Comparing A Phenomenal Prophecy in Leviticus With One in Zechariah

Most of the time, those even half-way interested in Biblical predictions (about 1/3 of the entire Bible) recognizes a prophecy when they read or hear it.

Moreover, they understand that the hundreds of prophecies fall into two categories: (1) Those already fulfilled; (2) Those still awaiting fulfillment.

However, there are a handful of prophecies that many aren’t certain whether they have come to pass yet, or if the passage is even prophetic. Such is the case with Leviticus Chapter 26.

Biblical eschatology also encompasses different forms (prototypes). Of which there are three main groupings: (1) Promises … the good news; (2) Warnings … the bad news; (3) Neutral … more matter-of-fact prognostications. Which nonetheless are as consequential as the precious promises and somber warnings of Scripture—for Jew and Gentile alike.

Sometimes all three paradigms fit a prophetic passage, as they do in Leviticus Chapter 26. The chapter begins with God’s promises to keep and prosper his people in the Promised Land of Israel if they trusted and obeyed him. Followed by warnings of hardship then eventual expulsion from Israel for their distrust and disobedience.

Yet, it is the third feature of that chapter that (others still to this day), I, too, had missed as being a precise prophecy, with a specified duration of the penalty for Israel’s rebellion. But once the discipline had ended, a resumption of God’s powerful promises to/for his people. It is one of the extraordinary handful in Scripture that contains a dedicated period (time-lapse) between the beginning and end of the prophecy.

In a revisit summary: The seven times over (in four phases) was (in reality) the uninterrupted sequence of the Lord’s on-going discipline that astonishingly applied directly to the prophetic duration … exact number of years! Which is equivalent to the Times of the Gentiles domination over Israel and the Jews from its precise beginning to its exact end.

See two-part Eye of Prophecy series: Extraordinary Prophecies w/Predicted Times of Fulfillment. Posted 3-2 & 3-9-19. Leviticus 26 is one of eight time-dedicated prophecies discussed in those two articles. Here is an excerpt from Part I (in italics):

Regarding the hundreds of Biblical prophecies, there are only a few time-capsule forecasts involving specific dates or duration of fulfillment. Which, in that context of comparison, makes these prophecies unique…. They are integral components of God’s magnificent plans for and interaction with his chosen people, the Jews; his special possession, Israel; and for all other peoples (Gentiles).

Also refer to article: Times of & Fullness of the Gentiles … What Do They Mean? (4-21-18).

(The 1st sentence in this prophecy from Jesus took place when the Romans sacked Jerusalem in A.D. 70 which led to the Great Diaspora of the Jews. The 2nd half of this prophecy came to completion when Jerusalem was liberated by the IDF in the Six-Day War of 1967 … no more trampling of Jerusalem! Except for a few brief weeks during the Tribulation)

Seven Times Seven (to the 4th Power)

That is the title of a trilogy of articles posted in 2014; followed by a general summary in the subsequent article, The Omega Generation. With emphasis in that article on the last day’s significance of Israel’s miraculous Six-Day War victory in 1967, resulting in liberation of the Holy City of Jerusalem, the capital of the Holy (Promised) Land of Israel.

That amazing achievement once and for all ended Gentile domination of the Jews, which was the definitive means and measure of God’s discipline of his people. For the express purpose of establishing the soon-to-come Kingdom of God ruled by his Son, Messiah Jesus from Jerusalem, upon his glorious return.

This seven-times over prophecy is being reviewed for the purpose of correlating it with another puzzling prophetic passage, concerning the scope of Israel’s (and Jews elsewhere in the world) turmoil during the Great Tribulation.

Before we tie-in these prophecies—thereby, clarifying our understanding of the extent of Israel’s suffering to come—here is another excerpt from Part I of Extraordinary Prophecies w/Predicted Times of Fulfillment. (In italics, the latter part of which is, in turn, a quote from Part II of the Seven Times Seven articles):

Although the seven times over (four times successively) prophecy in Leviticus doesn’t identify days or years as such, it is nonetheless a time-dedicated forecast of exactly how long Israel would remain under Gentile domination, to complete the Lord’s discipline of his people and nation…. I proceeded to do the math of seven times seven (four times) translated into years! Where the calculation led me was nothing short of stunning.

After inception of the Eye of Prophecy website, I consolidated this amazing prophecy and its fulfillment in a trilogy of articles, Seven Times Seven (to the 4th power), posted 1-25, 2-1, & 2-8-14. Providing detailed analysis of Leviticus Chapter 26 in conjunction with the lapse of time beginning with the rebuilt Temple in 516 B.C. … The official end of the Babylonian captivity….

I later realized that the Lord’s disclosure of the meaning or application of this phenomenal hidden gem of prophecy was in the same vein of what Sir Robert Anderson had “discovered” (discernment from the Lord applicable to Daniel 9:25-26 and later published in his book, The Coming Prince1894).

*Note: Sir Robert’s astute analysis of Daniel’s prophecy is also one of the eight time-dedicated prophecies summarized in the Extraordinary Prophecies…. articles. And, the subject of one entire Eye of Prophecy article, An Incredible Time-Lapse Prophecy (1-18-14). Plus, passing references to it in a few other of my articles.

Continuing with the excerpt:

Anderson’s insight related to the prophesied time parameters of the first Advent of Messiah which resulted in Israel’s rejection of Jesus as the Messiah. Whereas, the Seven Times Over prophetic paradigm pertains to the physical return of the Jews to Israel—specifically the (time dedicated) end of Gentile dominance of the Jews in preparation for the Second Coming of Messiah Jesus.

…With that in mind, there is an even stronger and more compelling reason that the seven-times over doesn’t apply to or represent in any way the severity factor or degree of punishment.

(Comment: that the seven times over represents the severity degree of God’s punishment is the general assumption, which obscures and even prevents seeing the seven times seven—four times—representing an uninterrupted sequence of time, i.e. years).

If you read the passage carefully, here’s what you will find: Each time (phase’s one through four) that God identifies the punishment to be experienced by Israel, the punishments themselves ARE more severe. In other words, the severity factor is built-in to each of the four phases of discipline, as they become progressively more severe, one through four. With, by far, the most severe that of being completely conquered, destroyed, and exiled to other countries by their conquerors in the fourth set of the seven times over punishments. With the corresponding result that there would be absolutely no purpose or reason for the Lord to metaphorically describe the successive phases of punishments in terms of seven-times over. Because the text is very clear that each discipline, in and of itself, becomes progressively worse.

So, what does the seven times paradigm represent or mean? Then it came to me; that is the Lord showed it to me. The express purpose for seven times over pertains to one and only one element: TIME. (As in chronological years of history).

I then wrote:

And, so the seven times over sequence had begun again. This time the prophetic march of time relentlessly continued unabated and uninterrupted. If, however, the seven times over to the 4th power represents a measurable period, then it must come to an end. That’s what occurred to me that night in October 2006. Although I didn’t know where it would lead me (what year in history), I realized that God was telling Moses and the people that the seven times seven model necessitated and would, in fact, unfold according to an exact prophetic timeline. Moreover, the formula was built into the prophecy: 7 x 7 x 7 x 7. When this prophetic paradigm reached its measurable deadline, Israel’s punishment would also reach its predetermined limit; and they would no longer be under Gentile domination!

Having already explained why the year 516 B.C. (completion of the rebuilt Jewish Temple) was the starting point of God’s seven-times over discipline, I wrote:

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 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….

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.

In summary of this portion of today’s article, we need to fully appreciate the striking significance of Israel’s Six-Day War victory.

(One of several IDF celebrations of their astonishing Six-Day War victory)

(At the Western Wall, battle-hardened IDF soldiers wept tears of reverence and joy)

NO LONGER would Israel be under the thumb of Gentile nations. Although Israel won an equally amazing victory in her 1948 War of Independence, it wasn’t until 1967 that Israel reclaimed the Holy City of Jerusalem (in fact, all Israeli land) in her reestablished sovereign nation by means of a powerful military that not only could defend her people, but could (and did) take the offensive in ways not seen since the glory years of King David.

The one exception (on a limited basis) was when the Maccabees defeated Antiochus IV and his Syrian/Greek Army. Yet, not even the Maccabees of the 2nd century B.C. conquered their enemies as swiftly or soundly as the Israelis did in 1967 (and again in 1973).

The Maccabean victory was followed by the Hasmonean Dynasty in Israel that lasted for about 100 years. Only for Israel to once again fall under Gentile domination … in the 60’s B.C. to the first Roman conquest of Israel. Which eventually produced an even more devastating defeat at the hands of the Romans in 70 A.D. Followed by the great Jewish Diaspora resulting in Gentile nations’ (national) control over the Jews, culminating in the worst Jewish catastrophe of all … the Holocaust.

But no more.

With Israel’s rebirth in 1948 and subsequent (slow at first) rebuilding of a potent military—on full display in 1967. Then again in 1973, and even more powerful today,

NEVER AGAIN will Israel be subjected to Gentile domination … in which the Jews couldn’t defend themselves.

Despite Biblical prophecy of Israel’s troubles during the impending Great Tribulation (commencing soon after the any-day-now Rapture), she will never again be conquered nor utterly defeated as a nation, nor suffer shocking numbers of deaths as happened with the brutal Roman conquest and then the more horrific Holocaust.

Let’s look at the Biblical reasons why Israel won’t experience that kind of horrendous suffering, though times will be terribly tough for her—indeed, for all peoples during the unprecedented Great Tribulation. With the most significant factors: (1) God has restored his providential protection of Israel. (2) Now the Jews can furiously fight back more forcefully than since the time of King David.

Two-Thirds of the Jews Killed … Past or Future?

This, too, is the title of a prior Eye of Prophecy article (posted 5-19-15). It ranks as one of my (author’s) favorites. A favorite in the context of its pathos for me (and perhaps for others). A dilemma that was settled when the Lord graciously provided another insight to me.

I’m referring to one of the more poignant, yet puzzling passages in all of Scripture. In just three verses, we find a far-reaching three-stage prophecy concerning Messiah’s death and the scattering of the sheep/lambs resulting in 2/3rds of “the people” (Jews) dying. Conventional commentary places the death of so many Jews during the end-times Tribulation period.

For years I had grappled with this conundrum—unable to process the idea that the Jews would be killed in such great numbers a second time after six million of them had been slaughtered during the Holocaust. What made this mainstream interpretation even more implausible (unacceptable) was the fact that Israel is now a nation with one of the most powerful militaries on earth, despite its small size and population. That and the fact, as already demonstrated, that God’s discipline (primarily through withdrawal of his protection) of his people ended in 1967.

First, the passage:

“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, the man who is my partner, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. Strike down the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn against the lambs. Two-thirds of the people in the land will be cut off and die, says the Lord. But one-third will be left in the land. I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure. I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘These are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God’” (Zechariah 13:7-9).

I literally pleaded with the Lord to show me one way or the other if the prevailing application of this passage was accurate, i.e. 2/3rds of the Jews killed during the Tribulation.

Praise the Lord, he did just that; but not for several months and more “please Lord” sessions. To benefit from the in-depth treatment of this subject, please consider reading the above listed article.

Once again, I’m combining this subject with the seven times seven paradigm to demonstrate that, despite the terrible tribulation times ahead, Israel will not experience another Holocaust. God simply will not allow that to happen; not after bringing his people back to Israel in great numbers and not after giving birth to the Jewish Nation-State of Israel again (Isaiah 66).

(Israeli President Rivlin welcoming Aliyah immigrants from the USA and Canada. Most immigrants to Israel have come from Russia)

The Times of the Gentiles is no more. Israel is Israel again … forever!

Whereas, the Fullness of the Gentiles is still to come.

Here is an excerpt from the article Two-Thirds of the Jews KilledPast or Future? (in italics):

Dozens of Bible prophecies speak of the last day’s return of Jews to Israel from global exile, with the Divine guarantee that never again would Jews be stripped of or away from their Promised Land. Despite the perilous end-times turmoil that will engulf the entire earth during the Great Tribulation, including Israel—which is referred to as Jacob’s troubles—there is no indication in Scripture that the Jews will suffer the catastrophic casualties at the hands of Gentile nations that started with the Assyrian conquest of Israel in 722 BC and the Babylonian overthrow of Judah in 586 BC. Then the even more devastating defeat of Israel by the Romans in 70 AD and their ensuing global Diaspora, culminating in the unfathomable genocidal massacre of some six million Jews during the Holocaust.

Except that is, for one passage. It is a portion of Scripture that had perplexed and troubled me for some time.

Bible prophecy, particularly those involving last day’s warnings, can be either terrifying or touching, horrifying or heartening; depending mostly on whether you are an unbeliever or believer, respectively. Even the believer can be alarmed at the enormity of, for example, death and destruction by the forces of evil in the end times but also by the wrath of God poured out on a very wicked world. As Christians, we need not be afraid of a world spinning out of control before the soon-to-come Rapture, then tilting on an apocalyptic axis and falling into the Abyss during the Tribulation. But we certainly should be motivationally moved by the apocalyptic anxiety that those left behind will experience, particularly by the tribulation saints and Jews; some of whom will be one and the same and both of whom will be relentlessly persecuted.

(Refer to article, Shocking Statistics of the Great Tribulation, published June 2015)

Continuing with the above excerpt:

Jesus referred to the scattering of the sheep as what his disciples would do when he was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:31); but Zechariah’s prophecy was broader in scope than that. Why? Because Jesus also denoted the Jews as the (lost) sheep of Israel. Moreover, the next line in Zechariah 13:7 reads, “and I will turn against the lambs.” …Both sheep and lambs are frequently used as a metaphorical analogy to God’s chosen people, the Jews.

The scattering of the sheep also took place when the Romans conquered Israel and destroyed much of Jerusalem including complete demolition of the rebuilt Temple in 70 AD. The scattering and the turning against the lambs signified God’s withdrawal of his protection from his chosen people for rejecting their Messiah who established the New Covenant with the greatest price ever paid … his very blood, the life of the Son of God. The Great Diaspora ensued in which millions of Jews were exiled to many nations. With, however, the greater majority of the Jewish population settling in countries of today’s Europe over hundreds of years. Also, a sizeable number ended up in Russia. Not until the birth of the United States and later the horrendous Holocaust, would more Jews live in America than anywhere else in the world. Even that has now changed, with the greatest concentration of Jews in Israel, itself … 6.3 million. (*Note: that number is now closer to 6.8 million).

In that article, I went on to explain Zechariah 13:7-9 in more detail, to include evidence that “the land” (some translations say “that land”) in which 2/3rds of the Jews would be killed was NOT Israel—which had been my assumption for many years. Rather, it was that land to which they had been scattered … predominately the European continent.

Another excerpt from that article:

What I missed was the fact that the passage of Zechariah 13:7-9 is distinctly separate from verses one through six of Chapter 13 and all the other (on that day) end-times content of Chapters 9-14, except for Messiah’s procession into Jerusalem and his subsequent betrayal. However, Verses 7, 8, & 9 of Chapter 13 cannot be separated, one from the other. They are all an integral part of a succession of three events: Messiah’s death, the sheep scattered, and two-thirds of them killed … all of which have already taken place!

(*Note: Verse nine of Zechariah 13 describes the purifying result of the Diaspora for God’s chosen people. This is also referenced in Daniel 11:33-35. Though there are more secular Jews than observant in Israel and the world over, there were three monumentally constructive results of the worse disaster to ever befall the Jews—the Holocaust: (1) Rebirth of Israel, a catalyst to the return of millions of Jews to the Promised Land; (2) Freedom of observant Jews to worship the God of Israel without fear of wide-spread and incessant anti-Semitic persecution during their exile; (3) An explosion of Messianic Jews and Messianic ministries the world-over, beginning on a burgeoning scale in 1967. This is the refining spoken of by the Lord through Zechariah, that will reach its perfect and purified conclusion when:

I then presented facts and figures in that article concerning the number of Jews in Europe (“the people in the land”) as phrased by Zechariah. With the astonishing (but appallingly sad) evidence that almost exactly 2/3rds of the Jews in Europe were killed during the Holocaust. Which leads to another remarkable reality: The Bible does, in fact, make a prophetic reference to the Holocaust, some 2,400 years before it happened.

One last excerpt from that article:

The overwhelmingly clear evidence of the Bible is that once the Jews returned from exile, they would never again be driven from the land. Their time of physical and spiritual restoration would begin. Though they will undoubtedly suffer many more casualties during the Antichrist’s assault against Israel leading to Armageddon, it will not be anything like the appalling losses suffered during World War II or before.

…A two-thirds loss of life seemed to be an incomprehensible contradiction to the wonderful blessings God would begin to bestow on Israel beginning with the regathering of the Jews from world-wide exile and the rebirth of the Jewish nation.

No longer do I need to agonize over such a contradiction. Because there is no contradiction! The two-thirds of Jews killed was horrendous. Yet, it was … as in past-tense. Never to happen again!

On the authority of God’s Word, I repeat for emphasis: NEVER.

Evaluation of Other Passages Concerning This Week’s Topic

Since the ominous presence of Russia, Iran, and Turkey in Syria that began about four years ago, Israel’s security has been threatened unlike anything since her last major war in 1973. Last week’s Eye of Prophecy article (Judea/Samaria & The Gaza Strip in Israel / Who Has Sovereignty?) began with the heading: Things Are Heating Up Again.

However, that observation was confined to another episode in the ongoing Israeli/Palestinian conflict that resulted in Gaza terrorist cells (Islamic Jihad and Hamas) launching some 700 rockets into Israel … with substantial Israeli airstrikes in retaliation. In a broadening of that heating up, just a couple of weeks ago the United States sent an aircraft carrier strike force to the Persian Gulf in response to reports that Iran was planning an attack on U.S. military installations in the Middle East. The whole world is waiting and watching to see what may become of this sword rattling.

Like other incidents in the past 18 months or so, Israel may be involved in more skirmishes with Iran. However, as written in a few prior articles, I’m convinced that Israel will not be engaged in a major conflagration until the Gog/Magog invasion of Israel which will take place within a year or so of the Great Tribulation … following the Rapture.

Most of my articles about the Gog/Magog attack emphasize Israel’s astounding victory over this massive coalition, without the Jews needing to fight at all! It is God who supernaturally deals this ungodly confederation a devastating defeat through (among other things) catastrophic plagues, which also include nations that approve of and/or apathetically standby and watch Gog/Magog’s invasion of Israel. Those calamities are nearly identical to the sixth and seventh seal and 1st trumpet judgment in Revelation—more confirmation that Gog/Magog will be destroyed in the early part of the Tribulation.

This will be the beginning of global realization that God and His Son (Messiah Jesus) are now overtly actualizing sovereign control and completion of their providential plans concerning the destiny of individuals and entire nations, especially Israel.

More than once in Ezekiel 38 & 39 (Gog/Magog invasion), the Lord says of his people and the entire planet: “…And the nations, too, will know that I am the Lord, the Holy One of Israel” (Ezekiel 39:7). The world’s terrified reaction (though most still do not repent and turn to God) is expressed explicitly after the sixth seal judgment (Revelation 6:15-17).

Now let’s look at three passages to both clarify and confirm the premise that Israel (Jews) will not experience another Holocaust, though they will once again be the object of persecution and attempted genocide.

In fact, the prophet Zechariah says it will be the other way around. As follows:

The gathering against Israel begins unsuccessfully with the Gog/Magog invasion, and resumes/intensifies during the last few months of the Tribulation when Antichrist’s (Nero) ten-nation coalition arrogantly attempts to accomplish what Russia, Iran, Turkey, and lesser nations couldn’t.

Zechariah 12

“On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a flame that sets a woodpile ablaze or like a burning torch among sheaves of grain. They will burn up all the neighboring nations right and left, while the people living in Jerusalem remain secure. The Lord will give victory to the rest of Judah first, before Jerusalem, so that the people of Jerusalem and the royal line of David will not have greater honor than the rest of Judah. On that day the Lord will defend the people of Jerusalem; the weakest among them will be as mighty as King David! …For on that day I will begin to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 12:6-9).

After Antichrist Nero breaks his treaty with Israel (3 ½ years into the Tribulation), he will begin to persecute the Jews. But not until the latter part of the Great Tribulation will he and his ten-nation empire invade Israel. As this passage indicates, the campaign will begin in Judah—equivalent to the land and cities outside of Jerusalem. Which makes sense, as Jerusalem is the interior heart of Israel … literally and figuratively.

Contrary to the notion that Israel will suffer horrendous casualties, it’s the Jews who will fight more ferociously and will win many battles. This will be the beginning of the Lord’s destruction of all the nations that come against Jerusalem. With two major differences than during the Gog/Magog campaign. This time the Jews will need to fight for what they will perceive as Israel’s very survival. And, the awesome arrival of Messiah (Jesus) in person, to rescue them!

Jerusalem will be secure, but only for a while. Which leads us to the next Tribulation-passage pertaining to Israel.

Zechariah 14

“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 women raped. Half the population will be taken into captivity, and the rest will be left among the ruins of the city. 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 14:1-5a).

Note: Only the city of Jerusalem is mentioned in this passage, not the rest of Israel, i.e. Judah. Whether a period of days or a few weeks, Antichrist (who has set up camp in Megiddo) will eventually get to Jerusalem and wreak havoc on the city, including rape and pillage.

HOWEVER, also note that there is no direct or even indirect indication that many Jews will die.

Instead, half the city will be taken into captivity (where held captive is not stated). Some Jews will escape to safety during this incredible battle for Jerusalem, through the valley formed when Messiah Jesus steps foot on and splits the Mount of Olives. Though speculation, they very well could join their fellow-Jews who had bolted to safety several years earlier. The event we just read in Zechariah 14 is not the same as when many Jews throughout Israel will flee and be protected for 3 ½ years (we’ll get to that in a moment). Rather, the awesome flashpoint of Messiah’s appearance on the Mount of Olives will take place near the very end of the Tribulation. Though the Israeli Defense Force will have already won several battles, eventually they will be no match for the size and strength of Antichrist’s massive assault on Jerusalem.

Then, at the right time, God will see to it that Antichrist withdraws most of his forces back to Megiddo to confront alarming news that the kings of the East are marching against him (Daniel 11 and Revelation 16). There he will meet his decisive defeat and final fate.

See Eye of Prophecy article: Armageddon and Messiah’s Return … An Amazing Sequence of Events (Posted 2-3-18). Which explains that Jesus’s bodily return to earth is in two-phases. First on the Mount of Olives to begin the liberation of Jerusalem. That’s when the Jews will fully realize that Jesus is their Messiah. Then, after mourning deeply the fact that they and their ancestors had rejected Jesus as their Messiah/Savior, they will rally around him with great jubilation. And, they will fight even harder … weakest among them as mighty as King David.

However, the final battle in the valley of Megiddo won’t take place until (a short time) later when Jesus returns to heaven in preparation for his final physical return and victory over Israel’s enemies and evil itself (Revelation 19:11-21). This will be soon after the final and most devastating (a global earthquake unlike anything ever experienced by mankind) of all the seal, trumpet, and first six bowl judgments (Revelation 16:17-21).

(I’ve been there … 2006. And, along with the host of heaven riding white horses behind Messiah Jesus, I’ll be there again, arriving this time from heaven, not from the United States!)

Now let’s combine these passages with:

Revelation 12

After Revelation’s author John presents a short but spectacular sweeping depiction of Israel, her child (Messiah), Satan and 1/3 of the angel’s expulsion from heaven long ago, ascension of Christ back to heaven (after his resurrection), and a brief reference to the Millennial Reign of Messiah, we read:

“And the woman (Israel) fled into the wilderness, where God had prepared a place to care for her for 1,260 days” (Revelation 12:6, parenthesis mine).

(Refer to Eye of Prophecy article: A Mysterious Sign in Virgo … What Does It Mean? Posted 9-23-17. Which provides an in-depth examination of this portion of Revelation 12, plus more).

Then later in Revelation 12—after John records the astounding fact that Satan will be thrown out of heaven for good (his first eviction was from his residency in heaven; however, he is still allowed access to heavenly places)—we read:

“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 was given two wings like those of a great eagle so she could fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness. There she would be cared for and protected from the dragon for a time, times, and half a time (3 ½ years or the 1,260 days previously mentioned in the chapter)” (Revelation 12:13-14, parenthesis mine).

Most Bible scholars believe this sanctuary of safety will be Petra in Jordan. That’s very possible, even probable. However, what is not often, if at all, addressed is who among the Jews (some or all) will be flown (think airplanes and helicopters) out of harm’s way.

Answer: Children, the aged, the disabled, and women not fighting in the IDF. Also, most of Israel’s government officials to set up new headquarters. But NOT Israel’s military, excepting a few units to protect and supply those Jews in refuge.

Why? Because they will be left to fight for and preserve their beloved Promised Land; otherwise, Revelation 12 wouldn’t track with the passages in Zechariah already discussed. Not all Israelis will choose to leave Israel (especially Jerusalem). Those who remain are the ones who will be persecuted—slowly at first but increasing as the last half of the Tribulation unfolds.

Initially, Satan (through Antichrist and the False Prophet) will be frustrated in his diabolical determination to destroy Israel. Thanks mostly to the two mighty prophets and their protection of Jerusalem and Israel (see Revelation Chapter 11). Also, Eye of Prophecy article: Moses & Elijah vs. Antichrist & The False Prophet, posted 2-10-18.

Once again, the evidence is intrinsically clear: many more Jews will survive the Great Tribulation than not; added affirmation that 2/3rds of them will not perish during the Tribulation. If that were the case, then over four million of the current 6.8 million Jews in Israel would die. The (implied) sheer number of Jews safely protected by the Lord in the wilderness (on two separate occasions) is proof positive that many more will survive than not. That and IDF soldiers in the hundreds of thousands who will not only remain in Israel to fight but will win many battles during this series of clashes with their enemies (Zechariah 12).

Things to Ponder

The Bible is incomparable. Because it’s author, the Triune God, possesses incomparable power and authority.

God’s magnificent Word about himself, the origin of all things, a panoramic picture of humanity, and much more is nothing short of spectacular.

(What did the Lord say following this verse? We read it earlier in the pictorial of Zechariah 12:2 & 3)

Whether prophetic or non-prophetic passages of Israel’s saga; the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; the tremendous truths of salvation from sin and its penalty; the destiny of mankind determined by people’s decision to choose redemption through Christ or reject Him, Biblical details are mind-boggling both in quality and quantity.

There are NO other (so-called) sacred texts in any of the man-made religions or humanistic philosophies on earth that can hold a candle to the blazing light and universal truth of the Bible.

For many reasons; not the least of which is the virtual absence of prophecy or miracles in these religions. In anemic contrast to the 100% fulfillment of Biblical prophecies and the majestic miracles that God and His Son have performed and will do so (again … soon), but on a truly global scale—with unimaginable magnitude and inconceivable results.

“…Great and marvelous are your works, O Lord God the Almighty. Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations” (Revelation 15:3).

Judea/Samaria & Gaza Strip / Who Has Sovereignty?

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Things Are Heating Up Again

Not since Operation Protective Edge—Israel’s military confrontation with the terrorist organization Hamas of the Gaza Strip in 2014—have Code Red sirens in southwestern Israel been heard on such a massive scale.

Although Palestinian rockets have terrorized Israelis since they vacated the Gaza in 2005, not often have missiles been launched by the hundreds in just two days.

About 1/6 (1.1 million) of the Israeli population were forced to seek shelter for over 48 hours.

Compared proportionally to the USA, some 54 million Americans would be diving for cover from missiles fired mercilessly and randomly at civilian targets.

It began on Friday (May 3rd) when terrorist snipers shot and wounded two of the IDF soldiers who were guarding against Palestinian infiltration through the fence separating the Gaza Strip from Israel. Though Palestinian civilians have been hurling rocks, firebombs, and fire kites into Israel since this (so-called) peaceful March of Return began over a year ago, firearms are used almost exclusively by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Israel reacted by striking only a few targets in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas and mostly Islamic Jihad (the smaller of the two terrorist cells in Gaza) retaliated by raining down nearly 700 rockets/mortars on a wide swath of Israeli towns outside of the Gaza Strip. Israel responded again, hitting nearly 350 targets (aggregate total) in the Gaza, all of which were terrorists’ military sites, i.e. headquarters and personnel, munitions, rocket launchers, and tunnels. Although the IDF always tries to prevent non-combatant casualties, it’s nearly impossible to do so completely when Hamas and Islamic Jihad use schools, mosques, commercial complexes, and private homes in the Gaza to hide weapons and fire missiles.

Four Israelis were killed and 145 injured, some seriously. Palestinian rockets inflicted death and injuries in a variety of ways and locations, including a synagogue, hospital, and school that were hit. Property damage is estimated at 14 million dollars.

(A direct rocket hit on an apartment complex in the Israeli community of Kiryat Malachi)

Moshe Agadi, a 58-year old father of four, was killed by a rocket that struck his house in Ashkelon. Moshe Feder (68) died when an anti-tank missile hit his car. A 21-year old Jewish man Pinchas Prezuazman (dual Israeli American citizen) perished from a blast while he was running to a bomb shelter in Ashdod. How ironically sad is that? Also poignant was 47-year old Ziad al-Hamamda who died when a missile crashed into an Ashdod factory where he worked. Poignant (ironic) because, although he was an Israeli citizen, he was an Arab Bedouin.

But then neither Hamas and Islamic Jihad of the Gaza Strip nor the Palestinian Authority (Fatah) of the West Bank really care about their own people getting hurt or killed, whether they’re Israeli Arabs or Palestinian Arabs. They don’t mourn these deaths … not really. Instead, they praise them and death in general. In fact, they bank on the idea that those deaths will generate more (unwarranted) global criticism against Israel. If an (Israeli) Arab is killed by Palestinians, then, too bad … it was for the cause. When Palestinian “civilians” are killed in the IDF’s defense of Israel, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority tell the world they are victims of Israeli human-rights violations or war crimes.

The world-at-large only reads or cares about the (alleged) “disproportionate response” by the Israelis when more Palestinians are killed than Jews. The Palestinians sometimes inflate the numbers of civilian casualties or lessen the number of actual Hamas or Islamic Jihad members killed. The number of Gaza Palestinians reportedly killed was thirty. Reliable Israeli intelligence indicates that most of the Palestinians killed and injured were terrorist operatives, with at least ten of those Islamic Jihad.

*Note: Islamic Jihad (funded and manipulated by Iran) more so than Hamas was responsible for this latest bombardment against Israel. Nonetheless, Israel constantly reminds Hamas that they will be held responsible, as Hamas is the governing body of Gaza.

(An Israeli house in Ashkelon; shows what damage shrapnel can do from a nearby exploding missile fired from Gaza)

False Reporting / Fake News in the Palestinian Narrative

Often, Hamas lies about how some Gazan civilians die in these skirmishes. They’ll cover up the facts, until exposed by indisputable evidence of Israeli intelligence. For example, Gazan officials hurriedly announced to the world (as found in several media headlines) that IDF airstrikes were responsible for the deaths of a pregnant Palestinian woman and her 14-month old infant daughter killed in their house.

Soon thereafter, Israel disclosed evidence that it was a missile launched by Islamic Jihad which, through misfiring and/or premature denotation, struck the house. Hamas then acknowledged this mishap and described it as a “technical failure.”

As expected, one of Israel’s many critics who blasted (pun intended) the Israelis for their actions was US Congress woman from Minnesota, Ilhan Omar. Chiming in with other media reports, she conveniently omitted the fact that it was the Palestinians who started the whole thing (they always do). Or that Hamas and Islamic Jihad launched nearly 700 rockets, with only token reference that Israelis were killed or wounded contrasted to full focus on Palestinian casualties.

However, the thing that got my attention was Omar’s incredibly uninformed (she doesn’t care about facts, only about her obsessive anti-Israel agenda) statement that the Gaza Strip is “occupied” by the Israelis. Here, I’m not even referring to the fact that Israel does not occupy (in the sense of being illegal) either the West Bank or Gaza Strip, as explained in a few prior Eye of Prophecy articles, including last week’s post. You can’t (unlawfully) occupy land that belongs to you in the first place.

No, I’m referring to her shockingly ignorant statement that Israel (still) maintains a presence in the Gaza Strip. Where has she been all these years? Does she not know that Israel totally vacated the Gaza nearly 14 years ago? Not one single Jew lives there. Or does she know and can lie about it because many who harbor anti-Jewish and anti-Israel sentiments are either uniformed or wish not to be bothered with the facts.

Well, enough said about that.

