A Discussion of All Nations Under Christ
This Q&A item was found in some old files; I find that it deserves our attention today since discussion of it has not been aired. We do that here.
February 9, 2014
Dear Brother Harold,
We know that "the world" is comprised of many nations, all of which will turn from Israel, with none to help her. Not one nation that makes up the world of today fails to be included in I John 2: 15-17. Verse 17 adds, "The world" (every nation) passes away.
The fact is, the territory of every nation becomes God's and His Christ's (Revelation 11: 15).
Not one nation anywhere other than Israel will survive as a nation; therefore, God will not remove His "indignation" from one nation other than Israel. [The author is indicating in this statement that God will end His indignation upon the other nations by taking vengeance upon them.]
It can be proven beyond dispute that Revelation chapter 20 is not [referring to a time] during or near the end of the millennium [of Christ’s kingdom], but are pre-millennial.
A couple of questions completely topples the traditional view … regarding Revelation 20.
No nation other than Israel remains a nation during the millennium; therefore, the "indignation of God is never removed from the U.S.A.; Britain; Russia; any of Europe; Africa, etc. etc. They pass away without His favor upon them and their territory becomes part of His kingdom.
Therefore, Isaiah 10: 25 is about God's indignation that caused Israel to be divided, and that will be about to be over as Isaiah 26: 19-20 is fulfilled.
Why would God tell the resurrected saints to "hide" until the indignation is over? If God's indignation was over for any other nation, why would any other nation suffer at the hands of God's servants? Only if God's indignation toward Israel is about to be over, is it needful for them [the saints] to hide UNTIL the indignation is over.
Surely, it is because the resurrected servants are to go to Israel's defense when God has no further indignation against Israel and He wants them [Israel] defended.
If God had no further indignation against any other nation than Israel, surely He would want them [those other nations] to remain a nation. But all nations disappear into nothingness, and the kingdom of God takes their place as the world passes away (I John 2: 15-18).
Surely, Isaiah 10: 25 is not saying that God's indignation of all nations other than Israel was soon to be lifted, for God will surely have "indignation" against all other nations much longer than Israel. [His indignation against them is not “lifted,” as the author says, but it is directed AGAINST them and thus expended. –ED]
I hope this makes sense to you. Thanks for the soap box.
Editor’s Comments: We concur with this logical, scriptural approach to the conversion of the nations, explaining fully and scripturally their destiny of being erased AS nations, and being absorbed into the Kingdom of God.
Every nation of the earth indeed shall cease to exist, their peoples and lands passing under the rod and staff of Shiloh, the Blessed One of God, Who shall later, come into their midst and depose their secular regents, those kingdoms passing to “the Saints of the Most High” as precisely foretold by Daniel, who in a vision saw the ultimate destiny of the representative nations of the four major world empires: Daniel 7:18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
This process leads precisely to the abolition of ALL the formally constituted nations of the world!
We quote the extensive passages last referenced above, designated as Isaiah 10:25, but we shall begin at verse 16, as a wonderful summary of the events which are coming, including a detailed reference to “Assyria” of verses 12 and 24.
Note carefully verses 16 through 27 – how all these words outline the detailed, progressive gathering of His people into His land as we have viewed it for nearly 70 years, and the complete reversal of their fortunes as compared to those of their enemies! We shall intersperse our explanatory comments...
Isa 10:16 Therefore shall the Lord, the Lord of hosts, send among his fat ones leanness; and under his glory (this is a hardly veiled reference to His people who are regathered into His Land) he shall kindle a burning like the burning of a fire.
Just who are His “fat ones?”
The term must be applied directly to the oppressor nations of Israel and Judah of Isaiah’s day, who continuously threatened His people with extermination and exile. These were His “fat ones” only because He dispatched them successfully into Israel and Judah as His armies, to perform His judgments upon them after almost interminable periods of non-repentance and non-reform by His people.
These nearby nations were His arm of enforcement, if you will.
That end result of His immediate purpose in that day ultimately came to pass, because Israel and Judah failed to repent of their iniquities and were finally destroyed and taken into captivity.
A necessary ellipsis of understanding on our parts here is that after fulfilling His purpose with His people, the “fat ones” were in turn punished for their actions, their punitive measures upon Israel and Judah, which were inherently their purposes from the beginning.
These, in a short time, reached the end of their usefulness for His purpose. Those nations of antiquity then also passed under His rod and disappeared.
But peoples inhabit those same areas today; and these, too, are the vehement enemies of His people who, in the end time, have begun to return to their Land in fulfillment of such prophecies as Isaiah 11:11, q.v.
We shall note this same basic inference of a Return and confrontation by those nations round about, in one or two verses of those following.
In this case the prophet (even in this one sentence) moves forward seamlessly and without giving any details, to a time when He is addressing end time events, in which the tables are again turned on His “fat ones,” the enemies of Israel, and His active kindling of a FIRE within Israel, to destroy them, a fire within His People now being restored to His Land.
We can understand these words in no other context.
The result of His kindling a fire within His people is that Israel’s righteous actions (in defending itself in that day – its “light”) shall be like (or, for) a fire, and His holy One like (or, for) a flame, as verse 17.
Firstly – early in the process – His “Holy One” is the regathering People of Israel, from the beginning of their great aliyah (late 1800s) in the absence of the ultimate Holy One – Who in the years terminal to that day shall physically return to His people! He is the ultimate Holy One of this verse.
The beginning years of this end time series of events were intended to show clearly the orderly process that we have observed throughout Israel’s modern history.
We, and they, now await His Second Advent, which is the transactional event which shall move the prophecy forward palpably.
