Volume Four: Chronology Appendices
All my life I’ve been told that we can’t possibly know anything about the timing God has planned for the future events He has prophesied in His Word. The subject of God’s chronology is off-limits, taboo, bad form. Don’t even ask. No one knows the day or the hour.
On the other hand, I was also told (by the same sorts of people) that God’s name was “the Lord,” that Jesus’ birthday was on December 25, that the nature of God is best described as a Trinity, that if you’re not “saved” (in the Protestant sense), you’re automatically doomed to an eternity of physical torment in hell fire, and that as Christians, we need not pay any attention to the Torah, ’cause after all, “the law has been nailed to the cross.” None of those things, it transpires, are true either.
So at some point in life’s journey, I decided to stop listening to “religious experts,” to mindless traditions, and yes, even to what I wished to be true. But I could still add two and two, and I could read the writing on the wall as well, so was forced by undeniable logic to conclude that there was indeed a Creator: the universe and the life within it didn’t just happen by accident, never mind what they taught us in school. I may be slow, but I’m not entirely stupid.
Having been raised a Christian from childhood, the first place I looked for evidence of this was, quite naturally, in my religion. But to be honest, I found the Christian religion as a whole to be splintered and fragmented beyond recognition—contradictory, self-serving, and at war with itself. My co-religionists couldn’t seem to agree on much of anything. So the answer wasn’t there. But all of the world’s religions were equally dysfunctional (most of them even more so than in Christianity), so the answer wasn’t to be found in one of them, either. Religion, it turned out, was a dry hole.
Furthermore, only one document in existence even purports to be a “code of law” handed down by God Himself. Only one. The Torah or “Instructions,” the Bible’s first five books, also known as the Pentateuch, was handed down by Yahweh (that’s God’s self-revealed name, meaning “I Am”) through His servant Moses. The Bible boasts some forty writers, but none of them disagree with Moses. All of them seem to take it as “a given” that the Torah is Yahweh’s fundamental truth. But nowhere else in the annals of “religious literature” does God personally issue a comprehensive set of directives or rules to live by.
Of course, because of its claims to divine authorship, one has to at least consider the Qur’an, Islam’s “holiest” book. But you can’t get anywhere near Sharia law through its pages. The “laws” of Islamic religious practice, including Islam’s “five pillars” must be gleaned piecemeal from the Hadith, which recounts the words of Muhammad, not Allah. But then we learn that all of the Qur’an’s books (or Surahs) were transmitted through this same “prophet,” Muhammad. The entire scheme stands or falls on the word of one man—a man with an ax to grind, at that. Even worse, Muhammad then reveals that his divine revelations were not given to him verbally at all, but rather—well, let us allow Muhammad’s words to speak for themselves:
“‘Allah’s Messenger! How is the Divine Inspiration revealed to you?’ He replied, ‘Sometimes it is like the ringing of a bell. This form of inspiration is the hardest of all and then this state passes off after I have grasped what is inspired. Sometimes the angel comes in the form of a man and talks to me and I grasp whatever he says.’” (From the Hadith of al-Bukhari). But then we learn that “the angel,” (that is, a being called Gabriel) wasn’t a very big part of the “Prophet’s” revelation process. Muhammad’s child-wife Aisha—who knew him better than anyone—is reported (by al-Bukhari) to have said, “Whoever claims the Prophet Muhammad saw his Lord (i.e., Allah) is committing a great fault, for he only saw Gabriel in his genuine shape, in which he was covering the horizon.” She also said, “The Prophet [only] saw Gabriel in his true form twice.” It’s worth noting that the first time Muhammad encountered “Gabriel,” the would-be prophet was convinced he was conversing with a jinn or demon.
That leaves the vast bulk of Islamic scripture—by its own admission—transmitted by “the ringing of a bell,” something Muhammad was then supposed to interpret and transmit (which, objectivity aside, was something of a logistics problem, since he was admittedly illiterate). But even then, Allah and his prophet couldn’t seem to get it right. Allah himself is seen covering his own mistakes with this timely revelation: “When we cancel a verse or throw it into oblivion, we replace it with a better one.” (Quran 2:106) Of course, it’s devilishly hard to figure out which verses were “cancelled” or “thrown into oblivion,” since the Qur’an is still—after all these centuries—replete with blatant contradictions (not to mention being a manifesto for genocidal war—not exactly the sort of thing you’d expect from a “god” who ostensibly went to so much trouble creating the universe).
