Other Items 2009-2012

Syria’s Civil War

Harold Lafferty

As of this date, Syria's present regime seems to be on the ropes as never before. The rebels fighting against President Bashar al-Assad are gaining ground steadily and media observers this week were expecting the imminent fall of the government. Their expectations may be a bit premature. Information obtained on Monday, July 23, revealed that Syria has just admitted having a considrable stockpile of chemical weapons. Further, spokesmen claimed that Syria will not use those weapons on its own people, but will use them on anyone who tries to interfere in its internal affairs – a blatant threat against any interventinon.

International commentators have warned that the regime of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria is on the brink of collapse as a result of ever-strengthening rebel uprisings throughout the country. Fighting is now raging in Damascus itself where only a few days ago a suicide bomber killed four top Syrian military leaders, one of which was Assad’s brother in law.

Reports recently suggest that al-Assad's regime has re-located its headquarters to the west coast of the country, to the region around Latakia - an Alawite stronghold, and 'incidentally' under the recently-installed umbrella of Russian military (naval) might.

This conflict’s importance extends beyond Syrian borders in nearly every direction. Most important, in our thinking, is its southern threat to Israel where Syria has built up and supported the forces of Hezbollah, standing starkly face to face with Israeli fighters in Northern Israel.

It may be helpful here to review the confusing political lay-of-the-land in the Levant: Syria is governed by the al-Assads who are Alawites. This means they follow Ali (thus Alawite). or Ali ibn Abi Talib, cousin and son-in-law of Mohammed. They are nominally Shiites, but are actually quite different according to observers at Stratfor, who say the Alawites are not really Moslems at all.

However, the Alawites and the Shiites are minorities in Syria, which is predominantly Sunni Moslem.

The Syrian REGIME of today is backed by Iran, which is also Shiite. Iran has successfully come into predominance in Iraq, and backs the government in Baghdad. Iran also supports Hezbollahin south Lebanon, and funnels supplies to that organization on a regular basis.

The REBELS in Syria are Sunni Islamicists, Salafist jihadists, and followers of al-Qaida, which has adherents in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran and other regions.The Salafists are generally Saudi Arabian Fundamentalists of the Shiite persuasion and exist mostly in the eastern regions of Saudi Arabia. Egypt contains many Salafists as part of its anti-Mubarak crowd. They are aligned with the Moslem Brotherhood and thus support Hamas in Gaza and have sizeable representation in Jordan, Lebanon and other places.

Rounding out the lot, TURKEY, the SAUDIS, and QATAR are predominantly Sunni Moslems who absolutely hate the Shiites!

This map, prepared by Brian Armour from existing graphics, helps explain these relationships:

(Click on map to enlarge; click on back arrow to return here.)

As you may observe, the entire mix is about as complex as mixes can get. All these various loyalties and dogmatic pursuits contribute to the complexity of the entire situation in the Middle East.

We have addressed the Syrian Civil War (for such it now is) several times in the past, bringing forth the scriptural references to the demise of Damascus itself – an event which has never occurred in history. The prophecy is therefore still future, and correlates with many other divine forecasts for Syria along with Iraq, as “Assyria,” as these two countries answer closest to the domain of Assyria of old.

There are several factors in this conflict which add to its gross confusion. The Assad family, as already stated, are Alawites; they are an off-shoot of the Shia Moslems, both being small minority populations within the country. The largest population of Syrians adhere to the Sunni branch of Islam and are at swords' points with the Shia minority.

Iran is largely Shiite and is a close ally of the Shia leaders of Syria as well as Iraq, where there continues to be unrest after the Coalition forces departed the country. Stratfor reported on July 12ththat "There is little question now that Iraq, as fractured as it is, sits in the Iranian sphere of influencewhile Iraqi Sunnis have been pushed to the margins. To us, this seems to be a passing phase for Iraq (alignment with Iran) and that a future association with Syria will become a reality in order to fulfill the prophecies concerning Assyria.

To further complicate things, Iran is sponsor of Hezbollah in South Lebanon – a constantly growing threat to Northern Israel. Iran trans-ships war materiel and supplies through Syria with the aid of Assad’s government. If Assad falls, this supply line will be interrupted, depending upon the identity of his successors, most likely anti-Iran.

Iran is striving to form an Islamic crescent from the northern shores of the Persian Gulf (Iran itself, as well as Western Afghanistan), connecting through Iraq to its northwest to Syria in the west and Lebanon in the south. That initiative is now being threatened by the fragility of the Assad regime.

The identity of the Syrian rebels is not really clear to Western observers (at least they say that), so only little assistance has been given the Syrian rebels to date aside from some personal arms and other light-weight supplies such as food and clothing.

Turkey is a former friend of Syria but now harbors many Syrian dissidents in the far northwestern portion of Syria in a Turkish protected enclave. Turkey has turned against Assad recently. Refugees from Syria enter that region every day. Others are fleeing south into Jordan and are compromising King Abdullah II’s ability to cope with them.

Russia and China continue to veto moves within the UN Security Council to have Assad’s government sanctioned and put under embargoes in order to quell his resistance to the rebels. Russia and China want to keep Assad in power for their own commercial interests.

The United States has been impotent in the affair to date. President Obama speaks now one way and later another – vacillating and hemming and hawing before the whole world; he is thus viewed as a non-leader in this affair. He has no clear plan for its resolution.

The only clear plan, aside from the rejected plans of the Arab League, has been that of Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, now an envoy seeking peace in Syria for the UN. Annan's peace plan was produced as the United Nations' Plan for peace.

The first two points of his plan are:(1) commit to work with the Envoy in an inclusive Syrian-led political process to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people, and, to this end, commit to appoint an empowered interlocutor when invited to do so by the Envoy; (2) commit to stop the fighting and achieve urgently an effective United Nations supervised cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties to protect civilians and stabilise the country.

The remainder of the plan would stabilize the country and allow free movement for relief forces, journalists, and others as well as establish a UN Oversight Force of 250 "Observers" to enforce the peace. Wow! What a plan! It has been proven many times in the past that UN Observers are useless in such war zones, and often come under attack.

It does not propose the replacement of the Assad regime, or seemingly a change in the government. At the moment, this entire UN plan seems to be going nowhere.

The only apparent leaders of the rebels seem to have adopted the ideals of the Moslem Brotherhood, which bodes ill for both Syria and Israel. The Brotherhood, of course, wants to bring Syria under Sharia Law (Islamic law) and take the country back several centuries in time to a more primitive, ascetic society where the Mullahs are absolute rulers and there is no liberty for the people.

This group would also militate against peace with Israel far more than even Hezbollah and the Assad regime already do. Their relationships with the Brotherhood forces now in power in Egypt would create a vise grip upon Israel from the north and the south.

Adding to this dilemma for Israel is the recent stirrings of the Brotherhood in Jordan on Israel’s eastern border. The strongly “Palestinian” fraction of his population [around 70%] and can exert great pressure upon the king if it decides to do so ... and it is recently deciding to do so!

To complicate affairs even further the Russians have established a naval base at Latakia, Syria. It is the only Russian naval base in warm waters – at least a temporary (we believe) fulfillment of an ancient dream of Peter the Great who originated the plan. Russia has recently moved several thousand marines in several vessels near the shores of Syria, tentatively planning to move them ashore to prop up Assad’s defense of Damascus and the several important military establishments in that vicinity, including the repositories of Syria’s weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons. Syria’s involvement in bacteriological weapons is not certainly known; if it has developed these, they are likely stored in the same warehouses.

Just last week, the Syrians were observed to be moving some of those chemical weapons out of storage and getting ready to ship them to some other location. Israel is considering whether to attack this operation with an air strike as Israel has declared that it will NOT allow these lethal weapons to fall into the hands of Hezbollah in the South of Lebanon. Israel said it could easily destroy those weapons on their journey toward the south if that were a probability.

We are certainly impressed with the swirling activity of almost all important nations around this upheaval in Syria, and are acutely aware of the dangers and uncertainties it poses for Israel.

As we have recently written ...

"We cannot determine the exact course of the ongoing Syrian Revolution, but we can certainly deduce one important fact: Syria is destined in future actively and aggressively to combine forces with Iraq as the ASSYRIAN entity of Micah 5, and to attack Israel probably simultaneously with all the other nearby Islamic States which have been aggressing Israel since before 1948 to no avail. In Micah 5, Assyria's fate is shown sealed by the MAN of Bethlehem Ephratah, the Lord Jesus Christ then returned to the earth, who shall be the peace (shall bring peace - by conquest) when Assyria comes within My borders and strives to trample within My Sanctuary.

"We feel that it will be at that time that Damascus will receive its just punishment for its unceasing aggression of Israel, God's people, and be destroyed out of hand, its dynasties of pagan Islam never again to see the light of day, its land being totally converted to the ways of God and made one with Egypt and Israel as the prophet promised (Isaiah 19: 25).

"So, if (when) the Assad Dynasty is overthrown, a regime more antagonistic to Israel will doubtless take its place – one more attuned to active aggression against Israel, especially in league with Iraq, in future time. This is a destiny which, although not presently transparent as to development, cannot be set aside; it is certain to be fulfilled. And Damascus is destined to be removed from its place, becoming “heaps,”as surely as the sun shall rise tomorrow." ["What of Syria?" in The Christadelphian Advocate, June, 2012]

<HEL MD/USA July, 2012>


The Glorious Christ

H. E. Lafferty: Exhortation

In His messages to the Seven Ecclesias in Revelation 2 and 3, the Lord Jesus describes or names Himself to each in this way:

Rev 2:1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

Rev 2:8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

Rev 2:12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

Rev 2:18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

Rev 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars;

Rev 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

These divine phrases reveal much to us of the unique character of the Revelator, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the work with which He had at that time been commissioned. ALL of them are applicable to Christ in the advanced position He had attained when He revealed the words of the Apocalypse to the Apostle John. We realize clearly that Jesus’ station at that time had clearly reached its ultimate state. He had then been raised to the level of immortality, and was sitting at the right hand of His Father’s throne, already awaiting His Second Advent. The last one of the series above – the beginning of the creation of God – is a significant statement of the Eternal Purpose, the Mystery of the Eternal Creation, which is hidden from many, but which is widely commented upon in God’s Word. It is the ultimate Purpose of the Almighty which was to be realized in a step-wise fashion as His Plan was going forward.

Colossians 1: 16, 17 informs us of the Plan which God employed, the mechanism of his construction toward bringing all the physical creation by His glory to an entirely perfect, spiritual plane through His Son. When we read this remarkable introduction of the letter to Colosse, we learn many of the more profound details of this divine process:

Colossians 1:12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (suitable) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn (first into immortality) of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

How are we to understand these lofty proclamations? How is Jesus “the beginning” of this process (verse 18) when, as we are informed, He did not exist at the time of Creation? He is surely the “beginning” in being the Firstborn from the Dead; the beginning of the NEW and ultimate Creation which shall last forever. It was not until He was resurrected and immortalized that the New Creation could even begin. In that logical sense, it is He Who now creates all things from the beginning of His Kingship working toward the ultimate perfection which He shall establish.

We have been instructed that the Sovereign Almighty One by His unlimited power through the Elohim (angels) actually formed the physical creation of the heavens and the earth. We are sadly aware that this originally perfect (in the sense of ‘very good’) creation was spoilt by Adam, and brought under condemnation in Genesis 3: 17. These thus-degraded physical elements, including the human race, at that time became temporal; their destiny moved from perfection to an impermanent vapor which should pass away in mortality; but the immediate promise to Adam in the Seed of the Woman, was they could and should be validated in future and made permanent by the perfect obedience of the Son.

