Back in 2018 I started a series called Stranger Things exploring the prophetic messages and themes playing out all around us (yes—named after the popular Netflix show). Deists who believe in the clockmaker god will not be comfortable with this because these things demonstrate that God is truly sovereign and involved with everything, including the finest details. Not only did God preordain every inanimate thing in creation, but He has planned our very lives (Job 12:23; 14:5; Ps. 139:16; Acts 17:24–28). He has made both the end and the beginning (Isa. 41:4; 46:10; Rev. 22:13). “Coincidence” isn't a kosher word and probability isn't reality. Things happen the way they will. The universe—every atom, every photon of light—only subsists by the continual steadfastness of God who holds all things together (Col. 1:17).
Before you continue, I would encourage you to take a deeper look into what the sovereign hand of God looks like in what the world otherwise considers to be minutiae:
The Balaamic Prophecies of 2017
Stranger Things: Part I
Stranger Things: Part II
Stranger Things: Part III
The Signs Continue: Part II
Also, I highly recommend you follow Matt P.'s work over at Daily Crow.
The omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, and deeply personal God of creation is speaking with us every day and every night through His Holy Spirit (Jn. 16:13), His word (2 Tim. 3:16–17), the sun, moon, and stars (Gen. 1:14; Ps. 19:1–4), and the everyday miracles that surround us. That's why there's no excuse for those who reject Him (Rm. 1:18–20).
2020 is a year in which He seems to be speaking very, very loudly. Screaming even (Jl. 3:16; Am. 1:2). “Get aboard the Ark! The flood is coming!” Besides being the most life-changing and catastrophic year globally since at least World War II, it's also a year that comes shortly after major prophetic markers including the preparation for the third temple, the Revelation 12 Sign, and the 70th anniversary of the fig tree nation, among many other end-time portents.
In this article I'm going to touch on the prophetic themes of 2020 that seem to be conveying a certain message from God to the world...
War in Heaven
Perhaps the most important theme of the year is that the prophesied war in Heaven, described in Revelation 12:7–9, has started or is about to start. The consequence of the war is that 1. Satan and his angels are cast down, and 2. the Church is raptured up to escape his clutches (Rev. 12:4–5). The war pits Satan and the angels of darkness against Michael and the angels of light. Contrary to medieval dogma, this war has not yet transpired and certainly did not occur before or shortly after creation. Satan has had access to Heaven throughout history (Job 1:6–12; Zech. 3:1–10; Rev. 12:10). He is still “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2) and has had dominion over the nations of the earth both before and after Christ's first coming (Mt. 4:8–9; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 6:12). Christ's first coming rid Satan's grip over individuals who trust in YHWH, but not over nations and kingdoms. Furthermore, Michael doesn't arise for battle at the climax of this heavenly fight until the time of the end (Dan. 12:1; 10:14).
From the Beiruti explosion—on par with a nuclear blast—that struck right next to the districts of Saint Michael and Remiel (Remiel being one the chief fallen angels in apocryphal works) to the prevalence of the sign of the serpent because of COVID-19 (WHO flag and original theory being the virus came from a snake); and from the year initiating with war with Iran (Persia being central to the theme of spiritual war in the Bible: see Daniel 10) to the incredible parallels of the heavenly war that began on Rosh Hashanah, this year has been filled to the brim with this theme. I even suspect the war may have begun on Rosh Hashanah (see here).
In the Judeo-Christian cosmology, the heavenly court is governed by God as chief judge and lesser spiritual beings who each rule over a particular dominion. Angelic “judges” on this court have rebelled against God and the court has been ruling unjustly over the affairs of man for ages. Particularly in Jewish thought, Rosh Hashanah carries with it the connotation of being the opening of the heavenly court for the year—a time when men are judged. It's that much more significant then that the most powerful and influential earthly court was thrown into turmoil on Rosh Hashanah when Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the most famous Jewish woman in the world, died, leaving an opening that could change the balance of the court to two-to-one in opposition of many of the most ungodly decisions in world history (e.g., Roe v. Wade, Obergefell v. Hodges, etc). We see that same two-to-one fight in Revelation 12 when the spiritual forces of darkness are cast out. To drive the point home, a 4.5-magnitude earthquake struck San Gabriel, California on Rosh Hashanah, as well.
