The King: Cutting off Israel’s Weaponry
Zechariah 9: 9-11
An eTPL Analysis: Q & A
by Harold Lafferty
A discussion has recently arisen relating to the critical subject of the returned Christ’s removal from Israel of their carnal weapons of war after His victory over their initial enemies.
The view has been put forward that the named weapons (the chariot, the horse, and the battle bow – see copy below) are removed from their enemies … not from Israel. One friend said it is illogical that these weapons would be removed from Israel – presumably because Israel would need these for battles of the future.
But is that the intent of the prophet’s word?
We feel that this view is completely out of context with the remainder of the text – that it breaks the continuity of the textual flow, and that it does not take into account the immense power of the Sword of Jesus’ mouth.
At this point in time, Christ’s (and Israel’s) victory over the Proximal Islamic powers has been critically terminal; those peoples shall have been utterly destroyed. And it is a foregone conclusion that Israeli Defense Forces shall have a major part in that war.
We repeatedly point out these critical words as recorded by the Prophet Zechariah … that AFTER Christ has utilized Israel’s Defense Force as His assistants in the utter defeat of the Proximal Islamic Powers, He intends to take away all the visible means of defense belonging to the present secular State of Israel.
And further, that the fairly obvious intent in His mind is that this publicly open, overt disarmament of Israel will give tremendously impressive weight to their subsequent victory over the Gogian host – a battle which is still future at that moment of Israel’s recognition of Him as their Messiah.
We stress that this removal of Israel’s seemingly critical weaponry does not occur until He takes command of the People – and after He has defeated their enemies within His Land.
When He first appears on the scene of conflict (Isaiah 63), all accounts seem to agree that, although Israel shall not know His precise identity, that when they first observe Him and His Immortal Saints doing combat on their behalf, the IDF readily joins in with Them in their own defense.
Certain verses seem pointedly to say this.
Two of these readily come to mind:
First: “And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.” (Obadiah 1:18)
Second: “And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver. Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off.” Micah 5:8, 9.
It is obvious that the IDF has a major part to play in these events.
The destruction of their enemies cannot be more pervasive or complete!
Those references bear directly upon the verses in question.
Note carefully the reference that we always stress, and note how this fact of the disarmament of Israel after the First Stage of warfare integrates perfectly with other factors which will be expressed by Him at the same time.
The prophet wrote …
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and He shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth. As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.” Zechariah 9: 9 – 11.
Notice carefully that the descriptor states that the removed factors are the chariot from Ephraim (not from their enemies) and the horse from Jerusalem (again, not from their enemies), and the battle bow from Israel (distinctly implied).
This action takes place after Israel’s part is fulfilled in their own vindication over their enemies.
That decisive action is undertaken, in our opinion, to make it completely clear to every observer of the coming confrontation with the Gogian host , that the power of destruction of the coming enemy is divine, not carnal – is “of the LORD” rather than of “natural” Israeli prowess in warfare …
The description is decidedly indicative of the time when Christ is back in the earth, within Israel, and conducting war on their behalf. This deduction is in context with the entirety of the chapter – which is a picture of His conquest of all the nearby (Proximal) Islamic entities.
Additional emphasis on Israel’s disarmament is added by the verses immediately following the latter of the above references – “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD, that I will cut off thy horses out of the midst of thee, and I will destroy thy chariots …” Micah 5: 10. Same methodology! Same end result!
Note the verses following this one which indicate other adverse elements’ destruction from Israel as well – all elements unfavorable to His Kingdom.
But Israel is not left defenseless. Their continued assurance is contained in the same sentence as is described their disarmament: “He shall speak peace unto the heathen …” that is … he shall bring pacification to them by His verbal command, after which they can resist Him no longer.
When the Elohim entered into the act of creating the heavens and the earth, God acted by speaking … “And God (Elohim) said, Let there be light: and there was light.” Genesis 1:3.
The same mechanism of action, in our studied opinion, shall be operative in this future time.
Our assurance of this principle is readily found in the words of Jesus Himself: “And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” Revelation 19:21. (cf., also Revelation 2; 16; Amos 9: 4; Isaiah 34: 6)
We stress that the physical weaponry of Israel shall be removed prior to Israel’s being attacked by the Gogian host. We readily admit that it does not seem logical to our finite manner of thinking; but the word of the LORD proves otherwise …
For the nation to be fully armed and prepared for carnal warfare would be incompatible with the picture of Israel that is presented by Ezekiel in 38: 8, 11, 14 … that of “dwelling safely.”
vs. 8 – “they shall dwell safely all of them;”
vs. 11 – as … “them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,” and
vs. 14 – as described by the Almighty Himself as, “In that day when my people of Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it?”
<HEL> ~1250 words. An eTPL Analysis: Q & A October 13, 2016.
Important Time Periods in Prophecy
Q&A August, 2016
Dear Brother Harold,
Shalom in Yahshua the Messiah.
I believe the end of all things is at hand as the figures I present here will show.
May Yahshua be with you.
Your sister in the Blessed Hope, ___________
Mark 13:28-30 (cf. Matt 24:32,33; Luke 21:29-31)
Here is what she wrote … [some emphasis ours – ed.]
“Now learn the parable of the fig tree… when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the door… this generation shall not pass till all these things be done.”
“Biblical numbers all deal with a nation or people that pertain to testing, release, deliverance, captivity and judgment. I am not date-setting, but I am attempting to show just how near the return of the Messiah really is.
“2017 proves to be a very significant year, as the following will show:
“120 years (Gen 6:8) were the years that Noah preached before God executed His judgments on a wicked world. Yahshua tells us that the generation after the budding of the Fig Tree, or Israel, would be just like Noah’s day (Matt 24:22). God’s end-time time clock is (arranged) around Israel. We need to keep this in mind. The years given here are every bit as important as the wickedness of this Age.
“The physical return of the nation of Israel commenced slowly in its stages, beginning with the noise of Leon Pinsker, a Polish Jew, in 1878, after which he published his book, Auto Emancipation in 1882, advocating the idea of Jews moving back to Palestine and buying property. This was the embryonic stage of Zionism. This noise increased with Theodor Herzl’s book, The Jewish State, which strongly urged a Jewish settlement in Palestine with self-government.
“120 years: In 1897, the First Zionist Congress was held in Switzerland by Theodor Herzl. It was the first official act to prepare for an Israeli homeland. The budding began in 1897, not in 1948, as taught by the majority! (cf.https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002398.htm). The budding stage occurs several weeks (of years, Scripturally speaking) after the embryonic stage. Add to this (1897) year 120, and it brings us to 2017.
