"The Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect." Matthew 24:44
I'm a date-setter. In fact, I'm probably an incurable date-setter, but this isn't about being "right" - or about knowing tomorrow's news today. Rather, it's about being ready for events that the Lord says are inevitable. It's about spiritual preparation for the certainty of the harvest and, for some readers, the subsequent tribulation and judgment. You need not accept any of these eschatological conclusions; in fact, rather than accepting my conclusions, I urge you to read the scriptures and form your own.
Or just read the news; anyone who tracks current events — whether in business, culture, economics, medicine, politics, technology, or weather — can see that there is an irresistible and irreversible paradigm shift in our immediate future. The Bible speaks of this in great detail. Decide for yourself if the obvious dove-tailing of Biblical prophecy and current events is just a large number of "coincidences."
Here Comes the Future
The Lord gives His people prophetic warnings so we can prepare, and also so that we see that He is in control. Fulfilled prophecy authenticates His message to us. He wants us to rest confidently in Him, and He wants us to be ready for the future as it unfolds.
I've seen the explanations that prophetic events are "symbolic" or "allegorical" or that because they have already been fulfilled in some sense, no further fulfillment is necessary. I don't buy it. I believe that every prophesied event will take place, and when they do, there will be NO DOUBT as to its fulfillment. Jesus did not ride into Jerusalem allegorically, or on a symbolic donkey. And until there is a deep valley throught the Mount of Olives (see Zechariah 14:4), I will remain a futurist.
When Jesus came 2000 years ago, He fulfilled prophecies precisely. He presented Himself as the Messiah on the exact day indicated in the book of Daniel; 483 years to the day from the time of the decree to restore and build Jerusalem.
I began with a few premises:
"Splitting" a prophecy into two fulfillments is not unscriptural, or even unusual. One well-known example is by the Lord Himself, as recorded in the Gospel of Luke:
"The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." Then He closed the book ... - Luke 4:18-20
Jesus stopped mid-sentence in a prophecy of Isaiah 61:1-2, leaving out "and the day of vengeance of our God." The "acceptable year of the Lord" was at hand. Though the "day of vengeance" is part of the same prophecy, it was not being fulfilled at that time. I have concluded that a similar situation confronts us in the prophecy of Joel cited by Peter on the morning of the Pentecost that initiated the "Church Age":
But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:'And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.- Acts 2:14-21; Joel 2:28-32
Peter explains the activity that will fulfill the feast associated with Pentecost. The first half occurred about 1984 years ago: the outpouring of God's Spirit, prophesy, visions and dreams, for the young and old, for men and women. Fulfillments were documented in the book of Acts, beginning at the "first" Pentecost. In addition, it appears from NASA's eclipse calculator that there were also solar and lunar eclipses at that time.
However, Peter also spoke of other things associated with the feast that would happen: wonders in heaven, signs in the earth, blood, fire and vapor of smoke. These did not occur on the day Peter spoke. They are connected to an appeal by the Jews to the Lord for deliverance, and that appeal has yet to be made. This led me to conclude that Pentecost is only half-fulfilled!
What follows is an examination of this unfulfilled promise: that the "blindness of Israel" will end and the Jews will recognize and embrace Jesus Christ as Messiah. I believe that when this happens, the "second half" of Pentecost will have occurred and the "Church Age" will be closed.
Paul wrote concerning this to the Christians in Rome:
For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:"The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins."- Romans 11:25-27
Paul is referring to a prophecy in Isaiah:
According to their deeds, accordingly He will repay, fury to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies; the coastlands He will fully repay. So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD will lift up a standard against him.
This brings in a lot of additional information about "that day." We do not simply see a national spiritual awakening in Israel; we see judgment and recompense. We see an enemy moving "like a flood" against Israel, the Israelites returning to the Lord in faith and repentance, and the Lord delivering His people.
Let's take another look at Joel's prophecy:
Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the LORD is coming, for it is at hand:
This is a description of an invading army swarming over the land like a cloud, and the people of the land are terrified! Not surprisingly, this passage dovetails perfectly with Ezekiel's description of the same event. Joel is speaking to the people being invaded, but the Lord tells Ezekiel to speak to the invaders:
"Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords...
Joel gives the people direction on an appropriate course of action:
Blow the trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly;
A huge enemy army is sweeping through the land, and the nation of Israel seems to be entirely at their mercy. The slaughter has already begun (two-thirds of the people in the land will be killed) and Joel is basically saying, "All hands on deck!" He prescribes the actions of last resort. Zechariah tells us what will happen next:
And it shall come to pass in all the land," Says the LORD, "That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, but one-third shall be left in it. I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, 'This is My people'; and each one will say, 'The LORD is my God.' " - Zechariah 13:8-9
Facing the very real possibility of complete annihilation, they finally listen to the testimony of those Messianic Jews among them who point to the scriptures and to the Lord Jesus Christ as their only hope of deliverance. Jesus, of course, told them a long time ago that this day would come:
See! Your house is left to you desolate; and assuredly, I say to you, you shall not see Me until the time comes when you say, 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' - Luke 13:35Jesus was quoting from Psalm 118:26, which is clearly consistent with the distress the Jews will face:
All nations surrounded me, but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. They surrounded me, Yes, they surrounded me; but in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. They surrounded me like bees; They were quenched like a fire of thorns; For in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. You pushed me violently, that I might fall, But the LORD helped me. - Psalm 118:10-13
And then the Lord will respond, as He said He would. The Jews will have acknowledged their offense:
"I will return again to My place until they acknowledge their offense. Then they will seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me."
