Let’s go to the reign of King Ahaz, which is a picture of the second year of the Birth Pains (Tribulation). He will start dealing with the Assyrian King Tiglat-Pileser, who is also called “Pul.” The Assyrian empire has been around for nearly 1000 years by this time, but it was always overshadowed by other empires around it, like the Hittites and Egypt. Tiglat-Pileser will bring Assyria to a new level. King Ahaz and the events in his reign are a picture of the second year of the Birth Pains. During the second year, we will have a war between the enemies of Israel in the north and the Syrians. We also have the Philistines, which in Latin is “Palestina” or “Palestinians.”
Psalm 83.1-8 is a passage that describes a conspiracy (Psa 83.5) against Israel. Edom, the Ishmaelites, Moabites, Hagrites, Gebal, Ammon, Amalek, Philistia, Tyre, Assyria and the children of Lot. These areas today are in Saudi Arabia, the Beduins, Jordan, Palestinians, Lebanon and Russia. Verses 1-4 is almost word for word out of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) charter. This will set up the attack by Gog and Magog (Russia) in Ezek 38-39. Today’s events are setting all this up, and Russia is a major player.
Isa 9.2-4 is describing a war. In the second year of the Birth Pains, there will be a war with the Arabs and Israel. Israel will be very secular at this time, but there are also very strong religious feelings. Psalm 83 tells us about a confederacy against Israel, and this is also discussed in Isa 8.12. Isa 7 and 8 deals with Assyrian attacks during the reign of King Ahaz. 2 Kings 6 and 17, and 2 Chr 28 and 29 describe the same thing. In the second year there is a confederacy and it contains several Arab nations. Israel will be attacked from several directions and will need help, so they call on Russia for help to stop these nations. Remember, the United States is no longer on the scene, having been destroyed by Russia right after the catching away of the believers on Tishri 1. By Tishri 8, the United States is gone. The false messiah in Europe is given power to help defend Europe. At first, Russia will refuse the request of Israel for help, but they will eventually come in. Part of this whole scenario is setting up Russia’s invasion of Israel in the third year of the Birth Pains.
Isa 7 describes the turmoil Israel will be in during the second year. Israel will not be invincible, but very vulnerable during this time because she has more powerful enemies than friends. If what happened in 1973 with the Yom Kippur war happens again, it will be bad. Isa 9.8 through 10.11 describes a nation that has turned against God (Israel), but there are many who walk with God. Israel, as a nation, was called to walk with God, but they aren’t doing it. It is like when Israel came out of Egypt, they were all in one accord (Exo 19.2). The word “camped” is singular in Hebrew, they were as one. That is what the norm should be but it won’t be at this time of the BIrth Pains. God is going to use Assyria (Gog and Magog/Russia) in the future to do the same thing, to bring Israel together in the Lord. They will not trust their war machines, but God.
Isa 10.12-13 tells us that God will finish his work in Israel and will punish Assyria/Russia/Gog and Magog. For “he” (Assyria/Russia/Gog and Magog) thinks they are powerful by their own works and efforts, not realizing it was God who made them great. This pride will be their downfall. This will bring us to the time of King Hezekiah, the third king which pictures the third year of the Birth Pains. Ahaz was asked to petition the Lord for a “sign” that he was going to deliver Israel from their enemies. Ahaz said he didn’t want a sign, so God gave him a sign anyway that he would deliver Israel from the Assyrians (Isa 7.14). It will be his son Hezekiah that comes to power, and he turns the nation towards God and that is the picture that is developing.
Isa 10.20-34 says “In that day” and this indicates that this is a double reference prophecy. God will deliver Israel from the hand of Assyria/Gog and Magog/Russia. The “yoke” will be broken because the “anointing oil” that caused faith came forth in the people, and they turned to the Lord (Ezek 39.22). In the war that Assyria will wage against Hezekiah, going back to the time of Ahaz, it tells you where they fought and that is a picture of what will happen in the Birth Pains. Isaiah just gave a list of them in Isa 10.28-32. This is a picture of what Gog and Magog will do, telling us that Israel will be totally defeated in the third year of the Birth Pains.
