Do biblical prophecies give warning against terrorist attacks such as the recent destruction of the World Trade Center and Pentegon. Do they reveal who's really behind these heinous acts? Are the United States and Britain mentioned in biblical prophecy?
Biblical prophecies are a great mystery to most including world political leaders and even theologians. No one can seem to agree on exactly what they mean.
Some believe that it is impossible for us to understand biblical prophecies, others say these writings are just the mysterious sayings or babblings of ancient seers. What is the Truth? Are they just babblings, or are they the inspired messages of a supreme, Almighty God? And can we understand them?
Does the Bible tell us how we can be protected from these evils? Your future may be greatly affected by what you do or don't understand!
Biblical prophecies and the book of Revelation foretell of major events, which "must shortly come to pass" (Rev 1:1). They also warn nations and peoples of evil spirits,
"demons, working miracles, which go out to the kings of the earth and the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty...to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon" (Rev 16:14-16).
Are these prophecies for "our time"? Are we near the "time of the end," and the coming of the Messiah to save mankind from utterly destroying himself and all life from the earth (Mat 24:3,21-22,29-35; Rev 1:1; 11:15)?
The Book of Revelation claims to be:
"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants that which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it through His angel to His servant John,
"Who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, and to all things that he saw.
He says, "Blessed is he who reads and those who hear (understand) the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein; for the time is near" (Rev 1:1-3).
You Can Understand and Prove it for Yourself - Here's How!
The Bible itself reveals the keys to understanding and proving the Book of Revelation and other Bible prophecies!
The apostle Peter wrote,
"For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty" (2 Pet 1:16).
He continues, "We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto you do well that you take heed, as a light that shines in a dark place, until [that] day dawns and the Morning Star [Lightbearer] (Gk. "phosphoros," meaning bearer or bringer of light - referring to Christ) arises in your hearts.
"Knowing this first, that NO prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came [ever] by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (vs. 19-21).
Prophecy is history written in advance! Prophecies may tell of good news and give warnings of bad news to come.
As the book of Revelation reveals, it is "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass... (Rev 1:1,3).
The word prophecy (from the Hebrew "nebuwah") means a prediction, though one word, "massa," sometimes translated prophecy, means a burden or a doom - bad news. The word for prophecy in the NT Greek is "propheteia," meaning prediction. To prophesy (Heb. "naba" and "nataph") means to speak by inspiration. "Nabiy" means prophecy of an inspired man. The Hebrew word "chazah" sometimes translated prophesy in the OT means to perceive or have a vision of or to see.
Many biblical prophecies foretell, in advance, certain events, which are likely to happen, such as the rise and fall of nations and the course of national and world affairs. God often forewarned people by a prophet, so they could change their ways to avert a calamity from happening - as did the king of Nineveh when God sent Jonah to warn the Assyrian nation of his day (Jonah 1:1-2; 3:4-10).
Biblical prophecies also reveal the great Purpose and Plan God is working out on this earth! They sometimes describe in detail how God is dealing with humans and intervenes to accomplish His purpose.
The prophets (OT Heb. "naba," "nabiy, and "nabiyah" fem. and NT Gk. "prophetes," "prophetic," and "prophetis" fem.) of God were not necessarily a special hierarchy of the priesthood or a certain class of men or women born into their position. Many were chosen from various of the twelve tribes of Israel. They were princes, sheepherders, farmers, fishermen, priests and kings. They were men and women whom God chose and inspired by the power of the Holy Spirit to speak or write special messages (2 Pet 1:21).
Many had to be made willing to carry the message of God. They were not seeking power, acclaim or some kind of "spiritual experience" nor were they ambitiously desiring the office and responsibility of a "prophet." Some even sought to escape the calling - as Jonah did (Jonah 1:3-17; 2:1-10; 3:1-4).
God called Moses, who was brought up in the Pharaoh's house and taught in all the wisdom of Egypt, to be a prophet and deliverer of Israel, as a type of Christ (Deut 18:15; Acts 7:22-37). God called and used Samuel, a Levite (1 Sam 1:1; 1 Chron 6:16-28) to establish schools of the prophets (1 Sam 7:15; 10:5-11; 19:20-24) and reveal God's judgment upon a corrupt priesthood (1 Sam 3:1-21), and also to establish kings over Israel (1 Sam 8:1-22). Elijah and Elisha continued the schools for teaching the prophets (2 Kgs 2:1-15; 4:38).
When Jesus, "that Prophet" prophesied of by Moses (Deut 18:15), came many were astonished at His wisdom and the mighty works He did in His own country, but many were also offended at Him. "He came to His own (the priests He had established in Israel), but they received Him not" (John 1:11). He said to them,
"A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house" (Mk 6-1-4).Indeed, the God given responsibility of a prophet to warn a rebellious people was not without great hazards and difficulties (Ezek 2:1-4; 3:17-21). Some were required by God to do unusual things to experience and convey a lesson. Hosiah was told to marry a harlot to experience and write about in type how God felt as Israel, His betrothed bride, played the harlot (Hos 1 & 2). Ezekiel was told to portray Jerusalem on a clay tablet and lay seige against it...and lay on his left side for 390 days as a sign to the house of Israel as the number of years of their iniquity. Then he was to lay on his right side 40 days as a sign to the house of Judah of the years of their iniquity - a day for a year (Eze 4:1-6).
Many prophets were persecuted and some martyred doing their job (Lk 11:47-49; Heb 11:32-38). Jeremiah was falsely accused and imprisoned and later put in a miry pit of a dungeon (Jer 37:6-21; 38:1-13). Jesus Himself was put to death by the religious leaders.
The prophet Jeremiah was one, who argued that he was too young to become a prophet of God (Jer 1:1,6-9). Isaiah saw himself as "a man of unclean lips" and one dwelling "in the midst of a people of unclean lips," not worthy or capable of being God's servant (Isa 6:5).
Amos was doing his own business "among the herdsmen of Tekoa" when God called him to take a message to Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah and Jeroboam king of Israel (Amos 1:1). Amaziah, a priest in Israel, told Amos not to prophesy, but go back to Judah, Amos answered him,
"I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was a herdsman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit (wild figs); and the Lord took me as I followed the flock, and the Lord said unto me, 'Go, prophesy unto My people Israel'" (Amos 7:12-15).
In New Testament times, Jesus Christ is revealed as "that Prophet who is to come into the world" spoken of by Moses (Deut 18:15; John 6:14).
"God, who at various times and in different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds" (Heb 1:1-2).
And Jesus Christ "Himself gave some apostles, some PROPHETS, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equiping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ (the Church)..." (Eph 4:11-12).
"Now concerning spiritual gifts... there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord... But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:The apostle Paul admonishes the church (1 Cor 14:1-40):
"for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit... to another the working of miracles, to another PROPHECY...
"But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He (Jesus Christ) wills" (1 Cor 12:1,4-11).
"Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy... He who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men... he who prophesies edifies the church" (ver. 1,3-4).
"I wish you all spoke with tongues (languages), but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues... But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching?" (ver. 5-6).
"Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel" (ver. 12).
"tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe" (ver. 22).
"Let two or three prophets speak, and let others judge. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged" (ver. 29-31).
"But the Spirit of the prophets is subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints" (32-33).
"If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord... Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order" (37,39-40).
There have also been many false prophets, those who have claimed to be the prophets of God often seeking status, power and reward. Jeremiah said to God,
"Ah, Lord God! Behold, the prophets say unto [the people], 'You shall not see the sword, neither shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.'"
Then the Lord said to him, "The prophets prophesy lies in My name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spoke unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of naught, and the deceit of their heart. Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets that prophesy in My name, and I sent them not... By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed" (Jer 14:13-15).
"Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying I am Christ; and shall deceive many... And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many... Then if any man shall say unto you, 'Lo, here is Christ, or there;' believe it not. For there shall arise false christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders..."(Mat 24:4-5,11,22-23).
The apostle Paul warns in a prophecy for the time just preceding the "coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him," that we should,
"not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.
"Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day shall not come, except there come a falling away (Gk. "apostasia," forsaking or defection from truth) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of [desolation], who opposes and exalts himself above all that is [spoken by] God or that is worshipped; so that he sits as God in the temple of God, [showing off] himself [as though] he is God...
"Whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
"And with all the unrighteous deceitfulness in those that perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved" 2 Thes 2:1-10).
It is vital in understanding biblical prophecy to understand the power and influence of unseen demon spirits on mankind and civilization. The apostle Paul warned,
"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual wickedness in the heavens" (Eph 6:12).
Satan and his demonic angels are real (See "Satan...The Power Behind Evil & Terror!"). He is called by various names in the Scriptures.
"...behold, a great fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads.
"His tail drew a third of the stars (angels) of heaven and threw them to the earth...
"And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought,
"But they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.
"So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him (Rev 12:3-4,7-9).
Paul also warns us, "Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices" (2 Cor 2:11), that,
"Satan transforms himself into an angel of light.
"Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers (false prophets, false christs, false ministers) also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works" (2 Cor 11:14-15).
But you can avoid being deceived! How?
Truth protects from the power of the devil to deceive! Study the Scriptures (1 Tim 2:15. God's word is truth (John 17:17) and the foundation of all truth. Truth is part of the armor of God (Eph 6:14).
"If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.The prophet Isaiah wrote,
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32).
"To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them" (Isa 8:20). (See "Take Heed...Be Not Deceived" in Satan's Great Deceptions Menu)
What is the purpose of prophecies?
Listen to what God revealed through His prophet Amos:
"Surely, the Lord God will do nothing, but He reveals His secret unto His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7).
God is merciful and He is absolutely fair, just and righteous! He sends a WARNING, and gives people a chance to repent of their evil ways before He sends His punishment. However, MOST punishment is not from God. People and nations punish themselves by breaking the laws that produce the blessings! Most all of the suffering of mankind are a direct result of sin (Gk. "hamartano" meaning to miss the mark and so not share in the prize), for God allows us to suffer the fruit of our own ways or choices when we ignore or reject His instruction (Jer 17:10).
Before God intervenes to discipline a people or nation for their wickedness, He first sends His servants to warn them to give them a chance to change their ways - to repent of their sins - so that the prophesied calamity need not happen.
God's prophecies are given in love, many are warnings, to encourage people to turn (repent) from their evil so they can escape punishment - just as a loving parent warns his child before administering discipline. But for those who do not take warning and repent, they will have no excuse, so hopefully they will acknowledge their sins after suffering and repent and turn to God so He may deliver and comfort them (Deut 4:25-31).
Many prophecies reveal God's message of hope and salvation from oppression, destruction and death. Jesus came preaching the gospel (good news) of the Kingdom of God, soon to come to this earth to rule over all nations and bring peace to our war ravaged world.
But you might ask - How can ancient prophecies written 1,900 to 3,500 years ago relate to us today in our ultra-modern society of the 21st century with all its great technological advancements? Or some might say,
"Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation" (2 Pet 3:4).
The truth is the Bible is the most up to date book written. It is ageless!
Listen to what Jesus Christ said to His disciples.
"Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words will by no means pass away" (Mat 24:35).
The apostle Peter quoting Isaiah 40:6-8 wrote,
"All flesh is grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever" (1 Pet 1:24).
Many of the lessons of biblical history and prophecy are, as the apostle Paul explained,
"...written for our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted,"(1 Cor 10:6), lest we repeat the same errors and suffer the same consequences.Many times God called and sent His prophets to prophetically warn Israel and other nations of impending doom if they would not repent.
"Now all these things happened unto them for examples; and they are written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come" (1 Cor 10:6,11).
And also "...whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope? (Rom 15:4).
Many prophecies were written specifically for the "latter days," "last days" or "time of the end."
Before Jacob (Israel) died he called his 12 sons and said,
"Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days" (Gen 49:1).To Judah would be given the scepter promise of rulership and the promised Messiah was to come through Judah (vs. 8-10). To Joseph, through Manasseh and Ephraim, were to come physical birthright blessings of national greatness, "with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath" (vs. 22-26; Gen 48:1,15-22). Moses also told the tribes of Israel of what would come to them in the future (Deut 33).
Daniel, a young prince of Judah taken captive by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in about 605-04 B.C., was given understanding of prophetic dreams and visions. God revealed to him the meaning of Nebuchadnezzar's dream - the great statute representing four great successive gentile kingdoms that would rule over much of the earth until the Kingdom of God was set up (Dan 1:1-6; 2:1,19-30).
God also revealed to Daniel prophetic details of the "time of the end," but Daniel said,
"And I heard, but understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?But Jesus Christ has progressively opened the seals as revealed to His apostle John, which he wrote in the book of Revelation to reveal the meanings of the prophecies (Rev 5:1-10; 6:1-17; 8:1-6).
"And He said, 'Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end'" (Dan 12:8-9).
"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants - things which must shortly take place" (Rev 1:1).
Ezekiel, a young Jewish priest, was taken captive about 598 B.C. (Eze 1:2-3). God gave him prophetic visions and told him,
"Son of man, I send you to the children of Israel, a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me... and you shall say unto them, 'Thus says the Lord God. And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forebear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall they know that there has been a prophet among them'" (Eze 2:1-4).
God holds His prophets highly accountable for performing the responsibility He calls them to do. God Said to Ezekiel,
"Son of man, I made you a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from Me.The apostle Paul about six centuries later relates,
"When I say unto the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him not warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand.
"Yet if you warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your soul.
"Again, When a righteous man does turn from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die: because you have not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at your hand.
"Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also you have delivered your soul" (Eze 3:17-21).
"For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!" (1 Cor 9:16).
God said to Ezekial,
"Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy against them, and say, 'You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord God...Behold, I, even I will bring a sword upon you, and I will destroy your high places,
"And your altars shall be desolate, and your images shall be broken: and I will cast down your slain men before your idols.
"And I will lay the dead carcasses of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones round about your altars.
"In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols broken and cease, and your images may be cut down, and your works may be abolished.
"And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and you shall know that I am the Lord.
