Jerusalem’s Final Conflict and Deliverance is Nigh…Zech 12 pt 1

Jerusalem’s Final Conflict and Deliverance is Nigh…Zech 12 pt 1
In view of last week’s UN Vote in which 151 nations voted that Israel , and of last weeks six UN anti Israel resolutions , on the day the UN designates “Palestinian day”, and in view of Today’s historic declaration by President Trump that Jerusalem is the Capitol of Jerualem,I  thought it fitting to re-run this 2010 esxposition of Zechariah 12. Prophecy is being fulfilled this very day! Maranatha!

This is the word of the LORD concerning Israel. The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares: “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. (Zechariah 12:1-3)

The last chapters of Zechariah have an amazing relevance to the world situation we see unfolding before us today. It is uttered in the name of the Creator God, who continuously sustains his creation, most notably of His ongoing work of creation, forming the spirit of man.

God , the creator ,will one day make Jerusalem to become a cup of trembling ,(KJV) , to those nations round about her.

The idea of a cup of trembling is a judgment administered , which causes the neighboring nations, to reel, to go mad, to lose the capacity for sound judgment which leads to self-destruction.

In the hand of the LORD is a cup
full of foaming wine mixed with spices;
he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth
drink it down to its very dregs. Psalm 75:8

True to this prophecy, the nations of the world are in great turmoil about the so-called “status” of Jerusalem. Though Jerusalem is manifestly the capital of the State of Israel, virtually none of the nations of the world will put an Embassy there, including the USA. They fear inflaming the Moslem near neighbors of Israel.

The Obama administration has attempted to make the appeasement of the Muslim world a centerpiece of its foreign policy. Therefore it has taken an unprecedented US stance toward Israel especially regarding Jerusalem and Judea. See Obama and Judea

Obama and his secretary of state have called for a strict “no natural growth” policy for Judea,(The West Bank), and they severely condemned Israel for approving the building of housing Units in East Jerusalem. see Administration Condemns Jerusalem Housing.

Islam has been claiming that Jerusalem has never been anything but a Muslim city, one of the “holiest’ sites of the Muslim faith. Yet the Koran doesn’t mention Jerusalem by name anywhere.

In its effort to erase any sign of Jewish history in Jerusalem, the Wafq, the Muslim custodianship of the temple mount, has been moving tons of rubble from beneath the surface of the site of the temple, dumping it in gravel pits outside of the city. Archeologists are finding priceless artifacts of the previous two temples in the rubble.

There is a reference in the Koran to “Al Aqsa”, literally, the “farthest place” from Mecca, where Mohammed supposedly rode a winged horse en route to a heavenly Muslim prayer meeting with Jesus and Moses.It is interesting that in Obama’s Cairo speech to the Muslim world, he referenced this obscure story, “the Isra” , the sole Muslim claim to Jerusalem, and that only by inference.

The Bible ,however has more than 800 direct references to Jerusalem. It is “the city of the great King”, the “Joy of the whole earth”, Mt Zion, the sight of the future capital of the world, the counterpart to “the heavenly Jerusalem”. God is “zealous for Jerusalem with a great fury” we are told earlier in Zechariah.

Jerusalem, we are told by our Lord Jesus, will be trodden under foot of the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled. For the time being, it is as “Sodom and Egypt”, (Revelation 11) ,but is destined to be the city where Righteousness dwells, and out of which the Law of the Lord shall stream forth to all of the world. No wonder there is such a storm around it.

The UN wants to make it an international city, the Vatican wants custodianship over it, Islam claims it as one of its holiest sites, The Gentiles insist on it being divided into two cities, One the capital of the “Palestinian” state,the other side the capital of the Jewish state. Islam doesn’t like the name Jerusalem, they call it “Al Quds”, and so did a senior Obama security advisor in a speech recently. There is a storm brewing exactly as the Prophet said it would, God is making Jerusalem a cup of trembling, making mad the nations of the world.

 

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The Modern World; Reduced to Idol Worship…Revelation 9

 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:  Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.( Revelation 9:20-21)

Here in Revelation 9 we have a listing of prominent sins of the Last days, and the warning that men will have come to the point that they simply would not ever repent of them.

