In order to understand the second coming of Yeshua, we are going to need to understand three significant Rosh Ha Shannah’s to Yom Kippur that will occur during the first seven years of the Day of the Lord. One of the concepts needed to understand all this is called the 7000 year plan of God. When 6000 years from creation is completed, we will come to Rosh Ha Shannah, year 6001 because the civil year always begins on Rosh Ha Shannah. This day begins the “Day of the Lord” which is the last 1000 years. It is referred to with other idioms, such as, “in that day” and “the latter days.” We are not in those days yet because we have not come to Rosh Ha Shannah, year 6001. The Natzal, or “rapture”, has not happened yet so that is how we know we are not in the “day of the Lord” yet. It is also known as the “Sabbath of God” and the weekly Sabbath is a picture of this last 1000 year period. It is our belief that the Temple services will also begin on this day, so that means those who are alive right before the day of the Lord begins may see Temple preparations, the Red Heifer ceremony and the cleansing of the Temple Mount, including the Priests and the vessels that will be used in the Temple services. The day that the “rapture” or Natzal happens will be the day the Temple services begins.
So on Elul 24, seven days before Rosh Ha Shannah, these ceremonies will be happening on earth. Also, the 144,000 witnesses will become believers on this day because they will see the catching away of the believers and be saved immediately. That is why they are called the “first fruits” of those who believe in Rev 14.1-4. This concept is seen in the Scriptures. Elisha saw Elijah taken and received a double portion. Paul saw the risen Yeshua and believed immediately. Isaiah saw the Lord high and lifted up and he is a picture of these believers who the Lord will send to preach (Isa 6.1-13). They will return to Israel immediately. Ten days later we come to the festival of Yom Kippur, which is the first day of the seven year Birth-pains, of Tribulation Period. During these ten days between Rosh Ha Shannah and Yom Kippur, the Natzal (rapture) has occurred, the 144,000 have been saved and return to Israel and America is destroyed by Russia in one day, probably around Tishri 8. Europe will be in a panic. Two days later the false messiah makes a military covenant with Israel. Russia declares war on Europe and the false messiah because America is out of the way. The Two Witnesses begin to serve in Israel and this also begins on Yom Kippur, and their ministry goes for 1260 days, or the first half of the Birth-pains.
The counting of the days of the Birth-pains (2520 days) begins on this Yom Kippur, ten days after the Natzal, or rapture. This is the first significant Rosh Ha Shannah to Yom Kippur, and there are two others. In order to understand biblical eschatology, there are some concepts to understand. First, biblical eschatology is the study of the Messiah and the Redemption. History is unfulfilled prophecy, and prophecy is unfulfilled history. Another concept is called “Here now, but not yet” and this goes along with the idea that history has pointed to what is going to happen, but it isn’t quite the fulfillment yet (Num 24.17). Prophecy is not limited in time, but things can have numerous fulfillments (Ecc 1.19, 3.15). Eschatology needs to be studied on the peshat, remez, drash and sowd levels (see the teaching “Hebraic Methods of Biblical Interpretation” on this site for more). For instance, Jer 46.1-10 gives the account of a historical battle between Egypt and Babylon at Carchemish between Nebuchadnezzar and Pharaoh Necho. This is a major battle and relates to Megiddo where King Josiah dies. This is a picture of a future battle in the Day of the Lord between the false messiah (Pharaoh Necho) and the “kings of the east” (Nebuchadnezzar and the time is “that day” verse 10). All of the historical battles relate to future battles, and the more you know and understand these battles, the more you will understand about the eschatology of the Birth-pains.
There three major keys to understanding prophecy and eschatology. First, we need to understand that the last ten kings of Judah (Jotham to Zedekiah) relate to the seven year Birth-pains (this concept was first noticed by Hatikva Ministries in Nederland, Tx, a number of years ago and we believe it has alot of merit). The first six kings will relate to the first six years of the Birth-pains, and the last for will relate to the seventh year. Why? Things will be moving very fast that last year and these kings total “ten”, the number of judgment. For instance, there are ten days between Rosh Ha Shannah and Yom Kippur called the “Yamim Noraim” or “days of awe.” There are ten commandments and Abraham was tested ten times. A minyan for public prayer in a synagogue is ten. The Jewish Encyclopedia gives details on these kings that will help to describe the Birth-pains and events. When you read about a particular king, it will give you insight as to what will be happening in the Birth-pains. For instance, the fourth king is Manasseh. He is a picture of the fourth year of the Birth-pains. What did he do? He set up an image in the Temple in the fourth year of the Birthpains. He killed the prophets and shed the innocent blood of the saints. He introduced pagan worship and idolatry, and the false messiah will do the same thing. The Rabbi’s linked Manasseh with the Abomination of Desolation (see the article “Abomination of Desolation” in the Jewish Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia Judaica).
