"WHEN SHALL THESE THINGS BE?"
In II Peter 3:8 it says: "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." Also, in Exodus 20:9-10, it says: "Six days shalt thou labor...But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God." In 1650, using these Scriptures, Archbishop Jacob Ussher of Armagh in Ireland, attempted to calculate when the Creation took place by using chronological information from the Bible and counting backward from the date of the birth of Christ. At that time, it was believed that Christ was born in 4 BC (some calculations have indicated that it may have been as late as 1 BC or as early as 6 BC; however, recent evidence have determined it to be 3 BC, so keep that in mind as you read this section), so Ussher theorized that the Creation took place in 4004 BC, and the passing of four "days" (two thousand years before the law, and two thousand years after the law) took us to Christ's birth in 4 BC, so two more "days" would end the six "days" at 1996. The Sabbath, or the seventh "day", is the Millennium, or the thousand-year reign of Jesus Christ upon the Earth, which is referred to in the 20th chapter of Revelation. An apocryphal book known as the Epistle of Barnabas, which early church leaders such as Origen and Jerome believed had been written by the first recruit of the Apostle Paul, Barnabas said: "And God made in six days the works of His hands; and He finished them on the seventh day, and rested on the seventh day and sanctified it. Consider, my children, what that signifies, He finished them in six days. The meaning of it is this: that in six thousand years the Lord God will bring all things to an end. For with him, one day is a thousand years; as Himself testifieth, saying, behold this day shall be as a thousand years. Therefore children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, shall all things be accomplished. And what is it that He saith, and He rested the seventh day; He meaneth this; that when his Son shall come, and abolish the season of the wicked one, and judge the ungodly; and shall change the sun and the moon, and the stars, then He shall gloriously rest in that seventh day."
Irenaeus, an early church leader, while writing in 150 AD about the book of Genesis in his book Against Heresies said: "This is an account of the things formerly created, as also it is a prophecy of what is to come. For the day of the Lord is as a thousand years; and in six days created things were completed; it is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end at the sixth thousand years." Around 300 AD, in the writings of Christian scholar Lactantius, he says: "Because all the works of God were finished in six days, it is necessary that the world should remain in this state six ages, that is six thousand years. Because having finished the works He rested on the seventh day and blessed it; it is necessary that at the end of the sixth thousandth year all the wickedness should be abolished out of the earth and justice should reign a thousand years." Other writers during the early Christian era also reflected this premise.
Some researchers have sought to adjust the calculations of this theory. The Jewish calendar conformed to the solar year, which contained 360 days, or 12 months of 30 days. In 1583, the Gregorian calendar was adopted, which added an extra 5.25 days to that year. If you add 2,160,000 days(6,000 years X 360 days) to 2,173.50 days(414 years of 5.25 days), you get 2,162,173.50 days, which divided by the Jewish year of 360 days, would make the end of the sixth day, the year 2002. When you deduct from that figure, the seven year period which is commonly referred to as the Tribulation period, that leaves us with the year of 1995 as the culmination of the efforts to establish a New World Order.
There is another theory, which has to do with the amount of time that the Jewish race would be dispersed across the Earth. The Jews were in bondage in Egypt for 430 years, and later for 70 years in Babylon. These dates were foretold. The purpose of the prophecy which is given in Ezekiel 4:1-8 was to show how long the Jews would be scattered as a people. Other Scriptures deal with the extent of the dispersal: Deut. 28:25, Deut. 28:64, Jer. 24:9, and Amos 9:9. Adding the 390 and 40 years, gives you 430 years. Leviticus 26:18 says: "And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins." From 430, subtract the 70 years they were punished in Babylon, and what God was telling Moses, was that the Jewish people would be dispersed for 2,520 years(360 years X 7).
Now here is where it gets a little tricky. Nebuchadnezaar's first return of his Jewish captives was in 536 BC, and the final return was in 516 BC. Again, using the adjustment for the two calendars, and using the earliest date of 536 BC, we get these calculations: 907,200 days(2520 years X 360 days) plus 2,110.50 days(402 years X 5.25 days) is 909,310.50 days divided by 360 days of the Jewish calendar is 2525.86 years, or the year 1990. But then, the latter date of 516 BC, would give us the year 2010.
The Bible also says that the events of the end times will not take place until all of the Jews return to their homeland, and this return is referred to in: Isa. 5:26, Isa. 11:11-12, Isa. 43:5-6, Jer. 16:15, Jer. 30:3, Ez. 34:11-13, Ez. 36:24, and Zech. 10:8. This return of God's chosen people, only refers to pure, full-blooded Jews (Gen. 6:1-4, Ezra 10:2-18, Neh. 13:27, Jude 1:7). In 1800 , Palestine had a population of 150 Jews; 1827- 1,500 Jews; 1850- 8,000; 1910- 41,000; 1914- 100,000; 1930- 170,000; 1935- 300,000; 1939- 450,000; 1948- 650,000; 1953- 1,300,000; 1962- 2,000,000; 1970- 2,500,000. Today there are nearly four million Jews in Israel which have been gathered up from over 102 different nations.
These calculations can be somewhat correlated to the six "day" theory, in that it indicates a time frame for events. Another one of these indicators may be found in Matthew 24:34, which says: "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." Jesus was speaking to his disciples concerning the last days, and had just told them about the parable of the fig tree. Some Bible scholars have interpreted Ezekiel 36:8 to mean that the fig tree represented the nation of Israel. So it is believed that Jesus was referring to the generation that would be alive when Israel became a nation on May 14, 1948. Job 42:16 refers to a generation as being 35 years, while Webster's Dictionary indicates that it is forty years. The figure of 40 years is echoed in Hebrews 3:9-10 which says: "When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation..." Adding 40 years to 1948 would give us the year 1988, which puts us in the general area of the above calculation. But let me add another wrinkle to this theory. Israel is the only nation that is referred to in the masculine gender. According to Jewish custom, a male is labeled under the following age categories: child(1-12), young man(13- 19), warrior(20-29), and mature man(30-50, who is able to officiate in the Temple). The age of 50 is the age of retirement. So if you interpret this as being symbolic and add 50 years to 1948, you get the year 1998, which is more closely aligned with the other calculations.
A gentleman by the name of Joe Marler has proposed a theory based on Daniel 9:25-26 which says: "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and three score and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off..." The Hebrew word for "week" is "shabula" which means "seven", which means that a "week" is actually 7 "weeks" of years, or 49 years, which is known as the Jubilee cycle (Lev. 25:8: "And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years"). The 62 weeks began when the city of Jerusalem, and its Temple, which was destroyed in 586 BC, were rebuilt. Three such decrees were given. The first came during the first year of the reign of Cyrus (King of Persia, 536-527 BC), who ruled for nine years, after which his son Cambyses ( 527-520 BC) took over, and all the work on the Temple was stopped for seven years. The second decree was made by Darius I, in the second year of his 35-year reign(520-485 BC). Construction resumed on the Temple in 520 under Zerubbabel, the Persian governor, and was completed between 516-514 BC. Then Xerxes reigned 21 years(485-464 BC). Artaxerxes ruled 40 years(464-424 BC), and during his seventh year, in 457 BC, he decreed that Jerusalem be restored. Nehemiah, the cupbearer to Artaxerxes, was sent to Jerusalem in 444 BC to complete the work on the walls of the city to fortify it. Thus the period of 62 weeks represents 434 years, which added to 444 BC, indicates the date of 10 BC, which is close to the time of the birth of Christ. Marler's research somehow led him to the period of 440-438 BC, and adding 434 years to 438 BC led to 4 BC, which is closer to the actual date of the birth of Jesus.
Marler believes that the other seven "weeks" or 49 years apply to the second coming of Jesus. Rather than using the date of May 14, 1948, when Israel officially became an independent country, he has used the date of November 29, 1947, when the United Nations voted 33-13 to approve a Jewish homeland. Adding 49 years indicated a date of November 29, 1996, as the end of man's rule on this Earth. By counting back 31/2 years, he theorized that the period known as the Tribulation would begin May 29, 1993. The irony here, is a story that was reported on the news on May 19, 1993. Big Ben, the renowned tower clock famous for its accuracy, which was installed in 1859 at the eastern end of the Houses of Parliament in London, had mysteriously stopped running. Was the most recognized time piece in the world stopped through divine means to signal the beginning of the end?
There are also those researchers who have chosen to totally base all of their calculations on the premise of 360 days indicating a Biblical year. For instance, in Hosea 6:1-2 it says: "Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up. After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight." From the initiation of Christ's ministry, in the fall of 28 AD, and adding two "days"(2 years X 360 days) would give us 720,000 days, which adjusted to our calendar by dividing into that 365.25 results in 1971.25 years, which added to 28.75, takes us to the year 2000.
Another one, has to do with the cleansing of the Temple. In 168 BC, the Syrian King Antiochus IV Epiphanes attacked Israel, and sacrificed a pig to Zeus on the Temple altar, an event that is referred to as the Abomination of Desolation. The period till cleansing, according to Daniel 8:14, was 2,300 days, which some scholars feel refers to 2,300 morning and evening rituals, or 1,150 days(3 years, 2 months and 10 days), which seemingly points to the ritual cleansing performed by Judas Maccabaeus three years later, after the success of the Hasmonean revolt. However, according to the book of the Maccabees, the Temple was cleansed in 1,080 days. To make matters worse, while the King James version states 2,300 days for this period, the Greek Septuagint, which was used during the time of Christ, says 2,400 days. In his book 1754 book, Dissertations on the Prophecies, Bishop Thomas Newton wrote about the existence of a third manuscript of the book of Daniel, which was mentioned in a Commentary of Jerome, the early church leader. This manuscript gives the figure of 2,200 days.
Since this figure can not be applied literally to the events of that time, it is believed that the figure should be considered as years. This assumption is based upon Ezekiel 4:6, which says: "I have appointed thee each day for a year."; and Numbers 14:31, which talks of "each day for a year." If the figure of 2,200 "days" is used, the following calculation is then applied: 2,200 years X 360 days = 792,000 days, which adjusted for our calendar year of 365.25, results in 2,168 years. When this figure is added to 168 BC, it leads us to the year 2000.
Let me throw one more at you, which deals with the Times of the Gentiles. This phrase stems from a statement by Jesus in Luke 21:24: "...and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." This refers to a period which began in 606 BC when the Babylonians conquered Jerusalem. In Daniel 4:23, according to Nebuchadnezzar's vision (who is represented by a tree, as men sometimes were: Psalms 1:3, Psalms 37:35, Ez. 31:3), "seven times" were to pass over him. Revelation 11:2-3("42 months" X 30= 1,260 days), 12:6("a thousand two hundred and threescore days" or 1,260 days), 12:14("a time, and times, and half a time" or 360 + 720 + 180= 1,260 days) indicates that a "time" is 360 days, which means that seven "times" would be 2,520 "days" or years (on top of referring to the seven years God struck him down with a period of insanity to show his power). The calculation would go like this: 2,520 years X 360 days = 907,200 days, which adjusted to our calendar year of 365.25 days, results in 2,483.78 years. When this figure is added to 606 BC, it leads us to the year 1878, which is believed to be the end of "the times of the Gentiles." Now comes an interesting proposal. When Jesus spoke of the way things were in the "days of Noah", when God gave mankind an additional 120 years (Gen. 6:3) to repent, before he sent the flood; this period has been added to the year 1878(of course in the adjusted form of 118.28 of our calendar years), which indicates the year of 1997 as the end of "the times of the Gentiles" and the beginning of the judgment period known as the Tribulation, which when you add this 31/2 years, leads us to the year 2000.
It would take a separate book just to deal with all the theories which seek to use the Bible to calculate when the last days will occur. It is all a matter of interpretation, and numbers can be manipulated in many ways to prove a point. However, though many theories have been proved wrong, and other theories, with varying dates, have been proposed. They all seem to point to the same period of 1978-2000, as the time when events brought on by the establishment of the New World Order will occur.
The bottom line is the statement made by Jesus in Matthew 24:36: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man..." Rather than a specific answer concerning the end, he instead gave a prophetic outline of things that would happen, and replied in 24:33 that "when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near..."
In this chapter, we will look at a couple major prophetic events, and their relationship to the establishment of a one-world government, and the man who will emerge as its leader.
THE INVASION OF ISRAEL
In the near future, the country of Israel is going to take a prominent role in world affairs, so let's take a brief look at their historical development to see why tensions are going to continue to increase in the Middle East.
The northern kingdom of Israel was conquered by the Assyrians around 722 BC, and the threat of captivity and slaughter forced them to flee. Those people became known as the "ten lost tribes." The other two tribes, Benjamin and Judah (where the word "Jew" came from), remained in the south. Through the years, Jerusalem and Palestine became one of the most overrun areas in the world: Babylonian(587 BC-536 BC), Medo-Persian(536 BC-533 BC), Greek(331 BC-301 BC), Egyptian(301 BC~198 BC), Syrian(198 BC-63 BC), and Roman(63 BC-395 AD). Through the years, most of the Jews had fled from the land, and only a small group remained in Jerusalem until 70 AD, when the Romans burned the city. By 135, all of the Jews had been driven out. Still the area continued to be the subject of contention as it was conquered by the Byzantine(396-638), Mohammedan(639-1099), Crusader(1100-1291), Moslem(1292), Egyptian-Mamaluke(1292-1917), and Turks(1917).
In 1895, Theodor Herzl, an Austrian Jew, wrote a book called The Jewish State (Der Judenstadt) that began the movement towards the establishment of an independent Jewish state. In 1897, he arranged the first World Zionist Congress in Basle, Switzerland. Now known as "Zionnsts" (for Mount Zion in Palestine), a fund was started to raise money to buy land, and a blue and white flag was chosen, the colors of the tallith prayer shawl. Herzl traveled around the world, especially in Europe, to lobby for his group. In 1903, a year before he died, England offered the Jews the African country of Uganda, which they rejected, because they knew that Palestine was their country. According to the Bible (Gen. 15:18), Israel's promised land stretches from the Nile River in Egypt to the Euphrates in Syria, and includes the countries of Syria and Lebanon.
In 1904, Dr. Chaim Weizmann (who would become Israel's first President), was made Assistant Professor of Biological Chemistry at the University of Manchester in England. The Polish-born Jew had studied Chemistry in Germany, and taught in Switzerland and England. During World War I, Germany was producing 250,000 shells a day, while England was only producing 2,500, due to a shortage of acetone because of the lack of wood alcohol. Weizmann isolated an organism capable of transforming the starch of cereals, most notably that of maize, and later chestnuts, into acetone butyl alcohol. Because of these advanced experimentations and the contribution of explosives (TNT) to the allied cause, Weizmann was credited with saving the British Army. The only thanks he wanted, was for Palestine to be established as a national homeland for the Jews. On November 2, 1917, the British Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur James Balfour sent this declaration to Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild:
"His Majesty's Government views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home land for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country."
On December 9, 1917, Gen. Edmund Allenby marched into Jerusalem, and when the Turks heard that he was on his way, they interpreted "Allenby" to mean "Allah Nebi" ("Prophet of God"), and took it as a sign that God was against them. They were also worried about the accompanying airplanes (from the 14th Bomber Squadron of the Royal Flying Corp), which they had never seen before. They were thinking about the promise in Isaiah 31:5: "As birds flying, so will the Lord of Hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it." The Turks left the city.
An interesting fact to add to this narrative can be found in Daniel 12:12. Some believe that the 1335 "days" may refer to the actual date that Palestine was delivered from Moslem rule. Since the land in Daniel's day was under Moslem rule, the date given would most likely be in Moslem terms, not Jewish or Gregorian. A coin minted in Turkey showed the Gregorian date of 1917 on one side, and the Moslem date of 1335 on the other side. Is this a fulfillment of prophecy?
After the War, the 1919 Paris Peace Conference at Versailles established the League of Nations, who approved the Balfour Declaration and granted a mandate for Great Britain to govern the Palestine area. Within a couple of years, a Select Committee on Estimates, of the British House of Commons, reported that "large numbers of Jews, almost amounting to a second Exodus, have been migrating from Eastern Europe to the American zones of Germany and Austria with the intention in the majority of cases of finally making their way to Palestine. It is clear that it is a highly organized movement, with ample funds and great influence behind it, but the Subcommittee was unable to obtain any real evidence who are the real instigators." A U.S. Senate War Investigating Committee report said that a "heavy migration of Jews from Eastern Europe into the American Zone of Germany is part of a carefully organized plan financed by special groups in the United States," Even though nobody was to leave the Soviet Union without government permission, many Jews were allowed to leave, so they could return to their homeland.
