The LORD SHAll Be King in that day…Zechariah pt

And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.  And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.  All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses.   And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.  (Zechariah 14:8-11)

The siege of Jerusalem is over now, and a new day dawns. The old age of human rebellion, death and decay has passed, the LORD has saved his people, and the dawn of a new Age has begun.

The fight was extremely fierce.

When the utterly besieged Judah and Israel were introduced to their Messiah, and saw that He was the one whom they had once pierced, they mourned for him, and repented before their God. As a result of of this repentance, a new Spirit was poured out upon the besieged survivors,

In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.(Zechariah 12:8-9)

One of the horrifying aspects of the final battle, is ‘the plague’ which would break out upon the attackers of Jerusalem, in which the soft tissue of the faces of the attackers, evaporates off of them as they stand, something which appears to modern readers as is it were some kind of Nuclear reaction. But it is a plague specifically put upon them by the LORD.

And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.(Zechariah 14:12)

The enemy coalition also falls upon each other, as in previous battles and seiges, such as in the days of King Jehoshaphat or as far back as in the battle with Gideon. This also occurs due to the intervention of the LORD,

And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor.  And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.  And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.(Zechariah 14:13-15)

There will be geographical changes also, for the Jordan valley shall be elevated and as a consequence, Jerusalem the city shall also be raised up high above the cities of the earth.This accords with the words of the other prophets as well,

The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.   And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.(Isaiah 2:1-3)

There will be a new order; Jerusalem will be the center of the earth, for God himself will inhabit her again.

The nations that survive the battle and the judgment which will follow, will enter into a new relationship with Israel, Judah and Jerusalem, for as families, tribes, and national delegations they will stream into Jerusalem (at least annually) to keep the feasts of the LORD, and to learn of his ways.

Worship shall be a serious issue in that day, for the nations which had besieged Jerusalem and had survived the judgment . In the coming new order, the Messiah will rule the nations with a rod of iron. Those nations which neglect to come to Jerusalem, and participate in the  Worship will have to pay consequences of such neglect.

And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.  And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.  This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles(Zechariah 14:15-19)

But everything in Jerusalem will be made holy, the whole city shall be the sanctuary it was long prophesied and expected to be. She will be purified, the place of the Revelation of God himself, the center for worship,  and for the teaching of the nations of the one true God. There won’t be” a holy place”, everything about the city will be marked “holiness to the LORD’, nothing of it shall be common, rather all will be holy vessels unto the LORD himself.

 

 

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The Final Conflict and Deliverance…Zechariah pt 25

Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.  For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.  Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.  And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.(Zechariah 14:1-4)

Through the prophet Zechariah, we behold the final battle of this passing age.

Israel  is besieged, especially Jerusalem and Judea (the West Bank). Those who hate her are on the verge of the full expression of their everlasting malice, also they have turned the world against her, now the armies of the Gentile nations camp at the very gates of Jerusalem.

Ultimately they breach the walls of Jerusalem, as the Babylonians and Romans and Turks and so many other conquerors had done in the past ages. The city is taken, people flee, and half of the city goes into captivity. Why half? How did the prophet Zechariah know that the United Nations had divided the city in half, apportioning half of the “city of the great King and the joy of the whole earth” to an artificially constructed Terrorist state…Palestine.

Thus when the city is breached only one half is taken, the Jewish half. The UN approved population of “Palestinians”are not cut off from the city, rather the Jews are. The  women are raped, booty is divided, and those who can flee, flee for their very lives.

It is at this point,  that the LORD himself arises from his throne and descends to fight and deliver his chosen but prodigal people.

The Most High has revealed himself to them, in their most desperate straits, as the one whom they had pierced, and they have seen a completely unexpected vision, forcing them to rethink everything they thought they knew about their own history and religion. It turns out that the Messiah had already come once, and they had rejected and repudiated him! Who could have imagined?

The national sin is confessed, repentance is working deeply as the Jews flee for their very lives out into the wilderness, to the place He had prepared for them from the beginning, as John the Revelater saw in the vision of chapter 12,

And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.  And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.(Revelation 12:13-14)

The LORD’s very feet land on the Mount of Olives, the geographical location so rife with history and meaning in the Jewish experience.

