Moses' tenth speech, Part 14, Captivity as a sign and wonder
Jul 02, 2013
From Deuteronomy 28:45-48 Moses pauses to speak about the root cause of the curses of the law before launching into the most serious consequence of disobedience. He says,
45 So all these curses shall come on you and pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed [shamad, “destroyed, annihilated, exterminated”], because you would not obey the Lord your God by keeping His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you.
When Moses says, “until you are destroyed,” he does not say that Israel will be fully and finally destroyed, never to rise again. The term “destroyed” just means that the nation itself will cease to exist until God raises it from the dead. This destruction occurred in 721 B.C., when God raised up the Assyrians to destroy the nation of Israel.
Yet Ezekiel prophesies that Israel would be raised from the dead, as we read in his vision of the valley of dry bones. Ezekiel 37:3-5 says,
3 And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord God, Thou knowest.” 4 Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, ‘O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.’ 5 Thus says the Lord God to these bones, ‘Behold, I will cause breath to enter you that you may come to life’.”
The prophecy concludes in verses 13 and 14,
13 “Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. 14 And I will put My Spirit within you, and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the Lord, have spoken, and done it,” declares the Lord.
Hence, even though Israel as a nation was annihilated, it was not the end, because resurrection ends annihilation. This is true also on an individual level. Scripture often speaks of those who will be “destroyed,” and some have taken this to mean that there is no resurrection for them or that they are lost forever. Such a conclusion is unwarranted. The annihilationist view of divine judgment is based upon a short-sighted understanding of the destruction of the wicked. See The Judgments of the Divine Law.
The promise of God to Israel as a nation is fulfilled by means of resurrection after the curse of the law has run its course. There is a time limit on divine judgment, because the judgment always fits the crime. This time limit is given more clearly in Leviticus 26, which is the passage that runs parallel to Deuteronomy 28, giving the curses of the law in a separate writing.
In Leviticus 26 the duration of judgment is given as “seven times.” For example, Leviticus 26:23, 24 says,
23 And if by these things you are not turned to Me, but act with hostility against Me, 24 then I will act with hostility against you; and I, even I, will strike you seven times for your sins.
The judgment is rendered in terms of “seven times” in an ever-increasing manner. This is comparable to judging a small sin with seven days of labor, a greater sin with seven months of labor, or a great sin with seven years or even 49 years (7x7) of labor. Many have interpreted the “seven times” in Leviticus 26 in terms of intensity, rather than time, but Daniel prophesies of a “time” as an indefinite duration in Daniel 7:25,
25 And He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and a half a time.
This speaks of the “little horn” that was to rise up as an extension of Imperial Rome, the fourth beast empire. John takes this prophecy and interprets it in Revelation 13, telling us that the “time, times, and a half a time” is 42 months (Revelation 13:5), or 1,260 days. By this measure, we can calculate that a “time” is equal to 360 “days,” that is, a prophetic year. In long-term prophecy, where a day is as a year, it is 360 years.
This prophecy was fulfilled in the Roman Church from 529-1789 A.D. It began when the Emperor Justinian replaced the laws of the Roman Empire with Church law, which legally established the Church as the “little horn” of Daniel. It was to last 1,260 years (“time, times, and half a time”). The power of this beast endured until 1789, when the French Revolution eclipsed the power of the Church.
The French Revolution was inspired and financed by a coalition of bankers and industrialists, led by the Rothschild banking family. The new French Republic sent its army to Rome under the command of Napoleon, the “neo-Apollyon” of his day. He took the pope captive in 1798. Hence, the bankers overthrew the Roman Church. This new beast was financial in nature, as Revelation 13:11-18 shows, and it was the beast of modern Western banking that has ruled the West for two centuries. This beast is now collapsing as well, as we approach the time when the saints will possess the Kingdom.
The point is that the “seven times” of Leviticus 26 limits the duration of the curses of the law. In relation to the House of Israel, which was destroyed by Assyria, the time of judgment began in 745 B.C. when the Assyrians first began to conquer and deport the tribes east of the Jordan River. Israel was fully destroyed in 721 B.C. when its capital, Samaria, was destroyed, as recorded in 2 Kings 17:6.
Thus, Israel was destroyed from 745-721 B.C. over a period of 24 years. Their “seven times” of judgment then began, which ended 2,520 years later from 1776-1800 A.D. Israel’s judgment ended when America was established in 1776 and fully ended in the year 1800, when Washington D.C. was built.
To put it another way, in 745 B.C. the thirteen tribes of Israel (including Levi) began to break apart, but “seven times” later, America was established from thirteen unified colonies with the motto: “e pluribas unum” (out of many, one).
Likewise, in 721 B.C. Samaria, the capital of Israel, was destroyed, but “seven times” later, the capital city of America was built.
It is obvious that for some reason America is fulfilling the prophecies of the restored House of Israel. This did not occur in 1948, for that nation came about through a different set of prophecies, as I explained in my book, The Struggle for the Birthright.
