Some ask “What will happen at the end of the age?” Jesus’ disciples asked Him a similar question and in His reply He confirmed that there will indeed be a definite end to the present age. In Mathew chapter 24 and Luke chapter 21 Jesus describes dramatic signs and end-time events that will occur just prior to His return to this earth (Christ’s Second Coming). He told his followers to “watch” for these things and when they are observed then His appearance will be “at the doors”:
So when you see all these things taking place, know for certain that He is near, right at the door. (Mat 24.33)
Bible prophecy adds many more signs and events to give a comprehensive picture of the state of the world just before Christ returns. This topic is widely debated with various prophetic interpretations. Here we take a common dispensational interpretation that is not in conflict with historical events or with observed events i.e. with reality.
Key End-time Events
The following list of major end-time events is not in any chronological order. In fact, many events are occurring concurrently, thereby underscoring the view that we are indeed in the very last days of the age. Only key Bible texts are given but most events are well supported by multiple Bible references.
increased travel and knowledge (Daniel 12.4)
worldwide preaching of the Christian gospel (Matthew 24.14)
deep spiritual darkness across all nations (Isaiah 60.2)
widespread lawlessness (Matthew 24.12)
worldwide pollution because man has refused to live by God’s laws (Isa 24.5)
increasing famines and plagues (Matthew 24.7)
increasing persecution of Christians and Jews (Matthew 24.9)
the return of scattered Israel to their biblical land, Canaan (Ezekiel 37.21)
the sudden re-birth of the nation, Israel (Isaiah 66.8)
a powerful, apostate church (Revelation 17.1-6)
the sudden and miraculous removal of the true church from the earth (Matthew 24.40-42)
a godless and ruthless world government with total control over individuals (Dan 2.40-43)
a godless, pompous, lawless and blasphemous world dictator (Daniel 7.19-21)
a seven-year Peace Treaty with Israel, which is then broken mid-term (Daniel 9.27)
a cashless trading system, with the forced insertion of an ID on individuals (Revelation 13.16-18)
a global financial (economic) crash (Revelation 18.9-24)
an essentially Islamic invasion of Israel, probably led by Russia (Ezekiel 38.1-17)
an ‘all-nation’ invasion of Israel (Armageddon) (Zechariah 14.1-3)
God’s judgement upon nations: cataclysmic events such as severe weather (Revelation 16.8-9)
First, let’s clarify the terminology. According to the common dispensational prophetic interpretation, the ‘end of the age’ and ‘the end of the world’ are separated in time by some 1,000 years. We are currently nearing the end of approximately 6,000 years of human government and the start of 1,000 years of peace on the earth – the Millennial Age when Christ rules the earth. It is only after this glorious age on earth that the ‘end of the world’, the physical destruction of the present earth, occurs. The ‘last days’ is often taken to span from the time of the apostles (the gifting of the Holy Spirit) to the Second Coming of Christ. Here we outline ‘the last’ of the ‘last days’.
World-wide Gospel Proclamation
The Christian gospel message – reconciliation with God through Jesus Christ – will be preached worldwide just before the end of the age. This is happening now! The Bible is available in whole or in part to some 98% of the world’s population in a language in which they are fluent, and modern communications enables this message to be heard by over 99% of the world’s 7.7 billion people  if they have the technology.
Increase in Knowledge and Travel
There will be rapid increase in knowledge and travel. In just 100 years man has advanced rapidly in science, medicine, communications, astronomy and travel. We now understand how the trillions of cells in our bodies are controlled by a beautiful double helix molecule called DNA. And we can now hop on one of the 100,000 commercial flights each day and travel round the world in 24 hours! Tourism is the world’s largest industry: annual revenue of $500 billion, and is one of the major sources of foreign exchange in 83% of countries.
Apostasy and Spiritual Darkness
Although the gospel is preached worldwide, there will be a general falling away from biblical truth, a falling from the light of the gospel into deep spiritual darkness. The world will be deceived by the rise of a powerful false church that heads this end-time spiritual darkness. Some claim that this end-time worldwide church will be headed by the Vatican. There will also be false prophets and cults that deceive people.
There will be increasing lawlessness. This reflects a lack of love between people and spans from local disputes, to political corruption, to greedy bankers, to religious persecution, to international terrorism. It will culminate in the brief reign of the end time ‘lawless one’ (2 Thessalonians 2.8), a world dictator. Love between people will grow cold as they depart from the spiritual laws of life as revealed in the Bible.
Persecution of Christians
There will be increasing persecution of those who choose to follow Christ. We see this today in subtle form from western governments, but especially from those who mistakenly think they are doing God’s will (John 16.2) – as in Islamic persecution of Christians in the 10/40 window. Christianity is now the world’s most persecuted faith.
The Emergence of Israel
God’s chose the nation Israel to be His servant and witness in the world. At the end of the age they will be drawn back to the land promised to Abraham and his descendants. This in-gathering or ‘aliyah’ has been underway since the late 1800’s and the population of Israel has grown from 0.5m in 1900 to 8.7m in 2017. After years of being scattered amongst the nations, national Israel will become prosperous as God once more blesses His people and makes them a key witness of Himself amongst the nations. But Israel will become the vortex of world attention and activity as nations rage against her.
Middle East Wars
The Arab-Israeli tension will soon erupt into another middle east war, probably involving mainly Islamic nations. According to prophecy, the attacking nations will be defeated by the God of Israel. Eventually, at the very end of this age, all nations will come up against Israel in a place called Armageddon (Revelation 16.16), but again they will be defeated.
The Removal of the true Church
The true end-time church will be miraculously removed from the earth to meet Christ ‘in the air’ (1 Thessalonians 4.17). Believers past and present will be raised with immortal bodies to be with God forever, whilst the false, apostate church will remain in a spiritually dark world. This will probably happen just before the worst seven years the world has ever known.
Many world leaders have called for a ‘New World Order’ (NWO) or World Government, and this is currently being formed through organisations like the UN, the IMF, the World Bank, the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, the Club of Rome, the Illuminati, NATO and the World Council of Churches (WCC). Bible prophecy suggests that this ruthless world government will be a form of revived Roman Empire based in Europe and headed by a world dictator (Revelation 13.1) and the Antichrist (Revelation 13.11).
Persecution of Israel
Israel has been in continuous conflict with the surrounding Arab nations since the birth of the State of Israel in 1948, and the so-called Palestinian problem is continually in the media. Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) does not recognize Israel’s right to exist and has the goal of destroying the State of Israel through Jihad. At the very end of the age, the world dictator will sign a seven-year peace treaty with Israel. This is the last time the nations seek a ‘roadmap to peace’ in the Middle East. But midway through this treaty he will break it and start severe persecution of the Jewish people (Jacob’s trouble). It will be terminated by the Second Coming of Christ at the end of the age.
Individuals will be increasingly controlled by governments, particularly in developed nations. This will be via electronic ID and cashless trading. Extensive computer networks and large databases make it easy for governments to monitor and control individuals. Today, companies across the world have begun micro-chipping their employees. There is now just a short technological step to the ultimate electronic ID and it’s forced imposition upon all individuals.
Severe Weather Events
There will be extreme weather events (Luke 21.25) such as severe heat and drought, severe storms, torrential rain, large hail and heavy snow. Drought is one of the consequences of disobedience to God, as is extreme heat – heat severe enough to kill people. Reuters and large insurance companies confirm that such extreme weather events are increasing globally. These, together with cosmic disturbances (Luke 21.11, Revelation 6.12) and possible asteroid impact (Revelation 8.8) are part of God’s judgement on the rebellious nations.
A Global Financial Crash
As part of God’s judgement of the nations there will be a sudden global financial crash and collapse of the world trading system. The world economy is based upon highly-interconnected global supply chains which are vulnerable to even a single major shock – such as a major bank failure or a cyber attack. Contagion could then spread rapidly through the tightly-linked global financial network. Collapse seems certain since global government debt is rapidly increasing.
The End of the Age
There are some 1500 Bible references to the return of Jesus Christ at the very end of the present age. Contrast this with some 300 Old Testament prophecies that relate to Christ’s first coming, all of which were fulfilled. So Christ’s return is certain. In fact, it is Christ Himself who closes the age upon His return. He will destroy the final form of corrupt world government (Daniel 2.35) and usher in a peaceful age, the Millennium. He will reign from Jerusalem as ‘King over all the earth’ (Zechariah 14.9).
The End of the World
After some 1,000 years, at the end of the Millennial reign of Christ, the earth and the biblical ‘heavens’ will be physically destroyed by extreme heat (2 Peter 3.7,10). This is the literal ‘end of the world’. Some scientists expect that, at some point in the future, the sun will expand to become a red giant and burn up the solar system, including earth.
Israel has been ranked first in the world for total expenditure on R&D (as a percentage of GDP), ranked first in the world in scientific publications, and has the highest density of start-up companies in the world. So it is not surprising that Israel has been ranked among the top ten most innovative countries in the world in two separate surveys [US News and World Report, January 2018].
Many in Israel have a vision – to make the world a better place. One way is to make medical advances like the ‘pillcam’, and technology to help paraplegics. Another way is to develop water saving technology as in ‘drip irrigation’ and so help feed the world. Yet another way is to help the environment, as in advances in electric cars and solar tower power plants.
Israeli inventions have resulted in Israel’s high economic ranking. The country has been described as an “economic miracle” since it has consistently had more companies listed on the electronic stock market (NASDAQ) than all of Europe combined. Also, Israel consistently scores as one of the top countries for patents per capita, see Venture Capital.
Is all this success a result of the amazing intelligence of the Israeli people? Maybe. But is it also because, in these closing days of the age, the God of Israel is blessing His people as they try to keep His commandments? For instance, Jerusalem is amazingly quiet on Saturday’s as Jews keep Shabbat.
Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. (Deut 28.1)
Since 2004 Israel’s R&D expenditure has accounted for typically 17% percent of the agricultural budget, link. Israel’s inventions in agriculture are now helping to feed the world:
Drip Irrigation: This system delivers the perfect amount of water and nutrients straight to the roots of each plant – not the soil, resulting in higher yields of healthier crops, link. These systems are self-cleaning and maintain uniform flow rate regardless of water quality and pressure.
Grain Cocoons: Grain harvests are often lost due to pests and mold. GrainPro Cocoons are a simple and cheap way for African and Asian farmers to keep their grain market-fresh. It’s huge bags keep water and air out.
Desert Fish: Israeli technology has developed aquaculture – fish farming in the desert! The system pumps low-quality brackish water from deep underground aquifers and fills land pools in the desert. The brackish, warm water is optimal for raising some type of marine fish and shrimp.
Biological Pest Control: uses beneficial insects and mites (minute orange spiders) for biological pest control. This predatory mite is a highly efficient enemy of the spider mite, a devastating agricultural pest, link.
World’s smallest cherry tomato: The “drop tomato” is about the size of a blueberry and the Kedma company in Israel’s southern Arava desert says it is possibly the smallest one ever cultivated in the world. “You don’t need to cut it: it just explodes in your mouth”.
Water Generation from the Air
Watergen, an Israel-based company uses humidity in the air to create clean and fresh drinking water. The heart of the Watergen product line is the revolutionary GENius™ heat-exchange technology. Air is drawn into the Atmospheric Water Generator (AWG), where it is thoroughly cleaned, removing any dust and dirt and leaving only pure air in the system. The clean air is then directed through the heat exchange and cooling process, bringing it to its dew-point – the temperature at which condensation occurs – to create water.
Watergen’s Large Scale unit is an industrial scale AWG, designed for towns, villages, factories, off-grid settlements and communities. It can generate up to 5,000 liters of clean water each day. The first AWG system was installed in New Delhi, India in 2017.
Bio-technology is the exploitation (genetic manipulation) of biological processes for industrial purposes, and especially the production of antibiotics and hormones. Similarly, bio-engineering is the application of the principles of engineering and natural sciences to tissues, cells and molecules. Here’s several examples:
Organs on a Chip: Joint Israeli-German research may make animal experiments a thing of the past, They have developed a “liver-on-chip” device mimicking human physiology and so avoiding animal experiments. The research breakthrough came through the addition of nanotechnology-based sensors. They comment: “We realized that because we are building the organs ourselves, we are not limited to biology, and could introduce electronic and optical sensors to the tissue itself. Essentially we are building bionic organs on a chip. Because we placed sensors inside the tissue, we could detect small and fast changes in cellular respiration that nobody else could.” More generally, it is claimed that organs-on-a-chip contain a dynamic and interactive environment for living and breathing cells to survive outside the body and enables a more effective and safe R&D process for medicine testing, link, link.
