, that we are to pray to not be led into? It’s not the same as the “greatest tribulation”, that begins long after the rapture event. Instead, He uses the word for trouble and trial, which is also used here:

Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial [peirasmos] that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. (Revelation 3:10)

then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials [peirasmos], and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment… (2 Peter 2:9)

Jesus tells us to pray that we will not be led into the hour of trial that is coming upon the whole world, that we will have the strength/worthiness to escape all these things that are going to take place! The only way we can be worthy to escape is through His blood as our covering – being born again into the family of God.

But Deliver Us From Evil

If we are to pray to not be led into the time of trouble on earth, what else are we to pray? That we are to be delivered from evil, in general? Or is there a more specific meaning here?

DeliverStrong’s 4506 rhuomai – to draw to oneself, deliver; I rescue, deliver (from danger or destruction). From HELPS Word-studies – “properly, draw (pull) to oneself; to rescue (“snatch up”); to draw or rescue a person to and for the deliverer.”

Note the term “snatch up”? Sounds kinda like the harpazo, or rapture, doesn’t it! Where else is rhuomai used? Let’s see!

Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver [rhuomai] me from this body of death? (Romans 7:24)

When do we get delivered from this body of death? At the resurrection/rapture event!

For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers [rhuomai] us from the wrath to come. (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)

…and if he rescued [rhuomai] righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); then the Lord knows how to rescue [rhuomai] the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment… (2 Peter 2:7-9)

As in the days of Lot, we will be rescued before God’s wrath pours down on those who “refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Thessalonians 2:10).

EvilStrong’s 4190 ponéros – evil, bad, wicked, malicious, slothful. It is also translated as “evil one”. From Thayer’s Greek Lexicon – ὁ πονηρός is used pre-eminently of the devil, the evil one: Matthew 5:37; Matthew 6:13; Matthew 13:19, 38; Luke 11:4 R L; John 17:15; 1 John 2:13; 1 John 3:12; 1 John 5:18f

It is important to note that in the Greek, there is a definitive article tou (the) in front of ponērou. Thus the translation is most accurately rendered “the evil (one)”. Thus we are to pray to be delivered from the evil one, satan, himself.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is teaching us to pray for Bible prophecy to be fulfilled, including that we would not be led into the time of trouble on earth (the “tribulation” or 70th week of Daniel), that we would be delivered from the evil one (satan, including his unholy trinity of the antichrist and false prophet), and that Jesus would come and establish His millennial kingdom on earth. Built in to the Lord’s Prayer is a plea to be raptured!!! Isnt’ that amazing!??!!

Do we see hints of this anywhere else in scripture?

Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! (2 Peter 3:11-12)

Peter speaks of waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God (the day of the Lord). We know from our scripture study above, that the rapture occurs BEFORE the day of the Lord, and so when we pray for the day to haste we are also praying for the rapture!

Summary:

I truly believe the scriptures above speak for themselves. God has not destined us for wrath, but for salvation. We are supposed to encourage one another with the words of our blessed hope – that we will be taken and received unto Jesus, to be with Him forever. We will be worthy to escape all these things that are coming upon the earth, through the blood of the Lamb. Church age believers will be snatched up into the Day of Christ, while those left behind on earth will continue on into the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord.

As far as WHEN?

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read Blessed Assurance:  A Guide to Rapture Readiness.

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Note:  This article was originally published June 1, 2017 here:  The Rapture of the Church – Our Blessed Hope.


Further Resources:

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

 

 

Babies, Children, and the Rapture of the Church

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”  (Matthew 19:14)

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One of the most common questions about the rapture of the church is if babies and young children will be taken with us. (The second most common question is if pets will come with us too!)

First of all, I DO believe that babies, young children, and mentally handicapped children of a BELIEVER will be raptured. However, contrary to what some people teach, I do NOT believe that the babies, children, and mentally handicapped offspring of UNBELIEVERS will be raptured. I do not believe there is scripture to support this position, and while we can hope it is true, I think it is wrong to teach it as a likely occurrence.

(Before you throw stones, remember that this is an entirely different question than if these young ones’ souls go to heaven upon death!)

Why Does it Matter?

Well, if we go around telling people to watch for all babies and children to disappear, as a sign of the rapture, and then not all children disappear… wouldn’t that cause people to wrongly believe the rapture didn’t occur? Wouldn’t that make them more susceptible to believing the deception instead of the truth? We must be careful what we teach as fact!

Children of a Believer

I believe that those under a certain comprehension level that fall under the care of a believer will be raptured. I base this on the teaching of 1 Corinthians 7:

“To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her.  If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him.  For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.  But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.  For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?”  (1 Corinthians 7:12-16)

We cannot *save* our spouses or children; they will have to make a decision for or against Christ for themselves. However, our godly influence and prayers can move the hand of God to open their eyes, ears, and hearts to the gospel. I believe the phrase “otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy” represents this godly influence of one believing parent, and would apply to those who are under a certain comprehension level for rapture purposes. It’s not clear, but this is as clear as scripture gets on this matter.

I also base my understanding that a believer’s young or mentally handicapped children will be raptured on the fact that Noah’s children were physically spared from the global flood, and Lot’s children were physically spared from destruction, based on the faith of their fathers.  (As far as eternal salvation, their children would have had to choose who to follow for themselves).  The upcoming end times are compared to “as in the days of Noah” and “as in the days of Lot”, and I would suggest that believers’ children will be spared based on these two scriptural models.

Children of an Unbeliever

I believe that those under a comprehension level that do NOT fall under the care of a believer will NOT be raptured. I again base this on 1 Corinthians 7, which would suggest that the children of unbelievers are “unclean” without the godly influence of a believing parent.

Now before you go all psycho on me, I *do* believe that when they die they will go to heaven.  So although they may face a difficult time on earth, they will be eternally spared if they are under a certain comprehension level – which is different for each person.

I base this understanding also on the days of Noah and Lot, which is what we are to compare the end times to. The babies, children, and mentally handicapped in Noah’s day and in Lot’s day were NOT spared earthly destruction. They drowned or were pulverized by fire and brimstone, along with their parents (but again I would suggest they would have been spared ETERNAL destruction!!!).

“It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31)

Comprehension Level

Those who cannot comprehend the Law, cannot comprehend that they are breaking it (are sinners) and that they have a responsibility for that (need a Savior). Paul describes it this way:

“For apart from the law, sin lies dead.  I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.  The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me.” (Romans 7:8-10)

This passage suggests that Paul, like all of us, was at one point alive apart from the law – where sin lies dead. This would seem to apply to those who are very young or mentally disabled. I do not believe that there is a certain age (or mental age) that applies here, but rather each person will be individually evaluated by God.

What we can trust in, with 100% certainty, is that God is GOOD. ALL the time. His judgment is righteous and holy. Jesus, who is the examiner of hearts, knows the comprehension and heart of every man, woman, and child. He will do what is FAIR and RIGHT, regarding each human being who has ever, and will ever, live. These things are in His hands alone.

“I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” (Jeremiah 17:10)

God is Good – ALL the Time

I understand that it is difficult to cope with the thought of babies and children suffering. It is difficult to cope with the thought of any humans suffering en masse to the extent that they are going to – SOON! I do believe that we need to step outside our own feelings on the matter, though, and look at what scripture actually says, and not what we want it to say (not just on this matter but on every matter!).

My sweet friends, we would ALL be “left behind” if it weren’t for God’s amazing grace. NONE of us are “worthy” to escape what is to come, apart from the blood of the Lamb. We ALL deserve God’s judgment and wrath!!! Oh the glorious and tender mercies of our Father in heaven who saves us from the wrath to come! Be on your knees, saints, and plead for the salvation of loved ones while it is still day.

“While it is daytime, we must do the works of Him who sent Me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” (John 9:4)

What we can know is that God loves and cares about babies, children, and the hearts of ALL humans, far more than we do!   In the end, all we can know for certain is our heart alone.  Are YOU ready?  If you have any doubts I encourage you to read Blessed Assurance – A Guide to Rapture Readiness.


Further Resources:

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

Chasing Pentecost 2019

Hello fellow watchmen/women!

Pentecost, or the “Feast of Weeks”, is only a few weeks away and is the highest watch date of the year in my opinion!  In my article series on Pentecost, I discussed how this feast, like Feast of Trumpets, is one where we do not know the exact “day or hour” it is to be celebrated.  This is because instead of God placing it on a certain date, it is based on a calculation.  Fascinating, huh?  Its name as the “feast of weeks” stems from how it is to be calculated:  seven weeks after the waving of the Omer (Firstfruits sheaf of grain offering).

In Deuteronomy, the Israelites are told to “count the seven weeks from the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain” (Deut 16:9 ESV).

Pentecost came exactly 7 weeks after the first harvest of barley, waved as a Firstfruits offering to God during the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

“You shall count seven full weeks from the day after the Sabbath, from the day that you brought the sheaf of the wave offering. You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath.” (Leviticus 23:15 ESV)

So, when is Pentecost 2019?  Well, once we know the first day of the year (Nisan 1), it should be easy to calculate, shouldn’t it?  You’d think so… but the different Jewish sects developed their own ways of doing things.  Which sect is most accurate?  Which one does God go by?  We cannot know for sure, so I will calculate them all!  Fortunately, this year the leap year was agreed upon by all and this makes our calculations easier.

Pentecost 2019

Sadduccees:  June 9, 2019 (6 Sivan)

Pharisees:  June 9, 2019 (6 Sivan)

Essenes:  June 16, 2019 (13 Sivan)

Karaites: June 9, 2019 (6 Sivan)

I personally believe the Karaites’ method is likely most accurate, and will be high watching June 9, 2019 for Pentecost.

How did I get to these calculations?  Keep reading….

New Moon or First Sliver?

For all of you who have been following “high watch dates”, you are aware that there are calendar discrepancies.  Not only between the Hebrew and Gregorian calendars, but within the Hebrew calendar itself.  We have discussed the “missing years” in other posts, but for our purpose here – finding Pentecost – we need to look at establishing the correct months so we can start adding in our feasts.

