This post is a review of what I’ve covered in more detail these past 18 weeks. If you haven’t followed my posts, I suggest you do so.
So, the point of this blog and my earlier posts was to look at modern history and recent events and how they might fit into John’s prophecies in the Book of Revelation. After all, it’s these current events that will usher in Christ’s return. Many expect some cataclysmic chain of catastrophes to bring about the “end of the world,” along with the removal of the church and the rise of a tyrannical world leader set on killing as many Jews and Christians as possible. But is that biblical?
Jesus told us several things that would belie that idea. He said his return would be like a “thief in the night” (1 Ths 5:2, Mat 24:43), and that the days preceding His return would be like “the days of Noah” (Mat 24:37, Luk 17:26) when “they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage . . .” and “the days of Lot” (Luk 17:28) when “they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building . . .” A rapture of the church would be like the thief tripping multiple alarms as he entered the building. Those “left behind” wouldn’t be stupid or suddenly forget that many in the church taught about a rapture. They would be expecting Christ’s return. The rise of a global tyrant hunting and killing God’s people would not likely result in business as usual with eating and drinking, buying and selling, and so on. Am I next? Is he coming for my children? Rampant fear would clamp down on life as we know it.
Instead, as Jesus stated, life will go on as we know it . . . until that terrifying “day of the Lord” when He returns to defend Jerusalem and His people, and defeats both His spiritual and earthly enemies. Even Death and Hades will be destroyed and thrown into the lake of fire. Yet, His people, those who have called on His Name, will be preserved to eternal life with Him in a new heaven and earth.
Many also believe that we’re not to know the hour or the day of His coming. However, that, too, isn’t completely biblical. In Matthew 13:11, He says,
. . . To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.
And then we’re told:
32 From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the very gates. (Matthew 24:32-33)
4 But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. (1 Thessalonians 5:4)
This last verse, in particular, should tell us that we’re not to be unaware of what’s happening around us and to know when to expect Him.
When I mentioned not knowing the hour or the day being not completely biblical, I recognize that Jesus told us:
“But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. [Mar 13:32 ESV]
“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only. [Mat 24:36 ESV]
As I stated in an earlier post, this is likened to a traditional Jewish wedding where upon becoming betrothed, a man was to build a house for his bride. Only when the man’s father was satisfied with that house did he tell his son, “Go and get your bride.” How do I reconcile this verse with those above about not being surprised? I see this verse as a clue to His return. Yom Teruah, the Jewish civil New Year, 1 Tishrei, was known for being the holiday for which the hour and day were not known. As the only holiday to occur on the first day of a month, it occurred only upon being declared by the High Priest after confirmation of the new moon by two or more witnesses. That confirmation could come at any hour on either of two days depending on whether the new moon was spotted before or after 6 pm, the beginning of a new day. The priest announced it with the blowing of trumpets. It was a day of celebration and feasting. With respect to the verses above, only the Father can tell His Son it’s time to return for His bride.
Can we know the date of His return? I believe so. How else could we be prepared? In Matthew, we further read:
Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. [Mat 24:44 ESV]
Note that He says He’ll return at an hour we do not expect. He makes no mention of day or date.
As such, I contend that Christ will return on Yom Teruah. This seems fitting in more ways than being heralded by trumpets and celebrating. Rev 12 gives us clues as to when Jesus was born. When added to other clues in scripture, it appears that He was born on Sept 11, 3 BC. That was Yom Teruah of that year. It’s also Jewish tradition that Yom Teruah is the anniversary of the first day of the creation of man (Adam and Eve), as well as Noah’s birthday. I’m told that Yom Teruah was also the traditional day for the coronation of ancient Israeli kings, although I’m still looking for corroboration of that. Many scholars for centuries have taught that the autumn Jewish feasts would be fulfilled by His Second Coming. His return on Yom Teruah fits, just as it appears that His first advent occurred on that holiday.
While the date of the Lord’s birth is an interesting aside, in reality, it’s superfluous in many ways to us today. We know when Yom Teruah/Rosh Hashanah will occur in coming years. We can be prepared. However, today it is celebrated as a two-day holiday because of the past traditions, even though our computers can tell us exactly when the new moon will occur. Do we have a clue as to which of those two days it might be? I’ll get to that.
Most people find Revelation to be confusing and not understandable. Yet, when you begin to understand the Old Testament (OT) “roots” to its prophecies, that confusion starts to fade away. The OT is all John had to “work” with, so we need to look at the book with this in mind. Also, many of John’s prophecies were the same as those of some OT prophets—primarily Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Psalms. While the OT prophets foretold of judgments on ancient Israel and neighboring nations, John universalized those to the church and the world today. We talk of OT “types” and “foreshadows” when teaching the New Testament (NT). The same is true for Revelation. Much of what happened to ancient Israel and other nations in the OT will be true of nations today. Revelation’s judgments even follow a pattern set in Leviticus 26.
