Thursday, August 21, 2008

Israel's L-o-o-n-g Night

Israel’s L-o-o-n-g Night!

By Pastor F. M. Riley

“I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world,” John 9:4-5.

“Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him,” John 11:9-10.


Many years ago I recognized that the statement of the Lord in John 9:4, “…..the night cometh, when no man can work,” had to [prophetically] relate to the Tribulation period at the end of this age. Throughout the past 6,000 years of human history the Lord has always used men to proclaim [preach] His Word to other men. But in the last half of the Tribulation, no man is going to be preaching the Word of God on this earth. Rather, at that time the preaching of the Word of God will be placed totally in the hands of God’s angels, Revelation 14:6-11. Therefore, the last half of the Tribulation is obviously “the night…..when no man can work.”

I also recognized that during this present “dispensation of grace,” mankind is [figuratively] living in the “nighttime” of human history, and is headed towards the “day of the Lord.” This is made quite clear by such passages as Romans 13:11-14 and 1 Thessalonians 5:1-7.

In this study I want to examine this truth for the spiritual enlightenment and encouragement of our readers. The Lord is revealing great truths in His Word here in the very end of these last days, exactly as He said He would in Daniel 12:4. It is my hope that every true believer will be blessed by this study, and that lost souls who read this study will be moved to seek the Lord as their Savior while there is still time to do so.

Let us begin…..

The Natural Realm

Many centuries ago the inspired Psalmist wrote, “The heavens declare [present tense; are declaring] the glory of God; and the firmament [expanse; space] showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard,” Psalm 19:1-3. This is the exact first purpose for which the Lord created “the heavens,” and the “heavenly bodies” which He placed within them, Genesis 1:1; 1:14-19. To this very day “the heavens” are still carrying out the purpose for which the Lord made them. Now I want to demonstrate for our readers to just what extent this is literally true…..

At one time or another most of our readers have heard the statement, “The darkest hours of the night come just before the dawning of the day.” But how many of our readers are aware that this statement is literally true? No! I’m not joking! For thousands of years this statement was repeated by mankind upon the earth as “an old wives tale.” But it isn’t! Let me give you documented proof that you can check out for yourself.

In the last half of the 20th century, the space programs of various nations began placing satellites into space around the earth. As the space satellites orbit the earth, every square inch of this earth has been photographed many times over. From these photos men have made the most accurate maps of earth’s surface ever produced. From the observation point of the satellites far out in space, the earth revolving on its axis could actually be seen and photographed. Men on earth, through the use of satellites, can now observe the rising and the setting of the Sun at any given point on earth. And of course, they can and have photographed this event many times. Well, guess what?

The photographs taken by the satellites show a “band of darkness” encircling the entire earth right before the rising of the Sun at “dawn,” and right after the setting of the Sun at “twilight.” On the side of the earth where the Sun is rising, the band is extremely dark just ahead of the dawn. On the other side of the earth where the Sun is setting, the band is lighter, blending into “twilight” just ahead of night. So the “old wives tale” isn’t really a “tale” at all. There really is a “band of extreme darkness” that precedes the dawning of the day. It has been observed and documented by photographs, and any reader can see it for themselves by checking out the NASA photographic library that is open to the public. Therefore it is an absolute truth that “the darkest hours of the night come just before the dawn.”

Isn’t this amazing? Oh, but you don’t know just how amazing this is yet. That is the point I am coming to…..

From the photographs taken of this band of darkness, the thickness of this band that runs across the surface of the earth just preceding the dawning of the day is approximately two hours thick. In other words, it would require someone on earth traveling through this band of darkness approximately two hours to make it through the band, if they could travel as fast or faster than the speed the earth is revolving on its axis. We know this would be impossible for a man to do in an earthbound vehicle, nevertheless this is the amount of time that would be required if a man could do it. Wow! The band of darkness that precedes the dawn is two hours thick. In other words, the last two hours of the night, just before daybreak, are the darkest hours of the night. Wow! Double wow!

Now let’s look at…..

The Spiritual Significance

In the letter to the church at Philadelphia, the Lord said, “Because thou hast kept the Word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth,” Revelation 3:10. The “hour of temptation” in this verse is a reference to the first half of the Tribulation period, which I will now prove by the Scriptures and demonstrate for our readers.

