The eProphecy Letter
Jerusalem: A Burdensome Stone
Why Will the Peace Talks Fail Again?
The writer remembers the latter years of the British Mandate in Palestine at the close of World War II. The Jews of Europe had just endured the Shoah, losing two thirds of its population in the war theater to the Nazi death machine. All the remaining Jews had been displaced from their homes in the war arena and were now “displaced persons” to the other citizens of the world.
The remaining three millions of people were desperately striving to leave Europe for freedom elsewhere. Palestine, as it was then known, had been under British control since 1918. Jews had been striving to emigrate there for the 27 years since that war but were permitted only in small numbers due to British restrictions on immigration to the land.
Which is difficult to understand in any context. The Land of Palestine was largely unoccupied. There were only two cities of any size at all – Jerusalem and Tel Aviv – and there were thousands of square miles of vacant land, or land owned by foreigners who were willing and anxious to sell it to the Jews. Yet Great Britain refused to allow an influx of Jews in contravention of the policy enunciated by the Balfour Declaration, which had stated that “his majesty’s government favored” that an homeland for the Jews be established there.
Britain had reneged on its earlier promise.
The reason for this was that the British navy was converting all its naval vessels from being coal-fired to being powered by bunker oil. They needed Arab oil. They needed Arab friendship and cooperation. The Jews really meant nothing to them. Their promise to the Jews meant nothing, as they proved.
The Jews of Palestine rebelled with great fury – far greater than the British thought possible. Still they diligently fought to keep the Jews out. Ships laden with Jewish refugees were intercepted on the high seas and made to proceed to British-controlled Cyprus, where they were herded ashore to be detained and were placed into “camps” similar to the ones in Germany and Europe.
A few ships threaded their way through the British blockade and grounded themselves on the beaches of Palestine where the passengers quickly debarked and fled into the adjacent hills to meld into the local population – illegal immigrants to “their own country” - not as intended by the Balfour document.
Men such as Menachem Begin and Zeev Jabotinsky formed Jewish brigades from the kibbutzim, trained themselves in military tactics, armed themselves as heavily as possible, and began to sabotage British installations and to capture British soldiers and officers. Their warfare was guerilla in style and intended to free their Land from the repressive British power.
Their enemies were the British overlords on a natural basis, but the local Arabs were their foes also. Britain confiscated any guns they found among the Jews and even gave them to the Arabs. They trained and equipped the Arab Legion of Jordan. They suppressed the Jewish brigades in every possible way.
But in the end their efforts were futile. This became apparent when the men of Manachem Begin’s group blew up the headquarters of the British Administration in a wing of the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, killing many Brits and several Arabs and Jews working there. Their telephoned warning of an imminent explosion had been coolly ignored by the Brits, much to their hurt.
As a youngster, I became exceedingly weary of hearing of this ongoing conflict, and wished it could end in the Jews’ favor. This act of sabotage seemed to have been the final damage that could be tolerated by Britain. They decided to give up their mandate over Palestine, and turn it over to the United Nations Organization for governance.
The great prophecies of The Return were about to be put into fast forward. Isaiah (11: 11) had prophesied many centuries earlier the recovery of the Jewish people from eight specific areas – all portions of the Arabs round about except the last (the islands of the sea, which indicates all other areas to which they had been scattered). And it shall come to pass in THAT DAY that the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the REMNANT of His people which shall be left (after the rampage of murder of the Shoah), from Assyria… Egypt… Pathros… Cush… Elam… Shinar… Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.
By the year 1955 this prophecy had largely been fulfilled! Recovery continues today from the last-designated places.
After Britain made its decision known, it was given a few months in which to make its preparations for departure. Meanwhile, the Jews were diligently at work on a governmental structure to succeed the British administration; forming a provisional government, a formalized army, a state currency, ministries, and other necessary infrastructure to permit them to function as a working government when the opportunity came.
It did come. The British decided to leave earlier than planned, and completed their withdrawal on the afternoon and evening of May 14, 1948. As their troops left the wharves of Haifa, David Ben Gurion stood before the Jewish Agency meeting in Tel Aviv and proclaimed the State of Israel in Palestine. It required only about eleven minutes for President Harry S Truman to recognize the new state (he was awaiting information on the official name of the new country!). The Soviet Union followed with its recognition within hours. Israel was on its way – to a savage War of Independence.
Because the Arab nations round about the new state would have none of this action. The forces of Egypt moved northward from the Sinai; the Arab Legion and the soldiers of Saudi Arabia approached from the east; Iraq sent a large contingent through northern Jordan to attack from the Golan Heights, where they were joined by a large force of Syrian troops and tanks; even tiny Lebanon sent soldiers into the north of Israel to try to take territory from the Jews.
From May, 1948, until the summer of 1949, these peoples fought doggedly. Israel’s population at the outset of the war was about 660,000 people of all ages. The Arab countries totaled around one hundred million people. But even in the face of these tremendous odds, the Jewish State not only survived, but expanded the borders it had been awarded by the UNO by about 160%, if my memory is correct.
Now, under its own government, the Jewish State began to accept every new arrival who was a Jew. Even those who were aged and infirm, or stricken with fatal diseases, were allowed to enter the new State. The Jews finally had an homeland!
Although they had remarkable success against the invading forces in general, a peculiar aspect of the War of Independence was that the Jews were able to conquer and hold only half of Jerusalem. The “Old City” within the walls, and its eastern suburbs, were held by Jordan at the moment of truce. It was the fulfillment of Zechariah 14: 2 – that half the city should go forth into captivity, but that the remainder of the city would remain in the Jews’ hands.
Jerusalem thus became a “burdensome stone” – and has been so ever since.
The Jews proclaimed Jerusalem their eternal capital. They built the entire infrastructure of their government there. They located the Knesset (Parliament) Building in its western suburbs. Government institutions were located all over the same area. The municipality of Jewish Jerusalem grew and developed rapidly as more people arrived to populate it. It became a beautiful, thriving, Westernized metropolis in contrast to the Arab-held sector – a trashy, dilapidated, squalid village which was making no perceivable progress.
But tension and opposition grew as both Israel and the Arabs gained strength. The succeeding wars of 1956 (Suez), 1967 (The Six Day War) and 1973 (The Yom Kippur War) really settled none of the enmity, but resulted in Israel gaining huge tracts of land in addition to its original territory at the 1949 Truce.
The Arabs would not give up their demand to reclaim the lands they had lost as a result of their own aggression in each case. Israel actually annexed (officially added to the country) the Golan Heights and the Old City of Jerusalem and its eastern suburbs; they did not annex Judea and Samaria (called by the Arabs “the West Bank”) or Gaza or the Sinai. But they did administer these territories as the de facto owners.
Since that time they have ceded Sinai to Egypt in a peace treaty, and Gaza to the Palestinian Authority, which was usurped by Hamas in an election. The PA has nominal control over the ‘West Bank’ including Hebron, Jericho and Nablus (Shechem).
Since the Oslo Accords of 1993, the enmity between Israel and the Palestinians has continued. One major suppressing factor on terrorism has been the construction of The Wall which Israel has constructed running roughly along the ‘Green Line’ – the truce line of 1967.
Like the 1940s and 1950s, the period since seems absolutely peppered with “peace talks” which have borne no fruit. But the talking – or attempting to talk – continues. Israel has learned quite thoroughly that concessions do not lead to peace but to the Arab perception of weakness on the part of Israel. Their attitude makes for a no-win scenario. The violence emanating from Gaza against Jews has been many times as great since, in 2007, the Jews abandoned their holdings in Gaza and moved all the Jews out of the area. Hamas now is reported to have at least 10,000 missiles in place in Gaza – all aimed at Israel.
Israel’s withdrawal of forces from southern Lebanon likewise brought an intense infiltration of the forces of Hezbollah into south Lebanon to the extent that there are now estimated to be 100,000 missiles of all sorts on Israel’s northern border!
The forces of Hamas in Gaza and of Hezbollah in Lebanon are subsidized and largely supported by Iran who is known to have donated equipment, ammunition, supplies and money amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.
At the same time, the Palestinian Authority whines and complains about not readily receiving Jerusalem as capital of a State of “Palestine” which it is determined to establish in Israel. In Arabic they make it quite clear that the portion of Israel they want is ALL of Israel – and to push the Jew into the sea.
Like earlier US presidents, President Obama has made it his goal to get the “two state solution” in place – virtually to force the Jews to accept the Arabs’ conditions of “peace” not even realizing what these actually are!
With Obama’s tacit approval the PA leader Abu Abbas, chairman of the PA, insisted on a ten month freeze on Jewish building in Yesha (Judea and Samaria) as an initial basis just for “talks.” Late in 2009, PM Benyamin Netanyahu conceded and put in place a ten-month hold on new construction; its end would come in early October. The peace discussions should have begun immediately.
But for nine months Abbas would not convene a meeting with Netanyahu while insisting upon preconditions which instead should have been decided in negotiations. Approximately 30 days before the end of the “freeze” on construction, Abbas then decided to sit down to discuss peace; and now his pre-condition was that Netanyahu extend the freeze again, at least for sixty days. Mr. Netanyahu refused to do so, reasoning that Abbas had wasted nine of the ten months quibbling over nothing and did not deserve the consideration.
Well, in the natural course of affairs, the PA immediately appealed to Mr. Obama to lean hard on Israel to extend the freeze. They wanted to make concrete demands for the “return of Arab refugees” who they claim were displaced during Israel’s wars with the Arabs; to negotiate borders prior to any other discussions; to negotiate Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital; to claim numerous ephemeral Palestinian “rights” even in the face of all their prior aggression against Israel and its people.
This matrix of unreasonable, even outrageous demands, became the major blockage of any progress. The prophets of Israel foretold this present troublesome history many centuries ago.
Zechariah 12: 2, 3: Behold I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all people that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
Jerusalem is the piece of the pie that is most coveted by the Arabs. During the second week of October, 2010, the Palestinian Authority Religious Affairs Minister threatened WAR over Jerusalem a mere week before “peace talks” in Washington. He warned that there would be war if Jerusalem is not “returned” to “its owners; and we are its owners.”
Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu, writing in WorldNetDaily reported that, “With PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in the audience, Mahmoud Al-Habbash declared in his Friday sermon, "Jerusalem can ignite a thousand and one wars,” according to a translation supplied by Palestinian Media Watch.
He is reported to have said, unless Jerusalem "becomes the capital of the Palestinian people, there is no peace … The term 'war' will not be erased from the lexicon ... as long as Jerusalem is occupied. If Jerusalem is dishonored, if Jerusalem is disgraced, if [Jerusalem] is lost, it may leave the door open to all possibilities of struggle, all possibilities of war.”
He continued in his rant: "Jerusalem is not just a city. Al-Aqsa is not just a mosque. Jerusalem is the key to peace…. Unless Jerusalem will be (sic) Palestinian, as it was throughout history, the capital of the Palestinian state and the capital of the Palestinian people, the place which is the object of heartfelt longing and which all Muslims aspire to reach; unless Jerusalem is like that way (sic), there is no peace. There is no peace without Jerusalem. There is no stability without Jerusalem.”
The PA Minister of Religious Affairs is pathetically ignorant and obtuse! The italicized statements in the above paragraphs indicate quite plainly his abysmal ignorance and insensitivity.
(1) He warned that there would be war if Jerusalem is not “returned” to “its owners; and we are its owners.” Not really, Mr. Al-Habbash! Your Koran doesn’t even MENTION Jerusalem once, and has nothing to say about its Owner, the Lord God of Israel, because your Koran knows only a diminutive stone idol called ‘allah’ chosen by Mahomet from 360 such ‘gods’ at the Kabala Stone at Mecca about 1400 years ago, which was about 2700 years after the living Creator and God of all the earth manifested Himself to Moses on Mount Sinai!
(2) "Jerusalem can ignite a thousand and one wars,” said he, apparently knowing little of the history of Jerusalem: that it has already done so. Yet, who holds Jerusalem today? The Jews. An enemy who shall soon NO LONGER EXIST can ignite NO conflict over Jerusalem; that outcome will soon become a fact.
(3) Unless Jerusalem "becomes the capital of the Palestinian people, there is no peace!” You must never have noted the history of Manasseh, who in II Chronicles 33:7 “… set a carved image (exactly similar to your “allah”), the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David, and to Solomon his son, ‘In this house and in Jerusalem have I chosen before all the tribes of Israel, WILL I PUT MY NAME FOREVER.” So how does such an usurper as yourself honestly feel he has a right to a City whose owner is The Almighty God of Israel? It shall NEVER become a “Palestinian” capitol.
(4) “as long as Jerusalem is occupied …” If you mean “inhabited” you’ve lost the game! Jerusalem shall be inhabited by the Lord God of Israel and His people the Jews forever; that’s a long time for you to wait.
(5) “If Jerusalem is dishonored, if Jerusalem is disgraced, if [Jerusalem] is lost, it may leave the door open to all possibilities of struggle …” Believe me, Jerusalem has been dishonored, disgraced, and LOST by you Arabs, never to be regained in a trillion years. Your cause is diseased and loathsome. Your goal is unattainable, vapid, and illusionary.
(6) “Unless Jerusalem will be Palestinian, as it was throughout history ….” Now, now … Don’t be so sure of your imaginary “history” of Jerusalem. It really NEVER has been “Palestinian” in identity. For 19 years (1948 to 1967) one could have called it Jordanian, but NEVER Palestinian. But let’s face it – the Jordanians won’t even allow your kind to inhabit their soil with any kind of freedom, but keep you sequestered in squalid “refugee camps” and feed you as little as possible, not allowing you to work or go to school. You are mere pawns on the international chess board, beggars from the UNO – the lowest of the low in your race’s estimation!
(7) “There is no peace without Jerusalem. There is no stability without Jerusalem.” You are correct! But your premise is entirely wrong. There is no peace outside of JEWISH possession of Jerusalem, and no stability of the local polity until that matter is settled for eternity. When your people had control of East Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967, your soldiers fired on Jewish citizens in West Jerusalem from the crenellated walls of the Old City each day. Your international crossing for neutral visitors was a dangerous no-man’s land at the Mandelbaum Gate, where tourists were forced to carry their luggage across a barren terrain watched over by soldiers of both sides. You trashed and destroyed everything Jewish in the Old City, including dozens of synagogues. You blocked the Western Wall with trash and debris. You imprisoned or expelled its Jewish citizens. You allowed no Jewish visitors to the Western Wall or the Temple Mount.
So there is absolutely no reason for anyone to suppose that the “peace talks” are really that. For they are not! Because the province of Syrian Palestine was once controlled by Turkey – a Muslim Empire – the Arabs now consider the entire land to be Islamic forever. In their mind it MUST be liberated from the “infidel” (i.e., anyone who disagrees with Mahomet and his “allah”) at some point; Islam’s ignorant Imams dictate no rest until it is so liberated. Then, when all formerly Muslim land has been reclaimed such as Spain, South France, the Balkans, etc., the Muslims intend then to continue on to conquer the rest of the world! In their minds the entire world must be converted to Islam. It is the only way for them to prove the invincibility of “allah” over all others.
It is a vain, blatantly goofy, and unrealistic goal! If Islam gained control of the world it could not even feed the population. Technology would be thrown out and abandoned. Nearly everything that did NOT exist during the life of Mahomet would be repudiated. Even bicycles would be forbidden as a mode of transportation (but the jackass would be back in style!). The world would regress to the darkest of the Dark Ages. Sharia Law would prevail everywhere – a severe system of rules and regulations that are repressive to women and every non-Muslim, demonic in its scale of punishments for even minor transgressions, reflecting the whims and desires of the Mullahs, with no attention to divinely given rights of humanity. Civilized society would not survive.
We can be absolutely certain that this will not be humanity’s destiny, for it is not Yahweh’s will!
The God of Israel has “appointed a day (Acts 17: 31, in the real Scriptures) in the which He will judge the world in righteousness, by that Man Whom He hath ordained, whereunto He hath given assurance to ALL men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.” Muslims, if they consider themselves “men” are included in that announcement; they shall not be able to escape it.
So the Muslim world must face the music. Jerusalem as their permanent capital of “Palestine” is a hooka-pipe dream having no possibility or basis in reality. So just give it up now, and start spending the relief money on food for the squalid masses instead of ammunition.
So the burdensome aspect of Jerusalem shall continue for a while yet and grow even more acute. As we can see almost daily, the intrigue over the city is growing quickly and deeply. The popular news media of the world favor the “Palestinian” cause. They object to any new building in Jerusalem, and even the replacement of illegally constructed houses in the Silwan area of the City, south of Temple Mount adjacent to the Pool of Siloam, an area which, like so many, is hideously blighted by Arab squatters. The Municipality of Jerusalem plans to demolish about 20 houses which never obtained building permits – masonry shacks really – to make room for a new park to be called The King’s Gardens. It will be a lovely recreational area for Jerusalemites of all religions modeled upon the gardens planted there by King David over 3,000 years ago.
Of course the news media has leaped upon this project with rabid disfavor. Leslie Stahl of Sixty Minutes absolutely excoriated the Mayor of Jerusalem on a recent Sunday, whining that the plan would “compromise the peace process!” Leslie! … just breathing in and out will accomplish the same purpose! We wonder if she is really so obtuse as to believe that this is a real process, or that it will ever “go forward,” or achieve any positive results.