“100 years (Gen 15:13,16) is the first use of a generation being 100 years. Israel was ill-treated for 400 years and came out of Egypt in the 4th generation. (please (refer t0) my notes on Gal 3:17 and Acts 7:6). It is interesting to note that the Mamluks, who had been reigning in Jerusalem since 1250, were conquered in 1517 by the Ottoman Turks. They (Turks) remained for eight Jubilees (8 x 50 = 400 years), that is, they were in Jerusalem for 400 years. Exactly 400 years later, in 1917, the Ottoman Turks were conquered by the British under General Allenby! The League of Nations conferred the Mandate for the Holy Land and Jerusalem to the British. Thus, from 1917, under International Law, Jerusalem was no-man’s land and remained so for one jubilee. [That is, until 1967, when the IDF was able to capture Jerusalem from Jordan – ed.]
“Seventy years (were allowed) for prophecy completion. Israel was in Babylonian bondage for 70 years (cf. Dan 9:24). 70 years is also the length of man’s life (cf. Psa 90:10). While Yahweh can and has extended man’s life, it shows that a period of 70 years is a complete generation of man.
“50 years is the Jubilee when all debts are forgiven, slaves set free, and a time for celebration. E.W. Bullinger in Numbers in Scripture also associates 50 with the number of judgment. The flood lasted for 150 days (50x3).
“40 years is a period of judgment and testing for individuals and/or nations. Yahweh led Israel out of Egypt 40 years (Psa 95:10). It rained 40 days and 40 nights during Noah’s flood. Moses was on Mt. Sinai for 40 days. Elijah fasted for 40 days. Yahshua was tempted for 40 days.
“The numbers 120, 100, 70, 50, and 40 are very significant numbers in Scripture.
“Since God’s end-time clock is associated with Israel and the city of Jerusalem (Eze 36, Eze 37; Dan 9), then these numbers must be taken into account beginning with the budding of the fig tree.
“In 1917, a jubilee year, the Balfour declaration gave the Jews the legal right to settle in Israel. The Holy Land was placed under British Mandate by the League of Nations, and literally belonged to no nation. A generation according to Gen 15:13,16 is 100 years. Adding 100 to 1917 is 2017.
“1947/8 is the birth of the nation of Israel. 70 years later may well mark the end of their independent theocratic nation [I believe the writer meant to say their secular nation, which it is at the present time; it will become theocratic when God visibly rules over it through His Son – ed.]. Israel will be 70 years old in 2017/18.
“In 1967, a jubilee year, Jerusalem was now under complete Israeli ownership. Up until this time, Jerusalem was still divided by a strip of [no-man’s] land, with Jordan controlling the eastern part and Israel controlling the western part. 50 years from 1967 is 2017/18, another jubilee year.
“In 1977/78, Menachem Begin, Prime Minister of Israel, signed the Camp David Peace Accords with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat initiated by U.S. President Jimmy Carter.
“This (act) incited the Arabs; they assassinated Sadat, which eventually resulted in two intifadas by Yasser Arafat, leader of the PLO.
“1977/78 began a final time of testing for Israel. 40 years from 1977/78 is 2017/18.”
[End of letter]
The writer of this letter shows a great deal of ability as a researcher in scriptural matters! We commend her for her scholarship. Every point she has made has merit in her theoretical construct; her math is flawless, and her reasoning goes functionally and inevitably toward her conclusions.
And she gives us pause for some rethinking. We had considered that the last Jubilee of Israel occurred in 1997-98, having followed the reasoning and calculations of W. E. Carter in his privately published work on chronology (and many other subjects!), Times and Seasons.
The bottom line is that we probably have not been able to determine it with certainty.
If 1967 was indeed a Jubilee year, as conjectured, then the year 2017/18 is the next Jubilee – which we have to assume as being the last one, which typically would see the re-alignment of all the affairs of Israel as well as the world – the return of all His People to their Land, each coming back to their inheritance, achieving their physical redemption, receiving the forgiveness of all their obligations – a complete re-set of all their affairs.
Our fervent hope is that the notable 70th anniversary of the State of Israel in 2017-18 shall indeed be the general time of the Second Advent, the great gathering of all the responsible Believers of all past ages from their graves, and their marshalling, along with all living Believers to the Place of Judgment will be a reality. Thus should end the fervent hope of His People of all ages in the consummation of all things – and the beginning of the Sabbath Day of Rest for the People of God. Cf., Hebrews 4: 3-6. <HEL 9P> Q & A – August, 2016.
An Interesting Exchange with a Correspondent
Q&A February, 2016
In the text below, our Editorial comments are
inserted in Comic Sans MS font … HEL
Hello! I'm inserting within your text some comments, which plz see...
“He will send out his angels with a great shofar; and they will gather together his chosen people from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Mattityahu (Mat) 24:31 CJB
For all the Mortal Jews to be gathered and set in their cantons as Ezekiel speaks of we have always believed that Elijah as well as other prophets after the resurrection would have this job in the beginning of the millennial Kingdom. After they are gathered then these mortal Jews will appear before Him whom they pierced. Your article seems to be throwing this idea out.
Au contraire! This is precisely what I contended in the article, that Elijah's part in the regathering will be as a companion to many of the other Saints who are sent out into the world to regather God's people AFTER the general resurrection of the saints, and bring them back to the Land. My disagreement is with those who contend that Elijah will appear to Israel in the times leading up to the resurrection to "lead them to Christ." This scenario would necessitate Elijah's being resurrected earlier that all the other saints - not scriptural. In such a case they should be fully informed as to His identity.
This is not the picture of Israel's posture when Christ comes, for which plz see Zechariah 12 and 13 (nail prints in His hands, mourning, etc). It is obvious from this passage that Elijah has NOT appeared to them prior to His revelation of Himself to the nation, for if he had, they would never ask these questions of him. Also, in the account of Isaiah 63, they should not be compelled to inquire, "Who IS this that comes from Edom?" If Elijah had already informed them, this question would be redundant.
As to there being "nations" remaining throughout the kingdom age (Millennial kingdom), it seems evident that these will be progressively erased as distinct polities as Christ's kingdom spreads over all the earth. It is inconceivable that Christ should allow heathen rulers to continue to occupy their thrones and resist His kingdom after He proclaims Himself King of kings.