It was on the Mount of Olives the David wept as he was pursued by his own son Absolam. Ezekiel saw the very cloud of the Glory of God from the Temple, leave the temple, and linger over the Mount of Olives, until it went up to heaven. Jesus was on the Mount of Olives when he described the events of the second coming and the end of the Age. Both Babylonian and Roman soldiers camped on the mount, during the sieges of Jerusalem.

The Mountain will cleave into two sections during the tumultuous events of the day of the LORD, and out of it shall flow streams of fresh water.

And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:  But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.  And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.(Zechariah 14:5-9)

There shall be a strange kind of twilight on that dreadful day, when the LORD comes with his saints to save Judah,Jerusalem, and to judge the world in righteousness.There will never be another day like it again.

Judah and many of the former inhabitants of Jerusalem will have fled, they will have run to the mountains upon seeing the sacrilege Jesus and Daniel warned of ;

When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.(Matthew 24:15-21)

A good many of the scattered flock will re-live the Exodus in the harsh wilderness of Judea and Jordan, living in booths in the wilderness.  They will be hunted down by the forces of AntiChrist and the enemies of God, until they are shut up in a place called Basra, trapped and surrounded, the remnant of God will be on the verge of being wiped out, until the LORD comes to Edom, as “the Breaker” who breaks his flock out of the deadly confinement.

I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men. The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.(Micah 2:12-13)

Praise the LORD, He shall come to Edom (Southern Jordan, as well as to Jerusalem, to rescue the trapped remnant in the wilderness.

Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?  I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment.  For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.(Isaiah 63:1-4)

The LORD shall save His people on that day and regather His flock in entirety, Yea,All Israel shall be saved on that day, and this shall commence the resurrection of the dead for this world.

 

 

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The Stricken Shepherd, The Scattered Flock and the 1/3 Remnant…. Zechariah 24

Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.  And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.  And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.(Zechariah 13:7-9)

In the last part of the vision, Zechariah reveals what happens when Israel looks upon her Messiah. Profound repentance comes upon the nation at the horrifying realization of the national sin. They realize to their shock, they had already been visited by Messiah, but instead of receiving their King they had pierced and repudiated Him!

What follows is a nation wide,  profound soul searching and repudiation of false prophecy, and any intercourse whatsoever with idolatrous and false religion or syncretism in any way with paganism.False prophets are hunted down, renounced, repudiated in the national zeal to distance themselves from what had long deceived them, keeping them away from their God.

Now Zechariah’s prophetic attention is turned back to the Shepherd theme again. In the vision of Zechariah Chapters 10-11, it was shown that Israel’s false Shepherds  had led them astray, seeking their own and not the welfare of the Sheep.

Then we briefly see the good Shepherd, appointed by God to “the flock of slaughter”, sold for thirty pieces of silver and eventually rejected. He is replaced by the “Idle Shepherd”, who is worthless and against whom the LORD calls for the sword of judgment , which shrivels his arm and and darkens his right eye.

For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces. Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.(Zechariah 11:16-17)

This is the Judgment of God upon AntiChrist, the other Shepherd who comes in his own name and not the name of the Father, and who for a brief moment deceives the flock of Israel.

Now in this prophetic song, the Good Shepherd is again in view, as is the flock.

Both Shepherd and Sheep, are slated to go through Divine Judgment.

The LORD calls for the Sword again , This time against his own Shepherd. Israel undergoes the judgment of God, but so also does her Shepherd! This Shepherd is the good Shepherd,  not a mere hireling, but  He is the “man who is his close companion”. It is He who must be smitten by the sword of the LORD.

. This echoes what Isaiah predicted and what Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, that though it was the actions of evil men that condemned and even crucified the Messiah, it was all done also by the “Predeterminate foreknowledge of God…”.

Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief… (Isaiah 53:10)

Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:  Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.(Acts 2:23-24)

Jesus applied this passage of Zechariah to himself when he warned the disciples on the night he was betrayed,

Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.(Matthew 26:31-32)

That “flock” which should be scattered would go far beyond those 12 disciples entrusted to Jesus on the day of his death.

This prophecy is expansive, extending all of the way to the end of time and is a prophecy of the future of the whole nation down through time. Moses had centuries earlier predicted this scattering of the flock as a consequence of the Judgment of God on an unfaithful people.

The sword without, and terror within, shall destroy both the young man and the virgin, the suckling also with the man of gray hairs. I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men:(Deuteronomy 32:25-26)

The sheep have been scattered and are going to go through a trial of purification. One third of the nation will come through and be saved, it will be one third who live to see the vision of the pierced one, and who mourn for him as for an only Son.

God deals in thirds with Israel. Ezekiel was to shave his head and count his hairs, dividing them into three piles,

 And thou, son of man, take thee a sharp knife, take thee a barber’s razor, and cause it to pass upon thine head and upon thy beard: then take thee balances to weigh, and divide the hair. Thou shalt burn with fire a third part in the midst of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled: and thou shalt take a third part, and smite about it with a knife: and a third part thou shalt scatter in the wind; and I will draw out a sword after them. Thou shalt also take thereof a few in number, and bind them in thy skirts. Then take of them again, and cast them into the midst of the fire, and burn them in the fire; for thereof shall a fire come forth into all the house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord GOD; This is Jerusalem: I have set it in the midst of the nations and countries that are round about her. And she hath changed my judgments into wickedness more than the nations, and my statutes more than the countries that are round about her: for they have refused my judgments and my statutes, they have not walked in them.(Ezekiel 5:1-6)

The flock of Israel down through the ages has suffered one of three fates;

A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee; and I will scatter a third part into all the winds, and I will draw out a sword after them.(Ezekiel 5:12) 

Yet the nation survives. It was estimated that in the holocaust alone, in 1933-1945, a third of all world Jewry was annihilated. It is a miracle that there is an Israel, but the nation will live and not die, and declare the good works of the LORD. Purified through the fires of affliction and judgment, but preserved, to be resurrected and saved at the end of the Age, Israel’s resurrection shall also be resurrection from the dead for the whole world!

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The Cleansing of Israel…Zechariah 23

In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.  And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.  And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:  But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.  And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.(Zechariah 13 :1-6) 

“In that Day”… i.e. the Day of Divine intervention, in which God comes to the besieged, prodigal nation, and reveals himself, as the One whom  the nation had previously rejected and despised, and even had pierced, the people mourn.

On every level of society the people of Israel mourn deeply, and individually; a spirit of repentance,”Grace and supplication” grips the nation, as they are forced to re-think(Repent) everything they think they knew of the last two thousand years of Jewish History.

The Stone their builders  had once rejected, was indeed the very cornerstone! Jeshua is no ‘gentile fabrication’, He is the long anticipated Messiah! They thought he was “smitten and afflicted” by God himself, for blasphemy and false prophecy, but “He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace came upon Him and high His stripes, WE are healed”.

On that day a fountain shall open up for cleansing, “…to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem… to remove sin and uncleanness”.

The believing church, the “one new man”  composed of Gentiles and a Jewish remnant, has long availed itself of this fountain, but the very entity which it was originally prepared for, has not, until now. Finally the great national sin will be removed, and the Holy Nation will be sanctified once again! What a day of mingled sorrow and rejoicing!

The fountain shall have another effect on the nation which is described here in the vision of Zechariah; it will quench the spirit of false prophecy which has long be-deviled and deceived Israel, keeping her from believing and receiving her Messiah.

Judaism morphed into something other than the Judaism of the Prophets, Moses, and even first century Judaism of Jesus and John the Baptist. It had no choice, especially with the destruction of the temple and the dispersion and exile of the people food the previous two thousand years.

The prophecy of Jeremiah had already been partially fulfilled by 70 ad but it shifted into absolute fulfillment with those days of judgment and decline.

Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord.  For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.(Jeremiajah 2:12-13)

There was a rabbinic counsel at Javneh in the late first century , organized by Rabbi  Johannan ben Zakkai, in which pressing realities had to be faced and adapted to; What should be the Hebrew Canon?, What are we to do now that there is no Temple? Where do we go for forgiveness of sins? What should we do about the Nazrite Sect(Christians)?

Judaism was literally at a crossroads.

The decision was made by Rabbis, to emphasize knowledge, mitzvah(good works), rather than emphasize sacrificial system of forgiveness of sins, now impossible without temple or functioning Priesthood.

There was much work for the Rabbis, now, in order to obscure biblical texts which obviously point to the Sacrifice of the Messiah as a propitiationary substitute for sins, (Isaiah 53, Psalm 22 etc), as well as other texts which plainly stated that the Messiah would come to Israel and die, before the destruction of the second temple,(Daniel 925-29).

Judaism for the most part went after the Rabbis, who reconfigured it to the point of distinguishing scripture understandings which in any way conformed Christian interpretations which would lead anyone to Jesus.

What am I saying? That the system of Rabbinism is a system of false prophecies, every bit as dangerous as the preheats who bedeviled Israel in the days of Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

When the fountain opens up for the house of David and Jerusalem to remove sin and uncleanness, there will be a long overdue reaction against the Rabbis and false prophets which will be so intense, people will try to hide the fact that they were ever a Rabbi at all!

The gall of the Rabbis is astonishing to those like me, who are not Jewish and weren’t exposed to their ministry.

For example,Maimonides changed the Shema, the confession of the faith iof Israel, revealed by Moses, “Here Oh Israel, the LORD thy God, the LORD is ONE…” . He changed one word, for originally the Hebrew text read “Oneness:, (Echad), But Rambam(His other name) inserted instead the Hebrew word for ONE,singular , ( Yachid) a Word which is never used of God in all of scripture.

Why did the Rabbi change the scripture?  To hide the idea that the SHema communicates something more akin to a Trinitarian understanding of the nature of God. “Hear Oh Israel, the Lord our God the LORD is oneness…”.

Multiply this kind of duplicity hundreds of times over, over the long centuries of alienation from God, and it is no wonder the Jews did not find God, the Rabbis were for the most part utter false prophets to them!

What about the Rabbinic curse put upon the prophecy of Daniel 9? I read the testimony of a Rabbinical student who had come across in his readings the warnings and even a curse by several sages on He who calculates the timing of Daniel 9! This only piqued his curiosity until he undertook a study. What did he conclude? That the Messiah had to have come back before the destruction of the second temple,  and to have died as a substitute for the people.

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.  And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.(Daniel 9:24-26)

What was the Rabbinical student’s response to this revelation? He was born again and eventually became a baptist minister! One wonders how many hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of Jews would have followed suit, had Rabbis not obscured and hid the text!

There will be a repudiation and uprooting of all false prophecy in Israel in that day, to the point where parents will even threaten execution of any of their children who indulge in it, and the distinctive clothes associated with the false prophets, will be shed and denied by those who once practiced it.

Rabbis are not the only false prophets in Israel, there are a good number of Muslims there, and Roman Catholics, and Greek orthodox, many of whom are being used as false teachers, prophets and ministers. The name of idols shall be cut off of the land(Allah will not be heard their any more, nor will there be anymore idolatrous devotion to Mary, the “Queen of heaven” in the day that the fountain for cleansing is opened.

The last vignette has a man being asked about the scars on his hands, and him lying about them rather than confess that he received them in some kind of idolatrous ritual which would mark him out as a false prophet. Behind all false prophets is false religion, a false “Word” and behind them are unclean Spirits, Demons and Satan himself.

On that day of cleansing, Israel  receives deliverance as the mad man of Geddarra once did! Then She shall be clothed in regal glory and in her right mind in the fear and love of the LORD.

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Israel’s Recognition of Messiah …Zechariah pt 22

“I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:10 NASB)

Zechariah saw the final climax of Human history, in the worldwide siege set up around Jerusalem, Israel and Judea. The nations are furious, having drunk “a cup of trembling”from the LORD, and are set on destroying Israel completely.

The LORD remembers Israel, He has never varied from his intent to save her and to restore Israel to her place as a nation of Kings and Priests unto God. But first she must repent of her sin, the one great national sin, which Zechariah, along with Moses, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Hosea prophesied.

I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me early.(Hosea 5:15)

Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever.  Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the Lord.(Jeremiah 3:12-13)

The prerequisite for the end of the time of the Gentiles and the commencement of the restoration and salvation of Israel, is the confession by Israel of the national sin.

What will it take for Israel to confess her sin? Nothing less than “the time of Jacob’s trouble”, tremendous pressure,and  “great tribulation, such as never seen before, nor will the world ever see again…”.

All of the pressures being brought to bear on Israel, will lead to that end. Her rejection by the world community, the unrelenting hatred of the Arab/Muslim world, the fact that the Arabs have been put in a position of power by the placement of easy ,pure crude oil,the rise of antisemitism in Europe and elsewhere, all are calculated by Satan to destroy Israel, but they are being used by God to get her to the point of desperation in which she will call out to God for salvation.

Zechariah says that in the midst of this final end times seige, Israel will be given the spirit of grace and supplication, an anointing of Godly sorrow for sin and unbelief. They will have to experience a real day of Atonement, a deep soul-searching, and at that point,

“They will look upon Me whom they have pierced…”

“They will look upon ME…? ”  When did you pierce the LORD, Israel?

“They will mourn for Him as for an only son and they shall weep over him bitterly as one that weepeth for an only Son…”

Israel, in her time of deepest distress, suddenly recognizes someone that she had long rejected and dismissed,  but they see him in a totally new light!

This theme of astonished recognition runs throughout all of the scriptures;

For example look at the story in Genesis, when Joseph, as Pharoah’s regent, revealed himself to his brothers. The Sons of Israel  had thought that he, Joseph, was an Egyptian prince. When they realized that this was the brother they had betrayed years earlier, selling him to the gentiles as a slave, they broke down into stunned, guilty and awestruck tears.Joseph, however proved to be gracious to his brothers .

There is another one of these  climaxes in the Gospel of John, which occurred after the resurrection, when the apostle Thomas wouldn’t believe in the resurrection because he hadn’t seen Jesus.

“Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”(John 20:25 NASB)

But there followed another occasion where Jesus did appear to the disciples and Thomas happened to be there with them,

” Jesus came, the doors having been shut, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” “(John 20 NASB)

The force of the realization that Jesus was indeed alive, and the shame of his unbelief, brought Thomas to his knees in worshipful adoration,”My Lord and My God!”. What would make a strictly monotheistic Jew worship a companion and friend as God? Nothing less than a resurrection from the dead!

Certainly a similar turning point in the book of Acts, came when the fiercest antagonist of the Christian church, Saul of Tarsus, encountered the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus. He, Saul, a zealot of zealots had tried to destroy the nascent church, He had tortured and forced some believers to renounce Jesus. Saul,later said of himself in Acts 26:9 –

“So then, I thought to myself that I had to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth.”

But when the risen Jesus confronted Saul, on the road to Damascus, Saul could openly bow and say “Who are you Lord? What would you want me to do for you?”

In the same way does the prodigal nation encounter the Shepherd of old, the one whom they had earlier repudiated and dismissed as a blasphemer and false teacher.

On that day the nation will weep, as do all of who find out that the God whom they had previously rejected, had actually once  humbled himself,  suffered and died to save us from our sins.

The weeping will be both national and corporate, as well as individual. The mourning will involve every person, “In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem…every family by itself and their wives by themselves”, at the recognition of the enormity of the national sin against the heavenly antitype of Joseph.

That this is the One Isaiah and David predicted ,despised and rejected, and pierced for our sins,will be manifest to all of the nation. This risen Christ, who arrested the Pharisee , will arrest the Pharisee nation, in their national crisis.

Doesn’t Isaiah predict the national confession which shall be uttered that day, when he prophesied that Israel would one day tearfully admit, “We thought He was smitten and afflicted of God, but He was wounded for outré transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities and the chastisement which brought us peace came upon him, and with His stripes we are healed”(Isaiah 53)

And a fountain shall open to them for cleansing of sin, which shall also quench the spirit of false prophesy and usher in the long anticipated Day of the Lord. It is the same fountain the church has testified to in song-

There is a fountain filled with blood,drawn from Emmanuel’s veins and sinners plunged beneath the flood, lose all their guilty stains.

This is the climax of world history, the salvation of Israel, the vindication of the Messiah, the fulfillment of all promises. The resurrection of the world from the dead, look for it my friends, pray for it ! Prepare for it!

 

 

You can take what happened to Joseph and his brothers, to Thomas, and to Saul of Tarsus and to me and millions of others down through time, as the foretaste of the climax of human history, the recognition by Israel of her long despised and rejected Messiah ,Jesus.

 

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The LORD will Save Judah and Jerusalem…Zech pt 21

In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.  And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God. In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.  In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.(Zechariah 12:4-8)

The Vision of the Prophets go from mountain peak to mountain peak of pre-history. Zechariah has visions of a future and glorious restoration of Jerusalem, when the city was a pile of abandoned rubble. The Wall would be guarded by God’s glory, God would inhabit it again, and the Jewish people would be cleansed and restored as the “Light of the World”, the Candlestick, through the ministry of a man called “the Branch”.

Zechariah sees the arrival of the King Messiah, but not as a powerful military conqueror, (such as Alexander the Great, whom He saw as well, 200 years before his career.). When King Messiah comes to Jerusalem, he comes lowly and meek, riding on a colt of an Ass, a lowly foal! But He brings salvation with Him and in His time he will speak peace to the angry, restive sea of the Heathen ( i.e. nations).

Then Zechariah saw another future vision,  that Messiah would come as the Shepherd of a doomed flock, resisted by three evil Shepherds and eventually sold by the leadership of Israel, for thirty pieces of silver. This vision came five hundred years before the coming of Jesus or Judas. The precision of the prophecy is Keen, “Throw the thirty pieces of silver into the house of the Lord, for the potter…”. What could such a cryptic saying possibly mean? Only a small remnant would realize at the time of fulfillment, “that it was the Word of the LORD”.

The prophet saw Israel’s leaders repudiate the Messiah and in the process, disown God as King, severing the nation from beauty (favor) and Unity, until the Romans came and dismantled the entire nation for almost two thousand years.

The Prophet says, “In That Day…” the long anticipated “Day of Messiah” or “the Day of the LORD”, for now we are at the very end of the visions, and at the furthest mountain peak, two thousand years removed from the events seen in the previous vision. It is the final time of the LORD’s direct intervention, the day of the great and final display of his Majesty and Righteousness before the nations, particularly in his faithfulness and mercy for his prodigal Son, Israel.

Israel is a nation again, and Jerusalem has grown into a modern city, and a world controversy. The entire world is upset about both Jerusalem and Judea, and has erected a siege around the two entities. The nations around  her have become mad, having been judged by God and their leaders forced to drink” a cup of trembling” to the very dregs.

Zechariah saw the United Nations also, because he said “All of the nations are gathered together against Judah and Jerusalem”. The United Nations, the first ever literal congress of every nation on earth, has spent about a third of its time since its existence deliberating , voting for or against , censuring, rebuking, and sanctioning Israel, Judah and the issue of Jerusalem. The largest voting bloc in the U.N. is the Organization of Islamic conference, 57 states.

In the quote above I have highlighted in bold the three words of the curse that God will put on the adversaries ; confusion, blindness and madness. The cup God makes the nations of the world to drink will cause them to be confused, it will blind them and it will make them utterly mad!

The ironic thing is that this is the same cup God caused Israel to drink, when He judged her.According to tHe curse of the Law, in Deuteronomy 28:28-29.

The Lord will strike you with blindness,madness and confusion of heart, and you shall grope at noonday,as a blind man gropes in darkness;you shall not prosper in your ways; you will only be oppressed and plundered continually and no one will save you.”

Now that the set time to favor Israel has come, the cup she once had to drink, is to be given to those Gentile nations that have oppressed her and furthered her afflictions all these years.This is the meaning of the utter madness of the Arab nations for the last sixty years, as well as the madness that is now afflicting the rest of the world’s leaders.

The LORD will now treat the Gentile adversaries of Israel as his own enemies, and  he will also empower the “governors” and people of Judah and Jerusalem to fight and resist the heathen nation as mighty warriors, even the feeblest among the Jews will be “As David” in the day the LORD reverses the Judgment upon his people.

David Baron points out that it will be the fulfillment of the “Song of Moses”, and at the time when Israel is at it’s most vulnerability,

 For the Lord shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left … For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever.  If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me. I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy.(Deuteronomy 32:36-42)

Now the enemies of Israel, are to be considered the open and direct enemies of the God of Israel.

This turning of God’s attitude towards his backslidden servants, is based upon a signal event, an unprecedented but long anticipated intervention by the LORD himself, at the very climax of history, which we will discuss in the next article.

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Jerusalem,a Stone Too Heavy to Lift…Zechariah pt 20

The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.(Zechariah 12:1-3)

 

God says that it is He that will make Jerusalem to be a stone that “the nations of the earth” would presume to pick up and carry away, however they would find to their detriment that it s too heavy for them to do so, and the ones who try are literally ‘Lacerated’ for their failed efforts.

The idea is that in some way, “all of the Kings of the earth and their rulers…” are walking down a road, progressing towards a common goal. At some point they come to an obstruction in the road, a heavy stone sits in the way of progress.As I stated in an earlier article, only the existence of the UN would allow us to really say that “all of the nations of the earth” are in any kind of common walk.Zechariah’s prophecy was only possible of fulfillment since 1945 ad, and 1948 ad, the years in which for the first time n world history, there was a congress of all of the nations of the World, meeting regularly in New York city, and also the first time since 790 ad, there was a political entity, named Israel.

