Time magazine featured an article in its April 30th issue (2013), “Tapping the Promised Land: Can Israel Be an Energy Giant?” Interviews with executives of Israel Energy Initiatives, Dr. Vinegar’s company, reveals some startling prospects. One opinion quoted in the article is this: “We think that within a decade we can get 50,000 to 100,000 barrels a day,” says Relik Shafir, IEI chief executive officer.
He is referring to “kerogen,” the name given to the crude oil extracted from rocks of any type. This is an effort to differentiate it from “shale oil,” which is entirely different. “Shale oil” is contained in rocks as well but in tiny amounts which must be loosened before being harvested; it is also known as “tight oil.”
Thus “kerogen” is a better term for Israel’s oil – the organic matter embedded in any sort of rock near the earth’s surface. The location is important, for were it buried much deeper, the pressure would express the oil into pools as liquid petroleum.
Oil shales are usually shallow deposits, thus easily recovered by the method of horizontal drilling. In this process a well is sunk vertically to the depth of the oil-bearing shale, then the bit is turned horizontally, allowing drilling of hundreds of channels within even shallow strata, for hundreds of meters in any direction! Thusly, the above ground “footprint” of the operation may be contained in a small area of land.
When these holes are drilled, stainless steel cables are inserted into them, then heated to around 700 degrees. This process heats all the rock surrounding the shafts and the oil content begins to seep out and become pumpable. When brought to the surface the oil is “sweet (low sulfur), very light, super-high quality,” according to Vinegar.
And, incidentally, the product of this process yields other commodities as well; they are two other quite valuable resources: water ... and natural gas!
All This, and Why Now?
We wonder why this development has come about at this particular time. For years other companies have exerted their most diligent efforts to find oil in Israel. Up until 1986, 440 wells had been drilled in Israel, each one essentially a dry hole.
One feature of the Time article is that this dearth of oil reserves drove the Jewish State in other directions – impelling Israelis “to develop alternatives – from miraculous desert agriculture to the armaments industry that spawned the ‘start-up nation,’ including an electric-car enterprise, Better Place, marketed in part as a comeuppance to Arab oil.”
Israeli officials are absolutely ecstatic as they prepare to test the theories and techniques of fracking in the Shfela Basin.
The beginning of the brighter prospects for Israel came in the wake of the discovery of natural gas about 50 miles off Haifa in the Mediterranean Sea in 2009. Named the Tamar Gas Field, it came online in March of this year, causing great acclaim throughout Israel. This gas alone will raise Israel’s Gross Domestic Product by a full percentage point, according to the Bank of Israel. Add to Tamar a second gas find about 80 miles west from Haifa, called Leviathan, Israel can easily convert into an energy exporter without taking anything away from the kerogen discovery! This is a marvelously fortuitous find, says Harold Vinegar, because this newly discovered natural gas will provide the power to heat the subterranean kerogen fields ... until the gas that is released as a by-product of the kerogen harvest is re-purposed for the same task! Then the process will become self-sustaining! Talk about timing! (all Divine, of course!).
The prospects of petroleum wealth then, at last, has come to Israel in the terminal end time. The trove of wealth promises to be a mere portion of the “spoil and prey” that will be in the possession of the Jewish state when the Gogian affair of Ezekiel 38 and 39 begins. We have read that a better translation of that phrase ... to take a “spoil and prey,” is better translated “to spoil the despoilers,” which clearly means that Israel at that time shall be extremely wealthy because of “spoils” (booty) captured from its neighbouring Islamic enemies – those between the Rivers Nile and Euphrates, the Abrahamic inheritance which shall be liberated from Israel’s (and God’s) enemies when the Christ of the Second Advent makes his appearance in the near future. <HEL> An eTPL Exposition. Published June, 2018.
July: The Desire of all Nations
An eTPL29 Exhortation
Haggai 2: 7
Hag 2:7And I will shake all nations,
and the desire of all nations shall come:
and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. (AV)
The translators of the Revised Version separate the three phrases by only a comma, a technique which reflects the editors’ view that the three events are inseparably linked.
Haggai could not have realized the full import of these words! In his mind, it might seem that the LORD had already shaken all nations – all the nations of which he was aware in that day.
But today’s believers can now appreciate the full import of the whole fabric of the statement. We behold the nations raging on many fronts – and entire “religions” at war with the world, i.e., Islam (1.2 billion) versus the entire world! And besides this, there are regional wars in progress in Nigeria, Somali, Syria, Afghanistan, the Punjab, El Salvador, Egypt and Ukraine just to name a few.
So those graphic words “I will shake all nations” have come to pass.
The second phrase is richly deep in symbolism: “and the Desire of all nations shall come,” with the subject capitalized, as most would interpret the reference as Messianic.
But is it?
We have noted the slight change from the reading of the AV’s “Desire of all nations” to “the desirable things” of the RV.
We are informed that the reason for this is that the verb “shall come” is in the pleural form.[i] Some Lexicographers state that the word has no pleural form. If that is so, the rules of grammar seem broken in that it is the nominative of the plural verb (vahu, in Hebrew), “they shall come.” It makes no sense to say “The Desire ... they shall come” as these are mixed cases.
Some, including John Thomas, have concluded that perhaps a letter of the Hebrew was misconstrued during translation: “khemdath should read khemdoth” he says.
This probability, however, is not consistent with the context of the prophecies. If “all nations” come to surround Christ at His Second Advent, how can He be their “Desire?” Indeed, in the name of the Lord of all the earth, He shall destroy them!
John Thomas says this change would then read “and the excellencies of all the nations shall come,” with both words plural.
However, he adds, “... if khemdath in the singular be correct, then the construction is to be accounted for upon the same principle that Elohim, plural, is so often construed with a verb in the singular – “The Excellency of all the nations they shall come,” or as Zechariah expresses the same thing, “Yahveh Elohim He shall come in, and all the saints with Thee,” in this case, He and the Saints being the Excellency of all the nations.
Rotherham’s translation reads:
“And I will shake all the nations,
And the delight of all the nations shall come in,
And I will fill this house with glory.”
On the word, “delight,” he attaches this footnote, noting the differences of phraseology utilized by various commentators ...
... “object of delight”
– Davies Hebrew Lexicon. “The noblest of all peoples”
– Fuerst’s Hebrew Lexicon. “Desire, delight ... (i.e., the desirable, precious things of all nations)”
– Oxford Gesenius. “He drew his singular, costly thing, or desirableness
... but the verb, shall come, is in the pleural, and the Septuagint has the choice things - G. A. Smith.
We follow the reasoning of Carter here (op cit, pp 18, 19): “The tendency of many writers is to regard the “desirable things” as a reference to the wealth of the nations, and to find support in vs. 8, “The silver is mine and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts.” It is of course true that the wealth of the nations will be poured in tribute at the feet of the King of kings, and used for the building and beautifying of the Temple in the age to come.
This process Isaiah comments upon extensively, in “Isaiah 60:10 - And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee.... 13 The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.... 16 Thou shalt also suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of kings: and thou shalt know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. 17 For brass I will bring gold, and for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones iron: I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness.
But if this be true, that consideration seems strange following the next phrase, which is that God’s house will be filled with glory (Hebrew, kabod). We often term it Shekinah – the glory of God.
Our conviction is that the “desirable things” has a close association with that glory to come. And is not particularly related to the riches that are noted in the passage.
In Ezekiel’s prophecy we see a clear, step-by-step movement of God’s glory (kabod) out of the first Temple.
These four verses recognize its purposeful removal by YHVH...
Ezekiel 9:3 And the glory of the God of Israel was gone up from the cherub, whereupon he was, to the threshold of the house.
Eze 10:4 Then the glory of the LORD went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the brightness of the LORD'S glory.
Eze 10:18 Then the glory of the LORD departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubims. 19 And the cherubims lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight:
Eze 11:23 And the glory of the LORD went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mountain which is on the east side of the city (the Mount of Olives).
This disappearance of the Shekinah is the reason that it was not present in the second House.
Indeed, it is a matter of Jewish belief that there were five items missing from the second House of God:
the ark with its mercy seat,
the glory of God which shined above it,
the sacred fire (of the altar),
the Urim and the Thummim,
and the spirit of prophecy. [ii]
As to the glory of the LORD (Shekinah is the term applied to it although not used in scripture) – the glory of the Lord which dwelt between the cherubim, this was the “first glory” of Haggai 2: 3.
The ninth verse of Haggai 2 stresses that The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.
All three Temples are identified as “the LORD’s House,” or “this house.” The first contained the glory – the Shekinah – but it was purposefully removed by the Father in preparation for that edifice’s destruction. It was absent from the second House – that of Zerubbabel. It will be restored to the Third House – the Millennial Temple which is to be constructed by the returned Lord Jesus Christ.
But it will appear there in its refined and perfected form – as the perfect manifestation of the antitype of which the earlier, imperfect “glory” was a token.
This antitypical and Resident future “Glory” will be incomparable to the first. Its details of being are the incomprehensible minutiae of Ezekiel one – the remarkable Cherbubim of God as seen in vision by the prophet.
Its depiction as a living, dynamic, mysterious, all-powerful Being is eloquently described by the prophet ... an object never yet created or in existence – but surety of an highly symbolic future manifestation during the Kingdom age ...
Its movement back into the Temple is prophesied in Ezekiel 43: 1-4 ... note the wonderful details:
Ezekiel 43:1 Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: 2 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. 3 And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. 4 And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.
Note the distinct reference made here by Ezekiel to his vision of chapter one (“that I saw by the river Chebar”), solidly linking this vision to that of the Cherubim of God recorded there.
Here then is proof of the nature of this latter “glory” of the Lord – this brilliant Being, now noted as featuring “his” voice and “his” glory – now described as being masculine, and sounding like “many waters.”
Certain reference is made to this feature by the LORD Jesus Himself, Who revealed this characteristic of Himself as the returned Christ of a multitude: And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Revelation 19:6
When the original ark with its mercy seat – and its resident GLORY – were removed from the first Temple, the symbology was being presented that the things of the impotent and fleshly Law of Moses (to which these pertained) would be removed from the people, and a new and Everlasting Covenant instituted which could, and would freely, give life.
