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Added February 2009)
I recently just stumbled upon a startling discovery. I was reading in Revelation one day and just out of idle curiosity I added up the three woes (Revelation 8:13-13:16). I came up with a most interesting number that I have never heard anywhere; seven years and five months. The first woe is five months, the second woe is forty-two months. And the third woe is also forty-two months.
The Bible itself describes the woes as consecutive. I came up with a theory that the inventor of language himself knows how to use language accurately. And when he says 'one woe has past, the second one is coming,.... the second woe has past, the third woe is coming quickly'. That would be consecutive.
But this number; seven years and five months, still meant nothing. So I just put it on a 'back burner'. Well one day I was reading in Josephus's Wars of the Jews (Book 6 chapter 5 paragraph 3 verses 300-309) and my eyes almost popped out of my head. Josephus was here describing some amazing events that took place before the siege and destruction of Jerusalem. But the most amazing event to him, was a man who began prophesying four years before the first siege of Jerusalem under Cestius Gallus. This man's prophesying was marked also as starting around the time that Albinus became the new procurator of Jerusalem. (Remember this.) Well, Josephus goes on to relate that this man continued his prophesying until the very day that Jerusalem fell (remember, Josephus was an eyewitness to these events, he was born just three or four years after Jesus' death and was a Jewish General during this time period) And so he concludes, "he continued [his prophesying] ... for seven years and five months". Well, really, at this point, this proves nothing, we really don't know if this man that prophesied for 7yrs 5mos was from God or not. But what we do find, is the time-marker for what was seven years and five months before the fall of Jerusalem; the beginning of Albinus' procuratorship. Still, we have nothing.
For some reason, and I don't remember why, I was reading in Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews (please note: the book Antiquities of the Jews is not the same as the 'Wars of the Jews', Josephus wrote several different books) and I came across this passage in Book 20 Chapter 9 Paragraph 1 Verse 200 "when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he now had a proper opportunity [to exercise his authority]. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but on the road; so he assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned". (please note: it says "an accusation", that is one accusation for the whole group. thus they were a collective, that is to say one group, one body, the governing body of the first century Christians.)
This is nothing less than the assassination of the first century central Christian "Leadership" (Apostles et al)*. The time period is pinpointed as the time between the death of Festus and the arrival of Albinus (I personally have used William Whiston's translation of Josephus).
Thus the assassination of the governing body of Apostles (possibly including other leading Christians of the time as well) took place a little over seven years five months before the fall of Jerusalem, probably closer to seven years six months. (it should be noted here, that by saying that the governing body of Apostles was assassinated, it is not to say that 100% of them were assassinated but enough that they were no longer viable as a 'body'. However it is worth noting that by the time the 3 1/2 years of the 'tribulation' of the first century began, there were virtually none of the Apostles left, probably only John. Paul and Peter who survived this assassination in 62 were both in distant locations, Paul was in Rome, and Peter was most likely in Babylon. And yet both of them predicted their deaths before 66 c.e. Paul did so in 2 Timothy 4:6,7 and Peter did so in 2 Peter 1:12-14. Interestingly, Jude confirms the absence of the Apostles within about a year of 66. in Jude 17,18, by speaking of the Apostles in the past tense, and actually draws on the previously written book of 2 Peter.)
It is not speculation that the three woes of Revelation add up to seven years and five months. It is not speculation that the Bible describes the woes as consecutive. It is not speculation that in the first century the governing body of the Christians was assassinated approximately seven years and five months before the fall of Jerusalem. It is not speculation that the events of the first century are a parallel pattern of the events that will mark the end of this system of things.
