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Temple of Beauty, Part 14

Temple of Beauty, Part 14

The Prince’s Inheritance

Let us now consider a little closer some of the remarks made by the Pastor,

“A part of the evidence leading to the deduction that the Ancient Worthies will be made sharers of the spirit nature and become members of the Great Company class is built upon the fact that they seem to be represented typically by the tribe of Levi. The fact that this tribe had no inheritance in the land seems to imply that the Ancient Worthies will have no earthly inheritance

Furthermore, in (Gen 17:8), God said unto Abraham, “And I will give unto thee and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” Two thousand years later, Saint Stephen said that God never gave Abraham so much as a foot of the promised land (Acts 7:5); but he implied that Abraham will yet receive that land AND afterward leave it to his posterity. If the land is to be given to Abraham and his coadjutors, and then to be left to his seed and mankind in general, the thought would seem to imply that he himself would no longer be in possession of it, having passed it on as an inheritance, thus the implication is that the Ancient Worthies will have no inheritance in the land (in the earthly phase of the kingdom), but will bring to completion their “better resurrection” (Heb 11:35) passing to the spirit nature.” (R5182)

Let us now see how Ezekiel confirms these facts.

Verses 16-18 “Thus says the Lord GOD: “If the prince gives a gift of some of his inheritance to any of his sons, it shall belong to his sons; it is their possession by inheritance. But if he gives a gift of some of his inheritance to one of his servants, it shall be his until the year of liberty, after which it shall return to the prince. But his inheritance shall belong to his sons; it shall become theirs. Moreover the prince shall not take any of the people’s inheritance by evicting them from their property; he shall provide an inheritance for his sons from his own property, so that none of my people may be scattered from his property.” (Ezek 46:16-18)

Note closely that four distinct classes are here mentioned as receiving an inheritance 1) The Prince, 2) the Sons of the Prince, 3) the Servants of the Prince, and 4) the People.

As the Prince will give some of his inheritance to others, so too the perfect condition of the resurrected Ancient Worthies will be granted to others prior to the attainment of perfect life by the world of mankind in general. The Prince will give land (inheritance) to two classes named the “Sons of the Prince”, and the “Servants of the Prince”, which two classes together comprise the class known as theservants of the city (Ezek 48:19).

The former class, “the sons”, will possess the land forever it is their possession by inheritance”; that is to say the antitypical sons will possess the same condition of being as that of the Ancient Worthy class forever, during the millennial age, the perfect human nature; at its close, the perfect spirit nature.

The other class, “the servants”, posses the land only to the year of liberty, teaching that the antitypical servants will have the same condition of being as that of the Ancient Worthy class (the perfect human nature) during the Millennial age, but at its close (the year of liberty, when Satan will be destroyed [Rev 20:10] and the last enemy, Adamic death will be destroyed also 1 Cor 15:26) thenceforth they will no longer posses the land, they will no longer possess the same inheritance the same condition of being as that of the Ancient Worthy class, which will then be for the Ancient Worthy class that of the perfect spirit nature; they will however retain the condition of the perfect human nature (As shown in our diagram), which illustrates the progress of our four classes from their original debased human plane of existence to their permanent future planes of perfect life and existence.”

The “servants of the prince” are not sons and therefore at the year of liberty (the close of the Millennial Age) when the Ancient Worthies receive their reward for service (spirit birth, See F 129) the servants shall receive of the people’s inheritance or property.

As was said the “servants of the city” are composed of two classes known as the servants and the sons of the Prince. They will be a kind of “Aide-de-camp” to the Ancient Worthies, supporting and assisting them in the multifarious duties of a worldwide government. A footnote in Leeser suggests they will be “soldiers, watchman, and others connected with the public functions of government.” Nothing definite is known as to who will compose these two classes, “The servants and the sons.”

It has been suggested that the former, the “servants” are those whom the Little Flock will desire to reward, those from whom they received help and kindness (a cup of cold water) while they travelled the “narrow way”. (Matt 10:40-42) O.C.G 22, Page 4, par. 7

The other class, the “sons” may be composed of the immature children of the consecrated “Little Flock”, over whom the Ancient Worthies will have a special charge. (1 Cor 7:14) F 555, par. 2 (Isa 55:9) Notes taken from the Temple of Beauty Studies” by L.H. Norby Pages 21, 23, 24

Note: the foregoing thoughts as taken from the Temple of Beauty Studies are not those held by all Bible Students, but to those who have done a more thorough study of Ezekiel’s Prophecy in regards to the Temple they seem most reasonable and scripturally sound based on the overall teachings of the Scriptures as they relate to the Plan of God and the incoming kingdom. We leave it to each discriminating student of God’s Word to decide for themselves the validity of what we have presented.

Temple of Beauty, Part 13

Temple of Beauty, Part 13

Ancient Worthies and a Change of Nature

In conjunction with the Pastor’s thought that the Ancient Worthies will receive a change of nature at the end of the millennium we should like to present further scriptural evidence which we believe confirms his supposition. Once again let us return to the Book of Ezekiel beginning with Chapter 46, some of which we had already entertained, however a brief review will bring us up to speed.

As was stated,

Ezekiel’s Temple, which was never built, is a vision of Christ and the faithful church (John 2:19-21; 1 Cor. 3:16), and the blessing of fleshly Israel and the whole world in the thousand-year kingdom of Christ and beyond.

The fact that it was never built (by human hands) is because of what it represents, it is a picture of the Church, God’s workmanship (NOT man’s workmanship) Eph 2:10. Speaking of the New Jerusalem, John writes “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb (the Christ, head and body) are the temple of it” (Rev 21:22). Ezekiel’s Temple foreshadows the establishment of Messiah’s Kingdom on earth, when restitution blessings will flow to all the willing and obedient of mankind.

Ezekiel 46

Verse 1 “Thus says the Lord God: “The gateway of the inner court that faces toward the east shall be shut the six working days; but on the Sabbath it shall be opened and on the day of the New Moon (the New Covenant) it shall be opened.”

During the past 6000 years of mankind’s history the Creator has not dealt with the world (thus symbolically speaking the east gate has been shut), but as we enter the seventh one thousand year-day, the Sabbath, the Millennium, the Lord shall once again return his face (favor) toward men, during the “times of restitution of all things”, at this time the inner east gate will be opened.


Verse 2 “The prince (i.e. the Ancient Worthies) shall enter by way of the vestibule of the gateway from the outside (the outer court), and stand by the gate post. The priest shall prepare his burnt offerings and his peace offerings. He shall worship at the threshold of the gate. Then he shall go out, but the gate shall not be shut until evening (until the end of the Millennial Age).”

Note: In the study of Ezekiel’s Temple it is easy to get confused in regards to which particular gate is being spoken of, understand that Ezekiel’s Temple was set up similar to the Tabernacle, except with the tabernacle you only had one entrance point and one courtyard surrounding the Tabernacle, whereas in Ezekiel’s Temple there are two courtyards, and inner and outer one with each having three access points or gates, the front one to the east, and the two side ones at the north and south. (See the diagram of the Temple.)

Burnt offerings represent the full consecration of the individual, and of his entering into or under the New Covenant arrangement, whereas peace offerings represent the thankfulness and joy of the individual as he is once again restored to fellowship with the Lord. The prince being privileged to enter the east gate and to worship at the threshold of the gate typifies the intimate communion between the Ancient Worthies and the Little Flock, and of their consecrations to the Christ.

