WARNING: This is only a theory. You will have to read this with an open mind. Hopefully, since Christians are supposed to be lovers of truth I'm hoping we can all consider that our current interpretations of prophecy may be slightly incorrect since we know that 1 Corinthians 13 tells us we see "through a glass, darkly" and that God told Daniel in Daniel 12:4, "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."
In the first two parts of this series I tried to make the case as to why we might be wise to reconsider our long-held and cherished (not to mention aggressively protected) views on prophecy especially when it comes to the Rapture.
Not only is there biblical, scriptural evidence suggesting such, but we're also seeing a unique trend emerge: other scholars of world reknown on this subject are also beginning to rethink their stated positions. It's almost as if we're seeing the "unsealing" mentioned in Daniel 12:4 starting to take place at this key moment in human history.
That being said, in this final part of our study and analysis I simply want to try to pull together all the various interpretations/predictions that have come out recently involving the Rapture because some of them are imminent (no pun intended!).
CHESHVAN 2008: A NEW LOOK AT THE RAPTURE AND FEAST OF TRUMPETS?
As previously mentioned above, we've documented the importance for all students of prophecy to consider the Jewish Holidays, Festivals, and Feasts in relation to key events occuring along God's prophetic timeline.
Recorded history (including recent history during the last century) clearly shows that there is something to be said for the importance of understanding not only what these Jewish holidays have traditionally represented, but also what that knowledge means in relation to end times prophecy as we use it to attempt to understand what they could tell us will happen as far as the "when" is concerned when it comes to the major unfulfilled prophetic events.
The four Spring Feasts corresponded - to the exact day - to a precise event in the life of the Lord and of the Church. Historically, it's been reasonable to think that the three Autumn Feasts will also correspond to capital events in the life of the Lord and of His Church.
What if we've been wrong in that assumption?
The Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah) is the first of the three great Autumn Feasts, in the Jewish religious calendar. These two series of Feasts are separated by a long period of four to five months, a period that corresponds to the time of the Church. It is a time of harvest ripening and it is also a time a great dryness in Israel.
The Feast of Trumpets is the only one to be celebrated on a day of the new moon. It must be celebrated for two days, which form one “long day”. It is known as the feast “that we know neither the day nor the hour.”
For our purposes here, that will suffice although you can find more information on the significance of the Feast of Trumpets to the Jewish here.
Needless to say, this is a lot of convincing evidence to suggest that previous scholars - men and women much smarter than me - are right about the Rapture occuring during the Feast of Trumpets. The most compelling of which is when you take into account the fact that this feast lasts for two days so the correlation with Jesus' words in Matthew 24:36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but my Father only” we seem to reach a convincing conclusion.
Even so, we must ask, What if we've been wrong in that assumption? Please hear me out on this one. I can assure you that I'll use the Bible and our established knowledge of these feats to make my case rather than rely solely on pure speculation.
Case in point, it just so happens that Cheshvan is the second month on the civil calendar following the month of Tishri. We know Nisan is the first month on the religious calendar, but I want to focus on the civil calendar right now.
Noah’s flood took place 1,000 years before Moses and the times given are based on the civil calendar used at that time. In Genesis 7:11 it says, "In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened."
Thus, the month of Cheshvan is the time when Noah and his family entered the Ark. Well, the anniversary of that very day is the coming Sabbath of November 15, 2008!
That's right! That's tomorrow! I think it's EXTREMELY interesting that not only is it the very day the floods came (a day of judgment for the world), but the Torah reading for that day is the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah!
That Sabbath is also the same day the leaders from the nations of the world are gathering together to discuss the global financial problems in Washington D.C.! It is truly judgment day in a sense!
At this point, I would like to provide you with a 6-part interview with the man who discovered this. His name is Mark Biltz and he has some REMARKABLE EVIDENCE that we all need to prayerfully consider! Each clip is about 5-10 minutes in length and is very captivating (particularly Parts 4-6 if you want the abridged version). Watch for yourself before continuing with our analysis.
Rapture - Fall 2008? (Part 1)
Rapture - Fall 2008? (Part 2)
Rapture - Fall 2008? (Part 3)
Rapture - Fall 2008? (Part 4)
Rapture - Fall 2008? (Part 5)
Rapture - Fall 2008? (Part 6)
Clearly, any serious student of Bible prophecy MUST AT LEAST CONSIDER THIS POSSIBILITY that Biltz presents rather than simply denying it outright, correct?
I just keep coming back to the idea of whether it makes sense that something as important as prophecy - involving His ultimate plan for mankind as well as His return - would only be granted to a select few. Surely, a God who loves us so much would do eveything He could to help us reach the proper conclusions, right?
When you consider that an amazing 27% of the Bible is prophecy and 20% of the books of the Bible are prophetic we begin to see that it's clearly extremely important to the Lord. Now, include the fact that the prophecies of His Second Coming are mentioned almost twice as much as His First and we must ask ourselves, Wouldn't He want as many people as possible to be able to understand the truth of His Second Coming in a manner that was free from confusion and debate?