Bio-fuel – Energy from Algae: Algoculture is the mass culture of algae for industrial and commercial purposes. Researchers at Tel Aviv University have genetically altered single-celled algae, which naturally emit hydrogen throughout the day, allowing the organism to increase its efficiency to five times its natural ability. Hydrogen fuel cells are being introduced into vehicles, and this discovery could mean algae becomes a key player in the push for green energies, link. Put simply, humble pond slime can give a clean fuel for cars.
Israel’s biotech companies are developing new technologies, as in the industrial-scale manufacture of any cell type in the human body, a proprietary injectable drug to treat obesity, and a customized vaccine against a patient’s own cancer cells. More at Israel’s biotech research.
Nanotechnology is the study and application of extremely small things (a sheet of newspaper is about 100,000 nanometers thick). The technology appears in many science fields, such as chemistry, biology, physics, materials science, and engineering. One amazing invention comes from the innovative company Nano Retina (offices in Herzliya, Israel). They have developed an ultra small artificial retina designed to restore sight. The miniature implant replaces the functionality of the damaged photoreceptor cells and creates the electrical stimulation required to activate the remaining healthy retinal cells.
Other nano inventions include: a biomaterial made of ultra-thin polymer fibers with properties that mimic those of human tissues and organs; a highly accurate and versatile inkjet deposition system for printing multi-layer circuit boards, and ultra-thin gold-silver nanowires formed on a substrate, which can be further coated with silver to obtain controllable conductivity, link. More at Israel’s nanotechnology companies.
Application to Cancer: Scientists at the Technion University in Haifa are working on a chemotherapy treatment that avoids the repercussions that cancer patients usually incur. It involves nano-sized “factories” that manufacture protein-based cancer drugs inside the body upon reaching the tumor site. At 150 nanometers or less—(1/1,000 the diameter of a human hair), these factories are injected into the patient and circulate in the blood until finding the tumor.
Highly Efficient Engine: Israeli start-up Aquarius Engines is working on an enhanced engine design which uses energy much more efficiently, and eliminates the valves and rods that cause energy loss (fewer parts). That means cars could travel more than 1,600 kilometres (990 miles) on a single tank of fuel, more than double current distances and strong competition for all-electric vehicles. The same technology can be used to make more efficient back-up generators. In another automotive development, Jerusalem-based Mobileye is helping to develop a fully autonomous, self-driving vehicle.
Fast Charging Car Battery: Israel’s Storedot company has developed a novel ultra-fast charging battery for electric cars. The battery ditches the traditional Lithium Ion makeup in favor of arranging layers of nano materials and proprietary organic compounds to support ultra-fast charges. The company claims its new FlashBattery technology allows you to charge an electric car in just five minutes!
Community-based Navigation – WAZE:WAZE is the world’s largest community-based traffic and navigation app for smartphones. By simply driving around with WAZE open on the phone, real-time information translates into traffic conditions and road structure for other users in the area. The Israeli company who developed the WAZE software (Waze Mobile) was acquired by Google in 2013.
This free GPS navigation app assumes an active data network connection is present on the mobile device. Without an internet connection, it can’t locate or navigate a route. The connection enriches WAZE with real-time traffic related information and ensures an up-to-date map. WAZE gets its location from Google Location Service in Android. It doesn’t get the location itself, it asks the phone. Android gets the location in several ways. Firstly it tries to use GPS, but if GPS is unavailable then the phone will try to estimate its location using cellular and WiFi networks.
Israeli Inventions in the Computing
The Early Work: In the early days, Microsoft’s popular operating systems, NT and XP, were developed primarily in Israel. Also, mobile phone technology was developed in Israel, as in SMS (texting) and voice-mail, link. And when you use media such as Skype on the internet, you can thank Israeli companies for pioneering the Voice-over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) underlying such cheap phone calls, link.
Flash Drives: M-Systems, an Israeli start-up company pioneered ‘DiskOnKey’ technology, known today as the ‘flash drive’ or ‘memory stick’. It enabled quick transfer of information from one computer to another, and today flash drives can hold significant information (1 TB). M-Systems and its USB technology was sold to SanDisk in 2006 for $1.55 billion.
DNA Computing: The breakthroughs in genetics developed to sequence the human genome have now made it relatively easy to precisely manufacture and manipulate DNA, which makes the molecule a leading candidate for use in molecular electronics. By itself, DNA does not act like a diode. However, when researchers inserted two small molecules of coralyne into certain points within DNA and applied 1.1 volts to the complex, electric current flowed through the DNA diode 15 times as strongly in one direction than the other. This is currently the world’s smallest diode!
Cyber-security is big business in Israel, link. For instance, if you use Zone Alarm to protect your computer, you are using a product from Israel’s biggest cyber-tech firm, Checkpoint Software Technologies. Overall, about 200 Israeli companies now specialize in cyber-security, accounting for US$3 billion worth of anti-hacking exports in 2013. And 25% of the world’s venture capital-funded cyber-security startups are Israeli. So it is not surprising that international companies such as IBM, Cisco, Lockheed Martin and Deutsche Telekom are setting up cyber research centers in Israel to develop cyber-security and cyber-defense software, link. Today, Israeli security forces are developing methods of searching social media to obtain intelligence of prospective terror attacks.
WeCU Airport security: Israeli tech companies are working on an airport system that can detect emotional strain in a passenger – a specific kind of strain that is associated with people who intend to commit an act of terror, . WeCU Technologies uses psychology and physiology to detect problem passengers by causing them to have involuntary reactions which are instantly picked up and analyzed in real time.
Israeli Military Innovations
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are essentially defensive. Their goal is to defend the existence of the State of Israel, its independence and the security of the citizens and residents of the state, link. To this end Israel has developed very advanced defenses. Does this ‘benefit the world’? Yes – in the sense that an Israel that survives continues to be a witness to the existence of God. And an Israel that survives offers the only democracy in the Middle East, link, link. Here’s some of Israel’s defensive weapons:
Wall Radar: A handheld radar system for built-up area warfare operations. With a range of 20m it can determine, for example, how many people are present behind a wall, link.
Iron Beam: according to Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Israel’s latest missile defense system uses a high-energy laser which can be mounted on ships or vehicles, link.
Iron Dome: the world’s only dual mission counter rocket, artillery and mortar and Very Short Range (70 km) Air Defense system, link.
David’s Sling: incorporates unique technologies that deal with maneuvering targets (fighter aircraft) and high-precision cruise missiles.
Arrow 3: this upper-most defense tier is a long-range missile defense system designed to intercept ballistic missiles outside the earth’s atmosphere, link
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs or Drones): Israel’s Aerospace Industries, IAI, is a global leader in the design, development, and manufacture of remotely operated systems. It has over 40 years’ experience and 1,700,000 operational flight hours, performing intelligence gathering and targeting missions in support of key military operations around the world. The IAI Heron TP is the largest unmanned reconnaissance aircraft used by the Israeli Air Force. It is claimed Israel is the world’s largest exporter of military drones, link.
Besides military UAVs, Israel is also becoming a powerhouse in the development of commercial drones. For example, it is reported that the British Army deployed Rafael’s Drone Dome system to protect Gatwick airport in 2018.
At the end of the day, the IDF is helped by a divine hand; the God of Israel vows to defend Israel:
Whoever assembles against you shall fall … No weapon formed against you shall prosper … I will be a wall of fire all around her … he who touches you touches the apple (pupil) of His eye. (Isa 54.15,17; Zech 2.5,8)
As of 2017 there were 200 renewable energy companies in Israel, about 30% of which were start-ups.
Solar Power Plant: The Ashalim Concentrated Solar Thermal Power Station in the Negev desert has the world’s tallest solar power tower (250m), link, link. The station’s 50,000 computer-controlled heliostats (mirrors) track the sun and reflect its rays to a boiler on top of the tower. The boiler creates super-heated steam that drives a steam turbine, which generates electricity. The final complex will generate about 310 megawatts of power, enough to supply Israel with 16 percent of its energy needs.
Super-iron Battery: Researchers at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, are developing a new battery that looks set to replace conventional alkaline and NiCad batteries. Super-iron batteries have a 50 percent energy advantage compared to conventional alkaline batteries and are significantly (75 percent) rechargeable.
Storing Solar Energy: The Weizmann Institute is equipped with one of the most advanced solar research facilities in the world. One project collects sunlight in bright, arid regions and provides it as energy-rich gas or chemicals to energy-consuming regions. A complete plant with a processing capacity of 500 kilowatts has already been tested. Similar research is being done at Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology. Using the power of the sun and ultra-thin films of iron oxide (rust), researchers have found a way to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. This could lead to cheaper ways to store solar energy in the form of hydrogen-based fuels e.g. solar cells that can store solar energy for on-demand use, link.
About 1,000 Israeli companies are in healthcare or life-science products, including 700 in medical devices.
Israel’s medical inventions include a system to correct severe curvature of the spine (scoliosis), stem-cell therapy products to treat blood cancers and solid tumors, MRI-guided focused ultrasound to destroy tumors and uterine fibroid cysts without surgery, and nanotechnology “factories” that manufacture protein-based cancer drugs inside the body upon reaching the tumor site. More at Israel’s Medical Innovations”.
Generic Drugs: Teva was established in Jerusalem in 1901 and today Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. is Israel’s largest healthcare company. As the world’s leading provider of generic pharmaceuticals, Teva produces 120 billion tablets and capsules a year in 87 pharmaceutical and API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients) facilities around the world. It delivers solutions in key therapeutic areas, such as oncology (study and treatment of tumours), respiratory diseases (as in asthma and allergic rhinitis), and disorders of the central nervous system (CNS) – including sleep disorders and migraine.
Artificial Retina: Nano Retina’s Bio-Retina, is a tiny implantable device inserted into the retina in a 30-minute procedure. It turns into an artificial retina that melds to the neurons in the eye. Activated by special eyeglasses, the device transforms natural light into an electrical impulse that stimulates neurons to send images to the brain. The prototype is advancing quickly through clinical trials, link.
Apnea in Infants: Apnea is an unexplained episode of cessation of breathing for 20 seconds or longer, or a shorter respiratory pause. BabySense is a non-touch, no-radiation device designed to prevent crib death. Made by HiSense, the device monitors a baby’s breathing and movements through the mattress during sleep. An auditory and visual alarm is activated if breathing ceases for more than 20 seconds or if breath rate slows to less than 10 breaths per minute. HiSense is part of IATI – the Israeli umbrella organization of high-tech, life science and other advanced technology industries.
Optics and Sensors
Given Imaging, an Israeli medical technology company, have developed a disposable pill-sized camera (the “Pillcam”) for wireless capsule endoscopy. Pillcam records images of the gastrointestinal tract, enabling physicians to visualize the small bowel, esophagus and colon without sedation or invasive endoscopic procedures.
Visual Aid: Israeli-based company OrCam have invented a camera device that attaches to eyeglasses and is wired to a portable computer in the wearer’s pocket. The device improves the lives of individuals who are blind, visually impaired, or have reading difficulties by speaking any text that the user points to, such as menus, street signs, grocery labels, newspapers and bus numbers.
USB-sized Spectrometer:Consumer Physics operating out of Tel Aviv, have invented the SCiO – a handheld infrared spectrometer the size of a normal USB stick. It works with a smartphone and determines the chemical composition of food, medicines, drinks, soil, plants, etc. The SCiO sensor emits near-infrared light that is reflected from the surface of the product. Catching the reflected light, the spectrometer analyzes and transmits data to the user’s smartphone.
JESUS AND ISRAEL: PART 3
The mystery of Jesus the Creator dying for His creation
Jesus Christ brings us a mind-boggling concept that defies all logic. It can actually be traced back to the story of two trees.
It all started with Two Trees
In the Garden of Eden (Genesis chapter 2) God planted many beautiful trees to provide food for man. In the middle of the garden were two special trees. One was called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The other was the tree of life.
We will see later that eating from the tree of life gave eternal life. That is, living in the presence of the Creator forever! As for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God said “if you eat the fruit of that tree, you shall surely die.”