The list includes Idolatry of various sorts, as well as murder, sorcery (Pharmekia), theft, and of course fornication. These are the sins which men will cling to, justify and exalt in, even through the tribulation period.

Notice that most of the detail is given to the sin of idolatry; it is called ‘the work of men’s hands”, and “the worship of devils”, as well as “idols of gold, silver and of brass…” which cannot see hear or walk.

In the events leading to the modern world, Christianity gave birth to science, because men didn’t mystify the created world, but saw it as something distinct from the Creator, and which could be studied, having been created by a logical being and according to consistent laws and ordinances. Thus modern science arose from the Christian West, not from Islamic, Hindu or the animistic world.

Eventually, with the repudiation of Christianity which intensified in the Age of Enlightenment, an ever widening chasm developed between the “intellectual class” and organized Christian religion. Science was seen as “secular” and “objective” and would eventually eliminate all “superstitions” such as those represented by the church.

This chasm really widened in the age of Darwinism, for supposed science gave men permission to cast off faith in the Creator God once and for all.

Therefore it seems counter-intuitive that the prominent sins of the very last of the last days would be headed by the sin of idolatry. What happened to bring us to this point? How is it that modern man seems to yearn for the re-erection of pre-Christian gods such as Baal and Diana of Ephesus?

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A Recreation of the Arch of Baal went on a multi city tour, having been erected in New York City, London and is scheduled to come to several other major cities around the globe.

The Image above is from Nashville Tennessee, and is a copy of a statue of the Pagan war Goddess which will be erected at the United Nations in New York City. What is this recurring fascination with ancient gods and goddesses?

Several factors are at play here.

First of all, man is incurably religious and must worship. When he rejects the knowledge of the only true God, He has a vacuum which must be filled.

Secondly these ancient gods and goddesses are “nothings” on the one hand, but on the other there is more than meets the eyes to them, because they represent very real entities.“All of the gods of the nations are Demons…”(Literal rendering of Psalm 96:5).

For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”—yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist (1 Cor 8:5-6).

They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods; with abominations they provoked him to anger. They sacrificed to demons that were no gods, to gods they had never known (Deut 32:16-17)

These demons masquerading as gods,  were once banished from the Western world, and wherever else the Christian gospel was once received, but they have come back to find the “house clean , swept, garnished…” and empty. So they have gone out and gathered seven worse and are currently invading the house.

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.(Luke 11:24-26)

The formerly Judeo Christian west is currently being demonized, as hordes of Mohammedans pour into cities such as London, Hamburg, Paris and New York, and calls to Allah(the Devil) are heard in the streets of these  cities in which fairly recently, church bells were heard ringing.

Thirdly, modern man is literally to the brink of openly worshipping the work of his own hands. This coming holiday season, many parents will buy for their little children, computer phones which use more technology than what it once took to get man to land on the moon! Those little hand held devices give ready access to all of the knowledge, entertainment, music, and culture(High or low) ever accumulated by mankind over the centuries.

Childen and Adults now literally hunch over these little things, organize their life around them, and have created a new protocol of human relations among themselves because of these new mass produced supercomputers. They are absolutely all consuming, in some cases, and certainly addicting.

We have a whole new vocabulary’ we “google” to solve factual arguments, we “ask Siri”, (a disembodied computerized voice), and can actually hold short conversations with Alexa(Amazon icon). All of this has swept the world in the last twenty years.

Now hard core secularized scientists in the world of internet technology are openly talking about a super computer which would become a “God” in the sense that it would solve the world’s problems and which would consist of the compilation of all knowledge accumulated. One former google exec is actually filing a religion called the “way of the Future”.