But that’s the way it is this week in strife-ridden Jerusalem, the renowned City of Peace, whose tranquility is not ready to settle upon it quite yet. Still, the admonition Sha’alu Shalom Yerushalyim – to “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem” – still stands, and is more urgent than ever before.
<HEL MD/USA, June, 2012>
The eProphecy Letter
All the Nations of the Earth Against Jerusalem?
An eTPL Position Paper
H E Lafferty
Please Note: Although there is a separate Section for Position Papers, we feel strongly enough about this matter to issue it as our offering for May.
There has for many years existed among sincere believers the strong conclusion that every nation on earth in some form or another would be gathered literally and physically against Jerusalem to battle, and that this is the “battle of Armageddon.”
We have adequately addressed the subject of Armageddon in other papers, so that consideration is not part of this present essay.
Is this a valid conclusion – that all the nations of the whole earth shall gather physically against Jerusalem – and by implication – against Israel?
What do the scriptures have to say about it?
We need to consider the facts as well as we can determine them. And we can do that!
Chief among biblical commentaries on the subject is the 12th chapter of Zechariah. It comprehensively addresses the historical time in which we live today. We quote it below and comment on its message. (This A. V. text is as downloaded from E Sword.)
Zechariah 12:1 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
Zec 12:2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling (Strong H7478, ra’al, a reeling (from intoxication, trembling) unto all the people
round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.This “cup” relates directly to intoxication with the subject of Jerusalem and its possession. If you have ever observed a drunken person closely – one severely affected by ethyl alcohol – you will have noted his intense difficulty with walking, his incoherent reasoning, his disturbed balance, his misplaced logic, his slurred speech.
It is a pitiful state of incompetence and failure of character.
A rudimentary test of intoxication by police officers is to have the subject try to walk a straight line – which he cannot do; he reels side to side, and falls forward or backward, uncoordinated, and often quivering or convulsing. He cannot with certainty even touch his nose with an outstretched finger – a simple task easily accomplished when in full charge of his faculties.
The Islamic idealism of possession of Jerusalem is extremely similar. They are intoxicated with the notion that Jerusalem is theirs to possess to the utter exclusion of the Jews whose capital city it is. They are obsessed with Jerusalem as surely as an alcoholic is addicted to drink; they are unable to withdraw from their intention to possess it at all costs (cf., Psalm 83: 12).
Another comment of Zechariah adds enlightenment here as to the siege of the City: Zech 14: 14 And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.
Are we aware of a siege against Jerusalem and Judah (the Jewish State) having occurred in our lifetime? YES! It has been an ongoing struggle officially since May, 1948, when Israel proclaimed itself a state; it was already occurring against the Jews who had made Aliyah before that date. They were being killed and ravaged in disturbing numbers leading up to the proclamation of the state. Our day occupies the space just before the semicolon in the 14th verse; Israel has not yet gathered together the wealth of all the nations (heathen) round about her. That certainty lies in her future!
Meanwhile, she is in the midst of a siege – a protracted WAR. But it is a war prosecuted ONLY by the “people round about,” and no others; not all nations of the earth.
The War of Independence was forced upon Judah and Jerusalem by seven hostile powers at its birth in one day – May 14, 1948. The infant State survived – but lost the Old City of Jerusalem to the hostiles while maintaining possession of half the City (Zechariah 14:2).
But the next conflict within the Land (19 years later) was the Six Day War. Israel warned Jordan (which then occupied Old Jerusalem and the eastern portion of the ancient kingdom of Israel down to the River Jordan) to remain neutral. King Hussein did not heed their warning and instantly lost all the territory he had occupied in 1948 to the lightning strike issued by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The siege was actual and in real time as foretold by Zechariah! It was televised almost as it happened.
However, this was but one of the early stages of a protracted series of conflicts which shall yet end as Zechariah 14: 14 predicts – with “the wealth of all the heathen round about” (those we refer to as the Proximal Islamic States) being taken by God’s people.
We have not seen this outcome as yet, but the day draws nearer for it to occur.
Zec 12:3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
What of this terminology “all the people of the earth” – does that mean literally all the nations of the earth? In a geopolitical context it might; for example the UN member states almost unanimously, but only rhetorically, fret and fume over the “problem” of Jerusalem daily. Two thirds of all the legal decisions of the UN Security Council have been concerned with Israel, specifically – a people which forms about 1/1000 of the entire population of the earth. In a real sense, ALL the people of the earth ARE NOW gathered against Jerusalem (as representative of the entire Israeli people and nation).
But who is actively engaged in the struggle? Only the nations round about are “gathered together against it” as a physical reality, and are intimately concerned with taking Jerusalem as the capital of a “Palestinian” state, and of ridding the land of all the Jews.
Regardless of our personal convictions, this fact is extremely important to a basic understanding of this “problem.” These specific enemies are those who are designated “all the people of the earth” for the earth is the “earth” of God’s land; all these powers inhabit God’s land at the present time – which land is that designated by the Promises to Abraham in Genesis 12 and 15 et seq; and to his descendant David and his Son in II Samuel 7.
The Hebrew for “earth” here is Strong’s H776, eretz, from an unused root, probably meaning to be firm, the earth (at large, or partivively, a land) which in this case is God’s Designated Land of Israel – for they are all the remaining “other” inhabiters at this time, later to be expelled and their wealth appropriated to the Lord’s kingdom and people.
Therefore it is the inhabitants of THAT specific “earth” that are gathered together against it in a most unified attack, as we see daily being constructed and mounted against God’s people.
We believe such details are supremely important to our deeper, more sensitive, more accurate understanding of God’s intent; it is in the intense study of the fine details of the prophets’ utterances that the finer points of transition and fulfillment are discerned. These CANNOT be overlooked or ignored because in them is the essence of His revelation to us! In this way the picture comes alive for our studied consideration and profit.
Zec 12:4 In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every (enemy) horse with astonishment, and his (enemy) rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the (enemy) people with blindness.
Zec 12:5 And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God.
Zec 12:6 In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.
That phraseology indicates a safe, SURE habitation of her rightful place – ALL parts of the City (East and West, North and South) as eternal Capital of the entire Inheritance … purely and simply … and straightforwardly!
Have we not seen this described strength of Israel already manifested? What about the lightning manner in which Israel took the Old City in the Six Day War? – a conflict which lives in the military exploits of the world as not only one of the most rapid but also one of the most decisive victories ever won by a military force in all history! As a result, Jerusalem was “inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.” And note specifically that it was the forces of JUDAH which did this – the identity of Israel as constituted at present. The dispute rages on with the defeated enemies whining and complaining of their oppression at Israel’s hand!
But so far we have seen only the leading edge of Israel’s strength, enhanced without any doubt by the power of God being expressed through the Archangel Michael, the angel who “stands for the children of (Daniel’s) people” (the Jews) – Daniel 12: 1-2. We believe the nations of Israel’s enemies have not seen anything yet! Its divine strength shall be seen clearly when Israel shall DEVOUR all the people round about!
Zec 12:7 The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.
Zec 12:8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.
Here Judah is being led by “the Lord” Who is defending them, their being God’s battle axe and weapon of war …. But in a different case than the text in which similar phraseology is found: Jeremiah 51:20 Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms; here the text referred specifically to Babylon as target of his people. This entire chapter is concerned with the fate of Babylon at the hand of the Medes and Persians; but its meaning extends also to the nations as punished terminally by ISRAEL in the day of ITS strength and favour – actions which are graphically depicted in this 8th verse of Zechariah 12, the angel of the Lord being designated Michael, the Archangel of Israel.
Zec 12:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
Herein lies one of the major reasons that we can be certain that not all the nations of the earth (from Iceland to Argentina to Mynamar) are destined to “come against Jerusalem” in any physical way.
Because our Father decidedly tells us that ALL THESE which DO come against Jerusalem shall be DESTROYED. If He thus destroys all the nations of the whole earth (instead of all the limited number of (designated) nations that come against Jerusalem) he would have no subjects for His future kingdom. There would be no nations left to convert to the way of life in that kingdom. He should have destroyed all future hope of the international conversion of peoples to the Gospel which He clearly intends.
Think about that!
It is critically important to the understanding of this prophecy!
One other critical consideration is this: The purpose of this war over Jerusalem is to rid THE LAND of the brute beasts which threaten Israel and its people – not to acquire all the nations of the earth and subject them to Christ in this early action. Christ’s kingdom is prophesied to expand and develop in a progressive, orderly, unrelenting fashion. His first goal is to clear the Land of Israel – its Abrahamic Inheritance for Israel – of all enemies and threats. This action shall achieve that end perfectly!
Zec 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
It is decisively AT THIS TIME that Messiah is to be revealed to the children of Judah – the house of David – as they look upon Jesus Whom they previously have denied, and recognize Him as their long-awaited Messiah. That recognition brings about the great mourning described in the next verses. It is equivalent to the mourning they observed when King Josiah was slain at Hadadrimmon.
After that time their blessing shall be greater by far than their oppression and punishment to date. He shall do better to them then than at their beginning (Ezekiel 36:11).
Zec 12:11 In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.
Zec 12:12 And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart;
Zec 12:13 The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart;
Zec 12:14 All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.
ANOTHER SERIOUS FACET
TO ALL THESE ENDTIME AFFAIRS
There is another facet to the above discussion which is extremely relevant, and it is this:
Some readers of prophecy (I cannot use the term “students” – and certainly not “scholars”) stubbornly claim that Israel as we know it is destined for a great defeat at the hand of someone – some national power or coalition (Gogian, Islamic, or International?? – views differ) – And that there will be (another) 2/3 destruction of God’s people! That the remnant of these now in the Land shall be scattered to Egypt yet again, and be finally rescued by the returned Lord Jesus.
Yet, even a cursory overview of the above consideration absolutely denies that this can happen! [And besides, that scenario is not that which is prophesied to be expected; that scenario is a figment of someone’s imagination which has NO BASIS for credence!]
WHAT MAY WE REALLY EXPECT??
The Prophet is entirely clear:
· Zechariah 12: 3 concretely states that all Jerusalem’s enemies that burden themselves with it shall be CUT IN PIECES …
· Zechariah 12: 4 concretely states that every horse (instrument or war or terror) shall be smitten with BLINDNESS and his rider with MADNESS…
· Zechariah 12: 5 concretely states that the inhabitants (of Jerusalem) shall be my STRENGTH in the Lord …
· Zechariah 12: 6 concretely states that the governors of JUDAH shall be like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left … and further that Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.
· Zechariah 12: 7 concretely states that The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah.
· Zechariah 12: 8 concretely states that In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem not allow them to be conquered and destroyed! – stating that even the weakest among them shall exhibit the mastery of David over his enemies, and the stronger ones (the house of David) shall be AS GOD – as THE ANGEL OF THE LORD BEFORE THEM.
· Zechariah 12:9 concretely states that in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
· Zechariah 12: 10 surely puts the lie to the people’s being conquered and scattered, in the comprehensive statements, that I (GOD) will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
The intense and pervasive mourning that is depicted through verse 14, as well as all these preceding words of God, put the ETERNAL LIE to any notion that His people are EVER to be conquered and dispersed and murdered in ANY future time after being regathered the second time (Isaiah 11: 11)!
Those who claim that this is true give as an excuse for their prejudice (I do hesitate to use the phrase anti-Semitism against the people of modern Israel … but IS IT SUCH???) will offer their feeble objection that Israel is proud and arrogant – and depends upon itself and not God – for its defense; that it does not yet recognize Jesus as Messiah and Christ, so how could it justly expect such divine protection??
The claim that Israel depends upon itself is certainly true! This is a fact, at least in part – though not wholly applicable to everyone in Israel! After all, how can Israel REALLY depend upon others? It has proven to be a futile cause in the past, and only fragile promises are in front of them for allies in the present crisis. So they MUST depend upon themselves – even without the assurance that WE have as believers that they shall always have Eternal support.
HOWEVER … THIS CLAIM OF ISRAEL’S SELF-SUFFICIENCY (ENFORCED AS IT IS) IS A SERIOUS MISREADING OF GOD’S WORD. SUCH WOULD-BE EXPOSITORS ARE NOT WORTHY OF ANY CREDENCE. THEY HAVE SERIOUSLY GONE AGAINST THE CLEAR WORDS OF GOD. THEY HAVE NO GROUNDS FOR DEFENSE.
Are these critics (for such they are) completely unaware of the prophecy of Zechariah 12 and 13, in which the process of Israel’s recognition of its gross error is to be realized and all Israel brought to the humble repentance they require?
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE for Israel yet in (our) present time to know what they shall know and acknowledge in the near future – namely that Jesus of Nazareth IS their Messiah; that they DID erroneously crucify him (at least assented to that crime) in 29 AD; that all these things were CLEARLY foretold in the scriptures and that they IGNORED those words; that the Almighty has a plan for salvation for ALL the peoples of the earth; that Jesus of Nazareth IS THEIR Savior and on and on …
In short … it is unreasonable to claim that Israel was not destined to return to their land IN IGNORANCE of all these core principles! These critics have no excuse for their being unaware that the Jews of the world were commanded IN THEIR GROSS IGNORANCE to “return to the children of Israel” (i.e., to their Land) in the Endtime AFTER the Father’s period of having ABANDONED them for millennia came to its end – that is, more precisely that the Jews’ fortunes would drastically reverse WHEN SHE WHO WAS TO BRING FORTH BROUGHT FORTH – Micah chapter 5 is extremely relevant here – that is, when Israel was brought into existence (literally, birthed) by the Agency (the Jewish Agency of the World Zionist Organization) which actually “mothered” the State of Israel, bringing it forward to birth and delivering it 1948 under the DIRECT GUIDANCE AND HELP of the Archangel Michael – a factor which we are unmistakably taught by a faithful reading of Daniel 12: 1-2.
No critic of Israel can possibly have grounds for claiming that Israel cannot or could not return to its Land permanently without first accepting Christ as Messiah and all the implications involved in that realization – because that IS NOT what Zechariah was inspired to relate to faithful students of God’s word! It CANNOT have happened any other way – and especially not in the way implied in such severe critics’ minds when they make wild and unsubstantiated statements similar to those above.
Our understanding must be bent, shaped, and moulded to fit our Father’s stated intentions – not dictate to Him what must be done by His people at any given time!!
And so … Believe it or Not – Acknowledge it or Not – Admit it or Not – Agree to it or Not – even Like it or Not - all ends well for Israel just as it stands today! Her critics are dead wrong; the Word is dead right: no contest!
One final word: we do tend to become enthusiastic (exercised? dogmatic? – maybe – but at least, intelligently informed) when confronted with these insensitive and UNSUBSTANTIABLE claims of some unfeeling, hard-hearted, and false critics of Israel – but especially those who really have no excuse for not knowing otherwise – from among the Elect, the Chosen, the Redeemed.
We cannot resist defending God’s people Israel (for such they are!) in their present uninformed ignorance of God’s way, as yet unrealized by them.
Hath God cast away His people? inquired the Apostle (Romans 11: 1); God forbid!
They are to be commended greatly for resisting conversion and assimilation with blood and tear and treasure the centuries of apostasy and oppression of “Christian” opposition and the anti-Semitism which originated within Christendom and from its hired minions.
The Master’s final words to the Scribes and Pharisees of His day were those recorded in Luke 13: 34, 35 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! 35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
That specific “coming” is addressed in Zechariah 12 and 13, revealing exactly how Israel shall be brought forward not only to recognition (“seeing Him”) but also enthusiastic and sincere acceptance of Him by their somber recognition of His Strength and Benevolence on their behalf! They are “gonna be okay” folks! <HEL MD/USA, May 1, 2012> :: 3750 words.
The eProphecy Letter
In the eleventh and twelfth of Daniel, when is “the time of the end”? And, “whose” end, as well as, what is “ending”? There are a number of possible different and distinct “ends” addressed in this one vision.
There is the “time of the end” of the last king of the south (11:40). There is the “time of the end” of the last king of the north (11:45). There is the “end” – to “accomplishing [“to finishing”] to scattering the … holy people” (12:1 & 12:7). There is the “time of the end” (12:3-4 & 13) pertaining to the resurrection of the saints, and finally the “end” of the “sealing” of the vision (12:9) – the time period when believers will be permitted a correct understanding of the vision, especially the latter day end-time periods – the 1260, 1290 and 1335 days (12:7-12) and their correct interpretations. Presently, no one has put forth any reasonable cohesive explanation connecting the 1260 and the 1290 to the 1335 days. The end day of 1335, is still apparently “sealed” – closed to a correct interpretation.
It is important when we attempt to answer these questions, that we make no mental separation or distinction between the 11th and 12th chapters. Both chapters are part of the one-vision and should so be interpreted. It would be a serious mistake to mentally separate the one-vision based upon the insertion of the break often offered by chapter divisions.
Originally, all Old Testament Scriptures (with the exception of the Greek LXX translation in around 275 BC), were one continuous book with no insertion of vowels, punctuations marks, spacing between words, nor chapter or verse designations. Chapters, and a little later on verses, were first introduced into our New Testament Bible by Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury who died in 1228. This system was extremely effective and therefore received universal acceptance. Shortly thereafter, Jewish scholars introduced chapter division into the Old Testament and in 1448 Rabbi Nathan introduced verse divisions into the Old Testament. Rabi Nathan’s verse designation was quickly adopted in the New Testament.
