I greet you once again in the Name of Jesus!
As you know, this site is dedicated to presenting news and current events in the light of Bible prophecy.
On January 15th of this year, representatives from 70 nations gathered in Paris, France to discuss the long-standing tensions between the Israelis and Palestinians, with the stated goal being to arrive at some sort of international accord to bring about the oft-discussed, “Two-State” solution, thus bringing about the elusive Mid-East peace, or at least taking steps toward it.
Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu (whom by the way was not present at the summit, nor were any representatives of the Palestinian State), referred to the conference as both, “rigged” against Israel, and “futile.” Given the rise in anti-Semitic sentiment and rhetoric around the world, there can be little doubt the conference attendees did not have the best interest of Israel and the Jewish people at heart.
It was also futile in light of all of the past attempts to broker peace between these two factions. Starting with UN Security Council Resolution 242 in November, 1967, which basically set the tone for all future negotiations, namely the exchange of land for peace. Almost every U.S President since, has been involved to a greater or lesser extent in an attempt to broker peace in the Middle-East. There were the 1978 Camp David Accords under President Jimmy Carter (which produced two agreements, but nothing else); the 1991 Madrid Conference co-sponsored by the U.S. And the Soviet Union; the Oslo Agreement of 1993 (under President Bill Clinton); The Camp David meeting of 2000; The Taba talks of 2001 (all under President Clinton), the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002; the multi-nation “Road-map to Peace” of 2003; The Geneva Accord (which basically reversed the concept of the Road-map); The Annapolis Talks (late in the second term of George W. Bush); and finally the Washington Talks of 2010 (although planning for the talks began early in the Presidency of Barack Obama in May of 2009).
Although these talks brought together Mr. Netanyahu, Mr. Abbas, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarack, and King Abdullah of Jordan, they did not produce peace in the region, even though President Obama stated at the time he believed a final peace deal would be reached by the end of 2010.
Is all of this significant from a biblical, and prophetic perspective? I believe that it is. Lets take a look at that.
In Genesis 10 we have what has been referred to as, “The Table of Nations.” It is in this chapter, and Genesis 11, (as well as additional references in 1 Chronicles 1), where we learn the origins of the various nations and people groups that spread over the face of the earth. All of these nations were descendants of Noah’s three sons; Shem, Ham, and Japeth, (and their wives). So all of the various nations and people groups, originated from three family groups. The Bible tells us in Genesis 10:32,
“These were the families of the sons of Noah, according to their generations, in their nations; and from these the nations were divided on the earth after the flood.” [Gen. 10:32 NKJV]
If we look further at Genesis 10, we see exactly 16 grandsons of Noah are listed. Then in Genesis 11, at the Tower of Babel dispersion, we see that their descendants fanned out over all the face of the earth, and established the nations of the ancient world. The number of descendants from Noah (grandsons, great-grandsons, etc.), are listed as 26 from Shem, 30 from Ham, and 14 from Japeth, totaling 70 “sons” or “nations.” From these 70 nations, all the people groups of the earth descended. When we see the number 70, with regard to nations or a gathering of nations, it is representative of all the nations of the earth according to the Torah. We will say more about this in a moment.
We now know that nothing really came of the Paris meeting, with the exception of reiterating UN Security Council Resolution 2334, adopted on December 23rd, 2016. You can read the text of the Resolution online, but it basically addresses Israeli settlements in so-called Palestinian territories since 1967, including the hotly contested East Jerusalem. The resolution refers to these Israeli settlements as a, “flagrant violation of international law”, and that they have, “no legal validity.” That is pretty inflammatory language, wouldn’t you agree?
The resolution passed in a 14 – 0 vote by the members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Four members with UN Security Council veto power, China, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom, voted for the resolution, whereas the United States abstained. Even though the United States abstained from voting, the Israeli government accused the Obama Administration of secretly orchestrating the passage of the resolution. Given Mr. Obama’s track record with regard to Israel, this is highly likely in my opinion. This resolution follows in the tradition of other such attempts to broker the so-called, “Two-State” solution to Middle-East hostilities.