This Being that in Ezekiel 43 is depicted as moving into the Temple of the Millennium supersedes the outmoded and interim reality of the Law of Moses represented by that earlier “glory,” removed “because of sin,” and illustrates the habitation of the latter day House by the Returned LORD Jesus Christ – now sinless and having sole jurisdiction – along with His multitude of Redeemed Ones from all nations and ages – the Ransomed of God Who in their immortality shall have returned to Him forever, and are destined to serve Him continually throughout the ages to come!
And so it is that we now perceive that the earlier “glory” was not merely a simplistic principle of the presence of God among the Israelites of ages agone, but was symbolic of a far greater manifestation of God With Us in person ... in the great Person of the LORD Jesus Christ, yes, but also in the persons of the multitude of Redeemed Saints, in Whom ALSO shall dwell the Name of God forever!
Together, He and They constitute the indwelling Spirit of God among His re-gathered People of Israel of the end time – at the precise time of their Second Restoration to their Land and Heritage – and they shall collectively be in residence among them forever.
At first that function shall result in their utter peace and safety from their enemies who will quickly come to destroy the mysterious “king” of Israel and His legion of followers.
But that condition of assured Peace can only result from their recognition of Him as Messiah as He stands before them upon Olivet, revealing the wounds in His hands and side (as Zechariah 12 and 13) – and their acceptance of His Person and Authority over them.
Then their walls of defense shall be removed forever (Ezekiel 38: 8, 11, 14).
As a matter of logic, their military shall be dismantled.
Their strongholds and fortresses will be demolished (Zechariah 9: 10).
Their conscripts shall be mustered out forever.
Their air force and their navy shall be discontinued and scrapped as a resource for farm equipment of every sort (fulfilling the “swords into plowshares” mandate of Malachi 4:3).
Their wealth shall increase immensely by His bringing into Greater Israel the “wealth of the Gentiles” (Zechariah 14: 14).
His people as in that day, yet dispersed among the “islands of the sea” (Isaiah 11: 11), shall quickly begin to be brought home and settled in their respective tribal lands by the forces of Messiah.
Each tribe shall be headed by one of the Twelve Apostles, as promised by the LORD Jesus.
And each blessed resident shall sit under his own vine and fig tree for the duration of the millennial age!
But perhaps the most beneficial feature of that age is the eternal indwelling of The Glorious Things which shall have been inserted into the Temple of the Millennium – for it is recorded as one of the last personal promises of the Master, that He should “tabernacle” (as a verb) among them eternally: His words are recorded in Revelation 21:3 -And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
The Missing Elements Restored
Now, concerning the other elements (in addition to the Glory of the Lord which dwelt above the Mercy Seat) which were not present in the second Temple ... these too are typical – are “types” – which have distinct “antitypes” of fulfillment in the kingdom age, but like the Shekinah, they are not literally restored ...
A close examination reveals their identities in that future day. They are:
1. The Ark of the Covenant with its Mercy Seat:
2. The sacred fire of the altar,
3. The Urim and Thummim, and
4. The spirit of Prophecy (or teaching, as it shall be in that day).
The Ark of the Covenant with its Mercy Seat will symbolically inhabit the Third Temple in the form of the Lord Jesus Christ, which they earlier prefigured. As their King and Sovereign, He has such powers of regnal authority and beneficence for His people.
When He appears the second time, and after He has defeated and routed the enemies round about Israel from the Nile to the Euphrates, peace will settle over His entire domain, the people will humbly recognize Him as their long-awaited Messiah and King. Their repentance will bring their rectification at that time; after their humble repentance (as noted in Zechariah 12 and 13) and He has shown His MERCY to His people of that day, and He will make a new covenant with His people which shall supersede the Old Covenant of Moses.
Jeremiah 31:31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Jer 31:32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
Jer 31:33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Ezekiel predicts the same outcome at that time as the Valley of Dry Bones is emptied of his people, and the Kingdom established under David My Servant...
Ezekiel 37:24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.
Eze 37:25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.
Eze 37:26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.
Eze 37:27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
The Sacred Fire of the altar refers to the altar before the doors of the sanctuary. It was to burn continuously before the Temple: And the fire upon the altar shall be burning in it; it shall not be put out: and the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it; and he shall burn thereon the fat of the peace offerings. The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out. Leviticus 6:12, 13.
Earlier verses in Leviticus 6 inform us that the fire was to be perpetual; that is wood should be replenished regularly by the priests; the fire was always to be available for burnt offerings (vs. 9).
Perpetual fire was a prominent feature of the era of Moses’ Law, occurring in numerous forms and at various times. We now consider several other instances of sacred fire as utilized to cleanse and to consecrate people or things in the LORD’s service...
1. When God called Moses in the wilderness of Midian – called him to deliver the children of Israel from Egypt – He appeared to Moses in a flaming bush which was not consumed. The bush burned perpetually as a miraculous sign that God was speaking to him. Exodus 3:2.
2. When God protected and led the liberated nation, beginning at the crisis of the Red Sea, He did so with a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day. Exodus 13: 21, 22.
3. And when the Law was put into place and the appropriate altar constructed in front of the wilderness Tabernacle, it was originally activated by a perpetual fire which was ignited by the very hand of God. And there came a fire out from before the LORD, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat: which when all the people saw, they shouted, and fell on their faces. Leviticus 9:24 . And in this instance it was the burnt offering which was being offered FOR ATONEMENT.
No other source of fire was acceptable, and no other process of atonement was available, as seen in Numbers 3:4 - And Nadab and Abihu died before the LORD, when they offered strange fire before the LORD, in the wilderness of Sinai ... In this instance, Nadab and Abihu were conducting sacrifices on their own terms, essentially seeking atonement by a spurious route – thus usurping the authority of YHVH in their priestly functions.
We learn from Deuteronomy 4:24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. The glory of God was always visible in this perpetual fire of the altar of burnt offerings which God alone had furnished at the beginning. We also realize that all unholy things under the Law were cleansed by fire if made of non-combustible materials; otherwise, consecration could only be obtained by use of the ritual of the Waters of Separation created from the ashes of the red heifer and other ingredients.
We have no record of the length of time that this perpetual fire of the altar of burnt offering was maintained – perhaps far beyond the wilderness journey. But at some point in time it must have been extinguished, for we are informed that when Solomon dedicated the Temple which he had built, the fire of the altar was again ignited by the hand of the LORD: 2Chronicles 7:1 informs us: Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house.
4. Finally, the perpetual fire of YHVH was also manifested to the eyes of the high priest on one occasion during the year, when he entered the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement. As he pushed aside the thick curtain of separation and stepped inside the solitary chamber, he faced the Ark of the Covenant with its Mercy Seat of gold overlaying it, and two golden cherubim with outstretched wings facing each other at the two ends of the Mercy Seat. And hovering in midair above the Mercy Seat was the Kabod of Haggai 2:3 – a mysterious orb of brilliant light which, perpetually suspended there, occupied that space. It was this Light – this Shekinah – which Ezekiel had seen removed from the Temple, and had predicted that it should later be restored to the Temple of the Millennium in future time as already cited. Some have noted that these lights – the Shekinah and the firelight of the altar – were reminders that salvation is only of God, and can be of no other source. Thus “strange fire” was rejected by Him in the case of Nadab and Abihu.
5. There is one other case to which we shall refer. In the New Testament, in Matthew 3: 11, John Immerser reminds us that the LORD Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with FIRE. That prediction came true when on the Day of Pentecost just after His Sacrifice, the Spirit was manifested by cloven tongues of fire: Acts 2:3 - And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. Here too, the fire represented God’s approval of these men – these authoritative, genuine conveyors of Truth and Salvation among His people. Obviously these tongues of fire did not harm their subjects in any way ... just as the bush of Moses was not consumed.
The final manifestation of God’s judgment by FIRE is that of this passage in the Apoclaypse: Revelation 19:20 - And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Here the last vestiges of evil and corruption are eternally destroyed:
The beast and the false prophet,
The “devil,” or diabolos – the flesh of sin,
Death and the Grave (hell),
Whosoever was not found written in the book of life.
As the purging, cleansing effects of the perpetual fire of God at this final act of the Adamic Dispensation winds down, the terminal cleansing of God’s creation is put into operation. All the uncleanness of the condemned creation shall by these events have been abolished ... and Eden restored. And God shall be “all and in all” from that time to eternity!
The Urim and the Thummim were also absent. These were the oracles of God which were consulted by the High Priest in his duties of judgment. They were apparently two objects, perhaps precious stones, which would invariably reflect the will of God when consulted according to the priestly directions which God had given. Urim means “lights” and Thummim means “perfections.” In the LXX they are “manifestation” and “truth.” They were the essential answers to questions which had not been addressed in the larger Law of Moses, matters upon which the priest had to depend upon the LORD Himself for judgment.
We are not informed as to their identity in particular, but they were apparently kept in the pocket behind the precious stones of the high priest’s breastplate, and were withdrawn by the priest after he had queried the LORD as to any certain matter. They apparently gave either approval or disapproval of any given matter – a “yes” or a “no” of sorts.
This important assignment of Judgment in the Kingdom age will be a function primarily of the JUDGE Himself – the LORD Jesus Christ – but will also be vested in the immortalized Saints of that era. Their perfect minds will weigh and evaluate every matter and make an irrevocable decision as to the proper course of action in each case. There will be no doubt in that day as to the decisions to be made upon any matter of civil justice or law, for the LORD is there to pass upon any matter.
The spirit of Prophecy (or teaching, as it shall be in that day). The fourth element which shall be restored to the Third Temple will be the Spirit of Prophecy. It will be resident in the Christ as well as His Saints, for all shall in that day possess the Mind of God in every matter. Their “prophecy” in that day shall consist of the elements of Teaching the Gospel to every creature. Their word shall be the prevalent law of the land, and their doctrine that of salvation to the masses of the earth who have never heard the gospel of the Kingdom age.
<HEL> 4300 words/ An eTPL29 Exhortation 24 minutes.
August: When Christ Comes –
What Will be the Order of Events?
H E Lafferty
Contains 9,000 words. This article will require some dedicated time to study adequately.
Devotees to God’s word have been aware for several years that we are extremely near the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the earth. The primary visible signal of this proximity was the landmark event of Israeli Statehood, achieved in May, 1948. We look upon this event as the “sign of the Son of Man in heaven” as revealed in Matthew 24:30: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
On the grand scale of the end-time prophecies, these two events are tightly compressed in this statement; to our simple, rather pedestrian view of things they are obviously separated from each other by years. The “sign” appears first in the political heavens (Israel’s establishment among the nations), then some years later, they “see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” As sure as the SIGN appeared, so shall the SON OF MAN also appear later, but we must allow space for that to happen in our Father’s own good time.
