Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Prophecy Updates- Middle East, Signs in the Sun and Moon

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to post anything here concerning Bible prophecy of the End Times.  It’s been a busy couple of years for me and I’ve missed posting here. I have a little bit of time, and I’ve been thinking for a while that I need to post some things that some folks might not be aware of.
It’s hard to say that people aren’t aware of things going on in the world today concerning the Middle East as it’s in the news every day. This is going to be one of my notorious long posts, but full of info, so please bear with me.

I want to reiterate the fact that I am only a student of Bible Prophecy, religions and politics, so it’s best to check things out for yourselves if you find anything here that grabs your attention, especially if you’re not a Christian but curious. I also want to say that I’m not predicting that Jesus is coming back on any specific day or time frame, but the signs are plain to see that the world is on the edge of something, and Bible prophecies have a history of being 100 percent accurate.

If anyone remembers my old stuff, I’ve written about the Imam Mahdi- or the 12th Imam of Shia Islam, but I never wrote much about the Caliphate until recently. There is too much to go into the Shia vs Sunni sects of Islam, but the absolute basics are that all Muslims believe that Allah is their only god and Muhammad his messenger. They all follow five ritualistic pillars of Islam and read the Koran. Sunnis rely mostly on the practice of the prophet and his teachings, the “sunna”, the Shia see their ayatollahs as representatives of god on earth. Sunnis accuse Shia of heresy and most Shia sects place importance on the belief that the twelfth and final imam is hidden and will reappear one day to rule the world.

The Shia claim Sunni dogma has led to extremist sects such as the Wahhabis, which are the sect of Islam that unified the modern Saudi Arabia, the House of Saud and is still dominant today. Many Sunnis do not consider Shia to be proper Muslims. Sunni Muslims have always held onto the idea of rebuilding the original Caliphate, bringing the world under Islamic rule. It’s important to know Sunni Islam is where we have terrorists’ organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Al Qaida, Al Nusra, ISIS and numerous others. Shia is mainly Al Quds (Iranian Guard) and Hezbollah.
The Bible prophecies in the Book of Daniel, chapter 2, Daniel explains a dream by the king of Babylon of kingdoms which were to come.
The head of Gold was the Babylonian Empire, Silver was the Media/Persian Empire (539 BC-331 BC), Bronze was Greece (331 BC- 30 BC) and the “Legs” of Iron is believed by some to be the Roman Empire (30 BC-397 AD).
However further study, and bringing the study of the original Islamic Caliphate into the equation, it’s more likely that the Legs actually do represent the Ottoman Empire as many other folks have believed. The Empire which was the legs, broke or crushed ALL of the territories which made up the previous kingdoms.
  As I said, the Roman Empire was huge, but it didn’t cover all of the Middle Eastern areas which were covered by the Ottoman Empire.

I can’t remember now how many years ago I came to the conclusion that the revived empire (the feet of the statue) described in the end time prophecies was in fact the new Ottoman Empire but I remember looking at maps of the different territories held by the Romans vs those held at the height of the Ottoman Empire, and the similarities were striking, except for the fact that the Ottoman Empire was larger and encompassed the lands which once were ruled by the Babylonians and Persians, which folks know are made up of Islamic Countries now- Iraq and Iran.
There were 4 main Caliphates during the time of the Ottoman Empire and all the areas conquered lasted under the Ottoman rule from 622 to 1924 when it was finally divided by the British after the First World War.

Back to Daniel for a minute, verse 40 tells us that the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron and yet as iron that break the others, shall it break in pieces and bruise. Verse 41 tells us that the feet and toes, part clay, and part iron, will be divided; yet still strong as iron, and as Verse 42 says, the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken which we have seen since the 1920s. Which  brings us to the last, revived empire,  in Verse 43, iron mixed with clay, “they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay”, which describes the division between the Sunni and Shia sects of Islam. It also mirrors what we see today in much of Europe, and the west, with Muslims living in non muslim countries, yet not intigrating or following those countries' traditions. They are mingling but not cleaving to society.

As we are seeing in the Middle East right now, mainly in Syria and Iraq, the formation of ISIS or ISIL is a power struggle of sorts, where we have mainly Sunnis fighting against Shia. This was evident in Syria which was begun before the Arab Spring when the Sunnis wanted to topple the Assad regime, Assad being Alawite, which is a smaller sect of Shia Islam. This explains why Shia Iran (Persia) has backed the Assad regime in Syria all along, and the Sunni Gulf states have backed the so called rebels.
Those who have paid attention to the United States actions in the Middle East over the past number of years, may have noticed how the different regions of the Middle East and North and East Africa have been manipulated and our government has been aiding Sunnis who are working together to build a Caliphate.

Some folks may remember me on AOL Journals, where I had my original No Apologies blog. I once wrote a post which I said that America isn’t found in Bible end time prophecies.
While I still don’t believe the US will be much of a player at least as far as the 7 year tribulation period goes, I never believed I’d see the leaders of the US play such a huge role in bringing about events which would lead to the prophecies being fulfilled.

