"And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given even trumpets." -Revelation 8:2
In the previous issue of the Wake Up Report, we examined the question, "Why will the censer in Revelation 8:5 be thrown down?" In this issue, I would like to discuss when the censer will be thrown down. People often use Jesus remarks in Matthew 24:36 as though these words pertain to the Second Coming His appearing in clouds of glory during the seventh bowl (See Revelation 16:17-21; 6:12-17), but this is not the case! I believe that when Jesus said, "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father,"
He was referring to the commencement of the Great Tribulation. It is important to remember that the Second Coming will be a procession of many events that take 1,335 days to complete. Jesus said, "For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man." (Matthew 24:38,39)
Did you notice that Noah and his family entered the ark and no one was aware of it? The antediluvians "knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away." Were the antediluvians forewarned about the flood? Yes, Noah had preached for 120 years. Were they caught by surprise? Yes! They were totally distracted by the affairs of life on the day that Noah and his family entered the ark. The great door of the ark was shut and they did not have a clue that Gods mercy had run out. This is Jesus point in Matthew 24.
The parallel in our day will be just as sad. Gods corporate mercy for Earth is about to run out and the censer will be cast down. Who understands the nearness and gravity of this matter? Just before Jesus ascended to Heaven, His disciples wanted to know the timing of His return. Notice this text: "So when they met together, they asked him, Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel? He said to them: It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. " (Acts 1:6,7) Here is a question for your consideration: When Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, were His words a perpetual decree for Christians in all generations or was it meant to be a timely statement?
In other words, was Jesus really telling His disciples that none of His future followers know the times and dates which the Father has set? As you consider the answer for this question, you also have to address the fact that the books of Daniel and Revelation contain 18 prophetic time periods in them. Even more, at this time in history, we know that several of the 18 prophetic time periods in Daniel and Revelation occurred after Jesus spoke those words to His disciples. Knowing all this, His words have to be understood in this way: When the time comes for the fulfilment of prophecy, God sees that His children are given an understanding of the times and dates He has set by His own authority.
The reason this understanding is important is because at this very moment, no one knows the day and hour when the censer will be cast down and the Great Tribulation will begin. The censer will come down like a thief in the night at an hour when we "think not." (Matthew 24:43,44)
However, the date of the Second Coming is clearly stated in the book of Daniel! "From the time that the daily sacrifice [the service at Heavens golden Altar of Incense] is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation [the universal death decree for the saints] is set up, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days. As for you, [Daniel] go your way till the end. You will rest [in the grave], and then at the end of the [1,335] days you will rise [in the glorious resurrection of the righteous] to receive your allotted inheritance. " (Daniel 12:12,13, insertions mine) Remember, the date of the Second Coming cannot be known until the censer is cast down, but when it happens, we can start counting.
A Punctiliar Moment
John wrote, "And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets." (Revelation 8:2) The Bible indicates that seven mighty angels stand before Gods throne. They are eager servants of the Most High, ready and capable to fulfill any mission that He might command. As a group, these seven angels are mentioned three times in Revelation. They are the seven angels of the seven churches (Revelation 1:20), the seven angels of the seven trumpets (Revelation 8:2) and the seven angels of the seven bowls (Revelation 15:1).
At a point in time, these seven angels are given seven trumpets. Can we know the date of this event? For many years, I have pondered this question because the enormity of events accompanying the seven trumpets is so serious. The seven trumpets are the seven first plagues that precede the seven last plagues! Here is a point for you to consider. Keep in mind, I do not have the final word on Bible prophecy. I, too, am a Bible student searching for answers. It is my studied conclusion that the seven angels were given the seven trumpets on April 11, 1994, and my reasons for this conclusion are as follows:
First, I believe Gods patience with Jews and Gentiles alike ended when the Jubilee Calendar expired on April 11, 1994.* Since I cannot begin to explain the "Great Week" in this short article, I will present this abbreviated observation. It appears that God granted three Great Days (1470 years) for the Jews. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of the Great Week were granted to them as trustees of the gospel. Each Great Day is 70 weeks (490 years) in length and the 70 weeks of Daniel 9 make up Great Day of Tuesday.
Then, God granted four Great Days as the time of the Gentiles (1,960 years). Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sabbath of the Great Week were granted to Gentile believers as trustees of the gospel. (Luke 21:24) Thus, the probationary time allotted to Jews and Gentiles, as trustees of the gospel, has been completed.