The word “temptation” in this verse is translated from the Greek word, “peirasmos.” This Greek word occurs 21 times in the New Testament, corresponding with the 21 judgments that will be poured out during the Tribulation. This Greek word literally means, “experiment; trial; to test by adversity, affliction, trouble; to test or prove one’s faith, fidelity, integrity, or virtue.” See Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, pages 498-499, Strong’s No. 3986. If our readers will study each of the 21 Scriptures in the New Testament where this word occurs, it will be seen:

(1) that the Lord Himself instructed His disciples to pray that they would be kept from “peirasmos,” Matthew 6:13; Luke 11:4; 22:40.

(2) that the Lord Himself urged His disciples to “Watch and pray” to keep from entering “peirasmos,” Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38.

(3) that the Lord Himself warned His disciples not to sleep [spiritually], but to “rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation [peirasmos].”

Now it would be a strange thing indeed for the Lord to urge His disciples to pray to be kept from such a time, and warned them to “Watch and pray” in order to avoid entering such a time, and then the Lord refuse to hear and answer their prayers. Folks, when a careful study is made, it becomes very obvious that this Greek word, peirasmos, refers to the first half of the Tribulation period. The first half of the Tribulation period will be a time of “testing” for those left on the earth to see if they will turn back to God who created them, or if they will continue to live for the flesh and serve Satan. Read Revelation 9:20-21. It is also quite obvious that God’s people [all true New Testament believers] are to be kept from that “hour of temptation” [peirasmos]; the first half of the Tribulation. Glory! Glory to God! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

In Revelation 14:6-7, at the middle of the Tribulation, the Lord sends an angel flying through “…..the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth….” The angel cries out “…..with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come:…..” This statement is made at or just after the middle of the Tribulation, and therefore refers to the last half of the Tribulation. The last half of the Tribulation is then “the hour of His judgment.”

Folks, here is an amazing truth set forth in the Scriptures. The entire Tribulation period, from one inspired perspective, is two hours in length, corresponding to the two hours of extreme darkness that literally comes upon the earth just preceding “the dawning of the day.” Glory! Now I want to illustrate this truth for our readers, so that there will be no question as to the spiritual truth being set forth…..

The Seven Year Tribulation

“the hour of temptation” “the hour of judgment”


3 ½ years 3 ½ years

There it is folks! Laid out before our readers according to what the Scriptures literally say and teach. Now remember what the Lord Jesus Christ Himself actually and literally promised to His church, “Because thou hast kept the Word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation [peirasmos], which shall come upon all the world, to try [peirasmos] them that dwell upon the earth,” Revelation 3:10. Glory! Glory to God! Hallelujah!

Folks, do you realize the full truth of what this means?

(1) It means that God’s people [true believers] will not enter into any part or portion of the Tribulation period; not one minute; not one second of the Tribulation period. God’s people will be totally and completely kept from “the hour of temptation” [peirasmos], and therefore kept from the entire Tribulation. Glory to God! The Lord keeps His promises!

(2) It means that the so-called “pre-wrath” and “partial rapture” theories are pure fiction; silly theories; false teaching; and at the worst unscriptural lies.”

(3) It means that the 70th Week of Daniel prophesied in Daniel 9:24-27 is still ahead and is yet to be fulfilled, and the Preterist “interpretation” of Daniel 9:26-27 is “false teaching;” without any real Scriptural support.

No true New Testament believer will ever enter any part of the coming Tribulation period. The Lord said so! Is there any of our readers who want to tell the Lord that He is mistaken? Or, that He lied when He gave the promise set forth in Revelation 3:10? Be my guest! I will have no part in telling the Lord that He is a liar.

Israel’s L-o-o-n-g Night

The truths set forth above also mean that two hours of the Tribulation night are equal to seven years of time. For many years I wondered what the “twelve hours” of the night in Luke 12:37-38 could be compared to prophetically. Now I know! I now want to demonstrate this truth for our readers.

