But experts challenge interpretation: ‘The end times aren’t near, they are here’
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only,” said Jesus of His Second Coming. And so, no one does. But one rabbi claims to have identified a code within Scripture that could predict the last possible day before Jesus’ return.
|Rabbi claims his Bible code links Scripture to calendar
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only,” said Jesus of His Second Coming. And so, no one does. But …
"Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, dean of students at the Diaspora Yeshiva, claims the Kabbalah shows every year has a corresponding verse in the Torah. Breaking Israel News reports he has developed a technique in which one can count verses from the beginning of Genesis until the number of verses equals the Hebrew calendar year.
The technique has produced eerie correlations. For example, the Hebrew year 5708, 1948 in the Western calendar, leads to Deuteronomy 30:3, which reads: “That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee.”
It’s hard to imagine a more appropriate verse for the creation of the Jewish state of Israel.
The verses run out on Sept. 30, 2084, suggesting a possible deadline for the return of Messiah.
Pastor Mark Biltz of El Shaddai Ministries, the author of “God’s Day Timer” and a passionate advocate of reintroducing Jewish traditions into Christian worship, was excited by the technique, though he didn’t endorse it directly. He argues it is not uncommon for such hidden truths to be contained or encoded within Scripture.
“I wouldn’t say every verse, though, lines up with the Hebrew year prophetically, but some do,” he told WND. “God loves to play hide and seek. The Scriptures say, Proverbs 25:2, ‘It is the glory of God to conceal a thing, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.’ God’s Word is multilayered, holding multiple depths of meaning. This is mostly seen when viewed through the original Hebrew language.”
However, Biltz suggested the proper way to approach prophecy is by searching for God, rather than being distracted by temporal matters and the quest for status.
“I believe prophecy is both hidden and overt,” he said. “God can tell by our actions where our heart is. He says if we search for Him with all our heart we will find Him. That implies He has concealed Himself as well. If believers spent more time searching for God and searching His Word rather than for the latest gossip, the church wouldn’t be so much like the world.”
Though Biltz declined to make a specific prediction about the end times, he did say they were coming far sooner than most people suspect.
“I believe we are definitely in the last days before the Messiah sets up God’s Kingdom on Earth,” he said. “I believe we are the generation that will see the closing chapters of the current world order.”
Pastor Carl Gallups, author of the end times examination “When The Lion Roars,” said the Bible is far more complex than casual readers may suspect.
“I firmly believe that the Word of God is intricately more complex than we can even imagine, even perhaps multidimensional,” he told WND.
However, as a Christian, Gallups said he doubted this particular technique’s validity.
“The entire idea is based upon Kabbalah – the Jewish mystical interpretation of Scripture – a system that also ultimately denies that Yeshua is the Messiah and that He has already come,” he explained.
“Secondly, the system finally arrives at the setting of an ‘exact’ date for the coming of Messiah – something Jesus expressly forbid. And thirdly, the ‘Messiah’ the Kabbalistic Jews are looking for is without question a messiah other than Jesus Christ. All of this, sadly, smacks of the spirit of Antichrist so prolifically spoken of in 1 John. A spirit that was prophesied to be a huge marker of the end times.”
That said, Gallups does believe the story is deeply compelling because it shows the passionate interest even among Jews in the subject of the end times.
“Even a large body of the Jewish orthodox community can sense the immensely prophetic times in which we are currently living,” he said. “They too discern that something deeply messianic is soon to burst upon the horizon. Indeed, I believe we are now in the prophetic epoch immediately preceding the coming of Christ.”
Gallups argued Christians do not need mysterious or convoluted codes to recognize this truth. The pastor believes the signs are obvious.
“The bottom line is that there are literally dozens of plain-text and painfully clear last days prophetic declarations from Scripture that are now uniquely converging upon our current historical generation,” Gallups said. “Rather than searching for ‘hidden’ signs, symbols, and numeric calculations buried within certain and select portions of the Bible, or based upon the esoteric conjectures of those who deny that Jesus is Lord, I believe we need to heed the contextual signs that are right before our eyes.”
Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries also urged Christians simply to look to the plain truth of Scripture rather than occult codes.
“Why would we even suggest the Kabbalah has legitimacy?” she asked rhetorically. “It is rooted in the occult. Additionally, this sounds like more ‘Bible codes,’ which is also suspect as to accuracy and legitimacy. Isn’t God’s Word as is sufficient? I doubt God had in mind that His followers should resort to calculations to prove the Bible. We walk by faith and not by numbers. We don’t do the math. We read the Bible and believe it and follow it. God is not found in formulas.”
However, like Gallups, Markell said the signs of the end times are obvious and all around us.
“The end times aren’t near, they are here,” she claimed. “God’s plan of the ages will unfold long before 2084, I am sure. One needs a Bible in one hand with a newspaper in another. Compare what is happening with what is predicted. It is stunning. And it is with 100 percent accuracy. No additional techniques are needed. We just read it and believe it. But the corporate church has dropped the subject of prophecy and that leaves people vulnerable to gimmicks and sensationalism, rather than just sound biblical teaching.”
Joel Richardson, the New York Times bestselling author of “The Islamic Antichrist” and the new book “Mystery Babylon” also urged Christians to look to the plain truth of the Bible rather than seeking refuge in allegedly secret codes.
“The notion that we can know the mind of God through mathematical formulas, even when applied to Scripture, is doubtful at best,” he said. “I am also leery of Christians who latch onto every rabbi who has a new revelation or theory.
“Although Christians have much to learn from the Jewish roots of our faith, and while the Jewish community has much that we can learn from today, Christians must remember that a modern rabbi, if he rejects Jesus/Yeshua as Messiah, does not have the Father and does not have the Holy Spirit. Born-again followers of Jesus would do better to study the Scriptures for themselves and listen to the Holy Spirit who lives within them than seek secrets from those who, as yet, have not even been born of the Holy Spirit.”
Yet Richardson was not skeptical of one thing – Jesus Christ is coming back. And He’s coming very, very soon.
“That said, Jesus is coming back before 2084,” Richardson said plainly. “Of course, I could be wrong, but I’d be willing to bet my life on it.”