Focus on the Endtime Part 2

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Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
April 4, 1998

Last Updated :
February 22, 2012

NOTE: This article or series has not been updated recently. As such, it may possibly contain some outdated information, and/or ideas and beliefs which I no longer embrace, or which have changed to some degree.

Exploits Of The King Of The North/Beast, King Sennacherib's Defeat, Archangel Michael Stands Up For Israel, Satan Ousted From Heaven, Israel's Antichrist Nature And Her Refusal To Repent, Israeli-Palestinian Peace Accord, Role Of Syria And Egypt, Benjamin Netanyahu Yasser Arafat And The Palestinians, The Great Tribulation, Jesus Christ Returns In The Clouds, Sign Of The Son Of Man, Moses Prophesied Of Jesus' Coming, Elijah And John The Baptist, Prophetic Pairs In The Bible, Will The Sign Be A Physical Event?, Jesus' Physical Nature Following His Resurrection From The Dead, Battle Of Armageddon

In describing the military exploits of the modern-day King of the North, whom I believe is synonymous with the Beast, the Prophet Daniel wrote the following which sounds very similar to the verses above describing the haughtiness of this ancient Assyrian king:

"And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done. Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all. But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things. Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain."
Daniel 11:36-39, KJV

Clearly then, the final Beast of the Endtime will follow in the proud footsteps of vain King Sennacherib. Despite the fact that the chances for victory against Sennacherib were not in Jerusalem's favor, Hezekiah trusted in the Lord and encouraged his people to not lose hope with the following words:

"Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him: for there be more with us than with him: With him is an arm of flesh; but with us is the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah."
2 Chronicles 32:7-8, KJV

Just as the Beast from the north will be destroyed at the Lord's Coming during the Battle of Armageddon, we are told that King Sennacherib also met his doom through Divine Intervention after Hezekiah and the Prophet Isaiah sought the Lord in desperate prayer:

"And for this cause Hezekiah the king, and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz, prayed and cried to heaven. And the LORD sent an angel, which cut off all the mighty men of valour, and the leaders and captains in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth of his own bowels slew him there with the sword."
2 Chronicles 32:20-21, KJV

Not only was Sennacherib's army miraculously defeated, but upon returning to his own land, the Assyrian king was killed by members of his own family. While the name of the angel is not mentioned in the above account, based on things I have shared in the article "Who Hindered the Antichrist?", I can only wonder if it might not have been Michael the Archangel. Following the Endtime military victories of the King of the North in Daniel chapter eleven, notice how the twelfth chapter begins:

"And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book."
Daniel 12:1, KJV

Sadly, today the situation is very different. Because of her rejection of the true God, and His Son Jesus Christ, modern Israel cannot possibly expect the same Divine Protection which was given to Israel during the days of King Hezekiah; even though she hypocritically claims to worship the one true God through her corrupt religion of Judaism. I discuss the deception of Judaism more at length in such articles as "Who is Babylon the Great?", and "Is God a Racist?". What I find interesting in the above verse is that it isn't until after the Beast has ravaged Israel during the three and a half years of Great Tribulation that Michael stands up in the final chapter of Daniel. In other words, the implication is that after Michael ousts Satan from Heaven in Revelation chapter twelve, he sits down for about three and a half years in direct accordance with the Will of God:

"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him."
Revelation 12:7-9, KJV

As I point out in "Who Hindered the Antichrist?", it appears that Michael will temporarily be taken out of the way so that the Endtime characters can come to power. This will include such people as the Jewish Antichrist, and the Islamic team of the Beast and the False Prophet. Remember, one of the primary reasons for the Great Tribulation will be to purge and purify the Saints; and Israel certainly needs to be purged of her unbelief! I am reminded of one of the Lord's pleadings with ancient Israel in the Book of Isaiah:

