Messiah's disciples, gathered with Him on the Mount of Olives, asked Him a clear and simple question:
"What is the sign of your coming, and of the end of the age?"
What they asked is indisputable. They already understood that He would return at the end of the world, i.e. the end of the age of human rule over the earth. The prophecies of Daniel, for example, linked the final coming of Messiah with the end of the epoch of human rule, as do some of the parables Messiah Himself taught them. That fact of Messiah's return at the end of the age was already a given in their prophetic understanding.
The question then, was about the timing of both the end of the age and His coming. How could they know the timing in advance so they could be ready?
What they asked for was a sign - a single sign - that would alert them that they had arrived at the end of the age and would soon see His return.
For many, this is where the clarity ends and the failed predictions begin.
Bible believers are often chided by unbelievers because of the many failed predictions of His coming throughout history, and there have been many.
One of the most well known failed predictions was made by William Miller, who "proved" that Jesus would return to rapture His saints in 1844. He called this "the second advent" which term eventually gave rise to Adventism. In fact, in 1828 the Baptist churchgoer from New York began publicizing his prediction, which sparked a movement that caught on like wildfire. The many Christians who accepted Miller's prediction as truth were popularly called "Millerites" at that time.
In 1843 a comet came over, and was seen as a sign of the end, and this significantly raised excitement that 1844 would indeed bring about the foretold "advent."
Actually there were two "Great Disappointments" in 1844. Miller's original date was March 21, 1844. After that date failed, one of his followers predicted October 22, 1844 as the "correct" date. Of course, that failed too. When the second date came and went, just as the first one had, most of Miller's followers were completely disillusioned. Others carried forward the Adventist movement. Groups such as the Seventh Day Adventists and the Jehovah's Witnesses eventually sprang forth from that heritage.
While failed predictions such as "the Great Disappointment" have caused most Bible believers to be reluctant, some have continued to predict dates for the "rapture." For example, coming right up, we have September 23, 2017, which many eagerly look to as the date of the "rapture." For many reasons beyond the scope of this particular letter, that prediction will also certainly fail, leaving many embarrassed and vainly trying to distance themselves from the failure.
Because of the embarrassment of such failed predictions, some have turned away from faith completely, while others simply turn away from Bible prophecy, such as Matthew 24, believing it cannot be understood. This, of course, is an overreaction. It is analogous to hitting a bump in the road, causing a knee-jerk steering response that takes the driver off the road altogether. A more reasonable response would be to realize that the sign Messiah gave us is correct, but the false-predictors have been wrong in understanding the sign. So where have they gone wrong?
The details differ, but the over-arching mistake is always the same - they get fixated on one thing and fail to account for the entire prophetic picture.
Here is how the sign actually works. Messiah's sign is like a fingerprint:
One data point of a fingerprint will tell you little, if anything. However, a fingerprint can and does uniquely identify only one person when the whole unique pattern of that fingerprint is accounted for. If all data points are present in the unique pattern a positive identification is not only possible, it is a certainty.
The one sign the disciples asked for works like this: Messiah's answer gives multiple data points (individual signs, if you will) which, all taken together, form the one sign the disciples asked for. Actually, the sign is even bigger than that, because Messiah did not repeat much of the prophetic picture from the prophets, which he was aware that his disciples already knew. The very structure of their question illustrates that. Yet, the data given by the prophets also must be seen as part of the unique pattern of events that form the entire prophetic "fingerprint" identifying details of the end of the age and the time of His coming. This other prophetic data that must be known and understood by the disciples is like an encryption key that keeps the sign locked up to everyone except those people whom Messiah intends to fully understand it. At this point, enough of the data points are in evidence for pretty much all believers to understand we are in the final generation that is called "the end of the age." Much more specific information is also part of the prophetic picture, and is available to those with the "encryption key" - but will never be understood by lackluster believers who are content with only a superficial grasp of Scripture.
That's why William Miller and all the others have failed in their predictions. For example, all the prophets foretold the re-gathering of the Remnant of Israel back to the Land in the last days, before the return of Messiah. The lack of this one prophetic data point alone should have alerted Miller and all of his followers that his prediction could not possibly be a match with the full prophetic "fingerprint." The prediction failed because it did not take the entire sign into account. Messiah's sign did not fail - William Miller and his followers are the ones that failed. The sign continues to stand, and will continue to be a guide to those for whom it is intended.
Messiah would not have given us the sign in Matthew 24 if we didn't need it. We do need it, and we are considering it tonight, at our online Tsiyon meeting. Join us at 8 PM CST at Tsiyon.Net for our live meeting. See for yourself how this sign is unfolding in these days.
Eliyahu ben David
To the left is a picture of Roy McCrindle, a long-time Tsiyon Partner and fellow-worker in the Lord. Roy lives in Australia and is concerned about the slide of that country toward legalizing "same-sex marriage". Recently he shared an open letter he has written on that topic to Australian lawmakers and citizens. He has given me permission to share it with you. I know you will find it well worth reading, as I did. It is a reminder of how the globalist agenda, as absurd as it is, is being pushed forward in nations around the globe. -Eliyahu
An open letter to the Australian Members of Parliament and the citizens of Australia
In the past days and weeks and years there has been a rush to emulate people of other countries and legislate “same-sex marriage” on the basis of equality for all. Before rushing into legislation, there needs to be a reality check.
Those living or working in Canberra need only look at their local zoo for this. Here the zookeepers are following a program to ensure certain animal species survive. On TV, I watched two giraffe being transported to the zoo. Although they looked the same, or equal, they are in fact different: one produces sperm and the other eggs to ensure fertilisation and the birth of a baby giraffe.
If the zookeepers had chosen to ignore reality and chosen to import two sperm producing or two egg-producing giraffe and expected the same result, they would be the laughing stock of the scientific world and a disbelieving public.
The zookeepers are also providing a nurturing environment for the offspring they expect. Anything less would incur the wrath of every animal lover and judgement from the Royal Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Every person living today has been the result of the fertilisation of an egg by a sperm. Put another way, everyone has or had a mother and a father, and this provided the nurturing environment and basis of civilisation for the past 6,000 years as well as the continuation of our species as nature intended and provided. It is commonly known as marriage. Family ensues.
Because we are all born free and equal (although different) we can choose a lifestyle which involves same sexes without any legal disadvantage in Australia.
There are a number of consequences for same-sex couples, but the pertinent one in our case today is that the law of nature eliminates procreation. This is a reality which still needs to be acknowledged and accepted. In the heterosexual relationship, nature provides for the ideal environment of a mother and a father. This is the defining difference between the two relationships. They are not the same and therefore cannot be called the same. It’s like trying to compare apples with oranges.
There seems to be a movement abroad which wants to destroy all differences. Change and new life stems from the acceptance of our differences and functions. These we need to continue to celebrate. Why should we simply be “persons” or” partners” because a minority wants everyone to be the same? As citizens we need to be aware of how other countries operate. In Ireland, where voting is not compulsory, as one journalist pointed out, three quarters of the adults did not vote for same sex marriage. In the United States of America, the opinions of 5 of the appointed 9 judges changed the constitution of the country by over-riding the foundations for freedom which their Founding Fathers had put in place. In Ireland, this is democracy gone awry! In the USA, “government of the people, for the people, and by the people” high jacked!
Not to follow the vocal crowd requires strength and courageous leadership; otherwise Australia will slide into the same abyss.
Be not misled. No act of parliament, referendum, plebiscite or postal vote can change the laws of nature. We are leading the world in this area and should continue to do so.
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