Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
Authored By :
Published On :
April 4, 1998
Last Updated :
February 22, 2012
God Wants Us To Know, Prophecies Were Sealed Up By God Until Endtime, Focusing The Camera, Post-Tribulation Rapture View, Having Humility In Our Understanding, The Lord's Unlimited Provision, Seven-Year Holy Covenant, The Syrian Question, A Day For A Year And Jewish Week Or Shabuwa, Seventy Weeks And Last Seven Years, Israeli-Palestinian Peace Accord, The East Jerusalem Problem, War Coming To Israel, Jerusalem Divided, Assassination Of Yitzak Rabin And Anwar Sadat, American Goals
A word from the Author:
Please note that this series was originally written in 1998. While I have taken the time to make some graphical improvements -- such as a new header at the top of the page, spelling corrections, colorized verse references and better line formatting -- the actual contents of the series remains basically the same. As a result, you will probably come across certain political events which are now outdated, as well as certain politicians who are now out of power, and possibly even dead. I have updated a few of these, but not all. Despite these discrepancies, the series still contains a lot of truth and relevant information which has not changed. I will conduct a more thorough update of the series when my time permits. Thanks for your patience.
Contrary to the view held by some modern-day Christians, I do not believe that the Lord wishes for us to remain in the dark concerning the events of the Endtime. He is not in the habit of playing a game of "hide-and-go-seek" with His children. In the article "As a Thief in the Night? Not for Me!", I share the following verse which clearly shows that we are not to walk in darkness or be spiritually ignorant concerning the Lord's plans:
"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief."
1 Thessalonians 5:4, KJV
As a study of that chapter and the aforementioned article will reveal, Paul was referring to the Day of the Lord's Coming. Thus we see that God wants us to know and to understand exactly what is happening, or what is going to happen, so that it will strengthen our faith, and also encourage us to hang on a little longer until the final events have been fulfilled. Not only that, but by knowing what is going to happen, we can better prepare our hearts for them by having the right attitude. It's possible that we may even be able to better prepare ourselves physically for them as well. When the Lord sent His Angelic Messenger to deliver the Seventy Weeks Prophecy to the Prophet Daniel, the Celestial Emissary specifically told Daniel to "know therefore and understand". He wanted to make sure that the Prophet fully understood the important message he was being given:
"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: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times."
Daniel 9:25, KJV
As another confirmation that the Lord does indeed want to enlighten us concerning these final events of the Endtime, consider the following verse found in the writings of the Old Testament Prophet Amos:
"Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."
Amos 3:7, KJV
So again we see that while the Lord may hide things from the children of the world, just as Jesus sometimes spoke in parables to conceal their true meanings from His enemies; because of His special Love for us, He will reveal things beforehand to we His children:
"And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand."
Luke 8:10, KJV
It should be clear then that the mysteries of the future are contained in the Scriptures. They are there just waiting for us to read and understand them with the help of God's wonderful Spirit. In fact, we are told that these things would be sealed up, or concealed, until the Time of the End; at which time the knowledge would be given, and our eyes would be opened to the realities of the events which are about to transpire:
"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased . . . And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand."
Daniel 12:4, 8-10, KJV
Thus we see that while it was given to Daniel to understand certain events which would occur in his near future, the meanings of other prophecies were purposely concealed by the Lord until our present day. It is because of the fact that we are now gaining a much clearer understanding of some of these events, that Bible students like myself are convinced that we are very close to the end of this current worldly system. Exactly how close we are is still a bit difficult to ascertain. Based upon my current understanding of the Scriptures, I personally believe that we may still have at least another seven years to go before we will see the completion of all of the events I will be describing in this series.
As I was pondering these thoughts, a fitting example came to mind which demonstrates how our current understanding is slowly coming into focus. Consider one technique used in the production of a movie or television program. Sometimes when we are first introduced to a particular scene, the director will instruct the cameraman to purposely allow the image to be a bit fuzzy or hazy so that the various objects in the picture are indistinguishable the one from the other; but then he slowly adjusts the camera lens to bring the picture into focus until it is crystal clear; and we can see all of the details perfectly. In this case, God is like the Producer making the Endtime movie. Jesus is similar to the Director who is telling everyone else what to do. The Holy Spirit is like the Cameraman who conveys God's understanding to us so that the picture slowly becomes clearer, and all of the various Endtime events fall into their proper place and sequence.
