Many authors have written books involving the interpretation of prophecy, primarily on the books of Daniel and Revelation. The first thing that must be realized concerning this subject is that the prophetic symbology of Revelation cannot be correctly understood or interpreted by using the analytical ability of the mind. Few of the popular authors in this field have exhibited more than a small amount of spiritual insight, with the result that the fruits of their labor are equally capable of attainment by an unbeliever who, of course, would be incapable of any true spiritual enlightenment.
Also, the popular authors tend to interpret only those portions of Scripture that would appeal to their reading audience and to avoid portions that might be offensive and thus endanger the appeal of their books.
Finally, some authors have deliberately demanded acceptance by their readers of unjustified interpretations of specific verses, even telling their readers that a certain specific word should actually be a different specific word, as a necessity to support erroneous conclusions on their part. Such a demand by them is not interpretation; it is changing the words of the Bible.
No verse of the Bible is subject to private interpretation, i.e., that of interpretation out of context, the Word of God is a whole entity. In this chapter, <u>as in this entire book</u>, what I have to say concerning Scripture and Scriptural matters should be evaluated with the whole Bible as a yardstick, for such is the true determination of accuracy.
So Christ also having been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that wait for him, unto salvation. (Heb. 9:28)
But of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only. (Matt. 24:36)
<u>Anyone who sets a precise date for the ending of this age- regardless of source or reasoning- is wrong! </u>
Now from the fig tree learn her parable: when her branch is now become tender, <u>and</u> putteth forth its leaves, ye know that the summer is nigh; even so ye also, when ye see all these things, know ye that he is nigh, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all these things be accomplished. (Matt. 24:32‑34)
It has been realized by students of the Bible for more than a hundred years that the parable of the fig tree meant that Israel would become a nation again.
Israel became a nation again on May 14, 1948.
It is clear from the correlation between these verses that the great earthquake of the sixth seal occurs shortly before the last three and a half years <the great Tribulation> of this age.
Although this earthquake will be of supernatural magnitude, unlike the subsequent calamities of the great Tribulation, it will have natural causes. Can we thus determine approximately when this earthquake is likeliest to occur?
And there shall be signs in sun and moon and stars; …for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. (Luke 21:25-26)
Notice that Luke 21:25‑26 is a description of outward signs also occurring at this timeWhat are the only signs in the sun that are visible to the naked eye? Sunspots! The word translated as ‘stars’ in Luke 21:25 may equally be in reference to the planets. Is there a connection between the cause of this great earthquake and these other, simultaneously occurring outward signs?
According to Wood, the next two sunspot cycles will peak in 1982 & 1993…<sup>307</sup>
Now, to the surprise of many scientists, there has come evidence that the alignments of the planets can, for sound scientific reasons, affect the behavior of the earth. But one of these occasions‑ an alignment of the planets which occurs only once every 179 years‑ is due in 1982. … <sup>309</sup>
The most likely time for the triggering of the earthquake is the time midway between the spring and fall of 1982. Thus, the focal point of likeliest time is the day of August 5, 1982, midway between spring and fall.
Almost certainly this was the star that the Wise‑men followed, and it was the tail of Halley’s comet that was used by God to point their way.
The next appearance of Halley’s comet will be in 1986 … it will appear brightest in February of 1986 . . <sup>318</sup>
Coincidence or fulfillment of prophecy?
The alignment of the planets converges with a sunspot peak only once every 1,969 years. Due to the mortality of short‑period comets, this will almost certainly be the only time that such a convergence is followed at the appropriate time by an appearance of Haley’s Comet. In this situation, we have the precise concurrence of a series of events that is unique, with a single event (Israel) that is likewise unique, all of which was prophesied nineteen centuries ago. <u>Mathematically, there is no chance whatsoever that these events are merely coincidental.</u>
…as modern chronologers have demonstrated, that <u>the date</u> of the Christian era, or <u>of the birth of Christ</u> Himself, <u>was moved FOUR YEARS from the true time</u>. …but there seems to be no doubt of the fact, that the birth of the Lord Jesus was made full four years later than the truth. <sup>314</sup>
What is the significance of the six days of the restoration <u>and</u> the seventh day of rest spoken of in Genesis, chapters 1 and 2?
The thousand‑year (to us) period of the millennial kingdom will not only be the wedding day of Christ and His bride but will also be the (seventh) day of rest for God, …the six days of the restoration must also correspond to the period of time <u>from the forming</u> of the spirit in man <u>to the beginning</u> of the millennial kingdom.
Deduction based on various statements in the Bible; however, place the date of creation only a few thousand years in the past. The precise date usually found in the headings of the King James Bible is 4004 B.C., this date having been worked out by the Irish theologian James Ussher (1581‑1656). <sup>319</sup>
…with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. (2 Peter 3:8)
This date of 4004 B.C. is a date indicated by the Scriptures.
As we have seen previously, Christ was actually born in the year that we record as 4 B.C. Thus, it was four of the Lord’s days (exactly 4,000 of our years) from the indicted date of “creation” to the birth of Christ. Using the same reckoning, the time of the Lord’s return (which will be at the beginning of the seventh day, the millennium) should be the year 1996. If He has not returned by this time, then He has tarried because the bride still hasn’t made herself ready.
I think that the following conclusions are both accurate and appropriate:
- Before midnight Israeli time August 4‑5, 1982 the last 3 1/2 years before the physical return of Christ (the Great Tribulation) could not begin. Now it can begin anytime.
- We still see through a glass darkly what the 3 1/2 years before (the first half of the last week of years) that will transpire as.
- In His mercy, the Lord has tarried. He probably should have been back no later than 1996.