In 1937, a Royal Commission was established by England which divided the country of Palestine into three sections: Jewish, Arab and English. With the increased tension, the UN Security Council later went soft, and the Truman Administration reversed their earlier support, urging that the partition proposal be suspended, in lieu of a 'trusteeship'. Jewish terrorist groups, such as the Stern gang, and the Irgun Zvai Leumi (led by Menachim Begin), worried that a Jewish State would not materialize, began attacking Arabs. Time magazine reported that they "stormed the village of Deir Yasin and butchered everyone in sight. The corpses of 250 Arabs, mostly women and small children, were tossed into wells." Rather than risking the possibility of further massacres, the Arab settlers fled the country to live in neighboring countries.
On April 29, 1947, the United Nations took on the responsibility of settling the Palestinian situation. On May 14, 1948, the British Union Jack in Jerusalem was lowered, and at 4 p.m., David Ben-Gurion (the first Prime Minister) read the Declaration of Independence over the airwaves in a radio broadcast from the Tel Aviv Museum. At 6:10 p.m. President Truman made an official statement of recognition, making the United States one of the first countries to extend diplomatic recognition to the new independent state of Israel.
In a speech to the UN General Assembly, Andrei A. Gromyko, the Russian Ambassador, announced his support for an independent Jewish State in Palestine, and urged the Arabs to accommodate them. The entire Communist bloc voted to support Israel. They followed their show of support with a strong program which included financial support and military equipment. The Soviet Union was hoping that Israel would become another communist satellite. When it became apparent that Israel would not go communist, Russia discontinued diplomatic relations with them on February 23, 1953, and the Cominform denounced Zionism as an "agency of American imperialism."
Another variation of one of the numerical theories given earlier, purports to indicate the foretelling of the establishment of Israel as an independent Jewish State, and the end of the dispersal of the Jewish people throughout the world. The calculation goes like this: 2,520 biblical years X 360 biblical days= 907,200 days, divided by our calendar year of 365.25 days= 2,483.8 calendar years, which added to the end of the Babylonian captivity in 536 BC, leads us to the year of 1948.
When British troops left the area, they said it would be a matter of weeks before the Arabs would take over the new country. On May 15th, the official date of statehood, when Ben-Gurion was broadcasting Israel's appreciation to the U.S. for their recognition, an explosion sounded, after which he said: "A bomb has just fallen on this city from an enemy aircraft flying overhead." An Arab alliance of Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and Jordan had attacked Israel. Even though the newly formed nation was poorly armed, they survived, and actually increased their territory by 600 miles. The 1949 Armistice gave them 21% more land that they had originally been given by the United Nations.
On July 26, 1956, Gamal Abdel Nassar, President of Egypt, seized control of the Suez Canal, and announced that the profits would go towards building the Aswan Dam. Egypt moved into a close alliance with Russia as billions of dollars worth of military equipment, along with Soviet advisors, poured into the country. On October 29th, Israeli forces overran the Gaza Strip, and had it not been for the UN Resolution that ordered a cease fire, Egypt would have fallen to Israel.
On November 7, 1957, the Jerusalem Post reported that at 6:03 a.m., Moshe Dayan radioed to twenty of his soldiers stationed in the Sinai Desert, that three Egyptian divisions, 18,000 men, were on their way. They men bowed down, and prayed to the "God of their Fathers" to have the strength to die, rather than face being captured. When they got up, they saw the Egyptian strike force engaged in retreat. Behind these lines was a car, which the Israelis captured. Inside the car was one of Nassar's commanding generals, who said that they were retreating because they had been surrounded by an army dressed in white. Israel had no army there. The 18,000 soldiers were never heard from again. A six-week search in Israel, the Sinai Desert, and Egypt failed to turn up any clues, Since it was already established that Israel did not have the resources to capture such a large number of men, what could have happened? National Geographic reported that on November 7, 1957, at 6:33 a.m. there was an earthquake of substantial proportions on the Sinai peninsula, which lead to the speculation that the army could have been swallowed up by the earth. Most certainly this was a sign that the Jews were indeed God's chosen people.
The Soviet Union began sending equipment to Iraq and Syria, while they continued to interfere in the internal affairs of other Arab nations through military coups and political assassinations. Only U.S. and British intervention prevented Communist takeovers in the Middle East, as in July 1958, when the Marines landed in Lebanon; and British forces, supporting King Hussein, landed in Jordan.
On March 16, 1965, Nassar promised the Arabs an all-out offensive effort against Israel, if they would unite under him, as he hoped to become the President of the United States of Africa. He said: "We must arm 5,000,000 men and overwhelm the Israelis by sheer military might."
In 1967, Russia sent exaggerated reports to Egypt and Syria that Israel was preparing for war against Syria. This was a move by Syria to unify the Arab bloc countries. In a book written by Nassar, he revealed that his chief goal was to eliminate Israel as a nation, and to push them into the sea. On May 26th he said: "The Arab people want to fight. We have been waiting for the right time when we will be completely ready." On May 28th he said: "We will not accept any co-existence with Israel." On June 4th he said, concerning Israel: "We are facing you in battle and are burning with desire for it to start to obtain revenge." The source of Nassar's hatred for Israel can be traced back to a statement he made back in December, 1962: "We feel the soil of Palestine is the soil of Egypt, and the whole Arab world. Why do we mobilize? Because we feel that the land of Palestine is part of our land, and we are ready to sacrifice ourselves for it."
Nassar ordered the UN to remove their troops, which they did; and he closed the crucial port of Eliat, on the Gulf of Aquaba, and blockaded the Tiran Straits. The armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon surrounded Israel on all sides. Joining them were Iraq, Algeria, Kuwait, Sudan, and other Arab nations, which represented 25 times more manpower than Israel could field. On the evening of June 4, 1967, Nassar moved his Russian-made tanks and artillery into position. He knew, that with America caught up in the Vietnam War, there would be no help for Israel. As daylight broke on June 5th, Israeli jets flew low from the north and began bombing the Egyptian Air Force. Israeli ships traded fire with Egypt's naval power, and Israeli tanks rolled into the Sinai. As the events unfolded, Russia warned the major countries of the world to back-off, so the world sat back and waited, expecting a swift Arab victory. The victory never came. By the second day, Arab leaders watched their military being ground to bits. After six days, the Arab alliance was in retreat as Israeli soldiers captured the Sinai, the Golan Heights, and reclaimed the city of Jerusalem. Schlomo Goren, Ashkenazic(of Eastern European origin) Chief Rabbi of Israel, carried the Scrolls of the Law, and sounded the ram's horn of repentance. In Hebrew, "shofar" (ram's horn) is the word that "jubilee" is derived from. In Leviticus 25:8-9, a "jubilee" is represented as 49 years. There was a 49 year difference between 1917, when Gen. Allenby entered Jerusalem, and 1967, when the Jews took complete control. Gen. Moshe Dayan said: "We have returned to our holiest of holy places, never to be parted from it again...No power on earth will remove us from this spot again."
Seeing that their plan was failing, Russia called for a ceasefire. In those six short days, the Arabs lost three billion dollars of military equipment, and the Israelis captured $700 million in new Soviet military hardware. Over 15,000 Arab lives were lost, but only 700 Israelis. Israel increased their territory from 8,000 to 34,000 square miles. Moshe Dayan, Israel's Minister of Defense, said afterwards: "Our next war will be with Russia."
In the years that followed, Russia continued to arm Egypt, Syria, and other Arab countries. However, by 1972, Enwar Sadat, the President of Egypt, felt that Russia was trying to control the Middle East, and he ended his country's alliance with them. Egypt and Saudi Arabia joined forces so they wouldn't have to rely on Russia. Syria then became the main recipient of Soviet arms.
In 1973, Egypt's War Minister announced that the headquarters for all Arab fronts would be established in Cairo. On October 6, 1973, which was Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, Egypt, Syria, Jordan and eight other Arab nations attacked Israel. Israel again prevailed, taking even more territory. Again Russia urged the UN to order a ceasefire. Sadat's terms for a ceasefire was for Israel to withdraw from all territory it took during the 1967 war. American and Soviet pressure turned this Israeli victory into a negotiated compromise. The Arabs punished the world for their support of Israel by initiating an oil embargo against all the nations, such us the United States, who were partial to Israel. This move created worldwide economic chaos.
In 1977, Israeli Chief of Staff Mordechai Gur said publicly that Egypt was again preparing for war, basing his assumption on an unprecedented military buildup that was part of a two-year $6 billion arms modernization plan. However, in 1988, President Carter was able to get Israel and Egypt to sign the Camp David Peace Accord. On November 5, 1978, the 21-nation Arab League met in Baghdad and established a $3.5 billion war fund "to continue the armed confrontation with the Jewish State"; and in 1980, a 37-nation Islamic Summit called for a "Holy War" to liberate all Arab land, including Jerusalem, to establish an independent Palestinian state, with an Arab Jerusalem as its capital. The proposal was rejected by Egypt because of their commitment to the Peace Accord.
In June, 1982, while responding to a P.L.O. attack from a terrorist base in southern Lebanon, Israeli Intelligence discovered that Russia had enough arms and foodstuffs in huge caves under the town of Sidon to supply a million-man army, including uniforms, assault rifles, ammunition, shells, missiles, and tanks. They found two huge digging machines that were used to dig the underground fortress. The smaller one of the two can dig a hole 30 feet wide, 24 feet high, and 60 feet deep, in eight hours. They were part of a six-machine shipment to Austria by a U.S. manufacturer. The whereabouts of the other four are not known. The shocking implication of that discovery, was that the shelf life of the K-rations(meal packets) were only six months, which led many to believe the Israel thwarted a Russian invasion of Israel that was planned for the fall of 1982.
Today, the Israeli military force is probably the most respected in the world, despite its small size. They have a fighting spirit that can not be denied. Their military officers are sworn in with a ceremony at the ancient fortress of Masada, where in 70 AD, unable to hold off the Roman attack any longer, 950 men, women, and children committed suicide, rather than be captured. Part of their oath says: "Masada shall never fall again." This commitment has nurtured that incredible fighting spirit, making them the most elite fighting force in the world - literally unbeatable. They are God's chosen people, and because of that, Israel will never fall, but that won't stop someone from trying.
In the Bible, the Book of Ezekiel, chapters 38 and 39, describe an invasion of Israel, and identifies the enemy as Russia. In 1930, the Soviet Union released a 14 kopek postage stamp to commemorate their future invasion of Palestine. According to Ezekiel 38:8, 11, and 14, this invasion will not occur, until Israel has been placed under the protection, of what seems to be, some sort of diplomatic treaty. Israel already has a Peace Accord with Egypt, and now a treaty between Israel and the P.L.O. has been worked out. In October, 1994, a peace accord was signed with Jordan.
This invasion will be World War III, and will include the Arab nations (Esau's descendants) who will go against Israel (Jacob's descendants) for stealing their birthright. In order to decipher the line-up of participants given in the 38th chapter of Ezekiel, we need to analyze it geographically. In the third chapter of Genesis, there is a list of the sons of Japheth, who was a son of Noah: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubul, Meshech, and Tiras, who repopulated the Earth after the Flood.
Magog's descendants settled in the area of Armenia, which is in southern Russia. This race came to be known as the Scythians, and were called 'Magogites' by the Greeks. The Chinese name for the Caucasus mountains running through Russia mean 'Fort of Gog', while the Russians call their peaks, the 'Gogh.' The Arabic term for the Great Wall of China is 'the wall of Al Magog', because it was erected with the intention of keeping out the armies of Magog. Their descendants include the Tarters, Cossacks, Kalmuks, and the Mongols. The Kesses HaSofer, a Jewish Commentary, indicates that the word 'Mongol', which identifies the Siberian-Russian people, comes from the word 'Magog.'
In the Septuagint (Greek) translation of the Bible, it describes 'Gog' as the 'prince of Rosh.' Rosh was the name of a tribe living in the area of the Volga. In some languages, Rosh is the word for the country of Russia. The ancient form of the name Russia, is 'Ros.' The Chinese had called the Scythians 'Rosh.' The King James version translated 'Rosh' to mean 'chief prince', because in Hebrew it means 'head'; but in the Septuagint version, 'Rosh' is used as a proper name, as it should be.
The descendants of Meshech (known to the Assyrians as 'Mushku'), settled in western Russia, where they established a city called Meshech, later known as Mosach, then Moscovi (Muscovy or Moscow), which is the capital of Russia.
Tubal's descendants lived in the area of the Black Sea, then moved north, settling in the eastern part of Russia, establishing the city of Tobolsk. Their descendants include the Iberians, Georgians, Cappadocians, as well as other Asiatic and European peoples.
Gomer's desecendants (known to the Assyrians as 'Gimirrai' or 'Cimmerians') settled in central Asia Minor, north of the Black Sea, in southern Russia, then moved west along the Danube River, to the area now known as Germany. He was the father of Eastern Europe. Old world maps identify this area as Gomer, Gomerlunt, Gomeria. Their descendants include the Galatians, Phrygians, Gauls, Celts, Germans, French, Welsh, Irish, Britons, and other Anglo-Saxon peoples. In addition, Togarmah (known to the Assyrians as 'Tilgarimmu'), a son of Gomer, is singled out. His descendants occupied Turkey and Asia Minor, and another branch settled in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which were later taken over by the Soviet Union. They were granted independence in September, 1991. Togarmah's 'bands' could also refer to Armenia and Syria, whose ancestors claimed that Haik, the father of their race, was the son of Togarmah. The descendants of another son of Gomer, Ashkenaz, settled in Germany and Austria.
What this all seems to indicate, is that the main attack force will emanate from Russia, and that they will be accompanied by their former communist satelites ("bands"), which could include the Baltic states, Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia (perhaps including Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Macedonia). These countries represent a total military force of nearly 6,000,000 men. In light of Russia's past history, they have never been able to be trusted. It is likely that during this period, when democracy seems to be taking root in the former Soviet Union, it is actually only an illusion. Even though drastic changes have been made, maybe they were done only to project the image of weakness, so they can regroup and retool their military machine in preparation for their biggest assault yet.
In Russia, there is a growing anti-Jewish sentiment, which was enflamed by nationalist leader Vladimir Zhrinovsky, who seemed to be building the support needed to win the presidency of Russia. He has been compared to Hitler. In his book The Final March to the South, he states that it is Russia's destiny to capture all of the lands to the south- including Israel.
This attack will also include Persia (the descendants of Madai, son of Japheth; which includes Iran, Iraq, and possibly Syria and Afghanistan), Ethiopia (the descendants of Cush, the son of Ham, another son of Noah), and Libya (the descendants of Phut, the son of Ham). These nations may represent the radical element of the Arab world.
Salah Khalaf Abu lyad, Yasir Arafat's chief deputy, said on January 1, 1991: "Now we accept the formation of the Palestinian state in part of Palestine, in the Gaza Strip and West Bank. We will start from that part and we will liberate Palestine, inch by inch." In a September 9, 1993 letter to Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Arafat renounced his terrorist activities and said: "The P.L.O. recognizes the right of the state of Israel to exist in peace and security." On September 13th, a Declaration of Principles was signed with Israel during a ceremony in Washington, DC. Yet, on September 19th, P.L.O. Chairman Arafat said before a group of 19 Arab ministers meeting in Cairo: "Our first goal is the liberation of all occupied territories...and the establishment of a Palestinian state whose capital is Jerusalem. The agreement we arrived at is not a complete solution...it is only the basis for an interim solution and the forerunner of a final settlement, which must be based on a complete withdrawal from all occupied Palestinian lands, especially holy Jerusalem." In October, 1994, Farouk Kaddoumi, head of the P.L.O.'s political department and their foreign minister, said in a speech: "There is a state which was established through historical force and it must be destroyed. This is the Palestinian way." Arafat later told Rabin, the Israeli Prime Minister, that his comment did not reflect the view of the P.L.O. It is obvious that this is a very fragile peace. [Note: In October, 1998, a peace accord was signed by Arafat and Netanyahu, that surrenders 13% of Israeli land to the Palestinians as part of a land for peace agreement brokered by the U.S.]
A corresponding passage can be found in Daniel 11:40-43, where the Russian confederation is referred to as the 'King of the North' (the only military power north of Israel). History has shown that Russia has supported the Arab nations in their quest to conquer Palestine, and the aforementioned group of nations will join the Russian invasion force that will sweep across the mountains of Lebanon into Israel.
A map drawn by monks during the Crusades, still hangs in the Herford Cathedral, and identifies Jerusalem as the geographic center of the world, which is so marked on the floor of the Holy Sepulcher. The attention of the world will become more focused on this area of the world as this nation becomes prosperous.
