By Dr. Thomas R. Horn, SkyWatch TV CEO
Recently I sat down with SkyWatch TV hosts Derek and Sharon Gilbert to make our television audience aware of the most mysterious facts involving how, over millennia prophets and seers from various cultures looked forward to the year 2016 specifically as a time when supernatural events would give rise to the Antichrist, Jewish Messiah, or Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Some of these predictions were hundreds of years old, others thousands of years, and from people groups that had no known method of communicating with one another. Researching this phenomenon almost a decade ago, I eventually published what some consider my Magnum Opus—the book Zenith 2016. The concept was simple; to ask ‘why’ so many saw this year we’ve entered as pivotal, and to watch whether or not they were correct in their predictions.
In general, the excitement (or dread, as the case may be) surrounded a variety of prognostications made by ancient sources concerning a portentous moment in time. Mankind would enter 2016 on course toward unprecedented global upheaval, according to these prophets, when the Earth, and all life upon it, would undergo apocalyptica marked by the sun rising in Sagittarius, the centaur with a bow—the symbol for Nimrod coming out from the mouth of Leviathan and the sun “god” rising again—Nimrod/Osiris/Apollo.
For instance, the “Cherokee Rattlesnake Prophecies,” also known as the “Chickamaugan Prophecy” or the “Cherokee Star Constellation Prophecies,” are part of a series of apocalyptic prophecies made by members of the Cherokee tribe during 1811–1812. Their divinations were very similar to Mesoamerican belief, and are viewed by scholars as likely referring to the return of Quetzalcoatl around 2016. Some of the other noteworthy “seers” of 2016’s prophetic significance came from ancient Rabbis and even protestant Christians. Some examples from the book Zenith 2016 include:
Prophecy from the Zohar on Messiah’s Return
Widely considered the most important work of Jewish Kabbalah, the Zohar is a collection of books written in medieval Aramaic over seven hundred years ago containing mystical commentary on the Pentateuch (five books of Moses, the Torah). In addition to interpreting Scripture, the Vaera section (volume 3, section 34) includes, “The signs heralding Mashiach,” or, “The coming of the Messiah.” This text describes how the Messiah would appear privately to Israel’s Rabbis and then slowly begin making himself know to the world in the years following. The fascinating date for his manifestation to Jewish religious leaders was set in the Zohar for 2012–2013. Given the rejection of Jesus by orthodox Jews as Messiah, this seven-hundred-year-old prediction indicates the Antichrist “arrived” circa 2012–2013. Several top Rabbis in Israel have said in recent days the Messiah is here and is about to make himself known.
The Eight-Hundred-Year-Old Prophecy of Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel
Will the years immediately following 2016 be prophetically important for Israel and the world? Some have noted when seventy years (what some consider a biblical generation) is added to 1948—the year Israel was formally recognized as an independent nation by the United Nations—it brings us through the year 2018. Does this mean the year 2019—exactly seven years after 2012—would mark the year that Jesus Christ returns with the armies of heaven to establish His rule over Earth? According to an eight-hundred-year-old prophecy, it certainly could. Before he died of cancer, J. R. Church analyzed the ancient predictions of Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel and noted:
Ludwig Schneider, writing for Israel Today (March 2008) said, “Some 800 years ago in Germany, Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel was a top Talmudic scholar with an inclination for the mystical. Before he died in the year 1217, he prophesied that the Ottoman Turks would conquer Jerusalem and rule the Holy City for ‘eight Jubilee Years.’” A biblical Jubilee year consists of 50 years. Fifty multiplied by eight equals 400 years.
Afterwards, according to Ben Samuel, the Ottomans would be driven out of Jerusalem, which would remain a no-man’s land for one Jubilee year. In the tenth Jubilee year …the Messianic end times would begin.…
Looking back at Ben Samuel’s prediction, we should note that the Ottoman Empire did conquer Jerusalem in 1517, exactly 300 years after the rabbi’s death, and was defeated 400 years later in 1917.
