When we think of the end of the world, we have a tendency to think of such things as earthquakes, and great noise, and fire, and death; which things shall indeed come, according to Matthew 24:35, and Peter in 2 Peter 3:1-13.
However, in Matthew 13, in the parable in which Jesus made the statement, "The harvest is the end of the world," He was not speaking of that cataclysmic "end" of it. He was speaking of the last few years of the Grace Age, as the prophet Habakkuk said, "The vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie" (Hab. 2:3). It is the time which God has appointed, in which He shall cause His People to "Find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end" (Eccl. 3:11). As we are told in Daniel 8:19, "At the time appointed the end shall be." And everything which God appointed, He did so by including it in the "Law and the Prophets." Amos attested to this fact, saying, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he reveals his secret unto his servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7).
In this parable in Matthew 13, Jesus used a phrase which refers to Christians in general, saying "The kingdom of heaven is likened unto . . .," as he did with other parables. (We would more likely say "Christianity is likened unto . . .") He then proceeded to tell us of things which are to happen in the last 49 years of the grace age.
That period of time is prophesied of in the "Law of Moses" by the "law of Jubilee" which is recorded in Leviticus 25. It calls for 7 Six-year periods of annual harvest, each followed by a Sabbath year; the seventh Sabbath year being followed by the "year of Jubilee." In fulfillment of that prophecy, the Time of Harvest began in 1962. On January 25, 1959, Pope John XXIII announced his intentions of calling a worldwide church council. He opened the first session of "Vatican II" October 11, 1962, and began to modify the church's position on religious liberty, and expressed new and liberalized positions on the church's relations with non-Catholic and non- Christian faiths. The move was on to gather Her "Daughters" back into "mother's" arms. Thus, God began to sent forth the Pope of Rome, and his great staff of "reapers" to begin the forty-nine-year harvest at this end of the world (1 Cor. 10:11).
During the seventh "week of years," the barley and the wheat shall be garnered. As Jesus said in the parable, The sower said to the reapers, "Gather the wheat into my barn." That time has come, and we have begun to direct our efforts toward that great work of bringing God's people together "in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God."
Since the time of Moses, God has insisted that His people count the beginning of the year at approximately the time of the Vernal (Spring) Equinox which is about two weeks before the beginning of Barley Harvest. "The time of harvest," began in about March of 1962, and the "Grace Age" will come to a close by the time of the Vernal Equinox, in 2011. In the Bible, it was that seven weeks of Barley Harvest which determined the time of the feast of the Lord which is known as Pentecost. God has hidden the end-time "harvest" of Christianity in both the forty-nine-day barley harvest, and the forty-nine-year annual harvest. That fiftieth day and that fiftieth year, both prophesy of the year of "the marriage of the Lamb:" the year of Jubilee. (Although the Holy Spirit was poured out upon those who were gathered there on that glorious day, Pentecost was really about the two "wave loaves" of barley, "they are the firstfruits unto the Lord (Lev. 23:15-17; see also James 1:1,17 & Rev. 14:1-4). The part about the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was prophesied by the allegory of the Lord filling the newly-built Temple with His glory at the time of the Feast of Tabernacles, when Solomon had finished the temple (2 Chron. 5:11-14; 1Kings 8:1-11).
By the events of the forty-two-month period, from September 28, 2000 unto March 28, 2004, God gave us another prominent sign that we are now in the last seven years of the gospel era. In Rev. chs. 11 & 12, God told us there would be ten and a half years which would conclude the Christian era. He began that prophecy, saying, "The holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months" (Rev. 11:3). For exactly that length of time, the Palestinians, during what they called "the second Intifada," relentlessly attacked the city of Jerusalem, but they wearied of their own losses and called for an end to it. The last suicide bomber, of that Intifada, blew himself up in Jerusalem on March 14, 2004, and another five months passed before there was another successful suicide bombing anywhere in Israel.
(I know that some of you, perhaps most of you, had some difficulty accepting my pronouncements on this matter in this newsletter, during the last 24 to 30 months of that very important forty-two-months of prophetic attacks against Jerusalem. I do understand that we have a tendency to expect the prophecies of the Bible to be fulfilled on a grand scale, but forty-two months is just that, and Jerusalem is only as big as it is, and the prophecy, in Zech. 14, does not mention anything about even the rest of Israel, or about Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, or anything like that. I told you that those attacks would cease in about March of 2004. It happened. When it was over, I put a caption on the front of the cover of The Bible Guys newsletter, "Forty two months behind us, a time of mourning ahead of us." Accordingly, for the last two years, we have had tragedy after tragedy, as hundreds of thousands, around the world, have lost their lives in hurricanes, and floods, and earthquakes, and tsunamis, and wars.
One of the major things which certified that that was indeed the forty-two months of Rev. 11:3, was the fact that another prophecy was fulfilled immediately following the end of the Intifada. John said, of those locusts which ascended out of the bottomless pit, "Unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. - And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it, and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them. - And their power was to hurt men five months." Then John said, "One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter." The woe of that forty-two months affected very few people outside of Jerusalem, but our nation, has already seen a great deal of the effect of the second of those three woes.