Hebrews 3: 3, 4 reinforces this great truth, and reveals the progressive nature of the FINAL creation: 3 For this man (Jesus) was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. 4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God

By these revelations we may readily understand that all the permanent creation – the eternal constitution of things which God (in His perfect foreknowledge) intended from the very beginning – was bound up in His great Plan from the first: to bring into existence a temporal creation which He would make permanent ONLY in His Son and in that Son’s achievements.

All institutions not so perfected should not survive into eternity but should pass away. Portions of the temporal, physical creation should thus be validated and certified – and therefore be made permanent – by His only begotten Son, in constructing His permanent Household (the Saints) and its Habitat (the perfected earth), Who should have greater glory than the House he should construct. This is a vital concept which is often not realized by scriptural students but is the key to the Eternal Plan of God.

The Apostle Peter in his second letter addresses this process – the temporality of the initial creation, and the permanence of the second: 2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (and therefore, to permanence). 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens (that now are) 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. 11 Seeing then that all these (impermanent) things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, 12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.

This present construct – this state of affairs in which we exist – has always been destined to pass away and be terminated forever. The new heavens and new earth according to His exhaustive Plan is the permanent creation of the Christ and His work of redemption.

It is a long, pervasive process to our finite minds, but only a moment in the infinite ages of our Father. It is surely the loftiest example of the consummate refinement of the elegant primal creation – the physical universe – of the Almighty, then raised to greater heights of perfection and permanence by His Son – the brilliant and able Servant Who arose from and above the Chaos into which that original Creation had fallen.

What a sublime and elegant solution for bringing the greatest glory to the Father of us all – and for bringing honor to His Son for His faithful service of redemption of not only a vast cadre of earth-borns such as Himself, but the redemption of the physical creation as well, in the removal of the curse which has infected the planet since the expulsion from Eden, yielding in the finality a perfect Creation! In this we easily behold the crucial realization of the great, final Purpose of our God in bringing forth His Only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, in order to accomplish this ultimate Redemption of all things!

The foregoing discussion brings us to the real subject of our consideration in this exhortation. We grow in appreciation of our Savior when we understand this process – when we consider the scores of scriptural terms which describe Him to us. Each title or description adds to our understanding of His glorious character. These are rampant in God’s Word, revealing aspects of His nature and service which transcends our ability to comprehend!

In Hebrews 5:9 He is the Author of Salvation. As such, He is the Arm of the Lord in His glorious work – Isaiah 53:1. In performing this great task, He is the Brightness of God’s Glory and the Express Image of His Person Hebrews 1:3. He is The Lion of the Tribe of Juda, the Root of David, Who has prevailed to open the book and to open the seven seals of the continuous unfolding of the Apocalypse continues – Revelation 5: 5.

To His people, and those whom He blesses, He is The Rose of Sharon, and the Lily of the Valleys of Song 2: 1 … and the King of the Great White Throne of Revelation 20: 11, and the King of Kings and Lord of Lords of Zechariah 14: 16. He is God’s Son, the Heir of all Things … the Brightness of His Glory, and the Express Image of His Person of Hebrews 1:3, Better than the Angels of verse 4, Who Hath Purged Our Sins … and Sits at God’s Right Hand in verse 3 … Anointed With Oil Above His Fellows in verse 9. He is Executor of Judgment in John 5: 27. He is Apostle and High Priest of Hebrews 3:1, and Altogether Lovely in Song 5: 16.

In Luke 4:23 He is the ultimate Physician, and is admonished by the Pharisees Physician, heal thyself! In Numbers 21: 8, 9 He is represented as a Bronze Serpent raised upon a pole by Moses, which when beheld, healed the congregation.

He is also The Great Physician Who was able to heal Legion in Mark 5: 15. He was Restorer of the Ear of the Servant in Gethsemane, and Healer of Jairus’ daughter, the Healer of the Ten Lepers of Galilee, and of the Impotent Man at the Pool of Bethesda, and the Woman With the Issue of Blood for twelve years.

But His healing powers extend far beyond physical sickness. He is the Deliverer of His People of Joel 2:32: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

As Healer He is quick to Heal the Brokenhearted: In the synagogue at Capernaum He read in the scroll of Isaiah, Luke 4:18: The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Therefore, Preacher of the Gospel, Preacher of Deliverance, Restorer of Sight to the Blind, Liberator of Those Who are Bruised, and Preacher of the Acceptable Year of the Lord are additional privileges and appointments given Him.

These refined, extended qualities are detailed in such wonderful phrases as we find in Isaiah 9:6 - For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

The series of five names, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace are all indicative of His future role when He is again personally among His people – when He has taken unto Himself His kingdom and reigns upon the Throne of David in Zion – Luke 1:32. At that time He has returned to earth as His Father’s personal Emissary and King, equal in nature and purpose with His Father. As we observe, many of the names designating Him reflect that elevated position in which He is the consummate Son of God with unlimited powers.

The titles which He has ACQUIRED by obedience are evident: His identity is now equivalent to that of His Father, and it is expedient to refer to Him as The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father – for as Prince of Peace, his Nature and Purpose are identical to His Father. His role as Governor among the Nations (Psalm 22: 28) over His people gives Him the further title Yahweh Ta’vaoth, the Lord of Hosts of Isaiah 9: 7.

Here we behold Him as He was meant to be: Colossians 2:9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the Head of all principality and power: The “Godhead” is Victorian English for Greek theotes, or divinity; it is a position to which He has risen by faith and suffering – the absolute Head of all principality and power of that era, His Father’s now Divine Son among men. As he affirmed to the brethren at Smyrna in Revelation 2:8 These things saith the First and the Last, which was dead, and is alive. In 1 Corinthians 15: 20 He is Risen from the Dead, and Become the Firstfruits of Them That Slept.

He is therefore a Comforter (John 14:6) to His brethren now, in being My Hiding Place and My Shield (Psalm 119:114). He Guides our Ways secretly if we hold fast to Him – Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be The Firstborn among many brethren. As the ultimate Deliverer He is The Love of God of Romans 8:39.

Of these events we may be certain, for as 2Peter 1:19 informs us, We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the Day Star arise in your hearts.

This description is further to the title He is given in the great prophecies of Balaam in Numbers 24:17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. A star is a GUIDE; a scepter is a RULER. Acting as such a guide and leader to His people the text spells the doom of Moab and of Seth, enemies of Israel of our own day.

Sitting at the Father’s right hand, He is Our Advocate with the Father, and the Propitiation for our Sins of 1 John 1. In Hebrews 6:19, 20 He is Anchor of The Soul Who has entered within the veil of the Most Holy … the ForerunnerJesus (or, Anointed) High Priest forever After the Order of Melchisedec. He is the Great High Priest of Hebrews 4: 14. In His death He became The End of the Law in Romans 10:4. He is Ancient of Days in Daniel 7:9, The Almighty Who Is of Revelation 1:8. In Isaiah 33:22 He is Our Judge … Our Lawgiver … and Our King Who Will Save Us. Yet, in Psalm 22: 6 He is A Worm, and No Man, A Reproach of Men and Despised of the People.

During His sojourn among Judah He spoke of Himself as Greater than Jonah, and as Greater than Solomon in Matthew 14. In John 4:12 the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well questions whether He is Greater than our Father Jacob. He responds by replying that He is the Giver of Living Water of life in verse 14. As The Alpha and The Omega of Revelation 21: 6, He is The Beginning and the End, and Giver of the Fountain of the Water of Life Freely.

In the future day of Micah 5: 2 He is that Man of Bethlehem Who is to be Ruler in Israel, and in verse 5, this Man shall Be the Peace (the victor, bringing peace) when Assyria shall come into the Land. Another attribute is in Joel 3: 16 where He is the Lord Who Roars out of Zion. In Revelation 19: 11 He is Seated Upon a White Horse … called Faithful and True; in Righteousness He Doth Judge and Make War. In verse 16 He Hath on His Vesture and on His Thigh a Name Written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

David’s Psalm 24 looks forward to the day in which The earth is the LORD'S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. He speaks to God’s holy Hill of Zion, saying in verse 7, Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. 8 Who is this King of Glory? The LORD Strong and Mighty, the LORD Mighty in Battle. It is He Who, in His times shall show Who is the Blessed and Only Potentate, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords of 1 Timothy 6: 15.

As cited earlier, Hebrews 3: 3, 4 reinforces this great truth, and reveals the progressive nature of the FINAL creation: 3 For this man (Jesus) was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. 4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.

Much additional information is given about this House. Zechariah 6: 12 records Him as The Man, The Branch Who shall grow up out of His Place and Build the Temple of the Lord. Isa 28:16 goes further and reveals, Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a Foundation a Stone, a Tried Stone, a Precious Corner Stone, a Sure Foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste (lose hope). Yet at His first coming, as Psalm 118:22 had foretold, The Stone Which the Builders Rejected has become the Head of the Corner, subsequently referred to by Jesus in Matthew 21: 42, adding This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in Our Eyes.

In Psalm 95:1 He is The Rock of our Salvation. Following that train of thought, we remember these words of Paul about the wilderness sojourn: 1Corinthians 10:4 And (they) did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that Spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. Finally, the author of Hebrews makes reference to this spiritual House of which Christ is The Cornerstone: Whose House are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

In the days of His flesh in Matthew 12:6 He claimed to be Greater than the Temple, signifying The Law of Moses, the Old Covenant. And in the future Order of Revelation 21: 3, He is revealed AS The Tabernacle of God With Men Who shall dwell eternally with them. The picture is enlarged when in verses 22 and 23 we find that The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the Temple of it and the Light Thereof. That “Light” is Shekinah, which stood suspended in midair above the Mercy Seat in the Holy of Holies - surely a representation of the Light of the World, and the Light of God, two additional titles of God’s Only Begotten Son.

The 53rd of Isaiah shows us a singular picture of Jesus during His turbulent ministry. This profound description becomes a litany of names and titles. He is The Arm of the Lord Revealed, Who grows up before Him (God) as a Tender Plant, and a Root out of a Dry Ground. He exhibits No Beauty to be desired Despised and Rejected of Men, He is A Man of Sorrows … Acquainted with Grief … Despised … Not Esteemed, Who Has Borne our Griefs and Carried our Sorrows … being Esteemed Stricken, Smitten of God, Afflicted … Wounded for Our Transgressions … Bruised for Our Iniquities … Upon Whom the Lord hath Laid Our Sins … Oppressed … Afflicted … Brought as a Lamb to the Slaughter … (Silently) as a Sheep Led Before Her Shearers … Cut off out of the Land of the Living … Stricken for the Transgression of His People … His Soul Made an Offering for Sin … Who Shall See His Seed, and Whose Days Shall be Prolonged … in Whose Hand the Pleasure of the Lord Shall Prosper. Seeing the Travail of His Soul He shall be Satisfied … this Righteous Servant Shall Justify Many, Bearing their Iniquities.

All those tribulations and His victory are summarized by the last verse of Isaiah 53: Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

As Arbiter of the nations of the kingdom age He is, in Revelation 5: 5 the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, (who) hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. Yet in verse 12 of the same chapter, He is depicted as The Lamb That was Slain, and later being extolled by every creature in heaven and earth, under the earth and in the sea, crying Blessing and honour and glory and power be unto Him That Sitteth Upon the Throne, and to the Lamb, for ever and ever. Their joy is boundless as they praise His majesty and His boundless blessings!

