Other Items 2014

One Reply to the eTPL Editorial of December, 2014

Harold E. Lafferty (3600 words)

[Reference the eTPL Editorial in Section "eTPL 2014"]

The following letter was received in response to our eTPL Editorial of about three weeks ago. This is addressed as an open letter for reasons that will become apparent to you as you read this; it is not, for the present time, a direct reply to its sender. But we are sure he will read it soon. Correspondent's words are underlined for clarity. HEL

November, 2014

Bro. Harold,

Your most recent Prophecy Letter Editorial, “Nostalgia, Remembrance and Longing” was forwarded to me where you criticize what you view as the hyper-conservatism and hyper-exclusivity of the Arkansas Bible School.

Our first question is this, dear brother: why should someone have been required to “forward” our remarks to you? We have been sending emails to your email address for several years and have received no notification that they were not deliverable. Therefore, we must conclude one thing: that you have long ago relegated our messages to your “spam” folder; for otherwise; we should have received notification of their non-delivery. We have several days ago sent a short, personal reply to your letter to your email address of former record, and have received no report of non-delivery, and no reply by you to it. Therefore, we deem it best to reply to your current inquiry as an open letter, which follows. [Correspondent’s letter is notated underlined in Times New Roman font, non-italic as in the opening paragraph and in the text below. Our reply is in Monotype Corsiva, pica 11, as here displayed.]


Could you please tell me where in the Bible School Committee’s letter of this past year, which reaffirmed a commitment to the ABS’s long standing fellowship positions, where they address the issue of prophecy? Your whole criticism of the ABS seems to center around the issue of prophecy.

Dear brother: We believe you must have noted our opening statement in our editorial in which we clearly acknowledge that their position as stated in the ABS Committee’s Open Letter did not overtly include the subject of Bible prophecy. It is an additional concern that I have, so I must address it here; let us be certain about this: the faction of brethren who now manage the ABS are adamantly “locked in” to the John Thomas parameters of the manner and sequence in which he believed the prophecies would unfold leading up to the onset of the Kingdom of Christ – but which have decidedly not unfolded as he proposed.

That otherwise excellent expositor warned that such might happen – freely admitting that he was not personally a prophet, but was investigating Bible prophecy in the manner in which all intelligent brethren should undertake who have rational minds and are bent toward such endeavors. Many key fulfillments have come about in ways markedly different from John Thomas’ projections, however faithful to scripture they seemed at the time to be. The faithful Thomas Group of prophetic fulfillment therefore must be deemed to hold Bro. Thomas as a legitimate prophet, for they will not suffer any alternate considerations of the patterns he laid down; and with excruciating persistence, doggedly await things to work out perfectly, just as he said they probably would. This means that his line of prophetic interpretation is a basic issue for them – and one from which they will not deviate, even in the face of obvious miscalculations by him in many of these matters.

This point of difference has been our chief personal concern in dealing with the managers of the Arkansas School and their cohort. They will not allow any original investigation of prophetic matters even to be discussed at “their” Bible School. Whenever in past years, we have sent a reservation personally to attend that School, we have been quickly contacted and asked to give a lecture on some specific subject, always avoiding our apical interest of Bible prophecy – because our understanding of the PATHWAY to the kingdom is greatly different from the “established” views. The prophets of ancient Israel should have been ecstatic to command such loyalty to their words – such strong belief and adherence to their divinely inspired words (which ours certainly are not).

We cannot rationally conceive why brethren should consistently hold that an object is white when it is decidedly gray or black. Are you among that group who put darkness for light, and light for darkness – as described in this writing of the prophet? Isaiah 5:20:Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! These words surely apply to Bible prophecy as much as they do to moral conduct.

You surely are aware of the series of articles in “The Sanctuary Keeper,” of several years ago, in which a writer repudiated the belief that Israel of today has anything whatever to do with the vision of the Valley of Dry Bones of Ezekiel 37 – a conviction that has been held by faithful brethren of Christ since even prior to Israel’s initial modern-day foundation. This insistence repudiates every fact of the current Return of Israel, and flatly denies the words of the Almighty in this affair.

We sent the author of those articles an extensive reply to his first article in the series – ours being based purely on scripture – in which we contested that faithless proposal. Our article occupied over fifty full pages of proofs and discussions in Times New Roman, pica 11. We sent it to him in small bits of three or four pages (hard copy by US Mail) at a time over a period of about a month, so that he perhaps would actually read it instead of setting it aside to consider later.

Did he reply? Not in any way; We heard nothing, until we wrote him an email some time later, in which we inquired whether he received our rebuttals. If so, why had we not received some comments from him in support of this new “theory,” that is also held by several brethren in Arkansas, beginning with Bro. (Name Withheld), the reputed source of it. The author indicated that he had gotten the idea at the ABS from “another brother” and thought it made good sense, especially since he felt that it agreed with the writings of John Thomas.

Are we surprised at this admission? Many are aware that (N.W.) had famously made the same proposal in a lecture at the ABS prior to this later, more extensive iteration of it in the articles in the SK. It therefore requires little ability of deduction to determine the source of that author’s convictions, but we withhold names in case of error. By the way, his answer to our inquiry was that he “just thought (I) wanted to vent!” We were incredulous at this casual ignore-ance of the sincere rebuttal that we had submitted. Can you possibly agree with that attitude? Are you upholding that attitude?


Have you spoken with the ABS committee members to ascertain what is actually going on with the Bible School and where they in fact stand on various issues, and their reasons? If not, where are you getting your information from?

We’re glad you raised this logical point; surely you will not be surprised that our repeated attempts to obtain such personal information has failed, so far. None of that group who has been approached has been willing to discuss it. But, dear brother, please let us assure you, our information is correct and unbiased (in our conviction – otherwise, label us hypocritical). Obviously, our information came partially from the letter that you referenced above, which was sent as an open letter to the brotherhood, and to another fraternal magazine, and was published therein. [It was not sent to us personally, for we must note in passing, why should it have been? Although in isolation, we are not an Ecclesia, or one to be catered to in any special way.]

But, as you also do have, we have access to any brother or sister who has attended (or attempted to attend, and been refused fellowship – or have even been summarily “invited away” from the School) both in person and by telephone and emails. It is not difficult to determine what is going on at ABS by directly speaking to several affected brothers and sisters via telephone. We have also spoken to several of them in person at other fraternal meetings as well – one of them being an institution now especially considered as being “off limits” by the ABS managers, even though the author of the offensive articles gave a lecture at that particular School on the subject under discussion, and was not “called into question” by the management there according to members of that Bible School’s committee. They evidently accepted his lecture as just what it was – a personal opinion, but not doctrinal in nature - a reasonable and scriptural approach.

As you well know, this issue of “other” Bible School attendance was partially (mostly?) to blame for several brethren withdrawing from certain Ecclesias on the basis that anyone attending such-and-such a Bible School should not be in fellowship at those Ecclesias. So they departed.

So, has accurate information been difficult to obtain? Hardly.

Aside from that group of reliable personal contacts, the ABS group has been incommunicado, more than one of that group of affiliated brethren have told us “they don’t want to discuss it,” in pure and simple terms – a condition under which it is rather difficult to get their personal,, verbalized first-hand viewpoint.[We wonder whether they just can't be bothered to condescend to other views, or whether it is that they can't sustain their stated position scripturally?]

In such a case, one is compelled to rely upon his personal interface with others in order to come to rational conclusions. In point of fact, dear brother, YOU are the only member of this group who will communicate in a civil manner – or in ANY manner in my experience – for which we thank you. But we sincerely wonder,do you wholly agree with them in their extreme views?


I also notice in your unfettered criticism of the Bible School that you make no mention of some of the very real fundamental issues that are facing our community and what the ABS has tried to stand against (along with many others) - such as the “Eternal Life now/Spiritual Kingdom now” heresies and their proponents, and open fellowship practices with the Amended and UA08. Am I to assume that you do not view these as fundamental, fellowship issues? Do you believe that “clean flesh” is the only issue that can be treated in relation to fellowship?

Our “unfettered criticism” was not of the Bible School; it was directed toward the actions of its present managers. Although closely associated, there is a decisive difference in these two entities. There are so many complications in the brotherhood today that it is difficult to stay current with all of them. We have not been “in the loop” of the discussion of the matter you reference (Eternal Life now/Spiritual Kingdom now) and the theories that the proponent of them is supposed to hold. We do feel that other brethren in the Western U.S. have been unjustly vilified for their part in that discussion; because we are well acquainted with those believers and must tell you that we are assured that they are solid, faithful brethren in Christ. Certain of these and we have our small differences on a few issues of Bible prophecy, but these are non-fundamental convictions and don’t even deserve to be considered as being “basic” as to salvation. Do you not agree that many issues assume this character?

As to the other matter: our opposition to “UA08” is well known. I wish to have as little contact with it as possible. We personally circulated a letter to every member of our home Ecclesia opposing it, and refuting it; my letter was not well received, by the way. To have commerce with it (UA-08) is to capitulate to doctrinal compromise and insufferable coercion – allowing that party-spirit to override Truth, as its basic premise is that its enforced basis of fellowship is markedly different from our own, and in our opinion, appears seriously flawed in matters of the nature of Christ and other fundamental doctrines.

In your introductory remarks, in your email message (not in the editorial itself) you state that you are commenting on the “state of the Brotherhood at the moment” - but you only focus on your perceived evils [‘Evils?’ This is not my word; it is yours] of the Arkansas Bible School. Should not your concerns actually expand to a much larger scope or do you view the ABS as THE problem? You criticized their exclusivity, but give no real indicators as to who or what they are exclusive against - except for the issue of prophecy (something of which they do not actually address). Wouldn’t you say it is rather dangerous if not slanderous (spiritually speaking) [this is a rather strong accusation; see Matthew 5:22, where Raca is used for worthless one!] to go on the attack against a specific target if you only criticize them in broad strokes rather than providing specific and factual/verifiable information?

Fraternally, __________

We believe that our foregoing remarks have defined our main concerns. But it is not a requirement that we specify the basis of our critique; the group of managers has clearly specified that in their open letter, as well as in the improper (in our view) exclusion of many innocent brothers and sisters from attendance at the ABS. We hope you will not claim that this has not happened, dear brother, because if you do, you lose all credibility as a bona fide spokesman or advocate for the Ozark group. As we made clear in our editorial, We agree with the basic concepts of the Arkansas brethren, this writer having served as an officer of the ABS for several years until he moved to the East Coast from Little Rock, and could no longer serve. The ABS has ALWAYS offered fellowship based exclusively on the BUSF, making it wholly clear over and over that the BUSF is its core belief system and basis of teaching and fellowship.

But a Bible School is not an Ecclesial venue; its character and purpose is necessarily much wider in scope; we believe such Schools must be conducted on a basis completely aligned with, but slightly different from the Ecclesia, because of their basic nature: being a device primarily for teaching the Gospel, and bringing diverse groups together to discuss the matters of salvation. We have come to regard the principle of “contamination” by association at Bible Schools to be less a matter of concern than formerly. That is – we believe that a clearly enunciated statement of basic, doctrinal position of every Bible School is what is required of the School managers. But after that, they must be content to leave the matter of “fellowship” (as they seem to understand it – chiefly, the ritual of the breaking of bread service) to the conscience of those who attend.

