The COVID-19 Pandemic has caused many students of Bible Prophecy to look at the texts which speak of the final salvation for Israel and the Jews.
I see God moving across the deserts from Edom, the Holy One coming from Mount Paran. His brilliant splendor fills the heavens, and the earth is filled with his praise. His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise. Rays of light flash from his hands, where his awesome power is hidden. Pestilence marches before him; plague follows close behind. When he stops, the earth shakes. When he looks, the nations tremble. He shatters the everlasting mountains and levels the eternal hills. He is the Eternal One! ~Habakkuk 3:3-6
This text is unmistakable in its premise that when Messiah comes to earth, He will first send pestilence. In Leviticus 26:25, the Lord warned Israel that if they continued to disobey Him, He would send pestilence:
When you are gathered together within your cities I will send pestilence (דֶּבֶר ḏeḇer) among you. ~Leviticus 26:25
This pestilence is the same Hebrew word, deber, God used in Habakkuk’s prophecy where He sees the Messiah coming to earth, but preceded by pestilence that will be present on the earth.
The thought here is that in the presence of a Global Pandemic with COVID-19, a pestilence that is the greatest of my 63 years on earth, is this virus that is killing thousands on earth now, the pestilence Habakkuk said would come first before Messiah arrives. Is this pestilence the event that God told Israel that would take place in the last days when they are once again “gathered” in their own land?
- Messiah comes again for His church
- The seven year Tribulation begins
How Does God Reveal Prophecy To People?
There is a principle revealed in the Bible that defines the ability of a person to receive wisdom about God, depending upon a person’s willingness to believe what God has already said. If a person determines that they will know God by their wisdom, or based upon their particular logic, it will be impossible for them to ever know Him. The primary requirement for spiritual wisdom is an earnest desire to know God as He has revealed Himself. In every endeavor to understand God, the primary goal must not be to know the word of God, but to know the God of the word.
When God spoke to the nation of Israel through her many prophets, and revealed what the Messiah would be like, the people of Israel were required to believe what God had said. When they rejected Jesus as the Messiah, because He was not what they expected, God made it impossible for most of the Jews to see who Jesus is. This blindness has continued for the past 2,000 years, and it will continue until God removes their blindness.
…blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in… Romans 11:26
Today a great majority of Jews claim that the reason why they do not believe Jesus is the promised Messiah is because He did not fulfill the necessary prophecies. In reality, Jesus fulfilled every one of the prophecies of the Messiah; but God made it impossible for them to see this, for the time being.
The prophet Hosea predicted that this would happen. Israel will be without a king for many days; but, in the last days, all Israel will receive the Messiah and be saved.
Old Testament Prediction:
Hosea 3:4-5 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, without ephod or teraphim. Afterward the children of Israel shall return and seek the LORD their God and David their king. They shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the latter days.
New Testament Fulfillment:
Romans 11:25-27 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved…
Eyes, But They Cannot See…
The last king of Judah was Zedekiah, who ended his reign in 586 B.C. Israel’s final king was Hoshea, who died in 712 B.C. From that time to the present day, there has been no king over the nation of Israel. In 517 B.C., the second Temple was completed. It was destroyed in 70 A.D. by Titus and the Roman army. In nearly 2,000 years, there has been neither a king nor a Temple to make a sacrifice in Israel. According to the prophet Hosea, after a long time Israel shall return and seek the Lord their God and David their king.
The New Testament reveals that the schedule for this restoration of Israel will occur during the last days. In the chapter, Arrival of the Messiah, we learn that Ezekiel predicted the precise day when the nation of Israel would be born again as a new nation. Although the following information was given in this chapter “Arrival of the Messiah,” for the sake of clarity in understanding Hosea’s prophecy of Israel returning to seek the Lord in the last days, I repeat some of the astounding details of Ezekiel’s prophecy of Israel and Judah.
In the Book of Ezekiel, the Lord tells the Jews that, because they have continually disobeyed Him, He is going to judge Israel 390 days, and Judah 40 days.