It must be evident to all that the perfect or sure order of these events cannot invariably be established with a confident degree of certainty; on the other hand, it is evident that some must precede others, e.g., the resurrection of the dead must occur prior to the Judgment Seat of Christ; and Christ’s sacred Land must be cleared of aggressors of His people before the establishment of His kingdom.
So please consider the following considerations with this realization in mind. In a real sense, the development of all these is being brought forward simultaneously; just as in pre-Adventual history, events progress concurrently with each other.
Ø So … soon CHRIST COMES back to the earth in His Second Advent. No man knows the day or the hour of His appearance (Matthew 25: 13). At the same time, we can discern the general signs of the times. Believers have been expecting His appearance for decades because of the unique circumstances commented upon above.
Ø The Angel Gabriel sounds the LAST TRUMP (the Great Shofar of Assembly); the multitudes of the dead in Christ are RAISED from their memorial graves where they have been dormant and “asleep” until Gabriel sounds his trumpet blast. I believe they are regarded by the Spirit as “asleep” because their later awakening from death in the coming resurrection is certain. All the others do NOT “sleep,” as their destiny is perpetual oblivion, with no resurrection in their future. The simple truth of this expectation of even the great ones (rulers) of the earth having perished is well phrased by the words of Isaiah 26:13 O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name. 14 They are dead, they shall not live (again); they are deceased, they shall not rise (in the resurrection): therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish. You must surely realize that to perish is to CEASE to exist – anywhere … or to continue on in any state. These have been assigned irreversibly to “hell” – to Sheol – which is the pit of death and darkness in contrast to a lake of literal fire which is, however, a fitting metaphor for total destruction, as in Revelation 19: 20; 20: 10, 14, 15, where we see even “death and hell” cast into the lake of fire in a poetic figure, meaning that these deleterious elements themselves are completely destroyed, and in league with the human occupants of Sheol shall no longer continue. Afterward there IS no more death, and clearly therefore signifies that no future inhabitants shall be consigned to the grave (hell).
Ø The resurrected numbers of covenanted People are very great – and they emerge into current society from all ages and all societies of all past ages, but do not mingle with that society until they are admitted to it by the Master.
Ø The angels GATHER TOGETHER the living believers in Christ – doubtless a far smaller number of people than those of many earlier ages who are to be resurrected, and along with those subjects of the resurrection, transport them to a secret place of judgment, as in I Thessalonians 4: 14 – 17. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in
the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air (in the atmosphere of the earth): and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Notice, please, that the word “the” has been struck out editorially, for the word does not exist in the Greek text. The clouds, in our opinion, refer to an huge group of these individuals, and may possibly be a play on words relating to physical clouds. In John 6:5 we see the word “company” applied to a large group of people in the same sense: When Jesus then lifted up his eyes and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?
Our opinion as to the meaning of the resurrected being caught up “in clouds” as NOT being into the heavens (a common misconception of the phrase) is because clouds only exist near the earth, in the earth’s atmosphere, and never above the earth more than perhaps ten miles. Never are men – either mortal or immortal – invited to inhabit the heavens; indeed they are specifically forbidden to ascend to the heavens as did the LORD Jesus (John 8:22; 13:33). So the assembly of the resurrected dead, now to be judged, will be within the atmospheric limit and on the earth.
This event is similar to the ‘rapture’ which is the expressed conviction of the people of popular Christendom and is the prime source of their mistaken conviction that all “Christians” are to be raised from the dead, and with all living believers will be transported to heaven – far, far beyond the “clouds” which obviously is an erroneous conception.
We are extremely confident that intelligent correlation with many other scriptures shows this verse’s clear meaning to be that myriads (clouds) of the redeemed will be gathered to Him in a ruling capacity upon the EARTH and in its “air” (or atmosphere) – for the eternal Promises to the Redeemed consist not of an eternal habitation in heaven itself at all, but on the EARTH forever, fulfilling the original promises God made to Abraham and his Seed (Genesis 12, 14, Galatians 3, etc.).
In addition much ancillary information is revealed in I Corinthians 15: 15 et seq., where Paul reasons about and explains the resurrection process and his expectation of the Saints’ earthly inheritance under the Christ. Habakkuk 2: 14 expresses the same principle and is mirrored in four other occurrences of almost exactly the same phrases: the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
Ø He JUDGES His household according to those things done in the flesh, whether good or evil, (Ecclesiastes 12: 14; 2 Corinthians 5: 10, q.v.) rewarding a large ACCEPTED multitude with immortality.
Ø The unfaithful believers are REJECTED and turned aside from His presence. These weep and gnash their teeth, lamenting their failure to achieve immortality. I Corinthians 15: 53-55; see also Luke 13: 27 But he shall say, ‘I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. 28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.’ This clear statement in itself is concrete evidence of the location of the Kingdom and the inheritance of the Saints. The promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was THE LAND of ISRAEL at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea; it was to be awarded to them in perpetuity – a sacred tract of land stretching from the Nile to the Euphrates, and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf (Indian Ocean?).
Ø Those who are to be turned aside are ruined. Their lives have been essentially wasted; it is better for them if they had never been born, as is said of Judas who betrayed Christ (Mark 14: 21). The edict of Matthew 7: 23 to those on His left hand pronounces and seals their fate: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Ø He joins joyfully and eternally with the faithful, now immortalized Saints, in THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB. Revelation 19: 6-9; 22: 12. The location of this event is not revealed, but the account is compelling …
Ø In so doing, Christ fulfills in each individual Saint that precious promise to Abraham that his descendants (his SEED) shall be as the sand of the seashore and as the stars of heaven – an innumerable company of powerful, now newly deathless earth-borns of all tongues, people, and ages since Adam who have been preserved in their Memorial Graves, sleeping there for eons, safely and silently in the dust of the earth in every clime of His creation, awaiting this memorable day of liberation into the atmosphere and into new life. Revelation 5: 11 cites the number of ten thousand times ten thousand ... and thousands of thousands above that number - which is a vast number of Redeemed Ones (well over 100 millions) of immortals! These fortunate ones enjoy an elevation (after His judgment) from mortality (certainty of death) to immortality (certainty of eternal life).
Ø He then brings THE FAITHFUL with Himself to confront the nations with their own doctrines and practices – to deliver Israel from their threatening enemies round about as in Habbakuk 3, Isaiah 11 and 63 – on the way to Jerusalem. Micah 4: 13 – ‘Arise and thresh!’ He shall CONQUER, with the assistance of the Saints (Psalm 149: 6 – 9) putting away all Israel’s ENEMIES that remain round about them and within Israel. Ezekiel 35: 12, 14; Obadiah; Micah 5; Psalm 83 and 102; Zechariah 10 - 14; Joel 3; Isaiah 34, all of which please see.
Ø Details of THESE CONFLICTS are abundant and involve the ‘nations round about:’ Zechariah 14: 2, and all those who have fought against Jerusalem, Zechariah 14: 12; …. These nations are NOT all the nations of the world! In Isaiah 34 and in scores of other references, the same terminology is used of the Proximal Arabs … ALL the aggressor nations (but ONLY those aggressors) of the Jewish State up to that time. Otherwise – if His meaning was indeed ALL nations – His destruction should spread to the ends of the earth, thus aborting His own plan to teach the nations righteousness and peace during the Millennium. There should be no population remaining to whom the Truth might be taught!
Ø It is in the above actions that He gathers to Himself and to His kingdom of Israel THE WEALTH OF THE GENTILES – the riches of those SAME Gentiles (Zechariah 14: 14; Isaiah 60: 4 – 7) as well as many other commodities and benefits – including their lands, their properties, their bank accounts, their goods and chattels, their minerals and oil wealth, and all other valuables of every sort – and incorporates them into Greater Israel, bringing to fruition the Land Promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David – increasing His inheritance to full measure, from the Nile to the Euphrates (Psalm 72: 8; Zechariah 9: 10) and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf. … they shall suck the milk (confiscate the riches) of Gentiles … and shall know that I the Lord am thy Savior and Redeemer … - Isaiah 60: 16; also Isaiah 66: 11. This is a truth that is affirmed here and many times later – reinforcing their now enlightened, firm faith in Him as Messiah. Note please, that this is here indicative of the time of their coming to the “knowledge” (realization) that the LORD Jesus IS their Messiah: “...shall know that I the Lord am thy Savior and Redeemer.” This statement signifies that until that special revelation, the living People of God shall NOT recognize His identity – a reality that does not take the Almighty by surprise. Before that time, there is no possibility of a widespread recognition of Him among the Jews of the world or of Israel.
Ø When these Phase One battles are finished the Jews inquire diligently as to HIS IDENTITY… the personage of their Redeemer, Whom they have not recognized to this point in their wildly pitched battles with the opposing Edomites and others. But They shall look upon Me whom they have pierced (Zechariah 12: 10) and behold the nail prints in His hands (Zechariah 13: 6), and realize their grave error of having condemned and crucified Him in AD 29, after which His people shall immerse themselves in a great, heartfelt, sincere mourning of repentance – Zechariah 12: 10 – 14 and Zechariah 13 and 14.
Ø As a result of their genuine repentance, having seen Him come in the name of the Lord of Hosts, they are immediately blessed by Him. He had told them definitively in Luke 13: 35 - Ye shall not see Me until the time come when ye shall say, ‘Blessed is He That cometh in the name of the Lord.
Ø You see, He actually had spoken extensive and intensive condemnation upon His people for their refusal to accept Him, telling them that they never would throughout the coming centuries be able to perceive His real identity, nor accept His work as their Savior until His end-time stipulations were accomplished!
Ø But … now His People of Israel give Him their undivided loyalty and genuine, heartfelt affection; they are anxious to do His bidding, to fulfill His assigned duties, to start to become a light unto the Gentiles (Isaiah 42: 6). In response He places within their breasts hearts of flesh, replacing their stony hearts of unbelief – and writes upon it His Spirit in the clearly defined act of natural and spiritual redemption of His people.