Yes, I would think so and certainly hope so, right? But, again, I'm not about to question the Lord or His methods, which are perfect and above anything I could ever hope to understand in this lifetime. Still, I wondered what the Bible might have to say about all of this.
Revelation 19:10 says, "The essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus." Prophecy is all about Christ. We are told to “watch and pray” for the Lord’s return. Jesus chastised the Pharisees for not knowing the signs of the times in His day. So, He wants to us know the signs today at this present time, for they instill in us hope for the future and encourage us to evangelize the lost while there is still time.
WE CAN KNOW THE TIMING OF THE RAPTURE!
Rather than only being able to know the season of the Rapture, I'm beginning to believe that we can also know the timing of the Rapture - in a sense.
Of course, there are several common criticisms and objections to all of this. The most notable is is when people point to Matthew 24:36 that reads, "But of that DAY AND HOUR knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."
Are you sitting down? Look at Marilyn Agee of Bible Prophecy Corner recently discovered that dovetails nicely with the Biltz position because it will take your breath away! She writes on her website:
"I'm no prophet, but it now seems that Jesus himself gave us the last clue we need a long time ago. It's so plain in Matthew 24, I don't know why I didn't get it before this. I knew it was in Scripture, but I looked everywhere but the right place, in plain view. I should have known that in plain view was the best place to hide something. What threw me off was Matthew 24:36, where Jesus said, 'But of that DAY AND HOUR knoweth no man.' After so many reminded me of that so many times, I skimmed over what followed it. Look what he said in verse 42: 'Watch therefore: for ye know not what HOUR your Lord doth come.' HE LEFT OUT THE DAY!!! In case we missed it, He even repeated it in verse 44, He said, 'Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an HOUR as ye think not the Son of man cometh." HE LEFT OUT THE DAY AGAIN!!!"
That means that in between verses 36 and 44, Jesus revealed the DAY to us, which is Cheshvan 17, "THE DAY THAT NOE ENTERED INTO THE ARK." The wise virgins are not in the dark as to the DAY, just the hour! The foolish virgins don't know the day or the hour. Jesus put the day in plain view for our sake!
Let's take another look at Matthew 24 and what Jesus Himself said during the Olivet Discourse. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that DAY AND HOUR knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But AS THE DAYS OF NOE WERE, SO SHALL ALSO THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN BE. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until THE DAY THAT NOE ENTERED INTO THE ARK (Cheshvan 17), And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; SO SHALL ALSO THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN BE. Then (at the same time, i.e., on Cheshvan 17, 5769; November 15, 2008) shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know not what HOUR your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an HOUR as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in DUE SEASON (kairos, set time)?"
Plus, Revelation 3:3 says, "Remember therefore what you have received and heard; keep it, and repent. But if you are not alert, I will come like a thief, and you have no idea at what HOUR I will come against you."
Friends, this has the potential to be a HUGE discovery for us! I guess we'll know soon enough since tomorrow is still November 15, 2008 last I checked.
FIRST FRUITS VS. THE ELECT
All kidding aside, what if she's right? Still not convinced? There's more AMAZING INFORMATION for us to consider.
Leviticus 26:2-4 says, "Ye shall keep my SABBATHS, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD. If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; Then I WILL GIVE YOU RAIN IN DUE SEASON, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees (i.e., nations?) of the field (i.e., world?) shall yield their FRUIT."
We are called a kind of firstfruits. James 1:18 says, "Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be A KIND OF FIRSTFRUITS of his creatures." Cheshvan 17, 5769 (November 15, 2008) is on Saturday - the Sabbath!
Luke 21:36 says, "But be alert at all times, praying that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man." Here, we have a passage in Luke that tells us to pray "to escape all these things that are going to take place" AND "be counted worthy."
The things that are going to take place must be the disastrous and terrifying events of the Tribulation, which as stated above, the Philadelphia Church in Revelation 3:10 is told it will be spared from, correct?
If you're taking notes, Luke 21:36 and Revelation 3:10 appear to state the same thing – that at least some believers will be counted worthy to escape "these things that are going to take place" (Luke 21:36) and be spared from the "hour of trial" (Revelation 3:10).
Then in Matthew 24:22 we find, "For at that time there will be great tribulation, the kind that hasn't taken place from the beginning of the world until now and never will again! Unless those days were limited, no one would survive. But those days will be limited because of the elect."
In this passage in Matthew, we see that there are a group of believers (the "elect") who obviously have to go through the time of Tribulation. In fact, people who believe that the Rapture does not occur until after the Tribulation, cite this verse above as evidence.
However, a few verses down in Matthew, it reads:
"As the DAYS OF NOAH were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be. For in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, UNTIL THE DAY NOAH BOARDED THE ARK. They didn't know until the flood came and swept them all away. So this is the way the coming of the Son of Man will be: Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and one left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and one left. Therefore be alert, since you don't know what HOUR your Lord is coming."
What is described above, "the days of Noah," does not sound at all like a time of Tribulation. For all we know, it could be talking about today or tomorrow! Here we are told specifically that people (referred to as "first fruits" elsewhere in the Bible) will be taken from the Earth before sudden destruction hits, which can only mean pre-tribulation.