The Dead Sea, located between Israel and Jordan, which is 1,296 feet below sea level, is the lowest spot on the surface of the Earth. It is fifty miles long and eleven miles wide(about 500 square miles), and has a depth of 1,200 feet at its deepest point. Known as the 'Sea of Salt', because it is ten times saltier than ocean water, it is fed by the Jordan River, and has no outlet. Its waters have evaporated for hundreds of years in the extreme heat, at a rate of 280 million cubic feet per day, leaving behind a variety of minerals. It is made up of 30% of solid ingredients, mostly sodium chloride (salt), while regular ocean water has only 3.5% to 4%. The water contains potassium chloride, or potash, which is used as a fertilizer and for making explosives. It is of high quality becomes it doesn't come from rock. It is believed that this ingredient will become a very valuable commodity. The water also contains magnesium bromine (used to make plastics and rubber ) , magnesium chloride (used in magnesium metal production and in the manufacturing of a cement used for heavy duty flooring), and hydrogen sulfide (used in chemical laboratories as an analytical re-agent). Because of its sulfuric content, the water is said to have therapeutic properties.
Solar ponds have been built on the Sea. The sun heats the shallow salt water, and the heat is trapped in the dense salt layer on the bottom, and becomes hot enough to turn a turbine, thus producing electricity.
Scientists have also discovered an algae, known as Dunaliella, which can survive in, and has adapted to, the extremely salty conditions. It is being grown in algae farms where they double their numbers every two days. The algae is used to produce a green paste, which, when dried, makes an excellent animal feed because of its high protein content, and it is easy to digest because the algae have no cell walls. It also yields beta carotene (a pigment which gives carrots its color), which is used for food coloring; and also glycerol, which is used for eye shadow and other cosmetics, paints, resins, and toothpaste. When the algae decomposes, it forms the raw material that nature uses to form oil.
The value of the mineral deposits in the Dead Sea has been estimated at over a trillion dollars. However, the Dead Sea has been shrinking in size as the sea level has fallen. The Mediterranean Dead Sea Co. initiated a $1.4 billion project to funnel water to the Dead Sea from the Mediterranean, which is about 70 miles away.
Geological surveys have indicated that there is plenty of steam under Israel to provide power through the harnessing of geo-thermal energy, which is a very economical source of energy. Oil and natural gas deposits have also been discovered. Cutting diamonds is a major industry, as is the exporting citrus fruit to Europe and Japan.
With Russia experiencing financial hardships, there is plenty of resources in this small country that could be garnished for their benefit.
No doubt, Israel will offer tremendous resistance, causing Russia to change their plans, and circle around Israel. Daniel mentions that "Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon" will not be overrun. Ironically, they, along with the Israelites, Arabians, Ishmaelites, and Midianites were the descendants of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the middle son of Noah. Their land was on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea, in an area now occupied by the country of Jordan, who on September 14, 1993 signed an agenda for peace with Israel, which culminated with Peace Treaty that was signed in October, 1994. This seems to be an indication that even though they sided with Iraq during the Gulf War, they will stick to their treaty with Israel and not become part of the invasion.
Russia will then double-cross their allies, and strike the country of Egypt, in order to control the land bridge, giving them a three-way advantage to attacking either Europe, Africa, or Asia. Egypt, along with Saudi Arabia, were the two main Arab countries who broke their military ties with Russia; plus, since they are not mentioned, they may also continue to honor their Treaty with Israel, and not join in the attack. The target most likely will be Saudi Arabia, and the world's oil supply. At this point, the West will mobilize. Nixon said: "If Russia disturbs the balance of power in the Middle East, the United States will move to assure Israel's security." Jimmy Carter, in a 1978 meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, said: "I can say, without reservation, as President of the United States of America, that we will continue to do so (remain committed to Israel's security), not just for thirty years, but forever."
The nations that will protest and respond to this action are identified as Sheba(also Saba), an ancient kingdom in the area of the southwestern edge of Saudi Arabia which became known as the British colony of Aden, until achieving independence as South Yemen(who united with North Yemen in 1990). This was the traditional kingdom of the Queen of Sheba who ruled over the Sabaeans (who dominated all of southern Arabia), and was labeled in Matthew 12:42 as the 'Queen of the South'. The historian Josephus referred to her as the "Queen of Egypt and Ethiopia." Dedan was the name of a Sabaean oasis in the northern part of Saudi Arabia, which was one of their many colonies in northern Arabia.
Another identifying indication again comes from Biblical genealogy. Cush, the son of Ham, was the father of Ethiopia, and other tribes who settled south of Egypt, in Arabia, Babylonia and India. Cush's sons are identified as Seba (who in Psalms 72:10 is associated with the kings of Sheba, and in Isaiah 43:3 are mentioned with Ethiopia, which indicates that he is the father of the Sabaeans), Havilah(a name associated with the area of the Sinai and northwestern Arabia), Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabtechah (all three of which were associated with tribes in southern Arabia). Sheba and Dedan are listed as sons of Raamah. Thus, the reference to Sheba and Dedan actually identifies the country of Saudi Arabia(and also the countries of Oman, Yemen, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain). They were an ally of the Coalition against Iraq during the Gulf War, and will not be part of the Russian invasion force against Israel.
As the Russian juggernaut appears to be heading their way, Saudi Arabia will appeal to the "merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof." According to Jeremiah 10:9, Tarshish is identified as a land rich with precious metals; and in other passages, such as Isaiah 2:16, are associated with possessing a prominent shipping empire which was used to export goods to places all over the Mediterranean. Some researchers have tried to connect Tarshish with Tartessus (located in the Guadalquivir Valley) in southwestern Spain, where the Phoenicians founded colonies to capitalize on the wealth of minerals found there. The Phoenicians established the city of Carthage on Africa's northern coast (in what is now Tunisia), and it was these Carthaginians who began colonizing Spain in 654 BC (until they were driven out by the Romans in 206 BC), and exploring the Atlantic coastline from western Africa to Britain. Recent archaeological evidence has shown that they possessed sailing capabilities far beyond what was originally known. An inscription discovered in 1780 on a cliff above Mount Hope Bay in Bristol, Rhode Island, which was written in Tartessian Punic, reads: "Voyagers from Tarshish this stone proclaims." It is believed that this inscription was made about 533 BC. Howard University's Dept. of Archaeology has found five other areas in the United States where Tarshish had colonies 2500 years ago.
Tarshish was a great-grandson of Noah, whose descendants migrated to the areas which later became Spain and Great Britain. Ezekiel 27:12 indicates that Tarshish was a source of tin, and the word 'Britain' means "land of tin." Both Spain, with their Armada, and England, became major naval powers. An analysis of these facts indicate that Tarshish probably refers to western Europe, and by extension, the ten nations who will make up the European Community at the time; and the "young lions" refer to the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, their possessions and allies. This represents a total military force of about 3,000,000 men.
Once the Arab world realizes that they have been betrayed by the Russians, they will solidify into a military force similar to the Arab League, which was formed in Cairo in March, 1945; and the Federation of Arab Republics which was formed in April, 1971, and are identified as the "King of the South." This confederation, will include the twelve princes (sons) of Ishmael (Gen. 25:16) which scholars have identified as Egypt, Persia (Iraq and Iran), Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, and Tunisia; plus the countries of Ethiopia, Bahrain, Djibouti, Kuwait, Mauritania, Oman, Qatar, Somalia, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Cyprus, Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Palestine Liberation Organization. This represents a total military force of about 3,000,000 men.
The Arab nations will be soundly defeated. According to the 35th chapter of Ezekiel, where they are referred to as Mount Seir (because Esau dwelt in that land, Deut. 2:4-5), they will be destroyed because of their hatred of Israel.
After their defeat of the Arab nations, Russia will receive reports concern troop movements in China, and the initiation of retaliatory strike by the coalition of Western nations; and they will regroup to attack Israel again. They will position themselves in the "valley of the passengers on the east of the sea," which is east of the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. Ezekiel's description of "the fire of my wrath...a great shaking...great hailstones, fire, and brimstone" directed at the Russian army appears to be the result of a one day (Ez. 39:8) nuclear attack by the coalition of nations from the West, that destroys 5/6 of the Russian forces. So many men will die, that it will take seven months to bury the dead bodies. They will be burning the weapons for seven years. It was reported that Russia was producing war equipment out of wood treated with lignostone, a chemical that had been developed in Holland as a fuel substitute. It makes wood as strong as steel, yet remains pliable. Since it is wood, and not metal, it doesn't show up on radar. It was reported that the British are using a similar substance for gears in their large vehicles. Material treated with this chemical burns brightly with intense heat, and will make it easier for the weapons to be burned.
The incredible defeat of the Russian military machine, will make a star out of the leader of the Western European Alliance (who will take the credit for orchestrating and leading the attack), just as the Gulf War did for Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf. It is possible that this man may be the Antichrist. He will appear to be a man who will finally be able to bring peace to the world. He will claim that Israel has a special place in his heart, and he will make a seven-year treaty (Dan. 9:27) with them to guarantee the Jew's national security. This treaty will allow Israel to rebuild their Temple, and during the next 31/2 years, the man who will become the protector of the Jews will quickly gain popularity, and power. If, according to my theory, this man does come from the Prieure' de Sion, and claims to represent to bloodline of Jesus, this revelation will greatly increase his international stature.
Even though there were 300 specific predictions concerning Jesus, the Jewish people didn't accept him because they were expecting a great conqueror to deliver them from the Romans. However, it won't take long for this western European leader to be heralded as the Messiah they have been waiting for.
REBUILDING THE JEWISH TEMPLE
There is a school of thought that believes that only the Messiah can rebuild the Temple, because he would be the only one who knows the actual location of its foundation. This sentiment is the official position of the Israeli government. However, there is some evidence that seems to indicate that the Temple will be rebuilt prior to the return of Jesus.
The Antichrist will sign a seven-year protectionary treaty with Israel, but break it halfway through when he causes the sacrifices to be discontinued (Dan. 9:27, Dan. 12:11), so that he will be able to take "his seat in the Temple of God, displaying himself as being God (2 Thessalonians 2:4, see also Rev. 11:1)." Matthew 24:15 refers to this area as the "holy place." This indicates that the Temple will already be in existence by this time.
Moses prophesied that Israel would be punished twice. The first was 430 years of captivity in Egypt, and the second, was 70 years of slavery under the Babylonians. After that, three things were foretold: the Jewish nation would be reborn in Palestine, they would repossess old Jerusalem, and they would rebuild their ancient Temple on its original site. In 1948, the nation of Israel was established; in 1967, they took complete control of the city of Jerusalem; which leaves only one prophecy unfulfilled, which is the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple. Amos 9:11 says: "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..."
Prior to the construction of the Temple, God made his divine presence known in a miqdash ("holy place"), which was a temporary structure known as the Tabernacle, which was erected in various locations around Israel, such as Shiloh, Bethel, Dan, Gilgal, Mizpah, and Hebron. This continued until the Israelites became united, both politically and spiritually, which took place when David conquered Jerusalem, thus creating a central location for their civil government and religious worship. When David realized the big difference between his own house, and the fact that the Ark was protected only by a tent(2 Sam. 7:12), he knew that he had to build a house of God, which according to the Davidic Covenant(2 Sam. 7:4-17), seems to indicate that the site chosen would be a permanent location.
In the 24th chapter of 2 Samuel, it is recorded how David counted his men to see if his army was going to be of sufficient military strength. Because he didn't trust God for his victory, the Lord sent a destroying angel that brought a plague against the people of Jerusalem. David built an altar and made peace offerings to the Lord. This area on Mount Moriah(Mount Zion), was the site where God tested Abraham's faith by commanding him to sacrifice his son Isaac, and was known as the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. David purchased the land in 990 BC, and in 960 BC, King Solomon began construction of the sacred Temple, which was to provide a shelter for the Ark of the Covenant, the most sacred object in Israel. It took a workforce of 200,000 men, seven years to complete this magnificent edifice, with funds gathered by David in a royal treasury. It was destroyed in 586 BC by Babylonian invaders.
The Persians conquered the Babylonians, and Cyrus, the Persian king, allowed 50,000 Jews to return to Jerusalem in 538 BC. In 537 BC, under the direction of King Cyrus, Zerubabbel (a descendant of King David), supervised a contingent of Phoenician workers who laid the foundation stones for the second Temple. All the Temple vessels had been returned, the altar built, and the sacrifices resumed. Opposition by the Samaritans (descendants of Israelite and Assyrian intermarriage) in the north, who had a temple at Mount Gerizim, caused construction to be discontinued until 520 BC, when Darius, the Persian king, instituted taxes to pay for its construction. The Temple was dedicated sometime between 516-514 BC. Another Persian king, Artaxerxes, appointed a Jew named Nehemiah as governor of Jerusalem, and he repaired the walls to protect the Temple, and began rebuilding the city.
Judea soon came under the control of the Greeks (Alexander the Great); and the Egyptian Greeks (or Ptolemies), who allowed governorship by the high priests. A third ruler, a Syrian Greek (Seleucid) known as Antiochus IV (Epiphanes), who sided with the Jewish faction known as the Hellenists, appointed a high priest who initiated pagan worship in opposition to the Orthodox faction. An attack in 170 BC killed many Jews, and again Temple treasures were taken. Antiochus desecrated the Temple by sacrificing a pig on the altar, placing a pagan idol in the Holy of Holies, and burning copies of the Torah. An Orthodox priest named Mattathias Maccabee ('the hammerer') began a revolt, which ended in 164 BC, when his third son, Judas took control of Jerusalem, purified the Temple, and resumed the daily offerings. However, their control ended in 63 BC when Rome invaded.
Over the years, the condition of the building declined, and around 20-19 BC, Herod the Great undertook the restoration of the Temple in order to win the favor of the Jews. Most of the construction was completed within ten years, although minor restoration work continued until 64 AD. The rebuilt Temple, known as the Temple of Herod, was twice as high, and much wider. During this period of Roman rule, an imperial sacrifice had to be offered to the emperor, in addition to the traditional Jewish sacrifice. This came to an end in 66 AD, when Eleazar, the son of a captain of the Temple, initiated an uprising of Jewish zealots, which brought the Tenth Legion from Rome. They failed to defeat the Jewish freedom fighters and a massive revolt ensued, which resulted in Judea being returned to the control of the Jews. Emperor Nero then sent Vespasian, Rome's best military leader, and his army, to end the rebellion. By 69 AD, Rome regained control of all Judea, except for Jerusalem. Vespasian, who became the new emperor, gave his son Titus the task of securing Jerusalem. A military operation was launched which ended in 70 AD, when the Temple was set on fire by the Roman Tenth Legion (consisting of 80,000 men) under Titus, who pried the Temple apart stone by stone, and threw them into the valley southeast of Jerusalem. A portion of the Western Wall (Kotel Maarabi), known as the Wailing Wall, was left standing by the Romans as a symbol of how powerful they were. Titus later returned to Rome with some of the Temple treasure.
When Constantine died in 361, his nephew, Flavius Claudius Julianus, the last emperor of Rome(361-363), ruled for 19 months, and attempted to reinstate paganism, and emperor worship. Although he had grown up under the teachings of Eusebius, Bishop of Cesarea, he turned away from those teachings, and pushed for religious tolerance. His hatred of Christianity drove him to return Jerusalem back to the Jews, to restore Jewish law, and to advocate the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple. He freed them from taxes, and gave his support for the reestablishment of animal sacrifices, but he was told that the Jews no longer practiced the ritual because they had no Temple. Julian appointed Alypius of Antioch to oversee its building, while the governors of Syria and Palestine were instructed to assist. Workmen cleared the debris, and work was begun in 363. When they tried to dig into the foundation, an earthquake occurred, which ignited pockets of natural gas underground, causing fires and explosions, destroying all the stones, wood and metal which were being stored on the site. A number of workers were killed. This was taken as a divine sign that the Temple was not to be rebuilt at that time, and construction was halted after Julian died in the battle against the Persians. After the return to power by the Christian Roman Emperors, the idea was forgotten.
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, was built on higher ground in 326 by Byzantine Christians during Constantine's rule, on the traditional site of Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Across from the Temple Mount, it was actually intended to symbolically replace the Temple, which is why its layout is reminiscent of the Temple. As a way of offending Jews, the condition of the Temple area was allowed to deteriorate and was even used as a repository for human waste and other refuse.
