Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
The Year 2012 -- Does It Have Any Prophetic Significance?
What this article presents are some "signs" that will allow believers to have an overview of what to look for as they await the return of the Messiah and YEHOVAH God. As the next few years continue, the Almighty will reveal additional proofs to His true prophets as to what to look for -- and allow time for believers to prepare.
by Ray E. Daly
During the last decade or so, an increased emphasis has been placed on the year "2012" of the old Mayan calendar. Apparently, the Mayans put great emphasis on the signs of the heavens and, in their thinking, there was going to be a future alignment of certain heavenly bodies with the sun. As a result of their writings, many today are saying that the year "2012" may be the "year of the end of the age".
For whatever reason, the media have picked up on this, and have used it to perk the interest of the public. Newspaper and magazine articles, TV and radio programs -- and even a smash movie -- has been made on this subject. As a result, many have been led to believe that the year 2012 could actually be the end.
And, of course, a number of "self proclaimed prophets" have jumped on the bandwagon in order to influence as many gullible people as possible into believing their ill-founded predictions. I say "ill-founded" because the end of the age, and the return of YEHOVAH God Himself, is not going to happen in "2012" -- or for several years thereafter.
I doubt that very many members of the 100's of Churches of God will ever have the chance to read the following material. In fact, probably very few. Yet, I feel I should point out what YEHOVAH God's Word has to say about "2012", and it's importance in understanding what Bible prophecies actually have to say about this year. A-------Very--------Long--------Pause! Why the pause? It is because YEHOVAH's prophecies have absolutely nothing to say about "2012" having anything at all to do with the end of the age and YEHOVAH God's return!
Is it wrong to read about, and study what is being said about, the year "2012"? I personally do not believe it is. For, does it not tell us in 1 Peter 3:15, "...be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason...!" I realize that we, as believers, are not expected to be able to give answers on such subjects as physics, mathematics, celestial mechanics, etc. Yet, I also believe we should study those subjects that involve prophetic teachings -- if nothing more than to be able to have an answer for anyone who asks you about the time of the end of the age. And, perhaps in doing so, you may be able to free those who have been misled by false and deceived prophets.
The Numbers Game
Think about it. What happened to many believers in the former Worldwide Church of God, who were given the deceived prophecy that the end was going to come in "1972"? And, that they should be prepared "to flee to the place of safety"? Then, some emphasis was placed on "1975" as the probable end. During the following 25 years a number of miscellaneous prophets predicted various years, based on their own understanding. Then, of course, there was the year "2000"! The perfect time for the end and the return. That was eleven years ago and still the end has not come. Now there is a great deal of emphasis on the year "2012", with basically nothing to go on except the predictions of a long gone pagan Mayan people. This date, as mentioned before, has no support from Scripture.
I'm sure we are aware of what it says in Matthew 24:36: "But of that day and hour knows no man"! This is likely referring to the year, month, or week. Yet, it does not say we should not be able to be "close" in knowing that end year -- as we will see later. We also should be aware of what it says in Matthew 24:33: "So likewise you, when you shall SEE ALL THESE THINGS, know that it is near" -- meaning the end and the return.
Herbert Armstrong thought he knew "the signs", but did he? Actually, he did, but he did not have the slightest clue as how to read those signs. For his visible signs, were "war, earthquakes, famine, and pestilence" -- which signs are still with us today. However, HWA also knew that prior to the end the Gospel message must be preached into "all the world". And -- he claimed that he had done just that. Yet, he was seriously mistaken. The Gospel message did not go out to the whole world. In fact, it is almost certain that NONE of the seven churches of Revelation 2-3, will even be a part of the final, end-time preaching of the Gospel. Note the following verse:
The Two Witnesses
Matthew 24:14. "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations. And then shall the end come." According to this verse, there is a coming time when the True Gospel WILL BE PREACHED TO ALL PEOPLES worldwide. Now, there are only two times when there is the slightest chance of this happening. The first is at the time of the ministry of the "Two Witnesses". The second would have to be during the period of the seventh millennium -- which would put the end (of that age) at the beginning of the eighth millennium.