"Yet will I leave a remnant, that you may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations, when you shall be scattered through the countries.
"And they that escape of you shall remember Me among the nations where they shall be carried captives, because I am broken with their whorish heart, which has departed from Me, and with their eyes, which go a whoring after their idols: and they shall loathe themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations.
"And they shall know that I am the Lord, and that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them" (Eze 6:2-10).
Ezekiel was to take this prophetic warning to the nation of Israel, but he had a problem, in fact he had three problems. He was among the captives of the Babylonians by the river of Chebar in the land of the Chaldeans and couldn't go anywhere, and God said he would be bound with ropes (Eze 1:1,3; 3:25). Then God said to him, "I will make your tongue cling to the roof of your mouth, so that you shall be mute and not a reprover to them" (Eze 3:26). And by this time, the northern ten tribes of Israel had already been scattered in captivity (in 721-718 B.C.), about 120 years before.
How was Ezekiel to deliver God's warning prophecies to a people already scattered in captivity, and he was in captivity and mute?
The answer is Ezekiel wrote the prophecies down for they were to be delivered to the peoples of the end time nations (tribes) of Israel. In Ezekiel chapter seven he reveals the prophecies are for the "time of the end." Ezekiel wrote,
"An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land.
"Now is the end come upon you, and I will send My anger against you; I will judge you according to your ways, and I will repay you for all your abominations...
"Thus says the Lord God; An evil, an only (like no other) evil, behold, is come.
"An end is come, the end is come; it watches for you; behold, it is come.
"...the time is come, the day of trouble is near...
"Behold the day, behold, it is come; the morning is gone forth; the rod has blossomed, pride has budded...
"The time is come, the day draws near...
"They have blown the trumpet, even to make all ready, but none goes to the battle: for My wrath is upon all the multitude thereof..." (Eze 7:2-3,5-7,10,12,14).
This is a time Jesus spoke of,
"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Mat 24:21).
It is described as the time of Jacob's (Israel's) trouble in Jeremiah 30:7.
"Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble: but he shall be saved out of it."
Daniel is told this time
"shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely scattered, all these things shall be finished" (Dan 12:6-7).
Daniel said, "Although I heard, I did not understand." It was "sealed till the time of the end" (vs. 8-9).
This is a time warned of by the blowing of the trumpets - which send out WARNINGS and a CALLING to repentance. Specifically, the sixth trumpet warns of this time coming - the time of Israel's trouble (Rev 9:13-21). During this time,
"[God] will give power to [His] two witnesses, and they will prophesy 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth" (Rev 11:3).
During this same time, God's Church, the woman persecuted by the dragon, is taken
"into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time, times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent" (Rev 12:14).Prophetically, a time is one year, times is 2 years and a half a time is one half a year - a total of three and a half years. This is understood by the fact that it is used to describe the same periods of time called 1260 days and the 42 months, all of which are a period of 3 1/2 years in prophecy.
This is the same 42 months that the beast
"having seven heads and ten horns...and on his head a blasphemous name" is given power, a throne and great authority by the dragon...
"And it was granted him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue and nation" (Rev 13:1-2,5 ).
This is the final resurrection of the beast power of Daniel and Revelation that rules the earth - during the time just preceding the return of Jesus Christ (Rev 8,9 and 11...).
Those who do not repent during this time of "great tribulation" will face what is called in Revelation 6:17, "the great day of His (God's) wrath" , which will come at the end of this three and a half years, when the seventh trumpet is blown and Jesus Christ returns in power and glory to rule the nations and put down all rebellion and evil (Rev 11:15; 19:1-21).
Many of these prophecies are in the process of being fulfilled now - IN OUR TIME - and in the near future!
The Bible itself reveals the KEYS so you can understand!
God wants you to understand! He says,
"Come now, and let us reason together..." (Isa 1:18). It is God and the Word of God that gives understanding (Gen 41:16,39; Dan 2:28).
Diligently study God's word to find the answers. "Study to show yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing (Gr. "orthotomeo" meaning to cut or divide - like cutting and then pasting it together like a puzzle) the word of truth" (2 Tim 2:15-17).
The Puzzle of Prophecy
The Bible and many prophecies are like a puzzle that must be put together and there is only one right way they go together. The prophet Isaiah wrote,
"Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom will He make to understand the message?
"...precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little" (Isa 28:9-10).
A puzzle can be put together only one way, but that can be difficult unless you know what it should look like. To correctly understand the Bible and prophecies, it is important to get all of the Scriptures on a subject and then they must be put together in the correct biblical context and according to God's divine master-plan. Many error by taking and misusing Scriptures out of their intended context. It has been said that one can prove anything they want from the Scriptures, but that is true only by misquoting, mistranslating or taking Scriptures out of context.
Let the Bible Interpret Itself! Discard preconceived notions learned from other peoples' opinions about the meaning of prophecies and read the Scriptures for what it says - without any bias.
A word of caution! Various Bible translations often contain the preconceived ideas and beliefs of the translators. Check various translations and check into the original Hebrew and Greek and word studies to clarify the meaning, especially if there appear to be discrepancies or contradictions in the Scriptures. The Bible, the Word inspired by God (2 Tim 3:16), does not contradict itself!
"The curse causeless shall not come" (Prov 26:2).
All true science is based on this key principle. It is through understanding and application of this principle that scientists have come to discover and understand, using inductive and deductive logic, many of the "natural" laws governing the universe and all living things. (See Mankind's Greatest Experiment in the Mysteries of Science Menu)
By understanding the laws of cause and effect, scientists and engineers are able to predict what will happen under any specific set of conditions. Astronomers use these principles to predict eclipses and other events in the heavens. Aeronautical engineers used these principles to send astronauts to the moon and back. The design and function of your computer is based on these principles, and it fails or crashes when the principles are not strictly followed.
All biblical prophecies are based on the natural and spiritual Laws of God revealed in the Holy Scriptures, some of which have been discovered or verified by science. LAWS are the FOUNDATION for all predictive science and deduction or deductive reasoning and logic. God upholds all things, including His laws, the physical and spiritual laws, by the Word of His power (Heb 1:3). Study God's laws.
When God said, "Come now, let us reason together" He said,
"If you be willing and obedient (to God's laws), you shall eat the good of the land: but if you refuse and rebel (against God's laws), you shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it" (Isa 1:18-20).
God said the same thing when He gave His laws to Israel. He inspired Moses to write this same principle:
"Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you on high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God...
"But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you..." (Deut 28:1,15; Lev 26:3,14-16...).
God doesn't change or do away with His laws (Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8) to remove the results of breaking them, as some false religious leaders have taught. Jesus said,
"Think not that I have come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
"For assuredly, I say to you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot (the smallest letter of the Greek alphabet in the NT) or one tittle (the smallest mark of the Hebrew alphabet in the OT) will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
"Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven (if he repents); but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven" (Mat 5:17-19).
The blessings and curses chapters are basic fundamental prophecies based on God's laws of cause and effect. Knowledge of the truth of cause and effect relationships is a vital key to avoiding the curses caused by ignorance.
