THE GREAT PLAN OF ALMIGHTY GOD
By Neville V. Stevens
New International Version used throughout unless otherwise specified.
You know, the one great theme in the Bible is that God is going to bring the 12 Tribes of Israel back to the Holy Land Ė the Land that He gave to His servant Abraham. What most people donít understand is the method God plans to use and the reasons why. In the past, the Churches of God acknowledged that God planned to do this, but totally ignored all the Scriptures that clearly explain how all this will be accomplished. But God will do it, and the process will begin at a time when no-one desires to live in the Holy Land.
After the Kingdom of God is established in the Holy Land and the City of Jerusalem becomes the Capital of the earth, and the 12 Tribes of Israel are once more settled in their Tribal Lands, the nations of the earth will be required to live Godly lives Ė or else! But they will still have a choice, and the choice will be between peace and prosperity or death and destruction. God gives a clear example of this inZech 14:16 "Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain. If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The LORD will bring on them the plague He inflicts on nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles." (Incidentally, the LORD Almighty is the Father). God makes it clear that His Holy Days are to be kept for evermore. When the Kingdom of God is established, and the Great King, the LORD Almighty, sits on His throne, the nations of the earth will either keep His Holy Days or face oblivion. They will be required to go year after year to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem. Those who donít will get no rain and will suffer severe drought and famine. Added to this is a special plague that God has reserved for the recalcitrant nations who refuse to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.
And what will happen to these people? Will organizations like the Red Cross and the United Nations start airlifting food supplies and medicine to them in an attempt to thwart Godís curse? They had better not!! God doesnít take kindly to those who think they are more righteous than Him! Thereís far too much of this sort of thing going on today, and God is not pleased. When God curses a nation He intends for them to remain cursed until they either die or come to their senses. He doesnít appreciate those nations who reward evil nations with sustenance. Itís treasonous towards God for aid and comfort to be provided to His enemies. God holds the whole nation guilty of the conduct of their leaders. As always, the Western World gets this completely wrong! They think the Iraqi people, for instance, are innocent, and only the Saddam Hussein regime is guilty.
Oddly enough, this is the one concept that Satanís brood adhere to dogmatically. They offer no comfort to Godís enemies in the way of food aid or any other type of Ďhumanitarianí aid. These greedy, self-serving beasts have no interest in providing for any other nation, and in many cases, they donít even adequately feed their own people. But they all join the choir to demand that the Western World Ė the Tribes of Israel Ė do their duty and make all the necessary provision. Satanís nations are incapable of getting anything right or doing anything right.Zech 14:16 makes it very clear that all nations will celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles Ė or else! And the penalty for refusing will be severe. And this speaks of the time when all the House of Israel is settled in the land that God gave to His friend Abraham. But all this is the end of the story as far as Zech 14 is concerned. The beginning of this particular sequence starts at V1. Satanís nations donít give up so easily. As Jerusalem will be the capital of the world, and especially since Babylon will be destroyed beforehand, they will use their numerical strength to invade the Holy Land and overrun it. The Tribes of Israel will already be decimated by previous events in the worldwide holocaust, so they will be few and very vulnerable. At that time, Satanís nations will know they are fighting God. God Himself will gather the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it. And itís Jerusalem Ė the Holy City of God Ė that they will be fighting against. God makes it clear that anyone who raises a finger against the Holy City will die. God intends to make sure everyone understands where His priorities lie. And so they will come intent on destruction, murder, raping and looting. They will surge into the Holy Land and take the Holy City captive. This is how itís all described: Zech 14:1 "A Day of the LORD is coming when your plunder will be divided among you. I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the City." And this is when the trap is sprung! Jerusalem will appear to be an easy target, and buoyed by initial success the hordes will overrun it. Raping, looting and murder will inflame them to make the charge towards the Holy Mountain Ė the Temple Mount.
This is the final straw as far as the rebellious nations are concerned. What follows is a slaughter that cannot be imagined. And to the victors will go the spoils. All the surrounding nations will be plundered, and we all know which nations surround the Holy Land, donít we?V14 "Judah too will fight at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected Ė great quantities of gold and silver and clothing." This is the time when the Mighty Commander will lead His armies Ė the saints of the Most High Ė and they will fight! The outcome of the battle is predetermined, and victory is sure for the faithful servants of God. This is the time when Jerusalem will become inviolable to any marauding armies. This is also the time when the Temple Mount will be raised up on a platform and the sloping sides will span a great distance. From the Temple Mount will flow the River of Life. The River of Life is described in Eze 47:1-12. It will flow to the great seas that will lap at the apexes of the new pyramid-shaped landmass. The great seas are the eastern and western seas.
Itís always a good idea to review these things and to keep the mind focused on what God plans to do, and the reasons for it. God plans to replace all rulers in the universe with the offspring of His Son, who has been busy producing kings and priests for future developments. All the present rulers and counselors will concede their crowns in favour of those who have been born into the Kingdom by trial and hardship and service to God. Everyone must serve the Father both now and forever, including Jesus Christ, who today, serves as the High Priest at the Altar. Thereís to be a whole new order of things in the Kingdom of God, and Jerusalem will be the Capital of the Universe.
After nearly 400 years the President of the U.S. has acknowledged that Jerusalem is the Capital of Israel. This was a defining moment for a righteous President. Itís been nearly 3,000 years since Ephraim first rebelled against Godís Holy City and consequently descended into chaos, destruction, captivity and slavery. What is so significant about this is that itís taken all these millennia for Ephraim to finally acknowledge the sovereignty of the Holy City as the Capital of the Jewish people.
Typically, Islam is enraged! They want the Holy City as their own so they can desecrate it and prevent any Temple being built there. Satan is determined that there will be no place for his Righteous Brother to place the soles of His feet. Ezekiel describes it in this way:Eze 43:1 "Then the man brought me to the gate facing east, and I saw the Glory of the God of Israel coming from the east." V7 "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 for ever. The House of Israel will never again defile my Holy Name Ė neither they nor their kings Ė by their prostitution and the lifeless idols of their kings at their high places." V9 "Now let them put away from me their prostitution and the lifeless idols of their kings, and I will live among them forever."
There are wicked evil men who have been plotting for years to build a Temple beside the Al Aqsa Mosque in order to accommodate Islam and to leave their structure in place. If any imagine that the Islamic Dome of the Rock will be left in place, then they must be dreaming. All the Temple Mount will be most Holy to God and there will be nothing there to honour Satan and his brood. This is how God describes it:V10 "Son of man, describe the Temple to the people of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their sins." God makes it very clear here that the Temple is to be described to the people of Israel Ė not Islam! Itís worth noting because of one group who believes that Islam may accept a compromise and allow them to build a Temple there. Can you imagine any sane person trying to arrange a compromise concerning the Holy Mountain of God Ė and with His enemies? What weak, unfaithful people these are! While there may be some merit in their objectives, itís a gross insult to God! V11 "Let them consider the Plan, and if they are ashamed of all they have done, make known to them the design of the Temple Ė its arrangements, its exits and entrances Ė its whole design and all its regulations and Laws. Write these down before them so that they may be faithful to its design and follow all its regulations. This is the Law of the Temple: All the surrounding area on top of the Mountain will be most holy. Such is the Law of the Temple." Because no-one it seems is ashamed of all they have done, itís hardly the time to be describing anything to them! With such hostility in the House of Israel to anything pertaining to Godís Great Plan, and their constant rebellious barrage against everything God holds sacred, and because they consider Godís prophet to be a fool, theyíve decided to learn their lesson the hard way. God, in His mercy, will accommodate them and teach them the lesson they will never forget.
It may be difficult for Christianity and the Western World Ė the Tribes of Israel Ė to accept, but their inheritance is the Land that God gave to the Patriarchs. This is where they will eventually be settled Ė that is if they survive. Presently, no-one wants any part of it Ė only the Jewish people. Everyone else sees it as a hell-hole of madness and certainly not a desirable land in which to live! Perennially, Christianity is at the forefront of supporting evil while condemning everything that is wholesome and good. They condemn every war that the Western World fights, and they always do it by whitewashing the enemy. No matter how evil the enemy is, or how much slaughter, torture and destruction they have committed, they defend the right for them to continue. Of course, this is contingent on others being tortured and slaughtered Ė not them! Itís all so easy to present soothing arguments and feign righteousness when they are not directly involved.
