Other Items 2017

Bibi Criticized by The Guardian for Usage of Scriptural Phrase

An eTPL Analysis

Last week, this headline appeared in Israel National News: Guardian twists Bibi's words to sound hateful” – Netanyahu said a border fence will keep out the 'beasts of prey.' British paper says he means all Arabs outside Israel are 'wild beasts.'

“Britain's The Guardian [a leftist] newspaper twisted a statement made by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Tuesday to make it sound as if he had referred to all Arabs in Judea, Samaria and the countries neighboring Israel as "wild beasts."

“He had done no such thing. Netanyahu's exact words were:

"’At the end, in the State of Israel, as I see it, there will be a fence that spans it all. I'll be told, 'this is what you want, to protect the villa?'

“The answer is yes.

“Will we surround all of the State of Israel with fences and barriers?

“The answer is yes."

"’In the area that we live in, we must defend ourselves against the beasts of prey. We are preparing a multi-year program to surround all of Israel with security fences in order to protect ourselves in the current Middle East. We're also preparing to fix holes in the security fence around Judea-Samaria.’

“Regardless of this, The Guardian's report began thus:

"’Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has announced his intention to 'surround all of Israel with a fence' to protect the country from infiltration by both Palestinians and the citizens of surrounding Arab states, whom he described as 'wild beasts.'"

Our Observations

One should not be surprised at the negative connotation taken by The Guardian – one of the most anti-Semitic newspapers in Britain in our understanding.

However, its opinion in this matter is less than useless.

Not being Bible students, its reporters are not aware of the Father’s words to Jeremiah which use precisely the word “beasts” multiple times as referring to the nations and peoples round about Israel. In that passage, Jeremiah 12:9, YHVH Himself makes direct and unmistakable reference to these neighboring entities as all the beasts of the field” which “come to devour” His people.

His words are … Mine heritage (Israel) is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds (Strong’s H5861, ayit = a hawk, or other bird of prey; a raptor) round about (Israel’s neighboring Arabic entities) are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour.

The word “beasts” here is Hebrew chaiy, usually translated “life” but also meaning wild beast, company, congregation, living creature, and troop.

Yes – the connotation is decidedly negative as regards those neighboring peoples.

It is similar to the phraseology of Jeremiah 7:33 and 15:3; Ezekiel 5:17; 32:4; 34:25; the numerous “beasts” of Daniel 2, 7 and 8; Zephaniah 2; 14 noting the chay of the goyim – the beasts of the nations – as being their enemies.

These have consistently throughout history snapped at and devoured His people at every opportunity, witness for example, the excoriations of Obadiah, the prophet of God, who condemned Edom throughout his 21-verse prophecy in words such as “thou shouldst not have …” in verses 10-16, outlining the several ways in which Esau had betrayed his brother Jacob, more perfectly phrased as “… thy violence against thy brother Jacob.” (verse 10) Personal, internecine violence ... and bloodshed.

Several related phrases in other writings show that such ravenous beasts can be both literal and figurative – both animal and human – in fulfillment: Jeremiah 7: 33; Isaiah 56: 9; Ezekiel 39: 17-20; Revelation 19: 17, 18.

Mr. Netanyahu’s figure of speech is therefore well-used we believe, and illustrates the widely-taught Biblical doctrine of the culpability of all the peoples round about Israel of the end time – of all the entities in the Land between the Rivers (Nile and Euphrates) and the Seas (the Med and the Persian Gulf).

None of them are faultless; all are summarily condemned by our Father for their vile treatment of His People Israel.

We are extremely privileged to live currently in the era immediately prior to the abolition – the utter destruction – of all these entities by the Christ of the Second Advent – the warfare depicted by the closing verses of Obadiah as well as Psalm 83 per se – which must, in our view, precede the then-impending Gogian conflict.

A Sober Afterthought

Earlier this Saturday morning we watched a very special two-hour presentation on National Public TV by Rick Steves, the respected, softly-spoken, resourceful travel pundit who is world famous for his expertise in personally profitable travel adventures.

The program was entitled “The Holy Land,” and highlighted the best features of both Israel and the Palestinian Authority with an equivalency that was admirable (but unfortunately mistaken).

Caught up in the dilemma of politically-correct terminology, Mr. Steves felt compelled to refer to the land-claims of the Palestinian Authority as “Palestine,” and used that phrase consistently (and apologetically!) to describe the areas occupied mostly by the Arabs of the area today – namely the “West Bank” including East Jerusalem.

During his interesting tour of the region, he interviewed many of the Arab citizens of Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron and other cities such as Jericho – all occupied at this time mostly by the “Palestinian” Arabs.

The Arabic people whom he presented seemed reasonable in their future expectations of a peaceful solution with Israel (none expressed the extreme hostility of Al-Fatah or Hamas). Although there was a detectable undercurrent of suspicion and resentment in some, they seemed individually to be people with whom Israel might work out some agreement that is mutually satisfactory.

But their environment belied that intention (or probability) altogether.

Several scenes included huge stretches of the “Palestinian” side of The Wall of Separation which now divides most of the “West Bank” from Israel proper. It is usually about thirty feet in height and consists of smooth concrete on both sides.

Invariably the “Palestinian” side of the wall was covered in warlike phrases – phrases which telegraphically conveyed the PLO standard line of thinking: “We will return … Jerusalem is ours … Palestine will win …” etc., in garish cartoon-like graffiti sometimes ten feet high plastered upon every square meter of that otherwise clean, cement-faced protective wall of safety which has been erected by Israel.

Every view of the Israeli side of The Wall was clean and uncluttered, smooth, cream-colored concrete. No graffiti. No hate-mongering slogans. No offensive messages at all.

Our own personal experience in Israel has invariably accorded with the scenes as presented.

In this age of instability within the Land, The Wall became a necessity for Israel.

As such, it represents all the other means of defense which one perceives in Israeli society today: the ubiquitous checkpoints on public highways; the pervasive personal interviews and electronic searches at most public venues such as the Western Wall entrances, Temple Mount, soccer matches, symphony concerts and at other public events – any venue at which terrorism might suddenly erupt and bring death to one or several individuals; the presence of armed military personnel in every street of every city; the thundering roar of military jets overhead at any hour of the day or night.

All these are illustrative of the state of readiness of Israel today – of its readiness to stand against terrorism, and to keep the peace at all costs ... of being a land of walled villages, dwelling in expectant readiness for trouble and conflict.

It is a condition remarkably dissimilar to that which greets the searching, analytical gaze of Gog of the land of Magog – response to which is described as … And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, 12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; Ezekiel 38:11, 12.

The contrast is remarkable – and mutually exclusive to today’s view of the Land.

Something drastic shall have to be done to end this stand-off of Israel with its Arab neighbors … and to bring the peace so perfectly depicted by Ezekiel’s words.

The tipping point of its conversion, in our studied opinion, is the impending explosion of the current Israeli-Arab conflict into the sweeping war that finally brings that clearly-stated condition of “dwelling safely” to Israel of today – and the complete obliteration of the “beasts of the earth” which presently surround them.

In our opinion, a palpably forward step in that progression was taken in December of last year when the US delegation stood in abstention of a resolution condemning Israel's "occupation" of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and of its practice of the construction of additional Israeli housing even in Jerusalem.

The summary description of Israel's violent enemies as "beasts" is not solely our personal opinion by any means … but decidedly is that of holy writ.

<HEL 1Q> ~1400 words. Published January 7, 2017


Elam in Prophecy

Jeremiah 49:35

Elam was located northeast of the Tigris River in what today is south western Iran. It is home to many of the burgeoning nuclear facilities of Iran, including the giant reactor at Bushehr. The area is tectonically active, having suffered many earthquakes greater than Richter 6.0 since 2000AD.

Some students of prophecy seem to regard this specific prophecy to be yet unfulfilled. There are portions of the later text which have not been fulfilled in our understanding.

However, Elam was conquered by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon soon after Jeremiah wrote these words, fulfilling the first portion of this prophecy.

It is notable that Ezekiel also addressed the near-term destiny of Elam, as later cited; his words were written in the past tense because of the surety of their coming to pass.

But Jeremiah addresses Elam’s destiny in the future tense:

Jer 49:34 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet against Elam in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying,

Jer 49:35 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will break the bow of Elam, the chief of their might.

It is germane to the facts here, to note that the Elamites were regarded as expert bowmen. This footnote is from ESword: “the bow: Strabo says that the mountainous part of Elymais chiefly bred archers; and Livy speaks of Elymei sagittarii ‘the Elymean archers.’”

We believe this prophecy, including the desolation spoken of immediately afterward, was satisfactorily fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar conquered this land northeast of the Tigris River, as ESword notes:

Circa AM 3406, BC 598: Elam, the Elymais of the Greeks and Romans, was properly a province of the Persian empire, between Media and Susiana; but sometimes the name Elam is used in a larger sense, including Susiana and other provinces (see Daniel 8:2), all of which were subdued by Nebuchadnezzar, and afterwards restored and raised to dignity by Cyrus. Jer25:25; Gen10:22, Gen14:1; Ezr4:9; Isa21:2; Eze32:24-25; Dan8:2; Act2:9.

Daniel 8:2 is emphasized in the above list of references because it records the precise time when the Prophet Daniel was actually dwelling in the province of Elam, in Shushan the palace, and was given the prophetic details of the impending overthrow of Babylon by Medo-Persia – the fulfillment of the words recorded by Daniel’s companion prophet-in-exile, in Ezekiel 32:24-25!

As noted, the prophetic account recorded in Ezekiel 32 is a prophecy of this destruction of Elam along with Egypt and other nearby polities as Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon thrusted south through Judea to Egypt and Eritrea, and expanded his power over the peoples round about Babylon, both east (Elam) and west (Meshech and Tubal – at that time located in Anatolia, or Turkey): Ezekiel 32: 24: There is Elam and all her multitude round about her grave, all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which are gone down uncircumcised into the nether parts of the earth, which caused their terror in the land of the living; yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit. 25 They have set her a bed in the midst of the slain with all her multitude: her graves are round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword: though their terror was caused in the land of the living, yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit: he is put in the midst of them that be slain. Ezekiel 32: 24, 25.

Nebuchadnezzar’s common practice against conquered peoples was to uproot the leaders and all their prominent persons, and to deport them to foreign, unfamiliar places, settling them among people of other languages, thus disorienting them, and defeating any impulse that they might have mustered to rebel and to try to restore their earlier status or to retake their native lands.

This practice also left those behind in their homeland without leaders, and less capable of rebellion against Babylon. This was the rationale for uprooting the prominent but troublesome leaders of the Judeans of Zedekiah’s time, and transplanting them into the eastern provinces of Babylon. In addition, many of them were simply slain by the king of Babylon (cf., Jeremiah 52).

It was an effective tactic. The certainty of this also happening to Elam was borne out in the prophet’s words designating them as slain (not to be slain, but as a completed act, in the past tense), with the result that, yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit. Note that both these active verbs, although spoken prior to their fulfillment are framed in the past tense, indicating the prophetic certainty of fulfillment.

Also, note that “terror” is closely connected with Elam even from that earliest time – and that the restored practice of terror is ongoing even until our own time. Now a province of Iran, Elam’s and Iran’s sinister, terror-generating, emerging nuclear capability is noted and feared by the entire world.

There is a further interesting deduction from the footnote in ESword, as cited above: just as Nebuchadnezzar conquered and divided nations, Babylon’s conqueror (Cyrus’) practice was to restore and heal many of those breaches. It is fitting that Cyrus was a “type” of Christ in this role.

It is noted that the Persian monarch returned the outcasts of Elam to their country in fulfillment of this prophecy. Thus Elamites were restored and their identity returned (see Acts 2:9, where a list of nationalities present on the Day of Pentecost, hundreds of years later, shows the presence of “Elamites” – Jews from Elam – among many others).

The peoples of that area seem to have remained relatively stable for all the centuries following their having been restored, as in vs. 39, below, which states, I will bring again the captivity of Elam. Today, the provincial region of Elam in Iran is prosperous, and home to many of the nuclear facilities of Iran, as already noted.

Continuing with the text of Jeremiah 49

Jer 49:36 And upon Elam will I bring the four winds from the four quarters of heaven, and will scatter them toward all those winds; and there shall be no nation whither the outcasts of Elam shall not come.

Jer 49:37 For I will cause Elam to be dismayed before their enemies, and before them that seek their life: and I will bring evil upon them, even my fierce anger, saith the LORD; and I will send the sword after them, till I have consumed them:

“The sword” always indicates military force; here it is the sword of the LORD in Babylon’s hand.

Jer 49:38 And I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king and the princes, saith the LORD.

In what sense may it be said that the Almighty should “set My throne in Elam?” Because Nebuchadnezzar was the leader of God’s army of vengeance upon Judea and the other city-states and nations which he was sent by the Almighty to conquer, Nebuchadnezzar was considered to be God’s Commander of the time.

By conquering and holding in subjection, Elam and the other countries, God was placing “His throne” in those countries by the concrete establishment of the supreme authority of the king of Babylon (His proxy ruler) in them.

But with the passage of time, Elam’s destiny would change for the better …

Jer 49:39 But it shall come to pass in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the LORD.

If Elam was restored to some great degree of integrity in Darius’ day, what does the prophet mean when he states, that in the latter days, that I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith the LORD?

We propose that this means that, although Elam was restored to some nominal level of integrity by Cyrus, the region’s characteristic influence was not restored. The people of restored Elam seem not to have exerted much influence or to have been a threatening power in its region for many hundreds of years – until now.

Today, in the end-time, the region of Elam has regained its old strength as a potential aggressor, its character as an hurtful, threatening region toward peoples near and far, including God’s blessed people, Israel – the object of its wrath. If Elam of today gives rise to nuclear weapons, we could not imagine a greater re-establishment of its terroristic character here in the latter days.

And note this modern similarity to its ancient prowess: how similar is a nuclear-tipped ICBM launched against an enemy compared to the arrows of the archers of Elam of old!

The prophet Ezekiel had foretold, in Ezekiel 32:11 - For thus saith the Lord GOD; The sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon thee. The nation being spoken of in these specific words was Egypt, but his condemnation clearly applied to all the other national objectives which He had set for Nebuchadnezzar which are noted in this chapter: Asshur (Assyria) of vs. 22; Elam of vs. 24; Meshech and Tubal of vs. 26; Edom of vs. 29; and Zidon of vs. 30.