What actually dies? And what does death mean anyway? The introduction of physical death is strongly suggested in Gen 3.19 – ‘to dust you shall return’. Serious study of the Bible reveals that the “soul” and “spirit” of man leave the physical body at physical death. In contrast to some atheistic beliefs, a person is not annihilated, but may suffer eternal separation from the love of the Creator God, link. So one tree was the tree of eternal death – condemnation to exist outside the presence of a loving Creator God. The other was the tree of eternal life – living in the presence of the Creator forever!
As the story goes, the serpent tempted Eve to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree, and she in turn told Adam to eat it (both could have been actual people, link). So both ate forbidden fruit. Adam and Eve did not die immediately after eating the fruit of that forbidden tree. But they did die eventually of old age. Humans die. That is the consequence of that sin by Adam and Eve. In fact, this sinful act propagated throughout all generations;
All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3.23)
This may seem hard and unjust on later generations, but can any one of us claim to be sinless? The Hebrew Bible repetitively presents the concept that sin (acts contrary to standards of godly behaviour) is punishable by death. In Ezekiel 38.4 we read:
The life of every person belongs to me, the life of the parent as well as that of the child. The person who sins is the one who will die
That’s not a joke. Humans don’t have inherent eternal life. The Hebrew Bible teaches that eternal existence is God’s prerogative to give or not to give.
The ‘Tree of Life’ today – Christ!
Suppose Adam and Eve had chosen not to eat the fruit of the forbidden tree? Would God have rewarded their obedience by giving them the right to eat from the tree of eternal life and let them live forever? We simply don’t know. They disobeyed God’s instruction and didn’t get to that possibility. But this concept is very real today! Each one of us can indeed symbolically eat from the tree of life if we make one simple but essential step! Jesus said:
Whoever believes in Me will not perish but have everlasting life … I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly
By this He meant eternal life – eternal existence with the loving Creator God. The Bible teaches that, today, when a believer in Christ dies, their soul and spirit go to be with Christ in Paradise, link. This is not ‘soul sleep’; rather they maintain consciousness. But unbelievers, those who deliberately reject the reconciling work of Christ on the cross, effectively choose to eat from the tree of good and evil. So when they physically die they go to Hades and await the Great White Throne Judgement (Rev 20.11-15). Likewise, they do not lose consciousness.
Jewish Belief: Both ‘trees’ are open to everyone, including Jews. Some Jews hold similar beliefs to the Christian when it comes to death. For instance, they hold that after death the soul returns to its divine Source, and that the soul of a parent continues to watch over the lives of his or her children and grandchildren, link.
Dare you believe the concept behind the Two Trees?
The concept of the Two Trees leads to great philosophical and spiritual depth. It states that Jesus the Creator offers mankind a choice between good and evil, between one tree and another. This is possible by the unique and supreme act of God becoming man in Christ Jesus, and dying in man’s place on the cross. This act defies human logic. It is logical and possible to die for a righteous man. But to die for “sinners” is contrary to human logic and will.
So the concept of God becoming man and becoming the sacrifice to atone for sinful mankind demonstrates God’s ultimate love for man. He died to “buy” man back and give him the right to become an immortal being. This Hebraic-Christian philosophy is an astounding concept and is unique amongst the philosophies of life. So again, would you dare to believe it? Time will prove its veracity. In the meantime, watch the signs. They are leading to amazing promises to those who dare to believe.
Today’s News is often found in Bible Prophecy: It is often Prophecy Fulfilled
Did you know that as you watch the news you are seeing events and situations foretold in the Bible thousands of years ago? You are seeing prophecy fulfilled. Let’s look at a few examples.
Climate Change News
Climate change is constantly in the news. The area of the earth’s surface affected by drought has more than doubled since the 1970’s. For example, Lake Chad in Africa has shrunk to 5% of its size in the 1960’s [National Geographic], new wells for Beijing now have to reach 1,000 meters [Executive Intelligence Review] and two out of every three people will be short of water by 2025 [WWI & Tearfund].
Global warming amounted to nearly 1°C over the past century. Most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years, with 15 of the 16 warmest years on record occurring since 2001. The year 2015 was the first time the global average temperatures were 1°C or more above the 1880-1899 average, NASA. Having said that, thousands of PhD scientists dispute the claimed cause of global warming (rise in man-made CO2) and say the real cause is solar irradiance variation, link.
But whose weather is it anyway? The Bible says it is God (the God of Israel) who controls the weather, not man, link. Prophecy implies there could be a reason for any global temperature increase.
Bible prophecy says:
The earth mourns and dries up, and the land wastes away and withers … the earth suffers for the sins of its people, for they have twisted God’s instructions, violated his laws … therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned … (Isa 24.4-6)
Travel and Science News
Consider a few statistics:
In the UK a major news item is the expansion of Heathrow Airport.
A hundred years ago commercial air travel was unheard of. Now there are typically 100,000 commercial flights each day! Aircraft fuel consumption was 130 million tonnes in 1992 but is projected to increase to 450 million tonnes by 2050.
Tourism is the world’s largest industry with an annual revenue of $500 billion. It is one of the major sources of foreign exchange in 83% of countries. International tourism: 1950: 25m , 2003: 693m , 2020: 1.6 billion [WTO].
Almost every day the news tells us of amazing advances in science and technology.
Within just 100 years man has developed radio, motion pictures, recording, TV, telecommunications, cell phones, electron microscopes, computers, nuclear power, solar power, fuel injection, satellites, spacecraft …
In medical science man has developed MRI scans, ultrasound, pacemakers, radiotherapy, IVF, artificial hearts, DNA, organ transplants, vaccines …
Bible Prophecy says:
At the end of the age many will rush around and knowledge will increase (Daniel 12.4)
The Cashless Society and Personal ID
Although some countries have recently introduced new banknotes, the fact remains that cash is fast disappearing from society. In North America, 60% of consumers use cash to pay for a transaction at least once a week, a substantial decrease from 67% in 2015, link. Some countries such as Sweden are now removing ATMs (along with negative interest rates) to speedup the process, links. The smartcard and other contactless devices pave the way to cashless trading, link.
When it comes to ID, RFID (radio frequency identification) is all around us. It is found in supermarkets, general retailers, electronic road tolls, company badges, farming, and in your pet dog. A scanner emits a short-range radio-frequency signal which is picked up by a small local RFID device or ‘transponder tag’ (the RFID device shown is the size of a grain of rice). When this tag is ‘passive’ it is energized by the scanning radiation, thereby enabling it to communicate ID information back to the scanner/transceiver.
In 2004 the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its approval to Applied Digital Solutions to sell their VeriChip RFID tags for implantation into patients in hospitals. Tags would not contain medical data, but instead store (and transmit when energized) a unique 16-bit ID number that would be used to access records on a remote database. The tag was to be implanted in the fatty tissue of the upper arm. Similar human ID is being developed in India. Here, a unique 12-digit identification (UID) – known as Aadhaar – holds biometric information of the country’s 1.2 billion residents and is stored in a centralized database. The Aadhaar online identity platform then enables an individual to access services like banking and mobile phone connections – or they can be instantly barred from access.
Such technology is only a short step from the universal controlling technology described in the book of Revelation.
Bible Prophecy says:
And he causes all … to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead … and no one will be able to buy or sell, except the one who has the mark … (Rev 13.16,17)
Prophecy Fulfilled – the Restoration of Israel
The population growth of Palestine/Israel is striking. In 1915 there were just 83,000 Jews but this increased to over 6 million Jews in 2013, link, corresponding to an amazing 7400% increase! In comparison, over the same period the UK population increased just 55%.
Today, Israel has highly developed banking, health, and University systems and her industries include textiles, food processing, mining, agriculture and forestry. Israel is particularly advanced in the hi-tech industry such as computer science, electronics, genetics, medicine, optics, solar energy and electric cars.
We can see all this as the amazing natural growth of a young nation, or as the fulfillment of prophecy. Prophecy saw this, not as the birth of a new nation, but as a regathered nation.
Bible Prophecy says:
Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone … and bring them into their own land (Ezek 37.21) GO DEEPER
Legal, Political, Social and Biblical Facts make the Case for Israel
By Israel we refer primarily to the State of Israel, but also to the Jewish nation, Israel. If Israel could be tried in a world court, Israel would be prosecuted on several accounts. For example, she would probably be prosecuted on legal issues (as in so-called land occupation), on humanitarian issues (as in water deprivation and the destruction of Palestinian homes), and on the use of unreasonable or disproportionate force (as in her response to stabbings and rocket attacks). Most of the world would be on the side of the Prosecution.
Meet the Prosecution
The Media: The Prosecution is undoubtedly fuelled by media, political, and even legal bias against Israel, link, link. For example, in the UK the BBC and ITV have been accused of reporting bias in favour of Hamas. Statements are inflammatory e.g. “Israel ‘bombs civilian targets with links to Hamas’”, link. In the US, the American satellite TV and Cable News Network (CNN) has been awarded “first prize” for its biased reporting of atrocities in Israel. There is definitely a case for Honest Reporting.
Politicians: Two quotes suffice, one from the West and one from the Arab world. “When the ill winds blow, I will always stand with the Muslims” [Barak Obama, “The Audacity of Hope”]. “We will make the lives of the infidels hell – millions of martyrs marching on Jerusalem” [Yasser Arafat, in Arabic on Palestine Radio].
Growing World-wide Anti-Semitism: According to a comprehensive 2014 global survey, about 26% of the world’s adult population hold anti-Semitic views. That’s over one billion people. Not surprisingly, it is worst in the Middle East with some 74% of the adult population expressing anti-Semitic views, growing to 93% in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, link.
Most Americans tend to support Israel in the sense that they see the actions of Hamas against Israel as unjustified, link. But in 2014 the FBI found that 57% of Anti-Religious Hate Crimes targeted Jews, whilst only 16% targeted Muslims, link. This implies an underlying American bias against Israel, link.
A Biased Church: Even the church is generally aligned with the Prosecution against Israel, link. For example, the Anglican denomination is divided on Israel, but the majority position is anti-Israel. Likewise, the Church of Scotland says Israel does not belong to the Jewish people, link. And articles in the Baptist Union of Great Britain publications demonstrate a strongly anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian position. In 2010, the Methodist Church of Britain voted to boycott Israeli-produced goods and services from the West Bank because of Israel’s “illegal occupation of Palestinian lands”. Apart from relatively small independent churches, it seems only the international Pentecostal church is prepared to act in defense of Israel.
In general, the church world-wide reflects the anti-Israel stance of the World Council of Churches (WCC), which itself reflects the worldview, link:
The persistence, after sixty-five years, of continuing dispossession of Palestinian people from their land by Israeli occupation, (and) continuing settlement of land inside the 1967 borders … is central to the turmoil in the region [WCC].
Israel’s Defense: The Case for Israel
Let’s examine some key issues brought by the Prosecution. What would be Israel’s defense? How would the Defense make the case for Israel?
1. Occupation of Palestinian Territories
Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory (the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip) is in its fifth decade and is a flagrant disregard for international law. In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, Israeli forces commit unlawful killings of Palestinian civilians, including children, and detain thousands of Palestinians [Amnesty International]. Some 70,000 Palestinians are now refugees after 50 years of Israeli occupation [UN, 2016]. The Gaza strip is “occupied territory” [UN, 2015].
Illegal Settlements: Israel occupied the territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the Six-Day War of 1967. So Israel is building illegal settlements on Palestinian land. Since 1967, the Palestinians have lost control of their land, hilltop by hilltop, field by field, [Haaretz]. As of December 2015, altogether over 800,000 Israeli Jews resided over the 1949 Armistice Lines [WikiPedia]. Israel’s “security fence” (the Wall) violates international humanitarian law and international human rights law. It fragments not only the land but also the social fabric of the Palestinian people.
West Bank Settlements: The West Bank refers to an area bounded by the so-called ‘Green Line’ and the west bank of the River Jordan (see map). The Green line was merely an armistice line drawn up after the 1948-49 war under the auspices of the UN and it was intended to be temporary. Through the 1948-49 Arab aggression, Israel temporarily lost land mandated to her through the 1922 Mandate for Palestine, link, and this was only regained in the 1967 Six-Day War. The Green Line is not therefore Israel’s legal border.