Ø Ezekiel 11: 19 and Ezekiel 36: 25 – 28 both attest to this unique and benevolent response of their Savior, the latter of which says, Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
It is again made positively clear the Jews’ defined destiny as His consecrated People of the kingdom age – those living at His Advent will continue in life, although converted as discussed above, will be still mortal, living their lives in service to Him presumably until their natural deaths. We are assured that those who faithfully live out their mortal lives shall later be raised from the dead and given immortality in accordance with their faithfulness.
Ø During this time the Returned Christ proclaims Himself to them and to the world at large, that He is indeed KING OF ISRAEL, abruptly and completely reversing the State’s original Republican composition, surely triggering the disdain, the scorn and the derision of the constitutional democracies of the earth. Their devotion to their democratically-determined way of life illustrates well their immersion in ‘the three unclean spirits’ proceeding out of the mouth of the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet (Revelation 16: 13), prompting their total rejection of Christ’s proclamation, and bringing further scorn upon His germinal (mustard seed) kingdom. Micah 4: 2; Psalm 83.
Ø So what is His and their reaction? They are infuriated, but He cares not; nor do the now esteemed and exonerated Israelis care, as the greatest percentage of them have wholeheartedly accepted Him and recognized His Office. We are not apprised as to whether all the people accept Him as Messiah at the same time; or whether, if some do not accept Him immediately, He will allow them some time for self-examination and review of the Word which clearly foretells Him – principles which shall be effectively taught them by the Redeemed in their midst, their King. These enjoy the first stages of their redemption and readily accept whatever their King proclaims to them! Some rebels among His people perhaps remain to be rooted out in the days ahead. We are not instructed as to His method for accomplishing this task.
Ø He PROCLAIMS THE KINGDOM in Zion and TO Zion, but the world (except Israel) is deaf to His claims. They repudiate His claims out of hand, having no inkling of His true identity. “Christians” will doubtless immediately proclaim Him as The Antichrist of their apostate theology; pagans will have no part of Him not remotely suspecting His innate power, His authority, His regency, or His future plans.
Ø All the evidence indicates that yet other enemies now gather to resist His kingdom, e.g., the Gogian host of Ezekiel 38 and 39. The UNO will quickly issue sanctions against this new “king” in Israel. The West will be taken with rage at such audacity of their former compatriots, the Israelis. The remaining petroleum-rich Islamic states further afield will immediately begin to prepare for yet another attack upon Israel in revenge for the colossal victory just won by Christ, the Saints and the IDF!
Ø Also the Beast and the False Prophet headquartered in Roman Europe (but reaching to the furthest extent of the papal realms of human commerce), will have been given pause, and also begin their preparation to resist Israel with economic and political sanctions, boycotts and other protective means, for they now perceive possible threats to their commercial advantage, and even their traffic in human souls, because of the sudden influx of souls into the Middle East (the huge numbers of Israelites remaining in the world today but being then brought to their eternal homeland). Conflict shall ensue. That extended conflict is related in Apocalypse 18 – 20, leading into the halcyon days of the proclamation of His kingdom in the vast Mideast and West, including the Americas without doubt – a fortress of Catholic authority and dominion among men.
Ø And, yes, the expansion of His authority become apparent to mankind in the ‘free’ world; these perceive challenges to their embedded liberty and equality and democratic ideals (selfishness and jealousy of “their rights and privileges” of self-determination as peoples) rub them the wrong way! These objections reach outward with the momentum of a huge tsunami to the nations of the world: Psalm 2 is one reference to their self-willed resistance to Him.
Ø He begins healing the wreckage of the great earthquake which comes when His feet touched the Mount of Olives and altered the topography of the Land. Perhaps He takes this great human displacement as His opportunity to reapportion ownership of the Land itself, dividing it into the tribal cantons described in Ezekiel 40 – 48.
Ø In proclaiming Himself King, He initiates KINGDOM OPERATIONS in Zion. getting to the detailed affairs of His administration and the infrastructure of the new State.
Ø He shall immediately ESTABLISH HIS THRONE in Jerusalem. Micah 4:4; Psalm 72: 8 – 15; and proclaim Himself King of Israel publicly, thus confirming another action that all those expect who already believe He is the personal embodiment of their supposed “Antichrist.”
Ø He immediately moves to bring His people back to their land. He GATHERS ALL ISRAEL (including the Ten Tribes) to Zion progressively from this point. As His people arrive in the Land, He shall appoint each family to its eternal inheritance, Tribe by Tribe, setting over each Tribe one of the Apostles, as He promised in Luke 22: 30.
Ø Deuteronomy 30: 3. Isaiah 27: 12 seems to indicate that at least the first portion of the return was always destined to be gradual, building on the original trickle of immigration – the serial Aliyahs we have witnessed for over an hundred years. By far the greatest portion of His people remains at this time in Diaspora, ready now to be delivered to the land of peace and safety soon to be observed in Israel. These are the remaining people of Judah and Benjamin (the Two Tribes) and the great majority of the Ten Tribes of Israel.
Ø At some indeterminate time during these operations He CONVERTS EGYPT as part of these End time activities after demonstrating His power in saving them from their ‘oppressors’ [Perhaps identifiable as The Moslem Brotherhood (?), the spawner of Hamas of our day, and troublemaker extraordinaire, which Egypt has been trying to suppress for many years but which is today increasing in strength]: Isaiah 19: 16-21; Zechariah 10: 11. We are told little of this operation, but we can be sure that Christ is not defeating the Gogian Host in Egypt as some in the past have indicated. The Gogian host instead, shall, future to this time, have been stopped DEAD in its tracks east of the Sea of Galilee and their stone-cold corpses are being consumed by the beasts of the field and the birds of the air of that age (Ezekiel 39: 4, 5).
Ø He conquers and PACIFIES “ASSYRIA,” making them a third with Egypt and Israel – these accounts being surely related in passages such as Isaiah 19: 16-21; Micah 5; Zechariah 10: 11.
Ø He shall put a NEW HEART AND A NEW SPIRIT within His re-gathered People: I will take away the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes. Ezekiel 36: 26 – 27; Zechariah 12: 9 - 11.
Ø He shall then PURGE OUT THE REBELS from His people, for there appears to be some who are not able or faithful enough to accept Him at face value. There will doubtless be others who have adopted aberrant lifestyles (we here refer to homosexuality, lesbianism, transgenderism, etc.) who are not either willing or able to cast that lifestyle aside – and therefore stand against His diktat to them. Those unfaithful ones are, in our opinion, to be turned out of His kingdom. Those left in it are described in Zephaniah 3: 12 – I will leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. Zephaniah (the meaning of his name is “he whom Yahweh hath hidden”) excoriates the unfaithfulness of Israel in chapters 1 and 2, and forecasts the historical Babylonian captivity then still ahead of them. Then he pronounces the final solution upon their race in chapter 3:19 – leaping over the Babylonian return and their second scattering by Rome in 70 AD and 135 AD into all nations – giving the details of their final ingathering! - that spoken of in Isaiah 11.
Ø He shall REMOVE THE CURSE OF THE EARTH as reflected in words such as those in Psalm 72: 16 – 19. As His kingdom progresses, Edenic conditions return in widespread climatic change; the friendly nations receive abundant rainfall and blessings of flock and herd. In addition, the human fertility rate shall be markedly increased so that Israel, especially, brings forth abundant children – offspring to replace those whom the People have lost in their endless attrition at the hand of the nations. Isaiah 49 is a remarkably poignant testament to this restoration of Israel in full; indeed, the latest reports from Israel acknowledge Israeli women now to have one of the highest fertility rates in the Western World. Isaiah 49 refers to this time in the poignant account foretold in Isaiah 49:19: For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy (former) destruction, shall even now (at that time) be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away. 20 The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell. 21 Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost [in the Holocaust, and at other times] my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been? 22 Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. 23 And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the LORD: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.
Ø In these passages we see additional evidence that ISLAM SHALL HAVE SUFFERED terminally!! Their pagan beliefs shall have been overthrown and trampled – and completely obliterated. Isaiah 49: 17-19 addresses the Israelis’ interaction with the oppressors round about; verse 18 indicates that Israel shall take all the good things left by the heathen and use them for their own purposes. Their possessions shall adorn Israel as a bride! The subservience of the foreign kings is indicated in verses 23 – 26 as referenced above.
Ø But, to reiterate: in verses 19 – 22 and 25, the Revelator reassures His people of ample space for the habitation of the overwhelming numbers of their brethren who shall be brought back to their expanded Land, and that their children shall now be born in abundance – all to the glory of God’s holy name.
Ø Agreeing completely with these prophecies, we see the abject obliteration of the “Palestinians” reflected in the terse words of Obadiah, who indicates that there shall none remain of the house of Esau which, judging by their areas of habitation (the five areas recorded there as being conquered by Israel) are those regions now inhabited by those we recognize as being the modern-day “Palestinians” – those who even now are murdering and oppressing the little ones of Israel – the civilian population: these are not the recognized name of any extant race of people but are clearly recognizable from their modern day location! Newt Gingrich, a U. S. politician recently made sensational headlines by referring to the “Palestinians” as a MANUFACTURED people which have never existed in history, indicating that the title “Palestinian” is a pseudonym for “Arab.” And he is correct.
Ø He shall build THE MILLENNIAL TEMPLE of Ezekiel 40 – 48, and install in it His GLORY (Himself). His own everlasting, shining presence – His glory! Therefore, Shekinah personified returns to His ‘house’ in Jerusalem, site of Zion’s Millennial Temple (see Isaiah 43: 4, 5); also Haggai 2: 7 - 9, which connects the Glory to “the Desire of all nations” Who we believe to be the Christ.
Ø He shall bring (real) PEACE to Israel and the nations round about by proclaiming His PEACE to the world. He is not deterred by the refusal of many of the nations who will not accept His edicts: Psalm 2; Habakkuk 2:14, et al.
Ø He shall display POWER AND AUTHORITY THAT THE WORLD HAS NEVER SEEN, but his kingdom operations are at first more local than international – exerted within the “first dominion” of His kingdom … the “mustard seed” (the beginning, the small) stage of His eternal kingdom. Micah 4: 2.