In a rare interview with Wired, his first public interview since the Waymo lawsuit, Levandowski shed more light on his new church, “Way of the Future.” Here are some highlights:

  • The “Way of the Future” church will have its own gospel called “The Manual,” public worship ceremonies, and probably a physical place of worship.
  • The idea behind his religion is that one day — “not next week or next year” — sufficiently advanced artificial intelligence will be smarter than humans, and will effectively become a god.
  • “Part of it being smarter than us means it will decide how it evolves, but at least we can decide how we act around it,” Levandowski told Wired. “I would love for the machine to see us as its beloved elders that it respects and takes care of. We would want this intelligence to say, ‘Humans should still have rights, even though I’m in charge.’”
  • Levandowski is not the only tech luminary to worry about an super-intelligent AI, which others refer to as “strong AI” or the Singularity, although he prefers the term “Transition.”

What is idolatry? It is the inverse of the scripture, “God made man in his own image…male and female created He them, in the Image of God He created them…”. If God created us, He can control us, it is His to tell us what to do, how to live and to Him we must all give account. This is the meaning of the current resistance to the doctrine of Creation in our academies. The implications of Creation are vast.

“Great and marvelous are thy Works Lord God almighty, Just and true are thy ways, O King of the Saints,Who would not fear thee and glorify thy name?  All nations will bow down and worship when thy righteous acts are revealed…” (Revelation 15)

Instead, Man would make his own “god” in his own image.This is the work of his hands.This new God will solve all of mans problems and will be something that man can turn to in his problems and sorrows, but will make few if any moral demands.

But there are a few misgivings; for example Facebook developed a set of AI Robots with a coded language, but the Robots instead developed their own language, and communicated with each other through it,  prompting the creators of these robots to pull the plug on the project.

from the article above,

Scientists and tech luminaries, including Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Steve Wozniak have warned that AI could lead to tragic unforeseen consequences. Eminent physicist Stephen Hawking cautioned in 2014 that AI could mean the end of the human race. “It would take off on its own and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.”

Secularity is unsustainable, man has to have a “god” to worship, and will create one of his own rather than humbly submit to the Only true God and his son Jesus Christ.

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The World Wasn’t Worthy of Them…Pilgrims

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. …(Hebrews 11:8-10)

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Every year about this time,(Late November) I ponder our Pilgrim forbearers, who left England for Holland and eventually for the “new World” in order to worship God in freedom and perhaps create a Christian colony in an unknown land.

These people were not professional soldiers, nor were they youthful adventurers, seeking to make a fortune. They were normal people, lower to middle class and with families, despised and persecuted within their own societies.

They had  everything to lose, humanly speaking, first as dissenters from the Church of England and then by leaving Holland because they feared that their children were becoming worldly in the more permissive Dutch Society. They wanted a heavenly country.

 

 

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So the congregation in Leiden, Holland pooled their meager resources and sent half of their number to the New World to become a beachhead for the remainder to come later. The farewell was heartbreaking, according to William Bradford’s recollection,

…With mutual embraces and many tears, they took their leaves of one another, which proved to be the last leave to many of them…but they knew they were pilgrims and looked not much on those things, but lifted their eyes to heaven, their dearest country and quieted their spirits…

They had originally chartered two boats, selling themselves into indentured servitude for seven years to pay for it, but one of those boats proved un seaworthy, so they crowded all 102 of them into a hundred foot ship called the MayFlower, crewed by 40 men, and made the dangerous journey across the Atlantic to an unknown world.

Why couldn’t these Christians just conform to the Church of England? Why didn’t they just throw up their hands and admit defeat in stemming the tide of worldliness which they felt was swallowing up their children, after all it would be normal for children to drift from their parent’s faith, right?

God had stirred them. These people hungered and thirsted for something far higher and purer than what their world had to offer them. They wouldn’t just settle for worldly status quo. They were Pilgrims.

Half of them died that first harsh winter. But that didn’t deter them. They buried their dead in the hope of the resurrection, and persevered in building cabins, a church, planting crops, enduring harsh weather, and sending for more likeminded Pilgrims, who would come also seeking worship, and pure and free ways to express their Christianity, in a harsh but rich new land.

Heaven was more real to these people than earth, they feared not death, having met Jesus Christ, the one who holds the Keys of death and of Hades. Having heard Him and following Him, their own world in England and in Holland had become alien to them. They could see that there was no way they could make a permanent life there, not without losing their souls.