We would naturally assume the second threshold was the one being spoken of since logically in order for the Prince to stand by the gate post he would have had to have passed through the vestibule and the first threshold in order to be found standing by the gate post whether the first set or the second.

Verse 3 “Likewise the people of the land shall worship at the entrance to this gateway before the Lord on the Sabbath and the New Moon.”

Mankind likewise will be permitted to approach the entrance to this gateway to worship before the Lord and consecrate their perfect humanity to Christ (however THEY WILL NOT be permitted to traverse its steps nor enter the vestibule of the gateway).

Who shall not reverence you O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy, for all the nations (people) shall come and worship before you, for your judgments (righteous acts, thy works) have been manifested (in man’s condemnation, redemption and restitution).” Rev 15:4

With this gate opened the people will be able to see the Altar, they will be able to understand the true significance of the ransom sacrifice of our Lord and of the Church’s share in the sin offering, pictured by the Temple proper in the background behind the Altar.

Thus the second part of the Father’s will, will have been done, for he desires not only that all men should be saved (from the Adamic curse), but likewise that all men shall come to the knowledge of the truth. What truth is that specifically? That there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time.” (1 Tim 2:4-6) This will be the time when the world will receive that testimony.

Verse 8 “When the prince enters (the gate), he shall go in by way of the vestibule of the gateway, and go out the same way.”

In other words although he stands at the threshold of the gate (we would assume the second threshold), the gate to spirit begettal he cannot enter (or pass through this threshold at this particular time i.e. during the Day of the New Moon, the Sabbath, the Millennial Age), however as the plain of human perfection was pictured by traversing the “seven steps” (Ezek 40:26) up to the inner threshold of the outer gate and through the gate into the outer court, so too the prince is spoken of as traversing the “eight steps” (Ezek 40:37) up to the inner threshold of the inner gate.

The higher elevation of the inner gate to that of the outer gate depicts the difference between the perfect earthly plain and the perfect spiritual plain; the angels inhabit a plain of existence, which is, but one step above that of a perfect man. The fact that the prince climbs the eight steps to the inner threshold may well suggest the change of natures of the Ancient Worthies at the end of the Millennial Age.

Continued with next post

“War in the Middle East”, Part 5

“War in the Middle East”, Part 5

The Israeli Conflict

Due to the ongoing conflict in the region a lot of interest has been focused on Israel, not only among the worldly (i.e. the professed or nominal church), but also amongst the true children of God, the difference is that the nominal Christian can only speculate as to what might happen, whereas the true child of God has “the more sure word of prophecy” (the divine revelation), to enlighten his prospective on current events and those shortly come. (2 Pet 1:19)

In Jeremiah Chapter 30 we read,

For thus saith Jehovah, Thy hurt (your afflictions, troubles with the Arabs and Palestinians) is incurable, and thy wound grievous. There is none to plead thy cause that thou may be bound up (No one can solve the problems you have with the nations around you, including America): thou hast no healing medicines (no solution). All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not (This particular part of the prophecy has not yet been fulfilled because Israel still has some “lovers,” notably Great Britain and the United States. But this prophecy says that a time will soon come when these supporters will withdraw their support [most likely due to pressure from the rest of the world] and Israel will stand alone. It is then that God will be able to show his mighty hand and fight for them as he did in days of old as is stated in Ezek 38): for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one (Israel has been made to appear as an enemy of the Arabs because of their “so-called” cruel treatment of the Palestinians in not giving in to their demands for a homeland)…” Jer 30:12-14

Some have imagined that this current conflict could be the precursor to the amassing of the armies of Gog, however those who have “trimmed their lamps” (Matt 25:7) are informed through the scriptures that prior to any invasion of Israel by the “armies of the north”, Gog and Magog (Ezek 38:15) Israel will have for some time dwelt in relative safety.

Thus says the Lord God:

“On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan: “You will say, ’I will go up against a land of un-walled villages; I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell in safety, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates’ to take plunder and to take booty…”

“You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.” (Ezek 38:10, 11, 9)

How many could honestly say that at this time or for that matter at any time since its rebirth as a nation, has the nation of Israel dwelt as a peaceful people (i.e. at peace with their neighbors) without the need of walls (protection)?

How comes Israel to dwell in safety prior to these events?

The only answer possible seems to be some sort of decisive victory over the Arabs, which renders them incapable of posing any future threat to Israel again, thus reducing them to compliance with Israel’s terms for peace, this however would in no way totally alleviate the Arabs deep rooted hatred for Israel, it would only temporally subdue it.

This seems to be alluded to by the Lord in Ezekiel Chapter 35,

“Moreover the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, Son of man, set thy face against Mount Seir (the Edomites, descendants of Esau, ancestors of many of today’s Arabs), and prophesy against it, and say unto it, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I am against thee, O Mount Seir, and I will stretch out my hand against thee, and I will make thee a desolation and an astonishment. I will lay thy cities waste, and thou shall be desolate; and thou shall know that I am Jehovah.”

“Because you have had an ancient hatred and have shed the blood of the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, when their iniquity came to an end, therefore, as I live, saith the Lord Jehovah, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: since thou hast not hated blood, therefore blood shall pursue thee.” (Verses 1-6)

“As you have rejoiced because the inheritance of the house of Israel was desolate, so I will do to you; you shall be desolate, O Mount Seir, as well as all Edom (Christendom), all of it!  [In due time], Then they shall know that I am the Lord.” (Verse 15)

“And thou, son of man, prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, ye Mountains of Israel, hear the word of Jehovah. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha! The ancient high places have become our possession; therefore prophesy, and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Because, they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side (the Golan Heights to the north, the West Bank to the west, the Gaza Strip to the south), so that you became the possession of the rest of the nations, and you are taken up by the lips of talkers, and slandered by the people…therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘surely I have spoken in My burning jealousy against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who gave My land to themselves as a possession, with wholehearted joy and spiteful minds, in order to plunder its open country (Even Christendom has made claims in Israel)…Therefore thus says the Lord God:” I have raised My hand in an oath that surely the nations that are around you (the Arab nations) shall bear their own shame (their disgrace when they are summery defeated by Israel).” Ezek 36:1-5, 7

“O God, keep not silence; hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God: For behold, thy enemies make a tumult (an uproar); and they that hate thee lift up their heads (in defiance). They take crafty counsel (conspire together) against thy people, and consult against thy treasured ones: They say, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, and let the name of Israel be mentioned no more. For they have consulted together with one heart: they have made an alliance together against thee. The tents of Edom (Christendom) and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagarites; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia, with the inhabitants of Tyre; Asshur also is joined with them: they are an arm to the sons of Lot. (The Arab nations) Selah.” (Psa 83:1-8)

“Thus says the Lord God: “Because the Philistines (the Palestinians) dealt vengefully and took vengeance with a spiteful heart, to destroy (through various means including the use of terrorism), because of the old hatred” therefore thus says the Lord God: “I will stretch out my hand against the Philistines (the Palestinians), and I will cut off the Cherethites and destroy the remnant of the sea coast. I will execute great vengeance on them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I lay my vengeance upon them.” (Ezek 25:15-17)

“Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea-coast, the nation of the Cherethites! (Palestinians) The word of Jehovah is against you, O Canaan, land of the Philistines: I will destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.” (Zep 2:5)

Likewise, “I have heard the reproach of Moab (Arabs), and the insults of the children of Ammon (Arabs), wherewith they have reproached my people, and magnified themselves against their borders. Therefore, [as] I live, saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, Moab shall certainly be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah, overrun with weeds, and salt-pits, and a perpetual desolation; the remnant of my people shall spoil them, and the residue of my nation shall possess them.” (Zep 2:8, 9)

Many professed Christians are under the delusion that Christendom (chief among it, the U.S.) would never abandon Israel; however as our text in Jeremiah 30 attest the time will come when ALL Israel’s lovers, her supporters will desert her, turn their backs on her in her hour of need, and so it is stated in Obadiah 1:10, 11.