To be fair, though, the Bible has been accused (mostly by people who haven’t read it) of being contradictory and warlike as well. So let’s address that. Like most Christians, I used to studiously avoid the “problem passages,” fearing what I might find lurking there. But for the past ten or fifteen years now, I’ve been taking the opposite tack—facing them head-on, one by one. I walked on eggshells the first couple times I did this. But now, having carved hundreds of notches in my tomahawk (so to speak) it has become sort of a game—one I know God will always win, ’cause He has never lost. The problem virtually always turns out to be either a translation glitch—a misleading or inadequate choice of English words to express what was originally said in Hebrew or Greek—or a faulty assumption on my part, based on errant traditions and entrenched religious fables. As it turns out, Yahweh’s scriptures themselves are never contradictory, never inconsistent, and never wrong.
And “warlike?” Although the Bible reports numerous conflicts (often explaining why they happened), a careful reading of the record reveals that Yahweh (unlike Allah) authorized only one “war of aggression” in all of human history. The Israelites were commanded to utterly drive out seven powerful Canaanite tribes who were living on land Yahweh had promised to their ancestor Abraham almost half a millennium previously. They were to attack (1) only these seven tribes; (2) only within the comparatively tiny plot of land (roughly the size of New Jersey) promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; (3) only because the Canaanites were irredeemably corrupt; and (4) only as Yahweh Himself led them into battle.
It is telling that, whereas Allah’s Islamic jihadists were commanded to go out and kill or enslave everybody they could (starting with Jews and Christians, whom Muhammad personally despised and envied—see the Qur’an, Surahs 5 and 9), Yahweh promised to fight Israel’s battles for them: “Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I am driving out from before you the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Hivite and the Jebusite.” The Girgashites (the seventh Canaanite tribe) were listed elsewhere. “Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest it be a snare in your midst. But you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and cut down their wooden images (for you shall worship no other god, for Yahweh, whose name [Hebrew: shem—His character] is Jealous, is a jealous God).” (Exodus 34:11-14) “I will send My fear before you, I will cause confusion among all the people to whom you come, and will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite from before you.” (Exodus 23:27-28)
And the reason Yahweh wanted the Canaanites gone (note that He didn’t demand their death, necessarily, only their expulsion from the Promised Land) was to protect the Israelites from being influenced and corrupted by their gross idolatry—which entailed ritual prostitution and child sacrifice (you know, sort of like the whole world practices today, if you think about it). “When you have crossed the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, destroy all their engraved stones, destroy all their molded images, and demolish all their high places; you shall dispossess [again, not kill or enslave, but drive out] the inhabitants of the land and dwell in it, for I have given you the land to possess…. But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be irritants in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall harass you in the land where you dwell. Moreover it shall be that I will do to you as I thought to do to them.’” (Numbers 33: 51-53, 55-56)
So, no: the God of the Bible does not ordinarily instigate wars in this world. In fact, whether in history or prophecy, He never seems to get personally (i.e., miraculously) involved in human military conflicts until His enemies actually invade the Land of Promise—something that (according to the prophetic texts) will happen twice during the Tribulation. The Bible, then, is turning out to be utterly unique among the world’s scriptures, if you take God at His word (rather than substituting what He said with the traditions men have built upon it).
What’s really striking to me is the degree to which all forty writers of scripture are compatible—as if (choke, cough) they were all serving as “ghost writers” or secretaries for the same Author. Although they came from a wide variety of backgrounds, lived in different places, spoke several different languages, wrote with different alphebets, and endured different political and cultural environments, all forty writers were in total agreement when it came to expressing Yahweh’s truth. Whereas Muhammad (ostensibly speaking for Allah) couldn’t keep his story straight from one month to the next, the Bible’s communication crew, spread out over fifteen hundred years, is always “on the same page,” so to speak. They are so consistent, in fact, that in the rare instances when they seem to be at odds, a shift in our point of view is usually all it takes to sort out the “problem.” (For example, many of the prophetic descriptions of the battles of Magog and Armageddon are quite similar—but they are two different events, fought at two different times, against two different enemies. Realizing this—and paying attention to the details—can usually help us differentiate which is which in prophetic scripture.)
The other striking thing about the Bible is that, for a book which (according to conventional wisdom) isn’t supposed to reveal anything specific about God’s schedule, it is peppered from one end to the other with references to time. The very first verse in Genesis speaks of “the beginning”—something that might seem odd indeed for a book that purports to reveal a God who dwells outside of time, a God who (unlike anything in His creation) maneuvers back and forth within the fourth dimension—or who, at the very least, has flawless foreknowledge of future events. The next to last verse of the Book of Revelation speaks of the “suddenness” of Christ’s return—again, an expression of relative time. And in between, there are hundreds of references—some general, some hyper-specific—to the schedule of God’s plan.