In 1946 the Mandate was transferred over to the UN, and Article 80 of the UN Charter implicitly recognizes the ‘Mandate for Palestine’ of the League of Nations. The Mandate is the last legally binding document concerning the West Bank and Gaza, and so Jewish settlements in these areas are fully protected by Article 80, link. All of western Palestine, from the Jordan to the Mediterranean remains legally open to Jewish settlement under the original 1922 Mandate, link. That includes the West Bank, all of Jerusalem and Gaza.
Arab Rights: The 1922 Mandate did not grant any national political rights to Arabs, but Article 2 did safeguard the civil and religious rights of all inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race or religion. Israel’s government endeavours to do this through democratic elections, link. Israelis of all ethnic groups and religious beliefs, including Arab-Israelis, can actively participate in the election process, and all votes cast are equal in weight, link.
Israeli control: Not all of the West Bank is under full Israeli control. Under the 1995 Oslo Accords II, the West Bank was divided into three areas (A, B, and C) and within these areas the Palestinian and Israeli authorities have different levels of control, link. Area A is under full control of the Palestinian Authority, Area B is under Palestinian civil control and shared Palestinian and Israeli security control, and Area C (62% of the West Bank) is under full Israeli control.
Gaza is not “occupied territory”. In 2005, Israel dismantled 21 Jewish settlements and pulled troops out of the strip. By 2006 Israel had withdrawn from Gaza as part of Israel’s unilateral disengagement plan. The plan aimed to bolster security for Israelis and lessen the tensions between them and the Palestinians. Some 9,000 Israeli citizens were forcibly relocated. Israel said: “The disengagement decision holds hope for a better future; it transfers responsibility for the Strip to the Palestinians“. Today, tight border control is essential because of threats from Hamas. Hamas siphons off some 95% of the cement transferred into Gaza for rebuilding homes, so that it can be used for military purposes, link.
The Bible promised all the land of Canaan to Abraham and his descendants … forever:
I will give to you and to your descendants … the whole land of Canaan … forever, and I will be their God (Gen 17.8)
Ancient Canaan embraced today’s Jordan, Israel (including the West Bank and Gaza) as well as the southern sections of Syria and Lebanon, link.
2. Palestinians are Suffering
House Demolitions: In the West Bank the Israeli authorities continue to promote illegal settlements whilst at the same time demolishing Palestinian homes. In 2016 the Israeli government flattened 660 houses and other structures, leaving almost 1,000 people homeless [UN Report].
Movement Restrictions: In Gaza, Israeli forces maintain their land, sea and air blockade, imposing a collective punishment on the territory’s 1.8 million inhabitants. Israeli controls on the movement of people and goods into and from Gaza, particularly on essential construction materials, combined with Egypt’s closure of border crossings severely hinders post-conflict reconstruction [Amnesty International].
Israel enforces severe restrictions on the freedom of movement of Palestinians in the West Bank through a system of permanent, temporary and random manned checkpoints. Restrictions affect the economic status of Palestinians so severely that they breach the rights guaranteed by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. That is, the right to a livelihood, the right to an acceptable standard of living, the right to satisfactory nutrition, clothing, and housing. By the end of 2015 unemployment in the West Bank amounted to 19 % and was twice as high in Gaza. It is exceptionally high amongst Palestinian youth [World Bank].
House demolitions are carried out for several reasons. It may be done to enforce building codes and regulations in areas controlled by the Israeli military. In 2016 demolitions largely affected East Jerusalem and locations designated as part of Area C under the Oslo Accord. Area C constitutes more than 60% of the West Bank and is under Israeli administrative and security control, link. Demolition is also done as a deterrent against terrorism, link. A 2014 study claimed that demolition causes “an immediate, significant decrease in the number of suicide attacks”, link. In 2016, following a recommendation of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, Israel decided that Palestinian terrorists’ families who turn the killers in to security forces will be able to save their homes from demolition, link.
Movement restrictions: Israel’s security fence (the “Wall”) serves just one purpose: to prevent terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians. It has significantly decreased the number of attacks originating in Judea and Samaria: suicide attacks down by 100% and shooting attacks down by 93.5%, link. The downside is that it has severely restricted Palestinian movements.
But movement restrictions have been eased. As of July 2009, Israeli authorities reported that 27 checkpoints and 140 roadblocks had been removed in order to ease security restrictions in the West Bank. An additional 140 roadblocks were opened to traffic in 2008, link. In 2016 Israel relaxed some restrictions on the movement of Palestinians to and from the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, link. But the Israeli Supreme Court has accepted Israel’s position, that it has the right to prevent the free movement of people through Israel from the Gaza Strip for security reasons, link.
Improving economy: After years of decline due to war, Gaza’s economy expanded by about 3.3% in 2015 [World Bank]. Real GDP growth reached 5%, driven by strong growth in the construction sector as well as retail and wholesale trade. In the West Bank real GDP expanded by 2.8% [World Bank].
The Bible instructs the people of Israel how they should treat foreigners (non-Jews). Old Testament Israel was commanded to love foreigners and to let them live normal lives amongst them:
Do not mistreat foreigners who are living in your land. Treat them as you would an Israelite, and love them as you love yourselves. (Lev 19.33,34)
Unfortunately, as long as Arab leaders refuse to recognise Israel and continue to attack her, peaceful cohabitation seems impossible. The Palestinian Authority engages in constant incitement against Israel by teaching hatred of Israel and Jews in its textbooks, newspapers and television broadcasts, link, link.
3. The Two-State Solution
Israel must accept a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if it wants to remain a Jewish state [UN]. The only solution is a democratic, Jewish state living side-by-side in peace and security with a viable, independent Palestinian state – negotiations will be necessary – but there’s little secret about where they must lead: two states for two peoples [Obama]. The Vatican “hopes for a solution to the Palestinian question according to the two-state solution” [Vatican, 2015].
As part of this solution, Jerusalem must be the capital of both Israel and Palestine [UN]. Put simply, Jerusalem is not recognised as part of Israel [US Supreme Court].
Israel’s leaders have talked about their desire for a “two states for two peoples” solution, but in reality this is impossible. Any unilateral declaration by the Palestinian Authority (PA) would violate the 1995 Oslo II Interim Agreement (signed by the Palestinians). Article 31(7) of this Agreement states:
“Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations“
This Accord is still binding, but is flouted by the PA, the EU and the UN. So any PA attempt to change the status of these territories, namely a two state solution without prior negotiations with Israel will violate this clause. It is here that the proposal will fail since the PA leadership:
does not recognize Israel as a Jewish nation-state
maintains that Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank are Palestinian Territories
maintains that East Jerusalem is the capital of the future Palestinian State
All these are totally unacceptable to Israel. Moreover, according to a recent Stanley Greenberg poll, only 34% of Palestinians accept “two states for two peoples” as the solution. Sixty-six percent said the Palestinians’ real goal should be to start with a two-state solution but then move to it all being one Palestinian state, link. This is in line with the Hamas objective of replacing the Jewish state with an Islamic caliphate, link. Recall that the Arab leadership rejected a two-state solution as far back as 1947 (see UN Partition Plan).
As for Jerusalem, Israel has a well-founded legal claim in international law to sovereignty over the city, link. So the UN and the West are totally unrealistic in their insistence on a two-state solution. Clearly, they are not reading from the same page as the Palestinians!
The Bible says that nations who mistreat Israel, or divide up the land promised to Israel via Abraham, will be judged accordingly:
I will gather the armies of the world into the valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will judge them for harming my people, my special possession, for scattering my people among the nations, and for dividing up my land. (Joel 3.2)
4. Water Apartheid: Palestinians are Denied Sufficient Water
Over 2 million Palestinians suffer from the unfair distribution of water sources, which remain under almost full Israeli control [PWA, 2015]. In the West Bank, daily per capita consumption (domestic, urban and industrial) is around 73 litres, and 242 litres in Israeli towns [CJPME, 2010]. This scarcity is deliberately created and sustained by Israel’s military occupation [The Ecologist].
Drilling: Both the Palestinian Authority and Palestinian farmers are denied the right to construct wells to meet the growing demand for water, even when that water originates almost entirely in the West Bank [UNCTAD, 2015].
Israel and the Palestinian Authority set up a Joint Water Committee (JWC) in 1995. Israel is abiding by the 1995 Oslo II Accord and supplying agreed water quantities. Under these Accords, Israel recognized the water rights of the Palestinians in the West Bank, and a clear allocation of quantities of water to each party was determined, link. Both sides agreed on the future needs of the Palestinians in the West Bank, which could total 200 million cubic meters (MCM) per year, link. In 2012, per capita water use was 150 MCM for Israelis and 140 MCM for Palestinians, link. The total water available to Palestinians in 2007 was 200 MCM per year, link.
Israel delivers water, but does not carry out water distribution in Palestinian areas – that task is up to the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. But water losses in Palestinian networks are very high, link.
Requests for water drilling is discussed and authorised by the JWC. But water is often used as a political weapon and authorized wells are not dug and leaks are not repaired. JWC permits have been granted for drilling into the Eastern Mountain Aquifer, but as of 2014 the Palestinians had drilled at just one-third of these sites, despite the offer of international finance, link.
The Bible and Water: Israel is a dry land and supplements natural water supplies with desalinated water, link. But when Israel has fully returned to her land God promises to bless her with abundant rain, and in the correct seasons:
Rejoice, O sons of Zion … He has poured down for you the rain, the early and latter rain as before. (Joel 2.23)
Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war and later annexed East Jerusalem, declaring it part of its eternal, indivisible capital, a move never recognised internationally [Haaretz]. The international community does not recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Following the line of the UN, the community maintains that Jerusalem should be the capital of two states: Israel and Palestine [UN Secretary-General, 2009]. Likewise, the EU urges Israel to share Jerusalem with the Palestinians as part of a Middle East peace agreement and make the holy city the capital of two states. When challenged in 2014, the White House would not state which city it recognised as the capital of Israel (Jerusalem or Tel Aviv), link. But in 2015 the US Supreme Court declared that “the United States does not recognize Jerusalem – both the Eastern and Western parts of the city – as the capital of the state of Israel”. In 1994 The British Government stated that it did not recognize Israeli sovereignty of any part of Jerusalem [Malcolm Palmer, 1994]. The World Council of Churches (WCC) considers Jerusalem to be an occupied city.
The vast majority (92%) of Palestinians say Jerusalem should be the capital of Palestine, [Stanley Greenberg poll].
Following the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948, Israel’s Knesset declared Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel in 1950. This was partly based on Israel’s strong historical connections, link. But it was also based on solid legal ground in international law, namely, the 1920 San Remo Resolution, the 1922 British Mandate for Palestine (ratified by 51 members of the League of Nations) and Article 80 of the UN Charter (which enshrines all obligations of the League of Nations), link. Essentially, all this states that the Jewish homeland includes the Gaza strip and the Golan Heights, plus Judea and Samaria, today’s ‘West Bank’. In short, the Jewish homeland embraces Jerusalem. After spending twenty years investigating the legal aspects of Jerusalem’s sovereignty, international human rights lawyer Jacques Gautier concludes:
“According to international law, Israel has a well-founded claim to sovereignty over Jerusalem, including its Old City [Dr Jacques Gautier, author ‘Sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem“, link]
Those who insist on Israel’s withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders (when Israel did not hold East Jerusalem) should note that the armistice lines of 1948 were intended to be temporary [Arthur Goldberg, drafter of Resolution 242]. The 1949 Armistice Line (Green Line) was never seen as Israel’s legal border in UN Resolution 242, link.
The Bible is clear on the ownwership of Jerusalem. The city belongs to the God of Israel despite what the nations say. It is called “the City of the King” (Ps 48.2), “the City of Righteousness” (Isa 1.26), “the Holy City” (Isa 52.1), “the Throne of the LORD” (Jer 3.17), “the LORD is there” (Ezek 48.35). Soon Christ will return and rule the nations from Jerusalem:
Thus says the LORD, I will return to Zion and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth … for the law will go our from Zion and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem (Zech 8.3, Isa 2.3)
6. Israel uses Unreasonable-Disproportionate-Excessive Force
The Israeli Security Forces (ISF) have been accused of using excessive force: “There were numerous reports of the ISF killing Palestinians during riots, demonstrations, at checkpoints, and during routine operations; in some cases they did not pose a threat to life” [US State Department report, 2016]. Specifically, in 2015, 149 Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces, but only 77 of those deaths occurred in the course of attacking Israelis. Overall, in 2015 the number of deaths and injuries amongst Palestinians caused by Israeli forces was the highest for a decade [UN report].