Getting back to Deuteronomy 28, Moses says that the curses of the law would come upon Israel until they were destroyed. The rest of the chapter says that God was to raise up a foreign nation to conquer Israel and to deport them to foreign lands to serve out their sentence. Leviticus 26 limits that judgment to a period of “seven times,” and Ezekiel 37 gives Israel the hope of resurrection by the power of the Spirit.
Speaking again of the curses, or judgments of the law, Moses says in Deuteronomy 28:46,
46 And they shall become a sign [owth, “sign, signature, distinguishing mark”] and a wonder [mowpheth, “miraculous display of God’s power”] on you and your descendants forever [Heb., ad olam, “during this unknown period of time”].
The purpose of the “curses” of the law is not merely to bring judgment. They are to be recognized and understood as a distinguishing or identifying mark. Hence, when we see America established precisely at the end of Israel’s “seven times” of judgment, we would know that in 1776 God raised Israel from the dead as Ezekiel had prophesied. We could, of course, trace the history of the “lost tribes of Israel” as they migrated from Assyria into Europe, Britain, Scandinavia, and later into other parts of the world. America is only one of many Israelite nations as distinct from Judah. But America is unique in the timing of its establishment, and this is a distinguishing mark of America’s divine calling.
Unfortunately, America failed miserably in that calling, and so it has again come under captivity, this time to Mystery Babylon. Nonetheless, America will be delivered at the appointed time, and the whole world will benefit from this day of deliverance. The curse of the law is not “forever,” but is only for a limited duration, unknown to us (apart from divine revelation).
The “seven times” ended in 1776-1800, but the fullness of Ezekiel’s prophecy has yet to be manifested. The nation was indeed “resurrected” in 1776, but there is a greater manifestation when the dead are raised in the First Resurrection of Revelation 20:4-6. The year 1776, or even 1800, was still too early for this event, for the Pentecostal Age was not yet concluded. The Age of Pentecost, prophesied by the reign of King Saul, was to last 40 Jubilees from 33-1993 A.D. Hence, we could not begin to look for the fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles until at least 1993.
Moses continues in Deuteronomy 28:47, 48,
47 Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart for the abundance of all things, 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord shall send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things; and He will put an iron yoke on your neck until He has destroyed you.
To serve God with joy goes beyond mere obedience. There is joy only when one is in agreement with God. Joy is the mark of agreement. Hebrews 12:2 says,
2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross….
When Judah was about to go into captivity to Babylon, Jeremiah told them to submit to the divine judgment. In other words, they were to submit to Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon (Jeremiah 27:12). If they did this, they would show their agreement with the divine judgment, admitting that they deserved of the curse of the law for their disobedience. Jeremiah said that if they would submit, He would allow them to remain in their land under the authority of Babylon. But if they refused to hear, they would be taken to a foreign land to serve their sentence for seventy years.
The prophet illustrated this by walking around Jerusalem with a wooden yoke on his neck (Jeremiah 27:2), but the prophet Hananiah broke that yoke and gave a false prophecy of deliverance (Jeremiah 28:10). The people of Judah believed Hananiah’s false prophecy and refused to listen to the word of the Lord. Hence they disagreed with God, and for this reason, they were given an iron yoke (Jeremiah 28:13).
This iron yoke was part of the curse of the law in Deuteronomy 28:47, and it was defined by Moses throughout the rest of the chapter. Jeremiah offered Judah a lighter yoke made of wood, which he defined as remaining in their land in submission to Babylon.
Because of the revelation of Jeremiah, we are able to understand that all of the captivities of Israel in the book of Judges were “wooden yoke” captivities, because the Israelites were not deported to foreign nations. Later, however, Israel was deported by Assyria under an iron yoke, which ended in 1776 with the founding of America. But still later, when America violated its covenant with God, the nation was placed under a wooden yoke and forced to pay tribute to Mystery Babylon.
This wooden yoke was placed upon America’s shoulders in 1913, when the Federal Reserve Act was passed and signed by President WOODROW Wilson. The modern tax system was then set up in 1916 to allow the captive Americans to pay tribute to Mystery Babylon under the wooden yoke.
Knowing the rebellious nature of Americans and of Israelites in general, God blinded their eyes and allowed the new Babylonian bankers to set up a secret world empire. That is why it is known in Scripture as “Mystery” Babylon. The Greek word musterion means “secret or hidden.” God did this as an act of mercy, for if Americans had known they were being led into captivity, they would have revolted. And then God would have had to strengthen the yoke over them or even send them into foreign lands under an iron yoke.
But America as a whole submitted to Mystery Babylon on account of their blindness, and so their sentence has nearly come to an end. We await divine deliverance as He pours out His Spirit upon the whole world.
This is the fourteenth part of a series titled "Moses' Tenth Speech." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones