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It has happened again. Just before midnight a large-box lorry (truck) was driven swiftly and deliberately into dense crowds of people who had been watching a beachside fireworks display celebrating Bastille Day in the beautiful Riviera city of Nice, France. The truck swerved through the crowds for nearly 1.2 miles, leaving scores of dead and injured pedestrians in its wake.
After the vehicle came to an halt the driver (or drivers, by some accounts) then leaped out of the cab and started to fire guns into the crowds and the nearby shops.
The driver of the truck is reported to be have been killed by police.
Televised news reports out of France almost immediately displayed a screen labeled “Attaque á Nice; des dizaines de morts.” (You surely can translate those phrases in context.)
At this moment, nobody knows the full implication of this attack.
By its character, any reasonable person must conclude that it was a terrorist attack.
The French Police acknowledged it to be so within the first hour.
It is not a surprise that it occurred on Bastille Day – the paramount symbol of Free France, a model of the liberté, égalité, fraternité of the Revolution that it memorializes.
In the mind of Islam the symbolism of an attack on such an anniversary is advantageous.
Although the death toll will doubtless climb above the current level, seventy eight persons are known dead.
Although not certainly known at the moment of this writing, the attack was doubtlessly terror motivated.
Although not yet known it will doubtless be determined that more persons than these presumed two are behind the attack.
Interviewed in California, the presumed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said that if this continues, “We aren’t going to have a world anymore.”
He is correct. Terrorism such as this is the outcome of lawless people who want to move the present world backward into the Dark Ages.
As such, these words are germaine to the scriptures relating to the end time. In our minds, the world that we now have is also undesirable…not worth saving as is, either.
Evil and violence attained the present level in the world on one previous occasion – in the days of Noah. The Almighty took decisive action; it is graphically described by the Apostle Peter…
2Peter 3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
The “heavens and the earth, which are now,” are those of our world; the words of Peter are conclusive as to its destiny!
The giant delivery truck was loaded with arms and grenades according to police reports. But there were no explosions of these munitions. The truck still sits abandoned on the streets of Nice.
Internet monitors say there was an immediate response by known Islamic bloggers praising the attack and rejoicing at the disaster that resulted. No organization has yet claimed responsibility for it.
We strongly suspect that ISIS is behind this attack – or if not, it strongly supports it. The intention is identical to the deed in such a case.
As Charles Krauthammer remarked, ISIS is being squeezed; he stated that they (ISIS) are preparing their people for the loss of their Caliphate.
We are not necessarily in agreement with this opinion. The Allied assault upon ISIS seems to be sporadically successful, but not decisively so.
One revelation by the prophets is clear to our minds: An end time entity exactly similar to ISIS is certainly indicated by prophets such as Micah and Asaph (in Psalm 83) – a polity which will attack Israel as representative of present day Iraq and Iran (ancient Assyria). Such an attack would trigger an all-out assault of all the nations of the “inner ring” of enemies (i.e., those between the Nile and the Euphrates). THAT event, in our opinion, will bring the physical return of Christ to the earth in defense of Israel, His People, in order to clear their Land forever of all their enemies.
Although somewhat weakened, nobody should count ISIS “out.” Even a dying entity can sometimes cause great damage.
In our opinion, greatly expressed actual strength is not called for in the case of the “latter day Assyrian” attack upon Israel, because no success of the assault is even hinted at.
The importance of its attack upon Israel lies not in its successes, but in its fatal intentions. An event of this precise character seems to be the “trigger” for the return of Jesus Christ to the earth with the immortalized Saints.
France and all Europe – as well as America – are once again placed in a quandary: what to DO about these serial attacks upon open society? How can they be detected and prevented?
There is no obvious solution. Even destroying the vipers in their own nests would not be sufficient; because the ideology of jihad is now prevalent within the whole of Islam, no matter how loudly “moderate Islam” protests. The principles of jihad are clearly outlined in its “holy” manual, The Koran, of which there are 1.2 billion estimated adherents.
Meanwhile, tonight there seem not to have been any angels present on the famed “Promenade des Anglais,” in Nice, France. <HEL MD/USA code 6P
Comments on a Late News Report
Harold E. Lafferty
The Golan Plateau, lying east of the Jordan River above Kinneret, southeast of Mount Hermon, and north of the Yarkon River, was a possession of Israel from earliest times. Today it is again in Israeli hands, but its possession is being challenged by outside forces.
How can we be sure of this fact of Israel’s earlier possession?
That is easy.
Moses designated “Golan in Bashan of the Manassites” as a City of Refuge, for a sanctuary city to anyone who innocently slew another person. Such a man-slayer was instructed to flee to any of several such designated Cities of Refuge where he could live in safety from the avengers of the victim’s death; he should live in this foreign place until the death of the high priest who was in office when the slaying occurred. Deuteronomy 4: 43 and Joshua 20: 8.
Further, in Joshua 21, there is the account of the heads of the Levitical priests approaching Eleazar the Priest and Joshua, asking that their Levitical residence cities be assigned among the tribal inheritances, as Moses had promised them several years earlier.
Golan, in Joshua 21: 27, was given to them as one of 48 settlements in which they should make their homes.
More specifically, Golan was one of two cities given to Gershon, of the family of the priestly tribe of Levi: Joshua 21: 27; I Chronicles 6:17.
The other city was Ashtaroth, also in the same area (it was the capital of Bashan, and home of King Og), which in the Joshua reference is called Beeshterah, a reference which is explained by a note in ESword: Beeshterah: It is very probable that Beesh-terah is a contraction of baith ashtaroth, "the house of Ashtaroth," and the same as Ashtaroth, which is the reading in 1Chronicles 6:71.
Thus we establish beyond any reasonable doubt the early possession of the Golan by the Children of Israel, and its additional, special identity not only as a City of Refuge, but also as a Levitical City.
These are the reasons, presumably, why Israel is adamant about not giving up the Golan Heights to Syria in any possible approaching “peace treaty.”
But even this is not as strong a reason perhaps, as the aggression upon Israel by Syria from the Heights when it was in Syrian hands.
Before 1967 – the Six Day War, in which Israel captured the Golan – the Syrian gun emplacements on the western brow of the Heights would fire upon farmers driving their tractors in their fields on the Hula Plain below, tending their farms in complete peace (from their points of view).
It was a nettlesome intrusion upon Israeli sovereignty to say the least, so when the opportunity to capture the Heights was presented in the Six Day War, Israel quickly captured the land, from the western scarp toward the east, to the vicinity of Quenitra – the capital of the Golan under Syrian rule.
Today, Quenitra is in No Man’s Land between Israel’s Golan and Syria’s southern province.
It is headquarters to the UN force which was interposed between the two enemies to try to maintain the truce.
That truce has been fragile, to say the least.
Israel formally annexed the Golan Heights in 1971, we believe, and has declared that it will never return it to Syria.
This information furnishes the reason for a recent report (April 17) from Reuters (via Stratfor), which relates: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said April 17 that Israel would never relinquish the Golan Heights, in a signal to Russia and the United States that the strategic plateau should be excluded from any deal on Syria's future, Reuters reported.”
The claim on the Golan Heights by Mr. Netanyahu is thus made part of the record of how it intends to deal with any imposed settlement of Israel with Syria: the Golan will be retained by Israel.
The Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, on the other hand, quickly countered that “Syria will re-take the Golan Heights by any means necessary in any future conflict (with Israel).”
We beg to differ, Mr. President!
The future of the Golan is that it is to be retained by Israel for all future time, in our opinion. The Prophet Amos clearly reveals the word of the LORD in such matters: in Amos 9: 11-15, we find these beginning words: In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old …
“That day” is today.
As proven above, those “ruins” of the “days of old” included the Golan Heights – and even much further territory toward the north and east!
The Apostle James, in Acts 15: 16 refers directly to this verse as he remonstrates with the Jews as to their exclusive calling of God, informing them, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up …
That passage goes on to show the inclusivity of Gentiles in the age to come. It is significant that the indigent population of the Golan is wholly Gentile – Syrians, as well as Syrian Druze people – a somewhat esoteric “religion” that follows their conception of the beliefs of Jethro, the father in law of Moses.
The Druze of the Golan have proven generally to be loyal to whichever country rules over them, and many prominent Druze men have served in the Israel Defense Force since 1967. They are hospitable people as a whole, offering delicious restaurant fare to travelers; the writer has dined in Druze eateries at several places on the Golan. Almost all of them speak English (along with Hebrew and Arabic).
The rich volcanic soil of the Golan derives from basalt, and supports almost any crop planted upon it. Today it is considered the “bread basket” of Israel – thus serving a large agricultural enterprise consisting of dozens of Israeli Kibbutzim. The area is protected by a heavy concentration of not only UN forces (which offer almost no actual protection) but also legions of IDF personnel.
And no longer do the Guns of the Syrian Summer rain shells down upon the peaceable farmers of the Hula Valley in Israel – itself a fertile valley watered profusely by the tumbling, abundant Banias headwaters of the River Jordan.
<HEL 5P> ~1110 words. . An eTPL Circular Letter. May 12, 2016.
Recap: A Glowing Report from inFocus Quarterly, Spring, 2016
According to the former Supreme Commander of NATO forces and Secretary of State, the late General Alexander Haig: “Israel constitutes the largest US aircraft carrier, which does not require a single US boot on board, cannot be sunk, (is) deployed in a most critical region to the US economy and national security. And, if there were not Israel in the eastern flank of the Mediterranean, the US would have to deploy - to the region - a few more real aircraft carriers and tens of thousands of troops, which would have cost the US taxpayer some $15 billion annually. All of which is spared by the existence of Israel.”
Those are some of the earlier quotations from this report issued about six weeks ago – proofs of the value of Israel and the USA to each other in the current milieu of world affairs.
The report goes on to tout the fact that Israel is “no longer a supplicant (a beggar) as it was in the early years of its independence; that Israel has transformed from a net-national security and economic consumer to a net-national security and economic producer, generating very substantial military and commercial benefits to the US which greatly exceed the highly appreciated $3.1 billion annual expenditure in Israel by the US.
The article fairly glows with praise for Israel’s achievements, saying, “…annual US investment in Israel – erroneously defined as ‘foreign aid’ (Foreign Military Financing) - has yielded one of the highest rates of return on US investments overseas. Israel is neither ‘foreign,’ nor does it receive ‘aid.’”
These words probably were not penned by Barack Obama’s White House, whose relationship with Israel and its prime minister seems always to be adverse and unpleasant!
The report also addresses these and earlier tensions going back a long way: it states, “From a one-way-street relationship, the US-Israel connection has evolved into an exceptionally productive two-way-street, a mutually-beneficial alliance. The US is the senior partner, and Israel the junior partner, in a win-win, geo-strategic partnership, which transcends the 68-year-old tensions between all US presidents (from Truman through Obama) and Israeli prime ministers (from Ben Gurion through Netanyahu) over the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian issue.”
The direct result of this close relationship with Israel has borne abundant fruits for the US military-industrial complex. Israel has been the most cost-effective, battle-tested laboratory benefitting the US defense industries, and the most reliable and practical beachhead/outpost of the US defense forces, the article claims. Israel freely shares with the US its unique intelligence, battle experience and battle tactics.
Therefore, Israel “…extends the US strategic hand at a time when the US is experiencing draconian cuts in its defense budget, curtailing the size of its military force and the global deployment of its troops while at the same time facing tough international competition of an industrial-defense nature, and dramatically intensified threats of Islamic terrorism both overseas and on the US mainland.”
An example of this is Israel’s Air Force (IAF), which, operating US-made fighter bombers in parallel with the US Air Force, cooperates on a regular basis with the US manufacturers of the F-15, F-16 and other US aircraft systems, sharing real-time frontline, daily operational, maintenance and repair lessons derived from Israel’s daily battle experience.
This information upgrades US national and homeland security as well as enhances research and development, global competitiveness, exports, and the employment base of the US defense industries such as Lockheed-Martin, McDonnell Douglas, Bell Helicopter, Boeing Defense and Northrop Grumman.
The plant manager of the Fort Worth, Texas-based General Dynamics facility, which manufactures the F-16, recently stated that Israeli lessons have spared the manufacturer ten to twenty years of research and development efforts leading to over 700 modifications to the current generation of the F-16, which he said could be “valued as a mega-billion dollar bonanza to the manufacturer.”
One might also conclude that McDonnell Douglas (F-15 manufacturers of St. Louis) benefits in the same manner.
Similar improvements are consistently being shared with not only the armed forces of the US but also manufacturers of tanks, armored personnel carriers, missile launchers, missiles, night navigation systems and scores if not hundreds of additional military and homeland security systems shared with Israel.
The absolutely effusive report goes on to quote General George Keegan, a former US Air Force Intelligence Chief, who said that “the value of intelligence shared by Israel with the US – exposing the air force capabilities of adversaries (Russia, etc.), their new military systems, electronics and jamming devices – ‘could not be procured with five CIAs….’
The ability of the US Air force in particular, and the Army in general, to defend whatever position it has in NATO, owes more to the Israeli intelligence input than it does to any other single source of intelligence, be it satellite reconnaissance, be it technology intercept, or what have you.”
For instance, the Chattanooga, Tennessee-based Northrop Grumman plant, which manufactures explosive-neutralizing robots, has increased its exports since Israel’s decision to employ its product, benefitting from weekly telephone conference calls with Israeli experts, who have shared with Northrop Grumman their operational lessons.
Israel is to the US defense industry what a triple-A tenant is to a shopping mall – enhancing value and drawing clients.
The late Senator Daniel Inouye, former Chair of the Intelligence Committee and the Senate Appropriations Committee, said “Israel provides the US with more intelligence than all NATO countries combined.” As such, a Deputy Chief of Staff of the US Army said that Israel’s counter-terrorism experience has “shaped the US war on terrorism.”
US Special Ops units being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan are trained by Israeli experts in tackling suicide bombers, disabling car bombs and deadly Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs.
When these troops arrive at the front, these soldiers are assisted by Israeli-developed (sometimes co-developed with the US) unmanned aerial vehicles.
In addition, an Israeli armor plating system, installed on US Military vehicles minimizes US fatalities.
Wounded soldiers are treated with the innovative “Israeli bandage,” which is utilized to stop severe bleeding of injured personnel; in 2014, General (ret.) Chuck Krulak, former Commandant of the US Marine Corps, stated: “The US battle tactics formulation, at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas – the intellectual Mecca of the US Army – is based on the Israeli book.”
But prejudice does raise its ugly head. The report states that “In November, 1952, following Israel's 1948-49 War of Independence, General Omar Bradley, the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, proposed expanding strategic cooperation with Israel, only to be rebuffed by the Department of State, which opposed the establishment of the Jewish State.”
The “striped pants boys” of Harry S Truman had struck again!
In 1969, Israel shared with the US its own flare system, which diverted anti-aircraft heat-seeking missiles away from their targets, saving the lives of many gunship pilots during the Vietnam War.
In 1989, 1969 and 1966, Israel snatched a Soviet Mig-23, a most advanced P-12 Soviet early warning radar and ELINT (electronic signals intelligence) system, and a Soviet Mig-21 from Syria, Egypt and Iraq, respectively. All these were transferred to the US, evaluated and integrated into the US battle tactics, counter-measures and the defense industrial competitive edge, tilting the global balance of power in favor of the US.
On July 4, 1976, Israel's Entebbe hostage-rescue operation was a turning point in the battle against anti-US, pro-USSR Islamic terrorism.
The list of Israeli contributions to the US military establishment goes on and on…
In 1981, in defiance of the US Administration, Israel bombed and destroyed Iraq’s nuclear reactor, sparing the US a nuclear confrontation against Iraq in 1991, and snatching the pro-US Saudis from the jaws of pro-Soviet Iraq.
