THE LAST DAYS OF BABYLON Part 8, AGE OF DELIVERANCE

Goodnews Christian Ministry

"The Father who is the source of life has made the Son the source of life; and, because he is the Son of Man, has appointed him supreme judge. Do not be surprised at this, for the hour is coming when the dead will leave their graves at the sound of his voice: those who did good will rise again to life; and those who did evil, to condemnation." ---John 5:26-29

CHAPTER 33

Armageddon's Hour

"Take the fig tree as a parable; as soon as its twigs grow supple and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. So with you when you see all these things: know that he is near, at the very gates."
Matthew 24:32-33

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The world lives today in the final moments of an unprecedented age. Beckoning widely to us all stands a temporary window of reconciliation, opened by Christ and held unshuttered for almost 2000 years by the power of God.

When will this divine window be closed and the cataclysm of judgment that scripture predicts lies immediately behind it's shuttering come to pass? The exact date for the world's end has been divinely sealed and is known only to God. It will not be revealed in advance.

That is because it sits on a sliding scale. Grace can defer the wrath and forstall the date of the world's extinction, but global apostasy will hasten its occurance.

More important than determining the exact day itself, then, is discovering how to change that day's impact on our personal lives.

And the time for that is now. Anyone reading this book who has not already done so, has only a very short time to make peace with God, because the armies of Armageddon have already started to gather at the gates of a near horizon, called there by Jerusalem's restoration.

Precisely what date that original schedule defined, we do not really know, but there are some calculations we can make that will allow us to determine a possible framework for its outside limits. There is nothing definitive, of course, but there are strong clues.

One of these is the Law itself.

And related to the Law is the Jewish calendar -- a calendar still manifest in the world today. Every fall (at the time of Rosh Hashana) this calendar marks the Jewish New Year as it comes to pass, chronicling each successive year that pushes farther into the past the birth of Adam and Eve.

The reason why the Jewish calendar can be used in determining a date for the end of the world is because it plots the world's biblical beginning, calculating the time-line, not of natural history, but of scriptural history from the moment Adam and Eve were first conceived on earth.

Despite the fact that several calculations have appeared among Christian theologians trying to replicate a measurement for the human era in the way that the original Hebrews have done, none of those diverse calculations has taken root. Only the Jewish date remains in popular use.

While Christianity's calendar is far more important because it defines the term of the reconciliation, the Hebrew calendar cannot be simply dismissed. Defining a major key to prophecy, it traces the history of the earliest figures of the Bible, chronicling from the beginning, man's unfolding relationship with God.

Therefore it must be seen as a calendar that measures the history on earth of the human soul -- a history that scripture indicates is now almost six thousand years old.

Using the parable's of Christ as a guide, this era seems to define the 'seed' history of man. Entirely theological, it defines the date that God first began to till the soil to raise up souls in preparation for the incredible harvest of His salvation.

Again, using the measurement defined in scripture by the Holy Spirit -- that a thousand years to man are like a single day to God -- we can convert this Hebrew chronology from thousand-year increments into God-days.

These calculations reveal that, by Jewish reckoning, we are now, in our own time, nearing the end of the sixth millenium, i.e., the sixth 'God-day'.

The advent of the seventh day (the seventh millenium), according to this measure, is less than 250 years away.

The seventh day in Hebrew theology, remember, is the 'Day of God' -- the 'Day of Rest'.

It is the 'Sabbatical of God' (Lv.25:1) -- the time when the earth and all its produce will be put to final rest. The day of Christ's wedding feast, it is also the 'Year of Jubilee'.

And in millenial terms, it is not just any Jubilee year, but in closing God's harvest, it is the perfect Jubilee -- the ultimate seventh day of God on earth when everything that belongs to God must be returned to Him irrevocably. (Lv.25:10).

While the Christian calendar marks the age of Jesus Christ, and therefore delineates the conversion of the world into the righteousness of God ('wash and clean for two days and on the third day He shall appear before you'); the calendar followed by the Jews marks the age of the preparation of the soil for this conversion, providing a continuous measure extending from Adam's birth in the Garden of Eden right up to the present time.

