Shortly after Passover in 1962, I sat in my small church in Norfolk, Va. with my sermon outline in hand. The last special song was being sung, after which I was to preach. As they were singing, a voice spoke to me. It was as if a man about six feet tall was speaking to me from about three feet to my left, between the congregation and me. The voice said, "Preach barley harvest." I turned toward where the voice had come from, and, with my face lifted toward where his would be, I said, in a low voice like a whisper, "Lord, I don’t even know what Barley Harvest is." I turned back to meditate on the instructions which the voice had given me, and looked up the references to it in the scriptures. I knew almost immediately what the Lord wanted me to preach about, and as they finished the song I went to the pulpit and preached about forty-five minutes on the prophetic fulfillment of the Old Testament allegory of "Barley Harvest."
Earlier that year, February 4th or 5th, 1962, depending on the part of the world in which you lived, there was a total eclipse of the Sun, by the Moon, which coincided with a rare grouping of five of Earth’s planets. (It sounds as if the eclipse lasted two days, because it crossed the international date line.) Grady R. Kent, who was our bishop at the time, published an article in the March issue of our church periodical, "The Vision Speaks," entitled "The Beginning of The End." In that article he asserted that the eclipse was a sign of that beginning. There is a story, in 1st Samuel chapter twenty-five about Abigail going, with her five maidens, to her marriage to King David. I believe that story is an allegory concerning the coming "marriage" of Christ and the Church, at the end of the world. We also have Jesus’ parable about the five wise virgins who went in with Him to the wedding. By this parable, Jesus also confirmed what Paul told us about the resurrection. There will be an assortment of groups at the wedding: the Bridegroom (Sun), the Bride (Moon), and the five Bridesmaids (planets), together with the "guests" (stars) at the wedding.
"The End of The World"
We can readily see that the end of the world (not the planet), as it is depicted in the parable of the tares in Matthew 13:24-30,36-43, is not a singular event. Jesus said, "Gather ye together first the tares." The harvest, therefore, consists of a series of events. The Tares (false grain), are gathered first. The next phase of harvest is the gathering of the "Children of the Kingdom." The third phase is the gathering together of the Children of Wrath. The second phase is also prophesied of in Rev. 14:14-16, and third phase is prophesied of in Rev. 14:17-20.
As the time drew near for the first phase of the Harvest to begin, on January 25, 1959, Pope John XXIII announced his intentions of calling a worldwide church council. The fields were almost ripe. Then, in February 1962, the great and extremely rare eclipse and planetary alinement signaled that the time of the end had fully come. Pope John XXIII opened the first session of Vatican II, on October 11, 1962. That council redefined the public image of the Catholic Church in dramatic ways which would make it more acceptable to the Protestants. Thus was launched a new ecumenical effort to bring all of the wayward "daughters" back into "the fold." And there arose in Babylon "him that handleth the sickle." See Jer. 50:16. We are now into the thirty-fifth year of the harvest of the tares. Even as I write, the Anglican church is working on the final difficulties of their reunion with Rome.
Decline of the United States of America
I do not believe it was a mere coincidence that, during the time of Vatican II, ( October 11, 1962, to December 8, 1965.) The United States of America made a sweeping move to socialize the country and establish Atheism as the official religion. It started, in 1963, with the prohibition of prayer and Bible reading in the public schools. This restriction has been amplified by a zealous and determined effort to teach our children to commit fornication and to accept the doctrine of devils which asserts that life spontaneously sprang from matter.
Throughout the time of Vatican II, the U.S. government used the public schools to implement a whole new way of life in America which is designed to supplant all of the freedoms which have been guaranteed by the constitution. (Through interference by the schools, parents are no longer free to correct and train their own children.) By the end of Vatican II, we had seen Affirmative Action, Head Start and school busing, all innocent sounding, and seemingly beneficial. But their true design was to deprive us of our liberties. The whole face of this nation has been changed, with laws enacted which will surely be used to exercise tyranny upon our citizens, especially those embracing true Christianity. I believe it is time for the believers to "confess that they are strangers and pilgrims here, and to declare plainly that they seek a country." (Heb. 11:13,14.)
