eTPL 2017

January: Programme for Israel: Donald Trump

An eTPL Editorial

H. Edward Lafferty

Our excitement is high for the positively stated stand for Israel coming from Donald Trump. Such favorable and profusely expressed interest in God’s people has not ever been seen from a president-elect, or a president of the USA.

He promises to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in short order.

He stands behind Israel’s construction programs in the territories claimed by the PLO.

He holds that Israel is its own authority in Jerusalem, which he stated as being “the eternal capital of the Jewish people.”

All these viewpoints are contrary to those of the current and past US presidents – especially the outgoing executive of December 2016.

Mr. Trump communicates freely – and on an extremely friendly level – with Benyamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, who recently put forth a plea for the United States to veto the current drive by Egypt (acting on behalf of the PLO) to condemn Israeli construction of “settlements” in the “West Bank” and in East Jerusalem.

But yesterday, President Obama betrayed the Jewish State by instructing the US ambassador to the UN to abstain when the vote was taken.

She did abstain; and the motion to censure Israel passed the Security Council after many years of failure.

It is a move which on the world scene will damage Israel for years to come … that is, given the present system continues “for years.”

Hint: we don’t believe it shall …

We believe that Donald John Trump will uphold the stance that he has enunciated; but we were not sure that Barack Hussein Obama would again do so were the vote to be taken before January 21st – the date of the inauguration of Mr. Trump. We had thought the date for the vote was uncertain, but it was presented for action yesterday – and the abstention was cast; the motion carried and passed into the record books.

In our opinion, this “parting shot” at Prime Minister Netanyahu by Barack Obama was a dastardly, hateful, and cowardly act.

He did it at this extremely late hour knowing that it was his last chance to carry out a knife attack upon Israel – for such it was!

In this timing, furthermore, he smugly realized that he would not be at the forefront to be exposed to endless questions from the press (even some of the liberal press is aghast) and from pro-Israeli forces – in short, that he would not be required to support his shameful decision to abandon Israel to the Palestine Liberation Organization and its aging leader, Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas). Because he is leaving the office of president to someone else…

The astounding and overarching fact is that Abbas doesn’t even want a “two state solution” to the conflict with Israel, but instead wants ALL the Land of Israel and its capital for his ethereal “Palestine.”

But meanwhile, he also wishes to cause as much discomfort and inconvenience as possible to Israel and its people.

The Trump Agenda

Mr. Trump has dealt pointedly with the vital subject of US policy for Israel in the last few days, clearly assuring Israel of his solid support for the State and its programmes for development. He is “standing with” Israel seemingly on all accounts! He has even stated that “he can readily solve the Palestinian conflict with Israel” or words to that effect!

But frankly, we don’t know what to make of this development – this strongly abject and forcibly voiced support for the State of Israel by Mr. Trump – from a prophetic viewpoint, that is.

We warmly welcome his support for Israel on an unconditional basis, which seems to be the case, at least for now.

And that last stipulation may be the key to the entire affair – “for now.”

The long-term position of support by any and every nation as to Israel is, in our opinion, to be withdrawn at some crucial time in the near future – when the chips are down as to renewed, active, armed Arab resistance to the Jewish state’s policies toward them.

In the account of Jesus’ end time intervention, prophesied in Isaiah 63, the People of God and their Deliverer are pictured by the prophetic word as being completely alone against their enemies.

In that prophecy, Messiah – newly arrived upon the Land and visibly combating their vile enemies – states pointedly: 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.

That seems to be the record of His initial, unexpected appearance among His newly re-gathered People of Israel after the resurrection of the dead and the Judgment Seat of Christ, both of which in our understanding shall have at that time already have occurred.

And from that date He swiftly and efficiently destroys the enemies of His People – all those who hold land and sovereignty between the Rivers and the Seas, thus clearing His land of all the intruders in that vast arena.

Our conclusion must be therefore, that some global change in US policy may come about prior to that time. Certainly, such change can come overnight in certain circumstances.

Also there is the possibility that no official change in US policy occurs, but that the time factor allowing US intervention on Israel’s behalf (should it be desired by the US) shall be just too short for action to be taken.

After all, considering the Master’s goal in that day – expunging from the Land all the adverse “-isms” from the land – is paramount in His plan. We indicate two of the three dominant “-isms” now resident there: Catholicism and Muslim-ism (Islam).

These will not be allowed to continue their presence within the Land Between the Rivers, even for a short time. Given that stipulation, can it be that their destruction takes place in a very short time frame (say, a few days)?

We don’t visualize this conflict as taking on the character of human warfare of past time. It promises to be “blitzkrieg” to the Nth degree! In the Master’s Plan there is no need to proceed with caution or trepidation – or concern for loss of manpower to the enemy; there shall be none!

After all, Messiah suffers not at that time, from a shortage of manpower (as if “men” were needed – for He wields the Sword of the Spirit against those enemies). The scriptures do indicate, however, that the Saints, now innumerable, immortalized and accompanying Him in this foray, and Israel itself, shall be involved in this conflict. Cf., Obadiah 1: 9, 18; also Psalm 149: 9; Isaiah 11: 14.

We commend, therefore, the newly-elected American president for his strongly pro-Israeli stance. It is doubtless a continuing reflection of past favorability toward Zion by the USA, this essential factor in the great blessing that this nation (Genesis 12: 3) has enjoyed among all the nations of the earth.

<HEL 12P> ~1200 words. December 24, 2016.


February: To Any Detractors, a Request

An eTPL Editorial

We fully appreciate that the views set forth in this website are considered by a few to be in error, perhaps almost heretical. Decades ago, we should have been among your number. For the prophetic interpretation that you now believe is the one that we also accepted in those early years.

But through application of endless hours of investigation in the Word of God, we have come to realize that our understanding was based upon several faulty presuppositions.

Our present mission is to correct that former misunderstanding, and to propagate a more workable one.

All we ask from readers is that you be courteously thoughtful and patient … that you continue to observe in the context of scripture what we have proposed as to the Plan Unfolding.

We don’t have to argue about it or disagree upon the subject, even if those feelings are present – because the events that have been foretold will come to pass exactly as our Father has revealed.

Their pathway has become wonderfully opened to diligent students in the words of the prophets. Whether we understand them perfectly, we know not as yet. We shall know only as they are fulfilled.

But to try to understand them in advance is required of us as serious students of our faith.

They are not negotiable by mere men.

They are inevitable, because He has already witnessed their fulfillment due to His mysterious divine characteristic of Omniscience – and Omnipresence.

He has, in ways we cannot comprehend, already been there in future time and has witnessed them fulfilled.

They cannot fail.

We realize that this is a short-term suggestion as to the veracity of our findings, but we would humbly ask anyone who believes our understanding to be grossly faulty, to do one courteous thing: Examine critically our views as set forth in the book, Twilight of the Prophets, as self-published in 1999, and see whether the path as laid out there has deviated to this date.

If you don’t have a copy of that treatise, please email eTPL (address below) and we will email a copy of it to your inbox free of charge. Be certain your site can receive large files as it contains approximately 100,000 words – just short of 200 standard pages of letter-sized text in Times New Roman pica 11 font.

Now, we realize that this is only a seventeen year period of time under consideration.

But if our views, which began to be published ten years prior to that date, are so erroneous, it would seem that some significant deviation should have begun in some tiny way (?).

No such deviation seems to have occurred in the plan as we have tried to elaborate it to readers/students. But, be assured: if some should occur, we will readily and humbly concede that our understanding has been faulty, and correct our propositions forthwith. That is the manner in which navigation toward a goal is accomplished – by beginning with a plan, and then altering the plan if extraneous events impact our course of progress. Unexpected storms arise; adverse winds sometimes blow upon our vessel - unseen and un-forecastable factors which impinge upon our earlier plan ...

We hope that we are never condemned to suffer the “Ear of Malchus Syndrome,” of stubborn denial of facts that are provable to have occurred in ways different from our previous expectations. That approach is to adopt the attitude, frankly, of insufferable ignorance and obtuseness as to the Plan.

We repudiate such a reaction with every fibre of our being.

If we should edit that aforementioned thesis, we would change no essential proposal contained in it to this date – all is proceeding according to our understanding at that time.

Unfortunately, some folk seem to have little better to do than criticize those whose opinions differ from their own – even in matters of relative inconsequence – and often as a result of their personally never having adequately studied the Word of God in the matter.

To hold those differences as life-threatening, fatally-held deviations, however, is wrong. Better that they spend their idle time investigating those proposals to see whether they be (and have been) according to truth.

We prefer to continue to apply ourselves in thousands of hours of investigative research in God’s Word, and to make our findings freely known to all who will hear.

We thank our heavenly Father daily that we have been given length of life and health to indulge in this joyous, absorbing, rewarding profession.

We firmly believe that the pathway to the kingdom of God is far inferior to the Kingdom itself. Our expressed views concern that pathway – and not the end result itself. That "end" is not in question in any way ...

Nearly everyone believes the Kingdom is coming soon – a fulfillment of the deepest desire of our hearts ... “Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.”

Our faithfully dispensed thoughts are merely expositions of how we believe that pathway has and shall progress toward that inevitable Kingdom of God.

We believe a fuller, more accurate understanding of the pathway militates toward a deeper faith – a more surefooted trust – in our overall convictions … when we can see a palpable, accurate, distinct, noteworthy progression toward that inevitable goal: glory to God in the highest … and on earth, peace – and goodwill among men.

The purpose of our Father’s having given the prophecies to His servants has partially to do with the increased generation of our faith in Him.

Our perception and appreciation of His Plan glorifies His name in every way!

The LORD Jesus Himself stated of His own prophetic utterances, “And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” John 14: 29.

Dear Father: we do believe … help Thou our unbelief!

<HEL 1P> ~980 words. Email address: helafferty@gmail.com Jan. 28, 2017.


March: A Suasive, Incisive Exhortation for Today

An eTPL:26 Exhortation

March: Ezekiel 34 - False Shepherds

The incisive language of Ezekiel here has broad application, not only as directly to the false prophets and false shepherds (leaders) of Judah of his own day, but in principle and by extension, also to the Ecclesia of Christ and its leaders of today.

It begins by addressing the Shepherds of Israel.

Ezekiel 34:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (these words assure the hearers of Ezekiel as well as us readers of today, that the words to come are directly from YHVH Himself – El Shaddai, the Almighty One …)

Eze 34:2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

A footnote on verse two in ESword notes…

“the shepherds: The shepherds of Israel, signify their kings and princes, priests and prophets; the flock, the whole of the people; the fat and wool, the tithes and offerings, taxes and imposts: these they exacted with great rigour, and even oppressed and destroyed the people to enrich themselves; but they bestowed no pains to provide for the welfare of the state, or for the souls of those entrusted to them. They knew nothing about their flock. It might be diseased, infirm, bruised, maimed, strayed, or lost, for they watched not over them. Eze_33:24; Jer_2:8, Jer_3:15, Jer_10:21, Jer_12:10; Joh_10:1-2, Joh_10:12.”

The incisive use of the word “woe” here is directly echoed in the words of the LORD Jesus, beginning in Luke 11: 39, and extending to verse 52 – words of animated, energized, and wrathful warning to the Pharisees of his day, whose contemptible behavior is described so directly by Him. The Koine Greek word for “woe” is a peculiar noun completely spelled in vowels: ouai! – and is indicative of the Master’s deep emotions of extreme distress or grief: Woe! To thou Pharisees, scribes, and lawyers – the three expressly-named groups of Jews addressed.

Study those baleful and malevolent condemnations (for that is what they are!) carefully – and with deep consideration, you Shepherds of His People, as they relate to your own personal conductyour Stewardship – among your fellow brethren in Christ!

If you see a reflection of yourself in our Master’s dissertation, it will be extremely advisable for you to turn away from that course of action!

Eze 34:3 Ye (Shepherds) eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock.

We think in pity of the little ones, some of whom, even today, are “dis-invited” to partake of the good nourishment which some of those “shepherds” should be providing them, but of which they are not permitting to partake, extending, Yes – To the Lord’s Table of Remembrance.

Instead, we see those who are exclusive in their tight circle of friends, laying their own wrath upon those who do not fall into line with their numerous, restrictive, man-made “rules” of conduct and belief – their repeated refusal to “eat with Publicans and sinners” in the manner demonstrated so willingly, so lovingly, and so prominently by our Savior during His ministry among them. Refusing to share fellowship with them in the love of Christ to which we are constrained.

Such restrictive “rules” can easily get completely out of hand, their details growing metastatically (Yes, our comparison is to deadly carcinomas spreading out of control – for that is the true picture given here), to become as complex and far-reaching as the Law of Moses itself – a Routine which was admitted even by the Master as being beyond almost every man to observe perfectly, and whose tenets could not provide salvation.

In short, it was, although beneficial as to daily life and longevity in the land, in the finality a regime of death, given no further emendations to the Almighty’s Plan ...

We are particularly distressed by the “driving away” of numerous good and honest brethren, as indicated in the next verse. In so doing, the “shepherds” are literally saying, You are not worthy of our company or our fellowship – get thee hence!”

These poor, helpless ones of the Household have been shut down and out of the congregation of the “righteous.’”

How markedly different is this approach to their brethren from the compassion of our LORD, who willingly and lovingly, and in the deepest sense, “broke bread” with both Judas and Peter at the Last Supper – two of His chosen and elected Apostles whom Jesus had already evaluated, and about whom he had already stated clearly, that they should betray Him in two heinous ways: by word of mouth (Peter, by denying Him) and by an action of avarice (Judas, by having been paid to betray Him).

This question has been posed to the “exclusive” brethren of this discussion, and there has been no answer or justification.

Their lips are sealed, along with their hearts of compassion.

In the context of the next verse, these brethren were “diseased,” and deserved the strengthening which He offered rather than the disdain of their philosophy.

Eze 34:4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.

These phrases speak to the core duties of the Shepherds: the tender, loving care and tutelage (spiritual feeding) of the individuals of the Flock.

These are the lame and the halt (Matthew 11: 5; 15: 30), whom they are admonished to support;

The spiritually “sick,” whom they are bound to attend (Luke 7:22; 14: 13) with loving care and instruction;

Even the dim-witted, whom they must nurture and protect (Matthew 5; Mark 5; Luke 8)!

Those who have strayed from the flock, who must be sought with diligence, and brought back with great love and care into the fold, if they can be found (Luke 15: 3-6).

The beneficial practices and traits of the good shepherds are so important that they are featured even in the requirements of the more stringent and restrictive Law of Moses …

Eze 34:5 And they were scattered, because there is no (effectual) shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.

The lax shepherds of Judah of Ezekiel’s day had let down their brethren in adopting and practicing the idolatry of the heathen nations, instead of “hearing” Ezekiel and the other faithful prophets of Judah and Israel, and following the ways of YHVH that they enjoined.

Eze 34:6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them.

Eze 34:7 Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;

Eze 34:8 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast (Hebrew, chay – wild beast, troop, company) of the field (these are the people (beasts) of the nations round about them, which devoured them spiritually by purveying their filthy idolatrous practices to God’s gullible people), because there was no shepherd (no effective keeper, or supervisor/advisor), neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;

The pathetic emphasis on “feeding themselves” is far too reminiscent of a rare but prominent few among the “shepherds” of today’s flock who, just as these shepherds of old, “feed themselves” in preference to feeding the flock – shunning and actively pushing away the tender, seeking, little ones whom they are directly and profoundly charged with nurturing and assisting in The Way of Life – deeming themselves to be too “exclusive” for such lowly associations.

Eze 34:9 Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;

Eze 34:10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the (false) shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.

But notice carefully the lovingkindness of their Father, Who declares, “I will deliver My flock from their mouth (their consumption) …”

Who can dare to resist His will?? Who can hope to thwart it?

Eze 34:11 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search (for) my sheep, and seek them out.

The texts of Luke 15: 3-6 as already noted, relates a deeply-felt account, absolutely charged with deep emotion, as it relates the decisive and immediate action which is undertaken by the Good Shepherd, who notes with alarm that one of his hundred sheep has strayed from the fold.

With dedication and great diligence, He ventures forth into the wilderness in search of that little one … “until He finds it.”

He does not search for six hours, then just give up the search!

And when He finds the little lost one, He lays it tenderly and securely upon His shoulders, rejoicing, and returns it to the fold!

In so doing, He shows Himself not concerned with the fleas and ticks which the sheep may have acquired in his wanderings – nor the hurtful thistles and briars caught in its coat – nor the contamination of soil and debris which has adhered to its wooly little body.

These words illustrate that the persistent dedication of His search was compelling … gripping … heartfelt … and riveting to the Shepherd, who did not discontinue the search at dark – or at the chasm – or at the threat of the lions of the thicket.

May we frankly say that this level of Stewardship is rarely seen among us “Shepherds” of today – whether appointed over a flock, or autonomously-dedicated to its overall care and feeding.

It is a matter of extremely grave concern in our estimation.

Have every one of God’s Shepherds fallen short of this Standard?

We should not so accuse our brethren.

At the same time, we must exhort a fuller, more concentrated Protocol of Godly Righteousness, an Enhanced Matrix of Concentrated Action on the part of all.

His Long-Term Plan of Redemption for His Flock

The prophet’s message continues to be delivered to the People of God of his own day. The words are the message of YHVH through the mouth and pen of the prophet: verses 1,2,7,8.

His general intention is physically to re-gather His ravaged People from widely dispersed locales – from the nations of the nations, among which they shall have been scattered … and to bless them eternally in their Land.

Eze 34:12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.

