THE GREAT PLAN OF ALMIGHTY GOD

Chapter Two

 

By Neville V. Stevens

 

New International Version used throughout unless otherwise specified.

It all comes down to the love of Godís Word. Those who stand in awe of everything He has said are the ones who are pleasing to Him. The cynical and the unbelieving have no place in Godís Great Plan! Faith is the assurance that everything God has said will come true Ė exactly as He has said it! And this is the meaning of Heb 11:1 "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for." Without this type of faith it is impossible to please God. God doesnít permit anyone to devise from their own minds what He will or will not do. And this is what the ancients were commended for Ė they believed God even though they never saw the end result. And this is confirmed in V13 "All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised, they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on the earth. People who say such things show they are looking for a country of their own."

The whole House of Israel has fought to carve out a country of their own and have settled to become nations in their own right. But not the country that God promised them! Only the Jewish people have done this, and they will not be deterred. They strove for a noble purpose, and while the rest of the House of Israel doesnít hold this land sacred in the same manner as the Jews, the ancients did! Itís not too late to drive out all the nations that surround the Promised Land and have infiltrated it, and the Tribes of Israel would be commended if they did so. But it seems they are more interested in bringing peace to the Afghanis and Islam in general! If the whole House of Israel moved against the Islamic hordes who surround Godís Holy Land, God would greatly bless and commend them. God would even change the whole course of their destiny and make them mightier than before. And if they fail to do so, then Almighty God Himself will fight against the whole House of Israel.

During the 11th and 12th centuries, the Levites set the example when they led the Crusades to free the Holy Land. Everyone should be aware that the six millennial days are over, and the Seventh Day Ė the Day of the LORD Ė has begun. Everyone knows which is the Holy City of God Ė itís Jerusalem! The great contest has begun between Jerusalem and Babylon, and most will choose Babylon. The outcome of it all will be when Jerusalem wins the contest and Babylon is destroyed forever. This much is certain! Itís the faithful servants of God who will fight, and these are called the Sons of Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the City of God Jerusalem is forlorn and abandoned, and under siege by the enemies of God.

And interesting point is that it is written into U.S. law that the U.S. embassy is to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. President Bush has deferred doing this in the present political climate, but itís written that this must happen. Eventually, Ephraim (U.S.) will abandon Godís Holy City Jerusalem. This is a signpost along the way to the fulfillment of everything in prophecy.

God has set before us the choice of life or death Ė and counsels us to choose life Ė a life of faithful obedience. Those who make the right choice will have life Ė everlasting life. As the Book of Hebrews says, ĎAll these people were still living by faith when they died.í They considered themselves to be aliens and strangers on the earth Ė they were not a part of this world. They knew that God has planned something different for them, and like Abraham (V19) they reasoned that God was able to raise them from the dead. And in V39 "These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what was promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect." This, of course, is referring to a resurrection from the dead.

Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. You are not in the flesh but in the Spirit if the Spirit of God dwells in you (Rom 8:9). (You will also note that in the same verse it says if anyone doesnít have the Spirit of Christ he is not Christís.) This gives you something to think about, doesnít it? The term Ďaliens and strangersí takes on a new dimension when considered in this light. We need to go back to V2 to pick up on some added meaning here: V2 "By faith we understand that the universe was formed at Godís command, so that what is seen was not made out of what is visible." On the face of it, this would seem to be a strange verse to insert into the faith chapter. Whatever itís meaning it takes faith to understand it. God formed the universe, not by what we can see Ė but with what we canít see! God is a Spirit, and He is invisible. God lives in what we would call a different dimension. He lives in a spirit world. There are vast multitudes of beings that live in this same dimension and they are invisible to our eyes.

Jesus Christ was born of flesh and blood, yet the Spirit of God conceived him. After His death He was able to pass from one dimension to the other. This was also true when He walked the earth as a man on at least one occasion (John 8:59). Itís also not unusual for demons to cross from one dimension to another in order to engage in their trickery. Some of the Apostles thought they were seeing a Ďghostí when Christ appeared to them after His death (Luke 24:36-37). So ghosts were not unknown to the Apostles. Even when they were behind locked doors, Jesus suddenly appeared before them passing through the locked door (John 20:26).

When Peter and the other Apostles were locked up in prison, the doors suddenly swung open and they walked to freedom. Not quite the same miracle as when Jesus walked through a locked door, but it was still very impressive and we get the message. Those who are conceived of the Holy Spirit have the Holy Spirit working for them Ė at Godís command. Later, when the jail was inspected, we find this report: Acts 5:22 "But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, "We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no-one inside." The same thing happened to Peter again later on in Acts 12:8-10. And in V11 "Then Peter came to himself and said, "Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent His angel and rescued me from Herodís clutches and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating."

So Herod was still working behind the scenes to mastermind the destruction of the Church. This is the evil spirit that works in the minds of unstable men, and Herod was a ruler of the heavenly realms. The evil spirits had thoroughly confused many of the Jewish leaders and led them to oppose those to whom God had given His Holy Spirit. And this is true even today. But we also have this statement in Acts 6:7 "So the Word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the Faith." Notice that the Faith requires obedience! Without obedience your faith is dead! We should also note that this large number of priests were instrumental in taking the Gospel of the obedience to the Faith into the world.

Once anyone opposes the Spirit of God and refuses obedience, and particularly if they begin to teach lies in Godís Name, then itís a long, hard road back to recovery, and very few will ever find it. The very nature of Godís Spirit is to oppose His enemies. Itís impossible to have the Spirit of Christ and not have the mind of Christ. The one is compatible with the other. Those who have the mind of Christ have the same objectives as Christ. They know Christ came to destroy the devilís work (1John 3:8). They know He came to destroy the rulers of the heavenly realms (1Cor 15:24-27), and they also know that the raging fire has been specifically prepared for the devil and his angels (Matt 25:41). They also know that the whole world is under the control of the devil (1John 5:19). The devil is specifically calling all the shots. Heís been hard at work corrupting and deceiving the whole world.

Jesus confirmed that the Father works just as He Himself does: Matt 5:17 "Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working." He goes on to give us additional information: V19 "Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by Himself; He can only do what He sees His Father doing, because whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all He does. Yes, to your amazement He will show Him even greater things than these. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom He is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no-one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that they may honour the Son just as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father, who sent Him." It should be noted that Jesus is not pleased to give life to His enemies. As the Workman at Godís side (or Craftsman Ė Pro 8:30), He knows that He must destroy the devilís work, and that the devil has the whole world under his control. And this must be achieved before Christ hands the Kingdom to the Father (1Cor 15:24).

Oddly enough, most of Christianity have nothing in common with Christís Work. In fact, Gentile Christianity is even more bizarre. They teach that everyone that dies according to their faith will go straight to heaven. They bury the body with great solemnity, but then announce that the person is already in heaven. They completely circumvent the process of the Father raising the dead and giving them life in a resurrection from the dead. It would have been hard to prove that Jesus had been raised from the dead if His dead body had remained in the tomb. The tomb had been sealed and a guard placed over it, but when the stone was rolled away, His body wasnít there! When Jesus was bodily resurrected, He passed right through the rock barrier and later appeared to the Apostles Ė together with the wounds of His ordeal.

God actually describes a resurrection when He commands His prophet to raise a whole army. In this scenario the Spirit of God goes to work reforming the whole skeletal remains with flesh and sinews. From the dry skeletal remains, the whole army is raised again to life Ė an army which was slain. Eze 37:1 "The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me to and fro among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know." Then He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ĎDry bones, hear the Word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD." So we can see from this how the resurrections will be conducted. While the prophet was watching, the bones were assembled with flesh and tendons, and skin covered them. V7 "So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. Then He said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ĎThis is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breath into these slain, that they may live.í So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood on their feet Ė a vast army." God has a very special reason for resurrecting this vast army, which was slain. V11 "Then He said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole House of Israel. They say, ĎOur bones are dried up and our hope is gone, we are cut off.í Therefore prophesy and say to them: ĎThis is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you back up from them. I will bring you back to the land of Israel. Then you my people will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.í" An interesting aside to all this is the fact that God continually uses the term Ďprophesyí as a means to show what is certain and what occurred at the word of Godís servant. God backs up and vindicates what His servant has said.

Then in V15 we learn that Judah Ė the Jewish people Ė and those associated with him, will be joined together with Ephraim and those associated with him. V18 "When your countrymen ask you, ĎWonít you tell us what you mean by this?í say to them, This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph Ė which is in Ephraimís hand Ė and of the Israelite Tribes associated with him, and join it to Judahís stick, making them a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.í"

We also learn that God plans to raise David from the dead, and he will be king over the House of Israel forever: V24 "My servant David will be king over them, and they will all have one shepherd. They will follow my Laws, and be careful to keep my Decrees. They will live in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their childrenís children will live there forever, and David my servant will be their prince forever. I will make a Covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting Covenant. I will establish them and increase their numbers, and I will put my Sanctuary among them forever". You will notice that this everlasting Covenant will require them to Ďfollow my Lawsí and Ďbe careful to keep my Decreesí! It is not a covenant of lawlessness! So itís bad news for those who have plunged into the realm of insanity and insist that Jesus came to abolish Godís Laws. V27 "My dwelling-place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. Then the nations will know that I the LORD make Israel holy, when my Sanctuary is among them forever." This is the time when the Gentile nations will know whom God makes holy. Itís not the Gentiles who are made holy Ė but Israel! The Gentiles will have a long, hard slog to achieve the status of Israel. But if they keep Godís Commandments and observe His Holy Days (Zech 14:16-19), they will begin the healing process. But first they must come to the realization that they are not Godís Holy people Israel. The survivors of the Gentile nations will need to come to the realization that in raising their hands against Godís people Israel Ė they have raised their hands against God Himself!

