eTPL 2009-2010

The eProphecy Letter

December 2010

Who Shall Assist Israel? Shall the USA, Britain/Tarshish, Sheba, or Dedan?

Harold Lafferty MD/USA

Who shall assist Israel in its final conflict with the nations?”

The clear and decisive answer to this question is NOBODY, and NO NATION ON EARTH. This claim is in direct contradiction of the opinion expressed in a magazine article some time ago which claims that Israel will have a protector – Tarshish – defined in the article as the English-speaking peoples. It boldly claims that the statement that “Israel is to be deserted does not conform to the Scriptures.” We were only recently reminded of this article.

We are fully aware that this (erroneous) notion was long held by prophecy scholars. But it has always been the wrong conclusion. The reasons why it was first put forth were numerous but all these, too, were false interpretations. We emphasize “interpretations” because there is no concrete testimony of any kind supporting these claims.

This declaration has no basis whatever in prophetic models. The supposition that Israel is to be protected by any worldly, secular power is contrary to several distinct passages in scripture, only a few of which we shall examine. But let’s initially consider some details of the article.

A. Citation of Numbers 23:9 and Micah 7:14 come under the article’s attempt to support the thesis of support for Israel. It states that these are the only two passages the author is aware of that might seem to support Israel’s having no support in her final conflicts. Let’s examine these.

Numbers 23:9 – “For, from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.”

This prophesy of Balaam has nothing primarily to do with Israel standing alone in combat against the nations in the Endtime Wars. It indicates, and certainly even dictates, primarily that instead of being mixed (assimilated) with all the other populations, the people of Israel would FOREVER remain a peculiar, segregated people that is not assimilable into the populations of the nations into which they would be scattered. Secondarily it reveals a nation opposed by all the other nations when the showdown comes.

As an extension of this characteristic, the Jews would remain a discrete people who could, when the time comes, be drawn again from the Gentiles as a distinctive body, and be re-gathered to their own Land as foretold in numerous passages, including Isaiah 11:11. [Of course, even if the Jewish people had become completely assimilated among the Gentiles, He could still reassemble them to their Land, but the impact of His action would be lost on the nations to whom that particular re-gathering is a testimony of his sovereignty and omnipotence … that He had re-gathered specifically Israel back to the Land, and had not simply re-populated it with “people” from all over the earth.]

Furthermore: Numbers 23:9 clearly indicates that the God of Israel was never going to allow His people – His witnesses – to become assimilated and dissolved among the nations, and that Israel, even as now re-constituted, would be considered by all the other states as a pariah among them; Israel and its people do not fit into their society nor concepts of normalcy. The State of today is officially rejected as being a fulfilled prophecy – this uniquely unprecedented restoration of Israel to its Land in the last days. It is a supreme embarrassment to the RC Church that Israel has been regathered and reestablished in the Land, for Rome has always contended that God has cast Israel aside and has no further use for her – not knowing His word, of course! That is why Rome has resisted Israel’s rights and circumstances all these years since 1948. Yes, Israel wants to be a nation equal among the nations; but God will even now NOT PERMIT IT! Their destiny is far more important than that – and far beyond the acquiescence of the secular or religious powers of the earth today!

The second passage is likewise irrelevant:

Micah 7: 14 – “Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.”

This passage has nothing whatever to do with Israel standing alone against the nations. It refers to the incontrovertible fact that Israel ALONE (solitarily, purely) shall, in the kingdom age, inhabit the wood of Carmel, the fields and mountains of Galilee, Gilead and Bashan (their Land of promise), “as in the days of old.” – that is, when Israel autonomously occupied those areas with no (or few) foreigners living in their midst. It refers to their future sole possession of the Land, when there shall be no Canaanite in the Land. Zechariah 14:21 – “Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.”

The named passage has no relationship to Israel standing alone or not alone against the nations in battle!

B. The article’s second argument nominates Ezekiel 38 to prove that “British/U.S., Sheba and Dedan … would resist Gogian aggression.”

A simple, objective reading of Ezekiel 38 indicates no response from Sheba and Dedan except their obviously tremulous interrogatory, “Art thou come to take a spoil and a prey?” There is no internal implication whatever here of any British/U.S. forces resisting Gog or being in military league with Israel!

This is only a question about Gog’s geopolitical INTENT. I am firmly and scripturally convinced that only (1) the Proximal (or nearby) Arab/Islamic enemies and (2) the Gogian host come physically against Israel with armies and with intention to destroy the state and its people. These are instead destroyed outrightly by the intervention of Christ by His supernatural powers of destruction; and neither of them will be permitted to approach anywhere near Jerusalem itself.

One exception to this claim is that the PA/PLO are resident not only in Jerusalem but throughout all Israel. If they remain so distributed among the Israelis, it must be understood that they will be dealt with by both the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Christ’s wrath on a divinely selected, one-on-one basis – each one destroyed the moment he strives to resist either the IDF or the Man from Bethlehem! They are already inside the camp, and must be destroyed there. There is no indication that the invading armies of nearby Islam or Gog are even allowed to approach Jerusalem itself!

Now, having said that, I think it already quite clear that the nations of the world will abandon Israel. [Haven’t they actually done so already?] The core issue of Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem, its eternal capital, is now becoming ultra-heated; the “Palestinians” are absolutely demanding Jerusalem as capital of their proposed State. The issue of Jerusalem will soon be THE PRINCIPAL CAUSE of strife which will break out in warfare – doubtless the final war of the Arab-Israeli crisis of the past 60+ years. Zechariah 12:1-3.

It’s no big consideration, however. Why should Christ or Israel care a fig about the USA, Britain, and even Europe’s opinions or acceptance? These nations are even now doing their best to de-legitimize Israel, cut it off both economically and politically from any first-class association with themselves.

Antisemitism is on a steep rise in Europe. But, as I have written extensively in Twilight of the Prophets, I don’t believe that the European Beast nations will have the will or the time to attack Israel before Christ’s Everlasting Gospel goes forth to them, which seems sure to occur soon after the destruction of Gog.

This conveyed “Gospel” will challenge them to accept the Christ’s sovereignty and to serve Him only. It is The Gospel of Christ, but it is not the gospel that they have heard throughout their existence, during all their affiliation with (subjugation to) the Roman Catholic System as well as that of her Protestant daughters.His Gospel is not recognized by them. They will not submit to it by any means. They will resist it with all their force.

But that does not necessarily mean that they will actively send armies against Jerusalem (although of that we may not have sufficient information and surely cannot be certain!). One fact is certain: the entities styled the Beast and the Harlot cannot be destroyed in Israel or in the Middle East primarily. They must be destroyed in Europe, primarily, but also in all the recesses of the world into which the power and influence of the Harlot extends.

The destruction will be worldwide when the Stone Power rises up from Zion and insinuates Itself into their domains in order to place them under subjection to His will! Rome cannot be thrown into the sea in Israel – that has to take place in Rome. It takes place as Christ “speaks peace to the heathen.” His authority and eminence is challenged by them; but He shall succumb to no challenges. They cry, “Let us cast His bands from us,” but He commands, “Submit to My Gospel.”

It must be noted that “Armageddon” is only mentioned in Revelation 16, and I believe has solely, at least primarily, to do with the overthrow of the Beast and the False Prophet. The earlier conflicts are part of the judgment of the Valley of Jehoshaphat (the Valley of Decision), of Joel 3. There is certainly some valid question as to the extent and character of Armageddon as well as the combatants, but this is my belief.

The Church, during the Phase Three Conflict, believing its power to be supreme on earth, rejects this “Messiah” of Israel, and prepares to resist Him in their ignorance. When they do, He will come to them, and destroy the now revived Image by which their regime and doctrine is symbolized, grinding it (them) to powder!

C. The article’s third argument refers to Daniel 11: 44 – a passage which has nothing whatever to do with the Gogian host! That conviction comes from the mistaken notion that Gog is also identifiable as the King of the North of Daniel 11.

I have done a complete electronic search of Elpis Israel and Eureka, and find that in those works John Thomas never acknowledged – and possibly never even recognized – that The Ottoman Empire constituted the King of the North of his day, or that Egypt’s dynasty that was driven from the Land in 1517 by the Ottomans, had been King of the South – indeed, the LAST King of the South. (He even believed Britain would become a King of the South, but there is great textual difficulty, even denial, of this: no further King of the South is mentioned after Daniel 11:40 – only the King of the North, who comes to his end with none to help!)

Having long ago recognized that the Ottomans were the last King of the North (the last of a long line) we concluded (in retrospect) that the resurrection of Israel from the nations is the next consideration of the beginning of Daniel 12 (it being a type of the physical resurrection of His called and chosen and faithful Ones from the dead) under the direction of Michael, the Archangel, who is NOT Christ and the Saints, but clearly as named: Michael the Archangel! It is he who is charged with Israel’s care; it is HE who has supervised the resurrected polity of Israel in these End-times, and regathered its people.

He conceivably was also in charge of the Holocaust, the mechanism instituted to IMPEL the Jews back to their Land to settle it and develop it, there to await their final redemption! It is surely Michael who was responsible for the spectacular victories of Israel against its enemies to date – in 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, the War of Attrition, Intifada #1 and #2.

That interpretation of Gog as King of the North is so inane as to be ludicrous! These entities – Gog and the King of the North – are entirely and obviously separate from each other.

1. They occupy entirely different times in history,

2. arise from entirely different premises,

3. have entirely different identities (named participants),

4. have entirely different goals and aspirations,

5. end completely differently,

6. and must not be confused with each other.

I refer readers of this present article to the work, The Twilight of the Prophets by the present author, self-published in 2000, in which this matter is discussed in depth and scripturally. If that resort is not satisfactory he invites personal correspondence on the subject, email address available at

Since the time in the 19th century when this claim of Britain’s assistance to the work of the Christ may have seemed more likely, a multitude of prophetic fulfillment has occurred which now obviates it entirely! Times and circumstances have moved unmistakably ahead of those early speculations; future events have become markedly clearer and more meaningful to scholars.

The notion is null and void. It is indefensible. It is erroneous!

D. The article attempts to show that recent events indicate improved links between Israel and her protectors, implying more solid relations between them.

To those blinded by this concept, that may have seemed to be true in 2002, when this article was published; but it is clearly NOT true today. Antisemitism in Europe and in the USA is growing rapidly. Britain is becoming even more adamantly opposed to Israel, and even the historically loyal USA is now distancing itself from Israel. Pressure from the Obama administration is increasing to force Israel to extend its construction freeze, and to concede “land for peace” to the Palestinian Authority, which wishes to erase Israel and take their entire land.

E. The article ended with the assertion that “Israel is to be deserted does NOT conform to the Scriptures.” (p.103)

That global statement will now be challenged.

The pervasive issue of Jerusalem’s sovereignty under Israel is under intense assault at this moment in history – even more than at earlier times. Zechariah 12: 1-3 indicates that Jerusalem is the “burdensome stone” with which the Almighty will grind the nations to powder! It is integral to the “controversy of Zion” (indeed, it IS Zion!) which shall precipitate the final showdown with the Islamic entities opposing Israeli existence.

And there will be “none to help” in Messiah’s combat with the house of Edom in Bozrah – as specifically stated in Isaiah 63:3:

“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. 4 For the

day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my

redeemed is come. 5 And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.”

There shall be no assistance or palpable sympathy from the USA, Britain, Tarshish, Sheba, or Dedan –none! That passage, as well as others, show clearly that Messiah is in the earth, waging war on Israel’s behalf, and that He is alone in that initiative; although accompanied, in this writer’s opinion, by the immortalized Saints; He is therefore constituted the One Man, or the Multitudinous Christ of the Second Advent.

Other sets of passages apply here, among them:

“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” Isa 54:17

This verse is a summary of the entire previous text of this wonderfully enlightening chapter in Isaiah.

Isaiah 54:4 – “Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. 5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. 6 For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. 7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. 8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with

everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.”

The factor of the Almighty’s “forsaking” of His people is prominent here – and quite important to our overall understanding of His Plan. Micah also indicates the importance of the Father’s abandonment (giving them up) in this telling revelation in Micah 5:2 – which then forecasts the end of His abandonment at a certain time:

“ But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He (Jesus) come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. 3 – Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel.”

It must be noted carefully here that his “giving them up” (other translations say “abandon them”) UNTIL a certain time Israel’s rebirth in 1948 – when they again become the

abundant recipients of His favor and strength, because they are then involved in the active process of “returning to Me” as admonished by the Father in Malachi 3:7; Jeremiah 24:7; and Isaiah 44:22.

At that time, He ceased to abandon them and began to assist them mightily … “with great mercies will I gather thee:” please note that He indicates NO OTHERS who shall be involved in their regathering and survival in the Land!

Note that in none of the verses quoted above is there mention of gratuitous assistance of any mortals beside the Almighty. The LORD is their Redeemer. He is their Deliverer and Saviour. All other nations have abandoned her to the evil aggressors who strive to devour and tear her apart, take her capitol and lands, disperse her people yet again. This is blessed assurance that these curses shall NOT be exercised upon Israel, the People of God!

Isaiah 49 treats of the Endtime redemption of Israel in detail – and the time of their deliverance from the nations. Its narrative reflects that day in which we are extremely privileged to live. Isaiah 49:8 – “Thus saith the LORD, ‘In an acceptable time have I heard thee, and in a day of salvation have I helped thee: and I will preserve thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, to establish the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages …’”

Note well, please, that NO OTHER assistance by anyone is indicated here. “I have heard thee … I have helped thee … I will preserve thee …” If there were to be outside aid would we not see it recorded in passages such as these?

Besides that, WHAT help does the Almighty need to perform His work? His glorious Savior and His immortalized Saints are easily up to the task!

Isaiah again addresses the solitude of Christ in His work for His people: “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him (resist Him). And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and to them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the lord.” (Isaiah 59: 19-20)

This Endtime response is the direct result of His previous instruction that “… the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no judgment. And He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought salvation unto Him, and His righteousness, it sustained Him.” (verses 15, 16) In other words, His people are delivered not with the deference of Britain or Tarshish or Sheba/Dedan [there was NO intercessor! Would not these be definable as “intercessors” if they were to so intervene?].

Think about it! The preservation of Israel to these ends is contrary to the ambition of every other national power in the world. None of them want Israel to have the pre-eminence for which it is absolutely destined under the rule of Christ! NONE!

So why should they assist Him in His work of exonerating Israel?

Isaiah 2 is a similar commentary upon Israel’s Endtime circumstances: Isaiah 2: 11 et seq.,

11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. [If other nations were to assist Israel, should they not be “exalted” as well?]

12 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: [Is there a nation upon earth that is not “proud and lofty?” Their destiny is to be “brought low” by Him.]

13 And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan,

14 And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up,

15 And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, [Note that all these elements – cedars, oaks, mountains, hills, towers, walls – are symbols of MAN’S might, which is decidedly inferior and in opposition to God’s might in Christ. They are not appointed to assist, but to resist and denigrate, if anything.]

16 And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures. [We easily observe here that the ships of Tarshish are specifically not allowed to assist in preserving Israel but are condemned with the blanket condemnation of all the other nations, for theirs is not to ASSIST but to RESIST His plan. Psalm 48:7 likewise is unmistakable in this matter! In reality, ONLY THESE REFERENCES are needed unequivocally to disprove the quoted author’s claim that “Israel is to be deserted does NOT conform to the Scriptures.” The entirely opposite position of the nations is scripturally verified: ISRAEL IS TO BE DESERTED by them – ALL of them!

17 And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. [Any secular power that might assist Christ would be constituted “lofty, and haughty.” But these shall be brought low. “The Lord ALONE shall be exalted in that day.”]

So, in addition to there being NO indication of any cooperation with Israel’s redemption by any of the contemporary worldly powers, there are myriads of statements on record which refute this erroneous notion of any national assistance for Israel in her final breakout from the oppression of the Gentiles!

Our Father has clearly proclaimed that “My glory will I not give to another” (Isaiah 42:8); this includes NOT allowing or soliciting ‘outside help’ in executing His holy plan for His people! It is not (and shall not be) in Britain’s mind, heart, or destiny to assist Israel in that day. Why on earth should they do so when, except for the unique character of the Balfour Declaration, that nation has ALWAYS VIGOROUSLY resisted God’s people’s return and nationalization but instead have aided and abetted the Arab enemies of Israel wholeheartedly?

The popular hymn proclaims this truth long believed among us: “Zion’s King shall reign victorious; All the world shall own His sway; He shall make His kingdom glorious; He shall rule through endless day. What, though all the world resist Him, God shall realize His plan!”

So, I believe it mandatory that we hasten to accept God’s word in this matter as in all others; submit to His will, not our own notions; attribute NOT His glory to any other. Accept the transparent will of God in this matter, leaving it to him to bring about in His prearranged plan, and to give HIM the glory for having done so.

No man or nation has the power or ability to do otherwise!

