Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; “and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. Matthew 16:1-3 NKJV
How would you take being called a hypocrite? Personally, I cannot imagine a greater insult to my profession of faith than to hear someone say that to me. So imagine if you will what the religious leaders of Jesus’ day thought when they heard Him tell them to their faces that they were hypocrites. Especially so when He made it clear that the signs they were expected to recognize were as plain as the color of the sky! For us today, however, this begs the question will the second coming of Christ be accompanied by signs as obvious as those that were present at His first coming?
By now many are familiar with the work of Sir Robert Anderson in his book The Coming Prince, which deals with the seventy weeks prophecy which we find in the book of Daniel. In his book he shows how the very day of Christ’s presentation as King was prophesied by Daniel to occur sixty nine weeks of years, or 173,880 days after the command to restore and rebuild Jerusalem which was given by Artaxerxes Longimanus on March 14, 445 B.C. Is it then any wonder why Jesus called out the Pharisees and the Sadducees for not knowing the time was at hand and recognizing it?
Unfortunately, not only did they not recognize the time of His appearing, they went further by rejecting Jesus as their prophesied Messiah, and condemning Him to die on a cross by crucifixion. In doing so, they willfully ignored the myriad of prophecies that He fulfilled about the coming Messiah which were written by the prophets of old. Of course, this too was prophesied many years before by both Daniel and Isaiah.
“Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; Daniel 9:25-26a NKJV
Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Isaiah 53:1-3 NKJV
Yet there is something else which has caught my attention that I would like to pass on to you. There is an old Jewish saying which you may have heard of which states, “coincidence isn’t kosher”. I have always enjoyed quoting that phrase because I have often taught studies exploring the possibility that in a world created by an omnipotent God, there is no room for coincidence since He has foreordained all that is to occur. With that in mind, let us return to the subject of the coming Tetrads which we discussed a couple of weeks ago.
The first lunar eclipse, or blood moon, is going to occur on Passover next month. If we truly believe that God has set the Heavens in their place and all that they contain, and that He also instituted the Jewish feasts to be celebrated on their appointed days, it follows then that He was well aware that this eclipse and those that follow are going to happen exactly on the feast days. I also find it interesting that the first eclipse is set to occur on Passover, the very day that Jesus was rejected as the prophesied Messiah, the King of the Jews.
When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha. Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” John 19:13-15 NKJV
Acknowledging that Jesus held the religious leaders accountable to know and recognize the time of His appearing, I believe it goes without saying that He also holds us as believers today accountable to see and understand the season of His return for His church.
“And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” Mark 13:37 NKJV
Will the time of Jacob’s trouble, Daniels Seventieth Week, begin on God’s clock exactly where it stopped? I believe that is a fair question to ask, and considering the situation Israel finds itself in today along with the coming eclipses, it seems to be a distinct possibility. Am I predicting that this will definitely occur? No, however it would not surprise me at all if it did. It is also my firm belief that just as Jesus fulfilled the prophecies of the coming Messiah as a sign to Israel, I believe He will provide signs of His coming for the church that any who choose to watch for will see and recognize for what they are.
The next few weeks may prove to be some of the most exciting the church has ever seen.