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Pre-Trib Only Pre-tribulation Rapture Believers Safe House

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by Sojourner1, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    Fourth great battle, or rather campaign, and aftermath:


    Edom is destroyed.
    In the mad flight of the nations, Edom appears to be pushed by the armies behind them, for we read in Obadiah 7 that “All the men in your confederacy Shall force you to the border; The men at peace with you Shall deceive you and prevail against you. Those who eat your bread shall lay a trap for you. No one is aware of it.” (The wording of the New King James translation, which we are using, along with numerous others, implies that this will be an intentional plot by Edom’s confederates. But this is not necessarily the meaning of this passage, as we see in Young’s Literal Translation, by the Dr. Young of Young’s Concordance fame: “Unto the border sent thee have all thine allies, Forgotten thee, prevailed over thee, have thy friends, Thy bread they make a snare under thee, There is no understanding in him!” This seems to imply carelessness or recklessness, as would occur in a state of panic, rather than intent.) Edom apparently continues to flee through the Valley of Jehoshaphat, where the rest of the armies will be destroyed, down the Ascent of Ziz, and along the shore of the Dead sea toward their homeland. Edom reaches home, but not safety, for Jeremiah 49:8 says, “Flee, turn back, dwell in the depths, O inhabitants of Dedan! For I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him, The time that I will punish him.”
    The Lord prophesied “concerning Edom” (Obadiah 1) “For violence against your brother Jacob, Shame shall cover you, And you shall be cut off forever.” (verse 10) Verse 15 concludes this section with the words, “For the day of the LORD upon all the nations is near; As you have done, it shall be done to you; Your reprisal shall return upon your own head.”
    Edom’s previous crimes against Judah, both during Daniel’s seventeenth week and during preceding thousands of years, are the reason for the terrible judgment that now falls on this land. Again, Amos 1:11 says “Thus says the LORD: ‘For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because he pursued his brother with the sword, And cast off all pity; His anger tore perpetually, And he kept his wrath forever.’” The next verse reads, “But I will send a fire upon Teman, Which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.”
    Isaiah and Jeremiah describe this judgment in detail.
    “For My sword shall be bathed in heaven; Indeed it shall come down on Edom, And on the people of My curse, for judgment. The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, It is made overflowing with fatness, With the blood of lambs and goats, With the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah, And a great slaughter in the land of Edom. The wild oxen shall come down with them, And the young bulls with the mighty bulls; Their land shall be soaked with blood, And their dust saturated with fatness. For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, The year of recompense for the cause of Zion. Its streams shall be turned into pitch, And its dust into brimstone; Its land shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night or day; Its smoke shall ascend forever. From generation to generation it shall lie waste; No one shall pass through it forever and ever.” (Isaiah 34:5-10)
    “Therefore hear the counsel of the LORD that He has taken against Edom, And His purposes that He has proposed against the inhabitants of Teman: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out; Surely He shall make their dwelling places desolate with them. The earth shakes at the noise of their fall; At the cry its noise is heard at the Red Sea. Behold, He shall come up and fly like the eagle, And spread His wings over Bozrah; The heart of the mighty men of Edom in that day shall be Like the heart of a woman in birth pangs.” (Jeremiah 49:20-22)
    So this judgment begins at Bozrah, about thirty miles south of the Dead Sea. From there it goes some twenty five miles south to Teman, and from there to within hearing of the Red Sea. Habakkuk 3:3 mentions His coming from Mount Paran, which is approximately one hundred and sixty miles southeast of Teman, and is on the shore of the Red Sea. This entire area will receive the same judgment as Sodom and Gomorrah.
    God returns from destroying Edom.
    “Who is this who comes from Edom, With dyed garments from Bozrah, This One who is glorious in His apparel, Traveling in the greatness of His strength?; ‘I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.’ Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? ‘I have trodden the winepress alone, And from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, And trampled them in My fury; Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, And I have stained all My robes. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, And the year of My redeemed has come. I looked, but there was no one to help, And I wondered That there was no one to uphold; Therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; And My own fury, it sustained Me. I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, Made them drunk in My fury, And brought down their strength to the earth.’” (Isaiah 63:1-6)
    But the work is now only well started, “For the indignation of the LORD is against all nations, And His fury against all their armies.” (Isaiah 34:2) God returns to Jerusalem after destroying Edom. But when He returns, it is not yet in blessing. It is still in judgment, for we read in Habakkuk 3:3-6 that “God came from Teman, The Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, And the earth was full of His praise. His brightness was like the light; He had rays flashing from His hand, And there His power was hidden. Before Him went pestilence, And fever followed at His feet. He stood and measured the earth; He looked and startled the nations. And the everlasting mountains were scattered, The perpetual hills bowed. His ways are everlasting.”
    The Lord comes to His Temple.
    In Malachi 3:1-3 we read, “‘And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,’ Says the LORD of hosts. ‘But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire And like launderer's soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness.’” But we remember that the righteous had been cast out three and a half years earlier. (see page 132) All who are left are wicked. This coming is not deliverance, but a terror, as we read in Isaiah 66:6. “The sound of noise from the city! A voice from the temple! The voice of the LORD, Who fully repays His enemies!”
    Armageddon
    Such events could not fail to get the world’s attention. “The kings of the earth and of the whole world” respond to this new threat. (We should note in passing that this expression “the kings of the earth and of the whole world” shows that in Bible prophecy the terms “the earth” and “the whole world” have different meanings.) “The kings from the east” are particularly noticed. The Euphrates River is dried up so they can cross it. In light of this detail, it is interesting to note that a dam has now been built on the Euphrates River, so this has become possible by mere human means.
    “Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. ‘Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.’ And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.” (Revelation 16:12-16)
    Armageddon is on the edge of the plain of Megiddo, about 55 miles north of Jerusalem. Some call it the “valley of Armageddon,” but it is not so called in scripture. There is a reference to the “Valley of Megiddo” in 2 Chronicles 35:22 and in some translations of Zechariah 12:11. But it is important to realize that the Hebrew word translated valley in these places is distinctly different from the Hebrew word used for the “valley of Jehoshaphat.” Megiddo is a biq'ah. (word number 1237 in Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary) This indicates a wide level valley between mountains, or a plain. This Hebrew word is also used for Megiddo in Zechariah 12:11, where our translation renders it as a “plain,” rather than a valley. We have already noticed that the “valley of Jehoshaphat” is an ‘emeq, that is, a vale. This plainly shows that these are different valleys.
    Thus we understand that the prophesied judgment in the “valley of Jehoshaphat” is not just another description of the battle of Armageddon.
    Demons go out performing signs, to gather all the nations. (Revelation 16:13-14) The ten kings allied with the Beast are particularly noticed. “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” (Revelation 17:12-14)
    But it is not only “the kings of the earth” that prepare for this battle. The Lord makes preparations of his own. “Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, ‘Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.’” (Revelation 19:17-18)
    The beast and the false prophet captured and cast into the lake of fire
    There can only be one outcome in such an uneven contest. “And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.” (Revelation 19:19-21)
    The survivors from Armageddon sent to call all Israel home.
    This is explicitly stated in Isaiah 66:18-20, where the Lord says, “‘I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory. I will set a sign among them; and those among them who escape I will send to the nations: to Tarshish and Pul and Lud, who draw the bow, and Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off who have not heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. Then they shall bring all your brethren for an offering to the LORD out of all nations, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,’ says the LORD, ‘as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.’”
    We see this again in Jeremiah 16:14-16, where we read; “‘Therefore behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that it shall no more be said, “The LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,” but, “The LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.”’ For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers. ‘Behold, I will send for many fishermen,’ says the LORD, ‘and they shall fish them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.’”
    This is celebrated in Isaiah 52:7. “How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” It is also celebrated in the fourth book of the Psalms. Psalm 93:1, 96:10, 97:1, and 99:1 announce the wondrous news that “The Lord reigns.” Psalm 95:2 and 100:2 sound the call to “come before His presence” and Psalm 96:8 invites them to “come into His courts.”
    All Israel brought back to the land
    The return of all Israel to their land is one of the great themes of prophecy, and is found in too many places to cite them all. A typical one is Jeremiah 31:7-9:
    “Sing with gladness for Jacob, And shout among the chief of the nations; Proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘O LORD, save Your people, The remnant of Israel!’ Behold, I will bring them from the north country, And gather them from the ends of the earth, Among them the blind and the lame, The woman with child And the one who labors with child, together; A great throng shall return there. They shall come with weeping, And with supplications I will lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, In a straight way in which they shall not stumble; For I am a Father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn.”
    This is celebrated in the fifth book of the Psalms:
    “When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion, We were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, And our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them.’ The LORD has done great things for us, And we are glad.” (Psalm 126:1-3)
    Unlike the previous return of Judah to her land, this is not a partial return. All Israel will be gathered. We see this in Ezekiel 36:10, where the Lord tells the “mountains of Israel” (verse 8) that He “will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt.” (The Hebrew word for all, kol (word number 3605 in Strong’s Hebrew dictionary), does not always mean the sum total of each and every member of a group. But the fact that the word all is repeated in this statement makes it plain that this is the meaning intended here.) We see it again in Micah 2:12, where the Lord says “I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of the fold, Like a flock in the midst of their pasture; They shall make a loud noise because of so many people.”