Other praiseworthy titles are listed in Hebrews 12: 2 where He is Author and Finisher of our Faith. In Hebrews 5: 9 He is The Author of Eternal Salvation unto all those who obey Him. In Philippians 3: 20 He is The Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:11 speaks plainly of the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. In Genesis 49:10 The Sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a Lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Here Shiloh is indicative of Messiah – Who when He comes the second time, shall be both king and lawgiver. Bullinger notes that this verse contains two of the six Pentateuch titles of Jesus – Scepter and Shiloh – and that the others are Seed in Genesis 3: 15; Shepherd and Stone in Genesis 49:24 and Star in Numbers 24: 17. We should note that Lawgiver in Genesis 49:10 is surely an additional one.

The lovely phrases of Isaiah 32:1 are: Behold, a King shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. 2 And a Man shall be as an Hiding Place from the Wind, and a Covert from the Tempest; as Rivers of Water in a dry place, as the Shadow of a Great Rock in a weary land ... surely five additional facets of our Glorious Saviour!

In Revelation 22: 16 He is The Root and Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star. In Haggai 2:7 He is The Desire of All Nations. In 1 Timothy 2: 15 He is Blessed and Only Potentate, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

In John 10: 11 He is The Good Shepherd … Who Gives His Life for the Sheep. In Hebrews 13: 20 He is The Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the Sheep Who was brought again from the dead by the blood of the everlasting covenant. In John 10: 7 He is the Door of the Sheep(fold) and later identifies Himself as The Good Shepherd (vs. 11) Who Gives His Life for the Sheep.

The various usages of His name Jesus are remarkable: The angel who announced His birth literally named the Saviour: Matthew 1:21 – Thou shalt call His name Jesus, or Anointed. In Hebrews 13: 9 He is Jesus Christ – Anointed Savior. In John 20: 31 Jesus is the Christ (The Savior), the Son of God. In Romans 7: 24 He is Jesus Christ the Lord. In addition, He would be Emmanuel, or God With Us.

At His Second Coming He is Judge of the Quick and the Dead (John 19:19), and Judge of All the Earth in John 5: 21, while at His death He was designated Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews in Hebrew, Greek and Latin. In Zechariah 14: 17 He shall be King of All The Earth, worshiped by every nation. At that Second Advent He shall sit to Judge All the Heathen Round About in the Valley of Jehoshaphat of Joel 3: 12. In Zechariah 9:9 He is Zion’s King Coming Unto Thee, Just … Having Salvation … Lowly … Riding on an Ass. While in the next verse we behold Him Ruling His Dominion from Sea to Sea, and From the River Unto the Ends of the Earth.

In Conclusion: A rough count reveals, in addition to the several formal titles of Christ, over 400 such names and titles of Jesus in various phases of His ministry and mission throughout the scriptures. Each of them is a dissertation unto itself, lending depth and width to our understanding of Him, our appreciation of His Work, and our thankfulness for His salvation. <HEL January 29, 2012>



The Israeli Pot of 2012 Continues to Boil

Abstracted from ICEJ Report and other sources by H E Lafferty

The nation of Israel celebrated the Gregorian New Year yesterday along with the rest of the world. Israelis looked back with great satisfaction to the past year as celebratory fireworks were discharged over Jerusalem and other cities. They had happily avoided some disasters of diplomacy, of military importance, of political significance, and of monetary import.

The Central Bureau of Statistics reported that the economy quite effectively resisted the slowdown observed generally in the Western World by its flourishing growth of 4.8% in 2011.

Evident were huge increases in exports, in consumer spending, in capital investments (a field in which Israel excels, by the way), and in tourism as well as other growth figures.

The unemployment figure plummeted to 5.6% of those seeking jobs; it was one of the lowest levels in the statistical group.

A huge diplomatic victory was scored in the UN General Assembly in which it defeated the PLO’s move to form itself into a state in a daring but ill-advised unilateral move.

One of its most treasured victories was the safe return of Gilad Schalit, an IDF member who had been kidnapped and held prisoner by the forces of Hamas in the Gaza Strip for years.

In addition, a substantial number of new immigrants arrived to take up residence in Israel. In addition to these new residents, well over 120,000 new babies were born to Jewish parents.

As a result, the new population figure now stands at an all time high of seven million eight hundred thousand citizens. About 80% of these are Jewish. The State is solidly a Jewish State at this time with no challenge from Muslim birthrates.

Still, enemies lurk and even increase in strength on every side.

Iran continues on its pathway toward nuclearization of its weaponry. It is pressing ahead with longer range missile development and now threatens to close the Straits of Hormuz – the outlet to the Indian Ocean – through which transits about 15% of the world’s crude oil supply.

Syria to Israel’s north is undergoing even more intense internal convulsions that have no certain outcome.

The Moslem Brotherhood continues to gain strength in Egypt as elections move ahead and new reports are that it will never recognize “the Zionist entity” as a peace partner. This means that if they have their way, the 1977 Peace Treaty is a thing of the past – a development which would change Israel’s military doctrines drastically and place an additional load on her strategic planning.

Jordan is fractured and more brittle than it has been for several years, its 75%-plus “Palestinian” population clamoring for more influence and rabidly opposing Israel to the west.

Lebanon is subject to the terrorists of Hezbollah, where they have virtually taken over the country and its government.

The rebels of Libya really haven’t sorted out their path as yet but will surely choose the way of Sha’aria Law and Fundamentalism, though they may not yet realize it.

Iraq, now free of Alliance troops is on its own and seeing a marked increase in Shia-Sunni conflict which threatens to rip apart the weak central government. Whichever way it settles in, it will be a violent enemy of Israel as the prophets declare.

The Sinai Peninsula has become lawless and uncontrolled by Egypt’s military government and houses many renegade forces aligned with Hamas and the ideology of al-Qaeda. Saudi Arabia is busy purchasing the favor of many of its citizens by granting huge financial benefits to this repressed population.

Turkey’s new trend of hostility toward Israel is deepening. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has just been diagnosed with recto-sigmoid (lower bowel) cancer which usually leads to death in the short term. What more rabid leader will take his place when he passes we know not.

Beyond those developments the U. S. arms industry is flooding the Islamic countries adjacent to Israel with military materiel. Several Gulf Emirates are purchasing fighter bombers and bunker-penetrating bombs with which to defend themselves. Saudi Arabia is now hinting at its desire (need?) for a nuclear initiative of its own. Its air force is being reinforced with fighter-bombers from Boeing as well.

Will these later be turned against Israel? Probably so … but fatally so (for them).

In the case of the inevitable fall of Egypt into the hands of the Moslem Brotherhood, its considerable military – entirely American in makeup, including the latest F-15 and F-16 aircraft, AWACS aircraft command and control units, Humvees, the latest battle tanks and other equipment – will be at the disposal of not only the Brothers but of Hamas and perhaps even Hezbollah.

It’s quite a messy quagmire.

The brightest place in the entire region, therefore, is Israel – and only one of these three countries which has an identifiably bright future! The other two are Egypt and Assyria (today’s Syria and Iraq – Isaiah 19: 24.

So, the year 2012 promises to be full of intrigue and changeability. In our view the danger to Israel (apparent danger, we must say, for the danger will be alleviated at the proper time by the proper Person to Israel) will become deeper and more threatening. The people of Israel will be tested as to their resolve and tenacity. They are being steadily and progressively prepared for their Savior’s appearance – His spectacular manifestation on their behalf in bloody, first-person combat against their numerous enemies.

Who do you think will win? <HEL MD/USA January 2, 2012>


Winged Migrants Over Israel - and Gog


From time immemorial gigantic flocks of birds have shuttled northward and southward over God’s Land in the mysterious, perennial movements engineered into their natures. Our Father noted these in speaking through Jeremiah: “Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD.” (Jeremiah 8:7).


Visitors to Israel in the spring and fall are likely to be impressed with a sky full of Cranes on the wing, or Steppe Eagles, Turtledoves, Vultures and Swallows as they blacken the heavens with whirring wings in giant, orderly formations moving as one enormous community of avian creatures on the move! Or, passing by the numerous wetlands of the Upper Galilee may observe thousands of Storks covering the bogs and lakes, sleeping while standing on one leg, or scouring the wet grounds and shallow lakes for nourishment. They take advantage of the lush vegetation of Israel and its water to rest from the long flight from Egypt or from Turkey. They rest, sleep and refuel for the next leg of their journey here.



On Tuesday, August 15, the Jerusalem Post reported, “The first groups of migratory birds, including thousands of pelicans, passed through Israeli skies on their way to warmer temperatures. Observers at the Israeli Ornithological Center, in conjunction with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel reported that the autumn migration has begun. The first groups of migratory birds, including thousands of pelicans, passed through Israeli skies in the last two days on their way southward to warmer temperatures, according to the report.”


A correspondent sent this brief snippet along with his comment: “This article, if read with Ezekiel 39:17 undoubtedly gives us an indication of the time of the year for the Gogian invasion.”


The text in point includes about four verses in all, speaking in the poetic stance of the Creator providing a giant feast for His creatures: Ezekiel 39:17 - And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood.18 Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.19 And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.20 Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD.


Ezekiel thus indicates the crushing, lethal termination of Gog’s attempted invasion of God’s Land. The immense sacrifice results from the six weapons from the Almighty enumerated in verses 21 and 22 of the previous chapter: every man’s sword against his brother; pestilence and blood; an overflowing rain; great hailstones; fire; and brimstone.


This death toll shall be so immense that an extraordinary cadre of raptors and scavengers of nature will be called upon to devour their flesh. It seems reasonable that the slaughter of the Gogian host shall take place in either the spring or fall of the year while this great transitory population of beasts are overflying Israel, and touching down to refuel and rest!


Bird Migration


Migration itself is one of the most amazing natural phenomena on earth. It is undertaken by butterflies, fishes, turtles, deer, birds of numerous species, and many other animals. By far, the longest migrations of all those named are those of birds. The tiny Arctic Tern flies from pole to pole twice each year!


Israel is the keystone of three continents and is over-flown by migrating birds on a scale perhaps without equal anywhere else in the world. Recent studies have shown that about 500 million birds transit Israel’s tiny airspace twice every year in the fulfillment of their migratory tendencies. So Israel has become perhaps the premier center in the world for bird observation – birding, as they term it.


Israel has protective laws for these migratory residents; but they also create special safety concerns for both the Israel Air Force and commercial aircraft as well as the birds themselves. Recent research has resulted in an 88% reduction in bird deaths.


There is much interest in bird migration in Israel. Utilizing satellite and radar imaging, researchers may track the birds from Israel to their winter nesting grounds in Africa and Madagascar, then back northward through the Israel Flyway to Europe and Western Asia in the spring. So Israel is essentially a superhighway for bird migration. At the height of their migratory seasons, the country may contain as many as 500 species of birds.


One writer rhapsodized: “You must realize that migrating birds do not recognize political borders, and serve as ideal symbols of the era of peace that is surely about to dawn in the Middle East.”


Israel’s International Center for Study of Birds Migration is located on the main road between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv; there, efforts at interdisciplinary study are being made to develop methods of computer tracking of migrating birds and ready exchange of information with ornithologists and avian students in neighboring countries and throughout the world.


In Jerusalem there is a facility tucked in between the Knesset and the Supreme Court; it is the Jerusalem Bird Observatory. There workers capture birds in a soft net strung between trees and identify them, record their species, sex and weight. These are then tagged with tiny metal leg bands, and released. When a bird is captured which is already tagged, the center notifies the country of origin as to the identity of its bird, time of visit, and state of health including weight - then releases it to resume its journey. In this way migratory patterns become better understood.


In addition to the transients, the native birds of Israel number about 270 species. Together the species count of about 500 is equivalent to Britain, and less than 200 short of the United States.


