Is This The Beast Arising?

July 8, 2014

beastThe expansion and increasing power of the “Islamic State” is stunning–from relatively obscure to a recognized, regional player in a month. They have put out a map and timeline for a Caliphate that is eerily similar to what we find in ‘End Times’ Bible passages:

Rev 6:8, “I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.”

Rev 13:4,5, “they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” 5 There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him

This map and article
describe the Islamic State’s geography conquest aims and their timeline to achieve them–its very close to 1/4 of the earth, both by population and area, stretching nearly the length of the “10-40 Window”.   They believe they can achieve their goal in 5 years, but judging by their recent speed overtaking large areas of Syria and Iraq its not unreasonable to wonder if they could achieve it in 3-4 years.

Though mapAbu Bakr al-Baghdadi has a $10 million bounty on his head, since he was formally  in US custody, he continues to gain strength and its difficult to imagine the US carrying out a raid intended to kill him if he takes on the mantle of Head of a new Islamic State.  Already on Twitter we are seeing a constant stream of Muslims giving him bayah, or Islamic religious allegiance, due to the Caliph, the combined spiritual/governmental/military head of the Ummah, the worldwide Muslim populace.

While its far from a sure thing that the new Islamic State is the final incarnation of the seven-headed Beast of Revelation, this one bears watching.

One thing is for sure, we need to be praying for our suffering brethren in areas under the control of IS–deliverance yes, but faithfulness to the end, since we know there will be a great reward in the coming kingdom of Messiah.  And we need to pray for Israel–Biblically its apparent that great hardships are headed their way. Father, give your people peace, and let them see and know the Prince of Peace, Christ Jesus.


Will a Temple Be Built in Jerusalem Before Yeshua Returns? Shavuot/Pentecost Tells Us “No”

December 3, 2013

Southern-temple-stepsMany Christians are anticipating that a literal, physical “Jewish” temple will be rebuilt on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem prior to Christ’s return at the beginning of a 7-year peace treaty that Antichrist will make with Israel.  They base this belief primarily on two passages, one from the Old Testament book of Daniel and the other from Matthew in the New Testament.

Since Matthew quoted Yeshua (Jesus) saying

Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains… (Matthew 24:15-16)

And since “the holy place” refers to the holy of holies in the temple that was destroyed in 70 AD by Roman-led legions, it follows that the temple must be rebuilt prior to Jesus’ return.  These Christians, primarily “Dispensationalists” that believe God will begin dealing again with the Jews/Israel during the 7-year Tribulation once Christians are raptured (removed physically from Earth to appear in Heaven with Jesus), think they find in Daniel 9:27 the perfect explanation for how this temple gets rebuilt– Antichrist will make a 7-year peace treaty with Israel and allow them to rebuild their temple and begin sacrifices.  They think they find this peace treaty here:

And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate. (Daniel 9:27)

Dispensationalists/full-Futurists (who both hold that the last, 70th Week of Daniel’s “70 Weeks” in Daniel 9:24-27 is delayed until the future, just before Christ returns) think that “he” in v27 refers exclusively to “Antichrist”.  The purpose of this article is not to deconstruct this conclusion, nor to argue against the 70th Week as a future event, although both notions are certainly wrong.  Rather, from the Leviticus 23 Feasts (for a background on them, read this and this) I want to argue that Feast #4 of 7, Shavuot (also called the Feast of Weeks), on which the Day of Pentecost outpouring of the Holy Spirit occurred, shows us that no temple will be rebuilt prior to the return of Christ, because followers of Yeshua (Christians) have become the Temple of God where His Spirit indwells our bodies, replacing the Old Testament temple, made of wood and stone, destroyed after Yeshua’s death & resurrection.

As a background, the Apostle Paul clearly teaches that Christians are the Temple of God:

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Cor 3:16)

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? (1 Cor 6:19)

Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God (2 Cor 6:16)

in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.  (Eph 2:21-22)

Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost, occurs 50 days after Passover and is traditionally celebrated as the day the Law, or Torah, was given to Israel gathered at Mt. Sinai in the desert after the exodus from Egypt.