We believe that in a Bible School setting, a firm, clear statement of the doctrinal basis of the sponsoring institution is generally sufficient. If outsiders (persons from other divisions) do partake of the emblems on occasion, that does not cause everyone to be “contaminated” in some mysterious manner. And it completely absolves the School from blame, because its position shall have been made clear to all. In such a case, the partakers would be deemed to agree with the School’s stated position, would they not? However, if those “intruders” should have attended in order to insist on actively teaching “their way” in contradistinction to The Way, as believed and taught at the School, then that is another matter. Has that been the case here? We don't understand it to be so. If it has been, action must then be taken in order to bring about order, and to maintain truth. What other alternative is available to us mere mortals who are striving to uphold God’s truth? We do not advocate “open fellowship” in the accepted sense. Do you not agree?

The Committee also has no scriptural right or authority to dictate to anyone that they shall NOT attend such and such a Bible School, or Fraternal Gathering – or to be informed whether those attendants broke bread there or not. Those are personal choices, and should be left to individual, private options. Such should not be excluded from coming to the ABS.

Did the Apostle Paul not have the same sort of challenges in the Ecclesia at Corinth, for example, as those brethren in Martinville have as a Bible School? Did Paul advise the faithful of Corinth, of which he attests that were many, to step aside from the remainder of the group and form an opposing, lofty, exclusive group of believers somewhere else in Achaia, or in the suburbs of Corinth? We don’t believe he did that. If not so in an Ecclesial setting, how much less in a Bible School setting?

And, did the Lord Jesus advocate that the few righteous souls then (AD96) present in Laodicea depart the congregation and form a splinter group at some nearby place? The Lord Jesus in the Apocalypse advises the strengthening of those who remained in the way of truth. Such requires patience – a labor of love and forbearance, in our view. The text of the letter to Sardis – otherwise known as “Satan’s Seat” should be our guide: We believe these examples are set forth as a general pattern for our own conduct of the affairs of the brotherhood.

Revelation 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; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. 4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. 5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

So it seems clear that Jesus’ and Paul’s emphases were on positively influencing those who were still faithful, and who were seeking avidly to pursue the Way of Salvation. Their unyielding, persistent preaching of Truth was being given the burden of overcoming any member’s wayward conduct or the teaching of false concepts. The words of the latter as recorded to the Corinthians bear witness to this principle:

1Corinthians 2:1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

The brethren in Corinth were admonished to observe the righteous conduct of their leader, his example of loving care for the flock, of persistent and expedient instruction, of the retarding and healing influences of God’s word against sin and false doctrines. But they were not instructed to pack their tents and leave – or to exclude those who continued to support the Ecclesia, even if not perfect in their understanding. Only when the transgressors became strident, militantly insisting on their own sinful ways were they advised to withdraw from them, excluding them from the table of the LORD. Even then, the more frequent case seems to have been that recorded in 1John 2:19: They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

However, it is also mandated that if some attendants of such Ecclesias become adamant against the Doctrines and Commandments of Christ, then withdrawal may be one’s only recourse. I Corinthians 5: 11-13 is the clear instruction of Paul in such matters; but we believe none of these considerations are in question in the case being discussed.

The above comments by this editor are probably not the end of the matter. Dialog may continue, because these are matters of vital concern. There may not be a perfect answer to all questions. Any compromise of the doctrinal foundation of the ABS should certainly not be allowed by any group of managers, whoever they may be; but their godly treatment of those who attend – or who would like to attend – the ABS is critical. We realize that our community’s basic thrust is not solely to attain huge numbers of adherents to Truth unless the adherents really ARE adherent; on the other hand, management should stringently avoid turning away those who are diligently seeking Truth’s Way, and the comforting association of those of like precious faith. Our plea is for all who are charged with any sort of management of the teaching of the Gospel of Christ humbly adopt the attitude of the exemplary publican about whom Jesus informed in Luke 18:13:And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. <HEL 12N> ~3600 words. Reply to an Editorial.

GOG OF THE LAND OF MAGOG

(Ezekiel 38:2; 39: 2) Wayne R. Tanner

Received by eTPL via email on Feb 13, 2012

This Gogian attempt to invade Israel is proven to be the second of three battles which will end the dispensation in which we now live. Proof of this is found in the fact that in the first battle (The Arab/Israeli war), Israel is found to have taken a substantial spoil from "The Nations Round About" (Zechariah 14: 1-2, 14). Also, Israel will dwell safely after the nations round about receives the judgments of God. (Ezekiel 28: 21-26).

Further substantial and attractive spoil in Israel is the vast fields of gas and oil recently discovered by Israel. Whoever has control over that will possess and control a vast fortune.

We note that Ezekiel 38: 11-12 portray this powerful leader from the land of Magog as saying, "I will go up to ... those at rest, dwelling safely, to take a spoil and a prey ..." It is therefore, clearly shown that the Gogian invasion follows Arab/Israeli attempt to destroy Israel, and to gain a substantial spoil from her.

Regarding the identity of this "chief" Gogian leader of the horde of nations that come against God's people Israel, it is helpful to take notice of Ezekiel 38: 2 in the Septuagint (a Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures). Instead of the translation of "chief," which is translated from the Hebrew term "Rhos," the Septuagint translates "Rhos" as "rws" (Ros), the name the Greeks of Byzantium at first gave to the Russians who came down the Dnieper River to trade in the Byzantine markets.

The 29th issue of Encyclopedia Britannica also gives that information, although later versions of Britannica do not, because when new material is added to any work, some of the earlier material must be removed in order to make room for later history. One can also go to the Internet and type in "The early Greek name given to the Russians," and one will find links giving reference to rws from rwsia (Rosia).

The same evidence is available in the Septuagint at Ezekiel 39: 2. A comparison of Ezekiel 38: 2 and the term "rws" with Genesis 46: 21, where a son of Benjamin is named "Rosh," the term is again correctly given as "rws" in the Septuagint, showing that form to be correct, for it is a proper noun – an appellative.

Everywhere else, where "Ros" or "Rosh" occurs in Scripture as a common noun, the Septuagint translates the term as "arcontes" (arkontes), not "rws" Therefore, beyond doubt, Russia is to be the leader of that horde of nations in Ezekiel 38: 2. It is more than noteworthy that Russia is today very cozy with the very nations named as her cohorts in the passage, and they are already in her camp. Therefore, Ezekiel 38: 2 should read: "Son of man, set thy face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the Russian prince of Meshech and Tubal."

Following is the prophesied list of nations that will accompany Russia as she initiates the invasion of Israel:

1. Persia = Persia changed her name to Iran in the year 1935. Today Iran is a mortal enemy of Israel and is threatening and planning Israel's destruction.

2. Cush = ancient Ethiopia or Abyssinia. [An hotbed of Islamic fervor.]

3. Put = This as the ancient name of the district in western Libya around Tripoli.

4. Gomer= Gimmarai or Crimenia. This area today is part of Turkey, just south of the Black Sea.

5. Togarmah = The Arenians

6. "Many people with thee."

In Ezekiel 38: 8, God says of Russia that "after many days" God will visit her and cause her to take note of his People who had been driven from their land, with the land having been laid waste and the people having been gathered again, and "are dwelling safely."

Russia and her horde of peoples "come like a storm into Israel with the attitude and intention of verses 11-12.

In verse 13 the leader of the Gogian host will be asked, "Art thou come to take away silver and gold, cattle and goods and a great spoil?" Verse 13 identifies the agencies who ask that question:

1. Tarshish. This is Britain. In Ezekiel 27: 12 Tyre was informed that Tarshish had been her merchant just as she had been with many nations. Here Tarshish is identified as a merchant of metals and precious ores. An ancient article by Robert Roberts quoted the fact that England used to ship all of the named metals to many nations, for England was known as "the island of metals." In fact, this writer has researched the matter and found that the ancient name of the British Isles was "The Cassiterite Islands" and that Britain had anciently shipped all those ores to nations of the world.

In Webster's New World Dictionary and Thesaurus we see an interesting translation of several words. Note:

1. "Cassiterite - Native tin dioxide – SnO, the chief ore of tin..."

2. "Britain 2. Britannia 3. British."

3. "Britain - same as Great Britain."

4.- "Britannia 1. Roman name for Great Britain. 2. British Empire 1. {b} Britannia metal."

5. "Britannia metal - An alloy, consisting chiefly of tin, copper, and antimony..."

Therefore, we see that there is evidence that the question is asked by none other than:

(a) Great Britain whose national symbol is a “lion."

(b) "All the young lions" = Those English speaking countries who came

out from Great Britain.

(c) "Sheba" - Sheba lies southeast of the dead sea in Saudi Arabia.

(d) "Dedan"- Dedan was located around the Persian Gulf area and North Arabia. A couple of small nations from that area are members of the group of nations currently united against Libya (2012). That unity is already formed and their forces are in the Mediterranean area at present. The NATO forces do not seem to be in the group of nations posing the question to the Gogian leader. We shall see.

Through the balance of Ezekiel 38th Chapter, we see the fury of God poured out on the hordes of people who have come into Israel to seek to destroy her.

It sounds as though it is Yahveh Himself Who is executing the destruction of the Gogian Host. However, we see from Psalms 110: 5, that it is the LORD, at God's right hand of Yahveh who shall strike and fill the places with dead bodies (verse 6). Also, Psalms 149: 8-9 declares that the immortal saints [shall] bind the kings of the earth, and execute the judgments written.

Apparently, Jesus and the immortal saints will be the agencies through which God will pour out His judgments as the present age comes to an end, and the era of the Kingdom of God begins. <Wayne R. Tanner, Bulverde, TX>

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RHOS AS A LEADER AND RHOS AS AN APPELLATIVE

Wayne R. Tanner, February 13, 2012

FACTS:

1. When the Hebrew term Rhos refers to a "chief one," or a leader, the Septuagint translates the Hebrew term with the Greek arconta (arxonta).

2. When the Hebrew term Rosh refers to a "name," the 70 translators [of the Septuagint] who recognized when a term is an appellative, translate it by the Greek term "rws" as in Gen. 46: 21; Ezek. 38 2; Ezek. 39: 1.

In both Ezek. 38: 2 and 39: 1, the term Ros occurs twice in each case. The first occurrence designates the named nation as a "chief" or "leader" by the translation of arconta . The second occurrence designates the nation by name and so the term is translated by rws. The terms are easy to recognize in the Greek text even if one cannot read Greek. The translation of rws as an appellative occurs three or four times in the Septuagint as noted above. The translation as arconta occurs perhaps hundreds of times in that work. Those 70 Hebrew scholars knew how to tell the difference. Later translators wandered astray.

In the Septuagint, at Ezekiel. 38 (and even in 39), the terms appear as: "Magwg, arconta rws, kai Mesoc kai fobel." In that sentence, the named nation is called by her first name and is designated as the "chief" or leader of the pact.

At Genesis 46: 2, the name rws is easy to spot in the Greek text also.

From the 13th edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, Vols. 23-24, Page 869: "Russia means at most, Russia in Europe, or Muscovy, as it was called until the 18th century, from Moscow, its ancient capital. The origin of the term "Russia” has been much disputed. It is certainly derived through Rossya from Slavonic Rus or Ros (Byzantine rws or rwsoi), a name first given to the Scandinavians who founded a principality on the Dnieper in the 9th century; and afterward extended to the collection of Russian states of which this principality formed the nucleus....