You might have noticed the self-righteous, religious fanatics who went to Iraq at the Iraqi governmentís expense to act as human shields against their own country. They had hoped to inhibit their own armed forces from being able to fire back in the heat of the battle. They were quite happy to see American troops taking withering fire-power and many casualties without being able to defend themselves. Consider for a moment what the definition of a traitor is! Well, these traitors have suddenly decided to leave before the war even started. Theyíve suddenly discovered how dangerous it is to live among people who hate them! They thought the Iraqis would love them and admire their Christian Ďprinciplesí. Instead, the Iraqis hated them and couldnít wait to kill them. It became so dangerous they stampeded for the exit gates at the airport.
Christianity has become positively bizarre in all their self-righteous machinations. Of course, this doesnít apply to real Christians who will faithfully follow their Christ like sheep to the slaughter. These are the ones who care nothing for their own lives, and in fact, surrendered their lives to God when they were baptized.
But there has been a great proliferation of lunatic ĎChristiansí who explore every possibility to gain advantage over others. For instance, arguing over what Godís Name is, or trying to prove that Jesus never kept Godís Laws. Some have become fake Jews, and adopted Jewish names as their own. Some of these fake Jews have gone even further and repudiated Jesus as the Christ. They are not Jews, even though these lying fools rabidly claim they are. God mentions these people in very unflattering terms:Rev 2:9 "ÖI know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are of the synogogue of Satan." And in Rev 3:9 "I will make those who are of the synogogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars Ė I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you." Yes, Jesus the Mighty Christ will hurl them at the feet of those He truly loves, and make them acknowledge who are those He truly loves! And those swine from the synogogue of Satan, those liars, are not those that Jesus loves.
Satan has used these people with considerable success as part of his fake synogogue. Jesus taught in synagogues, so itís important to realize that Satanís synagogues are just that Ė Satanís! And they are filled with fake Jews who are liars! These lying dirtbags feign obedience to Godís Laws, and strain over picky issues that really have no relevance. They do this to bring disrepute to Godís Laws, and infer that only they, because of their Ďrighteousnessí can keep them, and they make their converts twice the sons of hell as they are Ė to use Jesusí own terminology. But their great claim to fame is their Hebrew translation of Bible Names. The actual words and meaning of the Bible are not sacred to them, but the names of all those mentioned in the Bible are. This can be verified by the fact that they donít write other words in the Bible in Hebrew Ė but only the names! And the only reason they do this is to create the illusion that they are real Jews instead of fakes. Surely if the names are sacred, then the rest of the words of the Bible are too! But it seems itís not to them! From what I have seen of these fake Jews, is that their knowledge of the Bible is pitiful, and their only real obligation is to laboriously learn all the Bible names in phonetic Hebrew so they can appear very Ďspiritualí.
Typically, they support the strategy of the master of their synogogue Ė Satan Ė by claiming he doesnít exist. The extension of this is to blame God for all the evil in the world since Satan canít be blamed if he doesnít exist. Trying to have an intelligent conversation with these people is about as unproductive as trying to teach an ape to tap-dance.
So what is it about those who claim to use only Ďsacredí names? Whatís sacred about a name? Godís Word is sacred, human names are not! Yet many make a big deal about using these sacred names in their conversation, but never converse in the language they claim is sacred. If the names of human beings are sacred to them, why isnít the rest of Godís Word? Well we all know why! They canít speak Hebrew or Greek, and even if they could, what purpose would it serve to others who donít understand it. Theyíd sound like complete idiots standing there conversing in a language that their audience doesnít understand. Itís the same old story Ė they arenít interested in righteousness but only in the appearance of righteousness. They love to appear righteous, and to complete the loop, they usually change their own names to Ďsacredí names, and hope that everyone will make the connection that Ďsacred namesí means righteousness. The fact that their doctrine is a fanciful flight of fantasy is hardly worth noting. Godís Word is sacred in Hebrew, Greek, Swahili or any other language provided itís properly presented in truthful form, and in a manner that is clearly understood.
So why is Hebrew sacred, but Aramaic is not? Jesusí final words were spoken in Aramaic, and He was speaking to the Father when He said, ĎEli, Eli, lama sabachthanií. Later it was revealed that it meant ĎMy God, my God, why have you forsaken me?í (Matt 27:46). The Hebrew speakers standing by thought He was calling for Elijah. So they waited around to see if Elijah would come (V47, 49). How confused they were to not know that Jesus called the Father ĎElií. Now this raises some questions, doesnít it?
So if Jesus final words to the Father were in Aramaic, why arenít the Ďsacred nameí advocates using Aramaic? Apparently, the Assyrian language doesnít sound righteous enough for them. It was righteous enough for Jesus, but not for them! Jesus, you will note, didnít only identify the Father by the name Eli, He spoke the whole sentence in the language He was using at that time. What is more, He was quoting the Scriptures. In fact, He was directing His disciples to see from the Scriptures what was written about Him, and this is found inPsalm 22:1. Dutifully, the disciples picked up the clue and went to the source of Jesusí quotation. Sure enough, there were many references to Jesusí final hours, and also to His overall goals. And contrary to the teachings of Christianity in general, Jesus had not abandoned the House of Israel, and His stated claim was that He had come only to the lost sheep of Israel.
If the Ďsacred nameí advocates spent as much time learning to understand Godís Word and considerably less on trying to mask truth with petty grandstanding, their interests would be far better served. They might actually learn something. We refer to the Bible as the written Word of God because it was preserved in writing. If the names found in the Bible are so sacred, why do we now find these so-called sacred names written in the English alphabet? Why not the Hebrew or Greek alphabet? If these names are so sacred, what authority do the Ďsacred nameí advocates have for changing them to phonetic English when writing them? Shouldnít they also be writing from right to left as the Hebrew is written Ė and using Hebrew characters? If these names are so sacred, who gave these people the right to present them in a different language when writing them? But why only Bible names? Is this all they can find sacred in the Bible? It seems it is! You see nothing substantive in any of their other teachings. Do they really believe that God is pleased that they are confusing everyone by sacred deification of all Bible identities? If these names are so sacred, why arenít they preserved in the original Hebrew glyphic? The problem is that once people develop irrational and confused minds, they no longer recognize reality. They push their irrational agendas against all forms of logic Ė and all this to enhance their own reputations.
The name Jesus is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew name Joshua, yet we have some fools who are now saying itís derived from ĎIoneusí, a Greek god. Of course, no proof of this assertion is offered, but it makes good copy to all those gullible enough to see any form of rationale for it. They didnít choose to equate Jesusí brother Joses to this Greek god, even though the Greek equivalent of his name is closer than Jesusí Name is to it. No, it was the Name of Jesus that had to be desecrated! And their purpose for doing this? Well, they never ever make this clear! The reason is they donít know. Their confused minds are incapable of any form of rational thought.
To be sure, there are many mysteries concealed in the Bible, but they are not concealed in Ďsacred namesí! And anyone who believes they are promoting Godís interests by confusing everyone with their own renditions of righteousness through Ďsacred namesí are wholly mistaken. It would be nice if they pointed to some Scripture that supported their views on all this. Whereís their evidence that all the names written in the Bible must be pronounced and written in the original format? And why donít they explain how this elevates them to a form of righteousness that others donít have?
There are some who point to obscure historical records and the views of Greek Ďscholarsí to hone their interpretations of the Bible. To those of us who have spent a lifetime studying history, such people come across as intellectual midgets. Itís patently obvious that some of these people have no depth of knowledge in anything. Theyíll never earn the title of scholar, but they would make good Democrats. Perhaps this is where their potential lies. As for becoming Christians Ė forget it! God speaks a lot about wisdom, and the peculiar thing about wisdom is that it is not present among those who donít agree with God. Jesus Christ is the Wisdom of God and the Word of God. True Wisdom comes only through the Word of God. Those who donít have the Wisdom of God donít know how stupid they sound to those who do.
