A New Look at the “Days of Awe” and the



William F. Dankenbring





















            According to the school of Elijah, Jewish Biblical exegesis, and early Christian prophetic understanding, this present age was to have 6,000 years -- that is, human world history would be completed in six millennia, followed by a seventh millennium -- the time of the Messianic kingdom of Messiah ben David.


            Interestingly, according to Jewish Kabbalistic understanding, each of the millennia of human history functions according to different spiritual forces -- that is, each of the 1,000-year periods of history since Adam and Eve has its own peculiar "signature" or prevailing cosmic identity.


            Permit me to explain.  This may seem very mysterious, but when we look at it carefully, it begins to make sense -- and provides us a remarkable insight into God's Plan and how it is unfolding through history.


            We all are somewhat familiar with human "DNA," and so-called building blocks of human heredity.  Our "DNA" is our signature -- our essence -- which determines our own hereditary construction.  Even so, there is a concept of cosmic "DNA," which pictures spiritual realities.  These are the characteristics of God which He extends into the physical world, in His interactions with mankind.  There are seven of these divine characteristics which are manifest toward men -- but ten in total, the first three being "internal" and 'hidden."  These are called the sefirot of God, and are very important in our understanding of the Divine.


            The Scriptures tells us that there were seven days of Creation (Gen.1).  The seventh day is the weekly Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11; Gen.2:1-2).  Likewise, there are seven annual holy days in the Hebrew calendar -- Passover (1st day of Unleavened Bread), Last Day of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost (Shavuot), Yom Teruah (Rosh Hashana), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), First Day of the Feast of Tabernacles, and Shemini Atzeret (the "Eighth Day") (Leviticus 23).


            Also, there are seven Sabbatical years in a Jubilee cycle of years (Lev.25).  That is, every seventh year is a "year of rest," even as the seventh day of the week is a day of "rest."  After seen of these Sabbatical years, comes the fiftieth year, called the "Jubilee year" of freedom, liberty, and redemption.  Seven is therefore the number of divine perfection, completion, fullness. 


            But the number "ten" is also very important, Biblically.  There are ten patriarchs and ten generations of mankind before the Flood; there were ten plagues on ancient Egypt; God gave Israel the 'Ten Commandments"; there were ten tribes in the northern kingdom of Israel; the fourth beast of Daniel has ten horns (Dan.7:7, 24); the beast of Revelation has ten horns also (Rev.13:1); ten kings will fight Christ when He returns (Rev.17:12-14); the Church of God is described as being composed of ten virgins (Matt.25:1); the tithe is one tenth of one's income (Lev.27:30-32).


            Ten is also a number of perfection or completion.  But it signifies completion or perfection of God's divine order.  The first ten numbers is the pattern for the whole numerical system, as "numerical DNA" as it were -- and originates the system of numerical calculation called "decimals."  Completeness of order, then, is represented by the number 'ten."


            All together, then, there are ten divine sephirot or "traits" of God which represent the connecting link or "chain of command" between God and our physical world in which we live.  These sephirot are revealed in the "Omer Count," in the spring of the year.  God commands His people to "count the Omer" each day, from the beginning of barley harvest (Abib 16), till Pentecost, seven weeks later (Lev.23:15-16). 


            According to Jewish interpretation, each one of these sephirot is represented by one of the patriarchs, who exemplified that particular trait, or characteristic.  For example:


                        Patriarch         Hebrew term               English meaning

                        Abraham          chesed                          loving kindness, hospitality

                        Isaac                gevurah                        power, contained strength, self control

                        Jacob               tiferet                            beauty, mercy, harmony, compassion

                        Moses              netzach             victory, triumph, eternity, dominance

                        Aaron               hod                              splendor, majesty, glory

                        Joseph              yesod                           foundational strength, foundation

                        David               malchut             kingdom, manifestation, kingship


            What is not generally realized is that these seven patriarchs, and these seven emanations of God's sephirot, ALSO CORRESPOND TO GOD'S SEVEN-THOUSAND YEAR PLAN that He is working out on the earth!


            In other words, each of these characteristics fits, in descending order, one of the seven millennia down through human history, including the "Sabbath rest" 1,000-year period of the reign of the Messiah (Rev.20:1-4).


            Notice carefully:


                        Patriarch                     Hebrew term               Period of Years

                        Abraham                      chesed                          4004 BC-3004 BC

                        Isaac                            gevurah                        3004 BC-2004 BC

                        Jacob                           tiferet                            2004 BC-1004 BC

                        Moses                          netzach             1004 BC-4 BC

                        Aaron                           hod                              4 BC-997 AD

                        Joseph                          yesod                           997 AD-1997 AD


            Thus if we count the millennia from the Creation of man, Adam and Eve were created in 4004 BC, according to archbishop Ussher's carefully compiled Biblical chronology.  This means the end of the sixth millennium was 1997 AD, and we are now living in "overtime"!


            However, notice that the sixth millennium, just before the coming of the Messiah and the inauguration of the seventh millennium, belongs to the patriarch "Joseph."  Joseph was the son of Jacob sold into slavery by his brothers, who suffered in Pharaoh's prison, but was ultimately raised to rulership over the whole land of Egypt, and he was the "Messianic figure" of that age, a type of the true Messiah -- God used Joseph to save his family, and all the nations of the world, from the scourge of famine and drought!


            The Jewish Talmud states that there were to be "two Messiahs" -- one the son of Joseph, who would descend from Joseph, and die in battle, paving the way for the second Messiah -- the son of David, who would be the final Messiah, descended from David, and who would rule the world and conquer the heathen nations.


            This "understanding," however, is a bit "fractured."  Rather than two different "Messiahs," the Scriptures teach ONE MESSIAH -- WHO COMES TWO DIFFERENT TIMES -- the first time as a meek Lamb, giving His life for the sins of the world (Isa.53:3-10; Dan.9:26; Exo.12:6; John 1:29; I Cor.5:7); the second time as the roaring LION of the tribe of JUDAH (Rev.5:5).  Both the Lamb of God and the Lion of God ARE ONE! (see Rev.5:5, 6, 12:11, 14:1).


