NOTE: Some will claim that this is only a theory, but I believe it's pure Biblical truth. If it's just a theory it's a pretty good one! Why? Because it's rooted in the truth of Scripture; Scripture you can read, interpret, and analyze for yourself in comparison to the conclusions that will be presented. Make a note of this and forward this to your family and friends like it was forwarded to me. Post in on your fridge. Study it daily to test it for yourself and strengthen your faith. 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 off the mark 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" regarding these end times. This is one of the most remarkable interpretations of prophecy (specifically having to do with the Rapture) that I've ever seen! Can you tell I'm just a little excited here? Amen! If we believe and understand what he wrote to be true then it appears who have just learned from one of those failures! It would seem there's been another discovery! God's Word is beyond amazing! There's simply no words to describe Him or the beauty of His Holy Bible!
You'll recall my "Rethinking The Rapture Series" from a few weeks back. I strongly urge you to read/re-read this series before continuing (at the very least Part 3 and the Update).
Rethinking The Rapture (PART 1)
Rethinking The Rapture (PART 2)
Rethinking The Rapture (PART 3)
Rethinking The Rapture (UPDATE)
Obviously, when we students of prophecy seek to understand the timing of future events given to us through prophecy there's always the risk of people losing their faith. Wait, let me rephrase that. Perhaps it's not so much a case of people losing their faith as it is about people losing their hope let alone the desire and will to keep watching despite Jesus' admonition to us to do so.
So, naturally, when Rosh Hashana came and went and nothing happened - no Rapture - I'm sure some became discouraged. I'm also sure that some people like me (who were pointing to that date as a definite possibility) lost credibility. That's ok. This is not a popularity contest, but an exercise in trying to uncover the truth of a matter.
Let's remember what Grant Jeffrey once wrote:
"Many sincere students of prophecy have previously calculated dates for the fulfilling of these events, only to see the dates come and go, disproving their calculations. The result, of course, is that the world and most Christians tend to ridicule or ignore all prophecy completely. However, this attitude in unjustified. What other area of study, biblical or otherwise, is abandoned because earlier efforts failed to arrive at a complete understanding of the subject? If scholars had abandoned the study of such sciences as geology or physics simply because earlier theories proved to be inaccurate, there would be few scientists and little scientific knowledge today. We learn from the failures as well as the successes of early biblical scholars. We must avoid being dogmatic in setting dates so that we can have an open mind to interpret the data carefully and purposefully. Time alone will reveal whether or not we have correctly understood a specific prophecy. Jesus rebuked the spiritual leaders of Israel for not recognizing the signs of the Messiah's coming, which had been extensively prophesied in the Old Testament. In light of the tremendous number of prophecies regarding 'this generation' and Christ's command to 'Watch,' we should prudently inquire into what Scripture reveals about the timing of these important future events." From Armageddon: Appointment With Destiny, Pages 212-213
Simply put, the "non-event" (as it has been referred to since) on Rosh Hashana 2008 had to come to pass! The
Amen! If we believe and understand what he wrote to be true then it appears who have just learned from one of those failures! It would seem there's been another discovery! God's Word is beyond amazing! There's simply no words to describe Him or the beauty of His Holy Bible!
A QUICK REVIEW - THE RAPTURE ON ROSH HASHANA 2008
There were many reasons for the expectation of the Rapture to take place on Rosh Hashana/Feast of Trumpets 2008. One of them was the astronomical tetrad in the years 2014-2015 as discovered by U.S. Pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries. For only the third time in 2000 years, there will be a succession of total lunar eclipses on the feasts of Passover and Tabernacles in this Jewish years, including unusual solar eclipses.
It appeared that this could be the fulfillment of Yahushua's (Jesus') words, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light..." Matthew 24:29.
Calculating backwards 7 years, which is the duration of the 70th week of Daniel, called the Tribulation, the Feast of Trumpets 2008 became a focal point for the fulfillment of the pre-Tribulation Rapture.
Also, and in support of this, the Feast of Trumpets 2008 appeared to be the beginning of a new sabbatical cycle, or year week; a period of 7 years that will conclude the 50 year Jubilee cycle around about the year 2015!
