May 2011 Yavoh

The spring of 2011 has been quite memorable so far. In fact, I do not recall any other time in my life that there has been so much interest in the “end of the ages” and the “end of the world as you know it.” Even the news media, including print and video, have programs addressing this subject.

What was once reserved for prophetic ministries has become mainstream. If you search for the subject of the “end of the world” using the internet, you will find more information than you ever imagined. This is not to say that Bible prophecy teachers have decided to lay low. On the contrary, a well known Pretribulation Rapture teacher has predicted that the rapture will occur May 21, 2011 at 1:00 pm California time, other Christian ministries are looking to the lunar eclipses of 2014 and 2015 as the significant sign of the end, but the internet is all a-buzz about December 2012.

You have probably heard about the Mayan calendar coming to the end of its cycle on the 21st of December 2012. There is also an ancient Chinese calendar that ends in similar fashion. Then of course, there is the Solar Maximum (solar flares and coronal mass ejections at their highest level) that is to peak in 2012-2013 which could also spell disaster for our Earth.

Then there is the activity in the Muslim world that has even more end of the world activity than the Christian world. In Iran, the Shi’ite Muslims are now announcing the Mahdi (the Muslim messiah) is here talking with Iranian leaders and about to appear to the world. He is supposed to be hiding in the wilderness or a secret place until the time is right. The government of Iran is producing a video program for distribution throughout the Muslim world to prepare all Muslims for his appearance. According to the prediction, the Mahdi will appear right after a war with Israel when Israel is destroyed.

The average person in the world has not failed to notice the devastating earthquakes around the world in the last year, nor have they failed to see the Middle East with its widespread upheaval. These are mixed with dire predictions of economic collapse and fears of rising food and fuel prices. Terrorism used to be the top concern, but other more fearful things have moved up the ladder affecting everyone. Fear has begun to knock at everyone’s door.

In the April issue of YAVOH, entitled The Beginning of Sorrows, I addressed Yeshua’s answer to the disciples when they asked Him what the sign of the end of the ages would be. It reviewed Yeshua’s answer and explained that those events are not the end. Yeshua said they are like birth pangs for the New World to be born. He also said we are not to be frightened by those things.

[Link] For more on current events see the April 2011 article:
  "The Beginning of Sorrows"

But Yeshua also gave us the specific sign of the end, a specific prophecy given by Daniel and later explained by the Apostle Paul. Let’s review that.

Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),... For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. MAT 24:15, 21-22

The prophet Daniel prophesied many things to follow after his days. Many of his prophecies have already been fulfilled (the rise of Alexander and the Greeks, the ancient Roman Empire, the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, and death of the Messiah). But then he spoke of a particular world leader rising from within the people who came and destroyed the temple (the Romans). That leader is to be a part of what is called “the Abomination of Desolation.” He will be given forty-two months to rule, oppress the believers, and be destroyed by the Messiah when He returns. On this point specifically, Yeshua said He would return after the forty-two months (the Great Tribulation).

But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other. MAT 24:29-31

The Abomination of Desolation is really a two-fold event: the shutting down of the altar on the temple mount and the setting up of a statue of the leader. This is what Daniel says and he even gives the number of days that will follow it.

And from the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days. How blessed is he who keeps waiting and attains to the 1,335 days! DAN 12:11-12

Once the sacrifice is stopped and image set up, the great tribulation will last 1,290 days specifically. The days after the tribulation apparently are 45 (the difference between 1290 and 1335). This is when the Son of Man appears in the heavens and gathers the believers (resurrection and rapture). Daniel had said the same thing earlier (describing the Great Tribulation followed by the resurrection).

Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt. Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. DAN 12:1-3

Michael is the archangel who stands guard over Israel. If Michael rises to heaven to battle Satan, then Israel is unprotected for a time – the Great Tribulation. Even though Michael is not there to protect Israel, God promises to rescue His people and gather all of His people, even those who have previously passed away.

The Apostle Paul addressed the matter of the end of the age by echoing the same prophecies of Daniel.

Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, and our gathering together to Him, that you may not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? 2TH 2:1-5

Paul refers to the world leader who is to come as the “man of lawlessness, the son of destruction.” Shutting down the altar to the God of Israel and setting up an image of himself is how he defies God and calls all people to worship him. Paul lays out a clear answer to what is the sign of the end. It is the events of the Abomination of Desolation when many are opposed to God and His altar and joining with the “man of lawlessness.” Paul even relates the events to Michael not being present to guard Israel when he speaks of the restrainer being “taken out of the way.”

And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he may be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. And then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. 2TH 2:6-12

As I write today, there is no altar operating on the temple mount. Clearly, we are nowhere near the sign of the end. Everything we see in the world today is just the “beginning of sorrows” that Yeshua spoke of. Just as Paul warned we should not be troubled by any prediction that the end is about to occur, the Abomination of Desolation is still some time away. Obviously, the altar must be set up first before it can be shut down. Despite the interest of some Jews to establish an altar, the Jews do not possess the temple mount to accomplish it.

So, should we then ignore all of the incredible events happening in the world and the dire predictions that are being sounded by religious and secular sources? Not at all, we should pay close attention to all of it. It is part of the end-time scenario as well.

And for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. 2TH 2:11

All of the world’s predictions, regardless of how wrong they are, are part of the coming judgment. Paul tells us that God would send them a deluding influence so they would believe what is false in order to be judged by God. So what does the world believe in right now? That the world is about to end. In fact they are all looking at some specific dates, such as December 21, 2012.

