The Shroud of Turin will be part of the deception spoken of in 2 Thes 2.3-12. This passage is about the false messiah, so we are going to continue bringing out concepts relating to the Abomination of Desolation. Isaiah chapters 40 through 46 talks about this very subject. It is contrasting the greatness of God with an idol. This idol is described as being in the image of a man (44.10); fastened to a tree with nails (40.20, 41.7); in houses (44.13); worn around the neck (40.19); can be carried on the shoulder (46.7, 45.20); called an abomination (44.19); compared to God (40.18) and called God (44.17, 45.20). Isaiah 40 deals with Elijah the prophet who is to come because Yochanon ha Matvil (John the Baptist) quotes from it about himself, who Yeshua called “Elijah.” So, these chapters deal with what has gone before, but it also refers to the message of the Two Witnesses in the Birth-pains. There are references in these chapters that refer to an image that is being built. Isa 40.18-20 says that the people think that this image is of God, but it isn’t. Isa 45.20-21 was stricken from a Jewish prayer called the Oleynu by the Catholic Church because these verses were perceived to be an attack on the crucifix (the cross with the image of a man hanging on it). What is being described here is what is called an “asherim” and these are absolutely forbidden (Deut 16.21, Jer 10.1-5). A crucifix is an asherim, a Christmas Tree is an asherim. Tree worship and its symbols spread to Europe from Rome. It was carried to the United States during the American Revolution by the Hessians and it was not in common use until after the Civil War.
The false messiah will claim he is “Jesus” and the false prophet will be a Christian leader that supports images because he has one made of the false messiah, which is to be worshipped. He then sets it up with no hesitation. Asherim were used in worship of Asherah, otherwise known as Astarte and Istar. Now, here is an interesting point. The word “asherah” is used for a single female image, and is feminine singular. The word “asherot” is more than one female image and is feminine plural and used three times in the Tanach. But the word “asherim” is an image with male and female imagery and is masculine plural, impossible in Hebrew, but God uses it 16 times in the Tanach. An asherah can be a tree or made from any kind of wood. Idolatry in ancient times was centered on two things. First, sexual fertility, which translates into agricultural prosperity (more people, more crops). Second, the people wanted favor in war. The crucifix, used by the Catholic Church, but also by Protestants, becomes an asherim because the pole is masculine, but what it stands in is feminine (intercourse), and this male/female imagery is what makes it an asherim (masc/plural). Manasseh placed the first Abomination of Desolation in the Holy Place which was an asherah, a female statue. If the crucifix (asherim) is placed in the Holy Place, what would be the asherah? A statue of Mary, which alludes to “mother/goddess worship.” This is another aspect of idolatry that passed through Constantine’s Christianity to Catholicism today. The false prophet (possibly) will place a crucifix and a statue of Mary in the Holy Place. The Catholic Church has said that whenever you have a crucifix displayed, you should have a statue of Mary nearby because she is considered a “co-redemptrix” of mankind. This concept was on display in the movie “Passion of the Christ” in 2004. The crucifix and a statue of Mary are seen wherever the Pope says Mass, and the Papal trip to America in 2015 showed this to be the case.
The Abomination of Desolation will possibly be a crucifix, and the man on the cross will look like the false messiah, and the image on the Shroud of Turin. This plot has been laid for nearly 2000 years in the Shroud, art, movies, books, Christian TV and Christian Bookstores. 2 Kings 21.1-7 describes Manasseh and what he did. Ancient tradition says that he put two statues in the Temple (see the Jewish Encyclopedia on “Manasseh”). The false prophet will be Jewish who may have been raised a Catholic, or among them, and then went into the priesthood. He will have a rise to power and eventually be close to a pope. He may be a pope, or he will be at least a high-ranking official in the Catholic Church, with the rank of at least a Cardinal. We know for sure he will be a religious leader within a group who has a tendency towards images and idols. He will be a “false” Elijah. The false messiah will not be identified until after the Natzal and all true believers have been taken out to Heaven (2 Thes 2).