And here is where it gets interesting. In Daniel the eleventh chapter, in what should be a parallel pattern of our times it says that the 'leader of the covenant' will be broken. It is obvious that Jesus can't be broken twice. But every covenant has two leaders, one representing each side. In the first century, after Jesus left the earthly scene, who was the 'leader of the covenant' on earth? None other than the governing body of Apostles/Older Men in Jerusalem led by Jesus' half-brother James. If in fact, this is a parallel prophecy, and it seems to be, the only way the 'leader of the covenant' can be broken twice is if the 'leader of the covenant' is a Christian governing body existing now. (the Hebrew word nagiyd, used here for 'leader' can also be correctly translated 'official(s)' or officer(s), see Strong's 5057) And there really is no question as to whether the body of Apostles/Older Men was the leader of the covenant on earth in the first century...Who, on earth, today, leads those who are members of the New Covenant ?
Many Bible commentators feel that Daniel 11:22 refers to the death of Jesus.
But it can't.
This passage of the Bible clearly indicates that both Kings, North and South, are in an active state of rivalry, there was no such active rivalry during the time of Christ's death , it was Rome, and Rome alone. (as the King of the South) And even if it were true, for this scripture to be fulfilled in our time would require Jesus to die again. That just can't happen. But a Christian 'governing body' can be killed twice (whether you agree with my identification or not). But because all have identified this scripture as being fulfilled with the death of Jesus, it has thrown off correct understanding of Daniel by almost 2000 years.
I'm tellin' ya, we're at Daniel 11:13.
You may have heard the story of the woman that was going to swim from the Catalina islands to the California coast. It was foggy and she couldn't see her goal and gave up about 800 yards from the coast. If she could have seen her goal she would have made it. Such is the value of the correct understanding of prophecy. Prophecy is there for courage, comfort, and hope.
How would you identify the Christian 'governing body' today?
Here are what I feel are legitimate criteria: They should lead and represent a world-wide group of Christians. They should practice the most primitive form of Christianity i.e. non-political, non-commercial, free of Pagan influences, involved in good works, non-combatants in warfare, promoting the 'kingdom good news (gospel)', they should be the first and foremost targets of persecution by any oppressive government, etc. etc..
By this measure, in my observation of 20th century history, the governing body of Jehovah's Witnesses would be the closest. Although they are not accurate on their understanding of Bible prophecy, it should be noted that Christianity is not an I.Q. test. But a test of cleanness and right heart attitude, and genuine affection for God. (James 1:27)
On closer examination and reflection, it becomes clear that the prophecy about the "Leader of the Covenant" would have primary application to the nation of Israel. (Remember, there is both a Christian Covenant, and a Jewish Covenant)
is still, I think, very likely to have a Christian application. As it
clearly did in the first century, but, a Jewish application
is a Scriptural necessity. In fact, the Angel clearly states at
Daniel 10:14 "I have come to cause you to discern what will befall your
people (the Jews) in
the final part of the days, because it is a vision yet for the days [to
Hence, primary application would be to the Jews. A Christian application would be a derived, or Secondary fullfillment. And just as there was a Christian fullfillment of parts of Daniel's prophecy in the first century (See Matthew 24:15) it will most likely be true that even though this is a primarily Jewish prophecy, it will also have a Christian fullfillment as well.
How could this come about ?
Who would be the "Leader of the Covenant" for the Jews ?
Throughout History, since the dissolution of the Sanhedrin, attempts have been made to restore it. However, the most recent attempt (2004) shows the most promise. As the support is more universal, and overt objections to its existence seem minimal. It seems to have been crafted more carefully and more diplomatically than ever before. Its design lends itself to becoming the de facto head of the Jews in Israel and collectively should the current Politically recognized Jewish state of Israel be muted or dissolved.
It is also noteworthy that
the word "nagiyd" (Strong's
5057), used at Daniel 11:22 is essentially equivalent to the word "nasi"
(Strong's 5387), used officially by the current Sanhedrin for their
"Nagiyd" can be plural or singular, thus the "Leader of the Covenant" being broken could be the "Nasi", or the Sanhedrin collectively. The Bible does not specify what agency or entity will do the 'breaking'.
So, although a Christian fullfillment is likely, Look for a Jewish fullfillment as well.
The one who invented language needs no help with his Grammar.