People today are of the mindset that the events of the Old and New Testaments all happened back in the "Biblical days" of human history. They fail to grasp the awesome truth that we are still living in Biblical days. They never ended. What will yet happen on the face of this Earth in the years to come has already been prophesied and penned in the Bible. There remain things written in the Bible, in both the New an Old Testaments, that are yet to come to pass.
The Bible deals with the history of man's world from the beginning of the world, across historical time and into our present time and forward until the very end of time as we understand it. You are living RIGHT NOW in Biblical days. The great "I AM" of Exodus 3:14, who spoke to Moses from the burning bush, STILL IS and speaks to us today through His written Holy Word and the Holy Spirit. And, today, that ancient malignant spirit of Satan is also still whispering in the ears of modern man, "Yea hath God said?" (Genesis 3:1)
Although the prophets and disciples have long since passed from our world, what they wrote lives on just as relevant today as it was in the day it was written. If you really trust the Bible, it can and will tell you where we are today and what is about to come to pass in the very near future, not just in the sweet bye-n-bye. We will now shift gears from, "In the beginning" to the "Beginning of the end."
There is a second "gap" in the Old Testament aside from the one in Genesis. That "gap" is the Church Age, the roughly 2000 year period of time between the first and second advents of the Lord Jesus Christ. And there is a third "gap" called the one-thousand year reign of the Lord Jesus Christ when He returns in glory to rule the Earth from Jerusalem (see Revelation chapter 20). Those gaps are hidden within the prophecies of the Old Testament, but they can be seen there through what is revealed in the New Testament. Clarence Larkin probably put it best when he explained that the prophets in Old Testament days were only able to see the "mountain peaks" of prophetic events (like the crucifixion, the Day of the Lord, and the final judgment), but could not see the Church Age in the valley between the mountains nor the Millennial Kingdom. Here is the chart from Larkin's book, "Dispensational Truth" that visually illustrates this principal:
Prophetically speaking, we are living today on the far side of the valley of the Church, time wise, and quickly moving up the mountain slope towards the coming of the Antichrist and the great Day of the Lord and the end times of God's dealing with the Jews, His chosen people.
Although 1948, the year when Israel became a state, would seem a natural benchmark for the start of the latter times of Biblical days, I believe a much better benchmark emerged in 1979 when the Iranian Revolution catapulted the land of ancient Persia back onto the global political stage.
The Iranian Revolution inspired an exponential rise of Islamic fundamentalist sentiment against the west; an angry wind that began to blow with increasing velocity across the Middle east and the larger Islamic world. When the Islamic world saw that Iran could blatantly snub its nose at the powerful west, and get away with it, others quickly followed. The subsequent Iran/Iraq war, the rise of Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden, the attack on New York on September 11, 2001, the Gulf Wars, the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the rise of the so-called 'Islamic State' all directly or indirectly precipitated from this seminal event. The Arab Spring uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East and the increase in sectarian strife between Sunni and Shiite Islamic factions across the Muslim world are all part of this equation. And Iran is an active political driving-force in this phenomenon.
Iran is Biblical Persia and, in retrospect, we can now see that the emergence of Iran as a world power, and a modern-day growing global threat, is prophesized in the book of Daniel. The prophetic seal on the book of Daniel is unsealing right before our very eyes. The Church Age is rapidly drawing to a close.
The Old Persian Empire encompassed the areas of present-day Iraq, Iran, Syria, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Pakistan and also occupied-present day Turkey, Palestine, northern Egypt and Libya around 500 B.C. The Persian Empire figured most prominently in the captivity of Israel in Biblical history and, as we shall point out, Persia also figures prominently in future prophecy and the beginning of the "latter days" (See Daniel 10:14).
It is no coincidence that the Middle East is a powder keg, awaiting only the proper spark to explode; it is no coincidence that radical Islam has become the global terror threat; it is no coincidence that Iran is threatening to wipe the nation of Israel off the map; and it is no coincidence that Israel exists as a nation, once again back in most of the very same Biblical lands that God deeded to Abraham thousands of years ago. The recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital by the United States of America, a major policy shift, and the precipitated international comdemnation that followed is all part of a pattern. None of this is coincidence; it is the fulfilling and unfolding of God's Word and is setting the stage for the fulfillment of coming events written about in the book of Revelation.