Sovereignty & A “Two-State Solution”

If you already haven’t, please consider reading last week’s article, Does Israel Belong To The State of Israel? The article’s title is not a “trick” question; rather a rhetorical one, as thoroughly explained in that article, and alluded to in several prior Eye of Prophecy articles. Documented evidence and ensuing commentary were presented to demonstrate convincingly that the Jewish Nation-State of Israel is sovereign over the entirety of Eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel).

Part of Webster’s Dictionary’s definition of sovereign or sovereignty: “Independent (a state); autonomy; an autonomous state.” And, “freedom from external control” (parenthesis in the definition).

External includes such entities as the United Nations and their incessant unfounded resolutions against Israel, the only democratic state in the entire Middle East. External also means any country outside of Israel’s exterior borders, i.e. Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and beyond.

However, it does not mean (so-called) internal borders within Israel between the (also so-called) Palestinian Territories of the Gaza and Judea/Samaria—more often referred to by its Johnny-come-lately designation of the West Bank. With a reverse application that means the Palestinians cannot claim they have a right to freedom from Israel’s sovereignty on the (non-existent) basis that the demarcations between Gaza and the West Bank and Israel proper are external borders. They are not. At best, they are armistice lines.

A partial definition of autonomy: “A self-governing state” (emphasis added).

Repeating for emphasis and continued clarification what I (and a few others) have stressed: There never has been and is not now a Palestinian State. A Nation-State must exist before the prerogative, principle, and practice of sovereignty or autonomy is granted absolutely.

Although the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip have been given administrative self-governing privileges—Palestinian Authority created in 1993 by the Oslo Accords, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip by virtue of the Israelis withdrawing (nearly 10,000 Jews) from Gaza and relocated to other parts of Israel—they do NOT possess ultimate sovereignty over these regions.

(Principal participants of the Oslo Accords: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, U.S. President Bill Clinton; PLO President Yasser Arafat; one of the worst land for peace deals ever made)

It never ceases to amaze me how so many people and heads-of-state push for this two-state solution when the fact remains that the Palestinians don’t want such a state unless:

(1) There is no Jewish state—which is stated in both the PLO Charter of the West Bank and Hamas Charter of the Gaza Strip. With both groups in denial over the reality that Israel is here to stay and will fight to the last Israeli against anyone who launches an all-out assault against her. Hamas has vowed never to deviate from its sworn objective to destroy Israel; thus, they would never approve a Palestinian State unless it replaced an Israeli Nation-State.

(2) The Palestinian Authority would (just barely) consider a state of their own; however, will never back down from at least two pre-negotiated conditions: (a) East Jerusalem as its capital—in sheer spite of Israel’s heritage and self-determination that Jerusalem is an undivided capital; (b) Return of most of the five million (so-called) Palestinian refuges scattered throughout the Middle East—no matter that this status of refugee ended within one generation after 1948. For Jewish Israelis, this would be demographic disaster by virtue of the sheer number of Arabs.

(3) A Palestinian State with borders equal to the armistice lines before Israel’s victory in the 1967 Six-Day War and again in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

And those factors are just the hypothetical paper-feature of such a two-state option that would not be any solution at all. Israel’s external and internal enemies have proven more than once that Israel’s giving up land to them is no guarantee of peace. What is guaranteed is that the Palestinians (and whatever allies are brought into the fold of a Palestinian State … some literally) would never cease and desist from overt hostility toward Israel.

But the day-to-day features of such a state are that much more impractical and incomprehensible than even than the paper-principal (also principle) factors.

Though I consider myself informed about Israel and what’s happening there and in the Middle East, when it comes to some of the “land logistics” (especially in Judea/Samaria), I’m no expert. However, the experts have already said that it would be a logistical nightmare to realign the already apportioned areas in the West Bank designated as A, B, & C. This is especially the case for the eastern part of Jerusalem.

But I know enough to with a great deal of certainty present the following facts on the ground obstacles to anything approaching a practical two-state option. It would be an unworkable solution to an already misunderstood problem (the root thereof) that would create a problem far greater and more dangerous than the existing status quo.

Why A Two-State Solution (Option) Won’t Work

Although there are other less conspicuous considerations, we’ll look at four prominent factors to further demonstrate why the creation of a Palestinian state in Israel is not only unfeasible but unreasonable. Particularly a second state that would itself be separated into two regions … West Bank and Gaza Strip.

(1) Judea/Samaria: As cited in last week’s Eye of Prophecy article, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (along with his shady Fatah organization, the supposedly “moderate” voice of Palestinians), with the clear connotation that smacks both of ethnic cleansing and apartheid, has said on more than one occasion: No Jew will ever be allowed citizenship in a Palestinian State.

It doesn’t get any more glaring than that. If (and he is) Abbas is referring to his already stated condition that such a state include ALL pre-1967 lines of demarcation, then it would include ALL of the West Bank … even areas designated by the Oslo agreements for Israelis to live (area C), eastern part of Jerusalem, much of the Jordan Valley, and of course Gaza. It’s agonizingly evident that the result of such boundaries would be the uprooting of all Jews from their homes in the central part of Israel historically called Judea/Samaria.

The Israelis themselves already tried something similar by extracting nearly 10,000 Jews from the Gaza Strip in 2005, with the (misguided) motive of placating the Gaza Palestinians in exchange for peace. Did peace come? Hardly. The Jews didn’t even receive so much as a thank you from their Arab neighbors? But the Gazans did give Israel something in return: deadly rockets from the sky and terror tunnels from the ground.

(A resident of the Gaza Israeli community of Gush Katif at the time. One of the most heart-rending times in Israel’s modern history. Some Jews had to be forcibly removed by the IDF and Israeli police from their homes)

Not only would total Israeli withdrawal from Judea/Samaria be a logistical nightmare, it would enormously endanger Israel’s security … her very survival. Moreover, it wouldn’t be “just” 10,000 Jews (as if that were only a few); it would be hundreds of thousands. And that’s only one reason why a two-state “solution” is unfeasible and unreasonable.

(2) Two Dangerous Corridors in the Heart of Israel: At the closest point of a proposed Palestinian State western border, there is a strip of Israeli land only nine miles in width to the Mediterranean Sea.

And there would be another corridor (with one or maybe two highways) from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank that would also cut central Israel in half. One can imagine the repercussions thereof.

Beginning with the sovereign right of a Palestinian state to allow anyone or anything (think large weaponry) it chooses into its country. Given their affinity for Muslim terrorists and for alliances with militant Islamic nations, who do you think a Palestinian State would welcome into their nation. Does Lebanon (Hezbollah), Syria, Iran, Yemen, and Turkey (which is already spending lots of money on Muslim enterprises in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem) come to mind?

Moreover, the United Nations would be in a tizzy if the Israelis didn’t allow commercial flights from other nations (including Israel’s enemies) into a West Bank (plus Gaza) Palestinian State, though those flights would have to pass over Israeli airspace to the West Bank. Even if the Israelis flatly refused such entrance and egress to Judea/Samaria, there would still be air and sea access to the Gaza Strip, as it borders the Mediterranean.

With this highway corridor in place, Hamas could transport as much military personnel and equipment as they wanted to/from the West Bank, and visa versa for the Palestinian Authority to the Gaza Strip. If Israel did stop such Palestinian movement by force, it would be considered an act of War on Israel’s part. Moreover, Israeli entry into the West Bank or Gaza to hunt down Palestinian terrorists who had escaped capture after attacking Israelis, would be considered a violation of international law. Palestinian extradition of these killers to Israel for trial certainly won’t happen.

(3) In-Fighting Between the Palestinians: Included in the scarcity of and distortion by media sources and world-at-large ignorance of what’s (really) happening in the Middle East is the issue of animosity (more like hatred) between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Which is as much, if not more of an obstacle to a two-state solution than are the absurd demands for Israeli concessions, such as a divided Jerusalem with two capitals.

Though the Palestinian Authority celebrated Israel’s relocation of Jews from the Gaza Strip in 2005; subsequently, PA President Mahmoud Abbas (who succeeded Yasser Arafat) was in for a rude awakening when the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated terrorist group Hamas ousted Palestinian Authority officials through a bloody coup and took control of the Gaza in 2006-07.

Then later through elections called for by Abbas himself, Hamas rubbed salt into his and the PA’s wounds by winning that election. Of course, PA President Abbas and his cronies refused to allow Hamas to run the West Bank in any way, shape, or form. In fact, it was then and still is the other way around. By and large, the Palestinian Authority calls the shots regarding economic control of the Gaza Strip. It is not Israel that is causing economic hardship in the Gaza. It is Abbas himself by, for example, allowing electricity only a few hours a day in the Gaza. One disgusting result is the limited operation of sanitation facilities causing tons of raw sewage to be dumped daily into the Mediterranean Sea.

Plus, Abbas knows full well that Hamas would gladly have him killed and the Palestinian Authority replaced by Hamas in the West Bank. In fact, the only thing that prevents that from happening is Israel itself, by virtue of its military presence in the West Bank when needed. That’s the main reason that Abbas and his Palestinian police often cooperate with Israel regarding security matters.

(Bitter Rivals: PA President Mahmoud Abbas on the right; on the left is one of the two Hamas leaders, Yahya Sinwar–the other not pictured leader is Ismail Hanijeh)

Hamas and the Palestinian Authority are bitter rivals. The only thing they agree on is that Israel needs to go—permanently. Yet, they can’t even settle on the best way to accomplish that diabolical goal. For the most part, Abbas uses public relations—based primarily on lies to the international community—while he and his staff speak in Arabic to his own people, assuring them that he will never make concessions to the Israelis.

Publicly, Hamas no longer makes any pretense of its avowed objective to replace Israel with a Palestinian State. Consequently, its strategy is to employ Jihad-like resistance against the Jews. The following is an excerpt from the Hamas Charter (Article 13) from which they have sworn not to deviate:

“There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except jihad. Regarding the international initiatives (think of heretofore proposed peace plans plus the forthcoming Deal of the Century to be released in June), suggestions and conferences, they are a waste of time and complete nonsense” (parenthesis mine).

How can anyone negotiate with a “partner” like that. Even if the Palestinian Authority somehow agreed to discuss their previously stated “non-negotiable” conditions, Hamas is not about to agree. This is just one of several impassable (as in improbable and impossible) issues that the Palestinians won’t come to terms on among themselves.

With whom would Israel negotiate? Which faction would sovereignly govern a Palestinian State? Would a Palestinian State soon erupt in civil war? You can mark it down.

(4) Peace in Our Time? An Example of What Would Have Occurred if a Palestinian State Had Been in Existence Last Weekend

In the (misinformed) opinion of many, a Palestinian State would solve not only the Israeli/Palestinian conflict but would bring peace throughout the Middle East. In that regard, their argument naively infers: Is it really so hard to establish another state within Israel?

Just do it! And, presto, there will be peace.

Never mind the lessons of history. See Neville Chamberlain’s peace in our time with Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich. See other ill-fated peace for land exchanges throughout history. See the 13-state Arab Summit in Khartoum, Sudan a little less than three months after Israel’s stunning victory in the Six Day War. The Arabs issued the now infamous three “No(s)”:

With another statement that vowed: “maintenance of the rights of the Palestinian people in their nation.”

What (kind of) rights? What nation?

Once again, national sovereign rights belong to citizens of the nation in question. The existence of a Palestinian State was not then nor is now. With, as being discussed, the creation of which would be calamitous for both the Jews and Arabs. Instead, all the Palestinians need do is apply for Israeli citizenship just as 1.9 million of their fellow-Arabs have that citizenship.

IT’S REALLY THAT SIMPLE … unlike a thorny two-state option. But inevitably, it’s a matter of the heart. Of seriously and sincerely wanting to live in peace with the Jews, not to eradicate them or eliminate the State of Israel.

For sake of illustration, let’s say that the West Bank and Gaza Strip were a (geographically two-part) Palestinian State in existence last weekend. If Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza had fired just seven, let alone 700 hundred, missiles from its sovereign state into the sovereign state of Israel, do you think Israel’s response would have been different?

If you said, yes, to that question you would be 100% correct. If you then asked how it would be different, consider the following scenerio. For those who think and have said (headlines throughout the world) that Israel’s response this past weekend was entirely disproportionate; OR for those (of which there were several high ranking officials in Israel) who said Israel’s retaliation wasn’t severe enough, both groups would be wrong … to the point of astonishment.

Had there been a Palestinian State in place last weekend, the attack would unequivocally have been considered an Act of War, i.e. one nation against another nation. No different than Israel’s previous wars in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973, all initiated by Arab states.

Israel’s reprisal would have been enormous in comparison to the more limited responses to local battles with Hamas and Hezbollah over the past two decades, including last weekend. Though Israel justifiably considered those prior attacks against her as “acts of aggression,” she did not declare or conduct an all-out war in the magnitude of the above listed four wars.

Israel’s objective was and still is to allow Palestinians self-governing privileges, with understanding that Israelis maintain the ultimate national right of sovereignty (in the overriding context of its security and survival) over ALL Israel, which includes the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Under current conditions, Israel is giving individual Palestinians the benefit of the doubt, knowing many of them are being oppressed by their own officials. Thus, even when Israel responds harshly to Hamas’s terrorism, it’s nothing compared to what Israel would do if attacked by a standing army operating from an official (sovereign) state.

Now we’re talking WAR and declaration thereof.

Annexing Judea/Samaria (West Bank)

In both the Gaza Strip and West Bank, Palestinians—particularly journalists who criticize their government—have been arrested, imprisoned, and even tortured. What’s funny (facetious connotation) is that each accuse the other of these grievous offenses.

However, there is a remarkable development taking place in which a handful of notable West Bank Palestinians are challenging their people (without ostensibly confronting their government, knowing if they do there could be reprisals) to accept the reality of Israeli sovereignty over all land within the national borders of Israel.

For example: A well-known and highly respected Palestinian business owner in Hebron (which is in the southern part of Judea/Samaria), Ashraf Jabari has founded the Reform and Development party. Among other things including development of business enterprises with Israelis, he promotes the continued existence of one state, Israel. Not the proposed two-states.

From a May 5, 2019 World Israel News posted article written by Batya Jerenberg, here is quote from Jabari: “The Oslo Accords have failed. Most people realize that the economic situation was much better before the Oslo Accords. Let’s focus now on the economic track. We can deal with the political track later. The people are caught hostage to Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas. The situation is very bad, and people want economic security.

“[PA President Mahmoud] Abbas recently threatened to dissolve the Palestinian Authority if Israel annexes the West Bank because that would mean the end of the two-state solution. That’s why we are proposing the one-state solution to Israel. We want an end to violence and blood … going on for the past 70 years.”

(Palestinian Businessman Ashraf Jabari in the center; Israeli businessman to the right)

He went on to say: “Of course, it would be better for Israel if it accepted an independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders. But no Israeli prime minister would dare to accept such a solution. On the other hand, no Palestinian leader can give up Jerusalem or make concessions.”

He also said that what the “silent majority” of Palestinians really want is economic security. And, “There is no solution until we all live under the sovereignty of the State of Israel. We can live together without hatred. We have to stop, enough violence and terror. We have to continue together, shoulder to shoulder, in order to succeed.”

Of interest (to me) is that this article just happened to be published one day after my post of last Saturday, which focuses on Israel’s sovereignty (as does today’s article).

*Note: Ashwaf Jabari is not “on track” to conclude that Israel would be better off accepting a Palestinian State with 1967 borders, for all the reasons presented in today’s article and others. I’m speculating that he included that qualification so as not to offend (too much) PA officials, knowing the possibility that he might be harassed or worse. He’s being pragmatic, while at the same time using his stature among his people to propose a much better solution that two states.

Nonetheless, in virtually unprecedented fashion, he is courageously taking a position that effectively encourages his people not to be in denial any longer concerning the reality of a sovereign (he used that word) Jewish Nation-State that is here to stay. To live and work with the Jews. Working against them results in death and destruction for both sides and retards a flourishing Palestinian economy.

Not only did President’s Trump March 2019 declaration that the United States recognizes Israel’s sovereignty in the Golan Heights generate a backlash of criticism, so did Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign promise concerning Judea/Samaria (he successfully won reelection on April 9).

In the context of the dismal failure of total Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005 that produced previously non-existent Hamas driven terrorism instead of peaceful co-existence between Israel and the Gaza Palestinians, plus the seemingly never-ending Palestinian lone-wolf terrorist attacks mostly against Israeli Jews living in the West Bank, Netanyahu promised to extend Israeli (functional) sovereignty over Area C of the West Bank in which Israeli Jews live.

Immediately most global media headlines conveyed his campaign announcement by saying that Netanyahu (Israel) was going to “annex the West Bank” … or something to that effect. That is NOT what he said, although Israel has every right to annex the entire area of Judea/Samaria if they choose, not just Area C.

Another reason for Netanyahu’s proposal to officially exercise (administrative) sovereignty over Area C is in the event (albeit remote) a Palestinian state is created, which would include the portion of this area crucial to Israeli security, especially the Jordan Valley. Nor will Israel consider dismantling Jewish communities in Area C, causing massive displacement of hundreds of thousands of Jews. It just isn’t going to happen. Netanyahu’s sovereignty promise was a public statement of that fact.

Annexation is nothing more than an official exclamation point on that portion of Israel (like the Golan Heights annexed in 1981) already sovereignly controlled by Israel. But as indicated, Netanyahu stopped short of saying Area C of the West Bank would be annexed.

Summary

As author Victor Rosenthal recently wrote in an article posted by the online news source Jewish News Syndicate: “Netanyahu’s decision to extend Israeli law to the settlements in Area C would not have any effect whatever on Palestinians living under the control of the PA, and it does not change the status of the territories in which they are located.”

It occurred to me while writing this week’s article: In prior Eye of Prophecy posts pertaining to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, I don’t recall identifying the three areas into which Judea/Samaria (West Bank) was apportioned by the Oslo Accords that began in 1993. Which included reorganizing the original Palestinian Liberation Organization (1964) that resulted in the entity called the Palestinian Authority.

Since Victor Rosenthal has done it for me, here is another excerpt from his article:

“When Israel and the PLO signed the Oslo Accords in 1993-95, they agreed to divide Judea and Samaria into Areas A, B, and C. Area A was under Palestinian security control and civil control, Area B (much smaller) under Palestinian civil control and Israeli security control, and Area C under full Israeli control. Area C contains all Jewish communities. More than 95% of the Palestinian population lives in area A and B, where they are governed by the Palestinian Authority (PA). While it is true that Israel’s security forces reserve the right to enter area A to arrest wanted terrorists, Palestinians have civil and political rights granted by the PA to vote and hold political office (such as it is … my comment). There are Palestinian courts and Palestinian police, Palestinian ministries of health, finance, labor, etc. It’s hardly fair to blame Israel for the fact that the PA is corrupt and dictatorial, and hasn’t held an election for years.”

Sadly, these thoughts expressed by Jabari and Rosenthal (and others, including me) have fallen and will undoubtedly continue to fall on the deaf ears of Palestinian officials (certainly the terrorists among them) as well as people and heads-of-state the world over. As, for example, stated by Mahmoud Abbas when he—much like a child who is denied his (against the rules) way and then refuses to “play” with you any longer—stated that he would dissolve the PA if Israel “annexed the West Bank.” Deliberately distorting two things: Netanyahu didn’t say “annexed.” Nor did Israel (or will unless forced to) assume national administrative sovereignty over the entire West Bank … only area C.

Or when Abbas said that he wouldn’t accept any of the tax money gathered by the Israelis and paid to the Palestinian Authority (also part of the Oslo Accords) just because Israel (as has the United States) said it would withhold only the equivalent amount that the PA pays to imprisoned terrorists or their families, if the terrorist is deceased … for maiming and killing Jews.

Now then, God loves all people, including the Palestinians! But, according to the Scriptures, he doesn’t appreciate (understatement) nor will he indefinitely tolerate any peoples’ (collective) persistent hostility toward the Jews or Israel.

He wants each Palestinian (everyone, including his own people) individually to reach out to His Son as the only way to God for salvation. In that regard, Scripture says that the Lord is no respecter of any one person over another.

“For God loved the world so much…” (John 3:16 the most well-known verse attesting to the truth of God’s universal love).

His greatest expression of that love was, “…that he gave us his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (remainder of John 3:16).

All that is required of people, Jew and Gentile alike, is to believe and receive Messiah Jesus as the only redemptive “way, truth, and life” (John 14:6).

God is Love, but God is also Holy. No one can be made right with God or spend eternity with him in heaven unless they, “…confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Once again, that is for Jew and Gentile alike.

Things to Ponder

During the seven-year Great Tribulation the Lord will pour out his wrath for two main reasons:

(A) Wickedness not seen since before the Great Flood of Noah’s time. Plus, the obstinate, deliberate, defiant refusal of most of those left behind at the Rapture to turn to God and His Messiah. Instead, they will yield their loyalty and worship to Antichrist.

“But the people who did not die in these plagues still refused to repent of their evil deeds and turn to God… And they did not repent of their murders or their witchcraft or their sexual immorality or their thefts” (Revelation 9:20-21).

(B) More genocidal attempts (unsuccessful but nonetheless, abhorrent) to eliminate God’s chosen people the Jews and the Sovereign State of Israel.

Those nations (their leaders and all who follow them) will be dealt with decisively, through utter defeat (many of them will die) during the Tribulation. Beginning with the Gog/Magog assault on Israel in the early part of the Tribulation (Ezekiel 38 & 39). Ending with the Antichrist led ten-nation confederation that invades Israel but meets its end at the Valley of Megiddo (Daniel 11 & Revelation 19).

God didn’t choose the Jews because they were special; this is made clear in several Old Testament passages. Rather he chose them for a special reason: to be the conduit of His Word (the Bible) and to bring Messiah to the world to solve the otherwise unsolvable problem and terrible consequences of sin. Which culminates with Messiah’s majestic return to establish the Kingdom of God on earth, after rescuing Israel and Jerusalem and bringing an end to the greatest calamity ever experienced by mankind. This Kingdom will be ruled from Jerusalem, the capital of the Promised Land of Israel given to Abraham and his descendants FOREVER.

Though God had to discipline his people for their own rebellion against and abandonment of Him, the covenant with Abraham was unconditional. Which lead to a plethora of prophecies in the Old Testament declaring God’s promise that the Jews would return to Israel and Israel’s rebirth as a Sovereign nation.

Such as: “I will bring my exiled people of Israel back from distant lands, and they will rebuild their ruined cities and live in them again. They will plant vineyards and gardens; they will eat their crops and drink their wine. 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 9:14-15).

There never has been nor ever will be a Sovereign greater than the true and living Triune God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

In fact, among the other titles that God ascribes to himself, is The Sovereign Lord … especially in Ezekiel.

Concerning the one reason that is greater than all others for Israeli sovereignty in all of Israel—God’s divine gift of the Promised Land to the Jews in perpetuity—the following is a quote from last week’s article:

If anyone wants to dispute this historical and (still to this day) contemporary truth, they are welcome to take it up with God himself.

I’m serious.

And they need to get serious too, because one day (soon) there will come a time of reckoning when all nations will need to give an account of their treatment of Israel.

Such as:

“At the time of these events, says the Lord, when I restore the prosperity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather the armies of the world into the valley of Jehoshaphat (valley of decision, which physically will be at Megiddo). There I will judge them for harming my people (the Jews), my special possession (Israel), and for dividing up my land” (Joel 3:1-2, parenthesis mine).

And, “The day is near when I, the Lord, will judge all godless nations! As you have done to Israel, so it will be done to you. All your evil deeds will fall back on your own heads. Just as you swallowed up my people on my holy mountain, so you and the surrounding nations will swallow the punishment I pour out on you. Yes, all you nations will drink and stagger and disappear from history” (Obadiah 1:15-16).

“During the reign of those kings (leaders of nations just before and during the Tribulation that align themselves against God and Messiah Jesus and Israel), the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever” (Daniel 2:44, parenthesis mine).

Does Israel Belong To The State of Israel?

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One reaction to the title of this week’s article might be: Is that a trick question?

Not really.

Why?

Because many have allowed themselves to be tricked (misled) into thinking that certain disputed regions of Israel do not belong to the Israelis. Or there is a legal; or, if non-legal, then at least an acceptable argument to challenge Israeli sovereignty over and Jewish communities within Palestinian territories … also the Golan Heights.

There are three groupings of people world-wide that to some extent or another participate in this debate—whether all of Israel’s borders, annexed or not, include sovereign Israeli ground within what the Israeli government recently affirmed as the Jewish nation-state. (Refer to Eye of Prophecy article, Israel’s Controversial Nation-State Law, posted 8-11-18; which explains what this law means, what it does not mean, and the repercussions thereof).

The three groups are:

(1) Those who deliberately distort contemporary facts on the ground (reality) and intentionally dismiss or flippantly falsify (rewrite) history to promote the agenda that Jews are occupying land that does not belong to them. For the most part they are Palestinians, Islamic nations, and other national leaders and their people—most notably many western nations within the European Union.

Although non-Muslim nations occasionally express their support for the Jew’s right of self-determination and security, they (even the United States, particularly under the Obama administration) accuse the Israeli government of allowing “illegal Jewish settlements” and even of apartheid. (See Eye of Prophecy article: Israeli Occupation … Fact or Myth? Posted 5-16-15. Also, Jewish Sovereignty on Temple Mount Part I & II … August 2017).

(2) Those ignorant of or indifferent to Israel’s true history and the Middle East chronicle in general. Without bothering to become familiar with at least the basics, they blindly support the anti-Israeli rhetoric accompanied by an intersectional bandwagon approach that includes the Palestinian narrative along with other causes on their eclectic bucket list, e.g. LGBT, racial discrimination, women’s rights.

Ironically, the extremists (of group #1 above) like political activist Linda Sarsour, a “leader” of the women’s rights movement, don’t like or want other women who support Israel in any fashion as part of these intersectional movements. Even more paradoxical is that Sarsour’s strenuous support of Islam includes toleration for Islamic subjugation of women as 2nd class citizens, who have nowhere near the rights of Muslim men; nor anything resembling the liberties of western women. As is said, “Go figure.”

On the other hand, it’s easy to figure out. Everything that campaigners like Sarsour, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib promote (literally for Omar and Tlaib, as each is a U.S. Congresswoman) is fueled by and couched in their innate (antisemitic) hostility toward Israel and the right of Jews to a sovereign state. Which is the ONLY Jewish nation on the planet. And the ONLY democratic nation in the entire Middle East. Yet, they and most Muslims want Israel replaced with yet another Arab nation (currently there are 22 of them) or at least an Islamic dominated nation, of which there are 57 in the world, including the 22 Arab countries.

(One Muslim nation missing, didn’t have time to figure out which one!)

(3) Those who have studied Israel’s national and spiritual heritage (Biblical and secular), keeping abreast of historical and contemporary cause and effect developments in the Middle East. I put myself in this category.

Though several Eye of Prophecy articles have dealt at length with the Palestinian/Israeli conflict generally and the disputed territories as understood (or not) by the world community specifically; it’s time to revisit this issue that has captivated global attention in an exponential fashion since Israel’s rebirth as a sovereign-state in 1948. (Refer to Eye of Prophecy article: Global Obsession with Israel … In Biblical Proportions! Published 1-6-18)

From north to south in Israel those contested regions: the Golan Heights, Judea & Samaria (in the last 50 years or so-called the West Bank), and the Gaza Strip.

In this week’s post, we’ll focus our looking-glass on the Golan Heights. Next week’s article will concentrate on Judea/Samaria and the Gaza Strip.

Let’s begin with a comparative overview of:

Israel / A Small Island in the Middle of an Arab Sea

Literally, Israel is to the vast land-mass of surrounding Muslim nations as the island of Cyprus is to the Mediterranean Sea … you could throw in the Black Sea, too. Actually, Israel is a smaller comparison than Cyprus, even though I’m limiting these countries to Israel’s immediate Arabic neighbors: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. If extended adjacent nations like Turkey, Iraq, and Iran are included, the analogy is inadequate. I would need to pick a much smaller island in the Mediterranean.

Israel proper where about 91 % if Jews reside (8,020 square miles, excluding West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights) most closely approximates the American state of New Jersey in geographical size. New Jersey’s population is 8.9 million. Oddly, so is the Israeli populace at 8.9 million; composed of 6.7 million Jews, 1.9 million Arab citizens of Israel, and other ethnic citizens like the Druze. Ten states the size of all Israel—including Judea/Samaria (the West Bank), Gaza, and Golan—would fit in my home state of Arizona. And Arizona is less than 1/3 the size of just one of these Muslim countries listed above … Egypt.

However, if we compare the entire sovereign State of Israel’s total square miles that includes the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and the Golan Heights to the aggregate square miles of the Muslim nations (mostly Arab) of the Middle East that are in proximity to Israel, we end up with a comparison almost to miniscule to measure … about 1/6 of one percent.

Yet, according to the United Nations Security Council in a resolution endorsed (surreptitiously) by outgoing U.S. President Obama at the time, that’s still too much land for the Jews. See Eye of Prophecy article, United Nations Downsizing of Israel (Resolution 2334), posted 1-7-17.

For most Palestinians and Islamic nations, any acre of land possessed by Jews in Israel is one acre too many. However, it’s not one square mile or foot of Israel that her enemies really contest; it’s whether the (Jewish) State of Israel has the right to exist at all. Why else would the Arabs, then later the Palestinian Arabs have flatly rejected offers for their own state alongside Israel; not once, twice, or thrice … but four times.

Those four occasions: Balfour Declaration of 1917 followed by the British Mandate of 1922; UN Two-State Partition Plan of 1947; Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s (ill-advised) offer in 2000; Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s (equally ill-advised) offer in 2008.

Which makes the question posed in the title of this week’s article not at all strange or illogical.

From the vantage point of those who understand that the Jews were given the Promised Land of Israel by God himself and were there about 2,400 years before the Arabs—with the Jews in today’s Israel once again outnumbering Arabs—the article title’s question is rhetorical. Of course, all the land belongs to the Jewish nation-state called Israel, including the Golan Heights.

Israel’s Sovereignty Compared to United States’ Sovereignty (Or Any Democratic Nation)

To challenge Israel’s right to the entirety of its land is no different than someone saying that a certain area of the United States doesn’t belong to the Republic of the United States of America; including two non-contiguous states. One state (Alaska) separated by the country of Canada; another state (Hawaii) by the Pacific Ocean.

Or that some American citizens are inhabiting land that doesn’t belong to them. Citing reasons that would be just as ludicrous as the Palestinian narrative contending that part of Israel (legally) belongs to the Arabs who keep referring to Israel as Palestine. Never mind that there has never been a state of Palestine or a Palestinian language. The more militant Palestinians (like Hamas and Fatah), make no pretense in their claims that all of Israel belongs to them, a mindset harbored by many “moderate” Palestinians, though they may not voice it as loudly.

Israel legally occupies (in the original positive meaning of occupy) land that she was bequeathed by the United Nations and has purchased, developed, annexed, or won in justified wars of independence and survival. Still, a comparison with America doesn’t tell the whole story. In that regard, Israel has a distinct and superior advantage over the United States in terms of sovereign rights of ownership and possession currently and in antiquity.

America was birthed as a nation, decades after immigrants came to a virgin land that was neither titled (legally parceled) nor adequately (at first) developed politically or economically to support a free democratic society. Then we fought a bloody civil war to end slavery but also to prevent succession of several southern states from the union. Not until the Union’s victory in the American Civil War did this country truly become The United States of America.

The United States acquired much of its land through expansion, albeit with a practical geopolitical and demographic dynamic that included bordering on two sides by oceans. In all due respect to Native Americans (still rich in heritage, of whom several I’ve met and appreciate), they constantly fought among themselves for various reasons, particularly over land; with minimal resolution as to what territory belonged to which tribe.

(Westward Ho!)

Not so the Jews. They already had a border-bound, parceled-out heritage in the Promised Land of Israel. Now it was time to reclaim that inheritance.

In great numbers they returned to the land that had belonged to them far longer than the United States has even been a nation. Thus, Israel was reborn (reinstated) as a nation, and in one day! Israel is Israel again. Moreover, Israel’s status as a sovereign nation had been approved by the United Nations itself—back in the days when the UN was functioning the way it was intended. And before that by the League of Nations when the Balfour Declaration of 1917 materialized into the British Mandate of 1922.

Why did the Arabs decline statehood then and now? Is Israel responsible for that? Not even close. Not one iota.

Easy answer: The Arabs simply cannot abide the thought of a Palestinian state alongside a Jewish state.

Intellectually and emotionally, they are in complete denial that Israel has decisively won four major wars started by Muslim Arab nations. For that reason alone, Israeli Jews—legally, morally, geopolitically, and demographically—have the right to claim every inch of land within Israel’s borders with Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt. Including the Golan Heights, annexed by Israel.