Ezekiel 4:5-6 “Lie also on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it. According to the number of the days that you lie on it, you shall bear their iniquity. For I have laid on you the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days; so you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. 6 And when you have completed them, lie again on your right side; then you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days. I have laid on you a day for each year.
In the last line of the above verses from Ezekiel, the prophet defines how long each day will last: one year.
- 390 years for Israel
- 40 years for Judah
- A total Judgment of 430 years
If we take these 430 years, in which the Lord says He is going to judge Israel and Judah, and subtract the 70 years that He has already placed them into captivity at Babylon, we are left with 360 years.
This number, 360 years, has puzzled Bible scholars for years, because it doesn’t fit with any other numbers in the prophecies of the Bible. What is interesting about 360 is that all Bible prophecy is always centered around 360 days, making one year, the number of years that Babylon used in their calendars.
The Question Is: “Where Do The 360 Years Fit Into The Entire Plan of Bible Prophecy?
There is an interesting statement the Lord makes, in Leviticus Chapter 26, where He warns Israel that, if they continually disobey Him, He will “punish them seven times more for their sins…”
Leviticus 26:15-18 and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, 16 I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. 17 I will set My face against you, and you shall be defeated by your enemies.Those who hate you shall reign over you, and you shall flee when no one pursues you. 18 “And after all this, if you do not obey Me, then I will punish you seven times more for your sins.
We know, from history, that after the 70 years of captivity in Babylon, the Jews did not obey the Lord. The entire nation did not continue to walk with the Lord in obedience and sincere worship. Therefore, the Lord fulfilled His promise to add “seven times” more judgement to their former judgment.
After the 70 years of captivity that the Lord declared for Israel, this leaves 360 years remaining for their total judgment to be complete.
- 390 years for Israel
- 40 years for Judah
- A total Judgment of 430 years
- Minus the 70 years for the time already served in Babylon
- Leaves 360 years
If we take the remaining 360 years of Judgement declared by God, in Ezekiel 4:5-6, and multiply this number by the “seven times” the Lord stated in Leviticus 26:15-18, we get:
360 years x 7 = 2,520 years
2,520 years till Israel’s punishment ends and they are restored to the land, times 360 days per year by the Babylonian calendar, equals 907,200 days.
(2,520 years x 360 days per year = 907,200 days)
At the time these prophecies were written, a 360-day per year calendar was being used all over the world. This is often the case in computing prophetic events in the Bible. The prophecy of Daniel uses a 360-day per year calendar.
To convert 2,520 days to our current 365.25-day calendar, we simply take 907,200 days and divide this number by 365.25, which gives us 2,483.8 years.
According to history, the “captivity” and the “servitude’ of Israel both ended in the spring of 536 B.C. (2,483 years and 4 months).
Calculating from 536.4 B.C., we can discover the exact day that Israel’s punishment from God will end and the date He will allow Israel to become a nation again.
- -536.4 B.C.
- +2,483.8 years by our 365.25-day calendar
- +1 year added because there is no “0” from −1 B.C to +1 A.D., we come to the date:
According to the prophecy of Ezekiel, Israel should be restored to their land about the first quarter of the year 1948.
We Know From History, That Israel Became a Nation Once Again on May 14, 1948. Prophecy Fulfilled!
If we use 517 B.C. for the date when the Temple was completed, then add 2,520 years* (2,483.8 years at 365.25 days per year), the time period required from Ezekiel 4 and Leviticus 26, we come to June 7, 1967—the day Jerusalem became the capital of Israel again for the first time in 2,000 years.
*2,520 years are based on 360 days per year.
- -517.2 B.C. The Temple in Jerusalem was completed.
- +2,483.8 years by a 365.25-day per year calendar.
- +1 year added because there is no “0” from −1 B.C to +1 A.D.
We come to the date: June 7, 1967.
1967.6: The Year Jerusalem Became The Capital Of Israel
From the day Israel became a nation once again, after having been disbursed throughout the entire world for 2,000 years, the prophetic time clock began a countdown to the return of the Messiah for the second time. Until the Jews were once again back in their own land, the Temple could not be rebuilt and there could be no sacrifices offered. Until there were sacrifices offered in the Temple, the antichrist would not be able to make his entrance into history.