In 614, the Persians broke through Byzantine defenses, and with the help of the Jews, defeated Heraclius. Chosroes II, the Persian King, placed a Jew named, ironically, Nehemiah, as the governor of the city, and gave them permission to rebuild the Temple. Although it is believed that the sacrifices were resumed, no construction was initiated. About fifteen years later, Heraclius returned to take over the city, building an octagonal church on the site. After the death of Muhammed (570-632) , his follower Omar(Umar Abu Ibn el-Khattab, or Umar I) became Caliph, taking over Jerusalem in 638, with the help of his Islamic army. In 643-44 he built a wooden mosque on the Temple site, which stood for 44 years. In 687, Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, the 10th Caliph, began work on the Qubbat as-Sakhra or the Dome of the Rock (also known as the Mosque of Omar), which was completed in 691. The Mosque was built to rival the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, showing its religious claim on the city by symbolizing the ideology of their new faith, and to be a protection for the the rock believed to be the threshing floor purchased by David. No Islamic tradition was connected to the site. Even the Quran (Surah V, v. 21), the Islamic holy scripture, states that the Jews have a historic claim on the land. However, the event known as the "Night Journey of Muhammad" (or "hijrah"), when he fled from Mecca to Medina, was connected to Jerusalem, because it mentioned al-Aqsa, which is the name of the Mosque south of the Dome of the Rock. LinguisticaIly, "al-aqsa", when it is translated, means "far corner", and could very well refer to Mecca. Therefore, the Temple Mount is said to be the rock where Muhammed received his instructions from God, and ascended into Heaven. Some historians believe that the story was concocted during the rule of Umayyad prince, al-Walid I (705-715) to raise the funds necessary to build the al-Aqsa Mosque into an edifice comparable to the Dome of the Rock. From 1099-1187, the Crusaders occupied Jerusalem, and the Dome of the Rock became a Christian church, while the al-Aqsa Mosque became the headquarters of the Knights Templar. When Jerusalem was overthrown by the Muslim leader Saladin (Salanad-Din) , the Temple Mount complex, containing both the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, which is referred to as the Haram ash-Sharif, became the third holiest site in the Islamic faith (after Mecca and Medina), even though all prayers are directed toward Mecca.
Today, the obstacle for rebuilding the Temple, is the Islamic holy site, the Dome of the Rock. It is maintained that the Arabs have had a claim on it for 5,000 years, and that there was never a Jewish temple on that area. The Israeli Antiquities Authority, and most Israeli archaeologists agree that this traditional location was the site of the Temple. In 1967, even though Israel captured East Jerusalem during the Six-Day War, a month later, as a gesture of peace and cooperation, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan returned control of the Temple Mount back to the Wakf (Islamic authority). It was later reported that he had an underlying fear that the ground would be razed to make way for the rebuilding of the Temple.
Only the tip of the huge rock, on the summit of Mt. Moriah, juts up into the center of the Dome of the Rock. It is unclear whether the rock was the sacrificial altar, or the Holy of Holies where the Ark was placed, but the presence of drain holes bored into the surface, which leads to a cave below the Mosque, may indicate that it was the area of the Temple used for sacrifices. The purpose of the holes was for the blood from animal sacrifices to runoff into a canal which carried the fluids out of the complex. This would place the Holy of Holies in an area which slopes downward, and creates a conflict with archaeological evidence and historical tradition.
There is some support for the idea that the rock was the foundation stone for the Holy of Holies. The argument for this is based on the assumption that one of the Temple gates, known as Warren's Gate (which was beneath the Gate Babel-Mat'hara and up to 1967 was the location of an Arab latrine), opened directly in front of the Holy of Holies. In 1867, Charles Warren found an ancient gate to the Temple Mount, and since then, the entire Western Wall, and a tunnel running along it, called the Rabbinic Tunnel, was discovered and excavated by 1986, along with four other entrances, by Israel's Ministry of Religious Affairs and the Western Wall Heritage Foundation. The Western Wall of the Temple, left standing by Rome as a symbol of their authority, was part of the retaining wall which was erected to support the immense platform which held the Temple.
In March, 1979, where excavations were being done at the Western Wall, a story was circulated, that a workman, digging with his fingers, 80 feet below the existing floor, discovered the Arch of King Solomon from the original Temple, which led to the Holy of Holies. The archway of stone was constructed with a special mortar containing broken glass, as per God's instructions. Tests taken of the glistening mortar indicated that it was produced during that period. They would not break through the Wall, because according to the Law, only a Jew from the tribe of Levi, and the family of Aaron, can enter the Holy of Holies.
In July, 1981, Rabbi Meir Yehuda Getz, chief rabbi of the Western Wall, while building a new synagogue behind the Western Wall, investigated water emanating from the Wall, and discovered a great hall (26' wide X 98' high x 82' long) behind a former cistern which contained an arch, believed to be one of the entrances to the Temple. It turned out to be the gate discovered by Warren, which led to the Temple court, and was the closest gate to the Holy of Holies. A group of ten men, some from the Ateret Cohanim Yeshiva, began clearing the hall, working their way toward the Holy of Holies. If the Rock was the foundation stone of the Holy of Holies, then tradition holds that beneath this stone there is a chamber created by Solomon which was later used to hide the Ark. Getz believes that this secret chamber contains the Ark, the table, and the menorah. After breaking down another wall, the Muslim authorities were made aware of what was going on, and the Arabs instigated a riot which led to the excavation site being shut down. A wall was placed over the entrance to the tunnel, and was later reinforced with another wall of steel and plaster, which in 1992 was redone to give it an appearance of natural rock. Rabbi Schlomo Goren believes that they came within 300 feet of this room, and rumors have circulated that Getz saw the Ark, which he denied, saying that the area is under water. Getz said: "The treasures of the First Temple are under the Mount, and we know exactly where they are...
There in fact was an unsubstantiated report that there is a lower cave, blocked by a slab, which was discovered in 1911. It had been alleged that the Crown of David, the Sword of Solomon, the Ark of the Covenant, the Tables of the Law, and a large amount of gold was discovered there, having been hidden by the priests when the Temple was destroyed. It is believed that these articles were removed, and their whereabouts are unknown.
The Israelis have been kept from rebuilding, or even doing much archaeological excavation because of their strained relationship with the Arabs, and because the Moslems fear that such excavations would weaken the structure of the Mosque. Others would argue that it's because any significant archaeological discoveries on the site would prove Israel's ancient claim to the Mount. Because of the lack of any substantial information, there is even alot of doubt as to where on the Temple Mount the sanctuary was actually located.
Father Bellarmino Begatti, A Franciscan researcher, published a report in 1979, that based on measurements and information in ancient documents, the Temple was located on the southern end of the Mount between the Dome of the Rock, and the al-Aqsa Mosque, and seems to be supported by the existence of underground reservoirs and tunnels.
Dr. Ze'ev Yeiven, and Dr. Asher Kaufman believe that Arab construction on the northern end exposed an ancient wall near the Dome of the Rock, which is believed to be the eastern wall of the Temple's Court of Women. Of particular interest is an exposed area of rock in an open area of the Mount, about 330 feet north of the Dome of the Rock, which is covered by a small building (cupola), known as the Qubbat el-Arwah (Dome of the Spirits), which is on an east-west alignment with the Eastern Gate and the Mount of Olives. It is also called the Qubbat el-Alouah (Dome of the Tablets), because it is believed that this was the location of the Holy of Holies in the original Temple, where the Ark of the Covenant was placed. If this is true, that means that the Temple can be rebuilt without disturbing the Arab site, because the Mosque, which takes up an area of 34 acres, would actually be separated from most of the Temple foundation by many feet of rubble. Proponents of this theory claim they have identified the area on the Mount of Olives which was used for the sacrifice of the Red Heifer, which further indicates that the Temple was not on the site of the Dome of the Rock.
Some Orthodox Jews believe that before the Temple can be rebuilt, both the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque would have to be removed, because their presence defiles the sacred ground.
Before the Six-Day War, a quarter-page ad appeared in the Washington Post, seeking aid for the rebuilding of the Temple. They have been selling bonds to finance its building since 1948. The document known as the "Temple Scroll", which was part of the Dead Sea Scrolls found at Qumran, give distinct instructions concerning the construction of the Temple, and a group known as the Ne'emanei Har Habayit (Faithful of the Temple Mount) commissioned a model of the Temple to be built. It has been reported that the corner-stones are already cut and ready. Harvey A. Smith, a Jewish Assemblies of God minister, wrote in his book, that they have the biggest and heaviest stones cut, and secretly placed under the Temple Mount behind Warren Gate. The Temple music has been deciphered.
After the Six-Day War, Israel Eldad, a noted historian who was interviewed by Time magazine, said: "We are at the stage where David was when he liberated Jerusalem. From that time until the construction of the Temple by Solomon, only one generation passed. So it will be with us."
In December, 1970, a special school called "Yeshiva Avodas Hakodesh" founded by Rabbi Hirsh Ha-Cohen (Cohens have been identified as the descendants of the priests in the original Jewish temple), was established to train students from the tribe of Levi in the ancient ritual of animal sacrifice. It was dedicated during the Feast of Dedication (Chanuka). Only students who can trace their lineage back to Aaron can be admitted. Motti Dan (Ha-Cohen), who is said to be a descendent of the priestly line, studied all the rules in regard to the Temple service, and established the "Ateret Cohanim Yeshiva" in the 1970's as a religious school to educate and train others, of similar descent, for the priesthood. In 1978, Hebrew University began offering a two-year course in the restoration of animal sacrifice, including all methods and Old Testament requirements. The first class graduated on June 1, 1980, and among their graduation exercises, was to perform the ancient rite of animal sacrifice. An episode of "60 Minutes" in March, 1985, in a segment called "One Step in Heaven", indicated that rabbinical students in Jerusalem were studying the Jewish rites of animal sacrifice under Rabbi Shlomo Goren, the former Chief Rabbi of the Israeli Defense Forces, who had said in a November, 1981 Newsweek interview that the secret of the location of the Ark would be revealed just prior to the third Temple being built. The animal sacrifices will resume when the Temple is rebuilt.
The Institute for Talmudic Commentaries, run by Rabbi Nahman Kahane(a descendent of the priestly line), which is located in the Young Israel Synagogue, is involved in the study of the Temple rituals and ceremonies, and have been involved in research to catalog all known cohanim (priests) in Israel. The Atara L'yoshna ( " (restoring ) the crown to its original (form)"), a branch of Kahane's group, has established a Study and Tourist Center near the Western Wall, where they have models of the Tabernacle, the two original Temples, the new Temple, the Ark of the Covenant, a menorah, and other Temple implements.
A group called the Temple Mount Faithful (or the Temple Mount and Eretz Yisrael Faithful Movement), started by Gershon Salomon, a professor of Oriental Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, seeks to take sole control of the Temple Mount to rebuild the Temple. It was a reactionary movement to protest the move by Moshe Dayan, the Israeli Defense Minister, who allowed the Muslims to maintain control of the Temple Mount area in 1967. He went to court in 1987 with claims by physicist Dr. Asher Kaufman, and archaeologist Dan Bahat, that the Arabs were destroying valuable archaeological evidence from the first and second Temples. The group has also made attempts to lay a special 4-ton cornerstone on the Mount.
The Temple Institute was founded in Israel, in 1988, by Rabbi Israel Ariel, who in 1967, was the first paratrooper to reach the Western Wall. Time magazine printed a two-page article on the group in October, 1989, and ABC-TV's news show "20/20" televised a segment on them. On October 18, 1989, the first bi-annual Conference on Temple Research was held. This joint venture between the Temple Institute and the Ministry of Religious Affairs brought together rabbis, scientists, archaeologists in an attempt to better coordinate their efforts in making the Temple a reality.
Outside the Temple Institute, a sign in Hebrew reads: "Exhibition of Temple Vessels" (while a sign in English says "Treasures of the Temple"). Based on years of research, historical tradition and the Scriptures, the Temple Institute has produced the actual items which will be used in the Temple when it is rebuilt. Over half of the 103 items which were used in the original Temple have been produced, or are in various stages of fabrication, including the gold crown of the high priest, the Temple garments, a copper washbasin to be used for purification purposes, incense utensils, and silver trumpets to beckon worshippers to the Temple. In the planning stages, is the breastplate of the high priest, which will contain twelve gemstones; and the gold electroplated menorah which will contain 94.6 pounds of gold, giving it an estimated value of $10 million.
Before Temple services can be legally reinstated according to Biblical Law, a ritual cleansing must be performed which involves the sacrifice of the Red Heifer (Numbers 19:1-22). The ceremony has only been performed seven times. The priest would sacrifice an unblemished, unbroken Red Heifer, after which the remaining ashes were collected and added to the ashes of the next sacrifice. It took place on the western slope of the Mount of Olives, within sight of the Holy of Holies. The ashes were then sprinkled upon the waters of a large cistern under the Temple to prepare them to be used as the water of purification to cleanse sin and defilement. The last sacrifice occurred in 70 AD, prior to the destruction of the Temple, after which the ashes were secretly buried. This ritual cleansing would have to be performed on the Temple Mount in order to reinstate Temple worship as commanded by the Laws of God.
Originally kept in a containment building near the Eastern Gate, archaeological excavations have been initiated to find the ashes, which according to the "Copper Scroll" found at Qumran, were buried in a container made of clay, and dung from the Red Heifer. If they can not be located, the Temple Institute, on the belief that the tradition of the "ashes of continuity" is a mistranslation, maintains that the original ashes are not necessary. In October, 1989, the Chief Rabbi of Israel dispatched a team of scientists to Sweden to purchase the frozen embryos of a particular breed of red heifers in order to impregnate a heifer in Israel and breed an animal that would fulfill the scriptural requirements. However, the latest report is that a herd of red Angus cattle have been discovered in Mississippi, and a group of these have been sent to Israel for later use.
Vendyl Jones, a former Baptist minister turned archaeologist in 1977, said to be the inspiration for the creation of the fictional movie character Indiana Jones (though producers Steven Spielberg and George Lucas deny it), while searching in Jericho area caves for the Ark of the Covenant, found a clay jar containing a unique incense oil which dated back to the time of the second Jewish Temple, and contained the five ingredients the Bible identified as being part of the oil used to anoint kings. One of these ingredients was an oil called afars 'mon, which was taken from the sap of the rare balsam tree that grew near Jericho at a wadi known as Ein Gedi, near the area of Qumran. The oil was very rare, and when Rome invaded the Qumran community before 70 AD, the Essenes burned the only known grove of these balsam trees, which are now considered extinct.
This special anointing oil is listed in the Copper Scroll, and in 1988, using the clues given there, a worker, Benny Ayers, who was with a group of Christian archaeologists and volunteers (including Dr. Gary Collett and Dr. Nathan Meyers), under the direction of Dr. Joseph Patrich from the Hebrew University's Institute of Archaeology, found an ancient clay container wrapped in palm leaves, in a hole three feet deep, on the floor of a cave adjacent to the one where Vendyl Jones would later discover some incense. Professor Ze'ev Aisenshtat and Dorit Aschengrau at the laboratory of Hebrew Univeristy's Casali Institute of Applied Chemistry, used Carbon-14 dating and said that the oil was put in the container during the first century, and is believed to be the anointing oil that was used in the Temple. The oil's chemical composition was such, that one drop placed in water, turned it a milky white, just as ancient documents indicated. The substance was given to the Chief Rabbi of Israel, and it will be used to anoint the Messiah when he returns.
Chief Rabbi Isaac Herzog believes that the dye used to achieve the blue-colored thread on the Temple garments (Numbers 15:37-40), comes from the Segulit snail, which because of its scarcity, is very expensive. According to the Talmud (Menahot 44a), Israel is inundated every 70 years with these snails. In October, 1990, they were found in large numbers on the Mediterranean beaches of Israel.
In April, 1992, Jones announced that on the floor of a cave, north of Qumran, at the Wadi Jafet Zaben, he discovered about 900 pounds of a reddish-colored material which was tested by the Weizmann Institute of Science, and found to be the remnants of a special mixture of incense believed to be used in the Temple service. Jones felt that this was one of the items listed in the Copper Scroll. However, the Temple Institute believes that since the incense was not found in a container, it had been improperly prepared and disposed of, and thus is not acceptable for use.
Little by little, all the elements seem to be coming together in preparation for the day when the Temple will be rebuilt. The closer we come to that reality, the opposition to it increases within certain religious circles. The destruction of the second Temple in 70 AD, according to some Christian leaders, indicated that the Jews were being punished for rejecting Jesus as the Messiah, and that Judaism was being usurped by Christianity, which had become the new temple of God. They feel that because he spiritually dwells within all who believe and follow his teachings, the rebuilding of the Temple would be a denial of Jesus' atonement for our sins on the cross, which eliminated the necessity of Temple sacrifice. This sort of theological debate is pointless, because the Bible plainly eludes to the existence of the Temple in the last days, regardless of how right or wrong it is.
Now bear in mind, I have been told by Milt Maiman, that to fulfill the prophecy, the Temple doesn't have to be rebuilt. Just as the Tent of the Tabernacle was originally used to house the Ark, it could again be erected on the Temple grounds, and used for Temple observances.
So, when you turn on the 6 o'clock news, and you see that Israel has put up the Tent, or that construction on the Temple has begun, know that this is one of the major events in the prophetic timetable, and that the end is near.