Plus, 1.9 million Arabs in Israel have chosen Israeli citizenship in contrast to the 4.7 million Arabs (Palestinians … the 4.7 million is probably inflated because Palestinians still include those who have moved out of Israel) of the West Bank and Gaza Strip who have rejected citizenship. The privilege of which has been a standing offer from Israeli Jews since they won their War of Independence in 1948-1949.

The following is an excerpt from the earlier referenced article, United Nations Downsizing of Israel … (in italics):

On December 23rd (the beginning of Sabbath day for Jews) of last year (2016) the Security Council passed UN Resolution #2334. It was yet another motion condemning Jewish settlements in the so-called West Bank, which includes all of what the Palestinians (and much of the world) classify as East Jerusalem.

Then later in that article:

In gleeful reaction to Resolution 2334, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas presumptuously said, “We are calling for 2017 to be the year of international recognition of the State of Palestine because more recognitions will strengthen the possibility of achieving a two-state solution and real peace.”

As though Palestine was already a state, Abbas continued, “I say to you that settlements on the land of the occupied State of Palestine are on their way out. We secured a historic UN Security Council resolution, which said that any changes since 1967 to the demographic composition or land of the State of Palestine including East Jerusalem are unacceptable.”

(Comment: “Unacceptable only to Palestinians and those who support the Palestinian narrative. But certainly not illegal. Not only that: Abbas’s statement smacks hypocritically of the very ethnic cleansing and apartheid of which he falsely accuses Israel. In fact, Abbas has said on more than one occasion: No Jew will ever be allowed citizenship in a Palestinian State. Such a fair and balanced view (yes, I’m being sarcastic) considering that Israel has 1.9 million Arab citizens, many of whom (via polls) prefer living in an Israeli state than they would in a Palestinian state.

Refer to Eye of Prophecy article: Ethnic Cleansing of Jews … The Real Palestinian Agenda published 9-17-16. Also: A Palestinian State (No Say Many Arabs!) Posted 1-11-14.

Continuing with the excerpt:

By prematurely referring to Palestine as a state, which has never legally or legislatively or nationally existed in the first place (it has always been Israel no matter that a Roman Emperor arbitrarily and spitefully changed Israel’s name to Palestine nearly 2,000 years ago); an impression is made on both the informed and uninformed that Jews don’t belong anywhere in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. When, in fact, much of the land in Judea and Samaria on which some 600,000 Jews reside was purchased by the Jews … even land won from the Arabs in the Six-Day War.

Does the United States and the United Nations believe that any portion of land within the sovereign borders of any nation on earth could be (illegally) “occupied” by citizens of that country? With the resulting conclusion that no citizen of that country has any right to purchase and own land in select areas of their nation that are indwelt mostly by a certain ethnic group of people….

(Comment: That would be no different than denying land ownership to anyone else other than the French for land lawfully purchased from France in 1803, called the Louisiana Territory … now consisting of parts or all of several states. Or, territory in Texas plus what is now the entire state of California won in wars with Mexico, as off-limits to Americans. Or, only ethnic Hawaiians living on land in Hawaii which was annexed by the United States before it became a state. That is exactly what the UN Security Council is saying about the “Palestinian territories” within Israel. I repeat for emphasis: exactly).

(Louisiana Purchase: Nearly 1/3 of the Continental United States)

Concluding that excerpt:

The so-called Jewish “settlement occupation” is neither (1) illegal, nor, (2) the main obstacle to peace in Israel. Nor is a Palestinian State the solution. Certainly not one that is unilaterally imposed on Israelis with little or no input from them, especially relating to their national security and survival. Which means that imposition of the pre-1967 truce boundaries (lines) cannot be accepted by Israel. Some concessions could be made (through negotiation), but at least two demands cannot be met: (1) Jerusalem as a divided capital, or (2) Israeli departure from the Golan Heights.

Which leads us to:

The Golan Heights

On March 21, 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump announced: “After 52 years it is time for the United States to fully recognize Israel’s Sovereignty over the Golan Heights, which is of critical strategic and security importance to the State of Israel and Regional Stability!”

Then on March 25th, President Trump signed a resolution to affirm this declaration: the Golan Heights belong to Israel. This was a long overdue recognition that Israel’s annexation of (most of) the Golan Heights in 1981 was both practical and legal, contrary to those who claim Israel has no right to the Golan Heights.

This bold, but controversial decision was the latest of President Trump’s solidarity support for Israel as a Jewish State. Beginning with Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December 2017, then relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May 2018. And a substantial reduction of U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority because of its insidious “pay for slay” financial support of tried, convicted, imprisoned Palestinians who have maimed and killed Israelis Jews. Or to the immediate relatives of those terrorists if their family member was killed during his/her depraved act or in a manhunt (shootout) later. Also, Trump’s recension of the horrendous Iran Nuclear Deal, that will benefit Israel’s security enormously.

Similar resolutions have been introduced in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, but President Trump’s signed pledge makes U.S. recognition of the Golan Heights belonging to Israel as official policy.

Israel’s recently reelected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heartily thanked President Trump for this decision and later indicated that Israel would name an Israeli community in the Golan after Trump. Will the town be called, Trumpville? Probably not, as there are no other Israeli towns ending in ville! At least none that I know of. (I couldn’t resist a little fun here).

Seriously, this latest demonstration of United States support for Israel is huge, both symbolically and practically. I sometimes cringe at President Trump’s unpredictable style (idiosyncrasies). And it remains to be seen what his Deal of Century (supposed to be introduced in June) will entail. But no matter what anyone thinks of Trump—good, bad, indifferent—his consistent and active promotion, as opposed to merely lip service, of Israel’s sovereignty and security exceeds all U.S. Presidents before him. Even that of President Harry Truman who was the first head of state to congratulate and recognize Israel’s Statehood in May 1948.

For the reason of unreserved (thus far) support of Israel, God may withhold judgment (or greater judgment) on the United States, which is no longer one nation under God, nor one that even comes close now days to:

(Refer to Eye of Prophecy article: America the Beautiful is Getting Ugly … 7-19-16)

As expected, there was an international uproar that (almost) equaled President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and subsequent move of the U.S. embassy. I’ll reference only one of these responses, which is from Syria itself—the country that claims the Golan as theirs (Note: about 1/3 of the Golan Heights still belongs to Syria, called the Syrian Golan).

From the Syrian Foreign Ministry Department came a statement that Trump’s decision was a “blatant aggression” against what they considered the territorial integrity of Syria. That classifying the Golan Heights as within Israel’s borders was the, “…highest level of contempt for international legitimacy…” So on and so forth.

Are they right?

Not even close. Which is why neither Syria nor any other nation or head of state who agrees with Syria care to discuss in-depth the true history of the Golan Heights. Such things that I (and others) have written about before but bear repeating. Not the least of which is: The Syrians constantly and conveniently forget that they lost the Golan Heights to Israel twice (1967 & 1973) after attacking Israel from that very region.

Moreover, the so-called borders of the Golan Heights that separated Syria from the newborn State of Israel were only armistice (truce) lines agreed to by the Israelis when they defended themselves against five Arab armies (Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and of course, Syria) that attacked the Jews the day after Israel declared in May 1948 its (1947) UN-voted right for statehood.

For the next 18 years, Syrian armed forces rained down bombs from the Golan Heights on Jewish farms and communities in the valley regions of the Galilee. Though terrifying for the Jews who lived there, Israel elected not to engage in another “all-out war” with Syria. However, that all changed when once again Arab armies massed for war against Israel in 1967. Though Israel struck first, it was crystal clear to the entire world that Egypt and Syria were about to attack Israel again.

Politicians, military experts, and historians—whether religious or not—consider the Israeli Six-Day War victory as the most stunning achievement in the annals of military history. The word miracle is entirely appropriate. Not only was an Israeli victory considered unlikely (impossible by many), to accomplish it in six-days was mind-boggling. Plus, it was a decisive victory—not just one narrowly achieved.

As is said, “the rest is history.” Then more history when Israel again defeated the Syrians and Egyptians in an even bloodier war, when Israel was attacked on her High Holy Day of Yom Kippur in 1973.

The Israeli portion of the Golan Heights comprises about 500 square miles … roughly the size of Phoenix, Arizona, a suburb of which I reside. That is not my comparison, although I should have thought of it and looked it up! Instead, I found it in an article written by well-known columnist for The Washington Times, Clifford D. May. Entitled: Trump’s clear view of the Golan Heights (April 16, 2019).

Whoever controls the Golan Heights has a vastly superior high ground advantage over the Galilee region and the Jordan Valley.

(Portion of the Golan Heights)

In the Six-Day War, Israel defeated Syria in the north. In the south the Israelis were victorious over Egypt, but eventually relinquished control of the Sinai Peninsula and the Gaza Strip back to Egypt. In the center of Israel (Judea/Samaria), the Israelis defeated Jordan which entered the war despite Israel’s warnings for them not to. As a result, the IDF won a vicious battle for Jerusalem itself, thereby liberating the Holy City from Jordan’s illegal occupation that began after Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. Because of international pressure, Israel returned administrative jurisdiction of the eastern part of Jerusalem, including Temple Mount, back to Jordan and (eventually) the Palestinians. However, for purpose of ultimate national sovereignty, Israel annexed Eastern Jerusalem in 1967.

Although Israel did not return the Golan Heights to Syria, the IDF presence in/near the Golan was not that substantial after the Six-Day War. The Israelis came perilously close to losing the Yom Kippur War in 1973 (especially against Syria in the north); thus, they knew beyond all doubt that they must never leave the Golan and must strengthen their military there.

Consequently, in 1981 Israel officially annexed the Golan Heights.

Was that illegal?

Absolutely not. From time immemorial (including our post-modern world) the “rule of international law” is that a nation that captures territory from which they are attacked has the right to maintain control of that territory, including annexation if they choose. Conversely, land that is captured by a nation that launches an unprovoked (unjust) war against another nation is not recognized as legitimate. Whether other nations can do anything about it depends on several variables, not the least of which is their ability to, by force, counter and correct such acquisitions. Which, of course, the allies did in World War II when Germany, Italy, and Japan attacked not only the allies, but also seized control of other territories or entire nations for no other reason that unilateral conquest.

If Egypt in 1956 (Suez Canal War); Syria, Egypt, Jordan in 1967; and Egypt/Syria in 1973 had defeated Israel, would the United States or any other nation(s) have commenced a campaign against the Arabs to return the sovereign state of Israel back to the Jews? Highly unlikely. Except for military material aid given by President Richard Nixon to Israel in the Yom Kippur War, there was no direct military assistance (boots on the ground) provided to Israel in 1967 or 1973. (Some Americans and Europeans did fight for Israel in their 1948 War of Independence).

Further commenting on international law: The whole idea is not to allow nations who unjustly attack other nations (just because the attacking nation doesn’t think the nation attacked should exist or for land-grab purposes) to reclaim “disputed” land that the aggressor used to launch its assault, but subsequently lost to the nation attacked.

That would be a blatantly unwarranted “win” for the aggressor that lost. And a “lose” for the nation that won.

With a dramatically distorted application of national and international integrity or “legitimacy” as the Syrians put it, the Golan still belongs to them. No matter that Israel defeated her enemies via a just (defensive for her very survival) response to an unprovoked attack, Israel must return the Golan Heights to Syria. So, it doesn’t matter if Syria loses (which they did) the wars. All the Golan still belongs to them. That’s convoluted logic at its best … or worst.

As well-known Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz (an ardent apologist for Israel, albeit I don’t agree with his support for a two-state solution in Israel) so aptly stated: “No country in history has ever given back to a sworn enemy, militarily essential territory that has been captured in a defensive war.”

*Note: Dershowitz participated in a peaceful public gathering outside the New York Times building earlier this week. Purpose was to strenuously protest the deplorable cartoon of President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu published in this virulently anti-Israeli newspaper that for years has denigrated (through propaganda style reporting that even makes otherwise objective news reports into op-ed articles) the nation of Israel.

(Alan Dershowitz)

Comparison of West Point to the Golan Heights!

For purpose of today’s article which focuses on the Golan Heights, consider this parallel during America’s Revolutionary War which, like Israel, was fought to preserve the birth of a nation. In 1776, England obviously didn’t acknowledge the American colonies Declaration of Independence of The United States of America. Neither did Muslim Arab countries even remotely recognize Israel’s existence when she declared statehood in 1948.

With one huge difference: All Islamic nations except two (Egypt and Jordan) and other Muslim non-Arab nations still do not recognize Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign country in the global family of nations. Almost all those nations also have refused any diplomatic relations with Israel. Whereas, England, later called Great Britain, has been for well over a hundred years and still is one of America’s closest allies.

Do you remember Benedict Arnold? Even if some aren’t familiar with the details, most Americans and many people in the world know him as perhaps the worst traitor in American history.

Benedict Arnold was a General in the Continental Army who, in the early stages of the American Revolutionary War, fought valiantly for the newborn nation of America. For reasons that time/space do not permit in this article, he defected to the British in 1780.

Arnold’s objective was first to be made commander of the fort of West Point on the west bank of the Hudson River, which he persuaded General George Washington to do. His scheme was to weaken the ability of the Continental army stationed there to the point where the West Point garrison would have no choice but surrender to the British General Sir Henry Clinton. On a high plateau overlooking the crucial terrain of the Hudson River in New York State, both the Americans and the British were fully aware of West Point’s strategic advantage. In fact, General Washington made it his main headquarters in 1779, although he spent much of his time on other battle fronts.

Short version: Arnold’s plot was exposed, and he escaped capture during the ensuing fight for West Point. The colonists barely won that battle when a contingency of Washington’s army arrived just in time. Arnold eventually fled to England and died in London in 1801.

In 1802, President Thomas Jefferson signed an order creating West Point Academy which is still world-famous for its training of American officers in the Army branch of the U.S. Military.

In terms of logistical location, West Point and its surrounding topography was as vital to the Americans as the Golan Heights is to Israel in today’s world.

(West Point)

Now then, the analogy: Can you imagine if the newly elected 1st United States President George Washington and/or Congress decided after the war to give West Point along with 500 square miles of land surrounding it to the British? Say as a token of their appreciation for England not continuing the war against the colonists any longer than they did. Or, perhaps a gesture of good will toward those colonists (called Loyalists) who preferred what they considered as more stability under British rule over the uncertain risk of American independence. After all, the original 13 states were called New England. Plus, some of the colonists had fought for the British against the French in the French-Indian Wars just a few decades earlier. Good reasons?

What’s the first thing that would/should come to mind?

If you said, “Absurd” or something like it, you would be 100% correct. Suicidal also fits.

Would it make any difference if, for example, the main ally of America at the time (France, of all countries!) would have said something to the effect that return of West Point wasn’t just a nice gesture, but that it also followed international law? Or that some otherwise neutral nations would have backed this proposal, with the thought that perhaps the British would appreciate the offer and it would discourage them from starting another war with America. (Land for peace!)

Would your response be the same? “Ridiculous!” I would think so.

England did go to war with America again in 1812. Though not as long, a war every bit as fierce as the Revolutionary War, including the British burning our Capital and the White House. Had the British already held a foothold in the West Point area, the war might have lasted six years instead of three. I’m just saying…

This is fundamentally no different than Israel relinquishing the Golan Heights and control thereof to Syria. For that matter Syria’s President and regime are far less honorable and much more vicious than were the British in the 18th & early 19th century. Plus, Syria is now indebted to Russia, Iran, and the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah for their assistance in crushing the (Arab-Spring) uprising of many Syrians who want at least some form of democracy in Syria.

Yet, this is precisely what nearly all Muslin countries and Western nations critical of Israel’s right to the Golan Heights are demanding. Western European nations like France, Germany, Great Britain have recognized Israel’s right to exist as a nation but are adamantly opposed to Israel’s prerogative position in and on the Golan—despite all the reasons discussed in this article and acknowledged for years by those who really know and care about what’s (really) happening in the Middle East.

Summary

The Jews continuous presence in the Promised Land of Israel for some 3,800 years; United Nations Resolution of November 1947 leading to the rebirth of Israel’s sovereign state; Jewish purchase of land throughout Israel; victory in four defensive wars of survival; amazing agricultural and hi-tech economic development of Israel; annexation (2/3 of the Golan Heights)—each one provides extraordinary evidence and undeniable reasons why Israeli Jews have both national and international rights (by definition) to live ANYWHERE in Israel.

Combining them together yields an overwhelmingly convincing conclusion that: All of Israel’s land is within and belongs to the Jewish nation of Israel.

However, as detailed in several prior Eye of Prophecy articles, it bears repeating that there is one top of the line truth and irrefutable reality that eclipses all these reasons:

God’s Sovereign Determination of Israel’s Borders and Destiny

If anyone wants to dispute this historical and contemporary truth, they are welcome to take it up with God himself.

I’m serious.

And they need to get serious too, because one day (soon) there will come a reckoning when all nations will need to give an account of their treatment of Israel. We’ll cover that more next week.

In several passages of the Bible’s Old Testament, the Lord presented to his people both a panoramic picture; then later, more precise parameters of Israel’s borders and division of the land among the twelve tribes of Israel. Land that was given by God to the Jews in perpetuity. The word forever applies.

Beginning with the entire land of Canaan given by the Lord to Abraham and his descendants through Isaac, that encompassed much more than present day Israel (Genesis Chapters 12, 15, & 17). Followed by Moses’ limited description of Israel’s land inheritance to Jacob’s sons (Numbers 34-35, which didn’t include the allotment for the tribes of Reuben and Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh in what is mostly present-day Jordan).

Then an expanded meticulous map-like depiction of the land that comprises seven entire chapters in the book of Joshua (Chapters 13-19). Plus, Chapter 21 for the Levites. Followed by a condensed summary of the land found in Ezekiel Chapters 47-48.

Things to Ponder

Since our focus today is on the Golan Heights, I’ll cite another passage (somewhat obscure for some) in the book of Obadiah. Prefaced by an earlier verse that is similar in nature to dozens of other prophecies that foretell the final return of the Jews to Israel.

“…And the people of Israel will come back to reclaim their inheritance” (Obadiah 1:17b).

The following is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article: Israeli Occupation … Fact or Myth? In italics:

The last three verses of Obadiah describe much (but not all) of Israel’s original land mass. In parenthesis, the modern-day portion of Israel will be inserted to match the Biblical names, some of which are still the same. Notice that the passage uses the word “occupy.” And does so with a matter-of-fact positive connotation. Not the negative occupation accusation by Israel’s enemies (and even some of her “friends”) that is patently false … Biblically, historically, and currently.

“Then my people living in the Negev (still called the Negev … southern part of Israel next to the Sinai Peninsula which is part of ancient Israel that bordered Egypt and Arabia) will occupy the mountains of Edom (southern Jordan and western part of Saudi Arabia). Those living in the foothills of Judah (land and cities south of Jerusalem, including Hebron) will possess the Philistine plains (Gaza Strip) and take over the fields of Ephraim and Samaria (the West Bank). And the people of Benjamin will occupy the land of Gilead (portion of northwestern Jordan and southwestern Syria).

“The exiles of Israel will return to their land and occupy the Phoenician coast as far north as Zarephath (ancient Tyre and Sidon … the coast of Lebanon). The captives from Jerusalem exiled in the north will return home and resettle the towns of the Negev. Those who have been rescued will go up to Mount Zion in Jerusalem (Temple Mount which has belonged to the Jews in perpetuity but currently under administrative control of Jordan and the Palestinians) to rule over the mountains of Edom” (Obadiah 1:19-21a).

The land of Gilead as mentioned by Obadiah overlaps with the modern Golan Heights.

Another prophet also referenced Gilead, plus Lebanon: “Though I have scattered them like seeds among the nations, they will still remember me in distant lands. They and their children will survive and return again to Israel … I will resettle them in Gilead and Lebanon, until there is no more room for them all” (Zechariah 10:9-10, italics for emphasis).

*Note: The “return again” isn’t grammatically redundant. It’s referring to the second (more massive) return of Jewish exiles to Israel, the first long ago from Babylon.

When consolidating all the Biblical passages in which God outlines the expansive borders of Israel, they constitute not only modern-day Israel; but also, all of Lebanon and Jordan and some or much of Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. As delineated in the following pictorial, which I believe is somewhat more than the original Biblical boundaries, especially to the south.

Through a Divine promise that is being fulfilled before our 20th and 21st century eyes; after 2,000 years of Jewish exile to the four corners of the earth, the Jews have returned to Israel in great numbers, beginning primarily in 1948.

It is unprecedented … never done before by any other nation or peoples.

It is incomprehensible … many including most Jews said it couldn’t be done.

It is nothing short of miraculous.

No longer is it, “Next year in Jerusalem.” For millions of Israeli Jews, it is, “This year in Jerusalem. We’re home!”

It is a God-thing.

“…Mount Zion, the holy mountain, is the city of the great King!” (Psalm 48:2).

A Dramatic Enactment of the Rapture!

It could be the proverbial understatement to say that this week’s Eye of Prophecy article is different.

But then we are in the last days of the end times, when many things are going to be different, supernaturally so. Not the least of which is an extraordinary event to prepare for the triumphant physical return of Messiah Jesus to establish the glorious Kingdom of God on earth.

That trigger point is none other than the Rapture. Followed by seven years of unmitigated deceit, destruction, and death before Jesus steps in and puts an end to the violence, injustice, and corruption of this wicked world we live in.

Today’s post is not a docudrama, as those are reserved for events which have already occurred.

Rather, it will be in the form of Seven-Act Play (the scenes are short); to reasonably represent and dramatically depict what could and probably will occur during the Rapture.

It is based primarily on a previous article, which provides Scriptural documentation and correlation accompanied with commentary to support a rational premise: The entire sequence of the Rapture will take several minutes; only the bodily transfiguration of raised from the dead believers and believers still alive will be instantaneous.

If you like, grab a soda or whatever and plop a bag of popcorn in the microwave.

Open your mind and heart; picture what’s happening; fill in your own details if you like; and stretch your imagination to accommodate the reality of what’s going to take place in what I’m convinced is the near-future.

ACT ONE

Netanya, Israel (7:00 PM)

For the Israeli family of four, their Passover Seder meal was nearly over. Eitan Shaked looked admirably at his wife Esther and grinned at their 14-year old daughter, Netanya, whom they had named after their beloved town. Eitan then directed a smile to his 12-year old son, Naphtali, named after the tribe, that was Eitan’s and Esther’s favorite—for a reason they hadn’t fully grasped. They just liked the name … Naphtali. And they wanted their son’s name to begin with the same letter as their daughter’s name.

He picked up the fourth small cup of wine and motioned for his wife and children to do the same with theirs.

For nearly all Jews, whether religious or secular or in between—Passover was the epitome of all that was Jewish. It was the High Holy Day that seamlessly blended fun and somberness. Singing Dayenu; asking and answering the five questions; the children searching for the hidden afikomen … generated smiles and laughter. Reading of the Torah and partaking of the four cups solemnly reminded them of their ancient heritage, brought vividly to life with the amazing return of the Jews to their Promised Land and miraculous rebirth of Israel as a sovereign nation.

But this and the past two Seders were remarkably different. Eitan and his family celebrated Passover with an enthusiasm and meaning that exceeded the traditional Seder. Three years earlier … father, mother, daughter, and son: all had believed in and received Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah on the same day and place—the Messianic Congregation of Beit Mashiach (House of Messiah) in Netanya, Israel.

As he held the cup of wine, Eitan’s departed friend, Benjamin, flashed before his eyes. A year before he died in a car accident, Benjamin had persuaded the entire family to attend just one meeting at Beit Mashiach. That’s all it took. Like many other Israelis, both Eitan and Esther had longed for Messiah to appear, to bring final redemption to Israel—though they knew little of what that redemption would be or how it would be accomplished.

On that fateful Shabbat service, the pastor of Beit Mashiach had delivered a message like nothing the Shaked family had ever heard. A message of love, hope, and redemption purchased by the once and for all sacrifice of Jesus—the very Messiah who they and most Jews assumed hadn’t yet arrived. The same Messiah who would return to take all those who had believed and received him as Lord and Savior—Jew and Gentile alike—home to heaven.

Their Passover celebration now included Messiah Jesus, Son of God. The Passover Lamb whose precious blood shed at the cross meant that God had forgiven all their sins and they would not have to experience God’s final judgment on humanity. They had already been pardoned and passed over. All they had to do was believe in Jesus and what he did for them.

Earlier Esther had read aloud Exodus 6:6-7. As they each held the fourth cup of wine, Eitan reminded them of the significance of each cup, but as Jews who had found the very essence of their Jewishness in Messiah himself. They were God’s promises to his people symbolized by the four cups of wine, expanded to a Messianic message: I will bring you out (of being part of the world system); I will deliver you (from the bondage of sin); I will redeem you (with a great price to purchase pardon from the penalty of sin); I will take you (to be with me in heaven and to spare you from the final wrath of God).

And then it happened.

As they began to sip their fourth cup of wine, the sound of a Shofar shook the entire house. But it was a gentle shaking, more like vibrations reverberating through every piece of furniture. They could even feel the resonance in their hands and arms, as the wine in their cups quivered from the majestic call.

It was the loudest sound they had ever heard. Yet, it was inexplicably soft enough not to traumatize. Eitan instantly knew that it came from high above and far beyond their house, their town, and Israel itself. The dropped jaws and wide eyes of Esther and the children silently echoed their agreement. This was no ordinary Shofar.

“Abba!” Netanya exclaimed. “What is that?”

They put down their cups.

“Exactly, what you think it is,” Eitan answered. “It couldn’t be anything else. Esther, Netanya, Naphtali; the time has come for Messiah to take us home.”

“I’m a little scared,” Naphtali whispered.

“It’s okay my boy,” Esther said. “Just trust Jesus. This is going to be more wonderful than we can imagine. I wonder how long it will take?”

They listened intently as the Shofar blast subsided. Soon, another began … different from the first.

“Quick, let’s get in the car and drive to the cemetery,” Eitan said. “If I’m right, there will be two more Shofars after this one. The cemetery is five minutes away. We should have time.”

“Time for what?” Esther asked.

“Time to see Benjamin coming out of his grave.”

On the way, Eitan hurriedly told them about an internet article he had read not long ago, though he couldn’t recall the name of the website. But he remembered the title: The Shout Heard Around the World.

“If that article is correct, then we could have up to fourteen minutes or even longer” said Eitan. “Of course, the author didn’t know for sure and said so. But he presented some compelling evidence from Scripture that the whole sequence of the Rapture is much longer than the split-second change of our bodies that’s going to happen any minute now.”

During their frenzied trip to the cemetery that took less than four minutes, they saw what seemed to be the entire population of Netanya spilling out of their homes; looking up, shielding their eyes from the blazing light in the east that made the western sunset seem pitch black. They had just stepped out of the car when another blast of the Shofar softly shook the ground on which they stood.

Eitan looked at his watch. 7:09 PM.

ACT TWO

New York City (12:00 PM) – 7 hours behind Israeli time

Nancy and her co-worker friend Susan slid out of their office chairs in one of New York’s largest banks. It was time for the best lunch of the week, as it was TGIF. Nancy was in a hurry; Susan strained to keep pace.

When the sound exploded, both sank back into their chairs. In disbelief at what she was hearing, Nancy scanned the entire office floor. Everyone had the same dazed expression that she was certain had enveloped her face. No one spoke, as they listened to what seemed like a dozen orchestras each with a hundred trumpets echoing one symphonic sound.

As the massive trumpet sound ended gradually, Susan spoke first. It was an utterance of sheer delight.

“Lord, it’s really happening!”

Only one person responded before the second blast began. From across the floor, a woman who disliked Susan’s occasional break-room talk about her faith in Christ yelled sarcastically, “Oh my God, what IS happening?”

Susan didn’t reply.

Though it was difficult to talk or even think above the second blast, Nancy remembered the two times that Susan had personally told her about Jesus. That he alone can save people from their sin; and the second conversation—he would be coming soon in the Rapture. Something about trumpets sounding.

Nancy whispered in Susan’s ear: “Do you mean what I think you mean?”

“Yes,” Susan said with unbridled enthusiasm. “Jesus is coming for me … for all who believe in him. It’s going to happen any second now.”

Nancy shook her head. “It’s just too unbelievable.”

Susan peered intently but compassionately at her. “Nancy, Jesus loves you. He wants you to be with him, too. You need to get saved right now.”

As if cued by a maestro, everyone around them began to pour out of their second-floor office, many using the stairs; the elevators were already in overflow capacity. It wasn’t just the sound that was so close it seemed to penetrate their bodies, a surround-a-sound emanating from what was clearly a vast distance yet permeating the atmosphere around them; it was the brilliant light pouring through the eastside windows. That and hundreds of people already spilling out of nearby buildings onto sidewalks and streets.

Nancy assumed that millions of other New Yorkers had hurried outside from office buildings, homes, schools, restaurants, stores, buses, and cars, and when they could … from subways. Some eagerly, like Susan. Most with trepidation, like herself.

Nancy quickly surveyed the scene. Half of the people were silent as they listened to the third incredible blast. The other half were on their phones with family or friends in New York, in other cities and states and countries.

“Can you hear it there in Houston?”

“Yes, I can see the light, too.”

ACT THREE

Sydney, Australia (2:00 AM) – 7 hours ahead of Israeli time

Peggy’s deep sleep was no match for the blast of the Shofar.

Now twenty-eight, she had accepted Jesus as her Savior at the tender age of nine. But only for the past four years had she really begun to grow in her faith and walk with the Lord.

Married at nineteen, Peggy’s husband was kind, somewhat loving and respectful, but not when it came to her relationship with Christ. He detested anything Biblical and, except for her, could barely tolerate Jews and Christians. He had flatly refused to attend church with her; just a month ago he had ordered her never to “preach to me again.”

Out of curiosity Peggy had attended a Jewish Messianic synagogue not far from her home. She was developing a passion for Israel and Biblical end-times prophecies concerning the return of the Jews and restoration of Israel in God’s providential plan for humanity. Though she was Gentile, one Jewish couple with four children befriended her when she had, without being asked, told them she couldn’t have children. Three times they had invited her to dinner, during days when her husband was on 24-hour duty at the local fire station.

The Jewish husband was skilled with the Shofar and was always eager to blow it for family and guests. Jolted from her sleep, Peggy immediately knew that the powerful blast was from a Shofar. Her husband used ear plugs; he couldn’t stand any noise whatsoever during the sometimes day-hours when he slept.

Stunned again by the second blast of the ubiquitous Shofar, she was still skeptical that this was the Rapture. She arose and sat on the edge of the bed. Though she had heard a few messages and read I Thessalonians 4 and I Corinthians 15 several times, she couldn’t imagine that it would happen like this. She assumed or at least wanted to be in church when the time came.

And, along with nearly all believers, she thought the whole thing would be over in a nanosecond.

Her husband stirred but was otherwise oblivious to the steady staccato of the Shofar. How could he not hear it?

Their bedroom was on the west side of the house. Absorbed in the second sounding of the Shofar, Peggy hadn’t noticed the soft but intense glow that had enveloped the bedroom. She sprinted to the living room, pushed aside the curtains, and stumbled back in wonder at the brilliant light that had dissolved the darkness of the eastern sky.

She lifted her hands to the heavens and yelled jubilantly, “Lord, this is it, isn’t it!”

She ran back to the bedroom and shook her husband violently.

“Jason, get up … now! You need to ask Jesus to save you. There’s no time to lose.”

Grumbling, Jason pulled out the ear plugs; however, the second blast had ended. “What’s the matter with you? Are you crazy?”

Barely able to contain her excitement, Peggy realized that she needed to calm down. He had seen enough hysterical people in his fire rescue efforts but didn’t appreciate panic for no reason.

“Listen to me. Any second now I’m going up to heaven with Christians all over the world. I told you about the Rapture once before. It’s happening right now.”

“It’s a lie,” he retorted. “You’re just resorting to this insane tactic in order…”

At that instant, the third blast of the Shofar split the atmosphere and reverberated throughout the house.

“Come, look.” She grabbed his hand and pulled him into the living room. “Is the sound of the trumpet and that light a lie? You know you’ve never heard or seen anything like that in your life.”

Jason’s expression turned from a furrowed frown to a dropped jaw. Peggy could clearly see that the awe-inspiring resonance of the Shofar and the brilliant eastern sky belied all that was reasonable to him. He faced her and their eyes met. Doubt quickly returned to his face.

“There’s got to be a logical explanation,” he muttered.

“Please, Jason, can’t you for once in your life believe what the Bible says. It’s happening right in front of your ears and eyes.”