            However, take note of the fact that the sixth millennium is the millennium of "Joseph."  It would be a time of the ascendency of the tribe of Joseph -- his descendants.  Interestingly, careful Bible study and history prove that the descendants of Joseph -- Ephraim and Manasseh -- were the leaders of the ten-tribed Kingdom of Israel who rebelled against the throne of David in the days of Jeroboam and Rehoboam, son of Solomon.  The

northern kingdom was taken into captivity for their sins in 718-721 B.C.  History shows that the tribes of Joseph became the Anglo-Saxon peoples, and settled in the British isles.  The word "Brit-ish" in Hebrew means "man of the covenant," or 'covenant man."  God made a covenant with the sons of Joseph that they would eventually dominate the world (Gen.49:22-26), as a "fruitful bough," with great natural resources.  Further, they were prophesied to have the blessings of the birthright -- the physical blessings of prosperity, abundance, and wealth, and leadership (I Chron.5:1-2).  And, Moses prophesied that they would "push the people together to the ends of the earth" (Deut.33:13-17).


            Joseph, then, had an oldest son named Manasseh -- he is in modern day identify, the nations of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, South Africa.  Joseph's youngest son was Ephraim -- which means "doubly fruitful" -- and is identified as the United States of America!  These nations have indeed "pushed" the nations around the world in the latter part of the Sixth Millennium -- the 20th century -- and led the western world to victory in World War I, World War II, and the Gulf War of 1991. 


            `The House of Joseph, dominant during the sixth millennium, especially during this concluding century, has "laid the foundation' for the coming of the Messiah ben David.  How have they done this?  The nations of Joseph are the primary nations which have preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world; they have printed and distributed more Bibles than any other nation; they have sent more missionaries into all the world; and Joseph (Great Britain) issued the Balfour declaration, after a British General captured Jerusalem in 1917 from the Turkish Empire, permitting Jews to return to their ancestral homeland.  And it has been Joseph who has been the greatest defender of the Jewish state of Israel established in 1948.


            But, according to our time-table, the Josephite Millennium is coming to a close, to be shortly replaced by the Davidic Millennium -- the millennium of the Messiah!


            What are the "signs" of this transition?


                                                   The Sufferings of Joseph


            The Scriptures tell us that just before Jacob died, he gave Joseph an extra piece of the land of Israel -- the city of Shechem (Gen.48:22).  Shechem had an interesting history.  It was Shechem who raped Dinah, Jacob's daughter (Gen.34:1-5).  This led to the sons of Jacob plotting against the Shechemites, and killing their males in retribution (vs.13-31), and seizing their property.  Shechem was a violent beginning -- and comes to a violent ending.


            It was in Shechem that Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery, and it was to Shechem that Joseph's bone were carried from Egypt, to be buried, when Israel left Egypt and returned to the holy land.  


            Shechem is called Nablus by the Arabs.  It was here that the Arab-Palestinian mob ravaged, burned, and pilloried the tombs of Joseph and Rachel, during the recent intifada, the "Rosh Hashana War" of the year 2000.

            Says the Zohar, the chief study guide of the Kabbala, in a very interesting passage:


                                    "In the time of the resurrection of the dead, many camps will

                                                arise in Land of the Galil, because that is where the Messiah

                                                is going to be first revealed, since it is part of Joseph's territory.

                                                It will be the first place to be destroyed.  It will begin there

                                                ahead of all other places, and then spread to the nations"

                                                (Zohar, Vayakhel 220a).


                Shechem, according to the Talmud, is where bad things happen (Sotah 11a).  It is a place "set aside for punishment." 


            The Palestinian intifada has desecrated the tomb of Joseph at Shechem.  The Israelis have withdrawn from the Shechem tomb site, leaving it in the hands of the Palestinians.  Does this withdrawal signify a weak point in the Israeli chain of command? 


            With violence beginning at Shechem, does this symbolize the modern-day 'House of Joseph" -- the United States and British Commonwealth -- entering a time of punishment, destruction, instability, and international weakness? 


            Interestingly, it is also at this time that history has been made in the United States -- the closest (and perhaps most fraudulent) Presidential election in American history, reveals a nation DIVIDED such as it has not been divided since the days of the American Civil War! (1860-1865).


            Jesus Christ warned, "Every kingdom divided against itself  is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand" (Matt.12:25).  "And if a kingdom be divided against itself,  that kingdom cannot stand.  And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand" (Mark 3:24-25). 


            Have we entered the "twilight" of Joseph's period of dominance -- are we now seeing the beginning of the TRIBULATION period, beginning with the House of Joseph?


            It is pointed out in the Kabbala, that the first letters of each of the words Baruch Shem kevod malchut l'olam va'ed,the second verse of the Shema said twice every day by Orthodox and

Observant Jews, spell the words, b'Shechem lamed-vav, which means, "In Shechem, thirty six." 


            The second verse of the Shema represents the Jewish belief that it is God who literally orchestrates the events of history, even if this fact is hidden or veiled to the world, and they think "natural causes" control nature.  But as Daniel the prophet told King Nebuchadnezzar, "Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever . . . And he changeth the times and the seasons:  he removeth kings and setteth up kings" (Dan.2:20-21). 


            This verse of the Shema alludes to the day when God will stop working invisibly, in a hidden manner, undercover, but will begin to work openly, in plain sight, and reveal Himself to mankind in a very obvious manner!  No longer will men question His "existence," and act as if He did not exist!


            So, what is the meaning of, 'In Shechem, thirty six"?


            Interestingly, the number "thirty six" is all about EXILE -- and redemption!


            Thirty six is 6 x 6.  Six represents the number of "man," falling short of perfection.  Six itself pictures "sin."  The sixth commandment is against the most violent sin --murder.  Six is also a composite of 4 plus 2, that is, "man's world" (4) plus man's enmity toward God (2, the number of division).  But in a positive sense, it also represents 5 plus 1 -- that is, "grace" and "mercy" (5) plus God (1).  Since 36 is literally 6 x 6, or 6 squared, it raises these concepts to the next multiple, higher level.  Therefore, it presents the punishment and exile of man, due to SIN and rebellion, but it also represents God's remedy for sin and rebellion -- God's grace poured out in abundance upon repentant sinners!