Ø He shall immediately DISARM Israel, His people. Cf. Micah 5:9-15; Zechariah 9: 10. His weapons of warfare, used to subdue the heathen, are His spoken words! Only His command – the word of His mouth – is necessary to wreak havoc among His enemies and destroy them. Revelation 19:15: And out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, and with it He should smite the nations, and He shall rule them with a rod of iron; and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. The effectiveness of that incredibly deadly weapon is seen in the following verses; the angel invites the fowls to gather for the supper of the Great God, to eat the flesh of kings, captains, mighty men, horses and their riders, and of all men associated with them, free and bond, small and great!! (verses 7, 18) – activities which are parallel to Deuteronomy 32: 41 – 43; Ezekiel 39: 9 – 27; and other references, such as Hebrews 4:12; Isaiah 11:4. With the breath of His lips, He shall slay the wicked! There is also His granted extension of that Power to all the Immortal Saints as well, for Psalm 149 tells us, Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance upon the nations, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the JUDGMENTS WRITTEN; THIS HONOR HAVE ALL THE SAINTS. This is another logical reason why it is our personal conviction that the Assistants present with the Christ in His battles with the nations round about ARE THE SAINTS, not the angels, as some believe.
Ø He shall form a NEW COVENANT with Israel, which shall be salvation through Christ, the clear teaching of the Last Supper – thus bringing them out of the Mosaic Covenant and into the Abrahamic Covenant – following their recognition of His person and identity. In my main study Bible I have pasted a Post It note on Zechariah 10: 4 (in The Companion Bible) listing several references … Jeremiah 31: 31-34; 32: 40; 33: 20, 21; Ezekiel 37: 26; 34: 25, 26; Joel 2: 21-27; Ezekiel 16: 62; Zechariah 9: 11; 10: 10; Isaiah 42: 6, 7; 49: 19, 20; 55: 3; Ezekiel 11: 17 - 20; Psalm 89, esp. verses 1 - 3 [this psalm treats of the Davidic Covenant, the actual identity of this new covenant with them]. See also Hebrews 10: 16, 17. Romans 11: 25 – 27, which actually define the covenant in great and clear detail!
Ø All this activity puts the world on warning – especially the ‘Christian’ world – as He shall fulfill all the requirements which they have fantasized as the role of ‘THE ANTI-CHRIST’ of their manufactured theology. Their resistance to Him and His testimonies shall grow increasingly bitter and more adamant, for this new ‘king’ in Israel has not ‘raptured’ them to heaven nor even addressed their persons, their representatives, nor their policies directly. As He has not acted to remove them from the world to heaven they "recognize" him immediately – and claim that He MUST be The Anti-Christ!
Ø The “religious” world shall be livid with rage and indignation. They consort with the acknowledged worldly (keyword: worldly) leader of “religion” at Vatican City. Since the Church’s beliefs about the Second Coming of Christ have been grossly corrupted over the ages, the pope actually knows and understands little about what has really lately occurred. He doubtless will revert to the long-standing teachings of Francisco Ribera and Ignatius Loyola, the priest-leaders and founders of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) who long ago posited that the Antichrist would be a future entity quite removed from papal implications, and would arise in the latter days out of the Jewish people, to save the Jews from their enemies and declare himself their king, rebuild their Temple, and in three and a half years install a statue of himself in that edifice and demand their worship, which they would decline. A terrible final retribution would then fall upon the Jews but Jesus would come and save them from the Antichrist – something along those lines as interpretations differ among the sects of Christianity! It is significant that all the Protestant “daughters” of the Harlot power have swallowed this doctrine hook, line and sinker, and spout it from the world’s TV centers every day.
Ø The leaders of the Beast nations of that future time shall be confronted with the real Jesus Who shall immediately present to them “the everlasting Gospel” – a body of facts and demands (among them, “Fear God , and keep His commandments” – meaning the commandments of the newly returned but unrecognized Savior) with which they and their papal leader are not at all familiar – demanding their capitulation to His laws and leadership, and defining the laws of this new king in Jerusalem as the now valid statutes of all mankind. They will by no means accept this edict graciously, but regard it as an infringement upon their own sovereignty.
Ø Consulting with his papal nuncios of each country the pope will advise “the faithful” (Catholics) to resist with all their powers – not a wise notion – and to amass their military might to express that resistance. Their advice surely shall be that this upstart of the East is the long-expected Antichrist and that He is to be resisted with all their might. It is outside the purview of this present study to examine those events in much detail beyond what has been said. The amount of time between the Gogian overthrow and the European affair with the Beast nations – which is the manifestation of the Image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of Daniel two “standing on his feet” – is impossible to project at this time. The chief account of this confrontation is found in Revelation 17 and 18. In those chapters are listed all the markers and identifiers that any intelligent student of God’s word needs to make positive identification of the Harlot and the Beast here portrayed in consort with each other in a trading relationship which at that time shall evidently be well developed and dominant in the earth, viz., the European Community along with NATO, and the pope of Vatican City as their dominant spiritual leader.
Ø Meanwhile, the returned Christ shall be conducting the business of His First Dominion WITHOUT CONSIDERING WORLD AQUESIENCE or opinion [such as from the UNO, NATO, SEATO, CIS, the European Union, the Pope, etc.] and shall be rapidly going forward with setting up the vast, permanent infrastructure of His kingdom.
Ø Meanwhile, and evidently prior to the European affair reviewed above, THE FURY OF GOG OF THE LAND OF MAGOG is fanned into a flame, and the Islamic sensitivity and indignation of Persia, Cush, Libya, and Gog’s other partners (all Islamic!) grow mightily (Ezekiel 38 and 39). A world-spanning conspiracy against Israel and its new King grows apace amongst the remaining powers of Islam which are named as being confederates of Gog – and doubtless with the sanction of all the remaining Muslims of the outer world.
Ø We visualize the Gogian affair as being instigated by the Islamic countries named as her confederates (all are Muslim except Russia – even Magog – the five Islamic republics of the CIS, and not Germany!). We suspect that the ‘hooks’ in Russia’s jaws, which bring her down upon Israel, are their PETRODOLLARS available to be GIVEN HER willingly as a bribe BY the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Sharia state of Libya, the terrorist State of Ethiopia/Sudan (KUWSH), the two former of which are awash in the monetary rewards of continents of petroleum and having sold it to the world for decades) – Ezekiel 38, 39.
Ø Gog is stated to be attracted to Israel by “a spoil and a prey,” this cannot be solely the payday offered by the Distal Islamic States who effectively bribe Russia to do the dirty work that they cannot do alone. We, therefore, suggest the booty meant is the wealth of the Gentiles which shall by that time have consummately been gathered into Greater Israel during the earlier Proximal Islamic conflicts – the oil wealth and properties of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the oil Emirates, the vast oil shale deposits of Jordan, and the monetary treasuries of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. The phrase used by Ezekiel describing the Gogian host as coming down to Israel “to take a spoil and a prey,” is said to be better translated as “to spoil the despoilers.” Despoilers are those who have taken great amounts of the goods of others – not those who have developed their own wealth: an accurate description of conditions as they shall at that time be! That is not in any way to denigrate the inherent wealth of Israel. Not only is there the limitless value of the minerals of the Dead Sea; there is now petroleum, natural gas and oil shales in great abundance! Golda Meir, former premier of Israel, is famous for having said, “The only thing I have against Moses is, he brought us to a dry hole!” – meaning to a land devoid of oil wealth. However, as we are now fully aware, Israel is lately NOT an oil- and gas-destitute country! Twenty-first-century drilling activities and further surveys reveal that Israel could easily become a huge oil and gas producer not only from both liquid crude oil and high-pressure natural gas reservoirs but also from an abundance of oil shale deposits. In the Valley of Sorek (remember Samson?) lies a deposit of oil shale estimated to be the equivalent to all the bestimated liquid crude oil reserves of Saudi Arabia. Until recently the means of extraction of oil from such shale was expensive, environmentally unfriendly, and required vast quantities of water, all being factors which limited the interest in oil shales by the oil men of the world, especially in arid Israel. Now we have been informed that Dr. Harold Vinegar, former head of research for Royal Dutch Shell, has come to Israel with a newly patented technique for extraction of oil from Israel’s huge deposits of shale. His method involves highly precise drilling downward, then drilling horizontally in the shale formations; inserting heating elements into the shafts, heating the shales to a high temperature (causing the oil to seep out in abundance as high quality liquid crude oil) and be recoverable at a price comparable to drilling in near-surface crude oil pools. No fracturing (“fracking”) of the rock is involved which often causes leakage of oil into groundwater aquifers. And in addition, the process does not require water but instead PRODUCES water as a by-product. And still further, the process is extremely safe and environmentally friendly. The BOTTOM LINE is that these newly discovered oil deposits and Israel’s giant discoveries of natural gas in the adjacent Mediterranean Sea alone, could make Gog’s efforts to grab this “spoil” seem worth the trouble; the Arabs just might promise these spoils to Gog for his leadership and participation in that conflict. At the moment these factors seem to be the most likely “hooks” that will cause Gog to attempt its conquest of Israel. Ezekiel 38: 4.
Ø But contrary to his well-laid plans, Gog and his host shall have no success at all in their adventure, and are destined absolutely to be obliterated ‘on the mountains of Israel’ (Ezekiel 39) and to be buried at Hamongog – a valley ‘east of the sea’ of Galilee (Young). To Gog, her Jewish ‘prey’ appears to be unarmed and vulnerable during this entire time, dwelling without bars or gates, an innocent people with a naïve King who dwells with them in their apparent (to Gog) false confidence (Hebrew, betach) and seemingly indifferent to any threat that Gog or any others may offer. They are not yet aware of the lethal breath of His lips!
Ø Note that Israel is at that time markedly different from today’s Israel, which today is an heavily armed and fortified country by any standard, and ready to defend itself with arms and armor and citizen soldiers. Its demeanor at that future time shall be outwardly peaceful, self-contained, self-interested, with no repugnant foreign policies (not yet!) and seems to Gog to have reverted to a more primitive society with peace on its mind, principally. And that is so.
Ø To the war-planners of the Gogian nations, Israel looks like a hanging summer fruit, a plum, ripe for the picking, due to the “amateurish, naïve and foolish,” precipitous disarmament of the Jewish State which the Stealth King has accomplished. They have no inkling as to what lies in wait for them upon the mountains of Israel!
Ø Yet, at this future time, Christ the King finds it entirely unnecessary to defend His completely unarmed people because it is His Father's prerogative to destroy these heathen attackers with the Word of His Mouth, speaking peace (really resulting in the peace of silence - bringing about their pacification by total victory over them!) by uttering His Thunderous Voice against them, calling down upon them the terrors of the heavens – causing the enemies’ swords viciously to be turned on each other, but also sending terrifying displays of lightning, fire, smoke and thunder, great hail and brimstone, and an overpowering rain, gaining complete and instantaneous victory over these heathen, yet keeping His people absolutely safe all the while!
