So, we want to help you understand the importance of the Golan Heights in the land of Israel in Jesus Yeshua’s time, in prophecy, and in the world today. First, I realized every single covenant God made was on Nisan 14; Abrahamic Covenant, Mosaic Covenant and the NEW Covenant which is Passover Week!
Second, I realized Christians can receive a great education politically, biblically, globally, geographically and prophetically just reading the news if you are spending time in the scriptures and are recognizing that ancient biblical cities and people are jumping off the social media pages!
A Christian never wants to have an "Aleppo Moment" when it comes to their Bible, History or Geo-Political world events as it relates to what is written in scripture. God expects us to familiarize ourselves with His Word. Only by fully appreciating it will we act on it. Christ said, “…It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4, quoted from Deut. 8:3). Psalms 119: 105 affirms: “Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”
God instructs us to not only study current and future events among the nations, but be up to speed about past biblical events, specifically being able to understand and connect the prophecies recorded in the Bible. It takes dedicated study of the people and places, analysis of current events and of course, fellowship with others to discuss and compare our understandings or lack of. We learn about the future by observing past events. One thing we all must recognize is that whoever controls Syria also controls the new Islamic Caliphate. We should also realize that Syria no longer exists. The Syrian civil war that started in 2011 destroyed true Syria and now it is nothing but a battle ground hosting Turkey, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, US backed Kurds and who knows who else!
The Holy Festival of Passover starts at sundown on April 19 and ends at sundown on Shabbat April 27, 2019 (aka the 14th of Nisan!)
What was the 14th of Nisan?
In Exodus 12:6 we read that on the 14th of Nisan the children of Israel were to SLAY the Passover lambs.
"And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the same month: and the whole assembly of the congregation shall KILL it in the evening" ( "between the two evenings"). The Passover lambs were to be killed in the evening of Nisan 14. That means toward the END of Nisan 14, or late afternoon.
The "evening" of a day is not its beginning, but its ending, before sunset (see Exodus 12:18, Leviticus 23:32). In these verses, notice that the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins at the "evening" of the 14th of Nisan (leading into the high holy day of the 15th); likewise, the Day of Atonement, which is the tenth day of Tishri, began "in the ninth day of the month AT EVEN" (Lev. 23:32). The 14th of Nisan is the day when the Jews put leavening out of their homes, as YEHOVAH God commanded, so they could celebrate the seven days of unleavened bread.
YEHOVAH commanded, "In the first month, on the 14th day of the month AT EVEN (at evening, the ending portion of the day -- compare Leviticus 23:32), ye shall eat unleavened bread, until the one and twentieth day of the month AT EVEN" (Exodus 12:18-20). No leaven was to be seen with them for the seven days of the feast (Exo. 13:6-7). Thus, the leavening had to be put out on the 14th day of the month, as the 15th was the first day of the festival. (Leviticus 23:6-7).
Passover Bible Study
- The Biblical calendar is tied to the moon and follows the lunar cycles.
- The 1st month in the Jewish calendar is called Nisan and occurs during the months of March thru April in the Roman Calendar. Nisan is the month in which Passover occurs.
- A Biblical day begins at 6 pm and in the Bible they began counting the daylight from 6 am. In the gospels we need to understand the “3rd hour,” “6th hour” and the 9th “hour”
- A day in the Roman Calendar begins at midnight
- Passover is a 7-day period in Israel and 8 days for people outside of Israel. At the time of Christ, the Jews had 2 names for the same festival, Feast of the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
- The 14th of Nisan was the day when preparations were made for the actual Passover Feast which was celebrated on the 15th of Nisan. When Jesus celebrated on Tuesday night (Gentile time), it was actually the beginning of Wednesday (at twilight) for the Jews (Matt. 26:17-19), (Luke 22:13-20). Therefore, the meal he had with his disciples, the night before, was not and could not have been the "Passover" at all. It was simply a final, "going-away," last meal he had with his disciples, at which he gave them special instructions and taught them the new "symbols" of the bread and wine of the true Passover meal, which apply to his broken body and shed blood. Since time immemorial, the Jews have celebrated the Passover according to YEHOVAH God's instructions. They ate a ritual meal, which included lamb, up until the Temple was destroyed. Now, while there is no Temple, the lamb is replaced by a shankbone of a lamb. They also eat, as YEHOVAH God command "unleavened bread," and "bitter herbs" (Exodus 12:8). The Passover "seder," as it is called, is done in such a way as to remind them of the origin of the Passover, its meaning and history, and significance. Wine is used (diluted with water) during the meal at significant times, in the celebration. Yeshua, at the last supper, taught his disciples that when they ate of the Passover unleavened bread, it should remind them of him -- his broken body, beaten and bruised for us. He told them the cup of wine -- the cup of redemption -- now symbolizes his shed blood, poured out for us, to redeem us to YEHOVAH God.