The enormity of this coming initiative – to return His people to their Land – in prospect, will seem nearly impossible once the full conditions of their scattering are in force, and once they are dispersed into all the nations of the world.

But He is not daunted, nor dismayed by the prospect.

His resultant actions should furnish a pattern of conduct for his servant-Shepherds of every age.

Note carefully the specific actions which He intends for them … the pervasive, comprehensive blessing which He will place upon His People:

Eze 34:13 And I will bring them out from the people (the Gentiles), and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country.

The word translated “to feed” here is Hebrew, ra’ah, meaning not only to nourish with food but to nourish with loving care and companionship. The poetic inferences to both these blessings are certainly prevalent in His next words …

Eze 34:14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and upon the high mountains of Israel shall their fold be: there shall they lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture shall they feed upon the mountains of Israel.

Eze 34:15 I will feed my flock, and I will cause them to lie down (in peace and utter safety – being without fear is implied), saith the Lord GOD.

Eze 34:16 I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.

This is a severe indictment of the shepherds of Israel – no doubt self-appointed shepherds of political consequence, in distinction to spiritual consequence – which remind us of those among the Flock today who seek to control every action, regulate lives according to the letter of their own Law, but not with loving concern for them, or forgiveness … and with precious little compassion (agape), although that is their superior claim.

Often, instead, these seek to preserve their own status as “leaders” of the Flock, while denigrating the humble and broken ones – those to whom Christ came and for whom He died!

Such actions do not reflect the Master’s oft-expressed love and compassion for the poor, and those who were earnestly seeking instruction among his People.

The Master made it clear in superb irony, that He came not to save the “righteous,” but the sinners.

Was it not the inexperienced, innocent, relatively un-schooled lamb which, out of His flock of an hundred, went astray?

And did He not leave the flock and go in search of that lost lamb?

We believe this is the spirit which is inculcated by these harsh words of rejection of the Almighty toward the false shepherds of that day!

Those principles are as applicable today as they were at that early time!

Eze 34:17 And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle (a pointed reference to judging between the sheep and the goats; the rams of the next phrase are put for sheep, and the he-goats for their opposites) , between the rams and the he goats.

Eze 34:18 Seemeth it a small thing unto you (the shepherds are deporting themselves as goats, who famously follow their own will, and push and shove their flock mates at will. Their vile practice was consume the best benefits, and to spoil the remaining resources for their underlings) to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures? and to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?

Their practice of taking all the good and despoiling the rest was a spiteful tactic, leaving only meager and contaminated resources for the poor of the people.

Eze 34:19 And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.

These scorching words clearly separate the persistently false shepherds from “His flock,” and relegate them to a place outside His foal … and beyond His favor!

Eze 34:20 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle (some today refer to “fat cats” in this vein – the “big dogs” of a designated group!) and between the lean cattle (the humble, trusting and faithful lambs of God).

The rough, un-warranted treatment of the Flock by the false shepherds is further illustrated in the language that follows:

Eze 34:21 Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder (indicating in-fighting and turmoil within the flock), and pushed all the diseased (i.e., those who were sick or injured, who needing healing – not rough treatment!) with your horns (your “power,” whether elected, or assumed “power”), till ye have scattered them abroad;

These are described in stark terms by the Master Himself, Who in the Olivet Prophecy of Matthew 24, spoke these words:

Mat 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. 45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? 46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods. 48 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; 49 And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken (drunken with “power”); 50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,

The condemnation in these words of those who “smite their fellowservants” illustrates unconscionable treatment of brethren by other brethren – namely those in “power” over them – their “shepherds.”

Additionally, there are these instructions regarding “those who are weak” set in the context of some who were eating meat offered to idols and thinking it a beneficial act; the correction of such actions is here indicated as exemplary conduct rather than condemnation and exclusion. We quote extensively for context …

1Co 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. 7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. 9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

Such “shepherds” are not fulfilling their bounden duty to be an example; so acting, they decidedly are not fulfilling their duties as HIS shepherds. Their actions are certified by the Spirit as “sin” – “when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, YE SIN AGAINST CHRIST.”

This is a venal charge, and surely unwanted by any shepherd.

His true shepherds have the duty to hold the flock together – to prevent its being scattered, distressed and rejected. The exhortation – yea, the commandment – here, is for unification rather than the division of the flock.

His Everlasting Remedy Against the False Shepherds

Eze 34:22 Therefore will I save my flock (overriding and excluding the false shepherds!), and they (the Flock) shall no more be a prey (to false shepherds); and I will judge between cattle and cattle.

The Almighty’s remedy is an irreversible, eternal one, of JUDGMENT of the Shepherds: there is One coming who is called My Servant David, the primordial Shepherd of Israel, by which we know He indicates the greater Son of David – Jesus Christ, the Anointed Savior of His flock! He is the TRUE Shepherd – the One Shepherd – the Good Shepherd – Who shall feed them and nourish them in godly compassion.

Eze 34:23 And I will set up one Shepherd (the Chief Shepherd) over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them (and NOT selfishly feed Himself, as do they), and he shall be their Shepherd.

Eze 34:24 And I the LORD will be their God, and My Servant David a prince among them; I the LORD have spoken it.

Eze 34:25 And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts (all adversaries) to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods (in the unguarded openness of the outdoors, and in utter safety).

Eze 34:26 And I will make them and the places round about my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.

The overtones of these words draw pictures of the coming superb tranquility of His Lands, of openly sylvan fields, of unfenced broad meadows of profusely flourishing flowers and grass, of copiously flowing streams of blessing and joy in His Kingdom of Peace, permeated as it shall be by His Spirit, then to have been bestowed on all Saints, and upon His blessed People of natural Israel, even in the continuing days of their flesh (cf., Ezekiel 39: 29; 44: 3; Joel 2: 28, quoted in Acts 2: 17).

Eze 34:27 And the tree of the field shall yield her fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase, and they shall be safe in their land, and shall know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and delivered them out of the hand of those that served themselves of them.

The double entendre of these words seems striking: the equation of the hurtful beasts round about His People, as equated with the hurtful Shepherds who are appointed to guide them and provide for their welfare, both of whom are equally harmful to the Flock but in entirely different ways.

Eze 34:28 And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them (He indicates the “evil beasts” that dwell among them – those who have always determined to destroy His people, and take their Land – Ezekiel 5: 17; 14; 15 and 34: 5, 25); but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid.

Eze 34:29 And I will raise up for them a Plant of Renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger (He indicates hunger for His Word) in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.

A “plant,” here capitalized in our estimation, indicates firstly David’s righteous Branch … a King Who shall reign and prosper, as in Jeremiah 23:5 and 33: 15. It is He Who shall “feed them” with the succor of peace, of righteousness, and spiritual instruction in His Kingdom.

But a “plant” also supplies the needed nutrition of a people; in that sense, their caloric needs will be supplied abundantly by Him as to natural foodstuffs, as in verse 27, q.v.

So, does it not also appear that He equates in a certain sense, the false shepherds of Israel with the nations (the heathen) round about them? Their treatment of His people is exactly the same – oppression, extortion, misappropriation, and denigration – taking advantage of His people when they will, and always providing for themselves first.

Such oppressed ones are not being supplied with the valid “knowledge” of God – a certified, faithful course of instruction in righteousness, as he commissioned them, but are being denied the essential fellowship of warmth and loving encouragement that YHVH is even their God!

Their ancient shepherds had made bad decisions for long years; had for long ages, substituted the gods of the heathen in supplanting Him!

In line with that misplaced loyalty to the deity, their treatment of their brethren had also declined.

They had essentially removed the flock from ownership of the Chief Shepherd (YHVH), and claimed the people for Baal and Moloch! They were in the false shepherds’ eyes, no longer the people of God.

The Almighty was now outmoded – redundant - and set aside.

But the certainty of a reversal was that His final actions would reverse that corrupt condition for His flock.

Eze 34:30 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.

Eze 34:31 And ye my flock, the flock of my pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD.

Thus is drawn together the metaphor of His Flock being representative of His People, the Remnant of Zion, at that time re-gathered to their Land and made secure under their long-desired Messiah.

In that future day they shall be eternally blessed of Him, and no longer under the oppressive suasion of shepherds who feed themselves and abuse the flock, not knowing or caring how they should tend the ill and diseased, how they should seek the lost, or how they should succor those who hunger and thirst after righteousness – the tender lambs of the Flock.

This message of rebuke and reproval of the false shepherds of Israel – whose leadership was so far distant from the ways of the Almighty – is a clear warning to all who are appointed – or who become, by default, “shepherds” of His flock – shepherds of the humble, seeking saints of God – who depend upon godly care from those who are in a position to act as shepherds to them, those humble ones who seek true instruction, true mercy, true succor from those who have risen to lead them. If any deliberately cut them off, and refuse these kindnesses for their trusting comfort, they qualify themselves as false shepherds – hirelings who have no true feeling for the people of God. <HEL 6N, 1P>

April: A Mis-take of the Syrian/Russian/US Confrontation

An eTPL:26 Analysis

April 11, 2017

Just as we would expect, some observers are excitedly applying the US air strike on the Syrian Shayrat Airfield to an action of “the king of the south.” Andy Walton, in Weekly World Watch, stated that, “Daniel 11 is about the ancient king of the north v. the ancient king of the south. The ancient king of the north was based in Syria. Therefore” says he, “the modern king of the south (US/UK) (sic) is striking (pushing) at the ancient king of the north (sic). Ultimately the total demise of Syria is coming – Damascus will cease to be a city. Russia becomes the new king of the north (sic).”

One or two readers have objected to our extended attention to detail in our studies of Bible prophecy. But the faithful correlations which we seek are found ONLY in the details of the prophecies. We, therefore, make no apology for detailed studies; indeed we deem them entirely necessary and appropriate.

In our studied view – we could be wrong – Daniel 11 is a long-term prophecy of the detailed transactions of the king of the north with the king of the south over an extended period of time.

John Thomas, in his book, Exposition of Daniel, exposed no “gaps” in this prophecy whatever. We agree that his view of “no gaps” was valid.

Yet, an electronic search of Eureka and Elpis Israel has found no recognition or admission by him that the Ottomans were the king of the north of his own day.

Yet any serious student of prophecy knows that to have been a fact.

Israel had not been admitted back into its land in John Thomas’ day; the land was still under the control of the king of the north.

That king should have to be displaced in order that the Jews might return to the Land – an allowance that was not possible under the Porte.

He would only reluctantly allow land in Palestine (as it was then known) even to be sold to Jews.

Our well-considered conviction is, that well after John Thomas’ death, that prophecy was exhausted – was entirely fulfilled – in a clear-cut action almost within living memory for some of us, by the Ottoman Turks being expelled from the Land by General Allenby and the British army. In this action, the king of the north came to his end – Daniel 11: 45. See discussion below.

Its end ushered in a new era – that of the “resurrection” of Israel from the nations in ways that could never have been devised purposefully by man; it was a plot that would never have been conceived by mere humans!

Daniel 12: 1-3 summarizes this second recovery of God’s people from all nations where it is at least inferred in the account of Daniel. See also Isaiah 11: 11; Micah 5: 1-3 as to this return.

In John Thomas’ day, the Ottoman Empire was surely the king of the north, having overrun the Egyptians, who at a much earlier date had been the king of the south, being in possession of Jerusalem and the holy places, and by being located to the south.

Historical Fulfillment

That historical outworking of Daniel’s prophecy came about in this way …

In 1517, Egypt “pushed at” (attacked) the Ottomans near Damascus, which infuriated the Ottoman Turks, who at that moment were expanding their conquests toward the east and south. The Turks retaliated with great force, with great armies, and with their navy, stationing ships off the coast of Alexandria. Daniel describes that action in this verse:

Dan 11:40 And at the time of the end shall the king of the south (Egypt) push at him (the king of the north – the Ottomans): and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.

“Overflowing and passing over” precisely describes how the Holy Land was treated by the Ottomans, whose goal was to harvest the treasures of Egypt for several hundreds of years.

Its goal was not Palestine at all – a vast expanse of empty lands that lay between Damascus and Cairo, the Ottomans’ destination. This is in direct contrast to the goal of the Gogian host, which is ONLY Israel and its “spoils.”

The Ottomans did not even enter Jerusalem at this first pass, but moved swiftly down the Sharon (the coastal plain) toward the south – in hot pursuit of the Egyptians toward Cairo and beyond (to Libya and Ethiopia, or Kush, in Hebrew). Authorities include Eritrea and Sudan with Ethiopia in this term Kush (Wikipedia). At the time, “Libya” included most of Saharan Africa.

The continuing account prophesied by Daniel reveal that the king of the north should conquer “many countries;” but that Edom, Moab and Ammon should escape his domination.

Maps of the Ottoman Empire include these lands (east of the Jordan River) as Ottoman territory; but the historical fact is that the Ottomans never did exercise much control over the Bedouin who sparsely inhabited those lands.

These were anarchic sand-dwellers, almost unable to be controlled by any authority, living by theft, slavery, murder and entirely above any law except tribal mores.

These lands were not considered “worth the trouble” as one would say today.

So Turkey never exercised much hegemony over these lands.

The phraseology “He shall enter also into the glorious land (God’s land of Judaea, then called Palestine)” precisely describes the entirely peaceful (that is, they met no resistance from anyone in Palesine) entry into the Land of Promise (as promised to Abram and his Seed – Genesis 12, et seq).

The Turks merely utilized Palestine as their roadway to Cairo … The description of Daniel is:

Dan 11:41 He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.

But the king of the north (Ottoman Empire) was now lord over the land of Egypt. Historians confirm this fact. There was no “gap” between the king of the north and the king of the south. And their transactions with each other occurred while Israel had been exiled from their own land.

That is to say, no conflicts between these two hegemonic powers is indicated after Israel regains its Land and begins to build the State of Israel.

An honest and objective perusal of the prophecy of Daniel will surely prove this assertion.

All the student of scripture need do is exercise his good intelligence, and interpret the Word in context, comparing it to historical accounts, and believe it as it is written.

Dan 11:42 He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries: and the land of Egypt shall not escape.

As already mentioned, the king of the north is stated clearly to have as his objective “the treasures of gold and of silver, and … all the precious things of EGYPT.”

… Not Israel, which would not become “Israel” for another 30 years.

Not Palestine.

Not Judea.

EGYPT’s treasure was his goal.

Please note how contrary this desire is when compared to that of the later Gogian host of Ezekiel 38 and 39, in which case it is “a spoil and a prey” from ISRAEL that is coveted by Gog. Indeed, Egypt is not even indicated as being attractive to Gog. These differences must be addressed by the honest and thorough (and faithful) expositor!

They have been by only a paltry few.

As indicated in verses 41 and 42, the subjection of Libya (which at that time was most of Saharan North Africa) and Kush (Ethiopia and areas further south) was accomplished.

It is a matter of historical record that the Ottomans also placed these latter areas under tribute, collecting revenues from them in addition to Egypt – demanding their compliance with their extortion of funds by threats to their sovereignty if they failed to pay their yearly tribute to the Turks.

We stress the subjection (“at his steps” – or as his footstool) of Libya and Kush to the Ottomans; this is in distinction to their being allies – being in league with – the later Gogian host. It is another difference which must be recognized.

This is only one of about twenty recognizable differences between Gog and the king of the north (as posited by WWW). [See our exhaustive comparison in Position Papers, 2017, on the eTPL website, at:

1 Gog as Distinct from the King of the North.

This site may be accessed readily by going to …

https://sites.google.com/site/prophecyletters2013/-position-papers-2017]

The Ottomans collected much tribute from Egypt for 400 years – until 1917 – when it was driven out of Palestine back into Anatolia, coming to its end with none to help, during the closing days of WW I. A vast amount of wealth was confiscated from Egypt during those years. The Porte became one of the wealthiest men alive during that era.

Dan 11:43 But he shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps.

The historical accounts of the end of the Ottoman Empire, and its hegemony over God’s Land are readily available to those who wish to read them, and objectively to decide whether this proposition has merit. We urge this pursuit upon readers if they are inclined to believe the theses of 160 years ago, when NONE of the modern history of the region was yet accomplished, and the “keys” to its understanding yet unavailable.

The “tidings” which Daniel now refers to are …

1. Tidings “out of the east” – the British forces invaded the Shatt al-Arab estuary of the Tigris/Euphrates River systems and conquered Basra, in which would be come Iraq. They then pushed northward and overcame Baghdad. The Euphrates valley was thus being “dried up” according to the prophecies of Revelation 16: 12, qv. As a side issue, this “drying up” of the power that controlled the entire Levant made way for the “budding” of the Fig Tree (Israel) and “all the trees” of the subsequent multiple Islamic nations which were then to be established in that arena, just as the LORD Jesus Himself had prophesied in Luke 21:29 q.v. These “tidings” out of the east (east from Jerusalem and Palestine, the subject of this prophecy) meant that the Turks received no help from its allies in Europe, including Germany, because these were too overburdened with the fighting in Europe to come to assist the Ottomans.

2. Tidings “out of the north” are closely allied to those from the east. The allies of Turkey in WW I were fiercely engaged in Europe by the added forces of the US, which entered the war near its end – forces which tipped the scale against Germany and the Central Powers of that day, forcing them to abandon the Ottomans.

Dan 11:44 But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.

The result was that, when the Ottomans understood that Britain intended to invade the land of Palestine from Egypt, it retaliated with all the forces at its disposal. Two entire Turkish armies moved into Palestine, establishing their headquarters (its royal pavilions, or military headquartersRSV) at Ramle, near present-day Jaffa/Tel Aviv, precisely “between the sea and the glorious holy mountain (Jerusalem)” - RSV.

