In the part 1, written in March, I’ve mentioned that “because God gave us the outline of the plan in the Book of Revelation, where He detailed the sequence of events that will happen in the “end time”, this is not just a warning but also a blessing for those who do not believe. Once they realize that the sequence of events in the world is tracking exactly according to God’s plan, they should figure out that God does exist and He is true to His Word. This should lead them to repentance and realization that Jesus died for them as well, so their ticket (to heaven) is also purchased and ready for pick up. There will be multitudes that will change their minds during the tribulation and will take this “exit clause” and join other saved believers in heaven (see Revelation 7:9-17).”
So, the intention of this article is to talk more about God’s “end time” plan and lay out some specifics about it as far as He has made it known to us (through various people). Thus, this is a compilation of different sources and thoughts (and I’ll put references in the text as we go) and my understanding of it all. You are advised to study the original sources and make your own conclusions.
World War III
Back in March 2014 I’ve mentioned World War III. Bible says it will kill one third of the mankind (more than 2 billion people!) and will start in the region of the river Euphrates (which flows through Turkey, Syria and Iraq).
Since then we saw the rise of the Islamic State which “claims religious authority over all Muslims across the world and aims to bring most of the Muslim-inhabited regions of the world under its political control beginning with territory in the Levant region which includes Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Cyprus and part of southern Turkey” (from Wikipedia).
Is this the beginning of the WW III? Let’s check what the Bible says: “Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.” So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind” (Revelation 9:13-15).
Never before, in any of the great wars, it happened that 1/3 of the mankind was killed. Hence, this event is named the World War III as it will eclipse (in atrocities and viciousness) the previous two worldwide wars. If you want more information about WW III get hold of Irwin Baxter’s 14-part DVD series named “Understanding the EndTime” mentioned in the part 1.
In that same DVD series Irwin Baxter talks about the meaning of the trumpets and I think he makes a good case for aligning the first five to WW I, WW II, Chernobyl disaster and other events. Based on his interpretation of the Book of Revelation five trumpets had sounded during the 20th century and the mankind is facing the 6th trumpet. It does seem to me that the 6th trumpet have been also sounded and that four angels, who were bound at the river Euphrates, are now released.
Post WW III: New World Order
How will the events play out is left to be seen, but apart from Muslim desire to dominate the world there is another force that wants to do the same in Asia – Chinese. Nevertheless, The Bible describes the post WW III dominated by the One World Government where control would be held by the coalition of the Great Britain, Germany and Russia.
Where do we get this? Revelation 13:2 says: “Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.” God is consistent in the use of symbols across the Bible, so leopard, bear and lion are already mentioned in Daniel 7. In there they are mentioned as separate beasts (i.e. separate countries) , after which the fourth, even bigger, beast comes out. In the Revelation verse above we find that leopard, bear and lion are somewhat included in this new and bigger beast (i.e. previously separate countries are now united).
Beasts symbolize the kingdoms and also their rulers (e.g. see Daniel 7:17). According to Irwin Baxter’s explanation leopard represents Germany, bear represents Russia and lion represents the Great Britain. This would mean that the One World Government (i.e. the dreadful beast mentioned above) would be controlled by the nations of Germany, Russia and Great Britain (probably in that order of power and authority). The other thing to notice is that this world government is not of God; it will not obey Him or do His will. The devil (the dragon) will give it “his power, his throne, and great authority.”
Notice that there is no USA in the One World Government system, even though Irwin Baxter successfully argues its mention as a separate country in the Book of Daniel (i.e. eagle wings plucked out of the lion—Great Britain, and given the face of the man—Uncle Sam, see Daniel 7:4). Is this a hint that USA will be diminished in her power and influence or even cease to exist? Or does it just mean that USA will choose to stay out of the devil-controlled world governmental system?
USA was founded by God-fearing people and she was always about God’s plan and His purposes, until recently. However, God has not forsaken her; He is trying to warn her people and leadership about the pending judgement if she doesn’t repent and change her course. A must read on this topic is Jonathan Cahn’s book The Harbinger. A good summary is given in the September 2011 issue of Mishpochah and we will refer to it later while talking about God’s “sevenfold time template”.
So, what’s so bad with this One World Government, you might say? As after each of the great wars people gather together to create mechanisms that would make sure that such bad things (i.e. wars) would never repeat again, so as it happened after the WW I and WW II, would it not be the same after the WW III (and hence it’s a good thing)? People will gather together and analyze how it all started and will conclude that religion has been a cause of too many wars in the past so we need to put an end to all that religious strife. They would proclaim that all religions point to the one God so we are all in essence spiritual brothers and sisters. The problem is that the Antichrist will make use of this movement to establish his popularity (the Pope will give him his full support) and then he will turn people away from God.