Compare the differences between the giving of the Law on Shavuot and the giving of the Spirit on Pentecost:

Giving of the Law Giving of the Holy Spirit
50th day after Passover 50th day after Passover
Written on tablets of stone (Exo 24:12) Written on our hearts (Jer 31:33; Psm 40:8; 37:31; Is 51:7; Ezek 11:19-20; 36:22-27;   2 Cor 3:3; Heb 8:10)
Written by the finger of God    (Exo 31:18) Written by the Spirit of God (2 Cor 3:3; Heb 8:10)
3,000 slain (Exodus 32:1-8,26-28) 3,000 saved (Acts 2:38-41)
The letter of ‘the Law’ The spirit of the Law (Rom 2:29, 7:6)
Mt. Sinai (Exo 19:11, Heb 12:18-21) Mt. Zion (Rom 11:26, Heb 12:22)

There is clearly a relationship between the two–the giving of the Holy Spirit (inspiring inner motivations and attitudes) supersedes the giving of the Law (regulating outward behaviors).

Paul equated the old covenant with Mt. Sinai and “present” Jerusalem:

But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise. This is allegorically speaking, for these women are two covenants: one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.  But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. (Gal 4:23-26)

So Mt. Sinai and Jerusalem, under the Law, were “covenantally” the same.  The focal point of the old covenant/Law in Jerusalem was the temple since the sacrifices and ceremonies performed there were prescribed by the Law and its entire existence was due to Torah commandments; sacrifices were required to atone for sins against the Law.

Hundreds of years before the temple was constructed, Abraham was commanded by God to sacrifice Isaac on the mountains of Moriah (Gen 22), later to become Jerusalem.  The temple is thought to be built on the exact spot where Isaac was nearly sacrificed.  One of the hills of Moriah/Jerusalem was Mt. Calvary, where Jesus was crucified.  Isaac’s near sacrifice was a prefigurement of Christ’s sacrifice, who is God’s only Son, just as Isaac was Abraham’s only promised son (born of Sarah).  Yeshua was the ram caught in the thicket (the cross), the substitutionary sacrifice for Isaac.  Note that both the temple and Yeshua’s sacrifice are co-located on the mountains of Moriah, and both concern the atonement for sin.

ascensionYeshua prophesied the destruction of the temple (Mt 24:2, Lk 19:44) and the desolating of the old covenant (Mt. 23:38, Lk 21:20); the old covenant “died” when Yeshua died–the temple was part of the old covenant, given on Mt. Sinai, home of the descendents of Abraham and Sarah’s bondwoman, Hagar.  Remember, we are born of the promise, not of the flesh.

After His resurrection, the last place Yeshua was seen was on the Mt. of Olives, east of the temple mount.  Yeshua then ascended directly to Heaven from the Mt. of Olives, across the Kidron Valley (also called the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3:2), the Valley of Decision and it was used as a trash dump) from the temple.  So by His death and resurrection, Yeshua crossed over from the covenant of the law of sin and death, to life.  The Mt. of Olives is even higher in elevation than the temple mount, transcending it.

The Mt. of Olives is so called because of the olive tree groves that grew there–olive oil represents the Spirit of God, the Spirit was given on Shavuot/Pentecost, replacing the Law, given on the same day.  Some olive trees there have been alive since the time of Christ, interestingly.

Jesus will return to earth at the same place (Zech 14:4, Acts 1:11), the Mt. of Olives, not the temple mount.

The Mt. of Olives will be split in two on the Day of the Lord when Yeshua returns, so that the suffering remnant in Jerusalem may flee (Zech 14:5); Mt. Olives represents the new covenant under Christ; they will be fleeing from the Law to the Spirit.

The population of Jerusalem will flee eastward away from the temple mount/Mt. Moriah/the Law to the Mt. of Olives/the Spirit, where Jesus will return to earth.

Four of the Seven Leviticus 23 Feasts have been fulfilled, the last of which was Shavuot, marking the end of the Law/temple of stone and the beginning of the Spirit/temple of believers.  The Law was given on Shavuot and then superseded on Shavuot/Pentecost by the giving of the Spirit.

There is a large break before Shavuot from the three early Spring Feasts and after Shavuot to the three Fall Feasts–there has been a break from the Law to the Spirit.

The giving of the Spirit on Shavuot is one more evidence to the desolation of the old covenant and all that goes with it–the temple and the sacrifices.  This Leviticus 23 feast is further testimony to the fact that the temple system will not return prior to the return of Christ.

