As we have said before, one of the keys to understanding the Birth-pains is to understand that the last ten kings of Judah give us an idea of what will happen. We have been dealing with the first four kings, so we are going to begin to talk about the fifth king, King Amon. He will give us a glimpse into the fifth year of the Birth-pains. There is less known of him than any other King of Judah. He reigned 2 years and he was hated by the people, and killed by them. He was, in many ways, worse than Manasseh and continued where he left off. There was no prophet in his days. Eschatologically, this means that there will be little activity in the fifth year of the Birth-pains, or the Lord would have given us more information. The Russians have been defeated and the 144,000 are working among the Gentiles throughout the world (Micah 5.7). The false messiah continues to persecute those who reject him. Jewish believers continue services in the wilderness. The kings of the east and the south come against the false messiah, working to mobilize against him during the fifth year. The last kings (from Manasseh) are all bad kings, except for Josiah (only Hezekiah rates higher). Eighth century prophets like Isaiah, Micah, Hosea and Amos center on getting away from the Torah and not so much about idolatry. But the seventh century prophets center in idolatry. Jeremiah has over twenty direct condemnations against it in the first 15 chapters. They had moved into idolatry from Manasseh. He had brought in the “asherim” and they were worshipping the “host of heaven” (the stars). The basis for the book of Jeremiah is Jer 44.15-25. Prophetically, Israel is in the wilderness, and they will be there 42 months. Jerusalem has been given over to the false messiah and the Gentiles for the same 42 months. So, who are the prophets of the seventh century eschatologically speaking to when they talk about “Israel.”
Israel is out of the land and in the wilderness. The “Israel” they are eschatologically dealing with in their prophecies is “Replacement Theology” Christianity that teaches that they are the “new Israel.” Sound far fetched? This was declared by Christianity in the fourth century saying that Christianity has replaced Israel, which of course is not true. The time of Constantine brings idolatry in a large scale into Christianity. The prophets are speaking to people who really don’t believe in Yeshua under the flag of Christianity, who follow the false messiah and his false prophet. For more information on this, go to the Encyclopedia Judaica, p 507-508, under “Christianity” and it will confirm this. Christianity teaches the “age of law” and the “age of grace” or what is also known as the “church age.” But grace began with Adam. The “church” is known in the Scriptures as the “kahal” meaning assembly, congregation or company (Deut 18.16). The Greek words for this is “ecclesia” and “synagogue.” Christianity says that this started in Acts 2 but this is wrong. The “kahal” began at Sinai at Shavuot (Deut 18.15-16) and that is why Shavuot is called “Yom Kahal” (day of the assembly) in the Scriptures. In Heb 4.1-2 it says that the gospel was preached to those coming out of Egypt as well as to “us.” The gospel didn’t start when Yeshua came, it started with Adam. Acts 7.38 also talks about the “congregation in the wilderness.” The word “church” has pagan connotations and it is used to make people think that this eschatological congregation in the gospels and epistles was not in a Jewish context.
The events of the sixth year of the Birth-pains is detailed during the reign of King Josiah. He is a good king who loves the Lord. He deals with idolatry even more than King Hezekiah did (2 Chr 34.1-33). He went beyond his jurisdiction to remove idols. We know the other kings were types of the false messiah, but Josiah isn’t. He was a believer who fought idols before he found the Torah scroll, then he only got more fervent. Who is Josiah eschatologically speaking of? He is not a picture of the Jewish people because they are in the wilderness and not even in the land during the sixth year of the Birth-pains. The 144,000 are among the nations. So, just who is he a picture of? He is a picture of the believers who do not follow the false messiah (Rev 7.9-14). Josiah is a picture of these believers, predominantly Gentiles. Jeremiah has been prophesying 5 years when they find the Torah, and cleansed themselves from idolatry. This tells us God is moving.
The “eschatological congregation” had a structure and “blueprints.” Heb 10.25 says that the believers should not forsake the “synagogue” and we know they kept the festivals, new moons and sabbath (Col 2.16-17). Acts 15 says they ate kosher. They worshipped in the Temple (Acts 2.46) and offered animal sacrifices 30 years after Yeshua (Acts 21.15-26). However, within Christianity, there is hardly anyone who understands these things. The enemy came and offered substitutes. Josiah is a picture of the Gentiles who believe during the Birth-pains, and sets out to battle idolatry in the land. They have gotten back to the Jewish roots of the faith, they have found the “lost book of the Torah” just like Josiah did. In 2 Chr 35.1-19 Josiah keeps Passover, which teaches the Messiah in detail. The first half of the meal teaches the first coming of the Messiah, the second half of the meal teaches the second coming of the Messiah. It teaches the coming of Elijah the Prophet, the Birth-pains, the resurrection of the Jewish people and the glory of the Kingdom to come. Each biblical festival has a meal (Yom Kippur has one following) and they teach the eschatology of the Lord. They all point to the Wedding Supper of the Messiah, which occurs after seven days in the home of the brides father. Eschatologically, this speaks of the Wedding Supper that will come after the seven years of the Birth-pains. The theme of the Wedding Supper is joy and it lasts for quite a long time. These meals are called “meals consecrated to God” and questions are encouraged during these meals. There are 52 Sabbaths, 12 New Moons and seven festivals, so there are 71 meals at least. Another name for these meals is “the Lord’s Supper” and these go back to at least Moses. What happened in Christianity? The “Lord’s Supper” they do today has been reduced down to a thimble of juice and a piece of a cracker or bread. The meals have a feeling of a funeral, not joy, and it is a very short ceremony instead of lasting for hours. The believers in the Birth-pains will go back to the truth of the Torah, just as Josiah did. They will learn it from the 144,000 who will be working among them.