    The nations bring the children of Israel home.
    “They shall bring your sons in their arms, And your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders; Kings shall be your foster fathers, And their queens your nursing mothers; They shall bow down to you with their faces to the earth, And lick up the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD, For they shall not be ashamed who wait for Me.” (Isaiah 49:22-23)
    The rebels purged from among Israel.
    But many of the children of Israel are rebels. To such, the Lord’s appearing does not mean blessing, but judgment. These will be removed from among the people.
    “‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘surely with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out, I will rule over you. I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face. Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you,’ says the Lord GOD. ‘I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’” (Ezekiel 20:33-38)
    “In that day you shall not be shamed for any of your deeds In which you transgress against Me; For then I will take away from your midst Those who rejoice in your pride, And you shall no longer be haughty In My holy mountain. I will leave in your midst A meek and humble people, And they shall trust in the name of the LORD.” (Zephaniah 3:11-12)
    Israel repents of their rejection of Jesus as their Messiah.
    When Israel finally sees their long awaited messiah, “one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’ (Zechariah 13:6 - I am disappointed that the New King James translation, which we are using, has joined a number of other modern translations in abandoning the apparent reference to our Lord’s crucifixion in the King James reading, “What are these wounds in thine hands?”) The result is that “In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.” (Zechariah 12:11-14)
    Again, we read, “Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.” (Jeremiah 24:7) “And so all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26)
    This is how “it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy; everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning.” (Isaiah 4:3-4)
    Ephraim and Judah reunited
    This is detailed in Ezekiel 37, in which the Lord says: “As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: ‘For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.’ Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand.” (Ezekiel 37:16-17) The Lord then told Ezekiel that when the children of his people asked him what this meant, he should answer them that “the Lord GOD” says: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again.” (Ezekiel 37:21-22)
    Isaiah also speaks of this, saying that the Lord “will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth. Also the envy of Ephraim shall depart, And the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, And Judah shall not harass Ephraim.” (Isaiah 11:12-13)
    This is celebrated in the fifth book of the Psalms:
    “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the LORD commanded the blessing; Life forevermore.” (Psalm 133:1-3)
    The Lord sends united Israel to war.
    But the Lord has come to judge the nations, and His work is not yet finished. The nations that have hated Israel must now be punished. The Lord, in His justice, decrees that this must be done by the very ones they have so long tried to destroy. He commands Israel to destroy them. The justice of this is pointed out in Habakkuk 2:8; “Because you have plundered many nations, All the remnant of the people shall plunder you, Because of men's blood And the violence of the land and the city, And of all who dwell in it.” We see this again in Isaiah 49:26. “I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh, And they shall be drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine. All flesh shall know That I, the LORD, am your Savior, And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” Again, in Isaiah 51:22-23, the Lord says, “See, I have taken out of your hand The cup of trembling, The dregs of the cup of My fury; You shall no longer drink it. But I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you, Who have said to you, ‘Lie down, that we may walk over you.’ And you have laid your body like the ground, And as the street, for those who walk over.”
    In keeping with this decree, the Lord gives Israel a most awesome charge: “Cursed is he who does the work of the LORD deceitfully, And cursed is he who keeps back his sword from blood.” (Jeremiah 48:10) This may seem unlike the gracious God we know, but we must remember that the present age of grace is over, and it is now “the Day of the LORD.” As we read in Psalm 110:6, “The Lord is at Your right hand; He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the nations, He shall fill the places with dead bodies, He shall execute the heads of many countries.”
    In response to this instruction “the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength in the LORD of hosts, their God.’” (Zechariah 12:5)
    In the fifth book of the Psalms, Israel responds:
    “Let the saints be joyful in glory; Let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand, To execute vengeance on the nations, And punishments on the peoples; To bind their kings with chains, And their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute on them the written judgment; This honor have all His saints. Praise the LORD!” (Psalm 149:5-9)
    “All nations surrounded me, But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. They surrounded me, Yes, they surrounded me; But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. They surrounded me like bees; They were quenched like a fire of thorns; For in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.” (Psalm 118:10-12)
    So we read that “In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left... In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them.” (Zechariah 12:6-8)
    Israel conquers the Philistines, Edom, Moab, and Ammon
    We noticed the prophecy about Ephraim being reconciled with Judah. The rest of that prophecy says, “Ephraim shall not envy Judah, And Judah shall not harass Ephraim. But they shall fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the west; Together they shall plunder the people of the East; They shall lay their hand on Edom and Moab; And the people of Ammon shall obey them.” (Isaiah 11:13-14)
    We see this again in Ezekiel 25:14, where the Lord God says, “I will lay My vengeance on Edom by the hand of My people Israel, that they may do in Edom according to My anger and according to My fury; and they shall know My vengeance.”
    The destruction of these lands will be complete.
    “For Gaza shall be forsaken, And Ashkelon desolate; They shall drive out Ashdod at noon-day, And Ekron shall be uprooted. Woe to the inhabitants of the seacoast, The nation of the Cherethites! The word of the LORD is against you, O Canaan, land of the Philistines: ‘I will destroy you; So there shall be no inhabitant.’ The seacoast shall be pastures, With shelters for shepherds and folds for flocks. The coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; They shall feed their flocks there; In the houses of Ashkelon they shall lie down at evening. For the LORD their God will intervene for them, And return their captives.” (Zephaniah 2:4-7)
    “‘Therefore, as I live,’ Says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Surely Moab shall be like Sodom, And the people of Ammon like Gomorrah; Overrun with weeds and saltpits, And a perpetual desolation. The residue of My people shall plunder them, And the remnant of My people shall possess them.’” (Zephaniah 2:9)
    All this must of necessity be future, for since the days of Isaiah Ephraim and Judah have never joined together in a successful military operation. Ezekiel wrote after all of Ephraim and most of Judah had been carried away captive. And since the days of Zephaniah Israel has never destroyed any of these nations.
    The Lord sends Israel against the Grecian kings.
    “For I have bent Judah, My bow, Fitted the bow with Ephraim, And raised up your sons, O Zion, Against your sons, O Greece, And made you like the sword of a mighty man. Then the LORD will be seen over them, And His arrow will go forth like lightning. The Lord GOD will blow the trumpet, And go with whirlwinds from the south. The LORD of hosts will defend them; They shall devour and subdue with slingstones. They shall drink and roar as if with wine; They shall be filled with blood like basins, Like the corners of the altar.” (Zechariah 9:13-15)
    The term “your sons, O Greece” is a reference to “the king of the North” (Assyria) and “the king of the South” (Egypt), two of the four splinters from the breakup of the kingdom of the Greek king Alexander the Great. This can be plainly seen in the following references.
    Israel wastes the land of Assyria with the sword.
    This is expressly stated in Micah 5. This has to be future, for Israel has never invaded Assyria.
    “And this One shall be peace. When the Assyrian comes into our land, And when he treads in our palaces, Then we will raise against him Seven shepherds and eight princely men. They shall waste with the sword the land of Assyria, And the land of Nimrod at its entrances; Thus He shall delver us from the Assyrian, When he comes into our land And when he treads within our borders.” (Micah 5:5-6)
    Egypt desolated because of their violence against the people of Judah.
    “Egypt shall be a desolation, And Edom a desolate wilderness, Because of violence against the people of Judah, For they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall abide forever, And Jerusalem from generation to generation.” (Joel 3:19-20)
    “In that day Egypt will be like women, and will be afraid and fear because of the waving of the hand of the Lord of hosts, which He waves over it. And the land of Judah will be a terror to Egypt; everyone who makes mention of it will be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the Lord of hosts which He has determined against it.” (Isaiah 19:16-17)
    All Israel settled in the land
    All Israel is now settled in the land. This is described in the last two chapters of Ezekiel, beginning with explicit details of the boundaries of the land. (Ezekiel 47:15-20) These details do not correspond to the borders Israel actually had at any time in history, so this has to be future.
    Next come specific instructions as to how the land is to be divided. Strangers who dwell among them are not left out.
    “Thus you shall divide this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. It shall be that you will divide it by lot as an inheritance for yourselves, and for the strangers who dwell among you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as native-born among the children of Israel; they shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall be that in whatever tribe the stranger dwells, there you shall give him his inheritance," says the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 47:21-23)
    Finally, the Lord names each of the twelve tribes, stating which portion of the land is to be given to each of them. (Ezekiel 48:1-7 and 23-29) Between these last two passages is another highly detailed instruction regarding a plot reserved for the Temple, the Levites, and the king.
    Many imagine that this is only figurative speech, that it does not mean literal Israel, but only the people of God generally. In this regard it is important to examine a most remarkable prophecy addressed to a piece of real estate.
    “But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come. For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the LORD. Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, My people Israel; they shall take possession of you, and you shall be their inheritance” (Ezekiel 36:8-12)
    In view of all this explicit detail, it is simple unbelief to deny that this refers to a physical restoration of the natural offspring of ancient Israel. The only way to escape this conclusion is to deny that the scriptures mean what they say.
     
