Q&A 2021

Q &A: Comment on "The Tarrying of the Vision"

A correspondent sent this article in response to our Analysis, The Tarrying of the Vision, published on May 31, 2021, in Potpourri on the eTPL website. He wrote:

Dear Brother Harold,

Thank you for “The Tarrying of the vision”.

I believe there are one or two more prophecies to be fulfilled.

I will attach a section of Revelation Chapter 16 as a suggestion.

With fraternal love in Christ Jesus,_________

Here is the attachment, as mentioned:

Turkey’s Euphrates stranglehold leaves Syria’s

Raqqa residents hungry and in the dark

The National.ae 26-May-21

Since December, Turkey has cut the flow of the river to its neighbouring countries by 60 per cent May is usually a month of plenty in Raqqa, as the Euphrates river feeds crops and brings relief from the rising summer heat.

But this year, the 2,800-kilometre-long river that originates in Turkey and crosses through Syria and Iraq to finish its course in the Arabian Gulf, has depleted to dramatically low levels. The shortage is threatening to stymy efforts to rebuild the area after ISIS was driven out in October 2017.Global warming, wasting resources and the destruction of infrastructure have all weakened the flow from Turkey, said Abdul Razzaq Al Allawi, a former director of the maintenance department for the Euphrates rivers in Syria.

But the issue is also geopolitical. Turkey, which controls the source of the river, has built around 20 dams in its territory since the 1970s as part of its Southeast Anatolia Project, commonly known by its Turkish acronym GAP, to provide farm irrigation and power.

“I am 46 years old, I was born in Raqqa and I have never seen the river so low,” said Hussein Aboud, who has come to the banks of the river to cool off on a hot afternoon. The marks he indicates on the banks show a dramatic decrease. The width of the stream has halved to 10 metres in four months, revealing new islands. “The whole city is just recovering from the war," continues Hussein, sitting on a plastic chair with his feet in the water. "With the water receding, everyone suffers again. My land became too dry to be cultivated. ”A little further downstream, a man driving a tractor has come with his two sons to fill a cistern. "How are we going to survive?” he wonders.

The consequences for the population are dramatic, said Osama Khalaf, spokesperson for the Raqqa municipality council. Most of the drinking water comes from the river. Agriculture and livestock are totally dependent on it. The herds of buffalos raised on the banks of the Euphrates are now decimated by diseases. “Fishing is also affected,” he said. "Desertification is rapidly progressing. It will take us back 40 years in terms of access to water."

The Euphrates also provides 90 per cent of the city's electricity. Experts say water flow has reduced to 200 cubic meters per second from 500 cubic metres per second since the start of the year. Despite protests from neighbouring countries, Turkey has refused to discuss co-management of resources in recent years. Iraq faces harsh summer of water shortages as Turkey and Iran continue dam projects West of Raqqa, going upstream along the Euphrates, displaced families are living in tents.

Mohammed Mohsen and members of his tribe arrived from Hama, an area held by the Syrian regime, and settled in Al Sahabiya. “We came here with no turning back,” Mr Mohsen said, sitting in a tent and wearing a white djellabah with a red traditional scarf around his head. "Since last year, the water has been reduced and we will have to use pumps for our crops. If this situation continues, everyone will move again, a little further." Ankara is also facing a particularly dry spring and its reserves are dwindling. But Syria and Iraq denounce Ankara's water hegemony. “Turkey wants to weaken the Kurdish administration in northern Syria,” Mr Khalef claims. "People will end up turning against it if the water runs out.”

The drying up is a deliberate strategy on Ankara's part. Under the Raqqa Bridge, this opinion is widely shared. “It's all because of Erdogan,” said Ibrahim Hassan, 53. A hulking man with a thick black beard, he comes to the Euphrates to throw his net and try his luck catching a few carp. “The level is decreasing day by day,” the father of nine said. "It is a way of thirsting the population to make it support Turkey. Raqqa is under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces and they cannot stand it. "Turkey has made no recent statements on why is it restricting the river.