How stunning that 1300 years before Russia came into existence, God, by the hand of Ezekiel, foretold that one day, more than a thousand years later, a nation named rws (Russia) would come into existence. <Wayne R.Tanner, Bulverde, TX>

Editor’s note: we recently came across these notes from our friend and noted their importance for students of God’s prophetic word. We feel that such excellent interpretive information is strengthening to the faith of many, and therefore present them for your consideration.

<HEL 12N> Posted in Other Items, in eTPL Website, 2014.

The Merchants of the Earth and Rome

H E Lafferty

The Revelation which Jesus Christ sent to John (Revelation 1:1) was “signified” (revealed in symbols) to him and written for our investigation and understanding. It is positively necessary to realize that the Revelation is NOT LITERAL. Each utterance has a metaphorical application which the saints of God are tasked to unravel based upon scriptural principles and the record of history.

The revelation was specifically given to His servants, and consisted of events which were shortly to begin to come to pass, as in verse 1. From this we must understand that it is a work which will not be correctly understood or comprehended by any who are NOT “His servants.”

This infers that the studies and teachings of unbelievers must be ignored, for example futurists (who believe that the Revelation is still yet to be fulfilled), and the preterits (those who believe it has already been fulfilled in our day).

That view is sustained by the words, “things that must shortly come to pass” in Revelation 1:1. A better rendering of that phrase is reputed to be, "things that must shortly begin to come to pass," though we cannot absolutely confirm that meaning.

This statement indicates that the entire prophecy would be fulfilled continuously throughout future history, within its internal structure, leading to the events of the last chapters.

So a continuous historical interpretation is necessary in each portion, for each leads inexorably to the end of days.

Our consideration here is primarily limited to the relationship of the Beast, the Harlot, and the False Prophet to the merchants of the earth – the commercial powers which consorted with the Harlot in the spiritual figure of fornication (indicating the most intimate relationship) with her.

This term is the Almighty’s phraseology, not ours – and objectively shows Rome and its Church in its glaringly obscene light.

For context, most of the references to these entities from the latter chapters of the Revelation are included below, with interspersed comments by the Editor. [A.V. text as downloaded from E-Sword.]

Revelation 14 and 15

Rev 14:8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

Here is the first symbolic reference: Babylon equals Rome (its empire, which morphed into its Church) in this context, as recognized by scores of expositors for hundreds of years, many of them Roman Catholic scholars.

Both pagan Rome and Church Rome for hundreds of years controlled nations and kings, forcing them to adhere to the principles and laws of the entity in power at the time.

The Beast is pagan Rome; his Image (also called the Image of the Beast, and sometimes the Beast) is Catholic Rome, which was exhibited to history initially as the Holy Roman Empire, consisting initially of ten kingdoms.

The Beast of our time has resulted from its metamorphosis from pagan Rome, founded upon the same principles, utilizing parallel terminology, employing the same language (Latin), appropriating similar dress, and having a philosophy matching its panoply of pagan gods as manifesting in the “saints” of the mysterious Church.

Its ancient-day Queen of Heaven equates to Mary, the “mother of God” and “Queen of Heaven” of Catholic dogma. As such it is an exact replica of Babylon of old in every way.

Rev 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship (meaning adhere to the ideology of) the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand …

Here is one of the key identifiers; it is a system of worship – of “religion,” so-called.

The Beast (Catholic Rome) establishes an identifying “mark” which is not difficult to understand. It is embodied in the number 666, and represents several titles of the pope in the gematria of Latin and Greek. Its visible sign is that of the “cross:” pursed fingers of the right hand, inscribing over the chest right to left, then vertically, to “draw” a cross upon the participants’ body.

The organization’s fate is sealed in these words …

Rev 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

We do not understand this figure of fire- and brimstone-destruction to be literal; like the bulk of the Revelation’s imagery, it is symbolically indicative of a final end, the terminal point of its existence among men.

In no case would the Lamb and his Sheep of that day stoke and maintain a literal, everlasting, fire-based destructive furnace maintained for the transgressors who had turned away from Him.

The stark realization of being turned away from the Judge of all the earth shall be the paramount disappointment of the age for the multitudes which are pictured here as being rejected by Him.

In this sense, their stinging eternal defeat is the victory of death and the grave over them: merely physical death and dissolution in the grave – the expression of which in scriptural language is, the wages of sin is death.

But, mercifully, their only actual suffering from it is their anticipation of it – their solemn realization of their own impending obliteration – that they shall realize upon their sentence to condemnation: depart from me … parallel to the sentence to be spoken by Jesus Himself to His unfaithful brethren at the Judgment Seat of Christ: Luke 13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.

Their departure from Him indicates eternal alienation from His presence or favor … and brings weeping and gnashing of teeth as they rue their failure to adhere to His commandments.

Rev 14:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

In what sense does their torment ascend up for ever and ever? In the sense that once accomplished, it is forever in effect upon its recipients. There is no portal of escape from this sentence of death upon those worshippers of the beast and his image; oblivion impends upon them, and they become as though they had not been brought into the world, as prophesied by Jesus Himself, referring to Judas Iscariot (certainly one of the transgressors) in Mark 14:21 The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

The result for Judas is that he is already barred eternally from his Master by His personal testimony. He has been prematurely sentenced to the second death, to be imposed at his resurrectional appearance before the Judge of all the earth. His entire being shall be relegated to the second death – to temporal irrelevance, and to perpetual darkness and dissolution in Sheol, the grave.

And now, in the text of Revelation 15, great Babylon’s judgment has been carried out. The result is:

Rev 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

This tranquility in the earth comes after the Lamb of God’s triumph over the Harlot and the Beast. The glassy sea is a symbol of tranquility and peace on the earth; it is mingled with fire in the sense that the remaining “sea” – humanity – have been purged of the Beast’s influence, by fire, and is pacified. This condition is that accomplished by the signal defeat of the Lamb over the Beast and the Harlot, resulting in the then passive, obedient demeanor of the constituents of the earth’s now disciplined and transformed citizens.

Christ and the Saints now control everything and everyone; not only do the nations cease as to their individual identities, all the nations of the earth are coming under His sway.

Revelation 16

Revelation 16 is a prophecy of the vials of wrath poured upon the early Church. It adds vital information for our deeper understanding of the heinous nature of the Beast and the Harlot’s consort with it.

Rev 16:2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

The first vial shows unequivocally that the corrupt “religion” was in existence from a very early date, even as Paul had attested in Ephesians 2:2: Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience … and as he also states in 2Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth (hinders) will let, until he be taken out of the way.

Note carefully: the target audience for this noisome and grievous sore is only the men which had the mark of the best … and who worshipped his image.

The meaning here is that those men and women are judged because they followed the dictates of their own flesh – of diabolos - as manifested in the propensity for sin of the Adamic race.

The same principle is clearly stated in Ephesians 6:12 as wrestling not against flesh and blood (that is, not as in physical combat with other human beings of flesh and blood) but against spiritual error which takes its most aggressive form as the lusts of the flesh, lust of the eye, and the pride of life.

These evils lie within our own personal domain, and are the evils which are always complicit in drawing away people to serve the flesh and not God.

This phraseology never means a “prince,” in the sense of a “fallen angel” who has rejected God’s laws and rebelled – a complete impossibility for such a divinely created being; this is part of the mythology of Babylon and is sheer pagan superstition.

Every such seeming reference in the scriptures arises from the translators’ devotion to the deception of Rome and Babylon, and has a verifiable explanation as being a metaphor for various forms of evil, for mental illness in some cases, and the failure of human agents (angels, or messengers, or representatives) of God such as Korah, Dathan and Abiram as noted in the book of Jude – those “angels” (Strong’s G32 – Aggelos, pronounced Angelos = to bring tidings, or a message; messengers, pastors, and “angels” – in certain contexts) who left their first calling and estate.

This definition illustrates the ludicrous nature of applying this word to the immortal angels of heaven as many do in reference to Jude 1:5, 6, where this prophet is speaking of the people of Israel’s experiences with these three leaders of Israel (thus messengers, or pastors in a sense – shepherds) who “left their first estate,” meaning, who abandoned their rightful places among the congregation of Israel and pridefully aspired to the authority of Moses, their leader, as established by the Almighty.

Jude 1:16 -19 further describes those fleshly men and women as murmurers and complainers, walking after their own lusts … having men’s persons in admiration because of (their supposed) advantage. These are clearly mortal men and women who were respecters of persons who, in their estimation, seem to deserve some desired status above their brethren – a practice which is summarily condemned in James 2:9 - But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

These adherents of the beast are further described and accused in the words of the verses following.

Rev 16:5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. 6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy (i.e., worthy of this judgment, and condemnation).

The unceasing persecution of “heretics” and people who sincerely disagreed with the Roman clergy throughout the ages is here indicated. We think of Miles Coverdale, of John Calvin, of WilliamTyndale and others who died violent deaths because they repudiated the Church and its doctrines and practices on the basis of their understanding of God’s word.

Rev 16:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

The judgment of the great Whore is eminent. It is detailed in the next chapter …

Revelation 17

Rev 17:1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters: 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

This woman of ill-fame is labeled precisely by deity; He is One Who withholds no concepts and minces no words: she is an infamous whore! It is a word that we hesitate to employ, but not so with her Judge.

The kings of the earth and the merchants of the earth make up the two opulent factions of secular society in general; their consort with the great whore has generated great wealth and prosperity for both.

A stark reflection of this can be seen in nearly every poverty-stricken village of France or Quebec: there seems always to be a splendid cathedral set on a high place around which is huddled an humble village of peasants whose resources are largely dedicated by the Church to its own purposes.

This is one reason that the Roman Church is reputed to be among the wealthiest corporations on earth, surpassing the total wealth of most of the nations of the world!

Rev 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.

Now follows a vivid description of the War of Armageddon (Revelation 16: 16) wherein the Lamb of God confronts and utterly defeats the forces of Mammon, as embodied in the Merchants of the Earth and the Church of Rome.

Their carnal warfare – their stringent resistance – against the King of Israel which ensues, is a vivid consequence and continuation of their spiritual transgressions of the prior ages, in which the Gospel of Christ has been corrupted and changed into a form (a lieRomans 1:25, again) which is only rejected by Him, and His followers who know His Truth – those who have come out of her, My people (Revelation 18:4).

The ensuing conflict is bloody, is judgmental upon the Beast and Harlot, and is “up close and personal” in the truest sense. The one-on-one confrontation is vividly described in the next verse …

Rev 17:14 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.

The symbolism of Revelation 14: 1-5 describes these events and the glorious appearance of Christ and His immortal Saints of that future day. He is the Lamb upon Mount Zion … and the 144,000 who are with Him are the Redeemed. It is these who make war upon the whore – the woman who sits upon many waters – or many peoples, as described in the next verse …

Rev 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are (meaning, represent) peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

The meaning is that these are people controlled by the Church, and who are responsive to its wishes. What “church” could be described as being anywhere nearly equivalent to such except the mighty Roman deception?

Rev 17:16 And the ten horns (the constituent kings) which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

Rev 17:17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

Rev 17:18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

It is singularly ironic that the whore’s flesh is eaten, and burned with fire, as countless victims of the Inquisition had been treated – eaten of wild beasts, torn asunder, and burned at the stake! The merchants of the earth finally “get it,” and repudiate their consort with a vengeance!

This revealing, graphic terminology illustrates the principality of that great city – the Roman Church, in the affairs of kings – and their final reaction to her influence. Popes have crowned kings in the past – and deposed some with whom they were enemies. The main political parties of the European nations today are mostly church-affiliated and supported. The Church’s entanglement with the affairs of nations has been extraordinary.

But their final judgment sours against her when they perceive her age-lasting deception upon them: that they have been fatally duped by her sorceries and “mysteries.”

After those events the earth receives the Almighty’s great blessing and enlightenment …

Revelation 18

Rev 18:1 And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.

Rev 18:2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.

The earth is finally emancipated from the whore’s dominance and fleshly attraction. Her obituary follows …

Rev 18:3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

“All nations?”

Are these the “merchants of the earth?”

Yes! The Vatican has “papal nuncios” (ambassadors) assigned to the capitals of over an hundred countries worldwide, and as its official representatives, it knows intimate details of governments everywhere as well as their leading industries and commercial initiatives.

The Church is, in this wise, an unique institution, being not only a nation (the Vatican) but also a Church (the Roman Catholic Church), both ruled over by one man – the pope. He is in a certain sense therefore ONE OF the kings of the earth as addressed in the next verse…

Rev 18:9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,

Rev 18:10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

Rev 18:11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

The goods in which she traffics are abundant – they are often the delicacies to which men are addicted, but including the necessities of life as well, such as food and apparel – and the mediums of exchange such as gold and silver and precious stones. Note carefully this specific list of her chief commodities of trade …

Rev 18:12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,

Rev 18:13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

This last commodity is most important to her, as it was to Sodom before her (cf., Genesis 14:21 – for such the souls of men has become in the eyes of the Church, i.e., numbers of people, warm bodies, tithe contributors, regardless of their background or beliefs, being “baptized” into the Church. These are the vast legions of human beings – the slaves of Rome – supporting the pervasive infrastructure and wealth of the Church. Her unspoken medium of exchange – her doctrines and dogmas – is the mechanism by which she has recruited this vast, ignorant multitude.

Each new member becomes at least a minimal source of revenues for the clergy. St. Peter’s basilica is said to have been built by the monies received from the sale of Indulgencies, which were Church licenses in advance to commit sin of the grossest sorts! But these transactions are to be obliterated – done away summarily … forever.

Rev 18:14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.

Rev 18:15 The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,

For centuries, the greatest amount of commerce was generated by the Church. Statuary and icons, rosaries, vestments, cheeses, wines and oils, fine fabrics, furs and estates were produced for her by her pitiful minions, and by the merchants of the earth. Her consumption of gold and silver, of lands and estates, of all sorts of physical property, often obtained by thievery from its adherents is notable, and abhorrent. The merchants of the earth have often been culpable in these transactions, having implemented them and made them possible.

It is no wonder that their grief for her demise is so pronounced!

Their anguish is graphically pictured in the following words …

Rev 18:16 And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!

Rev 18:17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,

Rev 18:18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!

Rev 18:19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

Here is the stark admission by the merchants of the earth that they were compliant in the activities of the Mother Harlot.

But the sufferance of her fate is different for the saints of God, whose view of her demise is unlike that of the merchants of the earth. They bewail her not, but rejoice that she has been subdued!

Their vengeance upon her has not been personally wrought by them, but has been righteously rained down upon her by the God of heaven in righteous vengeance FOR their suffering and oppression.

Rev 18:20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

Her fate is vividly depicted in the poetic justice which is determined for her. She is likened to a great millstone (which is a heavy, oppressive symbol of grinding and dividing into small edible portions – an accurate symbol of the Church’s oppression of the ages) which is violently thrown into the sea, never to be seen again! Her violent end is presented in these graphic words …

Rev 18:21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. 22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; 23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. 24 And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

We read recently an article in which the pope readily admitted that some 20 million people have been killed by Church persecution, the Inquisition included, of course.

We believe that number is vastly understated. It is probable that the Church has slain more people in its history than all those murdered by Adolph Hitler and Josef Stalin combined. Many of these unfortunate victims have been intense and dedicated Bible scholars who have arrived at the Truth of God’s word, and foresworn the falsehoods of Church doctrines, thus repudiating the Church’s authority and oversight of their affairs. Many, such as those already mentioned, Coverdale, Tyndale, and others, were murdered for the crime of translating the word of God into common languages so they could be understood by common men – an “heretical” act which was forbidden by the Church.

The Reformation became the harbinger of Catholicism's eventual cessation, the death-knell of the Church, in a limited sense, drawing millions away from under its influence and control. But unfortunately, many of those pioneers’ contrary teachings were lost on the masses, and they remained under the yoke of Rome.

In these texts the merchants of the earth are identified and described. Their commerce with Babylon’s ill-famed woman has been intense, and has brought them much wealth and power. Their relationship has been essentially a romance of sorts – a consort of multiple kings and merchants with an harlot – the carnal definition of which is fornication.

At one time in history the RCC decreed restrictions on buying and selling, and required the approval of the Church for all such transactions. The mark of the Beast would identify cooperative candidates, allowing them to continue their mundane lives (as long as their coins filled the coffers of the priests).

Those who would not comply with Rome’s diktat were isolated, shunned, and starved to death for want of life’s necessities.

But there is a greater implication. The sign of the cross is made over the infant at "Confirmation," and again at “Baptism” – a Catholic rite of pouring water over the head of the victim – er… subject.

Without this approving stamp, it is impossible even today to “buy and sell” her long list of available merchandise, both spiritual and carnal. Without Church sanction, there is no forgiveness of sin by the parish priest (who presumes to forgive sin in place of Christ!). Without it there is no Confessional, no intercessory prayers, no partaking of the wafer of “communion,” which is supposed to be trans-substantiated into Christ’s actual flesh as they swallow it – all of which mean, in turn, that the subject does not go “directly to heaven” at death, and may not go there at all (considering the teachings of God’s word, we favor the latter possibility!). These supposed benefits are also among her articles of commerce.

Conclusion: The merchants of the earth are vitally complicit in the Church’s continued existence and its prosperity. Kings and popes consult on state policy and other matters of interest to both. The Church has famously relinquished some of its doctrines in the past, in favor of state friendship and accommodation, such as Paul II on one occasion positing that Christ may not be the ONLY path to paradise, in order to blend in more perfectly with the Muslims and the Animists of Africa!

The coming demise of the Church will open the eyes of some of its followers. Others will hear the words of the everlasting gospel which they have never believed or been made aware of. Others will be forced to comply with the new Administration of the upstart King of the Jews in Jerusalem – a vastly different form of enforced international compliance with a foreign power which exerts supremacy over all nations … whether they like His peaceful benefits or not – and whether or not they favor His gracious, enforced establishment of peace and righteousness. <HEL 11N> ~ 4900 words. An entry in Other Items on eTPL web site.

Letters: Indignation Removed from Israel

Dear Brother Harold,

We know that "the world" is comprised of many nations, all of which will turn away from Israel, with none to help her. Not one nation that makes up the world of today fails to be included in I John 2: 15-17; verse 17 adds, "The world (every nation) passes away."

The fact is, the territory of every nation becomes God’s and His Christ's (Revelation 11: 15). Not one nation anywhere other than Israel will survive as a nation; therefore, God will not remove His "indignation" from one nation other than Israel. [The writer here is saying that His indignation shall not relent (be removed freely from) from them but shall be wrought upon all nations except Israel, thus erasing their identity from the earth. Ed.]

It can be proven beyond dispute that Revelation chapter 20 is [applies] not during or near the end of the millennium, but is pre-millennial. A couple of questions completely topple the traditional view of [some] regarding Revelation 20. [This correspondent does not pursue this understanding further here, but has written upon it and skillfully supported his statement in a later letter to be referred to in the future.]

No nation other than Israel remains [as] a nation during the Millennium; therefore, the "indignation” of God is never removed from [but is expended upon] the U.S. A.; and not from Britain, Russia, any of Europe, Africa, etc., etc. They pass away without His favor upon them, and their territory becomes part of His kingdom.

Isaiah 10:24: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian [correlates perfectly with Micah 5: 1-7]: he shall smite thee with a rod, and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt. 25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation [against Assyria, in this instance] shall cease, and mine anger in their [Assyria’s] destruction. 26 And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt. 27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.

[Notice carefully the parallel language referring specifically to Israel's similar enemies of old - Oreb and Zeeb - in Psalm 83:9-18, referring to the same series of conflicts of the end-time, in the Editor's opinion.]

Therefore, Isaiah 10: 25 is about God's indignation that caused Israel to be divided, and that will be about to be over, as Isaiah 26: 19-20 is fulfilled. Isaiah 26:19: Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. 20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

Why would God tell the resurrected saints to "hide" until the indignation is over?

If God's indignation was over for any other nation, why would any other nation suffer at the hands of God's servants? Only if God's indignation toward Israel is about to be over, is it needful for them to hide UNTIL the indignation is over.

Surely, it is because the resurrected servants are to go to Israel's defense when God has no further indignation against Israel and He wants them defended.

If God had no further indignation against any other nation than Israel, surely He would want them to remain a nation.

But all nations disappear into nothingness and the kingdom of God takes their place as the world passes away (I John 2: 15-18).

I hope this makes sense to you.

Surely, Isaiah 10: 25 is not saying that God's indignation of nations other than Israel was soon to be lifted, for God will surely have "indignation" against all other nations much longer than Israel [until it results in their destruction in the same manner as Assyria of Isaiah 10: 25 - Ed.].

Thanks for the soap box.

Fraternally, _________

[Brackets are those of the Editor.]

Editor's note: We do appreciate the discussion of meaningful points such as this one, which relates intimately to the text of Isaiah 26: 19, 20. The Editor's personal belief is that this instruction is not given to the People of Israel as well, for their efforts shall be required (efforts not essential to, but which need to be observed clearly by the world) for the alleviation of the other nations' aggression toward them in that day as they assist in the defeat of those enemies' vast number of fighters with their armor, missiles and aircraft.

Israel's victory in the coming widespread conflict will doubtless appear to the world as "just another" lightning victory by the armed forces of Israel. But such a view will discount the vital part being played by the returned Messiah and the Saints of God as they take the clear "lead" in the liberation of Israel from those enemies. Obadiah 1: 17-21; Zechariah 9:11-16; 10:5-10; Micah 5: 4-9; as well as many other testimonies. HEL Nov. 20, 2014


Watchman, What of the Night?

Isaiah 21: 11

Each evening, as the sun sets in the western sky, the safety and oversight of the villages of the Lord’s people are placed in the sole trust of the Watchmen. It has been so from ancient time.

While the inhabitants take their rest, sleeping securely in their beds in order to gain the strength to pursue their coming work day, they are continuously protected, and potentially informed of any significant danger, by a small number of their companions who remain awake and alert to any threat to the villagers.

The Watchers exchange their duties regularly, so that none grow weary or faint in their hours of service. Although their duties extend through the daytime hours also, it is the night of oppression which is addressed here in Isaiah 21.

More than one Watchman serves the village during each watch, regularly communicating with one another as to the conditions in all quarters.

Their plan for the alert defense of the village is well rehearsed by all; it is followed faithfully by each Watcher. Each is equipped with appropriate weapons of defense. Each is clothed in gear which protects him or her from the assaults of rain or cold – or enemies.

And each is supplied with nourishment which sustains him as he maintains vigilance.

Many of the mature members of the village will serve in this rotation, each taking his turn of service in guarding the village and its people from marauders, intruders, invaders, fire or storm – each one ready at every instant to sound the Shofar of alarm if danger approaches from the dark mountains round about.