As we learned from the Fall Feasts, the Hebrew calendar is heavily tied into the moon phases. The start of each month is determined by the new moon. It seems there is some uncertainty as to whether the start of the month was determined by the New Moon itself or by the First Sliver of Crescent Moon, and may have differed between Jewish sects. The viewing of the first sliver of crescent seems to be the most heavily referenced and documented. The teaching that the Hebrew months went by full moons instead of new moons seems to stem from Seventh Day Adventist teachings and is incorrect as far as I can determine.

From Chabad (Orthodox Jewish website):

The Jewish calendar is based on lunar cycles. Towards the beginning of the moon’s cycle, it appears as a thin crescent. That is the signal for a new Jewish month. The moon grows until it is full, the middle of the month, and then it begins to wane until it cannot be seen. It remains invisible for approximately two day—and then the thin crescent reappears, and the cycle begins again.

“The L‑rd spoke to Moses and to Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, ‘This chodesh shall be to you the head of months.’” (Exodus 12:1–2)

From the wording of this verse, “shall be to you,” the sages deduced that the responsibility of pinpointing and consecrating the chodesh, the crescent new moon, was entrusted to the leaders of our nation, the Sanhedrin, the rabbinical supreme court of every generation.

Originally, there was no fixed calendar. There was no way to determine in advance the exact day of a coming holiday or bar mitzvah, because there was no way to determine in advance when the month would begin. Each month anew, the Sanhedrin would determine whether the month would be 29 or 30 days long—depending on when the following month’s new moon was first sighted—and would sanctify the new month.

In the 4th century CE, the sage Hillel II foresaw the disbandment of the Sanhedrin, and understood that we would no longer be able to follow a Sanhedrin-based calendar. So Hillel and his rabbinical court established the perpetual calendar which is followed today.

When Hillel established the perpetual calendar, he sanctified every Rosh Chodesh until Moshiach will come and reestablish the Sanhedrin.

Source: https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/526874/jewish/The-Jewish-Month.htm

What I have referenced in this post is the first sighting of crescent sliver as I believe this to be most accurate, but I will place dark new moon dates in brackets in case you are interested. The first sliver was determined by 2 witnesses visually sighting the first sliver of moon after the new moon by the unaided eye. I have estimated this at around 1% illumination, although some sources state it might be closer to 2.5%. Of course there are many factors other than illumination, including moonset and moonrise times, glare, humidity, fog, clouds, dust, etc that can affect first sighting.

[T]he new moon began when the thin crescent of the new moon was first visible at sunset. (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament, vol 1, p. 266)

[T]he ancient Jewish calendar depended not on mathematical calculations and arrangements, but was set from month to month according to the physical appearance of the new moon. Witnesses who had seen the first sign of the crescent on the horizon after sunset were expected to report the fact to the authorities, who thereupon published throughout the country the fact that the new month had begun. (The Pharisees, by Louis Finkelstein, p. 601, Jewish Publication Society, 1938, Philadelphia., based on talmudic literature)

Until Hillel II instituted a permanent calendar based on calculations (ca. 360), the fixing of the new moon was determined by observation and the evidence of witnesses. During the earlier period, the practice of adding a second day to festivals … was introduced for communities lying at a distance from Palestine, because it was doubtful on precisely which of the two days the new moon occurred.” (Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion, p. 78; Massada-P.E.C. Press Ltd, 1965., based on talmudic tradition)

In old Israel the new moon—the day after the crescent was first sighted in the sky—was celebrated by sacrifices and feasting…” (Judaism, by George Foot Moore, professor of the history of religion, Harvard, vol 2, p. 22, based on talmudic literature)

[T]he ancient Jewish calendar depended not on mathematical calculations and arrangements, but was set from month to month according the physical appearance of the new moon. Witnesses who had seen the first sign of the crescent on the horizon after sunset were expected to report the fact to the authorities, who there upon published throughout the country the fact that a new month had begun. The year consisted of 12 months whose limits were determined by these observations. But, since the lunar year consists of only 354 days, eleven less than the solar year, it was necessary from time to time to “intercalate” a thirteenth month before the Passover, to prevent its being moved back into the winter. This intercalary month was a “second Adar” and was added whenever a consideration of the sun’s position in the heavens, the state of the crops, or the newborn lambs, made it appear necessary.” (The Pharisees, pp. 601–602, by Louis Finkelstein, professor of theology at Jewish Theological Seminary of America; Jewish Publication Society of America, 1938., based on talmudic literature)

“The phases of the moon could easily be recognized by everybody. The new moon indicated the beginning of the month.… Though the ‘new moon’ could be observed by every individual, to prevent any mistake or doubt the duty of fixing the new month was assigned to a rabbinical council in Jerusalem. Their decision was subject to the testimony of two reliable witnesses. As soon as their reports have been received and checked by astronomical calculation, an official message was sent out by chains of fire signals” (The Judaic Heritage, by Rabbi Dr. R. Brasch, pp. 22, 24, based on talmudic literature)

“The sighting of the lunar crescent within one day of New Moon is usually difficult. The crescent at this time is quite thin, has a low surface brightness, and can easily be lost in the twilight. Generally, the lunar crescent will become visible to suitably-located, experienced observers with good sky conditions about one day after New Moon. However, the time that the crescent actually becomes visible varies quite a bit from one month to another. Naked-eye sightings as early as 15.5 hours after New Moon have been reliably reported while observers with telescopes have made reliable reports as early as 12.1 hours after New Moon. Because these observations are exceptional, crescent sightings this early in the lunar month should not be expected as the norm.” (Source: http://aa.usno.navy.mil/faq/docs/crescent.php)

How Do We Find Pentecost?

My goal this morning is to figure out the possible dates for Pentecost 2019 – what I believe is our highest watch day of the year. All dates listed here start at sunset Jerusalem time, which is the night before on the Gregorian calendar.

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First, we need to find Nisan 1 and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover).

Nisan 1 – Sighting of The New Moon in Jerusalem:
April 6, 2019 (April 5 calculated 0.2% illumination; April 6 calculated 1.3% illumination) – Source (TimeandDate)

This result was confirmed visually on April 6, 2019 by Renewed Moon.

For these reasons I will base 1 Nisan as April 6, 2019.  This year, there is no secondary calculation required, as there is agreement that Adar II (leap month) was required.  Thus, all the Jewish date calculators are in agreement (for once!).  Screenshot below, Hebcal, Chabad, and AISH confirm Renewed Moon’s dates above.

Ok, so we have our head of the year (Rosh Chodesh) established.  Now let’s work to determine Passover and Pentecost!

In my article on Pentecost Part 5 – The Counting of the Omer – Day and Hour Unknown?, I discussed how the Jewish sects determine the date of Pentecost differently.  So we’re going to calculate all of them here!

“Unlike the other mo’edim given in the Torah, however, Shavuot has no explicit date but must be inferred from Leviticus 23:11 and 23:15: “And from the day on which you bring the omer offering – the day after the Sabbath – you shall count off seven weeks”. The key phrase is “the day after the Sabbath”. Does this phrase refer to Sunday or perhaps to the Sabbath of Passover?”

(Source: http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Spring_Holidays/Shavuot/shavuot.html)

Sadducees

The Tzaddukim (Sadducees) believed that the word “Sabbath” was used in its regular sense, as the seventh day of the week, and therefore began the countdown on the first Sunday after Passover (Talmud: Menachot 65). Now since Shavuot occurs 7 weeks later to this day, this implies that it also fell on a Sunday. Moreover, since the day of the week for Passover varies over the year, the date of Shavuot would likewise vary.

Source: http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Spring_Holidays/Shavuot/shavuot.html

 

The third faction, the Sadducees, agreed with the Essenes that Shavuot must be counted from a weekly Sabbath, but disagreed as to which one. The Sadducees believed the 50-day count must begin on the weekly Sabbath that falls out during the seven-days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. According to their reckoning, the counting towards Shavuot could begin anywhere from the 15th to the 21st day of the month, depending on what day of the week the Feast of Unleavened Bread began. If Unleavened Bread began on a Sunday, the count would begin on the 15th day of the month. If Unleavened Bread began on a Saturday, the count would begin on the 16th day of the month, and so on. Based on this counting, Shavuot could fall out from the 4th to the 12th of the Third Hebrew Month. Karaite Jews have accepted the Sadducee reckoning as the only one to be consistent with the plain meaning of the biblical text.

Source: https://www.nehemiaswall.com/truth-shavuot

If we use the Sadducees method of calculating Pentecost:

April 6, 2019 – 1 Nisan [April 5 if New Moon used]

April 19, 2019 – 14 Nisan, Passover [April 18 if New Moon used]

April 20 – 26, 2019 – 15-21 Nisan, Unleavened Bread [April 19-April 25 if New Moon used]

April 21, 2019 – 16 Nisan, Firstfruits (Sunday) [unchanged]

June 9, 2019 – 6 Sivan, Pentecost [unchanged if New Moon used]

Pharisees

The Perushim (Pharisees), on the other hand, believed that “the day after the Shabbat” referred to not the weekly Sabbath but to the first day of Passover (which is a shabbaton or day of work restrictions), and therefore began counting the following day, that is, the day after Passover (which is also the second day of Unleavened Bread). This is supported in Joshua 5:11-12 when Israel first entered the land and ate of its firstfruits. Now since Passover always occurs on Nisan 15, this established a fixed date for Shavuot 49 days later on Sivan 6.

Historically, the Pharisee’s position prevailed in the Jewish tradition, and the modern Rabbinical calendar marks Shavuot on the fixed date of Sivan 6 (in May/June), exactly 49 days after the second day of Passover (Nisan 16). This accords with the testimony of first century historians Josephus and Philo, who both state that the “day after the Sabbath” meant the day after the holiday Sabbath.”