To be sure, God will deliver His people into the hands of their enemies for punishment, but woe betide those by whom this offence comes. The greedy Gentiles will do it in order to seize what doesnít belong to them (Hab 1:6). Up until September 11, 2001, the House of Israel lived in relative safety. They didnít feel vulnerable, and so they didnít much care that the Israelis were enduring a reign of terror. They pontificated about bringing peace to the region with endless talkfests. They reasoned that Islam, being a Ďpeaceful religioní would club together to honour their wishes for peace in the region. America reasoned that they have been so benevolent to so many different nations, that all would love them for their fairness, and see the benefits of regional peace. How wide of the mark they were! Those from whom America expected some form of honour, and from whom they expected some sort of respect, actually hate their guts! The U.S. is too silly to understand that these satanic hordes donít want peace! One of the great ironies is that even the Afghanis donít want peace, and America is trying to impose it on them. In reality, the Afghanis are worthless cannon fodder and nothing more. Even when they are not fighting other nations, they are fighting among themselves.

Saddam makes every effort to appear regal as he sits on his golden throne. Heís been hoping that others would see him as another Nebuchadnezzar Ė as a knight on a white horse to unify the Arab world. But instead, Moslems have viewed him as dangerous.

To assuage any fears that he may be bent on conquest of the Middle East in the same manner as Nebuchadnezzar did, he has suddenly appeared religious like Mohammed. He wants to appeal to all factions, but his objective remains the same: to build an empire and then conquer the world. Islam seems to have forgotten that Mohammed slaughtered his own people to gain power. Saddam hasnít forgotten!

Saddam likes to ride his favourite white horse, especially in a pageant setting. Heís never won a war, but he stills sees himself as a conqueror. Behind him is the cross-swords monument, modeled after Saddamís own hand. Following him is a red horse, a black horse and a dappled horse. Saddam is leading the way. There seems to be some sort of subliminal message in all of this.

God has placed great power into the hands of Ephraim Ė the mightiest nation on earth. Ephraim has taken great comfort from their great military might, and have trusted it to ensure their own peace and safety. From their lofty platform it was very easy to speak of bringing peace to other nations and particularly Islamic nations. They stormed out to protect the kingdom of Kuwait and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia when, during ĎDesert Stormí, they attacked Iraq. Even Egypt favoured their stand against Saddam Hussein, and so did Iran. The only reason these Islamic nations favoured this war was because Saddam Hussein was starting to sound very regal, and beginning to compare himself to King Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar, you will recall, conquered all the nations in the Middle East, and no-one wanted a repeat of this. So Saddam Hussein remains a king without the kingly authority he so desires (he has plenty of royal palaces though!) Islam doesnít want another Nebuchadnezzar to come and beat the tar out of them, they want a leader that will beat the tar out of the Israelis and the Americans! Lately, Saddam Hussein has passed muster and is now directing his hatred toward their traditional enemies Ė Israel and the U.S., and so he is tolerated, and even protected. Islam doesnít want the enemy to start bombing one of their own. And the common link that binds them is their religion Ė Islam!

God determined long ago that the same mindless, lying killers who have caused so much trouble in the distant past would once again feature prominently in world affairs. It seems the rulers of the heavenly realms might have had similar expectations, without ever understanding any of the details. In the past, they pursued every avenue for the destruction of the House of Israel and have failed miserably. Godís mighty hand has always been against them. But they understood enough that when they gained some financial power they would use it for this specific purpose, but would carefully mask their objectives as peaceful overtures. Right on cue, and at the end of six thousand long years, they have reached the pinnacle of their prosperity with the discovery of petroleum and the enormous wealth that has been generated from it. Suddenly, every ruler in the Middle East sees himself as a king or prince. They certainly live like kings and princes Ė and usually in full view of their starving subjects. How great is the Glorious God who foresaw it all so long ago?

Islam is seeking another Ďprophetí like Mohammed to unite them rather than a conqueror like Nebuchadnezzar. All Moslems want to be bonded under religion and retain their national identities. There are age-old issues involved that discourage national bonding, but they see Islam as the means to create the common interest. Saddam Hussein broadcast his intentions to be the new Nebuchadnezzar, and it alarmed them. Especially when he set out to conquer the vast territories of the Saudi Arabian Peninsular, beginning with Kuwait. Other rulers of the heavenly realms had a different view to that of Saddam. They chose Osama bin Laden and promoted him as a benefactor, a man who closely resembled their perceptions of another Mohammed. They favoured someone who would be seen as a catalyst for all Islam, rather than a man set on conquest of all the other Moslem nations.

 

 

This Islamic Imam has the job of proving that Saddam is a direct descendant of Mohammed.

And the oak branches and the two acorns all point to Saddam.

 

But Saddamís not done yet! Lately heís discovered that heís a direct descendant of Mohammed (wink, wink), and deeply committed to Islam. Yet in the past heís shown no signs of being religious at all! Heís killed his own people, even those in his own cabinet, and anyone else, Moslem or not, who opposes him. Saddam Hussein has aspirations of building an empire; one that would unify all the Middle East under the common cause of destroying the Western World. Itís Saddam against the world, but only if he can unify all Islam to his way of thinking. He sees himself as a conqueror, and heís bent on conquest! Since all Islam is not prepared to allow one of their own to conquer them, regardless of what sort of idealism is involved, they have resisted him.

Notice the profile of Nebuchadnezzar behind Saddamís profile. He hopes everyone makes the connection. "Iím Saddam Hussein, king of the world, ya hear!"

Remember what happened to Nebuchadnezzar when his arrogance got too much to bear? God drove him out of his kingdom and transformed him into an animal (Dan 4:28-33). Saddam Hussein is making all the same mistakes. Heís spent a veritable fortune rebuilding the City of Babylon, as well as an enormous ziggurat-shaped palace overlooking it.

Lately, heís gone even further! Heís now restoring the ancient ruins of all the ziggurats throughout the territories of the former Babylon. If this is not provocative to God Ė tell me what is! He visualizes a complete restoration of ancient Babylon with all of its pageantry and horror. Heís hoping to convince Satan and the other rulers of the heavenly realms that this is the way to go.

 

Ziggurat locations in Babylon Ė now under construction. Did you ever wonder where the name Iraq sprung from? Notice the name of the city Uruk on the map, set in the heartland of the ziggurats.

A ziggurat is a copy of Godís throne and altar, just like the altar that stood outside the Temple of God. This is the altar from which Satan was cast down as a rejected branch. Building ziggurats may not make sense to you or I, but it makes a lot of sense to the satanic rulers of the heavenly realms! They have in mind to capture their former glory, and Saddam Hussein has proven to be very accommodating. If Saddam is prepared to be this provocative to Almighty God, then these rulers are prepared to see what sort of reaction they may get from Him. Theyíre just watching to see if he can pull it off. They exhibit the same hatred for Godís people Israel, but theyíve learned from long experience to restrain themselves for fear of Godís wrath. They are not averse to human sacrifice of Godís people, but they are unsure of what would happen if they did it. If Saddam is prepared to do it, then they are prepared to wait and see what happens.

Saddamís committed to his course, and nothing will stop him Ė he hopes! This ruler sees all other rulers as weak and gutless, and lacking the resolve to make a stand in defiance of God. All the rulers of the heavenly realms are undecided on which course to take. It could go very badly for them if Almighty God were to react against them. Most favour destroying the House of Israel through fifth-column tactics. They hope to generate Godís anger against His own people Ė as happened in the days of Nebuchadnezzar when God sent him against the Southern Kingdom of Judah and Levi when they turned to idol-worship. God empowered Nebuchadnezzar to destroy them and carry them off as slaves. Ideally, this is the way the rulers would like to go. With Godís help Nebuchadnezzar became an invincible force in the region. He not only slaughtered Godís people, but he also plundered Solomonís Temple and destroyed it. The wealth of the Temple was too big a prize to ignore, and after it was done, God didnít react against him. It seemed to him that God had given him carte blanche to do as he pleased. Emboldened, he set about subjecting the people of God to heavy labor in slavery and sacrificed them on the altars of his gods. And there were plenty of these altars in Babylon in those days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Incredibly, Saddam is not only rebuilding all the ancient ziggurats, but notice the lower panels. Heís simulating slave labour to do it. His workers have to carry the bricks up by hand in long lines just as they did anciently.

Itís worth noting that generations afterwards, when Alexander conquered Babylon, he preserved it and settled there, but the one thing he did destroy was the great ziggurat in the City of Babylon itself. When he realized what itís purpose was, and what it had been used for, he had it demolished. Alexander didnít favour human sacrifice! Later he was sorry heíd reacted so strongly, and decided he might restore it for posterity, but died before he could do it. Alexander saw man-power as a resource to be used constructively, not to sacrifice needlessly. Other rulers saw sacrifice as a means of acknowledging Satanís supremacy as god of this earth, and gaining favour with him. They know from past experience you donít mess with Satan. The rulers of the heavenly realms frequently fight among themselves, but none are prepared to fight Satan. Satan tolerates no challenge to his authority, and this the nature of his demagoguery as tyrant, murderer and liar.

The covert beast that controls Saddam Hussein has had enough of the party games being played by all his colleagues. He wants action! If others want to wimp out, then he refuses to. He plans to cause overwhelming devastation and to destroy the Holy Land and the Holy City. He has visions of Babylon becoming the holy city once more. He wants to recapture the former glory of the Babylonian Empire. He wants the backing of all the rulers of the heavenly realms, and of course, he wants Satanís backing. If it means sacrificing human beings on Satanís altars, then heís prepared to do it.

Godís Altar that stood outside the Temple was used for sacrificing sheep, goats and bulls. God was telling His people what He required of them Ė and willingly! Itís not the sacrifice of sheep, goats and bulls that God is interested in, or even pleased with, but in faithful people who are prepared to give their lives as human sacrifices willingly, knowing that God will resurrect them again to life. This is what Jesus Christ did, and God will accept nothing less! This is the test for anyone who wants to be a part of Godís Family. God even tells us that Ďprecious in His eyes are the deaths of the saintsí.

Satan doesnít agree! He sneeringly said that a man would do anything to save his own life, and if God were to strike his flesh, the man would curse God to His face (Job 2:4). Satan canít conceive of anyone giving up their lives to honour God as Jesus did. He certainly wouldnít! And if God ever tries to arrest him and imprison him for a thousand years, Heíll have a real fight on His hands! No-one, not even God, will challenge him! Well, this is how Satan and his brood think. But this is the Day of the LORD, the Day of which God foretold millenniums before.