            Thus "punishment" and "tribulation" began at Shechem -- even so, redemption will also begin at Shechem!  It is noteworthy that in the book of Jasher, it is clear that after the sons of Jacob slaughtered the Shechemites, the whole surrounding Gentile and Canaanite world gathered together to avenge the deaths of their neighbors, and wars began between the sons of Jacob and their Gentile neighbors -- frightful wars, a type of the Great Tribulation and the wars of the coming "Day of the Lord."  God delivered Israel then; and He will deliver Israel again, in the near future, when the Messiah Himself steps in to intervene!


            Is this Palestinian act of desecration a symbolic act, symbolizing the BEGINNING OF THE FINAL SEVEN YEARS OF TRIBULATION, "Daniel's 70th week," and the countdown to the final coming of the Messiah?  Does this represent the beginning of "Jacob's trouble"?


            God thunders, "For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.  Ask ye now, and see if a man doth travail with child?  wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?  Alas!  for that day is great, so that none is like it:  it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved [REDEEMED] out of it.  For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him:  But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them" (Jeremiah 30:5-9).


            Interestingly, the Talmud says that when falsehood rules the minds of men, this is actually one of the SIGNS that the Messiah is not too far away (Sanhedrin 97a).


            The name Shechem itself symbolizes this idea.  The first and last letter are separated by the letter kaf, which symbolizes intellectual blindness.  However, when the kaf is removed, we have left the letters shin and mem -- which together spell "shem," meaning "name," which is a euphemism for the Name of God -- God's holy, ineffable name -- "Ha Shem" -- which represents the YHVH, the Tetragrammaton, the name of YAHVEH!


            Shechem, then, first represents a place of punishment, and exile.  But that is only up until the time of redemption.  When that time comes, clearly associated with Joseph, the ancient 'redeemer" of his brothers, then God's light of truth will be revealed, miracles will occur that reveal God's hand in history, and great miracles will occur.  God's name will be exalted, and united, and unified, in that great day!


            Says the prophet Isaiah:  "Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty.  The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day" (Isaiah 2:10-11).  "For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low . . . And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low:  and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day" (vs.12-17).


            "And the LORD shall be king over all the earth:  in that day there shall be ONE LORD, and HIS NAME ONE" (Zechariah 14:9).


                                                       Ten Sefirot and Ten Years


            As I mentioned earlier, there are seven sefirot of God manifested to mankind -- but in all there are ten sefirot.  This is pictured in the book of Revelation.   Notice!  Revelation, chapter 4, speaks of God sitting on His Throne (Rev.4:2-3, 9-10).  Chapter 5 pictures a book being opened before God, which only the Messiah can open (Rev.5:1-7).  The sound of a trumpet is also connected to this scene in heaven (Rev.4:1).  These three elements are also pictured in the Feast of Trumpets, Yom Teruah, or Rosh Hashana -- judgment, God's throne, the books being opened, and the sound of the shofar!


            The following chapters of Revelation reveal the "seven seals," in which are a subset of the "seven trumpet plagues," and then a final "seven last plagues" (Rev.6, 8-9, and chapters 15-16).  These reveal God's judgment poured out on this world, and the coming of the Messiah to exercise judgment.  This scenario is pictured by the Ten Days of Awe, culminating upon the Day of Atonement -- Yom Kippur!


            In other words, here again -- in the book of Revelation -- we have the number 3, in Revelation 4-5, and the number 7 -- which, added together, make up TEN!


            Could this number "10" -- which is the number of the "Days of Awe" between Tishri 1 and Tishri 10 -- which also pictures the ten sefirot of God -- picture the FINAL TEN YEARS of transition and tribulation, from the end of the millennium of Joseph, to the beginning of the Millennium of the Messiah ben David?


            Joseph's Millennium, theoretically, would have ended in 1997.  If we add ten years to that time, we come to 2007 A.D.!  The first 3 years of the transition period were "hidden" years, from 1997-2000.  But now God is beginning to MANIFEST His divine intervention!


            From here on out, we can expect to begin to see SIGNS and MIRACLES!


            Why are there ten days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, and not "seven"?  Could this be indicative of TEN years between the end of the Sixth Millennium -- pictured by the month of Elul -- and the beginning of the Messianic Kingdom, pictured by Yom Kippur on the tenth day of Tishri?


            Says Rabbi Yosef Stern in his book, The Days of Awe:


                        "The Infinite [God] created this world, establishing in it the natural conduct.

                                But even before that, He also created a parallel conduct which is above the laws

                                of nature, comprising three levels of utmost purity.  These three levels are sym-

                                bolically called 'Primeval Days,' as their creation preceded that of our world.                          

                                Their light is available to the Baal Teshuvah, [the repentant sinner] who needs

                                to detach himself from worldly matters in order to be able to overcome his

                                natural inclinations.  This light is revealed during the 'Ten Days of Repentance.'

                                An allusion to this can be derived from the simple calculation that the length

                                of this period (ten days) consists of an ordinary seven-day week, which signifies

                                the seven days of Creation, to which three extra days are added, signifying those

                                three 'Primeval Days..'  Thus the repentant gets heavenly help in these days in

                                order to connect to a higher conduct which will enable him to tear himself from

                                his worldly attachments" (p.216-217).


                 Consider this!  These three hidden "Primeval Days" could correspond to the three years from 1997-2000.  This leaves the seven days from Tishri 4-Tishri 10 which correspond to Daniel's 70th week, the seven years of Tribulation and "Jacob's Trouble," beginning with the desecration of Joseph's tomb, the war over Jerusalem, and the incredible Presidential morass in the leading tribe of Joseph's descendants, today -- the United States!


            One other thing:  It is most noteworthy to remember that the "secret," "hidden" ministry of the Messiah -- His first coming which was NOT recognized by the world in general, nor accepted or recognized by the Jews, as a whole -- was also THREE YEARS in length -- from Passover, 27 A.D. to Passover, 30 A.D., when He was crucified.  This "hidden" three years could also correspond to the three hidden "Primeval Days" of which the Rabbis speak.  Jesus' three years of ministry could be reflected in the first three hidden days of the ten "Days of Awe."  Truly, for three years Yeshua preached the message of repentance, crying out, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; Repent ye, and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15).