The next verse makes this clear:
17 And the Light of Israel shall be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame: and it shall burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day;
In these phrases, we capitalize “Light,” because it is equivalent to “His Holy One,” whose presence back in the earth shall be the ignition of that process of “burning” the thorns and briers in His Promised Land – that is, the OTHER “trees” of His forest. See also Isaiah 7:23-25; 27:4; 32:13; Ezekiel 2:6.
Before we go on, we wish to point out an almost unintended, incidental correlate with this use of the figure (see verse 19 – “rest of the trees of His forest” for context). It is found in Jesus’ words of Luke 21:29: Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; a phrase in which the LORD indicates that not only was Israel to come into being at the time of the budding of the Fig Tree (which is a symbol of Israel), but that there should be OTHER “trees” that would spring forth at the same time.
The fulfillment of this prophecy was seen in the artificial creation of all the various Islamic States in the land between the Nile and the Euphrates by the Allies following World War I. All these nations filled the vacuum that the Ottoman Empire left when it was dissolved by the Great Powers of WWI.
The nations which were formed include Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Trans-Jordan (now Jordan), Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and perhaps a few others. ALL this territory shall be included within the boundaries of the Israel which shall be constituted at the Second Advent (the lands of the Abrahamic covenant), when the Christ and His people have cleared the Land of all those intruders and shall have confiscated their lands and wealth – also a prominent feature of this prophecy of Isaiah; this verse surely includes this confiscatory function of His kingdom in the word picture that is given. He shall “consume the glory of His forest … and fruitful field, both soul and body; and they shall be as when a standard bearer fainteth,” which means that their “standard” or insignia (flags) shall fall to the ground in subservience to His people of that day!
The end result of this action is that only a few (Sheba and Dedan?) shall survive for a little while. Of course, these too, must be abolished and their territories absorbed by Christ’s kingdom before He hands over the kingdom to His Father as indicated in 1Corinthians 15:28: And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
These summary details are now stated by the prophet …
Isa 10:18 And shall consume the glory of his forest, and of his fruitful field, both soul and body: and they shall be as when a standardbearer fainteth.
Isa 10:19 And the rest of the trees of his forest shall be few, that a child may write them.
Note carefully in this passage following, that the prophet takes pains to refer to the regathered nation of Israel as “the remnant of Israel,” a telling phrase which indicates the facts of history:
That the Jews in the land today are the “remnant” of those who perished in the Holocaust;
Those Jews were the remnant of the deadly persecution which Jewry has always suffered at the hands of their gracious hosts of every country of their exile.
Those Jews were the remnant of those who survived the “Holy Inquisition.”
And even those Jews were the remnant of the survivors of the final sack of Jerusalem in 70AD and 135AD, after which the survivors were sold into slavery and dispersed to all nations.
Typically these survivors had “stayed” (leaned, or depended upon) those “who smote him,” because there was no other option.
But this end time remnant shall rely ultimately only “upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.” It is a condition which is the polar opposite of their former plight among the nations.
Isa 10:20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.
Isa 10:21 The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.
That return was first to be physical – an actual return of a remnant to the Land. That physical return shall inevitably be followed by a spiritual return in the near future.
Isa 10:22 For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
Here the word “consumption” is Hebrew killayon, meaning, destruction, consumption, or failing. It refers to His destruction of the nations round about, and the relief from their oppression which He shall give His remnant in the end time.
Isa 10:23 For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land. This “land” is Eretz Yishrael – the land of the promise which He made to Abraham.
The prophet now begins to address some of the details of the end time issues which the people shall confront – the assault upon it of “Assyria,” which indicates any modern power which represents the territories of Iraq and Syria, the nations which answer most nearly to ancient Assyria. These are the “latter day Assyrian.”
Isa 10:24 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD of hosts, O my people that dwellest in Zion, be not afraid of the Assyrian: he shall smite thee with a rod (see the direct correlate of this feature of the prophecy in Micah 5:1-3) , and shall lift up his staff against thee, after the manner of Egypt.
Isa 10:25 For yet a very little while, and the indignation (that is, the indignation against all those enemies) shall cease, and mine anger in their destruction.
Here their destiny and the manner of the expiation of His indignation upon them is spelled out clearly.
Isa 10:26 And the LORD of hosts shall stir up a scourge for him according to the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb: and as his rod was upon the sea, so shall he lift it up after the manner of Egypt.
Isa 10:27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.
We believe this last phrase, “the yoke (of their enemies) shall be destroyed because of the anointing” is indicative that His people shall be anointed from that day to His service and allegiance alone – and that there shall never again be a fateful falling away or national onset of iniquity as has been the case throughout their history.
The words also surely include the means of their deliverance, namely, the returned LORD Jesus Christ (the Anointed One), along with the immortal Saints, Who as the “One Man” dispatch the enemies of Israel and its God in one fell stroke of hot conflict.
It is on THIS prospective basis that the Almighty shall remove “the yoke” of their enemies from their necks forever.
We thank contributors of such wonderfully comprehensive thoughts as have been triggered by our correspondent’s letter, and invite all others to participate in like manner. <HEL 1P> ~2500 words Q&A, January, 2016.
Q&A Discussion of the End-Time Wars of Israel
August 23, 2015
Dear Brother Harold,
While I agree with much of your letter regarding over-long holding on to prophetic interpretations written decades or a century ago, I am at variance with some of your specific details. I do not think that Ezekiel's "Gogian" invasion should be considered as being different and separate to Daniel's "King of the North" invasion at Armageddon. You also say that there is to be no foreign occupation of Israel proper which is difficult to accept as there has yet to be a great slaughter in "The Valley of Jehoshaphat," when the invaders turn upon each other under extreme duress from 'natural catastrophes', or a great massacre of His enemies by Christ and His Saints at Teman as the invaders try to flee from the valley ( I personally think the valley is the Arabah south of the Dead Sea ). The invaders will fight among themselves because of the southward movement of the waters of the Dead sea ( a mini-tsunami like those pictured in Japan some years ago.) due to the preliminary earthquake shocks which will culminate in an off the Richter scale upheaval when Christ reaches Jerusalem. You may find my extremely detailed analytical essays of these interpretations and a lot more at _____.