We are not apprised of the procedure of this abolition of kingdoms, nor the rapidity with which it will occur. Daniel 7:27 states literally that the kingdoms of men will be taken over by the saints of the most High. This means that they are abolished. The sequel to this abolition necessitates the assignation of individual Saints to rule over individual cities or groups of cities (cf., Luke 19:17 et seq). This alone indicates the lack of "nations" as such, for what ruler over, say, France, is willingly going to allow a Saint to rule over Paris, for example, within the nation of France, thus overriding that president's political authority over Paris?
In relation to there being no Nations as such in the Kingdom there are scriptures that refute this such as Zechariah 14 where it speaks of Nations that refuse to come up to celebrate Feast of Tabernacles etc.
This resistance is obviously early in the kingdom age; such resistance will go nowhere and will fade away in short order, along with the designation of "France" as being a stand-alone entity in Christ's kingdom; it just can't happen!
Also, in Matt.25:31-46 in Eureka John Thomas uses this parable for the judgment of the Nations (although he flip flops sometimes using it to be the judgment of the saints, which one of us would ever think that our eternal salvation would be offered on the basis of offering or not offering a thirsty brother a drink, when we have done all we are unprofitable servants. Salvation is on the basis of grace.) He uses the parable in most cases for the judgment of the nations at the beginning of the Kingdom who have been taught the Truth by the saints (the least of these my brethren); some of these Nations will be allowed to live as mortals through the Kingdom aion but some of the Nations who did not treat the saints well will not be allowed to live in a peaceable kingdom ( a child living to be 100 etc). We know of the problems that Paul had in teaching the Nations the Truth and even though we will be immortal but appearing as men the job will not be any easier. I have visited China for two weeks and in my wildest imagination cannot see how we can get past all of their temple worship to convince them of the Truth. This is just one Nation that will refuse and treat the saints (the least of these my brethren) badly and will be the goats (the nation not allowed to live in a peaceable Kingdom). An aside - the saints are never in scripture referred to as goats, lost sheep, sheep that have gone astray, but never goats. So we are left with sheep Nations that will continue to be taught in the millennial and hopefully baptized, but we know some of these Nations will rebel at the end Rev20:8. Other Nations will be destroyed Mat.25:46.
This uprising is decidedly not at the end of the 1000 year reign of Christ as has so long been taught (and we have largely swallowed without much analytical (scriptural) thought. Please refer to my recent article to be found on the eTPL web site at
1. 2 A Discussion of All Nations Under Christ
You may just left click on that title line and quickly read an in-depth discussion of these and ancillary events. A war at the end of Christ's millennial kingdom is out of the question as proven by all the descriptors of conditions to be attained by Him during that reign. At the end there is no rebellion against Him, but instead, His willing relinquishment of the now perfected Kingdom up to the Father! For the reasons given, that "thousand years" is an entirely different span to time much previous to Christ's kingdom. Let me know what you think!
Mit der Liebe, in Christus! Harald
The Coming of John the Baptist (John Immerser)
So wonderful to hear from readers all over the world! Thank you for your observations on Elijah.
I have a decidedly "different" view about the coming of Elijah from the mainstream, because Jesus Himself gave us the latest information about Elijah. There is no later revelation; and His words settle the affair if we are able to receive it.
He said ...
Mat 11:7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John (this refers to John Immerser) What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?
Mat 11:8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
Mat 11:9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
Mat 11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
Mat 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Mat 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
Mat 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
Mat 11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
Mat 11:15 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
For John Immerser to be resurrected before the general resurrection of the dead would be a violation of Jesus' statement that the dead shall come forth at "the Last Trump." That final Shofar sounds only once in my understanding, bringing all the dead forth at one time.
Other procedures might seem more logical to us as human thinkers, but the scriptures indicate the order of events: all are resurrected at the same time, in my understanding.
I refer you to a much larger discussion of this matter as published in eTPL a few years ago. It is pasted in below. Please give the article your attention as my "official" reply to your comments, then please let me know your thoughts.
John Baptizer (Immerser) as Elijah the Prophet
An eTPL Position Paper #2
Harold E. Lafferty
In our culture, many expect an appearance of Elijah the prophet before the Second Coming of the LORD to His people.
We consider in this paper almost all the clear references to Elijah as John Baptizer.
That list follows:
Important Scriptural Phrases Relating to John Baptizer (not exhaustive). References in Matthew and Mark are omitted, being similar to those below.
Luke 1: 13 John was conceived as a result of prayer.
He was named John by the angel Gabriel’s announcement
Luke 1: 14 Zacharias and Elizabeth to have joy and gladness
Many shall rejoice at his birth
Luke 1: 15 He shall be great in the sight of the LORD
… shall drink neither wine nor strong drink
… shall be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth
Luke 1: 16 Many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God
Luke 1: 17 He shall go before God in the spirit and power of Elijah
… shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children
… shall turn the disobedient to the wisdom of the just
… shall make ready a people prepared for the LORD
Luke 1: 14 The yet unborn John “leaped” in his mother’s womb at the sound of the greeting of Mary to Elizabeth at her home in Ein Karem.
Luke 1:58 Elizabeth’s neighbors and cousins now heard how the LORD had shown great mercy upon her; they rejoiced with her.
Luke 1: 60 Elizabeth insisted, upon his birth, that his name be John, over objections.
Luke 1: 63 Zacharias concurred that his name was John, and then recovered his speech.
Luke 1: 66 What manner of child shall this be?
The hand of the Lord was upon him.
Luke 1:76 John was to be prophet of the highest.
To go before the face of the Lord to prepare His way.
Luke 1: 77 He was to give knowledge of salvation to God’s people by His remission of their sins.
Luke 1:79 He shall give light to them who sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death.
He shall guide our feet into the way of peace.
Luke 1:80 John grew and waxed strong in the Spirit.
He dwelt in the desert until his shewing to Israel: Matthew 3:1.
John 1: 6 John was a man sent from God.
John 1: 7 He came for a witness – to bear witness to the Light.
As such, he was an instrument to cause men to believe.
John 1:8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness to it.
John 1: 15 John bare witness of Him and cried, saying, this is He of whom I spake; He that cometh after me is preferred before me, for He WAS before me.
John 1: 20 John confessed, and denied not, but confess, I am not the Christ.
John 1: 21 They asked him … Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
John 1:26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water; but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not:
John 1: 27 He it is, who coming after me, is preferred before me.
… whose shoe’s latchet I am nor worthy to unloose.
John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world.
John 1: 30 This is He of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred befoe me; for He was before me.
John 1: 31 And I knew Him not: but (only) that He should be made manifest to Israel; therefore am I come baptizing with water.
John 1: 32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove,and it abode upon Him.