<HEL> December 2, 2010

The e-Prophecy Letter

November 2010

Thoughts on Daniel 12: 1-3

An inquiry from a friend recently triggered the following investigation, which is vital to our understanding of Endtime prophecy. My intention is, as exhaustively as possible in the space allotted, to study and comment upon the first three verses in this present essay. The verses are …

Daniel 12: 1: “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 is found written in the book.

2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

3. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.” [KJV]

Michael the Archangel

The setting is 1917 AD, the year of the termination of the last King of the North, the Ottoman Empire, which was driven forever from the Province of Palestine by the armed forces of Great Britain in December of that year, as prophesied in Daniel 11: 41 – 45.

The prophet states, “at that time (1917) shall Michael stand up,” and defines Michael as the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people.” [Some earlier scholars have surmised that “Michael” is a term designating the Lord Jesus Christ, Who in their view would be returning after what they believed would be the defeat of the Gogian invader which they believed to be indicated in the previous chapter. Such was clearly not the case. Daniel has already mentioned Michael twice in his revelation and it is inconsistent to claim that the angel’s identity is different here.] References to these verses and yet earlier ones will be helpful to our understanding of his identity and mission.

We need to note that the statement that it is AT THAT TIME (that Michael “stands up”) is precisely the time at which Michael’s skills and power as an archangel are needed to bring the Jews back to their Land and sustain them in it after their long dispersion! It seems that while they are in exile, Michael has little to do in helping Israel because of a statement made in the next reference. But now his power and godly assistance shall be needed by his people again.

Further critical understanding and correlation of the angel’s identity and mission may be abetted by reference to the Angelic Being described (but not named) in the early history of Israel as it emerged a nation from the Land of Egypt. That this Michael is the same angel is almost certain – the same as the unnamed one of Exodus 23:20 – the angel of the Cloud and of the Pillar of Fire: “Behold, I send My Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and bring thee unto the place which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for My name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. For Mine angel shall go before thee …” (that is, to lead them into the Land which He had promised them).

Before we leave this reference there are four crucial factors about this angel of which we need to be aware.

1. It was this angel’s divine assignmentto keep Israel in the way” (the way of God’s direction);

2. ”To bring them unto the place” (Canaan) which God had prepared for them;

3. “My name is in him” is clearly conveyed to Israel; this special angel will be their protector and guide to the Promised Land and as residents in it. But there seems another shade of meaning which we must note. Michael (H4317) is defined by Strong as “who is like God.” So El’s name (God) is part of Michael’s name; it is literally true that he bears God’s name, in addition to the commission that he has been given;[1]

4. And if Israel follows his directions, then God promised to be “an enemy to their enemies, and an adversary to thine adversaries.” We need to keep this in mind whenever referencing Michael and his duties toward God’s people – especially in the Endtime.

Now to Daniel 10: 11-13: “Then said he unto me, ‘O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. ‘ And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. 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 (because of) 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.”

This is the first time the angel Michael is named in the scriptures. The second time is Daniel 10: 21,where Gabriel identifies his counterpart Michael as “holding with me in these (revealed) things.”

The clear information in this passage is that the speaker is an angel whose identity has not yet been made known to Daniel. That angelic being is actually Gabriel, the only other angel mentioned by the book of Daniel, or even named in the entire Bible. Gabriel is assigned an important duty in Daniel 8: 16where the voice of “a (mighty) man” is heard by Daniel between the banks of the River Ulai in Babylon.

The voice commands Gabriel to make Daniel understand a vision which he had just seen – the Vision of the Sanctuary Cycle being our current name for it – a significant revelation leading all the way to the Endtime (“at the time of the end shall be the vision” – Verse 17).

The vision had just been seen by Daniel and involved several events leading to the confrontation of a Ram with two horns standing by a river, and engaging in combat with an He-goat with one notable horn between its eyes. Daniel 8: 5.

Without going into the intricate details of exegesis at this time,[2] the Ram with two horns represented an eminent political power (the Medes and the Persians) which would be overcome and soundly defeated by a future rival power represented by an He-goat with a notable horn; that He-goat represented Alexander the Great of Greece – the power which overthrew the Medo-Persian overlord of God’s land in future years. The Medo-Persian kingdom would succeed Babylon which, almost until Daniel’s death, still had control of God’s Land. When this vision was received by Daniel the date is specified as the third year of Belshazzar (Daniel 8: 1) – nearly at the end of Babylon’s ascendancy, and just prior to the decree of Cyrus the Persian that they return to their homeland in Judaea.

The Vision of the Sanctuary Cycle which now followed [also called the Vision of the 2,300 Evening-Mornings] concerned the “cleansing of the Sanctuary,” which we understand means the Temple M0unt – the Mount of the Sanctuary, or Temple – in Jerusalem. Briefly, the timing of this vision began when Alexander defeated Medo-Persia in their first encounter at the River Granicus in Asia Minor (present day Turkey) in the spring [early June] of the year BC 334.

Lapsing the years forward (Daniel 8: 13, 14) as history progressed, the 2,300 “evening-mornings” (days = solar years) terminated in 1967 AD. The span of time given by angelic revelation is exactly 2,300 solar years from the starting date. It is a superb example of God’s perfect foreknowledge of events of such long term. And it terminated very nearly or precisely at the terminus of the forecasted time span, on June 7th of that distant year.

You will remember that it was on this date that the Israel Defense Forces assaulted and overcame the Arab Legion of Jordan, which had held East Jerusalem and the so-called West Bank since the War of Independence in 1948 (a span of 19 years).

We have introduced all these previous facts, which may seem extraneous, to show clearly that Michael is the arch-angel charged with the supervision of Israel when either it is IN its Land (these Endtimes) or is ABOUT TO ENTER IT (as from ravaged Europe in 1945, or anciently from Egypt into Canaan).

From this precise verse, Daniel 12:1, we discern that Michael again “stood up” to assist and guide Israel BACK TO ITS INHERITANCE in these Endtimes JUST AS HE HAD BEEN CHARGED AS THEY EMERGED FROM EGYPT. This is an important fact to recognize here for reasons that will become clearer as we progress.

So far, Daniel has been told that Michael shall “at that time” stand up for Israel, and that Michael specifically, is that “great prince which standeth FOR the children of thy people.”

The Time of Trouble Such as Never Was

Now time leaps forward as the next phrase unfolds: “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 (Israel) shall be delivered…”

By studying events that followed the Great War of 1917-18 (World War I), we can easily see that its failures and injustices laid the sure framework for World War II. In less than 15 years from its conclusion, a despotic political aspirant named Adolph Schickelgruber (later called Hitler) rose to the foreground to wreak revenge on the Great Powers for their shoddy treatment (in his mind) of Germany. His evil ranting against the Jews of Europe and the world were voiced clearly in his book, Mein Kampf (My Struggle) written while he was in prison. His rise to power in Germany was uncommonly meteoric.

The result of Hitler’s coming to power was this “time of trouble” for God’s and Daniel’s people “such as never was.” In Hebrew this Trouble is known as The Shoah; in English, as The Holocaust. It shall not be our purpose here to review the horrible and horrifying events of that era in which over six million Jews were imprisoned, enslaved, tortured, incinerated, and slaughtered by The Third Reich.

It is reputed to be the most horrible, most concentrated, most intractable, most grindingly terrifying event in human history levied against any single group of people. Actually the Jews were only about half of all the enemies of Germany which were murdered, but their identities and loyalties were not unified as were those of the Jews; also, God had no specific purpose with them as He did with His People.

In 1945, near the conclusion of the war, Russian and Allied forces began to discover the horrors of the Death Camps – of hundreds of murder factories which bore evil-sounding names such as Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Majdenek (Maidenek), Dachau, and Sobibor. Of the original Jewish population of about nine million in the war’s arena, six million now lay in graves and ash-pits.

Only three million had survived in various degrees of destitution – but mostly starved and weakened.[3] Soon the world body, the United Nations Organization, took pity on the Jews and voted to partition Palestine, which had already been awarded to Britain as a Mandatory home for the Jewish people of the world by the Balfour Declaration. The Jews of almost the whole world were solidly behind the formation of a State, which was established in May, 1948. The greatest proportion of Jews left in Europe, all of whom had been “displaced” from their homes, migrated to the new State and its freedom. So, a limited number (those found “written in the book”) migrated to their ancient homeland, and were “delivered” out of the lands of Holocaust.

“Every One that Shall be Found Written in the Book”

The exact (and ultimate) meaning of this phrase, that these “shall be delivered,” is at this time somewhat obscure to this writer.

It may mean “all those who were appointed by God to escape death.” But that is a subjective definition.

It might mean “all those who are slated to enter the kingdom which Messiah will soon establish,” except that almost all the personal survivors of the Holocaust are now deceased, and the kingdom has not come.

It may mean “all those who are specially designated physically to build the newly formed State of Israel” would be delivered.

Or it might be most of all a reference to their deliverance into immortality in their time of judgment.

So far, the phrase is an enigma to this writer. It certainly shall be understood in future, but what does it mean to us today? Although this writer is unable to offer a fully rational explanation of his own (perhaps he is viewing this as a more difficult problem than it really is), he has consulted a peer who seems to have only negligible problems with the phraseology.

Please allow him to elaborate in his own words (emphasis mine):

“This statement is referring to “thy people” (Daniel’s people, the Jews) in the land. Daniel was a prophet to the Jews, of course.” To our commentator friend, “it states quite positively that certain people in Israel, not the world, whose names are written in a book, shall be delivered. (Delivered) from what? From eternal oblivion! From eternal death! (Mark 16: 16)

“Revelation 20:12 tells us that, ‘THE BOOKS WERE OPENED; and another book was opened, which is The Book of Life. And the dead were judged out of those things which were written IN THE BOOKS according to their works (Verse15). Whoever was not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.’

“You will notice in the above, ‘THE BOOKS (PLURAL) WERE OPENED AND ANOTHER BOOK, THE BOOK OF LIFE.’ Perhaps the first BOOKS were those personal ‘notes’ about the people spoken of in (another) book. The Psalmist says, ’In Thy book all my members were written.' How can we escape the thought that this refers to the DNA of the person, ensuring that those who sleep in the Lord can be re-created exactly as they were!?

“It seems to me that the verse speaks only of the Jews, many of whom (similar to many of the Gentiles) will not find salvation because their Names are not written in the Book of life.

“In Malachi 3:16 we read, ‘They that feared the Lord spake often one to another and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him FOR THEM THAT FEARED THE LORD AND THAT THOUGHT UPON HIS NAME’

“Daniel 12: 4 says: ‘Shut up the words and seal the book even to the time of the end.’ Does this mean that the recording of those in Israel who were in the books ceased at the time Daniel is speaking of; or is he referring to the time of the end of the Hebrew ages and times – and the end of the first Hebrew kingdom age? I don't know; but you might have some ideas” [or perhaps readers may have some thoughts – Ed.].

“The Psalmist speaks of such people (in this way): ‘Let them be blotted out of the book of the living and not be written with the righteous.’ (Psalm 69:28)

“After asking ‘WHO IS WORTHY TO OPEN THE BOOK?’ (Revelation 5:2), the answer is given in verse 5: ‘THE LION OF THE TRIBE OF JUDAH HATH PREVAILED TO OPEN THE BOOK AND TO LOOSE THE SEALS.’ Surely (this is) the Judgment day!

“Can this book be the same (book) that Daniel spoke of in 12:1? Can there be two books? Hardly! Paul speaks of ‘those whose names are in the book of life.’ Surely it must be the same 'book.' Are there TWO divisions – JEWISH AND GENTILE?”

That is the end of our consultant’s comments. In addition, this researcher believes there is a veiled reference also to the recovery (resurrection) of the Jews from the nations of their dispersion – a very real “resurrection” of their nation which precedes the resurrection of the saints of God, Jew OR Gentile. As these verses are a vast, overall consideration of a long period of time, which omits many of the details, it may have still other ramifications we have not considered here!

Many of Them That Sleep in the Dust of the Earth Shall Awake

Verse two leaps forward to an easily discernible goal: but even that understanding could have two rational explanations. As just inferred, the Jews of Diaspora can be said to be “sleeping” in the “dust of the earth,” for they are not yet gathered completely into their own nation – or not yet “resurrected” from that Diaspora. This is a spiritual application which I believe to be valid, though certainly not exclusive.

2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

3. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”

But the more sure interpretation is that of a literal resurrection from death. When the Messiah of Israel appears, myriads of covenanted Jews shall be raised from the dead, and shall be judged. Their worthy lives under the Law of Moses shall have been validated by the sacrifice of Christ, and they shall be raised to stand before Him in judgment, along with enormous numbers of believing Gentiles.

These shall “awake” to (1) “everlasting life,” or (2) “to shame, and everlasting contempt.” This is a clear, unmistakable picture of the Judgment Seat of Christ – the time when one of these two courses is set in stone for every participant in the Judgment proceedings. The Inspirer gives no further consideration to those who are turned aside into outer darkness (Matthew 22: 13).

On the other hand, he describes the future of those who are considered worthy of life: “They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they who turn [have turned] many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”

It is an extremely happy outcome for these faithful ones! Their victory shall be clearly visible by all God’s creation forevermore.

Michael Stands Up

Now, returning to the first phrases, we have read that “at that time (1917) shall Michael stand up, that great prince which standeth for the children of thy people.” That phraseology is completely compatible with the first facts revealed by the Almighty in reference to “Mine angel” of the Exodus, which was to “go before” Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land – to shepherd them into the Land and maintain them in it as long as they obeyed God.

So Michael “stood up” in 1917, to resume his earlier duties, which were again to lead his people back to their Promised Land and to be “an enemy to their enemies, and to be an adversary to their adversaries”as in Exodus 23. He has in our time executed his duties extremely well; we may rest assured that Israel shall remain under Michael’s protection until Messiah appears to them.

We can clearly see the undeniable effects of Michael’s assistance to Israel in these Endtimes. He has aided and assisted them immeasurably in their highly successful Return (Aliyah) to the Land; in the liberation of the Land from the Ottomans AND from Britain (!); in Israel’s four wartime victories over the Proximal Arabs; in their War of Attrition; in their assaults by Intifada; and even in their “peace negotiations” which are going utterly NOWHERE.

We believe these farcical “peace” activities will never bear the fruits desired by the “Palestinians” (which is to root Israel out of the land and take it for their own) OR by the shepherds of Israel who seem willing to concede land (and portions of their capital city) and to conclude “peace” with the Arabs among them and surrounding them. We believe both to be impossible and not at all in the offing for either party. Their only resolution of their differences upon Jerusalem – the “burdensome Stone” of Zechariah 14 – shall be the appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ from the heavens to “save them from their enemies”(Psalm 44: 7).

So our parting thoughts must be: Hold fast, O Israel, to that which thou hast; stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord!

H E Lafferty MD/USA for the eTPL, November, 2010

[1] It was partially for this reason that earlier scholars mistook this reference to the angel as being to the Lord.

[2] The author intends to bring a documented, clear exposition of this enlightening prophecy of “The 2,300 Evening-Mornings” to these pages in future issues, God willing, as well as other land-mark events which have been fulfilled.

[3] These folk comprised yet another “remnant” of God’s people who had survived persecution, famine and Pogroms upon them through the ages. The “remnants” began with the negligible return of Jews from Babylon.

The Prophecy Letter

October, 2010

Balaam the Prophet, Conclusion

Please read Part I of this series prior to this Conclusion

Balaam’s spirit flies! As such a suitable purveyor of God’s revelation, he seems not to care at all for the rewards of silver and gold of which he shall surely be deprived! He seems really now to care only about the will of the Almighty, Who inspires him. He is reckless, submerged in the intonations of the great blessings which God freely showers upon His unique and blessed people Israel! He records in Numbers 24 …

“5. How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob,

And thy tabernacles, O Israel!

6. As the valleys are they spread forth,

As gardens by the river’s side.

As the trees of lign aloes which the Lord hath planted,

And as cedar trees beside the waters.

His description of God’s chosen ones probes far deeper than all that is perceptible to the eyes of mortals. Their very tents reflect the favour of their God. The vastness of their encampment of about two millions of souls is wonderfully spread forth as the great clefts between mountains. Festooned with greenery, reminding Balaam of exotic tropical aloes and fragrant woods beside abundant streams of water!

“7. He shall pour the water out of his buckets,

And his seed shall be in many waters,

And his kings shall be higher than Agag,

And his kingdom shall be exalted.”

Although this location is semi-arid, Israel’s destiny is that he shall in future time possess such an abundance of life-giving water that he could with impunity waste it upon the ground – a forecast of the Latter Days, and of Millennial blessings of the Tabernacle in Zion from which living waters shall flow continually day and night toward the east sea and toward the hinder sea, healing the waters of the Dead Sea, supporting the “wood of life” which is pictured growing on either side of that river in Revelation 22:2, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations, whose sustenance is without money or price to all who would partake of it.