  2. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    Fifth great battle, and aftermath:


    Edom is destroyed.
    In the mad flight of the nations, Edom appears to be pushed by the armies behind them, for we read in Obadiah 7 that “All the men in your confederacy Shall force you to the border; The men at peace with you Shall deceive you and prevail against you. Those who eat your bread shall lay a trap for you. No one is aware of it.” (The wording of the New King James translation, which we are using, along with numerous others, implies that this will be an intentional plot by Edom’s confederates. But this is not necessarily the meaning of this passage, as we see in Young’s Literal Translation, by the Dr. Young of Young’s Concordance fame: “Unto the border sent thee have all thine allies, Forgotten thee, prevailed over thee, have thy friends, Thy bread they make a snare under thee, There is no understanding in him!” This seems to imply carelessness or recklessness, as would occur in a state of panic, rather than intent.) Edom apparently continues to flee through the Valley of Jehoshaphat, where the rest of the armies will be destroyed, down the Ascent of Ziz, and along the shore of the Dead sea toward their homeland. Edom reaches home, but not safety, for Jeremiah 49:8 says, “Flee, turn back, dwell in the depths, O inhabitants of Dedan! For I will bring the calamity of Esau upon him, The time that I will punish him.”
    The Lord prophesied “concerning Edom” (Obadiah 1) “For violence against your brother Jacob, Shame shall cover you, And you shall be cut off forever.” (verse 10) Verse 15 concludes this section with the words, “For the day of the LORD upon all the nations is near; As you have done, it shall be done to you; Your reprisal shall return upon your own head.”
    Edom’s previous crimes against Judah, both during Daniel’s seventeenth week and during preceding thousands of years, are the reason for the terrible judgment that now falls on this land. Again, Amos 1:11 says “Thus says the LORD: ‘For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because he pursued his brother with the sword, And cast off all pity; His anger tore perpetually, And he kept his wrath forever.’” The next verse reads, “But I will send a fire upon Teman, Which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.”
    Isaiah and Jeremiah describe this judgment in detail.
    “For My sword shall be bathed in heaven; Indeed it shall come down on Edom, And on the people of My curse, for judgment. The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, It is made overflowing with fatness, With the blood of lambs and goats, With the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah, And a great slaughter in the land of Edom. The wild oxen shall come down with them, And the young bulls with the mighty bulls; Their land shall be soaked with blood, And their dust saturated with fatness. For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, The year of recompense for the cause of Zion. Its streams shall be turned into pitch, And its dust into brimstone; Its land shall become burning pitch. It shall not be quenched night or day; Its smoke shall ascend forever. From generation to generation it shall lie waste; No one shall pass through it forever and ever.” (Isaiah 34:5-10)
    “Therefore hear the counsel of the LORD that He has taken against Edom, And His purposes that He has proposed against the inhabitants of Teman: Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out; Surely He shall make their dwelling places desolate with them. The earth shakes at the noise of their fall; At the cry its noise is heard at the Red Sea. Behold, He shall come up and fly like the eagle, And spread His wings over Bozrah; The heart of the mighty men of Edom in that day shall be Like the heart of a woman in birth pangs.” (Jeremiah 49:20-22)
    So this judgment begins at Bozrah, about thirty miles south of the Dead Sea. From there it goes some twenty five miles south to Teman, and from there to within hearing of the Red Sea. Habakkuk 3:3 mentions His coming from Mount Paran, which is approximately one hundred and sixty miles southeast of Teman, and is on the shore of the Red Sea. This entire area will receive the same judgment as Sodom and Gomorrah.
    God returns from destroying Edom.
    “Who is this who comes from Edom, With dyed garments from Bozrah, This One who is glorious in His apparel, Traveling in the greatness of His strength?; ‘I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.’ Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? ‘I have trodden the winepress alone, And from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, And trampled them in My fury; Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, And I have stained all My robes. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, And the year of My redeemed has come. I looked, but there was no one to help, And I wondered That there was no one to uphold; Therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; And My own fury, it sustained Me. I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, Made them drunk in My fury, And brought down their strength to the earth.’” (Isaiah 63:1-6)
    But the work is now only well started, “For the indignation of the LORD is against all nations, And His fury against all their armies.” (Isaiah 34:2) God returns to Jerusalem after destroying Edom. But when He returns, it is not yet in blessing. It is still in judgment, for we read in Habakkuk 3:3-6 that “God came from Teman, The Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, And the earth was full of His praise. His brightness was like the light; He had rays flashing from His hand, And there His power was hidden. Before Him went pestilence, And fever followed at His feet. He stood and measured the earth; He looked and startled the nations. And the everlasting mountains were scattered, The perpetual hills bowed. His ways are everlasting.”
    The Lord comes to His Temple.
    In Malachi 3:1-3 we read, “‘And the Lord, whom you seek, Will suddenly come to His temple, Even the Messenger of the covenant, In whom you delight. Behold, He is coming,’ Says the LORD of hosts. ‘But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire And like launderer's soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi, And purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the LORD An offering in righteousness.’” But we remember that the righteous had been cast out three and a half years earlier. (see page 132) All who are left are wicked. This coming is not deliverance, but a terror, as we read in Isaiah 66:6. “The sound of noise from the city! A voice from the temple! The voice of the LORD, Who fully repays His enemies!”
    Armageddon
    Such events could not fail to get the world’s attention. “The kings of the earth and of the whole world” respond to this new threat. (We should note in passing that this expression “the kings of the earth and of the whole world” shows that in Bible prophecy the terms “the earth” and “the whole world” have different meanings.) “The kings from the east” are particularly noticed. The Euphrates River is dried up so they can cross it. In light of this detail, it is interesting to note that a dam has now been built on the Euphrates River, so this has become possible by mere human means.
    “Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. ‘Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.’ And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.” (Revelation 16:12-16)
    Armageddon is on the edge of the plain of Megiddo, about 55 miles north of Jerusalem. Some call it the “valley of Armageddon,” but it is not so called in scripture. There is a reference to the “Valley of Megiddo” in 2 Chronicles 35:22 and in some translations of Zechariah 12:11. But it is important to realize that the Hebrew word translated valley in these places is distinctly different from the Hebrew word used for the “valley of Jehoshaphat.” Megiddo is a biq'ah. (word number 1237 in Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary) This indicates a wide level valley between mountains, or a plain. This Hebrew word is also used for Megiddo in Zechariah 12:11, where our translation renders it as a “plain,” rather than a valley. We have already noticed that the “valley of Jehoshaphat” is an ‘emeq, that is, a vale. This plainly shows that these are different valleys.
    Thus we understand that the prophesied judgment in the “valley of Jehoshaphat” is not just another description of the battle of Armageddon.
    Demons go out performing signs, to gather all the nations. (Revelation 16:13-14) The ten kings allied with the Beast are particularly noticed. “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.” (Revelation 17:12-14)
    But it is not only “the kings of the earth” that prepare for this battle. The Lord makes preparations of his own. “Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, ‘Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.’” (Revelation 19:17-18)
    The beast and the false prophet captured and cast into the lake of fire
    There can only be one outcome in such an uneven contest. “And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.” (Revelation 19:19-21)
    The survivors from Armageddon sent to call all Israel home.
    This is explicitly stated in Isaiah 66:18-20, where the Lord says, “‘I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see My glory. I will set a sign among them; and those among them who escape I will send to the nations: to Tarshish and Pul and Lud, who draw the bow, and Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off who have not heard My fame nor seen My glory. And they shall declare My glory among the Gentiles. Then they shall bring all your brethren for an offering to the LORD out of all nations, on horses and in chariots and in litters, on mules and on camels, to My holy mountain Jerusalem,’ says the LORD, ‘as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the LORD.’”
    We see this again in Jeremiah 16:14-16, where we read; “‘Therefore behold, the days are coming,’ says the LORD, ‘that it shall no more be said, “The LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,” but, “The LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had driven them.”’ For I will bring them back into their land which I gave to their fathers. ‘Behold, I will send for many fishermen,’ says the LORD, ‘and they shall fish them; and afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks.’”
    This is celebrated in Isaiah 52:7. “How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” It is also celebrated in the fourth book of the Psalms. Psalm 93:1, 96:10, 97:1, and 99:1 announce the wondrous news that “The Lord reigns.” Psalm 95:2 and 100:2 sound the call to “come before His presence” and Psalm 96:8 invites them to “come into His courts.”
    All Israel brought back to the land
    The return of all Israel to their land is one of the great themes of prophecy, and is found in too many places to cite them all. A typical one is Jeremiah 31:7-9:
    “Sing with gladness for Jacob, And shout among the chief of the nations; Proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘O LORD, save Your people, The remnant of Israel!’ Behold, I will bring them from the north country, And gather them from the ends of the earth, Among them the blind and the lame, The woman with child And the one who labors with child, together; A great throng shall return there. They shall come with weeping, And with supplications I will lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, In a straight way in which they shall not stumble; For I am a Father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn.”
    This is celebrated in the fifth book of the Psalms:
    “When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion, We were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, And our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them.’ The LORD has done great things for us, And we are glad.” (Psalm 126:1-3)
    Unlike the previous return of Judah to her land, this is not a partial return. All Israel will be gathered. We see this in Ezekiel 36:10, where the Lord tells the “mountains of Israel” (verse 8) that He “will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt.” (The Hebrew word for all, kol (word number 3605 in Strong’s Hebrew dictionary), does not always mean the sum total of each and every member of a group. But the fact that the word all is repeated in this statement makes it plain that this is the meaning intended here.) We see it again in Micah 2:12, where the Lord says “I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of the fold, Like a flock in the midst of their pasture; They shall make a loud noise because of so many people.”
    The nations bring the children of Israel home.
    “They shall bring your sons in their arms, And your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders; Kings shall be your foster fathers, And their queens your nursing mothers; They shall bow down to you with their faces to the earth, And lick up the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD, For they shall not be ashamed who wait for Me.” (Isaiah 49:22-23)
    The rebels purged from among Israel.
    But many of the children of Israel are rebels. To such, the Lord’s appearing does not mean blessing, but judgment. These will be removed from among the people.
    “‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘surely with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out, I will rule over you. I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face. Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you,’ says the Lord GOD. ‘I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’” (Ezekiel 20:33-38)
    “In that day you shall not be shamed for any of your deeds In which you transgress against Me; For then I will take away from your midst Those who rejoice in your pride, And you shall no longer be haughty In My holy mountain. I will leave in your midst A meek and humble people, And they shall trust in the name of the LORD.” (Zephaniah 3:11-12)
    Israel repents of their rejection of Jesus as their Messiah.
    When Israel finally sees their long awaited messiah, “one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’ (Zechariah 13:6 - I am disappointed that the New King James translation, which we are using, has joined a number of other modern translations in abandoning the apparent reference to our Lord’s crucifixion in the King James reading, “What are these wounds in thine hands?”) The result is that “In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.” (Zechariah 12:11-14)
    Again, we read, “Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.” (Jeremiah 24:7) “And so all Israel will be saved” (Romans 11:26)
    This is how “it shall come to pass that he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy; everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem. When the Lord has washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and purged the blood of Jerusalem from her midst, by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning.” (Isaiah 4:3-4)
    Ephraim and Judah reunited
    This is detailed in Ezekiel 37, in which the Lord says: “As for you, son of man, take a stick for yourself and write on it: ‘For Judah and for the children of Israel, his companions.’ Then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel, his companions.’ Then join them one to another for yourself into one stick, and they will become one in your hand.” (Ezekiel 37:16-17) The Lord then told Ezekiel that when the children of his people asked him what this meant, he should answer them that “the Lord GOD” says: “Surely I will take the children of Israel from among the nations, wherever they have gone, and will gather them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king over them all; they shall no longer be two nations, nor shall they ever be divided into two kingdoms again.” (Ezekiel 37:21-22)
    Isaiah also speaks of this, saying that the Lord “will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth. Also the envy of Ephraim shall depart, And the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, And Judah shall not harass Ephraim.” (Isaiah 11:12-13)
    This is celebrated in the fifth book of the Psalms:
    “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the LORD commanded the blessing; Life forevermore.” (Psalm 133:1-3)
    The Lord sends united Israel to war.
    But the Lord has come to judge the nations, and His work is not yet finished. The nations that have hated Israel must now be punished. The Lord, in His justice, decrees that this must be done by the very ones they have so long tried to destroy. He commands Israel to destroy them. The justice of this is pointed out in Habakkuk 2:8; “Because you have plundered many nations, All the remnant of the people shall plunder you, Because of men's blood And the violence of the land and the city, And of all who dwell in it.” We see this again in Isaiah 49:26. “I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh, And they shall be drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine. All flesh shall know That I, the LORD, am your Savior, And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” Again, in Isaiah 51:22-23, the Lord says, “See, I have taken out of your hand The cup of trembling, The dregs of the cup of My fury; You shall no longer drink it. But I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you, Who have said to you, ‘Lie down, that we may walk over you.’ And you have laid your body like the ground, And as the street, for those who walk over.”
    In keeping with this decree, the Lord gives Israel a most awesome charge: “Cursed is he who does the work of the LORD deceitfully, And cursed is he who keeps back his sword from blood.” (Jeremiah 48:10) This may seem unlike the gracious God we know, but we must remember that the present age of grace is over, and it is now “the Day of the LORD.” As we read in Psalm 110:6, “The Lord is at Your right hand; He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the nations, He shall fill the places with dead bodies, He shall execute the heads of many countries.”
    In response to this instruction “the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength in the LORD of hosts, their God.’” (Zechariah 12:5)
    In the fifth book of the Psalms, Israel responds:
    “Let the saints be joyful in glory; Let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, And a two-edged sword in their hand, To execute vengeance on the nations, And punishments on the peoples; To bind their kings with chains, And their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute on them the written judgment; This honor have all His saints. Praise the LORD!” (Psalm 149:5-9)
    “All nations surrounded me, But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. They surrounded me, Yes, they surrounded me; But in the name of the LORD I will destroy them. They surrounded me like bees; They were quenched like a fire of thorns; For in the name of the LORD I will destroy them.” (Psalm 118:10-12)
    So we read that “In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left... In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them.” (Zechariah 12:6-8)
    Israel conquers the Philistines, Edom, Moab, and Ammon
    We noticed the prophecy about Ephraim being reconciled with Judah. The rest of that prophecy says, “Ephraim shall not envy Judah, And Judah shall not harass Ephraim. But they shall fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the west; Together they shall plunder the people of the East; They shall lay their hand on Edom and Moab; And the people of Ammon shall obey them.” (Isaiah 11:13-14)
    We see this again in Ezekiel 25:14, where the Lord God says, “I will lay My vengeance on Edom by the hand of My people Israel, that they may do in Edom according to My anger and according to My fury; and they shall know My vengeance.”
    The destruction of these lands will be complete.
    “For Gaza shall be forsaken, And Ashkelon desolate; They shall drive out Ashdod at noon-day, And Ekron shall be uprooted. Woe to the inhabitants of the seacoast, The nation of the Cherethites! The word of the LORD is against you, O Canaan, land of the Philistines: ‘I will destroy you; So there shall be no inhabitant.’ The seacoast shall be pastures, With shelters for shepherds and folds for flocks. The coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; They shall feed their flocks there; In the houses of Ashkelon they shall lie down at evening. For the LORD their God will intervene for them, And return their captives.” (Zephaniah 2:4-7)
    “‘Therefore, as I live,’ Says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Surely Moab shall be like Sodom, And the people of Ammon like Gomorrah; Overrun with weeds and saltpits, And a perpetual desolation. The residue of My people shall plunder them, And the remnant of My people shall possess them.’” (Zephaniah 2:9)
    All this must of necessity be future, for since the days of Isaiah Ephraim and Judah have never joined together in a successful military operation. Ezekiel wrote after all of Ephraim and most of Judah had been carried away captive. And since the days of Zephaniah Israel has never destroyed any of these nations.
    The Lord sends Israel against the Grecian kings.
    “For I have bent Judah, My bow, Fitted the bow with Ephraim, And raised up your sons, O Zion, Against your sons, O Greece, And made you like the sword of a mighty man. Then the LORD will be seen over them, And His arrow will go forth like lightning. The Lord GOD will blow the trumpet, And go with whirlwinds from the south. The LORD of hosts will defend them; They shall devour and subdue with slingstones. They shall drink and roar as if with wine; They shall be filled with blood like basins, Like the corners of the altar.” (Zechariah 9:13-15)
    The term “your sons, O Greece” is a reference to “the king of the North” (Assyria) and “the king of the South” (Egypt), two of the four splinters from the breakup of the kingdom of the Greek king Alexander the Great. This can be plainly seen in the following references.