 

 

 

The old and the new. Ancient ziggurats in Iraq are being rebuilt to reflect the former glory of ancient Babylon.

The bricks are being made by the same primitive labor-intensive system used anciently.

Foundational work begins on this huge ziggurat

For too long human beings have been concerned about flesh and blood human beings, never realizing that the true enemy is invisible. They work behind the scenes always plotting and scheming. They have no regard for human beings whatsoever, and while they control the vast majority of humans on this earth, they deliver nothing but heartache and anguish. Consider for a moment. Why would any sane human being want to rebuild the ancient ziggurats? What possible motivation could there be for doing it? It would be understandable for someone to construct a huge building that had some functional value, or a great bridge or a dam, but a ziggurat? And especially these huge ziggurats that contain enough bricks to build a thousand family homes.

Well, the answer is theyíre planning something! And world conquest is on the agenda.

 

 

Islam knows that America still has the power and determination to strike a deadly blow against them, and while their hatred for the Americans is scarcely concealed, they have the Americans convinced that theyíre still Ďfriendsí Ė and even Ďloversí. The U.S. has become so conned that they even send field commanders to teach them battle tactics. How obliging theyíve become to Godís enemies! There couldnít be a better way to provoke God to anger.

Ezekiel wrote of these very things: Eze 39:23 "And the [Gentile] nations will know that the people of Israel went into exile for their sin, because they were unfaithful to me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies, and they all fell by the sword. I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and their offences, and I hid my face from them. Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will now bring Jacob back from captivity and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my Holy Name. They will forget their shame and all their unfaithfulness they showed towards me when they lived in safety in their own land with no-one to make them afraid." In the secular world we call people traitors who side with the enemy Ė and the Sovereign LORD is no different. For their offences and their unfaithfulness towards God, they will be handed over to their enemies Ė the ones they formerly loved so much. It will take them a while to forget their shame! In fact it will be many years before they return from captivity.

 

 

 

 

Three of these pictures show the enormous, super-imposing structure of this new ziggurat with a purple throne room.

Now hereís something of interest to Bible students! Notice the horns on the altar? Who does this guy think heís kidding!

 

Ezekiel speaks further of the final outcome: V28 "Then they will know that I am the LORD their God, for though I sent them into exile among the nations, I will gather them to their own land, not leaving any behind. I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign LORD." Has the House of Israel seen Godís face lately? Has God poured out His Spirit on the whole House of Israel? The answer is no to both questions. There are many major events that will occur before this. Of particular note is that they must be sent into captivity long before this. And one of their major offences leading up to their captivity is offering aid and comfort to Godís enemies!

Now I know that many people will justify this behaviour with their ideas of Christian principles, but you might consider that their Christian principles were a little thin on the ground when they were attacked on September 11, 2001. For instance, no one suggested that anyone should turn the other cheek. Instead, everyone agreed that the enemy should be killed, and they favoured a war to do it! The whole nation waited for months with bated breath for the first reports of bomb blasts blowing the Taliban and Al Qaeda to bits, and rejoiced to hear justice done.

At the same time, the Israelis were under siege from homicide bombers, day after day, but they were forced by international opinion led by the U.S. to endure it for the sake of Ďpeaceí. The sensitivities of the Moslems had to be preserved at all costs. The word Ďhypocriteí comes to mind! It seems that this is when Christian principles come to the fore Ė when it applies to someone else! It seems America has the right to protect itself, but the Israelis do not!

The U.S. is not the righteous nation it was a few months ago Ė theyíve failed the test! Theyíve willingly blinded themselves to whom the enemy is. Itís a relatively easy matter for God to open the floodgates and expose the nation to horrific calamities and destruction Ė and He will do it! And neither is Christianity innocent in all this; after all, havenít they been inventing their own enemies Ė another Christian Church who is no better or worse than most of them. It was very convenient to accuse the Catholic Church as the enemy, but while they were doing this Islam was growing stronger and actually killing Catholics in all Moslem nations. How proud Christianity must have been of the Moslems for killing their enemies. In a little while, God is going to show, in no uncertain terms, exactly who the enemy is! Itís Islam! And to all those mindless liars who claim to be Christians, and who lied to Godís people, would I be right in saying that some of your best friends are Moslems? Let me be the first to say this: There is not a single Moslem on the face of the earth that is not my enemy! Every last one of them is my enemy, but more to the point, they are Godís enemies! And soon they will be yours, and youíll have plenty of reason to consider them your enemies, and unless you start getting your act together, youíll learn this the hard way! You need to stop mumbling mindless platitudes and start taking note of all that God has said. You really do have a lot to repent of!

Ezekiel again makes it clear that God will dwell among men forever. This was during Ezekielís vision of the New Temple (yet to be built). Eze 43:5 "Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court, and the glory of the LORD filled the Temple. While the man was standing beside me, I heard someone speaking to me from inside the Temple. He said, "Son of man, this is the place of my Throne and the place for the soles of my feet. This is where I will live among the Israelites forever."

God intends to live on earth among men (Rev 21:3). Faithful men and women will be raised from the dead by God and will live again. And while they will live their lives as human beings, they will also have the ability to pass through walls Ė just like Christ. They will be both human and spirit. This is why Jesus delighted in mankind, and this is why even the angels desire to look into these things: 1Pet 1:10 "Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to youÖ." V12 "It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the Gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even the angels long to look into these things."

And while human beings were made somewhere midway between the animals and the angels, their potential is to be above the angels. Those who reach their potential are to be godlike as members of the family of God. It was Godís intention to reveal things that are beyond human understanding and beyond the realm of known science. Paul even said that the invisible things of God are clearly understood by the things that are made: Rom 1:20 "For since the creation of the world Godís invisible qualities Ė His eternal power and divine nature Ė have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse." There are many facets to this statement, but one thing is very clear: Godís eternal Power has created everything that has been made Ė and continues to be made. Plants, animals, and even human beings are being made today by Godís eternal Power. Elihu, the righteous one of Jobís four friends, mentioned that if God withdrew His Spirit men would die: Job 34:14 "If it were His intention and He withdrew His Spirit and His breath, all mankind would perish together and man would return to the dust." This is not suggesting that all men have Godís Holy Spirit, but that Godís Holy Spirit holds the whole creation, including the universe, together. The invisible qualities of God can be clearly seen and understood provided His eternal Power is acknowledged. At the latter end of mankindís experience on earth, they have discovered that the atom is not a passive particle, but a powerhouse of activity with enormous energy reserves. By splitting the atom with great force, this massive power can be used in the detonation of frightening weapons of destruction.

Itís worth making a brief digression here to include something else that Elihu said: Job 33:13 "Why do you complain to Him that He answers none of manís words? For God does speak Ė now one way, now another Ė though man may not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds, He may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, to turn man from wrongdoing and keep him from pride, to preserve his soul from the pit (grave), his life from perishing by the sword. Or a man may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress in his bones, so that his very being finds food repulsive and his soul loathes the choicest meal. His flesh wastes away to nothing, and his bones, once hidden, now stick out. His soul draws near the pit (grave), and his life to the messengers of death. Yet if there is an angel on his side as a mediator, one out of a thousand, to tell a man what is right for him, to be gracious and say, ĎSpare him from going down to the pit (grave), I have found ransom for himí Ė then his flesh is renewed like a childís; it is restored as in the days of his youth. He prays to God and finds favour with Him, He sees Godís face and shouts for joy; he is restored by God to His righteous state. Then he comes to men and says, ĎI have sinned, and perverted what was right, but I did not get what I deserved. He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit (grave), and I shall live to enjoy the light."

Itís a funny thing that Satanís agents inferred that a certain man was a cripple because of sin, yet they went berserk when Christ later said ĎSon, your sins are forgivení Ė and of course, his sins were forgiven Ė he was healed! David also had the Wisdom to see this link: Ps 103:2 "Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases; He redeems my life from the pit (grave) and crowns me with love and compassion. He satisfies my desires with good things, so that my youth is restored like the eagleís."

God can not only withdraw His Spirit and cause all mankind to perish together, but He can also heal all diseases. If the Mighty Angel at His side mediates, and asks that a man be spared, the same Holy Spirit will heal. Healing is not necessarily an instant miracle, and Jesus served as our example in this. He still had gaping wounds when He showed Himself to the Apostles and pointed to the hole of the spear wound in His side. Poor Thomas was a little embarrassed and responded: John 20:28 "Thomas said to Him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

This is an important inclusion to Christís Words. Those who have not seen the miracles but who still believe are indeed blessed. This is the meaning of faith! Many people think they would believe God if they saw a few miracles. There are some who believe they see miracles in their own congregation. They see someone fall flat on their back, with their tongue handing out and foaming at the mouth and screeching incoherent nonsense, and believe this is a miracle from God. To their everlasting shame they have ascribed this form of demonic trickery to Godís Holy Spirit.

In Christís day when He walked the earth as a man, people saw many miracles, but those in the grip of Satan would not acknowledge them. These were predominantly the religious leaders of that day, and they were firmly in the grip of Satanís influence. Having seen all these things, they still couldnít believe the True Messenger of the Covenant. Nothing would induce them to believe even though they saw it all with their own eyes.

Has anything changed?

In former days, God called a man to shepherd His flock. This man had the down-payment of Godís Holy Spirit. He led the flock to understand many of Godís requirements and taught obedience to Godís Commandments, statutes, Holy Days, and guided many into the path of righteousness. But then he tried his hand at prophecy, and devised all sorts of bizarre scenarios, which never came true. Leaving aside his failed prophecies, he developed appalling arrogance, which was always masked with a form of humility. What began as foolishness soon became worthlessness. He adopted the ways of the Gentiles and wanted to be revered above all others. He manipulated the flock with a form of government that Jesus Christ had expressly forbidden. The emphasis shifted from obedience to God to obedience to him. As the ruling representative of a powerful Ďchurch governmentí, he decided he could cast out anyone who questioned him. Many of those who did question him, and who were subsequently cast out of the Church, had righteousness on their side, when they recognized that the Church was drifting from the original principles.