There's more evidence to support this view in Mark. The Porter doesn't know the hour, but he knows the day! Mark 13:33-37 says, "Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time (kairos, set time, due time) is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. WATCH YE THEREFORE: FOR YE KNOW NOT WHEN THE MASTER OF THE HOUSE COMETH, AT EVEN, OR AT MIDNIGHT, OR AT THE COCKCROWING, OR IN THE MORNING: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch."
At even, midnight, cockcrowing, or morning is describing the hour. The porter already knows the day!
Now, let's try to tie this all together. Proponents of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture believe that it's the Rapture that kicks off the final 7 years, and that immediately following the Rapture is the signing of the peace treaty with Israel because that's what the Bible tells us needs to be in place to launch the Tribulation.
Fascinating then, to read about Arab Foreign Ministers to hold an emergency meeting on the Middle East peace process on November 26, 2008!
Adding more credibility that we could be VERY CLOSE to an enormous prophetic event is what respected scholar and author Grant Jeffery (akin to a Hal Lindsey or Terry James amongst others) had to say in his newest book. He feels that the Gog-Magog War (Ezekiel 38 and 39) will occur on the 24th of Cheshvan! The 24th of Cheshvan, 5769 is Saturday, November 22, 2008! Just a single week after the Rapture (assuming the above is correct)! I should also note that this is AN ENTIRELY NEW POSITION HELD BY JEFFERY AS WELL evoking Daniel 12:4 once again!
Plus, in the Autumn of 2008 (where we are on the calendar today at this very moment), the Feast of Trumpets will mark the beginning of another cycle of seven years for the Jewish people. The covenant between Israel and the surrounding nations is also strengthened by the Antichrist for a period of seven years (Daniel 9:27), so the thought is that this agreement could fall into one of these seven-year cycles on the Jewish calendar.
The fact that the international community is aiming for a peace agreement by the end of 2008 is therefore quite significant. The book of Daniel states that the actual time of Jacob's trouble will begin after the agreement is broken by the Antichrist, and will run for a period of three and a half years (Daniel 12:7), or 42 months (Revelation 11:2), or 1260 days. Daniel also mentions another figure, 1335 days (Daniel 12:12). In fact, we may have already seen this happen with very little fanfare.
As if that weren't enough, we also read about same-sex marriage advocates have marked November 15, 2008 as a "National Day of Protest" and are planning marches around the country to rally against California's Proposition 8, a voter initiative that passed on Election Day, defining marriage in the state as strictly between one man and one woman. More proof that we are "as in the doays of Noah" is it not? Or maybe as in the days of Lot is more appropriate (Luke 17:28).
Unbelievable coincidences if that's how you choose to view this!
Some will undoubtedly ask, Ok, if this is true and such an earth-shattering discovery that turns current prophecy teaching and thinking on its head then why isn't the media all over this? That's a great question, but I have a better answer!
Proverbs 25:2 says, "It is the glory of God to conceal a matter..."
I think it's remarkable that within the past 3 months (since roughly August 2008 beginning with Russia's invasion of Georgia setting the stage for the coming Gog-Magog War) the world has been inundated with one thing after another all of which have some sort of major prophetic significance.
This isn't just a new Bible interpretation, but a simple idea people have looked into. God put this search on their minds at the appointed time. Many brilliant men have spent their lives searching the Bible for this kind of thing. Yet, this was left buried until the year it may come to pass. If 2008 as it is linked to 2015 is truly a significant year in God's unfolding plan for the end times or last days then God withheld it up to the last minute for His purposes.
This is about eclipses on the Jewish feast days or holidays as God set them up in the Bible. More so something I found even more amazing to do with 49 years (Jubilee), June 7, 1967 (the day Jerusalem first came under Jewish control in the Six Day War), Daniel 9:25 and Isaac Newton. Most of this has to do with easily obtainable facts and statistics that no one put together before now. Again, Daniel 12:4 comes to mind here.
Hmmm, definitely seems to be the "signs in the stars" Daniel prophesied about. So, you can see that's there's also a scientific and proven spiritual basis for all of this. There's so much more, but I've already gone on long enough.
What if all of this is accurate and spot on? What if the Rapture were to happen tomorrow? What's your initial reaction right now? What will you do with these last few, precious hours on earth before we are caught up with our Lord and Savior?
Like I said, there have been several people who have made claims to have known the timing of the Rapture and they were proven false so I recognize that this could be just another in a long line of well-meaning, but completely wrong Christians.
I also recognize the risk of damaging one's witness and testimony for appearing as though one is a "date-setter" only to have that day come and go like any other.
Even so, we are commanded to watch and pray that we are worthy to escape what's to come. We're also told that very few Christians will make it. It's important to ask ourselves and God why that is. Perhaps this three-part series gives us a glimpse into some of the reasons why - because we were unwilling to consider an alternative interpretation from the one we've grown so accustomed to.
I will admit that there's compelling evidence that tomorrow could be a truly historic day. Lord, I sincerely hope so! If it's not, I will continue to seek my Lord and Savior with all of my heart and soul.
Hope to see you in Heaven soon!