Let’s talk about another Passover in the Birth-pains. Gog and Magog have been defeated on Tishri 10 of the third year (Ezek 39.2-9). Gog is buried and the people have corpse uncleanliness (Ezek 39.10-16). In Num 9.1-14 we read when Jews who are unable to keep the Passover in Nisan, they can keep it one month later. The Jews have fled to the wilderness on Nisan 10, and are unclean because of burying the dead of Gog and Magog (Ezek 39.11-16), but they can keep the Passover one month later on Iyar 14. 2 Chr 30.1-3 says that King Hezekiah did it and Passover was postponed. During the last three and a half years, what is presented to us is a view of the false messiah, idolatry and Apostate Christianity. But what we see in Josiah is a great movement of God among the Gentiles. They turn to God, they discover their Jewish roots and go back to the Torah, like the Gentiles did during the first century. This leads to restoration of the biblical kind, not the false restoration that is accepted today among Christianity.
Let’s talk about the battle of Megiddo, and Josiah against the Egyptians. Here is some back-round first. Sennacherib is killed by his son, and was the last of the great Assyrian kings. Esar-Haddon succeeds him but the empire was over extended. Within 50 years Assyria was gone. Babylon has been rising with Nabopolaser. He builds Babylon and his general is his son, Nebuchadnezzar. So, we have three major powers in play here. Assyria is on the decline (Zech 10.11), Babylon is on the rise and Egypt. Up until this time Egypt fought Assyria, and were blood enemies. Now Babylon is attacking Assyria and Egypt will come to the aid of the Assyrians, even though they are enemies. Babylon had to be stopped and it was good politics. Eschatologically, Assyria is a weakened Russia, like we see today. Babylon represents the armies of the east and Egypt is Europe. Europe and the false messiah have made a military treaty with Israel in Dan 9.27 and the false messiah (like Pharaoh who is a type of the false messiah) leads Europe (Egypt-see Ezek 29; Ezek 32; Isa 19; Deut 4.20; Isa 36.6 with Isa 42.1-4). There are three characters historically to know: Josiah, Nabopolaser and Pharoah Neco II. Babylon forces the Assyrians from Ninevah to Haran, then they retreat again to Carchemish. There are three major battles at the end of the sixth year of the Birth-pains. They are Megiddo, where Josiah is killed fighting Pharoah Neco (the false messiah); Haran, with Babylon (kings of the east) coming into Israel and Carchemish, where Egypt fights Babylon (the false messiah fighting the kings of the east). Babylon (armies of the east) was threatening the Assyrians (remainder of Russia). Pharoah Neco (the false messiah) comes to the aid of the Assyrians (Russians) to stop Babylon (the armies of the east). Josiah intercepts Egypt (the false messiah) before he could get to Carchemish and is slain in Megiddo (2 Chr 35.20-24; 2 Kings 28-30). Why did he fight? He wanted to overthrow the yoke of the Assyrians. Jeremiah had said to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar over and over again and Josiah was following God’s will at the time to not resist him. Eschatologically, the Gentiles who believe in Yeshua will rise up against the false messiah in a battle at Megiddo, but the false messiah will crush them. Think in terms of a resistance movement, like the French against the Nazi’s
Job 41 is a major passage on the false messiah/Pharoah. He is called “Leviathan” here, and it also symbolizes Europe. Job 40.15-24 brings out a character called “Behemoth” and this is an eschatological term in the Bible for the armies of the east. Behemoth is plural in Hebrew, referring to these “armies.” Each year at Shavuot there is a major prayer called the “Ak’damut.” Part of that prayer deals with the battle between Behemoth and Leviathan (eschatologically, the armies of the east and the false messiah). It is four pages long and it takes you through the history of Israel, to the coming of Messiah. In Part 14, we will pick up here and continue the teaching of what happens during the sixth year of the Birth-pains.