Your brother in the Hope of Israel, _____.
Our views as to the equality of Daniel's "King of the North" with the Gogian invasion are indeed different. Mine are well outlined and documented in more than one article posted on this eTPL site in other Sections, please q.v.
As to there being no foreign occupation of Israel proper by invaders, we cannot discount those who are already among the Israeli population - all of whom are part and parcel of the "nations round about" (and within) Israel, consisting of Hamas, the PLO, the PFLP, and Al-Fatah. These populations "grew up" WITH Israel, proliferating among God's people, and of course, must be dealt with when Christ returns, as well explained by Obadiah, Psalm 83, Ezekiel 35 and 36, Isaiah 11, Amos 9:15, Isaiah 63 and many other references.
These are the forces of Edom, Moab, Ammon, the Philistines of Gaza of today (Hamas), Tyre (Hezbollah in South Lebanon), ISIS (Iraq and Syria), and portions of Saudi Arabia and the Sinai Peninsula (lands of the south ala Obadiah). We meant to convey that no forces from OUTSIDE Israel will successfully occupy the centrality of Israel as we know it.
It is obvious that you have given some extensive thought to the end-time conflicts of Israel as we now view them. We can appreciate your views on the location of the Valley of Jehoshaphat as being a geographic depression south of the Dead Sea – the Arabah, but in extensive struggling with this mysterious entity, and realizing that there is no such place on earth going by that name (nor ever has been) – and that Bro. Thomas’ suggestion that it is the Kedron Valley of Jerusalem is completely unworkable – we have come to believe the terms “Valley of Jehoshaphat” and “Valley of Decision” are correlates, and are not actual designations of a geographical place at all, but are virtual locations, and symbolic in nature, representative of the widespread venue of the destruction of Israel’s attackers of the end-time.
Our conclusion has come as a result of the realization that these two terms utilized by Joel in his 3rd chapter, describe the places of the widespread and complete defeat by Christ and the Saints and Israel of ALL the Muslim peoples who have squatted on the Land of Promise, and who are destined to be “outed” by these righteous entities. These are the proximate (nearby, Proximal) enemies that we behold today, who now inhabit the holy grounds of the future First Dominion of Christ’s Kingdom (cf., Micah 4;8), and can have no part in it at all.
Therefore, the venue (physical location) of these serial and extensive conflicts is spread entirely across the Glorious Land and represents that collective terminal military action by these Authorities.
The LORD at that time will no longer suffer the indwelling of these interlopers upon His Land and among His People of Israel, to whom He shall now overtly award custody of the Land and seal His sovereignty over it exclusively. And in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts. Zechariah 14;21.
In addition, when the Gogian Host enters the Land from beyond its outer perimeters, it is also entering “The Valley of Jehoshaphat” where it will similarly be destroyed out of hand by the mighty power of YHVH, Who at that time shall have established “My Servant David” (the returned LORD Jesus Christ, as referenced in Ezekiel 34:24 and 37:24) upon the restored throne of David in Zion, as promised by the Angel of Luke 1:32 - He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.
The returned LORD Jesus shall by that time have begun to establish the infrastructure of His kingdom, and shall suffer no such intrusion into His kingdom by any rag-tag group of such ruffians.
So much for the Valley of Jehoshaphat – a most appropriate term because of the prototypical onslaught that was planned against Jehoshaphat’s kingdom by the same enemies as those who resist them now, as recorded in II Chronicles 20, but which by Divine providence were thwarted by His raising “every man’s sword against his brother” among the heathen invaders, resulting in their utter defeat, far removed from any involvement by king Jehoshaphat and his ineffectual army of the day.
Then we come to the only appearance of the word “Armageddon” in the word of God – Revelation 16: 16. We feel that this fact alone is a clue that Armageddon is to be considered a prophecy of the events presented in this place in scripture, and not other.
Here the term is applied to the interaction of Christ’s extended power and authority OUTSIDE the Holy Land, as expressed upon the dominant “religion” of the world since the time of Christ, that is seated in Vatican City – Babylon the Great, in scriptural terms. The entire Revelation itself is in no way a prophetical treatment of Israel versus its local enemies; instead, it is a detailed forecast of the interface of true Christianity with false Christianity – a separate “compartment” of prophecy altogether.
Armageddon, therefore, at least begins with a depiction of the conquest of Rome by Jerusalem of that day which results when the LORD Jesus sends forth the “everlasting gospel” of Revelation 14:6 to the West – to a group of people who shall not have ever heard the REAL gospel from their leaders, such as the pope and his priests, and also not from their Protestant minions – to a group of Catholic and Protestant (for they are equivalent) nations which shall rally against this “intrusion” into the realm of the papacy and, at first, support the pope wholeheartedly.
But the final picture of Jesus’ Apocalypse is that they shall “hate the whore” and “burn her with fire,” and lament her with wailing and gnashing of teeth that so great a city has been destroyed in one day.
Armageddon, in our studied view, has little to do with Jerusalem locally (contrary to Bro. Thomas’ view) but everything to do with the Church’s refusal to accept the diktat of the King of Jerusalem, Israel, and His initiative of spreading HIS Gospel to all the world, beginning outside Jerusalem, in Rome, among the “church” of the utterly pagan idolaters of that great City of the World.
