Every Thursday We Post Perspectives in Prophecy
Perspectives in Prophecy
“Examining Opinions in Prophecy and News”
Omega Letter Perspective
Bible Prophecy v101.1
In Defense of the Faith
Friday, March 25, 2011
There is no time in history when Bible prophecy has been more relevant to day-to-day living than the present. Current events may seem confusing and chaotic, but as this Bible Prophecy outline demonstrates, all is proceeding smoothly and according to Divine Plan. . .
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT PROPHECY?
Deuteronomy 18: 22 “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true that is the word that the Lord has not spoken.”
Amos 2: 7 “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secrets unto His servants the prophets.”
2 Peter 1: 21 “For no prophecy was made by an act of human will but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.”
Prophet: A man, chosen by God, inspired to speak God’s message to reveal the future to man.
Prophecy: History written in advance. Bible prophecy is God’s description of future events. (25% of the Bible is prophetic)
Eschatology: Derived from 2 Greek words meaning ‘last’ and ‘study’. It is the study of end time events.
GOD USES NUMBERS FOR CONTINUITY IN PROPHECY
#1: Signifies completion, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one God” (Deut. 6:4)
#2: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor, for if they fall, one will lift up his fellow.” (Eccl. 4:9-10)
#3: The simplest compound unit of mathematical science. God is one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is the number of the Godhead. Man has a threefold nature: body, soul, and spirit. Israel would be given to the Jewish people 3 times. God gave Abraham three “I wills.” Three temples in Israel are called for in Scripture; the third temple will be built during the 7 year Tribulation period (Mat 24: 15-21; 2 Thess 2: 1-4; Rev 11: 1-2). The Bible says there will be a 3rd world war during the 7 year Tribulation period (Armageddon).
#4: The number of the created world. There are 4 seasons, and 4 points on the compass, north, south, east and west. There are 4 power blocs of the world in the latter day wars: Kings of the North, South, East, and the Western Alliance.
#6: The number of man; it falls short of perfection (7). Man was created on the sixth day, the divinely appointed work week is 6 days, with the 7th set aside for God. Goliath had 6 fingers and 6 toes. His spear weighed 600 shekels of iron. His height is recorded as 6 cubits and a span. Jesus was crucified on the 6th hour of the 6th day of the week. The numbers 666 represent the antichrist, the spiritually incomplete man multiplied 100 times over.
#7: The number reserved for God. Four is representative of the world and three of the divine (Trinity), together equals 7. The number 7 is used 52 times in the book of Revelation. The book addresses the 7 churches of Asia Minor. There are 7 stars representing the 7 angels, who represent the 7 churches. In Rev. 3:1, Jesus is identified as having the 7 spirits of God (the whole/complete Spirit of God). In Rev. 5:6, the Lamb is pictured as having 7 eyes (representing omniscience), and 7 horns (representing power), symbolizing the Lamb as all-powerful omnipotence. There are 7 seals, 7 thunders, 7 bowl and 7 trumpet judgments. (Revelation 16:6-8).
Under OT Law, an animal must be at least seven days old before it can be sacrificed. The Feast of Unleavened Bread lasts seven days. A male child could not be circumcised until after seven full days had passed. The rules of cleansing (as in cleansing a leper) involved seven sprinklings of water. The Day of Atonement demands seven sprinklings of blood.
2 Peter 3: 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.”
7 Days of Creation= 7,000 years?
7 billion people?
World population as of 01/02/2011= 6,902,723,830
Projected population in July 2012 = 7,000,000,000
Seven days make up one of the four quarters of the moon. There are but 7 notes in music. There are 7 colors in the rainbow.
#8: The number of new beginnings. Noah was the eighth person in the Ark. The first-born was to be given to Jehovah on the eighth day, Exodus 22:29-30. Circumcision is performed on the 8th day. The Jewish Menorah has 8 candles which commemorates the rededication of the Jewish temple on Hanukkah.
#10: one of the perfect numbers, ten is made up of the sum of 4 (the world) and 6 (man). The decimal system is based on 10, suggested by the 10 digits of the hands and feet. Ten begins an altogether new series of numbers. There are ten I AM‘s of Jesus in John. Noah completed the antediluvian age in the tenth generation from God. The Lord’s Prayer is completed in ten clauses. The Ten Commandments contain all that is necessary, and no more than is necessary, both as to their number and their order. The ten plagues were representative of the complete circle of God’s judgments on Egypt. Exodus 9:14, “I will . . . send all my plagues.” Ten nations imply the whole of the nations which are to be the scene of Abraham’s covenant possessions (Genesis 15:19).
