Thursday, May 1, 2014

Walking Away

The primary focus of any watcher blog is to note signs and information that people should watch out for. It should never be to call out attention to one's self or to glorify the messenger more than the message. I feel that I have become consumed with advocating my point of view, to the detriment of other points of view and to other, very important aspects of my life.

As such, I'm going to walk away for a while. Maybe permanently. I hope this place has been useful to some and not overly offensive to others.

In love.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Back to the Forty Days

Something has been niggling in my brain and I can't quite figure it out. You might recall that last year I wrote about things that I'd been reading regarding a span of 3 days followed by 40 days. It was interesting to see the parallels between Jonah and Jesus but there was an open-ended question as to whether there would be a third instance involving us: would we be subjected to a three-day spell of seclusion and then turned out for forty days of labor?

I personally don't know of any location in the Bible where this would be applied to us, unless it is read into Song of Solomon. But that is not to say that it isn't a possibility.

If it is, then the question is when does all of this happen. I've seen some who think that we will return to work after the Rapture. Others seem to think that we will do all our work prior to the Rapture.

If you consider the prior to the Rapture theory, you run the risk of creating a countdown. Now, I know I favor a Rosh Hashanah and that also has something of a countdown to it, but the nature of this Feast is that it's exact timing is unknown. The new moon needs to be sighted in Israel and we don't know when in the day things would happen. If there was an event that caused us to receive a special teaching or isolation for three days and then we went out into the world to work, it wouldn't take that much to figure the exact timing of when our forty days of labor would end.

On the other hand, you have the post-Rapture labor theory. In this, the most common version I've seen is that the Rapture occurs and we are secluded in Heaven for three days. Then we emerge in our glorified bodies and work to harvest the Earth. My problem with this is that it would seem to diminish the role of the 144,000 and the two witnesses. It also gives a suggestion of a possible second Rapture and that would seem to go against the idea of rewarding those who believe without seeing (John 20:29). I know some do like this idea, but I'm a little hesitant.

I don't feel like I'm explaining myself well here and I apologize for that. This is a concept that has only come to my attention a short while ago and I'm struggling with trying to define the logic that supports it. I would welcome any insight into this that anyone could give.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dates

Dates are funny things, especially when applied in that vague, unpinned way.

I generally try to avoid dates at all cost unless they are tied to specific scheduled events that we should be aware of anyway (such as the dates of the various lunar eclipses). One of the worst problems with dates of any kind is that they arbitrarily raise a person's hopes about things. For example, if I said that May 1st was a very important date, many folks would immediately apply that to this year and be disappointed when nothing happens. As it happens, May 1st is very important to me, but only as my son's birthday.

Still, we must be honest with ourselves that there are certain times upcoming and that we should post those dates as points to watch for. Something might happen, something might not.

For me, the next days to pay special attention to in 2014 are Pentecost (June 8), the 9th of Av (August 5), Rosh Hashanah (September 25), and the second lunar eclipse/Tabernacles (October 8). Things will happen on those days. Whether they are of prophetic significance remains to be seen.

Jumping forward to 2015, there are the dates of Passover/third lunar eclipse (April 4), Pentecost (May 31), the 9th of Av (July 26), Rosh Hashanah (September 14), and Tabernacles/final lunar eclipse (September 28). Again things will happen on these days, it's just a question of whether or not anything prophetic significance will happen.

Now, this is not to say that we should slack off and not pay attention to things in between these days. Indeed, we should pay special attention as we approach these days to evaluate the likelihood of prophetic events happening. It was by this method of reasoning that I went out and stated that 2013 seemed unlikely for the Rapture about three weeks prior to Rosh Hashanah. I remember people disagreeing with me, but it was based on simple observation, something that we must do in the cold light of truth and not let our desires cloud our minds too much.

By my count this is the tenth day of the Omer and we've another forty days before Pentecost. There have been steps taken, but nothing large and hot as many of us were hoping for. Let's see what the next forty days bring.

*UPDATE*

I miscounted Pentecost in 2015. Since Passover (April 4) is a Saturday, the count of the Omer doesn't start until the following Saturday (April 11). Even with that, I jumped a week. My mistake.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Lack of Focus

I think desensitization is going very strongly.

I was reading this morning about the slate of tornadoes that rolled through Arkansas/Oklahoma/Missouri and the first things I thought of (aside from how unfortunate that it was) was that the nice tornado reprieve that we've had is coming to an end.

Likewise I saw a posting where Jordan is reaffirming their custodianship of the Temple Mount and their backing of the deal between Fatah and Hamas and I dismissed the article as having no new information.