We hope this set of ideas make some sense to you, dear brother.
In addition to these brief comments, we set forth below a graphic depiction of the scriptural summaries of the basic “properties” (or features) of the three initial end-time conflicts of Christ and Israel with both their Proximal Islamic foes, Phase One, and their Distal, Phase Two (Gogian) foes, as well as those of Armageddon (Phase Three).
It should be readily apparent that these are separate and distinct sets of conflicts which, though intimately related as being consistent with His purpose with Israel and the earth’s peoples, are in no way equivalent to each other, but really are separate and distinct from each other.
We believe these not only to be factual as scripturally related but that they also illustrate a logical progression toward the end result which the LORD Jesus shall accomplish – the diffusion of His doctrines and principles to all the world, and His enforced subjection of the world’s peoples to those principles and laws of peace and righteousness, even though their initial establishment must be brought about by horrendous and extensive warfare – the only “language” understood by the mis-informed and mis-directed peoples of the earth.
At the risk of a redundant, repetitive presentation of these comparative characteristics, the skeletal, mutually-exclusive principles involved in these three entirely different sets of conflicts, as we see it, are these, which begin with the personal return of Christ to the earth ...
Phase ONE Proximal Arabs – those nations “round about” Israel today
• The CONTEXT - Arab disputation of Israel’s sovereignty in the Holy Land. Terrorism, resisted by the Israel Defense Forces. Walls, gates, and strife.
• The PURPOSE - to establish Israel, by much adversity, in its ancient lands, and eliminate their nearby (Proximal) enemies..
• The ENEMY - Edom/Esau represented today by the Palestinians; also the nations round about. (Psalm 83,Obadiah, Isaiah 63, Ezekiel 36, 37)
• The ENDING – Expansion to Greater Israel and a decisive, rapid victory by Israeli forces and Christ; finished off by the divine trampling underfoot of those who challenge Israel.
• The LOCATION – five areas in the Holy Land. Also the countries of all those enemies taken into Greater Israel from Nile to Euphrates.
Phase TWO Gogian Host
• The CONTEXT- Israel has no need of defenses, walls, barbed wire, road blocks [ Ezekiel 38:11]. Earlier enemies have been completely eliminated. They dwell in PEACE and without walls … and now comes Gog of the Land of Magog…
• The PURPOSE- the battle will simply be one of plunder of the riches of Israel and, by its outcome, will destroy those arrayed against Israel and the Kingdom.
• The ENEMY- Russia and her outlying Islamic allies, today already clients of Russia, all named in Ezekiel 38, 39.
• The ENDING - confused self destruction upon Gog, accompanied by divinely directed, deadly forces of nature.
• The LOCATION – east of Galilee, 90 km south of Damascus (Hamon-gog).
Phase THREE The Harlot, the Beast and the False Prophet … Armageddon!
• The CONTEXT – Resistance to Christ by a wealthy, exclusive Europe, influenced by a deceptive religious force
• The PURPOSE – to deceive the ruling governments into supporting a war against Jesus Christ’s Kingdom. The leaders are infuriated by being tricked into a war they cannot win. Europe shall be freed, and converted.
• The ENEMY - the religious influence based in Rome and all who contribute to the religious and trading empire. Mentioned in Revelation 16:16 only.
• The ENDING - the European leaders rebel, and burn everything associated with the fraudulent influence; the rival challenge to Christ’s Kingdom is destroyed. Great Babylon destroyed!
• The LOCATION – Europe and particularly the Roman Church’s presence wherever located, beginning in Rome.
As always, we appreciate your intelligent, well-considered views of our proposals, and continue to welcome all such comment. Our desire is that all our dear brothers and sisters should demonstrate this level of commitment to God’s Word and to the profitable, faith-generating benefits that come from drawing that fresh, cold water from the wells of salvation.
Our time here is surely drawing to a rapid close. We do well collectively to draw ourselves together against the enemies (confusion and agitation), and to enter into our safe places of refuge as we behold the terminal events of this age of Adamic mankind’s corruption of the earth and our Father’s perfect Work. Isaiah 26:20 - Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. <HEL 8O> ~2100 words. Posted in Q&A on the eTPL web site, August 31, 2015.
More Discussion: Conditions at the Second Advent
To a Correspondent:
Here are some additional thoughts from a previous exchange with our earlier correspondent. I cannot gainsay him for thinking that Christ does not come until the Gogian host threatens Israel, as he is open about this, so this would not embarrass him, even in this instance.
These comments also bear on our discussion above. It’s a fairly long note, and comes from my personal Journal, hence the "Ref. Number 313."
Ref 313 “So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord… from that day and forward.” Ezekiel 38: 22
My friend feels that because here in Ezekiel 38 the prophet makes this statement about their knowing the Lord’s identity “from that day forward,” indicates that this is proof positive that Christ does not appear until He destroys the Gogian Host, thus proving to Israel that He is Messiah (his view as of February, 2010).
But there are many other instances where this identical phraseology is used on prior occasions, always at the earlier defeat of the Proximal Islamic powers, as follows:
It is evident that Psalm 83 is a prophecy of the utter defeat of the Islamic states by Christ and the Saints, and Israel’s army. Surely, given the conditions, at that time, Israel shall “know the Lord,” having beheld at first hand, His mighty power in the destruction of His enemies.
Ezekiel 35: 11. Speaking of Israel, God says, I will make Myself known among them (Israel, consistent with ‘them’ mentioned earlier) when I have judged thee (Mount Seir, or Edom – vs. 2). Note the precise time: “… when their (Israel’s) iniquity had an end,” or the time of their exoneration. Same scenario as Obadiah. At that time, Israel will as a result of this described action realize Who their savior really is – the Returned Christ!
