Basics of Bible Prophecy Fulfillment: Part 1
Feb 17, 2006
The book of Revelation is structured upon the Hebrew calendar.
The Hebrew calendar makes every seventh year a land-rest year (i.e., Sabbath year). The year is comprised of twelve lunar months. But because a lunar year is only 354 days long, twelve lunar months fall short of a solar year by about 11 days. For this reason, a leap-month is included at the end of every second or third year to make up the shortfall. Otherwise, Passover, which is to be kept in the first month, would be held about eleven days earlier each year instead of being kept in the Spring.
By contrast, the Islamic calendar does not include any leap-months, and so their holy month of Ramadan can fall at any season, depending on the year. Islam does not have any compelling reason to keep Ramadan seasonal.
On the Hebrew calendar, each month began when the first crescent moon was sighted at sundown. The priest blew the trumpet to signal that the first sliver of the moon had been officially sighted (Num. 10:10). And so, two weeks before Passover, when the first crescent moon was sighted, the FIRST trumpet was sounded to signal the beginning of the FIRST month.
A month later, the second trumpet was blown to signal the beginning of the SECOND month. The same was true of the following months.
The seventh trumpet was blown at the beginning of the SEVENTH month. This day was also a special day of the "Blowing of Trumpets" to commemorate the day that Moses built the two silver trumpets in Numbers 10.
During the seventh month came the Feast of Tabernacles, in which the priest poured out a drink offering each day (Num. 29). They poured out wine on the left side of the altar and another drink offering of water on the right side for seven days.
The book of Revelation portrays a detailed knowledge of the temple ceremonies as well as the Hebrew calendar. And so the book finds its basic structure around these things. Essentially, John is telling us that what was done in the old temple was prophetic of future events that Jesus Christ would do as our High Priest from the temple in heaven.
The book of Revelation speaks of opening "The Seven Seals." These were foreshadowed by the seven years in a calendar cycle from one Sabbath year to the next.
In the seventh seal are seven trumpets, because in the seventh year are seven months during which time the Mosaic feasts are to be held. The seven trumpets represent the seven months, each of which began with a trumpet being blown in the temple.
In the seventh trumpet are seven bowls ("vials") to be poured out, because these were prophesied by the drink offerings that were poured out during the seven days of the feast of Tabernacles.
In applying these basic principles to Bible prophecy, there are two main ways to view the seven seals. As I said earlier, these represent seven years in a Sabbath year. But there is another way of looking at it that is equally correct. The seven seals represents a longer time period that is defined by the seven Church ages (Rev. 2, 3) that extend from 33 A.D. to 1993 A.D. For a full study of these Church ages, see my book, "The Seven Churches."
I also believe that the seven literal years (seals) find their fulfillment from October 1986 to October 1993. As I showed in my book, "Secrets of Time," the 120th Jubilee from Adam was 1986-1987, and this is our primary hinge date for understanding modern prophecy. Thus, in my understanding . . .
The seven seals are either 33-1993 A.D. or 1986/87-1993/94.
The seven trumpets are 1993/94-2000/01.
The seven bowls ("vials") are 2000/01-2006/07.
Since we are now nearing the close of this time period, there ought to be some historical evidence of fulfillment. Obviously, if one assumes a very literal interpretation of Revelation, as most Bible prophecy teachers claim, this has not happened. But if we look at the historical view of Revelation, as I did in my series on the book of Revelation in the FFI, it changes the whole picture.
This web log is not the place to try to teach or prove all of those issues, since I have already set forth all of this in my books or FFI teachings. If you have not read them, then this current weblog series will be largely meaningless to you. I suggest that if you are a serious student of Bible prophecy, you will want to read those books either online or by ordering printed copies for yourself. The information is free. For books, we ask that you pay for the paper and ink, if you are able.
This is the first part of a series titled "Basics of Bible Prophecy Fulfillment." To view all parts, click the link below.