THE ARK OF THE COVENANT
The purpose of building the Temple, was to house the Ark of the Covenant, so the discovery of the most sacred item in Jewish history may be all that is needed to initiate the rebuilding of the Temple. However, Jeremiah 27:22 seems to indicate a connection between the Temple treasures, and the existence of the Temple. According to Ezra, after the first Temple was destroyed, the Temple vessels had to be returned or refabricated before the Temple could be rebuilt. Thus, only the existence of the Temple vessels may be all that is needed to rebuild the Temple, since it is believed that the Ark was not in the second Temple.
The Ark was a rectangular box four feet long, and two feet high, made of acacia wood (distinguished as a type of wood that does not decay), and covered with gold; with two cherubs (a rank of angels) looking down and facing each other on its lid with outstretched wings, which was known as the mercy seat. It was constructed at Mount Sinai by Bezalel, according to the instructions Moses received from God. Inside was placed the rod of Aaron, a pot of manna (which had been sent by God to feed the Israelites during their time of wandering in the wilderness), and the two tablets of the Law given to Moses (known as the Ten Commandments). Some sources also claim that it contains the original Books of Moses. It represented the divine presence of God, and was the point where the literal manifestation of God on this Earth took place. Just looking at it was known to cause death. The Bible tells us of the power it possessed. It caused the Jordan River to part (Joshua 3:8 - 4:11), aided in the destruction of Jericho (Joshua 6:4-21), and brought about numerous military victories when it was present. Needless to say, it developed quite a mystique.
Inside the Temple, the Ark was placed in a dark, windowless room known as the Holy of Holies. A vale was placed around the Ark, and only once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest was allowed to enter. Even then, he was to carry a container of burning incense, which filled the room with smoke, thus obscuring his view of the Ark. He would sprinkle the blood of a bullock on the ground in front of the Ark, and on the mercy seat, as atonement for the sins of the priests; and then the blood of a goat, as a symbolic atonement for the sins of the people. A rope would be tied around his waist, so if for some reason he accidentally touched the Ark and was killed, he could be pulled out without risk by the other priests.
In the Bible, there are 200 references to the Ark of the Covenant up to the time of Jeremiah, but nothing afterward. It has since disappeared, and nobody is really sure where it's at. The common belief is that the Temple will not be rebuilt unless the Ark is found.
The Ark had not been removed from the Temple during or after the reign of King Josiah, which had begun in 640 BC, and it was in place in the Holy of Holies in 701 BC, which leaves 61 years in which it could have disappeared. It is unlikely that Hezekiah(716-687 BC) would have allowed the Ark to be taken away. Between the time of his death, and Josiah's reign, there were two other rulers, Manasseh(687-642 BC) and Amon(642-640 BC). Amon discovered that Manasseh had been involved in a form of Baal worship, and had erected an image of Astarte (Asherah) in the Temple(2 Kings 21:4-7, 2 Chronicles 33:7), and it is believed that he would have ordered the Levites to remove the Ark. The Ark reappeared in 622 BC(2 Kings 22:1-7, 2 Chronicles 34:8-33, 2 Chronicles 35:3), during the reign of Manasseh's grandson, King Josiah, who vanquished idolatry, repaired and purified the Temple. However, idolatry took root again, and the actions of Rehoboam, Solomon's son, caused the kingdom to be divided, with Judah (Judea) in the south, and Israel to the north. Judgment came upon the Northern Kingdom in 721 BC when the Assyrians attacked them; and the Southern Kingdom paid the price for they idolatry when the armies of Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king, swept through the land in 606 BC, and then again in 597 BC. During the second invasion, 2 Kings 24:13 says that "all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasure of the king's house" were taken, and "all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord" had been cut in pieces. The original Temple was destroyed in 586 BC by the Babylonian commander, Nebuzaradan(2 Kings 25:8-9), and the rest of the treasures were plundered and taken to a Babylonian temple at Shinar (Daniel 1:2), which has led some to theorize that what was taken previously came from the Temple treasury, since Nubuchadnezzar's initial action against Judah was in response to them not paying tribute to him.
Through all of this, the Ark was not mentioned. Lists of Temple items (2 Kings 25:13-17, Jeremiah 52:17-23) do not refer to any Temple treasures from the Holy of Holies, and it is this silence that could indicate that it wasn't captured, since there is a Biblical record of the time when the Philistines captured the Ark. In addition, Ezra 1:7-11 states that all the captured items were later returned by the Persians, but the Ark was not discussed. So, either the Ark was destroyed along with the Temple (possibly indicated by the destruction of the "goodly vessels" in 2 Chronicles 36:19), or the Ark was hidden before it could be found.
When Rome invaded Judea in 63 BC, and the Roman General Pompey swept through Jerusalem, entering the Temple, and the Holy of Holies, it was empty. Jewish history records the high priest making his offering upon the foundation stone of the Holy of Holies, and not the Ark. After Titus returned to Rome with some of the Temple treasure, the Arch of Triumph (or Arch of Titus) was built in 81 AD at the entrance to the Forum, in the Palatine section of Rome, to commemorate his victory. It depicted the seven-branched candelabra known as the menorah (with an octagonal base, rather than a three-legged stand, which it actually has; which could indicate that it was a duplicate kept in the Treasury), the golden table of the showbread, and the seven trumpets of the Jubilee. The Ark is not pictured, thus adding to the evidence that the Ark was not in the second Temple, and has been hidden.
According to the Mishnah (Sotah 9a), after the Temple was built, the Tabernacle was stored under the "crypts of the Temple". It is believed that King Solomon constructed a secret chamber in the recesses of the Temple Mount to hide the Ark, which is where it was placed during the reign of Manasseh. Jewish tradition has held that the Ark, and the Altar of Incense were hidden in a secret location under a woodshed on the western side of the Temple, near the Holy of Holies.
This is not such a far-fetched idea when you realize that under the city of Jerusalem there is an underground city consisting of a number of tunnels, chambers, and cisterns; which were created to establish a water storage system, as quarters for guards, chambers to hold sacrificial animals, rooms containing ritual bathing areas, prison cells, and storage areas for Temple treasures. The best known of these subterranean areas is Hezekiah's Tunnel, which was constructed to make sure Jerusalem would have fresh water in case the city was attacked. It started at Gihon Spring, and ran for a third of a mile, through solid rock, spilling into the Pool of Siloam. An escape tunnel used by King Zedekiah ran from the Tower of Antonia, to a point near the Eastern Gate, emerging outside the walls of the city, covering a distance of over 8,000 feet.
The nine original members of the Knights Templar were received by King Baldwin I(Baudouin) in Jerusalem in 1119, and they established their headquarters in a wing of the al-Aqsa Mosque, which had been converted to a palace. They were given complete access to the palace and various outbuildings which were on the site where Solomon's Temple originally stood, which was adjacent to the Dome of the Rock. Although their goal was "to keep the road from the coast to Jerusalem free from bandits", for nine years they rarely left the palace grounds. It was an unrealistic pledge, because it would have been difficult for the nine to patrol this fifty mile road; besides, a military order known as the Knights of Saint John were already performing that task before the Templars showed up. It is now known that they had some knowledge about the Temple treasures, because there is evidence which indicates that they were engaged in a massive excavation project.
Vast arched subterranean rooms were used by Knights during the Crusades to keep horses, and were known as "Solomon's Stables." The Templars were aware of these hidden areas underneath the Temple grounds, and believed that the Ark would be found there. They mounted an operation to plunder whatever treasurers they could find. Although it is questionable that they found the Ark, it is believed that they discovered treasure, relies and ancient manuscripts dating back to the time of Moses. Israeli archaeologists, engaged in excavations on the southern side of the Mount, found the exit point of a tunnel which had been dug by the Templars. It lead inward about 30 yards, where it was blocked by stone and debris.
There has been many stories concerning the location of the Ark of the Covenant. Some believe it is still buried in a secret chamber on the Temple Mount. Jewish historian Eupolemus wrote that many of the Temple treasurers had been plundered by Babylon, "except for the Ark and the tablets in it. This Jeremiah preserved." According to the apocryphal Second Book of Maccabees 2:4-8, which has been dated to 163 BC, the prophet Jeremiah had concealed the Ark(as well as the Tabernacle, and the Altar of Incense) in a cave on "the mountain where Moses went up and beheld the heritage of God." Many researcher believe that this could refer to either Mount Sinai or Mount Nebo, which is located in what is now the country of Jordan, and is the traditional burial place of Moses. The contention was made, that since these articles were made under the leadership of Moses, they may have been deposited at the site of his burial. Various archaeological expeditions had failed to turn up anything there.
During the 1920's, American explorer, Antonio Frederick Futterer, searched various locations in Jordan for the Ark, based on the clues in 2 Maccabees, and believed the location to be on Mount Pisgah, the highest peak on the Mount Nebo range. He claimed to have found an inscription on the sealed entrance of a tunnel which said: "Herein lies the golden Ark of the Covenant". In 1981, while following Futterer's map of Mount Pisgah, a gully was discovered by Tom Crotser, an American explorer, which led to a 4' X 7' tunnel that plunged 600 feet into the ground, ending at a wall, which when broken down, revealed a 10' X 12' crypt which held a rectangular chest 62" long, 37" high and 37" wide, wrapped in a blue cloth, which he believed to be the Ark. Beside it was another bundle, which he thought contained the carrying poles, the cherubim which had been mounted on the top, and the legs. The cave is located near the Church of the Franciscan Fathers of Terra Santa, and is under a building which contains the remains of an old Byzantine church. He didn't disturb the find, thus he doesn't know for sure what he saw. He reported it to the media, and he claimed that God told him to send the photographs he took to London banker David Rothschild, who some people have claimed is a direct descendant of Jesus, and has been chosen to build the third Temple. Rothschild refused to accept the pictures, and they were returned to Crotser. Noted archaeologist Siegfried Horn visited his home in Winfield, Kansas to see the pictures. Only two had any images at all- one is fuzzy, but does show a chamber with a yellow box in the center. His opinion was that it was "not an ancient artifact but of modern fabrication..."
In January, 1979, archaeologist Ronald Wyatt, while sightseeing near the Damascus Gate, felt that the location of Jeremiah's Grotto was near an ancient stone quarry on the northern extension of Mt. Moriah, that is sometimes referred to as the "Calvary Escarpment" (because it contains the skull face configuration that has been connected to the Golgotha). He believed that during the Babylonian siege of Jerusalem from 587-586 BC, when the city was surrounded, it would have been impossible to remove the Ark, so it had to be there. With the permission of the landowner, and a permit from Israeli officials, he excavated the area. On January 6, 1982, he entered a chamber that contained the Ark, and other artifacts from the first Temple, which had been hidden there by Jeremiah. The 22-foot long cave is actually located directly beneath the area where Christ was crucified. According to Wyatt's research, when Jesus was crucified, his blood flowed down to the ground, through a split in the rock, and onto the Ark.
Most serious researchers doubt his claim, saying that, as far back as the first Temple, the area of Mt. Calvary was used as burial grounds, so it is highly unlikely that the Ark would have been placed on defiled ground. Scholars have questioned his lack of archaeological training, and his techniques; yet Wyatt's work is gaining more acceptance because of other discoveries, such as the true Mt. Sinai, the location on the Red Sea crossing, Noah's Ark, the 12 altars erected by Moses, Sodom and Gomorrah, and Abraham's family tomb in Hebron. Plus, his work has produced the most information on the Ark, all of which seems to be compatible with Scripture.
Dr. Gary Collett believes that Maccabees actually refers to Qumran, and says that the layout of Cave IV is similar to the Temple, and that its lower level may have been the containment room used by Jeremiah to temporarily protect the Ark. In 1992, two scientists from the Department of Geophysics and Planetary Science at Tel-Aviv University used a ground-breaking radar known as a molecular frequency analyzer and a seismic-reflection device near two caves at the Wadi la-Chippah ("the dome of the bridge") which indicated the presence of a room containing the same sort of pottery known to contain scrolls. Preliminary trenches dug in 1993 failed to turn up anything substantial.
Once Christianity became the official religion of Rome, the treasures plundered by its legions fell into the possession of the Catholic Church. Nelson Canode, of Amarillo, Texas, a former Benedictine monk at a monastery at Subiaco, Italy, about 30 miles from Rome, said that he was taken to a cave, four levels below the monastery, where ancient artifacts were being shuttled from there to the underground vaults of the Vatican, and included the Ark and the disassembled Tabernacle. There are many who believe that once Jerusalem becomes an international city, the Vatican will return all Temple items in their possession.
Because of the research done by Graham Hancock for his book The Sign and the Seal, some people think the Ark may be in Ethiopia. Menelik I, the royal son of King Solomon, returned to Ethiopia, after his mother, the Queen of Sheba, died. When he was twenty years old, he returned to Israel, and Solomon treated him with so much favor, that the elders were jealous and wanted him to return home. Solomon agreed to send him home, on the condition that the first born sons of all the elders would go with him. Solomon wanted to give him a replica of the Ark to take with him. However, Azarius, the son of Zadok, the High Priest, worried about the idol worship which was flourishing, switched the Arks, and took the real one.
The Ark was taken to Egypt, on the island of Elephantine in the middle of the Nile, near Aswan, where a temple was built to protect it. It remained there for 200 years, until the temple was destroyed. The Ark was carried along the Nile, and the Takazze tributary into Ethiopia. They arrived at Lake Tana, which was considered a holy place. The Ark stayed on the island of Tana Kirkos for 800 years, when it was taken to the Church of St. Mary of Zion, which had been built in 372 to hold the Ark. During the 1530's, when the Muslims attacked, it was moved to safety, but returned a hundred years later to a rebuilt St. Mary's, which had been constructed on the ruins of the first. It remained there until 1965, when Emperor Haile Selassie (who called himself the "Conquering Lion of Judah" and claimed to be a direct descendent of King Solomon) moved it to the Church of Zion near the center of Aksum (Axum), in northern Ethiopia. Though the communists overthrew the monarchy in 1974, killed Selassie, and imprisoned much of the Royal family, the Ark remained safe because of its reputation for possessing an awesome amount of power, which has generated enough superstition to prevent people from trying to get to it. During all these years, the Ark has been guarded by Menelik's descendents, and the descendents of those who accompanied him, who became known as "Falasha (exile)" Jews, or the "Black Jews" This area became part of the independent nation of Eritrea in 1993.
It was alleged, that when Israel became a nation, an appeal was made to Emperor Salassie to return the Ark. He said: "In principle, I agree that the Ark should be returned to the Temple, but the correct time has not yet come." Many researchers believe that the Ark is at the chapel at Aksum, although it has never been seen.
Is Israel waiting for the discovery of the Ark, so they can rebuild the Temple; or are they waiting for the time when they can freely rebuild their Temple, so they can retrieve the Ark and place it in the Holy of Holies? There are some who share the suspicion, that Israel already knows where the Ark is, but also know that the political climate of their homeland is too volatile to take a chance on revealing its location until the right time.
Unlike the Temple, the Ark is not mentioned in Biblical prophecy. As we have discovered, the Ark was not in the second Temple, so the existence of the Ark is not necessary for the Temple to be rebuilt. However, if you turn on the 6 o'clock news, and you see that Israel is announcing the discovery of the Ark of the Covenant, this certainly will have a bearing on the prophetic timetable.
THE ANTICHRIST IS REVEALED
During the first half of the seven-year treaty with Israel, there will be quite a few changes in the world. The ability of the Western European leader to settle conflicts throughout the globe, will give the United Nations the impetus to establish world government. This will probably bring with it complete disarmament in order to maintain such a peace. Most likely, any country who does not willingly join the New World Order, will be forced to comply. According to Daniel 11:7, it says: "...and power was given him over all kindred's, and tongues, and nations." The countries of the world will make this leader from Western Europe, the head of their New World Order.
Meanwhile, the individual who has emerged as the preeminent religious leader in the world will succeed in bringing together the major religions to form a new coalition of Christianity that will be bound together with New Age philosophy. To legitimize his claim of being called by God to lead the Church, he will use his mastery of the occult to give the illusion of being able to perform "miracles."
After 42 months, or 31/2 years, the trap is finally going to be sprung. At this time, Church and State will be joined. The leader of the World Church, known as the False Prophet, will announce that the head of the world government is the Messiah who they have been waiting for, and he should be worshipped. Daniel 13:8 says: "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb (those who are not true Christians)." This man will be the Antichrist. According to Daniel 9:27, it says: "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate..." He will break his protectionary treaty with the Jews in Israel. By assuming the role as the Messiah, Jerusalem will become his city, and he will erect an image of himself in the Jewish Temple. This image will appear to speak supernaturally (Dan. 13:15), and the people will be made to worship the image of the man who is called the Beast, or die.
The Antichrist will use economic terrorism to force the people of the world to follow him.