Isaiah 34: 1 – 9. Here the world in general (vs. 1) shall behold the slaughter of Edom (vs. 5 – the same scenario as Obadiah). The indignation of the Lord is upon all nations … He hath utterly destroyed them.
This is not indicating all the nations of the earth; he is speaking ONLY of the proximal foes, including Edom/Bozrah/ Idumea. Verse 5: My sword is bathed in heaven” = the Idumean ‘heaven.’ It is the same battle as that of Isaiah 63 – Who is This that comes from Edom … – and is an account of the personal presence of the Christ defeating these enemies … not a part of the Gogian conflict.
Indeed, it is ... the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion. We’ve beheld its onset for 62 years to date.
Isaiah 63 surely depicts the personal settlement by Christ of His score with Edom, and is a vividly detailed picture. The year of My redeemed (Israel) is come – vs. 4. It is in this episode that He brings down their strength to the earth – vs. 6.
This is the unmistakable defeat of Edom, again, and Israel shall know the Lord as a result of this conflict, when the King of Glory shall come in to them. with visible power and strength and salvation from their enemies. Indeed, this victory, along with the total defeat of Proximal Islam, is what triggers their inquiry in Zechariah 13:6 (“what are these wounds in Thine hands”), and their acceptance and repentance in Zechariah 12!
Joel 3: 16, 17. Here the Lord shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem … the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel. SO SHALL YE KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD DWELLING IN ZION, My holy mountain ….
The closing verses expose a time of tranquility and peace, when Judah shall dwell forever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation” (vs. 20). The People are at that time fully ready for the Gogian conflict, which is a foolish foray against the Christ of the Second Advent Who possesses power of the Nth degree - far above any force that His enemies can conceive - the Word of His Mouth!
This entire third chapter occurs … when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem. THEN, note verse 2: I will also gather ALL NATIONS, and will bring them down into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with (will judge them – footnote) them there for My people Israel.
May I suggest that these are the SAME nations which earlier were gathered against Jerusalem in 1948, when half the city was taken? Defeated in all but this one victory at that time, they have persistently aggressed Israel, and have tried again and again to defeat Israel but have failed.
After their warfare, they attempted “peace treaties” but would not accept what Israel (senselessly) offered. So NOW these enemies are fiercely involved in the DE-LEGITIMIZATION of Israel before the nations. They are having more success than with earlier methods – witness the recent “Goldstone Report” which accused Israel of war crimes in Operation Cast Lead.
This will doubtless bring about the situation in which Israel stands alone, as Christ explains in Isaiah 63 – of the people there was none with Me.
Obviously the Lord Himself is present when this happens – and I believe it is a result of the seventh and final war of Israel with Islam. When else could it be?
Ezekiel 28: 22 – 26. Here is a definitive picture of Christ’s defeat of ‘Zidon,’ part of the “thorns and briars” (vs. 24) which have pricked at Israel interminably, of all that are round about them, that despised them, and they shall know that I am the Lord God …. Then shall they dwell in their land, that I have given to my servant Jacob, and they SHALL DWELL SAFELY THEREIN … shall dwell WITH CONFIDENCE when I have executed judgment upon all those who despised them round about them, and they SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD THEIR GOD. (vs. 26).
This conflict obviously sets the stage for the later Gogian conflict, when Gog observes ‘easy pickings’ in an Israel that they believe is utterly naïve and foolish, dwelling without bars and gates, dwelling confidently in their land under a new “king” whom they (the leaders of the Gogian host) know not.
Ezekiel 34: 23 – 30. This records that God shall set up one Shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even My servant David, a prince among them … and he shall be their shepherd (v. 23). They shall be safe in their land (setting up conditions for the Gogian invasion, so clearly this scene is prior to that event), AND SHALL KNOW THAT I AM THE LORD, when I have broken the bands of their yoke, and DELIVERED THEM OUT OF THE HANDS of those that served themselves of them.
Note carefully that they shall not know that He is the LORD BEFORE that time. Surely, these who are to be destroyed are the wild beasts (Arab aggressors) who make Israel “a prey” by suicide bombing, rockets, shells, propaganda, hatred, and despicable acts against God and His people, as is happening today, and has been happening for scores of years. These things may seem unimportant to our way of thinking – and that the Arabs are no REAL threat to Israel – but this is not God’s view of their wicked aggression on His people, their blasphemy of His name and people. He shall therefore send Christ and the Saints to settle the score with these brute beasts. That Christ is present with them is proven by vs. 29: I will raise up for them a PLANT OF RENOWN, and they shall no more … bear the shame of the heathen (the nations) any more.
Verse 30 says it all: THUS SHALL THEY KNOW THAT I THE LORD THEIR GOD am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are My people, saith the Lord God.
(Then, I write to my friend:) It just occurred to me that you think that I think Christ HAS to come and save Israel because they are in imminent danger.
Well, as I have made clear, I don’t believe Israel IS in imminent danger, but Israel may feel that it is.
But the major impetus for Christ’s coming to them – His saving them – is because
(1) it is “time” to do so as Psalm 102; and
(2) He wishes to rid His land and people of these evil beasts and blasphemers, and
(3) The fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
Now, allow me to add this important factor: His forgiveness of Israel shall ONLY be given after they have recognized Messiah, and have accepted Him wholeheartedly, as in Zechariah 12. But their deliverance from these nations does not in any wise require their acceptance of Him before they are delivered; that confession comes after He has done so.
His deliverance of them shall be a gratuitous act of mercy on His part; it for His holy name's sake that he takes this action, witness these two references: Ezekiel 20:44 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for my name's sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD. Also, Ezekiel 36:22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.
