A SUDDEN CHANGE
Most people will probably have heard or read someone going on about Jesus coming “soon”. However, “behold I come soon” (Rev 22:20) doesn’t sound terribly meaningful after two thousand years. But then it shouldn’t necessarily do so since the original meaning would anyway be more like “suddenly”, or coming quickly as a surprise. “Soon” nonetheless remains the overdone word from the mostly fringe world of Christian end timers
But…. I can finally report what recently registered with me as a real surprise, a change, a difference amounting almost to a challenge from this quarter that could hold some significance. First however a little background.
From something between simple curiosity and a feeling bordering on duty explained presently, I try to keep abreast of what people claim from dreams, visions or assessments of world events in the light of biblical prophecies of “the end times”. One reason I do so is because as will be clear from various blog articles, I have a strong belief that no matter what the precise truth in this zone of many interpretations and controversies, we are living at a time of breakdown. Ours is the end, even dissolution of an era, the Piscean, in which, suitably for the oceans and fishes symbolism of Pisces, even the fish in the seas are dying by the million while on terra firma almost no definition of borders, gender, religion or or aesthetics remains secure. The natural “mutability” of Pisces finishes in a postmodern relativity of most things sometimes bordering on chaos.
But there’s a bit more to my pursuit of this subject. A sense almost of duty arises from the fact I make serious claim to have cracked the code and obtained the still working birth data of Jesus. (I had proof of their contemporary working relevance yet again in the run up to last Christmas as described in a soon companion article to this on this site, ( Forecasting and Interpreting 2019 https://wp.me/p4kNWg-kJ). So I cannot be quite rid of the feeling that, having discovered what lay at the origins of the present era which begins around the time of Christ’s birth, I ought to have at least some clues for people about any timing of its end….
THE LIMITS OF KNOWLEDGE AND “SOON”
I don’t mean by this that I should be able to pinpoint the day or hour of era-ending events, especially such as the so-called Rapture or the Second Advent which no one is supposed to know precisely anyway. I have never attempted to do much more than assess various times and claims, highlight those that looked suggestive, or criticize the theories of those locating crisis points at improbable, symbolically wrong times.
Since around 2014 when a rare tetrad of blood moons at four Jewish festivals triggered a mass of speculation about our situation within history, there have been an abundance of especially endings dreams. Usually the person does one of two things. Some hide behind the over-used “soon” word feeling free to locate their prophetic event just anywhere, often suggesting viewers take the matter to God for more light or to check if the dreamer interpreted their symbols correctly. Truly a cop-out. Others will be all too painfully precise. The Rapture must occur on a Jewish festival, across Halloween, or – “urgent message” – it will even happen in a few days!
This kind of “exact” forecasting is simply irresponsible – it reached unbelievable levels of irresponsibility in the case of the late Harold Camping who insisted he knew the day and time in 2011 and spent a fortune promoting it on billboards across America. These are not prophets with a calling, they are mostly sensationalizing laypersons recording their dreams – some even crawl out of bed in their pyjamas to do this in preference to writing anything down or trying first to process what they imagine they have experienced. (There is a distinctly amusing, entertaining element to a lot of this fringe group interest!).
THE NEEDED ITEM: HONESTLY OFFERING A CREDIBLE TIME FRAME
But over the years it has struck me one thing was needed and was singularly lacking for anything like meaningful forecasts of major crises like world war or apocalyse. Somebody, somewhere with strong prophetic urges needed to nail their colours to the mast, declare and be prepared to risk declaring, and in God’s name if they felt such was the case, that the end had been shown them to occur….. neither just anytime “soon”, nor exactly tomorrow either, but within the broad time frame of say six months to a year. It is after all legitimate to declare a season of the end, even if day and time will be unknowable. If your forecast is significant and true enough for declaring to the world then it should be offered as testable, presented with a use-by date only negotiable for some extreme reason like the repentance of Nineveh in the story of Jonah.
And sometimes prophets can be exact about times and seasons. The prophet Jeremiah forecast the Jews would be exiled in Babylon seventy years. Almost dismissed and forgotten when he died in refugee Egyptian obscurity, Jeremiah became an authority and entered the canon because of his plain as day seventy year prophecy.
It is remarkable that (so far as I know) in recent years not one single preacher or bible teacher of note and popularity who has been emphasizing “signs of the times”, has ever ventured any really definitive general time frame. Even those who have proposed something of the kind, like suggesting seventy years from Israel’s foundation could prove significant, have still played safe and conceded it might be that eighty years is involved instead; and they haven’t claimed , even for such modest, elastic speculations, that God had guided them towards their assumptions.
With so many dreamers filling an avoidance and ignorance gap for the puzzled but curious Christian masses of especially America, you would think the preachers and teachers could at least have ventured a strong provisional guesstimate (though perhaps it’s better for book promotions and interviews to remain tantalizingly indefinite?!). More to the point, if these really are the end times, one would imagine at some point God might intervene to grant somebody a really distinct prophetic insight into the theme. In fact, on the basis of Amos 3:7 “Surely the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets”, it would be almost surprising if subjects as extreme as WW 111 or the Rapture were not at least once the subject of a divine message to someone – a word, not a dream however accurate.
But now and finally a lone break occurs, and not to somebody for whom previously the Rapture subject was front and centre to any end times talks they gave, (which had more to do with the rebirth of Israel as a sign).
I must give credit where it’s due. It’s irrelevant that for certain reasons Amir Tsarfati is not my favourite person in religious media of any persuasion and I don’t spend hours, as one easily could, listening to his rather lengthy but sometimes interestingly informative talks about what is going on in Israel and America behind the scenes. A well-connected Israeli Christian Jew, Tsarfati is hugely peripatetic, always somewhere in the world giving filmed talks to various Christian groups and for his Behold Israel organization. He is called a reputed bible teacher of twenty years experience. He is certainly a journalist for Israel’s Messianic Christian paper Kehila.
Tsarfati reckons to give insights or words from God for each coming year at the end of the year. For 2019 he reports no word from the Lord at the end of 2018…..save one. But it is one that strongly keeps sounding within him and it’s “Finish well”.
Tsarfati doesn’t doubt what that means and what we are meant to understand by it, namely get ready because 2019 is “it”, the end of the Christian race, the year of the Rapture itself.
At one level I’m inclined to say it hardly matters whether he’s right or wrong. What he has importantly done is, for a change, honestly expressed a belief, had the courage of his convictions and done what is by now virtually necessary if anyone is to take their bearings and this subject seriously: provide an at once general but completely definite time frame for fulfilment. He has presumed to state what no well known, established Christian voice has dared to declare even while they endlessly comment on signs of the times.
So at this level it’s almost a relief, a breath of fresh air. Now that Tsarfati has said what he has, one feels it could be easier to let things actually for once be precisely fairly “soon” if they are to happen at all. And if they don’t, then it should be easier to imagine nothing will or was meant to occur so that believers can (short of the world being riven with obviously apocalyptic quakes and chaos around the entry to 2020) , with good conscience, leave the subject for other generations before it finishes nothing but a farce for silly dreamers in this generation.
That’s one level of response. But if Tsarfati has heard right, then of course it is rather serious and I should want to look carefully at what is going on in the heavens for some element of confirmation…..And it happens that before Christmas and Tsarfati’s announcement, I had reasons to wonder if Comet 46 P Wirtanen, which was generally getting called “the Christmas Comet” or even a return of the Bethlehem star itself, meant something. Without its being being the B Star itself, I realized there was some connection to it, and that as such it could be rather special and even function as a harbinger of endings. Why I would think that I will tackle along with other matters in the companion article which examines features of 2019….not the easiest of years.