Reconciling the Timing of the Two ‘End of the Age’ Harvests

March 23, 2013

ImageThe bible speaks of a two-part ‘End Time Harvest’, one for the righteous and one for the wicked.  Jesus describes them in the Matthew 13 “Wheat and Tares” parable:

“I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn… The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness”

There is a similar passage in the Old Testament’s Joel Chapter 3:

Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe.
Come, tread, for the wine press is full;
The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great.

We find more information on the ‘End Time Harvest’ in Matthew 24 and similar parallel Mark and Luke passages:

But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

The problem is that in the Matthew 13 passage, while its clear that the wicked are removed first, later in the same book in Chapter 24, Matthew doesn’t even mention “the wicked” other than that “all the tribes of the earth will mourn”; he actually describes everyone on earth, presumably including the wicked, witnessing the gathering of the ‘elect’.

So which is it?  Are the wicked removed first, or are the ‘elect’ (Greek ek-lektos, “the chosen out”)?  What about the ‘sons of the kingdom’ described in Matthew 13 who are to remain after the wicked are removed?

Further information is given in Matthew 25–there we find we are to be like ‘virgins’, representative of the Church, preparing to meet the ‘bridegroom’, or Christ.  When Christ comes at midnight when it’s hard to stay awake, we are to be ready to go with him.  Those who aren’t prepared are shut out of the wedding feast (Mt 25:10).

And finally, Chapter 25 ends with the “Sheep and Goats” parable where the sheep inherit the kingdom and goats “go away into eternal punishment”–now this sounds more like the “Wheat and Tares” of Chapter 13.  Unfortunately we have to reconcile the gathering of the elect/virgins prepared for the bride–where do these come in?

Pre-Tribulation rapture adherents will say that the elect are gathered at the beginning or part way through a tribulation period (usually 7 years), but the problem with that view is that we are told this occurs “immediately after the tribulation”.

How the Feasts of the Lord Might Offer a Solution

Those familiar with the seven ‘Feasts of the Lord’ described in Leviticus 23 know that the first four ‘Spring Feasts’ were fulfilled by Jesus to the very day, in consecutive order, all in His last few days on earth.  The fifth Feast, presumably the next to be fulfilled, is Yom Teruah or the Feast of Trumpets.  It occurs in the Fall on Tishrei 1, the 1st day of the 7th month of the Hebrew year, usually in September or October of our calendar.  Several passages in the New Testament associate the blowing of ‘a great trumpet’ or ‘the last trumpet’ with the return of the Lord.

The sixth and seventh Feasts are Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, and Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles.  In Revelation, when the New Jerusalem descends, a loud voice is heard to say “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men”.

One way to reconcile this dilemma of the relative timing of:

  • when the tares are removed
  • when the elect are gathered
  • when the sons receive the kingdom
  • when the virgins are brought into the wedding feast
  • when the goats are sent away

is as follows:

Tishrei 1 or 2, the Feast of Trumpets: The Lord returns to repel the attack on Jerusalem; its the ‘Day of the Lord‘–the elect are gathered to Him.  This is synonymous with the virgins entering the wedding feast.  One wedding described in the bible lasted 7 days, that of Jacob & Leah (Gen 29:27-28); a Jewish wedding celebration is traditionally 7 days long.  Isaiah 26:20-21 describes a time that God’s people will “enter into your rooms and close your doors behind you…until indignation runs its course. For behold, the Lord is about to come out from His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity.”  We also find in Rev 15 that “Bowls of Wrath” are poured out on the earth after the Lord’s return at the 7th Trumpet; perhaps this occurs the week (Tishrei 3-9) between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement; it could be that while wrath is poured out the bride is sheltered and ‘the wedding’ takes place.

Tishrei 10, the Day of Atonement: The Lord judges the earth–the goats/tares are removed and the sheep/the sons of the kingdom are rewarded with entry into the Millennial Kingdom (Rev 20:4-6).  The ‘sons of the kingdom’ are those that:

  1. Treated God’s people, the Jews, with kindness per the “Sheep and Goats” parable.
  2. Believed in Christ when they mourned at His return and were shut out of the wedding chamber, including “all Israel” per Romans 11.

These people will go into the Millennium as natural humans and will repopulate the earth that Christ will reign over from Jerusalem with a “rod of iron” (Psalm 2).

Tishrei 15, the Feast of Tabernacles:  New Jerusalem descends from Heaven to earth–the elect return in glorified bodies to rule and reign with Christ in His earthly kingdom (Rev 5:10).