Likewise, His “seed” (Israel’s progeny) – the individuals imbued with the blessings, doctrines, and foundations of the Father – shall spread abroad, transported by this life-giving “water,” to the nations and peoples of the earth, all of whom joyfully come up to Jerusalem once a year to worship the Lord of Hosts!

A KING also shall be there – “higher than Agag” shall he be!

It is a magnificent understatement of God’s Spirit! There is really no valid comparison of these two kings! Although this is the first Biblical occurrence of this name – Agag – we recognize that, in principle it refers to one actually named Agag, a much later king of the Amalekites, whom Saul spared in I Samuel 15, and whom righteous Samuel hewed to pieces before all the people. Indeed, it is a specific prophecy that a future king of the Amalekites would bear that name.

Only four decades prior to this, during the Exodus, the people of Amalek dwelt in the top of the Negev desert southwest of the Salt Sea. They presented the first national barrier to Israel’s entry into their Promised Land as they challenged the passage of God’s people, and fought with the Israelites at Rephidim.

Joshua led the Israelites against Amalek in Exodus 17, and was victorious when Moses held high the rod of God, but began to lose the battle when Moses became tired and let down the rod. So Aaron and his brother Hur sat Moses on a stone so they could support his hands throughout the day, “And Joshua overwhelmed the people of Amalek with the sword.” (vs. 13, Tanakh)

Then came the ominous sentence upon Amalek from God: “Inscribe this in a document as a reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: ‘I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven!’ And Moses built an altar and named it Adonai-nissi. He said it means, “Hand upon the throne of the Lord! … The Lord will be at war with Amalek through the ages!” (Verses 14 – 16)

Bullinger points out that an ellipsis here causes some difficulty, but should be understood as “Surely the hand [lifted up] upon the banner of Jah [is to swear]; for the war of Jehovah [Yahweh] against Amalek is to be from generation to generation.”

And “so it was,” he says, “It was carried on by Ehud (Judges 3), Barak (Judges 5), Gideon (Judges 6), Saul (I Samuel 15), David (I Samuel 27), the Simeonites (II Chronicles 4), Mordecai (Esther 3 and 9). Some have proposed that the name Agag is equivalent to GOG, and that the final victory over Agag comes when the Gogian host prepares to attack Israel as in Ezekiel 38 and 39 and meets its doom, but there seems little reason to suspect anything more than a phonetic similarity as the circumstances are not parallel.

Indeed! His king – that exalted One then named Yahweh Tz’vaoth– the Lord of hosts – shall be higher than Agag, and His kingdom shall be exalted,” NOT cursed, utterly defeated, and destroyed.

Balaam continues his message in verse 8 –

“8. God brought him (Israel) forth out of Egypt:

He (Israel) hath as it were the strength of an unicorn:

He (Israel) shall eat up the nations his enemies,

And (Israel) shall break their bones,

And pierce them through with his arrows.”

Balaam’s absolute confession is that it was GOD Who had miraculously brought forth Israel out of Egypt, giving to Israel the strength of an unicorn. The word “unicorn” is from the Septuagint, but the Hebrew is reem, and is supposed to mean the rhinoceros, buffalo, or antelope, but is often rendered “unicorn” in the AV, indicative of mythic, supernatural strength – the strength of God Himself.

So, in light of such strength, Israel AS A NATION should ‘eat up the nations who are his enemies, and break their bones, and pierce them through with his arrows!’

That was their short term destiny as they soon began to destroy the seven nations which inhabited Canaan, their Land. And it is their long-term, Latter-Day destiny as well, as they wither the hand and crush the heads of the nations round about who persecute them daily, terrorize them hourly, and consistently hate the Israel of God and His plan for their imminent redemption!

“9. He crouched, he lay down as a lion,

And as a great lion, who shall stir him up?

Blessed is he who blesseth thee,

And cursed is he who curseth thee.”

Balaam again refers to labiy (the great lion; earlier he had referred also to the young lion - ariy), perhaps the fiercest beast known to those people at that time –“the king of beasts,” who has his own way with every other species. Who, indeed, shall “stir him up?” – That is who dares “rouse him?” Such an act could bring sudden death to the rouser. The lion is a metonym for Israel’s invincible character under God’s will; a relentless hunter and fighter who is unconquerable. It is for this reason that Messiah is called “the lion of the tribe of Judah.” He also is invincible and irrepressible.

Balaam finishes this parable with a repetition of Abraham’s early blessing from the Almighty in Genesis 12: 3, when He had told Abraham, “I will bless them who bless thee, and curse him who curseth thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing,“and of Isaac’s inspired, repetition of the same promise to Jacob (who was posing as his brother Esau) in Genesis 27:29, giving the promise, “ … cursed be everyone who curseth thee, and blessed be he who blesseth thee.” That is a promise to Israel which is un-revoked even today!”

Jacob – blessed yet again! And by this trusted, paid, supposedly trustworthy cohort of Balak!

Balak is livid with rage! He strikes his hands together in fury, shouting that he has hired Balaam to curse his enemies but Balaam has blessed them! In Balak’s mind, these spoken blessings add weight to the value of the real blessings; by Balaam having spoken the blessings they will now surely become true! People today often say, “Don’t talk about it – it might come to pass.”

Balaam’s defense to Balak is utterly consistent; he can say ONLY what God tells him to say about the People!

So Balak dismisses him in his rage: “Therefore now flee thou to thy place!” Balak commands. (Verse 11)

But Balaam will have the last word – indeed the last “parable.”

Balaam’s next words continue to rub defeat into every pore of Balak’s ruddy skin. As he turns to leave, he spits out these words for Balak’s admonition, saying, in effect – Okay; I’m leaving; but before I go, come … and I will advertise thee [or tell thee] what THIS people shall do to THY people in the latter days.”

Now we are approaching the final conclusion of the matter! WE personally live “in the latter days,” and are intensely interested in how the present attempt at an Arab-Israeli “peace process” will work out – and why it won’t – which are Balaam’s conclusions in this prophecy!

Before we read his final words to Balak, let us remember clearly the truth that God had told Moses to write in Exodus 17: 16: that “The Lord will be at war with Amalek throughout the ages!” The combat and animosity between Israel and his Arab neighbors will drone on and on, seemingly forever – in nearly endless strife!

But at the END of the age of strife, there comes the final conclusion: a body-bag of sorts would be drawn over the people of Balak, and others of his kith and kin as they are utterly destroyed out of hand!

In a repetition of the trance-state in which Balaam saw and heard the instruction of God’s Spirit (in verses 15 and 16 of his previous vision), Balaam recites still greater revelations from God about Israel.

Now, please note that Balaam starts to bring even HIMSELF into the future equation, beginning in Numbers 24: 17 –

“17. I shall see Him, but not now;

I shall behold Him, but not nigh.”

Now the facts begin to come home on a personal level for Balaam! He declares the word of God given him by inspiration: “I shall see Him, but not now” – speaking of the Almighty One Whose words Balaam had to have heard in the preamble, and Whose vision he had seen. “I shall behold Him, but not nigh!” – Not near, in terms of time. In other words, he expressed faith that Balaam would himself SEE the Almighty – not sooner, but MUCH LATER.

Unfortunately, that event is not to conclude well for Balaam, as we shall see.

He continues describing WHO it is that he now, in his own mind, believes that he shall see …

“18. There shall come a Star out of Jacob,

And a Scepter shall rise out of Israel,

And shall smite the corners of Moab,

And destroy all the children of Sheth.”

The Hebrew word for Star is kokab (Strong H3556), “star, as round, or as shining; figuratively, a prince;translated also as star, stargazer.”

It indicates none other than the Messiah of Israel, Who had been revealed to Balaam of Pethor, son of Beor! – Jesus of Nazareth, Who refers directly to Himself in Revelation 22: 16 in this tenor: “I, Jesus, have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the Ecclesias. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright and morning Star!”

[Other relevant references are Luke 1:78; Revelation 2:28; and Matthew 2:2.]

Balaam’s revelation again expands, in the next line, with absolute accuracy that this Star is to be regent over Israel, for that is the significant implication of His also being named a Scepter: “a Scepter shall rise out of Israel!” The angel who announced His coming birth to Mary in Matthew 1:32 revealed that “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David; and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end.”

A Scepter indeed! – A Throne and a Scepter!A kingdom AND a throne AND a Scepter are His certain and blessed destiny! And at this time Balaam himself seems destined to behold it all in that future day, along with all the faithful and called and chosen of God! How fortunate, that, to this point, he has exhibited the faith to follow the word of God and to BLESS Israel, and not CURSE Israel for the mammon offered by Balak! However, these faithful acts failed to seal Balaam’s fate with relation to the future, as we shall see!

Now, for further expansion of this intriguing story – What shall that Scepter DO? No benign or timid Scepter is this, but a Ruler of positive, conclusive action against the enemies of Israel and of God!

“He shall smite the corners (or quarters) of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth” – or Seth – which means ALL these men, for all men on the earth are now sons of Noah, son of Seth!

His connotation, of course, is that these sons of Seth are worldly, fleshly and rebellious; they are the ones who will be destroyed. But not all mankind. Those who become the “Seed of Abraham” escape such an end, and are brought through the great destruction to life forevermore! In the end, ALL inhabitants of the kingdom – the remainder of all mankind – shall be of the “seed of Abraham!”

The untoward destiny of Moab and his neighbors is here absolutely sealed! It will be a long time in coming, but come it shall!

“18. And Edom shall be a possession” he continues. The people of Esau, the twin brother of Jacob, dwell in Edom. Edom is also called Idumea and Mt. Seir. A double curse is placed upon Esau by reference both to Edom and Mt. Seir.

“Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly.”

The outlook is not at all good for Israel’s enemies – specifically those nearby, and “round about” Israel, who even to this very time in history – TODAY – are continually sniping, terrorizing, cursing, and vilifying Israel and its God, striving to possess God’s Land, and to destroy His People.

Balaam’s revelation continues, with concentration on Him who shall be the victor over Moab, Edom and Seir:

“19. Out of Jacob shall come He Who shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth in the city.” Tanakh has “ir” for “the city.” It is mentioned once in I Chronicles 7: 12 where the man Ir bore two sons, Shuppim and Huppim; their tribe is Benjamin. The “city” of vs. 19, however, is a city of the enemy – its whole camp – which is wiped out by Christ at His second coming in power and great glory. The Christ, of course, has His origin in Jacob – specifically in Judah, son of Jacob.

“20. And when he looked on Amalek,

He took up this parable, and said,

“Amalek was the first of the nations:

But his latter end shall be that he perish for ever.”

Amalek, you remember, was the first enemy that attacked Israel during their Exodus, thus becoming the prototype – or first – of ALL Israel’s enemies. But it was merely the first nation that warred against the People after they left Egypt, not first in preeminence or in importance among the nations. Amalek’s destiny is here sealed forever by God’s inspired word: “His latter end shall be that he perish for ever.”

Now Balaam turns his attention to another enemy – Midian:

21. He looked on the Kenites, and took up his parable, and said,

“Strong is thy dwelling place,

And thou puttest thy nest in a rock

22. Nevertheless the Kenite shall be wasted,

Until Assur shall carry thee away captive.”

Note that Balaam LOOKED ON the Kenites (apparently one of the chief tribes of the Midianites), and addressed them with a particular curse. A Kenite is Hebrew Qiyniy (kee-nee) [Strong H7017 = a Kenite or a member of the tribe of Kajin: - Kenite.] Those who hired Balaam to curse Israel were now cursed by Balaam in Numbers 21: 22! Asshur was to carry them away captive; this was done by Assyria [which is Asshur] in later years. The area known as Midian today is in Saudi Arabia; it is desolate and barren with only a small population of Bedouin.

Verse 23 of Numbers 24 is problematical. Balaam, addressing both Assyria and the Hebrews – Asshur and Eber – saying:

“23. And ships shall come from the coast of Chittim.

And shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber,

And he also shall perish forever.”

What can Chittim have to do with this prophecy?

Chittim was probably Cyprus, including the north coastline of the Mediterranean (southern Turkey today). The word is spelled “Kittim” in Genesis 10:4 and in I Chronicles 1:7

Chittim (with a “C”) is mentioned six times: Numbers 24: 24 is the present reference; Isaiah 23: 1 and 12 refer to Chittim as one of the trading nations having commerce with Tyre, against whom the prophet is writing in this chapter. Jeremiah 2: 10 mentions Chittim as a synonym for the trading, sea-faring nations of the world; the word has been extended to include the people of the coastlands of the Mediterranean opposite Cyprus. Daniel 11:30 is a reference which relates to the Ottomans being attacked by “the ships of Chittim,” and his being grieved and returning, and having indignation against the holy covenant.

Unfortunately, none of these seems to assist us to understand this verse.

“Chittim” comes from Strong H3794, kittiyiy, partially from an unused name denoting Cyprus (only in the plural); a kittite or Cypriote; hence an ISLANDER in general, i.e., the Greeks or Romans on the shores opposite Palestine; Translated Chittim and Kittim.

At this point in the narrative, Balaam rose up, went out and returned to his place, and Balak went his way (vs. 25).

It might seem that the matter of Balaam had ended here on an extremely good note. But such is not the case.

The matter which occurred immediately after this at Peor shows how Israel was corrupted by its near neighbors and the cult-worship of Baal in Numbers 25. Peor is Baal-Peor, and is the promontory from which Balaam viewed Israel the third time – when he was able to see the entire encampment – and the enormity of Israel’s destiny was revealed to him. Baal was a Moabite god and Peor was the chief mountain upon which the idol was worshipped. His worship involved cult prostitutes who enticed the men of Israel to sin before God. The plague that resulted from God destroyed 24,000 of His people.

Soon after this, Moses is commanded to fight against the Midianites (Numbers 31) and does so with 12,000 men (a thousand from each tribe). During this war Balaam is killed. Their list of slain enemies includes Balaam the son of Beor, slain with the sword. Numbers 31: 8.

In Numbers 31: 16 we read that this ungodly practice – their sin with the cult prostitutes – was a direct result of the counsel or doctrine (margin) of Balaam. Because of this incident, Balaam became a symbol for evil and trespass. II Peter 2: 15 speaks of believers who have forsaken the right way; and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness …”

Jude 11 pronounces a woe upon the followers of Balaam, grouping his trespass with that of Cain and Core (Korah, in the matter of Korah, Dathan and Abiram) all of whom grossly disobeyed the law of God and went their own ways to their everlasting shame.

Revelation 2: 14 lists one of Jesus’ dissatisfactions with the Ecclesia of Pergamos; He says “I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” There is the thing in which Balaam went wrong!

Here, in the final book of the Bible, the matter becomes completely clear. The transgressions at Baal-Peor were a direct result of the “doctrine” or teaching of Balaam. We surely may conclude that Balaam, in departing from Balak, took Balak aside and counseled him to forget about “cursing” Israel or even of overcoming the People militarily; but that it would be easy for him to overcome Israel with his Baal-cult prostitutes! That would destroy Israel from the inside by the lust of the flesh, which is in every man.

Thus we might not be surprised to find, when final judgment is given by the Master, that Balaam finally took a bribe from Balak for this advice. In this entirely subtle way, Balaam might have “earned” his commissions for destroying Israel in an entirely different way. It surely does seem that Balaam will be in that number who DO behold Him, and who stand in judgment before the Lord of all the earth, fulfilling his earlier inspired words, “I shall see Him, but not now; I shall behold Him, but not nigh. There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall arise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab.” (Numbers 24: 17)

But for Balaam, though we can make no judgment of him, the gift of eternal life seems improbable. What a shame! Balaam spoke to angelic beings. He received good counsel from the Almighty. He spoke approving words of the Children of Jacob. He obeyed God, if reluctantly, almost until the end! But he apparently did not finish the course, keeping the faith.

Finally, he was overcome by his greed for reward, and counseled Balak to entice Israel with the abominable rituals of their stone “god” Baal! That transgression is inexcusable in the words of Peter, who tells us that Balaam not only went astray, but took many of the faithful with him – all to their eternal doom, for “he loved the wages of unrighteousness.”

This is the end of this two part article. Harold Lafferty MD/USA. Originally compiled, November, 1998. For eTPL, October, 2010

The eProphecy Letter

September, 2010

Balaam the Prophet, Part I

In Numbers 22, the curious episode of Balaam and Balak begins. Balak, King of Moab, becomes aware of the host of Israel as it marched north along the east side of the Dead Sea, bound for Canaan. Balak was intimidated by Israel; so he determined to bring help to deal with them. He solicited assistance of Balaam.

It seems that Balaam was a “prophet” of renown, for Balak, King of Moab, sent emissaries to summon Balaam from his far northern home at Pethor (Peor), a city on the Euphrates near Haran. The trek would take many days. The emissaries were laden with the “rewards of divination” (v. 7) – a tempting treasure for Balaam’s assistance.

But a surprising turn of events comes when, upon hearing the request of Balak, Balaam turns from the men telling them that he must consult the Lord, and get His permission.