1 Thessalonians 2:3-4 …the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4. who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
The Third Temple Will Be Built In Three Years
It is interesting that, when the seven-year peace plan is signed by Israel and the surrounding Arab nations at the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation, the antichrist will allow Israel to rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem on the original site. This entire construction project will take just 3 years. We know this, because at 3 1/2 years the antichrist will go into the newly-built Temple and command the world that they should worship him as their God. This will begin the 21 judgements that are described in the Book of Revelation, chapters 6-18.
The Second Temple Also Took Just Three Years To Build
The “Desolations of Israel” ended on December 17, 520 B.C. According to Haggai 2:18-19—seven days later, on the 24th day of the 9th month (December) of the second year of Darius the king of Persia, the Temple Foundation was laid.
Haggai 2:18-19 “Consider now from this day forward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day that the foundation of the LORD’S temple was laid—consider it: Is the seed still in the barn? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. But from this day I will bless you.”
Just Three Years Later, The Second Temple Was Finished, in 517 B.C.
When the antichrist orchestrates the signing of a seven-year peace plan between Israel and the surrounding nations, the rebuilding of the Temple will be a great priority. The Temple will be completed in just 3 years, just as the second Temple was built so quickly from 517 to 520 B.C. At the three and one-half-year mark of the newly-built Temple, the antichrist will command the world to worship him as God. Jesus warned the Jews living in Jerusalem that—during the time of this event, which is called by Jesus and the prophet Daniel the “abomination of desolation”—they should flee Jerusalem to the mountains.
Matthew 24:15-22 Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.
The “Great Tribulation” is distinguished by the last three and one-half years of the seven-year Tribulation. The events described by the Book of Revelation, chapter 6:3 to chapter 18, will occur during this three and one-half-year period of time. Jesus said that unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s (Israel) sake those days will be shortened.
The elect describes the Jews who will be living in Jerusalem during the time of the seven-year Tribulation. The Lord will supernaturally deliver those who flee Jerusalem, from the grasp of the antichrist, as they make their way into the mountains.
…let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains…
Many people, who study these events, believe that the place of refuge, from where the Lord will protect Israel during the final three and one-half years of the Great Tribulation, will be the rock city of Petra in the present-day nation of Jordan. Through all of the conflicts that have occurred between Israel and the Palestinians, Jordan has consistently stayed out of these conflicts and has remained neutral.
There is an interesting statement by Daniel in chapter 11 of his prophecies: When the antichrist returns to the Glorious Land (Israel), he will overthrow all the nations in his path, except one—Jordan, that contains Edom, Moab, and Ammon, the ancient cities of Jordan where the fortress of Petra is located.
Daniel 11:41 He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon (cities inside the nation of Jordan).
There is an obscure verse of scripture located in Isaiah in which the Lord requests that the nation of Jordan, specifically Moab near the location of Petra, would be a shelter to His outcasts until the devastation of the spoiler is at an end.
Isaiah 16:4 Let My outcasts dwell with you, O Moab; Be a shelter to them from the face of the spoiler. For the extortioner is at an end, Devastation ceases, The oppressors are consumed out of the land.
When the Jews living in Jerusalem see the abomination of desolation occur, they will flee to Petra, where the Lord will shelter His outcasts for the final 1,260 days of the Great Tribulation. During this time, the 21 horrible judgments of the wrath of the Lamb will be poured out on the inhabitants of the earth. Seven Seals, Seven Trumpets, and Seven-Bowl judgements will grow in intensity and severity, until two-thirds of the people who dwell on the earth at that time will perish.
The Book of Revelation gives us a striking description of the antichrist’s response to the mass exodus of the Jews, from Jerusalem to Petra. The language of this section of the scripture is very colorful and almost poetic in its description of how God will supernaturally protect the Jews who obey Jesus’ instructions to flee Jerusalem.
Revelation 12:6 Then the woman (Israel) fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
Revelation 12:13-16 Now when the dragon (satan) saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman (Israel) who gave birth to the male Child (the Messiah). 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle (protection by God), that she might fly into the wilderness (Petra) to her place, where she is nourished for a time (1 year) and times (two years) and half a time (1/2 year), from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood (a great army) after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.