His newly enlightened People, in the manner of those of the Exodus at the Red Sea, are commanded to be still ... to do nothing ... but to behold the salvation of the Lord: Exodus 14:13 And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them again no more forever.
Indeed, in the finality, after the smoke and din of their destruction has subsided, it is the inhabitants of the villages of Israel who almost serenely (and thankfully, of course!) come forth and begin to bury the multitudes of the Northern Host at Hamogog. So it is more than obvious that Israel is virtually untouched by the threat of the Gogian hordes, and shall be victorious over them through the invincibility of their Father!
We believe this signal event also bears on another clear statement of circumstance which shall at that moment - as Israel comes forth to bury this great host - be realized among them and firmly established in their minds. This great victory utterly confirms the already clearly stated and proven Authority and Sovereignty of their God and His King. Additionally, in a singular measure the Almighty not only destroys the military forces of Gog but also bring a positive consequence of His overpowering authority to their home territories as He infers in 39: 6, just as He reconfirms His authority and identity within Israel itself as in 39: 7.
Why do we so claim?
Look at verses 21, 22 (in chapter 39): 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. 22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward. I believe this second instantaneous deliverance from their overwhelming enemies sets the conviction firmly in their minds (if they had entertained any previous doubts) that the Lord God is forever among them and will deliver them from every evil force, every oppressor, from this day forward – no matter how vicious or threatening or numerous!
Ø We can learn many details of the fate of Gog and abolish mountains of ignorance and misapplication of many previous (and present!) students of prophecy, if we pay diligent attention to the text of Ezekiel 39, and restrain ourselves from importing chapter after chapter of spurious, supposedly ‘related’ information about the affair. If any other reference assumptively applied to this narrative is discovered to be incongruent with the outcome plainly stated there, then the application is erroneous; discard it post haste. Any additional conjectures or suppositions as to the success of Gog’s forces MUST conform to the context of this clearly stated account, which decidedly indicates its clear boundaries: the utter defeat of Gog and its forces before they are allowed to enter the presently-constituted sacred home grounds of Christ and the Saints and of Israel. After the Gogian affair, or perhaps just prior to it, Christ sends forth the Everlasting Gospel, which will have tremendous repercussions in Europe and among the people of the Harlot and the Beast. But these are subjects intended for future discussion.
Ø As the kingdom proceeds, the Lord intends to return a pure tongue to the earth so that all people may communicate efficiently and clearly in the same language. This will facilitate His control over the earth’s populations and encourage dialog between all its citizens; it will facilitate His Saints’ teaching of the everlasting Gospel to the nations of the earth. In our present ignorance (because we have not concretely been informed) we project that this pure tongue will be the Hebrew language. The compelling conclusions that we may draw from late findings such as the equally spaced letters spelling out relevant messages to mankind (The Bible Code) throughout the Word is enough to convince this watcher that the Hebrew language possesses all the qualities needed for the vastly expanded technology of that future time, the reformed social needs, the diverse medical accomplishments, the administrative language, the godly instruction that will be spread abroad, and shall be adequate as the instructional language of the Saints and of Christ in the perfecting earth!
Ø But there is another reason for the conclusion that Hebrew will be the language of the future Kingdom age. In the book of Zephaniah, there are two key verses that relate to this principle: they are ... Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. 9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent. Zephaniah 3: 8, 9.
In these two verses, there is a remarkable clue as to the Almighty’s intentions, in our studied opinion. They are these: in all the Bible, verse 8 of this passage uniquely utilizes ALL the 22 characters in the Hebrew Aleph-Bet, and all the sofit forms as well – the five letters which are written differently if they appear as the last letter of any word – the “final forms” of five letters. And in the ninth verse comes this concrete statement concerning the “pure language” of the future age! We believe that this is a subliminal means of His attesting to Believers that Hebrew will be that “pure” language. It has been contended by a few that Hebrew is not “pure,” because it contains many elements of Chaldean and other languages. But by the term “pure,” we believe the Revelator means (“single,” or “unique”) – not pure as to source.
In conclusion: there are perhaps several elements of the new institutions of Christ that we have overlooked in this would-be essay. Pursuant to this project of defining the events that we expect to be accomplished when Christ appears the second time upon the earth – as we are assured He shall – I would like to offer each of you a series of five lectures following generally the above format in a PowerPoint series on this same subject, but well illustrated by charts, diagrams, photographs, and maps. In order for you to view these PowerPoint lectures you will need to have a PowerPoint Viewer downloaded to your computer – that is unless you are utilizing Microsoft Office which contains PowerPoint already. If you do not already have PowerPoint functions you may download a free reader-version of it from the Microsoft website. You may make your own DVD recordings from your downloaded slides if you wish.
These five lectures have been presented at various venues in North America within the past several years and have been emailed to several interested friends during this time. They are free, needless to say, but you have to contact me via email and request these, after which I will send them to your email address in three large PowerPoint files. Your ISP must allow large files to be transferred as two of them are huge. There are more than 300 total slides in this presentation and all the text is included as the slides unfold, with no voice-over addition, a technique I have not yet mastered. When I become capable of doing so, I do intend to post these on our website for eTPL and make them resident there for anyone to access and read. Until then, my only solution is to email them directly to you from my systems on your request. My current email address is email@example.com. God be with you all … <HEL MD/USA>
Basic Rules of Prophetic Interpretation
An Attempt to Codify Such Investigations
In the study of prophecy the basic rules of interpretation demand that several factors be considered. We believe these logically to be …
1. First, do not spiritualize the text and depart from its original meaning before you understand its objective message – its primary, factual relationship to those to whom it was spoken/written. Any spiritualization of the prophecy then must agree with its original import.
2. Second, apply the words first of all to those to whom it is written. Those folks must be able to see its relevance to them and their then-current affairs; it must MEAN something to them that they can appreciate, although they may not understand all aspects of it early in the game.
3. Third, it must integrate and agree with all other scriptural references which may apply to the events prophesied.
4. Fourth, any interpretation must not violate any other basic, scriptural tenet.
5. Fifth, it must integrate sensibly with existing time lines of history.
6. Sixth, if secondary or tertiary meanings seem to be applicable to the prophecy, they must agree in principle with its original intent and confirm its original meaning.
7. Seventh, apply the interpretation of the prophecy to the peoples who today live on the territories referred to at the time of the prophecy; that is, don’t apply the prophetic intent to the areas to which the original people later are supposed to have migrated as this is tenuous, inaccurate, depends upon the veracity of historical records and their accuracy, and would often be impossible to determine. Beside this fact, the prophecy would not have relevance to the people directly addressed, or others referred to, at the time of the prophecy. This practice introduces confusion; the factor here is that the prophecy would mean entirely different things to people of various ages; as the named peoples migrated as the centuries passed, the meaning of the prophecy would change. Confusion would reign.
Specifically, I refer to the popular claim that today’s Magog is Germany! I respectfully submit that the Magogians of the Gogian host who are nominated here are the peoples who NOW live in the area of ancient Scythia – namely the five CIS republics of central Asia, all of which are completely Muslim. When Ezekiel was writing the words of the Almighty, he made reference to the powers of the end-time by the names of the peoples who lived there in his time. We have accurate records of their habitation for the most part and can discern areas today which were populated by ancient peoples.
This is a principle stated as preferable by John Thomas. He wrote, ”… the Lion-power [by which he indicated Britain] will not only become the Sheba and Dedan, but also the Edom, Moab, and Ammon of the ‘latter days (sic);’ for in speaking of the events of these days, the prophets refer not to races of men, but to powers on territories designated by the names of the people who anciently inhabited them. Hence, for instance, the Lion-power planted hereafter in the ancient territory of Moab becomes the Moab of the latter days (sic); so that when the countries before-named are possessed and settled by the British, they will be men of Dedan in Muscat, men of Sheba in Aden and Mocha, and Moabites, Edomites, and Ammonites in their several territories (sic). Thus, the prophecies concerning those countries in their latter-day developments have regard to the power to which they then belong … ” Eureka, Vol. III.
These statements are qualified by (sic) because the events have not yet transpired, and we do not believe that these predictions are certain – or even correct.
<HEL MD/USA> ~Published August 2018, as the “August” eTPL entry. ohn Carter, “Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi,” (The Christadelphian, Birmingham, 1945), pp. 16, 17.
[ii] Ibid, page 14.
A Letter to the Editor ... Unpublished (of course!)
September: Beginning of a Magnificent Charade?
8:20 am., Sunday, June 10th; Singapore. The dark velvet night of Singapore airbase was intruded upon by the gentle, majestic giant of air transport, decorated tastefully in white, blue and gold livery, tail number 92000, displaying the American banner on its lighted rudder. Air Force One touched the runway, slowed, turned about and deliberately taxied to its docking station as, on the tarmac, dignitaries awaiting the arrival raised their expectant faces to catch their first glimpse of the US president as he appeared in the doorway at the head of the movable stairway and waved his familiar gesture in greeting.
It is the first palpable step in what promises to be a long, tortuous journey of diplomacy between the leaders of North Korea and the United States – Kim Jung Un and Donald Trump.
From a prophetic viewpoint, we frankly wonder what real significance this series of meetings will have. Perhaps they are merely smoke over the turbulent waters of the agitated world affairs of the age ... a transitory, fruitless convulsion of the mighty men of the earth, yielding no profitable outcome or result more than further frustration and uncertainty.
But they do reflect the generalized, desperate hope, the expectancy – and the trepidation that is felt without question – by the peoples of the earth ... and the stark realization that the world community has become impossibly complex, and even unworkable, on an enormous scale.
It would seem obvious to every sensible observer that mankind is no longer able tovsolve its dilemmas of state and society. The psalmist wisely observed, “Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men.” Psalm 9:20.
The immaterial “noise” of the nations is referenced by Isaiah, who observed: “Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! Isaiah 7:12.
His figure of “the noise of the seas ... the rushing of the nations,” recalls the description of all the races of men of the end time, when precisely these conditions should obtain upon the earth.
The Lord Jesus Himself referred to these times in His warning as recorded by Luke: “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;” Luke 21:25 .
, and greatly blessed observers of these terminal days of the world which has consistently ignored the words of faith and life, our hearts are elevated by the emerging events!
