V. A. PROPOSCH
JESUS said that at the time of His Coming again, there would be signs in the sun and the moon. We now ask the question: was this eclipse such a sign? Of course, eclipses of the sun and of the moon are readily predictable, and as a general rule, there are two solar eclipses and two lunar eclipses visible somewhere on the earth each year. This is due to the fact that the lunar orbit is inclined by some five degrees relative to the orbital plane of the earth. The mean lunar month is 29 and a half days, so that the lunar year is 354.366 days, therefore the moon crosses that earth's orbit twice in this period. Not every crossing develops a solar eclipse - for that event the sun, moon and the earth must be directly in line. There are further complications, of course, in that the lunar orbit is subject to a rotation of about 18 years, which is what the ancient Babylonians called the 'Saros'. Modern lunar theory enables accurate determination of eclipses and of the location of the path of totality. On this basis, we must hold that any eclipse, of itself, is not a sign of the times.
However, as the visible universe is an obvious expression of mathematical concepts, we must conclude that this aspect belongs to and is part of the great design of creation. The LORD God is the Ruler of this universe, and nothing occurs other than that which is decreed by Him, although within the limited ambience of human wisdom some events may appear to be random and without explanation. This apparent randomness applies more especially within the historical and sociological effects flowing from human decisions, rather than to the mechanisms of astronomical motions which are outside human control. Yet, as Professor John MacMurray once wrote 'Christianity is only definable in terms of a continuity of intentional action through history.' This means that the LORD God assesses the combined effects of human decisions, and directs history in accord with His Supreme Will. Yet at times, the LORD intervenes actively, as at the Call of Abram, or as at the Exodus, to begin or to develop actions that pursue His overall Plan and Purpose. This latter event was shattering in its impact upon Egypt, the oppressing Power, which lost all influence thereafter for some considerable time. The primary effect of this intervention at the Exodus was the setting up of the Kingdom of Israel, while at the same time the power of Egypt to frustrate this development was lost to her Pharaoh and her people.
Now, the late Dr Grattan Guinness and Bernard Nicklin investigated Divine Time Measures as these were revealed in the history of this tragic Century, and were able to show with impressive detail that this overrule of the LORD is still evident within the course of modern history. The events of 1917 in relation to Jerusalem were an exact fulfilment of Bible prophecy in detail and in timing. Guinness reasoned that 'Seven Times' beginning with the first Babylonian Capture of Jerusalem (followed by the taking of hostages from the royal and high classes of Jerusalem) in 604 BC, ended 2,520 years later with the Freeing of Jerusalem from Turkish domination. A 'time' is Fixed at 360 years from Old Testament records as well as by interpretation of time measures introduced by Daniel and Revelation. The year 1917 therefore becomes a most important rnilepost looking towards the culmination of all prophecies relating to the Return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Dr Guinness showed that the fulfilment came precisely 2,520 years from the initial epoch. Bernard Nicklin, however, demonstrated that the events of the years before and after that day introduced a series of time measures of literal days wherein each calculation was numbered in accord with Bible Time Measures. These measures not only included 2,520 days, but also the 3 and a half 'times', together with the 1,290 days of Daniel and also the 1,335 days of that prophet. He concluded that the ongoing political and historical and natural events of this Century were happening at intervals of these time measures.
These also occurred in multiples of such time measures, and in combinations thereof. Further analyses of current history show that such times are still numbered. It has been my privilege under the Lord, together with many others, to count the number of days from one recognised important event to a more recent event. Some such calculations apply to the day of the recent eclipse. These terminate on the day of a predictable occurrence, and it is these measures terminating on that day that become of importance in light of the promises in the Scriptures. No person can manipulate the eclipse to make its dating significant. Yet the Power of the Creator God can assuredly overrule the timing of the initial event even when this is apparently decided by accumulated human decisions, in order to introduce a subsequent Sign of the Times.
Readers may therefore be interested in the following calculations and equations. It is hoped that the significance therein will strengthen the hope of all readers. Paul, writing to the Elect in Rome, expressed this hope in these words: (Romans 5: 1-8)
'Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.. by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.'
'For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.'
On 9 December, 1917, Turkish troops abandoned Jerusalem to the advancing British Forces (including the Australian Light Horse and other troops under General Chauvel). On December 11, General Allenby, Commander in Chief, walked into Jerusalem to accept the surrender of the City. From that day, exactly 980 calendar months extended to 11 August, 1999. The number 980 is a double measure of 490, which is the seventy sevens to Messiah spoken of in Daniel 9:24-26:
'Seventy weeks (literally 'sevens') are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.'
The following equation also applies from the interval in days, which is exactly 29828 days.
|Surrender of Jerusalem||Eclipse of 1999|
|Decernber11, 1997||<29828days>||August 11, l999|
|31 x 888 + 2300|
This measure introduces three numbers of prime importance.
