At AllFaith.com I share numerous studies into the world's religions based on my personal quest for Truth. Over the years this research has led me to embrace Judaism. That is now the main focus of the domain.
On my blogs I share many of these studies and invite your questions and comments.
Also see my Xanga Blog.
~ John of AllFaith
Sunday, February 17, 2008
"Labor Pains" of the Kingdom and the Importance of Israel
"The Earth belongs to HaShem and the Fullness Thereof."
Matthew 24:1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. 3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age ["world" in the KJV: "aion" means an age or time period, not world]? 4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you....
Thus does the Master's detailed End Times Prophecy recorded in Matthew 24 begin. This first prediction, the unthinkable destruction of the Holy Jerusalem Temple, was fulfilled about 37 years after it was given, in 70 CE.
Of all those who are and/or who claim to be prophets, the Biblical prophets are the most accurate and detailed of them all. Indeed, while the Bible is important on countless levels, did you know that fully one third of this sixty six book library is prophetic or that nearly seventy five percent of those prophecies deal directly or indirectly with the End of the Gentile Times or Last Days? Its true!
In this study we'll be looking at one of the important prophecies Master Y'shua revealed to Prophet John:
Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. 7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
The woman who gives birth to this child is Israel and her child is the Kingdom that HaShem promised to Abraham and his descendants. The Sun represents the blessings of HaShem, and the twelve stars, the twelve tribes of Israel to whom the coming Kingdom is granted.
As is believed by many Christians and Noahide Nazarenes, the Jewish people are the anointed and chosen of HaShem, God. Through their various experiences the Jewish people, as a group, lost their faith in the God of Israel and, in 70 CE, HaShem allowed the Romans to expel them from their eternal home of Eretz Israel. Paul discusses this in detail as does Prophet Isaiah and other Hebrew prophets. This is also discussed in some detail elsewhere on my website.
The point here is that even as HaShem allowed His people to be driven out of their homeland in 70 CE, He promised one day to restore them to them to the land and to establish a global theocratic kingdom under a righteous Jewish King: the Moshiach or Messiah (this is the primary job of the Messiah). That day began on May 14, 1948 but the return is not yet complete:
Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. 39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
There is an important point here. Israel is not just another human-wrought nation. It is the one nation specifically chosen by God to be His tool for global restoration and blessing. When a group of people, largely secular Jews known as Zionists (those who support a Jewish return to Mount Zion) decided to work for the modern day restoration of Israel they did so, knowingly or not, under Divine influence. For the return of the Chosen Ones to be complete however, the Jewish people must proclaim, "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of HaShem." In other words, only the coming of Moshiach and the Jewish acceptance of him will complete the Jewish return and signal the end of what Master Y'shua called the Times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24). It is of these time that our considered verse in John's Revelation is referencing.
Note that as the woman (the Jews) delivered the child (the Kingdom of God) a great red dragon (the Rex Mundi or Antichrist/Dijal/Little Horn), who is actually the Son of Lucifer (whose tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven -- ie the fallen angels), approaches the woman that was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And what does modern history tell us? The very day Israel declared its independence the Muslim Ummah attacked them enmasse as the world stood idly by and did nothing.
But what happened? HaShem Himself intervened and Israel destroyed it enemies in a series of miraculous victories.
Likewise, as the day draws closer for the Kingdom to be established the Jewish people of Israel will have to flee their homes (as foreseen in Matt. 24). Many of these people will go to Petra where, for the final three and a half years (a thousand two hundred and threescore days) HaShem Himself will protect them as a remnant of His people destined to receive the fulfillment of His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This event, which will occur about three and a half years after the Rex Mundi signs an historic peace treaty between Israel and its enemies, will be the beginning of the final three and a half years of our age, known in John's Book of Prophecy as the Great Tribulation.
During this final three and half years the entire cosmos will be at war. The forces of good will be everywhere opposing the forces of the New World Order and it Rex Mundi. This is the reference in verses 7 and 8. Having lost in Heaven the earth will become a bloodbath as evil seeks to destroy the Jews and all who side with them. This unprecedented global conflagration will be the lead up to the final war, the Battle of Armageddon. Such a global and destructive war has not been fought on this planet in our age. It will be this war that end it.
While from one perspective the woman Israel gave birth in 1948, from another this has yet to happen because Moshiach has not yet come. Israel is still therefore preparing to give birth to the Kingdom of HaShem. As one travailing in birth pangs she is under almost constant pain and pressure yet Israel remains and her enemies continue to seek her destruction just as the prophets foretold.