Current writers are not especially mentioning the raptors among their avian visitors. It has been estimated that about 15% of the migratory birds passing through Israel are raptors – about 75 million individuals! These are generally considered birds of prey (not all these pass through Israel); from Wikipedia we list:

Accipitridae: hawks, eagles, buzzards, harriers, kites and Old World vultures

Pandionidae: the Osprey (sometimes classified as subfamily Pandioninae of the previous family)

Sagittariidae: the Secretary Bird

Falconidae: falcons and caracaras

Cathartidae: New World vultures including condors.

Strigidae: (typical owls)

Tytonidae: (barn and bay owls).


So, you see, the population is quite diverse. These shall be the most active players in consuming the carcasses of the Gogian host, for they are carrion-eaters as well as (often) devourers of live prey.


And so it is that we are informed well before the fact, of the awful demise of an immense body of aggressors of Israel, God’s people, who come intending to assault the Kingdom of Christ, but meeting a blunt, omnipotent, destructive force: Ezekiel 39:3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.


<HEL MD/USA August 18, 2011>

Fifty-Six Hours from Anarchy

and the Normalcy Bias


This short essay departs from our usual considerations, but is extremely serious. Many times in life we discount and overlook cautionary warnings from contemporary observers who are knowledgeable in affairs of the world. Several serious thinkers in the world of finance and social consciousness have recently made predictions to which we should pay rapt attention. These folk are watchmen of sorts who observe affairs of life and may warn us of harmful societal drifts to our distinct advantage. One such researcher is Kent Lucas, a research analyst at Taipan Financial Group in Baltimore, Maryland, who recently published an extensive, well-researched article entitled “56 Hours from Anarchy.”


The article is fairly long at about 21 pages, but contains excellent details (and ultimately promotes a newsletter produced by him for his company). Sometimes we may disregard such writings because they have a business slant; but often that is not a wise choice. The facts he presents are well-founded and his projections are credible.


Mr. Lucas’ thesis is that with all the turmoil and upset in the world in general there is an underlying factor which ultimately may affect every man and woman on earth. In a sense it is population growth, but emphasizes the near-term result of the tremendous growth that naturally ensues from a population of some six billion inhabitants – the birth of 200,000 new people each day!


He cites what he calls a Spanish proverb which says, "Civilization and anarchy are only seven meals apart."


That’s where the “56 hours” comes from – the length of time for the consumption of seven meals – and considers in detail what would come about if seven consecutive meals were slashed from the diets of almost everyone – if there was no food available for purchase or obtainable from one’s own food-stocks for 56 hours. It would be the beginning of a process of starvation, which I believe everyone will agree is the most vital human benefit after air to breathe (about four minutes), water to drink (about four days), and sleep (about 40 hours).


He rightly points out that the average stock of the prevalent retailers of foods – of supermarkets and grocery stores – is about three days’ supply. If the supply chain were interrupted by riots, insurrection, fuel shortages, supply shortages, or weather, even the giant retailers would quickly be reduced to unstocked shelves, such as after a blizzard a few days before Thanksgiving in London last year which left food store shelves completely bare in three days.


He cites numerous media reports of the impending disaster; for example, this lead article in The Sunday Times: "The specter of food shortages is casting a shadow across the globe, causing riots in Africa, consumer protests in Europe and panic in food-importing countries."


These countries are often backwater societies not on the radar of many people.


During the last week we have observed TV reports of famine in Somalia in the wake of its recent rebellion. The reports were given almost passively – that about a million Somalis would starve to death very soon if relief does not come to them quickly (some three millions are greatly compromised as to food supplies!). Most vulnerable are the small children, whose metabolism is more rapid and whose reserves are shallower – especially Somali children, almost none of whom are obese. The outside world seems to gloss over this problem in a blasé manner – possibly because the population affected is Black African (?), a demographic group generally disregarded by the larger world, one which is not economically significant.


Famine, pestilence and the sword (war) are the hallmarks of the Endtimes as reflected in several scriptural references. Micah has prophesied of the ultimate time of healing and peace in these words: Micah 4:3 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.


This blessed time is in direct contrast to those conditions which preceded it. Emphasis on the production of “swords” reduces emphasis on “plowshares” and the resultant food production, which brings starvation and famine. Physical starvation exerts an awful effect as one wastes away, his body weight and muscle mass diminishing rapidly sending him into lethargy and morbidity. Finally, as Mr. Lucas points out, the prospect of widespread starvation is opening to all the earth’s peoples in general because of several accumulating factors.


He cites many of these in his report: diminishing croplands; diminishing farm population; increasing food prices; increasing population (such as the 200,000 new lives beginning each day); widespread drought; pestilence; widespread flooding; diversion of foodstocks to the manufacture of ethanol for fuel; land erosion; inability of almost everyone to grow their own foods due to lack of space or lack of ability; and the rising costs of food transportation. All these factors militate for acute shortages and markedly higher prices of basic foods.


In addition, the prophet Amos cites a different kind of famine which is also prevalent today: Amos 8:11 - Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD. Although this is not the emphasis of this article, it is also extremely relevant to mankind’s well-being; unfortunately this need is also not being met by those pastors and priests who purport to give out vital information about salvation but have distorted and twisted it to their own ends.


However, let us think about the very real impending crisis of an inadequate food supply even for the nations whose supplies have been stable for years, such as the USA. It has been decades since there was widespread scarcity of food in this country, so we are victims of what some call The Context of Probability (also The Normalcy Bias): the general belief that because one has never experienced a certain crisis that he never shall do so. It is a subconscious feeling of security that is false because one is facing an unsuspected trial that is foreign to his experience.


An excellent example of this Normalcy Bias is the prospect of the Second Advent of the Lord from heaven; no person alive has ever experienced this phenomenon so it is outside his scope of possibility. Peter wrote of this fault in 2 Peter 3:3 - Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. Clearly the event is outside their Context of Probability: because it’s never happened, it won’t happen!


This same bias leads people to discount the continued supply of adequate food. It is actually worse than that. The author cites Tim Lang, Professor of Food Policy at City University who summed it up by saying “’We are sleep-walking into a crisis.’ The simple fact is, most people have no idea how close we are to anarchy. They don't realize how quickly a civilized society can spiral into chaos. And they certainly don't want to admit it.”


He continues: “A recent Reuters article had this to say about how delicate the supply and demand balance is right now: ‘Even if we have a good year, we are not going to have the inventories we've seen before. I really do think the time of cheap food prices is over...."


"Everything is set to the point where supply equals demand right now. But if you pull one thing out of it, or if you disrupt the equation in some little way or tweak it, I think, with inventories as tight as they are, it will really have an impact on prices. A drought, a flood, anything," said analyst Chris Mann of Traders Group Inc in Chicago.


This phenomenon is directly due to the contemporary custom of most businesses to practice “just in time” purchasing – that is, buying goods on a tightly trimmed, “as required” basis, such as a three day supply; this makes good business sense because the practice results in minimal investment in non-productive inventory. But critical to this practice is: its success depends upon uninterrupted re-supply, which the Normalcy Bias assures them - that the dependability of re-supply is always a reasonable expectation (it is not).


Mr. Lucas then cites this article from The Globe and Mail: "Food prices hit a record level last month, according to United Nations statistics, and are forecast to grow by more than 30 per cent this year. In a worst-case situation of critical shortages sketched by Citigroup Inc. analysts, prices could skyrocket by as much as 75 per cent." - Jan. 25, 2011.


He observes, “It's easy to imagine how quickly the natives would become very restless ...how quickly survival would do away with the rule of law.” This sudden erasure of the rule of law was observed just last week in London where for days hordes of young people, especially, took to the streets to pillage and loot and burn just because they were able to do it with impunity for the most part! Interviewers of some of them recorded their actual words to this effect! Their premise actually had no substantial reason, such as hunger. In this case it is essentially a moral failure. So wait until hunger IS a factor and see how bad things will become.


My reason for broaching this subject is concern for readers. I believe our faith requires extreme exercise in such theoretical times as those cited – anarchy and lawlessness – but that solid preparation is also called for. We cannot afford to do absolutely nothing in the face of such threats and “expect the Lord to take care of us;” He expects us to help ourselves, too!


Case in point: when Believers saw Jerusalem encircled by armies in 69 AD, and then saw them withdraw for a short while (orders from Rome), they fled the City and sought refuge elsewhere in order to escape the destruction that was coming. In so doing, they saved their lives.


How did they know of this prospect? They were familiar with the words of Jesus in Luke 21:20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. 21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. 22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.


In like manner we also should be prepared for disasters about which we have been warned by Him. We hope to have more to say on this subject during the coming days and weeks, God willing. We need to know HOW to prepare, procedures to take very soon, and supplies to have on hand. Another recent report I have received projected the USA has only about “180 days to anarchy” such as has been seen in Greece, England, Libya, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, and other venues (often for widely differing reasons, but they occurred) and which some say are certainly coming to a neighborhood near you. We must diligently attend to preparedness for this challenge also.


We remember vividly the warning of Paul to young Timothy: 2Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.


We believe it obvious that perilous times HAVE ARRIVED. These words address personal conduct and concerns of Believers; but the same spirit of self-will and self-centeredness pervades the world in general.


We hope to have more to say on this matter of preparedness soon … for the disaster is surely on its way.

<HEL MD/USA August 14, 2011>

Israel and its Ensign

Compiled by H E Lafferty

As is true with all countries, the State of Israel is represented by a national flag. The story of how this flag came about is fascinating. The substance of this article is taken from the writings of Dr. David R. Reagan (Lamb and Lion website). As one of the most recognizable symbols in today’s world, it is a prophetic symbol of Israel – God’s people. Allow him to explain.

“Theodor Herzl's book, Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State -1896), is considered to be the document that gave birth to the modern Zionist Movement. In that book Herzl proposed the design of a flag to represent a new Jewish state:1

"We have no flag, and we need one. If we desire to lead many men, we must raise a symbol above their heads. I would suggest a white flag, with seven golden stars."

“Herzl went on to explain that the white background would symbolize "the purity of our new life," while the seven stars would represent "the seven golden hours of our working-day."

“Herzl may have been a great political visionary, but he was no flag designer. His concept did not catch on with anyone.

“So, the next year he proposed an alternative. Once again he conceived of a white background, but this time he proposed a large Star of David in the center, with smaller gold stars at each point and a seventh star above this cluster. Reproduced below is an extract from his diary showing his drawing of this flag.2

The Wolffsohn Flag

“During the preparations for the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland in 1897, Herzl raised the issue of the flag. He pressed for approval of his new idea, but the design did not ignite any excitement. Suddenly, one of Herzl's close friends, David Wolffsohn, (185-1914) stood up and said, "Why do we have to search? Here is our national flag." He then held up his prayer shawl (talith) which was white with a blue stripe along each (top and bottom) margin. Here's how Wolffsohn later described the incident:3

"’At the behest of our leader, Herzl, I came to Basel to make preparations for the Zionist Congress. Among many other problems that occupied me then was... what flag would we hang in the Congress Hall? Then an idea struck me. We have a flag — and it is blue and white. The talith (prayer shawl) with which we wrap ourselves when we pray: that is our symbol. Let us take this talith from its bag and unroll it before the eyes of Israel and the eyes of all nations. So I ordered a blue and white flag with the Shield of David painted upon it. That is how the national flag, that flew over the Congress Hall, came into being.’

“Over the years that followed, the Star of David banner with two blue stripes became the unofficial symbol of the World Zionist Movement. At the 18th Zionist Congress in 1933, held in Prague, the flag was officially adopted as the symbol of Zionism.

