(Random Thoughts on Bible Prophecy: Part I)
Inevitably, as we draw closer to the last days, things are beginning to happen with increasing frequency and intensity. These events will trigger a whole slew of emotional responses for those who are awake and watching, ranging from excitement and anticipation, to fear and foreboding.
There will even be that eerie (uncanny) feeling we get when we see the prophetic passages of Scripture literally being fulfilled as we watch events unfold. In these instances, we should take comfort in the words of Christ who, on numerous occasions, stated that we were told all these things beforehand so when they happened, we would believe (John 13:19, 14:29, 15:26, 16:4).
There is no particular format for this brief; I have just had a series of things on my mind so I will unpack these in no particular order.
Rapture-Feasts of the Lord
Leviticus 23-There are many who believe that the Rapture of the Church has to take place on a feast date such as Trumpets or Pentecost. Then there are those who believe a Rapture-event is not dependent upon such dates, but could happen at any moment. I have changed my opinion on this particular topic and now lean toward the former (feast-Rapture) bandwagon simply because Scripture does not support these specific Christ-centric events as happening haphazardly (see Galatians 4:4-5).
Those who believe it has to be on a feast date, make strong cases to the fact that the term "no man knows the day or hour," is a Jewish idiom referencing the start of the fall feasts. The fall feasts start at the head of their new year (Rosh Hashanah-September/October) which also begins the feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah is the biblical name), because it begins on a new moon. A new moon sighting before modern technology was very difficult to determine exactly when it began. You would not know the exact day or hour. However, you knew generally, when it would begin.
So follow the logic on this, you have four spring Jewish feasts that all occur within a short period:
- Sabbath Day (weekly)
- Passover (Pesach) Nisan 14-15 [Fulfilled: Christ death on Calvary]
- Unleavened Bread (Chag Hamotzi) Nisan 15-22 [Fulfilled: Christ buried]
- First Fruits (Yom habikkurim) Nisan 16-17 [Fulfilled: Christ's resurrection]
---------Fifty-days later----Last of the Spring Feasts-------------[1 Cor. 15:3-7]
- Pentecost (Shavuot/Feast of Weeks) Sivan 6-7 [Fulfilled: Holy Spirit given in Acts 2]
In John 4, Jesus was compelled to travel to Samaria, and it is here that He speaks to the Samaritan women and asks for water. Samaritan's were of mixed Jewish and Gentile descent, thus unclean and shunned by the Jews. It is interesting to me that Christ was first compelled to go here (John 4:4) and then used this specific opportunity to present Himself to the Samaritans. It is here that he tells His disciples that the fields are ripe for harvest.
Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. Jn. 4:35-36
---------Beginning of Fall Feasts------------------
- Trumpets (Rosh Hashanah/Yom Teruah) Tishri 1 [Not yet fulfilled by Christ]
- Atonement (Yom Kippur) Tishri 10 [Not yet fulfilled by Christ]
- Tabernacles (Sukkot) Tishri 15-22 [Not yet fulfilled by Christ]
Here is the rub, we do not know if we are going in a May/Pentecost Rapture (because we are a separate/distinct group from Israel), or if we are going in a Fall/Trumpet Rapture. Neither can we be dogmatic about a specific year. However, regarding which feast day makes the most sense, Trumpet's makes more sense to me since this is a Christ-centric event and He is fulfilling these events, not us. Moreover, the subsequent feasts seem to fall in line with putting the focus back on the 70th Week of Daniel.
The Church is told in 1st Thessalonians 5:4 not to be in darkness (or ignorance) regarding that day. Hebrews 10:25 reminds us that we would see the Day approaching. If we could not know the day, then how could NOT be in ignorance about it? How could we SEE the day approaching, if we could NOT know which day it could be?
Jesus rebuked the church at Sardis (who I believe to be the mainline protestant churches) by saying,
Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard--and keep it and repent. If therefore you shall not watch, I will come like a thief, and you shall not know at what hour I will come upon you. Revelation 3:3
Therefore, as it has happened, the mainline protestant churches have largely abandoned teaching or preaching about prophecy. They have quit watching largely returning their gaze from the sky, to the world around them. Not only has it had a distracting influence upon them, but it has also had a deadening effect. Mainline churches are dying (literally) on the vine. It would appear then that the most commonly used phrase against trying to understand the timing of the Rapture, "no man can know the day or hour," is packed with a lot more meaning than we were originally led to believe.