Even more remarkable, many of these references are in prophetic texts—things that even now have not yet come to pass. A few examples: there are said to be three and a half “times” (i.e., schematic “years” of 360 days each) for this, forty-two months for that, and 1,260 days for something else (all of which, you’ll notice, express the same duration of time in different ways—a device God uses, apparently, to help us differentiate the events in our minds). A certain plague is predicted to last precisely five months. You are said to be “blessed” if you make it until 1,335 days past a specific event. God’s program for the nation of Israel is said to last for “seventy sevens” (that is, seventy time periods of seven “schematic years” each—a total of 490 schematic years, or 176,400 days), beginning with a specific now-historic event. 483 of these “times” (i.e., 173,880 days; and note that God never actually calls these times “years”) are now in the past, leaving one final “seven,” a period of 2,520 days, yet to run, until…until what? Until the end of time? No. Until the beginning of a thousand-year period of time in which Yahweh (in the form of the risen and glorified Messiah, Yahshua) will reign personally upon the throne of planet Earth. So prophecies revealing God’s schedule are everywhere you look. It would therefore seem the height of folly to take Christ’s statement “No man knows the day or the hour” and apply it to everything in His prophetic plan. And yet, that’s what most Christians are taught to do.
If you’re willing to see it, the Bible speaks incessantly of one sudden and climactic paradigm shift: the chronological fulcrum upon which the fate of humanity is balanced: the tipping point of destiny, so to speak. The pattern that reveals it is repeated again and again throughout scripture: six of one thing, followed by one of another. In the creation account, the concept is introduced symbolically as the end of God’s “work” (after six “days”) and the beginning of His “rest” on the seventh. It’s the Sabbath principle: the transition from the sixth day to the seventh. It symbolizes the moment when man’s “work” is done and his “rest” in God begins. As far as Yahweh’s plan of redemption is concerned, the “six days of work” began not at the commencement of creation (which, you’ll recall, Yahweh called “very good”) but rather when humanity fell into sin—the instant we became estranged from the God who made us. The entire Bible, in the final analysis, speaks of this: what it would take to achieve our reconciliation with Yahweh. The stories, the history, the admonitions, the rules, the doctrine, the symbols, the poetry, the prophecy—all of it is calculated to get us from point A (our current sinful state) to point B (rest and redemption in God’s grace).
According to this Sabbath principle, there is a deadline, a point after which we can no longer “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (as Paul put it). When (as the Sabbath symbol pictures it) the sun descends beneath the western horizon on the “sixth day,” man’s work will be finished, whether we like it or not. As Christ Himself reminded us, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.” (John 9:4)
But what is this work? What are we supposed to be doing with our lives? Yahshua explained the counterintuitive truth: “Then they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God: that you believe in Him whom He sent.’” (John 6:28-29) What? No alms, penance, prayers, piety, charitable works, clean living, or self-sacrifice? No meticulous keeping of the Torah’s myriad precepts? No. Although these are all good things, as far as they go, they’re not what define the lives of God’s children, exactly. Rather, they’re supposed to be the result of our “work”—our belief, trust, and reliance upon the One whom Yahweh sent as the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world”: Yahshua the Messiah.
“Keeping the Sabbath,” then, is in the final analysis nothing more or less than standing with Yahshua—honoring Him as King. That is, if the coming paradigm fulcrum—the Sabbath deadline—entails the transition from “work” (i.e., belief in Yahshua) to “rest in Him,” it logically requires a shift from living by faith (as we must do presently) to walking by sight—empirical first-hand knowledge that the Bible’s promises were in fact true. What separates “day six” from “day seven,” then, is the risen Christ’s physical presence upon the earth, reigning in glory as the King of kings. After all, one can no longer “believe” in the Messiah if denying Him is not an option. You cannot freely choose something that’s impossible to reject. When Christ finally rules the earth with a rod of iron (as the scriptures insist He must), though rebellion might still be conceivable, it will be impossible not to perceive that He exercises absolute authority—that He is, in fact, God incarnate. For that matter, it won’t even be possible to ignore Him anymore: ignorance will no longer be an option. In a sense, then, the Sabbath marks the end of God’s primary gift to mankind: the privilege of free will.
Take a good, long look at Yahweh’s established modus operandi. When He made the sun and moon visible (and equipped us with eyes to see them), He did so with a purpose in mind: “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years.’” (Genesis 1:14) He wanted us to be able to know what time it was, to perceive whether we were in darkness or light, to have the means to determine the seasons of the year and the lateness of the hour. But note: these things were meant to be signs—indicators of a larger, more significant truth.