The Word says that judgment falls upon the household of God first. We see that in Revelation, in which Christ passes judgments on the church first. To summarize, some in the church became loveless, worldly, spiritually dead; followed false doctrine; and allowed complacency to take over. They tolerated immorality, pagan cults, and idolatry while allowing “self” to take control. Christ called on the church to remember its faith and first love, to repent for its shortcomings, and to repeat the works it did at first. The same is true today. Many churches embrace Marxist ideology and/or the LGBTQ+ lifestyles. Many no longer evangelize as that would be seen as unaccepting of other religions or as unloving. Many place programs over true teaching. Many teach that morality is relative, despite the Bible clearly showing it as absolute. Christ said that in the latter days many would fall away (Mat 24:10). He even questioned whether or not He would find faith still in existence at His return (Luk 18:8). For many in “the church” today, it’s guilty as charged.
After Christ’s call for changes in His assembly (church), John moves into three sets of judgments against the world, primarily against those who refuse to follow Him. These judgments fall into sets of seven, as described in Leviticus 26. The Leviticus passages hold a fourth set of judgments, which we see in Revelation as the seven thunders, but John was told not write those down. Following the OT pattern, these judgments start with a goal of getting people’s attention and drawing them to repentance but increase in severity to a point where they become punitive in and of themselves.
Clearly the seven Seal Judgments began right after Christ’s ascension. We’ve been seeing those events happening sporadically across the globe for centuries. But recently, say starting in 2000, the turn of the millennium, there’s been an uptick in severity. In the seven Trumpet Judgments, we see a third of the trees destroyed by fire and a third of the grass affected as well. The UN started globally tracking wildfires in our forests in 2000. By 2006 a third of the earth’s woodlands had been destroyed by fire. Drought and fire have had a similar effect on our grasslands, although no one appears to be tracking that.
Because of the way we’re educated today, we tend to think of events happening in moments, as in a moment in history. However, history tends to progress in waves, and that’s shown clearly in the OT. God’s judgments occurred over time, not in single moments. Ex., a famine would last years, and Israel wandered the wilderness for 40 years. So, it’s unlikely that we’ll see a third of the planet on fire at any one, given time, despite climate scientists warning of increasing risks of wildfires with each new summer season in both the northern and southern hemispheres. Instead, John’s visions were seeing those waves of history unfolding, with God’s promise to intensify His judgment if people did not respond and repent. As such, the Seal Judgments affected a quarter of the earth but they intensified as depicted by the Trumpet Judgments where a third of the earth has been affected.
Likewise, pestilence, plague, famine (fourth seal), and more seem to be on the rise. Monetary inflation (third seal), too, is on the rise. Pun intended. The undersea volcano (second trumpet?), Hunga Tonga, erupted in January 2022 and ejected more water vapor and aerosols into the atmosphere than any other recorded volcanic eruption. More volcanoes are erupting or threatening to erupt, and each will eject ash and aerosols into the atmosphere. Will that get to a point where a third of the light from the sun, moon, and stars will be blocked (fourth trumpet)? In reality, we’re already close to that point according to satellite data. The powers-that-be continue to deny God’s hand in these events and claim them to be manmade climate change. I guess we can agree that it is manmade—the result of mankind’s ignoring God and proclaiming itself sovereign and equal to God.
I mentioned that many believe in a global despot who comes on the scene to wreak havoc on God’s people. The Bible never explicitly mentions such an individual, while it does mention a “spirit of antichrist” that becomes dominant. In Rev 13, we do learn of two beasts, one from the sea and one from the land. These beasts follow the pattern and hold the characteristics of the beasts in Daniel. As I wrote in an earlier post, I contend that the beast from the sea, with its seven heads and ten crowns, is the global government, or Deep State, as we call it today. The Deep State’s plans for global totalitarianism were delayed (wounded) by the unexpected election of President Trump. As such, I see him as causing the wound to one of those seven heads, while the rise of Biden to that role shows the wound to have been healed. The beast from the land, with only two heads, is manifest by the MSM and corporate world which promote the Deep State and do its bidding. We saw that with COVID where the government let big business impose mask and vaccine mandates while the mainstream media played cheerleader for everything the Deep State wanted. We’re likely to see that again with the imposition of global or state-issued IDs that will restrict travel, buying and selling, and more. The push toward a centralized global currency is leading us quickly to that, and social scores have already been used to debank or deplatform those deemed unworthy by the Deep State elites.