That night, God comes to Balaam and asks, “What men are these with thee?” Balaam tells the Lord that Balak of Moab has sent the men to get Balaam’s assistance against “… a people come out of Egypt, which covereth the face of the earth” and that Balak has asked him to “come now, curse them for me, peradventure I should be able to overcome them and drive them out” (v. 11).

Now, we really know nothing about Balaam at this point. Was he a renegade priest/prophet from Abraham’s earlier habitation of that far northern area? Was he a separately appointed prophet of God in that area? (We can give little credence to that thought.) We just don’t know how he came to occupy this office. But we must realize that he had a direct connection to the Lord!

The representatives of Balak were surprised when, the next morning, Balaam refused to go with the men saying the Lord had denied him permission; the emissaries immediately returned to Moab.

But Balak refused to accept Balaam’s answer and quickly sent more honorable lords with even greater gifts to entice Balaam. Again the Lord appeared to Balaam and discussed this with him, telling Balaam that he now may go with the men: “Rise up, and go with them, but yet the word which I say unto thee, thou shalt do it.”

The journey did not go well for Balaam. For the Lord was angry that Balaam had asked again to go to Moab after His telling Balaam he must not. We know the story of the talking donkey and the episode of the angel of the Lord with a drawn sword in the way, unseen by Balaam but clearly visible to the donkey. Finally, her way being blocked by the angel, in despair the donkey falls to the ground and Balaam threatens her life.

But presently Balaam is allowed to see the angel of the Lord, and repents of his bad behavior. The angel uses this encounter to reinforce his instruction to Balaam: “Go with the men, but only the word that I shall speak unto thee, that shalt thou speak!” (v. 35)

Now the stage is set for some of the earliest long-term prophecies concerning Israel and her future history. The revelations of Balaam, given him by the Lord, are mainly four “parables.”

Balaam is met by Balak at the River Arnon – his northern border. They commiserate, then enjoy a feast of roast ox and ram in a town called Kirjuth-huzoth, which means “a city of streets,” a town somewhere in Moab. On the morrow they journeyed to an high-place of Baal from where Balaam will be able to see a large part of the Israelite encampment.

They offer an ox and a ram on each of seven altars as burnt offerings – to put Balak in “good stead” with any “gods” that might be observing this series of events, and Balaam with the Almighty One he nominally serves.

Now Balaam advises Balak to stay with the offerings, and goes alone to the high place, advising Balak that “peradventure the LORD will come to meet me; and whatsoever He showeth me, I will tell thee.” The word translated “meet me” here is spoken in a neutral or passive sense. Balaam clearly expects a friendly, amicable conversation with Elohim [God] when they meet.

“And Balaam met Elohim:” here the word used indicates an hostile, NOT a passive, sense – and he (Balaam) said unto Him (Elohim) “I have prepared seven altars, and I have offered upon every altar a bullock and a ram.”

The angel absolutely ignores this solicitous information and curtly informs Balaam, “Return unto Balak, and thus shalt thou speak.”

We learn the message only when Balaam gives it to Balak, whom he finds still standing obediently by the burnt sacrifices with all the princes of Moab.

Imagine the anger – the disappointment and fury – of Balak when he hears what Balaam has been instructed to say – and his embarrassment before all his chief princes – when Balaam pronounces this extensive blessing upon Israel! Numbers 23:7-10.

“7. Balak the king of Moab hath brought me from Aram,

Out of the mountains of the east, saying,

‘Come and curse me Jacob, and come, defy Israel.’

8. How shall I curse, whom GOD hath not cursed?

Or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied?

9. For from the top of the rocks I see him,

And from the hills I behold him:

Lo, the People shall dwell alone.

And shall not be reckoned among the nations.

10. Who can count the dust of Jacob,

And the number of the fourth part of Israel?

Let me die the death of the righteous,

And let my last end be like his!”

Here, in its apparent simplicity, is Balaam’s impression from seeing presumably only the southern encampment of the mighty people of Israel spread in the plains below him – phrased so elegantly in the words of the angel of the Lord who had instructed him in his speech!

The language is full of significance of God’s predetermined future destiny of Israel! And not only that, it was testimony as to Israel’s hidden but true character.

Oh! And notice the clarity with which he now identifies this multitude, which was so strange to Balak that he did not know its name – only “this great multitude (which has) come out of Egypt!” Originally, Balaam also did not know its name or its identity – only that it was a “people blessed,” as the angel had told him in Pethor his home, before this adventure had even begun.

Now he reveals clearly to us that Balak has asked him to come from the mountains so far away “to curse me JACOB, and to defy ISRAEL.”

He seems to speak the words in an awesome, admiring, enlightened, and hallowed voice! His next words are pure admiration for this strange people: paraphrasing…

From the top of the rocks of Baal I see Israel,

And from the hills I behold a part of Israel,

LO! The people shall dwell alone,

And shall not be reckoned among the nations!

The injection of the word “LO” is a figure of speech called Asterismos, which means “indicating” and employs 'some word' (in this case Lo!) which directs special attention to some particular point or subject. It was used earlier in verse 6, when “Lo! Balak stood by his burnt sacrifice.”

It here indicates an incontrovertible fact, which is that “the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations.” The meaning is that, even from this early beginning, the multitude was a special, sanctified (set apart) people before the God of heaven, first identified as Jacob (Ya’akob) which means “a heel catcher, or a supplanter;” but secondarily, Israel (Yishra’el) which means “he shall rule as God.” It was never to be a typical, “normal” nation such as all others.

How IS it that Israel shall not be reckoned among the nations? Because he is God’s chosen Son and People, covenanted to Him through his father Abraham, to whom Abraham’s obedience was imputed as faith [Romans 4: 3: “Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness.” Cf. Hebrews 11: 8], thus setting Israel apart from the other nations – indeed, making them “holy” in God’s eyes. In that special, blessed people, would God’s mighty plan be fulfilled! From them would come Messiah, their Saviour, as we learn a bit later in another of Balaam’s prophecies!

These are profound and adverse pronouncements to Balak regarding this mysterious multitude; and these are certainly not praises Balak wants to hear!

Balaam continues:

“10 Who can count the dust of Jacob,

And the number of the fourth part of Israel?

Let me die the death of the righteous,

And let my last end be like his!”

His conclusion was that this People COULD NOT BE CURSED, and thus obliterated! Indeed, its number would, in one figure, be “like the dust of the earth.” Balaam couldn’t even begin to count the “fourth part” which he apparently could view from the Baal-place where he had stood.

Balaam would surely not understand the last couplet, but he had been instructed to tell Balak – and us, through his writings – of the blessed destiny of this great People. So now Balaam expresses the sincere wish that HE might “die the death of the righteous,” which was a much fairer end than he could see for himself in other terms; so he expresses the unique prayer: “Let my LAST end be like Israel’s!” The expression means “latter end,” and indicates issue or reward, or in this case both! (Cf. Bullinger f.n. on verse)

It is interesting here, that when Balaam prays “Let me die,” the phrase literally means “Let my soul die…” (The Hebrew is nephesh), so “Let my LIFE die the death of the righteous.” It would be a “sleep” of indeterminable length, which would end in the latter days. In so praying, even Balaam refutes the queer notion held by many even today – that men who die haven’t really died! That only their body has deceased, but their real “essence” lives on with God in heaven.

He therefore prays for that SPECIAL “death of the righteous” (upright) ones of God, whose destiny alone – among ALL the dead – is to be brought back from the grave and restored to life again in the latter day – doubtless the reason he includes the same concept in the last line of the couplet: “Let my LAST (or latter) END be like his!” For the righteous, or upright, there is expected restitution of his “soul” or his “life” – his nephesh – at the end, when comes that “Star out of Jacob” of which he later speaks in his unique prophecies!

But Balak is furious with rage! “What hast thou done unto me? I took thee to CURSE mine enemies, and behold, thou hast blessed them altogether!” (23: 11)

But Balaam’s rebuttal is steadfast: only that which the LORD speaks to me may I speak to you!

So Balak leads Balaam to another promontory which he can view the multitude of Israel from a different angle – but his view is still limited to only a portion of them. They offer the animals on seven altars as before, and Balaam goes forth to meet the Lord.

Again, the Lord does meet Balaam; again in an hostile context. The Lord tells him what to say to Balak. We hear it only when he tells Balak, verse 15:

“18. Rise up, Balak, and hear;

Hearken unto Me, thou son of Zippor;

19. God is not a man, that He should lie;

Neither the son of man, that He should repent:

Hath He not said, and shell He not do it?

Or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?

20. Behold, I have received commandment to bless:

And He hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.

21. He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob,

Neither hath He seen perverseness in Israel;

The Lord his God is with him,

And the shout of a king is among them.

22. God brought them out of Egypt;

He hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.

23. Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob,

Neither is there any divination against Israel:

According to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel,


24. Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion,

And lift himself up as a young lion:

He shall not lie down until he eat of the prey,

And drink the blood of the slain.”

In the words of verses 18-19, Balaam enlightens Balak that he is dealing with a completely unknown entity never before seen in Moab – the Almighty God of Israel, Protector of the Children of Israel, Whose message was being sent directly to Balak, son of Zippor, king of Moab! Not a member of the race of men, is God, but One Whose word is steadfast, whose promise is SURE! He has made a pronouncement and He shall perform it!

There is no alternative to God’s holy will – and no overcoming it by divination, as he tells Balak in verse 20:“I cannot reverse it.”

Indeed, as he intimates in verse 21, there is no earthly NEED for God to reverse His decision, for God has beheld “no iniquity” or evil in Jacob, nor any perverseness in Israel! Even in the wake of their utterly unfaithful conduct during the last 40 years in the wilderness, God’s very presence is with Israel, and the shout of a king is among them! They are His people, and he “deems” them righteous!

This commentary must be applied to Israel today, re-gathering into its land. They cannot – and shall not – be effectively “cursed” by their enemies, for God is redeeming His people, and holding them guiltless for their perverse attitudes! His final pronouncement of that fact shall come at His confrontation with them as told in Zechariah 13: 6, when “one shall say unto Him, “What are these wounds in thine hands?” Then shall He answer, “Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends!”

Verses 22, 23 repeat the stubborn blessing that God has placed upon His people. And an indication that men shall eventually say about Israel, “What hath God wrought?” Not “What hath Israel DONE? – showing that men such as Balak the Moabite, son of Zippor, shall recognize that GOD has done these great deeds for Israel, preserving them, and causing their great prosperity and success!

Verse 24 puts the capstone on this second utterance of God’s Spirit exercised through Balaam: “Behold! (Asterismos again!), the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion; he shall not lie down (rest) until he eat the prey, and drink the blood of the slain.”

The enemy, or prey of Israel, was then – and are nowthe avowed enemies of God’s purpose with Israel in the earth! You see, man’s plans or concepts mean absolutely nothing to the Almighty! His plan takes hold of His people and promotes them in the face of ALL adversity! No puny little despot such as Balak, Sihon, or Og – or Nasser, Hussein, Assad, Ibn Saud, or Arafat –could obliterate Israel from its inheritance, nor deflect it from its intended course and Godly destiny!

What a shattering message Balak had been delivered! It is so against his grain that he fairly shouts at Balaam,“Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all!” – which in our parlance means, “If you can’t CURSE them, then don’t BLESS them!”

Balak, still undaunted, leads Balaam to a third location – to the peak of Mt. Peor, which overlooks the wilderness. The mountain is northeast of Mt. Nebo, probably of about equal height, from which Balaam could not behold “ISRAEL abiding in his tents, according to their tribes.”

The idea is that now he could see the entire encampment and thus hopefully curse them all together.

The impact of its size hit Balaam hard. He did not seek the angel of the Lord on this occasion, for he truly now understood that “it pleased the Lord to bless Israel.” (24: 1)

Instead, God’s Spirit descended upon Balaam as he turned his face toward the Israelites. The third message he delivered to Balak begins in Numbers 24. Verses 3 – 9:

“3. And he took up this parable, and said,

Balaam the son of Beor hath said,

And the man whose eyes are open hath said,

4.He hath said, who heard the words of GOD,

Who saw the vision of the ALMIGHTY,

Falling into a trance, but having his eyes open:

5.’ How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob,

And thy tabernacles, O Israel’’2

6. As the valleys are they spread forth,

As gardens by the river’s side.

As the trees of lign aloes which the LORD hath planted,

And as cedar trees beside the waters.

7. He shall pour the water out of his buckets,

And his seed shall be in many waters,

And his king shall be higher than Agag,

And his kingdom shall be exalted.

8. God brought him forth out of Egypt;

He hath as it were the strength of an unicorn:

He shall eat up the nations his enemies,

And shall break their bones,

9. He crouched, he lay down as a lion,

And as a great lion, who shall stir him up?

Blessed is he who blesseth thee,

And cursed is be who curseth thee.”

Balaam’s description of himself in this parable is almost mystical, as he delivers to Balak the words and intentions of the Almighty. He is “the man whose eyes are open.” The Hebrew word for “open” is shatham,and means to unclose. It indicates one who is in an ecstasy – eyes closed, yet seeing. He is imbued – absolutely saturated – with the power from on high as he continues: ‘He hath said, who heard the words of God, who saw the visions of the ALMIGHTY, falling to the ground, but having his eyes open.’

This is the end of Part I of this article; God willing, it will be completed in next month’s issue of eTPL. Harold Lafferty MD/USA. Compiled November, 1998. For eTPL, September, 2010

The e-Prophecy Letter

August 2010

The Gogian Conflict of Ezekiel 38 and 39 Compared to that of the Proximal Islamic Nations

Everyone who has an interest in Bible prophecy surely should be curious about the thoughts of other people who are also interested in such happenings. This curiosity surely should include listening occasionally to the ideas and theories of the radio and TV “evangelists” who regularly comment on prophecy. I am thinking of Jack Van Impe (Troy MI), Hal Lindsey (Dallas TX), John Hagee (San Antonio TX), and Perry Stone (Cleveland TN) and others. These men broadcast at various times throughout the United States, but all of them maintain web sites where their teachings are published.

I occasionally watch the broadcasts of these four men as I feel it is needful to find out what they are thinking and saying. Sometimes, one of them makes an adjustment in his thinking which is startling. For example, Jack Van Impe recently came out with the notion that the kingdom of God is destined to be ON THE EARTH, FOREVER! He stated that his years of study had finally made that fact clear to him and that he felt driven to let all his listeners know that he had been wrong for years in this matter. Heaven, he says now, is not the abode of the righteous! Mr. Van Impe is renowned for claiming to have memorized thousands of scriptural passages. I am not claiming that he has not done so as it appears feasible from the way in which he quotes chapters and verses to back up his ideas even if sometimes wrongly applied.

But he and all the others are obsessed with something they specify as “the seven years of tribulation” which is a reflection of their misunderstanding of the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks of Daniel 9: 24 - 27. They are also obsessed with the invasion of Israel by Gog of the Land of Magog, the Chief Prince of Meshech and Tubal. But, like many others, the “proof texts” that they use include Daniel 11, Micah 5, Ezekiel 35, Obadiah, Psalm 83, Isaiah 11, Isaiah 63 and numerous others which do not apply to that prophecy.

Unfortunately many expositors closer to home – with whom we are personally familiar – make the same mistakes, and have done so for 150 years or more! They seem to be on the edge of their seats expecting the Gogian host to assemble at any time and swoop down on the mountains of Israel to wreak great harm to the Jewish State. But that is NOT in the offing at all (the doing harm part) and the invasion doesn’t seem likely to happen for a few years yet. Other events are far more imminent and more important!

Since the numerous related scriptural revelations dealing with the great body of most important events which are slated to occur PRIOR to the Gogian affair have previously been reviewed exhaustively, I will not review these again at this time. I will refer to many of them however in making a circumstantial comparison of these two separate conflicts in the remainder of this article. By now we are without excuse for not knowing they exist and that they depict conflicts that quite obviously MUST occur prior to the Gogian affair. If I seem to stress these affairs at an undue level it is because their understanding is VITAL to a comprehensive, sensible understanding of Endtime affairs.

There are many points of conflict between the two bodies of prophecy. I shall list and discuss several of them here:

1. The named countries taking part in the two conflicts are entirely different from each other. A great number of scattered prophecies of the coming destruction of the nations “round about’ Israel exist which, when carefully studied, indicate that they describe the wars of Phase One of the Endtime wars of Israel. You should search all these to satisfy your mind that the named city-states, nations and areas are NOT part of the Gogian coalition. They exclusively reveal the destruction of the present “hot” enemies of Israel – those who have been actively fighting against God’s people for 62 years – since the founding of the Jewish State in May, 1948.

A convenient list of these is found all in one chapter in the Psalms – in Asaph’s inspired prayer which is designated Psalm 83. If you check closely there are ten listed entities who are named as rabid and determined enemies of Israel in the last days: they are enemies of God (verses 1, 2) and of “Israel” – a nation which has only existed since 1948! [And they have nothing whatever to do with the toes of Daniel’s Image!]