"For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer."
Isaiah 54:7-8, KJV

Despite the Lord's constant call to repentance which He has made to His rebellious unfaithful wife, Israel has continued along her wayward path. Her rebellion was epitomized by her rejection of her own Saviour in the First Century. In more recent times, Israel has once again confirmed her rebellion against the Lord Jesus by the introduction of a bill in the Knesset which makes it virtually impossible to distribute Christian Gospel tracts in the state of Israel. Thus, as Jesus Himself said, the Lord is going to have to totally break her pride through military invasion and defeat, so that she will finally bow the head and bend the knee in total submission to her one true King:

"Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."
Luke 13:35, KJV

Almost two thousand years have now passed since the Lord uttered His judgment against the hardhearted rulers of Israel. She has had almost two millennia to turn from her wicked ways. Surely, the time of her judgment will soon be at hand. However, before that day arrives, certain events must yet transpire. One of those events is the peace accord I have been discussing. The main point to remember in all of this is that, whether war breaks out this year or perhaps later, the Holy Covenant will indeed be signed; even though it will only last for a few short years. I have a very strong hunch that what we are seeing right now in the Middle East, is that both the Israelis and the Palestinians are jockeying for the best positions. It is a common tactic in the political world to act bullish before arriving at the negotiation table, so that when the parties involved finally do sit down for serious talks, they will be in a better position to achieve their objectives. The danger in the current peace process is that both bulls seem to want to keep on dancing even though the red flag of warning has already gone up!

Update 02-22-12: The following section contains some outdated information. When my time permits, I will update it. However, even though both Hafez al-Assad of Syria, and Yasser Arafat of the PLO are now dead, and Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak has been ousted from power, a similar scenario may possibly still play out with current or future leaders of these two nations. While Bashar al-Assad may also soon fall from power, it is interesting to note that Benjamin Netanyahu is back in power again, and he is clearly a hard-liner.

As I explain in "The Kings of the North and the South", I believe that the two kings mentioned in the Book of Daniel may be the presidents of Syria and Egypt. If the final peace accord is more than just a bilateral affair between the Israelis and the Palestinians, it is possible that Hafez al-Assad and Hosni Mubarak may go to Jerusalem to add their signatures to the document along with other Arab nations. It is also possible that the final signing by whatever parties are involved, may occur in Washington, D.C. If the treaty only involves the Jews and the Palestinians, then as I stated earlier, King Assad may end up signing a separate agreement with Israel which he will then turn around and break. One possibility I have considered is that King Assad may be using the Palestinian situation to his own advantage in order to further his personal agenda of a "Greater Syria". This might possibly include Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt, as well as Israel. As I have noted in other articles, there has been a long history or wars between Syria and Egypt, with Israel caught in the middle of their wrangling.

While the Syrian agenda is speculation on my part, it is a well-known fact that King Assad is currently the primary supporter of Yasser Arafat and the Palestinians. I don't think that Arafat makes a move without consulting with Syria. Despite the fact that the peace process is currently at its most difficult point in many months, it is possible that we may yet see a land exchange occurring in which the Palestinians will get their capital somewhere in East Jerusalem, and the Jews will get their new Temple on Mount Moriah. I don't think the Jews will ever give up East Jerusalem entirely, but Benjamin Netanyahu may surprise us by giving a small corner of it to Yasser Arafat for his Palestinian capital; particularly if it means getting their Temple. If Netanyahu is somehow able to accomplish this feat without destroying what is left of his government, I think the word "Moshiach" might be on the mouths of a lot of Israelis. However, as we have already seen from previous verses, this plastic peace agreement is not going to last:

"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 11:28, KJV

At this point in time, it is still difficult to know the proper chronology of events. The Israeli/Palestinian peace accord may delay the coming war for some three and a half years, or it may evolve as a means of stopping a war which is already in progress. My current feelings are that unless there is soon a serious breakthrough in the peace process, we may see a war before this year is over, possibly even sooner! The other issue which is still unclear in my mind is the exact role which will be played by Hafez al-Assad of Syria. As I have already stated, he may participate directly in the Israeli/Palestinian peace accord, or he may sign a separate agreement later. One distinct possibility is that with Syrian assurances, Arafat and the Palestinians may finally say that enough is enough, and go to war with Israel. Assad may then use the war to his advantage as I described earlier. Of course, the war will quickly escalate as other Arab nations join in, most of them siding with the Palestinians. It may then be that a treaty will evolve in which Assad will be one of the primary signatories.