In 1982, Israel destroyed twenty advanced Soviet surface-to-air missile (SAM) batteries, (all of which are deployed in Lebanon/Syria and throughout the world), downing 89 Soviet Mig-21s, Mig-23s and Su-20s in the process.
In this conflict, Israel proved that the most advanced mobile Soviet SAMs could be jammed, penetrated and destroyed, promptly sharing the battle tactics and electronic warfare innovations with the US Air Force and defense industrial base, providing the US with a significant geo-strategic and industrial game-changing edge over Moscow.
In 2007, Israel destroyed a Syrian-North Korean-Iranian nuclear plant, dealing a blow to global terrorism, sparing humanity the trauma of a nuclear Assad in 2016.
In March, 2007, General John Craddock, the Supreme Commander of NATO, told the House Armed Services: “In the Middle East, Israel is the closest ally of the US, consistently supporting our interests through security cooperation.”
Even CNN – which is generally critical of Israel - agreed that Israel’s war against Hamas terrorists advanced homeland security in pro-US Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.
A June 2015 strategic agreement intensified cooperation between the air forces of both countries, establishing twelve teams of officers and codifying a widening range of joint annual agendas: operations, battle tactics, training, maintenance, repairs, airborne medicine, flight safety, etc., in the face of mutual threats, joint interests and constrained budgets.
US combat pilots benefit uniquely during joint drills with their Israeli colleagues, who always fly in a “do-or-die” state of mind – a result of Israel’s narrow geographic waistline – which stretches the capabilities of the aircraft to new dimensions and generates more daring and innovative maneuvers, shared with their US colleagues.
Recently, Israel’s Air Force developed a ground-breaking method of identifying, repairing and preempting cracks the airframes of older combat planes, such as the F-16, and promptly shared that information with the US Air Force and manufacturer. Instead of grounding planes for six months and preoccupying hundreds of mechanics, the Israeli-developed system requires two weeks and only a few mechanics, yielding significant economic and national security benefits, not to mention the ultimate safety of its aircrews.
In 2016, against the backdrop of mounting conventional and terrorist threats, the proliferation of Islamic terrorist cells in the US, the collapse of Europe’s military power projection, the Islamization of Turkey’s national security policy, the erosion of the Western posture of deterrence, and the growing instability, fragmentation, unpredictability and doubtful reliability of pro-US Arab regimes, Israel is the only stable, reliable, predictable, capable, democratic and unconditional ally of the US.
Israel constitutes a critical obstacle to the megalomaniacal, Islamic imperialism, enhancing the national and homeland security of the US and its Arab allies.
Unlike Europe, Israel is able and willing to flex its muscles.
An Israel-like ally in the Persian Gulf might have dramatically reduced the US military involvement in the Gulf and the Indian Ocean.
“The raging, anti-US Arab Street, the melting UN-minded European Street, the commercially and militarily innovative pro-US Israeli Street, and the intensifying threats to global sanity and the US national and homeland security, all highlight Israel’s role as a special strategic partner of the USA – and not a member of the “foreign aid” club of supplicants - increasingly contributing to mutually-beneficial geo-strategic US-Israel joint ventures” concluded the report.
Yet the US Administration of Barack Obama continually bickers with Israel on the inane pursuit of a “two state solution” to the Arab-Israeli conflict – a solution which has been rebuffed by the Palestinian Authority several times in the past.
Little does anyone yet perceive that conflict to be well on its way to a final solution – the Second Advent of the LORD from heaven, followed by the absolute annihilation of all the Arabic/Islamic enemies between the Nile and the Euphrates, and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf.
<HEL 6P> ~1900 words. An eTPL Circular Letter June 4, 2016.
(Ho Rhema Kurios)
The Apostle Peter wrote relatively little of the post-resurrectional scriptures. But the instructions which he gave befit a master teacher – not inconsistent with those qualities of his intensively personal Trainer, the Lord Jesus Christ. His words of encouragement and instruction plunge to great depths of godly perception, and devotion to the things of the Spirit.
His own experience with utter failure of his own devices may have brought Peter to attest that man’s abilities are of the most fragile and brittle nature; and to contrast them starkly with the only remedial element – devout faith in the word of the Lord: 1Peter 1:24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord (ho rhema Kurios) endureth for ever. And this is the word (rhema) which by the gospel is preached unto you.
It is astonishing to realize that the ONLY enduring words of life are contained in the replete, essential message of salvation as recorded in the brief “books” inscribed by the N.T. writers, based upon and supported, of course, by the priceless substantiating witness of those who came before that time.
Peter’s certain message is that one’s only lifeline has been supplied by the Gospel of Christ which had been conveyed by His Spirit – by inspiration, or the instillation of His rhema (utterance, word, or narration) – in the minds of the teachers and recorders of the Gospel of Christ.
Thus, that Word in Greek is ho rhema Kurios – the Word of the Lord. It is never the writers’ words but the words of the Almighty, faithfully and economically recorded by His servants, the prophets and righteous men of old.
They are placed there for His brethren’s guidance and admonition.
This principle is of most crucial importance to His people.
It not only recognizes His authority; it admits the conveyance of His loving will and purpose to fragile men, whose lives and glory otherwise are as temporal as the grasses and flowers of the field, but which, by His grace and word – by ho rhema Kurios – are given substance, established, extended, and validated.
It therefore must induce humility and submission in those who hear it.
It is not generally (or natively) the view which man adopts toward himself.
Because his life seems long and drawn out, and to his finite mind, greatly extended, he tends to think deceptively of himself as being far more significant than he really is. He sometimes assumes self-assured confidence which will not hold up to approaching challenges.
This means that he often takes upon himself the arrogance of authority or position of influence which he does not rightfully possess, and which he may not rightfully impose upon others.
Because men tend toward this bias, it also militates toward their insisting upon their own finite ways rather than those of the Almighty, no matter how unnecessary, inexpedient, unworkable or inane – or even contrary to His will.
We sometimes see this trait manifested by brethren who adopt an overbearing mien, who vaunt themselves above others, and vindictively insist on their own way among their brethren and in their Ecclesias to the hurt of many.
Such was Diotrephes of 3 John 1:9.
This attitude generates within one, an invalid and falsely exalted view of one’s own position and authority – and often leads to the imposition of one’s own personal will upon one’s brethren in hurtful, derogatory ways.
That intrusive “authority” which this attitude conveys is completely gratuitous, and unscriptural.
It can do great hurt to the household of faith.
In a strong sense, it usurps the authority of the Master.
Peter’s instruction is to the contrary, as is the entirety of the writings of the disciple Titus.
His godly instruction is that every brother and sister of Christ must humbly realize his own fragility – his own propensity to failure of resolve; his own inherent weakness even in marginal relationships – and demands that each approach his life in humility and godly fear.
It is surely a principle which was vividly illustrated to Peter himself in his own life of service to his Lord.
When he penned these epistles he doubtlessly was painfully remembering his own flesh-generated declaration of earlier times to Jesus that he (Peter) would lay down his own life for his Lord, but that within hours he had patently denied Him three times in order to preserve his own life.
The prelude to this incident is recorded in John 13, when Peter had sincerely but impulsively pledged his willingness to lay down his own life for that of Jesus.
At their last gathering in the Upper Room, Jesus informed His disciples that He was shortly to depart from them, but that, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me. John 13:36.
It must have appeared as a challenge to Peter.
John 13:37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. 38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
At that moment, Peter probably questioned the pointed query – Peter, WILT thou lay down thy life for My sake? – and the conclusive assertion of Jesus that he certainly should.
The events that ensued proved devastating to Peter, illustrating to him the frailty of his own fleshly resolve, the overpowering, inherent need to preserve his own life rather than sacrifice it in support of His Master – a temporary refusal of the most dire sacrifice which he should later make of himself; it is claimed that Peter was crucified by being hanged on a stake upside down (but this manner of his death is unsupported).
Peter had vowed, with supreme confidence in his own personal, godly intentions to defend His Lord – and even initially proved those intentions in Gethsemane, when only hours later he drew a sword, and severed the ear of the servant of the high priest! John 18:10.
The narrative following in John 18, then slows to a detailed account of the actions involving Jesus, and the feelings of John (presumably the disciple who was known to the high priest) and Peter, as the dramatic confrontation plays out.
In the presence of the authorities, and in the face of great danger, Peter’s impulsive resolve quickly faded. The confidence that he has exuded in his own resolve had meant nothing, being quickly erased by his own intensely fleshly failings.
Jesus was now in custody, and was being grilled before a great crowd by the priestly authorities. Peter joined the throng at Caiphus’ house, being brought into the judgment chamber by request of a certain disciple (John?), and was soon recognized as one of Jesus’ followers.
One even today feels the gravity of this assembly when visiting the excavated residence of Caiphus in Mount Zion today – the capacious Judgment Hall of the most elevated Priest of Israel that fateful evening, filled with his loyal adherents along with the curious and largely confused spectators.
The stage was set for Peter to fulfill his boastful and precipitous promise to Jesus in the Upper Room.
But when now confronted and questioned, and realizing the great danger to his own person, Peter persistently denied even knowing the man; what’s more, Peter persevered in his denials: after the third such, the Lord turned and pointedly gazed upon Peter, a silent, authoritative, but pitiful gesture which brought stunningly to Peter’s mind the previous saying of the Lord.
Luk 22:61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word (rhema) of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow (i.e., before the dawn), thou shalt deny me thrice. 62 And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.
This extremely short-term prophecy by Jesus taught Peter a lifelong lesson in humility – a quality with which he had not previously been very well acquainted.
That the message became etched upon Peter’s conscience becomes stridently clear in that he went out, and wept bitterly.
That enormously personal example of the effects of ho rhema Kurios seared into the conscience of Peter the unfailing principle of the pitifully inept, inherent weakness of the flesh, affecting eternally the character of one who would soon become one of the strongest and most faithful of the disciples.
It doubtlessly was the motivation behind his incisive observation here: that … all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth forever.
Peter’s zeal-generated, fleshly assertion that he would personally give his life for his Savior had been immediately, realistically, and crucially refuted by the Master – a detail which would come home to Peter in the approaching hours – that, instead of Peter giving his life for Jesus, that Jesus instead was to give His life for Peter!
And not only for Peter, but for all who should likewise avow their faithful allegiance to Him not only by words, but by their works, because their public commitment to Him by baptism into his name literally and humbly promises that one’s life shall henceforth be completely dedicated to His service and glory.
This commitment is fully governed by godly faith, not human resolve.
It declares openly and firmly to all observers that one’s life is to be considered no longer his own, but is that of Christ Jesus – the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind – to all who will commit to exhaustive allegiance to Him in his or her life.
The extreme reality of that humbling principle was proven explicitly to Peter in this incident – and was recorded for our benefit as well – as a vivid illustration of natural man’s fragility and ineptitude, bringing home clearly that one’s faith must be founded not upon one’s own fleshly intentions, but on his purposeful, dedicated affection for and faith in the Rock of his salvation – the Lord Jesus Christ – and upon an assured faith in ho rhema Kurios.
A final explanatory note: as sometime students of Greek, every serious Bible scholar knows that the Greek word “logos” is translated “word,” as famously in John 1. In this instance and in many others, logos indicates the total, inspired word of God, and the Living Word as exhibited in Jesus Christ – the written information pertaining to Him.
The other Greek term translated “word” is rhema, as emphasized in the above article. Its thrust is mainly the spoken words (utterances) of the gospel – the verbal instructions given for our daily guidance.
The words of Jesus are significant on this point. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word (rhema) that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).
An implicational example of this principle is readily seen in the words of Luke: When Jesus told Peter to cast the fishing nets on the other side of the boat, Peter answered,“Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word (rhema) I will let down the net” (Luke 5:5).
In our understanding then, rhema signifies the application of the instructions of the Almighty and His Son – our putting into practice the basic doctrines and moral directions that we have been given in the written word.
<HEL 11N, 6P> ~1900 words. An eTPL Circular Letter June 15, 2016.
Harold E. Lafferty
The prophecy of Daniel known as The Seventy Weeks Prophecy is grossly misunderstood by the greatest majority of Bible readers, led by the “preachers” of Christendom who use it to their advantage in the propagation of their theories of the end-time events occurring at the time of the Second Coming of the LORD.
In order to facilitate a closer study of the prophecy, we have set it forth below in limited tabular form, in order to highlight the main features of the prophecy.
Dan 9:24 Seventy weeks
are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city,
to finish the transgression,
and to make an end of sins,
and to make reconciliation for iniquity,
and to bring in everlasting righteousness,
and to seal up the vision and prophecy,
and to anoint the most Holy.
Dan 9:25 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.
Dan 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks (and after the initial seven weeks already stated – i.e., after 69 weeks)
shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:
and the people of the prince that shall come (this is Rome – not “the AntiChrist) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
Dan 9:27 And He shall confirm the covenant with many
for one week:
and in the midst of the week He (The Christ – by His sacrifice) shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations (by the Romans, with the Jews’ enthusiastic approval) He (Jesus, for the subject-pronoun has not changed) shall make it (by dint of His sacrifice He annulled it, making it) desolate, even until the consummation (at the end-time), and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate (that is, upon the desolator – Rome and subsequent desolators, ending with Ottoman Turkey in 1917).
In order better to understand the prophecy we intend to examine it in great detail
The Seventy Weeks
We see first that the prophecy concerns Seventy Weeks of time. We note from Leviticus 25, that a “week” is equivalent in prophetic terms to seven calendar years based on our solar year. We can discern that fact based on how events have played out in history in similar applications.
The only difficulty we can have with the basic period of seventy weeks of years (490 years in total, or 70 x 7), is determining the beginning point of the prophecy.
We note from verse 25, that the period was to begin at a point designated as ... from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem.
Historically, there are three similar decrees which could have served as the starting point; only one of these can be valid.
In order to establish the correct decree, one only need carry the beginning dates of all three to an end-point, then determine which end-point is relevant to the prophecy.
“Weeks” here is the Hebrew word Shebuah, which Strong confirms in his Hebrew Lexicon as meaning, literally “sevened” – just “sevened” – which, he says, means a seven of years, or seven years, or a “Sabbath” of years” as it is expressed in Leviticus 25: 8.
One of the three decrees should work out perfectly with the specifications of the prophecy, so it should be an easy task.
From historical record, we know that similar decrees were issued …
1. By Cyrus the Persian in 533 BC;
2. By Artaxerxes Longimanus to Ezra the Scribe in 455 BC;
3. And by Artaxerxes Longimanus to Nehemiah in 442 BC.
The first of these dates, if lapsed 490 years (the total of the prophetic years indicated) would give a result of 43 BC as its termination: [533 BC minus 490 = 43 BC]. Nothing happened in this terminal year to fulfill the prophecy.
The Second of these dates, lapsed 455 BC to 1 BC leaves, from the next year which was 1AD, 34 years of fulfillment remaining in the AD years, or 34 AD. Let’s leave this entirely workable one for a moment and calculate the last date.
The third of the above dates, lapsed 442 years into the future to 1 BC leaves, from the next year which was 1AD (or a lapsed 443 years), 47 years remaining in the 490 decreed [490 minus 442 = 47 AD]. There is no visible indication that the Seventy Weeks could have ended on this date.
We therefore revert to consideration of the middle date, 455 BC, when Artaxerxes decreed the return of Nehemiah to rebuild the Sanctuary and the walls of the Holy City.
In our consideration of the terminal date for the prophecy of 34 AD, we determine that this year is slightly after the crucifixion, which we deem to have been in the year 30 AD.
If this is so, how do the tenets of the prophecy correlate with this date?
Is it reasonable to conclude that this is the proper starting date of the prophecy?
It would seem precisely the correct date. If it is so, the six goals of the prophecy should have been met in some meaningful way by that date. This is extremely important, because the complete fulfillment of these requirements awaits the establishment of the kingdom of God.