How the Seals, Trumpets and Bowls speak of the Holy Spirit, Yeshua and Yahweh

August 25, 2012

I was thinking about the Sealed Scrolls, Trumpets and Bowls of Wrath judgment series from the book of Revelation this morning as I was driving around doing errands.  In the Bible we have many references to groups of 7’s, particularly in Revelation.  In addition to the 7 lampstands, the 7 spirits of God, the 7 horns, 7 eyes, and 7 churches, we obviously have the 7 Seals, 7 Trumpets and 7 Bowls.  Added together these three equal 21, an uncommon number in scripture.  This might actually be another clue (there are many others) that these 3 groupings are not in series, but are parallel, or roughly co-occurring. Why do I say that?  There are only two uses of the number 21 in all of the Bible; that was the age Zedekiah became king and it was the amount of days Michael was resisted by the king of Persia on his way to answer Daniel’s prayer.

But the Bible is replete with references to ‘7’ s, as previously noted in just the book of Revelation, as well as the number ‘3’.  Three, most auspiciously, is the number of persons in the Trinity.  We know that 7 means ‘completion’ or ‘divine perfection’, so perhaps 7 being repeated 3 times is for emphasis and finality, or perhaps even more.  Could there actually be some relationship between the Seals, Trumpets and Bowls and the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?  Lets look at some scriptures:

Ephesians 1:13, In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise

Ephesians 4:30, Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

A seal is associated with the Holy Spirit, the evidence of salvation. The trumpet is associated with the coming of Yeshua, who provided our salvation:

1 Thessalonians 4:16, For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

Revelation 11:15, Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “ The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.”

Throughout the Bible, wrath being poured out is associated with YHWH-God’s judgment on those who reject salvation:

John 3:36, He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Rev 16:1, Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.”

Why does this association of the three persons of the Godhead to the Seals, Trumpets and Bowls reinforce for me their parallelism, or synchronicity? Because we know that God is not three separate beings, but a unified one; He is not in series (that error is called Sabellianism, or modalism or modalistic monarchianism, the belief that God transitions from Father to Son to Holy Spirit through time), but He is parallel–He is only one what (God), but three whos (Father, Son & Holy Spirit).  The Seals, Trumpets and Bowls likewise are one what (the end times from John to the return of Christ) seen through three, individual descriptions.  They are not predictive of separate times, but the same time through different lens. They co-exist; they overlap, they co-occur, interlace, converge; they are telescoping.

The last one or two of each series, Seals 6 & 7, the last Trumpet and the last Bowl all describe the return of the Lord.  Along the way, down the road of history they tell us of different, important events, from different angles, with different emphases.

Will flying missiles drive Jews into the Bozrah “Sheep Fold”?

June 16, 2012

Mountaintop location of Busheira, or “Bozrah”, with steep drops on all sides except for a single, narrow access.

Micah 2:12-13 reads:

“I will surely assemble all of you, Jacob,

I will surely gather the remnant of Israel.

I will put them together like sheep in the fold;

Like a flock in the midst of its pasture

They will be noisy with men.

“The breaker goes up before them;

They break out, pass through the gate and go out by it.

So their king goes on before them,

And the Lord at their head.” (NASB)

In the King James Version the Hebrew word “Bozrah” (בצרה , botsrah, Strong’s H1223 & H1224) is kept instead of “fold”, as it’s translated in the New American Standard Bible; “Bozrah” means a “fold” for sheep.  It is also a place name in southern Jordan, SE of the Dead Sea, currently the town Busheira in the highlands on the eastern escarpment of the Jordan rift valley .  It is the original location of Edom, the alternate name of Esau.  Bozrah is first referenced in the Bible as the abode of Esau’s grandson in Genesis 36:33.

This Micah 2 passage is popular with ‘End Times’ prophecy teachers – in it they see Israel in the last days of this age being gathered by the Lord in the desert where they are then freed (“the breaker goes up before them”)  by the returning Messiah.  It is often linked with this clear Messianic passage in Isaiah 63, since it too mentions Bozrah:

“Who is this who comes from Edom,

With garments of glowing colors from Bozrah,

This One who is majestic in His apparel,

Marching in the greatness of His strength?

“It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.

Why is Your apparel red,

And Your garments like the one who treads in the wine press?