Dan 12.11 says “And from the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the abomination of desolation is set up will be 1290 days.” If you go back from Tishri 10, the last day of the Birthpains when Yeshua returns, 1290 days you come to Adar 10, around the time of Purim. This is one month before the false messiah follows in Yeshua’s footsteps on Nisan 10 and declares himself God (2 Thes 2). The sacrifices in the Temple will cease and the Abomination of Desolation is set up. Why? Because the Church teaches that Yeshua did away with the sacrifices at the cross. What better symbol to put in a Jewish Temple that has restored animal sacrifices than the symbol of its demise, a crucifix. In Dan 7.25 it says that the false messiah will “speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints (tzaddikim) of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations (replacement theology) in times (“zimnin” which is another word for the “moedim” or the appointed festivals of the Lord found in Lev 23) and in law (“v’dat” which is another name for the Torah).”
On Nisan 10, the exact half-way point of the Birthpains, the false messiah will slay the Two Witnesses who have come in the spirit and power of Moses and Elijah (Rev 11.1-13). These two come in the spirit and power of Moses and Elijah because they personify the Torah and the Prophets who witness that Yeshua is the Messiah (Rom 3.21). They minister for 1260 days, from Tishri 10, year 6001 to Nisan 10, year 6004. They are killed on Nisan 10 and their bodies lay in the street for three and half days. Nisan 14 is Passover, and Passover begins at noon. All other festivals start on the evening before, but not Passover. That means the Two Witnesses will rise on Passover, at noon, on Nisan 14, which is three and a half days after they have been killed on Nisan 10.
Rev 12.1-6 speaks about the woman clothed with the sun and the moon, with 12 stars under her feet. This alludes back to Joseph’s dream in Gen 37.9-10 and is talking about Israel, not the “church.” The woman flees into the wilderness on Nisan 10, the same day that the Two Witnesses are killed. The “wilderness” is the Jordanian/Moabite wilderness and they will go for the last three and a half years of the Birthpains. God will protect them in a supernatural environment, like during the Exodus, from their enemies. They will have heat by night, cool by day, food and water will be provided, they will be healthy and their clothes will not wear out. It says in Rev 12.15 that the dragon (Satan) will pour “water out of his mouth like a river” and this is a Hebrew idiom meaning “to send an army” (Isa 8.6-8; Jer 12.5). In a Midrash on Gen 22, it says that Abraham was on his way to Mount Moriah to offer Isaac and Satan sent a flood to stop him. He said, “Get behind me Satan” and this relates to what the Lord told Peter in Matt 16. The false messiah will send an army after the fleeing Jews who have rejected him because they have believed Yeshua’s words in Matt 24.16-21.
Isa 16.1-5 says that Sela (Petra) and the Arnon Valley, north of Petra, will “hide the outcasts” who flee there. The Arnon Valley is called the “Grand Canyon” of Jordan. They will take the Mishkan (the Tabernacle) with them (Ezek 37.24-28) to Petra. Here is what we think will happen. The sacrifices will begin on Rosh ha Shannah, Tishri 1, year 6001, the same day the Natzal (or rapture) occurs, without a Temple at first, but this has been done before (Ezra 3.1-6). The Mishkan is either found or made, and will be set up to house the articles until a Temple is built. When they flee to Petra, they will take it with them and continue the services in obedience to God (Isa 16.5). When Yeshua returns, they will return with him and the Mishkan to Jerusalem, and Sukkot is five days later. The existing Temple is defiled and must be purified from desecration, just like in the time of Antiochus Epiphanes. It takes 8 days to cleanse it. They will set up the Mishkan near the Gihon Spring. Before the Temple was built, that is where it sat and Solomon was crowned king there. Tradition says Adam immersed in this spring. They will use that until the Temple is cleansed and made ready. Then the Temple described in Ezekiel 40 through 48 will be built and dedicated on Chanukah 75 days after Yeshua returns. This brings us up to 1335 days since the middle of the Birthpains, and is referred to in Dan 12.12. In Part 10, we will begin to talk about another valley of biblical importance and how it relates to Israel and their flight into the wilderness, then move on to other concepts associated with the second coming of the Messiah.