Christianity as it exists today has a lot to learn! Theyíve been thoroughly beguiled and derailed by people who are consummate masters of deception. For a long time, God has remained silent, but this is all about to change. When God speaks, either in word or deed, you will tremble! Those who actively try to destroy Godís reputation with their silly doctrines will find themselves in direct conflict with the Almighty God Himself. Forget any assumptions that you have earned rewards in everlasting pastures Ė youíve earned nothing! That privilege is yet to be determined, and mere words just donít cut it.
A NEW CREATURE
When God created mankind, He created a new type of being Ė a type of being that had not formerly existed. It was a unique being and quite unlike any of the other animals. Human beings were given the ability to think and to reason. What is more, they were made in the very image of God. In other words, they looked just like God. Almighty God was creating a class of being that would ultimately become His own family. From the very outset God made it clear that He was to be obeyed by this new class of being, and the first lesson came swiftly. The woman transgressed Godís instructions and both were driven from the Garden of Eden and forced to live by the sweat of their brow. Now they had to force the ground to yield its sustenance. They had to subdue the earth and bring all of the creation under their dominion. They had to develop flocks and herds to provide food and clothing; they had to destroy predators who came among the flocks and herds. They quickly learned to kill off the wild animals and to protect their domestic animals.
God had placed the whole creation at their disposal and given them dominion over all of it. They knew at the very outset that they lived by Godís grace. Adam was a righteous man, and he taught his children to honour God. His son Abel was also a righteous man, and he sacrificed the very best of his flock and only the firstborn in honour of God. He was determined to be a worthy and righteous priest to God, and God accepted his sacrifices. His brother Cain however, adopted a different approach. He was prepared to make offerings to God but only from the surplus of what he grew in the ground. And even then he was cautious in his offerings and failed to greatly honour God. He was a minimalist, and did only what he felt he had to do. Consequently, God did not accept his offerings.
Here we have the example of two men, both of which had received perfect counsel from their father Adam. One wholeheartedly served God and gained acceptance, the other served God only when it was convenient to him and was rejected. Even when God Himself explained why his offerings were not accepted, he made no attempt to change. Instead, he decided to eliminate the competition. From that moment on, Satan entered into him and he became a murderer and a liar. Satan had found his mark. Satan was quickly learning how to corrupt this new creature, and was determined to corrupt the whole earth. The new creation would not be the Garden of Eden that God had intended. Whatever Godís purpose, he would corrupt it and ensure that no-one served God. He resolved to breed up huge nations that would dominate the earth and ensure that none served the Almighty God. Instead they would serve him. To do this, he would exploit human frailty and encourage the vilest of human practices. He would set up his own rulers and ensure that everything was done according to his demands. He would exact horrendous punishments against all those who opposed his rule. Violence and bloodshed would be the constant reminder of what happens to all who oppose him.
And it worked. While the righteous seed deferred marriage until adequate provision was made for raising a family, Satanís brood was rushed into producing offspring from the time of pubescence. This is true even today. Satan sees his role as producing his offspring to outnumber and to dominate Godís righteous seed. Satan recognized this challenge the moment it was uttered (Gen 3:15), and he was resolved to tilt the scales his way. What Satan didnít know, and still doesnít understand, is that God doesnít need numerical supremacy among human beings to achieve His objectives. God knew at the very outset that Satan would corrupt humanity and was not surprised that Satan had deceived Eve. Nor was He surprised that Satan had corrupted Cain and enticed him to kill righteous Abel. And neither was God surprised a thousand years later to see violence covering the earth with evil proliferating everywhere.
In Satanís eyes, he had successfully corrupted Godís entire creation. He had strengthened his own case that intelligent beings cannot live according to Godís rules. He was not alone in this belief, and now he had millions of human beings agreeing with him. And where were all those who favoured Godís Way, who were content to live according to Godís rules? There were none! Satan now had total dominion to do as he pleased, and in his mind, another creation had bitten the dust as far as Godís ideals were concerned. Having successfully corrupted the whole creation, he now began to ramp up the challenge in an attempt to draw Godís faithful legions of angels after him.
We are not told exactly what happened, but we do know that a large number of Satanís demon rulers were arrested and locked away in the abyss at that time to await the judgment (2Pet 2:4-5). And Jesus Christ Himself even confirmed to them how wrong they had been in the time of Noah (1Peter 3:19). And to further add to their misery, He triumphed over them (Col 2:15), and this was a whole new development! In the past when Satan had killed someone they stayed dead, but now he faced the prospect that there was life after death under certain circumstances. Heíd managed to kill Godís Faithful Son, but now He was alive and lording it over them in triumph.
Satan now faced an uncertain future. What if God started raising His offspring from the dead through His Spirit as in the case of Jesus? These would be living examples of his own treachery, and prime witnesses at his trial. Heíd received prior warning of this when God told him that Abelís blood was crying out from the grave but he didnít believe Him. Now it was a distinct possibility if not a reality. What if the same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead (Rom 8:11, 14) was to also raise His offspring? These would be witnesses of the first rank when the Great Court sits (Dan 7:9-12). Satan knows he canít fool God, but his object is not to fool God but to fool all His counselors, and to convince them that Godís Way is wrong. He knows he must face this judgment, but being the subtle liar that he is, he is convinced that he will sway the jury.
God has already predicted that judgment will be given in favour of the saints, and that they will inherit the whole Kingdom (Dan 7:21). Satan is just as determined that it wonít happen, and he will use every lying argument and illegal devices in his arsenal to make sure that Godís Way is not upheld. But he faces a dilemma. He must erase the saints from the face of the earth, but he must also ensure that they donít arise from the dead, and give evidence against him. Itís no comfort to him that the saints of God would rather die than violate Godís Laws. Itís ever in Satanís mind that a raging fire is to be prepared specifically for him and his angels: Matt 25:41 "Then He will say to those on His left, ĎDepart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.í" The Christ had previously spoken of these things in Matt 13:37-43 "He answered, "The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the SONS OF THE KINGDOM. The weeds are the SONS OF THE EVIL ONE, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is at the end of the age, and the harvesters are the angels. As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will weed out of His Kingdom [everyone] that causes sin, and all who do evil. They will throw them in the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear." These verses make a clear distinction between the sons of the Kingdom and the sons of the evil one. Even today, there are crazed maniacs who preach that everyone is basically good. The Lord Jesus Christ begs to differ! Everyone who commits sin, and teach others to do the same are the sons of the evil one, and in order to make it crystal clear: Sin is the transgression of the Law of God (1John 3:4). And letís be very clear on one other thing; those who rage against Godís Truth will be condemned: Matt 12:36 "But I tell you that men will have to give an account on the day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." Those who rage against the SONS OF THE KINGDOM will be condemned for their reckless words. So should we all tolerate those who refute Godís Truth and teach lies in His Name? Should we all be bounding around kissing up to all Godís enemies and calling them Ďbrothers and sistersí and feigning Ďloveí for them? The Apostle John made his feelings clear: 2John 1:10 "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work." Obviously, there are some who have spent their entire lives being deceived by Satanís propaganda, and they need to be taught the Truth. Provided they believe all that God has said, then they need to be welcomed as brothers. But those who come bearing teachings that are not of God, and which run counter to all God has said, should not be welcomed. And any who welcome them share in their wicked work. Iím appalled that some, who seem to think that those who defy God and have chosen the way of lawlessness, could ever be SONS OF THE KINGDOM! It would make a lot more sense to kiss up to an alligator than to kiss up to the sons of the evil one.
In Satanís mind, the first order of business is to convince all potential saints that there is no judgment, and that they will inherit eternal life whether they obey God or not. With this firmly fixed in their minds, they will willingly cave in to his demands and even worship the image that Satan knows will inflame Godís anger. What is more, he will ensure the most excruciating deaths for any who refuse to worship the image. Heíll work on the principle that he spoke of in the days of Job, when he said that if God were to strike Jobís flesh, Job would curse Him to His face (Job 2:4-5). Satan believes that if enough pain is applied, any human being will recant. Heíd hoped that this would have been the case with Jesus Christ, but as usual, Satan was wrong. He does however feel that he has a defense for this murder. Heíll argue that he didnít do it, and that Christís own people of His bloodline did it. Heíll argue that the keepers of Godís own Law are the ones who put Him to death, and the soldier with the spear who struck the deathblow had no interest one way or the other; all he did was to uphold the Law by not allowing a criminal to remain on the stake after sundown on the Sabbath.