During the days of the Old Persian Empire when Israel was in captivity, the prophet Daniel received many visions concerning his people and Jerusalem and what would happen to Israel in the times before the end. God told Daniel that those things would be sealed until this "time of the end." It is written:
"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."
(Daniel 12:4 KJV)
"And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end."
(Daniel 12:9 KJV)
To begin to comprehend the context of Persia (present day Iran) in the prophecies of Daniel, we need to start with the vision of the "Ram" at the river:
"And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai."
(Daniel 8:2 KJV)
Daniel was in what today is southwestern Iran when he had this vision. Persia and Mesopotamia is the context and focus of this vision.
"Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great. And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand."
(Daniel 8:3-7 KJV)
The Bible goes on to define the identities of this "ram" and the "he goat" spoken of in this prophecy:
"And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be. The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king."
(Daniel 8:19-21 KJV)
First of all, the Lord God reiterates that this is an END TIMES prophecy; a yet future event. Then the Lord God identifies the two horns of the ram as the kings of "Media and Persia" which would roughly indicate the land area from eastern Turkey and Iraq into Iran and eastward into Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is no coincidence that the conflicts in these lands are the current focal points of the daily news.
Politically speaking, Syria is currently siding with the Iranians and their Hezbollah segregates against Israel. Following the pullout of U.S. forces, Iraq became unstable and is now dominated by a Shiite government that is a puppet of the Iranian sphere of influence. There is also a building fault-line between Shiites and Sunnis in the region, most notably precipitated by the conflict in Syria and the subsequent rise of the 'Islamic State' Sunni movement. Expect to continue seeing the unexpected in this region in the coming months and years.
The king of "Grecia" is a reference to the peoples immediately west and north of present day Turkey, specifically, the regions around Greece, Macedonia and up into the Crimea and present day Ukraine and the Balkan states. Some scholars interpret this king of "Grecia" to be a generalized reference to Europe and the western world. But, if we restrict our interpretation to a more literal one, a somewhat startling prospect arises. And the seeds of that prospect are found in the current European Union economic crisis in Greece.
What would happen to Greece should the crisis there deepen and the Greeks leave the Euro Zone? Besides defaulting on their debt, and throwing Europe into an economic tailspin, such a possibility would precipitate a political rift between the Greek peoples and Europe and a shift into the Russian sphere of influence. There is a common strong religious bond between the Greeks and the Russians because these regions are bastions of the Greek Orthodox faith. And I am not talking just about Greece or Russia, proper. This includes the Orthodox peoples of Cyprus, the Balkans and the east European nations situated between Greece and Russia. There is a strong enmity between the Greeks (Christian Orthodox) and the Turks (Muslims) that goes back to the conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul) and the rise of the Ottoman Empire.
There exists the strong possibility of a new political power block rising across this region and peoples, which would become aligned against the west and Europe for economic reasons, and against the Muslim peoples of Turkey and the rising Islamic forces to the east for religious and political reasons. There eventually would emerge one leading nation within that power block who could constitute the "he goat" who will be moved to attack the ram and crush the empire. So, in effect, we have a prophecy of a future 'Grecia' military machine attacking and bringing down the future resurgent eastern empire of the Medes and Persians. Certainly the winds of politics are blowing is this direction.
The Russian aggression in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine is just another unfolding episode in this story, as are the crisis of the ongoing tide of refugees flooding into the Baltics and Europe from Syria, the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq, and the Russian and Iranian military intervention on the side of the Syrian dictator, president Assad. And what effect will that intervention have on Turkey which is fighting the Kurds and ISIS and insisting on military action against Syria? These are complex issues that must be factored into the prophetic equation.
We are certainly living in the days before this 'Ram' prophecy will be fulfilled, but we are also living in the times when the prophecy is actually unsealing right before our eyes, so that we can understand what is happening in this world and where all this is leading. The Ram is rising, it is becoming "great" but the larger of its two horns is yet to rise. Specifically, the lands of Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan are yet to fully join forces with the Iranians. It should also be pointed out that these nations, although they are all predominantly Islamic nations, are not Arab nations. These are different peoples than the descendants of the Ishmaelite who inhabit the predominately Sunni Arab nations to the south that are on the western shores of the Persian Gulf (Arab Gulf) and in northern Africa.
