Of Times and Seasons
Aug 18, 2009
Being "watchful" as Jesus instructs us in Matt. 24:42 and in Rev. 3:2 of necessity must have something to do with knowing the "times and seasons" that are given in each generation (Matt. 16:3). In regard to end-time matters, it was not for Jesus' disciples in their day to know the "times and seasons" pertaining to the establishment of the Kingdom (Acts 1:7), because they did not live in the days when it was pertinent.
On the other hand, Paul did teach the Thessalonian believers what he knew prophetically of the "times and seasons" (1 Thess. 5:1), and hence he did not have to repeat them in his epistle.
Short-term time cycles, if valid, always fit with (and enhance) the long-term cycles. We have seen a number of long-term cycles that bring us to the general "season" in modern prophecy. One of those, as I explained yesterday, is the 2,520-year cycle. It is 7 x 360, or 2 x 1,260. The book of Revelation speaks of a cycle of 1,260 "days", which is half of 2,520, or 3-1/2 "times."
The full cycle in really long-term prophecy is 2,520 years, but often this is broken up into two sections, each 1,260 years in length.
For instance, if we take the mid-point of Israel's deportations (from 745-721 B.C.), we can use 733 B.C. as the date of Israel's deportations to Assyria. This marks the beginning of Israel's "tribulation" according to the laws of tribulation found in Lev. 26 and Deut. 28.
1,260 years later comes to 528 A.D., the year before Roman Emperor Justinian issued his famous "Codex" that altered the entire Roman law system and changed it to conform to Orthodox Christian law. This event (529) brought the Roman Church into full power on a legal basis, for the political power then became the mere law-enforcement arm of the Church.
Counting another 1,260 years brings us to 1789, the year of the French Revolution, when the Roman Church began to lose power. The French Revolution overthrew the power of the Church, secularized the nation, killed about 30,000 priests, made refugees of thousands more, and culminated with the pope actually being taken captive by Napoleon. Is that not a significant historical development?
The Roman Church was thus empowered for 1,260 years before a new beast came on the scene, eclipsing the power of the Church. This is all prophesied in Revelation 13, which I explained in my August FFI.
The point is to show that the TOTAL time frame involved is 2,520 years. But the book of Revelation only focuses upon the last half of that time period (1,260 "days" or years). And, of course, it makes little sense to relate the Church to the laws of tribulation under which Israel was subjected--unless we also understand that those "lost" Israelites immigrated out of Assyria (after its collapse) into Europe. Most of them were eventually "Christianized" and thus were directly associated with the Church in that way. So the Christians in Europe, many of them ex-Israelites by genealogy, had to fulfill the second half of their sentence under the "little horn" of Religious Rome (i.e., "Saul").
Whereas the earlier Israelites were taken to Assyria, the later Israelites of the dispersion were subjected to Rome (the fourth beast of Daniel 7), and more particularly the "little horn" coming out of the ruins of the Western Roman Empire. That "little horn" was the Roman CHURCH, which reached a certain apex of power in 529 when Emperor Justinian, ruling from Constantinople in the East, became the law-enforcement officer for the Roman Church.
Without knowing history, there is little chance that we will understand the bigger picture. Without knowing how we got here, there is little chance that anyone will know the "times and seasons" that have been revealed in this day.
There may, indeed, be a 7-year "tribulation" period, but we must understand that in the bigger picture, we have already had tribulation for 7 x 360 years, or a period of "7 times." The short-term fulfillment must always be subject to the long-term, overall prophecy. Otherwise, it is not possible to understand properly, nor can we grasp the inevitable complexities that naturally arise from the very complex mind of God.
For example, the 2,520-year cycle becomes complex because we see that it is being fulfilled in more than one way. The cycle had multiple beginning points, and so it also has multiple endpoints. As I showed yesterday,
745 B.C. plus 2,520 years = 1776 A.D. (America's Independence)
721 B.C. plus 2,520 years = 1800 A.D. (Capital Built)
607 B.C. plus 2,520 years = 1914 A.D. (Federal Reserve Act; Babylon)
604 B.C. plus 2,520 years = 1917 A.D. (Jerusalem taken by Allenby)
534 B.C. plus 2,520 years = 1987 A.D. (USSR begins to collapse)
520 B.C. plus 2,520 years = 2001 A.D. (Rebuilding the true Temple)
515 B.C. plus 2,520 years = 2006 A.D. (Temple completed March 15)
A single-date fulfillment of a 2,520-year cycle might be discarded as a coincidence. So God gives us an entire series of fulfillments, in order that the law might be fulfilled, saying "at the mouth of two or three witnesses, every matter shall be established." (Deut. 19:15; 2 Cor. 13:1).
If this 2,520-year cycle were the only one that we understood, it would be sufficient to give us a reference point to know where we are in prophetic history. Why? Because we are anchored in the biblical history of the House of Israel. That is where it all started. The long-term captivity to the Babylonian succession of empires, as portrayed in the book of Daniel, was caused by the sins of our forefathers--their refusal to abide by the Law as specified in the original agreement (covenant) that they made with God in the days of Moses.
We have come into a Babylonian captivity of our own in the past century. Neo-Babylon was established 2,520 years after the original Babylonian Empire got its start. We got a new set of rulers for our generation, and Babylon was renamed the Federal Reserve System in order to hide its true character. Hence also, Rev. 17:5 says that this "Babylon" is a "mystery" (i.e., secret or hidden). The Fed requires secrecy to succeed, and to hide the fact that it brought America and much of the world into captivity under its debt-money system.
But we ourselves are fortunate enough to be living at the time of its demise. It is therefore time to reveal or expose it for what it is, so that the "mystery" in Babylon is no longer a mystery. God is shedding His light on it today, and He is the One bringing down the system. So when you look at the collapse of the economic system, sympathize with all the people who are undergoing hardship with us, yet know also that this collapse is the only way for us to be set free in the bigger picture. We have prayed for many years to be set free, and God is now answering those prayers.
It may be that this final 3-1/2 year period from March 15, 2006 to Sept. 15, 2009 could also have a slightly different date of fulfillment. We may see a literal count of 1,260 days fulfilled here, and if so, it would end on August 26, 2009, rather than on Sept. 15. In my experience, I have seen that BOTH ways of counting are usually valid and significant. Thus, we should watch BOTH dates. However, it is usually the later date that is the most significant.
Regardless, we are living in interesting times, and we should all be watchful of that which the Father has revealed. These things are being revealed now, because these "times and seasons" are pertinent and vital to give us light on our path, purpose in our ministries, faith in our hearts, and hope in our eyes.
Dr. Stephen Jones