I think a lot of us have been seeing the same thing these days. We cannot live in a homosexual world or a Muslim world. We once lived in a Judeo Christian world, flawed yes, but somewhat livable. But it has morphed into this present perverted, corrupt and violent world which we vex our souls over, every day and every night.

God himself ants us to see that there is no permanent dwelling place here in the city of destruction, and calls us to pilgrimage. We must forsake our Love of the World and all of the things within it. We must long for heaven and for the city whose builder and maker is God.

The Pilgrims of our American founding were wonderful and beautiful Christians to boot. They loved the Word of God, giving us some of history’s greatest Bible Scholars and theologians, but in some ways they were misguided.

America was a gift to them, but it has not ever been nor could it be a “shining city on a Hill”, it is just a resting place. Puritanism was not the replacement of Israel, America could not be the promised land.

The Pilgrims would eventually settle in, farm, prosper, open Harvard and Yale (for the training of ministers) and attain wealth and become the establishment, (losing their pilgrim spirit) and eventually apostasize,(New England would become the breeding ground of Unitarianism, Masonism, Mormonism, and eventually atheism in America).

The true Christian is always a pilgrim, we can never “fit in” to this world, we are always just passing through, on our way to a better country and city.

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.(Hebrews 11:13-17)

 

 

 

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Of Angels and Nations…Euphrates 12

 

 

And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,  Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.  And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.(Revelation 9:13-16)

The command comes from Heaven, to “Loose the four Angels bound at the River Euphrates”. It is important to note this, that everything done in the Revelation, which is destructive, frightening, terrible and even awful in the truest sense, comes to pass at the command of the Holy God

Holy Angels pour out bowls and blow trumpets and loose seals which will cause mankind to howl in pain, to fear, tremble, die, and which will destroy cities, nations, and unprecedented destruction upon the earth. One Angel casts down to the earth a censor which is alit with Holy incense and the accumulated prayers of all of the Saints over the centuries, resulting in plagues, darkness, death and destruction.

Yet these Angels are described as wearing white linen, standing before God in absolutely purity, executing His will , which will cause suffering, misery, fear and death on a scale never seen before.

In pouring out these bowls of wrath, they are not doing anything sinful or evil at all, they are doing right…

And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.(Revelation 15:6-8)

But these particular Angels in the ninth chapter of Revelation have to be bound. Why would an Angel have to be bound? Are we talking about fallen Angels?

 

I have always just thought of these angels as Holy Angels, waiting to execute God’s command. But I have been looking at this a slightly different way lately; for example they have been “bound” for a specific time. Why would Angels have to be bound? We know Angels can be very destructive, as noted above.

Perhaps the book of Daniel will give us a clue to this mystery.

Daniel was one of the captives, taken out of the promised land, and force marched the 400 plus miles to  the Euphrates river as a captive to the pagan Babylonian empire.

He makes a prayer to God , in Daniel 9 seeking a specific answer which comes to him, three weeks later. None less than the angel Gabriel brings the answer, explaining that he (Gabriel) was dispatched from day one of Daniel’s prayer but was hindered by ‘the Prince of Persia’.

Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.  But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.(Daniel 10:12-13)

Gabriel, the messenger of God, and of such importance that it was He whom the Most High sent to the virgin Mary and to the Priest Zechariah in the time of the incarnation, was actually hindered in his mission to Daniel, by a Prince?

Obviously this was no human Prince, rather this is a Prince of the same order which Jesus and Paul warned of ,

Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.(John 14:30)

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.(Ephesians 6:13)

The “Prince’ was associated with a pagan nation, Persia.

Daniel was given a second mysterious glimpse into this world,

Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.(Daniel 10:20-21)

We are only given as much as God wants us to know of this world, for the purpose is not to satisfy a morbid curiosity of the Dark world. But God would have us to see that there is a relationship between Pagan Nations and fallen Princes, and there is a special relationship with the nation of Israel, and an unfallen Prince, Michael.