According to Pastor Mark Biltz’s observation of the eclipses, the alinement of the planets in our solar system, and the movement of the constellations in the heavens, and according to the Scriptures, the coming seven year Tribulation will end on Yom Kippur, the Great Day of Atonement in 2015. I want to go on record right here as saying that I totally concur with Pastor Biltz’s discovery, and am now going to provide some Scriptural “back up” to support this truth.

We [true believers] now know that the Tribulation period will come to an end in 2015. Using the equation of two hours prophetically being equal to seven years I am going to take this equation and work backwards from Yom Kippur…..


2 hours equals 7 years, therefore we deduct - 7 = 2008

4 hours equals 14 years, therefore we deduct another - 7 = 2001

6 hours equals 21 years, therefore we deduct another - 7 = 1994

8 hours equals 28 years, therefore we deduct another - 7 = 1987

10 hours equals 35 years, therefore we deduct another - 7 = 1980

12 hours equals 42 years, therefore we deduct another - 7 = 1973

Here is illustrated the twelve hours of “Israel’s L-o-o-n-g Night,” using the inspired equation of two hours of the Jewish night being equal to seven years. If our readers are serious students of Bible prophecy they should easily be able to spot the prophetic significance of this entire equation set before them.

Folks, I am so excited by this amazing discovery, that my “cup of rejoicing” is running over even as I set here and write this out. I am crying [tears of joy and rejoicing], praying, and praising the Lord even while I write. What an amazing truth the Lord has revealed to and for His people [true New Testament believers]. Now let’s examine these years…..


In 1973 the Lord set a great “sign” in the heavens, Genesis 1:14; Psalms 19:1; Luke

21:11;25. Many of God’s people living today do not remember, have forgotten, or have overlooked this “sign” that the Lord gave to humanity that year.

In 1973 a great comet appeared in the heavens. Astronomers gave the name of Comet Kohoutek to this comet, after the name of the man who had first sighted it in the heavens. I remember that it was so large that it was expected to be absolutely brilliant in the night sky, but it was so far out in space that it never appeared as brilliant as the astronomers first expected. However, its far off distance in space caused it to remain visible in the night sky for several months as it passed across the sky. I know this was one of the “signs” that the Scripture predicted would come as this age would draw towards a conclusion. Why do I say that? Because…..

It was in 1973, while Comet Kohoutek was still visible in the night sky, that the oil producing nations of the Middle East organized OPEC, and immediately raised the price of crude oil on the world market. The first world “energy crisis” occurred that year. Here in the United States I well remember the long lines of automobiles lined up at gas stations trying to buy gas at cheaper prices before the price went up at the pumps. In 1972 gas was selling for 37 cents a gallon. I know because I owned and was operating a service station to make a living, while also pastoring a church. By the end of 1973 gasoline was selling for well over one dollar a gallon. I well remember a popular cartoon that appeared in newspapers all over the country at that time. It showed Comet Kohoutek in the night sky, and a man standing at a gas pump shaking his fist at Kohoutek, shouting, “We never had a gas shortage until you showed up.” Plain enough? Hey, does history repeat itself?

Last year [2007] another large comet appeared in our solar system, and also again early this year [2008] a second comet appeared in our solar system. God’s “signs” are still occurring in the heavens, and are coming with increasing frequency. Check it out for yourself. And guess what? Here 35 years after 1973 the world is in another “energy crisis,” due to the same OPEC nations again raising the cost of crude oil on the world market. Once again, the price of gasoline is soaring and long lines of cars are lining up at every gas station in the country where they can buy gas a little cheaper, even if it is discounted for only a little while. Is this just coincidence?

Also in 1973 Israel was forced into war again. They had fought the now famous “Six Day War” in 1967. They had won an astounding victory over millions of Arab enemies. They spent the next six years exulting in the victory they had won. They thought they had “carved out” their place in the Middle East, and were now enjoying a “peace and prosperity” that would never end. They couldn’t have been more wrong! Spiritually speaking, Israel and the Jewish people had gone to sleep, Matthew 26:40-43.