Later, I had 2 Peter 3:4 bounce around in my head, speaking of how things have gone on as they always have. Jordan is as it always is: on the Arab side but trying to look better than everyone else by contrast; and Spring has come which means thunderstorms and tornadoes. No thoughts of God's prep work or warnings being issued.

I admit, I can be cynical. Sometimes we need to slap ourselves out of it and remind ourselves that at this point, nothing is really business as usual.

Friday, April 25, 2014

HEAR O ISRAEL!



Hear O Israel: YHWH our God, YHWH is one. Love YHWH your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Slapping Mr. Kerry

Back in August, Secretary of State John Kerry announced the dire need to get a peace agreement done between Israel and the Palestinians by April. Not only has this process failed to generate an actual peace (much less a framework towards peace), but with the announcement of a unity government between Hamas and Fatah, Israel has suspended all peace talks with Fatah.

Naturally, folks in the Obama administration will not be amused. I'm sure they're already thinking about some way to exert pressure on Israel to restart talks. But Israel has been fairly strong in her resistance to any contact with Hamas. So as long as Fatah and Hamas can refrain from killing each other (can they make the planned six months for presidential and parliamentary elections?) it seems unlikely that Israel will come back to the table. In fact, it seems more likely that the Arabs will feel emboldened to increase their attacks. Hamas has stayed fairly steady in it's off and on attacks since Israel slapped them around in the Pillar of Defense operation in November 2012. But Fatah has done almost no attacks so it is unknown as to what volume of new arms they've been able to import into Judea. Both sides could be sitting on large stockpiles and if they can hang on for any length of time, Hezbollah could see an opportunity to jump in and that changes the whole game.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Adam's Choice

One of Hollywood's favorite plot lines (especially with Disney) is the idea of love overcoming all. In general I don't have a problem with this and Christ is certainly the greatest example of the triumph of absolute love. Yet, much of the justification we see lately of homosexual marriage is that the sin of the act is minimized when there is love. This is foolish as sin is sin no matter what circumstances are applied and it was an act of love that led to our sinful condition in the first place.

Paul records in 1 Timothy 2:13-15 that it was Eve who was deceived by the Satan, not Adam. Yet it is through Adam that sin entered the world. Eve was deceived by Satan and after she ate of the fruit, we can imagine that the effect would have been immediate. Her eyes were opened and she lost her innocence, including whatever covering she may have been given directly from God.

We don't know how long after she ate that Adam came back to her, but he would have come upon the scene and realized what she had done. Yet he did not hang her out to dry as he tried to when confronted by God later (Gen 3:12), but nor did he go to God to plead her case, to stand in her place as would have been his role.

Instead, he chose a third path. Adam's true first sin was that he chose to love Eve more than he chose to love God. He loved Eve enough that he chose to join her in her fallen state rather that risk being separated. That sounds romantic, but it also sells God way short. Adam lacked faith that God loved Eve as much as he did. He did not trust that God would permit atonement for Eve. Now, that would likely have required the supreme sacrifice from Adam, but that was also his duty as the head of the family (Ephesians 5:25-27) and what is truly more romantic that to sacrifice all for the one you love? Adam's love was sacrificial in a way, but it was also indulgent to his own desires and faithless of God.

This is not to say that we would have done differently, but it is an important perspective to keep when someone brings up the argument that love mitigates sin.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fear of YHWH

Pastor JD showed the third part of this video in his Easter sermon. I found it very moving and worthy of my undivided attention:





Back in the Saddle

I hope everyone had a better Easter/Firstfruits than I did. Services were enjoyable but I left feeling a bit queer in the stomach. A few hours later that was manifesting itself in my doing obeisance to the toilet. It works pretty well as a weight loss tool as I lost four pounds in less than twelve hours. Hurts a lot though.

So I've been out of the loop for the past few days. I'll try to get caught up on the events of the world and see if there is anything in particular to take note of. Meanwhile, keep your eyes forward and upward.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Charting the 2014 Feast Days

You may remember last year there was a disagreement about what the months were because the official Jewish calendar was applying Adar Bet in March 2014 but the report of the barley crop dictated that Adar Bet should have been applied in March 2013.

This year the barley crop was ripe enough by April 1 to go ahead and kick off the new year as the official Jewish calendar observed so there won't be any disagreement this year. But to aid in this, I found this site which cataloged the observations of the barley crop and has laid out the schedule of the seven Feast Days, although I'm not sure they are correct on the Fall Feasts. If you cross check when the new moon will appear, it should be visible in Israel the evening of September 24 or 25. September 27 seems like too long a wait to me. But that's why you observe these things.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Other Temple Raid

Viewing the videos about the mechanism that may have been used to hide the Ark of the Covenant got me to thinking about the other principle time that Jerusalem was raided: Pharaoh Shishak's invasion in the 5th year of Rehoboam.