Furthermore, the Jewish people have largely rejected their own Messiah while myriads of Gentiles have received Him. The nominee to replace Ginsburg is a Gentile Christian who has written that Roe v. Wade is inherently immoral and defines herself as one faithful to the original law as written. The largely, though not exclusively, Gentile Church is about to be taken to Heaven, elevated to the highest court in the universe, and this will provoke the Jewish people to jealousy in order that they finally return to the LORD (Deut. 32:21; Rm. 10:16–11:32; Acts 15:14–18).
There is much more to this theme that you can read about here.
Peace and Security
A major prophetic time marker signaling the beginning of the Tribulation period is the Covenant with many described in Daniel 9:27. Though this passage is a great source of debate, I believe the traditional dispensational view of the passage, that the covenant is a peace agreement between Israel, the Antichrist, and other neighboring nations, that divides the land and enables the establishment of the third temple, is the correct one (see here; see also here). For one, the unending mantra of the whole history of modern Israel has been “two states living side by side in peace and security.” It's hard to imagine that the whole world ceaselessly attempting to divide the land for 73 years doesn't factor into what Daniel 9:27 portends. Perhaps the reason the Tribulation hasn't begun is because the two-state solution has never been actualized (cf. Jl. 3:2 for why God enters into final judgment with the nations). The Trump-Kushner Vision for Peace is the first plan that might actually come to fruition, and in some ways already has via the Abraham Accords and the Israeli government's agreement to the Vision for Peace despite Palestinian protests.
I know that some suggest the Vision for Peace and/or Abraham Accords cannot be the covenant with many described in Daniel 9:27, but I believe the arguments are faulty and causing some to close their eyes to what's happening right in front of our faces. The first argument suggests no signs can precede the rapture, thus this agreement can't be it. This is a faulty view of imminency that I discussed in my recent article here. The second argument proposes that Daniel 9:27 occurs after the rapture. That's completely true, but the argument is imprecise and missing a key point: it's not that the covenant is made after the rapture, it's that the covenant is strengthened after the rapture.
Daniel 9:27 literally reads: “And he has strengthened [gabar] a covenant with many [for] one period of seven...” (LSV). Words matter. Gabar is used in every other instance of Scripture as to strengthen or to make prevail. In verses that describe the actual creation of a covenant another verb is used—karath (“to cut”). In Hebraic thought you make an agreement by cutting it. It's similar to our idea of “cutting a deal.” Compare Daniel 9:27's “strengthened [gabar] a covenant” to the actual creation [karath] of a covenant in other passages (e.g., Gen. 15:18; 21:27, 32; 31:44; Ex. 23:32; 34:10; Ps. 50:5; Ez. 37:26; Hos. 2:18).
The point is that the Vision for Peace coupled with the Abraham Accords could very well be the actual covenant described in Daniel 9:27. It's a covenant with many. It's a covenant with Israel. It's a covenant to divide the land. It's a covenant causing thousands to utter the words “peace and security” right before the proverbial flood comes. And then, after the Church is removed and the lawless one is revealed, this preexisting covenant will be made to prevail for a period of seven years.
The theme of false peace and the coming covenant with many has permeated this year like no other. The Vision for Peace was revealed on January 28th and Israel's chief executive and his main opponent immediately endorsed it. Israel is already in agreement. Within a couple of hours of the reveal at the White House a massive 7.7-magnitude earthquake shook the Caribbean and Palm Beach, Florida where President Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate resides.
Then on August 13th the world was shocked by the biggest diplomatic breakthrough in the Middle East in decades as the Abraham Accords were revealed to the world. Israel, the U.S., the U.A.E., and Bahrain formally signed the Accords at the White House just three days before Rosh Hashanah. Other countries have expressed interest in joining including Sudan, Oman, Morocco, Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. Simultaneous with this landmark deal, Serbia and Kosovo promised to move their embassies to Jerusalem—Kosovo being the first Muslim-majority nation to do so. The 1 Thessalonians 5:3 words “peace and security” have suddenly saturated social media, news articles, and the agreements and speeches themselves like never before.