            The concept of the Ten Sefirot goes back at least to the Prophet Elijah.  In the Jewish prayer book Siddur Tehillat HaShem, we read of Elijah's discourse as follows:


                        "Elijah opened [his discourse] and said:  'Master of the worlds, You are One

                                but not in the numerical sense.  You are exalted above all the exalted ones, hidden

                                from all the hidden ones; no thought can grasp You at all.  You are He who has

                                brought forth ten "garments", and we call them ten sefirot, through which to

                                direct hidden worlds which are not revealed and revealed worlds; and through

                                them You conceal Yourself from man.  You are He who binds them together and

                                unites them; and inasmuch as You are within them, whoever separates one from

                                another of these ten sefirot, it is considered as if he had affected a separation in

                                You.  These ten sefirot proceed according to their order . . . . and they are described

                                in the following manner:  chesed [kindness] -- the right arm; gevurah [severity,

                                power] -- the left arm; tiferet [beauty]-- the torso; netzach [eternity, victory] and

                                hod [splendor] -- the two thighs; yesod [foundation] -- the end of the torso, the

                                sign of the Holy Covenant;  malchut [kingship] -- the mouth, which we call the

                                Oral Torah; chochmah [wisdom] -- the brain, that is, the thought within; binah

                                [understanding] -- the heart, by means of which the heart understands; and concern-

                                ing the latter two [sefirot] it is written, "The secrets belong unto the Lord our God";

                                supernal keter [crown] is the crown of kingship, concerning which it is said, "He

                                declares the end from the beginning," and it is the skull [upon which the] tefillin

                                [are placed]. . . ." (page 125).


                Take note of the fact that the first seven "sefirot" are revealed, manifested outwardly, and compared to vital parts of the human body, whereas the last three are "internal," hidden from view, but just as necessary -- the first, chochmah, is compared to thoughts of the mind -- wisdom; the second, binah, is compared to the heart -- the source of understanding; and the third, keter [or sometimes, daat], refers to the crown of kingship, or knowledge.


            How clear then that these ten sefirot are interrelated and proceed in a given order, from first to last.  How interesting that they describe the "ages" of mankind, and the thousand-year periods of human existence, including the "three primordial days."  Do they also relate to the "Ten Days of Awe" from Tishri 1, Rosh Hashana, through Tishri 10, Yom Kippur?


            The Ten Days of Awe, in Jewish parlance, are also called the "Ten Days of Repentance," and "The Ten Days of Affliction."  The Year 2000 was in the Hebrew calendar, year 5760 -- meaning "in the days of transition," the beginning of one cycle and close of another.  The Hebrew letter "samech," which has a numerical value of 60, sets the tone for last year.  Now we are beginning a NEW WEEKLY CYCLE -- the last weekly cycle of this age?  And it begins on a very rough patch -- war in Israel, confusion in the U.S. elections, political WAR between the Bush and Gore camps, and the defiling of Joseph's tomb in ancient Shechem!


            What does the future hold?  Are we now entering a period of world troubles and woes such as the world has never before seen?  To understand the final fulfillment of God's Plan, and the 6,0l00 years, we must first understand the date of the beginning of that Plan. 


            Just when did it all begin?


                                                    The True Creation Date


            Archbishop Ussher, a brilliant Protestant theologian of the seventeenth century, studied the chronology of the Bible and concluded Creation was 4004 B.C.  His calculations, if right, would indicate the 6000 years would be up in the fall of 1997.  To be precise, October 23,1997.  Of course, the world did not end on that date, nor did the Messiah come.  However, the stock market took a dive of 560 points on that day.  Could that have been a warning of things to come?


            Archbishop Ussher was a great Biblical historian and theologian.  He was born in Nicholas Street, Dublin, in 1581 A.D., and was one of the first scholars admitted to Trinity College, at the tender young age of 13.  Ussher believed the Bible was literally true, like other scholars of his day, and attempted to work out the precise day and time of Creation, and when we could expect Christ's second coming.  He was an expert in Hebrew, Latin and Greek, and was assisted by one of the largest libraries in all of Western Europe. 


            Ussher concluded Creation occurred on noon, October 23rd, 4004 B.C.  His reasoning was simple:  Since history showed Nebuchadnezzar died in 562 B.C., and Biblical chronology showed his death was 3,442 years after Creation, then Creation had to be 4004 B.C.  3442 plus 562 equals 4004.  Simple.


            Ussher's scholarship was published in 1650 as The Annals of the World.  Ussher also deduced that the Temple of Solomon was finished on 2004 B.C., 2000 years after Creation, and Christ was born 4 B.C., 4000 years from Creation.


            Ussher believed, as many did in his time, that the end of the world or age would occur 6000 years from Creation.  His calculations were widely accepted at the time and were inserted into the margins of many published Bibles of the Authorized King James Version in 1701. 


            6000 years from 4004 B.C. brings us to the year 1997.  However, as we can all see, at this time, the world did not end and Christ did not return at that date.  Why not?  Was Ussher wrong?  Or is there more to the story?


                                                            The Book of Jubilees


            The Jewish book of Jubilees tells us that the 6,000 years of man's rule should not be counted from the date of Creation, but implies that we should count from the date of Adam and Eve's transgression in the garden of Eden -- when they came under the influence of the serpent, Satan the devil.  This was seven years after their original creation!


            Although we cannot state with absolute certainly, the indication from Biblical prophecy and Biblical evidence, is that the 6,000 years from Adam and Eve should be counted from the time they sinned, and were expelled from the Garden of Eden.  That's when the countdown began.  The book of Jubilees tells us that this occurred seven years after their creation.  Notice:


                        "And during the first week of the first jubilee Adam and his wife had been in the

                                garden of Eden for SEVEN YEARS tilling and guarding it.  And we gave him work

                                and we were teaching him to do everything which was appropriate for tilling.  And

                                he was tilling.  And he was naked, but he neither knew it nor was he ashamed.  And

                                he was guarding the garden from the birds and beasts and cattle and gathering its

                                fruits and eating.  And he used to set aside the rest for himself and his wife.  And what

                                was being guarded he set aside.


                                "At the END OF SEVEN YEARS which he completed there, SEVEN YEARS EXACTLY,

                                in the second month on the seventeenth day, the serpent came and drew near to the woman"

                                (Jubilees 3:15-17).