Ezekiel 30: 24, 25 certifies that Nebuchadnezzar was to be given the sword of the LORD in his hand, and that Babylon’s armies were especially to be “strengthened” by the LORD for that dedicated purpose of conquest.

That text reads (Ezekiel 30:24) And I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and put my sword in his hand: but I will break Pharaoh's arms (by the proxy of Babylon’s armies), and he shall groan before him with the groanings of a deadly, wounded man. 25 But I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and the arms of Pharaoh shall fall down; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall stretch it out upon the land of Egypt.

Conclusion: It seems significant that this somewhat minor prophetic reference to Elam in the end-time perfectly conjoins with the current climate of aggression and terrorism originating from that pinpointed area of the Middle East. The nations of the earth are greatly concerned as to the progress of the Elamites of today toward the development of nuclear weapons.

Especially do those weapons threaten the nation of Israel, whose deletion from the face of the earth is stated as the greatest wish of the “Supreme Leader” of Elam and Persia (Iran). This intention by Elam/Iran is in perfect harmony with the threats of the other nations “round about” Israel today, as voiced in the prophetic prayer of Asaph: it also positively bridges the toxic (hateful to Israel) ideology of the Proximal Islamic peoples to the Distal Islamic Peoples who shall be confederate with the Gogian host, per Ezekiel 38 and 39.

Psalm 83:1 A Song or Psalm of Asaph. Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. 2 For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. 3 They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones (this Hebrew word is Tsapahn, meaning to hide, by covering over, to hoard or to reserve – all perfectly relative to the Father’s “protective custody” of Israel of our day!). 4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.

How strengthening, how supportive of our faith, are such tiny fragments of almost incidental information from the mouths of the holy prophets of Israel, not only to His natural people of Israel (if they have observed this statement of His approval and support for them) but also to His spiritual household – those who are lovingly revealed to be “graffed in” to the Good Olive Tree, which is Israel; Romans 11: 17-23, q.v., please. <HEL 12N> ~2000 words. An eTPL Circular Letter. Dec., 2014; published here January 2017.

An Exciting Prospect for Today

Consideration of a Letter to the Editor

One gratifying benefit of doing an electronic “blog” such as eTPL, is that readers often respond with meaningful notes of appreciation (and sometimes of disagreement); both should be profitable to any editor because each prompts further, deeper consideration of the subject in question.

The following hopeful note, which we believe significant, was received by us on Saturday, January 14th

Dear Brother Harold,

The next seven days could be very important in the history of the world. While the world is expecting to see a new President inaugurated in the White House, it may be surprised if a new leader appears on the scene in the Middle East.

Whether events are leading to the Lord’s return at this juncture, we do not know and must not allow our expectations to be aroused overmuch; but I would be surprised if some event of significance does not occur.

With the Pope’s receiving Mahmoud Abbas today at the Vatican and opening the “embassy of Palestine,” the French convening their peace conference tomorrow, and UN Security Council meeting again on Tuesday, there is much talk of peace and security as it relates to the peoples in the holy land. We shall watch with great interest.

Your fellow watchman for Israel’s hope, _________

Our comments: The meeting between the pope and Mahmoud Abbas of the “Palestinian” Authority was held on Saturday, January 14, and lasted 23 minutes. According to NBC News, their meeting “looked ahead to Sunday’s international peace conference” in Paris.

But at the meeting, the pope made it clear that an agreement signed last year, making the Vatican’s de facto recognition of Palestine in 2012 official, has come into effect.

Hence the reason for having established a Palestinian Embassy at the Vatican.

Operational since last October, the embassy was officially announced on Saturday at the meeting. It brings into effect the full-bl0wn treaty between the Vatican and “Palestine” which was signed in June, 2016, when it demanded moves to end the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and backed a two-state solution.

The “Palestinian” leader also did not miss an opportunity to criticize the movement of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – a move which is said to be an imminent possibility as soon as President-Elect Trump takes office next Friday. Abbas said such a move would retard the “peace process” and would not be advisable – ominous words which, if they had real backing, would be frightening to some.

These moves place the pope on precisely the wrong side of this entire discussion – dividing God’s land. Of all people on earth, one should think that the pope, as “supreme leader” of the world’s “Christians,” would be aware of God’s prohibition of anyone dividing His Land: Joel 3:2.

The Paris “peace conference” held yesterday (Sunday) is yet another feckless matter.

No innovative ideas militating toward true Israeli-Palestinian peace were put forward. The councils of men are at their most frustrated ends.

Instead, the conference ended by proposing that Secretary of State John Kerry’s six proposals of last December’s long-winded departure speech be placed in effect as a framework within which to work – themselves being old, outworn, clichés of expectation and theoretically proper solutions which have failed multiple times in the past.

Neither the Palestinian Authority nor Israel participated.

One pundit said it looked like a wedding without the bride and groom.

In considering these now rapid moves toward a “showdown” between Israel and the “Palestinians,” we are seeing what may be the final insults in a long string of compromising moves directed against Israel by everyone concerned in that process.

Our belief is that some such group of similar actions will become the tripwire to the final Confrontation of Israel with its neighbors round about – and the Second Advent of our LORD from the heavens.

But as our correspondent advised, we must not allow our expectations to be aroused overmuch … that is to say that the informed follower of our LORD must quietly observe and fervently hope for the outcome that we know is certain to come – that is, be patient ... and confident of our Hope.

Our wonderment is that our Father has withheld His annoyance in this matter for so long.

It is as if He is willing and determined to allow the intentions of the worldly adversaries of Israel to make their case so clearly evident that even the most disinterested and least-studious observer will be able to see the distinct direction of all these insults, and their ultimate affront to YHVH’s prophesied destiny for His newly-regathering People, Israel, in their future Promised Land.

Even that result will be a retrospective one, however, because the “world” has not clue as to the prophesied outcome of this conflict, even though it has been on nearly every bookshelf of every household of most of the world for hundreds of years, but has not been consulted by them, not investigated … and not believed.

As such, these recent rapid moves forward in the world’s aggression of Israel, heightens our hope that the faithful are nearing the final days of their probation … indeed, that a new Leader may appear on the scene in the Middle East.

<HEL 1Q> ~850 words. Jan. 16, 2017


THE SEVEN PILLARS OF WISDOM'S HOUSE

Contributed by Wayne R. Tanner, Bulverde, Texas

God's holy word refers to the truth of God as a "house of wisdom" (Proverbs 9: 1). The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 4: 3 refers to those pillars as "the unity of the Spirit,” and then in verses 4-6 outlines those seven unities or pillars which uphold and beautify the house of truth. Those seven pillars are enumerated below:

1. "One body”- In I Corinthians 12: 12-13 the Apostle Paul refers to that "one body" when he declares: "For as the Body is one, and hath many members, and all are members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Greeks, whether we be bond or free; and have all been made to drink into one Spirit." (or truth) See also I John 5: 6-6.)

In Ephesians 1: 22-23, the Apostle Paul mentions that Christ is the head of the Church or Ecclesia, "which is his body."

Again, in Colossians 1: 24 Paul remarks that his sufferings were less than the sufferings of Christ "for his body's sake, which is the church” (or Ecclesia)."

In Ephesians 2: 14-16 Paul declares that Jews and Gentiles are reconciled to God in "one body," that is in the Ecclesia where Jews and Gentiles become one (Galatians 3: 27).

In Galatians 3: 27 Paul speaks of the above words as "being baptized into Christ,” being baptized into "one body." Let us continue to be aware that to God, there is only "one body,” yet men have set up over 400 imaginary bodies of religion in the U.S.A. alone. Only one of those bodies is the true body of Christ; they will all be identifiable by the seven pillars of wisdom's house. Just as pillars beautify and strengthen a structure, so do these seven pillars of wisdom's house strengthen the house of God's truth. Any system of truth must equate with these seven pillars.

2. "One Spirit" or one truth (I John 5: 6). Let us recall that as Jesus prepared to ascend to his Father's right hand in heaven, as recorded in Mark 16: 15, Jesus instructed his apostles to "go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. In Ephesians 4: 4-6 Paul equated the gospel with the "unities of the Spirit,” or "pillars” of wisdom's house.

3. "One Hope." As the Apostle Paul stood before the bar of justice in Rome, he testifies regarding his preaching that what he and the others had been preaching gave them "hope" toward God, and testified in verse Acts 24:15 that this hope included "resurrection from the dead." Yet that is not the only principle that is included in the "one hope."

In Acts 28: 28 the Apostle Paul equates the hope of Israel with the gospel of the kingdom. The restoration of Israel's kingdom was always their hope. We see in Luke 17:20 where "one" asked him regarding the time of the coming of the kingdom of God. In verse 25 of that chapter, Jesus revealed that the kingdom of God would not come until after "he suffered many things” and was rejected by that generation.

Again, after the resurrection of Jesus, Acts 1: 3 declares that Jesus was in the mountains with his apostles forty days "speaking things pertaining to the kingdom." After Jesus had taught them forty days regarding "things pertaining to the kingdom,” they asked him in verse 6 if he would at that time "restore the kingdom of Israel." Most certainly, if we realize what a masterful teacher Jesus was, we surely must realize that in his forty days of teaching the apostles, Jesus associated the restoration of Israel's kingdom with the establishment of the "kingdom of God.”

In Nebuchadnezzar's dream (Daniel 2:35), it was revealed that the kingdom (verse 44) would start small and grow to fill the whole earth.

Also, in answer to Peter's question (Matthew 19: 27-29), Jesus revealed to him that the blessing for having forsaken all and following him, (was that) "in the regeneration when Jesus sits on the throne of his glory (Luke 1: 31-32), ye also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

Can there be any doubt that the above passage reveals that the re-establishing of Israel's kingdom is a part of the setting up of the kingdom of God (Daniel 2: 44)? The Apostle Paul declared in Acts 20: 28 that because he was preaching the "hope of Israel” he was bound with a chain, that is, (he was) in prison, due to Israel's fury at his preaching.

A question is in order here. Why would the Jews be so furious because Paul was preaching their hope? It was because Paul was setting forth the truth that Jesus would sit as king over their "restored kingdom," and the Jews had already declared, "we will not have this man to reign over us" (Luke 19: 14).

Therefore, the "one hope" is the hope of the kingdom of God, which is the basis of the house of wisdom, (and) concerns the restoration of Israel's kingdom which will grow to fill the whole earth. In that day, “the Lord shall be king over the whole earth; in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one" (Zechariah 14: 9).

4. "One Lord." This speaks of Jesus Christ, who Peter informed the Jews at Pentecost (Acts 2: 36), that God had made Jesus to be both Lord and Christ, whom the Jews had crucified. He was not Lord by virtue of having belonged to a Trinitarian God, but by virtue of God raising him up and making him to be" Lord." Notice that the One Lord is three pillars prior to the pillar of the "one God," which is pillar number seven in the "house of Wisdom"

5. “One Faith." The Faith of Abraham is prominent throughout the length of the Bible. It is written, "Abraham believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” The faith of Abraham is defined by the inspired Apostle Paul in Romans 4: 21 as, “What he had promised, he was able to perform."

We must ask, what had God promised? In Gen. 13: 13-14 God had promised that Abraham and his Seed (Christ – Galatians 3: 16) would inherit the world, the whole earth (Romans 4: 13). Everything God had promised to man concerns the earth. Therefore, what God had promised was connected to the gospel of the kingdom. In harmony with the promise to Abraham, Jesus spoke in harmony with that promise as He declared in Matthew 5: 5, “Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth." Likewise, David had declared in Psalms 37: 29, "The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever."

The above has been the one faith of the righteous from the beginning. In John 1: 17, that grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. Since Christ’s time, the faithful servants of God have believed in harmony with what God had promised. This was the one faith about which Paul spoke in Ephesians 4: 5. However, the Apostle Paul warned the early believers that after all the apostles were gone from life, the religious world would "turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables" (II Timothy 4: 4). A fable means "things that are not true.”

The religious world, after the departure of the apostles of Jesus, has set their faith on "eternal life" beyond the stars. That is a fable unto which they have turned as was foretold. The "one faith" however, concerns the truth that no man other than Jesus has ever ascended to heaven, (John 3: 13) and that the righteous will never be removed from the earth (Proverbs 10: 30). It is written, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5: 5).

6. "One Baptism: " The importance of this pillar cannot be overstated, for from the time of a person's birth to the event of baptism, a person is an “alien from the commonwealth of Israel, and a stranger from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world" ( Ephesians 2: 11-12).

Since the object of the plan of redemption is to redeem the world from "flesh and blood" (I Cor. 15: 50), to the divine nature (II Peter 1: 4), God has elected that any ceremony that places any person into covenant relation to Himself must represent "the destruction of the flesh." The burnt offering had that meaning (Leviticus 1: 2-9) as did the meaning of Baptism (Romans 6: 6). Both ceremonies represented the death, and the change to the divine nature, which Jesus was to experience and which he did experience (Romans 6: 3-6; Col. 2:11-12). These two references demand complete immersion in water, for sprinkling could not be a representation of death and burial.

Let us also be aware that all immersions do not perform the "one baptism." Acts 19: 1-6 is certain evidence of that fact. The apostle Paul came to Ephesus and found certain men who had been immersed by John the Baptist. Apparently the Spirit alerted Paul that something was problematic regarding these men, and he approached them to discover the problem. Finding that they could not answer his question regarding into what they were baptized, he knew they had failed to experience the One Baptism. Realizing this, he instructed them into the truth of the matter and immersed them again (Acts: 19: 5). Although they had been immersed, due to the lack of proper knowledge they were not (and had not been) recipients of the "one baptism."

The example of that experience (gives) two valuable lessons, (which) serve to alert us to:

1. Be aware that the religious world was foretold to turn unto fables, and to make certain that we do not allow ourselves to be ushered into immersion by members of the religious world who hold the fables believed by those who have turned from the truth.

2. Make certain that before a person is baptized they have a proper knowledge of the principles of truth contained in the house of wisdom (Proverbs 9: 1; Ephesians 4: 3-6).

It is a mistake to believe that one cannot be re-immersed if he or she has discovered they failed to possess a knowledge of all those fundamentals. The (reason being) that without that understanding, a person is only immersed, and has not obtained the "one baptism."

One must make certain that he has been baptized instead of just being immersed. Those who believe and are baptized are saved from condemnation in Adam. To believe not, is to be damned – regardless of immersion or not (Mark 16: 15-16).

7. "One God and Father of all." This verse, as does the entire Bible, testifies to the oneness of God. Verse 6, as it speaks of the one God, says the one God "is … above all." If the verse was speaking of a plurality of persons, instead of the term "is," we should see the term "are," as in "they are above all.” The terminology of the verse is in harmony with that of I Corinthians 8: 6 which declares that to the believers, there is only "one God, the Father." After referring to the Father who he says is the "one God," he adds, “and one Lord Jesus Christ." This in no way associates the "one Lord" with the "one God." The term "and" is a conjunction which is indicative of something to which there is an addition. Paul is saying that in addition to there being one God, the Father, of whom are all things, there is also one Lord Jesus Christ, by or through whom all things were done.

In other words, God is the doer; Jesus is the channel through whom are all things were done. See the meaning of "dia" according to Strong's, who says that "dia denotes the channel of an act." In other words the actions were performed through such a channel; and Jesus was that channel through whom God performed the work.

There is an absolute absence (of) any indication from Genesis to Revelation which speaks of a plurality in the Deity. The only evidence of a plurality which some think they find is the name "Elohim." Yet, of two Bible Encyclopedias possessed by the writer, The International Bible Encyclopedia ; and Fairbarn's Bible Encyclopedia both explain that the term Elohim speaks not a number of persons, but of persons who possess a plurality of attributes which expresses the greatness of the person. It is notable that such admission comes from two encyclopedias produced by those who are themselves Trinitarians, but (who) are honest enough to publish the truth. Through the entire Bible, the parts of speech (referring to God) – nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs – are all singular, while God openly denies His plurality (Deut. 6: 4; with Deut. 4: 35,39; Isaiah 43: 11; 44: 6, 8; 45: 24; I Corinthians 8: 5-6; Ephesians 4: 3-4).

JESUS IS CALLED GOD

In an attempt to retain his mistaken position, the proponent of the Trinitarian belief will refer to the fact the Paul in Titus 2: 13 and Hebrews 1:8 refers to Jesus as God twice. In so doing it is a fact that in so doing, he has to ignore a truth that runs the full length of the Bible.

That truth is the fact that when God manifests Himself in any individual, whether a mortal or an immortal being, such an individual assumes the name or purpose of God.

Jesus, in John 5: 43 declares, "...I am come in my Father's name..." Also,“He that hath seen me hath seen the Father." Yet, no one believes the Father died and rose from the dead again. We read in II Corinthians 5: 19 that God was "in Christ," performing the work of redemption. Therefore, he assumed the identity of his Father just as the case with the Angel of God's presence in the Old Testament (Isaiah 63: 9).

"This is so because we read in Exodus 23: 20-21, "I send an angel before thee, to keep thee in the way. 21 - Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions, for my name is in him."

Since God was "in the angel,” He was the angel of God's presence and he had come in God's name and purpose. For 1400 years, he was called "the Lord God" although the Lord God never left His throne in heaven. In Exod. 24: 10, we read that 70 Israelites "saw the God of Israel." Yet, we read in John 1: 18 that no man has seen God at any time; therefore, the Israelites saw the angel of God's presence.

That angel, in speaking for God, said in Exodus 3: 6, I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." Yet that angel was not their God, but the angel was speaking for Yahveh who was still on His throne in Heaven; therefore, he could speak as though he was God himself when he truly was not.

In Exodus 3: 16, Moses was told to tell Israel that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had appeared to him. Yet God had never left His throne in heaven. Yet, the angel, speaking for God had come in God's name or purpose. In verse 18, Moses is told to say, "The Lord God of the Hebrews met with us." Yet, again it was His angel who had met with them, not God himself. Surely this explains the language of Paul when he referred to Jesus as God. Jesus, having come in God's name and purpose, though not being God Himself, was speaking for God, Therefore, both he and the angel were called God because they came in God's name and represented Him and His purpose.

ONLY SEVEN FUNDAMENTAL DOCTRINES?

It must not be thought that only the seven doctrinal principles of Ephesians 4: 4-6 have to be believed in order for salvation, for pillars are only a portion of a house. So it is with "the House of Wisdom." The doctrines concerning the nature of man; the resurrection; the nature of the resurrection body; the judgment ; the nature and sacrifice of Jesus; the covenants of promise; and several other doctrines, constitute the rest of the "House of Wisdom." The pillars only support and beautify the rest of the house. Blessed are the persons who are in possession of the whole "House of Wisdom,” for salvation unto the divine nature surely is within their obtainable reach (II Peter 1: 4). Wayne R. Tanner, Author


Israel Now Quickly Coming Under Increased Stress

An eTPL Analysis

Several decisive moves impacting Israel’s position among her neighbors and its enemies dwelling in her midst have just been completed. We see all of them as important in the destabilization of Israel, its continued denigration by the nations, and its overtly increasing danger from the powers hostile to it “round about.”

In short, Israel is increasingly being “squeezed” by its intractable enemies – but she is making advances of her own to counter those threats ...

1. Bearing upon Israel beyond its ability to circumvent, the UN Security Council recently passes a (non-binding) Resolution declaring any “settlement” activity in the “West Bank” as being in violation of international law. For additional information, please see our web site, “Other Items 2017” 20 Obama Abandons Israel to the Wolves. We understand that this “legal condemnation” means that Israeli diplomats who travel to other countries may be subject to arrest as war criminals, and might be subjected to criminal prosecution before the World Court in the Hague. It may also enable Israel’s enemies to mount court cases against Israeli citizens and organizations for “war crimes” based on this Resolution. This Resolution is highly significant because there is no known route for its erasure or nullification by Israel.

2. Almost as soon as President Trump took his seat in the Oval Office, Israel announced approval of 2500 new housing units in the vicinity of Jerusalem, including Ma’ale Adumim, an eastern Jerusalem enclave which was established over 20 years ago. Predictably, the Islamic world is enraged. Mr. Trump, uncharacteristically, did not commented on Israel’s announcement immediately, but later suggested that Israel softpedal such announcements to make everyone’s task easier; we can only imagine the words which the former president should have leveled at Israel for such a “violation” of norms.

3. An Iranian Shi’a cleric in Tehran, Muquada al-Sadr, a political and militia leader closely allied to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) gave an inflammatory speech last Tuesday, declaring his intention to “send an army of his followers to ‘liberate Jerusalem’ if US President Donald Trump moves forward with his stated intention to move the US Embassy” to the Holy City. Al-Sadr added the opinion that such a move would be considered a “declaration of war on Islam,” and reportedly made many other threats against the US and Israel specifically, and against the West in general. [How frightened Bibi and his people must be!!]

4. In the face of these threats, Israel and the US have jointly announced the successful final tests of two critical Israeli missile defense systems – David’s Sling (in Israel, it is called Magic Wand) and Arrow 3. The Israeli firm Rafael, along with the Boeing Airplane Corp., and Lockheed Martin Aviation, have developed these and other systems during the past few years. These named systems are now designated as operational; they are now fully ready to protect Israel from any missile threats from Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon, or Hamas in Gaza – or any other rogue power near enough to harm the Jewish State. We see these new weapons as a blessing from our LORD as he continually reassures Israel and its people (perhaps in a subliminal way) of His protection (whether they realize it being irrelevant or not; we see it and firmly believe it).

5. It has been reported that President Trump is preparing to sign an Executive Order directing an austere reduction of potential US funds distribution in several areas of interest; these include a directive that the US Treasury cease funding for UN agencies that recognize “Palestine” as a state. Closely allied to this new level of cooperation with Israel, several Israeli lawmakers as well as the prime minister himself, are planning trips to Washington in the near term to meet with their counterparts in the new Administration. We see this newly increased level of US friendship and cooperation with Israel as inflammatory to every one of the vile enemies of Israel, and a possible trigger for increased resistance on both the military and political fronts in both countries.

6. Although the threat to Israel from Hamas in the Gaza Strip has seemed to diminish in the last several months, the threat from Hezbollah in Lebanon is still simmering. That Iran-backed terrorist organization is reported to have over an hundred thousand missiles ready to launch against Israel in case of hot conflict. But Israel says it has many of these sites already verified and targeted with artillery of its own, and that the threat does not intimidate the Jewish State. But this ongoing, menacing stance of an arms-length enemy is worrying to the Israeli leaders, who see it as only one of several short- and long-term threats bearing down upon them.

7. When Prime Minister Netanyahu meets with President Trump next week, almost any outcome of their meeting will be at hazard for disagreement and a dim view by the “Palestinians” and their numerous friends around the world – and might trigger any of a great many reactions from them beyond just words … additional encroachments upon the Jewish State from any quarter … or renewed knife attacks upon its civilians.

Our thinking it that the fuse of this time bomb has long been preserved, dry and ready to light; and it seems only about six inches long. Fireworks enthusiasts realize that such a short fuse brings its resultant explosion in almost instantly. As we have stated recently, the noose about Israel is steadily tightening. The powers doing the tightening do not realize that there is a limit to such tension – and it may be that one such move by their enemies will trigger the event of the ages, the return of Jesus Christ to the earth to exert His power against Israel’s enemies. Their enemies are their enemies!

<HEL 2P> ~1000 words. Published Feb. 5, 2017.

Gog May Not Be "The King of the North"


Submitted by a fellow student of Bible prophecy, this article was written c. 1993. It illustrates that the awareness of the stated premise has been extant for at least several years.

There is scriptural evidence that may give us pause to reconsider WHEN the Gogian invasion takes place.

Heretofore, the timing of the Gogian invasion has been predicated upon the premise that "Gog" of Ezekiel 38 is the same as "the king of the north" of Daniel 11. The similarities between the narratives of Ezekiel 38 (the Gogian invasion), and Daniel 11 (the invasion by the King of the North) are noteworthy, but not conclusive. The term "king of the north", is not part of the text of Ezekiel 38, the term is found in Daniel 11. "Gog" is not mentioned in Daniel, it is in Ezekiel 38. To equate the two entities as being one and the same may not be justifiable in light of the evidence to be brought forth.

Below are six similarities that have been said to "clearly" establish, or "prove" the identity of Gog with the king of the north. We will summarize these similarities, quote the comparative verses with highlights, and comment on each.

1. Gog is a "prince", reigning in a land geographically "north" of Israel. He is therefore "king of the north."

Comment: It is indisputable that Gog is A king of the north, but is he THE king of the north? Many kings could qualify.

2. Gog is to invade the land of Israel "in the latter days", the king of the north invades the same country "at the time of the end." Since they come against the same enemy at the same time, they must be one and the same power.

Comment: This is an "honest argument" IF "the latter days" is the equivalent of "the time of the end." Assuming the terms are equivalent, why couldn't two powers invade the same territory at the same time? It has been done many times by many nations. More on the timing later.

3. The Libyans and Ethiopians belong to Gog's army. The Libyans and Ethiopians are at the steps of the king of the north, that is, they march among his troops.

Comment: The play on the word "steps" to mean "marching with" seems to force the evidence, and is inductive reasoning. Given the geographical proximities to Egypt, the context of Daniel appears to teach the Libyans and Ethiopians are next to be conquered.

4. Hostile tidings from the east and north trouble both aggressors, therefore they are the same.

Comment: According to Matthew 12 and 1Kg 10, the queen that came to see Solomon was from Sheba, the "queen of the south", not east. As for the merchants of Tarshish and all the young lions thereof, if they are said to refer to Britain and her colonies, it is difficult to see them as "north", since neither Britain nor any of her colonies are north of this area.

5. They both meet the same fate at the same time.

Comment: The fact that both are destroyed is evidence, not "proof" that they are one and the same. The comparison of timing, will be discussed later.

6. Gog encounters the Lord God in battle on the mountains of Israel. The king of the north contends with Michael. They are both defeated by the same supernatural power.

Comment: The fact that both are dealt with by God does not necessarily mean they are one and the same enemy of God. In a sense, all people are dealt with by God.

It is acknowledged that the above parallels are impressive, but certainly not conclusive "proof." Let's consider them as evidence, but not proof. Each has its own merits, and each has its own pitfalls and assumptions.

It seems another test whether Gog is the king of the north, is in the timing of the two invasions. Is there any evidence in each prophecy regarding the timing of its fulfillment? Can we find hints in these passages that help us to put these invasions in a time frame? I believe there is.

TIMING THE FULFILLMENT IN DANIEL

Although the prophecies do not give specific dates, they do give us hints of fulfillment times relative to other events.

For example, as was stated above, in Daniel 11 the king of the north invades "at the time of the end." It is then stated that "at that time shall Michael stand up" and "thy people shall be delivered, every one that is found written in the book." We are then given a description of the resurrection when "many that sleep in the dust shall awake." It would seem from this sequence that the invasion of the king of the north would be before the resurrection of the dead, and before the standing up of Michael.

Since the invasion of the king of the north occurs prior to the resurrection, and since it is supposed that Gog of Ezekiel 38 is the king of the north for the reasons summarized above, it is reasoned that the Gogian invasion occurs prior to the standing up of Michael (who is interpreted to be Christ. More on this another time.) who resurrects the dead. In other words, the Gogian invasion is reasoned to take place PRIOR to Christ's return.

As was mentioned above, to reason from the premise that Gog and the king of the north are one and the same is a form of inductive reasoning. The premise that the two are one and the same causes the Gogian invasion of Ezekiel 38 to be given the same time frame as the king of the north, that is, it is placed BEFORE Christ's return and the resurrection. But the king of the north passages in Daniel are not the only passages that give hints of timing. Ezekiel 38 has evidence of its own, and it does not seem to coincide with that of Daniel 11.

TIMING THE FULFILLMENT IN EZEKIEL

Leaving the passages in Daniel aside for a moment, consider timing Ezekiel 38 from its own internal evidence. It is admitted the Gogian invasion in this chapter is in the "latter days," because the text says so. But the "latter days" does not necessarily mean a time PRIOR to Christ's return.

For example, Jeremiah 30:24 uses the term "latter days" to describe a time when "the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof." We must be conscious of the context. The next verse says, "At the same time (latter days), saith the Lord, will I be the God of all families of Israel, and they shall be my people." The context goes on to use terms such as "rest", "virgin", "Zion", "remnant", "not stumble", and "not sorrow", a rough quote from Isaiah 35:5,10. These terms lead us to believe the term "latter days" can have reference to the kingdom age, a time AFTER the return of Christ, not before.

Likewise the prophet Hosea uses the term "latter days" in the context of AFTER the return of Christ. He says, "Afterward shall ...Israel...seek the Lord..and David their king...in the latter days."

But there is more. The Gogian invasion occurs during a time when Israel has "been brought forth out of the nations." This bringing forth obviously has already occurred, at least in part. And this is why many have expected the Gogian invasion of Israel at any time. But in the fullest sense of the phrase, isn't Israel's deliverance yet future, when her king reigns?

