Having started to examine the economic and political system that implements the 666, let me shift attention this week to explain why you and I won't be around to see it. Next week I'll get back to the 666 and signs around it.
"...He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself...and for those who look for Him, He will appear a second time not to bear sin, but to to bring us the fullness of salvation." Hebrews 9: 24-28
The author of Hebrews believed Jesus was going to appear to bring the fullness of salvation, to "those who look for Him". This isn't the 2nd coming at Armageddon because then Jesus will appear to the whole earth whether they are looking for Him and believe in Him or not. So this is about an event in which Jesus appears to those who look for Him, to complete their salvation.
Is he implying believers who aren't looking for Him, won't go in that event? Could it be that those believers who don't believe in a pre-tribulation rapture will get their wish and not be taken? I don't know, and that point has been debated for many years. Everyone Paul wrote to was looking for Him. But in our day that is not the case. But it is clear the author is writing about an event that will bring the fullness of salvation, and it is for those who are looking for the Lord in that event.
First century Judaism, from which Paul wrote
Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, is also called the Feast of Trumpets. In Judaism the 7 God-given festivals are called 'rehearsals' and 'appointments' for the True which will come one day. (Leviticus 23)
The 4 spring festivals were therefore fulfilled on their exact day: (1) Unleavened Bread and (2) Passover - at the cross, (3) Feast of First fruits of the earth - started that Sunday, Resurrection day, (4) Pentecost - which was 50 days after the feast of First fruits/resurrection day, and was the anniversary of God giving Moses the Law. The connection between Moses receiving God's Word and people speaking in tongues may not be immediately understood, but it has to do with God's Word at Pentecost now written in the hearts of men, the Living Word now throughout mankind.
That leaves the 3 fall festivals; (5) Feast of Trumpets/Rosh Hashanah (6) Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and (7) the Feast of Tabernacles, celebrating God living with man.
We are told in Zechariah 14: 16 the Feast of Tabernacles will be fulfilled on its exact day for 1000 years in a row during the Millennium. That means 5 of the 7 were or will be fulfilled on their exact day. These last 2 occur in September or early October depending on the calendar.
Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement answers to the return of Jesus and the world being called into account for their sins. Jesus' statement that He doesn't know the day nor hour of His return could be interpreted to mean His return would break the pattern and not be on the Day of Atonement - we don't know.
The Feast of Trumpets is the only festival of the 7 to start at the new moon phase, when there is no moon, said to be 'hidden'.
In Judaism the sun represents God and believers represent the moon. Like the moon, believers have no light of their own, but reflect the light of the sun/Son, and were created to rule the night/darkness. The Feast of Trumpets starts when the moon is hidden because Paul said, the blowing of the Last Trump hides the believers in heaven. That's why he wrote the new moon is a type of something to come*. (I Corinthians 15: 52, Psalm 81:3, *Colossians 2:16-17)
The blowing of the Last Trumpet at the Feast of Trumpets causes the righteous dead to rise, and Paul added his own revelation that those alive to see that event, will also be changed and join them. A Hebrew Lexicon says the word for blowing the trumpet, 'teruah', means 'an awakening blast'. The Last Trumpet was originally said to be the right horn of the ram caught in the thicket when Abraham was to have offered Isaac in Genesis 22. It has been associated with resurrection ever since.
Paul, alluding to this event, paraphrasing the temple prayer of the Feast of Trumpets in Ephesians 5: 14-17, which started with: "Awake you who sleep, and remember (rise to) your Creator..." Paul wrote: "Therefore as it is said, 'Awake you who sleep, rise you sleepers and Messiah will give you light..."
That Paul teaches these Jewish beliefs of what we call a pre-tribulation 'rapture' to the Corinthians, above to the Ephesians, makes mention of the event to come as seen in the new moon to the Colossians, and spells it out in detail in 2 letters to the Thessalonians, as well as what Hebrews 9 says, makes it clear he and those around him believed the 'teruah', the 'awakening blast', would be blown before the world entered the time of Jacob's trouble.
If people don't understand Paul's Judaism and first century believer, they cannot connect the consistency of his writings to the Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians, Thesslonians, and readers of Hebrews about the Jewish belief in the Feast of Trumpets awakening the righteous dead BEFORE the earth enters the time of Jacob's Trouble.
The end of the age
After the blowing of the trumpet Judaism teaches, the earth goes into a 7 year period known as 'the time of Jacob's Trouble' and 'the Days of Awe'. This mirrors the 7 days between the end of the Feast of Trumpets and the start of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The Feast of Trumpets/Rosh HaShanah is on the 1st-2nd, and Yom Kippur is the 10th, leaving the 3rd-9th, 7 days between.
While the hidden ones are in heaven having their feast, on earth God will divide the remaining population into 3 groups. The first is the righteous, which is made up of those who believe in the Lord after they witness the catching away of believers. The next is the wicked, which is those who have decided not to believe no matter what.
The largest group, is called to this day in Judaism 'the Intermediates'. These are those people who have not yet decided if they will believe in and follow God. They have (7 years) until Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, when Jesus returns to call the nations to account and set up His earthly kingdom.
The 666 isn't for us
So what the apostle John sees in The Revelation concerning multitudes being martyred, or dying due to the double asteroid hit and sun being blocked out, or war and economy in ruin and famine, has to do with those remaining on the earth after the Feast of Trumpets blowing of the Last Trumpet. In heaven believers (primarily Gentiles) have been judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and are celebrating the wedding feast - which is 7 years long. But on earth it is the Days of Awe, the days of repentance.
The 666 has nothing to do with you and I other than the beginning of that system is something we can observe taking shape in our day. And that's for next week. Until then, blessings,
www.cwowi.org and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org