"And he (the False Prophet) causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy and sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six." [Revelation 13:16-18]
"...If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God...And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." [Revelation 14:9-11]
Many people believe that the number 666 will be his mark, but the Bible doesn't make itself clear on that point. Six is the number of man, because he was created on the sixth day, and given six "days" to live. The number 666 is the Satanic trinity, and will be the manner in which the Antichrist will be recognized.
Iranaeus(140-202), Bishop of Lyons, a pupil of Polycarp (who was a student of the Apostle John), thought the number 666 was the Greek word 'Lateinos': L(30), A(1), T(300), E(5), I(10), N(50), 0(70), S(200), which adds up to 666. The word means 'Latin kingdom', and it was later believed that this referred to the religion of the Vatican, because Latin is their official language, which is used in their canons, missals, prayers, and blessings.
Rev. Jerry R. Church, founder and director of Prophecy in the News ministry in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, reported that the Sumerians of Noah's time, who lived in what is now southern Iraq, used a sexagesimal system of numerics, which means that their numerical system was based on the number six, instead of ten. He theorized, that since all language had a common base, and civilization's first numbering system was based on six, then a code could be devised to "count the number of the beast." The English alphabet is based on the root value of six: 6" X 2= 1 foot, 6" X 6= 1 yard, 6 "forties"= 1 section, 6 sections X 6= 1 township, 1 township= a 6 square mile area, etc. What he came up with, was an alphanumeric code: A=6, B=12, C=18, D=24, E=30, F=36, etc. Using this code, he discovered that various words, such as "Mark of the Beast", "Computer", and "New York" were equivalent to the numerical value of 666.
The number 666 has become quite prominent today, in order to get people familiar with it, and to eliminate the evil connotations that the number has. Listed below are only some of the areas where the number 666 has been used:
1) Koehring and Clark equipment companies were using 666 as part of the product identification number on certain models.
2) Stickers distributed at DuPont Co. plants said: "To be in the know, call 'Mom' (666)."
3) Products of the Bliss-Hastings Co. contained the number 666.
4) The 85th Annual Frontiers Days Festival, held in Cheyenne, Wyoming, promoted July 23, 1981 as "666 Rodeo Day."
5) The logo of Australia's National Bank card contained a configuration of the number 666.
6) In August, 1980, the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. of Virginia notified their customers that the telephone number of the U.S. Weather Service was being changed from 936-1212, to 666-1212.
7) Men's dress shirts produced in China, and sold in the U.S., had the number 666 on the label, forming the trademark of Kerman Scott Ltd.
8) At the official reopening of the Suez Canal on June 5, 1975, the first Egyptian warship entering it, which was carrying Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, had the number 666 on its bow.
9) The World Bank code number was 666.
10) Some credit cards in the U.S. had the numerical prefix of 666.
11) The Olivetti Computer System P6060, used processing numbers which began with 666.
12) Sears, Belk, J. C. Penney, and Montgomery Ward computers were prefixing their transactions with the number 666, as mandated by its computer programming.
13) Shoes made in Italy had 666 stamped on the inside label. It consisted of a circle, divided in half; with a horned lamb (see Rev. 13:11) on top, and the number 666 on the bottom. It was later put on all Common Market products.
14) IBM computer equipment in supermarkets had the number 3X666 on them.
15) Visa credit cards represent the number 666: the Roman numeral for 6 is "VI"; the number 6 in ancient Greek was taken from the sixth letter of their alphabet, the letter "stigma", which looks like the English "S"; and in the Babylonian sexagesimal system, and "A" represented 6. Thus the word VISA forms the number 666.
16) Computers manufactured by Lear Siegler, Inc. in the U.S. and shipped to Israel, had a seal on the side stamped with the number 666, which was later discontinued.
17) The Federal Government Medicaid Service Employees Division number was 666.
18) The Internal Revenue Service's ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) Division had the number 666 on their employee's badges.
19) In 1977, the IRS began requiring the number 666 as a prefix on forms for tax payments on Individual Retirement Accounts (form W-2P): Disability is 666.3, death is 666.4, etc. After alot of protest, it was omitted in 1978-79, but resumed in 1980-81.
20) IRS instructions for the 1979 non-profit Corporation Employee W-2 form, required the prefix 666.
21) Some states had the number 666 on their requisition paperwork.
22) President Carter's secret security force had patches with the number 666 on them.
23) Chrysler Corporation manufactured tanks for President Carter's secret security force that had the number 666 on the side.
24) A contest sponsored by the Israeli Dept. of Education in 1980, featured a tic-tac-toe game, that allowed you to win money if you scratched off the numbers 666.
25) The McGregor Clothing Co. had introduced a "666 Collection" of menswear.
26) A telephone company in the mid-west had its credit cards encoded with the number 666.
27) Identification tags on Japanese-made parts for the Caterpillar Co. in Peoria, Illinois, had the number 666 on them as part of the product code.
28) FLXO Mens Chore Gloves made by the Boss Clove Co., were stamped with the number 666 as a style number,
29) The Crow's Hybrid Corn Co. of Iowa offered a "666" seed as its top yielding hybrid.
30) Scotty had offered a new improved 666 fertilizer.
31) South Central Bell's Telco Credit Union cards had the prefix 666, and then the person's Social Security number.
32) Metric rulers which were distributed in 1979 throughout the country had the number 666 on them.
33) I.D. tags on 1979 General Motor cars manufactured in Flint, Michigan, had the number 666 on them.
34) U.S. Selective Service cards had the number 666 as part of its code.
35) The overseas telephone operator number from Israel was 666.
36) After 1973, Arab-owned vehicles in Jerusalem had the prefix of 666 on their license plates, for the purpose of being able to identify the enemy in case of war.
37) An album by the heavy metal band "Black Sabbath" was called "666".
38) There was an elementary grade algebra book published by the Thomas Corwell Co. in New York, titled "666 Jellybeans".
39) Mastercard had started to use the number "66" on their statements in August, 1980.
40) The formula for the NCR model 304 Supermarket Computer was 6 60 6(which is six, three score, and six).
41) The "Sundial" style floor tile manufactured by Armstrong, were prefixed with the number 666-13.
42) The cutter boom governing heads on coal mining equipment in Beckley, West Virginia, produced by the Lee Morse Co., were coded with the number 666.
43) Financial institutions in Florida were using the number 666.
The mark may be some sort of identification number, such as your Social Security number, which will serve to identify everyone. In None Dare Call It Conspiracy, author Gary Alien wrote (pg. 13): "...his (the individual's) freedom and choice will be controlled within very narrow alternatives by the fact that he will be numbered from birth and followed, as a number... (until) his final retirement and death benefits." It could be that your Social Security number could be used for such a system, since U.S. law requires every citizen to have such a number by the time they enter the first grade.
The move is on for everyone in the United States to have an identification card. A Special Presidential Commission on Immigration and Refugees had recommended a national identification card in an attempt to keep illegal aliens in check. The U.S. News and World Report, in their September 15, 1980 issue, ran an article called "A National Identity Card?" It reported that the Federal Government was planning an identification card that would prevent anyone without one from working or transacting any sort of business. This computerized system would keep track of every citizen, According to a 1994 proposal by the Congressional Commission on Immigration Reform, all American citizens and legal immigrants would be given a national identification card. The project was later shelved, but elsewhere the move is on. In 1995, the European Economic Community was to begin issuing identification cards to all the citizens of western Europe.
In California, drivers licenses are to be issued that will contain a microchip that will contain personal information, motor vehicle records, criminal records, a photograph, and fingerprints. And now, in a test program by the Department of Defense, the Pentagon is issuing M.A.R.C. cards (Multi-Technology Automatic Reader Card) to their soldiers. It contains a bar code, a magnetic strip, a digitized photograph, and an integrated circuit computer chip. An internal Pentagon memo stated that the card would encode all of a soldier's records. This "6.6 megabyte Laser Card" from Drexler Technology Corporation can store nearly 2,000 pages of information, which is more than enough for identification numbers, biographical information, school records, photographs, signature, voice print, fingerprints, medical and health care records, credit and banking information, job information and activities. This card is believed to be the prototype for the national identification card that will be issued to all U.S. citizens.
A worldwide communications network has already been established, and is known as SWIFT(Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication). This system links member banks across the globe in a manner designed to accommodate any type of computer system. The Burroughs Corp. developed the data processing and communications system equipment that will be used as a private communications system for the transmission of payment and other international banking transactions and communication. It is made up of switching centers in Brussels(Belgium) and Amsterdam (Netherlands), which have been linked to Burroughs data concentrators in Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Helsinki, London, Milan, Lux, Montreal, New York, Oslo, Paris, Stockholm, Vienna, and Zurich. These data concentrators are linked to terminals in all the member banks of those countries. Brussels is the location of the Main Switching Center, which occupies three floors of the European Communities thirteen-floor headquarters. Dr. Hanrick Eldeman, Chief Analyst for the Common Market, said in a 1974 meeting of the Common Market leaders during the unveiling of the huge, self-programming computer known as "The Beast", that a computerized revitalization project is being prepared to "straighten out world chaos," and that the computer has the potential of "numbering every human on earth."
This computer has since taken a back seat to the computer in the Monet Building in Luxembourg, which is the largest in the world. The building is almost a half- block square. Paul Peterson wrote in his book Sinister World Computerization: "I saw the center in Luxembourg that can compute facts and figures on everyone in the world." According to the book SWIFT: Banking and Business, Dr. T. Hugh Moreton said: "In early 1982 we are ready to believe every country in the world will be connected in one way or another to SWIFT." The United States SWIFT Bank, built at a cost of $15 million, is located near the Federal Reserve Office in Culpepper, Virginia.
Everyone living in the major industrial nations are tied into this system through Social Security numbers, Driver License numbers, Birth Certificates, Passport numbers, and Credit Card numbers. All financial transactions are on record, including taxes paid, and property acquisitions. Also in its memory banks are changes of address, and your employment record.
In 1798, Adam Clarke, a Methodist Minister, said: "The Mark of the Beast will be an 18 digit number, 6 + 6 + 6." In 1977, Dr. Eldeman of the Common Market said that he was preparing to assign a number to everyone in the world, which would be a "three six-digital unit, 18 numbers." All other numbers, such as driver license numbers and credit card numbers would be phased out in lieu of your Social Security number, since it is already used in bank dealings, Medicaid, Medicare, Blue Cross, and various other identification methods. This number, most likely, will be used for the issuing of an International Card so that financial transactions can be accomplished electronically. Mary Stewart Relfe, Ph.D., author of the books, When Your Money Fails...The "666 System" Is Here, and The New Money System, believes that the code on an international card could be:
666- [ International Code to Activate the World Computer ]
110- [ National Code to Activate Central U.S. Computer ]
202- [ Telephone Area Code ]
123-45-6789 [ Social Security Number ]
Christians who returned credit cards with a 666 prefix, were told that by 1982, the number 666 would be on all cards, If it is, the number is encoded on the magnetic strip on the back which can only be read by infrared scanners. Relfe believes that the Personal Identification Transaction Card (P.I.T.) may include a photograph, signature, and the identification number encoded on it with a magnetic strip and a bar code.
The advent of debit cards may have heralded the coming of this type of card. Years ago, Gary Allen wrote in A Decade Left- Has Orwell's 1984 Come Early?: "Federal planners forsee the day when every citizen will have a money card instead of money to spend. The cards will be placed in a machine at each point of purchase, and the charge would be electronically subtracted from the customer's Federal Reserve Account." The November, 1975 issue of Progressive Grocer reported: "The day will come when one card will be good at any terminal, in any state..." In the September 21, 1976 issue of the Daily Oklahoman, was an article titled, "The Cashless Society Expected to Become Reality Soon", which said: "The long-talked about cashless society is almost here. Bank debit cards are expected to go into nationwide use soon." In the December 27, 1979 issue of Electronic Fund Transfer Report, there was an article titled "Electronic Money" which revealed: "A sophisticated point of sale system is quietly operated by the Chase Manhattan Bank in one of the banking industry's best kept secrets. Chase is now directly linked to hundreds of electronic cash registers or P.O.S. terminals in department and specialty stores...by offering this service to merchants on a nationwide basis, a network will be created that will allow the Chase Manhattan Bank to have a national E.F.T. present." On May 29, 1980, during ABC-TV's Good Morning America show, a Federal Reserve official talked about the existence of a new Federal debit card: "A thin piece of plastic which is to be inserted in automatic machines. One must then punch in his own secret code number...You are not to write your number down, tell it to anyone, or record it anywhere. It must be memorized." Giant Food, Inc. and the Safeway Stores were the first to install the Point-of-Sale computerized Electronic Fund Transfer checkout machines in their supermarkets to take bank debit cards. They were later joined by Mobil Oil who installed the system in all of its gas stations throughout the country. Since then, debit cards have slowly become assimilated into all aspects of the retail industry.
Now the move is to combine the credit card and the debit card into a single multi-use card. It can be used to make deposits, pay bills, transfer money, make withdrawals, make purchases, and borrow money. On March 3, 1979, the Knight News Service in Miami, Florida reported: "By 1980, many bankers predict, most shoppers will exchange the wallet full of credit cards they now carry for a single, all-purpose card and number." In the September 17, 1979 issue of the Electronic Fund Transfer Report, in an article called "MasterCard", reported: "In a speech, John J. Reynolds, President of Interbank Card Association, said that 'the newly named MasterCard (formerly known as Master Charge) will be a full transaction card, rather than just a credit card." The article continued: "In significant ways, Interbank now had brought its EFT strategy in line with Visa's. The debit card will bear the familiar red and ochre logo, in the same way that all Visa cards are blue, white and gold. Even the magnetic stripe specification adopted for the new MasterCard now embraces an element introduced by Visa's three digit service code in the discretionary data-field of track two. With this code, it will be possible to determine if a card from one country many be used...in another country. D. Sean Miller, Interbank Senior Vice-President, told EFT Report: 'the real reason it's there is that it would be very difficult to put it in later."' According to the October 26, 1981 issue of Business Week, Russell E. Hogg, President of MasterCard International, Inc., predicted: "Within five to seven years, there will be more debit cards in America than credit cards." An article in Time magazine, September 29, 1980 reported: "It looks and feels like a credit card, payment takes place instantly. A computer deducts funds from the shopper's bank account and transfers them into that of the store or restaurant where purchases have been made..." The cover of the January 18, 1982 issue of Business Week, depicted a single debit card for nationwide electronic banking. The accompanying article said: "One month ago key executives from a dozen of the largest U.S. and Canadian banks flew to a secret meeting at Chicago's O'Hare Hilton Hotel to form a joint venture that would create the first National Retail-Banking Network...the new networks should be far more powerful than Visa and MasterCard because they will operate with the debit card."
One of the reasons being given to move towards the cashless society, is the effect it would have on crime. An attorney wrote in the American Bar magazine: "Crime would be virtually eliminated if cash became obsolete. Cash is the only real motive for 90% of the robberies. Hence its liquidation would create miracles in ridding earth's citizens of muggings and holdups." A cashless society would also eliminate extortion and blackmail for money; and the purchase of illegal contraband, such as drugs and untaxed alcohol. However, the real reason for going cashless, is that the population can be controlled and manipulated.
The 3" X 3" magnetic stripe on the back credit and debit cards have the potential to carry about 5,000,000 bits of information, or about 100,000 words. Which means that it could conceivably record your credit history, work history, medical history, or in short, the story of your life. However, technology is changing so rapidly, that the magnetic strip has been rendered obsolete by the 'Smart Card', which has a 2 line display screen, yet is only slightly larger than a credit card. Instead of a magnetic strip, it is imbedded with an integrated circuit chip for the storage of information, and it can be updated each time the card is used. With this card, a person could shop, bank, and receive social services; and it could be used to store their medical history, Social Security records and other personal information. It eliminates credit card fraud because there is no number on it. However, since the chip card costs between $20-$50 to produce, and the magnetic strip only costs 60? to produce; and most electronic systems have already been set up for the magnetic strip, it is unlikely that the industry will convert.
In the April, 1980 edition of Business Week, there was an advertisement for National Cash Register, for the financial (cashless) terminals, which featured a card called the "Worldwide Money Card" which they said will replace all the world's currencies. Another advertisement in the November 5, 1981 edition of the Wall Street Journal read: "A new banking era has begun and Citibank invites you to be in the forefront...A global system linking every major city in America to a bank with a financial service network that circles the entire world." Dr. Emil Gaverluk, President of Caleb Communications USA, said: "The next card beyond Visa's stage will be a universal card, and will probably be issued out of Europe. It will be issued to all industrialized nations and they'll tell you this is the best card you've ever had in your life...the next stage after that is the number on the forehead or hand."