In 2015 the ISF used excessive force against Palestinians in Jerusalem, Nablus and Hebron. Tactics adopted by the ISF during this period included confiscation of land, ISF military operations in refugee camps, villages and cities, as well as Israelis trespassing into the Al Aqsa mosque [RedCrow Intelligence].
Torture: Israeli military and police forces, as well as Israel Security Agency (ISA) personnel, torture Palestinian detainees during arrest and interrogation. Torture includes beating with batons, slapping, throttling, prolonged shackling, stress positions, sleep deprivation and threats, [Amnesty International]. During the 2008-2009 Gaza War (Operation Cast Lead), Israel carried out what is known as “collective punishment” of the people of Gaza by wanton destruction of property, food, and sanitation infrastructure [UN Investigation, 2009]. Collective punishment is illegal under international humanitarian law.
From Protests to Riots: Palestinian Leaders encourage violence and terrorist attacks against Jews, link. In 2015 some observed a move away from “politically motivated Palestinian protests” in the streets of Jerusalem towards “riots”. These included acts of public property vandalism, the absence of law enforcement personnel, blocked streets, destroyed traffic lights, railways and burnt out bus stations, link. By mid-2015 at least 14 Israelis had been killed by Palestinian stone throwing, link.
Civilian Casualties: Israel has shown the greatest possible restraint and makes a determined effort to limit Palestinian civilian casualties during its operations against Palestinian terrorists, link. Civilian casualties sometimes occur since Hamas and other groups sometimes launch mortar shells and rockets at Israel from civilian areas e.g. close to schools and mosques, link, link. In cases of Palestinian civilian casualties, Israel has a comprehensive investigative process to determine whether errors were made by its soldiers and if legal action should be taken, link, link.
Gaza War 2008-2009: In 2006, following the Israeli disengagement and pullout from the Gaza Strip, there was an increase of 436% in the number of Palestinian rockets launched towards Israel from Gaza (1,123 rockets in 2006). In 2008 this increased to 3,278 rocket attacks from the Gaza strip, link. Rockets were deliberately aimed at civilians. Every country has the moral responsibility to defend its people and so Israel responded with a deterrence – Operation Cast Lead. Civilian casualties were about 1:1 (one civilian death for every combatant death). This compares to the average ratio of 3:1 (three civilian deaths to one combatant death) in similar conflicts worldwide, link.
Bible prophecy says that the descendants of those who are now oppressing Israel will one day bless Israel and Jerusalem:
The descendants of those who oppressed you will come and bow low to show their respect. All who once despised you will worship at your feet. They will call you ‘The City of the Lord’, ‘Zion, the City of Israel’s Holy God.’ (Isa 60.14)
7. Jews have little Historical Connection with Israel
Jews who have recently returned to Israel lack a strong historical connection with the land. Any claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history, [Article 20, Palestinian National Charter, 1968]. The land was actually populated solely by indigenous Palestinians. Also, there is no tangible evidence of any Jewish remains in the Old City of Jerusalem and its immediate vicinity [Palestinian Ministry of Information, 1997].
Concerning the Temple Mount: Israel cannot show they had a temple here 2000 years ago, [Mahmoud Abbas, 2000]. No Jewish temple ever existed on the Temple Mount” [Yasser Arafat, 2000]. The historic existence of a Jewish Temple is a myth and a lie. So any Jewish claim should be ignored and the Temple Mount area should be referred to solely by the Muslim name Al-Aqsa Mosque or Al-Haram Al Sharif. Similarly, the Western Wall should be referred to by its Muslim name – “the al-Buraq wall” [UNESCO, 2016].
Here, the prosecution is weak and easily defended. Palestinian leaders have adopted the tack of “stealing the enemy’s heritage, history, and values”, link. But archaeology and historical documentation shows that Jews have lived continuously in the land of Israel for over 3,000 years, link, link, link.
Brief history: The descendants of Abraham formed the nation Israel around 1300 BC, King David established Jerusalem as the capital of the Kingdom of Israel in 1004 BC, and in 960 BC his son Solomon built the first Jewish temple.
Due to disobedience, the northern kingdom (Israel) was scattered throughout the nations by 722 BC and the southern kingdom (essentially Judah) was deported to Babylon by 586 BC. But some Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem between 536 BC and 444 BC. This was to rebuild the temple, establish temple worship and rebuild the walls. So a Jewish presence continued in Jerusalem up to the Roman period.
History records that in 70 AD, when the Jewish civilization was already over 1000 years old, the Romans forced most of the Jews of Judea and Samaria (now the West Bank) into exile and destroyed the Second Temple. However, some Jews remained in the land and archaeologists have discovered 34 synagogues in the Golan Heights dating from the late Roman period through the Byzantine era up until the Arab conquest of the Holy Land around 638 AD, link.
Jerusalem: The early name for Jerusalem (in Hebrew pronounced yer-oo-shaw-law-yimthe) is mentioned in the first book of the Jewish Torah (Gen 14.18). In fact, historic Jerusalem is mentioned 809 times in the Bible, beginning with Joshua 10:1 and ending with Galatians 4:25, link, whilst it is claimed Jerusalem is not even mentioned in the Koran, link, link.
The Jewish temple: evidence from the Hebrew Bible (the Tanach), the New Testament, historians like Josephus, and archaeology all testify to the existence of a huge, impressive temple in Jerusalem. The traditional location lies in the immediate vicinity of the present-day Dome of the Rock, link, and the Western Wall is the western retaining wall of King Herod’s expanded Temple Mount. Historical accounts say that the Dome of the Rock was built by the Moslems to overlay the location of the original Jewish Temple, link. Professor of Archaeology, Kent Bramlett also claims that historical records of the destruction committed by the Romans (70 AD) give “pretty overwhelming” support for the existence of the Second Temple in the immediate vicinity of the Dome of the Rock.
If the Jewish temple never existed, then why does archaeological evidence suggest otherwise? Every year Jews would arrive at Solomon’s Temple to celebrate Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles), and for this they needed fresh flowing water. Archaeologists have discovered an ancient water aqueduct running from the Hebron mountains, through Solomon’s Pools near Bethlehem, and into the Temple Mount area, link, link. This was done at least 1500 years before any mosque was built!
A Series of Short Articles Outlining the Destiny of Mankind
At some point in our lives most of us ask “What is the purpose of life? Why are we here?” Let’s leave aside the mountains of books on philosophy and the many different religions and simply read some key texts in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation.
The following seven articles are brief and to the point and cover some of the most important concepts of life. In short, they give a timeline of God’s dealings with man and His plan for mankind. They reveal the planned destiny of mankind. The timeline goes something like this:
1. God’s perfect plan from creation is for man to dwell with His Creator in Paradise. To do this, man must become an immortal spiritual being
2. For man to dwell with God (who is Spirit) requires mortal man to become a living spirit through a spiritual re-birth
3. In the Garden of Eden man chose to walk away from Paradise. But God, through Jesus Christ, offers free spiritual re-birth if we choose to accept it
4. God’s plan was to achieve all this through Abraham and his descendants (the tribes of Israel). The nation of Israel was to became God’s witness and blessing to the nations
5. So God made a covenant with Israel: they would be blessed and be a blessing if they followed His laws. They failed, and suffered, but today the nation is being restored to her own land.
6. For those who choose to follow Christ and be spiritually re-born, they can look forward to dwelling with God in Paradise. Their eternal home is with God in the New Earth
7. The Book of Revelation gives a final warning. Man has a choice – to accept spiritual re-birth through Jesus Christ, or reject the offer and so reject eternal life in Paradise
Let’s start with some powerful words from the Hebrew scriptures:
The land of Israel is unique Israel is part of an ancient land called Eden Israel will again reflect the glory of the Garden of Eden
According to Strong’s Concordance, Eden (ay’-den) means ‘delicate, delight, pleasure – the region of Adam’s home’. It is a Sumerian word indicating a plain (a flat area where cultivation would be easy). So, at the outset, Eden was a good place in which to live! Genesis states that mankind started in Eden and specifically in a garden in the east of Eden:
The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed … Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold (Gen 2.10,11)
Note that Genesis 2 implies that there was a land of Eden as well as a ‘garden of Eden’ planted toward the east of Eden. This distinction is also implied in the book of Isaiah:
And her wilderness He will make like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord (Isa 51.3)
Searching for the land of Eden and the Garden of Eden
The Fertile Crescent – the ‘Cradle of Civilization’: The so-called Fertile Crescent (shown in green, Fig.1) extends northeast from the Sinai Peninsula, bordered by the Mediterranean coast and the Jordan River, then curves to the southeast, following along the Tigris and Euphrates valleys. It is characterized by unusually fertile soil, and so it is not surprising that humans first created agricultural settlements here over 8,000 years ago, link. For example, archaeological investigations in the Zagros Mountains of Iran reveal that people were grinding wheat and barley about 11,000 years ago, link. And the archaeological site of Gobekli Tepe (locally called ‘Potbelly Hill’) in southern Turkey (indicated in Fig.1) has been carbon dated at around 10,000 BC – older than any other known site, link, link. Bear in mind that the Fertile Crescent probably had a more agriculturally productive climate than today because of massive climatic and geological changes during Noah’s flood around 2300 BC.
Babylonia: After the Flood mankind still lived in the Fertile Crescent. In Genesis 11 and 12 we read that around 1900 BC God called Abram (Abraham) to leave the family home in the Babylonian city of Ur (Fig. 2) and go to the land of Canaan. Abram’s journey took him along the Fertile Crescent via Nineveh and Haran (and probably very close to the archaeological site of Gobekli Tepe). Note that the city of Ur was close to the Persian Gulf.
Oil and Gas in the Fertile Crescent: At this point it is interesting to ask ourselves; ‘Why are there giant oil and gas reserves in the northern Persian Gulf region?’ – see map. For example, Kuwait is less than one-tenth the size of Syria, but its oil reserves far exceed Syria’s reserves, link. The traditional understanding is that these reserves began as microscopic plants and animals living in oceans. During their life they absorbed energy from the sun which was stored as carbon molecules in their bodies. When they died, they sank to the bottom and over millions of years layer upon layer generated pressure and heat and eventually oil (or gas). Geological and sea-level changes then resulted in the land reserves seen today.
But does this process have to take millions of years? Are there quicker ways of generating oil? In particular, can the chemistry of oil be explained by flood geology and a high sedimentation rate – see Oil and the Flood. This idea is based on the observation that a high sedimentation rate preserves organic material [Tissot and Welte, 1984, Petroleum Formation and Occurrence, Springer-Verlag]. So a catastrophic sedimentation rate, as would occur in Noah’s flood would uproot, kill, and bury organic material very rapidly and avid oxidizing agents. (On the same theme, we note that polystrate fossils sometimes span many coal seams, providing strong evidence that the coal did not take millions of years to form!)
So do the large oil and gas reserves around the northern end of the Persian Gulf suggest vigorous vegetation and animal life in that region before the Flood? Are the oil and gas reserves the result of the sudden destruction of the garden of Eden?
Eden found? Given these facts, it’s not surprising that the Fertile Crescent has been labelled “the cradle of civilization”. Was this region the biblical Eden? Scholars identify Eden with the Sumerian term ‘edin’, which means “uncultivated steppe or plain” and usually associated with the area today called Mesopotamia (see Fig.2), link.
The Rivers of Eden
Given that some of the world’s earliest complex societies developed in the Fertile Crescent it is tempting to think Eden is associated with the Canaan-Southern Turkey-Babylonia-Persian Gulf region. Descriptions of the four rivers in Genesis 2 may help us to be more specific. But in attempting this we must bear in mind that ancient world catastrophes like the Flood had the potential to dramatically change the original land forms and river systems, Setterfield. Not surprisingly, two of these rivers, the Pishon and the Gihon, are no longer visible, probably due to geological changes incurred during Noah’s flood.
The Pishon River
We note that “a river (the Pishon) went out of Eden to water the garden (of Eden)” and flowed past or skirted the land of Havilah. Where was Havilah? Some argue that the land of Havilah has long since disappeared due to massive geological changes, so searching for it is futile, Setterfield. That said, we note that, post Flood, the descendants of Ishmael “dwelt from Havilah as far as Shur” (Gen 25.18), so the land of Havilah was still recognized post-Flood. It was probably one of those regions in the North Eastern area of the Arabian Peninsula, link, as indicated in Fig.3.