“I don’t know…”

Peggy was beside herself at Jason’s stubbornness, but she gathered her thoughts and interrupted him: “I love you, and so does Jesus. I’m going outside. Do you want to come with and watch me go up to heaven? Or would you prefer we stay here, and you can watch me disappear through the ceiling?”

She didn’t wait for his answer. He followed her. People were already standing outside their houses with heads lifted.

INTERLUDE

Complements of smart phones, laptops, iPads, 24-hour T.V. News stations, and short-wave radio, nearly the entire world knew in a few minutes that this was a global event.

Pilots radioing control towers: “We’re turning around. Find a runway for us to land.”

More than one Christian air controller replied: “Captain, are you or your co-pilot a believer in Christ?”

Loved ones calling and being called: “Can you believe what’s happening!” Or, “I should have listened to you.”

“Is this the end?”

Some answered: “No, it’s the Rapture … the beginning of the end!”

Media sources sent mixed messages.

“Please stay inside. Don’t make the crowds any bigger. Whatever this is; even if it’s the so-called Rapture, it will be over soon. How bad can it be? Things will only get better for those of us who remain.”

With a few broadcasts programmed to continue their caption in case the entire staff was taken:

“It is the Rapture! CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD AND YOU WILL BE SAVED. If you are left behind, then: Call on the name of the Lord and you will be saved. Though not from the Great Tribulation to come.”

ACT FOUR

Netanya, Israel (7:10 PM)

Eitan Shaked nestled close to his wife. He held the hand of their son, Naphtali. Esther grasped Netanya’s arm. As they stood at Benjamin’s gravesite, Eitan counted five other believers from his congregation who evidently had the same idea as him. They, too, were standing near graves of family or friends. They waved to each other with shouts of, “Yes!”

The Shofar sounded again. If there was any doubt that the first three were global, this fourth blast was surely being carried on every sound wave existing in and above the earth’s atmosphere. Millions of megaphones and loud speakers couldn’t have produced a sound so strong, so pure, so universal; yet so moderate as to not burst ear drums.

He immediately recognized it as the fourth and final of the Jewish Shofar sequence that had been handed down through tradition by and to the Jews for centuries. But now it was for all believers in Messiah, Jew and Gentile alike.

Though it was difficult to speak and hear, Esther asked, “Will this be the final Shofar?”

“Yes, I’m sure it will,” Eitan said. “It’s almost time.”

He had just finished speaking when they heard the voice from above, “Children of the most High God; the appointed time has come.”

“I’m pretty sure that was the voice of the archangel,” Eitan said.

Eitan glanced at his watch again. He was about to tell Esther how much time had elapsed from the first blast, when the fourth Shofar stopped suddenly, not gradually like the others. Within seconds, the expected, but nonetheless stunning scene unfolded. Benjamin’s grave exploded as did a few others in the cemetery.

“Mom, Dad, look!” Netanya yelled.

They watched in total awe as Benjamin’s remains were lifted from his grave by an unseen hand. Then, ten, maybe fifteen seconds later, his skeletal form was radically changed. Too fast for Eitan or anyone else to see how. They only saw the results.

Benjamin stood on the ground and looked directly at them, then at his body.

He was enshrouded in white clothing they had never seen before or knew existed. If it was a robe, it seemed almost transparent, as if it was part of his form. His entire body and face were indescribably perfect. As though he had just been born that way without the imperfections that develop with age.

Immediately, Eitan realized this was the spiritual body spoken of by the Apostle Paul. It was as though Benjamin’s spirit was on the outside enveloping his flawless features, instead of the unseen spirit on the inside of a natural blemished body. The two, body and spirit were one. Beautifully blended one with the other. Both visible, yet indivisible.

Eitan knew that the same thing was happening to resurrected believers the world over. For those who had been cremated, the Lord was raising their ashes, bringing them together with the same supernatural force that rolled away the stone at Jesus’s tomb. With the same instantaneous transformation as the decomposing and skeleton bodies. So, too, the remains of those buried at sea.

“Benjamin, it’s you. You’re much better than…” Eitan couldn’t finish.

He felt a burst of energy that seemed to come from inside out but also outside in. It was over before he saw anything else. His wife Esther had been an attractive woman. It wasn’t just in his beholding eye; others had told him the same thing. There she stood next to him more beautiful than she had ever been. An appearance that wasn’t sexual at all; rather a supernatural loveliness that transcended anything natural. An ageless beauty that was immortal.

So, too, Netanya and Naphtali. Changed dramatically, but just as dramatically the same person … each one of them.

“Look at you!” Benjamin pointed to Eitan.

“Look at you!” Eitan trumpeted in return.

“Look at our kids,” Esther exclaimed. “Same age, but older. How can that be!”

“Hallelujah,” Eitan roared.

“Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised,” Esther shouted.

In unison, Netanya and Naphtali said, “We love you Jesus.”

Which as it turned out was right on cue. The next voice thundered from above, from everywhere.

“COME UP HERE!”

“That was Jesus himself,” Eitan shouted. His watch was gone, but he estimated that from the first shofar had been maybe fourteen or fifteen minutes.

Immediately the raised dead and those still alive and transformed began to rise in the air … exactly how, they didn’t know. By whom, they knew for sure. It wasn’t a fast ascent like a kite, nor was it slow like a hot air balloon. There was time for ecstasy to look around at other believers within sight rising simultaneously. And for a passing moment, a time of sadness when looking down at the many who were staring into the sky.

ACT FIVE

New York City (2:10 PM)

Nancy’s arm locked with Susan’s as they stood on the New York sidewalk adjacent to their office building. When the fourth Shofar split the heavens, the general silence of the crowd—prevalent at the beginning of the Shofars—had fully erupted into a pendulum-swinging cacophony of murmuring and exclamations, of anger and jubilation, of fear and confidence, of perplexity and certainty.

Though scared, Nancy mustered as much poise as she could: “Susan, I know practically nothing about it; but is this really the Rapture?”

“Yes, Nancy. I already told you that. Each second that you question what’s happening may be one second too long. Please, join me and my brothers and sisters in Christ. Let’s go to heaven together.”

“Just like that?”

“Just like that,” Susan answered. You know John 3:16: ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.’ Put your name in place of whosoever. Ask Jesus to be your Savior but do it now.”

Nancy paused as she heard someone telling someone else the same thing just a few feet away. “I want to Susan, but how can I leave my husband and daughter?”

“You told me once, but I forgot,” Susan said. “How old is your daughter?”

“Six.”

“Then, she, too, will be going to heaven in a moment.”

“Oh, Susan, I want to believe you, but…”

“Don’t believe me,” Susan said sharply. “Believe God and believe what’s happening in front of you. Listen, what do you hear?”

“Only people talking,” Nancy said.

“Exactly … the trumpet stopped blowing over a minute ago. And apparently you didn’t hear the voice of the archangel. Please, Nancy, right now…”

Susan abruptly stopped talking. Nancy looked on in disbelief. She thought she felt a field of energy surround Susan. One thing was all too evident. Susan had changed inexpressibly. Her face beamed. Her body seemed almost to glow. Her features were recognizable but stunningly different—in a picture-perfect sort of way. Nancy never saw the transformation; it was much too fast.

Susan’s look was that of love and joy. “I’m so happy!”

“I can see why,” Nancy said as she choked back a tear. “You look heavenly.”

“Why didn’t you listen to me?”

Susan suddenly looked up again at the sound of a thunderous voice that gave a whole new meaning to majestic. So did Nancy and thousands of others around them still shocked at everything that was happening.

“Nancy, that was Jesus. He said, ‘Come up here!’”

“I couldn’t make out the words,” Nancy groaned.

Susan began to rise in the air as though by an invisible elevator, only slower. Still within earshot, she called out, “Bye Nancy. Remember, Jesus loves you. Turn to him, soon … very soon.”

Her voice melted into the sky, as did Susan herself.

Nancy watched spellbound but also with anguish as hundreds of people joined Susan in the air.

She fell to the ground and burst into tears.

ACT SIX

Sydney, Australia (2:10 AM)

The night was almost as bright as day.

Peggy scanned the faces of their neighbors, as did Jason. There were looks of bewilderment. But she could see terror engraved on most faces as the fourth Shofar shattered the sound waves.

“How is this possible?” Jason said. “If I didn’t know better, I’d say the whole world could hear it.”

“They can,” she said. “With God anything is possible.”

“How long is this is going to last?”

“I’m surprised it’s taken this long,” she replied.

“What’s next?” Jason asked, as though he acknowledged that she really did understand what was happening and why.

“I already told you. Jesus is going to take me and everyone who believes in him to our home in heaven. He promised he would 2,000 years ago. He is going to spare believers from the horrible tribulation to come.”

“Okay, but…”

“Stop it, Jason. There’s no time to argue or even discuss it. You’ve got to decide right now, right here. Do you want to go with me or not?”

“Of course, I want to be with you, but why can’t I go to heaven later, after I die? I still have my life to live.”

“Jason, even if you live through it, your life is going to be a living hell for the next seven years. And, if you keep saying no to Jesus; after that, hell itself. Please…”

The Shofar had stopped blowing a short time earlier, but Peggy still didn’t finish her sentence.

“What’s the matter?”

“Did you hear the voice?” she asked wide-eyed.

“What voice?”

“I’m sure it was one of God’s angels. He told us believers to get ready.”

“So, this is it?” Jason said … part sarcasm, part serious.

She quickly hugged him, kissed him, and stepped back. “Please, Jason, with all your heart just say ‘Yes,’ to Jesus right now.”

“I can’t… If this really happens, I’ll take my chance with the others. You told me once before there will be many more left behind than not.” He shifted his stance and partially turned his back to her. She sensed that he wanted to say more but couldn’t face her.

“I do love you, but I…” He turned around but he couldn’t finish the words. His jaw dropped. She was not the same woman, yet she was. Quantum light years different, but still Peggy.

“What … how … what happened to you?” he stammered.

“It’s the new me,” she squealed with delight.

“But I only turned around for a second or two.”

“I know,” she said. “Look at Stuart and his wife across the street. They, too, have been changed.”

Jason slumped to the ground on one knee. “This is a dream, and I’m going to wake up right now.”

At that moment, a resounding voice louder than the Shofar blasts rocked the atmosphere like a seismic sonic boom. Peggy saw Jason’s look of dismay as he abruptly stood up.

“Was that a voice? What did it say?”

“That was Jesus,” Peggy smiled radiantly. “He said, ‘Come up here.’”

“Can’t you stay with me,” he groaned.

She looked lovingly at him as she began her ascent. “I love you; but it’s going to be so hard for you. Promise me that you’ll choose Jesus over his imposter.”

She watched him watching her and six others from the neighborhood rising softly toward the sky. Then she looked up and raised both arms.

He heard her last words: “Thank you God. I love you Jesus!”

ACT SEVEN

Jason sat at the Fire Station’s lunchroom with his fellow firefighters. They were glued to the television and their smart phones. The entire world had done nothing else for the past three days.

A CNN anchorwoman was speaking: “We’re going to show you recent footage of a man dressed in a scarlet and purple robe being escorted by Italian military personnel from the beaches of Anzio, Italy. It’s reported that he will be flown by helicopter to Rome where government officials and a high-ranking Cardinal from the Vatican have agreed to meet with this man who claims to be the Roman Emperor Nero. If he really is Nero, then it appears we have an even greater miracle than three days ago.”

Things to Ponder

Though (it should be) apparent, to make sure that we separate the fictional from non-fictional facets of this play, I’ll provide the following observations:

Obviously, the three cities are real (four, counting Anzio; see Eye of Prophecy article: Antichrist and Anzio … What Do They Have in Common? posted 4-29-17), as are the respective time zones for each. The Messianic congregation in Netanya, Israel (coastal town north of Tel Aviv) is fictitious.

The created characters are not intended to depict any specific person; but they are or could be representative of anyone, anywhere.

The setting selection of the Jewish Passover and the precise time is in no way a statement or even suggestion that the Rapture will occur on that day or time. There are 24 hours in every day; 360 days on the Hebrew calendar and 365 on the Gregorian calendar. Three times Jesus said: “…For you do not know the day or hour of my return” (Matthew 25:13).

Whereas the exact words (voice of the archangel) as portrayed in the play are mostly speculative, not so with the commanding shout of Messiah Jesus … “Come Up Here!”

Just before John was transported to heaven to witness the Tribulation events, Jesus commands him to, “Come up here…” (Revelation 4:1).

After the two mighty witnesses are killed by the Antichrist and their bodies lie in the streets of Jerusalem, we view this stunning scene: “But after three and a half days, God breathed life into them, and they stood up! Terror struck all who were staring at them. Then a loud voice from heaven called to the two prophets, ‘Come up here!’ And they rose to heaven in a cloud as their enemies watched” (Revelation 11:11-12).

Jesus’s command coupled with people everywhere on earth (in person, via internet or television) watching the two prophets (Moses and Elijah) ascending to heaven provides more than enough precedential authenticity for what will most likely happen during the Rapture. That and the fact that Jesus’s disciples (and probably others nearby) visibly saw Jesus ascending to heaven, slow enough for them to keep staring for a while (Acts 1:9-11).

Then we have Saul (later called the Apostle Paul) who saw the blinding light emanating from Jesus on the road to Damascus. His traveling companions were surrounded by the same light and they heard the “voice” but couldn’t see Jesus, nor (by obvious inference) determine what the voice said (Acts Chapter 9).

No one knows the incomparable intricacy and spectacular scope of just how the bodies of believers will be transfigured. Yet, we have an insightful idea and powerful preview from the Mount of Transfiguration experience of our Lord and Savior, Jesus; then his resurrection from the grave.

“…We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It (the transformation) will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet (last trumpet as Paul has already stated, with clear inference that there are several trumpet blasts) sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed” (I Corinthians 15:51-52, parenthesis mine).

“…For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies” (I Corinthians 15:44).

No one knows the precise time-lapse or exact details of how the Rapture will unfold. But the Bible does give us the foundational framework including the sequential component parts of what will happen.

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up (harpazo) in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever” (I Thessalonians 4:16-17, parenthesis mine; harpazo is the Greek world for “caught up” from which we get the Latin term Rapture).

If you haven’t please consider reading Eye of Prophecy article: The Shout Heard Around the World (Posted 4-22-17; strangely, two years ago this very weekend, with this weekend unusual because Passover and Good Friday/Resurrection Day overlap).

I’ll conclude with an excerpt from that post which, in turn, was a quote from the first article on this subject, How the Rapture (8-24-13). In italics:

Do you see what difference it would make and how it could enhance and expand our view of and increase even more our enthusiasm for the Rapture, if the order of events in the Rapture took place over several minutes? It would be far more than just a “poof” one second here, next second gone type of experience. Next to the triumphant resurrection of Jesus Christ, it will be the greatest celebration of joy ever experienced by believers in Christ. And in real-time and space no less; no special effects, no suspension of time, no virtual reality … just the real thing. None of which (except for the transfiguration of our bodies) can or will take place in the twinkling of an eye.

Now that’s something to shout about!

To believers in Jesus, the Apostle John wrote:

Zechariah’s Dramatic Description of Antichrist’s Fatal Wounds

Today’s Television …Sigh!

I suppose my cynicism concerning the scarcity of standard television programs worth watching is linked directly to my membership in the Baby Boomer Generation. And the early part of the generation at that!

This article is not about the quality of modern television or lack thereof; but after a fashion, it does serve as a lead-in to this week’s topic. Plus, it affords the opportunity to briefly air my consternation over much of television that is anti-family, anti-morality, and anti-Judaic/Christian ideals.

Programs that disdain and degrade Biblical values upon which this great nation was built.

Fortunately, for many of us Baby Boomers (and others), there is some alternative-viewing relief.

It comes in the form of an increasing number of television stations producing regular plus special programs dedicated to documentaries of nature, arts and sciences, and history; despite their (sometimes) anti-Creation evolutionary emphasis. Networks such as: PBS, Discovery Channel, History Channel, Travel Channel, National Geographic Channel, American Heroes Channel (formerly Military Channel), and probably my favorite—The Smithsonian Channel.

And my co-favorite: The Golf Channel (only half-kidding). Hey, golf is played on beautiful courses creatively carved out of nature, abounding in human interest stories played out with dramatic strategy and skill … producing historical memories. So there!

If you watch some of these networks, you’ve also seen a relatively new phenomenon that began to catch on a decade ago or so—Docudrama. Sort of a combination of real history and virtual reality.

I’m not a big fan of this genre, because most of the dramatic enactments are either of low quality or too liberally “fill in the blanks” of history. However, the producers know that many viewers want to mix their history with live action. Just my opinion, but the best programs come with a well-written and narrated script alongside live interviews and still photography or actual film footage if available. There are a few quality docudrama exceptions to the rule, e.g. the series, Air Disasters on the Smithsonian Channel.

Another exception is an eight-part series of one-hour Smithsonian Channel programs entitled: Eight Days That Made Rome.

Skillfully narrated by writer/historian Bettany Hughes, she also conducts interviews with other historians; and there are dramatic scenes consisting of actors depicting (mostly Roman Empire) characters. The eight days are (actually) eight significant people/events that contributed to the formation, fanfare, and fate of the Roman Empire. The series originally aired on the United Kingdom Channel 5 in October 2017. Then rebroadcast at least twice beginning last month (March) and into this month, April (2019).

My opinion—based on much reading about the Roman Empire: the episodes were historically as or more accurate than most that I’ve seen. With, as indicated, my personal preference that the enactments would have been reduced in favor of more historical facts, commentary, or interviews. Still, overall, the programs were interesting, and informative. With the obvious qualification that all that the Roman Empire was made of was much more than just these eight milestones; they, nevertheless, are noteworthy.

The eight programs were entitled:

Part 1: Hannibal’s Last Stand: (Rome’s Wars with Hannibal)

Part 2: The Spartacus Revolt: (Many are familiar with the gladiatorial revolt led by Spartacus)

Part 3: Crossing the Rubicon: (Julius Caesar’s military victories and audacious return to Rome)

Part 4: Rome’s First Emperor: (Octavian, known as Augustus Caesar, which is an accurate analysis of history; Julius was not the first Caesar, nor did he officially become Caesar at all even though that’s how he’s commonly referred to in history)

Part 5: Boudica’s Revenge: (A warrior/queen of the British Celtic Iceni tribe who led a revolt against Roman occupation … during Nero’s reign)

Part 6: The Downfall of Nero: (Comments pending)

Part 7: Theatre of Death: (Opening of the Colosseum in A.D. 80 and how the gladiatorial games affected Rome)

Part 8: Rebirth of Rome: (Beginning with the “Christian” Emperor Constantine the Great, ending with the great city of Constantinople—now called Istanbul … Muslim name—in the Eastern half of the Roman Empire)

I’ve seen the entirety of some episodes and parts of others.

The Downfall of Nero

Part Six of this series contributed to the subject selection of this week’s Eye of Prophecy article … specifically, Nero’s death. More specifically, the program explained exactly how Nero died; as opposed to most historical accounts that omit the final details including the actual cause of his death. Whereas many historians provide a consistent record of the geopolitical events leading to Nero’s demise, only a handful relay the final moments of what took place.

Consequently, many classify Nero’s death as a suicide. It was not.

Nero had decided that killing himself was more desirable than being captured by the legions who were carrying out the Roman Senate’s order to torture him before he was executed, but he was too much of a coward to finish the job. Although he stabbed himself in or near his neck, it was only a weak half-hearted attempt. It’s clear that he had time to do himself in (by falling on his sword), but he chose not to.

As depraved as he was, he even ordered one of his servants to kill himself in order that Nero could see how it’s done! Shortly before the Roman legions stormed into the villa where he was hiding, Nero’s servant Epaphroditos (out of loyalty or simply for humanitarian reasons to prevent his emperor from being tortured) struck Nero with a sword causing the fatal wounds.

The fact that this Part Six program included the servant’s slaying of Nero and even named the servant, caught my attention that much more, as I have written about this in Out of the Abyss and a couple of prior Eye of Prophecy articles.

Recap of Biblical Passages on the Antichrist

In Scripture there are eleven references to the man called Antichrist, with all but one of these locations calling him by one or more of his other designations. Ten of these are prominent passages that portray the past, present, and/or future tense of Antichrist. Plus, one somewhat obscure passage that is the focus of today’s article. One, however, that provides even more conclusive evidence—when like the others it is matched to 1st century events—that Nero was and will return as the Antichrist. We’ll get to that captivating scene in Zechariah, shortly.

Daniel Chapter 7: First mention of Antichrist in Scripture … described as a little horn and king. The emphasis is his sudden appearance at the outset of the Tribulation, different from the ten kings who will yield their kingdoms to him, three of them by force. Plus, his blasphemy and defiance of God himself and oppression (much like his prototype predecessor Antiochus IV) of the Jews. Thus, this passage is still future even to us, as it applies exclusively to the Tribulation period. For example: see Eye of Prophecy article, Sudden Appearance of Antichrist … Why So Different? (Posted 1-21-17).

Daniel Chapter 9: Concentration is on the ruler whose armies would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple, which occurred in A.D. 70; after Nero personally dispatched several Roman Legions under Generals Vespasian and Titus to crush the Jewish rebellion that began in A.D. 66. Then a subsequent 7-year treaty made by this same ruler that he would break half-way through, from which we derive the 7-year Tribulation period. Refer to Eye of Prophecy articles: The Most Panoramic Prophecy in the Bible, Part I & II (Published January 2018).

Daniel Chapter 11: Emphasis is on Antichrist’s exploits during the final phase of the Great Tribulation (also like his treacherous predecessor Antiochus IV) that leads to invasion of Israel and ends with Armageddon. See articles: Armageddon & Messiah’s Return … An Amazing Sequence of Events (2-3-18). Also, last week’s post: Intriguing Comparisons Between Antiochus IV & Antichrist (Nero).

II Thessalonians 2: This fascinating passage from the Apostle Paul contains both the present tense existence of the man of lawlessness and the future things he would do during the Tribulation. Paul explains that the secrecy of the lawlessness and the man of that lawlessness was currently being restrained (at that point in time, i.e. A.D. 51-52). Then the future desecration of the Temple by this man. However, Paul wasn’t privy to the fact that this desecration would involve the 3rd (yet unbuilt) Jewish Temple or that the man of lawlessness would (first need to) reappear from the Abyss to resume his reign of terror as the beast-king later identified through encryption by John in the book of Revelation.

Another often overlooked but equally astonishing fact in this chapter is that Jesus himself will kill the man of lawlessness (Verse 8). Just as several people throughout Scripture were “struck down” by the Lord; so, too, was Nero as the man of lawlessness. To then (by default understanding) be revived and banished to the Abyss awaiting God’s appointed time for his release and return to earth. See article: Does the Holy Spirit Restrain (the man of) Lawlessness? (3-4-17).

Revelation 11: A passing reference to the Antichrist beast; however, one that first tells us the beast will come, “up out of the bottomless pit” and will eventually kill the two mighty prophets who will perform powerful miracles during their 3 ½-year testimony for the Lord (Revelation 11:7). Refer to: Soon Comes the Antichrist … Straight from the Abyss Part I & II (August 2016). Also: Moses & Elijah vs. Antichrist & the False Prophet (2-10-18).

Revelation 13: Probably the most well-known passage on the Antichrist, if for no other reason than the infamous number of the beast. Ascertaining of which, however, is presented as a challenge to the reader: “Wisdom is needed here. Let the one with understanding solve the meaning of the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is 666” (Verse 18). Through the application of Hebrew Gematria, Six Hundred, sixty-six matches Nero Caesar. There are several Eye of Prophecy articles that include the number of the beast, but I’ll refer you to the first one, entitled: The Number of the Beast (Posted 9-28-13).

[Neither the Apostle Paul nor John of Revelation referred to the man of lawlessness or the (beast) king of Revelation by name (Nero), to protect the early Christians, most of whom were Jews. Thus the Jewish Christians would have used Hebrew Gematria–counting by their alphabet–to translate the Greek (New Testament written in Greek) title/name of Neron Kaiser to Hebrew and thus easily calculate and match six-hundred, sixty-six to Nero Caesar]

Revelation Chapter 13 also contains the amazing fact that the beast appears at the outset of the Tribulation having recovered from a deadly wound … the same thing as saying that the man has returned from the dead. Which is exactly what John then tells us.

Three times the chapter repeats the fact that the healed wounds of the beast seen by John had been fatal, the first two times in verses 3 & 12. Again, John unambiguously states that the beast had been fatally wounded but “…then came back to life” (Verse 14). Chapter 13 also contains the first reference to the False Prophet.

Revelation 16: A brief reference to Satan, Antichrist, and the False Prophet rousing the rulers of the world, including Antichrist’ enemies (kings of the east), “…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” (Verses 14 & 16). Soon, thereafter, as an immediate prelude to Armageddon, we read of the Lord’s awesome final judgment of the world … the 7th bowl judgment (Verses 17-21). You might want to read: Stunning Catastrophes of the Tribulation / Their Timing and Purpose (11-14-17).

Revelation 17: A positively pivotal chapter (particularly verses 7-11) that provides vital biographical information about the beast. Especially, the stunning disclosure (to reinforce that the beast had come back to life as found in Chapter 13) that the beast would reappear from the Abyss … rising from the sea as stated in Revelation 13:1. The first thing that the angel said after John had seen his second vision of the beast (and first of the woman): “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 (at any time) come up out of the bottomless pit…” (Verses 7-8a, emphasis added).

This astounding announcement has been overlooked or dismissed by so many Bible scholars (including me at one time). It makes all the difference as to whether the Antichrist will be a modern-day born man or one that returns from the 1st century.

In addition to the three-time reference to the beast that had been killed then came back to life as found in Chapter 13, Chapter 17 twice tells us the same thing. We’ve already read the first reference in Verse 8. The second citation is found in verse 11, beginning with: “The scarlet beast that was, but is no longer…” Five distinct references to demonstrate convincingly that when the Antichrist appears on the scene at the outset of the Tribulation, the fatal wound will have been healed, at which the entire world will marvel (Revelation 13:3-4). With the meaning expanded in Revelation 17 to emphasize that the Antichrist beast had already lived and died (in the first century). That those left behind at the Rapture, “…will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died” (Revelation 17:8).

Then in verses 9-11, the angel gives more succinct clues as to the geopolitical identity of the beast to corroborate Revelation 13, preceded by the same kind of challenge: “This calls for a mind with understanding…” (Verse 9). The beast was one of the seven kings (Roman emperors); more specifically one of the five who had already died, because the angel told John that the beast had lived and died before John’s visions of the beast.

Whereas the description of the Antichrist (reappearance) in Revelations 11, 13, & 16 are (still) future tense … Tribulation, Chapter 17 is future, present, and PAST tense. The past tense beast/king (a vision of which John saw in the present tense—on a Sunday from the Isle of Patmos during the reign of the current Caesar) would become future tense upon his reappearance from the Abyss.

See Eye of Prophecy article: Has Antichrist Already Died … How, When, Why? (4-28-18).

Revelation 19: Final reference to the Antichrist (and False Prophet) in Revelation describing Jesus’s magnificent return and crushing defeat of these two diabolical men and entire armies (at Armageddon). With their final fate that of being thrown into the Lake of Fire (Verse 20).

I John 2 & 4 (combined as one reference): As indicated, only the Apostle John in his first epistle used (coined) the appellation Antichrist; which is the most commonly utilized term by both believers and unbelievers alike. In Chapter 2, he refers to “the Antichrist.” In Chapter 4, “the spirit of the Antichrist.”

Zechariah 11:15-17 (Chronologically the 4th / But 11th Overall Passage on the Antichrist)

“What sorrow awaits this worthless shepherd who abandons the flock! The sword will cut his arm and pierce his right eye. His arm will become useless, and his right eye completely blind” (Zachariah 11:17).

This lesser-known allusion to the Antichrist, called the worthless shepherd, is nonetheless significant. It describes in more detail the wound(s) that, according to the subsequent disclosure in Revelation 13, would kill the beast (while he was still the man of lawlessness as characterized by Paul).

When the world first sees the beast, who had just risen from the (abyssal) sea (Revelation 13:1), they will marvel at this miracle and give allegiance and worship to the beast. What is that miracle? As presented in the same verse: “but the fatal wound was healed!” (Revelation 13:3).

The natural and even logical assumption by virtually all students of Biblical prophecy is that the Antichrist will be a contemporary man (some say he’s alive today on earth) when the Tribulation begins. However, nearly all end-times events are supernatural and extraordinary, defying all that is considered natural or ordinary. Including the extraordinarily clear Biblical evidence that the Antichrist is a man who had already lived and died even before John saw him in the first century (symbolized as a beast). That he would return from the Abyss to the utter astonishment of a world already dumbfounded by the spectacular event of the Rapture.

So, too, is the prevailing presumption that the (modern-day) Antichrist will be killed during the Tribulation—most scholars say at the mid-point. The succession of John’s vision of the beast in Revelation 13 indisputably shows that he (as will those left behind at the Rapture) first saw the beast and his fatal (but healed) wound as soon as the beast appeared from the sea. There is no direct statement nor inference that the beast was or would be killed during the Tribulation.

Consequently, this is as much of a moot point to try to defend as the (natural but erroneous) supposition that the Antichrist will be born in the generation of the Rapture and Tribulation. Why? Because in John’s second vision of the beast, he irrefutably confirms that the beast had already lived and died BEFORE John saw the man in the form of a beast.

Immediately after John sees the beast rise out of the sea, he states: “I saw that one of the heads of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal wound was healed!” (Revelation 13:3, emphasis added even though the exclamation point is in the text).

*Note: As indicated in a few prior articles: The seven heads and ten horns of the beast in John’s first vision are the same seven heads and ten horns described in the second vision in Revelation 17. The ten horns are exclusively ten kings of the Tribulation period who will yield their authority to Antichrist (Daniel 7 & Revelation 17:12-14). The seven heads were past and present kings (Roman emperors) as clearly stated by John in Revelation 17:9-11. Five had already died, and the sixth was currently reigning when John saw the visions of Revelation; one would assume the throne shortly thereafter, but his reign would be brief. (See Eye of Prophecy articles, Exposing Antichrist’s Identity … More Compelling Evidence, Part I & II (March 2017).

To better understand what’s going on here when John first sees the deadly wound, I’ll present the following excerpt from my second book (in italics):

Let’s focus on the past tense word, “was.” John first saw the recovered beast after the wound had been healed. The wound had already been inflicted. He didn’t see the beast get wounded…. The wound had already been healed when John first saw the beast. That’s why he says, “seemed wounded beyond recovery.”

What John meant is that he didn’t, at first, know for sure if the head had been wounded beyond recovery (death). (Note: this is not a “head wound”, i.e. to the skull; rather the head is a man … who is one of the seven heads of the beast but also the composite beast itself, as further clarified in Revelation 17)

Because, however, “the whole world marveled at this miracle,” he then realized that it had been a fatal blow. This realization is established when John switches from the word “seemed” to an outright affirmative statement later in Revelation 13. “…He ordered the people to make a great statue of the first beast, who was fatally wounded and then came back to life. (Revelation 13:14).

The word seemed sharply suggests that it was a wound, scar-like in appearance, that may have been there for quite some time, as opposed to a fresh wound in which the viewer would have no doubt was recent and fatal….

It would be no different than looking at seven men who had been wounded in battle, one some fifty years ago, the other six only three days ago. Each had the same type and severity of wound. Would you be able to successfully play the, “Which one is not like the others” game? Of course, you would get it right on the first pick. The fifty-year-old wound would stand out like a sore thumb. John could have easily determined whether the wound was recently inflicted; therefore, would not have used the modifier “seemed.”

That’s the analogy I’m making here; the only difference in this example is that these seven men didn’t die, but Antichrist did. Yet Antichrist comes from the Abyss, so his wound is not immediately distinguishable to John as fatal.

At the Rapture all believers will see Christ; many scholars and teachers believe that our Lord will still bear the imprints of the nails and spear. So, too, will those “that belong to the world” gaze in wonder upon the miraculously healed 2000-year old wounds of their superstar. If the tribulation world were looking at recent wounds of a modern-day Antichrist, there would be no “seemed wounded beyond recovery” uncertainty, especially with the zoom-in magnification of television and internet technology (Out of the Abyss, pages 208-209).

A Phenomenal Parallel Between the Worthless Shepherd’s Wounds & Nero’s Death by a Sword

After portraying the Good Shepherd (Messiah Jesus), including the amazing prophecy that the Messiah would be sold (betrayed) for thirty pieces of silver, Zachariah is told by the Lord to depict the worthless shepherd.