John 1: 33 And I knew Him not; but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, the same is He who baptizeth with the Holy Spirit.
John 1: 34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
John 1: 36 He witnessed of Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God!”
The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord
In addition, relating back to one of the first references above: there are several references to the great and terrible day of the Lord (Malachi 4:5), or similar language; the unmistakable indication is that there are several such periods.
Revelation 6: 17 For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
This describes the tribulation of the end times.
Joel 2: 11 And the LORD shall utter His voice before His army: for His camp is very great: for He is strong that executeth His word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?
This is the description of Babylon’s assault upon Jerusalem in 587 BC.
Joel 2: 30 – 31 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come.
This describes the action of Babylon’s assault in 587 BC, (possibly) including the armies of Rome in 70 AD.
Malachi 4: 5, 6 Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet BEFORE the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD; And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
This text addresses the days just prior to the rejection and crucifixion of the Lord in 29 AD. The identification in Acts 2: 17, et seq., of this same day as that spoken by the prophet Joel seems to indicate the first Advent of the Lord as the time of its fulfillment – the great and dreadful day of the rejection of Jesus by His people. [See extended discussion below.]
Acts 2: 16-20 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; And on My servants and on My handmaidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come.
This passage obviously also addresses that same period of His First Advent, designating this particular event as the direct meaning and fulfillment of the word of the Prophet Joel.
When else did the sons and daughters of Israel prophesy just prior to a great event of this magnitude?
We do not comprehend either, that Israel today shall so demonstrate such an expectation of Him. Indeed, just when was there another event of this magnitude? These at Pentecost manifestd these gifts of the Spirit after a period of remarkable silence from the prophets (for four hundred years); thus it was an outstanding departure from the “norm.”
They also did prophecy. He showed wonders in the earth and the air (a great earthquake, and an eclipse of the sun when a solar eclipse would have been naturally impossible (at mid month!); the resurrection of dead believers; the miraculous healing of diseases.
These occurred during the days of the ministration of the remarkable John Immerser, and his ultimate fulfillment of the ministry of Elijah!
Matthew 11: 10 instructs: For this is he of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
John Immerser fulfilled this prophecy!
We ask earnestly, how can this activity be said of Elijah in this day – in the end time?
We are told that the precursor of Jesus to His people in the end time – both living and dead – shall be the angels of the Shofar (the trumpet: “the last trump”) of resurrection. These shall escort the living and the resurrected dead in Christ to that venue of Judgment.
And even they do not become apparent at that time to natural Israel in any way.
Shall Elijah Precede the Appearance of Christ in the Earth?
When He emerges from that place of Judgment, after the process is finished, we know of no such predictive activities by any man – no advance notice to ANYONE whomever of His eminent appearance.
He comes upon the world scene before Israel and the Israelis – and certainly upon the nations – as a thief … suddenly, unannounced, unexpected by them.
And when His kingdom is expanded and pacified, it is He personally Who sends forth many emissaries to gather the remnant of Israel remaining in Diaspora; surely these shall be the Saints (including Elijah, of course, as one among multitudes) as well, we believe, as certain ones of the newly converted People of Israel who are then thoroughly committed to His service and kingdom, and to the reassembly of their brethren from the four winds.
Isaiah 1: 25 – 28 addresses this blessed time, as does Isaiah 62: 1 – 4, both being indicative of Israel’s newly acquired status of Hephzibah (My delight in in her) and Beulah (Married to the LORD), in the most consummate degree, and enabled to go forth unto the nations – as well as to their brethren abroad – bearing the salvation of their God!
Jeremiah’s prophesies about this time in these words: Jeremiah 3:15 - And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16 And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. 17 At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. 18 In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers.
The poignant words of these divine teachers are indicated in Isaiah 30:20 - And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: 21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
Yet other instructive words are to be found in Isaiah 51: 4, 5; 42: 6, and 49:6 regarding this event, all coming to pass well after He begins his Millennial reign from the restored Throne of David in Mount Zion.
Where does Elijah fit into THIS narrative? He actually fits as one among a multitude of redeemed ones. Partially for this reason, our view is that the reference in Malachi has regard only to the first coming of the LORD – at His birth – which is certainly definable as “the great and terrible day of the Lord,” of AD 29, namely His divine introduction to Israel,and the bitter, unfortunate end to His first ministry, and to no other day.
Therefore, to place Elijah in the earth prior to Christ’s Second Coming, violates His revealed plan; that the living shall not prevent (precede) the dead.
We see from His detailed revelation, that the dead and the living in Christ of I Thessalonians 4: 16, 17, are to be raised and gathered together, and taken to meet the Lord.
Our problem is that Elijah shall be among those raised from the dead at that time, and taken to the Judgment Seat of Christ with all his other brethren.
Are we to understand that he is perhaps to be judged before all others, then immortalized and immediately sent to the children of Israel to prepare them for that great and terrible day of the Lord that shall ensue?
Upon considerable deliberation, this scenario does not “fit” with other revelations about Israel’s preparation for the Lord’s coming – namely that they shall have NO preparation! NO advance notice or harbinger that Messiah is about to appear to them.
The prophetic narratives of Isaiah 63, of Isaiah 11, of Micah 5, of Psalm 83, indicate no such move on His part! It is quite apparent, instead, that in Isaiah 63, NONE of Israel (including a supposed Elijah then present with them, just prior to His appearing in this conflict) can identify this One Who “comes from Edom, with blood-stained (dyed) garments;” He replies to their questioning of His identity, that He has trodden the winepress alone, and that NONE of the people are with Me.
If Elijah has already appeared to Israel and prepared them for His coming, why is Israel now questioning just Who He is? They should be well aware of His identity at this time, and expecting His return and appearance to them.
Yet they do not.
It is only AFTER this group of conflicts that their interrogatory meeting with Jesus occurs – the occasion of their asking about the nail prints in His hands, which is well described in Zechariah 12 and 13. At that time, they earnestly inquire, “Just who ARE you?” And He answers their query by showing them the nail-scars in His hands, and tells that He received these wounds “in the house of My friends.”
Jesus therefore obviously has no messenger preceding His Second Advent.
Instead, it shall be recognized, in an episode of great remorse and pathos at that point in time, that Israel is the ONLY “house of His friends,” and no others.
So how may we fit in the supposed advance publicity of His Second Advent by Elijah into this scenarios?
Elijah’s spirit and power was embodied in John Immerser, just as Peter proclaimed. It was HE (John) who was harbinger of the Lord in THAT great and terrible day of the Lord. HE bore witness to the “coming” of the Savior – His first appearance among them.
