We are going to continue with discussing some of the spiritual aspects to the ceremonies at Sukkot, and how these relate to the Messiah. We have been talking about the war with God and Magog, and began discussing the false messiah and the false prophet. We do not have as idea about the false messiah and who he might be, but we do have an idea about the false prophet, and here are some things to consider.
When you read Rev 13.1-17 we find that the false prophet will be a leader in an organized religion in the last days that is worldwide. This religious system believes in idols and icons. The two horns of the false prophet could be Eastern Greek Orthodox and the western, Catholic Churches. These may come together based on their similarities. The two horns may also be the political and religious power of these organizations. He must be a false “Elijah” because he points the way to the false messiah, so he will do the signs Elijah did. If the false messiah declares himself the Messiah, which he will, he will need an “Elijah” figure. In order to do this, he will need to be Jewish, and we believe the false messiah will be Jewish. There have been high ranking Jewish leaders in the Catholic Church. Jean-Marie Lustiger was Archbishop of Paris, a Cardinal who at one point was in line for Pope. He died in 2007. There have been Popes who were Jewish, according to Catholic Answers Forum; Ha Aretz.Com and Pathos.Com. Some names include:
*Peter (but he was never a pope, but the Catholics think so)
*Pope Lozimus (417-418)
*Pope Gregory VI (1045-1046)
*Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085)
*Pope Anacletus II (1130-1138)
*Pope Alexander III (1159-1181)
*Pope Andreas was a figure of Jewish folklore not found in the list of actual popes
*Pope John Paul II (1978-2005) had a mother who was named Emilia Katz, and in Polish it was Emilia Kaczorowska. He was criticized for being sympathetic to Jews and he hid himself from the Nazi’s during WW II, which would be unusual if you were 100 % Polish. He was very friendly with the Jewish children in his neighborhood as a child.
Prominent among Catholic theologians was Monsignor John Oestereicher, a Jewish exile from Nazi Germany (deceased).
The point is, there is a precedent for a Jewish Pope/Cardinal/leader who could be the false prophet. All of this does not even include all the priests, like Father Gregorcz Pawlowski from Jaffa, Israel, whose birth name is Zvi Griner. There are many in Church history, just go to “Hebrew Catholics” at Wikipedia.
So, let’s get back to Gog and Magog. We know that the land of Magog is attacked in Ezek 39.6. There is a prophecy in Isa 20.1-6 that talks about Assyria (Russia) and Egypt (Europe) fighting a war for three years and Russia/Gog and Magog will be winning. Eschatologically, lets look at this. The catching away, Rapture, Natzal will happen on Rosh ha Shannah, Tishri 1. Russia will attack the United States and destroy her. American people out of the country as tourists, the military overseas, NATO and American businesses will align themselves with Europe for survival. This attack will come during the first week of Tishri, with Nisan 10 being Yom Kippur, the beginning of the Birth-pains and the false messiah comes to power, so the attack will probably come before that. The next Tishri 1 is one year, the next is two years and the next is three years. That is when Gog and Magog will attack Israel around Rosh ha Shannah (they already tried during Yom Kippur in 1973). They will be defeated during the High Holy Days and the people will become believers in Yeshua, and celebrate the victory during Sukkot.
The displaced Americans and military will trust in the false messiah and he will use the military to expand and fight the Russians for three years. In Rev 17.1-18 we learn about the Harlot who rides the Beast, but the Beast destroys her. The “Harlot” is the survivors of the USA after her defeat. The Beast is Leviathan (Rev 13) or the false messiah in Europe. The Harlots “rests” on the Beast for awhile. The false messiah will make war with the Harlot and make her desolate (17.16). What we have is the false messiah will be losing the war with Russia/Gog and Magog, but something changes at the end of the third year of the Birth-pains by the time of Sukkot.
At the half-way point (Nisan 10) of the Birth-pains, Israel has become a nation who believes in Yeshua as the Messiah (Ezek 39.22; Rev 12.1-17) and they flee into the wilderness from the false messiah. So, in three and a half years (first half of the Birth-pains) Israel believes in Yeshua. The war with Gog and Magog has to be before the half-way point. Russia/Gog and Magog is out of the way when the false messiah makes his move. We know that the belief is that the defeat of Gog and Magog will come in Tishri, the same month as Sukkot. Gog and Magog have been fighting Europe for three years and will be winning. They aren’t worried about Europe, and it isn’t over by the time Gog attacks Israel around Rosh ha Shannah and at the end of the third year/beginning of the fourth year of the Birth-pains. The attack will last about ten days (Rosh ha Shannah to Yom Kippur, called the Yamim Noraim or “Days of Awe”) and Gog/Magog will be defeated on Yom Kippur. The false messiah will not have anything to do with this.
