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).
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.