‘For, lo! the days are hastening on, by
prophet bards foretold,
When through the ever-circling years
comes round the Age of Gold,
When peace shall over all the earth his
ancient splendour fling,
And the whole world give back the
song which now the angels sing.’
In the 1870’s he predicted that Jerusalem would be liberated in 1917
I wonder what those around H. Grattan Guinness thought when he confidently interpreted prophecy, demonstrating the fulfillment of events that had been prophesied, and forecast what God’s prophets had written about the future. Among other things, he stated inequitably that Jerusalem would be liberated from the Turks in the year 1917. Now, probably 1917 was so far away from the 1870’s when Guiness made his statement that few would have taken much notice. Still, Guinness’ work was highly acclaimed by influential sources. Here is what Lord Shaftesbury had to say of Guiness’ work, “I cannot resist the desire I feel to bring it under the immediate and serious attention of the public. The writer is evidently a man of intense piety, unsurpassed diligence, and great ability. His whole argument rests on Scripture, but he throws a wonderful amount of light on prophetical chronology through the aid of mathematical and astronomical calculations.” Indeed, Guiness’ “The Approaching End Of The Age” and “Light For The Last Days” were considered the greatest investigative work into the systems of times and seasons of any work presented thereto.
Still, over the centuries there were men and women of great intellect and one might ask, why did it take until the nineteenth century for such revelation. I suppose the answer is simple, Guiness was one of the “wise.”
Some twenty-six centuries ago, the prophet Daniel was the recipient of marvelous revelations from God Almighty, which he dutifully recorded. He didn’t understand all he was given but when he asked God for clarification his request was turned aside and he was told that the words were for some far away generation, who would be living at what God called “the time of the end.” That in that far away time there would be the “wise” [determined students I think] who would understand, while the “wicked” or “ungodly” would not. Of course, it is God Himself who directs the unveiling of the mysteries of which He had the prophets record, and like Daniel, God’s other prophets likely didn’t have any idea of the complexity of the words they were recording for some distant generation. When Ezekiel, for instance, told of the overturning of the Davidic Throne, or Hosea of the scattering of Israel, or Jeremiah of the New Covenant, do you think they had any idea of how these would come about? Even Christ’s disciples had to ask Him for signs of His Second Coming.
You see, what was revealed to them was not for their own time. As Peter stated in 1 Peter 1:12, “that not unto themselves but unto us they did minister.” So the great storehouse of Biblical prophecy entrusted with the prophets was for the benefit of later generations, and particularly for the “wise” at the “time of the end.”
If Grattan Guinness was one of the “wise,” then the “time of the end” must have been upon us in the 1870’s. Scholars suggest that the end of 6,000 lunar years and the beginning of the Church of the Laodiceans occurred around the 1820’s and if you look at the false doctrine that began to rear its head at that time (for example the Mormon Church) then you might also agree that the 1820’s were also the beginning of the falling away prophesied by the Apostle Paul.
Each year we look to the liberation of Jerusalem on December 9th, 1917 by General Allenby of British Ephraim as the fulfillment of a milestone prophecy. Not many in Christendom even give that event a thought but it is a critical component in the countdown to the glorious return of Jesus Christ. We have to remember, as Ed Vallowe wrote in his book “Biblical Mathematics” that “numbers are the secret code of God’s work.” This is why the prophet Esdras wrote, “By measure has he measured the times, and by number has he numbered the times……” or why Isaiah wrote,”Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and meted out heaven with the span …” God is the great measurer and as Vallowe wrote, “The precision with which the Bible numbers all fall into their places cannot be accounted for except by the supernatural power and wisdom of a God Who is infinite.”
T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, thought the entry into Jerusalem was the supreme moment of the war.
What Guinness did is to determine that the “Seven Times” (or 2,520 years) punishment upon the Tribes of Judah and Benjamin, as imposed by Leviticus 26:18, and which began with the captivity of the Nation of Judah in 604 BC, was to expire in 1917, at which time Jerusalem would be liberated. It’s interesting that when liberation came, right on cue, Isaiah’s prophesy (Chapter 31:5) made sense, “As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it; and passing over he will preserve it.” British planes had dropped leaflets on the city which had an unsettling effect on the Turks. So, when Allenby walked quietly on foot through the Jaffa Gate on December 11th, he had taken Jerusalem without a shot from the Turks, who had already surrended and run. T.E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, thought the entry into Jerusalem was the supreme moment of the war. Perhaps it was, but it most certainly was a supreme moment on the road to the Kingdom of God.
Bearing in mind that “numbers are the secret code of God’s work,” an interesting one God employs is “400.” Bullinger refers to it as a “divinely perfect period” and as an example he demonstrates that from the fulfillment of the promise to “Abraham of the birth of Isaac” to the “Exodus” was a period of 400 years. What I think is equally interesting is that 400 years separates 1917 from 1517, when the Turks conquered Jerusalem and incorporated it into their empire. It all seems rather revealing.