The Sabbath “law” itself told us what this sign meant: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of Yahweh your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days Yahweh made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it [that is, set it apart from the other days].” (Exodus 20:8-11) There was to be no “work” on the Sabbath because “work” was a euphemism (as Yahshua later informed us) of choosing to trust God—to place our faith in the efficacy of His sacrifice—while we still had the chance. Remember: there’s a deadline. When the sun goes down on the “sixth day,” voluntarily choosing to rely upon Yahweh (God’s definition of “work”) will no longer be an option. This was so important a concept, the instruction is listed within the most fundamental document of all, the Ten Commandments. Yahweh instructed the Israelites to observe the sign of the Sabbath on a weekly basis throughout their generations—as long as mortal man walked the earth. And we—the rest of the world—were supposed to observe them, and ponder what this sign might mean.
Putting the pieces of the puzzle together, then, (1) God made it possible to observe the movements of the sun relative to the earth, investing our days with the connotation of a sign; (2) He designated the seventh day as a day of rest: no work could be done; (3) He then defined “the work of God” as the voluntarily act of placing one’s faith in the efficacy of the Messiah’s sacrifice. It should be obvious by now that the “Sabbath” is not merely meant to be a semi-pointless weekly ritual. It is, rather, a metaphor for a larger, viscerally significant concept: the ultimate Sabbath—the paradigm tipping point of which I spoke. This definitive Sabbath predicts the ascension of Christ to the throne of Earth. It’s the point at which everything changes—when we move from hope to fulfillment, from questions to answers, from faith to fruition.
That being the case, ask yourself this: is it remotely conceivable that God would have kept the date of the ultimate Sabbath—the day when everything changes for the human race—a deep, dark secret? If understanding the concept of a paradigm shift in the way we relate to God was so important that we were equipped to comprehend and calculate the timing of the sign (i.e., the Sabbath), is it even possible that God would hide the timing of that toward which the sign was meant to point? I think not. But it goes without saying (though I’ll say it anyway) that Yahweh would naturally couch the information in terms that were clear to those who revered His Word, but were opaque to people who didn’t want to know Him. If the truth is hidden, it’s hidden in plain sight, visible only to those who are looking for it.
That’s not to say God told us everything about His schedule. One date in particular He opted to keep hidden from us—for our own good, of course. It is that day to which He was referring when Yahshua told His disciples on the Mount of Olives, “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” (Matthew 24:36) Then, without taking a breath, He describes this “hidden day,” comparing it to Noah’s flood. The point was that in Noah’s day, though everybody could (and should) have known a flood was coming (’cause he had been building a big boat for decades, telling them all why it was going to be necessary) the deluge still took them by surprise. Yahshua then speaks of division, of separation—of one being taken and the other left—when this mysterious event transpires. He even tells us why it’s being kept a secret: so “the master of the house” (at the moment, that’s Satan) wouldn’t know what was going on until it was too late to do anything about it. So several times in this one paragraph, Yahshua admonishes us to remain watchful and ready, for this day—the coming of the Son of Man for the people to whom He is Lord (vs. 42, 44), to separate them from those who are not His—would come without warning or preamble. The day to which He’s referring is commonly referred to as the “rapture of the church.” It is not to be confused with “the second coming” or “the beginning of Christ’s Millennial reign.” In fact, all three of these events are celebrated separately through the last three “Feasts” of Yahweh.
I’ll be discussing all of this in detail in the following chapter. For now, just be aware that Yahweh told us a great deal about His schedule for the Last Days, including the crucial Sabbath paradigm shift of which I spoke—but not the timing of the rapture. A few verses prior to the “no one knows” declaration, however, Yahshua flatly stated that His people would easily be able to discern the season, in general terms, in which the events of the Last Days of our era would take place: “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near—at the doors! Assuredly, I say to you, this generation [i.e., the generation that sees the previously listed signs] will by no means pass away till all these things take place.” (Matthew 24:32-34) So it should come as no surprise that millions of Christians have the distinct impression that we are now nearing the Last Days—when “all these things will take place.”