It is important to recognize that chapter and verse designations are man-made and not part of original Scripture. Consequently we must accept, based upon the internal evidence of Daniel 11 and 12, that the vision that begins in 11:1 is one continuous vision which does not finish until the end of the book of Daniel.
The vision begins in the “first year of Darius … the Mede” (Dan. 11:1 & 9:1). This was coincidentally also the “first year of Cyrus king of Persia [the first year of the Medo/Persian Empire]” who “made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom … saying … he [God] has charged me to build him an house in Jerusalem [marking the restoration from or the “end” of the first Babylonian captivity (scattering) of the “holy people”] (Ezra 1:1-2). The vision that begins in the eleventh chapter of Daniel begins at the same time that the land of Israel had completed her “Seventy years Sabbath’s rest” (Daniel 9:2; Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10; 2 Chron. 36:20-23 and Isaiah 44:26-28 + 45:1-5). This same time period also determined the “end” of the first Babylonian scattering with the return of the Jews and the uniting of the “holy people” of Israel with the “land of Israel” under Ezra and Nehemiah.
The vision contained in Daniel 11 and 12 continues chronologically. After “three kings of Persia” we have the “Grecian” king Alexander the Great (331 BC), who upon his death, his kingdom “shall not [be left] to his posterity.” Alexander having no heirs, his kingdom was to be divided “unto the four winds” (Daniel 11:4). Each of Alexander’s four Generals received his own sovereign territory. General Ptolemy Lagus controlled the land south of Jerusalem (Dan.11:5). General Seleucus Nicator controlled the land North of Jerusalem (Dan. 11:6). “The northern kingdom continued till B.C. 67, when it was attached to the iron leg; the southern kingdom … [to A.D. 29], when it was also merged into the iron dominion.” (Elpis Israel, 1958, pp. 325-6).
As history progressed, we come to the “last days” of the Jewish commonwealth – the “end” of the Jewish age in AD 33-70 with the sacrificial atonement of Jesus “Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 14:61-2), for the redemption, not only of the Jews, but also of “the world” (John 3:16). Subsequently, after the third “overturning” (Ezek 21:27) of the three Levitical temples in Jerusalem – (1) Solomon’s temple; (2) Nehemiah’s temple, and (3) Herod's temple) – we have the Roman worldwide, second scattering (Diaspora) of the “holy people” in AD 135 (cf., Isaiah 11: 11).
The last “king of the north”: After around 600 A.D., Arab Islam, coming out of Saudi Arabia gained military control of the Middle East. The “end” of this Islamic empire over Jerusalem occurred in 1917. The last Islamic king of the north (Dan. 11:45), who desired to continue the “scattering of the holy people” (Dan. 12:7), was the Ottoman Empire. The prophecy continues chronologically, and so should our prophetic interpretation of events.
What follows chronologically, after the end of the last Islamic “king of the north” is that “a time of trouble for the children of thy [Daniel’s] people” (12:1) takes place.
The “children of thy people” can only mean the “children of Israel – the “holy people” (12:7); that’s what this vision is entirely about – what those who “rule the Earth” have done or will do to Jerusalem as represented in the Jewish community – God’s “holy people.”
There are two excellent reasons why the “children of thy people” cannot apply to the saints.
· Firstly, the saints only become immortal (Dan. 12:3) after the last king of the north “comes to his end.”
· Secondly, if the “holy people” in verse 12:1 has reference to Christian saints, what is their (place in the) fulfillment in the events mentioned from 11:1 through verse 45? Surely the Scriptural prophecies contained between Dan. 11:1 and verse 45 can only have reference to natural Israel and not to Spiritual Israel – the saints. Therefore, natural Israel, and only after the demise of the “last king of the north” (11:45) is to experience a “time of trouble, such a never was, since there was a nation” (12:1).
Consequently, the “time of trouble” (Dan. 12:1), can only be applied to the Jewish community. Furthermore, this time of trouble chronological occurs after the destruction of the last king of the north Dan. 11:45) – the Ottoman Empire. After the demise of the Ottoman Empire in 1917, the Jews are to experience trouble “such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time” (12:1). This is what Jeremiah prophesied as “the time of Jacob’s trouble...in a land that is afar” (Jer. 30:7-10). This “time of trouble” (Dan.12:1) was the European Holocaust which occurs during Israel’s “captivity” and, in a land that is “afar” (Jer. 30:10).
This “time of Jacob’s trouble” was to be a unique event in the annals of human history – “such as never was since there was a nation event to that time”. It was the attempted Nazi genocide of the entire Jewish population living under Hitler’s domain – the “final solution” for Jews living in Hitler’s Europe (1933-1945). Twelve years: one year for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Sadly, the spirit of “fear & trembling” which God had prophesied would be the Jewish spirit in and throughout their scattering – the Diaspora (see Deut. 28:64-67, Lev. 26:33-38) would assist the Nazi party (as well as IBM’s high speed punch-card technology – see IBM AND THE Holocaust by Edwin Black, 2001), into efficiently herding millions upon millions of Jews, compliantly first into ghettos, and then into concentration camps from which few escaped. Hitler’s mega-mania was successful in accomplishing a “2/3 – 6,000,000 extermination of European Jewry” (Washington Holocaust Museum, also see Jewish History Atlas by Martin Gilbert). The Holocaust which lasted from 1933 to 1945 was the “time of Jacob’s trouble” as prophesied in the “2/3 destruction” spoken of in Zech. 13:7-9 and the “time of trouble” (Daniel 12:1) for the “holy people” – natural Israel (Daniel 12:7).
The prophecy then continues; “and at that time [1947 U.N. vote] thy people [Daniel’s people – the Jewish community] shall be delivered [in type, the resurrection (Ezek. 37) of the sovereign State of Israel in 1948 (Daniel 12:1)]. During the early years of the Holocaust, and for those who were able to purchase their escape, and because of German laws, they were permitted to take (only) one suitcase (as they fled Europe), for only those Jews bound for Palestine, the majority of the 1/3 that remained, ended up in the land of Palestine.
An important distinction in this prophecy, is that no one would be able to fully understand the entirety of the prophecy, especially the latter end “days” portion, because Daniel was instructed to “shut up the words, and seal the book [the vision that he has just been given], even to the “time of the end ” (Dan. 12:4 & 9). In other words the correct interpretation of this vision would not be possible until very close to the “time of the end,” whenever or whatever “end” is being addressed. But, when that “end” does occur, believers will have the insight (or more accurately, the hindsight) to get a complete and correct understanding of the vision.
Accordingly, almost all commentators, Christians and Christadelphians alike, are in general agreement in the interpretation of the first two-thirds of this vision (the first 2000 years), up to around the 40th verse of Daniel 11, which introduces the “end” of the last “king of the south” as well as the last “king of the north,” both of whom opposed the resurrection, or the re-establishment of a “national homeland” for the Jewish community in the ancient homeland – the land of Israel.
There has always existed among all, a great many different interpretations beginning from verse 11:40 to the end of Daniel 12:13. Specifically, this is because the vision was “closed up and sealed till [or, until] the time of the end” (Dan. 12:9).
Unfortunately for Christadelphia, John Thomas took his faithful sleep in Christ in 1871, which was before the beginning of any of the “times” of any of the “ends” as identified in our second paragraph. This is the main cause why both John Thomas, as well as all the other non-Christadelphian prophetic expositors on the “day,” and a very limited number of the related events (those events directly dealing with the nations and their relationship with the resurrection of the State of Israel), as well as Christ’s Second Advent did not come, nor will come to fruition.
In no century in human history was there a greater concentration of highly qualified, enormously insightful biblical scholars as those who lived in the 1800’s. Almost all of our Christian reference books such as concordances and scholarly commentators were produced in the 1800’s. Even in the area of prophecy, for both Christadelphians and non-Christadelphians alike, no other century comes even close to matching the quality and quantity of tremendous biblical scholars and their prolific production of great Christian writings. Yet despite their enormous biblical wealth, they all missed the mark in the interpretation of Daniel’s end “days.” Please note that it was not (due to) their lack of biblical prophecy knowledge. On the contrary, they were of men, the most qualified biblical scholars the world has ever, or will ever know! Bible students living in the 1800’s simply lived a hundred years before the time when the vision could be correctly understood because in the 1800’s, the vision was still “sealed up” – closed to a correct interpretation.
From Daniel 12:5 to 12:13 various time periods are given to facilitate the “end” of these events. It will not be our object to discuss these days, but rather to concentrate on the primary purpose for this vision, which is given in the closing words of 12:7. These closing words are similar to the opening words spoken at the beginning of the vision. Both having reference to the “end” of the two scatterings (the first by the Babylonians, and the second by the Romans) of the “holy people.”
In the opinion of this writer, the latter part of Daniel 12:7 is the most important and key portion of the entire vision. If one correctly understands this portion of the vision, one will not be far from a correct, comprehensive understanding of the entire vision.
Daniel 12:7 “… and when he [the last king of the north] shall have accomplished [finished his desire] to scatter the power of thy holy people, all these things shall be finished [have their “end” with the resurrection of the State of Israel – a type of the resurrection of the saints – Christ’s Second Advent].”
Daniel 12:7 “… when the dispersion [Diaspora] is ended [with the resurrection of the State of Israel] they shall [begin] to know all things” (Septuagint – LXX).
Who is the “he”? With the exception of “Darius the Mede” at the very beginning of the vision (11:1), no other king or person is specifically identified by a name! So, how do we go about identifying who the “he” is? We can do so only by following the principle of consistency of interpretation. Contained within this vision are the interactions between the kings, north and south of Israel. Whenever a king, or in a few cases, a Queen’s actions is involved, pronouns such as he, him, she, her, they or them are used. This occurs over 60 times in this vision. The major pronoun employed is “he.” The last king to be identified by the word “he” is the last king of the north. Therefore, we can conclude, based upon consistency of interpretation, that the “he” in the latter part of 12:7 has reference to the last “king of the north,” whose demise – “coming to his end” – is specifically mentioned in (11:45).
Who are “thy holy people”? “When the LORD thy God shall bring thee [the Jewish people] into the land whither thou goest to possess it … For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people[s] that are upon the face of the earth” (Deut. 7:1 & 6). “And the LORD has avouched [chosen] thee this day to be his peculiar [distinct, special] people, as he hath promised thee … that thou mayest be a holy people unto the Lord thy God, as he hath spoken” (Deut. 26:18-19). The “holy people” are the Jewish people – the “people of Israel” who desire to return and be united with the “land of Israel” – Zion, Zionism – the present State of Israel.
The Ottoman Empire (1288-1917) was the last Islamic “king” north of Jerusalem (whose capital was in modern day Turkey) who desired to continue the second Jewish scattering. He was the last king north of Jerusalem who resisted the resurrection (Ezek. 36 & 37) of the Israeli people to Statehood. “He” came to his “end” on Oct. 3, 1917 with his surrender because of Britain’s unquestionable victory at Megiddo (Sept., 1917), “between the seas [the Mediterranean and Galilean seas] … yet he shall come to his end” (11:45) during WW1.
Just as we had at the end of the first Jewish scattering Cyrus’ proclamation, we coincidentally have, at the same time of the “end” of the second Jewish scattering – the “end” of the Ottoman Empire, we have, Lord Balfour’s Declaration (Nov. 2, 1917), speaking on behalf of the British government, expressing their desire for the establishment of a “national homeland” for the Jewish people – the “holy people.” After the end of the WW1 (1917), Britain for the most part, had dominion over much of the Middle East.
While Britain, with her lips, professed a “national homeland” for the Jews from shortly after 1917, she did everything in her power as occupier of the land of Israel to resist and hinder Jewish immigration and the establishment of a Jewish State in Palestine. This even went as far as offering Uganda, Africa as the “national homeland” for the Jews to Dr. Herzl, who in his biblical ignorance accepted the offer. Shortly after Herzl’s unexpected natural death, and Uganda was rejected, Britain issued the infamous “black paper,” whose intention was to reverse what the Belford Declaration initial stated. British officers organized and trained an Arab army – the Arab League into an effective fighting machine that was permitted to accumulate and bear arms. At the same time, Britain prohibited all Jews from carrying and accumulating arms – guns that would be critically necessary for the establishment of an independent Jewish State. From shortly after WW1, and after WW2, Britain was virtually in a “state of war” with the “people of Israel” living in the “land of Israel.” Britain was because of severe financial bankruptcy, forced to pull out of the Middle East by midnight, April 13, 1948.
“Harold Beeley [1947, spokesperson for the British Minister] allowed himself a frank prediction: “There is no prospect that a two-thirds majority [of the United Nations] will vote for a solution satisfactory to Zionism … any motion involving partitioning would fail…” The then-current view among Zionists was that an imperial power [Britain] rarely moves out of anywhere voluntarily and that even if the United Nations adopted a partition resolution, Britain would cling to Palestine tooth and nail” (Personal Witness Israel Through My Eyes by Abba Eban, p.103).
On November 29, 1947 the United Nations started to vote on a “two state” plan to partition Palestine that would have permitted an independent Jewish State west of the Jordan River (as well as an independent Arab state also west of the Jordan) in addition to the already existent Arab state (today’s Jordan) east of the Jordan River. At that time, based upon the pre-voting position of the nations, the conventional wisdom was that the
Partition Plan would fail because it could not muster the 2/3 approval of those that were permitted to vote.
However, at the 11th hour, France obtained a 24 hour extension of the vote. During this critical period, somehow a few nations changed their pre-voting positions from a “No,” or Abstention, to a “Yes.” Two of these nations were France and the United States. Consequently, the UN Partition plan passed with two extra votes. It should be noted that the British government’s position was to “abstain.” Given the fact that a 2/3 majority was necessary for passage, Britain’s abstention amounted to a “no” vote against Israeli Statehood.
Only as a consequence of the Holocaust sympathy vote, did 2/3 of the United Nations of “this world” sanction the formation of an independent Jewish State in Palestine (the Roman name for the “land of Israel”). After about 1800 years, the Roman scattering of the Jewish people finally came to its “end” with the resurrection (Ezek. 37:1-14) and establishment of the sovereign State of Israel (Ezek. 37:15-21), with United Nations approval. 2/3 of European Jewry had already dearly paid for the 2/3 UN approval vote. The Holocaust was the redemption price the Jewish community paid for the resurrection of the State of Israel on April 14, 1948 (Daniel 12:1-4).
Why the last “king of the north” is not Gog-Russia of Ezekiel 38-9. There are two very valid reasons.
The first is that if Russia is the last king of the north, then a correct interpretation of chronological Scriptures demands that Russia must first come to her “end” (11:45) prior to the resurrection and immortalization of the saints – prior to Christ’s Second Advent (12:2-4)!
Most scholars we know, from a correct understanding of the prophetic writings of John Thomas have concluded that the proper and correct interpretation of a vision – a prophecy – is that it be interpreted in a historical and chronological manner. This writer, without going into the reasons why, believes that this principle is indisputably true, and should be followed without exception if one genuinely seeks the correct interpretation of any vision – or prophecy.
Now if we adhere to the correct rule of continuous chronological interpretation of a vision, and if we follow our traditional method of interpretation of around 160 years, we are faced with an insurmountable contradiction. The conundrum is that Gog-Russia comes to his “end” (11:45), before the resurrection of the “saints” (12:2-4), or its first application (type), the resurrection of the State of Israel in 1948 (12:1-2)!! Gog hadn’t even appeared when that event occurred!
Now … Will Gog-Russia come to his “end” before the resurrection of the saints from the dead (the “shadow” of that earlier”type”)? Do any of our expositors believe that? Does anyone have any reasonable explanation to this interpretive contradiction? If a “contradiction” continues to remain unresolved, this surely means that the original hypothesis is incorrect.
The second is that the last king of the north (Daniel 11: 44. 45) desires to continue the scattering of the Jewish people (12:7). Contrary to this the nation of Russia in Dec. of 1947, at the United Nations forum, voted in favor of an independent Jewish State, which signified (brought about) the end of the Roman second scattering of Jews. With respect to the re-establishment of a “Jewish homeland,” the goal of the last king of the north, and the goal of the Russian government in 1947, were complete opposite goals. Therefore, the two cannot be the same power.
Conclusion: In the opinion of this writer, so far and by far the best interpretation of Daniel’s prophetic dates in 12:5-7 was by James Laird, whose dates rightly concern themselves with the resurrection of the State of Israel in 1947-8 (See Christadelphian Advocate April 1985, p.119). The reason his interpretation was and continues to be the best, is because James Laird was the earliest scholar living near the “end” of “the scattering of the power of thy holy [Jewish] people,” which occurred in 1948 with the resurrection or establishment of the State of Israel. He understood this process before almost all others.
James Laird’s exposition has at its heart, that from Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian captivity (the beginning of the first “scattering,” when adjustments are made from BC to AD, we have the accumulation of 2520 days of years (“time – 360 days, times – 720 days, and half – 180 days” = 1260 days; “left and right hand,” two 1260 day (year) periods = 2520 years,12:7), ending in 1917. This same year was coincidentally the “end” of the last king of the north (the Ottoman Empire), who occupied both north and south of Israel and was also completely opposed to Israeli Statehood. At the same time period, we again, coincidentally have the Belford declaration which promised an independent sovereign State of Israel. When one then adds the 30 years difference between the 1260 and 1290, we come to 1947, the year that the United Nations passed its Partition Plan lawfully permitting the sovereign State of Israel.