Satan is like a Democrat who keeps coming up with spurious arguments, all of which seem logical to the gullible. God knows all about his subtlety, and has covered all bases as it were. Satan is a master of deception and cunning and is able to provide convincing arguments in his own favour. Heíll accept no challenge to his authority from anyone, not even God, but he knows where to draw the line when it comes to God. Heís not that stupid! He knows that God has awesome Power and controls everything through this Power. His only real weapon against God is his subtlety, and his ability to convince others to his way of thinking. And of course, Satanís reasoning is always at odds with Godís. Satan reasons that if the sum total of all intelligent life in the universe were against Godís Way, then God would have to rethink His position.
Typically, tyrants like Satan the devil must get rid of anyone who threatens their position. His brood thinks likewise, and is always plotting against others, even those who are friends. Itís the mark of the devil himself. Plotters and schemers always face an untimely death, and those who plot and scheme against the true saints of God will rue the day they were ever born.
Human beings are like gods Ė literally! When Eve transgressed Godís instructions, they literally became like God in knowing good and evil. The tree was called the Tree of Knowledge, and immediately after eating it they lost their innocence. As God says inGen 3:22 "And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil." They then had the ability to do good or to devise evil. It was also important to prevent them from getting to the Tree of Life and eating of its fruit.
When one considers the incredibly great detail of all God has created, and the perfection He has built into it all, one can only stand in awe of His Great Power. And when one who has been instructed in Godís Way looks into the glorious Word of God, they too, can only stand in awe of the infinite detail He has recorded. No man could have written the Scriptures that Christ used unless he was led by the Holy Spirit of God.
Satan the devil has been baffled for six thousand years concerning all that God has said. Yet like his human progeny, he too, has been trying to wring out some form of understanding in it all. He has known from earliest times that those who served God and believed Him had a degree of wisdom that was not present in any of his own brood. It became part of his strategy to promote the faithful men of God as his advisors. Joseph and Daniel are prime examples of this. Pharaoh promoted Joseph above all those in his realm, just as Nebuchadnezzar did with Daniel. Satan recognized that the wisdom of these two men were unmatched by any of the Ďwise mení of his realm. Satan was smart enough to know that true wisdom is not born of human endeavour but only by the Spirit of God.
The man Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that baffled him. It also baffled the ruler that dwelt within him. He was sure it had great significance, but was unsure of the meaning. As an aside, Satan the devil is a powerful magician who uses his magic art to beguile his own rulers as well as his people. No self-respecting ruler would be seen dead without his entourage of magicians and sorcerers, and Nebuchadnezzar was no exception. God makes it clear that there will be no place for anyone who lives and rules by superstitious fear and practices the magic arts of Satan (Rev 22:15). Satan has many powerful tricks in his arsenal. Youíll recall what happened when God gave Satan permission to move against His servant Job. Satan went out and generated a hurricane that flattened the house of Jobís sons and daughters, killing them all. He has a lot of power, but as in the case of Godís servant Job, he was powerless to act against him without Godís approval.
Nebuchadnezzarís dream terrified him, but he knew that it would have great significance in the future. This is the account:Dan 4:4 "I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at home in my palace, contented and prosperous. I had a dream that made me afraid. As I was lying in my bed, the images and visions that passed through my mind terrified me. So I commanded that all the wise men of Babylon be brought before me to interpret the dream for me. When the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners came, I told them the dream, but they could not interpret it for me. Finally, Daniel came into my presence and I told him the dream. (He is called Belteshazzar, after the name of my god, and the spirit of the holy gods is in him.)" (Daniel would not have considered that the name given him by Nebuchnezzar was sacred!) Clearly, Nebuchadnezzar knew that Daniel had the Holy Spirit that was not present in himself or his magicians. Even at that time, God was making known to the rulers of the heavenly realms that the administration of Wisdom comes only through His Holy Spirit. God Himself chooses through whom He will reveal knowledge, and even makes the point that He reveals His secrets to His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7). And Daniel was a prophet.
So here we see Nebuchadnezzar terrified by the dream, and his magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners were unable to understand the meaning. It can be extremely dangerous in the presence of a madman to be a magician and to have no wisdom to understand the madmanís dreams (Dan 2:1-12, especially V12). No doubt the magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners still remembered Nebuchadnezzarís reaction to their failure in the second year of his reign, when they were about to be burned alive or fed to lions as was Nebuchadnezzarís customary manner. At that time, Daniel saved their butts, and so it made perfect sense to keep Daniel around as part of their contingency planning. If their magical enchantments failed, they had a fall-back position in Daniel. Naturally enough, they soon forgot that Godís prophet Daniel had saved their lives, and soon they were plotting to kill him. This is typical of those who have the minds of animals or brute beasts as Jude describes them.
Magicians, enchanters, astrologers and diviners enjoy a privileged position among the rulers of the heavenly realms, as long as they donít upset the ruler. Their function is to mesmerize the masses, and to control them with fear of the unknown. It seems to work so well! The problem is that all too often the rulers themselves forget that these magicians use lying deception and cooperative demons to work their magic. They have no power to do good, nor to understand anything relating to Almighty God. So when a ruler is terrified by a dream, he conveniently forgets this, and demands the impossible of his own appointed deceivers.
The rulers of the spirit realm long ago learned that Godís Spirit imparted real Wisdom Ė something which they themselves did not have!
The Greek-Macedonian, Alexander the Great, was no exception. He feared the Celts, and chose to sign peace treaties with them, before he went to war against the Babylonians and their territories. He didnít want a seemingly invincible army at his back while he went forward to conquer.
The Celts had won seemingly impossible battles against all odds, and this was always a problem to the rulers of the heavenly realms. They might be arrogant, but they are not that stupid. Alexander knew that if he picked a fight with the Celts, they would decimate his armies and leave him without the means to conquer the Middle East, denying him the vast wealth of the spoils of war, which he needed desperately in order to pay his soldiers.
THE CELTS IN GALATIA (TURKEY)
In earlier articles we saw how the Celtic Levites populated Galatia in 278BC (Galatia is present-day Turkey). (See the Book ĎThe Literature of the Celtsí, published in 1902 by Magnus Maclean, page 8). Godís purpose in this was to provide pathways for the House of Israel to migrate to Europe. It seems that many of the Celts stayed too long, and became bottled up in the Eastern Roman Empire. Collectively, they were called Aryans after the chief priest Aaron, and were responsible for building many monasteries, and places of learning. They were present in the first century when the seven Churches mentioned inRev 1:4, 11 were established. Many of them living in Turkey began to interbreed with the indigenous peoples of the
region, and true to form Ė just as God constantly warned, they were enticed into paganism Ė the religion of their new wives. Having priesthood skills engrained within them, they were soon developing a pagan priesthood. For many centuries, dating from 278BC, these Aryan Celts were known as Aryans, not only in Turkey, but in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India where they migrated and developed pagan Hinduism.
First published in 1902, by Magnus Maclean, a Scotsman, it preserves many truths that have been forgotten during the past century.
It is now available in a reprint by Tiger Books International PLC, 1998, and sells for around ten dollars.
Itís no surprise that Almighty God predicted that this would be so. He warned that as soon as they forgot their God, they would become enmeshed with the world and the pagan idolatry and adultery that is so prevalent in this type of behaviour. God abandoned these Aryans to their own devices, and today they are steeped in idolatry, and can scarcely be recognized for their former roots. Meanwhile the Aryan Celts in Britain and Europe were holding the line, and welcomed the news that the Mighty Christ had appeared on earth.
Itís scarcely worth mentioning that the Aryans have been linked to the Asian region in many history books relating to Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Many of them became mercenaries, and fought local wars for the highest bidder. Though their Aryan blood runs thin today through interbreeding, the Aryan link remains, even though there is no evidence of any accolades for their primitive roots in the Bible. They have virtually written themselves out of any significance in prophecy.
Magnus Maclean brings into focus many things that current historians seem to have forgotten. Especially Bible oriented historians, who like to distort facts to fit their own perceptions of things.
It was important from the point of view of Bible prophecy that God preserved the identity of the sons of Aaron, the Tribe of Levi, since itís the sons of Aaron that must begin the rescue the survivors of the House of Israel from the nations where they are transported to as slaves. They are prophesied to establish the Kingdom of God by force, and then take the fight to new frontiers.
In the Book of Hebrews, we find these words:Heb 8:4 "If He (Christ) were on earth, He would not be a priest, for there are already men who offer gifts prescribed by Law." God wants everyone to know who the priesthood Tribe is (in case they have already forgotten); itís the Levites! And God, by His enormous Power, has preserved the Levites down through the ages in order that they come to power at the appointed time. And it is the Levites who offer the offerings in righteousness: Mal 3:3 "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years."
Of the Levites, God says they will be mine:Num 8:13-16 "Make the Levites stand in front of Aaron and his sons, and then present them as a wave offering to the LORD. In this way you are to set the Levites apart from the other Israelites, and THE LEVITES WILL BE MINE. After you have purified the Levites and presented them as a wave offering, they are to come and do the their work at the Tent of Meeting. THEY ARE THE ISRAELITES WHO ARE GIVEN WHOLLY TO ME. I have taken them as my own in place of the firstborn, the first male offspring from every Israelite woman." V18 "And I have taken the Levites in place of all the firstborn sons in Israel." And God again confirms this in the Levite Book Ė the Book of Malachi: Mal 3:16 "Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A Scroll of Remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honoured His Name. "THEY WILL BE MINE," says the LORD Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not."
For those who are really interested in the history of the Celts, these few books will get you started. All are currently available at the book shops. There are hundreds more, some dating back to antiquity, which are harder to find, but will probably found in good public libraries. In this day and age, no one has any excuse for ignorance unless theyíre illiterate or want to remain ignorant.
Jesus Christ serves God as the High Priest in heaven. By this we know that even Jesus Christ serves the Father. Those who would be like Jesus Christ must also serve the Father. Anyone who doesnít understand the Fatherís instructions would have no idea on how to serve Him. Jesusí zeal for the Fatherís instructions overrode all other considerations. Jesus, like the Father, sees all rebellious nations as being worthless and less than nothing (Isa 40:17). Itís important to understand that human beings are worthless unless they serve their Creator in the manner in which He prescribes.
God decided long ago to use His own Tribe for the fulfillment of His Great Plan. It was the Celts that introduced the concept of knighthood and chivalry, and qualities of mercy when dealing with others. This was not something that other nations embraced, though many admired these qualities. One of these were the Germans, who began to emulate them, establishing their own knighthood along the lines of the Celtic ĎKnights of the Order of the Temple in Jerusalemí (Knights Templar), and called themselves the ĎTeutonic Knightsí. Down through the ages, they began to identify so strongly with the Celtic Levites, that they too, imagined themselves to be the sons of Aaron, and called themselves Aryans. Hitler perpetuated this myth, by proclaiming his intention of creating a pure Aryan race.
In Europe, the Celts were once a mighty nation that struck fear into all their enemies. Even Alexander the Great baulked at challenging them, and chose to sign peace deals with them. Alexander viewed them as honourable men who would not violate their agreement. He didnít want them overrunning his Greek-Macedonian Empire while he was away whipping the Arabs into submission. He had no reason to fear! The Celts were indeed honourable men, and Alexander was able to pursue his goal of conquering the whole Middle East.
While the Celts were honourable, it seems that mankind doesnít necessarily want to be ruled by honourable men. Most nations want to be free to do as they please. Just imagine what would happen if Ghenghis Khan or Ivan the Terrible or Adolf Hitler ruled over America today. Would America still be a righteous nation trying to bring peace and prosperity to all lesser nations? If any of these three dictators ruled America today, then they would soon rule the whole world. They would begin by systematically picking off the weaker nations and enslaving them. They would divide and conquer the stronger nations, and utterly slaughter them. After viewing all this, most nations would sue for peace, and cave in to the dictatorís commands. In no time at all, they would rule the whole earth.
In human terms the U.S. is a righteous nation, and the whole world benefits from their righteousness. The vile despots of this world fear the U.S. and restrain their intentions. It irritates them that they canít unleash their terror on lesser nations and conquer them. While they recognize that Saddam Hussein is a ruler bent on conquest, and a ruthless one at that, they themselves favour the right to expand their borders by the conquest of their neighbours Ė just as Saddam did. Saddam Hussein didnít believe the U.S. would act when he launched an assault on Kuwait. After all, Kuwait is relatively insignificant, and Saddam gave all the reasons why he had a right to do it. Kuwait was, he reasoned, really a part of Iraq, and he wanted it united with the motherland. This is the usual reasoning of tyrants. Had he gotten away with the conquest of Kuwait, he could have used the same reasoning to conquer Saudi Arabia, and this was his declared intention. At worst, Saddam believed the international community through the U.N. would send in peace-keepers to guard against human rights violations, and this would continue for a few years. Meanwhile he would control the rich resources of Kuwait, and steadily upgrade his arsenal of weaponry. To his stunned horror, he found himself facing off with the mightiest power on earth. Instead of knocking down all the Middle East nations like dominos, he found himself bottled up in his own country and tightly restrained. So his conquest ambitions turned to propaganda. He was never a religious man, and this is acknowledged by friend and foe alike, but suddenly he became outwardly very religious and began to play the Islam card. He was now a Moslem, he stated, and all Moslems should unite for the common cause of the Moslem brotherhood. Christians and Jews are infidels, he declared, and are therefore destructive to the Moslem objectives. They had to be stopped. Not only did the call go out, but so did the money Ė wads of money Ė to all those who rallied to his cause. Naturally enough, he used the religious teachers to inflame the masses and to rally them. Like mindless automatons they responded. Satan was once again using religion as a powerful opiate of his people, and it works everytime.
Saddam Hussein as the sun of righteousness Ė the saviour of the world. Satan is not shy when it comes to promoting his evil rulers. Here Satanís sun of righteousness shines light over the mountains of Israel, and over the Most Holy Place Ė the Rock beneath the Al Aqsa Mosque. When you see pictures like this, then you know that something other than a human being is inspiring it. The average Iraqi would not even make such a connection.
Fox News was showing some of Saddamís latest propaganda releases, and made the point of how outrageous some of his claims are now that he has discovered religion Ė Islam!
Credit: Fox News (screen shot).
But of course, Saddam Hussein is just a man Ė although an evil, degenerate one at that! But the real power behind the throne is a much-worse ruler of the spirit realm. And over both of them is the great corrupter himself Ė the harlot of all adulteries Ė Satan the devil. Satan has one more shot at world dominion, and the place of his throne will be Babylon.
The Catholic Church preserved the theme of the Sun of Righteousness in some of their ridiculous shrines and adornments. It made sense to them at the time in order to entice the many worshipers of the sun around the world, and to preserve the illusion that sun-worshipers were on the right track to acknowledging the true Sun of Righteousness (Mal 4:2). And while all of Protestant Christianity has been vilifying the Catholic Church as sun worshipers, Satan has been working behind the scenes to provide his own Ďsun of righteousnessí. His sun of righteousness is the one who rules Babylon.
Balaclava-clad professional Palestinian killers kill off anyone they perceive as collaborating with the Israelis. This little charade was done specifically for the media, and to warn other Palestinians of what awaited them for the same offence. Although dozens of others have met their fate at this pile of rocks in Jenin, most are beaten to death in a prison cell.
Saddam Husseinís claims are becoming ever-more outrageous. Now heís being presented as the sun of righteousness. Have you noticed who has been at the forefront of defending him? Have you noticed who have been planning to act as human shields in the defense of his realm? Yes, itís mainstream Christian fundamentalists who have never believed God, and want nothing to do with the fulfillment of Godís Great Plan. These wicked, evil creatures are prepared to make a pact with the devil, and ally themselves against the House of Israel in order to promote their own form of grandstanding Ďrighteousnessí.