“ I have trodden the wine trough alone,

And from the peoples there was no man with Me.

I also trod them in My anger

And trampled them in My wrath;

And their lifeblood is sprinkled on My garments,

And I stained all My raiment.

“For the day of vengeance was in My heart,

And My year of redemption has come.

“I looked, and there was no one to help,

And I was astonished and there was no one to uphold;

So My own arm brought salvation to Me,

And My wrath upheld Me

This passage, along with Zechariah 14:3,4, “Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east”, foresees Yeshua the Messiah returning to vanquish the enemies who have invaded Israel and besieged Jerusalem, but what of this mention of coming from “Edom” and “Bozrah” before arriving in Jerusalem?  One scenario has Yeshua setting free His people who have taken refuge in (or perhaps been cornered in ??) Bozrah, just prior to His appearance on the Mt. of Olives.

A question arises with this particular understanding of these Bozrah passages – what device moves millions of Jews into the wilderness of southern Jordan?  The following might be one possibility, which several Israeli news outlets have been reporting:

Home Front Officer: Missile attack would force massive evacuation of Tel Aviv

DEBKAfile Special Report June 12, 2012, 6:18 PM (GMT+02:00)

Tel Aviv

Col. Adam Zusman, Home Front Commander of Israel’s Dan region (Tel Aviv and its environs), told AFP Tuesday, June 12, “In case of a missile attack on the centre of Israel, especially unconventional attacks and if buildings are destroyed, the population from Tel Aviv and other cities will be evacuated and relocated in other areas of the country.

The officer did not say to where the roughly two million inhabitants of the Dan region’s core towns of Tel Aviv, Bat Yam, Holon, Petakh Tikva, Ramat Hasharon, Ramat Gan, Givatayim, Bein Brak, Herzliya, Or Yehuda, Givat Shmuel and Kiryat Ono, would be evacuated. debkafile’s military sources estimate they will be relocated in the southern mostly desert Negev region. The outer Gush Dan ring includes some 3 million people…

This article can be read in full here.   Similar articles can be read here, and this this one has the intriguing title of “Tel Aviv ‘exodus’ planned in event of missile strike”.

So perhaps a future missile or WMD strike against Israel will prompt a mass exodus to the southern Israel Negev desert.  The Negev is less than 20 miles west of Busheira.  At its closest point near Idan, the Israel border is only about 16 miles as the crow flies.  What might prompt a massive crossing of the border by Jews after seeking refuge in the Negev?  Perhaps a redirected attack on these evacuees?  Seeking shelter from fallout or chemical weapons?  Or will they be chased there by pursuing armies of the surrounding nations?  It could even be that knowing God’s Micah 2 promise to rescue them from the “sheep fold” will inspire many to trust Him for a Bozrah breakout.  A more thorough biblical search needs to be done on these possibilities.

The ancient fortress of Busheira is on a mountaintop, standing alone above a canyon dropping toward the desert and Israel – it might be seen as a place of safety, of shelter or of last resort – a fold for lost sheep.

The Abomination of Desolation – Scripturally Speaking, Part 1

April 3, 2012

What is the Abomination of Desolation?  When did it occur, or has it yet to occur?  Is there a foreshadowing event in history?  Is it related to Yeshua’s first coming, or second?  In Part 1 we are looking at the primary passages people refer to and getting an overall sense of what scripture is saying; I’ve not provided a lot of commentary but have preferred to let the Word of God speak for itself.  I’ve highlighted similar language in related passages to tease out the simple meaning. Without further ado…

1.  The Abomination of Desolation is inextricably joined to Israel & Jerusalem’s rejection of Yeshua, it’s Messiah:

Mt 23:37-38: Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate!”

Mt 24:15-16: “Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand) then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.

Lk 21:20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near.

2.  The Abomination of Desolation happens in conjunction with the total destruction of the temple:

Mt 24:1-3:  Jesus came out from the temple and was going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him. 2 And He said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.” 3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things happen?”

Mk 13:4: “Tell us, when will these things be?”

Lk 21:7:  They questioned Him, saying, “Teacher, when therefore will these things happen?”

