By Dr. Thomas Horn
PART 3: WAS ZENITH 2016 JUST FULFILLED?
Whether or not circumstances will be sufficient to build the new Temple before America elects (or re-elects) its next president in 2020, what the rabbis in Israel believe Donald Trump started in 2016 may well have laid the foundation upon which the Man of Sin shall reign.
This raises a few serious questions.
Did God, who works all things together for good (see Romans 8:28), ordain the election of Donald Trump for a specific purpose and mission related to the Third Temple?
If so, did the year of his election—2016—hold specific prophetic significance? Did something start in 2016 like a clock winding down to this momentous event(s)?
“Those members of the clergy that laid hands on Trump and prayed at the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights, September 21, 2016 must have thought so,” I wrote in my book Saboteurs, “as did other prominent Christian leaders during the campaign and most of the clergy that offered invocations at his unforgettable inauguration. Some of these Christians trust in Trump’s statement of faith, while others simply see him as imperfect but chosen by God.”
I then connected the dots in Saboteurs between the year 2016 specifically and what prophets and seers down through time foresaw as related to that date in particular:
For instance, Dr. Lance Wallnau refers to Trump as God’s “chaos” president, a line he borrowed from Jeb Bush who had coined the phrase in describing Trump during the final Republican debate. Wallnau draws analogies between Trump and Cyrus “the Great,” the pagan Persian king that Isaiah prophesied by name 200-years in advance (Is. 44:28), saying he would conquer Babylon (happened in 539 BC), the waters of the Euphrates would “dry up” to make way for the army, the city’s gates would “not be shut,” and thereby the Jews would be liberated and return to Jerusalem where they would rebuild the temple, all of which happened just as the prophet foresaw many years in advance. According to Wallnau, Trump was chosen by God to similarly rescue America from its catastrophic alternative (Hillary) [and to initiate the building of the Third Temple]….
Curiously, Cyrus isn’t the only example of a pagan leader used by God to providentially influence the ancient Jewish nation. Nebuchadnezzar was also called “the Servant of the Most High God” and I understand why many modern believers prefer not to think about that example. Unlike Cyrus the deliverer, Nebuchadnezzar was the instrument of God’s chastisement against Judah, resulting in most of the people (approximately seventy thousand) being brought into captivity with desolation upon their land. This was the providence of God too, because they would not listen to His words (Jeremiah 25:8ff). The prophet Habakkuk bemoaned God using such a heathen to spank his own children, but God told him it was necessary and that Nebuchadnezzar would be dealt with later (Habakkuk 1:5-11; cf. Jeremiah 25:12ff).
Assyria and Babylon are two more examples of pagan entities used by God to correct His people after they had fallen into apostasy. The Assyrians went to war against Israel under Tiglath-pileser (2 Kings 15:29, 16:7–9), and again under Shalmaneser and Sargon all because they would not obey “the voice of Jehovah their God” (2 Kings 18:9–12).
These contrasting illustrations raise a serious question. If God did, through providence, choose Trump to become America’s president, is he our Cyrus (deliverer) or Nebuchadnezzar (agent of judgment)? I want to believe Trump was God’s way of putting His foot down on the socialist-globalist runaway agenda to allow a respite and opportunity for spiritual awakening in this country. But what if I’m wrong?
Speaking of Nebuchadnezzar, his example also illustrates how in times past God sometimes used pagans to utter divine insights. An amazing case in point is when God chose to reveal a prophecy spanning from 605 BC through the Second Coming of Christ to the arrogant, narcissistic, idol-worshipping Nebuchadnezzar. Of course, it required God’s holy servant, Daniel, to interpret the dream. Similarly, God used Balaam, a sorcerer hired by Balak, a Moabite king, who was exceedingly fearful of the encroaching multitude of Israelites. Accordingly, the king sent for Balaam, a darkened wizard who now lives in prophetic infamy (2 Peter 2:15; Jude 11; Revelation 2:14). Despite Balaam’s incorrigible status, God used him to prophesy, “I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel” (Numbers 24:17). Ronald Allen, professor of Hebrew Scripture at Western Baptist Seminary, writes, “In agreement with many in the early church and in early Judaism, we believe this text speaks unmistakably of the coming of the Messiah. That this prophecy should come from one who was unworthy makes it all the more dramatic and startling.” Thus, we see that God uses the most unlikely characters and situations to get His message across and work done. This Pethorian prophecy was well over one thousand years before the birth of Christ and from a hostile source, yet it is probably what led the magi to Bethlehem.
Another interesting thing about Trump and unlikely agents who lead wise men to Bethlehem is the mysterious and metaphysical logic some currently share involving God’s possible providence in the arrival of Trump as a “savior” figure. Nowhere is this language more pronounced than in the Holy Land itself where several respected rabbis and kabbalists have insinuated that America’s new president is a forerunner of Messiah and the final redemption.
