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Year End

As we move into the final hours of the Biblical year, I thought it would be appropriate to leave a message should this indeed be the time of the End of the Age.

By End of the Age we don't mean the end of the world.  God's Word is clear that at some point, maybe now, maybe next year, the Church Age will end and the time of "Jacob's trouble", also known as the Seven Year Tribulation will begin, to be followed by a 1,000-year period of Christ reigning on the earth with more chapters to follow.  This sentence is a mouth full so let's break this down:

First some background - there were 300+ prophecies regarding Christ's life 2,000 years ago - link

Just as God foretold a 1st Century audience what to expect (and they missed everything), God has provided a road map of what to expect with the days ahead.  Several scholars have found over eight times as many (2,500+) prophecies of Christ's second coming compared to His first coming.  And just as the 1st Century audience wasn't watching, so too are those who live in 2015.

The Christian church almost universally believes in Christ's anticipated return.  The debate is over the timing.

John 14:2-3 (NASB)
In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.
Acts 1:6-11 (NASB)
So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
Zechariah 14:4 (NASB)
In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.

Right before Jesus left, He said He would be back and Zechariah 14:4 prophesies (predicts) that He will come back just like He left.

For some reasons we will unpack, we believe before Jesus comes back to planet earth, He will snatch away His followers, removing them from harms way for a period of seven years.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (NASB)
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

In 1 Thessalonians 4 we see Jesus not landing on planet earth, but the Christians meeting Him in the sky.  This is the Greek word "Harpazo", which means to snatch away urgently, like pulling someone from oncoming traffic.  The Latin word is "Rapturous", from which is translated the English word "Rapture".

We believe Christians are not apart of this seven years of trouble from this verse and from other passages and parallels.  1 Thessalonians 4 talks about meeting Him in the air.  Zechariah 14 talks about Christ physically returning to earth (two different events).  Revelation 19 starting in verse 11 also talks about Christ's return to the earth (clearly there are two different events - first Christ comes for His church, later He comes to judge):

1 Thessalonians 5:9 (NASB)
For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Revelation 19:11-16 (NASB)
And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

This seven year period is described as tribulation, the final half of which is called "great tribulation" or the time of Jacob's trouble.  It is a terrible terrible time described in the center of the book of Revelation, where God with increasing intensity and severity announces His soon return for judgement.  While everyone should take this as yet one more set of urgent pleas for repentance from the loving and patient King of Kings, most will curse Him and continue their rejection and rebellion.

2 Peter 3:9 (NASB)
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

So what's all the hubbub about?

If you're reading this and there is mass confusion, a mass disappearance of millions, disaster and chaos then this part will certainly be out of date.

In Leviticus 23 God established seven dates/holidays on His annual calendar.  These are observed by Jews everywhere.

4 in the Spring
3 in the Fall

The first three in the Spring where fulfilled (completed by/paralleled) by Christ's death, burial and resurrection.  The fourth was fulfilled by the arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

When the Jews left Egyptian slavery they were to take a one year old lamb, live with it for a week, kill it/sacrifice it, put the blood on the front door and use the lamb in their Passover seder (meal).   Every year the Jews would sacrifice a lamb as a reminder that God requires a blood offering for sin and that the Jews were spared death because the lamb took their place.  No longer are sacrifices needed, as Christ paid this price fully at 3 PM on a Friday (same time the lambs where sacrificed).  Christ's once-for-all sacrifice fully paid the price for all who would believe and accept.  This feast is fulfilled.

As the Hebrews had to flee Egypt there was no time to let yeast cause their bread to rise, so during the Passover the Jews ate unleavened (no yeast) bread.  Yeast is represents sin.  Jesus was the sinless "bread without yeast".  The Feast of Unleavened Bread is the second Spring feast.  Jesus' sinless body was dead in the grave during the Feast of Unleavened Bread - this feast is fulfilled.

On Easter Sunday morning when Jesus Christ rose from the grave alive again, the Feast of First Fruits is celebrated as Jesus is the "First Fruits" of a restored Creation and humanity.

Jesus fulfilled all three - perfectly.

Next up - the Feast of Pentecost.

50 ("pente") days after First Fruits is the Festival of Harvest, also called Pentecost.  This is "pente"cost.