In the opinion of this writer, the best prophetic interpretation of the one-vision that is contained in Daniel 11 & 12, are those interpretations which deal with the end of the scattering, or the re-establishment – the resurrection of the Jewish people as an independent sovereign State.
The best interpretation of the latter-day 1335 days (Daniel 12:10-13) will similarly come from an association with “the holy people” – The Jewish State of Israel.
<Joe Arabia; 2012-4-10; originally written, 2007-11-20>
The eProphecy Letter
Rapidly Changing Alliances All Around Israel
H E Lafferty
Rapid, deliberately significant changes are occurring in nearly all the powers surrounding Israel, leading steadily toward the alliances we have long perceived for the predicted fulfillment of Endtime prophecies. For some time we have realized that there were certain contrary alliances which needed adjustment and rearrangement in order to bring the loyalties of certain groups into the major, final, working groupings that are foretold by the sages of Israel. The entire Middle East is a roiling, seething, tortuously self-adjusting organism that we behold in wonder as the political, economic, ecclesiastical and militaristic forces of the deftly shifting influences work their wonders on the main players in this incredible drama of the ages.
We are encouraged in one sense by what we see, and awestruck by other observations. We offer this somewhat ponderous, complex, mid-stream summation of the events as we view them today with only a few selective observations of Bible commentary upon these. These comments are not to be considered exhaustive, as much-extended commentary should be employed to address the entire complex scenario. Indeed, CAN it be fully addressed or completely understood? This information may be more than you ever wanted to know about these troublesome, doomed affairs. However, we believe this intrigue and animosity is paramount to the rapid forward movement of the Almighty’s Plan for the Ages whether we may be “interested” or not.
Hezbollah in Lebanon is maintaining its animosity toward Israel, but is shifting its alliances away from Iran and Lebanon toward Egypt, aligning itself toward the alliances which appear to be the earlier chronological threat to Israel rather than the later aggression, and those among which these peoples are clearly designated by the prophets of Israel. This momentum moves the Edomites of south Lebanon significantly further from its sponsorship by Iran and in closer alliance with the “Palestinian” population among and surrounding Israel (see Obadiah, Isaiah 11 and 63) where they rightly fit.
Hezbollah, as proxy for the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, has just repudiated its support for the Syrian government as well – a move which compromises the alliance of Syria with Iran as these two polities sort themselves into distinct camps. Still, many commentators are worried that Hezbollah will be recipient of much of the arms stockpile of the Assad Regime as its defeat seems to draw nearer. If Syria is indeed defeated by the rebels they will effectively cut the arms supply line that has been traditionally in place between Iran and Hezbollah.
Hamas and the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt is steadily developing more solid unity against Israel. The treaty-governed natural gas supply to Israel from Egyptian wells has been interrupted and is now more fragile and uncertain than ever. The price of Egyptian natural gas has doubled for Israel. The natural gas pipeline has been sabotaged more than a dozen times during the past year – a reflection of the anarchy in the Sinai Peninsula and lack of Egyptian military control over the area since the Egyptian Revolution of a year ago. The Egyptian military government now in place has its plate full with affairs in the heartland and appears almost willing to relinquish its influence over Sinai. We cannot project whether this will continue.
Hamas in the Gaza Strip – a direct offshoot of the MB in Egypt – has now officially abandoned its offices and headquarters in Damascus. Several months ago, Khaleed Mashaal, its leader, concluded that Hamas could no longer support and benefit from the Syrian regime while it is butchering its own people, especially since it is the Syrian Moslem Brotherhood which is struggling to gain control of the revolt against Assad. And especially since that movement has won the approval of Hamas’ “spiritual adviser,” the Quatari-based Sheikh Yussef al-Qardawi and all other branches of the movement.
As a result, several of its leaders have sought and established residence elsewhere: in Egypt and in Jordan as well as in Gaza itself. But no Arab state except far-off Qatar has offered its services as the new headquarters of Hamas. Indeed, Egypt, Jordan and others have definitely said No! This leaves Khaleed Mashaal as no longer the undisputed leader of Hamas – and at loose ends as to a stable location for the movement.
The Palestinian Authority (the PA) is shifting toward greater cooperation with Hamas in Gaza in a lop-sided alliance of a “moderate” PA with a rabidly-terroristic Hamas leadership which vows never to recognize Israel’s right to exist. This is said by some observers to represent a significant distancing of the PA from any potential future negotiations with Israel, but this actually occurred two or three years ago after the Secretary of the PA, Mahmoud Abbas (a.k.a. Abu Mazen) refused to negotiate with Israel during a period in which Israel reluctantly agreed to cessation of construction in the Eastern precincts of Jerusalem for a short period.
In reality, the PA ALSO will not recognize Israel as a Jewish state with its sovereign rights of existence. Abbas is not a “moderate” enemy of Israel as some say: his doctoral dissertation, studies accomplished in a Soviet university in Moscow, was essentially a political tirade against the Jews of the world. It outrightly denied the Holocaust, claiming an insignificant number of Jews had been killed by Germany and that Hitler’s incineration devices and death camps were not really concerned with the Jewish people!
Abbas, like all Holocaust deniers, claims that the Holocaust sufferings of the Jews is greatly overblown in order to create worldwide sympathy (Exactly WHAT “worldwide sympathy?”) for the Zionist cause and a grossly unfair advantage over the oppressed, put-upon Arabs of the world who must now suffer because of this falsely-based sympathy. If I may say so, the man is an insufferable imbecile; but, then, are not most of the intractable enemies of our Lord and His people?
In Jordan, the natives are restive, creating greater tension within this weak neighbor of Israel, urging aggression against the Jewish state, creating unrest within the kingdom, moving the country closer to rebellion against “king” Abdullah II and his regime. Over 70% of his population is “Palestinian,” always threatening rebellion against him and overthrow of his government. Modern Jordan is Ammon and Moab of Obadiah’s prophecy as well as being featured in the graphic words of Isaiah 11: 14 - But they (Israel) shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west (Gaza); they shall spoil them of the east (Jordan) together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.
Saudi Arabia is now patently sharing Israel’s wariness of Iran, and is purchasing billions of dollars in new arms from the U.S., a move which has become a legitimate concern for Israel that its military edge is being eroded significantly as “the kingdom” plans to purchase squadrons of the new F-35 joint strike fighters being produced by Lockheed Martin Aircraft here in Maryland. In addition, the Saudis are now claiming the “right” to atomic weapons if Iran is indeed allowed to develop these; the Saudis have already made overtures to Russia for nuclear assistance (and Russia is always willing and anxious to assist).
The Saudis (who are Sunni Moslems) are acting to bolster the Gulf Emirates (who are also Sunnis) against Iranian (Shiite) aggression in the southern Persian Gulf. In related intrigue, Saudi Arabia has said it will “make up” the deficits in oil production which may result from the Iranian oil embargoes which are to take effect in the summer of 2012. Yet its thousands of miles of oil pipelines on the surface of its desolate sands lie vulnerable to random acts of sabotage from marauding enemies – the desperate Shiite foes of the Sunni monarchy, which the Shia perceive as friends of the West and even of Israel.
Essentially, the now widespread unrest in the Middle East is a palpable by-product of Sunni-Shiite rivalry and intrigue. It is hatred-filled, simmering animosity which has been in progress for centuries. And Israel is its only common, unifying enemy.
Egypt’s control of the Sinai has deteriorated to near anarchy among the numerous armed and militant Salafite gangs. These lawless ones are idealistically related to the Wahabis – the radically Fundamentalistic movement in Saudi Arabia – the realized, proven source of the 9/11 teams of terrorists who destroyed the Twin Towers in New York and damaged the Pentagon in Washington.
Whereas the Egyptian military once held effective control over the Sinai, it does not do so now due to the instability in Cairo. Lawless gangs of smugglers and assassins roam its dunes and wastelands at will, executing their plans without hindrance of law or order, effectively renting their services to those with the loosest purse-strings.
Hamas in the Gaza Strip is now flooding the Peninsula with arms, with suicide bombers, and with ground to ground missiles with impunity – exporting these through the smuggling tunnels connecting Gaza with the Sinai. Hamas has effectively co-opted the lawless Bedouin of the Sinai to unite with itself in drug smuggling operations, sabotage, and illicit arms operations, attacking Israeli traffic along the Beersheva-Eilat roadway, and even communicating with colleagues in neighboring Jordan in some of these operations.
Turkey is purchasing 100 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters from the U. S., a development which threatens to rival the Israel Air Force capabilities. Turkey is also siding with the Syrian rebels in the south, with the Kurds in the north, and with other splinter groups who are opposed to the repressive Al-Assad regime. Turkey, at odds with Iran, is actively opposing the Syrian regime, even creating security zones in the north for Syria’s oppressed people. Turkey, in withdrawing its support from the Syrian regime, sorts itself more definitively into the Gogian camp. Gomer and Togarmah of East-Central Turkey concludes Turkey’s future partnership in the Gogian affair as a willing ally, not as a polity invaded and conquered by Russia but as a Gogian counterpart.
Turkey’s recent, abrupt animosity and turn against its former friend and ally Israel has been expected by us for a long time and is finally in full bloom. It vilifies and resists Israel in every way, including quarrels over the vast oil and gas deposits recently discovered by Israel in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, and near Cyprus, the island nation recently divided by a Turkish takeover of the northern portion of Cyprus by aggression against its Greek administration to the south. This sudden Turkish turn against Israel has acted to cement much closer ties of Israel with Greece, the long-time foe of Turkey. In addition, Israel has been prompted to form closer ties with Cyprus even to the extent of establishing a military base there to accommodate Israeli aircraft assigned to watch over both Israeli and Cypriot oil and gas interests such as drilling platforms, protecting them from sabotage or other attacks.
The Arab League has withdrawn most of its observers from Syria in the last few days (February, 2012) citing its inability to effect any meaningful change in the civil war which is in progress there. For a while the League seemed ready to “impose” some sort of pacification upon Syria (by what means?) but lately has softened that approach, and even withdrawn many of its observers.
The problem is so immense and complex none of the principal actors have a workable solution to it. In the end, the socio-religious strife and internecine rivalry within Islam has brought this “cup of trembling” upon itself as clearly stated by Isaiah 51: 22 Thus saith thy Lord the LORD, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand (Israel’s hand) the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of my fury; thou shalt no more drink it again: 23 But I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee; which have said to thy soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and thou hast laid thy body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over. Even now, we behold clearly these down-treaders of God’s people now being shredded and murdered by their own hatred and in-fighting. No more shall they say to Jacob, “Bow down that we may go over” and no longer shall Jacob “lay thy body as the ground and as the street to them that (would go) over.”
Syrian rebels, being largely anonymous and leaderless (at least without any prominent leaders), are being considered by the West for arming against Bashar al-Assad, the bloody dictator of Syria, who has been ineffectual in putting down the rebellion against his government. The U. S. has retarded its supply of arms to the rebels so far saying it is not at all sure of the intentions, the real identity or loyalties of the rebels at this stage. Observers say Assad may try to start a war with Israel to take attention off his internal troubles with the rebels, but it is doubtful that he has this capability at this time. Entire sections of his army are now defecting to the rebel cause; most recently a Syrian officer drew away a company of over 200 other officers and men to rebel against their former leader. These groups assist the rebels immensely and help create pockets of safe haven for them with armed resistance against Assad’s remaining forces.
The Alawites – identified with the Assads: the distinct but powerful Shiite minority in Syria – are now struggling for their survival against the mostly Sunni Resistance of the people. Now that the Alawite-Shia are under siege, the families of this party are now said to be fleeing their homes and going into hiding, fearing that vengeful rebels will hunt them down and kill them. The rebels - the Sunni-Muslim branch of Islam – consist of over 70% of the 22 million people of Syria. They are an oppressed majority in that country. [Charlotte McDonald-Gibson, The Independent (UK) February 21, 2012]
Russia is actively supporting the Assad regime in Syria, having become an obvious “guard” to Syria (as well as Iran) specifically (Ezekiel 38: 7). It has established a Russian naval base at Latakia, Syria, and is making a progressive show of its naval force with the arrival of its only aircraft carrier and other smaller ships. Russia continues to supply arms to Syria on a credit basis as Syria’s treasury is becoming rapidly depleted in the present conflict. Vladimir Putin recently announced his plan drastically to modernize the rusting vessels of the Russian navy, replacing aging ships, adding many new capital ships and submarines over the next ten years. He also is anxious to equip the willing nations of Islam with Russia’s latest military equipment as well, adding to Russia’s character as “guard” to these peoples – a small but significant scriptural bookmark which give life and breath to God’s eternal word.
Iran is increasing its bellicosity toward Israel, lately claiming the national right to carry out pre-emptive military strikes against Israel if Iran deems Israel about to attack the Iranian Islamic Republic. Iran is increasing its supply of working nuclear centrifuges in seemingly secure underground facilities and making a bid to bring uranium enrichment to fissile-grade concentration of 90 percent, a process which is relatively easy once the 20 percent level has been achieved.
Iran is making a great show of moving forward on weapons development of several kinds – now claiming to be producing long-range missiles (10,000 km); increasing its naval strength and its reach (even to Syria); initiating new, extensive military exercises which amount to saber-rattling even against U.S. naval forces in and near the Persian Gulf; further threats of closing the Straits of Hormuz; cutting off oil exports to some Western European countries ahead of their imposition of Iranian sanctions; and advances toward nuclear weaponization as well as hardening its numerous nuclear plants.
Iran is strengthening its claims of being the Gulf policeman and arbiter of the oil traffic that passes through the Straits of Hormuz (an international waterway) each day, threatening closure of the Gulf if it even feels itself threatened, even in spite of essentially cutting its own throat in the process. Iran’s oil sales are its major lifeline; it is the source of the vast wealth being expended upon its new thrust into regional dominance such as not seen previously. Iran has twice recently projected its naval “force” through the Suez into the Mediterranean, sending a destroyer and an attending supply ship to visit Syrian ports as token of its rising strength (in its own eyes).
Our view is that Iran seems to be moving more rapidly toward “hot” aggression of Israel than we should expect, and that some significant development will occur which will retard Iran on this present course. A sudden, devastating, conclusive Israeli attack upon Iran seems to be inevitably in the works ... seems to be … and could effectively slow or halt her nuclear ambition. But since the whole country is severely earthquake-prone, one or several earthquakes are also a possibility; earthquakes can be most effective in destroying especially underground facilities – the present course which is being pursued by Iran.
A temporary setback or failure of Iran’s present Islamic government might also be a possibility except that even given the present animosity between the ayatollahs and the president, its resolve seems to have attained a new high, its strength not seeming to have been weakened significantly. The West let pass a seemingly excellent opportunity to effect a regime change in Iran two years ago during the Iranian popular uprising in which the Ayatollahs exerted repressive actions which effectively shut down all popular opposition to the present fanatical rulers. But the wave passed without decisive action – doubtless as destiny would have it all along.
Israel more and more feels resigned to the decision that it will have no other choice than a pre-emptive strike against the Iranian Islamic Republic – a despotic rogue state – the leaders of which believe its role is destined to create the Chaos into which its “religious” leaders believe will suddenly arrive the Islamic would-be Saviour/Messiah, the Twelfth Imam, who long ago disappeared into a well but who is eminently expected by them to re-emerge and exert the power of Allah on the entire world! It is amazing to us that the remainder of the world does not exercise its common-sense and recognize and reject the inherent, wholesale, fabricated, pretensive, unrestrained plagiarism of Bible teaching by Mohammed “the prophet” of Islam!
On this basis, Israel is being psychologically and militarily threatened, resulting in its openly discussing its options of physical attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities. In late February the Israeli government made clear to the American Administration its intention to maintain its secrecy from America of any impending assault upon Iran, evidently fearing that a “leak” in the American kettle could put out the fire.
Meanwhile an important, new missile has successfully been tested by Israel during its recent military exercises with Italy. It is the Jericho III, an ICBM capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. A current IDF report suggests that this missile would be ideal for delivering a devastating blow to Iran without killing perhaps one person – an Electronic Magnetic Pulse (EMP) generated from the stratosphere over the Teheran region giving “… Israel a credible Electronic Magnetic Pulse (EMP) capability to loft a low-kiloton-yield warhead to an apogee over Iran that upon detonation would destroy the country's industrial infrastructure, frying motherboards of hundreds of thousands of computers, disabling telecommunications, transportation and industrial systems, according to a dispatch via Daily Alert. It would entirely neutralize everything electronic in central Iran, sending that society back into the 12th century in a hurry! No further nuclear centrifugation; no automotive or bus transport for the foreseeable future; no computerized automation or other activity; no further ICBM research; no further nuclear production of any sort; a complete halt to industrial production of every kind. So much for “nuclear capability!” And so much for “civilization” in Iran! And all this militating strongly toward the position of “beggar (?)” that we see Iran to adopt in its submissive alliance with the military forces of Gog as depicted in Ezekiel 38 and 39.