(After agreeing with the Jewish Sanhedrin to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, Judas singled out Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane with a kiss. All Old Testament prophecies of Messiah’s First Advent were fulfilled by or during the life of Jesus; this was one of them)

“Then the Lord said to me, ‘Go again and play the part of a worthless shepherd. This illustrates how I will give this nation (Israel) a shepherd who will not care for those who are dying, nor look after the young, nor heal the injured, nor feed the healthy. Instead, this shepherd will eat the meat of the fattest sheep and tear off their hooves” (Zechariah 11:15-16, parenthesis mine … a graphic depiction of what Nero would do in the 1st century and will resume/intensify even more during the soon-to-come Tribulation).

God’s reason for allowing a ruthless counterfeit Messiah to betray and persecute Israel in the end times is a stark reminder that Israel spurned their Messiah two thousand years ago. It will be the only way to fully get Israel’s attention. And it would be the same anti-Messiah that tried to eliminate both Jewish and Gentile Christians soon after the New Covenant began to spread more rapidly throughout the Roman Empire at about the same time Nero became Emperor.

Not until the Jews suffer one last time under this worthless shepherd, would they come to their senses and fully realize that Jesus of Nazareth was and is their true Messiah Shepherd. So much so that in the very next chapter of Zechariah we read the Messiah speaking in both the 1st and 2nd person:

“…They will look on me whom they have pierced and mourn for him as for an only son. They will grieve bitterly for him as for a firstborn son who has died” (Zechariah 12:10).

Zechariah ends Chapter 11 with a powerful preview of what will happen to this worthless shepherd—when he was killed by the divine sovereignty of Jesus, then placed into and subsequently would be released from the Abyss.

Repeating that verse cited earlier: “What sorrow awaits this worthless shepherd who abandons the flock! The sword will cut his arm and pierce his right eye. His arm will become useless, and his right eye completely blind” (Zachariah 11:17).

Compare that startling prophecy with the return of the Antichrist beast.

“And he (the False Prophet) deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life” (Revelation 13:14, NASB, italics for emphasis, parenthesis mine).

The entire globe will see the aftermath of these 2000-year old wounds which rendered Nero’s arm useless and completely blinded his right eye. These wounds were fatal, most likely by a severed artery or two. We do know that a few minutes elapsed from the time Nero and his servant heard the Roman legions approaching and when his servant struck the fatal blow. In fact, Nero was still dying when the soldiers arrived.

For the grand finale of this extraordinary prophecy that matches the account of Nero’s death by a sword, I’ll defer to a scenario in my book Out of the Abyss. One that I believe accurately portrays what very well could have happened in terms of how the deadly wounds were inflicted. And, in the context of Zechariah’s vivid picture of these injuries, most likely did happen.

As follows:

With the aid of Zechariah Chapter 11, let’s do a little visualizing. Picture, if you will, Nero on his knees, as it’s highly unlikely he would have been standing. In both the ancient world and even the more modern world, those who wanted to end their life with a sword would first kneel to one or both knees. Soldiers of the ancient world used this method, as have the Japanese for centuries.

Nero tries to thrust a sword into his neck, but the sound of Roman Legion horses and men distract him. He had already asked his servant to help him… History tells us that the servant also knew that the soldiers would be there any minute. The servant unsheathes his own sword, or he grabs Nero’s sword.

The servant, Epaphroditos, raises the sword above his head to ensure a powerful and fatal blow. With all his strength, he thrusts the sword downward. At that very instant, Nero reflexively or instinctively lifts his arm to deflect the strike (Zechariah doesn’t tell us which arm was wounded). The sword partially slices through Nero’s arm and penetrates his right eye. Depending on the angle of the blow and how Nero had knelt, he could have raised either arm. It’s also conceivable that the sword may have struck part of Nero’s neck, where he had just seconds earlier stabbed himself, but not fatally. Whereas Zechariah only gives us two wound locations, there could be another. Or perhaps a wound to the neck might heal enough to show little evidence of scarring.

Yet Nero’s hands would not have been tied, as are the hands of people who are being executed by a sword or whose heads are waiting the fall of the guillotine blade … so the victim can’t deliberately or reflexively raise hands and arms to deflect the blow.

If you like, kneel to the floor … and do your own simulation. Have your wife stand to one side and then the other, pretending to be Nero’s servant … Give her a nice, soft, rolled or unrolled hand towel so she won’t hesitate to finish her action and strike the blow, yet an object that will probably make you flinch. Ask her to swipe a descending blow and see how natural it is for you to instinctively ward off this blow. Try to figure out on which side of Nero his servant may have stood, to have inflicted a wound to Nero’s right eye and one of his arms. See how real this is and how it matches so well with Zechariah Chapter 11 and the historical records of Nero’s final minutes…

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….

The statue will be a perfect, unblemished tribute to and towering likeness of Nero. In fact, this statue will carry as much authority as Nero himself. This miracle of a statue will speak and command people to worship it. If they don’t Revelation 13:15 says they “must die.”

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, including, but not limited to “astounding miracles” (Pages 247-249).

Things to Ponder

If even one of these eleven passages didn’t fit with my detailed and documented premise that Nero is the Antichrist, I wouldn’t have written Out of the Abyss. Nor most of the Eye of Prophecy articles in the category of Antichrist.

But they all match, even the one in Zechariah. Each passage correlates to some degree with the others and they all fit perfectly to authenticate Nero as the Antichrist. As well as with all the other designations, i.e. little horn, king, ruler, man of lawlessness, beast, and worthless shepherd.

Please see Eye of Prophecy trilogy, A Beast by Any Other Name…. (Posted March 2015). Which provides a detailed analysis why Scripture assigns these various titles to Antichrist and the significance of each one. Hint: One of the main reasons is to demonstrate the past, present, and future tense existence of the Antichrist.

One more quote from Out of the Abyss, from the same chapter as the previous excerpt:

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).

If you haven’t, please accept Messiah Jesus now as your Savior and Lord.

Believe me … better yet believe God’s Word: you don’t want to be left behind at the Rapture. You don’t want to go through any part of the Great Tribulation. It will be the most hellish time on earth ever experienced by humanity. It will make World War II seem like a small skirmish.

Said Jesus, Son of God: “For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened (to seven years) for the sake of God’s chosen ones (the Jews)” (Matthew 24:21-22, parenthesis mine).

And he also said: “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NASB).

Said God the Father in describing the last days of the end times (the Tribulation):

See Eye of Prophecy article: Shocking Statistics of the Great Tribulation (June 2016).

Meet Jesus now as your Savior, not as your Judge. We are living in the final (Omega) generation of the end times. The signs are unmistakable.

“And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30).

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

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

Intriguing Comparisons Between Antiochus IV & Antichrist (Nero)

This week’s Eye of Prophecy article could be Part II. But it’s not, because the previous post wasn’t designated as Part I. (Duh!)

Perhaps they should be Part I & Part II, if for no other reason than the subject’s title from last week: Significant Sets of Twos in the Bible.

On the other hand, this week’s post precisely pertains to the topic specified in its title, which is the tenth of ten conspicuous sets of twos found in Scripture. It is a stand-alone theme that, nevertheless, continues the premise as summarized in the closing portion of the previous post (in italics):

These striking sets of two encapsulate God’s panoramic plans for humanity, plus his providential power, persistence, and patience to accomplish those plans.

In these pairs, we find one or more of the following: contrast, correlation, clarification, combination, correction, and culmination.

Over all, we find the magnificent Triune God, who is the First and Last, Beginning and End, Alpha and Omega. He is the One who has begun and will bring all things full circle to the way it was in the beginning … with a supernatural new beginning to the inevitable end.

It’s like the pictures we see literally and in our mind of the before and after.

He is a God of second chances; but we must accept Messiah Jesus as Savior while we’re alive on Planet Earth. After we die it’s too late.

Sometimes a round-about introduction can be as or more effective (entertaining) in getting to the main subject as a direct here it is approach. Whether this is one of those times … well, let’s just say it’s a direct round-about way!

One thing is for sure: a one-two punch can get our attention and reach results not otherwise attainable. Although all Biblical prophecies are meaningful, those that are repeated and/or come in pairs are of paramount prominence. If God says or does something twice (over) as expressed through individuals or extraordinary events—whether for contrast, correlation, or culmination—then we need to take a long second-look at what’s taking place.

One more excerpt from last week’s article:

Everyone who is the least bit concerned about what’s going on in today’s woeful world needs to think twice about such things. It would behoove us to pay close attention to what God himself has to say about our destiny, about eternal existence with him or apart from him. Particularly those truths and lessons that come in twos throughout history and prophetic events unfolding before our 21st century eyes.

Setting the Stage

Two of these sets of twos discussed in the previous post were: Birth & Rebirth of Israel & Israel—Two Exiles & Two Returns. Both related directly to Israel’s historical and contemporary interaction with Gentile nations in a twofold way: (1) Enslavement by Egypt followed by deliverance and the birth of a nation. (2) God’s discipline of his people for hundreds of years of disobedience via Gentile conquest of Israel and exile of the Jews. Not once, but twice. And not once, but twice God brought his people back to the Promised Land. The second return led to Israel’s rebirth in 1948.

(Parting of the Red Sea. The Bible says the water stood up like walls on either side of the dry land. Then a second time, God parted the waters–the Jordan River–to allow the Israelites to enter the Promised Land … Joshua Chapter 3)

Until the time of Ezekiel and Daniel, we read about Israel’s glory years under King David and King Solomon, then her gradual decline after Israel split into two kingdoms. Culminating in the Babylonian conquest of Judah, destruction of Solomon’s Temple, and exile of survivors to Babylon.

Ezekiel and Daniel were exiled captives in Babylon. Both were given some astounding disclosures especially concerning Gentile nations and rulers that would be coupled intricately to Israel’s immediate, intermediate, and distant future. To Ezekiel, the Lord disclosed the Gog/Magog invasion of Israel headed by nations that we can accurately identify in today’s world as Russia, Iran, and Turkey … and other weaker countries (Ezekiel 38 & 39). As demonstrated in several prior Eye of Prophecy articles, I’m convinced this attack will take place within the first year or so of the post-Rapture Tribulation.

In the book of Daniel, we find two revelations regarding the four Gentile kingdoms that would set the stage for all subsequent rise and fall of nations leading directly to the end-times coalition of ten-nations plus other countries, some strong … some weak. There will also be a confederation of strong Eastern nations pitted against Antichrist’s regime, all of which will then align themselves against Israel and Messiah Jesus when he returns to rescue Israel from disaster.

Fittingly, the first disclosure came through a dream of the mightiest Gentile king at the time, Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (Daniel Chapter 2). It’s one of the most riveting prophecies of Scripture, even well-known by many unbelievers: the four-part Statue. As we know from history, these four kingdoms were: Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome.

The primary purpose (subject) of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was to demonstrate God’s sovereignty over the rise and fall of rulers and nations in the context of his panoramic plan for humanity, as condensed in the following passage:

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

Daniel is speaking directly to Nebuchadnezzar concerning the fate of these four kingdoms and others: “As you watched, a rock was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands. It struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits. The whole statue was crushed into small pieces of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. Then the wind blew them away without a trace, like chaff on a threshing floor. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth” (Daniel 2:34-35).

In the demographic parameters of that which is national, political, and cultural, there’s very little left today of the Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman Empires. And, by the time we reach the Millennial Reign of Christ, there will be nothing left of these once mighty kingdoms.

Daniel discloses the fate of kings and kingdoms aligned against Israel and God himself in the last days: “During the reigns of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever” (Daniel 2:44).

The Second Prophecy of the Four Gentile Kingdoms

In keeping with God’s sets of twos in Scripture for added emphasis to contrast, correlate, or in this case to combine and clarify, He reveals the four Gentile kingdoms as different beasts (instead of a four-part statue). This time the revelation is given directly to Daniel because he was a Jewish prophet and the vision pertains primarily to Israel (Daniel Chapter 7).

You remember: First beast like a lion—Babylon; second beast like a bear—Persia; third like a leopard—Greece. With each of these images enhanced by other features that provide more proof of the (prophetic) identity of these nations, now known via historical hindsight. Such as the leopard with four wings and four heads.

And, of course, the fourth beast which is greater and more terrifying than the first three; so much so that this beast couldn’t even be equated to an animal that we would understand symbolically. None other than the mightiest kingdom ever—the Roman Empire.

More dramatic details were provided to Daniel in 551 B.C. (Chapter 8) while the Babylonian Empire was still intact (conquered by Persia in 539 B.C.) concerning two of these coming kingdoms. In fact, they’re even named: Mede-Persia represented by the two-horned ram and Greece, represented by the one-horned goat. The historical fulfillment is unmistakable.

“The shaggy male goat represents the king of Greece, and the large horn between his eyes represents the first king of the Greek Empire. The four prominent horns that replaced the one large horn show that the Greek Empire will break into four kingdoms, but none as great as the first” (Daniel 8:21-22). That’s precisely what happened when Alexander’s massive kingdom divided into four regions after his abrupt and unexpected death.

The remainder of Daniel Chapter 8 highlights the rise of the greatest of these kings from the four derivative kingdoms … historically identified as Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Then, as we shall soon see, the longest and perhaps most detailed prophetic chapter in Daniel (Chapter 11) foretells the political maneuverings and military adventures of two of these four post-Alexander kingdoms and kings, with the emphasis once again on Antiochus IV. Then, the last part of that chapter suddenly switches the spotlight to another ruler even greater … the Antichrist.

Let’s return briefly to Daniel Chapter 7, which is the first introduction to the Antichrist by one of his other designations … little horn and king. With other labels given as the beast-king (Revelation 13 & 17); man of lawlessness (II Thessalonians 2); and, of course, by the term used most often—Antichrist, as found only in the Apostle John’s first epistle. In Daniel 9:26-27, he is referred to as a ruler whose armies would destroy Jerusalem and the Temple.

After describing the little horn’s appearance as “sudden” and “different” in contrast to the ten kings who will yield their authority to him, Daniel Chapter 7 focuses on the little horn’s interaction with Israel (later amplified by the passage in Daniel 9).

“As I watched, this horn was waging war against God’s holy people and was defeating them, until the Ancient One—the Most High—came and judged in favor of his holy people… He will defy the Most High and oppress the holy people of the Most High. He will try to change their sacred festivals and laws, and they will be placed under his control for a time, times, and half a time (3 ½ years, as found again in Daniel 9, Revelation 12 & 13)” (Daniel 7:21-22 & 25, parenthesis mine).

As indicated, Daniel is first given a prophecy of the Antichrist (little horn, king … Daniel 7, followed by more information in Daniel 9); then two years later a vision of another man who would be a forerunner—a prototype parallel as found in Chapter 8. Finally, in Chapter 11, these two men are paired together in an almost seamless succession, prefaced by another reference to the “mighty king” (Alexander the Great), whose, “…kingdom will be broken apart and divided into four parts…” (Daniel 11:4).

A Devilish Duo

Before we examine both Biblical and secular records of these two profane peas in a pod as the (sordid) tenth set of significant twos in the Bible, did you know that this revelation (Daniel Chapter 11) was not given by the angel Gabriel … as with some of Daniel’s visions. Rather, it was revealed directly by Messiah Jesus in one of his Pre-Incarnate appearances to Daniel and others throughout the Old Testament.

Writes Daniel: “On April 23 (536 B.C.), as I was standing on the bank of the great Tigris River, I looked up and saw a man dressed in linen clothing, with a belt of pure gold around his waist. His body looked like a precious gem. His face flashed like lightning, and his eyes flamed like torches. His arms and feet shone like polished bronze, and his voice roared like a vast multitude of people” (Daniel 10:4-6, parenthesis mine; then the vision’s interpretation begins in Chapter 11).

(*Note: Compare this description to Messiah Jesus as recorded in Revelation Chapter 1. Also, see Eye of Prophecy article: Messiah’s Amazing Appearances Before He Was Born, posted 10-6-18).

I’ll break this down into two parts:

(1) Biblical comparisons of Antiochus IV to the Antichrist.

(2) Historical parallels between Antiochus IV Epiphanes and Nero Caesar.

Prefaced with a twofold premise:

(A) Because time/space doesn’t permit elaboration in today’s article and because the evidence has been thoroughly developed and documented in my 2nd book Out of the Abyss plus many of the 56 Eye of Prophecy articles to date in the Category of The Antichrist, I’ll simply repeat this part of the Premise. Which is: Nero is the little horn, ruler, king, man of lawlessness, beast … the Antichrist.

(B) Therefore, we would expect and there should be historical evidence of similarities between Antiochus IV and Nero.

Keeping in mind one dramatic difference. Antiochus IV is long gone and will never return. Not so with the Antichrist. Which is as Revelation 17 distinctly details to corroborate Daniel’s explanation: the little horn suddenly and differently appears (Daniel 7:8 & 24).

“The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now. And yet he will soon (meaning abruptly or suddenly) come up out of the bottomless pit… And the people who belong to this world … will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died” (Revelation 17:8, parenthesis mine). *Note: What makes the little horn of Daniel 7 substantially different from the ten kings is that he had already died but would (re)appear suddenly (from the Abyss).

(See Eye of Prophecy article, Sudden Appearance of Antichrist … Why So Different? Published 1-21-17)

The (four) features that we’ll examine in Part 1 (Biblical Comparisons) are what Antiochus IV did in his time compared to what Antichrist will do upon his Tribulation reappearance and reign. Both of which were future tense to Daniel. Then in Part 2, I’ll identify some remarkable resemblances between Antiochus IV of the 2nd century B.C. and Nero—as the man of lawlessness in the 1st century A.D., before his return as the Antichrist beast of Revelation (in the 21st century!).

There is even a striking similarity in the lapse of time between Daniel’s vision as explained by Messiah Jesus to him in Chapter 11 (551 B.C.) and pinnacle of Alexander the Great’s kingdom (330 B.C.), resulting in the subsequent division of his Grecian Empire into four lesser kingdoms. That period of 221 years is virtually identical to the period beginning with Antiochus’s demise (death) in 164 B.C. to the rise of Nero as Caesar in A.D. 54 (218 years). And, if we eliminate the first three years or so of Nero’s tenure, because he was more of a puppet ruler under the tutelage thumb of his mother Agrippina, we have 221 years (A.D. 57).

(Ancient sculpture of Agrippina crowning her son Nero. The statue is suggesting that without her influence and actions, he wouldn’t have become Caesar)

Before we examine the similarities between Antiochus IV and Antichrist, let’s first outline Daniel Chapter 11 to clarify what and whom Daniel is prophetically describing. As follows:

– Prophecy of the mighty Greek ruler (Alexander) and the subsequent conflict between the Seleucid and Ptolemaic dynasties … fulfilled approximately 334 to 175 B.C. (Verses 1-20)

– Rise and exploits of “a despicable man.” Which turned out to be Antiochus IV, who ruled from 175 to 164 B.C. (Verses 21-32).

– Interlude involving hundreds of years of the subsequent Jewish Diaspora which involved persistent persecution of the Jews—Verses 33-35, ending with “until the time of the end for the appointed time is still to come” (Verse 35)

– Emergence of a greater king, i.e. Antichrist (Verses 36-45, end of the chapter).

(1) Biblical Comparisons of Antiochus IV to the Antichrist

(A) Desecration of the Jewish Temples. This is one of the most well-known by students of the Bible and students of secular history (or those who are both, like yours truly); that Antiochus IV abolished (temporarily) Jewish rituals and desecrated the second Jewish Temple (Daniel 11:31-32). In like manner, the Antichrist will defile the third Jewish Temple during the Tribulation (Daniel 7:25 & 12:11; Matthew 24:15; II Thessalonians 2:4).

(B) Their Rise to & Exercise of Power: Regarding Antiochus IV: “At the end of their rule (the four divided kingdoms of Alexander’s empire), when their sin is at its height, a fierce king, a master of intrigue, will rise to power. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause a shocking amount of destruction and succeed in everything he does. He will destroy powerful leaders and devastate the holy people. He will be a master of deception and will become arrogant…” (Daniel 8:23-25, parenthesis mine). And he will distribute wealth and plunder among his followers (Daniel 11:24).

Like Antiochus, Antichrist’s (Nero) rise to prominence was neither the first time (1st century) nor will the second time (Tribulation) be “by his own power.” Instead, it will be a direct result of and based exclusively on his perceived miracle of returning from the grave (in realty, the Abyss … Revelation 17:7-8; Revelation 13:3-4). So, too, will Antichrist lavish expensive gifts and honor those who submit to him (Daniel 11:38-39).

(C) Kings of the North: Both the “fierce king” (Antiochus IV) of Daniel 8 & 11 and Antichrist (Daniel 11) are labeled as the king of the north. This to contrast them to the king of the south, both of whom are enemies of Antiochus and (during the Tribulation) Antichrist, respectively. In history, Antiochus launched a final invasion against the king of the south (Ptolemaic king of Egypt) to put an end to the decade’s-long wars and broken treaties between predecessors of these two dynasties (Daniel 11:29).

(Ancient bust of Antiochus IV … His facial features even bear some resemblance to Nero)

So, too, will the Antichrist, “…storm out” against a southern alliance (king of the south) invading “various lands” conquering many countries, but not all and some only partially (Daniel 11:40). In other words, not a complete victory, in similar fashion to Antiochus’s incomplete conquest of the king of the south.

What happened with Antiochus IV will also take place when Antichrist (Nero) launches his final campaign against the southern alliance. Which is:

(D) Sudden Threat from Other Coalitions/Countries: “Then at the time of the end (last few months of the seven-year Tribulation), the king of the south will attack the king of the north…” (Daniel 11:40, parenthesis mine). In furious response, the king of the north (Antichrist) will invade the lands of the southern coalition, sweeping through them like a flood, entering the glorious land of Israel, conquering many countries, even Egypt (Verses 40-43).

But Antichrist is stopped cold in his rampage through the Middle East. We read: “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 (Megiddo in the Valley of Jezreel) and will pitch his royal tents. But while he is there, his time will suddenly run out, and no one will help him (Armageddon)” (Daniel 11:44-45, parenthesis mine).

In a remarkable precursor manner, we see Daniel’s intermediate future prophecy (as opposed to the end-times) regarding the first King of the North (Antiochus IV). He, too, invaded the southern kingdom (Ptolemy … Egypt). He, too, launched a campaign against Israel.

We read: “Then at the appointed time he will once again invade the south, but this time the result will be different. For warships from western coastlands will scare him off, and he will withdraw and return home. But he will vent his anger against the people of the holy covenant and reward those who forsake the covenant” (Daniel 11:29-30).

Then in verses 31-32, we read about the desecration of the 2nd Temple, including setting up the sacrilegious object, which took place in 167 B.C.

Thus, Antiochus IV invaded Israel and unleashed his fury on the Jews not long before his brutal exploits came to an end, but only after being threatened by other armies. Likewise, Antichrist (Nero) will invade Israel near the end of his allotted period of power and authority; also, infuriated after hearing news of enemies gathering against him (kings of the east … Revelation 16).

Summary of This Section

Although there are a few other similarities, the preceding four comparisons are the most notable between Daniel’s prophecy of the first king of the north—Antiochus IV, then the second (end times as Daniel states) king of the north—Antichrist.

As intimated in the previous Eye of Prophecy article, the primary purpose for some of the monumental plans of the Lord taking place in sets of twos is that of contrast, correlation, combination and/or culmination. Another word comes to mind: Preparation. Such as the First (Old) Covenant a preliminary pattern for the Second (New) Covenant.

Likewise, with both kings of the north in the historical and future context of preparing the Jews left behind at the Rapture. Which, unfortunately, will be most of them, as there are relatively few Messianic Jews compared to the total population of Jews in today’s world.

Just as Antiochus IV initially appealed to many Jews of that time who wanted to Hellenize Judaism and globalize the Jewish culture alongside and even into Gentile societies; so, will Antichrist (Nero) at the outset be welcomed by most Jews. First and foremost because (along with Gentiles the world over) of Nero’s stunning reappearance itself. Although many will not accept him as Messiah (because he’s not Jewish), they will eagerly agree to his 7-year treaty that will include permission to rebuild the Jewish Temple. See Eye of Prophecy article: Two State Solution & The Seven Year Treaty … Impossible? Posted 1-26-19.

And like Antiochus IV, the Antichrist will suddenly turn on the Jews, break the treaty, and begin his conquest of Israel and Jerusalem. This conquest will be slowed by two main factors: (1) Enemies of Antichrist’s coalition; (2) Massive natural disasters via the trumpet and bowl judgments directly from God, some of which affect only Antichrist and his realm.

This will all be possible because then, as now, most Jews will still not acknowledge Jesus as their true Messiah. Instead, they will yield to the false messiah (Antichrist) until they fully realize that they were wrong. Sadly, they will again not learn the lesson of the first of two men (Antiochus IV) who profaned the Temple and who attempted to eliminate Jewish identity and culture. But that took place under the Old Covenant; thus, the Lord raised up a group of men to deliver the Jews and restore (partially) Israel’s national sovereignty—preparing the way for the New Covenant.

In today’s world there are as many or more Jews who celebrate Hanukkah than even some of the Biblical mandated festivals, such as Yom Kippur. Reason: there are far more non-religious Jews than the observant (especially the Orthodox) among them. This festive holiday takes place in the Gregorian calendar month of November or December. It commemorates two miracles: (1) victory of the Maccabees over the vastly superior forces of Antiochus IV; (2) one-day supply of the anointed Menorah oil that lasted eight days.

(Refer to Eye of Prophecy article: Hanukkah … A Festival Born of a Prophecy! Posted 12-31-16)

So, too, will Israel and Jews world-wide experience a final time of peril when the second man (in this unholy set of twos) bursts on the scene, having returned from the Abyss. Israel will not have learned the lesson that, like his prototype predecessor Antiochus IV, Nero (called anti-Christ because this time the event will occur under the current New Covenant), will also deceive the Jews (and many Gentiles) with promises of global peace and prosperity. Just as Antiochus IV attempted to persuade (through flattery … Daniel 11:21) the Jews of his time to accept the Greek culture as superior.

(2) Historical Comparisons of Antiochus IV Epiphanes & Nero Caesar

As indicated earlier in the two-part premise: (B) Therefore, we would expect and there should be historical evidence of similarities between Antiochus IV and Nero.

Most professionals like doctors, lawyers, craftsmen, businessmen and women—are specialists in their field, such as cardiology. So, too, are most historians … concentrating on specific periods of history, e.g. American Civil War or the European Renaissance. Others, like me, are general historians; however, I have focused years of research and study on 1st century (A.D.) church and secular history plus 20th & 21st century events. Although I’ve read much of that written about Antiochus IV, I’ve read virtually every historical and several contemporary writings about Nero.

I bring this up to offer an observation that fits with the above premise: I know of no other well-known ruler, other than Nero, whose reign contained several of the same aspects as that of Antiochus IV. Which further corroborates that Nero is (the) anti-Christ in the same vein that Antiochus was anti-God (against the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) and that Antiochus IV is directly linked to the Antichrist as clearly conveyed in the book of Daniel.

As we examined four Biblical comparisons between Antiochus and the (Tribulation) Antichrist, we’ll also look at four parallels between Antiochus and Nero, during Nero’s first revealing as Antichrist in the first century.

(A) Self-Declarations of Deity: Both tyrants considered themselves to be not just a god (which many rulers did, especially the Roman emperors), but God himself—for Antiochus IV it was Zeus. Which is why he audaciously added the appellation of Epiphanes to his royal title … in Greek means “God Manifest.”

Nero took it step further; he declared that he was both God and Savior (for all mankind). Both had coins minted with these divine epithets. On the flip side of this egotistical emphasis of their divinity, each of them wanted desperately to be popular, especially with the common people. Both mingled with the populace, appearing frequently in public places.

(B) Devotees to/of the Universal Greek Culture: Although Rome had already achieved the pinnacle of greatness during Nero’s tenure as Caesar, Greek culture still permeated every aspect of Roman society, indeed much of the civilized world. As English is considered the universal language of today’s world, so the Greek language was supreme during the times of Antiochus and Nero. It was the Greek-speaking Seleucid Antiochus’s attempt to Hellenize the Jews that led to his outburst of rage when the Jews resisted his loyalty to all that was Greek; leading to his ruthless attack on Israel that resulted in the death of 40,000 Jews and enslavement of 40,000 more.

So, too, was Nero enthusiastically enthralled with and ardently absorbed in many things Greek. In fact, it was his journey to Greece for well over a year during the last part of his reign (including writing and performing of Greek plays) that led to his downfall. The Roman Senate didn’t take kindly to their Emperor debasing himself on the stage. No other Roman Emperor or ruler of any other non-Greek nation possessed and expressed such passion for the Greek culture as did Nero.

(Bust of Nero)

(C) Both Are the Eighth King & Arose to Power Illegally: Antiochus IV was the 8th in a succession of twenty-six kings that ruled the Seleucid Dynasty … the Syrian segment of Alexander’s divided empire.

Although Nero was the fifth Roman Caesar, when revealing the mystery of the beast (tantamount to revealing the identity of the beast as a man who had already lived and died but would return from the Abyss) the angel also told John: “This calls for a mind with understanding. The seven heads of the beast represent the seven hills where the woman rules (Rome). They also 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. The scarlet beast that was, but is no longer, is the eighth king. He is like (Greek word, “Ek”, which means one of or out of) the other seven…” (Revelation 17:9-11).

Nero was one of the five already fallen (dead) kings. But he would—when combined with all the other passages on the Antichrist, including the number of the beast in Revelation 13 which matches up through Hebrew gematria with Nero Caesar—then be the 8th king … upon his return from the Abyss.

Both Antiochus IV and Nero ascended the throne without being in the immediate line of succession. And not long afterward, each murdered a rival heir to the throne to make sure there would be no subsequent competition. Time and space do not permit more details.

(D) Length of Time of Antiochus’s Reign Corresponding with Nero’s: Antiochus IV ruled from 175 B.C. to his death in 164 B.C., a total of eleven years. Although Nero technically reigned fourteen years (A.D. 54 to A.D. 68), only eleven of those years was he exclusively in control of the throne.

The reason: his mother, Agrippina, who not only murdered her husband (Emperor Claudius) to make way for Nero to become Caesar, but also dominated the Roman political scene for the better part of three years, until Nero banished her from the royal court. Subsequently, he had his mother murdered in A.D. 59 … on the charge of treason! Hence, the evidence shows that both rulers exercised autonomous rule for eleven years.

Even more startling is the almost exact span of time that the rule of both tyrants incorporated a reign of terror. No less, than the same amount of time that God will allow Antichrist to exercise the peak of his power and authority during the Tribulation (Revelation 13:5).

That time: 3 ½ years!

During Nero’s first stint as Antichrist, for the last 3 ½ years (A.D. 64 through his death in June, A.D. 68). You may recall historically that Nero (falsely) blamed the Christians for the great fire in Rome of A.D. 64. Soon, thereafter, he began to persecute and kill Christians on a massive scale.

Then, he launched a campaign against Israel in A.D. 66 that also took about 3 ½ years for his generals and legions to complete. In and immediately surrounding Rome itself Nero’s venom was directed toward Christians; however, at that time most Christians were (Messianic) Jews … Jewish Christians.

And don’t forget that Christ Jesus’s ministry lasted for about 3 ½ years! God will allow the Antichrist (Nero) the same period to (a second time vainly and unsuccessfully) prove that he is both God and Messiah.

So, too, did Antiochus’s reign of terror against the Jews last for 3 ½ years. From the outset when he began to invade Israel and persecute the Jews in 168-167 B.C. to the time when the Maccabees defeated his Syrian-Greek armies in 164 B.C, followed by his death soon thereafter.

Summary of This Section

There are other parallels, such as the interaction of both Antiochus IV and Nero in their respective times with the nation of Parthia. However, these four comparisons sufficiently show that the two were as similar as anything or anyone could be—considering that they were separated by 200 years … from the death of Antiochus to the birth of Nero. Moreover, Antiochus died in the month of December, the same month in which Nero was born.

Thus, there is not only a Biblical prophetic parallel concerning Antiochus IV and the Antichrist, but also historical documentation to demonstrate a counterpart match between Nero and his prototype predecessor, Antiochus IV.

Things to Ponder

The entire Word of God is marvelous; including the breathtaking scope (breadth and depth) of Biblical prophecies. Prophecies coming to pass days, years, decades, centuries, and even millennia later. Some fulfilled with precise length of time and actual dates prophesied (See Eye of Prophecy articles: Extraordinary Biblical Prophecies w/Predicted Times of Fulfillment, Part I & II, posted 3-2 & 3-9-19).

