A Government Crisis in Israel


Can Israelis Endure This Crisis?

The Palestinians certainly hope not.

While continuing his incessant rhetoric and relentless campaign through the United Nations (of which the Palestinians are not even a member) to denigrate and delegitimize Israel—the only democratic state in the entire Middle East—Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is ecstatic over the turmoil within the Knesset, the seat of Israeli government. His narrative tracks with Muslims and Islamic governments: Wouldn’t it be great if Israel would implode from within … it would save them the risk of destroying Israel.

Regarding governments, the following is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article: Kingdom of God, posted 1-17-15. (In italics).

From the dawn of human existence virtually every kind of government has been in place at one time or another. A country’s government is often a reflection of its people … their race, beliefs (religious or secular), moral values, ethnic upbringing and tribal territory. But sometimes government can be an ill-conceived and unwanted bureaucracy with leaders vying for power and supremacy. All too often, innocent people are victimized by such power struggles, both citizens of the country and residents of neighboring nations that take exception to such Machiavelli type systems.

The common people, representatives of those people, wealthy entrepreneurs, ambitious leaders (good and bad), or all of the above can determine whether a country will become a parliamentary or a democratic representative republic; an absolute (king/queen) or constitutional monarch; an autocratic ruler or state controlled (communism or fascism) dictatorship; an aristocratic or military oligarchy; a cleric-run theocracy or even a true Theocracy. The idea of a theocentric government is, “having God as the central interest and ultimate concern.” (Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary).

… Moreover, the destiny of nations (both good and bad) has often been determined by the benevolence or malevolence of rulers … the laws they make and enforce, the decrees they issue, decisions they make, benefits they provide, and goals they aspire to. As the leaders go, so go the people. A ruler with integrity, compassion, and wisdom can be, and often is, a moral compass to the entire nation. Conversely, a selfish, deceitful, evil ruler can bring an entire nation down.

Although our United States republic form of government is quite impressive (as are a few constitutional monarchies with parliamentary democracies such as Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and some European countries), I’m not alone in my opinion that Israel’s coalition Knesset—in principle and practice—is the optimum representative government on this planet. Though sometimes complicated, the Israeli government allows the voice of its citizens to be heard as much or more than any other nation.

(A Young Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom. Though not directly involved in England’s Parliamentary Government, The Royal Throne of England still carries considerable prestige and positional authority to balance democracy with monarchy)

(A 2012 photo of Queen Elizabeth II. Currently she is 91 years old and has reigned for 66 years)

As effective as the two-party system is in America; once a Republican or Democrat President is elected, short of impeachment we’re stuck (good or bad depending on your point of view) with that administration for four years. This was especially revealing in the past three presidential elections. Seldom in our history have Americans been so diametrically divided, so poignantly polarized. After Donald Trump’s election to the highest office in America, many democrats exclaimed, “He is not our President.” This was more than mere rhetoric; it was an expression of fermented frustration and seething hatred. Republicans effectively said the same thing when Barack Obama was elected, not once but twice.

Mid-term elections for the House of Representatives and the Senate sometimes level the playing field between a Republican or Democrat administration and Congress. However, they also can partially paralyze an administration’s platform, by refusing to cross-vote approval (bipartisan) of Presidential policies, to the detriment of the greater American populace.

Israel’s Knesset

Israel’s government is unique. Unlike America’s two-party system (sometimes a third party can influence the outcome of an election, but not often) and other democratic countries that have three, four, or five parties, the Knesset normally has ten or more coalition blocs. The current Knesset has eleven parliamentary groups each with a certain number of representatives that constitute the 120 members of the Knesset, called MKs. After an election, the Prime Minister must form a composite (minimum) 61-seat coalition consisting of any number of the parties who agree to be part of that majority. All the remaining parties (seats) constitute the “opposition.”

The current Knesset is the 20th since Israel’s rebirth as a nation in 1948. The Prime Minister and his/her government is elected for a four-year term. But when you do the math, it doesn’t add up. Israelis will celebrate their 70th year as a nation this coming May. Which means this should be the 17th Knesset (70 years of statehood divided by four-year Knesset terms). Why the discrepancy? Answer: Because Israeli law allows for any Knesset government to be dissolved, with special (between terms) elections held to form a “new” government, which may or may not retain the current Prime Minister.

In fact, the current Israeli government came into being by such a special election in March 2015. The 19th Knesset with Benjamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister was elected in 2013 but lasted less than two years. The current administration’s term is set to expire in November 2019, with actual elections taking place earlier next year.

Theoretically, Israelis have the best of both worlds: The same (or different) Prime Minister they support as a unified whole with a new-look coalition government that still represents the entire population. One of the remarkable features (proofs) of that cross-section representation and voice is that Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beitenu party composed currently of only 6 seats.

Liberman is Israel’s Defense Minister, one of the more prominent and powerful positions in the Israeli government, appointed by the Prime Minister (just like the U.S. President appoints Department heads). You would think that the Defense Minister would come from the Likud (Netanyahu’s party) which currently has 30 of the 120 Knesset seats. Such is the political sharing of power and responsibility in the Israeli government. For example, how often does a Democrat President of the United States appoint a Republican as Secretary of State or Defense? Or vice versa?

In the United States, we have two main parties (platforms) to choose from. In Israel, each of the current 10 parties has a primary platform with several secondary agendas—all of which have potential to be implemented in some form or another. This despite the adage (paraphrasing): If you put three Jews together, you’ll get at least four opinions. I repeat this saying as a compliment to Jews and to Israel; proportionate to their numbers, they get more done for themselves and for humanity than any other race. Which is one of the reasons they have been irrationally persecuted through the ages … Anti-Semitic jealousy.

Nonetheless, whenever a special election in Israel has taken place with a new coalition government and possibly Prime Minister, it has occurred under trying times and controversial circumstances. To some degree or another, it is a crisis that can compromise Israel’s stability and jeopardize her security.

Troubling Times in Israel

Since when has Israel not had troubling times? Here, I’m referring to the more obvious turbulent trials and tests from Israel’s not-so-friendly (understatement) neighbors. Some of whom want to destroy Israel as a nation. Others stop short of threatening Israel’s annihilation, but still want Israel to become Palestine again, free of all Jewish presence. Despite the Biblical and historical fact that this land promised by God to Abraham and his descendants has been Israel for 3,000 years.

Internally, Israel is experiencing some exceptionally troubled times especially in the past few weeks. Beginning with inordinate focus by some on whether Benjamin Netanyahu should remain as Israel’s Prime Minister. Should Netanyahu call for a special election or should the Knesset dissolve itself to determine if the people want him to stay or to be replaced?

Like many leaders of free nations—as opposed to tyrannical countries whose citizens are forbidden to openly criticize their government, and whose dictator is virtually immune from legal prosecution—Benjamin has been under suspicion of misconduct (whether illegal or only unethical or neither remains to be seen). In this case, it pertains to alleged kickbacks and/or coercion in the private sector.

(Although Israel can barely been seen, by color its rating is “high.” For many reasons, Israel should be colored green on this chart. What other nation in the world allows those who don’t even acknowledge the sovereignty of the nation to serve in government? See Knesset chart above that shows the Arab party as the 3rd largest in the Knesset!)

Although these “scandals” are still in the investigative stage (much like former US President Obama’s birth certificate issue or President Trump’s supposed complicity with Russia’s interference in U.S. elections or any number of suspected improprieties of other democratic leaders the world over), there are those who have demanded that Netanyahu resign from office. Which is tantamount to admitting guilt without even being charged, let alone convicted.

These issues have been compounded by the recent threat of the (ultra-Orthodox) United Torah Judaism party (6 seats in the Knesset) to abandon the current 66-seat majority held by Netanyahu’s coalition(s), which could jeopardize not only passage of the pending national budget but would end (numerically) the coalition itself. Reason for United Torah’s threatened exit from the coalition: insisting their bill to amend IDF conscription for Jewish religious students must be voted on before the budget vote. This was countered by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s staunch support of conscription laws for ALL Jews; so that secular Jews would not bear the unequal burden of defending Israel alone.

Other parties and their leaders (each party has one main leader) were in favor of a special election or not, depending upon whether they (according to the polls) would gain or lose seats in the Knesset. For example: Opposition party, Yesh Atid, which stood to double their Knesset seats (11 current seats) and the Meretz party (would gain 1-3 seats) called for dissolution of the Knesset. Which, if approved, would mandate a special election whether one had been called for by the Prime Minister or not. By law, this special election must take place within three months. In fact, there were several bills introduced in rapid-fire succession to dissolve the Knesset. All of them have failed to pass.

Time/space does not permit extensive elaboration on the ins and outs of what was, could have been, and what still may happen in Israel. Except to say that the repercussions of an unwarranted (or if warranted through due process of law) premature removal of any free-world leader, especially someone of the prominence of Benjamin Netanyahu, could do substantially more harm to a nation than allowing the leader to remain in office until he/she is arraigned, but also convicted. At the very least, the opposition parties in Israel should wait to see if Netanyahu will be charged with any wrongdoing. This also appears to be the passionate position of most Israelis.

A premier example of such a situation was that of former US President Richard Nixon. Before and even after his illegal circumvention of the law (Watergate), he orchestrated some major improvements in America’s diplomacy with several foreign nations, particularly China. He also sent massive aid to Israel during the Yom Kippur War of 1973. Without such aid, Israel would have been hard pressed to win that war. I’m not defending Richard Nixon for what he obviously should not have done. Rather, I’m putting it in a broader perspective of his accomplishments until the facts proved him complicit in/of burglary.

Here’s what Prime Minister Netanyahu said to the opposition parties, with emphasis that he wanted to keep his current six-party (66 seats) coalition intact. In my opinion, he was not boasting. Instead he was simply summarizing the current state-of-affairs within Israel and outside of Israel, including the amazing diplomatic progress Israel has made with foreign nations. Whether they like Netanyahu personally or not, Arab nations such as Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and some of the Gulf-Coast nations are beginning to acknowledge Israel’s achievements and presence on the world stage. These and other non-Arab governments also realize that Israel is the only Middle-East nation that has the military might and national courage to stand up to their common enemy, Iran.

Said Netanyahu:

“I do not think we had to get to this point. We have an excellent government that carries out its duties responsibly, with the proper discretion and with stability. This is a government that marks great achievements for Israel. I call on all the coalition partners, and chief among them (Yisrael Beitenu party) Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, to remain in the government and continue this partnership in order to ensure security, prosperity and stability for Israel.”

Netanyahu repeated the need for a “solid, stable government,” then went on to say:

“Should there be an election, we will run and we will win” (Note: that statement was based on several polls recently taken in Israel).

“But we are not there yet. The hour is late, but not too late. We have to make an effort—a supreme effort—to preserve the government in its current composition.”

Why Is This Dilemma Different or Could Be More Damaging?

Why is the current situation more acute and potentially more dangerous than difficulties experienced by past Israeli governments which did or didn’t survive their four-year term? Two mains reasons:

(1) It comes at a time when Israel’s overall posture in world affairs and global scrutiny has never been better. A time that (slowly) began at Israel’s rebirth in 1948; then its extraordinary agricultural, economic, scientific, cultural, medical, and military achievements. It is a growth phenomenon that has developed exponentially, particularly in the past few years under the superb leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He has adeptly promoted Israel’s accomplishments and willingness to share (in principle and in practice …. by helping those who wants Israel’s help) these advancements with other nations.

(2) Muslims may see the current crisis in Israel as an opportunity to act more quickly … meaning in the not so distant future. Since defeat in the Yom Kippur War of 1973, Islam in general and Muslim nations have been content with a patient, plodding plan based partly on the Koran, in which Muhammad (allegedly from Allah) believed that whatever Jews remained in their land would eventually self-destruct through corruption of some sort. Unlike the true and living God and God’s prophets through whom God forecasted the future, Muhammad could not have known (and probably has, as they say, turned over in his grave) the miraculous return of the Jews to and restoration of the Promised Land of Israel. And approaching a pinnacle not experienced since the glory years of King David and King Solomon.

However, in the past few years and even months, Muslims (whether Arab or not) have grown impatient. They see Israel progressing rapidly, not regressing as they had been told and hoped would happen. This impatience is fueled (mostly) by the radical Shi’ite Muslim terrorist government of Iran, embodied in its supreme leader Ayatollah, with a menacing motive that the Muslim messiah (Mahdi) will soon appear to subjugate all Jews and Christians.

(Time will soon tell who will appear as the true Messiah!)

(Please see Eye of Prophecy articles: The World Wants a Messiah … But Needs (The) Messiah, posted 1-28-17. Also, Globalism or Populism … Which Will Antichrist Prefer? Posted 9-16-17)

These are counterfeit copy-cat versions of the amazing anticipation of many Christians that the true Messiah is about to return. Many Jews also harbor great expectations for the coming Messiah, but only Messianic Jews know (believe) him to be Jesus. Obviously, there is night and day differences between the true Messiah and these false messiahs.

For example: Radical Muslims believe their Mahdi won’t appear until or unless moderate Muslims actively (instead of just passive agreement) support and expand Jihad on a greater global scale, to accomplish their sinister goal of a Caliphate (Islamic World Government).

Listen to this direct quote from Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Erdogan (keeping in mind that Turkey is a member of NATO): “The term ‘moderate Islam’ is ugly and offensive. There is no moderate Islam. Islam is Islam.”

(For an in-depth expose on “radical Islam” vs “moderate-Islam” and Islam in general, please see Eye of Prophecy articles, A Religion of Peace! Part I & II. Posted 4-11 & 4-18-15).

Now, I’m going to propose a surprising and even illogical premise:

The current crisis in Israel is a good thing.

Because it fits with another premise: Which is in the form of a covenant oath made by the true and living God with Abraham that Israel would belong to Abraham’s descendants forever. From the God of all who are his children because they (Jew and Gentile alike) have believed and received his Son’s sacrificial death for sins, by the New Covenant of Grace promised by God through Jeremiah the prophet. The Lord began his post-Noah relationship with humanity as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Then after the Moses-led Exodus and subsequently the Joshua-led victory into the Promised Land, he became the God of Israel. The same God who said Israel would be a light to all the nations (through Messiah). That he would bless those who bless Israel and curse those who curse Israel.

Problem Resolved (For Now)

Following some whirlwind negotiations with the divergent parties, Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the Knesset earlier this week. He said:

“I promised to preserve the government and I kept my word. I thank my partners in the coalition for demonstrating responsibility so that we can continue to lead Israel with determination and success in security, economy, society and foreign relations.”

Alluding to the potential adverse aftermath of an unsuccessful resolution of the problem, Netanyahu went on to say with a bit of humor: “That was scary, wasn’t it? I see you have some color back in your cheeks. I know that I spared you some anguish… The public’s support for us is tremendous.”

(Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking at the Knesset)

Shas (religious party with 7 seats) leader, Aryeh Deri said: “I congratulate the coalition partners for acting responsibly in the moment of truth and allowing this good government to carry on in its activities, which benefit the entire public.”

Thus, the current crisis—seemingly resolved between the involved Knesset parties, but one that could erupt again—is ultimately good for Israel. It’s good because both secular and observant Jews realize that too much disunity could adversely affect Israel’s solidarity within the nation; but also jeopardize Israel’s security with its enemies. It’s good because the secular among them will hopefully see more clearly that ultimate (optimum) uninterrupted unity is only possible by once again returning to their God, the God of Israel. For secular and religious alike to fully realize that God’s appointed Messiah (the Son of God, Psalm 2, Psalm 110) will be the only one who can (and will) redeem and restore Israel to what God intended for them in the beginning—a nation of born-again priests—who will rule and reign with Messiah in Israel. And yet who are one in Messiah (Jesus) with Gentile believers, who have been grafted in to the prophetic tree of Israel. In that regard, they will fulfill their (Israel’s) destiny.

It’s also good for the United States and other nations/peoples when we more fully appreciate the miracle of Israel itself. That against all odds, Israel has won (survived) four wars against Arab nations. And not only survived but has grown in prosperity and posture among the nations.

Despite the sometimes-debilitating disputes among themselves, Jews in Israel (and all over the world) passionately exhibit one unifying trait and defend one ultimate purpose: the survival of Israel as a people, as a sovereign democratic state, as a nation reborn from the floods of dispersion and from the fires of Nazi death camps.

Jewish citizens of Israel synthesize over one common denominator: an enemy who wants to reduce them to ashes, to drown them in the sea, to erase Israel from memory, from all maps of the civilized world.

The Final Kingdom of God on Earth … Jew & Gentile, One in Messiah

Though I love all of Scripture, I will quote (as done in a few previous articles) one of my favorite passages in the Bible; a sweeping prophecy portraying both the first and second coming of Messiah:

Here is another excerpt from the earlier mentioned article, Kingdom of God (in italics):

Paul proceeds to tell us more about God’s splendid plan for the human race. In fact, he calls it a mystery, because at the time that God gave it to him even the new Christians didn’t completely understand the eternal implications of what Christ would achieve at his first coming and would continue at his second coming. Listen to these extraordinary words:

“God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth” (Ephesians 1:9-10).

That plan is none other than: THE KINGDOM OF GOD (on earth) ….

Jesus spoke often of the Kingdom of God; for example, comparing it to a mustard seed … the smallest of seeds that when planted grows into an enormous tree. Which is exactly what has happened to the body of Christ; an exponential growth down through the ages, to now consist of believers from virtually every nation and language on earth. It is the Kingdom of Heaven in the hearts and minds of those who have been redeemed by the shed blood of Christ. Next, will come the final physical Kingdom of God on this earth; at which time all people, all governments, all nations will be brought under the authority of God’s magnificent Son. He will rule the nations with firmness, but fairness

Isn’t that what most people want? They want: law, order, equality, safety, peace. And they want someone who has the kind of authority to realize those dreams, but also someone who is kind and considerate with that authority. One who truly cares about people and what’s best for them; who can rule and judge with impartiality and kindness. A truly wise and benevolent King whose attributes perfectly reflect who and what he is: Love, Truth, Justice, Mercy.


Beginning with another excerpt, this one from Eye of Prophecy article: Israel Is Here To Stay … Forever! Published 4-15-17. (In italics)

In the first century A.D., thousands throughout Israel believed Jesus was the Messiah. Tragically, most of the religious leaders and many people did not—despite the dozens of miracles they witnessed or heard of first hand. Even after Jesus arose from the dead, most did not believe in him. Then, just as Jesus predicted, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the Romans less than 40 years after he ascended back to heaven. This happened because God’s own people rejected Messiah, just as Jesus said would happen with these poignant words:

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God’s messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn’t let me. And now, look, your house is abandoned and desolate. For I tell you this, you will never see me again until you say, ‘Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’” (Matthew 23:37-39).

God withdrew his protection of Israel. He would leave them to their own fate until the appointed time when the Lord would unilaterally initiate the completion (fulfillment) of his covenant with Abraham. Which was the sovereign possession of the Promised Land forever by the Jews.

That appointed time has come.

Despite 1,900 years of exile and persecution at the hands of many nations and peoples (even by Christians … with the vast majority Christian in name only, not true born-again believers), culminating in the unimaginable Holocaust perpetrated by a perverse man and his equally sadistic Third Reich, Israel is alive and well. According to the sure word of Biblical prophecy, the Jews will never again be uprooted from their Promised Land. They will never again be decimated, dominated, or defeated by Gentile nations.

I repeat with Biblical authority for emphasis: NEVER AGAIN.

Persecuted, yes. Attacked, also yes—by the Gog/Magog coalition in the first half and by the ten-nation confederation of Antichrist Nero in the second half of the Great Tribulation. But not destroyed.

Only those who oppose Israel will be soundly defeated and destroyed. That should be a cause for pause for peoples or nations that would seek to harm the pupil of God’s eye.

…Despite our many individual and national faults, I love the United States of America. And I love Israel and the Jews. They are God’s special possession, chosen to give the world God’s awesome Word, including the Living Word of God, Messiah Jesus. With the Apostle Paul (once named Saul, once a devout Pharisee and defender of the Mosaic Law who was changed forever by a direct encounter with Jesus), I also say:

“Dear brothers and sisters, the longing of my heart and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is misdirected zeal. For they don’t understand God’s way of making people right with himself. Refusing to accept God’s way, they cling to their own way of getting right with God by trying to keep the law. For Christ has already accomplished the purpose for which the law was given. As a result, all who believe in him are made right with God” (Romans 10:1-4).

There is only one nation on earth that has been guaranteed everlasting existence … Israel. That ironclad promise is unfolding before our 21st century eyes. No more will Israel implode from within as she did before the Babylonian Captivity of 586 B.C. and the Roman Dispersion of 70 A.D. No more will she be exploited and exploded from without by nations who tried to destroy the very existence of the Jews as a race and Israel as a nation in perpetuity.

The Kingdom of God and the reign of its Messiah King will last forever.

“He (Messiah) was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed” (Daniel 7:14)

The Kingdom of God will rule from Jerusalem, Israel. Thus, the eternal undivided capital of Jerusalem and Israel are also eternal.

“How great is the Lord, how deserving of praise, in the city of our God, which sits on his holy mountain! It is high and magnificent; the whole earth rejoices to see it! Mount Zion (Jerusalem), the holy mountain, is the city of the great King! … It is the city of our God; he will make it safe forever” (Psalm 48:1-2 & 8).

“…I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. In that day Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this will be its name: ‘The Lord is Our Righteousness.’

“For this is what the Lord says: ‘David will have a descendant sitting on the throne of Israel forever’” (Jeremiah 33:15-17).

Quoting again from the article: Israel Is Here To Stay … Forever!


Israel is alive and well!

God will fulfill his promise to Abraham. Not only to give the Promised Land in perpetuity to the Jews, but to also richly bless the Gentile nations from the land where Messiah himself will one day (soon) live and rule. We would do well as individuals and as a nation to support and defend Israel, both in word and deed.

Then later in that article:

Against impossible odds, the Jews have returned to Israel; Hebrew has been resurrected from a dead language; Israel is once again a sovereign nation among the family of nations on this earth. This has never happened to any other people or nation. There is one and only one reason for it: The sovereignty of the one and true living God. What the Lord says he will do, he does. What he says will happen, happens.

Recording and reviewing history without including the God of the Bible—a timeless book, past, present, future—is like pretending that a watch doesn’t have a watchmaker. Or that the watch was not created to measure and tell time…. The Bible is not only the measure of universal divine truth, it is also a historical timeline of timely events integral to God’s prophetic plan.

Things to Ponder

“Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! … Honor and majesty surround him; strength and beauty fill his sanctuary. O nations of the world, recognize the Lord; recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong. Give to the Lord the glory he deserves! … Worship the Lord in all his splendor. Let all the earth tremble before him. Tell all the nations, ‘The Lord reigns!’ The world stands firm and cannot be shaken… (unless and until the Lord shakes it himself … Haggai 2:21).

“…He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with his truth” (Psalm 96:4-13, parenthesis mine).

Since we declared our independence in 1776, for the most part the United States of America has heeded these words of wisdom and warning. That is until the past few decades—our current (Omega) generation that I’m convinced will see the Day of the Lord, beginning with the Rapture.

Sadly, we’ve fallen into a perilous condition that the Apostle Paul graphically described as characteristic of the final generation:

“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God” (II Timothy 3:1-4).

On the other hand, we’ve seen many of the wonderful positive things that would occur, not the least of which is Israel’s rebirth and an explosion of the gospel throughout the world. To include the salvation of thousands upon thousands of Jews, unprecedented since the first century. I personally know some of these Messianic Jews, one of whom I consider a good friend.

(There are an estimated 350,000 Messianic Jews–Christian Jews / Jewish Christians– in the world) 

Said the Apostle Paul: “I ask then, has God rejected his own people, the nation of Israel? Of course not! I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham and a member of the tribe of Benjamin. No, God has not rejected his own people, whom he chose from the very beginning…” (Romans 11:1-2).

One day soon, “…all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26).

“Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. Darkness as black as night covers all the nations of the earth, but the glory of the Lord rises and appears over you. All nations will come to your light; mighty kings will come to see your radiance” (Isaiah 60:1-3).

One day soon, “…the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day there will be one Lord—his name alone will be worshipped” (Zechariah 14:9).

Biblical Terms Not in the Bible … Are They Biblical?


The Importance of Defining Terms

No matter what language people speak, many have thought, heard, said, or paraphrased: “Actions speak louder than words.”

Sometimes actions or non-verbal reactions cheapen and even contradict what we say. However, without words we wouldn’t be able to fully express what we’re thinking or adequately explain what we’re doing. Or even articulate, Actions speak louder than words.

Language, especially a well-defined term, conveys processed meaning to our thoughts and transfers ideas into action. They are vital if we are to distinguish one (world) view from another, then communicate those differences or similarities with as much clarity as possible. Synonyms and antonyms can help with this clarification. Words we use in everyday life express our beliefs (and opinions), explain our actions, and expound our feelings. However, even obvious opposites like right and wrong or good and evil require a fixed reference point, which is absolute truth. A truth that originates from the God who created us, the God who Is Truth … truth that transcends human subjectivity, preferences, and man-made religions.

One thing I’ve always found intriguing (also logical) is that Webster’s Dictionary defines the words define and definition. You would think those words wouldn’t need to be defined! But they are, after all, words; and all words should be defined to some extent or another.

One of the more serious global problems that generates misunderstanding and dissension is that people don’t define terms properly, or at all. Or they arbitrarily make up their own definitions based on belief systems that, for example, deny and defy and, therefore, twist the true source of objective universal truth—the Bible. Which is why Scripture says:

Define: “1 a: to fix or mark the limits of. b: to make distinct, clear, or detailed in outline. 2 a: to determine or identify the essential qualities or meaning” (Webster’s Dictionary).

Definition: “1: an act of determining. 2: a word or phrase expressing the essential nature of a person or thing … 4 a: the action or the power of describing, explaining, or making definite and clear” (Webster’s Dictionary).

Thus, if the term being defined is a clear (objective) expression of the subject being described or explained, then the term must be given definitive significance as accurately representing the essential nature of the person or thing.

Most terms originate secondarily from the need to summarize or categorize or explain people, events, beliefs, and actions.

For instance: Long before the identifying labels of Republicans and Democrats were coined and became mainstream in the United States (and equivalent political groups in other countries), there were capitalists and socialists, conservatives and liberals, right and left. Which also are concept terms to explain fundamental differences between people’s political, economic, and social persuasions. We don’t question the creation or use of Republican and Democrat, even though these terms are generally condensed categorizations of more specific belief systems.

On the other hand, there are those who question and even criticize some Christian expressions (beliefs), especially if the term itself is not actually found in the Bible. Most theological terminology is specifically identified in Scripture, usually as a component part of the word or phrase describing the doctrinal (that which is being taught) truth itself.

For example: Justification, Sanctification, and Glorification … expressing the three separate and sequential components of God’s Biblical salvation. Which respectively represent and are defined (paraphrasing) as: Salvation through a new birth in Christ; set apart to grow in the grace and knowledge of Messiah Jesus; the glorious transfiguration of believers with new bodies to complete our redemption.

There are also:

Terms Not Found in the Bible That Are Nonetheless Biblical

We’ll look at the most prominent and extensively used terms. Though these four designations are not found in Scripture, they are credible characterizations of several passages that express the existence and state the substance of what the terms represent. They are: The Trinity; The Rapture; The Millennium; and Eternity.

Note: the word eternity is used in Scripture, but in the broader generic sense of eternal, everlasting, or infinity. Contrasted to the specific theological concept of a (the) designated age which is called, Eternity.

The Trinity

As already emphasized but bears repetition in the context of terms representing the existence or essence of someone or something; just because the word Trinity does not appear in Scripture doesn’t mean that God is not one God in three Persons. Another term used is: The Godhead—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The triune God is directly and indirectly featured in both New & Old Testaments. Directly, for example, in the scene of Messiah Jesus’s baptism.

Said John the Baptist:

“… I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God” (John 1:32-34).

Also, with Jesus’s direct reference to the Father, Son (himself), and Holy Spirit in what is commonly called, The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20). Which is another term not actually found in Scripture used to define a precept which is explicitly explained … the urgent need to spread the (Good News) Gospel of Messiah Jesus to the entire world.

There are other instances in the New Testament in which Jesus refers to himself as the Son of God, the Son of Man (meaning the Messiah), with testimonials to his Father (God) and to the Holy Spirit as a Person (of the Trinity).

The Trinity is indirectly, but just as convincingly found in the Old Testament … in the very first chapter of the Bible! Here, I would like to refer to the following excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, Does God Really Have a Son? Part II, posted 11-7-15. (In italics):

Read with me one of the most powerful but provocative (primarily to Judaism) passages in all of Scripture:

“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.’ (Genesis 1:26, NASB, italics for emphasis). Not once, not twice, but three times God refers to himself in the plural…. Jewish and Gentile Christians alike often refer to this incredible creation account to further affirm the New Testament references to Messiah Jesus and the Holy Spirit as part of the Triune God … The Godhead. That all Three in One were active in creation of man in their image.

Jewish scholars attempt to refute this obvious fact by saying that the plural (we, us) was sometimes employed by kings or other royalty to denote majesty. Whereas that is true with regard to some historical records, it is rarely true of Scripture. Almost always the kings of Israel spoke in the first person, as does God, himself. It would take considerable research (of which time doesn’t permit for this article) to determine how many times, if any, that the Lord uses We or Us when speaking to his prophets, but I can safely summarize that at least ninety-nine percent of the time, the singular pronoun is utilized.

…Up front, the Lord wants us to understand that He is the one and only God, but that He is also a Triune God. Don’t ask me or any Bible scholar to adequately explain that. It is simply too much for the human mind to grasp. But since when does human intellect alone fully explain even half of the mysteries of the universe, let alone the inscrutable concept of a Triune God. We haven’t even yet figured out gravity. We know that it exists only because it must exist to explain why heavenly bodies stay where they are and why we don’t go spinning off into space. We know gravity exists only because of what it does. We have no clue where it came from, any more than we know where wind originates.

There are analogies like the sun: God the Father is the sun itself; God the Son is the light of the sun; God the Spirit is the rays of the sun. Or the three forms of water … liquid, solid, and gas. But they are inadequate metaphors. I think the closest we can come to at least a limited understanding of this otherwise unfathomable paradigm is ourselves: The body, soul, and spirit … indivisible yet separate facets of (a human) being.

In fact, when God refers to his plurality in the Genesis account of creation, he relates to the creation of man in God’s image.

I’m sorry, but it is an extremely weak argument to suggest that the plurality of God in the Genesis account is merely a way of God underscoring his majesty. In fact, the Lord doesn’t need to stress his majesty at all, as it’s all too apparent by the very fact that he is the Creator.

The Holy Spirit (or Spirit of God) is also declared throughout the Old Testament. And, as extensively explained in the article quoted, Psalm 2 and Psalm 110 specifically refer to God’s Son. I also discussed this in last week’s article, Melchizedek … A Man of Mystery!

The Rapture

This extraordinary event is questioned even by some Christians; based, in part, on the absence of the term, Rapture, in the Bible. Once again, I trust that the introduction to this week’s article would cause concession to the (obvious) fact that a term can be justifiably created to encapsulate something; the label of which is otherwise not found in preceding books or articles or whatever.

Another example: Populist and Globalist are relatively new tags to describe those who champion the voice of the people and/or national sovereignty vs. those who would like to see international amalgamation of (at least continental) nations, such as the diehard proponents of the European Union. Literature and speeches about these opposites pre-existed the coined terms that subsequently consolidated and characterized what Populists and Globalists believe.

Time/space doesn’t permit elaboration on the two primary Bible passages that dramatically depict this glorious event which includes resurrection and transfiguration of the dead in Christ and those believers alive at the time, to our new eternal bodies. Then the snatching or catching up (harpazo in the Greek) of believers to heaven. They are found in I Thessalonians 4 and I Corinthians 15. Those who deny the Rapture, ignore or feebly explain away these two amazing prophetic passages.

(See Eye of Prophecy article, The Tremendous Transfiguration of Believers! Posted 7-23-16. Also, The Shout Heard Around the World, posted 4-22-17; along with Messiah’s Return & The Rapture (Same or Separate Events?) Posted 12-3-16. If you like, also refer to the very first Eye of Prophecy article, posted in July 2013, simply entitled, What Is the Rapture? Followed successively by four more articles on the Rapture … Why, Who, When, and How).