Now that Yeshua the Messiah has come, and fulfilled the anti-type of the ancient Passover, the Passover seder/meal is MUCH MORE MEANINGFUL TO TRUE CHRISTIANS! It has incredible, overwhelming, awesome, magnificent meaning and symbolism, for those of us who participate in it and partake of it, today! To study deeper click here
- The 14th day (Wednesday) of Nisan Jesus was brought to Pilate at 6 am (Matt 27:1-2) and was crucified the 6th hour (12:00 pm) Matt. 27:45 and the 9th hour scripture states Jesus cried out Psalm 22:1 which begins with, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?" Jesus quoted this Psalm in order to draw attention to it and the fact that He was fulfilling it there on the cross. But there is another vital factor we must consider here. Nisan 14 was the day the leavening was put out, and the day the Passover lambs were slain, in late afternoon -- at the very same time Yeshua (Jesus) expired on the tree! Therefore, Yeshua perfectly fulfilled the typology of the "Passover sacrifice." Not only was he slain for our sins, but he was slain at the very moment the Passover lambs were being slain at the Temple! He was indeed the perfect Passover sacrifice for our sins (I Cor. 5:7). He WAS our Passover Lamb, the Lamb of YEHOVAH God (John 1:29). He died at exactly the right time! He correctly fulfilled the Passover sacrifice, RIGHT ON SCHEDULE!
- Next, Yeshua Jesus had to come down from the cross by sundown (which was the day of preparation, John 19: 13-14) which is still Wednesday because he had to come off the cross before sunset which begins the 15th day (Thursday) the Feast of the Unleavened Bread (aka The High Sabbath).
- YEHOVAH commanded—that the Passover lamb not have its legs broken—carries symbolic weight. When Jesus, whom John the Baptist proclaimed to be “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), was crucified, not one of his bones was broken. John 19:31-34 tells us that when the soldiers came to Jesus to break his legs to hasten his death, they found that he was already dead, so they pierced his side with a spear but did not break his legs.
As John testifies, “These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: ‘Not one of his bones will be broken’” (John 19:36). The Exodus 12:46 rule is also echoed prophetically in Psalms 34:20: “He protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.” To the last detail of his death, Jesus fulfilled the prophecies concerning the Messiah, verifying that he was, as John the Baptist claimed, the sacrificial Lamb of God.
- The 15th day (Thursday) of Nisan the Feast of the Unleavened Bread is a High Sabbath. This is why the Jews asked Pilate to break the legs of those hanging on crosses because they must be taken down from the cross before the high sabbath (John 19:31). The high sabbath was a holy day for Jews and no work could be done. All roads and bridges into Jerusalem had been cleaned from garbage and corpses of animals removed. All graves whitewashed so pilgrims coming to Jerusalem would not be defiled. Jewish leadership could not have anyone hanging on a cross on a High Sabbath Day.
- The 16th day (Friday) of Nisan was called “The Morrow After” the Sabbath. This was the day of the cutting of barley sheaves.
- The 17th day (Saturday) of Nisan in the year Jesus was crucified was a regular Sabbath. Jesus rose from the dead somewhere between 6:00 pm Saturday night and 6:00 am on the first day of the week Sunday. This is consistent with Jesus’ words that he would be dead for 3 days and 3 nights. (Matt. 12:38-40).