Paper currency and checks will be phased out in lieu of debit cards, and debit cards will be converted to the International Card, as all the nations do away with their monetary systems to do business through computers. But people will lose their card, or have it stolen, or accidentally mutilate it. You have probably noticed that the magnetic strip on your credit cards does not hold up well. The constant rubbing against each other, and against your wallet, causes scratches and drop outs on the strips which can not be read by scanners. These arguments will result in numbers being tattooed directly on the body.
Professor B. A. Hodson, director of the Computer Center at the University of Manitoba, had recommended an identifying mark to be put on the forehead of every person. The cover of the September 20, 1973 issue of Senior Scholastics, a high school publication, showed a group of kids with numbers tattooed on their foreheads, and the feature article was titled, "Public Needs and Private Rights - Who Is Watching You?" An advertisement by the First Tennessee Bank, showed a man with his bank number tattooed on his arm, implying that this was the only way to remember your number. Initially, a process had been developed to create a permanent non-toxic fluid that could be invisibly tattooed on human flesh, until a particular light, such as infrared or ultraviolet, shown on it. The process was tested by tattooing Social Security numbers on babies. In 1974, a Washington State University professor, Dr. R. Keith Farrell, invented a laser gun, which he used to number fish, which accomplished the task in less than a second. When asked if the gun could be used to put numbers on people, he said: "It could indeed be used for such a purpose." The laser beam can not be felt, the number can not be seen with the naked eye, and it is as permanent as your fingerprints. Dr. Ray Brubaker wrote in his book, Is the Antichrist Now Here?: "In Cincinnati, Ohio, an experiment was conducted in which there was affixed on the back of each hand a number that was read by a scanner in the supermarket where these people did their shopping. As each item was checked out, the cash register simultaneously flashed it to the proper bank, where it was automatically deducted from that person's account." A full-page illustration which appeared in a 1993 issue of the London Daily Mail, showed housewives in Europe making purchases by putting their hands on a computer screen at the cash register.
Another possibility has to be discussed here. Note that in Revelation 13:16, it says that the "mark" will be placed "in" the right hand or forehead, not "on" it. An article in the October 2, 1980 edition of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported: "Race horses and house cats or other domestic animals may be injected with minute electronic wafers that will help owners trace their animals. Vern Taylor, President of Identification Devices, Inc., said that the wafer is printed with a serial number and injected into the animal, When an electronic wand is passed over the area, the serial number is displayed on a digital readout. The microchip will be sold to Vetinarians, he said. A computer data bank, known as the Animal Bureau of Identification, also will help law enforcement officials as well as animal control officers identify animals." An article in the June 21, 1981 edition of the Denver Post reported that "a chip...about the diameter of the lead in an automatic pencil...can be injected with a simple insulin-type syringe into a human (or animal)...one wafer is encoded with a 12-digit unique number." It can also be placed on inanimate objects to electronically monitor the whereabouts of store merchandise and leased equipment. A Washington Times article(0ctober 11, 1993) contained a report by Martin Anderson, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute, concerning a solution for the problem of people losing their identification cards. He said: "You see, there is an identification system you can't lose. It's the Syringe Implantable Transponder, a permanent method of identification using radio waves. A tiny microchip, the size of a grain of rice, is simply injected under the skin." With this microchip, satellites can identify your location within 15 feet. Will this be the method used to give everyone a number? Since you can be injected with one of these wafers unknowingly, some researchers have suggested that the government may have already implemented this program by administering it during infancy with the mandatory immunization.
I am sure you have seen the horizontal scanners at the grocery stores which are used to read the UPC symbols off of the items you are buying, so that the computer will automatically print the price of that item. No doubt these scanners already have the capability of scanning your forehead or your hand. But have you seen the upright scanners? With a flat scanner, the cashier only had to slide the item across the scanning plate; but with -the upright scanner, the cashier has to lift the item up in front of the scanner. I was amazed the first time I seen one, because right away I knew that its purpose wasn't to make things easier for the cashier, It was to make it easier to scan your forehead and hand. I haven't seen a lot of them, so it don't know if the retail industry as a whole is going to upgrade to this version of the scanner.
We have been talking about future developments, so let's talk about the present. Do you realize that with the Universal Product Code (UPC), we are already buying and selling under the number 666.
In 1970, the National Association of Food Chains, and five other major trade associations representing manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers, met, and formed an ad hoc committee to set up guidelines for an encoding system that could be accepted by the entire industry. In 1971, a code management committee came up with the concept of a ten-digit numerical code: the first five to identify the manufacturer, and the last five to identify the specific item. In 1972, the Uniform Grocery Product Code Council, Inc. and Distribution Codes, Inc. (in charge of assigning numbers) was established, with thousands of companies invited to become members. On April 3, 1973, the ad hoc committee announced that they had selected a twelve-digit bar code that could be printed by conventional methods, and be scanned omni-directionally by an automated system. By the end of 1974, the Uniform Grocery Product Code Council had changed their name to the Uniform Product Code Council, Inc., and had 21 representatives from manufacturers, distributors, and trade associations on their Board. Around 2,600 companies, representing a total of $70.7 billion in annual sales, had become members of the Code Council, and were utilizing the bar coding on their products.
UNIVERSAL PRODUCT CODE
Left Hand Guide Bar (101, which represents the number 6 / 2 black bars / 1 white bar): tells the computer that information is coming.
Center Bar (01010, which represents the number 6 / 2 black bars / 3 white bars): separates the design.
Right Hand Guide Bar (101, which represents the number 6 / 2 black bars / 1 white bar): tells the computer that information is complete.
The regular size of the bar code is 1.469" X 1.020", but it can be printed from 80% of that size, to twice that size. It must appear in a rectangular block on the bottom, side or back panel of a product, or anywhere it can be scanned. The bar code is a series of black and white parallel bars, 30 black and 31 white (for 10 digits), with white margins on each side. Each digit of the code is represented by two black bars, and two white bars, which is composed of seven data elements or "modules". A module may be white or black. A white or black bar can be made up of 1, 2, 3, or 4 modules. Modules are all the same width, being that they are the foundation of the system, and create the bars which are visible to the naked eye.
If you look at the above diagram of the UPC symbol, you will notice that the symbol is split into two sides, a left-hand side, using an odd number of modules; and a right-hand side, using an even number of modules, making them opposite of each other. Thus, it doesn't matter if the symbol is entered upside-down. For each set of 7 modules is a number, and each number is represented by a field whose optical bars are broken down into the following binary codes, where 0 = a blank space, and 1 = a black bar:
Set 1 (left side)
0 - 0001101
1 - 0011001
3 - 0111101
4 - 0100011
5 - 0110001
6 - 0101111
7 - 0111011
8 - 0110111
9 - 0001011
Set 2 (right side)
0 - 1110010
1 - 1100110
2 - 1101100
3 - 1000010
4 - 1011100
5 - 1001110
6 - 1010000
7 - 1000100
8 - 1001000
9 - 1110100
0 = Number System Character (to the left of the Left Hand Guide Bar)
0 = Grocery UPC Code
1 = Unknown
2 = Variable weight items such as fruit, meat and produce
3 = National Drug Code and Health Related Items Code
4 = Reserved for NDC and HRIC, if manufacturer identification code on left has to be expanded to 11 digits(1st five on the left side, 6th will be placed at the right of the symbol)
5 = Reserved for use on coupons
6 = Encodes a 12-digit code when the code must be expanded
7 = Unknown
8 = Unknown
9 = Encodes a 12-digit code in stores where more information is needed on symbol
77975 = Manufacturer Code
02265 = Manufacturer Product Code
8 = Check Character (to the right of the Right Hand Guide Bar)
This is the last digit of the UPC bar code, and it is encoded in the last seven modules on the right-hand side. Sometimes the actual number may appear on the right-hand side of the symbol, just as the Number System Character appears on the left-hand side. The purpose of the Check Character is to check for errors, such as the unauthorized addition of lines that could result in the computer reading the wrong number. Going back to our diagram of the UPC symbol, here is how the Check Character system works:
7 + 7 + 0 + 2 + 5 = 21
7 + 9 + 5 + 2 + 6 = 29
The top row of numbers are in the even positions, and the bottom row are in the odd positions. You add the two lines together as indicated, which gives you a figure of 50. Subtract 50 from the next highest number which is a multiple of 10, which is 60. So 60 - 50 = 10, or a Check Character of O, which is encoded at the end of the UPC bar code.
The Zero Suppression Method (Design # 2) of the UPC Symbol permits zeros to be eliminated from the ten digit code number, narrowing it to six numbers, which reduces the width of the symbol so it can fit on a product with a smaller package. Known as truncation, this method also reduces the height by shortening the length of the vertical lines; and reduces the computer's effectiveness in reading the symbol omnidirectionally. It is the second most commonly used UPC design.
The intention of this alternate design was to insure that the general public would not crack the UPC code. It actually represents half of the regular symbol. The design incorporates bar codes from the first and second sets, and from a third set created from the second set. The regular, full-size design will never use any bar codes from Set Three; while Design #2 will never use the following bar codes from Set Two: 0, 4, 5 and 9. These bar codes from Set Two are used to represent the numbers 0, 4, 5 and 9 in Set Three. In addition, Set Three uses a completely different bar code for the number 6. Since the design is half of the regular design, it uses half of its center bar pattern to represent the number 6 in the third set of numbers.
Set 2 ? Set 3
0 becomes 5
5 becomes 0
4 becomes 9
9 becomes 4
There is an extended version of the main design (Design #3) of the UPC symbol for use on magazines and books. While the main portion of the design will only use bar codes from the first and second sets; the extended area on the right side of the symbol will use bar codes from all three sets.
The "666" System
To review, Revelation 13:17 says: "And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." Incredibly, as you have seen, through the use of the UPC system of encoding products, we are actually buying and selling with the number 666. The left and right-hand guides, and center bar patterns in Design #1, is designated by the following binary codes:
left-hand guide: 101
right-hand guide: 101
center bar pattern: 01010
Now let's look at the number 6 when used as a Data Character. In the second set, the number 6 is encoded as 1010000. In other words, the only visible modules of the number 6, is the designation of 101, which is used in the left and right-hand guides, and the center bar pattern. Since the Data Characters use a seven module encodation, and the two guides and center pattern consist of three and five modules, it is obvious that the two numerical encodations are different. While the numbers at the bottom of the UPC symbol represent the Manufacturer Code, and the Manufacturer Product Code; the numbers encoded in the two guide bars and center bar pattern, represent the number "666". This "666" code can be found in every UPC symbol. In Design #2, which is half of Design #1, it incorporates a third bar code for the number six, which is represented by half of the center bar pattern, or a module pattern of 010.
The number 6 is a prominent part of the UPC, symbol. In Design #1, there are six numbers on the left side, and six numbers on the right side. There are six numbers in Design #2. There are six different variations of the UPC symbol. Six is the perfect computer number, a fact, which, according to the Wall Street Journal (November 11, 1981), led Apple Computer, Inc. to introduce their Apple I units at a price of $666.66.
Richard J. Mindlin, Executive Vice-President of the Uniform Product Code Council had said: "There are no unidentified characters in the symbol, as each encodation serves either as data characters or for information to indicate to the scanner to start or stop reading. These start and stop characters are not the same as the encodation for the digit '6'." However, the evidence is overwhelming to the contrary, Bible prophecy has been fulfilled- we are buying and selling with the number 666.
The UPC system functions like this. The prices are marked on the shelf, and not the item (although some chains continue to put prices on the items). As the items are carried down the conveyer belt, the cashier pulls the item, symbol downward, across the scanner, then bags the item. The scanner contains a laser beam which emits a beam of light. The white bars or spaces will reflect more light than the black bars, which is measured by a light detector. A time measurement of how long the beam takes to move across the bar and space, is also used for decoding. The scanner reads the symbol, no matter what direction it is passed over the scanner, from several inches, to a foot away, decoding the number and sending the number to a computer. The computer transmits to the electronic cash register, the price of the product, which is indicated on a display, and printed on the receipt tape. Checkout time is speeded up by 60-70% over the conventional method, eliminating the need for as many employees. When the register totals the purchase, the printed receipt tape usually indicates the store name, number, and location, item name, item price, whether it is taxable, and the total. It allows for payment in cash, food stamps, check, debit card, or credit card; and deducts the coupons which are presented. It tells how much change is received, the date, time, and lane number, Besides the quickness and efficiency, another feature of the system is the ability to automatically keep track of inventory.
Those stores who already have electronic fund transfer (EFT) capabilities, and are accepting debit cards, are pulling funds directly from a customer's checking account, and transferring it to the store's account at the bank. Needless to say, the system is also able to accept an international debit card. This same system can also accommodate the final step, or the "mark of the beast." In the October, 1980 edition of Advertising Age magazine, TeleResearch Item Movement, Inc. (TRIM) had a full page advertisement for their supermarket computer scanner, which featured the picture of a man with a UPC symbol printed on his forehead. Relfe believes that the UPC method of encoding will be used to invisibly place identification numbers on the forehead and hand with a laser. When the international debit card is phased out, the scanners now being used in stores will also be able to scan your forehead and hand.
Besides the warning in Revelation 14:10 not to take this Mark; the Law of Moses in Leviticus 19:28 said: "Ye shall not...print any marks upon you..." Revelation 16:2 indicates that those who take the Mark will be stricken with a "grievous sore."
Sen. Frank Church said in August, 1975, that "the government has the technological capacity to impose 'total tyranny' if ever a dictator came to power. There would be no place to hide." The Antichrist will be that dictator. The purpose of the Mark, is to serve as a surveillance tool, to make a person totally dependent on the government. Without the Mark, you won't be able to buy food for you and your family, receive medical treatment, buy clothing, or gas for your car. Your utilities will be shut-off, and you won't be able to get a job. Those who do not take the Mark, will be constantly harassed by the government; especially true Christians, who will become fugitives when their freedom of religion is taken away.
"AND THEN SHALL THE END COME"
"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place..." [Matthew 24:15]
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God," [2 Thessalonians 2:3-4]
"And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days." [Daniel 12:11-12]
"And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints and to overcome them..." [Revelation 13:5-7]
"I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them..." [Daniel 7:21]
"Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains." [Matthew 24:16]
"But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judea flee to the mountains." [Mark 13:14]
"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...And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuteth the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent...And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." [Revelation 12:6, 13-17]
When the Antichrist reveals himself by defiling the Jewish Temple with a statue of his image, and his demand that he be worshipped as the Messiah; the eyes of the Jewish people will be opened. He will become the most dreaded being that ever walked the earth. Revelation 13:2 indicates that "the dragon (Satan) gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority," and once his Satanic agenda is realized, the Jews will flee Israel to escape his wrath. With the phrase "two wings of a great eagle" it's possible that an airlift will be mounted to aid the Jews in their escape into the "wilderness."
This area is believed to be the land of Edom, Moab, and Ammon, which were not overrun by Russian forces. There in the southern Jordanian wilderness, 180 miles south of the Ammon, and 75 miles north of Aqaba (which is on the Gulf of Aqaba), is a 20-square mile complex known as the ancient city of Petra(a Greek word meaning "Rock"). Located in a valley, and surrounded by impassable sandstone cliffs, the only entrance is a narrow path known as El Ciq, which is about 6,000 feet long, and varies in width from 12 to 30 feet. The sides are part of nearly perpendicular cliffs which range in heights from 300-500 feet.
Known as Mount Seir in the Bible, this was the home of Esau, the father of the Edomites (ancestors of the Palestinian Arabs). During the Babylonian captivity of the Jews, the Edomites moved into Israel, and Petra was inhabited by an Arabic tribe known as the Nabataeans (said to be the descendants of Nebajoth, the oldest son of Ishmael) during the 6th century BC, and became an important trade center. They were defeated by the Romans around 55 BC, and in 32 BC, Marc Antony gave Petra to Cleopatra of Egypt as a gift. Because he was married to Octavia, the sister of Roman Emperor, the Senate stripped him of his rank and ordered him back to Rome. Antony committed suicide in 30 BC, as did Cleopatra later. With the decrease of Roman influence in the 5th century, and after the Islamic invasion during the 7th century, the area became part of the province of Arabia, and remained a ghost town until it was rediscovered in 1812 by Swiss explorer John L. Burckhardt. The last segment of the 1989 Paramount movie "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" was filmed at Petra.
Believed to have originally been built inside an extinct volcano, this rock city contains many elaborate facades among its many structures, which includes various tombs, monuments, and dwellings, which were carved into the rock of the mountainside. Some date back to the Edomite era, most are Nabataean, and some are Roman and early Christian. There are thousands of natural and man-made caves. Even though it is located in a desert area, there are water cisterns there, and dozens of springs and wells, including the Ain Musa ("Spring of Moses"), two miles from the entrance, which is traditionally identified as one of the two sites where Moses produced water by striking a rock. At one time this spring had been channeled into the city. It has been reported that Petra could hold up to a million people.