Now we turn to the features of the prophecy to be fulfilled, the first of which is “to finish the transgression.”
First … To finish the transgression
If this is difficult to understand in the AV, we must look to the Hebrew word translated ‘finish.’ It is (Strong, H3607) ‘kala – a primitive root, to restrict, by act (hold back or hold in), (or) by word (i.e., prohibit).’ The RV uses “restrain” here, and omits the article, thus meaning “to restrain transgressions.” The text seems to refer to transgressions in general, i.e., sin. The first objective, then, is to restrain transgressions.
It is obvious that when Christ comes the second time He will forcibly suppress sin in all its aspects, ruling the nations with a rod of iron. He will give to Israel a ‘new heart’ at that time, and work a work of moral reform upon His people. That restraint will pass over into the general world population.
But how was this accomplished at Christ’s first coming? Messiah had first to come to His people – the primary ‘business’ of the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks (P70W) – and to be ‘cut off.’ In so doing He made an end to the daily sacrifice and abolished the Old Covenant of Moses; He therefore ‘confirmed the promises made unto the fathers’ by the shedding of ‘the blood of the everlasting covenant.’
The preparation of the people (both Jews and Gentiles) who would assist Messiah in His great future work would be required to develop the ‘new heart’ and the ‘new spirit’ which pertains to this new covenant.
By this process of godly living which He established and codified, therefore, sin would quite effectively be ‘restrained,’ and the characters of His adherents would be developed after the requirement and pattern of the Lord. When He came the first time, similar to the work of John Immerser, that was his avowed mission – to make ready a people prepared for the Lord in the long term – Luke 1:17.
Christ’s spiritual cultivation of this great body of believers thus prefigures the work to be done upon His people, upon Jerusalem, and ultimately upon the people of the world at His Second Advent.
We are told that the Law was a ‘yoke of bondage’ to the people; as such it was impressed upon them as a restraint upon their desire to serve the flesh and their own purposes. It was intended to make His chosen ones markedly different from other peoples. The second part of this goal was to make salvation available to the Gentiles as well as the Jews – a goal which was attained during this final, 70th week as we shall see.
The requirements of the provision, then, is seen fulfilled in limited aspect at His first coming, but perceived to be of greatest effect – of conclusive effect – upon His people at His return.
Second … to make an end of sins
As it stands, we know that this provision was not universally and literally fulfilled at His first coming. Men and women continued to sin in their daily lives; although sin was repressed by their attempts at obedience, sin was not ended. There is one exception to this general fact: the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was certainly the primordial victory over sin and death – and over ‘sins,’ for He committed none.
However, it is notable that the word in Hebrew for ‘sins’ and ‘sin offerings’ is the same; note that in the 27th verse of Daniel 9, His making an ‘end of sin offerings’ is referenced in the ‘cutting off’ of Messiah in the clause, “in the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” This means that He would in some manner bring to an halt the ‘sacrifice and the oblation,” which were literally the sin- offerings under Moses’ Law!
In sacrificing Himself, Jesus Himself “was made sin for us” (II Corinthians 5: 21); “He died for our sins according to the scriptures.” He offered the one perfect sacrifice which was the ‘one offering’ which God required at that time.
In doing that, He effected the ‘end of sin offerings’ whether anyone recognized the fact or not. From that point in time – His death on the stake at Golgotha – the sin offerings of the Law were no longer valid or operative.
We are aware that, in the minds of the Jews of that day, Jesus’ sacrifice did not impinge upon the Law of Moses at all, and did not end their ritual use of sin offerings which they continued to offer until 70 AD when the Temple was destroyed. They did not accept His sacrificial death in the least, and shall never do so until they ‘look upon Him whom they have pierced’ (Zechariah 12:9).
At that time they shall be introduced to the ‘bonds of the New Covenant,’ and with that will come their immediate recognition of ‘the end of sin offerings.’
Having said that, Jesus’ sacrifice did put an effective end to the ‘sin-offerings’ of the Law although not recognized at the time by the Jews. In light of His sacrifice, no matter how many sin offerings they offered after that time, they were no longer functional as they had been under the Law.
Thus, the greater fulfillment belongs to that future day, and like the first provision, points to a greater fulfillment of this great prophecy in the coming kingdom age.
Third … to make reconciliation for iniquity
The Hebrew word for making reconciliation is kaphar, which means to cover; figuratively it means to expiate, condone, placate, or cancel. In the O. T. it is translated as make atonement, cleanse, forgive, pardon, purge away, and others.
To review, we see that the proclivity for sin in the Jews of His day was not removed with the coming of Jesus. But we see in His work that He clearly introduced age-lasting righteousness to those who perceived His work and mission. At first a few Jews believed – then multitudes did; then the Gospel was introduced to the Gentiles, and thousands believed on Him. The Gospel is the means by which sin is expiated or cleansed or pardoned – and thus is the vehicle of age-lasting righteousness.
The important factor here is that Jesus Christ came to His people, obeying His Father in every respect even though He was an earth-born man with all the propensities of the flesh dwelling within Him. Hebrews 2:17 informs us that Jesus was made exactly like us so He could “make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” By offering this perfect life by His death on the stake, he indeed made reciliation for sin – he expiated it within Himself, making perfect atonement by obedience and faith.
Thus the result was established in One Who was a prototype for all who would come after Him in faith. In the most literal way, He “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity.” (Titus 2: 14) As believers in the gospel, we realize that this redemption of Christ reflected upon Himself as beneficiary as well as upon all men; it was entirely necessary that He put forth His own, now perfected life, as the required perfect and acceptable sacrifice.
The future effect of this component of the six objectives is defined in the national cleansing described in Ezekiel 36: 24, 25: “I will gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean (forgiven): from all your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you.”
Fourth … to bring in everlasting righteousness
At His first appearance, Jesus brought into visible appreciability ‘the way of life’ and established it and amply illustrated it in His own life. He made it known widely at that time.
But Israel – His people and the Holy City – did not widely adopt His teachings. That achievement awaits future fulfillment, in the day of Israel’s salvation; it is only then that Zion’s “righteousness of Ages” shall “go forth as brightness.” (Isaiah 62: 1; 46: 13)
The future fulfillment is indicated in such passages as Jeremiah 23: 5, 6: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In HIS days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is the name whereby He shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” It is remarkable that the same prophet in chapter 33: 15, 16 pens these precise words the second time!
At the same time, His blessing is personal to each of his people: “Unto you first, God, having raised up His Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you (every one, individually), in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” (Acts 3: 26)
When those events of Jeremiah 23 occur, the Lord’s name shall rest immutably upon Israel, and the People shall BE ‘righteous!’ Only when she thus possesses His righteousness can the nation’s righteousness ‘shine forth as brightness,’ for before that time Israel has none.
At that time, it is the righteousness of Israel’s Savior which goes forth from that place – the Lord our righteousness – which will fulfill Isaiah 1: 26: “I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counselors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The City of Righteousness, the Faithful City.”
It is only then that the promise of Isaiah 60: 21 can be fulfilled: “Thy people also shall be all righteous: they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, THAT I MAY BE GLORIFIED.”
Fifth … to seal the Vision and the Prophecy
In the A.V. the word ‘prophecy’ is marginally defined alternatively as ‘prophet:’ “to seal the vision and the prophet.” The Hebrew word translated ‘seal’ in this passage is used 24 times in the O.T., in 21 of which it is rendered “Seal, sealed, sealest, or sealeth.”
In I Kings 21: 8 and in Esther 8: 8 it refers to affixation of the Royal Seal to a document to confirm or establish its bona-fides, and also the authority of the person whose duty it was to issue the same (W. H. Carter, Times and Seasons, pp 49-50).
This same idea is found in Isaiah 44: 26 where God reveals Himself as the One who ‘confirmeth the word of His servant, and performeth the counsel of His messengers.’ In this case the divine ‘seal’ of the prophets’ words is the confirming performance by God Himself of the things spoken or written in His Name and by His inspiration.
So performance by the Lord (His prophet) of His intention is here the Seal of Truth.
If we apply this significance to the words of our immediate passage, Daniel 9: 24, it should be realized that in a prophecy bridging hundreds of years of time before the designated ‘consummation’ of God’s purposes with Israel, such confirmation by performance – though continually manifested in all the stages of its development – can only find complete ‘sealing’ when ALL the foretold events have come to pass.
W. H. Carter adds, “So far as the Christ’s first appearing is concerned, the ‘vision’ was ‘sealed’ by all that happened ‘according to the scriptures’ (in I Corinthians 15: 1; I Peter 1: 10, 11). There was thus a partial ‘sealing of the vision’ in the events of those first century days: but the day is still expected in which all the words of Daniel 9: 24 - 27, and indeed, the words of all the Lord’s prophets who have spoken of ‘the end’ shall find their complete ‘sealing’ in the establishment of the Kingdom of God in the Day of Zion’s Salvation and Glory.”
“To this point in our consideration, Daniel 9: 24 has referred more to the ‘sealing’ of the ‘prophecy’ rather than to the ‘prophet.’ But both are obviously involved: for that which puts the Seal of Truth upon their message must also ‘seal’ them as being true Prophets of God.
“The coming Kingdom of God will not only set the final Seal of Truth upon their message, but also upon themselves as the faithful servants of the Lord. Hence, the time of the Kingdom is also ‘the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that God shouldest give rewards unto His servants the prophets’ (Revelation 11: 18); and that they should now become sharers in the glory and incorruptibility of which they testified.”
We would suggest that in the sealing of the ‘prophecy’ there is inherent the sealing of the ‘prophet’ as well – for the Lord Jesus attained the full measure of His required work at that time and in doing so established credentials for Himself which assured that he was indeed ‘the prophet,’ whether he had yet fulfilled all His future duties or not. In having come this far, his future course was engraved in stone and could not fail! He was assuredly ‘the prophet’ upon Whom salvation depended and had, by His resurrection from the dead, been ‘sealed’ to that end.
One more point here: it appears that we should acknowledge in the term ‘vision and the prophecy’ that there is a close connection of this principle to Daniel 8: 16, where there is a vision which is interpreted for Daniel by Gabriel.
In the current consideration there is a prophecy but no ‘vision’ per se. In Daniel 9: 21, the prophet relates the vision of his 8th chapter to the one under consideration; the angel– Gabriel – is the same in both cases. Both events are substantial equivalents which indicate that both would be ‘sealed’ by ‘performance’ at the same time period in history. Both point immutably forward to ‘the consummation.’
Sixth … To anoint the Most Holy
Scholars – and specifically W. H. Carter – tell us that the Hebrew here does not indicate whether the “Most Holy” refers to Messiah, the People, the Holy City or the Temple. As Daniel’s prayer in 9: 16 - 19 indicates the Holy City is “the place of the Sanctuary,” it seems fitting that the prophecy given as God’s answer to him should nominate that Sanctuary.
Also, in the 8th of Daniel this prophecy is connected as to subject, and it is “the Sanctuary and the Host” which are “trodden under foot,” or desecrated. Desecration is a state of things which ends with the “cleansing” of the Sanctuary. Jesus’ prophecy that “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled" seems to be a direct reference to this 8th chapter. That specific prophecy predicts the “cleansing of the Sanctuary” or the Sanctuary Cycle of 2300 evening-mornings. By our best estimates the sanctuary was “cleansed” on June 7, 1967, when Israeli forces captured the City and soon after proclaimed it the eternal capital of the nation of Israel.
In the interim the Temple Mount has been desecrated by many enemies from the Romans to the present desecrators, the Muslims, whose Dome of the Rock stands precisely upon the Most Holy place of Solomon’s Temple. This history is in accord with the words of Daniel 9: 26, 27 –
“… the people of the prince that shall come (that was Rome) shall destroy the City and the Sanctuary (70 AD) … and for the overspreading of abominations he (Rome) shall make it desolate, even unto the consummation.” Byzantine Rome was succeeded in the Holy Land by Islam in the 7th century, which consistently extended the abominations, as did later oppressors.
The prophet was thus informed that the “day of Glory” lay far, far ahead in time! Ezekiel predicted (43: 4 – 7) that the Shekinah of God should re-enter the Temple in the future age of His re-established Throne in Jerusalem: “Son of man, the place of My Throne, and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever, and My holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile.”
Jesus Christ in His role as Priest and King IS that Shekinah – that glory of God – that Light of the world!
And so the City shall be sanctified and consecrated to the glory of God forever. He has sworn that it shall be, when He “… shall perform the truth to Jacob and the mercy to Abraham, which He has sworn unto the fathers from the days of old.” It is only then that the City’s people shall truly be called “the holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord.”
So how may we understand the fulfillment of this last tenet of the prophecy? – “To anoint the Most Holy?” It appears that, like the other specific elements, it was not fully accomplished at Christ’s first coming, but the foundation for that action was firmly and immutably laid in place, never to be moved. Its future was thus concretely assured…
In accord with the earlier elements, the machinery of its completion was set in motion in His personal anointment – His own rectification with His Father as being typical of the great universal rectification which has been foretold. The Instrument of Anointment (Christ) was set firmly in place with the loving obedience and sacrifice of Himself, of Christ Jesus, our Lord.
As Jesus has transcended the flesh (Hebrews 10: 20) and now dwells at the Father’s right hand, He dwells in the Most Holy place in heaven itself, having torn away the curtain (opened and removed its fleshly barrier) in his sacrifice. The certainty of the future sanctity of the Most Holy became sure upon His sacrificial death, certified by His resurrection on the third day.
So it appears to us that although none of the six tenets of the prophecy were completely fulfilled at Jesus’ first coming, that they were adequately addressed and fulfilled in full prospect. The absolute mechanism of their fulfillment was solidly and immutably established before all the world – before Jew and Gentile alike – before any and all who would concern themselves with these vital components of eternal salvation. The final fulfillment awaits the Second Advent of Christ, at which time He shall place in motion the complete and perfect fulfillment of these.
The Time-Line of the Prophecy
The prophecy was thus set in motion by the decree of Artaxerxes Longimanus, in 455 BC, the date of his decree to Ezra to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild Jerusalem. This time period is addressed in verse 25 …
Dan 9:25 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.
Note carefully here that from this date certain – 455 BC – unto Messiah the Prince shall be … a set of unusual markers within the prophecy of a specific time period.
That specific period of time is outlined in the next two phrases, curiously expressed as ‘seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks.’
Why this peculiar, dual expression of the time involved?
We believe it is because the exact time of Messiah’s appearance (i.e., His identity being made known with certainty) should be seven PLUS sixty two weeks from the date of the decree of Artaxerxes. When we do the calculation, we shall with great satisfaction see that it was an accurate forecast by the Almighty to the very day (probably). As far as we know, the exact date of Artaxerxes’ decree is not known within the year 455 BC.
We can be fairly certain as to the end of that period of time, however, by back-dating the ministry of Christ from His crucifixion on Passover, 30 AD, to His baptism three and one half years earlier. It is a generally accepted fact that Jesus’ active ministry lasted three and one half years.
The earlier date – which was that of His baptism – should therefore, for consistency’s sake, have been on the Feast of Succot (Tabernacles), 26 AD.
Why This Fractional Definition?
But why is the prophecy expressed in fractional terms, as ‘seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks?’
We believe it a subtle clue that the entire prophecy was given in the context of the Jubilee Cycle, which Israel had been enjoined to observe since its inception in 1435 BC, as outlined in Leviticus 25.
The Law had specified that seven weeks of weeks (seven “sevened” – or 49 years should be known as a Jubilee, or a Jubilee Cycle. The next year, the fiftieth, should be not only the YEAR of Jubilee, but also the beginning year of the next cycle of 49 years.
Thus, the Jubilee should be observed the year after each cycle terminated.
Now, seven ‘sevened’ is 7 x 7, or 49 years, or one Jubilee Cycle.
But seventy ‘sevened’ is 490 years, or TEN Jubilee Cycles.