- Here is a Biblical timeline so you know exactly what transpired during the Passover Week.
- Decapolis is a federation of 10 Hellenized cities in the Galilee and eastern Samaria located along the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River and Golan Heights. The cities of the Decapolis included Canatha, Gerasa, Gadara, Hippos, Dion, Pella, Raphaana, Scythopolis, and Damascus.
- Golan Heights – Jesus and his disciples often sailed to the other side of the sea (the east side) which is the Golan Heights.
- It was on The Golan Heights that Jesus taught and demonstrated His Messiahship in powerful ways. Jesus calmed a great storm, cast a legion of demons out of a man, and fed 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread.
- It is important to note that Jesus based His ministry in Capernaum on the west coast of the Sea of Galilee, called the sea of Kinneret (Yam Kinneret) in the Bible.
- The Golan Heights includes Caesarea Philippi, where Jesus asked Peter, “Who do you say I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.” (Mark 8:29).
- Aleppo - is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Biblically speaking excavations show it was occupied by the Amorites since the 3rd millennium BC. It is strategically located midway between the Mediterranean Sea and Mesopotamia (Iraq). It is a city with a population of 4.6 million and was the largest Syrian city before the Syrian Civil War, however now it is the 2nd largest city in Syria after the capital Damascus.
- Rifaat - is a city in northern Aleppo northwest of Syria.
- Mosul - (Iraq) is a city found in Ninawa about 250 miles from Baghdad and stands on the west bank of the Tigris River opposite the ancient city of Nineveh on the east bank! Population 1,739,800 making it the 2nd biggest city in Ninawa.
- Isaiah 17 - predicts the destruction of Damascus, Syria. Much of the prophecy was fulfilled during the Assyrian invasion of Damascus in 734 BC however, Damascus was not destroyed at that time and continued as an important city of the Assyrian Empire.
- Jeremiah - was a prophet of Israel around 600 BC and gave a prophecy 100 years after Assyria conquered Damascus. So, the complete destruction of Damascus is yet to come. Jeremiah mentions 2 cities in Syria called Hamath and Arpad (today known as Rifaat in Aleppo) both located in northwestern Syria close to the Turkish border. What Jeremiah is telling us is that both of these cities ‘Hamah’ and ‘Aleppo’ along with the towns north of Aleppo will “hear reports” of a gathering invasion from the Turkish border (Jeremiah 49:24-25).
History Bible Study
The Islamic Movement split into 2 camps in the 7th century; Sunni and Shiites Sunni felt he should be elected. The Shiites believed that he must be a member of the prophet’s family. The quarrel came to a head at the Battle of Karbala (Iraq). The fight because they are trying to figure out which group inherits the rights to lead on from Muhammad the Prophet. They should be looked at as different religions in the same faith expect their faith is a government. Baptist vs. a Methodist. There are deep animosities within Islam, as there is historically, with Christianity.
- Hamah is Syria’s 4th largest city.
- Arpad is the modern-day town of Tell Rifaat just north of Aleppo.
- Aleppo – one of the largest cities in Syria prior to the civil war and the most strategic trade point until the Suez Canal was built. Architecture and cultural significance have been recognized across the world. Islamic capital of culture, 2006. Close proximity to Turkey. Even Russia attacked Aleppo through airstrikes to protect its own interests in the Middle East. Center of Syria’s financial and industrial growth. The Citadel of Aleppo is a large medieval fortified palace in the center of the old city of Aleppo in northern Syria. It is considered one of the oldest and largest castles in the world. Dates back to the 3rd millennium BC. The prophet Abraham is said to have milked his sheep on the citadel hill.