In the hands of the Watchers lies the security and protection of each member of the village, from the smallest infant to the hoary heads of advanced age.

It is the responsibility of every villager to respond to the watchman’s observations.

The Burden of Edom

The cry, “Watchman, What of the night?” comes from Edom – not Israel.

Isaiah 21: 11 et seq, is the sixth Burden of the seven given by the LORD through Isaiah.

Edom was among the nations which Babylon had taken captive. Their inquiry is of the prophets of Judah as to how long their captivity should last. The Edomites as well as the Jews were subdued by the Babylonians.

Edom is also called Mt. Seir, the designated home (Joshua 24:4) of Esau; it is called by the Greeks Idumea, of which “Dumah” is a short form. Verse 11 illustrates their equivalency.

Isa 21:11 The burden of Dumah. He calleth to me out of Seir, Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?

Their inquiry of the prophet was, How long should their subjection to Babylon last? The prophet intimates that the Jews should be delivered from their captivity; not so the Edomites.

Dumah indicates silence – prophetic of its end.

This inquiry of Edom is, “Watchman, how far gone is the night?” – as if their distress is so great that they are praying for morning light. These words reflect their oppression by Sargon and his forces as well as Babylon only shortly thereafter.

Isa 21:12 The watchman said, The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will enquire, enquire ye: return, come.

Isaiah has no answer for Edom, but indicates that they may ask again.

Watchmen in Ezekiel’s Prophecy

The prophet Ezekiel also was given extremely relevant instruction by the word of the LORD in this matter of Watchmen. He makes entirely apparent to Ezekiel, the essential definition of the duties and responsibilities of the Watchmen. The basic requirements of his assignment are laid out clearly:

Ezekiel 33:2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman:

Eze 33:3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;

Eze 33:4 Then whosoever (among the villagers) heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.

Eze 33:5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.

If on the other hand, the Watchman fails to warn the people, he is responsible for their fate. And the Watchman is adjudged a failure.

Eze 33:6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.

This is therefore a most serious commission with which each Watchman is charged. It is essentially a life for a life if he be derelict in his duty.

Ezekiel Was Just Such a Watchman

Ezekiel was directly charged with the duties of a Watchman – one appointed as responsible for the welfare and instruction of His people.

Ezekiel was fortunate to have had direct contact with the Almighty in these matters of vital consequence.

Today, we also have such a benefit: the written word of the Father which He caused to be recorded for our instruction.

Eze 33:7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.

Eze 33:8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

Eze 33:9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

The two operative conditions are here specified:

1. If the Watchman does not warn the people, he is responsible.

2. If the Watchman does warn the people, he is not responsible.

It is therefore incumbent upon the Watchman to watch carefully, to warn thoroughly, and to persevere at his post.

The matters addressed in the narrative following concerns matters of conduct.

The children of Israel were at that time steeped in sins and transgressions. Ezekiel consistently warned them away from that course of action, but they persisted.

Eze 33:10 Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?

Eze 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Today the brethren of Christ are subjected to great temptation – a hazard which each Sunday exhortation touches upon in some manner, exhorting to good works and exemplary conduct of each brother and sister of Christ.

Each first day, many exhortations also address matters of Bible prophecy, warning of the dangers that are coming upon the world – and the manner in which they are coming.

The Apostle Peter speaks of the danger of the end-time; he reminds his readers of the coming catastrophe in 2Peter 2:5 And (God) spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.

It is worthy of note that Peter, in this commentary, follows this illustration of the destruction of the world that then was, by water, with an example of the Almighty’s destruction of a similar “world” by fire, a fate equivalent to that which is now approaching the world – 2Peter 2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; 7 And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked.

These identical events in this precise sequence were emphasized by the Lord Himself as recorded in Luke 21 – first the destruction by water, and then by fire.

Luke 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe (Noah), so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

Luk 17:27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.

Luk 17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;

Luk 17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

Luk 17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

The pointed warning cannot be missed. The antitypical rapidly approaching destruction of the world – it mores and customs, its transgressions and ungodly behavior – is now nigh upon that “world.”

All Must be Watchmen

Watchmen must diligently keep to their watches. In a strong, practical sense, all the servants of the LORD must be actively engaged in such duties, each being Watchmen for all the others.

The Prophet Malachi wrote these inspired words of God in his short work:

Mal 3:16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. 17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

It becomes the duty of each brother and sister to assume the role of the Watchman, diligently observing and discussing the impending events of this very dark “night,” praying diligently for the dawn of the Sun (Son) of Righteousness, Who shall arise with healing in His beams. Malachi 4:2.

Their conversation must surely include intelligent and compelling observations of the prophesied signs of the times, the approaching end of days, their own nearing redemption, and the punishments which are coming upon the world – exhorting each of his counterparts to an high level of watchfulness, diligence, and faith.

<HEL 10N> ~2550 words. October 17, 2014


Rosh Hashana and the Shemitah Year in Israel

Harold E. Lafferty

29 Elul, 5775. There has been much discussion of Israel’s upcoming Shemitah year, which begins today, September 24th (1 Tishri on the Jewish calendar) at evening, but what is such a year? It is another name for the year of release – the seventh year of a cycle when no agriculture is done and the land rests.

That date is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year every year, and the beginning of Shemitah every seventh year.

The moon was “dark” last night, September 23rd – that is, it was positioned almost directly between the earth and the sun – so that it reflects no light to the earth. But this evening a small sliver of the earth’s satellite will be apparent – an event which marks the “new moon” and in this case, a New Year on God’s calendar. The year thus begun, ends on the evening of 29 Elul, or September 13, 2015, which at its expiration, will become 1 Tishrei, or Rosh Hashanah.

Because the Israelites of Nebuchadnezzar’s day had not observed Shemitah for many years, in disregard of God’s commandment, the Almighty caused them to be exiled FROM their land that it might observe those missed Sabbath years. Actually, they had intended to observe the practice and had put it into operation, freeing their servants from bondage, releasing their debt, but then reneged on their decision – and brought upon themselves the final wrath of the LORD.

Here is the relevant instruction of God to Moses regarding this important year of release:

Leviticus 25:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses in mount Sinai, saying,

Lev 25:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath unto the LORD.

Lev 25:3 Six years thou shalt sow thy field, and six years thou shalt prune thy vineyard, and gather in the fruit thereof;

Lev 25:4 But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.

Lev 25:5 That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land.

The Hebrew name for this seventh year of rest is Shemitah, or Release (Strong’s H 8059, meaning remission of debt or suspension of labor; release); see Deuteronomy 15:1.

Seven Shemitahs must elapse during a Jubilee cycle of seven periods of seven years each (49 years): during the last year of each “seven,” the land rests, including the last year of the seventh cycle.

Then, our present understanding is that the next year, the fiftieth year, is the Year of Jubilee; it is also the first year of the next cycle, so that each cycle is seven periods of seven years. In the Year of Jubilee, there are many other laws which must be obeyed, such as the return of any property purchased in the previous cycles since the last Jubilee.

There are other provisions as well, all explained in the remaining verses of Leviticus 25.

It follows that the Jubilee years are also 49 years apart, but are the fiftieth year of the previous cycle. Confusing, in a way, isn’t it?

This was not our earlier interpretation of these cycles, but this outline now seems to us to fulfill all its requirements.

The Shemitah Years

However, our attention today is upon the Shemitah years and their significance.

Our Father’s plan moves forward according to a divine schedule which He has established based on His calendar. As Gentiles, we often miss some of the deeper implications of God’s word because we use the wrong calendar.

Our family has a dual calendar which indexes the Hebrew days and months, as well as Feast days, new moons, and other features of the Jewish calendar to the Gentile days. It contains notations of the Blood Moons which the world is now experiencing, but of which the world takes little account, not realizing that they are occurring on both Passover and Tabernacles in 2014 and 2015, or the implications of those facts.

The Gentile calendar is based upon the sun’s position in relation to the earth. The Muslim calendar is based upon the moon’s cycles. But the Hebrew calendar takes both into account in a perfect display of the passage of weeks, Feasts, new moons and years. Genesis 1:14 relates the purposes of the sun, moon and stars: Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs (Hebrew, Oth – an apparent signal, flag, beacon, omen), and for seasons (Hebrew, Moed – an appointment, a solemn assembly, an appointed time) and for days, and years

By these words we perceive that these bodies are extremely important for the guidance of His people in their observances of their festival days and of their months of each year. Note that the periods known to us as the four seasons is not the meaning of Moed, but that these mark the festival days of God’s calendar.

When examined critically, we must come to realize that the Shemitah years are a sort of mystery; that they relate to nearly every major event of our lives, sometimes to the hour and minute.

And these events are not limited to the Jewish people; they apply widely as we shall see, as we try to elaborate on this point.

Shemitah means both restoration (as in the land being restored in Israel), but also to a fall, a collapse, or to a shaking. Therefore, in Shemitah years we may see either or both phenomena.

Every seven years, or nearly so, there seems to be a wipeout and a new beginning associated with the Shemitah years. Jerusalem was wiped out on Shemita in 604 BC because of the Jews’ nonobservance of Shemitah.

Historically, Shemitah has marked several catastrophes.

In 1917, World War I ended on 29 Elul. The world was shaken as four major empires collapsed – were defeated – in that one year: Germany, Austro-Hungary, Russia and the Ottoman Empire. That year also marks the beginning of the rise of the US to the status of a world power; it entered WWI.

In 1929-31 the stock market crashed in the US, causing a worldwide depression.

It happened again in 1938 on the next Shemitah anniversary.

In that same year, the Nazis conducted Kristallnacht, in which great mobs of Germans pillaged and destroyed Jewish businesses by the hundreds – obviously beginning their extreme persecution of the Jews.

In 1945, the next Shemitah year, the Holocaust was coming to light for the first time. Nazi Germany and Italy were summarily defeated, as was Japan. And in August of that same year, near the end of the Shemitah year, great turmoil was developing; and on August 9, 1945, the city of Hiroshima was destroyed by an entirely new weapon of mass destruction; it was a day of nullification of things.

Then a crescendo of events began. The war ends in the last week of Shemitah, and the victory parade was held in Berlin on the last day of Shemitah, September 7, 1945.

In that same Shemitah year, plans were conceived for the World Trade Center towers.

Towers indicate the ambition of nations toward greatness and pride. The tallest buildings in the world were constructed in the US in the early 1870s, signaling America’s rise to greatness. But the fall of towers indicate their fall from greatness.

And bear in mind that the rule is seemingly universal in its implications.

Four Shemitahs after the victory parade in Berlin, on January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court of the US approved the law allowing legal abortion – the identical sin which had caused the earlier demise of Israel as they sacrificed their infants to Molech and Baal!

On August 15, 1973 America lost its first war in history – the Vietnamese Conflict – on the SAME DAY that America had won World War I – August 15th, 1945 – on Shemitah!

This puts the US in a downward spiral both economically and morally.

In the fall of that same year, 1973, the World Trade Center was completed as a symbol of America’s self-perceived greatness and great pride; but its countdown to destruction had also begun. It had been conceived in the Shemitah year of 1945. Its construction was finished in the Shemitah year of 1973, shining forth in lower Manhattan as the pride of America!

Observers have noted that during the last forty years there are five turning points marking the seven year periods beginning with 1973, as noted above – a Shemitah year, and the year of Israel’s Yom Kippur War. It was the last of four major conflicts of Israel, and decimated the Arab attackers, giving Israel some breathing room.