The scientific method of discovering and proving cause and effect relationships of physical laws has been a benefit in freeing societies from some of the curses of ignorance and superstition. But pseudo-science has been a curse causing many to abandon the spiritual laws of God.
The apostle Paul wrote,
"...keep that which is committed to your trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so-called, which some professing have erred concerning the faith" (1 Tim 6:20).
God said through Jesus Christ,
"If you continue in My word...you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31-32).
God instructed Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden in the laws of life and blessings and warned them of evils that would result - they would die - if they disobeyed God's instruction (Gen 2:16-17). Satan deceived them into thinking that they would not die, so they sinned and they died (Gen 3:4; 5:5).
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand these principles. Moses explained,
"For this commandment which I command you today, it is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off...
"But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.
"See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess.
"But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days...
"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live" (Deut 30:11,14-19).
God gives man freedom to choose (See Choices of Life... in the Mystery of Salvation Menu) to the purpose that all should learn the difference between good and evil and learn to choose the good (Isa 7:15). He says,
"I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings" (Jer 17:10).
The fulfillment of many prophecies, based on laws of cause and effect, are a matter of choice as the above Scriptures reveal. We can choose which effect we want and nations choose their destinies by their choices.
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord..." (Psa 33:12).
Some prophecies (warnings of calamities) may fail because people or nations may repent - change their attitude - and turn to God in humility and obedience and God in His mercy and compassion may intervene to prevent a calamity that would have happened - as those of Nineveh did when Jonah warned them (Deut 30:1-10; Psa 86:15; Isa 66:2; Jonah 3:1-10; 4:1-2).
However, the laws of cause and effect alone are not enough to understand all prophecies.
Listen to what God inspired the prophet Isaiah to write:
"The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, 'Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass, and as I have purposed, so it shall stand...
"For the Lord of hosts has purposed, and who shall annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?'" (Isa 14:24,27).
God asks man,
"To whom will you liken Me, and make Me equal, and compare Me, that we should be alike?"What is God's Purpose?
Men make gods out of gold, silver, stone and wood and out of their imaginations, but God says,
"Remember the former things of old, for I am God, and there is none like Me,
"Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure,
"...indeed I have spoken it; I will also bring it to pass. I have purposed it; I will also do it" (Isa 46:5,9-11).
"And God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness..." (Gen 1:26).God created man to become the children of God in the Kingdom and Family of God (Rom 8:16-21; Eph 1:4-5; 3:14-15). But because Adam and Eve rebelled and cut themselves off from God in the beginning (Gen 3; Isa 59:2), mankind in general has been largely ignorant of God's purpose ever since. But God will not be denied His purpose.
The apostle Paul speaks of God's purpose,
"the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself" (Eph 1:9), which he was called to preach among the Gentiles. "And to make all people see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in heavenly places, according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Eph 3:8-11).
The greatest prophecy of the entire Bible is the GOSPEL (good news) preached by Jesus Christ and His disciples, revealing God's purpose and will.
"Jesus came...preaching the gospel of the Kingdom of God, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel." (Mk 1:14-15).
Read the true gospel from your Bible, not just other peoples opinions about the gospel and you will understand God's purpose and will.
The Bible reveals that God has a plan and a timetable for accomplishing His divine purpose of bringing all mankind into the Kingdom and Family of God. That plan and timetable is revealed through the Sabbaths and 7 annual Holy Day Feasts of God.
The present time, our present life, is not, as many suppose, the only time or opportunity for salvation (See Mystery of Salvation). Jesus Christ said,
"For many are called, but few chosen" (Mat 20:16; 22:14).What did He mean by that? Does that mean the majority of mankind will not be saved? The answers are revealed by understanding God's Holy Day Plan.
Many become confused by what appear to be prophetic time gaps.
When Jesus Christ first began His earthly ministry, "He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read." The book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him and He opened the book and began reading from Isaiah 61:2.
"The spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives and the recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to [proclaim] [an approved] year of the Lord. And He closed the book..."
And He said to them, "Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing" (Lk 4:16-21).
This was the beginning of a Jubilee year (the year of liberty - Lev 25:10). Notice Jesus did not finish quoting the rest of Isaiah 61:2, "And the day of vengeance of our God."
Why? The answer is because only the first part applied to His earthly ministry then. He was proclaiming liberty from the bondage of sin to those called to follow Him. The rest of the Scripture concerned the time of His second coming, called "the day of the Lord" or as Isaiah said, "the day of vengeance of our God," is a prophetic time gap of about 2000 years.
The prophet Hosea reveals this time gap in Hosea 6:2.
"After two days He will revive us; On the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His sight."Here the prophetic principle of 2 Peter 3:8 applies, "one day is as a thousand years." After two days (2,000 years) Jesus Christ will return and revive His people of Israel and Judah and they will live in the millennium under the Kingdom of God ruling on the earth. And on the third day, 1000 years later, after the millennium, He will raise up all those who died (unrepentant) in the second resurrection (Rev 20:5,11-13).
The Sabbaths and Holy Days reveal, in time sequence, what God has done, is doing now and will do in the future. You can begin to understand God's plan by beginning to keep His Sabbaths and Holy Day Feasts (Heb. "moed," meaning appointed times).
The Sabbaths and Holy Days of God are summarized in Leviticus 23. "The feasts (appointed times) of the Lord, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations" (vs. 2) beginning with:
The weekly Sabbaths, ordained by God on the seventh day, the day after God created man (Gen 2:1-3):
"the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work on it; it is the Sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings" (Lev 23:3).
In Exodus 20:78-10 God said,
"Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God..."
God's 7,000 year plan
The seven day week and weekly Sabbath is a memorial or weekly reminder of God's overall plan, which represents a period of 7,000 years.
How do we know that the 7 day week represents a period of 7,000 years in God's plan?
The apostle Peter wrote,
"Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle...that you 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 Savior:
"Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as from the beginning of creation...'
"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" (2 Pet 3:1-4,8; see also Ps 90:4).
Also in Hebrews 4, the apostle Paul explains,
"Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest (Gk. 'katapausis" meaning cease or rest), let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it...
"Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and to those to whom it was first preached [will] not enter because of disobedience,
"again He designates a certain day, saying in David... 'Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts' (Psa 95:7-8).
"For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day.
"There remains therefore a rest (Gk. "sabbatismos" meaning a sabbatical rest) for the people of God" (Heb 4:1,6-9).
This sabbatical rest that is still to come for the people of God is further revealed in Revelation 20... It is called the Millennium (from the Latin "mille" meaning thousand) by most. It is the time spoken of by Jesus Christ in the gospel (good news) of the Kingdom of God. (Mk 1:14-15). It is the time when Christ returns and sets up and rules over the Kingdom of God on the earth. Satan will be bound - no longer able to influence and deceive mankind - for 1,000 years (Rev 20:2). Jesus Christ and the resurrected saints will rule over the earth for 1,000 years (vs. 4-6) and the earth and mankind will have a Sabbatical rest for a period of 1,000 years under the Kingdom of God.