“Donald Trump (424) is the Gematria of ‘Messiah for the House of David’ (משיח בן דוד),” wrote Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz for Breaking Israel News on May 16, 2016. “That is not to say that Donald Trump is the Messiah, but that his presidency will usher in the Messianic era.”[i]
Others, including Rabbi Matityahu Glazerson, who accurately predicted the Trump victory before the election using Bible codes,[ii] have chimed in. Glazerson found various connections between Trump and moshiach (“messiah”) in the codes, which in Hebrew means “anointed,” and led Glazerson to conclude that his election is connected to the coming of Messiah.
Rabbi Hillel Weiss is a Trump-Messiah-connection believer, too, and he also sees in the president the agent of God’s favor for building the Third Temple, another Cyrus linking.[iii]
Then there is the Sanhedrin in Israel, the nascent tribunal that has styled itself after the Second Temple-era Jewish court, which has sent letters to Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin asking them to join forces to build the Third Temple for Messiah.
Professor Weiss is a spokesman for the Sanhedrin and notes how Donald Trump made support for Israel and recognition of Jerusalem as their capital part of public discourse during 2016. Combining that with Putin’s expressed opinion that the Third Temple ought to be built now caused him to say that both men should do what King Cyrus did 2,500 years ago and build the religious complex for the benefit of all Jews and the world. “We are poised to rebuild the Temple,” Weiss said, and “the leaders of Russia and America can lead the nations of the world to global peace through building the Temple, the source of peace.”[iv]
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Rabbi Yosef Berger, who oversees King David’s tomb in Jerusalem, takes it a step farther. He believes Trump actually won the election through “the power of Moshiach [Messiah], which gave him the boost he needed” and is “connected to the Messianic process which is happening right now.”[v],[vi]
More recently, the Sanhedrin authorized the minting of two coins—the “Half Shekel Cyrus Trump Temple Coin,” and shortly thereafter, the “70 Years Israel Redemption Temple Coin,” both of which depict Donald Trump and the ancient Persian King Cyrus (who empowered the building of the Second Temple) on the front side with the Third Temple on the back.
In an article for Breaking Israel News, the reasons for the commemorative coins were tied specifically to the Trump administration as the catalyst for building the Third Temple. In fact, rabbis associated with the effort go so far as to say the success of Trump’s presidency depends on his efforts to initiate the building of the new Solomon-like house of worship.
“In gratitude to US President Donald Trump for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Jerusalem, the nascent Sanhedrin and the Mikdash (Temple) Educational Center are minting a replica of the silver half-shekel Biblically mandated to be donated by every Jewish male to the Temple,” the report stated, before adding, “Rabbi Weiss stressed that Trump’s [US administration] goals will come to fruition only if they are geared towards rebuilding the Jewish Temple” (emphasis added).
“Cyrus and Balfour, non-Jews who played an enormously important role in Jewish history fell short and their political success suffered as a result,” Rabbi Weiss said.
“Trump’s political agenda can only succeed if it is focused on building the Third Temple on the place that God chose: the Temple Mount. He must not advance any two-state solution or this will lead to his downfall.”[vii]
To further stipulate the role that the rabbis see Trump divinely appointed to perform, the following amazing statement is published inside the official Sanhedrin sanctioned “70 Years Israel” Redemption Coin brochure:
President Trump is advancing a prophetic process that will usher in—when the time comes—the rebuilding of the Third Temple. It is as if he is following in the footsteps of King Cyrus who pronounced, after 70 years of Jewish exile, that: Hashem, the Lord of the World, charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem. (bold added)
All of this brings me to another important point involving messianic prophecies, political players, providence, the exact year of Trump’s election (2016), and the prophetic ramifications of where we may be headed.
Was Zenith 2016 Just Fulfilled?
In 2009 I released the book, Apollyon Rising, that was later updated and re-released as Zenith 2016 due to important information I came across after the initial publishing of the first version, which many consider my seminal work and magnum opus. I hope with the release of this book to find similar accolades, as I truly believe this to be the most important and timely research I’ve released since.
Besides having a full year in 2009 to travel, interview, and research related topics as well as taking the sabbatical I needed for the actual writing, what made Zenith unusual was the big question about why so many ancients—some from hundreds of years ago and some from much further back—foresaw the year 2016 specifically as the date when the Messiah, or, alternatively, the Antichrist, would manifest on earth, with most believing “his” presence would become known to a select few in 2016 but remain unrecognized by wider populations until slowly “he” is revealed for who and what he actually is at the appropriate time in the immediate years following. Even a major Sunni website set these dates years before Trump’s election after studying the ancient Quran and Hadith, saying: “Based on our numerical analysis…the official beginning of the End of Time and the coming of the Imam Mahdi [their messiah, but for others like Joel Richardson, the antichrist] will most likely be in…2016 and Jesus Christ will come down from Heaven to Earth in 2022.”[viii]
Of all the most ancient prognosticators that intrigued me in Zenith for whom the year 2016 and the coming Third Temple appeared prophetically significant were as follows:
Prophecy from the Zohar on Messiah’s Arrival
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.” The fascinating date for “his” secret presentation to the rabbis in Israel was set in the Zohar for 2012–2013 [given the rejection of Jesus by Orthodox Jews as Messiah, evangelicals would say this seven-hundred-year-old prediction indicates the Antichrist could have arrived circa 2012–2013].