As stated, the Pishon is not visible today, although it must have been a large river in order to “water the garden”. In fact, satellite images and space Shuttle Imaging Radar suggest the river was once up to three miles wide, link. Analysis of these space images shows that, in Kuwait, a dry riverbed (Wadi Al-Batin) cuts through limestone and disappears into the desert of Saudi Arabia. The river ran underground along a fault line under the sand. From the Hyaz (Hejaz) Mountains in Saudi Arabia, link, this river ran northeast to its delta in Kuwait near the Persian Gulf. It is interesting to note that Pishon literally means “to disperse”, or “to spread”, suggesting the parting into some form of delta or ‘riverheads’ as in Gen 2.10. Given these recent discoveries, some claim this lost river corresponds to the biblical Pishon River associated with the garden of Eden.
The fact that the Pishon “went out of Eden”, “skirted the whole land of Havilah” and “parted into four riverheads” suggests that Eden was a large area of land to the north of Havilah.
The Gihon River (the river of Cush)
The word Gihon means “stream’. This ‘stream’ is said to have flowed “around the whole land of Cush” (Gen 2.13). In early biblical history, Cush (pronounced Kush) was the name of a district near the head of the Persian Gulf, link. More specifically, it could be the country still known as Khuzi-stan, on the east side of the Lower Tigris, link. This agrees with the claim that Cush was is in Mesopotamia (rather than in Ethiopia), link. The Amplified Bible also places Cush in Mesopotamia. It is interesting to note that, today, two major rivers flow from the Iranian mountains in the east down to the southern part of the Mesopotamian flood-plain, viz. the Kerkha and the Karun, link. So the Gihon River could have flowed in Iran and the Zagros Mountains, link, as indicated in Fig.3.
The Tigris (Heb: Hiddekel) and Euphrates
In Genesis 2 these two rivers are associated with the “four riverheads” (river delta?) coming from the Pishon. The Tigris or Hiddekel flowed “towards the east of Assyria (Heb: Asshur)”. Hiddekel means “flowing rapidly”, indicating it either went through land with a high gradient or had a large quantity of water flowing in it, or both. Maps show the ancient Tigris River flowing through a fertile alluvial plain, link (consistent with the concept of ‘Eden’). The Hebrew word translated ‘Euphrates’ is Perath, which literally means “to break forth”.
Are these two rivers of Genesis the two rivers we see today? Today, the mountains of Turkey collect water that becomes the observed Tigris and Euphrates rivers. But today’s Tigris and Euphrates may not be the original rivers! As already mentioned, we must bear in mind that the massive geological changes of the ancient world (as occurred for example in the Flood) could have changed the rivers of Genesis 2, Setterfield. Today’s Tigris and Euphrates could be running on top of flood-deposited layers of rock. That said, many still assume that the approximate location of the ancient Tigris and Euphrates rivers was as seen today, again as indicated Fig.3. It has been suggested that, viewed from the Persian Gulf region, all four rivers could be seen as “riverheads”.
The Edenic Environment
Little is known about the climate of Eden and its garden and there is much speculation! Artistic impressions paint an idyllic sub-tropical environment for Adam. But what do we know with reasonable certainty?
At the outset, Adam’s environment must have been conducive to plant growth – many different trees grew and fruited (and it seems that before the Fall there were no weeds!) Also, there is no record of Adam being too cold or too hot or buffeted by storms. Some argue that there was no rain before the Flood and instead “a mist went up from the earth to water the ground” (Gen 2.5,6). Either way, it seems things were environmentally quiet and peaceful. Everything God had created was “very good” (Gen 1.31). How can a severe storm be ‘good’? In addition, we note Adam and his immediate descendants lived approximately ten times longer than present generations. Why?
Adam’s world: A universally warm and pleasant Earth?
Some maintain that before the Flood the earth’s axial tilt was perhaps only 5 degrees (or less), resulting in virtually no seasonal changes and one large stable Hadley Cell of circulating air currents, link, link. The deductions are based on measurements from ancient ‘gnomons’. It is conjectured that the earth was probably universally warm, with no deserts, ice caps or major mountains. There was probably less sea and more land. Lush vegetation grew worldwide, so providing for the coal and oil deposits we now find near the poles. It has also been conjectured that rapid radioactive decay heated the earth’s mantle below the crust, driving out the water locked in the minerals. This water seeped through the earth’s thin granite crust and appeared as a mist, watering the ground (Gen 2.6).
As stated, with this early-earth low-tilt model there would be virtually no seasons, and we note that the first mention of seasons and the associated ‘cold’ and ‘heat’ is after Noah’s Flood (Gen 8.22). And it is argued that a sudden change leading to the present 23.4 degree tilt arose around 2300 BC, possibly due to asteroid/meteor impact. Another sudden change in axial tilt at the end of this age is suggested in Isaiah 24.19-20. More at young earth model.
A Protective Canopy?
Genesis 1.6 mentions a “firmament” (Heb: raqiya, ‘an extended surface’) that divided the created waters. What was this? And did it provide an idyllic environment for Adam and his immediate descendants? Moreover, did it protect them from damaging solar radiation?
Some have proposed that a protective ‘water vapor canopy’ existed before the Flood, but this is not strongly supported, link. What about the Crystalline Canopy Theory? This conjectures that, before the Flood, the ‘firmament’ extended throughout space as a universal macrocosm expanse of lattice structure consisting of charged subatomic particles. Simultaneously, in order to focus the benefit of universal radiation, the firmament is held to be localized as a thin microcosm complex of crystalline structure suspended directly above Earth. To quote:
This (localized) structure consisted of strong magnetic flux lines holding silicate sugilite, hydrogen, water molecules and possibly various metallic colloids in its force field. Water in Earth’s spherical mass was utilized in its solid form in making the localized crystalline firmament, and was simultaneously distributed throughout space in its various molecular forms in the establishing of the firmament as a universal expanse. Earth’s local crystalline canopy in its physical design would uniquely absorb and transfer the radiation of the stellar bodies that were later placed in the universal expanse. These stellar bodies were made to be an orchestrated symphony of mass, energy and radiation, specifically designed to benefit planet Earth and its inhabitants, link
So in this theory the Hebrew word ‘raqiya’ refers to both the universal expanse and the localized crystalline structure suspended above the Earth as one seamless whole.
Man’s Aging: It is claimed that the crystalline canopy suspended perhaps ten miles above Earth’s surface had the benefit that it filtered out most of the damaging UV radiation i.e. DNA damage at the molecular level. It is conjectured that, at the judgement of the Flood, the localized microcosm – the ‘canopy’ suspended over Earth – was disrupted as ‘windows were opened’ in the crystalline lattice. This could have been done by jets of steam from hydrothermal vents in the earth’s crust. Consequently, man was subjected to increased radiation. It is scientifically plausible that a significant increase in radioisotopes in the atmosphere after the Flood could cause the observed progressive reduction in the age of man after the Flood, see human aging.
Conclusions on Eden and the Garden of Eden
Eden: From the foregoing discussion, Eden (the land) could have been the large region bordered in the south by the land of Havilah (possibly NE Arabia) and embracing the Tigris River and Mesopotamia in the east. A northern boundary might be indicated by references to “the people of Eden who were in Telassar” (2 Kings 19.12 Isa 37.12). This city was inhabited by the Bene ‘Eden and was possibly located in the upper Mesopotamian country, link, link. In fact, since the so-called Fertile Crescent is often called ‘the cradle of civilization’, it is tempting to see it as the eastern, northern and western boundaries of Eden. This would include the biblical land of Canaan as part of Eden. The land of Nod (the land of Cain’s ‘wandering’) is said to have been ‘on the east of Eden’ (Gen 4.16) and so outside Eden, as indicated in Fig.3.
The Garden of Eden: Many commentators place the garden of Eden in the Persian Gulf region i.e. ‘eastward of Eden’, as indicated in Fig.3. Some believe the earliest inhabitants in Mesopotamia (see Fig.2) originally lived in this region. The massive oil reserves in this region may even be the result of the sudden destruction of the garden by the Flood c2300 BC. Also bear in mind that at that time the sea level was much lower and sea levels have gradually risen. By c5500 BC most of the Gulf basin was filled, although the sea level was still 17 meters lower than that of today, link. The Persian Gulf did not reach its present levels until Abraham’s time c4000 BC, link.
The environment of Eden (and probably that of the whole earth) could have been enhanced and protected by a ‘canopy’ above the earth.
Sadly, Adam’s time in the garden was short-lived since he and his wife were driven out after the Fall (Gen 3.23,24). From this time on, Adam’s life became difficult as the ground came under God’s curse (Gen 3.17-19), and it is logical to assume that the garden was completely destroyed by the Flood. But whilst it existed, there were 11 overlapping generations with a span of a thousand years that would have had direct knowledge (person to person) about Eden and the Garden, including Noah and his family, link, link. Bear in mind that, pre-Flood, man lived much longer and Adam lived 930 years (Gen 5.5). For more on man’s changing life-span see Human Aging.
The Israel-Eden Connection
When man was driven out of the garden of Eden after the Fall (Gen 3.23,24), and the Flood came to destroy evil mankind, was this the end of Eden and its garden for all time? Was God’s beautiful creation to be lost forever just because man sinned? Studies of Israel’s history and prophesied future suggest not. There appears to be a close relationship between the land of Israel (past and future) and Eden and its garden.
It is widely claimed that the earliest civilizations lived along the Fertile Crescent, giving the region the name ‘the Cradle of Civilization’. As discussed, some scholars associate this region with the biblical Eden, and some associate the Persian Gulf area with the garden of Eden. So since the Crescent spans from the Persian Gulf across into southern Israel, we might tentatively associate the land of Israel with Eden (and even the garden of Eden)! Is there any justification for this claim?
Pangea: Geological theory holds that civilized man once lived on a super-continent called ‘Pangea’ surrounded by a super-ocean called ‘Panthalassa’, link. Scientists attribute the break-up of Pangea (a process supposedly lasting hundreds of millions of years) to plate techtonics. The concept of a single landmass and a single ocean is supported by Genesis:
Then God said, ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear’; and it was so (Gen 1.9, emphasis added)
Now consider the following rather intriguing biblical claims:
For God is my King from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth (Ps 74.12)
Thus says the Lord God: ‘This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the midst of the nations and the countries all around her’ (Ezek 5.5)
Jewish tradition does indeed place Jerusalem at the center or midst of the earth, and some see the temple mount in Jerusalem as the true ‘ground Zero’ of the world, link, link. Is this concept figurative, or can we take it literally? If Jerusalem really is the geographic center of the world then maybe Jerusalem is closely associated with the Eden of Genesis?
Fernand Crombette took these biblical claims seriously and set about finding a single ancient landmass. He noticed that the current continents fitted much better when another biblical text is taken into account:
Then God said, ‘Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.’ Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so (Gen 1.6-7)
Crombette assumed that, initially (i.e. in the days of Eden), the waters were equally divided and that at the Flood the waters above the firmament ‘collapsed’ to fill the oceans below the firmament. This concept is similar to the ‘water-canopy theory’. So Crombette assumed that in the time of Eden the mean ocean depths were only half as deep (c2,000 m) as the current depths (c4,000 m). Today’s continental shelves would then be above the water line. The interesting fact is that at 2,000 meters bathymetric maps show that the current continents fit almost perfectly when they are moved into place.
So, by adhering to the biblical text, Crombette showed that when the present continents are repositioned, they fit almost perfectly at a depth of 2,000 meters. Moreover, it is claimed that the center of the single continent is Jerusalem, link, link. Staying with biblical concepts, Noah’s Flood has been conjectured as the mechanism and timing for the division of this single continent, link.
Modern Calculations: Today, the geographical center of all current land-areas can be computed using satellite data and great-circle distances on the sphere of the earth, link. Using this approach, Holger Isenberg computed the geographic center at 37.7°N 35.4°E, corresponding to a location in southern Turkey, link. The discrepancy between this location and Crombette’s location (Jerusalem) must be partly due to the fact that Isenberg’s calculation is based upon current sea levels. So they do not apply to Adam’s pre-Flood world, although they do provide some confirmation of Corbette’s calculations in that the ‘midst’ of the earth is around the Eastern Mediterranean.