Then this man dealt his trump card. He proclaimed that everyone who remained a part of the flock, and faithful to him, would be whisked off to a place of safety. All others, who did not concur with his teachings were Laodiceans, and these would suffer torment, captivity and death. Not surprisingly, he branded his own followers as the Church of Philadelphia. Now this added a nice touch to what was developing in his mind as a form of insanity. I personally believe that anyone who lords it over his own brothers and sisters for egotistical reasons (and is there any other reason for doing this?) are also suffering from some form of insanity. Itís not enough that God has set them aside for a holy purpose, they want to wield tyrannical control over Godís flock! They want the rewards before they are actually passed out Ė by the One who has power to give them. Being an elder doesnít entitle anyone to be a ruler! An elder is merely someone who has been given a greater understanding of Godís Word and is able to teach. Nothing in the name confers the right to exercise authority over others in the Church. When kings and priests are appointed, the appointment will be made by Someone greater than a church elder. Theyíll have no say in the matter, and the rewards will be handed out by the Mighty Christ Himself!

There is provision for anyone who has something important to say that they be given the right to say it. This is simply not possible in the type of organized format adopted in the Churches of God. This provision was made in order that careful discussion could occur, and right principles established. Instead, some Ďordainedí kook would take the floor and dominate the proceedings. So there was no testing of doctrine, rather just a Ďtake it or leave ití attitude, with no provision for questioning or even expanding on doctrine. And while all these kooks were speaking of Godís Ďgovernment on earthí Ė over which they claimed to rule, they failed to understand that Godís form of government is a Kingdom Ė the Kingdom of God! It was a clever bit of double-speak.

Of course, these self-proclaimed rulers imagine that their job is to practice lording it over others. They imagine that God will be pleased that they are able to force others to stand in awe of them. God is not pleased! God wants His family to stand in awe of Him! He does not want His people lording it over others like the Gentiles. And Christ plainly said this: Matt 20:25 "Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave Ė just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." If any man really wants to be great or first in the eyes of others, then let him be the first to offer his life for the ransom of many Ė just like Christ! Then they will achieve greatness in Godís eyes! In the meantime, they should consider their status as that of a slave! Itís beyond belief that any servant of God would attempt to circumvent what Christ so plainly said, or even entertain thoughts of grandeur in their own minds.

At the extreme left side of the pendulum, there are those who know nothing, yet reserve the right to hurl abuse at things they cannot understand. They see Godís Truth as a threat to their intellect. Their sole purpose in life is to poison the minds of those who are just emerging from error: 2Pet 2:18-19 "For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of sinful human nature, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity Ė for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him." Christ identified such people with these words: Matt 23:11 "The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Woe to you, teachers of the Law (Scribes, those who loved to teach from their numerous additions to the Law of God) and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the Kingdom of Heaven in menís faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Woe to you, teachers of the Law (Scribes) and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much the son of hell as you are." There are plenty of self-righteous sons of hell today! And they are real hypocrites! What makes them so much worse is they refuse obedience to God, and reserve all their hatred and venom against those who donít agree with them. And what did Christ say leading up to His scathing abuse of them? V1 "Then Jesus said to the crowds and to His disciples: "The teachers of the Law (Scribes) and Pharisees sit in Mosesí seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practise what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on menís shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for men to see."

Those who teach the Law Ė those appointed to sit in Mosesí seat must be obeyed in matters of Law Ė Godís Law, the Law He gave to His servant Moses (Mal 4:4). This includes not only the crowds, but Christís disciples as well. Christ was not surprised that such hypocrisy existed. He was aware that if you pin a badge on someone itís likely to go to their head, and this was the way it was. Those who held the custodianship of the Temple loved to heap burdens on others that they themselves could not bear. Nevertheless, Christ told His disciples that the teachers of the Law must be obeyed in matters of Law. Contrary to what many believe, Godís Law is not burdensome, but a blessing. And those who have been appointed to administer the Law must be like Barnabus, a Levite whose name means ĎSon of Encouragementí (Acts 4:36). His name was really Joseph, but the Apostles called Barnabus to reflect his Godly qualities. Barnabas was, you will recall, the one whom the Apostles sent off to bring Saul (later called Paul) back from Tarsus, and encouraged him in the right way to conduct himself. Prior to this, when Barnabas first brought Paul to Jerusalem to meet the Apostles (Acts 9:27), and afterwards when Paul began to teach around Jerusalem, he stirred up nothing but trouble, and soon the enemy wanted to kill him. V30 "When the brothers learned of this, they took him (Paul) down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus. Then the Church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in fear of the Lord."

Well, Paul needed a little instruction from the ĎSon of Encouragementí Barnabas. Paul was no slouch when it came to matters of Law. He had been trained by the best Ė Gamaliel Ė but he quickly inflamed those who had no desire to hear the message. He made the mistake of believing the message he believed so strongly would be willingly accepted by everyone. This, of course, is not the case Ė itís only the few who are chosen for Godís Purpose. In some cases, itís like good grain falling on rocky outcrops where it fails to germinate and they never do learn to live in fear the Lord and stand in awe of Him. Instead, they expect God to show them some form of gratitude for believing they are Ďsavedí. Like so many people they get very confused. They seem to forget that the servant is not greater than the Master.

The time came for Paul to get started on the job that God had called him to, and so Barnabas set out to find him. Already men had gone out from Jerusalem and told of the persecution and death of Stephen to Jews in Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, and the good news of the Lord Jesus Ė the Promised Messiah (Acts 11:19-21). V22 "News of this reached the ears of the Church at Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord. Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the Church and taught great numbers of people." Clearly, there are right ways and wrong ways of doing things. Paul, incidentally, was the main instigator of the martyrdom of Stephen. So when he went into Antioch with Barnabas, he was aware that he had plenty to be humble about. If it had not been for Barnabas, Paul might have met with a lot of trouble in Antioch from those still suspicious of him.

The point of all this is that while Paul was an expert in the Law, he had not always been an expert in personal conduct. He had formerly associated with, and inflamed murderers against Godís people. In other words, he had sided with Godís enemies. But he did a complete back-flip when the Mighty Christ advised him of his evil, and spent some time in complete blindness. With the right training he became an exemplary servant of the Mighty Christ. In fact, Paul became the perfect example for the Church with his outstanding devotion and his tireless efforts.

But it was Simon Peter who was the appointed leader of the Apostles, contrary to what some may tell you. Jesus Christ Himself appointed him to this position. Peter too, was a good and humble man, and this led to Christ calling him ĎCephasí meaning Ďlittle rockí at their very first meeting (John 1:42). And later in Matt 16:18 "And I tell you that you are Peter (Peter means rock), and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Then He warned His disciples not to tell anyone that He was the Christ." Christ reiterated to Peter to feed His sheep Ė three times (John 21:15-19). This is what a good shepherd is supposed to do.

We later find that those who were living in Jerusalem had all things in common ownership (Acts 4:32). We also find this was true of the Levite community of the Essenes (means Ďbreastplateí) who lived not far from Jerusalem. Itís not so much the common ownership that existed in Jerusalem, but the common purpose of their beliefs. It was a powerful bond of brotherhood where all believers were of one heart and one mind.

So there are a lot of things that the Church has not understood in this present era. And speaking of present eras, they concocted some strange ideas concerning the seven Churches in Asia, as detailed in the Book of Revelation. For reasons known only to themselves, they spanned these seven Churches over a period of 2,000 years. Yet itís very clear that the seven Churches detailed in the Book of Revelation exist side by side as they did anciently. But if God had in mind to give details of seven Churches, why did He mention the Churches in Asia Minor that then existed? And since He was quite specific about the names of these Churches, why should we assume that God hadnít correctly identified them. He named them specifically and gave their location (Rev 1:4, 11). The problem is they no longer exist in these locations. So did God get it wrong?

No, He didnít! He means what He says! As hard as it is for some to believe God, these seven Churches will emerge in the places God has named. But they are not new Churches; Christ said the gates of Hades would not prevail against the Church, clearly indicating that the Church will not be wiped out or cease to exist. Since God forewarned that He would call a shepherd to care for His flock, and named him, we donít have to guess who is going to emerge in Turkey Ė all seven of them. And while all this may presently be a little too rich for your blood, and perhaps too hard to believe, the remnant of the foolish shepherd are going to be taken there as captives.

When you entered into the contract or Covenant with God you agreed to these conditions, whether or not you fully understood the contract. You agreed to live by faith and to fear God more than anything any man can do to you. And this is a part of your contract as members of the household of God: Rev 13:9 "He who has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed by the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints." So the contract says Ďon the part of the saintsí you must have patient endurance and faithfulness. Perhaps you may have chosen not to enter into the contract if you had known all the details. As members of the Church of God you are potentially members of Godís household. You may not have actually signed the contract with blood, but in fact you did! You signed it with the Blood of Christ, and ratified it by symbolically going down to the pit Ė the watery grave of baptism. By doing this, you acknowledged your forfeiture of life Ė your willingness to give your life for the Faith. To their shame, many wonít acknowledge this, but the enemies of God do! They happily give their lives as suicide bombers to enhance the reputation of their master Satan as a murderer. God wants you to do the exact opposite Ė to go as sheep to the slaughter Ė just as Christ did! For this very act, Christ was greatly rewarded Ė and so will you be if you faithfully submit as Christ did. Youíll recall what was said in Isa 53:10 "Yet it was the LORDíS Will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer, and though the LORD makes His life a guilt offering, He will see His offspring and prolong His days, and the Will of the LORD will prosper in His hand." Christís offspring are supposed to be like Him! You surely know that you are not above the Master, just as the Master Himself knows that He is not above the Fatherís Will. The Will of the Father and Son are the same. This is referenced in the instructions to the Churches in Rev 2:26 "To him that overcomes and does my Will to the end, I will give him authority over the nations Ė ĎHe will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like potteryí Ė just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give him the Morning Star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches."