It is IN THAT ACTION that they behold Him coming in the name of the Lord, as He told them would be necessary in Matthew 23: 39: Ye SHALL NOT SEE ME (behold Me, margin) HENCEFORTH, TIL YE SHALL SAY, ‘Blessed is He Who cometh in the name of the Lord.'
It is specifically a result of His actions in delivering them from these vile enemies, that they are compelled to take that view!
He is to their view at that time, obviously an all powerful Being.
When He makes Himself known to them (i.e., they perceive His identity), their immediate response shall be, Blessed is He Who cometh in the name of the Lord!
No other entity (except a supernatural one) can possibly be conceived by them who could come forth apparently from nowhere, and take their enemies away with such thunderous force and power! It will prove to them beyond any doubt that He is, indeed, their Messiah. At the same time they are chagrined and embarrassed to discover that He is indeed, also, Jesus of Nazareth, the subject of their refusal nearly 2,000 years ago.
I believe the references cited show that Christ comes significantly BEFORE the Gogian conflict, entirely unexpectedly to Israel - a People yet in UN-belief - and literally saves them from their enemies. It is the Father's assessment that Israel will need to be saved - not ours; but there is another factor ...
Israel has been plagued with aggression from the nations "round about" for the greater part of a century to this date (2010); the nation of Israel has offered unwarranted and extreme concessions to the PLO, which were clearly outside its own interests (such as the Camp David meetings of several years ago; fortunately, Yasser Arafat turned down the generous offer!). Israel has been placed in an untenable position by the PLO and its ilk - in a position which is insoluble by human means. Its only alternative from the Arab point of view is simply to pack up its bags and move back to where the People came from. Indeed, this has been the suggestion of the Arab leaders on more than one past occasion!
But we are assured by all the passages above that the opposite destiny is in store of His people of Israel. They are destined to become the premier nation of the entire earth in the very near future, no matter how hardly present circumstances do augur against this fact. For in that day, the peoples of a much more enlightened earth shall take hold of the garment of him that is a Jew, and say 'We will go with you, for we have heard that the Lord is with you.' Zechariah 8:23.
How true! <HEL 60> 1900 words. A Q & A insertion to eTPL, 2015.
A Discussion of the Second Coming from 2010
The following is an exchange of comments between the Editor and a Correspondent.
(Correspondent) to eTPL. March 1, 2010
Thanks for your input. My remarks interspersed below, in this font, when appropriate.
Hello Harold –
Something struck me as I read the latest Present Day Events: the return of Christ must be imminent since worldwide domination of Islam - the goal of Islam - is not prophesied in the Bible, and Islam is the world's fastest growing religion (and especially in Eurabia, by which I mean Europe). Furthermore, Islam cannot dominate Europe prior to the return of Christ, since the pseudo-Christian woman sitting on the beast makes war with the Lamb, and would seem to be symbolic of the dominant false religion in Europe. Is that how you see it?
Yes, it is how I see it. Islam is on such a ‘roll’ it is making serious inroads toward its goal of becoming dominant in more and more of the world. They are now lobbying strongly for Sharia law in Britain! But they will not succeed.
Question for you: do you still understand the dragon, the beast, and false prophet of Revelation 16:13 to be the Eastern Orthodox Church, European Union, and the Roman Catholic Church; and the three unclean spirits to be the emergent ideologies from the French Revolution? (I'm looking at a 1999 document entitled "Twilight of the Prophets").
Well, let me say that this is the best solution I have encountered so far, although not completely ‘satisfying’ as you have also expressed. One reason I’m still willing to go along with it is because the same stress on society can be detected in Islam as in ‘Christianity,’ namely, they want to do their own thing and establish themselves as superior to everyone else at the expense of all others. It’s not Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité as such, but similar. I have meant to dig up the recent article your dad wrote in the Advocate relating to this matter but haven’t located that issue yet.
I have never found a completely satisfactory explanation for the dragon, beast, and false prophet. I am not satisfied that the "traditional" explanation makes sense, since the context of v.12 seems to indicate Arab principalities (the kings of the east), and v. 14-16 indicates that the kings of the earth are affected by the three unclean spirits to the extent that they gather the kings of the earth to battle, i.e., Armageddon.
I understand Armageddon to be at least the first phase of a conflict involving the proximal Arabs vs. Israel (for reasons I have already shared). I have been compelled to think of Armageddon as primarily European events (the word ‘battle’ in verse 14 is Gk. polemos – a protracted war or a very grave, scene-changing shorter event) as Christ interfaces with the Beast, the Harlot, etc. However, it certainly is an appropriate name (concept) for the Phase I and Phase II struggles as well. The Valley of Jehoshaphat and the Valley of Decision references (two each) in Joel 3 has seemed to cover those earlier, localized Mid-Eastern conflicts, so the only thing I would feel strongly about is that it (Armageddon) refers at least to the European Phase III warfare. I also think Christ returns to save Israel from a proximal Arab-Israeli conflict, focused on Jerusalem.
Thus, it seems as if the context surrounding v. 13 is decidedly Arab, which begs the question, Why would the three unclean spirits like frogs emanate only from Europe, and be pseudo-Christian? It’s a good point; I’m not dogmatic but have no other explanation as yet.
I would expect something Islamic to be in the mix, perhaps as the false prophet. Given that the return of Christ is in the context of v.15, I find the Islamic omission to be somewhat curious. Any thoughts? Yes … one or two. The Apocalypse is concerned principally with the Ecclesia of Christ, her forward movement, her steady corruption toward the paganism of Romanism, and the calling out of the Gentiles a people for His name. We find only scarce direct mention of anything Islamic in it, which is one thought I have had as to why the Seven Thunders of Revelation 10 were not allowed to be ‘written’ for our inspection. And a good reason to believe they are Israeli-Islamic conflicts, which we have been privileged to behold. Since the thunders occupy at least some of the time between the Sixth Trumpet and the Seventh, and the Seventh ushers in the proclamation, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever,” which is obviously the parousia (visible appearance) of Christ to the nations, it seems obvious. Not all the other aspects of it fit as well as that.
