Sunday, March 21, 2010

Understanding End time Prophecy (How the accepted scenario went off the track) Pt3 of 5

                                                 The punishment Time Line
After Daniel 11:31, after an abomination of desolation is clearly set up, the time appears to pass while some that God is cleansing live through troubles (tribulation). Verse 33 through 35 covers the time from Antiochus 4 to the end, after which, that time is covered again itemizing some of the major events between the king of the North and the king of the South.
The entity called the king of the North (Dan 11:36) will be successful until the time of wrath is complete which from a Judeo-centric perspective of the prophecies means after the fulfillment of the punishment upon Judah often predicted. I have no doubt that this is indicating that the ‘King of the North’ is the primary punishing agent of Judah and the nemesis of Judah until Messiah returns, which means the entity the king represents is active now.

Judah is the tool through which God works out his plan. The beasts have been the means of implementing the punishment predicted to come upon Judah, and through this God fulfills his purpose. Jesus speaks in Matt 24 of the time between the destruction of the temple and his return telling of terrible ‘tribulation’, and Luke 21:21-22 adds the additional information, during this same discussion by Jesus, that: “this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written;” and Judah’s punishment in fulfillment of prophecy is proof that Gods word is true so that the people of the world might believe, (Ezek 36:23 NIV) “I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.

The king of the North, not Rome, is the principle facilitator of the wrath and punishment of Judah, which was already in progress at the time of Antiochus 4. Rome did take temporary control of Israel’s land, and certainly destroyed Jerusalem, but afterwards the pre-Roman entities continued to be a plague to the holy land and the Jewish people, vying for control of the holy land with the king of the South, which being separate at times, was also part of the first three beasts. This punishment mentioned in Luke 21:22 can only be that of Leviticus 26:14-38. The duration of this sentence on Israel is debatable.

Let’s consider the possibility that the statements in Lev26:18-28 “I will punish you seven times over” was inferring a sentence of x years. The word ‘times’ is actually added, all the original text says is “I will punish you seven” (H7651 sheba). This is rather cryptic, so all we can do is look for a possible pattern and test it.

The statement: (Direct Translation) “and if after this you do not listen to me I will add to you discipline of you seven”, is stated four times; indicating an increase in severity and or time in four steps. Here’s a pattern that appears to work. This is an old idea that I had rejected because of its origins with William Miller of Millerite fame, but his start point was the fall of Israel, and its conclusion was around 1844, a date of little significance (Miller also considered the end of this period to be the return of Jesus instead of the more obvious end of Israel’s Diaspora). I tried the idea from a different start point and it took me to a date of significance. If someone brings up a pertinent fact, the fact doesn’t cease to be a fact even if it’s presented with a clutter of bogus notions or the source is a cult where the fact is imbedded in a framework of lies.

Let’s say that each increase, of punishment, is in the sequence: days (ones), to weeks (sevens), to months (thirties), to years (three hundred and sixties). The increase would be: 7 punishment years (P.Y.) times a day (one), then increase to 7 P.Y. times a week (7), then 7 P.Y. times a year (360). Multiplied out the totals would be: 7 punishment years, increased to 49 P.Y., increased to 219 P.Y., increased to a final value of 2,520 punishment years. Note that a Jewish month is always 30 days, and a year is 360 days in a 12 month year, and 390 days in a 13 month year which would occur every seven years (Sabbath year). The only number we can actually test is the final number if the sentences ran concurrently, or were simply replaced by the higher value.

At the time of the giving of the prophecy in Dan 12:11, Babylon had already stopped the temple operations, because of this it seems that nobody has considered using this as a start point from which to affix the time of the pertinent cessation of sacrifices. This is the most logical point to start calculating the duration of Judah’s punishment as well. Remember what I pointed out about Dan 7:17 “four kingdoms that will rise from the earth”, and the fact that Daniel was living in one of those kingdoms that the wording of this prophecy seemed to say was a future event. It gives us permission to go backward in time for our start point. This is where that precedent is useful. Also, since biblical Hebrew does not have verb tenses a verb can be either past or future depending on the context Hebrew verb tenses.   Now we’ll test the


The logical start of the 2520 year punishment would be the first attack by Babylon. The first attack of three (2 Kings 24:1-2, 25:10, 25:1) by Babylon occurred in 605 BC. Between 605 BC and 1948, there is 2,553 years. This number is larger than it should be by 33. When it first occurred to me, in the early 90’s, to test the 2,520 years to see if it would fit between Babylon’s first attack on Judah and the rebirth of Israel in 1948 (when the punishment clearly ended), the 33 year disparity made it look like it wasn’t going to work. That is until the apostle John provided a solution: Now the “light of the world” (John 1:4) came for (according to best estimates) 33 years which can’t be included in punishment time. How can the time when the ‘light of the world’ is in Judah be punishment time .So, subtracting 33 leaves 2,520. This number is right on the money. To restate it: 1948(Israel’s rebirth)+605bc(Israel is attacked)=2,553 total-33(presence of Jesus)= 2520 years which comes from 7x360.

