Anyone asking the question ‘Are we the final generation’? intimates that Jesus will return in their lifetime. My prophetic views, discussed in the article on “The Tenth Day”, certainly convinces me and are in keeping with the signs of our times including the current covid-19 pandemic that is sweeping the world.
Current global environmental, political, financial and social upheavals are sure indicators of Christ’s soon return. Bible prophecies concerning Israel are coming to pass before our very eyes! However, there is an unfortunate prevailing trend in the church to discourage believers from exploring the timing of Christ’s return. Based on Acts 1:6-7, pastors regard such searches futile on the erroneous interpretation that Jesus told the disciples that it is not for us to know the times,
‘Then, indeed, these coming together, they asked Him, saying, Lord, do You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? And He said to them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in His own authority‘ (Acts 1:6-7). In the next verses Jesus admonished the disciples to focus on more immediate matters. However, we need to remember that Jesus was addressing His generation, not necessarily us! Information given to us in the Bible allows us to confidently deduce the time of His return with an error of only a few years.
Dr Jeff Hammond of “Abbalove” recently published a series of 5 minute YouTube Videos on “Signs of the End-Times”. Each subsequent video deals with one of the signs.
Times Have Changed since Jesus walked the Earth
Millennia have changed things considerably, however. Christ chastised the Jews. If they were able to forecast tomorrow’s weather why could they not recognize the time of His visitation? We have the Holy Spirit who knows the heart of the Father. We are nearing the end and God would expect us to be aware of the times we are living in. Many churches have sensed the imminent Second Coming of the Lord Jesus, precisely when, nobody knows. Taking a lead from His First Coming we can be assured that God is going to forewarn a devout few about His coming. The Father did 2000 years ago. Indeed, Jesus chided the Pharisees that they did not recognize the season of His coming when they should have. Since they could read the weather they ought to have been able to read the signs of His coming! Therefore, Jesus tells us clearly,
‘So you, likewise, when you see all these things, shall know that it is near, at the doors. Truly I say to you, this generation shall not pass until all these things are fulfilled‘ (Matthew 24:33-34).
‘And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars. And on the earth will be anxiety of nations with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men fainting from fear, and expecting those things which have come on the earth. For the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then they shall see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power, and great glory. And when these things begin to happen, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near‘ (Luke 21:25-28).
God wants us to know the time of visitation. Remember Simeon and Anna, the prophetess, who met baby Jesus in the Temple when He was only 8 days old at His circumcision? Neither Simeon nor Anna were shocked to come across the Lord in person. They had been long forewarned that one day they would see the Saviour. The Holy Spirit told Simeon so (Luke 2:26). The wise men from the East had seen a star. Who told them it was the sign of the Christ if not the Holy Spirit or an angel? How were they told that it would lead them to the Lord’s birthplace? Whatever gave them that confidence? They were rewarded for their faith. My personal belief is that it was a supernatural star. How could any normal star lead you to a specific house (Matthew 2:9)? Try it out yourself one night. As you move forward, the star also moves forward. On top of that the star disappeared for a time (Matthew 2:10). That is why the wise men were exceedingly glad when they saw it again.
Foretelling the coming of the Lord is the purpose of much of biblical prophecy: they act like a trumpet call to wake us up. In the days of the Babylonian captivity Daniel ascertained from the books of Jeremiah that the 70-year captivity was coming to an end (Daniel 9:2). The same applies about the Second coming if we look hard enough. His Second Coming is ominously near.
The Season of His Coming
As Jeff Hammond points out in his short videos the signs of His imminent coming are all around us. None of the signs are date-specific but current world affairs (especially events in Israel and the covid-19 pandemic which has brought world economies to their knees) and massive ecological upheavals line up with ‘the time of sorrows’ prophesied by Jesus. This event occurs well before Revelation Chapter 12. Some Bible teachers have erroneously linked the birth pangs (in some translations) of the time of sorrows with the birth pangs of the woman in Revelation 12. They are separate events. The time of sorrows that Jesus talked about in Matthew Chapter 24 immediately precedes the red, black and pale horses in Revelation Chapter 6 which usher in the true beginning of horrible world-wide disasters. It can be thought of as the foothills of the terrible mountain we shall be facing.