There are several problems with this so-called, “solution”; not the least of which is the fact the Palestinians have no interest in co-existing with the Israelis. They believe (at least on the official level), that the Jews are an illegitimate people that need to be annihilated.
King David’s chief musician Asaph was given a prophetic preview I believe of events coming together in our day. He wrote,
“They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more. For they have conspired together with one mind; Against You they make a covenant:” [Ps. 83:4, 5 NASB]
The “they” are the enemies of Israel who want to wipe them out as a people. The “they” would be all nations of the world, gathered against Israel. I submit to you, that is exactly what we saw happen on January 15th in Paris, France. This time it was not one or two enemies, like the Arabs or Nazis, but 70 nations, which again in Torah terms means all nations of the world.
There is a spiritual dimension in all of this that we dare not miss. When the 70 nations were dispersed at the Tower of Babel, each nation was assigned to an angel. Deuteronomy 32:8 in the English Standard Version (ESV) reads, “When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.” This particular translation, though different than almost all other English translations, (which read, “Sons of, or children of Israel”), is consistent with manuscript evidence discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls. It also matches the Septuagint (LXX), the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible. These angels were to govern and protect the nations to which they were assigned on behalf of Yahweh God. They were to represent Him and His ways to the nations, as part of a divine council. There is much more to this, but time and space will not permit to delve into it in this post. For now, it is important to understand all nations were assigned an angel, with the exception of Israel. They were to be watched over and protected directly by God. (I plan to address the idea of the, “Divine Council” in a future post, so stay tuned.)
Not only do we see the concept of 70 Nations in the descendants of Noah, and in the assignment of angels to the nations at the Tower of Babel, but also in the reference of the 70 oxen offered in the Temple throughout Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) which the Talmud teaches (Sukkah 55b) were for the merit of the nations.
I believe in the wake of the United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 , which declared Jewish housing in Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem to be illegal, that if we set aside all of the spin and hype of the so-called “main stream” media, and look at what a “two-state” solution would look like, we see this “solution” would call for Israel to relinquish territories conquered in the 1967 six-day war, and consequently create a Palestinian State. This move would include establishing a Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem, thereby removing the Western Wall (Kotel), and the Temple Mount out of Jewish control. Such a move would certainly benefit the Palestinians (whom themselves are actually an illegitimate people group as we have demonstrated in past posts), while placing the Israelis in an indefensible position, which in the final analysis is exactly where the enemies of Israel want them.
What are we to make of this gathering of 70 nations? Was there any prophetic significance to this assembly? I submit to you that while this meeting was not a prophetic milestone, it certainly should be viewed as a prophetic stepping-stone. What do I mean by that? A prophetic milestone would be an event that is an actual fulfillment of a direct prophecy or prophecies, or in other words, an arrival of an actual prophetic event.
An example would be the birth of Messiah Jesus. There are approximately 300 prophecies concerning the Lord Jesus Christ in the Old Testament, and He fulfilled them all to the letter. For more information, CBN has a wonderful brochure they prepared on the direct prophecies Jesus fulfilled in His birth, life, death, and resurrection that you can read online. These would all be examples of prophetic milestones.
Another prophetic milestone was the birth of the State of Israel on May 12th 1948. The Prophets Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and others, all foretold a time when the Jewish people would be gathered from the north and all of the nations of the world to which they had been scattered, and brought back to the land given to their fathers (see Jeremiah 16:14, 15; Jeremiah 23:7, 8; Isa. 11:10 – 12; Ezekiel 37:1 – 10, 21, 22). This was without a doubt the most significant prophetic event of the 20th Century, and it was a prophetic milestone. You can read more concerning this miraculous event in an article by David Reagan.
Now, I want to make it clear the events surrounding the re-birth and establishment of Israel in 1948 were not the complete fulfillment of all the Prophets foretold. Why do I say that? Because the majority of Jews both in Israel and those still in the nations of the world are for the most part still in unbelief and rejection of their Messiah. A remnant will come to faith in the prophetic future, and that will be in the time of the Great Tribulation. The darkest days for our dear Jewish friends are ahead of them. Since so many of our Jewish friends are looking for a political messiah, they will be initially fooled by the great impostor, the Man of Sin, the Son of Perdition, most infamously known as, the Antichrist, at least for a time.