But the Ottomans’ resistance came too late and with insufficiency. Lord Allenby drove the Turks northward to Megiddo, where the final clash between the armies was consummated (some think this battle was “Armageddon,” because it was fought at the mount of Megiddo, but we disagree that it is the Biblical fulfillment of that term and battle – a subject for discussion at another time).

Dan 11:45 And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

The Ottomans were driven out of Palestine and the entire Levant forever, and the way was prepared for the Fig tree and all the trees of Jesus’ prophecy!

The above sequence of events is put before the reader for his assessment.

Is it a true account? Yes, it is a true account of the historical events.

Is it relevant to this prophecy? Yes, we believe it to be entirely relevant – and a precise fulfillment of the affairs of the kings of the north and south.

Please note that after the last king of the north is defeated, there is no more mention of either “king” by Daniel. This entire affair is closed and sealed as the way is opened for the return of the children of Israel to their ancient homeland – and land freed for the coming in of “the kings of the east,” which turned out to be the Isalmic states which quickly populated the drained valley of the Euphrates (drained of the hegemony of the Ottomans, who forbade any such “states” within its Caliphate).

The establishment of Israel came less than 30 years after the closure of this account.

If anyone became another “king of the south” it would have to have been Britain, which invaded from the south and overcame the Holy City and the Land.

And if that untenable thesis were brought forward, that “king of the south” was superseded by another “king of the north” (not logical from Daniel’s account, and not permissible, either) which should have to be designated ISRAEL. How could Israel be the “king of the north?” Because it replaced Britain and came largely from the “north” (survivors of the H0locaust).

It is an entirely inane position!

But because of the previous initiation of the Balfour Declaration prior to the British victory, and its declared intention to use its good offices to establish an homeland for the Jewish People, Britain was absolved of the responsibility to perform as another “king of the south.”

Indeed, there was to be no further such entity according to Daniel’s prophecy.

The way back to Jewish statehood was now being pursued in full force under the angelic guidance of Michael the Archangel (Daniel 12: 1-3) and it would be an initiative which could not successfully be prevented by any power on earth.

The prophet Amos, in the last several verses of his prophetic writings, tells the faithful that the Almighty will in the last days “raise up the Tabernacle of David” (the State of Israel being its forerunner) and that, in that day … Amos 9:14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. 15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.

This promise and many others which reveal the Father’s intentions for Israel MUST BE BELIEVED as written – must not be denied, or controverted – must not be relegated to the dustbin of much other unfaithful or irresponsible speculation or innuendo.

Our admonition is for readers who may be so inclined – to stop fearing for modern Israel’s safety or longevity – or that it is destined to be overthrown yet again and its citizens murdered in a 66% quantity, or 2/3rds.

That event was foreseen by Zechariah 1:2 some 500 years before it happened in 70 AD.

It is a fate which does not await modern Israel.

The Beloved People have had that Cup of Fury removed from their lips; it has been given to their enemies “round about” to swallow and to drink down and to be fatal to them, making way for the establishment of the “first dominion of the kingdom” which shall shortly be established in that Land. <HEL 4P> ~2650 words. An eTPL:26 Analysis. Published April 2017.


May: JERUSALEM 1947-1948

In May 1947, at the request of Britain, the United Nations created the UN Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP). At that time Britain was the Mandatory Power responsible for both military and civil control of the Holy Land. The UNSCOP Committee was tasked with studying the question of Palestine and reporting back to General Assembly by September 1947.

The Committee’s majority report recommended that Palestine be divided into two separate independent states, one with an Arab majority and one with a Jewish majority, and that the City of Jerusalem be placed under UN trusteeship as an international city to be administered by the UN itself. In September 1947, the British government responded to this report by announcing that it would terminate the UN Mandate for Palestine by August 1, 1948[1] and all British forces would be withdrawn by that date. The UNSCOP majority recommendation was put to a vote in the General Assembly of the United Nations on November 29, 1947 and adopted by a majority of nations in a vote of 33 in favour, 13 opposed and 10 abstentions. Because the Jews of Palestine accepted the Partition Plan, as the UN resolution was called, and the Arabs rejected it, the die was cast by this vote for intense conflict between the Arabs and Jews of Palestine. As the British gradually relinquished their control in preparation for full evacuation, each side jockeyed to gain control over the key strategic sites and valuable assets in British hands. Nowhere was this conflict more intense than in Jerusalem itself. Both sides prepared for full scale war once the British withdrawal was complete and the last vestige of British control was gone.

The Siege of Jerusalem

One of the eye-witnesses to the events that occurred in Jerusalem was the Jewish governor of the City, a Canadian-born Jew named Bernard “Dov” Joseph. A lawyer by training, Mr. Joseph wrote a book detailing the events that occurred in Jerusalem during the closing months of 1947 and throughout 1948 until a UN-mandated truce finally took hold in the City. That book, The Faithful City, is the source of many of the citations which follow which describe the conflict that ensued in Jerusalem. Although the son of observant Jews, Mr. Joseph himself was not a religious Jew and did not write his book with any religious motive. To the extent that the events that occurred in that fateful period of Jerusalem’s history fulfilled prophecies of the Bible, Mr. Joseph was not aware of their significance.

In many places in the book, Mr. Joseph characterizes the state of the Jews of Jerusalem in 1948 as being under siege.

Speaking of the historic Passover observed in Jerusalem in April 1948, he wrote:

As that historic Passover passed into history we now began our final effort to withstand the storm that we knew would break when the British finally evacuated the country…With us in the city were the drivers of the last convoy. There were 280 of them who were cut off in Jerusalem and could not get back to their families [on the coast]. They had to spend Passover, and, as it turned out, some months more with us. Their presence was a symbol of how utterly we were besieged.[2]

This (third) convoy was the last to get through for some considerable time. No more supplies were to reach us by normal means for seven weeks. The Arabs had not been dislodged from their key point in Bab el Wad and they had also rendered the road [from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem] impassable by mining and blowing up several hundred yards in a place where an alternative passage could not be found. We were complete besieged. We were now in a desperate race against time. Would our supplies hold out, or would the city be forced to surrender through hunger?[3]

Mr. Joseph cites a statement issued by the Jerusalem Emergency Committee in stenciled form to all citizens of Jerusalem on June 6, 1948:

We have been besieged now for seven weeks and have had to restrict our food and water rations and to make do with the bare minimum. The enemy’s shells have taken toll of many loved ones among us in his effort to break our spirit. But the days of siege and stress found us united in our determination to beat off the attack and hit back. In want and hardship we guard the borders of our capital and shall continue our efforts to assure the Jewish future…Jews of Jerusalem! Deeply conscious of the justice of our struggle, let us dedicate ourselves to it until the day of liberation dawns. May He that has chosen Jerusalem spread His tabernacle of peace over the City of Peace.[4]

The frequent use of the term siege leads us to the Scriptures to ask, did the prophets foretell a siege of Jerusalem that would place the Jewish inhabitants of the City under intense stress, if not in mortal danger? The prophet Zechariah foretold an onslaught against Jerusalem by the nations round about at a time when it was inhabited by Jews.

The oracle of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus declares the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him: “Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it. On that day, declares the Lord, I will strike every horse with panic, and its rider with madness. But for the sake of the house of Judah I will keep my eyes open, when I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. Then the clans of Judah shall say to themselves, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem have strength through the Lord of hosts, their God.’

1. This prophecy is specific that “the siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah,” that is, against the Jews. That is one of the unique aspects of the circumstances in 1947-48 – the Arab inhabitants of Jerusalem were never under siege. Only the Jewish inhabitants were besieged.

2. The prophet describes the aggressors in the siege as “the surrounding peoples,” indicating that it was the nations in immediate proximity to Jerusalem that were responsible for it.

3. This contention over Jerusalem was to extend beyond the immediate nations on the ground and include all nations of the earth being against Jerusalem.

4. The consequence of the nations trying to lift this heavy stone – Jerusalem – is that they would be hurt by it.[5] The prophet Micah elaborates on this gathering of the nations: Now many nations are assembled against you, saying, “Let her be defiled, and let our eyes gaze upon Zion.” But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord; they do not understand his plan, that he has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing floor (Micah 4:11-12 ESV). There is an important connotation to the gathering of the nations against Zion revealed in this prophecy – they assemble at a place where they can make pronouncements about Jerusalem. They are not necessarily physically present at Jerusalem – not necessarily gathered in that sense – but assembled for the purpose of making declarations about Jerusalem that God regards as statements of intent to defile the City. This role taken by the nations corresponds to the role of the General Assembly of the UN, the body that initiated UNSCOP and voted on the Partition Resolution in 1947.

5. There appears then to be two tiers of nations involved in the prophecies of Zechariah concerning the latter day conflict over Jerusalem. The surrounding nations are directly involved in the physical conflict, coming against Jerusalem to battle; all the nations of the whole earth are involved in assembling together to make hostile pronouncements concerning the Jewish right to Jerusalem.

The Battle For Jerusalem

Jerusalem is also the subject of the prophet Zechariah’s testimony in 14:1-4:

Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley so that one-half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.

This prophecy aligns with the earlier reference in Zechariah 12 in that it foretells the nations coming against Jerusalem to battle. The case has been made for understanding “all the nations” as “all the surrounding nations” insofar as the physical battle for Jerusalem is concerned. The consequences of this battle for Jerusalem are set forward in the prophecy:

· The city shall be taken

· The houses plundered

· The women raped

· Half the city shall go out into exile

· The rest of the people shall not be cut from the city

This battle for Jerusalem is describing a unique conflict in which the outcome is the division of the city – the dividing of the spoil in the midst. From one of the parts of the divided city, the Jewish people are not cut off, implying that their access to the other part of the divided city is cut off. These five characteristics remarkably align with the siege of Jerusalem in 1948. The prophecy is easier to understand when it is recognized that in 1948 there were two parts of Jerusalem, called the Old City and New City. Each part was called “a city” even though they both encompassed Jerusalem. The New City had arisen in the western sector of Jerusalem, beyond the walls of the Old City, as a direct result of Jewish immigration and building over the previous century. Within the Old City was a very ancient section called “the Jewish quarter” where Jews had lived since ancient times. The prophecy can be understood by indicating which part of the city it is referencing:

For I will gather all the nations of the Arab League against Jerusalem to battle, and the Old City shall be taken and the houses of the Jews there plundered and the women raped. And the Jewish quarter of the Old City shall go out into exile, but the rest of the Jewish people shall not be cut off from the New City.

In the circumstances of the siege of 1948, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City was not able to hold out and it fell. The Jewish men within it when it fell were taken captive by the Arabs and marched to prisoner-of-war camps to the east of the City. The women and children in the Jewish Quarter were released to the Jews in the New City.

1. And the (Old) City shall be taken – must to the dismay of the Jewish leadership, the Old City of Jerusalem was taken by the Arabs when the British withdrew and the Jewish quarter itself, within the Old City, fell. The Jewish defenders in the Jewish quarter surrendered to the Arab Legion on May 28, 1948. In the last paragraph of the chapter entitled “The Fall of the Old City”, Dov Joseph observed, “And so again Jews were driven out of the Old City of Jerusalem. All this has happened before in worse circumstances, but the dreams and longings of generations cannot be destroyed by shell fire. Though not a single Jew remained after May 1948, the struggle for Jewish rights there did not end with the fall of the Jewish Quarter of the Old City.”[6]

2. And the houses plundered – “…despite Abdullah al-Tel’s curfew, the looting and burning of Jewish property was in full swing…On May 29, John Phillips took one last look at the shell-battered streets of the Jewish Quarter. ‘Down Beit El a proud Moslem led the way, he later wrote, ‘followed by his barefoot wife carrying wooden containers of Sephardic scrolls from a nearby synagogue, and his daughter balancing a carton of matzohs on her head. Along Batei Mahse Street, which looks out on the Mount of Olives and the Russian Church, Arab civilians were gathering up what little was left to plunder – nondescript pieces of shelves, window frames, boxes.”[7] In addition to the plundering of the residences of the Jewish inhabitants of the Old City, left behind when they evacuated, 22 of the 27 synagogues in the Jewish quarter were left in ruins and the Torah scrolls and other sacred contents were destroyed.[8]

3. And the women raped –Do the two Hebrew words translated as “raped” mean sexually violated or can they refer to brutal treatment ending in death? Documented cases of Jewish women being raped by Arab militiamen are not described in any historical accounts of the fall of the Jewish Quarter known to this writer. There are several accounts of Jewish women being brutally slaughtered in Jerusalem during the siege: “One famous British regiment, at the beginning of April, set a record of infamous conduct when a young lieutenant who had a particular hatred of Jews demanded the surrender of men who, he claimed, fired at his positions. He was shown that the Jews could not possibly have fired and that in fact, they did not do so. His soldiers nevertheless began a search for arms. They murdered a Jew at prayer in his home, killed his daughter, robbed his home, butchered an insane woman and beat whomsoever they could lay their hands on…”[9] Later in the same month, April 1948, the Arabs ambushed a Jewish convoy headed to Hadassah Hospital and the Hebrew University on Mount Scopus when it passed through the Arab quarter of Sheikh Jarrah. Among the 78 Jewish fatalities, 23 were Jewish women, mostly young women working as nurses at the hospital. Many were burned beyond recognition when the two buses in which they were being escorted were set on fire by Molotov cocktails.[10]

4. Half of the city shall go out into exile – “For the first time ever there was to be no Jewish presence in the Jewish Quarter and no means of Jewish access to the Wailing Wall. Before leaving for captivity in Jordan, the Jewish soldiers had first to assemble so that an Arab doctor could decide which of them were badly enough wounded to be set free. Under the terms of the truce, all able-bodied men between fifteen and sixty were to go to Amman… to a prisoner-of-war camp in Amman were sent 340 fighters, including fifty-four men who were listed as ‘lightly wounded.’[11]

5. The rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city – On the basis that the prophet Zechariah’s description applies to the siege of the new city of Jerusalem in general and the Jewish Quarter of the old city in particular, there are two possible ways of understanding to whom “the rest of the people refers.” It could have reference to the 1,300 Jewish women, children and elderly men in the Old City who were allowed to leave for refuge in the New City as part of the terms of surrender of the Old City on May 28, 1948. They were “the rest of the people” who were not taken captive by the Arab Legion and become refugees within the Jewish part of Jerusalem. It could also have reference to the 100,000 Jewish inhabitants of the New City itself whose connection to the rest of the Yishuv [the Jewish community in Palestine] was restored by the construction of the “Burma Road” in June 1948 and the laying of a new pipeline to bring water.

Although this historical evidence may not be sufficient to persuade all Bible students that the events of the siege of Jewish Jerusalem in 1948 correspond closely to the description in Zechariah of the battle for the City, it is the only time in Jerusalem’s long history when the city ended up being divided – in this case, between Arab (Jordanian) and Jewish (Israeli) control.[12] The city was literally divided in the midst and the spoils left behind by the British as they evacuated were acquired by both sides: “The City was divided by walls fifteen to twenty foot high wherever a through street had previously existed and by stretches of No Man’s Land, barbed wire fences, and mines.”[13] This divided state continued from 1948 until 1967. During this period, no Jews were allowed access to the Wailing Wall in the Old City.

The Question of The Passage of Time

In order to make an application of the prophecies of Zechariah 12 (the siege) and 14 (the battle that left the city divided) to the events of 1948, it is necessary to consider the relationship of these events to other events that follow in the same chapters. Chapter 12 closes with the Jews of Jerusalem recognizing Christ as the one whom they pierced; Chapter 14 next describes the earthquake that causes the Mount of Olives to cleave when Messiah sets his feet there. If the events in Zechariah 12:2-3 and Zechariah 14:1-2 relate to battles that were fought in 1948, then many years were to pass before the next events in these chapters unfolded. Do the prophecies give any indication that the events described by the prophet are not immediately consecutive, that is, one following right after the other? The common result arising from both battles, in Zechariah 12:2-3 and Zechariah 14:1-2, is that Christ comes to the City for the first time.

A key bridging verse in that regard is Zechariah 14:3 – Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. A question to be settled is “how long does this fight” last? It is resolved quickly? Between the battle for Jerusalem described in Zechariah 14:1-2, for which the events of 1948 provide a remarkably accurate fulfillment, and the coming of Messiah to the Mount of Olives, is there continuing warfare by the nations against Jerusalem? One of the most dramatic manifestations of this fight occurred in 1967, when the same armies that fought for Jerusalem in 1948, from Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Egypt, were decisively defeated in three days of battle. The contest for Jerusalem – what the prophet Isaiah calls the controversy of Zion – has been going on in the counsels of the nations since 1948. The nations do not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and support the “two state” solution that would redivide the city again into Palestinian Arab and Israeli capital cities. The prophecy of Zechariah does not indicate how much time would be occupied by this ongoing contention over sovereignty of Jerusalem. We are now in the seventieth year, reckoning from the date of the UN Partition Plan resolution approved in November 1947. There is a time period of seventy years stated in Zechariah 1:12 in connection with Jerusalem and the cities of Judah. At the end of that time, the LORD cries out, “I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion” (Zechariah 1:14 ESV). Is it possible that seventy years after the nations voted to internationalize Jerusalem in 1947, the God of Israel will again cry out in His jealousy for His city? The circumstances in which the seventy year time period set out in Zechariah’s prophecy began and ended are different. It began with the fall of Jerusalem and the City’s desolation marked foremost by the destruction of Solomon’s temple.