And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:32
There is no new truth; there is just THE Truth. If Scripture is true and I believe it is, then everything I understand about the world must be understood through that lens (or filter). Geopolitics, economics, technological advancements, current affairs, the sciences, etc., are then all measured against what Scripture has to say (or not say) about a particular topic.
While the secular world might think this particular lens is a blinder or hindrance to objective reasoning, this biblical worldview really is more like a pair of glasses. These glasses exposes the world for what it really is, a four-dimensional construct (height/width/depth/time) that is currently winding-down and falling apart. Moreover, we cannot prevent this deconstruction from happening any more than we could stop an earthquake. Once I accepted the reality that God is in control (and always has been), it has taken away a lot of my own fear and anxiety about what was coming upon the earth.
Peace and Security
For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, "Peace and safety!" then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 1st Thessalonians 5:2-3
Since 9/11, I have increasingly come to understand that one cannot have peace and security (Grk-asphaleia) without giving up rights and liberty. The United States experiment became the most successful manifestation of freedom and liberty in human history, but as of late, has become unsustainable both for practical and existential reasons. Over the past 105 years (or since the Federal Reserve Act of 1913), the United States has steadily and incrementally lost its freedoms to both the globalists and socialist agendas. They (globalists/socialists) seek to destroy our experiment in liberty for their own idealistic purposes of a one-world government. A government that is controlled by a small group of elites. Although the United Nations became the official political mechanism for this global unification, numerous other organizations continue to work toward uniting the world under singular political and economic system.
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. Matthew 24:6-7
The terms nations and kingdoms used above might seem a bit redundant, but they mean two different things in its original Greek form. Nation is ethnos, by which we get the word ethnicity. Kingdom is basileia, which means a political or governmental element. In true Hegelian Dialectic fashion (thesisàantithesisàsynthesis), Islamic terrorism has become the "useful excuse" (thesis) by which the citizens of the West demand an answer for (antithesis). The globalists increasingly introduce invasive and constrictive legislation to the West as a foreordained solution (synthesis) for said terrorism. We need only trade freedom for security.
Why do I think this?
Because the West refuses to deal with Islamic terrorism in any common sense way. Instead of recognizing the destructive nature of Islam, western governments (the majority of whom are led by indoctrinated leftists), are doing everything they can to placate and coddle Islamist agendas. Islamic terrorism is useful to them at present (e.g., the Patriot Act, police-state tactics) much in the same way the anarchists were useful prior to World War I.
However, going back to my first point, if the Bible is true (it is), then Islam is not the final dominant form of religion on the earth. Rather, Satan will use Islam until it no longer serves his purposes. What I mean by this is that Satan is currently using the fear and division Islam causes to drive people into the arms of this final world government and religion. Ultimately, Satan intends to install his own man (the Antichrist) on the throne and direct ALL worship to him (Revelation 13). Islam will cease to exist as either a threat or an issue at the conclusion of the Gog-Magog War (Ezekiel 38-39).
According to nature.com, a recent scientific study found that the earth currently contains around 3.04 trillion trees. While that might sound like a lot (it was more than they originally believed), the presumably unbiased researchers go on to theorize that it is roughly half the number of trees they believe existed since humans started walking upright (their opinion).
According to Scripture, during the First Trumpet Judgment, one-third of all the trees on the earth will be burnt up through fire and hail (Revelation 8:7). Purely going off the number of trees, this study shows that almost one-third of three trillion trees are located in the western hemisphere. If we were to add up the total number of trees in the western hemisphere's three largest nations (Canada-318 billion), Brazil-302 billion), and the (United States-228 billion), we get 848 billion trees. That is 152 billion trees short of one-trillion. However, if we added in the rest of the nations in our hemisphere (Mexico, Argentina, Chile, etc.), it should reasonably fill out the rest of that one trillion trees that are consumed inside the 70th Week of Daniel.
Does this mean that the western hemisphere is destroyed by some supernatural, cataclysmic event? I do not know, but the numbers are intriguing.