People today are of the mindset that the events of the Old and New Testaments all happened back in the "Biblical days" of human history. They fail to grasp the awesome truth that we are still living in Biblical days. They never ended. What will yet happen on the face of this Earth in the years to come has already been prophesied and penned in the Bible. There remain things written in the Bible, in both the New an Old Testaments, that are yet to come to pass.
The Bible deals with the history of man's world from the beginning, across historical time and into our present time and forward until the very end of time as we understand it. You are living RIGHT NOW in Biblical days. The great "I AM" of Exodus 3:14, who spoke to Moses from the burning bush, STILL IS and speaks to us today through His written Holy Word and the Holy Spirit. And, today, that ancient malignant spirit of Satan is also still whispering in the ears of modern man, "Yea hath God said?" (Genesis 3:1)
Although the prophets and disciples have long since passed from our world, what they wrote lives on just as relevant today as it was in the day it was written. If you really trust the Bible, it can and will tell you where we are today and what is about to come to pass in the very near future, not just in the sweet bye-n-bye. We will now shift gears from, "In the beginning" to the "Beginning of the end."
There is a second "gap" in the Old Testament aside from the one in Genesis. That "gap" is the Church Age, the roughly 2000 year period of time between the first and second advents of the Lord Jesus Christ. That gap is hidden within the prophecies of the Old Testament, but it can be seen there through what is revealed in the New Testament. Clarence Larkin probably put it best when he explained that the prophets in Old Testament days were only able to see the "mountain peaks" of prophetic events (like the crucifixion, the Day of the Lord, and the final judgment), but could not see the Church Age in the valley between the mountains. Here is the chart from Larkin's book, "Dispensational Truth" that visually illustrates this principle:
Prophetically speaking, we are living today on the far side of the valley of the Church, time wise, and quickly moving up the mountain slope towards the coming of the Antichrist and the great Day of the Lord; the end times of God's dealing with the Jews, His chosen people.
Although 1948, the year when Israel became a state, would seem a natural benchmark for the start of the latter times of Biblical days, I believe a much better benchmark emerged in 1979 when the Iranian Revolution catapulted the land of ancient Persia back onto the global political stage.
The Iranian Revolution inspired an exponential rise of Islamic fundamentalist sentiment against the west; an angry wind that began to blow with increasing velocity across the Middle east and the larger Islamic world. When the Islamic world saw that Iran could blatantly snub its nose at the powerful west, and get away with it, others quickly followed. The subsequent Iran/Iraq war, the rise of Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden, the attack on New York on September 11, 2001, the Gulf Wars, the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the rise of the so-called 'Islamic State' all directly or indirectly precipitated from this seminal event. The Arab Spring uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East and the increase in sectarian strife between Sunni and Shiite Islamic factions across the Muslim world are all part of this equation. And Iran is an active political driving force in this phenomenon.
Iran is Biblical Persia and, in retrospect, we can now see that the emergence of Iran as a world power, and a modern-day growing global threat, is prophesized in the book of Daniel. The prophetic seal on the book of Daniel is unsealing right before our very eyes. The Church Age is rapidly drawing to a close.
The Old Persian Empire encompassed the areas of present-day Iraq, Iran, Syria, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Pakistan and also occupied-present day Turkey, Palestine, northern Egypt and Libya around 500 B.C.
The Persian Empire figured most prominently in the captivity of Israel in Biblical history and, as we shall point out, Persia also figures prominently in future prophecy and the beginning of the "latter days" (See Daniel 10:14).
It is no coincidence that the Middle East is a powder keg, awaiting only the proper spark to explode; it is no coincidence that radical Islam has become the global terror threat; it is no coincidence that Iran is threatening to wipe the nation of Israel off the map; and it is no coincidence that Israel exists as a nation, once again back in most of the very same Biblical lands that God deeded to Abraham thousands of years ago. None of this is coincidence; it is the fulfilling and unfolding of God's Word and is setting of the stage for the fulfillment of coming events written about in the book of Revelation.
During the days of the Old Persian Empire when Israel was in captivity, the prophet Daniel received many visions concerning his people and Jerusalem and what would happen to Israel in the times before the end. God told Daniel that those things would be sealed until this "time of the end."
To begin to comprehend the context of Persia (present day Iran) in the prophecies of Daniel, we need to start with the vision of the "Ram" at the river:
Daniel was in what today is southwestern Iran when he had this vision.