According to the Hebrew calendar, Adam and Eve were conceived in the Garden of Eden sometime in early October, 3761 B.C.

Rosh Hashana, which marks this event every year, falls on a moveable date (due to the fact that it is measured on a lunar calendar); and it always occurs in either September or October.

September 1998, for instance, will mark the year 5759 in the Jewish calendar. This means that in September of 1998, according to Jewish calculations, it will have been five-thousand, seven-hundred and fifty-nine years since Adam and Eve were created.

(The accuracy of scientific chronology is irrelevant here because science cannot determine at what point God began to instill a spiritual soul into the developing creation. And as far as our use here is concerned, we are much more concerned with the end of the calendar than with its beginning).

Using the Jewish number, a simple calculation shows that only 243 years remain before the seventh 'day' (the seventh millenium on the Jewish calendar) begins.

How can the year 6000 mark the beginning of the seventh day? Because our numbering system includes a 'zero'. By the time the year 1 appears on the calendar, 365 days have already passed, and we are beginning our 2nd year.

Actually the new millenium does not begin until the first year of it appears. In other words, in the Christian millenium now approaching, the third millenium (or 'day') will actually begin on January 1, 2001, not in the year 2000. The principle is the same in the Jewish calendar.

And the same principle applies to centuries and milleniums. That is why we call the years of the 1900's the 20th century. The 20th century also marked the end of the second millenium of Christ. When the year 2001 begins, it will start the third millenium in the Christian calendar -- the 'third day' of God.

That means we are about to enter the millenium in which scripture has promised that God will return and make His ultimate appearance before us.

In the same way, when the year 6000 (6001 actually) appears in the Hebrew calendar, it will signal the start of the seventh millenium. This, in God's terms, is the beginning of the seventh day -- a day, which, from the very beginning, has marked a pivotal moment in Israel's theology.

According to the Hebrew calendar, that seventh day will occur in October, in the Christian year 2240 A.D. -- a year this world is likely never to see because God has determined to shorten the time.

Not only has the Bible specified that on the seventh day everything that belongs to God must be returned to Him, other prophecies have shown that He will return to the planet on the 'third' day.

Both the seventh day and the third day are simultaneous possibilities, because there are two chronologies of time being kept by the the two 'houses' of Israel.

In the calendar of one of these 'houses' we have a 'seventh day' approaching, and in the calendar of the other 'house', a 'third day'.

Both of these dates (the third day and the seventh day) are now imminent. They define two moments coincident by less than 250 years.

Both dates define an open chronology of the 'Second Coming '.

"Go to the people and tell them to prepare themselves today and tomorrow. Let them wash their clothing and hold themselves in readiness for the third day, because on the third day God will descend on the mountain...in the sight of all the people." (Ex.19:10-11).

Because God is going to rescue the Jews in a spectacular theophany that restores their sight just before the End occurs, we must accept that the Jewish calendar has the imprint of the Holy Spirit; and for this reason, has a specific purpose in the plan of God.

Although since altered by Christ, Hebrew chronology originally formed an integral part of the official calendar of the Mosaic Law. That law, as we have seen, is a template God has followed from the beginning, superimposing date for date and precept for precept.

Following the Hebrew calendar to its end, then, it is possible to conclude that a likely outside limit for the original date of the end of the world was probably the year 2240 A.D., the advent of the Hebrew 'seventh day'.

God, however, changed everything when He sent Jesus to earth. He announced that the time must be cut short; otherwise, faith could not survive.

John decreed one millenium (a thousand years) for the mercy to reign, and the window of reconciliation to stay open (Rev.20:1-8); but faith has almost doubled Christ's offer of Atonement, pushing it in our time very near the outside limits set by scripture. (Joshua 10:13-14).

This has brought it within just a few years of the beginning of the 'third day'.

The prophet Hosea has indicated that this 'third day' is the date set by God for the rescue of the Jews: "Come, let us return to God. He has torn us to pieces, but he will heal us; he has struck us down, but he will bandage our wounds. After a day or two he will bring us back to life, on the third day he will raise us and we shall live in his presence." (Hos.6:1-2).