Compare this list with that of the Gogian confederacy of Ezekiel 38. You will not find one of them named alongside Magog, Meshech, and Tubal of verse 2, or “Persia, Ethiopia (Cush) and Libya” of verse 5, or “Gomer and Togarmah” of verse 6.

This fact alone should be a warning flag, but many ignore it. If these nations “round about” Israel were then still in existence, the armies of Gog would be required to pass through at least two or three of them in order to meet the site of their ultimate defeat. But none of them are even mentioned. It is as if they no longer exist!May I state positively that it appears to be a provable assessment: they DO NO LONGER exist!

There are several reasons for that conclusion. I will point out only one at this juncture, and that is Ezekiel 39: 11: “I will give unto Gog a place there of graves IN ISRAEL, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea … and there shall they bury Gog and his entire multitude, and they shall call it the Valley of Hamon-Gog.” This designated place of graves “IN ISRAEL,” according to Young, is east of the Sea of Galilee in Gilead-Bashan – specifically it is the valley of the Yarmuk River – where the dead are partially devoured by “the fatlings of Bashan," the beasts of that region.

But today, the Yarmuk, and Gilead and Bashan are in Jordan – not in Israel. This presents an obvious dilemma: how does this specifically named area get to be the possession of Israel? Why does Jordan at that future time no longer possess it? I believe it is because Israel shall have fought against Moab, Ammon and Edom (modern Jordan) and defeated her and taken her lands. There is no other answer – IS THERE?? They and ALL the others have been destroyed in Phase One, NOT in the Gogian portion which we designate as Phase Two.

In Phase Two, as already noted, an entirely different set of antagonists are specifically listed. These are the DISTAL Islamic enemies of Israel (the Outer Ring), together with their mentor, financier, guard, and leader, Gog.

2. Then Christ has destroyed the enemies of Phase One, as we shall note, the Master disarms His people.Zechariah 9: 10: “And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off, and He shall speak peace unto the heathen…” From that moment forward His people dwell in peace and in confidence (Heb. betach = safely or confidently).

It is not a figment of Israel’s imagination. That condition of total safety is described only AFTER the end of Phase One. That is not their condition at the beginning of that phase, but is as we see it today: one of the best citizen armies in the world; a superb air force; a blended, competent navy; nuclear weapons (though not acknowledged); and some of the most highly engineered equipment of any force on earth. The military is in full view at all times. The newly constructed concrete WALL rises to as many as 30 feet in height. It is a land of bars and gates, walled villages (watch towers), and vigilant police forces and secret intelligence services.

However, Ezekiel points out more than once that Israel, when Gog attacks her, IS DWELLING SAFELY (38: 8, 11, 14), and without bars and gates. This safety of Israel is NOT a fanciful imagination or the object of her hopes at that time; she REALLY IS dwelling in safety and confidently. The first two verses voice Gog’s opinion that Israel at least thinks it is dwelling safely and peacefully; but the third reference is concrete proof by the Almighty’s word that Israel is, indeed, dwelling safely – for is now under the protection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Given the present circumstances of Israel, and of any foreseeable future circumstances, Israel shall have neither peace nor security short of the Second Advent of Christ. She certainly shall receive neither of these as a gratuitous benefit from the “Palestinians,” the PA, or the PLO – for their “peace process” is not a real peace process at all, but an intentional “phased conquest” of Israel by whatever means they can devise. They tried to defeat Israel for 45 years by military means and could not even remotely perform that desire.

Their approach now, admittedly (even by them) is to squeeze Israel for every concession they can think of IN THE NAME OF PEACE, then renew the “jihad” (“holy war”[1]) in order completely to remove Israel from the land and take it for themselves. (Precisely their deadly, deceptive plan, as outlined in Psalm 83!) Their delaying tactics have recently taken on the mien of discrediting – of delegitimizing – Israel by means of the Goldstone Report, UNO sanctions, and constant complaints and whining. They now claim that Israel’s newly discovered gas and oil fields in the Mediterranean are actually the property of Lebanon!!

3. The place of the defeat of these two groups is decidedly different from each other. The Proximal Islamic nations are defeated mostly IN THEIR OWN TERRITORIES, which are almost altogether OUTSIDE the perimeters of Israel as it is now constituted, that is, except for the enemy ALREADY within (i.e., the PA/ PLO) and the prizes of Obadiah adjacent to their borders.

The Gogian host, in contrast, is destroyed east of the Sea of Galilee in newly conquered territory belonging to Israel. Ezekiel details Gog’s destruction in almost half of chapter 39. Gog comes to conquer Israel and inherits graves in Israel instead – destroyed probably in a time-span of one day!

4. In addition to their humiliating defeat, the Proximal enemies will have their lands confiscated, along with their wealth and other properties, their oil and minerals, as indicated in those several passages which state, for example, that “...the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance ...” (Zechariah 14:14). That means their lands and other properties are confiscated by Him as well, and become part of Greater Israel!

In contrast to Proximal Islam, Gog and his Distal Islamic forces are defeated WITHIN ISRAEL of that day. Their lands are not indicated as being taken by Christ as part of His immediate kingdom.

5. Whereas no details seem to be given as to the burial of the Proximal enemies of Phase One, great detail is given about the burial of Gog. And note, please, that in neither conflict shall Israelis have been displaced and removed from the Land and ravaged as some think they will be, for WHO BURIES GOG? From Ezekiel’s account in 39:9, it is quite a calm if somber affair, and executed entirely by the Israeli populace! “And they who dwell (the population has not been displaced by Gog!) in the cities of Israel (the cities have not been destroyed by Gog!) shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers ... with fire for SEVEN YEARS ... and SEVEN MONTHS shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. Yea ALL THE PEOPLE OF THE LAND shall bury them (there is quite evidently no destruction of Israeli lives NOR any “CAPTIVITY” of them indicated here!); and it shall be TO THEM a renown THE DAY that I shall be glorified.” In other words, it will be an impressive affair – to remember all the remainder of their lives – and perhaps throughout eternity!

6. Note, also, that in many, many of these references, the NAMED Proximal Islamic states are referred to as “ALL the heathen (or nations) ROUND ABOUT;” that is, all who LIVE round about Israel, not all of a body of enemies who have gathered round about for their attack, as some have argued. But the Gogian host is not described in words remotely similar to all these, for that host of military personnel are SPECIFICALLY NAMED as being from the far-flung countries listed in Ezekiel 38 and 39, and certainly are not describable as the “nations round about” Israel. The grouping of enemies is entirely different for the two conflicts.

7. “ALL the nations!” I believe that Zechariah 14:2 is speaking of those same Proximal Arab nations when He said that “I will gather ALL nations against Jerusalem for battle, and the city shall be taken...the houses rifled...the women ravished, and HALF of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people (Israelis!) shall NOT be cut off from the city.” So “all” is limited to the defined group, and does not mean “every one” – every one of the nations that have fought against Jerusalem at that point in time, as in Zechariah 14: 12; their destruction shall be unusually horrible. Paul uses similar language when he instructs that “we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ …” but he is not indicating “everyone in the world.”

This division of the city, by the way, is a most unusual result of a battle, and another marked difference in the two sets of accounts. So unusual that, for it to be repeated in history (for it HAS already happened!) would be for our Father to confuse our clear insight into at least some prophetic matters.

It occurred in 1948, when Jordan’s Arab Legion was able to overcome the Jewish civilians (and a few soldiers) in the Old City and forced the surrender of these Jews, and of the Old City, about two days before a truce was arrived at in summer, 1948.

The City was divided precisely into two halves for 19 years (until 1967). But the residue of the people (the Jews) in Western Jerusalem were “not cut off” from their half of the City. Indeed, they felt so secure that they established the capital of Israel there, built the governmental infrastructure there, and operated almost as if they already owned the entire city - which, of course, they did annex after Moshe Dayan and the IDF finally took the Old City during the Six Day War! For the first time since the seventh century BC, Israel was an internationally recognized State, and was in legal control and possession of its eternal capital!

Whereas the Proximal Islamic enemy (namely, Jordan, in this case) DID take half of Jerusalem, and did hold it for some years, such an event is NOT described as a feature of the Gogian invasion!

The reason for this is quite simple: the Gogian host is defeated LONG BEFORE it can reach Jerusalem, or even penetrate very far into the Land as it is today bordered. The Gogian host is defeated, evidently in ONE DAY (Ezekiel 38: 12), ENTIRELY WITHIN Israel (Ezekiel 39:11), but IN OR NEAR ONE PLACE (the Valley of Hamon-gog), for, as a fellow Bible student has pointed out, one doesn’t bury a huge host (millions!) of dead military personnel someplace other than were they were killed, especially if the number is so great as to require seven months to cleanse the land of their carcasses! (Ezekiel 39:12)

Contemporary examples of this local burial practice of the military dead are the huge American military cemeteries at Chateau Thierry (second Battle of the Marne), Omaha Beach and Utah Beach (the D-Day invasion of Fortress Europe), etc., in France, where huge numbers of Americans were slain in WW I and II, and the locations where they were also buried. Only a few bodies were transported to the USA for burial; they were not largely moved anywhere else, but were buried where they fell.

The Gogian host evidently falls (and is certainly buried!) “East of the Sea” (Ezekiel 39:11) indicated to be in Bashan (c.f., 39:18), so east of the Sea of Galilee[2] where the birds of the air and the beasts of the field shall feed on their carcasses. No such burial is indicated for the Proximal foes; indeed, no burial at all is described in scores of references.

This location is absolutely CENTRAL to the great migratory pathway of teeming millions birds which, twice a year, overfly Israel, specifically, on their way north in the spring from their winter habitats in East Africa and Madagascar, and on their way south in the fall from their nesting and hatching grounds in East Europe, West Asia and the Steppes. It is estimated by observers at the International Birdwatching Station in Eilat, that 500 million birds overfly Israel each spring and fall; of this immense number, about 15% are said to be raptors, which are flesh-eating birds! These voracious raptors are thus scheduled for an incredible feast just after Gog sallies forth in its finest battle dress to meet its unexpected fate at Hamon-gog!

8. Whereas the tenor and text of the above references about the Proximal Islamic enemies shows that their hatred, their attacks, their vituperation, their slander and blasphemy against God and against Israel is continually on-going – and whereas they have attacked Israel overtly in national warfare at least FOUR times during the Phase One conflicts, Ezekiel 38 and 39 depict only ONE attack upon Israel by the Gogian host and his Distal Islamic cohorts. Up until the day of this writing, NONE of the Distal Islamic enemies of Israel have actually sent forces to attack her physically. That destiny and fate awaits them!

Why do you think that NONE of the Distal Islamic enemies have physically attacked Israel during the 62 years of Phase One so far? Well, partially because they are a separate attack force, and it is not their “TIME” TO DO SO. Their rationale for attacking Israel has not yet even appeared, or “developed;” their cohesive factors have not yet come about. They do not yet know that they are to be an organized confederacy against God’s people! And all this is superficially true because they have not yet perceived the need to do so; they have not been sufficiently provoked to do so, and shall NOT be until the Proximal Islamic states and armies have been destroyed, and until Gog is brought to think seriously about Israel’s newly acquired spoil.

I believe this “evil thought” (Ezekiel 38:10) comes to Gog largely at the suggestion of the newly-independent, northern (Magogian) republics whose populations are almost entirely Islamic. It also comes, certainly, at the behest of Iran and Libya with their enormous coffers of oil revenues with which to pay the Gogian host for being mercenaries in their disagreement with Israel. I further believe that the promise to Russia of great wealth by the Arabs of the Distal Ring is probably the “hook” that God places in the jaws of Gog to compel him to make this audacious move upon His people!

On the other hand, the Proximal Islamic states have been, in the fullest sense, a “pricking brier unto the house of Israel,” a “grieving thorn of all that are round about them, which despised them ...” (Ezekiel 28:24). These surrounding neighbors attack Israel and Israelis at EVERY opportunity. They prick, stick, and nick Israel in many ways DAILY. Their hatred is deep, constant, and bloody. Their propaganda against God’s people is endless, and extremely well accepted by the prejudicial anti-Semites of the world!

9. Why does Yahweh’s fury”come up in My face?” (Ezekiel 38:18) only when Gog attacks Israel, when this has not happened at the numerous times the Proximal Arabs have attacked the state in its earlier history? I feel that the Almighty IS presently incensed, and greatly moved by the incessant attacks of the Proximal Arabs upon His people, but is willing to allow Israel to bear these attacks in preparation for their redemption. After all, when He stops these attacks completely, can you imagine how grateful Israel shall be for JUST THAT benefit?

But why is He not raised to action NOW, and why shall He be THEN? I believe it is because Christ and the Saints are there when Gog comes against His re-gathered people. This is a fact which also means that the STATUS of the NATURAL JEWS OF ISRAEL shall have CHANGED DRAMATICALLY AND ETERNALLY between these two great battles.

Remember that Jesus shall have come to them in the interim; He shall have literally saved them and their nation from possible destruction; He shall have made Himself known to Israel; and they shall have accepted Him with loving, grateful and repentant hearts. When Gog attacks, therefore, the Christ is there, protecting His precious People, now redeemed in a certain real sense, for Israel shall then again overtly be “the apple of His eye.” Please just keep in your mind, that at this time, Christ and the Saints – And Israel, His people - need no “protection” from anyone! Indeed, the “Lord God” in this verse and at this future time surely refers to Jesus their Saviour (Christ), Who is decidedly present when the Gogian affair begins, but had not yet arrived there when the final Proximal Islamic attack was launched, Israel shall not need to lift a hand against Gog, nor be alarmed, for their Father shall destroy Gog with the seven “weapons” enumerated in Ezekiel 38: 18 et seq., which are specifically an earthquake, the sword of every enemy against another, pestilence, blood, hailstones, fire and brimstone! Thus shall Gog’s destruction be violent, immutable, and utterly final; not one soul shall be left alive according to most other texts except the A. V.

At the time of the final conflict of Phase One, Jesus shall have come personally to save His natural brethren. Jesus Who has already inherited the title of Lord of Hosts, or Yahweh Tz’vaoth, also one of the names of His Father. Still, in this account, the Almighty indicates that it is HE, WHO with a spoken word, with the breath (command) of His lips, destroys this and any other offending party (Isaiah 11:4). In the second attack – that of Gog – His fury shall flare brightly and with immense hostility and the Phase Two enemies immediately become a notable casualty of history!

10. No response whatever is recorded by Israelis – that is, the Jews of Israel – by Ezekiel as a result of the battle with Gog.

But there is a significant response by them to the forces of Proximal Islam! And it clearly is that Israelis are, at that time, mobilized to stand against those enemies, and later to recognize the Returned Christ as their true Messiah. Christ’s defeat of the Proximal Arabs on their behalf specifically brings their highly emotional recognition of Him as their Messiah, and depicts their deeply felt and expressed REPENTANCE when they recognize Him, as recorded in Zechariah 12:10 to 14 and Zechariah 13:6. Even over and above those enemies’ terrible defeat, this is the most remarkable result of the final conflicts of Phase One. For when HE appears, they shall be brought to recognize Him by the unprecedented deeds that He performs in saving His people from destruction, an identity that is clinched by the remaining scars from His crucifixion nearly 2,000 years ago.

Only a hint of such an after-effect to the invasion and defeat of the Gogians of the Phase Two affair is given. The main effect of the Gogian conflict, besides that host’s destruction and threat-removal, is the recognition of Christ by the people of the nations who attacked Israel. (Ezekiel 39:7).

I qualify this statement as follows: after having specified that recognition of Him comes from “the nations who attacked Israel” in the Gogian Phase, it becomes evident that even THAT recognition is NOT UNIVERSAL, and excludes all the other nations who were not included in the Gogian conspiracy.

He STILL is not “known” among all the remaining nations. If so, why would the nations of the West continue to resist Him, as we know the Man of Sin (the False Prophet) of Revelation 17-18 does, as well as the Beast of Europe? It is clear that THAT portion of “the nations” does NOT recognize Him, but sincerely regard Him as “the Anti-Christ” of their mythology.

eTPL for August, 2010 H E Lafferty MD/USA

[1] Please see Joel 3:9, where the word “prepare,” as in “Prepare war! Wake up the mighty men...” is Hebrew QADASH (Strong H6942) which means “to make, pronounce, or observe as clean (ceremonially, or morally): appoint, consecrate, dedicate, hallow, keep holy, prepare, proclaim, purify, sanctify...” It is precisely this attitude of the Arabs and Islam toward getting their own way about literally anything, that makes this word so remarkable. Their term for aggression of any kind related to their “religion” is JIHAD, which means literally “HOLY WAR.” They literally CONSECRATE war, terrorism, insurrection, sabotage, overthrow of institutions for their own purposes!