God leaves no doubt about which land He means by Assyria! Itís the land of Nimrod! This is where Nebuchadnezzar arose to power and conquered the whole Middle East.

You may be surprised to know that God intends to raise up seven shepherds Ė righteous men Ė who will replace the seven goofs that presently rule over the flock with their lies and deceit. These will arrive in present-day Turkey Ė Asia Minor, the land of the original seven Churches. Micah 5:5 "When the Assyrian invades our land and marches through our fortresses, He will raise up seven shepherds, even eight leaders of men. They will rule the land of Assyria with the sword, the land of Nimrod with drawn sword. He (Christ Ė V4) will deliver us from the Assyrian when he invades our land and marches into our borders." These will be raised up just as Christ was raised up from the dead Ė literally! One of these will be Elisha who will be the prime leader, making eight in all, and the other seven will be shepherds over Godís flock of seven Churches. These will be literally raised from the dead and transported to the Glory and clothed and fed with the Manna of heaven Ė until their time comes to rule over the nations with a rod of iron. It will be just as Christ said in Rev 2:26. These are the ones who overcame to the end and chose death rather than tyranny and disobedience to God. These seven shepherds Ė leaders of men Ė will lead as Christ led, by willingly giving up their lives as an example to all, and will then be qualified to rule the land of Assyria with a rod of iron.

The Celtic Levites drove a pathway between Europe and Turkey to the very heartland of the Seven Churches of the Book of Revelation. Even in the days of Moses God provided pathways for the rescue of the House of Israel. Successively since then, God has been working through the Levites to ensure their safety and well-being. Itís through the Tribe of Levi that God will again rescue the whole House of Israel.

So when the Churches of God learn who the enemy is, and begin to think like God, and receive the Morning Star (the Spirit of Christ Ė the Counsellor), and earnestly seek to enter the Kingdom of God Ė then they will achieve rulership! Not over Godís people, but the hordes around the Euphrates River. Remember how Jesus said, "You shut the Kingdom of Heaven in menís faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to"? (Matt 23:13). This has become the modus operandi of those who hate Godís Truth. Those who have an overwhelming desire to serve God will support His Kingdom in every way, will enter into it! And together, they will take it by force Ė force against the enemies of God Ė against those who have no rights to it! These are the early fruit of the crop, but others will follow after they receive the Morning Star (Counsellor). Better late than never! Those who follow will truly have Godly, righteous shepherds, and they will rule the Land of Nimrod with drawn sword! Those who have the Morning Star will be like the Morning Star Christ, and they will wield a two-edged sword (Rev 1:16). The Morning Star is like the Sun shining in all its brilliance (same verse).

On a precautionary note, those who shut the Kingdom of Heaven in menís faces and prevent those from entering who are trying to, will never, repeat never enter Godís Kingdom. The door will be slammed shut in their faces and they will be shipped right back to Godís enemies and there they will die! You may believe that God is obligated to forgive you for anything and everything, but you are totally wrong! By sinning against Godís Holy Spirit you will never be forgiven, not in this life or the life to come.

Interestingly, in the days of the former seven Churches in Asia Minor, the Celtic Levites had already preceded them into the area. God had already prepared the way for them, and He will again. Again the Levites will prepare the way for Christís offspring and will rescue them in fulfillment of the commission given to John the Baptist (Luke 1:74).

God has appointed just one man to bond the Churches together into the common Faith. That man will receive the mantle and a double-portion of Godís Holy Spirit when he sees Elijah depart. This Elisha will know what to expect, and plainly said so Ė twice! This is the account: 2Kings 2:11 "As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, "My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!" Elisha considered Elijah to be a father Ė a father of the faithful, just as Abraham was. But he also knew that the chariot or space vehicle was from a heavenly source and he called it the Ďchariots and horsemen of Israel!í There were no human-operated aircraft in those days. Elijah was picked up in one of these vehicles, but Elisha referred to chariots and horsemen in the plural. Later, when it was perceived that a great battle was to take place, Elisha opened the eyes of his companion to see many vehicles (referred to again as chariots of fire) flying over the nearby hills. 2Kings 6:16 "Donít be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed, "O LORD, open his eyes so that he may see." Then the LORD opened the servantís eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all round Elisha." These were invisible to the naked eye until the servant of God requested of God to make them visible.

Many people reason that Christianity has remained virtually unchanged for centuries, and God did nothing to induce any changes to their behaviour. To the observer, it might seem that God has accepted lower standards of behaviour. They reason that since God has done nothing, then they will do nothing. In their minds, if God wanted a change in their conduct then He would have done something to facilitate it. Some have even reasoned that if changes must be made, then itís up to Christ when He returns to sort it all out. Theyíre resolved that they wonít search out the Scriptures for instructions and neither will they go against the tide of majority opinion. If God was so concerned He would have surely lowered the boom to get everyone back on track, but no, He didnít do it. Did God do anything to straighten out Gentile Christianity and their adherents? Or for that matter, did God reveal to any Church group His intentions? No, He didnít, and this is evident in their teachings of prophecy. They bumped along producing booklets concerning prophecy that were so far wide of the mark, that almost nothing they taught could be proven from the Bible.

Yet to such people the problem remains concerning the content of the Book of Revelation. To be worth their salt as Christians, they needed to make some attempt at including it in their teachings. They groveled around trying to find something that would closely resemble their perceptions, and Christianity in general became the object of their hatred. From their towering lofty perches, they saw other Christians as being inferior to them, and so the most powerful of Christianity Ė the Catholic Church Ė became fair game. Yet while they were busy finding fault with the Catholics (and the Pope in particular), they never noticed their own deficiencies. Many of these self-righteous hypocrites soon became spooked to learn that other churches were teaching the same thing, and so one-upmanship became the norm. Everyone slavered to scandalize the Catholics, and while it can be freely admitted that the Spirit of God is not evident in that organization, neither is it present in any who donít obey God!

It was Godís intention to allow Christianity to explore the whole spectrum of human beliefs and to devise doctrine from their own minds. Those who graduated to leadership roles were generally those with giant egos who loved the approbation of men. Some of them took on an air of regality as they paraded themselves before their flock. Others cultivated the appearance of deep humility, and took great pride in their humility.

To his credit, Herbert Armstrong maintained a closed door to the Church, and anyone who wanted to enter had to knock. He made it impossible for anyone to shoe-horn their way in without being properly vetted. This abruptly changed after his death, but while he was still alive, this format continued. The purpose of it was to keep out the wolves. And this is what a good shepherd does! Why bring wolves in among the flock? And when this all changed after his death, the wolves came and had a field day. They tore down the whole structure of the Church of God and rendered it unrecognizable as the Church that Christ built. Lawlessness and disobedience to God became the norm, and any who wanted to continue in obedience, soon found themselves isolated. Some drifted away and became lost, while others sought out groups of like-interest. The Church that Christ built became fragmented with many offshoots springing up everywhere. Many members were bewildered. They couldnít understand why God would allow all this to happen. They failed to understand that a great falling-away had to occur before the Ďman of siní is revealed. And since judgment begins in the Church first (Ďwith usí is how the faithful shepherd Peter described it Ė 1Pet 4:17), itís obvious that there had to be a shake-out of the sheep and the goats. Judgment itself is a whole lot broader than just the Church, but it was destined to start at the Church. This has now been done, and the Church has been decimated.

Only a tiny fragment of the Church remains faithful and obedient to God. Presently they are scattered all over the place with no shepherd to guide them. At the most perilous time in all history, they have been left vulnerable, but they are not alone. God Himself has reserved them for His purpose. Paul made mention of them and knew this to be so: Rom 11:1 "I ask then, ĎDid God reject His people?í By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the Tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject His people whom He foreknew. Donít you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah Ė how he appealed to God against Israel: "Lord, they have killed the prophets and torn down the altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me"? And what was Godís answer to him? "I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal." SO TOO, AT THE PRESENT TIME there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened, as it is written: "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day." And David says: "May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them. May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs bent forever."

You will notice that spiritual blindness is the problem mentioned here which leads to a spirit of stupor. David put it in very strong terms: "May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs bent forever." We seem to be seeing a whole lot of Moslems today with their backs bent towards Mecca, so we know what David was referring to. The Moslems worship towards Mecca, the birthplace of their prophet in order to worship their prophet. Similarly, Paul spoke of bending the knee to Baal. Paul pointed out that God has reserved seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal, and confirms that this is true AT THE PRESENT TIME.

Central to what Paul was saying is that the elect are chosen by God to have their eyes and ears opened so they can see and hear. If they were truly blind then it would take a miracle to restore their sight. But just as surely they are blind Ė spiritually blind Ė and they need a miracle for them to see. This miracle comes in the form of Godís grace and not for anything they have done or said. Ironically, it was for something they didnít do Ė they refused to bow the knee to Baal! Itís an even-money bet that most people would claim they would never bow the knee to Baal. Words are cheap, and in the good times this might be so, but perilous times puts a whole new complexion on things. When the choice is life or death, people are not so ardent in their resolve.

God has reserved seven thousand even AT THIS PRESENT TIME Ė just as He did in the days of Elijah! Paul confirms this! God reserved them because of their mental toughness in refusing to bend the knee to Baal. If they were perfect, then there would be no need for grace, but obviously this is not so. Baal of course, is the devil himself. At the time of Elijah, the forces of Baal had already started killing the prophets who refused to bow to Baal, so it was no small resolve that the seven thousand that God reserved for Himself had also refused to bow to Baal even in the face of death.

God has chosen the seven thousand to set the highest example for the House of Israel, and this is why Paul began his dialogue by confirming that God had not rejected His people Israel and said, "By no means!" But since God has given the House of Israel Ė and the Church for that matter Ė a spirit of stupor that has blinded them to reality, they have never understood the Scriptures. Paul knew that Elijah would come because the Scripture plainly says so (Mal 4:5). Youíll recall how Elijah was taken up in a flying machine (for want of a better word), and was transported to another place. At his departure, he promised his successor that if he saw him go, then he would receive a double-portion of the Spirit that was in Elijah. This happened and Elijahís mantle fell to Elisha. Elisha became both shepherd and prophet over the Ďlost sheep of Israelí.