However, I will cite one passage, which is the first reference to the Rapture given to us by Jesus, himself. Our Lord prefaced this remarkable disclosure by saying that the episode would happen abruptly. That the world would be doing the same things that people were doing in Noah’s time, just before the Great Flood swept them away.

“That night two people will be asleep in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. Two women will be grinding flour together at the mill; one will be taken, the other left” (Luke 17:34-35).

The Millennium

In this and the next section (Eternity) of today’s article, we’ll focus on what is probably the most difficult feature of prophecy to ascertain: distinguishing which activities will occur and what conditions will exist in these two distinct future ages. These differences are particularly challenging to pinpoint in the Old Testament. Is the prophet referring to the New Testament revelations (which are much easier to identify) of the Millennium or to Eternity that follows the Millennium?

As indicated, the term Millennium or Millennial is also not found in the Bible. However, it’s (future 1000-year) existence is just as real as the Trinity, the Rapture, and Eternity.

Although Millennium and Eternity are (should be) capitalized when referring to them as Biblical creeds, they are used as much or more often generically in the lower case … millennium and eternity. Likewise, with rapture. Not so with Trinity—which is employed exclusively for the triune (unified) existence of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In fact, when referring to the Biblical concepts and actual terms of Trinity, Rapture, and Millennium, each should be prefaced with the definite article, the.

Eternity can stand alone without the definite article, but the better way (which hardly anyone does, including me) would be to say or write, The Age of Eternity.

Most know what millennium or millennial means. Just like year, decade, and century; a millennium is a measurement of time. There are two basic definitions of millennium in Webster’s Dictionary, beginning with the most obvious: “a period of 1000 years.”

However, the Biblical concept of the Millennium is so well-known that Webster’s acknowledges it with a second part to the definition: “the thousand years mentioned in Revelation 20 during which holiness is to prevail and Christ is to reign on earth … a period of great happiness or human perfection.”

What about the last part of this definition? Will it be a time of great happiness or human perfection?

Let’s see what Scripture tells us.

Before we look at the actual (found only in the book of Revelation) Biblical reference to the Millennium, we need to know that this one-thousand-year period is a chronological continuation of the preceding events in Revelation. Also, with understanding of certain events which are parenthetical interludes that temporarily interrupt the chronology of (for example) the consecutive seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments. Yet both sets of events (interludes and sequential) culminate with Messiah’s final triumphant return to earth to vanquish “the kings of the world and their armies” (Revelation 19:19).

Then, the Millennium is introduced in Chapter 20 by listing (defining) the parameter of time involved. From Chapter 20 to the end of Revelation, we return to a consecutive (chronological) chain of events.

“Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the bottomless pit and a heavy chain in his hand. He seized the dragon—that old serpent, who is the devil, Satan—and bound him in chains for a thousand years. The angel threw him into the bottomless pit, which he then shut and locked so Satan could not deceive the nations anymore until the thousand years were finished. Afterward he must be released for a little while” (Revelation 20:1-3).

(Regarding the above passage, you might want to read Eye of Prophecy articles, Satan in Bodily Form … When & Why, Part I & II, posted 11-12 & 11-19-16)

(One Of Several Depictions of Satan Being Bound; Not Only Is The 1000 Years Literal, So Is the Chain and Satan in Bodily Form)

There are four more citations (a total of six altogether) in Revelation 20 of this specific one-thousand-year period. Such as: “Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection (at the Rapture and again when the Tribulation Saints are raised). For them the second death holds no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him a thousand years” (Revelation 20:6, parenthesis mine).

Despite six distinct references to a thousand years, there are those who think that the Millennium is merely symbolic of … of who knows what—perhaps a long, indefinite period which may or may not last for a thousand years. For the following reasons (and more), that simply cannot be the case; the 1000 years are as literal as they can be.

– The overstatement fact that the thousand years is mentioned six times in just seven verses is a contextual and comprehension emphasis that this is a literal span of time. It’s like, “Do you get it?” Response: “It’s repeated so often, how could I not?”

– To enhance the intended meaning of a literal period, the last reference states: “When the thousand years comes to an end, Satan will be let out of his prison” (Revelation 7:20, italics for emphasis).

– If the Millennium was merely metaphorical, John would have said something to the effect of, “a long time” or possibly “at the appointed time.” Or, “in the distant future,” a phrase found in Ezekiel 38:8.

– The 1000 years is as literal as other time-dedicated prophecies in Scripture. Such as: Seven days from the completion of Noah’s ark to the onset of the rain; 400 years (four generations) span of Israel’s time in Egypt before the Exodus; Israelites wandering in the wilderness for 40 years; all of the weekly, monthly, and annual God-ordained observances and festivals of the Mosaic Law; the 70-year Babylonian captivity; Daniel’s 490 years (70 weeks) and even more specifically the 69 weeks (483 years) from the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls to the arrival of Messiah, then the final week (seven years) which is the time of the Tribulation; Jesus’s three days/nights in the tomb.

– The list goes on. All Bible prophecies are of vital significance. But there are some in which the Lord wants us to know the duration or intervals, to realize when they will occur and/or how long they will last. It’s a bonus to the blessings of trusting God’s control of the future by comprehending the actual duration of the event. That the dynamics of these specified periods will not continue indefinitely, as God’s magnificent plan for humanity has unfolded and will continue to unfold in set periods of time … most of them quantified in Scripture.

Personally, I (and hopefully you and others) continue to be amazed at how much information and details the Lord has given us throughout Scripture … past, present, and future. In a world bloated with facts but lean on wisdom and the desire of so many to know the future, why not look to the One who holds the future in his hands. Who is everlasting to everlasting and knows the end from the beginning. The One who IS the beginning and end. The God who created time itself. As some have said: Don’t look to the stars and planets, look to the One who created them.

Activities in and Conditions of the Millennium

Even before Revelation Chapter 20 tells us about the one-thousand years (hence, the term Millennium), the Gospels and Epistles provide fascinating footage of this exceptional age. (I chose the term footage to pictorially represent what Biblical prophecy is and does. When it’s played as it comes to pass, it’s like watching film footage of the taped recorded prophecy itself).

In fact, Messiah Jesus’s entire Sermon on the Mount (Matthew Chapters 5-7) depicts the dynamic interpersonal relationships of those on earth living in the Kingdom of God, which will be ushered in during the Millennium. A kingdom that would have been established during Jesus’s First Advent if his people had only recognized and accepted him as their Messiah.

God knew this would happen. All praise and everlasting gratitude that our Omniscient, Omnipotent God had already created and subsequently carried out his magnificent plan of redemption through the rejection, crucifixion, and (of course) resurrection of His Son. The Lord circumvented and controverted the diabolical scheme of Satan and the evil of those who carried out the devil’s plans.

How fitting that the Millennium begins with Satan’s imprisonment in the Abyss. As we also read earlier, believers in Christ will “reign with him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:6).

Before that we read: “Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given the authority to judge…” (Verse 4).

(See Eye of Prophecy article, The Magnificent Millennial Reign of Believers with Messiah, posted 7-15-17)

What about Old Testament allusions to the Millennium? Can we identify them? If so, can we separate them from those conditions exclusively found in and during Eternity? Yes, we can … most of the time!

The most prominent clues are Old Testament references to Messiah himself. Time/space will only permit examination of two passages. However, you’ll find a generic template that will fit other Millennial passages, particularly in the context of Israel’s spiritual redemption and physical restoration that will take place during the transition between the Great Tribulation and the Millennium. A final restoration that will be completed in the early phase of the Millennium as depicted in such passages as Zechariah Chapters 12 & 14. With Chapter 14 also containing one of the amazing features of Eternity (verses 6-7).

All Old Testament end-times prophecies fall into one of four time-dedicated stages: The final generation pre-Rapture events (100 years on up); post-Rapture (seven-year Tribulation); the Millennium; and Eternity.

First Passage … Isaiah Chapter 11

Let’s begin with a (partial) quotation of a passage discussed in Eye of Prophecy article, Messiah’s Millennial Reign … Incredible Changes on Earth, posted 12-30-17.

“In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all … The lion will eat hay like a cow … The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra…” (Isaiah 11:6-8).

(Most Depictions Show a Lion and a Lamb, But It Is Actually the Wolf and the Lamb. It Is the Calf That Will Be Safe With the Lion. With the Obvious Implication That All Animals, Both Wild and Domestic, Will Cohabit Together)

Such a radical change in the animal kingdom is nothing short of astonishing. Will this take place during the Millennium or not until Eternity begins?

For that matter, what’s the benefit of knowing in which age such a remarkable transformation (and others) will occur? There are other reasons (you may have one or more of your own), but here is one answer to the question just posed: In addition to the thrill of knowing when, there is (should be) now—and will be during the Millennium—an appreciation that the Lord will do certain things in the specified 1000 years to meet and exceed our expectations (and satisfy our curiosity) while we are being prepared for Eternity. That is one of the outstanding benefits of many prophecies fulfilled during the Millennium (others waiting for Eternity): to validate one of the most well-known passages of Scripture.

“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity…” (I Corinthians 13:12).

It’s possible that the section dealing with the incredible changes in and between the animal kingdom and human beings might not begin until after the Millennium. However, like most Bible passages (not all, as some sub-passages can stand alone), context will determine the best application and greater understanding.

Isaiah 11 begins with a Messianic prophecy: “Out of the stump of David’s family will grow a shoot—yes, a new Branch… And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding…” (Isaiah 11:1-2a).

Then, “…The earth will shake at the force of his word, and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked” (Verse 4b). See Revelation 19:11-21 for final fulfillment of this prophecy.

Next is the sub-passage quoted earlier: “In that day the wolf and lamb…” (Verse 6).

Followed by: “In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to him, and the land where he lives will be a glorious place. In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to bring back the remnant of his people…. He will gather the scattered people of Judah from the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 11:10-12).

The passage on the animal kingdom is tucked between and intricately linked to the coming of Messiah (first for salvation, then for judgment and restoration), which includes the final gathering of Jews, from the ends of the earth.

Although the return of God’s chosen people to Israel began substantially after the rebirth of Israel in 1948 and is continuing to this very day, Isaiah’s prophecy, including the complete return of the Jews, won’t be fulfilled until Messiah (Jesus), “will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to him, and the land where he lives will be a glorious place” (Verse 10). And as stated in verse 9: “…so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord.”

It’s quite evident that these things won’t happen in finality until the Millennium; if for no other reason than the passage states, “the land where he (Messiah) lives.” Meaning, of course, when Christ returns to rule and reign from Jerusalem for one thousand years (Revelation 20).

Thus, with a good deal of certainty, we can conclude that the disposition of animals toward each other and towards people will be dramatically altered during the Millennium, most likely on a gradual basis.

Second Passage … Isaiah Chapter 2

“In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all—the most important place on earth … and people from all over the world will stream there to worship … There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths. For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion … The Lord will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes. They will hammer their swords into plowshares … Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore” (Isaiah 2:2-4).

Although the Messiah isn’t mentioned in this passage directly (as Messiah), the implication is as clear as Isaiah Chapter 11 … that “the Lord” is (the triune) God; but specifically, in the context of this passage—the Messiah (God’s Son). His sovereignty over the nations in Isaiah 2 (and other passages like it) can be equated to both Psalm 2 and Psalm 110, which explain how God’s Son will rule the nations. During the Millennium, world leaders and nations will know that it’s best to seek his counsel, rather than fighting among themselves to resolve conflicts. In fact, Messiah (Jesus) himself will settle disputes.

Does this passage and other Millennial passages like it mean—referring to Webster’s definition quoted earlier—that the (entire) Millennium will be a time of great happiness or human perfection?

No, it doesn’t nor, will it be. Which is why Messiah Jesus will rule with fairness and justice, but with tough love.

(As will believers reigning with Christ also, “…rule the nations with an iron rod… (Revelation 2:27)

As wonderful as the Millennium will be—exponentially better than the world has ever been or is now—this “rod of iron” imagery (fair but firm) wouldn’t be necessary if everything was picture perfect.

An example of the Lord’s need to discipline peoples and nations during what is clearly the Millennium is conveyed in the following passage:

“In the end, the enemies of Jerusalem who survive the plague (referring directly to the last days of the Tribulation period) will go up to Jerusalem each year to worship the King (Messiah), the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and to celebrate the Festival of Shelters. Any nation in the world that refuses to come to Jerusalem to worship the King … will have no rain” (Zechariah 14:16-17, parenthesis mine).

Some things will be immediately so much better than before; not the least of which is no more war.

Other things will improve more gradually. But then matters will begin to get worse toward the end of the Millennium, because many people will have reverted back to form, even without Satan’s influence and even with the very presence of Christ on earth. Which sadly testifies to the degenerate nature of men and women who refuse the heart-changing redemptive regeneration through Messiah’s salvation. Unlike man-made religions, the Lord never has and never will force anyone to “convert.” Messiah Jesus will be visibly present on earth during the Millennium yet believing and receiving him as Lord and Savior will still be a matter of personal choice.

We know this to be the case because many have already begun their rebellion toward the end of the thousand years. For this reason and to finally usher in Eternity, the Lord will release Satan from the Abyss to:

“…gather them together for battle—a mighty army, as numberless as sand along the seashores. And I saw them as they went up on the board plain of the earth and surrounded God’s people and the beloved city. But fire from heaven came down on the attacking armies and consumed them. Then the devil, who had deceived them (into thinking they could defy and defeat Messiah), was thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur, joining the beast and the false prophet. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:8-10, parenthesis mine).

It’s one thing to personally reject God’s grace and mercy offered through trust in and obedience to Messiah Jesus. God deals with that choice individually. It’s quite another thing to organize a vast army and dare to take on the Kingdom of God by vainly trying to conquer “God’s people and the beloved city (Jerusalem).” The Lord deals with that on a much greater scale.

Rebellion over, crushed before it barely began!


Before Eternity begins, there will be one last monumental event at the end of the Millennium. It’s called the Great White Throne judgment of God, a term found in the passage. All those from the beginning of time who died without trusting in God and refusing to exercise simple faith to believe and receive God’s salvation (accomplished through the past, present, and future efficacy of Messiah’s redemptive sacrifice), will be judged and, “thrown into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:14 … all of verses 11-15).

Then, the very next chapter of Revelation continues the order of events with what is clearly the beginning of Eternity.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth … and the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven … I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, ‘Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.’

“And the one sitting on the throne said, ‘Look, I am making everything new!’” (Revelation 21:1-5a).

Some key phrases in this passage: all these things are gone forever. Look, I am making everything new!

Eternity has begun!

Here, the Lord is referred to as God … Elohim in Hebrew (plural). Messiah Jesus will have already been on earth for 1000 years. Now, God (the Father … the “one on the throne”) will dwell among people of the (new) earth, also in heaven. Just like he did with his Shekinah glory in the Tabernacle and Temple. Thus, one similarity between the Millennium and Eternity is that of Immanuel—God with us. Only during eternity (Eternity) it will be the Trinity dwelling among God’s people. But there will be no more death or sorrow or pain, which will still exist during the Millennium.

And from the new Jerusalem (the heavenly city of God that will hover above the new earth), there will be:

“…a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb…. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.

“No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him” (Revelation 22:1-3).

Things to Ponder

A few Old Testament prophecies are sweeping in scope, encompassing the Tribulation, the Millennium, and Eternity in a single chapter or passage. Some things that begin in the Millennium will continue throughout Eternity, but not all. The more you study them, the better you’ll become at matching them to the Millennium or Eternity. Including which passages apply to the Tribulation period of the Day of the Lord.

Tribulation: Another term (capital “T”) coined to identify and condense into one word all events of the seven-year treaty orchestrated by the Antichrist.

Everlasting life (eternity in the lower case), is given to us the moment we accept Messiah Jesus as personal Savior. When born-again believers die (Jew and Gentile alike), their spirit instantly goes to heaven to be with the triune God … the Trinity.

Those believers still alive when the Day of the Lord begins, as well as those who have already died in Christ, will be transformed into new (spiritual) bodies and “caught up” to heaven … the Rapture.

At the end of the Great Tribulation, believers will begin our participation in and with the majestic reign of our Lord and Savior, Messiah Jesus for one-thousand years … the Millennium.

Then, all things will be made new, even the heavens and the earth. Believers and all these new things will live forever, to infinity and beyond … Eternity.

It simply doesn’t get any better than that!


Melchizedek … A Man of Mystery!

Life Is A Mystery…

With perplexing twists and surprising turns, some with happy endings and others not so pleasant.

The best kind of mysteries are those that are solved. Which is why some people like to work daily puzzles. Life is complicated and challenging; but they can solve a picture, or word, or number puzzle by putting the pieces in all the right places. And why many love a good mystery novel or movie, be it romance or crime or both. The best kind of solving is done by someone who knows all about the mysterious plots and enigmatic people that are an integral part of the human puzzle. Especially the one who created the pieces.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

Although I don’t read murder mysteries, I do watch them on film. Including what is probably the most well-known, if not the most read and watched murder mystery of all time—Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. Or the Sherlock Holmes series by Arthur Conan Doyle.

On the one hand I find murder mysteries intriguing, some even fascinating. And, I fully appreciate the need for real-life detectives to solve murders and for our courts to dispense justice.

On the other hand, I flinch at the idea that we are repeatedly entertained by plots that revolve around murder. Does the sheer number of murder mysteries that saturate literary and film venues desensitize us to the ugly act of murder, couched in the exhilaration of “solving” the crime? With the satisfaction of figuring out whodunnit softening the fact that a brutal killing is the trigger point (pun intended) for such gratification.

I’m wondering if there isn’t enough engagement in and with non-fiction works—especially the Bible—or even in historical novels to stimulate our curiosity and challenge us to seek reality resolutions to life’s mysteries, including our eternal destiny.

To be sure, even the Bible records several incidents of murder; beginning when Cain killed his brother, Abel. We see the worst of what people can do: the premeditated preemption (taking) of a human life created in God’s image. God considers murder (not killing in war or self-defense) a capital crime, punishable by death. Yet, there is no real intrigue nor crime (suspect) to solve in Scripture; except to figure out such things in the greater context of the Mystery of Iniquity.

Indeed, there are mysteries in Scripture. In fact, the very idea and definition of that which is mysterious stems from the Bible. As does the fact that all mysteries mentioned in Scripture pertaining to life and death, redemption and the end times have been revealed or unveiled. That doesn’t mean we fully understand all of them this side of heaven (or hell). But we can know enough to appreciate them and to make decisions where decisions are required.

Mysterious: “1 a: of, or relating to, or constituting a mystery (the ways of God) b: exciting wonder, curiosity, or surprise while baffling efforts to comprehend or identify” (Webster’s Dictionary, parenthesis are in the text).

Notice that the first definition of mysterious relates to “the ways of God.”

Also, Webster’s primary definition of mystery pertains to God. The English word mystery is an almost exact transliteration from the Greek word, mysterion. Most know that the New Testament was originally written in Greek.

Mystery: “1 a: a religious truth that man can know by revelation alone and cannot fully understand.”

Because of the advent of crime novels, Webster’s Dictionary was compelled to include one feature of mystery as: “2 d: a piece of fiction dealing usually with the solution of a mysterious crime.”

Notice, however: Webster’s qualifies that revealed mysteries cannot be fully understood. With, I’m sure, the emphasis on “fully.” If Webster’s Dictionary had said that (any of God’s) revelations cannot be understood at all, then that would be a direct contradiction of Scripture.

The Mysterious Plan of God Unveiled

A companion definition of mystery in Webster’s Dictionary is: “2 a: something not understood or beyond understanding.”

For sure there are physical and spiritual phenomenon from the beginning of time that we cannot fully wrap our minds around. Such as the origin and dynamics of gravity. Or the magnificent Trinity of the Godhead. One God in Three Persons … Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

When the word mystery or mysterious is used in Scripture it is always accompanied by the revealing or unveiling of that secret; enough for us to comprehend it as a matter of fact and belief. Especially God’s source of salvation, acceptance or rejection of which will determine our eternal destiny.

Let’s begin with a reference to a mystery in the New Testament, with “full understanding” that the New Covenant—first revealed in-depth by the Jewish prophet Jeremiah in Chapter 31—had replaced the Levitical sacrificial system of the Old Covenant. However, comprehension of this mystery is available only to those (believers) who have believed and received the mediator of the New Covenant … the Jewish Messiah Jesus of Nazareth.

Wrote the Apostle Paul:

“And my message and my preaching were very plain. Rather then using clever and persuasive speeches, I relied only on the power of the Holy Spirit. I did this so you would trust not in human wisdom but in the power of God.

“…I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to the world or to the rulers of this world, who are soon forgotten. No, the wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. But the rulers of this world have not understood it; if they had, they would not have crucified our glorious Lord. That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.’

“But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets… no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us… But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it…” (I Corinthians 2:4-14, parenthesis in the text).

Another use of the word mystery is found in the book of Romans. In this passage Paul has just emphasized that the Lord did not completely cast off his chosen people the Jews, nor did they permanently “stumble and fall beyond recovery.” (Romans 11:11). Chapters 9, 10, & 11 should forever silence those who subscribe to Replacement Theology; the grievous error that the true Christian Church has replaced Israel concerning all Old Testament prophecies that speak of Israel’s (the nation of … Jews) physical and spiritual restoration.

Paul is speaking to the Gentile believers: “I want you to understand this mystery dear brothers and sisters, so that you will not feel proud about yourselves. Some of the people of Israel have hard hearts, but this will last only until the full number of Gentiles comes to Christ. And so all Israel will be saved…” (Romans 11:25-26).

Although most of the early Christians were Jews and the Gospel went first to the Jew and then to the Gentile (Romans 1:16), it was a mystery to the Gentile Christians why so many Jews refused to believe in the risen Messiah, Jesus. Some of these Gentile believers had even assumed an attitude of superiority. But only because they didn’t grasp God’s ultimate (mysterious, but nevertheless revealed) plan that only a remnant of Jews would acknowledge and accept Jesus as their Messiah and Savior. That is, until the last days when “all Israel will be saved.”

(See Eye of Prophecy article: Salvation … “To the Jews First” Posted 3-26-15)

Which is why Paul also told the Gentile believers:

“…This message about Jesus Christ has revealed his plan for you Gentiles, a plan kept secret from the beginning of time. But now as the prophets foretold and as the eternal God has commanded, this message is made known to all Gentiles everywhere, so that they too might believe and obey him. All glory to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, forever. Amen” (Romans 16:25-27).

The Gentile Christians needed to remember: They had not replaced the Jews (Israel); rather they been added (“grafted in”) to the prophetic tree of Israel. It was through Israel and the Jews that salvation would come, just as the prophets said. Specifically, salvation was exclusively in the long-awaited Jewish Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, who said himself that salvation comes through the Jews (John 4:22).

Said the Jewish Apostle Peter: “For Jesus is the one referred to in the Scriptures, where it says, ‘The stone that you builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’ There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:11-12).

Another remarkable revelation that was no longer a mystery is that both Jew and Gentile are now one in Messiah. No more inequality or separation by status, which also included men and women, slave and free.

“…If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God’s promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ … The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus… There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:21-28).

All these mysteries (revealed) were integral component parts of the greatest mystery of all so wonderfully unveiled. Said the Apostle Paul:

“Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ was revealed in a human body… (I Timothy 3:16a).

In both the Old Testament and the New Testament, we are told unequivocally that Messiah is the Son of God and God the Son. Thus, Christ (Jesus) is fully God and fully man.

The Mystery of Melchizedek

Particularly to the Jews, I don’t suppose there’s any more mysterious person in the Hebrew Bible (referred to commonly by Gentiles as the Old Testament … Old Covenant) than Melchizedek. Were it not for the New Testament book of Hebrews, the unique relevance of this man would remain a mystery. Which tracks with the oft quoted and reliable premise: The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed; the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.

Melchizedek is only mentioned twice in the entire Jewish Tanach (Old Testament); both times it is only a brief reference. Yet, the descriptive narrative of this mysterious man is stunning in scope and substance.

Our first glimpse of this exceptional man is found early in the book of Genesis.

“After Abram returned from his victory over Kedorlaomer and all his allies, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine. Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you.’

“Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered” (Genesis 14:17-20, parenthesis in the text).

That’s it … just four short verses. As abruptly as Melchizedek appeared on the scene, he was gone. Not to be heard from again until King David mentions him some 1,000 years later.

A brief back story: As you may recall, Abraham had won a great battle against four kings and their armies, probably numbering in the thousands. The reason Abraham went to war (against all odds) was to rescue his nephew Lot and Lot’s family who had been taken captive when the four kings defeated five other kings in battle, including the king of Sodom.

Although not as well-known or remembered as Gideon’s victory with 300 soldiers over thousands of Midianites (Judges Chapters 7 & 8), Abraham was also victorious with only, “…318 trained men who had been born into his household” (Genesis 14:14).

This was no less a miracle than Gideon’s stunning triumph. Which is why Melchizedek said that the Most High God defeated your enemies for you. Obviously, Abraham and his men had to fight; however, unless the Lord had providentially protected and supernaturally supported Abraham, the battle would not have been won.

Who Was Melchizedek?

Abraham’s reverence of Melchizedek’s position and authority is reason enough to attach substantial significance to this man. However, if his appearance to Abraham was the only record of Melchizedek, he would remain an unsolved mystery.

Let’s fast forward a thousand years later to King David who reintroduced Melchizedek alongside (and in the greater context) of the Messiah. David begins this Messianic Psalm by saying (speaking):

“The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet’” (Psalm 110:1).

This is an astonishing statement made by David, so let’s pause here for a moment. In no uncertain terms, David is saying that the LORD (Yahweh … I AM) is speaking to another Lord (David’s Lord) who would sit at the right hand of the throne of God after the enemies of David’s Lord have been soundly defeated.

Who is David’s Lord?

Believers, both Gentiles and Messianic Jews know that this Lord is the Messiah who would (historically now) arrive 1,000 years later … Jesus of Nazareth. Most observant Jews, including Rabbis, offer sparse commentary on this passage, but it’s evident that some equate David’s Lord to the Messiah. Who else could he be? It’s just that they don’t combine Psalm 110 with Psalm 2; therefore, they dismiss out of hand any such person as the Son of God.

Consequently, some contend that David is identifying the nation of Israel, despite the clear evidence that David is referring to a person, both grammatically and contextually. They make the same mistake in Isaiah 53, by saying that the suffering servant is Israel, not a person (the Messiah). Or that there are (will be) two Messiahs (See Eye of Prophecy article: More Than One Messiah? Posted 12-5-15).

So, let’s switch to Psalm Chapter 2 for a moment.

“For the Lord declares, ‘I have placed my chosen king on the throne in Jerusalem, on my holy mountain” (Psalm 2:6). *Note: The king cannot be (all) Israel, nor will Israel be “placed on the throne in Jerusalem.”

Continuing with the king making a personal statement as to what the Lord promises:

“The king proclaims the Lord’s decree: The Lord said to me, ‘You are my son. Today I have become your Father. Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession’” (Psalm 2:7-8).

Now that’s a mystery! The king is the Messiah, but he is also God’s Son … both man and God. It was a mystery revealed, but also a mystery (partially) concealed until the birth and life of Jesus at God’s appointed time.

That’s affirmed later in the chapter: “Now then, you kings, act wisely! Be warned, you rulers of the earth! Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. Submit to God’s royal son, or he will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of all your activities—for his anger flares up in an instant. But what joy for all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 2:10-12).

Messiah Jesus sometimes quoted the Old Testament when challenged by the Jewish religious leaders or when challenging and correcting their deliberate or careless (inadvertent) mishandling of Scripture. Although Israel ardently anticipated the coming of Messiah, even the observant among them missed or ignored their own scriptures as to who Messiah would be. Which is why they wanted to kill Jesus … because he claimed to be not only the Messiah, but also the Son of God, as well as God (the Son).

Jesus asked the religious leaders a thought-provoking question, directly related to Psalm 110:

“Why is it … that the Messiah is said to be the son of David? For David himself wrote in the book of Psalms: The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.’

“Since David called the Messiah, ‘Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his Son?” (Luke 20:41-44).

It was a rhetorical question. The only way that Messiah could be both David’s son (of physical lineage) and David’s Lord is for the Messiah to also be God. To any Jew of the 1st century or any century to this very day who is sincerely seeking the truth of Messiah’s identity, Jesus’s illustration should remind them of Psalms 110 (which Jesus quoted).

And, of Isaiah’s breathtaking description of the Messiah: “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

And Micah’s powerful prophecy that the coming Messiah would pre-date King David by infinity: “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah (where Jesus was born of a Virgin … Isaiah 7:14) are only a small village among all the people of Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past” (Micah 5:2, italics for emphasis, parenthesis mine).

Said Jesus to the crowd: “Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.

“The people said, ‘You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?’

“Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!’” (John 8:56-58).

Returning to Psalm 110 and Melchizedek

Now, David brings Melchizedek into the picture.

“The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow: ‘You (the king, David’s Lord, the Son of God) are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek’” (Psalm 110:4, parenthesis mine).

Why does David even bring up Melchizedek is this passage?

The answer is found is Genesis Chapter 14 that we already read: Melchizedek is both King and Priest! Messiah would be the everlasting Priest in/after the order (prototype) of Melchizedek. As well as the King who would rule from Jerusalem, whose kingdom would also be forever.

This is remarkable because the Mosaic Law subsequently disallowed anyone from being both a priest and a king at the same time.

Judah’s King Uzziah learned this the hard way. Although he reigned for 52 years (beginning in 792 B.C.), and God used him to prosper Judah both economically and militarily, Uzziah decided he could also be a priest.

“But when he had become powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall. He sinned against the Lord his God by entering the sanctuary of the Lord’s Temple and personally burning incense on the incense altar. Azariah the high priest went in after him … confronted Uzziah and said, ‘It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the Lord. That is the work of the priests alone, the descendants of Aaron who are set apart for this work. Get out of the sanctuary, for you have sinned. The Lord God will not honor you for this!’” (II Chronicles 26:16-18).

Uzziah became furious. It was a serious mistake for even the king to enter the outer sanctuary and take on the duties reserved for the priests. It was an even bigger mistake for Uzziah to become indignant, “raging at the priests,” with the clear inference that he knew exactly what he had done, but no one had the right or authority to tell the king how wrong he was.

Here’s what happened while Uzziah was still in the Temple:

“…leprosy suddenly broke out on his forehead. When Azariah the high priests and all the other priests saw the leprosy, they rushed him out. And the king himself was eager to get out because the Lord had struck him. So King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in isolation in a separate house, for he was excluded from the Temple of the Lord…” (II Chronicles 26:19-21).

God obviously had a purpose for the separate roles of kings and priests. The main reason was so that both king and priest could invest substantial time, energy, and God-given gifts in their respective duties. Also, to maintain a divinely designed balance between government and those governed, between the physical and the spiritual. It was NOT for total separation of church from state. To the absurd extent (for example in the United States) of removing plaques of the Ten Commandments from all public places in a nation founded on Judaic/Christian values.

However, I do agree: there should not be a (man-made) “State Church” or a “Church State.” In that regard, terms and concepts need to be defined. (For more extensive details, refer to Eye of Prophecy articles, Separation of Church and State, Part I & II. Posted 4-2 & 4-9-16).

The following Biblical principle is indisputable as borne out by the historical success and rise and fall of nations:

The New and Better Way

Although there are several New Testament passages that speak of Messiah Jesus as the final (only) bridge between God and mankind (Mediator of the New Covenant … Timothy 2:5), the book of Hebrews systematically and succinctly summarizes the resounding role of Messiah as the once for all High Priest after the priestly order of Melchizedek, who was also a King.

Beginning with: “This Melchizedek was king of the city of Salem and also a priest of God Most High. When Abraham was returning home after winning a great battle against the kings, Melchizedek met him and blessed him … The name Melchizedek means ‘king of justice’ and king of Salem means ‘king of peace.’ There is no record of his father or mother or any of his ancestors—no beginning or end to his life. He remains a priest forever, resembling the Son of God” (Hebrews 7:1-3, italics for emphasis).

*Note: Based on the wording of this passage—specifically, resembling the Son of God—most Bible scholars regard Melchizedek only as a symbol or representation of Messiah Jesus. Yet, that application doesn’t go far enough.