They also see an allusion to Antiochus Epiphanes and Zeus, which will also relate to the Shroud of Turin. There seems to have been two statues erected by Manasseh. The story goes that one fell over and broke the hand off the other one. The Abomination of Desolation could be one act involving two images because Manasseh put an Asherah in the Temple (female imagery) and Antiochus put a statue of Zeus with his face on it (masculine imagery) in the Temple also. The false prophet may use both. The Abomination of Desolation is a major theme of the Birthpains. It will stand in “the holy place” or “Ha Kodesh” of the Temple (Matt 24.15). Second, the 8th century prophets, and what was going on, teach us about the first half of the Birth-pains, while the 7th century prophets and what was happening will be pictures of what will be happening in the last half of the Birth-pains. Third, we need to understand the seven festivals of the Lord in Lev 23.
Let’s go back and touch on a few other things associated with the Abomination of Desolation. In Dan 9.27 and 11.31 it refers to the “Shikutz Somem”, which is an offensive object due to uncleanness, and idol offensive to God. It is a contemptuous equivalent for “Ba’al Samem” which means “Lord of Heaven. But, the false messiah is not from heaven (samem) but he desolates (somem). It is a word play in Hebrew. Instead of being from heaven, he will desolate. Shikutz is used for idols in Hebrew and it is related to the word “sheketz” which means “detestable” and used in the dietary laws in Lev 11.10 to describe things God’s people should not eat. In 2 Kings 23.13 “shikutz” is used for false gods like Ashtoret, Chemosh and Milcom. This word is then associated with idolatry and “abominable” acts. In eschatology, we know that the Abomination of Desolation is an idol and it is “set up” in its place in the Ha Kodesh by the mid-point of the Birthpains (Dan 12.11). Now, we know Yeshua returns in the second coming on Yom Kippur (Matt 24.30-31) because it is with the sound of the Shofar Ha Gadol (great trumpet), an idiom for Yom Kippur. That means the Birth-pains will have to start on a Yom Kippur seven years earlier. The exact half-way point between these two events is Nisan 10. So, the Abomination of Desolation will be set up by Nisan 10, 1260 days after the Birth-pains began on a Yom Kippur.
Manasseh, the fourth king of the last ten kings of Judah, is a picture of the false messiah from ancient times. He set up an image in the Temple and he made war on the saints. In Deut 16.21 it says that you are not to plant any tree as a wooden image. Literally, it means an “asherah of any kind of wood.” Some names for sacred trees include “El”; Elah” or “Elon.” These images could be set up under a living tree (2 Kings 17.10). Judges 6.25-26 says they could be of considerable size because they were used as fuel for the sacrifice of a bullock. They were found near altars for Ba’al, but later next to the altars of the Lord. Sometimes they were carved in revolting shapes and “draped” with cloth. They are also associated with the sacred pillars called “mazavot.” They were abolished in Josiah’s time (2 Kings 22.23) and the asherim were consorts to Ba’al. They were called the “Queen of Heaven” and “my Lady” and also “mother.” Asherah is a name for a semitic goddess before 1500 BC. She was throughout the Mediterranean and Manasseh put up “asherim” and the false messiah will put up “asherim” in the Temple, so we must know what that is to understand the future. An “asherah” is feminine singular, and is a statue. Asherot is used three times and is feminine plural, and this means more than one image. Asherim is used sixteen times and is masculine plural, but this is impossible in Hebrew because asherah and ashterot is feminine. But God uses it in the Scripture to convey the fact that this is a combination of male and female imagery, and you need to remember this point when it comes to the Abomination of Desolation.
So, as you can see, Manasseh being the fourth king of the last ten kings of Judah tells us a lot about the fourth year of the Birthpains and the Abomination of Desolation (for more information, go to our teaching “Abomination of Desolation” on this site). In Part 3, we will look at another king, called Hezekiah. He is the third king of Judah of the last ten, so he will give us insight into the third year of the Birth-pains.