Ultimately, the Antichrist will rise to rule the One World Government and will be so skillful in deceiving people that they will not recognize him as the devil in disguise but a great orator, statesman, peace maker and visionary! This same person will declare persecution of the Christians because he will (with the help of the head of the Roman Catholic Church – the Pope) establish the One World Religion and ultimately proclaim himself to be the Messiah, the Savior everybody expects would come at the end. As Irwin Baxter so skillfully presented this scenario, and gave a solid historical evidence for it in his “Understanding the EndTime” series, I will refer you to study his material and discover the facts for yourself.
The Bible clearly states that when Jesus Christ, the true Savior and Messiah (Y’shua HaMashiach), comes back for the second time he will descend from the clouds (and everybody will plainly see him doing so): “Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven”” (Acts 1:9-11). “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory” (Mark 13:24-26).
Jesus will destroy the Antichrist and his armies (see Revelation 19) and put an end to the One World Government system establishing His own millennial kingdom on the earth (see Revelation 20).
So, When Will The End Time Come?
Mark 13 describes the occasion when Jesus’ disciples asked Him about the end times and when would it come. He basically said that there will be a long time before the end comes and that “of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 12:32). However, right before saying that he also told them: “Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender, and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. So you also, when you see these things happening, know that it is near—at the doors!” (Mark 13:28-29).
Therefore, it is possible to know when the end time is “at the doors” by looking for the signs of its nearness. Even so, most are saying that we cannot possibly know the exact time, but in Daniel 12:4 God instructs Daniel to “shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” In other words, the end time was so far in the future that people of that era could not interpret what that prophecy was all about (i.e. Daniel was instructed to “shut up the words, and seal the book”), but as the time progresses and gets closer to the end, knowledge of the Bible prophecy will increase, because this book would be “unsealed”.
Near the end people will get clues on how to interpret the Book of Daniel (e.g. which kingdoms are represented by the mentioned beasts) and the signs of the end time will become obvious to those that diligently seek understanding. In the same way we would know when summer is approaching (by looking for the signs in nature), similarly we can know when the end time is approaching by watching for the “things” Jesus mentioned.
So, what are the “things” mentioned in Mark 13? Jesus mentioned wars, rumors or wars, earthquakes, famines and troubles, but those happen constantly; there is nothing special about them. Nevertheless, in there He also said that “the gospel must first be preached to all the nations” (Mark 13:10), which did not happen until recently. Few centuries ago Christianity was mainly practiced by the European nations. It was only few decades ago, with the advent of the Christian satellite TV stations that gospel could be truly preached to all the nations around the globe (even to those where there is strong hostility towards Christianity).
But perhaps the best way to measure the effectiveness of preaching the gospel to all nations is to look at the history of Bible translations. “By 1800 there were 66 languages with some portion of Scripture, 40 with the whole Bible” (from Wycliffe Bible Translators). In 2013 complete Bible translations exist in 513 languages, whole New Testament (with other portions of the Scripture) is available in 1294 languages and incomplete Bible translations (with one or more books) are available in additional 1010 languages (source Wycliffe Global Alliance). According to the same source the written Word has reached about 92% of the world’s population (see the chart below ).
So, it seems that the gospel is preached to all nations, or we are very close to this goal. The other specific sign that Jesus mentioned is the “‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet” (Mark 13:14, Matthew 24:15). So, what is the ‘abomination of desolation’? As Irwin Baxter explains, Antichrist will set up an idol in the Temple and cause people to worship it and turn away from God the Father. So, for this to happen the Temple has to be built. At the moment Jews cannot even worship at the Temple Mount (due to Muslim rioters), let alone start building the Temple. So, for the Temple to be built, there must come to existence some sort of an agreement between the Jews and the Palestinians.
In Revelation 11:1-2 John is given instructions to “measure the temple of God, the altar, and those who worship there. But leave out the court which is outside the temple, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the Gentiles.” According to Irwin Baxter this means that the future agreement between the Israel and the Palestinian Authority will place the Temple Mount under a sharing agreement (i.e. court, which is outside the temple, is given to the Gentiles).
And as soon as this agreement is made Jews will start building the third Temple and as soon as it would be finished they will start the animal sacrifices as in the old days. But the Antichrist (who will broker the peace agreement between the Jews and the Palestinians) will stop the sacrifices exactly 3.5 years after the signing of the agreement. In Daniel 9:27 we read: “He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
Here ‘seven’ means seven years and ‘middle of the seven’ means 3.5 years from the signing of the agreement. So, Jesus said that after Antichrist will desecrate the Temple (by setting up the ‘abomination of desolation’ in it), the world will plunge into the Great Tribulation. This will last for the second half of the ‘seven’ (i.e. 3.5 years) and after this Jesus will come back (see Mark 13:24-26).
