Calendar: Two-sided Test?
WHY DOES GOD SET UP TESTS?
God it seems can set up tests to reveal where the hearts of professing Christians really lie. Are they paying lip service to the Bible or do they have a sincere, God-given desire, to be obedient to the whole counsel of God? So wouldn't we expect God to test the post-church community?
De 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
De 13:2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods , which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
De 13:3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
Heb 3:8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
Jude 1:5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
1Co 10:5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
2Pe 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;
Lu 17:32 Remember Lot’s wife.
CAN WE KNOW IF WE ARE BEING TESTED?
A general rule, I think, would be to see if anything is keeping me from examining and relating to the whole counsel of God. And comparing the Bible with the Bible, to me, would include the enormous time and numerical information revealed in God’s WORD.
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Pe 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.
Php 1:15-16 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
CAN BELIEVERS BE TESTED?
Believers, I think, are tested right along side the unsaved in the body. Except for the mercy of God, they too would fail the tests which seem to be designed to separate wheat and tares. But because the sins of the elect are already covered by the blood of Christ, God brings revelation to them.
Jer 23:28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.
Jer 26:2 Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word:
Re 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Mt 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
DOES GOD EXPECT PERFECT KNOWLEDGE?
By now, many have come to understand that salvation, individual or collective, is always passive on the part of the elect. So whether it’s the calendar, the way the numbers are used or anything else in the Bible, some may understand more than others. However, I do believe there is a difference between a desire to examine the whole counsel of God versus an outright denial or rejection of the Biblical calendar or numerical information. God I believe can use others with more knowledge in certain areas to reveal related truth.
1Co 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
THE CALENDAR : TWO SIDES TO THE SAME TEST?
Test #1 – A MIXING OF SPIRITUAL WITH LITERAL
I for one, used to relate the timeline to the very last day in anticipation of the literal return of Christ. I am very thankful for how I see God to be using the numbers and how an actual timeline of history has been revealed. I’m also thankful for those who have worked diligently as God has guided them to put together studies that have helped me to better understand the calendar.
However, today, God is showing some that Christ has been revealed through the Bible. This, Lord willing, would mean that the calendar has served its intended purpose since the spiritual revelation of Christ would have also fulfilled the related feasts that were pointing to His coming. And this spiritual revelation was to judge the church as well as redeem the body by bringing the Elect out of Babylon.
So even though God’s perfect timeline extends to May 21, October 21 in 2011 and even to Purim in March 7,8,9 of 2012, I believe these are now shadows of the spiritual. Many today are holding on to these shadows. And because a test, as mentioned, is to divide and keep people away from truth (Christ), could many be failing this test as they continue to look towards a physical appearance? I don’t think there is anything wrong with looking to the very end; but I don't see the language of the Bible to be giving us the related details.
Test #2 – IGNORING OR AVOIDING GOD’S WORD
By the same token, there is another category of people today who seem to avoid numbers altogether or anything having to do with a timeline. The reason behind this appears to lie in the numerous failed attempts of others to accurately forecast a literal return of Christ. Many lives have been destroyed by prophets and Bible teachers who’ve misused or misunderstood the spiritual nature of the calendar right up to today. But are these reasons to fear the numbers or timeline? Does this void God’s Word? Let God be true and every man a liar. If we avoided doctrines based on how others have mishandled them, there would be practically nothing left to look at, would there? So the reasoning behind this position does not appear to be Biblical at all. If anything it could cause us to become judgmental in character towards those who've misunderstood the nature of the calendar.
Also, this position seems to foster animosity among professing Christians. Some would go so far as to label the calendar as man made or some forbidden evil fruit that we're not supposed to touch. And this, of course, is not a good sign because it tends to create division among those who should be under the inspiration of the same Spirit. And since God is separating today, should this be a cause for concern?
WHY WORRY ABOUT A CALENDAR TODAY?
Some question why God would even reveal a timeline in the Bible. My answer to that would be why wouldn't He? Why wouldn’t an infinite God who created the world find it fitting to reveal this important information to His people? Especially as it unveils gospel truth. Another question that is sometimes raised is that If Christ has already been revealed why worry about a calendar? The following are reasons I think believers should always be concerned about the timeline and anything else God chooses to reveal:
1. The calendar would confirm the timing of the revelation of Christ
2. The believer would be a better witness in explaining the lack of substance in the calendar to those anticipating a literal coming
3. The believer would better relate to the command to blow the trumpet as he/she sees the Sword come on the land
4. The believer would not fear to analyze numbers or any other related sections of the Bible
5. The Bible is one cohesive whole and the numbers also reveal the gospel. So avoiding any part of it is potentially dangerous and could eventually keep us from understanding other related verses.
Pr 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
De 32:8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.
God, it seems, had a specific time to reveal truth. And just as Christ’s death and resurrection was not understood until after He was raised from the dead and sent the Holy Spirit to enlighten the disciples, so to, the elect receive revelation after the two witnesses (body of Christ) were killed and raised from the spiritual grave that is Babylon. This, Lord willing, would explain the many failed attempts to forecast the literal return of Christ. The calendar it seems was designed to reveal Christ in hindsight. So if we believe that Christ has come to separate wheat and tares, then we should also understand why, apart from the gathering, the Bible would speak of the door to salvation being shut.
Hab 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.
Ec 8:5 Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man’s heart discerneth both time and judgment .
Lu 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
A WORD OF CAUTION WITH THE CALENDAR
One has to look for the gospel in the numbers and in the calendar. Some might attempt to randomly establish numerical relationships or patterns in many areas. It doesn't mean every connection or resulting prime numbers will carry spiritual truth. Analyzing time paths should be meaningful; we should first establish the spiritual connection of an event and then compare it to another date of a similar nature. For example, the exodus occurring in 1447 BC was a picture of the redemption of the body. A good reference year where one would expect to find a significant relationship would be 1994; The year I believe to be the timing of the revelation of Christ.
This, to me, would be the reason why October and May 21, 2011 and March 9, 2012 would not hold any substance. Since Christ has been revealed, the feast of tabernacles as well as Purim would be spiritual and taking place today as the elect come out of Babylon. And coming out of Babylon would be equivalent to going to the mountains to keep that feast (Zec 14:16, 18, 19).
May this encourage all of us to be open to everything God would choose to reveal in His WORD.