“I Can't Breathe”
Another prevalent theme this year has been the inability to breathe. It began with COVID-19, which started running rampant in China in the January timeframe and was declared a global pandemic in March. The virus primarily kills through suffocation via pneumonia. To prevent the virus, many are wearing masks which themselves make it hard to breathe.
This theme tragically continued with the asphyxiation death of George Floyd on May 25th. Protests erupted around the world with the message “I Can't Breathe!”
In the Bible breath represents life, the spirit of a creature, and the Holy Spirit Himself. The life of the world is being taken away. The restraining force in world affairs, which is the Holy Spirit-indwelt Church, is about to be removed from the earth (see 2 Thess. 2:3, 7). The spiritual breath is leaving the world, which will usher in the Antichrist and ultimately the death of most of those dwelling on the planet. Furthermore, Satan is called a serpent (Rev. 12:9). Serpents kill by suffocating their prey. Satan is suffocating the world and the world is not resisting.
The next major theme throughout this apocalyptic year has obviously been covered faces. Virtually every nation on earth has instituted some level of mask mandates. The LORD told the Israelites through Moses that in the end times He would hide His face from them (Deut. 32:20). This prophecy was given in the same passage as one of the original rapture promises (Deut. 32:21; cf. Rm. 10:16–11:32; Acts 15:14–18).
And YHWH says to Moses, “Behold, you are lying down with your fathers, and this people has risen and gone whoring after the gods of the stranger of the land, into the midst of which it has entered, and it has forsaken Me and broken My covenant which I made with it; and My anger has burned against it in that day, and I have forsaken them, and hidden My face from them, and it has been for consumption, and many evils and distresses have found it, and it has said in that day, [Is] it not because my God is not in my midst that these evils have found me? And I certainly hide My face in that day for all the evil which it has done, for it has turned to other gods. And now, write this song for yourselves, and teach it [to] the sons of Israel; put it in their mouths, so that this song is to Me for a witness against the sons of Israel.” And Moses speaks the words of this song in the ears of all the assembly of Israel, until their completion: “Give ear, O heavens, and I speak; And you hear, O earth, sayings of my mouth! . . . And He says: I hide My face from them, || I see what their latter end [is]; For they [are] a contrary generation, || Sons in whom is no steadfastness. They have made Me jealous by [what is] not God, || They made Me angry by their vanities; And I make them jealous by [what is] not a people, || I make them angry by a foolish nation. For a fire has been kindled in My anger, || And it burns to the lowest [part] of Sheol, || And consumes earth and its increase, || And sets on fire [the] foundations of mountains. . . . For they [are] a nation lost to counsels, || And there is no understanding in them. . . . If only they were wise, || They would deal wisely [with] this, || They would attend to their latter end!” (Deut. 31:30; 32:20–21, 28–29 LSV)
This theme of God's hidden face is playing out all around us (see also Ps. 27:9; 44:24; 102:2). But this great judgment on Israel will be reversed during the millennial period. The LORD will no longer hide His face from Israel, because the Israelites will have returned to Him through faith in His Son (Ez. 39:29; Zech. 12:8–13:1).
Pastor J.D. Farag has an eye-opening breakdown of what these masks represent from a prophetic perspective:
The next theme has been Solomon. Solomon was both a type of Christ and Antichrist. Christ in the sense that He was the son of David, blessed by the LORD, and a king who reigned over the united kingdom of Israel at its greatest extent. Antichrist in the sense that He turned against God in his latter years and worshiped idols. His rebellion had devastating consequences, resulting in the division of Israel after his death. During his life he ended up being a hard and cruel master (1 Kgs. 9:15; 12:4).
Solomon was also significant as the one who finally built the Temple. Like Christ, the true Son of David, who will build the Millennial Temple, Solomon built this religious edifice for the worship of YHWH. Conversely, like Solomon, the Antichrist will also oversee construction of a temple, but it will be a short-lived temple that will be destroyed in the Great Tribulation.
As a type of Christ and the Antichrist, as well as the builder of the Temple, this theme conveys the message that Christ is near for the Church, the Antichrist is near for the world, and construction will soon begin on the Third Temple. Everything is now ready for construction, except for the political will to give the green light.