Source: http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Spring_Holidays/Shavuot/shavuot.html

Note that Passover is Nisan 14 (not a No Work Day) and Unleavened Bread starts Nisan 15 (a No Work Day), so I disagree with Hebrew4Christians above. However, the end result is the same in that Pentecost / Shavuot always occurs on Sivan 6 per the Pharisees.

The Pharisees argued that Shavuot is to be counted from the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which they designated a “Sabbath.” According to the Pharisees, “morrow of the Sabbath” means the “morrow of the 1st day of Unleavened Bread.” The ancient Pharisees and their modern day successor the Orthodox rabbis begin the 50-day count to Shavuot on the second day of Unleavened Bread, which is always the 16th day of the First Hebrew Month. As a result, the Pharisee Shavuot always fell out in ancient times from the 5th to the 7th day of the Third Hebrew Month (Sivan). After the destruction of the Temple, the Pharisees became the predominant surviving faction among the Jewish leadership and their interpretation is followed by most Jews until this very day. In 359 CE, the Pharisee leader Hillel II established a pre-calculated calendar and ever since the Pharisee Shavuot has always been observed on the 6th of Sivan.

Source: https://www.nehemiaswall.com/truth-shavuot

If we use the Pharisees method of calculating Pentecost:

April 6, 2019 – 1 Nisan

April 20, 2019 – 15 Nisan, Passover, considered a Sabbath

April 20 – 26, 2019 – 15-21 Nisan, Unleavened Bread

April 20, 2019 – 15 Nisan, Firstfruits OR April 21, 2019 – 16 Nisan if ancient count used

June 9, 2019 – 6 Sivan, Pentecost OR June 10, 2019 – 7 Sivan if ancient count used

**Since 359AD, the Pharisees have always observed 6 Sivan as Pentecost regardless of the day of the week it falls on.

Essenes

The Essenes, who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, began the 50-day count to Shavuot on a different Sabbath from the Pharisees. In their reckoning, the Omer offering was to be brought on the morrow of the weekly Sabbath, in modern terms: “Sunday.” The Essenes began their count on the Sunday after the seven-days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As a result, they always began their count on the 26th day of the First Hebrew Month. The Essenes had a 364-day solar calendar, which began every year on a Wednesday and had fixed lengths for each month. Based on the Essene calendar, Shavuot always fell out on the 15th day of the Third Hebrew Month. The Essenes are presumed to have been wiped out when the Romans invaded Judea in 66-74 CE and only their documents survive today.

Source: https://www.nehemiaswall.com/truth-shavuot

If we use the Essenes method of calculating Pentecost:

April 6, 2019 – 1 Nisan

April 19, 2019 – 14 Nisan, Passover

April 20 – 26, 2019 – 15-21 Nisan, Unleavened Bread

April 28, 2019 – 23 Nisan, Firstfruits (first Sunday AFTER Unleavened Bread)

June 16 – 13 Sivan, Pentecost

Karaites

The Karaites rejected both these methods but instead relied upon the sighting of the new moon (Rosh Chodesh) and the appearance of the first sheaves of barley to determine the month of Aviv and the festival of Firstfruits, respectively. After these observations, the wave offering of the firstfruits would then be presented at the temple on the day after the weekly Sabbath, and only then would the 49 day countdown to Shavuot begin. Therefore, since the appearance of the first barley sheaves is not constant, the date of Shavuot could not be foreknown with any certainty.

Source: http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Spring_Holidays/Shavuot/shavuot.html

The Karaites agreed with the Sadducees that the Sabbath in question for the Feast of Weeks was the weekly Sabbath that fell within the feast of Unleavened Bread.  The Karaites took into account the barley ripeness to determine if it was to be a leap year or not.  This year (2019) it was clear the barley was not abib (ripe) in March and thus Adar II was added (the leap month).  The barley was clearly abib (ripe) in April.  This makes our calculation a little easier.

If we use the Karaites method of calculating Pentecost:

April 6, 2019 – 1 Nisan

April 19, 2019 – 14 Nisan, Passover

April 20 – 26, 2019 – 15-21 Nisan, Unleavened Bread

April 21, 2019 – 16 Nisan, Firstfruits (Sunday)

June 9, 2019 – 6 Sivan, Pentecost

 

pentecost


Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

Moon Phase / Calendar Resources:

https://www.timeanddate.com/moon/phases/israel/jerusalem
http://renewedmoon.com/

Jewish Calculation Reckoning Resources:

Calculating FirstFruits and Shavuot (Teshuva Ministries)

The Truth About Shavuot (NehemiahsWall)

_____

Everything You Need to Know About Pentecost, the Feast that Ties It All Together For The Church

Shavuot – Revelation and the Fruit of the Spirit (Hebrew4Christians)

The Rapture of the Church – Our Blessed Hope

Main Menu

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details, some of which I think might need to be adjusted slightly.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

Revelation Chapter 12 – A Grand Synopsis of the Rapture and Daniel’s 70th Week

rev chpt 12.jpg

(Note: This is an update from previous articles Revelation 12 – Rapture and Tribulation Overview and Revelation 12 – A Visual Rearrangment)

Ooooh, you guys!  I just love Revelation 12 so much.

Over the last few years we have had SO much excitement over this little chapter – particularly with verses one through five.  You know you’re a watchman when your point of reference for events is “pre-Rev12” and “post-Rev12” – referencing the Revelation 12 sign that occurred on September 23, 2017.  If you are just joining us here, you just have to read through these amazing articles – you just HAVE to!!!!

Revelation 12 is a fascinating chapter.  Up to this point in the book of Revelation, we have seen views of end time events in the throne room of God in heaven (the “third heaven”, where God dwells).  We have also seen views on earth and in the atmosphere (the “first heaven”).  Now, in chapter 12, we are privileged to see a view of end time events as they appear in the universe/space (the “second heaven”), as well as in the first and third heavens.

Revelation 12 uniquely gives an overview of the entire Tribulation Week (Time of Jacob’s Trouble) from all 3 vantage points – the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd heavens.

An overview of the entire tribulation period, you say?  Well, I want you to consider the structure of the book of Revelation itself.  It seems that in his visions, John is first given a sweeping overview, followed by what I call “detail pop-outs”.  These details are given in separate parts of his visions, after the overview.  I believe this is the structure of Revelation chapter 12 as well.  I suggest to you that verses 1-6 give an overview, and the rest of the chapter fills in the details.

In this post I hope to visually demonstrate what I mean by rearranging the verses in what I suggest is chronological order.  Some of this may challenge what you currently believe.  I don’t want to be dogmatic about it, I just want to see what you think!

Visual Rearrangement – Revelation 12

1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.  2 She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.  3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems.  4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth.  And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.  7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon.  And the dragon and his angels fought back, 8 but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

5 She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne,  10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.  [Chapter 7: 9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”]

12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”

13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.  6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.  14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.  15 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. 16 But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth.

17 Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.  13:1 And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads… 13:5 And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. 13:6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 13:7 Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, 13:8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.

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Verse-By-Verse Commentary – Revelation 12

Verse 1 – And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

  • There is no reason to believe anything other than that this is a literal alignment that appears in the heavens (constellations – second heaven – space).  God placed the sun, moon, and the stars deliberately, and He controls their movements (Genesis 1:14).
  • The only woman constellation is Virgo.  While “Virgo” is the corrupted astrological name for the constellation, in the Mazzaroth (God’s redemption plan in the heavens) Virgo is generally considered to represent Israel.  At this point in time, the woman is in unbelief (believing Jews are instead considered part of the church).
  • This vision of John’s is reminiscent of Joseph’s dream in Genesis 37:9-11.
  • This sign, in its completion, seems to appear in the heavens in one time only in human history – September 23, 2017.

Verse 2 – She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.

  • The heavens obviously can’t be pregnant, but the theme of labor pains and birth is used to describe the “discomfort” of the end of the age in multiple places in scripture. (Isaiah 26; Matthew 24).  It’s interesting that the woman is described as already in birth pains and in the agony of giving birth here, before the dragon is described.
  • It’s possible the crying out in verse 2 illustrates the early fulfillment of Ezekiel’s vision of the Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37), where Israel is restored nationally and physically before she is restored spiritually.  This is described in Isaiah 26 as Israel laboring by herself (without God) to attempt to obtain deliverance.  The woman is clearly Israel, and it is her who is in pain.
  • God is not about to bring to the point of birth without delivery (Isaiah 66:9).  Israel is about to enter TRUE birth pains, and receive TRUE deliverance.

Verse 3 – And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems.

  • This is “another sign”, separate and distinct from the “great sign” in verses 1-2.  This sign has prompted a whole host of speculations as to what it might be!
  • The dragon constellations include Draco, Serpens, and Hydra.  Will any or all of these be involved in the sign of the red dragon?  What about the yearly Draconid meteor showers in the fall?  What about Planet X?  Some people suspect a mysterious planet or planetary system could be involved.
  • Maybe the dragon sign won’t be in the sun, moon, and stars at all – maybe it’s a separate kind of sign from the “great sign”.  As of the time of this post, no one is truly sure how the dragon sign will play out, although it will likely become clear as the time of its fulfillment is imminent.  I am inclined to agree that we probably won’t physically see a sign.
  • The seven-headed, ten-horned dragon, however the sign plays out, is clearly a reference to satan.  (We are explicitly told this in Revelation 12:9 and 20:2)
  • Elsewhere, we see a seven-headed, ten-horned Beast (Daniel & Revelation), which is also satan, or the human kings he controls.  The heads are wearing diadems (like crowns); we are told they are kings.

Verse 4 – His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth.  And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.