This brings us back to the Caliphate and the last empire, the Revived Ottoman Empire.  Modern day Turkey’s  Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made a show of staying out of the situation in Syria except to allow refugees to come into the country, however Turkey was a transfer point of weapons to Syrian rebels by the US and NATO nations. Turkey has also been the gateway for Islamist Jihadis who have flooded into Syria and Iraq from Europe and other nations to join the rebels and more recently, ISIS. 
Still Erdogan tried to appear neutral, until now. Back in April of this year, a secret recording leaked which showed that Erdogan’s government was planning an attack against Syria when they provided cover for armed terrorist groups to enter Syria from Turkey.  Now it’s been reported that ISIS State has surrounded the Tomb of Suleyman Shah who was the grandfather of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire. He was originally buried in Aleppo, but the grave was relocated in 1973, and is considered to be the sole piece of Turkish soil in Syria. 36 Turkish soldiers are reportedly located at the tomb where they defend the territory.

According to reports from Arab tribes, 1100 ISIS militants are deployed around the tomb as of September 29th.   On the 30th, Turkey moved soldiers and tanks to the Syrian border. Parliament is expected to vote on military action in Iraq and Syria on October 2nd which could allow Turkey to “strike Kurdish militants in northern Iraq and defend itself against any threat from Syrian President Assad’s forces in Syria.  On Oct. 1st, Erdogan said in a speech at the opening of parliament that, “We will fight effectively against both (Islamic State) and all other terrorist organizations within the region; this will always be our priority… We will (also) continue to prioritize our aim to remove the Syrian regime, to help protect the territorial integrity of Syria and to encourage a constitutional, parliamentary government system which embraces all (of its) citizens.”
(Updated during editing- On October 2nd the Turkish Parliament voted for and approved sending ground troops into Syria and Iraq, to fight ISIS in both countries. Also updated during final editing- Turkey is showing forces at the border with Syria, but still standing down against ISIS who have finally infiltrated and on the verge of taking over the town ofKobane. If Turkey was only interested as the US is in defeating ISIS, they’d have done something by now to take out the large forces of ISIS when they were out side of Kobane, Syria and Baghdad, Iraq.)

Why does this matter, and what does it have to do with anything? According to numerous articles over the past few years, Erdogan has dreamed of being the Caliph of a new Caliphate, but one run by the Muslim Brotherhood instead of the Ottoman Empire. Erdogan has allied himself to the Sunni Brotherhood and there have been reports of his planning to help the Brotherhood overthrow the latest Egyptian President. Now that he is considering an attack on Syria, if he manages to overthrow Assad, and fight against ISIS’ self-proclaimed caliphate, he could become the Caliph over Syria and possibly Egypt should the latest government collapse there.
There is so much more going on right now than space allows, so again, I’d suggest anyone interested in this to follow the links and do your own studying. But however this plays out, the pieces are fast being moved into place which is building the final kingdom- which happens to have 10 toes (Kings) which are found in Daniel Chapter 7 and Revelation Chapter 17.
I’m not going to focus on Israel in this post, as I’ve written plenty in the past about wars between Israel and her enemies described in Psalms and Ezekiel and Gog and Magog (which interesting enough seems to be shaping up as well) You can read those here if you haven’t read them before.

Two more things I would like to focus on, one being the so called Blood moons which have been talked about quite a bit the past couple of years, and something not talked about much, the 70th Jubilee.

First, what is this blood moon thing that folks are talking about, and could they really be a sign of prophecy?
Joel 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.

Acts 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

Revelation 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
Throughout history, blood moons have happened whenever the Earth comes between the sun and the moon and the sun shines through the atmosphere of the Earth bathing the moon in a red shadow. This year and again next year, we have had the beginning of four appearing close together which is very rare. There have only been a series of blood moons a handful of times over the past 500 years.

Interesting enough, this year’s Blood moons appeared in April on the Jewish Passover, and will again happen this month during the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot which happens from the 8th to the 15th.
The timing is the same for next year, again appearing on Jewish feast days. Now here is where it gets interesting if it's true.

The Shemitah year, or the Jewish Sabbatical year began on September 24th on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. The Shemitah is the seventh year in the seven year agricultural calendar of Israel. According to the Torah, personal debts were to be waived and a sort of financial reset occurred in ancient Israel during the Shemitah. Time was set aside for the nation to rest and devote themselves to worshipping and fellowshipping with God.
In relation to this Shemitah year, the final Blood Moon will occur on the Feast of Tabernacles, September 28, 2015. This is also the date for the celebration of the end of the Shemitah year to be held at the Western Wall in Jerusalem and the Blood Moon will be visible in Jerusalem.

Next year according to the Jewish Calendar, Rosh Hashana or the Feast of Trumpets which is the Jewish New Year will occur Sep 14-15th, Yom Kippur which is the Day of Atonement will be on Sep 23rd,  Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles will be Sep 28th to Oct 4th.

UPDATE AGAIN- Here is a video which 'debunks' the blood moon theory, which makes sense. However taking more into account, prophecies are still shaping up whether the blood moons have anything to do with them or not.
Leviticus 23:23-25 tells us of Rosh Hashana or the New Year, Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the children of Israel, saying: ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a sabbath-rest, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it; and you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD.’