In 1987, Turkey, Syria and Iraq signed an agreement in which Turkey pledged Syria would receive a minimum of 500 cubic metres of water per second and in turn, Syria would allow 60 per cent of that water to flow to Iraq. The SDF, and also the Syrian government, which controls the right bank of the Euphrates, has called on Turkey to open the floodgates of their dams to release water. Raqqa’s drinking water is provided by Tabqa dam located 40 kilometres upstream. Since December, the water level in the reservoir has dropped by more than five metres. The monumental dam, built by the Soviet Union in the1970s, supplies seven million people with water and a large part of northern Syria with electricity. Of the eight turbines, four are still in working order. The others were destroyed by ISIS. When The National visited earlier this month, only one was active as the flow of the river had weakened. Most of Raqqa's neighbourhoods now only have six to eight hours of electricity per day. The old generators that run on diesel, at a cost that few can afford, have reappeared on the streets.

The power used to produce electricity is 120MW,compared to the usual 450, said Welat Derwish, the regional director of water administration. "It's worse than the previous crisis," he said. "If this continues, we will have to stop the last turbine in two months. This river is a historical link between communities and civilizations. Turkey is fighting us with the weapon of water.

He lastly makes reference to Revelation 16: 10-18, which I will not include here.

My reply: June 1, 2021

G'mornin' Bro.____________

I pray this finds you and family doing well!

Yes, I have read at least one of your source articles for that piece, and, Yes, Turkey is engaged in drying up the Euphrates on a literal scale. Perhaps this is one of those strange "echoes" of a prophecy that was fulfilled earlier in the same region but with an entirely different connotation and result.

However, I would suggest that the primary fulfillment of that prophecy came about when the Ottoman occupation and hegemony over not only Egypt and Libya and Palestine was terminated by the British in 1917, but its having had to withdraw from the entire Euphrates Valley as well, "drying up" Turkish power in that region and leaving a vacuum of identity to all those peoples.

After the San Remo Conference (1922) we saw the "kings of the east" (Rev. 16: 12) arise in great force: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia (as a political entity), and Jordan. These are readily identifiable, in my opinion, as "the kings of the east" of the prophecy being discussed.

I think this is perhaps a more forceful and realistic meaning of the prophecy. One reason for that conviction is that it integrates completely with Jesus' earlier statement (during His mortal lifespan) found in Luke 21: 29 et seq., referring to the fig tree (Israel) emerging, but also “all the trees.”

Many new nations emerged as a result of that (forced) abandonment, all of which are Islamic.

These are precisely the entities that are the thorn in the flesh of Israel today, and came about as a direct result of the Ottoman collapse and withdrawal from the Euphrates Valley, its power being "dried up" in the region.

I would be interested to read your thoughts on who or what the "kings of the east" consist of as a direct result of this physical drying of the river...or are there any reasonable assumptions?

Interesting discussion...

Fraternally, Bro.Harold

Q&A: Relating to the Safety of Believers in a More Severe Climate of Hatred for Israel

About a week ago we published an article in Potpourri (eTPL website) which discussed the new and heightened evidence of hatred for Israel and the Jewish people and a possible new personal danger for Believers. If you wish to review it click on this hyperlink for direct access: A New Factor in Personal Safety for Believers

In many cases, articles such as this elicit thoughtful responses from readers. Here is a response from a correspondent to this article that we would like to share with you as it extends the discussion on added levels. Editor.

May 22, 2021

Good morning Brother Harold,

Thanks for raising this subject. It is an important one to consider as we head into a period in history in the US and Canada in which open identification with Israel may lead to negative consequences from the broader society in which we live.

As a very general statement, I would observe that while we are partisans for the hope of Israel, we are not partisans for the state of Israel. There are points of convergence between these two causes as well as points of divergence or separation.

Principles from the Scriptures that may bear on our position include:

1. To be wise as serpents and harmless as doves

We are not seeking to stir up trouble or bring trouble. We are not provocateurs.

In my own view, the issue of Israel is different than the issue of the LBGTQ community. In the case of the latter, I believe it acceptable to take a low profile and only pushback when one’s own conscience is directly challenged, for example, by being asked to demonstrate support in a visible way in the workplace or at school. However with Israel I believe we have a responsibility to speak up and let our position be known when Israel is challenged, and to do so in a calm, fair and balanced way. We can point out, for example, that human efforts will not resolve the two competing claims to the holy land, and that in the end the dispute and conflict will only be resolved by the return of Christ from heaven.