  • The Bible refers to angels as “stars of heaven” multiple times, such as in Job 38:7.  It seems that this third of the stars of heaven is quite possibly referring to the portion of the angelic host that joined satan/Lucifer in his initial rebellion (Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28:12-17).  When they fell, they were cast to the earth, where they are now the powers, principalities, and rulers of this present world (Ephesians 6:12).
  • If verse 4 is giving an overview of the “war in heaven”, then this casting down of stars to the earth would suggest the fallen angelic host will no longer have access to the third heaven, where God dwells.  While satan has this privilege currently, we are not told if his horde does or not.
  • There may be a connection between this event and Seal 6, in which “stars fall from the sky” (Revelation 6:13).  If this connection is valid, then it seems that the fallen angels will somehow be involved in the fulfillment of the so-called dragon sign.  (“alien invasion” anyone?)
  • Note that the dragon isn’t actually devouring the woman or her child, but is anticipating devouring her child.  He wants to, but the child hasn’t been born yet.
  • One might say the dragon is being restrained from devouring the child (wink, wink).


Verse 7 – Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon.  And the dragon and his angels fought back,

  • “Now” brings us to a different part of the vision, referencing back to the dragon of verse 3-4.  This seems to lend credence to the view that verses 1-6 are an overview, and we are about to be filled in with the details, starting with the dragon.
  • Is the war in heaven when the child is snatched?  Is it when the woman flees?  We are not told what causes the battle, but the most likely scenario in my opinion would be the rapture of the Church.  John MacArthur makes the interesting suggestion that the prince of the power of the air and his demon hosts may try to hinder the passage of the raptured believers as they pass through their realm (Rev 12:3-4), which would trigger the battle with Michael and the holy angels (Rev 12:7-8).  I believe this has strong merit, as the dragon is poised to devour the child as it is being born.
  • This is a monumental war, guys.  It’s not like war erupts in heaven every day, like it does on earth.  This war is over something BIG.

Verse 8 – but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.

  • There is no longer any place for Satan and his demons in heaven.  Now listen, until this moment, there apparently WAS a place for them in heaven.
  • “Place” here doesn’t so much refer to space or room, but to purpose (Strong’s 5117, topos).  Biblehub describes this as “the condition or station held by one in any company or assembly” or “opportunity, power, occasion for acting”.
  • What was satan’s purpose in heaven?  Satan, after his initial fall, retained access to God’s throne in order to accuse believers before Him (remember the book of Job?).
  • There’s no longer any purpose/place for him to do so all of a sudden.  Why?
  • I would suggest there is momentarily no longer any believers left to accuse on earth – as they have all just been raptured.  Think about it…  Big event, big war, no purpose for satan in heaven anymore…

Verse 9 – And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

  • As we learned in verse 8, since there is no longer purpose for them in heaven, they are cast to the earth.  There is still purpose for them there, which is a “woe” for the inhabitants of earth.  Note that verse 12 is coincident with this event.
  • I see possible connection between the casting down of Satan and his horde in verse nine with Seal 6, where the “stars” fall from heaven to the earth (Rev 6:13 – “and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind“).   In v4 we have already been introduced to the fallen angels as being “stars”, and we know Satan and the demons are cast down to the earth.  Are the figs dropping as part of the “fig tree generation”?  Is the strong wind the Holy Spirit ascending to heaven with us – the reverse of the Holy Spirit descending as a strong wind from heaven on Pentecost, detailed in the book of Acts?  What do you think?

Verse 5 – She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne,

  • Rapture time!!!
  • Using an interlinear translation, we see the woman give birth to a male huion arsen (Strong’s 5207 and 730).  This male child is to shepherd the nations with a rod of iron.  The woman is  identified as Israel (the corporate entity), who brings forth Jesus (the male child – huion arsen).  A child, teknon (Strong’s 5043), is then caught up to God and to His throne.
  • When Jesus ascended to heaven, He was not seized suddenly with great force, nor was He in any danger from the dragon.  In Acts 1:9, Jesus is lifted up (eperthe – Strong’s 1869) until He is hidden from view.  We see this word in 19 other instances in scripture, and it means “exalts;  lifts itself; lifting up voice or eyes; lifting up; turning gaze“.
  • The child in Rev 12:5 is “caught up” – herpasthe (Strong’s 726), not eperthe .  Where else do we see Strong’s Greek 726?  1 Thessalonians 4:17 – Those who are alive and remain will be caught up together…; 2 Cor. 12:2, 4 Paul is caught up to the third heaven; Acts 23:10 – take him away from them by force; Acts 8:39 – Philip is snatched by the Spirit of the Lord.  There are 14 instances of this word in scripture and it means “plucked; seized; snatched suddenly and forcefully“.  There is quite a difference between being lifted or raised and being snatched or seized, isn’t there?
  • Let’s take a look at the child who is snatched.  Is it the same child as the male child – huion arsen?  Well, no, in fact, it isn’t.  This child that is snatched is a teknon (Strong’s 5043).  This is a commonly used word to mean children, child, descendant (gender neutral).
  • If Israel represents the corporate entity of Israel, the child (neutral gender) represents the corporate entity of the church – Jew and Gentile made one in Christ.  It is the church that is snatched up, suddenly and forcefully.  It is the church to whom Jesus has promised to share His iron-rod rule with (Revelation 2:26-27).
  • The woman, currently unbelieving, is left behind.
  • Are you stunned?  From Isaiah 66 we know that “before she was in labor she gave birth”.  This is entirely consistent with Jesus telling us that when we BEGIN to see all these things (the beginning of birth pains sign He describes on the Mount of Olives), that our redemption draws near.  As Israel enters her birth pains, the time of Jacob’s Trouble, the body of Christ will be delivered.  The nation that is born in one day is the body of Christ (1 Peter 2:9).
  • Listen folks – the rapture IS equivalent to salvation at this one moment in human existence – there is no partial birth, no partial rapture!
  • Still not convinced:  Please see these amazing articles on Unsealed:

Verse 10 – And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.

  • Woohoo!  Celebration in heaven as the accuser has been cast down.  Note that this is coincident with verse 12 – heaven is rejoicing.
  • Salvation has come through the power of Christ – the power of resurrection and eternal life – our blessed hope, the rapture!

Verse 11 – And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

  • Who is the “they” that have conquered the accuser?
  • Okay guys, I’m going to have to do some fast talking here not to lose you.  I realize this but please, hear me out!
  • Who is it that conquers satan by the blood of the Lamb?  Don’t we all, as believers?  I mean, we don’t conquer satan by our own strength.  It is the blood of the Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world, that gives us victory over sin and death.
  • Who is it that conquers satan by the word of their testimony?  Don’t we all, as believers?  The word of our testimony is that we confess that Jesus is Lord.
  • Check out the comparison with Romans 10:9-10 – “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.”  Is not this conquering by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony?
  • Those who persisted in faith until the end (death for those who died, the moment of the rapture for those yet living) are the overcomers!  The conquerors!  “For everyone born of God overcomes the world.  This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.  Who is it that overcomes the world?  Only the one who believers that Jesus is the Son of God.”  1 John 5:4-5
  • I do believe that the reference to not loving their lives even unto death is reference to the martyrs in Christ, but that is a topic for another post!

[Chapter 7:9-10 – After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”]

  • Just dropping this bomb here… note the close association with verse 10 – singing about salvation…
  • Vast multitude… largest group ever seen in heaven by far… from every nation, tribe, people, and language… clothed in white and singing about salvation… immediately post-birth event… pre-tribulation… as Israel is about to enter her true birth pains…
  • Big event, war in heaven, no purpose for the accuser anymore…
  • Just chew on it.

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Verse 12 – Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”

  • This verse is coincident with verses 9 (dragon cast down – woe to the earth) and 10 (salvation celebrated with the accuser having been thrown down – rejoicing in heaven).
  • We see here the extremes of rejoicing in heaven contrasted with the woes on earth.  This is a theme throughout the book of Revelation.
  • With the Restrainer removed (the Holy Spirit indwelling in the body of Christ), satan will now unleash his deception upon the remainder of humanity – who refused to be saved. (note yet another connection between salvation/rapture).   “The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)
  • God will use satan for His purposes, to fulfill the time of Jacob’s Trouble and the Day of the Lord.

Verse 13 – And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.

  • Satan immediately starts pursuing Israel.  I want you to note that the word is pursuing, not devouring or attacking.
  • Let’s go to the interlinear, because I’m not quite sure you believe me!  Pursued is Strong’s 1377 – dioko.  While Strong’s lists the definition as “to put to flight, pursue, by implication to persecute”, HELPS Word-studies has a different take – “1377 diṓkō – properly, aggressively chase, like a hunter pursuing a catch (prize). 1377 (diṓkō) is used positively (“earnestly pursue”) and negatively (“zealously persecute, hunt down”). In each case, 1377 (diṓkō) means pursue with all haste (“chasing” after), earnestly desiring to overtake (apprehend).”
  • Satan will aggressively and zealously pursue Israel, earnestly desiring to overtake her.  Instead of viewing the pursuing as open and hostile aggression, though, I tend to view it as manipulative and cunning.  Think of it as deceptive infiltration.
  • I would suggest in the first half of Daniel’s 70th week, satan will try to make this pursuing look positive.  Imagine satan trying to woo Israel as her long-awaited Messiah.  Israel is expecting a Messiah and I believe that satan will have his antichrist attempt to step into that role.

Verse 6 – and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.

  •  Admittedly, the placement of verse 6 can cause some consternation.  Without viewing verses 1-6 as an overview, with details following, it can seem that the rapture might not be until mid-tribulation.  But is that what the rest of scripture tells us?  Clearly, a literal interpretation of scripture describes a pretribulation rapture.  So what gives?  There is a gap in the overview between verses 5 and 6.
  • In verse 6 we skip forward to view the fate of the woman, at some point (approximately 1260 days, or 3.5 years) after her child has been snatched.
  • John Abent in his book “Signs in the Heavens” suggests that the 144,000 sealed Jews flee to the wilderness right away after the rapture event.  He sees the 2 witnesses as instructing them there in the wilderness, teaching them as Jesus taught His disciples for 3.5 years.  If this is correct, it would give an amazing key to the timeline in Revelation – defining two consecutive 1260 day time periods.  After the initial 1260 days, the abomination of desolation would occur, and the watching faithful Jews would join these in the wilderness for the last 1260 days  of “Greatest Tribulation” described in Matthew 24.  I’m not sure that I agree with this view, but I thought that it was worth considering.
  • Because we are viewing a grand panorama, I believe that verse 6 is more than likely an identification marker.  It is used to positively identify the woman as the elect remnant – faithful, believing Israelites – by clearly connecting her identity to later verses.
  • Verse 6 positively identifies the woman, and tells us what will become of her.
  • [Totally unrelated, but I have heard speculated that God will again provide manna for the people of Israel in the wilderness – wouldn’t that be so wonderful!]