Youíll notice that virtually all terrorism is linked to Islam throughout the world. Itís become so obvious that no stable-minded person would deny it, so the ploy is to speak of Ďmoderateí Islam as being something apart from radical Islam. What is never clearly explained is why the religious leaders of Islam are the most outspoken against the Western World. If itís the religious leaders who are inflaming the masses, how come the masses are supposed to be moderate? Are they suggesting that the masses are trying to subvert the teachings of the imams when this is not evident? The truth is that moderate Islam is a myth! Itís a carefully orchestrated plan to present an image that doesnít exist. Islam by its very nature is not moderate, nor is it peaceful. Whole Islamic nations rejoice when Islamic terrorists cut down innocent Ďinfidelsí as they call Christians and Jews. As for any so-called moderate Moslems, they quickly learn that being moderate in a sea of maniacal Moslems is very dangerous to the health. A classic example of this is the way the Palestinians deal with any they perceive to be Israeli-sympathizers. They face a firing squad without trial. If youíve been watching, you will have seen this on the news.
Remarkably, there is no outcry from the U.N., or anyone else for that matter, about human rights abuse when this happens. It seems to be perfectly OK to execute Israeli-sympathizers, and especially in Jenin, the Kofi Annan sponsored hell-hole of Palestinian terrorism. Palestinians quickly learn not to express any sympathy for Israelis, regardless of how many they see blown to pieces by suicide bombers. Itís the mark of Satan the devil that all those who fail to comply with his reasoning should die swiftly and horribly.
The scattered Jewish people began their migration back to the Holy Land in 1948 following the U.N. declaration of a Jewish state. These Jewish people believed wholeheartedly that God had given this land to them, and they vowed never to concede a single inch of it. God blessed and prospered them as they began to transform their new homeland. From the very outset the Arabs waged war on them and sought to slaughter them all. The Israelis fought the first war in 1948, and although armed with little more than slingshots, they repelled the Islamic nations. Again in 1956, the Israelis were forced to defend their homeland, and again they repelled the invaders. Then in 1967 the most important of all Israeli conflicts with the Arabs occurred. This is when the Israelis seized the whole of the Holy Land that God had given to His friend Abraham Ė including the Temple Mount. It was a decisive moment, and one that would have far-reaching ramifications. They became the custodians of the Holy Land including the most important site on earth Ė the Temple Mount. It was a defining moment. After thousands of years the people who remained faithful to the Holy City Jerusalem had once again gained control and fully occupied the Holy Land.
But immediately the rumblings began from the Western World and all of Islam. Islam wanted Jerusalem back! Itís a strange thing, but the only time the United Nations ever acts quickly and decisively is when the Israelis are attacked by Moslems and succeed in slaughtering them. The U.N. almost always has a cease-fire declaration written before hostilities begin, just in case the Israelis get the upper hand. It happens every time! But if the Israelis were to be crushed, then you would be unlikely to see a cease-fire declared by the U.N.
The ancient throne-room of NebuchadnezzarĖ rebuilt by Saddam Hussein for his own glory.
The new City of Babylonhas been re-built on the ruins of the old Babylon.
From Satanís point of view it takes many years to elevate those he chooses to positions of authority. You only need to read the account of the rise of Saddam Hussein to know how much effort it took to position him as the ruler of Iraq. He didnít just burst onto the scene and seize power, rather from his youth he was a ruthless killer who was later imprisoned and then exiled, only to return when Bakr gained power through the Baíaith party. Saddam saw the Baíaith party as the vehicle to achieve his ambitions, and Satan saw him as his choice of ruler. Saddam Hussein had all the characteristics that Satan needed for his ruler. Satan manipulated events for several years until the time came for Saddam to seize power. Working behind the scene, Saddam gained the loyalty of the army and particularly the elite guard, and from then on his position became unassailable. He forced Bakr to resign, ostensibly for failing health, and then placed him under house arrest. This of course earned him some enemies, but he quickly dispensed with them. Anyone who posed a threat was killed. Satan was so proud of him!
Saddam Hussein was totally compliant to all Satanís demands and set out to fulfill them all. It was Satanís intention to swing the pendalum back to the former glory days of ancient Babylon when he ruled over the House of Israel and controlled the Holy City of God. And now he had a protťgť who would fulfill it all. Dutifully, Saddam Hussein began to restore the ancient city of Babylon, building on the ruins of the old, even to restoring the throne room of Nebuchadnezzar.
God rules over the kingdoms of men and sets up the basest of men to rule:Dan 4:17 "The decision is announced by His messengers; the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone He wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men." God granted Satan the devil seven periods of absolute rulership throughout history. At the time of John, five of these kingdoms had already fallen, one still existed, and one was still to come. This is what Godís angel says: Rev 17:7-8 "Then the angel said to me, "Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has seven heads and ten horns. The beast, which you saw, once was, NOW IS NOT, and WILL COME UP OUT OF THE ABYSS and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the Book of Life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, NOW IS NOT, and YET WILL COME." This particular beast didnít rule at the time John wrote this, which is evidenced by ĎNOW IS NOTí. The reason for this is that he is still in THE ABYSS, and is set to be released soon. V9 "This calls for a mind with Wisdom. The seven heads are seven [mountains] on which the woman sits [as absolute ruler]. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. The beast that once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction." The seven mountains are seven kings on which the woman sits and rides. The eighth king (although of the seven kingdoms) is easily identified as the one who COMES OUT OF THE ABYSS and goes to his destruction. And he is mentioned and named in Rev 9:1 "The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to THE ABYSS." V11 "They had as KING over them THE ANGEL OF THE ABYSS, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon." This ruler has been in the Abyss probably since the time of Noah. He was locked away and remains there to this day. Soon he will be released, and he will go to his destruction. Though locked away, he has still been one of the key master strategists of all the evil on earth, and is Satanís highest ranking ruler. He was locked away long ago because he is totally evil.
Of course all those whose names are NOT written in the Book of Life are going to be astonished. Theyíve been too busy conjuring up their own renditions of prophecy, and concentrating on the Catholic Church with their silly assumptions like Ďvicarius fili deií, Ďdux clerií and all the other mad things that have no associations with the Bible, but which have been generated from their own feeble minds. Well, hereís their chance to believe God for once, and work out the name of the beast. Of course, they wonít be able to work it out Ė because is requires the Wisdom of God Ė and this is something they donít have! Well, the Great God of Heaven decides who will rule on this earth Ė and among Satanís offspring, he sets up the basest of men. All of Satanís brood have natural-born liars and murderers ruling over them, men who have the mark of Satan the devil. They donít worship the Great God of Heaven, but by substitution they worship Satan the devil. But just remember that itís after the Ďone who holds him backí is taken out of the way, that the lawless one will be revealed (2Thess 2:7-8) Ė whom the Lord Jesus will destroy.
The woman mentioned here, who rules over all these kings and kingdoms (mountains) is also described as the Great Harlot who rules in Babylon. This woman sits on a throne in Babylon, and this throne will rule over all seven kingdoms or territories, over which the former kings ruled. That same ancient city of Babylon is the one that Saddam Hussein has obligingly rebuilt for him.
With each of these six kingdoms, and also the seventh that has just begun, Satan had his former glory restored as a king of kings. And he ruled over his ruling kings with a rod of iron. Those who see him after his demise will say:Isa 14:16 "Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate; "Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble, the man who made the world a desert, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?" This is the one who was once a member of the God Family. He was made in the image of God just as Adam and Eve were, and like man, he had the same appearance as God. Recall how Jesus said, ĎYou have seen me, so you have seen the Father, because we are exactly alike (paraphrased).í God made man in His own likeness, and as a former member of the God Family, and a son, Satan also has the appearance of a man in his normal form.