Besides the fact that “the fig tree” is a common scriptural euphemism for Israel, it should be obvious that any budding tree is a sure sign that winter is past and summer is on its way: it’s a harbinger of change, of renewal. With that in mind, note that the signs Yahshua listed as indicators that the Last Days were approaching were not miraculous heavenly events or unprecedented catastrophes, necessarily. They were, rather, the multiplicity and coincidence of various problems that had sporadically plagued mankind ever since the fall of Adam: deceivers, false Messiahs, wars and rumors of war, famines, disease, earthquakes, storms, betrayal, groundless offense, widespread godlessness, hatred, false prophets, lawlessness, and a general waning of love among humanity. All throughout history, one or another of these curses had usually been in evidence somewhere in our world. But as the Last Days approached, we were told, all of these things would begin to characterize our society and environment, all at once, as never before.
We’ve been discussing the Bible’s fixation on one specific future day that will prove to be the “fulcrum of destiny” for mankind—the tipping point upon which everything hinges: the “first day of the rest of our life,” as it were. It marks the transition from the “work week” to the Sabbath rest, or in terms of Yahweh’s symbology, the progression from the sixth day to the seventh—not another dress rehearsal, but finally, the one day in all of human history toward which all of God’s prophetic metaphors pointed.
As I studied the data, I was confronted with a mountain of scriptural evidence suggesting that God had indeed told us precisely—to the very day—when King Yahshua’s Millennial reign would commence. And there was (as I noted) a boatload of other timeline data dispersed throughout scripture that interlocked into that date. It was only after the initial shock wore off—and after I realized that scripture had once again made a heretic out of me in the eyes of my brothers—that the import of this chronological data struck me: the human race was almost out of time. We had blown through our six “work days” and were now facing the Sabbath with precious little to show for our efforts—just like the servant in the parable who buried his talent in the ground.
Of course, as compelling as I found the evidence personally, it was still only a theory—one I couldn’t prove (which was probably by God’s design). After all, we are still living in the age of faith, an era in which God provides evidence, not proof. And (let’s face it) I’ve been known to be wrong, on occasion. So I finished my 900-page treatise on Biblical Prophecy, and there it sat (as a free online book) for eight or nine years. During that time a lot of prophetically significant events happened in the world, virtually all of it tending to support or verify the conclusions I’d made, based on what had been written on parchment and papyrus by God’s prophets and apostles thousands of years ago.
But in the intervening years (as I focused my attention on other subjects, like the Torah and Yahweh’s extensive matrix of symbols) unexpected issues began raising their ugly little heads. These were not events or processes God had specifically prophesied, things I had somehow missed in God’s Word. Rather, they were surprising confirmations of the timeline I had discerned in scripture—from strictly secular sources. As I read and studied, I became aware of dozens of factors—cultural, demographic, financial, geological, biological, meteorological, and even astrophysical (in addition to the spiritual issues I had already explored)—that all pointed toward utter catastrophe for the human race if we remained on our present course.
It was once said, “All roads lead to Rome.” In my case, I found that all roads led to a single chronological neighborhood. Not to let a cat out of the bag, but (as you’ll soon discover) my conclusion concerning God’s chronology was that Christ’s Millennial Kingdom would commence on the Feast of Tabernacles in the autumn of 2033. And as it turned out, most of these unexpected new “doomsday factors” I’d noticed looked as if they were poised to come to fruition during the same general timeframe—the fourth decade of the twenty-first century—the same period of time my scripture research had indicated, though the two “trains of thought” were on completely different tracks, so to speak.
This discovery brought the subject out of the realm of “religious stuff” and dumped it squarely in the lap of the vast majority of mankind—who don’t know Yahweh and don’t want to know Him. In light of this new data, even if folks choose to relegate the Bible to the status of myth or folklore—paying it no more heed than they would Homer’s Odyssey or the Analects of Confucius—they are still going to have to deal with a world that’s falling apart on the Bible’s schedule, whether they know it or not. Even if I’m a heretic who got the whole thing wrong, seeing things in scripture that just aren’t there, the bottom line will not have changed: the human race is in for a paradigm shift of catastrophic proportions during the next few decades. For that matter, even if the atheists were right after all when they opined that there is no god, and that all we are is the punch line to a big evolutionary joke, they’re still going to have to deal with the fact that they and their whole pedantic world view will be as extinct as a triceratops by the fourth decade of this century.
The Bible has a great deal to say about the chronology of the Last Days, and we’re about to look at that evidence. But even if you don’t believe the Bible and don’t believe me, you’ll still have to deal with an imploding ecosystem, a polluted genome, and a demographic time bomb. God warned you about what’s coming, and I’ve warned you. Okay, my opinion doesn’t really count. But if you won’t believe scripture, perhaps you’ll believe those in the secular press and academia who have awakened to the lateness of the hour. As unlikely as it sounds, they’re all singing out of the same hymnal.