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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Hundred-Fifty-Sixth (Looking Forward)

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

With all the things happening in the world these days, if you haven't noticed, the predictions and date setting of end times is on the rise. There are many self-purported "prophets" trying to line up current events to scripture in an effort to determine when Yeshua will return and/or when all the believers will be removed from the earth. That being the case, it's prudent to make sure we're familiar with scripture to the point at which we can discern truth from falsehood, or at least point out when something is clearly false even if we don't have the answer to what truly will happen at the end.

One of the things that is key to look out for when trying to figure out if someone's conclusion is true is whether or not their assumptions are valid. These are the things they are basing their whole argument on, so much like the foundation of a building if they are not solid their argument is not solid. For example, I watched a video the other day where the individual's whole argument, that the rapture will occur in September of this year, was based on the false assumption that in Daniel, the prophecies referencing the daily sacrifices being ended (Daniel 8:11-13, 11:31, 12:11) were actually referring to daily life, not specifically sacrifices. He was trying to use the fact that the world's response to COVID disrupted daily life as a time marker with which to base all the lengths of days in Daniel's prophecies. This was all because translators added the word "sacrifice" in scripture, so his assumption was that the "daily" was not the daily sacrifice the Israelites performed at the tabernacle and subsequently the temple.

What he failed to realize is that the Hebrew word used for daily only refers to the daily sacrifice. It is used in Numbers and Nehemiah, in addition to Daniel, and in all those cases is accompanied by the word offering, or sacrifice (Numbers 4:7, 16, 20:10, 15, 23-24, 28:31, 29:6, 11, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31, 34, 28, Nehemiah 10:33). Whether he knew this, or overlooked it, I don't know, but this type of thing is not only damaging to the credibility and reputation of Christians, as it's just another example of a failed prediction of major events we are looking forward to, it also leads those believers with less of a foundation in the Word down the wrong path. Unless they dig in deeper into scripture, all that this person presented is credible and they may take it on, and even go out and spread it (which is exactly how I came upon the videos). Ultimately, this does not help the body, those that are disciples, because this is a false teaching. It may even hurt as people may start to believe none of scripture is true, or those not yet part of the body will point to this as a reason not to believe.

On the other side of the spectrum, you find believers that promote the view that despite all that we see happening, we're on a gradual path of Yeshua's kingdom coming to full fruition and eventually everything will perfect. Their view is that the new heaven and new earth came into existence in 70 AD upon the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. I read a book recently describing some of this view, and it claimed that all of what Yeshua prophesied in Matthew 24 has occurred already, stating that it all culminated in the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD. While there are a lot of things that did come to pass then, when you look at all of what He predicted and compare all three accounts of what He said (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21), there are things that simply don't fit with that view. Certainly not when you look at other references to the new heaven and new earth throughout scripture (Isaiah 65:17-25, 2 Peter 3:10, 12-13, Revelation 21).

In fact, when you correlate all those references together, you find that when the current heavens and earth pass away (Matthew 24:35) it will be on the day of the Lord (2 Peter 3:8-13) and with that will come the utter and complete destruction of evildoers (Malachi 4:1-3) and the whole earth will be consumed by fire (Zephaniah 1:18). All these references involve destruction (described physically) both in the Old Testament and New (1 Thessalonians 5:3). Now, I don't know about you, but I can't see anything currently or historically that lines up with these prophecies, either literally or figuratively, without a giant leap of the imagination. Don't get me wrong, the events of Jerusalem in 70 AD were horrific. The siege led to eating their own children to survive. That, in my opnion, definitely qualifies as a "great tribulation" (Matthew 24:21). However, scripture says a lot of things will happen on the day of the Lord, and those were not fulfilled in 70 AD.

