Hebrew eschatology looks at the “details” and tying “words” to one passage, then to another and so on. However, they often miss the “big picture. Christian eschatology focuses on the “big picture” often missing the “details.” What we want to do is look at the details and the big picture.
The false messiah will come in, and for most of Christianity, they are looking for a Messiah that doesn’t match the biblical character (see the cover of the book “Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up” by Vendyl Jones). Most of Christianity is looking for a Messiah that won’t be Torah observant or teach the Torah. They are looking for a Messiah that matches what they are taught today, a Messiah that teaches they have been “set free” from the Torah and that they do not need to keep the commandments anymore. The Bible calls that “lawlessness” (Torah-less-ness) and that is what the false messiah will stand for through the false prophet (2 Thes 2.8-12).
The false messiah will set up the Abomination of Desolation (an idol forbidden by the Torah) and he will make war on the “tzadikim” (saints). This persecution will last 42 months (or three and a half years; a time, times and half a time; 1260 days) or the last half of the Birth Pains (Rev 13.5-10). Rev 13.1-4 brings out the eschatological character called “Leviathan.” We have already discussed this seven headed beast that comes out of the sea. These verses allude back to Dan 7.1-8. The fourth beast incorporates all the best of the previous kingdoms (Rome). It has the majesty and wealth of Babylon, the size of Medo-Persia and the speed of Greece.
Leviathan is “Lev’yi’tan” in Hebrew and it means a “twisted serpent” (Isa 27.1). Leviathan has seven heads, which were the seven kingdoms that held Israel captive at some point. These nations are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome (“one is”), and then “Revived Rome” (“yet to come”). One of the “heads” was slain (Rome fell) but the “wound” was healed (Rome will come back “revived”). Dan 9.26 mentions “the people of the prince who is come” and they will destroy the sanctuary and the city, and we know this was Rome in 70 A.D. Dan 11.30 mentions the “ships of Kittim” which came against Antiochus Epiphanes during the Maccabean revolt. The Roman Gaius Popillius Laenas came against him, identifying Kittim with Rome (Wikipedia has information on him). Rome had ordered Antiochus to stop his attack on Alexandria. Laenas drew a circle around Antiochus as he was standing there and said he was not to leave that circle until he decided what he was going to do, fight or withdraw. Antiochus decided to withdraw.
Rev 17.1-2 talks about the “harlot” who rides on a “scarlet beast.” The “harlot” will be the remnants of the United States military allied with Europe after America was destroyed. The military stationed in Europe and around the world will come under Europe and the false messiah (scarlet beast). This alliance will also include other nations and are considered “Babylon” in general. Rev 17.5-18 gets into more detail. Pharaoh in Bible was seen as “Leviathan” or the “Tannin” (serpent of Ezek 29, Ezek 32). Pharaoh had a serpent on his crown. He is a picture of the false messiah in Scripture. We know that in the time of Yotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah and Manasseh, they will be dealing with Egypt, Assyria and Babylon. Egypt will be a picture of the kingdom of the false messiah in the future. We know that the false messiah will put up the Abomination of Desolation around the halfway point of the Birth Pains and he will make war on the tzadikim (saints-2 Kings 21.1-18; 2 Chr 33.1-9) who are believers in Yeshua who keep the Torah (Rev 12.17). We know that Manasseh is the fourth king of the last ten kings of Judah. He symbolizes the fourth year of the Birth Pains. We also know that Manasseh specifically put up idols in the Temple (2 Kings 21.1-18; 2 Chr 33.1-8) and the Jewish Encyclopedia in the article “Abomination of Desolation” talks about this. He was the first to do this, before Antiochus did. Manasseh put up an Asherah (female imagery idol) and an Asherim (male imagery idol). Manasseh (the fourth king) is a picture of the false messiah who will put up the Abomination of Desolation in the fourth year of the Birth Pains The Abomination of Desolation, in our opinion, will be a crucifix. Based on what Manasseh did with an idol of female imagery, there may also be a statue of Mary nearby, which is the practice of the Catholic Church whenever there is a crucifix.
The fifth king in this scenario is King Amon. We do not have any prophets that prophesied in his days. All we are told is that he was an evil king, in fact, they threw his remains on a trash pile when he died at the age of 24. He was killed by his servants. He is succeeded by one of the greatest kings of Judah, King Josiah, the sixth king of the last ten kings of Judah. He will lead the people back to God and the Torah during his reign, destroying idols and doing “teshuvah.” But, there is war.
The Babylonians are attacking the Assyrians. Egypt and Pharaoh Necho march to aid the Assyrians against the Babylonians. Josiah goes out to fight against the Egyptians. By this time the northern kingdom has been defeated by the Assyrians and taken into captivity. So, Josiah’s kingdom is in Judah, in the south. When the Egyptians come up the Via Maris (way of the sea) they come through Megiddo. Josiah will come up against the Egyptians because Pharaoh Necho had already taken Gaza and Ashkelon and he knew that Judah was probably next, but Josiah is killed at Megiddo. If there is a “battle of Armageddon” according to Rev 16.16, it will be in the sixth year of the Birth Pains, going into the seventh year. However, there is another way to look at “Armageddon” in Rev 16.16. Armageddon in Hebrew is “Har (mountain) moghed (appointed times).” There is no “Mount Megiddo” but there is a hill there. Armageddon can mean “Mount of the appointed times (moed).” Moed can be said with a “g” sound, or “moghed.” This “battle” is really a “war” (Rev 16.14). This “war” is over obedience to the Torah. This term “Har Moghed” is used in Isa 14.13 where it says, “And I (King of Babylon is a type of Satan/false messiah in these passages) will sit on the mountain of assembly” (Har Moed, or “moghed”). The word “moed” means the “appointed times” of “assembly” (for the festivals on the Temple Mount). Moed is spelled in Hebrew with a Mem, Vav, Ayin, Dalet. The “ayin” can be said with a “g” sound such as in Amos 1.6 where the “ayin” in Gaza is a hard “g.” So, the real issue here is not some last eschatological battle at Mount Megiddo (which doesn’t exist) but a war over who you are going to serve, the “Mount of the Appointed times” or the festivals. The war is over the Torah.
The seventh year kings are Jehoahaz, who serves three months; Jehoichim, who serves eleven years; Jehoichin, who serves three months and Zedekiah, who serves eleven years. So, as you can see, there is a pattern. There are four kings representing the seventh year of the Birth Pains because so many things will be happening and things are moving fast. This brings the total of kings to ten, the number of judgment and that is the main theme of the Birth Pains. There are wars and everything is moving towards Jerusalem. At the end, under King Zedekiah, we have the fall of Jerusalem. So, Zedekiah will be a picture of the false messiah also. There will be a lot of details because that is what the Lord wants. We can piece these things together to get a “profile.”
We will pick here with more details in Part 5.