                As we know, Eve and Adam both sinned, were enticed into transgression, and banished from the Garden.  This occurred most likely, therefore, seven years after their original creation, in 4004 B.C. -- or in the year 3997 B.C.  The seven years of idyllic paradise should not be counted in the 6,000 years during which mankind has been subject to the "god of this world," Satan the Adversary (II Cor.4:4, Eph.2:2).  Rather, it could be counted as a part of the MESSIANIC KINGDOM -- part of the seventh Millennium!  Thus we have:


                        4004 B.C.                      6000 years                             2003 A.D.

                             -7                            -3997 B.C.                                  +1  

                        3997 B.C.                      2003 A.D.                              2004 A.D.!!!


            Some may wonder why we "add" a year in the final column, to reach 2004 A.D.  The answer is simple.  There is no year "zero."  Therefore, when counting from B.C. to A.D., we must "add" an extra year for the years to correspond to reality. 


            Now if we "add" three years, to correspond to the three "Primeval Days," or to correspond to the three years of the ministry of Messiah Yeshua at His first coming, we come up with:


                                                            2004 A.D.


                                                            2007 A.D.


                                                The Year 2000 in Prophecy!


            Interestingly, we note from God's Word that He placed the heavenly bodies in the sky for a very special purpose.  We read in Genesis 1, "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for SIGNS, and for seasons, and for days, and years" (Gen.1:14).


            A "sign" in Hebrew is owth and means "a signal, as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence."  Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon points out that this word means "a sign," "a token" (Exo.12:13; Josh.2:12), "signs and times" (Gen.1:14), i.e., "signs of times." It is used of a military ensign, a sign of something past, and a sign of something future, a portent, as well as a sign of anything which cannot be seen.


            Most interestingly, in the year 2000 several "heavenly signs" appeared in the heavens.  In the year 2000 we witnessed the following conjunctions:


                                    May 5, 2000 A.D. -- all five visible planets, Mercury, Venus,

                                    Mars, Jupiter and Saturn --  were in alignment


                                    May 31, 2000 A.D. -- there was a conjunction of Jupiter

                                    and Saturn, the "royal planets"


            It should be obvious that the year 5760 in the Jewish calendar, which corresponds to the year 2000 in our modern Roman calendar, is a very significant year -- a year of great mystery -- a year of amazing prophetic fulfillment! 


         But there is even more to the story.  The numbers "5" and "7" in Hebrew numbers are represented by the letters Tau [t] and Shin [v].  Together, these letters signify "in the days of," or, "as it was in the days of."  The number "60" in Hebrew is represented by the letter Samech [s].  This letter is shaped like an "O" in English, with a "hook" on the upper left, and represents an endless cycle, beginning and recycling at the "hook."  It symbolizes the fundamental truth of the Word of God -- the whole Torah of God.  The "end" is inwedged in the beginning, and the beginning in the end.  Thus this letter signifies the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new cycle -- in other words, a fateful year of TRANSITION!


         The letter Samech means "to support," and "Divine presence."  It can also mean "to rely on."  It reflects the power of God to support His people -- shows that we can "rely on" God in time of need. 


         The circular shape of Samech also symbolizes a "wedding ring."  This emphasizes our Christian-Messianic relationship with the Bridegroom, Yeshua -- our covenantal relationship, as His Bride for all eternity, based on the "marriage" vows of the Torah, which is our marriage document.  In a circle, all points on the perimeter are equidistant from the center -- Christ.  This illustrates how all of us are equally loved and important before God -- and He should be the center of our lives.  Just as in the Israeli "hora" dance, where the participants all form a circle, if we all together hold hands, and look to God as our center, our central focus, we should cling together in perfect harmony, unity, hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder.


         It is also interesting that the Aaronic blessing recited by the priests in the Temple of God consisted of sixty (60) Hebrew letters -- the numerical value of Samech.  Also, since each hand has thirty (30) bones, when the priest raises his hands to bless the people, 60 bones are thus used in blessing.  The blessing reinforces the theme of "new beginning," in the endless cycle represented by the letter Samech.  This letter first appears in Scripture in Genesis 2:11 and 2:13, in the word sabab, meaning "to surround, compass, revolve, or border" (Strong's Concordance), referring to the rivers that flowed from and surrounded the Garden of Eden.  The river divided into four, and like the Word of God, represents the water of life that "surrounds all worlds."  According to Rabbinical thinking, this is contained in the blessing when the Kohanim -- priests -- bless the people of God.


         Thus the "Year of Samech" -- the year 5760 in the Hebrew calendar -- is pregnant with powerful meanings and symbology!  It represents the end and beginning of a cycle -- and the support and divine presence and blessing of God!  Surely, we will need God's help and support more than ever as we pass through this "transitional period" -- and pass from the old age to the new age of transition -- and begin to enter the period known as Daniel's 70th week -- which symbolizes this onrushing "chamber of horrors" called the Great Tribulation and "Day of the Lord" which pictures the real, urgent, increasing and excruciating "birth pangs" of the Messiah!


                                          The Jewish Date of Creation -- Wrong!


            But why does the Jewish calendar state the year of Creation was 3761 B.C., and claim therefore that this present year, beginning September 29, according to their calendar, is 5761? 


            This is certainly a remarkable fact.  The Jewish rabbis are very learned and scholarly, and it is doubtful that ANY of them, including the Orthodox rabbis, really believe that Creation occurred in 3761 B.C.  So why has this date been attached to the Jewish calendar?


            A simple calculation of Biblical chronology, such as that done by Archbishop Ussher over 200 years ago, shows that the Biblical date for creation was 4004 B.C.  It is clearly evident that for some reason early Rabbis dropped out about 243 years from the ancient chronology.  Why would they do this?  They were not ignorant men.  Did they have some ulterior motive? 


            The Jews of the first and second century had a "problem."  That problem was the large number of Jewish "Christians," called Nazarenes, who believed that Jesus Christ of Nazareth was the true Messiah sent by God.  They taught this with tremendous conviction and authority, appealing to the Old Testament Scriptures to prove their belief.  The Jews themselves believed that the Messianic Age would begin 4000 years after the creation of Adam.  The Encyclopedia Judaica quotes a source written about 200 A.D. which declares that the world will exist for "6000 years, of which the first 2000 will be a period of desolation, 2000 of Torah, and the last 2000 the messianic era" ("Eschatology," Encyclopedia Judaica, VI).  Thus the Jews believed the "Messianic Age" would begin after 4,000 years from the time of Adam.