Nineteen eighty was a Shemitah year when nothing notable seemed to happen; 1987 and 1994 elapsed with no seemingly important events.

However, in 2001, two enormously important events occurred. Near the end of Shemitah, the twin towers were brought down by terrorist-flown aircraft at the end of the fourth Shemitah, on September 11, 2001. This event was building toward another great fall, and resulted in the massive collapse of the stock markets the next day on the anniversary of Shemitah in 2001, 29 Elul.

Then, in 2008, a greater stock market crash occurred – again on 29 Elul – at the exact date and hour of the one that had occurred seven years earlier! How remarkable is that?

The people of the United States are now in a panic, having lost trillions of dollars in wealth; the US downward spiral increases in intensity; is it heading for the ultimate disaster?

As noted above, the next Shemitah year begins today, September 24, 2014, at sunset in Jerusalem. It ends on September 13, 2015, the date when significant things usually happen. Will this third Shemitah bring an even more serious disaster?

What will occur on the next date, 29 Elul?

This Shemitah year also coincides with two of the four blood moons of the current cycle, the next two of which fall within the Shemitah year. What significance does this have?

In scripture, one of the signs of judgment is the darkening (eclipse) of the sun, but not every one is significant, of course!

There will be a total solar eclipse on March 20, 2015, which is 29 Adar – precisely in the middle of the four Blood Moons of this current cycle! It marks clearly that day of nullification at the end of Shemitah!

It could be important – it certainly is a remarkable “coincidence” – that on the very day that the huge television mast was added to the top of the new World Trade Center skyscraper to make it the tallest building in the US, there was a SOLAR eclipse. The last time a solar eclipse happened on 29 Elul, the stock market crashed on Black Monday, 1987.

Many observers are speculating openly that the US is closing in on a “great shaking” in these coming days, saying that it almost certainly will affect the economy, the financial realms, and the agricultural production, causing a failure of infrastructure and services, and perhaps a famine of some proportion.

On another point which may be very important: as shown above, the seventh Shemitah of a cycle ends at the beginning of the Jubilee year. That time is concerned with restoring, getting back to the land, and the erasure of debt.

It is important to realize that the beginning of the end-time Restoration of Israel occurred just after the end of the Shemitah year of 1917 – on November 2nd – in the beginning days of that Jubilee year: restoration begins seriously in that year!

Seven Shemitas later, in 1967, the next Jubilee is marked by Israel’s return to Jerusalem on June 7th – just months after the end of the Shemita year.

Perhaps the most important feature of this essay is that the end of the current seven Shemita cycles begins with sunset today in Jerusalem – which is noon in Washington DC!

We believe the “mystery of Shemitah” is relevant to virtually every significant thing that is coming upon the world, or has come upon it, as verified by all the incidents given in the text of this article. Everyone has to make up his own mind as to the veracity of this proposal, but if anything is proven by fulfillment of key “seasons” it surely looks likely! One thing is certain: the notion is not a wild-eyed fantasy cooked up by some crazy futurist or other prognosticator. It has abundant substantiation for its veracity. <HEL 9N> 2200 words.

Editor’s Note: Although the information in this article is believed to be from a reliable source, and accurate as to dates, due to the time factor not every date has been verified at the time of writing. HEL.


Startling Gains of ISIS in Iraq and Lebanon

Harold E. Lafferty

The news broadcasts this morning (August 7th) report that the Islamic State (aka ISIS) has captured a huge hydroelectric dam in Iraq. This gives the rebellious group great leverage over several aspects of the area, and increases the opportunity that it will have to exert widespread effects from a central point of safety.

Formerly known as the Saddam Dam, the facility is located about 30 miles north of Mosul, which the group overran on June 10th. The dam was guarded by Peshmerga forces of the Iraqi Kurdish army, but they were said to have folded before the ISIS attack. Meanwhile, the Peshmerga forces claim that they held the dam and repelled the attack by ISIS. Neither report is actually confirmed as this is written, but the balance of information point to the dam's having fallen into the hands of ISIS.

This is the largest dam in Iraq, reported to have been seized by the forces of ISIS yesterday (August 6). The dam is the major source of fresh water and hydroelectric power for the city of Mosul about 30 miles downstream on the Tigris River. The river also runs through Baghdad much farther downstream.

Its having fallen into the hands of ISIS is a key strategic gain for the group, allowing it to control much of the entire economy of Iraq, including the ability to shut down the flow of the Tigris River, at least temporarily. The dam is the fourth largest in the Middle East, according to the Associated Press reports. It supplies water and hydroelectric power to the City of Mosul, second largest city in Iraq, with 1.7 million inhabitants.

It is estimated that a sudden release of water from the dam could allow a 60-foot high wave of water to gush downstream - a torrent of water which would cause immense damage and disruption to most of the country. Thus, it is a key lever which ISIS has gained, giving it immense control over the country, which is already reeling under the vigorous advance of ISIS over the last several weeks.

In addition to giving ISIS the power to do physical damage by flooding the lower valley, it also gives the terrorist state control over electricity production as well as the potable water required by millions of Iraqis.

Adjacent to the dam lie a significant "oil patch" which also gives ISIS current income from its sale of several million barrels of oil a week.

These gains give the Kurdish militiamen and their allied Sunni tribal forces great concern. These forces have been struggling to dislodge the militants with little success.

Meanwhile, ISIS, in announcing its newly acquired control over the dam, vowed to push ahead with its "march in all directions," and said it has not given up on "the great Caliphate project."

As we have recently written, this development, if it continues, may result in the establishment of the forces of "Assyria" which seem to be required by the prophecy of Micah 5, in which such a group's utter defeat is prophesied in the end time.

Meanwhile, evidence of further ISIS insurgency - this time in Lebanon, far to the south of Mosul - has been reported at Aarsal, Lebanon, a city well inside the northeastern border of Lebanon with Syria. ISIS apparently captured the town, but then withdrew to the nearby countryside.

This development has been resisted by the army of Lebanon, but not very effectively.

The group also poses a greater challenge to Hezbollah in the south of Lebanon, whose leaders said they would not interfere with ISIS unless it grew much stronger in Lebanon.

Hezbollah provides logistical support for the Lebanese army in its support of the Assad regime in Syria.

The city of Aarsal houses about 40,000 citizens and about 120,000 Syrian refugees who have fled the fighting in nearby South Syria. The location is some distance north of Damascus, the capital of Syria.

The incident was triggered by the capture of a former commander of the Free Syrian Army (rebels in Syria) who later defected and declared allegiance to ISIS. The city of Aarsal is located in the northern Bekaa Valley north of Baalbek.

The vigorous advances of ISIS has been sufficient in recent weeks to place not only Israel, but also the U.S., and even Iran on high alert.

A third arena of aggression is causing great concern among Christian groups. ISIS

In Iraq, ISIS has been vigorously persecuting the Christian community throughout its sphere of influence. In Mosul, ISIS forces destroyed (by explosives) an 1,800 year-old church. Hundreds of Christian families have fled the general area after being told they must either convert to Islam, or pay a monthly tax; otherwise they would be killed.

These folk tend to believe that ISIS will do what it threatens to do, as they have borne witness to executions by gunshot, beheadings, crucifixion, and other violent means.

ISIS (a Sunni group) is believed now to consist of more than 10,000 fighters, as it is operating in Sunni territory and finds it fairly easy to attract followers from among the populous.

<HEL 8N> ~875 words .


ISIS Pushes Ahead Despite Iraqi Denials

Harold E. Lafferty

June 15, 2014: The news world services are aghast at the rapid advances of the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS), also called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in Iraq, particularly. [The terms ISIS and ISIL are interchangeable.] The ISIS group is of the Sunni persuasion, and viciously hates everyone who is Shiite in Islam.

If one searches the Internet for the latest news of this group, several dozen articles from the world news services appear, most of them containing several photographs of the carnage of war.

The concept of "brother against brother" could not more accurately be portrayed - a result of which is "every man's sword against his brother"- a concept that is illustrative of the entire Muslim world!

The savage group's leader is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, an individual who was in US custody in an Iraqi jail for two years (2007 to 2009?) but was released by Iraqi authorities.

This resultant war is mute evidence of such leniency, and probably will be the recidivist pathway of the five "generals" of al Qaeda who were just released from Guantanamo Bay Naval Prison in exchange for the notorious Sgt. Bergdahl, who was being held by al-Qaeda in Afghanistan for about five years.

In a dispute over leadership roles and tactics, al Baghdadi and his forces broke ranks with Al Qaeda in Syria, and embarked on his their campaign to form a Caliphate on the border between Iraq and Syria. He began with about 5,000 fighters, but has since gained perhaps thousands more as he conquers more portions of Iraq, which has a minority Sunni population.

Iraqi military forces, as a group, are to date unwilling to go into battles with ISIS fighters, and thousands of the Iraqi army members have readily cast away their uniforms and gone home. This is one reason that ISIS has been so successful.

Now ISIS in almost within view of Baghdad - an objective which it vows to take over - and the central Iraqi government has reason for great alarm. ISIS' gains have hardly slowed as more and more Sunnis, often former Iraqi army members under Saddam Hussein, who have had extensive military training, join ISIS.

The victories of ISIS have included the second and third most important cities in Iraq, much of its oil production facilities in the north, and long lists of vital military equipment and materiel, almost all of it donated by the USA to the Iraqi military!

A military airfield near Mosul was overrun by them, and many aircraft along with aerial missiles, ammunition, rockets, and storerooms of supplies and foods of all sorts fell to ISIS just last week.

But the group really hit the jackpot at a few banks in Mosul, where they are said to have heisted nearly $500,000,000 dollars in cash.

Such a huge trove of money will finance ISIS for some months, even if it sells no crude oil to anyone. But that (oil) resource is also partially under their control at the moment - and their intermediate objective seems to be, that after they overrun Baghdad, they plan to continue toward Basra in the south, and take over the main oil fields of Iraq near the Shatt al Arab estuary leading to the Persian Gulf.

In this way, the rebellious organization will gain great riches for its intended Caliphate, and could be self-sufficient for the long-term.

When and if the group is successful in this campaign, it will turn its full attention to Syria, which has been weakened severely by the civil war. The Assad regime of Damascus is a pseudo-Shiite organization (Alawite), so all the Sunnis in Syria (the majority of Syrian citizens) are likely to be attracted to ISIS' objectives.

ISIS is regarded as one of the most vicious of Salafist groups in existence. Its credo is ONLY Sharia Law. Its "judges" will lop off the hands and feet of criminals; they will stone adulterers; they will force women to wear the habib, and to remain largely inside their homes; they will hang, behead, or crucify offenders of many kinds - evidence of all these grisly reprisals having been noted during the present campaign.

The result is popular terror of the deepest sort.

The photographs mentioned above which may readily be seen in the 'Net reports, bear stark witness to ISIS tactics.

It has summarily executed many hundreds of Iraqi soldiers which it has captured.

Many headless corpses litter the streets of some conquered areas.

Piles of human bodies lie in heaps with single bullet holes in the backs of their skulls.

Burned out vehicles, artillery craters, and collapsed/damaged buildings litter the countryside.

Smoking ruins are all that remain in areas it has overrun.

ISIS is a most effective reprise of the actions of the original forces of Mohamed in his initial jihads of 1450 years ago!