In the Garden of Eden, God gave man six days to do his labor and God sanctified (set apart) the seventh to be holy time (for God's purpose), as God's family day to teach man His ways and fellowship with man (Isa 2:3; 1 John 1:1-4).
When man rebelled against God, and chose to learn and decide for himself what was good and evil, he was put out of the Garden of Eden (Hebrew word meaning God's pleasure) (Gen 3:22-24) and cut himself off from the inheritance of eternal life in the Family and Kingdom of God (Isa 59:2). No sinner shall enter the Kingdom of God, but God has a divine plan to save all mankind from sin and death.
God is allowing man six millennial days to experiment and do his own labor, establish his own civilizations and governments, laws, religions, science, technology, cultures, etc. and to learn for himself the results of good and evil. (See Mankind's Greatest Experiment). But on the seventh millennial day, God will restore His government, the Kingdom of God, to this earth and give mankind a rest (Sabbath) from his wearisome labors and sin.
There are other prophecies also in which the period of time involved may need to be interpreted by other Scriptures. The principle is given in Numbers 14:34, when the Israelites rebelled against God in the wilderness and would not go up into the promised land for fear of the giants (Num 13:26-33; 14:1-4).
God told Moses,
"Say to them, 'As I live,' says the Lord, 'just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you...This principle is repeated in Eze 4:3-6).
"..as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness.
"And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness.
"According to the number of the days in which you spied out the land, even forty days, EACH DAY FOR A YEAR, shall you bear your guilt, even forty years, and you shall know My rejection" (Num 14:32-34).
This same principle also applied in God's warning to Israel of curses in Leviticus 26.
"And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins..." (vs. 18,21,24,28),The punishment is seven times (years) more for each year they didn't keep God's sabbatical year law. And in this case the seven times or years is multiplied with each year being 360 days and multiplied by the principle of a day for a year.
repeated here 4 times as repeated warnings, after which God would finally "scatter you among the nations and draw out a sword after you; your land shall be desolate and your cities waste.
"Then the land shall enjoy its Sabbaths as long as it lies desolate, and you are in your enemies land; then the land shall rest and enjoy its Sabbaths.
"As long as it lies desolate it shall rest - for the time it did not rest on your Sabbaths when you dwelt in it" (vs 33-35)."
This is understood in retrospect by looking back at fulfilled prophecies and prophecies that overlay each other. In prophecy a "time" is a year or 360 days or 12 months of 30 days each, as revealed in the book of Revelation by Jesus Christ. A time, times, and half a time (3 1/2 times) is the same as 3 1/2 years, 1,260 days or 42 months (Rev 11:2-3; 12:14; 13:5). We can look back and see that by applying the principle of a time as being 360 days and the principle of "a day for a year" to the time of Israel's seven times punishment, that 7 times 360 equals 2520 years that Israel would be exiled and lose their blessings.
Is there any significance to this 2520 year period of time? Indeed there is! But that will be discussed under the 6th key on the biblical identity of today's nations.
God's Holy Days and Plan of Salvation
Details of God's divine plan of salvation are revealed by seven annual prophetic "feasts (appointed times) of the Lord, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at their appointed times" summarized in Leviticus 23.
These Feasts "Appointed Times" revealing God's divine plan are:
The Passover, which is the beginning of salvation - "On the fourteenth day of the first month [between the two evenings] is the Lord's Passover" (vs 4).
Jesus the Christ (Messiah), the Son of God and Son of Man, fulfilled the Old Testament sacrifices and prophecies some 2,000 years ago as "our Passover...sacrificed for us" (1 Cor 5:7), to make man's redemption from sin and the new covenant possible (John 3:16-17; 1 Cor 5:7; Lk. 22:19-20; Rom 5:6-11; Heb 12:24). It is to be kept by Christians as a memorial to Jesus' sacrifice for them (Lk 22:15-20). (See Passover...The Beginning of Salvation in the Mystery of Salvation Menu)
The Seven Days of Unleavened Bread - Beginning "on the fifteenth day of the same month...seven days you must eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall have a holy convocation... The seventh day shall be a holy convocation" (Leviticus 23:6-8).
These days prophectically reveal the need for repentance for salvation by coming out of sin like in type Israel came out of Egypt (1 Cor 10:1-13; Heb. 3:15-19; Ex 12 & 13).
Pentecost - The Feast of Firstfruits or Feast of Weeks: "And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Sabbath, from the day you brought the sheaf of the wave offering: seven Sabbaths shall be completed.
"Count fifty days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you shall offer the new grain offering to the Lord... (See "Why the Confusion Counting Pentecost?")
"And you shall proclaim on the same day that it is a holy convocation to you..." (Leviticus 23:15-16,21).
This is a prophecy of the calling of the firstfruits of salvation (the church) to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit allowing God to write His laws in their hearts and minds (Acts 1:4-5,8; 2:1-4,16-21,38-39; Rom 8:23; Heb 12:23; 1 Pet 1:9-23; Rev 7:14; Jer 31:31-34 - see "Mystery of Pentecost...The One True Religion & Church of God"). The law and covenant were given to OT Israel on Mt. Sinai on Pentecost about 3,500 years ago (Ex 19:1-6,16-20; 20:1-18) and the Holy Spirit was given to the NT Church in Jerusalem on this day nearly 2,000 years ago beginning the fulfillment of the New Covenant prophecies (Jer 31:31-34; Acts 2:1-4,17-21,33).
The Feast of Trumpets - "In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a Sabbath, a memorial (reminder) of the blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation" (Leviticus 23:24).
This is a prophecy of the seven trumpets of Revelation 8 and 9 (reminding the 7 eras of the church in Revelation 2 and 3 to blow the trumpets, calling many to repentance into the church and warnings of the consequences of sin and the coming Day and judgment of the Lord - Num 10:1-3,8-10; Isa 2:12; 13:6,9; 61:2; Joel 1:14-15; 2:1-17) and of the seventh trumpet with the second coming or return of Christ (the Messiah) and the first resurrection of saints as the bride of Christ to establish the Kingdom of God over the earth - yet to occur in the near future (Mat. 24:3; 25:6; Rev 11:15-19; 19:7-9; 20:4,6).
The Day of Atonement - "Also on the tenth day of this seventh month there shall be a Day of Atonement. It shall be a holy convocation to you; and you shall afflict your souls...
"And you shall do no work in that same day, for it is the Day of Atonement, to make an atonement for you before the Lord your God" (Lev 23:27-28).
This is a prophecy of the time Satan is restrained for 1000 years and when the great multitude who repent and come out of the great tribulation and live into the millennium will have the opportunity to accept the sacrifice and atonement of Jesus Christ and be led to "living fountains of waters" and be taught the Truth without Satan to deceive them. (Rev. 20:2-3; 7:9-10,13-17; Lev. 16).
The Feast of Tabernacles - "The fifteenth day of the seventh month shall be the Feast of Tabernacles for seven days to the Lord.
"On the first day there shall be a holy convocation. You shall do no servile work on it.
"For seven days you shall make an offering made by fire to the Lord" (Lev 23:34-35).
