Shemini Atzeret

rapto

Looking for the Blessed Hope
I’m continually hearing “no man knows the day or hour” at the expense of context and other verses that say quite literally the exact opposite (1 Thess. 5:4Heb. 10:25Rev. 3:3).  In the Olivet Discourse itself Jesus says it is the wicked servants who when the time comes will not know the day or hour (Matt. 24:50Lk. 12:45-46).  The mind-numbing repetition of these words by scoffers is a startling admission of disregard for the whole counsel of God’s Word.  It even shows theological ignorance when some argue that Jesus still doesn’t know.  Of course He does.  He is God.  When Jesus spoke those words He was stating an unequivocal truth about the present reality then.  In the incarnation Jesus had “emptied Himself” of the full privileges and abilities of divinity (Phil. 2:6-8), but after His resurrection and ascension He resumed it all (Jn. 17:5Eph. 4:10Phil. 2:9Rev. 1:822:13).  Of course He now knows the day and hour, which is why He delivered the rest of withheld prophetic knowledge to His servant John (Rev. 1:1) who in turn delivered it to us.  When you say my Jesus still doesn’t know you mock and belittle my God.

Jesus also sternly warned the Church to know the hour (Rev. 3:3).  Over 1/4th of the Bible is prophecy, most of which pertains to Jesus’ second advent.  Dozens and dozens of signs are given to us by the Spirit of God so that we will know.  There is no excuse for walking in ignorance and sitting in the seat of scoffers.  It is unbecoming of those who claim a relationship with the Messiah.

Regarding date-setting I just want to say this: I am looking for the Blessed Hope and I will not stop looking until I find it.  I’ve been looking for 16 years.  I’ve thought many dates in the past were “it” and clearly I was wrong, but that won’t dissuade me and it shouldn’t dissuade you either.  There is a major difference between honest, collaborative, and speculative research that even presents itself as such, and the false prophet prognosticators who claim to have special prophetic insight and a word from the LORD when they don’t have either.

God wants us to know (Matt. 24:48-51Lk. 12:35-401 Thess. 5:4Heb. 10:25Rev. 1:13:3) and to seek Him (Deut. 4:29Prov. 25:2Jer. 29:13Matt. 7:7).  The scoffers are full of arrogance and puffed up with pride, never approaching Scripture with a sense of awe or humility or respect for the authority of other Believers.  They are always so overly confident in what they think they know.  When I look back at what I’ve shared over the past few years it was always accompanied with “I don’t know for sure”, “I could be wrong”, “this is speculation”, “I’m not a prophet”, “I used to think this, but I think differently now”, etc.  Even our viral Revelation 12 Sign videos with collectively over seven million views end with “No one knows with certainty the day or hour”.  Before September 21-23 came and went I had already made clear in these videos as well as on The Sign page that we were not counting down to the day of the rapture.  This was always just a sign of the nearness of the rapture and we made that abundantly clear in many ways – not just after the fact as some claim.  Of course we had hope that Yom Teruah might be the day, and a little bit of hope that Yom Kippur could have been the day, but this was always presented as such – speculative hope.  Yet mockers and scoffers will mock and scoff, twisting words, falsely accusing, and using nothing but straw-men, because that’s all they can do.  Satan rules their hearts.

So is there a contradiction here?  Am I saying we can know, but yet we can’t?  Let me be clear: I believe that when the day truly comes there will be those watching who will know.  The key subtlety I’m trying to push is certainty.  I don’t think any Christian will know the day or hour with certainty until the day or hour actually comes.  Everything leading up to the day is speculation, but eventually some speculation will closely accord with Scripture and thus some Believers will have a pretty good idea of what’s about to happen and when.  The humble, longing, and watchful will not be caught by surprise, but the ignorant will (1 Thess. 5:3-4).

A division and sifting is presently underway in Christendom, if not already complete, between those who saythey have faith and those who really do have faith.  Salvation comes through faith alone, but there is a difference between professing faith and actually possessing faith.  Faith is in the heart, not just the head.  Those who truly have faith are not going to be continually lying, beating, and falsely accusing their brothers.  Even angels restrain themselves from scoffing at their enemies (Jd. 1:9).

But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards.  The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.  He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

According to Matthew 24:48-51Luke 12:45-461 Thessalonians 5:3-5:4, and Revelation 3:3 the message is quite clear: the watchful will know, but the wicked and ignorant will be caught by surprise when Jesus comes to them like a thief in the night.
No one who mocks and scoffs will get away with it forever.  No one.

A final thought about date-setting: we should never set a date as a “thus saith the LORD”.  We could be wrong.  We’re looking, hoping, and speculating because we truly believe Jesus’ appearing is imminent.  That being said, I think Christians who refuse to watch and study Bible prophecy because they don’t want to get peoples’ hopes up and then have them “fall away” are making a mistake.  The truly faithful are faithful to the end.  Those who have the root of faith, who are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, will not fall away (Jn. 5:246:37-3910:28-2917:9-12Rm. 4:56:238:38-39Eph. 1:134:30Phil. 1:6Heb. 7:2510:141 Pt. 1:4-5).  If they get distracted or burned out it is only for a season.  There is simply no acceptable excuse not to watch, research, and long for the Lord’s coming.

 
A Likely Day
My focus has now turned to Shemini Atzeret (“Eighth Assembly”), October 13th – the very last day of the very last festival (Lev. 23:36Num. 29:35-38), which would make this quite literally the last trump of the moedim.  According to Numbers 10:7-10, trumpets would be blown at least twice on this day.  The first to gather God’s people to a special assembly unlike any other (moed assumblies are called miqra, but this assembly is also called atzeret).  And the second as an accompaniment to an offering made by fire.  I’ve been pouring through commentaries and there seems to be a pretty good consensus that Psalm 81:3b refers to the Feast of Tabernacles, which is significant because it specifies that a shophar would also be blown around this time.  Consider the significance of this festival:

1. It’s the very last day of the very last festival.  This makes it undeniably “the last trump”, at least in relation to the moedim.  Some argue that it is really its own moed.