Over the past couple years, we have learned through our studies that the feasts YHWH commanded are a sort of road map to the major events of His plan for us. Therefore, as we get closer to the end of His timeline for this earth, it's worth familiarizing ourselves with the feasts that have not yet been fulfilled. Out of the seven feasts commanded, three have yet to be fulfilled. Passover (Deuteronomy 16:1-3) was fulfilled upon Yeshua's crucifixion as our Passover Lamb, Unleavened Bread (Deuteronomy 16:8) was fulfilled with His burial in the tomb, Firstfruits (Leviticus 23:9-14) was fulfilled with His resurrection as the firstfruits of the resurrection of believers, and Pentecost (Leviticus 23:15-22) was fulfilled when the Holy Spirit was given to believers following the resurrection.

The remaining feasts, Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles, have not yet been fulfilled. These line up with prophetic events that obviously also have not yet been fulfilled. During the Feast of Trumpets (Leviticus 23:23-25), trumpets were sounded (of course!) which were actually ram's horns. A bull, ram, seven lambs, fine flour mixed with oil and a male goat were added to the monthly and daily offerings (Numbers 29:1-6). That's quite a lot! We know from previous study that trumpets were used for various reasons. The one we looked at was the sounding of the ram's horn as the signal for the people to approach the mountain and into the presence of YHWH (Exodus 19:13). This is clearly what the Feast of Trumpets represents: the announcing of our imminent entering into the presence of God. It will be fulfilled in concert with the trumpets of Revelation (Revelation 8, 9, 11:15-19), and I believe it will line up with when the Feast of Trumpets is to be observed in whatever year Yeshua will return.

The Day of Atonement has the same sacrifice/offering requirements of the Feast of Trumpets. This feast represented the cleansing of all sins (Leviticus 16) and had one slight difference from other feasts in that one of the offerings made was actually a live goat sent into the wilderness. In most translations, it's called a scapegoat, but the actualy Hebrew is the name of a fallen angel: Azazel. According to the book of Enoch, all sin is ascribed to him, so to me it's a more accurate name than Satan, which just means accuser in Hebrew. This feast, therefore, will be fulfilled when Azazel (Satan) is sent into the wilderness (the bottomless pit) just before the 1000 year reign of Yeshua on earth (Revelation 20). Again, just as the previously fulfilled feasts, I believe this event will line up with when that feast will occur in that year.

The final, and my most highly anticipated, feast is the Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:33-44). This will be fulfilled when Yeshua reigns over the whole earth from Jerusalem (Revelation 20:4). The fact that He will physically reign on earth, vice only a figurative reign as some believe, is supported by prophecies that have not yet been fulfilled. Zechariah, written hundreds of years before Yeshua's arrival, gives us prophecy of not only His first visit to earth, but His return to reign. In chapter 9, the image of Yeshua as King, riding in on a donkey, is prophesied (Zechariah 9:9-13). This particular passage is a summary of Yeshua's kingship that includes His return as it references coming against Greece, which obviously hasn't occurred yet. The next portion also prophesies future events as it references sounding the ram's horn and conquering (Zechariah 9:14-17). With these writings, it's no wonder the Jews of Yeshua's day were looking for the conquering King rather than the suffering Servant.

Jumping ahead, we see the thirty pieces of silver Judas betrayed Yeshua for (Zechariah 11:13) and a destruction of those surrounding and coming against Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:2-6). This obviously hasn't happened yet, nor the prophecy of the last chapter, which talks about YHWH becoming king over all the earth and a plague coming over all those who came against Jerusalem (Zechariah 14). This is where we find the proof of a literal physical reign of Yeshua on earth as it discusses survivors of the nations that came against Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles, and consequences for those that don't. This, clearly, has not yet occurred and certainly the political climate in the middle east, and a majority of the rest of the world, regarding Israel is not on a path for this to occur without our King Yeshua returning.

So, in the end, as we've seen time and time again, it all comes down to ensuring we are well versed in scripture, or at least verify what people claim or predict using scripture. Hopefully, with our study today we're that much more familiar with what is to come and are better prepared to weed out the false prophecies and false prophets that will surely increase in number as we get closer to the end. Beware of those that attempt to loosely tie current events to prophetic scripture, and especially those that base their conclusions on incorrect assumptions.

Shabbat shalom and YHWH bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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