But one of the most important and pathetic effects is the human toll. The photos depict thousands of refugees struggling along with their pitiful belongings, headed "somewhere" away from the fighting.

The little children are bewildered, not really understanding what is going on. Many or most of them will soon be parentless - or at least fatherless, as their civilian fathers are being asked to take up arms to assist the Iraqi army to resist the insurgents.

All these adverse factors consist after the US spent nearly ten years of bloodshed and treasure-shed in an ancient tribal war which neither side (or even an impartial, neutral force) could really hope to win.

Observers lay all this carnage at the doorstep of Mr. Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq, whose Shiite government seems to be taking the same course as did Saddam Hussein, who led a minority Sunni government which oppressed the Shiites unmercifully during his tenure.

Now the tables have turned upon the Sunnis, most of whom are not really at fault for the sins of Saddam!

One of the huge concerns of the US is the massive US Embassy of Iraq - the largest ambassadorial complex in the world, with thousands of civilian employees, defense contractors, and a small contingent of US Marines - all located squarely in the intended path of ISIS.

The US should recall vividly the pathetic scenes of frantic (and often failed) efforts of Americans to escape the South Viet Nam Embassy in the Seventies!

It is uncertain how resolute the Iraqi armed forces will be when ISIS approaches the outskirts of Baghdad. But the world probably will find out within a few days, as the ISIS push continues.

<HEL 6N> ~1125 words.

ISIS Suddenly Explodes Into Prominence in Syria and Iraq

Harold E. Lafferty

June 12, 2014: It has taken about a year for ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham) to move ahead to this point - the point of having taken control of several major cities in Iraq, displaced tens of thousands of civilians in that State, and successfully to have overrun Iraqi military forces in some of the main Iraqi cities, including Mosul on Tuesday (the second largest city in Iraq) which the US military spent millions of dollars and hundreds of lives to overcome during the Iraq War), and also Tikrit (famous as the birthplace of Saddam Hussein).

ISIS is an extremely radical offshoot of Al Qaeda, from which that terrorist organization has recently separated itself.

We have alerted readers about this rogue group of Islamic Fundamentalists for the last sixteen months, as it seemed to have been drifting rapidly and pointedly toward fulfilling an important milestone in the prophecy of Micah: a consolidation of Iraq and Syria which would be a composite of Assyria of ancient time - an entity named by Micah 5:5 as THE ASSYRIAN whom Micah (in the A.V.) was informed would in the end time come into our land, and tread within our palaces.

A great number of other versions in my library add the word "attempt" to this provision, making out its accomplishment of this feat to be a failure.

This prophecy of Micah is decidedly end time, and fills in quite a few vital facts about what is about to happen.

In the first place, it foretells the birth of the Messiah of Israel in a tiny village of Judea named here Bethlehem Ephrata, the latter being an earlier name of Bethlehem so there could be no mistake as to its identity. The text says of Bethlehem - out of thee shall He come forth unto Me that is to be ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Assyria's ancient territory is answered most closely by Iraq and Syria of today - especially as it was configured in BC824. By Bc671 it had expanded far south into Egypt, down beyond Thebes, and covered more territory than Iraq and Syria of today.

For the prophet to speak of Assyria in the end time is to be expected, for it was so designated during the prophet's age, before later divisions. And to seal this identification, the prophet adds the fact that it is the land of Nimrod in verse 6.

So the prophecy foretells the birth of Messiah in Bethlehem.

It also foretells the accomplishments of that Man of Bethlehem Ephratah - that this Man shall be (or accomplish establishment of) the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land. Verse 5.

Earlier researchers claimed that "The Assyrian" really meant Rosh, or Russia, leader of the Gogian host of Ezekiel 38 and 39. But this is not indicated in the text in any way!

We have opined for years that the people of the ancient territories of Assyria will have a resurgence in the end time and threaten the newly regathered people of Israel exactly as Micah relates. Not that the entity would necessarily be named Assyria, but it would at least represent the ancient territory of Assyria.

Well, the Micah account comes closer than we could ever imagine. The term "al Sham" in the designation ISIS is an ancient name for Syria (Bilad al Sham means, "the Levant!").

So "Iraq and al-Sham" indicates the ancient territory of Assyria!

About a year ago the formation of this entity accelerated into palpable action. Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, its leader, separated his fighters from other Al Qaeda fighters in Syria and struck to the northeast, taking control of bits and pieces of Iraq, which he named ISIS.

His intention at that time was stated as being to form a Caliphate on parts of Iraq and Syria and establish Sharia Law as its legal code. He promised to expand his holdings as he would be able, enlarging this new State until it absorbed all of Iraq and Syria (Assyria!).

Then its immediate goal would be to attack Israel to "liberate the holy places" and wipe out Israel!

We wondered for some time if this was mere Moslem braggadocio, but soon realized that al Baghdadi was serious - and was being successful!

Just this week, the news media were startled by ISIS' new victories against the Iraqi army in the north of Iraq. On Monday and Tuesday, they flushed out great numbers of Iraqi military personnel who discarded their uniforms, put on their civilian clothing, and headed for home and Momma! They abandoned cities, military airfields, and fortifications; millions of dollars worth of US military equipment such as aircraft, tanks, half-tracks, armored personnel carriers, light arms, piles of ammunition, electronic gear, uniforms, bullet proof vests and a great assortment of other materiel.

ALL this was confiscated by ISIS for its push further south in Iraq, and toward the west into Syria.

ISIS' southern front this Wednesday morning is a mere 70 miles northwest of Baghdad! It already controls much of the oil production facilities in the center of the country. It also has expanded into northern Syria, and is already near Aleppo in the north. An enclave of ISIS is threatening Damascus from the west; it is also established in eastern Lebanon.

Al Baghdadi seems unstoppable at this point.

We can visualize many of the rebels fighting President Assad's regime in Syria joining ISIS when its presence intrudes into the center of the country - although that is conjecture and not sure to happen.

Allegiances and intentions can shift rapidly in the Arab world!

The importance of ISIS as the potential aggressor of Micah 5 is hard to overstate or exaggerate. ISIS has already projected its own victory over Lebanon, as well as Syria and Iraq, and its consolidation of the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (or Syria) as a strict Caliphate in those areas.

And it has already stated that it will go southward into Israel when it has overcome it first target.

That move would straightforwardly fulfill the 5th of Micah quite adequately.

But note this additional feature of the prophecy: when this occurs, the Lord is personally there, ready to defend Israel and defeat this vile enemy!

In projecting this fact, we believe the prophecy has other sober implications, for our conviction is that when the LORD comes to the earth's people visibly (as the lightning shineth from the east to the west) He brings with Him His Saints - his resurrected (and gathered from among the living) saints of today, has judged them, has awarded eternal life to a great company of these, has celebrated the Marriage of the Lamb with these beloved brethren, and subsequently brings them into open visibility to all people as a great multitude clad in white raiment, and riding on white horses, wielding the Sword of the Spirit (Revelation 19) against Israel's sworn enemies, and defeats them summarily.

This action shall be as pictured in Isaiah 63, for example, and in Obadiah, Isaiah 11, Ezekiel 35, Psalm 83, Zechariah 10-14, and several other quite prominent prophecies!

For it is these events which bring the return of Christ to Israel.

It shall be Christ's first priority to clear His Land (the Land of the Abrahamic Land Grant of Genesis 12:3) of all the mixed multitude of squatters and intruders who have occupied it and destroyed it for millennia - to clear the entire Land from the Nile to the Euphrates, and from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf, defeating and destroying all those vile enemies of Himself and of Israel, His people!

At that time there shall be no more the Canaanite (Islamic Arab!) in the house of the LORD, just as the record states in Zechaiah 14:21 - Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.

<HEL 6N> ~1375 words. A Circular Letter June '14

Injunction Upon Israel at its Entry into Canaan (as Applied to the Endtime)

H E Lafferty

The comprehensive body of information in the latter chapters of Exodus served to instruct the people of Israel in the ways He intended that they should fulfill the purpose of the Almighty when He should establish their nation in their own land - in Canaan.

The details begin earlier than the portion recorded below, but we wish in this essay to consider the entry of the People into their Land, their intended conduct in His service, and the extent of their intended inheritance ... all helpful considerations for us and them today.

That earlier attempt at colonization failed catastrophically when the People did not obey these commandments of Moses (dictated to him by the Father).

Israel today has long since embarked upon its final re-establishment in its Land. The challenges of today are parallel to those the People encountered in their first effort to do so.

Our thesis is that this second attempt will not succeed UNTIL they conform to the formula given by the Almighty for their first settlement there. Only the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus will accomplish this for them, as Israel today has not the will to resist the pressures of the world upon them to give "land for peace."

We review them in some detail below, and closely consider some aspects of Moses' instructions concerning their first conquest as being closely relevant to their second attempt at colonization of the Land in our day, which shall be unequivocally successful.

They were at that earlier time entering the Land of Canaan, then inhabited by numerous clans of pagan peoples who did not recognize the God of Israel. Today they have entered a land heavily inhabited by their cousins, the Arabs of Edom, Moab, and Ammon - still a pagan people who do not recognize the God of Israel.

The Father informed Moses as follows:

Exodus 23:23 For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off.

There are six ungodly nations named here - the nations whose lands He was giving to Israel as an homeland, and eventually as an inheritance. He promised to destroy them (cut them off) contingent upon Israel's obedience to his wishes.

Notice carefully that God specifically tells His people that mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in ...

Their own efforts would be required, certainly, but their successful conquest of the Land and their establishment within it would not depend upon their own military prowess or their own resources. They were to be preceded by His Angel of certain conquest and deliverance.

One key question we may have is ... does this Angel have a name? What is his identity?

Curiously, his name is never recorded in these earlier references (as also in their deliverance from Egypt).

However, we believe a clue resides in a revelation given to Daniel in Daniel 12:1, in which it is surely revealed that Michael the Archangel is the angelic entity who is charged with the special care of God's people of the Endtime referred to in these writings.

If he is to stand up in our day for Israel, and it is he that standeth for the children of thy (Daniel's) people, is it not almost certain that he has done so on important prior occasions?

It would hardly be possible to think of a more important prior occasion than this first entry into and conquest of Canaan from the heathen elements who dwelt there.

Exo 23:24 Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.

Exo 23:25 And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee.

Exo 23:26 There shall nothing cast their young (miscarry), nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfill.

These detailed blessings of basket and store, of flock and herd, and by implication, of family and kin, are comprehensively protective. But only if the people obeyed God's laws and did not fall prey to the "gods" and evil practices of the Canaanites whose lands they were being given.

Exo 23:27 I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee (i.e., turn to flee).

Exo 23:28 And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.

God's promise was that He should send His fear among the heathen before His people, and cause them to flee ("turn their backs unto thee" - or run away). They would thus be destroyed from before Israel!

His Angel should be a force as powerful as swarming hornets among them, against which there is no defense or protection! Their conquest of the land was thus certified to them as a sure promise - but only if they would obey God and keep His commandments.

They did not.

Exo 23:29 I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee.

Exo 23:30 By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.

Vital details are here given to His beloved people: we see the progressive establishment of Israel as a People in these lands - that they are brought under Israeli governance by a gradual conquest, His people were intended to replace the native populations in a steadily expanding fashion and in a balanced advance so that even the natural equilibrium of flora and fauna was to be maintained as Israel established itself in wider and wider circles in their new Land. Their advance upon the Land and their establishment within it would be little by little ... until thou be increased, and inherit the land.