            Since Jesus of Nazareth was born exactly 4 B.C., His birth -- according to internal Biblical chronological evidence -- was exactly 4,000 years after the creation of Adam!  Therefore He was -- when all the other evidence from the Old Testament Scriptures was studied and added to the composite picture -- the ONLY viable "Candidate" for the One who could be the true Messiah!  His birth, 4,000 years after Adam, His being descended from David, His miracles and healings, His being born of a virgin, and being born in Bethlehem, and many other prophecies He fulfilled, were strong and convincing evidence that He really was the Messiah.  Who else, pray tell, even came close? 


            It seems evident that one of the courses of action that they took was to lop off 243 years off the date of Creation and the time of Adam and Eve.  What purpose would this serve?  If they could convince the masses that the year of Creation was actually 3761 B.C., instead of 4004 B.C., then they could use this as "evidence" to DENY the credentials of Christ as being the Messiah! 


            How could such a mistake be made, and allowed to stand?  Apparently, in Seider Olam Raba, (from which the calendar is derived) the compilers did not include about 235 years of Persian Rule, but only the rule of 4 Persian kings listed in the Old Testament.  Therefore in Seider Olam Raba, the rabbis included only the years of rule of these four kings -- Cyrus, Darius, Ahasuerus (Xerxes), and Artaxerxes (see Ezra 4:5-7).  However, history shows that there were many more kings in Persia than the four mentioned in the Scriptures.  History records Cyrus, who began to reign in 539 B.C., then Cambyses, Darius, Xerxes, Artaxerxes I, Darius II, Artaxerxes II, Artaxerxes III, and Darius III.


            Jewish rabbis today still teach this erroneous creation date -- although they know better.  Over the centuries, the succeeding generations of rabbis just kept that original teaching as "halachka" -- that is, as "official tradition" -- passed down from their forefathers.  One wonders why they would allow such error, derived from "tradition," to remain uncorrected in the light of clear proof it is wrong?


            During the centuries following Jesus Christ, the pressure from Messianic believers in Christ was enormous, and seemed to threaten the very survival of "Judaism."  By dropping off 243 years from the true Biblical date of Creation enabled the rabbis to counter the Christian claim that Yeshua was born at the expected time -- 4000 years after Creation.  The Jews apparently altered the beginning of the Calendar to 3671 B.C. for the simple reason that they did not want the coming of Jesus Christ to coincide with the beginning of the year 4000 -- the time the Jews themselves believed the Messiah was to come!  Most of them are still in a state of denial. 


            But more and more, many Jewish people are getting their eyes opened to the TRUE identity of the true Messiah -- Yeshua son of Joseph, who was also the son of  David!


                                                   Birthpangs of the Messiah


            Where, then, are we today in Bible prophecy? 


            When we look at all the available evidence, it becomes evident that we are now inside of -- we have entered through the vestibule of -- we are at the entrance, standing in the parlor of -- the period known as the "Day of the Lord" in prophecy!   


            A careful study of "HaYom HaShem" or "HaYom Yahveh" -- The Day of The Lord -- shows that It includes everything from the end of the 6000 years, through the Millennial Reign of Christ -- a thousand years, in full.  We are in the beginning portion of the "Day of the Lord," today!  The first part of this prolonged "Day" is three and one half years, when God begins to judge His people, and His Church.  After this beginning, the final three and one half years constitute the enslavement and captivity of God's people -- the Great Tribulation (Rev.13:4-5; Rev.11:1-4; Rev.13:14-17).


            In fact, the "Day of the Lord" includes both the Great Tribulation period, the heavenly signs, AND the most terrifying part of the "Day of the Lord" which follows, comprised of the seventh seal of the book of Revelation (Rev.8-11). 


            Herbert Armstrong used to teach that there was a difference between the Great Tribulation and the "Day of the Lord."  He said the tribulation occurred before the heavenly signs (Matt.24:21, 29), but the "Day of the Lord" came after the heavenly signs (Joel 2:31).  At first glance, this may seem to be true.  But it is a simplistic, false interpretation.  The greatest and most terrible part of the "Day of the Lord" does, of course, follow the heavenly signs, as Joel states.  But the whole "Day of the Lord," the time of God's judgment being poured out, and His intervention in world affairs, begins with the first four seals

of Revelation, which precede the 5th seal, which is the Great Tribulation, followed by the sixth seal -- heavenly signs -- and then FINISHED by the seventh seal! (see Rev.6:1-17).


            The sufferings of Israel are part of the overall "day of the Lord"!  Joel says to Israel, "Blow the trumpet IN ZION, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain [nation]:  let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:  for the DAY OF THE LORD cometh, for it is NIGH AT HAND" (see Joel 2:1-7).  Following this event of the "Day of the Lord," we read:  "the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining . . . for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?" (Joel 2:10-11).


            Likewise, Jeremiah calls this WHOLE period of time "the time of JACOB'S trouble" (Jeremiah 30:6-7).  That "trouble" has already started!  The Palestinian intifada, the war over Jerusalem, and the catastrophe of the American political process, and rampant FRAUD in the American presidential election, are like a gunshot across the bow of a ship -- WARNING SIGNS that the final seven weeks of Daniel's 70th week -- the "great and terrible DAY of the Lord"-- have now BEGUN in earnest!


            The first six years of this period of trouble and distress will be followed by great signs in the heavens (Rev.6:12-17), followed by the FINAL YEAR of world woes, ended only by the intervention of the Messiah! (v.17).  In a very palpable sense, this period we have entered -- and crossed the threshold into -- will be the greatest time of trouble and world chaos in all human history -- seven years in literal fulfillment!  It will culminate in one final year of awesome hell on earth, with billions dying in agony and terror.  One fourth of the world's population will die in the plague of the "Pale Horseman" (Rev.6:8) -- 1.5 billion people.  Another third of the world's people will perish in the plague of the "Second Woe" (Rev.9:15) -- a total of about 2 billion more!  In all, Biblical prophecy foretells, 90% of the world's population will be consumed during the next seven years -- if our time-table is correct. 