Meanwhile, the economy of Israel is racing ahead of many European countries with unique and significant advances in technology and medicine. The Technion, Israel’s most advanced facility for scientific and mathematical research has been the source of numerous significant advances in the realms of technology and pure science. It is and has been producer of many Nobel laureates since its establishment several decades ago.
Finally, as summary – and independent confirmation – to the remarks offered here, I append this current article now appearing in FLAME (Facts and Logic About the Middle East), used with tacit permission to circulate widely:
Good News from the Middle East
Israel’s Prospects Have Never Been Brighter
FLAME, February, 2012
What are the facts?
A robust and growing economy. The standard of living and the GDP (Gross Domestic Product per capita) of Israel are on the level of most European countries and ahead of quite a few. Israel is a fount of accomplishment and innovation. Almost all major U.S. high-tech companies, such as Microsoft, Intel, Apple, Cisco, Oracle, and many others, have established production and research facilities in Israel. None other than Warren Buffett (and he certainly knows where to put his money) has just recently placed a multi-billion dollar investment in Israel. Next only to Canada, Israel has the largest number of companies listed on American stock exchanges.
One of the important reasons for Israel’s economic success is the high level of education of its population, of which Israel’s world-class universities and its Technion (the fount of Nobel Prize winners) are the driving force.
A cohesive society. Israel, a country of immigrants, has a cohesive society cemented by its common faith and by the miraculously resuscitated Hebrew language. The bulk of its population [is] descendants of immigrants from Middle Eastern countries – all the way from Morocco to Iraq and Iran. Over a million Russian “olim” (those who have “ascended” to Israel), most of them highly educated, are now also an important segment of the populace.
The Israeli Arabs (about one-fifth of the population) are not yet fully integrated. But even they are becoming a full part of Israeli society, while maintaining their culture and their different beliefs. Another segment that is not yet fully absorbed are the immigrants from Ethiopia, because they come essentially from a medieval culture and have still some difficulty in integrating into a modern high-tech society. Finally, the “haredim” (the ultra-orthodox) are still not fully accepting the essentially secular nature of Israel’s society.
In contrast to all other Middle Eastern countries, women play a full role in Israel. The Chief Justice of Israel’s Supreme Court is a woman. Women pilots fly the fighter planes of the IAF. Women are prominently represented in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament). A woman (Golda Meir) has been prime minister of her country. The fact that women occupy high-level leadership roles both in business and in government is a reflection of the egalitarian nature of Israeli society.
Militarily, Israel is in an excellent position. There is much speculation that Egypt, with its new military leadership, might abrogate its peace treaty with Israel. But the Egyptian military are realists, however much they may rattle their sabers. There is no way that they will doom themselves by attacking an overwhelmingly powerful Israel. Syria is in total disarray and no threat to Israel for the foreseeable future. The only real threat – and it is a serious one – is Iran in its quest for a nuclear weapon. One hopes that it can be stopped by sanctions or, if necessary, even by military means. But if it could indeed produce a nuclear weapon and would launch it against Israel, chances are excellent that Israel’s advanced missile defense shield would abort it. But even the obsessed ayatollahs realize that Israel’s response to such an attack, whether or not successful, would be overwhelming and would inevitably devastate their country and decimate its population.
Energy resources of Israel, the best news of all. Energy has always been the weak link in Israel’s economy. Virtually all of its hydrocarbons have to be imported. Most of its natural gas comes from Egypt, a most unreliable supplier. But here is perhaps the best news of all: Gigantic gas fields, containing trillions of cubic feet, accompanied by a substantial amount of oil, have been discovered off Israel’s coast. These fields will begin to be exploited in 2013 and will, in one swoop, make Israel not only energy independent, but a major exporter. It will bring billions of dollars in yearly revenue. Wags have said mockingly that Moses took the children of Israel 40 years through the desert to bring them to the only place without oil. Well, the wags were wrong and Moses was right.
The outlook for Israel is excellent. Its economy is in prime condition and growing from month to month. Its society, composed of many disparate elements, is thriving and cohesive. It is prosperous, strong and secure. It has now been blessed with an abundance of mineral wealth, soon to be exploited. Israelis have been outstandingly successful so far – what with all the wars and having absorbed millions of immigrants. Just think of its wonderful future, with all the wealth of natural gas and oil soon falling into its coffers. Yes, Israel’s future has never been brighter. [End of FLAME article]
The overlying significance of the above article is that it really does not address the most important prospect that Israel and its citizens are facing – ready or not! We cannot reasonably expect the authors of FLAME to recognize or accept the supremely supernatural benefits soon to be expected by Israel, far exceeding any temporal blessings or advantage it may now exhibit.
That Benefit shall be the appearance of its only Benefactor, its Messiah, unexpectedly arriving on the scene to deliver Israel from the incessant threats and boasts against it and its survival – and the elevation of this nascent society (yet ancient in source), then renewed and reconstituted, to the premier position among the nations of the earth in fulfillment of the Promises made to Abraham and his Seed.
This spectacular and completely unexpected occurrence will electrify and energize the entire world for a short while against God and His plan, but its resistance shall be to no avail, and shall end extremely well.
The prophet Micah has summarized it in these words:
Micah 4:1 But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. 2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. 4 But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it. <HEL MD/USA February 2012>
The Prophecy Letter
When Christ Comes, What is the Order of Events?
H E Lafferty
Devotees to God’s word have been aware for several years that we are extremely near the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the earth. The primary visible signal of this proximity was the landmark event of Israeli Statehood, achieved in May, 1948. We look upon this event as the “sign of the Son of Man in heaven” as revealed in Matthew 24:30: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
On the grand scale of the Endtime prophecies, these two events are tightly compressed in this statement; to our simple, rather pedestrian and experiential view of things they are obviously separated from each other by years. The “sign” appears first in the political heavens (Israel’s establishment among the nations), then some years later, they “see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” As sure as the SIGN appeared, so shall the SON OF MAN also appear later; but we must allow time for that to happen in our Father’s own good time.
It must be evident to all that the perfect or sure order of these events cannot invariably be established with a confident degree of certainty; on the other hand, it is evident that some must precede others, e.g., the resurrection of the dead must occur prior to the Judgment Seat of Christ; and Christ’s sacred Land must be cleared of the violent aggressors of His people before the establishment of His kingdom can exist in peace and safety as it shall.
So please pursue the following considerations with this realization in mind. In a real sense, the development of all these is being brought forward simultaneously; just as in pre-Adventual history, events progress concurrently with each other. Scriptural references to support the views expressed have been inserted appropriately
Ø So … soon CHRIST COMES back to the earth in His Second Advent. No man knows the day or the hour of His appearance (Matthew 25: 13). At the same time we can discern the general signs of the times. Believers have been expecting His appearance for decades because of the unique circumstances commented upon above.
Ø The Angel Gabriel sounds the LAST TRUMP (the Great Shofar of Assembly); the multitudes of the dead in Christ are RAISED from their memorial graves where they have been dormant and “asleep” until Gabriel sounds his trumpet blast. I believe they are regarded by the Spirit as “asleep”because their later awakening from death in the coming resurrection is certain. All the others do NOT “sleep,” as their destiny is perpetual oblivion, with no resurrection in their future. The simple truth of this expectation of even the great ones (rulers) of the earth having perished is well phrased by the words of Isaiah 26:13 O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name. 14 They are dead, they shall not live (again); they are deceased, they shall not rise (in the resurrection): therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish. You must surely realize that to perish is to CEASE to exist – anywhere … or to continue on in any state. These "great ones" have been assigned irreversibly to “hell” – to Sheol – which is the pit of death and darkness in contradistinction to a lake of literal fire which is, however, a fitting metaphor for total destruction, as in Revelation 19: 20; 20: 10, 14, 15, where we see even “death and hell” cast into the lake of fire in a poetic figure, meaning that these deleterious elements themselves are completely destroyed, and in league with the human occupants of Sheol shall no longer continue. Afterward there IS no more death, and clearly therefore signifies that no future inhabitants shall ever again be consigned to the grave (hell); because there shall be no death!
Ø The resurrected numbers of covenanted People are very great – and they emerge from their graves into current society from all ages and all societies of all past ages, but do not mingle with that society until they are admitted to it by the Master.
Ø The angels GATHER TOGETHER the living believers in Christ – doubtless a far smaller number of people than those of all earlier ages who are to be resurrected, and along with those subjects of the resurrection, transport them to a secret place of judgment, as in I Thessalonians 4: 14 – 17: For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air (in the atmosphere of the earth): and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
This event is similar to the ‘rapture’ which is the conviction of the people of popular Christendom and is the prime source of their mistaken conviction that all “Christians” are to be raised from the dead, and with all living believers will be transported to heaven – far, far beyond the “clouds” which obviously is an erroneous conception. We are extremely confident that intelligent correlation with many other scriptures shows this verse’s clear meaning to be that myriads (clouds) of the redeemed will be gathered to Him in a ruling capacity upon the EARTH and in its “air” (or atmosphere) – for the eternal Promises to the Redeemed consist not of an eternal habitation in heaven itself at all, but on the EARTH forever, fulfilling the original promises God made to Abraham and his Seed (Genesis 12, 14, Galatians 3, etc.). Also much ancillary information is revealed in I Corinthians 15: 15 et seq., where Paul reasons and explains the resurrection process and his expectation of the Saints’ earthly inheritance under the Christ. Habakkuk 2: 14 expresses the same principle and is mirrored in four other occurrences of almost exactly the same phrases: the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
Ø He JUDGES His household (his followers) according to those things done in the flesh, whether good or evil, (Ecclesiastes 12: 14; 2 Corinthians 5: 10, q.v.) rewarding a large ACCEPTED multitude with immortality.
Ø The unfaithful believers are REJECTED and turned aside from His presence. These weep and gnash their teeth, lamenting their failure to achieve immortality. I Corinthians 15: 53-55; see also Luke 13: 27 But he shall say, ‘I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.’ This clear statement in itself is concrete evidence of the location of the Kingdom and the inheritance of the Saints. The promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was THE LAND of ISRAEL at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea; it was to be awarded to them in perpetuity – a sacred tract of land stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates, and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf (Indian Ocean?).
Ø Those who are to be turned aside are ruined. Their lives have been essentially wasted; it is better for them if they had never been born, as is said of Judas who betrayed Christ (Mark 14: 21). The edict of Matthew 7: 23 to those on His left hand pronounces and seals their fate: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Ø He joins joyfully and eternally with the faithful, now immortalized Saints, in THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB. Revelation 19: 6-9; 22: 12. The location of this event is not revealed, but the account is compelling … cf.Jesus’ account of the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in Revelation 19: 9.
Ø In so doing, Christ fulfills in each individual Saint that precious promise to Abraham that his descendants (his SEED) shall be as the sand of the seashore and as the stars of heaven – an innumerable company of powerful, now newly deathless earth-borns of all tongues, people, and ages since Adam who have been preserved in their Memorial Graves, sleeping there for eons, safely and silently in the dust of the earth in every clime of His creation, awaiting this memorable day of liberation into the atmosphere and into new life. The fortunate ones enjoy a later elevation (after His judgment) from mortality (certainty of death) to immortality (certainty of eternal life).
Ø He then brings THE FAITHFUL with Himself to confront the nations with their own doctrines and practices – to deliver Israel from their threatening enemies round about as in Habakkuk 3, Isaiah 11 and 63 – on the way to Jerusalem. Micah 4: 13 – ‘Arise and thresh!’ He shall CONQUER, with the assistance of the Saints (Psalm 149: 6 – 9) all Israel’s ENEMIES that remain round about them and within Israel. Ezekiel 35: 12, 14; Obadiah; Micah 5; Psalm 83 and 102; Zechariah 10 - 14; Joel 3; Isaiah 34, all of which please see.
Ø Details of THESE CONFLICTS are abundant and involve the ‘nations round about:’ Zechariah 14: 2, and all those who have fought against Jerusalem, Zechariah 14: 12; …. These nations are NOT all the nations of the world! In Isaiah 34 and in scores of other references, the same terminology is used of the Proximal Arabs … ALL the aggressor nations (but ONLY those aggressors) of the Jewish State up to that time. Otherwise – if His meaning was indeed ALL nations – His destruction should spread to the ends of the earth, thus aborting His own plan to teach the nations righteousness and peace during the Millennium.
Ø It is in the above actions that He gathers to Himself and to His kingdom of Israel THE WEALTH OF THE GENTILES – those SAME Gentiles (Zechariah 14: 14; Isaiah 60: 4 – 7), as well as many other commodities and benefits!) – including their lands, their properties, their bank accounts, their goods and chattels, their minerals and oil wealth – and incorporates them into Greater Israel, bringing to fruition the Land Promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David – increasing His inheritance to full measure, from the Nile to the Euphrates (Psalm 72: 8; Zechariah 9: 10) and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. … they shall suck the milk of Gentiles … and shall know that I the Lord am thy Savior and Redeemer … Isaiah 60: 16; also Isaiah 66: 11. This is a truth that is affirmed here and many times later – reinforcing their now enlightened, firm faith in Him as Messiah.
Ø When the battles are finished the Jews inquire diligently as to HIS IDENTITY… the personage of their Redeemer, Whom they have not recognized to this point in their wildly pitched battles with the opposing Edomites and others. But They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced (Zechariah 12: 10) and behold the nail prints in His hands (Zechariah 13: 6), and realize their grave error of having condemned and crucified Him in AD 29, after which His people shall immerse themselves in a great, heartfelt, sincere mourning of repentance – Zechariah 12: 10 – 14 and Zechariah 13 and 14.
Ø As a result of their genuine repentance, having seen Him come in the name of the Lord of Hosts, they are immediately blessed by Him. He had told them definitively in Luke 13: 35 - Ye shall not see Me until the time come when ye shall say, ‘Blessed is He That cometh in the name of the Lord.You see, He actually had spoken extensive and intensive condemnation upon His people for their refusal to accept Him, telling them that they never would throughout the coming centuries be able to perceive His real identity, nor accept His work as their Savior until His stipulations were accomplished! But … now His People of Israel give Him their undivided loyalty and genuine,heartfelt (literally!) affection; they are anxious to do His bidding, to fulfill His assigned duties, to start to become a light unto the Gentiles (Isaiah 42: 6). In response He places within their breasts hearts of flesh, replacing their stony hearts of unbelief – and writes upon it His Spirit in the clearly defined act of natural redemption of His people.
Ø Ezekiel 11: 19 and Ezekiel 36: 26 – 28 both attest to this unique and benevolent response of their Savior, the latter of which says, Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. It is again made positively clear the Jews’ defined destiny as His consecrated People of the kingdom age – still mortal, living their lives in service to Him presumably until their natural deaths. We are assured that these who faithfully live out their mortal lives shall later be raised from the dead and given immortality in accordance with their faithfulness.
Ø During this time the Returned Christ proclaims Himself to them and to the world at large, that He is indeed KING OF ISRAEL, abruptly and completely reversing the State’s original republican composition, surely triggering the disdain, the scorn and the derision of the democracies of the earth. Their devotion to their democratically determined way of life illustrates well their immersion in ‘the three unclean spirits’ proceeding out of the mouth of the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet, prompting their total rejection of Christ’s proclamation, and bringing further scorn upon His germinal (mustard seed) kingdom. Micah 4: 2; Psalm 83.
Ø So what is His and their reaction? They are infuriated, but He cares not; nor do the Israelis care, as the greatest percentage of them have wholeheartedly accepted Him and recognized His Office. We are not apprised as to whether all the people accept Him as Messiah at the same time; or whether, if some do not accept Him immediately, He will allow them some time for self-examination and review of the Word which clearly foretells Him – principles which shall be effectively taught them by the Redeemed in their midst, and by their King. These enjoy the first stages of their redemption and readily accept whatever their King proclaims to them! Some rebels among His people perhaps remain to be rooted out in the days ahead. We are not instructed as to His method for accomplishing this task.
Ø He PROCLAIMS THE KINGDOM in Zion and TO Zion; but the world (except Israel) is deaf to His claims. They repudiate His claims out of hand, having no inkling of His true identity. “Christians” will doubtless immediately proclaim Him as The Antichrist of their apostate theology; pagans will have no part of Him not remotely suspecting His authority, regency, or His future plans.
Ø All the evidence indicates that yet other enemies now gather to resist His kingdom, e.g., the Gogian host of Ezekiel 38 and 39. The UNO will quickly issue sanctions against this new “king” in Israel. The West will be frothing at the mouth with rage at such audacity of their former compatriots. The remaining petroleum-rich Islamic states further afield will immediately begin to prepare for another attack upon Israel in revenge for the colossal victory just won by Christ, the Saints and the IDF!
Ø Also the Beast and the False Prophet headquartered in Roman Europe but reaching to the furthest extent of the papal realms of commerce, will have been given pause, and begin their preparation to resist Israel with economic and political sanctions, boycotts and other protective means, for they now perceive possible threats to their commercial advantage, and even their traffic in human souls, because of the sudden influx of souls into the Middle East (the huge numbers of Israelites remaining in the world today but being then brought to their eternal homeland). Conflict shall ensue. That extended conflict is related in Apocalypse 18 – 20, leading into the halcyon days of the proclamation of His kingdom in the vast Mideast and West, including the Americas without doubt – a fortress of Catholic authority and dominion among men.