If a divine clock was set running to measure seventy years from November 1947 when the first UN General Assembly resolution concerning Jerusalem was passed, in which the will of the nations to internationalize Jerusalem under UN trusteeship was declared, it would reach a terminal point in November 2017. The reality since 1947 has been the steadfast opposition of the United Nations, as the representative voice of the nations of the world, to the “Judaization” of Jerusalem. The most recent UN Security Council resolution 2334, passed on December 23, 2016, when the US failed to exercise its veto, explicitly refers to eastern Jerusalem as “occupied Palestinian territory” and demands that “Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in occupied Palestinian territory including East Jerusalem.” In other words, the Security Council resolution denies the Jewish people the right to build, and by extension, to reside, in East Jerusalem and declares the Western (Wailing) Wall to be in occupied Palestinian territory.

In this paper, the author has given evidence for the case that the global controversy over Jerusalem began in 1947 with the UN Partition Resolution and the ensuing siege and the battle for Jerusalem, beginning the fulfillment of Zechariah 12 and Zechariah 14. While the Scriptures do not state expressly that this state of “warfare” would continue for seventy years, there is precedent in Scripture that seventy years was the time allotted for the Gentiles to oppress Jerusalem. What will occur at the end of the seventy-year controversy involving all nations of the earth over Israel’s claim to Jerusalem? Events over the next few months and into 2018 will disclose the answer. May the cry for Jerusalem shortly sound, “That her warfare is ended.”[14] James Farrar, Grimsby, ON, Canada


[N. B, The original copy which we received contained the photos of two booklets in this space, but sometimes websites are contrary and such images cannot be displayed. Apologies to the author and to readers ... the following text relates to those two documents. HEL

It was from the two papers above that the writer learned how well the circumstances of 1947-48 corresponded to Zechariah’s prophecy. That instruction opened up a line of understanding that was at first hard to accept because it went against 19th century exposition related to Zechariah’s prophecies about Jerusalem. After reading several histories of the “War of Independence” as it related to Jerusalem, including O Jerusalem! by Collins and Lapierre and The Faithful City by Bernard Joseph, this writer followed Brother French’s understanding because that is where the evidence led.]



ENDNOTES:

[1] Britain subsequently accelerated the date of withdrawal to May 14, 1948.

[2] The Faithful City, p. 105

[3] The Faithful City, p. 107

[4] The Faithful City, p. 146

[5] The Septuagint translation of Zechariah 12:3 reads, “And it shall come to pass that in that day that I will make Jerusalem a trodden stone to all the nations: everyone that tramples on it shall utterly mock at it and all the nations of the earth shall be gathered together against it.” The reference to a “trodden stone” that is trampled on brings to mind the words of the Lord Jesus when he spoke of the Jerusalem being trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled (Luke 21:24).

[6] The Faithful City, p. 187 [Emphasis in bold added. This history was published in 1962 before the Six Day War].

[7] Martin Gilbert, Jerusalem In The Twentieth Century, p. 225

[8] The Faithful City, p. 176

[9] The Faithful City, p. 58

[10] Four days earlier, on April 9, 1948, a Zionist paramilitary group attacked the Arab village of Deir Yassin near Jerusalem, causing over 100 Arab deaths, women and children among them. The Arabs alleged that the Jewish attackers raped Arab women and used the cry of avenging Deir Yassin to stir up Arab patriotism. The Jewish attackers denied that any Arab women were raped. Whatever the truth is, the rumour of the alleged rape was used as justification for the Mount Scopus attack. Some historians also believe it is why the British military did not intervene to extricate the trapped Jewish convoy, whose protection they had assured, in order to allow the Arabs to take their revenge. Iraqi troops were among those who participated in the Mount Scopus convoy attack.

[11] Martin Gilbert, Jerusalem in the Twentieth Century, p. 224-225 [Emphasis added].

[12] Part of the viewpoint of this article was first learned from Brother C. H. French in two mimeographed papers he wrote in 1968 and 1970 respectively. The covers of these papers are reproduced at the end. Brother French did not apply Zechariah 12 to 1948 but he made the application of Zechariah 14:2 to those events. He also considered 1967 to be the next jubilee year in the cycle that included 1917. The writer has learned from experience that this understanding of the prophecies is not able to be received by all brethren. The author has empathy for their reluctance to make the application as he also did when he first encountered this explanation for the fulfillment. The key is whether the historical evidence supports the understanding. That was the persuasive factor in the writer’s change of understanding.

[13] Ibid, p. 268

[14] Isaiah 40:1, ESV


June: The Glory of YHVH

Peter Horne

Exhortation, Ezekiel 9.

13th September 2015

Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 9.

The ministry of Ezekiel was one of extreme rigour and great personal hardship. It was undertaken at one of the two lowest ebbs of Jewish history, those of the Babylonian and Roman exiles, yet, amongst all the doom and gloom Ezekiel gave a certainty of future glory for the remnant. It was Ezekiel’s lot to advise Judah that David’s throne was to be abolished because of relentless idolatry, yet it was also his lot to advise both Judah and Israel that there was to be a restoration of David’s throne and that the Kingdoms reunited would be subjected in glory to the King of glory. He also advised them that the restoration of David’s Throne was to be a long time into the dim and distant future.

Judah’s continuing defiance of God was the reason for the Kingdom’s demise. It had also been the reason for the demise of the Northern Kingdom of Israel 135 years earlier, an object lesson lost on Judah. The history of both the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah throw the goodness and severity of God into bold relief.

Israel had rejected God as King and ceased to be a Theocracy, in which Yahweh Himself was King. Israel became an Autocracy ruled by a succession of mortal kings.

By way of background to the final overthrow of the Kingdom as related by Ezekiel consider the following.

Taken from the beginning of Saul’s ascension to the throne to the final overthrow of the southern Kingdom of Judah a period of 433 years elapses. At the death of Solomon the Independent Northern Kingdom of Israel separated from the Southern Kingdom of Judah.

Israel had 19 Kings over a period of 298 years, Judah had 20 Kings over a period of 433 years. Between both Kingdoms the 39 kings ruled for a combined total of 731 years. Of the 39 kings only 7 received the Divine approbation, which is to say only 7 of the 39 Kings were described as having done “that which was right in the eyes of Yahweh”. None of the approved Kings were from the Northern Kingdom.

The combined total of the years the approved Kings reigned was 234 of the 731 year total.

The bald statistics are that the Kingdoms were ruled over by evil Kings for 68% of their existence. Only 18% of the Kings received divine approbation. These were God’s Kingdoms and God’s Thrones and God’s land, the land that had been covenanted to Abraham and his seed.

Not a very good record is it?

As Paul was to tell the Corinthians and us, (1Cor. 10:11) Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition ...

Ezekiel himself was of the tribe of Levi and belonged to the Aaronic priesthood. In BC597 he was taken into exile along with 10,000 others along with King Jehoiachin.

2Kings 24:14 - And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land. 15 And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16 And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.

Ezekiel’s wife was taken with him and they were settled in a Jewish enclave named Tel Abib near the river Chebar, most likely a tributary of the River Euphrates, about 100 Ks south of Babylon.

The Jews of the exile amongst whom Ezekiel lived were as obstinately defiant of God’s Word as those that remained in the land. The record of Ezekiel makes that very plain:

Ezekiel 33:30 - Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD. 31 And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. 32 And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.

The people loved to hear that which they acknowledged as the Word of Yahweh from the lips of Ezekiel, they pretended to be thoroughly moved to love, but they clung to their idolatry and self-serving ways: “this people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” (Matt 15:8)

Ezekiel addresses himself to Israel. Though ministering in the Kingdom of Judah his prophetic utterances embrace both northern and southern Kingdoms.

The people of Judah had seen the example of the dissolution of the Northern Kingdom of Israel as God’s punishment for their incessant idolatry. The Northern Kingdom had been removed in three readily identifiable phases.

First there was the removal of portions of the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh during the reign of Menahem by Pul, the King of Assyria, recorded in

1 Chronicles 5:26.

Phase 2 saw the removal of people from the tribe of Naphtali and those of the region of Galilee during the reign of Pekah by Tiglath Pileser of Assyria as recorded in

2 Kings 15:29.

The third and final phase and the complete dissolution of the Northern Kingdom was brought about by Shalamanezer when Sargon was King of Assyria. He besieged Samaria, Capital of the Kingdom and removed captives from all over the land to Assyria. 2 Kings 17:6 and 18:9-12.

The lessons of the staged dissolution of the Northern Kingdom was lost on those of the Kingdom of Judah even while their own staged removal was actually taking place. The people of Judah clung tenaciously to their idols.

The perplexing feature of Judah’s religious opinion was that it was perfectly acceptable to serve more than one God, a concept known as syncretism. Syncretism is the acceptance and internalising of two opposing ideas. The people of Judah felt that is was quite acceptable to sacrifice in the temple of Baal and then come and appease Yahweh by offering Him a sacrifice as well. That was common throughout the history of both Kingdoms and inevitably resulted in the exclusion of Yahweh from religious life altogether.

They also felt that they were at liberty to serve Yahweh in any way they saw fit, a fact noted in ... 2 Kings:

2Kings 18:19 - And Rabshakeh said unto them, Speak ye now to Hezekiah, Thus saith the great king, the king of Assyria, What confidence is this wherein thou trustest? 20 Thou sayest, (but they are but vain words,) I have counsel and strength for the war. Now on whom dost thou trust, that thou rebellest against me? 21 Now, behold, thou trustest upon the staff of this bruised reed, even upon Egypt, on which if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so is Pharaoh king of Egypt unto all that trust on him. 22 But if ye say unto me, We trust in the LORD our God: is not that he, whose high places and whose altars Hezekiah hath taken away, and hath said to Judah and Jerusalem, Ye shall worship before this altar in Jerusalem?

It’s important we recognize those failings because they are as much a temptation now as they have been since Cain killed Abel.

We deduce from Ezekiel 1:1 that Ezekiel, being a priest related to Zadok, began his ministry “when he began to be about thirty years of age.” It was the age (when) a priest by birth entered the priesthood and (also was) the age that our Lord began His ministry.

In 3: 17 Yahweh tells Ezekiel that he has been appointed a watchman. His ministry had some very distinct features, among which was the fact that he taught by means of enacted parables.

In some of the enacted parables he typified Israel; in some of them he typified God. We wish to particularly consider Ezekiel as a type of Christ.

The hallmark of Ezekiel’s preaching was the Glory of God, the symbol of God’s presence among His people, and at the same time, that which was to be manifest in the people. He references God’s Glory 24 times in his work. He alone saw the Glory depart in vision, and he alone saw it return in vision, the effulgent glory of God manifested in the exalted Son of God in glory.

So that it would be known that Ezekiel – the Watchman – spoke the Word of God, something most particular happened to Ezekiel. He was struck dumb by God:

Eze 3:26 And I will make thy tongue cleave to the roof of thy mouth, that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not be to them a reprover: for they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak with (through) thee, I will open thy mouth, and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; He that heareth, let him hear; and he that forbeareth, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.

When Ezekiel was permitted to speak, the words he spoke came directly from the mind of God. The people knew this; remember our previous reference, “Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD.”

That which was true of Ezekiel was also true of the Lord Jesus Christ. These are the words of John 7:16-18.

John 7:16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. 17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. 18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

Men of flesh, even the Lord Jesus Christ during the time of his earthly ministry, have no innate glory. We are required to reflect God’s glory by conducting our day to day lives in faithful obedience.

The words spoken by Jesus came directly from the mind of God as did Ezekiel’s.

As well as enacting parables, Ezekiel also had 5 very specific visions. Once Ezekiel was introduced in 1:1, his name was only ever mentioned once more throughout the prophecy, and that was when he was mentioned by God in the second person telling Israel that Ezekiel was his prophet.

Throughout all enacted parables and throughout all visions, Ezekiel is nominated as “son of man.” He is so named 93 times throughout the prophecy. That same title appears 89 times throughout the New Testament and in the NT it refers exclusively to the Lord Jesus Christ. Unambiguously, Ezekiel was a type of Christ.

We have noted that Ezekiel alone saw in vision both the departing and the return of God’s glory. How do we define God’s glory?

God’s Glory has at its base his unimpeachable righteousness, His undeviating morality. God’s physical power and glory are predicated on His integrated immutable morality.

If God’s morality varied at all we would have a chaotic universe, (and) worlds in collision; but with God there is neither variableness nor shadow of turning. God’s singular, unchangeable morality is the base upon which His power is employed. God’s glory is founded on His immutable moral self. When we speak of God’s Glory, we speak primarily of His Moral Glory, from which moral glory emanates His Physical

Power and Glory.

Gods’ glory, the Shekinah glory present in the Most Holy Place of the Sanctuary, was an indication of Gods’ presence in the nation. As the people had turned their back to God, so His glory would be withdrawn from the nation.

The Cherubim of the Glory of God is seen departing from the Temple and its precincts, in several stages:

(1) (Ezek 9:3). "Now the glory of the God of Israel went up from above the cherubim, where it had been [that is, in the Most Holy Place], and moved to the threshold of the temple."

(2) (Ezek 10:4). "Then the glory of the LORD rose from above the cherubim and moved to the threshold of the temple. The cloud filled the temple, and the court was full of the radiance of the glory of the LORD."

(3) (Ezek 10:18,19) "Then the glory of the LORD departed from over the threshold of the temple and stopped above the cherubim. While I watched, the cherubim spread their wings and rose from the ground, and as they went, the wheels went with them. They stopped at the entrance to the east gate of the LORD'S house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them".

(4) (Eze 11:23). "The glory of the LORD went up from within the city and stopped above the mountain east of it."

This, apparently, is the last time the Glory of God was seen in Ezekiel's day. Thus, in preparation for the judgments soon to fall on the city, Yahweh was – by stages – removing the Glory of His Presence from the doomed city. The stages of removal, and the intervening periods of waiting, were surely intended to offer a final witness to the people and a final appeal for their repentance.

Ezek 18:21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. 22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done, he shall live. 23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

It is remarkable that, 600 years later, when the Lord Jesus Christ (who was the Glory of Yahweh manifest in human form) (that) when Jesus addressed his farewell to the city of Jerusalem, he said: "Look, your house is left to you desolate" (Mat 23:38).

The Glory was departing from Israel, again, in anticipation of another destruction of a city and a temple which had turned its back on its God. And this it (the Glory) did, in reality, when Jesus took his leave from his disciples and was taken up from the Mount of Olives, on the east side of the city (Acts 1:9; cp, Eze 11:23).

But, of course, as with the final vision seen by Ezekiel in Ezek 43, the Glory embodied in Jesus Christ will also return to its city in the Last Days: "This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11). "Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem..." (Zech 14:3,4).

The final time (that) Ezekiel sees this Glory is in his vision of the restoration: "The glory of the LORD entered the temple through the gate facing east. Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple" (Eze 43:4,5).

What personal exhortation can be gleaned from the very brief consideration of Ezekiel’s prophecy? “All these thing happened for our example and admonition.”

What lesson do we accept and internalize?

Ezekiel witnessed the departure of the glory of God, the symbol of God’s presence among the nation. The apostles saw the departure of the manifestation of God’s Glory, Ezekiel’s anti-type, the Lord Jesus Christ, ascending into the clouds from Mount Olivet East of the Temple.

We need to distinguish the Glory of God morally from the effulgent Glory of God.

At the moment we can’t locate or see the effulgent glory of God indicating God’s presence. The effulgent Glory was in the Most Holy Place, The effulgent Glory of God was in Christ when He experienced the transfiguration. We can see evidence of God’s Glory but cannot locate it specifically. The heavens declare His handiwork but we cannot go and visit God’s effulgent Glory, yet God’s moral glory is even now manifest in the earth.

John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

Joh 17:2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Joh 17:4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

Joh 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

Joh 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Joh 17:18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so, have I also sent them into the world.

Joh 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Joh 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

Joh 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

Joh 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

Joh 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one.

God’s moral Glory is manifested in His children. That reality is evidenced in this reality from our Master’s words just prior to His arrest and crucifixion:

John 13:31 Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

God’s moral glory is manifest in the depth of the love we have for each other, a depth of love that demonstrates who really are children of God. The love that our Master showed for us in laying down His life must likewise be seen in us. If we indeed bear that love for each other, we shall share in our Master’s Effulgent Glory at His return.

So let us examine ourselves...

Contributed by Peter Horne, Australia May 2017. Published here pursuant to the Editor's prerogative to present contributed material deemed relevant to end time considerations.


July: The Binding of Satan

(Revelation 20th Chapter)

THE TRADITIONAL VIEW

OF REVELATION CHAPTER TWENTY

The traditional view regarding the 20th Chapter of Revelation for far more than a century, contradicts much of God's truth that is set forth throughout the Scripture. The traditional view holds that the 1000 years of the kingdom; and the 1000 years of the binding of Satan are synonymous.

We hope to demonstrate that such a view is contradictory, and denies much of Bible truth.

For instance, the traditional view espouses the position that as the kingdom of God begins, sin in the flesh is bound for the 1000 years of the kingdom of God [i.e., the Millennial Kingdom].

It is also believed that near the end of the 1000 years of the kingdom, sin in the flesh is released, bringing war and destruction once again over the entire earth. It is believed that the rebellion ends with fire and brimstone falling upon the rebelling multitudes, putting them all to death.

The reader should take particular notice that Revelation 20: 7 does not say, "near the end of the 1000 years." Instead, it clearly declares, "when it is finished."

The trouble with that [traditional] view is that it contradicts some beautiful prophecies regarding the kingdom age and eternity following it.

Let us examine a few of those prophecies of the peace and righteousness beginning with the establishment of the kingdom of God.