Verse 14 – But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.

  • Here we have the detail of how the woman (faithful Israel) will flee to the wilderness.
  • When the abomination of desolation is placed in the Third Temple, and the antichrist claims to be “god”, observing Jews will recognize the warning of Jesus from Matthew 24/Daniel 9 and flee to the wilderness.
  • The wings of the eagle and flight here refer to the speed with which she flees.  There is also connection to being sheltered under the wings of the Lord (for further discussion please see: The Woman Flees to a Place Prepared).
  • I would suggest that this is when Michael stands up (Daniel 12:1), to defend and protect Israel in the wilderness for the duration of the 1260 days of Beast rule.  Guys, it makes sense.  Michael is Israel’s angelic prince.  He’s not relieved of his duties for the worst time of her life.  Instead, he gets an extra-special assignment!
  • Verse 14 confirms what verse 6 stated – believing Israel will be securely protected by God in the wilderness throughout the time of “greatest tribulation”.
  • This verse also gives us confirmation that time, times, and half a time is equivalent to 1260 days, when related back to verse 6.

Verse 15 – The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood.

  • Will this be literal water?  Possibly, but I don’t think so.
  • I think a more likely explanation might be armed troops, as the same word for water (Strong’s 5204) is used in Revelation 17 to represent many peoples.  “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters… And the angel said to me, “The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages.” (Revelation 17:1,15)  So the serpent (dragon) could send forth many peoples after Israel, to try to drown her out before she reaches safety.
  • Another possibility for the water that the serpent sends forth might be demonic entities that chase elect Israel as she flees. Why demonic entities?  I base this interpretation from a similar description during the 6th Bowl judgment, where impure spirits flow from the mouths of the dragon, beast, and false prophet –  “Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet.  They are demonic spirits that perform signs” (Revelation 16:13-14).  Note the similarities of pouring out of the mouths of the serpent versus the unholy trinity (dragon, beast, false prophet).  This is not the SAME event, as verse 15 is at the midpoint of the 7 year period, and Bowl 6 is near the very end of the 7 year period.

Verse 16 – But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth.

  • I don’t see why this couldn’t refer to the earth literally opening its mouth, with sinkholes or an earthquake.
  • Whatever this “earth opening its mouth” is, God saves the fleeing Jews from the serpent/dragon/satan in this way.

Verse 17 – Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.

  • In this chapter, we have already seen the woman (believing Israel) and the Church (gender neutral child/descendant).  Who then are the “rest of her offspring”?  Here we see the woman’s other offspring (spermatos – gender neutral – Strong’s 4690), that have come after the baby that was snatched up to heaven.  Since the woman is securely hiding in the wilderness at this point, these offspring must be the post-rapture gentile followers of Christ – the “tribulation saints”.
  • We find out in Revelation chapter 13 that these saints will be given into satan’s hand.  Most will become “tribulation martyrs” during the “greatest tribulation” period – the last half of Daniel’s 70th week.

Chapter 13:1 And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads… 13:5 And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. 13:6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 13:7 Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, 13:8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.

  • Throughout the duration of the last half of Daniel’s 7th week (3.5 years, or 1260 days), the antichrist has global rule, blasphemes the one true God and His followers, and slaughters the tribulation saints.  He is not allowed to touch the believing remnant of Israel, who is hiding in the wilderness under God’s hand of protection.

And thus concludes our study on Revelation chapter 12, with a little sneak peek at chapter 13.  I hope I’ve given you some food for thought!

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Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!

Jewish Rabbis: “Messiah is Coming This Year – We Need to Prepare”

in case of moshiach

“HARAV, WHEN IS MOSHIACH COMING?! WHEN?”

Rav Berland responded:

“IMMEDIATELY AFTER SEDER NIGHT.”

Rav Badani clarified:

“THIS YEAR? THIS YEAR?”

Rav Berland replied:

“YES. 5779. THIS IS EXACTLY THE GEMATRIA OF ‘ובביאת משיח’ (AND IN THE COMING OF MOSHIACH.)”

Rav Badani continued:

“SO, WE NEED TO BE PREPARED FOR THIS. WE NEED TO PREPARE.”

(Source)

 

The Messiah is coming!  The Messiah is coming!  We need to prepare!

This announcement reminds me of the watchman’s midnight cry – “Here is the bridegroom!  Come out to meet him!”  (Matthew 25:6).  While I wholeheartedly agree that the Messiah is coming and that we need to prepare our hearts and sound the alarm, I’m not quite sure that we are talking about the SAME Messiah.  Let’s examine who, exactly, the Jewish Rabbis are anticipating to come “this year”.  Do they have some secret knowledge we should pay attention to?

Jewish Messianic Date-Setting

While there have been rumors of the imminent coming of the “Messiah” (Moshiach in Hebrew) for a few years now in Orthodox Jewish circles, what’s interesting to me is that this winter has brought with it a rash of Messianic date-setting.  Date-setting as in, right away, date-setting.

The above quoted conversation comes from a discussion between two well-respected and high positioned Jewish rabbis – Rabbi (Rav) Badani and Rabbi Berland – on January 30, 2019.  It occurred during a traditional blessing upon Rabbi Badani’s grandchild.  The conversation turned to questions about the coming redemption of Israel.  During this discussion on redemption, Rabbi Berland made the claim that the Messiah will come immediately after Seder (Passover) night, this year.

It would be one thing if Rabbi Berland were the only one making this claim.  Even well-respected people sometimes go off on tangents and claim all sorts of things.  However, prominent Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky has also claimed that the Messiah will come this spring – prior to the upcoming Israeli elections.

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, one of the most prominent rabbis of this generation, made a shocking statement, claiming that the Messiah will precede the upcoming Israeli elections. Several rabbis noted that the writing is on the wall and the signs that the process leading up to the Messiah has already begun…for those who have the eyes to see it.

Rabbi Yekutiel Fish, an expert in Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) gave a lesson this week in which he discussed how the Messiah was imminent. Rabbi Fish cited Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, one of the most prominent Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) rabbis of this generation, who began foretelling the arrival of the Messiah just a few years ago.

“It is written that in the days leading up to the Messiah, tzaddikim (righteous men) will begin to announce his arrival but some people, those who have not prepared for His arrival, will laugh at the righteous and the learned,” Rabbi Fish said, warning that it is forbidden to mock the righteous.”

Rabbi Fish related a story that is just now being told within Haredi circles in Israel. A young Torah scholar from outside of Israel was hosted for the Sabbath a few weeks ago at the house of a follower of Rabbi Kanievsky. The young man visited Kanievsky during the Sabbath. He asked the rabbi if he should apply for Israeli citizenship in order to vote for the Haredi party in the Israeli elections being held on April 9.

“There is no need,” Rabbi Kanievsky answered. “The  Messiah will already be here before the elections.”

The young man was unsure that he had heard the rabbi correctly so after he departed from the house, he asked Kanievsky’s grandson, a venerated rabbi in his own right, to confirm the answer. The grandson entered the rabbi’s chamber and asked again: ‘Should the young man apply for citizenship before the elections?’

Rabbi Kanievsky responded, “I already told him that there is no need. The Messiah will be here before the elections.”

 (Source)

Breaking Israel News, an Israeli news source, describes Rabbi Kanievsky as “one of the most learned and righteous Jews alive today”.  These are highly regarded, senior-level, Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis making these claims.

Rabbi Matityahu Glazerson has also verified that the year 5779 appears to be significant concerning the coming Messiah.  Rabbi Glazerson is most known for his work in Torah codes.

Using a Torah program that searches for equidistant letter sequences in the Bible, Rabbi Glazerson did a search for relevant expressions concerning Kanievsky’s announcement. He noted that the term “יבוא משיח” (the Messiah will come) appears once in Leviticus 23 adjacent to the letters “תשעט” signifying the current Hebrew year, 5779.

  (Source)

such a time

At this point, I want to mention that Rabbi Kanievsky has been speaking about the imminent coming of the Messiah for a few years now.  In April 2016, he stated that the Messiah would arrive prior to Rosh Hashana 2016.  That prediction was based on the shmittah (sabbatical), and was obviously a failed prediction.  (Source)

In November 2017, a well-known mystical Rabbi, Nir Ben Artzi, claimed that the identity of the Messiah would be revealed in the “very near future”.  He stated:

“The Holy One, Blessed be He, will come to the rabbis in a dream with a vision and inform them of whom He has chosen for the King Messiah,” predicted Rabbi Ben Artzi. “The Creator will write to them exactly, whom He has chosen as King Messiah.”

This singular revelation was accompanied by details.

“There will be a yellow card and holy letters inscribed on a parchment like a Torah scroll, where they will be told in Aramaic who is King Messiah,” the rabbi continued. Aramaic is no longer spoken, but it is the language of the Talmud (oral law). “Then, they will have no choice and they will recognize the King Messiah.

“From above they will be told, ‘The choice is in your hands. Either you reveal him or the Creator of the world will cause you great trouble and will not let go until you reveal this and tell it to the people of Israel’,” Rabbi Ben Artzi said. “Then they will follow the instructions laid out in the dream and acknowledge who the Messiah King is.”

(Source

Let us be clear that these high-ranking Rabbis, learned as they may be, have no special revelation from God – despite what they might believe.  It appears that through their vigorous study of the scriptures (Torah + Tankh), plus a few “prophetic dreams and visions” (which I suggest did NOT come from God), they have come to the same conclusion that watching Christian believers have – the state of the world today is strongly indicative of the imminent coming of the Messiah.  Have no doubt, satan is also WELL aware that the Messiah is near.