First of all, the Lord God reiterates that this is an END TIMES prophecy; a yet future event. Then the Lord God identifies the two horns of the ram as the kings of "Media and Persia" which would roughly indicate the land area from eastern Turkey and Iraq into Iran and eastward into Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is no coincidence that the conflicts in these lands are the current focal points of the daily news.
Politically speaking, Syria is currently siding with the Iranians and their Hezbollah segregates against Israel. Following the pullout of U.S. forces, Iraq became unstable and is dominated by a Shiite government that is a puppet of the Iranian sphere of influence. There is a building fault-line between Shiites and Sunnis in the region, most notably precipitated by the conflict in Syria and the subsequent rise of the 'Islamic State' Sunni movement . Expect to continue seeing the unexpected in this region in the coming months and years.
The king of "Grecia" is a reference to the peoples immediately west and north of present day Turkey, specifically, the regions around Greece, Macedonia and up into the Crimea and present day Ukraine and the Balkan states. Some scholars interpret this king of "Grecia" to be a generalized reference to Europe and the western world. But, if we restrict our interpretation to a more literal one, a somewhat startling prospect arises. And the seeds of that prospect are found in the current European Union economic crisis in Greece.
What would happen to Greece should the crisis there deepen and the Greeks leave the Eurozone?
Besides defaulting on their debt, and throwing Europe into an economic tailspin, such a possibility would precipitate a political rift between the Greek peoples and Europe and a shift into the Russian sphere of influence.
There is a common strong religious bond between the Greeks and the Russians because these regions are bastions of the Greek Orthodox faith. And I am not talking just about Greece or Russia, proper.
This includes the Orthodox peoples of Cyprus, the Balkans and the east European nations situated between Greece and Russia. There is a strong enmity between the Greeks (Christian Orthodox) and the Turks (Muslims) that goes back to the conquest of Constantinople (Istanbul) and the rise of the Ottoman Empire.
There exists the strong possibility of a new political power block rising across this region and peoples, which would become aligned against the west and Europe for economic reasons, and against the Muslim peoples of Turkey and the rising Islamic forces to the east for religious and political reasons.
There eventually would emerge one leading nation within that power block who could constitute the "he goat" who will be moved to attack the ram and crush the empire. So, in effect, we have a prophecy of a future 'Grecia' military machine attacking and bringing down the future resurgent eastern empire of the Medes and Persians. Certainly the winds of politics are blowing is this direction.
The Russian aggression in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine is just another unfolding episode in this story, as are the crisis of the ongoing tide of refugees flooding into the Baltics and Europe from Syria, the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq, and the Russian and Iranian military intervention on the side of the Syrian dictator, president Assad. And what effect will that intervention have on Turkey which is fighting the Kurds and ISIS and insisting on military action against Syria?
These are complex issues that must be factored into the prophetic equation.
We are certainly living in the days before this 'Ram' prophecy will be fulfilled, but we are also living in the times when the prophecy is actually unsealing right before our eyes, so that we can understand what is happening in this world and where all this is leading.
The Ram is rising, it is becoming "great" but the larger of its two horns is yet to rise. Specifically, the lands of Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan are yet to fully join forces with the Iranians.
It should also be pointed out that these nations, although they are all predominantly Islamic nations, are not Arab nations.
These are different peoples than the descendants of the Ishmaelite who inhabit the predominantly Sunni Arab nations to the south that are on the western shores of the Persian Gulf (Arab Gulf) and in northern Africa.
Having said this, allow me to digress for a moment and show why the prophecy of the "He-Goat" and the "Ram" is still future prophecy, and not the description of a past historical event, as many Bible scholars argue.
Proponents of the historical interpretation school (the amillennialists) claim that this vision was fulfilled in the conquering of Persia by Alexander the Great (about 330 BC). But does the Bible really support that interpretation?
Notice in the prophecy that the "he goat" came from the West. Ok, so did Alexander the Great, but Alexander's army touched the ground every step of the way there.
The prophecy says he "touched not the ground," and that part of the ancient prophecy could not be literally fulfilled (or comprehended) until the invention of the airplane.
What the prophecy seems to be describing could be a massive airborne launched attack from the west; the modern doctrine of warfare (i.e. fighter jets, bombers, troop transports, and air and sea launched cruise missiles). The feet of attacking troops will not need to touch the ground until they parachute in or make marine landings.
There is a religious/political cultural line that runs between the Greeks and the Turks; the peoples of the west facing the people of the east; the predominantly Orthodox Greek peoples against the Turks and the Islamic peoples.