The Colors of the Flag

“The first person to voice the idea that blue and white should be the colors of the Jewish people was an Austrian poet named Ludwig August Frankl (1810-1894). In 1864 he expressed his idea in a poem titled, "Judah's Colors."4

"When sublime feelings his heart fill,

He is mantled in the colors of his country.

He stands in prayer, wrapped

In a sparkling robe of white.

The hems of the white robe

Are crowned with broad stripes of blue;

Like the robe of the High Priest

Adorned with bands of blue threads.

These are the colors of the beloved country.

Blue and white are the borders of Judah.

White is the radiance of the priesthood,

And blue, the splendors of the firmament."

Other Origins of the Flag

“Actually, the flag design that David Wolffsohn came up with was one that had already been in circulation, although he most likely was not aware of it.

“In 1882 Jews from Russia founded a town south of Jaffa named Rishon LeZion ("First to Zion"). It was funded in part by Baron Edmond de Rothschild. In the summer of 1885 the community started making plans to celebrate its third anniversary.

“One of the settlers, Israel Belkind, decided to make a flag for the occasion. Working with another settler, the two of them came up with the idea of a design that would look like a prayer shawl, with the Star of David in the center, between two blue stripes. The flag was adopted as the symbol of the town, and later, the word, Zion, was added in the center of the Star of David.5

“The fascinating thing is that people came up with a similar design here in the United States near the end of the 19th Century. For example, a father and son in Boston — Jacob and Charles Askowith — produced a flag like the Wolffsohn and Belkind flags in 1891 to be used as the symbol of the Bnai Zion Educational Society. It had blue stripes above and below a Star of David, with the word Maccabee, inscribed in the center.6

”Six years later, in 1897, the same year that Wolffsohn designed the flag to be used at the First Zionist Congress, a man in the Harlem area of New York City made a flag that was identical to Wolffsohn's. His name was Morris Harris. He was an immigrant from Russia. His ancestors [he probably means “descendants”] have posted an article on the Internet that claims he was the designer of the flag of Israel.7

“The story is that he was a member of a Jewish society that sent some delegates to the First Zionist Congress. When they returned to New York City, a welcome home party was planned for them. Mr. Harris, who was in the upholstery business, decided to make a flag to honor them. It turned out to be exactly like the flag Wolffsohn had designed and which had been displayed as the symbol of the Congress. His wife actually made the flag, and when she died in 1928, Mr. Harris erected a monument which proclaimed: "The first Zion flag was made by her."8

Coincidence or Epiphany?

“How could four people — one in Switzerland, one in Israel, and two in the United States — come up with the same flag design? Was it just a coincidence, or could it have been something supernatural in nature?

“I would argue that the Lord moved on their hearts with the same design and did so to affirm the fact that their design was the one that should be adopted by the new state. I say this because the design of the flag of Israel was prophesied by Isaiah over 2,700 years ago (Isaiah 11:10):

"Then it will come about in that day

That the nations will resort to the root of Jesse,

Who will stand as a signal for the peoples;

And His resting place will be glorious."

“This passage goes on to say that at this time, the Lord will regather the Jewish people a "second time" (the first being the regathering from Babylon) from "the four corners of the earth" (Isaiah 11:11-12).

“Look again at the verse quoted above (Isaiah 11:10). Isaiah says that "in that day" (his consistent term for the end times) a "signal" will be raised that will feature "the root of Jesse." The Hebrew word for signal, nec, is a word that can be translated as signal, standard, banner, or ensign. So this verse is saying that in the end times a banner will be raised that will feature "the root of Jesse." Jesse is, of course, the father of David. So, Isaiah is saying that the flag will carry the symbol of David and that it will act like a magnet to draw the Jewish people back to their homeland. The symbol of David is, of course, the Star of David, so the modern-day flag of Israel represents a fulfillment of Bible prophecy.

The Adoption of the Flag

“On May 14, 1948, when David Ben Gurion read the Israeli Declaration of Independence in Tel Aviv, Zionist banners hung from the ceiling on both sides of the podium, but no flag for the new state had yet been adopted.

“The Provisional Government was reluctant to adopt the design of the Zionist banner. They feared that Jews worldwide who were already using the Zionist flag at their meetings would be accused of double loyalty if the design was adopted as the official flag of Israel. So, for nearly six months, the new state did not have a flag.

“There was fierce argument within the government as to the final design. Some desired a flag featuring a Menorah. Others lobbied for the Lion of Judah.9

“Finally, Prime Minister David Ben Gurion decided to ask the public for its opinion. A design contest was initiated with the guideline that the flag should be blue and white in color, but other colors were not ruled out. About 170 proposals were submitted.

“On October 28, 1948, the Council of State adopted the design submitted by Richard Ariel.10 It was basically the Zionist symbol with a darker shade of blue.

“Another part of this decision was an agreement that the official seal of Israel would be the Menorah and that the Lion of Judah would appear on the flag of Jerusalem.

Other Symbols of Israel

The Menorah


"This is probably the oldest of all Jewish symbols. It has no parallel in heraldry and produces an immediate association with the subject it represents — the Temple in Jerusalem.

“The symbol is incorporated in the official seal of Israel. The seal features the seven- branched candelabrum of the Temple. The two artists who designed the seal took as their model the depiction of the menorah in relief on the Arch of Titus in Rome. Their original design featured a white band at the top on which was emblazoned the seven golden stars Theodor Herzl had intended for the flag of the Jewish state. But the governmental committee in charge of selecting the design decided to eliminate the stars.

“The olive branches express the state's peaceful intentions. The menorah attests to the link of the Jewish people with their glorious past when a huge menorah stood in their Temple in Jerusalem. The inscription at the bottom says "Israel." This seal is used on the official government documents of the state of Israel.

The Lion of Judah

"The lion became associated with the Jewish people when Jacob on his death bed referred to the tribe of Judah as "a lion's whelp" (Genesis 49:9). It was adopted as the symbol of the tribe of Judah, and later, when that tribe came to dominate Jewish life, it was identified with the Jewish people as a whole. It is used on the flag of Jerusalem.

“The design of that flag is similar to the flag of Israel, with a white background and dark blue stripes. But a depiction of the Lion of Judah replaces the Star of David in the center. The lion is displayed against a golden background that represents the Western Wall or "Wailing Wall" as it is known in the Western world. The word above the emblem is the Hebrew rendering of Jerusalem. The olive branches on each side represent the desire for peace, bringing to mind the biblical command to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Psalm 122:6).

The Shofar

“The shofar is mentioned frequently in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Talmud and rabbinic literature. The shofar was used in biblical times to announce the new moon (Numbers 10:10), holidays (Psalm 81:3), and the Jubilee year (Leviticus 25:10). The annual Feast of Trumpets, held on the first day of the seventh month, is termed "a memorial of blowing" (Leviticus 23:24), or "a day of blowing" the shofar (Numbers 29:1). The shofar was also employed in processions (2 Samuel 6:15), as a musical accompaniment (Psalm 98:6) and to signify the start of a war (Joshua 6:4). The blast of a shofar emanating from the thick cloud on Mount Sinai made the Israelites tremble in awe (Exodus 19:19).

The Star of David

"Many sources claim this symbol did not originate until the Middle Ages, but that is not true. It can be found on the frieze of the 2nd Century synagogue in Capernaum. It also appears as part of the 1st Century symbol of the Messianic Church, which combined the symbols of the menorah, the star of David and the fish.” [End of Quotation]

Conclusion

So it seems clear that the flag of Israel was divinely designed, and revealed through the prophet in Isaiah 11! There are several other references to “the ensign” of Israel which include:

Numbers 2: 2 in which each of the tribes of Israel in the wilderness encamped under its respective ensign (flag, or banner).

Isaiah 5: 26 in which he states that an ensign (a flag, or symbol) shall be raised “to the nations” (the Ten and the Two Tribes, by context), and shall “hiss” for them – or whistle for them to come home – from “the end of the earth, and they shall come with speed swiftly.”

Isaiah 11: 10 already commented upon, describing the ensign as featuring David’s symbol.

Isaiah 11: 12 again features the ensign before “the nations” or Tribes – the “outcasts of Israel” – to gather them together from the four corners of the earth.

Isaiah 18: 3 in which the prophet admonishes “hear ye” when the ensign is lifted upon the mountain and when the shofar is blown – the trumpet of assembly!

Isaiah 30: 17 in which a pole or staff (a flag-pole with an ensign) shall be lifted upon the top of a mountain to which His people are instructed to flee.

Isaiah 31: 9 treats of a day when Assyria and his princes shall be terrified of “the ensign (i.e., those represented by the ensign = Israel!) saith the Lord, Whose fire is in Zion, and His furnace in Jerusalem.” The fire and the furnace of Zion are the destructive forces leveled against God’s enemies of that day.

Zechariah 9: 16 promises that “the Lord their God shall save them in that day, as the flock of His people; for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon His land.”

Thus there can be no doubt whatever that the People of Israel are not only represented by a distinctive, divine ensign, or flag, or banner, but in the finality are themselves that entity! It is a remarkable prophecy of His extension of His hand “a second time, to recover the remnant of His people which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the Islands of the Sea” … thus assembling “the outcasts of Israel and gathering the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” Isaiah 11: 11, 12.

We note with great appreciation that the recovery of Jews from these named places has already taken place almost completely, except for the last-designated place which is indicative of all the other places in the earth to which His people have been scattered!

<HELafferty MD/USA September, 2010>

Notes

1. Theodor Herzl, The Jewish State (Filiquarian Publishing, 2006), originally published in 1896, pp. 85-86.

2. Dov Gutterman, "Israel — History of the National Flag,"

www.crwflags.com/fotw/Flags/il%7Dz1896.html. Accessed on March 5, 2008.

3. Alec Mishory, "The Israeli Flag," The Jewish Virtual Library,

www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/isflag.html, p. 2. Accessed on March 5, 2008.

4. "Blue and White and the Israeli Flag," unsigned article on the website of Jewish Heritage Online Magazine, www.jhom.com/topics/color/flag.htm, p. 2. Accessed on March 5, 2008.

5. Dov Gutterman, "Rishon LeZiyyon Flag," www.crwflags.com/FOTW/FLAGS/il%7Dz1885.html, pp. 1-2. Accessed on March 5, 2008.

6. Alec Mishory, "The Israeli Flag," The Jewish Virtual Library,

www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/isflag.html, p. 3-4. Accessed on March 5, 2008.

7. Madeline Harris Rabinowitz, "The Birth of the Flag of Israel: The Story of Morris Harris — Designer of the Flag of Israel," www.flag-of-Israel.org, pp. 1-2. Accessed on January 20, 2008.

8. Ibid., p. 2.

9. Dov Gutterman, "Israel — History of the National Flag,"

www.crwflags.com/FOTW/FLAGS/il_hist.html, p. 2. Accessed on March 5, 2008.

10. Ibid., p. 3. -30- <HEL>


The WEU Dissolves Itself

On March 31, 2011 the President of the Permanent Council of the Western European Union (WEU) made the following announcement ”… on behalf of the High Contracting Parties to the Modified Brussels Treaty – Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom.” Ten specifically denominated nations (horns)!

In later reports these are referred to as “The Ten.”

The full, brief text of the announcement is reproduced here as extracted from the WEU web site [N.B. yellow highlights are my emphasis – Ed]. It said:

The Western European Union has made an important contribution to peace and stability in Europe and to the development of the European security and defence architecture, promoting consultations and cooperation in this field, and conducting operations in a number of theatres, including Petersberg tasks.