    Israel wastes the land of Assyria with the sword.
    This is expressly stated in Micah 5. This has to be future, for Israel has never invaded Assyria.
    “And this One shall be peace. When the Assyrian comes into our land, And when he treads in our palaces, Then we will raise against him Seven shepherds and eight princely men. They shall waste with the sword the land of Assyria, And the land of Nimrod at its entrances; Thus He shall delver us from the Assyrian, When he comes into our land And when he treads within our borders.” (Micah 5:5-6)
    Egypt desolated because of their violence against the people of Judah.
    “Egypt shall be a desolation, And Edom a desolate wilderness, Because of violence against the people of Judah, For they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall abide forever, And Jerusalem from generation to generation.” (Joel 3:19-20)
    “In that day Egypt will be like women, and will be afraid and fear because of the waving of the hand of the Lord of hosts, which He waves over it. And the land of Judah will be a terror to Egypt; everyone who makes mention of it will be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the Lord of hosts which He has determined against it.” (Isaiah 19:16-17)
    All Israel settled in the land
    All Israel is now settled in the land. This is described in the last two chapters of Ezekiel, beginning with explicit details of the boundaries of the land. (Ezekiel 47:15-20) These details do not correspond to the borders Israel actually had at any time in history, so this has to be future.
    Next come specific instructions as to how the land is to be divided. Strangers who dwell among them are not left out.
    “Thus you shall divide this land among yourselves according to the tribes of Israel. It shall be that you will divide it by lot as an inheritance for yourselves, and for the strangers who dwell among you and who bear children among you. They shall be to you as native-born among the children of Israel; they shall have an inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. And it shall be that in whatever tribe the stranger dwells, there you shall give him his inheritance," says the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 47:21-23)
    Finally, the Lord names each of the twelve tribes, stating which portion of the land is to be given to each of them. (Ezekiel 48:1-7 and 23-29) Between these last two passages is another highly detailed instruction regarding a plot reserved for the Temple, the Levites, and the king.
    Many imagine that this is only figurative speech, that it does not mean literal Israel, but only the people of God generally. In this regard it is important to examine a most remarkable prophecy addressed to a piece of real estate.
    “But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come. For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown. I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the LORD. Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, My people Israel; they shall take possession of you, and you shall be their inheritance” (Ezekiel 36:8-12)
    In view of all this explicit detail, it is simple unbelief to deny that this refers to a physical restoration of the natural offspring of ancient Israel. The only way to escape this conclusion is to deny that the scriptures mean what they say.
    The invasion and defeat of Gog
    But the nations will still not be completely subdued. One final battle must take place. Gog will come down after the Lord has brought Israel “back from the sword,” after they have been “brought out of the nations.” (Ezekiel 38:8) Gog’s thought will only be evil, but it will be the Lord Himself who brings him down. Why? “So that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.” (verse 16)
    The millennium is about to begin. It is time to put an end to all thought of rebellion. To do this, the Lord needs one final display of His power. He says “Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.” (Ezekiel 38:23) Gog will provide the occasion, but “all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them.” (Ezekiel 39:21)
    The Lord will strike down this rebellion in an awesome display of power.
    “‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground. I will call for a sword against Gog throughout all My mountains,’ says the Lord GOD. ‘Every man's sword will be against his brother. And I will bring him to judgment with pestilence and bloodshed; I will rain down on him, on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, flooding rain, great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.’” (Ezekiel 38:18-22)
    The destruction will be so great that Israel will burn their weapons as fuel for seven years.
    “Then those who dwell in the cities of Israel will go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and they will make fires with them for seven years. They will not take wood from the field nor cut down any from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons; and they will plunder those who plundered them, and pillage those who pillaged them," says the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 39:9-10)
    It will take seven months to bury the dead.
    “‘For seven months the house of Israel will be burying them, in order to cleanse the land. Indeed all the people of the land will be burying, and they will gain renown for it on the day that I am glorified,’ says the Lord GOD. ‘They will set apart men regularly employed, with the help of a search party, to pass through the land and bury those bodies remaining on the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search. The search party will pass through the land; and when anyone sees a man's bone, he shall set up a marker by it, till the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon Gog.’” (Ezekiel 39:12-15)
    It has been argued that Gog’s attack could not be at the end of the seventieth week because that would make this period of burial stretch into the millennium. But this prophetic detail actually proves that the attack cannot come in the middle of the week, when many think it will occur. For after that attack there will be no one left to bury the dead. Again, during the last half of this week Judah will be under siege in the fortified remains of Jerusalem. Each of these clearly stated prophetic details would clearly make it impossible for “the house of Israel” to “set apart men regularly employed, with the help of a search party, to pass through the land and bury those bodies remaining on the ground.” (Ezekiel 39:12-14) These same conditions also show that, aside from the few under siege in Jerusalem, there would be none left “who dwell in the cities of Israel.” And these few would not be able to “go out and set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and bucklers, the bows and arrows, the javelins and spears; and... make fires with them for seven years.” (Ezekiel 39:9) Further, Israel will be not be called home after the Lord returns. This shows that this prophecy refers to a time after the Lord returns.
    There are numerous other details in this prophecy that establish when it takes place. In reviewing these, we first need to notice Ezekiel 38:8. “After many days you will be visited. In the latter years you will come into the land of those brought back from the sword and gathered from many people on the mountains of Israel.” Again, verse 16 plainly states that “It will be in the latter days that I will bring you against My land, so that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.” This is therefore unquestionably an end time event. It will be at a time when “My people Israel dwell safely,” (38:14) “all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates” (38:11) From these scriptures we might think the time referred to is when Judah will think it is safe because it is in covenant with the beast. But these passages speak of Israel, not of Judah. And after Messiah comes they will actually be safe.
    It is critical to notice that throughout this prophecy the land and the people are called Israel, not Judah. For in these two chapters (Ezekiel 38-39) the name Israel occurs 17 times, but Judah is never mentioned. This means the time referred to is after the Lord returns, because all Israel will not return to the land until then. The Jews are indeed back in the land, but the word Jew refers only to descendants of the ancient kingdom of Judah, that is, members of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. While the land is now called Israel, that is not a Biblically accurate term. Scripturally, Israel means either the ten northern tribes or the entire twelve tribes. But end time prophecy never uses this name when speaking of the two southern tribes. They are called Judah, not Israel.
    Details in chapter 39 set the time plainly. In verse 7 the Lord says that after that time He “will not let them profane” His holy name “anymore.” This has to be after the time of “the man of sin... the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3) Because at that time “he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.” (2 Thessalonians 2:4) Aside from the time when they crucified their Messiah, this will be the worst profaning of His holy name in their entire sad history. So Ezekiel 39:7 sets the time of Gog’s invasion as after the time of the antichrist.
    Again, in verse 22 the Lord says that “the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day forward” This fixes the date as after the seven years of tribulation and before the millennium. That is because during the tribulation Judah (which is all of “the house of Israel” that will be in the land at that time) will be worshiping the antichrist, as noted above. But during the millennium “No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.” (Jeremiah 31:34) So Ezekiel 39:22 places the time of Gog’s defeat at the time when this change takes place.
    Again, in verse 29 we read that after this great deliverance from Gog the Lord “will not hide” His “face from them anymore.” This means the deliverance will take place after the tribulation, because during that time “they will cry to the Lord, But He will not hear them; He will even hide His face from them at that time, Because they have been evil in their deeds.” (Micah 3:4) We know Micah’s prophecy refers to the last days because it begins “For behold, the Lord is coming out of His place. He will come down And tread on the high places of the earth. The mountains will melt under Him, And the valleys will split Like wax before the fire, Like waters poured down a steep place.” (Micah 1:3-4) So Ezekiel 39:29 shows that the deliverance from Gog will take place after the tribulation.
    We need to realize that Israel will not truly repent until they actually see their Messiah. At that time they will ask “‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’” (Zechariah 13:6) Then “In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.” (Zechariah 12:11-14)
     