John, by baptizing with water (by total immersion in water), announced by default (that is, unknowingly, and certainly unintentionally) His first Coming to Israel, not knowing within himself in advance that Jesus WAS such.
The announcement was made by a pre-arranged signal to John when the Spirit came down in the form of a dove and rested upon Him, and the thundering voice of God announced, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased!”
A powerful proof of this pre-arranged signal is found in the words of John himself, who said, in John 1:31 - And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
An even more powerful statement to this effect is that of Jesus Himself recognizing the identity of Elijah the prophet in the great prophet John Immerser, in Matthew 11: 10, saying, For this is He, of Whom it is written, Behold, I send My messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
In this language, the words “this is he” (in English), Jesus’ meaning is that of the third person present indicative of the verb “is,” meaning that this IS the identity of John, and not that John as representative of someone else.
Most importantly here, is that this usage of the verb is precisely that form utilized by the voice of God Himself in Matthew 17:5, in which He proclaimed, This IS My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him.”
In these words, the Almighty is proclaiming that THIS IS My Son – there is no other to come; hear ye HIM personally, not some later spectral, figurative shadow of Him.
But in our simple understanding, the most powerful and definitive statement in all the scriptures, is that of Jesus to His disciples as they descended the Mount of Transfiguration.
The account is recorded in Matthew 17: 10 -12: And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12 But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
How could any commentary be more comprehensible? – or more comprehensive?
Jesus Himself is here clarifying the thinking of the disciples who are questioning what events the Scribes can be referring to when they quote the scriptures rightly, saying that Elias (Elijah) must first come.
How can they understand this? They are literally asking as some now do, “Will Elijah appear among them at some future time to “restore all things” (in the full meaning of that phrase)? Are they to watch for his appearance?
Jesus’ reply to them was that the scriptures indeed tell us Elias truly shall first come as precursor to Jesus’ being made manifest to the people who should accept Him. Then He tells them quite straightforwardly, that Elias is (has) come already, and they (the Scribes) knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they (the Scribes) listed (or wished).
To these succinct words, He adds the certain words, which they themselves could not yet accept or understand, that Likewise shall also the Son of Man suffer of them (the Scribes, as put for the elders of the Jews).
This is a thumbnail sketch of the pluperfect (accomplished) process of “Elias’” work in brief summary – definitive, unmistakable, incontrovertible, and conclusive!
Jesus is here clearly and simply defining and clarifying for the disciples the scriptural teaching relating to John Immerser AS THE FULLMENT of those specific prophecies: that Elias/John should come before the great and terrible day of the LORD (i.e., His first coming), in order to reveal Jesus AS Messiah to everyone who would accept the fact, and that John should suffer for his good work – which at that point in history John had already suffered.
The very next verse, Matthew 17:13, solidifies this fact, making it undeniable – and not subject to re-interpretation in any way (such as anyone claiming that we THIS DAY should expect Elijah to appear in Israel)! Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
In pointing out this clear fact, and verifying it to them, Jesus was utilizing the powerful testimony of a short-term prophecy being fulfilled to the letter as being substantiation of the longer term prophecy of His mission as Messiah.
The disciples (the Apostles) were already convicted of this truth, for only in the prior chapter had Peter issued the firm affirmation contained in Matthew 16:16 -And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
One vivid proof of this fact had been that the Son of Man, Whom John’s simple act of having baptized in the River Jordan, Jesus was clearly and indelibly revealed, quite aside from any complicity of John himself, but governed and accomplished by the Father, by the sign of the descending dove of the Spirit, and the thunderous voice of the Almighty confirming His identity, that Jesus Himself WAS indeed His Son, and would be treated in the same manner as had that great servant John Immerser been treated, who was by this incident, fully “vetted” as the fulfillment of his identity as “Elias” who was prophesied to precede Him and to introduce Him to Israel.
To put any other interpretation upon this entire episode is to do damage to God’s revealed word, and effectively to deny His plan for His divine introduction of Jesus to Israel.
Our studied position is, therefore, that John came in the spirit and power of Elijah, (but not as Elijah personally) just as had been prophesied – and announced the appearance and identity of Messiah; and that that particular announcement fulfilled Malachi 11:10, just as Peter had related in his inspired words, as repetition of those words of Joel (and as had previously been explained to him by Jesus personally) to the brethren at Pentecost, saying, This is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel …
That construction is plain and simple: let us not refute these clear words of the Master AND His apostle! We must deny ourselves the same blind mistake made by the scribes, and still stubbornly insist that Elijah shall appear yet in future time, prior to the Second Coming, in order to martial the Jews to Messiah in some widespread movement before He should appear to them in our time.
He had even at that time done so already … and nearly ALL of them did not respond to Him.
In the approaching case, they shall have no warning of His Second Coming – none whatever!
We realize that there are views of the Elijah manifestation that are different from these expressed above, and that some (many?) will disagree with our conclusions, because the view that they now firmly hold is that of a venerable scholar of yesteryear – a scholar whom every Believer respects profoundly – but a scholar who was a merely human vessel and admittedly capable of an imperfect understanding in some matters of unfulfilled Bible prophecy.
This greatly misplaced understanding that is held – that of expecting the manifestation of Elijah in our time among the congregation of Israel – is one example of that imperfect understanding.
But from our perspective, that earlier view is untenable.
We believe we have proven beyond doubt that the view expressed here is based solely upon God’s word, and not on conjecture of any sort.
So we rest our case. <HEL MD/USA> ~3800 words. PP#2: April 9, 2012
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” ofverses 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 dayshall 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 theirgracious 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: theconsumption 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 ofthe 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.
Michael the Archangel “stands up”
A question was recently posed as to why we believe that Michael, "the great prince" of Daniel 12:1 is actually the Archangel Michael rather than the LORD Jesus Christ at His Second Advent. We discuss that subject in the notes following: first the text under consideration...
Daniel 12:1 “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.”
The sequence is: 1. Michael “stands up” (for the children of Daniel’s people)…
2. Followed by a time of trouble such as never was…
If this were Jesus Christ as Michael (He who is like God), how could a great time of trouble follow His appearance? He comes not to bring trouble to Israel (out of which many of His people are to be saved) but to bring salvation to His people. This outcome is incongruous.
Our thought has been that directly at the end of the defeat of the last King of the North (K of N), Michael the Archangel “stands up” – puts himself forward – for Israel, which is his appointed task. He begins to bring about the restoration of the People to their land during a time of great turmoil for Jews everywhere.