Building on the achievements of the WEU and the principle of European solidarity, the EU has taken on crisis management tasks since 2000 and has now developed a Common Security and Defence Policy.

With the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, a new phase in European security and defence begins. Article 42.7 of the Treaty on the European Union now sets out that, if a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other Member States shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power,[1] and states that commitments and cooperation in this area shall be consistent with commitments in NATO, which for its members remains the foundation of their collective defence and the forum for its implementation.

In this context, we remain strongly committed to the principle of mutual defence of article V of the Modified Brussels Treaty.

The WEU has therefore accomplished its historical role.[2] In this light we the States Parties to the Modified Brussels Treaty have collectively decided to terminate the Treaty, thereby effectively closing the organization, and in line with its article XII will notify the Treaty’s depositary in accordance with national procedures.

The Assembly of WEU has contributed substantially to the development of a European culture on security and defence. In accordance with the specific nature of CSDP, we encourage as appropriate the enhancement of interparliamentary dialogue in this field including with candidates for EU accession and other interested states. Protocol 1 on the role of national parliaments in the European Union, annexed to the Lisbon Treaty, may provide a basis for it.

The States Parties task the WEU Permanent Council with organising the cessation of WEU activities in accordance with timelines prescribed in the Modified Brussels Treaty preferably by the end of June 2011 In this respect, the WEU Permanent Council will rely on the WEU General Secretariat’s expertise and support and consult with the WEU Assembly as appropriate. It will in particular deal with the following aspects: implementation of the social plan for the WEU General Secretariat’s personnel, the Paris-based administrative services and the WEU Assembly’s staff, on the basis of the social plan of 2000 and in consultation with the personnel representatives; management of the pensions and settlement of issues related to the WEU premises in Brussels and Paris.

Associate members, observers and associate partners will be duly informed by the Presidency of the Permanent Council during the process. [End]

“The WEU has therefore fulfilled its historical role.” It is quite patent in the above text that the ten members of the WEU was legally ending its existence and ceding its entire authority and charter over to ALL the nations of the European Union (EU) as it is now known. This event is greatly important to our thinking.

A fellow student in Texas first brought this event to my attention; it was not publicized widely in either March or June so I had not noted it until about July, 2011. It is extremely relevant to Endtime prophecy and deserves some attention and examination.

What possible importance could such an event have in Bible prophecy? Why would one give it a second thought? Well, those are good questions; their answer may surprise and thrill you if you are a believer in God’s holy Word, and the predictions of His prophets!

Many have been convinced for a long time that the European Community is identical to the Beast of Revelation 17 and 18, upon which a drunken Harlot rides carrying a cup of filthy abomination in her hands. This present discussion shall concentrate on only a few verses of these chapters as overall discussion is beyond the scope and interest of this consideration.

The verses in which we are interested here are surely related to “The Ten”- the nations – referenced above. The reference is Revelation 17:12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

For years Biblical scholars have watched the establishment and developments of the products of The Treaties of Rome (1957), the founding date of the European Economic Community (EEC) (and to Euratom, (the European Atomic Energy Community) – its first name – founded by those Treaties of Rome, of which this is a brief summary and extension:


The Treaties of Rome (1957)


The Treaty of Rome (1957)

The "British problem" and the enlargement of the EEC in 1973

Progress in European integration and the enlargement to "the Europe of the Twelve" (1973-1986)


The overall purpose of these treaties was stated as The Treaty establishing the EEC affirmed in its preamble that signatory States were ‘determined to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe.’ In this way, the member States specifically affirmed the political objective of a progressive political integration.

This, we believe, was the origin of the Beast of Revelation 17. One surely must agree that the prophecy is quite transparent at this stage of its development – or, at least, so we are now convinced! Its destiny is to resist the Lord Jesus Christ when He appears among those nations. Their future is grimly forecasted by John in the next verse of the above text:

14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

This development raises our antennae to great heights when we realize the connection between the two events, informing every student of the dire portent of the legal steps just undertaken by these unsuspecting Ten Horns of the Beast – those horns (powers) which have until recently been charged with matters of security and defense of the EU overall, HAVE JUST GIVEN THEIR POWER AND STRENGTH OVER TO THE BEAST (verse 13).

It seems to me that this is one of the surest, clearest conclusions (fulfillment) of prophetic forecasts; but it will be discounted and even missed by most scholars for some reason … such as ignoring any event which does not fit their preconceived notions. It shall be similar to their ignorance (ignore–ance) of the fulfillment of Zechariah 14: 2, in which the capture of half of Jerusalem was prophesied – and was fulfilled in June, 1949; yet, many students deny that fulfillment and look eagerly for yet another!

For years men have speculated over the Toes of the Image of Nebuchadnezzar; they were full of anticipation when the EEC was formed and headed for a membership of ten nations. But it went to 27 nations to date and many were disillusioned. Yet here, with “The Ten” could be the answer to the puzzle, for ten of the major members of the EEC (the WEU countries) being saddled with security and military matters for the EEC have come to the end of their charter and have turned their power over to the greater Beast!

To my simple mind, this confirmatory relinquishment of power portends the next major event for those nations – to make war with the Lamb Who shall overcome them! Although the prospect for this conflict lies some time in the future the wise scholar will keep these things in his mind and be strengthened by them. The fact remains that The Ten (horns/kings) were certain of only one goal – that of relinquishing their power to the Beast. They have now accomplished that goal!

The prophecy foretold a “one hour” association of the ten horns with the beast before they gave up their power to the Beast. The actual period of time was presumably 1957 to 2011, or approximately 54 years – a short time in prophetic affairs. Does that amount of time have any significance? We need to investigate further to determine that. <HEL MD/USA August 11, 2011>



[1] This assigns the former power of “The Ten” to all the 27 nations of The Beast.

[2] Here the “historical role” of The Ten is defined: it was always to fulfill its security/protective functions until such time as it deemed itself to have fulfilled those duties. Its raison d’etre all along was to turn over its authority to the Beast! That action is thus an excellent, reassuring event for the Watchers of God’s unfolding Plan!



Another Return to Egypt by Israel?

First, we quote extensively from Deuteronomy 28 – nearly 50 verses, all of which are germane to our subject. Please note the text highlighted in BLUE.


Deuteronomy 28:15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:

Deu 28:16 Cursed shalt thou be in the city, and cursed shalt thou be in the field.

Deu 28:17 Cursed shall be thy basket and thy store.

Deu 28:18 Cursed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy land, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep.

Deu 28:19 Cursed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and cursed shalt thou be when thou goest out.

Deu 28:20 The LORD shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me.

Deu 28:21 The LORD shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it.

Deu 28:22 The LORD shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.

Deu 28:23 And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.

Deu 28:24 The LORD shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed.

Deu 28:25 The LORD shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth.

Deu 28:26 And thy carcass shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away.

Deu 28:27 The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.

Deu 28:28 The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart:

Deu 28:29 And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee.

Deu 28:30 Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: thou shalt build an house, and thou shalt not dwell therein: thou shalt plant a vineyard, and shalt not gather the grapes thereof.

Deu 28:31 Thine ox shall be slain before thine eyes, and thou shalt not eat thereof: thine ass shall be violently taken away from before thy face, and shall not be restored to thee: thy sheep shall be given unto thine enemies, and thou shalt have none to rescue them.

Deu 28:32 Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long: and there shall be no might in thine hand.

Deu 28:33 The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not (Babylon) eat up; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed alway:

Deu 28:34 So that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.

Deu 28:35 The LORD shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head.

Deu 28:36 The LORD shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation (Babylon) which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.

Deu 28:37 And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee.

Deu 28:38 Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it.

Deu 28:39 Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them,but shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them.

Deu 28:40 Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; for thine olive shall cast his fruit.

Deu 28:41 Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity.

Deu 28:42 All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume.

Deu 28:43 The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low.

Deu 28:44 He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail.

Deu 28:45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee:

Deu 28:46 And they shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder, and upon thy seed for ever.

Deu 28:47 Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things;

Deu 28:48 Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee.

The Siege of Rome – 70 AD

Deu 28:49 The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;

Deu 28:50 A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young:

Deu 28:51 And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed: which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee.

Deu 28:52 And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustedst, throughout all thy land: and he shall besiege thee in all thy gates throughout all thy land, which the LORD thy God hath given thee.

Deu 28:53 And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the LORD thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee:

Deu 28:54 So that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil toward his brother, and toward the wife of his bosom, and toward the remnant of his children which he shall leave:

Deu 28:55 So that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat: because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates.

Deu 28:56 The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter,

Deu 28:57 And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them for want of all things secretly in the siege and straitness, wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates.

Deu 28:58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD;

Deu 28:59 Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.

Deu 28:60 Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee.

Deu 28:61 Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.

Deu 28:62 And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the LORD thy God.

Deu 28:63 And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.

Deu 28:64 And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone.

Deu 28:65 And among these nations (same as "Egypt" of verse 69) shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind:

Deu 28:66 And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:

Deu 28:67 In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see.

Deu 28:68 And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt (identical with "all the nations" of verses 64 and 65) again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you.

Is Israel Destined to Return to Egypt?

In the current issue of an online magazine appears an article entitled “Return to Egypt.” The author of this article beats a spurious drum calling for the return of Israel to the physical Land of Egypt – their being driven there from their Land by the Gogian host – and being again rescued from Egypt by the returned Christ.

We here respectfully refute this notion, scripturally.

Such an operation would necessitate a THIRD dispersion of His people of which there is not a shred of scriptural evidence. Indeed, Isaiah 11 indicates a final regathering of Israel a second time from the specific lands that are claimed to be those of Israel’s THIRD exile.

The 12th verse of Isaiah 11 actually defines the meaning of the prophecy when Moses nominates“Egypt” in Deuteronomy 28:68 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

This is the “Egypt” into which He sends them – the four corners of the earth! It is a fitting symbol for the world!

The four corners of the earth was the area of dispersion of Israel the second time from which they are now being recovered the second time. This is, I believe, the only occurrences in scripture equating the four corners of the earth to Egypt, but is obviously the meaning of the phrase. Usually the second dispersion, which is key to this specific prophecy, will specify from one end of the earth even unto the other as in Deuteronomy 28:64-65: And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. 65 And among these nations thou shalt find no ease ...

Notice carefully how this perfectly correlates with their destination being nominated as these “ends of the earth” being “Egypt” in verse 68; it is an innate feature of the orthography of the passages – one indicates the other; they are equivalents - they are one and the same destination expressed by two phrases. Preferable is the broader specificity of the two and thus the sensible conclusion that He would be scattering Israel at 70 AD “among all people” and not just to "Egypt;" and that it did occur in 70 AD for the second (and final) time.

We shall discuss several reasons why this is so in the following dissertation.

A simple but careful and thoughtful reading of Ezekiel 38 and 39 reveals NO activity of Gog and his cohort except coming “as a cloud” to cover the land – a phrase which I believe simply indicates an immense number of soldiers with their weapons. It is obviously a statement of Gog’s INTENT and not of its EXECUTION, for we immediately read of a wonderful reversal in the fortunes of the Northern/ Eastern/ Western/ Southern Host; the language of the prophet indicates an immediate comprehensive DEFEAT of the entire host: every other translation of Ezekiel 39:2 in my library except the A.V. indicates that every last one of the troops (not just 5/6) of that host shall be destroyed by the seven designated natural weapons enumerated in two verses of the 38thchapter: Ezekiel 38:21 And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother. 22 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. SEVEN PLAGUES, all of which result in the demise of Gog! Ezekiel 38:23 outlines His sole reason for this enormous slaughter of the heathen: Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.