Mt 24:15:Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION…”

Mk13:14: But when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION standing where it should not be…”

Lk 21:20 But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then recognize that her desolation is near.  Then those who are in Judea must flee…”

3.  The Abomination of Desolation would be something some of Yeshua’s hearers would see:

Mt 24:15: “Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION…”

Mk13:14: “But when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION standing where it should not be…”

Lk 21:20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies…”

4a. The Abomination of Desolation (AoD) would result in the diaspora of the Jews out of Jerusalem and Israel into the world, until the ‘time of the Gentiles’ would be fulfilled;

4b. Paul wrote while the ‘fullness of the Gentiles’ had not come in

4c. Seven-Year Trib people say that the AoD occurs at the Trib’s midpoint, after the ‘the time of the Gentiles’ (because they have been raptured and supposedly God is now again dealing with the Jews), but the AoD results in the Great Tribulation, initiating and concurrent with the Jews’ dispersal around the world, during the ‘time of the Gentiles’:

Mt 24:16-21:  Those who are in Judea must flee [4a] to the mountains.  Whoever is on the housetop must not go down [4a] to get the things out that are in his house.  Whoever is in the field must not turn back [4a] to get his cloak.  But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!  But pray that your flight [4a] will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. For then there will be a great tribulation [4c], such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.

Mk 13:14-20:  Those who are in Judea must flee [4a] to the mountains.  The one who is on the housetop must not go down [4a], or go in to get anything out of his house;  and the one who is in the field must not turn back [4a] to get his coat.  But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!  But pray that it may not happen in the winter.  For those days will be a time of tribulation [4c] such as has not occurred since the beginning of the creation which God created until now, and never will.  Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days.

Lk 21:21-24:  Then those who are in Judea must flee [4a] to the mountains, and those who are in the midst of the city must leave [4a], and those who are in the country must not enter [4a] the city; because these are days of vengeance, so that all things which are written will be fulfilled.  Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress [4c] upon the land and wrath to this people; and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations [4a]; and Jerusalem will be trampled under foot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. [4b]

Rom 11:25:  For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery—so that you will not be wise in your own estimation—that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. [4b]

5.  Daniel 9 teaches that the Abomination of Desolation is related to and follows quickly and immediately after [5a] the work of the Messiah to make an end of sin [5b], to make atonement for iniquity [5c] putting a stop to the sacrificial system [5d], making a firm covenant [5e] and bringing in everlasting righteousness [5f]:

Dan 9:24,26-27: “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sin,[5b] to make atonement for iniquity [5c], to bring in everlasting righteousness[5f], to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place…then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. And its end will come with a flood; even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. And he will make a firm covenant [5e] with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering [5d]; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction [5a], one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.”

Rom 6:2: How shall we who died to sin [5b] still live in it?

Heb 9:26: He has been manifested to put away sin [5b] by the sacrifice of Himself.

1 Jn 4:10:  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. [5c]

Heb 10:12:  He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time [5d], SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD.

Jer 32:40  “I will make an everlasting [5f] covenant [5e] with them…”

Heb 7:22:  Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. [5e]

Heb 13:20:  the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal [5f] covenant, [5e] even Jesus our Lord

Rom 3:21  the righteousness of God [5f]  has been manifested

Mk 13:4, 14, Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?”… “But when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION…” [5a]

Two ‘Little Horns’ – Do Daniel Chapters 7 & 8 describe the same individual?

February 18, 2012

A prevalent view I’ve encountered lately is that the “Little Horns” of Daniel chapters 7 & 8 describe the same person. After all they both chronicle “Little Horns”, a rather unique descriptor, and either explicitly or implicitly state that “the vision pertains to the time of the end” (Dan 8:17, 19).  The term “Little Horn” is too specific it is argued, it must they refer to the same time, kingdom and individual!  While there are clearly some differences, mustn’t we massage and synthesize the data to arrive at the truth? No. To be certain, there is a relationship between the two; they are in the same ‘family’; similar, but not the same evil entity.