The first attack might be a logical point to start the punishment clock, but not necessarily when the sacrifices were fully stopped, which might explain the 3 year discrepancy when the number from Dan12:11 (1290) is added to 605 BC; that is half of the 2,520 plus 30. Moving forward 1,290 years brings us to 685 AD, and we need to ask the question, what is set up in the holy place that ought not? And there is nothing. That is until three years later in 688 AD when the building of the dome of the rock began; but this is close enough to convince me that it is the abomination that causes desolation. After all, if something is causing trouble for Israel, as the word desolation implies (H8074 shamen: to stun, i.e. devastate or fig. stupefy); if anything sitting on the holy site meets this criteria, it’s the edifice that is used to deny the Jewish people access, which is also the icon of anti Christ as illustrated by all its inscriptions specifically in denial of the Lord Jesus as son of God and messiah.

Now to find some confirmation that this is not just a fluke, add the second half of the 2,520 that is 1,260 years to 688 and the answer is 1948 when Israel is reborn as a nation. The dome of the rock was built in the exact center of the punishment week, not counting the lifetime of Jesus. I should note at this point that the 42 months that the beast is given authority mentioned in Rev 13:5 is also equivalent to 1260 days.

Islamic rule began in Syria in AD 636. Damascus became the capital of the Omayyad Caliphate and ruled from India throughout North Africa, from ocean to ocean for over a hundred years before the capital moved to Bagdad which ruled with only a few brief interruptions until 1516 AD when the Islamic Ottoman Empire (former parts of the Persian Empire) took control. Incidentally, this removed the Jews burden of being locked into being third class citizens, and allowed them to buy and sell, which was not previously possible without their conversion to Islam.

I need to take a moment to examine some issues with Dan 12:11. Most versions of this verse actually don’t make any sense. The NIV version is as follows: “From the time that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is set up, there will be 1,290 days.” Do you see anything wrong with that sentence? The ‘and’ makes two events sound simultaneous. This translation is like saying, “From the time I get up in the morning and go to work is an hour and a half.” It doesn’t make sense. This sentence defines a start point for a time interval with no end point. Now if I say, “From the time I get up in the morning until I go to work is an hour and a half,” this makes sense now that there is a start point and an end point.

The Concordant Literal Version translates Dan 12:11: “From the era when the continuous ritual is taken away, and the setting of the abomination of desolations, is a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” The word translated ‘and’ which seems to connect the two events of Dan12:11 is H5414 ‘nathan’, which usually means ‘to give’, but is used with the greatest latitude of application with a host of translated meanings, one of which is ‘cause’. It’s reasonable to say that the end of the temple rituals, at or near the time of the first attack, cause or lead to the eventual presence of something unholy on the holy site, which implies some passage of time between the two points. Daniel 11’s description of the ‘abomination that desolates’ leaves no possible time gap between the end of sacrifice and the abomination being set up, unlike the description in chapter 12, giving evidence that there is more than one.

The time lapse between the end of sacrifices to some abomination on the holy place, between the temples destruction in 70 AD and 135 AD when Aelia Capitolina was built, is not much more than 65 years (some time after which the temple to Jupiter was built on the temple mount), This is way too short a time period therefore disqualifying the Romans as being the fulfillers of Dan 12:11’s 1,290 day prophecy counted in days.

To restate the reason for the 1,290 days: one possibility for the extra 30 days here is the Sabbath year I mentioned earlier. The Jewish calendar lost roughly 5 days a year, so every seventh year had 13 months. The punishment period appears to be a week (7) of years (360), divided into two halves of 1260 in years. The extra month added to one of the halves would account for the 1290. This makes the time from the beginning of Judah’s punishment until its end, a total of 2,550 instead of 2,520 years, but the life time of Jesus being subtracted from total punishment time, leaves a 3 years deficit difficult to account for.

Another time line, 2,300 evenings and mornings

There’s another timetable overlapping that of Dan 12 in Dan 8, the prophecy of the ram (Medo-Persia), and the he goat (Alexander the Great’s Greece). Daniel 8:9 again speaks of this little horn from Dan 7:8, but this time it’s shown as coming out of one of the four fragments of Alexander’s kingdom, and again this little horn grows massive and (Dan 8:11) sets itself up to be as great as the Prince of the host” (who can only be the Messiah). It took away the daily sacrifice from him, and the place of his sanctuary (Jerusalem) was brought low. v12 “Because of rebellion, the host of the saints (note that Jews are called ‘saints’) and the daily sacrifice was given over to it. In verse 13 the question is asked: “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled –the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, and the surrender of the sanctuary and the host that will be trampled underfoot? V14 He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; and the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.