For one reason: What these same verses (in italics above) say about Melchizedek (no beginning or end to his life) wouldn’t apply to a mortal man. For another reason: the numerous accounts in the Old Testament of the Pre-Incarnate Messiah appearing to several people such as Joshua and Gideon.

Thus, I firmly believe that Jesus was (is) Melchizedek! And Jesus’s first appearance as the Pre-Incarnate Messiah was to Abraham.

(See Eye of Prophecy articles, Does God Really Have a Son? Part I & II, Posted 10-31 & 11-7-15).

Continuing in Hebrews, prefaced with this observation: As much esteem as the Jews extend to Moses (and Elijah), to this day Israelis in Israel and Jews outside of Israel consider Abraham the greatest of all their ancestors. After all, he is the Patriarchal Father of Israel.

“Consider then how great this Melchizedek was. Even Abraham, the great patriarch of Israel, recognized this by giving him a tenth of what he had taken in battle…. And Melchizedek placed a blessing upon Abraham, the one who had already received the promises of God. And without question, the person who has the power to give a blessing is greater than the one who is blessed. The priests who collect titles are men who die, so Melchizedek is greater than they are, because we are told that he lives on” (Hebrews 7:4-8).

Melchizedek, who was both king and priest, preceded and exceeded the Mosaic Law in both prominence and perpetuity. Understanding this should be of vital importance especially to the Jews; the majority of whom still cling to the Mosaic Law (even without the Levitical sacrificial system of the shedding of blood for remission of sins that ended in 70 A.D.) to make them right with God. They’re in denial over the loss of the Temple and animal sacrifices because they don’t understand or refuse to believe that the Law cannot save them nor was the Levitical sacrificial system meant to be permanent. Twice, God disciplined his people … Babylonian Captivity and Roman Dispersion. Both times the Temple was destroyed. The second-time, sacrifices were ended altogether … to this very day.

Resuming in Hebrews Chapter 7:

“So if the priesthood of Levi, on which the law was based, could have achieved the perfection God intended, why did God need to establish a different priesthood, with a priest in the order of Melchizedek instead of the order of Levi and Aaron? And if the priesthood is changed, the law must also be changed to permit it … What I mean is, our Lord came from the tribe of Judah, and Moses never mentioned priests coming from this tribe” (Verses 11 & 12-14).

*Note: As great as the Torah is (specifically referencing the first five books of the Bible), it’s also crucial for non-Messianic Jews (and Gentiles) to read objectively all passages in Psalms and the Prophets relating to the Messiah. Not the least of which are passages quoted earlier regarding Messiah as God’s Son and High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, but also from the tribe of Judah that would produce Israel’s kings. Even Moses records this as part of Jacob’s blessings (prophecies) concerning his twelve sons.

Moving on in Hebrews:

“This change has been made very clear since a different priest, who is like Melchizedek, has appeared. Jesus became a priest, not by meeting the physical requirement of belonging to the tribe of Levi, but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed. And the psalmist pointed this out when he prophesied, ‘You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.’

“Yes, the old requirement about the priesthood was set aside because it was weak and useless. For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God…. Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God” (Hebrews 7:15-19 & 22).

As stated later in Hebrews: The (Mosaic) system of worship was only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven. God told Moses to, “…Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain” (Hebrews 8:5b, quoting Exodus 25:40).

The author of Hebrews further explains how much better and more permanent (forever) the New Covenant is:

“But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. Therefore, he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him…. He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin…. The law appointed high priests who were limited by human weakness. But after the law was given, God appointed his Son with an oath, and his Son has been made the perfect High Priest forever” (Hebrews 7:24-26, 28).

Then in Hebrews 8:1-7, we read the sweeping summary of this magnificent message: Messiah Jesus is the Mediator of the New Covenant between God and man.

“Here is the main point: We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. There he ministers in the heavenly Tabernacle, the true place of worship that was built by the Lord and not by human hands…

“But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises. If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second covenant to replace it. But when God found fault with the people, he said…” (the announcement of the New Covenant in Jeremiah 31:31-34 is then quoted).


With precaution not to stretch the analogy beyond its obvious limitations, we can say in one respect that the Bible (among its other literary genres) is a “murder mystery.” One, however, that certainly is not fictional.

Not long after God created Adam and Eve, they yielded to the, “Mystery of Iniquity” as lawlessness and rebellion is labeled in II Thessalonians 2:7. They believed the lie of the original source of evil, Satan, who Jesus said, “…was a murderer from the beginning … and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

(“…But the Son of God came to destroy the works of the devil.” I John 3:8)

Even before Cain murdered his brother Abel, Adam and Eve became murderers themselves.

They killed the spirit within them, the human spirit formed by God (Zechariah 12:1) which enabled them to fellowship in and with the very presence of God in the Garden of Eden. Everyone since then has been born with a dead spirit. This is a murder mystery that can only be solved by our spirit being made alive.

Said the Apostle Paul to believers: “Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world…. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)” (Ephesians 2:1-5, parenthesis in the text).

Jesus explained it this way: “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water (cleansing through the Word of God) and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going (it’s a mystery), so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit” (John 3:5-8, parenthesis mine).

Things to Ponder

Many crime novels, movies, and T.V. shows initially reveal a suspect(s) who turns out not to be the killer, or the killer has an accomplice. Television dramas like Matlock and Murder She Wrote are full of these kinds of plots.

Messiah Jesus was crucified by the Romans because Pontius Pilate finally agreed to the demands of the Jewish accusers to put Jesus to death. That’s no mystery. We know who the suspects were.

And yet it was a mystery because Jesus voluntarily gave up his life. Why and for whom?

Why? Answer: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son.”

For whom? Answer: “… so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16).

Mystery solved. It was you, me, and everyone who ever lived that drove Jesus to his death. We were all complicit … accessories before, during, and after the fact.

The ultimate reason of God’s plan for the human race is succinctly summarized in the following passage:

“God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth…

“God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago” (Ephesians 1:9-13).

It is the greatest puzzle problem conflict resolution of all time. Christ doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are you profoundly perplexed and mysteriously maddened with so many questions that seemingly have no answers? Why was I born? Why am I here? What’s really going to happen to me when I die? Why is there so much injustice, terror, war, and murder? Is there anyone who can resolve this mess of a world we live in? Who can solve these mysteries of life and death?

“For the time is coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. And this will be his name: ‘The LORD is Our Righteousness.’ In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety” (Jeremiah 23:5-6).

No one else can be what Jesus is. Or do what Jesus has done and will continue to do.

He is King of all kings AND High Priest.

He is LORD and SAVIOR!

Remember December (Kislev) … A Hidden Gem of Prophecy!


Beginning with the Beginning

So many people through the ages and alive on Planet Earth today have refused to believe in the God of the Bible. Or they live as if there is no God. Others may concede there’s only one true God, yet they reject the timeless truth of His Word.

“Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools. And instead of worshipping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshipped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles” (Romans 1:21-23).

The Apostle Paul wrote these words nearly 2,000 years ago, and people still worship the creation instead of the Creator. Except in this hi-tech post-modern world, the “enlightened and educated” among us don’t bow down before idols as some do in less-sophisticated cultures. Instead, they embrace political pluralism, moral relativism, and/or evolution as their religion.

Among other definitions of religion, it is: “a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith” (Webster’s Dictionary).

Despite the infinitely complex macro-universe and micro-biology of life (there’s no way even one cell could have come to life on its own) with the mind-boggling order of the heavenly bodies and incredible intricacy of earthly bodies, many believe that creation created itself. Or, that it simply developed by chance. As has been said: every watch needs a watchmaker; every house needs a builder. The universe and all living things are far more complicated than a watch. If anyone seriously believes in evolution or man-made gods, then they (according to God who they refuse to believe made them) are foolish.

This may be a roundabout way to introduce the main subject of today’s article. However, unless people accept the very first verse of Scripture, it’s unlikely that they’ll consider the true source and meaning of their existence, their fallen (sinful) condition, and the need for Biblical salvation through God’s Son, Messiah Jesus, and Him alone.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

Many powerful prophecies and mighty miracles prove beyond any doubt that:

The God of the Bible IS GOD and His Son IS GOD

The reason religious leaders who worship other gods can’t predict the future nor perform miracles is actually quite simple: Those gods aren’t real. They exist only in the meandering minds and hardened hearts of those who have invented their own religion. Or those who have deceitfully imitated Biblical redemption by distorting the true Christian faith in God and His Son, Messiah Jesus. Or the elite and erudite among us who implicitly trust in their “enlightened” explanations for the origin and purpose of life.

The Apostle Paul also wrote: “So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe” (I Corinthians 1:20-21).

“This is what the Lord says—your Redeemer and Creator: ‘I am the Lord, who made all things. I alone stretched out the heavens. Who was with me when I made the earth? I expose the false prophets as liars and make fools of fortune-tellers. I cause the wise to give bad advice, thus proving them to be fools. But I carry out the predictions of my prophets! By them I say to Jerusalem, People will live here again, and to the towns of Judah, You will be rebuilt; I will restore all your ruins!’” (Isaiah 44:24-26).

The “I” (am the Lord) of the above passage is the majestic Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who in that same first chapter of Genesis said: “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us…” (Genesis 1:26, emphasis added).

In plain language, King David—inspired by the Holy Spirit—tells us that God has a Son. See Psalm 2 and Psalm 110.

Also, “Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. You rule with a scepter of justice. You love justice and hate evil. Therefore, God, your God has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else” (Psalm 45:6-7, italics for emphasis).

(See Eye of Prophecy articles, Does God Really Have a Son? Part I & II. Posted 10-31 & 11-7-15).

That Son is none other than Jesus of Nazareth, who fulfilled in extraordinary detail all Old Testament prophecies of the coming Messiah. So much so that the Jewish author of the New Testament book of Hebrews (which definitively and dramatically demonstrates Jesus’s New Covenant once for all sacrifice for sin) declares:

“Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven” (Hebrews 1:1-3).

Most Biblical prophecies are panoramic and/or precise (specific) predictions that describe the coming Messiah (both first and second Advents); the return of the Jews to the Promised Land; the rebirth of Israel as a nation; and Israel’s final rescue, restoration, and redemption that will take place in the last generation before and during Messiah’s Millennial Reign on earth. As a result, Gentiles and Gentile nations that survive the Great Tribulation will share in Israel’s blessings.

For example: “In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all—the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship. People from many nations will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob’s God. There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.’ For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem. The Lord will mediate between peoples and will settle disputes between strong nations far away. They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore. Everyone will live in peace and prosperity, enjoying their own grapevines and fig trees, for there will be nothing to fear” (Micah 4:1-4).

How good is that! I, for one, can hardly wait.

Somewhat Shrouded, Yet Significant Time-Capsule Prophecies

A handful of prophecies are not as comprehensively conspicuous as the passage (and many others like it) that we just read. They require more correlation with other passages and sometimes closer scrutiny of the present and past (history). Nevertheless, they are strikingly significant in substance and scope. A handful of these prophetic hidden gems are based on time-dedicated dates of fulfillment or importance of a certain day or date.

One of these time-lapse prophecies is found in Daniel Chapter 9; the famous 70 weeks of Israel’s future (interacting with Gentile nations … the 70th week—Tribulation period). Particularly the sixty-nine weeks from the command given to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem by Persian king Artaxerxes to the coming of Messiah (Palm Sunday)—exactly 483 years on the Hebrew calendar … 173,880 days. However, not until the late 19th century did an ardent student of Bible prophecy, Sir Robert Anderson—a detective with Scotland Yard—actually calculate the dates of Daniel’s prophecy. He wrote about this in his book, The Coming Prince.

I’ve discussed this dramatic disclosure in several Eye of Prophecy articles, including one of the earlier articles, An Incredible Time-Lapse Prophecy. Posted 1-18-14. Also, the 2nd most read Eye of Prophecy article thus far: Where is Messiah … Is He Already Here? Published 6-25-16.

Not only does Daniel’s prophecy pinpoint the exact day of Messiah’s first Advent, it also reinforces that phenomenal prediction with unmistakable evidence that Messiah must be killed before the (2nd) Temple would be destroyed (Daniel 9:26).

(Also refer to articles detailing at length Daniel 9:24-27: The Most Panoramic Prophecy in the Bible, Part I & II, published recently …1-13 & 1-20-18).

Another remarkable prophecy that relates to actual years of fulfillment is found in Leviticus Chapter 26, something the Lord disclosed to me in 2006. What Daniel 9 is to the first coming of Messiah, Leviticus 26 is to the second coming of Christ. More specifically, the exact year in which (what I’ve termed) the Seven Times Seven discipline of Israel ended when the IDF liberated Jerusalem in the stunning Six-Day War of 1967; thereby, ending Gentile domination of the Jews. Which, in turn, is an integral facet of the end-times final generation that will see the return of Messiah.

Once again, I’ll refer you to the articles of Seven Times Seven (to the 4th Power) I, II, & III; followed in summary fashion by, The Omega Generation (1-25, 2-1, 2-8 & 2-15-14).

Regarding calculation of the actual years involved, here is an excerpt from Seven Times Seven (to the 4th Power), Part II (in italics):

A Phenomenal Finding (Let’s do the Math)

Calculations: 7 x 7 x 7 x 7 equals 2,401 (years). Remember the premise: This prophecy is a specific time-lapse utilization of sevens that can be measured in years, in a very similar manner to the Daniel Chapter 9 prophecy. We must now convert the 2,401 years to Jewish years.

Roman to Jewish calendar: 2,401 years x 365 Roman calendar days = 876,365 days. Dividing 876,365 by 360 Jewish calendar days = 2,434 years Jewish years. (We’re rounding this off, because we’re only interested in the year, unlike the exact day(s) of the Daniel prophecy).

Jubilee Years: Again, we need to remember that the ultimate criteria that God used to preclude or preempt any excuses or rationalization of the people was the Sabbatical rest of the land. But we also need to include all Jubilee years, which was a 50-year cycle of freedom from debt, servitude, and also resting the land from crop planting… Because the Israelites also failed to keep the Jubilee requirements, this would be a central part of God’s formula for discipline.

So we divide 2,434 Jewish years by 50 and we get 49 (rounded off) Jubilee years over that period of time.

We add 2,434 years + 49 (Jubilee) years. The sum of these two: 2,483 (years).

The Astonishing Result: 2,483 years minus 516 BC (we must subtract BC years from the total) leads us to the year: 1967! Or 1,967 years AD plus 516 years BC is a total of 2,483 years.

*Note: I certainly didn’t start with the year 1967 and work backwards. Initially, I had no idea in what year the seven times seven paradigm would end.

Another Date-Dedicated Pearl of Biblical Prophecy (Main Subject of This Week’s Article)

It’s found in a two-chapter book of the Bible; a book that even believers seldom study, compared to other books of the Bible read more often. We’ll begin with:

“On December 18th of the second year of King Darius’s reign, the Lord sent this message to the prophet Haggai” (Haggai 2:10).

The backdrop is a delayed interruption of some ten years (530 B.C. to 520 B.C.) during construction of the 2nd Jewish Temple, which began in 536 B.C. after Cyrus issued the decree in 538 B.C. for the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. On March 12th (3rd day of Adar—12th month of the Hebrew calendar), 515 B.C., the Temple was finally completed. The more complete account is found in the book of Ezra.

Haggai and Zechariah were the two prophets appointed by God to both warn and encourage the Jews to get back to the task of rebuilding the Jewish Temple.

Several Old Testament prophets record the exact day or month, or both day and month in which they received a message from the Lord. Some will then identify the year of the ruler’s reign … be it a Jewish king, or a Gentile king. Thus, in most Bible translations like the KJV, New American Standard Bible, or Complete Jewish Bible, Haggai 2:10 reads: “On the twenty-fourth of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius…”

If you have a study Bible, the footnotes may sometimes identify the number of the month by its Hebrew name. In this case, the Hebrew month (ninth) is the month of Kislev, which overlaps parts of November and December on the Gregorian calendar. The first Jewish Biblical (religious) month is Nisan (March/April). Subsequently, the month of Tishrei (7th month of the religious calendar) became the first month of the civil year … Rosh HaShana (New Year Feast of Trumpets).

(Periodically, the Hebrew calendar has 13 months … Nisan is moved up a few days … to account for the 29 1/2 days of the lunar cycle, which over time balances the years out 30 days per month. The solar Gregorian calendar adjusts its precision by adding leap years)

However, a few Bible translations (such as New Living Translation that I quote from unless otherwise noted) make it easier for the reader by citing the Gregorian calendar date, in this case December 18th. In a footnote, the study Bible will then identify (through historical records) the precise year. In Haggai it was December 18th, 520 B.C.

Twice more the date of December 18th is mentioned, which emphasizes and enhances its significance, as we shall soon see. There are at least two other times in Scripture where God’s repetition, such as the one (date) we read in Haggai, actually depicts two events of the same nature. With the first reference applicable at that time or soon thereafter; the second fast forwarding to the end times.

For detailed explanation of one of these double descriptions concerning Israel’s two separate exiles and two returns to Israel, please see Eye of Prophecy article, Double Israel’s Troubles & Double Her Blessings! Posted 8-13-16.

Another dual emphasized event: “Babylon is fallen, Babylon is fallen” (Revelation 18). The first taking place when Persia conquered it the 6th century B.C.; the second when Rome (encoded by the name of Babylon) is destroyed during the Great Tribulation.

Continuing in Haggai:

“Think about this eighteenth day of December, (and also) the day when the foundation of the Lord’s Temple was laid. Think carefully. I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn. You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you” (Haggai 2:18-19, parenthesis mine).

*Note: The Complete Jewish Bible reads, “…keep this in mind, from this day on, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day the foundation of Adonai’s temple was laid, consider this…” (Haggai 2:18). The Lord is not saying that the foundation of the temple was laid on the 24th of Kislev; rather, from this day onward (24th of Kislev) AND also (going back) to when the foundation was laid … “I will bless you.”

In fact, the foundation of the Temple was actually laid nearly 16 years earlier.

As explained in Haggai 2:14-17: Before the people began to lay the foundation (they had reconstructed the altar and resumed sacrifices but had not actually begun the Temple construction, as recorded in Ezra), their crops yielded only a portion of what they should have.

The Lord is telling Haggai that he would now begin to bless them in a way he hadn’t since years before they were conquered by Babylon, their exile in Babylon, and after they had stopped work on the Temple. But also they needed to, “get (back) to work” (Haggai 2:4). Consequently, they should pay special attention to that 24th day of Kislev, which (nearly 20 years after they first did anything about rebuilding the Temple) would be a memorial milepost in their history. But also their future! The Lord wanted his people to grasp the “back to the future” significance of that day.

Before we read further in Haggai what the Lord would do, we need to place the Lord’s promise “from this day onward, I will bless you” into a broader Biblical perspective of other prophecies. The Israelites were still under the blessings and curses of the Mosaic Law. Scripture clearly demonstrates that the spiritual revival of God’s people was short-lived after the Temple and walls of Jerusalem (in that order) were rebuilt. The books of Ezra, Nehemiah, and Malachi confirm this.

Not long after Nehemiah returned to Israel to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, the Lord ceased all communication with his people for 400 years. Until John the Baptist, there were no more prophets in and to Israel. During this time Judaism split into different sects, such as the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Zealots, and Essenes. The Jews became more legalistic than ever, especially through extra-Biblical interpretations of the law … subsequently written down in the Talmud.

The Jews would continue under Persian, Grecian, Syrian, and Roman domination for the next 600 years. However, because of God’s reinstated blessings as stated in Haggai (also Zachariah) they still prospered as much as a nation could under foreign control. In fact, the Lord miraculously delivered them from the rule of the Seleucid King Antiochus Epiphanes IV in 167-168 B.C. That’s what the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah is all about to this very day! And until Nero Caesar ordered the Roman Legions to march against Israel in 66 A.D., the Jews had maintained (comparatively speaking) a thriving community and economy under Roman rule.

Not until God’s people made their biggest mistake of all, did they suffer a second even more catastrophic loss of their nation and subsequent dispersion that would last for some 1,900 years. They rejected God’s New Covenant and their Messiah who brought (purchased with his life’s blood) that covenant to them and also to the Gentiles.

Thus, when the Lord said he would bless Israel from that day forward (Kislev 24th) he was contrasting it to the withdrawal of his protection and blessings before and during the Babylonian captivity. Until God’s end time’s sovereign design to finally redeem and restore Israel as a nation, the blessings would be conditional and comparatively limited. Yet, even during the Diaspora, right up to and through the Second World War, the Lord blessed and prospered many of his people throughout the world. The main reason that many Germans—especially the Nazis—and also people from other nations despised the Jews was because many Jews were successful in business, arts and entertainment, science, and specialized professions such as law and medicine. Sadly, Anti-Semitism has once again reared its ugly head in the 21st century.

*Note: Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not minimizing the horrors of the Holocaust and other terrible persecution of the Jews during their Diaspora. Yet with exception of only a few Jews (including some Rabbis) most are in denial or don’t realize why the Diaspora took place. Not until the Great Tribulation to come will both Israel and the Gentiles fully understand.

Here’s what the Lord says after he completely crushes the Gog/Magog coalition:

“And from that time on the people of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God. The nations will then know why Israel was sent away to exile—it was punishment for sin, for they were unfaithful to their God. Therefore, I turned away from them and let their enemies destroy them … Then my people will know that I am the Lord their God, because I sent them away to exile and brought them home again. I will leave none of my people behind” (Ezekiel 39:22-23 & 28).

A Remarkable Correlation of the 24th day of Kislev in Haggai’s Time to the Beginning of the Omega Generation

Perhaps there is one (temporarily overlooked), but I know of nowhere else in Scripture where God instructs his people to reflect on a specific date in this fashion, except one—Passover. Later, through Moses, the Lord established precise days/months of the year for observance of the Sabbath and Festivals. However, the Lord didn’t actually tell them to observe the 24th day of the 9th month. Kislev. Rather he told them to think about it … then and in the future.

It’s crystal clear that the 24th of Kislev in Haggai’s time was also prophetic, beyond the immediate day when the Lord gave him the two messages. Here’s why:

“On that same day, December 18 (24th of Kislev), the Lord sent this second message to Haggai: ‘Tell Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, that I am about to shake the heavens and the earth. I will overthrow royal thrones and destroy the power of foreign kingdoms…” (Haggai 2:20-22).

This was also the second time in Haggai Chapter 2 that the Lord said: “I will shake all the nations…” He goes on to say, “…and the treasures of all the nations will be brought to this Temple. I will fill this place with glory…” (Verse 7).

Both Biblical and secular history demonstrate that this first “shaking of the nations” took place with the fall of Persia, Greece, and then the Roman Empire. Moreover, the splendid improvements to the Ezra built temple accomplished by Herod the Great, included “treasures” from nations other than Israel. And the filling of the Temple with God’s glory was achieved by and through the presence of Messiah Jesus (glory of the Son of God) during his many visitations to the Temple.

(While Teaching in the Temple, Jesus Said, “I am the light of the world! If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to light” … John 8:12)

If the Lord placed a repetitive emphasis (high regard) on that momentous day by expanding or extending it to the future, there should be a subsequent event that fits the end-time’s generation. Not until a recent article about Jerusalem’s first liberation in the early 20th century, did the Lord show me the relevancy.

The Startling Connection

The article written by a Messianic Jew, Mike Evans (fairly well-known … a good friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) was simply a brief summary of Jerusalem’s deliverance (the second liberation taking place in 1967 by the Israelis themselves) from the Ottoman Empire. Although I’ve read about Great Britain’s victory over the Ottoman Turks during World War I (1917), I didn’t pay that much attention to the fact that it took place in December until I read Mike’s article. Even then, not until I read Haggai again just a few days later.

December? I thought. I wonder if….!

Mike Evans focused more on the day of December 11th, 1917, when the British General, Sir Edmund Allenby walked through Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate to officially announce the end of Ottoman rule over Jerusalem. Evans focused on that date because this past December 11th he met with President Trump at the Oval Office to present him with the Friends of Zion Award. This to recognize the President’s declaration on December 6th, formally acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In attendance were most members of the Faith Advisory Council, appointed by President Trump. Such members as: James Dobson, Jack Graham, Greg Laurie, Robert Jeffries, Robert Morris, Ralph Reed, and James Robinson.

Regarding the British victory over the Ottoman Turks, it was actually two days earlier that Jerusalem’s Muslim Mayor, Haj Amin Hashashibi, surrendered Jerusalem to the British … without a shot being fired!

December 9th, 1917: The Ottoman 7th army and some German soldiers and advisors fled Jerusalem rather than continue fighting bloody battles with the British, the most recent of which had taken place on November 25th. On December 8th, the British began their final march on Jerusalem; however, the Turks and Germans already had enough. The following day, December 9th, the city was handed over to the British.

With a combination of anticipation and apprehension (what are the chances), I proceeded to look up December 9, 1917 on a Hebrew calendar converter. What do you suppose I discovered? Having asked that question, you already know the answer. If what was found wasn’t found, you would be reading some other Eye of Prophecy article this week!

That’s right. The 9th of December, 1917 was the 24th day of Kislev!


Hello Haggai. From this last day’s generation we want you to know: We’ve thought about it!

Such is the sovereignty of our Almighty God. Once again in the second (end times) fulfillment of the Lord’s prophetic reminder (through Haggai), he began to “overthrow royal thrones and destroy the power of foreign kingdoms” (Verse 22). The word foreign is used because they would be foreign to Israel. That’s exactly what happened to the Ottoman Empire, to Germany and its allies in World War I. And in World War II. And again during the soon to come Gog/Magog alliance led by Russia, Iran, and (that’s right) Turkey! And finally when Messiah returns in power and great glory to destroy the Antichrist-led coalition in the final battle of Armageddon.

Not only that: Just a little over a month earlier (November 2, 1917), the Balfour Declaration had been approved by England, to facilitate what would become the Palestinian Mandate for the Jews (and Arabs if they chose, which they didn’t) to reclaim Israel as their own, and begin the process for statehood. As stated in several Eye of Prophecy articles, the Balfour Declaration was the launch-pad preparation point for fulfillment of last day’s (generation) prophecy. (See articles, The Balfour Declaration … Beginning of the Omega Generation Part I & II, posted in May, 2017).

However, unless the British had conquered the Ottoman Turk Empire and ended its 400-year control of Jerusalem, the Balfour Declaration would barely be worth the paper it was written on. And had the Turks not joined Germany and other nations aligned against Great Britain, France, and their allies (which eventually included the United States joining the war in 1917), the First World War probably would have been confined to Europe. The Ottoman Empire would have continued, and Jerusalem would not have been liberated.

It wasn’t an easy victory over the Turks, including the fierce battles that led to Jerusalem’s emancipation. Most of us recall something about the epic battle at Gallipoli (more than one movie has been made of this famous battle) where the British and Australians suffered a crushing loss to the Turks. And there would be mop-up skirmishes in other towns of Israel (Palestine at the time) such as Jaffa—that would prolong the inevitable British victory for three more weeks, until December 30th, 1917.

There’s more!

The Effective Origin of Zionism

Just like the foundation of the Temple was laid 16-17 years before the Lord’s emphasis on the 24th of Kislev (in Haggai’s time and also in the future), then finally finished some 20 years after the foundation was laid; so, too, there was another event in Jewish history that marked the beginning of the beginning of the final generation.

Twenty years earlier (1897), Theodor Herzl, an Austrian Jew, persuaded many influential Jews and some Gentiles to meet at the First Zionist Congress in Switzerland. From that first ever gathering to discuss restoration of a Jewish homeland, the World Zionist Organization was created, with Herzl as President. Theodor Herzl is considered the father of Zionism, which is simply the return of Jews to Israel as so powerfully and prevalently predicted in Scripture.

Thus, Herzl laid the foundation that would result in the liberation of Jerusalem, just like Jerusalem was freed (at the decree of Cyrus) enough for the Temple to be rebuilt by those Jews who returned from exile. Unfortunately, Herzl died from pneumonia in 1904 at the early age of 44. Obviously, his visionary dream for Israel’s restoration lived on.

Frankly, I think this otherwise obscure passage in Haggai is amazing. Yet, it’s just one of many fulfillment of prophecy that continue to unfold before the watching eyes of the world. For that matter, all of the Bible is amazing. Which is why it also never ceases to amaze me that so many people disregard and disrespect Scripture, because it’s so old. Therefore, outdated. Consequently, irrelevant.

Seriously? It’s no more outdated than today’s news flashes online and offline. It’s no more irrelevant than the staggering rapid-fire changes in the world’s geopolitical, economic, and cultural scene caused by and continuing since both World Wars. Even more so by the global obsession with Israel, beginning with the Balfour Declaration, implementation of which was made possible by the transfer of Jerusalem from the Turks to the British on the 24th of Kislev 1917. Then the rebirth of Israel in 1947-48. Then the reclamation of Jerusalem by the Jews themselves in 1967.

So, let’s think about it!

Not to mention the fact that the absolute spiritual truths of Scripture are universally timeless, no less than the God of the Bible who is from everlasting to everlasting. But I’ll mention it anyway!

Things to Ponder

This week’s Eye of Prophecy article is number 240 written since this labor of love project began in July, 2013. One each week, always posted on Saturday. The correlation (symmetry) between that number (the first two digits) and the 24th day of Kislev caught my attention. But nothing like the superb symmetry and synchronization of Scripture; God-breathed inspiration to 40 authors of the 66 books of the Bible, in three different languages, throughout a 2,000-year span.

There is another significant (somber) event in Biblical and Jewish history; one that also happened twice, incredibly on the same Hebrew calendar day. I’m referring to the 9th of Av … July/August. At the time, it was the worst day in Jewish history, the day that the Babylonians completed their conquest of Judah and destroyed Solomon’s Temple. Afterward, the Jews annually set aside that awful day as a national day of mourning. Then it happened again, when the Romans demolished the second temple. God’s people were incredulous that the temple would be destroyed a second time, let alone on the 9th of Av.

Although no one knows the day of Messiah’s return, perhaps it might be on the 9th of Av. To finally and fully demonstrate that he is, indeed, the Messiah, the Author and Finisher of the New Covenant of Grace. That salvation is exclusively through faith in his once for all substitutionary sacrifice for sin, not the Levitical sacrificial system that had to be repeated again and again.

In a trilogy of Eye of Prophecy articles, Where is the Temple? (Posted 11-29, 12-6, & 12-13-14), the primary premise was as follows:

No Temple, no sacrificial offerings. No sacrifices, no atonement forgiveness of sins. No forgiveness, no redemption. No redemption, no right standing with God.

One more fascinating fact concerning the month of Kislev.

As indicated earlier, it was December 6th (2017) when President Trump made the historic announcement that the United States would officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and also confirmed his previous promise to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem?

No, December 6, 2017 was not the 24th of Kislev.

It was, however, the 18th of Kislev!

Though not as important as the 24th day of Kislev in Haggai’s time—with God’s blessings on Israel magnified 2,437 years later when Jerusalem was liberated from Ottoman control on that very same day of the Hebrew month—it does bear significance when you juxtapose the Hebrew and Gentile calendars.

Remember that the first significant 24th of Kislev in Haggai equals the 18th of December on the Gentile calendar. Combining the two on the day when the United States validated Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital, we have the 18th Jewish day (of Kislev) in the confines of the (Gentile) month of December.

Also recall that the 24th of Kislev is mentioned three times in Haggai. The first time in the context of that particular (present) day in Haggai’s time, the other two in the broader future context of the Lord blessing Israel. A blessing that would intensify and then culminate with the onset of Israel’s final restoration and redemption accompanied and facilitated by the Lord’s shaking the earth, overthrowing royal thrones, and destroying the power of foreign kingdoms.

“I will strengthen Judah and save Israel; I will restore them because of my compassion. It will be as though I had never rejected them, for I am the Lord their God, who will hear their cries” (Zechariah 10:6).

God’s people have, indeed, gone to Israel, and are still going. This time to stay!

**A special tribute to Billy Graham, who died this past Wednesday (2-21) at the age of 99. Such a great evangelist who proclaimed and defended the Gospel of Jesus Christ to over 200 million people of 195 cities in 185 countries and territories for some six decades.

He was born on November 7, 1918, a little over a year after the Balfour Declaration and less than a year after Jerusalem’s liberation.

He was born in the month of Kislev (3rd)!

My father came to know Messiah Jesus through one of Billy’s messages.

