Please grab your Bible before the investigation of “onion peeling” begins! I’ll wait for you.
The Many Layers: DUALITY VS TRIALITY
I view Bible study as a person peeling an onion. There are many layers and as you peel the onion, it gets stronger the farther down to the core you get.
Herbert W. Armstrong followers say that Bible prophecy was often dual in nature. There was “a duality” where the prophecy came true, not just once but multiple times. I would suggest this about “duality”- it’s limiting. Think of one that has already occurred twice and will again: The Abomination of Desolation.
There is also a prophecy about Tyrus that occurred in the past and may yet be repeated (Ezekiel 26:2-14). This at the same time is one of the most amazing prophesies, yet often, the most abused.
First, what did they get right? Tyre was an ancient seaport city, an island off the mainland that was part of the city. An allowance was made for those passing through, to stay on the island part of the city, rather than tie up traffic on the mainland. It gave Tyre a real advantage, in that it was able to take on approximately of twice as much traffic in a typical port city.
Notice what God says, “I” am against Tyre (Ezek. 26:3). He is personally orchestrating these events. God says He will “cause many nations to come up against you.” Now in verse 4, notice that “they” shall destroy walls and towers or buildings. But then God will scrape her dust from her. This is a recorded event to prevent Nebuchadnezzar from getting her valuables: “Tyre transported herself to an island a half mile out in the sea. The conqueror destroyed the city on the mainland and left. But more than two centuries later, Alexander the Great took the ruins of the old city, even scraping up the dust, and made a causeway to the island, thus fulfilling the prophecy exactly” [Amplified Bible footnote: page 1221]; (Ezekiel 26:12).
However, it was not yet “scraped”. Wikipedia points out, “Jesus visited Tyre and Sidon (Matt. 15:21; Mk. 7:25). In fact, while much of the island is in ruins, there is still a modern city remaining.”
It is true, part of the island is used for fish nets, prompting some to declare the prophecy in Ezekiel 26 as “fulfilled”. However, as you can see in the above photo, the entire island is not a wasteland.
This is the difficulty–or maybe not. Ezekiel 26:14 simply says, “you shall never be rebuilt” and that hasn’t happened; the ruins still stand. The parts that have been rebuilt are not on the ancient ruins; the ruins today are a great tourist attraction.
Still, you have to admit, the ruins still stand and there is abundant activity upon the island. Then there is verse 19 to consider: “For thus says the Lord God: When I make you a desolate city like the cities that are not inhabited, when I bring up the deep over you and great waters cover you.”
The Key is not DUAL, but TREBLE:
verse 3: “I’
verse 4: “They”
verse 7: “I will bring…Nebuchadnezzar”
verses 8-11: “They” – obviously referring to Alexander the Great and perhaps other that came after.
verses 13-14: “I” – the wording reverts back to “I”.
It appears the scraping will continue, as it came in waves before and after Nebuchadnezzar. However, not to be “under water” until God, “I” comes along to “make you Tyre a bare rock” (verse 14). That is when they will be “built no more.”
While you can argue the new developments don’t wipe out the prophecy, it is another to state the island is already under water. Indeed, verse 21 tells us plainly, even the ruins will not survive because “Though you be sought, yet you shall never be found again.”
THE DEPTH OF THE BIBLE:
The Bible is not a book you can just read once, then set aside. A Christian must keep his or her nose in “the book.” Multiple lessons that can be gleaned from various passages must be read then meditated upon; until God’s Spirit says something to your spirit.
History always repeats itself.
King Solomon says In Ecclesiastes:
“That which is now already has been, and that which is to be already has been; and God seeks that which has passed by [so that history repeats itself]” (Ecclesiastes 3:15 AMP).
The Book of Esther has many layers and lessons to be gleaned. However, prophecy is portrayed in a multilayer. Not only can it occur over a long period of time but specific prophecies repeat themselves. Unlike some Jewish rabbis and scholars, the Book of Esther’s history not only can be repeated but it does! A question then comes-up: Is the lesson about how we ourselves take control of or should it be “Thy Kingdom come”?
The Three Layers of The Book of Esther:
The first layer is the historic truth. The events that took place were approximately 500 years before Christ. Esther, along with Song of Songs are the only books of the Bible that the name of God is not mentioned directly. God’s sovereignty is demonstrated in both books, Esther perhaps more than any other.
The second layer is a foreshadowing of the gospel: Haman is an image of Satan and Mordecai of Jesus.