We can also point out that God brought the Jews back to the land and that it is His prerogative to give the land to whomsoever He wills. And His will has been revealed in this matter, that the land will be given to the seed of Abraham in the line of Isaac and Jacob. The anger of men will not work the righteousness of God.

  1. To confess before men and deny not

Therefore don’t be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows. Everyone therefore who confesses me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10:31-33).

While one could argue that confessing Christ before men is different than confessing Israel, there is a relationship between the two things. Christ is coming to restore the Kingdom to Israel. The people of Israel are his people, the lost sheep to whom he was sent. In Isaiah 49, one of the names of Christ is Israel.

He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.” But I said, “I have labored in vain. I have spent my strength in vain for nothing; yet surely the justice due to me is with Yahweh, and my reward with my God.”

Isaiah went on to proclaim God’s purpose with Messiah, first with respect to his own people:

Now Yahweh, he who formed me from the womb to be his servant, says to bring Jacob again to him, and to gather Israel to him, for I am honorable in Yahweh’s eyes, and my God has become my strength.”

Christ is described here as “gathering Israel” to Yahweh his Father, and the first phase of that gathering is the physical return to the land. “This is Yahweh’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes!”

  1. To bear witness with integrity

What of a witness who knows when something is true but fails to speak up with the truth and as a consequence the one falsely accused is harmed?

According to the wise man, there is a time to keep silence and a time to speak. If this time is not the time to speak up, when will it ever be the time? I remember the enthusiasm in (our) community in the first and second weeks of June in 1967. Advertisements were placed, special lectures were hastily organized. Do we provide our witness when the mood of the people is positive to receive it and withhold it when it is negative? Jesus is described in Revelation 1:5 as the faithful witness and as his followers, we may be constant in our witness also.

  1. To bless Abraham and his seed

To remain silent when others are cursing Israel is tantamount to letting the cursing stand.

We must bless Israel at all times and urge the people of this world to be favorably disposed towards Israel as the instrument through which God will bring great blessing to the world. Do not those who oppose Israel oppose themselves to their own destruction?

In practical terms, that means when we see a Jewish person being harmed, we must do what we can to speak out against it and to provide shelter and protection from the infliction of evil when it is the power of our hand to do so. Although the Jewish people are Christ’s estranged brethren at this time, is there a possible application of Matthew 25 to the natural seed of Abraham also? “Most certainly I tell you, because you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me.”

While I don’t recommend that we do things that will make our ecclesia premises as likely targets for vandalism or disruption, at the same time, we must not be intimidated by the angry young men who are the face of militant Islam and fail to testify to the truth regarding Israel when there is opportunity to do so.

Thanks for your work in the Lord, (a Correspondent) [End of correspondence]


Q&A: Why Do I Specify Pales*******?

Hey! Dear Bro. ______:

You asked, why do I always designate some of Israel’s enemies by the enigmatic term, Pales*******...

Well, it's a little bit of intrigue I insert in my bulletins to induce a bit of deeper thought ... and questions such as yours ... and it has brought several over the ensuing months!!

I try never to spell out that term because it is entirely spurious ... a "manufactured" name for a non-entity group of people – all of the immediate enemies of the LORD and of His People. See Psalm 83: 2-4, where note the emphasis on THINE enemies...

There is not - and NEVER has been - a race of people known by that term.

"Palestine" was the name decreed by the Romans - a derogatory name given the former province of Judaea after the Bar Kochba Revolt (135AD). The Romans wanted to embarrass and debase the Jews so they chose the Jews’ most odious enemies - the Philistines - as the source of their new term for the area. The Arabs of the area are more than happy to continue that derogation of the Jews, so they adopted the odious name...

The funny thing is, the Pales******* cannot even pronounce their own choice of names. In Arabic, it is pronounced "Falastinian!" As such, it has become a hilariously humorous "shibboleth" to them!!! See Judges 12:6!