“Because of the violence against your brother Jacob, you will be covered with shame; you will be destroyed forever. On the day you stood aloof while strangers carried off his wealth and foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem, you were like one of them.”

Christendom “stood aloof” and did nothing to help Israel, but instead they were in heart sympathy with the attackers. Christendom destruction is foretold at the hands of the beast “THAT WAS“, and “IS NOT” and is to “COME AGAIN“.

 

“War in the Middle East”, Part 4

“War in the Middle East”, Part 4

Sister Debbie stated, I thought all Arabs were descendants of Ishmael son of Abraham and Hagar…

In Reply, The Arabs are descendants of Ishmael (Abraham’s son through Hagar, who was not Abraham’s wife but his wife’s handmaid—Gen 16:1–16) who founded the Ishmaelites; and Esau (Abraham’s grandson and Isaac’s eldest son, who sold his birthright to his twin brother, Jacob—Gen 25:19–34) who founded the Edomites.

Most of the Arab nations have sprung from one of four biblical ancestors—Ishmael, Esau, Moab, and Ammon.

Sister Debbie asked, forgive me for asking, why is the Gog/Magog war split into two wars (one at the end of the Gospel Age, during Jacob’s Trouble and one at the end of the Millennial Age, during the Little Season)?

In Reply, Two mysterious names dominate the 38th chapter of Ezekiel, Gog and the land of Magog.

Gog appears to be the head of the confederacy against Israel in this traumatic battle. Magog is given as the sphere of his influence, seemingly encompassing all of the various tribes mentioned in the coalition of enemies.

Verse 2

* Rosh (Heb. “chief prince”, i.e. Russia)

* Meschech (Northern Turkey)

* Tubal (Georgia)

Verse 5

* Persia (Iran)

* Ethiopia (Cush) Central Africa

* Libya Northwest Africa

Verse 6

* Gomer Northern Turkey, (Armenia)

* Togarmah (Turkestan)

These nations apparently will be brought into this battle after having been previously involved in conflict with Israel (See Prelude to “Gog and Magog”, “War in the Middle East”, Part 1). The Lord himself takes credit for causing them to once again invade Israel “I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and with all thy army.” (Verse 4)

From another prophecy of the same conflict, Zech 14:1-3, it appears that at first the battle will go against Israel, so much so that “the city shall be taken”, Jerusalem will fall. It is at this desperate turning point for Israel, with its back against the wall, that both Zechariah and Ezekiel prophesy a dramatic turn of events. “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle.” (Zech 14:3)

It is obvious from the context that the battle of Ezek 38 occurs before the introduction of Christ’s kingdom, for the result of that battle is “that all men may know that I am the Lord” (Verse 23) Gog and Magog appear one more time in the Bible, in a far different context. This is found in Revelation Chapter 20.

And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever”(Rev 20:7-10).

Here, a thousand years after the battle of Ezekiel, when evil has been restrained and righteousness has ruled on the earth, we find the same foes appearing once more, during the “little season” which closes out the Millennial Age.

One more reference is worthy of note, Num 24:7-a Messianic promise of Israel’s millennial king: “He shall pour the water out of his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters, and his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.”

The Septuagint and other ancient manuscripts here read, “Gog:’ instead of “Agag.” The reference seems clear in showing the height of Messiah’s throne to be above that of his chief adversary-Satan, the devil. Therefore it seems that in the name Gog we have a reference to the real leader of the hosts of the north (Verse 15) against Israel, Satan himself. The land of Magog refers to his entire dominion.

Thus we understand the “little season” to be a dividing point between good and evil. Gog and Magog symbolize the evil forces led by Satan. The “camp of the saints” are those who are “harvested” into the “ages to come,” during this final judgment (krima).

So in answer to your question, why is the Gog/Magog war split into two wars (one at Jacob’s Trouble and one at the Little Season)?

It is because the true leader behind both conflicts still lives, Satan (Gog) and even after his imprisonment for a thousand years he remains the same incorrigible sinner and implacable foe of God, the same liar and murderer, that he was from the beginning (John 8:44; Matt. 16:23) and he will stop at nothing until he somehow foils God’s plans or at least he imagines that he will do so.

Gog and Magog are names with the apparent etymological meaning of Mountain and Great Mountain. Just as these two symbolic names represent a challenge to God’s new government through Israel at the end of the Gospel Age (Ezek 38), they also represent a challenge to God’s new order at the end of the Millennium. A mountain is a kingdom, and there is room only for one, and that one is the Lord’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“War in the Middle East”, Part 3

“War in the Middle East”, Part 3

Jacob’s Trouble continued

It shall be in the latter days, and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen [or nations] may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes” (Ezek 38:8–12,14–16).

When these forces attack Israel, the eyes of the world will be upon them. Every nation will be watching. With modern satellite communications, internet and television, this can be literally true.

Ezekiel expresses it eloquently: “And it shall come to pass at the same time, when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face. 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. . . And I will plead against him [Gog] with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people, that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire and brimstone” (Ezek 38:18, 19, 22).

This is (generally and supposedly to be taken as) symbolic language (but in this particular case, is it? I believe that we are entering a time in which many things written will have both literal and symbolic fulfillments and that we would be wise to consider this and to be on the lookout for both so as not to be stumbled). The prophet uses the words fury, jealousy, wrath, a great shaking, pestilence, blood, an overflowing rain, great hailstone, fire, and brimstone. These were the most destructive things men knew at that time. Today men consider nuclear weapons and the rockets or missiles which propel them to be the ultimate in destructive force. Although Gog and his allies will be liberally equipped with these, they are but puny things indeed compared with the power of God. So we can only imagine the form in which this tremendous power of God will be expressed against the enemies of Israel. But we do know that it will be demonstrated in a most spectacular manner and that the whole world will witness it, will know that a most unusual thing has taken place—something that can be attributed only to God. What they see will convince them that it is indeed the Almighty God who is fighting for his people Israel.

Millions of atheists, agnostics and heathen the world over will be instantly converted to God. (Not necessarily to Christianity, but to a belief in THE God of Israel.)

Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself. And I will be known in the eyes of many nations; and they shall know that I am the Lord” (Ezek 38:23). This is confirmed two chapters earlier: “And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen [or nations] . . . And the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes” (That is to say God will be sanctified, [i.e. set-apart] proven as the one and only true God in the eyes of the world when he miraculously intervenes on the part of the nation of Israel) Ezek 36:23. “The Future of the Nation of Israel

And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord GOD that my fury shall come up in my face.” (Ezek 38:18)

 As God said through Isaiah, “I have long time held my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once,” and so God’s fury will come up in His face (Isa 42:14). This expression is figurative because no man can see God’s face and live. The expression indicates that,

(1) God has had enough. He will lay bare His holy arm in the sight of all and execute judgment (Isa 52:10).