The Bible says the crucifixion was planned before the creation of the world (Revelation 13:8; 1 Peter 1:20). Therefore, all the events of the Law and the Prophets, orchestrated by God is in expectation of the crucifixion (Luke 24:26-27; Acts 2:30-31; 1 Peter 1:10-11).
There is no word for “cross” in the Old Testament and that is why the apostles sometimes referred to the cross in Hebrew “ets” (Acts 5:30, 10:39, 13:39, 13:29). “Ets” can mean “tree,” “wood” or “a wooden structure.”
In the Book of Esther, “ets” appears in 7 passages; the place of execution (Esther 2:23, 5:14, 6:4, 7:9, 8:7, 9:13, 9:25), which translated as “gallows”.
Villains were executed by hanging on this wooden structure and in the story of Esther, the righteous hero is almost hanged there. Then the same wooden structure suddenly transformed the situation of defeat to victory. Like Israel on Mount Moriah, Joseph in the pit and Jonah in the fish.
Mordecai is almost killed then miraculously saved, then elevated to second place in the kingdom having his throne above all other thrones.
The third layer in the Book of Esther is interpreted symbolically, foreshadowing end time prophecies.
Haman symbolizes the Antichrist and Esther, the interceding Church with Mordecai, the Messianic Jewish movement. The historical events took place in Persia which is equivalent to modern-day Iran.
There was an evil man called for the destruction of the Jews, like Ahmadinejad is today. There was a confederation of 127 nations during Esther’s time, reminiscent of the United Nations.
The closet word I could find in biblical Hebrew for “antichrist” was the word “tsorer.” Haman is referred to as “tsorer” four times and translated “enemy” (Esther 3:10, 8:1, 9:10, 9:24). Like Haman, the Antichrist will try to kill Yeshua (Jesus) and (Christians); unite the nations and attack Israel (Revelation 13; Ezekiel 38-39; Zechariah 12-14).
The root of antisemitism found Esther 3:6:
“But he (Haman) scorned laying hands on Mordecai. So since they had told him Mordecai’s nationality, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews”. Where this satanic figure, so offended at the Messiah figure, not satisfied just to kill the Messiah but he wanted revenge on all his relatives. (anti-Semitic, anti-Christ, anti-Christian spirits come from the same source).
Esther is a beautiful model, today’s, “Bride of Christ”; the Church (Ephesians 5:23-32; Revelation 12). She’s enjoying bridal intimacy of worship with the king. She has Jewish roots but no one knows her secret. She tries to avoid the current circumstances, yet gets caught up in the horrible tribulation concerning the Jews.
She is challenged prophetically; her own destiny and her privilege of bridal intimacy for the purpose of interceding for salvation of Israel (Esther 4:14; Romans 11:11-15).
Though Esther is traumatized by the calling, she risks her life with intercession for the Jewish people. She decides to accept her prophetic destiny through her beauty, grace, prayer, and fasting. The pending disaster turned to victory; the kingdom delivered to the saints (Many who know of bridal intimacy with Jesus Christ, are being called to end time Esther s today.
During these events in the Book of Esther “many of the people s of the earth became Jews” (Esther 8:17). This signifies two things for us to see:
1. A great harvest of souls for the gospel during the Tribulation.
2. Many saints reconnecting to the covenants of Israel, the Jewish roots of faith.
THE “CORE” OF THE ONION:
The Book of Esther points to a positive prophetic destiny for the nation of Iran. While Persia was the source of conflict to antisemitism, it is also the source, the “core” of the onion of the faith bringing victory.
The great kings of Persia, Cyrus and Ahasuerus, covenanted with the people of Israel 1000 years before Islam. Their roots are in biblical faith and not Islam. Their partnership goes back more than 2,500 years. I believe there will be a strong underground Church in Iran in the end times, if not already there today. Growing in numbers, standing in faith and identifying with the remnant of Israel.
The Micro-scale and Macro-scale of Peeling the Onion:
The real answer on the micro-scale is that we believers, in today’s churches, are responsible for our actions in bringing out problems and plans before God. On the macro-scale side, we really need God’s Kingdom here directing all of humanity.
On both scales, we need to make our choices within the framework God has laid down in His law; His Word. It is the breaking of His law that causes all the suffering and problems we see all around us. It’s the not seeking Him out that causes the most pain in the world.
I hope the next time you find yourself peeling an onion in the kitchen, you are careful to notice all the layers. And when you get down to the “core”…who knows what you will find.