[2] The Jerusalem Bible contains a footnote on this verse identifying “Hamon-gog” as being in the Abiram valley -- the valley of the Arnon River which drains eastern Moab into the Dead Sea, a presumption omitting references to “the fatlings of Bashan.”

The Prophecy Letter

July 2010

When Shall Israel Know That “I am the LORD?”

This commentary is based upon the statement to this effect in Ezekiel 38: 22. As far as we can determine, there is no actual description of Messiah’s actual second coming in the Old Testament prophets. But there are several passages which, in their narrative, indicate that He has come and that He is among their enemies, defeating them, ending their terror and their despicable treatment of His people Israel.

I intend in this article to show that these actions are entirely necessary in the clearly prophesied context of theEndtime, and introduce the precise conditions for the coming of the Gogian host. It is important that the brethren of Christ understand this sequence as, though quite clear now, it is not the “accepted” view.

Some have claimed that here in Ezekiel 38 where the prophet makes this statement about their knowing the Lord’s identity “from that day forward” indicates that this is proof positive that Christ does not appear until He destroys the Gogian Host, thus proving to Israel that He is Messiah.

But what says the Word of God?

There are many other recorded statements of this fact connected with events which must occur before the events of Ezekiel 38 and 39. We now carefully examine several of these references…

Psalm 83 is a prime case in point. In this prayer of Asaph, the final conflict of Israel with ten various entities is given in much detail, and indicates total oblivion of these enemies in a summary account. Note, please the specific names of the enemies of God and Israel in this prophecy, a limited number of designated city-states and designated places which are clearly enumerated in verses 6 – 8. (View map here) The psalm concludes with, “Let them (the Proximal Arabs – those specifically named in verses 6 - 8) be confounded and troubled forever, yea, let them be put to shame and perish: that men (the ‘men’ – or people – of Israel, for NO OTHERS shall recognize His identity at this early stage) – may KNOW THAT THOU, WHOSE NAME ALONE IS JEHOVAH, ART THE MOST HIGH OVER ALL THE EARTH.” Our conclusion has to be that the actions spoken of here will be the concrete proof needed by the people of Israel to convince them of His true identity.

The doomed enemies of Psalm 83 are not Gogian enemies, but are an entirely different spectrum of aggressors named in that psalm. All this occurs prior to the Gogian affair.If their destruction were prophesied to be at the same time as the Gogian attack then at least one of these nations should be named in Ezekiel 38 and 39; but they are not – suggesting that these no longer exist when the Gogian attack is mounted. If they were still in existence, Gog would need to pass through at least three of them and would certainly have their cooperation. We may note several other differences in the two episodes as well. Psalm 83 is the only reference where this unique group is completely listed; and the present time is the only time in history when they have ALL been enemies of Israel at the same time. In addition to this, it can only be a prophecy of the Endtime because “Israel” has been “Israel” only since 1948! But many other passages list one or more of these entities, which in context indicate their destruction as being part of the Endtime wars of Israel against their enemies. That is to say, when ‘Edom’ or ‘Moab’ are recorded in two different references as being destroyed, the two accounts must necessarily refer to the same event as no enemy can be destroyed twice. Examples follow…

Obadiah, vv. 19, 20 enumerate FIVE areas of Edomites which shall be wiped out by Israel and taken for its own territory, and the immediate result is (vs. 21), “Saviors (Christ and the Saints) shall come up on Mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau, and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.” This presence in Zion shall occur as the Edomites (obviously the “Palestinians,” for the specific regions named are today nearly 100% inhabited by members of the PLO and associated groups) are all defeated by Christ and the Saints, and assisted by Israel’s army. Whether the defeat of Edom is accomplished by Israel alone (as some scholars feel it seems to be here in Obadiah) prior to the wider conflicts with the remainder of the group is not clear. I have the conviction because of verse 21, that Christ and the Saints shall be there and lead the conflict – perhaps the only O. T. reference to Messiah’s appearance (?). In either case it is quite discernable that it is under these specific conditions that Israel shall “know the Lord,” prior to the Gogian conflict, and that He shall be sitting on David's throne as their King at the later arrival of the Gogian coalition. We need to think of the vast changes which He shall make during the interim time period – before the arrival of Gog. Otherwise there must be some other explanation for this account …?

Ezekiel 35: 11. Speaking of Israel, God says, “I will make Myself known among them (Israel, consistent with ‘them’ mentioned earlier) when I have judged thee" (Mount Seir, or Edom – vs. 2).

Note the precise time (verse 5): “… when their (Israel’s) iniquity had an end,” or when they behold the severe judgment and total destruction of their enemies and subsequently pledge their fealty to Messiah. This judgment upon Edom is the same conflict as that recorded in Obadiah. At that time, Israel shall come to realize Who their Savior really is – the Returned Christ! Again, this is obviously prior to Gog’s attack.

Isaiah 34: 1 – 9. Here is another definitive record of this landmark event, when the world in general (verse 1) shall behold the slaughter of Edom (verse 5 – the same scenario as Obadiah). “The indignation of the Lord is upon all nations … He hath utterly destroyed them.” This is not indicative of all the nations of the earth; he is speaking ONLY of the proximal foes, including Edom/Bozrah/ Idumea. Verse 5: “My sword is bathed in heaven” - the Idumean ‘heaven’ or hierarchy. It is inane to claim that these, called “all nations,” are all the nations of the earth; the term has a limited application.

It is the same battle as that of Isaiah 63 – “Who is This that comes from Edom …” – and is the personal presence of the Christ defeating these nearby enemies … not a part of the Gogian conflict. Indeed, it is “the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.” We’ve beheld the preliminary struggle for 62 years to date.

Isaiah 63 quite clearly and graphically depicts the personal, and final settlement by Christ of His score with Edom, and is a vividly detailed picture. “The year of My redeemed (Israel) is come” – vs. 4. It is in this episode that He “brings down their (Edom’s) strength to the earth” – vs. 6. This is the unmistakable, conclusive defeat of Israel’s “Palestinian” enemies, again, and Israel shall know the Lord as a result of this conflict, when “the King of Glory shall come in” to them with visible power and strength, and with salvation from their enemies. Indeed, this victory, along with the total defeat of Proximal Islam, is what triggers their inquiry as to the Lord’s identity in Zechariah 12, and their acceptance and repentance in Zechariah 13 (references further down)!

Joel 3: 16, 17. Here the Lord “shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem … the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel. SO SHALL YE KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD DWELLING IN ZION …” The closing verses expose a time of tranquility and peace, when Judah shall dwell forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation (vs. 20). This entire third chapter occurs specifically “… when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem.” THEN, note verse 2: “I will also gather ALL NATIONS, and will bring them down into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them (will judge them – footnote) there for My people Israel.”

May I suggest that ALL these are the SAME nations which first gathered against Jerusalem in 1948, when half the city was taken by Jordan? Since then the Islamic enemies, defeated at that time, have persistently aggressed Israel, and have tried again and again to conquer Israel but have failed.

After their attempted military conquest, Israel was practically forced to offer to them a series of “peace treaties” but they would not accept the generous benefits that Israel (senselessly) offered.

So NOW these enemies are fiercely involved in their third approach: involved in the DE-LEGITIMIZATION of Israel before the nations. They are seemingly having more success than with earlier methods – witness the recent “Goldstone Report” in which a United Nations commission accused Israel of war crimes in its invasion of Gaza (Operation Cast Lead). This will doubtless bring the confrontation forward to the time in which Israel stands alone as Christ describes them in Isaiah 63, proclaiming that, of the people there was none with Me, and I have trodden the winepress alone.

Ezekiel 28: 22 – 26. Here is a definitive picture of Christ’s defeat of Zidon, here representative of the “thorns and briars” (vs. 24) which have pricked at Israel interminably, of “all that are round about them, that despised them, and they shall know that I am the Lord God …. Then shall they dwell in their land, that I have given to my servant Jacob, and they SHALL DWELL SAFELY THEREIN … shall dwell WITH CONFIDENCE when I have executed judgment upon all those who despised them round about them, and they SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD THEIR GOD” (vs. 26).

Note that the result for Israel here is that “they shall dwell safely therein” – a condition completely unlike the situation today! This action obviously sets the stage for the later Gogian conflict, when Gog observes what they mistake to be ‘easy pickings’ in an Israel that they believe is utterly naïve and foolish, dwelling without bars and gates, dwelling confidently in their land under a new “king” whom the Gogians do not recognize.

Ezekiel 34: 23 – 30. This records that God shall “set up one Shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even My servant David, a prince among them … and He shall be their Shepherd” (v. 23). “They shall be safe in their land (setting up conditions for the Gogian invasion, so this prophecy is clearly BEFORE that event), AND SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD, when I have broken the bands of their (enemies’) yoke, and DELIVERED THEM OUT OF THE HANDS of those (the “Palestinians”) that served themselves of them.” Note that they shall not recognize the Lord’s identity BEFORE that time. Surely, these oppressors are the wild beasts (Arab aggressors) who make Israel “a prey” by suicide bombs, rockets, shells, propaganda, hatred, and despicable acts against God and His people, as is happening today, and has been happening for scores of years.

These things may seem unimportant to your way of thinking – and that the Arabs are no REAL threat to Israel. Sadly, some readers of the Word outrightly deny these facts and hold to their entrenched conviction that the Gogian invasion brings the return of Christ – but this is not God’s revelation of the sequence of events! He has decreed that the Arab aggressors “round about” must pay for their wicked aggression upon His people, for their blasphemy of His name and His people. He shall therefore send Christ and the Saints to settle the score with these brute beasts. That Christ is present with them is proven by the quotations above, and here by verse 29: “I will raise up for them a PLANT OF RENOWN, and they shall no more … bear the shame of the heathen (the nations) any more.” Verse 30 says it all: “THUS SHALL THEY KNOW THAT I THE LORD THEIR GOD am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are My people, saith the Lord God.”

This passage unmistakably informs us that Christ shall come and save Israel because they are in imminent danger. But there are several other major reasons for Christ’s coming to them – His saving them – at this time:

(1) They are in imminent peril;

(2) It is “time” to do so as Psalm 102;

(3) He wishes to rid His land and people of these evil beasts and blasphemers, and

(4) The fullness of the Gentiles shall have come in.

Now, allow me to add this important factor: His forgiveness of Israel shall ONLY be given when they have recognized Messiah, and have accepted Him wholeheartedly, as in Zechariah 12: 10 and Zechariah 13: 6.

But their deliverance from these nations does not in any wise require their prior acceptance of Him (before they are delivered). His deliverance of them shall be a gratuitous act of mercy on His part (Ezekiel 36: 22 being one clear reference to this), and it is IN THAT ACTION that they behold Him “coming in the name of the Lord,” as He told them would be necessary in Matthew 23: 39: “Ye SHALL NOT SEE ME (behold Me, margin) HENCEFORTH, TIL YE SHALL SAY, ‘Blessed is He Who cometh in the name of the Lord.”

It is specifically a result of His actions in delivering them that they are compelled to take that view! He is recognized by them obviously as an all powerful Being. When He makes Himself known to them (i.e., they perceive His identity), their immediate response shall be, “Blessed is He Who cometh in the name of the Lord!” No other entity (except a supernatural one) can possibly be conceived by them – One Who could come forth apparently from nowhere and sweep their enemies away with such force and power! It will prove to them beyond any doubt that He is, indeed, their Messiah, once they have seen the visible scars of His wounds in his hands ... and looked upon Him whom they have pierced (at the crucifixion). At the same time they are chagrined, embarrassed and terrified to discover that He is indeed, also, Jesus of Nazareth, the subject of their refusal nearly 2,000 years ago.

As I have previously noted, their situation at that time shall be precisely that of Joseph’s brethren who, appearing before the ruler of Egypt to beg grain, are finally apprised of the astounding fact that the benevolent ruler is actually their brother Joseph, whom they had intended to kill in earlier years. They are terrified that Joseph might now kill them for their treachery, but they are very pleasantly surprised. Joseph is quick to reassure his brethren that he intends them no retribution or harm. He reasons with them that all their actions leading up to this point were ‘of the Lord’ in order that he should now be in the position to save them and all the others of his family by providing sustenance and shelter for them in Egypt.

We see indication of precisely the same level of compassion and understanding by the returned Lord Jesus at the moment when His people are led to recognize Him. The result is that their mourning is deep and sincere, as it was for their ancient brethren in Hadadrimmon when they mourned the death of their good king Josiah (Zechariah 12: 11).

The immediate result for Israel, following the destruction of their rabid enemies and His personal identity being revealed to them, is that their de facto inheritance of the Land Grant of Abraham shall be established and take immediate effect, along with all the component parts of it, such as Christ proclaiming Himself King over Israel, raising up the throne of David, and dismantling their armour and military power, their walls and barriers, creating an environment of peace and security for them for the first time since the reign of some of the kings of Israel.

His kingdom has no need of these features. He establishes an everlasting covenant with them (Ezekiel 37: 24). He begins to build the Temple of Ezekiel 40 – 48. He divides the 12 Tribes of Israel into their allotted territories and establishes one of the 12 Apostles on a throne over each, as Jesus Himself promised in Matthew 19: 28 and Luke 22: 30.

All these events bring a predictable response from the Christian nations, for His Gospel is not their gospel. So they consider him to be “the anti-Christ” of their theology, which evokes an entirely predictable response from them, resulting in the next round of ‘troubles’ for the nations. But these troubles are solely because they changed and corrupted the Word of God to suit their own ends and desires. They perverted His Word. They made infidels of themselves by their own machinations and perversions.

Their “gospel” is not His Gospel – and this fact is readily apparent to them, and is the reason for their rejection of Him! It is the precise reason why they cannot recognize Him in his role as the Christ of the Second Advent. They hope for “rapture” to a kingdom in the skies, while His kingdom is destined to be earthly, beginning with Israel as a “mustard seed” and clearly spreading in an orderly and godly fashion to all the nations by coercion and conquest.

Thus we easily see that there is ample proof that Israel is precisely that hinted at above. When the Proximal Islamic peoples have been silenced there evidently follows an indefinable time of peace in the Land.

During this time the Lord of Hosts (Yahweh Tz’vaoth, one of Christ’s names during that time) shall proceed with setting up of His earthly kingdom in Jerusalem and Greater Israel, whose borders shall be far afield from their limited borders of today.

That kingdom shall have six major features that are common to all kingdoms of the earth …

The King shall be Himself, now sitting on David’s throne (Ezekiel 37: 26).

His territory shall be that anciently promised to Abraham as “all the land that thou seest, to thee will I give it and to thy seed forever” in Genesis 13; 15. In another definition, it shall be “from sea to sea, and from the river unto the end of the earth” (Psalm 72: 8).

His helpers shall be the immortalized Saints who have been redeemed out of all tongues and peoples and languages of all past time (Revelation 5: 9).

His subjects shall be Israel after the flesh whom He shall immediately gather from the universal diaspora to their homeland and inheritance, who shall then serve Him in a disarmed, un-walled, un-gated, Land of peace and safety where they shall dwell in confidence because of His physical presence among them. This is the physical presentation of Israel the nation to the eyes of the Gogian host. Gog sees a nation without arms or an army, relying on the protection of a seemingly naïve king, newly arrived from out of Nowhere! (Ezekiel 38: 11, 12.)

His laws shall be the Law of the Lord which He shall institute as He makes His new covenant with them. See Ezekiel 36: verse 16 to the end of the chapter as an excellent summary of this time of peace and obedience. Micah 4: 7 specifically states that “… the Lord shall reign over them in Mount Zion, from henceforth even for ever.”

His capital city shall be Jerusalem, or Mount Zion, in which the seat of government is established. Micah 4: 1 – 4 is a word picture of this perfect era in which “the law of the Lord shall go forth of (from) Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”

From that spectacular onset of great victory over their enemies, Israel is destined to grow and mature from this initial beginning in Jerusalem, “even the first dominion, the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem” and expand progressively into all the earth, bringing light unto the nations, its people serving their returned King with newly received hearts of flesh, not stone as formerly. It shall be the palpable progress of the promise to Abraham and his Seed, Whom Paul, in Galatians defines as Jesus Christ our Savior.

When Ezekiel relates in 38: 22, the consummate obliteration of the Gogian host, he is obviously foretelling the immutable conviction of Israel – based on their second openly miraculous deliverance, this time from the Gogian host – that the Leader and King is Messiah indeed, aka Jesus of Nazareth, Who is now, indeed, King of the Jews in the most elemental meaning of that term!

Now I would like to address another critical issue in this July issue of eTPL.

Basic Rules of Prophetic Interpretation

In the study of prophecy the basic rules of interpretation demand that several factors be considered. The following seem reasonable standards. You may be able to think of others; if so, please email me …?

First, do not spiritualize the meaning of the text and depart from its original meaning before you understand its basic, objective message – its primary, factual relationship to those to whom it was spoken and/or written.