In 1935, out of a $5 million trust fund, Dr. William E. Blackstone sent a group of Christians there with Bibles, printed in Hebrew, which were sealed in copper boxes and buried in hewn-out vaults in the mountain. The Bibles are marked at the passages which deal with the Antichrist. More recently, a construction firm out of Minneapolis, Minnesota, has been hired to restore the water system; and other international teams were schedules to carry out other restoration work.
This event marks the beginning of the end, for when the Antichrist is able to do this, he will have been able to take control of Jerusalem. Revelation 11:2 says: "...for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months." By this time, he will have absolute power over 25% of the world (Rev. 6:8), with the main concentration being in the Middle East. He will seek out and destroy the true Christians who will not worship him or take his Mark. In Matthew 24:9, Jesus said: "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake." Revelation 20:4 talks about those who were "beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands..."
It is at this time when "two witnesses" will emerge to "prophesy", according to Revelation 11:3. It says, "I will give power unto my two witnesses," which could indicate that God intends to anoint a couple of ordinary men, who will become "super evangelists", possessing extraordinary powers like the prophets of old.
However, just as angels have been sent to Earth in various capacities, the consensus seems to be that these two will be prophets sent by God. There have been two possibilities mentioned as to the identities of the two. Matthew 17:3 and Mark 9:4, refer to Jesus being transfigured with Elijah and Moses. In 2 Kings 2:11, the prophet Elijah was taken to heaven in a fiery chariot; and in Malachi 4:5, this prophecy is given: "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." Moses, unlike Elijah, had died, so it was his spiritual body which had appeared. So the identity of the second witness perhaps points to Enoch, because he was the only other person in the Bible who never died. According to Genesis 5:24, he was taken by God.
These two witnesses, who will preach for 1,260 days, or 31/2 years, will most likely have a ministry similar to John the Baptist. They will be latter-day prophets, opposing the dictatorship and government of the Antichrist, and spreading the word that the Son of man, Jesus, the true Messiah, is returning the reclaim the Earth. After their ministry is complete, the Antichrist will succeed in having them killed, and as a warning to others, the Antichrist will demand that the bodies remain unburied, so that all can see the extent of his power.
However, God will show his power, and bring them back to life, and they will be taken back to Heaven. At this point, the Antichrist will put his military might on full alert, because he knows that the Scriptures are about to be fulfilled.
There is a risk in trying to interpret Bible prophecy, and piece together last day events. In the quest for understanding, literal and rational explanations are attached to events which may seem beyond reason. Realizing that Biblical writers were describing events in terms familiar to them, it becomes necessary to adapt those descriptions into modern-day correlations. For example, Revelation 9:16-19 describes the action of the 6th of 7 angels, whose trumpet-blast set in motion an invasion force of monstrous creatures. Clearly the mention of angelic activities is describing things which are occurring in the spiritual realm, however the results of those actions are literal events. The creatures which are described do not exist, but if we consider the number of them, "two hundred thousand thousand"; the description of "horsemen" in Joel 2:4; and Revelation 16:12, which describes the 6th angel pouring out his vial, which causes the Euphrates River to dry up, so "that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared"; then we can venture a guess as to the identity of this military force.
An estimate made in April, 1961, said that there "were 200 million armed and organized militiamen" in China. The Associated Press reported that one out of every five in China have had military training. Premier Mao Tse-tung publicly boasted the fact that China could field an army of 200 million. A Chinese documentary called "Voice of the Dragon" revealed that China could produce a military force of 200 million. In an Associated Press article by John A. Hightower, on April 28, 1964, he said: "The documents (secret Chinese military plans) make clear that the Red Chinese leaders believe that they cannot be defeated by long range nuclear missiles, such as U.S. missiles, and if they invaded, they could rely on their vast military manpower." To comprehend a number this large, bear in mind that the population of the United States is close to 260,000,000.
Napoleon said: "Let China sleep, for when China awakes, let the nations tremble." In 1953, Premier Mao Tse-tung (who in 1921 founded China's Communist Party) said: "Members of the Chinese Communist Party do not take second place to the members of any Communist Party in the world." With the destruction of the Russian military, China is the last bastion of Communist domination. They will join the forces of the Antichrist as he mobilizes for his last stand.
The government of Pakistan, with the help of 12,000 Chinese soldiers, constructed the 549 mile Korakoram superhighway, which has been nicknamed the "roof on top of the world." Starting in Tibet, it weaves its way through the province of Singkiang; the mountains peaks of Manchuria, Mongolia, Nepal, the Himalayas, West Pakistan; and into Afghanistan, to where the Euphrates River rises in Turkey, and runs across Syria. It follows the ancient trans-Asian invasion route used by Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and the Mogul invaders. Will China use this highway as a route to Israel.
It is written that the Euphrates River will be dried up at the time of this troop movement. It could be done through supernatural means, as has happened with the Red Sea and the Jordan River (Ex. 14:13-22, Josh. 3:4, 2 Ki? 2:8, 14); or it could be the result of manipulation. There are two dams in the Turkish section of the Euphrates, Ataturk and Karakaya. In 1974, Soviet engineers built the Keban dam, and in 1975, built another at Tabka, in Syria. In January, 1990, Turkey began the operation of a dam that caused the river to fall 75% in one day. So, it is quite possible that the river could be made to dry up at just the right time.
Revelation 16:13-16 identifies the unholy trinity of Satan, the Antichrist, and the False Prophet working to bring together the armies of the world in preparation for the coming battle. This place is identified: "And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon." Armageddon is a combination of the two Hebrew words 'har' and 'magedon', which roughly translated, means the "mount of Megiddo". It is located on a 300 square mile area on the south side of the valley of Megiddo, or the Plain of Esdraelon (Jezreel), southeast of Mt. Carmel, which extends to the Jordan Valley. Megiddo, which stood at the entrance of a pass across the Carmel mountain range, was the capital of the area of Canaan when it was attacked by Joshua. The port city of Haifa is located at the Valley's western entrance, and no doubt will be utilized as the drop-off point for troops who are transported by naval vessels. While this area is identified as the area where the armies of the world gather, Joel 3:2, 12, 14, pinpoints the battle area as the valley of Jehoshaphat, which was known as the "valley of decision" and according to tradition is believed to be located near Jerusalem, in the Kidron valley.
In Revelation 19:11, John writes: "And I saw heaven open and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war." The rider is none other than Jesus, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. He is followed by an army of angels. Verse 19 describes the reception waiting below: "And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army."
It seems obvious that the military might of the Antichrist will use any means at their disposal to do battle against an invincible adversary. The extent of our present weapons technology is our nuclear capability, and the Bible gives an excellent description of just that kind of warfare in Revelation 9:18(fire, smoke, and brimstone).
"The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together...for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty...Behold the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine...Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger...[it] shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah." [Isaiah 13:4-19]
"..let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand; A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness...A fire devoureth before them; and behind them a flame burneth... The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining." [Joel 2:1-10]
"Behold, the day of the Lord cometh...For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle...Their flesh shall consume away while they stand on their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth." [Zechariah 14:1-12]
"But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory." [Mark 13:24-26]
"And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth...and every mountain and island were moved out of their places...For the great day of his wrath is come: and who shall be able to stand?" [Revelation 6:12-17]
This event, is compared to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (which occurred about 1897 BC), and is discussed in Genesis 19:24-29: "Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground...and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace."
In 1924, a joint expedition of archaeologists W. F. Albright and Mervyn G. Kyle, from the American School and Xenia Seminary, discovered five oases, on a plain, 500 feet above the level of the southeast corner of the Dead Sea in the Moabite foothills. Evidence of a walled area was discovered at Bab-Edh Dra'a (Bab edh-Dhra) in 1965, part of a fortification built by the Canaanites during the time of Abraham; and from1975-79, excavations of pots and other items were unearthed, which dated back to 2500 to 2000 BC. Four other sites have been identified on the east side of the Dead Sea as part of the ruins of the five plain cities involved in the turn of events, including Numeira (discovered in 1973), Safi (identified as Zoar), Feifa, and Hanazir. Because of evidence which proves that the area was fertile and densely populated, all of these sites, along with Sodom and Gomorrah, are believed to be the five cities of the plain. Excavations made since 1974 at the Tell Mardikh, site of the ancient Ebla, in northern Syria, have turned up tablets from their archives which refer to all five cities of the plain, and on one, even names them in the same sequence as in Genesis 14:2.
Nelson Glueck, while Director of the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem(1932-39), made a survey of the southern Transjordan area, east and south of the Dead Sea, and discovered that the area had been settled before 2000 BC, but suddenly had been abandoned. These cities were located at the Vale of Siddim, at the southern end of the Dead Sea in the Great Rift Valley, which extends from Mount Hermon and the Sea of Galilee in the north, as far south as the Gulf of Aquaba, and includes the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea region. It is part of a huge fracture in the Earth's crust that begins several hundred miles north at the foot of the Taurus Mountains in Asia Minor, and ends beyond the Red Sea in Africa. It is 1,320 feet below the level of the Mediterranean Sea.
The Dead Sea, between Israel and Jordan, is the lowest spot on the Earth's surface, and is fed by the Jordan River. Without an outlet, the water has evaporated for hundreds of years, leaving behind a variety of minerals, including sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium bromine, magnesium chloride and hydrogen sulfide. As the name suggests, fish cannot live in its waters. Along the southern end of the Dead Sea is a ten mile mass of salt called Jebel Usdim (Arabic for "mountains of Sodom"). The salt at its base is 150 feet deep in places, and geologists have also indicated the presence of sulphur, natural gas, oil, and bitumen. The "slimepits" mentioned in Genesis 14:10, refer to the bitumen, asphalt or pitch- a lustrous black petroleum product which melts and burns. There are vast beds of it on both sides of the Sea, with heavier concentrations at the southern end. The Nabataeans collected the bitumen which floated to the surface for trade.
The southern half of the Dead Sea seems relatively new, and much shallower than the northern half, which is 1,296 feet deep. It had been written that the ruins were still visible until the first century; and there were even later reports that when the sun was shining in the right direction, the outline of trees were visible under the surface of the water, preserved by the high salt content of the water. These stories were not confirmed by divers, who found no sign of human settlements. However, regardless of any hard evidence, enough circumstantial evidence exists which indicated that the southern end of the Dead Sea was the location of the destruction.
It has been theorized that an earthquake ignited the natural gas deposits, which created a violent explosion, and propelled a mixture of salt, sulphur and bitumen into the air, literally raining fire and brimstone, as the oil basin beneath the cities burned. Some have even gone as far as saying that God leveled the area with an atomic blast.
According to Revelation 11:13, within the hour after the two witnesses leave the earth, a massive earthquake will occur. This same earthquake is referred to in Zechariah 14:4, as Jesus returns to this world at the same point he left it, on the Mount of Olives, a small range of four summits which overlook Jerusalem from the east. The earthquake is again mentioned in Revelation 16:18-21: "And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake (see also Rev. 8:5)...And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail (see also Rev. 8:7) out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent(114 pounds)..." It is interesting to note, that when Jesus died on the cross, there was "darkness over all the land" and "the earth did quake, and the rocks rent (Matthew 27:45, 51)." The 18th century scientist von Hoff wrote: "There have been strange colorings of the heavens and unusual fogs noticed as occurring at the same time of earthquakes; such as the unusual color of the sky at Lisbon on the first of November, 1755, and the dry fog (Nebel), which was so thick as to produce total darkness during the earthquake in Calabria in 1783."
The Bible describes this moment like this:
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called the Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." [Revelation 19:11-16]
It seems that the use of nuclear weapons in an all-out assault will begin a chain reaction in the Earth, that will affect one-third of the world, or the areas surrounding ground zero.
On August 6, 1945, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. The heat from this blast was 127,200,000 degrees Fahrenheit, or three times hotter than the center of the sun. Although the 20 kiloton explosion affected only a four square mile area, its intensity killed 50,000 people, and wounded another 55,000, On August 9, 1945, the second bomb, was dropped on Nagasaki, and people ten miles away were paralyzed, and even those with only slight wounds, eventually died. President Harry Truman said: "The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East." In 1953, a movie was produced which recorded the results of "Operation Ivy", a military test of a hydrogen bomb detonation in the Pacific which took place in November, 1952. The blast caused an entire island to disappear, turning it into deadly vapor and radioactive ash.
The concentration of nuclear weapons in such a small area could succeed in throwing the Earth off of its axis, producing disastrous results. An article in the September, 1975 edition of Smithsonian magazine said: "Astronomical theories that attribute climate changes to shifts in the Earth's orbit or rotation on its axis; solar theories that propose that the Earth's climate varies in response to changed in the activity of the sun; and geophysical theories that link climatic changes to events and interactions within the land-ocean-atmosphere..." These theories seem to be corroborated by events described in the book of Genesis.
When the Earth was created, the weather was always clear and sunny. There was never any rain. The vegetation was watered by the morning dew, which was why the people scoffed when Noah warned of an impending flood, because they didn't know what rain was. The pre-Flood calendar was a perfect year of 12 months, with 30 days in each month. Now we have 365 a days in a year. According to scientists, the reason for this, is that the Earth has been moved away from the sun by a million miles, resulting in 2% less heat; and the tilt of the axis is now 231/2 degrees, which accounts for the harshness of the seasons. The magnetic field was also changed. The upset of these delicate balances of nature have been blamed for the reduction of the human life span. Methuselah lived to be 969 years old, while Moses lived only to be 120.
While the intense heat of the nuclear assault wreaks havoc on the land (Rev. 8:7, 16:8-9); the movement of the Earth off of its axis, would certainly instigate earthquakes, and initiate volcanic activity; which would explain changes in the topography of the Earth, and the poisoning of the waters(Rev. 16:3-4, see also Ex. 7:20). Volcanic activity, because its ash, smoke and dust tend to stay in the air for long periods of time, will screen out the light of the sun, as well as the moon and stars. Radioactive particles, and the igniting of sulfur deposits (brimstone) will poison the air. During the U.S. hydrogen bomb tests on the Marshall Islands, an analysis of the results indicated, that besides the fireball, and the beta/gamma rays, there were also hailstones. The blast caused a tremendous air turbulence to develop, which in turn caused the formation of hailstones large enough to dent the armor plating on surface ships. Similar hailstones are described in Revelation 8:7, and 16:21.
Revelation 8:8 talks about a "great mountain burning with fire" which falls into the sea; and in 8:10, "a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp" falls into the rivers. A meteor that fell in Winslow, Arizona, left a crater a mile in diameter. Indentations on the ocean floor off the coats of South Carolina and Georgia indicate a meteor shower which accompanied an asteroid that hit the western area of the Atlantic Ocean. In 1908, in Siberia, what is believed to have been a meteor, fell with such an impact, that trees for 25 miles around were knocked over, and the resulting smoke was visible for hundreds of miles. In 1937, an asteroid, called Hermes, which was over a mile in diameter, approached the Earth. Scientists plotting its course thought it might hit the planet, but it only came within a million miles, then veered away. They estimated that if it would have hit an ocean, at its speed of 1,800 mph, it would have generated a tidal wave big enough to destroy all nearby coastal cities. Icarus (discovered in 1949), the closest asteroid to the sun, comes dangerously close to the Earth during its orbit around the sun. American geologist Dr. Robert Dietz said that if the asteroid, which is a 1/2 mile in diameter, would ever hit the Earth, its impact would be equivalent to that of a 200-million megaton atomic blast, which would sink islands, initiate earthquakes, disrupt the earth's magnetic field, and maybe knock it off its axis. Another asteroid, Toro (discovered in 1964), over three miles in diameter, also comes close to this planet during its orbit between Venus and the Earth.
The futile attempt of the armies of Armageddon will be in vain, and the combatants will be destroyed within a day. The carnage will be so great, that God will command the birds to the area to feast on the flesh of the fallen.
Jesus will then establish his kingdom on this Earth (Joel 3:17), and restoration of this area will begin. The earthquake which caused the Mount of Olives to split (Zech. 14:4), will produce a waterway to issue forth from under the Temple, which will split into two separate rivers south of Jerusalem (Ez. 47:1-12, Joel 3:18, Zech. 14:8); one going to the Mediterranean, and the other to the Dead Sea. This will cleanse the waters of the Dead Sea, and enable it to support life; and will change the desert on the eastern slope of Israel's mountains into fertile land (Deut. 30:9). Israel will then take possession of the land promised to them in Genesis 15:18. The country of Israel will extend from the Nile to the Euphrates River, and include parts of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Jordan; and from the Red Sea, to almost the Black Sea.
So it is written, so it shall be done.