- Bashar al-Assad President of Syria – Sunni majority
- Erdogan is the President of Turkey – Sunni majority
- Hassan Rouhani – President of Iran – Shiites
- Barham Salih, President of Iraq - Shiites 70%
- Abdel Fattah al-Sisi – President of Egypt – Sunni
- King of Saudi Arabia Salman Bin Abdulaziz AS-SAUD – 18% are Shiites. Monarchy no President
- PKK- Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Turkish forces have mounted a series of artillery and air strikes on a variety of Kurdish targets along virtually the entire Syrian-Turkish border, claiming that they are attacking members of the outlawed and designated terrorist organization Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
- YPG - Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units. The YPG is an integral part of the USA backed force, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
- SDF - The Syrian Democratic (USA) backed Forces. The SDF was created, trained and equipped to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). They are the "boots on the ground" support by coalition air power, artillery, special forces, and logistics.
- ISIS – Sunni militant group who seized chunks of Iraq and Syria declaring itself a sate and governing territory for several years since 2004. They began in Iraq and rebranded as ISIS when al Qaeda disowned ISIS. Outside the Middle East ISIS directs and inspires acts of terrorism around the world. now calling themselves IS - Islam
- Muslim Brotherhood – Sunni Islamist organization founded in Egypt. Influenced Hamas with its model of power. State backers are Qatar and Turkey.
- Free Syrian Army – was born in Libya aka Al-Qaeda (Sunni) soldiers fighting on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood and on behalf of the Turkish President Erdogan. FSA is supported by Turkish air, armor, artillery and special forces, and is moderately successful, as they have eventually seized the ISIS stronghold al-Bab.
- Kurds – 35 million Kurds inhabit a mountainous region straddling the borders of Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia. The 4th largest ethnic group in the Middle East but have never obtained a permanent nation state. After World War One and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, the victorious Western allies made provision for a Kurdish state in the 1920 Treaty of Sevres. The Treaty of Lausanne, which set the boundaries of modern Turkey, made no provision for a Kurdish state and left Kurds with minority status in their respective countries. Kurds are viewed as enemies of the Syrian state and are Sunni Muslim
- Hezbollah – Shiite organization aligned with Shiite Iran and Shiite-led Syria against al-Qaeda.
- Al-Qaeda – Sunni (Arabic “the base”) is a broad-based militant Islamist organization founded by Osama bin Laden in the late 1980s.
- Hamas – Sunni independent militant Islamic-Palestinian “movement.” Founded in 1987, Hamas rejects attempts to cede any part of Palestine aka West Bank & Gaza aka Judaea and Samaria of Israel.
- Mission Accomplished? No, ISIS in not defeated in Syria click here for update
Yeshua not only spent time on the Golan side of the lake out of compassion for the people. He was also fulfilling an 800-year old prophecy. “News about Him [Yeshua] spread all over Syria, and people brought to Him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them. Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed Him.” (Matthew 4:24–25)
The Golan Heights is a site of political and territorial conflict that wasn’t always controlled by Israel. Until 1967, it was part of Syria, but Israel’s decisive victory included the capture and control of this area in the Six-Day War. The War was an attack and unlawful siege and blockade against Israel by her Arab neighbors Egypt, Jordan and Syria to destroy the state of Israel.
Israel’s victory over this aggression and within its right of self-defense, captured five territories from these three countries: the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, East Jerusalem and the West Bank from Jordan, and the Golan Heights from Syria. It is critical to understand that in the next 52 years, Israel ‘voluntarily’ withdrew from two areas — the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula, both located in the south — with the goal of making peace, however, Israel never received peace. Israelis began moving to the Golan almost immediately after the war, and Israel fully annexed the Golan in 1981, treating it like any other part of the country. It offered the Syrian residents’ citizenship, but most of them declined.
The term “Golan Heights” should ring loud in the ears of Bible students. Politically, we need to understand this Presidential “tweet” was a very critical announcement given the upcoming Israeli elections to be held April 9th, in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (who faced indictment charges during the campaign), is fighting for his political career.
We also understand The Trump ‘Peace Plan’ Deal is scheduled immediately after the elections. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been noticeably silent regarding this tweet and what about Russia, who is Syria’s prime backer?