Relevant Dates and Times

I know you’re chomping at the bit to ask WHEN???  What are the dates we are looking at here???  (Do I know you or what – ha!)

Purim (14th of Adar/Adar II):

Purim is the Jewish celebration which recalls the saving of the Jewish people from annihilation at the hands of Haman.  This redemption is recorded in the book of Esther.  Purim is celebrated each year on the 14th of Adar (or Adar II in leap years – which this year has been confirmed).

Hebcal:  March 21 (Source)

Chabad: March 20 (Source)

AISH: March 20 (Source)

Passover Seder (14th of Nisan):

The Passover Seder is the traditional ritual which retells the story of Israel’s redemption from slavery in Egypt.  It occurs on the first night of Passover, as the 14th transitions to the 15th of Nisan.  Since this is confirmed to be a leap year, Passover will be in April.

Renewed Moon: April 19th @ sundown (Source)

Hebcal: April 20 (Source)

Chabad: April 19 (Source)

AISH:  April 19 (Source)

Israeli Elections

The Israeli elections are scheduled, and will not flux with the Hebrew calendar.  These are set to occur April 9, 2019.  Interestingly, the recent news of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s indictment has placed the upcoming election in turmoil.  Will it be rescheduled?

Date Summary

Rabbi Berland states that the Messiah will come immediately after Seder night (April 19-20).  Rabbi Kanievsky states that the Messiah will come before the Israeli elections (April 9, unless postponed).  There are also rumors circulating that the Messiah will come on Purim, I think from the title of Israel National News Article – “Rabbi: Messiah Began on Sunday, Will Appear on Purim, and Will Finish With Israeli Elections“.  When reading the article, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky states the Messiah will come after Seder night, so I personally suspect the article was mis-titled.  Regardless of the title and the quotation, it does seem that there is some expectation of Purim as a possible “high watch date”.

The Expected Messiah

Instead of focusing on the actual dates predicted, and whether or not they hold special “high watch status” to us as watchmen, I think what is more relevant is the overall atmosphere within the orthodox Jewish community.  The “watching” Jewish community is electrically charged with anticipation of the imminent arrival of their Messiah.  Fascinating, right?

Let’s talk about exactly WHO these ultra-orthodox Jewish rabbis are expecting to imminently appear.

Hint:  It’s not Jesus.  


As Christians, we longingly await for Jesus Christ to call us up in the harpazo of the church, prior to the 70th week of Daniel playing out on earth.

Orthodox Jews await for the first (and only) coming of a Messiah, who I suggest to you is the anti-Messiah – the anti-Christ.

Remember that the Jewish people, for the most part, rejected Jesus as Messiah approximately 2000 years ago.  Thus, they are still watching, and waiting, for a Messiah.  I think we will learn a lot if we examine how they believe they will identify him.

Moshiach is not identified by his ability to perform earth-shattering miracles. In fact, he isn’t required to perform any miracles at all (although the performance of miracles doesn’t disqualify him either).

The following are the criteria for identifying the Moshiach, as written by Maimonides:

If we see a Jewish leader who (a) toils in the study of Torah and is meticulous about the observance of the mitzvot, (b) influences the Jews to follow the ways of the Torah and (c) wages the “battles of G‑d”—such a person is the “presumptive Moshiach.”

If the person succeeded in all these endeavors, and then rebuilds the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and facilitates the ingathering of the Jews to the Land of Israel—then we are certain that he is the Moshiach.

(Source

 

According to Jewish writings, the Messiah will:

  • study the Torah and observe its commandments fastidiously
  • influence other Jews to follow the Torah
  • wage the “battles of God” (I would suggest, fight battles for Israel)
  • rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem
  • facilitate ingathering of Jews to Israel (aliyah)

Is this sending big-time chills up your spine?  Red flashing lights?

warning.jpg

How about this?

One of the principles of Jewish faith enumerated by Maimonides is that one day there will arise a dynamic Jewish leader, a direct descendant of the Davidic dynasty, who will rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, and gather Jews from all over the world and bring them back to the Land of Israel.

Any potential Moshiach must be a direct descendant of King David, as well as erudite in Torah learning. It should be noted that many people living today can trace their lineage back to King David. The chief rabbi of Prague in the late 16th century, Rabbi Yehuda Loew (the Maharal), had a family tree that traced him back to the Davidic dynasty. Consequently, any direct descendant of the Maharal is of Davidic descent.

Maimonides states in his Mishneh Torah—a compendium of the entire halachic tradition—that Moshiach will first rebuild the Temple and then gather in the exiles. Jerusalem and the Temple will be the focus of divine worship, and “from Zion shall go forth Torah, and the word of the L‑rd from Jerusalem.”

According to some traditions, G‑d Himself will rebuild the third Temple. According to others, it will be rebuilt by Moshiach; still others suggest a combination of the two opinions. Some suggest that there will be two distinct periods in the messianic era: first a non-miraculous period, leading into a second, miraculous period.

The Sanhedrin—the supreme Jewish law court of 71 sages—will be re-established, and will decide on all matters of law. At this time, all Jews will return to full Torah observance and practice.

Initially, there will be no change in the world order, other than its readiness to accept messianic rule. All the nations of the world will strive to create a new world order, in which there will be no more wars or conflicts. Jealousy, hatred, greed and political strife (of the negative kind) will disappear, and all human beings will strive only for goodness, kindness and peace.

All the nations of the world will recognize Moshiach to be a world leader, and will accept his dominion. In the messianic era there will be world peace, no more wars nor famine, and, in general, a high standard of living.

All mankind will worship one G‑d, and live a more spiritual and moral way of life. The Jewish nation will be preoccupied with learning Torah and fathoming its secrets.

The coming of Moshiach will complete G‑d’s purpose in creation: for man to make an abode for G‑d in the lower worlds—that is, to reveal the inherent spirituality in the material world.

Our prophets speak of the advent of a human leader, of a magnitude that the world has not yet experienced. His unique example and leadership will inspire mankind to change direction.

Moshiach will be a man who possesses extraordinary qualities. He will be proficient in both the written and oral Torah traditions. He will incessantly campaign for Torah observance among Jews, and observance of the seven universal Noahide laws by non-Jews. He will be scrupulously observant, and encourage the highest standards from others. He will defend religious principles and repair breaches in their observance.

Jews anticipate the arrival of Moshiach every day. Our prayers are full of requests to G‑d to usher in the messianic era. Even at the gates of the gas chambers, many Jews sang “Ani Maamin”—I believe in the coming of Moshiach!

However, the Talmud states that there is a predestined time when Moshiach will come. If we are meritorious, he may come even before that predestined time. This “end of time” remains a mystery, yet the Talmud states that it will be before the Hebrew year 6000. (The Hebrew year at the date of this publication is 5772.)

In every generation there is a person who potentially could be the Moshiach. When G‑d decides that the time has arrived, He will bestow upon that individual the necessary powers for him to precipitate that redemption.

The Talmud describes the period immediately prior to the advent of Moshiach as one of great travail and turmoil. There will be a world recession, and governments will be controlled by despots. It is in this troubled setting that Moshiach will arrive.

There is a tradition that a great war will take place, called the war of Gog and Magog, and there is much speculation as to the precise timing of this war in relation to Moshiach’s arrival.

There is a tradition that Elijah the Prophet will come to the world and announce the imminent arrival of Moshiach. However, according to other opinions, Moshiach may arrive unannounced. Elijah would then arrive to assist in the peace process. Some suggest that if the Moshiach arrives in his predestined time, then Elijah will announce his arrival; but if Moshiach comes suddenly, then Elijah will appear after Moshiach has come.

(Source

I know.

Seriously.

Speechless.


Let’s summarize the Orthodox Jewish beliefs above:

  • The Messiah will arrive sometime before the Hebrew year 6000, whenever the Jews “merit it” – he could come any time
  • Elijah the Prophet will arrive and announce the imminent coming of the Messiah  (Or, the Messiah may just arrive unannounced with Elijah appearing after)
  • Immediately before the Messiah appears, there will be “great turmoil” – including a world recession and government take-overs
  • A great war will take place, the Gog-Magog war
  • Wage “battles of God” for Israel
  • The Messiah will by a dynamic leader who will achieve world dominion
  • Initially there will be no change in the world, other than a readiness to strive to create a “new world order”
  • Miracles may or may not happen when the Messiah first appears
  • The Messiah will be a direct descendant of King David
  • The Messiah will rebuild the Third Temple, as an abode for God “in the lower worlds”
  • Israel will return to Torah law; Gentiles will be held to the Noahide laws
  • The Messiah will call all all tribes to return to Israel (gather in the exiles)
  • All mankind will worship one God

If someone doesn’t meet every single one of these qualifications, he cannot be the Messiah.

Why Did Israel Reject Jesus as Messiah?

Have you ever wondered why the bulk of Israel rejected Jesus as their Messiah?  Although Jesus literally fulfilled hundreds of Messianic prophecies, some remain to be fulfilled – the ones related to the Messianic Kingdom.  Israel was expecting their Messiah to come in, fight off all their enemies, raise Israel up as head of the world, and establish his kingdom of peace ruled by Torah law.  Basically, they were expecting the Millennial Kingdom to be put into place.

My purpose here isn’t to give a full treatise on why Israel rejected Jesus as Messiah and what the Christian rebuttal is.  There are those who have done much more extensive research on that and I would refer you here:

Jewish Expectations – Messiah or Anti-Messiah?

The coming time of tribulation and wrath is about Daniel’s people (Israel) and his holy city (Jerusalem).  All end times prophecy is focused there.

Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.  (Daniel 9:24)

I am fully convinced that the Antichrist will attempt to present himself as the long-awaited Jewish Messiah.  Remember that satan knows the Biblical prophecies, and will try to duplicate them well enough to fool even the elect – if it were possible (Matthew 24:24).

I have come in My Father’s name, and you have not received Me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will receive him.  (John 5:43)

Let’s examine the Jewish expectations we noted above, and compare them to what we know is about to occur prophetically.