Ø And, yes, threats become apparent to mankind in the ‘free’ world, and these perceive threats to their embedded liberty and equality and democratic ideals (selfishness and jealousy of “their rights and privileges” of self-determination as peoples). These reach outward with the momentum of a huge tsunami to the nations of the world: Psalm 2 is one reference to their self-willed resistance to Him.
Ø He begins healing the wreckage of the great earthquake which comes when His feet touched the Mount of Olives and altered the topography of the Land. Perhaps He takes this great human displacement as His opportunity to reapportion ownership of the Land itself, dividing it into the cantons described in Ezekiel 40 – 48.
Ø In proclaiming Himself King, He initiates KINGDOM OPERATIONS in Zion. getting to the detailed affairs of His administration and the infrastructure of the new State.
Ø He shall ESTABLISH HIS THRONE in Jerusalem. Micah 4:4; Psalm 72: 8 – 15; and proclaim Himself King of Israel publicly, thus confirming another action that all those expect who already believe He is really their supposed Antichrist.
Ø He immediately moves to bring His people back to their land. He GATHERS ALL ISRAEL (including the Ten Tribes) to Zion progressively from this point: as His people arrive in the Land, He shall appoint each family to its eternal inheritance, Tribe by Tribe, setting over each Tribe one of the Apostles, as He promised in Luke 22: 30.
Ø Deuteronomy 30: 3. Isaiah 27: 12 seems to indicate that at least the first portion of the return was always destined to be gradual, building on the original trickle of immigration – the serial Aliyahs we have witnessed for over an hundred years. By far the greatest portion of His people remain at this time in Diaspora, ready now to be delivered to the land of peace and safety observed in Israel. These are perhaps a minor portion of Judah and Benjamin (the Two Tribes) and the great majority of the Ten Tribes of Israel.
Ø At some indeterminate time during these operations He CONVERTS EGYPT as part of these End time activities after demonstrating His power in saving them from their ‘oppressors’ [The Moslem Brotherhood (?), the spawn-er of Hamas of our day, and troublemaker extraordinaire, which Egypt has been trying to suppress for many years but which is even today greatly increasing in strength]: Isaiah 19: 16-21; Zechariah 10: 11. We are told little of this operation, but we can be sure Christ is not defeating the Gogian Host in Egypt as some in the past (and present!) have claimed. The Gogian host instead has been stopped DEAD in its tracks east of Galilee and their stone cold corpses are being consumed by the beasts of the field and the birds of the air of that age (Ezekiel 39: 4, 5) even as they are also buried by the citizens of Israel at Hamon-gog.
Ø He conquers and PACIFIES ASSYRIA, making them a third with Egypt and Israel – these accounts being surely related in passages such as Isaiah 19: 16-21; Micah 5; Zechariah 10: 11.
Ø He shall put a NEW HEART AND A NEW SPIRIT within His re-gathered People: I will take away the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes. Ezekiel 36: 26 – 27; Zechariah 12: 9 - 11.
Ø He shall then PURGE OUT THE REBELS from His people, for there appears to be some who are not able or faithful enough to accept Him at face value. Those unfaithful ones are turned out of His kingdom. Those left are described in Zephaniah 3: 12 – I will leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. Zephaniah (the meaning of his name is “he whom Yahweh hath hidden”) excoriates the unfaithfulness of Israel in chapters 1 and 2, and forecasts the historical Babylonian captivity then still ahead of them. Then he pronounces the final solution upon their race in chapter 3:19 – leaping over the Babylonian return and their second scattering by Rome in 70 AD and 135 AD into all nations – giving the details of their final in-gathering! - that spoken of in Isaiah 11.
Ø He shall REMOVE THE CURSE OF THE EARTH as reflected in words such as those in Psalm 72: 16 – 19. As His kingdom progresses, Edenic conditions return in widespread climatic change; the friendly nations receive abundant rainfall and blessings of flock and herd. In addition, the human fertility rate shall be markedly increased so that Israel, especially, brings forth abundant children – offspring to replace those whom the People have lost in their incessant attrition at the hand of the nations. Isaiah 49 is a remarkably poignant testament to this restoration of Israel en toto; indeed, the latest reports from Israel in late 2011 acknowledge Israeli women now to have one of the highest fertility rates in the Western World. Isaiah 49 refers to this time, q.v., and the poignant account foretold in Isaiah 49:19: For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy (former) destruction, shall even now (at that time) be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away. 20 The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell. 21 Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost [in the Holocaust, and at other times] my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been? 22 Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. 23 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.
Ø In these passages we see additional evidence that ISLAM SHALL HAVE SUFFERED fatally!! Their pagan beliefs shall have been overthrown and trampled. Ezekiel 49: 17-19 addresses the childrens interaction with the oppressors round about; verse 18 indicates that Israel shall take all the good things left by the heathen and use them for their own purposes. Their possessions shall adorn Israel as a bride! The subservience of the foreign kings to them is indicated in verses 23 – 26 as referenced above.
Ø But, to reiterate: in verses 19 – 22 and 25, the Revelator reassures His people of ample space for their habitation, of the overwhelming numbers of their brethren who shall be brought back to their expanded Land, and that their children shall now be born in abundance – all to the glory of God’s holy name.
Ø Agreeing completely with these prophecies, we see the complete obliteration of the “Palestinians” reflected in the terse words of Obadiah, who indicates that there shall none remain of the house of Esau which, judging by their areas of habitation (the five areas recorded there as being conquered by Israel) are those regions now inhabited by those we recognize as being the modern-day “Palestinians” – those who are even now murdering and oppressing the little ones of Israel – the civil population: these are not the recognized name of any extant race of people but are clearly recognizable from their modern day location! Newt Gingrich, a U. S. politician recently made sensational headlines by referring to the “Palestinians” as a MANUFACTURED people which have never existed in history, indicating that the title is a pseudonym for “Arab.” And he is correct.
Ø He shall build THE MILLENNIAL TEMPLE of Ezekiel 40 – 48, and install in it His GLORY (Himself). His glory [Shekinah personified!] returns to His ‘house’ in Jerusalem, site of Zion’s Millennial Temple (see Isaiah 43: 4, 5); also Haggai 2: 7 - 9, which connects the Glory to “the Desire of all nations” Who we believe to be Christ.
Ø He shall bring (real) PEACE to Israel and the nations round about by proclaiming His PEACE to the world. He is not deterred by the refusal of many who will not accept His edicts: Psalm 2; Habakkuk 2:14, et al.
Ø He shall display POWER AND AUTHORITY THAT THE WORLD HAS NEVER SEEN; but his operations appear at first to be more local than international – in the “first dominion” of His kingdom … the “mustard seed” (beginning, small) stage of His eternal kingdom. Micah 4: 2.
Ø He shall immediately DISARM Israel, His people. Cf. Micah 5:9-15; Zechariah 9: 10. His weapons of warfare, used to subdue the heathen, are His spoken words! Only His command is necessary to wreak havoc among His enemies and destroy them. Revelation 19:15: And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, and with it He should smite the nations; and He shall rule them with a rod of iron; and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. The effectiveness of that incredibly deadly weapon is seen in the following verses; the angel invites the fowls to gather for the supper of the Great God, to eat the flesh of kings, captains, mighty men, horses and their riders, and of all men free and bond, small and great!! (verses 7, 18) – activities which are parallel to Deuteronomy 32: 41 – 43; Ezekiel 39: 9 – 27; and other references, such as Hebrews 4:12; Isaiah 11:4.With the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked! There is also extension of that Power to all the Immortal Saints as well, for Psalm 149 tells us, Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance upon the nations, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the JUDGMENTS WRITTEN; THIS HONOR HAVE ALL THE SAINTS. This is another logical reason why it is my personal conviction that the Assistants present with the Christ in His battles with the nations round about ARE THE SAINTS, not the angels, as some believe.
Ø He shall form a NEW COVENANT with Israel, which shall be salvation through Christ, the clear teaching of the Last Supper – thus bringing them out of the Mosaic Covenant and into the Abrahamic Covenant – following their recognition of His person and identity. In my main study Bible I have pasted a Post It note on Zechariah 10: 4 (in The Companion Bible) listing several references … Jeremiah 31: 31-34; 32: 40; 33: 20, 21; Ezekiel 37: 26; 34: 25, 26; Joel 2: 21-27; Ezekiel 16: 62; Zechariah 9: 11; 10: 10; Isaiah 42: 6, 7; 49: 19, 20; 55: 3; Ezekiel 11: 17 - 20; Psalm 89, esp. verses 1 - 3 [the psalm treats of the Davidic Covenant, the actual identity of this new covenant with them]. See also Hebrews 10: 16, 17. Romans 11: 25 – 27, which actually define the covenant in great and clear detail!
Ø All this activity puts the world on warning – especially the ‘Christian’ world – as He shall fulfill all the requirements which they have fantasized as the role of ‘THE ANTI-CHRIST’ of their manufactured theology. Their resistance to Him and His testimonies shall grow increasingly bitter and more adamant, for this new ‘king’ in Israel has not ‘raptured’ them to heaven nor even addressed their persons, their representatives, nor their polities directly. Since He has not acted to remove them from the world to heaven they reason that He MUST be The Anti-Christ!
Ø The “religious” world shall be livid with rage and indignation. They consort with the acknowledged worldly (key word: worldly) leader of “religion” at Vatican City. Since the Church’s beliefs about the Second Coming of Christ have been grossly corrupted over the ages, the pope actually knows and understands little about what has really lately occurred. He doubtless will revert to the long-standing teachings of Francisco Ribera and Ignatius Loyola, the priest-leaders and founders of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) who long ago posited that the Antichrist would be a future entity quite removed from papal implications, and would arise in the latter days to save the Jews from their enemies and declare himself their king, rebuild their Temple, and in three and a half years install a statue of himself in that edifice and demand their worship, which they would decline. A terrible final retribution would then fall upon the Jews but Jesus would come and save them from the Antichrist –something along those lines as interpretations differ among the sects of Christianity! It is significant that all the Protestant “daughters” of the Harlot power have swallowed this doctrine hook, line and sinker, and spout it from the world’s TV centers every day.
Ø The leaders of the Beast nations of that future time shall be confronted with the real Jesus’ tender to them of “the everlasting Gospel” – a body of facts with which they and their papal leader are not at all familiar – demanding their capitulation to His laws and leadership, and defining the laws of this new king in Jerusalem as the now valid statutes of all mankind. They will by no means accept this edict graciously, but regard it as infringement upon their own sovereignty.
Ø Consulting with their papal nuncios of each country they will be advised to resist with all their powers – not a wise notion – and to amass their military might to express that resistance. Their advice surely shall be that this upstart of the East is the long-expected Antichrist, and that He is to be rebutted with all their might. It is outside the purview of this present study to examine those events in much detail beyond what has been said. The amount of time between the Gogian overthrow and the European affair with the Beast nations – which is the manifestation of the Image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of Daniel two “standing on his feet” – is impossible to project at this time. The chief account of this confrontation is found in Revelation 17 and 18. In those chapters are listed all the markers and identifiers that any intelligent student of God’s word needs to make positive identification of the Harlot and the Beast here portrayed in consort with each other in a trading relationship which at that time shall evidently be well developed and dominant in the earth.
Ø Meanwhile, the returned Christ shall conduct the business of His First Dominion WITHOUT CONSIDERING WORLD ACQUIESCENCE or opinion [such as from the UNO, NATO, SEATO, CIS, the European Union, the Pope, etc.] and shall go forward with setting up the vast, permanent infrastructure of His kingdom.
Ø Meanwhile, and evidently prior to the European affair reviewed above, THE FURY OF GOG OF THE LAND OF MAGOG is fanned into a flame, and the Islamic sensitivity and indignation of Persia, Cush, Libya, and Gog’s other partners (all Islamic!) grow mightily. A worldwide conspiracy against Israel and its new King grows apace in the remaining powers of Islam which are named as being confederates of Gog.
Ø We visualize the Gogian affair as being instigated by the Islamic countries named as her confederates (all are Muslim except Russia – even Magog); we suspect that the ‘hooks’ in Russia’s jaws, which bring her down upon Israel, are the PETRODOLLARS available to be GIVEN HER as a bribe BY the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Sharia state of Libya, the terrorist State of Ethiopia/Sudan (KUWSH), the two former of which are awash in the monetary rewards of continents of petroleum and having sold it to the world for decades) – Ezekiel 38, 39.
Ø Gog is stated to be attracted to Israel by “a spoil and a prey,” this cannot be solely the payday offered by the Distal Islamic States who effectively bribe Russia to do the dirty work that they cannot do alone. I suggest it is the wealth of the Gentiles which has been sumptuously gathered into Greater Israel during the earlier Proximal Islamic conflicts – the oil wealth and lands of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the oil Emirates, and the monetary treasuries of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. Golda Meir, premier of Israel, is famous for having said, “The only thing I have against Moses is, he brought us to a dry hole!” – meaning to a land devoid of oil wealth. However, as we are now fully aware, Israel is lately NOT an oil and gas destitute country! Late drilling activities and further surveys reveal that Israel could easily become a huge oil and gas producer not only from both liquid crude oil and high pressure natural gas reservoirs, but also from an abundance of oil shale deposits. In the Valley of Sorek (remember Samson?) lies a deposit of oil shale estimated to be the equivalent to all the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia. Until recently the means of extraction of oil from such shale was expensive, environmentally unfriendly, and required vast quantities of water, all being factors which limited interest in such oil shales by the oil men of the world, especially in arid Israel. Now we have been informed that Dr. Harold Vinegar, former head of research for Royal Dutch Shell, has come to Israel with a newly patented technique for extraction of oil from Israel’s huge deposits of shale. His method involves highly precise drilling downward, then drilling horizontally in the shale formations; inserting heating elements into the shafts, heating the shales to a high temperature (causing the oil to seep out in abundance as high quality liquid crude oil) and be recoverable at a price comparable to drilling in near-surface crude oil pools. No fracturing (“fracking”) of the rock is involved which often causes leakage of oil into ground water aquifers. And in addition, the process does not require water but instead PRODUCES water as a by-product.And still further, the process is extremely safe and environmentally friendly. The BOTTOM LINE is that these newly discovered oil deposits and Israel’s giant discoveries of natural gas in the adjacent Mediterranean Sea, could make Gog’s efforts to grab this “spoil” seem worth the trouble; the Arabs just might promise these spoils to Gog for his leadership and participation in that conflict. At the moment these factors seem to be the most likely “hooks” that will cause Gog to attempt its conquest of Israel.
Ø But contrary to his well-laid plans, Gog and his host shall have no success at all in their adventure, and are absolutely obliterated ‘on the mountains of Israel’ (Ezekiel 39) and are buried at Hamon-gog – a valley ‘east of the sea’ of Galilee (Young). To Gog, her Jewish ‘prey’ appears to be unarmed and vulnerable at this time, dwelling without bars or gates, an innocent people with a naïve King who dwells with them in their apparently false confidence (betach; Hebrew) and seemingly indifferent to any threat that Gog or any others may offer. They are not yet aware of the lethal breath of His lips!
Ø Note that Israel is at that time markedly different from today’s Israel, which today is an heavily armed and fortified country by any standard, and ready to defend itself with arms and armor and citizen soldiers. Its demeanor at that future time is outwardly peaceful, self-contained, self-interested, with no repugnant foreign policies (not yet!) and seems to Gog to have reverted to a more primitive society with peace on its mind, principally. And that is so.
Ø To the war-planners of the Gogian nations, Israel looks like a hanging summer fruit, a plum ripe for the picking, due to the “amateurish, naïve and foolish” precipitous disarmament of the Jewish State which the Stealth King has accomplished. They have no inkling as to what lies in wait for them upon the mountains of Israel!
Ø Yet, at this future time, Christ the King defends His completely unarmed people with the Word of His Mouth, speaking peace (really their pacification by total victory over them!) by uttering his Thunderous Voice against them, calling down upon them the terror of the heavens – causing the enemies’ swords to be turned on each other, but also with huge displays of lightning, fire, smoke and thunder, great hail and brimstone, and an overpowering rain, gaining complete and instantaneous victory over the heathen, and keeping His people absolutely safe all the while! Indeed, in the finality, after the smoke and din of battle has subsided, it is the inhabitants of the villages of Israel who almost serenely (and thankfully, of course!) come forth and begin to bury the multitudes of the Northern Host at Hamon-gog. So it is more than obvious that Israel is virtually untouched by the threat of the Gogian hordes, and shall be victorious over them through the invincibility of their King!
Ø We can learn many details of the fate of Gog and abolish mountains of ignorance and misapplication of many, if we pay diligent attention to the text of Ezekiel 39, and restrain ourselves from importing chapter after chapter of spurious, supposedly ‘related’ information about the affair. If any other reference presumptively applied to this narrative is incongruent with the outcome plainly stated there, then the application is erroneous; discard it post haste. Any additional conjectures or suppositions as to the success of Gog’s forces MUST conform to the context of this clearly stated account, which decidedly indicates the utter defeat of Gog and its forces before they are allowed to enter the sacred home grounds of Christ and the Saints and of Israel. After the Gogian affair, or perhaps just prior to it, Christ sends forth the Everlasting Gospel, which will have tremendous repercussions in Europe and among the people of the Harlot and the Beast. But these are subjects intended for future discussion.