Exodus 16:1 (NASB)
Then they set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the sons of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departure from the land of Egypt.
Exodus 6:7 (NASB)
Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
Exodus 19:5 (NASB)
Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine;
Exodus 32:28 (NASB) 
So the sons of Levi did as Moses instructed, and about three thousand men of the people fell that day.

50 days after Jesus' sacrifice, in the book of Acts, chapter 2, we find a parallel.  Just as the Old Testament covenant was established on Pentecost (birthday), we see the birth of the New Testament covenant.

Acts 2:1-4 (NASB)
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
Acts 2:37-39 (NASB)
Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”
Acts 2:41 (NASB)
So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand souls.

This final Spring feast has been fulfilled.

This takes us to the three from the fall.  The short answer is that Jesus seems to tell us that His return will be at the time of the Fall harvest (the ingathering of the fruit/produce).

The first feast of the Fall is the Feast of Trumpets called "Rosh Hashanah".   This feast begins when a new moon is spotted.  As it takes a few days for a new moon to be visible, the Jews never knew in advance the exact day to begin the festivities.

Matthew 24:36 (NASB)
But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.

As Jesus clearly says no one knows when He will return, most leave it at that, but we press in.  This was possibly a colloquialism or slang if you will, for Rosh Hashanah.  As "no one knew the day or the hour" of the sighting of the new moon.

This interpretation along with references to the ingathering, harvest, ripeness and the previously communicated fulfillment of the previous four feasts, tell us that the Feast of Trumpets may be next on God's prophetic clock.

Of course we don't know the year, but we press in further.  Matthew 24:32-35 is the classic verse that tells us what's going on with the time of the end of the age.  Jesus is describing the time of the end.

Matthew 24:32-35 (NASB)
Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

Jesus knew Israel would be destroyed and scattered in 70 AD.  Israel is often described as the "fig tree".  Jesus is essentially saying when you see Israel reestablished, then know times about up and further - those who are alive when Israel is reborn will not all die before all that Christ describes about the time of the end will come true.

Israel became a reconstituted nation on May 14th, 1948.  We call this a "SUPER SIGN", that 67 years ago the clock was restarted.

From this we know we are close.  We are told from scripture a generation is 70 or 80 years.  Knowing 67 years have passed, 7 years of trouble is ahead - we know we are close to His return.

Psalms 90:10
As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away.

Furthermore, every 50 years Israel was to celebrate a year of jubilee, when debts where forgiven and slaves were set free.  2015 possibly begins the next Jubilee year, preceded by a Shemitah or "Sabbath year".  The debts are erased on the Jewish day of Elul 29.  The next is Sunday, September 13th, 2015.

This is also the 120th Jubilee, since creation 6,000 years ago - see Torah Calendar.com

We've also had this event called a Blood Moon Tetrad.  A Blood Moon is simply a moon seen through the red shift of the earth's atmosphere.  Not unusual.  What is unusual is for a Blood Moon to fall on a Jewish holiday.  Not terribly rare, but for the last two years it has occurred on the first and last feasts.  Extremely rare.

The last time this happened Israel recaptured Jerusalem after 1900 years in the 6 day war of 1967.  The previous Tetrad before that was when Israel became a country (1948).  The time before that is when King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain expelled the Jews in 1492.

This event won't happen again for 500 years.

Genesis 1 tells us God created the heavens for "signs and for seasons".

Genesis 1:14 (NASB)
Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;

God told Adam and He also told Noah to fill the earth.  As the planet is full and life is unsustainable for much longer we also know we are close.

In about one hour the world population is estimated to hit 7,366,666,666.  Is this number significant - don't know.  See also this link


Disasters like Fukushima that continue to pour tons and tons of radioactive water into the Pacific day after day, tell us life can't continue.

Nuclear proliferation.

Terrorism tells us eventually something bad will happen.

Threats of earthquakes, meteors and volcanoes tell us it's only a matter of time until San Andreas, New Madrid, the Mexico city Volcano or something else takes out a vast population.

Massive droughts in the Western United States, South America, and elsewhere are also unsustainable.

World debt levels will inevitably cause a global meltdown.  China's recent Yuan decoupling from the dollar and dumping U.S. debt is another good example.

As God is not in the habit of unloading wrath on His children, these cataclysmic events seem unlikely while the Church is still present.

Time will tell when the end will be, but clearly we see that Day approaching.

If you're reading this and the Church of Christ is gone, then trying to convince you of this is inevitably unnecessary.