But consider that subsequent human history reflects the activities of the ‘Princes’ Daniel was warned of. The World power at the time of Daniel’s vision was Babylon, but soon the pagan Persia gained the ascendency, becoming the World’s superpower for a season. ‘The Prince of Persia’ had come.

But against all human expectations, the behemoth Persian Empire was felled by an unlikely foe, the back water hillbilly confederation of Macedonians, notably King Philip and his Son Alexander the Great, ‘the Prince of Grecia’ came also.

At the end of time, when they are in a beleaguered state of siege, finally ‘the Prince of your people’, Michael shall arise, and the great Tribulation shall then commence.

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.(Daniel 12:1)

My point is that there evidently is a relationship between some fallen “princes”, principalities, powers and rulers of the Darkness of this Age…” and some pagan Nations. And history reflects these activities.

I believe that Jesus’ teaching on demons and empty houses, was a warning to his nation, Israel. Nations can become Demon possessed just as individuals can.

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.  And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.  Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.(Luke 11: 24-26)

Israel had been inhabited by God himself, when God descended to dwell within his Holy Temple in Jerusalem. As long as God dwelt in the Temple, Israel could never be demonized. But what would happen if God left the Temple? Hadn’t it happened before? Didn’ Ezekiel see a vision of that very thing?

Then the glory of the Lord departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims.(Ezekiel 10:18)

What good is a Temple without God dwelling in it? What good is a Holy people without a Holy God? What do Priests do when there is no one to minister to or for?

Israel had been cured of crass idolatry in the Babylonian captivity, but what is idolatry? Isn’t it just a form of estrangement from God himself and God replacement?

Thus Jesus warned in his final speech to the nation, in the Temple of the LORD  in his capacity as the Messiah of Israel,

Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.(Matthew 23:38-39)

If nature abhors a vacuum, more so does the Spirit World. When a national house is left empty, swept and garnished, eventually seven worse spirits come to inhabit it to it’s own destruction!

The same can be said now of Europe. Germany once gave us the Reformation, Bach and Beethoven! The Moravians once thrived there sending missionaries across the globe and launching the greatest century of missions the world had ever known. But When higher criticism destroyed many people’s faith in the Bible, Germany became an empty house. One could say that the events which followed World War 1 were nothing less than the demonic transformation of a once civilized Christian nation.

World War 1 all but wiped out the faith of much of Europe. Before it most European nations would have charachterized themselves as the Christian world. One would be hard pressed to find a self confessed Christian nation in most of Europe(excepting Poland and Hungary).

The European house has been empty for quite a while but we are currently seeing the spectacle of “seven worse Spirits”flooding into Europe as people flock to the occult, spiritism, pre-christian paganism and yes Islam(Devil worship at its highest ecpression!).

The great metaphor for the empty house, would be the great Cathedrals of Europe, testament to a faith long since renounced.

Of course nations can be possessed of Evil Spirits.

It just so happens that since the reformation of the Middle East, crafted by French and English Diplomats after World War One, that there are currently four nations , all thoroughly pagan, which the Euphrates River runs through or borders.

 

Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq. Consider the horrors and carnage already unleashed upon these places just in the past thirty years. Look at the horrifying changes occurring in recently moderate and even modern Muslim nations such as Turkey.

Events are churning Like quickly gathering black clouds on a hot midwestern summer day, the light is dimming and the sky turns dark as the winds pick up. Something terrible is about to be unleashed from the Euphrates  area which will end in the near destruction of all life on earth.

 

 

 

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The Euphrates and Ezekiel 38…Euphrates

And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,  Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,  And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:  And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:  Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:  Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.  Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.  After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.  Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.  (Ezekiel 38:1-9)

Ezekiel 38 describes one of the final demonstrations to all of the Nations of the World, that the God of the Bible is the only true God, and that all of the gods of the nations are but idols (nothings).

God foretold through his prophets of a coming coalition invasion of Israel, which will be overwhelmingly superior in numbers, arms, and the element of surprise, but which will be utterly confounded and destroyed by the direct intervention of God himself.

We are currently seeing the formation and joint efforts of this coalition, fighting in Syria to defend the regime of Bashir Assad, as well as to defend the Sunni world against the ambitions of the Shiite Hegemony in Iran. Many of the members of this coalition are the very nations we posited as being currently under the limitations set by God for a certain coming Year, month,Day and Hour, i.e. the bound Angels of the Euphrates.

And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,  Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.  And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.(Revelation 9:13-15)

As we have observed, since the post World War 1 partition of the Middle East by the victorious allies, France and Britain, there are four nations which the Euphrates runs through; Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

The disastrous Syrian War, which has cost a half million lives, dispossessed ten million people, and wound or maimed untold hundreds of thousands, has become the occasion for the formation of this coalition.

The war is complex, it features many partisans representing diverse interests. There is a proxy war going on between Russia and the US, Russia equipping and advising Iran, the US equipping and advising various Sunni militias (including war became ISIS). The war also features the rivaling ambitions of the Sunni and Shiite factions of Islam, (the Saudis representing Sunni, Iran,Shiite interests).

But Turkey is Sunni, and in the midst of a resurgence of  traditional Islamism, casting off the reforms of Attaturk. But Turkey has been in league with Iran, which is virtually unprecedented. Turkey wants to replace Saudi Arabia as the head of the Sunni world, and has cast her lot in with Iran, as has Qatar.

As far as Ezekiel 38 is concerned, Syria is the bloody battleground which unites these unlikely allies, Turkey and Iran(Persia).

The names ‘Meshec and Tubal’, ‘Gomer and the house of Togarmeh’, are all Ancient references to places on Turkey itself.

Persia is  of course a reference to Iran, which is currently claiming the US abandoned Iraq from ISIS.

Obama virtually ceded  US influence in the Middle East to the Russians, in his desire to get us out of Iraq. He also guaranteed a modern Nuclear program to Persia(Iran) the world’s current leading sponsor of Terror. When negotiations began on Iran’s nuclear deal, the Iranians announced from the start that “the annihilation of Israel is non-negotiable”. This didn’t stop Obama from giving Iran everything they wanted including 150 billion US dollars and 5 billion on a pallet in cash!

Truly the stage is being set for Ezekiel 38.

The other players in this tragedy?

Ethiopia is not the Ethiopia of today. Biblical Ethiopia would be today’s Sudan and Somalia region.

Libya? We all know what happened to Libya after the Kings of the Earth and their rulers decided to dissect the once richest African nation, and perhaps one of the most benevolent to its own citizens. Every Libyan citizen received free health care, a house upon marriage, a share in the oil revenues, etc.

Gaddafi warned Obama that he would be sent to hell for his part in the NATO bombing of Libya,in a speech directed at Obama,

‘Originally, you’re from Africa and originally Arab as well. You sold out to America. Where will you go?’ he said.
‘On Judgement Day, you will be in hell. Our dead will be in heaven, and your dead will be in hell. You ought to feel ashamed.’

Now Libya sits desolate and ravaged, like Somalia, a nation without government, ravaged by competing Muslim militias, unable to deter (as she once did) hordes of immigrants from black Africa swarming up into Europe, as Gaddafi once warned…

The Libyan ruler, Colonel Gaddafi, has used a summit in Tripoli to warn that Europe risks “turning black” unless Libya is given £4bn a year by the EU to keep out illegal immigrants from Africa. “We should stop this illegal immigration. If we don’t, Europe will become black, it will be overcome by people with different religions, it will change,” he said.

He made the threat before in the summer, during a three-day visit to Italy. “We don’t know what will happen, what will be the reaction of the white and Christian Europeans faced with this influx of starving and ignorant Africans,” he said. “We don’t know if Europe will remain an advanced and united continent or if it will be destroyed, as happened with the barbarian invasions.”

Now thousands of Libyans are involved in the fighting in Syria, on both sides. They will be a part of the great coalition also, as Ezekiel saw 2,500 years ago. The fighting and carnage are pretty much in Syria’s borders, but every once in a while a shell is lobbed over the golan heights into Israel, as a portent of things soon to come. Maranatha!