On Israel’s most high and holy day, Yom Kippur, October 6, 1973, the nation of Egypt launched a surprise attack on Israel from the south, Syria attacked them from the north, and Jordan and Iraq attacked them from the east. Saudia Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Dubai, and Libya all supported the attackers, although their troops were not engaged in the actual fighting. Israel was caught totally unprepared. The war raged on throughout the month of October, and for a few days the whole world was made to wonder if Israel was going to be defeated and annihilated as a nation. But once again, God is faithful who promised, and He ultimately gave Israel victory.

But not with peace! Israel has had to be on guard every minute of every day since the Yom Kippur War in 1973. It was on Yom Kippur, October 6, 1973 that Israel’s L-o-o-n-g Night” began 35 years ago, and they are still in “their night” today. The two darkest hours of “their night” are just ahead. It will not be over until “the dawning of the day” in yet another seven years. Read Malachi 4:1-2. Now let’s move forward…..


This year was also highly significant in the prophetic scheme of the end time. It was in 1980 that Iraq [Babylon] repudiated its border agreement with Iran [Persia] and began a war that lasted eight years. The stage was being set in the Middle East that will ultimately lead to the fulfillment of the end time prophecies of the Tribulation.

In February of 1980 Egypt and Israel formally exchanged ambassadors, due to the Peace Treaty that both nations had signed in 1978 under the leadership of U.S. President Jimmy Carter. In March of 1980 the U.N. Security Counsel passed Resolution 465, which called on Israel to dismantle all settlements on the West Bank, referring to it as “Occupied Territory.” The enemies of Israel have used that U.N. Resolution to put pressure on Israel right to this present day.


Here is another highly significant year from the prophetic viewpoint. It was in the latter part of 1987 that J. R. Church of Prophecy in the News ministries published his fascinating book, Hidden Prophecies in the Psalms. Daniel 12:4 was beginning to come to pass. The Lord was opening His “dark [hidden] saying upon the harp,” Psalm 49:4. See also Psalm 78:2-4.

It was also in 1987 that Edgar Whisenant wrote his little book, 88 Reasons why the Rapture will occur in 1988. We now know that Edgar Whisenant was wrong on the date, but yet the Lord used him to acquaint millions of people all over the world with the truth of the gospel and the teaching of a future rapture of God’s people. The “Rapture 88 Movement” spread all over the world at that time, and a very conservative estimate is that some 150,000 people came to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior during that movement. Before any reader condemns Edgar Whisenant too much, you might read 1 Corinthians 1:25-29 again, and let the message soak in.


Was this a prophetically significant year? Wow! What an understatement!

In case our readers don’t remember, it was in 1994 that the Lord set one of the greatest “signs” in the heavens that mankind has seen in modern times. In July of that year the Shoemaker-Levy Comet [discovered by two Jews] plunged into the Planet Jupiter while the entire world watched via television. The comet had broken up into 21 pieces, corresponding with the 21 judgments which will be poured out upon unbelieving humanity during the coming Tribulation period. Significantly, the 21 pieces of the comet began to plunge into Jupiter on July 16, 1994, which was the 9th day of Av on the Jewish calendar. This same day was also the anniversary date of the exploding of the first atomic bomb in 1945 and the launching of the Apollo 11 moon rocket in 1969. I would have to say that this was a highly significant year in the fulfillment of end time prophecy.


Do I have to explain the significance of this year to any of our readers? Let’s just sum it up with 9 – 1 – 1.” That was the event that led into the still ongoing Iraqi war, the extreme hatred of the Muslim nations for America and Israel, and the economic, political, and military situations that presently involve the nations of the entire world. God have mercy on us all!


In view of this entire study, do I need to explain to any of our readers the significance of this year?

This is the year that the two darkest hours of “Israel’s L-o-o-n-g Night” will begin, leading up to the “dawning of the day” seven years from now. This long night is a period of 42 years, 35 years of which will have been completed on Yom Kippur this year. Yom Kippur is not only Israel’s most high holy day of their year, but it is also the Great Day of Atonement, a type of the end of the coming Tribulation, when the remnant of Israel [Zechariah 13:8-9; Romans 9:27] will at last accept the atonement that their Messiah and Savior made for them when He died at Calvary 2,000 years ago. Glory to God! May our Lord hasten the day.