(2) A person can be angry, but that anger can be hidden and go undiscerned by others. However, for fury to come up in God’s face means an outward manifestation of His indignation against this invading host. God will be “seen” in this trouble. One of these ways in which he will be discerned is by means ofa great shaking [earthquake] in the land of Israel.”

 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; 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.” (Ezek 38:19, 20)

“The earthquake will be of such mammoth proportions and intensity in that selective area that birds, insects, fish, animals, and people in all conditions will feel the effects. All will shake at God’s presence (The possible literal fulfillment).

The symbolic fulfillment however is this, The violence begun there will spread like a cancer, as the armies assembled against the Lord’s people turn one upon another, “every man’s sword against his brother” so too will this same sentiment spread throughout the world, “so that the fish of the sea (the unrestrained masses of humanity), and the birds of the heavens (the powers of spiritual control, both the seen and the unseen), and the beasts of the field (Gentile governments of the world), 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 (governments, kingdoms of this world) shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and EVERY wall (every shelter or place of seeming security and refuge, every man-made institution and/or organization whether secular or religious) shall fall to the ground.”

The Dome of the Rock and the city of Jerusalem, both new and old, will be leveled to prepare the topography for the Temple platform in the Kingdom. When the Mount of Olives splits, the Holy Remnant will find the valley that opens to be a place of refuge and safety. They will rush into that valley and be protected, while all around will be utter destruction. God’s method will be similar to the Israelites’ protection when the Red Sea opened and they crossed dry-shod in the Exodus. The “dry land” of the future will be the valley of safety between the two halves of the Mount of Olives.

Question: The end of Verse 19 defines the earthquake as being in the land of Israel, but Verses 20 and 21 sound as if the earthquake affects the whole earth. Doesn’t the qualification of Verse 19 apply to all three verses?

Answer: Yes. Zech 14:4, 5, 10 confirms the selectivity. “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee…. All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses. And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.”

Zech 14:10 11 shows that Jerusalem will be rebuilt, Gog and Magog will come down to Jerusalem; they will not be interested in Tiberias or Haifa, for example, but the main capital. “The city shall be taken” (Zech 14:2)—what city? Jerusalem. All the land in that environs will be lifted up and the land completely reallocated. A literal earthquake will occur in the future as it was a literal earthquake in the days of Uzziah (Zech 14:5; Amos 1:1).

So specific shall the judgments be that near the end the inhabitants of earth will know it is the Day of the Lord. “Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come” (Joel 1:15). “And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward [to me in that day, saith the LORD] ” (Isa 8:21).

And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother.” (Ezek 38:21)

 The particular intent is the destruction of Gog and those with him, as well as the unholy Jew (Ezek 20:38) and not necessarily of Sheba, Dedan, and Tarshish especially (the various peace-keeping forces on the scene in and around Israel at the time). “Every man’s sword shall be against his brother.” This statement indicates that utter confusion and panic will cause Gog’s own “sword,” the very weapons of destruction and violence, to be turned against one another. We are reminded of the Gideon-Midianite account where God gave Israel a great victory by causing the enemy to become so confused that they slaughtered each other.

It is conceivable that many of the great literal occurrences of the Old Testament will have a brief, concentrated, literal, limited application in Israel in Jacob’s Trouble to show it is the God of nature and the God of Israel who is manifesting power.

Remember God’s promise, “Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst.  For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle (i.e., as he did in the days of old).” Zech 14:1-3

And it will soon become very obvious that a miraculous power is protecting each of the Holy Remnant. For example, if one of the Holy Remnant is in a building and the building collapses, killing all of the others, that one individual will survive. Each of these may escape death several times over the period of this trouble. When this mutual class realizes they are being protected and then get into the valley between the split Mount of Olives, they will know they have been saved, covered, by the Lord’s hand. And the surviving eyewitness Gentiles will discern this miraculous protection.

 And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.” (Ezek 38:22)

God will plead against Gog in various ways. Some will die by “pestilence” (disease) and others by “blood” (violence—war, battle, accidents, and etc.). Overflowing rain suggests a flood; a torrential downpour will occur reminiscent of the Deluge in Noah’s day, drowning some.

This is a very distinctive possibility recall what we had mentioned in one of our previous post with regards to “The Healing waters and Trees”, and the bringing of life back to the Dead Sea, that either by canal (under peaceful conditions) or earthquake water from the Mediterranean Sea could rush in to the low lying areas reaching from a point about 20 miles south of the Dead Sea to a point about 10 miles north of the Sea of Galilee flooding the entire area. If this were caused say by an earthquake this could happen almost instantly without warning cutting off and drowning a large proportion of Gog’s band of followers.

The hailstones that will fall upon Gog and his band will be like that which fell upon the armies of Gibeon in which more of the enemy perished from the hailstones than were killed by the sword, thus suggesting the sheer size of some of these hailstones, See Josh 10:11. Fire and brimstone (i.e. sulfur) indicate the earthquake will spew out lava, which will fall destructively as in the demise of Sodom and Gomorrah. What happened to Lot’s wife may very well happen again. These occurrences will disprove the idea that the Old Testament accounts were merely fables devised simply to judge the ungodly and to instill good morals upon mankind that they never really i.e. literally took place. All of these calamities will happen to Gog and to “his bands,” the many people confederate with Gog. The inauguration of Christ’s Kingdom will be one of the most dramatic occurrences of history as there will be sample reenactments of the various miracles that occurred in Israel’s past. In all of the confusion and destruction, those whose names are written in the book of life (the remnant of Israel) will survive. Each one will know he has been specially spared and will thus repent and mourn for Jesus as for an only son. The Holy Remnant will mourn as being responsible, as a people, for Messiah’s death (Zech 12:10–13).

Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD.” (Ezek 38:23)

Thus will God magnify and sanctify Himself and be known in the eyes of many nations. So much for those who think the Kingdom will gradually come in! Ezekiel 38 is very STRONG and SPECIFIC in its language. To say the Kingdom will glide in means that such are not really reading Scripture and that they are babes in understanding. The nominal system has had the view that the Kingdom will come when everybody is converted. Go out and evangelize, they say, and eventually, when enough are evangelized, the world will know Christ. But the reality is far more DRAMATIC! (“The Book of Ezekiel” by Brother Frank Shallieu, Pages 222-224)

 

 

Temple of Beauty, Part 12

Temple of Beauty, Part 12

VERSE 7  When I returned, there along the bank of the river, were very many trees (teachers, instructors of mankind) on one side and the other.

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” (Psa 1: 1-3)

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.” (Isa 61:1-3)

VERSE 8 Then he said to me, these waters pour out toward the eastern region (the world in the Millennium) and go down into the Arabah (the Jordan Valley) and on into the Dead Sea. And when they shall enter into the sea [the sea of putrid waters], the waters shall be healed and made fresh.” (Amplified Bible)

VERSE 9 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 (restored), and everything will live wherever the rive goes.