This is the prophesied Sabbatical rest, the 1,000 year time of the Kingdom of God on the earth with Christ and the saints ruling, teaching God's laws to all nations (Zech. 14:16-19; Heb 4:9; Rev 5:10; 20:6). This is the time prophesied when Christ (the Messiah), "the Redemer of Israel, their Holy One" will revive or restore Israel and Judah and when God will make a new covenant with them (Isa 49:5-13; Jer 31:31-34; Hos 6:2; Heb 8:6-13).
The Last Great Day - "On the eighth day you shall have a holy convocation... It is a solemn assembly, and you shall do no servile work on it. (Lev 23:35).
This is a prophecy of the second resurrection of the rest of the dead (who never repented and are unsaved) to mortal life and time of judgment when all are taught God's ways and are given opportunity to choose life and repent and drink of the living waters or be destroyed forever in a lake of fire (John 5:28-29; 7:37-38; 2 Pet 3:9-15; Rev 20:5,11-15).
After this will come the... New Heavens and a New Earth wherein dwells righteousness! (2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21 & 22).
This is the Good News (Gospel) of God's divine plan and coming of the Kingdom of God!
God's Sabbaths and Holy Days are all a part of His laws, statutes and commandments. King David wrote about the benefits of keeping them,
"The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul... The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes... Moreover by them your servant is warned, and in keeping them is great reward" (Psa 19:7-11).
Many scriptures and prophecies contain physical symbols, types, analogies, metaphors, allegories, parables and dualism, which are often used in the Bible to convey or sometimes hide a spiritual or prophetic meaning for a time.
For example Jesus often spoke in parables. When asked by his disciples, "Why do you speak unto them in parables?" Jesus said,
"Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but unto them it is not given...
"Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
"And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says:
"Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive;
"For the heart of this people has grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their heart and turn, So that I should heal them.
But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;
"For assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it" (Mat 13:10-11,13-17).
Those who are truly seeking to understand and obey God and are studying His Word can understand. The Bible interprets itself to reveal the true meaning of the symbols and parables.
Notice in the mystery of the seven stars and the seven golden candlesticks of Revelation 1:12,16. This mystery is obvious because the answer is given just a few verses down.
"The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which you saw are the seven churches" (Vs. 20).
There are also stars (angels) who rebelled and were cast out of heaven. Their leader is called the "great dragon," "that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world" (Rev 12:3-4,9). They seek to thwart God's purpose and are the real powers behind all terrorism (Eph 6:12 - See "Satan...The Power Behind Evil & Terror!" In Satan's Great Deceptions Menu).
Satan has tried to usurp the title and identity of Christ. Some, thinking they are serving God, have become his followers. As the Scripture reveal, they are:
"false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works" (2 Cor 11:13-15).
Satan was a great cherub before his rebellion (Isa 14:12-15; Eze 28:14-17), called in the Hebrew, "Heylel," (from "halal" meaning to shine, make a show, boast) mistranslated as "Lucifer" (Latin meaning lightbringer), which is a name of Christ. In 2 Pet 1:19, Christ is called the "morning star" or "day Star" actually a mistranslation of the Greek, "Phosphorus," meaning Lightbringer. Christ is the true bringer of light to this world (John 1:4-9).
Types are often used in prophecy.
"There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body."
"The first man (Adam) was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven..."
"And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man" (1 Cor 15:44-49).
God made the old covenant and gave His laws to ancient Israel, and laws of sacrifices were later added. The new covenant was prophesied and made with the NT church and Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who fulfilled the OT sacrifices (Jer 31:31-34; Lk 22:20; John 1:29; Heb 8:6-13; 10:1-22; Rev 7:9-10,14,17). And the Church will become the bride of the Lamb, Christ (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:22-32; Rev 19:7; 21:9; 22:17).
The physical temple of Israel was a type of the spiritual temple that Jesus Christ, the master Carpenter, is now building - the NT church and saints are now the temple of the Holy Spirit (John 2:19-21; 1 Cor 3:16-17; 6:19; Rev 3:12). Christ was called a "Rock" and "stone" and the "Chief Cornerstone" and saints "living stones" of the temple of God (Psa 62:1-2; Dan 2:34-35,45; 1 Cor 10:4; Eph 2:19-22; 1 Pet 2:4-8).
King David conquered and made old Jerusalem the capitol of ancient Israel, new Jerusalem will come down from heaven and be the headquarters of the Kingdom of God on the earth (2 Sam 5:6-9; Rev 21:1-4,9-26).
In Revelation 9 John describes a strange prophetic vision of a star falling from heaven to the earth. "And to him was given the key to the bottomless pit." When he opened the bottomless pit smoke came out and out of the smoke came what appeared to be giant locusts like horses prepared for battle with crowns of something like gold and faces like men and tails like scorpions with stings in their tails. And the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots with many horses running into battle. It is apparent John was describing modern military equipment unlike anything he had ever seen in his day. Only in our modern times could this be clearly understood.
Some prophecies can only be clearly understood as they begin to happen, therefore it is necessary to keep watch of current news (Mat 24:32,42).
The latter part of Revelation 17:1 and 2 says,
"Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot that sits on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication."
To understand this prophecy we must know what and who this great harlot represents and the meaning of the many waters.
Verse 15 tells us that
"The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues," and verse 18 says, "the woman (harlot) which you saw is that great city, which reigns over the kings of the earth."
When we look further, we find that the symbol of a "woman" in Scriptures is often used to signify both the true and false churches. A prophecy of the true church is mentioned in Revelation 12:1-2,4-6,13-17. This woman is the church, which gave birth to Christ and keeps the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. This church is persecuted by Satan, but some in the church are taken to a place prepared for her in the wilderness for 1,260 prophetic days.
Who was this "woman" or Church which gave birth to Christ? The congregation of Israel in the OT was called the "church in the wilderness" in Acts 7:38. God said that He became a husband to Israel (Isa 54:5-6; Jer 31:32). Christ was born of Israel, of the tribe of Judah from Abraham, Issac and Jacob (Israel) in the line of David (Mat 1:1-6).
In the NT, the Church (Gk. "Ecclesia," meaning called out ones) is represented as the espoused bride of Christ (2 Cor 11:2; Eph 5:22-32; Rev 19). The true church is also called "Jerusalem which is above...which is the mother of us all" (Gal 4:26).
But who actually is this great harlot (whore) of Revelation 17? In verse 7, the angel said to John,
"I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns."
It becomes clear that this great harlot, which rules over many nations and peoples, is a great apostate church, which does not obey Christ! This apostate church is called
"Mystery Babylon (a Hebrew word meaning confusion) the Great, the Mother of Harlots (other false or apostate churches) and of the Abominations of the earth" in verse 5, which persecutes and murders true followers of Christ, "drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus" (vs. 6).
Clearly, this church is a great religious entity based in a great city, which has exercised influence over political empires and nations and peoples, which speak various languages, and more specifically over the seven heads and ten horns of the great beast of Revelation 13 and 17, which beast is from the fourth beast of Daniel 7.
In Revelation 17:9 the seven heads of the beast on which the woman sits are called seven mountains. What does the term "mountain" represent in Bible prophecy?