Antichrist’s world power is comprised in the ten kingdoms, symbolized by the ten toes on the feet of the image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Daniel 2:41), and by the ten horns of the fourth beast of Daniel’s vision (Daniel 7:7,20,24, etc.; Revelation 12:3, 13:1, 17:3,7,12).
#12: In context, the number twelve refers to the Chosen of God as well as to the perfection of government. There were twelve tribes of Israel. There were twelve Judges over Israel. There were twelve Apostles whose names are inscribed on the twelve foundations in heaven’s Jerusalem, with twelve gates, guarded by twelve angels. The 144,000 of Revelation Chapter 7 are twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev 21:12-14).
#14: The Bible specifically says there were fourteen generations from Abraham to David; fourteen generations from David to the Babylonian captivity, and fourteen generations from the Babylonian exile to Christ (Matthew 1:17). Fourteen is seven doubled. The Passover is on the fourteenth of Nisan, and fourteen lambs are offered on each of the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles.
#40: Moses was on Mount Sinai for 40 days and 40 nights with the Lord when he received the Ten Commandments. Jonah was in Nineveh 40 days and Ezekiel lay on his side for 40 days to symbolize 40 years of Judah’s transgression. Jesus was tempted for 40 days and was seen by His disciples for 40 days after the Resurrection. The Israelites were in the wilderness for 40 years. There were 40 years from the crucifixion of Jesus to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.
#70: The number specially connected with Jerusalem.
The number seventy is another combination of two of the perfect numbers, seven and ten. 7 x 10 signifies perfect spiritual order carried out with all spiritual power and significance. Both spirit and order are greatly emphasized.
The table of 70 nations in Genesis 10 (post flood) is the first recorded list of the descendants of Noah: Shem, Ham and Japheth, which provides the genealogy of the nations known at that time. Seventy elders furnished Israel’s great Tribunal, (Exodus 24:1; Numbers 11:16) afterwards called the Sanhedrin. The Jewish people kept the Sabbaths seventy years, while they were in the Diaspora (Babylonian Captivity) (Jeremiah 35:11).
Seventy sevens were determined upon Israel to complete its transgression and bring in everlasting righteousness (Messiah) for it, (Daniel 9:24). “The days of our years are three score years and ten (70); and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10)
The destruction of the second Jewish Temple took place in AD 70.
#1948: The birth of Abraham and the rebirth of Israel
Anno Mundi (Latin: “in the year of the world“) abbreviated as AM or A.M.
Anno Domini (abbreviated as AD or A.D., sometimes found in the form Anno Domine) and Before Christ (abbreviated as BC or B.C.)
It was to Abraham that God gave the land grant that gave Israel the nickname “the Promised Land.” Two thousand years later, Jesus stepped into the world to redeem the Covenant under which that land grant was made, but was instead rejected and crucified, precisely as prophesied by the Prophet Daniel.
The Temple was torn down, as Jesus prophesied, the Jews were scattered into the Diaspora. Two thousand years after that, God began to regather the Jews to their homeland and Israel was reborn — in the year 1948 Anno Domini. Full circle. . . from the birth of Israel’s patriarch in 1948 AM to the restoration of Israel as a nation after two thousand years in exile in 1948 AD.
Everything about everything that makes it possible for us to have fellowship with God was born in Ur in 1948 AM. And the starting date for the restoration of ALL things, according to the testimony of Jesus, is the budding fig tree, symbolic of the nation of Israel, reborn after two millennia in the Diaspora, in 1948 AD
DOCTRINES THAT DIVIDE CHRISTIANS
1. Premillennialism: Teaching that Christ will literally and physically be on earth for a thousand year reign. Revelation 20: 1-7
2. Amillennialism: Teaching that states that there is no millennium reign (1000 years) of Christ on earth.
3. Postmillennialism: Teaches Reconstructionism, a belief that God’s kingdom began at the first coming of Jesus, and will advance throughout history until it fills the whole earth through conversion to the Christian faith and world view.
1. DISPENSATIONALISM: A Premillenial system of theology that recognizes three basic tenets (1 Corinthians 9:17; Eph. 1:10, 3:2; Col. 1:25):
1. There is a theological difference between Israel and the Church
2. Scripture is to be interpreted by the literal method unless the text itself mentions a figurative or symbolic interpretation.
3. The underlying purpose of God in this world is His glory.
Author’s Note: Dispensationalism is currently the most popular scriptural interpretative method in American Evangelicalism, and has been from the latter half of the 19th century on through to the 21st century.