So the two dates for the conclusion of the world set forth by scripture have dovetailed and both dates have a common focal point with the advent of the coming Christian millenium.

The reign of Christ on earth (the Day of Atonement) will end, the Bible tells us, when the world's governments and people reject Jesus as God. This occurance, in progress now, will be followed by the Great Tribulation.

Because the wrath associated with the the end of the world will be so severe, the days of terror have been cut short. We can see evidence of that already.

The swift unfolding of the Revolt in this century argues that the world does not have 242 years left. If the current pace of faith's collapse does not quickly reverse itself, Armageddon will occur much sooner than that.

How soon, of course, will remain a secret because God does not intend to reveal it -- not until the day that it happens. But with the rule of Christ already crumbling, 242 years now seems out of the question.

Even a hundred years is highly questionable.

In fact, every Christian today should assume that the world's end is going occur within their own lifetime -- because for a great many of us it probably will.

There are several dates in the next century that hold special significance. The year 2019, for instance, will mark the 70th year of Israel's reconstruction. The year 2030 will mark the 2000th anniversary of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection. The significance of the year 2000, the prelude to the beginning of the 'third day' of Christ has already been discussed in this chapter.

Yet, no matter how momentous the occasion, none of these dates will likely house Armageddon. God has made it clear that the end of the world will occur at a moment least suspected.

Not surprisingly, the historic term of human civilization on the planet has also been encompassed within the same 6000 year boundaries that are described by the Hebrew calculations.

Throughout the pages of this book we have seen that this 6000-year period of time relates to our bondage to sin -- and that this bondage has been defined biblically as the age of Babylon.

The 6000 year history of the exile of God's people out of Eden and their subsequent enslavement by the people of this planet mirrors the 6000-year history of mankind's march from primitive farm life at the banks of the Euphrates river to the complex technological empires we live in today -- a journey that has taken some of us even to the plains of the moon.

Thus civilization's history books and the Bible both describe a similar time-frame.

While both follow a nearly identical chronology, the dates given in the Bible are not literal. God has opened up a window for forgiveness that is not subject to a set end. Jesus altered the calendar. The wrath at the end of the world can be moved away by faith or brought closer by a life of sin.

The revolt that is swirling across the earth today is just such a sinful lifestyle. And it has precipitated, in the last few years, exactly as scripture predicted, an explosion of armies, wars and genocide unprecedented in the entire history of man.

All the anger we currently see on earth comes from the world's abandonment of the path of forgiveness and peace commanded by Christ. That is why it is essential that everyone turn back to God and repent. Only prayer and sincere repentance can slow down the processes which have brought the fires of Armageddon so close to us in this century.

Joshua's prophecy concerning the sun which delayed its setting for almost a whole day (Joshua 10:13-14) suggests that the millenium of Christ will last slightly less than two thousand years. In Joshua's prophecy the sun stood still in the sky so that one day was extended into almost two days. The term 'almost' in his quotation qualifies the prophecy.

Considering that the year 2001 A.D. is now only a few years away, the sunset of the 'day' of Christ shining on earth would seem to be an imminent event.

The 'night' Jesus predicted for the world should now be very close to us.

Yet we do not know precisely which date God has defined as the initial moment of the millenium in the spread of the light of Christ on earth.

The most obvious date of course, is the advent of the year 'One' in the Christian calendar -- a date that was supposed to mark the birth of Christ, but which turned out by accident to mark something unknown. The serendipity of this 'mistake' points to an intercession by the Holy Spirit. The exact reason, however, still remains unclear.

Although the year 2001 ushers in the 'third day' of Christ on earth, the inception of the millenium of Christ may well have begun later than January first in the year One A.D. -- at Pentecost (30-33 A.D.), for instance.

It was on Pentecost in either the year 30, or 33 A.D. that the darkness initiated by the crucifixion of Jesus was swept away by the Holy Spirit, who brought the 'light of Christ' back to the planet in the form of the glorified Word of God. It was on this date that the Holy Spirit first appeared on earth and began entering into the people.