Before actually sharing my particular "review" of this "Endtime movie", it is important that you the reader understand that my views and explanations in this article are based upon a Post-Tribulation Rapture. My reasons for adopting this position are fully explained in such articles as "From Armageddon to the New Earth", and in "The Great Tribulation and the Rapture". I encourage you to take the time to read them so you can gain a better understanding of the Post-Tribulation Rapture position. In addition, I wish to clarify that I by no means consider myself to be a Prophet of God. I view myself simply as one of the Lord's many scribes and teachers who is trying his best to gain a more perfect knowledge of the Word of Truth, so that I can share that knowledge with others. Consider the following verse from the Book of Acts:
"And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way, he deferred them, and said, When Lysias the chief captain shall come down, I will know the uttermost of your matter."
Acts 24:22, KJV
The word "perfect" in the previous verse is derived from the Greek word "akribesteron", which means more exactly or more perfectly. It is synonymous with more fully or more completely. Our Salvation will also be more perfect, full and complete on the Day of the Lord's Return when we will receive our new Resurrected Bodies, and enter into the full realities of the Spirit World. It is for this reason that at the sound of the Seventh Trump, we are told the following:
"But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets."
Revelation 10:7, KJV
The main point I wish to make is that while I believe that the information I will be presenting in this series is close to being accurate, there is obviously no way that I can absolutely guarantee that it is so. This same rule applies to all of my articles. While there are certain things within my current belief system about which I am very adamant, such as the need for all men everywhere to believe in and accept Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour, I do not apply this same attitude to Endtime prophecy. I humbly admit that I am not an infallible creature in this area; no one is except for the Lord Himself because He is the One who gave it. As such, as He chooses to reveal more to me, and as I am able to understand and accept it, I will continue to update this and all of my articles as is my custom, until the day that I do have a more perfect knowledge of the Truth. As Paul wrote in his Epistle to the Corinthians:
"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."
1 Corinthians 13:11-12, KJV
While this verse is speaking in terms of spiritual maturity, it can also be applied to our quest for Biblical Truth. The mysteries of the Word of God are given to each of us to understand according to our personal faith and willingness to accept them. Sometimes we become so bogged down by, or so attached to our personal ideas concerning what the Scriptures might mean, that these speculations of ours can become idols which prevent us from discovering the Real Truth. Through our lack of faith and willingness to believe in and accept the things which the Lord is trying to reveal to us, we unknowingly place a limit on what He is able to give us; and it is indeed limitless; for as King David wrote in the Book of Psalms:
"I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it."
Psalms 81:10, KJV
While the above verse may actually be referring to physical miracles of the past in which the Lord provided for His children during their forty years of wandering through the wilderness, and thus is a promise of the Lord's provision, it also reflects a spiritual reality as well. In a sense, we are spiritual children; we are babes; and similar to a real mother, the Lord has an unlimited supply of Spiritual Milk from which we can draw our spiritual nourishment. This is precisely what the Apostle Peter was referring to in the following verse:
"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:"
1 Peter 2:2, KJV
The Prophet Malachi also wrote the following regarding the Lord's provision for we His children. Not only does the Lord promise to provide for us, but He encourages us to challenge Him to prove Himself, just as He proved Himself to Jacob for twenty years in the Book of Genesis:
"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
Malachi 3:10, KJV
Notice that in order to be partakers of the Lord's many blessings, we must first meet His conditions. Following are some additional verses which can be applied in both a physical and a spiritual sense. The Lord is more than able to provide both our physical and our spiritual needs when we are pleasing Him. All we have to do is ask in faith and believe that we have been heard:
"Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."
Psalms 37:4, KJV
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."
Matthew 7:7-8, KJV
"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."
Matthew 21:22, KJV
"But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."
James 1:6-8, KJV
"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."
1 John 5:14-15, KJV
In this case, we are most interested in obtaining a clearer understanding of Endtime events. If we sincerely ask the Lord to show us what the ancient prophecies mean, then we must have the faith to believe that the understanding we are given is one which has been guided by His Spirit. I am reminded of something Mary said when she was moved by the Holy Spirit to go visit her cousin Elizabeth in the hill country of Judah:
"He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away."
Luke 1:53, KJV
Most Christians who study Endtime prophetic events are familiar with the term the Last Seven Years. As I explain in other articles, if my understanding is correct, this final period of man's rule on Earth may commence with the signing of a Middle East peace accord between the government of the state of Israel, and the leadership of the Palestinian National Authority. As has been the case with previous agreements, the signing of this important document may be brokered by the government of the United States of America. It is most likely that this will be a bilateral treaty; however, it is possible that it may include other signatories such as Egypt, Syria, and Jordan which will be directly affected by such a historic accord.