“The Dead Sea is well named: it is a dead sea in several respects. No fish can possibly live in its waters because of the strong mineral salts with which it is permeated; of the Dead Sea we read, “For seven to eight miles around both the soil and waters of the streams are so saturated with mineral salts that even marine vegetable life is impossible.”

Again we read, “Not the slightest vegetation can exist there.” But away from the influence of the Dead Sea vegetation is dense and luxuriant.

There are neither towns nor villages, nor ports on its shore; no ships or boats ply across its waters; no signs of life anywhere, but instead we are told “We find the shores strewn for several hundred yards from the water’s edge  with gaunt trunks and branches of palm and smaller trees carried down by winter floods and cast on shore, denuded of bark, bleached and incrusted with salt, and by their grim skeleton appearance most suggestive of the name, Dead Sea. Could there possibly be a more desolate picture? Or a more wonderful picture of mankind dead in trespasses and sins? The Dead Sea has no outlet, picturing that mankind have in themselves no way of escape from death (Eccl 3:20). But there is one hope for the Dead Sea, and that is that a large body of water will someday flow into it and thus purify it of its brackishness, picturing the one hope of mankind, that someday the “river of the water of life” will reach them and they will thus be purified.

“And He said to me, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.” (Rev 21:6)

The vision of the river of life will probably have a literal as well as a symbolic fulfillment. It has been shown that the land between the *Bay of Acre and the Jordan is low-lying; it would be a simple engineering matter to cut a large canal through this land or an earthquake might do it, then the waters of the Mediterranean Sea would fill in the large basin which is below sea level and which reaches from a point about 20 miles south of the Dead Sea to a point about ten miles north of the Sea of Galilee. Should this come to pass, according to the thoughts of the Pastor the language of Ezekiel appearing to demand that it should, then Jerusalem would become a deep sea port and have the finest land-locked harbor in the world; a fitting site for the capital of the whole earth. The erstwhile Dead Sea would become the busiest body of water, full of life, also the river Jordan typing “The curse which has rested on mankind for 6,000 years”, would be blotted out.” (Temple of Beauty Studies, Pages 81, 82)

*Acre – Akko a city and port on the bay of Haifa

“And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Rev 21:4)

VERSE 10 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.

“There will be a multitude of fishers, typing all of God’s servants, from the Little Flock to the Great Company to the Ancient Worthies to each and every individual as they reach perfection.

It is interesting to notice that in accordance with John 21:3-6 some have gone fishing in the night time but they catch no fish. When the Millennial morning comes and our Lord commands his servants (fishers) to cast in the net, then the number of fish that will be caught will be exceedingly great.”

VERSE 11 But its swamps and marshes will not be healed; they will be given over to salt.

“The miry places (the swamps and marshes) type personal sin. The miry places will not be cleansed, teaching that those steeped in personal sin (the incorrigible) will not be saved.

“Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; the soul who sins shall die.” (Ezek 18:4)

They shall be given to salt, (salt is a persevering agent) typing that the remembrance of this miry class will help preserve all mankind in righteousness forever.

VERSE 12 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 fall. They will bear fruit every month, because their water flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for medicine.

The river flows in the midst of a street

“In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life (a wood or grove of life), which bore twelve fruits, each tree (thus implying more than one tree) yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree(s) were for the healing of the nations.” (Rev 22:2)

This street or roadway is designated the Highway of Holiness (Isa 35:8), on its banks a grove of trees thrive, called trees of life and referred to in Gen 2:9. The leaves of the trees shall be for medicine (leaves symbolize professions, teachings), teaching that those who come under its shadow (its guidance and instruction) will never suffer again, “There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away” (Rev 21:4) and the fruit shall be for meat picturing that all will be found doing the will of the Heavenly Father. Jesus said “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me.” (John 4:34).

The trees will bear twelve manner of fruit twelve times a year; there are a thousand years in the millennial age, 12 x 12 x 1,000 = 144,000, the number of the Little Flock who throughout the countless ages to come will be the Bride of Christ and bear the name of our Father in Heaven (Rev 14:1).”

The trees represent the glorified saints, restored mankind is its fruitage (the Abrahamic promise) there are twelve tribes and each represents one of the basic character types of mankind.

Thus we conclude our look at the Healing waters and Trees, may the Lord add his blessing.

 

 

“War in the Middle East”, Part 2

“War in the Middle East”, Part 2

The final phase of Armageddon, prophetically described as,

 ‘Jacob’s trouble’

Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away (who would see its demise) will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.” (Zech 12:2, 3)

Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it; it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.” (Jer 30:7)

“In Ezekiel’s prophecy (Ezek 38:1-13) the Lord names the chief actors in the struggle in Palestine; but we may not be too positive in our identifications. Magog, Meshech, Tubal, Gomar, Togomar, Javan and Tarshish were names of children of Noah’s son Japheth’ supposed to be the original settles of Europe. Sheba and Dedan were descendants of Noah’s son, Ham’ supposed to be the original settles of Northern Africa. Abraham and his posterity (Israel) were descendants of Noah’s son, Shem, and are supposed to have settled Armenia ‘Western Asia. (See Gen 10:2-7) This would seem to indicate in a general way that the attack will come from Europe thenorth quarterswith allied mixed peoples.” (Volume 4, The Battle of Armageddon, page 556)

The various groups thus described by the Prophet Ezekiel as the ones who will be participants in ‘Jacob’s trouble,’ are now actively participating in the present struggle of the nations, but it seems reasonable that there may be a lull in the present storm, during which Israel will occupy Palestine in greater numbers and will become even more prosperous there than they are now. But the hatred of the Jew now So manifest in Europe, and the lust for wealth and power on the part of the aggressors, impoverished by their vast expenditures in their war efforts, will still exist. This can easily lead later to the march against the holy land which will represent the final phase of Armageddon. It will be in this struggle that divine power will be manifested for the deliverance of Israel’ not however, until they have been severely chastised.” (“The Jew and the War”)

“According to Ezekiel 38:8, this attack from the “north” (Ezek 38:15) takes place after Israel has been “brought back from the sword” and is dwelling safely in the land, this is still future. Israel is not yet recovered from the “sword.” The Israelites have possessed the land by means of their military strength. Today they are depending upon the same source of security as the other nations of the earth, which is the power of the sword.

Because of this, Israel is not now yet dwelling “safely.” The people are in constant fear of being attacked. Just what developments will occur in the international picture to change this situation; we will know only when they occur. But the prophecy reveals clearly that when they do dwell “safely” a vicious attack will be made upon them from under the leadership of God from the “north.” (Ezek 38:14-16)” “Israel Fulfilling Prophecy”

As stated there is considerable discussion as to the identification of the participants in the battle of Ezekiel 38 and 39. This is largely because of the various methods of interpretation used in arriving at an answer to this question. Two methods of approach are the most predominant. (Geographically and Linguistically)

The Geographical approach seeks to locate the areas occupied by these tribes in Ezekiel’s day, and identify the participants in this battle as being those living there at the present time. The Genealogical method traces the migrations of these people to their present locales, thus identifying modern day participants.

While a number of opinions prevail as to the precise identification of the nations involved in this battle, many agree on the following:

THE INVADING CONFEDERACY

 * Rosh (Heb. “chief prince”, i.e. Russia)

* Meschech (Northern Turkey)

* Tubal (Georgia)

* Persia (Iran)

* Ethiopia (Cush) Central Africa

* Libya Northwest Africa

* Gomer Northern Turkey, (Armenia)

* Togarmah (Turkestan)

THE SECOND CONFEDERACY

*Tarshish 

Tarshish is variously identified with southern Spain or the British Isles. In either case, it represented the westernmost reaches of civilization and thus is identified with Imperial England and her “young lions” or colonies, including the United States and Canada.