Isaiah 9: 6-7 - "Of the increase (the Hebrew term Marbeh, meaning abundance) of his government and peace there shall be no end upon the throne of David..."

Comment: If there is any time after the kingdom has begun, and Jesus has ascended the throne of David that there is war and turmoil, this prophecy is rendered null and void.

The prophecy declares no end of peace will ever happen after Jesus ascends to his throne.

A rebellion after the thousand years of the reign of Jesus would absolutely be an end to the abundance of his government and peace, a thing which the passage says will never happen.

Do we believe God? If so, we must allow our beliefs to demonstrate that fact.

Isaiah 60: 18 - "Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; thou shalt call thy walls salvation, and thy gates praise."

Comment: If there is a rebellion against Jesus and the saints with enemies numbering as the sand of the sea (Rev. 20: 8), and a battle breaks out between the immortal saints and the rebels, with the saints raining fire and brimstone upon those enemies, numbering as the "sand of the sea" killing them all, has Isaiah 60: 18 been fulfilled as the passage promised? The answer is "no!" It represents a complete failure to deliver what God promised He would accomplish. We must not espouse such an error.

Psalms 72:3, 5: The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills by righteousness... Verse 5 = "They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure."

Comment: If the time comes when people cease to fear (have reverential awe for him), the promise has failed completely and there will be no more sun or moon. To deny these truths is to deny the glorious truth of God.

Isaiah 2:2-6; Micah 4: 1-3: "And it shall come to pass in the last days ... many people shall go and say ... come let us go up to the house of the Lord .... He shall judge among the nations ... and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

Comment: Anyone subscribing to the traditional view is willing to hold views that contradict God's plain truths. These truths declare that once the kingdom is fully established, violence and war will no longer occur. Also, those who subscribe to the traditional view believe and contend that the kingdom age will end with the widest instance of war and violence ever known during the six thousand years of the history of man.

Revelation 20: 7 reads: "And when the thousand years are finished (expired) Satan shall be loosed out of his prison..."

Comment: The Greek word Teleo is translated "expired" in verse 7. That word speaks only of something that has completely come to an end; something that is then in the past. If the 1000 year binding of Satan is synonymous with the 1000 year kingdom of God, we have an insurmountable problem, for the Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 15: 24-28 wrote in verse 24, "Then cometh the end when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God." Therefore, we must realize, the rebellion would not be against Jesus and the saints, but against God, who will by that time have received the kingdom completely unto Himself. In verse 25, Paul declares by inspiration, "Jesus must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet." How could that be possible, for in verse 25 Paul says that by then "there is no more death."

Therefore my brethren, what have we here? What we have is the worst misunderstanding and wresting of God's word to be found anywhere on the earth. At a time when truth tells us the kingdom has ended, and there is not an enemy left on earth anywhere, and death is no more, that enemies rebel against the kingdom of God, and are killed at a time when death no longer exists upon the earth. What an unbelievable contradiction!

A TREATISE CONSISTENT WITH ALL OF GOD'S REVELATION

Revelation 20: 2 contains the identifying statement of “the dragon, that old serpent, who is the Devil and Satan." Nowhere in the Bible does this phrase identify "sin in the flesh." All Christadelphians immediately recognize in Revelation 12: 7, that pagan Rome is identified by that exact phrase. In fact, the believers of the truth of the Bible have always known that in Revelation 12: 7, pagan Rome is identified by the phrase “the dragon," that old "serpent" called the "Devil" and "Satan." Why then, can it not be seen when the same phrase is encountered in the 20th chapter that we are dealing with the same agency, not with something entirely different.

Revelation 12 is dealing with the time of Constantine, around 312 to 324 A.D. as pagan Rome and pseudo Christianity fought for control of the Roman Empire. Revelation 20: 2 deals with events regarding the same two agencies two hundred years later – just after 500 A. D. (Story of the Christian Church, by Hurlbut, pp. 83-85).

The term, "dragon" often has been understood to refer to the military (See Apocalpse Epitomized, p. 155, dealing with Revelation 12th chapter). That agrees with Encyclopedia Britannica. It should be known that the Roman army carried at its front a large banner containing the form of a "dragon."

Therefore, when a person encounters that term "dragon" in Revelation, the [Roman] military is in view. Both paganism and pseudo Christianity sent their military against the other's military as the battles were raged. The term "serpent" defines the lying feature of pagan doctrines, as God's truth was challenged, as it was by the serpent in Genesis, chapter three, while the term "Devil" Greek (“dia-bolos") means to strike through, a term which defines the destructive ability of paganism as it sought to destroy opposing religious entities.

The same agency is in view in Revelation 12 and Revelation 20, at two different times. In fact, in Ephesians 6: 12 the apostle Paul remarks to the ecclesia that they "were not wrestling against flesh and blood as much as against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." The greatest enemy they had to fear was foreign governments whose religion was not God's truth – governments which had dominion over them and who sought to extinguish the truth.

The book, Story Of The Christian Church by Hurlbut, published by Zondervan Publishing House, is vital in following the history of this matter, and has been used for years by this writer in carefully verifying events that fulfilled these prophesies.

Rev. 20: 1: Scripture depicts anyone, mortal or immortal, righteous or unrighteous, who fills the purpose of God, as an "angel" of God. Inasmuch as Constantine and his successors carried out the purpose of God, they are depicted as having "come down from heaven," meaning that God sent his spirit from heaven to cause them to come into existence and do his will, much as was said of John the Baptist in John 1: 6.

Verse 2: "And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.

Verse 3: "That he should deceive the nations no more..." (an action which he was doing in Rev. 12: 7-9)

Comment: Pages 73-75 of The Story of the Christian Church, by Hurlbut, relates the Oof the victory of Constantine as he dethroned Paganism from the throne of Rome and set up Christianity as the state religion. However, at the bottom of page 75, Hurlbut relates that Constantine "was tolerant and allowed pagan worship to continue;” therefore, paganism was not bound at that point, for pagan worship continued in the empire.

On pages 84-85, the book states that the successors of Constantine were not as tolerant as he had been. We quote the following from the bottom of page 84 to the top of page 85: "Not long after Constantine's reign his son ordered to [upon] all worshippers of idols the penalty of death, and confiscation of their property. The enforcement of these repressive laws varied greatly in different portions of the empire; but their effect was that heathenism (paganism) entirely passed away in the course of three or four generations."

A generation is about fifty years. It speaks of the duration of the ability to bear children. Four generations amounts to two hundred years. Constantine dethroned paganism in 312 A.D. and it was later outlawed (See The Story of The Christian Church, pages 83, 85).

Therefore, at around 500 A. D., pagan worship was outlawed and bound completely. Revelation 20: 2-3 declares that it was to be bound for 1000 years. Therefore, we must look for something around 1500 A. D. in order to discover the "loosing of the dragon, that old serpent called the devil and Satan" (paganism).

We do find it in 1517. On page 152 of The Story of the Christian Church, we read: "The exact date fixed by historians as the beginning of the Great Reformation is October 31, 1517. On the morning of that day Martin Luther nailed to the oaken door of the Wittenberg Cathedral a parchment containing ninety-five theses, or statements, nearly all relating to the sale of indulgences, but in their application striking at the authority of the pope and the priesthood. The rulers of the church vainly endeavored to cajole Luther, but he stood firm, and the storm only made him more resolute in his opposition to doctrines and practices not countenanced by Holy Scripture."

The result of Martin Luther's efforts was that Catholicism could no longer prevent the existence of any form of religious opposition to exist.

From that date, Paganism was allowed to recover, and become a reality again.

In addition to that, many other forms of anti-Christ beliefs and practices came into existence.

In other words, Catholicism dethroned and finally bound paganism. For one thousand years Catholicism kept it bound. Martin Luther's Reformation broke down the ability of the Catholic Church to prevent any other than itself from becoming a fact, and as a result, every form of "ism" began to come forth, including paganism, which today has filled the earth and, as a result, the nations are now ready for the great day of battle.

Revelation 20: 4: "And I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them; and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and who had not worshipped the beast nor his image..."

Comment: Many have thought that these thrones are thrones being sat upon by the servants of God. However, the scene greatly resembles the events under the fifth seal in Rev. 6: 9-11 where we see saints refusing to deny the word of God; this continued for some time afterward. They were put to death and told to rest a little season, a season that has not yet come to an end. The beast and his image did not develop until 800 A. D., and afterward; therefore, no one could refuse to worship the beast and his image, until they came into existence. Charlemagne and the papacy (Rev. 13: 11-18) constituted that beast (the empire) and his image (the papacy). The papacy was an image of an empire in that it was given a territory, the pope was its ruler and there were many subjects over whom to rule. Therefore, it was like an empire itself.


Verse 5; “The rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished..."

Comment: This verse is omitted by many authorities (and should be omitted). The Diaglott sought to retain it because Benjamin Wilson [the editor/publisher of the Diaglott] believed in immortal emergence and this was the only verse in Scripture which seemed to separate the resurrection of the just and the unjust by 1000 years. Brother Thomas and he separated over that question, and the booklet Anastasis came into existence resulting from that controversy.

Since Revelation 20:4 shows the beheading of saints because of their refusing to worship the beast and his image, the period of time after 800 A.D. is emphasized. Therefore, "the rest of the dead" would refer to anyone dying who did not live contemporary with, or before the beast and his image.

The apostles and the early ecclesial believers did not die because they refused to worship the beast and the image, for they did not yet exist. All the dead of the O.T. did not die because they refused to worship the beast and his image, for again, their advent was yet future. If Rev.20: 5 were authentic, none of them would rise until after the 1000 years of the kingdom age if, as many falsely believe, the kingdom and the binding of Satan are synonymous.

Yet, those early believers are all promised blessings during the 1000 years of the Kingdom of God. This demonstrates what the meddling and additions of men to God's word can do to the beauty and harmony of God's truth. Of course, verse 5 has no authority. It is not part of God's word.

Verse 7: "And when the thousand years are ended, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison ... and shall go forth to deceive the nations ..."

Comment: The Greek term Teleo is rendered "ended" in Rev. 20: 7 (sometimes the term is translated "finished”). The term always refers to something that has run its full course and is a thing of the past. If both the thousand years of the kingdom, and the thousand years of the "binding of Satan" is meant here, then the Kingdom [of Christ] is over and has been delivered up to God (I Cor. 15: 24-28).

According to Paul, at that time there is no longer a single enemy remaining on the entire earth. Even death, the last enemy, shall be no more. Are we to understand that "friends" rebel against the kingdom since there are no enemies left?

Who rebels against the kingdom?

And who are killed by fire and brimstone at a time when there is no longer any death?

What contradiction such a false idea places against the truth of God! Such an understanding makes God's Revelation contradict the inspired word that God gave to the apostle Paul in I Cor. 15: 24-28. This all proves that God's revelation is emphasizing a time prior to the kingdom age as Gog and Magog and others come against God's people Israel (Ezek. 38, 39; Rev. 20 8, 9).

There are two separate one-thousand-year periods in Revelation 20th chapter. One is the thousand years of the binding of Satan (paganism) from around 500 A. D. to 1517 A. D. and the other is the thousand years of the reign of Jesus and the saints. No other explanation holds an ounce of logic.

Martin Luther's Reformation resulted in the reawakening of Paganism which the Church of Rome had outlawed on pain of death a thousand years earlier. It has gone forth again since the year 1517 and has again filled the earth, gathering the nations together for battle, which is an event that looms just ahead of us in the world today.

Revelation 20: 11: And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat upon it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away..."

Comment: All this and on to the end of the chapter occurs just prior to the establishment of the kingdom of God on the earth. It is the present heavens and earth (the kingdoms of men) that disappear from before the coming of Jesus (Rev. 11: 15). Mistaken Bible students place all of this at the end of the thousand years of the kingdom of God. These passages instead, all occur just before the kingdom of God is established.

Consider this!

If verse 11 is [comes to pass] at the end of the kingdom age, Jesus and the saints have by then (by the end of the kingdom age) been the new heavens for a thousand years.

Why would they flee from whoever is on the "great white throne" at the end of the kingdom? The traditional view of this chapter contains no logic. It is the "heavens and earth" which are now that disappears from view as Jesus comes and sits on his throne of judgment, after which he and his saints begin to judge all people who then reside upon the earth (Revelation 5: 8-10; Psalms 149: 7-9).

Another point must be made. It is an undeniable fact that by the

end of the “Kingdom of God,” everyone left on the earth is immortal

and “God is all in all.” It is not possible that immortals will rebel

against God’s kingdom, nor is it possible that immortals can be put

to death as per Revelation 20: 9. If they can be put to death they

still have to be mortal. Thus, the traditional understanding of

Revelation 20: 1-14, when compared to I Corinthians 15: 24-28,

renders the subject to be a mass of confusion.

In that day and forever, there will be one Lord and his name one. (Zech. 14: 9).

Wayne R. Tanner, Bulverde, Texas, November, 2014.


August: The 2300 Evening-Mornings of Daniel 8

The Sanctuary Cycle

One of the most extensive and comprehensive prophecies in the Bible is that of Daniel 8. It is known to us as the Prophecy of the 2300 Days (Evening-Mornings) – or, The Sanctuary Cycle. The term of the prophecy extended from ancient time all the way forward to our own days – to 1967 – nineteen years after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. In this article we intend to examine the prophecy thoroughly and to establish its meaning with as much certainty as possible.

We begin by transcribing and commenting upon the relevant passages from the Authorized Version of E-Sword.

Daniel 8:1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.

The time of this vision is near the end of the Babylonian Captivity of Judah. The prophet was about to see a vision concerning the successors of Babylon, which would be Medo-Persia and Greece.

Dan 8:2 And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai.

Elam is the name then in use for the Babylonian province which would later become absorbed into Persia. The terminal year of Babylonian dominance was nearing; the conquest by the Medes and the Persians was drawing near: Cyrus the Persian took the city in 539 BC. Belshazzar was the last king of Babylon – the one who, you remember – was given his termination notice by the detached hand, writing on the wall of his banquet hall the words Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin – “Thou art weighed in the balances and found wanting.”

Dan 8:3 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.

Later we shall find that this ram represented the successor to Babylon – the Medo-Persian empire – the higher horn representing Persia, the stronger of the two factions, which succeeded the Medes.

Dan 8:4 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great.

The Medes and the Persians were exceptionally strong and savage. They expanded their empire rapidly and widely. Their kings accomplished whatever they wished and Persia became great.

Dan 8:5 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.

This “he goat” came from the west – from Macedonia/Greece – and its champion was Alexander the Great, one of the great military geniuses of all history, who is represented by the NOTABLE horn between his eyes. Horns, in scripture, are symbolic of strong powers. Greece was militarily so nimble it seemed to fly – to “touch not the ground.”

Dan 8:6 And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power.

Alexander attacked Persia initially at the River Granicus in 334 BC, a river of Turkey near Troy which flows into the Sea of Marmara located between the Bosporus and the Dardanelles.

Dan 8:7 And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.

Eyewitness accounts of the Battle of the River Granicus are graphic in their description of the aggressiveness of the Greeks. Alexander himself – true to the practice of ancient kings – led his cavalry into action personally as the horsemen rapidly forded the river and approached the Persians confronting them on the east. Alexander is said to have discerned the Persian generals who were also at the head of their army’s southern flank, in a group of horsemen on the shore.

He led the deadly Greek horsemen in their classic wedge-shaped charge across the river, directly into their midst and killed two of the leaders of the Persians, one a relative of the king. He was so aggressive Alexander was at one point about to be killed by an axe-wielding Persian nobleman, but was rescued by one of his generals, Cleitus the Black, who delivered a death blow to the attacker.

The Persians were routed and with many of their leaders killed, retreated, but were pursued by the Greeks and many were slaughtered mercilessly. This was the initial victory in a long line of conquests of Alexander and his superb forces. Alexander came close to death on this occasion but did recover from the axe blow he had received. It was the palpable beginning of an awesome career as a military tactician at the head of his small but formidable army.

Dan 8:8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.

With magnificent understatement the text relates the following events; Alexander DID wax very great. But a few years later, after he had progressed eastward to the River Indus, he was persuaded by his army to stop his eastward advance. He brought his forces back to Babylon where Alexander is recorded as having died in 323BC while planning invasions of the Arabian Peninsula. His empire was divided among his four main generals, the four notable horns, which took control of the empire’s vast realms.

The subsequent account gives details of later history, including termination of the daily sacrifice and desecration of the holy place in Jerusalem by Rome in 70 AD. These details are not of particular interest in this study. The important fact is that this was the beginning of the period of 2300 evening-mornings (days), which equate to solar years in the calendar.

In verse 13, a conversation of two saints is presented: Daniel 8:13 Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? 14 And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

This 14th verse gives the name to the prophecy: unto two thousand and three hundred days (after which) shall the sanctuary be cleansed: the Sanctuary Cycle thus was to be of 2300 days’ length. The question even among these Revelators was how long the vision was to require for fulfillment – how much historical time should the daily sacrifices of the Law and the “transgression of desolation” occupy? These were tantamount to giving both the host and the Sanctuary to be “trodden under foot” – or subdued by the enemies of the Lord.

Simplified, the question was how long should it be until some tangible, palpable advance in Israel’s fortunes should be realized and the Sanctuary be ‘cleansed?’ Or, when Israel should again take physical possession of the “Sanctuary.”

2300 literal 24-hour days would pass without any such progress. So we may easily recognize by fulfillment of the prophecy what specifically was indicated by that wording. The prophecy would actually require two thousand three hundred YEARS for fulfillment! – the familiar application in prophecy of “a day for a year.” How discouraged should Daniel and his companions have been if they had known that they would have to wait that long?