It is hardly likely Matthew 24:14 is referring to point number two above. But it almost certainly is referring to point number one. Since there will be a time when those Two Witnesses will have their ministry, then should that not be one of the "real signs" of the end? So, let's see what Scripture has to say about them --
Revelation 11:37. "And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they shall PROPHESY a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth [meaning, wearing clothing that will identify them as prophets.]...And when they shall have finished their TESTIMONY..."! Does it not seem that their prophecies, and their testimony, are references to the preaching of the end time Gospel message? And, does it not also seem that the miracles they perform will be for the purpose of drawing the attention of all peoples that they preach to? I believe so. When the Messiah preached his Gospel message, he had to use miracles to get his listeners' attention.
Based on the above, let's examine the role of the Two Witnesses and what we can expect to see, and hopefully understand, regarding the time-period of their ministry. Know that the end is not going to come in "2012". Nor in "2013". Or, "2014", "2015", "2016". Yet, it should be evident that major events of lead in prophecy will happen during those years -- such as GREAT earthquakes, famines and pestilences. Also, an increased effort of the nations of this earth to end the world dominance of the nations of Israel [U.S., Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Northwestern Europe] will take place -- politically, economically, and militarily. So, to continue this study, let's return to the Book of Revelation:
A Literal Temple in Jerusalem
Revelation 11:1-2. "And there was given me a reed, like unto a rod. And the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not. For it is given unto the Gentiles. And the holy city shall they tread under foot for forty and two months." This period is 3 1/2 years -- just as the Two Witnesses will minister for 3 1/2 years.
There are many who do not believe that there will be a literal Temple in Jerusalem until after the Millennium. Their theory is based on the words of Paul, when he says that it is the Church of True believers that is the Temple the Messiah will come to. Yet, there are a number of Scriptures which show that there indeed will be a literal Temple in Jerusalem after the arrival of the Messiah and before the return of YEHOVAH God -- in the not too distant future. Notice Zechariah 6:12-13:
"And you must say to him, 'This is what YEHOVAH of armies has said: "Here is the man whose name is Sprout [Branch]. And from his own place he will sprout [branch], and he [the Messiah] will certainly build the Temple of YEHOVAH. And he [the Messiah] himself will build the Temple of YEHOVAH, and he, for his part, will carry [the] dignity; and he must sit down and rule [over Israel] on his throne, and he must become a priest [to YEHOVAH God] upon his throne, and the very counsel of peace will prove to be between BOTH of them"'" (New World Translation).
Then, in Malachi 3:1, we read --
"Therefore, behold, I send my messenger, and he [the Messiah] shall prepare the way before me [YEHOVAH God]: and they [the Messiah AND YEHOVAH God] will suddenly come to his Temple [built by the Messiah], the LORD [YEHOVAH God], whom you seek and the messenger of the covenant [the Messiah], whom you desire; behold, he himself comes, says the LORD of hosts" (The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible).
YEHOVAH God is Returning!
What most people don't realize is that YEHOVAH God -- the Creator of the Universe -- is returning to this earth and to His Temple! The Hebrew prophets constantly emphasize the mind-blowing, earth-shaking personal RETURN of YEHOVAH God Himself to Jerusalem. They clearly convey an ACTUAL, literal and historic event in the future -- something that will be experienced by all the inhabitants of the earth. Zechariah 14 is probably the most basic chapter in the Old Testament that covers this subject. Read this chapter carefully and note the language.
Writes James Tabor --
"There are a number of remarkable features in this prophecy [Zechariah 14]....YHVH [YEHOVAH] Himself appears, directly intervenes, and becomes King over all the earth. The entire focus of the text is upon YHVH God....Also, despite any use of symbolic or metaphorical language (i.e., His feet standing on the Mt. of Olives), the passage is full of historical and geographical details. The prophet obviously intends to describe an actual, literal, historical event in the future history of Israel and Jerusalem. The language itself resists allegorical interpretation" (Restoring Abrahamic Faith, p. 71).
Tabor goes on to say:
"Constantly the Prophets make this point: that YHVH [YEHOVAH] Himself will intervene, acting personally and directly, to punish the wicked and rule as King over all nations. YHVH constantly calls Himself the Savior, Redeemer, Shepherd, and King -- beside Whom there is no other" (ibid., same page).