Others that include specific numbers, particularly the number seven. Still others that combine two people or events in significant sets of twos. Even including two detestable despots who, when all was/is said and done, have served and will serve God’s powerful purpose and accomplish his providential plan for Israel and for believers in the true Messiah Jesus—Jew and Gentile alike.

Though all people immediately left behind at the Rapture will be unsaved, there will soon be millions who will know what’s happened and why. Among these will be 144,000 Messianic Jews who will be mighty witnesses (Revelation Chapters 7 & 14) for Messiah Jesus and lead millions to him, despite horrendous persecution and death.

Throughout the seven-year tribulation (particularly the first half) more and more people will choose Christ over Antichrist. Especially, considering their proportion of the left-behind world’s population, the Jews—both in and outside of Israel. However, tribulation saints, both Jew and Gentile, will still be greatly outnumbered by unbelievers.

At the very end of this horrific time of turmoil, Jesus Christ will return to set all things right. He will easily defeat the unholy trinity of Satan, Antichrist, and the False Prophet, followed by a crushing blow to those nations and armies who would dare to invade Israel and who would defy the King of all kings.

All to prepare the earth for Messiah’s glorious Millennial Reign. The Kingdom of God on earth!

“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 11:12).

For since their rejection meant that God offered salvation to the rest of the world, their acceptance will be even more wonderful. It will be life for those who were dead!” (Romans 11:15).

That day is coming soon.

“For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen” (Romans 11:36).

Significant Sets of Twos in the Bible

If one (1) is the loneliest number, then all we need do is add (1 + 1) and we get companionship, contribution, and cooperation. Or, we may get contrast, competition, and even conflict.

Did you realize there are hundreds of expressions found in cute clichés or astute adages that contain the number two? If so, then you already know a thing or two. And you should go ahead and offer your two cents worth. Even if others disagree with you, at least they’ll know there’s two sides to every story.

On the other hand, be sure not to wear two hats. Because there’s no way that anyone can serve two masters (that’s straight from Scripture!). If you try, it may bring you down a notch or two.

You may be one of two peas in a pod but unless you’re truly honest and sincere with others, they may think of you as a goody two shoes.

Even if you don’t have two nickels to rub together and you can’t be in two places at once, the fact remains that a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.

Hope you had a little fun with just a few of the well-known two-frs, as a lead-in to some seriously significant sets of twos in Scripture.

Above all to remember:

Before we examine the ten most prominent pairs in Scripture, let’s briefly look at the one attribute of God (he has many) that is identified in twosomes. This dual dynamic is ascribed both to God and His Son, Messiah Jesus.

First and Last / Beginning and End / Alpha & Omega

Beginning with God the Father: “This is what the Lord says—Israel’s King and Redeemer, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: ‘I am the First and the Last; there is no other God’” (Isaiah 44:6).

In the final revelation of himself, Jesus said to John: “…I am the First and the Last. I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave” (Revelation 1:17-18).

Then in the last chapter of Revelation, Jesus (Son of God and God the Son) proclaims: “Look, I am coming soon … I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 22:12-13).

First and Last and Beginning and End are two terms with the same meaning but articulated in different words for both emphasis and better understanding. First and Last express the everlasting existence of the Triune God—Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Which intriguingly conveys the concept that God is without beginning and without end. It is a statement of the Lord’s essence as found in his very name, Yahweh—I AM. Beginning and End reflect God’s eternal omnipotence in action, i.e. beginning all things and all things yielding (ending) to a New Beginning.

Alpha and Omega are dual titles that also mean first and last. The everlasting to everlasting existence of God the Father and God the Son are denoted by Alpha and Omega because the New Testament was written in Greek and they are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.

Alpha is a transliteration of the Hebrew alphabet’s first letter … Aleph. And alphabet is a combination of aleph and bet, the first two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. As we know, the Old Testament was written in Hebrew.

Let’s look at the most significant pairs of people or events found in the two Testaments that comprise the awesome Word of God—the Bible.

(1) First & Second Creation of the Heavens and Earth

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

Did you miss that creation? Me, too! So did Adam and Eve. But they must have been astounded that everything they needed or wanted was there for them the moment they took their first breath.

However, we didn’t need to be there when, “…The Lord stretched out the heavens, laid the foundation of the earth, and formed the human spirit” (Zechariah 12:1).

Every person who ever lived knows in his/her heart of hearts that God (by very definition, God is the only God) exists. Why?

Because: “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world” (Psalm 19:1-4).

We who know the Lord personally have been given eternal life because we simply placed our personal trust in the substitutionary sacrifice of Messiah Jesus for our sins. Consequently, we will have the awesome privilege of watching our Great God and Savior create the next universe.

Said John of Revelation: “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband” (Revelation 21:1-2, NASB).

This incredible extreme makeover will take place at the end of the Millennial Reign of Jesus who will graciously share his reign with born-again believers in Him.

Speaking of creation, husbands and wives, and twos, God’s marvelous plan for people (and animals) was male and female. For the two to become one and replenish the earth. Not male and male or female and female. But let’s move on.

(2) The First Adam & The Second Adam (The First Man & The Last Man)

“Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person” (Genesis 2:7).

The first reference to man is used generically of both Adam and Eve, as found in the 6th day creation of the man. “Let us make human beings (man) in our image…” (Genesis 1:26). In the Hebrew, human beings (mankind) reads, adam which is the Hebrew word for man. Therefore, the (first) “man” is called by the word that represents his name—Adam.

Then in the next verse: “…In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” (Verse 27).

Adam and Eve were the progenitors of everyone who has ever lived on this planet. Sadly, because they disobeyed God and suffered the penalty imposed by the Lord (death—physical separation of the body and spirit, and spiritual separation from God), their sin has infected every person born. Thus, everyone must die.

(See Eye of Prophecy article, Scripture Says Everyone Will Die / But What About the Rapture? Posted 6-23-18).

Fortunately, and fabulously, God provided a remedy through the Holy Spirit’s supernatural conception of the Virgin Mary, who gave birth to the Son of God and the Son of Man. Jesus was fully man and fully God.

He is the Second Adam (Last Adam)

“The Scriptures tell us, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living person.’ But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit. What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven” (I Corinthians 15:45-47).

Jesus is the divine substitute (stand-in) for and Savior of humanity—that inherited sin and death from the first man, Adam. Hence, Jesus is the Last Man (meaning the only one) who was totally sinless; the only person qualified to take our place and pay the penalty for our sins. In doing so, he undid all that the first man Adam had done.

“When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned…. Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come. But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift… But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ… Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone” (Romans 5:12-18).

“So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life” (I Corinthians 15:21-22).

It was the ultimate two for the price of one. One once for all sacrifice (Jesus’s blood and life) to purchase: (1) Our Redemption; and our (2) Resurrection … eternal life in heaven.

Moreover, these two preeminent power points are only the beginning. Under each we could list privileges to, at the minimum, equal the number of letters (twenty-six) in the English alphabet; and probably do so in acrostic form. For example, under Redemption: Access to God’s presence directly. Under Resurrection: Abilities far beyond our mortal bodies. And so on.

(3) Birth & Rebirth of Israel

God accomplished the powerful plan of redemption through his Messiah (the Second Adam), God’s very own Son. But first things first. The ultimate Child of Promise, Messiah Jesus, would descend from the first child of promise—Isaac; son of Abraham and Sarah whom God selected to birth a specific people in a special land.

“The Lord had said to Abram, ‘Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation … I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:1-3).

After 400+ years of bondage in Egypt, Israel became a nation. Immediately after the final and most devastating of God’s plagues against Egypt (firstborn killed) we read: “That night the people of Israel left Rameses and started for Succoth. There were about 600,000 men, plus all the women and children” (Exodus 12:37).

Some say that Israel’s nationhood began 40 years later when they finally entered the Promised Land. Either way, God accomplished his plan for the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and they achieved their dream of freedom to worship and serve the living God as the nation of Israel.

In whatever country you live while reading this article, even if in Israel, you might ask, “What’s that got to do with me?”

According to the living God, it has everything to do with you (and me). No Israel, no Messiah. No Messiah, no redemption from sin and no eternal life in heaven. Israel’s place in history and its destiny concerns everyone’s destiny. Not the least of which is to equally unify two peoples into one.

From the birth of Israel came the birth of Messiah. From the birth (life, death, resurrection) of Messiah Jesus came the (spiritual) rebirth of all who believe and receive him as their Savior.

“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 3:26 & 28).

All the way back to Moses’ time, the Lord warned Israel that the pronounced privileges afforded her as God’s chosen people (to bring the light of God’s salvation to the whole world) came with great responsibility; to love the Lord and keep his commandments given to them through the Law and Sacrificial System for atonement. Although the Lord was longsuffering towards Israel (hundreds of years’ worth of patience), his people persistently abandoned him and would not return to him. Consequently, he banished them from the Promised Land; with, however, a promise that they would one day return in great numbers.

Some 2,500 years after the Babylonian captivity and 1,900 years after their second dispersion, Israel was reborn as a sovereign nation in a single day.

Israel’s First Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion (C) stands under a portrait depicting Theodore Herzl, the father of modern Zionism, as he reads Israel’s declaration of Independence in Tel Aviv May 14, 1948

“Before the birth pains even begin, Jerusalem gives birth to a son. Who has ever seen anything as strange as this? Who ever heard of such a thing? Has a nation ever been born in a single day? Has a country ever come forth in a mere moment? But by the time Jerusalem’s birth pains begin, her children will be born. Would I ever bring this nation to the point of birth and then not deliver it?… No! I would never keep this nation from being born, says your God” (Isaiah 66:7-9).

You might again ask the question: “What’s that got to do with me?

Same answer: Everything. No rebirth of Israel, no return of Messiah to Jerusalem. No return, no hope of rescue from a world self-destructing now and even more so during the most horrific Tribulation of all time, culminating in the greatest battle of the ages … Armageddon.

Everyone who is the least bit concerned about what’s going on in today’s woeful world needs to think twice about such things. It would behoove us to pay close attention to what God himself has to say about our destiny, about eternal existence with him or apart from him. Particularly those truths and lessons that come in twos throughout history and prophetic events unfolding before our 21st century eyes.

(4) Old Covenant (Law) & New Covenant (Grace)

Why did the Lord replace the Mosaic Covenant of the Law with a New Covenant? What was wrong with the Old Covenant itself?

First, a brief answer to that second question: Nothing!

The Covenant (agreement between God and his people) itself was impressive. After all, God himself created and then conveyed all features of that covenant to Moses, on behalf of the Jews individually and Israel nationally. You probably know the answer to the first question, but let’s read it directly from a prophetic promise in Scripture given some 600 years before the New Covenant of Grace would come … through the Mediator, Messiah Jesus.

“The day is coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife, says the Lord.

“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord. I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts (instead of stone tablets). I will be their God and they will be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:31-33, parenthesis mine; italics to emphasize that it was the people who couldn’t and wouldn’t keep the covenant, thus a new relationship with God was necessary).

In his omniscient foreknowledge, God knew that no one (except His own Son) could keep His law without fail. Still, he gave his people ample time to prove otherwise. And He gives every person on earth the same opportunity—to demonstrate that they can satisfy his holy requirements by self-righteousness, i.e. intrinsic worth or good deeds outweighing the bad.

Have you? Can you? I certainly can’t. I have no righteousness of my own. Apart from Jesus Christ, I have no right standing with God. Messiah Jesus is my righteousness.

That’s why God sent his Son into this unrighteous world. “In those days and at that time 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 (Israel) name: ‘The Lord is our Righteousness’” (Jeremiah 33:15-16, parenthesis mine).

So, what was the purpose of the Law?

“Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise (to Abraham) to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised…. Is there a conflict, then, between God’s law and God’s promises? Absolutely not! 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” (Galatians 3:19-22, parenthesis mine).

There is no conflict between God’s law and God’s grace (freely given promises); that is, unless we make (try to keep) the law as our source of redemption.

The Apostle Paul reminded all believers:

(5) First Advent & Second Advent of Messiah

They are called advents because they are extraordinary events encompassing Messiah Jesus’s arrivals or appearances. The first some 2,000 years ago, born in Bethlehem. As a teacher, he taught like no one before him or since; to prove his divinity, he performed miracles like no one before or since. But most of all Jesus came as a deliverer. Just as the Israelites were delivered (spared) from death by the blood of the Passover lambs, so Jesus came to this world as the Passover Lamb of God.

The death and burial of Messiah Jesus was the greatest sacrifice ever made by the highest price ever paid. And his resurrection sealed the deal!

“With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever” (Hebrews 9:12).

Jesus said that he came to fulfill the Law not to abolish it. He was referring to the Jewish festivals, to the requirements regarding the Temple and its instruments, and to the Levitical Sacrificial system—all of which were types or patterns of the New Covenant to come, and specifically to the mediator of that New Covenant, Messiah (Son of God). That which was replaced or cancelled in the Old Covenant is any misguided human effort to earn God’s approval by trying to keep all points of the law as a means of redemption.

“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…” (Hebrews 8:6-8; (then the writer quotes the prophecy of the new covenant we previously read in Jeremiah).

This same Jesus will appear again—His Second Coming. But this time as the conquering King of all kings to rescue Israel from annihilation at the hands of Antichrist and his ten-nation coalition. This time as the judge of all ungodly unbelievers remaining on the earth. This time to right all wrongs done to Israel by separating the sheep nations from the goat nations.

“His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!” (Isaiah 9:7).

(6) Israel—Two Exiles & Two Returns

The Lord disciplined Israel and Judah in several ways during their ongoing rebellion against him and blatant disregard of the true essence of the Mosaic Covenant. They relentlessly reduced the spirit of the Law to mere rituals. Their hearts were far from the Lord, to the point of vainly worshipping false non-existent gods. The ultimate punishment was Babylonian conquest of Judah and Jerusalem and the unthinkable destruction of Solomon’s Temple, then exile of survivors to Babylon. But only for 70 years, after which a remnant of Jews returned to Israel.

Only to be conquered again by the Romans in A.D. 70, with the rebuilt Temple destroyed and this time exiled to the four corners of the earth. And this time the reason was because they had rejected their Messiah, the very One who came to bring them the Kingdom of God on earth. A Kingdom that Jesus would have established had they believed and received him Savior and Lord.

Regrettably, God’s people didn’t learn their historical lesson: if they abandoned the Lord, He would abandon them and withdraw his protection of Israel as a nation. Consequently, they suffered even greater tragedies the second time, culminating in the horrific Holocaust.

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. Tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned. Yes, the Lord has punished her twice over for all her sins” (Isaiah 40:1-2, italics for emphasis). Please read Eye of Prophecy article: Double Israel’s Troubles & Double Her Blessings! Posted 8-13-16).

The Lord has kept his unconditional covenant with Abraham that Israel would always be a nation whose people would inhabit and occupy (in the positive connotation of the term) the Promised Land. A prophetic promise repeated by many Old Testament prophets. Such as:

“…Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel… This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel” (Ezekiel 37:11-12).

Jews in modern-day Israel are a living testimony to the fulfillment of this and other prophecies like it.

(“I will bring my exiled people of Israel back from distant lands… They will plant vineyards and gardens; they will eat their crops and drink their wine” Amos 9:14)

(7) God Twice Dwelling Among His People

The Lord not only divinely delivered his people from abject slavery. He not only miraculously provided for them during their 40-year wandering in the wilderness—manna from heaven; meat from out of nowhere; water from rocks; clothes and sandals that never wore out. He also dwelt among his people!

His awesome presence was in the cloud by day and pillar of fire by night, guiding and protecting them. His glorious presence then entered the Holy of Holies of the tabernacle and later the magnificent Temple built by Solomon. Think about it! That’s nothing short of spectacular! The true and living God and Creator of a vast universe still too small to contain his glory, lived with men and woman and children.

“Then the cloud covered the Tabernacle, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle. Moses could no longer enter the Tabernacle because the cloud had settled down over it, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle” (Exodus 40:34-35).

Over 300 years later after the Temple was finished, we read:

“When Solomon finished praying, fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple. The priests could not enter the Temple of the Lord because of the glorious presence of the Lord filled it. When all the people of Israel saw the fire coming down and the glorious presence of the Lord filling the Temple, they fell face down on the ground and worshipped and praised the Lord saying, ‘He is good! His faithful love endures forever!’” (II Chronicles 7:1-3).

Then about 370 years later, God’s glory departed from the Temple because of Judah’s detestable sins and how they had profaned the Temple. God’s glory returned briefly when His Son, Messiah Jesus taught and healed in and near the Temple and when he triumphantly entered Temple Mount through Jerusalem’s Eastern Gate on Palm Sunday (See last week’s Eye of Prophecy article: Jerusalem’s Mysterious Eastern Gate … Making Headlines).

But it didn’t end there. As it once was, so shall it be again. Once again Messiah Jesus will ascend Temple Mount through the Eastern Gate and the very presence of God (the Son) will dwell in Jerusalem during Jesus’s Millennial Reign on Earth. Followed by God the Father’s majestic glory filling the New Jerusalem. At which time all God’s people will echo the shout heard by John:

“…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! … It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End…” (Revelation 21:3-6).

Next time, God’s presence with his people will be FOREVER!

(8) Two Destructions of Babylon

Both destructions are literal. With the 2nd (still to come) also a judgment of the spiritual kingdom of darkness and false religions and humanistic philosophies birthed in Babylon, reproduced down through the ages, ending with Rome and the Roman Catholic Church. Each of Babylon’s falls are prophesied in Scripture.

In fact, every dramatic detail that pertains to God’s two-part plan for humanity is predicted in the Bible: (1) God’s chosen people inheriting and inhabiting the Promised Land in perpetuity; (2) Salvation to Jew and Gentile alike through the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua.

Nothing of any past, present, or future significance concerning the unfolding and fulfillment of these plans takes place without first being foretold.

“Indeed, the Sovereign Lord never does anything until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).

The destruction of the mighty Babylonian Empire was predicted more than once by Isaiah (and other prophets) some 100 years before Babylon even rose to power! And, therefore, about 170 years before Babylon came crashing down, destroyed by the Mede/Persian empire. In fact, one of these prophecies even narrows it down to the very night that Babylon fell—as later foretold and witnessed by Daniel (Chapter 5; you remember … as shown by the below pictorial).

Said Isaiah: “Look! They are preparing a great feast. They are spreading rugs for people to sit on. Everyone is eating and drinking. But quick! Grab your shields and prepare for battle. You are being attacked!” (Isaiah 21:5).

Isaiah continues: “…Then the watchman said, ‘Babylon is fallen, fallen! All the idols of Babylon lie broken on the ground!’” (Verse 9).

The second judgment of Babylon will, of course, take place in the soon to come Great Tribulation. Time/space does not permit elaboration—including documentation to demonstrate that Babylon in Revelation is an encryption for Rome—except to quote one of God’s angels shouting:

“…Babylon is fallen—that great city is fallen! She has become a home for demons…” (Revelation 18:2).

You may want to read the entirety of Revelation 18 that contains graphic details of this fall, primarily as punishment for her many sins and evil deeds (Verse 5). Including, but not limited to: “In your streets flowed the blood of the prophets and of God’s holy people and the blood of people slaughtered all over the world” (Revelation 18:24).

The Babylonian Empire did not kill any of God’s prophets nor were any Jews murdered in Babylon itself. This is one of several reasons why the Great City of Revelation 17 and Babylon of Revelation 18 is Rome, not ancient Babylon that had already fallen beyond recovery.

See Eye of Prophecy trilogy, Shameful Saga of the Great City … Revelation 17; Cunning Makeover of the Great City … Revelation 17; Humiliating End of the Great City … Revelation 17. Posted 5-26, 6-2, & 6-9-18.

(9) Christ & His Antithesis, Antichrist

Two men couldn’t be more diametrically different. Complete opposites. We’re talking day and night; right and wrong; good and evil; truth and lies; life and death. One is the true Messiah; the other a counterfeit imposter empowered by Satan to accomplish Satan’s original agenda—to be like the Most High God.

Yet, it will be Antichrist’s (Nero) bodily return from the Abyss (Revelation 17:7-8) that will amaze many left behind at the Rapture, mesmerizing them to the point of worship. His reappearance after nearly 2,000 years will be considered a miracle of resurrection to exceed even that of Messiah Jesus. (This and much more is covered in my second book, Out of the Abyss. Also, in most Eye of Prophecy articles assigned to the category of Antichrist)

Here, the positional power and remarkable role of Jesus Christ as the First and Last is in stark contrast to his boastful counterfeit opposite. With Antichrist (Nero … born in A.D. 37) appearing on the scene just a few years after Jesus’s First Advent and Nero’s reappearance immediately after the Rapture just seven years before Jesus’s Second Advent will take place.

Though God will permit Satan and his man of sin great power and authority for 3 ½ years, ultimately neither will succeed in their vain attempt to be the First and the Last. That honor, privilege, and power belong exclusively and eternally to our Great God and His Messiah.

(10) Antichrist Nero & His Prototype Predecessor, Antiochus IV Epiphanes

A better characterization of this perfidious pair of malicious megalomaniacs would be that of a devilish duo.

However, because time/space has expired in this week’s article, I must ask you to wait until the next post to discover more about the sordid saga of these two tyrants who are linked together in one prophetic chapter of Scripture. Including some fascinating similarities between them.

Things to Ponder

These striking sets of two encapsulate God’s panoramic plans for humanity, plus his providential power, persistence, and patience to accomplish those plans.

In these pairs, we find one or more of the following: contrast, correlation, clarification, combination, correction, and culmination.

Over all, we find the magnificent Triune God, who is the First and Last, Beginning and End, Alpha and Omega. He is the One who has begun and will bring all things full circle to the way it was in the beginning … with a supernatural new beginning to the inevitable end.

It’s like the pictures we see literally and in our mind of the before and after.

He is a God of second chances; but we must accept Messiah Jesus as Savior while we’re alive on Planet Earth. After we die it’s too late.

*Permit me to close with an excerpt from the last pages of the final chapter of my novel, O Israel. The scene takes place about a year after the Rapture. It is a conversation between two of the main characters (who have accepted Messiah Jesus as Savior) as they stand on the Mount of Olives looking down on the rebuilt Temple.

“What are you thinking?” Netanya asked.

“What you and I talked about at the hospital. About the Garden of Eden, coming full circle, restoration.”

“I remember.”

“The circle is almost closed,” Barak said. “We were made in God’s image, which means that he made us perfect. How could a perfect God create something imperfect? Through the image he gave us, he offered us the choice to live forever. But we did the only thing he told us not to do; we used the free will he gave us to choose another image. We wanted an image that made us equal to him, one that no longer needed the holiness of the perfect image, one that made him in our image. And when we disobeyed a simple command, it distorted our true image. We killed the spirit inside us, and the outside died with it. The image became twisted, unholy, ungodly.

“But God would not leave it that way. He would restore the original created image. There was only one way to do that; a great debt had to be paid to remove the awful presence of sin that had changed and condemned the image. Who could pay such a debt? It had to be someone whose image had not changed, someone who was a perfect and visible image of God. And it had to be a man, because the purchase must be with blood. Life is in the blood. So, the Son of God became the Son of Man, and he was both at the same time.

“When we believe the Son for who he is and what he did, the original image is restored … That is full circle.”

“That was beautiful,” Netanya said… “Forever begins again, but in a new way. As good as it was in the beginning, I think it will be even better at the end of the age.”

“I’d go with that,” Barak said.

The horizon hid the sun. Netanya shivered when a strong gust chilled the air. He put his arm around her.

She looked lovingly into his eyes. “As it once was, so shall it be again.” (Pages 338-339).

“And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new…’” (Revelation 21:5, NASB).

Jerusalem’s Mysterious Eastern Gate … Making Headlines

The constant international attention on the Middle East—Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States—is intriguing.

However, the global obsession with Israel and its capital Jerusalem is mind-boggling.

Media coverage focuses incessantly on what world leaders, politicians, celebrities, and other VIPs are saying about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Whatever their political or philosophical persuasion, they (and millions of ordinary people) eagerly voice their views on Israel … mostly negative. Some positive, such as those of us who recognize Israel’s extraordinary significance in God’s prophetic plan for humanity.

For example: US Senators Lindsay Graham, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and a few other Republicans frequently speak up on behalf of Israel.

Although most Democrats in the United States Congress still support Israel over the Palestinian narrative, those percentages are declining; spear-headed by two new ultra-liberal members of the House of Representatives—Ilhan Omar (a Somalia Muslim elected in Minnesota) and Rashida Tlaib (of Palestinian descent, elected in Michigan). Both women regurgitate the same false accusations spewed by the Palestinian Authority, Muslim terrorist groups, Islamic leaders, and Muslims in general that Israel is occupying and oppressing the Palestinians, with help from the United States no less.

As I have written in several prior Eye of Prophecy articles, there is absolutely no evidence (facts on the ground) whatsoever of Israeli apartheid against or oppression of the Palestinians. Israel is the only democratic nation in the entire Middle East, providing equal rights to its 1.8 million Arab citizens. And has granted self-governing privileges to some 4.7 million Palestinians (non-citizens by their choice) living in Gaza and Judea/Samaria (West Bank).

You won’t find nearly this much liberty in surrounding Muslim nations extended even to their own people, let alone minority groups. Instead, there is persistent persecution of Jews, Christians, and even fellow Muslims who speak out against these Islamic regimes.

There is a ton of facts to demonstrate Palestinian/Arab racial and religious hostility toward Israelis, not the least of which are relentless terrorist attacks. Such as two Israelis murdered this past week by a 27-year old Palestinian. One of whom was a 19-year old Israeli soldier; the other a 47-year old Rabbi. Thus, the prevailing global mindset that Israel is in the wrong—despite the clear history of Israel’s UN approved statehood and Muslim attempts to denigrate and/or destroy the one and only Jewish nation in the world—is dumbfounding.

(The slain Rabbi Achiad Ettinger, father of twelve children)

On the other hand, it is exactly what the Bible predicted long ago for the last days of the end times.

On March 7th, 2019 the United States Congress voted 407-23 in favor of a (non-binding) resolution condemning all forms of bigotry against “traditionally persecuted peoples.”

At face value, there’s nothing wrong with such a pledge. However, the reason for drafting it in the first place began exclusively over Ilhan Omar’s Anti-Semitic comments and her (as well as Rashida Tlaib’s) association with activists who support anti-Jewish terrorist groups like the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, offered the inane explanation that this legislation was “not about her (Ilhan Omar). It’s about these forms of hatred.”

To the contrary: the entire issue began with and was about “her” (Omar).

Nonetheless, in a broader perspective, this unique Congressional resolution was all about Israel!

Whether major Biblical prophecies such as the unprecedented rebirth of Israel as a sovereign nation and return of the Jews in great numbers to Israel coming to pass in our generation, or lesser known end-times developments like the status of Jerusalem’s Eastern Gate; the disposition of the whole world will continue to be affected by what’s happening in Israel.

Zeroing in on Israel

Picture circles made by throwing a pebble into a pond. The larger the stone, the more expansive the circles. Though Israel was (and still is, although growing steadily) a tiny country when it was reborn in one day’s time (May 14th, 1948), it landed in the sea of nations as a large rock, producing circles of contention like no nation in history. These controversial circles began with Arab countries that surround Israel, waging war against Israelis in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973. With current strategy shifted to BDS activities and terrorism …Palestinian rocket attacks, fire bombings, car-rammings, and knife/gun assaults on Israeli Jews.

The circle widened to include non-Arab Muslim nations; equally, if not more, hostile toward Israel … such as Iran, Turkey, and Indonesia. A larger circle of Anti-Semitism has spread again in Europe and the Far-East, and even to the North & South American continents.

Yet, the circles have also expanded enough to include governments of a few nations which have shown (at least token) favor toward Israel —diplomatically and economically. Although by and large, the populace of these nations (like Egypt and Jordan) remain anti-Jew and anti-Israel.

Now picture in reverse, the circles contracting back to the original splash made by the rock of Israel. In concentric fashion, nations have focused attention on the circles as they get smaller and smaller. Beginning with the Middle East, narrowing to Israel, then Jerusalem, and finally the single most disputed place on the Planet … Temple Mount. And, now, as will be examined in this week’s article: one gate of Jerusalem.

In fact, Scripture characterizes Jerusalem as a rock in the last days prophecy of nations and their armies uniting against Israel, hell-bent on reaching their perverted final solution to the Jewish problem.

On that fast-approaching day, Jerusalem and Temple Mount will be defended ferociously by the Israelis. As the struggle for their very survival gradually goes against them, Messiah Jesus will suddenly step foot on the Mount of Olives and will fight alongside his people. The battle will spill over to the Valley of Jezreel and to Megiddo where the final war of the ages will be waged. With the Biblically predicted outcome of a resounding victory over all nations who would seek to annihilate God’s chosen people and dare to take on the Son of God himself. (See Eye of Prophecy article: Armageddon & Messiah’s Return … An Amazing Sequence of Events posted 2-3-18).

The Gates of Jerusalem

“O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night continually. Take no rest, all you who pray to the Lord. Give the Lord no rest until he completes his work, until he makes Jerusalem the pride of the earth. The Lord has sworn to Jerusalem by his own strength: ‘I will never again hand you over to your enemies. Never again will foreign warriors come and take away your grain and new wine. You raised the grain, and you will eat it, praising the Lord. Within the courtyards of the Temple you yourselves will drink the wine you have pressed.’

“Go out through the gates! Prepare the highway for my people to return! Smooth out the road; pull out the boulders; raise a flag for all the nations to see. The Lord has sent this message to every land: ‘Tell the people of Israel, Look, your Savior is coming. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.’ They will be called ‘The Holy People’ and ‘The People Redeemed by the Lord.’ And Jerusalem will be known as ‘The Desirable Place’ and ‘The City No Longer Forsaken’” (Isaiah 62:6-12, italics to emphasize that the smoothing out preparation, removing obstacles, and Jews returning to Jerusalem through its gates began with the Balfour Declaration of 1917, then the UN Resolution for Israel’s statehood in 1947. The Star of David flag flies over Jerusalem and alongside other flags at the United Nations).

When the Persian King Artaxerxes approved Nehemiah’s journey to Israel to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls in 445 B.C., against all odds the walls and gates were rebuilt in an astonishingly short period of time.

Nehemiah wrote: “So on October 2 the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun. When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized the work had been done with the help of our God” (Nehemiah 6:15-16).

Considering outside opposition from their enemies (some Jews worked while others stood guard with weapons) and the entire circumference of the rebuilt wall—about 4.6 miles, with some sections of the wall as high as 52 feet—including all the gates; this stunning project in seven weeks and three days was nothing short of a miracle.

In Nehemiah’s time, there were 10 gates built into Jerusalem’s perimeter wall. Today there are eight gates, but only seven are open for access to the Old City of Jerusalem. Six of these accessible gates were built in ancient times, with the seventh built in 1538 by the Ottoman Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent. It is the Jaffa Gate, the most used entrance to the Holy City. The other six gates (restored during Suleiman’s reign) in use today are: The Zion Gate, Dung Gate, New Gate, Damascus Gate, Herod’s Gate, and Lion’s Gate.

During our March 2006 trip to Israel, my sister and I went through two of these gates: Dung Gate & Jaffa Gate.

(Jaffa Gate)

(Dung Gate entrance)

What about the eighth gate, which was also restored in Nehemiah’s time? What is the mysterious significance of and current controversy over this gate? Regarding the recent incident between Israel and the Jordanians & Palestinians, was the gate reopened? Or does it remain tightly sealed?

Although this gate bears more than one name, in Scripture it is referred to as the: Eastern Gate. (Note: there were other gates on the eastern wall; but because of its preeminence only one was given the name of East Gate)

Also, called: The Golden Gate, Mercy Gate, and sometimes referred to in ancient times as The Beautiful Gate. The following is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article: Gateway to the World (Posted 1-10-15). In italics:

(It’s called the) Golden Gate because of the sometimes-golden glow and hue cast by the rising sun on the eastern wall and gate. Beautiful Gate in very ancient times because it was just that, both literally and figuratively considered the most sacred or holiest of the ancient gates of Jerusalem. Mercy Gate because Jews used to pray for mercy at this gate, in fervent anticipation of the coming of Messiah through the gate, which would lead to the restoration of the Shekinah Glory of God in the rebuilt Temple. For it was from the Eastern Gate that the glory of God left the Temple and through which God’s glory will return.

This incredible gate is not only closed, it’s sealed … imbedded into thick stone walls on either side. In my estimation this unused, inactive, seemingly irrelevant gate was the most significant gate ever built; the most prestigious ever to be closed; and, one day soon, will be the greatest gate to ever be reopened.