His deliverance of Israel in this Endtime is for the sake of His holy name on this occasion as well as earlier ones! He has personally guaranteed their safety and He shall bring it about.

The author also claims that in Isaiah 11: 9-13 that Isaiah establishes the ensign as Christ. He seems to exclude the Land itself as Ensign - at any rate he does not acknowledge the Land also as Ensign. It is undeniable that Christ is nominated Ensign in this instance, for He is the root of Jesse, the Son of David. But notice a qualifying phrase in the verse: Isaiah 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. Even at the present time neither the returning Jews nor the Gentiles are able to seek Jesus Himself as the Ensign because He is not yet present there.

So the ensign is at the earliest stages Israel, the Jewish polity established in 1948, to which PLACE the remnant of Jacob has returned since that date – from the lands specified in that passage to the Holy Parcel which the Almighty created for them via angelic interference behind the scenes and unobtrusively to general observers. Ensign here means “banner” or “flag.” The Hebrew word is nace and is defined as Strong’s H5251: "a flag; also a sail; by implication a flagstaff; generally a signal; figuratively a token, banner, pole, sail, (en)sign, standard." Since the word also applies to Christ as the Ensign, it indicates the quality of attraction that He exhibits not only for His people but also for the Gentiles; in that sense he is a "banner, token, standard" unto which they shall resort!

So we certainly agree that the meaning of verse 10 is that the Ensign shall in the finality become Christ himself, after He appears. The earlier Ensign has been in existence since 1948, and to it have His people returned en masse and gradually, as Isaiah (and Ezekiel 36 & 37) revealed they should. By 1956, nearly ALL the Jews had been recovered from the listed lands (all Islamic!) with the exception of “the islands of the sea,” which designates all the other places on earth to which His people have been scattered. By that date their recovery from Islamic lands was nearly complete with the exception of Ethiopia (Kuwsh)!

They had been gathered to the “Ensign” which had been miraculously prepared for them - the State of Israel. This fact is obvious to our perceptive eyes as myriads of Jews have been regathered to THE LAND prior to the arrival of Messiah – but not yet to Messiah, the root of Jesse! That Land is the banner or flag to which His people have returned for over an hundred years. The word "ensign" is used only eight times in scripture, six of which occur in Isaiah, and with the exception of Isaiah 11:12 means a flag or banner (or the nation represented by that flag – in this case Israel).

Also, Isaiah 11 is the only description of the Ensign as “a root of Jesse” (Christ Jesus); all the others are land-specific. So the Ensign was to to be first established as the ancient Homeland to which the People would return. Then the PERSONAL Ensign (Christ) returns to it also, at which time He arranges for the “return” of all the other Israelites in the entire earth, including the Ten Tribes!

The author claims that Israel’s people now in the Land will be physically scattered once more into Egypt and the lands mentioned in Isaiah 11. Serious Question Here: What kind of reception would Jews receive if driven into those lands today? In Egypt, during the recent riots in Cairo, an American TV news reporter was assaulted by the riotous crowd in Tahrir Square, was beaten, kicked and sexually assaulted by scores of Egyptians repeatedly to the screams of “Jew! Jew! Jew!” And she wasn’t even Jewish. Do you think that ANY Jew dispersed into Egypt or Syria – or even Jordan – would live more than twenty minutes? Jews are “open season” in the Islamic world today.

About three years ago, in the “West Bank” two young Jewish men made a wrong turn into an Arab sector and were dragged from their car and killed by the local Arabs, one of which jubilantly appeared at an upper window of his home and displayed his hands, soaked with the blood of the victims! In a week after being deported today there would be no remaining Jews in all Islam to be regathered to Israel by Christ!

Now … as to the Gogian host rolling through Israel and driving Jews on down to Egypt, this notion comes from a long-standing confusion of Gog with the King of the North in Daniel 11: 40 – 45. [i] Almost all we know about the Gogian host is contained in Ezekiel 38 and 39. All else is supposition, extrapolation, and at this point in time, simply grossly erroneous guesswork! Fulfillment of prophecies since that earlier era has clarified the decisive differences in the identity of these figures beyond any doubt. The principles of prophetic interpretation must govern every investigation of prophetic matters. Any extrapolation of Gog’s activities MUST be governed by the completed history of Gog in Ezekiel’s two chapters – clearly detailing events from Gog’s conception of her evil plan to her invasion of the Land to her final destruction in it – so every supposition must be consistent with this primary account; must “fit” with this summary of events.

Gog in this encapsulated account is shown to come against Israel with clouds of personnel and equipment as if to “cover the land” and therefore overwhelm the Jewish State. But that intent is not realized at all! Gog’s utter destruction occurs in Israel; the despot and his cohort inherit graves IN ISRAEL “east of the Sea” of Galilee (according to Young) in the valley of the Yarmouk River.

I have in my files a photograph - a view of the Yarmouk Valley, east of the River Jordan near the Sea of Galilee: it would not transfer to this website. However, one can see that the river course is narrow and deep, and shall easily serve as a mass grave for millions of dead Gogians and other ungodly human rubbish! The biblical name of that place is Hamon-gog, meaning “multitude of Gog;” it is their final epithet!

The gruesome details of the curses (for Israel’s disobedience) of Deuteronomy 28 are set out above.

Studying them again we marvel at the utter devastation Israel would bring upon itself throughout the ages by disobedience to God. The aggressor of the returned people (having returned from Babylonian exile) – is the iron legions of Rome, merciless, cruel, heartless. By these He punished Israel (Judah) and caused them to be dispersed the second time.

At the Roman siege of Jerusalem it is estimated that 1/3 of the people starved to death; 1/3 of them were killed in the siege; and 1/3 of them were taken captive and sold as slaves. Josephus makes this particular point: that after the fall of Jerusalem the slave markets of the Middle East and Mediterranean were so glutted by Jews that the prices of slaves dropped almost to nothing. Hundreds of thousands were indeed, as the last verse specifies, sold into bondage to the Gentiles of every nation. This terrible assault upon God’s people and their subsequent dispersal from the Land is their “return to Egypt” spoken of by Moses! It is their return to the merciless, oppressive peoples of the earth who possessed them as property as in ancient Egypt, and cruelly worked them to death as slaves.

Can anyone really be serious in suggesting that this history can or shall repeat itself? Only The Shoah (the Holocaust) compares with this aggression against God’s people, and it also cannot be repeated.

How can we be ABSOLUTELY SURE this destiny of Israel shall not recur?

It’s really quite a simple matter of studying God’s word in which He tells us of His regathering of His people “a second time,” found in Isaiah 11; we know it practically by rote:

Isaiah 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

Does this account seem to infer that there shall be a third regathering? This second regathering has been in progress for over an hundred years – and for 63 years since the establishment of the State of Israel. Has our Father brought this about for the purpose of scattering His people abroad yet once more? Would not the nations say something like, “Where is their God? Has He gathered them back to their land to destroy them?” It would bring great discredit to His holy name.

Conclusion:

Yahweh brought Judah into captivity to Babylon in Nebuchadnezzar’s day. He returned them 70 years later to Judea, giving them another opportunity to follow His ways.

They did not. So in 70 AD He sent the Romans to scatter them to all the nations (not just to Babylon, but to “Egypt” – to the entire antithetic world) and forced them to remain in Diaspora for nearly two millennia.

In our time He has miraculously brought almost six million of His people “home” to Israel, preparing them for the Second Advent of His Son. He has promised His infinite protection for them at this time – when He is building up Zion (a progressive activity, not occurring suddenly, as in bringing a great host out of the physical nation of Egypt as proposed) as He has clearly indicated in Psalm 102:13: Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come. 14 For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof. 15 So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. 16 When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.

This Endtime prophecy cannot be abrogated. One must consider ALL the information about Israel's return to their Land; ALL of it is important and must be accounted for and understood as written! To export Zion under force of arms to Islamic or other countries IS NOT SCRIPTURAL; and it would not reflect glory to His name – nor faithful adherence to His promise in Jeremiah 24:6 For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. 7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart. This progressive and continuous recovery of Israel from the nations (I will bring them again ... will build them ... they shall return unto Me) is completely negated and given the lie by any other theory!

Who dares claim that Deity has not brought Israel home over scores of years and with great duress? Who doubts His ability and will to do so? Who would deny Him that triumphthat glory which much of the world gives to His Name for that very act, and for which His people thank Him each day?


To propose any other supposed outcome to the Jews’ present occupation of the Land is to deny the solemn promises of our Father. I should not think that is a desirable position to take!


This subject is extremely important for God’s people to understand – and proposes the Biblical

outcome for us to expect for His people Israel. To devise and insist upon other outcomes is to deny His holy word, to refuse His prophets’ words, and to lead others astray from His intentions.


We have addressed these issues at great length in writing several years ago with the same author person to person; we sincerely ask him and all those who retain this moldy, encrusted old theory to give it up. and to believe the scriptures instead of their private mythology of anti-Israel rhetoric. Because that is really what it is: anti-Israel rhetoric. John Thomas is not alive today to recognize his erroneous projections about the Gogian host and to retract and correct his expectations; but he would surely do so in great humility if he could do so! His consistent practice was intellectual honesty and scriptural harmony - alignment of God's word with historical accounts of what has transpired; he should YEARS AGO have altered his expectations in light of fulfilled prophecy!


Israel has already received its just punishments (as specified by Deuteronomy 28) for its idolatry and disobedience. That morbid series of events abruptly came to its end with The Shoah (the Holocaust) of Nazi Germany of 1933 - 1945. Just because Israelis have not yet become believers of God’s plan for them does not mean that He has continued to forsake them. That time of their recognition and repentance shall come only with the fulfillment of Zechariah 12 and 13 (q.v.) If one believes Israel still forsaken, let him peruse carefully Romans 11 through 15. And let him also study carefully the words of Micah 5:3 - Therefore will he give them up (abandon them, or forsake them), until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth (referring to Israel being brought forth “in a day”): then the remnant of his brethren (the remnant after the Holocaust) shall return unto the children of Israel (i.e., return to the LAND of Israel – for that is precisely what happened!).


This commentary is offered with respect and restraint. The writer invites any reasonable and scriptural rebuttal and is amenable to mature dialogue.


Shalom! <HEL MD/USA July 29, 2011>



[i] See two articles in eTPL prophecy section discussing in detail the differences between The Latter Day Assyrian, The King of the North, and Gog of the Land of Magog. You will recognize them by their titles.


Norwegian Terrorism Begins

July 28, 2011: For the first time, terrorists have struck in Oslo, the capital of Norway. Several huge blasts last week damaged the prime minister’s offices and other key installations. Almost immediately a gunman started to shoot attendees at a youth camp facility of the ruling Labor Party on an island near the city.

The number of dead even now remains unsure, but seven were killed outrightly in Oslo and over an hundred injured from mildly to critically. The killings on the island are still being tallied but appear to be around 75 dead. These assaults were more diffuse and occupied some extended time period. Police required over half an hour to reach the island and begin hunting the killer.

An article published later by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem reported these words – words which may contain the precise trigger for this series of attacks. The ICEJ said: “Commentators across the spectrum were quick to point out that Norway remains an 'open society' which has purposefully stayed away from controversial issues of foreign policy. It is better known for its brokering of the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords and as the home of the Nobel Peace Prize than anything else. As a result, many believed Norway to be immune from this kind of 9/11 style terrorist atrocity. But the size and severity of today's attacks appears to demonstrate that no nation is truly safe.”