We both remember when the territory of Israel before it became Israel, was called "Palestine." As such, it was the southernmost province of Syria with that name, and therefore legitimate in that regard.

But the PLO adopted this name for the Arabs who lived there after the time of Israel's independence.

Before that time, all the Israeli colonists identified themselves as "Palestinians" which meant residents of the legitimately-named Palestine of the day. There was, as yet, no “Israel” in existence.

It was the only term for the future "Israel" that I can remember - beginning in the Thirties - when I first started to be aware of the events our brethren expected to happen there in the near future.

In one of John LeCarre's spy novels, the hero of the narrative (which was pre-1948) confronts the villain (an Arab from Gaza) being held at gunpoint, who asks, "Who are you, anyway?" The Hero answers with the ominous word: "Palestine." I’m pretty sure that novel was The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.

The Arab enemy immediately recognizes that he is essentially dead - because only the Jews so identified themselves at that time. The Arabs of the region would not stoop to allow themselves to be identified by that name; they were Arabs, thank you!

But immediately after Israeli statehood the poor, put-upon Arabs that had invaded and inhabited the Jews' land for millennia were forced to choose a more politically-correct name; now they wanted to become known as Pales******* to set themselves above the average Arab!

So I accommodate them, but designate it as stated, in order constantly to reinforce my readers that there is no such People – these people are a fake identity with no claim to the Land.

In her book From Time Immemorial, the respected author and historian Joan Peters makes this case over and over: the aliens of the Israeli region are merely Arabs - and there is no such thing as a Pales******... and it couldn't happen to a more intransigent enemy of our Father and His People! And, if our understanding of the Father's plans for the PLO and its ilk - all the Proximal Arab nations about Israel - is correct, there will soon be not a single person left to claim the title of Pales******.

Obadiah (1: 18), as an example, has written, "Of the house of Esau there shall be none remaining" after his prophecy is fulfilled...and "Esau" of today inhabits the identical area as did their ancient ancestors: lower Lebanon, scattered throughout Israel and Judaea, Jordan, and the Negev (see detailed areas listed in Obadiah 1: 19, 20). And the last verse (21) states clearly that they shall have been eliminated by the returned LORD Jesus and the Redeemed, and "Saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau and the kingdom shall be the LORD'S." It is one of the most decisive descriptions of the Second Advent and its sequelae that are recorded in all the Bible.

It has been difficult to bring recognition of this sequence of events to many of our brethren - not that it is a point essential to salvation. My emphasis has been centered there because I think it is much better to be entirely clear in our understanding of just how the nations will be subdued, and in what order of preference, by the returned Savior. In our opinion, the core parcel of Land promised to Abram beginning in Genesis 12 is His first priority - in order to begin immediately to establish the divine economy of the Kingdom age.

After such peace and security (Hebrew, betach) has been established in His Land by Christ, the Gogian host has that hook inserted into its jaw and is drawn down upon the People of God and their King, who is at the time recognized by no entity on the earth. He shall have come upon them truly as a thief in the night ... and will continue to confront His enemies AS a thief until they are exhausted (entirely defeated).

The world of Churchianity will only accept the conviction that the real Christ is their beloved mythological man ("the Antichrist), and as such, is only to be resisted to the death. He will accommodate that requirement! Revelation 17 through 19 is a detailed, magnificent description of the elimination of false Christianity of that day.

From that point, the Kingdom appears to be expanded throughout the globe, until all nations are abolished, and their people and territories absorbed into the Kingdom, "But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever." Daniel 7: 18.

It is entirely evident, in our opinion, that the terminating process of His physical (and spiritual) enemies has begun in earnest. The growing tension between Israel and its surrounding Islamic States is tightening toward the breaking point, which, as we have frequently mentioned, is detailed in Isaiah 59: 19-21 – an account which is perhaps the clearest statement of the destined series of initial events: the instant of the visible emergence upon Israel’s enemies and their complete annihilation – a destiny that is our Father’s long-stated intention, and not in any wise any human consideration on our part.