Conclusion: It is reasonable to conjecture that God would have placed Adam near the center of this single continent rather than at its periphery. In other words, Adam could have been placed near to the location of the future Jerusalem. The implication then is that Jerusalem could be closely associated with Eden, even the garden of Eden itself!
Israel-Eden in the Past
Canaan – where was it?: God promised Abram (Abraham) and all his descendants “all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession” (Gen 17.8). Why Canaan? What was special about Canaan? Moreover – where was Canaan?
On the day of God’s covenant with Abram, God defined Canaan as running from the river of Egypt (traditionally identified as the Nile, link) to the River Euphrates (Gen 15.18). The same boundaries are found in Exod 23.31. The tribes of Israel occupied most of this area, link, and there are indications that the kingdoms of David and Solomon c1000 BC did indeed stretch from the river of Egypt on the Sinai peninsula, across the Syrian Desert to Tiphsah on the northern parts of the Euphrates. So the biblical Canaan closely followed the Fertile Crescent northwards and eastwards.
Prior to these kingdoms, God gave Moses the boundaries of Canaan as the children of Israel entered the land (Num 34.1-12). The southern border went through the Wilderness of Zin to the river of Egypt, the western border was the Mediterranean Sea and the eastern border ran north from the dead sea along the Jordan up to Zedad (modern-day Sadad in Syria) in the north east. Virtually identical boundaries to those given to Moses are given in the future boundaries of Israel (Ezek 47.13-21).
Canaan – a ‘Good Land’: Recall that Eden means ‘delicate, delight, pleasure’ – a good place in which to live and where cultivation would be easy. Can this be said of the land of Canaan? Certainly! We might describe Canaan as an ‘Eden-like land’. Let’s summarize the characteristics of Canaan as described by Moses to the nation of Israel (Deut 8.7-9):
For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper (Deut 8.7-9)
This is confirmed by Sinhue, an Egyptian living in the 20th century BC. Here’s his description of Canaan:
It was a good land named Yaa. Figs were in it, and grapes. It had more wine than water. Plentiful was its honey; abundant its olives. Every [kind of] fruit was on its trees. Barley there was and emmer. There was no limit to any [kind of] cattle. [Thompson, J.A. Handbook of Life in Bible Times, Leicester: IVP, 1986, p125]
Canaan – a land of God’s blessing: Recall, when Abram (Abraham) was called out of Ur to the land of Canaan (Gen 11.31) he was being sent to “a good and large land flowing with milk and honey” (Exod 3.8, Deut 26.9). The phrase “flowing with milk and honey” is understood to be hyperbolically descriptive of the land’s richness; it is generally taken as a metaphor meaning ‘all good things — God’s blessings’. Again, when Abram and Lot needed to separate their livestock (because their flocks and herds were so large), Lot chose to go to a good place:
Lot lifted up his eyes and saw all the valley of the Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere … like the garden of the Lord … (Gen 13.10, emphasis added)
So, even thousands of years after the Fall, the actual land of Israel was still ‘a delight and a pleasure’ in which to live. And this was still true hundreds of years later when the prophet Jeremiah was preaching to the rebellious stiff-necked people of Judah. Through Jeremiah the LORD said to Judah:
I swore to your forefathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day (Jer 11.5)
So even as late as c600 BC it appears that, at least parts of the land of Israel reflected the blessings of Eden! That said, man gradually had a detrimental effect on the environment in Canaan e.g. deforestation and the loss of many species of mammal and birds due to hunting, link.
Israel-Eden in the Future
Here is where we see an even stronger Israel-Eden connection. Even now, the land of Israel is blossoming in terms of agriculture compared with the desolate land of 100 years ago. But in the future it appears that the land of Israel will have a strong Eden-like appearance. Let’s compare Adam’s Eden with the land of Israel during the Millennium:
God walks with Man: Before the Fall, God walked in the garden in which He had placed Adam (Gen 3.8). He wanted fellowship with man. Likewise, in the Millennium, prophecy indicates that God in the form of Christ the King will again walk this earth alongside man. The book of Ezekiel describes the Millennial temple and the future earthly dwelling place of the LORD:
Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever (Ezek 43.7)
This concept is mind-blowing! But is it any more than when Christ the Son of God walked this earth 2,000 years ago?
A Garden: In Adam’s day God planted a perfect garden eastward in the land of Eden. The trees of the garden were beautiful to look at and provided Adam with food (Gen 2.9). The garden was so perfect it became a legend to this day. In the Millennium, prophecy says that God will again plant ‘a garden of renown’ for food in the land of Israel:
I will raise up for them a garden of renown, and they shall no longer be consumed with hunger in the land … (Ezek 34.29 NKJV)
It seems that at least parts of the land of Israel will become like Adam’s Eden. The area around Zion or God’s ‘Holy Mountain (Isa 56.7)’ i.e. around Jerusalem will receive a special blessing:
I will make the places all around My hill (Zion) a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing. Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase (Ezek 34.26,27)
For the Lord will comfort Zion … He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord (Isa 51.3)
In fact, it will be so beautiful they will say:
This land that was deserted and desolate has become like the garden of Eden … (Ezek 36.35)
Beautiful Trees: In Adam’s day this garden had “every tree pleasant to the sight and good for food” (Gen 2.9). What sort of trees were they? Apart from fruit trees (Gen 1.11), the prophet Ezekiel describes a few of them – ceders, firs and chestnut trees (Ezek 31.8). Likewise, in the Millennium God will plant many beautiful trees:
I will put the cedar in the wilderness, the acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree; I will place the juniper in the desert together with the box tree and the cypress (Isa 41.19)
As to be expected, when it comes to fruit trees the future land will be blessed with fig trees and vineyards (Joel 2.22). Why does God do this? All this is done to make Christ’s future dwelling place on earth, His sanctuary, ‘glorious’ (Isa 60.13). Even now the land of Israel has seen significant aforestation. Since 1900 some 250 million sub-tropical trees have been planted in all regions of Israel, from the Golan and Galilee in the north to the Negev in the south, link.
Well Watered: Adam’s Eden had the great river (probably the Pishon) that flowed east to water the garden of Eden. Similarly, in the Millennium water will flow east from the (new) temple to replenish the Dead Sea:
Then he said to me, “These waters go out toward the eastern region and go down into the Arabah (the Jordan Valley); then they go toward the sea, being made to flow into the sea, and the waters of the Dead Sea shall be healed and become fresh (Ezek 47.8 amplified)
Has this already started? Researchers have discovered huge craters on the floor of the Dead Sea. Fresh water is flowing from these craters and fish are now swimming in fresh water sink holes, link. Also, in the Millennium Israel’s deserts will have pools and fountains of water and crops will be well-watered from traditional rains:
I will open rivers on the bare heights and springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water and the dry land fountains of water (Isa 41.18)
So rejoice, O sons of Zion … for He has poured down for you the rain … the early and latter rain as before
With the passing of time, when the people of Israel forgot their God, the “early” (Autumn) and “latter” (Spring) rains were delayed or did not fall. But when the Jewish people acknowledge their true Messiah (Christ) it seems that God will bless the nation with the required rains (Jer 31.11-12).
A Peaceful Land: Before the Fall, Adam’s world was at peace; there was no hurt and no killing. So Animals and birds ate green herbs (Gen 1.30). Likewise, in the Millennium, the land of Israel will be at peace and Jerusalem will be “a quiet home” (Isa 33.20). There will be no hurt and animals will not devour one another:
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together. And a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze;
Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox … They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain (Isa 11.6-9)
Here, the term ‘holy mountain’ is usually taken to mean ‘the mountain of the LORD’S house’ (Isa 2.2, Ezek 40.2) – a reference to the preeminence of Zion (Jerusalem) above the other ‘mountains’ or nations, and in particular the area surrounding the new temple (see a new temple in Jerusalem). In fact, the whole world will be at peace during the Millennial age and “nation will not lift up sword against nation” (Isa 2.4).
A Vegetarian Diet? Before the Fall, Adam was given herbs and fruit to eat and the beasts of the field ate herbs (Gen 1.29,30). There was no killing and so animal meat was ‘off the menu’! Will this be true in Millennial Israel, given that “there shall be no hurt” in Christ’s ‘holy mountain’? Certainly it seems true in the Jerusalem area since the river flowing east from the temple seems to bless the surrounding land:
Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine (Ezek 47.12)
It seems that in this ‘new Eden’ around Zion, meat could again be ‘off the menu’. Where prophecy speaks of future flocks of sheep and cattle (Isa 30.23, 61.5) this may be in other parts of Israel, or for temple sacrifices (Ezek 43.18,19 Zech 14.21).
A Healthy Environment: Ezekiel 47.12 refers to the healing benefits of Israel’s trees. Is this a reference to the future widespread use of herbal medicine? Note that the future inhabitants of Zion will not say “I am sick” (Isa 33.24) and people will live long lives (Isa 65.20). Will this future Eden-like environment reflect the healthy environment of Adam’s world?
A Protected Environment: Besides geographic changes, meteorological changes and changes in the animal kingdom, the area around Zion will be specially protected from extreme weather:
The Lord will create over the whole area of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, even smoke, and the brightness of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory will be a canopy. There will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and refuge and protection from the storm and the rain (Isa 4.5-6)
Note that this protective ‘canopy’ echoes the atmospheric protection Adam appears to have benefited from, albeit on a much smaller scale.
The Sanctuary-Eden Connection
There is a deep spiritual connection between the garden of Eden and the Hebrew temples. Consider the first ‘temple’. As the Israelites were travelling through the wilderness towards Canaan, God asked them to make a place where He could “dwell amongst men” – a sanctuary or tabernacle (Exod 25.8). Clearly, this had to be portable and so it became known as ‘the tent of meeting’ (Exod 29.11, 33.7 NASB). After the Israelites were established in Canaan, the sanctuary became a permanent structure, as in Solomon’s Temple (2 Chron 3), only later to be destroyed and replaced by Herod’s temple. The basic structure of Solomon’s Temple is shown in Fig.5, link. Fast-forward to the Millennial age, and we find details of a new temple in the Jerusalem area in chapters 40-48 of the prophet Ezekiel.
