"In 40 days"?
At first I decided not to share this widely because I knew people would tar me with that dreaded label, "date setter." Ugh! So let me say up front that I am not setting a date for anything, just reporting something that happened. Call me names if you like. I can handle it. But this is interesting enough to pass on. Besides, this is no time to have fear of men. Judge it for yourself.
This past weekend I was cleaning out some papers and found an old letter I had forgotten about, a letter of November 23, 1999 from friend Jean, who told about her four-year-old grandaughter, Rebecca. You probably remember the story. I reported it last November but it didn't come out the way we expected so I laid it aside. Now I wonder if there was hidden meaning.
As a reminder, Jean's daughter has prepared her three children for the rapture, not directly but only by saying things such as, "Jesus is having a party for us in heaven... He's coming to get us soon... It's going to be a surprise... we're going to have fun!" She doesn't dwell on it but just keeps reminding them occasionally.
On Sunday, November 21, 1999 after dinner, Rebecca said to her mother, "Mommy, when do you think Jesus is coming to get us for the party?"
Her mother replied, "Oh, it could be very soon, Becca."
Rebecca answered, "Well, I think it will be in 40 days."
Mom said, "You do?"
Rebecca said "Yes, 40 days."
Jean explained that Rebecca, at her age, has no idea how to figure days and months, has never heard of the rapture per se, and certainly not dating. The 40 days just spontaneously came out of her little mind.
We wondered if it could have been Holy Spirit. November 21, 1999 + 40 days = December 31, and in view of other factors, such as David Gant's underwater cave experience and Y2K, many of us hoped that this was a word from the Lord. But, of course, it didn't happen (and I believe we now have a proper interpretation of David's experience).
As I re-read Jean's letter on Sunday, I remembered the various possibilities for a Spring 2000 rapture and suddenly the 40 days took on new meaning. Also I felt led to stay home from church and just seek the Lord, hoping for some new insight. Interesting timing, as Jean's letter has been laying on my desk for months and I had forgotten about it until today when I "just happened" to find it under a stack of other old papers. Was the discovery an accident, as a result of my bumbling, or was it from the Lord in answer to my searching heart? I don't know.
What is the possible new meaning? Well, I remembered that Jesus' rapture (ascension) was "in 40 days" after His resurrection. The time span "40 days" is very significant, with strong rapture implications. Is Jesus' rapture a type of our own? Could that be the meaning of the 40 days given through the mouth of a four year old? This year the 40th day, the Day of Ascension, will be June 1, 2000, or 27 Iyar on my modern Jewish calendar.
As a watchman, whenever or whether anything happens or not, it seems to me that we are currently in a very pregnant window of possibility for a Spring 2000 rapture, from Abib 10 (April 15) through Pentecost. Jesus' rapture date is certainly a good possibility.
Out of curiosity, I checked and discovered that June 1, 2000 is the 153rd day of the year 2000!!! I don't know why I just happened to check that. The number 153 is a big prophetic number, the number of fish in the net (John 21:11), which is no doubt symbolic of the Bride, or the redeemed in the church age. The number also has some amazing properties, such as being the sum of 1 + 2 + 3, etc., up to 17, also a prophetic number.
One other curious thing happened at about the same time regarding the number 153. I was just playing around with my computer Bible and discovered that verse 153 appears only one time in the Bible, and that is in Psalm 119:153, which says, "RESH. Consider mine affliction, and deliver me..." (KJV). The wording sounds like rapture to me. We are all afflicted with the fallen condition of the human race and need deliverance. Paul said that he "groaned" inwardly, waiting for his adoption, to wit, the redemption of his body.
Also, as you may know, Psalm 119 is divided into 22 sections of eight verses each, each preceded by one of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. RESH at verse 153 just happens to be the 20th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and has a gematria value of 200! Could this be a hint of the year 2000?!!!
Finally, the same weekend I "just happened" to read the following fascinating story posted on Marilyn Agee's Web site under P&C 485 (http://www.kiwi.net/~mjagee/):
The person wrote:
"I really feel that it is time to warn people. My brother and I were
talking about this before he passed away just this February (2000)...
"His funeral was eye-opening for a lot of people. The preacher told
everyone that my brother felt the rapture was this June. The preacher
didn't laugh. He just said that he respected someone that was looking for
the return of Christ. And that judging by the things that were going on in
this world he could be right. We should all just repent and be ready when
he did come. There were about 50 people that got the message.
"I feel the Lord used my Brother to reach more people. He was only 34 but
he had lived 16 years longer than ever expected. Born an identical twin he
had open heart surgery at the age of 6. He was given a pig valve to replace
his along with a Pace Maker. The doctors gave the pig valve 12 years. He
went through 2 more open heart surgeries, and one more pace maker.
"In 1994 the doctors told him that he would have to be on the Heart
Transplant List or he would die at any moment. He said, 'I am just leaving
it in the Lords hands.' He lasted 6 more years to the doctors amazement. My
brother would cough up blood and just keep on trucking. He had to fight for
every breath that he ever took. In his last days we were very close. I had
found the Lord in a way that I hadn't before and he had gotten into it
again. He got our cousin to accept the Lord before he left this place.
"He always told me that he felt his life was a time line. I just know that
I will get to see him soon."
Bramlett note: If the late brother's life was really a "timeline" as he thought,
it's most interesting that he was reportedly age 34 when he died, or
perhaps in his 34th year. Depending on when his birthday was, he could
have been born in 1967, or sometime in that same Jewish calendar year,
which began the preceding fall (1966 on our calendar). That Jewish year
is when the "fig tree" (Israel -- the last generation) put forth its leaves and
added the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Golan Heights in
the miracle Six-Day War. Timeline? 1967-2000? 33 years, Jesus' age at
His crucifixion? Hmmmm.