Worthy of Messiah

According to Jewish tradition, the Messiah will arrive at some point before year 6000.  Currently, it is year 5779 on the Hebrew calendar, although there is much speculation about “missing years“.  Regardless of the exact year we are in, rabbis seem to believe that we are now “close enough” – that the “time is suited”.

“Tshuva and belief are what bring the Messiah,” Rabbi Glazerson said. “Even in the times that are suited for the Messiah to come, without tshuva, there can be no Messiah. And faith is what leads to Israel being redeemed.”   (Source)

To be worthy for the Messiah to come, Teshuvah, or repentance (returning to the path of righteousness), plus faith, will bring the “Messiah”.  Orthodox rabbis are thus pleading with the Jewish people to repent and have faith.  I don’t think it would be difficult to convince them that they did a “great job” and so the “Messiah was well-pleased and came”.

Elijah the Prophet

Some messianic expectations suggest Elijah will prepare the way for the “Messiah”; others suggest he might appear after the “Messiah” comes.  Whenever he arrives, Elijah is expected to appear before the Day of the Lord begins.

Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.  (Malachi 4:5)

Whether Elijah will literally appear, or there will be one who “comes in the spirit of Elijah” (like John the Baptist), is unknown.  Elijah figures into many Jewish traditions including:

  • Brit Milah (Elijah’s Chair) – baby boys are placed on the Chair of Elijah at the beginning of circumcision rituals
  • Cup of Elijah – a cup of wine is poured for Elijah at the Passover Seder
  • Opening the Door for Elijah – Elijah is invited to the Passover Seder to “testify” that everyone present is circumcised and worthy to participate in the Seder.

Did you note the obvious connection between Elijah and the Passover Seder?  Interesting, since one of the rabbis claims that the Messiah will appear right after the Seder this year.

While Jewish tradition anticipates Elijah appearing once more, this passage may have already been completely fulfilled through John the Baptist.  Another consideration is that Elijah (the real one) might be one of God’s Two Witnesses, as described in Revelation 11.  Yet another consideration, will the false prophet claim to be Elijah?

Great Turmoil in the World

The belief that immediately prior to the Messiah appearing there will be “great turmoil”, reminds me of what Jesus said in the Olivet Discourse:

For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.  (Matthew 24:7-8)

Jesus describes a specific set of signs as marking the “beginning of birth pains”, which announces the “time of the end”.   This collection of signs includes:  nation rising against nation, kingdom rising against kingdom, famines, earthquakes in various places, terrors, and great signs from heaven (Matthew 24; Luke 21).   Individually, these signs don’t signify the end.  When the end DOES arrive, it will be very obviously marked by this collection of signs occurring all at once. The end will come like a flood, or a trap, indeed, and it will be obvious to all.  [A little assignment for you – note the parallels of these signs to Seals 2,3,4,6 in Revelation 6 and the Gog-Magog war in Ezekiel 38-39].

The “Messiah” will arise out of this mess, at the very beginning of Israel’s “birth pains”.  Surely it will happen just as Jesus said.

The Gog-Magog War

Now here’s an interesting expectation.  Jewish tradition suggests that the Messiah will arrive in coordination with the Gog-Magog war.  Let’s review what this war is all about (for your own study, please read Ezekiel 38-39).

“Gog” and the many nations intend to plunder Israel.  At least, they think they do.  In actuality, it’s God who will raise Israel’s enemies up against her in such a way as to guarantee her destruction.  Why?  Specifically, so that He can prevent her from being annihilated.  Are you confused?

It’s impossible to overemphasize the significance that God Himself is arranging this war exactly according to His schedule.  The sole purpose of the war is to provide an avenue for God to intervene supernaturally to save Israel for the sake of His own name.  God breaks His silence with Israel for the purpose of announcing to an unbelieving world that  He intends to fulfill His covenant promises!  He will reclaim Israel as His people and His land.  God mentions this purpose 70 times in the book of Ezekiel; four times in these two chapters alone to ensure He gets His point across.

It seems that God will use Gog / Magog as a set-up for both Israel and the nations.  It seems to be deliberately presented so that it can be interpreted by Israel as the final war (Battle of Armageddon).  When God intervenes, Israel will look for the Messiah to inaugurate the Messianic Kingdom.  A “messiah” will most certainly appear.  Since I believe that the Gog-Magog war is at the very beginning of Daniel’s 70th week, I would suggest that the antichrist will rise out of this war, claiming victory for Israel’s salvation.  This is the ultimate test for Israel – who will they accept as their “Messiah”?

Battles of God

I would suggest, based on Jewish Messianic expectation, that the antichrist will be fighting FOR Israel, not against her.  I would suggest he will be DEFEATING her enemies (likely, neighboring Islamic nations, plus anyone else who would dare attack her).  Perhaps he will claim to be the victor of the Psalm 83 / Isaiah 17 / Ezekiel 38-39 wars.

Jews are anticipating the Messiah to establish universal peace, with Israel at the head.  I mean, we are too, but not until after the coming time of “tribulation”.  

 

For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction shall come upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.  (1 Thessalonians 5:3)

Following the rapture of the invisible body of Christ, the restraint on the antichrist’s rise to power will be released.  I would suggest that the antichrist works to establish peace for ISRAEL, and for those who COOPERATE with her… but that the process will involve wars for those who OPPOSE her.

For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.  And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.  (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8)

There are a lot of different interpretations of how exactly the antichrist rises to power, which we won’t get into here.  Suffice it to say, that it appears the antichrist will most definitely rise to power within the first half of Daniel’s 70th week (1260 days).  This strong leader speaks “great things” and is “greater than his companions” (Daniel 7:19-20).  At the midpoint of the “week”, he achieves a global rule. 

World Domination

I want you to note that if you take the beasts in Daniel 7 – a lion with wings, a bear, a four-headed leopard, and a ten-horned beast – and combine them all together, you get a seven-headed, ten-horned beast with lion, bear, and leopard characteristics.  And, this just happens to be exactly what we see when the antichrist declares to be “god”:

And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads.  And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth.  (Revelation 13:1-2)

The antichrist’s power will come from satan:

And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.  One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.  And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?” (Revelation 13:2-4)

It seems that the world will marvel after and follow the beast because of his apparent resurrection from the dead as well as his miltary prowess.  The antichrist’s 1260 days of rule (the last half of Daniel’s 70th week) is described further in Revelation 13:

And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven.  Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.  If anyone has an ear, let him hear: If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.  (Revelation 13:5-10)

The antichrist’s rule will be worldwide.  It is also described in the book of Daniel:

“As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them,  until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.  “Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces.  As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings. He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.”  (Daniel 7:21-25)

Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.  (Revelation 12:17)

This is the time of “greatest tribulation” for followers of Jesus Christ.  (Matthew 24:15-16, 21-22)  It will be a period of intense persecution and martyrdom for the tribulation saints.

In Jewish end times study, once the Millennial Kingdom is established, they expect that unrepentant gentiles will be killed.  All will be expected to submit to their messiah as “god”.  Does this period of “greatest tribulation” start from within the Jewish community that has embraced the antichrist?  Check this out:

But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them.  (Mark 13:9)

Did you catch that the beating of followers of Jesus Christ will be in synagogues, the Jewish places of worship?  We understand from prophecy that 2/3 of the Hebrew people will perish, and 1/3 will be saved and enter the Millennial Kingdom.

And in all the land,” declares the LORD, “two-thirds will be cut off and perish, but a third will be left in it.  (Zechariah 13:8)

Do the two thirds that perish commit the ultimate blasphemy against God and embrace the anti-Messiah?

Desire for a New World Order

I think we are all familiar with the term “new world order” by now.  The world’s elites don’t even try to keep this goal a secret any more.  It reminds me of 2 Thessalonians 2:7 we just mentioned above – the mystery of lawlessness is already at work (being set up).  The “new world order” that the antichrist will establish will try to mimic the “millennial kingdom” expectations of the Messiah.

The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.  And it shall come to pass in the last of the days or times, that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be confirmed as the head of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills; and all the Gentiles shall flow unto it.  And many peoples shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  And he shall judge among the Gentiles and shall rebuke many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more (Isaiah 2:1-4)

I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. (Ezekiel 37:26)

(Additionally, reference Isaiah 32:15-18, 60:15-18; Zephaniah 3:9; Hosea 2:20-22; Amos 9:13-15; Micah 4:1-4; Zechariah 8:23, 14:9; Jeremiah 31:33-34)

These verses reference the “covenant of peace”, which seems to feature heavily into the antichrist’s political and religious platforms.

Miracles or No Miracles?

Well here’s an easy one.  The Jews don’t seem clear, and neither do they seem to care, whether or not miracles will accompany the Messiah.  I find this rather surprising, actually!  However, we know from scripture, that the antichrist will come in with “signs and wonders”.

The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.  (2 Thessalonians 2:9-10)

These signs and wonders, permitted by God, will contribute to the overall atmosphere of excitement and awe surrounding the anti-Messiah.

A Descendant of David

According to the Hebrew scriptures, the Messiah will be descended from King David on his father’s side:

 

The scepter shall not depart from Judah,

    nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,

until tribute comes to him;

    and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.  (Genesis 49:10)

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,

    and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.  (Isaiah 11:1)

Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.  (Jeremiah 23:5)

For thus says the Lord: David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel… (Jeremiah 33:17)

And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.  And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them. I am the Lord; I have spoken.  (Ezekiel 34:23-24)

It is difficult to imagine that Israel would accept anyone as Messiah that doesn’t have this Davidic bloodline.  I understand that people like to speculate possible identities of the future anti-Christ; this heredity should be one of the considerations.  The Jews are anticipating a fully human Messiah, descended from King David.

The Third Temple

Although He taught there, Jesus didn’t set Himself up in the Jewish Temple to rule.  Not only did Jesus not rule from their Temple, He prophesied its’ destruction.  How curiously “un-Messiah-like” of Him, according to the Jews.