 

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How the Saudi/Iran Conflict (might) align with Prophecy…

And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,  Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:  Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet: Gomer, and all his bands; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all his bands: and many people with thee.  Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.(Ezekiel 38:1-7)

Changes are coming to Saudi Arabia, as Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salmon, son of the current King Salmon bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud Salman ascends to the throne and power on the Arabian peninsula. The current King is 81 years old and assumed to step down very soon.

There have already been reforms, such as allowing women to drive , and changes in economic and security policy, as the Crown Prince has taken an ever larger role in government.

But most recently Salmon has been conducting serious purges, arresting high level Princes, ministers, Saudi Military leaders,and Businessmen on charges of corruption.

Those targeted include the popular entrepreneurial billionaire Alwaleed bin Talal and the head of the National Guard and son of the previous king, Mutaib bin Abdallah.

In the same timeframe, a helicopter carrying the influential prince Mansoor bin Muqrin also mysteriously crashed in the country’s southern wilderness, killing all on board. While this latter incident may have simply been a malfunction, its timing has raised eyebrows.

While possibly confronting some sources of corruption inside the kingdom, these arrests have undeniably neutered many potential foils to the designs of Mohammad bin Salman and his penchant for unilateral decision-making.(Princes,Power and Purges)

There is speculation that these moves of the Crown Prince are a ruthless demonstration of the consolidation of power by an incoming King, and the removal of any possible rivals.

But there are other possibilities in these actions.

The Saudis are sensitive to the shifting of political powers around them and of the decreasing stranglehold by which OPEC once held the world’s nations, through control of oil prices.

They are deathly afraid of the rising power of Iran, their aggressive Shiite Rival. Saudi Arabia and the gulf states have been fighting an ongoing proxy war with Iran in Yemen,Iraq,  Lebanon and Syria. In spite of US and European assistance, the Iranian hegemony has been increasing over the Arabian interests in these proxy wars, keeping Bashir Assad in power, staving off the Isis Caliphate, and proving Arabs impotent to prevail over Houtti rebels (Shiite) in Yemen.

The Iranian Nuclear deal, in which President Obama opened the way for the Ayatollahs to gain a first world Nuclear program, and 150 Billion US dollars in spite of Iran’s avowal that “the destruction of Israel was non-negotiable” is perhaps the most troubling development for the Saudis.

The Crown Prince Solomon seems to be trying to make the Desert Kingdom more palatable to western investors, liberalizing the strict moral code of the nation,(omen will be able to drive as of june 2018) , reining in the heavy supporters and financiers of Al Queda, ISIS and other Wahhabi inspired terror groups.

There are even talks with Israel in view of the Iranian threat to the region.

In the Ezekiel Passage above we see a coalition, predicted 2500 years ago, which is forming before our very eyes at this time!

Gog is a person, He is the head of Magog, which is an antiGod coalition (Some consider it to be a reference to the peoples of the Caucuses region,Russia). Meshec and Tubal are in what we now call Turkey. So also are Gomer and the House of Togarmeh, these are Turkic regions.

Persia is Iran.  Biblical Ethiopia encompassed the Somalia and Sudan region, which is currently Islamic. Libya is in North Africa. All of these nations are currently working together, in the Syrian war defending the Alawite President Basher Assad from the Sunni coalition backed by US and EU power.

But there is no mention of the Arabs involved in the Coalition. Instead, we see a passage in the same chapter which tells us that “Sheba and Dedan”,  along with the Merchants of Tarshish ( An ancient reference to westernmost powers) , seemingly raise  a weak objection to the invasion of Israel by the Magogic Persian/Turkish led coalition.

Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?(Ezekiel 38:13)

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The Vision of Christ Glorified…Seven Letters…pt 1

The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:  Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.  John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne;  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,   And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (Revelation 1:1-6)

The last word of all of Holy Scripture is the Revelation of Jesus . The Revelation is divided into three sections. “Write the things which you have seen…”, i.e., the vision of the glorified Jesus Christ in Revelation chapter 1. (Write) “…the things that are...”, i.e. Revelation 2-3,  and (write) …the things which shall be hereafter.”, i.e. the rest of the vision.