Bowing the knee to Baal will soon take on greater dimensions when it becomes the test for all Israel. God has spelt it out very plainly. These are spoken of again and again in the Book of Revelation, in fact, the whole Book is written for their instruction. What they failed to understand in the Scriptures that Christ used (the Old Testament) has been magnified in the Book of Revelation. And there are some things that need to be overcome. The first of these is to forget about trying to save your life. If you do, then you will lose it Ė forever! God has made this clear: Rev 20:4 "I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their Testimony [of] Jesus and because of the Word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years."

The problem is, this beast is going to be given enormous power to do almost anything he pleases. Satan plans to give him his power, throne and great authority (Rev 13:2). V6 "He opened his mouth to blaspheme God and His dwelling-place and those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war with the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast Ė all whose names have not been written from the creation of the world in the Book of Life belonging to the Lamb that was slain (margin rendering used). He who has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints." It should come as no surprise that this beast, who takes on all the characteristics of Satan the devil, blasphemes God and His dwelling-place. This is a short time after Satan wages war on God and the Glory Ė the dwelling-place of God, and is decisively beaten and hurled to the earth along with all his angels (Rev 12:7). This is the final straw, and Christ takes up the power and authority of the Kingdom of God (V10). This is when Satanís entry into heaven is forbidden forever and heís marooned on earth. V12 "Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you that dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows his time is short." The inhabitants of the earth will then witness the horrific carnage of Satanís fury. But his first priority will be to destroy the Ďwomaní who gave birth to the man child. This refers to the House of David from which Christ was born. The House of David is described in Zech 12:10-14 "And I will pour out on the HOUSE OF DAVID and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a Spirit of grace and supplication. They will look to me, the One they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great, like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the HOUSE OF DAVID and their wives, the clan of the House of Nathan and their wives, the clan of the HOUSE OF LEVI and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives, and all the rest of the clans and their wives." The House of David was established when Samuel the Levite prophet anointed David king over Israel. Ever since, the House of David and the House of Levi have shared a common link. When Davidís grandson Rehoboam became a tyrant, ten Tribes split into a separate nation, but the House of Levi remained with Judah and continued their duties in the Holy City for centuries.

When the Kingdom of God has been established, and all of Judah has been called to duty, the authority and power of the House of Levi must decline while that of the House of David increases. This was the way it was in the days of John the Baptist, and this is the way it will be in the Millennium. The throne of David will be established, but the crown will be set aside until the One comes to whom it rightfully belongs. God didnít call an ambitious power-broker to lead the Levites to do what they must do, but instead he called a dutiful warrior and a war strategist who knows the meaning of righteousness and justice. In short, the man God called is imbued with the qualities of Godís Mighty Warrior Son Jesus through the Spirit of Christ. This is the Spirit that enables the Testimony of Jesus to be understood, which is the Spirit of Prophecy (Rev 19:10). And if you donít have the Spirit of Christ then you donít belong to Him (Rom 8:9). This is about to become very evident. And in V14 "Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God." Those who are not led by the Spirit of God are not sons of God Ė including Satan Ė regardless of their former status. Those who turn away and quench the Holy Spirit can only look forward to the raging fire prepared for the devil and his angels.

As Paul has pointed out, there are 7,000 people whom God has reserved as His very own at the present time. Itís not clear what relationship these will have with the Levite Brotherhood Ė of whom both Elijah and John the Baptist were forerunners. Perhaps they will recognize the embryos of the Kingdom of God and support it, or perhaps theyíll remain hidden away until the time comes for their destiny to be fulfilled. One thing is certain, they will be praying ĎThy Kingdom come, Thy will be doneí, and they will believe what it will take for Godís Will to be done. In the worst global upheaval ever witnessed on planet earth, they will know that God has not spoken in vain. At that time they will realize there are no free tickets to anywhere, and they will know that any reward will need to be earned. Rewards are not handed out for nothing, and no-one gets a reward for doing nothing. As for the current shepherds, they donít decide who will go into captivity or who will be killed. Though they seemed to have decided for themselves who will be saved. Contrary to what some believe they donít pass out the rewards either! As shepherds of Godís flock their conduct has been disgraceful!

You will notice as you read through Revelation chapter 12 that the Ďwomaní is taken out of Satanís reach (V14). Satan has no power over them and they are transported away for a period of 3Ĺ years. Itís during this period that all hell breaks loose for the whole House of Jacob.

September 11, 2001 was merely a miniscule prelude.

This passenger plane was knocked out of the sky. First the rudder was torn off, then both engines. All three items were hundreds of metres apart. No-one can explain what happened, and after nearly 12 months, they are still no closer to solving the problem!

We tend to forget that another plane went down on Manhattan Island after this. Both engines were knocked off, together with the rudder, and no-one knows why. The rudder was lifted out of the bay, and the two engines fell off separately before the aircraft plunged to the ground. No-one has been able to give an official explanation of what happened.

Later, Satan used China to provoke the U.S. into an all-out war when a U.S. spy plane was downed. China lacked the courage and refused, and Satan was furious! Since then, China has experienced Satanís fury with blinding dust storms, howling gales, droughts, earthquakes, locusts, and as one commentator said on CNN, Ďplagues of Biblical proportionsí. They also had a passenger plane shattered in mid-air, it literally broke into pieces, and no-one can figure out why. Satan has his own way of dealing with his own brood who refuse to obey him. He prides himself on his ability to bring whole nations to heel.

After China refused him, he turned to Pakistan and induced them to move against India and smash them to pieces, seizing their nuclear arsenal and military infrastructure. The whole of the Pakistani masses are ready to roll, but their ruler is hesitant. President Mushariff knows that Pakistan has lost three major wars with India since 1947 when they became an independent nation, and he presently has no assurance that the next war would be any different. Coupled with this is the favour he presently has with the mightiest power on earth, and heís not sure which way their preferences would go in the event of war with India. Presently, Mushariff is forced to sleep with one eye open. He engineered a poll granting him the Presidency for a further five years, but shortly after decided on general elections which would see him ousted, and he can scarcely wait Ė his life is hanging by a thread Ė and he knows it! Islam hates any leader who sides with America in any way, but especially if he is seen as siding against Islam. He is presently defying Satan himself.

President Musharif of Pakistan. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.

China is presently playing the waiting game. The rulers of the heavenly realms who control this great mass of people know that Satanís first choice for conquest are the Moslems, and these have heavily infiltrated their borders to the west. At a later time, when the dust settles in global upheavals, they plan to challenge the beast himself (Dan 11:44).

China has had a population problem Ė being the most populous single nation on earth; they had to ensure that they could continue to feed the masses, so they brought in a one-child-per-family policy. Since most families wanted a son, many girl-babies were killed at birth. They now know they have an imbalance of males and females for future generations, but they also know that a war can address this problem with their soldiers taking women in conquest. As long as they remain neutral for the present, all these things will resolve themselves. Theyíre happy to let the Moslems be the cannon-fodder to achieve these objectives. So far, the rulers of the heavenly realms in that country consider their strategy has worked well. Satan however is not so pleased!

Reverting again to Revelation chapter 12, we find that after 3Ĺ years, Satan will direct his power against what he considers to be the worst trouble-makers on the planet. Heíll sent a flood (of people) against the people of God in the desert place Ė the stronghold of God. This is the account: V14 "The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpentís reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away like a torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon spewed out of his mouth." The significance of this is that in the Book of Jude, the writer mentions a similar incident that occurred back in the days of Moses. In this case it was the Levite Korah that inspired the rebellion (Jude 1:11), and he did it with his eyes wide open. Korah was one of those wannabeís who want to lord it over all others, so God planned a special death for him! Num 16:29 "If these men die a natural death and experience only what usually happens to men, then the LORD has not sent me. But if the LORD brings something totally new, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them, with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the grave (pit), then you will know that these men have treated the LORD with contempt." And this is exactly what happened: V31 "As soon as he finished saying this, the ground under them split apart and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them, with their households and all Korahís men and all their possessions." You can draw your own conclusions over why Jude mentioned Korah and his rebellion at such a crucial time as Jude was then describing. But the message is very clear that God will do something almost unheard of Ė the earth will open and swallow Satanís hordes when they try to assault Godís stronghold. So Satan can know in advance that his plot will fail, but this wonít stop his mad rampage anyway.

Itís after all this, that Satan will direct his fury against the offspring of the woman. Rev 12:17 "Then the dragon was outraged at the woman and went to make war with the rest of her offspring Ė those who obey Godís Commandments and hold to the Testimony of Jesus."

You may not be aware that there are two major persecutions of the saints. Satan knows they will be fair game and his war against them will succeed and he will defeat them. Itís the woman herself that is the big worry for him. This woman will have unusual powers and devastating weaponry, and will be airborne and able to strike at will. Satanís forces will see nothing until they are hit. This woman wonít abide by his teachings of Ďpolitical correctnessí and will have no regard for Ďcollateral damageí. This woman will strike down man, woman, and child and all their animals, dwellings, cities and strongholds. The woman is not deceived by Satan, and doesnít listen to his lying, siren song (Rev 18:22). Satan can play his violin and harp as much as he wants to, but his target audience will not be the woman, even though the whole world seems to be listening.

An old painting depicting the artistís impression of the city of Babylon on the Euphrates River. Notice the ziggurat with the purple kingís chamber on the top.

Iraq was formerly the nation of Babylon. This was the land where Nebuchadnezzar and his offspring ruled. The capital of this nation of Babylon was the city of Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar built it for his own glory. And just as God predicted, Iraq/Babylon would become prominent in the last days. The present ruler, Saddam Hussein, has rebuilt the ancient city of Babylon, in preparation for it becoming the capital of the earth, and the world trade center. From this city, all trade will be conducted, and no trade will be permitted without their approval. At the time when the Apostle John received the Book of Revelation, he described a cryptic comment he heard: Rev 6:6 "Then I heard a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a dayís wages, and three quarts of barley for a dayís wages, and do not damage the oil or the wine!" This not only describes slave conditions, but also signals a warning not to damage the oil or the wine. We certainly know what is meant by the wine Ė because we are plainly told. This is the teaching that emanated from Babylon. At the time of the demise of this great city of Babylon, all the nations will have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries: Rev 18:2 "With a loud voice he shouted, "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries."