Thank you Lord for sending us Billy Graham.

“And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).

The Terrible Trio of Gog and Magog


Iran’s Direct Attack on Israel … A New Strategy

“Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran are on a collision course, a leading expert said on Sunday in the wake of Saturday’s clash between the Jewish state and forces loyal to Iran in neighboring Syria.”

These are the opening words of an article written by Benjamin Kerstein originally posted in the Israeli online news source, Algemeiner.com on February 12, 2018.

Before and especially after the outrageous Iran Nuclear Deal (finalized in April, 2015 … see Eye of Prophecy article, A Deal That Will Live in Infamy, posted 8-1-15), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Iran directly and the world-at-large secondarily that Israel cannot risk and will not tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran. Nor will Israel condone the transfer of precision-guided Iranian missiles (sold by Russia to Iran) through Syria into Lebanon. For several years now, Israel has launched strikes into Syria against these armament convoys. It’s clear that the IDF’s surgical strikes have been a deterrent to an even greater build-up and deployment of missiles in Syria and Lebanon.

This past Saturday (February 10th), in the early morning hours, an Iranian “stealth” drone was launched from a caravan near the T4 (Tiyos) airbase in the central desert of Syria, not far from Palmyra. The “elite” Iranian Quds Force took over this airbase some time ago and operates it to transport and release drones and missiles throughout Syria. In the past (it’s been several years), Hezbollah has fired rockets into Israel, but Iran itself has not.

Until now.

(Iranian Drones & Iran’s Ayatollah)

The article by Benjamin Kerstein continues: “There is a ‘major strategic clash on the horizon,’ said Amos Yadlin, the former head of IDF Intelligence and Executive Director of the Institute for National Security Studies. ‘We are speaking about an attempt that has never been made before,’ Yadlin said of the drone infiltration, and added that the motivation was Iran’s desire to prevent Israel’s ongoing attempts to prevent weapons transfers to the Hezbollah terrorist organization in Lebanon.

‘The Iranians … wanted to show Israel that it is also capable of attacking (Israeli) territory,’ Yadlin commented. The Iranians hoped that Israel would not respond to the escalation, but were quickly proven wrong.”

*Note: The more immediate motive for Iran’s unprecedented action was retaliation for Israel’s raid on an Iranian/Syrian weapons production facility near Damascus a few weeks earlier. Yet, in the past Iran had not responded to Israeli raids on Syrian weapons facilities. Therefore, this was Iran’s audacious attempt to directly strike a blow against Israel, and to test Israel’s resolve.

The article concludes with, “Yadlin stated in a conference call that the ongoing conflict is born of ‘Iran’s determination to build a force in Syria, and Israel’s determination not to let them.’

“A former IAF pilot, Yadlin took part in 1981’s legendary Operation Opera, which destroyed Iraq’s nuclear facility in Osirak.”

Note: That daring Israeli attack into the heart of Iraq was subsequently acknowledged by the United States and most Western nations as the main reason why Saddam Hussein never developed nuclear weapons.

Iran’s Futile Scheme to Surprise Israel

As though the Iranians thought they would catch Israel off-guard or outwit Israeli defenses, they directed the flight-path of the drone through Syrian airspace into Jordan, with the drone then manipulated suddenly into Israeli airspace. After monitoring the entire course of the drone, Israel waited 90 seconds to determine if the drone would remain in Israeli territory. When the Israeli Defense Force concluded that the drone was heading deeper into Israel, an IDF Apache helicopter shot it out of the sky.

Slightly over an hour later, eight Israeli F-16 fighter jets were scrambled to deal with the original source of what could have been several Israeli casualties had this drone fired on whatever target the Iranians may have selected in Israel. Even if it was just a “spy” drone, there’s no excuse for entering Israeli airspace.

Not only did the IDF destroy the caravan that carried this drone to its propulsion point, it also took out nearly half of Syria’s air defense installations including Iranian military sites. Some of these targets were destroyed in the first wave of Israeli F-16 air attacks; others in a second wave after a surface to air missile brought down one of the fighter jets, which crashed in northern Israel. Fortunately both the pilot and navigator survived, albeit the pilot sustained serious injuries. This was the first fighter jet lost in battle by the Israelis since 1982 … the Lebanon War.

Said Ammon Ein Dar, head of the Israeli Training and Doctrine Division, “We carried out a wide-scale attack on the aerial defense system: radars, missiles, batteries, and posts.”

Here is the count of Israel’s swift and stunning damages to Iranian and Syrian fortifications, a total of twelve separate sites: Syria’s largest airbase, with 54 runways and a control tower destroyed; 3 weapons depots; 6 Syrian military installations; 2 Iranian military bases.

In an article posted on February 11, 2018 in the online news source Jewish News Syndicate (JNS), Yaakov Lappin writes: “The escalation is the latest in an epic struggle building between Iran, which is trying to turn Syria into a forward Iranian military base, and Israel, which is determined to prevent this from happening at all costs. Iran is now trying to set a new ‘rules of the game’ and limit Israeli defensive operations in Syria.”

Lappin concludes his article by saying, “The Israeli strikes hinted at an ability to do far more significant damage should Iran decide to escalate further. Iran has no assurance that its own territory would remain immune to Israeli firepower in the event of a future conflict. The stakes of this struggle remain very high. Iran will have to decide if it will again try to challenge Israel’s freedom to operate over Syrian airspace. The situation remains explosive. Israel does not seek war, but the signals coming out of Jerusalem indicated that it has no intention of backing down from its red lines.”

Meanwhile, the Syrian civil war is anything but over. In fact, fighting has intensified once again, including the recent killing of over 200 civilians by Bashar Assad’s Syrian government forces aided by Hezbollah troops, Russian airstrikes, and Iranian missiles. The humanitarian crises is getting even worse. In all, nearly 500,000 have lost their lives in this woeful war of attrition.

(Homs, Syria … Shows Massive Damage to Just One of Many Cities in Syria. See Eye of Prophecy Article, There’s No Place Like Homs; Posted 3-12-16)

Will Things Continue as Usual?

The Apostle Peter told believers that there would be many in the last days who would scoff at the very truth of Scripture, and would mock the idea that Christ would return anytime soon, if at all.

“This is my second letter to you, dear friends, and in both of them I have tried to stimulate your wholesome (healthy, sensible, practical) thinking and refresh your memory. I want you to remember what the holy prophets said long ago and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles.

“Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. They will say, ‘What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created’” (II Peter 3:1-4, parenthesis mine).

Keep in mind that 1st century Christians (first and foremost the apostles) eagerly expected that Messiah’s return would happen in their lifetime. With, however, the Holy Spirit inspiring Peter to also remind believers of God’s perspective of time: “A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day” (I Peter 3:8).

Jesus arose from the grave in the very early morning hours on the 3rd day. It’s been two thousand years since his resurrection. Might the 3rd millennium A.D. that began just 18 years ago be the early morning hours of the 3rd day that will see his return?!

(See Eye of Prophecy article, Just How Imminent is Messiah’s Imminent Return? Posted 11-18-17)).

Jesus himself said:

Day or hour is literal (no one knows the specific day or hour) and also expressive or indicative of years; but not an indefinite period of time. In fact, Jesus narrows this down to a generational time-span in his lengthy and fascinating end-times discourse (Matthew Chapters 24 & 25). That’s why he said, keep watch. Watch for what?

Answer: The signs of the “birth pains” (Matthew 24:8). Which prefaces Peter’s advice to know and understand the end-time signs predicted by the Old Testament prophets (remember what the holy prophets said long ago).

Continuing with the Apostle Peter: “They deliberately forgot that God made the heavens by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. And by the same word, the present heavens and the earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed” (II Peter 3:5-7).

No different, said Peter, than the generation of the Great Flood. Like so many today, they were oblivious to or in denial disregard of the ark built right in front of them. They ignored Noah’s preaching for 120 years regarding the (obviously implied by Scripture) reason the ark was being built, including what they must do to survive God’s judgment of a world filled with evil and violence. In contemporary times, we have far more markers than just one ark. Indicators that are (should be) as obvious as an ark being built with no body of water nearby.

Jesus used the same analogy: “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 24:37-39).

Thus, Peter said: “I want you to remember … I want to remind you.” Not the least of which was Jesus’s profound time-dedicated prediction: “…this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things take place” (Matthew 24:34).

Despite the extraordinary events of the 20th & 21st centuries and the ominous developments in the Middle East, most unbelievers and those Christian in name only continue to do what Jesus and the Apostle Peter said they would do in the last days. Sadly, in fact, many evangelical Christians have sometimes said pretty much the same thing, but not with a “mocking” mentality. Nonetheless, they are skeptical that the return of Messiah Jesus is very near, citing the constant chain of events in the Middle East and around Israel as an ongoing conflict with no end in sight. With a vague view that it could be decades or hundreds of years longer. That and they’ve forgotten the “generational” time frame that Jesus himself said would constitute the beginning (birth pangs) of the end.

As mentioned in several Eye of Prophecy articles, there are two time-parameters of a generation in Scripture: One hundred years and seventy years. One of the most prevalent prophecies of the Old Testament is the return of the Jews to Israel (including Israel’s rebirth as a nation), many of which were linked to Messiah’s coming to earth (his return) to rescue Israel from the godless Gentile nations. Two of these staggering predictions were the Gog/Magog invasion (Ezekiel 38 & 39) and the final assault led by the Antichrist such as found in Daniel 7, 9, and 11.

So, will things continue as usual? Answer: Yes and No.

Yes. The preponderance of people on this globe continue with (reckless) abandon their pursuit of the partying mentality at all cost, disregarding the “Arks” going up in plain sight around them. Signs that will affect their eternal destiny. For them, it is business as usual.

(Lasting Two Weeks, It’s The Longest Annual Celebration in the US. The Last Day of Mardi Gras Was This Past Tuesday, 2-13-18, Known as “Fat Tuesday” From the French: Mardi … Tuesday and Gras … fat).

Jesus isn’t saying there’s anything wrong with (in moderation) banquets and celebrations and business as usual. Messiah’s first miracle (along with dozens of other subsequent miracles) proving that he was the Son of God and God the Son took place at a wedding in Cana … turning water into wine.

What is wrong and eternally risky is to ignore obvious signs that the return of Messiah Jesus is drawing so very near.

Thus, the answer to the question is also, No. These amazing 20th & 21st century prophetic arks (end-time indicators) are anything but ordinary. When compared to the 18 centuries before (the 1st century A.D. was exceptionally uncommon) they are as unusual as it gets.

Things Are Different Now!

Considering Bible prophecy and its dramatic fulfillment, I don’t get how anyone could trivialize let alone ignore the notable end-times implications of events in the last 100 years. Our grandparents, parents, we and our children have seen or read about 20th & 21st century occurrences unprecedented in the annals of the human race.

Beginning with the First World War ever. One that, before it was even over, saw the mighty British Empire endorse Lord Balfour’s declaration that the Jews had a right to return to Israel, because it was their land to begin with. Then another World War, vastly more destructive than the first. Which, if it hadn’t (through God’s sovereignty) ended when it did, would have resulted in the success of Hitler’s diabolically malicious plan to exterminate the Jews. Then the rise of the United States to superpower status. A nation originally founded on Biblical Judaic/Christian principles, predicated on and patterned after the nation of Israel—God’s chosen and special possession. Then only three years after World War II, the miraculous rebirth of Israel as a sovereign nation, just like the Bible predicted long ago. Followed by a remarkable return to Israel of Jews from all over the earth.

Also the establishment of a United Nations; a European Union; a Russian-led hub of socialist countries; an Arab League of over 50 Muslim nations; the awakening of a sleeping giant (China—kings of the East); and two rogue-nation governments (Iran and North Korea) that threaten world security like no others. All of which have been inordinately focused for decades on the tiny nation of Israel … mostly in a negative way. With this spotlight increasing exponentially to the point where you can hardly pick up a newspaper or click online without more news of what’s happening in the Middle East, particularly in, around, and to Israel.

(See Eye of Prophecy article, Global Obsession with Israel … In Biblical Proportions! Posted 1-6-18)

ALL of these extraordinary new developments intricately tie in with old Bible prophecies. The old has become new again. It is more relevant now than ever before. It is an unusual interruption of business as usual. To include the amazing advancement of transportation, communication, and knowledge that has reduced the Global community to the size of the town where you live.

(See Eye of Prophecy article, The Seal of Approval, Posted 11-15-14)

Things are certainly not the same as they were before the 20th century, especially after Israel’s rebirth as a sovereign nation that set the last day’s wheels in motion. These dramatic developments are not only a fulfillment of Bible prophecy, they are also sovereignly (God’s plan) suggestive of Israel’s original birth as a nation, then their fall from God’s favor and protection when they abandoned the Lord. And now the beginning of Israel’s final restoration and redemption.

To become a nation the Jews had to fight against countries that were Israel’s immediate neighbors—in Joshua’s time, during the time of the judges, and finally when the twelve tribes were united under King David with Jerusalem as the eternal capital of Israel. Nations like Egypt, Moab, Ammon, Edom, Philistia, and others that Israel defeated in war. And peace treaties reached with a few nations either after Israel defeated them or instead of war.

However, when the Lord disciplined Israel beginning some two hundred years after the split of the twelve tribes when King Solomon died, he used powerful Gentile nations far away from Israel. Nations whose people had strange (wicked) practices and spoke strange languages as indicated in the Old Testament. Countries whose people were not descended from Lot or Ishmael or Esau nor who were Arabs. Nations like Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and finally Rome.

Remarkably, this paradigm resurfaced after Israel was reborn as a nation in 1948. The day after statehood was declared, Israel was attacked by modern-day versions (representations) of those enemy nations adjacent to Israel before the Jews were conquered by far away nations beginning in 722 B.C. (Assyria), then Babylon in 586 B.C., then under rule of Persia, Greece, and Rome for hundreds of years.

These nearby 20th & 21st century nations are Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and (to a lesser extent) Iraq. Against all odds, Israel defeated her Arab neighbors in the 1948 War of Independence. Likewise in the Suez War of 1956, the Six-Day War of 1967, and finally the Yom Kippur War of 1973.

The Arabs of these nations, including Palestinians living in Israel, realize they cannot defeat the Jews in a conventional war. Thus, they have resorted to terrorism, BDS, writing their own (false) history of the Middle East, and persuading the UN to pass (false, unjustified) resolutions against Israel.

(Height of Ignorance, Not Only Flying in the Face of God, But Boycott of Israeli Businesses Hurt Many Palestinians Employed By These Businesses)

(Good For You, New York!)

But now Israel has a peace treaty with Egypt and Jordan, and an implied understanding with Lebanon (it is the terrorist group Hezbollah who threatens Israel, not necessarily Lebanon itself). Iraq is no longer a viable threat because of its civil war, nor is Syria for the same reason.

In terms of national military threats, who are Israel’s main enemies now?

General Answer: Nations much further away from Israel, just like when the Assyrians, Babylonians, and Romans conquered Israel and dispersed the Jews. With Persia and Greece exercising control over the exiled Jews.

In the end times, things would be reversed between Israel and her enemies. God would use Israel (directly and indirectly) as a source of punishment for nations that would seek to once again destroy Israel. Rather than the Lord using those nations to punish Israel.

Which leads us to the more specific answer of who are Israel’s main enemies today?

Specific Answer: Russia, Iran, and Turkey, three non-Arab countries who will constitute, by far, the largest and most powerful components of the Gog/Magog coalition. Do you see this precedent and pattern?

In years past Russia, Iran, and Turkey have desired a dominant foothold in the Middle East nations surrounding Israel. And now all three have their wish. When the appointed time arrived, God would accommodate the warped wish of these nations, even to the extent of enticing them to march against Israel.

Said God to Ezekiel: “Son of man, turn and face Gog of the land of Magog … prophesy against him. Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord … I will turn you around and put hooks in your jaws to lead you out with your whole army…” (Ezekiel 38:2-4).

He also told Ezekiel that this would happen “in the distant future” (verse 8).

Does over 2,500 years qualify as the distant future? I certainly believe it does! That’s exactly what is transpiring before our 21st century eyes. Moreover, the global balloon full of war and rumors of war and threats and counter threats is far too full, not to burst in the near future. The chain of current events has been stretched so tight and so fast that there’s no way it can keep from snapping.

Revisiting Gog/Magog

In just the past two years or so there have been dramatic developments in the Middle East involving the three major nations that will comprise the Gog/Magog confederacy, Russia, Iran, and Turkey. As we’ve seen, the most recent is Iran’s first direct intrusion into Israel via the drone—a test of Israel’s resolve and a measure of Israel’s response. Also a demonstration that the Iranians not only intend to remain in Syria, but will continue to enlarge their surrogate sway over Lebanon (Hezbollah) and perhaps even a greater influence over Bashar Assad’s Syrian government than their partner in crime, Russia.

With a practical and predictable rule-of-engagement result: Israel dealt both Iran and Syria a devastating blow, inflicting massive damage to twelve military and weapons sites in Syria. Which has undoubtedly led to Iran’s realization (now or soon) that it cannot accomplish its treacherous boast of eliminating Israel from the face of the earth without Russia and (more reluctantly) without Turkey. That mindset is precisely what will lead to the formation of the Gog/Magog invasion of Israel in the near future—but after the Rapture.

In the past few weeks, Russia, Iran, and Turkey have bolstered their tenuous political, military, and diplomatic ties as a (terrible) trio, each nation with the other. Not all that long ago they were at each other’s throats. What originally brought them together?

Two-part answer: (1) ISIS … a common enemy. However, Turkey is known to have actually assisted ISIS, mainly because Turkey hates the Kurds based in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey much more than it fears ISIS. The Kurds have inflicted more damage on ISIS than all other freedom fighting groups in Syria battling both ISIS and Bashar Assad’s government troops.

(2) Syria’s Civil War. Russia and Iran have supported Assad’s troops, mostly with air support and missiles, respectively. Also, both nations have advisors and Special-Ops in Syria. Here again, President Erdogan of Turkey doesn’t like nor directly supports Bashar Assad; nevertheless, Erdogan is more than willing to overlook this animosity if Turkish relations with Iran and Russia are enhanced.

One huge advantage of Turkey cozying up to Russia and Iran: both of those countries extending carte blanch authority to and approval of Turkey’s latest incursion into Syria in the past two weeks to do battle with the Kurds. As a reminder or if you didn’t know, the United States supports the Kurds both militarily (air strikes and military advisors) and, to a lesser extent, politically.

It just may be the strangest, most complicated war (several wars into one) of all time. Even a simplified version of it is mind-boggling: A is fighting B who is fighting C who is fighting A … often wondering who they will be fighting today. All of them fighting D (ISIS). With the United States (and its allies) and Russia actually coordinating their bombing raids with each other!

With, however, fulfillment of Biblical prophecy an absolutely direct result. Which as alluded earlier: Russia, Iran, and Turkey cooperating not long after each was a staunch opponent of the other two.

Concerning Israel: Iran’s hatred of and overt animosity toward Israel is the most obvious. By establishing military bases in Syria and now attempting to build missile factories in Lebanon—through their puppet regime of Hezbollah—Iran is nearing the threshold of Israel’s northern border.

(“Come, they say, let’s wipe out Israel as a nation…” Psalm 83:4. The Modern Day Threat to Eliminate Israel Is Yet Another Fulfilled Biblical Prophecy)

Russia’s design for Israel is more subtle as currently demonstrated by its friendly approach toward Israel; nonetheless a shrewd scheme to take over the newly developed Israeli oil and gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea. (See Eye of Prophecy: Gog, Magog, and Leviathan posted 1-3-15).

Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin is clever. He understands this strategy of diplomacy will take him much further and more quickly than outright hostility toward Israel. Plus, he knows that the United States would instantly come to Israel’s aid should he (with or without Iran and Turkey) decide to do something about Israel now. Which is one reason the Gog/Magog attack won’t begin until after the Rapture—when millions taken from the United States will cripple America’s superpower status. That and the fact that Antichrist’s treaty with Israel will give the Jews a false sense of security; enticing Russia, Iran, and Turkey to take advantage of this peace treaty while Antichrist (Nero) is still forming and consolidating (forcing three nations … see Daniel 7:8) his powerful ten-nation coalition during the first half of the Tribulation.

Turkey is somewhere between Russia’s olive branch approach to Israel and Iran’s malicious motive to eliminate Israel altogether. Turkey’s President Erdogan loathes Israel; however, he, too, realizes the folly of taking on Israel alone. On the other hand, Turkey will jump at the opportunity to invade Israel, should Russia and Iran invite Turkey to join them.

At Putin’s incentive, three times in the recent past these three nations have convened to discuss and devise a partition type map of Syria, with the assumption that Assad will win the war against Syrian freedom fighters. Although a measure of agreement was reached to establish four demilitarized zones (no military operations), by and large these meetings have failed in their objectives. The latest was held in Sochi, Russia called, “A Congress of the Syrian People.” It failed miserably. Pending is another tripartite meeting called by Putin, with a date not yet specified. Ironically, it’s the failure of these resolution meetings that will keep Russia, Iran, and Turkey that much more entrenched in Syria.

(One of Several Recent Meetings Between Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu)

The signs of the times are mounting with incredible frequency and intensity. Here again is a list of twelve major indicators of the Omega Generation (the last generation that will lead directly to the Rapture, Tribulation, and Millennial Reign of Messiah Jesus) originally summarized in Part II of Eye of Prophecy articles, Look Up, Redemption is Near (posted July 2015):

  1. Rebirth of Israel as a Sovereign Nation, 1948
  2. Recapture of Jerusalem in the June, 1967 Six-Day War
  3. Jerusalem, a Heavy Burden to the Nations
  4. The 3rd Rebuilt Temple
  5. Israel’s Phenomenal Agricultural Accomplishments
  6. Modern-Day Alignment of Gog/Magog Nations against Israel
  7. National and Ethnic Wars in the 20th & 21st Centuries
  8. Amazing Increase of Natural Disasters
  9. Moral & Spiritual Decline & Intense Persecution of Christians
  10. False Messiahs & Prophets
  11. Unequaled Increase in Quantity and Speed of Transportation and Information
  12. Unprecedented Spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the World

Looking Back to 2016

The following excerpts are from one of several Eye of Prophecy articles about Gog/Magog, entitled: The Gog/Magog Countdown Has Begun! Posted 9-10-16. Since then, the terrible trio of Russia, Iran, and Turkey have tightened their ties and proliferated their presence in Syria that much more.

Russia and Iran

*Note: The first paragraph is an excerpt within the excerpts … from an earlier article, entitled. Beginning of the End, posted 3-5-16. As you read these excerpts (in italics) remember that they date back to 2016.

The two most powerful nations referenced in Ezekiel’s predictions are Russia, by clear inference, and Iran, by actual name. Once enemies by virtue of the Iranian’s (Persians) national adherence to Islam, directly opposed to Russia’s atheistic communism, Iran is now an ally of Russia. They have set aside their differences for the common cause of establishing a footing in the region, under the pretense of supporting Bashar Assad and his Syrian government. Russia’s main agenda is to take over the gas fields off the coast of Israel and newly discovered oil reserves in Israel. Iran’s objective is much less subtle. Their hatred of Jews and Israel has been repeatedly voiced by their leaders with genocidal threats to: Wipe Israel from the face of the earth.

To demonstrate how much stronger this unlikely alliance between Russia and Iran is getting: Less than a month ago, for the first time ever, Iran permitted a foreign nation’s (Russia, of course) fighter bombers and jets to take off from Iran’s Hamedan Air Base. If you’ve kept up with just a little of what’s happening in the Middle East, you’ll know that this military liaison between Russia and Iran pretentiously serves the purpose of striking ISIS targets in Syria. Because both Iran and Russia support the Syrian Government still led by Bashar Assad, they also bomb and strafe Syrian rebel militia fighting against Assad. These freedom fighters are supported by the United States and some Western nations. Although Iran subsequently restricted Russia’s use of the air field to refueling only, the sure fulfillment of the Gog/Magog prophecy will eventually lead to unhindered cooperation between these two nations. Their anti-God (of the Bible) and anti-Israel agenda will override any differences.

Turkey and Iran

In that same article, Beginning of the End, I also wrote about an improbable joint military exercise (war games) between primarily Saudi Arabia and Turkey that took place this past February, called Northern Thunder. It was meant to be a show of force directly against Syrian President Assad and indirectly against Iran, which supports and subsidizes Assad in Syria and Iran’s puppet regime Hezbollah in Lebanon.

…Just like Erdogan of Turkey and Putin of Russia have cozied themselves and their countries together; in just the past three weeks, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif (the same Iranian official who met with the P5 + 1 nations to seal the Iranian nuclear deal last year) met with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu. In a joint press conference, Zarif announced that Iran has every intention of resolving all remaining disputes with Turkey.

Emboldened by its sudden reconciliation with Russia and Iran, Turkey just a few days ago sent tanks and soldiers into Syria, to ostensibly strike at ISIS targets. However, as any of us who monitors the pulse of the Middle East knows: Turkey’s main interest was to attack the Kurds who seek their own independent state.

Turkey’s incursion into Syria and the Turks newfound affinity for the Russians pleases Iran to no end. In his Gatestone Institute article published August 26th, Burak Bekdil quotes Meira Svirsky at the Clarion Project: “Not only will Turkey have to digest that (Russian-Iranian-Syrian) line, it will have to join it, entering into a pact with Putin and the ayatollahs. Clearly this is where Erdogan has decided is the best place to pledge his allegiance.”

*Note: A current reminder that in just the past couple of weeks Turkey reentered Syria to intensify its war on the Kurds.

Russia and Turkey

Next, is the unimaginable reconciliation between Turkey and Russia? It was only last November that Turkey shot down a Russian warplane that allegedly strayed into Turkish airspace. The infuriated Russian President Vladimir Putin immediately leveled economic sanctions against Turkey, which cost the Turkish economy billions of dollars. The sabre rattling of the two nations against each other was heard around the world, to include absurd boasts by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Russia was no match for Turkish military power!

In the article, Beginning of the End (March, 2016) I made this observation:

Although diplomatic relations between Turkey (the third most prominent nation in this Gog/Magog confederation) and Russia are currently strained, that will change dramatically…. In the classic mode of “if your enemy is also my enemy,” Turkey will go all in with Russia and Iran if it means conquering Israel.

Since that article was posted, the strained relations between Russia and Turkey have, indeed, changed dramatically. This past July, (once again, this would have been the year 2016) Erdogan apologized for shooting down the Russian warplane; in August he flew to Russia, and shook hands with Putin as a prelude to normalizing diplomatic relations between the two (former) rivals. Subsequently, they have set aside their differences to the point where the Russians not only didn’t oppose Turkey’s entrance into the Syrian civil war just a couple of weeks ago; they welcomed Turkey’s sudden and direct participation.

Things to Ponder

Essentially, we can dismiss the pretentious reasons that all three nations are establishing a foothold in Syria! Ultimately, it is not because Russia and Iran want to keep Assad in power or that Turkey wants to keep the Kurds from declaring an independent state in Syria and Iraq, next to the Turkish border.

Their ultimate goal: Israel. They all have Israel in their sights.

Which is the biggest (final) mistake they and the other nations joining Gog and Magog will ever make. For to do so is to make an enemy of the God of Israel.

“Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord: Gog, I am your enemy!” (Ezekiel 38:3).

“It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).

The Lord told Israel: The result of their refusal to enter the Promised Land because they didn’t trust the Lord to give them victory over the Canaanites, would be painful. Read with me what God said:

“Because your men explored the land for forty days, you must wander in the wilderness for forty years—a year for each day, suffering the consequences of your sins. Then you will discover what it is like to have me for an enemy” (Numbers 14:34)

If the Lord (temporarily) made his own people an enemy, how severely will he deal with those nations who deny and defy him and who seek Israel’s destruction?

“O Lord, pay back our neighbors seven times for the scorn they have hurled at you. Then we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will thank you forever and ever, praising your greatness from generation to generation” (Psalm 79:12-13).

Scripture’s repeated predictions that Israel would be reestablished as a sovereign nation—with Jerusalem as its capital and return of exiled Jews to Israel—has taken place in our generation. And they have returned to stay, as exemplified in the following passage:

Nearly all of the Old Testament prophetic books (Isaiah through Malachi) contain warnings of Israel’s punishment and also God’s wrath against godless Gentile nations, especially those that participated in or condoned Israel’s destruction. Correlating secular history (dates) with Biblical history, one phenomenon you’ll find is that, for the most part, once a prophet first forecasted what would happen to Israel if they didn’t return to the Lord their God, the event normally occurred within 100 years. As the time of punishment (whether Assyria’s or Babylon’s conquest of Israel and Judah, respectively … or other events) drew closer, God’s warnings through his prophets increased in frequency and descriptive severity. In principle and pattern, that’s exactly what’s happening in and around Israel in our generation.

The Balfour Declaration of 1917, followed by Israel’s rebirth in 1947-48, then Israel’s liberation of Jerusalem in 1967 (when Gentile domination of Israel ended) have all occurred within a 100, 70, and 50-year generational time span.

The big difference, of course, is that the current events will lead to a totally different result. In our time, “…the Lord will make you (Israel) the head and not the tail, and you will always (from now on) be on top and never at the bottom” (Deuteronomy 28:13, parenthesis mine).

Although there are other indicators of the last days, the frenzied pace of the Gog/Magog formation in which the three most prominent nations of that confederacy have a foothold right next to Israel, can only mean that it’s a matter of just a short time before Russia, Iran, and Turkey cooperatively conspire to invade Israel. Which, in turn, means that the Rapture is at hand like never before!

Moses & Elijah vs. Antichrist & The False Prophet


The Powerful Prophecies & Miracles of the Bible

The Bible is an amazing book. And why wouldn’t it be. Through God’s sovereign inspiration and preservation, the Bible is sixty-six books written over some 1,300 years, made into one.

Scripture reveals to us the true and living God who or whose angels appeared and spoke directly to prophets, priests, scribes, kings, apostles, and ordinary people like Gideon (Old Testament) and Mary (New Testament) who went on to do extraordinary things. Everything we need to know about creation; the fall of mankind; everlasting life through redemption that reconciles men and women back to their Creator; and the Messiah who would purchase that salvation through the greatest sacrifice ever made by the highest price ever paid.

It is a historical book containing numerous details about people, places, and events. It is a timeless living book that imparts universal truth. It is a prophetic book that presents hundreds of predictions that have already come to pass and others awaiting fulfillment. The God of the Bible unequivocally claims that he is the only God. There are no other gods, except those mankind has invented. He backs up this claim with mighty miracles, the greatest of which is the resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ, from the grave.

Has anyone ever taken the time to actually count the number of miracles in the Bible? I suppose someone has; there isn’t much that hasn’t been done in this mind-boggling age of pursuit and publication of fact upon fact (knowledge, not necessarily wisdom). Perhaps someday I’ll take on that task and count them. But, rest assured, there are dozens, if not hundreds. And these are just the ones recorded for us.

Regarding Jesus alone, we read: “The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name” (John 20:30-31).

For sake of illustration, let’s say there were only ten recorded miracles in Scripture … perhaps the ten plagues of the Exodus. Armed with only those ten, I would dare any man-made religion (including Islam) to list ten miracles performed by the god or prophets of that religion. Likewise, show me ten (or five or two) prophecies that have come to pass. Actually, all other “sacred texts” are virtually devoid of miracles and prophecies.

As an introduction to this week’s article on two of the greatest prophets portrayed in Scripture and the exceptional evidence to confirm that they will engage Antichrist and his false prophet in an epic struggle during the Tribulation, we’re going to begin with one of the many astounding miracles recorded in the Bible. In fact, these two prophets are part of the miracle itself, long after they left the earth. Perhaps a better way to describe this scene is to say that there were two miracles happening at the same time.

The Powerful Pre-Resurrection Glorification of Messiah Jesus

Not long after Jesus plainly told his disciples that it would be necessary for him (just like another prophet had written hundreds of years earlier … Isaiah 53) to “…suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law … be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead” (Matthew 16:21), we read:

“Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus.

“Peter exclaimed, ‘Lord, it’s wonderful for us to be here! If you want, I’ll make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’

“But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.’ The disciples were terrified and fell face down on the ground.

“Then Jesus came over and touched them, ‘Get up,’ he said. ‘Don’t be afraid.’ And when they looked up, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus” (Matthew 17:1-7).