Is this significant?
We believe it is extremely so, for it indicates a termination of events consistent with the fulfillment of the prophecy, as we shall observe later in this article.
If we consider the lapse of the first seven weeks of years (49 years), the terminal date is not significant, prophetically. But that specificity highlights the prophecy’s close connection to the Jubilee Cycle.
Add the two periods together (seven and sixty two sevens) and one arrives at 483 years unto the Messiah the Prince, specified earlier in the verse.
This date, as already considered, is extremely important, for it terminated in 26 AD, the year of Jesus’ baptism by our reckoning, probably precisely on the date of the Feast of Tabernacles, which is consistent with His death three and one half years later, on Passover, in the year 30 AD.
This seems conclusively the time ‘unto Messiah the Prince,’ as it was publicly made known to the contemporary people of Judah through the ministry of John Immerser.
The date of Jesus’ baptism was the beginning of His public ministry to Israel of His day, therefore, occurred as the exact fulfillment of the 69th week of the prophecy. It is a prime example of the precision we have come to expect of the Almighty in His forecasts – His prescience – of the future which we know as Bible prophecy.
As such, it strengthens and confirms His truth to His servants of every future age which are privileged to observe the perfect fulfillment of the prophets’ words.
So the prophecy continues … the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks (and after the initial seven weeks already stated – i.e., after 69 weeks) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:
Now we come to an extremely vital point of understanding of this prophecy.
In which week should He ‘confirm the covenant with many?’
The prophecy specifies that time as ‘after the 62 weeks – plus the previous seven weeks – ‘shall Messiah be cut off.’
There is NO ambiguity here, such as has been claimed by the present-day ‘prophecy gurus’ of the churches. They erroneously claim that the 69 weeks ended with the death of Messiah in contrast to the exact words of the prophecy, which specifies His ‘cutting off’ to be ‘after’ the 62 plus seven (69) weeks of the (second period of the) prophecy – or specifically in the midst of the 70th week of its term.
Instead, the modern day enthusiasts of ‘the (personal) Anti-Christ’ theories now prevalent among them, claim that the death of Christ, marked the END of the 69th week, automatically transferring the last week of years (7 years) of the prophecy forward beyond our current days – and designate this period ‘the great tribulation’ of their theology, discussion of which has been done in a separate article some years ago – an article proving conclusively that the theory is in complete error; that no such separation (or ‘gap’) has ever been a feature of any prophetic utterance in the Bible, and is inconsistent with the revelation given in this chapter, by Gabriel to Daniel.
For this specific reason, the churches of today’s “Christianity” are doomed to misconstrue the Second Coming of Christ as the coming of ‘the Anti-Christ’ of their own imagination. This will be the regretful outcome of their willing mis-construction of this prophecy’s details, and the imposition of their theories of a diabolical, supernatural, all-powerful Anti-Christian individual who shall come in the end-time to deceive Israel and the nations with great power and charisma – an exact description of the appearance of the REAL Christ when He comes to save His people (Isaiah 11: 11-16; Amos 9:14, 15; Zechariah 10-14).
As the prophet was informed, Messiah should be ‘cut off’ AFTER the 69th week – that is, during the 70th week – and indeed, in the MIDST of that last week.
No words could be more definitive or descriptive of the history that unfolded. As we have conjectured above, Jesus was slain precisely in the midst of that last week of the prophecy.
But if this is so, how may we account for the last three and one half years of that 70th week?
With great ease we address this vital question.
The entire prophecy should see its palpable fulfillment at the end of the 70th week – now determined to have been 34 AD, or three and one half years after His sacrifice at Golgotha.
We confidently claim that this is the case; please allow our explanation.
We have already stated that the six requirements of the prophecy were fulfilled by events which followed Jesus’ death by crucifixion by no more than 3 ½ years.
The Terminal Events of the 70th Week
We now consider those terminal events, which brought to a conclusion the final format of the Offer of Salvation which is graciously given His devout followers in His Word of Truth.
In supporting his assertion that Jesus’ baptism occurred on Sukkot, 26 AD, W. H. Carter, in his book, Times and Seasons, has this observation, on pages 248 to 249: “Our sixth reason (for the time of Jesus’ birth) is one of great importance, and rests on Daniel’s prophecy (9: 25) which specifies sixty-nine “weeks” (of years) “unto Messiah the Prince” (Messiah = Christ = Anointed); thus indicating His “anointing” at the close of that sixty-ninth “week” (See Matthew 3: 16, Acts 10: 38): and as these “weeks” are associated with the Sabbatical years which commence on the first of Tisri, the seventieth “week” would also open on that date. On that day Jesus “was anointed with the Holy Spirit and with power:” moreover, it was His birthday, for “He began to be about thirty years of age.” (Luke 2: 23). But it was also the anniversary of that first day when God said “Let there be light;” but “the Great Light” (Matthew 4: 16) which now “appeared” was to be a “light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of God’s People Israel.”
We quote here from an earlier article on this subject in 2010, in which we state: “His next paragraph in the book is astonishing, for he continues … ‘Daniel’s prophecy also required that “Messiah” should be “cut off” “in the midst” of the seventieth “week;” and as He was also to be the antitypical Passover Lamb, that “cutting off” took place on the fourteenth day of Abib three and a half years later. Only by being “anointed” at the beginning of Tisri could He, by dying in the month Abib, fulfill this prophecy, for Tishri and Abib are separated by six months.’[In this case, three years and six months; we have always been aware that Jesus’ ministry lasted three and one half years – Ed.]”
“I believe it is now fairly clear to you that we have the correct solution to the primary, on-the-surface meaning of the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel nine!
“If this baptism – or this revealing, or this anointing – of Jesus occurred at the end of the first 69 weeks, the seventieth week would now begin. It would be the most unusual seven years in all history, and would bring universal change (no – actually, fulfillment!) to many aspects of God’s relationship to mankind – and most importantly, would reveal the ultimate Savior among men.
“In the same time span the six specifications of the P70W would be fulfilled and immutably established in the most elemental sense!
“Notice, first, that Gabriel had said that Messiah would be ‘cut off’ after the 69th week. In verse 27 Gabriel reveals that ‘He (i.e., Messiah) should “confirm the covenant with many for ONE WEEK.” He repeats the fact that ‘in the MIDST of the (70th!) week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.’”
“Here Gabriel is not indicating that some “Antichrist” is going to appear to Israel of today and, after several years of leadership in that nation, then interrupt their worship services in the new Temple which they say the Antichrist shall build. He is promising that Messiah shall cause the sacrifices and the oblations of the Law of Moses to cease! This He did by dying on the stake of Golgotha! In so dying, he “nailed” the Law to the tree of redemption (Colossians 2:14), fulfilling it for all time, and instituting the “law” of salvation through Grace.
“Even though His contemporaries, the Jews of Judea, did not perceive or accept this act as an end [the fulfillment] to the Law of Moses, He had already proclaimed to His disciples earlier in His ministry, “Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the prophets; I am NOT COME TO DESTROY, BUT TO FULFIL (IT).” (Matthew 5: 16)
“But what about the other half of the final “week?” Gabriel told Daniel in 9: 27 that “He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.” But He was crucified at the precise middle of that week. But did He continue to “confirm the covenant with many for one week?” Did not the Lord Jesus tell His faithful eleven on the mountain in Galilee, “Lo, I am with you, even unto the end of the world” [Matthew 28: 16 - 20]?
“Yes, He did promise His continuing presence with them! In fulfillment of that promise, we ask, Did not His ministry then continue through the words he had spoken to them and through the gifts of the Holy Spirit from the Day of Pentecost and onward … through those same apostles?
“If we examine the events of the next three and a half years after His sacrifice, what conditions do we find? Well, for one thing, persecution of the apostles and disciples becomes greater. But their personal teaching of Christ’s truth intensifies, for theirs is now the entire load to bear.
“But the Christ was the driving Force, the prime Mover, the effective Teacher. It was HIS teachings being passed on by the Holy Spirit to His brethren the Jews, through the apostles for much longer than the 42 months (3 ½ years) after His ascension to the Most Holy. It was in reality His ministry continuing through them.
But all the progress in store for the Plan would be completed in 3 ½ years!”
In this dissertation we are concerned with the fulfillment of the P70W in the sense of the accomplishment of the six tenets of the prophecy. We must therefore consider closely the events which transpired through the end of the 70th week, where we shall discover the fully-revealed terminal point of the Plan of Salvation as then completed by the work of Christ and the Apostles.
A prime consideration must be that, up until this time in history, no Gentile was offered salvation unless he first became a Jewish proselyte. Only then was he taught the gospel by the apostles and disciples of Jesus’ time. These outsiders must have legitimately converted to Judaism up to this time in order even to be offered the terms of salvation.
After the crucifixion the Jerusalem Ecclesia strengthened and solidified its position. Its members were involved actively in teaching the Gospel to their fellow Jews, traveling through many towns and villages to accomplish this vital work. Eternal salvation was now achievable, and that was their message; it was in contrast to the rewards of the Law of Moses, observance of which only conferred long life in the land – but not immortality in a future kingdom.
We now move forward to the terminal point of the 70th week – 36 AD. We read with great interest the account of Peter, in Acts 10, who is visiting Simon the Tanner at Joppa. It is nearing the time of the evening meal.
Peter goes up to the flat roof of Simon’s home for prayer, alone. While he is praying, he is shown a forceful vision of a great variety of animals, let down from the heavens by means of a great sheet. The sheet is filled with animals both clean and unclean by the standards of the Law. The vision is designed to teach Peter the now unfolding truth that the Gospel is now to be offered directly to the Gentiles – no longer only to proselyted Gentiles. Gentiles per se are now acceptable candidates for baptism into Christ, whereas prior to this date, they had been “unclean.”
Although the vision does not reveal it initially, the targeted Gentile will be a Roman Centurion who lives at Caesarea Maritima (Caesarea-by-the-sea) – one Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian Band … a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house …” (Acts 10:1,2). The P70W’s provision for Jesus’ ‘confirmation of the covenant with many’ is nearing its terminal point. W. H. Carter’s chronology places the year as 4039 AM (or, 36 AD).
This fortunate man of Caesarea sees an angel in a vision at about ‘the ninth hour’ (3 pm) – a few hours prior to Peter’s vision of the sheet let down from heaven containing the diverse animals; but the two visions are intimately connected.
An angel in the vision commands Cornelius to send some of his men to Joppa, to the home of Simon, a tanner, where they will find “Simon, whose surname is Peter.” (verse 5)
Please keep in mind that Peter, as one of the chief apostles, is continuing in the name of Christ what the Father had ordained through Gabriel – confirming “the covenant with many for one week” after Christ’s baptism by John in the River Jordan in 29 AD. We must bear in mind that the statement “for one week” does not imply the END of that “confirmation” process, but does indicate a certain sense of culmination or completeness of all its aspects or goals.
The ensuing events, we believe, were illustrative of that culmination, and the terminal acts which would place the current offer of Salvation on its present footing, never to be advanced again until comes the Christ of the Second Advent, and the establishment of His kingdom.
Being a child of the Law of Moses, Peter at first recoils that the angel of his vision urges him to “rise Peter, kill and eat” of the unclean and clean animals. But in further revelation, Peter is brought to realize that the vision is a new development in the establishment of the Gospel proclamation directly to the Gentiles.
Cornelius’ messenger arrives and requests of Peter that he accompany him to Caesarea (about 40 km north of Joppa) in order to confirm The Covenant to Cornelius, who is primed and ready to receive it directly from Peter. Peter travels northward straightaway.
While Peter is discussing the possibility with Cornelius, the Holy Spirit is manifested in Cornelius and all his household by their speaking in foreign languages, proving to Peter and those with him that “the Gentiles had also received the word of God,” as we learn from Acts 11: 1.
One can imagine the inherent rejection of this principle by the elders of the Ecclesia at Jerusalem when Peter returns to inform them of this important incident. But after much debate, the elders at Jerusalem are constrained to admit that “God hath also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life” (Acts 11: 18).
The stark reality of the continuation of Christ’s ministry after His resurrection and ascension is confirmed in the words of the last two verses of Mark, who reords that, “So then, after the Lord had spoken unto them, He was received up into heaven, and sat upon the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.”
This overt involvement of the Master personally, through the operation of the Holy Spirit, is clearly seen in the episode of Peter and Cornelius, and that the centurion and his entire household were given the gifts of the Spirit prior to their being baptized into Christ as absolute proof of the new direction which had been determined by the Almighty – His intention to speak directly to the Gentiles His words of Salvation and Redemption.
The ‘mystery’ was now fully revealed. It would not progress from this now final form until about 2,000 years into the future, when comes the Consolation of Israel – the arrival back in the earth of the LORD from heaven, and His accession to the throne of David in Jerusalem.
The Conclusion of the Matter
We behold in this explanation of the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, a perfectly-outlined forecast of events as they should develop in future time – a time of great turmoil for the Believers following the unexpected “cutting off” of Messiah and the blessed events which followed that grave time – His resurrection, His brief sojourn among them and then His ascension into the heavens from the Mount of Olives, followed by His continuing ministry among them by means of His Holy Spirit.
This understanding completely and scripturally obliterates the false construction that the “churches” and their minions have almost universally placed upon the prophecy – all the “facts” of which are geared to promote their pernicious doctrine of a personal Antichrist and their supposed but fictional “seven year tribulation” of that period.
It also illustrates quite clearly that when He returns to the earth, the REAL Christ shall enact perfectly almost every aspect of their erroneous expectations of their darling of the end-time – “The Antichrist!” By their deliberate and wilful corruption of the truth of God’s word shall they be deceived terminally – but mostly by their wholesale acceptance of its corruption by the early Roman Church whose doctrines have pervaded almost every century since His first appearance.
What is the origin of this deception?
It stems from the new knowledge of God’s word which was gained by the movers and shakers of the Enlightenment, beginning essentially with the nailing of his 95 Theses to the door of Wittemberg Cathedral in Worms, Germany, by Martin Luther in 1517 – the action to which is generally attributed the spiritual revolution that is known as the Renaissance.
Because of Luther’s exposes of the Roman System, and the scholarship of translators such as Myles Coverdale, John Wycliffe, John Hus, Thomas Linacre, Johann Gutenberg, John Colet, and Erasmus, the Bible came into the comprehension of scholars who resisted to the death the corrupt doctrines and practices of the Roman Church.
The papacy became so alarmed by this disturbing development that it allowed the formation of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) by Francisco Ribera and Ignatius Loyola. The Jesuits’ main mission was to combat the teachings of these Renovators and preserve the doctrines of the Church. The selling of indulgencies helped their cause; the Inquisition absolutely improved the retention of “church members” for the Catholic Church. Ribera, principally, wrote a book in which he sought to “take the heat” off the Church’s nomination of the pope being “Antichrist,” as the Renovators had proven. Ribera’s conclusion was that the prophecies contained in The Revelation were ALL to be fulfilled in the FUTURE (called Futurism), and that they had nothing to do with the Church.
The Revelation, according to Ribera, indicated that Antichrist should arise as a single man who would stand up in the end time and make peace for a regathered Israel in their land; and, misinterpreting the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, promised that Antichrist would make a seven year covenant with Israel during that seventieth week of seven years – now transferred to the end time – and would rebuild their Temple, and assure peace and safety for Israel for a time.
But at the mid-point of the “seven year tribulation” “the Antichrist” would betray the Jews, install a statue of himself in the Temple, and insist that the Jews worship him and it. The Jews would refuse. After that troublous time, Jesus would return to the earth and save His people from “the Antichrist.”
The appeal of this entirely false interpretation gained such currency that nearly the entirety of the clergy swallowed it – especially after it was re-presented by another Catholic priest named LaCunza under the guise of having been written by a converted Jew.