Dispensational View of Scripture:
1. Philosophically, the purpose of language itself seems to require that we interpret it literally. Language was given by God for the purpose of being able to communicate with man.
2. Every prophecy about Jesus Christ (over 300) in the Old Testament was fulfilled literally. Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), Jesus’ ministry as a suffering servant (Isaiah 53: 1-3), Jesus’ death (Psalm 22), and Jesus’ resurrection (Psalm 16: 10) all occurred exactly and literally as the Old Testament predicted. There is no non-literal fulfillment of these prophecies in the New Testament. If literal interpretation is not used in studying the Scriptures, there is no objective standard by which to understand the Bible. Each and every person would be able to interpret the Bible as he saw fit.
Dispensational theology teaches that there are two distinct peoples of God: Israel and the Church. Dispensationalists believe that salvation has always been by faith—in God in the Old Testament and, specifically, in God the Son in the New Testament. Dispensationalists hold that the Church has not replaced Israel in God’s program, and the Old Testament promises to Israel have not been transferred to the Church. They believe that the promises God made to Israel (for land, many descendants, and blessings) in the Old Testament will be ultimately fulfilled in the 1000-year period spoken of in Revelation Chapter 20.
Dispensationalists believe that just as God in this age is focusing His attention on the Church, He will again, in the future, focus His attention on Israel.
Romans 11: 1 “I ask then: Did God reject His people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.”
There are 7 Dispensations from Genesis to Revelation, representing God’s interaction with man at different periods of time:
1. Innocence: Creation to the fall (Gen. 1:27-28)
2. Conscience: Fall to the flood (Gen. 3:1-6)
3. Human Government: Exit from the Ark to Abraham (Jews) (Gen. 9:6)
4. Promise: Abraham to the Law (Gen. 12:1)
5. Law: Ten Commandments to Calvary (Ex. 5:6, 19:3; Acts 1)
6. Grace: Pentecost to the Rapture (Acts 2, Rev. 19:21)
7. Millennium Kingdom: Imprisonment of Satan to the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20:1, 22:7)
2. Covenant Theology: Amillennial
Covenant Theology is a framework for interpreting Scripture. It is usually contrasted with Dispensational Theology.
Covenant Theology defines two overriding covenants: the covenant of works (CW) and the covenant of grace (CG). A third covenant is sometimes mentioned, namely, the covenant of redemption (CR), which logically precedes the other two covenants. The important thing to keep in mind is that all of the various covenants described in Scripture (e.g., the covenants made with Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and the New Covenant) are outworkings of either the covenant of works or the covenant of grace.
According to Covenant Theology, the Covenant of Redemption is a covenant made among the three Persons of the Trinity to elect, atone for, and save a select group of individuals unto salvation and eternal life.
The Covenant of Works is the first covenant we see in Scripture. When God created man, He placed him in the Garden of Eden and gave him one simple command: “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17).
When Adam failed in keeping the covenant of works, God instituted the third covenant, called the covenant of grace. In the CG, God freely offers to sinners (those who fail to live up to the CW) eternal life and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. We see the provision for the CG right after the fall when God prophesies about the “seed of the woman” in Genesis 3:15.
Covenant Theology views the Scriptures as manifestations of either the CW or the CG. The entire story of redemptive history can be seen as God unfolding the CG from its nascent stages (Genesis 3:15) all the way through its fruition in Christ. Covenant Theology is, therefore, a very Christocentric way of looking at Scripture because it sees the OT as the promise of Christ and the NT as the fulfillment in Christ. Some have accused Covenant Theology as teaching what is called “Replacement Theology.” The Church doesn’t replace Israel; the Church is Israel and Israel is the Church (Galatians 6:16). All people who exercise the same faith as Abraham are part of the covenant people of God (Galatians 3:25-29).
Author’s Note: Covenant Theology, however, remains the majority teaching for Protestantism since the time of the Reformation, and it is the system favored by those of a more Reformed or Calvinistic persuasion.
3. Replacement Theology/ Supersessionism: A system of theology that essentially teaches that the church has replaced Israel in God’s plan. Adherents of replacement theology believe the Jews are no longer God’s chosen people, and God does not have specific future plans for the nation of Israel.
All the different views of the relationship between the church and Israel can be divided into two camps: either the church is a continuation of Israel (replacement/covenant theology), or the church is completely different and distinct from Israel (Dispensationalism Premillennialism).