Predictably, Satan adorns himself with purple and scarlet, glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls to resemble the same manner of his former glory (Rev 17:4). And his territorial rulership? Itís Babylon Ė with all its states and territories! Of the ruler of Babylon it is written: Dan 4:16 "Let his mind be changed from that of a man and let him be given the mind of an animal till seven times pass by for him. The decision is announced by messengers; the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone He wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men." The Ďseven timesí that pass by for the ruler of Babylon was a reference to past, present and future. At the time, the Ďseven timesí that passed over the king of Babylon were seven years, during which time he developed the mind and appearance of an animal (Dan 4:33).
It was during this dream of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, that it is revealed that he is a great tree that spreads its branches over the entire world. In fact, the Babylonians worship a tree, which is Satan the devil, and their god is Allah the oak tree. The Hebrew word for oak tree is alíah or alah, and is phonetically identical to the Allah that Islam worships.
Satan is aware that he has no power to create an empire unless God permits it. God alone is sovereign over all the kingdoms of men, and He gives them to anyone He wishes. Among Satanís brood, God sets over them the lowliest of men Ė men who are dominated and beguiled by Satan, and who develop the characteristics of Satan. At any time that their kingdoms prosper, they use the proceeds for their own glorification, and hold the people in subjection by fear and overwhelming dominance. Hundreds of kingdoms and nations have risen and fallen during the course of human history. Theyíve fought and killed other nations with monotonous regularity. During the course of history, the Western World as we know it, took a big stick to many of them and subdued them, and succeeded in restoring some semblance of sanity to their actions.
Whenever they became strong enough the nations dominated their neighbours, and where possible, enslaved them. Literally hundreds of tyrants have arisen and brutalized their own people, including brother nations of the Tribes of Israel Ė most notably, Germany in the last century. But none of these achieved the empire status that Satan desired of ruling the whole world. At the time when John penned the Book of Revelation, Satan had received five of his empires and all had fallen. There was one in progress, but it proved to be a bit of a fizzer. The Herodian dynasty was set up when Satan heard a whisper that a Great King was to appear in Jerusalem. He wanted absolute power to destroy Him at birth. To do this, he needed tyrannical rule over the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all the Holy Land territories. Absolute rule over any of the Tribes of Israel is not something that God grants lightly. So Satan opted to exercise his sixth kingdom or empire Ė leaving him just one more. The final one is held in reserve for final all-out war against all that God stands for.
As it turned out in the days of the Herodian Empire, nothing went to plan. At one stage the Roman Senate considered giving Herod all of Arabia, but changed their minds after he offended them. Arabia was vital to Satanís aspirations, and the springboard to the conquest of the nations to the east Ė nations that the Roman Senate had no real interest in. Satan despised the Roman Senate and their democratic ways. He despises any form of government where representatives of the people dictated to their rulers Ė in this case, the Caesars. And he hated them even more when they thwarted his plan and brought it all to nothing.
As it all turned out, Satanís whole plan was thoroughly thwarted. He started out by seizing the Temple Mount and building a Temple there. Then he infiltrated the Scribes, Pharisees and Sadduccees, and gained control over them. He built his own priesthood of ruthless confederates who would make their converts twice the sons of hell that they were. These three groups were self-righteous sons-of-bitches whose only purpose was to out-shine all others, and to draw admiration and attention to themselves. Having achieved this, Satan was able to hold them captive to his philosophy.
At the latter part of His ministry, Jesus Christ arrived from Galilee, and entered the City of Jerusalem riding on a donkey. The religious leaders asked who this was. They didnít seem to know:Matt 21:10 "When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?" The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee." Immediately, the religious leaders scurried around to find out as much as they could about Him. On learning that He was the one born to the Virgin Mary, the facts of which they were well-aware of, they subtly accused Him of being born of fornication (John 8:41). They actively plotted to kill Him: Luke 19:47 "Every day He was teaching at the Temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill Him. Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on His words." So it was the people who became the main obstacle for the religious leaders, who out of jealousy, wanted to murder Him. Jesus made fools of them because of their appalling ignorance. They werenít interested in Godís Truth, but only in their own glory. They constantly plied Jesus with trick questions, hoping to catch Him out and discredit Him. This is so true today! Ignorant people like to ask trick questions because they donít have the ability to understand Truth, and their knowledge base is zero. The Scribes and Pharisees regaled themselves in extreme opulence, and at least to themselves, had the appearance of righteousness. They expected to be treated with dignity and respect! Christ however told them the Truth: John 8:43 "Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say! You belong to your father the devil, and you want to carry out your fatherís desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar, and the father of lies." V47 "He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."
Saddam had his stooge read off the details of Ďanother plot against himí while Saddam puffs away on his cigar. Saddam laughs in the face of death Ė provided itís not his own. He even loves pain as long as itís being inflicted on others. Who said Saddam hasnít got a sense of humour?
Anguish gripped everyone in the room with the possible exception of Tariq Aziz seen here sitting in the right corner with the sun glasses. He actually managed to smile occasionally. You will recognize Tariq Aziz as Saddamís right hand man and professional killer. He always manages to make himself look noble.
All this serves as a clear example that the offspring of the devil come in all forms. Satan appears as an angel of light to those who are perishing:2Cor 11:13 "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions (and words) deserve." You can listen to these masqueraders all day long, but you wonít hear any sort of tangible message of importance. The reason is they donít understand Godís language, and they donít understand how God speaks to His people. The vast majority of them reject the Scriptures that Christ used because these Scriptures are incompatible with their teachings. They canít stand to serve God in righteousness and obedience to His Law; instead they prefer the lies of their father the devil, and they want to enjoy his lawlessness Ė at least until they get what their actions deserve. So Satan has a wide variety of people serving him; from the masqueraders who feign righteousness to the most blatantly evil of all men.
We have extreme examples of what these blatantly evil people are like, and whose sons they really are. The most poignant example is Saddam Hussein himself. Hereís a man who will tolerate no challenge to his authority, whether real or imagined! Shortly after coming to power, and many times since, heís Ďdiscovered a plot against himí. No-one was plotting against him of course, but he was going to make sure no-one ever did, by getting rid of anyone whom he distrusted. So he called all his advisers and members of his government together and announced he had uncovered another plot. He then sat to one side and had his stooge read out the names of the people who were involved in the plot. Slowly and deliberately each name was read out, and each was led away protesting their innocence, and then shot outside. Fear gripped everyone in the room as each name was read out, and each shot heard. Saddam bellowed with laughter as each tried to protest his innocence.
When this manís name (dressed in white coat) was read out, he protested his innocence and begged for his life. Saddam found this particularly amusing.
There were no reprieves. Saddam was the only one in the room who was laughing. Tariq Aziz saw the funny side of it all, and did manage a smile.
It should be very clear to all that Saddam Hussein has become Satanís chosen ally and the embodiment of the final kingdom of Satan the devil. Among his spirit demon rulers is the reward of controlling their human counterpart, and Satan gives this rulership to any of his lieutenants that he chooses. All of these are puppet kings and Satan rules over them all. It is considerably easier to parcel out these rewards to his spirit rulers than to elevate a human being to act as host to them.
At the time of the Apostle John, when he penned the Book of Revelation, five of Satanís kingdoms had already fallen. One still existed, and this was the dynasty of Herod and his successors. It was Herod who set about trying to kill the man-child as soon as He was born Ė the One who was destined to succeed him as Supreme Ruler.
This spirit ruler had a plan, and this was to corrupt the people of God. Though not the least bit religious himself, Herod masterminded a powerful influence among the people of God who had remained faithful to the City of God and the Holy Land. Herod even encouraged the development of a sect called the Herodians (aka Sadduccees). This demon ruler even set about to rebuild the Temple that Solomon built. He parceled out privileges to whomever he chose, and those he chose were encouraged to lay burdens on the people with hundreds of laws that they added to the Laws of God. With the magnificent Temple there, they suddenly became obsessed with creating laws for the Temple Ė without any authority from God! Naturally enough, the One whom Herod tried to murder at birth condemned them for their actions and called them hypocrites. Jesus accused them by saying they werenít willing to lift a finger to obey their laws themselves, but still demanded it of the people. The existence of the Temple emboldened them to new heights of arrogance, and they saw themselves as masters of the Temple. Jesus soon showed them who the real Master of the Temple is by driving them out with a whip!