We easily perceive that this has also been the case in their second entry into their Land as a People ... that their expansion within it has been gradual, and not all at one time. Their victories have been fitful but uninterrupted from the start ... little by little. From the first, their colonization has been steadily progressive; God has clearly given them victories at every turn, even in their present state of unbelief (unbelief which was not a surprise to Him at all) ... a gracious gift to them as an earnest (a deposit) against their future enlightenment which is imminent.

Exo 23:31 And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.

Their victory was assured by His word; and the boundaries of their inheritance are here stated in concrete terms - from the Red Sea even unto the Sea of the Philistines (the Mediterranean Sea), and from the desert unto the river (from the Sinai to the Euphrates, we believe).

This specification leaves the southeastern border obscure to us - completely undefined in this passage.

Exo 23:32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.

Exo 23:33 They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.

Here is one of the most important injunctions upon His people: that they make NO COVENANT with them, nor with their gods. We believe the current (and seemingly everlasting) "peace talks," will fail completely.

Either agreement would violate His will for them, and would lead to serious compromise of their position before Him.

In their first possession of the Land, we readily understand that this specific failure was the cause of their downfall, and of their expulsion from their Land into Assyria (the Ten Tribes) and into Babylon (the Two Tribes). The Two Tribes were given a second chance at the end of 70 years, but failed again to observe the laws they had been given, and even slew their Messiah in complete denial of His mission and purpose because it did not fit their prejudicial concepts of His first coming.

Never again was Israel a commonwealth (since the Babylonian captivity) in its own right until its re-establishment in May, 1948.

They are thus NOW being given a second opportunity to glorify the Almighty, and to acknowledge His great blessing to them.

However, Israel has not yet learned to obey God in the fullness of His commandments.

They have offered - and still do offer - accommodation with the heathen peoples scattered among them instead of driving them out of their Land. Instead of cleansing their divinely given Land of heathen practices and heathen gods, and suppressing their active aggression against the God of Israel and the People of God they are reticent. They have repeatedly offered "land for peace" to those opposers, in direct contravention of God's earlier commandments.

Joel 3 clearly condemns this approach; it denies this "solution."

They do not yet believe God. They are wary of world opinion and of Arab wrath should they express their rights within their own land!

They do not yet have the faith required to follow His injunctions.

But they shall soon acquire it!

Numerous prophetic forecasts outline in quite fine detail Israel's end time future within its own Land, the Abrahamic Land Grant of Genesis 12 et seq, in which the Almighty's will is made crystal clear.

Their sure destiny is a perfect completion of their conquest of Canaan and its present pagan population of Islamic Arabs from the Nile to the Euphrates, and from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf (and the Indian Ocean? - these southwestern borders are not yet clear to us).

As to the heathen (the nations of Canaan today), like those of old, the ideal condition is that they shall not dwell in thy land. They have no inheritance within it at all, and shall possess no possessions there in perpetuity. It is abundantly clear that ... the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together (to the Lord, and to His people), gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance (Zechariah 14:14).

These fabulous riches include their oil and gas, their minerals and ores, and all the spoils of conquest which generally accrue to the conquerors of nations.

In what general context do we see these accomplishments?

How does this come about for Israel of today?

It comes about by direct intervention of Him on high, Who shall send His Son to intrude upon the nations on their behalf, enabling Him without hesitation to advance furiously, in bloody physical conflict, upon His enemies and those of His people. His abrupt, unexpected intervention illustrating clearly to them His invincibility, gaining their respect and trust in His unspeakable deliverance from their opposers, libelers and slanderers - those whose goals are above all and primarily intended to ... cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel be no more in remembrance (Psalm 83: 4).

The immediate result of this exquisitely clear intervention on their behalf shall bring their sincere, heartfelt acceptance of His leadership ... and their spontaneous, conclusive and unanimous cry, Blessed is He Who cometh in the name of the Lord!

How can we be sure of this outcome? We can be absolutely certain of it because of the Master's words to Jerusalem of His own day, in which He declared, Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

Luk 13:35 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate (neglected by Him for a long time to come): and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Their "seeing Him" in this case consists of their UNDERSTANDING Him as well as physically beholding Him - of their beholding with astonishment and admiration His vast power which He shall exert on their behalf even without their specific request, and the devastating result it shall have on their enemies round about.

Their recognition and its process is related in Zechariah 12 and 13.

Israelis today have come (of necessity) to respect might and power as much as any force. But His stupendous display of overwhelming power against their innumerable foes shall far exceed their understanding or comprehension - and illustrate to them precisely Who He is and what is His purpose with them!

Their unanimous cry to the Almighty shall therefore be precisely as prescribed: Blessed is He Who cometh in the name of the Lord! ... expressing their ready willingness to accept Him and His authority over them in every way.

Only then can their true redemption begin! Only then can His People fulfill their eternal destiny of being a glory to their God and a light unto the nations ... for salvation, for peace, and for eternal security before Him.

<HEL code 4N> 2300 words. An earlier Revision was Posted on GPL site December, 2012.


Get Ready for This Truly Spectacular Sky Show!

H. E. Lafferty

The unusual series of Blood Moons is beginning as a lunar "Tetrad" on the night of April 15th. It will be viewable in most parts of the United States beginning at around 3 a.m., and last for over an hour, according to NASA's web site devoted to Lunar Eclipses. Of course, our seeing it depends upon a clear sky.

That site where this is described may be found easily by anyone reading this message - for that means you have a computer and it's connected to the Internet.

I suggest that you paste this address ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gzgSuJM5O8 into your search engine and click on the site to watch a video about this Tetrad, which explains in clear terms just what you will be watching if you elect, along with me, to be awake and watching at 3 a.m.!

We believe this series of Blood Moons is extremely relevant to us as Believers, because April 15th, in addition to being the deadline for filing U.S. income tax returns, is also the Jewish Feast of Passover.

When we moderns think of a "feast," we are reminded of tables laden with a huge variety of foods and drinks, set in celebration of some notable event in someone's life - such as a birthday or an anniversary.

But in Hebrew, a feast is a different kind of celebration, and does not center upon food at all. These mark important anniversaries of the Jewish year, and the Memorials that are marked by those particular days.

Numerous references in the Bible point to "signs" in the sun, moon and stars as signals for divine events. Genesis 1:14 is one occurrence: And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

We are intimately familiar with these as signals for days and years, but not as much so as indicating signs and seasons - especially not in the Hebrew sense of those words.

The word translated "sign" in Hebrew is Strong's H226, Oth, meaning "a signal, literally or figuratively; as a flag, beacon, monument, omen, prodigy, evidence, etc.; - mark, miracle, (en)sign, token."

And the word translated "seasons" in Hebrew is Strong's H4150, Mo'ade, "properly, an appointment, that is, a fixed time or season; specifically, a festival; conventionally, a year; by implication, an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically, the congregation, by extension, the place of meeting; also a signal (as appointed beforehand); - appointed (sign, time); (place of, solemn) assembly, congregation, (set, solemn) feast, (appointed, due) season, solemn (-ity), synagogue, (set) time (appointed)."

The "season" will be Passover.

The Blood Moon that will occur that evening is a "sign" in our thinking, telling the people of the earth - and especially to Israelis - to Pay attention! Something extremely unusual and important is about to happen to My People!

Most of the world's people will not be aware of this remarkable phenomenon.

But to the Believer, it is extremely relevant to the times in which we live.

Because it is the beginning "signs" of Blood Moons on FOUR Jewish Festivals this year and next.

The next Blood Moon will occur on the Feast of Tabernacles, in October, 2014.

Another will occur on Passover, 2015.

And another on Tabernacles, 2015! A Tetrad, yes ... but a Jewish Tetrad, also!

As we have remarked in earlier articles, only three of such Jewish Tetrads have occurred for over a thousand years.

One occurred in 1493-1494, at the expulsion of the Jews from Spain.

The second occurred in 1948-1949, at the War of Independence, when Israel proclaimed itself a State.

The third occurred in 1967-1968, when the Jewish State won its spectacular victory over the Arab enemies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and others.

As anyone can see, ALL these Tetrads were connected with a significant factor in Jewish life. This is signally important, because the Jewish people are God's Witnesses in the earth. Really, they are His most important witnesses - whatever anyone may think of the Jews and their State.

The prophets bear record that this is so. Read, for example ...

Isaiah 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

Isa 44:7 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them.

Isa 44:8 Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

Whatever happens to the Jewish People moves forward the Plan of God for the earth - moves it closer and more surely toward His kingdom on the earth, with Jerusalem as its Capitol.

The three previous Blood Moons have decisively proven this principle.

We believe the next one shall be as important, both to the Jews of Israel, and to the Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ - His brethren, who are watching the unfolding of His end time plans on a perfect trajectory!

There is one cautionary remark that we feel compelled to make. Although the visible, powerful, and incisive Second Coming of our Lord from heaven is greatly desired among our community, the next Blood Moon must not be assumed to indicate that event.

However, every one of us is aware that the saints, both living and those resurrected from the dead, will be called forth at some time BEFORE His visible appearing to the world, and be taken to His Judgment Bema for their assize before Him.

Could this Jewish Tetrad herald this event?

We do not know.

But it is implicit in His will for us that we be constantly ready for the sobering reality - that is, to be snatched away from our natural lives of visible observation to that secret place where the covenanted of all ages shall meet in convocation before Him - in joy, if yet with fear - to receive the things done in our bodies, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)

Our sometime distress is greatly alleviated by the wise admonition of the Apostle John, who wrote these reassuring phrases: 1John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. 29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

<HEL 3N> ~1125 words.

Israel's Increased Tension with the U.S. and Iran

H. E. Lafferty

The events of this first week of March, 2014, have intensified the rift between the U.S. and Israeli leaders. President Obama is pursuing conciliation with Iran; but Israel is convinced that it will bear no fruits, and that Iran will continue to pursue its nuclear ambitions.

The extreme tension between Israel and Iran, hinging completely upon Iran's repeated denunciation of Israel and its right to exist, is reaching the breaking point – or is it?

Our conviction is that the prophetic scriptures say nothing about an Israeli attack upon Iran prior to the Gogian affair of Ezekiel 38 and 39.

However, it is difficult to argue from a position of negative or absent comments.

An attack would seem imminent at this time, but one must diligently observe current events in order to come to some reasonable conclusion. Just because such an attack is not mentioned does not mean it will not occur.

The only surety one can insist upon is that the forces of Persia (Iran) are slated for total destruction in the Gogian affair of Ezekiel's prophecy.

Having said that, we note that Prime Minister Netanyahu has now re-stated Israel's purposely formed decision that, from the Israeli viewpoint, Iran shall not acquire nuclear weapons.

As late as yesterday, March 4th, the prime minister again asserted that to allow that to come about would subject the Jewish State to indescribable danger of nuclear assault from the east.

In a sense, this is a curious affair – this current enmity of Iran toward Israel. Iran and Israel do not share a common boundary. No Iranian has ever killed an Israeli in active combat that we know of – and no Israeli has killed an Iranian in active combat between the two nations, for there has been no such action.

Yet, Iran's Ayatollah Khameini (the "Supreme Leader" of Iraq – assuming authority even above the president) – continues to vilify and denigrate the Jewish people in Iranian media of all sorts. His hate speech toward God’s people is surely equivalent to that of Adolph Eichmann and Hermann Goering of Nazi Germany.

Some thinkers believe