However, there is more evidence as to the timing of Ezekiel 38. It is this. Three times the term "dwell safely" occurs within this same chapter. It has been properly observed by many that the word "safely" is also translated "confidently." This has led to speculation that it is a reference to Israel's arrogance, and reliance upon its own military might. Although this interpretation of "dwell safely" appears to be a valid observation when applied to other nations, as we shall see below, there is reason to believe the term "dwell safely" may mean something else when it is applied to Israel.

COMPARING SCRIPTURE WITH SCRIPTURE

The Hebrew word translated "safely" is betach. It means "trust, a place of refuge, safety (security), both the feeling and the fact," Strong's Concordance. If Mr. Strong is correct, Israel, according to this prophecy, must then not only dwell safely in feeling, but also in fact.

It is interesting in this marvelous age of computers, that we may easily find not only words as in any concordance, but also phrases used in scripture. With a few keystrokes, we can scan either the English or Hebrew text, and find all of the occurrences of any phrase. Since the Hebrew word betach is sometimes translated other than "safely", to scan the English version would miss some occurrences. Therefore, the following verses are the result of scanning the Hebrew text for the phrase yashab betach (dwell safely). I have categorized the verses below with a few comments.

Category 1. Verses of observation and instruction;

Psa 4:8, Prov 1:33, Prov 3:29 Comment: The Psalmist acknowledges real betach is from God, while Proverbs instructs to rely on the Lord for safety.

Category 2. Verses with reference to nations other than Israel;

Judg 18:7 Comment: This is before Laish was taken by the Danites. Laish felt no threat, the people "dwelt safely" without enemies.

Isa 47:8 Comment: This is concerning Babylon. She dwelt without fear.

Jer 49:31 Comment: Hazor is to be taken by Babylon, which dwells without fear.

Ezek 39:6 Comment: These nations "dwelt carelessly", without fear.

Zep 2:15 Comment: This is in reference to Nineveh, which dwelt without fear.

Summary: Notice in each case, that the Gentile nation that is destroyed appears to be dwelling without fear of enemies, either because they have none, or because they trust in their own strength. Note, however, they are all Gentiles.

Category 3. Verses with reference to historic Israel;

Lev 25:18, 19, 26:5..These verses indicate that if Israel would keep the Lord's statutes they would "dwell in their land in safety."

Deut 12:10-11 "But when ye go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God giveth you to inherit, and when he giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety; 11 Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there; " Comment: Notice "dwell in safety" is in the same context with "rest", and God dwelling there.

Deut 33:12, 28... "The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by him." "The eternal God is thy refuge...Israel then shall dwell in safety alone,,,Who is like unto thee, O people saved by the Lord." Comment: These are the blessings of Moses given just before his death with reference to the promised land .

1 Sam 12:11 "And the LORD sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the hand of your enemies on every side, and ye dwelled safe...when the Lord your God was your king." Comment: Israel "dwelt safely" when God was their king. When they rejected him and sought a mortal king, their safety ceased.

1 Ki 4:25 "And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig tree, from Dan even to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon." Comment: This may have prophetic implications. Compare Micah 4:4 about a future time when every man's vine and fig tree are significant.

Summary: Although these have been categorized as "historic", Bible students will be quick to acknowledge the type/anti-type applications of each of these verses, particularly the last.


Category 4. Verses concerning Israel prophetically.

Jer 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." Comment: Be conscious of the context. In whose days? Whose name? What is the time frame of the fulfillment? Under whose reign?

Jer 32:37 "Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely...and I will make an everlasting covenant with them:" Comment: Be conscious of the context. When will he make an everlasting covenant with them? See Heb 8:8.

Jer 33:16 "In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness." Comment: When shall Jerusalem be called this? See 23:6 above.

Ezek 28:26 "And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the LORD their God." Comment: Notice the similarity of this to Dt 12:10 above. One is the shadow, the other the substance. When in this verse does this building and planting occur? See 36:25-38.

Ezek 34:25 "And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely." Comment: Be conscious of the context. The previous verse says, "I will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them." When is this?

Ezek 34:28 "And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen, neither shall the beast of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid." Comment: This is in the same context as verse 25 above.

Ezek 39:26 "After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid." Comment: Moffatt, Lamza, RSV, and New World translations each put the "dwell safely" of this verse in the future tense, "when they SHALL dwell safely...and none SHALL make them afraid." It is in the context of "Neither will I hide my face any more from them." When is this?

Zechariah 14:11.."And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited." Comment: Although the words "dwell" and "safely" do not appear side by side here, this verse is the last in the description when "his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of olives."

Summary: All of the prophetic verses containing the words "dwell safely" relative to Israel are in the context of the age to come. None of them seem to imply any trust in their own strength, as did the verses referring to Gentiles above.

"DWELL SAFELY" IN EZEKIEL 38


Having examined the above places in the Hebrew text that contain the words translated "dwell safely", our minds should now be prepared to look at the three occurrences in Ezekiel 38 relative to the timing of the Gogian invasion. Before we do, however, based upon the evidence thus far advanced, let us ask ourselves if it is an "honest argument", a valid observation that all the prophetic verses containing the terms "dwell safely" with reference to Israel thus far have been in the context of the kingdom age? Further, all historic references using the same term are likewise admissible for prophetic interpretation, that is, they likewise appear to point to the kingdom age.

Having made this observation, is it possible that the three verses in Ezekiel 38 concerning the Gogian invasion may also be referring to a time during which Christ is already on the earth?

Ezek 38:8 After many days thou (Gog) shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them. Comment: It is clear that Israel must be re-gathered. It is not clear whether the "dwell safely" is before or after Christ's return.

Ezek 38:11 "And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates," Comment: Notice the word "rest". Does Heb 4:9 come to mind? "There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God." When is this "rest?"

Ezek 38:14 "Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord GOD; In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?

The fact that all three verses in Ezekiel 38 use the exact same words, yeshab betach, would seem to indicate that the words would have the same meaning relative to their time of fulfillment. Moreover, the use of the same term by the same author in other places should give us a clue to the term's meaning. As was noted above, the same author Ezekiel, used the same term, dwell safely, in other places, always in the context of the age to come. Jeremiah did likewise, always in the context of the age to come.

FURTHER SUPPORT

The sequence of the chapters in Ezekiel may be of interest here. The valley of dry bones and their revival is described in Chapter 37 which ends with the words, "David my servant shall be king over them.. and they shall dwell in the land." Chapter 38 is the Gogian invasion when they "dwell safely". Chapter 39 describes the burial of Gog and the great supper for the fowls and the beasts. Chapter 40, of course, begins the description of the temple.

We cannot help but be impressed with the similarity between various passages and terminology used by different authors in the scripture. We wonder sometimes if the prophets consciously borrowed wording one from another, or if it is simply due to inspiration, or possibly both.

The apostle John describes "one upon a white horse" after having taken his bride, which goes forth and slays with the sword. Notice the language employed in Revelation chapter 19. It is found only one other place in scripture. The following table will help us make the comparison and recognize the possibility of its fulfillment in the early stages of the kingdom to come.

It seems the above passages are very likely describing the same event. Since the Ezekiel passage describes the aftermath of the Gogian invasion and appears to parallel the "supper" of Revelation 19 AFTER the Lamb takes his bride, how can these passages be the same event as the king of the north invasion of Daniel 11 where the bride has not even been resurrected yet? It seems the only plausible explanation is that the Gogian invasion and the king of the north invasion are two separate events, at two separate times.

One last item. Ezekiel describes Israel as "dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates." This is certainly a strange way of describing the present day Israel, which spends millions upon millions of dollars annually on defense, more than most nations on earth. It seems that "bars" and "gates" are but different names for military defense. It is difficult to imagine Israel living without defense until the son of David, the prince of peace, is her king.

If the term "dwell safely" always is in the context of the kingdom age, and these other passages are validly placed in the same time frame, that is, in the early stages of the kingdom age, then our thinking on the sequence of events of the last days changes drastically.

Before we close, some will appreciate one other observation here, others will not. There is another place in the scripture that also mentions the destruction of Gog and Magog by fire from God and is AFTER the resurrection of the saints. Can you find it? The passage has generally been pushed aside as impertinent to this time frame. Can you be "certain" of its time frame application? Any serious Bible student knows that there are over 700 citations and allusions to the Old Testament in the Revelation. Is it at all "possible" the author is alluding to the same event as Ezekiel? [End of submitted article] Published February 7, 2017 eTPL:26

Does our Body of Sin Require a Covering?

Submitted, January, 2017

In God's holy word, the term "cover" takes on two different meanings. Number one is a requirement that physical nakedness be covered with a garment. Number two refers to an atoning covering for that nakedness, meaning sinfulness, for sinfulness in God's sight is considered by the Deity to be "nakedness". As soon as Adam and Eve sinned, they realized they were both physically without clothing, as well as being sinful in the sight of God.

In Ecclesiastes 5: 15, we are told that a person goes out of life naked, just as he had come into life naked. It was a fact that most dead persons were adorned with grave clothes as they were buried. However, many, many dead persons were buried without having put off "the body of sin" and died alienated from the Deity. Therefore, they were not clothed with righteousness as they passed out from among the living.

As soon as Adam and Eve sinned, they adorned their physically naked bodies that had passed from "very good" (Gen. 1: 31), to being "a body of sin" (Rom. 6: 6; Col. 2: 11), with a covering of fig leaves. However, simply a covering for the physical nakedness was not all they needed. If that had been true, the covering by fig leaves would have been sufficient. However, the now sinful human couple needed two kinds of covering that were related to the shedding of blood. Therefore, God, through His Elohim, made a sacrifice that included blood shedding in representation of the blood of Jesus that would one day be shed upon the earth. Thus the first burnt offering ever to be made was made in the Garden of Eden so that the bodies of sin might be covered by sacrifice.

How do we know that the sacrifice that was made for a covering of those two "bodies of sin" was a burnt offering? The answer is clear in that if one will consider the charts of all the Old Testament sacrifices, it will be seen that the burnt offering were the only sacrifices in which the sacrificial animal was skinned (Leviticus 1: 6).

Let us not ignore the fact that the skins from that sacrifice were used to cover the nakedness of "the bodies of sin" that the first human pair now possessed. The blood of those animals were in representation of the blood of Jesus Christ as we see from the fact that Revelation 13: 8 speaks of Jesus as "the (anti-typical) Lamb slain from the foundation of the world," that is, in Eden.

The Hebrew word "kaphar" is translated "make atonement," "appease," forgive, make reconciliation, pardon, reconcile, purge," and so forth. Both Youngs Concordance as well as Strongs Concordance give the meaning of "kaphar" as "to cover.” Therefore, it cannot be denied that as soon as the "very good" bodies of Adam and Eve became "bodies of sin,” they needed a "covering" whereas before their sin, they needed no covering at all. It is a Bible fact that as soon as the nature of their bodies was changed, the changed condition passed upon all their descendants (Rom. 5: 12; Rom. 6: 6; Col. 2: 11; Col. 3: 9). Therefore, all who were born of them for 6000 years all have had "bodies of sin" that needed to be covered in every way.

1. For the physical nakedness of every one's body, the entirety of scripture points out the requirement of appropriate clothing for both man and woman.

2. In addition, a sacrificial "covering" was required before any person, male or female, could be in favor with God or any of His holy things.

Since the effort of redemption from Eden onward to the end, was the work of destroying sin, and "bodies of sin" from the earth, an atonement in representation of the destruction of the flesh became the means of reconciliation and favor with God.

Reconciliation and favor with God was made possible in Old Testament times by the "burnt offering" (Leviticus 1: 1-17). There were burnt offerings for all Israel daily as priests offered for the entire nation. However, the burnt offering of Leviticus 1: 1-17 was for individuals, who by faith brought the burnt offering to the priest. By putting his hand on the animal's head (verse 4) the offerer identified himself with the animal; and as the animal's flesh was reduced to ashes, there was a representation of the destruction of the offerer's sinful flesh, that is, "the body of sin.”

In New Testament times, baptism became the means of reconciliation and favor, which had the meaning of "the destruction of the flesh" (Romans 6: 3-6; Colossians 2: 11; 3: 9). In Romans 6: 6, the Apostle Paul declares that those who had been baptized had done so for the destruction of the body, or body of sinful flesh. In Colossians 2: 11, Paul declared that the brethren had "put off" the body of sin by baptism (omit the added words "the sins of"); and Colossians 3: 9 declared that the brethren had "put off the old man,” that is, "the body of sin,” and had put on the new, the body of righteousness in Christ.

It is often claimed that any need for atonement speaks of the fact that the persons themselves are guilty of sin and in need of atonement for it. In answer to that foolish claim, everyone should ask the questions: "What had the "Holy Place" of Leviticus 16: 16 done in order to be in need of atonement? What had the altar of verse 18 done? What had the leper of Leviticus chapters 14-15 done other than having possessed the defiling disease of leprosy; or what unlawful act had the mother and child of chapter 12 done in order to need atonement? The only cause for the need of atonement in all those cases was and still is found in the possession of a defilement that causes the need for a covering, that is, atonement.

About 116 years ago, a part of the revived ecclesia changed their doctrine and formed a new religion; teaching that no atoning covering for the nature of man was required by God in order to gain reconciliation and favor with Him, meaning that atonement is required for personal sins only. Such doctrine amounts to a charge that God, from the beginning, has required something of all men that is not necessary. God requires nothing that is unnecessary, and He, from the beginning has required the covering for "the Body of Sin" which cannot be acquired except by atonement.

Finally, we find that God through the Apostle Paul, in Colossians 2: 11-13 taught the brethren at Colosse these following two truths:

1. That they had, by being buried with Christ in baptism, "put off the body of the body of the flesh;" which is also called "the body of sin" in Romans 6: 6.

2. Also that God had forgiven them all their trespasses.

Those who changed their doctrine, agree and teach only number two above, while condemning number one as apostate error. However, God's word above demonstrates that number one is the pure doctrine of God which He inspired His apostle to teach the believers.Those whose doctrine remains the same as was always taught, agree completely with our heavenly Father's revelation on the matter. [Wayne R. Tanner, Bulverde Texas USA]


Came Out of Their Graves and Appeared Unto Many

Matthew 27: 52-53 is a passage difficult to understand; there are many who believe that this passage teaches a resurrection of “many saints" two thousand years ago. However, truth and reason dictates a resurrection did not occur as Jesus hung on the tree.