Replacement Theology became the position of the Church during the time of Augustine (A.D. 354-430), who popularized it in his book The City of God. Initially, Augustine claimed that he was a Chiliast, one who believed in the literal thousand-year reign of Christ on the earth, the basic view of Premillennialism today. Having come to the conclusion that this view was “inferior” and “carnal,” he adopted the position that the reign of Christ should be much more “spiritual” and it would occur during this present Church Age. Therefore, the view of the Church was that the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 AD was brought about divinely, that God had ordained the end of unbelieving Jewish Israel. The prophecies of condemnation and judgment, however, still remain for national Israel and the Jewish people.
Author’s Note: Major problems exist with this view, such as the continuing existence of the Jewish people throughout the centuries and especially with the revival of the modern state of Israel. If Israel has been condemned by God, there being no future for the Jewish nation, how do we account for the supernatural survival of the Jewish people, Israel’s rebirth among the gentile nations (Isaiah 66: 7-8), victories in major wars with the Arabs and a flourishing modern democratic Jewish state?
Replacement Theology may be either Amillennial or Postmillennial. It is currently the most popular in Catholic teaching as well as the World Council of Churches, the Presbyterian Church USA, the Methodist Church, the Lutheran Church (ELCA), the Anglican Church and the United Church of Christ.
FOUR UNCONDITIONAL COVENANTS
Author’s Note: Since many Christian churches today teach either Replacement or Covenant Theology, it would also follow that the Old Testament teaching of God’s Covenants, or promises to the Jewish people, would hold no special prophetic significance for today. Dispensationalism teaches that the Covenants of God are literal and everlasting for the Jewish people and the foundation for understanding His unfolding plan for the world (Genesis 17: 1-22).
Psalm 105: 7-11 “He is the Lord our God; His judgments are on all the earth. He has remembered His covenant forever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations, the covenant which He made with Abraham and His oath to Isaac. Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, saying, to you I will give the land of Canaan as a portion of your inheritance.” (See also Deut. 7: 9)
Definition of Covenant: A divinely initiated contract which God makes with man in which God obligates Himself to the parties named in the contract. There are two types of covenants, conditional and unconditional. The following are the four unconditional covenants that God made with Israel.
1. ABRAHAMIC COVENANT: Unconditional or Patriarchal. This is the foundation of all future covenants (Gen. 12:1-3, 13:14-18, 15:1-21, 17:1-22).
- To make Abraham a great nation, multiply his seed, and make him the father of many nations
- To bless Abraham and make him great
- To make Abraham a blessing to all the families of the earth
- To bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him
- To give Abraham and his seed all the land he could see, with specified, definite boundaries
- To give a sign of covenant (circumcision)
Author’s Note: This covenant is under attack from anti-Semitism.
Hebrews 6: 13-16 “When God made His promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for Him to swear by, He swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said.
2. LAND (PALESTINIAN) COVENANT: Unconditional, promising the seed of Abraham eternal possession of the land (Deut. 30:1-10)
- Israel will be dispersed among the nations
- Israel will repent and return to the land
- Israel will be re-gathered from the dispersion to the land that their fathers possessed.
- To prosper them above their fathers
- To restore them spiritually to love the Lord
- To put all their curses upon their enemies
Author’s Note: This covenant is under attack today in the Middle East.
3. DAVIDIC COVENANT: Unconditional, God reaffirms the Abrahamic covenant with David adding that the blessings (Messiah) would be attached to his lineage (2 Sam. 7:1-16, 23:1-5; Ps. 89:34-37).
- To make David’s name great
- To provide a permanent, undisturbed home for Israel
- To establish an eternal kingdom for David and his lineage.
Author’s Note: This covenant will be fulfilled by the millennial reign of Christ on earth. It is under attack by Amillennial and Postmillennial Christian teaching.
Psalm 132:11, God made a promise to David that, “Of the fruit of your body I will set upon your throne.”
Luke 1: 30-34 God gives the promise to Mary that “The Lord will give Him the throne of His father David forever.”
Matt. 6: 9-13 In the Lord’s prayer Jesus taught us “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven,” promising us His 1000 year reign on earth.
4. NEW (EVERLASTING) COVENANT: Unconditional, it replaced the conditional Mosaic Covenant which promised that God would make Israel His special possession and make them a holy people. The people failed to obey God and the New Covenant provided spiritual restoration. In the New Covenant God made these promises:
- To put the law in their hearts and minds
- To be their God and make them His people
- To establish an eternal Kingdom with God and His people
Author’s Note: This is the covenant from which the name New Testament is derived.
THE 70 WEEKS OF DANIEL, THE DATE OF MESSIAH ON EARTH IS PROPHECIED
Daniel: 9:24-27 “Seventy weeks (of years, Shabua) 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 (Messiah).
Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem (decree of Artaxerxes in 444 BC) unto the Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks (49 years), and threescore and two weeks (62 weeks or 434 years): the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
And after threescore and two weeks (434/360 day years) shall Messiah be cut off (killed in the year 33), but not for Himself: and the people of the prince that shall come (antichrist) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary (3rd Temple); 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 (peace treaty with Israel) with many for one week (the last 7 years=490): and in the midst of the week (3.5 years) he shall cause the sacrifice (animal offerings) 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.”
The 70 weeks are divided into 3 sections:
Note: Weeks in Hebrew is translated Shabua. It was most commonly applied to a time unit (a block of 7 years). Judaism used the number 7 as we use 10ths (decade) today.
The 1st section (7 weeks or 49/ 360 day years) is the time from the edict of Artaxerxes of Persia (444 BC) to the rebuilding of Jerusalem.
The 2nd section (62 weeks or 434 years) is from the rebuilding of Jerusalem to the death of Messiah. (434+49=483 equals the year 33 AD.)
The 3rd section (1 week or 7 years) is suspended from the death (cut off) of the Messiah until the antichrist confirms a 7-year peace treaty in the Middle East. The treaty marks the start of the tribulation period (483+7= 490).
Church Age/Age of Grace: The 2000 year period that begins at Pentecost and
ends at the Rapture of the church.
Rapture: Also called the Day of Christ. Rapture is an English word meaning snatched up or caught up. It is the catching away of the true believers of Jesus Christ. The Rapture is the literal, visible and bodily return of Jesus Christ in the heavenlies (1Thess. 4:13-18, 5: 9).
Tribulation/ Day of the Lord/Daniel’s 70th week: A 7 year period of the current age, with Israel as the main focal point. It begins with an enforced peace treaty with Israel. It becomes the “Great Tribulation” at the mid-way point (42 months), when Satan enters a man’s body. Also called the “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble.”
Antichrist: Before Christ comes to set up His Kingdom of peace, Satan will enter a man’s body and present his counterfeit, the antichrist, as the Messiah. Other names include: Little Horn (Dan. 7:8), King of fierce countenance (Dan. 8:23), The Prince that shall come (Dan. 9:26), the man of sin, the son of perdition and the wicked one (2 Thess. 2:8), the Beast of the sea (Rev. 13:1). The antichrist enforces a seven year peace treaty that amazes the world.
Abomination of Desolation: Antichrist will take control of Jewish worship midway through the tribulation, declaring himself to be God (2Thess. 2:4). He demands worship from the Jews, in their own temple.
False Prophet: Religious leader who ascends to world popularity via his close alignment with the antichrist. He is the leader of the one world church in Rev. 13:11. He will work amazing miracles and lead people into idolatry by worshiping the image of the beast.
Second Coming/Millennium: Literal and bodily reign of Christ on earth.
LATTER DAY WARS
TWO EVENTS LEADING TO THE TRIBULATION:
1. PROPHECY, THE BURDEN OF DAMASCUS (Isaiah 17:1, 4, 14)
v.1: “A message concerning Damascus. Observe! Damascus is about to be undone as a city.”
v. 4: “In that day it shall come to pass that the glory of Jacob will wane,
And the fatness of his flesh grow lean.”
v.14: “At evening tide, lo, terror! Before morning they are gone. Such is the fate of those who pillage us and the lot of those who plunder us.”
FACT: Damascus, the capital of Syria, is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, population approximately 1.6 million. Syria is the state sponsor of the terror group Hezbollah.
2. PROPHECY Psalm 83 (1000 BC)
“God, do not be silent, be not quiet, be not still. See how Your enemies are astir, how Your foes rear their heads. With cunning they conspire against Your people; they plot against those You cherish. Come they say ‘LET US DESTROY THEM AS A NATION,’ that the name of Israel be remembered no more.”
“With one mind they plot together, they form an alliance against You, the tents of Edom (modern day Palestinians, West Bank and southern Jordan), Moab (Palestinians, central Jordan), Ammon (northern Jordan) and Amalek (Arabs of the Sinai), the Ishmaelites (Saudi Arabia) and the Hagarenes (Egypt), Philistia (Gaza) with the inhabitants of Tyre (northern Lebanon, Hezbollah) Gebal, (northern coast of Lebanon) Even Assyria (Syria and Kurdish Iraq) has joined them to lend strength to the descendants of Lot (northern Jordan).”
- Descendants of Edom, Moab, Ammon, and Lot; Palestinians of Jordan
- Amalek; Arabs of the Sinai