Please note what News and Media - Israeli Consulate, SF - "The Week in Review," of August 30 - September 3, 2004, had to say about that. "At least 16 people were killed and 91 others were wounded this afternoon [August 31, 2004] in near-simultaneous suicide attacks on two buses in the southern city of Be'er Sheva, HA'ARETZ reported. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attacks, the first suicide bombings inside Israel in five months. - Palestinian terrorists have not carried out a suicide bombing inside Israel since March 14, when 11 people were killed in the port city of Ashdod." During that five-month period, several people tried to die, by suicide, so they could kill some Israelis, but were stopped by the security people before they could do it. Thus, did death "flee from them."
We have a tendency to "think big," when we are considering the fulfillment of Bible prophecies, and some of them will really be BIG; affecting the entire world. However, we might do well to note that the, long-prophesied-of, birth of Jesus was hardly known until about two years later, when the "Wise men from the East" came to see Him, and even then the message of The Messiah's arrival did not spread far and wide. Also, the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist was not heralded to the nations, but it was a momentous event which, Jesus pointed out, was absolutely essential for the fulfilling of "all righteousness." Also note that several very prominent prophecies were fulfilled in the upper room, on the night before the crucifixion, with only a dozen or so people present, and some of them did not understand what was going on. It is just such a series of the fulfillment of Bible prophecies which must occur before Jesus comes, if He is to come "as a thief in the night.")
The first three and a half years, of that ten and half years, is now behind us. The end of that forty-two-month Intifada, in March of 2004, marked the beginning of the last seven years of the time of harvest. It is, and will be, two three-and-a-half-year periods of woe, as John said, "Behold, there come two woes more hereafter." The "two thousand and three hundred days" of Daniel's prophecy is now in progress, and has been for about two years. The Angel told Daniel that at the end of these 2300 days, "The sanctuary shall be cleansed;" prophesying of the Church reaching perfection; making herself ready for the marriage. That 2300 days will end nearly eight months before the end of the last seven years: about two months before the blowing of the trumpet of Jubilee. That will be 1290 days after the "Abomination of desolation is set up."
The end of the harvest is swiftly approaching, before which, the "Lord of the Harvest" shall send forth His ministers to "Gather the wheat into His barn." We earnestly desire that the Lord shall "send forth laborers into His harvest," and are praying that He will hasten to do so very soon.
The mystery of Christ: In Ephesians 3, the Apostle Paul expressed his desire that we might understand his knowledge of the mystery of Christ, "Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit."
Some mysteries are more easily solved than are others. It has become apparent to me that God has made the events of the last ten years or so, of this era, especially difficult to understand. The prophecies in Daniel seem to bounce all over the place. Then, the prophecies in The Revelation of Jesus Christ concerning the same events are given to us in such a simple, and direct, fashion that our ministers are not able to comprehend it, because it is "too simple." On the other hand God has given us the key to it all: "The testimony of Jesus, which is the Spirit of Prophecy" (Rev. 1:2 & Rev. 19:10).
In Daniel 12, there is a particularly difficult, although enlightening, part of the prophecy about these seven years. He told us, in verse 11, that "From the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days." That would require that the 1290 days are coupled with the "Time, times, and the dividing of time," rather than with the 1260 days. The 1290 days is a greater amount of time than three-and-a-half years, and begins about nine months before the period of "time, and times, and the dividing of times." In that "the saints of the Most High" shall be given into the hand of the Little Horn for a time, and times, and the dividing of times, when "the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate is set up," we will have about nine months to "dig in," spiritually, before the greater trouble begins. However, we must know that those few months will not be an easy time, and that time will be upon us near the beginning of 2007.
Simply speaking, the 2300-day period began in late March 2004, when the Muslims stopped that Intifada, and the forty-two-month period came to a close. The "Little Horn" shall take away the "daily sacrifice" near the middle of those 2300 days, and that 2300 days will end near the middle of July 2010. That means that the Bride of Christ will be ready for about two months before the "year of Jubilee" begins in early September 2010, and the Grace Age soon comes to an end.
We should see the U.S. government beginning to take a hard stance against the saints of God, near the beginning of 2007. It may be in the form of the banning of certain of our forms of worship, or the exercise of our faith. Whatever be the pressures which they put upon Christianity at that time, it will be small compared to the trouble which they will begin to inflict upon us nine months or so later, when we are given into the hands of that "Little Horn" which has eyes, and a mouth, - and shall speak great words against the Most High, - and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people." That "Little Horn" will be given a free hand against Christianity for a specified time which, in Daniel 7:25, is called "Time, and times, and the dividing of time."
We are living in a time of "The blowing of the trumpet," a time of urgency and a time of peril. Iniquity is in abundance, and the love has cooled in the bosom of many of God's people. We have grossly misunderstood 1 Thess. 4:13-18, and therefore missed the whole point of the rest of what Paul said on the matter, in chapter 5. "The Day of the Lord" is upon us, and our "spiritual guides" keep telling us to "Sleep on, we will have 'peace and safety' until the rapture." But Paul said that, "the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night, - Ye brethren are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief. - Therefore let us not sleep as do (the ten virgins); but let us watch and be sober. - Let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ." Indeed, God has not appointed us unto wrath, but if we do not watch and prepare ourselves, that is just what we will receive.
What is this "Day of the Lord?" and who is it about? Amos put it about as clearly as it can be put, saying, "Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him. Shall not the day of the Lord be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?" (Amos 2:18-20). The following list of passages also assert the same truth: Isa. 34:1-8; Lam. 2:10-3:11; Ezek 13:1-16; Joel 2:1-11; Joel 3:13-17; Obadiah 1:15-21; Zeph. 2:1-3.
"The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord." He that has ears to hear, let him hear.