The last conflict of the present series of (72 years long!) the heathen animus against the Jews will be, according to all the prophetic accounts (over 55 direct references!) that War of Psalm 83, a conflict whose details are recorded in numerous other passages ... all unrelated to the coming (later) war of Gog and Magog of Ezekiel 38 and 39. It will be the most intense destruction of God’s enemies ever witnessed, but only the first of three such terminal confrontations.

The Gogian affair will be the second conflict.

The destruction of Babylon the Great will be the third, in our considered opinion.

As you can readily see, I have great difficulty in relating only part of the account devoted to the terminal affairs of Israel with their enemies – which is the same affair that true Christianity has long been immersed in, against the long-standing corruption that has been induced by “wolves in sheep’s clothing” in the earliest Household of Faith (Matthew 7: 15) which led directly to the Son of Perdition of II Thessalonians 2: 3, who perverted God’s word and changed the truth of God into a lie (Romans 1: 25).

In our view, only Romanism fits the objective AND subjective requirements. Islam cannot be the villain in this affair; it must be Romanism – both Eastern and Western, because the only other time that term “son of perdition” is used is in John 17:12, where that entity is quite evidently Judas Iscariot.

It is essential that such a person be a holder of Truth originally, in order to corrupt it; one cannot corrupt something that is not in their possession.

Judas, as one of the Apostles, was certainly such, before he betrayed the LORD.

And the original Ecclesia of the first century was a verified holder of God’s Truth, too, until it allowed that body of evidence – the very articles of salvation – to be perverted into the “religion” of Babylon and Egypt.

The highly structured organization that emerged from that perversion was the Roman Catholic system of dogma and subterfuge – and the only viable candidate as the now verifiable “Antichrist.” And it was already beginning in the time of John (see John 2 :18) and is NOT a late development, or embodied in one man (but in an entire

‘religious’ organization...

Well, so much for political correctness, my dear friend!!!

With love in our LORD, HEL

Q &A: Consolation, Comfort, and Exhortation

Although the following information was not actually a Question, it certainly qualifies as an Answer – in a special sense. So I have included it in this section as the ‘best fit.’

This short treatise came from a correspondent in response to observations that I had made upon portions of Paul’s letter to Philippi. ...Editor.

February 15, 2021

Brother Harold,

I am really enjoying the study in the Philippians. You mention in this study the word paraklesis.

This Greek word, paraklesis, appears nearly 30 times in the New Testament – KJV. It is derived from a related word, parakaleo, which appears even more (often), about 100 times. These two words are translated into English in a variety of ways with the translators attempting to be true to the manner in which it is used.

The English words used for paraklesis are:

1. Consolation,

2. Comfort,

3. Exhortation,

4. Intreaty (entreaty in modern English)

The Greek word is derived from two Greek roots:

1. Para, and

2. Kaleo

These, when put together, relate to a calling together.

In 2 Corinthians 1: 6, 7, three times it is translated consolation. Twice there (it) is associated with salvation. And finally, it is juxtaposed to sufferings – parakalesis being the opposite of suffering.

Parakaleo is translated intreat, exhort, beseech, comfort, besought, etc. This is certainly an action word where the speaker is pleading with the audience to come together.

Just a few verses before, in 2 Corinthians, four times a form of the word is used in regards to the comfort that comes from God.

A similar word in Greek is where we get (the English word) parallel. I conclude the message is that we are to be comforted by the Word, by God, and through the efforts of those who would exhort us from the Word so that we are like-minded.

The exhortation isn’t just from the platform but in all that we do in regard to those in the household of faith.

But there seems to be more implied. We are to be brought by the Word – and through exhortation whether by word or deed – to come together; and be united in one mind, the mind of Christ.

When I think of parallel, my mind goes to a railroad track. The railroads in the US brought the two sides of the continent together into a United States. Up close, the two tracks are separated by a short distance of just over 4 feet, 8.5 inches in the US. But if we were to stand between the tracks and look to the distance, what seemed to be separated are drawn together so that at infinity they come together. That is what the Word does to us. We come from many walks of life, but as time goes on, the influence of the Word of God will bring us together into perfect harmony - all being perfected into the mind of Christ.

That surely was the mission of the apostle Paul on his journeys and in his writings.

In the Hope We Share

Bro Jim Land

Published in Q &A, February 22. 2021