As the kingdom proceeds, the Lord intends to return a pure tongue to the earth so that all people may communicate efficiently and clearly in the same language. This will facilitate His control over the earth’s populations and encourage dialog between all its citizens. In our present ignorance (we have not been informed) we project that this pure tongue will be the Hebrew language. The compelling conclusions that we may draw from late findings such as the equally spaced letters spelling out relevant messages to mankind (The Bible Code) throughout the Word is enough to convince this watcher that the Hebrew language possesses all the qualities needed for the vastly expanded technology of that future time, the reformed social needs, the diverse medical accomplishments, the administrative language, the godly instruction that will be spread abroad, and shall be adequate as the instructional language of the Saints and of Christ in the perfecting earth!
In conclusion: there are perhaps several elements of the new institutions of Christ that we have overlooked in this would-be essay. Pursuant to this project of defining the events that we expect to be accomplished when Christ appears the second time upon the earth – as we are assured He shall – I would like to offer each of you a series of four lectures following generally the above format in a Power Point series on this same subject, but well illustrated by charts, diagrams, photographs and maps. In order for you to view these Power Point lectures you will need to have a Power Point Viewer downloaded to your computer – that is, unless you are utilizing some of the latest versions of Microsoft Windows which contains Power Point already. If you do not already have Power Point functions you may download a free reader-version of it from the Microsoft web site. You may then make your own DVD recordings from your downloaded slides if you wish.
These four lectures have been presented at various venues in North America within the past two years and have been emailed to several interested friends during this time. They are free, needless to say, but you have to contact me via email and request these, after which I will send them to your email address in two large Power Point files. Your ISP must allow large files to be transferred as both are huge. There are perhaps 300 total slides in this presentation and all the text is included as the slides unfold, with no voice-over addition, a technique I have not yet mastered. When I become capable of doing so, I do intend to post these on our web site for eTPL and make them resident there for anyone to access and read. Until then, my only solution is to email them directly to you from my systems on your request. My current email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. God be with you all … <HEL MD/USA>
The Prophecy Letter
Prophetic Timelines Part Two
Continued from December, 2011
H E Lafferty
Last End of the King of the North – 1917(Daniel 11: 40-45)
The “king of the north” of Daniel 11 – and only Daniel 11 – has intrigued and mystified prophecy students for many years, probably since the time of Daniel! When examined closely, that account begins with the conquest of Judah by Babylon in 604 BC and continues throughout centuries until Judah is preparing to return to its land. Its term is exactly 2,520 years, the terminal anniversary marked by the overthrow of the Ottoman Empire’s hegemony over Jerusalem on December 9, 1917.
The long series of adventures of the kings of the north and south is detailed in that single chapter, the last verse of which trumpets his end … he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. (Daniel 11: 45) We must admit that this is the terminal episode of a long line of such kings. At this time the King of the North ceases to exist; he is a relic of history.
But the account continues in chapter 12 - Dan 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
A compelling set of arguments for this termination of the Ottomans as the last end of the king of the North is made by an article in the Jan to June, 2011, offerings of this newsletter – “Why Ezekiel 38/39 and Daniel 11: 40-45 are Different Prophecies” by Jonathan Farrar. Within that article is a transcription of an article written by this author from The Prophecy Letter of May/June, 1996, entitled “The King of the North: Terminated in 1917.” Because these expositions are readily available to readers they will not be rehearsed here. We commend your attention to them both.
We note here that Daniel 12: 1 et seq immediately began its fulfillment with the “standing up” of the Archangel, Michael, “the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people.” It is a given that, since it only NOW that he “stands up” for Israel, Michael stands for the People when they are IN the land or about to be restored to it – when they have a designated identity AS God’s separate and distinct People, as they were imminently about to establish in 1917 – the first (really the second, after the First Zionist Congress of 1897) – honing in sharply upon the physical establishment of Israel as a Jewish State, accomplished in 1948.
The decades of 1917 through 1948 therefore encompassed the “time of trouble” which Daniel foresaw. During that time the Jews of Europe suffered the most horrible persecution any group has ever known – terror, murder, burning, starvation, and slavery unto death – the Shoah of Nazi Germany.
We know the general details of that time; and that out of it, specifically, grew the unstoppable drive by the Jews of the world toward the establishment of a nation of their own in the Holy Land – building, as they certainly did, upon the preparatory efforts already accomplished by their intrepid fellows of earlier years, beginning with the First Aliyah of the late 1800s, and ending with Israel the State in 1948. The World Zionist Organization itself birthed the State of Israel as a direct result of the events of 1917 – the Balfour Declaration and the Liberation of Palestine. The Times of the Gentiles were indeed fulfilled as the incessant and irrevocable increase of “Israel” began in earnest and in a visible reality!
It is this action which is indicated in the phrase, “at that time Thy people shall be delivered …” for their deliverance began visibly to be fulfilled as manifestation of the forecast of Isaiah 11: 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. By 1956, that entire verse had become for practical purposes, entirely fulfilled!
The Plan moves forward with unstoppable power and glory to the name of the Father! No critic is privileged to deny or denigrate this accomplished fact. <>
Time, Times and a Half: 1917, and
1,260 Days: 1917
Further down in Daniel 12 we encounter the vision of the three angels and the river, one of which stood above (upon) the waters of the river … Dan 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. 5 Then I Daniel looked, and, behold, there stood other two, the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. 6 And one said to the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? 7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
By this vision we understand the river to stand for the time of Judah’s desolation – the 2,520 year span of time from 604 BC to 1917 AD, or seven “times.” The man holds up both hands perhaps indicating half of the period with one hand and half with the other hand – 1260 plus 1260; he then pronounces the time period of a time, times, and half a time.
We note quickly that “a time, times and an half” is equivalent to 360 plus 2 x 360 plus 0.5 x 360, or 1,260 years – half of the seven times. The solution of this time period is relatively simple: it is the latter part of the seven times. Bisecting the period of 604 BC to 1917 AD we arrive at 657 AD; from that time to the end of the period is therefore 1,260 years.
The year 657 AD is within the era of (soon after) the conquest of Syria which took place in 637 AD. It is concurrent with and was followed closely by the construction of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem (begun in 689AD?) by the Islamic power which was exerting control of God’s City, Jerusalem in that day. It is a landmark time, for that Dome of the Rock, a pagan, Islamic shrine to Mohammed, is the latest of a series of “abominations” which have occupied the site of the earlier Temples of God. Indeed, Dr. Leen Ritmyer has stated that the Rock which it shelters bears authentic markings which prove it to be the foundation stone for the Ark of the Covenant of God which resided in the Most Holy Place of His Temple.
It is therefore, in the strictest sense, an “abomination” in the holy place.
The angel’s statement is significant as he tells Daniel the end of that time period is also when “he shall have accomplished (drawn to a close, or ended) (scattering) the power of the holy people (then) all these things shall be finished” or drawn to their conclusion. The application fits perfectly as we have seen that the terminal year of 1917/18 marked significant advances in The Plan leading to fulfillment of the re-gathering of God’s people (ending of the scattering of them) 1847/48. That event was 1290 days and considered next.
Notice carefully that he reveals that the vision should only be understood at the time of the end, telling Daniel to SEAL the book (so no man could open and understand it) until that time. It is significant that a few students of God’s word indeed DID understand the vision shortly after that time, and wrote about it as early as 1918 or 1919 (A. Fry in The Testimony of that time).
The “1260 Days” is similarly expressed, confirming this time period’s termination, in the vision above, ending as it did in 1917 with the ousting of the Ottomans from Palestine. <>
1290 Days: 687-88, or 1947-48?
Dan 12:11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.
An important correlation which perfectly (perhaps only nearly perfectly, may I say) has recently (just at the date of this writing) occurred to me – and it is this. The daily sacrifice was essentially taken away with the conquest of Judah in 604 BC – the beginning of the Times of the Gentiles. Judah’s commonwealth was taken over by Babylon, and its sovereignty taken away – although the Temple was not physically destroyed for a few more years. But their years of captivity had begun with certainty.
If the 1,260 year period terminated in 657 AD (which it did) then 1,290 years from the “taking away of the daily sacrifice” terminated in 687 AD. This date was within a whisper of the date at which construction is estimated to have begun on the Abomination (the Dome of the Rock): 689 AD! It is reputed to have been finished in the year 691 AD – a fact which would confirm that this particular application of the 1290 days could be accurate, and would irrefutably confirm the abominable identity of that shrine to Mohammed standing in the holy place (even if we did not recognize it for other reasons)!!
Indeed, with the technology then available, the historically-estimated two year construction period of the Dome of the Rock seems extremely short. If it indeed was completed in 691, it may very well have initiated four years earlier, in 687! With such an application as we see here, the projected beginning of construction is more important than the completion, for it is in the BEGINNING of the project that the site to be abominated is chosen, marked out, and claimed by the constructors! So, the site is corrupted from the beginning. Just a thought, of course, but we feel it is worth serious consideration.
There is of course also the standard corollary of this time period: from the end of the “1260 days” a further extension of 30 years to “1290 days” brings us to 1947/48 in which time period we have observed the time of trouble for the Jews beyond any other time, ending with their proclamation of Statehood in May, 1948, after having the Land Partitioned by the UNO in November, 1947!
Our current thinking is that this latter application is less likely and perhaps even “forced” more than the former, for the events of the first instance seem to fit the prediction far better. <>
2300 Evening-Mornings (2300 Days: The Sanctuary Cycle) 1967
In this instance, again, I will refer your close attention to an article already posted on this eTPL web site: under the section heading, Jan to Jun, 2011, the article “The 2300 Evening-Mornings of Daniel 8” discusses this subject in great detail from relevant scriptural references.
It began – this period of 2300 years (represented by evening-mornings, or “days”) – with the initial attack of Alexander the Great against the Persians at the River Granicus in present day Turkey, in early June of 334 BC. Alexander’s lightning cavalry charge brought a decisive victory which he pursued further and further until he had overthrown the Persians and taken their polity.
A Bible scholar in Louisville, Kentucky, around 1865 came to the conclusion that the 2300 evening-mornings (defined by him as calendar years) would reach their terminal point in the spring or early summer of 1967 – which it indeed did!
In the run-up to this conclusion the Israelis strove mightily to retain their presence in the Old City of Jerusalem (which includes the Sanctuary site – Temple Mount) but could not hold it. The victory of the Arab Legion of Jordan over the Israel Defense Force, Palmach, was its only victory in the entire conflict’s Jerusalem action by routing the Jews from the Old City and gaining possession of it just before the truce of June 1949. The Jews did not gain control of Temple Mount for another 19 years when, during the Six Day War of 1967, the IDF decisively defeated the Arab Legion in not only Jerusalem but in the “West Bank” of Judea-Samaria as well. The sanctuary was finally again under Jewish control after EXACTLY 2300 years, probably to the day, if history is correct. The Battle of the River Granicus is estimated to have occurred on June 7th, 334 BC; the period came to its termination on June 7th 1967 AD! There could not be a more perfect fulfillment of this prophecy. <>
Minor AND Major Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks -> 36 AD and 1996 AD
1897/98 68th Jubilee
1917/18 End Times of the Gentiles
Balfour Declaration (legal): Nov, 1917
Liberation of Land (de facto): Dec, 1917 - Allenby
1946/47 69th Jubilee
Partition of Palestine 1947 by UNO (legal): Nov., 1947
State Israel by proclamation (de facto): May 1948
1995/96 70th Jubilee
An extensive article is already in place on the eTPL site which discusses this subject exhaustively. It is to be found in the section 2009-2010, and is in two parts: “The Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks” Parts 1 and 2, q.v., please.
The widespread misinterpretation of this particular prophecy has led many far afield from God’s Plan. Almost everyone who comments on this prophecy on TV (the only ones we are familiar with) will declare that Jesus was crucified at the end of the 69th week and that the 70th week was suspended – placed in abeyance until modern time – a type of fulfillment which is completely unheard of in the annals of prophecy; no prophecy of which we are aware has any such “gap.”
The self-appointed experts on this prophecy declare that the “final week” of the prophecy has to do with the deception of Israel by “the Antichrist” of their mythology. They claim that a strong leader will step forth from the shadows and save Israel from destruction by its enemies, then take charge of their nation. He, they say, will rebuild the great Temple in Jerusalem to satisfy the Jews’ yearning and institute sacrifices in it.
However, they fancifully claim, at the end of three and an half years he will erect a statue of himself in that Temple and demand that the Jews worship him. They will refuse, of course, and he turns on them. It seems that the return of Christ to the earth at the end of that period is what saves the Jews from the Antichrist who He defeats and destroys; this Antichrist is identified with “the devil” of their philosophy.
When you dismiss all this hokum and mythology and get down to the real truth of God’s word (as in the article referred to above) you will discover the mathematically proven dates of the prophecy, for it has been fulfilled as to its “major” (initial) intent. The dates prove that Jesus was baptized at the beginning of the 70th week (end of the 69th) and ministered to His people for 3 ½ years, at the end of which time he was “cut off” by crucifixion – his death ending any efficacy of the “daily sacrifice” (causing it to cease) under the Law. Several bits of information in the remainder of the N. T. assure us that Jesus’ ministry continued through the apostles and disciples for the next 3 ½ years, fulfilling the final “week” of the prophecy.
So there is the prophecy laid out in its simplicity and directness – so easy to interpret after its fulfillment.
But there is another facet of the prophecy which is essentially hidden to cursory observation; it is this. By revealing the prophecy in the way that He does, as seven weeks, sixty and two weeks, and one week, the prophecy takes on additional connotations – a considered relationship to the Cycles of Jubilee, the major event-based advance into history by the Jews.
Dan 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks (69 weeks) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (the last week of the 70): and in the midst of the (70th) week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease (because He fulfilled the Law, rendering it ineffectual), and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
The “beginning of weeks” is BC 1435 when these words were given to Moses: Exodus 12:2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
The Jubilee years of Israel began at this date as well. The first phase of the prophecy was stated as seven “weeks” or 49 years’ duration – the exact period of one Jubilee period. Leviticus 25: 8-11 clarifies this institution for us. This clue has been understood by scholars to indicate a tightly bonded connection to the Jubilee Cycles.
Since there are Seventy WEEKS here, could there also be Seventy JUBILEES? We have calculated 70 Jubilee Cycles of 49 years each and find them to conclude in the year AM5999, which in the common reckoning is 1996-1997 – coincidentally the end of the sixth thousand-year period since Creation!
The confluence of dates is incredibly interesting, for that date of the end of the 70th Jubilee also ushered in the seventh period of a thousand years since Creation!
Now … is that important? Well, of course it is! Further, we can be sure that the dates are accurately understood as we consider certain dates within that 70 Cycle span which mark important occasions. Remember that the first section of P70W was specified as “seven weeks.” We have defined this phrase as seven Sabbaths of years, or 49 years. The period is equivalent to one Jubilee Cycle. The entire Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks occupies exactly TEN Jubilee Cycles. From the Decree of Artixerxes Longimanus in 455 BC to 36 AD was ten Jubilee Cycles – the twentieth Jubilee to the thirtieth Jubilee in the series which began with the year 2569 AM, or BC 1435. It was the year specified in Leviticus 25: 8 - 11 as the beginning year of the Law of the Jubilee Years.
Other Jubilee anniversaries are seen to be extremely relevant. In our times,
1995/96 was the end of the 70th Jubilee. Entry into the Seventh Millennium.
1946/47 was the end of the 69th Jubilee. Partition of Palestine>Jewish Statehood
1897/98 was the end of the 68th Jubilee. First Zionist Congress at Basle.
1848/49 was the end of the 67th Jubilee. The “annus mirablis” referred to by John Thomas as a significant year in prophetic fulfillment.
There are several others which you may discover which occurred on landmark dates in the furtherance of God’s Plan.
With that brief summary of the “greater” term of the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks as reflecting a larger period in God’s septiform plan of redemption equating to Seventy Jubilees we leave off consideration of this riveting prophecy. <>
Beginning of Intifada Within Israel:1987
In the fourth chapter of Daniel, the King Nebuchadnezzar dreams of a great tree (which was symbolic of himself – and by extension – symbolic of Babylon as an empire). Here is the record: Dan 4:10 Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. 11 The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth: 12 The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it. 13 I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven; 14 He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches: 15 Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth: 16 Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him.
The great Tree stood for the King and his empire, Babylon. There are logically two inferences in this vision: the first is that referring to the king himself being removed from his throne and left to the dew of heaven. The transition from the kingdom to the man Nebuchadnezzar is clearly discerned in verse 16, where the inferences switches to the man in the words, “Let his heart be changed from man’s, and let a beast’s heart be given unto him, and let seven times pass over him.” Here seven “times” are seven years. It is well known that the king lost his reasoning for a period of seven years during his reign and became a feral human, which some call a lycanthrope: a wolf-man. His nails and hair grew as his uncontrolled life was taken over by madness. At the end of that time his reason returned and he resumed his throne. It was a period exactly similar to the Times of the Gentiles which Babylon initiated upon Judah!