            Isaiah the prophet declares:  "Then said I, Lord, how long?  And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate [Heb., "desolate with desolation"], and the LORD have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.  But yet in it shall be A TENTH, and it shall return . . . so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof" (Isaiah 6:11-13).


            Says Amos, in similar terms:  "The city that went out by a thousand shall leave a hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel" (Amos 5:3).  When the "Day of the Lord" is completed, and the week of travail and woe is over, only one tenth of modern "Israel's" population will survive.  This includes the House of Joseph -- the United

States and British Commonwealth.  Out of America's 275 million people, only 27.5 million will be left alive!  If we extrapolate this figure to the whole world, out of a population of over 6 billion, only 600 million worldwide will survive the coming holocaust!


                                    Seven Trumpet Plagues and Seven Last Plagues


            How will this great loss of life occur?


            Previously, I have written that the seven seals of Revelation correspond each to a "year" in the final seven year countdown to the coming of the Messiah.


            If this picture is accurate, then we have the following scenario:


            Year One         White Horse (Rev.6:1-2)          U.S. led West  goes forth conquering


            Year Two         Red Horse (Rev.6:3-4) Strife and War in Asia, Russia


            Year Three       Black Horse (Rev.6:5-6)          Famine, rising up of Europe


            Year Four        Pale Horse (Rev.6:7-8) Disease epidemics, rising of Muslim world


            Year Five         Martyrdom (Rev.6:9-11)          Christians persecuted, martyred


            Year Six           Heavenly signs (vs.12-17)         Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, meteors


            Year Seven      Seven Trumpet Plagues         

                                    1) Great fires consume 1/3rd trees, grass (Rev.8:7)

                                    2) Fiery mountain falls into sea, 1/3rd sea becomes "blood" (v.8-9)

                                    3) Comet falls from sky, strikes earth, poisons 1/3rd rivers (v.10-11)

                                    4)  1/3rd sun, moon and stars struck, darkened (Rev.8:12-13)

                                    5)  1st Woe -- "NWO" West launches chem-bio war vs. East (Rev.9:1-11)

                                    6)  2nd Woe -- East counter-attacks with 200 million man army (v.12-21)

                        7) 3rd Woe -- second coming of Messiah, accompanied by

                                    Seven Last Plagues

                                    1)  Grievous plague strikes Beast power, people (Rev.16:1-2)

                                    2)  Sea becomes "blood," every sea creature in sea dies (v.3)

                                    3)  Rivers and waters become "blood" (vs.4-7)

                                    4)  Sun flames into nova, scorches men with great heat (vs.8-9)

                                    5)  Plague of darkness strikes Beast/New World Order (vs.10-11)

                                    6)  Armies from around world gather at Armageddon (vs.12-16)

                                    7)  "It is done."  Greatest earthquake occurs, islands vanish,  great hail

                                         falls from heaven; Christ stands on Mount of Olives, goes forth to

                                         fight the world's armies and destroys them (vs.17-21; Zech.14:1-15;

                                         Ezekiel 38-39).


            Until about a year ago, I had thought that the seven trumpet plagues (Rev.8-9) may well have been the same as the seven last plagues (Rev.16).  However, a friend in Canada pointed out to me the error of my thinking.  Although many of those plagues are similar in nature, I had misunderstood the "duration" of the seventh trumpet itself!  The "seven last plagues" I understood could not all be poured out in one literal day.  Therefore, I considered the seven last plagues to be a "recount" or "recapitulation" of the seven trumpet plagues, as perceived and viewed from a different angle.  However, now I see I was wrong. 


            The solution to the problem is found in Revelation 10:7.  This mysterious verse says:  "But in the DAYS of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall BEGIN to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets."


            Notice!  The trumpet of the seventh angels sounds for a number of "DAYS" -- not just for one day!  It continues sounding, till the prophecies are fulfilled.  It is one long, continuous, hellacious and on-going trumpet/shofar blasting forth, for DAYS ON END -- UNTIL "the mystery of God should be finished"!


            Says Moffatt, "In the days of the seventh angel's voice, when he now blows his blast."  New King James Version:  "But in the DAYS of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished."  "New Revised Standard Version:  "But in the DAYS when the seventh angel is to BLOW HIS TRUMPET, the mystery of God will be fulfilled."


            Also, notice the Jewish Complete Bible, translated by David Stern:  "On the contrary, in the days of the sound from the seventh angel, WHEN HE SOUNDS HIS SHOFAR, the hidden plan of God will be brought to completion, the Good News as he proclaimed it to his servants the prophets."


            Notice carefully!  The final prophecies all occur during the time of the "seventh trumpet" -- including Christ's return (Rev.11:15-18) -- but this trumpet is blown for DAYS -- not just ONE day!


            What I had failed to see was that the "seventh trumpet" is not blown just for one single blast on one single, solitary day -- it will be blown CONTINUOUSLY, until the mystery of God is finished!


            What this means is that it will be blown THROUGHOUT  the time of the pouring out of the "seven last plagues," which will be poured out as Christ returns, and wages war upon the wicked nations of the earth!


                                                The Period of the Seventh Trumpet


            Therefore, the 7 last plagues do comprise the seventh trumpet.  Could each "plague" last one day in fulfillment, thus picturing Christ beginning His return perhaps on Passover night, and the seven last plagues being poured out on the world during the Seven Days of Unleavened Bread in the spring?


            Or, could each plague last one WEEK in being fulfilled, thus all seven plagues lasting a total of 7 X 7 weeks -- that is, 49 days -- the length of time of the counting of the Omer, from Passover until Pentecost -- with Christ beginning His coming at Passover, but arriving on the earth, at the Mount of Olives, on the 50th day -- that is, Pentecost -- the very same day He set foot on the Mount Sinai and gave the Ten Commandments to Israel, and "married" Israel (Exodus 19-20)?


            Thus the "seven last plagues" could parallel the Omer Count -- that is, Christ returns at the "seventh trumpet," on Passover, and begins to deliver His people, and fights battles around the world.  We read in the book of Judges, "LORD, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchest out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water.  The mountains melted from before the LORD, even that Sinai from before the God of Israel" (Judges 5:4-5).


            Modern day "Edom" is Rome, the Latin countries, including Spain and the Spanish nations of South and Central America.  Read my article, "Where Is EDOM in Bible Prophecy?"