It is the oldest of the current existing gates in Jerusalem’s Old City Walls, having been built around 520 A.D. by Justinian I or perhaps (no later than) the 7th Century by Byzantine artisans. However, the current Eastern gate was built on ground level (obviously) over the remains of the much older gate, dating to the times of the second Temple (Herod’s Temple) which, of course, was built into the original (walls surrounding) Solomon’s Temple.

We’ll look at that in more detail. But first, a recap of current events surrounding this enigmatic gate of Jerusalem, one that leads directly to Temple Mount.

Dispute Over Temple Mount in General

As the holiest site in Judaism, Temple Mount is the soul of Jerusalem and Jerusalem the heart of Israel. Although the Israelis reclaimed all of Jerusalem in the stunning Six-Day War of 1967, Israel subsequently relinquished administration of Temple Mount back to Jordan; even though Jordan had illegally usurped control of Jerusalem near the end of Israel’s War of Independence in 1948. Although Israel won that war, the Israelis elected not to contest Jordan’s illegitimate seizure of (most of) Jerusalem and Temple Mount for two reasons: (1) International pressure to keep Jerusalem “neutral”; (2) Israel’s desire not to prolong her War of Independence, satisfied (at that time) with survival of the reborn Jewish State via their overall victory against five Arab nations, including Jordan.

For Muslims, Temple Mount (Arabs call it the Noble Sanctuary) is only their 3rd holiest site after Mecca and Medina; yet, according to Arabs, Islamic designation as 3rd in rank takes precedence over Israel’s 1st (most) sacred site. To the extreme that Jordan and Palestinians in Israel engage in blatant discrimination by refusing to allow Jews to ascend Temple Mount except at scheduled times; and forbid Jews to pray on Temple Mount or even exhibit any signs whatsoever of worship. The main reason that Israelis agrees to this “status quo” is to (theoretically) prevent an all-out Muslim intifada within Israel and/or an Islamic coalition attacking Israel from without.

Nearly all Palestinian rhetoric that incites lone-wolf terrorist attacks against Israelis relate directly or indirectly to Temple Mount. The Palestinian/Arab intifada initiated in September 2000 (lasting until 2005 … hundreds of Israelis were murdered) under then Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat began soon after then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ascended Temple Mount. This was just a few years after the Oslo Accords, in which the Palestinians solemnly agreed to stop all terrorist activity in Israel. They not only didn’t stop the terrorism, they increased it.

Just three years ago or so, current PA President Mahmoud Abbas vowed not to allow the filthy feet of the Jews to desecrate Al-Aqsa Mosque (on Temple Mount). Abbas and his corrupt regime that oppresses its own people constantly accuse Israelis of “changing the status quo” on Temple Mount or desecrating it (by simply being there). When, in fact, it’s the Palestinians who are changing the rules.

Concerning the Al Aqsa Mosque, please refer to Eye of Prophecy article: The Myth of Al Aqsa Mosque (4-16-16). Which conclusively confirms that this mosque was not the mosque visited by Mohammed in what was a mythical journey to Jerusalem to begin with.

(Temple Mount: Western wall in center of picture; Dome of the Rock in upper center; Al Aqsa Mosque far right center; top of Eastern Wall upper right center, just to the right of line of trees)

Controversy Over the Eastern Gate

President Trump’s Deal of the Century, drafted primarily by his advisors Jason Greenblatt and Jared Kushner, has been in the news for over a year. However, the U.S. Executive Staff has decided not to publicize this Middle East peace proposal until after Israel’s elections scheduled for April 9, 2019.

There has been rampant speculation over details of the plan, mostly from Muslim nations and especially from the Palestinian Authority. Without even knowing its contents, PA President Abbas has rejected the deal out of hand. In fact, Abbas has cut off all diplomatic relations with the United States; asserting that America will not be allowed to broker any agreement because he alleges that the deal will heavily favor Israel. This despite President Trump himself saying that both Israelis and Palestinians will need to make some hard concessions.

One of these (many) rumors has intensified the already deteriorating relations between Israel and Jordan—which is only one of two countries (Egypt is the other) that has formally recognized Israel as a sovereign state. King Abdullah of Jordan is worried that one of Trump’s proposals (if it is part of the deal) will substantially reduce or even eliminate the Jordanian Waqf’s administrative control of all holy sites in Israel, particularly Temple Mount.

Consequently, the Waqf Islamic Council conducted a conference on February 14th on Temple Mount itself. During this meeting, representatives of the Jordanian Ministry of Endowment participated in a guided tour of the Mercy Gate compound.

*Note: Because most of the recent media coverage, including articles from the Associated Press, has referred to the Eastern Gate by one of its other names (Gate of Mercy or Mercy Gate), I’ll refer to it by that designation in this section of today’s article.

In that February meeting the Waqf Council, with King Abdullah’s implied consent, added several Palestinian Authority officials to the council’s membership. This was a slap in the face against Israel as Israelis know that increased Palestinian administration of Temple Mount would lead directly to more aggressive action to do whatever they wanted to and on Temple Mount. Which, in turn, would undermine the status quo, i.e. stated and implied agreements regarding its daily management.

Which is exactly what transpired and in a hostile way. Not long after this conference, Palestinians tore down fence barriers guarding the Mercy Gate, motivated by the Waqf’s decree that this compound would be reopened to Palestinians—in deliberate defiance of Israel’s ultimate sovereignty over Temple Mount. On February 20th, the Palestinians began to hold prayer sessions in this gate area.

Israel had closed this gate to the Palestinians in 2003 for two reasons: (1) Several of those who “managed” the Mercy Gate compound were found to have direct ties with the terrorist group Hamas; (2) Illegal excavation by the Waqf itself that resulted in destruction or disposal of valuable Jewish artifacts; thereby, degrading this priceless archaeology site. For the express purpose of eliminating all physical evidence of the existence of both Temples that gave rise to the very name of this Jewish holy site … Temple Mount.

Although this initial confrontation between Israelis and Palestinians resulted in closure of the entire Temple Mount area, it was soon reopened to Arabs. But that reopening only encouraged more Palestinian clashes with police, culminating in a firebombing of a small police station on Temple Mount itself on March 12th, 2019. Following that incident, Israelis prohibited any gathering at the Mercy Gate compound but subsequently permitted Palestinian egress through other gate(s) access to Temple Mount via the Muslim and Christian quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem.

After sporadic clashes over several days between Palestinians and Israeli police, Israel issued a court order on March 17, 2019 to completely reclose the Mercy Gate. Israel has given Jordan 60 days to reply to this directive, with the implied response that of honoring the court’s legal decision and returning to the status quo in place before the whole Mercy Gate episode began. One Jordanian reaction was for some of its government officials to call for expulsion of Israel’s ambassador to Jordan—which hasn’t yet been done.

Even though it was the Jordanian/Palestinian Waqf Council that defiantly initiated this sequence of events, Waqf Chairman, Sheikh Abdelazeem Salhab declared that the Israeli court order was an, “…escalation of the attack on Bab al-Rahma (Arabic name for Mercy Gate). That the Israeli response (for that is exactly what Israel did … respond not initiate) “was an aggression against Jerusalem and holy sites for electoral purposes.”

Abdul Abu Basal, Jordan’s Minister of Islamic Affairs and Holy Sites, characterized Israel’s prevention of Palestinian activities in or near the Mercy Gate compound as, “an attack on all Muslims that touches the entire Islamic nation” (He meant the entire Islamic world).

This is common Muslim/Palestinian twisted logic and tainted tactic; to blame Israel for the very things that Arabs do or say that sparks any given incident initiated by the Palestinians—in this case condoned and even assisted by Jordan.

Currently, Israeli and Jordanian officials are conducting negotiations to resolve the “status-quo” dispute. With, however, Jordan’s Foreign Ministry again demanding that Israel rescind its “dangerous” closure of the Mercy Gate. Stating that the compound, “…is not subject to Israeli jurisdiction.” That it comes under the “…exclusive authority of the Waqf.”

This statement is a deceitful distortion of agreements reached after Israel’s resounding victory in the Six-Day War. As a result of the Israelis liberating all Jerusalem from illegal Jordanian control in 1967, Israel extended functional authority of Temple Mount to Jordan. Not “exclusive authority.”

Israel has the final word in the matter. So says Israel and so says the true and living God of Israel.

“…This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: ‘The towns of Israel will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem as his own’” (Zechariah 1:17).

Those who deny any of the Promised Land (especially Jerusalem and Temple Mount) as given by God to the descendants of Abraham are only setting themselves up for utter disgrace and destruction. They will learn this the hard way when:

(Verse 17 then says: “…Jerusalem will be holy forever, and foreign armies will never conquer her again.”)

The day is soon coming when another of the Lord’s promises will come to pass: “Wake up, wake up, O Zion! Clothe yourself with strength. Put on your beautiful clothes, O holy city of Jerusalem, for unclean and godless people will enter your gates no longer” (Isaiah 52:1).

Clarification of What Constitutes the Eastern Gate (Mercy Gate) Itself

If you’re quite familiar with Jerusalem’s Eastern Gate; or even if the only thing you know is that the Eastern Gate was supposed to be sealed tight, then your initial reaction is probably the same as mine. Which was:

What do journalists mean when they say that the Mercy Gate (some qualify by saying Mercy Gate “compound”) had been forcibly opened and infiltrated by Palestinians in defiance of Israel’s closing the gate in 2003?

Does that mean that the Eastern Gate had been opened, then closed, then reopened in the 21st Century?

If so, then the following Biblical prophecy would be inaccurate:

“Then the man brought me back to the east gateway in the outer wall of the Temple area, but it was closed. And the Lord said to me, ‘This gate must remain closed; it will never again be opened. No one will ever open it and pass through, for the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered here. Therefore, it must always remain shut’” (Ezekiel 44:1-2, italics as a prelude to answering the question of the Eastern Gate currently sealed or open).

In a moment we’ll examine the full chronological context of the Eastern Gate’s closure; when it was last sealed, if/when it will be reopened and by whom. For now, let’s clarify what reporters and Op-ed writers meant when they referenced The Mercy Gate.

In reading the media accounts as this conflict unfolded over several weeks, I subsequently realized that the Eastern Gate (Mercy Gate) itself was not the compound referred to by the media.

During my trip to Israel in March 2006, the Gate was completely intact and sealed tight as it had been for centuries. Below is one of many photographs clearly depicting the Eastern Gate. Because most on-line photographs of the eastern wall (gate) are not dated, it’s somewhat difficult to determine when they were taken. But no matter how recent the photos are or are not, the fact remains that the exterior Eastern Gate itself is still tightly sealed!

(Eastern Gate exterior: a double gate, but considered as one entrance)

Thus, the puzzle of whether this Gate had been opened or not is solved by awareness that the Mercy Gate complex identified by the media is exclusively situated on the interior of the Eastern wall. In contrast to the intact, unopened Eastern Gate of the OUTER WALL! (Just as Ezekiel 44:1-2 says … east gateway in the outer wall of the Temple area)!

Access to the inner wall area is only possible by entering through one of the other exterior gates to the Old City, then walking to the interior metal gate entrances that lead to the chamber of the Mercy Gate compound.

(Shows what is described as the Mercy Gate “compound” area. Note metal gate entrance in lower left which leads to interior chambers. This photo taken soon after the Palestinian seizure of and unlawful gathering inside the sealed outer Eastern Gate)

I didn’t realize that there is an interior chamber on the other side of the exterior Eastern Gate, let alone as large as it is. In that regard, I was thinking in terms of most tourists and even many Israelis (who also didn’t know about the inner chambers). Which is: Recognition and identification of the Mercy Gate (Eastern Gate) as the exterior sealed gate that faces the Kidron Valley directly across from the Mount of Olives. Which is, in fact, the actual East Gate as identified in Scripture.

The far end of these ancient interior rooms face the Dome of the Rock, which currently occupies the space where Solomon’s Temple, then the 2nd Temple stood. It is in and immediately outside these chambers where Muslims want to establish another prayer site on Temple Mount. Not that they need another … they already have the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque. Rather, their agenda is to further discredit the historical reality of the two Jewish Temples on Mount Moriah … Temple Mount. And to prevent any further Judaizing of Jerusalem and Temple Mount.

When in fact: all Israel is as Jewish as anything can be! To deny this is to refute both Biblical and secular history. If someone is going to do that, they might as well rewrite any history that doesn’t suit their narrative. Which is exactly what many Muslims and Palestinians are doing.

(Palestinians inside the interior rooms or chambers)

(Palestinians with prayer rugs worshipping in the outer area of the interior Mercy Gate compound, before the Israeli court order of 3-17-19)

Ezekiel’s Prophecies of Temple Mount … The Fascinating Sequence of Events

To further appreciate the historical accuracy of the Lord’s disclosure to Ezekiel (Eastern Gate must remain shut), we must place that prophecy in its precise prophetic context. The background begins in Ezekiel Chapter 40 and continues through Chapter 48 (the last chapter) of Ezekiel—the astonishing prediction of the rebuilt Third Temple. Both Daniel (Chapter 9) and Jesus in his Mount Olivet discourse (Mathew Chapters 24-25) subsequently allude to the rebuilt Temple and its desecration that takes place during the Tribulation.

From our historical hindsight vantage point, we know that Ezekiel is not referring to the 2nd Temple (called Herod’s Temple), because God’s Shekinah glory never returned to that Temple after it was rebuilt by Zerubbabel and renovated by King Herod some 500 years later. Plus, the Lord had already foretold the destruction of Solomon’s Temple, and, in fact, had already departed from the Temple as witnessed (in real-time) by Ezekiel earlier in his ministry.

“Then the glory of the Lord moved out from the door of the Temple and hovered above the cherubim. And as I watched, the cherubim flew with their wheels to the east gate of the Lord’s Temple…. Then the glory of the Lord went up from the city and stopped above the mountain to the east (Mount of Olives)” (Ezekiel 10:18-19 & 11:23, parenthesis mine).

After the 3rd Temple will be rebuilt, we read this amazing vision given to Ezekiel of the Lord’s return to this Temple:

“After this, the man brought me back around to the east gateway. Suddenly, the glory of the God of Israel appeared from the east… And the glory of the Lord came into the Temple through the east gateway. Then the Spirit took me up and brought me into the inner courtyard, and the glory of the Lord filled the Temple” (Ezekiel 43:1-5, italics for emphasis).

Then in the first two verses of Ezekiel Chapter 44 (which we read a few paragraphs ago), the Lord’s instructions for the East Gate of the outer wall to be kept shut … meaning until the Messiah would come. As other prophets tell us: Messiah’s appearance would (first) be to bring a new and final way of spiritual redemption to Israel, accomplished when Messiah Jesus initiated the New Covenant with his sacrificial death on the Cross and sealed that Covenant when he arose from the dead. Followed by Messiah’s return to establish the Kingdom of God on earth as contained in dozens of Old Testament prophecies.

*Note: “The man” who disclosed all these things concerning the 3rd Temple was none other than Messiah Jesus in one of his Pre-Incarnate appearances during Old Testament times. See Eye of Prophecy article: Messiah’s Amazing Appearances Before He Was Born (posted 10-6-18).

The fact that it was Messiah himself who revealed the 3rd Temple and the Lord’s (permanent) return to that Temple is no coincidence. It will be Messiah Jesus (Son of God and God the Son, express image of the Father … Colossians 1:15) who will enter Temple Mount directly through the Eastern Gate, that he himself will open.

Just as Ezekiel said the glory of God would appear (to the 3rd rebuilt Temple) from the east; so did Jesus in foretelling his return say as a validation of Ezekiel’s prophecy, “For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 24:27).

Therefore, the shutting and sealing of the Eastern Gate relates expressly to the return of Messiah to establish the Kingdom of God on earth. Which is why the Eastern Gate was open (having been restored along with all the walls and gates of Jerusalem by Nehemiah) during Jesus’s first arrival to earth … born of a Virgin, fully God and fully man. As the Son of God, Jesus knew full well that he would be rejected and crucified, but only after he entered Jerusalem hailed as the Messiah.

Because Jesus was/is God (John 1:1), God’s glory entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Jesus rode on a donkey as prophesied by Zechariah (Chapter 9) into the Temple complex directly through the Eastern Gate. He began this ride on the Mount of Olives.

“As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen. ‘Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!’” (Luke 19:36-38, italics to emphasize that this road led directly to the Eastern Gate and heaven’s glory entered through that gate).

(Depiction of Jesus after entering through the Eastern Gate on Palm Sunday. Believe this is an accurate portrayal as Jesus probably would have gotten off the donkey after his entrance)

However, because Messiah’s glorious entrance into Jerusalem was temporary, the gate must be (would later be) shut and sealed until God’s glory would return permanently to the Temple, i.e. Jesus’s Second Coming and Messianic reign from Jerusalem. Not until the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven at the end of the Millennium, will God the Father also dwell forever among his people—all those who have been redeemed by believing and receiving Messiah Jesus as personal Savior (See Revelation 21:1-7).

As we know, the Roman Empire destroyed Jerusalem and the 2nd Temple in A.D. 70. It wasn’t until the 16th century that the outer walls and most gates of Jerusalem were fully restored by (as indicated earlier) Suleiman, the Ottoman Turk Sultan. Which is in keeping with God’s providential plan to sometimes use Gentile rulers to accomplish his sovereign will, i.e. Persian King Cyrus’s edict to rebuild the Temple and later Artaxerxes to restore the walls and gates of Jerusalem.

Yet, Suleiman did something completely unexpected. It’s highly unlikely that he knew anything about God’s prophetic purpose that the Eastern gate be kept shut; however, Suleiman was aware that a Jewish Messiah was supposed to arrive in Jerusalem someday through that Eastern Gate. And according to Jewish tradition, his appearance would be preceded by Elijah the Prophet.

Consequently, Suleiman ordered that the Eastern Gate be totally sealed, and a cemetery for Muslim graves be built in front of the outer gate. This would (presumably) prevent Elijah and the Jewish Messiah from fulfilling the prophecy of returning to Jerusalem via the Eastern Gate of Temple Mount, as no Jew would ever defile themselves by walking through a Gentile cemetery, especially one with Muslim graves!

Thus, in sealing the Eastern Gate to prevent Messiah’s prophetic return, this Gentile ruler unwittingly fulfilled Biblical prophecy!

Such is the sovereignty of our great and glorious God. What he says will happen, always happens. I repeat for emphasis: ALWAYS.

What he declares will not happen (opening of the Eastern Gate until Messiah does so himself) will not happen.

There is no one like the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. None but He can declare the end from the beginning. And then make it happen!

Things to Ponder

Do you think Jesus Christ will be defiled by a few graves or deterred by the sealed gate itself? Hardly. Nothing defiled Jesus because he was undefiled … without sin. Jesus not only touched the untouchable (unclean) lepers and healed them, he also raised Lazarus from the dead by merely speaking to him.

He will open the Eastern gate with a touch of his hand or a word from his mouth.

I wasn’t worried that the Beautiful, Mercy, Golden, Eastern Gate had been opened; therefore, questioning the Lord’s prophetic plan. But, at first, it did get my attention. What’s going on here?

There had to be an explanation. Now I/We know the full story behind yet another incident that fits perfectly with Biblical prophecies of the end times. We’re living in those very last days.

“Open up ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter” (Psalm 24:7).

There are also (spiritual) roads and gates that we must choose … through which one to pass.

“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it” (Matthew 7:13-14, words of Jesus).

Said the prophet Isaiah who foretold of the coming Messiah’s (first) mission: “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him” (Isaiah 53:6, NASB).

Messiah Jesus declared: “…I tell you the truth. I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved…” (John 10:7-9).

Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Open the Eastern Gate and from Jerusalem establish your Kingdom of Righteousness, Justice, and Shalom on the Earth.

Hallelujah to the Lamb of God!

Praise to the Lion from the Tribe of Judah!

Extraordinary Biblical Prophecies w/Predicted Times of Fulfillment (Part II)

Didn’t you love it when teachers began their next class with, “Let’s review….”

Seriously (well, maybe), they did you a favor. Especially if you daydreamed your way through the previous session or didn’t show up for class at all! Even if you read the textbook topic for that lesson and paid full attention, education experts agree that review and repetition is the best foundation of learning.

Whatever your view of review, let’s begin with … a (brief) review!

First, an excerpt quote from the beginning of last week’s Part I article:

“There are many reasons (two in particular) that elevate the Word of God light-years beyond all religious and philosophical systems and scripts. In italics for sheer emphasis:

“(1) The Bible contains not just one or two, but hundreds of fulfilled prophecies and dozens more awaiting fulfillment. (2) Multiple miracles to further prove that the God of the Bible is the only true and living God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

“…God the Father and God the Son (Messiah Jesus) point to divine prophecies and miracles as the acid test of Biblical accuracy and reliability. Essentially, the Lord is telling the world: If you don’t (want to) believe what I say, then look at the historical record of what I’ve done through miracles and fulfilled prophecy.

Then, another quote from the final portion of last week’s article:

“…All Biblical prophecies (and miracles) are anything but ordinary. In fact, they are stunning, staggering, and spectacular. The time-dedicated prophecies are an extra special demonstration of God’s omnipotence and omniscience—knowing and declaring the end from the beginning.”

Before we examine four more Bible prophecies (chronological) that specify a set time of fulfillment, let’s review the first four:

(1) The Great Flood: Forty Days/Nights

(2) Israelites Under Egyptian Bondage: Four Hundred Years

(3) Wandering in the Wilderness: Forty Years

(4) Seven x Seven x Seven x Seven: 2,483 Years!

If you haven’t read last week’s article, then by all means….

Are There More Time Dedicated Prophecies Than the Eight Presented in These Two Articles?

Yes, there are. Here is another excerpt from Part I (in italics):

Regarding the hundreds of Biblical prophecies, there are only a few time-capsule forecasts involving specific dates or duration of fulfillment. Which, in that context of comparison, makes these prophecies unique. Although there are more than eight prophecies that specify a set period, the eight that we will look at are major events that apply comprehensively to Israel and/or the world at large. They are integral components of God’s magnificent plans for and interaction with his chosen people, the Jews; his special possession, Israel; and for all other peoples (Gentiles).

Two more reasons why I didn’t include more time-prophecies than just the eight identified: (1) Restraint of space even for a two-part article. (2) The two most well-known of these time-predicated prophecies are derived directly from dreams of Gentile rulers.

Although that doesn’t render those predictions any less significant, I selected the eight prophecies because six of them were given verbally by the Lord to Noah, Abraham, Moses (2), Jeremiah, and Ezekiel. The seventh given to Daniel by the angel Gabriel. And the eighth (New Testament prophecy) directly from Jesus.

Both prominent prophecies (omitted in our discussion) involved sets of seven years: (A) Joseph’s interpretation of Pharaoh’s dreams … seven years of plenty and seven years of famine in Egypt; (B) Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in which the king would be stripped of his throne and live among the animals for seven years.

So, let’s pick it up with the fifth time-dedicated prophecy.

(5) The Babylonian Captivity: 70 Years

Prophecy: “This is what the Lord says: ‘You will be in Babylon for seventy years….’” (Jeremiah 29:10a).

Although both Isaiah and Jeremiah predicted Judah’s fate at the hands of the Babylonians decades before the first of three invasions, the precise length of Israel’s exile was announced a few years prior to the final conquest of 586 B.C. that resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. In fact, Chapter 29:4-23 is a letter sent by Jeremiah (quoting God verbatim) to the first group of Jewish exiles in Babylon—which began in 605 B.C. including the deportation of the prophet Daniel and Israel’s King Jehoiachin. The second conquest occurred in 597 B.C.; Ezekiel was exiled to Babylon.

Immediately after God tells Jeremiah how long the captivity will last, we read one of the most beloved passages in all of Scripture:

Fulfillment: “So the message of the Lord spoken through Jeremiah was fulfilled. The land finally enjoyed its Sabbath rest, lying desolate until the seventy years were fulfilled, just as the prophet had said” (II Chronicles 36:21). *Note: I & II Chronicles were written approximately 430 B.C.

Following King Cyrus’ decree of 538 B.C., some of the exiled Jews returned to Israel. However, the seventy years wasn’t complete until the Temple was finally rebuilt in 516 B.C. After that, more Jews and/or their descendants came back to Israel.

Seventy is one of a few notable numbers in Scripture, a multiple of the most pivotal (by far) number of the Bible—the number Seven. Seventy (sets of seven) is the combination prophesied by Daniel that also specifies an exact number of years, albeit the final set (7 years) is still awaiting fulfillment, i.e. the Great Tribulation. The first increment of sixty-nine sets of seven will be examined shortly in the seventh of our eight time-dedicated prophecies.

Although not a prophecy as such, there are other significant seventies in Scripture. Please refer to Eye of Prophecy article: Daniel’s 70 Prophetic Weeks & The Number Seventy! (Posted 5-12-18).

Regarding the Babylonian Captivity, I cited the specified period of 70 years as found in Jeremiah 29:10. But I didn’t complete Verse 10. Here it is in its entirety:

“This is what the Lord says: ‘You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again” (Jeremiah 29:10, italics for emphasis).

Question: Did the Lord bring them home again?

Answer: Yes, but only some (a minority) of the Jews returned from exile.

Next question: Has the Lord done for his people all the good things he promised.

Answer: Not yet. Not completely.

Historically, the answer to this question is obvious. Israel was conquered again, and the Jews again exiled (by the Romans)—this time to virtually all nations on earth and for what would be nearly 2,000 years. Plus, dozens of other Old Testament prophecies concerning extensive return of God’s people to the land that pertain to the end times (in which we are living), contrasted to the partial return of the Jews after the Babylonian Captivity.

A key component of this powerful and precious prophetic promise is found in the beginning words: “But then I will come and do for you…”

Although the (literal) coming of the Lord took place when Jesus was born of a Virgin in Bethlehem as the Messiah, it was just the beginning. But, oh what a beginning (redemption through the once for all sacrifice of God’s Son!) of the good things the Lord had promised.

Messiah’s first arrival could have been but wasn’t all the good things. Why? Because the Jews rejected Jesus as Messiah. Thus, the Lord’s ultimate promise would be delayed until Messiah’s (Second) Coming at which time he will “…do for you ALL the good things I have promised” (Jeremiah 29:10, emphasis added).

As he always does, the Lord kept his promise to limit Judah’s captivity at 70 years in Babylon. Soon afterward, the Jews who returned to Israel began to once again enjoy the Promised Land—but only partially and (because of their continued disobedience and apathy) temporarily.

Where is this leading? I’m glad you asked!

It’s leading right up to the present time.

Last May, Israel celebrated its 70th anniversary as a reborn nation from the floods of exile and the fires of Nazi death camps. This in fulfillment of many prophecies concerning the FINAL and permanent return of the Jews to the Promised Land. At which time (soon afterward) the Lord will come and do for you (Israel) all the good things I have promised….

The literal return of Messiah (will come) is how and through whom the Lord will do all the good things he promised. Otherwise, God through Jeremiah only needed to say, I will do for you all the good things…

Is there a prophetic correlation between the 70 years of Israel’s exile in Babylon and the (ultimate) fulfillment of God’s promise to return his people to Israel, which began to take place 70 years ago? I would answer that question with a question: How could there not be?

The full passage (Jeremiah 29:10-14) establishes that link.

(Over the Old City of Jerusalem, one of many celebrations of Israel’s 70th anniversary as a Sovereign State)

In that regard, was it mere chance that the 2nd Temple was destroyed in the year 70 A.D.? Exactly 586 years after the Temple was rebuilt in 516 B.C., having been destroyed in 586 B.C. Or that both temples were demolished on the same day of the Jewish calendar … 9th of Av!

All of which is EXTRAORDINARY!

(6) Duration of Israel’s & Judah’s Sins: 390 Years & 40 Years

Prophecy: “Now lie on your left side and place the sins of Israel on yourself. You are to bear their sins for the number of days you lie there on your side. I am requiring you to bear Israel’s sins for 390 days—one day for each year of their sin. After that, turn over and lie on your right side for 40 days—one day for each year of Judah’s sin. Meanwhile, keep staring at the siege of Jerusalem. Lie there with your arm bared and prophesy her destruction” (Ezekiel 4:4-7).

Along with a couple of other prophets like Isaiah, Hosea, and Jeremiah; Ezekiel was instructed by God to do a few extraordinary (bordering on the bizarre) things to graphically reinforce some prophecies. They were visual object lessons for God’s people to get their attention that much more.

Likely, your first reaction would be: Isn’t the Lord referring to Israel’s and Judah’s past sin(s)? If so, how is this a prophecy, as such?

Once again, so good that you asked!

If you read last week’s article, you might recall that a few verses from Isaiah were quoted in which God declares that he is the only true God and only he can declare the end from the beginning. While also challenging fortune-tellers and man-made gods, idols, prophets, religions to do likewise; if they would be so presumptuous.

Here is one of those verses to answer the specific question (but also in general) of whether the Lord’s directives to Ezekiel—other than telling Ezekiel to continue prophesying of Jerusalem’s imminent destruction—was prophetic or not.

“Present the case for your idols, says the Lord. Let them show what they can do, says the King of Israel. Let them try to tell us what happened long ago so that we may consider the evidence. Or let them tell us what the future holds, so we can know what’s going to happen. Yes, tell us what will occur in the days ahead. Then we will know you are gods. In fact, do anything—good or bad! Do something that will amaze and frighten us. But no! You are less than nothing and can do nothing at all. Those who choose you pollute themselves” (Isaiah 41:21-24, italics for emphasis).

Before the Lord issues his challenge for the makers and followers of these false gods (idols) to “tell us what the future holds,” he dares them to: “try to tell us what happened long ago.” This was especially applicable to leaders and historians of one nation attempting to accurately tell their people what happened in and with other nations. But the Lord’s statement also applied within nations.

From God’s vantage point, remembering and correctly telling (100% accuracy) what happened long ago is as much a part of prophecy as is declaring the future. The Lord is referring to more than just history (historical events), as several past events have been recorded and dated by religious leaders and historians. He’s referring more so to cause and effect, i.e. how many years or length of time of what people have done in the past (especially as a nation) relate to what’s happening now or would happen in the future. Whether the people could or would realize any correlation; usually they can’t or don’t want to connect the dots. That’s primarily what the Lord meant when he said: so that we may consider the evidence.

This was particularly true in ancient times, when rulers of several nations (like Egypt) disallowed preservation (writings, pictographs) of bad times or failures during their reigns.

This was also the case with false prophets speaking for their (man-made) gods; who couldn’t or didn’t want to remember the cause and effect of past incidents, whether they were written down or not. Including their predictions that didn’t come to pass … which was most of the time! Come to think of it, even in our age of vast (finger-tip) knowledge and instant global communication, we’re not too adept at remembering why things happened.

Fulfillment: This is the passage that I haven’t written about before, mostly because I couldn’t (until recently … again with discernment from the Lord) match up the 40 years of Judah’s sin with a specified period in her history. But that’s because I was thinking in terms of the first part of God’s instructions to Ezekiel: lay on his left side for 390 days bearing Israel’s sins for 390 years. Which I had linked to Israel’s (northern kingdom) history, but only partially. We’ll get to that shortly.

*Note: It’s understood that the 390 years and 40 years are separate, yet uninterrupted segments of time. As opposed to increments (years) of both periods starting and stopping. For one thing, it’s clear that both sets of times began after Israel split into two kingdoms, as the Lord specifically cites both Israel (ten northern tribes) and Judah (two southern tribes) … not Israel as a (former) unified nation. For another thing, Ezekiel’s dramatic portrayal of these periods was consecutive—390 days on his left side, then 40 days on his right side. Not a few days, then stop, then start again.

In quick review of Israel’s history as a nation, she peaked as a world power during the glory years of King David and King Solomon. But that pinnacle lasted only 80 years. Judah’s prosperity, prominence, and existence as a nation would last longer than Israel’s; however, both kingdoms began to decline geographically, politically, militarily, economically, socially, and spiritually when they split apart after King Solomon died.

(Before Israel divided into two kingdoms, much of the surrounding land belonged to Israel. Gradually, these lands were retaken by Israel’s enemies)

Israel / Ten Northern Tribes: According to God, Israel’s sin (rebellion against God and against Israel’s God-appointed dynasty of kings through King David) continued 390 years. Would we, therefore, be able to match those years to a specific stage of Israel’s (ten northern tribes) history?

Answer: We sure can!

As follows:

Solomon’s reign ended in 930 B.C.

As with nearly all historical dynasties of kings (Biblical or secular), the succession dates of kings are listed consecutively. Thus, Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, began his reign over Judah in 930 B.C. as did Jeroboam I (historically or technically … but not actually) over the northern kingdom of Israel. Reason: the actual division into two kingdoms took several months as did the time for Jeroboam to travel back to Israel from his hiding place in Egypt. Then a few more weeks or months before, “…on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, a day that he himself designated, Jeroboam offered sacrifices on the altar of Bethel. He instituted a religious festival for Israel…” (I Kings 12:33).