Having said this, allow me to digress for a moment and show why the prophecy of the "he Goat" and the "Ram" is still future prophecy, and not the description of a past historical event, as many Bible scholars argue. Proponents of the historical interpretation school (the amillennialists) claim that this vision was fulfilled in the conquering of Persia by Alexander the Great (about 330 BC). But does the Bible really support that interpretation?
Notice in the prophecy that the "he goat" came from the West. Ok, so did Alexander the Great, but Alexander's army touched the ground every step of the way there. The prophecy says he "touched not the ground," and that part of the ancient prophecy could not be literally fulfilled (or comprehended) until the invention of the airplane. What the prophecy seems to be describing could be a massive airborne launched attack from the west; the modern doctrine of warfare (i.e. fighter jets, bombers, troop transports, and air and sea launched cruise missiles). The feet of attacking troops will not need to touch the ground until they parachute in or make marine landings.
There is a religious/political cultural line that runs between the Greeks and the Turks; the peoples of the west facing the people of the east; the predominately Orthodox Greek peoples against the Turks and the Islamic peoples. It is no coincidence that the beginning of John's visions in the Book of Revelation focuses on the western shores of Turkey. That is the Biblical land of Asia Minor where the seven churches of Revelation are located. Are you starting to see the connection?
All of the seven churches of Revelation chapters 1-3 are situated along the western edge of Turkey. The Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey is a geopolitical dividing line between the so called lands of Christianity to the west and the lands of Islam to the east. The Apostle John was on an island named Patmos (currently a Greek controlled island), situated in the Aegean sea just west of the Asia Minor mainland, when he saw his vision.
Daniel's visions are a complement to the visions of John. The Middle East region is the future literal focus of the events in the book of Revelation.
Also make note that all this must happen BEFORE any of the 10 kings or horns of Revelation actually come upon the scene. In fact, notice the wording of the last sentence in that prophecy:
"And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king."
(Daniel 8:21 KJV)
That is, the king that leads the attack against the kings of the lands of the ancient Medes and Persians will occupy and breakup this resurgent empire and establish himself as the next ruler in the region. He will be the FIRST of the 10 kings of Revelation (See Daniel 7:24 & Revelation 17:13). The rest of the kings are nations in the Middle East region, not Europe.
Of course, all of this is just background to the key focus of end-times prophecy; the nation of Israel and the time of Jacob's troubles (see Jeremiah 30). The future Jerusalem will be the ultimate "ground zero" of all geopolitical focus and the Temple Mount will be the detonator. All present conflicts in this area of the world are but a precursor to the main events that are yet to come to pass on the Earth before the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. But, before the Lord Jesus Christ returns, the Antichrist must appear on the prophetic stage.
When this person actually first appears on the prophetic scene is not clear. In the book of Revelation, John says that one of the seven churches, located at Pergamos, is in a city where "Satan's seat is" (See Revelation 2:12-17). Since the Antichrist is Satan incarnate, Pergamos may be where this "man of sin" first emerges or establishes his power base. But the Bible is very clear in telling us that when he is finally revealed to the Jews and the world for what he really is, it will be in the future Jerusalem and in a Third Temple yet to be built in Jerusalem.
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."
(2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 KJV)
The Bible believer knows that, however all this comes about, the still unbelieving nation of Israel will build a Temple on the Mount in Jerusalem and re-institute Temple worship and sacrifices (see Da 8:11-13; Da 11:31; Da 12:11). And this temple MUST be built before the Antichrist is revealed and before the Lord Jesus Christ returns and destroys him and his armies.
Considering the decades of bloodshed and violence between Israel and the Arabs, and the entrenched respective positions of both the Jews and the Arabs concerning the Temple Mount and final status of Jerusalem, one can only imagine the magnitude of any sequence of geopolitical events that would bring this prophecy to pass. It WILL come to pass sometime in the near future; a literal Temple will be built and it is a prophecy you can 100% bank on coming to pass before the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. How this will happen is unclear.
Israel claims Jerusalem as its eternal capital. The Palestinians and the Islamic world want Jerusalem too. In a change of policy that stunned the world, the United States of America formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital near the end of 2017. This act changed the political calculus of the issue and only increased the uncertainty of Jerusalem's final status and the animas between the sides.