What we have seen so far is that there will be a Temple and altar in Jerusalem in the future. We have also seen that there will be a 3 1/2 year ministry by the Two Witnesses. Then, there will be another period of 3 1/2 years, when the beast power and the son of perdition, will have control of Jerusalem, and of the altar. This makes a total of seven years. If we add those seven years to "2011", we come to "2018", the earliest that YEHOVAH God could come. But, as mentioned earlier, we do not know the exact "day or hour" -- only that the last period of time should take place sometime after "2018".
There are some who believe that the Two Witnesses and the beast power will be in Jerusalem during the same 3 1/2 year time period, but this does not seem to be the case, as it shows in the following verses --
Revelation 13:5-6. "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies. And power was given to him to continue forty and two months [3 1/2 years]. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle [TEMPLE], and them that dwell in heaven."
The Temple Location
It would seem that an accommodation with Islam will not be necessary to build a new Temple since the original Temples were located on the southeast ridge where "Mount Zion" and the "Ophel" extension were first situated -- and NOT in the northeast area of Jerusalem where the Haram esh-Sharif (so-called Temple Mount) is located. Explains Ernest L. Martin:
"Not only did all Israel forget, all the peoples of the surrounding nations also forgot. All the Arabs and even later, all the peoples of Islam forgot. And too, all Christians in the world forgot. In fact, everyone on earth forgot. And what is the outcome? Jews and Arabs are today fighting over places in Jerusalem whose locations are based on fictitious traditional conclusions and not solid historical facts" (The Temples That Jerusalem Forgot, p. 473).
Martin continues --
"The truth is, it is time that the Jewish and Islamic authorities abandon their erroneous designation of the Dome of the Rock as the site of the "Second Temple" and establish an identification of the various Temples (all six of them) to accord with the historical facts. This teaching of the Rabbis that their "Wailing Wall" is a wall of Herod's Temple is thoroughly erroneous. They are ignorant of the truth in this regard. This is one of the reasons why the whole nation of Israel and all Islamic authorities have forgotten even where the Temples stood in Jerusalem. Their ignorance they now express needs to be brought to the attention of our Jewish and Muslim friends....
"What we now know from these new archaeological and biblical discoveries is this: Though the whole world over the past generations has forgotten where the original Temple of Solomon was constructed, we are now assured that the Temples of Solomon, Zerubbabel and Herod were built just above the once fresh and pure waters of the Gihon Spring located on the southeast ridge of Jerusalem" (ibid., pages 475-476).
Timeline of Events
Much more could be recorded from Scripture, that supports the above. So I will simply summarize:
1) The Messiah arrives -- Revelation 10:1.
2) The Temple is built -- Revelation 11:1.
3) This Temple in Jerusalem will last for at least seven years at the end of the age and into and through the Millennium.
4) There will be a 3 1/2 year period when the Two Witnesses will perform their ministry. This will likely be during the time that the Jews have control of the Temple -- Revelation 11:3.
5) Then, there will be another 3 1/2 years, when the gentiles will have control of the temple and all of Jerusalem -- Revelation 11:7, 11:2 (last part).
6) The Messiah reaping the earth's harvest -- Revelation 14:14.
7) The return of YEHOVAH God and the resurrection of the saints -- Revelation 19:11. (For more details read our article, The Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah).
Therefore, the prophecies of "2012" will pass away without any completion of the prophecies of Scripture. I heard in one report that it is possible for a Temple to be built as early as "2011" if the Jews can gain permission to build on what is called the "Temple Mount". Since the past Temples were NOT located on the so-called Temple Mount, that is only conjecture.
In conclusion. If the Temple in some way could be built in "2011", then the earliest the final end time could come is "2018-19". But it is likely to be a year, or a few years beyond that. Therefore, what this article presents are some "signs" that will allow believers to have an overview of what to look for as they await the return of the Messiah and YEHOVAH God. As the next few years continue, the Almighty will reveal additional proofs to His true prophets as to what to look for -- and allow time for believers to prepare.
-- Edited By John D. Keyser.
Hope of Israel Ministries -- Preparing the Way for the Return of YEHOVAH God and His Messiah!
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