‘And you will hear of wars, and rumours of wars. See that you are not troubled, for all these things must occur; but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, and pestilences and earthquakes in different places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to be afflicted and will kill you. And you will be hated of all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, and will betray one another, and will hate one another. And many false prophets will rise, and deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many will become cold‘ (Matthew 24:6-12). The signs are all around us. Children are disobedient to parents, immorality will abound, while massive natural disasters continue to occur at unprecedented frequency. The prophecies in the book of Revelation are surely coming upon us.
Jonathan Cahn, a Messianic American rabbi, rose to fame as one of the world’s foremost prophets judging by his numerous appearances on television and at the speaker at the President’s inaugural breakfast in Washington DC. I heard his speech which was what I would have expected Elijah to sound like. I was most impressed. The government press removed the transcript from the internet for a while because he stepped on a lot of bureaucratic toes. We need to follow his interesting material with perhaps some reservations of minor points for the time being. His New York Times best-selling books ‘The Paradigm‘ and ‘The Harbinger‘ provide fascinating reading. They have greatly increased my faith that God is indeed in control of world history,
‘…..seven times shall pass over you until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He will‘
The books are a must read for Christians, the major benefit being the revival of one’s interest in the seven year cycles of the Feasts of the Lord, which ancient Israel observed. In ancient Israel seven year cycles of celebrations (the so-called Feasts of the Lord) determined credits, debts and property ownership. They have huge prophetic implications.
Nobody knows whether the version of the Hebrew calendar used by Jonathan Cahn is actually correct, especially in relation to the placement of the 49 year cycles within the calendar that determine the Year of Jubilee and the Sabbatical Year.
However, Cahn gives many illustrations of uncanny coincidences between the timing of the Feasts of the Lord with disasters in America in recent times. He is convinced that, although the United States began its origins upholding the most puritan of commitments, it has steadily declined in its virtues having banished prayer and God from the public arena. He comes to the conclusion that unless the United States repents as an entire nation its gradual slide into extreme weather phenomena and moral decline will end in disaster. He links certain events with cycles of Feasts of the Lord where the intended great blessings were turned into a curse because people turned their backs on God. Public life and the education system have been putting God on the back-burner for decades. Australia is no different.
I believe that Cahn has made a significant contribution to linking the importance of the Feasts to world history, but his work begs the question whether his proposed dates for Feasts are correct in terms of the beginning and end of each seven year cycle. Did he manipulate the alignment of events with a hypothetical calendar of his own making to fit his theories? The events quoted in The Harbinger appear to be factually correct.
Cahn lists amazing events regarding America and Israel that coincide with the cycles of the Jewish Year of the Jubilee and the Sabbatical Year (The Shemitah), that occurs only once every 50th and 7th year respectively. The Jubilee is the year of liberty when all properties in ancient Israel were returned to tribal families by the Laws of Moses. For example, the Balfour declaration in 1917 announcing British support to establish a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine, the liberation of Jerusalem in 1967 (miraculously during the 6-day war) and the 2017 declaration by President Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel all fall into the critical years of the religious cycles.
On the other hand, financial crashes and the destruction of the twin towers on 9/11 also appear to take place in critical places of the religious cycles. Cahn interprets these as warnings or harbingers for the United States to repent. While all this may possibly be true we need to tread forward cautiously because we do not possess an absolute Hebrew calendar. I believe that God has deliberately allowed it to be so! This forces us to choose matters by faith, ‘for without faith it is impossible to please God‘ (Hebrews 11: 6). My own timelines for the age of the Earth and their relation to the Feasts of Israel suffer from no such limitations, but I can only suggest ballpark figures perhaps within a decade or so.