Is there now a possible compromise to peace on the horizon? One key to how this could come about may also be found in the writings of the prophet Daniel. In future times, after that Temple is built in Jerusalem, there is a prophecy about a "Holy Covenant" already being in place for some time prior. Here are the references:
"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."
(Daniel 9:27 KJV)
"Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart [shall be] against the holy covenant; and he shall do [exploits], and return to his own land."
(Daniel 11:28 KJV)
"For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant."
(Daniel 11:30 KJV)
"And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do [exploits]."
(Daniel 11:32 KJV)
These passages of prophecy seem to indicate that there will be some form of treaty or "covenant" between Israel and their cousins in the Arab world. It could be over the question of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount; a covenant between both sides to share the Mount. The Jews build their Temple and are free to worship there, while the Arabs are free to worship beside them at the Al-Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques, with both sides respecting each other's religious claim to the Mount. A farfetched idea? Not really! Look at what is said in the book of Revelation about the Temple and the Mount during the Great Tribulation:
"And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty [and] two months."
(Revelation 11:1-2 KJV)
Keep in mind that both Israel and the Arabs are blood cousins, being the common descendants of Abraham through his sons Isaac and Ishmael respectively. Both people's faiths are rooted in the same Old Testament traditions, and they are both from common genetic stock, although the Messianic line is through the bloodline of Isaac and Jacob (the Hebrews), a fact the Arabs deny. And, politically, both of these people have something else in common - both consider Iran a threat.
On a Bible doctrinal basis, both the Jews and Arabs have one more thing in common (besides eschewing pork): Both their religions deny that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that God came in the flesh in the person of the Lord Jesus.
"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."
(1 John 4:3 KJV)
"For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."
(2 John 1:7 KJV)
Therefore, based on the authority of the Scriptures, both the mainline Jewish and Islamic faiths of today (to say nothing of other world religions and apostate "Christian" cults and sects who deny the physical resurrection of Jesus and His Deity) are all under that spirit of antichrist. It is not inconceivable that both the Jews and Arabs, indeed the whole unsaved world, could find a common basis for religious unity under that spirit (i.e. religions of works and ritual, not faith in the shed blood of Jesus and His ressurection for justification by faith before God).
Jerusalem is considered a holy city by three faiths; Judaism, Christianity and Islam. What the Bible does tell us about the Jerusalem of that future time (before the second coming) is revealed in the book of Revelation. And what is revealed gives us an unbelievable glance into the conditions at Jerusalem at that future time.
In that day Jerusalem will be a "great city" in this present evil world and a global center of religious worship, commerce and political power. It will be a corrupt place where religious authorities (much like the Pharisees and Sanhedrin of olden days) rule over and suppress the poor and persecute the truly righteous. And once again the sins of Jerusalem and the world will cause the Lord God to rise up and send prophets to Jerusalem, preaching repentance and that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand; the very same message of John the Baptist, Elijah and Jesus. (see Matthew 17:10-11 & Mark 9:11-12). Two of those future coming prophets are killed by the rulers of the city in that day:
"And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified."
(Revelation 11:8 KJV)
The Jerusalem of the future is likened unto Sodom and Egypt. In Old Testament Jerusalem, the city was repleate with sodomites when the Lord was angry with His people for their falling away from His laws and commandments (see 1Ki 14:24; 1Ki 15:12; 1Ki 22:46; 2Ki 23:7). When the Hebrews were in Egypt they were cruely oppressed as being in an iron furnace (see De 4:20; 1Ki 8:51; Jer 11:4). Future Jerusalem, being likened to Egypt indicates that the Hebrew people may at that future time be oppressed by an occupying foreign power or in captivity in their own land by a gentile nation. Perhaps this is why other refrences in Revelation to the "great city" refer to it as "Babylon" and "The Mother of Harlots". These comparisons may be telling of the level of depravity and hardship being endured by the righteous in the "great city" at that future time.
Keep in mind that, in Old Testament prophecy, cities like Jerusalem are spoken of as women, and usually in less than flattering terms when the Lord God is angry with them:
"Zion spreadeth forth her hands, and there is none to comfort her: the LORD hath commanded concerning Jacob, that his adversaries should be round about him: Jerusalem is as a menstruous woman among them."
(Lamentations 1:17 KJV)
It is a popular belief in the fundamental protestant school of prophecy that Papal Rome and the Catholic Church system somehow comes to power in the end times, and that Rome is the identity of the "woman" spoken of in Revelation as riding the beast:
"And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns. The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is. And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth."