Could I also get your comments on something else. I'm working on a document about Armageddon. I've found a number of passages which support the idea that Christ returns to save Israel from impending destruction from the proximal Arabs. This idea seems to be strongly suggested from Zechariah 12:1-10, esp. vss. 9 & 10 (the "all nations" are identified as those "round about" Israel in v. 2, Yes, also Zechariah 14: 16 states the same limitation.). I've also found a number of other passages that fit very well with this suggestion. I've copied them below. I'm wondering if you a) agree; and b) if you can think of any others. (I'm pretty sure you agree).
There are other references in the Bible [other than Zechariah 12:9-10] that seem to indicate that Jesus returns in connection with an Arab-Israeli conflict for Jerusalem. We will examine these references next.
· Matthew 24:30
· Revelation 1:7
· Isaiah 40:9-10
· Isaiah 41:27
· Isaiah 52:7-10
· Isaiah 62:11
· Jeremiah 23:5-6
· Jeremiah 33:15-16
· Zechariah 14
Matthew 24: 30
Matthew 24:30 states, And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Although the sign of the Son of man in heaven is not specified, it can be inferred from the language which follows. Jesus cites two Old Testament passages to explain this sign: Zechariah 12:10 and Daniel 7:13.
The tribes of the earth are the Jews in Israel (the "house of David") in Zechariah 12:10, and the context there is a battle for Jerusalem, in which the Jews recognize Jesus as their Messiah at the same time that God destroys all the nations that come against Jerusalem, which are the Arab nations round about Jerusalem (Zech 12:2). In addition, they do ‘mourn’ quite literally (Zechariah 12: 10 - 12), as at that time, they recognize Jesus of Nazareth as their true Messiah, Whom they thought had been destroyed. Daniel 7:13 speaks of the return of Christ, when the Son of man comes with the saints (clouds of heaven), to be given a dominion, kingdom and glory. Both of these passages are clear references to the second coming of Christ.
Furthermore, the context of Matthew 24:30 is also speaking of the second coming of Christ. Verse 29 reads, Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. What are “those days” to which Jesus referred? In the parallel account in Luke’s gospel, Luke adds, Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. Linking this idea with Matthew’s account suggests that once Jerusalem was no longer trodden down of the Gentiles, there would be political turmoil in Israel – symbolized by the sun, moon and stars – and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn... This interpretation is consistent not only with the parallel context in Luke, but also with Jesus’ reference to Zechariah 12:10, which also has Jerusalem as its context.
Some Bible students think that the ‘times of the Gentiles’ in Luke 21:24 were fulfilled in 1917 once Jerusalem was liberated from Ottoman rule, while others think that the ‘times of the Gentiles’ were fulfilled in 1967, when Israel recaptured part of Jerusalem, which had been under Jordanian control since the War of Independence in 1948. Regardless of which view is taken, they both fit well with the sequence in Matthew 24:29-30: after Jerusalem was no longer trodden down by Gentiles, there would be political turmoil in Israel, and then Jesus would return. It is also significant that 1967 saw the fulfillment of the Sanctuary Cycle of Daniel 8: 14. I believe the above two dates were certain milestones which had concrete meaning, and perhaps represent a ‘phasing out’ period of the Times of the Gentiles. Just as the beginning of those ‘Times’ had a staged onset in previous Babylonian threats leading to the decisive event, likewise the end is also ‘staged,’ or in steps of a sort. The conquest of Jerusalem in 604 BC was not the first inkling anyone had that Babylon had designs on Judea, but the decisive event beginning the ‘Times’ was abruptly, certifiably, in 604 BC. In the same way, the concrete, certainly-identifiable ‘end’ of the Times of the Gentiles was 1917, when the Land was freed – but not completely! Then, 1967 was an additional ‘step’ on the pathway to complete liberation of the whole Land of Israel from Gentiles. Of course, it is not finished yet.
In Matthew 24:29, Jesus’ reference to the sun, moon and stars and powers of heaven is an allusion to Joel 2, where the focus is again on Jerusalem. Joel 2:10 states, The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The next verse states, the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? The context from v. 1 is a conflict in Jerusalem, which coincides with the day of the LORD; the same trumpet blown in v. 1 appears again in v.15; and wonders in the heavens along with the sun being turned to darkness and the moon to blood appear at the end of the chapter, where the context is again the great and terrible day of the LORD and deliverance in mount Zion and Jerusalem (v.31-32).
Thus, in Matthew 24:29-30, Jesus cites three different Old Testament prophets, two of which have a conflict for Jerusalem in their context (Joel & Zechariah), while the third is a clear reference to the second coming of Christ and the establishment of the kingdom of God (Daniel). Linking these references together suggests that Jesus was telling his disciples that his second coming would coincide with a conflict for Jerusalem. It is unmistakably bearing on events following Zechariah 14: 2, which was the first ‘formal’ contest over Jerusalem in the war of 1948, in which Israeli forces were unable to hold onto Old Jerusalem, but remained in the Western precincts of the city, indeed making it their capital city! But as we have seen, the contest over Jerusalem went on until 19 years had passed and it was given wholly to Israel. It was Moshe Dayan who gave the keys to Temple Mount to the Arabs, and thus nominal control over it. That, too, was surely not a surprise to our Father…and the contest continues with persistent and rabid ‘demands’ of the PA to be awarded East Jerusalem for the capital of a ‘Palestinian’ state – which just can’t be in the cards…??