In the Kingdom Age, or Dispensation of Divine Government, a believing Jewish remnant will rule with their true Messiah, Messiah Ben-David, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will rule from David’s throne in Jerusalem. It is at that time when all that the Prophets foretold will be completely fulfilled. This will truly be a prophetic milestone.
The next prophetic milestone we can expect I submit to you, is the rapture, or catching away of the Church. Jesus alluded to this event in John 14:2, 3 where He said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” [John 14:2, 3 KJV]
The revelation of the catching-away, gathering together, the Great Assembly, the rapture, etc., was not revealed in the Gospels, with the exception of the one allusion to it by the Lord above. It was revealed by the Lord Himself to the Apostle Paul, and no other New Testament writer. Paul’s two principal rapture teachings can be found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 – 18, where he reveals the fact of the rapture, and 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52, where he reveals the function of the rapture. This event, I submit to you, is indeed the next prophetic milestone on the horizon of history, and I believe it is nearer than ever.
What about prophetic stepping-stones? These would be events, happenings, occurrences, etc., that while not major prophetic events, are setting the stage for major prophetic events. For example, in Jesus’ teaching in what has been referred to as, “The Olivet Discourse”, recorded in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21; He spoke of, “wars and rumors of war”, “earthquakes in various places”, “strange sights and fearful signs in the heavens”, “the waves and sea roaring” (which could allude to tsunamis, and strange weather patterns), “nation rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom” (which in the Greek text speaks of clashes between ethnic groups, and even possibly religious groups). All of these, and more, can be referred to as prophetic stepping-stones, events leading up to the arrival of prophetic milestones, or major prophetic events. In prophecy terms, these are known as the “birth pains” concept.
In Matthew 24:8, Jesus refers to many of the above signs as the, “beginning of sorrows”. “Sorrows” translates the Greek word, odin (oh-deen), which is birth pains, or as Thayer defined it, “the pain of childbirth, travail pain, birth pangs, intolerable anguish, in reference to the dire calamities precede the advent of the Messiah.” [Thayer Greek Dictionary]
The Apostle Paul also spoke of this concept in 1 Thessalonians 5:3, “For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.” [1 Thess. 5:3 NKJV] Now, while the NKJV translators chose, “sorrows” in Matthew 24:8, and “labor pains” in 1 Thessalonians 5:3, in both cases it is the Greek, odin.
The thing about labor pains that make them a very accurate analogy to illustrate prophetic stepping-stones, is that they erupt, and then subside for a time, only to erupt again. As the birth draws nearer, they increase in both frequency and intensity. I sincerely believe you and I live in the generation that will see the “birth”, the catching-away of the Church to be with the Lord.
Then on the earth the awful events of the Great Tribulation will be “birthed”. At the end of the seven-year tribulation, the Bible says that all nations of the earth will be gathered for the battle to end all battles, commonly referred to as Armageddon. As much as this term is discussed and mentioned, you would think the Bible would be replete with references to it, when in fact, the word, Armageddon, is mentioned only one time in scripture, in Revelation 16:16.
“And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.” [Rev. 16:16 NKJV] The “they” would be demon spirits, who will gather “them”, who would be according to verse 14, “…kings of the earth and of the whole world.”. So, leaders and representatives from all nations of the earth will be gathered to this battle, which will be staged at a place called in Hebrew, Armageddon. This battle will be a spiritual battle, that will play out in the natural realm, with very real human participants. This idea of Armageddon, and all that it really entails, needs a study all its own, and we will explore that at a later time. Suffice it to say that what the Bible actually teaches is quite a bit different that what many of us, including yours truly, have taught concerning this.
The thing I want you to take away from here for now however, is that the gathering of 70 nations in Paris, France was I submit to you, a prophetic stepping-stone leading to a time when indeed all nations of the earth will gather initially to attack Israel and the Jewish people, but then will turn their attack on the returning Messiah with the armies of Heaven. They will be destroyed by the Lord Himself.
What exciting times we are privileged to be living in! These are historic times. These are prophetic times. Keep looking up saints!
Until next time,
Pastor Kevin E. Johnson