Jesus is represented in the Feast of the Trumpets as His coming for the Bride of Christ- the Christian believers, because in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:52 His coming is announced by blowing of a loud trumpet.
Leviticus 23:27 tells us of the Day of Atonement, “Now on the tenth day of this seventh month is the Day of Atonement. It shall be for you a time of holy convocation, and you shall afflict yourselves and present a food offering to the Lord.”

Jesus is represented in the Day of Atonement as He atoned for all the world’s sins and as the second coming of Christ when all will see Him, and repent of their sins.
Romans 11 tells us, “Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.  And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.”

Once again, Leviticus 23:34 describes Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, on the fifteenth day of this seventh month and for seven days is the Feast of Booths to the Lord.
Jesus is represented through Lord's promise that He will once again “tabernacle” with His people when He returns, Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.”

The Jewish New Year next year is significant as well in Bible Prophecy because it will be the Year of Jubilee.
Remember, this year signifies the Shemitah, the seventh year in the seven year agricultural calendar of Israel where personal debts are to be waived and also a time for the nation to rest and devote themselves to worshipping and fellowshipping with God.

This is also bringing us into the year of Jubilee which happens in 50 year cycles, following the year of Shemitah. Since Shemita began on Sept 14th and 15th, this means the next Jewish New year will mark the beginning of the Year of Jubilee.  In Jubilee, all debts are supposed to be cancelled, all land is supposed to be returned to its original owner. Liberty is proclaimed throughout the land.
It’s interesting to note that the Jubilee verse is written on the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. It also may signify the Lord’s land being returned. Jerusalem is still a divided City, with the Dome of the Rock- the Muslim’s 3rd holiest place which sits on the Temple Mount- the Jew’s Most Holy place, and the Temple of God. There is more and more talk of the third Temple being built. Until now, this was unheard of, but even some Muslims are talking about it, believing the Jews should be able to build their Temple.

1916 was a year of Shemitah.  The Year of Jubilee followed in 1917/18 and Jerusalem was liberated from the Turks.  1965 was a year of Shemitah, and the next Jubilee occurred between 1966 and 67.
The Bible uses the number 7 which represents completeness and perfection.  The Book of Daniel gives a prophetic “time clock” of what’s called the 70 weeks or the time of the Gentiles.

I won’t go into that here, but it is an interesting study and explains how all of the timelines of history have lined up to what was written in Daniels’ time.  It was not 70 calendar weeks, but rather it was 70 'weeks of years', figuring each day of the 70 weeks as one year. In the Book of Daniel, Gabriel divides up the 70 weeks into 7 weeks, 62 weeks, and one week.
The 7 weeks - This 49 year period is the time where the 'commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem' was given. It would take 49 years to accomplish this, and it began in 445 BC.

The 62 weeks - From the end point on the rebuilding of the walls, until Messiah was to be revealed, it would be 62 weeks, or 434 years.
The last week - This 7 year period is yet future because God stopped the time clock when Israel rejected the Messiah and He went to the cross.

Adding the 7 weeks, or 49 years, to the 62 weeks, or 434 years, brings us to a total of exactly 483 from the time that the commandment went forth to rebuild the walls unto the very day, April 2, 30 AD just prior to Jesus going to the cross.
The last week, 7 years, is paused and is referred to as “the time of the gentiles” and deferred to a point in the future.

The Great Dispersion happened in Israel when the Romans set fire to Jerusalem and drove the Jews out to live in the "four corners of the earth." This happened in 70 AD. And during this time, the period known as the 'time of the gentiles' has been taking place, with Jews in exile. But Jesus, when asked by His disciples in Matthew 24 about the time of the end days, gave the prophecy of a time in the future when Israel would be restored as a nation, and the true End Times would begin, and it’s the main prophetic event which happened in our generation which separates us from earlier generations who believed Jesus was coming in their time.
"Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer [is] nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, [even] at the doors. Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." Matthew 24: 32-34

Jesus was saying that when you would see the rebirth of Israel (the fig tree) an event prophesied in dozens of places in the Bible, then you would know that that generation would not pass until all the things He talked about in Matthew 24 were fulfilled.
Israel became a nation again on May 14, 1948. Jerusalem unified and other Bible territories were won for Israel in 1967/68- the last Shemitah, the last Jubilee Year, during another series of blood moons. Israel has been a state since, yet is still under aggression and attack by her Muslim neighbors. Jerusalem is still under the times of the Gentiles. The next Jubilee year could be quite interesting considering.

Once again, I’m not saying Jesus will be coming back on any of the feast days next year, or even within the next year, however signs which He described are happening, things in the Middle East and elsewhere are shaping up quickly, as He described as ‘birthpangs’. All of these things point to His eventual return. The last week of Daniel's prophecy will happen soon
Read the Bible, compare scriptures and be aware of things going on. Remember, 100 percent of Biblical prophecies which have come to pass so far have happened just as the Bible said.  While no one other than God knows the exact time of Jesus’ return, it would make sense to believe that the prophecies which still have yet to be will be just as they were told.

If you don’t know Jesus, you can meet him Here. 
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18

I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. John 10:9
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:21
This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Acts 4:11,12