In the final analysis, the dispute between the United States and North Korea regarding nuclear weapons is merely a passing phase of failed human history. It illustrates quite thoroughly the incapability of mankind effectively to govern itself successfully ... and certainly underlines the unwillingness of the nations to obey the revealed will of the Almighty – a comprehensive body of information which has ever been available to them, but which consistently has been ignored by them in their arrogance and confidence in self.
In our opinion, this rushing wind of activity will drone on and on with no definitively satisfactory outcome or resolution. And the final solution of these mundane challenges of humanity will be solved only by the reappearance of the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is destined to arrive suddenly, in power and great glory, and to manifest His will among mankind universally, righteously, benevolently, and pervasively.
His own words to the sheep of His household bring reassurance to them, because as He states, nothing profitable is achieved by striving or controversy. He compares their required trust (their faith) in Him to that which He also requires of the world, summarizing this prospect beginning in Luke 12: 26 – “If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? 29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. 30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31 But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
The simple solution which has always evaded mankind is the substance of the everlasting Gospel which shall in the Kingdom Age go forth unto all nations: the inspired word describes the angel of the mid-heaven proclaiming in that future day the singular and powerful principle of universal redemption: “Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Revelation 14:7
It is unreasonable to expect the nations to behave in this fashion in this day, for they purposely ignore the Divine Edicts in favor of their own self-centered interests and goals. We thank our heavenly Father that He has reassured us of the truth – that these ignoble days are rapidly drawing to their end – and that the Age of True Enlightenment is inevitably coming in ... a day which was noted as certain to come by the Apostle Peter: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” 2 Peter 3:10.
The replacement society of the Kingdom Age will be the complete obverse of the civilization which we now experience, and shall be as described by the Prophet Micah at the beginning of his fourth chapter:
Micah 4:1 “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. 2 And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. 3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
H. Edward Lafferty, Hagerstown USA
October: I Will Bless Them ...
An eTPL29 Analysis
About three weeks ago, the U.S. Congress voted into law a Thirty-Eight Billion dollar Defense Aid Bill to Israel, as reported by JNS on September 14, 2018.
In avid support of the action, the article began with a quotation from King Solomon: “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12 (The Israel Bible™)
The date specified was when the U.S. House of Representatives approved the measure, now known as “The Ileana Ros-Lehtinen U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018.” The bill had received approval of the Senate some weeks earlier and was now being passed down to the White House for the president’s signature into law.
In the present atmosphere of contention within the Congress, it might seem unusual that the bill was agreed upon by both parties in passing this major hurdle ... not an easy achievement at the present time. The $38 billion in military aid is spread out over ten years, and falls under the umbrella of the 2016 Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and Israel, and therefore will be funded through a unique mechanism that divorces it from any constraints upon the annual national budget. It is therefore legally assured to be in force until expiration.
Representative Ted Deutsch (D-Fla.) explained that the bill was renamed in order to honor Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) who has been an avid supporter of Israel in the Congress but is not standing for re-election this fall. In his tribute to the bill’s sponsor Mr. Deutsch added, “Israel is under constant threat from every direction. A threat to Israel, our strategic ally in a turbulent region, is also a threat to our national security.”
What does the bill accomplish? Quoting from the article ...
1. It “gives Israel increased access to sophisticated U.S. technology to ensure that it maintains its qualitative edge in the region through the U.S. war-reserve stockpile in Israel, which Israeli forces can use under certain conditions.”
2. It authorizes the president to “bolster the stockpile with $1 billion worth of (additional) weaponry, as well as with precision-guided munitions to use against the Hezbollah terror group based in Lebanon.”
3. “The bill further allows the president to establish a collaborative U.S.-Israel counter-drone program.”
Mr. Ed Royce, chairman of the House’s Foreign Affairs Committee and a Republican from California, commented further, that “The law ensures that U.S. aid (to Israel) would not be cut as long as the memorandum comes into effect starting in 2019, ensuring that the funds would not be influenced by the budget wars between Congress and the White House. It also means that presidents would not be able to suspend U.S. aid as a means of pressuring Israel.” (Emphasis ours - Ed.)
The Congress’ special emphasis on the surety of this assistance package was shown in Mr. Royce’s further comments: “With this measure, we are codifying the assistance levels in the latest 10-year U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding, which aims to strengthen our already robust relationship, especially on defense matters.... This bill also works to build on the United States’ and Israel’s successful history of cooperation on technology development.”
The American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was quick to praise the House for its official passage of the Senate’s work, applauding the legislators for adopting the bill. A spokesman for AIPAC stated, “This key legislation seeks to ensure that Israel has the means to defend itself, by itself, against growing threats—most significantly Iran’s presence on its northern border. This bipartisan bill authorizes agreed-upon increases in Israel’s security assistance. It encourages expanding U.S. weapons stockpiles in Israel and advancing U.S.-Israel cooperation in anti-drone technologies and space.” (Emphasis ours – Ed.)
We see the passage of this legislation as another of the many ways in which the U.S. is – and has been – blessing Israel during the past two years of President Trump’s administration. It is a marked departure from the rather shabby and marginal national treatment of God’s People during many previous years, and we strongly believe is one of the reasons for the recent sharp recovery of the U.S. economy from the doldrums into which it had fallen in recent years.
We also see in this resurgence of support for Israel palpable fulfillment of the Almighty’s promise to Abram in one of His original conversations with the patriarch as recorded in Genesis 12: 1-3, a record which ends with the promise that, ... I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
It seems to us that such dependable support of Israel as seen here gives credence to the belief that Israel and its allies will be able to defend the People adequately until the critical events of the Second Advent are about to take place. At that time, in our (scripturally-supported) opinion, all international support for Israel will be withdrawn and Israel shall stand alone against her vile enemies round about. (Cf., Isaiah 34: 2-5; 63: 1-6; Zechariah 10:5)
But fortunately for God’s People, their Ally of the Ages shall come to them in that critical time as the events foretold by the psalmist come into full play: When the LORD shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory. Psalm 102:16.
We ... and Israel ... can depend upon that! What People need mortal allies when the “terrible swift sword” of the LORD appears on their behalf?
<HEL> Published in eTPL, October 11, 2018.
November: “Hezbollah’s Firepower Exceeds 95% of the World’s Armies”
By Sean Savage, JNS.org
An eTPL29 Analysis
Editor’s note: This disturbing article from Jewish News Service is quoted in its entirety ... our brief comments will be found at the end. The (1700-word) article is presented in italics. Students of God’s word will do well to consider every word of this summary report, as we believe it may bear heavily upon events which could be imminent – an enormous Islamic attack from both Lebanon and the Gaza Strip – because these forces (Hezbollah and Hamas) are closely allied both as to purpose and destiny, and entirely unified in their goals of Israel’s destruction.
“Nov 9, 2018
“According to the report, the next conflict with Hezbollah will “bear little resemblance to anything that has come before between Israel and its adversaries.”
“Israel and Hezbollah have been adversaries for decades now, dating back to the Jewish state’s involvement in the Lebanese civil war. However, bolstered by the military and financial support of its Iranian patron, the Lebanese terror group now poses a threat to Israel unlike anything the Jewish state has seen in recent history.
“A new report from the Jewish Institute for National Security of America’s (JINSA) Hybrid Warfare Task force, headed by several retired senior U.S. military officials, outlined this striking strategic threat to Israel, as well as the operational and legal challenges the country will most likely face in its next war with Hezbollah.
“According to the report, the next conflict with Hezbollah will “bear little resemblance to anything that has come before between Israel and its adversaries.”
“’Changes in the strategic environment in the 12 years since the last Israeli-Hezbollah conflict will translate into unparalleled death and destruction,’ the report said, noting that Hezbollah’s recent fighting experience in Syria, its support from Iran and its massive weapons arsenal pose a ‘quantum leap’ in the terror group’s ability to inflict devastation on Israel.
“’Today, Hezbollah possesses more firepower than 95 percent of the world’s conventional militaries, and more rockets and missiles than all European NATO members combined,’ the report stated.
“Various estimates put Hezbollah’s overall rocket and missile stockpiles at between 120,000 to 140,000—up from roughly 10,000 in the last conflict in 2006. While the vast majority comprises inaccurate short-range rockets, the terror group also has several thousand medium-range rockets and several hundred precision long-range missiles capable of striking targets throughout all of Israel. At the same time, Hezbollah has also bolstered its fighting force from 13,000 fighters in 2006 to a current 25,000 active-duty members, in addition to 20,000 to 30,000 reserve fighters.
“’Hezbollah has emplaced this expanded rocket and missile arsenal within and around civilian infrastructure, including apartment blocs, hospitals, schools and mosques, in the hopes of deterring and defending against IDF airstrikes, and courting civilian casualties it can hypocritically and disingenuously blame on Israel,’ the report said.
“Situation Does Not Exist Anywhere Else in the World”
“One of the authors of the report, Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Michael S. Tucker, who formerly served as Commanding General of the First United States Army from 2013 until 2016, and who made his first visit to Israel as part of the fact-finding mission for the report, told JNS that he acquired a real appreciation for the threats that Israel faces in the north.
“’Israel is truly challenged with a situation that does not exist anywhere else in the world,’ he said. ‘Because they are a nation-state and they do abide by the law of armed conflict, they are challenged against an enemy that doesn’t necessarily follow that, nor is there any accountability on their side.’
“Tucker said he hopes ‘This report should be a wake-up call to the international community that this is a real threat and the potential for this conflict to turn into a large-scale war unlike we have seen yet,’ he said.
“Col. (Ret.) Marc Warren, who served as U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps and as the senior legal officer for Multi-National Forces Iraq, and who now is co-chair of Jenner & Block, LLP’s Aviation and Aerospace Practice, also made his first trip to Israel for purposes of the report. He told JNS that he was struck by the size and scope of the threat Israel faces.
“’I was struck by the relatively small size of Israel. That when you overlay the range of missile and rocket batteries in Syria and Lebanon, how much of Israel is well within range of many rocket systems,’ he said. ‘The threat is obvious given the size of the country.’
Objective: ‘Political Defeat’ of Israel
“Despite the tens of thousands of Hezbollah rockets that Israel faces, the report acknowledges that it still remains unlikely that the terror group could inflict a strategic military defeat on the Israel Defense Forces—one of the most well-trained, well-armed and highly capable militaries in the world.