Dan 8:15 And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man.

Dan 8:16 And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision.

Now we meet the archangel Gabriel, who appears to explain the vision to Daniel.

Dan 8:17 So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision.

This is the simple and direct answer to the previous question: it should be “at the time of the end” that the vision should be completed! It was still an indefinite date for Daniel, but at least it now had a label. Then we learn that the vision was to be “shut up” or made inscrutable – and that its term would be “for many days.”

Dan 8:26 And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.

Dan 8:27 And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.

The impact of the vision was so severe that Daniel fainted, and was ill for several days. Soon he recovered and went about his business, but tells us that he was “astonished” at the vision, and that “none understood it.”

We are privileged to understand the vision more perfectly than Daniel, but only by having lived beyond the fulfillment of its terminal year. As witnesses to its end, we can look back at its term and understand it much more fully. This does not mean that there are not mysterious facets of it which we may not yet understand.

Dan 8:18 Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright.

Some have conjectured that the deep sleep of Daniel was equivalent to saying that he should go into the death state and sleep for some indeterminate time, then be resurrected, or “set upright,” at the last day. We believe this a valid explanation of this scene – that Daniel would be alive in the resurrection when the Sanctuary should be ultimately cleansed.

But, at the same time, we easily discern that the process of cleansing the Sanctuary would begin much earlier than Daniel’s resurrection – PRIOR to the final episode, at the time of the literal end of the 2300 evening-mornings (“days”).

The detailed explanation given by Gabriel goes into detail which is not relevant to the

present discussion. The important fact is that he had defined the ultimate length of the prophecy.

We now determine that end point with exact calculations, as follows:

The he-goat with one notable horn attacked the ram with two horns at the River Granicus in the spring of 334 BC, stated by earlier scholars to have been June 7th.

We lapse the date forward 2,300 literal years (on the day for a year principle of prophecy) and find that at the year zeroBC/zeroAD, 334 years have elapsed. As the changeover is not two years but actually one, we subtract one year from the 334, resulting in 333 elapsed years to 1AD.

Now, 2,300 minus the adjusted 333 years is equal to 1967 – or the monumental year of 1967 AD: the PRECISE YEAR AND DAY (June 7th) in which Israel annexed Jerusalem and the Temple Mount to its holdings never to relinquish them again!

What a spectacular event!

The extremely long prophecy of the 2,300 morning-evenings had fulfilled PRECISELY as foretold by the Almighty through the prophet Daniel. For the first time since Daniel’s era the Temple Mount – the site of the Temples of Israel which had been destroyed – was back in the sovereign hands of Israel! The prophecy had terminated on the EXACT DAY it had specified 23 centuries before!

This was the “official” terminus of the Sanctuary Cycle. The Sanctuary site was now securely and eternally back in the hands of Israel. But men – leaders, “shepherds” – are not always attuned to what is expected of them. General Moshe Dayan, the one-eyed Israeli leader who brought about that victory, was secular (not ‘religious’) so was not aware of the final destiny of Temple Mount (more likely was aware of the prophecy but didn’t believe it). Being anxious to keep the peace with the Muslim religious authorities, Dayan gave the oversight of Temple Mount to the local Waqf – the Moslem religious overseers – to control and administer!

It was a dire mistake; but did it take the Almighty by surprise?

No! It did not.

For He foreknew that Dayan would make this ‘mistake,’ so we easily perceive a ‘soft beginning’ to the process of the cleansing of the Sanctuary. The process was here given its foundation and its impetus toward total fulfillment, which lies yet some time in the future era, when as Zechariah 14: 21 records, “there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of Hosts.”

We can easily conjecture exactly how this process shall work itself out – how Israel shall in the near future overthrow the Waqf and its granted authority, and take the Temple Mount physically for its own use.

The process is not expected to be a simple one, but hinges entirely upon the timing of the Almighty One, Who shall send His Son to fulfill this task at the time appointed.

In the first place, since the year 1967, when the Sanctuary Cycle reached its terminus, the Arabs of the Waqf have been jealously protective of the Temple Mount, even claiming that the Jews never had possession of it at any time in past history – a mark of the most abysmal ignorance of their ‘historians.’ They claimed just recently that the Temple Mount had been in Muslim hands for all time; that the Jews had never maintained any presence there! They conveniently omit to acknowledge – even to actively deny – that Israel was in Jerusalem over 1500 years before Mohammed was even born!

So, as stated, these statements belie all the facts of history. They are lies of the first order. But the character of these statements complies with common Arab custom – that any statement whether true OR false, becomes truth by their utterance!

Well, it isn’t truth!

The Muslim ‘god’ (Allah) is in no way equivalent to the Almighty Hebrew God – the uncreated Creator, the One in whom all men “live and move and have their being” as attested by the Apostle Paul at Mars’ Hill in Athens (Acts 17: 28). Allah is a simple stone idol around seven inches tall, and was one of 360 similar idols inhabiting the Ka’bah from which Mohammed selected it to be ‘the one true god’ of Islam. He discarded the other 359 idols and venerated ‘Allah the moon god.’ Islam is a mythic continuation of the ancient worship of the moon god, who was married to the sun god; their children were the stars.

So for nearly fifteen centuries,the blind Muslims have been led by the blind (also deaf, mute, and senseless) diminutive carved stone idol of their founder’s irrational and demented mind!

The precise fulfillment of the Sanctuary Cycle to the very day, gives us immutable reason to put our trust in the Almighty, the God of Israel, and His Omnipotence. There is no alternative answer for the profound accuracy of prophecies such as that of the Sanctuary Cycle, or the 2300 evening-mornings.

We wait patiently for progression in this ‘soft’ fulfillment of the prophecy, awaiting the final cleansing of the Sanctuary which shall be, in our studied opinion, the utter destruction of the Dome of the Rock as well as the Mosque Al-Aqsa on Temple Mount, obliterating any trace of Muslim presence or influence on God’s holy hill.

Shall this result from an act of sabotage by Israeli interests? (It is surely possible!) Or, shall it stand defiantly as an abomination before God in His holy place until the great earthquake of Christ’s Second Advent? We cannot be sure, as no information is extant, except that the great earthquake which splits the Mount of Olives east to west, and elevates the Mount and the City of Jerusalem will surely be the ultimate demise of these pagan shrines if nothing previously destroys them.

Ordinarily, the wrath of the teeming millions of Islamic adherents would deter sabotage by any rational human being or agency. But an earthquake is another matter (although it will doubtless be attributed to the genius of Israel by the Arabs!) and the destruction will be irreparable. That site, where stood the Holy of Holies in Solomon’s and Christ’s days, will then be elevated and flattened, readied to accept construction of the gigantic, splendid, and spectacular Temple of Ezekiel’s Prophecy (cf. Ezekiel 40-48) – the Temple of God’s House, a House of Prayer for all people (Isaiah 56:7).

The summary of Daniel’s revelation is given in the last two verses of Daniel 8:

Dan 8:26 And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.

Dan 8:27 And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.

The vision therefore awaits its absolutely final end – that is, the Second Coming of the Lord from heaven, “Whom the heavens must receive until the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouths of all His holy prophets, since the world began.” (Acts 3:21)

That time is still unknown to us at present, but is absolutely certain to come!

<eTPL February 2011 HEL> Republished August, 2017

September: Important Statistics for Today

In light of the recent uptick in Western interest in North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons, we believe that the following information sent to us by Harold Thomas of Louisiana is important. We present it with a renewed sense of the gravity of the times in which we live – near as they are to the Second Coming – and how acutely they bear upon “things” as we now view them. These stats admittedly are not those of this minute, being a few years old, but probably present the nuclear picture fairly close to the present time. The article is presented for your information ...

Nuclear Nations

Harold Thomas

The scariest scenario used to be a nuclear showdown between the superpowers. Now, with Moscow’s control weakened, it is the threat that the ingredients for an A-bomb could leak out of Russia and into terrorists’ hands. The collapse of the Soviet Union has opened the door to proliferation – by states or terrorists – on a scale that was previously unimaginable.

The protection of the movement of warheads from the Russian military has become slipshod and some think the best answer may be to slow down or even stop the whole disarmament process. Just about every U.S. specialist on the issue has had an epiphany about how vast the problem is.

Also a concern exists among experts that Russian nuclear scientists might be bought by rich nations to oversee the building of a nuclear bomb or multiple bombs. A race is on to see how quickly Russia can put up enough safeguards to prevent some of the world’s most lethal materials from leaking into the wrong hands. In the U. S., the Pentagon spent $100 million in 1995 in an effort to identify high-tech “counterproliferation tools to track and, if necessary take out rouge nuclear powers.” (“Future Shock,” Newsweek, July 24, 1995, pgs. 32-37).

The breakup of the Soviet Union, moreover, has introduced new nuclear perils. With the weakening of central authority, some observers fear that Soviet nuclear materials and expertise could find their way to other nations seeking nuclear arms. Former Soviet republics where nuclear weapons are stationed could emerge as new nuclear powers. And ethnic and political clashes among the Soviet successor nations themselves could conceivably escalate into a nuclear conflict.” (The World Book Yearbook, 1993, events of 1992, pages 56-67).

THE NUCLEAR THREAT IN THE NEW WORLD ORDER, By Leonard S. Spector -- (The World Book Yearbook, 1993, events of 1992, pages 56-67).

As the United States and the former Soviet Union reduce their nuclear arsenals, smaller countries strive to acquire the means of nuclear destruction. (The World Book Yearbook, 1993, events of 1992, pages 56-67). Here we are reminded of Joel 3:10, “Let the weak say I am strong”.

“The terrifying threat of global nuclear war became dramatically less menacing in the early 1990’s as the Cold War ended, the Soviet Union collapsed, and the United States and Russia planned large-scale cuts in their nuclear forces. “Despite the easing of tensions between the superpowers, however, the spread of nuclear weapons to other countries continued to pose a grave danger”. (The World Book Yearbook, 1993, events of 1992, pg. 56-67).

Some of the countries that would like to develop nuclear arms lie in the Middle East and Asia -- regions where long-standing conflicts could lead to the use of nuclear weapons. In addition, a number of would-be nuclear nations such as Libya and Iran, are led by militant dictators or driven by radical ideologies and might seek nuclear arms in preparation for aggression”. (The World Book Yearbook, 1993, events of 1992, pages 56-67).

Countries that have declared they have nuclear weapons: China, France, Great Britain, Russia, United States. (The World Book Yearbook, 1993, events of 1992, pgs. 56-67 ).

Countries that may have undeclared nuclear weapons or could quickly build them: India, Israel, and Pakistan. Experts think that India could build 70 to 100 nuclear bombs, and Israel could build as many as 300. (The World Book Yearbook, 1993, events of 1992, pages 56-67 ).

Countries that have pursued nuclear weapons in the past or are doing so today: Argentina, Brazil, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan.

(The World Book Yearbook, 1993, events of 1992, pages 56-67).

Terrorists might attempt to achieve their goals by threatening to use a nuclear weapon that they had bought or stolen. (The World Book Yearbook, 1993, events of 1992, pgs. 56-67).

The bomb count alone far from tells the story. Comparisons show that the nuclear bombs of today are many times more powerful than the ones used in World War II against Japan.

(The World Book Encyclopedia, Vol. B, 1984, page 362).

Table of comparison

1945 Atomic Bomb - Square Mile Area; {Modern Hydrogen Bomb}

Total destruction {1 mile radius 3} {254 9 mile radius}

Severe damage {1.25 mile radius 4.5} {380 11 mile radius}

Moderate damage {2 mile radius 12} {1020 18 mile radius}

Light damage {3.25 mile radius 33} {2800 30 mile radius}

The explosive power of the bomb which was dropped on Hiroshima was equivalent to 12,500 tons of TNT, killing 140,000 people and destroying or damaging 70,000 buildings and within 1 1/2 miles, virtually everything was destroyed.

The modern thermonuclear warhead, the W87 which is the average size of those in the U. S. arsenal, has the equivalent of 300,000 tons of TNT, which is 24 times the amount of the Hiroshima bomb. The largest in the U. S. arsenal has the equivalent of 9 megatons, which is 30 times the size of the W87 and 720 times the explosive power of the Hiroshima bomb.

The destructive power one such bomb as the B53 is inconceivable.

The W87 (average U. S.) would likely kill everyone within 4.5 miles who was directly exposed to the blast and thermal effects.

Nuclear Equivalents of TNT

Hiroshima 12,500 tons (killed 140,000 people)

W87 (Average U. S.)300,000 tons (24 times Hiroshima)

B53 (Largest U. S.) 9,000,000 tons (720 times Hiroshima)

(Source: U. S. New and World Report,Shock Wave,” July 31, 1995, pages 44-59).

One writer said in his 1982 book that the countries of the world in total had some 50,000 nuclear warheads possessing the explosive yield of roughly 20 billion tons of TNT, or 1,600,000 times the yield of the bomb used on Hiroshima. (The Fate of the Earth; Jonathan Schell, Avon Books, 1982, page 3)

NOTE: The simple arithmetic is: 1,600,000 TIMES 140,000 (The number killed in Hiroshima) Equals 224,000,000,000; that is 224 TRILLION [N.B., this number should be billion, not trillion - Ed.] people, or 37 times the present World Population.

President [Harry S] Truman took office in April of 1945 and was unaware of the nuclear bomb project, but was quickly apprised of it. The project was well along by this time and Truman’s biographer, David McCullough suggests that President Truman probably never considered not using the bomb at the earliest opportunity. In the spring and summer of 1945, the American war machine was rushing to that end. America had not spent $1.8 billion developing a weapon that could end the war only to put it on the shelf while American servicemen went on dying day after day. As the director of the Manhattan Project, Leslie Groves would eventually write, Truman went with the flow ‘like a little boy on a toboggan’.” (“Shock Wave”, US News & World Report, July 31, 1995, pgs. 49-50). This observation by Mr. McCullough indicates that God’s hand was very much in the matter of the use of such force by then President Truman.

It was estimated about ten years ago that the USA and USSR taken together had enough nuclear weapons to destroy all plant and animal life on earth 50 times over. What line of reasoning brought the nations of the world particularly the USA and the USSR, to the point of building and maintaining enough nuclear weapons to do such?

When is enough, enough?

Remember, when this was done (the 1960s and 1970s) The USA at least was under the same constitution and three branch government system upon which it had been founded some 200 years earlier. Remember also that the people of this nation claim to “trust in God.”

An interesting but short article titled “In the Bomb we Trust,” appeared on page 5 in the August 18, 1995 issue of Commonwealth. We quote one paragraph from that article, “But are we really that attached to the bomb? With the demise of the Soviet Union, hasn’t there been a stepping back from the nuclear brink? It’s true that the United States has cut its arsenal, initially refrained from nuclear testing, and renewed the nonproliferation treaty. “Yet we (USA) maintain a ‘first-use’ policy, have yet to sign a comprehensive test ban treaty, and are only now beginning to admit that our nuclear build-up exposed thousands of our citizens to radiation (sometimes on purpose) without their knowledge or consent.” Consider the efforts of those who designed and built and continue to design and build such bombs. Consider the costs in time and dollars of such efforts.

What do we make of the verse, “I will destroy them that destroy the earth” (Revelation 11:18)? Does this apply to those who destroy his people only, or only destroy people with false doctrine? Does it refer to the physical destruction of humans, animals, plants, and God’s creation? We must remember that He created the earth and all that therein is: (Acts 14:15; 17:24). Is mankind at liberty to destroy it even if he (mankind) thinks that it is in his best interest to do so??)

Received December, 2016, from HT (Louisiana)… Published eTPL September 22, 2017.


October: Zechariah 3: 1 Jesus Sitting

at the right hand of the Father.

An eTPL28 Analysis

Much is made by some students of scripture that Jesus is the only personage ever described as “sitting” at the right hand of God. As such it represents a position of authority as well as divine subservience that only the Son can claim.

Not even angels have been so invited. Cf., Hebrews 1: 13.

Evidence of this exclusivity of Jesus is pointed out as being Psalm 110:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

The word “sit” here is yashab, Strong’s H3437: the entire definition of which is ...

ישׁב"" yâshab – yaw-shab' A primitive root; properly to sit down (specifically as judge, in ambush, in quiet); by implication to dwell, to remain; causatively to settle, to marry: - (make to) abide (-ing), continue, (cause to, make to) dwell (-ing), ease self, endure, establish, X fail, habitation, haunt, (make to) inhabit (-ant), make to keep [house], lurking, X marry (-ing), (bring again to) place, remain, return, seat, set (-tle), (down-) sit (-down, still, -ting down, -ting [place] -uate), take, tarry.”

We thus see that the primitive root word has a great variety of meanings, and does not necessarily mean “to sit” in the purest meaning of the term, but to sitting in the general sense (i.e., to be placed) or “situated” as to place, but not as to attitude.

It is thus a place designation and not confined to a description of action (of sitting, for example).

A more well-known example of the “seated” position of Jesus at His Father’s right hand is this ... Hebrews 1:13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?

This is a direct reference to Psalm 110 as quoted above.

But we believe it to be a matter of placement and not of position of his personage.

In this regard, the claim has been made that this personage indicates the LORD Jesus because He is described as “standing up” (from a sitting position, presumably) – that of “sitting” at the right hand of God – and that the reference to Michael the archangel in Daniel 12: 1-3 “standing up” shows that that personage indicates the LORD Jesus because he is said to “standing up” (presumably from a sitting position) in that phrase.