Later, Peter wrote about this incredible scene in which they witnessed first-hand a preview of Jesus’ glorious eternal imperishable body, even before Jesus arose from the dead. A spiritual body (I Corinthians 15) that also will be given to believers at the miraculous resurrection of the dead in Christ and equally amazing transfiguration of believers alive at the Rapture.

(See Eye of Prophecy articles: Spiritual Bodies … A Contradiction of Terms? Part I & II. Posted 9-26 & 10-3-15. Also: The Tremendous Transfiguration of Believers. Posted 6-23-16. And based on Daniel 7:13-14: Messiah’s Ascension & Coronation … Seen Long Before It Happened. Published 5-27-17).

Said the Jewish Apostle Peter:

“For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, ‘This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.’ We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain” (II Peter 1:16-18).

In Luke’s account of this magnificent scene, he writes, “Suddenly, two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus. They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem” (Luke 9:30-31, italics for emphasis).

Not until Jesus left the earth and returned to heaven would the Kingdom of Heaven arrive; spiritually signified and sealed by the Holy Spirit who would now indwell the hearts of believers on the earth. Not until three foundational things took place would the Kingdom of God be established physically on the earth: (1) World-wide spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (2) Final return of exiled Jews from the four-corners of the earth to once again possess the Promised Land of Israel. (3) God’s second and final judgment of evil to prepare the way for Messiah’s Kingdom on earth.

Moses & Elijah Preparing the Way for Messiah’s Return

Moses and Elijah will be part of that end-times preparation, as the two mighty prophets (witnesses) so dramatically described in Revelation Chapter 11. Just as Christ and Antichrist will return in the same bodies in which they left the earth, so would Moses and Elijah … twice. The first time on the Mount of Transfiguration, the second time on Mount Zion (Jerusalem).

Their presence will be a direct affront and threat to Antichrist Nero and the False Prophet, who will do most of the speaking for and perform wonders on behalf of Antichrist (Revelation 13). Next to the final showdown between Messiah Jesus and the combined armies of Antichrist and kings of the east at Armageddon, the clash of Moses and Elijah with Nero and the False Prophet will be the most titanic struggle ever witnessed. It will affect hundreds of millions on Planet Earth for 3 ½ years.

Although I wrote extensively about these two prophets in an Eye of Prophecy trilogy, The Two Witnesses Part I, II, III (posted in June, 2014), those articles focused primarily on extensive evidence in the Old Testament to demonstrate convincingly that the two witnesses of Revelation 11 are, in fact, Moses and Elijah. Among other details, those articles explained how and why both prophets appeared in their earthly bodies on the Mount of Transfiguration, and will so again during the Tribulation.

In this week’s article, we’ll review some of that material in summary fashion; however, our main focus will be the monumental impact that these two mighty prophets will have on Antichrist and the False Prophet, and also on the world at large.

With, however, a special emphasis on their respective roles during the Tribulation that you may not have considered, even if you’re quite familiar with their Old Testament biography. To wit: Moses will be God’s chief challenger to Antichrist. Elijah the key opponent of the False Prophet.

It was Moses who confronted the Gentile ruler Pharaoh. As we will see, Pharaoh is a generic prototype of Antichrist (Nero).

Pharaoh was the most renowned monarch of the mightiest nation on earth at the time. Antichrist Nero—by means of his amazing reappearance from a 2000-year old grave (Revelation 17:7-8 and Revelation 13:3-4)—will be the most revered and feared leader of the Tribulation period. To even exceed his popularity (especially with the common Roman citizen) during his 14-year reign as Caesar … 54 – 68 A.D.

It was Elijah who challenged the Jewish King Ahab, and exposed the prophets of Baal for what they were … false prophets.

The Lord prepared both Moses and Elijah for their colossal conflict with the political and religious forces of evil, respectively, by means of a miracle. Moses at the burning bush; Elijah fed and kept from starvation (near the end of a 3 ½ year devastating drought and famine in Israel) by ravens!

After we look at a summary of Moses vs. Pharaoh and at Elijah vs. the false prophets, we’ll focus on the amazing scene in Revelation 11, in which these two prophets will perform the same kind of miracles as they did long ago.

Since Moses came along before Elijah, let’s begin with him.

Moses vs. Pharaoh

Most Christians, Jew and Gentile alike, and non-Messianic Jews are conversant with the Biblical account of Passover and deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt. I would also venture to say that billions of people have at least heard of the Exodus and God’s powerful miracles before, during, and after the Exodus. Even if some have never actually read the book of Exodus (and other books of the Bible that mention the Exodus …mostly the Psalms), many in the 20th & 21st centuries have seen or at least heard about the epic movie, The Ten Commandments.

First, Moses (and Aaron) had to assure their own people that God had truly sent them to deliver the Israelites from 400 years of Egyptian bondage.

“Aaron told them everything the Lord had told Moses, and Moses performed the miraculous signs as they watched. Then the people of Israel were convinced that the Lord had sent Moses and Aaron. When they heard that the Lord was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshipped.

“After this presentation to Israel’s leaders, Moses and Aaron went and spoke to Pharaoh. They told him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Let my people go…’

‘Is that so?’ retorted Pharaoh. ‘And who is the Lord? Why should I listen to him and let Israel go? I don’t know the Lord, and I will not let Israel go’” (Exodus 4:30-31 & 5:1-2).

As we say nowadays: “Famous last words!”

The next thing Pharaoh and all of Egypt knew, they had blood instead of water to drink.

“Then all the Egyptians dug along the riverbank to find drinking water, for they couldn’t drink the water of the Nile. Seven days passed from the time the Lord struck the Nile” (Exodus 7:24-25).

Pharaoh’s heart grew harder with each successive plague. Yet, several times he begged Moses to take away the plagues. His pleas began with the second plague. Already he had begun to realize that, this Lord he didn’t know just might be the true and living God.

“Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and begged, ‘Plead with the Lord to take the frogs away from me and my people. I will let your people go, so they can offer sacrifices to the Lord” (Exodus 8:8).

After the seventh plague of destructive lightning and hail, here’s what Pharaoh (Ramses II) said:

“…This time I have sinned. The Lord is the righteous one, and my people and I are wrong. Please beg the Lord to end this terrifying thunder and hail. We’ve had enough. I will let you go; you don’t need to stay any longer” (Exodus 9:27-28).

We know that Pharaoh reneged again on his promise. It would take a calamity of locusts and total darkness and the most devastating of all—death of Egypt’s firstborn sons—for Pharaoh to finally acknowledge the universal sovereignty of the true and living God.

After God struck down the oldest male child of all Egyptian families, including Pharaoh’s son, Pharaoh knew beyond all doubt that the God of Israel is God … the Lord of heaven and earth. He even called God by name … the LORD. Whenever you see LORD capitalized in Scripture, it is identifying the name God first disclosed to Moses at the burning bush. Yahweh! (I AM). Initially, God called himself, The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Listen to Pharaoh as he commands the Israelites (though desperate, he was still an arrogant autocrat) to leave after the greatest disaster that had ever befallen Egypt:

“Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron during the night. ‘Get out!’ he ordered. ‘Leave my people—and take the rest of the Israelites with you! Go and worship the LORD as you have requested. Take your flocks and herds, as you said, and be gone. Go, but bless me as you leave.’ All of the Egyptians urged the people of Israel to get out of the land as quickly as possible, for they thought, ‘We will all die!’” (Exodus 12:31-33).

Seriously? This powerful, proud ruler actually asked Moses to bless him before leaving!

Then we read: “That night the people left Rameses and started for Succoth. There were about 600,000 men, plus all the women and children” (Exodus 12:37, italics for emphasis). *Note: Many Biblical historians place the total number of Israelites in the vicinity of 2 million.

I italicized Rameses in the above passage for a reason. It is first mentioned in the first chapter of Exodus:

“So the Egyptians made the Israelites their slaves. They appointed brutal slave drivers over them, hoping to wear them down with crushing labor. They forced them to build the cities of Pithom and Rameses as supply centers for the king” (Exodus 1:11).

Rameses was a name of some of the Pharaohs and a city built to honor that name.

Pharaoh Ramesses II (also spelled Rameses and Ramses)

Many historians and archeologists consider Ramses II one of the most powerful, if not the greatest Pharaoh of all. In fact, he was known as Ramses the Great. Born in 1303 B.C. he lived to be ninety years old. He ruled as Pharaoh from 1279 B.C. to his death in 1213 B.C. However, his father Seti appointed him Prince Regent while Ramses was still in his teens, meaning that he probably ruled with Seti for a few years.

Ramses II is one of, if not the most, remembered Pharaohs, especially in the 20th & 21st centuries. Whether you realized or recall it, you’ve probably seen a picture of his mummified remains or the colossal statue he had built for himself. Or perhaps you recognize the name of his favorite and most famous consort, Nefretiri.

(Sculptured Statue of Ramses II)

(Remarkably Well-Preserved Remains of Ramses II)

Other than the Pyramids and Great Sphinx of Egypt—erected hundreds of years before his time—Ramses II is considered to be the most prolific builder, unprecedented in Egyptian history. Throughout his reign, he was worshipped as the god above all gods … on equal footing with the chief Egyptian sun-god, Ra.

Many historians believe there is more evidence than not to select Ramses II as the most popular (historically accurate) candidate for the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Although there are two possible historical time-lines of the Exodus, most scholars (including me) place it at or very close to the year 1280 B.C. That would have been the very beginning of Ramses II’s reign as Pharaoh, or perhaps in the last couple of years when he was the Prince Regent.

The blockbuster movie The Ten Commandments was based heavily on the book of Exodus and also books by Dorothy Clarke Wilson and J.H. Ingraham. Producer and director Cecil B. De Mille chose Ramses II as the Exodus Pharaoh, which tracks with the preponderance of the historical evidence and time-line. For the most part, his classic film is an accurate portrayal of the book of Exodus … factually and sequentially. His imaginative pictorial splitting of the Red Sea and the finger of God imbedding the Ten Commandments in stone are reliable reproductions of the actual text in Exodus.

The fulfillment of prophecy as recorded both in the Bible and secular history plus the absolute truths of Scripture demonstrate that God, in his ultimate sovereignty, providentially controls (allows or disallows or actually causes) the rise and fall of rulers and nations.

For example: “It is God alone who judges; he decides who will rise and who will fall” (Psalm 75:7).

In fact, the first Pharaoh encountered by the Jews was most favorable toward them, complements of the Lord giving Pharaoh two dreams that eventually led to the very survival of Egypt and Jacob’s family. You remember the story of Joseph! By the time we get to the Exodus, the current Pharaoh (Ramses II) had forgotten all about Egyptian history, i.e. God’s divine rescue (through a Jew … Joseph) of Egypt and surrounding nations from a devastating seven-year famine.

I believe there are at least three reasons why God allowed his people to remain in Egypt for so long. One reason he gave to Abraham: to give the Canaanites plenty of time to repent—which, of course, they didn’t. Another reason was to allow the Israelites to grow in great numbers to prepare them for nationhood. Third: to wait until it was (God’s) time for the greatest Pharaoh of all to assume the throne; for the express purpose of God displaying his stupendous power to prove that he alone is God. The Lord wouldn’t do this while some weak, short-tenured, soon to be forgotten ruler was in place.

In case you’re wondering if God would refer to some rulers that way, here’s what God told Isaiah to tell King Ahaz of Judah: “Tell him to stop worrying. Tell him he doesn’t need to fear the fierce anger of those two burned-out embers, King Rezin of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah” (Isaiah 7:4, italics for emphasis).

Elijah vs. Baal’s False Prophets

Moses confronted Pharaoh, a great Gentile ruler of his or any time, in order to deliver God’s people from a pagan nation.

On the other hand, God used Elijah to deliver the Jews from themselves … from worship of false gods, the most conspicuous of which was Baal.

Scripture’s introduction of Elijah is swift and succinct, just as Elijah himself was often abrupt and boldly to the point, particularly when facing Israel’s (Northern Kingdom) wicked King Ahab.

“Now Elijah, who was from Tishbe in Gilead, told King Ahab, ‘As surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives—the God I serve—there will be no dew or rain during the next few years until I give the word!’” (I Kings 17:1).

Then we read:

“Later on, in the third year of the drought, the Lord said to Elijah, ‘Go and present yourself to King Ahab. Tell him I will soon send rain!’ So Elijah went to appear before Ahab. Meanwhile, the famine had become very severe in Samaria (capital of the Northern Kingdom)” (I King 18:1-2, parenthesis mine).

However, before the Lord would end what was the worst drought in Israel’s history (after they became a nation), the Jews would first need to abandon their despicable worship of Baal and turn back to God.

What follows is an event almost as well-known as the Exodus. Time/space doesn’t permit a complete recitation of the episode. You may recall that the 450 prophets of Baal tried all day long to persuade their (pathetic) god to meet Elijah’s challenge and bring down fire from heaven to burn their offerings. For purpose of this week’s article and the comparison between Elijah’s classic confrontation with the false prophets of Baal and his epic battle with the False Prophet of the Tribulation, we’ll go directly to Elijah’s turn in this contest; whereby, he exposed the fraudulent prophets and their futile, non-existent god of fertility and harvest.

(Worship of Baal, Included the Depraved Practice of Child Sacrifice)

Let’s read Elijah’s powerful prayer and God’s astounding answer. First, as a reminder, Elijah daringly raised the stakes by drenching the animal sacrifice, the wood on which it was placed, and even a trench around the altar with four large jars of water … a total of three times! Each jar was equivalent in those times to 25-30 gallons of water.

“At the usual time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, ‘O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. O Lord, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.’

“Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench!” (I Kings 18:36-38).

Do you remember what the people said and did when they saw this magnificent miracle?

“And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, ‘The Lord—he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!’” (Verse 39).

We know that the prophets of Baal weren’t among the Israelites who stunningly returned to the Lord that day. Because the people seized the false prophets, and Elijah proceeded to execute them. Being a fake prophet was a capital offense under the Mosaic Law. False prophets, corrupt priests, and wicked kings would lead directly to the downfall of Israel and then Judah.

There is no greater source of evil in the world, even today, than perversion of God’s truth … the truth that leads to redemption and eternal life. False religions—including cults, evolution, communism, and fascism which are man-made belief systems—have led more people to hell in the proverbial handbasket than we can possibly fathom. Which is exactly what the False Prophet will attempt to do by presenting and promoting his boss, the Antichrist, as a (the) messiah. By directly challenging their hero, the False Prophet, Elijah will help convince some unbelieving Jews to turn to the true Messiah during the Tribulation.

Incidentally, Mount Carmel (where this spectacular incident took place) wasn’t the only time Elijah brought down fire from heaven. See II Kings, Chapter 1.

If you didn’t know, or as a reminder if you did know, it is Elijah whom the Jews ardently anticipate will reappear to pave the way for what they believe will be Messiah’s first arrival on earth. (See Matthew 17:10-13—the Transfiguration chapter—where Jesus clarifies that it was actually John the Baptist who prepared the people for Messiah’s first arrival).

As opposed to his Second Coming, which is precisely what Malachi is referring to.

(The Day of the Lord Hasn’t Begun Yet, But It Will Soon!)

Now let’s fast forward to the Tribulation, which will be immediately preceded by the imminent Rapture of believers from this earth. We’ll see how precisely the two prophets of Revelation correspond to Moses’ and Elijah’s fabulous feats of long ago.

The Two Tribulation Prophets (Witnesses)

Instead of the New Living Translation, from which I quote most often, let’s read the amazing account of these two prophets from the New American Standard Bible.

“And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for twelve hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth” (Revelation 11:3-4).

*Note: Once again I would encourage you to read the trilogy of articles, The Two Witnesses, mentioned earlier. In those articles, you’ll find extensive Scriptural documentation to persuasively match Moses and Elijah to the two prophets of Revelation, including the fact that they stood before the Lord of the earth during their era.

Moses specialized in plagues; Elijah’s sphere was that of stopping the rain, and bringing fire down from heaven! Only next time the enemy will be Antichrist (resembling Pharaoh) and the False Prophet, who I’m convinced will (unfortunately) be a Jew just as the false prophets of Baal were. (You may also want to read Eye of Prophecy articles, The False Prophet Parts I & II, posted 5-24 & 5-31-14).

Continuing in Revelation 11:

“And if anyone wants to harm them, fire flows out of their mouth and devours their enemies; so if anyone wants to harm them, he must be killed in this way. These have the power to shut up the sky, so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying; and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with every plague, as often as they desire.

“When they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will make war with them, and overcome them and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified” (Revelation 11:5-8).

*Note: Rather than fire coming directly from the mouth of Elijah (and perhaps Moses), the imagery here is similar to the sword in the mouth of Messiah when he returns to earth for the final time and strikes down the massive military coalition at Armageddon—Revelation 19.

The fire is literal, but it will come down from heaven when Elijah speaks the word. Also, Sodom and Egypt represent Jerusalem, signifying and reinforcing the fact that some of the Jews in Israel and Jerusalem have followed Antichrist, and also the Gentiles who have taken over the outer court of the Temple—Rev. 11:2).


“Those (some, a cross-section) from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them and celebrate; and they will send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth” (Verses 9-10, parenthesis mine).

That emphatically underscores just how much the entire world has been traumatically affected by this epic battle of Antichrist Nero & the False Prophet vs. Moses and Elijah. Can you imagine people from all over the world clapping and cheering and probably dancing in the streets over the death of these two mighty men of God? Let alone giving gifts to each other!

Their brief ecstasy turns to serious shock.

“But after three and a half days, the breath of life from God came into them, and they stood on their feet; and great fear fell upon those who were watching. And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, ‘Come up here.’ Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them” (Revelation 11:11-12).


Moses and Elijah will work in tandem as the ultimate dynamic duo! Yet, as alluded earlier, the plagues including turning rivers into blood will most likely be from Moses. Drought and fire from heaven will come through Elijah.

Moses will be to the Antichrist what he was to Pharaoh. Ramses II was the greatest Pharaoh; he ruled in the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egyptian kings. Nero was the fifth and final Caesar in the first dynasty of Roman emperors, considered by many to be the most glorious of the Roman Empire.

Elijah will be to the False Prophet what he was to the false prophets of Baal.

In addition to the spectacular seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments; for at least 3 ½ years, the Gentile nations will be subjected to awesome plagues and judgments at the hand of Moses. And unbelieving Jews will once again see God’s power over a false prophet as God’s true prophet Elijah rains down fire from heaven by merely speaking the word. The obvious implication in Revelation 11 is that this fire will greatly exceed the fire that the False Prophet is allowed to bring out of nowhere (Rev. 13).

Through the testimony of Moses and Elijah backed up by mighty miracles, I’m convinced that many Gentiles and Jews will be redeemed by trusting in Messiah Jesus during the Tribulation. It will be New Covenant redemption based in principle and pattern on the physical deliverance of God’s people in the Moses-led Exodus. And spiritual revival akin to the Jews returning to God after Elijah’s powerful victory over the false prophets of Israel.

Until God’s specific purpose and time for Moses and Elijah ends during the Tribulation, they will be untouchable. Just like God protected them from what could have been a swift death for Moses at the hands of Pharaoh and Elijah at the orders of Ahab and his false prophets, who outnumbered Elijah, 450 to 1. (There were also another 400 prophets of Asherah present, whom Jezebel had recruited.) Yet, the odds were all on Elijah’s side. With God, one man or woman is a majority. The false prophets didn’t stand a chance!

In Eye of Prophecy article, Major Earthquake in Israel … When & Where It Will Strike (posted 11-25-17), I began one section with: Ten Intriguing Observations of the Earthquake and the Two Witnesses.

Here is an excerpt from that article that lists points 3 and 4 (in italics):

(3) Revelation Chapter 11 begins with an (interlude) introduction to the two witnesses; however, it also chronologically continues the set of trumpet judgments ending with the 7th trumpet. Because the two witnesses are killed after 3 ½ years of their time on earth and this occurs between the 6th and 7th trumpet judgments, I believe we can determine what part of the Great Tribulation during which they testify.

(4) I would encourage you to read Eye of Prophecy article, Stunning Catastrophes of the Tribulation / Their Timing and Purpose, recently posted on 11-4-17. As explained in that article: Based on the chronological sequence and evidence of all twenty-one judgments (actually twenty plagues as the 5th seal depicts slain tribulation saints, not a judgment as such) in Revelation, we can accurately estimate the approximate time duration of or gap between the judgments. The projected time between a preceding and successive judgment will be 4-5 months. Because the two witnesses are killed (and come back to life 3 ½ days later) between the 6th and 7th trumpet judgments, that would place their time of death at 48-50 months into the tribulation. They would have begun their mission 3 ½ years earlier (42 months) or about 6-8 months after the tribulation begins. Which, in turn, would be the same time-frame as the 2nd to 3rd Seal judgements (Horses of the Apocalypse).

An interesting side note: Moses did battle with the Gentile ruler Pharaoh about 400 years before Elijah took on the Jewish King Ahab and the false prophets of Israel. Then another 400 years or so between Elijah and Zechariah’s vision of two lampstands … the two prophets who stand before the Lord of all the earth. There are several 400-year epics in Biblical and secular history that are integral intervals in God’s magnificent plan for the human race. For the four most prominent, including the last days of the current 400-year era, please see Eye of Prophecy article, Countdown to Armageddon … End of the Fourth 400-Year Era. Posted 7-29-17.

Things to Ponder

Messiah Jesus is the Second Person of the majestic Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Thus, Jesus is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end (Revelation 1:8 & 17). He is the express image of God in human form, fully God and fully man (Colossians 1:15). He is the living Word of God (John 1:1). He is the light of the world (John 8:12). He is the resurrection and the (eternal) life (John 11:25). He is truth itself and the only way to the Father (John 14:6).

It’s all about Jesus.

During the Tribulation, there will be 144,000 dynamic Jewish witnesses to proclaim so great a salvation purchased for the human race by Jesus Christ, to those who believe and receive him as their personal Savior. (Please refer to Eye of Prophecy articles, One Hundred Forty-Four Thousand Messianic Jews Part I & II … posted 4-23 & 4-30-16).

Let’s also remember two of God’s mighty servants, Moses and Elijah, whose earthly bodies the Lord has kept preserved in heaven. First to appear with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Then to reappear in those same bodies during the seven-year Tribulation. For the express purpose of fighting the good fight of faith; demonstrating to the entire world that the incomparable power and authority of Messiah Jesus far exceeds and will ultimately prevail over Satan, Antichrist, and the False Prophet.

When the angel blew the 7th Trumpet which immediately follows the death and resurrection of Moses and Elijah in Jerusalem, it signaled the last of the very last days. At the sound of that trumpet, the host of heaven shouted:

“…The world has now become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever … We give thanks to you, Lord God, the Almighty, the one who is and who always was, for now you have assumed your great power and have begun to reign … It is time to destroy all who have caused destruction on the earth” (Revelation 11:15-18).

Following that will be seven incredibly powerful bowl judgments that target Antichrist, the False Prophet, and their unrepentant followers. With Messiah completing at Armageddon what Moses and Elijah began in Jerusalem by preparing the way of the Lord.

“He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!

“Amen! Come Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).

Armageddon & Messiah’s Return … An Amazing Sequence of Events


Final Battle of the Ages


At face value, quite an ordinary term composed of two Hebrew nouns; one a thing, and the other a place. It is nothing more than a hill (Hebrew word Har) in a valley of Israel—Megiddo. Har Magedon … Armageddon.

Yet, such a powerful word picture that has captured the attention of people from every nation, race, and language … believers and unbelievers alike. So much so that many think of it exclusively as an event, with little thought to Armageddon as a place (in Israel). Or realize that more people on earth will have already died—from the man-made carnage of war and murder, and by God’s wrath poured out in the 6th & 7th seal, the seven trumpet, and seven bowl judgments– before Armageddon takes place!

What comes to mind when you think, hear, read, or say Armageddon?

Total Destruction? End of the Age? Apocalypse? World War III? Judgment Day?

Or: Final Battle of Good vs. Evil; God vs. Satan; Christ vs. Antichrist.

Books and articles have been written about Armageddon. Movies made of it. Sermons preached on it. Songs composed around it. Many people have used the term in normal conversation, particularly during World War I and even more so during World War II. And later during the perilous Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union, which on several occasions could have erupted in global conflict. Both World Wars were compared to or even considered to be Armageddon in the making. Especially WWII … exponentially more horrific than WWI (the War to End All Wars) with over four times the loss of life. Yet the death and destruction during the Great Tribulation will make WWII look like a skirmish with only a few casualties.

(See Eye of Prophecy article, Shocking Statistics of the Great Tribulation, posted 6-6-15).

Many people equate Armageddon to the entire Tribulation period. In this week’s article, you’ll see that it actually occurs in a 30-day period as and after the full seven years of the Tribulation ends. It is not the war (or wars) fought between nations that are depicted primarily in the first four Seal judgments, commonly called the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Rather, it is the final battle between Messiah and the (surviving) nations and kings on earth, led by Antichrist.

Just before Armageddon, the ten-nation confederation of Antichrist Nero will be opposed by the Kings of the East (China and most likely Japan, North Korea, Indonesia). Over 500 hundred years before the book of Revelation was written, the prophet Daniel was the first to mention this imposing threat to Antichrist.

Antichrist—who is Nero, as extensively documented in my book Out of the Abyss and several Eye of Prophecy articles in the category of Antichrist—will be powerful, but not a world dictator. He will be opposed by several nations and leaders on earth who have not yielded to him.

As depicted in Scripture, they are the:

King of the South & Kings of the East

“Then at the time of the end, the king of the south will attack the king of the north (Antichrist). The king of the north will storm out with chariots, charioteers, and a vast navy. He will invade various lands and sweep through them like a flood. He will enter the glorious land of Israel, and many nations will fall, but Moab, Edom, and the best part of Ammon will escape. He will conquer many countries, and even Egypt will not escape. He will gain control over the gold, silver, and treasures of Egypt, and the Libyans and Ethiopians will be his servants.

“But then news from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in great anger to destroy and obliterate many. He will stop between the glorious holy mountain and the sea (valley of Megiddo) and will pitch his royal tents. But while he is there, his time will suddenly run out, and no one will help him” (Daniel 11:40-45, parenthesis mine).

Because the North African nations of Egypt, Libya, and Ethiopia are specifically named in this passage, it’s evident that they (and other African and Mid-east nations) will combine their forces to attack Antichrist and his coalition. The gist of this passage also conveys the idea that this “king of the south” will attack just a portion of Antichrist’s armies stationed in the area of the Mediterranean Sea. With the hope that the kings of the East (who undoubtedly have already threatened the ten-nation confederation of Antichrist) will join them.

But their attack is premature. The Asian kings (nations) don’t come to the aid of this southern alliance in time. Antichrist (king of the north) will respond by mobilizing his entire military including a “vast navy” and will crush the king of the south. During this campaign, Antichrist will prepare to launch an assault on Israel … “enter the glorious land”. Although the African nations will be defeated, Antichrist will not be completely victorious over Moab, Edom, and Ammon—parts of modern-day Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.

Just as Antichrist is celebrating this triumph over the audacious king of the south, news from the north and east will enrage him. How dare the kings of the east (Revelation 16) march on him?

This military opposition combined with the last three trumpet judgments (the trilogy of terrors) and the first five bowl judgments (directly exclusively at Antichrist and those who have taken his mark) will both alarm and infuriate Satan, Antichrist, and the False Prophet. To the extent that Satan’s demonic powers will be unleashed to form an alliance with the powerful nations of the East for the express purpose of making war on Messiah Jesus himself.

This massive military in the valley of Megiddo will undoubtedly be the largest ever assembled in all of history.

(A Portion of the Valley of Megiddo, Which is Part of the Jezreel Plain of Israel. I’ve Been There! Using Conservative Figures of Just the Main Expanse of Megiddo, It Is Some 280 Square Miles … Enough to Accommodate Millions of Soldiers Plus Armaments)

In fact: with the sixth bowl judgment God supernaturally drains the great Euphrates River to accommodate these eastern armies’ march against Nero and his ten-nation confederation. This is similar to the Gog/Magog attack on Israel early in the Tribulation period (primarily by Russia, Iran, and Turkey … see Ezekiel 38 & 39). God himself entices Gog/Magog to do what they had wanted to do for a long time—invade Israel. In order for God to display his mighty sovereign power over Israel’s enemies. “…Then all the nations will know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 38:16).

*Note: Although Ethiopia and Libya will be part of the Magog confederacy, it will be their armies which are supernaturally (with Israel not needing to fight at all) crushed by God. The civilians and soldiers left behind to guard their countries will be overrun by Antichrist later in the Tribulation (Daniel 11). He will gain complete control of their governments and economy (gold and silver).

The sixth bowl:

“Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great Euphrates River, and it dried up so that the kings from the east could march their armies toward the west without hindrance. And I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs leap from the mouths of the dragon (Satan), the beast (Antichrist Nero), and the false prophet. They are demonic spirits who work miracles and go out to all the rulers of the world to gather them for battle against the Lord on that great judgment day of God the Almighty…

“And the demonic spirits gathered all the rulers and their armies to a place with the Hebrew name Armageddon” (Revelation 16:10-14 & 16, parenthesis mine, italics in the text which is the English transliteration for Harmagedon).

This is a startling shift in the strategy of Satan, Antichrist, and the False Prophet; born out of increasing concern (bordering on fear) for two reasons: (1) the mounting challenge by primarily the kings of the east to Antichrist’s power base. (2) The increasingly severe and intolerable supernatural plagues of God’s bowl judgments directed specifically at Antichrist and his followers. By this time Nero will know beyond all doubt that Messiah Jesus would be soon returning, as the other end-time’s prophecies recorded in Scripture were being fulfilled before his very eyes.

Here is the fifth bowl judgment immediately preceding the drying up of the mighty Euphrates River which brings Satan, Nero, and their false prophet to the point where they’ve (almost) had enough; but not enough for their followers to repent, which is the main purpose for God’s Tribulation judgments.

Drastic action is required. Thus, this unholy trinity summons all the demonic powers of Satan and the underworld needed to turn the tide—beguiling the massive armies of the kings of the east to join forces with them. As we shall soon see, the kings of the east oblige Satan and Nero but not until Messiah actually returns to the earth.

The Progression of Events Leading to Armageddon … Beginning Half-Way Through the Tribulation

We’re going to examine that I believe is a Biblically sound scenario including passages quoted above, to show the startling sequence of events preceding Armageddon. To even demonstrate that the battle of Armageddon itself will take place AFTER the 42 month period of power and authority (1,260 days) given to Antichrist, which is the additional 30 days mentioned in the following passage:

“From the time the daily sacrifice is stopped and the sacrilegious object that causes desecration is set up to be worshipped, there will be 1,290 days” (Daniel 12:11).

Another way to read this verse: There will be 1,290 days between the time the daily sacrifice is stopped and the sacrilegious object is set up.

Which is contrary to the prevailing view that the object is erected when the treaty is broken … at the half way point of the seven-year Tribulation. Instead, Nero will profane the Temple just a very short time before he is defeated by Christ at Armageddon.

Right after Satan’s (and his demons) unearthly merging of Antichrist’s coalition with the mighty armies of the Asian countries, the 7th bowl is poured out by God’s angel. In terms of global destruction, it is the most powerful of all of God’s judgments. Later in today’s article we’ll look at the full scope of that enormous event. For now and for purpose of demonstrating that the actual seven years of the Great Tribulation will end (prior to the 30 day-period of time in which Christ will route Antichrist and his expanded confederacy in the valley of Megiddo), only the first verse of that final judgment will be quoted:

“Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air. And a mighty shout came from the throne in the Temple, saying, ‘It is finished!’” (Revelation 16:17).

What is finished? Answer: God’s specific judgments on “those who belong to this world” (Revelation 17:8). The only thing left is Armageddon itself.

(Jesus First Spoke These Words As He Was Dying on the Cross as The Lamb of God To Take Away the Sins of the World. The Second Time is When He Returns as the Lion from the Tribe of Judah!)

Now let’s look at the amazing events preceding and including Armageddon. One of which will result in a surprising premise that Messiah’s Second Coming (physical touch down on earth) will actually be in two phases, separated by no more than a few weeks (probably days) in duration.