And, sure enough, on the heels of that date some of Israel’s foremost rabbis began behaving as if they know something the rest of the world does not involving the arrival of “Messiah.” In addition to the ones I quoted earlier in this chapter who believe the Messianic era has started, Chaim Kanievsky, one of Israel’s most prominent rabbis and a leader of the Haredi branch of Judaism and a recognized authority on Jewish law, has recently been warning his students not to leave the Holy Land, because, “The Messiah is already here. He will reveal himself very soon…. Don’t travel.”[ix]
These same rabbis starting in 2016 using “messianic” and “Third Temple” language around the election of Donald Trump.
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? 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.[x]
Protestant Reformers and What They Believed Would Start In 2016
Among the turn-of-the-century Protestant reformers, an astonishing number of theologians believed that the False Prophet and Antichrist would assume places of authority in 2016 and shortly thereafter ascend the world stage. The famous preacher Jonathan Edwards was convinced of this possibility and held a postmillennial view based on the 1,260 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),”[xi] which would place the (beginning) 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 we endeavored to demonstrate in 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. We wrote how 756 placed the target sometime in 2016. 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 ending in March of 1876. Like Jonathan Edwards had over a hundred years earlier, Reid deduced that the False Prophet and Antichrist would arrive sometime around 2016. Soon we uncovered numerous other ancient examples in which the year 2016 was specifically foreseen as when the False Prophet and the Antichrist would be on earth, 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)
The complete list of ancients who believed 2016 pointed to the year when Antichrist would begin making himself known on the global scene and initiate a process ultimately leading to construction of the Third Temple as well as the Great Tribulation period can be found in the book Zenith 2016.
Whether this will turn out to be connected to Donald Trump and the rabbis’ view of him as a modern Cyrus whose arrival heralds the Messianic era during which the Temple will be built is increasingly convincing, as the upcoming entries in this series hopefully convey.
[i] Adam Eliyahu Berkowits, “Biblical Numerology Predicts Trump Will Usher in Messiah,” Breaking Israel News, May 16 2016, https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/67748/biblical-numerology-predicts-trump-will-usher-messiah/#YpPoq8q60l05J0SD.97.
[ii] Bob Eschliman, “Rabbi Predicts Trump Will Win and Usher in the Second Coming,” Charisma News, November 4, 2016, http://www.charismanews.com/politics/elections/61031-rabbi-predicts-trump-will-win-and-usher-in-the-second-coming.
[iii] Sam Kestenbaum, “Jewish Mystics Hope Trump’s Israel Visit Might ‘Raise the Temple,’” Israel Forward, May 22, 2017, http://forward.com/news/372256/for-jewish-mystics-trumps-israel-visit-part-of-messianic-process/.
[iv] Hillel Fendel, “Sanhedrin to Trump-Putin: Fulfill Cyrus-like Role in Jerusalem,” November 15, 2016, http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/220289.
[v] Sam Kestenbaum, “Why These Jewish Mystics Think God Helped Trump Win,” Israel Forward, November 15, 2016, http://forward.com/news/354530/why-these-jewish-mystics-think-god-helped-trump-win/.
[vi] Thomas Horn, Saboteurs (Crane, MO: Defender Publishing, 2017) 80–84.
[vii] Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz, “Sanhedrin Mints Silver Half-Shekel with Images of Trump and Cyrus,” Breaking Israel News, February 15, 2018, https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/102784/sanhedrin-temple-movement-issue-silver-half-shekel-images-trump-cyrus/
[viii] “Islamic ‘Messiah’ al-Mahdi to Return by 2016, Followed By Jesus? Islamic ‘Messiah’ al-Mahdi to Return by 2016, Followed by Jesus?” Israel, Islam and the End Times, May 19, 2015, http://www.israelislamandendtimes.com/islamic-messiah-al-mahdi-to-return-by-2016-followed-by-jesus/. Accessed January 3, 2016.
[ix] MCD Admin, “Prominent Rabbi Warns Friends Not to Leave Israel; ‘Messiah Is Here with Us Already,’” My Christian Daily, http://mychristiandaily.com/mcd/prominent-rabbi-warns-friends-not-to-leave-israel-messiah-is-here-with-us-already/.
[x] J. R. Church, “The 800-Year-Old Prophecy of Rabbi Judah Ben Samuel,” Prophecy in the News, February 2010, 14.
[xi] Clarence Goen, “Jonathan Edwards: A New Departure in Eschatology,” Church History 28, March 1, 1959, 29, 25–40.