(Revelation 17:7-9 KJV)
Since the city of Rome is situated on seven hills, a phrase commonly associated with the city of Rome, they interpret this passage to be pointing to the Roman Catholic Church of Rome. Therefore, they believe that Rome is "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS." (See Revelation 17:5) They further justify this identification based on this verse:
"And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
(Revelation 17:15 KJV)
Reasoning that the Catholic Church has over a billion members in all countries across the world, and since the Catholic Church claims to be the "True Church" of the Apostles, then this could be none other than Rome the Bible is speaking of in Revelation. They then cite this verse as further justification:
"And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth."
(Revelation 17:18 KJV)
The interpreters claim that the Catholic Church rules the politics of many countries on the Earth. They then make the point that the Vatican is a sovereign "State" apart from Italy, and that the "Holy See" has its own embassies and diplomatic status around the world. All these things are true, except this identification of Rome as the "woman" riding the beast of Revelation does not exactly pass the rightly-divided Biblical smell test. And here is why:
Yes, Rome is a city that sits on seven hills, but so do the cities of Istanbul, Turkey (formerly Constantinople) and Jerusalem (and for that matter, so does Cincinnati, Ohio). HOWEVER, Jerusalem is specifically referred to as the "great city" in the book of Revelation, not Rome...
"And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified."
(Revelation 11:8 KJV)
...and is proclaimed by the Scriptures to be the true whore of Babylon:
"And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath."
(Revelation 16:19 KJV)
"And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH."
(Revelation 17:5 KJV)
The Bible tells us that future Jerusalem, not Rome, is the true "whore" of Revelation. In the future Jerusalem, the City of Peace will be the city of a great false peace. It will be a center of power much like ancient Babylon and will once again go a whoring as she did so many times in Old Testament days. At this future time Israel will have abandoned its current democratic form of government and will once again be a theocratic monarchy, ruled by kings and ruling with the kings of the earth. Now, I know that you may find this to be shocking and hard to believe. After all, we all think of Jerusalem as the heart of the holy land and the place where the Lord Jesus Christ will someday reign (and He will), but not before He avenges Himself on the city that rejected the Lamb of God and nailed Him to a tree outside the city walls.
How do we know for sure that Jerusalem is the "woman" spoken of? Consider this undeniable truth: In the Bible God says that Babylon, the mother of harlots, is responsible for shedding specific holy blood:
"And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth."
(Revelation 18:24 KJV)
And the only city on the face of the Earth that meets those criteria, according to the Bible, is the city of Jerusalem:
"Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem."
(Luke 13:33 KJV)
And that is the verse of Scripture that nails the woman's identity. Jesus Himself said this. And Jesus (who was also a prophet), was slain at Jerusalem. In fact, search your Bible and you will find that EVERY true prophet of the Lord God who perished did so at Jerusalem.
"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!
(Luke 13:34 KJV)
I know that some of you will find this revelation troubling. That is understandable, since we know that God has not finished dealing with or completely forsaken the children of Israel. Paul testified to this truth:
"For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance."
(Romans 11:25-29 KJV)
Before God saves the Jewish remnant, they must be brought to repentance and their eyes must be opened. What happens at Jerusalem in the future is how He brings that about. (See Romans 2:4 & Hosea 3:5)
There is another corner stone prophecy in the book of Daniel that you should study:
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 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. And after threescore and two 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. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make [it] desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."
(Daniel 9:24-27 KJV)
There are two (2) "princes" spoken of in this passage. There is "Messiah the Prince" (a reference to Jesus - note that the "P" in prince is capitalized in your KJB). Then there is the "prince of the people that shall come." This is not Jesus, but another prince (the Antichrist) and the passage is speaking of Jerusalem in the future. (Notice the "p" of this latter prince is not capitalized in the KJB.) Also, keep in mind the mention of the "holy covenant" which could be a peace deal between the Jews and the Arabs that we mentioned previously.
The seventy weeks are seventy times seven years, or 490 years. This is the sum total of time God has determined for dealing with Jerusalem. This includes the time from history past (after the Babylonian captivity), up until the future day of the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and His anointing as the King of Kings. As you can see right off the bat, it has been over 2400 years since these seventy weeks of prophecy started, and they are not yet completed. And this is where the "gap" of the Church Age enters the picture. The prophetic clock was stopped for the duration of the Church Age.