If the president of Syria is indeed the King of the North, or the Beast, as I have speculated in other articles, then ultimately, he is going to renege on the agreement and show his true colors. This is going to usher in what is commonly known as the Great Tribulation, or Jacob's Trouble, when the Saints of the Most High will be persecuted by the Beast. One school of thought suggests that these Saints are Messianic Jews in Israel, while another states that they are the body of Christian believers everywhere. It is all a question of how far the Beast's power and influence will extend beyond the borders of Israel. In the prophetic Books of Daniel and Revelation, this period of persecution is described as lasting a time, times and an half, or time and times and the dividing of time, or forty and two months, or a thousand two hundred and threescore days. In other words, it will last for only three and a half years, and not the full seven-year period as some erroneously believe:

"And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time."
Daniel 7:25, KJV

"And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished."
Daniel 12:7, KJV

"But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth."
Revelation 11:2-3, KJV

"And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days."
Revelation 12:6, KJV

"And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations."
Revelation 13:5-7, KJV

Following this period of Great Tribulation, the final three and a half years of man's evil rule upon the Earth, we are told that Jesus will return in the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory in order to rescue His children, to defeat His enemies, and to set up His Father's Kingdom upon the Earth:

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."
Matthew 24:29-30, KJV

"Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen."
Revelation 1:7, KJV

"And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?"
Revelation 6:12-17, KJV

Concerning the reference to the mountains and the islands fleeing away in Revelation 6:14, I currently do not believe that this is meant to be understood in a literal sense. As I explain in the article "The Comet Hale-Bopp, Chernobyl and the DeathStar Wormwood", while the Book of Revelation does contain a number of prophecies which may be fulfilled in a literal sense, it also contains a lot of deep symbolism. To properly understand this symbolism, one must judiciously study and compare other Scriptures which contain the same terminology. If the mountains and the islands were to actually flee away, then the events described in the following verses could not possibly occur as everyone would already be dead. Notice that the mountains and islands flee, and then the people also try to flee and hide. Therefore, it is my opinion that these mountains and islands probably symbolize the rulers of the nations and the peoples of the world. This view is substantiated by such verses as the following:

"And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space."
Revelation 17:9-10, KJV

"Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth . . . And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure."
Daniel 2:34-35, 44-45, KJV

The "sign of the Son of man" mentioned in Matthew 24:30 above is something which has always intrigued me. In the Greek lexicon, I discovered that the word "sign" is derived from the Greek "semeion" which has the following meanings:

----- Begin Quote -----

semeion {say-mi'-on}

1) a sign, mark, token
  1a) that by which a person or a thing is distinguished from others and is known
  1b) a sign, prodigy, portent, i.e. an unusual occurrence, transcending the common course of nature
    1b1) of signs portending remarkable events soon to happen
    1b2) of miracles and wonders by which God authenticates the men sent by him, or by which men prove that the cause they are pleading is God's

----- End Of Quote -----

Initially, I assumed that the "Sign" described by Jesus was referring to the fact that the Sun and the Moon will be darkened, and that the stars will fall from the heavens; however, a closer examination of the above verses will reveal that this may not be the case. Notice that Matthew tells us that all of these astronomical events will happen and "Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven". This "Sign" appears to be a separate event which follows the previous signs. Matthew then says "and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory". The participle "coming" might indicate an ongoing process which involves a lapse of time. In other words, this "Sign" may be something which will be visible in the heavens for some time; just as comets are visible in the night sky for periods of weeks or months before they once again disappear into the blackness of deep space.