As we seek for evidence that will help us to completely understand this passage we must realize that there is no other mention of such an occurrence anywhere in scripture, nor in history. God never moved any other Biblical writer to refer to such an incident either in the Gospels, or in the epistles. However, all four Gospels records do (give) post resurrection accounts and the pertinent history of the more than forty days following his resurrection. In not one of them is there a reference to any resurrection other than the resurrection of Jesus.

In addition to the fact it was not mentioned in the other gospels, we see also that Josephus, the Jewish Historian, on Page 535 of Life and Works of Josephus, briefly records the life and works of Jesus along with the history of Jesus' death and resurrection, and there is no mention of any resurrection other than the resurrection of Jesus. It would be very difficult for a Jewish historian to ignore reference to the resurrection of "many" resurrected Israelite individuals if such an event had taken place. Also, not one resident of Jerusalem is recorded as having come forward with testimony of having seen resurrected Israelites in the city of Jerusalem. It would have been impossible not to talk about it, had "many" known to be, resurrected Israelites appeared "unto many" in the city.

Likewise, in what way would such a resurrection have been of any benefit, unless they were very important individuals such as Abraham and David? We read of the death of Abraham, but we find no mention of his return to life anywhere. In Acts 2: 29 Peter testified that "David's sepulcher is with us unto this day". That is testimony to the fact that David's sepulcher had not been disturbed. Since God never inspired one of His Bible writers to address the subject of resurrection prior to the time of the resurrection at Christ's return, the very idea of a resurrection at Christ's crucifixion seems to be a redundant idea. We have to wonder what such as resurrection would have accomplished.

Was the recorded incident a matter of history; or was it a matter of prophesy? Someone may point out that Mathew states that the incident did happen. However, that is a redundant point, for we must now show that many of God's prophesies were stated as though those prophesied events had already happened, although they had not.

Notice:

1. Isaiah 44: 28 through 45: 2: Here the heavenly Father states that Cyrus is "my shepherd". "I have held his hand to open the two-leaved gates into Babylon". Cyrus was not even born until three hundred years after this passage was written. It was prophecy.

2. Jeremiah 1: 5: Here our Father tells Jeremiah that before he was even conceived in his mother, that God knew him and that He had already ordained him as prophet before he was born. That was stated as though it was already an historic event. Again, it was completely prophetic.

3. Isaiah 52: 14: Here is a shocking description of the sufferings of Jesus. Scofield's New Reference Bible in a footnote, gives the literal rendering of verse 14, "so marred from the form of man was his aspect that his appearance was not that of a son of man.” This passage was given over 700 years before Jesus suffered so greatly.

4. Isaiah 53rd Chapter. This chapter was over 700 years old when Jesus suffered on the cross, which is the theme of the whole chapter. (Vs. 2) – "there IS no beauty in him...." (Vs.) 3 "He is despised;" "we hid our faces from him...." (Vs. 5) – "he was wounded for our transgressions ...." (Vs. 8) – "He was taken from prison... ." All through this chapter, it is this way, written as though the events were past, when the fulfillments were over 700 years into the future.

It is a truth that at the time Jesus walked the earth, there were dead believers in their graves from the previous four thousand years. Those believers had died in faith, expecting to live again when the fullness of time came. However, until the death and resurrection of Jesus, there was not yet any provision that provided for the resurrection of a single one of them, for the blood of the everlasting covenant was not yet shed, for Jesus had not yet been crucified. Lazarus and all others who were raised miraculously, died again, and if Jesus had never died, they all would remain dead forever.

All the dead ones were desperately dependant on the death of Jesus, for they would all perish without the blood of the everlasting covenant, that was to come from the death of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, that is, the blood of Jesus the Christ (Rev. 13: 8; Heb. 13: 20). Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom. 10: 17). But even those "who believed" unto "faith" were perished if Christ did not die (John 3: 16; Rom. 6: 5, 1 Cor. 15: 16-18).

In John 3: 16 we read that "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believed in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." The truth was that the graves were full of those who had believed, but who would perish without the death and resurrection of God's only begotten Son (I Cor. 15. 17-18). Christ could not have been raised had he not died. Since Jesus was the "forerunner" of all the redeemed (Heb. 6: 20), it was necessary that he tread the path ahead of every individual, and that path included resurrection from the dead. Without the events of the day of the crucifixion, the dead of all ages would forever remain in their graves, for even our forerunner was raised by his own blood, and entered into eternal life by that same blood (Heb. 13: 20; Heb. 9: 12).

Matt. 27: 53 – "After his resurrection." It was not possible until after he died and was resurrected that anyone else could be resurrected. How long after his resurrection? There is no record anywhere of the resurrection of ancient worthies coming out of the graves after Jesus arose. But the blood of Jesus that was shed on the tree assured that when the fullness of time came, that very thing would happen as a result of the death of Jesus (Matt. 27: 50). God apparently revealed these jewels of truth only to Matthew, after he had just witnessed the unsealing of the graves of the believing dead, who were surely to perish without the death of Jesus. He revealed to him, that because of that event, when the time was to come, those graves would open and "many" of the resurrected dead would go into the "holy city."

However, there is a problem regarding "the holy city". How was the literal city of Jerusalem (either the city or its occupants) viewed by God and Jesus at that time? Notice:

Matt. 23: 35-39 - "Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou who killest the prophets, and stonest them that were sent unto thee... your house is left unto you desolate..."

Galatians 4: 9-26 – "Jerusalem which is now," verse 25, answers to Hagar in bondage..."

Vs. 26 - "Jerusalem which is above", that is "the Ecclesia" through whom God is establishing a bride for Jesus (II Cor. 11:1-2). Jerusalem which is now, was to be trodden down; it was under a curse (Luke 21: 24).

When will Jerusalem be holy? Joel 3:17 answers that question. Notice, when "the Lord is dwelling in his holy mountain", "THEN shall Jerusalem be holy."

Therefore, it was not expedient that the words of Matthew in 27: 52-53 could or would relate to the time of the crucifixion. However, the words related to what was to happen as the result of the incident Mathew had just witnessed in previous verses, that is, the death of Jesus. It was a truth – that those who had been in danger of perishing, were then certain not to perish.

Time Gaps in God’s Prophetic Word

Additionally, it was not unlikely that Matthew 27: 52-53 could suddenly move forward 2000 years from the time of verse 51 to verse 52. God's prophetic word often does that very thing.

1. For instance we see in Isa. 9: 1-5 facts being presented, expressing certain things that were true. Verse 6 suddenly moves forward to more than 700 years later. Then verse 7 moves forward from that time to more than 2000 years later – into the kingdom age.

2. Then, there is Isaiah 7: 10-13 as Isaiah writes of present matters. Then in verse 14, the prophet, without warning, moves forward over 700 years to the time of the birth of Jesus.

3. In the 1st chapter of Isaiah, God is informing Israel of certain facts, then suddenly in verses 24-30, God moves forward in His message to the kingdom age which is even now still future.

4. In Micah 5th chapter, there is a time gap between verse two and verse three, even a time gap of over 2000 years in the last part of verse 3 when Israel shall bring forth as a woman with child. There is likewise more than 2000 years between the first part of verse 3 and verses 3-5.

5. Matthew 24: 15-20 was a prophesy relating to 2000 years ago. Verses 21-35 move forward 2000 years to the end time.

6. Luke 21: 24-25: Verse 24 of this passage begins with reference to 70 A.D. and the siege against Jerusalem; while verse 25 leaps forward 2000 years to the end time and continues with reference to the time of the end.

Therefore, it is more than plausible that between Matthew 27: 51 and Matthew 27: 52-53 there is a time gap of 2000 years.

There are many more instances, but we will allow these to make our point. The point is, there surely seems to be a time gap of more than 2000 years between Matt. 27: 51 and Matt. 27: 52-53. Now that the blood of the everlasting covenant had been shed, those that believed and died, could now emerge from the unsealed graves and could go "into that great city, the holy Jerusalem" to become a part of the bride of Jesus forever (Rev. 21: 8-10). John had witnessed that holy city coming down from God out of heaven ( Revelation 21: 2).

Note again that Matthew 27: 53 declares that it was after Christ's resurrection that this all was to happen, not as he hung on the tree. It was only after his resurrection that it was possible for any one else to be resurrected (I Corinthians 15: 17-18), for Jesus was the Forerunner of us all (Hebrews 6: 20.

Matthew joyously witnessed and prophesied those very events in Matthew 27: 52-53. Those events that were surely the result of the shedding of the blood of the everlasting covenant, and the unsealing of the graves of all saints which previously had been sealed. Now he saw that as soon as the forerunner (Hebrews 6: 20), was resurrected, it was certain that all saints would in the fullness of time rise from death; and enter into that holy city to become the bride of Christ (Revelation 21: 2, 8-10). Wayne R. Tanner Bulverde TX/USA


Ancient Nineveh (Mosul) Recaptured

Archaeology Confirming the Bible

An eTPL:26 Analysis

Doubtless, readers have been seeing reports of the destruction of the city of Mosul, Iraq, by ISIS forces which have controlled the city for several months.

If readers are not aware of it, Mosul is the current name of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria of Biblical fame!

One of the prime scenes of intentional destruction has been the Tomb of the Prophet Jonah. On March 7, 2017, archaeologists made some remarkable discoveries beneath that Tomb, which was systematically destroyed by ISIS in 2014: the long-hidden palace of Assyrian King Sennacherib.

The scientists were documenting the jihadists’ destruction of the ruins when they located the lost palace. It dates to around 600 B.C. They were following tunnels which had been dug by ISIS as the jihadists searched for plunder – artifacts to sell in the huge, worldwide illicit antique market for stolen artifacts.

This palace was built for Sennacherib initially; his son Esarhaddon expanded it further; his grandson Ashurbanipal then renovated the palace to suit his own tastes. The reported current activity – reported by the Telegraph – said that evidence of the sack of Nineveh circa 612 B.C. was evident in their findings. This history is well documented in the scriptures, and known to all students of Bible prophecy and history.

Today’s excavations at the Tomb of the Prophet, which are being carefully undertaken, utilizing accredited methods of investigation, are headed by Dr. Paul Collins, Chair of The British Institute for the Study of Iraq, which is working with the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, and UNESCO, to protect Iraq’s cultural heritage.

He told Fox News that there could be more damage at the site as the tunnels are in imminent danger of collapse.

The Tomb complex is located inside a Sunni mosque on a hill in the eastern section of Mosul and has been under Iraqi control for several days.

The damage to the Tomb inflicted by ISIS is not only extensive but unconscionable among civilized beings. Actually, the location of the palace has been known since the nineteenth century but had not been thoroughly investigated.

The site features ancient Assyrian royal buildings located beneath the shrine, according to Collins, who notes that inscriptions and a relief from a dig in the 1870s are now in the British Museum.

Additional investigations were undertaken in the 20th century.

The article quotes Dr. Collins as having said, “Iraqi excavations in the 1950s revealed an entrance to an Assyrian royal arsenal, and in 1990 a large Assyrian building to the east of the mosque guarded by colossal human-headed winged bulls (a traditional Assyrian depiction) was excavated, but this work came to an end with the Iraq/Kuwait war.”

One current discovery was made by Iraqi archaeologist Layla Salih, who found a marble cuneiform inscription of King Esarhaddon inside one of the tunnels. It is dated to about 672 B.C. when the palace was part of the city of Nineveh. As readers will probably be aware, cuneiform is one of the earliest forms of writing, consisting of wedge-shaped marks widely used in ancient Mesopotamian and other cultures.

Mosul is located on the west bank of the Tigris River, opposite the ancient site of Nineveh on the east bank. In recent years the metro area had grown sharply, expanding to the east bank, and reaching a population of over 1.8 million in 2004. Since that time hundreds of thousands have fled the fighting brought by ISIS; tens of thousands have been slain.

An interesting fact about Mosul is that it is always under a critical threat of severe flooding which could result from the failure of Mosul Dam on the Tigris, the largest hydroelectric dam in Iraq, located about 30 miles north of the city.

Built in 1980, in possibly “the worst possible site for a large, two-mile-wide dam” (it was erected at that location in spite of the best engineering advice), that dam is still under control of ISIS, which captured it several months ago.

The dam is dangerously located on an unsure foundation of “soluble soils,” which means that the soils under the dam are constantly being not only dissolved but also eroded and require systematic and continuous reinforcement with hundreds of tons of concrete grouting.

Ominously, Nahum 2:8 and 3:7 mention dire possibilities for Nineveh, which in the first reference is described as, “Nineveh is of old like a pool of water: yet they shall flee away. Stand, stand, shall they cry; but none shall look back.”

The latter reference reveals that “Nineveh is laid waste,” but does not indicate by what means. Nahum wrote at about the time of the destruction of the city and empire by Babylon and the Medes.

The city was sacked and destroyed as previously noted around 625-612B.C. so this may be a reference to that event.

The phraseology in Nahum 2:8 seems to indicate a great danger of flooding. If Mosul Dam is breached either by failure or by the intentional action of ISIS, for example, in spite for attempts to take it from them, Mosul would be buried under a 65-foot wall of plunging, eroding, thrashing waters, drowning multiple hundreds of thousands of its people.

Depending upon the performance of a smaller dam downstream on the Tigris, that same inundation would continue downstream causing a disastrous flood in Baghdad, located some 200 miles further down the Tigris.

Such events would be integral to the coming utter destruction of the Proximal Islamic States which we expect imminently to come.

These current events are extremely strengthening to everyone interested in prophecy and ancient history, and are invaluable corroborating evidence that our understanding of such prophetic matters is accurate and valid.

<HEL 3P> ~1000 words. Published in “Other Items, 2017” March 12, 2017.


The Cup-Bread-Cup Sequence of Luke

An eTPL:26 Analysis

In the Gospel of Luke, the account of the Last Supper contains a variant not seen elsewhere in accounts of this memorial service.

His words are …

Luke 22:17 And he (Jesus) took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: 18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. 19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. 20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Only in this account is this preliminary “cup” noted as being offered by the LORD as He broke bread on this final occasion.

What are the likely facts behind this act?

As a result of a deeper search of the details of Passover observances, the following clues have surfaced as to the Jews’ observance of Passover in Jesus’ day (not admitting that THIS ceremony was a celebration of the traditional Passover; more on that further down).

The Jews of Jesus’ day had added some elements to the observance of Passover. They often would circulate in sequence some two or even three cups of wine (diluted with water, and at intervals) to the participants prior to the partaking of the Seder. (This may be evidence of the well-known Jewish propensity for making “things” more significant, and more embedded in ceremony!)