Others have also attempted to link the Feasts with end-time events. “Yeshua (Jesus) indicated in Matthew 24:32-34 that there would be a time when the “fig tree” (Judah / the Jews) would bring forth leaves… and that this generation should see the return of Christ. We are presently living in that time! The founding of the State of Israel in 1948 and the deliverance of Jerusalem in 1917 and 1967 are all signs of the fig tree putting forth leaves. Yeshua (Jesus) will indeed return soon, intervening in the coming final nuclear war and establishing His kingdom on earth, which will exist for a thousand years. The signs can already be seen. Are you ready?
The number 70 is a prophetic number. Daniel the prophet spoke of 70 sevens that must be fulfilled in order for redemption to come. The 70th Jubilee Shemitah of “2015” is extra significant! This Jubilee Shemitah of 2015 will mark the beginning of a prophetic series of events that could ultimately culminate seven Years later… at the SECOND COMING of Christ (however only God knows the time and date) when ALL real estate of the planet will be returned to its original owner, the Creator, the ULTIMATE manifestation of the Shemitah” (Alf and Julie Saunders http://www.pray4zion.org/TheComingShemitahJubileeYear57745.html). Cahn’s work updated these estimates in the ‘Mystery of the Shemitah‘, although we need to keep reservations in mind concerning both publications.
Jonathan Cahn has no doubts that we can do a mathematical countdown for the Second Coming of Jesus. I am confident of the same except that the Hebrew calendar cannot be calibrated against a fixed date. Therefore, although most of us can read the signs of the seasons, it remains true that only God knows the exact time of the Second Coming.
Both Saunders and Cahn emphasise the significance of the 70th Jubilee year to come, as counted from the days when Israel crossed the Jordan under the leadership of Joshua. While that may be true we don’t know exactly how long ago that took place either. Both the Gregorian Christian calendar and the Jewish calendar seem to suffer from some plasticity. According to astronomers the Christian calendar only seems to be out by about 4 years.
Nevertheless the patterns of God are clear from these readings and bring a firm message of the impending coming of Jesus. His coming will be absolute devastation for some and total joy to others. There is no room for scoffing regardless of where we will end up!
Adding to this broad picture is the 120th Year of the Jubilee year (the year of redemption) that is counted on the Jewish calendar from the time when Adam and Eve sinned and fell into bondage. It cannot be from the year of the creation. The 70th Jubilee goes back 3500 years while the 120th Jubilee goes back an extra 2500 years to the time when Eve was tempted by Satan (6000 years ago in round figures). The number 120 in scripture signifies ‘the end of all flesh’ so it is appropriate that the end of all bondage to sin will come in 120 x 50 years = 6000 years. At that time we shall truly be wholly in the spirit and our existence in the old man will have ended. That is what the Jubilee signified – total liberty and the return of all lands as well! Both ways of counting Jubilees point to the same final Jubilee in principle.
The Shemitah and the Year of Jubilee
What are they? They are important components of the Lord’s Feasts of Israel that involve cycles of 7. The Shemitah was a special year, celebrated once every 7 years when all loans and credits were annulled. It was called the year of release of financial debts and was also known as the Sabbatical year when all lands were to be rested. No cultivation of the land was permitted by observers of the Mosaic Laws.
The Year of Jubilee was even more special. Every 7th Shemitah (i.e. at 49 year intervals) not only were all debts released, but all lands had to be returned to the original owners. It was a sign that all lands belonged to God anyway, as Alf and Julie Saunders point out above.
Regardless of whether we can have confidence in Jonathan Cahn’s work there are important time elements involved in these special years, which Christians ought to study and understand (2 Timothy 2:15). Apart from a few questions I thoroughly recommend Jonathan Cahn’s publications. I also have provided more keys to the mystery of the current age of the Earth which ought to be read together with my article on “The Holy of Holies”. The entire time-line of Earth’s history can be found in “The Book of Life” the 15th article on the series.