However, we consider the information presented above on the Hebrew word yashab obviates this strict meaning because of other scriptural allusions which indicate a different attitude of position (that of standing).

Contrary to this perceived definition of a strictly limited, seated position on the Father’s right hand is this passage – one of the visions of Zechariah the prophet.

This is a notable example of the decided “type” of Christ (Joshua, the high priest) standing before the Elohim (angel of the LORD), and Satan standing at Joshua’s right hand in order to resist Joshua. Zechariah 3:1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.

The first position, that of Joshua, is seemingly a position of nearness in order to serve the Elohim. But the second position (that of Satan, the opposing principle) is seemingly a postion of nearness in order to resist Joshua’s decisions.

So even the relative position of one personage to another can have two opposite meanings ...

There is another direct reference to Jesus which depicts Him as “standing” at the right hand of God, in the final vision of Stephen just prior to his being stoned.

Stephen saw in his last moments of life, Jesus standing at the right hand of God... Acts 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, 56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. 57 Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord ...

Was the violent reaction (the stoning of Stephen) of the servants of the high priest due to Stephen’s having said he saw Jesus STANDING on the right hand of God?

Or was it triggered by Stephen’s evidently divine vision?

We believe it to be the latter, because a personage having a divine vision would always mark them as the favored of the LORD, and not of a condemned one, which they believed Stephen to be.

Their estimation of Stephen was not the same as was God’s estimation of him!

Their reaction – that is, the stoning of Stephen – was that of those who follow not the ways of God ...

A comprehensive description of those who follow NOT God is found in the words of Peter, the apostle; we observe that not everyone who does not follow God exhibits all these characteristics, but many of them are evident in such ...

2Peter 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. 11 Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. 12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; 13 And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; 14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: 15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. 17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. 18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.

“Living in error” is one of the favorite phrases of such critics of those with whom they disagree on certain points of scripture. “Error” is a sacred term to them, meaning gross discrepancy with the words of God as perceived by them.

However, their own propensity for disagreement with His word is evident in many ways. Those who stoned Stephen had never had a divine vision such as had Stephen, so their ability to believe Stephen was compromised. They thought Stephen to be “in error” in this matter, and worthy of death by stoning according to their interpretation of the Law – that body of statutes which was their god of the day, including their misinterpretations of it!

We must admit seeing the same sort of disbelief among the critics of our own day.

For example, in commenting upon the prophecy of Amos 9, one such has written:

“I can no longer accept your mailings that continue to promote a prophetic fantasy - all built on the false premise that no further destruction/cleansing is to fall upon the people and Land of Israel (emphasis ours). You have adopted and continually promote a delusion that results in a wresting of the prophetic record, which is in direct collision with the revealed will of Deity.”

In answer to this, we quoted directly from that divine inspiration given to the prophet in Amos 9:14 And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them. 15 And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.”

How can any rational observer of Israel’s present state deny that this prophecy has been and IS BEING fulfilled before our eyes?

The result of this condition is that “they shall NO MORE be pulled up out of their land which I have given them...”

We must ask, how can a future desolation of Israel and its people be in the offing if this passage has been fulfilled???

We added: “Others that are of the same content are Isaiah 60:21; Jeremiah 24:6; 32:41; Ezekiel 34:28; 37:25; Joel 3:20; Micah 4:4. In addition, Obadiah, Isaiah 11, Ezekiel 35, Psalm 83, Zechariah 10-14 and many other passages apply to our present times.”

We neglected in that list, Isaiah 63: 1-6, which indicates a total and complete victory of the returned LORD Jesus as He combats the proximate enemies of His People ... not their defeat and scattering at the hands of anyone! This narrative takes place at the same time as the prophecy of Obadiah, in our opinion.

With his discussion, we rest our case for the claim that Michael the Archangel of Daniel 12 is in reality NOT another designation of the LORD Jesus Christ except as a secondary indicator of Him Who does indeed bring about the physical resurrection of the dead, which seems indicated in verses 2 and 3, with the eternal consequences which are stated to apply to them in those words.

<HEL Q7> ~1900 words. An eTPL28 Analysis Published October 8, 2017.


November: The Words of Ezekiel Concerning Gog

An eTPL:26 Analysis

Excerpted from the A.V. Texts, Omitting Intermittent Wording.

Illustrating no Conquest in God’s Land by that Invader,

But only His Demise – in One Day

Eze 38:2 set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,

Eze 38:3 ; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog,

Eze 38:4 And I will turn thee back,

At the outset in this account, YHVH does not allow the reader to conjecture any success for the Gogian host. All this foreshadowing is a literary device to set His determination against Gog solidly in place.

Eze 38:8 After many days thou shalt be visited: (Gog is destined to ‘think an evil thought;’ is it ‘from the LORD?’)

Eze 38:16 I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.

When the LORD uses an enemy of His people to punish His People it is usually a mechanism which will, for His premise in turn, incur His penalties on those enemies; it seems as if this mechanism is almost devised to ‘justify’ the Almighty for His later punishments of those enemies by making their transgressions against His people so obvious that nobody can ignore them or consider them unjust. This tactic is entirely His prerogative, and cannot be criticized or denied by any mere human being. It was a mechanism that was used against Babylon, clearly, and against Assyria (Sennacherib) prior to that time, as well as against Pharaoh as he destroyed the Egyptian armies at the Red Sea.

Eze 38:18 And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD, that my fury shall come up in my face.

Eze 38:19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;

This is unmistakable language describing a great earthquake; the tectonic effect disorients the Gogian host and hastens its destruction by the other ‘natural’ elements which He levels against them.

Eze 38:20 and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. The event is quite evidently, a great earthquake. But additional elements immediately take hold against Gog. Often, in time past, these Arabic enemies have turned upon each other and slain each other. Cf., II Chronicles 20 – where the Edomites were slain inexplicably by Moab and Ammon, then these two enemies of Israel turned upon each other and all were slain. The result was that when Jehoshaphat and his people came upon the scene every combatant was dead. Their task of gathering the dead soldiers’ wealth was so enormous it required three days to harvest their valuables. This wealth was turned to the house of the LORD.

The same mechanism will be employed against the Proximal Islamic nations round about Israel when Christ and the Saints and the IDF decimate that crowd: Zechariah 14: 14.

Eze 38:21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother.

Eze 38:22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.

The complete armamentarium of YHVH’s weapons of His fury are seven, as underlined here …

Eze 38:23 Thus will I magnify Myself, Think about this: the Almighty’s aim is NOT to glorify Gog, or give any success to him. If Gog were to overrun Israel and drive them out of their Land, such would not magnify God but would magnify GOG. This is obviated by these words. Our Father confirms that “I will not give my glory to another” Isaiah 42: 11.

Eze 39:1 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:

Eze 39:2 And I will turn thee back, (… not allow you (Gog) any success)

These words repeatedly DENY Gog any victory whatever, no matter what other scriptures are brought into the picture to disprove that theorem. Gog shall NOT overrun Israel, but be turned back. Not only do these words passively disallow such a Gogian victory, THEY ABSOLUTELY DENY THAT SUCH A POSSIBILITY EXISTS.

And now the Revelator gets down to details of how this intended end shall be accomplished …

Eze 39:3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.

Eze 39:4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.

Eze 39:5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field:

Eze 39:6 And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD. Not only shall the armies in the field be destroyed, but their source area in Magog will be sprayed with fire from the LORD. This will bring the message indelibly home to the kinsfolk, the supporters, and the confederates of the Gogian host.

Eze 39:7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel (not that Israel should uniquely by these deeds recognize Him as their God, for most of them shall already have acknowledged this fact; the preponderance of this “making known” of the name of YHVY is that it be known AMONG THE HEATHEN nations; cf., verse 21 below);

Eze 39:8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken. Some have pointed to other accounts such as Daniel 11 as being these words which had been “spoken.” However, we do not concur; these words, even if those indicated were applicable, were written. There naturally would be no perceivable written record of these previous words. We deny the parallelism of Daniel 11 with this Gogian affair as related by Ezekiel, the detailed differences in which there are more than two score!

Eze 39:10 and they (Israel) shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD.

These words apply to any ‘booty’ that Gog may have taken early in their invasion of Israel. And they also apply to the enormous treasures of every kind, the great mount of ‘booty’ which shall have been collected by Israel from the Proximal Islamic States which shall have been overcome and destroyed prior to this affair. Indeed, it is said that there is a better translation of Ezekiel 38: 12 – which states this: Ezekiel 38:12 “To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.” That preferred phraseology of the first phrase is proposed as “… to spoil the despoilers.”

Notice the different “spin” on the words by considering this translation. The “spoil” which Israel in that day possesses (but today does not possess) is not the wealth that Israel has created on its own volition and effort, but is here designated as “spoils or booty TAKEN FROM OTHERS,” named as the Proximal enemies in Zechariah 14: 14, as noted. The words of the second highlighted phrase of Ezekiel 38: 12 reinforces this conviction in that it describes Israel’s wealth as “gotten” – or acquired – wealth, not earned or created by themselves! This again will be seen as the mechanism by which the Christ of the Second Advent gathers the wealth of the Gentiles (only the nations round about, at that time) into His Kingdom, completely parallel to the account of II Chronicles 20, and the era of Jehoshaphat.

Eze 39:11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The Valley of Hamongog.

How ironic! Gog invades Christ’s Kingdom of that future day expecting to spoil the despoilers, and has its career truncated abruptly by chaotic, frenzied destruction – and inherits a vast grave there “in Israel” of that future day – at Hamon-gog – a place which, being east of the Sea of Galilee (Young) is not in Israel today … but shall be in that day as a result of the Jewish State’s previous victories over Islam.

Note well, please, in these extended commentaries there flows to our minds an almost endless stream of supportive if subtle evidence that the ambition of the Gogian host against God’s People have been pervasively and exhaustively blunted, and “nipped in the bud.”

The result shall be to prevent Gog from gaining ANY of the objectives he had set for himself and his cohort. Gog utterly fails … because that mighty force has made the fatal mistake of invading the inceptive Kingdom of God which at that day shall be under the sovereignty of Jesus Christ, Son of David, Son of God!

Eze 39:12 And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land.

Eze 39:17 And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.

Eze 39:18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.

The reference to Bashan clinches the location as being northern Jordan of today – not the Moabite tablelands east of the Dead Sea, because Bashan does not extend southward to Moab. This is probably one reason for Young’s choice of the Sea of Galilee as the “sea” mentioned in the phrase “east of the sea.”

Eze 39:19 And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.

Eze 39:20 Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.

Eze 39:21 And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.

Eze 39:22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward (in these words the fact of His sovereignty is placed beyond any doubt that any Israeli may have had prior to this time).

Eze 39:23 And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: (this earlier judgment of Israel shall clearly illustrate to the world the inadvisability of disobedience to God).

Eze 39:24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I (formerly – in past ages) done unto them, and hid my face from them.

Eze 39:25 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now (notice the reversal of His attitude toward His people in this end time) will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name;

Eze 39:27 When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations;

In these words, the word of the LORD actively denies the defeat and expulsion of Israel from their land in this indicated future time. There is no possibility of their ever being displaced again, for that result would negate these faithful words ... and bring shame upon the name of God and his Son.

Eze 39:28 Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there.

Eze 39:29 Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

Conclusion: In view of these decisive and conclusive condemnations of Gog by the Almighty through Ezekiel, how can any diligent student attribute any benefit to Gog outside of the above notations? Above are listed over 30 reasons why Gog shall have no quarter!

The earlier theory that Gog will come down against an impotent Jewish colony and drive it into Egypt – from which it would later be delivered by Christ and the Saints – is not, and never has been workable, or scriptural; this end time view has become plainly apparent with the passage of time since 1865.

Any other conclusion has had to be deduced from the spurious importation of numerous other scriptural passages into the narrative, thus muddying the expected fulfillment; these facts are now plainly evident to be the short and the long story of Gog’s invasion of Israel, the nation that we know so well, and Gog’s abject defeat and burial upon the mountains thereof. <HELafferty, MD/USA, code 1Q> ~2250 words. eTPL:26


December: An Exhortation from Isaiah for Today

Observations

Sometimes we may suspect that we are overemphasizing the matters of latter day prophecy – perhaps even to the neglect of the basic doctrinal aspects of salvation.

But then we realize that in prophetic matters we are involved in a different set of circumstances to that of basic doctrine; “prophecy” is a dynamic process as to foundational understanding – since its visions pertain to the future, we cannot be absolutely sure of each prophecy’s fulfillment until it be finished.

The matters of doctrine are somewhat different; they are static, in the sense of finished as to full revelation. We expect no changes to this body of information, or even to our understanding of it, and that these tenets shall be carried out and brought to bear upon humanity as stated long ago by the prophets and righteous men of God who spoke as they were moved by God’s Holy Spirit (2Peter 1: 21).

So we continue to note the incredible number of references to future events as they occur in our organized study of the Word.

One such instance is offered by the visions of Isaiah who, in chapter nine address the woes of His People of Isaiah’s day – iniquities which brought upon them the consummate destruction of their polity as seen in historical context.

But they also contain vital words of information as to events of the latter days as well ...

These two chapters here under scrutiny contain great swelling words of exhortation to His People – both natural and spiritual (both then and now) as they detail the events future to both eras ... the outworking of His Plan at that former time as well as now.

We consider the verse-by-verse details in order to gain insight and understanding of events to come...

Isaiah 10

Woes Continued

His dire predictions continue in the same vein as the last chapter – indeed, are a continuation of it.

Isa 10:1 Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write (or legalize) grievousness (iniquities, and oppression) which they have prescribed;

The prophet details some of these ...

Isa 10:2 To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!

Isa 10:3 And what will ye do in the day of visitation (Hebrew, pequddah, meaning reckoning), and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory?

This is a sober question which shall come into their minds when the northern invaders of that day come to take them away. Assyria shall not be their helper, for Assyria shall be their oppressor!

Isa 10:4 Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

And for a fourth time, He reminds them that His anger is not turned away, but that His arm of oppression is still extended over them! Their punishment shall be relentless until it has had its effect upon them.

The Almighty’s Covenant:

Suspended for Israel’s Deliverance

Isa 10:5 O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is (meaning “shall express”) mine indignation.

These words are words of summons to Assyria – the power which He has elected to bring His indignation upon them. It is clear that Assyria’s invasion is from the LORD, but that its causal basis is the disobedience of His people.

Isa 10:6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.

Bullinger points out that the Assyrian monuments indicate that this oppressor was Sargon, the father of Sennacherib.

Isa 10:7 Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.

This statement that he meaneth not so indicates no special vendetta from the LORD will be responsible for his aggression against Israel – that this oppression is simply an inborn desire and evil goal of Sargon, to pillage and conquer every nation. Judah lies nearby and seems ripe for the picking.

His next statement indicates the arrogance of Sargon and the Assyrians, who believed even their princes themselves to be higher in station than their enemies’ kings!

Isa 10:8 For he saith, Are not my princes altogether kings?

His goal is now shown to specify Judah and Jerusalem as his next objective.

Isa 10:9 Is not Calno as Carchemish? is not Hamath as Arpad? is not Samaria as Damascus? We must point out that the logic of Sargon is faulty as expressed here. Five of these cities were overrun byAssyria; only one is an Israelite venue – Samaria.

In his mind they are entirely equivalent; he knows not that Samaria is a specially noted “property” of the LORD God – that YHVH has an intense interest in His people, and in bringing them to repentance; this is not the case with the other five cities noted ... the “kingdoms of the idols” (vs. 10).

A much different outcome is foreshadowed for Samaria than for the other five cities.

Isa 10:10 As my hand hath found the kingdoms of the idols, and whose graven images did excel them of Jerusalem and of Samaria (were of higher stature in their minds, or superior, because these Samaritan idols allowed Samaria to be overrun by Assyria);

Isa 10:11 Shall I not, as I have done unto Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols?

This warning is added to that affecting Samaria; Judah must also amend its ways or it will receive the same punishments from yet another enemy of God and His People in later time.

But, like all oppressors of His people, the punishment that these enemies mete out shall also come back upon their heads.

However, before this time, He shall use Assyria to punish His people sorely. He is just and righteous in this intention and its achievement because the hatred and aggression of Assyria is not of His doing; this nation is naturally an enemy of Zion, but its oppression of God’s people shall have its penalties.

Isa 10:12 Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks.

Like Nebuchadnezzar who followed him, Sargon’s pride was now soaring; his arrogance is overpowering.

The prophet’s next words are evidence of the Almighty’s omniscience: His all-seeing and –knowing eye: he gives us verbatim the thoughts in the mind of Sargon ...

Isa 10:13 For he (Sargon) saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people (have overrun their borders), and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man:

Like his later antitype, Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Sargon vaunted himself and his self-perceived importance, crediting them to his own abilities; he knew not that his greatness came directly from YHVH on high!

His arrogance was a stink in the Almighty’s nose, just as in Nebuchadnezzar’s case, and should be put down summarily!

Isa 10:14 And my hand hath found as a nest (i.e., a concentrated repository) the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.

No resistance to Assyria had been effective to this date.

But Sargon and his hosts will pay dearly for this boasting against the LORD’s people, and for his cruel oppression of them. He shall never realize that Assyria’s strength is from the LORD, and that without it he would be as nothing. He is the axe … Israel is the tree which it hews, for it primarily is the target of Assyria. But its judgment is a matter of concern to YHVH. It results, in only a few years, in Israel’s captivity and the removal of its nearly entire population to Assyria and to other nations under Assyria’s control.

Isa 10:15 Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it (meaning “saws with it”)? as if the rod should shake itself against (rebel against) them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood (as if it were not an insignificant item made of wood).