Mountain is often used to represent a kingdom or government. God says to Israel,
"Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain (government) of Samaria (the capitol city of ancient Israel), notable persons in the chief nation, to whom the house of Israel comes! Go over to Calneh and see; And from there go to Hamath the great; Then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are you better than these kingdoms? (Amos 6:1-2).
The Kingdom of God is also represented as a mountain.
"Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it.
"Many people shall come and say, 'Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths,' For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
"He shall judge between nations, and shall rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore" (Isa 2:2-4).
In Daniel the same symbol is used.
"And the stone (Jesus Christ) that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth" (Dan 2:35). Verse 44 explains what this mountain that fills the whole earth is: "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever."This is the kingdom of God preached by Jesus Christ to rule the world when He returns.
The seven mountains of the beast the harlot rides are revealed by history and prophecy as seven resurrections of the "Roman Empire" after it had fallen in 476 A.D., referred to as the wound of the beast in Revelation 13:3. The Roman Empire is the beast with seven heads and ten horns in Revelation 13:1-2.
The Roman Empire is also the fourth beast of Daniel 7:7,23-24, which has ten horns and is the fourth kingdom of the great IMAGE (statue) of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, having two legs, feet and ten toes in Daniel 2:31-43. The two legs of the Roman Empire became divided between West and East (Byzantine) in 395 A.D. with two capitols, Rome and Constantinople and the Western Empire fell in 476. Justinian restored the Roman Empire in 554 A.D. and set himself as head over Catholic Christianity to became the first of seven heads of the beast, ridden by the great harlot, described in Revelation 17:7.
An astonishing prophecy in Revelation 17 reveals where we are now in prophecy.
"There are also seven kings." This prophecy first became clear during World War II, when "five had fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. "And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth (the 8th horn of the beast of Daniel 7:23-24 was Napoleon in 1805-14), and is of the seven, and is going into [destruction]" (vs. 10-11).The German-Italian axis of WW II became the 6th resurrection of the beast with Hitler as the sixth king or head of this beast that "is" (this was during WW II). We are now in a lull before the storm just before the appearance of the 7th king, who is the seventh and final head of the beast of Revelation 17 with ten horns. And when he comes,
"the ten horns which you saw (on the seventh head) are ten (lesser) kings who have received no kingdom as yet (they will be appointed as kings over ten regions), but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. "These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. (believing it necessary and good for this European Union of nations). But this heartless beast will make war and devour any that thwart its goals. And finally... "These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful" (vs. 12-14).
Jesus prophesied that the time of the end before His return will be like "the days of Noah" (Mat 24:37-39). This is duality of conditions. In Noah's day population increased greatly "when men began to multiply on the face of the earth..." and the earth became "corrupt" and "filled with violence" as people and nations competed for resources (Gen 6:1,13). Anf Jesus said, "And there shall be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places" (Mat 24:7). In Noah's day earthquakes increased and "the [sources] of the great deep were broken up" (Gen 7:11) causing great destruction on the earth.
Some prophecies have dual or even multiple fulfillments. For example, the prophecy of an "abomination that makes desolate" in Daniel 11:31 was placed in the Holy Place by the Syrian King of the North, Antiochus Epiphanies around 168-67 B.C. Jesus Christ warned in Matthew 24:15-22 that the prophecy of another "abomination that makes desolate" in Daniel 12:11 would be fulfilled at the time of the end, and this would be the beginning of the great tribulation, just before His return. What happened in 168 B.C. was only a forerunner or type of the final fulfillment that will be occur at the time of the end and the return of Jesus Christ (Mat 24:3).
What is this "abomination that makes desolate"? God wrote through Jeremiah the prophet, that the abominable thing that makes desolate is FORSAKING the TRUTH and worshipping and following the lies and deceit of false gods.
"I have sent to you all My servants the prophets...saying' Oh, do not do this abominable thing that I hate!'Antiochus Epiphanies placed a statue of the pagan god Zeus in the temple in Jerusalem in 168 B.C. (a type of the end time abomination that will make the world desolate), and he sacrificed swine on the altar and burned the holy books, the TRUTH, and forced the people to disobey the laws of God, forbidding the keeping of the Sabbaths.
"But they did not listen or incline their ear to turn from their wickedness to burn incense to other gods.
"So My fury and My anger were poured out and kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate..." (Jer 44:4-6).
The apostle Paul warned in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10,
"Let no one deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away (Gk. "apostasia," forsaking or defection from truth) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of [desolation];This is that great false prophet spoken of in Revelation 13:11-18, leader of the great harlot church in Revelation 17:4-6. He will be given power and authority by the devil and
"Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is [spoken by] God or that is worshipped; so that he sits as God in the temple of God, [showing off] himself [as though] he is God...
"Whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
"And with all the unrighteous deceitfulness in those that perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved" 2 Thes 2:1-10).
"causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast...
"He performs great signs so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.
"And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image (Gk. "eikon" meaning a likeness, statue, image or representation) of the beast, which had the wound by the sword and did live.
"He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. (see Dan 3:1-6)
"And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their foreheads,
"and that no man might buy or sell except one has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
"Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666." (Rev 13:12-18)
To understand many prophecies applying to our time, we need to know the history and modern identity of the peoples or nations the prophecies are referring to in today's world. The names of many nations mentioned in prophecy have changed, possibly many times, as they may have migrated since ancient times.
Where, for example, are the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Russia, Japan, China, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, etc... mentioned in prophecy? Who is Israel? The answers may surprise you.
More prophecies are written to Israel and Judah than any other nations. But do you know who Israel and Judah are in prophecy today? Most don't!
Israel, when they were freed out of Egypt by God through Moses, began as a single nation composed of the 12 tribes from the 12 sons of Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel (Gen 32:28). But about 500 years later, after David and Solomon had died, the nation became divided into two nations (1 Kgs 11:26-38), the 10 northern tribes of Israel and the southern tribes of Judah including Levi and certain others who left the north to stay with Judah, who became known as the Jews (from Judah).
The biblical history of Israel was cut short about 250 years later when the 10 northern tribes of Israel were conquered and scattered in captivity by the Assyrians - beginning in 738 B.C., a Sabbath year, when Assyrian king Tiglath Pilezer III of Nineveh, also called Pul, began conquering the cities of Israel and exporting the people out of the land (2 Kgs 15:29; 1 Chr 5:26). Before the final captivity of Israel, God sent a final warning to Israel by messengers from king Hezekiah of Judah "that they should come to...Jerusalem, to keep the Passover to the Lord God of Israel," which all but a few refused to do, mocking the messengers (2 Chron 30). Soon afterward the final sieges of Israel's capitol of Samaria were made in 722 to 718 B.C. by kings Sargon II of Nineveh and Shalmaneser II of Calnah, who deported the rest of the Israelites into captivity. He then brought people from other areas and placed them in the cities of Samaria to replace the Israelites (2 Kgs 17:5-6,24; 18:9-12). And Israel began their "seven times" or 2520 years punishment as prophetically warned in Leviticus 26:17-18,21,24,28,34-35.