In order of occurrence:

(1) Antichrist Nero breaks the seven-year treaty with Israel

“The ruler will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven, but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings…” (Daniel 9:27). We’ve already discussed some of the features of this event.

(2) The broken treaty will precipitate Satanic vengeance against the Jews and intensify persecution of tribulation saints (Jewish and Gentile Christians)

“When the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman (Israel) who had given birth to the male child (Messiah Jesus). But she (Israel) was given two wings like those of great eagle (most likely aircraft) so she could fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness (perhaps Petra). There she would be cared for and protected from the dragon for a time, times, and half a time (3 ½ years or forty-two months or 1,260 days).

“…And the dragon was angry at the woman and declared war against the rest of her children—all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus” (Revelation 12:13-15 & 17, parenthesis mine).

(3) God’s Protection

As we just read, those Jews in Israel and other parts of the world who agree to flee their homes will be safe throughout the Tribulation in the place (wilderness) that God has prepared for them. But many Jews will remain in Israel or wherever they reside on earth with the misguided notion that their allegiance to Antichrist, voluntary or forced, will protect them. At first, it will, because Antichrist will let loose his evil agenda primarily on the Tribulation Saints. He will also enhance the consolidation of his power during the last half of the Tribulation. To include economic control of (buying and selling goods) people from many nations and languages willing to take his mark in their forehead or right hand.

This, however, will NOT be a One-World Government; rather it will be a corrupt counterpart to and counterfeit of the true Messiah Jesus; whose followers were from every nation, race, and language but without a centralized global government … until Jesus sets up the Kingdom of God during the Millennium. Governments of many nations will oppose Antichrist. If just one nation (as a whole) does not submit, then there can’t be a One-World Government. In fact, Antichrist’s coalition may not even be as formidable as the kings of the East.

For example: China has already risen to the status of a world-power (behind only the United States) ahead even of Russia and European powers like France, Germany and Great Britain—none of which currently possesses a powerful military that they formerly had. And China will not be the only nation that comprise the “Kings of the East.” (See Eye of Prophecy article, A Sleeping Giant, posted 2-14-15).

(China’s Standing Army–3.7 million; Reserves–1.5 million; Available Manpower-750 million!)

(4) The King of the South will march on Antichrist

This will most likely begin in the last few months of the Tribulation. With the rationale that it leads directly (in an implied fairly short period of time) to the kings of the East marching against Nero with their realization that he has global ambitions and could soon control the entire Middle East.

(5) Antichrist’s Coalition routs the Southern Alliance

While Antichrist is in the vicinity, he will “enter the glorious land of Israel.”

We’ve also covered that in Daniel Chapter 11.

(6) Invasion of the Kings of the East

From the Far East, across a dry Euphrates River, all the way to Israel … probably in the last 4-6 weeks of the final 1,260 days of the Tribulation. This is where Zechariah Chapters 12 & 14 come into the picture. Which is:

(7) Messiah Jesus will return to the earth!

The immediate catalyst for Messiah’s return will be the Antichrist’s attack on Jerusalem, which will most likely begin in the final 3-4 weeks of the Great Tribulation.

Here’s what will happen:

“Watch, for the day of the Lord is coming when your possessions will be plundered right in front of you! I will gather all the nations to fight against Jerusalem. The city will be taken, the houses looted, and the woman raped. Half the population will be taken into captivity, and the rest will be left among the ruins of the city” (Zechariah 14:1-2). *Note: These are the remaining Israelis; the others have escaped to the wilderness out of harm’s way at the mid-point of the Tribulation.

Continuing with Zechariah 14: “Then the Lord will go out to fight against those nations, as he has fought in times past. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. And the Mount of Olives will split apart, making a wide valley running from east to west … You will flee through this valley…” (Zechariah 14:3-5).

Based on Zechariah 14, nearly all Bible scholars and students (including me), even non-Messianic Jews, correctly believe that Messiah will arrive on earth by first stepping foot on the Mount of Olives. With, of course, believers in Christ proclaiming this to be the return of Messiah (Second Coming) and non-Messianic Jews believing this will be Messiah’s initial arrival.

At this juncture, I’m going to propose something I haven’t mentioned in any Eye of Prophecy article until now. Why? Because it was only during this week’s article that the Lord gave me this insight! This premise leads to a more complete, clarified, and sequentially accurate scenario. In bold print for emphasis it is:

Christ’s Second Coming to earth will happen twice … on two separate occasions!

First, he will arrive on the Mount of Olives as we just read in Zechariah. Then (a few days later) he will descend again from heaven on a white horse, but this time with the host of heaven (Raptured believers) as we will soon read in Revelation Chapter 19.

(8) Messiah’s first phase (of his Second Coming) on the Mount of Olives

That’s when the Jews will mourn for him, in solemn remorse that they hadn’t recognized nor accepted him as their Messiah. Then to rejoice that he has come to rescue them.

With evidence in that same chapter of Zechariah that Messiah will require his people to fight furiously for their very survival. At that time he will help them, but only up to a point. They must first relive the experience that their ancestors had in Joshua’s time and in King David’s time—the necessity to fight for the precious Promised Land of Israel.

God fought for and with them during those series of victories over the Canaanites, then Philistines and other enemies. But the Israelites still suffered casualties—the price necessary for national sovereignty and freedom to worship the Lord. It was a lesson to completely rely on (trust and obey) the Lord their God for victory, while doing their part to courageously fight in order to fully acquire and appreciate what God had prepared for them. There were only a handful of occasions throughout Israel’s history where God supernaturally intervened unilaterally for his chosen people, without Israel lifting a finger. (See Eye of Prophecy article: Stand Still & Watch God Fight For Israel! Posted 7-30-16).

Which is why Zachariah states: “Then the Lord will go out to fight against those nations, as he has fought in times past.

First, he will stand beside them after stepping foot on the Mount of Olives. Yet his people must also fight, just like they did in Old Testament times. At that point, I believe that Christ will be with his people mostly for motivation and inspiration. Just to know that he’s there, will give the Jewish soldiers and civilians extraordinary strength, skill, and courage in battle. However, when Nero joins forces with the kings of the East, Jesus will return a second time with the host of heaven. This time he will rescue the Jews from potential annihilation by himself.

When Jesus descends to the Mount of Olives we read: “On that day the Lord will defend the people of Jerusalem; the weakest among them will be as mighty as King David! And the royal descendants will be like God, like the angel of the Lord who goes before them!” (Zechariah 12:8).

Do you see what’s happening? The Lord will “defend” his people, but the Jews must fight alongside of him. And, oh will they fight. Even the weakest among them will be valiant warriors like King David! But that victory won’t be won the instant that Christ steps foot on the Mount of Olives.

To further confirm that complete conquest will not yet be achieved immediately after Christ arrives on the Mount of Olives, let’s read the very next verse: “For on that day I will begin to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:9, italics for emphasis). The text is as plain as it can be: This is only the beginning. However, it is the beginning of the end.

Now let’s return to Zechariah Chapter 14 to further validate the premise that Christ’s Second Coming will begin on the Mount of Olives, but there will be another arrival soon afterward—in the final 30 days of the 1,290 days (Daniel 12).

We’ve examined the verses that tell us Messiah will (first) step-foot on the Mount of Olives to defend his people, and begin to destroy their enemies. After that we read: “…Then the Lord my God will come, and all his holy ones with him” (Zechariah 14:5b, italics for emphasis). I’m sure you caught the significance of the word, then. It means just what it says: later … in this case not much later. But this time (then) the Lord will come with all “his holy ones.”

Exactly when (what event) is then? Before we get to then, we need to look at the next major occurrence in this sequence of events leading to the final battle of the ages … Armageddon.

(9) China and other Far-East nations will align with Antichrist Nero

Jesus temporarily leaves the (his) defense of Jerusalem in order to prepare for the FINAL victory over this colossal military coalition, now united together at Har Magedon (Armageddon).

Soon after Antichrist joins forces with the kings of the East, the final bowl judgment strikes. It is unfathomably catastrophic in scope. In fact, immediately after we read that the “demonic spirits gathered all the rulers and their armies to … Armageddon” (Revelation 16:16), this final judgment is described in verses 17-21. Here, I will defer to Eye of Prophecy article, Shocking Statistics of the Great Tribulation for both the passage itself and commentary on it (in italics):

Although all of the apocalyptic events allowed or caused by God are exceptional, none more so than the final earth-shattering demonstration of God’s power. Every time I read it, I shake my head in disbelief. I repeat the words, but they still do not compute. My imagination lags far behind the stunning reality of it all. A comparative image comes to mind; however, I realize that it is a fully inadequate analogy. I’ll mention it anyway—in order to gain a partial perspective and picture of how the final bowl judgment of God will surpass of all the catastrophes preceding it. The imagery that comes to mind is that of a lengthy fire-works display that culminates in the greatest, most magnificent grand finale ever seen. But the resemblance is similar only in form, certainly not in substance. Here is God’s final Tribulation judgment:

“Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air. And a mighty shout came from the throne in the Temple saying, ‘It is finished!’ Then the thunder crashed and rolled, and lightning flashed. And a great earthquake struck—the worst since people were placed on the earth. The great city of Babylon (Rome) split into three sections, and the cities of many nations fell into heaps of rubble … And every island disappeared, and all the mountains were leveled. There was a terrible hailstorm, and hailstones weighing seventy-five pounds fell from the sky onto the people below. They cursed God because of the terrible plague of the hailstorm” (Revelation 16:17-21).

Once again, absolutely incredible! Not just cities all over the earth crumbling into rubble, or every single island—think of the Hawaiian Islands—completely disappearing (giant tsunamis that not only inundate but sink the islands), and all of the earth’s mountains flattened into level plains. No, that isn’t what causes the unrepentant who are left on the earth to curse God once again. It was the giant hailstones that obviously were even more devastating than the other colossal calamities. The disaster depicted in the recently released movie, San Andreas, is nothing more than a tiny dot on a Seismograph compared to this unbelievably powerful world-wide earthquake, its aftermath, and the hailstorm to follow in this final and most fearsome judgment of all.

Notice that the passage says “cities of many nations.” But not all nations. Thus, not all major cities will be destroyed. Rome (encoded as Babylon in the above verses) will be devastated, as graphically portrayed in the entire 18th chapter of Revelation.

However, Jerusalem will be spared. In fact, Jerusalem will have already experienced an earthquake earlier in the Tribulation as described in Revelation Chapter 11. Please see Eye of Prophecy article, Major Earthquake in Israel … When & Where It Will Strike, published 11-25-17.

(10) The Grand Finale

Zechariah 14:5 tells us that: “…Then (later, sometime after Jesus steps foot on the Mount of Olives) the Lord my God will come, and all his holy ones with him.”

This matches perfectly with what we’re about to read in Revelation 19, which clearly shows that the holy ones are the “armies of heaven” on white horses who will accompany Messiah in his final victory over Antichrist. Whereas, Zechariah Chapter 12 explains that it is the Israelis who will be fighting alongside Messiah.

With the clear implication and deduction that the “holy ones” (believers taken in the Rapture, seven years earlier) with Jesus were not with him when he first returns to Israel on the Mount of Olives.

That and the stated fact in Zechariah 12:9: “For on that day I will begin to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” The final victory isn’t won during Messiah’s initial (first phase) return to the Mount of Olives. Plus, there’s no indication in Zechariah that Messiah arrives on the Mount of Olives on a white horse. For that matter (as a reminder) Scripture tells us exactly how Jesus will return to the Mount of Olives from whence he departed after his amazing resurrection.

The angels said to the disciples: “Men of Galilee … Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday he will return from heaven in the same way you saw him go!” (Acts 1:11).

Did Jesus leave the Mount of Olives on a white horse? Easy answer: No, he did not. If he is to return in the same manner (and he will) to the Mount of Olives, then it must be on foot. “On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem…” (Zechariah 14:4).

For me, this revised understanding of Christ’s return to earth in two phases is a much better fit of all of the passages and the sequence of events leading to Armageddon.

First: to the Mount of Olives to, alongside the Jews, begin the fight against Antichrist in Israel and Jerusalem. Second: a subsequent return to completely vanquish Satan, Antichrist, the False Prophet, and their massive military in the valley of Megiddo (Armageddon).

With a literary drum roll, here is the awesome grand finale:

“Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations … On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.

“…Then I saw the beast and the kings of the world and their armies gathered together to fight against the one sitting on the horse and his army. And the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who did mighty miracles on behalf of the beast—miracles that deceived all who had accepted the mark of the beast and worshipped his statue. Both the beast and the false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. Their entire army was killed by the sharp sword that came from the mouth of the one riding the white horse. And the vultures all gorged themselves on the dead bodies” (Revelation 19:11-16 & 19-21).



Such a swift, anticlimactic end of the battle for Jerusalem that we read about in Zechariah and as alluded to in Daniel 11. The Antichrist and the False Prophet are (simply) captured. But it’s evident that their armies decided they could still defeat Messiah because they continued the battle.

Big mistake!

We know that because it was necessary for Christ to kill this “entire army.” And he does so by the power of his Word—merely speaking the judgment!

Back to Zachariah for more graphic details of what will happen at Armageddon:

“And the Lord will send a plague on all the nations that fought against Jerusalem. Their people will become like walking corpses, their flesh rotting away. Their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. On that day they will be terrified, stricken by the Lord with great panic … Judah, too, will be fighting at Jerusalem…” (Zechariah 14:12-14).

*Note: The battle for Jerusalem will continue (on a smaller scale) during Armageddon as Antichrist will undoubtedly leave part of his armies to continue the fight there. If you’ve reached the conclusion that the description of how these armies will die matches that of nuclear explosions, then I believe you are correct. The Lord will unleash the power of the atom, by merely commanding it to happen. And he won’t need enriched uranium or plutonium. There will be no radioactive fallout!

In Revelation Chapter 14 (one of the parenthetical portions in the book—an interlude between the chronological unfolding of events—we read another passage that vividly depicts what will take place during Armageddon with an analogy to the pressing of grapes:

“The grapes were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress in a stream about 180 miles long and as high as a horse’s bridle” (Revelation 14:20).


Things to Ponder

God’s predictions through his prophets always come to pass. What he says will happen always happens. Not to say that we know beyond doubt in what sequence ALL end-times prophecies will unfold. Many we know, such as the chronological progression of the seven seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments. However, by comparing and correlating the Tribulation prophecies (Daniel 7, 9, 11, 12; Matthew 24; II Thessalonians 2; Zechariah 12 & 14; Revelation 4-19), we can be confident of the sequence identified in the ten points listed earlier. And concerning Messiah’s physical return to earth, I’m now convinced that it will take place in two phases.

The FACT that all of these things will take place is ultimately the most important thing to grasp. Although the sequence of events leading to Armageddon should be understood as accurately as possible, it’s not absolutely imperative that we know precisely in what order they will unfold. Nonetheless, the more (accurately) we comprehend, the more we can marvel at the astounding features of Bible prophecies that have shaped and will determine mankind’s destiny.

This includes Messiah Jesus’s physical return to earth. However, his physical return is not the Rapture, which is the event that triggers the reappearance of Antichrist Nero and the seven-year Tribulation. See Eye of Prophecy article, Messiah’s Return & The Rapture (Same or Different Events?) Posted 12-3-16.

As indicated, the prevalent view (including mine until now) is that Messiah returns to earth as conveyed in Revelation 19—on a white horse with the host of heaven, which incorporates stepping foot on the Mount of Olives. That of somehow combining the two into one. But as examined in today’s article, Revelation 19 doesn’t fit with Zechariah 12 & 14 by merging the two together.

Instead, we now have a more feasible (better) scenario to consider: Jesus returns by first arriving on the Mount of Olives, to begin the defense of Jerusalem. Then returns again from heaven to win the final victory, alongside of Raptured believers—Jew and Gentile alike.

(Photo Taken From Mount of Olives, Overlooking the Eastern Gate, Temple Mount, and Much of Jerusalem. I’ve Been There, Too!)

Another reason for this two-part return, beginning on the Mount of Olives: When the Lord touches the Mount of Olives it splits in half, with some Jews escaping (through a valley created) the onslaught of Antichrist in Jerusalem. As opposed to Messiah’s triumphant descent on a white horse (Rev. 19) where there will be no need for the Israelis to escape in that manner. At that point, Antichrist and his hordes will give their undivided attention to Messiah and it will be from the valley of Megiddo (Armageddon), not from Jerusalem.

Messiah’s triumphant descent from heaven on a white horse obviously results in the FINAL VICTORY over Satan, Antichrist, the False Prophet, and their armies; AFTER he begins to defend Israel in Jerusalem.

And believers will have the awesome privilege to ride to final victory with our Lord when he defeats evil, and makes all things right in this wicked wrongful world we live in.

We love you Lord because you first loved us!

Come quickly Messiah Jesus, and put an end to the ugliness of sin and evil.

Establish your Kingdom of righteousness, justice, and peace.

All praise to the Living Word of God, The Lion of Judah!

Palestinian Refugees… Are They Really Refugees?


And the beat goes on…

The brutal beat of Islamic and Palestinian terrorism; the shameful sound of geopolitical horns blatantly blasting President Trump’s decision for the United States to officially acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital; the demonstrative drums of war banging threatening messages of Israel’s demise by her sworn enemies; and the raging roar of Muslim rhetoric with convoluted claims that the Jews don’t belong in the sovereign nation of Israel.

Among other derogatory denunciations against President Trump and Israel, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas recently placed a curse on Donald Trump: “May your house be demolished”… presumably referring to the White House. In this same rambling two-hour speech to the PLO, he repeated that the Palestinians will no longer participate in peace negotiations with Israel if the US is involved.

Abbas then refused to meet with US Vice President Mike Pence during Pence’s recent trip to Egypt, Jordan, and Israel. Instead, Abbas flew to Brussels; attempting again to persuade the European Union to unilaterally and arbitrarily declare a Palestinian State in Israel with all of the rewritten history conditions and unrealistic pre-condition demands that the Palestinians have made for years.

The top three of those demands are:

(1) A Palestinian State with pre-1967 (Six-Day War) borders that really weren’t borders in the first place. Rather, they were armistice lines established on a temporary basis—until Israel and the Palestinians could agree on more permanent boundaries including those for Judea/Samaria (so-called West Bank).

In the Six-Day War, Israel reclaimed and liberated ALL of today’s Israel, especially the entire city of Jerusalem. If Israel were to agree to such lines, she would be virtually defenseless in the Jordan Valley, the Golan Heights, and most of Judea/Samaria. If a Palestinian State is created with sovereign borders, Mahmoud Abbas has already boasted that no Jews will be allowed to live in that state. Whereas, many Israeli-Arabs would continue to live in Israel, undoubtedly with visitation rights of Palestinian relatives to/from Israel.

See Eye of Prophecy article: Ethnic Cleansing of Jews … The Real Palestinian Agenda, published 9-17-16.

Consequently, any Israeli excursion into those territories (for example to hunt down a terrorist who had just murdered a Jew) would be considered an act of war. You can bet your life-savings that, under those conditions, the Palestinians would never agree to prosecute and certainly not extradite the offender to Israel. But the biggest concern for Israel would be rogue nations like Iran gaining a foothold in a Palestinian State as a safe sanctuary to wreak havoc on Israel.

(2) East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian State. This is unthinkable and unfeasible. It would be similar to the former West and East Berlin dichotomy which was a disaster, one that came perilously close to war between the United States and the former Soviet Union.

There is only one city in the entire world that is claimed by two countries as their capital. The Republic of Cyprus (southern half) and North Cyprus share Nicosia as their capital; however, Northern Cyprus is not officially recognized internationally as a nation. If ever it did become a member of the United Nations, it’s highly unlikely that (the northern half) of Nicosia would be accepted as its capital.

(3) Right of return for all Palestinian refugees. With an impractical and unreasonable definition of refugees as all generational descendants of the original Palestinian refugees, who willingly left Israel during Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. And did so at the request (actually orders) of Arab military leaders representing the five Muslim nations that attacked Israel the day after she became a sovereign state on May 14, 1948. Many of these displaced refugees were well-to-do Arabs who didn’t want to get in the way of their own armies, and who could afford the exit from Israel. As opposed to the typical and more accurately defined refugees who flee their country because they are being persecuted, attacked, and killed by hostile forces. Such as hundreds of thousands of innocent Syrians disenfranchised by the ongoing six-year civil war in Syria.

Some Equivalent Examples

Let’s stretch our imagination to the theatre of the absurd with comparisons to the United States regarding these three untenable demands that Arabs have persisted in for 70 years … 50 years since they began to call themselves Palestinians. With the overview that these ultimatums are those of a people who participated directly in or were collaborators with surrounding Arab counties defeated by Israel in four wars (1948, 1956, 1967 & 1973) … wars that the Arabs started. Despite victory in these wars, the Israelis gave back Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt and what the Arabs call the West Bank to Jordan. Egypt and Jordan then surrendered functional control to the Palestinians.

In a broader scope, Israel relinquished political and administrative regulation over these areas to appease international pressure (including that from the United States) to allocate the West Bank and Gaza as “Palestinian territories.” Which included giving up some rights and privileges that have belonged to the Jews from the historical founding of Israel, then the historic rebirth of that same Jewish nation in 1948, with Jerusalem as the capital. But not just because the United Nations passed a resolution in 1947 granting the Jews retroactive possession of the land of Israel.

Most of all because God gave this land to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob hundreds of years before King David made Jerusalem its capital. Arabs claim Jerusalem (actually all of Israel) as their own largely based on their Muslim religion citing the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock on Temple Mount as their 3rd holiest site in Islam. When, in fact, Jerusalem is not mentioned even one time in the Koran; whereas Jerusalem or Zion is named over 800 times in the Bible and always has been the holiest site of Judaism. Wouldn’t the holiest site of Judaism supersede the 3rd holiest site of Islam, especially if that 3rd holiest site is not even mentioned in the Koran?! (See Eye of Prophecy article, The Myth of Al Aqsa Mosque, posted 4-16-16).

What we see today are Palestinians (Arabs) still alive who fought with or supported or cheered Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in these wars (and their children and grandchildren who don’t know any better or who know and don’t care) who were defeated in battle; yet, who make demands as though they were the victors in these wars. That and rewriting history itself by making preposterous claims that they were in the land of Israel first, or there the longest, or that they bear sovereign status over the Jews because for a while Arabs ruled over Israel (when it was called Palestine). When, in fact, both before and after the Arabs (beginning with Mohammed) took possession of most of Israel, it was the Romans, then the Crusaders, then the Arabs (again), then the Ottoman Turks, and finally the British who seized and maintained control of the Promised Land for varying intervals of time.

(The Ottoman Turks Surrendered Jerusalem (all of Israel) to British General Edmund Allenby in 1917)

(1) Pre 1967 Six-Day War Lines: With the equivalent of recognizing and siding with Palestinian demands that Israel returns (retreats) to pre-1967 so-called boundaries (cease-fire lines), an appropriate analogy would be for the United States to give back some of the original thirteen colonies to England. Not that the United Nations or European Union or the United Kingdom would make such ridiculous demands of the United States; however, that is equivocally what UN resolutions and many nations of the European Union and ALL Muslim countries have demanded of Israel. Refer to Eye of Prophecy article, United Nations Downsizing of Israel (Resolution 2334). Posted 1-7-17.

Another parallel is that of France insisting the United States return all or part of the states that comprised the Louisiana Purchase, because the purchase price was too low or because many Frenchmen and women in the United States (whether citizens or not) were “unjustly” affected by such a transaction. Or Alaska reverting back to Russia. Or Mexico wanting New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and California returned to them. Or any nation refusing to recognize the sovereign geographical borders of the United States. But that’s what’s happening in and to Israel: International pressure for the Jews to give back to the Palestinians what Jordan, Egypt, and the Palestinians never legally had in the first place—which makes it even more absurd than the above cited examples.

(2) Demands for East Jerusalem as the Capital of a Palestinian State: No different than the United States conceding the eastern part of Washington D.C. back to the British, with what would be tantamount to an apology for defeating the British in war. And not one war, but two (War of 1812). For the record, I am an admirer of the British. But concerning nationality and national rights, especially those afforded by victory in war that always comes with the highest price that can be paid—the blood of American soldiers and civilians—I am first and foremost an American.

Obviously, such a ludicrous demand (East Washington belongs to the British) is not going to happen.

Why then do so many nations of the world side with Muslim Arabs that the eastern half of Jerusalem (there is still no such thing as East Jerusalem; for example, Nir Barkat is Mayor of all of Jerusalem) should be abandoned by the Israelis to the Palestinians who want it to be the capital of a Palestinian State? When any other city in the West Bank could be made its capital, particularly Ramallah which currently houses the Palestinian Authority governmental agencies. The ONLY reason that the Arabs want part of Jerusalem as their capital is because the Jews claim all of Jerusalem as the God-given historical and eternal capital of Israel.

(3) Right of Return of the Original Palestinian “Refugees” to Israel, Including all Descendants: The Palestinians have arbitrarily twisted the definition of a refugee to include (an infinitum) all descendants of these refugees. Even most of the 1st generation Arabs who fled Israel should not be considered refugees because they left on their own volition; the Jews asked them to stay and be partners in the United Nations approved State of Israel in 1948.

A similar comparison would be the United States allowing the descendants of English, French, Spanish, and Hispanics who left the United States as a result of armed conflict—Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Spanish/American War, Mexican War—to return, no questions asked. Or descendants of those returning to their country (also voluntarily) because certain territories were purchased by the United States.

Yet that is exactly what the Arabs have demanded since 1948. If the Israelis did allow such a return, it would, for all practical purposes, spell the end of Israel. The sheer number of such returnees would reduce the Jews to a minority in their own country. There is no other nation on earth that would do such a thing. In fact, the Arab nations that permit (actually they purposely keep) these “refugee camps” to remain have done so because they have disallowed their fellow Arabs (Palestinians, who didn’t even assume that name until after the PLO came into existence in 1964) to become citizens of those countries. Rather, they are using the Palestinians (refugees) as a bargaining chip to eliminate the state of Israel, just in case many or all of them are allowed to return to Israel.

(One of the Palestinian Refugee Camps in Jordan)

The Head and Not the Tail

Since the astounding victory against Egypt, Syria, and Jordan in the Six-Day War of 1967, Israel for the first time in over 2,500 years is the primary power in the Middle East. Israel can now negotiate (if she chooses) from a position of strength and not weakness. She is once again the head and not the tail.

“…the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom” (Deuteronomy 28:13).

In the four major Arab/Israeli wars, two of Israel’s enemies (Egypt and Jordan) plus Saudi Arabia are beginning to realize that Israel has no intention, whatsoever, to dominate her Arab neighbors. Though not admitting it, they know beyond all doubt that there is no such thing as Israeli apartheid against the Palestinians of Judea/Samaria or the Gaza. They are finally grasping the obvious: Even though Israel regained its rightful God-given supremacy over the Promised Land, she has nonetheless permitted some 4.5 million Palestinians (non-citizens of Israel) to occupy choice parts of Israel … Judea/Samaria and the Gaza.

Israel’s rise to a prominent economic, political, and military player on the world stage means that she no longer must make concessions to international demands that are unfounded, unfair, and unnecessary. And which are downright dangerous to Israeli safety and survival. Not the least of which is Israel’s right to establish her capital in the city of choice—Jerusalem. A privilege that has always existed; one that the United States Congress recognized in 1995 (Jerusalem Embassy Act) followed on December 6, 2017 by the first United States President to reaffirm this right.

Nor is Israel (or any nation) obligated to accept the return of refugees (especially 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation) whether they fit the international definition and standards of refugees or not. Like any sovereign nation on earth, Israel has the prerogative to determine immigration quotas and citizenship requirements.

The modern-day phenomenon of refugees began during World War I but especially during World War II when millions of people from several counties were displaced by the carnage of that global conflict. The whole idea of refugee status is a humanitarian effort to help those suffering from deprivation, displacement, and despair caused by war and sectarian conflict. Nevertheless, refugee sanctuary is designed to be temporary, to get dispossessed people back on their feet. It is not meant to be an indefinite welfare system or perpetual source of aid that deters people from doing as much as they can for themselves.

Moreover, refugees of World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, of the Syrian & Iraqi civil wars (and other sectarian conflicts all over the world) were citizens of their respective countries. Not so with the Palestinians, who voluntarily left Israel in 1948 and some in 1967 to give their Arab military time and space to conquer Israel and eliminate the Jews from the State of Israel. Those Arabs (now called Palestinians) were not citizens of Palestine (there was and is no such state). If they had citizenship, it was from mostly Jordan … also Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Egypt.

If the United Nations seriously wants to repatriate millions of Palestinian Arab “refugees” (most of whom—descendants—have never lived in Israel), then they should be returned to the host country in which their parents and grandparents were citizens. Which very well could be the country in which they currently reside as “refugees.”

UNRWA (United Nations Relief & Works Agency)

In Mahmoud Abbas’s previously mentioned speech, he also railed against President Trump’s decision to cut in half the first of three-four Palestinian aid (through UNRWA) installments scheduled for 2018. No matter that Abbas had previously refused to discontinue or even reduce hundreds of millions of dollars the PA spends on monthly stipends to the families of Palestinians imprisoned because they have murdered or attacked Jews. President Trump followed through by cutting 65 million from the first installment of some 130 million in aid. In all, the United States contributes around 370 million dollars annually to UNRWA, about 30% of UNRWA’s budget.

In addition, the US provides millions of dollars in aid directly to the Palestinian Authority, which President Trump has also threatened to reduce or end if the Palestinians persist in their recent demands that the US cannot be a part of any Middle East peace process.

UNRWA was created in December, 1949 exclusively for Arab refugees—nearly all of whom fled Israel at the request (more like orders) of the Arab armies that attacked Israel on May 15, 1948. At that time there were about 750,000 such refugees. Currently there are an estimated 7 million so-called Palestinian refugees in the Middle East, with approximately 4.5 million residing in the West Bank and Gaza Strip of Israel, and the remaining primarily in Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon. Of the 7 million, around 5.3 million are registered with UNRWA to receive economic assistance. About one-third of these Palestinians live in 59 refugee camps (West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan) with the remaining two-thirds residing in cities and towns around the camps.

(Many Palestinians Registered with UNRWA Are Also Gainfully Employed!)

There is a second UN refugee agency called: United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) created in December, 1950, a year after UNRWA. This second agency was designed to provide refugee status and aid to millions displaced from their homes during World War II. Although the agency was originally devised to assist European refugees and last just three years, it is still in existence and has expanded to include refugees worldwide.

However, there is a distinction between these two organizations that extends beyond the fact that UNRWA is exclusively for Palestinians.

According to Wikipedia, “The UNRWA has a much broader definition of ‘refugee’ than the UNHCR, including not only refugees, but their descendants in perpetuity, however it (was originally intended to) only covers refugees from the 1948 & 1967 Arab-Israeli wars” (parenthesis mine).

Wikipedia also states: “UNRWA has had to develop a working definition of ‘refugee’ to allow it to provide humanitarian assistance (meaning welfare-like aid). Its definition does not cover final status” (parenthesis mine).

Originally Palestinian refugees were considered: “Persons whose regular place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948, and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict.”

One problem with that definition is the way it’s phrased. As stated earlier: the reason the Arabs lost home and livelihood was one of choice. They could have accepted Israel’s offer to remain, but they chose to flee (temporarily) awaiting what they assumed would be a five-nation Arab victory over and obliteration of Israel.

When some of them wanted to return, Israel essentially said: Too late, you had your chance to stay. Israel considered them a “fifth column” who would continue to do whatever they could to eliminate Israel from the face of the map.

One other quote from Wikipedia: “Unlike UNRWA, UNHCR has a specific mandate to aid its refugees to eliminate their refugee status by local integration in (the) current country, resettlement in a third country or repatriation when possible.”

*Note: There’s hardly any country on earth whose government will allow repatriation of former citizens who hated and/or fought against that government, whether the government was democratic or autocratic, good or evil. At least not without severe conditions and restrictions imposed on the returnees. The exception would be 2nd or 3rd generation refugees that wanted no part of their parent’s or grandparent’s revolt against or disdain for their government. In that regard, Israel is an exception to the exception. In the case of the Palestinians, their children of today hate Jews (are even taught how to kill Jews) as much or more than their ancestors.