That religious ritual was a direct violation of God’s commandments. Sacrifices were to be offered only in Jerusalem and only on days/months previously established by the Lord as found in the Law of Moses. This, then was the beginning of Israel’s (northern kingdom) blatant defiance of the Lord.

Although, the Bible doesn’t specify how much time elapsed from Solomon’s death to when Jeroboam assumed the throne of Israel, then offered these perverted sacrifices, the implied time is convincingly clear to be no more than two years. Probably more like 18 months.

Either way, I believe we can safely identify (sometime during) the year 928 B.C. as the beginning date of the 390-year period identified by the Lord to Ezekiel. Things in Israel deteriorated exponentially after that. None of Israel’s 20 kings (northern ten tribes) ever truly served the Lord, with the Biblical epitaph of these kings (also Judah’s kings) summarized in terms of whether they pleased the Lord or did evil in his sight. With Biblical evidence that as the kings went, so went the people.

Let’s do the math.

928 B.C. + 390 years arrives at the year 538 B.C.

What happened that year? King Cyrus, whose Mede/Persian Empire had defeated Babylonia the year before, issued a decree for Jews throughout his kingdom to return to Israel … not just the Jews in Babylon (see Ezra 1:1-4 & II Chronicles 36:22-23). This signaled the end of God’s indictment for Israel’s sins (390 years) as related directly to Ezekiel’s prophecy.

In that sense, the Lord’s parameter of 390 years was both past and future, as this revelation was given to Ezekiel in 593 B.C. It would be another 55 years before the 390 years ended.

Once again … extraordinary!

One more observation: Although Assyria conquered the ten northern tribes in 722 B.C., there were still descendent Jews from those tribes who remained in Israel proper. Some of them were exiled to Babylon along with the surviving Jews of the two southern tribes. However, it’s also evident that the Jews (still in Israel) from the northern tribes or those taken captive and resettled in other nations designated by Assyria continued to disobey the Lord and worship pagan idols. Thus, the period of their sins lasted until some Jews (from several tribes) began to return to Israel after Cyrus announced his decree.

Judah / Two Southern Tribes: What about the 40 years of Judah’s sins? For which Ezekiel was to lay on his right side to “bear those sins for 40 days, one day for each year.” Although I had ascertained the historical application of the 390 years time-lapse for Israel (except that 55 of these years were still future to Ezekiel), until recently I hadn’t made the connection to Judah.

There was also a total of 20 rulers (nineteen kings, one queen) who reigned in Judah. However, seven of them were good kings for most or all their reign, especially Hezekiah and Josiah. Even if we subtract the years of the faithful kings (and the corresponding loyalty of the two southern tribes of Judah to the Lord), the number of years in which Judah constantly sinned against the Lord was far more than forty years, i.e. from Solomon’s death to Ezekiel’s prophecy, let alone the additional years until Cyrus’s decree.

Why only 40 years for Judah? What 40 years? When? For what sin or sins? When, in fact, the 70-year exile to Babylon was the immediate proximate (cause and effect) punishment for Judah’s sin of disobedience and idolatry?

Like the proverbial light bulb or beacon suddenly flashing, it came to me … meaning discernment from the Lord. The 40 years didn’t apply to the past or present or even near future; it couldn’t because the years didn’t match up. Instead, it applied exclusively to the not-so-near future!

What extended future? When did the 40-year period begin? And what ended it?

Answer: The 40 years began when Israel (at that time composed mostly of Jews from the two southern tribes of Judah and Benjamin) completed their national denial of Jesus as Messiah that culminated in his arrest by the Jews and crucifixion by the Romans.

Jesus was crucified in A.D. 32.

As heartbreaking as that was, what came next was even worse.

Despite Jesus’s resurrection from the dead confirmed by hundreds of witnesses who saw him sometime during his 40 days on earth before he ascended to heaven, most of Israel still refused to accept him as Messiah. Jesus’s resurrection meant they had no reason (excuse) whatsoever to deny his Messianic divinity as the Son of God.

FORTY years later, the final demise of Judah took place when the Romans completed their campaign against Israel (beginning in A.D. 66) with the siege of Masada in late 72, early 73 A.D. Although the sack of Jerusalem and destruction of the 2nd Temple took place in 70 A.D. there were still Jewish zealots who continued to resist Rome. Thus, in the context of Ezekiel’s prophecy, the fall of Masada would be the pivotal end-point to the 40-year period of Judah’s (most grievous of all) sin against the Lord.

During those 40 years, Israel (Judah) had every chance to scrutinize their Hebrew Scriptures. To, with an open mind and heart, clearly see that Jesus of Nazareth had fulfilled the Messianic prophecies. Including Daniel’s stunning disclosure that Messiah would be killed BEFORE the rebuilt temple was destroyed (Daniel 9:26). Sadly, they did not. They would not.

*Note: For those who subscribe to some Bible scholars’ proposal that Jesus was crucified closer to or in the year of A.D. 30, that’s okay; even though I’m convinced that Sir Robert Anderson’s calculations are accurate, as we shall soon see. If anyone prefers A.D. 30, then 40 years would elapse with the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70. Either time-frame validates Ezekiel’s 40-year prophecy concerning Judah.

Another clarification came to me about the same time. I had sometimes wondered why the Lord constantly referred to Ezekiel as the son of man, when speaking to Ezekiel. That question was answered by linking it directly to this prophecy.

Not just the years, but the command for Ezekiel to bear the sins of Israel and Judah for the specified periods. Clearly, this was symbolic, as only Messiah could literally take the sins of Israel/Judah (and the whole world) upon himself, as previously prophesied by Isaiah and King David. Therefore, Ezekiel’s designation as the son of man was also prophetic.

What title did Jesus often use of himself when speaking not only to his disciples, but many others?

Correct: SON OF MAN!

How extraordinary is that!

(7) Jerusalem’s Walls Rebuilt to the Time of Messiah’s Coming: 483 Years

Prophecy: “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 (Messiah)—comes….” (Daniel 9:25). *Note: One set of seven equals seven years.

Fulfillment: When Jesus triumphantly rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday… hailed as the Messiah by the people (Matthew 21:1-11).

As alluded to in last week’s article, this amazing insight had been given to Sir Robert Anderson, as contained in his book, The Coming Prince, published in 1894. Concerning the parallel between the 483 years of Daniel 9 and the 2,483 years (seven x seven x seven x seven) of Leviticus 26 covered in last week’s post, here is an excerpt from that article (in italics):

Anderson’s insight related to the prophesied time parameters of the first Advent of Messiah which resulted in Israel’s rejection of Jesus as the Messiah. Whereas, the Seven Times Over prophetic paradigm pertains to the physical return of the Jews to Israel—specifically the (time dedicated) end of Gentile dominance of the Jews in preparation for the Second Coming of Messiah Jesus.

Because space/time is limited, I’ll condense Anderson’s breathtaking disclosure by providing an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article, An Incredible Time-Lapse Prophecy (Posted 1-18-14).

…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 complex system of balancing two calendars over such a long period of time.

*Note: The well-known 70th week is the seven years (Great Tribulation) of Daniel’s astounding prophecy. However, because it is part of that two-phase (total of) 490 years, I have not included it as a separate time-specified prophecy in today’s article.

You may also want to refer to Eye of Prophecy articles, The Most Panoramic Prophecy in the Bible, Part I & Part II (published 1-13 & 1-20-18). The prophecies found in Daniel 9:24-27 are discussed in detail, broken down into seven categorical events:

(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; (5) The Armies (Roman Legions) That Destroyed the 2nd Temple Belonged to Nero Caesar; (6) Antichrist’s (the ruler) Seven-Year Treaty with Israel; (7) Antichrist Final Fate Sealed At the End of the Tribulation

(8) Resurrection of Messiah Jesus: In Three Days

Now, let’s look at the final prophecy that includes a specific time-lapse fulfillment. The length of time is known by virtually the whole world; however, many (even including some believers!) don’t know or have forgotten that Jesus, himself, predicted his death and his resurrection. And the precise length of time between the two!

Prophecy: “…He said to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but three days later he will rise from the dead’” (Mark 9:31).

Not once, not twice, but three times Jesus foretold his death and then his resurrection in three days. Not only that he would be betrayed into the hands of his enemies, but who would betray him … one of his own disciples—Judas Iscariot.

Not only that he would be killed, but by whom and what would happen before he was crucified.

“Listen, he said, we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die and hand him over to the Romans. They will mock him, spit on him, flog him with a whip, and kill him, but after three days he will rise again” (Mark 10:33-34).

Jesus also prophesied (indirectly) of his death and resurrection to the Jewish religious leaders. However, because he knew they wouldn’t believe him or in him, Jesus used analogies: (A) The sign of Jonah—three days/nights in the belly of the great fish; (B) The Temple: if (when) torn down, he would rebuild it in three days—speaking of his death and bodily resurrection from the dead.

Just a few hours before he was falsely arrested, illegally tried, unjustly sentenced, mercilessly beaten, and cruelly nailed to the cross, Jesus explicitly explained the purpose for his suffering, death, and resurrection. None other than implementation of the New Covenant promised by God, his Father, through the prophet Jeremiah (Chapter 31).

After breaking bread with his disciples and comparing the bread to his broken body on the cross, we read what Jesus said next:

Fulfillment: “But very early on Sunday morning, the women went to the tomb… They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance. So they went in, but they didn’t find the body of the Lord Jesus. As they stood there puzzled, two men suddenly appeared to them, clothed in dazzling robes….

“Then the men asked, ‘Why are looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day’” (Luke 24:1-7).

There’s absolutely no way that a mere man could have known for sure (or at all) that he would be arrested, tried, and put to death; let alone all the particulars of what many call the Passion of The Christ. Do you know of any other person in history who not only foretold the details of his death, but confidently claimed that he would rise from the dead? And when! And did!

I’ll give you hint. There aren’t any. But you knew that!

Things to Ponder

The resurrection of Messiah Jesus is the crowning achievement of Biblical prophecy and is also the mightiest miracle of all. It is: Extra extraordinary!

“…For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus” (Revelation 19:10b). That’s because Jesus IS the essence of prophecy.

Said the Apostle Peter after healing a crippled man: “…Do you want to know how he was healed? Let me clearly state to all of you and to all the people of Israel that he was healed by the powerful name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the man you crucified but whom God raised from the dead. 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 4:9-12).

“…Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said” (I Corinthians 15:3-4).

All subsequent prophecies in the New Testament, including the book of Revelation, focus on Messiah Jesus. Especially his magnificent return—preceded seven years by the Rapture and the subsequent Great Tribulation—to set things right in this wrong, weary, and wicked world of ours.

“…All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

“Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him—even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the world will mourn for him. Yes! Amen!” (Revelation 1:5-7).

Jesus is Risen!

 

Extraordinary Biblical Prophecies w/Predicted Times of Fulfillment (Part I)

No religions, nor their gods, nor their religious writings can hold a candle to the Triune God and His Word as contained in the Book of all books … the Bible.

In it is found the creation of the universe and all life, the origin of sin, and God’s remarkable plan of redemption for humanity through the Jewish Messiah, Jesus. And much more; such as the very purpose for our existence.

Questions asked and answered in the Holy Bible: Who and what we are … saved or unsaved? Why we are here … to live for God or for the world? Where we will spend eternity … heaven or hell?

There are many reasons (two in particular) that elevate the Word of God light-years beyond all religious and philosophical systems and scripts. In italics for sheer emphasis:

(1) The Bible contains not just one or two, but hundreds of fulfilled prophecies and dozens more awaiting fulfillment. (2) Multiple miracles to further prove that the God of the Bible is the only true and living God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Man-made religions and their leaders dare not boast of prophecies and miracles. Why? The answer is exceptionally easy and profoundly plain: Because they can’t prophecy with even 10% achievement, let alone 100% accuracy as does the Bible. Neither their gods nor their prophets have performed miracles anything like what is found in Scripture. Or really anything at all.

God the Father and God the Son (Messiah Jesus) point to divine prophecies and miracles as the acid test of Biblical accuracy and reliability. Essentially, the Lord is telling the world: If you don’t (want to) believe what I say, then look at the historical record of what I’ve done through miracles and fulfilled prophecy.

God issues a challenge to the prophets, religious leaders, idols (gods) of all the religions of the world:

“Present the case for your idols, says the Lord. Let them show what they can do, says the King of Israel. Let them try to tell us what happened long ago so that we may consider the evidence. Or let them tell us what the future holds, so we can know what’s going to happen. Yes, tell us what will occur in the days ahead. Then we will know you are gods. In fact, do anything—good or bad! Do something that will amaze and frighten us. But no! You are less than nothing and can do nothing at all. Those who choose you pollute themselves” (Isaiah 41:21-24).

*Note: The Lord even gives these (bogus) prophets, psychics, and idols (gods) some leeway by daring them to predict what would happen just days ahead. In contrast to the Lord’s prophecies that came to pass days, but also weeks, months, years, decades, centuries, and even millennia later!

In like manner, Messiah Jesus said: “Don’t believe me unless I carry out my Father’s work. But if I do his work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, even if you don’t believe me. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father” (John 10:37-38).

By the time Jesus made this statement, he had already performed numerous miracles. Shortly thereafter, he raised Lazarus from the dead in front of many witnesses! That miracle alone was proof positive that Jesus is who he said he was: Messiah, the Son of God. Despite the indisputable evidence of seeing for themselves or receiving first-hand accounts from others, many (including most of the religious leaders) still would not believe in him. Not even after Jesus, himself, arose from the dead!

See Eye of Prophecy article: There’s Resurrection; And There’s Resurrection! (Posted 3-19-16).

Eight Extraordinary Prophecies with A Specified Time of Fulfillment

Extraordinary: “Going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary; exceptional to a very marked extent…” (Webster’s Dictionary). Somewhere along the way, extra ordinary became a single word.

Synonyms: remarkable, amazing, wonderful, exceptional, surprising, uncommon, special.

By very definition, all Biblical prophecies are extraordinary.

Putting it another way: There is no such thing as an ordinary Biblical prophecy. Each prophecy is a miracle in and of itself when it comes to pass. Such as the prophetic rebirth of Israel against any and all (natural or ordinary) odds. No nation or virtually extinct language has ever been restored like the State of Israel and its national language, Hebrew.

Can, then, Biblical prophecies be pondered as ordinary? After a fashion, yes. But only because there are so many of them! Thus, even though Bible prophecies are exceptional (only God could do this), by sheer number they are or become usual, regular, and even customary.

I fully realize: To call or even consider some miracles or prophecies in Scripture extraordinary is to relegate others to the status of ordinary. That, to do so, would be mostly a matter of subjective selection of some as more uncommon than others. Meaning that we all probably have our favorites. Like, perhaps, the miracle of the sun standing still for Joshua and the armies of Israel. Or the prophecy/miracle that Messiah would be born of a Virgin.

Or (for personal reasons) my favorite miracle of Jesus: the feeding with only a handful of bread/fish of the five thousand men and then four thousand men … plus woman and children present at both spectacular events. With twelve baskets leftover in the first miracle—representing the twelve Jewish disciples, as that miracle was done in Israel. And seven baskets left over after the second feeding—representing God’s divine number for the whole world, as that miracle was accomplished in Gentile territory.

(With five loaves and two fish, Jesus did this!)

All prophecies (or miracles) are astonishing, but some seem a bit more special (uncommon) because they demonstrate and confirm even more the absolute sovereignty and incomparable power of our God. For me, they are the prophecies in which an actual time period is identified, later confirmed by either calendar dates or the predicted interval of a set time.

As already inferred: concerning the dynamics of Biblical eschatology, there’s no such thing as an ordinary prophecy. But if there were, then the eight prophecies examined in this week’s and next week’s article might very well be considered extra ordinary.

Regarding the hundreds of Biblical prophecies, there are only a few time-capsule forecasts involving specific dates or duration of fulfillment. Which, in that context of comparison, makes these prophecies unique. Although there are more than eight prophecies that specify a set period, the eight that we will look at are major events that apply comprehensively to Israel and/or the world at large. They are integral components of God’s magnificent plans for and interaction with his chosen people, the Jews; his special possession, Israel; and for all other peoples (Gentiles).

They will be presented in chronological order of when the prophecy was made.

All but one has been covered to some extent or another in a few prior Eye of Prophecy articles. The one not discussed until now was one that the Lord provided discernment as to its time-related application and meaning only recently. I’ll identify it as such when we get there.

So, buckle up your prophetic seat belts and enjoy this (dare I say) extraordinary journey; with each milepost prophecy along the way marked with the expected time of arrival. As your tour-guide, I’m obligated to offer some relevant commentary on the sights!

(1) The Great Flood: Forty Days/Nights

God advised Noah that he would destroy the entire earth and all living things some 120 years before it happened … length of time for Noah to build the ark. After Noah finished the ark, the Lord specifically told Noah when the rains would begin and how long they would last.

Prophecy: “Seven days from now I will make the rains pour down on the earth. And it will rain for forty days and forty nights, until I have wiped from the earth all the living things I have created” (Genesis 7:4).

Fulfillment: “After seven days, the waters of the flood came and covered the earth. When Noah was 600 years old, on the seventeenth day of the second month, all the underground waters erupted from the earth, and the rain fell in mighty torrents from the sky. The rain continued to fall for forty days and forty nights” (Genesis 7:10-12, italics for emphasis. Assuming the day the rains began matches up with the Hebrew calendar later given by God to Israel, the flood would have begun sometime in April or May of our Gregorian calendar).

The Bible is one Book composed of 66 separate books that declare God’s attributes, plans, and truth. Yet, it is also a history book that contains extraordinary details regarding people, places, events, numbers, and times; unlike and/or far surpassing other (so-called) sacred writings. The Genesis account of the Great Flood specifies on what day the rains began, how long they lasted, how many days the water receded until the ark came to rest on Mount Ararat, and how much time elapsed until Noah and his family left the ark.

To me, that is EXTRAORDINARY.

(Truly, a global flood. Again, displaying the amazing details of Scripture, we read: “Finally the water covered even the highest mountains on the earth, rising more than twenty-two feet above the highest peaks” (Genesis 7:19-20).

(2) Israelites Under Egyptian Bondage: Four Hundred Years

Prophecy: “Then the Lord said to Abram, ‘You can be sure that your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land, where they will be oppressed as slaves for 400 years. But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and in the end they will come away with great wealth’” (Genesis 15:13-14).

Fulfillment: At the end of ten miraculous powerful plagues that devastated Egypt, especially the final judgment (firstborn son of all Egyptians killed), we read: “The Lord caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the Israelites, and they gave the Israelites whatever they asked for. So they stripped the Egyptians of their wealth!” (Exodus 12:36).

The Exodus (including Passover)! An astounding event that all Jews, nearly all Christians, and even millions of unbelievers know of.

Then we read: “The people of Israel had lived in Egypt for 430 years. In fact, it was the last day of the 430th year that all the Lord’s forces left the land” (Exodus 12:40-41).

Please refer to Eye of Prophecy article: Countdown to Armageddon … End of the Fourth 400-Year Era (Posted 7-29-17). Which begins with a review of the significance of the number four in Scripture, then the multiples of four—forty and four hundred as relates to pivotal Biblical time-frames of history.

Regarding the 430 years contrasted to the 400 years foretold by the Lord, here is an excerpt from that article (in italics):

God’s prophecies always come true. Although it would take another 30 years or so to prepare Moses and the people (including the time of the plagues and actual deliverance), the fact remains that it was 400 years from the peak time that Jacob’s and Joseph’s descendants prospered in Egypt to when God called Moses to deliver his people.

Although not a prophecy in terms of time, there was a subsequent period known as the 400 silent years, in which God did not speak to his people, i.e. between Old Testament and New Testament times. *Note: Did you know (most don’t) that the Lord did warn Israel of this time—which turned out to be 400 years—when he would be silent toward Israel?

Read with me:

“The time is surely coming, says the Sovereign Lord, when I will send a famine on the land—not a famine of bread or water but of hearing the words of the Lord. People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from border to border searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it” (Amos 8:11-12).

The last prophet of that time was Malachi whose book was written approximately 430 B.C.—an additional 30 years of preparation for another deliverer to come to Israel … Messiah Jesus. The same time frame as the 430 years to the Exodus, led by Moses.

For identification and analysis of the other two 400-year periods, you’ll need to read the above listed Eye of Prophecy article.

(3) Wandering in the Wilderness: Forty Years

Prophecy: “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).

Fulfillment: “Normally it takes only eleven days to travel from Mount Sinai to Kadesh-barnea, going by way of Mount Seir. But forty years after the Israelites left Egypt, on the first day of the eleventh month (January or February), Moses addressed the people of Israel, telling them everything the Lord had commanded him to say” (Deuteronomy 1:2-3, parenthesis mine).

The Book of Deuteronomy is a condensed summary of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. After Moses died, the triumphant entrance of God’s chosen people into the Promised Land began at Jericho under Joshua’s leadership.

Although it was closer to 38 ½ years from the time the Lord penalized his people to the time they finally arrived at the threshold of the Promised Land (again), the Lord gave them credit for their time spent in the wilderness between the Exodus and their refusal to enter the Promised Land the first time. It would be like giving a convicted criminal credit for time served prior to his sentencing.

You remember: The Israelite spies, one from each of the twelve tribes, spent 40 days in the Promised Land scouting out its inhabitants and abundance. Ten of the twelve gave the people an unwarranted pessimistic report that their enemies would be too strong for them. Only Joshua and Caleb were confident that the Lord would help them defeat the Canaanites. The ultimate sin of the people was refusing to trust the Lord—despite the multiple miracles God had performed before, during, and after the Exodus.

This was the third time in which the number 40 bore great significance. It was and would be representative of a period of trial, testing, and (most of all) preparation for something better to come. The second time-frame of forty (days) occurred when Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. Later, Elijah would spend 40 days/nights fleeing from Ahab and Jezebel on his way to Mount Sinai. And, of course, Jesus sojourned in the wilderness for 40 days/nights preparing for his magnificent ministry on earth.

(4) Seven x Seven x Seven x Seven: 2,483 Years!

Prophecy: “However, if you do not listen to me or obey all these commands, and if you break my covenant by rejecting my decrees, treating my regulations with contempt, and refusing to obey my commands, I will punish you. I will bring sudden terrors upon you…” (Leviticus 26:14-16a).

Moses continues with God’s prophetic warning: “And if, in spite of all this, you still disobey me, I will punish you seven times over for your sins” (Leviticus 26:18).

Seven times over is the verdict three more times, with the degree of punishment increasing in each set of sevens. With description of the fourth and final set the most lengthy and severe.

“If in spite of all this you still refuse to listen and still remain hostile toward me, then I will give full vent to my hostility. I myself will punish you seven times over for your sins” (Verses 27-28).

God’s punishment of his people would culminate in the harshest and most unfathomable fate imaginable to Israel: “Yes, I myself will devastate your land, and your enemies who come to occupy it will be appalled at what they see. I will scatter you among the nations and bring out my sword against you. Your land will become desolate, and your cities will lie in ruins. Then at last the land will enjoy its neglected Sabbath years…” (Leviticus 26:32-34a).

Fulfillment: This uninterrupted punishment (essentially that of God withdrawing his protection of Israel) finally ended with the stunning Israeli victory in the June 1967 Six-Day War. Jerusalem was reclaimed, as was all Jewish land not under Israeli jurisdiction at the time, i.e. Gaza Strip, Judea/Samaria, Sinai Peninsula, and the Golan Heights.

Unfortunately (except for the Golan Heights), the entire Gaza Strip, most of Judea/Samaria including much of the eastern part of Jerusalem, and the Sinai Peninsula were returned to Jordanian, Palestinian, or Egyptian administrative control. But that will soon change when all the Promised Land is restored to God’s people; to include the foreigners living there … those who acknowledge Israel’s statehood sovereignty and the God of Israel.

Following the Babylonian captivity, only a relatively small proportion of Jews returned to Israel, first under Zerubbabel, then Ezra. Sadly, the spiritual revival of the people didn’t last long, despite the rebuilt Temple or when the walls of Jerusalem were restored under Nehemiah’s leadership a few decades later.

However, God’s presence (Shekinah glory) never returned to the rebuilt Temple, Israel had no more kings, and for four hundred years no prophets chosen by the Lord. The Jews were directly or indirectly ruled by the Persians, the Greeks, and finally the Romans. Many were still in exile and there was no significant interruption of foreign nations’ dominance of Israel—excepting the brief time of the Maccabees.

(Depiction of God’s Shekinah glory beginning to leave Solomon’s Tempe. Ezekiel 10:22-23)

Things got worse, culminating in the greatest calamity of that time—Roman conquest of Israel, complete obliteration of the 2nd Temple, ruthless slaughter of nearly one million Jews, and dispersion of most surviving Jews to the four corners of the earth. Only to be exceeded by an even greater tragedy—the unthinkable Holocaust during World War II.

Although the seven times over (four times successively) prophecy in Leviticus doesn’t identify days or years as such, it is nonetheless a time-dedicated forecast of exactly how long Israel would remain under Gentile domination, to complete the Lord’s discipline of his people and nation. In October 2006, when the Lord focused my attention on this unusual (unique, because it’s in the book of Leviticus), prophecy—for that’s exactly what it is—I proceeded to do the math of seven times seven (four times) … translated into years! Where the calculation led me was nothing short of stunning.

After inception of the Eye of Prophecy website, I consolidated this amazing prophecy and its fulfillment in a trilogy of articles, Seven Times Seven (to the 4th power), posted 1-25, 2-1, & 2-8-14. Providing detailed analysis of Leviticus Chapter 26 in conjunction with the lapse of time beginning with the rebuilt Temple in 516 B.C. … the official end of the Babylonian captivity. You may want to read those articles; also, the one that follows … The Omega Generation (posted 2-15-14).

I later realized that the Lord’s disclosure of the meaning or application of this phenomenal hidden gem of prophecy was in the same vein of what Sir Robert Anderson had “discovered” (discernment from the Lord applicable to Daniel 9:25-26) and later published in his book, The Coming Prince (1894).

Anderson’s insight related to the prophesied time parameters of the first Advent of Messiah which resulted in Israel’s rejection of Jesus as the Messiah. Whereas, the Seven Times Over prophetic paradigm pertains to the physical return of the Jews to Israel—specifically the (time dedicated) end of Gentile dominance of the Jews in preparation for the Second Coming of Messiah Jesus.

I’m not comparing myself to Sir Robert Anderson, especially concerning the widespread impact of his discernment and subsequent book compared to the (relatively limited) public awareness of the Seven times over prophecy. Except, perhaps, for one parallel: Until later in life both of us were professional investigators. Sir Robert as a Scotland Yard detective. Myself as an insurance investigator, after retiring from the claims department of a major insurance company and starting my own business in 1995—Integrity Claim Service, ending in 2012.

Here is an excerpt from the beginning of the first Seven Times Seven article, Part I (in italics).

Who would ever imagine that the Old Testament Book of Leviticus would be the source of any of God’s prophecies let alone a prediction that is incredibly precise by virtue of a continuous “seven times over” chronological cycle that has a specific beginning and ending date? Leviticus is a book of the Mosaic Law that recorded God’s decrees, regulations, and commands to Israel; regarding (universal) moral standards, national ceremonial laws, atoning sacrifices, and celebratory annual festivals. Prophetic things are normally found in the books written by Jewish Prophets, e.g. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, some of the Psalms, and more. But Leviticus?

…First, let’s examine the text to establish two important premises: (1) God’s specific instructions and conditions to Israel were, in fact, prophetic (both as a promise and warning); (2) the real-life and real-time fulfillment of the conditional promises/warnings occurred during a specified period of Israel’s history that is also an integral part of world history.

After explaining from the text of Leviticus 26 and other Scriptural examples or principles that the seven times over (four successive periods) is NOT referring to the severity of God’s punishment of Israel, I wrote:

With that in mind, there is an even stronger and more compelling reason that the seven-times over doesn’t apply to or represent in any way the severity factor or degree of punishment. If you read the passage carefully, here’s what you will find: Each time (phase’s one through four) that God identifies the punishment to be experienced by Israel, the punishments themselves ARE more severe. In other words, the severity factor is built-in to each of the four phases of discipline, as they become progressively more severe, one through four. With, by far, the most severe that of being completely conquered, destroyed, and exiled to other countries by their conquerors in the fourth set of the seven times over punishments. With the corresponding result that there would be absolutely no purpose or reason for the Lord to metaphorically describe the successive phases of punishments in terms of seven-times over. Because the text is very clear that each discipline, in and of itself, becomes progressively worse.

So what does the seven times paradigm represent or mean? Then it came to me; that is the Lord showed it to me. The express purpose for seven times over pertains to one and only one element: TIME. (As in chronological years of history).

Then the following excerpts from Part II of the Seven Times Seven Trilogy:

Because the people didn’t by any stretch of the imagination continually seek the Lord when they journeyed back to Israel (referring to the Babylonian captivity) the seven times over paradigm began again. This time it would be continuous, leading all the way to and through the greatest horror of all … the Holocaust of the 20th century. There would be no stoppage of the increments of punishment until all four phases had run their course. In fact, the seven times syndrome contained a mathematically measured built-in period of time, with a beginning and an end.

Leading to the fascinating conclusion based on Israel’s history into the 20th century.

And, so the seven times over sequence had begun again. This time the prophetic march of time relentlessly continued unabated and uninterrupted. If, however, the seven times over to the 4th power represents a measurable period, then it must come to an end. That’s what occurred to me that night in October 2006. Although I didn’t know where it would lead me (what year in history), I realized that God was telling Moses and the people that the seven times seven model necessitated and would, in fact, unfold according to an exact prophetic timeline. Moreover, the formula was built into the prophecy: 7 x 7 x 7 x 7. When this prophetic paradigm reached its measurable deadline, Israel’s punishment would also reach its predetermined limit; and they would no longer be under Gentile domination!

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 resting the land from crop planting. Because of space/time restraints, I didn’t cover this, but it can be found in Leviticus Chapter 25. 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….

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.

In Part III of the Seven Times Seven trilogy, I discussed the 1967 War; but also provided more validation of the Seven Times Seven paradigm by doing the math on the third set of sevens (7 x 7 x 7), converting Jewish years to the Gregorian calendar. Which leads precisely to 168-167 B.C. when Antiochus IV Epiphanes conquered Israel. Yet, as horrible as that time was for the Jews, it didn’t lead to expulsion of the Jews from Israel. That wouldn’t happen until Phase 4 of the seven times over punishment was underway which included the Roman sack of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, resulting in exile of the Jews—the core of the 4th seven times over discipline.

What happened to the Jews at the hands of Antiochus IV is exactly what Phase 3 of the Seven times over punishment calls for in Leviticus. To wit: “I will send armies against you to carry out the curse of the covenant you have broken … you will handed over to your enemies. I will destroy your food supply…” (Leviticus 26:25-26).

Between the Babylonian conquest of Judah and Antiochus IV invasion, no armies had marched against Israel. Nor were the Jews “handed over to their enemies” until that time.

Once again, an amazing association of historical events/years to the seven times seven prophecy.

Things to Ponder

Although all the Lord’s prophecies (promises) are powerful and profound, those that contain actual years from prediction to fulfillment are extra ordinary … extraordinary!

In fact, extraordinary doesn’t completely capture or characterize them. I chose that word for the reasons given earlier in this article, i.e. the comparison between ordinary and extra ordinary. All Biblical prophecies (and miracles) are anything but ordinary. In fact, they are stunning, staggering, and spectacular. The time-dedicated prophecies are an extra special demonstration of God’s omnipotence and omniscience—knowing and declaring the end from the beginning.

Says God the Father to all who doubt who he is and what he can do: “Consult together, argue your case. Get together and decide what to say. Who made these things known so long ago? What idol ever told you they would happen? Was it not I, the Lord? For there is no other God but me, a righteous God and Savior. There is none but me. Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other” (Isaiah 45:21-22).

Said, Jesus, the Son of God: “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me” (John 14:1, NASB).

Also,

Don’t miss next week’s article when the last three of the seven time-dedicated prophecies will be presented. To include more details of Sir Robert Anderson’s dramatic discernment of Daniel 9:25-26.

Also, an intriguing 430-year parcel of time broken down into 390 years and 40 years found in Ezekiel … the one that I haven’t written about before.

Followed by the eighth prophecy, a time-dedicated prediction found in the New Testament, one that signaled the beginning of the New Covenant.