The second instruction of this vision is that of the tree (Babylon) which was cut down in 534 BC when conquered by the Medes and the Persians. At its cutting down, its stump was to be banded by bands of iron and a brass. The four metals of the Image earlier seen in a vision by the king had been gold, representing Babylon; silver, representing the Medo-Persians, his successors; the brass, representing the Greeks, who defeated the Persians; and the iron, representing Rome, which succeeded Greece.
Here, the stump was created by the silver power (Medo-Persia) which cut down the Babylonian tree; the iron and brass bands were symbolic of the remaining two succeeding powers of Greece (brass) and Rome (iron) – all of whom should hold in thrall the people of God for the entire seven times of their captivity.
But in a real sense, Babylon was also in remission for this entire time – until the time when it should revive and re-constitute as the Metal Image of the dream and stand on its feet to confront the Son of Man as “Babylon the Great” (Revelation 18: 2) when He appears to defeat Babylon again as the Christ of the Second Advent. That period of time stretches from 534 BC to 1987 AD, at which time we should see some progress in The Plan toward that end.
So, we ask did any unusual event occur in 1987 which would further The Plan in some significant way? It seems important to me that further insults were heaped upon Israel by the Arab Intifada (the resistance) which began specifically on December 9, 1987 – an astonishingly accurate period of exactly 70 years after the conquest of Jerusalem by General Sir Edmund Allenby on that date in 1917!
Can this simply be a “coincidence” of monumental proportions? – Or does it have a profound meaning? Perhaps it is this: since all the heathen enemies of Israel, of Christ and of the Father are Babylonish in character, this entirely new assault against the Jewish State by the local enemies of Israel might fill the requirement, although there seems no DIRECT connection with the Babylonian Harlot of Revelation 18. All these enemies are certainly of a cloth, resisting stringently (as they all do) the authority and sovereignty of the Lord Christ when He appears. The Apocalyptic episode of their resistance is certainly the apex of ALL the enemies in their futile, desperate bid to survive and prosper against Israel and its Messiah. You must decide whether this specific incident fulfills this prophecy; we know of no other definable way-marker to which we may point at this anniversary. <>
This Generation Shall Not Pass: 1948 > 2011>2018?
This phrase has provoked much discussion among prophecy students ever since the completely unexpected, earth-shaking victory of Israel over its Arab enemies in its War of Independence in 1948.
Everyone recognized this shooting forth of the “fig tree” (Israel) as fulfillment of this unquestionable miracle among the nations was a terminal event. Those who beheld it (were alive at the time) were promised NOT to pass away until all things be fulfilled, by which we understand Jesus to say, “Until I come” in power and great glory – for that specific event was indeed harbinger of the final consolation to which He referred.
We have cogitated upon the phrase, “this generation” for years.
At first we thought it must surely mean forty years – the common length of time thought of as a generation. But 1988 brought nothing new except The Intifada in late 1987; no progress of the kind we expected!
Then we remembered that Israel journeyed until its original generation had died in the wilderness (40 years) but that they had not yet inherited their Land – Canaan. That required seven years for conquest. But it required seven more years for its settlement – 14 years total.
So we added 14 years to 1988 and reached 2002 AD – surely a significant year (?). But no! Christ did not appear or call His people away to His judgment.
We began to consider the prophecy from other slants. He says that He will do unto Israel as he did to His people in the coming out of Egypt. Did he mean the miraculous deeds He did for them rather than the length of time it required? That is certainly a reputable conclusion, for He has certainly performed miraculous deeds with His People Israel in this day!
But it leaves us at loose ends as to an estimated period of TIME, long the object of our intense curiosity and desire.
Then we considered perhaps by a “generation” He was indicating the 70-year allotment for man for one lifetime. 1948 plus 70 years brings us to 2018 AD. It that the possible year of His coming? Some have posited other calculations which end on or about that year as well, so perhaps we must occupy for another seven years …?? We will know only when the time arrives!
Meanwhile, the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks has been fulfilled.
When the Messiah of Israel actually comes to Israel in glory and in strength and saves them, the “churchmen” of the world will exclaim: Aha! The Antichrist has come! None of them shall have been raptured to the heavens as they believe (it’s not in The Book!) so … He must surely be The Fake!
Their beliefs will seemingly be confirmed when He begins to build the Temple – this powerful, invincible Jewish Leader who until now has been entirely unknown! And when He completely and summarily disarms Israel as indicated in Zechariah 9: 10 they will be absolutely sure! – and begin to resist Him with all their power.
So the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks (as they interpret it) ends on a dull note for the “prophets” of today who prophesy their own words and thoughts, not those of the Father.
Hopefully their smattering of knowledge of the Word will be sufficient to guide them into a truthful set of decisions before the day of opportunity passes for them and their flocks. It is their godly searching that will bring them to the Enlightened Nation which Christ shall have created in that day – a Light Unto the Nations, as termed in the words of Luke 2:32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
The identical intention is voiced in the wonderful words of Isaiah 66:19 And I will set a sign among them (the nation of Israel), and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles. 20 And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the LORD out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the LORD, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD. 21 And I will also take of them for priests and for Levites, saith the LORD. 22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
Isa 66:23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.
The declaration of His glory among the Gentiles is another expression of His intention, and the newly achieved success and happiness of the Jewish nation will be an attractive force to His Way directed to the Gentiles – those who, at that time, are facing hardship, failure, and spiritual poverty.
We can be assured that this great cast of disappointment and disillusionment shall afflict virtually the whole population of the earth because of an observation from Zechariah 8:20 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: 21 And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. 22 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD (an utterly different approach compared to formerly when they worshiped mammon and mythical gods). 23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you. Otherwise the Gentiles would be the holders of Enlightenment and Godliness, and men would be coming to them for godly benefits!
This information relates not to a minority of the people of the earth; it relates to the great majority of all the people. It relates to all those who have inherited without question the apostate teachings of the universal “Church” of the Seven Hills – and the ideals of all her Protestant daughters, who also understand not the Truth of the Scriptures. His Second Advent shall take them entirely by surprise; He shall come to them as a thief in the night – stealthy, silent, unknown, and mysterious – because of their centuries of neglect of objective study of the Word which has left them ignorant and gullible.
The Apostle Peter warned of this certainty in these words:
2Pe 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: 2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: 3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. 5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God (and not by organic evolution) the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the (political nations) heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein (the society we now know) shall be burned up. 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
The “Christians” of this age do not understand these words – that the physical earth is not doomed but that it is the human institutions of greed and corruption that are doomed – this order of things; He shall establish in their place a New World Order of inconceivable efficiency and utility, and of blessing for mankind.
His gospel shall go forth into all the earth as it only went forth originally by the mouths and spirits of the apostles and prophets of old. It is a Gospel which the world has not understood for millennia. That is why it is depicted by Zechariah as being so novel and desirable to the entire world – brought to them by the mercy of the Desire of all Nations, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Speaking of the kingdom age, Haggai 2:6 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; 7 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. That house is the newly erected Temple of the Millennium whose Glory is that of His Son – Shekinah personified for the kingdom age – God With Us. It is not a Trinitarian concept but simply indicates the immortal, invincible, all-present Person in Whom the Father has literally instilled Himself by resurrecting and immortalizing His faithful Son.
<HEL MD/USA, December 21, 2011>
We are used to and almost inured to the daily bad news from the Middle East – bloodshed, riots, car bombings and more. But there is one spot of shining light in the area – a country forged in almost unending wars, a country that has absorbed millions of immigrants: Israel – its prospects have never been brighter.
Subpages (1): Printer Friendly page for TPL Jan to Jun 2012
The eProphecy Letter
H E Lafferty
In this exposition, we approach one of the most controversial subjects in Scripture - Antichrist, or "the Antichrist." A comprehensive, scriptural analysis of this subject yields many extremely unique and unwholesome facets of his ungodly existence. The view of the Christian world has been warped and skewed by many improbable ideas, drawing a portrait of their Antichrist as a much different one from that depicted in the Word of God.
In this essay, we strive to consider many fine details of Antichrist, and to focus on each of these in order to understand his nature, character and identity.
Just who ... or what ... is this Antichrist? There are unmistakable clues in God's word. The following considerations are far from exhaustive ...
1. Antichrist declares that Jesus came not in the flesh of mankind. John addresses these important features of the Adversary: 1John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try (test) the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 And every spirit that confesseth NOT that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is NOT of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
This unmistakable TEST will automatically and unfailingly define antichrist for us.
Note carefully here that John's concern is "false prophets." We submit to you that the Pope of Rome is identical with the "false prophet" of Revelation 16:13: And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. 16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Then note carefully that truth-teachers freely own that Jesus Christ came in the flesh, meaning in the flesh common to all mankind. When Adam fell, taking Eve with him, he was condemned to death. Only by some Divine scheme of redemption from death could he ever live forever. Subsequently, God clothed the pair with coats of skin, which means he offered a typical animal sacrifice of cleansing for Adam that he die not immediately for his transgression.
By being so condemned, Adam and all his posterity, without exception, stood subject to death at the end of their mortal lives. His posterity included Jesus Christ some 4,000 years later; Jesus was born of a woman, and born in "sin" although he had not committed sin and never did commit any sin. Yet, Jesus Christ died the death of the mortals just as all others.
But most Christians of this day will never admit that Jesus was born in "sin." It seems beyond their comprehension that they are, by such claims, actually saying that Jesus did NOT come in the flesh. And that He, like every other mortal, did not have to suffer death but merely gave His life gratuitously for the salvation of His followers. Yea, that being "God the Son," He could not really have died! John stated in I John 4:3, that this kind of false doctrine is even now already in the world.
So it is readily apparent that antichristian principles were beginning already to be expressed in John's day, just prior to 96AD.
Then he further reveals that the teachings of this false prophet and the others mentioned will lead all the kings of the earth to the battle of that great day of God Almighty, which he names in verse 16, as Armageddon.
It must be evident to every student of God's word, that if a "church" proclaims that Jesus Christ did NOT come in the flesh, then it is anti-Christ, or Antichrist. In attempting to circumvent this objection, the Roman "church" has handily concocted the fantasy called the immaculate conception of Mary, Jesus' mother, so that He could not have been stained with sin in any way. From the moment of her conception of Jesus, they say the blessed virgin was "by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of JESUS Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of Original Sin." [Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus (1854) DS2803.]
This argument leads to the claim that Jesus was NOT tempted in all things as were His brethren, that He overcame NO sin because He was never challenged BY sin (diabolos), and the conclusion stated by the inspired words of the writer to the Hebrews are false: Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
In addition to lying about Mary and her state of salvation, in declaring that Jesus came in some state other than that of the flesh of mankind the catholic church teaches that Jesus did NOT come in the flesh. This is a "Jesus" other than that of the Apostle in 1John 4:3 (as well as of 2John 1:7)! In God's Plan, such a redeemer cannot redeem men from the sin common to all mankind, for he is not himself subject to the same condemnation of sin.
Not only could Jesus do that ... He did do it!
The "world" does not understand that "sin is the father of sins;" it does not conceive of constitutional sin as precursor to transgressional sin - only to the first of which was the Savior of mankind subject, for he committed NO personal sins.
But the description of antichrist goes much further, revealing the complex facets of deceit which the church fulfills so perfectly.
2. The church-state would be characterized as a woman sitting upon a beast. In Revelation 17:3, John writes: So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
We well know that the Apocalypse is a book of signs (symbols) delivered to John by the Lord Jesus Christ from heaven (Revelation 1:1), and that it was "signified" to him by an angel. That is, it was delivered in an endless series of symbols. Throughout the Revelation, and the Bible in general, we see consistency of use of such symbols.
In this passage the WOMAN is a Church, or a body of particular believers. And in the Revelation, there are two prominent women - opposites of one another in every way. This woman of ill fame is thoroughly described in this chapter. She is the precise opposite of the Bride of Christ, whose character is given later in John's epistle - that "woman" being the Ecclesia of Christ, the Collective Wife of His great favour and blessing.
The Almighty tells Jeremiah (6:2) that, I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.
In similar manner, BEASTS in the Apocalypse represent a Nation, (or Nations in this case), or the King of a Nation.
We recall the well-known visions of Daniel 7 in which verse 17 reveals that These great beasts, which are four, are (meaning: represent) four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. We know these to have been Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome - kings being put by metonymy for their sovereign kingdoms or empires.
This practice is not unusual. Today the USA is symbolized by a bald eagle. China is likened to a dragon. Britain is a lion; Russia is a bear.
Verse 19 of Daniel 7 describes this fourth beast AS DIVERSE from all the others, with the fierce characteristics of iron teeth and brass nails, and the proclivity for total destruction - which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet. Verse 23 affirms this terrible character of the fourth beast, revealing again that it shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
Its diversity would be singular. It head bore ten horns. Up from among these, a little horn sprang forth, and did away with three of the original horns. This new horn had eyes, and a mouth speaking "great things" as well as a stern countenance. This beast is a miniature picture of the ultimate outgrowth of the fourth kingdom of men. We shall remark on the horns presently.
The Beast carries a burden - a drunken, salacious woman. The Beast-nation is controlled (ridden) by a church! This is the woman of Revelation 17:3 described somewhat differently. And the beast of this chapter is the same beast as Daniel's fourth beast, described in more detail.
What a strange anomaly! A State/Nation ruled by a Church! Our minds instantly flash to Southern Italy and Vatican City which lies within the confines of Rome - a small country led by a Church whose head is the Pope. Today we might think it almost insignificant. But it is now making plans to structure itself into a global power in the place of Pagan Rome and the Holy Roman Empire which succeeded it.
3. The Beast received its power from pagan Rome. Before the church gained prominence, it existed under the oppressive power of pagan Rome. Revelation 13: 4 informs, And they worshipped the dragon (pagan Rome) which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?
Volumes of historical chronicles record this transition from pagan Rome to Church Rome. When Constantine ascended to the throne of pagan Rome, he brought into the shaky empire the "Christian" religion as THE STATE RELIGION. All Romans became Catholics, just as surely as they had all been pagans! They did not so elect, but became so by proclamation of Constantine.
So the Dragon in this prophecy is Pagan Rome, as explained above.
Revelation 12:9 also identifies the dragon as "satan and the devil." But what ARE these? Satan is Greek satanas, G4567, and is defined as accuser. Devil is Greek diabolos, G1228, defined as false accuser or slanderer. These are integral to the raw nature of mankind, and dwell within his person. Only the mythology of Babylon and Egypt can connect these two with a fire-dwelling monster with horns and a tail - the "devil" of popular mythology.
These words of John (actually of Jesus Himself) refer to human nature, which is itself basically evil and separated from God as was Adam after he transgressed. They are the expression of sin, yes, but sin as expressed in and by human activities - in human flesh - and because of faulty human character, or lust. Mankind cannot attribute himself "victim" to sin caused by an external being; it's HIS own personal faults and imperfections which bring sin, and not an external tempter beyond his control.
The principle of innate sin in man (defined as lust and pride) causes active sin (or sinning) in the manner described by James, who perfectly understood what is in man, and what causes him to sin. James 1:13 - Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
Here then is the transparently progressive pathway of active sin. There is no mysterious Tempter here. The source of man's sinning is a man's own lust, which entices him to transgress. When lust is admitted, it brings forth sinful acts, which result in death. In retrospect, the sin that is inherent in men and women, writ indelibly upon their very beings, brings death upon them in the finality.
So pagan Rome morphed into Catholic Rome. In a narrow slot of time the Dragon became another Beast, with seven heads and ten horns - and with an infamous woman riding upon its back. The Beast is covered with names of blasphemy, which define its nature and identity, and its multiple personalities or divisions (states).
Remember, the Beast is a nation (or empire); the woman is a Church. Men asked, "Who is able to make war (resist) this Beast?" Just as pagan Rome was dominant among men, the Catholic Church became so powerful that not one ruler or subject could resist it. Its power was unlimited and unrestrained. Its evil was expressed in myriads of ways as even a brief study of Church history will reveal.
Although at times repressed, one can easily see that the mores of Rome pagan are perfectly expressed in Rome Catholic - in its teaching and behavior. They are identical in multiple ways: in clothing, in language (Latin), in architecture, in legal definition, in ideology, in manner of life, in political expertise and intrigue, in complex financial operations, in consummate subterfuge, in their far-reaching influence, in their overall framework of belief and practice, and in their physical location.
So the Beast was established in the place of the Dragon. And the place of its establishment is also well defined ...
4. The Beast would have seven heads. Revelation 17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
Exactly what are these seven heads? We will discuss the ten horns in another section. We do not have to express any personal opinion on this matter, for Jesus' next words explain what this means: in verse 9, He says: And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are (represent) seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
The word "mountains" here is Greek oros, G3735, and means a mountain or an hill.
This infamous church/state sits atop seven hills. Only Rome is indicated; in all the world its chief characteristic is that it contains seven hills. So exactly where does Vatican City reside? It sits in Rome ... the city of the seven hills.
We remember that the fourth beast should be diverse from all kingdoms. The church/state of Rome is an unique combination in all history. And to add to its identity, it sits squarely in the seven hilled city of Rome.
Rome has existed for thousands of years. It has not always been prominent in human history. But its Church phase was destined to rule the world for a certain, set period of time ...
5. Antichrist was destined to rule the world for 1260 years. We cite three scriptural references to this feature of the entity.
a. Revelation 13: 5 - And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
b. Daniel 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
c. Revelation 12:6 - And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there