As I write this in the first quarter of 1998, I do have some serious reservations regarding Syria entering into such an agreement with Israel. My reasons for this are spelled out in such articles as "The Kings of the North and the South", as well as in "The Seven Heads" series. Despite overtures from the West, as of this date, Syria continues to resist making peace with Israel. This stiff Syrian resistance is due primarily to the unresolved issue of the Golan Heights which Israel annexed following the 1967 Six-Day War. Like Egypt and Jordan, it is possible that if the West continues to apply pressure to President Hafez al-Assad of Syria , he may eventually soften up and sign a bilateral agreement with Israel; however, even if he does, I honestly do not believe that it will last. I base this view on such verses as the following from the Book of Daniel:
Update 02-21-12: Hafez al-Assad is of course now dead, and his son -- Bashar al-Assad -- is fighting for his political life, as the world at large condemns him due to the violent atrocities he has been committing against his own people over the past year. With both Russian and Iranian ships now docked at Syria's port -- Tartus -- only time will tell how this dangerous standoff will end.
"And both these kings' hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed. Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land."
Daniel 11:27-28, KJV
Thus, while I currently view an Israeli/Palestinian agreement as the most likely fulfillment of the Seven-Year Covenant mentioned in the Scriptures, I also believe an accord with Syria offers the next best possibility. If the covenant applies to the Israelis and the Palestinians, then its primary purpose will be to resolve the question of East Jerusalem and a Palestinian State. While I cannot possibly numerate all of the clauses which may be included in such a document, according to the Scriptures I have shared in other articles, I believe that one of the primary clauses will contain language which will permit the Jews to build the Third Temple on the top of Mount Moriah in East Jerusalem. This is the current site of the controversial Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. I believe the following verse mentions this covenant:
"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."
Daniel 9:27, KJV
As I have explained in other articles, this word "week" is derived from the Hebrew word "shabuwa", or "shabua", and actually refers to a seven-year period, and not to a period of seven days. This symbolism of a day-for-a-year is used in various places in the Scriptures such as in the following example where the Lord tells the Children of Israel that, just as the spies spent forty days spying on the land of Canaan, they will wander for forty years in the wilderness because of their constant complaining and murmuring against the Lord:
"After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise."
Numbers 14:34, KJV
Another clear example of the day-for-a-year symbolism can be found in the writings of the Prophet Ezekiel where we read:
"And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year."
Ezekiel 4:6, KJV
Based on these verses, and a few others, it is my view that the "one week" mentioned in the above prophecy, is actually referring to the final seventieth week, or the Last Seven Years, of the Seventy Weeks Prophecy given to the Prophet Daniel. For more details concerning this interpretation, please refer to the aforementioned articles, to the article "The Seventy Weeks Prophecy of Daniel" -- which is yet to be released -- and to others which deal with this topic.
If this accord is finalized in the near future, the primary signatories will most likely be Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.
Update 02-22-12: Yasser Arafat is obviously now dead, and Mahmoud Abbas is now the leader of Fatah, as well as of the Palestinian Authority. However, at this current time, the so-called "peace talks" appear to be dead in the water, and Abbas has seemingly placed his faith in the United Nations, as well as in reconciliation with Hamas.
According to the material I have been reading lately, it appears that Netanyahu wants to skip all of the interim talks and go straight to the final agreement. This has included the tough work of defining Israeli borders and security zones, and the extent of Palestinian-controlled lands in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Thus far, the Israeli Prime Minister has only been willing to give the Palestinians a small fraction of what they are asking for. Recently, Yasser Arafat referred to Netanyahu's offer of less than ten per cent of additional land as "peanuts". It has become obvious to everyone that while Netanyahu is good with the rhetoric, when it comes to delivering the goods, he has failed miserably. Of course, this should come as no surprise; after all, this has been the tactic of the Jews for years. A March 1998 CNN news clip clearly reveals that the Israelis and the Palestinians are still very far apart in their negotiations; which makes them all the closer to war in my view:
----- Begin Quote -----
ARAFAT MULLS U.S. PEACE PLAN
"The Egyptian government reportedly has urged Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat not to reject a U.S. peace initiative, although both the Israeli and Palestinian Cabinets have voted against it. Under the plan, Israel would cede 13.1 percent of the West Bank to the Palestinians over 12 weeks. The Palestinians have said they want 30 percent. Israel said it won't release more than 9 percent, because that figure does not compromise national security."
----- End Of Quote -----
The biggest stumbling block to peace has been the fate of East Jerusalem. With each passing day, the threat of war looms closer as Palestinian patience runs thin. Despite Palestinian objections, and even objections from Big Brother the United States of America, the Israelis continue to try to dominate East Jerusalem by sending in settlers; and by building new, or expanding upon current housing projects in the occupied territories. Given the staunch positions of the parties involved, it is difficult to see how the current situation can culminate in anything but war. Netanyahu has sworn that he will never give up East Jerusalem, while Arafat claims that he will never agree to anything short of a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem. The minute Netanyahu was elected into office, I knew that it spelled trouble for the peace process. Netanyahu is a hawk. It is written all over his face. He is an unbending reed who refuses to bow to the winds of adversity; and it may result in his own fall from power.