* Sheba (Saudi Arabia)

* Dedan (Yemen)

Beauties of the Truth Volume 2, Number 1 Jan 1991, Israel, Iraq and the Gulf Crisis A Land Brought Back from the Sword, by Carl Hagensick

With respects to the second confederacy of nations mentioned those who take no part in the physical invasion, but who nonetheless do nothing to impede it, Brother Frank Shallieu has another take on who these might well represent somewhat similar to that of Brother Hagensick.

First take a note of the text once again,

Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’”

 Here is still another grouping: Sheba, Dedan, and Tarshish. However, these three will not be part of Gog’s host. As separate observers, they will inquire of Gog, “Have you come down to Israel to take a spoil and a prey?” Since these words are expressed in question form, we know these three powers will be on the scene but will nevertheless feel relatively powerless to avert the intent of the enemy.

 What is the identity of these three nations? All three are Western powers as follows:

 1)Shebarepresents the United States. As ruler of Egypt and Ethiopia, the queen of Sheba traveled from the coasts of the earth (from Upper Egypt, which was like another continent in that day) to see Solomon’s Temple. The Prophet Isaiah referred to the United States as “the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia” (Isa 18:1); hence Sheba symbolizes the United States, a country that was far, far away, on the outer extremities of the world, as it were. Just as the queen of Sheba had wealth, so the United States is a wealthy country. Moreover, Queen Hatshepsut, who was the queen of Sheba, had a mixed race of black and white, just as the United States does.

2) Dedan is France.

3)Tarshish, with all the young lions thereofis a symbol of England with all the colonies she had until recent years. England is the main or mother “lion,” as it were. Moreover, a lion is the symbol of Britain. The “merchants,” indicating a naval power, also help to identify Tarshish as England.

The point is that the United States, France, and England will have expeditionary, representative, peace-keeping forces on the scene in Israel, such as United Nations forces. (These forces stationed in and around Israel are most likely the results of the first invasion/war by the Arabs mentioned in our last post. Peacekeeping forces would naturally be installed after such a devastating war between Israel and its Arab neighbors.)

However these forces, being limited in number, will be powerless to stop the host of Gog. God’s purpose is to “gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle” (Zech 14:2). The leading powers of earth will be attracted to Israel so that they will be on hand to see God’s glory in rescuing Israel. With most if not all communication being cut off, the Gentile survivors will return to their homelands and be able to give eyewitness accounts. The survivors of Gog and of Sheba, Dedan, and Tarshish will probably be about the same ratio: 1 out of 6 (Ezek 39:2).

Other Scriptures, such as Psa 83, suggest that prior to Jacob’s Trouble, a conflict will occur in which Israel will defeat her immediate Arab foes in a remarkable victory. As a result, it is likely that the United Nations will providentially establish a peace-keeping force there. The victory will lead to temporary prosperity and security for Israel. During the presence of the peace-keeping forces, the Gog host will come down.

And there is another point. Since their own homelands will be in anarchy at the time of Jacob’s Trouble, the peace-keeping forces will not be inclined to return to their respective countries. They will feel they are better off staying right where they are. Ezek 39:6 is a proof text of the anarchy that will be occurring in Russia and elsewhere at that time: “I will send a fire (trouble) on Magog, AND among them that dwell carelessly in the isles (in the “coastlands” on those who believe their distance from the battle will somehow shield them from the turmoil developing in the Holy Land): and they shall know that I am the LORD.”

Isa 34:2 is another such text: “For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter.”

All nations worldwide will experience anarchy. The Scriptures seem to indicate that there will be nuclear warfare, but even that as devastating as that shall be would not be the real Time of Trouble. It will, however, prepare the way for anarchy, for nuclear warfare will disrupt everything: communications, employment, food supplies, etc. Being sick of war and the results, the people will curse their governments in each of their lands (Isa 8:21).

As for the Gentile survivors, when the Gog host finally realize God is fighting for Israel, they will be deathly afraid to do any more damage. They will be only too glad to have survived and will go back to their homelands to give eyewitness accounts.” (The Keys of Revelation, Page 220, 221)

We will continue with this in our next post.

“War in the Middle East”, Part 1

“War in the Middle East”, Part 1

Prelude to “Gog and Magog”

Typically when we think about the Gog and Magog incident we picture a great Russia hoard in coalition with various Arab nations coming together to do battle against Israel, but is this correct, is this truly what is going to take place or have we simply jumped to this conclusion without first thoroughly examining all the facts.

Ezek 38 and Psa 83 one in the same or two entirely different events?

“It has been noted by many that the Ezekiel context portrays an alliance of seven or eight nations that will come against Israel “from the north parts.” While the modern identities of these nations are problematic, one thing seems clear-none of them are of Semitic origin. Thus, they do not represent Arab powers, nearly all of whom are Semitic.

In marked contrast, Psa 83 describes a coalition of some ten to eleven nations who come against Israel with a common purpose, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation” In this coalition all of the names, except one, are Semitic and ancestors of present-day sworn enemies of Israel. The lone exception is the Philistines, a Hamitic people who are considered by many to be the ancestors of present day Palestinians.

 These two sets of Scriptures then do not seem to refer to the same event. One describes an invasion of Arab peoples; the other an invasion of non-Arab countries.

Which comes first? Inasmuch as the “peace and safety” precondition for the Ezekiel battle is not laid down in the Psalms reference, the natural assumption is that the Psalms prophecy is fulfilled first.”

Let us take another look at the Ezekiel’s account for a moment and note closely a few of these preconditions which must be met before the great battle of Gog and Magog can take place.

“Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords.  Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops—many people are with you.

“Prepare yourself and be ready, you and all your companies that are gathered about you; and be a guard for them. 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, which had long been desolate; they were brought out of the nations, and now all of them dwell safely. You will ascend, coming like a storm, covering the land like a cloud, you and all your troops and many peoples with you.”

‘Thus says the Lord God: “On that day it shall come to pass that thoughts will arise in your mind, and you will make an evil plan:  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’ to take plunder and to take booty, to stretch out your hand against the waste places that are again inhabited, and against a people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who dwell in the midst of the land. Sheba, Dedan, the merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions will say to you, ‘Have you come to take plunder? Have you gathered your army to take booty, to carry away silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods, to take great plunder?’”

“Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, ‘thus says the Lord God: “On that day when my people Israel dwell safely, will you not know it? Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great company and a mighty army. You will come up against my people Israel like a cloud, to cover the land. 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.” Thus says the Lord God: “Are you he of whom I have spoken in former days by my servants the prophets of Israel, who prophesied for years in those days that I would bring you against them?” (Ezek 38:1-17)

The texts above indicate that at the time of this battle Israel would be a land:

* Brought back from the sword

 * Dwelling safely

 * Of unwalled villages

 * Having neither bars nor gates.

Any observer of world conditions during the past 40 years finds these conditions difficult to imagine. From the time that Israel became a nation in 1948 until the present they have been living constantly either under attack or in fear of imminent attack. Surrounded by enemies without, and disrupted by foes within, it is little wonder that Israel has armed itself to the teeth. With one of the most modern armies in the world and rumored to have nuclear weaponry, they are confident of taking on all opponents.

