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End Times Berean Watchman Report - Interpreting Prophecy Part 4

End Times Berean Watchman Report
End Times Berean Watchman Report - Interpreting Prophecy Part 4
By Dr. Christian Widener • Issue #16 • View online
February 11th, 2022
Welcome back to the End Times Berean Watchman Report!
Here is a fourth installment of principals for the interpretation of prophecy based on examples from the New Testament, and some thoughts about recent news about Turkey.

One Prophecy May be Embedded in Another
“You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’” – Mark 14:27 (NIV)
This is a quote from just a portion of Zechariah 13:7. Most of the passage cannot be applied to Christ’s betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane. Only this portion was to be seen as prophetically applying to that moment in Mark 14:27. Let’s look at the full passage and take note of how many different events and prophecies are amalgamized into one.
4 “On that day every prophet will be ashamed of their prophetic vision. They will not put on a prophet’s garment of hair in order to deceive. 5 Each will say, ‘I am not a prophet. I am a farmer; the land has been my livelihood since my youth.’ 6 If someone asks, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ they will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’ 7 “Awake, sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!” declares the Lord Almighty. “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn my hand against the little ones. 8 In the whole land,” declares the Lord, “two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it. 9 This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’” – Zechariah 13:4-9
Watch how, as we move through the prophecy, multiple prophetic events emerge. It is as if we are looking at a collage. In verse 4, I think we are looking forward to the messianic age, but verse 6 looks to the betrayal of Christ at the last supper. Then verse 7 is a vision later of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane with his disciples. But we switch in verse 8 to possibly the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. And verse 9 seems to point to the redemption of Israel at the return of the Lord. This can be very confusing, unless we understand that sometimes prophecies can be like a Thanksgiving dinner plate with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and corn, etc.—all on the same plate. Each of the dishes are part of the meal, but they don’t all necessarily connect in the way we think they should. 
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. – Zechariah 9:9
Here’s another one. Zechariah 9:9 stands apart from the rest of the chapter. In Zechariah 9, verses 1-8 are about God judging Israel’s enemies, and verses 10-17 are about the last days’ restoration of Israel and the messianic age. But this one verse, prophesying Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the 10th of Nisan before his crucifixion, is sandwiched between them; “like an apple of gold in a setting of silver” (Proverbs 25:11). We easily recognize it by comparing it with the account of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem that is recorded in Matthew 21:1-11, which we are told was a fulfillment of prophecy. 
Pierre André. "Box an apple," June 10, 2015, Wikimedia, CC-BY-SA.
Pierre André. "Box an apple," June 10, 2015, Wikimedia, CC-BY-SA.
From these scriptures we learn that, for prophetic passages, context is not necessarily the key to figuring out a prophecy. It requires an understanding of the image being shown, and then recognizing if that image is part of the surrounding context or separate from it. The analogy for this is like looking at a rock and determining if the whole stone is precious, like a large piece of lapis lazuli, or if it is like a costly emerald crystal encrusted in calcite and graphitic shale. And like rock hounding, it takes study to be able to tell the precious from the mundane.
Emerald in Calcite
Emerald in Calcite
In the News...
One mystery about Daniel’s seventy sevens (Daniel 9:24-27) surrounds what it will mean for the prince (Antichrist) to confirm the covenant with the many. The Abraham Accords still look to be a good candidate for a peace agreement that recognizes the Abrahamic Covenant in its name and is made with many nations. But just who is the person who “confirms it” or “makes it firm”? The people who proposed it initially? Someone who signs it? Or maybe someone who comes in later and helps strengthen it? On that last possibility, support from either Turkey or Saudi Arabia would be very helpful in solidifying the accords. Saudi Arabia remains a likely partner to join this year or next. Turkey, on the other hand, was not looking very likely; but recent changes in the political seas are now moving Turkey back towards a positive outlook towards Israel, due to friction with Iran and bolstered by their relationship with the United Arab Emirates. Their posture towards Israel is definitely something to be watching.
Iran emerges as catalyst for closer ties on Turkey-UAE-Israel triangle - Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East
Interestingly, Turkey is also sticking its nose into the Russian-Ukrainian tensions as a possible mediator. That may make sense, given that both Turkey and Ukraine have a connection to the Black Sea, but as the situation with Ukraine continues to heat up, it means that Turkey could be affected, which would in turn potentially cause a ripple into political seas of Israel and the Middle East.
Why Turkey wants to mediate in Ukraine crisis - Al-Monitor: The Pulse of the Middle East
And on the subject of the Iranian threat, and in particular their march towards a nuclear missile capability. Iran has been adding to its missile capabilities, which not only increases their threat to Israel, but to other major players in the region like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and even Egypt.
Iran says it has a 'castle buster' missile that can hit Israel, US bases in the region - All Arab News
And not to forget about China, it seems that they can’t resist also engaging in the struggle for control of the Middle East. In this case specifically through Iraq. As we approach the time when the “kings of the east” (Revelation 16:12) will cross the Euphrates (which passes through Iraq) to come to the land of Israel during the sixth bowl at the place called Armageddon… the presence of China there seems to be significant.
Iraq is one of China’s largest partners in Belt and Road Initiative as China expands Middle East role - All Arab News
Till Next Week
Thanks for reading my newsletter. I hope that these examples of fulfilled prophecy have been insightful and thought provoking. Next week, we’ll look at how prophecies may have multiple fulfillments over time.
Blessings,
Christian Widener
End Times Berean – Research on Bible Prophecy, Biblical Archaeology, and Apologetics from Author Dr. Christian Widener
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Dr. Christian Widener

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