Guess what is going to happen? December 21, 2012 will come and go and everyone will say it was all nonsense and the world is not going to end. What would happen if the altar did get set up about the same time and we began to warn our friends and family that the sign of the end was about to happen? It would be like the story of the boy who cried “wolf.” Furthermore, the world would consider us as all crazies. In fact, the people of the world would have nothing better to do than to mock the real sign and us for speaking about it.

[Link] For more on the Abomination of Desolation see the December 2008 article:
  "ObamaNation of Desolation"

Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” 2PE 3:3-4

The words of the Apostle Peter seem to say it best.

The sign of the end is clearly given by Yeshua, the prophets, and the apostles. It is the shutting down of the altar and the setting up of an image of the world leader. Before that can happen, other events (preconditions) must be met. Let’s look at both items: the altar and the world leader.

Before the altar can be shut down, the altar has to be set up. Yes, the materials for the altar have been gathered and there are some Jews in Jerusalem who are already set to establish the altar. However, the Jews and Israel do not control the temple mount where the altar must go and it will take a national resolve to set the altar into operation. To get the ground there would have to be a regional war between Israel and the Palestinians with the surrounding enemies of Israel soundly defeated to change the political landscape of the temple mount. There appears to be a war about to occur in the Middle East. Every analyst is saying it will not be a repeat of the past—that a clear winner will emerge. For Israel to be the clear winner of such a war it will take more than tanks and airplanes. The enemies of Israel will have to be defeated in their thinking and beliefs. Right now, Muslims are looking for a great war with Israel where their god defeats the little satan (as they refer to Israel). Israel can only win if the God of Israel shows up for this war and defeats their god. It will take that kind of victory to build the national resolve in Israel itself to worship God with an altar.

This is what the prophets Ezekiel and Joel are referring to in their prophecies before the end of the ages.

And I shall set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them. And the house of Israel will know that I am the Lord their God from that day onward. EZE 39:21-22

The judgment that this prophecy is referring to is described in the previous chapters and verses. It is a war with enemies to the north of Israel invading the mountains of Israel and being defeated by the God of Israel. The prophecy then goes on to explain how everything changes for Israel and their relationship with the whole world.

Therefore thus says the Lord God, “Now I shall restore the fortunes of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I shall be jealous for My holy name. And they shall forget their disgrace and all their treachery which they perpetrated against Me, when they live securely on their own land with no one to make them afraid. When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer. And I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,” declares the Lord God. EZE 39:25-29

Right now, the world, more importantly the enemies of Israel, does not believe there is a God of Israel. They don’t believe the Bible or what the prophets have said will happen before the end and the Day of the Lord. Sadly, many in Israel don’t believe there is a God of Israel either; but the prophecies say that God will be making His presence known leading to the Day of the Lord.

The prophet Joel says some very similar things to what Ezekiel said. He introduces his prophecy by linking it to the end.

Blow a trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm on My holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of the Lord is coming; surely it is near, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness. As the dawn is spread over the mountains, so there is a great and mighty people; there has never been anything like it, nor will there be again after it to the years of many generations. JOEL 2:1-2

Joel proclaims a victory for God involving an army that invades Israel from the north.

But I will remove the northern army far from you, and I will drive it into a parched and desolate land, and its vanguard into the eastern sea, and its rear guard into the western sea. And its stench will arise and its foul smell will come up, for it has done great things. JOEL 2:20

The aftermath of the battle is the most telling. They find out there really is a God of Israel and that He is involved with what happens in the land of Israel and to His people.

Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God and there is no other; and My people will never be put to shame. It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. JOEL 2:27-29

So, let’s say there is a regional war in the Middle East. God shows up and defeats the enemies of Israel. God then pours out His Spirit on Israel and us. An altar is set up.  Now we are ready to see the first part of the Abomination of Desolation.

Let’s look at the “man of lawlessness” who is to come and proclaim himself above God.

First, you have to have a revived Roman empire for him to arise in. The present European Union seems to satisfy this requirement. The prophecy states that the “lawless one” must rise in the midst of ten rulers and receives his power from them. The European Union is still trying to forge their constitution; it has not been ratified yet. What is at stake is how the executive leader of the EU is determined. The European Council of Ministers is composed of leaders from the member states, but there are more than ten of them. They will have to somehow trim this council to only ten rulers before the prophecy can be fulfilled.

With regard to European leaders that could fit the bill, there is one leader who has stood out from the rest this generation. He has previously sought the executive position for the EU as a constitutional monarch, his name equals 666 in English and Hebrew, and a statue of his likeness has been planned proclaiming him as Savior of the World. His name is Prince Charles of Wales. However, most people scoff at the idea that he could fit the remaining prophecies.

So, let’s say that Europe finishes their constitution and trims the Council of Ministers to ten members. Prince Charles pursues the executive position within the EU. It appears that he will have seven of the ten vote for him. A leading religious figure wholeheartedly endorses him (possibly the Pope) and his statue is transported to the holy land. Now we are ready for the second part of the Abomination of Desolation.

[Link] For more on Prince Charles of Wales see the November 2001 article:
  "The Prince Who is to Come"

Today, the first and second elements of the Abomination of Desolation are not beyond the realm of possibility, but they are not in the immediate future or not likely this year; therefore, it is safe to say that the sign of the end is equally possible but not probable right now.

What is probable this year is a proclamation and decree of the nations causing the land of Israel and city of Jerusalem to be divided. Even more so, it is probable that a regional war in the Middle East is going to happen that will change the face of the Middle East. Nations are rising against nations and kingdoms are against kingdoms. Earthquakes and disasters are abundant and will increase further. Many in the world hate God and anyone believing in God. This hatred will increase and bring about much harm to the believers. The end is not yet because the sign of the end is not yet. But the Day of the Lord is near and coming soon.