So, when will the end time come? The last seven years will start when an agreement brokering the Temple Mount sharing arrangement is signed. Jews are already ready to build the temple (see the Temple Institute website) but the problem is that Palestinians deny Israel’s right to exist. What could make Palestinian Authority (PA) change its stand on Israel? Could it be that when Hamas joins IS and takes actions to overthrow PA (in order to gain control over all Muslims in the Palestine) the PA will seek the protection of Israel and will sign the agreement?
Or, could it be that because Antichrist will “confirm a covenant with many” this indicates that there would be some kind of a UN-backed resolution giving Israel right to start building the Temple? A resolution that would be made possible in the aftermath of WW III? Whatever would be a cause for it, we are waiting for that ‘covenant’. But let’s see how other things are converging with this “trigger point”.
The Mystery of the Sevens
The Book of Revelation talks a lot about seven things: seven churches, seven seals, seven trumpets, seven bowls, seven lampstands, seven spirits etc. etc. There are many sevens in that book! Daniel’s 70 weeks prophecy is also about sevens, where each seven (i.e. a week) represents seven years, or a ‘week of years’. So, to really understand God’s calendar we have to go back to the Jewish roots of Christianity. BTW, if you didn’t know Jesus (Y’shua) was a Jew and so were all his disciples and the first Christians. The gospel was proclaimed to the Jew first and then to the Gentiles (see Romans 1:16).
Seven is the number of completeness, as God created the world in 6 days and rested on the seventh (see Genesis 2:2). Hence, God commanded people to rest on the seventh day as well. But as Mark Biltz explained on Jim Bakker Show on September, 16th 2014 there are more ‘sevens’ in the Jewish calendar: there is a ‘week of weeks’ (i.e. 49 days) that is used to calculate the Feast of Weeks (from the Passover). There is a ‘week of months’ (i.e. 7 months) which points to the 7 month in the Jewish calendar containing the three fall feasts, one of which is the Feast of Trumpets.
There is also a ‘week of years’ (i.e. 7 years or ‘sevens’ in the Book of Daniel) which is also known as the ‘Shemitah Cycle’ where the seventh year is the Shemitah year where land is given a rest and all debts are cancelled. In the September 2011 issue of Mishpochah Jonathan Cahn says the following about this 7-year cycle: “Every seventh year, the Shemitah, or Sabbath Year, would cause the land to rest, when sowing and reaping, buying and selling, would come to a standstill. The Shemitah was unique in that it specifically affected the nation’s economic and financial realms — wiping out all accounts of credit and debt. For the nation that departs from God, the Shemitah becomes a sign of judgment.
“The year of Shemitah reaches its culmination on the last day of the Hebrew year. In September of 2008 came the greatest stock market point crash in American history. When did it happen? On the biblical day of the Shemitah — the very day when credit and debt, the accounts of the financial realm, are wiped away!
“Seven years earlier was the second largest crash in American history — it was the one caused by 9/11. When did that crash take place? On the day of the Shemitah! Thus the two greatest financial collapses in American history both happened on the exact same Hebrew day — the day of the Shemitah — the sign of a nation departed from God. And the night after each of America’s stock market crashes came the Feast of Trumpets, the sounding of the shofar — the other biblical sign of judgment.”
Suffice to say that we have just entered the Shemitah year again, which started on September, 25th 2014 and will finish on September, 13th 2015. By applying the logic from above, that Shemitah Cycle becomes a curse when nations move away from God, we can conclude that there is probably another stock market crash scheduled to happen around September 2015 (i.e. at the end of the current Shemitah year).
Apart from the ‘week of years’ there is also a ‘week of Shemitahs’ (i.e. 49 years) after which a Jubilee year (the 50th year) is celebrated. “‘Count off seven sabbath years—seven times seven years—so that the seven sabbath years amount to a period of forty-nine years. Then have the trumpet sounded everywhere on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement sound the trumpet throughout your land. Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan. The fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; do not sow and do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the untended vines. For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you; eat only what is taken directly from the fields” (Leviticus 25:8-12).
And finally, there is also a ‘week of millennia’ (i.e. 7000 years) where the first 6 millennia are man’s to reign on earth, while the seventh millennium is when God will reign on earth. From Adam to Abraham were about 2000 years, from Abraham to Jesus the Messiah were about 2000 years and from His first coming to His second coming will be about 2000 years. So, the 1000 years of Jesus’ reign on earth (see Revelation 20:4-6) is the fulfillment of the ‘week of millennia’.
So, looking at the mystery of the sevens (as described above) we can conclude that, if somebody would want to guess when something would happen on God’s calendar, the most probable answer would be that such event would definitely follow the Shemitah Cycle or the “sevenfold time template”. Because, to Daniel it was revealed that the “end time” will span a time period of seven years and to Israelites God commanded to observe the seven year cycle perpetually.