The Holocaust intervenes soon after 1917 (the last end of the K of N) and acts as an impetus for Jews to push hard for the formation of their State in order to clear a way for their return to their Land and to the safe haven of “Israel” which followed.
The war that ended in 1918 was “a war to end all peace,” according to one author. Its wake brought the extremities of trouble suffered by the extremities of the German nation resulting in the spawning the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Second World War.
His chief legacy was the Nazi Holocaust of 1933 to 1945.
This was doubtless the “Time of Trouble such as never was.”
In the wake of this horrendous event, the world powers felt sorry for the Jews and the UNO granted them a portion of the British Mandate which the Brits’ own Balfour Declaration had declared that they should have.
Did Michael guide all these affairs?
We believe that he guided these events and many others in the events that followed.
In verse 2 of Daniel 12, the prophet foretells the resurrection of the dead.
He seems to skip over the details of the Restoration of Israel’s beginning and go forward directly to the resurrection of the dead – an event which in retrospect seems to relate directly to the resurrection of Israel from the nations as in Isaiah 11:11, a time in which He “sets His hand a second time to recover His people” from all nations.
The nations named are all Islamic.
By 1952, almost all the Jews had been recovered from the places named except the “islands of the sea,” a name which seems to designate all the other nations into which they have been scattered and from which they have not yet fully returned.
In quick succession, Daniel seems to back up from the resurrection of the dead and begin to relate events which lead up to it.
The “men” (angels) clothed in linen seem to mark out the beginning and ending of the “times of the Gentiles” by standing on both sides of the river.
Another angel standing on (above) the waters seems to be at the mid-point of this time line, which would be 657 AD – the era of the construction the Dome of the Rock (the current “abomination that maketh desolate,” still in place today).
Daniel is informed of three time periods in which certain details should be accomplished – but the meaning of the third of these is largely obscure at this time.
Half of the 2520 years is 1260 years or 42 months when transposed to months as the “seven years (seven sevens)” becomes 84 months, half of which (from the midpoint of the river and forward) is 42 months, or 1260 years in Gentile terms.
This date would correspond to 1917-18 when Palestine was finally freed from the Ottoman Turk and statehood eased into view in the future with Britain’s seeming cooperation at the time.
The 1290 day period is accounted for by the action when Palestine was partitioned and Israel was given land for their state by the UNO. This year is the 1290 “day” anniversary, 1947-48.
But when considering the 1335 year anniversary (by adding 45 years to the 1290) the date is 1992-93 – a year in which no significant event happened; we must therefore look for other meanings for this number.
Significant work has been done on this problem with few satisfactory results to date.
Earlier Involvement of Michael with Israel
There are two earlier occurrences of intervention by Michael the Archangel in Daniel. Observing a modicum of literary consistency, our view is that the earlier occurrences of the name Michael as indicative of the Archangel is strong evidence that the last one indicates the same being. It is generally reasonable to try to maintain the integrity of any dissertation within its own text, assigning the meaning of a term or terms to the same entity or principle throughout for the sake of consistency of understanding.
Dan 10:13 “But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.”
Dan 10:21 “But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.”
Verse 21 relates closely to the incident in verse 13, it seems, and in neither of these historical cases might one reasonably claim that the entity is actually the Lord Jesus Christ.
On the other hand, the invisible assistance of one such as Michael the Archangel is readily believable during the recovery of God’s people from their graves among the heathen nations, being consistent with the statement that Michael is a “great prince who standeth for the children of thy people.”
Although his identity is not provable as being Michael, the earlier special angelic assistance to Israel as recorded in earlier accounts is consistent with this identification.
· The angel of the flaming bush in Exodus 3
· The angel of the pillar of fire in Exodus 19
· The angel of the preparation of the way into Canaan in Exodus 23
· The angel of the cutting off of the Canaanites in Exodus 23 and 33
· And perhaps also the angel who guided Gideon in Judges 6
In all these instances and many others “the angel” assisted Israel in its thrust forward along its pathway toward service to God. We cannot know at this time whether this angel was always – or ever – the Archangel Michael, but the principle of angelic assistance is thereby established.
My view has been that Israel has needed huge amounts of help in these latter days. His role here in what appears to be the foreshadowing of national resurrection is consistent with that feature of his work.
And, of course, no one can rationally claim that Israel has not received abundance of divine assistance in its present and final iteration. Even David ben-Gurion recognized angelic assistance for his people, saying “In order to be a realist in Israel, one must believe in miracles!”
All the foregoing is not to say that “Michael the Archangel” may not also be a secondary literary device (foreshadowing) indicating the Lord Jesus Christ in His role of coming in person to save His people at the Second Advent, in which case He is certainly identifiable as a “great prince who standeth for the children of thy people” – a Prince Who is appearing at that time to assume His destined role of being elevated to King over His people.
In this role He is most certainly a living example of the meaning of “Michael,” one like God.
And under his guidance, the resurrection of the covenanted dead in Christ is executed – no doubt the fulfillment of the literal forecast of the second and third verses of Daniel 12.
<HEL MD/USA code 6P> ~1350 words. An eTPL consideration of a Question (Q&A)
Splitting of the Mount of Olives – When?
An eTPL Analysis: Q & A
A reader has written that he “is inclined to question the thought that as soon as Jesus’ feet touch the Mount of Olives at His return, the Mount cleaves in two. There is a passage that indicates that the Jews “flee,” showing a reaction to some fore-warning. If the “cleaving”occurred immediately [when] Jesus descends (to it), then countless would perish. Is that in God’s plan? I personally don’t think so. There is no mention of thousands of Jews dying at the Lord’s appearing. I think that there is an interval of time before this event happens that allows the Jews to make plans.”
[Editor’s note: this discussion is some two years old, but it appears that no publication of it has been made. Therefore we include it here.]
We certainly agree with the gist of the above thought. It is unthinkable that the Second Advent of Israel’s Messiah should cause any discomfort to His people at all! To others, certainly … but not to the Jewish people.
However, our views of the return to Olivet may diverge just a bit. Further discussion is indicated ...
The two angels of Acts 1:10, 11, who witnessed the ascent of Jesus into the heavens along with some of the disciples, made this statement: Acts 1:10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Therefore, we must not deny that at some future time, He shall return in that same manner to the Mount of Olives in the sight of all, just as He went into heaven.
The timing of THAT return is perhaps what is in question.
It appears to this writer that this prophecy does not address the FIRST return to the earth that the Master accomplishes.
It is His visible return, certainly, but not necessarily His initial return.