In Israel Today, Ludwig Schneider continues, “This came to pass 300 years after Ben Samuel’s death. He could not have based this prophecy on events that could be foreseen, but only on the results of his study of the Bible.
According to Leviticus 25, the nation is reunited with its land in the year of Jubilee. Therefore, the Jubilee year plays an important role in Israel’s history. In this case, the Jubilee began with the defeat and conquest of the Mamelukes in Jerusalem by the Ottoman Kingdom in 1517. The Turks reigned over Jerusalem until the British General Edmund Allenby defeated them exactly eight Jubilees later in 1917.
“Ben Samuel’s prophecy was fulfilled precisely because 1517 to 1917 is exactly 400 years. Afterward, Jerusalem was a no-man’s land for 50 years during the time of the British Mandate (1917–1967) and the time of Jordanian rule (1947–1967), another Jubilee year. During the Six Day War in 1967, Israel captured Jerusalem from Jordan and the city returned to the Jewish people after nearly two millennia of exile. After that, the countdown for the Messianic age began.”
Schneider assumes that since Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel’s prediction appears to be fulfilled to date, then 2017 should launch the beginning of the Messianic era.[i]
Protestant Reformers and the Year 2016
Among the turn-of-the-century protestant reformers, there were an astonishing number of theologians that believed the False Prophet and Antichrist would take the stage in 2016! The famous preacher Jonathan Edwards was convinced of this possibility and held a postmillennial view based on the twelve hundred and sixty days the woman is in the wilderness in Revelation 12:6. He interpreted those days as the years that the true Church was to be oppressed by the papists. Clarence Goen writes of this, “Edwards considered that the most likely time for the…reign of Antichrist was 1260 years after AD 756 (the acceding of temporal power to the Pope),”[ii] which would place the apex of Antichrist’s power squarely in 2016. When we were doing research for the book, Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope Is Here, we learned of this belief by Edwards and sought to verify it by examining a collection of his personal voluminous writings. We found confirmation within a series of his sermons, preached at Northampton, Massachusetts in 1739, on how history and prophecy coincide. As Cris Putnam endeavored to demonstrate in our book Petrus Romanus, the pope’s rise to temporal power began when Pope Stephen began courting Pepin around 751 and then became a reality in 756 with the expulsion of the Lombards. Putnam quickly broke out his calculator and saw that 756 placed the target sometime in 2016 which can also be thought of as in the range of three and a half years from 2012. Around that same time during our investigation, we became aware of a sermon collection from the 1800s, titled, “Lectures on the Revelation,” by the Reverend William J. Reid, pastor of First United Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which were given over a period of time ending in March of 1876. Like Jonathan Edwards had over a hundred years earlier, Reid deduced the False Prophet and Antichrist would arrive sometime around 2016. Soon we uncovered numerous other turn of the century examples in which the year 2016 specifically was foreseen as when the False Prophet and the Antichrist would appear, followed by the destruction of Rome. These included:
The Theological Dictionary of Princeton University (1830)
Critical Commentary and Paraphrase on the Old and New Testament by Lowth and Lowman (1822)
The American Biblical Repository (1840)
Notes on the Revelation of St. John by Lowman (1773)
The Christian Spectator, “The Monthly” (1885)
Abridgement of Ecclesiastical History (1776)
The Works of the Rev. P. Doddridge, DD (1804)
The International Sunday School Lessons Pub (1878)
Character and Prospects on the Church of Rome in Two Discourses by the Rev. William Mackray (1829)
The Panoplist and Missionary Magazine (1809)
Lectures on Romanism by Joseph F. Berg (1840)
The Congregational Magazine for the Year (1834)
The Presbyterian Magazine (1858)
For a complete list of numerous other ancient citations fixed on 2016 as that moment when Antichrist would take the world stage, we recommend the book Zenith 2016. Whether or not all these Christian and non-Christian seers were right will be known very soon.
Credit to Skywatch