These hirelings of Christendom are doomed to the deception which they have swallowed completely by their own lack of faithful scholarship in the Word – they shall have been fatally deceived into believing the returned LORD Jesus Christ to be in actuality, “The Antichrist.”
The consequence of this conviction is their rabid resistance to His sovereignty, and rejection of His decrees for that time.
It is an ironic payback for their willing corruption of God’s holy word. But we sincerely hope that many of those folk will quickly recognize the genuine nature and identity of the returned Christ’s work and innate power, and accept Him as the Real Savior, and turn their hearts to the LORD when He offers them His salvation.
<HEL MD/USA, 9O, edited 6P>
Commentary by Harold E. Lafferty
From The New York Times, May 16, 2016:
The “Palestinian Authority” has opened its splendid new Palestine Museum of Art, History and Culture, in Birzeit, near Ramalla, in the “West Bank.” But its most intriguing feature is: it contains no exhibits whatever!
A commentator in Jerusalem quipped that the museum in a sense is comparable to the shortest books ever written, such as Light Jewish Cuisine, and Tips on Courting Israel, by Barack Obama.
The museum cost $24 million, and it is scheduled to celebrate its opening today (which was May 16th). The building is modern and beautiful, it has an outdoor amphitheater, its garden is terraced – but it has no exhibits.
It is as vacuous as the Palestinian Cause itself, in our opinion.
Its emptiness is not surprising to students of History 101, all of whom know that the history of Palestinian Arabs goes back only a few decades. The Times article pointed out that that name originated in 1964, the date of the Palestinian National Charter, authored by founders of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
It fails to state that, prior to that date, every “Palestinian” of later years disdained the term “Palestinian,” insisting that they were “Arabs,” and that ONLY JEWS of the Mandatory Period were known as “Palestinians.”
The museum staff had planned an inaugural exhibit entitled “Never Part,” which would have showcased the lives of “Palestinian refugees.” But crucially, before opening, the museum’s board ousted the head of the museum staff, so it lacked a planner/executioner.
But the Palestinian Authority is plowing ahead with the opening anyway, even after a museum spokesperson acknowledged that "There will not be any artwork exhibited in the museum at all."
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, now 81 and in the 12th year of his four year term as president, was present, so the opening was considered as a “big deal” by the PA.
As to “Palestinian refugees,” Article 6 of the Palestinian Charter states that “Palestinians are those Arab citizens who were living normally in Palestine up to 1947, whether they remained or were expelled.” The Times pointed out the inconvenient truth that … “This (statement) indicates
that those who left on their own – the bulk of today's Palestinian "refugees" – are actually not Palestinians, according to their own charter.”
The museum’s chairman, Omar al-Qattan, explained that the Palestinians are so in need of “positive energy,” that even opening an empty building would be helpful, and symbolically, was critical. He admitted that the next opening – with exhibits in place – will be the more exciting one.
The museum contains 3,500 square meters of space for exhibits; its charter states that it will focus on the "history and culture of Palestine from 1750 to the present day," (although that date was not significant to the Holy Land in any way).
Any good reportage would advance the basic question as to why Palestinian culture is so lacking. Ignoring the simple fact that PA history is basically a thin phantom,
The Times rather opted to blame Israel, with the words, that the Palestinians of Judea and Samaria “have for years struggled to build political and civic institutions while resisting Israel’s occupation of the territory."
The Times also stated that since 1993, the signing of the Oslo Peace Accords with Israel, Palestinian cultural and social initiatives have often failed to gain traction and find consistent leadership.” That truth is evident judging by the evidence that no successor has come forth to succeed Mahmoud Abbas in elections for “president” of the PA. Nobody wants the job, because it could surely end with their assassination. But these timid ones are soooo short-sighted; they should look more closely at the open opportunity for beaucoup monies in their own coffers as president. Abbas is reputed to be worth millions of dollars today just from his presidency for 12 years.
We read in John 1: 1, "In the beginning was the word". The term "word is translated from the Greek term “logos”The Apostle John is saying, "In The Beginning was the truth", "the word of God" "logos tou theos"; "the gospel of Jesus Christ". (Luke 8: 4-11, Romans 1: 16). In Luke's version of the parable of the sower, Luke 8: 11 refers to the "seed that is sown, as "the word of God", an English phrase transliterated from the Greek. In Rom. 9:9 we encounter the phrase "word of promise" from the Greek phrase (logos epangelias).
In Acts 7: 22 we read in Stephen’s last account where "Moses was mighty in deed and word". In Acts 20:7, Paul is said to have continued his speech or (logos)..." until midnight. Since Jesus had sent his apostles through the world to preach the gospel (Mark 16: 15-16), logos in the passage speaks of the "preaching of the gospel of Christ".
We must keep in mind that the term ”logos” is translated "word" 208 times in the New Testament. It always refers to something that was said or written, referring to the Old Testament that God had spoken to his prophets, who then wrote that “logos” they’ had received from God. Twelve of the occurrences of Logos occur in the book of Revelation referring to something that was yet future from the time of John's writing. It spoke of the word or truth of that which comes from God either in spoken word or in writing. Logos is translated "speech" 8 times; and is translated "saying" 50 times. It is never translated "Jesus" or "Christ" even one time.
"THE WORD WAS WITH GOD" -That is, God's Logos or truth was always with Him,
or in His mind for He has taught it to every generation of believers for six thousand years now. Also, God's promises, His plan and purpose, were always in His mind and "with Him. Again, in Romans 9:9 we see the Greek phrase “word of promise”. This passage refers to the promise by God to Abram in Gen. 15: 12-17 that his seed or descendants would be in a strange land for 400 years. That passage with Acts 7: 6-17 shows how this Logos or "word of promise” was with God for those 400 years, for "when the time of the promise drew nigh", God fulfilled that promise. So when God speaks his Logos or word, it stays with Him until the time to fulfill the "Logos of promise".
Therefore, it is an established fact that of God's doctrines, His prophecies and His promises all remain "with Him" to the day of their fulfillment.
"The word of promise was God". The apostate world of religion understands that statement to mean that Jesus was God. That is not even close to what the passage says or means. Many times, the statement that something "is" or "was" , speaks of "representation" . For instance:
1 Cor. 10: 4 speaks of the rock that WAS Jesus. Here Paul writes of a rock in the Sinai out of which water to drink was brought forth. The truth is that the rock was a type or a representation of Christ. Christ was not a lifeless rock that had been situated at that spot for years, even for centuries in the wilderness of Sinai.
Also, on the night before Jesus was crucified, he instituted the first memorial service for his disciples to keep until his return. He first took the loaf (bread) and said "This IS my body". It is important to keep in mind that Christ's body had not yet been crucified. Therefore, Jesus meant that "the loaf represented his body" that would soon be crucified. He then took the cup and speaking of the "fruit of the vine", said of what was in the cup, "This IS my blood". Literal blood was not in that cup, and the blood of Jesus was still flowing through his body.
Therefore, the contents of the cup represented his blood, Today, we still put the fruit of the vine in the cup and say, this IS "the blood of Jesus". Yet, even small children in our midst know that literal blood is not drank by those partaking of the memorial service. What we drink is a representation of the blood of Jesus. Therefore, the phrase "was God" simply states that the word or truth that had been from the beginning was representative of God, his plan and purpose that has continued from the beginning.
The Apostle John was simply telling his readers that everything they had witnessed in the last three and a half years, was not something that unexpectedly happened. Therefore, it was all laid out at the time of the Garden of Eden in the “the word of promise and prophecy). All that had happened was fully expected by the servants of God, for it was all foretold in the logos or word of God in "the beginning". As stated above, it is informative when we are told in the parable of the sower (Luke 8: 11) that the seed that was sown was "the word" or logos of God, that had been from the beginning, and was all written in the Old Testament which was the only Bible in existence at that time, and for two hundred more years.
ALL THINGS WERE MADE BY HIM
(JOHN 1: 3)
Nearly every version of the New Testament goes astray in this verse. The Emphatic Diaglott presents the truth regarding this verse. The Logos does not speak of a person, but speaks only of things that were either said or written. Instead of the pronoun "him" that is used by so many in the translation of the Greek”autou”, the Diaglott renders the word by the English "it", and that is the proper translation because the passage is not referring to a person, but to the principle of speaking or writing.
It should also be noted that Jesus, speaking of himself, says,
"I can of mine own self, do nothing, I hear; I judge; and my judgment in just, because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father who sent me."
How senseless is the very idea that Jesus is the maker of all things, when he himself testifies that he could do nothing of himself. It is also true that Jesus himself declared in John 14: 10:
"Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself; but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works".
Also, in Acts 2: 22, the Apostle Peter stood up and said to that vast number of assembled Jews:
"Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know."
It is Bible truth that every single miraculous thing that Jesus is said to have done during his earthly mission, was done by God through Jesus. Notice the word "by" in both John 1: 3 and Acts 2: 22. That English word "by" is translated from the Greek term “dia”. The Greek term "dia" is translated by the English term "through" 87 times. "Dia" is Strong's number 1223 as dealt with on page 22 of the Greek Dictionary in the back. Strong's defines the term "dia" as: "denoting the channel of an act". Therefore, in such instances, God is the doer of the act, while Jesus is the channel through which God performs the acts.
It must also be remembered that God himself often declared the he himself is the creator of all things and everything that is therein. Notice:
Isaiah 45: 24 - "Thus saith the Lord (Yahveh), thy redeemer, and he who formed thee from the womb: I am the Lord who maketh all things ; who stretcheth forth
the heavens by alone; who spreadeth abroad the earth by myself".
Isaiah 45: 18 - "For thus saith the Lord (Yahveh) who created the heavens, God himself who formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it
not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited. I am the Lord (Yahveh) and there is none else."
It is written that Jesus came in his Father's name (John 5: 43), that is, his Fathers purpose, but not called by the name of the Father. Jesus was not even the redeemer alone and by himself. God declared in Isaiah 45: 24 that He was Israel's redeemer as He had said in Chapter 43:11, "beside me there is no savior". Again in Isaiah 45: 21, Yahveh declared, "There is no God else beside me, a just God and a savior; there is none else beside me".
A reasonable question then is, how is it that when Jesus was born, an angel said to the shepherds, "in the city of David, a saviour is born..."? Also, "...grace, mercy and peace, from God, the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, our savior."
There are a number of other passages of scripture referring to Jesus as our savior. It is a Bible truth that often Yahveh works through other individuals, and God declares Himself to be in such individuals , carrying out His purpose through them.
We see that same circumstance with the angel sent before Israel at the time of the Exodus. God told Moses in Exodus 23: 20-21 that he should beware and not provoke that angel because "my name is in him". In other words, Moses is told to consider the angel to be God Himself. From the time of the Exodus that angel was even called Yahveh; and Yahveh Elohim (the Lord God). We are also told that the Lord (Yahveh) saved Israel that day (Exodus 14: 30). Yet, we are informed in Isaiah 63: 9 that "the angel of his presence saved"them." We can be certain that God, through all those 1400 years of Israel's history, never left his throne in heaven. He did all that work with Israel through the "Angel of his presence". We read in Exodus 24: 9-10 that more than 70 Israelites went up on Mt. Sinai with Moses, and that "They saw the God of Israel". Yet, we are told in John 1: 18 that "no man has seen God at any time. The truth is, those Israelites saw the angel of God's presence." Since God was in that angel, to see the angel was to see God who was a representation of God.
We also read in 2 Corinthians 5: 19, "To wit, God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself...". Jesus also stated in John 14: 9 that "to see him was to see the Father." surely no one believes that the father was born of a woman, and lived among men for 331/2 years, and died upon the cross. No, it was the Father's Son involved in all that.
Since God was in the angel, God was doing His work through the angel. In such cases, a person saw God when he saw the individuals in whom God was present. For 1400 years that angel remained with Israel doing God's work with them, even being called God because God was "in him". Neither the angel nor Jesus ever did anything of themselves, but God carried out the work, being present in each of them.
THE RESTITUTION OF ALL THINGS SPOKEN BY THE PROPHETS
(ACTS 3: 21)
This is another area that is closely associated with the matter of the Logos in the beginning. This matter of restitution began in Eden the same as did the matter of the Logos. As soon as Adam sinned, he lost all that God had planned for him to receive in the event of obedience to the law under which God had placed him. The passage does not say that "all things" shall be restored. It says "the restitution of all things which God spoke by the mouth of all his holy prophets" Only those things the prophets foretold will be restored as the logos or Word of God predicts.
At the beginning of the logos of God, we see the first human pair being addressed by the angels of God. The man and his wife were tested for their worthiness to receive the blessings of God. Eternal life would been the reward if they had obeyed, as the tree of life in the garden attests. However, they were warned that they would die if they dis- obeyed. This brings up the question of, "what is death"? A comparison of Genesis 2:7 with Psalms 146: 3-4 reveals that death is the exact reversal of creation for in life,
God breathed into
his nostils the breath of life and man became a living soul. In death,
The apostate world of religion has turned completely away from that truth, and as was foretold, turned to believing fables. Practically the whole world of religion now describes death as leaving this lowly body, and ascending to heaven to live with God and His angels. If Adam and Eve had been told that if they disobeyed God, that they would leave this earth and go to the presence of God in heaven , to abide there with Him forever, it is no wonder they ate of the tree of which they were warned not to eat, for just about anyone would have done so. Surely ascending to heaven and abiding with God is a better choice than working daily in the garden of Eden.
According to the world wide religious theory, death is a wonderful blessing. However, God's "logos" assures us that death is man's greatest enemy, the last enemy due to be destroyed I Corinthians 15: 25-26). The logos also declares that those who die as "sons of Adam" have no more portion forever in anything that is done under the sun (Ecclesiastes 9: 3-6) However, God's logos also teaches us that the Jesus' work of redemption makes it possible for anyone to become Sons of God (John 1: 12), who may live on the earth throughout eternity in the very nature of God (Psalms 37: 29; Matthew 5: 5; 2 Peter 1: 4).
Regarding the matter of eternal blessings for faithful servants of God, the fact of death speaks of the fact that a man must live again. The Patriarch Job asks a pertinent question regarding that subject when he asks in Job 14: 14, "If a man die, shall he live again"?
Job answers his own question as the verse continues, "All the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come." Verse 15, "Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee; thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands."
It is a principle of the logos (the word of God) from the beginning, that those who enter in a covenant with God are promised a resurrection from the dead that they might live again. The word "resurrection' does not occur even once in the Old Testament, but the principle of rising from the dead for the servants of God is bountiful in that logos or word of God. For instance:
God's plan of salvation is vivid in Job 14th Chapter. In this Chapter, the four Hebrew words that are translated "man" are found. Those terms are; 1. Adam; 2. Ish, 3. Geber, and 4. Enosh. As those terms are applied to man, we see men as they are related to God,, and even as most are not related to God, as well as the consequences of their relationship or lack thereof.
In Job 14: 1- the first half of verse 10 we see an Adamic man, mortal, deathful, unclean from whom God has turned away (Verse 6) . The term "man" is from the Hebrew "Adam" in verse. 1 That man dies and wastes away and "continues not. In the last half of verse 10 the Hebrew word for man is "geber" referring to a man that is "raised up" and has a covenant relationsip with God, occupying a higher position in God's sight.
Even the man to whom the term "geber" applies is like the Adamic man in the state of death , lifeless and unconscious ( Ecclesiastes 9: 5, 10). In Job 14: 12 the condition of the Adamic man "out of Christ" is "Ish" That term relates to a " man in Adam" who shall never again rise from the grave. In the last half of Verse 10, the word speaks of a man termed "a geber". Job himself was a "geber" (Verses 14, 15) . The term geber relates to a man raised up to occupy a higher position in God's sight. The term is applied to David in 2 Samuel 23:1 and says he was a man "raised up on high".This should remind us of those said to have been "quickened" by covenant relationship in (Ephesians 2: 1, 6) who are said to have been raised up to a "heavenly" or higher position in relationship to God. In Job 14: 19 we see a man who has no hope and is referred to by the term "Enosh". It is noteworthy that of the four terms for "man" that appear in this Chaper, only the man referred to as "geber" is related to resurrection and salvation.
THE PROMISES TO ABRAHAM
God had promised to Abaham and his seed the very land that he saw and walked through (Genesis 13: 13-14). In Chapter 15: 7-17, Abraham questions God as to information regarding how and when the possession of that land would occur. In order for Abraham to understand the answer to his questions, "a deep sleep, an horror of great darkness" (signifying death), fell upon Abraham. Abraham knew from this experience that it would be at a time when he would live again that the possession of that land would be a fact. It was testified in a later portion of God's logos (Hebrew 11: 13), that Abraham and others "died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off..., that is, after being raised again from the dead in the resurrection which is an integral part of the Logos or word of God. Also late in the development of the logos, we are told in Galatians 3: 26-29 that the servants of God can all become heirs of the promises to Abraham by baptism into Christ.
THE COVENANT WITH DAVID
In Acts 13: 22 God's logos reveals that David was very special to God's heart. Jesus was literally of David's seed and in (Acts 13, 32-34) we read just how special David was in the plan and purpose of God. In 2 Samuel 7: 8-19 God makes a covenant with David, and says in Verse 12 that the fulfillment of this promise would be after David has slept with his fathers, and of course, after David is raised from the dead, for in Verse 16 God tells David that the events described in this promise would be in David's presence, for He says, "before thee". Many more resurrections are indicated in the Old Testamen to be going to take place , but we shall be content with further reference to Daniel 12: 1-3:
Here God describes the time of the return of Jesus to the earth along with the time of trouble that will accompany his return. God says:
Verse 2- "And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."
Verse 3- " And they that be wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness , as the stars forever."
Imagine shining like the sun, being so bright that all immortals have to shield their glory in order for mortals to look upon them . We surely recall the brightness of Jesus appearing to the Apostle Paul (Acts 9: 1-9), and what it did to Paul's eye sight. Jesus, in Matthew 13: 43 speaks of this glorious truth when he ends his parables by saying:
"Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father..."
Verily, it is true that in the beginning of the logos or "word of God", God had in mind the gospel of a kingdom on the earth even before the sin of Adam. In Genesis 1: 28 as God placed Adam in the garden He said to him,
"Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth above the earth".
And so, it is very evident that the gospel of the kingdom, the subject with both John and Jesus preaching the "gospel of the kingdom" (Matthew 3: 1-2; Matthew 4: 23) the very same subject that was voiced to Adam in the garden of Eden. Therefore, there it is proven beyond doubt that the logos (word of the kingdom began in Eden and continued to the time of Jesus, and continued to the time of all who are still alive, awaiting the fulfillment of the logos of promise and the establishment of God's kingdom on the earth, a kingdom which will last throughout eternity (1 Corinthians 15: 24-28).
THE EARTH ABIDETH FOREVER
In Ecclesiases 1: 4 the word from the beginning has assured that God created the earth to abide forever. Psalms 104: 4 declares that God "laid the foundations of the earth that it should not be removed forever". In Isaiah 45: 18 , God declares that he created the earth to be inhabited, and did not create it in vain. Also, Proverbs 10: 30 assures us that the righteous shall never be removed from the earth. Therefore, there will never be a time when the earth is not in existence, or a time when the righteous are not dwelling on the earth ( Psalms 37: 29). The Messiah himself declared in Matthew 5: 5 that the meek would inherit the earth. If it were true as the apostasy believes and teaches, that heaven is the eternal home of the righteous, why did he who is the embodiment of truth state that the earth shall forever be inherited by the righteous?
It is a violation of the teachings of the logos(word of God) to believe or teach that heaven is to be the eternal home of the righteous, when God has assured us otherwise.
If God's purpose was to further populate heaven, whey was man created on the earth,
and why is it that every promise of God to man concerns the earth and not heaven?
It is unfortunate that the religious world turns to the fable of heaven going because they read where Jesus in John 14: 2, "I go to prepare a place for you". Because of Jesus' statement in this passage, the religious world understands that Jesus ascended to heaven and prepared a place for his disciples to come to him in heaven. Such an error is the result of not having an understanding of the logos of God.
First, it is a fact that in John 7: 33 Jesus says to the Pharisees, ""I go to him that sent me" Verse 34, "Ye shall seek me and shall not find me; and where I am ye cannot come."
Then, Jesus, in conversation with his disciple in John 13: 33 "...yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me; and as I said to the Jews, Where I go , you cannot come..."
Would it not be strange that Jesus would "prepare a place" for his disciples in a place where they could not come? Jesus meant only that the logos of God had long ago foretold that Jesus was to ascend to heaven and sit at the right hand of the Father to act as a priest to make intercession for his servants (Psalms 110: 1-2; Hebrews 7:25). It was necessary that Jesus go to his Father and make intercession for his servants, or no place would be prepared for his servants, for all the promises of God are dependent the intercession of Jesus in order for fulfillment.
The errorist will seek to save his argument by appealing to John 13: 36 where Jesus continues by saying, "Where I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterward". Jesus simply meant that while he was in heaven where the disciples could not come that they could not follow him as they followed him for 31/2 years. Jesus in John 14: 1-3 assures his disciples he would return and receive the unto himself, and that they could then follow him as they followed him before. If he had meant that they could later follow him to heaven, then the message to the Pharisees was the same in John 7: 33 for the message was the same to the Jews and to the disciples. Surely the wicked Pharisees did not follow Jesus to heaven. We must not forget that it is recorded in John 3: 13 that no one other than Jesus has ever gone to heaven, and the “logos” of God assures us that none of the righteous shall ever leave the earth (Proverbs 10: 30; Psalms 115: 16; Psalms 37: 29; Matthews 5: 5)
From all this, we see that even if the first sin had not taken place, the first Adam would have been king over the earth and the earth would have been filled with righteous people free from the curse of death and free from the need for redemption. There would also have been no need for the logos of God to do its work of salvation over the times of the restitution of all things indicated in the logos that has been since the beginning. Many other things could be said regarding the logos of God. However, we look for a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness (2 Peter 3: 13). That perfect world was the very mark toward which the logos of God has moved since the beginning, for, "In the beginning was the word..."
Wayne R. Tanner
Harold E. Lafferty
The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; [The Lord] …
Send Thee help from the sanctuary (qodesh), and strengthen thee out of Zion;
Sanctuary: Strong's H6944 qodesh (ko’-desh) - "a sacred place or thing, rarely abstract. Sanctity, consecrated thing; dedicated thing; hallowed thing; holiness, holy, most holy, holy day, holy portion, holy thing, saint, SANCTUARY."
The psalmist notes “the day of trouble,” but does not define that day. Essentially, it is every day that a person is alive, for the exigencies of personal health and safety are always in question.
The only conclusion, or end, that one can make to this “day of trouble” is his or her acceptance of the Way of Life as presented by the Master and His apostles and disciples.
That deliverance comes directly from the qodesh – the sanctuary – of salvation, which are the gracious words of salvation which have proceeded from His mind and heart.
One’s knowledgeable acceptance of that Way brings a release from the “day of trouble” in a certain sense.
No claim is made that “trouble” shall cease for anyone on the day of his acceptance; but the result of any such challenges are, by such acceptance, radically blunted and deflected as affecting one’s eternal destiny.
If faithfully followed, one’s new Path assures an end which is guaranteed by Him to be utterly without any “trouble” of any kind.
The ultimate Sanctuary is that place above the mercy seat where Shekinah dwelt as light unapproachable – a light whose substance literally illuminated the face of Moses and resided there and had to be veiled from the view of the children of Israel.
The second phrase of the second verse is [The LORD] strengthen thee out of Zion. It is a location of which much is stated in these end times, which is rather strange … because it is the high mountain of the LORD’s authority in Jerusalem, Israel, a city which is wondered at by many, disputed over by others, and sought after (in the spiritual sense) by every true believer.
Ultimately, literal and residual strength of eternal quality can come ONLY from Zion and her approaching King; and it can come only after He has appeared there and made Himself known to His people.
It marks His return unto them in the deepest spiritual way, and acknowledges their heartfelt acceptance of His Person and identity as Messiah – a clear fulfillment of Jesus’ promise given to them as he stood upon Olivet’s eastern slopes, as he gazed over the City of Light, wept over it, and pronounced upon the Jews of His day, 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
At that time, His physical salvation for His people (safety from their enemies) shall be assured, and His eternal salvation proffered both to them and the peoples of the earth.
Through the Mosaic age, endless and innumerable offerings were made for sins. All these were made effective by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the tree of Golgotha; they were verified and placed into operation by His incredible life of faith and devotion. As such, they were harbingers of His perfect life of service and devotion.
The psalmist now calls upon the Almighty to bring all these sacrifices into His remembrance:
Remember all thy offerings, and accept thy burnt sacrifice; Selah.
Grant thee according to Thine own heart, and fulfill all Thy counsel.
His full counsel was designed from the beginning to have its final consummation in the end time – to be made visibly manifest ONLY at that time – the blessed time when salvation, contained within and offered freely by His Son, was brought palpably into the lives and hearts of His servants, shown to them plainly, and conferred upon them in truth.
We will rejoice in Thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners; the Lord fulfill all thy petitions.
In this yet future time, not only His people Israel, but even more visibly, the redeemed of the LORD will exult in His salvation, now fully operative upon their multitude of holy ones; as such, they shall themselves become banners, or ensigns to the remainder of the world’s peoples. The Hebrew word for “banners” here is, dagal, meaning to raise a flag, or to be conspicuous – words which certainly apply to the newly immortalized Saints Who now go forth into the world bearing the true message of salvation, which heretofore has not been widely heard or accepted by its peoples as in Zechariah 8: 20-23, q.v.
They go forth as highly visible, uniquely qualified, specially appointed emissaries of the LORD of Hosts Who now dwells in Zion, and occupies the restored Throne of David in that city.
These are extremely high-profile representatives, marked by obviously superior qualities in every way, whose authority shall override all local authorities and precinct officials of every sort.
It shall be almost immediately perceived by the peoples of the earth, that their words are true and lawful – and are set forth for general acceptance and obedience by these folk.
These convey the respect and authority of their Master; they give reassurance of His salvation, for they are themselves visible components of it among the mortal nations.
Now know I that the Lord saveth His anointed; He will hear him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.
His right hand – the hand of power and strength and judgment – rules for him universally. Those who hold His name do not do so by the power of the war chariot, or the war horse; they hold it and express it by his Name – that is, by Himself embodied within them.
They go forth to all the world IN that Name, and proclaim that Name to all its residents; they bring multitudes of converts to it through the waters of knowledgeable baptism into His name.
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
Some shall not acquiesce to their proposed way of life, or to their condemnation of war and commotion in enforcing their peaceful agenda upon the people.
Opposers shall fall on the left hand and on the right, universally doomed to failure against the powerful Name of God expressed in their perfect persons – the upright of the LORD. Their failed lives, unless surrendered to Him in love and devotion, and in acquiescence of His mighty Plan and its markedly valuable provisions for all the people, shall be relegated to the lowest worth – accounted as nothing to Him and to the Saints who have appeared among them after the turbulent affairs which attended His Second Comng.
They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.
This entirely new thing in the earth – multitudes of the Redeemed being dispatched to all the nations (heathen) – shall bring to those peoples, widespread repentance, and heartfelt seeking and longing to the general populous, creating a refining process which shall continue and strengthen until the end of the Millennial Reign of Christ.
The faithful and earnest prayer in that day shall be …
Save, Lord: let the king hear us when we call.
Now instilled with the humble realization of the errors of their former ways, and the abysmal ignorance of their former beliefs, the blessed people of that day will, we believe, almost universally praise Him, and with deep emotion and profound thanksgiving, seek His face and advice in every matter.
The words of Zechariah, as referred to above, attest to this truth:
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you. Zechariah 8:23.
Summary of Ynet News Report
Harold E. Lafferty
Alex Fishman, writing in a Ynet news dispatch of mid-2015, described activities in the Sinai that prove beyond any doubt that ISIS (Islamic State) has penetrated and is flourishing in the area, with sober implications as indicated by Obadiah.
On July 2nd, Egyptian authorities displayed about 60 dead bodies of ISIS fighters which had been brought in from recent conflict and laid out in rows at al-Arish – the origin of the Russian airline flight which was later bombed by an Egyptian agent of ISIS, killing all passengers shortly after it left al-Arish, a plush Egyptian resort on the shores of the Red Sea. Mr. Fishman reported that almost all the dead combatants were clad in military uniforms, and that many were wearing bullet-proof vests.
He views this event as a clear warning to Israel.
The message, he says, “is that there is a sizeable armed force operating in Sinai, organized in levels that we’ve seen in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.”
He says, “This is a group of Egyptian Bedouin with a jihadist ideology, and foreigners who, over the past six months, have turned into an established military force.” This fact alone will bring Israeli retribution upon them in due time.
It is general knowledge that the Israel Defense Force has tightened its observations and its intelligence-gathering capabilities deep into the Sinai.
Their well-supported realization is that Hamas has now extended several tunnels under the border between Egypt (which at this place, is the Sinai peninsula) and Gaza; these tunnels now extend beyond the 1.5 kilometer buffer zone which the Egyptians had established.
These new tunnels extend from 2.5 km to 3.0 km under the border. Through these, the forces of Hamas are smuggling huge amounts of rocket propellant from Egypt, as well as tons of building materials, aiding in its preparation to resume its attacks upon the adjacent Israeli population of such cities as Ashkelon and others in southern Israel.
And he says, ISIS is not JUST in Sinai. “One would have to be naïve to believe ISIS did not already cross the border, and that Israeli citizens (of Arab descent – that is, Israeli Arabs) are not influenced by this ideology.”
He concludes: “ISIS is a contagious disease, and it's already here.”
We might add that since that dispatch was published the ”Intifada of the Knives” has begun in Israel – a direct upshot of this pervasive influence of ISIS within Israel.
During the last several months, dozens of Israelis have been killed and/or wounded by seemingly innocent Arab men, women, and even children who have suddenly emerged from apparently peaceful pedestrians on city streets within Israel, and have violently stabbed Israelis – often women and children – many of whom have died.
This is confirmatory evidence of Obadiah’s prophecy in 1:20, that … the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south … and that this particular prophecy includes the vast wastelands of the Sinai Peninsula bordering upon the Negev of Israel today.
After all, have students of Bible prophecy not realized all along that the future Kingdom of Christ stretches from the eastern shore of the Nile River (including a large portion of the City of Cairo!) to the Euphrates River, south to north?
It is a truth that we had not really thought about or considered extensively until just a few years ago. It is apparent that these late developments in the Sinai now confirm this sober realization.
<HEL 2P> ~600 words. An eTPL Circular Letter. March 10, 2016.
Harold E. LaffertySometimes a subject emerges from the pages of scripture which seems to be insignificant and ordinary, or even somewhat dull or drab as to deeper spiritual meaning, but which, with further study, contributes immense importance to our understanding, and sometimes rises to heights of relevance, even as to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy, in unsuspected and even almost alien, highly unlikely ways.
After some initial studies, we cannot help but be struck by the arcane and esoteric nature and character of the sycamore tree of the Middle East – a species of tree somewhat different from the tree of the same name in the West, but closely comparable.
The sycamore tree is briefly but significantly mentioned in God’s word – seeming to be an almost incidental object which pops up in a few widely scattered, invisibly connected references – until we give them deeper consideration.
We have come to realize that such is ever the case with any aspect of God’s word. We are now convinced that every last jot and tittle of it contains profitable and highly useful significance, and should never be ignored by those who appreciate and investigate God’s eternal Plan.
So, just what are we driving at?
One of the sparse records of the sycomore (sycamore) tree is found in the text of Isaiah 9:10, where God’s word states: “The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.” (Authorized Version)
If you do not remember the occasion of the utterance of these words, they were originally spoken by leaders in ancient Israel. They were spoken in response to a rather limited, but significantly worrying, strike by Assyria on the territories of Zebulon and Naphtali – both tribal allotments being in Northern Jordan of today, east of the Jordan River, in the areas today known as Bashan. It essentially was a “warning shot” relating to things to come – namely, the conquest of Ephraim by Assyria.
The initial assault of Assyria was later enlarged to include “Galilee of the Gentiles,” which is the comparable areas west of the Jordan River. Assyria was becoming serious in its intention to conquer and devour the Ten Tribes as evidenced by these preliminary assaults.
These early warnings were pointing to the danger for Israel that lay directly in its path. The warning shots (for such they were) were clearly an attempt by the LORD to gain the attention and the repentance of His people, and reversal of their rebellion against God’s way.
These earlier blows were intended to awaken the errant Tribes, but not to destroy the nation that they had become.
Historically, the northern kingdom of Israel did not repent of its rebellious idolatry, its transgression of God’s commandments, and were soon overrun and deported en masse from their homes by the Assyrians.
The Assyrian “shot across the bow” of the earlier date resulted in the overpowering descent of Assyria upon the Ten Tribes and their conquest.
Soon the southern kingdom of Judah suffered the same fate at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon after the Jews (Yehuda, or Judah), after serial warnings, refused to repent as well.
In light of these eventual circumstances, the bricks and the sycamores become important prophetic symbolsrelating to the disfavor of the LORD upon His people. Their stubborn refusal to hear the lesson wrought upon the nation by their destruction by these first moves of Assyria against them, and their immediate, stubborn avowal of replacing them with stronger materials and plantings, indicated their rebellious mindset toward their God – and their utter failure to heed His will as to their errant ways.
As we shall propose, the significance of similar “bricks” and a lonely sycamore tree reaches far into the future to another culture which was similarly unequivocally stated as founded upon a convicted belief in God and His provision, but which similarly betrayed its original charter.
The Sycamore Tree in ScriptureBefore we investigate these latter, more arcane assertions, we will devote some attention to the instances in which the sycamore tree is mentioned in God’s word.
The first and most memorable occurrence of the sycamore tree is perhaps in most minds, that of the tree which was climbed by Zacchaeus of Jericho – a man of short stature, who wished to rise above the throng which had gathered, to get a good view of Jesus as He passed through the City of Palms on His final journey up to Jerusalem to be sacrificed for the sin of mankind.
The entire account occupies only five verses:
Luke 19:2 – “And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. 3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. 4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. 5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. 6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.”
A publican is a tax collector – a class of citizens who were disdained by the Jews’ rulers; almost without exception, publicans were dishonest and unscrupulous.
The description of Zacchaeus as “rich” is testimony to the profitability of holding the office of publican. Later verses in this account witness to the discontent of the Jewish leaders who found fault with Jesus’ extended association with the hated official.
Here is an artist’s conception of Zacchaeus as he strained to see Jesus:
Notice carefully the sturdy limbs of the sycamore, spreading out broadly to furnish abundant shade to those who would seek shelter from the intense heat of the plain of the Dead Sea, which often reaches 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
On this tree we cannot discern any of its fruits – a subject upon which we must comment at some length.
In our personal experience we can think of no other tree which bears its edible fruits in the peculiar manner of the sycamore.
We may more intelligently explain the means of its produce by referring to the Prophet Amos’ words, where he identifies himself to Amaziah: Amos 7:14 “Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:”
But is this translation, “a gatherer of sycomore fruit,” accurate? A meaningful note in E-Sword’s text of theA.V. adds this information:
“a gatherer: Rather, as bolais is rendered by the LXX and Vulgate, κνιζων, (and)vellicans "a scraping," or a scraper of sycamores; for the fruit does not ripen till it is rubbed with iron combs.
When the sycamore fruit is still green, it must have its skin gently ruptured by some kind of instrument, such as iron combs. Otherwise it will not ripen. The green fruits appear as seen in this photograph.
Each fruit must be excoriated by some sharp instrument (even a fingernail) before it will ripen. As each tree yields up to several tons of fig-like fruits, the job is demanding and of low caliber as a skill-set.Amos was one of the lowliest of Israel’s society, being a shepherd and a scraper of sycamore fruits – both menial occupations with low pay scales.
Notice in this photograph how the fruits look similar to figs. Indeed, they are sometimes called sycamore-figs, but are not as succulent as figs, although much sweeter and more abundant. But since they are freely available throughout the entire country, they are known as the poor man’s fig.
In sectors of the Galilee where swine are grown (as in the Golan) among the Samaritan population, the abundant sycomore fruits are widely fed to pigs.
The trees grow profusely in relatively moist soil in wadis, and valleys near rivers and streams, and prolifically cover the land of Israel.
A reference in the Book of Kings makes reference to the ubiquitous nature of sycomore trees in describing the opulence of Solomon: 1Kings 10:27 - And the king made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones, and cedars made he to be as the sycomore trees that are in the vale, for abundance.
The reference to their fruits being destroyed by “frost” probably really should be translated as “hail.”
When the fruits ripen, and are ready for harvest, they appear like this:
The fruits grow out of the bark as well as on the smaller limbs, as shown by this photo, where the produce may be appreciated as to its abundance:
In the next illustration, the resemblance to the fig tree of the painting of Zacchaeus at Jericho is seen to be remarkably similar: also, please note carefully the structure of the upper root system. This pattern of distribution is even more exaggerated below ground, as we shall later discover in this article.
Smith’s Bible Dictionary adds important information:
“Sycamore – (Heb. shikmah). Although it may be admitted that the sycamine is properly, in (Luke 17:6) the mulberry, and the sycamore (is) the mulberry, or sycamore-fig (Ficus sycomorus), yet the latter is the tree generally referred to in the Old Testament and called by the Septuagint sycamine, as (1 Kings 10:27 ; 1 Chronicles 27:28 ; Psalms 78:47 ; Amos 7:14).
“The Sycamore or fig-mulberry, is in Egypt and Palestine, a tree of great importance and very extensive use. It attains the size of a walnut tree, has wide-spreading branches and affords a delightful shade. On this account it is frequently planted by the waysides. Its leaves are heart-shaped, downy on the underside, and fragrant.
“The Fruit grows directly from the trunk itself on little sprigs, and in clusters like the grape. To make it eatable, each fruit, three or four days before gathering, must, it is said, be punctured with a sharp instrument, or the finger-nail. This was the original employment of the prophet Amos, as he says. (Amos 7:14)
“So great was the value of these trees that David appointed for them in his kingdom a special overseer, as he did for the olives (1 Chronicles 27:28) and it is mentioned as one of the heaviest of Egypt’s calamities that her sycamores were destroyed by hailstones.”
The sycamore tree is therefore realized to have many good benefits: shade, food, employment, animal fodder, and recreation (tree climbing). Its produce is freely available to everyone who is energetic enough to pick it. In addition, the wood is useful in many applications of domestic life. Being a soft wood, it is workable into many articles of interest and use, including furniture.
Now ... back to Zacchaeus. His name means “pure and righteous one.” His aggressive attitude toward getting a good view of Jesus, and then of entertaining Jesus, speaks to the good character which Jesus perceived in him. Anyone who would voluntarily place upon himself the indignity of tree-climbing to get a view of Jesus must have been one who was intensely curious as to Jesus and His mission.
In their later discussion, Jesus advised Zacchaeus as to how to adjust his life to one of righteousness – by not overcharging people as to their taxes, and as to refunding any previous overcharges. We may delightfully anticipate communing with this curious man of small stature in the coming kingdom age!
Having established the existence and the importance of sycomore trees in the Bible, we will now return to the passage in Isaiah noted at the beginning: Isaiah 9:10: “The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.”
The setting for these words is found in verse one, when … Isaiah 9:1 - at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.
The aggression of Assyria had been brought against Israel more gently at first, when certain limited destruction was wrought upon God’s people as a warning of more serious consequences if they did not repent of their sins.
This less-than-final blow is what is described in verse ten.
Some damage was done to Israel as God’s warning – but the first blows of Assyria were rebutted by the Hebrew elders in their wisdom. They stuck out their chests in denial of God’s gentle warning. They vowed that though the bricks had fallen down they would rebuild with hewn stones (stronger material resistance); and though the sycomores had been cut down, they would replace these with a more hardy wood – the cedar, a sturdy conifer.
In simpler terms, Israel did not pay any attention to the rebuke of their LORD, but vowed to rebuild and replant with stronger materials – a move which proved their resistance to His instruction and will for them.
These were marks of pride and arrogance against His guidance, and represented rebellion on their parts.
An Application to Our Day?There is a remarkable parallel to this principle which may have come into a precise application today, having to do with the United States.
Every reader must make up his own mind as to whether the parallel that we intend to expose is either valid or instructive – or indeed prophetical.
But in the end, everyone will be forced to admit the eerie similarity of its modern outworking to its ancient counterpart in the prophecy of Isaiah.
We speak of the principle now known as The Harbinger.
That is the title of a book by Jonathan Cahn, a Messianic rabbi at a synagogue in Wayne, New Jersey.
We are not certain of the date when we first noted this phenomenon, but refer now to World Net Daily’sexclusive report entitled; “Old Testament Prophecy Fulfilled Before Our Eyes?” published December 21, 2011.
The author of the article is Joe Kovacs; his report will surprise and delight you in revealing a phenomenon which is truly remarkable, whether you believe it has any real validity as prophecy re-directed and re-purposed to a modern application or not.
As will be seen, it is a prophecy against Israel of old which may have an application against the U.S. of today in an eerily spectral and parallel way. And the implications may be seen to be as strong against the U.S. as they were against ancient Israel, for in both cases, the harbinger was, and is, being ignored by both.
Allow us to explain briefly. To do so in depth would require more time than either of us (ourselves or you, our reader) has in these last hours of the end-time.
But you may investigate it by purchasing a copy of the rabbi’s book by the same name at nearly any Bible bookstore, or on the Internet sites such as Amazon.com. The book is available both in new and used condition at an inexpensive price in both cases. It makes the full case for the rabbi’s reasoning as we could not hope to do in a short article such as this one.
The weightiest evidence we can give for recommending this book is that it violates NO scriptural principle that we can discern – and that its message is relevant but being ignored today as it was in the sixth century BC.
The parallels are astonishing, whether or not you agree that they are relevant.
The short-form scenario is seen in several parts – sections or chapters. For brevity we will refer to the WNDarticle, and outline these initially, and then perhaps comment upon them in more detail nearer the end of this article.
Mr. Kovacs begins with the question, “What do sycamore and cedar trees have to do with biblical prophecy, the tragic events of 9/11 and the imminent future of the United States? Everything, according to a new book, which says an obscure text from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, is an urgent wake-up call for all Americans in light of what happened on that fateful day in 2001.
The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn, a messianic rabbi from the Jerusalem Center-Beth Israel Congregation in Wayne, N. J., deciphers stunning connections between what some may think is a cryptic biblical prophecy to the news events happening right now, in our current time.
The key verse in question is Isaiah 9:10, which states: “The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycomores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.”
In The Harbinger, Cahn shows uncanny similarities between what’s stated in Isaiah 9:10 to the 21st century events of 9/11 and the years afterward, suggesting America is currently under a time of focused judgment by Almighty God.
Cahn claims the part of the prophecy noting “The bricks are fallen down” refers directly to the crumbling of the World Trade Center in New York City, with the verse connoting … an attitude of defiance, a desire to rebuild with stronger materials instead of acknowledging the hand of God and moving toward national repentance.
The verse mentions sycamore and cedar trees, and it is here that things start to get eerie with the terrorist attack involving planes that smashed into the Twin Towers, leading to their eventual crumbling.
“After the cloud of dust began to clear, police officers, rescue workers and onlookers gazed at the little plot of land at the edge of Ground Zero,” Cahn writes in The Harbinger.
“There in the middle of the ash and debris that covered the ground was a fallen tree. It would soon become a symbol of 9/11 and of Ground Zero. And it was a symbol … but one much more ancient than anyone there could have realized, and one carrying a message no one could have fathomed.”
“The tree at Ground Zero that was struck down on September 11 was a sycamore tree.”
Cahn notes that in Old Testament times, the Assyrians who attacked the ancient Israelites intended to cut down the sycamore trees belonging to God’s people. But the intention was not present with the hijackers of 2001.
“The terrorists had no idea of Isaiah 9:10, no idea of the Harbingers, no idea of the sycamore tree growing at the corner of Ground Zero, and no idea that their attack would cause it to fall or that its fall was connected to an ancient prophecy. They had no idea … but it still happened.”
Not only was a sycamore tree struck on 9/11, but it was replaced in the exact same location by another tree of the type mentioned in the original Hebrew, an “erez” tree, which is the same genus as the cedar.
The roots of a sycamore tree at Ground Zero felled on Sept. 11, 2001, have been preserved as a memorial to the event in New York City. A local messianic rabbi believes it’s a visible fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy about God’s current judgment on America.
“The most natural thing to have done would have been to replace one sycamore with another,” Cahn writes. “But the prophecyrequired that the fallen sycamore be replaced with a tree of an entirely different nature. So the tree that replaced the sycamore of Ground Zero was likewise not a sycamore. According to the prophecy, the sycamore must be replaced by the biblical erez. So it must be replaced by a conifer tree.”
And that’s what took place in 2003, as a conifer tree, the “Tree of Hope” as it was called, was planted in the spot where the sycamore was slammed on 9/11.
“Think about it,” says Cahn. “Who could have put it all together? The tower fell because of the terrorists. It happened to fall exactly as it did in order to strike down that one particular tree. The tree just happened to be a sycamore, which just happened to be growing at the corner of Ground Zero.
“The tree that would replace it just happened to be given as a gift from outsiders who had nothing to do with anything else, but who just happened to feel led to give it. Their gift just happened to be the fulfillment of the biblical Erez Tree, which just happened to be the same tree spoken of in the ancient vow – the tree that must replace the Sycamore.
“They just happened to lower it into the same soil in that the fallen Sycamore had once stood – exactly as in the Hebrew of the ancient vow. And the man who led the ceremony around the tree just happened to bring it all together without knowing that he was bringing anything together. No one knew what they were doing. It wasn’t a matter of intent. It was a manifestation of the Harbingers.”
“The parallels are truly stunning,” says Joseph Farah, founder of WND, who is producing a video documentary about Cahn’s findings. “They are too numerous and too powerful to relate in news story form. In fact, they are overwhelming in their number and their exactitude. I am persuaded God is trying to tell America something and Rabbi Cahn has found the key to unlocking the message.”
As WND previously reported, two major American political figures actually voiced the Isaiah 9:10 prophecy in public in the immediate wake of the 9/11 onslaught.
“In the aftermath of the attack, the nation was stunned,” said Cahn, “Everyone was trying to make sense of what had happened – this unprecedented attack on America. The very next day, September 12, then Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle presented America’s response to the world. And what did he say?”
Daschle said: “America will emerge from this tragedy as we have emerged from all adversity – united and strong. Nothing … nothing can replace the losses of those who have suffered. I know there is only the smallest measure of inspiration that can be taken from this devastation. But there is a passage in the Bible from Isaiah that speaks to all of us at times like this.”
He then went on to read Isaiah 9:10: “Daschle has no idea what he is doing here,” explains Cahn. “He thinks he’s offering comforting words to a grief-stricken people, but he is actually embracing the spiritually defiant and arrogant words of the children of Israel, proclaiming the ancient and ominous vow of the leaders of that nation. He doesn’t realize it, but he is actually inviting more judgment on the nation.”