  3. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    The great reign of peace:


    The kingdom of God set up on earth.
    Scripture could not be more clear in this matter. The God of heaven will most assuredly come to this earth and set up a kingdom. Some imagine this will eventually come about through human effort. The many scriptures we have examined clearly show the error of this notion. But we are not left to conclude this from other scriptures. It is expressly stated that God will do this Himself. He will not leave it in the hands of others.
    “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” (Daniel 2:44)
    The nations judged
    The Ancient of Days will judge the kingdoms of the world.
    “I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire; A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened. I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.” (Daniel 7:9-12)
    Jesus described this judgment in Matthew 25:31-45, saying the nations will be judged on the basis of how they have treated His own. In rewarding the righteous, the King will say “inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (verse 40) Likewise, in condemning the wicked, He will say “inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” (verse 45)
    This is a formal judgment before a throne. It is therefore not the same as the Lord’s destructive judgments while He conquers the nations. This is an eternal judgment, for “these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:46)
    Satan imprisoned
    Many think Satan is just a symbolic personification of evil, but in the Holy Scriptures he is a real living being, a person, an individual. This wicked individual will be imprisoned.
    “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished.” (Revelation 20:1-3)
    Satan will be imprisoned “so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished.” While the scriptures do not state the timing of this event, it is presented in the Revelation after the beast and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 19:20) and before judgment is committed to the saints. (Revelation 20:4)
    The resurrection and reign of the righteous
    “And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4-6)
    Judgment is committed to the saints.
    In Daniel 7, the prophet was watching “until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.” (verses 21-22) Daniel’s interpreter told him, “Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.” (verse 27)
    A new temple is built.
    This is distinctly prophesied in words too plain to misunderstand. In Zechariah 6:12-13 we read, “Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, And He shall build the temple of the LORD; Yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, And shall sit and rule on His throne; So He shall be a priest on His throne, And the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”
    In Ezekiel 40 through 42, the prophet was shown a vision of a temple, in which a man with a measuring line took him everywhere, measuring all the details of a temple unlike anything that has ever been built. Finally, in chapter 43, Ezekiel was told, “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever. No more shall the house of Israel defile My holy name, they nor their kings, by their harlotry or with the carcasses of their kings on their high places.” (Ezekiel 43:7)
    Temple worship resumed, with animal sacrifices.
    Many think this cannot happen, because it seems contrary to scriptures such as Hebrews 10;“by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” (verse 14) and “Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.” (verse 18) But our understanding of the meaning of one scripture cannot set aside the express statement of another. When the scriptures tell us something in plain words, they mean exactly what they say. Like the construction of the new temple, worship in the form of animal sacrifice is prophesied in crystal clear language. It begins in Ezekiel 43:12, with the words, “This is the law of the temple: The whole area surrounding the mountaintop is most holy. Behold, this is the law of the temple.” An altar is then described, and Ezekiel is told “These are the ordinances for the altar on the day when it is made, for sacrificing burnt offerings on it, and for sprinkling blood on it.” (Ezekiel 43:18) Next follows a long and detailed description of various animal sacrifices that are to be offered on this altar. These sacrifices are significantly different from those previously offered under the law of Moses. This detail continues to the end of chapter 45. The language is all future, and is very explicit and detailed.
    The radical difference between this future worship and that under the law of Moses can best be seen by referring to 1 Samuel 13. In this chapter Saul, God’s anointed king over Israel, offered up a burnt offering. “And Samuel said to Saul, ‘You have done foolishly. You have not kept the commandment of the LORD your God, which He commanded you. For now the LORD would have established your kingdom over Israel forever. But now your kingdom shall not continue. The LORD has sought for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has commanded him to be commander over His people, because you have not kept what the LORD commanded you.’” (1 Samuel 13:13-14) Under the law of Moses, offerings were not to be made by rulers, but by priests. Again, in 2 Chronicles 26:16-21, king Uzziah was struck with leprosy because he offered incense. But the law of this future temple will be different:
    “Then it shall be the prince's part to give burnt offerings, grain offerings, and drink offerings, at the feasts, the New Moons, the Sabbaths, and at all the appointed seasons of the house of Israel. He shall prepare the sin offering, the grain offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offerings to make atonement for the house of Israel.” (Ezekiel 45:17)
    As punishment for presuming to act as priests, Saul lost his kingdom and Uzziah was struck with leprosy. But this coming prince “shall be a priest on His throne.” (Zechariah 6:13)
    A second difference is clearly stated in Jeremiah 3:16.
    “‘Then it shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land in those days,’ says the LORD, ‘that they will say no more, “The ark of the covenant of the LORD.” It shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit it, nor shall it be made anymore.’”
    All the surrounding nations worship the LORD.
    This, again, is prophesied in crystal clear language:
    “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the LORD strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.” (Zechariah 14:16-19)
    “Peoples shall yet come, Inhabitants of many cities; The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, ‘Let us continue to go and pray before the LORD, And seek the LORD of hosts. I myself will go also.’ Yes, many peoples and strong nations Shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, And to pray before the LORD.” (Zechariah 8:20-22)
    A healing river flows out of the temple.
    In Ezekiel 47, the prophet was shown a river flowing from the temple of God. His informer then told him:
    “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes. It shall be that fishermen will stand by it from En Gedi to En Eglaim; they will be places for spreading their nets. Their fish will be of the same kinds as the fish of the Great Sea, exceedingly many. But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt. Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.” (Ezekiel 47:8-12)
    The whole world blessed
    Like the river from the temple, the blessing of this age, though centered in Jerusalem, flows out to the whole world. We are told concerning Israel that “if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?” (Romans 11:15) So we read of this day that “there shall be no more curse.” (Revelation 22:3) This refers to Genesis 3:17, where the Lord told Adam, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life.”
    We see this again in Romans 8:19, where we read that “the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.” The blessings of this wonderful day are described in glowing terms such as:
    “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, The leopard shall lie down with the young goat, The calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; Their young ones shall lie down together; And the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD As the waters cover the sea.” (Isaiah 11:6-9)
    “‘No more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old shall be accursed. They shall build houses and inhabit them; They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My people, And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain, Nor bring forth children for trouble; For they shall be the descendants of the blessed of the LORD, And their offspring with them. It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, The lion shall eat straw like the ox, And dust shall be the serpent's food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,’ Says the LORD.” (Isaiah 65:20-25)
    Sodom and Samaria restored
    Some nations will joyfully attack Judah because of their hatred. These will be destroyed. But less guilty nations, though also punished, will afterward be blessed along with Israel. In Ezekiel 16:53-55 the Lord says “When I bring back their captives, the captives of Sodom and her daughters, and the captives of Samaria and her daughters, then I will also bring back the captives of your captivity among them, that you may bear your own shame and be disgraced by all that you did when you comforted them. When your sisters, Sodom and her daughters, return to their former state, and Samaria and her daughters return to their former state, then you and your daughters will return to your former state.”
    Egypt and Assyria restored
    So with Egypt and Assyria. “And the LORD will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the LORD, and He will be entreated by them and heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria; a blessing in the midst of the land.” (Isaiah 19:22-24)
    Moab, Ammon, and Elam restored
    These are stated in closely related and highly similar passages. “‘Yet I will bring back the captives of Moab In the latter days,’ says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 48:47) “‘But afterward I will bring back The captives of the people of Ammon,’ says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 49:6) “‘But it shall come to pass in the latter days: I will bring back the captives of Elam,’ says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 49:39)
    World peace finally becomes a reality
    Finally, we read of this day that “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.” (Isaiah 2:4) This is so important it is repeated in Micah 4:3.
     
  4. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    I have included in this series, not only the five great battles or campaigns themselves, but of the events that follow each. For it is largely in these details that we can clearly see the order in which all these events take place.

    It is critical to realize that what I have presented here is not interpretation of dark and mysterious prophetic mysteries, but is all explicitly stated by the Holy Spirit, in plain words.
     
  5. iamlamad

    iamlamad Lamad

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    Sorry, but I think you manipulate far more than I do. It is about the birth of Christ. I heard it from the lips of the Master Himself. I believe Him. What He said to be fits the scriptures. It was Mary from Israel that gave birth to Jesus, and it was King Herod that tried to kill him as a child.
     
  6. iamlamad

    iamlamad Lamad

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    By the way, harpazō does not have to be violent.
    Mat 13:19
    When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away G726 that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

    2Co 12:2
    I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up G726 to the third heaven.

    Jde 1:23
    And others save with fear, pulling G726 them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.






     
  7. iamlamad

    iamlamad Lamad

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    I hope you don't mind, but I saved this in my computer. Good job.

    Ezek 38
    19 For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel;

    20 So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.

    There will be a great shaking in Israel at the 7th vial when the Old Testament saints rise. It will be so violent that the mountains cease to exist. Therefore this could not come after the battle of Aramageddon. Further more, it seems that the mountains could not shake down twice, so I have thought this Ezekiel battle must be the battle of Aramageddon.

    Your thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  8. iamlamad

    iamlamad Lamad

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    Good job! Thanks for the work!
     
  9. SeventyOne

    SeventyOne Well-Known Member

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    Ok, then, which points specifically am I manipulating? We can look at them point by point.
     
  10. dfw69

    dfw69 Senior Veteran

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    I believe the woman is israel and the man child is the 144000 of the tribes of Israel sealed by the Holy Spirit

    The 144000 will be caught up alive like Elijah was ... never to taste death ... they are firstfruits of Israel who are to be redeemed as promised ..

    god is protecting Israel from annihilation perhaps because of a man who claims to be god will deceive the nations to destroy Israel ...perhaps to prevent the true messiah from reaching his goal of establishing the messianic era
     
  11. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    You are confusing two completely different types of Bible prophecy. Throughout the Bible, all prophecies that were explicitly stated in plain words, and have already been fulfilled, have been fulfilled literally, exactly as stated, down to the smallest detail. But prophecies that have been given in the form of either dreams or visions, accompanied by an inspired interpretation of what they meant, never, even once, meant that what the prophet saw was going to happen. Instead, all such dreams and visions were symbolic representations of things that were going to happen. A typical example is the Egyptian baker's dream that birds ate from a basket on his head meant that his head was going to be cut off.

    Thus, in every case, prophetic dreams or visions are only visual symbols of coming events, not "videos," as it were, of those events. While explicit statements of coming events always mean exactly what they say, down to the tiniest detail.

    When these two rules are kept in mind, the order and timing of these events can be determined only by the details of the explicit statements about what is going to happen.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2017
  12. Quasar92

    Quasar92 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The Biblical teaching of the pre-trib rapture of the Church

    Beginning with Mt.24:31:

    [/B] And He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His ELECT from the four winds [Israel - on earth], from one end of the heavens to the other [The Church Jesus will rapture before the seven year tribulation begins]. How did those ELECT get into heaven? Read on to find out.

    Lk.21:36:
    "Watch ye, therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

    Jn.14:2-4 and 28:
    "In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you [See Jn.20:17]. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." [Jn.14:2-4].

    "You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I." [Jn.14:28].

    The Scriptures tell us where we all go, who belong to Christ, after the death of our bodies:
    "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." As recorded in 2 Cor.5:8, confirming Ecc.12:7. Which is, in and of itself, conclusive to the fact that Jesus is not going to let the rest of His Church remain on earth to go through the seven year tribulation, when He returns for those of us who are still alive, waiting for His appearing, in 1 Thes.4:17. Since He raises all those who have died, to be with Him, immediately after their physical death, for more than 2,000 years.