What do we mean by those words?
In my own considered view, the initial return of the Lord from heaven occurs at what is termed “the last trump” by the Apostle Paul. 1Corinthians 15:51 - Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
This account is a brief, overall summary of a much longer process in our opinion. The apostle here is addressing their change to, or assumption of, immortality, so he does not cover all the steps leading up to that state for every successful believer.
His Second Coming must be perceived as being in stages. It is not the same to every person whom He intends to affect.
I believe His initial contact with the earth is at the sounding of that last Shofar (trumpet) – the trumpet of the resurrection of the dead in Christ, and the gathering of the living persons also in Christ – and his angels’ ushering them to the place of judgment.
Now, that assize cannot be held in the sight of the entire world. The world at large is not concerned in this affair in any way, so it is excluded from viewing it. Likewise, it will have no sensibility of the process of Judgment as conducted by our LORD.
In Corinthians, Paul writes that the dead in Christ will be raised … In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 1Corinthians 15:52
These raised ones, in other texts, are shown to undergo a process of judgment before Christ, the Judge, and that many of them are to be made immortal after being approved by Him.
Revelation 20:12,13 narrates a portion of this process. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell (the grave) delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
Only after that process does each immortalized Saint go in with Him to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb – a sacred ceremony in which Jesus welcomes His faithful brethren to be His Bride – and to become “one” with Him in nature and in spirit – and in every other particular.
It is then that John sees these recorded in the vision of Revelation 19:11 et seq,, in which the Faithful are mounted upon white horses, clothed in white vestments, handling swords (the word of God). Their subsequent combat with the nations begins in the 25th verse of the same chapter, outlining the conquest of the nations and their rulers and followers – all of whom know not God.
In our understanding, the first peoples who are confronted and destroyed by Him (along with the Saints – the collective Man) are those nations inhabiting the specific territory which His Father promised to Abram – all the land from the Nile to the Euphrates rivers, and from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf.
These enemies experience His appearance as a thief in the night. They do not expect Him. They do not recognize Him. They have no conviction as to Who He Is or What He Is. Their age-lasting aggression against His people and against Himself as their God brings swift retribution upon them as initially pictured by Isaiah 63:1-6.
But he does not at this time come to the Mount of Olives; that is accomplished once the conflict is finished in our opinion.
It emerges that when the One Man (Christ and His Saints) visibly appear in the Land of Israel to dispatch these ageless enemies, is NOT the same time when His feet touch the Mount of Olives for the first time.
Only after He has cleared the Land of the interlopers, in our understanding, does He descend to Olivet in their sight, just as He went away – but also with an innumerable cloud of companions. But it is precisely as He disappeared from their sight over two millennia in the past!
In our thinking, His appearance there must necessarily be preceded by some kind of warning to the People of Israel to flee to the mountains – to get away from the area which will be re-arranged by the earthquake. We know not exactly how that will be accomplished, but we may be sure, as our correspondent has said, the Almighty will not cause the demise of any of His people in the process of appearing to them.
It seems certain that much conflict takes place before He chooses to place His feet upon the Mount of Olives. But when that is done, He shall have finished clearing the Land of the alien peoples, and is ready to apportion to their Cantons His people of Judah, Manasseh, Ephraim and so forth, in their designated possessions, preparatory to the construction of the Temple of the Millennium in the holy hill.
In all the above discussion, we clearly repudiate that the descent of the LORD Jesus upon Olivet is for the resurrection of the dead in Christ and for His gathering of the living for judgment, as some have recently claimed we hold. We disavow this notion altogether. It is not either logical or scriptural; we have never held that view.
The above discussion is a brief picture of the “process” of His Second Coming in our own understanding. Others may have a better view of it. We will just have to wait and see.
One thing is fairly certain ...
Every enemy to which He and the Saints shall appear after His Second Coming will be “as a thief in the night,” for NONE of them shall be expecting Him, not knowing the scriptures. Such is not true of His Friends, the saints who anxiously await His appearing. They are not surprised by His Second Coming, but eagerly await his appearance!
<HEL code 10M> ~1450 words. Q&A, published December 10, 2016.
Question: Are Believers Justified in Praying to Jesus?
An eTPL Analysis
A reader has posed the question as to whether Believers should pray “directly to Jesus,” inquiring about our thoughts on the subject. It is not a new consideration, as most readers will understand. We hear brethren direct their prayers to Jesus frequently – mostly being lapses of thought, and subconsciously it seems, or from a non-thinking, unintentional mode of thanksgiving and intercession to our heavenly Father.
The subject has both simple and complex components, as does every important principle in God’s word. But there are many extremely pointed references to this practice – that of praying to the Almighty through Christ.
In earliest time, at the beginning of His Plan, there was NO such Mediator in the eternal sense. So men and women approached the Almighty directly. Yes, there were historical persons who acted as mediators such as Moses who pled on behalf of his people at Mount Sinai.
But no formal Mediator had yet been furnished …
But as time moves forward the Almighty sends Jesus into the world to be our formal and designated Savior, leading to His later position as our Mediator.
The Apostle Paul refers to this singular provision in 1Timothy 2:5 –For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
This is a definitive and unmistakable statement of fact.
What is a mediator?
He is one who stands between a lower and a higher being in this case – One Who makes intercession to God for the created men and women who seek Him.
But the subject is far more complex than being that simple principle.
It is our understanding that the Seeker is required to have a special relationship with Him Whose favor is sought. Cf., John 17:9, particularly on this point, a text in which Jesus states clearly that He “prays not for the world” but for a selected group of persons – His brethren illustrating definitively His position as Mediator.
That mediatorial relationship has only become possible since came the Christ, and involved by one having taken on our Father’’s name in baptism – in knowledgeable acceptance of the grace that He has offered them through Christ.
Up until that time, no person is noted to have anyone to appear before God on his behalf.
Note well that the grace (His unmerited favor) does not originate with Christ, but with His Father. It is passed down to Christ’s mortal brethren through His own agency and offices.
The grace is generally speaking, not Christ’s to give his brethren; it can come only from His Father, short of the Judgment Seat of Christ – the time when Jesus is sent as our Judge, and the time when He is charged with this direct responsibility as given Him by His Father.
Having noted that consideration, the gracious blessings which Christ metes out at His Judgment Seat, we reiterate, actually originate with His Father – the giver of every good and perfect gift, as noted by the Apostle James: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17
This principle is a perfect correlate of the statement which He made to Isaiah, in 42:8 - I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another … and is repeated in Isaiah 48:11, q.v.