Here the Almighty restates His intention toward Israel.

The leanness of which He speaks (I have put down the inhabitants: verse 13) is repeated in Isaiah 17:4 – a condemnation which many of today believe lies yet future, and applies to Israel as we know it today.

But in context it clearly applies to their much earlier history; it was quite obviously a condemnation of Israel (the Ten Tribes) when Damascus and Samaria were overrun and taken into captivity by Assyria, c. 709BC.

In our opinion, the “abandonment” of His people Israel has in our present day been consummated and has ended as foretold in Micah 5: Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth (i.e., when the nation and People have become re-constituted as a legal state in their Land in the end time): then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. Micah 5:3.

These two time markers – “until” and “then” – are immutable signals of the termination of the age of His having “given them up” for a season – a very long season, otherwise known as “the Times of the Gentiles,” as defined by the LORD Jesus in Luke 21:24.

But that time has now (in our own days!) ended for His People!

Their destiny was different in that earlier time ... and was imminent!

Isa 10:16 Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire.

The “leanness” was to be so severe that the Ten Tribes would disappear from Samaria, and be led into captivity in Assyria.

Their removal would leave a great human vacuum in the land, which should soon be filled by others brought into the area by Assyria for re-settlement, including Arabs and Assyrians – all of whom were also idolaters.

From these interlopers arose the Samaritans of Jesus’ day.

This “leanness” of Jacob was accomplished – and endures for a long while – until the day when all the People begin to be restored, and the two sticks of Judah and Israel are becoming reunited in the hand of the LORD as in Ezekiel 37.

In our studied opinion, it shall be completed with a flourish, on a grand scale after Messiah’s personal appearance to Israel, although there are a few citizens of Israel today from the Ten Tribes in addition to Judah and Benjamin.

Now the prophet refers to the great victory which Hezekiah should be allowed – with no assistance from Judah’s armies, or by Hezekiah’s leadership – when Assyria soon attacked Jerusalem in great force.

It would be another short-term prophecy which should reinforce Isaiah’s credentials as a prophet, proving to the People that he was indeed a bona-fide prophet of God.

The account is in 2 Kings 19:35. And it was accomplished in one day – appropriately during a nighttime period – and when the besieged citizens of Jerusalem awoke the next morning the great Assyrian hosts were all dead men!

Thus the Light of Israel – The Holy One – burned and devoured these thorns and briers in one day.

The same figure of thorns and briers is often used of Israel’s enemies today cf. Isaiah 32:13 and Ezekiel 2:6, q.v.

The thorns and briers have returned to the Land with a vengeance, and inhabit the nations around about, as well.

And thankfully, completing His present-day intentions, their fate shall be precisely that of Sargon of Assyria, when he came against Jerusalem during the reign of Hezekiah after Assyria’s having taking Israel captive many years before!

Isa 10:17 And the Light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day;

Isa 10:18 And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standard bearer fainteth.

The figure of “thorns and briers” here is a reference to the nettlesome nations round about Israel, and the vile enemies sprinkled within Israel’s present holdings, who have always harassed and attacked Israel, and have tried to take their land and steal their wealth. Cf., Isaiah 10:17; 27:4; 32:13; Ezekiel 2:6.

Here the certain reference is to that One Who we are accustomed to call the Light of Israel – His Holy One – the Lord, Jesus Christ, at Whose coming all these horrendous events shall be repeated precisely as established and rehearsed here. Cf., Obadiah; Isaiah 11 and 63; Psalm 83; Ezekiel 35; and Micah 5.

This great defeat of Assyria at Jerusalem in that day would devastate his army.

Sennacherib would immediately withdraw to the north in shame and defeat, thus giving Judah a few more years to examine their ways and come back to the Almighty. And soon mighty Assyria dropped forever into the dustbin of history, never to be heard from again!

Isa 10:19 And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them. These words represent the decimation of the other nations around Israel which were also overrun by Assyria during this campaign.

They are also the “trees” of His forest, as they presently inhabit the Land of Promise, “His Forest” – the land-grant originally promised to Abram as he entertained the Angelic messengers, and as he entered the Land the first time.

It is worth noting that the same figure of “all the trees” occurs in Jesus’ prophecy recorded in Luke 21:29, which indicates the establishment and growth of various other nations besides Israel in the vacated territories of the Ottoman Empire after 1918 – the dried-up Euphrates valley of the Apocalypse. Revelation 16: 12.

These are the proximate, artificially formed Islamic nations of the Levant including Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, and others.

The next words of Isaiah seem to leap forward to that day of glory in the end time, when the re-gathered “remnant” of Israel which have returned to the Land, shall within a short time “stay” – or depend upon – the LORD, the Holy One (Messiah) of Israel, IN TRUTH.

That is the day of their redemption, and shall herald the return of all their brethren from the four winds, Judah and Israel, the Twelve Tribes being again united as under David and Solomon in the Land of their inheritance – at that time in which they shall receive it for an inheritance forever!

Despite the objections of some unbelievers, the present nation of Israel is the precursor of this mighty host, and in it we see the beginnings and the maturing of the ongoing progression of the People’s recovery from the Valley of Dry Bones of Ezekiel 37.

Isa 10:20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon (or depend upon) him that smote them (the enemies with which they made many treaties of mutual protection); but shall stay (or trust) upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.

He is speaking of “that day” in the end time – our own days – when the remnant of Israel who have “escaped,” are destined to rely on the LORD of hosts, Who shall be in reality the LORD Jesus Christ, after He has come and saved His people from their enemies (cf., Luke 1: 71, 74), and they have recognized and accepted Him AS their Messiah, who they thought to have destroyed on the tree at Golgotha!

We observe that this is not yet the case with the Remnant of Israel. For have not past Israeli governments made treaties of peace with those who are their enemies ... both Egypt and Jordan – both of which remain in place at this hour?

The prophetic indications are that both these treaties are destined to be canceled in full as the mighty armies of Israel under the Christ and His immortalized Army go forth to conquer and destroy those opposing forces!

Who today are the “escaped of Jacob?”

They are the present-day Israelites who have and are physically returning to their Land ...

And from where are they returning?

Isaiah 11:11 directs our attention to some of the venues from which they shall return: And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

That their recovery is to be TO “ISRAELBECOMES CERTAIN in the next verse: 12 And he shall set up an ensign (a flag, or banner: Hebrew, nec) for the nations (the two Hebrew nations – Israel and Judah), and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

From historical outworking of this prophecy, we discern that the next verse which foretells their “return … unto the mighty God,” means, first and foremost, their PHYSICAL return to their Landan event which must precede their spiritual return, for it is His physical, bodily “return” to them who dwell IN the Land that triggers their recognition of Him as Messiah and King – their spiritual return to Him. Cf., Zechariah 12 and 13.

The next words seem to convey overtones which include both their physical and their spiritual return to Him … the ultimate effect of the end-time cause for their return.

Isa 10:21 The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.

These words mean first and foremost – as it has turned out – their return to their Land; it was a return which only became possible as many of the end time prophecies were fulfilled, such as the long-term transactions of the King of the North and the King of the South upon God’s Land, which during their tenure was “forsaken” by Him, and His People “abandoned” as in Micah 5: 1-4.

It required the liberation of the Land from its foreign oppressors, and the return of it to the Jews of the world who had mounted an unprecedented campaign to recover their Land and to re-colonize it in great numbers.

Those conditions of it being in the possession of others required reversal before their physical return could be accomplished.

Notice carefully, even as regards Britain’s tenure as the Mandatory Authority over the Land, the Jews could not become a bona fide nation; but as the British departed the wharves of Haifa on May 14, 1948, thus giving up their control of Palestine, the Land became free of all oppressors, and as a bolt of lightning became available to be claimed by the Jews, and only moments later, was claimed BY HIS PEOPLE!!

Isa 10:22 For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with (be rinsed away by) righteousness.

In other words, the great repression which He had loosed upon them, being “the consumption decreed,” should then be abolished, and turn to divine favor and forgiveness forever.

However, they must, subsequent to this earlier time in history, still suffer for their iniquities – the punishment – the abandonment of them – that He has decreed.

This separation from Him is their sentence – from Isaiah’s time until the regathering connected so intimately with the Second Advent – a period of time destined to exceed 2600 years.

Isa 10:23 For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.

This dreadful word, consumption, is in Hebrew killayon, and refers to destruction (of the land) in their absence from it, but also bears overtones of the oppression of the physical land connected with the separation of the People from their Land. In a lyrical sense, the Land mourns for its removed inhabitants.

That mournful condition can only be reversed by their return to Him!

And now the prophet again addresses his immediate hearers …

Isa 10:24 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion (that is, in Jerusalem: Judah), be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. (Note: this precise terminology of "smiting" Israel with a rod as utilized in Micah 5: 1, where the same action is repeated!)

Isa 10:25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.

In Judah’s final days, Assyria’s aggression ended with the angelic destruction of its giant army in the valleys about the City of Jerusalem.

Their captivity was only later accomplished by Babylon, the successor to Assyria.

In that day, Assyria’s might was destroyed in YHVH’s anger.

The ultimate and seemingly greater message is clearly to Israel of today, bidding them not fear the Assyrian as reconstituted in our day. Cf., Micah 5.

He shall strike Israel with serious indignation, but in a very short time that indignation upon Israel shall cease, ending similarly in modern Assyria’s destruction! Again, cf., Micah 5: 1.

Although the Father’s “indignation” against Israel is mollified today, it shall not be fully removed until the Christ of the Second Advent comes to save her from her enemies, and the People shall welcome Him with the words, “Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord,” as in Luke 13:35.

Only at that future time shall they perceive His real identity, and realize His favor as fully restored to His People, and shall He forgive their sins, and accept their repentance as related in Zechariah 12 and 13, with such depth of tenderness and compassion.

There are to be mighty miracles ahead for His people.

Both the near-term (then) and the long-term (end time) invasions of “Assyria” have and shall come to bitter termination, such as that of the Midianites at the Rock of Oreb, and the Egyptians, all of whose firstborn were slain, and later, upon those who were drowned in the Red Sea.

Isa 10:26 And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt.

Isa 10:27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

Even today, in a strong sense, the “yoke” of the Assyrian is yet “upon” His people; their armed aggression, their incessant threats and vilification of His People are going on as in former time. Their intentions for the ultimate destruction of Israel remain strongly in force against His People.

But their destruction is here promised “because of the anointing.”

These particular words, “because of the anointing,” mean, “before the face [or at the sight] of the oil.”

The phrase indicates a sanctified, or anointed purpose or goal which the Almighty has established. It may recall the oil of Gideon’s lamps hidden in the pitchers, which in that instance threw the Midianites into a panic.

But it certainly reminds the student of the Anointed of God, the Man Jesus (Anointed) – Who is appointed the Instrument of the end time deliverance of Judah from its Assyrian aggressor – a pin-pointed, focused prophecy given in the 5th of Micah relating to this very event.

And now there follows a graphic depiction of Sennacherib’s advance against Judah – that one which shall end in failure at Jerusalem’s bulwark as erected by Hezekiah’s faith.

Isa 10:28 He is come to Aiath, he is passed to Migron; at Michmash he hath laid up his carriages:

Isa 10:29 They are gone over the passage: they have taken up their lodging at Geba; Ramah is afraid; Gibeah of Saul is fled.

Isa 10:30 Lift up thy voice, O daughter of Gallim: cause it to be heard unto Laish, O poor Anathoth.

Isa 10:31 Madmenah is removed; the inhabitants of Gebim gather themselves to flee.

The Assyrian host thus comes steadily and immutably to the drastic, ruinous end of its campaign against Judah, although laying waste those named places.

“Shaking his hand against the mount” is reminiscent of the vile threats of the Rabshakeh, who insisted on speaking in Hebrew so all the people should understand and should be terrorized by his threats, empty as they turned out to be.

These audible, boastful threats would actually reinforce the faith of every faithful Israelite, for later they would remember the faithful promise of the Almighty to keep them in safety!

Isa 10:32 As yet shall he remain at Nob that day: he shall shake his hand against the mount of the daughter of Zion, the hill of Jerusalem.

Nob, you will remember, is a city of the priests of Levi, and is located an half-day’s journey from Jerusalem; but it was from Lachish (2Kings 18:17) that he had dispatched Rabshakeh to threaten God’s people.

Divine Interposition: The Son of David

Isaiah 10:33 to 11:16

And now the decisive, ultimate sentence is pronounced upon Assyria as harbinger of her judgments of the last days.

The Agent bringing about these decisive and victorious events shall be the Son of David – the returned Christ of the Second Advent – whose personal presence is required in these transactions against the nations which have always resisted and coveted the Land of Promise – the Proximal Islamic peoples of the Levant.

Isa 10:33 Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn down, and the haughty shall be humbled.

Isa 10:34 And he shall cut down the thickets of the forest with iron, and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one.

These summarizing phrases describe the beginning strength of Assyria’s army, and the pathetic end of its career at Jerusalem, ultimately in the end time! <HEL code 9M) ~2450 words.

Isaiah 11

Divine Interposition: The Son of David

This chapter foretells the detailed character and mission of the Son of David, now returned to the earth in glory and in power, along with a vast company of immortalized Saints.

A brief background sketch leads into the active work which He – the One Man – shall accomplish in that day.

His impeccable character underpins His righteous judgment and his consummate justice. This Branch of the LORD is the Lord Jesus Christ, including all those who accompany Him in that day.

In this scene, the Branch is a Collective entity: Christ and His Bride, the Multitudinous Christ as we have termed it, constituting the One Man of the new age now being introduced.

The details that follow serve as a detailed prophecy of His character and mission at His first appearance.

But in verse 3, we note that the element of divine judgment is superposed upon His character – an indication that He has finished His work of His first appearance, and has returned to the earth the second time, without sin, and having salvation and deliverance for His people (cf., Hebrews 9: 28).

Isa 11:1 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

Isa 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;

Isa 11:3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

His ability to judge righteously is certified as inherent in His character; that ability is directly from His Father, and comes without doubt as a feature of His perfection in immortality.

The following words of the prophecy address His judgmental actions on behalf of His people Israel, in the time of their second recovery (the end time).

The “poor” and the “meek of the earth” which He now defends, are His now redeemed People of Israel who remain in the Land. His divine protection of them is described in these conclusive words (verse 4).

The smitten “earth” is a description of the collective enemies that have, over the centuries, moved into His Land, and claiming it as their own, have striven to drive out His people. Their eradication is thus assured.

It is specifically that eretz (that consecrated land) of promise between the Rivers.

The weapons of His warfare are clearly defined as “the breath of His lips” with which He shall “slay the wicked.” His attribute of “equity for the meek of the earth” indicates the righteousness of His decisions of that day.

Isa 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

Isa 11:5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

These thunderous intrusions upon the world’s peoples bring about a complete change in the conditions of general society in the earth, beginning with the First Dominion of the Kingdom being palpably established between the Rivers and the Seas of the Promise.

Much of the ensuing history of the coming pacification of the earth is omitted in this account (but furnished copiously by other prophecies), which leaps forward to the peaceable kingdom of Christ in the earth.

The next words foretell this kingdom of complete peace – not only men to men, but also among the beasts of the field – those heretofore untamed, often vicious beasts, who are sometimes a threat to all, such as the wolf and the leopard, the lion and the bear as well as poisonous reptiles.

Conditions in the Kingdom

Isa 11:6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

Isa 11:7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

Isa 11:8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.

In the present day as we visit zoological parks, we are able to view the exquisite creations of our Father closely, intimately. We long to place our selves near the graceful tigers and leopards which we view there, safely confined behind barriers for our pleasurable observation.

But such intimate association with these elegant creatures is usually not at all advisable at the present time. Because of the curse brought upon the earth and its creatures by the transgression of Adam, they are more than likely to turn and rend us without warning.

But the elegance, beauty and grace of such beings does not escape us.

A time is coming soon, however, when such close association will be welcomed by these great beasts, who at that time shall have lost their ferocity, their wildness, their aggressively feral tendencies, and become as tame as the family dog or cat of the present age, demonstrating the practical attainment of complete unity of all nature which He shall accomplish, and which shall be evident in that coming day.

Isa 11:9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Chief among the Institutions which He shall establish is David’s Son as ENSIGN to the people.

We have observed in the previous chapter that He should establish the nec – the flagged, clearly marked as Jewish, political entity of Israel – to which He would first regather His people in a physical manner.

By this present statement we believe the prophet means that at Christ’s second coming, that He shall at that time become the Personal Ensign to the people of Israel, overriding, supplementing, and superseding the original status of the physical State of Israel, and that one of His first accomplishments after bringing peace to Israel, shall be to recover ALL His dispersed people from all the earth, bringing His scattered people home forever!

They shall flow from all the nations of their dispersion (i.e., from the Diaspora, the "islands of the sea" of verse 11) to this Ensign, which prior to His arrival was identifiable as the State of Israel.

That polity is now superintended by the King Himself, Who has come to claim it and to save His people, Israel, as the new Head of State in the Land of Israel. Cf., Luke 1: 71, 74.

Isaiah’s next inspired words address this condition …

The Recovery of His People

Isa 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

The recovery of His people shall then build upon the previous population which He has gathered prior to His Second Coming. In the year 2017 (at this writing) the population of Israel stands at about 6,400,000 Jewish citizens from over 100 countries of the earth.

It is significant to our thinking that almost ALL the Jews have, long prior to this date, been recovered from the specific areas that are next mentioned … except “the islands of the sea,” or all the unnamed regions where His people yet are resident.

All these shall now make