It is no coincidence that the beginning of John's visions in the Book of Revelation focuses on the western shores of Turkey.
That is the Biblical land of Asia Minor where the seven churches of Revelation are located.
Are you starting to see the connection?
All of the seven churches of Revelation chapters 1-3 are situated along the western edge of Turkey.
The Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey is a geopolitical dividing line between the so called lands of Christianity to the west and the lands of Islam to the east.
The Apostle John was on an island named Patmos (currently a Greek controlled island), situated in the Aegean sea just west of the Asia Minor mainland, when he saw his vision.
Daniel's visions are a complement to the visions of John. The Middle East region is the future literal focus of the events in the book of Revelation.
Also make note that all this must happen BEFORE any of the 10 kings or horns of Revelation actually come upon the scene.
That is, the king that leads the attack against the kings of the lands of the ancient Medes and Persians will occupy and breakup this resurgent empire and establish himself as the next ruler in the region. He will be the FIRST of the 10 kings of Revelation (See Daniel 7:24 & Revelation 17:13). The rest of the kings are nations in the Middle East region, not Europe.
Of course, all of this is just background to the key focus of end-times prophecy; the nation of Israel and the time of Jacob's troubles (see Jeremiah 30).
The future Jerusalem will be the ultimate "ground zero" of all geopolitical focus and the Temple Mount will be the detonator. All present conflicts in this area of the world are but a precursor to the main events that are yet to come to pass on the Earth before the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. But, before the Lord Jesus Christ returns, the Antichrist must appear on the prophetic stage.
When this person actually first appears on the prophetic scene is not clear. In the book of Revelation, John says that one of the seven churches, located at Pergamos, is in a city where "Satan's seat is" (See Revelation 2:12-17).
Since the Antichrist is Satan incarnate, Pergamos may be where this "man of sin" first emerges or establishes his power base. But the Bible is very clear in telling us that when he is finally revealed to the Jews and the world for what he really is, it will be in the future Jerusalem and in a Third Temple yet to be built in Jerusalem.
The Bible believer knows that, however all this comes about, the still unbelieving nation of Israel will build a Temple on the Mount in Jerusalem and re-institute Temple worship. And this temple MUST be built before the Antichrist is revealed and before the Lord Jesus Christ returns and destroys him and his armies.
Considering the decades of bloodshed and violence between Israel and the Arabs, and the entrenched respective positions of both the Jews and the Arabs concerning the Temple Mount and final status of Jerusalem, one can only imagine the magnitude of any sequence of geopolitical events that would bring this prophecy to pass. It WILL come to pass sometime in the near future; a literal Temple will be built and it is a prophecy you can 100% bank on coming to pass before the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. How this will happen is unclear.
Israel claims Jerusalem as its eternal capital.
The Palestinians and the Arab world want Jerusalem too. Is there a compromise on the horizon?
One key to how this could come about may also be found in the writings of the prophet Daniel. In future times, after that Temple is built in Jerusalem, there is a prophecy about a "Holy Covenant" already being in place for some time prior.
These passages of prophecy seem to indicate that there will be some form of treaty or "covenant" between Israel and their cousins in the Arab world. It could be over the question of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount; a covenant between both sides to share the Mount. The Jews build their Temple and are free to worship there, while the Arabs are free to worship beside them at the Al-Aqsa and Dome of the Rock mosques, with both sides respecting each other's religious claim to the Mount.
A farfetched idea? Not really!
Look at what is said in the book of Revelation about the Temple and the Mount during the Great Tribulation:
Keep in mind that both Israel and the Arabs are blood cousins, being the common descendants of Abraham through his sons Isaac and Ishmael respectively. Both people's faiths are rooted in the same Old Testament traditions, and they are both from common genetic stock, although the Messianic line is through the bloodline of Isaac and Jacob (the Hebrews), a fact the Arabs deny. And, politically, both of these people have something else in common - both consider Iran a threat.
On a Bible doctrinal basis, both the Jews and Arabs have one more thing in common (besides eschewing pork):
Both their religions deny that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that God came in the flesh in the person of the Lord Jesus.
Therefore, based on the authority of the Scriptures, both the mainline Jewish and Islamic faiths of today (to say nothing of other world religions and apostate "Christian" cults and sects who deny the physical resurrection of Jesus and His Deity) are all under that spirit of antichrist. It is not inconceivable that both the Jews and Arabs, indeed the whole unsaved world, could find a common basis for religious unity under that spirit (i.e. religions of works and ritual, not faith in the shed blood of Jesus for justification before God).