Strong lobbies in the United States and other world capitals seek to insure agreements to add to their defense capabilities. As a result, this threatened nation has moved from an importer of arms to one of the chief exporters of military technology.

The above is hardly descriptive of “a nation brought back from war” “living with neither bars nor gates” What scenario will bring about this dramatic change of condition?

Rather than being a country “brought back from the sword,” Israel today is a land dwelling “under the sword.”

Excerpts were taken from, “Israel, Iraq and the Gulf Crisis, A Land Brought Back from the Sword”, by Carl Hagensick

Thus it becomes apparent that before looking for the invasion of Gog from the land of Magog we should first look for this Arab invasion which is to precede it.

 What say the Scriptures in this respect?

“Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold your peace, and do not be still, O God! For behold, your enemies make an uproar; and those who hate you (Compare Ezek 25:15) have exalted themselves. They have taken crafty counsel against your people, and consulted together against your sheltered ones. They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation, that the name of Israel may be remembered no more.” For they have consulted together with one consent; they form a confederacy (an alliance or league) against you: The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelite’s; Moab and the Hagrites; Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek; Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre, Assyria (Russia) also has joined with them; they have helped the children of Lot (Lot’s descendants, the Arabs).”  (Psa 83:1-8)

Psalm 83 appears to describe an ongoing conflict between Israel and the Arabs that will climax in a final war in which Israel will win a decisive victory over the Arabs. Psalm 83 is a prayer in which Israel asked the Lord for deliverance from a group of nations that Verses 3-5 show are united in a confederacy or league for one purpose — the destruction of the nation of Israel. In 1945 an Arab League was actually formed. It united the Arab nations after 1948 for the very purpose of the destruction of Israel — as predicted in Psalm 83.

Verse 6 mentions some of these nations. Bible scholars and historians agree that ancient Israel was never confronted by such an elaborate alliance of nations, namely, Ishmaelite’s, Edom, Ammon, Amalek, Hagarenes, Gebal and the Philistines. Therefore, this prophecy must have an end-time fulfillment. These Old Testament territories are in modern times the nations of Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Syria.

Obviously the Philistines are the Palestinians. Edom, Moab, and Ammon occupied what is the modern state of Jordan. Gebal is Lebanon (Josh 13:5, 6) Iraq was populated by the Hagarenes or Hagarites that dwelt east of Gilead in the wilderness of the River Euphrates (1 Chron 5:1,9,10) The Ishmaelite’s settled what is today Saudi Arabia and Ishmael’s eldest son, Nabajoth, is identified with Syria. Lebanon (Gebal) and Tyre play a prominent role in Psalm 83.

Assyria also is joined with them; they have helped the children of Lot.” Verse 8 ASV. Assyria could refer to Iraq; however, Verse 6 identified the Hagarenes as symbolizing Iraq. Assyria is used in many Israel end-time prophecies to symbolize Russia, for example, Micah 5:5, and Zech 10:10.

The Hebrew word for helped literally means strong arm, which could symbolize military help. When Russia was a super-power vying with the US for world supremacy it supplied the Arab nations with military hardware. Why? So the Arabs could defeat Israel, the US ally, leaving Russia the dominant force in the oil rich Middle East. It is noteworthy that literal Assyria, (Iraq) never supplied the other Arab nations with military equipment — again showing the modern day fulfillment of this Psalm.

In the early 1990s, Russia on the verge of bankruptcy toppled as a world power. Economics have changed Russia once again is aspiring to attain world supremacy. Russia is not only arming Iran but in fulfillment of Psalm 83 is once again the strong arm of other Arab nations, notably of recent Syria.”

It is presumed based upon other scriptures which we have noted specifically those found in Ezek 38 that in this upcoming conflict Israel will totally defeat this group of Arab nations. Finally, their prayer of Psalm 83 will be answered by the Lord. Israel will take back any land given up. Additionally, she will acquire parts of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and ALL of Gaza. See Isa 11:14; Zep 2:3-10; Zech 10:10; Obadiah 19-20 (NIV).”

Many Bible students and televangelists are heralding the invasion of Gog, Ezek 38, as the next prophetic step in the Middle East. But the Scriptures indicate that a decisive Israeli-Arab war must be fought before Gog’s invasion. Israel will then enjoy a short period of peace and security as shown in Ezek 38:11. After this the battle of Gog and Magog will occur — an invasion by Russia allied with a group of nations including Iran (Persia). Iran never seems to give up, but Iran will finally learn its lesson, not to oppose Israel.”

For all the rhetoric we here coming out of Iran these days with respects to their desire for the demise of Israel it nevertheless appears that Iran (as a nation, militarily) will not play a predominate role in the first invasion, accept as it employs Hezbollah to do its dirty work. Iran’s more physically active role will come in the second confrontation, when it joins forces with Gog.

 As far as this Arab invasion is concern I don’t see any hint of it yet. Accept for Iran’s rantings and posturing’s the principle participants in this Arab war, viz. Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Syria don’t give any evidence that they are conspiring together to make war with Israel. Perhaps following a preemptive strike by Israel on Iran’s nuclear facilities with a lot of collateral damage the old hatreds’ might be inflamed once again.      

Excerpts taken from “O God, Do Not Be Silent!” New Brunswick Newsletters, October 2006

Continued with next post.

 

Temple of Beauty, Part 11

Temple of Beauty, Part 11

Ezekiel the Healing Waters and Trees

VERSE 3 And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles.

“The line of flax with which the man (Pastor Russell) measured the river symbolizes the standard of perfection of character up to which all mankind will be required to measure.

Pastor Russell has not only made used of the “line of flax” given him, but likewise has proven very proficient in the used of the “measuring rod” (i.e. the Word of God by and through which all things are to be measured), which he also received (Ezek 40:3), recall how he used it to measure the race for the prize of the High Calling marking off the race course for us at its four distinctive quarters or measures of progress.” See F369

The measurement of 1,000 cubits suggests, Divine justice, which with Divine love manifested in the restitution blessings (the river itself, clear as crystal, Rev 22:1), pictures again, but from a different viewpoint the same picture as that shown in the decoration of the temple, i.e., by the administration of Divine love and justice restitution blessings will reach mankind.

After taking a measurement of 1,000 cubits, it was found that the water was ankle deep, picturing those who attain unto the first quarter mark (or measure) of love, duty loveOught to loveF370 top.

Neh 5:9 tells of some who reverence (fear) Jehovah simply because of the reproach of the heathen, surly a very low standard of reverence and love. Compare the following,

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:11)

Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God.” (1 Thess 4:1)

We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.” (Rom 15:1)

VERSE 4 Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the waters came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist.

“The second 1,000 cubit measurement being taken, it was found the water (love) was up to the knees, picturing the second quarter mark, a love that is more than a duty, one that has learned to hate sin. F370 par. 1, 2

The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate.” (Prov 8:13)

You, who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.” (Psa 97:10)

After the third 1,000 cubit measurement the water was found to be up to the waist, symbolizing the third quarter mark, a love that goes further than merely hating sin, a love that delights to serve God and the brethren. F370 par. 3

But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.” (Psa 1:2)

I will delight myself in your statutes; I will not forget your word.” (Psa 119:16)

Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.” (Psa 119:24)

Make me walk in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it.” (Psa 119:35)

And I will delight myself in your commandments, which I love.” (Psa 119:47)

VERSE 5 Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed.