    1 Thes.4:13-18:
    The Thessalonians were very concerned about those among them who had died, that they would not be gathered together with the rest of them when Jesus returned. Paul assures them in vs 13-14 that they will all be returning with Christ from heaven, where they have been since He raised them up to be with Him, the day they died physically, according to 2 Cor.5:6-8.

    "We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him [Died physically]. Vs 14.

    "According to the Lord's own word [Scriptural truth as to the fact that Jesus taught there was to be a pre-trib rapture of the Church, as recorded in Jn.14:2-4 and 28], we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left to the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep." Vs 15. An assurance by Paul to the Thessalonians that the dead in Christ had already been raised from the dead before, and were already with Christ when He returns for all those left on earth alive at His coming.

    Because they have already been raised, each in his/her own turn, according to 1 Cor.15:23. That is the very reason it is not documented as a resurrection in the Scriptures.

    "For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven [With all His saints [Church], according to vs 14], with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first" [Paul again assures them, as seen in verses 13-14, they were already previously raised once before, each in his/her own turn, as they died, for more than 2,000 years]. Vs 16.

    "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be CAUGHT UP [raptured] together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the sky. And so we will be with the Lord forever." Vs 17. Where we proceed with Jesus to our Father in heaven as He promised us in Jn.14:2-4 and 28.

    "Therefore encourage each other with these words." Vs 18.

    2 Thess.2:1-8: The precise timing of the rapture of the Church:
    "Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the Day of the Lord [The 70th and final Week/seven year tribulation of Dan.9:27] has already come." 2 Thes.2:1-2. Which is a direct reference to 1 Thes.4:17 and the theme of Paul's entire pre-trib rapture message in 2 Thes.2:1-8. When we will be CAUGHT UP TOGETHER WITH THEM IN THE CLOUDS TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR. [Parenthetics mine].

    The "Day of the Lord" Paul refers to in vs 2, alludes to Dan.9:27, when God will intervene into the affairs of man for the last time, culminating in the second coming of Jesus to the earth. In that passage of Scripture, the Day of the Lord is triggered by the "he" who "confirms a covenant [An agreement] for one Week" [The Day of the Lord/ 70th and final Week/seven year tribulation], who is the antichrist. The second, and same "he," who stops Israel from the offerings and sacrificing in the temple of God, and the third, and same "he," who breaks his covenant in the middle of the Week [After 3.5 of the 7 year total], and sets up the abomination of desolation Jesus referred to in Mt.24:15, in His Olivet Discourse, about the sign of His second coming, and of the end of the age.

    In vs 3: "Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that Day [The Day of the Lord, the 70th and final Week, the seven year tribulation] will not come, until the "apostasia" [Greek term in which the original translation was "to depart," or "departure," meaning, the rapture of the Church] occurs and the man of lawlessness [The antichrist, and all three of the "he's" in Dan.9:27] is revealed [Who triggers the Day of the Lord/ the 70th and final Week/ the seven year tribulation], the man doomed to destruction." Which reveals the "apostasia" [Departure] will take place before the antichrist is revealed, who triggers the 70th Week/seven year tribulation. Confirmed in verses 7 and 8 below.

    Translation History of apostasia and discessio: By Thomas Ice, PhD.
    The first seven English translations of apostasia all rendered the noun as either " departure" or " departing." They are as follows: Wycliffe Bible (1384); Tyndale Bible (1526); Coverdale Bible (1535); Cranmer Bible (1539); Breeches Bible (1576); Beza Bible (1583); Geneva Bible (1608) . This supports the notion that the word truly means " departure." In fact, Jerome' s Latin translation known as the Vulgate from around the time of 325 A.D. renders apostasia with the " word discessio, meaning ' departure.' Why was the King James Version the first to depart from the established translation of "departure" in 1611 A.D.? [It is more than likely due to overzealous RCC scribes who altered the original wording of vs 3. to accommodate their teachings of Amillenialism, which rejects both the pre-trib rapture of the Church as well as Jesus Millennial reign her on earth].

    Theodore Beza, the Swiss reformer was the first to transliterate apostasia and create a new word, rather than translate it as others had done. The translators of the King James Version were the first to introduce the new rendering of apostasia as " falling away." Most English translators have followed the KJV and Beza in departing from translating apostasia as " departure." No reason was ever given.

    "He [The antichrist] will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God." Vs 4. [The abomination of desolation, confirming Dan.9:27 and Mt.24:15]. See also 2 Thes.2:4.

    The rapture of the Church and verse 3 confirmed:
    In vs 7: "For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so until he [The saints - Church] is taken out of the way."

    The "he" who will be taken out of the way, is the one body of Christ, who bear the Holy Spirit within each of us [Eph.1:13-14], the Church of Jesus Christ. The very same as those who will participate in the "apostasia," the "departure," [the rapture] of the Church, in vs 3. Immediately following that:

    In vs 8: "And then the lawless one [The antichrist] will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy by the splendor of His coming." Vs 8. [See Rev.19:17-21].

    The antichrist is found in all three of the "he's" in Dan. 9:27, confirmed by Jesus in Mt.24:15; Mk.13:14 and by Paul, in 2 Thes.2:3, 4 and 8.

    From the above Scriptural facts, there can be only one proper interpretation for the timing of the rapture of the Church, which will be immediately preceding the 70th and final/7 year tribulation, triggered by the antichrist, all three of the "he's" in Dan.9:27. Seen also as the first of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, riding the white horse, in the first of the seven seals, in Rev.6:2. There is no "pre-wrath" or post-trib rapture taught in the Scriptures.


    Other verses pertaining to the rapture of the Church: 1 Thes.1:10; 1 Thes.5:9; Rev.3:10 and Rev.4:1-2. Of the saints [Church] returning with Christ from their marriage in heaven, in Rev.19:7, 8 and 14; Jude 14 and Zech.14:4-5!

    The difference between the Second Coming of Christ and the pre-trib rapture of the Church:

    http://www.pre-trib.org/data/pdf/Ice...eenTheRapt.pdf


    Quasar92
     
  13. Quasar92

    Quasar92 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Scriptural proof for the pre-trib rapture of the Church

    The Scriptures are crystal clear where Jesus will meet His Church, in 1 Thess.4:17: "After that, we who are still alive and are left, WILL BE CAUGHT UP TOGETHER with them in the clouds TO MEET THE LORD IN THE AIR. And so we will be with the Lord forever." In the FIRST of His TWO comings, recorded in 1 Thess.4:16, yet to take place, confirming Jn.14:2-3, 28! From where the Church is seen in heaven BEFORE the tribulation begins, in Rev.4:1-2. Where Jesus used John to symbolically represent the Church. Confirming 2 Thess.2:3 and 7-8! Where the Church is seen in heaven later, at the marriage of the Bride/Church to the Lamb/Jesus. While the tribulation is taking place on earth, recorded in Rev.19:7-8. From where Jesus will return to the earth in the SECOND, of His TWO comings, yet to take place, WITH HIS CHURCH, riding white horses, dressed in fine linen, white and clean, in His armies from heaven, recorded in 19:14, confirming Zech.14:4-5 and Acts 1:6; 1:11; 2:29-30 and 15:16! From which the above Scriptures leave no other options!

    The difference between the pre-trib rapture of the Church, as delineated above, and the SECOND coming of Jesus are the following facts:

    1. Jesus returns to the earth in His second coming, recorded in Zech.14:4-5 and in Acts 1:11.

    2. No one meets Jesus in the sky when He returns in His second coming, recorded in Rev.19:14, as they will when He returns for the first time, recorded in 1 Thess.4:16!.

    3. Jesus will return from the marriage of the Bride/Church to the Lamb/Jesus, in heaven, in His second coming, to the earth, with His Church, recorded in Rev.19:14, He came for in His first coming, in the clouds of the sky, seven years before, recorded in Jn.14:2-3, 28, 1 Thess.4:16-17 and 2 Thess.2:3 and 7-8.

    4. No one returns to the present heaven at Jesus second coming to the earth, because He has come to establish His 1,000 year reign on the throne of David, in the restored kingdom of Israel, as recorded in Acts 1:6; 2:29-30; 15:16; Zech.6:12-13 described in Ez.40-47 and Rev.20:6. In addition to the present heaven and earth being destroyed and will pass away, as recorded in 2 Pet.3:7 and in Rev.21:1.

    Quasar92

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  14. Waterwerx

    Waterwerx Well-Known Member

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    I've found when it comes to chronologically pinpointing and tying in all of the unfulfilled OT prophecies regarding war/battles dealing with the judgment of the nations, who gets knocked out first, second, third and such, its really not possible.
    The Ezekiel 38-39 prophecy seems to be one of the few exceptions, but even then, we're limited to understanding that the sudden invasion of Israel by Gog's confederation seem to be one of the triggers that eventually leads up to the grand finale at Armageddon.

    There's just too many uncertainties, one of which is Daniel 11:40. Some view this being the king of the north as Gog and the king of the south as Egypt both attacking the antichrist.
     
  15. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    I will answer that paying careful attention to the fine details of the exact wording used by the Holy Spirit indeed makes it possible to determine far more than most students of Bible prophecy realize.