Russia/Gog and Magog and her allies (Psa 83) will attack and be winning the war with Israel, just like Sennacherib and the Assyrians were winning against Hezekiah and Judah. Israel will have no hope. But the people will turn to God and Yeshua through the preaching of the Two Witnesses and the 144,000 who have been ministering there for three and a half years. God will defeat Gog and Magog himself, leaving no doubt as to who did it. Part of the joy at Sukkot in Isa 9.2-3 is that Gog/Magog have been defeated in Tishri, before they got to Sukkot.
The false messiah will take advantage of this sudden defeat. Russia will be in shock by saying, “What happened?” and “How did we lose?” and troop movements will begin and defensive postures will be taken in the confusion. The false messiah will invade Russia in Tishri, right after this defeat. This will be in the fall, around September and October, the same time Napoleon and Hitler invaded Russia, right before winter. The winter defeated Napoleon and Hitler, but this time the false messiah will be victorious (Ezek 39.6; Micah 5.5; Num 24.24). Warfare and armaments have changed. Then the false messiah will move into Jerusalem on Nisan 10, 1260 days before Yeshua does. This will be six months after the defeat of Gog/Magog (2 Thes 2.4; Rev 12.13-14). He will kill the Two Witnesses (Rev 11.1-14) and the last half of the Birth-pains begins. 1260 days later (after Nisan 10) Yeshua returns on Tishri 10, a Yom Kippur (Matt 24.29-31) at the sound of the “great trumpet” which is an idiom for Yom Kippur.
We are told that the false messiah will be the most powerful army on earth (Rev 13.4) for 42 months, or 1260 days, or a time, times and half a time, or three and a half years. This will be the last half of the Birth-pains, and go from Nisan 10 to Tishri 10. He has conquered much of the world, but not all of it. The Birth-pains can be understood like this. For the first three and half years, or 1260 days, God will deal with Israel. For the last three and a half years God will deal with the nations. Israel will be out of the picture during the last three and half years, they are in the wilderness for this period (Rev 12.14). This wilderness area will run from Mount Sinai in the south to Pella in the north, on the east side of the Jordan.
One prophetic key to understanding what is going to happen during the Birth-pains is understanding the last ten kings of Judah. These kings will correspond to a certain year in the Birth-pains. These kings are:
*Yehoahaz, Yehoakim, Yehoachin, Zedekiah-together form a picture of the seventh year
On a timeline, the invasion of Gog/Magog takes place during the reign of Hezekiah, the third king, so that corresponds to the the third year of the Birth-pains, beginning of the fourth.
Now, Exo 23.16, 34.20-22 and Deut 14.28 says that Sukkot is at the “end (turn) of the year.” Now, how can this be when Tishri 1 is the new year, and Sukkot is 16 days later? The old year is not over until Shemini Atzeret of Sukkot, the “8th day.” They overlap and those ten days are considered an extension of the previous year. That is why Sukkot is called the Feast of Ingathering at the “turn (end) of the year) when it is actually 15 days into the new year.
The false messiah will bring in Replacement Theology Christianity and place an idol in the Temple and kill the saints (those who have come to faith during the Birth-pains). The fourth king Manasseh did the same thing (2 Chr 33.1-7; 2 Kings 21.1-18), but he placed two images in the Temple (see Jewish Encyclopedia article on the “Abomination of Desolation”). One was an Asherah and the other was an Asherim. When the false messiah does it, one will be in the Holy Place (Matt 24.15) and the other may be at the Shaar Korban (Sacrifice Gate) of the Temple (Ezek 8.3). Pagan Christianity with its idolatry will reign in Israel and Jerusalem for the last three and a half years of the Birth-pains. The Jewish people aren’t even there because they are in the wilderness.
Now, we haven’t forgotten Isa 9, and in Part 37 we are going to get into the main emphasis of those verses and discuss how this festival of Sukkot relates to the Messiah. Once we have this foundation, we are going to look a little deeper into the birth of Yeshua and show how this relates to the ceremonies at Sukkot. This study is going to open up chapters of the Scriptures for you.