As a nation of priests Israel represents the people of the earth before HaShem. This is their role, their mission, its what they were Chosen to do. Just as Israel is experiencing these pains, so too are we all.
Birth pangs rise and fall, they come and go, but they become more intense and frequent as the delivery draws closer. Consider some interesting facts:
Among Prophet Y'shua's predictions in Matthew 24 are forecasts of increased earthquakes and other natural disasters. In December 2004 the Indian Ocean tsunami hit several countries and was one of the worst such tsunamis in history. Indeed, the cause of the tsunami was the second strongest earthquake ever recorded. Over 225,000 humans died and untold numbers of animals. Over five million people were left homeless.
In the US 2005 saw the most tropical storms on record. Typically in the US ten storms are considered severe enough each year to name, in 2005 26 were named. In a normal year the US can expect six hurricanes, in 2005 there were 14 and the number of major hurricanes, usually 2 a year, was 7 in 2005.
Then that same year, in October, a major quake struck Northern Pakistan with damage reaching all the way into India. Over 80,000 people died in this one, leaving 2.5 million homeless.
Then came Katrina...
Those of us who believe in the accuracy of the biblical prophets and who believe we are fast approaching the final seven years of this six thousand year age can readily point to countless evils and sorrows in our world. It is all too easy to point to some disaster and proclaim it is the direct result of God's wrath. After 9-11 for instance Jerry Falwell and others said the attacks were God's punishment on the US for homosexuality and infanticide. And I must confess that when those storms hit so devastatingly on Super Tuesday I as others had to wonder... the US appears to be about to elect the most evil (literally) president in our history (Hillary), but in truth, unless and until God sends a prophet to tell us what the various disasters mean its mere guesswork, and potentially dangerous work at that.
No, such disasters, taken individually, mean nothing as far as we know with any certainty. Taken collectively however its a different matter! Such events are clearly the "birth pangs" being experienced prior to the coming of Moshiach and his Kingdom.
And things will get a lot worse before they get better!
Like most people, I love to be positive, to smell the roses and believe things are getting better for my family and the world...
But this would be denial friends.
What we can say is the end of these birth pangs is in sight, that its just a matter of time until this "woman" gives birth to her child, the Moshiach.
THAT is positive.
THAT is Good News.
Once this happens:
Zechariah 8:20 Thus saith HaShem of hosts: It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come peoples, and the inhabitants of many cities; 21 and the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying: Let us go speedily to entreat the favour of HaShem, and to seek HaShem of hosts; I will go also. 22 Yea, many peoples and mighty nations shall come to seek HaShem of hosts in Jerusalem, and to entreat the favour of HaShem. 23 Thus saith HaShem of hosts: In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold, out of all the languages of the nations, shall even take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying: We will go with you, for we have heard that G-d is with you.' (JPS)
And as we prepare for those days let us never forget:
Genesis 12:1 Now HaShem said unto Abram: 'Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee. 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and be thou a blessing. 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that curseth thee will I curse; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.'
Israel and the Jewish people are and have always been a blessing to the earth and they will, once Moshiach comes, usher in a thousand years of global peace followed by... well, that's a topic for another study.
For now, we are still experiencing the birth pangs of the coming Kingdom.
Before that Kingdom is established, before "HaShem's Will is done on earth as it is in Heaven," this earth will experience the most dreadfully devastating seven years in its history bar none. The majority of people will not survive these soon coming times. If you are reading these words and not at death's door now, you will likely behold the fulfillment of these words.
Before that Kingdom is established, the New World Order will successfully establish their Global Union and enthrone their Rex Mundi (World King) known from the prophets as the Antichrist, the Dijal, the Little Horn, the Son of Perdition and by other terms.
Before that Kingdom is established, the Global Union will require everyone to accept the Mark of the Beast, doubtless now a computerized GPS,RFID encoded implant. The Mark may well precede the establishment of the Global Union but will probably require a loyal oath to it principles.
Before that Kingdom is established, HaShem will call forth 144,000 Jewish preachers who will declare the coming of HaShem's Kingdom and the vile nature of the New World Order and all who support it.
Before that Kingdom is established, HaShem will call forth His Two Witnesses. Their work will be seen by all the world and have serious ramifications for everyone still alive.
Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
Then, to save the Jews (the Elect), who will then be sequestered at Petra and in hiding elsewhere, Moshiach will come, but not until hope seems lost and the remaining Jews call upon the God of Israel to save them.
Then will the Kingdom of HaShem be established. Then will the Gentiles go to Jerusalem or seek out the Jewish people knowing that God is with them.
Then will the Jews fully understanding the meaning and nature of their Calling.