This is not a CERN LHC accelerator accident, where we've all been taken through a black hole, nor is it a mass alien abduction.  This is God preparing for judgement, but it is not His desire.  He would much rather you acknowledge that He is God, that you owe Him everything, that you accept the sacrifice of Jesus to cover your sin and that you surrender your thoughts and actions - and very life to Him.  That's the definition of a Christian.

It's not hard.

It's more than just acknowledging in your head that He exists.

James 2:19 (NASB)
You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.

Faith starts in your head and rightly lived involves lots of reminding your head what you have already come to know, but it is more an action verb.  It is a continual stopping your own will and doing what God has instructed.  We call this "dying to self".

This may be your day to decide.  The book of Revelation tells us that most of those who are left behind will be killed.  God is the consummate gentlemen.  You didn't want Him, He excused Himself.  He is no rapist.  Without the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit that lives inside the millions of Christians who just left, all hell is literally about to break out.  The consequences of life without perfect holiness, life, light, goodness, graciousness, kindness, justice, mercy, peace, joy, love, patience, healing, provision, faithfulness and self-control on the planet is unimaginable.

A world leader will rally everyone together and become someone that is widely praised.  Instead of turning to God, people will turn to this person.  This leader is not Christ.  His ways are not Christ-led and so this person is said to be the "antichrist".  This anti-Christ will have a partner in kind, who is a world religious leader, but is not a prophet of God, but a false prophet.

Some say these two are President Obama and Pope Francis.  Time will tell.

Trust God.

In the confusion and fear, everyone will want to surrender freedom and band together, just as was the case in the Genesis account of the Tower of Babel. God said spread out - depend on Me.  The people said we'll stick together and depend on each other.  Global governance.

I suppose there will be a desire to find out who is left and who went missing.  A desire to identify people in case some more leave or some come back.  A global process of tagging each person with some sort of mark, RFID, NFID, digital tattoo or other technology on their hand or forehead will be coming.  The Bible calls this the Mark of the Beast.

Just as today the terms of service on your bank account, credit card, Facebook account, iTunes or other accounts change and your choice is click accept or do without.  Cash will be eliminated.  Cards eliminated.  You'll swipe your hand and you'll accept the terms of service that include a declaration that this Anti-Christ is god himself or you will not do business.

The Bible is very clear - if you click accept - your fate is sealed.  You have rejected God as provision for your life and have accepted this satan-indwelt world leader's provision instead.  The antichrist's provision is death.

DON'T DO IT!!!

This year or another year - He is coming!  Be Ready!

If you know Him stay at your post.  Finish the work he gave you - Ephesians 2:10.

Matthew 28:18-20 - go and make disciples.  Time is short.

MARANATHA!

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2 comments :

  1. I am still leaning towards the Rapture not falling on Rosh Hashanah, or on Yom kippur, or on Feast of Tabernacles. If I were of the Posttrib persuasion then it would be easier for me to consider the possibility that he Rapture could occur on one of the above-mentioned feasts.
    The three Fall feasts would then be fulfilled in one go during the period of 15 days from Rosh Hashanah up to Feast of Tabernacles.
    But I believe in Pretrib and having the Rapture fall on Rosh Hashanah means that the two remaining Fall feasts would have to wait for another 7 years ( at the Second Coming).
    If that would be the case then it would not follow the pattern of the first 3 Spring feasts which occurred in short order one after another during the period from Passover up to Firstfruits.
    During the first 3 Spring Feasts the Lord was physically present on earth. It would not be out of place if the Lord would also be physically present on earth during the 3 Fall feasts.
    During the Rapture the Lord will be in the Air and not physically present on earth.
    The Church Age began on Pentecost and the Lord was then not physically present on earth either.
    Would it not be nice having the Rapture take place on Pentecost to close the Church Age (during the Rapture the Lord would also not be physically present on earth).
    But perhaps you could counterclaim by saying that the Feast of Pentecost was already fulfilled.
    Remember the two parts of His Coming. The First part to die for our sins. The second part to reign as King.
    How about 2 parts of His Second Coming? First part, the Rapture. Second part, His physical return with the Bride.
    So, fulfillment of certain biblical events could occur more than once.
    Of course, the Rapture could come at any time and not necessarily on any particular feast.

    ReplyDelete
  2. All great points. Faith is becoming sight by the hour. Blessings

    ReplyDelete


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