Time, times, and half a time are defined by the Book of Daniel as years. A time is 1 year; times are two years; half a time is one-half of a year.
It will be during these three and one-half years, as God supernaturally delivers the Jews who are fleeing Jerusalem for Petra, that their eyes will be opened and they will understand that Jesus is their long-awaited Messiah.
At the end of the seven years, the final 1,260 days or “time, times, and half a time,” as they are variously described in the prophecies of the last days—Jesus will return to the earth with His church at the Mount of Olives. He will fight and destroy the antichrist and his waiting armies, who are assembled at the Valley of Megiddo. The beast (antichrist) and the false prophet will be cast into the Lake of Fire.
Revelation 19:20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Jesus will begin His one thousand-year reign promised to David’s Son, the Messiah. All of the Jews who come out of the Great Tribulation, as they are sheltered by God at Petra, who have received Jesus as their Messiah, will be permitted to enter the one thousand-year kingdom. Then will come to pass the scripture that says: And all Israel will be saved.
Romans 11:26 And so all Israel will be saved…
Israel will once again have a King, ruling from Jerusalem, and a brand-new Temple built by the Messiah.
We live during exciting times! The COVID-19 virus has caused many of us who watch the major events of the world and compare these things with what the prophets said would happen in the last days. There appears to be a correlation between the arrival of this Global Pestilence, what the prophets said about Messiah, and the return of Jesus for His church before the seven year Tribulation begins.
It is during these seven years that God will turn once again to Israel and the Jews and open their eyes to Jesus’ true identity. It is during their flight from Israel to Edom, that God will supernaturally protect the Jews from the pursuing armies of the antichrist (Revelation 12). At that time, the prophets wrote that the Jews will receive Jesus and their Messiah. We are moving in that direction now. It will be fascinating to watch these events unfold before us!
 The Desolations End: George Pytlik, Author of Daniel, God’s Messenger to our times. http://www.pytlik.com/observe/daniel/timeline.html
 For Jacob My servant’s sake, And Israel My elect, I have even called you by your name; I have named you, though you have not known Me. Isaiah 45:4
 1. The definition of “time, times, and a half time,” is understood by the book of Daniel where king Nebuchadnezzar was driven mad for “seven times,” a period of seven years. A time therefore, is a year. Daniel 4:25 They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.
2.“In the excavation of Qumran Cave 4 in 1952, an Aramaic fragment of a prayer of thanksgiving attributed to Nabonidus was discovered. The translation by Milik into French is approximately as follows: “The words of the prayer which Nabunai (d), king of Assyria and Babylon, the great king, prayed when he was smitten with an unpleasant skin- disease by the ordinance of God Most High in the city of Teima: I was smitten with an unpleasant skin- disease for seven years… But when I confessed my sins and my faults, he granted me a (favorable) verdict. And there was a Jew from…, and he wrote and told (me) to give honor… to the name of God Most High ‘” (this conjectural translation, dependent on several restorations of missing letters, was published by J. T. Milik in Revue Biblique, 63 (1956): 408; cf. Saggs, Babylon, p. 154, for the English version above). When this fragment was first published, many critics assumed that it represented an earlier form of the story of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4, which by a later tradition mistakenly attributed the experience to the most famous of the Chaldean kings rather than the last of them. On the contrary a careful examination of the Nabonidus fragment shows that it is far more likely to have been a late, garbled tradition of the illness of Nebuchadnezzar himself.” From The Expositor’s Bible Commentary on The Book of Daniel, chapter 7.
Categories: All Israel will be saved, Believers Removed before Tribulation, Building the Third Temple, Covid-19, How Salvation Occurs, Israel in the Last Days, Jesus is the Messiah, Messianic Prophecies, Prayer For America, Prophecies Fulfilled by Jesus, Robert Clifton Robinson, Salvation is a free gift, The Battle of Armageddon, The First Arrival of the Messiah, The Historical Jesus, The Prophecy of Daniel 9, The Second Arrival of the Messiah, The Temple Mount, The Tribulation Period, Understanding Suffering, Watching for Jesus return, What is required for Heaven?