Most of us were surprised and disappointed when Dr. Richard Eby went to be with the Lord last year, because after his death experience and visit to heaven decades earlier, he reported that the Lord had told him that he would be alive at the rapture. Scoffers and mockers have used this to condemn not only Dr. Eby but also all those who reported his message. Some will even condemn me for bringing this up again, but they will have to answer for themselves to God.
Reverend Ron Patterson was a long-time, close personal friend of Dr. Eby and spent time with him before his death. He knew of Dr. Eby's sincerity, integrity, and heart for the gospel. I spoke with Ron this afternoon and we recounted the Eby situation.
As Ron previously reported, before he died, Dr. Eby realized that he had misinterpreted what the Lord had said to him, and regretted it. Ron pressed in and pinned him down on the exact words that he heard. The dialogue as described to Ron by Dr. Eby before his death went exactly like this:
The Lord, said, "Tell them, tell them, tell them -- I am coming soon!"
Eby asked, "How soon?"
The Lord's precise reply and exact words were, "Use yourself as an example."
Eby wrongly took that as meaning he would be here for the rapture. I consider that as careless, but also an innocent mistake, understandable in his enthusiasm, and unintended to deceive.
But Ron believes there is a deeper message here, and that the Lord has shown him that Dr. Eby is a type of Methusalah, who was Enoch's son and Noah's grandfather. We discussed that today, and that Methusalah lived almost up until the time of the flood. If it is true that Eby is a type of Methusalah, I asked myself and Ron, "I wonder how long before the flood did Methusalah die? How much time was there between Methusalah's death and the flood?" I said, "There may be a key here."
Neither of us knew the answer. But we knew that Dr. Eby died on December 26, 2002. After we hung up, I did some research and was shocked to discover a footnote in the NIV Study Bible comment on Genesis 5:27: "If the figures concerning life spans are literal (and we know they are), Methusalah died in the year of the flood."
Therefore, if Dr. Eby was indeed a type of Methusalah, and if he died within a year of our deliverance, then December 26, 2003 is the outside date.
Oddly, Hanakuh this year ends on December 27. Hanukah is the Feast of Dedication, or Feast of Lights. It is a celebration of deliverance, observing Israel's deliverance from Syria in 165 B.C. It may also be when "the Light of the World" was conceived and came into the world.
Jesus said that we are now "the light of the world." It is therefore possible that Hanukuh is the time when the Light of the world first came in, and also when the light of the world goes out.
In ancient Hebrew, one of the possible meanings of the name Methusalah is "his death shall bring."