God Gives Knowledge to the Righteous
In Amos 3:7, it is written, "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth his secret unto His servants the prophets." I have noticed for years that many Christians love, and grossly misapply, 1 Cor. 2:9, which is a quotation from Isaiah 64:4. Many Christians seem to rejoice that they know nothing, and can know nothing. However, the tenth verse shows that it is the ungodly who don’t know. He said, "But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." Likewise, Christians glory in what they think 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18 means, but they don’t seem to believe chapter five. But He spoke the truth in 1 Thess. 5:4, "Ye, brethren, are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief." Not even Jesus knew the day of the total destruction of the earth: that event is still more than one thousand years away. See Matt. 24:3,35,36 and Mark 13:31,32. But Jesus went into great detail concerning the sign of His coming, and of the end of this world. He did so, because He intends for us to be forewarned and to make the necessary preparations for His arrival and for "the world to come" during the seventh millennium. Heb. 2:6.
The Time of Harvest is here, and the day of preparation for our Lord’s return. Phase one of the harvest will soon give way to phase two, during which the Children of the Kingdom shall be gathered into His "barn." Thus shall be ushered in the unity of the faith, which has been so long in coming. We might have thought that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last one hundred years would have fostered that unity, but, alas, it seems to have created even more division. The Holy Ghost has not yet managed to "guide (us) into all truth." But we rest in the fact that "The scriptures cannot be broken." As Isaiah said, "They shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion." Isa. 52:8.
Solomon declared, "That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past." Eccl. 3:15. Paul later said, "Verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service," by which the Holy Ghost was signifying something about the "Church" under the new covenant. Heb. 9:1-9. The spiritual harvest, which is to be, has already been, in the allegories of the Old Testament.
"Pentecost" of the New Testament is called "The Feast of Weeks" in Exodus 34:22, and in Exodus 23:16, it is called "The Feast of Harvest." For us to understand what Pentecost is really all about we must first understand the commandment concerning this Feast in the Old Testament, for it is our school master. As Paul said, "For the law having a shadow of good things to come." Heb. 10:1. When God called it the Feast of Harvest, he was telling us that it is a prophecy about the end of the world. However, by using the term the "Feast of Weeks," God instructs us concerning the time frame of its fulfillment. "Ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the Sabbath, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; seven Sabbaths shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after the seventh Sabbath shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the Lord." Lev. 23:15,16. "Begin to number the seven weeks from such time as thou beginnest to put the sickle to the corn. And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the Lord thy God." Deut. 16:9,10.
As you can see, God used the time frame of ‘weeks of days’ in the partial fulfillment of this feast, in Peter’s day. However, in applying this to the spiritual harvest, we must count a day for a year. I will begin to count from the time that the Harvest of the Tares began in 1962. The sign, "in the heavens above," appeared a few days before the beginning of the lunar year. So, I will make my calculations beginning with Abib, the first month of that lunar year, just about the time of the Spring Equinox. That is the method which the Lord commanded the Israelites to use. With that reckoning, we are now almost at the end of the fifth week of years. That leaves us only two more weeks of years between April 8, 1997 and the Year of Jubilee.
We are told that Ruth, gleaned "unto the end of barley harvest and of wheat harvest." During that time Boaz commanded his young men saying, "Let fall also some of the handfuls of purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glean them." Ruth 2:16,23. God also used the term "handfuls" in Genesis 41:47-49. God did that to relate the gleanings of Ruth to the harvest of Joseph. He said, "In the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. And he gathered up all the food of the seven years." And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number." The fact that some were numbered makes a direct connection to barley, because barley is called "the appointed barley" in Isaiah 28:25. And in Jeremiah 5:24, He calls it "the appointed weeks of harvest." So, in one allegory we have barley harvest and wheat harvest, and in the other we have an amount which is numbered, whereas the rest were not. When the appointed time comes, God will call for the "Book of Remembrance," and of those who are written therein, He will make up that predestined number. Mal. 3:16,17