"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:"
(Daniel 9:25 KJV)
In researching this particular prophecy, I have found that the interpretations of exactly who gave this "commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem" and exactly when it was given, is not a fully settled historical or theological issue. It is outside the scope of this book to comment on the matter, in depth, but I will share with you one of my own observations.
I found a wee bit of a complication in computing this time. In the above verse it says there will be 69 weeks of years until "Messiah the Prince" (Jesus) "seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks" = 69 weeks, one week short of 70. But in a following passage it says that that "after threescore and two weeks" (62 weeks) "shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself" This latter clause is understood to be when Jesus was crucified for the sins of the world. So what happened to the "seven weeks" mentioned before?
In other words, the passages are saying two different things. In one it says that a total of 69 weeks until "Messiah the Prince" and the other says 62 weeks up to the point where "Messiah be cut off" (the crucifixion). This tells me that these events are not the same length of time. There remains another seven weeks (49) years that must come after the crucifixion, in addition to the one week (7 years) of the future great tribulation period.
One could argue that these 49 years cover the transition periods at the beginning and end of the Church Age. A better suggestion is that the time of the coming of "Messiah the Prince" which happens after "seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks" could be speaking of the return of Jesus to gather his Bride at the Rapture of the Church. That would coincide exactly with the start of the last week (seven years) of the tribulation. And that would make sense because until the King is actually crowned ("and to anoint the most Holy"), He is still, technically, a Prince.
Could it be that these 49 years have something to do with the vision of the Ram and the first of the 10 kings? Could it be that the 49 years begin when the Jews start to rebuild the Temple? Could those 49 years (7 times 7 years) have something to do with a certain Jubilee? (See Leviticus 25)
"And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years. Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the jubile to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month, in the day of atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land."
(Leviticus 25:8-9 KJV)
Surely the prophecy of the Jubilee ("Jubile") and the end-times are related.
"But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch."
(Mark 13:32-34 KJV)
It is also noteworthy to point out that Israel's capture of East Jerusalem and the Temple Mount in the six-day war of 1967, and the U.S. Recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 2017, both happened at the beginning of "Jubile" years. Coincidence? Don't bet on it.
The fullness of the Gentiles has just about come in and the Lord God will once again turn His mercy to unbelieving Israel and save them. But in order to do that, a great time of testing and punishment is still ahead for His chosen people. He will bring them to repentance at Jerusalem, which is 'Ground Zero' for the Great Tribulation. Our Bible tells us that the resurgence of the Persian Empire is only the beginning of the end. The Ram is already pushing its influence northward, southward and westward; there will be more wars and conflict in the Middle East region before the end.
The daily news is filled with ever increasing concern about Iran's nuclear ambitions. Will Iran build a nuclear bomb? Will they use it? Will the Israelis preemptively attack in an attempt to stop them? The major western powers (the U.S. and Europe) are currently working to pressure Iran to cease nuclear fuel production through economic sanctions. The Russians and China, who derive wealth and commerce resources from doing business with Iran, are resisting such economic sanctions. Meanwhile, the rulers of the Iranian government, a hard line Islamic regime that has publically declared it is hell-bent on destroying the nation of Israel, will not stop their march towards development of nuclear weapons. It is also apparent that Iran is getting technical assistance for rockets and nuclear devices from North Korea. Diplomatic efforts will eventually fail. There is a nuclear showdown approaching.
In closing, consider this: In the book of Revelation, just after John hears the "trumpet" and is caught up to heaven (a prophetic event that has been equated by many to be a "type" reference to the future "Rapture" of the Church, (see Revelation 4:1), we read this passage:
"And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see."
(Revelation 6:1 KJV KJV)
John describes hearing something that sounded similar to thunder just before the opening events of the Great Tribulation begin to unfold on the Earth. Could it be that what John heard was a Nuclear Explosion? The Book of Daniel is unsealing. Read it, and get understanding! It is my prayer that you will search the Scriptures, and rightly-divide them, to see what things are true and honest. TRUST YOUR BIBLE!
In the final chapter that follows, we are going to show you more reasons why the old Holy Bible King James Translation is worthy of your trust.
Importance of the Exact English Wording of the KJV Bible
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