“Instead, the report notes that Hezbollah’s objective will be the “political defeat” of Israel by weaponizing information and international law to its advantage.
“’By illegally exposing civilians to harm, manipulating the narrative and exploiting misperceptions about the laws of war, Hezbollah will seek to portray Israel as an arbitrary, immoral and illegal murderer of civilians,’ the report stated.
“’Hezbollah will hope to survive to fight another day while delegitimizing Israel in the eyes of the world before the IDF can achieve decisive victory,’ the report said.
“Warren said that Hezbollah has intentionally placed the civilian population of Lebanon in harm’s way with the intent of forcing Israel to create massive civilian casualties and turn public opinion against them.
“’It is Hezbollah that mixes missiles, rockets and mortars with civilians. It is Hezbollah who builds these villas in southern Lebanon adjacent to Israel that are way out of proportion for the area. They are built for the purpose of creating defensible positions; they are interconnected with tunnels. Fighters have batteries, missiles and rockets stored there,’ he said.
“While Warren recognized that terror groups have longed misused protected places, such as hospitals and mosques to mask their forces, he said Hezbollah is taking this to a new level of perversity.
“’The intent is not only to mask or protect fighters and equipment, but to deliberately create situations where Israel is forced to target those locations,’ he said. ‘They are so deep and so numerous that you simply cannot bypass them.’
“As such, Hezbollah can twist the narrative to present Israel as the real enemy.
“’Thus, you create civilians causalities, and the adversary is able to twist the traditional principles of the law of war—most specifically, discrimination and proportionality—and say to the international media and community, ‘Look at what Israel did here; they killed these civilians here, how awful is that.’ So Israel is in a strict liability position,’ Warren said.
“At the same time, Warren also noted that past measures the IDF has used in conflicts in Gaza to warn the civilian population ahead of airstrikes, such as text messages, leaflets and the so-called ‘knock on the roof,’ will likely not be available to the Israelis against Hezbollah.
“’The tragedy of the next war, it will be different than prior recent wars. A lot more combined arms maneuver … it will not be surgical,’ he explained. ‘While the Israelis make great use of precision-guided actions, not all of these targets can be pre-planned, as there will be fleeting ones and new emerging ones. That kind of fight cannot lend itself well to a knock on the roof, leaflets or text messages to civilians. It is going to be much more dynamic than that.’
“Instead, Warren says the next war with Hezbollah will more closely resemble conventional warfare between two states, albeit with one side not adhering to international law.
“’This report is a bit of a retro report—what is in vogue is counter-insurgency—but this war here would not be the kind of special operating forces, drone strikes and surgical airstrikes that we see more often now. It will be much more extensive than that. The methods Israel uses that exceed the laws of war might not be applicable here.’
“Warren added that the key part of the report is to prepare the international community for what to expect in this conflict.
“’The key part is to prepare people for the idea that while Israel will adhere to the laws of war, that some of the extraordinary cautionary measures that people have become accustomed to seeing may not be feasible in this war,’ he said.
‘Raise Awareness for International Community’
“In recent weeks, Israel has sounded the alarm over Hezbollah’s buildup in southern Lebanon and its blatant use of embedding its military capabilities within the civilian population. In late October, the IDF exposed a new Hezbollah forward position on the Lebanese-Israeli border that was disguised as a structure used by environmental-protection activists.
“’This is a breach of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701,’ the officer said, in reference to a resolution that bans armed forces other than the official Lebanese Armed Forces from being deployed in southern Lebanon.
“The new intelligence-gathering post is part of “Hezbollah’s tactical military activities in south Lebanon that are being conducted in the last few years,” the officer stated.
“’What we’ve seen … is Hezbollah using the civilian front and working in civilian uniforms in south Lebanon in order to act in the region with impunity,’ he added. ‘We see them gathering intelligence on IDF activity, watching Israeli communities close to the Blue Line, which is the border between Israel and Lebanon—preparing for attacks against the IDF and against Israeli civilians in the Galilee,’ the officer said.
“Tucker expressed dismay over the current response by the international community, especially the U.N. Security Council, which oversees the peacekeeping forces in southern Lebanon, UNIFIL, tasked with enforcing the disarmament of Hezbollah under Security Council resolution 1701.
“’The methodology they [Hezbollah] use to combat the IDF—using human shields, using protective places for military purposes—there needs to be a greater level of situational awareness in the international community to that. To raise questions to the U.N. and to the entire UNIFIL program in southern Lebanon.
“’The international community should hold the U.N. accountable at that level of fidelity. It [UNSC Resolution 1701] is blatantly being disregarded on a daily basis.’
“As such, Tucker believes that Israel needs to continue to sound the alarm on Hezbollah to the international community, while also continuing to build regional and international coalitions that will support the Jewish state in the next conflict.
“’They should continue every effort to shed light on Hezbollah, its buildup in Lebanon and its ties with Iran,’ he said. ‘We need to create a consensus among the international community on the threat Israel is faced with. And we can only do that through education.’”
This fresh assessment of the boasted advance of Israel’s enemy to the immediate north (Hezbollah) is the most dire prediction that we have seen leading up to Israel’s final conflict with the nations round about.
The hope that “ ... the report will prod the international community into action” is surely a vain hope.
Recent history bears witness to the fact that the United Nations Organization is not bent upon any actions which will either defend or exonerate Israel in its local affairs!
The resultant fact that nothing will be done from any quarter to assist Israel is further illustration of the conditions described by the Christ of the Second Advent, Who, in Isaiah 63, declares “I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people (nations) there was none with Me.”
Despite the vast stockpiles of U. S. military equipment and other defensive materiel now in existence in Israel, we believe there will not be enough time for any well-intentioned “helper” of Israel to get its act together to come to Israel’s assistance.
Such would indeed be counterproductive – for the Master, we believe, intends to make it entirely clear in this conflict that HE is the savior of Israel, entirely without any assistance from any well-intended ally that Israel might claim, including the forces of the United States.
To allow such assistance would be to take away the credit which He claims in this declaration.
In our thinking, when the moment arrives in which “ ... the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.” Isaiah 59: 19, 20.
The tripwire of the Second Advent – which will come as a thief in the night to Israel and their enemies – will bring the appearance upon the scene of not only the LORD Jesus Christ, but also ten thousand times ten thousands of His immortal brethren, newly raised up to His nature by His approval of them at the recent Judgment Bema.
The resultant company is the “One Man” which is comprised of these two components – a multitude of exactly similar, immortal, infallible, indestructible, and entirely righteous People, along with their Master and Commander in person – now bent upon their fatal intervention in the mundane affairs of God’s people ... their mission aimed singularly toward saving His People Israel from their enemies ... and those who hate them (cf., Luke 1: 71, 74), and the establishment of His righteousness and peace in the Land of Promise.
To view this coming conflict in any other light is to deny this clear, scriptural definition of this engagement – the events of the Valley of Jehoshaphat in our studied opinion.
Hezbollah has been boasting of its increasing firepower, including rockets and artillery ... and its increasing enlistment of thousands of fighters against Israel ... and has made no pretense of desiring peace with Israel.
Its true goal – also made continuously and abundantly clear by both Hezbollah AND Hamas – is to take over the entirety of Israel, forcing the Jews of the Jewish state into the Mediterranean Sea!
But their leaders have not acquainted themselves with the immutable words of the prophets of YHVH as to their own fate.
Among their obituaries are the words of Obadiah:
And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it. Obadiah 1:18.
We consider one other set of prophecies which portend the same fatal end for all Israel’s enemies: the extensive and detailed condemnation of Psalm 83 ...
Psalm 83:9 Do unto them as unto the Midianites; as to Sisera, as to Jabin, at the brook of Kison:
Psa 83:10 Which perished at Endor: they became as dung for the earth.
Psa 83:11 Make their nobles like Oreb, and like Zeeb: yea, all their princes as Zebah, and as Zalmunna:
Psa 83:12 Who said, Let us take to ourselves the houses of God in possession.
Psa 83:13 O my God, make them like a wheel; as the stubble before the wind.
Psa 83:14 As the fire burneth a wood, and as the flame setteth the mountains on fire;
Psa 83:15 So persecute them with thy tempest, and make them afraid with thy storm.
Psa 83:16 Fill their faces with shame; that they may seek thy name, O LORD.
Psa 83:17 Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish:
Psa 83:18 That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.
<HEL> ~2650 words. An eTPL29 Analysis Published in eTPL 2018, on November 10,2018.
December: Being Grafted Into the Good Olive Tree
An eTPL28 Exhortation
On Romans 11
The Apostle Paul, writing to the Ecclesia at Rome, puts forth spiritual reasoning (which was also inspired!) to show the importance of God’s People Israel in his day ... as well as in ours.
Unfortunately, Israel today has its detractors – even among many who should be better informed. These deny the importance of the present re-gathering of the nation of Israel, and claim that the People of God now located there shall be overrun and scattered again (the third time).
They also deny that the presence of over six million Jews in Israel today has anything whatever to do with the return of the Jews as revealed in the vision of Ezekiel’s Valley of Dry Bones.
But such an outcome – their yet future scattering and destruction – is neither feasible nor possible.
Israel is back in its Land for the second time ... and forever.
Isaiah 11 discusses many aspects of Israel’s Return – its second recovery, from the nations of the earth – and never even intimates a third scattering and a third return. In verse eleven, the prophet stresses that when God puts forth His hand to recover His people it will be for the SECOND (and final) time.
In fact, the eleventh of Isaiah links the Second Coming of Messiah with this second Recovery of His people, and associates it inseparably with the beginning of His Kingdom on the earth. It is our opinion that after that significant achievement there cannot possibly be another “scattering” of God’s People.
The Lord Jesus’ presence among them after that time obviates any third “scattering” of Israel. The narrative of Ezekiel 37 points the scholar in the same direction: And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves ... Ezekiel 37:13.
The chapter ends with “David My Servant” being king over them (verse 24).
To claim that the present day placement of Israel back in its Land also has nothing to do with their recovery from the Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37) is the same as accusing our Father of being disingenuous (which is a legal way of saying He was lying!).
It is conviction built on a sandy foundation ... and subject to be obliterated by events to come.
Some Gentiles, upon hearing the Truth of God’s word from Paul, had evidently made the same claim: that Israel and its people of their time were no longer relevant to God’s plan.
That is not the message of Romans 11. Indeed it is firmly contraindicated