Still, has God employed other numbers to enlighten those whom He has selected for service? Obviously, if the Scriptures are to be fulfilled concerning those who would not have Christ reign over them, British Ephraim was not to be permitted to remain in control of the Holy Land. Frank Dowsett, the learned Australian scholar, compared the 1260 days of Daniel 12:7 with the 1290 days of Daniel 12:11 and suggested that the difference of 30 days (converted to years as per Ezekiel 4:6) represented the period between 1917 and 1947, when the British threw up their hands in despair and the United Nations voted to create the modern Israeli State. You could go a step further and measure the 2,520 years, or seven times, from 603 BC (the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon) and come to 1918, (remember because of the cross over year you must add “1” to the date) which Daniel referred to as “I beheld till the thrones were cast down.” (Daniel 7:9) In 1918, the thrones of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Russia were done away with. Adding 30 years to 1918, we come to 1948 when the modern Israel State was officially formed.
Interestingly, “30” denotes, in a higher degree, the perfection of Divine Order, as marking the right moment (Bullinger). So, it must be asked, “Was 1947 and 1948” the exact moment in time for God to set the stage for the rooting of the fruitless fig tree.
Nevertheless, despite the successful outcome of the immediate invasion in 1948 by the modern Israeli State’s neighbours, the new occupants were not able to gain total control of Jerusalem and it became divided under Israeli and Jordanian rule. But the hope of total control never left the minds of the Jewish leaders.
Twenty years separates 1947 and 1967, when, in the Six day War, the modern Israeli State gained control of Jerusalem. Bullinger states that “20” denotes “expectancy” and among other Bible illustrations, employs Gen. 21:38,41, where Jacob waited twenty years to get possession of his wives and property and Judges 15:20 and 16:31, where Israel waited twenty years for deliverance through Samson. So, the twenty years of waiting seemed to again mark the right moment on God’s timetable.
“…There will be no expert until prophecy becomes history.”
You have probably already noticed and wondered, as I do, about the fifty years between 1917 and 1967, a jubilee period. I do like Bullinger’s definition of “50.” In part, he says it points to “deliverance” following on as the result of the perfect consummation of time. It seems this would certainly coincide with the meaning of the other numbers employed by God relating to His Plan for the modern Israeli State. Vallowe’s definition might help us understand a confusing situation a little better. He says that “50” is the number connected with the Holy Spirit and His work. Let’s consider this, are the enemies of Christ the rightful occupants of the Holy Land and when they started pouring into the nation after the Balfour Declaration, could it be that the total assimilation of the land, including Jerusalem, and the jubilee, so to speak, were legal, despite protestations from some Bible scholars. Now just before you decide I’ve lost it (if you ever thought I had it) we’ve got to look at a couple of Bible passages. I’m sure some of you are saying to yourselves, “look, Brooks, even if they were all from Judah, they still would only be entitled to a little potion of the land, and that may or may not include Jerusalem, which was in Benjamin’s inheritance.
I don’t think that argument matters. For one thing, very few in the Holy Land are likely from Judah. But, if we review Genesis 27:40, Isaac’s secondary blessing to Esau stated that Esau’s descendants would some day have dominion over Jacob’s descendants and then they would break the Israelite yoke from off their necks. Does Esau have his dominion. Look around and you be the judge. But, we didn’t lose our dominion, we gave it back sometime after 1917 and with it, probably the blessings. And likely as a result of the trickery Jacob employed to get it in the first place. Still, most certainly we have lost control of money, of our communications, of who comes to our lands, and so on, even much of our freedom. Only a blind man could miss the fact that the great wealth of the Israel nations has been looted. Take America, for instance. You just don’t go from the greatest creditor nation in the world to the greatest debtor nation in a handful of years unless the looters have run amuck. And you can’t go from the wealthiest country in the world to where your standard of living is toppling and 30/40% of your population is poverty stricken, with the majority of the rest so encumbered with debt that they cannot see daylight. And where government takes half a person’s income to feed the monster they have created. Quite a difference from every man sitting comfortably under his own fig tree in Solomon’s time! Some group has benefited from this greatest robbery of all time.
So, perhaps Esau’s descendants inherited the right to those lands as well and the 1967 deliverance was their jubilee. The yoke they broke they in turn put around our necks, but it isn’t going to last. Look what the prophet Ezekiel writes, “they [True Israel] shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hands of those that served themselves of them.”
What’s to happen over the coming months and years. Who knows? As the Wycliffe Bible Commentary suggests, “Daniel was no expert on prophetic interpretation. There will be no expert until prophecy becomes history.” This is true but Wycliffe has an interesting thing to say about Daniel 12:11-12, “This carries prophecy from the middle of the seventieth week of Daniel 9 through the first thirty days of the Millennium to follow, perhaps to the end of some “mopping up” period. This carries the prophecy sixty-five days beyond the end of the “week.” Does it reach to the full establishment of Messiah’s reign after sixty-five days of initial preliminary work?” I must confess I don’t completely understand this but the 65 days converted to years is interesting if you add it to the above-mentioned 1947, you come to 2012. And as past articles indicated, this appears to be an important year on God’s calendar.
Well, we are in 2012 so we will see if there is any validity in this last thought, but remember, “There is no expert until prophecy becomes history.” We can’t be among those people who are so caught up in prophecy they put everything on hold waiting for the Lord. Longfellow’s short verse should show us how we must act:
Let us then be up and doing
With a heart for any fate –
Still achieving, still pursuing
Learn to labour and to wait