The Assyrians had such a huge army that they can fight on multiple fronts. Israel will not be able to do that. One fortress after another fell as the Assyrians moved towards Jerusalem. What you did in those days was go behind your walls and wait for help to come. But Assyria could attack all the forts at one time, not allowing anyone to come to the rescue of another. The last fortress to fall was Lachish in the Shephelah Valley. It was the greatest fortress in Judah, outside of Jerusalem. Once the Shephelah Valley and Lachish was taken, Sennacherib, the Assyrian king at this time and his massive army, could move against Jerusalem. They camp around Jerusalem, and in 70 A.D. the Romans would use the same sites of these camps again when they came against Jerusalem. It was called “The Assyrian Camp.”
There was no way to militarily defeat the Assyrians. The Assyrians sent out their main officers, telling the people inside Jerusalem not to listen to King Hezekiah or Isaiah because they were lying (Isa 36-37). Everybody Assyria fought thought their “gods” were strong enough to defeat the Assyrians, but that didn’t work. The Assyrian officers told the people their God was not going to stop them either. That was the turning point. There was no other place the people could turn now but to the Lord. So, Hezekiah puts on sackcloth and ashes and goes to the Temple and prays (Isa 37.1) and the Assyrians are defeated by the hand of the Lord. This is a picture of the future when Gog and Magog comes. It will not be a pretty picture for Israel. Gog and Magog/Russia will come against the entire nation and defeat anyone and anything in it’s way. At that point, Israel will corporately (as a people) humble themselves and turn to God (Isa 10.12; Ezek 39.22). God will destroy Gog and Magog/Russia by his hand (Isa 10.12, 37.36-38; Ezek 38 n.19-23).
Right now, in 2017, we are not in the second year of the Birth Pains. We are in the days of Uzziah leading up to the Day of the Lord and the Birth Pains. Things are going to get worse and worse and there will be wars and so on. The Temple Mount and the Temple will be built during the first year or so of the Birth Pains. A bridge will need to be built across the Kidron Valley to slaughter a Red Heifer, at a specific spot. This spot has been discovered and it is exactly straight across from the Dome of the Rock, the site of the ancient Temple building. These things have not happened yet, and the Dome of the Rock and all Muslim sites will need to be removed before that. Some teachers today believe we are in the Birth Pains right now (2017) but that is inaccurate. The Rabbi’s in Israel will build the Temple when they have the Temple Mount and a Red Heifer because it is a mandate from God. However, before the Natzal (catching away), we will see some of this begin to happen.
We know that the Yeshua returns on a Yom Kippur. The amount of days given for the Birth Pains in Scripture indicates that we will have a 360 day year. With that scenario, the Birth Pains will not start until a Yom Kippur, year 6001, ten days after the catching away of the believers in the Natzal. The Birth Pains will be 2,520 days long, or seven years of 360 day years. The Day of the Lord began on Tishri 1, year 6001, the same day as the Natzal (catching away), a Rosh Ha Shannah. Another name for Rosh Ha Shannah is “the Day of the Lord” or “Lord’s Day” (Sigmund Moewinckel, “Psalms in Israel’s Worship”). It is called this because the Day of the Lord begins on a Rosh Ha Shannah. So, during the ten days between Rosh Ha Shannah (and the Natzal) to Yom Kippur, the false messiah will rise to power in Europe after the United States is attacked and destroyed. This period of Rosh Ha Shannah to Yom Kippur will be the first one of significance during the Birth Pains. There will be three in total. The second significant one will be Rosh Ha Shannah to Yom Kippur of the third year, leading to the fourth. The third significant Rosh Ha Shannah to Yom Kippur will be at the end of the Birth Pins and the seventh year, when Yeshua returns.
Nisan 10 will be the exact halfway point of the Birth Pains. The false messiah will come to Jerusalem and declare himself “God” in the Temple (2 Thes 2) and he will kill the Two Witnesses (Rev 11). Israel, who now believes that Yeshua is the Messiah, will not accept the false messiah and they flee to the Jordanian/Moabite wilderness, east of the Jordan River. They will be protected by God there for 1260 days, or the last half of the Birth Pains. Nisan 10 is the exact day Yeshua rode into Jerusalem and declared himself the Messiah right before his crucifixion. The false messiah is a counterfeit Messiah and he will know the significance of Nisan 10. The problem is, most people don’t know the Scriptures well enough to know what to look for, but Ha Satan and the false messiah will know enough to counterfeit what the Lord has done on those days.
In Part 4, we will pick up here.