Jerusalem is considered a holy city by three faiths; Judaism, Christianity and Islam. What the Bible does tell us about the Jerusalem of that future time (before the second coming) is revealed in the book of Revelation. And what is revealed gives us an unbelievable glance into the conditions at Jerusalem at that future time.
In that day Jerusalem will be a "great city" in this present evil world and a global center of religious worship, commerce and political power. It will be a corrupt place where religious authorities (much like the Pharisees and Sanhedrin of olden days) rule over and suppress the poor and persecute the truly righteous. And once again the sins of Jerusalem and the world will cause the Lord God to rise up and send prophets to Jerusalem, preaching repentance and that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand; the very same message of John the Baptist and Elijah (see Matthew 17:10-11 & Mark 9:11-12).
Two of those coming prophets are killed by the rulers of the city:
The Jerusalem of the future, in this present evil world system, is likened unto Sodom and Egypt, which tells you of the level of depravity and hardship being endured in the great city at that future time.
In Old Testament prophecy, cities like Jerusalem are spoken of as women, and usually in less than flattering terms when the Lord God is angry with them:
It is a popular belief in the fundamental protestant school of prophecy that Papal Rome and the Catholic Church system somehow comes to power in the end times, and that Rome is the identity of the "woman" spoken of in Revelation as riding the beast:
Since the city of Rome is situated on seven hills, a phrase commonly associated with the city of Rome, they interpret this passage to be pointing to the Roman Catholic Church of Rome. Therefore, they believe that Rome is "BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS." (See Revelation 17:5)
Reasoning that the Catholic Church has over a billion members in all countries across the world, and since the Catholic Church claims to be the "True Church" of the Apostles, then this could be none other than Rome the Bible is speaking of in Revelation.
The interpreters claiming that the Catholic Church rules the politics of many countries on the Earth. They then make the point that the Vatican is a sovereign "State" apart from Italy, and that the "Holy See" has its own embassies and diplomatic status around the world. All these things are true, except this identification of Rome as the "woman" riding the beast of Revelation does not exactly pass the rightly-divided Biblical smell test.
And here is why:
Yes, Rome is a city that sits on seven hills, but so does the cities of Istanbul, Turkey (formerly Constantinople) and Jerusalem (and for that matter, so does Cincinnati, Ohio).
HOWEVER, Jerusalem is specifically referred to as the "great city" in the book of Revelation, not Rome ...
... and is proclaimed by the Scriptures to be the true whore of Babylon:
The Bible tells us that Jerusalem, not Rome, will be the true "whore" of Revelation. In the future Jerusalem, the City of Peace will be the city of a great false peace. It will be a center of power much like ancient Babylon and will once again go a whoring as she did so many times in Old Testament days. At this future time Israel will have abandoned its current democratic form of government and will once again be a theocratic monarchy, ruled by kings and ruling with the kings of the earth. Now, I know that you may find this to be shocking and hard to believe. After all, we all think of Jerusalem as the heart of the holy land and the place where the Lord Jesus Christ will someday reign (and He will), but not before He avenges Himself on the city that rejected the Lamb of God and nailed Him to a tree outside the city walls.
How do we know for sure that Jerusalem is the "woman" spoken of?
Consider this undeniable truth:
In the Bible God says that Babylon, the mother of harlots, is responsible for shedding specific holy blood:
And the only city on the face of the Earth that meets those criteria, according to the Bible, is the city of Jerusalem:
And that is the verse of Scripture that nails the woman's identity. Jesus Himself said this. And Jesus, who was also a prophet, was slain at Jerusalem.
In fact, search your Bible and you will find that EVERY true prophet of the Lord God who perished did so at Jerusalem.
I know that some of you will find this revelation troubling. That is understandable, since we know that God has not finished dealing with or completely forsaken the children of Israel.
Before God saves the Jewish remnant, they must be brought to repentance and their eyes must be opened. What happens at Jerusalem in the future is how He brings that about. (See Romans 2:4 & Hosea 3:5)
There is another cornerstone prophecy in the book of Daniel that you should study:
There are two (2) "princes" spoken of in this passage.
There is "Messiah the Prince" (a reference to Jesus - note that the "P" in prince is capitalized in your KJB).