“Then the forth 1,000 cubit measurement being taken, it was found that there were “waters to swim in” (representing the fullness of love for the “least” of the brethren of that age), beautifully typifying the fourth quarter mark of love, the depth of perfect love, which is love for even one’s enemies. F371 par. 1-3

Jehovah has this quality of love.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom 5:8)

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matt 5:44-48)

So shall it be that the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth even as the waters cover the sea. (Isa 11:9) The world must attain to this fourth quarter mark of love if they are ever to be ushered into the everlasting kingdom.

VERSE 6 He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river.

This is a very important statement to which all should take careful note, here the Father stresses the importance of understanding the vision when he questions the Prophet, Son of man, have you seen (i.e.  Have you comprehended) thus far all which you have been shown? Any who see (i.e. comprehend the significance of this prophecy) will thereby appreciate all the more the full purpose of Divine love, and whoever becomes immersed in this love shall thereby gain life.

We will continue once again in our next post.

Temple of Beauty, Part 10

Temple of Beauty, Part 10

After having been shown some of the various aspects governing the general construction of the Temple, the duties of the Prince (the Ancient Worthies), the Levites (the Great Company class), and the Priest (the Little Flock) as well as the specific manner of worship required of mankind with regards to entrance into God’s Temple (Ezekiel Chapters 40- 46), the man (a.k.a. Pastor Russell, the Harvest Messenger) whose appearance was like that of bronze (copper: representing his justification) who held in his hand a line of flax (used to measure the progress of the life-giving River of Truth), and a measuring rod (representing the Word of God by and through which all things are to be measured), Ezek 40:3, he then proceeded to show Ezekiel the Healing waters and Trees.

“Our lesson deals particularly with one of Ezekiel’s visions, which predicted the springing into existence of a wonderful river whose waters would bring to the land of Palestine and to the Dead Sea verdure and life instead of drought, desolation and death. The ordinary interpretation of this lesson is that the Gospel is represented in this river, which now for a considerable time has been flowing onward and bringing life.

We cannot accept this interpretation, for several reasons: First, the description is in such close agreement with the millennial age blessings of Revelation 21 and 22 as to leave no doubt that the same thing is referred to. In Revelation we see that the Church is the Bride, and the Church glorified is symbolized by the heavenly Jerusalem and the river of the water of life, whose leaves are for the healing of the nations and whose fruit is for their sustenance and whose water is the water of life, living water. There can be no doubt that the two rivers are identical. And since the Church is not yet complete, and has therefore not yet been glorified, the river of life has not yet proceeded from the glorified Church, and hence the whole matter must be future.

The same thought is in this lesson as Ezekiel gives it. He first sees the Temple and then beholds the glory of the Lord entering the Temple through the eastern gate, and that gate closed after the Lord. This represents the closing of the door at the end of this age, as our Lord portrayed it in the parable of the ten virgins. The door will be shut; the glory of the Lord will have entered into the Temple. It is subsequent to this shutting of the door that the prophet is shown the issuing of the water from under the threshold. The lesson, therefore, is clear and explicit to the effects that not until the glory of the Lord shall have entered his Temple, not until the Church shall be glorified, not until that door shall be forever shut, will the water of life issue forth.” (R3625)

Ezekiel Chapter 47

VERSE 1Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar.”

Then or afterwards (that is speaking typically), during the Millennial day after the completion of the Church, after the door to the high calling has been shut, as pictured in the closing of the outer gate of the sanctuary which faces toward the east (Ezek 44:1, 2), through which the glory of the LORD had passed, that is the Body of Christ, the Church in whom God dwells, Ezekiel was then brought back to the door of the temple, which he had been shown earlier (Ezek 41: 1) here he noticed that water was flowing from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east, this water representing the blessings of truth (refreshment), and the restitution then to be offered the world. Its having originated from beneath the threshold of the temple reveals its source to be the temple itself, i.e. the Christ, head and body, the one true Church, the temple of the Lord. Those who will compose the body of Christ, the Church are scripturally referred to as wells or fountains, and 144,000 of these wells gathered together will constitute the source of this mighty river of blessing.

He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38)

There is a river, the rivulets of which shall spring from the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.” (Psa 46:4)

And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts, come. Whoever desires let him take the water of life freely.” (Rev 22:17)

Therefore with joy will you draw water from the wells (plural) of salvation.” (Isa 12:3)

“The river flows from the right side of the temple, passing out of the sanctuary on the right side of the gate, the right side being the side of favor. This would appear to symbolize that the Little Flock will realize that the work of greatest importance during the millennial age will be the work of blessing mankind, i.e., this work will then have the favor of the Christ. Flowing eastward (toward the suns rising), the river will pass the altar on the south side, picturing that restitution blessings can only reach mankind (south side) as they recognize our Lord’s ransom sacrifice and the sin offering of the Christ (altar) and the resurrection of our Lord and his Bride (east).” Mal 4:2; John 3:16 Temple of Beauty Studies, page 79

VERSE 2 He then brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side.”

“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb.” (Rev 22:1)

“The rivers of living waters flowing from Jerusalem, during the Millennial Day, the “day” in which Jehovah’s feet are re-established upon his footstool, his dominion in earth restored (Zech. 14:8,9), reminds us of the corresponding testimony of Ezekiel (47:1-12) and of John’s Revelation (22:1,2) which, under this same symbol of living waters proceeding from the throne of the Millennial Kingdom, show us the restitution blessings under the symbols of “waters of life,” to which whosoever will may come and drink freely…” (D655)

It will be noted here that the Pastor makes reference to the living waters as flowing from Jerusalem per the statement of Zech 14:8 this is because although all the various restoration and restitutional blessing will originate from the throne of God by and through the agency of the Temple class, the Christ, head and body, these blessings will only be available to such who are willing and obedient, who come into compliance with Word of the Lord (the New Covenant arrangement) as prescribed through God’s earthly representatives.

As it is written, “Out of Zion (the Heavenly phase of the kingdom) shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem (the earthly phase of the kingdom).” Isa 2:3  

As you recall from our previous studies the “outer court” represents the plain of human perfection, from the on start the only ones who will occupy this plain of existence will be the Ancient Worthies. These “princes in all the earth” being especially chosen and proven in advance as God’s earthly representatives, representative of the earthly phase or government of the kingdom through whom he will communicate and instruct in righteousness the remainder of mankind.

Another way to look at this is in the division of the land, that is prior to mankind’s having received their inheritance at the end of the age.

Mankind at first will reside (symbolically) in what is deemed the “secular” land (Ezek 48:15) south of the “city” (The city represents the earthly government led by the Ancients, which God has arranged for the Millennium), mankind will remain in the secular land until they will have learned to distinguish between the holy (the consecrated), and the unholy (the unconsecrated), the clean and the unclean (Ezek 44:23), this “secular” land will likewise be separated from the city by the “common” land or (“open space” Rotherham version), which surrounds the city on all sides (Ezek 48:17), representative of the distinction or separation which exists between that which is holy and that which is not.

We will continue with our look at The Healing Waters and Trees beginning with Verse 3 in our next post.