(Alarmingly Sad … I’ve Seen Part of This Video)

A comprehensive study in September, 2016 revealed that UNRWA spent an average of $256.00 for each of the 5.3 million Palestinian it classifies as refugees, while UNHCR spent only $58.00 per non-Palestinian refugee.

Even though UNRWA extended refugee status to Arabs who left Israel in 1948 and 1967 or those who stayed but refused to become citizens of Israel (West Bank and Gaza), there’s no way that the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of those Arabs should be kept on the refugee payroll. It’s glaringly obvious that the “refugee” status of Palestinians has far exceeded the original purpose and mission of UNRWA. It was not meant for descendants of the 1st generation Arabs that packed up and moved out of Israel in 1948-1949 to maintain their refugee status in perpetuity.

Palestinians claiming (a non-existent) East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian State and Israel’s territorial retreat to 1967 cease-fire lines are critical threats to Israel’s serenity, security, and sovereignty. But there is no more contentious issue than the insistence of Palestinians and most Muslin countries (a couple of exceptions like Saudi Arabia and perhaps Egypt) that millions of Palestinians living in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Jordan be allowed to migrate to Israel, a country in which most of these 3rd and 4th generation outsiders have never resided. If that were to occur, hundreds of thousands of Jewish citizens born in or who immigrated to Israel would themselves be displaced from their homes, or would have no land in Judea/Samaria and the eastern part of Jerusalem in which to build more housing.

Israel … Beacon of Democracy in the Middle East

In some prior Eye of Prophecy articles, I have made references to the clear evidence that Israel has treated its Arab Palestinian population far better than Palestinians (or even Arab citizens) are treated in Muslim countries. But it bears repeating.

Because Israel is the only democratic nation in the entire Middle East, 1.8 million Arabs have chosen to become citizens of Israel. They have the right to vote, start and own businesses, attend Israeli schools, enroll in higher educational institutions, apply for government loans, move about the country with ease, and even serve in the Knesset. Yet, they are not conscripted by the IDF, which is mandatory for all Jewish men and women when they turn eighteen years of age. Even the Palestinians (non-citizens) who live in Judea/Samaria and the Gaza have a standard of living that exceeds hundreds of millions of Arab in surrounding Muslim nations, the exception being wealthy Arabs complements of oil.

Moreover, the Israelis do not hate the Palestinians nor is there anything approaching apartheid as some absurdly claim. It is extremely rare for an Israeli Jew to commit an act of violence against a Palestinian. When that occurred, it was normally personal revenge for a Jewish death at the hands of Palestinians. Conversely, Palestinians for years have viciously and repeatedly killed and injured thousands of Jews.

See Eye of Prophecy article, The Real Reason for Palestinian Terrorism (Posted 9-30-17).

God’s Point of View & Instructions Concerning the Promised Land and Its Inhabitants

Question: Does modern-day Israel’s attitude toward and treatment of Palestinians match up with God’s Biblical standards?

Let’s answer that question by examining the way God originally said it should be.

Beginning with the Lord’s instructions to Moses concerning non-Jews:

(Other Bible Translations for Stranger are: Foreigner or Alien)

And, “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:33-34).

*Note: By all international rules and standards Israel is a sovereign state with constitutionally mandated requirements for citizenship and definitions of foreigners that most nations on earth have—at least those not ruled by a dictator. No matter your view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the fact remains that non-citizen Palestinians are foreigners in Israel. Many nations of the world would have expelled such foreigners—who refused to become citizens or who didn’t qualify for citizenship within a generation’s time—back to their home country, i.e. the country that issued their passports. For the majority of Palestinians in Israel, that would be Jordan.

It’s historically true that the Lord commanded the Israelites to destroy certain tribes/nations of Canaan … the Promised Land that would become Israel. And for a valid reason, one that God originally explained to Abraham.

“…This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you. And I will give the entire land of Canaan, where you now live as a foreigner, to you and your descendants. It will be their possession forever, and I will be their God” (Genesis 17:7-8).

Before that God told Abraham that the Jews would be captives (in Egypt) for 400 years, but, “…After four generations your descendants will return here to this land, for the sins of the Amorites do not yet warrant their destruction” (Genesis 15:16, italics for emphasis). The Amorites also represented all of the wicked, decadent nations of Canaan.

This demonstrates God’s amazing patience … allowing the inhabitants of Canaan considerable time to repent and stop such ugly, depraved practices as sacrificing their own children.

When it came time for the Israelites to enter Canaan, God through Moses told them: “You must destroy all the nations the Lord your God hands over to you. Show them no mercy, and do not worship their gods, or they will trap you” (Deuteronomy 7:16).

Also: “And I will fix your boundaries from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the eastern wilderness to the Euphrates River. I will hand over to you the people now living in the land … Make no treaties with them or their gods. They must not live in your land, or they will cause you to sin against me. If you serve their gods, you will be caught in the trap of idolatry” (Exodus 23:31-32).

See Deuteronomy 18:9-14 for more details of the “detestable customs” of the Canaanite nations.

In contrast to God’s unilateral destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (for example), the Israelites had to do much of their own fighting to establish their nation in the Promised Land. Even then God supernaturally supported them in several battles, the most famous of which was Jericho.

This continued off and on through the period of the Judges; to and through the reign of King David, who consolidated the twelve tribes of Israel into the most powerful nation on earth at the time. The Lord once again did the same thing when Israel was reborn in 1948. The Jews fought four wars initiated by the Arabs, winning each war against all odds—with divine assistance from God himself.

Time/space does not permit elaboration, but the Lord made exceptions for some of the peoples/nations within Israel (formerly Canaan). Those peoples who chose not to fight against Israel were granted foreigner status, even though some were required to effectively serve Israel. But even those of servanthood were to be treated with respect and dignity.

I visited modern-day Israel in 2006. I’ve read volumes about Israel and the Middle East, watched numerous documentaries, studied the Scriptures intensively, and have written extensively about God’s special possession Israel and his chosen people the Jews. The truth of the matter is that overall Israeli disposition toward and treatment of both Israeli-Arabs and Palestinians matches and has prophetically fulfilled God’s timeless instructions and standards given to Moses and Joshua. Can Israel do better? Of course, so can all of us.

What about the Jews Themselves?

Why are they the chosen people? Just how special are they?

Listen to the answer: “But recognize today that the Lord your God is the one who will cross over ahead of you like a devouring fire to destroy them. He will subdue them so that you will quickly conquer them and drive them out, just as the Lord has promised.

“After the Lord your God has done this for you, don’t say in your hearts, ‘The Lord has given us this land because we are such good people!’ No, it is because of the wickedness of the other nations that he is pushing them out of your way. It is not because you are so good or have such integrity that you are about to occupy their land… to fulfill the oath he swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Deuteronomy 9:3-5).

God isn’t saying that his people had no integrity or that they didn’t have good hearts when it came to other people. Rather, the Lord is making a distinction as to the REASON that he gave them the Promised Land. A reason to preclude all boasting. A reason to give honor and glory to God, not themselves. It was a lesson in humility, a lesson that Israel eventually was forced to learn the hard way.

God did not choose the Jews because they were special. They became special because he chose them. Moses reminded the people what he had said to God, before Joshua led them across the Jordan River into Canaan: “But they are your people and your special possession, whom you brought out of Egypt by your great strength and powerful arm” (Deuteronomy 9:29, italics for emphasis).

*Note: There are several reasons why Anti-Semitism has been irrationally and insidiously prevalent for so long by so many peoples on this earth. But one thing stands out above all the rest: Envy. Of Jewish accomplishments in all walks of life—business, politics, entertainment, medicine, industry, literature, and music.

Ultimately, however, they are the chosen people because God selected them to be a conduit of light to the nations of the earth. And the beautiful brightness of that light shines through Messiah Jesus and the salvation he has brought to both Jew and Gentile through the New Covenant.

The foreigners in ancient Israel would be equivalent to today’s Palestinians, but not as refugees. More like the 1.8 million Israeli Arab citizens of Israel, who at least recognize Israel’s right to exist as a nation, whether they believe this is a divine right and regardless of what they think about Jews as a people.

Conversely, the some 4.5 million Palestinians in Gaza and Judea/Samaria have refused Israeli citizenship because they effectively do not recognize Israel as a nation. In God’s purpose there was only one nation in/of the Promised Land—Israel. And you can be very sure of this: God’s plan for Jews possessing the Promised Land of Israel has never changed. It is as true and real today as it was when God gave this land to Abraham and his descendants and when Joshua led the Israelites into Canaan.

Things to Ponder

God loves all people, individually, and wants everyone to be saved from their sins and the penalty of sin—eternal separation from God. Yet, we also need to fully grasp his two-part plan for the human race. One for salvation—both Jew and Gentile. The other for the sovereign state of Israel and Jerusalem its capital as the seat of God’s kingdom on earth. Thus, God deals harshly with both individuals and nations who seek Israel’s destruction; and also those who in any way, shape, or form aid in this destruction. All the while extending his love through so great a salvation, to all who believe and receive Messiah Jesus as personal Savior—Palestinians included!

What will happen to the Palestinians during the soon-to-come Great Tribulation? I seldom speculate in Eye of Prophecy articles; in favor of commentary based upon Scripture and then correlating God’s word with ancient and modern history and current events. But I offer this (sad) observation:

It’s highly unlikely that Palestinians (nor most Muslims on both an individual or national level) will embrace the Jewish Messiah or the Jews. Even most Jews do not yet recognize Jesus of Nazareth as their (the) Messiah. But when Jesus returns to deliver Israel and Jews across the world from annihilation—first at the hands of God/Magog, then the ten-nation confederation led by Antichrist Nero—Jews by the millions will look upon the one whom they pierced (Zechariah 12).

Then they will say: Baruch haba beshem Adonai … “blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 23:39).

“And so all Israel will be saved…” (Romans 11:26).

Unfortunately, the Palestinians will most likely be fighting on the side of the Antichrist and his conventional armies by means of insurrection and continuing acts of terrorism within Israel. It will be Ishmael’s final attempt to overcome Isaac and replace his step-brother as the promised child. But Isaac has always been God’s choice to bring the ultimate Child of Promise (Messiah Jesus) to mankind.

To Jewish and Gentile believers in Christ, the Jewish Apostle Paul writes: “And you … are children of the promise, just like Isaac. But you are now being persecuted by those who want you to keep the law, just as Ishmael, the child born by human effort, persecuted Isaac, the child born by the power of the Spirit” (Galatians 4:28-29).

“…Joseph, son of David, the angel said, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21).

There will be no displaced people in Messiah’s government, for those who love and follow him.

“Don’t let foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord say, ‘The Lord will never let me be part of his people…’” (Isaiah 56:3).

“I will also bless the foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord, who serve him and love his name, who worship him…” (Isaiah 56:6).

“For the Sovereign Lord, who brings back the outcasts of Israel, says: ‘I will bring others, too, besides my people Israel’” (Isaiah 56:8).

The Most Panoramic Prophecy in the Bible (Part II)


Antichrist … Modern-Day Man or From the Distant Past?

If I were to ask someone, believer or unbeliever, if the Antichrist is a man who will be born in the end-time’s generation, he/she would probably look at me cross-eyed and reply, “How else would he appear on the scene?” Or, “who else would he be, other than a present-day world leader?”

And I would be the first to acknowledge that this perception is both natural and logical.

On the other hand, God’s magnificent plan for the human race has unfolded providentially, sometimes through God’s supernatural intervention that is anything but natural or logical. Such things as the miracles of the ten plagues of the Exodus, parting of the Red Sea, the Virgin Birth of Messiah Jesus, and (most of all) his resurrection from the dead. Plus dozens of others recorded in Scripture. Or “secular” events in the course of history, significant or not, that apparently have nothing to do with God, or so we think.

The rise to power of dictators throughout history has been through the seemingly normal course of human events; whether through dynasties, by subterfuge, via the power afforded to them by the position they hold, or usurping control of the political, economic, and military institutions of a nation. Though great victories over their enemies and/or pouring out messianic-like messages with persuasive promises of a paradise on earth, they convince the common people to yield their complete allegiance, even to the point of worship. Such historical figures as: Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great, some of the Roman Emperors (Augustus, Nero, Vespasian, Hadrian), Hannibal, Genghis Khan, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Hirohito, and Mao tse-tung.

Regarding the Antichrist, even Bible scholars and students see no reason to question this historical paradigm of how both good and evil rulers have (naturally) ascended to power. Most, if not all, also agree that the Antichrist will exceed all of the tyrants before him; with the notion that he will be a geopolitical, economic, and military genius unequaled in human history.

(This Passage Encapsulates the Actual Character of Antichrist, As Will Be Developed in Today’s Article)

As stated in my second book, Out of the Abyss, and some prior Eye of Prophecy articles, I, too, once subscribed to this (reasonable) characterization of the Antichrist. Until, that is, the discernment that led to a remarkable refitting of the prophetic puzzle: the overlooked evidence that the Antichrist had already lived and died BEFORE the author of Revelation observed this despicable man in the form of a beast. Consequently, the following passage bears repeating:

“Why are you so amazed? The angel asked. I will tell you the mystery of this woman and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns on which she sits. The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now. And yet he will soon (abruptly, suddenly) come up out of the bottomless pit … And the people who belong to this world (the unsaved during the Tribulation) … will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died” (Revelation 17:7-8; italics for emphasis, parenthesis mine).

To eliminate any doubt, this “beacon-light illumination” was subsequently confirmed by exhaustive research of all Biblical passages on the Antichrist, as well as first century history—especially that of the Roman Emperors and the early Church. What I found was absolutely stunning. Including the fact that nowhere does the Bible present a portrait of this man possessing extraordinary charismatic or oratorical skills or genius-like traits … commonly attributed to world leaders who have persuaded entire nations to follow them and their schemes for whatever kind of utopia they concocted.

The World Will Marvel At Antichrist For One Reason Only

For sure the Antichrist will be boastful, to the extent of blaspheming God himself (Daniel 7 & Revelation 13), but he will not be afforded blind worship because he is a super statesman, military mastermind, or inborn leader. Actually, the False Prophet will be the consummate spokesman of the two—promoting the one thing that will galvanize the world’s undivided attention: Antichrist’s miraculous reappearance from a 2,000 year-old grave as the world will see it (actually he comes up out of the Abyss).

In the New American Standard Bible, the Greek word thaumazo (thou-mad-zo) is used 43 times in the New Testament, 44 times in the Holman Christian Standard Bible.

According to Thayer’s Greek lexicon, thaumazo means to: wonder or marvel at, even to the point of honoring or worshipping; denoting incredulous surprise; in (complete) admiration of. It is most often rendered in Bible translations as: amazed, marveled, astonished, astounded.

For example: The familiar conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus found in the third chapter of John that contains the most universally well-known verse in all of the Bible (John 3:16). Jesus prefaces that fabulous verse of redemption by telling Nicodemus: “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again’” (John 3:7, italics for emphasis, Holman Christian Standard Bible).

Surprisingly—considering the many apocalyptic revelations and shocking scenes found in the book of Revelation—the Greek word thaumazo is employed only four times. Once in Chapter 13 and three times in Chapter 17. And (not so surprisingly) all four times the term pertains to John’s two visions of the Antichrist beast, by describing John’s reaction … even more so the world’s reaction when they first see the beast. This impact far exceeds the normal response of witnessing a world leader’s rise to power in the usual way and customary period of time—which is at least a few years. Rather, the world’s reaction of utter amazement and awe of this man pertains to one thing only: his reappearance from the grave.

It is a knee-jerk response of astonishment to who the Antichrist is (a man from the distant past), and also how he arrives on the scene. Best described by the very first passage on the Antichrist found in Scripture: “As I was looking at the horns, suddenly another small horn appeared among them…” (Daniel 7:8, italics for emphasis).

(See Eye of Prophecy article, Sudden Appearance of Antichrist … Why So Different? Posted 1-21-17)

In Revelation 17, the first use of the Greek word thaumazo is found in verse 6, which conveys John’s incredulity at the vision of the woman on the beast. The noun form is used, translated, amazement. The next use of the word is in verse 7, when the angel says to John, “Why are you so amazed … I will tell you the mystery of this woman and of the beast…”

(A Fairly Accurate Depiction of John’s Reaction to One or More of His Visions)

Now let’s read Revelation 17:8 again, this time from the Holman Christian Standard Bible:

“The beast you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up from the abyss and go to destruction. Those who live on the earth whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world (the unsaved) will be astounded when they see the beast that was, and is not, and will be present again (italics for emphasis, parenthesis mine)”

What is the one and only thing in this passage that “astounds” the world? It is when (because) they see the Antichrist beast who had already lived and died. A man they would see (be present again) immediately after he comes up out of the Abyss. Not charismatic character or exceptional eloquence or super statesmanship, or anything of the sort. Rather, the world is riveted on and mesmerized by him because he has miraculously returned from a 2,000 year-old grave.

In fact the term, “miracle” found in John’s first vision of the Antichrist beast is one of the four times Revelation uses the Greek word thaumazo, translated as marveled in the NLT. As follows:

“I saw that one of the heads of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast. They worshipped the dragon for giving the beast such power, and they also worshipped the beast. ‘Who is as great as the beast?’ they exclaimed. ‘Who is able to fight against him?’” (Revelation 13:3-4).

Let me ask five questions to reinforce the one and only thing about the Antichrist beast to create such wonder over the entire earth, as clearly conveyed in the passage just quoted.

What did the world marvel at? Answer: “at this miracle.”

What was the miracle at which they marveled? Answer: “the fatal wound was healed.” And the context is crystal clear: this wound had already been healed before John witnessed the beast arising from the sea which is the scene that begins Revelation Chapter 13.

What was the power given to the beast by Satan (the dragon) and demonstrated by the beast himself, to the extreme that people will worship both Satan and Antichrist? Answer: the power of the Antichrist’s miraculous recovery (and reappearance as further described in John’s second vision of the beast … Chapter 17).

Why could/would they exclaim (in the form of a question) that no one is greater than the beast? Same Answer: Because of the marvelous miracle of his return from the dead.

Why can no one fight against the beast? This question is not as rhetorical (obvious), but the reason nonetheless is overwhelmingly inferred by the text. Answer: How can anyone fight against a man who has risen from the dead? Even if you wanted to, how can you kill such a man?

Do you get the prophetic picture of what’s going on in Revelation 13 & 17? The very next verse in Chapter 13, begins with, “Then the beast was allowed to speak great blasphemies against God…” (Verse 5). Thus, the beast (also illustrated in Daniel 7 as the little horn railing against God) is depicted as an arrogant blasphemous tyrant who will boast that he alone is God (or Messiah) complements of his amazing return to the earth in the same body in which he left it.

The very fact that he has returned after a 2,000-year absence will soundly trump and effectively preclude all other traits of a leader otherwise needed to seduce hundreds of millions left on earth to yield their complete loyalty, and actually worship such a man.

In my book Out of the Abyss, I also spent considerable time on a more obscure Old Testament reference to Antichrist, found in Zechariah Chapter 11. Specifically, the sword thrusts by Nero’s servant that inflicted the fatal wounds to Nero, who wanted to commit suicide but couldn’t complete the act, are prophetically (partially) described as follows:

Here is an excerpt from Out of the Abyss (in italics):

Zechariah vividly depicts this “worthless shepherd” as a ruthless, but also a pathetic figure. It’s entirely feasible that Nero will be self-conscious of these wounds; though he will make the most of the fact that he died from these wounds, and then returned from the dead. His physical appearance in the tribulation and the historical evidence that Nero was not that great of an orator, explain why the False Prophet will do most of the talking for the beast.

The erection of a statue of Antichrist (Nero) will further immortalize him, but I believe also to lessen the need for Nero to appear publicly any more than necessary. To a great extent, it’s an evil representation of Moses and Aaron. You recall: Aaron did much of the talking for Moses, though Moses was the actual Deliverer chosen by God to liberate the Hebrews.

…Search the Scriptures. You will not find any direct evidence that the beast is a great orator, statesman, or consummate genius as modern-day views characterize him. He is clever; he is a braggart and a blasphemer, but that doesn’t make him charismatic. Antichrist’s accomplishments and “charisma” are attributed to his miraculous resurrection, the statue, and the persuasive ability of the False Prophet… (Page 248-249).

A Refit of the Prophetic Puzzle Pertaining to Antichrist

Realization that the Antichrist beast of Revelation had already lived and died, and would return at the outset of the Tribulation to the utter astonishment of those left behind at the Rapture, led to my abandonment of these two (otherwise sensible) views. (1) That the Antichrist would arrive as a modern-day born man just like all tyrants who preceded him in their time. (2) He would possess genius-like traits and extraordinary skills that would capture global attention and allegiance.

Once this “amazing” refit of the prophetic puzzle was in place, it was just a matter of more study, research, comparing Scripture with Scripture, and correlating 1st century history to identify which of the seven heads (kings … Roman Emperors at the time) was the man of lawlessness—the Apostle Paul’s appellation of the Antichrist as written in 51-52 A.D. just 2-3 years before Nero unlawfully became Caesar.

In addition to Out of the Abyss (a comprehensive expose of the Antichrist), of the 235 Eye of Prophecy articles to date (one each Saturday since July, 2013), 47 have been assigned to the category of the Antichrist … nearly all of which have provided elaboration that Nero is the Antichrist.

Brief Revisit of Last Week’s Part I Article

First to quote again the four verses of Daniel Chapter 9 that constitute the most panoramic set of prophecies in Scripture:

“A period of seventy sets of seven has been decreed for your people and your holy city to finish their rebellion, to put an end to their sin, to atone for their guilt, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to confirm the prophetic vision, and to anoint the Most Holy Place” (Daniel 9:24)

“Now listen and understand! Seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until a ruler—the Anointed One—comes. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defenses, despite the perilous times” (Verse 25).

“After this period of sixty-two sets of seven, the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple. The end will come with a flood, and war its miseries are decreed from that time to the very end” (Verse 26).

“The ruler will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven, but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings. And as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration, until the fate decreed for this defiler is finally poured out on him” (Daniel 9:27).

Next, a restatement of the first four components of this prophetic passage, with a reminder that a Hebrew week represents seven years.

(1) The Seventy Weeks of Daniel

(2) Sixty-Nine Weeks to Messiah’s Arrival on Earth

(3) Messiah’s Death

(4) Soon After Messiah’s Death, a Ruler (Antichrist) Would Arise

We’ll pick up where we left off with the 5th of these tremendous predictions, including what is probably the most proof positive prophecy (fulfilled in the 1st century) that Nero is, in fact, the Antichrist. Prefaced with a brief review of the:

Resounding Revival of Interest in Biblical Last Days Prophecies

Beginning in 1948 and especially following the incredible Six-Day War of 1967 when Israel liberated and reclaimed Jerusalem as its eternal capital, there was a remarkable resurgence in the interest of end-times Biblical prophecy.

(Jewish Celebration of the November 1947 UN Resolution That Paved the Way for Israel’s Statehood in May, 1948)

(Exhausted Israeli Soldiers Resting at the Western Wall After Liberating Jerusalem in the Six-Day War)

This renewed focus is based on the three most significant prophecies in Scripture. (1) The first arrival of Messiah for the express purpose of establishing the New Covenant—through his death and resurrection to forgive sin and pardon the penalty thereof. (2) The return of the Jews from the four corners of the earth to their Promised Land and the rebirth of Israel as a sovereign state, which took place in 1948. (3) Which, in turn, will precipitate the return of Messiah to establish the Kingdom of God from Jerusalem. But also the Antichrist who would counterfeit the true Messiah (Jesus) by aligning with Satan, the False Prophet, and all who take the mark of the Beast to set up their own kingdom.

However, there were three major and a couple of minor pieces of the prophetic puzzle that were inaccurately fitted, all of which were based on the assumption that the Antichrist would be born in the generation of the Day of the Lord.

One is the grammatical, contextual, and historical change (substitution) of the seven heads of the beast of Revelation 17 to kingdoms instead of what the text clearly identifies as kings. One of the mistaken results of ascribing the Greek word for kings to kingdoms is that of the now famous conjecture that there will be a Revived Roman Empire (the 7th head).

When in fact, Revelation states: “The seven heads of the beast represent … seven kings. Five kings have already fallen, the sixth now reigns, and the seventh is yet to come, but his reign will be brief” (Revelation 17:9-10, italics for emphasis—a personal pronoun referring to the seventh king as “his” as opposed to a kingdom). Also, the terms for king (basileus) and kingdom (basileia) are as definitively distinct in Greek, as are the English translated words, king and kingdom.

Instead there will be a Revived Roman Emperor (Nero), as first indicated in my book Out of the Abyss!

In the context of today’s article, you may also want to refer to, Exposing Antichrist’s Identity … More Compelling Evidence Part I & II, published 3-18 & 3-25-17 (concerning the seven heads/kings of the beast).

Because of the prevailing persistence that the Antichrist must be a modern-day man, the second improperly fitted piece is to attribute the restrainer of lawlessness to the Holy Spirit (II Thessalonians 2). When, in fact, Paul was referring to a restraint that was holding back this man and the secrecy of the lawlessness during the very time when Paul wrote II Thessalonians … 51, 52 A.D. The (temporary) restrainer at the time was the current Roman Emperor, Claudius, and the Roman government in general. See Eye of Prophecy article, Does the Holy Spirit Restrain (the Man of) Lawlessness? Posted 3-4-17.

(Bust of Emperor Claudius, Married to Nero’s Mother, Agrippina–Who Poisoned Claudius to Hasten Nero’s Rise to Power as Caesar)

The third major misapplication is disassociating or detaching the armies of the ruler to arise from the ruler himself, i.e. to separate the Roman Legions that destroyed the Temple from the ruler (Nero) who actually issued those orders while he was Commander-in-Chief (Caesar) of all Roman armies.

Which leads us to the fifth featured prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27.

(5) The Armies (Roman Legions) That Destroyed the 2nd Temple Belonged to Nero Caesar

In last week’s article, we examined the historical fulfillment of Daniel 9:26 which occurred in the first century. “After this period of sixty-two sets of seven, the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, and a ruler will arise…”

Specifically, that this ruler would arise shortly after Messiah was killed. Historically, such a ruler was born some four years after Jesus arose from the dead and was already being touted as the next Roman Emperor about 18 years after Jesus returned to heaven. In 54 A.D. this same ruler became the fifth Caesar of the Roman Empire. As you already know, I’m referring to Nero, Mr. 666 himself. (The numerical equivalent of Nero Caesar in Hebrew gematria is six-hundred and sixty-six—Revelation 13:18).

Continuing with Daniel 9:26, we read: “After this period of sixty-two sets of seven, the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple…”

Which precisely and perfectly fits Daniel’s prophecy as we will see in the following evidence.

Once we wrap our minds around the startling statement (yet one presented matter-of-factly by the angel) in Revelation 17:7-8—the Antichrist beast had already lived and died before John’s vision of this man, then would return from the Abyss—all of the other passages on the Antichrist fall into place. Matching Nero as the: little horn/ruler of Daniel 7; the worthless shepherd of Zechariah 11; the man of lawlessness in II Thessalonians 2; the number of the beast in Revelation 13; and the eighth king (one of, from the seven kings) of Revelation 17.

Although there is an abundance of evidence in all of the above listed Biblical passages and also 1st century history to decisively demonstrate that Nero was, is, and will still be the Antichrist (upon his reappearance), the fifth prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 and its fulfillment is more than enough evidence (by itself) to confirm that this ruler was none other than Nero.

To encourage you to read my second book, which contains a comprehensive overview of the Antichrist … and more; but also because I believe it was explained as well or better than I could rephrase it, here is an excerpt from Out of the Abyss (in italics). Beginning with a partial quote of Daniel 9:26: “…and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple” cited earlier from the New Living Translation:

In some Bible translations such as the New American Standard, we read, “…and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary…” The perception of a Revived Roman Empire flows from the attachment or affiliation of the Ancient Roman Empire’s armies or people that destroyed the Temple to a modern-day Antichrist. But as we will soon see, this application contextually, grammatically, and prophetically stretches the connection to the breaking point.

The Hebrew word for “people” is am, which means people(s), people of a nation, members of one’s people, kinsman, or compatriots … And invariably, when relating people to a nation, king, ruler or to God, the word is employed in the logical and sensible Scriptural context of possessive, immediate, or generational relationship.

…In other words, “People” of the prince or ruler to come includes all of the prince’s country-men; but more exactly it was the armies (Roman Legions) of this people that fulfilled the prophecy.

…If you study the text carefully, there is a clear possessive correlation between the ruler and the armies or the people. The New Living Translation simplifies the English to demonstrate this connection by stating that, “…a ruler will arise whose armies.” Whose is possessive, meaning those armies or people specifically belonging to that particular ruler. Or, if you prefer the translation that says, “people of the prince,” the same possessive principle applies. The people directly affiliated, associated, or united with the prince destroyed the Temple.

…If Gabriel had meant that the Temple would first be destroyed by the people of the prince, and then the prince would come at a (much) later date, he would have told Daniel that the armies or people of the prince to come will have or would have already destroyed the city and the Temple. This would leave no doubt that the city would first be destroyed, and then the ruler would come later.

…What Gabriel is emphasizing or distinguishing is the fact that the armies of the prince would destroy Jerusalem, instead of the prince and his armies together; that it would be the armies independent of the ruler, with an excessively strong implication that the ruler didn’t live to see the conquest finished.

This is true when reading history. Almost always, a historian (we speak in the same terms) will say that Alexander the Great conquered Persia, not Alexander and his armies. We fully understand what it means; that Alexander the Great or Napoleon or whoever couldn’t have done it without their armies.

Yet, if a ruler dies, and his armies continue the battle or the war, we see, for example, that it was Genghis Khan’s armies or troops that did such and such after he died. “People of the prince who is to come” neither prophetically or grammatically state nor even imply that the city would be destroyed before the prince arrived. In other words, this ruler and his armies are inseparably linked together in possessive relationship and in a real-time context…

Where have you ever read or seen or thought that a ruler of any era would be connected to armies or people hundreds or thousands of years earlier. All monarchs, both in Biblical and secular history, are linked directly with the armies of that particular time of the ruler’s life.

…Why, then, should Gabriel and Daniel mean a far-off, time-warped differential between the Roman Legions and a prince that wouldn’t arrive on the scene for what is now a nearly two-thousand year gap?

…But that’s the current hindsight application made by those who hold to a modern-day Antichrist and a Revived Roman Empire. Meaning that this “prince who is to come” must be born and rise to power after an enormous lapse of time, with a 21st century result of an impractical and unrealistic time-capsule detachment from the armies that destroyed the city and the Temple. (Chapter 26, pages 254-257).

Summary of Point #5

Bible students and secular scholars and historians know beyond any doubt what armies demolished (stone by stone, as Jesus said would happen … Matthew 24:2) the 2nd Temple and destroyed much of Jerusalem in the process. This campaign against Israel began with seven Roman legions under the command of General Vespasian in 66 A.D. Because civil war erupted soon after Nero died in June, 68 A.D., Vespasian returned to Rome to put an end to this chaotic condition which included the brief reign of three pseudo-emperors over a period of only 18 months. Vespasian then become Emperor in 69 A.D. In the interim, he turned the conquest of Israel over to his son, Titus, who finished the sack of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D.

Yet, there’s one thing that you seldom read about in the history books, one that is not very often emphasized (or even mentioned) by Bible or secular historians or teachers: It was Nero who personally commissioned Vespasian and Titus to crush the Jewish rebellion.

Summarizing this subject with an excerpt from the next chapter in Out of the Abyss:

Think about it! Historically, that exactly what happened. Nero issued direct orders and personally selected the Roman generals to carry out the directive. But Nero wasn’t around to see the outcome of this Judean campaign. Thus it was necessary for Daniel to prophetically tell us that it was the armies of the ruler who actually finished the job.

…Nor has any conquest, in ancient or modern warfare, been accomplished or even recognized by means of troops conquering a city or country, then the supreme leader (king or emperor) of that army born hundreds of years later or even a few years later. In fact, that makes no sense at all. The only way the armies can be connected to, belong to, controlled, or ordered by their leader, is a direct result of the leader—by virtue of being alive—delivering commands to his subordinates; thus, for that ruler to be unequivocally associated with and attached to the people that do the conquering.