Now surely our readers have noticed that this long night of Israel is a period of 42 years, using the equation that the Lord Himself set forth in His Word when He made two hours of time equivalent to the seven years of the Tribulation. Forty-two is the Bible number for “the coming of Christ.” Glory!

Folks, at the end of this forty-two year period on Yom Kippur, September 23, 2015, the Lord Jesus Christ, “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David” [Revelation 5:5], “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” [John 1:29], “the KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” [Revelation 19:16], will return in all His glory, Matthew 16:27; 24:30. At that time, all of humanity that has survived the Tribulation, and all of the redeemed of all the ages of human history, and all of God’s great creation in His entire universe, shall finally have and know and enter into true…..


Glory to God! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Isn’t this exactly what He told His disciples to pray for some 2,000 years ago? “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,” Matthew 6:10. Glory hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

Since this is the year that the final two hours [seven years] of “Israel’s L-o-o-n-g Night” will begin, then it is also the year when the Lord will fulfill the promised He made to His church in Revelation 3:10. No true New Testament believer is going to enter that last seven year period. Rather, this is the year that the resurrection and rapture of God’s people [true believers] is going to occur. We are soon going “home.” Glory!


Folks, is it just “coincidence” that this 42 year period began on Yom Kippur, October 6, 1973, and that it will end on Yom Kippur, September 23, 2015? You tell me! Is this just “coincidence?”

Is it just “coincidence” that in working out this equation, the first 35 years of the equation will end exactly on Yom Kippur, October 9th, of this present year?

Is it just “coincidence” that thousands of true Bible believing Christians all over the world are looking for the Lord Jesus Christ to come in the air to resurrect and rapture His people to glory on Rosh HaShanah this year, just ten days before Yom Kippur?

Is it just “coincidence,” that in studying the Jewish holy days, there is now a two day observance of Rosh HaShanah, leaving a seven day interval between Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur? This seven day interval is called by the Jews, “The Seven Days of Awe.” During these seven days, which typify the seven year Tribulation, the Jews afflict their souls, confess their sins, and seek for a proper relationship with their God. These “Seven Days of Awe” precede the final “great day of the Lord” which comes on Yom Kippur.

Folks, in a few more days [42 days from this writing] Rosh HaShanah will be here. God’s people [true believers] all over the world are expecting the Lord to come for His people on that day…..or sooner! And rightly so! Habakkuk 2:3. Will YOU be one of God’s people that are caught up to glory when the Lord comes?

You may say that you just don’t believe this? Is that so? But are you willing to risk your soul that all these things I have presented in this study are “just coincidence?” Are you willing to gamble your eternal soul against these things not happening?

Folks, it is not just me that is speaking to you right now. That “still small voice” that you are hearing in your soul is the Holy Spirit of the living God who is appealing to you to “prepare to meet thy God.” The Lord who died for you on Calvary’s cross is gracious and longsuffering, “…..not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance,” 2 Peter 3:9. But folks, time is running out! I plead with every reader today; yea, I beg you, “….to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall,” 2 Peter 1:10. I want to meet you in glory when the Lord comes to resurrect and rapture His people in just a few more days. Won’t you please give your heart to Christ and meet me there? When the Philippian jailor ask Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” their plain and simple answer was, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved…..,” Acts 16:30-31. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved,” Romans 10:13. “Jesus saith…..I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me,” John 14:6. Friend, I am begging you to humble yourself, bow before the Lord any way you know how, confess your sin and unworthiness to Almighty God, and ask the Lord Jesus to come into your heart and be your Savior TODAY. Tomorrow may be too late. May God give you grace is my prayer.

“Even so, come, Lord Jesus,” Revelation 22:20.

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NOTICE: Permission is granted to any true believer or Bible believing Christian ministry to reproduce and forward this study to others, or to quote from it in context as written. Please do share it with as many others as you can reach in these next forty-two days.

Address all comments, questions, or other correspondence to: Pastor F. M. Riley, Last Call Gospel Ministry, 3900 Clark Lane Lot 178, Columbia, Missouri 65202. For quicker communication, our email address is: or

I want to meet every reader at the Great Reunion in Glory. Please don’t disappoint me!

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