Using the date of Pentecost as the dawn of the millenium would dilineate the crucifixion as the pivotal event in the first war (Rev. 20), and trumpet victory in that war with the appearance of the Spirit.

A third important date in the war which preceded the millenium of Christ's Day of Atonement (Rev.19:11+), revolves around the death of Nero. His death was an instant in history coincident with the destruction of the Jewish temple (burned to the ground in 70 A.D.), and a moment in time that may well have included the first resurrection (Rev.20:5).

That year, of course, by fulfilling all the warnings Jesus gave to the Jews, marks a very significant moment in God's victory on earth.

Perhaps a few might even argue that the millenium's inception lay with the proclamation of Theodosus in 391 A.D., which officially defined Christianity's conquest of the world.

God, of course, could pick any one of these dates and define it as the focus of Joshua's prophecy.

This means that faith and prayer can extend the era of the millenium well beyond the days assigned for it in the Hebrew calendar.

For instance, the two-thousandth anniversary of Theodosus' proclamation will not arrive until 2391 A.D. That date won't occur for almost 400 years.

Jesus enraged the officials at the Sanhedrin because he interpreted the Old Testament in ways the Jewish leaders had never envisioned. God backed Jesus, not the legal experts. The same is true here. Faith and prayer can alter the history of the world.

These holy processes can change the day of the end as well. Faith has stayed God's hand in the past (when Jonah preached to the Ninevites for instance). It can do the same again in the future.

The important factor to consider in all this is that God can bring the End anytime He wants to -- this very year if need be. All the legal elements of Hebrew prophecy are there for Him to do it if there is no repentance and re-conversion.

As we can see at dusk, there exists a hazy twilight area that lies between the end of a bright day and the beginning of the darkness of the night, where night and day overlap. We seem to be in the fading light of this kind of a moment right now.

The 'day' of Christ is ending and the 'night' of Satan is beginning. The 'Son' no longer stands still in the sky. The momentum of Christianity's reign on earth has faltered and its power to spark the souls of mankind is in the process of a political and social erosion never before witnessed.

In John's prophecy (Rev. 20), the thousand years (God's 'day' of Atonement -- His window for reconciliation) will end when Satan is released from his prison in the Abyss. He will come out and deceive all the nations in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, and mobilize them for war.

His armies will be as many as the sands of the sea and they will come swarming across the globe with burning fire and terror in their van and train. This is the second war described by John, the war that borders the millenium of reconciliation on its ebbing side.

The elementary stages of this second war began with the holocaust of the Jews in Europe during World War II. This attack was led by the seventh head of the beast -- an emperor we know better as Adolph Hitler.

Like the angry 'angel of the Abyss' ('Abaddon') in the Book of Revelation, (Rv.9:11), Hitler brought the first of the three troubles of the Wrath.

The two remaining 'troubles', this Book informs us (Rv.9:13-19; 13:1-17), are so devastating, they will leave the world a burned-out desert.

While much of the remaining disaster can be forestalled, the fact that the first trouble has already come and gone makes our situation today incredibly urgent. The Revolt must be reversed immediately.

Every conversion (no matter how inconsequential it might look) is powerful in this regard.

When the Lord had determined to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham pleaded with Him not to do it. (Gen.18:16-32). God agreed with Abraham's request, on one condition: "I will not destroy (these cities) for the sake of even ten righteous souls" (Gen.18:32).

The condition, however, could not be met.

On inspection there turned out to be not even ten pious souls in the entire city. As a result, there was no divine reprieve for Sodom and Gomorrah.

Because the days have become so short, if a similar inspection in our own time reveals a corresponding per capita wickedness, our cities will share a similar fate. This is why the message has become so urgent.

The epidemic of corruption and Christian apostasy that now surrounds us has reached into almost every household -- threatening to consume completely the heart and soul of western civilization. Only conversion, faith and prayer can reverse this process.

The story of Abraham's attempt to save Sodom and Gomorrah shows us that every person who turns back to Christ will not only save themselves from the fires of the last days, they will have a major impact on the continued survival of the entire world.


The Last Days of Babylon


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