 

“Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said to them, ‘Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”  (Matthew 24:1-2)

A description of the anticipated Temple is found in Ezekiel chapters 40-48.  That this rule from the Temple will take place through the anti-christ, before it comes through Jesus, we are clearly foretold:

“Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there,  but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months.  And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.”  (Revelation 11:1-3)

And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”  (Daniel 9:27)

Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.  (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)

John sees and measures a future temple which will exist during the times of the end.  In the books of Daniel and Matthew (Daniel 9:27, Matthew 24:15), we are told that during the yet future 70th week of Daniel, an event known as the “abomination of desolation” will occur to desecrate the Temple/altar.  For this to occur, a Jewish Temple needs to be in place, or at the very least, an altar of sacrifice.  We also know from Daniel that there will be Jews in Old Covenant relationship with God, and that they will be offering daily sacrifices.  At some point during the 70th week of Daniel (likely at the abomination of desolation), a strong ruler (the lawless one, the antichrist) will cause the sacrifices to cease (Daniel 9:27).  So thus, we know the sacrifices will be restarted before this stopping can occur.  In 2 Thessalonians 2:4, we are told the man of lawlessness will “set himself up in the temple and proclaim to be god”.  For this to be possible, there must be a Third Temple in place.

The closer the Third Temple comes to being a reality, the closer we must be to other end-time events, including the rapture of the church.

A Return to Torah

The Jews are anticipating a Torah rule from the Temple.  As Christians, we also are expecting an iron-rod rule from the Temple, but not until after the upcoming time of “tribulation”.

“My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes.  They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever.  I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore.  My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”  (Ezekiel 37:24-28)

I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.

Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him. 

(Psalm 2:7-12)

The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of ironas when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father.  (Revelation 2:26-27)

It seems very clear that the Jews will seek to return to Torah Law, with its system of sacrifices and offerings.  Whether or not these sacrifices will be pleasing to God or not depends on the heart – are they doing it out of remembrance of what Jesus has done, or out of rejection of Christ to attempt to atone for their own sins?  I appeal to your memory that there will be sacrifices during the Millennial Kingdom.  An iron-rod-rule sounds pretty Torah-like to me as well.  It seems that God is not opposed to rules or sacrifices; but these things have never saved and will never save.  Salvation is only by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and His blood atonement for our sins.

Aliyah (the Ingathering)

After the fall of Jerusalem in 70AD, the Jews were scattered all over the world exactly as prophesied.  In all of human history, no “dead” nation has ever been rebirthed.  However, God’s word and promises stand eternal.  In the 1800’s AD, the first whisperings of Zionism were heard.  In the late 1880’s the first Aliyahs were made – the return of the Jews to their God-covenanted homeland.  Return to Israel (then called Palestine) trickled in slowly but steadily.

And then, WWII.

God, knowing the end from the beginning, brought beauty out of the ashes of the Jewish Holocaust.  Israel was rebirthed in a day on May 14, 1948… after not existing for approximately 2,900 years.

 

Following independence, Aliyah began in earnest.  The return of the people of Israel to the Promised Land is foretold in many places in scripture:

And when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God has driven you, and return to the Lord your God, you and your children, and obey his voice in all that I command you today, with all your heart and with all your soul,  then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you.  If your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there he will take you.  And the Lord your God will bring you into the land that your fathers possessed, that you may possess it. (Deuteronomy 30:1-5)

He will raise a signal for the nations
and will assemble the banished of Israel,
and gather the dispersed of Judah
from the four corners of the earth.

(Isaiah 11:12)

Current population statistics (2017) show that Israel has the highest Jewish population, at 44.4% of the world’s Jewry.  Why is Jewish Aliyah interesting in light of end times prophecies?  Perhaps the Orthodox Jews state it best:

Prophecy can only exist in Israel when the land is inhabited by a majority of world Jewry, a situation which has not existed since 300 BCE. During the time of Ezra, when the majority of Jews remained in Babylon, prophecy ended upon the death of the last prophets – Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi. (Source)

Orthodox rabbinic tradition suggests that prophecy can only exist in Israel when it contains the majority of the world’s Jews (over 50%).  Note that this is NOT stipulated in the Scriptures, but seems to be a tradition of man.  Regardless, the coming anti-Messiah will most certainly be looking to fulfill this expectation as he gathers the people of Israel home.

 

In Law of Kings, Maimonides writes:
1. The Messianic King will arise in the future and restore the Davidic Kingdom to its former state and original sovereignty. He will build the Temple and gather the dispersed of Israel. All the laws will be re-instituted in his days as they had been aforetimes; sacrifices will be offered, and the Sabbatical years and Jubilee years will be observed fully as ordained by the Torah.
2. Anyone who does not believe in him, or whoever does not look forward to his coming, denies not only the other prophets but also the Torah and of Moses our Teacher.
For the Torah attested to him, as it is said:”then, the Lord, your God, will bring back your exiles, and He will have mercy upon you. He will once again gather you from all the nations… Even if your exiles are at the end of the heavens, the Lord, your God, will gather you from there, and He will take you from there. And the Lord, your God, will bring you… (Deuteronomy 30:3-5).
These words, explicitly stated in the Torah, include all the statements made by all the prophets.
— Maimonides, Mishneh Torah, Law of Kings 11:1-2[8]

 

It is critical for any messiah figure to focus on ingathering of the exiles to the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

One World Religion

We have discussed that during the first half of Daniel’s 70th week the anti-messiah seems to be busy gathering the Jews, building the Temple, fighting skirmishes, rising to power, and establishing his kingdom.   Around the 3.5 year mark, this messiah figure will set up his headquarters (“palatial tents”) in Jerusalem and declare it to be the capital city of the world.  This is again what Jews are expecting from the “messianic kingdom age”.  But first, just as all prophecies indicate, this messiah figure is about to die:

“And he shall pitch his palatial tents between the sea and the glorious holy mountain. Yet he shall come to his end, with none to help him.” (Daniel 11:45)

 

Then, the anti-messiah will be miraculously resurrected from the dead:

“One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.  And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?”  (Revelation 13:3-4)

 

The resurrection will be through God’s power (only God has the power to give and take life), to fulfill His plans and purposes.  It is at this point that he will claim to be “god”.

Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worshipso that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)

I would suggest that the antichrist’s claim to deity, and the subsequent demand of worship, will be a huge turning point for the inhabitants of earth – the Israelites in particular.  Where once this man appeared to support the reinstitution of Torah and the Temple, he will now take over, cause sacrifices to cease, set up an abomination, and blaspheme God.  Wait a sec…

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The antichrist’s religious domination is further described in Revelation 13:

And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months.  It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven.  Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation,  and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.  (Revelation 13:5-8)

Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.  It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived.  And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.  (Revelation 13:11-15)

 

This antichrist religion is bad news for the tribulation saints, who are about to become tribulation martyrs in vast numbers.  This calls for the patient endurance of the saints indeed.

Messiah 5779?

It is both fascinating and devastating to watch Orthodox Jewish messianic date-setting.  Fascinating, because there is a true longing to be reconciled to God.  Devastating, because they are so prepared to accept the WRONG MESSIAH.

Jesus is most certainly near, even at the doors. This year?  Definitely a strong possibility.  This month?  Also definitely possible.  We Might Be Closer Than You Think.  Check out these Major Prophetic Milestones!

Immediately following the rapture of the true church, it seems that the “false messiah” (antichrist) will arise and:

  • fight and win wars for Israel (these may include Psalm 83, Isaiah 17, Ezekiel 38-39 – which technically GOD wins for Israel, but the antichrist may CLAIM the victory?)
  • allow / encourage building of the Third Temple
  • attempt to gather all Jews back to Israel
  • promise to usher in an age of world peace / perfection with Israel at the head
  • unite humanity in religion
  • be descended on Father’s side from King David
  • allow, or possibly lead, full Torah observance
  • gain worldwide dominion

I believe that the anti-messiah will attempt to parallel what Jesus did at His first coming, in addition to appearing to fulfill what Jesus will do at His second coming.  The Jews did not foresee the two-part role of the messiah (Suffering Servant / Conquering King), and were legitimately baffled when the Messianic Kingdom wasn’t inaugurated at Jesus’ first coming.  In this way, the anti-messiah will appear to clear up the confusion and will be received.

Jesus warned that many would come claiming to be the Christ. These numerous lesser antichrists who were already in the world, as the Apostle John explained in 1 John:2:18, would prepare the way for the real Antichrist who would appear in the last of the “last days.” Behold the ultimate deception: Satan posing as God, Antichrist masquerading as the true Christ, and not just the world but an apostate church as well totally taken in by the bold fraud. Instead of a frontal assault on Christianity, the evil one will pervert the church from within by posing as its founder. He will cunningly misrepresent Christ while pretending to be Christ. And by that process of substitution, he will undermine and pervert all that Christ truly is. Anything less than such a diabolically malevolent strategy would be unworthy of Satan’s foul genius.

—Excerpt taken from Countdown to the Second Coming by Dave Hunt

Have no fear – the ultimate endpoint is that Jesus will overthrow all the kingdoms of the world and set up His kingdom that can never be shaken:

For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest  and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them.  For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.”  Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.”  But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect,  and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven.  At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”  This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain.  Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,  for our God is a consuming fire.
(Hebrews 12:18-29)

God will use all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28).  All things includes the antichrist, his false religion, and the time of tribulation!  Jesus Christ will reign victorious!

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Further Resources:

Are you CERTAIN of your Salvation, beyond a shadow of a doubt?  Do you KNOW that no matter when the rapture occurs, you will be counted worthy to escape?  If not, please read What Must I do to Be Saved.

God’s Mosaic – A Whole Scripture Overview of Things To Come

Main Menu – God’s Mosaic Prophecy Model

The Bible is infallible.  I am not.  I am merely challenging traditional models and testing them against Scripture.  I believe that traditional pretribulation teachings provide a solid backbone upon which to lay the musculature of details.  I encourage you to consider my thoughts as you also examine the scriptures to see if these things are so!