Second, apply the words first of all to those to whom it is written. Those folk must be able to see its relevance to them and their then-current affairs; it must MEAN something to them that they can appreciate, although they may not understand all aspects of it early in the game or even during their lifetime.

Third, it must integrate and agree with all other scriptural references which may apply to the events prophesied. It cannot be ambiguous or bring any mystery to other prophecies of the same events.

Fourth, any interpretation must not violate any other basic, scriptural tenet or concept.

Fifth, apply the interpretation of the prophecy to the peoples who lived on the territories referred to at the time of the prophecy; that is, don’t apply the prophetic intent to the areas to which the original people later migrated. To do so is tenuous, and inaccurate, and depends upon the veracity of subsequent historical records and their accuracy, and would often make identities absolutely impossible to determine. Beside this fact, the prophecy as originally given would not have relevance to the people directly addressed, or others referred to, at the time of the prophecy. This practice introduces confusion. So the crucial factor here is that the prophecy would mean entirely different things to people of various eras; as the named peoples migrated, the meaning of the prophecy would change. Confusion would reign.

Specifically, I refer to the popular claim that today’s Gomer is Germany! I respectfully submit that the Gomerians of the Gogian host who are nominated here in Ezekiel are the peoples who NOW live in the area of ancient Gomer, i. e., in Eastern Turkey. When Ezekiel was writing the words of the Almighty, he made reference to the powers of the Endtime by the names of the peoples who lived there in his time – not to areas to which they later should migrate. We have accurate records of their original habitation for the most part and thus can discern areas today which were populated by ancient peoples.

This is a principle stated as preferable by John Thomas. He wrote these significant observations:

”…the Lion-power [he indicates Britain] will not only become the Sheba and Dedan, but also the Edom, Moab, and Ammon of the ‘latter days;’ for in speaking of the events of these days, the prophets refer not to races of men, but to powers on territories designated by the names of the people who anciently inhabited them. Hence, for instance, the Lion-power planted hereafter in the ancient territory of Moab becomes the Moab of the latter days (sic); so that when the countries before-named are possessed and settled by the British, they [the British!] will be men of Dedan, men of Sheba in Aden and Mocha, and Moabites,Edomites, and Ammonites in their several territories (sic). Thus, the prophecies concerning those countries in their latter-day developments have regard to the power to which they then belong …” Eureka, Vol. III.

I believe this to be the only scriptural approach to the problems we have of identifying Endtime powers - by whomever presently occupies anciently designated lands. The undeniable fact that many later applications of prophecy were otherwise made does not negate the logic or accuracy of that approach, which leads to inaccuracy of the grossest sort. Gomer is whatever power occupies eastern Anatolia today – Turkey. Germany and other European powers mistakenly identified will have their accounts settled in the affair of Armageddon (Revelation 16: 16) – in my estimation a regional (European) conflict settling the matter of the Beast and the False Prophet … symbolized by the Image of Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream in Daniel two, the revived Roman power of that future time. The settlement as revealed shall move into the universal spaces of other continents – wherever the exceedingly pervasive influence of the False Prophet has reached.

H E Lafferty, July 2010

The Location and Identity of Cush

Some students of the Bible have assumed that Cush has two locations in the scriptures. In fact, in the realm of our familiar texts, it seems possible that Cush has occupied two locations. But if so, not at the same time. If this is so, one location – in Mesopotamia – quite evidently was abandoned, and the population migrated elsewhere: to Africa’s Upper Nile region. That’s certainly where Cush was in Ezekiel’s time when he wrote of the coming Gogian invasion. (Ezekiel: “Ethiopia” = Kuwsh, or Cush)

Or, there may be a more logical, and much more factual, explanation!

In Genesis 2:13 we read that one of the rivers of Eden (the Gihon) encircled (“compassed”) “the whole land of Ethiopia” (referenced root Hebrew word, Cush). We might assume solely from this text that the people of Cush must originally have settled and developed an area northeast of the course of the Tigris River, between what is now Eastern Turkey and the present Persian Gulf.

But is this a correct assumption?

In Genesis 2: 13, the text of the Authorized Version similarly reads, “The name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it which compasseth (encircles) the whole land of Ethiopia.”

But “Ethiopia” is nowhere near the supposed location of the Garden of Eden in Mesopotamia! And it never has been! As noted above, the Hebrew word translated “Ethiopia” is actually Cush (Hebrew, Kuwsh, H-3568 in Strong’s Concordance).

Does this make Ethiopia equivalent to this “Cush?”

Well, though illogical, it might. We need to investigate further.

I have been intrigued by a footnote in Bullinger’s Companion Bible, in which he offers this information on the text: “Gihon = the river east of the Tigris. The modern Kerkhah, and ancient Khoaspes, rising in the mountains of the Kassi. Kas has been confused with the Hebrew Cush. It is not the African Cush, or Ethiopia, but the Accadian Kas.”


Just what is “the Accadian Kas?”

Akkadia (Akkad) and Kas are names not mentioned by Biblical authors. It was located adjacent to Sumer. The ancient language of Babylon was Akkadian. Shortly after Abram departed from Ur of Chaldea, which at the time had a Sumerian/Akkadian character, it was overrun and destroyed by Gungunum[1] (ruled c. 1932 BC to 1906 BC), an Amorite. Thus the population identity shifted to Akkadian/Amorite.

This indicates the general location of the Akkadian Kas: the river Gihon encircled it lying to the northeast of the Tigris opposite Babylon on the Euphrates. It is logically the land of this people - the Kas, or Kassites - which was watered by the Gihon, and not Cush/Ethiopia at all. During their period of historical prominence, the Kas worried and probed and poked at Babylon to the south. In 1794 BC, the Babylonian ruler Samsuiluna mentions the Kassites for the first time. At around 1726 BC, he constructed a stronghold as a bulwark against the Kassites on the Diyals River[2] near its confluence with the Tigris (opposite Babylon to the south).

Now, this account does not relate to the African Kuwsh. Cush was a son of Ham, who had black skin. None of the inhabitants of Kas, or of this entire vast subcontinent of present day Turkey, Iran, and Iraq are Black. In all fairness, however, we cannot be sure that ALL the descendants of Ham were Black, for his grandson was Nimrod of Babylon who is not so noted.

First Occurrence of Cush

The first mention of Cush is in Genesis 10:6, where the nations of the earth are named. These four families of Cush inhabited (1) Canaan; (2) North Africa (Libya/Phut) and Egypt (Mizraim); (3) East Africa (Cush/Ethiopia); and (4) portions of Arabia (Sheba, Dedan, Havilah, Raamah, etc.).

Cush inhabited and established itself in the upper Nile valley from the first cataract southward to the second cataract; eastward to the shore of the Red Sea; westward to the Libyan desert; and southward to near Khartoum, now in the Sudan. The word Kuwsh[3] before and during Isaiah’s time was sometimes synonymous with Ethiopia, and sometimes with Cush. This was due to the fact that the area “was called Cush (Kush) even at this late date, under the 18th dynasty pharaohs of ancient Egypt, and called Ethiopia by the ancient Greeks.[4]

The fact is then, that the name Cush never indicated to Moses, or to Isaiah,[5] an area to the northeast of Judah (in Mesopotamia), but the African locale of the people of Cush. At the same time, Cush never settled in that part of the world. Not only did Cush occupy the territory outlined above, but by the sixth century BC, had extended its hegemony northward in Egypt beyond Memphis, which it took as its capital. In Isaiah’s day (715 BC) its king began the 25th dynasty of Egypt, which is named “Cushite” in the king lists.[6]

The modern equivalent of Cush is the Sudan/Ethiopia.

While I am aware that John Thomas references a “Cushistan” in Mesopotamia, there is no historical validity to a Mesopotamian Cush. That is proven not to be a valid assumption on the basis of the above evidence, some of which was quite recently published: information based on meticulous research by archaeologists and historians as well as linguists who are continuing to study the heaps of cuneiform evidence gathered from those areas during the last hundred years. He sometimes referenced an entity known as Hindu Cush – which is a valid location in extreme northeast Afghanistan.

Now, I include here an excerpt from the Free Dictionary (electronic edition) giving important information about this area in Afghanistan called Hindu Kush. However, the word only coincidentally sounds the same as “Cush” but means slaughter. It has nothing in common with the Biblical Cush (Kuwsh) at all.

Hindu Kush means Hindu Slaughter

By Shrinandan Vyas

Hindu Kush and the Hindu Genocide

“The Hindu Kush is a mountain system nearly 1000 miles long and 200 miles wide, running northeast to southwest, and dividing the Amu Darya River Valley and Indus River Valley. It stretches from the Pamir Plateau near Gilgit, to Iran. The Hindu Kush ranges mainly run thru Afghanistan and Pakistan. It has over two dozen summits of more than 23,000 ft in height. Below the snowy peaks the mountains of Hindu Kush appear bare, stony and poor in vegetation. Historically, the passes across the Hindu Kush have been of great military significance, providing access to the northern plains of India.

“The Khyber Pass constitutes an important strategic gateway and offers a comparatively easy route to the plains of Punjab. Most foreign invaders, starting from Alexander the Great in 327 BC, to Timur Lane in 1398 AD, and from Mahmud of Ghazni, in 1001 AD, to Nader Shah in 1739 AD attacked Hindustan via the Khyber Pass and other passes in the Hindu Kush (1,2,3). The Greek chroniclers of Alexander the Great called Hindu Kush … Parapamisos or Paropanisos (4). The Hindu name of the Hindu Kush Mountains was'Paariyaatra Parvat.

“Now, Afghanistan is a Moslem country. Logically, this means either one or more of the following must have happened:

a) The original residents of Hindu Kush converted to Islam, or

b) They were slaughtered and the conquerors took over, or

c) They were driven out.

“Encyclopedia Britannica informs us above about the resistance to conversion and frequent revolt against to the Moslem conquerors’ rule from 8th thru 11th century AD. The name 'Hindu Kush' itself tells us about the fate of the original residents of Gandhaar and Vaahic Pradesh during the later period of Moslem conquests, because HINDU KUSH in Persian MEANS HINDU SLAUGHTER (as per Koenraad Elst in his book Ayodhya and After).

Let us look into what other standard references say about Hindu Kush.

“Persian-English Dictionary indicates that the word 'Kush' is derived from the verb Kushtar - to slaughter or (the noun) carnage. Kush is probably also related to the verb Koshtan meaning to kill. In Urdu, the word Khud-kushi means act of killing oneself (khud - self, Kushi- act of killing). Encyclopedia Americana comments on the Hindu Kush as follows: The name Hindu Kush means literally 'Kills the Hindu', a reminder of the days when (Hindu) SLAVES from the Indian subcontinent died in harsh Afghan mountains while being transported to Moslem courts of Central Asia. The National Geographic Article 'West of Khyber Pass' informs that 'Generations of raiders brought captive Hindus past these peaks of perpetual snow. Such bitter journeys gave the range its name Hindu Kush - "Killer of Hindus."' The World Book Encyclopedia informs that the name Kush ... means Death.

While Encyclopedia Britannica says 'The name Hindu Kush first appears in 1333 AD in the writings of Ibn Battutah, the medieval Berber traveler, who said the name meant 'Hindu Killer', a meaning still given by Afgan mountain dwellers who are traditional enemies of Indian plainsmen (i.e. Hindus).

So, it is easily determined that, although the words sound similar, they are not related as to etymology or meaning.

Now, these conclusions bring up another important consideration in contemporary prophecy studies. When Habakkuk (3: 3 - 7) mentions “the tents of Cushan,” (Strong, H-3572, “Kuwshan“), this is also merely a phonetic similarity. He is not referring to Cush in any wise, but according to Strong, to an area in Arabia, near unto Midian, the location of Mount Sinai. The scenario pictured by Habakkuk is part of that great whirlwind with which the Christ of the Second Advent violently and abruptly sweeps away all the murderous Arabic/Islamic opponents of His people and their claim to His Land! The “Teman ... and Mount Paran” of verse 3, includes the area south of Judah and the entire Sinai peninsula. These people are Egyptian and Palestinian Bedouin who are sympathetic with the PLO and Yasser Arafat.

We are clearly instructed that the Lord Jesus shall wreak His destruction specifically upon “all the people that have fought against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 14: 12), and that these are part of that group. All the others of that particular phase of warfare are listed in Psalm 83. Not one shall escape - including “Assur,” which is Assyria/Iraq!

It has been attested by other students of the Word that such an Arabic/ Islamic coalition has never stood against Israel at any time in the past. Therefore, it does so uniquely today! That psalm is Messianic in that its context is the Arabic threats to Israel now returned to the Land in the End-times - and a prophecy of their destruction. And all the areas actively fighting Israel today are named there!

The certainty of the destruction of Iraq at His second coming has much to do with the fulfillment of Isaiah 19:13 - 25, which promises that “In that day shall Israel be a third with Egypt and with Assyria (Iraq!), even a blessing in the midst of the land (earth),” for this Assyria is the small, peaceful, subdued, and repentant remnant of Syria/Iraq which is left after the likes of its sadistic rulers and haters of God and of Israel are utterly destroyed. But the population possibly includes thousands of Israelis, too, who shall have inherited, and who then inhabit, that rich, oil-infused valley and enjoy the spoils of those Gentiles which “shall be gathered together” for the Almighty’s glory (cf., Zechariah 14: 14).

Although Arabia is certainly included in that list of enemies that He shall destroy, Sheba and Dedan are also inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula, and are evidently saved from this destruction because they have not actively “fought against Jerusalem.” These areas include portions of the Yemens of today, and evidently are spared His wrath, later to ask the rhetorical question of Ezekiel 38:13 (“Art thou come to take a spoil?”).

So I submit that the diligent students of God’s word recognize His revelation as accurate and straightforward. When the prophetic word speaks of “Assyria,” we must not inject private interpretation into the text. Assyria means Assyria, or Syria/Iraq - not Russia, or the Gogian host. There are several reasons for asserting this fact. One is that Assyria/ Iraq is scheduled for Christ’s defeat prior to the coming of Gog - an event which will be discussed in a future article, Lord willing.

Another is that, because Iraq shall no longer exist in its present form at the time of Gog’s arrival, it will be impossible for Iraq to give its power to Gog, as some suppose. The Gogian coalition is carefully listed in Ezekiel 38:3, 5, 6). They are “Gog of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal …. Persia, Ethiopia (Kuwsh), and Libya with them … Gomer … Togarmah of the north quarters … and many people with thee.” Assyria/Iraq is not mentioned. Neither is Egypt, Syria, Arabia, Tyre (Lebanon), Moab, Ammon (Jordan), Edom – those states round about Israel today who are fighting to conquer her. The only explanation is that these polities no longer exist at that time!

But at an earlier time, Assyria IS definitely involved … and prominently. Brethren have long overlooked or misapplied the importance of Micah’s prophecy relating to Assyria’s assault upon His people re-gathered[7] in the Land. Its core is Micah 5, where the utterance covers over 2,000 years from the smiting of the Shepherd of Israel (in verse 1) and the city of His birth (Bethlehem, verse 2), to the fact that the Almighty intended to ABANDON His errant people for many centuries, “UNTIL the time that she which travailed hath brought forth: THEN the remnant of His brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. And He shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord … and they shall abide.” The time of Zion’s birth (travail) was 1948 – a nation “born in a day.” Since that time, the Jews have “returned” to God (i.e., to His land) in their millions!

Then note the next verses (5-7), where the indication is that Assyria’s aggression toward His re-gathered people will be rewarded by utter and complete defeat - of Assyria (Iraq). This, of course, is one of those places where some think that Assyria is not meant when the word of God says Assyria. They say that this power is really Russia to which Iraq shall have given her fealty prior to the Gogian invasion. But I submit to you that Iraq won’t even be in existence when Gog comes down because of the content of this very passage.[8] I believe that the invasion of Israel by a coalition of Arab Islamists led by Iraq will be the object of the Lord’s wrath here. “And they shall WASTE the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod (not the lands of the Czars or Commissars or the President of Russia!) in the entrances thereof: thus shall He deliver us from the Assyrian (the Iraqi coalition of Proximal Arabs …”

[1] Encyclopedia Britannica, Electronic Edition 2000, under “Mesopotamia, History of”

[2] Ibid.

[3] Kuwsh is usually translated “Ethiopia” by the A. V. translators, but corresponds also to modern Sudan.

[4] Encyclopedia Britannica, Electronic Edition 2000, under “Sudan, history of the: The kingdom of Kush.”

[5] Isaiah 11:11, forecasting the return of the Jews from “Cush,” among other places. It is significant that of the places mentioned, all the Jews except a few have at this date returned. Only Elam (another name for Iraq) holds several thousands of Jews at this date. Practically all the Jews of those places have “returned” to Israel!

[6] Ibid.

[7] Please see Micah 4:6, 7, which covers a considerable period of time from the beginning of her regathering to Zion to the return of the King to her to reign over Israel in the Land.

[8] There are actually some 30 clear and unequivocal references to the destruction of the nations “round about” Israel prior to the appearance of the Gogian host!