However, earlier this week an interview appeared on Fox News Network with Ambassador Svein Serje. In an interview with the Hebrew-language newspaper Ma’ariv, the ambassador said he has sympathy for Israel's terror victims but still maintains, "We Norwegians consider the occupation to be the cause of the terror against Israel. Those who believe this will not change their mind because of the attack in Oslo."

He asserted that the massacre by Anders Breivik, a right-wing extremist whose lawyer says was on drugs and is probably insane, "has an ideology that says that Norway, particularly the Labor Party, is foregoing Norwegian culture. Breivik was radically anti-Islam and anti-immigration. There is the rub!

The fact is: Norway has a long-standing policy against Israel's maintaining a presence in re-United Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. It appears that Norway will hold onto its opinion even in light of this horrendous attack by one of its own citizens!

Commentary Magazine's Alana Goodman noted, "Suggesting Israel is responsible for the terror attacks launched against it (Israel) is senseless enough on its own …. But for an ambassador to Israel reportedly to make this argument – at a time when the shock of the devastating Oslo attack is still lingering – is also profoundly callous. Maybe it shouldn't come as a surprise, considering Norway's long-standing anti-Israel sentiment, but the ambassador's timing and tone-deafness is striking."

Oslo is renowned for one thing: The Oslo Peace Accords. What are they?

The Oslo Peace Accords were begun in 1993, and were an attempt to reach a “two state solution” to the “Palestinian” demands for a state of their own in “Palestine.” This was a move which originated in Norway and was directly opposed to the will and purpose of the Almighty. Joel 3: 2 is a clear statement of His displeasure at having His Land “parted” or divided among His people and others. Here, the prophet writes the words of Yahweh: I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

We are rather surprised that retribution for Norway has been so long in coming. Eighteen years in the making, the Oslo Peace Accords would systematically divide the Land of Israel into “Israel” and “Palestine.” All the negotiations since that time – or attempts to negotiate (the Palestinian Authority is extremely reluctant) have been based on those Accords.

The issue rapidly seems to be coming to a head as the Palestinian Authority moves toward its efforts in the UNO to have itself approved unilaterally as a legal “State of Palestine.” That move is said to be planned for September. Israel has stated that it will regard the PA move as illegitimate, and will annex all the Israeli-settled areas within the West Bank if the PA proclaims itself a State… You may imagine the repercussions of such an Israeli move!

The devastation in Norway, however, is but one of an immense wave of worldwide disruption and mayhem. The nations are being shaken, rocked, ravaged and degraded by seizures of many kinds. They are being tested spiritually, physically, emotionally, politically, ideologically, financially and morally in several unusual, abrupt ways. A veritable tsunami of trouble is sweeping over the polities of the world with almost no exceptions.

Can it possibly be that all these events are random occurrences? Can we not believe that the Creator is shaking the nations violently in order to get someone’s (everyone’s) attention? We read a dreadful, related message in Haggai 2:6: For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; 7 And 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.

Such a worldwide shaking as we now see has never occurred before! The occasion on which these words were written was the era of the rebuilding of the Lord’s House after the exiles returned from Babylon. Zerubbabel the governor and Joshua the high priest were being encouraged to build the Second Temple. But the implication of the prophecy goes far beyond that era. The prophecy of the House’s GLORY does not apply to that Second Temple and neither does the stipulation of PEACE, for the prophet writes in verse 9: 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. The Shekinah – the glory of God above the mercy seat – did not inhabit the Second Temple, nor was it present in the temple that Herod built which succeeded it. Yet we are assured that the Millennial Temple shall manifest Shekinah again – and that it is the very person of the Lord Jesus Christ Who shall be there on David’s throne!

Not only was the Second Temple relatively shoddy in comparison with the first, but in no possible way can one claim that He gave “peace” at that time, nor at any time afterward. As so often in scripture, the word of the Lord is leaping far ahead into the future when the antitype of Joshua and Zerubbabel should appear in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ in eternal glory to populate the House of the Millennium.

We believe the great shaking to which the prophet referred in verse 7 also refers to that time.

Later, in the same chapter, we find this duplicate promise: Haggai 2:21 Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth; 22 And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.

The sentence is upon the political “heavens … and earth” of the era of the Millennial Temple, which we believe is our contemporary time. We behold thrones falling and kingdoms of the nations (heathen) being overthrown. The weapons of their overthrow here is every one by the sword of his brother.

How could an ancient seer better describe what we are witnessing in Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Tunisia, Syria, Lebanon, “Palestina” (the infighting between Hamas and Fatah), Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq just to name a few of the more prominent nations being shaken and stirred with internal strife? And all these are Muslim nations!

We would venture to declare here that in the Eternal Mind the unrest in the remainder of the world is of secondary importance to that of the Middle East – for that is the arena in which the Almighty’s chief interest lies at the moment, and His beloved people dwell – in that place in which He has pleased to place His name forever: on Mount Zion (II Chronicles 33: 4, 7).

Zerubbabel and Joshua together represent the priesthood and kingship of Messiah who was born in the “province of Babylon” (i.e., in the flesh – Zerubbabel = born in Babel) and was saved by His Father (Joshua = Yah saved).

The Norwegians are derived from Nordic pagans. They have never truly known the salvation of the Lord. Their culture is guided by political correctness and social protocols. They really suspect nothing of Israel’s true future. They are not aware of Zechariah’s warning about Jerusalem in Zechariah 12: 3: And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

Norway voluntarily burdened itself with Jerusalem and Israel from afar. When the Oslo Accords were revealed the world was surprised – and mostly delighted. Norway’s extremely liberal leaders are even now striving to show their esteem of “human rights” (but only of the “Palestinians”) and their “objectivity” in their stubborn rejection of Israeli occupancy of its own lands! Their unbridled allowance of Muslim migration to Norway for the same reasons was one huge concern of the murderer who invaded the youth camp and killed close to an hundred youth and others. He hated Muslims – and the Labor Party for allowing them nearly unlimited immigration to Norway. The Western nations which allow unlimited Muslim immigration are inviting backwardness, primitiveness, fundamentalism and civil regression. That apparently was the demented concern of the alleged assassin.

<HEL MD/USA July 28, 2011>

Parallel Between Moses’ Descent from Sinai to Israel, and Christ from Heaven to Israel

An Exhortation

These two descents are comparable to each other in several ways, which we intend to discuss. The

account of Moses’ descent from Sinai with the tables of Law is recorded in Exodus 32. It does not begin

well.

Exodus 32:1 And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, ‘Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.’


In the same way, the Second Advent has seemed to be delayed to our limited understanding; our impatience can be similar to that of Israel’s. We pray that our response to His seeming delay shall not be parallel to that instance! But in Luke 18:8, Jesus pointedly asked, When the Son of Man cometh shall He find faith on the earth?

It is apparent that the possibility exists!

But if your personal answer to the question, “Do you have faith?” is Yes!then the answer is, Yes, He shall find faith on the earth when He returns.” It shall be resident in you, if in no one else, if you hold fast.

Only each individual can assure this result – and must do so in faithfulness. Otherwise our result may be as contrary as that of Israel in the wilderness: here is the account of that failure:

Exodus 32:2 And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings, which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. 3 And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. 4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD.

Here is clearly apparent the self-deception of Aaron, brother of Moses, the great Emancipator of Israel from Egypt! We see him willing to call things which are NOT as though they WERE.. “These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”

How could Aaron be so obtuse? How could he attribute such power to a dumb calf made of gold? Did he think it really made no real difference if he mis-appropriated the source of this great benefit? Or believe it mattered not that he thus gave the glory of the Father unto another? It was a grave error; for the Almighty has specifically addressed this general issue of the idolatry of Israel in Isaiah 48:10: Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. 11 For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.

We can easily be guilty of this same sin – that of giving glory to other than our Father. We may do it in devotion to profession or avocation, or in worship of Mammon rather than Righteousness. The possibility of failure is so great. Our watchfulness and diligence is so necessary!

The result for Israel was dalliance of the gravest sort. Exodus 32:6: And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.

“Playing” at the profession of righteousness is easy for some. The façade – the pretense – of faith is fairly easy to portray falsely in one’s life … until one’s actions are examined. By their fruits shall ye know them is not an empty, meaningless saying. Fruits borne by every plant are an unmistakable sign of its real identity. Words mean little, while actions tell the entire story!

It was so for Israel. When Moses appeared at the base of Horeb their activities revealed their gross error. He had been warned of God before he descended: Exodus 32:7 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 9 And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people:

Only Moses’ intervention was able to allay the Almighty’s fury: He said to Moses in Exodus 32:10, Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation. 11 And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?

Some imagine Israel of today to be on a sure course to future destruction and scattering at the hands of their enemies, reasoning that the nation is unrighteous, and unrepentant – and for that reason He shall consume them by that means once again. That assessment (as to their unworthiness) is of course entirely true, just as it was true for those of Moses’ day. Their intransigent failure was quite apparent to him; it evoked a reaction from the Almighty which was dreadful. It almost induced Him to renounce His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and to re-constitute His people in another guise – as “seed” of Moses!

But Moses’ righteous reasoning – his advocacy for his people, analogous to the later intercession of Jesus for His people – prevailed even in the face of the impending wrath of the Almighty. He argued (pleaded) in Exodus 32:12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.

The same righteous reasoning is valid today. His people still do not deserve His favor. No merit on their part calls for leniency on His part. Yes … if the Father exercised His judgment on His people of today – ourselves included – on the same grounds as He threatened at Horeb, His people of today might be destroyed. But then the nations round about would seem to have complete justification for their hatred and bitterness toward the people of God in the Land – and ultimately for the Father Himself. Their agenda would thus be entirely validated – their cause given foundation! That eventuality would compromise His holy name – His eternal purpose with His people. His enemies would hand out sweets to their neighbors and rejoice in the destruction of their hated “Zionist Entity.” Islam would receive a psychological leg up on the Almighty for a short time, at least.

But there is an overriding factor: His concern today is for the sake of His holy name. He has informed us so in several reassuring passages in Ezekiel. Instead of destruction, He shall have mercy. Instead of condemnation, He shall exercise compassion upon them in abundance. His long-term investment in Israel shall not fail; but their vindication shall be due solely to His infinite mercy toward them!

Ezekiel 39:25 is one such confirmation of this certainty: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name; 26 After that they have borne their shame (in the lands of their dispersion for 2,000 years), and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid. 27 When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies' lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; 28 Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. 29 Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

This revelation is entirely in harmony with Ezekiel 20: 39; Ezekiel 36: 22, 32; Deuteronomy 9: 5; Daniel 9: 18-19, in all of which He places the emphasis on His holy name’s sake rather than Israel’s righteousness ... an act of the most tender mercy toward them, for their attainment by obedience has in reality been impossible. That encapsulated truth is elegantly stated by Paul in Acts 13:38: Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man (not through the Law) is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

The principle is thus carried over into the New Covenant, and is confirmed in such passages as II Timothy 1: 9 and Titus 3: 3-6, the latter of which is abundantly instructive and comforting: Titus 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures (similar to Israel at Horeb), living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another (as Geniles). 4 But after that, the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

What a remarkable set of benefits for the faithful! How blessed are they in receiving His grace and kindness! How sanctified they are to Him! But we must readily admit that any righteousness they have is attributable to the Saviour’s righteousness – not their own; His righteousness attributed to them is the operative lever for their salvation!

That superbly gentle, understated commendation of their being “blessed” brings our minds to the sermon of Jesus which He gave upon a mountain adjacent to Genessaret, the so-called Mount of Beatitudes. At that time He urged multiple qualities of righteous character upon His followers, such as, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3) and