The number 31 is derived from the Hebrew letters EL, where in the numerical values attached to Hebrew Letters, the letter L is 30 and E is 1, i.e. adding to 31, representing the EL, the Creator God. It is also the integer representation of the mathematical PI applied to the circumference of a circle of diameter 'd', where the circumference is PI times 'd', symbolising the Eternal Lord without beginning and without end. Here it is the multiplier of 888, recognised generally as the Lord Jesus Christ, from the Greek form Iesous Xristos. Greek letters also owned numerical values, and the Greek Letters of His Title add to exactly 888. Here we see the symbols of God the father and God the Son, introduce into an expression of days. The added value of 2300 is also found in Daniel 8:13-14:
'Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden underfoot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.'
Therefore, we conclude that the Eclipse points to the Promise of the return of Messiah, and to the cleansing of the sanctuary. The Sanctuary is defined in Psalm 114:1-2:
'When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language; Judah was his sanctuary, and Israel his dominion.'
From the Coronation of Elizabeth on 2nd June, 1953, the summation of days brings in 1,6872 days, including both the day beginning and the day ending the period. This is precisely nineteen times the Christ number, which as was explained above, is 888. The factor nineteen is the sum of ten, for ordinal perfection, plus nine for finality, but it is also the sum of twelve, for the perfection of Divine Government, and seven for spiritual perfection. In the result, the sum of the days looks to the setting up of the perfect Government of the Kingdom of God under the rightful Son of David, the Lord Jesus Himself. However, Elizabeth became Queen on the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952. The sum of days to the Eclipse is just 17353 days. This latter number is 40 times 1,260 (or twenty times 2,520) plus 153. These numbers are 40 for the punishment of Judah, alternatively for the 40 years in the wilderness after the Exodus, followed by entry into the Promised land of Canaan, with an added 153 for the Elect gathered from the sea. In Scripture, the sea is symbolic of the restless mass of all humanity, out of which the Elect are gathered. Throughout the Old Testament, we find that Israel is continually referred to as the Elect Nation, so that for perfect consistency of the Scriptures, the 153 should look to the Elect out of Israel, but the resurrection of the dead in Christ must also include those called out from all nations. There may be a distinction between those of Israel, who are destined to be rulers in Israel, and the ones called out from all nations, who do not rule in Israel, but under the King, the Lord Jesus Christ, and with the assistance and guidance of some of those out of Israel, extend the rule of Christ over all nations during His reign of one thousand years. However, the numbers do look primarily to the King, the Sovereign Ruler of All-Israel under the New Covenant.
One final set of numbers may be instructive in this matter of the Coming of the Lord. On July 11, 1927, an earthquake struck Jerusalem and the Mount of Olives. It is believed that a report prepared shortly afterwards by a seismological team revealed the existence of a seismic fault extending east to west through the central region of that same Mount of Olives. I have read of this report, but have no further evidence of the fact. However, it is foretold that at the final crisis, the enemies of God will gather against Jerusalem and take the City.
Then shall the feet of the Lord stand on that Mount, and the Mount will split into two, with a great valley between the two halves. This is revealed in Zechariah 14. However, we deal with summations of days. In this case, the interval to the Eclipse is 26,328 clear days. This breaks down into 26 times 888 days with an added period of 40 times 81 days. The number 26 has a double interpretation, that is for rebellion against God, which indeed is the prediction of the Lord shown to Zechariah. The enemies of God, who are in rebellion against God, come to Jerusalem. However, 13 has a positive side, representing the King and His perfect Government. In either case, the double measure is of unusual significance, and certainly the number 888 directs our attention again to the Lord Jesus. Once again, there is an addendum, with 40 for the end of the wilderness experience for Israel, and 81, nine tines nine, bring an enhanced measure of finality, therefore indicating the end of Israel's irresponsibility and the beginning of her obedience under the New Covenant, ruling in very truth with God.
The relationships between historical events and this eclipse are outside human manipulation. No human, nor matter how clever or how wise, is able to create any possible relationship between past events and natural phenomena. It is only the wisdom of the LORD God that is able to regulate apparently random events in history so that there is a relationship of this kind. Of course, it is a simple matter to count the days between events. However, there is but a limited number of time measures listed in or derived from the Bible. Even when expanded from solar measures by adjusting to lunar measures or Bible standard calendar measures of time, we are effectively limited to a very small percentage of all available numbers between zero and say 2,300. The visible universe is subject to distortion, due to the primeval rebellion of Lucifer, the angelic being we know as the Devil or Satan, according to Scripture. His rebellion affected the primary creation, which the LORD proclaimed was good, and he brought death with him, for he was a murderer from the beginning, as Jesus stated.
Paul speaks of this corrupted universe in Romans 8:18-25:
'For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.'
'For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.'
This essay does not reveal any date for the Coming of the Lord. However, the arguments revealed in the numbers indicate that this Eclipse is indeed one of the signs that appear immediately before His Coming. Let us each one renew our individual commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. First as his or her own Saviour and Lord, and secondly looking forward in fullness of faith to His Coming. May each one of us look always to the Lord for all things, and pray continually that the Lord God forgive the sins of Israel present and of Israel past, and that He, the Lord our God, keep each one in safety under the everlasting arms of the Lord.
Until He Come. Until the Sun of Righteousness rises with healing in his wings. Until we sit at Jesus' feet. Even so, Come, Lord Jesus.
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