2020 started with near open war between the United States and Iran when Iranian proxies stormed the Green Zone on New Year's Eve. On January 3rd U.S. forces responded by killing the top Iranian and Shiite military leader in the world, Qasem Soleimani. Soleimani is Farsi for Solomon. The name Soleimani would thus be uttered around the world and in all major media for many weeks to come.
In early April a ferry in the Solomon Islands capsized killing dozens on board. The boat was hit by Cyclone Harold. Herald - “a person or thing viewed as a sign that something is about to happen.”
Earthquakes have particularly struck the Solomon Islands this year: a 6.3 on January 27th, a 6.6 on May 12th, a 5.8 on July 18th, and a 5.1 on the eve of Rosh Hashanah. Then three days later on September 20th, two men attempting to diffuse a World War II-era bomb in the Solomon Islands were killed when the bomb detonated (source). Sudden, tragic destruction in the year of Solomon.
This past Sunday, October 11th, on Shemini Atzeret, Israel's oldest man died at the age of 117. His name: Shlomo (Solomon) Sulayman (Solomon). To put this in perspective: the world's most famous Jewish woman died this Rosh Hashanah and the world's oldest Israeli man died on Shemini Atzeret—the first and last days of the Fall festivals. This in the same year that Israel's top two leaders were exactly 70 (Prime Minister Netanyahu) and 80 (President Rivlin) years old, corresponding to Psalm 90:10 and The Parable of the Fig Tree.
Crowns feature very prominently in the book of Revelation. There are victory crowns called stephanos (think Olympic wreaths) and royal crowns called diadéma (think golden circlets worn by royalty). Crowns are mentioned more in Revelation than any other book of the New Testament. Half of the instances of stephanos are found in Revelation alone. All instances of diadéma are found in Revelation. The Church is promised victory crowns in Revelation 2:10 and 3:11 and is pictured wearing these crowns in Heaven in Revelation 4:4–10. The Antichrist is given a victory crown once he is unleashed post-rapture in Revelation 6:1–2. Satan is seen wearing seven royal crowns in Revelation 12:3–4, and after his subsequent loss in the heavenly war, he gives his power and authority to the beast (a.k.a. Antichrist) who himself controls ten kings who are each seen wearing a royal crown (Rev. 13:1). Christ is seen wearing both a single victory crown (Rev. 14:14), as well as many royal crowns (Rev. 19:12).
Crowning refers to both the bestowal of royal power on someone, as well as the final stage of labor when the top of a baby's head becomes visible. When the baby begins to crown, the delivery is then truly imminent.
No word better defines 2020 than Coronavirus. Corona is Latin for crown, itself a transliteration of Ancient Greek κορώνη, a synonym of biblical stephanos. Coronaviruses were named as such because a cell infected with the virus resembles a crown.
This theme is screaming three things: 1. The baby is about to be born, 2. The Church is about to receive its crowns, and 3. The Antichrist is about to arrive, being crowned king of the world; and he may very well use this Coronavirus pandemic to seize power—after all, Revelation 6:1–2 foretells that he will go out to conquer having received a crown (quite literally corona in the Latin Bible; see here).
The Closing Door, the End of the Church Age, and the Hiding Place
Doors have been closing all over the world this year. The proverbial door to the Ark is being shut. The Ark is Christ. The pandemic has shuttered millions of businesses, closed hundreds of thousands of churches, and shut hundreds of millions, even billions, of people in their homes. This theme and message is loud and clear. There's no going back to what once was.
Christians have always faced persecution and many churches have been forcefully closed around the world, but nothing has ever happened like this. Churches have been closed in some capacity in virtually every country on earth. Going virtual means nearly 1-in-5 churches in the U.S. are now in imminent danger of closing permanently. In some parts of the world the toll is much worse and churches, and Christians generally, are facing massive persecution if they attempt to gather. This certainly makes Hebrews 10 more relevant than ever:
...may we hold fast the unwavering profession of the hope (for He who promised [is] faithful), and may we consider to provoke one another to love and to good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as [is] a custom of some, but exhorting, and so much the more as you see the Day coming near. (Heb. 10:23–25, LSV)
We don't gather for salvation, but we do gather to function. In 2020 the message seems to be that the Church Age is coming to a swift end.