The Kings of the earth are trying to forge a new path for the world. Their road is towards some kind of globalist “new world order”. It is post national, post Judeo-Christian, and is the possible fulfillment of the utopian ideals of millions over the centuries. The day is almost here,it is right around the corner,”Peace on earth and goodwill towards men” , (of course without God).

But there is one stubborn trouble spot, the Middle East! How are we going to solve the quarrel between Jacob and Esau?

It doesn’t matter who, every one of the “Kings of the earth and their rulers” who have tried to solve the problem of the so-called status of Jerusalem have failed to their own hurt. The sun set on the British Empire because of it.

Uncle Sam says, “I’ll take care of it”, and rolls up his sleeves and squats to lift the stone, but cannot move it, and has severe cuts on his arms to show for his efforts. Every American President since Eisenhower has tried and failed to solve the Jerusalem problem. None of them would dare move the US Embassy to it, out of deference to the Muslims, although most of them promised to when running for office.

One outstanding recent example of the Laceration of a world leader, who took it on himself to resolve the Stone in the road problem,  occurred under the Presidency of George Bush Jr, and Israeli leader Ariel Sharon, which I wrote about in an article called “The Laceration of Two Presidencies”

The Word in Zechariah 12, for “Injure themselves”, can be interpreted as “Lacerate themselves”.

On the very week that the Ariel Sharon administration succumbed to the years long American diplomatic pressure on Israel to evacuate Gush Katif, the Jewish community in Gaza, hurricane Katrina struck our southern coastal area, ultimately to the detriment of the Bush presidency.

The following bullet points are from a World Net Daily article about the GAza/Katrina connection,

*Gaza’s Jewish communities were located in Israel’s southern coastal region; America’s southern coastal region now lies in ruins.

*The U.S. government called on Louisiana residents to evacuate their homes ahead of the storm. The Israeli government, backed by statements from U.S. officials, demanded Gaza residents evacuate their homes.

*Katrina, written in Hebrew, has a numerical equivalent of 374, according to a biblical numbering system upheld by all traditional Jewish authorities. Two relevant passages in the Torah share the exact numerical equivalent: “They have done you evil” (Gen. 50:17) and “The sea upon land” (Exodus 14:15).

*Bush, from Texas, and Rice, from Alabama, were the most vocal U.S. backers of the Gaza evacuation. Hurricane Katrina hit the states in between Texas and Alabama – Louisiana and Mississippi.

*Similarity in scenes: Many residents of Jewish Gaza climbed to their rooftops to escape the threat of expulsion, while residents of the Gulf Coast climbed on their own rooftops to protect themselves from the rising waters. Jewish Gaza homes described as beautiful and charming were demolished this week by Israel’s military. Once beautiful homes in New Orleans now lie in ruins.

*The day Katrina hit, Israel began carrying out what was termed the most controversial aspect of the Gaza withdrawal – the uprooting of bodies from the area’s Jewish cemetery. There have been media reports of corpses floating around in flooded New Orleans regions.

Did God Send Katrina as a Judgment for Gaza? by Aaron Klein ( http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=32196 )

In the first year of his administration, President Obama made an unprecedented appeal to the Muslim world, and that from Cairo, Egypt. He made clear in the speech His sympathy with Muslims, and his desire for the so-called “two State” solution.

Obama personally has condemned the Netanyahu Government for authorising the building of housing in East Jerusalem. His administration, as well as the UN , the EU and Russia believe that East Jerusalem should be reserved as the capital of the Palestinian state.

Ominously, one of Obama’s national security advisors, John Brennon recently refered to Jerusalem as “Al Quds” in a speech to an Arab american student group.”Al Quds” is the name given to Jerusalem by Islamists who want to deny the Jewish history of the city, insisting that it has always been Jewish.

This pandering to Islamic terrorists by a representative of the world’s lone super power is an example of just how heavy the stone is and how desperate the world is to move it.

Zechariah’s prophecy comes closer to realisation as the “Status” of Jerusalem is argued about and maneuvered for by the movers and shakers of the World. I just dread the “lacerations that are sure to follow. Maranatha Lord Jesus!

 

 

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