H E Lafferty, June, 2010

The Glory of God Departs the Temple, then Returns

Ezekiel 10: 4 and others references

The brilliant Light of Shekinah, God’s presence, dwelt (rested) upon the Mercy Seat which covered the Ark of the Covenant. From all indications, it was a brilliant point of light suspended in mid-air above the Mercy Seat between the solid gold Cherubim (plural) which faced each other, their wings touching, at each end of the Mercy Seat. It was the only light in the Most Holy Place, into which went the High Priest once a year with the blood of Atonement. It was destined to remain in that position for an indefinite period of time; Biblical records show that it was removed from the Temple because of Israel’s disobedience.

Its initial move is recorded in Ezekiel 10: 4, where we are informed that “…the Glory of the Lord (Shekinah) went up from (between) the Cherub(s) and stood over the threshold of the House (the Temple); and the House was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the Lord’s glory.” It is notable that throughout the first 12 chapters of Ezekiel, the word ‘glory’ is always translated from Hebrew kabod (Strong H-3519) meaning weight; in a figuratively good sense, splendor or copiousness, glorious, glory, honor. Although the Hebrew for Shekinah is not used here, the glory is just that.

This is the beginning of a process of the removal of the Shekinah (Glory) from the Temple – the first stage of its departure from the First Temple. The Shekinah was the visible, unmistakable presence of God within Israel, dwelling in midair between the cherubim above the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies.

The next stage is depicted later in the chapter: “… the Glory of the Lord departed from off the threshold of the house and stood over the Cherubim” (Verse 19). From this point the prophet says, “And the Cherubim lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight: when they WENT OUT the wheels also were beside them, and every one stood at the door of the East Gate of the Lord’s House; and the Glory of the God of Israel was over them above.”

The Cherubim here referred to were those energized beings of the vision of chapters one and ten, which Ezekiel saw at the River Chebar in Babylon, not those which stood at either end of the Mercy Seat; the envisioned Cherubim were about to bear away Shekinah from the Temple of God, symbolizing God’s departure from His people for a season. When Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem shortly thereafter and destroyed the First Temple, this prophecy was fulfilled perfectly. From that time, there was no Temple and no Shekinah.

Where did the Cherubim carry Shekinah?

Ezekiel 11:22 records essentially the same facts as recorded in 10: 19, to give us a continuous connection. Then, verse 23 tells us:

“And the Glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the City, and stood upon the mountain (Mt. Olivet) which is on the east side of the City.” Thus it was that the Glory moved eastward over the Mount of Olives and then seemingly disappeared!

It was from this place that the resurrected and immortalized Jesus (Who is Shekinah embodied) later ascended to Heaven. His Return to Israel is also specified to be to this place (Zechariah 14: 4), as the unmistakable manifestation of the Greater Glory of God, the Light of the World – the True Shekinah.

This return of the Glory is confirmed by vision to Ezekiel in 43: 1 - 7, as returning to the Temple by precisely the same route as when it departed. The prophet records that momentous time:

“Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east. And behold, the Glory of the God of Israel came FROM the way of the east: and HIS VOICE (Messiah’s Voice – note the personal pronoun!) was as the noise of many waters: and the earth shined with His (Messiah’s) glory. And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the City (!); and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell upon my face. And the Glory of the Lord came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east (just as it had gone out). So the Spirit took me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, THE GLORY OF THE LORD FILLED THE HOUSE!”

At this point we are given an additional, significant revelation concerning the eternal residence of the Almighty’s name: verse 7 – “And He said unto me, Son of man, (behold) the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever; and My holy name shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredoms, nor by the carcasses of their kings in their high places.”

From this passage we perceive the glorious, highly visible, personal arrival of Messiah to the predetermined place of His central position of authority and regency in Israel – again, the Light of the World and the Glory of God in the Highest embodied in Him – now taking up His throne and position as foretold in the ancient words of Zechariah 8: 3. This permanent place as His permanent, eternal residence is likewise borne out in Revelation 19 and especially in verse 16 where “He (that same king) hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

This scene depicts the judgment of the Great Whore and other opponents headquartered in Europe, the future center of commerce and politics. There is no higher king than He, and the kings and rulers of the earth shall bow to His authority and power in that day!

Thus is filled in for us a magnificent scene depicting the Returned Lord Jesus taking unto Himself His throne and reigning from Jerusalem (Luke 1: 32; I Corinthians 15: 25).

Finally, an end-note: you will not easily find the word “light” as Shekinah in the Bible. It is derived from the Hebrew verb שכן. In Biblical Hebrew the word means literally to settle, inhabit, or dwell, and is used frequently in the Hebrew Bible. (See Exodus 40:35 - "Moses could not enter the Tent of Meeting, for the cloud rested [shakhan] upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle." See also e.g. Genesis 9: 27, 14: 13, Psalms 37: 3, Jeremiah 33: 16, as well as the weekly Shabbat blessing recited in the Temple in Jerusalem ("May He who causes His name to dwell [shochan] in this House, cause to dwell among you love and brotherliness, peace and friendship"). It apparently does not MEAN ‘light’ but is nearly always associated with light or brightness which remained (rested) above the Mercy Seat.

As the word is translated “rested” we can see that it is synonymous with the word “dwelling” as used in Revelation 21: 3 – “And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” The word dwell here is G-4637, skenoo, among its meanings being “to reside, as God in the tabernacle of old; a symbol for protection and communion; reside.”

For much further information, please see other sources, an excellent one being This free dictionary, by the way, is an excellent reference to add to your Bookmarks as it is a comprehensive and very deep resource for word and concept definitions, for etymology and forms of usage; it is readily available without passwords and pin numbers.

H E Lafferty, MD/USA June, 2010

The e-Prophecy Letter

May 2010

The Challenge of ‘Prophecy’

In the study of Bible prophecy one is challenged by several primary considerations. One of the most important challenges is accurately to identify the various countries and powers that are referred to by the prophets, and accurately to identify the modern principals of any revelation so the current status of that prophecy may be determined. For example, has it been fulfilled? When was it fulfilled? If so, how did its fulfillment move forward the Plan of God, if that can be determined? What nations of today are involved? Does the prophecy remain to be fulfilled in the future? How did it relate to the ancient people to which it referred?

Other needs are to determine the time when the prophecy was given, to whom it was given, the impact of the prophecy on the then-current politico-ecclesiastical situation, the indicated possible time of its fulfillment, upon whom the prophecy would be operative, and other relevant factors.

I believe one of the areas of prophetic study that is most challenging is the accurate current identification of the participants – the nations nominated – in any prophecy. Especially is this principle important in prophecy which remains yet to be fulfilled either in the near or in the distant future. (Most often, after fulfillment of a prophecy, the chief characters may easily be decided from the record simply by inspection. Not so prior to fulfillment.)

For example, when ‘Persia’ is named in a prophecy we immediately know the prophet is speaking of present day Iran – the ultimate successor to Persia of old, which occupies roughly the same territory as did ancient Persia.

But other place-designations may not be as easy as ‘Persia.’ I immediately think of Togarmah, for example; or Sheba and Dedan; or Tarshish, Magog and Gomer; Moab, Edom and Ammon; Elam; Assur; Assyria; Babylon. These are decidedly not modern place-names, yet we must determine what countries or entities are indicated by these ancient names.

John Thomas wrote in detail about these entities as well as several others. In speaking of this aspect of prophetic study – the modern determinations of ancient peoples – he recorded a succinct observation which I want to bring to your attention. The quotation is found in Elpis Israel, (Birmingham, Charles Jones, 1924) Vol. III. The reference is not short, but I will quote much of it in order to set the context of his remarks:

“But the Lion-Power [by which he indicates Great Britain] has not yet attained [in the mid-1800s] the limit marked out for it by the finger of God. The conquest of Persia by the Autocrat [of Russia] will doubtless cause England to conquer Afghanistan and to seize upon Dedan [the southern Saudi Arabian peninsula!] that she may command the entrance to the Persian Gulf, and so prevent him [the Autocrat of Russia] from obtaining access to India either by land or sea. Possessing Persia and Mesopotamia, the apprehension of his pushing still further southward, and perhaps establishing himself on the northeastern coast of the Red Sea, and so taking them in the rear and gaining access to India by the straits of Babelmandeh, will also be a powerful motive for the Merchants of Tarshish and its Young Lions to take possession of all the coast from the Gulf of Persia to the Straits, and thence to Suez, by which the Lion-power [i.e., Britain] will not only become the Sheba and Dedan, but also the Edom, Moab, and Ammon of the ‘latter days;’ for in speaking of the events of these days, the prophets refer not to races of men, but to powers on territories designated by the names of the people who anciently inhabited them. Hence, for instance, the Lion-power planted hereafter in the ancient territory of Moab becomes the Moab of the latter days (sic); so that when the countries before-named are possessed and settled by the British, they will be men of Dedan in Muscat, men of Sheba in Aden and Mocha, and Moabites, Edomites, and Ammonites in their several territories. Thus, the prophecies concerning those countries in their latter-day developments have regard to the power to which they then belong, and which, I have no doubt, will be British; which, together with the Autocrat’s, though henceforth always rival dominions, will endure until both powers are broken up by the Ancient of Days.”

I must conclude that this is a fundamental, utterly sensible, and legitimate statement about the current identities and definitions of nations and powers in prophecy: that is, whoever presently occupies the land of an anciently named place or people IS the working identity of that place or people today, and is the subject of any prophecies involving that place.

It is a principle which absolutely denies the opposite approach to the problem (the challenge of tracking nations and peoples in prophecy from where they lived in earlier times to the present day). For example, where today are the peoples or nations located who anciently occupied specific places but migrated away from them?

It is not, he states, the newly attained locations of these peoples which are nominated in prophecies, but the peoples who currently live in their original place of habitation – where they were established when the prophet or prophets wrote of them. The prophecy of yet-coming events refers to the nation NOW inhabiting that ancient people’s location.

Think about this: in order to verify and determine the places to which ancient peoples have since migrated is rather ‘iffy’ to say the least. Often we cannot know whether the subject nation or people still exist – or do so under another identity. To determine their locations accurately we would have to depend upon fallible historians throughout the ages and upon the accuracy of any commentary they should have made about the movements and migrations of peoples and nations from their ancient settlements to where they are thought to be located today – or in some historic interim time.

That is always complex as well as extremely questionable. Take, for instance, the ancient Scythians. Their original location is known to be in southern Russia and the power was called Magog. Josephus gives their settlement as being Asian, located in the vicinity of the River Don (the Tanias, in the trans-Caucasus). Their area of settlement later broadly spread from their original habitat. But are those movements accurately traceable throughout all subsequent ages; and are they relevant?

The Magogites were a migrant people. According to John Thomas, historians ultimately trace the movement of these tribes of Japheth (of which Magog was one) southwest-ward through Europe to the Straits of Gibraltar and northward on the Continent.[1] Families remained mostly intact and named their inhabited places after themselves.

Magog founded the Magogae, whom the Greeks called Scythae. Gomer, by the way, another prominent son of Japheth, founded the Gomari, whom the Greeks called ‘Galatae.’ (Some of this tribe settled in central Asia Minor, where they were known as Galatians, to whom Paul later wrote an Epistle.)

Now, to stay with our original example, Magog: John Thomas traces the Scythae as follows: “It only therefore remains for us to ascertain, which were the nations that the Greeks, in the time of Josephus (now we have advanced to the era of Jesus Christ) called Scythae and which they then called Galatae; and to observe whether the geographical affinities of these nations are such an answer to those which are plainly required (sic) by the prophecy for Magogue and Gomer.”[2]

John Thomas continues: “Herodotus, the most ancient Greek writer accessible, acquaints us, ‘that the name Scythae was a name given by the Greeks to an ancient and widely extended people of Europe, who had spread themselves from the River Tanais, or Don, westward, along the banks of the Ister, or Danube. ‘The Greeks,’ observes Major Rennel, ‘appear to have first used the term Scythia, in its application to their neighbors, the Scythians of the Euxine (the region of the Black Sea), who were also called Getae, or Gothi; and were afterward those who subdued the Roman Empire …. And again, the Scythians of Herodotus appear to have extended themselves in length from Hungary, Transylvania and Wallachia, on the westward, to the River Don on the eastward.’” [Actually these people spread from East toward the West, and not the way stated above, for they proceeded from the first migratory stop of the Magogae which is now in the Trans-Caucasus of southern Russia - Ed.] Thus the testimony of Herodotus and Josephus is in perfect agreement concerning the progress of Magogue and Gomer.”

As you possibly already know, John Thomas as well as published historians additionally trace the Scythians and Goths further north in Europe. These Gothi were those who invaded Europe’s south, established themselves in what is now France, as Gauls. From there they fought their way to the British Isles and became the Celts of Ireland and Scotland.

But they were not finished with their peregrinations: Millions of these Celtic folk have migrated to South Africa, to the New World, to the United States, to Canada, to Australia and other remote parts of the earth. It is estimated that there are at least four times as many Irish Celts now in the U.S. as there are left in Ireland (of which I am one – a Celtic Israelite!). If there were a prophecy involving the Celtic peoples, which of those locations might we utilize to locate them in the latter days – any of them … or ALL of them? You can see the source of confusion in this approach! Such a prophetic interpretation could have little rational use to us as an aid to understanding such a prophecy.

Why? Because such observations are often unsubstantiated, unreliable, incomplete, or even absent, making their applications uncertain and even unknowable. Confusion follows. Such uncertainty makes understanding any such prophecy undependable, nonsensical and insoluble. The prophecy could remain forever meaningless, or inaccurately comprehended and uncertain at best!

In other words, it is not God’s orderly manner of revelation to us.In the reference quoted at first, I contend that John Thomas has well expressed the solution to the problem of the location of anciently-named peoples both scripturally and logically when he wrote,

“…in speaking of the events of these days, the prophets refer not to races of men [that is, to present races and where they now live], but to powers on territories designated by the names of the people who anciently inhabited them. The ancient territory of Moab, becomes the Moab of the latter days; so that when the countries before-named are possessed and settled by the British, they [the British! – Ed.] will be men of Dedan in Muscat, men of Sheba in Aden and Mocha, and Moabites, Edomites, and Ammonites in their several territories.

“Thus, the prophecies concerning those countries in their latter-day developments have regard to the power to which they then belong … on territories designated by the names of the people who anciently inhabited them. Hence, for instance, the Lion-power planted hereafter in the ancient territory of Moab becomes the Moab of the latter days (sic); so that when the countries before-named are possessed and settled by the British, they will be men of Dedan in Muscat, men of Sheba in Aden and Mocha, and Moabites, Edomites, and Ammonites in their several territories. Thus, the prophecies concerning those countries in their latter-day developments have regard to the power to which they then belong …”

Unfortunately, it is not the principle which he and many others often later employed to solve this problem! In the context of this actual quotation – within the range of a few pages of it, as we see above – we can observe how he generally tried to determine the locations of various nations named in prophecy by their movements through time and space to their current locations. My humble and respectful estimation is that the approach is incorrect, convoluted and unworkable.

To determine the outworking of prophecies relating to MAGOG, one needs to consider the original location of Magog – that is, to their early Trans-Caucasus location – and determine who controls this same area in the Endtime – to determine a scriptural understanding, in the time when the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 and 39 about them is about to be fulfilled.

In John Thomas’ words, whoever owns and controls those lands today are the forces nominated by the prophecy, not the places to which those ancient peoples migrated!

On that simple basis, I believe the astute student of prophecy today will realize that when Magog is indicated, ANCIENT Magog is meant – and that means whichever power today owns and controls Magog’s ancient location at the time of the prophecy’s fulfillment is the subject of the prophecy … and no other!

As nearly as we can determine, Magog is now occupied by roughly five CIS republics: Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. They are significantly 98% Moslem. They are rabidly anti-Semitic. The capital of Kazakhstan is Astana, a city until recently known as Alma-Ata. Any great leader of Russia emanating from these CIS republics is automatically Gog of the Land of Magog! – Whether he fulfills the role forecasted for this great despot or not.

At the present moment I don’t think this fact important (it might become important!), but it will illustrate the point: Vladimir Zhironovsky, the rabidly anti-Semitic Russian politician and member of the Duma, is a native-born Kazakhstani, from Alma-Ata, originally; he was born in the capital city of the land that was ancient Magog! If he should by some chance succeed President Putin or a later president as leader of Russia, he would instantly become ‘Gog of the Land of Magog’ whether or not he fulfilled the scriptural role prescribed for that entity. ‘Gog’ means despotic leader – Gog is the ‘big mogul’ of Magog, literally.

On the basis of John Thomas’ observations, it is quite apparent that Gomer and Magog have NO relationship to European nations as later suggested. Instead, a proper approach to their identity means that what we need do is determine the original location of those tribes in order to determine their identity today – and that identity is indicative of the national groups which live in or control those ancient areas today.

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