The word (H6944 qodesh) translated ‘sanctuary’ is just as easily translated ‘holy place’ or as ‘holiness’ period, which is the majority translation. The word translated ‘reconsecrated’ is from the word (H6663 tsadaq) and means ‘to be right’. The translators most likely make their choice based on the context. Here is how the Young’s Literal Version translates v14 “ And he saith unto me, Till evening--morning two thousand and three hundred, then is the holy place declared right.” The point here is that v14 may not be referring to the temple being reconsecrated,” but rather some kind of ‘making right’ of the holy site, or Jerusalem. In other words, this does not necessarily predict the restart of temple activities, or rebuilding of the temple at the end of this period.

There is all kind of speculation about what ‘mornings and evenings’ mean; it’s often said to mean the daily sacrifices. Moses was on the mountain with the Lord 40 days and 40 nights (Ex34:28) meaning 40 twenty four hour days. Since every day has a morning and evening, I’m inclined to try a day as the meaning, and following the pattern of symbolism, and take it as meaning a year period; 2300 mornings and evenings would represent 2,300 years. This is how I’m going to view the meaning of v14 for the following experiment.

To find a start point from which to count from in chapter 8, I’ll start from a point at the end of the domination of Persia (the ram) since the demise of Persia’s dominion is really the start of this story, and since Persia aided the Jews in rebuilding the temple, why would they “bring it low” as V11 indicates? This start point is the transition from the ram to the goat (Greece under Alexander). Greece took control of Jerusalem in 333BC. Coming forward from that point 2300 years takes us to 1967. What happened in 1967? Israel gained control of the entire holy city. This number is right on the money, coincidence? I don’t think so. And might we say that something is made right in the holy place?

The numbers are convincing, the dome of the rock is that abomination; and this time it’s the central figure in a threat to all mankind. The prophesied little horn, in the person of Mohammed and his heirs, came subjugating the Jews; they came creating a counter religion in opposition to that of Jesus Christ making war against his church, and driving them out of its birth place; every place the disciples planted them, fulfilling Rev13:5-7 and Dan8:11 by elevating Mohamed above Jesus (“it set itself up to be as great as the Prince of the hosts”).

On a personal note; after my belief system came unraveled, during that period in the early 90”s, I wasn’t sure that the bible was true at all. I read religious and non religious material searching for what was; then I found that the numbers from the book of Daniel aligned with history and were clearly no coincidence; they couldn’t be anything other than a sign from God, along with the prophecies concerning the Jews and Jerusalem that were predicted so many hundreds and even thousands of years earlier. This was my turning point. The things God said were to come, did come to pass. God had left a sign advertising the truth of his word in his chosen people.

The chosen people did not fail to do what God had chosen them for, and this includes being our witness for today that he exists, his promises are true, and we can be certain that our salvation in Jesus is real and sure. The predisposition to push so many prophecies foreword to the last few years before Jesus returns, denying that so many of them have been fulfilled, neutralizes them as this proof.

Part 4

It is important that you understand; Everything on this blog is based on the current understanding of each author. Never take anyone's word for it, always prove it for yourself, it is your responsibility. You cannot ride someone else's coattail into the Kingdom.

Acts 17:11



xHWA said...

This is quite interesting, Luc.

It sure puts a different light on the subject. Quite frankly, I'm leery of any interpretation that comes from Armstrongism.
According to HWA, Christ was supposed to return in 1936. I pretty sure that's an indicator that he didn't know what he was talking about.

Luc said...

Sorry about all the paragraphs smashed together earlier. They were correct when I went to bed last night. sometime later a gremlin rearranged things.We have problems like this with the Blogger editor,although I thought I avoided the problem by using Live Writer.

xHWA said...

It looks good again from here, Luc. You must have re-posted.

Much easier to read now.

xHWA said...

You deserve to be praised for this series, Luc.

I'm not going to go so far as to say that I completely agree. I'm not saying I disagree, either. I'm withholding judgment until a later date. So please forgive me for that. I've been burned by prophecy before.

But that's why I'm saying you deserve to be praised for this.
You are giving a cogent, well structured, researched alternative to the boiler plate Armstrongist interpretation. I don't need to say "I believe all you have said," in order to say, "what you have said is a good thing."

God bless you for standing out from the crowd and honestly taking a second look. God bless you for doing as the Bereans did. Then you've given that, free of charge, to all of us - asking nothing in return. Well done!

Luc said...

I don't want to say God gave me this, I only say it renewed my belief that the bible was God's words many years ago at a time when I wasn't sure. I guess you get what you need. All I can say is that I asked God for understanding. I will change my views as the evidence clarifies.

I refer you back to the opening statements where I say that it's prudent to be aware of all the possibilities. Believing a prophetic interpretation is not a salvation issue, but it has been foundational for me to establish faith, and faith is a salvation issue.

If God did lead me to these conclusions, then I have done very little in passing it on; however, I'm sharing my personal study on the subject, and at least it can serve as an example for others to conduct their own investigations; and maybe encouragement to not just buy what's being sold because "it must be true because everyone, or my group, says it is." No more 'emperors new clothes' beliefs.

No more following after a man. There is no one standing between any one of us and Jesus.