Luke, the beloved physician, offers this one extra detail to his account that others do not report – the partaking of one of these preliminary cups – an element which Jesus probably utilized to certify the unity of those gathered together to partake in this service.

By passing it from one to the other, each drinking from the cup, their brotherhood was reconfirmed and strengthened as further basis for the formal ceremony that followed.

However, there is something of a problem if one believes that the Last Supper was an observance of Passover itself – which we know as Seder.

We are aware that there are other considered opinions, but we don’t believe that Jesus and the Apostles observed a “normal” Passover Seder, but that Jesus was here instituting “This Passover,” that is, a Passover that would be superior to and subsequent to that of the Law – one which would replace the original observance, which, with His death, should be abolished.

He seems to have actually said so when He said, “with desire I have desired to eat This Passover with you before I suffer,” although we admit that this view of those words may be unwarranted. We capitalize “This” in order to emphasize the word.

We are reasobably certain that the cup-bread-cup sequence should not be considered the accepted form of the Memorial Service that we should observe today…

That Jesus was slain at the exact moment that the Pascal Lambs were being slain at the Temple is certain from all accounts – so Jesus’ institution of this Memorial Service – This Passover – was instituted on the Day of Preparation (the day prior to the offering of the lambs), not on Passover itself.

This accords with the statement that Jesus was literally “our Passover,” in I Corinthians 5:7: “For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.” John 1:29 confirms this accomplishment.

It therefore was a different affair. We have always known that neither wine nor bread are components of the normal Passover Seder. They were foreign elements.

So why were they provided and available in this Institution?

Now, we understand that there are some who believe that Jesus DID partake of the traditional Passover, but that he simply moved the observance with His apostles forward one day.

But was such permitted by the Law?

We don’t believe so, but are certainly open to discussion.

Provision had been made to partake of Passover a month later in such cases when Jews were traveling, were seriously ill, or were otherwise indisposed on the properly designated date for Passover.

Therefore, to understand the revealed formality and the full meaning of this Institution’s actual nature and its components we simply have to weigh the various scriptural accounts of all the reporters as written.

It would not be incompatible with the ceremony that He was instituting on this occasion for Jesus to have offered a preliminary cup in order visibly to establish the apostles’ realization of their brotherhood – their unity in the faith of Jesus.

The extra, preliminary Cup mentioned by Luke may be a component of his strict attention to detail which he, as a highly trained doctor, would exercise.

This trait – his careful attention to extra details – is notable throughout both Luke and Acts, the scriptural books which he authored. [We are currently doing a detailed study of the use of medical terminology in these two books, and will produce that study when it is finished.]

From the evidence, the documentation of the Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles, both Luke and Acts, are methodically precise over and above the other Gospel writers, illustrating Luke’s medical training as to details which would or might be overlooked by the medically untrained observer. It is notable that the ability of doctors, even in these primitive times, clinically to observe extremely critically the condition of their patients; this detail may be a reflection of this training in Doctor Luke. It is one of a trilogy of useful tools for diagnosis of disease: observation, palpation and auscultation.

It appears that this “extra” cup that Luke describes is part of the preliminary portion of their meeting together on that fateful evening in the Upper Room.

We believe we can rely on our present format of partaking of the Memorial Service by following the generally unified records that we find in the four Gospels, as well as the most detailed and reasoned account by the inspired Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 11.

Indeed, it may be the case that Paul delineated the details of the basic ceremony of The Memorials so that we would have no serious questions as to its procedure. Indeed, it may be the case that Paul delineated the details of the basic ceremony of The Memorials so that we would have no serious questions as to its procedure. <HEL 3P> ~ 1050 words. eTPL26.


Setting the Stage for the Gogian Invasion

An eTPL26 Analysis

We are dismayed that so many Bible students are expecting the invasion of the Gogian host to bring the return of Christ to the earth. Nearly every current article published and every lecture produced on Bible prophecy stresses the impending invasion of Israel by the Gogian host. Hundreds of pages are expended on the minute movements of the Russians as they seem to make preparation for this impending assault.

Our view is that Russia has no inkling as yet that its destiny is to attack and conquer Israel at some time in the future. The thought has not yet occurred to Russia and its confederacy that it will even form in the future in order to attempt such a quest.

It is only in future time that … It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought … Ezekiel 38: 10.

But there are clearly stated prerequisites for such thoughts and planning by the evil Gogians and their confederates … and these prerequisites do not exist today.

Before Russia can even formulate this plan, certain conditions in Israel must change drastically from the conditions that the astute observer realizes today.

Therefore, we submit that the theory that this future invasion brings the return of Christ to the earth is not only improbable – it is impossible.

Why should we make such a statement?

Because there are only two stipulations which give rise to the Gogian invasion of Israel as recorded in Ezekiel 38 and 39 – only TWO, and no more: these two premises are contained in two verses … two necessary premises which are consistently overlooked (or ignored?) by most of the pundits!

These premises are clearly and distinctively stated by YHVH’s words …

Eze 38:11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest (Hebrew, shakat, or repose), that dwell safely (betach), all of them dwelling without walls (Hebrew, chomah, a wall of protection), and having neither bars nor gates,

Eze 38:12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.

Our logical question is, Are these the conditions that we see in Israel today?

Can we by any stretch of our imagination see such conditions being attained by Israel in the near future without some tremendous upheaval – some mighty conflagration coming about – to achieve these conditions?

There are Only Two Conditions

for the Gogian Invasion


Note carefully that Gog’s first observation is that the People of Israel are “dwelling safely … without walls, and having neither bars nor gates;” and that her second observation is that they “have gotten cattle and goods (have acquired great wealth, implying the acquisition of this great wealth by their conquest over others)” so that this great wealth has become in Gog’s eyes “a spoil … and a prey” to be desired as booty. We submit that this great booty is the "wealth of the Gentiles" which Israel shall garner from the nations round about as Zechariah 14: 14.

There are noted no other reasons for Gog’s interest in Israel.

Only when those conditions are attained by Israel will Gog think its evil thoughts …

It is the beginning era of the Kingdom of Christ, Who shall then be enthroned on Zion's holy hill upon the reestablished Throne of David.

Israel at that time shall be extremely wealthy, and shall be dwelling without walls, having neither bars nor gates – terminology which indicates it is dwelling in complete safety and peace (Hebrew betach), having no bars nor gates – which means protective barriers of any sort, including its military forces of today, it protective Wall of today, it protective cybernetic defenses of today, its Shin Bet and Mossad of today and its border guards of today.

Is This Condition Different from Today’s Israel?

The obvious answer to this question is, Yes! This condition is entirely the opposite condition that we see today.

Our repeated thesis is consistently ignored by some who just keep on preaching the same tired, outworn theory that the Gogian invasion is imminent.

If our exasperation is showing then we must say, Good! We’re glad to have it recognized.

We must again point out the scriptural documentation that an impending series of conflicts MUST precede the Gogian invasion in order to bring about the conditions for the Gogian invasion.

We will make this substantiating statement short and succinct – not burying it in much persuasive rhetoric – and will let these previous words of the Prophet Ezekiel stand as preamble to the Gogian invasion (and simply point out the fact that this prophecy necessarily precedes that of Ezekiel 38 and 39, in order to establish the conditions for that later invasion) …

In his 28th chapter, Ezekiel begins to address the nations “round about” Israel, indicating a significant conflict that they have mounted against Zion of the end time. It is a conflict which must be resolved in Israel’s favor in order to establish the conditions that are stated as necessary for the later Gogian invasion.

It is a conflict in which Israel has been critically involved ever since it declared its statehood, on May 14th, 1948 – the date of Israel’s Independence. The prophet begins with Zidon (modern Lebanon – and stronghold of Hezbollah – a rabid enemy of Israel today). But immediately the prophet informs his readers of the final outcome of this conflict, as well as all the others, referred to up to Ezekiel 37 …

Eze 28:22 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Zidon; and I will be glorified in the midst of thee: and they (Israel) shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her.

It is critical that Israel recognizes that YHVH is their LORD, and these words prove that that recognition can only come WHEN He has executed judgments in Zidon (only one of the subject nations round about) and am sanctified (vindicated) in Hezbollah’s defeat.

The picture that is given Ezekiel is the total destruction of Zidon, a representative polity of several which occupy the land of Abram’s promise – the lands between the Rivers and the Seas of the Genesis promises.

It is these hostile and rabid enemies which must be subdued and destroyed before Israel can possibly dwell in peace and safety and before its walls and gates are dismantled.

Such a condition coming into existence before that time is impossible … well, at least implausible – because the scriptural sequence is immutable.

Eze 28:23 For I will send into her (Tyre, as a representative polity of the nations round about) pestilence, and blood into her streets; and the wounded shall be judged in the midst of her by the sword upon her on every side; and they shall know (again, it is Israel that shall “know”) that I am the LORD.

Eze 28:24 And there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor any grieving thorn of all that are round about them, that despised them; and they shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

Even the clearly designated time of this prophecy is further defined in the prophet’s next words …

Eze 28:25 Thus saith the Lord GOD; When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob.

Has the Lord so “gathered” His people at this time? We should say that the concentration of over six million of the scattered sheep of Israel having already been gathered into their Land qualifies for such a condition.

Those actions are described in great detail. The prophet’s next words reveal just what conditions result from the described actions against their enemies round about …

Eze 28:26 And they (Israel) shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed j:udgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the LORD their God.

See how perfectly these conditions mesh with Ezekiel’s description! Why can our friends not “get” this picture??

Why all the breathless conjecture of the minutia of Russia’s preparations at this time?

When the time comes for the actual invasion of Israel by Gog, we respectfully submit that covenanted Believers of all ages already shall have been resurrected and gathered before His throne of Judgment; that it shall have ended, and that the immortalized Saints will already have been admitted to the Kingdom of Christ in the earth, and shall be on hand – in Israel of that time – accompanying the LORD Jesus Christ in His administration of the Kingdom’s internal affairs as he disarms Israel completely (see Zechariah 9:10), and is proceeding with the development of the infrastructure of His nascent Kingdom!

In such a case, the Saints will have a front-row seat as the Gogian affair develops. And they will know in intimate detail (and in advance) the exquisite moves that the Gogian host will be making as well as the fate of that doomed company!

Now … the question remains: Why is the Gogian account given as such a definitive invasion if the saints of today are not destined to witness it from this side of the Judgment Seat?

We submit that is may be a for testimony of those of our friends and loved ones who are left behind – who have not made their covenant with our Master – and who at that time will be soberly and anxiously concentrating on the world scene – perhaps with greater interest and far deeper involvement than ever before – so that they will have an indication of just where “things” are going at that time.

In that sense, it will be for the same reason that even later prophecies are revealed which indicate events in the ongoing affairs of the kingdom age – i.e., these utterances complete the picture for us today … but they also fill in the blanks for persons who will be interested in future time as these events occur in historical time. <HEL 4P> ~1600 words. An eTPL26 Analysis April 25, 2017.


Trump To Visit Israel Soon?

An eTPL26 Analysis

The Israeli media is said to be discussing a possible visit to Israel by President Trump – possibly later this month. Further discussion is related to the burning question of whether he will announce the removal of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It is possible therefore that Israel will be his first foreign visit since taking office.

During the early weeks of his administration (and during the entire campaign) Mr. Trump often stated that it is his intention to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. If he does so, others may follow; at present there are no embassies (only consulates) located there.

Because of later scheduled events in Europe, the Israeli press (specifically The Times of Israel) is abuzz with rumors that the president will touch down in Jerusalem on May 22 for one day and night. He is scheduled to attend a NATO conference in Brussels on May 25th, and presumably, would need to arrive there the previous day. After that meeting, he is attending a G-7 summit conference in Italy on May 26-27.

If this schedule actually is fulfilled, it will be a fortuitous visit indeed, coming just one day before the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty (1967) – the first for nearly two thousand years! The president’s few hours on the ground would be occupied with meeting the prime minister, touring Jerusalem, visiting Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Memorial) and the Western Wall as well as other key venues, including possibly Masada and the Allenby Bridge, which connects Israel to the Kingdom of Jordan at the north end of the Dead Sea. Although it is not clear that he will do so, speculation has not been advanced as to whether he will address the Knesset.The Israeli newspaper reminds its readers that in January, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin had formally invited President Trump to visit Israel at his earliest opportunity. Then Prime Minister Netanyahu met with the president at the White House in February and personally repeated the invitation. The president’s response on both occasions was positive; on the latter occasion, Mr. Trump told Bibi that he wants to visit the Jewish State early in his administration as he has actually never visited Israel.

These speculations have been fueled by the fact that an advance US team arrived in Jerusalem on Sunday. The White House is said to have confirmed that such a trip is being considered but would not confirm the dates.

The president also is said to be considering visiting Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt in May or early June. But there seems to be insufficient time to make all these visits prior to the Brussels meeting. President Trump has met with the leaders of these countries since taking office, and senior US officials have visited each of these countries in recent days.

No previous US president has ever visited Israel early in his term.

It is the Jerusalem Post which is speculating that Mr. Trump will announce the removal of the US embassy to Jerusalem, and quoted Congressman Ron DeSantis (R-FL): “DeSantis, who is chairman of the House committee (which oversees) US embassies around the world, said the timing of Trump’s visit – two days before Jerusalem Day, marking 50 years since the reunification of the capital – is not accidental …. What better time could there be to announce the relocation of the US Embassy to Jerusalem when you are over there celebrating with our Israeli friends this very important 50th anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem?” DeSantis asked. “I think the announcement of that trip is a signal that it is more likely to happen than not, and will send a powerful signal to other countries around the world that America is back and will stand by our allies and will not let folks cow us into not doing the right thing.”

The Post did point out a troubling factor, however: it reported that “Moscow announced earlier this month that it recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and that it expects East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian State” (Joel Rosenberg posting). That report stated that Moscow made it clear that it has no intention of moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Yediot Aharonot then reported last Thursday that Mr. Trump may announce united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, but might say that the time is not yet right to move the embassy. Ha’aretz stated on Sunday that it believes Trump will not seek to move the US embassy to Jerusalem for now …

By all the above, one can see that the issue is being discussed intensively in Israel, yet with no concrete conclusions. We applaud the president’s obvious favor for Israel and its people in these troublesome days.