2. It is to the Fall festivals what Pentecost is to the Spring festivals – the closing assembly.

3. The major significance of this day is that the people of God are gathered together in a special sacred assembly unlike any other.  This gathering is made when the trumpet is blown (Num. 10:7) and thus it is the very last gathering by trumpet made in the biblical year.  This comports with the Church being resurrected and raptured at the sound of a trumpet (1 Thess. 4:16-171 Cor. 15:52) and then being gathered together before God’s throne (Rev. 4:1-212:5).

4. Every biblical number study I’ve seen is in agreement that eight represents both resurrection and a new beginning.  Jesus rose on the eighth day.  There were eight in the ark.  A male child is circumcised on the eighth day.  This “eighth-day assembly” is thus the perfect timing for a resurrection and gathering and for the putting off of the flesh (spiritual circumcision) in accordance with 1 Corinthians 15:51-53.  From the final blood moon on September 28, 2015 (a supermoon visible over Jerusalem) to October 13, 2017 is 746 days.  Strong’s 746 is “beginning”.

5. The first seven days of Tabernacles involve dwelling in temporary shelters, just as Believers are dwelling in these temporary, fleshly bodies.  On the prophetic eighth day we are taken to our permanent home in permanent, spiritual bodies.

6. Shemini Atzeret involves an offering made by fire.  On Pentecost the disciples of Christ were designated when fire descended upon them (see Acts 2).  Could that be a picture of the sacrifice designated to be offered to God on some future Shemini Atzeret?  Again, keep in mind the fact that this day is the close of the Fall festivals just as Pentecost is the close of the Spring festivals – they both represent the close of dispensations and the beginning of new ones.

7. The traditional, most widely agreed upon day for Christ’s physical return is the Day of Atonement.  In 2024 that falls on October 13th, exactly seven solar years to the day from Shemini Atzeret 2017.  The two dates are separated by 2,557 days.  The Tribulation is 1,260 + 1,290 days, or 2,550 days.  This typology fits well with Genesis 7 and Noah and his family entering the ark seven days before the Flood came.  Might the Tribulation begin on October 20th?  Maybe, maybe not, but I’m paying attention.

8. The root word for atzeret is atsar, which means “to restrain” (Strong’s 6113).  Could this unique and special assembly have something to do with God gathering together His restraining force, which is the Holy Spirit-indwelt Church?  Could this gathering be connected to the removal of the Restrainer mentioned in 2 Thessalonians 2:36-7?

 
The Surprising Connection to the Revelation 12 Sign
While I was researching Shemini Atzeret I made a startling discovery: I had noticed the significance of October 13, 2017 way back in January in my viral Revelation 12 Sign Compendium article as a possible watch date.  The reason being that it was the exact day Jupiter truly leaves Virgo.  September 9th and 23rd were subjective in that regard.

9:00 PM in Israel on October 13, 2017

Unbeknownst to me at the time, October 13th just happens to be Shemini Atzeret with all the possible rapture connections mentioned above.

Now it gets even more interesting.  Many researchers (myself included) thought the conception of the male child was portrayed on November 20, 2016 when Jupiter crossed the boundary between Spica and Porrima, but a number of others noted that December 23, 2016 was a better date, which was just a few days after Jupiter crossed the boundary between Spica and Theta Virginis and “implanted” in Virgo’s belly.  December 23, 2016 was also the date of the historic anti-Israel resolution 2334 that was approved by the United Nations Security Council, which demanded that God’s land be divided.  Exactly 42 weeks to the day from December 23, 2016 is October 13, 2017 – Shemini Atzeret and the day Jupiter leaves Virgo.  Could this be the actual date of the birth of the male child and Revelation 12:5?  38 to 42 weeks is considered a perfect/normal pregnancy.

Keep in mind that the Great Sign of Revelation 12:1-2 is of a woman in labor, not the birth of the male child.  The birth doesn’t occur until verse 5.  These dates, like the rest of this research, are speculative, but consider:

Conception: 12/23/16

Woman in labor (The Great Sign): 9/23/17 – 9/24/17

Birth of the male child: 10/13/17

According to Micah 5:3 the dispensational change between the Church Age and the Tribulation doesn’t occur until the woman gives birth (the corporate male child), thus September 23rd didn’t mark the change in dispensation – it only marked the nearness to the ultimate event: the rapture of the Church.

 
Concluding Thoughts

As the unstable are apt to cause confusion, add words, and twist what Believers say, I think I should go ahead and nip this in the bud: our hope should never be in a date, but in Jesus Christ.  We are longing for the day when we will be with Him forever (1 Thess. 4:17-18), which is a longing that fewer and fewer “Christians” seem to share.  I see some good, perhaps even compelling reasons to be especially watchful this week and next and especially on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of next week, but dates can come and go.  We will keep watching with vigilance no matter what because the time is at hand (Rev. 1:322:10).  We are just half a year away from the 70th anniversary of the rebirth of Israel.  People are already buying into a precursor to the mark of the beast hook, line, and sinker, and now we see the beginning stages of the fulfillment of Revelation 13:15.  When you start seeing minute details coming into fruition that are fulfilled during the Tribulation, how much closer are we to the Tribulation’s start and possibly the rapture?

Keep watching, studying, and praying my friends.  Jesus is on the way.  Don’t be shaken and hold fast. (Click to Site)

Maranatha!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s