Let’s consider some common features between the garden of Eden and these Hebrew Temples:
1: God dwelt with man in the garden of Eden; there was a physical closeness just as Christ dwelt with man some 2,000 years ago. God accepted the man He had created and talked with him (Gen 3.9). Similarly, in the tent of the meeting (the first tabernacle) we read that the LORD talked with Moses as a man speaks to his friend (Exod 33.7-11, Num 7.89). This amazing God-man dialogue will happen again when Christ rules from the new temple in the Millennium, and finally in the new heaven and new earth (Rev 21.3)
2: The entrance (exit) to the garden of Eden faced east (Gen 3.24). In fact the entrance to all Hebrew Temples has to face east, link. For example, see Ezekiel 40.6. Pagan temples were oriented in other directions. The eastward orientation could be a prophetic expectation of the Second Coming of Christ (see Ezek 43.1,2 Mat 24.27). His glory “comes from the east”
3: The garden of Eden had a special area with a special restriction. In its center was the ‘tree of life’ and the ‘tree of of the knowledge of good and evil’ (Gen 2.9). Adam was restricted from eating from the latter. Likewise, the temples had a special inner area with holy restrictions. The Holy of Holies was the most sacred part of the temple and entry was forbidden except on Yom Kippur, when the High Priest was permitted to enter
4: When Adam sinned he was prevented from coming back into the garden by Cherubim placed at the “east of the garden”. So Adam found himself outside the ‘holy area’ of Eden due to his sin. Similarly, the exit from the temple ‘holy place’ led via the vestibule or porch to a large courtyard area east of the holy place where all the people assembled for worship (Jer 19.14, 26.2). This area contained the ‘altar of burnt offering’ for sin atonement
5: After the Fall, Adam and his family probably lived east of the garden of Eden. And in the course of time Cain and Abel brought offerings to the LORD (Gen 4.3-4). Abel knew the meaning of sacrifice, the demand of God, so this was the first altar. It has been suggested that Adam’s altar was as close to God as possible near the east entrance to the garden. Similarly, as just discussed, Solomon’s Temple had an altar of burnt offerings just outside the holy area. The Second Temple (Herod’s Temple) also had an altar, as will the Third (Millennial) Temple (Ezek 43.13-27)
6: In the middle of the garden of Eden grew a special tree, the ‘tree of life’. Like the other good trees, its fruit was good to eat (some think it was an almond tree, link). But Adam didn’t have to eat of it to have eternal life. The tree’s real role was to symbolize ‘God-given eternal life’. The same symbolism (same tree) is found in the midst of Paradise (Rev 2.7). Now, in the book of Numbers chapter 17 we read that one day God instructed Moses to place 12 rods (corresponding to the 12 leaders of the children of Israel) into the tabernacle. This was to show Israel who was God’s chosen leader. The next day they found that Aaron’s rod had not only budded, but it had blossomed and yielded ripe almonds! The parallel with the ‘tree of life’ is striking; both the tree and the almond rod exhibited God-given life
7: As mentioned, after Adam’s sin God placed Cherubim at the entrance to the garden of Eden. Cherubim are powerful winged creatures (Exod 25.20, Ezek 10.16) and here they were guarding Paradise and the abode of God. Similarly, when Moses met with God in the tent of meeting, a ‘pillar of cloud’ descended and stood at the tent entrance (Exod 33.9,10) – as though guarding holiness. The Israelites remained at their tent doors as though they were ‘outside the garden’. Solomon had images of Cherubim carved on the walls of the temple (1 Kings 6.29) and Cherubim will also decorate the Millennial Temple (Ezek 41.18)
8: There was an effective ‘door’ at the east of the garden of Eden. As mentioned, Cherubim stood guard there after the Fall, guarding the way to holiness. Likewise the temples had large doors (also facing east). When the lamb was to be sacrificed, three trumpets sounded and the massive doors to the temple were opened and people gained access to the courts (east of the holy place) (Num 28). The concept of an ‘open door’ to God’s dwelling is also found in Rev 4.1 – John saw “a door standing open in heaven”. This heavenly door was to the apostle John ‘a door of opportunity’ to gain an understanding of the future from God’s throne room
Conclusion: The garden of Eden and the earthly temples reflect the heavenly temple (Rev 11.19, 15.5-8). They speak of human access to the presence and glory and power and blessing of the Creator God – the God of Israel. Recall that when Moses and Aaron came out of the tent of meeting to bless the people, the “glory of the LORD appeared to all the people” (Lev 9.23). Put another way, although the original Eden and its garden appears to be lost, the concept lives on in the spiritual symbolism of the Hebrew temples. Like the garden of Eden, the temples demonstrate that redeemed man can walk eternally with his Creator in abundant blessing.
Summary of the Israel-Eden Connection
Many Bible scriptures point to a strong link between the land of Israel (Canaan – as given to Abram and his descendants) and the biblical Eden. The two are not isolated entities and the Edenic vision of an earthly paradise can be seen in both historical Israel (the land of Canaan) and in the future Israel. The parallels between the Eden of Genesis, and the Zion (Jerusalem area) of the future (Millennial) Israel are especially striking. They both have the following in common:
God walks with mankind on this earth
Their environments are supernaturally enhanced by a ‘canopy’ in the atmosphere
There is no hurt and no killing e.g. the lion eats straw like the ox
There are beautiful trees and plants, providing food for both man and animals
The land is well-watered, with rivers a key feature
They are located in the ‘Fertile Crescent’ (Jerusalem can even be identified with Eden)
They are ‘delightful’ places in which to live
They are healthy places in which to live – people live long lives
They use the geographic parameter of “east”
They are reflections of the heavenly “Paradise of God” (Rev 2.7)
This strong Israel-Eden connection strengthens the significance of modern Israel. Whilst God initially walked with man in an idyllic environment, prophecy suggests that a similar scenario will develop in the land of Israel. Even now there are visible signs that the future land of Israel will reflect the paradise of the Genesis Eden as Israel ‘greens’ her desert places. Recall that Eden means ‘delicate, delight, pleasure’ – a pleasant place to be – a garden home. Prophecy suggests that the nations will soon see a ‘modern Eden’ in the center of Israel. Referring to that time, God says to Israel:
It will no longer be said of you [Judah], ‘Azubah (Abandoned),’ nor will it any longer be said of your land, ‘Shemamah (Desolate)’; but you will be called, ‘Hephzibah (My Delight is in Her)’ and your land, ‘Married’; for the Lord delights in you, and to Him your land will be married [owned and protected by the Lord] (Isa 62.4, amplified, emphasis added)
This sees the future people of Israel living with their God in a pleasant place – their ancestral ‘garden home’ – a latter-day Eden centered around Jerusalem!
At the end of this age there will be dramatic changes in the appearance of the sun and the moon. God says:
I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth, blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes (Joel 2.30,31)
This refers to the traumatic days and astronomical signs just prior to the Second Coming of Christ. Exactly what causes these events is not revealed.
In recent years there has been much interest in so-called “blood moons” as caused by the earth passing between the sun and the moon (a lunar eclipse). Such events are entirely predictable, see NASA lunar eclipses. But the events prophesied in the book of Joel seem unpredictable and sudden. Moreover, unless the present astronomical order is changed, Joel is probably not describing simultaneous solar and lunar eclipses since this is impossible, link.
Let’s look at those predictable blood moons. Some believe that even predictable events like this can be used by God as a sign of His interventions in world affairs, and especially in the affairs of Israel. There is special interest in the times when four consecutive lunar eclipses are all total eclipses, an event known as a tetrad.
There are eight tetrads in the 21st century, and two have already passed, link. Moreover, history shows that when the tetrad dates are close to, or coincide with the dates of Jewish festivals (God’s appointed feasts), then this may be a special sign or warning to Israel. Sometimes very serious events happen around these dates. So let’s first consider Israel’s appointed feasts.
Israel’s Feasts and Israel’s Blood Moons
Some of Israel’s feasts clearly continue beyond the end of this age and into the Kingdom age, the millennium. So, in passing, we might ask ‘Why are Israel’s feasts often overlooked by the church?’ Take for example Pesah (Passover). God instructed Israel to keep Pesah forever:
Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance (Exod 12.14)
Of course, Christ used His last Passover meal (Mat 26) to inaugurate the New Covenant to be made through His crucifixion, and Christians celebrate this in the Easter Eucharist (Holy communion) rather than through the Jewish Passover. Are Messianic Jews to obey Exod 12.14, or are they to accept Christ as the Passover Lamb? The answer is ‘both’. Yeshua’s Supper is temporary in nature – celebrated until He comes (1 Cor 11.26) – but the Passover is celebrated in the millennium, after Christ has come (Ezek 45.21), link.
As with the Passover, the Feast of Tabernacles was also decreed a ‘statute forever’ (Lev 23.41), and so we read that this feast continues into the Kingdom age, the millennial reign of Christ:
And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall … keep the Feast of Tabernacles (Zech 14.16)
Clearly, God requires at least some of Israel’s feasts to continue today and through into the next age on earth – the Millennium. They are certainly not past their sell-by date; they are incredibly relevant! So when we find some feasts synchronized in time with blood moons (often to the day), especially with tetrads (four consecutive total lunar eclipses), we might ask, “Is this a strange coincidence or is it planned by the God of Israel?” Is God’s synchronized celestial timing telling man – and especially Israel – that something very significant for Israel is to happen around that date?
Alignment of Israel’s Feasts with Blood Moon Tetrads: Warnings to Israel?
Not all tetrads appear significant for Israel. For instance, nothing of real significance happened in Israel around the 1927-1928 tetrad, link. But then none of the blood moons coincided with a Jewish feast, link. But occasionally, all four blood moons in a tetrad coincide with the start e.g. Pesach I, or close to the start, of the feasts of Pesach (Passover) or Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles).
Consider the following tetrads from NASA [Format: blood moon date (Jewish feast and date)].
Here, the blood moons did not align exactly in time with the start of Pesach and Sukkot, link. Nevertheless, we can ask, ‘What happened to the Jews around this time?’ Answer: During 1492, in Grenada (Spain) the razing of the Jewish quarter was ordered by King Ferdinand, and the Church called for the expulsion of Jews from Spain. In 1493 some 37,000 Jews had to leave Sicily, and in 1494/95, Jews suffered in Poland, Lithuania and Italy, link. So this tetrad saw Europe-wide persecution of the Jews.
Here, there is near perfect alignment of blood moon and festival dates. So what happened to Israel around this time? Answer: the 1948-49 Arab-Israeli War, when five Arab armies (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq) invaded Israel. Armistice agreements were signed February-July 1949, link, resulting in the UN “Green Line” – simply a temporary, armistice line and not a border. Ever since, there have been repeated Palestinian demands for Israel to return to this so-called ‘border’.
Again, there is near perfect correspondence of dates. What happened to Israel around this time? Answer: the Six-Day War of June 5–10, 1967, when the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon (and later Iraq) attacked Israel. Their goal was “to wipe Israel off the map”, but instead Jews gained full access to all of Jerusalem – the fist time in nearly 2,000 years! A few months later an Arab summit conference formulated the Arab consensus that underlay the official policies of most Arab states for the next two decades and beyond: “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it.”
There is near perfect correspondence of dates. In addition, this tetrad is rather unique in that it spans a Shemittah (sabbatical) year, starting 25-09-2014 and ending 13-09-2015. This is a time of rest for Israel’s agriculture and a time for strengthening bonds with God. Since past tetrads have been difficult times for Jews, the Shemittah year is timely! When ancient Israel observed sabbatical years God provided enough food in the sixth year for three years (Lev 25.20,21)! He is still the same God who provides for those who keep mitzvot (God’s commands).
What happened around this time? Many regarded the time around Sukkot 2015 as the start of the third Intifada (Palestinian uprising) against Israel. Early October saw the start of unprovoked stabbings of Israeli citizens, link, link.
Here, only the blood moons in 2033 coincide with Pesach and Sukkot. But the time alignment is closer than for the 1493-94 tetrad. So again, this may be a crucial time for Israel and for the world. For instance, NASA says there is a remote possibility of a huge asteroid impact in 2032, and the Bible suggests such an impact in Rev 8.8. On the other hand, since 2032 is rather distant, Christ may have returned by then anyway!
TAGS FOR ISRAEL’S BLOOD MOONS
For in-depth discussion, see for example Pray4Zion
For the Jewish Calendar for a specific year, see for example Calendar_1 or Calendar_2
For NASA blood moon dates, and tetrads, see for example NASA_tetrads
End-time Blood Moons
As already noted, the prophet Joel described major disturbances in the sun and the moon immediately prior to the return of Christ. Jesus also said that there will be cosmic disturbances just prior to His return to earth:
The sun and the moon will not give their light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven (Mat 24.29,30)
No blood moon here – but look at the traumatic times just prior to this:
There was a great earthquake; the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood. And the stars of heaven fell to earth (opening of the sixth seal, Rev 6.12,13) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood (cosmic disturbances visible in Israel, Joel 2.31)
Do these prophecies indicate a simultaneous solar and lunar eclipse? No, at least not according to the present astronomical order. The sun-moon-earth alignments are distinctly different for the two eclipses; a total solar eclipse can only happen at a new moon when the moon passes between the sun and the earth (sun-moon-earth alignment), whereas a total lunar eclipse can only happen on a full moon (sun-earth-moon alignment). So, since the lunar cycle is about 29.5 days, the minimum amount of time that can possibly occur between a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse is two weeks, link.
Let us assume that the current astronomical order is undisturbed and so discount simultaneous eclipses. There may be some other astronomical reason for the sun darkening and the moon turning to blood. Note that Mat 24 and Rev 6 both refer to ‘stars falling from heaven’ (meteorites?). And in Rev 8 we read of ‘a great mountain burning with fire’ being thrown into the sea, and ‘a great star falling from heaven burning like a torch’ (asteroids?). Some argue that it could be these cosmic impacts upon the earth that cause the possibly simultaneous darkening of the sun, and the reddening of the moon. Huge impacts, possibly related to the great earthquake of Rev 6, could cause massive and long-lasting atmospheric disturbances on earth. It has also been proposed that a simultaneous solar and lunar eclipse might occur in the presence of a large asteroid (or near earth object), link.
Conclusion: End time blood moons as in the Joel and Revelation prophecies may not be created by lunar eclipses, but rather by prophesied earth impacts from space. Having said that, the present astronomical order predicts that between 2016 and 2030 there will be a total of twelve more total lunar eclipses (full blood moons) visible in different parts of the world, link.