Jesus, our High Priest
At the present time the scriptures make it entirely clear that Jesus is solely our High Priest – our Mediator – our Advocate with the Father, as well as being the Facilitator (the Propitiaton, meaning the Sacrifice), for our sins – the all-important arena in which He appears on our behalf.
It is a truism of which the Apostle John reminded his readers in 1John 2:1 - My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
In our human affairs an advocate is usually an attorney at law – one who stands before a judge to plead our case according to the tenets of law. In this sense he is a legal agent acting on our behalf, but he has no power to convict or acquit.
That responsibility is solely upon the authority of the judge.
It is clear then, that the Agency of our LORD Jesus is as a facilitator on our behalf who is an intercessor – one who pleads for His clients (all of whom are His brethren yet in sin).
The writer to the Hebrews makes this principle clear in these words … Hebrews 7:24 - But this man (the risen and immortalized Jesus), because He continueth ever (is alive forevermore), hath an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them. It is essentially the Strong appearing for the weak.
Earlier in Hebrews the same relationship was taught:
Heb 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
Even during His life among men, Jesus was Intercessor.
We remember the poignant prayer recorded in the 17th of John, where He prayed fervently for our justification and our unity with Him and His Father … that they all may be as one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us. John 17:21.
The scriptures tell us that the Almighty is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. At the Judgment Seat of Christ we can readily understand that the privilege of reward of the faithful has been assigned to His Son; but the ultimate judgment is based upon the Almighty’s standards and laws.
In Hebrews 11, Abel, Enoch, Noah, and Abraham are noted as being eternally favored by the Almighty in times well before the saving grace made available by our LORD Jesus Christ.
There is one record which the proponents of direct prayer to Jesus will raise; it is found in …
Acts 7:59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
The Emphatic Diaglott renders the verse essentially in the same words, except in this: “Lord Jesus do thou receive the breath of me.” This direct translation from the Greek proves clearly that Stephen was NOT asking for Jesus to receive his “immortal soul” (sometimes substituted for “spirit”).
The words seem to indicate a prayer directly to Jesus and limited to Him only.
But is this the real case? And … does it matter?
Consider that Stephen had just seen a vision of Jesus standing at the right hand of His Father as recorded in Acts 7:55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God …
Our understanding is that Stephen was pleading for Jesus to convey his urgent request for his own safekeeping (while he is in the death state, and until he is raised from the dead and appears before the Judgment Seat of Christ) to His Father who was sitting at His side.
Stephen understood the mediatorial character of Jesus without doubt, and would not have resorted to his elder Brother as his last appeal, even in this dire case.
Because Stephen was concerned for his future salvation, he prayed that his breath (in Greek, his pneuma – his life) be preserved until the LORD Jesus’ second appearance among His brethren – looking forward to the time when the LORD Jesus shall have been given the power to restore Stephen’s breath and therefore to reconstitute Stephen a “living soul” (cf. Genesis 2:7, the prototypical instance of such breath-giving to the original Man, Adam, into whom God “breathed the breath of life” – and “man became a living soul.”).
That interim – and possibly temporary – benefit of restoring Stephen’s breath (later to be again withdrawn if Stephen should be refused eternal life – an admitted unlikelihood) should become reality as Stephen was prepared to stand before the returned Jesus – and a being now ready to stand humbly before His Master to receive the Grace which his Master should then be commissioned to award.
Our point is that the preservation of Stephen’s pneuma is not necessarily a lasting benefit, but merely a mechanism for revitalizing that dear brother so he would be able to stand before Jesus in the final Assize. So it does not represent a significant, or eternal reward or benefit.
This subservient position (second only to His Father) is also indicated in the description given by Paul to the Romans, clarifying to them that it is the Father Who justifies His people; He is the final authority … Romans 8:33 - Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, Who also maketh intercession for us.
It must be recognized that Jesus’ resurrection and immortalization resulted in a significant change in His status, establishing Him as our Mediator. By being elevated to His Father’s right hand, He became One who could confer grace and peace under the authority of His Father …
1Corinthians 1:1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: 3 Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Here, grace and peace as given His servants, are attributed to both God our Father and the LORD Jesus Christ. The sense is that – given that Jesus has passed into the heavens and has assumed the nature of His Father, it is now resident within Him to award grace and peace as well as with His Father.
But such blessing must still be recognized as provided by our Father at its source. Indeed, the Almighty Himself gave those gifts to His Son in order that the work of redemption might be carried out.
That certain meaning is conveyed by Paul’s next words …
1Co 1:4 I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ (i.e., the grace originating with God being given through Jesus’ agency);
Here Paul clarifies his meaning for his listeners: he thanks God for His grace, which (He) gives us by (the mediatorship of) Jesus Christ. The LORD Jesus is the “pipeline” through which these great blessings are funneled to His blessed and elected children.
And at the Judgment Seat of Christ – to be held immediately upon His Second Advent – it is indeed the LORD Jesus Who shall directly award salvation to those whom He finds acceptable at that affair.
But in this case the Master shall have assumed not only the proper Name (the LORD of Hosts) but also the immense power of His Father, having been made One With Him in all points, and is at that time directly commissioned to judge and to bless His people in the perfect spirit of God, having no possibility of a mis-judgment of any kind.
This condition consists directly because the Master has at that time assumed the mantle of King along with that of High Priest over His new Creation – and as such, He has the inherent right and power to wield it as He judges fitting.
In all of Jesus’ life He prayed directly and fervently to His Father in every challenge, and even gave thanks for every meal of which He partook.
In that practice He was setting before His brethren the example for their conduct also.
Those factors are further established and reinforced in the model prayer which He gave His disciples in Matthew 6, in which He commanded our address in prayer to be to His Father alone: “Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be THY name. THY kingdom come. THY will be done on earth … GIVE US this day … FORGIVE US our trespasses … LEAD US not into … DELIVER US from evil … for THINE is the Kingdom, the power and the glory forever …”
These words seal our understanding of our own place as well as His place before the Father. Jesus was the profound source of NONE of these blessings or favors; every one of them comes from His Father as well as our Father – the Father of all blessing – a wonderful value set for that humble, obedient Son whose submissive words are recorded in a psalm of His father David: Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. Psalm 40:7.
Conclusion: Our review has shown that not only is it not scriptural to pray to Christ, it is never effective to pray to anyone except YHVH our Father. Therefore brethren should not so pray. Such prayers are misdirected, because every good gift comes from the Father of lights as expressed so elegantly by the Apostle James: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17 . <HEL 12P> ~2250 words. December 19, 2016.