To drive the point home even further, this past April during the Passover season, a unique event transpired in Church history: Christians from all over the world, having been confined to their homes by the pandemic, adorned their doors with red signifying the Blood of Christ which shields us from the coming wrath. Within days of the first participants posting pictures of their red-adorned doors, hundreds of thousands had taken up the mantle. I and several in my family did the same. We proclaimed to the world that through faith we are covered in the Blood of the Lamb.
During the first Passover the Israelites hid in their houses with closed doors and lambs' blood over the lintels and doorposts. As long as they remained in their hiding places with the blood as a sign outside, the angel of death could not harm them in any way. The world “outside” was not so lucky.
Likewise, a time of great wrath is right at the door. It's coming and hastening fast. Jesus foretold that it would be the worst time in history (Mt. 24:21; cf. 2 Pt. 3:1–7). Yet you can escape from it, hiding away in a safe heavenly place, if you would only but acknowledge that you are a sinner, incapable of rectifying your situation, and place your faith wholly and solely in Christ Jesus who lived the life you could never live, died for your sins in your stead, and rose again on the third day.
Seek YHWH, all you humble of the land, || Who have done His judgment, || Seek righteousness, seek humility, || It may be you are hidden in the Day of the anger of YHWH. (Zeph. 2:3, LSV)
When a pregnant woman comes near to the birth, || She is pained—she cries in her pangs, || So we have been from Your face, O YHWH. We have conceived, we have been pained. We have brought forth, as it were, wind, || We do not work salvation in the earth, || Nor do the inhabitants of the world fall. Your dead live—My dead body, they rise. Awake and sing, you dwellers in the dust, || For the dew of herbs [is] your dew, || And you cause the land of Rephaim to fall. Come, My people, enter into your inner chambers, || And shut your doors behind you, || Hide yourself shortly [for] a moment until the indignation passes over. For behold, YHWH is coming out of His place, || To charge the iniquity of the inhabitant of the earth on him, || And the earth has revealed her blood, || Nor does she cover her slain anymore! (Isa. 26:17–21, LSV)
And take heed to yourselves lest your hearts may be weighed down with carousing, and drunkenness, and anxieties of life, and suddenly that day may come on you, for it will come as a snare on all those dwelling on the face of all the earth, watch, then, in every season, praying that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that are about to come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man. (Lk. 24:34–36, LSV)
“Do not let your heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in Me; in the house of My Father are many rooms; and if not, I would have told you; I go on to prepare a place for you; and if I go on and prepare a place for you, I come again, and will receive you to Myself, that where I am you also may be; and to where I go away you have known, and the way you have known.” Thomas says to Him, “Lord, we have not known to where You go away, and how are we able to know the way?” Jesus says to him, “I AM the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father, if not through Me...” (Jn. 14:1–6, LSV)
...and to wait for His Son from the heavens, whom He raised out of the dead—Jesus, who is rescuing us from the anger that is coming. . . . because the LORD Himself, with a shout, with the voice of a chief-messenger, and with the trumpet of God, will come down from Heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are living, who are remaining over, will be snatched up together with them in [the] clouds to meet the LORD in [the] air, and so we will always be with the LORD; so, then, comfort one another with these words. And concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need of my writing to you, for you have thoroughly known that the Day of the LORD so comes as a thief in the night, for when they may say, Peace and security, then sudden destruction comes [on] them, as the travail [on] her who is with child, and they will not escape; and you, brothers, are not in darkness, that the Day may catch you as a thief . . . because God did not appoint us to anger, but to the acquiring of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thess. 1:10, 4:16–15:4, 9, LSV)
And to the messenger of the assembly in Philadelphia write: These things says the Holy [One], the True [One], having the key of David, the [One] opening and no one will shut, and shutting and no one opens! I have known your works; behold, I have set before you a door having been opened, which no one is able to shut it, because you have little power, and yet have kept My word, and have not denied My Name; . . . Because you kept the word of My endurance, I also will keep you from the hour of the trial that is about to come on all the world, to try those dwelling on the earth. . . . After these things I saw, and behold, a door opened in the sky, and the first voice that I heard—as of a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you what must come to pass after these things...” (Rev. 3:7–8, 10, 4:1, LSV)