            Isaiah also recounts the fighting plan of the Messiah -- His tactics and strategy.  We read:  "Who is this that cometh from EDOM, with dyed garments from Bozrah?  this that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength?  I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save" (Isaiah 63:1).  "Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth the winefat?"  That is, His garments will be blood-stained, from all the warfare and splattering of the blood of His enemies.  He answers:  "I have trodden the winepress alone; and of all the people, there was none with me:  for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all

my raiment" (Isa.63:3). 


`           When will this occur?  "For the DAY OF VENGEANCE is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed is come" (verse 4).  This is speaking of the TIME PERIOD of the second coming of the Messiah to execute JUDGMENT in the earth!


            Notice also the prophecy of Habakkuk:  "God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran.  Selah.  His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.  And his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hands [margin, or, "bright beams out of his side"]: and there was the hiding of his power.  Before him went the pestilence, and burning coals [or, burning diseases, margin] went forth at his feet.  He stood, and measured the earth:  he beheld, and drove asunder the NATIONS; and the everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow:  his ways are everlasting.  I saw the tents of Cushan [Cush, that is, Ethiopia and India] in affliction: and the curtains of the land of Midian [Arab nations, the Gulf states, and particularly, Arabia] did tremble. . . . Thou didst march through the land in indignation, thou didst thresh the heathen in anger.  Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed. . . Thou didst walk through the sea with thine horses, through the heap of great waters" (Habakkuk 3:3-15). 


            I used to think of these as "mop up battles" AFTER the battle of Armageddon; but I now see these as PRELIMINARY battles, leading up to the final battle which will be fought at Jerusalem, after the rest of the armies of the nations are gathered together to Har Megiddo --  Armageddon (Rev.16:12-16).  That battle will be fought in the "Valley of Jehoshaphat," the Kidron Valley and surrounding territory, for control of the world -- at the city of Jerusalem! (Rev.14:19-20; Joel 3:9-14).


            The fact that each of the seven last plagues could last either one day, or one week, fits perfectly with the parallel deliverance of Israel from Egypt 3,500 years ago -- 1) Messiah smashes Egypt/Babylon/Rome/Esau; 2) He smashes other enemies, as He rescues His people who are in captivity; 3) this, then, sets the stage for the FINAL battle of "that great day of God Almighty"-- at Jerusalem! (Rev.16:14). 


            The new realization that makes these new scenarios possible, is our new look at Revelation 10:7,  where we read:  "But in the DAYS of the sounding of the seventh angel . . ."  The seventh trumpet therefore doesn't just sound for an hour, or during one 24-hour day -- it continues sounding for "DAYS" -- PLURAL!  This could be several days, seven days, or even 49 days -- as these different scenarios suggest! 


                                                    "Hevlei shel Moshiach"


            Thus we are now living in the period known as "the birth pangs of the Messiah"  -- in Hebrew, the Hevlei shel Moshiach!  


            Therefore the Hevlei Shel Moshiach may have begun at the close of 6000 years from Creation of Adam and Eve -- that is, in 1997 -- or, if we count from the SIN of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, at the END of seven years from Creation -- then would begin in 2004 A.D.  This period is also known as the "Ten Days of Awe," or "Ten Days of Repentance."


            Since a total of TEN years are represented by the "Days of Awe," this implies that this period will last ten years -- from 1997 until 2007 A.D. -- or from 2004 until 2014 A.D.



                                                1997 -- End of 6,000 years from Creation

                                                    10 -- the "Ten Years of Awe" (a year for a day)

                                                2007 -- Second Coming of Messiah


            On the other hand, it is possible that we should begin the 10 years at the conclusion of the 6,000 years beginning with the SIN and banishment of Adam and Eve from Paradise!  This would mean that the final ten years would be as follows:


                                                2004  -- End of 6,000 Years from Adam's Fall

                                                  +10  -- Days of Awe, Year for a Day (Num.14:34)

                                                2014  -- End of Days of Awe, coming of Messiah


            Which is it?  2007?  or 2014?  or even some other date?


            Candidly, we don't know for certain.


            Interestingly, a full Biblical generation (Num.14:34) from the Six Day War, in 1967, when Israel recaptured and took control of the Old City of Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount -- that is, forty years -- brings us to 2007 A.D.


            But if we count a full Jubilee period of 50 years (Lev.25:8-12) from 1967, it brings us to 2017 A.D.  Then the final ten years, the "Ten Years of Repentance,"  would be from 2007 till 2017 A.D.


            Which is the correct scenario?  To be honest and fair, we really can't be sure.  That is why we must WATCH world events, and take note of the "signs of the times." 


            Remember the words of Jesus Christ, who said:  "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.  But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be" (Matt.24:36-37).  "Watch therefore:  for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come" (v.42).  "Therefore be ye also ready:  for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" (Matt.24:44).


            Let's not be too confident that we have it all figured out.  We could be wrong!  Therefore, let's WATCH -- and be ready -- and stay awake -- and remain vigilant!  For one thing we do know -- He IS coming -- and it will be very SOON! 


                        "And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake

                        out of sleep: for now is our salvation NEARER than when we

                        first believed.  The night is far spent, the day is AT HAND:  let

                        us therefore dast off the works of darkness, and let us put on

                        the armour of light" (Rom.13:11-12).


                        "You know pefectly well that the day of the Lord comes like a

                        thief in the night; when 'all's well,' and 'all is safe' are on the

                        lips of men, then all of a sudden Destruction is upon them,

                        like pangs on a pregnant woman -- escape there is none.  But,

                        brothers, you are not in the darkness, for the Day to surprise

                        you like thieves; you are all sons of the Light and sons of the

                        day.  We do not belong to the night or the darkness.  Well then,

                        we must not sleep the rest of men, but be wakeful and sober"

                        (I Thess.5:2-6, Moffatt).


            The day is truly now AT HAND!  But we are not in "darkness," but we are the children of the "light."  We don't have to be ignorant, misled, or asleep at the wheel.  It is urgent that we remain AWAKE, wakeful and sober-minded!  For now is our salvation and the wonderful day of God's Kingdom, the the arrival of the Messiah, much nearer than when we first believed!


            AMEN!!!  "Even so, come, Lord Jesus"! (Revelation 22:20).