Let us briefly examine some of the distinctives of the two Little Horns, then we can discover their actual identities.  Let’s start with the Chapter 7 Little Horn (LH):

  • The Ch. 7 LH stays small, unlike the one in Ch. 8, although it has “great boasts” (v8, 11)
  • Its littleness draws attention to its eyes and mouth (v8)
  • 3 of the 10 horns were pulled out by the roots before it (v8)
  • This LH was slain, and given to the burning fire, presumably by “the Ancient of Days”, described in verses 9 & 10 (v11).  BTW, this is also the destiny of “the Beast” of Revelation, see Rev 19:20.
  • It makes war with the saints (kaddesh, ‘holy ones’, the Greek version of which, hagios, is used of believers in the book of Revelation) and prevails (v21)
  • Judgment was passed on the horn and the kingdom was given to the saints (v22)
  • This little horn arising from the ten that issue from the fourth beast, will be “different” from the previous ones and will subdue three kings (v24)
  • He will speak out against the Most High and wear down his saints (v25) He will try to make changes in times and laws (v25)
  • They will be delivered for a “time, times and half a time”. A common interpretation of this is 1+2+1/2 = 3-1/2 years, although another plausible interpretation goes like this: It will take time, then it will seem like a really long time (times), then the end will come suddenly, in 1/2 a time. (v25)

Inserted into this description of this Little Horn’s time is the coming of the ‘Son of Man’ (v13), who brings an everlasting kingdom, with people serving Him, that will never pass away. It is rather simple to conclude that this is a prophecy of Yeshua, the Son of Man’s second coming, and this Little Horn, who is tied with the terrible, fourth beast (v7, 8, 11, 19, & 20), is none other than the Antichrist, the Beast of Revelation.

So now let’s review the Chapter 8 Little Horn:

  • The ram has two horns representing the Medes and Persians. The longer horn comes up last, representing Cyrus and the Persians (v3, 20)
  • The ram “butts” or pushes west, south and north, the direction of their greatest conquests (v4)
  • A he-goat comes from the west, which v 21 identifies as Greece; its feet don’t touch the earth (its fast). It has a “conspicuous horn”; from history, this is Alexander (v5)
  • The he-goat Greece triumphs over Medo-Persia (v6-7)
  •  The one conspicuous horn broke into four; again from history, Cassander, Lys., Seluecus and Ptolemy (v8)
  • A LH grew up from one of the four; this is Antiochus Epiphanes (AE), proceding from Seleucus. This horn grows, unlike the horn of Chapter 7.  It grew toward “the Desire” or the “Beautiful Land”, NASB (v9)
  • It grew toward “the host of Heaven”, causing some of these stars to fall (v10).  These could be the holy people, the Jews, or angels.
  • It magnified itself to be equal to the Commander of the Host (Yahweh God), and removed the regular sacrifice from Him (v11).  Historically sacrifice was stopped for several years by AE, in 168-165 BC.
  • The host (the Jewish people) are given over to the LH, who flings truth to the ground (v12)
  • The transgression that causes horror, the vision of the stopping of the regular sacrifice, takes 2300 evenings and mornings to be properly restored (v13, 14). This could mean 2300 days, or 1150 days, since “evenings and mornings” are described, possibly referring to the twice daily sacrifices.  This in itself is a “foreshadowing” or type of the Abomination of Desolation which descends on Israel as a result of their rejection of their Messiah, Yeshua.

Verses 20-26 of Chapter 7 interpret the verses referenced above, including revealing the kingdoms involved (Media, Persia and Greece) and more detailed description of this insolent king, skilled in intrigue (v23).

While there are certainly similarities (more on that in a moment), consider these significant differences:

  • The Ch. 7 LH arises from the terrible beast, different from all others, amidst 10 horns, overthrowing 3, while the Ch. 8 LH arises out of one of the four horns, described as emanating from Greece.
  • The Ch. 7 LH is defeated by appearance of both the Ancient of Days and the Son of Man, resulting in an eternal kingdom wherein the Son is served and obeyed by all peoples and men of every language, while the Ch. 8 LH stops regular sacrifice, which is eventually restored. The only one who meets this description is Antiochus Epiphanes, because after he died, the temple sacrifices were reinitiated. Following the desolation of the temple in 70 A.D., there can be no regular sacrifice to interrupt or restore.

The similarities are noteworthy as well—they are both “horns”, imbued with strength, they both afflict and war against the holy people, they appear in the future relative to Daniel’s point of view, and the two Little Horns are eventually destroyed by God.

The End Time, eschatonic Beast and the Little Horn that arises from him are described first, then this Little Horn’s foreshadower Antiochus Epiphanes, also a Little Horn, is revealed.  In other words, “here is how things finally end with the appearance of the Son of Man’s eternal kingdom on earth” (Chapter 7) while “this one is a pattern and type; he will appear first” (Chapter 8).

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