Then there is the "prince of the people that shall come." This is not Jesus, but another prince (the Antichrist) and the passage is speaking of Jerusalem in the future. (Notice the "p" of this latter prince is not capitalized in the KJB.)
Also notice the mention of the "holy covenant" which could be a peace deal between the Jews and the Arabs that we mentioned previously.
The seventy weeks are seventy times seven years, or 490 years. This is the sum total of time God has determined for dealing with Jerusalem. This includes the time from history past (after the Babylonian captivity), up until the future day of the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and His anointing as the King of Kings. As you can see right off the bat, it has been over 2400 years since these seventy weeks of prophecy started, and they are not yet completed. And this is where the "gap" of the Church Age enters the picture.
The prophetic clock was stopped for the duration of the Church Age.
"Know therefore and understand, [that] from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince [shall be] seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks:"
In researching this particular prophecy, I have found that the interpretations of who gave this "commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem" and exactly when it was given, is not a fully settled historical or theological issue. It is outside the scope of this book to comment on the matter, in depth, but I will share with you one of my own observations.
I found a wee bit of a complication in computing this time. In the above verse it says there will be 69 weeks of years until "Messiah the Prince" (Jesus) "seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks" = 69 weeks, one week short of 70.
But in a following passage it says that that "after threescore and two weeks" (62 weeks) "shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself" This latter clause is understood to be when Jesus was crucified for the sins of the world.
So what happened to the "seven weeks" mentioned before?
In other words, the passages are saying two different things.
In one it says that a total of 69 weeks until "Messiah the Prince" and the other says 62 weeks up to the point where "Messiah be cut off" (the crucifixion).
This tells me that these events are not the same. There remains another seven weeks (49) years that must come after the crucifixion, in addition to the one week (7 years) of the future great tribulation period.
One could argue that these 49 years cover the transition periods at the beginning and end of the Church Age.
A better suggestion is that the time of the coming of "Messiah the Prince" which happens after "seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks" could be speaking of the return of Jesus to gather his Bride at the Rapture of the Church. That would coincide exactly with the start of the last week (seven years) of the tribulation. And that would make sense because until the King is actually crowned ("and to anoint the most Holy"), He is still technically a Prince.
Could it be that these 49 years have something to do with the vision of the Ram and the first of the 10 kings?
Could it be that the 49 years begin when the Jews start to rebuild the Temple?
Could those 49 years (7 times 7 years) have something to do with a certain Jubilee? (See Leviticus 25)
Surely the prophecy of the Jubilee ("Jubilee") and the end-times are related.
The fullness of the Gentiles has just about come in and the Lord God will once again turn His mercy to unbelieving Israel and save them. But in order to do that, a great time of testing and punishment is still ahead for His chosen people. He will bring them to repentance at Jerusalem, which is 'Ground Zero' for the Great Tribulation. Our Bible tells us that the resurgence of the Persian Empire is only the beginning of the end. The Ram will soon begin pushing its influence northward, southward and westward; there will be more wars and conflict in the Middle East region before the end.
The daily news is filled with ever increasing concern about Iran's nuclear ambitions.
Will Iran build a nuclear bomb?
Will they use it?
Will the Israelis preemptively attack in an attempt to stop them?
The major western powers (the U.S. and Europe) are currently working to pressure Iran to cease nuclear fuel production through economic sanctions. The Russians and China, who derive wealth and commerce resources from doing business with Iran, are resisting such economic sanctions. Meanwhile, the rulers of the Iranian government, a hard line Islamic regime that has publically declared it is hell-bent on destroying the nation of Israel, will not stop their march towards development of nuclear weapons. Diplomatic efforts will eventually fail. There is a nuclear showdown approaching between Middle Eastern and Western civilizations.
In closing, consider this:
In the book of Revelation, just after John hears the "trumpet" and is caught up to heaven (a prophetic event that has been equated by many to be a "type" reference to the future "Rapture" of the Church, (see Revelation 4:1), we read this passage:
John describes hearing something that sounded similar to thunder just before the opening events of the Great Tribulation begin to unfold on the Earth. Could it be that what John heard was a Nuclear Explosion?
The Book of Daniel is unsealing. Read it, and get understanding!
It is my prayer that you will search the Scriptures, and rightly-divide them, to see what things are true and honest. TRUST YOUR BIBLE!
In the final chapter that follows, we are going to show you more reasons why the old Holy Bible King James Translation is worthy of your trust.
Original Source: kjvbible.org