    The main problem is that many, if not most, students of Bible prophecy concentrate on interpreting the deep, mysterious, parts of the subject, while failing to carefully study the many parts that are explicitly stated in clear, plain, language. But without an intimate knowledge of these explicitly stated prophecies, a student does not have the necessary foundation for interpreting the difficult parts. So he (or she) has no basis for determining whether a proposed interpretation is reasonable or unreasonable.

    I am well aware of the interpretation that Gog is "the king of the north." But this interpretation flies in the face of numerous explicitly stated prophecies. The various attackers discussed in Bible prophecy come from different places, come at different times, are destroyed in different places, and are destroyed in different ways. And these different details are not interpretations derived from mysterious symbols, but are explicitly stated, in plain, clear, language.

    I will just give two examples of the kind of things that can be determined, simply by carefully studying the fine details of the wording used by the Holy Spirit.

    Writing in the 1860s, an Irish writer by the name of William Kelly commented, on the basis of Daniel 11:43, "by this, we know that there will be a great collection of gold and of silver, somewhere in the middle east, before the end comes." This did not even begin to come to pass until nearly a hundred years later, but it is true today in Saudi Arabia.

    At about the same time the same writer took notice to a single word in Isaiah 18:2, saying, "this is a very strange word, used in this way nowhere else in scripture. It is obviously some kind of a vessel. But it is definitely not a boat."

    So, writing in the 1860s, this serious student of the scriptures noticed that these "swift messengers" would go over the sea in "some kind of a vessel" that would be "definitely not a boat." This he noticed, over fifty years before the world's first airplane took to flight.
     
  16. Waterwerx

    Waterwerx Well-Known Member

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    The problem with making them all to be different northern kings is then you end up with at least 3-4 different kings and/or confederacies "from the north" invading southward in the latter days. You have Joel 2(undefined), Jeremiah 49-50(Ararat, Minni, Ashkenaz/Scythians, etc.), Jeremiah 6, Ezekiel 38-39(Gog of Magog and allies), and Daniel 11:40(undefined) among others, all set within the latter days, the 7-year tribulation. The one important rule I generally follow in prophecy is that when its referring to a direction in prophecy, the direction is given in relation to Israel.
    When you look north of Israel on a map, how many northern kingdoms actually qualify? Certainly not western Europe as those countries are a lot closer to being western in direction than northern in relation to Israel, just as China and the other Oriental countries are east of Israel as opposed to being "northern". Where exactly are we getting all of these different northern kings that are beaten down during the end-times? I'm certain these specific prophecies have never been fulfilled in past history and will be fulfilled during the tribulation. If we go any further north, you end up going over the arctic circle, into North America and beyond, which doesn't make sense.
    Just as the four Gospels give their own separate account of the birth, life, and death of Jesus, these OT prophets are giving their own account of a future power coming out of the north against Israel. Another thing is people assume that the Ezekiel 38-39 account is a sudden decisive battle with nothing else going on and everything in those two chapters is fulfilled in a very short amount of time, which couldn't be further from the truth.
     
  17. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    You have to start with the parts of the prophetic word that are obvious, and work from there. The "king of the north" in Daniel 11 is not at all undefined. He is very clearly defined in verses 2 to 32. This section begins with the three coming kings of Persia, followed by a forth, who would stir all up against the kingdom of Greece. Then it very clearly describes Alexander the great, including the four way division of his kingdom upon his untimely death.

    Then the account begins to describe a long series of wars between "the king of the south" and the "king of the north." In this entire account, every detail in verses 5 to 35 was fulfilled with such great precision that unbelievers claim that the very precision of this account proves it could not have been written until after the events took place.

    And throughout, every action attributed to "the king of the south" was actually committed by one of the Selucids," a dynasty descended from Selucius, one of the four generals that divided Alexander's kingdom. This dynasty ruled out of Alexandria in Egypt. And every action attributed to "the king of the north" was actually committed by one of the Ptolemies, a dynasty that descended from Ptolemy, another one of the four generals that divided Alexander's kingdom. This dynasty ruled out of Antioch in Syria.

    When the fighting surrounding the division of the kingdom was finished, Selucius was the ruler of Egypt, becoming "the king of the south." And Ptolemy ended up as ruler of the northern part of the kingdom. So these two kings ended up being north and south of Israel, but concentrating on that fact blinds us to the fact that is referred to in this chapter, that these were the northern and southern portions of Alexander's empire.

    Finally verse 35 says, "And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time." Daniel 11:35 and then the account of the wars between "the king of the south" and "the king of the north" continues to the end of the chapter. But not a single event in this rest of the chapter has ever taken place.

    Now many use this as an excuse to imagine whatever meaning they wish to use for the two kings in the last part of the chapter. But this is playing fast and loose with the word of God. God does not waste words. Why would he devote more that thirty verses to positively and absolutely identifying "the king of the south" and "the king of the north," only to have their meanings change when we come to the application? This is nothing short of irrational. "The king of the south" is the ruler over the region ruled by the ancient Ptolemies, that is Egypt and the area around it. And "the king of the north" is the king of the region ruled by the ancient Selucids.

    This becomes very revealing when a map of the ancient Selucid empire is compared with a map of the much more ancient Assyrian empire. For aside from a few largely uninhabited areas around the edges, these two empires occupied the same region at two different times in history.

    This shows that "the king of the north" of Daniel 11:40-45 is the same end time individual as "the Assyrian" of Isaiah 7, 10, 14, 30, and 31, of Micah 5, and of every chapter of Nahum. Tis is the great invader that successfully attacks Judah in the middle of the seventieth week. Almost everyone simply assumes that this great attacker is the Roman prince of so many other prophecies. But there is not even one scripture that says this. The Roman prince will indeed be powerful, and will indeed be evil. But all the scriptures that specifically identify this attacker call him either "the king of the north" or "the Assyrian." Not even one identifies him as the Roman.

    Thus we see that the scriptures that speak generally of an attack on Judah from the north must refer to this attacker, or to his allies, many of which are named in Psalm 83.

    But "the far north" is a distinctly different phrase from "the north." Gog is not from "the north," but from "the far north." And while the attack of "the king of the north" will completely overrun the land, the attack by Gog will be totally repulsed. Scripture also tells us where there two attackers come, and they are entirely different places.
    And as for Jeremiah 49 and 50, these prophecies do not speak of attacks on Israel, but on other nations.
     
  18. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    Duplicate post deleted.
     
  19. Waterwerx

    Waterwerx Well-Known Member

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    That was a misquote on my part and should've been Jeremiah 50-51. Anyway...

    Jeremiah 50:41-43
    "Behold, a people shall come from the north, and a great nation and many kings shall be raised up from the ends of the earth. They shall hold the bow and the lance; they are cruel and shall not show mercy. Their voice shall roar like the sea; they shall ride on horses, set in array, like a man for the battle, against you, O daughter of Babylon.
    “The king of Babylon has heard the report about them, and his hands grow feeble; anguish has taken hold of him, pangs as of a woman in travail.


    Jeremiah 6:22-24
    Thus says the Lord:
    “Behold, a people comes from the north country, and a great nation will be raised from the farthest parts of the earth. They will lay hold on bow and lance; they are cruel and have no mercy; their voice roars like the sea;
    and they ride on horses, as men of war set in array against you, O daughter of Zion.”
    We have heard the report of it; our hands grow feeble.
    Anguish has taken hold of us, pain as of a woman in travail.


    1 Thessalonians 5:3
    For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.

    Ezekiel 38:11
    You will say, ‘I will go up against a land of unwalled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’

    If we follow your line of thinking and discard the idea that larger powerful nations will have a connection to them: at the time of the end, Egypt will attack him(the king of the north) and the king of the north(Syria) will come against him(Egypt)...
    The last time I checked, none of the nations in the mid-east has a sizeable navy, plus the scenario doesn't make much sense.

    Far north vs. north? Tell me then, who is Togarmah in modern times and how far north are they compared to Magog?
    As far as "the Assyrian" is concerned, their descendants are scattered throughout numerous countries, and I believe there is more to it than what we are seeing.
    Zephaniah 2:13-15
    And He will stretch out His hand against the north,
    destroy Assyria, and make Nineveh a desolation, as dry as the wilderness.
    The herds shall lie down in her midst, every beast of the nation. Both the pelican and the bittern shall lodge on the capitals of her pillars; their voice shall sing in the windows; desolation shall be at the threshold; for He will lay bare the cedar work.
    This is the rejoicing city that dwelt securely,
    that said in her heart, “I am it, and there is none besides me.” How has she become a desolation
    , a place for beasts to lie down! Everyone who passes by her
    shall hiss and shake his fist.

    Isaiah 47:8
    “Therefore hear this now, you who are given to pleasures, who dwell securely, who say in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one else besides me;
    I shall not sit as a widow, nor shall I know the loss of children’;


    Both which share the same characteristics as that of commercial Babylon in Revelation 18. Like I said, I don't think we're seeing the full picture here, and do not have the ability to completely map out everything precisely.

    Many commentators, scholars, etc., have spent much more time than either of us on this and have actually mastered the Hebrew & Greek, and they themselves do not have an absolute chronology of everything.
     
  20. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    Last edited: May 5, 2017
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