It might be of some significance that Daschle, one of the most powerful men in the nation when he spoke those words, later fell into disgrace – to the point where he couldn’t even serve in Barack Obama’s Cabinet.
That might have been the end of the story – if no other top leader in the nation uttered those strange and obscure words after 9/11. But that’s not the case.
On the third anniversary of the attack, Sept. 11, 2004, another powerful U.S. senator running for vice president that year and who would famously run for the presidency four years later, gave a speech to the Congressional Black Caucus.
This time, John Edwards’ entire speech was built on a foundation of Isaiah 9:10: “Today, on this day of remembrance and mourning, we have the Lord’s Word to get us through,” he said. He then read Isaiah 9:10. He went on to talk about how America was doing just that – rebuilding with hewn stone and planting cedars:
“Like Daschle, Edwards thinks he’s invoking inspirational and comforting words from the Bible, but he’s actually inviting judgment on America,” says Cahn. “He’s repeating the vow that provoked God to bring calamity on ancient Israel.”
[End of WND article]
From that “teaser” article, readers must get a sense of an higher purpose in these events. The above is only the beginning of the story. It continues for many, many fascinating pages in its probe of this spectral reprise of an earlier prophecy directed at some of God’s ancient peoples for a purpose especially similar to those of today.
The U. S. has been the premier power on earth for decades: it has been the world’s policeman, the world’s counselor, the world’s financier, giving moral compass to all for the taking.
But America’s direction has become radically different in just the past few years.
Uniquely founded by God-fearing men on their interpretation of God’s principles, the nation has long prospered as no other nation ever has; yet everyone sees dark clouds on the horizon – clouds of discomfiture and trouble, of misfortune and ruin has already begun for this once great economy.
The recent lawful allowance of abortion of babies on demand is entirely parallel to the sacrifice of infants to Ba’al and Moloch by the ancient Israelites. It is estimated that more than sixty one million babies have been aborted under Roe v. Wade.
Widespread drug use mimicks the practice of the ancients who had discovered the emotional consequences of taking certain stimulants and depressants, such as various forms of alcohol and of cannabis.
The break-down of social morals today parallels that of yesteryear in societies such as Greece and Rome – and Israel of old time.
Crime in the streets of such cities as Chicago is the worst in recorded U.S. history;
The widespread acceptance (now over 50% approval by the general population) of the immoral behavior of “gays” and lesbians today was summarily rejected not so long ago.
All these bring the people to seek their own pleasure, and to neglect the service of the Creator.
Could there be a parallel in these harbingers to America today?
There certainly could be.
And by going forward in this protocol, the U.S. could fall from its position of strength. In such a case, Israel would be devoid of any future assistance from another nation, because even at the present time, the U.S. is perhaps the only one who might come to her aid.
We cannot venture to put forth any hugely significant, overriding reason for the parallel fulfillment of the Isaiah prophecy except to raise a warning flag to a People who has benefitted the world in many ways but who have lately gone wrong; the exactitude of the events and their entirely corresponding nature is truly astonishing.
If it means nothing, why do we see these exact similarities?
We believe the case is worth considering on a personal level.
There follows a brief outline of the events that followed as presented in Rabbi Cahn’s book – presented for those who may be interested in this nearly unbelievable “coincidence” of events.
1. The Breach: The author argues that the United States just like ancient Israel has breached the covenant it made with God at the time of its foundation. Thus the hedge of God's protection around America was lifted on 9/11 similar to the way the hedge of protection around ancient Israel was lifted.
2. The Terrorist: The author argues that similar to the way that the kingdom of Israel was attacked by Assyrians, the United States was attacked by Al-Qaeda. The Assyrians were a Semitic people, children of the Middle East. So too were the terrorists of 9/11.
3. Fallen Bricks: The most visible signs of the attack on ancient Israel were that of the fallen buildings and the ruin heaps of fallen bricks. In 9/11 the most visible site of the attack was also the fallen bricks of the fallen buildings.
4. The Tower: The harbinger symbolizes the fact that after the Assyrian attack, the kingdom of Israel did not repent from its sins but vowed to rebuild its buildings with its own power. Similarly the author argues that United States also did not repent from its sins after the warning and continued its path, vowing to rebuild on Ground Zero with its own power.
5. Gazit Stone: The Israelites carve out quarried stone from mountain rock and bring it back to the ground of destruction where clay bricks once stood. Three years after 9/11, a 20-ton quarried rock meant to serve as the cornerstone of the new building was brought to Ground Zero. A ceremony took place over the rock, called the "Freedom Stone,"... in which New York Governor George Patakipronounced:
‘Today, we, the heirs of that revolutionary spirit of defiance, lay this cornerstone and unmistakably signal to the world the unwavering strength of this nation, and our resolve to fight for freedom.’ Eventually, the stone was permanently removed from Ground Zero after security concerns prompted some redesigning at the site. It now sits in the yard of a stone manufacturing plant on Long Island.
6. Sycamore: In Isaiah 9:10, the nation of Israel declares that its sycamore trees have been destroyed by the Assyrians during the attack but they would replace them with cedar trees. After the collapse of the buildings during the 9/11 attacks, a shock wave was created that damaged most buildings around the area. Only one building was not harmed which was St. Paul's Chapel, which was protected by a sycamore tree that is believed to have captured the blast. Cahn points out that St. Paul's Chapel was also the place that the government of the United States prayed on the day of the first inauguration of George Washington on April 30, 1789. The sycamore is known today as the 9/11 Sycamore and a memorial was built for it.
7. Erez Tree: In Isaiah 9:10, the nation of Israel vows to replace the damaged sycamores with cedars, which are stronger. Two years after the events of 9/11, on November 29, 2003, an actual tree was planted in the place of the original sycamore in front of St. Paul's Chapel. This tree was a 21-foot spruce tree and was called the Tree of Hope. The tree itself no longer exists, as it died and was dug up and destroyed and not replaced.
8. The Utterance: Or the “the vow” of defiance. For there to be a parallel with ancient Israel with this harbinger, Cahn says a national leader would have to speak the defiant vow to rebuild in the nation's capital, which he argues that U.S. Senator John Edwards did during a 9/11 memorial on September 11, 2004, when he quoted Isaiah 9:10.
9. The Prophecy: Another parallel with ancient Israel, according to Cahn, is that a national leader must utter the Isaiah 9:10 vow as a prophecy, before such events as the replacing of the tree and the bringing of the cornerstone rock to Ground Zero. Cahn says this occurred one day after the events of 9/11, when America issued its official response to the terrorist attacks. Senator Tom Daschle, who was the Senate Majority Leader at the time and in charge of the official response, spoke before the Congress. At the end of his speech he quoted Isaiah 9:10.
Conclusion: This series of events perfectly mimicking those earlier ones in Israel of old, being so eerily parallel, may be an external sign of the doom of the U. S., in the same way they were harbingers of Israel’s downfall at the hand of Assyria. Every reader must make up his own mind whether these may be valid “signs.”
When Israel’s terminal confrontation with her Muslim enemies round about her comes, she is from all accounts entirely alone in her plight. Her final deliverance necessarily comes from on high, for the intimation is that in that day, she can no longer save herself.
Analysis of News Reports, by Harold E. Lafferty
A news post entitled, “ISIS Leader Al-Baghdadi Threatens Israel with new Holocaust as IDF Prepares for Islamic State (IS) Attack from Egypt,” was published on December 29th in The Daily Mail (UK).
The self-proclaimed caliph released a 23 minute audio message on Saturday, December 26th, his first in about seven months. In his diatribe, he threatened Israel, and mocked the enemies of the Islamic State.
In it he said that “ISIS has not forgotten Israel,” and vowed to expand the caliphate to “Palestine” soon. He said, “The Jews thought we forgot Palestine and that they had distracted us from it. Not at all, Jews; we did not forget Palestine for a moment. With the help of Allah, we will not forget it…. The pioneers of the jihadist fighters will surround you on a day that you think is distant and we know is close. We are getting closer every day.” “You will never find comfort in Palestine, Jews. Palestine will not be your land or your home, but it will be a graveyard for you,” he declared.
He also used specifically anti-Semitic language about an imminent, new holocaust. He said that Allah had gathered the Jews in Palestine so that it would be easier for Muslims to kill them: “God (he means Allah) caused the Jews of the world to gather in Palestine, and the war against them has become easy. It is the obligation of every Muslim to carry out jihad. Jews, you will not enjoy (sic) in Palestine. God has gathered you in Palestine so that the Mujahadeen can reach you soon and you will hide by the rock and the tree.” It was a direct reference to words from the Koran (Quran) about the final battle against the Jews.
In the audio message, the ISIS leader harshly criticized Saudi Arabia that recently formed a Muslim coalition to fight against Islamic State in Arab states. “They announced lately a coalition falsely called ‘Islamic,’ and announced its goal is to fight the Caliphate. If it was an Islamic coalition, it would have declared itself free from its Jewish and Crusader lords, and made the killing of the Jews and the liberation of Palestine its goal,” al-Baghdadi said. He called upon Saudi citizens to rise against the monarchy and its “apostate tyrants.”
The leader of the self-proclaimed caliphate also mocked the U S coalition that attempts to defeat ISIS by airstrikes. “Be confident that God will grant victory to those who worship him, and hear the good news that our state is doing well. The more intense the war against it, the purer it becomes and the tougher it gets,” he said.
Al- Baghdadi’s threats against Israel, and the specific language he used to warn an attack on the Jewish state is not far away could be related to what is happening in the Sinai Peninsula at Israel’s southern border with Egypt.
Israeli Middle East expert Ronen Bergman, who has connections within the Israeli intelligence services, published an analysis about Wilayat Sinai this weekend. Wilayat Sinai is the ISIS branch in Egypt; Bergman reported that the organization is growing stronger all the time and now possesses advanced weapons.
“My instincts tell me the downing of the Russian plane [in the Sinai], recently was a terrorist attack. And if it indeed turns out that Ansar Bait el Maqdis (ABAM – meaning “supporters of the holy house”) was behind it, we are talking about an incident with wide strategic significance. It proves that ISIS leader (Abu Bakr) al-Baghdadi has the ability to operate through satellite organizations not only in Iraq, but also in Syria, Lebanon, Africa and now in Sinai. If it’s true, he succeeded in a very short time in terms of preparing and executing an operation, in taking revenge against the Russians for the war they are waging in Syria.
“If that is the case, his ability and his organization’s ability is much higher than we thought.”
In November, 2014, ABAM changed its name to ISIS in the Sinai, while still holding its original identity as “supporters of the holy house,” meaning al-Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
This ideology brings more credence to the notion that the ultimate goal of ISIS and all its branches has as its ultimate goal the conquest of Israel and Jerusalem.
Indeed, its first change of name from Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (meaning Syria) or ISIS, to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, came when al-Baghdadi realized that the original name did not include Israel, but that the Jewish State would be indicated if the name included the word, “Levant,” which comprehends Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Sinai Peninsula – all of which are the land of the sun’s rising (Levant relating to levitation, or lifting up, of the sun), and all of which are in ISIS’ sights.
In addition, ISIS has a small presence in southern Syria near the Golan Heights but it has not yet been active against Israeli targets. If it does launch rockets into Israeli territory or attempts to infiltrate the Golan Heights, says the author, “ISIS knows that the Israeli Air Force will respond with greater force than that used in the surgical strikes carried out by the U. S. and its coalition partners (in Syria). ”
A German journalist named Jurgen Todenhofer spent a short time with ISIS forces in Mosul recently, writing of his experiences in a book when he returned. He says “They think they can defeat U.S. and British ground troops who they say have no experience in urban warfare or terrorist strategies…. But they know that the Israelis are very tough as far as fighting guerillas and terrorists. They told me the Israeli army is the real danger. ‘We can’t defeat them with our current strategy. These people (the Israeli army) can fight a guerilla war.’”
Conclusion: We continue to view with intense interest this evolution of a powerful, wily Islamic force based primarily in the territory of ancient Assyria (Syria and Iraq). And even though the privately expressed view of some members of ISIS is that Israel is a foe beyond their present capability to fight successfully, the wealth of ISIS which is enormous, can soon acquire for them the weapons that they deem necessary to defeat Israel.
We are assured of the survival of Israel, however, and have no fear whatever that ISIS’ expectations might bear fruit.
Again, we view this entire episode as an highly likely fulfillment of the remarkable prophecy of Micah 5, which points to an end time “Assyrian” attack on Israel (only possible since 1948) in great force, and its defeat, hands-down and complete, by One Whom we know to be the LORD Jesus Christ. That can only come about by His return to the earth in the Second Advent.
<HEL 12O> ~1200 words.
A News Report
None other than the next Mossad Chief – Yossi Cohen, one of the “best of the best,”according to Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu – has issued a significant statement of faith in Israel’s God. We relate a verbatim copy of the Walla report here:
Report: New Mossad Chief Says Israel Still Needs God’s Help
by Ilse Posselt
Next Mossad chief Yossi Cohen Monday, 14 December 2015 –
Israel’s legendary intelligence agency, the Mossad, needs no introduction. Since the birth of the modern State of Israel, its reputation for cunning brilliance and fearsome efficiency has demanded a grudging admiration—even from the Jewish state’s most vehement adversaries.
It stands to reason then that only the best of the best be chosen to stand at the helm of Israel’s intelligence service. According to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Yossi Cohen is such a man. On Monday, Netanyahu appointed his former National Security Adviser as the next Mossad chief.
Yet speaking at a synagogue just days after his appointment, the spymaster acknowledged both God’s role in the birth of the Jewish state as well as the ongoing need for divine assistance today, Israel National News reported. Israel, Cohen said, still needs God’s help.
“Without siyata de'shamaya (Aramaic for heavenly aid) the State of Israel would not have been established,” he told worshippers. “That was true then—and today too, we need siyata de'shamaya,” Walla reported him as saying.
Cohen, who grew up in Jerusalem in an Orthodox family, spoke during the morning Shabbat prayer service at the synagogue where he attends prayers regularly. Apart from those who came for the traditional Saturday morning service, the synagogue was also packed with people who wanted to hear the spymaster speak.
According to Israel National News, Mossad’s new chief did not disappoint. Drawing from the weekly Torah reading on Joseph’s position of second-in-command in Egypt, his brothers’ plea for help during a terrible famine and the brothers’ reunion after Joseph revealed himself to his family, Cohen shared some wisdom from his own intelligence experience.
“We can see the importance in the strategy that the brothers took in their descent to Egypt,” he said, using the tale to illustrate the importance of sound intelligence, the correct strategy and a plausible cover story. “The plan of action of the brothers was good, but what they didn’t take into account was the fact that the ruler of Egypt was none other than their brother Joseph, who was the second-in-command to the king of Egypt.”
Cohen concluded his address by quoting the slogan of the Mossad, which is taken from Proverbs 11:14, “Where there is no wise direction, a people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”
Speaking to Israel National News, a community member recounted that “everyone listened intently to his biblical exegesis; he is a very impressive man. All the time he used hints to connect the weekly Torah portion with his position at the Mossad. It was very unique.”
[End of Dispatch] <HEL 12O> ~500 words.
Compiled and Arranged by Harold E. Lafferty
From Numerous Sources and Studies
The overt number
2520 as such appears nowhere, as such, in all scripture. But it appears many
times in other terms – such as “seven times.” In addition, utilizing the
standard human measurements which would come to be utilized in natural sciences
– which the Almighty foreknew as human standards to be developed in future time
– we see remarkable coincidence of these, resulting in the factor of 2520 being
extremely prominent in many measurements of nature; we are referring to such
standards as the human-established degrees, minutes and seconds of the earth’s
circumference (360 degrees), and other measurements such as the statute mile –
all to be considered in this ongoing discussion.
Human Calculation Necessary for Profound Answers
The Seven “Times”
Beginning This Consideration: King Belshazzar
The Past: the 2520 Year Periods