From the context of Zechariah 12, we are able to identify that the nations engaged in this conflict are Arab. Always Arab; I’m amazed at the fortitude and patience of our Father! Furthermore, the conflict in Joel 2 which requires deliverance in mount Zion and Jerusalem must be the same conflict as in Zechariah 12, if Jesus is to be consistent in Matthew 24:29-30 by quoting Zechariah 12 in connection with Joel 2. J’ agree.
Revelation 1:7 is parallel to Matthew 24:30 because the same two Old Testament references are cited in both verses, only the order is reversed in Revelation 1:7. The verse reads: Behold, he cometh with clouds [Daniel 7:13]; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him [Zech. 12:10].
Jesus again cites these two Old Testament passages to indicate that not only will he return to the earth, but that his return is coincident with the Jews mourning for him. The Jews will mourn for him (Zech 12:10) because they will recognize him as their Messiah when he returns to deliver them from the Arab attack in Zechariah 12:2.
O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! Behold, the LORD God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. Parallel also to Revelation 22: 12 – “Behold, I come quickly, and My reward is with Me; to give every man according as his work shall be.”
Here, the arm of God is Jesus, which we know because Jesus quotes part of this verse in Revelation 22:12 (Oh, sorry! When I quoted it above, I hadn’t read this far!) in reference to himself: Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. This passage in Isaiah is therefore a reference to the second coming of Christ. Notice that it is addressed to Zion and Jerusalem; that the inhabitants of these places have reason to be afraid (they are told to escape into the high mountain and told not to be afraid); but they do not need to be afraid since Jesus is returning to rule as the Christ.
This is a fine point which some brethren do not grasp. To say Israel is at hazard of being overcome is unthinkable to some, who say the Arabs are not even considerable as enemies for the fact is, Israel can outfight them and win any given day. But that is not what the prophets say. Jeremiah 33: 15, 16 – “In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the Land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely…” Another is Psalm 44: 7. Also, parallel to the above, Jeremiah 23: 5, 6 – “Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely; and this is the name whereby He shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness.” I believe that when Christ appears, Israel has become isolated completely from all other nations (Isaiah 63 – of the nations there was none with Me) and be entirely alone in their impending assault by hordes of Arabs from all about. The situation shall look to them to be impossible.
The language here is remarkably similar to Zechariah 12:10. Both verses reference Jerusalem, the return of Christ, and the Jews, who are in need of deliverance. This passage in Isaiah 40 does not say anything as to why the Jews need deliverance, but from Zechariah 12, it is because the Arab nations around Jerusalem have attacked it. Yes, and desire it for their ‘capitol’ city! The “good tidings” are that Christ is returning to save Jerusalem, at which time he will rule as king, and establish the kingdom. The gospel or good tidings is, after all, good news about the kingdom.
This verse states, The first shall say to Zion, Behold, behold them: and I will give to Jerusalem one that bringeth good tidings.
This verse is a shortened version of Isaiah 40:9. It is again addressed to Jerusalem, and refers to Christ, who is the one who brings good tidings. The good news is that he is returning to the earth to save Jerusalem from an Arab attack - which, in the grander scheme of the gospel of the kingdom and the actual establishment of the kingdom, is the first of a row of dominoes. Well said!
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion. Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the LORD hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem. The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
The language in this passage is also remarkably similar to Zechariah 12: Jesus [as God's arm] is returning to bring good tidings to Zion. The good tidings are that Jerusalem is (and is a metaphor for all the land) saved. The return of Christ here is directly linked to the salvation or deliverance of Jerusalem. Furthermore, the reference to all the ends of the earth seeing the salvation of God is similar to Zechariah 12:3, in which the nations of the earth (ends of the earth?) will be opposed to Israel’s claim on Jerusalem.
Although Isaiah 52 does not say why Jerusalem needs to be saved, Zechariah 12 provides the answer: because the Arab nations that encircle Israel are going to attack Jerusalem. …their most desired prize!
Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.
The same phrase, behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him, also occurs in Isaiah 40:10, and is quoted by Jesus in reference to himself in Revelation 22:12. In Isaiah 62:11-12, the language is again very similar to Zechariah 12: Jesus returns to bring salvation or deliverance to Zion; the Jews will once more be known as God’s holy people, and Jerusalem will no longer be forsaken. In fact, Jerusalem will be a praise in the earth (v.7). Like the other references in Isaiah, this one does not explain why Jerusalem or Zion needs deliverance, but the parallel account in Zechariah 12 supplies the answer: it is because of an Arab-Israeli conflict over Jerusalem.
Jeremiah 23:5-6 & 33:15-16
Jer. 23:5-6 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days, Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely...
Jer. 33:15-16 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely...
These two nearly identical passages link the return of Christ – to sit on David’s throne as king of Israel – with deliverance for Jerusalem. This passage implies that Israel is not dwelling safely prior to his return. The reason is not given here; is similar to Zechariah 12 as an Arab conflict over Jerusalem; and provides the reason why Jesus will execute judgment in the land of Israel.
Zechariah 14 is largely a prophecy that elaborates on the conflict in Zechariah 12. Christ is prophesied to return in Zechariah 12:10 and Zechariah 14:4. In Zechariah 12, Christ returns to save Israel from an Arab conflict, and in Zechariah 14, Christ stands on the mount of Olives when he returns, accompanied by the saints.
Signed, (Correspondent), Feb. 1, 2010
We recently were reviewing this correspondence, and felt it would be profitable for readers to consider at this late era of the end-time. Editor. June 9, 2015.