I also proposed a novel interpretation for the number 666 as representing a percentage. The idea of it being the gematria of a global tyrant’s name is far too complex. How do you spell the name? Do you use full names, or just initials? The potential candidates could become endless. However, the word for number, arithmos, in that famous verse applies to counting as in a census. Plus, there are three examples within the OT where one-third of the people survive while two-thirds (the wicked) perish. Ahab’s attempted murder of Elijah by three squads of 50 men is a prime example (2 Kings 1:9-13).
In the same way that many expect an individual Antichrist, they also anticipate the arrival of two witnesses. Elijah is expected by all, while some vote for Moses and others vote for Enoch as the number two guy. These witnesses will testify for 42 months prior to the return of Christ. Perhaps we’ll see them. That would be amazing, in fact, and watching fire spew from their mouths would be a spectacular show. I suspect, however, that these two witnesses are simply symbolic for the church. We are to be spreading the Gospel.
Perhaps my biggest “claim” is that this 42-month period is another clue to when Christ will return. Again, I don’t say “thus saith the Lord,” and I recognize that every generation has had its share of people claiming Christ will return in their lifetime. You won’t see me walking the streets, bearded and wearing a white robe carrying a placard saying, “The End is Near.”
Yet maybe it is. If indeed, the beast of the sea secured its reign (also prophesied to be 42 months) with the rise of Biden, and if indeed, Christ is to return on Yom Teruah, when would that be? Three-and-a-half years would place us into the fall of 2024. Recognize that God is a God of order and precision. When He told Abraham that his descendants would be in Egypt for 400 years, they were in Egypt for 400 years. When He told Daniel there would be 70 sevens of years before the temple would be defiled, the times changed, and so forth, there were 490 years until Antiochus IV Epiphanes fulfilled that vision. Halfway through the final seven years, Antiochus defiled the temple by sacrificing pigs on an altar to Zeus within it, which led to the successful Maccabean revolt and Antiochus’ death. That 3.5-year period (42 months) is a foreshadow of the time we’re living in today.
So, what are we looking at regarding Yom Teruah 2024? The two-day celebration will occur on October 3-4 (sunset on Oct 2 through sunset Oct 4). What happened 42 months earlier in 2021? Easter was held on the last day of Passover week—the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread—PRECISELY 42 months before Yom Teruah 2024–April 4, 2021 to Oct 4, 2024. For those who would argue for 1,260 days, that’s using the Zadokite calendar which doesn’t correspond well to the Hellenistic calendar in use in John’s day. John specifically said 42 months (Rev 13:5). To me, this is significant, as God’s timetables are always based on events within the Bible, events that He ordained. At no other time in this decade is there a precise 42-month interval between Passover/Unleavened Bread and Yom Teruah. [That also applies to Easter, but Easter isn’t a holiday ordained by God and listed in scripture.]
Could Christ be returning in 10 months? I can’t say so with assurance, but maranatha!
The beast makes a reappearance in Rev 17-18, but new information is added. The blasphemous names cover its body while its seven heads now represent kings (nations). All told, the beast now introduces a total of 18 kings into the picture, of which five are no more. The remaining 13 kings could well represent the Muslim nations sworn to the annihilation of Israel. These 13 occupy territory defined in Ezekiel 38 as the lands of Persia, Cush, Put, Gomer, and Beth-togarmah. Gomer and Beth-togarmah occupy lands of the descendants of Meshech and Tubal, sons of Japheth, which today encompasses a large swath of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and the southern Caucasus. The current war with Hamas, a puppet of Iran and Qatar, is likely to lead to Armageddon, at which time the Lord returns. To see this all develop over the next ten months is not farfetched.
BTW, Gog is mentioned as the chief prince of Magog. He is the (fallen) angelic being over that region, just as Michael is described as the chief prince of Israel in Daniel. His being mentioned shows the spiritual side of this battle, which in many ways is really the main battle. Christ ultimately defeats His spiritual foes and those fallen beings will die like men (Ps 82).
So, where do you stand? Are you talking with family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors about Jesus? Do you support the spread of the Gospel to other nations? Spreading the Gospel is the “works you did at first” (Rev 2:5), for which the church in Ephesus was criticized for abandoning. If you think Christ is coming next fall, how will that change your life? For me, it’s time to dig even deeper into His Word, to ask for increasing faith, and to try to reconnect with those I’d hate to see lost for eternity.
This is the last of my weekly posts on Countdown:Revelation. I’m taking a break for the holidays and looking for much-needed time to focus on my next novel. As events occur across the globe that affect what I’ve envisioned coming our way or seem to fit John’s prophecies, I’ll add a new post. Until then, God bless . . . and have a Merry Christmas—even if He was born in September.