Even if you know nothing about Israel or the Golan Heights you probably do remember a little about hearing the biblical story of Jesus healing the man possessed by demons. Long story short, Jesus calmed a terrible storm on the Sea of Galilee and when he got back on shore, he finds two men possessed by demons who live in tombs. He removes the demons from the men and casts the demons into a large herd of pigs, who then run off a steep cliff drowning themselves in the Sea of Galilee beneath the Golan Heights at Kursi, (Luke 8:26-39, Mark 5:1-20, & Matthew 8:28-34). Kursi was an important place of Christian pilgrimage from the 5th century. The lakeside towns nearby of Capernaum, Bethsaida and Chorazin were all condemned by Jesus for their lack of faith and fell into decline.
The Golan Heights are directly inter-related in the destruction of Damascus, Syria as discussed in (Jer. 49:23-27), and (Isaiah 17) coupled with a Turkish led invasion into northern Israel (Ezekiel 38: 2-5). No one would ever argue that even if Israel has full control of the Golan Heights, she will still continue to face major threats from the other side of the border, including Hezbollah and Iran-backed militias.
According to Harvard Law Professor, Alan Dershowitz "No reasonable person would ask the Israelis to give the Golan Heights to the Syrian mass murderer Assad. It would be suicidal to hand the high ground overlooking Israeli towns and villages to a madman who would use it to target Israelis civilians with chemical barrel bombs, as Assad has done to his own citizens. No country has ever returned a battleship captured in a defensive war to an enemy sworn to its destruction. In addition, the Golan Heights is a big battleship that would be used to attack Israel. I compared the Golan Heights to a captured battleship," You don’t give back a battleship you’ve captured in a defensive war. The area is high ground that the Syrians before the war used to shoot down onto the Israeli farmers laboring in the valley: it was a shooting gallery.
According to the Prophet Jeremiah the destruction of Damascus begins at Hamah and Arpad (modern day Tell Rifaat) which are Syrian cities just a stone toss away from Israel as the (Missile flies). Isaiah 17:1 and Jeremiah 49:24-27 predict the city of Damascus will be destroyed. Many scholars teach that if Turkey enters Syria at Hamah or Tell Rifaat, they might just be on their way to invade the city of Damascus and eventually turn into Israel. Remember, the Bible records that back when the Assyrian army invaded Damascus and conquered Syria, they next invaded the northern kingdom of Israel and at that point Israel was carried away into Iraq.
There is the possibility that Turkish President Erdogan may invade Syria and remove Syria’s President from power. His did say his goal is to establish a Muslim Brotherhood Caliphate leadership in Syria and form a nation consisting of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey. We know from our Bible that the closer Turkish forces get to Israel the closer Jesus will get to Israel! Turkey is the 2nd largest standing force in NATO next to the USA. Turkey’s population makes it the second strongest power in the EU in terms of voting strength if it were allowed entrance.
Turkey is a nation of eastern people and ancient empires with ruthless fighting principles and are all Muslim. Christians have been largely killed off or driven out of this land during the 20th century. Mosul is the headquarters of ISIS built around the ruins of ancient Nineveh, Iraq. Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian Empire. The Assyrians were infamous for committing the same sorts of atrocities that ISIS is known for today. Nahum speaks a prophecy about a final uprising and the flooding of Mosul yet to come. Read Nahum 1:3-8 and hear the LORD’S anger towards Mosul, Iraq (ISIS) and notices Bashan, Carmel and Lebanon are mentioned and are located in the Golan Heights.
When the Civil War in Syria erupted in 2011, it fragmented and destroyed much of the country, including some of Damascus, the capital of Syria one of the most ancient cities in the world. President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton were all very courageous in the decision to sign a resolution to fully acknowledge Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights. This land along the mountains of Judea and Samaria is critical to Israel's survival.
Until next weeks "biblical" news cycles stay focused, well read and connect to your community! If you live near my community (Horry County, SC) you are invited to join us for our communities first church wide Christian Celebration of The Feast of Passover!
Click here for more information or to RSVP!
Until next week’s Biblical "news" cycles! Stay successful in your bible!
| || |