Readers’ longer letters
A new perspective on the end times
The recent lockdowns and recent retirement from my career with the police meant I could at last study end-time Bible prophecy in depth.
The result was a book but much more than that. It was the realisation that all four major views of Rapture timing have merit, but all mainly miss the same point.
The Bible is a book written primarily by Jews for a Jewish audience. Yet, by the grace of God, we Gentiles can avail ourselves of the promises to Israel – if we are grafted into the Olive Tree (Romans 11).
This led me inevitably to Leviticus 23 and the Lord’s appointed times – designated dates that the Lord has set to meet with his people (the ‘olive tree’) corporately. The central tenet still causes me A new perspective on the end times to marvel at how God works out his plans.
If the first four (springtime) ‘appointed times’ were all fulfilled by the Lord Jesus at his First Coming – all on their exact dates and all in the same year, then, could it just be that the last three (autumnal) appointed times might all be fulfilled by him at his second coming, all on their exact date and all in the same (as yet unknown) year.
The seven events are: Crucifixion (Passover), burial (first day of Unleavened Bread), Resurrection (Firstfruits), pouring out of the Holy Spirit (Shavuot), Rapture of the Olive Tree (Day of Trumpet Blasts), return of King Messiah (Day of Atonement) and regathering of Disapora Jews to Israel plus full pouring out of the Holy Spirit on all surviving believers (Tabernacles).
With this framework and the help of Revelation’s ‘three woes’ and the Greek phrase ‘meta tauta’ (‘after this’), end-time chronology falls into place simply, elegantly and wonderfully – including all of Daniel’s time periods.
The future is much simpler than we think
One implication is that the Rapture occurs on the first of Tishri (Jewish month equivalent to September/October) in that final year followed by Messiah Jesus’ return on the tenth of Tishri with the Seven Bowls occurring during the nine days in between.
For more information see ‘The Lord’s Appointed Times and the Olive Tree’ available on www.lulu.com
Paul Murray, Meriden, West Midlands
What God is saying about Ukraine
I suggest what God is saying to us re Ukraine includes the following:
- God is shaking all the nations and their institutions (Haggai 2:6-7) including Russia and Ukraine.
- God is giving us an insight into what a secular society is like, founded on atheism, where the Church simply justifies the attitudes of the current elite, and where “might is right”. He is warning us what will happen if we let go of our Judeo-Christian foundations.
- The Book of Revelation warns us of plagues, wars, famines, death and financial collapse; given so much personal and international debt, the latter must be close. What Revelation describes may well occur in cycles, but get more severe as the end times approach.
- The spiritual battle: Ukraine had been experiencing a revival with David Hathaway playing a key role. The Russian Orthodox Church is allegedly led by a former KGB agent (Kirill) and persecutes all non-Orthodox Christians. This is an attack on the revival, but seems to have drawn many Ukrainians to seek the Lord (Romans 8:28). Ukraine has a history of severe anti-Semitism
- The poverty of idolising man-made things: many have put their trust in international bodies such as the UN and EU, who have proved useless in stopping this war; others have trusted education, yet very educated people have launched this war; others trust in the might of weaponry, but it seems the spirit of the Ukrainians has been the crucial element, even from the viewpoint of secular commentators.
- The policy of pandering to bullies to “buy” them off has been shown to encourage more aggression. We failed to heed the warnings of Putin’s previous campaigns in Chechnya and Crimea and of the Russia he was creating. God defeats his enemies and chastises the penitent; he does not reward bad behaviour in the hope it will go away!
- Ukraine has a history of severe anti-Semitism, as illustrated in Elinor Burkett’s biography of Golda Meir’s and statistics from World War 2. Genesis 12:1-3 and other curses need to be taken seriously by all peoples and nations and repentance on all levels is necessary.
- War could spread to other nations – let us heed Jesus’ warnings in Matthew 24 and call others to seek eternal security in him!
Rev Richard Hill, retired C of E minister, Ludlow, Shropshire
It occurred to me recently that the devil knows that the end times are near, and therefore he was throwing everything at us to distract us from thinking about God.
About 15 years ago a survey found that the average person watched 19 hours of TV a week. Nineteen hours is nearly three hours a day.
But not only that, we now have laptops, notebooks, tablets, smartphones. Youtube, Instagram,WhatsApp, livestream, Facebook, Twitter, internet games played on anything – every minute can be occupied!
In my early childhood we had no TV to take control of our eyes and ears.
Unless I am watching a Christian programme, I don’t feel I can hear God when the TV is on and would welcome the TV being shut down from 11:30pm till 6:30am.
Fifty-one per cent of the population have said that they don’t believe in God, and this figure will increase until we officially give God a proper place in our society. We need to regain an official weekly Sabbath, a day of rest like we used to have (and some places like Germany, still do have; most shops were closed from 2pm on Saturdays until Monday). That could help our nation return to thinking about God, and give God a chance to speak to us.
Of course sport is played on Sundays, and sports people get enormous salaries. If sport is played on Sundays I don’t think they should do it for money.
Perhaps retailers could be discouraged from opening on Sundays by introducing a Sunday trading licence, varying according to how long the trader wanted to trade for, and size of premises.
I like what Marilyn Hickey said on TV one day: “Some people think they can be Christians two days a year – Easter and Christmas – and shall be victorious when a crisis hits their family. But you cannot play loose and free with God and expect to see the miraculous!”
It is no good saying, “God, I will stop and give you two minutes of my time between activity A and activity B.”
That is an insult. We need to come into his presence in worship, wait on him, listen to him, and allow him to speak to us.
A SKY advert has just come through the post: “Fill your home with endless entertainment!”
We don’t need TV all the time; we need God all the time!
Sister Rosalind Markby, Stratford, East London
Most of us have pensions or savings accounts, so it is frustrating that even British companies have nearly zero info on suitable fund choices for Christians.
Fidelity, HSBC and others have “faith-based” trusts or funds, but these are either boldly stated to be “Islamic”, or, more subtly, are called “Crescent” something.
This is Britain and our Queen is the defender of the Christian faith, so we want Christian choices that also give reasonable growth and profit.
It would be great if Christian funds and trusts, did not invest in companies that are:
- Closely linked to countries and political organisations, which have violated human rights, and performed ethnic cleansing. (How about the Pacific Asia Christian values Equities ex-PRC fund, the Global Christian Flexi-Equities ex-PRC and ex-Russia fund, the Christian Global Properties fund?)
- Involved in abortion, sex change, sex industries, genetic engineering (includes many vaccine companies and makers of GMO (genetically modified organism or GE genetic engineering) and drug abuse.
- Cause pollution to the land, water and air.
- Produce products or services which promote idols like Buddhism or occultic figures.
- Headed by people who are anti-Bible and or anti-Jewish.
- Media companies which have content violating Christian values.
Personally I like Genesis 1:29 (God’s design blueprint) and Revelation 22:2 (his director’s final cut), plus 2 Kings 19:29.
Who can produce a thorough guide to Christian investment and in-depth advice?
What else beyond Christian properties, co-op style building societies and property management trusts are possible?
Let’s pray that there are many more good Christian investment companies and banks to start real Christian investment products, be it ISA, pension or savings fund.
Stephanie Smith, Polegate, East Sussex