It is because of the above issues that the peace talks have been at a standstill for over a year now; and it is a very dangerous sign. The fact that U.S. President Bill Clinton was unable to close the gap between these two men earlier this year is quite significant. This is a clear sign that neither party is going to allow himself to be pushed into a corner despite American pressure. Both Netanyahu and Arafat know exactly what they have to deliver to their people if they expect to remain at the helms of their respective governments. Both of these men have been facing a lot of political turmoil ever since these talks began. Netanyahu's coalition has basically fallen apart in recent months with the resignation of some of his key players; and there is talk that the fundamentalist members of the Israeli government may soon force him to resign. At the same time, Arafat is also losing popularity with the more radical elements of the Palestinian population who view him as a compromiser who has betrayed their ideals since he ascended to his position of power and affluence. Thus, both of these men have been walking a political tightrope.
Considering the volatile situation which exists in Israel, and the extreme fanaticism which is prevalent in both the Jewish and the Arab camps, we should not rule out possible assassination attempts against both Netanyahu and Arafat. Regardless of what the fate of these men might be, I am still convinced that this peace accord will be signed sooner or later. It may be temporarily halted or delayed by a war, but eventually, an agreement will be reached; even if it is doomed to failure. God's unerring Word clearly tells us that this is so. As I have mentioned in other articles, over twenty-five hundred years ago, the Lord, through the Prophet Zechariah, foretold of the Endtime war in Israel, and the coming division of Jerusalem. Notice that this amazing prophecy specifically says that half of Jerusalem will go into captivity. This is exactly what is going to happen. Jerusalem is already divided into East and West; and someday soon, when Palestinian patience runs out, there is going to be a war; and the Palestinians are going to grab East Jerusalem for their capital:
"For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle."
Zechariah 14:2-3, KJV
I believe that this may happen towards the very end of the seven-year period; for as we see here, after the Lord has allowed Jerusalem to be punished for her sins against Him, He is finally going to come to her defense at the Battle of Armageddon. Prior to the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin, events seemed to be headed towards the creation of a Palestinian State with its capital in East Jerusalem. Under Rabin's government, an aggressive yet face-saving land-for-peace formula was being carefully implemented. As we all know, just like Anwar Sadat who lost his life when he opposed the radical elements of his country, Rabin's life was cut short by those who viewed him as a traitor to Israeli interests.
While the setback in the peace process appears to be occurring in opposition to the wishes of the government of the United States of America, Israel's primary financial supporter and ally, I truly wonder if this is really the case. It almost appears as if Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israelis are purposely making a suicidal push for war. It may be that behind-the-scenes talks have already taken place; and that despite the current outward American "condemnation" of the settlements and expansion by Clinton and Albright, Israel has already received assurances that her friend will come to her aid should the situation deteriorate to a state of war. The threat of all-out war might in fact be the event the United States government has waited for in order to justify an even stronger military presence in the Middle East. This would assure her ability to protect her own interests there. Eventually the Iraqi "threat" will disappear, and America will need to replace it with something else. An Israeli/Palestinian war would suit American purposes perfectly.
Considering the many shady deals which are made out of view of the public eye, I personally would not be surprised in the least if this is exactly what the government of the United States is hoping for. However, if Israel is relying upon American military backing in the coming war, it will prove once again, as I have discussed in such articles as "The Children of God and Politics" and "The Kings of the North and the South", that she has still not learned the lesson the Lord has been trying to teach her for the past four thousand years. Israel still depends upon the wisdom and the military might of men; and her alliances with the same to deliver her from her enemies; and not upon the Lord. This was her sin throughout the Old Testament, and it continues to be her sin today. During the forty years that Jeremiah prophesied against the leadership of Israel, he said the following:
"Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD."
Jeremiah 17:5, KJV
Several hundred years before, during the reign of one of her few good kings, Israel was threatened from the north by Sennacherib, the haughty king of Assyria. In my view, this proud king was clearly a foreshadow of the Beast to come in the Endtime. Just as the Beast will magnify himself above all gods, including the God of gods, Sennacherib did the very same thing. Consider his taunting words to Hezekiah, the king of Judah:
"Know ye not what I and my fathers have done unto all the people of other lands? Were the gods of the nations of those lands any ways able to deliver their lands out of mine hand? Who was there among all the gods of those nations that my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of mine hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of mine hand? Now therefore let not Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you on this manner, neither yet believe him: for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of mine hand, and out of the hand of my fathers: how much less shall your God deliver you out of mine hand?"
2 Chronicles 32:13-15, KJV
Please go to part two for the continuation of this series.
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