The apostle John knew Jesus in the days of his humiliation. He had followed Him and leaned on his breast,and even witnessed the crucifixion and seen the resurrected Christ.

Here in the Revelation, given to John on the Isle of Patmos, a penal colony John had been sentenced to in his old age,  John saw the glorified Christ;

And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. Revelation 1 vs 13

The Son of Man is a reference to an exalted figure in Daniel’s vision, who approaches the throne of the “Ancient of Days”  and receives from Him the Kingdom and all power, glory  and Dominion!

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.(Daniel 7:13-14)

He is dressed like  Priest, and like a King, for He is the Priest King, the man called the “Branch”,predicted by Zechariah many centuries earlier;

And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord: Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both (Zechariah 6:12-13)

In this glorified Savior, the two offices of Priest and King combine, in one absolutely merciful and faithful person.

 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; This phrase also matches the description of God, “the Ancient of Days” in the same vision,

I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.  A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.(Daniel 7:9-10)

The glorified Jesus is One with the Ancient of Days, in being and Wisdom.

and his eyes were as a flame of fire;   His eyes are penetrating, pure, and searching. If the eyes are the window of the soul, these are eyes which are everlasting, He is ageless, and knows everything. There is nothing about you and I that He doesn’t know, there are no secrets we can withhold, He sees right through us.

These eyes are penetrating also in their compassion, He has “loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood”. We who are redeemed want him to look at us and through us! We have cultivated all along in the days of our discipleship the habit of bearing our souls to Him.

But to the unredeemed, these are the eyes of spurned love, they do not want him to see them, as Revelation 6 tells us,

And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;  And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:  For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Revelation 6:15-17)

These are the eyes of absolute purity, holiness and zeal.

 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; He is on his feet, moving among his redeemed churches, and across the earth. His feet have previously taken him through the sorest of trials, the very judgment of the Holy God , as our substitute. He has already been there, and come through it, the agony in the garden, the cross, the rejection of the Father, the cruel trial of mockery and humiliation by his enemies, and even death.

There is nothing we will go through that he hasn’t already walked through himself, as our substitute and Priest.

and his voice as the sound of many waters.   This relates to the 93rd Psalm,

The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moved. Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting. The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up their waves. The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea. Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O Lord, for ever.

The nations of the earth are likened unto the noisy turbulent sea, waves conflicting with each other and smashing on rocks in a cacophony.

But the voice of Jesus, is of one mighty, Majestic,  flowing roar, as of a waterfall, united, authoritative, and of sheer power, as in Ezekiels’s vision of the LORD coming into the Temple,

And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and chis voice was like a noise of many waters: and dthe earth shined with his glory. (Ezekiel 43:2)

And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword:

Jesus holds the church in His right hand, He will not let evil prevail over his chosen and redeemed flock.

His Word is as a Sword, by which He will soon smite the rebellious nations, and make war on all that is unjust, perverted, evil and false.

and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

The face of Jesus is the face of God Himself. When He is seen in his full splendor, as on the Mt of Transfiguration, the full glory of God radiates out of Jesus’ face. We cannot look directly upon it, anymore than we could behold the noonday sun…

And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.(Matthew 17:2)

The Gospel is called by Paul the Gospel of the Glory of God, and we are told that the glory of God shines from the very face of Jesus Christ! He alone is the full revelation of the glory of the invisible God.

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.  For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.( 2 Cor 4:1-6)

And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

John fainted when He saw the glorified Christ Jesus, as Daniel had done centuries before. but Jesus revived Him, calling upon him (and us) to fear not.

On what basis should we not fear?

We should not fear, on the basis of the person of Jesus, our Savior, Priest and King. He is the alpha and Omega, the everything. He has always lived, but then died, and is now passed from death unto life again for evermore. In Him we live also, for He has died for us. Death has no claim upon us, for it cannot ever claim Him again.

It is He who holds the Keys of eternity, those whom he has justified, no man can condemn, all judgment has been entrusted to Him.

 

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