But as Bible students we conclude that all the above discussion means little in the long run. There will not be a permanent “Palestinian” State between the Nile and the Euphrates (nor anywhere else, for that matter!). Such is not in the revealed Plan of our Father and His Son. That is because YHVH has declared “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” Romans 9: 13.

Esau was the original anti-Semite as revealed in his early history – one who was born into the privilege of elder sonship in his family, but sold that birthright for a bowl of lamb stew. Esau – the tribal identity of the “Palestinians” of today (see Obadiah) – was a profane man (Hebrews 12: 16) who never adopted the ways and mores of his faithful father, Isaac, nor his brother Jacob.

Meanwhile, our eyes and hearts are fastened intently upon Israel in the run-up to its 70th anniversary of May 14, 2018 – almost exactly one year from today. Psalm 90, verse 10, defines a generation as threescore and ten years as a normal value, in our closest estimate; this probably is exquisitely relevant to Jesus’ statement in Matthew 24: 34, q.v.

Readers will recall that all these factors indicate that the probationary walk of the saints is nearly finished if our calculations are correct and that the glorious appearing of the LORD from heaven may be imminent. It is our studied opinion that before Christ comes in His overt role as Messiah and Liberator of Israel He will appear prior to that time to resurrect the dead in Christ and gather them with the living Believers to His Judgment Bema. Therefore, Readiness is the watchword ...

<HEL 5P> ~1100 words. An eTPL26 Analysis Published May 8, 2017.


Israel Independence Day 2017: A Remarkable Speech

by the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence

The following remarkable speech by Vice President Pence was given at an Israel Independence Day Commemoration Event in the White House.

Transcript courtesy of Paul Billington, The Bible Magazine

The introductory remarks by Ambassador David Friedman highlighted the fact that this was the first time the White House had celebrated Israel’s Day of Independence.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you, Mr. Ambassador. Thank you all for being here. And on behalf of the First Family, welcome to the White House. (Applause.)

I bring greetings from the President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump. (Applause.) And on behalf of President Trump, just a few minutes ago, I had the distinct honor to wish a happy Independence Day to Prime Minister Netanyahu over the phone as we celebrate the 69th anniversary of the independence of America’s most cherished ally, the Jewish state of Israel. (Applause.)

I want to thank all the distinguished guests who are here and members of Congress who made time to come to the White House this afternoon, and people representing a broad spectrum of Americans who all cherish the relationship that the American people have enjoyed throughout these 69 years with the people of Israel.

It’s humbling to be here with you on this remarkable and even a hallowed day. From Secretary Steve Mnuchin to Ambassador David Friedman -- (applause) -- to Senator Orrin Hatch, who has been a great, great champion for Israel all these many years in the United States Senate. (Applause.)

Distinguished members of Congress, including Congressman Peter King, who’s with us today. (Applause.) Republicans and Democrats who are gathered here, honored guests, my fellow friends of Israel, thank you, on behalf of the President of the United States. Just thank you for being here today at the White House to celebrate this day, the anniversary of a moment that will be remembered for eternity.

You’re all here, all of you, regardless of your home, your creed, because on this day, the fifth day in the month of Iyar in the Hebrew calendar in 1948, nothing short of a miracle occurred. On that day, in the ancient and eternal homeland of the Jewish people, the state of Israel was reborn. (Applause.)

On that day, the Jewish people’s 2000-year exile, the longest exile of any people anywhere, ended. And on that day, a prophecy literally came to pass. And I believe in my heart that God himself fulfilled his promise to his people. The Lord God tells us in the Old Book, “Behold, I will cause breath to enter into and ye shall live.” And Israel lives today. (Applause.)

Today and every day, the state of Israel and her people bear witness to God’s faithfulness as well as their own. How unlikely was Israel’s birth? How much more unlikely has been her survival? And how confounding against all odds, both past and present, has been her thriving. Since the moment of their independence, the Israeli people have awed the world with their strength of will, and their strength of character. They’ve turned the desert into a garden, scarcity into plenty. And people of Israel have turned hope into a future of security and prosperity.

And at all times, in war and in peace, the people of Israel and the Jewish people have held their heads high. Every day, Israel takes the curses and slanders of too much of the world and turns them into blessings. The dignity of the people of Israel rebukes all who condemn them, not for what they do wrong, but they condemn them for what they do right.

And under President Donald Trump, let me assure you of this -- if the world knows nothing else, the world will know this: America stands with Israel. (Applause.) President Trump stands with Israel for the same reason that every freedom-loving American stands with Israel -- because her cause is our cause. Her values are our values. And her fight is our fight.

And President Donald Trump is a lifelong friend and supporter of the state of Israel and its people. You know, I’ve seen firsthand the President’s deep affection for Israel and all who cherish her, and so has the world. Just last week, President Trump stood with Holocaust survivors during the National Days of Remembrance. And he declared, “I will always stand with the Jewish people, and I will always stand with our great friend and partner, the state of Israel.” (Applause.)

For my part, my Christian faith compels me to cherish Israel as well as our deep alliance and historical ties. The songs of the land of the people of Israel were the anthems of my youth when I was growing up. You know, my wife and I had the privilege of visiting Israel in 2004 and 2008, and we fulfilled a lifelong dream to bring all of our children to the Holy Land in December of 2014. It was a joy -- inexpressible.

So let me say with confidence to all who are gathered here: President Trump stands without apology for Israel, and he always will. (Applause.)

Just look at the actions our President has taken since he took office. The President named David Friedman to represent the United States of America in Israel. (Applause.) The President named Governor Nikki Haley to be America’s Ambassador to the United Nations. (Applause.) And the President of the United States, as we speak, is giving serious consideration into moving the American embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (Applause.)

To be clear, the President has also personally committed to resolving the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. Even now, we’re making valuable progress toward the noble goal of peace. Thanks to the President’s tireless leadership, momentum is building and goodwill is growing. And that while there will undoubtedly have to be compromises, you can rest assured President Donald Trump will never compromise the safety and security of the Jewish State of Israel -- not now, not ever. (Applause.)

President Trump has made it clear America stands alongside Israel, as friends and as allies, as together we confront those enemies who threaten our people and all that we hold dear. Since the moment of their nation’s birth, there's hardly been a day when the people of Israel have not lived without war or the fear of war, or the grim reality of terror. Know today that our prayers for the safety of the people of Israel, each and every day, go from the hearts of the American people to heaven. And know that Israel does not stand alone.

Today, under President Donald Trump, America’s support for Israel's security is at record levels. (Applause.) And in President Trump, America has a leader who will call our enemies by their name. I want to promise you, as the fight even goes on now in precincts around Mosul and Iraq, even in northern Syria and Afghanistan, this President is determined to keep his promise to the American people. ISIS is on the run, and we will hunt down and destroy ISIS and terrorist organizations at their source so they no longer threaten our people, our allies, and our most cherished ally, Israel. (Applause.)

And under President Donald Trump, America will stand strong in the face of the leading state sponsor of terrorism. This administration has put Iran on notice. America will no longer tolerate Iran’s efforts to destabilize the region and jeopardize Israel’s security. Under President Donald Trump, the United States of America will not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. (Applause.) This is our solemn promise to you, to Israel, and to the world.

History attests that enmity toward the Jewish people often turns from evil thought to evil action. The State of Israel bears witness to this truth. On this day, so many years ago, only three years after the horrors of the Holocaust, Israel was given life by a people who had looked into the eye of the angel of death. The Jewish people have persevered through history’s darkest hour, for in that darkness shine the light of faith, of hope, and of love.

It was faith that led the Jewish people to return to their ancient homeland. It was hope that spurred them to strive with all their strength for a brighter future. And it was love for each other, and a love for freedom, that has inspired the Jewish people to greatness at the hour of Israel’s birth and every hour since.

And so today we celebrate and we marvel at all that Israel and her people have accomplished. We praise their vigilance and resolve in the face of crisis and condemnation, and for their enduring courage in this time of widening challenges and unknowable threats. And today we remember the sacrifice of those who gave so much for Israel’s existence, and for those brave men and women who stand sentry at this very hour.

Israel is an eternal testament to the undying fortitude of the Jewish people, to the unfathomable power of human freedom, and to the unending faithfulness of God. Indeed, though Israel was built by human hands, it’s impossible not to sense that just beneath their history lies the hand of heaven. For as God tells us in his word, speaking to his people so long ago, "I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

I believe these words are as true today as they were in millennia past. And so I say with confidence, with your help, with God’s help, through the strength and courage of the people of Israel and all who cherish her, and with President Donald Trump in the White House, the best days for Israel and America are yet to come. (Applause.)

Thank you very much. May God continue to bless and protect Israel and the people, and may God bless America. (Applause.)

Speech Delivered on May 8th, the anniversary of Israel on the Israeli Calendar. Other Items, Published May 14,2017: Israel's 69th modern Independence Day on the Gregorian Calendar. <HEL>



President Trump in Israel

An eTPL26 Analysis

The US president has set his sights on “the ultimate deal” according to a headline in USA Today, May 23, 2017. By this statement the reporter, Gregory Korte, means a workable peace agreement between Israel and the “Palestinians.”

The president visited Israel immediately following his earlier stop in Saudi Arabia where he addressed the leaders of many Arab nations on current issues. In Israel he visited the Western Wall where, wearing a black yarmulke, he prayed publicly, and gently placed a traditional written message between the huge stone blocks of the structure, considered by Israel as its second holiest site.

His visit was scheduled just prior to Israel’s celebration of the Jubilee – the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem – on June 7, 1967, during the Six Day War, an event which marked the first time Israelis had gained sovereignty over all of the city of Jerusalem in modern times.

On this occasion his interactions with Israeli officials, including the prime minister, exhibited the warmest relationship with the Jewish state that any American president has ever had.

He became the first sitting president to pray at the Wall. His prayer doubtless included supplication for success in solving the Israeli-Palestinian controversy – a goal which he had assigned himself in the early days of the presidential campaign.

As to his visit to Israel – his first – he later summed it up in the statement, “Words fail to capture the experience. It will leave an impression upon me forever.”

In a meeting with Israeli President Reuven Tivlin, Mr. Trump had said the time may be right for a peace agreement which has eluded all of his predecessors. It is interesting that he also reported “a really good feeling toward Israel” at the American Arab Islamic Summit two day ago in Riyad.

A large component leading toward such a good attitude is surely what is now happening in Iran, as it opposes all its Islamic neighbors and even threatens them with aggression. If there is a benefit of this aggressive attitude, the unifying of the nearby neighbors of Israel may be that benefit. In this acknowlegment, he makes reference to the long-standing controversy of Zion (of Isaiah 34:8).

Unfortunately for him, Mr. Trump’s odds of permanent success in this effort are zero. That is not our conclusion, but is that expressed in scripture as to the final conflicts of the end time.

On the other hand, the president’s efforts may result in some temporary benefits which will set the stage for the final conflict of the age.

By that statement, we mean that we wonder whether his initiative might set up some sort of agreement which appears to be reasonable and workable – including “Palestinian” agreement to complex conditions – and bring observers widely and confidently to proclaim that peace has finally been achieved.

In our considerations, that conclusion would fulfill I Thessalonians 5: 3, in which “they shall say (the Greek word to say, is logo, or a statement of fact; in no sense does it imply a “cry” for peace – a plea, or an urgent request for peace – a condition which has stood so long that it has become tedious) Peace and Safety,” which is the moment when sudden destruction comes upon them. The ambiguous pronoun “they” becomes un-ambiguous when that statement concludes: the “them” designates Israel’s enemies round about, which shall suffer sudden destruction. There can be no other conclusion …

Thus the “peace process” in our opinion shall reach its end – but not that planned or hoped for by the diplomats and leaders of the world, whose best contribution is the “two state solution” of an Arab and an Israeli state in God’s Land.

Instead, Micah the prophet prescribes the conclusion in Micah 5:5, where he writes: And this man (that “man” of Bethlehem) shall be the peace (meaning, shall enforce or bring about peace by conquest), when the Assyrian shall (strive to) come into our land: and when he shall (strive to) tread in our palaces …

The summary account of this entire precursory affair is not encapsulated or obviously marked out as definitively as the later Gogian affair, and thus is overlooked, or relegated merely to a function of their (erroneous) assumptions of a great Gogian victory over Israel, and a re-scattering of the Jews of the land into exile.

Being dispersed in approximately fifty various references – all distinctly different from the Gogian invasion – it is a concept which is overlooked by many.

But it is one which is entirely integral to the solution of the Israeli-Arab controversy.

The USA Today article referenced Jerusalem as the key point in the controversy: it said, Jerusalem is a central point in that debate: Israel sees Jerusalem as its undivided, “eternal” capital; Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.” Both conditions cannot prevail …

That exact pivot point was elucidated by the Prophet Zechariah when he wrote: And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. Zechariah 12:3.

This statement – and others similar to it – are the reason that we have stated that the president’s odds of achieving a permanent peace are zero.

There can be NO Islamic presence in Abram’s Land between the Rivers (see Genesis 13), for “… in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord (Zechariah 14: 21. Closely allied to that principle, Obadiah states that … in that day, there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau (as representative of the PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah, the PFLP, etc.).

Now there is a resolution that will not fail!

But its execution depends upon that inevitable event of the personal return of the LORD to the earth in His role as Messiah – as Commander of His vast immortal armies of Saints as well as strategist for the Israelis as well – in the greatest victory ever gained by any army in all history.

And brethren, we are on the threshold of it at this moment!

<HEL 5P> ~1025 words. An eTPL26 Analysis Posted in “Other Items 2017” on May 23m 2017.


Jacob’s Sheep, Now Back in Israel, Begin Birthing

An eTPL26 Circular Letter

Our intense interest in the saga of Jacob’s Sheep returning to Israel has taken a natural and expected turn …

The now returned flock of Jacob’s Sheep, now living in Nes Harim, Israel, north of Beer’sheva, have begun kidding (calving?) – i.e., bringing forth offspring.

They are en route it is reported to a kibbutz in the Jordan Valley, where their owners – Gil and Jenna Lewinski of Canada, now having made aliyah – will continue to care for them and to develop the flock.

Readers may watch two short videos which give details of the Baa-aliyah of the sheep (pun intended!) which will be of intense interest in this heartening story of some of the longest exiles from the Land of Israel now having returned …

I don’t know about your feelings, but mine are that there is nothing in nature more lovable and precious than a lamb, just as our Father views His lambs of His human flock as they humbly and devotedly serve Him.