Taking another look at the Sabbath year, which many believed to have passed on Rosh Hashana which was the end of the civil year, we discovered that the sacred calendar year only ends on the eve of 1 Nisan 5769 (around the end of March 2009). Rosh Hashana is in it's right position at the start of the seventh month of Tishrei on the sacred calendar!
According to the Scripture, Yahushua (Jesus), will return to the earth on the Final Jubilee, defeat the armies of the world at Armageddon, and restore the land of Israel to the Jewish people and usher in the Thousand year peace.
So then, are we prepared to be like the Bereans, "in that they received the word in all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11)? If we are willing to search and examine the Scriptures, and put a magnifying glass over them, we will surely find out why many have lapsed into a state of despair and disillusionment over the non-event of Rosh Hashanah 2008. Also, we will see that because of this condition, we are closer than ever before to His coming!
COULD IT BE!?! IS THIS REALLY IT!?! IS IT THAT CLOSE!?! IT WOULD APPEAR SO!!!
"Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom...But while the bridegroom was delayed they all slumbered and slept." Matthew 25:1-5.
Everything is summed up in these five verses! It doesn't matter whether we agree or disagree about the timelines pointing to Rosh Hashanah 2008. Because of these new timelines and new teachings and new understandings, millions of Christians around the world a few weeks back "took their lamps and went out to meet the Bridegroom" on this date, which was an appointed time [feast day] on the Hebrew calendar. And because "the Bridegroom was delayed" millions of Christians have lost hope that He is coming and are falling asleep and so they are no longer watching for Him with the same passion and fervor!
Do you see it? Oh, how I wish we could all see the simplicity of it all!
Of course, there were five wise and five foolish virgins who went out to meet Him. The Greek word for "foolish" is moros [Strong's 3474] and means "dull or stupid, blockhead." Our English word "moron" is derived from it. Oh dear! But the trouble is, "they all slumbered and slept," including the wise virgins.
These two verses lay the foundation for the coming of the Bridegroom, for the words of Yahushua (Jesus) seem not only to be a parable, but also a prophecy.
At some time in history, the Lord Jesus was saying that before He could come, ten [the number of ordinal perfection] virgins (representing the entire watchful Church?) would agree that the appointed time had arrived for their wedding day - the Rapture - much like many of us did a few weeks back. DO you recall the palpable excitement and anticipation that was in the air as we were convinced (at least I was) that given all the sign around us, including these new revelations and discoveries as the veil was being lifted for us, it had to be the right time! There was no other explanation because it all fit together so perfectly. And on that appointed Day, in their hearts (our hearts), as it were, they would all go out to meet with Him (we would all go out to meet with Him) "in the clouds" (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
And when that happened - He would delay! How did we miss this!?! See, this to me is just more proof about how piece-by-piece our Lord is revealing things to us that we couldn't see or understand before because IT WASN'T WITHIN HIS PERFECT TIMING and because WE WEREN'T SUPPOSED TO BE ABLE TO SEE THEM JUST YET.
Now, what does it take for all these virgins to agree upon a certain date? After all, they are not all at the same place, but spread around the world, and all of them have somewhat different perspectives and understandings about this Day. We are not talking here about a cult, where all agree by decree. Half the virgins, we may assume, are the Bride of Christ, who are filled with the Holy Spirit, the ones who, according to Yahushua, had oil in their lamps. And this whole company, both wise and foolish, are persuaded that on a certain date their Bridegroom is coming to marry them.
In the first place, it is not possible to go to an appointment without a time. Simply put, no person in their right mind will go to an appointment unless a time and date has been set.
It is becoming clearer now why there were so many timelines pointing to Rosh Hashanah 2008, a date that was not set by cults and cranks, but based upon the prophetic Word. That was the CRITICAL DISTINCTION with that entire interpretation and precisely why it excited so many people (myself included). Moreover, if it had been a date set by a single person or ministry, it is doubtful whether this event could have been fulfilled as Scripture requires it to be.
