Most students of end times prophecy are in agreement that the nation of Israel is the centerpiece and fulcrum point which all other accompanying signs revolve. The challenging aspect here pertains to identifying and deciphering these signs. Here are three largely misunderstood and over-looked components that I have found to be extremely effective tools. If properly applied (and this is a huge “if”), I believe our understanding will be significantly enhanced.
(1) The Seven Feasts of Israel:
“These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.” (Lev.23:4).
No study of the end times is complete without a proper understanding of the framework of the seven major Jewish Festivals or “appointments” the Lord has established in their larger prophetic context. In a nutshell, they reveal the nature and timing of God’s plan for the redemption of humanity. Just as the spring Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and Pentecost were all prophetically related to Christ’s atoning work at his First Coming, the remaining three fall Feasts – Trumpets, Atonement and Tabernacles pertain to His Second Coming.
The chronological order in which the seven Feasts were instituted may prove to be very significant. Since the first four Feasts were fulfilled consecutively, it would seem to follow that the last three will do likewise. However, since we await their ultimate fulfillment, we should not say with certainty how they will play out. There are varying viewpoints among ardent students of the prophetic Scriptures concerning their order and timing.
But it is the common denominator, the point of overwhelming agreement that exists between these followers of Christ that is so very exciting – the recognition that Jesus fulfilled the spring Feasts to the letter at His first coming. With that realization, my heart leaps with an expectant confidence that He will “seal up vision and prophecy”(Dan.9:24) by way of the fall Feasts!
(2) Biblical Astronomy – The Hebrew Mazzaroth:
There is a vast difference between Biblical astronomy and astrology. Please be aware of the vast distinction and thereby avoid the error of “throwing the baby (astronomy) out with the bath water” (astrology). Astrology is offensive to God because it attributes to planets and stars the power that belongs to God alone; it is essentially the worship of the stars instead of the God who created them. Rom.1:25 – “Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creation more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”
The practice of astrology is strictly forbidden in the Word of God (Deut.4:9). The truth is found in Biblical astronomy. It was the One True God of the Bible – YHWH – that created, numbered, and named all the celestial orbs in the universe (Ps.147:4). He also arranged the stars into recognizable groups that we call constellations. (Amos 5:8).
In the book of Job, the oldest book in the Bible, it is stated, “Can you lead forth the Mazzaroth in their season?” (Job 38:32a). The Mazzaroth refers to the mapping out of the appearances of the stars into twelve portions, which received from the Greeks the name of the “zodiac”.
Many are unaware of the fact that one of God’s purposes in creating the heavens (celestial firmament) was to showcase His signs or messages to the world – (Gen.1:14; Luke 21:11,15). On Sept.23,2017, God delivered His most important sign since the birth of Christ. At that time, a unique alignment formed in the heavens matching The Great Sign of the Woman in Rev.12:1,2.
Keep in mind that it was a heavenly sign, in the form of the Star of Bethlehem, that heralded the First Coming of Jesus Christ. Now, slightly more than 2000 years later, it appears that the Great Sign of the Woman is and was that wondrous sign which announced the nearness of His Second Coming!
(3) Bible Numerics:
Rev.13:18 – “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man: and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.”(666).
Here in the text, the phrase “let him count” is the Greek word psephizo – Strong’s Concordance number G5585 – to use pebbles in enumeration, i.e. (generally) to compute – count.
Here is undeniable and overwhelming evidence that the utilization of numbers (“Bible numerics”) in the interpretation of end times prophecy is biblical and not “lunatic fringe”. Instead we are told that the use of numerics is not only wise, but essential to the desciphering of certain Biblical “mysteries’. Prov.25:2 – “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings to search a matter out”.
Keep in mind this fact – if it were impossible for anyone to discover the identity of the beast (the Antichrist, “Mr.666”), it would be folly for God to call that person wise or to encourage him to seek it out. The “tool” of Bible numerics, like any other system of deciphering truth must be rightly applied, and if it is, there will always be a remnant of Christ’s followers who will discern it as truth with the aid of the Holy Spirit.
Throughout the Scriptures there are many patterns associated with day counts. However, we must strive to keep a balanced approach, although numbers are an instrument used to detect patterns, numbers do not always guarantee a continued pattern, and therefore an assured prophetical fulfillment.
It is my belief that God has been using numerics in the form of gematria as well as the word-to-number coding found in Strong’s Concordance. They are methods in which God is utilizing to convey and “animate” His signs to all those who will diligently seek them. What an exciting time to be alive as a follower of Jesus Christ.