…The armies or people who destroyed the city and the Temple were Roman Legions that belonged to Nero, as ultimate Commander-in-Chief of all Roman legions. These legions are long gone, and couldn’t possibly be the people or armies of a modern-day born Antichrist. (Chapter 27, pages 263-264).

Does this, or is this beginning to make sense to you? With the scholarly, grammatical (the text itself), historical, and most of all common-sense conclusion that the people of the prince (Antichrist) were the very Roman Legions that belonged to Nero, and not some ruler who would come afterward—which is now nearly 2,000 years later. Then combine that with the fact: This same ruler lived and died during the 1st century—not long before Revelation was written—but who would “reappear” from the Abyss (Revelation 17:7-8).

Point #6 of Daniel’s prophecies in Chapter 9—Antichrist’s (the ruler) Seven-Year Treaty with Israel

First, to quote the last part of Daniel 9:26: “…The end will come with a flood, and war and its miseries are decreed from that time to the very end.”

By comparison with other Biblical end-times prophecies (not the least of which are the twenty-one massive plagues found in the book of Revelation), at this point in the passage Daniel is transitioning from the 1st century to the Tribulation period.

Next comes: “The ruler will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven, but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings… (Daniel 9:27a).

Time and space do not permit extensive elaboration on this well-known component of the seven prophecies found in Daniel Chapter 9. Except to reiterate that this period of seven years is the 70th (final) week of the seventy weeks mentioned in verse 24. It begins with a treaty that is broken by the Antichrist half way through, which also tracks with Revelation 13 that shows us the apex of Antichrist’s (Nero) power and authority will take place during the last half of the seven-year Tribulation.

“…And he was given authority to do whatever he wanted for forty-two months” (Revelation 13:5).

(This Is An Accurate Time-Line as Found in Daniel Chapters 9 & 12)

Also, one other important feature specifically applicable to last week’s and this week’s article: the obvious but still amazing fact that this ruler whose armies would destroy Jerusalem and the 2nd Temple would be the same one to orchestrate the seven-year treaty with Israel when, “the end will come.” Amazing because the ruler of Daniel 9 is (of course) the beast-king of Revelation 13 & 17 who had already lived and died in the 1st century before John’s vision of the beast.

That “end” begins with the Rapture of believers and the immediate reappearance of the Antichrist beast, followed by the Great Tribulation. Which means that if Nero was the ruler whose armies destroyed the Temple (and he was), then Nero (this same ruler) must return to accomplish the seemingly impossible feat—in the context of today’s strife in the Middle East—of brokering a treaty between Israel and her enemies.

See Eye of Prophecy article, The Peace Treaty That Will Guarantee War (posted 9-3-16).

(7) Antichrist Final Fate Sealed At the End of the Tribulation

First, to quote the last sentence of this phenomenal panoramic passage in Daniel:

“And as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration, until the fate decreed for this defiler is finally poured out on him” (Daniel 9:27b).

The sacrilegious object is one Nero will erect in the rebuilt Temple … a repetition of what his archetype predecessor, Antiochus Epiphanes IV, did in 169-168 B.C. (See Daniel Chapter 11).

Although covered extensively in Out of the Abyss and in condensed fashion in a couple of prior Eye of Prophecy articles, there’s also a phenomenal fact missed by many students of the Bible, relating to the final words of Daniel 9:27.

Which is:

“Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed (which Nero was when he ascended to the throne as Caesar in 54 A.D.), but the Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath of his mouth (meaning at the providential direction of Jesus, himself) and destroy him by the splendor of his coming” (II Thessalonians 2:8, parenthesis mine).

First, Nero would be “revealed” as the man of lawlessness, ending the secrecy of this lawlessness explained earlier in II Thessalonians Chapter 2. Then he would reappear from the abyss as prophesied in Revelation 17.

Before fulfillment of God’s purpose (permission) to give Satan and mankind one last chance to challenge God and counterfeit and corrupt God’s magnificent plan for the human race, Messiah Jesus himself would preemptively kill the man of lawlessness. Once again, we’re short on time/space to detail all the reasons why that happened in 68 A.D. including the obvious deductive conclusion that Christ revived Nero after his death and banished him to the Abyss.

(See articles: Soon Comes the Antichrist … Straight From the Abyss, Part I & II, published 8-20 & 8-27-16)

But then Jesus would finally “destroy” Nero who will return as the beast-king (designation in Revelation) from the Abyss.

Read II Thessalonians 2:8 again. The Apostle Paul says that Jesus will kill this man of lawlessness AND (at a future time) destroy him. If you kill someone, you destroy them, right? Right, but not if the deceased is revived and then placed in the Abyss, which Scripture shows us is inhabited by extremely wicked angels in bodily form—see Revelation 9:1-11).

Thus, Paul is telling us that in addition to Jesus killing this man of lawlessness, Jesus would ALSO destroy him. How and when would this final destruction take place?

Answer: Defeating Antichrist at Armageddon by the “splendor of his (Christ) coming” (II Thessalonians 2:8b). Then throwing Nero and his False Prophet alive into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 19:20).

Which matches perfectly with Daniel 9:27: “…until the fate decreed for this defiler is finally poured out on him.”

(This is the Great White Throne Judgment Which Takes Place After the 1000-year Reign of Messiah, Revelation 20:11-15)

Things to Ponder

Permit me to present one last excerpt from Out of the Abyss to explain why most of that book and 20% of all Eye of Prophecy articles have focused on clarification and (when needed) correction of misunderstood Biblical passages pertaining to the Antichrist.

We’re nearing our final destination. If the sights and sounds of the voyage, or the ship’s Scriptural log haven’t yet influenced you that Revelation 13 & 17’s wisdom or mind of understanding enables any believer of any generation to know the identity of the beast, Antichrist, that’s okay. As indicated earlier, when some left behind at the Rapture realize that Nero’s initial revealing and subsequent reappearance had been predicted long ago, they will hopefully, without amazement at this protégé of Satan, accept Jesus as Messiah (Page 249).

Speaking of Whom (Messiah Jesus), the same angel, Gabriel, who gave these spectacular prophecies to Daniel said to Mary some 540 years later:

“You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end” (Luke 1:31-33).


The Most Panoramic Prophecy in the Bible (Part I)

For those not all that familiar with the word panoramic, it is the adjective form of the noun, panorama. From the Greek word, horama (which means “sight”), Webster’s Dictionary defines panorama as, “…2a: an unobstructed or complete view of a region in every direction; b: comprehensive presentation of a subject; c: range; 3: a mental picture of a series of images or events.”

Picture a helicopter circling over the Grand Canyon, with a panoramic 360 degree vista. Standing on Mount Everest with a wide-angle camera lens, shooting a spectacular scene that … seems to go on forever. Or reading four verses in the book of Daniel that bear a breathtaking bird’s eye (let’s make it an eagle) view of the two most influential men and significant events in mankind’s history and destiny. One man of light, life, salvation, and all that is good; the other for darkness, death, judgment, and all that is evil.

There are no greater prophecies in Scripture than those of Messiah’s coming to the earth that he created, not once but twice—commonly referred to by theologians as the First and Second Advent of Christ. Though the far greater majority of people on earth, past and present, have not accepted Messiah Jesus as their personal Savior; a vast number of people from every race, religion, and nation recognize the name of Jesus Christ.

(One of My Favorite Passages in All of Scripture … The 1st & 2nd Advent of Jesus in Two Verses)

So, too, have billions of people on this planet heard, seen, or read about the evil antithesis of Messiah Jesus. This corrupt counterfeit of Christ bears several names in the Bible: ruler, king, little horn, man of lawlessness, and beast. But he is most commonly referred to as: Antichrist.

As a student of Scripture, I have intently studied Bible prophecy since the 1970s. Yet it wasn’t until November, 2008, when I realized that some of the pieces of the prophetic puzzle on the Antichrist were not accurately assembled. It began with a dramatic disclosure from the Lord (proper discernment and application of two verses in Revelation 17) that the Antichrist had already lived and died before John even saw him (in the form of a beast) and wrote about him. The implication was staggering, to the extent that it changes and corrects the conception of a modern-day man rising to power as the Antichrist during the soon to come Great Tribulation.

After seeing the astounding vision of a woman (a great city, which is Rome … see the six-part Eye of Prophecy series, The Woman and the Beast, posted 10-12 through 11-16-13) sitting on a beast with seven heads and ten horns (this is the same beast depicted in Revelation 13), the angel explains the mystery, beginning with the beast. Said the angel to John:

“Why are you so amazed? …I will tell you the mystery of this woman and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns on which she sits. The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now. And yet he will soon (abruptly, suddenly) come up out of the bottomless pit … And the people who belong to this world (the unsaved during the Tribulation) … will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died” (Revelation 17:7-8; italics for emphasis, parenthesis mine).

There is absolutely no ambiguity with regard to what the angel told John. This beast (man) had already lived and died before John first saw it (him) in the first century.

Antichrist passages explored extensively in Out of the Abyss and several prior Eye of Prophecy articles are: II Thessalonians 2 (man of lawlessness); Daniel 7 (sudden appearance of the little horn, king to lead a ten-nation confederation); Daniel 11, Revelation 16 & 19 (Antichrist’s final advance on the Middle East and attack on Israel—Armageddon); Zechariah 11 (worthless shepherd); Revelation 13 (the Hebrew gematria number of the beast matching Nero Caesar and the fact that the world will be amazed at the miracle of his reappearance); Revelation 17 (the Antichrist had already lived and died but would return from the Abyss, to continue on a global scale what he began in the first century). And a panoramic passage which is the main focus of this week’s and next week’s article.

These riveting passages provide evidence of the geopolitical and biographical origin of the Antichrist—none other than the Roman Emperor Nero. With Revelation 17:7-8 presenting the foundational fact that the Antichrist’s appearance during the Tribulation is not that of a modern-day man born in that (our) generation. Whereas, the other Biblical references listed above (including the rest of Revelation 17) relay more specific details to narrow down the Antichrist “candidates” to one man.

*Note: As stated before in a few Eye of Prophecy articles, my identification of Nero as the Antichrist is neither a Preterist View (as they subscribe to the exceptionally erroneous conjecture that the Tribulation took place in the 1st century) nor is it new in the sense of being revelatory. Rather it is discernment from the Lord to revive the clear understanding of the early church (1st through 4th centuries) that Nero was, indeed, the beast of Revelation. For example, see Eye of Prophecy article: The Legendary Return of Nero, posted 4-4-15.

The first mention of the Antichrist (designation of king and little horn) is found in Daniel Chapter 7, which is Daniel’s dream vision of the four beasts—world kingdoms. Chapter 7 primarily confines the introduction to and exposure of Antichrist in the context of his sudden unexpected appearance (reappearance as Revelation 13 & 17 tells us some 600 years later) at the outset of the Great Tribulation.

(Beasts Symbolizing From Left to Right in Order … Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome)

However, there is one passage in Scripture (in just four verses) which panoramically juxtaposes and correlates the first and second coming of Messiah alongside of the initial appearance and then reappearance of the Antichrist. This passage is nothing short of astonishing, to include the precise amount of elapsed time until Jesus would be hailed as the Messiah in Israel—one week before his crucifixion and resurrection. It is also the passage that, more than all the others in Scripture, confirms that the Antichrist would be and was (as fulfilled some 600 years later in the 1st century) the Roman Emperor Nero—the man of lawlessness, the ruler, the little horn, and the king. This wicked man has been kept alive in the Abyss for some 2,000 years and will return as the Antichrist beast of Revelation.

This most sweeping of all Biblical prophetic passages is found in:

Daniel 9:24-27 (Vision of Daniel in 539 B.C.)

Let’s briefly look at the setting.

Daniel had been taken captive to Babylon during Nebuchadnezzar’s first attack against Judah in 605 B.C. Ezekiel was exiled to Babylon in the 2nd campaign of 597 B.C., with the third (and final) most destructive onslaught occurring in 586 B.C. when Jerusalem and Solomon’s Temple were destroyed. Jeremiah was also a contemporary (older than Daniel and Ezekiel); however, he was never deported to Babylon.

In 539 B.C. right after Persia had conquered Babylon, Daniel read Jeremiah’s prophecy, “…that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years” (as quoted by Daniel in Chapter 9, verse 2).

That had been the warning given by God through Jeremiah to the two southern tribes of Israel—Judah and Benjamin. If God’s people persisted in worshipping false gods (idols) and refused to return to him, the prophecies given to Moses long before would come to pass—the final and most devastating of which was the inconceivable exile to foreign nations.

Daniel then proceeded to offer one of the most poignant and powerful prayers recorded in all of Scripture, acknowledging the unrepentant sins of the people and God’s perfect justice in judging them. Then pleading with the Lord to be merciful to him and his people. It was tantamount to asking the Lord to please remember his promise to limit the punishment to seventy years (Daniel 9:4-19).

Daniel had barely begun praying when God sent the angel Gabriel to him, but not just to answer Daniel’s prayer, as it was already a foregone conclusion that the Babylonia captivity would last for only 70 years. Rather, the Lord would give to Daniel an astounding panoramic prophecy concerning Israel’s future that would encompass the New Covenant of salvation and Israel’s ultimate physical and spiritual restoration; also times of great turmoil caused by both the first and second appearance of the anti-Messiah. And other phenomenal events that we’ll get to later in this and next week’s article.

Before we read the four verses of this powerful prophecy, let’s pick it up with Gabriel’s first words to Daniel:

“…Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding. The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God. Listen carefully so that you can understand the meaning of your vision” (Daniel 9:22-23).

(Depiction of Gabriel Appearing to Daniel, Who Would Have Been in His Early Eighties By This Time)

Here is Gabriel’s stunning revelation to Daniel, quoted in its entirety. However, for purpose of easier referencing later on, each verse will be cited individually.

“A period of seventy sets of seven has been decreed for your people and your holy city to finish their rebellion, to put an end to their sin, to atone for their guilt, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to confirm the prophetic vision, and to anoint the Most Holy Place” (Daniel 9:24)

“Now listen and understand! Seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until a ruler—the Anointed One—comes. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defenses, despite the perilous times” (Verse 25).

“After this period of sixty-two sets of seven, the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple. The end will come with a flood, and war its miseries are decreed from that time to the very end” (Verse 26).

“The ruler will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven, but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings. And as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration, until the fate decreed for this defiler is finally poured out on him” (Daniel 9:27).

In just four verses, the angel Gabriel revealed a total of seven (once again illustrating the striking significance of the divine number seven) distinct components to this amazing prophecy. Some of the seven are well-known and sufficiently grasped by students of Bible prophecy; others have been misunderstood or misapplied, especially verse 26.

*Note: You may want to print the above portion of today’s article that quotes the four verses of Daniel Chapter 9, for easier reference as we proceed.

(1) The Seventy Weeks of Daniel

In Hebrew, the 70 weeks represent 490 actual years (one week equals seven years) of time that began with the Persian King Artaxerxes’s decree in 445 B.C.—recorded later in Nehemiah Chapter 2—allowing Nehemiah to return to Israel and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. However, the 70 weeks (particularly the sweeping events depicted in verse 24), would also prophetically span the interlude between the first 69 weeks of this era and the remaining (70th) week.

Sixty-nine of these weeks (483 years) would end with the triumphant ride of Jesus on the back of a donkey (as foretold by Zechariah) into Jerusalem on what we now call Palm Sunday. Seven days later, Messiah Jesus would arise from the dead to seal the New Covenant of Salvation through faith in God’s grace … the substitutionary sacrificial gift of His Son. That is the (once for all) atonement spoken of in verse 24.

The 70th week would not commence until: “The end will come…” (verse 26) at which time the Antichrist would make a seven-year treaty with Israel (verse 27). From which we get the duration of the Great Tribulation, beginning with believers taken from the earth in the Rapture (I Thessalonians 4 & I Corinthians 15).

Take special note that the same ruler (Antichrist) introduced earlier in verse 26 is the one who orchestrates this seven-year treaty with Israel; separated by a (long) period of time before the 70th week would begin, as clearly conveyed in the last half of verse 26: “…The end will come…” Which perfectly matches with Nero’s first time/tenure on earth as a Roman Emperor to his return from the Abyss at the outset of the Tribulation.

At the end of that 70th week (seven years) when Messiah returns triumphantly to earth to set up his Millennial Reign, other of Daniel’s predictions in verse 24 will come to pass. Israel’s rebellion (their persistent refusal by the majority of Jews to accept Jesus as their Messiah) is finally ended when the remnant left at the end of the Tribulation embraces Jesus as their Messiah. First they will mourn for Jesus because they (and their ancestors) had denied him as their Messiah Savior (Zechariah 12:10-14). Everlasting righteousness will be established in the Kingdom of God, and the Most Holy Place (the 3rd Temple) will be divinely “anointed” or set apart for worship and prayer during the Millennium.

At that point the entire scope of the prophetic vision will have been confirmed … completed.

These 70 weeks would comprehensively comprise everything pertaining to Israel’s redemption (individually then nationally) and their ultimate physical and spiritual restoration to the Promised Land. In between the 69th and 70th week, the times of the Gentile domination would continue over Israel, which finally ended in 1967.

(2) Sixty-Nine Weeks to Messiah’s Arrival on Earth

Daniel gives us the starting point of that phenomenally precise prediction, and the Gospels tell us exactly when Messiah Jesus (“the Anointed One comes” … Daniel 9:25) fulfilled the prophecy as foretold in the following well-known passage:

“Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on donkey—riding on a donkey’s colt” (Zechariah 9:9).

Not until the appointed time during his marvelous and miraculous ministry on earth did Jesus allow Israel to “officially” acknowledge him as the long-awaited Messiah; even though his profound teaching and his powerful miracles that no one had ever done before proved that he was the Son of God … exactly who King David said the Messiah would be (Psalm 2 & Psalm 110).

Read with me from Matthew’s Gospel: “The two disciples did as Jesus commanded. They brought the donkey and the colt to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it. Most of the crowds spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting.

‘Praise God for the Son of David (all Jews knew that term was equivalent to the Messiah)! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Praise God in highest heaven!’

“The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. ‘Who is this?’ they asked. And the crowds replied, ‘It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee’” (Matthew 21:6-11; italics for emphasis, parenthesis mine).

Although mentioned in subsequent Eye of Prophecy articles, here is an excerpt from an older article, An Incredible Prophecy Time-Lapse Prophecy (Posted 1-18-14). That article was all about the amazing discovery (disclosure) given to Sir Robert Anderson, published in 1894 in his book, The Coming Prince.

Once again, time/space prohibits extensive review of what he found, so I will highly condense his amazing discovery: Sir Robert Anderson calculated (with partial assistance from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich) the Julian date of King Artaxerxes edict to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem to have been March 14th, 445 BC. Furthermore, the Julian date for Jesus’s magnificent ride into Jerusalem was April 6th, 32 AD. By employing the Hebrew calendar, Sir Robert Anderson tallied 173,880 days had elapsed which is exactly 483 Jewish years!! Absolutely astounding! I repeat for emphasis: Incredible!!

Sir Robert Anderson factored in leap years and the 24 days from March 14th to April 6th. Some mathematicians/scholars determined that Anderson was two days off or so; but whether they’re right or Sir Robert was right, doesn’t matter all that much. The fact is: to calculate within two days, or two weeks, or two months, or even two years is remarkable. When you’re talking about 483 years, even a gap of two years still gives significant validation to the prophecy. Meaning that it’s not the God-given prophecy that’s a little off; rather, it might just be a slight miscalculation of what is a fairly complex system of balancing two calendars over such a long period of time.

Unless God, himself, directly inspires someone (such as the prophet Daniel), there’s absolutely no way for a man or woman to predict either the decree of Artaxerxes (some 95 years after Daniel’s vision) or the coming of the Messiah (some 483 years—Jewish calendar) years later to the year and the very day! Or, for that matter to predict anything, with or without a definitive time-frame of fulfillment, on an error-free, 100% standard of accuracy….

*Foot Note: Sir Robert Anderson recognized that Daniel’s prophecy was one (of a very few) Biblical prediction based on an actual calendar time-lapse projection … in this case regarding Messiah’s first coming. The insight given to me comes from the “hidden” gem of prophecy found in Leviticus Chapter 26, pertaining to the Lord’s second coming during the generation that would see the end of Gentile domination of the Jews in 1967. It also is based on a precise period of time, in this case the four phases of seven times over representing the actual historical time-line of God’s uninterrupted discipline of Israel.

(Sir Robert Anderson … 1841-1918)

See Eye of Prophecy articles, Seven Times Seven (to the 4th Power) Parts I, II, III; followed by The Omega Generation—published 1-25-14 through 2-15-14. Also refer to articles: Jubilee and Messiah … They Go Together! (1-25-16) & Double Israel’s Trouble and Double Her Blessings! (8-13-16).

Whether coincidental or not: Sir Robert Anderson was an Investigator for Scotland Yard and my profession was principally that of an Insurance Investigator.

(3) Messiah’s Death

“After this period of sixty-two sets of seven (69 sets of seven in all or 483 years—173,880 days), the Anointed One will be killed…” (Daniel 9:26a, parenthesis mine).

In Verse 25 the angel Gabriel describes (breaks down) the 69 weeks by saying, “seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven.” There could be two reasons for this: (1) sometimes the way in which the Hebrew language would (poetically) emphasize periods of time. But not just in Bible times. Do you remember a famous U.S. President who used the same kind of expression? “Four score and seven years ago…!”

(2) Gabriel is indirectly but nonetheless prophetically underscoring the time (seven weeks or 49 years) that would pass from the time of the Jerusalem walls decree to the 400-year period of silence when the Lord did not speak to his people through prophets, which is the last 400 years of B.C. time. Forty-nine years from 445 B.C. would lead to the year 396 B.C. which very well could have been the year when Malachi’s prophecies ended. Personally, I lean towards option 2.

Equally astonishing in Daniel’s Chapter 9 prophecy: Not only was Messiah’s arrival on Planet Earth (prophetically earmarked in time by thousands in Israel hailing him as Messiah exactly 173,880 days after the Artaxerxes decree) precisely foretold, so is the fact that he would be killed and that his death would occur BEFORE the 2nd Temple was destroyed (Verse 26). The implication of that fact is stunningly significant, in that there’s no other time for Messiah to (first) arrive other than before the temple was destroyed.

Here is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article: Where is Messiah … Is He Already Here? Posted 6-25-16. (In italics):

Daniel’s prophecy is unambiguously clear: The Messiah would appear before the destruction of the Temple, which took place in 70 AD. And that’s exactly what occurred … Jesus birth, life, death, and resurrection some 40 years before the Romans sacked Jerusalem, which irrefutably validates the accuracy of Daniel’s prophecy.

Whereas, the religious leaders and people of Jesus’s time scorned him for the reasons given thus far—most prominent of which was ignoring the plain evidence for the time of Messiah’s appearance and marginalizing or outright rejecting his teachings and miracles—all those who deny that he is Messiah after the Temple was destroyed have no grounds whatsoever to refute the Messiahship of Jesus.


Because they have the 20/20 hindsight of history, right up to the present day. The Messiah would come at the end of 483 years, exactly when Jesus rode on a donkey into Jerusalem … hailed by the people as the Son of David, the Messiah.

Then the Messiah would be killed BEFORE the Temple was destroyed by the armies of a ruler who would arise (shortly) AFTER Messiah arrived and was killed.

According to the time-line of Daniel’s prophecy, there is no way that the Messiah could (first advent) arrive on the scene of history AFTER the Temple was destroyed.

Daniel’s prophecy confirms prior predictions of Messiah’s death as found, for example, in Isaiah Chapter 53. Right up to this present day, the suffering of the Jewish Messiah is a source of consternation and bewilderment to many Jews, especially the observant among them. It is such a paradox that several Rabbis endorse the theory that there are two Messiahs, not just one. See Eye of Prophecy article, More Than One Messiah (12-5-15) and a companion article, Messiah’s Arrival … On Whose Authority? (11-25-15).

Or they continue to maintain that the personal pronouns applied to the Messiah (a man) speak of Israel as a nation in Isaiah 53. Which is impossible because no nation can be “an offering for sin” or “bear all their sins” or “had done no wrong” (Isaiah 53). The nation of Israel certainly couldn’t or wouldn’t be, “…buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave” (Isaiah 53:9).

(If I counted correctly, there are 36 personal pronouns of he, him, or his; plus “a man of sorrows” for a total of 37 references to an individual man–the Messiah–in Isaiah 53, a chapter with 12 verses)

I respect and admire and love the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. But with tough love I must say that for anyone, scholar or otherwise, to allege that the personal pronouns describing a man (the Messiah) in Isaiah 53 apply to Israel as a nation is a grammatically ignorant and/or deliberate contextual distortion of the passage.

For that matter, how could Messiah victoriously, but also humbly, enter Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt while at the same time appearing to Israel as their conquering King, liberating them from their enemies? In Biblical times, a king entering a city on a donkey was a gesture of redemptive-like resolution and peace, without the need for armed conflict. As opposed to a king riding into a city on a horse, symbolizing triumphant conquest in war. In fact, immediately after the verse quoted earlier from Zechariah (Messiah riding into Jerusalem on a donkey) we read:

“…I will destroy all the weapons used in battle, and your king will bring peace to the nations. His realm will stretch from sea to sea … to the ends of the earth. Because of the covenant I made with you, sealed with blood, I will free your prisoners…” (Zechariah 9:10-11).

The only possible explanation is that Messiah came first as Israel’s Sacrificial Redeemer to establish the New Covenant (sealed with his blood) prophesied by Jeremiah (Chapter 31), then will return as King of all kings to establish the Kingdom of God from Jerusalem.

Even before Isaiah 53, we read this in the preceding chapter:

“See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted (which is the only prophetic image most Jews have of Messiah). But many were amazed when they saw him (Isaiah is switching to the past tense to emphasize what must come first, even though the entire passage in prophetically future). His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance one would scarcely know he was a man” (Isaiah 52:13-14, parenthesis mine).

The Gospels vividly tell us that Jesus was struck about his face, part of his beard pulled out, beaten on his head with a rod, a crown of thorns placed on his head, and mercilessly flogged with a lead-tipped whip. Combine that with long nails driven through his wrists and feet on the cross and you get a graphic picture of Isaiah’s prophecy—that Jesus could hardly be recognized as a man.

But then immediately switching back to the future (return of Messiah), Isaiah states, “And he will startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence…” (Isaiah 52:15).

One day soon all of Israel will recognize beyond any doubt that Jesus is the Messiah when he returns to the Mount of Olives (from which he ascended back to heaven) and rescues the Jews from annihilation at the hands of Antichrist (Nero). Then and only then will their redemption as a nation be complete.

(4) Soon After Messiah’s Death, a Ruler (Antichrist) Would Arise

In amplification of Daniel Chapter 7 which deals primarily with the activities of the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation (although Chapter 7 does identify that this ruler would come from the 4th World Kingdom—Rome), Daniel 9 informs us when and from where the Antichrist would first appear as further supported by Revelation Chapter 17.

Long before the book of Revelation was written telling us that the Antichrist beast of the Great Tribulation had already lived and died in the 1st century (but would return from the Abyss), Daniel Chapter 9 paints a clear picture that this evil man would arise (soon) after Messiah’s birth, life, death, and resurrection.

We know that this ruler would appear soon after Messiah’s death, because of the qualifying language in Daniel 9:26. Beginning with:

“…the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple…” (Daniel 9:26a, italics for emphasis).

Here is an excerpt from my book, Out of the Abyss (in italics):

Another convincing reason to assign contemporary status, correlation, and connection between the ruler (Nero) and the Roman Legions of 70 AD relates to the ruler arising after the Anointed One (Messiah) is killed, “appearing to have accomplished nothing…” (Daniel 9:26).

If the ruler is a modern-day man, then this verse doesn’t fit. Worse, the first part of the verse is simply inaccurate. What am I saying? I am saying that, as this book is written, we can look back some 2000 years and clearly see the monumentally astounding accomplishments of Christianity. Yet Daniel 9:26 effectively tells us that the ruler will sequentially rise to power during the time that Messiah’s death “appears” to have accomplished nothing. In other words, the ruler would arise fairly soon after Messiah is killed.

Nero was born just three to four years after Christ died, and he ruled as Emperor just two-three decades after Christ’s resurrection and return to heaven. Christianity was still in its infancy. To the populace of Israel, the Roman Empire and world at large, the tragic death of Jesus of Nazareth seemed to have accomplished very little. To Jewish Zealots, Jesus’s death accomplished absolutely nothing … It took several centuries for Christians and the secular world to comprehend the increasing influence that the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ had exerted on the world (Pages 256-257).

(Busts of the First Five Roman Caesars …. Left to Right: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero)

The next paragraph after the above excerpt reads:

“Stating it bluntly: the Roman Legions of 70 AD could not be of, from, or belong to a ruler born some two thousand years later. This would stretch the chain that binds the Roman Legions of 70 AD to a modern-day man to the breaking point. Remember again: this ruler or king originates directly from the fourth world power (Roman Empire) of Daniel Chapter 7. The ruler does not come from a future 7th empire, because there is no such empire in the book of Daniel, as there are not seven heads to the beast of Daniel, only the ten horns (tribulation kings)” (Out of the Abyss, page 257).

Which leads us to the next remarkable feature of this four-verse passage in Daniel Chapter 9, as hinted at in the preceding paragraph just quoted. But one that will need to wait until next week’s Part II article!

That next point is:

(5) The Armies (Roman Legions) That Destroyed the 2nd Temple Belonged to Nero Caesar

As opposed to the impractical notion of these Roman legions belonging to a ruler who wouldn’t be born for another 2,000 years.

Points 6 & 7 will also follow in next week’s article, to, among other things, further demonstrate that Nero is the Antichrist, because the same ruler whose armies destroyed the Temple will initiate the seven-year treaty with Israel (at the outset of the Tribulation).

Things to Ponder

As with other visions seen by Daniel, I’m sure he was overwhelmed at the magnitude of all that Gabriel was telling him, particularly because the breadth of it was comprehensively condensed to a few sentences.

All of the seven component prophecies explained to him by Gabriel as recorded in Daniel 9:24-27 were astounding. But I think the one which probably stunned him the most was the fact that the Temple would be rebuilt. And then destroyed yet again! By a ruler who would arise shortly after Messiah was killed, which he already knew would happen by virtue of Isaiah and King David’s prophecies of Messiah’s death. Yet Daniel didn’t need to wait long to see the unfolding of the rebuilt Temple facet of these seven prophecies.

Less than a year later, the Persian King Cyrus, in his very first year of reign after conquering Babylon, issued a decree that the Jews could return to Israel and rebuild the Temple (See Ezra Chapter 1)!

Although Jeremiah had prophesied that the Babylonian Captivity would last only 70 years, God had not disclosed to him that the Temple would be rebuilt. In fact, it was the year when the Temple was finally finished (516 B.C.) which completed the 70 year-exile of the Jews, after Solomon’s Temple was demolished in 586 B.C.

Do you see how graciously the Lord answered Daniel’s prayer for mercy on and forgiveness of Daniel’s people, the Jews? Not only would the Jews return to Israel (some of them, as not all agreed to go back), the Temple itself would be rebuilt! That’s grace and mercy that only the Lord God can express in real time and in concrete ways. And then the Lord gave Daniel a condensed but nevertheless panoramic view of Israel’s future and destiny like virtually no other found in Scripture. One, however, that we can understand even better than Daniel, if we eagerly and thoroughly compare Scripture with Scripture and also history … particularly the 1st century

(Depiction of The Third Temple Superimposed on Temple Mount Next to the Dome of the Rock)

“Indeed, the Sovereign Lord never does anything until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).

“The time has come, says the Lord, when the grain and grapes will grow faster than they can be harvested. Then the terraced vineyards on the hills of Israel will drip with sweet wine! I will bring my exiled people of Israel back from distant lands, and they will rebuild their ruined cities and live in them again … I will firmly plant them there in their own land. They will never again be uprooted from the land I have given them, says the Lord your God” (Amos 8:13-15).

To the Gentile believers in Rome, the Jewish Apostle Paul wrote:

“Did God’s people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! They were disobedient, so God made salvation available to the Gentiles. But he wanted his own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves. Now if the Gentiles were enriched because the people of Israel turned down God’s offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when they finally accept it” (Romans 11:11-12).

Long live Israel!

Long live Messiah Yeshua!