It is also clear that, since this was the wedding day of Yahushua Hamashiach, no such thing could have happened unless it had been sanctioned by the Holy Spirit. It is He that has been appointed to tell us "things to come" (John 16:13), and He alone, as at Palm Sunday (the delayed wedding date at the end of week 69 - Matthew 22:1-14, Matthew 21:1-11) could create this expectation in the hearts of men.
Therefore, many men and many ministries, and watchmen, all working together under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and guided by the Word of God, persuaded the ten virgins that the appointed time of their wedding day was Rosh Hashanah 2008.
If we place a magnifying glass over the Scripture, we see clearly that unless we did what we did on Rosh Hashanah 2008, the Lord will not come. For reasons which are not yet clear to us, the Spirit of Prophecy has decreed that until all ten virgins have common cause that the Bridegroom is coming, and at a certain fixed time, and act upon it, He will not come.
And if it was not this day, then this part of the Rapture process has not yet been fulfilled, for there has been no other day in the history of the Church that has fulfilled this pre-Rapture condition. Or are we to wait for another day at another time that all, or many, will agree upon?
Also, had we believed that He would delay; we would not have gone out to meet with Him?
If I should say to you, I will meet you on such and such a time on such and such a day, but I will be delayed, will you come out to meet with me? How then shall I persuade you to come out and meet with me, for knowing that I will delay, you will not come?
Yet He said, "But while the bridegroom was delayed." And in another place, "Though it delays, wait for it, for surely it will come. It will not tarry" (Habakkuk 2:3). And in another place, "For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry" (Hebrews 10:37). And He also delayed on Palm Sunday, saying, "The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy" (Matthew 22:8). Did we forget?
So then, He delays His wedding. Palm Sunday, the last day of the 69 weeks of Daniel, was His wedding day. It was delayed. Rosh Hashanah 2008 was also the appointed time of His wedding. It has also been delayed.
Are we then to lose heart, or fall asleep? Surely not. For then He said, "And at midnight a cry was heard: 'Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!'" (Matthew 25:6). He has only delayed so that He can come. Indeed, now that He has delayed, His coming is closer than ever!
Until He delayed, He could not come. Now that the appointed time has come and gone, and He is delaying, He will come! And He will come suddenly, "at midnight." It will be swift, sudden and unexpected for many. There will be no more time and no more warning.
"Cry" is the Greek, krauge, [Strong's 2906], "an outcry (in notification, tumult or grief), or clamour." Will the global financial system finally implode, or World War III break out beginning with India and Pakistan or Israel and Iran?
Clearly, the Rapture is not going to take place on a sunny day, but in the midst of calamity.
"Go out" is the Greek, exerchomai, meaning "come out of, or escape out of" [Strong's 1831], and "to meet" is apantesis, "a friendly encounter" [Strong's 529]. Did He not also say, "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man." (Luke 21:36)?
My dear friends, I am also disappointed that He delayed at Rosh Hashanah, but I am fully persuaded that God's watchmen were not wrong about this appointed time. And I am fully persuaded that the Rapture will be fulfilled EXACTLY as it has been set out in the Scripture, with a date, with a disappointment, and with a delay. For without a date, there is no appointed time, and without an appointed time, there can be no delay.
Whether men believe it or not, all who waited for the Bridegroom to appear in the clouds on Rosh Hashanah 2008, have now made it possible for Him to come at the Rapture. So do not be disappointed, but rejoice, for through our simple faith that we can know the time, that date setting is not an abomination to God but a prerequisite for our wedding day to be fulfilled, you have collectively brought this incredible day so much closer.
So how long is this delay?
A LITTLE WHILE...
The Scripture gives us many clues, but no precise time (that we know of) for this crucial period. Unless there is clear revelation concerning this, we would be wise not to speculate with too much rigidity. One of the most comforting clues comes from the Greek text of Hebrews 10:37, which is a quote from the vision of Habakkuk 2:3. "For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry."