Since April 11, 1994, the cup of Gods patience with mankind has been full. Today, that cup is overflowing with guilt and the absence of Gods judgments has puzzled thoughtful men like Dr. Billy Graham who once said, "If God doesnt send judgments upon the United States of America soon, He will owe an apology to Sodom and Gomorrah." I believe the reason God has not sent judgments is found in Revelation 7. Because mankind has not been able to fulfill the purposes of God, He is about to select 144,000 people from all over the world to accomplish what has not been done.
|1437 B.C.||Jubilee Calendar||1994|
|<–Literal Time–>||<———-Time Translated———–>||<–Literal Time–>|
|Noah's Day||Our Day|
* Note from Above:
God instituted the Jubilee Calendar at the Exodus. (Exodus 12:1) During the operation of the Jubilee Calendar, God used the weekly cycle of seven days to translate a day for a year. (See the first chart above.) So, every seventh year, counting from the year of the Exodus, was a Sabbath year and He commanded the land to rest as a test of faith for the Jews. (Leviticus 25: 4)
The presence of this calendar explains why the seventy weeks of Daniel 9 have to be translated as 490 years and the 2,300 days mentioned in Daniel 8:14 have to be translated as 2,300 years. However, the time periods mentioned in Daniel 12 (1,260 days, 1,290 days, and 1,335 days), are not translated as a day for a year because the Jubilee Calendar ended in 1994. Here are two reasons: First, a week is limited to seven days. The Great Week of 3,430 years ended with the Great Day of Sabbath. (Similarly, the Grand Week of 7,000 years will end with the Grand Day of Sabbath.)
Second, there are numerous time periods in Daniel and Revelation which are not subject to the day/year translation that still need to be fulfilled. This necessitates the termination of the translation of a day for a year, which the Jubilee Calendar demands. So, I conclude that the Jubilee Calendar ended in 1994. For a comprehensive discussion on this topic, you may want to view the March, April, May and June, 2004 Broadcast DVDs about the "Jubilee Calendar." A large Jubilee Calendar with key dates is also available. Also, you can watch a low resolution presentation of this study for free at our web-site: www.wake-up.org.
Second, a delay of Gods wrath is described in Revelation 7:1-4. The Bible indicates that Gods wrath is delayed until the 144,000 are sealed. (See pages 159-166 in my book, Daniel Unlocked for the Final Generation.) God wants us know about this delay because He wants us to understand that His wrath is due long before the 144,000 are sealed. In other words, Earths cup of iniquity becomes full before the Great Tribulation begins. The sequence of events flows together very easily.
Suppose the seven angels were given seven trumpets in 1994 because Gods patience with mankind reached its limit. However, before the first four angels can inflict harm to notoriously wicked places on Earth, destruction is delayed because Jesus is waiting for the arrival for a specific time, an appointed time (Daniel 8:19) to select and seal the 144,000. In other words, Jesus is waiting to align coming events with the synchrony of the "Grand Week." The Grand Week consists of seven days each day is a thousand years in length.
When all of the data is brought together, it appears that the Second Coming will occur at the end of the 6,000th year of sin the year that marks the end of the Friday millennium. If this conclusion is correct, the 1,000 years of Revelation 20 will start on time when the "Great Day" of Sabbath begins, and Earth itself will rest from the works of sin. It appears that Jesus has delayed the commencement of the seven trumpets since 1994. We are living in this "delay" right now. Jesus is waiting for the 6,000th year minus 1,335 days to terminate His corporate intercession for Earth.
When the appointed hour arrives, the censer will be thrown down, the global earthquake will occur and the seven trumpets will follow. With God, timing is everything. (See Revelation 9:15.)
Last, the prophetic matrix produced by the four rules of interpretation that I follow forces the seven angels in Revelation 8:2 to receive their trumpets shortly before the censer is thrown down. After the seven angels receive their terrible assignments, the next prophetic event is the casting down of the censer. Notice the progression of these matters.
First, Gods patience with Jews runs out. Then, Gods patience with Gentiles runs out. The Great Week of Gods mercy ends (3,430 years) and seven angels that stand before Him are given seven trumpets. (April 1994) Then, before the first four angels can hurt the Earth, they are told to wait until the 144,000 are sealed. This introduces the delay described in Revelation 7:1-4.
When the appointed time arrives, 144,000 people will be selected and empowered, and Jesus will terminate His corporate intercession for Earth. Then, the censer at the Altar of Incense will be cast down (Revelation 8:3,4) and the global earthquake will occur. (Revelation 8:5) I believe there is a very short space of perhaps thirty to sixty days (Revelation 8:6) before the fiery hailstorm of the first trumpet occurs. (Revelation 8:7)
Overview of the Trusteeship of the Gospel
Waiting and Watching
The Great Tribulation has not begun. The 1,260 days, the 1,290 days and the 1,335 days mentioned in Daniel 12 have not yet begun. The 1,260 days of the Two Witnesses have not begun. The 42 months in Revelation 13:5 have not begun. The five months in Revelation 9:5 have not begun. The 1,000 years of Revelation 20 have not begun. However, each of these time periods will occur on time. I suspect these events will transpire soon, very soon. "So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him." (Matthew 24:44)