If this idea is difficult for you to accept, consider the following: If a great celestial sign appeared in the night sky as the "Star of Bethlehem" at the time of our Savior's birth, it seems appropriate to me that the conclusion of God's Great Plan of Salvation should likewise be accompanied by another awe-inspiring celestial event. The Lord clearly enjoys working in pairs; after all, He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. In many of my articles, I have made clear connections between verses found in the Old and the New Testaments. Consider, for example, that Jesus was the fulfillment of a prophecy given by Moses, who clearly said that another Prophet would come like unto him:

"I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him."
Deuteronomy 18:18, KJV

"Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
John 1:45, KJV

"Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?"
John 5:45-47, KJV

"For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you."
Acts 3:22, KJV

Another example can be found in John the Baptist who was the fulfillment of the Prophet Elijah spoken of by the Prophet Malachi. I discuss this topic at length in the series called "Elijah: Where Are the True Prophets of God?". Aside from these two examples, there are many other such prophetic pairs found in the Bible. Thus, in my view, an Endtime sign in the heavens just prior to the arrival of Christ seems quite appropriate. One interesting possibility is that the Lord's Second Coming may involve a warp or vortex being created in the time-space continuum. This might be what John was referring to in the previous verse where he describes the Lord appearing in all of His glory:

"And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places."
Revelation 6:14, KJV

While this verse may be suggesting a sudden appearance of the Lord, as when the brilliant Sun suddenly appears from behind a cloud bank, another possibility is that this "Sign" might actually be the Lord arriving from distant space. Sometimes we get so caught up in the spiritual aspects of the Kingdom of Heaven, and Heaven itself, that we forget that there is a physical or semi-physical side to it as well. You will recall that when Jesus appeared to His Disciples following His Resurrection. He was in a physical body; yet He clearly possessed attributes which were of a Divine Nature. I have discussed this in a number of other articles. Here are some very convincing examples:

"And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight."
Luke 24:30-31, KJV

"And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them."
Luke 24:36-43, KJV

"Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you . . . And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing."
John 20:19, 6-27, KJV

Here we see Jesus appearing out of nowhere on several different occasions, in a locked room! We also see Him disappear before the Disciples' very eyes; we see that He is able to eat; and we see that He still possesses a physical body which they are able to touch and handle. Based on my study of the Scriptures, it also seems to me that the coming Millennium is going to be a very physical reality for both the Lord and ourselves. In order to rule the world with a Rod of Iron, the people and nations of the world are going to have to see and experience the Lord ruling in a very physical sense. Likewise, when the Lord returns for the Battle of Armageddon, it is my understanding that He is going to physically stand upon the Mount of Olives:

"And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee."
Zechariah 14:4-5, KJV

I discuss the importance of the Mount of Olives in Endtime prophecy in another article entitled "The Triumphant Touchdown of Jesus Christ!". I encourage you to read it. Notice that in the last part of verse five above, the Prophet Zechariah says ". . . and the LORD my God shall come, and all of the saints with thee". I believe that this may be a direct reference to the Battle of Armageddon in which we, the Resurrected Saints, will accompany the Lord in the Battle against the Beast, the False Prophet, and their evil followers. You will find this Battle discussed in more detail in such articles as "From Armageddon to the New Earth". In the New Testament, Jude briefly reminds us that thousands of years ago, the Patriarch Enoch also wrote of these amazing events:

"And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him."
Jude 1:14-15, KJV

As you can see by the following quote taken directly from the Book of Enoch, Jude quoted him almost word for word. If you are one who has doubts regarding the validity of the Book of Enoch, you may be interested in reading my companion article "The Book of Enoch: Truth or Heresy?" which explores the various links between this apocryphal work and the officially-accepted canon of modern Christianity:

"And behold! He cometh with ten thousands of His holy ones To execute judgement upon all, And to destroy all the ungodly: And to convict all flesh Of all the works of their ungodliness which they have ungodly committed, And of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
Enoch 1:9-10, KJV

Please go to part three for the continuation of this series.

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