The word translated "little" is the Greek mikron [Strong's 3397/8], "a small space of time," from which the English word "micron" is derived. A micron is "one millionth of a meter," a distance which is too small to be visible. To emphasize how small this space of time is, the Greek text includes the words "oson, oson" which are translated as "a very [little while]." Oson means "much or great" [Strong's 3745], so in effect it means "a great, great little while" or a "very, very, small space of time."
Is the Holy Spirit indicating that this delay is for such a microscopic period of time that it is, for all intents and purposes, almost invisible on the scale of Biblical prophecy? This is good news to those who were disappointed at the Feast of Trumpets!
There is also comfort in the Hebrew text of Habakkuk's vision. Habakkuk says, "For still the vision is for the appointed time, but it (the appointed time) pants to the end and does not lie. Though it delays, wait for it, for surely it will come. It will not tarry."
"Pants" is the Hebrew word puwach [Strong's 6315], and means "to puff, blow with the breath of air." It suggests a woman in the birth pangs of labour, and will proceed immediately after the appointed time. That is now. These then, are the birth pangs of the Tribulation, short, shooting pains that must come suddenly before the birth of this awesome Day of the Lord. No wonder we are dismayed.
The word "tarry" is achar [Strong's 309], and means "to loiter, by implication to procrastinate, be late." In the first place, the appointed time is not a lie. This should give us hope. And however long the delay, we are told that this is not some aimless procrastination, but for a specific purpose, and undoubtedly for a predetermined but "very, very, small space of time."
What is this purpose? Is it not to separate the wise from the foolish virgins, those "blockheads" that have no oil in the lamps and believe they can enter Heaven without being born again by the Spirit? This, I believe, is the primary purpose of the delay, to sift and separate the wise and foolish from each other. To want to escape this earth, for whatever reason, is not a qualification for the Rapture, for only the indwelling Spirit can take us home (Romans 8:11).
As for the time, perhaps we are not given to know this, but to watch for the midnight cry. Of all things that come to mind, one stands out above all the rest - the threatening crisis in the Middle East. Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, and many other Arab/Islamic countries, are all targeted for destruction according to the Bible. In real time, we are only 24 hours or less away from an incident that could unleash the greatest conflict since World War II, one that will lead to the 7 year Peace Treaty of Daniel 9:27. It will come swiftly and terribly upon a blinkered, oil depleted Church that refuses to receive the Holy Spirit and believe the Word of God.
The prophet Daniel was told to "shut up the words and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall increase" (12:4). When knowledge increases it means that it becomes greater over time, especially the time of the end. Before Rosh Hashanah 2008, we did not think that this appointed time would be delayed, yet it stands clear in the Word of God. Since then, as prophesied through Daniel, our knowledge of these things has increased, and will continue to increase until the end.
Let us not, therefore, despise these things and quench the Spirit of Prophecy. If you perchance have joined the ranks of those who have now become disillusioned or indifferent to the Lord's coming because of His delay, let the final words of Hebrew chapter 10, as quoted from the vision of Habakkuk, speak to you; "Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him" (Hebrews 10:38).
It is not for nothing that the final verses of this chapter speak so strongly to us, for they clearly envision this difficult and potentially destructive time in which we now find ourselves. We are in a new dispensation, as it were. The Church Age as we know it, is over, and all that remains of it is a micron of time called the delay.
The Rapture, for the first time, is now truly imminent, and the destiny of millions of Christians, the wise and the foolish, is about to be determined for eternity. For this reason the writer to the Hebrews exhorts us so, saying, "Do not cast away your confidence which has great reward" (10:35), and "For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of YHWH (God), you may receive the promise" (10:36). That promise is the Rapture, which, after a "very, very, small space of time" is coming "and will not tarry" (10:37).
No more do we measure the time, for this we have done, but let our ears and our eyes be focused on what is to come, so that when it comes, we may be ready to "go out to meet Him!"
(SOURCE: Pastor Steve Hadley`s wife Nicole from Harvest Family Fellowship)
***UPDATE: A READER REFERRED ME TO A VIDEO ON THIS SUBJECT IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. I'M INCLUDING IT HERE BECAUSE IT'S APPROPRIATE AND SOMETHING WE ALL NEED TO CONSIDER***