So, these two seven-year time periods have to be the same. Because God is consistent, any other way wouldn’t make much sense. As Mark Biltz proclaimed the other day (paraphrase): “If the end time doesn’t start in 2015 then we would have to wait another seven years before that would be possible!”
OK, let us now look at the 50-year cycle of the Jubilee. As stated previously, in order for the Temple to be built the Jews will have to be given free access to the Temple Mount and for this we need some sort of a peace treaty between the Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
But let’s trace this line of thought back in time. In order for the Jews to build the Temple on the Temple Mount they need to have control over the Jerusalem, which they gained after the Six-Day War in June 1967. But to gain control over Jerusalem they have to have the right to be in the land of Israel, which they got with the Balfour Declaration in November 1917. I’m not sure how this looks to you but to me it smells like a Jubilee cycle. As Jubilee brings return to the family property and to one’s own clan, what if Israel’s return to the 1) ownership of the land, 2) ownership of the Jerusalem and 3) ownership of the Temple would follow the 50-year cycle? So, could we make a wild guess that the Temple would be opened sometime in 2017?
Another converging piece of the puzzle is a Tetrad, four blood moons appearing on Jewish feast days. Here is an excerpt from CBN News: “In his latest book, Four Blood Moons: Something Is About to Change, Hagee lays out what he calls celestial signals. He describes how a series of blood moons in 2014 and 2015 will have great significance for Israel…
“Such moons appear several times in scripture. In the book of Joel, God says there will be “wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire…the sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord…
“In the past, the rare appearance of four blood moons on these feast days has coincided with major events for Israel and the Jewish people.
“In 1492, Spain expelled the Jews. Columbus also discovered America, which became a safe haven for the Jewish people.
“In each of these blood moons, you have something that begins in tragedy and ends in triumph,” Hagee explained.
“For instance, in 1948, Israel was reborn as a nation.
“After 2,000 years, God supernaturally brought them from 66 nations and a nation was born in a day,” Hagee noted. “That again was a supernatural something that happened following the tragedy of the Holocaust.”
“In 1967, Israel won the Six-Day War and recaptured Jerusalem.
“For the first time in 2,000 years, Jerusalem and the State of Israel were together again,” Hagee said.“
So, clearly, something is about to happen in 2015—there are several converging pieces of the puzzle coming together. Ancient Jewish calendar cycles and Bible prophecy are aligning together. For example, if the current Tetrad is not the one referred to in the scripture then we would need to wait another 400 years for the next Tetrad, but that would mess up the ‘weeks of millennia’. Obviously, the prophecy “sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord” (Joel 2:31) would still apply even if the end time doesn’t start in 2015 but instead in the next Shemitah Cycle, however I like to think that Scripture is precise.
Before I finish for today let me also recommend Dr. Chuck Missler Book of Revelation, An Expositional Commentary. It will take you on an in-depth journey through the whole Bible, because: “The Book of Revelation consists of 404 verses which contain over 800 allusions to the Old Testament alone! One reason the book appears so strange to the uninitiated is that most of us haven’t developed enough familiarity with the Old Testament.” (from khouse.org).
This commentary gives a very good explanation of Jesus’ letters to the seven churches and how that applies to you and me today. One thing is to understand the prophecy and expect something is going to happen, but more important is to prepare yourself and others for the event. In other words, get into the relationship with Jesus now, while faith is still required, because: “by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Once He comes back and people will see Him with their physical eyes, at that time faith is not required to understand that Jesus is KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS (see Revelation 19:11-21) so salvation through faith cannot be offered. Salvation is offered now, while one still requires faith to overcome the world.
UPDATE 2014-10-09: Another thing that converges with the above is the 750-year prophecy from Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel: “When the Ottomans (Turks) – who were already a power to be reckoned with on the Bosporus in the time of Judah Ben Samuel – conquer Jerusalem they will rule over Jerusalem for eight jubilees. Afterwards Jerusalem will become no-man’s land for one jubilee, and then in the ninth jubilee it will once again come back into the possession of the Jewish nation – which would signify the beginning of the Messianic end time…
“The Mamluks, who had been reigning in Jerusalem since 1250, were conquered in 1517 by the Ottoman Turks. They remained for eight jubilees (8 x 50 = 400 years), that is to say they were in Jerusalem for 400 years. Exactly 400 years later, in 1917, the Ottoman Turks were conquered by the British. The League of Nations conferred the Mandate for the Holy Land and Jerusalem to the British. Thus, from 1917, under international law, Jerusalem was no-man’s land.
“Then, when Israel captured Jerusalem in the Six Day War of 1967, exactly one jubilee (50 years) after 1917, Jerusalem reverted to Jewish-Israeli ownership once again. Thereby, according to the prophecies of Judah Ben Samuel, the Messianic End Times began” (from wnd.com).