Both 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles are quite clear that Shishak took everything of value from the Temple and Rehoboam's palace. If you take the position that I do that Shishak was Thutmose III and look at Thutmose III's list of treasures deposited at Karnak, that would seem to support a pretty firm looting of gold and silver artifacts. However, there are several prominent items that are missing that you might expect: the Ark of the Covenant, the table of showbread, and the great menorah. These items should have been at the top of Thutmose's list had he taken them, but he leads off with a golden altar (probably referenced in 1 Kings 7:48).

So, we are left with the likely conclusion that Shishak never took these items from the Temple. Either he had too much reverence of the inner sanctum (something I doubt), the priests deployed the same hiding method that prevented Nebuzaradan from taking them or he was prevented from entering to take these items.

Of the three options, I like the prevention method best. Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu are killed when they attempted to approach God when the Shekinah glory occupied the Tabernacle (Leviticus 10:1-5). What's more, the symbol for the Israelites to move from point to point during the wandering was for the Shekinah to leave the Tabernacle and go in front of the camp. That allowed the Levites to break down the Tabernacle and transport all the instruments, including the Ark. Once the Shekinah glory returned to the Ark, it could only be approached by the high priest on Yom Kippur.

1 Kings 8:6-11 notes how the Shekinah glory filled the Holy of Holies after the Ark was placed inside after the Temple's completion (Yom Kippur of Solomon's 12th year). From that point on, no specific mention is made of the Shekinah glory until King Zedekiah's 6th year in Ezekiel 10:1-19, which makes a very specific point about the Shekinah glory leaving. Given the dramatic nature of the departure, one can surmise that the glory had not left the Temple since it had come in during Solomon's reign.

So when Shishak marched into the Temple in Rehoboam's day, he gathered up everything he could carry but stayed out of the Holy of Holies. It is possible that Thutmose III had accompanied Hatshepsut on her visit to Solomon many years before and he remembered the things of the Temple. He may have also developed a healthy respect for the power of the Israelite's God which warned him to keep out.

This also probably explained why Jeremiah and the other priests knew that the Ark had to be hidden using Solomon's special chamber. God was no longer amidst them and He would not protect the items of His Temple; He left that to Jeremiah.

How to Build a Temple Trapdoor

I think we've all heard the story about the hidden chamber under the Temple Mount, but this is the first time that I've seen a rational explanation as to how it would work. What's more it's nice to see the clue as to how this was done by comparing the Biblical passages regarding Jakin and Boaz and their capitals: 1 Kings 7:15-16 (5 cubits) vs. 2 Kings 25:16-17 (3 cubits).





Incidentally, this is my first exposure to Michael Rood. I'll be taking a closer look into some of his other works. If you're interested is seeing this lecture in it's entirety, click here. Be warned, this is a few years old and his dates are clearly a little bit off.

*UPDATE*

Unfortunately, Mr. Rood appears to be post-Trib so there is a significant amount of his work that I do not accept. Still, one cannot throw everything out. It just takes a little extra discernment.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Later Eclipses

Now that we are officially in the tetrad cycle, we can look forward to the next eclipses. The next one is on Tabernacles, October 8, 2014. Interestingly the moon will be in complete conjunction with the planet Uranus in Pisces while Jupiter is wandering between Leo and Cancer:


After this, the next Passover eclipse will be on April 4, 2015. This time, the moon will be above Spica rather than in conjunction and only Saturn (of the visible planets) will be hanging around:


Wrapping things up is Tabernacles on September 28, 2015. This is also a supermoon and will be in Pisces with Uranus (although not in conjunction) on the Western edge of the sky (in Jerusalem). Meanwhile, Mars, Venus, and Jupiter are all hanging out in Leo on the Eastern edge of the sky:


I'm of the opinion that things will happen on times other than the actual eclipse days, but it'll still be interesting to observe the sky at these times and see if there anything else to be learned in how things look at these times.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It Begins



The first blood moon is happening now, although I can't see it because of the rain/snow/cloud cover. Let's see what comes forth.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Countdown

Today has a very surreal feel to it. On one hand, lots of places are jumping with excitement over the eclipse tonight (even the secular media is getting into it).

On the other hand, I have this strange feeling of eerie quiet. Like a slight pause before something big. There's very little to add beyond that so we'll just have to sit tight for the next twelve hours.

Now, I'm not expecting anything immediate. I see this as something of a starter's pistol going off and I wouldn't expect anything huge just out of the gate. Of course, I could be wrong.

Oh, and a Happy Passover to you.