The comment about the oil and the wine was cryptic because it would only have significance when it was understood that oil is the lifeblood of world commerce. Without petroleum, all nations would grind to a halt.

 

 

 

Aerial photograph of the Babylon ziggurat destroyed by Alexander the Great.

 

And everyone knows why the western world is doing the soft-shoe shuffle in regard to those who control the greatest reserves of petroleum in the world. The Moslem nations know they are holding the trump card, which can be played whenever they choose to do so! In America, the left-wing loonies become audacious at any suggestion of developing new petroleum reserves, such as those in Anwar, Alaska. Coupled with this is the drive to prevent the use of coal for energy generation in order to enforce greater dependence on the Moslem nations. We constantly hear the crap about Ďglobal warmingí as if there was some basis for believing it Ė which there isnít! And itís very easy to disprove. Very soon, no-one will care either way Ė theyíll have plenty of other things to worry about.

 

The Global Warming Theory. This suggests that an atmospheric blanket of carbon gases will elevate the surface temperature of the earth leading to the melting of the polar ice caps. Thatís the theory Ė but the reality is entirely different! When Saddam Hussein torched the oil-wells in Kuwait, the blanket of carbon gases didnít elevate temperatures; instead everyone almost froze in the middle of summer. See the landsat photo of the fires and the black smoke at right. And we all know why the rest of the world wanted the U.S. to sign the Kyoto Global Warming Accord donít we? (America refused. President Bush refuses to believe the theory!)

 

This type of sinister theory was developed in the mind of Satan, and people have been listening to Satanís siren song for years.

 

Babylonia Ė where all the trouble arose from, and will again. Now they are sweeping across the world.

Map Credit: The Zondervan Corporation - 1996

Anciently, when Ephraim rebelled against Godís City of Jerusalem, they drew away ten Tribes of Israel, and became known as the northern ten Tribes in history. Today, Ephraim again rules over ten Tribes, just as his father Joseph ruled over all his brothers. The U.S. (Ephraim) has become a mighty nation because the scattered remnant of the European nations of Israel, have migrated there Ė from every Tribe Ė and have bonded together to become one nation. Today, this whole nation is equally divided into two factions: the Republicans and the Democrats. This is almost unique on this earth for a nation to have only two political parties. Itís not surprising then, that Christ refers to ten virgins; five of whom are wise and five foolish. And of course, when God refers to virgins, He is referring to the Tribes of Israel! God not only names the 12 Tribes of Israel (Rev 7:4-8), but also says of them: Rev 14:4 "These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure." Those who do defile themselves with women are those who listen to the Great Harlot and her harlot daughters, who are now sweeping across the world.

It was one hell of a stretch by madmen to suggest that the Vatican ever fulfilled, or ever could fulfill, everything that is ascribed to the Great Harlot! With so many other obvious targets in the world, they chose to call mainstream Christianity the Great Harlot. Itís obvious that the Crusaders of the 11th and 12th centuries didnít share their views. They knew who the enemy was, and they targeted Islam. Even in those days it was Islam who was sweeping into Europe, and it was the Catholic Church that sanctioned some of the later crusades to wipe them out and to free the Holy Land. Today, the Holy Land has become crucial to Islamís objectives. They want absolute control of the Promised Land to prevent the House of David from being established. The rulers of the heavenly realms know that this is crucial to their future well-being. Presently, the Israelis are too strong for them, and every war they launch against them has ended in defeat. They want to utterly destroy the Holy Land and make it uninhabitable so that no man can live there. They want murder, mayhem and total destruction! If Satan is to thwart Godís Plan, he realizes that he must prevent all migrations from the House of Israel to this region. If you look at a map of the region, you will know that a vast sea of degenerate Moslems surrounds little Israel Ė and no-one cares! Instead, they have become thoroughly indoctrinated with the wine of Satan the devil, and are currently in a drunken stupor. But God does care about little Israel, and gives them great credit for holding the line against such great adversity. Help is on the way in just a little while!

Donít think for one moment that if the Israelis could be destroyed that the Palestinians would have a home. The rest of Islam cares nothing for Palestinians! If the Israelis could be conquered and slaughtered, Islam would raze every Israeli city to the ground and make it a wasteland so no-one could ever live there again. They hate the Holy Land that God gave to the Tribes of Israel.

For that matter, there is no earthly reason why Islam hates America! They act on the propaganda of their father the devil. Itís the devil that hates the whole House of Israel, and he knows who they are!

As for the ten virgins, they should have shown more compassion for little Israel Ė their virgin brother. Unfortunately, five of them are foolish, and they seem to make the most inroads in the public opinion polls with their twisted propaganda. During the Clinton administration, every effort was make to facilitate the Palestinians every wish, and always to the disadvantage of the Israelis. If they really wanted peace in the Middle East, they would have remembered that the U.N. vote in 1948 gave this land to the Israelis Ė not the Moslems! They would have remembered that this vote, of which they were signatories, gave the Israelis legitimacy to this region. Itís the Palestinians who have no legitimacy there. If the rest of the world really wanted peace, then they could have kicked all the Palestinians out, and repatriated them to the vast, surrounding Arab nations. If the Arabs really wanted peace, they would have happily accepted this solution.

The Arabs quite happily infiltrate other countries where they are not welcome, and there are plenty of examples. Boatloads of Iraqis, Iranians, Afghans, Pakistanis and other Moslems arrive almost daily in Australia Ė and all claim refugee status. They are put in facilities, which have conveniences equal to a five-star hotel, and yet they riot and destroy everything. The vast majority of them are radical insurgents and the Australian people donít want them! Itís only the loonie-left radicals in Australia who insist they have the right to come illegally.

The Channel Tunnel between Britain and France has been a boon for these insurgents. Thousands of them have successfully crossed from France into Britain on the freight trains. Britain constantly complains to France that they donít do enough to stop it. Germany has had enough, and is set to propose major changes to immigration law to block these Moslem insurgents. They are presently lobbying the E.U. for consensus.

The French are not too concerned that Moslems want to escape to Britain. Once they get on the tunnel trains they leave them there (as these photos show). The Canadians too, are not too worried about Moslem insurgents crossing the border in the U.S. and have publicly stated that itís not really their concern. They donít seem to cause any trouble in Canada, since their focus is on destroying the U.S., so they donít interfere to stop them.

Almost everything the U.S. Democrats propose is designed to destroy the very fabric of American society. Though not the best example, but a good one nevertheless, is the attempt to destroy Microsoft, citing it as a monopoly. And the example they always use for breaking up the Microsoft Ďmonopolyí is Standard Oil. Now Standard Oil (Esso today) did not have a monopoly! They had refineries and the marketing infrastructure to sell their products, which other smaller companies did not have, yet they purchased the oil from their smaller companies at the prevailing rates, and all benefited from these arrangements. J. Paul Gettyís company (Getty Oil) being one example. Of course, it took a lot of lying propaganda to achieve the breakup of Standard Oil, and this in turn opened the way for the Moslem nations later, when they too, made claims of monopolizing by American oil companies. After enticing them to develop their own petroleum reserves, the Arabs seized their assets and kicked them out of their countries. They used the expertise and equipment gained from the American oil companies to develop their own industry. Standard Oil was the lynch-pin of the Moslemís argument, and America had already set the standard for monopolies. Foolishly, America had already defeated its own argument. To stay in the game, U.S. petroleum companies had to continue to develop the petroleum reserves of the Moslem countries for the questionable right alone of buying their crude oil.

Sangatte, France has become the staging point for Moslem insurgents to get into Britain, via the Channel Tunnel railway. Once on the train, the French security guards seem unable to remove them. Apparently they havenít yet heard of cattle prods. The good olí Red Cross runs the ĎMoslem refugeeí camp at Sangatte.

 

 

 

Microsoft Corporation would be one of the most decent of U.S. companies. Not only have they benefited the whole world with their operating system Ė the best in the world Ė but they have opened the floodgates for thousands of other software companies to produce world-class software. And neither is Microsoft the only company producing operating systems. There are plenty of others, including amateurish open-source systems that almost return their users to the dark days of the early 80ís when it was necessary to remember hundreds of DOS commands to navigate around a computer.

Itís odd that Netscape once had a virtual monopoly on Internet browsers. Later, when Microsoft developed theirs, Netscape lost their market monopoly. Thatís when they screamed Ďfoulí. Anyone who used Netscapeís V5.0 will know why they lost their market share. They were so busy caning Microsoft they took their eye off the ball. Now Netscape is screaming that Microsoft has a monopoly on Internet browsers because they bundle it with their operating system. Itís a sure bet that Netscape have their preferences in the looney-left side of politics Ė it was certainly the looney-left that led the charge against Microsoft. Janet Reno proved that. These loonies are not only foolish, hypocritical, and illogical, but they are also lacking oil for their lamps.

God is intensely interested in the thinking patterns of the only people He ever chose of all the families of the earth (Amos 3:1-2). And while some Christians may believe that politics has nothing to do with religion, the fact is, it has everything to do with it. Religion will be the central platform of the coming Kingdom of God. Those who inherit the Kingdom of God will serve the Almighty God just as the High Priest, the Mighty Christ, does today. In that day, there will be Kings and Priests of the Almighty God, and they will serve Him according to Godís rules.