Videos of Jacob’s Sheep in Israel today may be viewed at …

https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/89318/bible-codes-foretell-special-role-first-israeli-born-jacobs-sheep-2000-years/?utm_source=Israel365+Daily+Email&utm_campaign=5aa52a383a-Israel365+email&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c014d47a2a-5aa52a383a-21176121#M3BJpQvAttClDpSl.97

ALSO …

https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/82522/baa-liyah-jacobs-sheep-frolick-new-home/#eYCxxPxP2rY2lGhu.97

Access to these videos may be obtained by copying the URLs (the addresses above) and pasting them into your search engine. Both are less than ten minutes in length, and are so worth watching! <HEL 6P> An eTPL26 Circular Letter Published June 12, 2017


A More Compelling Father’s Day

Father's Day: 2017. Our celebration of today must extend beyond its temporal significance of simple devotion to our earthly fathers, for every living being has a greater Father Who dwells at the center of the universe – One Who in every sense of the word, is our Father.

Although a kind of “Father’s Day” has been celebrated in Europe by the Catholic Church as St. Joseph’s Day for centuries, the celebration was not brought to the New World as a reflection of that tradition.

Instead, our modern form of the holiday was first celebrated on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia, in the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South, now known as the Central United Methodist Church.

It was brought about by Grace Golden Clayton, who was mourning the loss of her father in the terrible mining accident known as the Monongah Mining Disaster – a terrible accident in nearby Monongah, which killed 361 men, 250 of them fathers, leaving around a thousand fatherless children.

Pastor Robert Thomas Webb aided her in honoring all those fathers in this first celebration of “Father’s Day” as we now know it.

A Deeper Consideration

But we suggest a more serious view of this special day … an injunction found within a psalm of Asaph, recorded in the Chronicles …

1Chronicles 16:11 – Seek the LORD (YHVH) and His strength, seek His face continually. 12 Remember His marvelous works that He hath done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth; 13 O ye seed of Israel His servant, ye children of Jacob, His chosen ones.

The remembrance of our Father becomes more imperative in light of the fulfilled prophecies pointing to the rapidly approaching Event of the Ages – the Second Coming of our Father’s beloved Son from the heavens.

His return to the earth will have profound effects upon the entire world in a physical sense, matching the spiritual effects which His life expressed upon a small fraction of His people in the days following His ministry and sacrifice.

Those words of Asaph enjoin that every faithful man and woman (and child) fervently seek the wisdom and strength of His Fatherhood that is from above – that which intimately concerns the heavenly Father and Creator of us all and the consistent provider of every good and precious gift to mankind.

By extension, then, every calendar day is in the hearts and minds of every one of His children, both Jew and Gentile, in all our hearts and in our devotions, Father’s Day.

Such consistent devotion to Him could do wonders changing the contemporary world – a world whose sincere dedication to Him has been latent for so long, unexercised for such a long time, and never developed to an acceptable level in His view.

His marvelous works are insensible to us mere mortals.

His wonders are far beyond our comprehension.

And the judgments of His mouth pass all our understanding

The injunction is to “the Seed of Israel His servant,” and includes all the natural seed as well as the spiritual: that wonderfully blessed Elect – the Chosen of God – whether Jew or Gentile: in brief, the Seed of Abraham, to whom all His blessings flow, both now and forever!

The inspired words of Asaph express the sentiment in more noble terms:

1Chronicles 16:8 Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.

1Ch 16:9 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.

1Ch 16:10 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.

1Ch 16:11 Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.

<HEL 6P> ~600 words. An eTPL26 Exhortation


Signs in the Sun and Moon

An eTPL28 Analysis

Oregon, USA. Early Monday afternoon, EDT, August 21, 2017: At approximately this moment, an ecliptic “zone of totality” is starting to occur in some 22 states of the lower 48, beginning in the state of Oregon.

The sun will be totally blocked by the moon in those areas of totality. The effect will be eerie to many observers, having never been experienced by most of them.

We believe that this event has been set up specifically for North America because this country is surely the most influential, the wealthiest, the most powerful nation of the world as we know it today; it is the epitome of human secular development which shall give way to the Way of God in the near future.

Consequently, it is harbinger of the certain destiny of this country (and all others) as well – that its destiny is to be “darkened” as to importance and influence in the world as the Kingdom of God approaches, and the Israel of God continues its relentless climb into prominence, and then dominance, among the nations!

It is destined to be an unprecedented shift in national emphasis and national prominence that the world shall never have witnessed.

As to the present eclipse, the phenomenon has not occurred (in the same manner) here since July 7th, 1442 – long before Columbus set sail for the New World. Solar eclipses of a more limited sort have happened frequently, however, and are not a “strange” occurrence to many people.

But this dark path of the sun across an entire continent to this extent is nearly unprecedented in modern time. Solar eclipses of this magnitude have triggered changes in human history in past time.

Our chief interest in this current solar eclipse is due to the words of two scriptural writers ...

A. Luke 21:25 - And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

These are the words of Jesus Himself, Who was referring to the times just prior to “the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”

B. Acts 2:19 - And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

These words are a quotation of the Prophet Joel’s writings (Joel 3: 15) by the Apostle Paul, referring to the last days preceding the establishment of the Kingdom of God beginning in Israel.

The words refer specifically to a solar eclipse (the sun being turned into darkness – or covered by the moon – a solar eclipse) and a total lunar eclipse (the moon into blood).

We believe the first of these subjects – the solar eclipse of this pair of references – is occurring at the moment.

It is the singular most extensive such event of over 200 years, this present solar eclipse. It is designed to get the attention of the world as almost nothing else could! And it has accomplished this end quite well...

The second of these phenomena occurred only two years ago. Prior to the time we reminded readers[i] of the approaching dates:

The dates of the next and final Jewish tetrad (for ages to come) are now known to be beginning on April 15, 2014, in this matrix:

April 15, 2014 Total lunar eclipse Feast of Passover

October 8, 2014 Total lunar eclipse Feast of Sukkot

April 4, 2015 Total lunar eclipse Feast of Passover

Sept. 28, 2015 Total lunar eclipse Feast of Sukkot

Both these phenomena are remarkable in their rarity ... and consequently in their ability to gain the popular attention that they have done.

As noted, this is the first solar eclipse of this magnitude for over 250 years in North America. It is not scheduled for repetition on this scale for over 500 years in the future! Rare indeed!

Only four “Jewish tetrads” (blood moons) have occurred in the last thousand years, and are not again possible for over 500 years into future time according to the NASA website dedicated to such information.

Both, in real terms, are events that are contemporary with each other, i.e., they have occurred in close proximity to each other as to time.

As such, they are surely reinforcers of our numerous warnings that mankind is living in the last throes of its incompetency – its innate inability to govern itself effectively – and the Second Advent of Jesus Christ to the earth from His place at the Father’s right hand – destined imminently to return to the earth to straighten out the mundane affairs of mankind by the establishment of His Kingdom among them.

The accomplishment of theses facts is stated many times in God’s word, as exemplified by this series of quotations...

Colossians_3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Hebrews_1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Heb_1:13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?

Heb_8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;

Heb_10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

Heb_12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

1Peter_3:22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

And two references to the Second Advent from the writings of the Apostle Paul...

1Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

2Thessalonians 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels...

This recognition of man’s incompetency to govern himself was voiced notably by the Prophet Jeremiah, who wrote: O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. Jeremiah 10:23.

Yet, mankind’s reliance upon the LORD to direct his steps has been nearly totally absent – especially from national assemblies and parliaments, although many of these begin their official sessions with prayer to their God.

All that is about to change abruptly, dependable evidence we believe associated with these intrusive signs in the sun and the moon.

We know these are heavenly signs – meaning, not “signs” among the ruling powers of the earth (the political heavenlies) because of the inclusion of the phrase ... and on earth ... which certainly denotes them as astrophysical, not geopolitical events, although the “distress of nations with perplexity” indicates that reality as well.

Therefore, these are signs in the literal sun and moon.

Together, these two converging earthquakes of the present time must strike some semblance of fear (in the sense of reverence) in thoughtful, introspective men and women, and a sober reminder that their redemption draweth nigh. Luke 21: 28.

<HEL 8Q> ~1200 words. An eTPL28 Analysis Published August 21, 2017



References:

[i] Please see article in eTPL at this location: 9 April, 2014: The Stars as Witness to God’s Eternal Truth


Russian/Iranian Intrusion into the Golan

An eTPL28 Analysis

DebkaFile is reporting daily the continuing intrusion of both Iranian and Russian troops and Iranian “advisers” into the Golan Heights area near Quenitra, the UN-controlled no-mans-land between Syria and Israel.

During the week of August 16, 2017, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with President Vladimir Putin of Russia in Sochi, Ukraine, and set “red lines” against Iran’s presence in Syria.

Although their meeting lasted only three hours, Mr. Netanyahu stated plainly that Israel will take any actions needed to halt this intrusion of Iranian influence in the area adjacent to Israel. His statement was, “We will not remain passive,” as he addressed Iran’s expansion into Syria – described by DebkaFile as “the Lebanonization of Syria,” an overt mechanism by which foreign control is unofficially introduced into an area adjacent to Israel in the manner in which Hezbollah has been allowed to become firmly established (and the dominant influence) in Lebanon.

Mr. Netanyahu objected to Mr. Putin that “Iran is attempting to establish a permanent military presence with airlifts of Revolutionary Guards as well as (forces of) Hezbollah. This is a serious situation for us and for many other countries in the region.”

He added the ominous warning that Israel is not asking Russia or anyone else for permission to intervene on its own behalf: “It will act in its own interest,” he stressed. “In view of the rapidly-changing reality in recent weeks, the Mossad and Shin Bet directors were sent out on a mission which was received with serious attention. We want to prevent war and we are therefore giving due warning,” he said.

Israel’s concern is that an extremist Shiite presence is being introduced into an area of predominant Sunni Islamic enclave (Syria), as well as being on the back doorsteps of Israel itself.

Mr. Netanyahu voiced an optimistic tone as to the outcome by noting that all his previous dealings with Putin had brought good results for both countries, that he was confident that this latest meeting would also produce such an outcome. He obviously does not suspect what is in store for the two countries in a future time!

Now, less than a week after the above warning had been issued, Russia has put the PM to the test. Debka just reported that “on Saturday and Sunday, (Aug.26-27), Russian forces installed Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah officers at a joint “administration center” they had set up in the town of Quneitra.”

The Iranian troops were brought over from a base about 6km east of the Golan where they had been stationed for several weeks – a location still too close for Israel’s tolerance. This places Iranian troops within three km of Israel’s border with the demilitarized frontier in the Golan.

Debka has defined that the “administration center” is actually a military-civil body which has been formed by the Russians for their closer management of the Quneitra de-escalation zone, one of four such zones President Donald Trump and Putin agreed to establish in Syria at their meeting in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7th.

Israel strenuously objected to this provision from the start, but neither Moscow nor Washington was heedful of Israel’s concerns. They both assured Israel that there was no threat in this arrangement because Russian monitors would be in sole control there.

We would ask whether that is a source of comfort for Israel!

So, on Saturday August 26th, all this changed drastically.

From their observation post on the prominent Israeli hill, an intelligence outpost overlooking Quneitra, Israeli observers began observing Russian officers dressed in civilian clothing driving Iranian and Hezbollah officers (also in civvies) into the town of Quneitra, and placing them in the building which houses the “administration center.”

Through its connections through Skype, Israeli intelligence officers have determined that the various Syrian rebel groups in the Golan, which have been supported with medical and logistical aid by Israel for the last four years, have been given three options by the Russians ...

We quote the dispatch by Debka; the rebels can do one of three things:

“1. Play along with their Quneitra “administrative center” and do as they are told, in return for which they would be guaranteed Russian and Syrian army protection as well as regular supplies of food, water and medical care.

“They would naturally be obliged to cut their ties with Israel.

“2. Voluntarily disband and turn in their weapons to the Syrian army.

“3. If they rejected 1. and 2., they would be free to move to another Syrian location of their choice with safe conduct guarantees for them and their families.”

The Short-term Prospects?

It would seem that no matter which of these three options the Syrian rebels choose, Israel has effectively lost its security buffer on its Golan border with Syria; Syrian loyalists (loyal to President al-Assad – an enemy of Israel) and Hezbollah forces have intruded and replaced the Syrian rebels with Russian enablement. This location is far too close for Israel’s comfort and safety, in their opinion.

We realize that much is being made by pundits of this Iranian intrusion into the near-border of Israel, and we acknowledge Israel’s legitimate concern as to its meaning for Israel’s security.

But we also must point out, although we could be mistaken, that we believe little will become of this whole affair in the short-term, because our understanding of end time events is that the time for serious Russian/Iranian interference has not yet arrived.

Conditions are not yet “ripe” for such an imposition...

We believe that their fatal intrusion into the affairs of Israel will come at a significantly later time, when these integral parts of the Gogian coalition will attack Israel from the lands beyond the Rivers (Nile and Euphrates) as that great, aggressive host comes forth, looking to “despoil the despoilers” (Israel) – a truer translation of the phrase in Ezekiel 38, 39, stated as “to take a spoil and a prey” –KJV.

That translation takes into account that the State of Israel shall by that time have acquired “great spoils” from its neighboring countries round about, and at that FUTURE time possesses the vast riches of all their neighbors’ previous productivity – which we must acknowledge as an accumulation of riches and potential wealth perhaps unrealized in the annals of human history!

We believe that Israel today does not contain the great wealth indicated by this phraseology, or this necessary geopolitical posture of the future.

But we shall have to await the outcome ... meantime, we wait and watch.

<HEL 8Q> ~1150 words. An eTPL28 Analysis Published August 28, 2017.


When Shall Gog Attack Israel?

An eTPL Analysis

Why are so many students of God’s word certain that Gog will attack Israel before Yeshua arrives on the scene? We wonder why, especially in light of the conditions that are stated as absolutely necessary for Gog’s attack as stated in Ezekiel’s prophecy – which clearly depicts the supernatural peace of the Messianic Age at its initiation?

In our view, the preconditions for Gog’s attack are only two in number: (1) that the People have been gathered back to their Land from many nations; and (2) that they are dwelling in absolute peace and safety, without bars and gates of any kind.

Ezekiel describes Israel in 38:8 in this manner: After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it (the captivity – the people collectively) is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.

Their mode of dwelling is also stressed in verse 11 as being … the land of unwalled villages … that are at rest … that dwell safely … without walls … having neither bars nor gates; and additionally in verse 14 as my people of Israel (dwelling) safely. The factor of Israel’s national safety and security is the pivotal one.

What shall happen to bring about this condition, given the fact that