The southern nation of Judah with their capitol in Jerusalem suffered a similar fate, with some exceptions, when king Nebuchadnesser of Babylon conquered and deported them between 605-04 and 585 B.C. But rather than being lost in history, a remnant was allowed to return to Jerusalem after 70 years as God prophesied through Jeremiah (Jer 25:4-12; Dan 9:2). And Isaiah prophesied that Cyrus, a future king of Persia, would be instrumental in seeing that Jerusalem and the temple would be rebuilt (Isa 44:28; 45:1,13).
After the 70 years a remnant of the Jews did return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city and temple in the times of Ezra and Nehemiah (Ezra 1:1) and their history continued to the time of Jesus Christ and the beginning of the NT Church. But then about 40 years later they were again scattered in 70 A.D. when the Roman general Titus destroyed the Temple and slaughtered over a million Jews, as Christ warned would occur (Mat 24:2; Lk 21:20-24).
Where are the people of Israel today? What about the people of Judah? Is the tiny nation of Israel all that is left?
A prophecy in Amos 9:9 reveals that God would
"sift the house of Israel among all nations, as grain is sifted in a sieve; Yet not the smallest grain shall fall to the ground."
The "seven times" prophecy in Leviticus 26 of Israel's loss of blessings for 2520 years (7 x 360 years for their rebellion and not keeping the Sabbath years - Lev 26:23-35) brings us to recent history. Exactly 2520 years later from 738 to 718 B.C. brings us to 1783 A.D., a Sabbath year, and 1803, very significant years in the history of the United States. 1783 is the year of Israel's rebirth as a nation with the signing of the treaty with England giving the 13 colonies in America (representing 13 tribes of Israel with Joseph's two sons - Gen 48:1-16) national status as the United States of America. This occurred seven years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, also a Sabbath year. And 1803 is the year the U.S. acquired the Louisana territory, the richest farmland in world, from France, doubling the area of the U.S.
The nation of Judah went into captivity beginning 605-04 B.C., also a Sabbath year. This began the 70 years of desolation of Jerusalem prophesied by Jeremiah and was also the beginning of their 2520 years of punishment and exile. Exactly 2520 years later brings us to 1917 A.D., a Sabbath year and the year Palestine and Jerusalem were freed from control of the Ottoman Empire and the signing of the Balfour Declaration giving the Jews a homeland. But it was not to be yet for another 40 years according to another prophecy in Ezekiel 4:6-8.
"...you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days. I have laid on you a day for a year.The great majority of the Jews of Christ's time rejected Jesus Christ as the Messiah and His sacrifice for their sins and continued to sin 40 years by offering sacrifices in the Temple - until it was destroyed by Titus in 70 A.D.
"Therefore you shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem; your arm shall be uncovered, and you shall prophesy against it.
"And surely I will constrain you so that you cannot turn from one side to another till you have ended the days of your siege."
The forty years added to the 2520 years brings us to 1947-48 when the United Nations approved the homeland for the Jews in Palestine and in 1948 the Jews reestablished the nation of Israel (actually Judah in biblical prophecy and only a part of Israel). Without understanding this distinction, end time prophecies about Israel and Judah cannot be understood.
A detailed study of history can trace the migrations of the "Lost Sheep of the house of Israel" (Mat 10:6-7). The apostle James wrote and sent his epistle "To the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad" (Jam 1:1). Jesus Christ and the apostles knew where the "lost sheep of the house of Israel" were because Jesus commanded the twelve,
"Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Smaritans.
"But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
"And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand'" (Mat 10:5-7).
The apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians, who were zealous for spiritual gifts,
"...since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you excel...To correctly understand biblical prophecies one must believe (have faith, confidence, trust in) and obey the Word of God! Obedience is the proof of one's faith (James 2:17-22). True faith is a spiritual gift (1 Cor 12:1,7-11).
"Brethren, do not be children in understanding... tongues (speaking in foreign languages) are for a sign, not to those who believe, but to unbelievers; but the PROPHECY is not for unbelievers, but for those who believe" (1 Cor 14:12,20-22).
Without the gift of the Holy Spirit, which God gives to those who repent and obey Him (Acts 2:38; 5:32), it is not easy to clearly understand many prophecies.
God "reveals His secrets to His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7) through the Holy Spirit (2 Pet 1:21).
"The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Rev 19:10).
The natural (carnal) mind of man cannot understand the things of God,
"But as it is written (Isa 64:4): 'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him'...
"for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor 2:9,14).
Why? "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not submissive to the law of God, nor indeed can be" (Rom 8:7).
"But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God. (1 Cor 2:10).
The Holy Spirit gives understanding to those who ask and believe and obey God. "A good understanding have all they that do His commandments" (Psa 111:10). Jesus Christ said,
"If you love Me, keep My commandments.
"And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another helper, that [It] may abide with you forever,
"even the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot receive, because it neither sees [It] nor knows [It]; but you know [It], for [It] dwells with you and will be in you" (John 14:15-17).
"However when [It], the Spirit of truth, has come, [It] will guide you into all truth" (John 16:13).
Ask God in prayer to give you understanding as Daniel did. When he wanted to understand the prophecy of Jeremiah concerning the 70 years, he said,
"I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
"And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love Him, and to them that keep His commandments..." (Dan 9:2-4).
But when you ask, you must ask in faith.
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally, and upbraids not; and it shall be given him."(If you have doubts about God, see Does God Exist? and The MYSTERY OF JESUS CHRIST in the Mysteries of God Menu)
But you must "ask in FAITH, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think he shall receive any thing of the Lord" (Jam 1:5-7).
"For without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him" (Heb 11:6).
Noah believed God and took heed, "being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his houshold"... Abraham believed and obeyed God and shall inherit the promises...(Heb 11:7-12). Believe God and Prove your faith by taking action and you will understand... Jam 2:14-26).
One other thing!
What should you watch for and how? Jesus disciples came to Him and asked,
"Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?
Jesus answered and said. "Take heed that no one deceives you..." and He gave many things to watch for. (Mat 24:3-; Mk 13:4-; Lk 21:7-)
He told them in a parable,
"Look at the fig tree, and all trees. When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near.Read also the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. "And five of them were wise and five were foolish". What do you need to do to be ready?
"So you likewise, when you see these things happening (prophecies being fulfilled), know that the Kingdom of God is near.
"Assuredly, I say to you, THIS generation will by no means pass away till all things are fulfilled.
"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
"But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.
"For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
"Watch therefore and pray always, that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Lk 21:29-36).
In Matthews' account, He adds, "But of that day and hour no one knows, no, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only" (Mat 24:36).
"Watch therefore, for you do not know the hour your Lord is coming...
"Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him" (vs. 42,44).
"And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,Return to Index
"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching!" (Heb 10:24-25).
"Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant...
"Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit...
"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:
"For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit,
"to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit,
"to another the workings of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another differing kinds of languages.
"But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
"For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ" (1 Cor 12:12).
"Blessed is he who reads and those who [understand] the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near" (Rev 1:3).
Copyright January 2002, 2003, 2006 by Serf Publishing, Inc.