Itís hard to imagine how Almighty God could have provided more evidence of His intentions in the light of the mass of evidence in the world today. Everyday, prophecy is being fulfilled with alarming intensity. Alarming because those facing the greatest danger are oblivious to it all. The point is that the saints are going to be defeated, and either killed or taken into captivity. Daniel made this very clear! But he also makes it clear that the saints will eventually receive the Kingdom and possess it forever, but this will be after the four beasts arise: Dan 7:17 "The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from earth. But the saints of the Most High will receive the Kingdom and possess it forever Ė yes, for ever and ever." V21 "As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in the favour of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the Kingdom." And contrary to what you have been taught, this is not speaking of those Ďnasty Laodiceans, etcí, which so many like to teach Ė itís speaking of the saints of the Most High Ė who will later, when the time comes, possess the Kingdom. And just for emphasis, Daniel wrote further of one of these beasts in this manner: V25 "He will speak against the Most High and oppress the saints and try to change set times and laws. The saints will be handed over to him, for a time, times and half a time (one year, two years, and half a year). But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most High. His Kingdom will be an everlasting Kingdom, and all rulers will worship Him and obey Him."

So now you know who will rule over all the kingdoms under heaven Ė itís the saints Ė those who are either killed or taken into captivity.

God intends to rescue the saints. To do this, He plans to develop a mighty force that will accomplish this. This will herald the start of Godís Kingdom as a tiny mustard seed that will grow to fill the whole earth. Remember how Christ said that if you had the faith of a tiny mustard seed you could move mountains? (Matt 17:20). Well, mountains will be moved by this Ďtiny mustard seedí. So if you have been sitting around trying to move mountains with your Ďgreat faithí, then give up for the present, you are on the wrong track. Christ was speaking of something entirely different. But let me make the point that if your faith is destructive to sound reasoning, as the loonie-left side of politics seems to believe habitually, then you canít please God. Most of the lunacy we are presently witnessing only emerged in the last few decades. I guess you would have to agree that George Orwellís Animal Farm is not too wide of the mark.

 

But enough about the oil and the wine Ė these things are becoming obvious to all Ė except to those who are totally blind. Itís a great shame, though, that the Church of God has fallen apart into fragmentation and is presently wandering aimlessly without a shepherd. The role of the Church was to be a guiding hand and a lamp to light the way Ė to the Tribes of Israel. They seem to have failed miserably. Even today theyíre living in a world of delusion with no clear understanding of anything. Fortunately, God set in place back-up systems long ago. While the Israelite nations are buying oil from the Moslems to keep their cars running, itís now time to buy oil for their lamps.

Not everyone can have the faith of the Levite Brotherhood Ė this is a gift from God. It requires a major shift in thinking. It requires you to leave the deceptive world of Satan the devil and to start seeing things realistically. It has everything to do with repentance from former, destructive reasoning. The whole world is deceived by Satan, and is barreling down the road to oblivion. As God has said, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge", and most of Godís people have had their lamps go out long ago. The important knowledge comes only by the Spirit of God.

 

The first martyr after the Christian era began was Stephen. God left us this perfect example of what martyrdom is. When Stephen was approached by an unruly mob, he didnít plead for his life. Instead he cut loose on them, and grossly insulted them all. He spared nothing as he accused them of evil. He went to his death believing that God would raise him from the dead. He was well-aware that these evil creatures confronting him were the very ones that had killed righteous Abel nearly 4,000 years before, because Jesus plainly said so: Matt 23:33 "You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? Therefore I am sending you wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Barakiah, whom you murdered between the Temple and the Altar. I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation." Of course, this generation is referring to the spirit world who were around in the time of Abel, and for whom a raging fire is to be prepared Ė the hell referred to by Christ. It was demon-possessed Cain who actually struck the blow against righteous Abel, but it was the beast within him that actually provoked the murder. Itís the thinking pattern of people that enables and invites the snakes and vipers to manipulate them. And many people are completely unaware that their thought processes are being hijacked by evil insurgents of the spirit world. They usually see logic in the madness of their thinking.

In Christís day, despite the mass of evidence that Jesus was the Son of God, they used every device available to them to attempt to trip Him up. When He accused them, they called him a bastard, and implied He was born out of wedlock. When He quoted Scripture, they accused Him of perverting the Scriptures. When Jesus confirmed that the miracles He did was by the Power of the Father, they accused Him of blasphemy, and claimed it was by the power of the devil. In other words, they claimed that Jesusí miracle healings were performed by the devil. Apparently they didnít believe that God could heal, but the devil could.

And letís not kid ourselves. These snakes and vipers adorned themselves to appear very righteous, even sickeningly righteous. In fact they were self-righteous, and concerned only for their own image, and filled with the desire to be admired by others. They wanted honour and praise Ė not righteousness! What they wanted more than anything was for the Messiah to appear and confirm their magnificence. These people knew that the Messiah would come and free them from their oppressors. Satanís agents knew this, and planned to kill him the moment He appeared. Herod reacted immediately when he heard of Jesusí birth, and set about killing all babies under two years old. But God directed Joseph and Mary away and finally settled them in Galilee Ė out of Satanís reach.

With the passage of time, it all blew over, and was largely forgotten Ė until John the Baptist arrived on the scene. John came teaching things they had never heard before. He spoke of great destruction, of mountains being leveled, valleys being raised, and rugged mountainous regions becoming a plain. He was scathing towards those who thought they were Ďgreat onesí. Soldiers, priests and rulers all came under fire. Rather than feed their egos he deflated them. All those who seemed righteous, according to their own standards, were targeted with threats of being thrown into a raging fire. John even set a precedent for calling evil people Ďa brood of vipersí Ė the same term Christ later used.

As the ruler of the earth, Satan has very great power Ė but only over his own people. He has very great authority Ė but only over his own people. Heís expressly forbidden to curse Godís people but then Satan doesnít always follow the rules. This just happens to be the message we get from the account of Balaam, the one who was approached to curse Godís people Israel Ė and the one who is also mentioned in Rev 2:14 "Nevertheless, I have a few things against you. You have people there who hold to the teachings of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and committing sexual immorality." Balaam plainly told Balak that he had no power to curse Godís people, but offered the solution of infiltrating lewd and promiscuous women into the Israelite community, and to persuade them to worship idols. In the mysterious world of idol worship, people can lose their minds, and the incentive was to bed these harlots. Some men will do anything for sex, and Satan uses it as a powerful weapon.

And what an indictment for the Churches that they should be becoming acclimatized to sacrificing to idols or images. Some of the people there are being conditioned to entice the Israelites to sin by engaging in idolatry Ė the worshipping of an image. And isnít this the specific thing that will determine life from death? Hasnít God said this: Rev 14:9 "A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of Godís fury which has been poured full strength into the cup of His wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast or his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name. This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey Godís Commandments and remain faithful to Jesus."

Youíll find that five of the seven Churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation receive very bad press from God. Theyíve been heavily infiltrated by insane, power-mad brokers whose only objective is to lord it over others, and they feign Ďrighteousnessí in order to achieve it. Yet if they searched the Scriptures, they would soon learn that the Church was established for a purpose totally unlike anything theyíve imagined or taught. And if you want to see insanity in action, just direct your local preacher to this website, and see if he doesnít afterwards cartwheel you out of his church.

As Iíve said many times before, Jesus Christ delivered this message to John on the Isle of Patmos, and gave him clear instructions to pass it on to the seven churches (Rev 1:11, 22:16) Ė the very Churches that then existed in Asia Minor (Turkey today), and it was a message for a period nearly 2,000 years into the future. The revelation contained a message for each of the Churches giving them instructions and advising them of their deficiencies. He told them all to hold fast until He comes (the message was to all the Churches (plural), all seven of them. As the detail of the prophecies throughout the rest of the Book of Revelation is studied, it becomes obvious why they needed to hold fast. It speaks of things that would try the patience of the saints (those who keep the Commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus).

So the whole Book of Revelation is about prophecy Ė about a future time. All the Apostles prophesied of future events, and what to expect. Peter spoke of the sure Word of prophecy and warned to pay attention to it (2Pet 1:19-21). These same prophets to whom Peter referred, also give warnings of a future time. Take note of what Isaiah said: Isa 8:20 "To the Law and the Testimony, if they do not speak according to this Word, they have no light of dawn (the same term used by Peter). "Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. They will look towards the earth and see only distress and gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness." If you are unsure that this refers to the time of the dawning of the Sun of Righteousness (Mal 4:2-3) and the Bright Morning Star (Rev 22:16), then Isaiah gives some further information immediately before this: V12 "The LORD Almighty is the One you are to regard as holy, He is the One you are to fear, He is the One you are to dread, and He will be a sanctuary; but for both Houses of Israel He will be a stone that causes them to stumble and a Rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem He will be a trap and a snare. Many of them will stumble; they will fall and be broken, they will be snared and captured." Then the Rock begins to speak of the Law and the Testimony: V16 "Bind up the Testimony and seal up the Law among my disciples. I will wait for the LORD, who is hiding His face from the House of Jacob. I will put my trust in Him. Here am I, and the children the LORD has given me. We are signs and symbols in Israel from the LORD Almighty, who dwells in Mount Zion."

 

THE SEVEN CHURCHES IN ASIA. Itís these Seven Churches that God speaks of in the Book of Revelation. Incidentally, the Isle of Patmos, from where John was visited by the Mighty Christ, and recorded the Book of Revelation, is just off the coast from Ephesus, and right in the territory of the coming beast who will arise from Greece like his predecessor Ė Alexander the Great.

It should be clear to all that the vast majority of Christianity donít keep Godís Laws, and neither do they have the Testimony of Jesus. We all now know that the Testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy, donít we? (Rev 19:10). And Godís prophecy is vastly different from that of mainstream Christianity! Even the Churches of God donít have the Spirit of Prophecy! It will take the Power of God Ė His Holy Spirit Ė the promised Counsellor Ė to seal Christís disciples with the Law and the Testimony of Jesus. And at the appropriate time this will happen Ė to the seven thousand whom God will seal.

Many of the people of Jerusalem will be snared and captured. There will be a thinning of the ranks of those whose minds are not attuned to Godís. These are the factions that want to make peace with Godís enemies, the ones who have welcomed Godís enemies and accepted their right to control the Temple Mount Ė Mount Zion Ė where the LORD Almighty (the Father, whose face no-one has seen) will dwell. In fact, the Father will be above the Holy Place on Mount Zion, and will put a protective wall of fire around it. His Ďdwelling-placeí will overshadow it. Itís called the Glory.

 

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