The "two days" (see 2 Peter 3:8) spoken of by Hosea have transpired. They began when the Jews rejected their Messiah. We read of the culminating rejection in John 19:15 but Jesus' whole life was one of rejection, as prophesied by Isaiah (Isaiah 53:2-3).
And, as we see, the Lord delivers the remnant He has chosen, while simultaneously visiting severe judgment on His enemies:
And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the remnant whom the LORD calls. - Joel 2:32
You shall fall on the open field; for I have spoken," says the Lord GOD.
What I Believe the next six months will look like.
(Note: this was written in January 2009 and amended/updated in June)
The world economy is, by design, in a collapse. I believe that in the time immediately following the "inauguration" of "Barack Obama" (not his real name), we will see more signs of collapse, including power outages, business bankruptcies and closings, bank failures, food shortages and the like. These will be orchestrated by the New World Order folks in order to make us more amenable to their "solution" to the problem.
In retrospect, it appears my instincts were fairly good, though the global economy has held together longer than I expected. American support for Israel has become weaker even as the CIA and other behind-the-scenes operatives have fomented strife in Syria and Ukraine, and Obama has antagonized Russia and China. Many are waiting for that "last straw" - some event that will launch World War III.
At (or shortly after) the time of the rapture, the Lord will intensify His judgment on America — the "coastlands" — leaving a
Some have suggested that the "land of unwalled villages" is another reference to America:
'Thus says the Lord GOD: "On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan:
This would certainly make sense. Without doubt, we are "a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land." (verse 12) Would it really be surprising for Russia to attack the U.S. in conjunction with an attack against Israel?
The word for "unwalled villages" ("peraza") is used in two other places in scripture, and neither of those places appears to be in the land of Israel. One (Esther 9:19) is clearly in the Persian empire, and the second use (Zechariah 2:4) compares Jerusalem to "towns without walls" without specifying where those towns might be.
What About the Church?
Whether or not the church would go through the tribulation period has been a debated question for a long time, but I think it's a misleading question. The real question is: will the church be on the earth during Daniel's 70th week? And I believe the answer to that question is "no." In Revelation chapter 7 we see the Lord sealing 144,000 Jews, and these are the only ones sealed. No Gentiles or Christians are in view. In Revelation 9:4 we see a scourge unleashed upon the earth that torments all those who are not sealed. One can only conclude that the Christians are removed before the Jews are sealed.
How far before is not clear from the passage. One might surmise that the Christians are all martyred, and are seen "under the altar" at the opening of the fifth seal. This, of course, would remove the rapture event from the entire end-time scenario. Much more likely, and much more consistent with the whole panorama of end-time events, is the removal of the Church before the 70th week.
The Jewish focus of the book of Revelation has been well noted. However, the 70 weeks are also focussed on Israel. Daniel was speaking, praying, and confessing his sin and the sin of his people Israel when Gabriel arrived and gave him understanding. Gabriel stated that "Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city." This is an unmistakable reference to the people of Israel and the city of Jerusalem.
If the re-establishment of Israel is a sign of the end times, as many have concluded, and if "this generation" in Matthew 24:36 began in May of 1948, then the seventy-year generation would end in May of 2018. This is also obviously consistent with Jesus' parousia in May of 2016. There is no requirement that the coming occur at the last possible moment, and in fact Jesus said the days of wrath would be shortened (see Matthew 24:22) for the sake of the elect. Some flesh must be preserved in order to populate the Millennial Kingdom, and the descriptions of the judgments falling on the world leave no doubt that these will be very difficult days.
In Revelation 12:7-9 something particularly horrifying happens: Satan and his followers are cast out of heaven and onto the earth. This means that these creatures no longer abide in the spiritual realm, and they must either obtain embodiment on earth or be cast into torment (Matthew 8:29).
Satan will choose embodiment, of course, and he already has his body picked out: the one whom we call "The Antichrist." In the middle of the 70th week the Antichrist will be fully possessed by Satan, who will then break the confirmed covenant (Daniel 9:27) by sitting in the temple of God and attempting to make himself the object of all worship. This is the Abomination of Desolation (Matthew 24:15).
Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate." - Daniel 9:27
If this happens in the middle of the 70th week, and the week starts at the end of May, 2014, we are looking at Satan cast out, obtaining embodiment and presenting himself to all surviving men in late November or December of 2017.
Return of the Nephilim?
Much has been written concerning those fallen angels who chose human wives and created a hybrid race:
The sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.
And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day. - Jude 1:6If this is going on today — and many scholars believe this is EXACTLY what is happening under the guise of UFOs and "alien abductions" — then the culture is being primed to accept these hybrids as benevolent inter-galactic visitors. This is a major part of the "great deception" that will soon overwhelm the world.
Of immediate interest to us is the question of when these "fallen ones" will come out of hiding and visibly begin advancing their agenda. Clearly, they will be FORCED to do so at the time they are driven out of the spiritual realm. Knowing that this is inevitable, and possibly knowing when this will take place, they are already signalling their manifestation. The time they are presenting is December 21, 2012. This is 3½ years after the proposed fulfillment of the battle of Ezekiel 38, and 3½ years before the time of the coming that we determined from Bill Wiese's vision and Mark Biltz's research.
What To Do - How To Prepare