Once this appalling arrogance overtook them, the Scribes, Pharisees and Herodians began to concentrate on picky little issues, and were no longer able to understand the meaning of the Scriptures. Oddly enough, they were expecting the arrival of the Messiah Ė the Mighty Christ of prophecy. This Mighty Being was expected to return to the Temple and to declare war on all the enemies of God (and the enemies of the Jewish people in the Holy Land). They knew of Herodís attempts to kill the Holy One of Israel the moment He was born. They were also aware of Jesusí birth to the virgin Mary and of the words of the archangel to Mary concerning the identity of this baby. But they were far from happy with Jesusí message, and His declared purpose. Rather than declaring the Kingdom of God and the overthrow of all the enemies of God, Jesus was teaching a doctrine of peaceful co-existence for the immediate future and beyond. The final straw came when Jesus spoke, not of conquest, but a time of death and destruction unparalleled since the beginning of the world. The religious leaders had had enough, and if Jesus was not going to act as a mighty conqueror, then they would destroy Him. They were fed up with being dominated by evil rulers, and they wanted rulership themselves.
Added to this, they had developed a form of super-self-righteousness that had fooled all the people, and it was expected that the coming Messiah would be equally fooled and give them dominion over their enemies. Since Jesus was not fooled by their charade, they reasoned that He couldnít possibly be the Messiah. So they contradicted the instruction of Gabriel the archangel to Mary, and said Jesus was born of fornication.
As the years drifted by, it became obvious that their hoped-for Messiah was not going to arrive at that time. John the Baptist had seemed like a likely candidate, but he said he wasnít the Messiah. And even worse, John had identified Jesus as the Messiah, and many of these were present when the Holy Spirit descended and proclaimed ĎThis is my Beloved Son in whom I am well-pleasedí. All this meant nothing to them if they were not to be given a position of rulership. Self-glorification was their only ambition. In reality they were greedy, conniving, ruthless liars, whose only objective was to instill admiration for themselves among the people. To their utter dismay, the very One to whom all the signs pointed to being the Messiah, had disdained them. In their minds, Jesus was most definitely NOT the Messiah! He was totally unacceptable! Broadly speaking though, the people disagreed with the religious leaders on this score and welcomed Him into their city as He rode in on an ass.
Only Jesusí disciples believed He was the Messiah, and they actively stated this. They were bewildered when Jesus was arrested and killed. For three days, they sat around wondering what had happened, and hiding from the Jewish leaders who wanted to complete the coup by killing them. Throughout the entire ministry of Jesus, the disciples had no idea of what to expect. When Christ appeared to them after His resurrection, they were overjoyed, and expected that He would now fulfill all that was prophesied. But, instead, Jesus advised them that many generations would pass before the final rule of Satan came when he would meet his demise. In the meantime, they were required to preserve the legacy of all that was done and said by the Messiah, and to ensure that a constant reminder of the Coming Kingdom of God was kept alive in the minds of all who desired to serve God in obedience. He reminded them to pray for the Kingdom of God to come, and for Godís Will to be done on earth Ė just as it is in heaven. Rebellion in heaven is not tolerated, and soon it will no longer be tolerated on earth.
And so the Apostles and disciples faced the reality of a future time when the Kingdom of God would be established. Jesus instructed them that the Kingdom of God would be taken by force, and violent men would secure it. Jesus also said this inJohn 18:36 "My Kingdom is not of this age (Gr. Aion meaning Ďageí or Ďeraí). If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my Kingdom is from another place [time]." Itís clear that the servants of God will fight to establish Godís Kingdom because it must be taken by force: Matt 11:11 "I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not arisen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the Kingdom of God will be greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of God has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. He who has ears, let him hear."
Yes, well we all know that most people have ears, but actually being able to hear the Truth is a severe impediment to most. Most people were not interested in hearing this sort of thing at that time. John the Baptist was then dead, and the predictions of his father Zechariah were starting to look decidedly questionable in the minds of some. Yet it was clear that Jesus was linking the name of John the Baptist to the coming Kingdom of God, even after he was dead, and describing John and his disciples as forceful men who would lay hold of it. And while Jesus said that if you are willing to accept it, John the Baptist was the Elijah to come, John denied that he was that prophet.
What most people donít understand is that John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah, and this was confirmed by the angel of the Lord:Luke 1:16 "Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the Wisdom of the righteous Ė to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." But John the Baptist was murdered by the vicious ruler of the heavenly realm Ė Herod, even though Herod feared him. It wasnít so much John that he feared, but he feared repercussions from the Great God of the Universe, for killing one of His servants. Herod was a tyrant, and could kill anyone he wanted to, and frequently did! But killing a servant of God could have severe consequences and he knew it. (Similarly, the Egyptian pharaoh could have killed Moses, and it would have been game, set and match. It would have been all over, and the Ďtroublemakerí would be gone. But as a ruler of the heavenly realm, this ruler knew better than to touch Godís servant! Youíll also recall that Job was a servant of God, whom Satan hated, but he dared not touch Job without Godís permission.) But Herod was trapped into honouring his word to Salome, and had to follow through with Johnís execution. John the Baptist was martyred, but still the prophecies remained concerning him as the Elijah who was to come. And even following Johnís death, Jesus was still linking him to the forceful who would take the Kingdom by force.
Johnís death did not upset the flow of prophecy, and John fulfilled all that was required of him at that time. The original Elijah was already dead and buried, and now the second ĎElijahí, as Christ confirmed, was dead. Furthermore, the prophecies concerning the second Elijah were not all fulfilled. Of particular note is the prophecies of Johnís father Zechariah:Luke 1:76 "And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for Him, to give His people the knowledge of salvation (V71 tells us what Ďsalvationí means) through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the Rising Sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet to the path of peace." Years later, Peter was still speaking of the fulfillment of this when he wrote this: 2Pet 1:19 "And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the Day dawns and the Morning Star rises in your hearts." In V16-18, Peter also made an observation that was relevant to our time: 2Pet 1:16-18 "We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eye-witnesses of His majesty. For He received honour and glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well-pleased." We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with Him on the Sacred Mountain." The words they heard from the Majestic Glory Ė the dwelling-place of God Ė was principally the same as that heard after Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist (Luke 3:21-22).
Well where is this Sacred Mountain and what was Peter referring to? Peter was referring to the vision they saw of Jesus speaking to Moses and Elijah. This was a glorified enactment of a future time (Matt 17:5, Mark 9:7, Luke 9:35) when Jesus would be conferring in that place with the Elijah to come and mentions this in His explanation to the Twelve. Jesus specifically told them not to mention it until He had undergone the baptism of death, and had been raised from the dead (Matt 17:9). It was important that everyone knew that it was a reference to a future time.
Concerning the Sacred Mountain, there is a good reason why this mountain is sacred, but this explanation will have to wait for another time. But which mountain is it? Well, Jesus and His disciples were in Galilee at the time, and after addressing the great crowd that had gathered with the rest of His disciples after He returned from the Sacred Mountain the following day, they continued on through Galilee to Capernaum. Almost any Bible commentary will show that Jesus was in Galilee when they ascended the Sacred Mountain. It was while He was there that He planned His trip to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51). This was to be the triumphal entry while riding on a donkey.
The Sacred Mountain is Mount Tabor, about seven miles from Nazareth. Itís 1920 feet high, so itís quite a walk to the top (though there is a road going up there).
Mount Tabor. This mountain is quite a monolith in the region and can be seen for miles. This is the mountain Peter referred to as the Sacred Mountain.
The view from the top of Mount Tabor shows how it dominates the skyline.
Itís amazing just how many people will argue that the transfiguration occurred on the Mount of Olives, and without any evidence whatsoever from the Bible. Equally amazing is the suggestion by some Bible commentaries that because an armed garrison was stationed on Mount Tabor, Jesus probably went on to Mount Hermon in Syria. What they fail to understand is, that their calculations of the year of Christís murder was three years in error. Most commentaries suggest that Jesusí resurrection occurred in 33AD, not 30AD, and the garrison they speak of was there in 33AD (or perhaps even later than this). It only takes one careless error to compound other mistakes until eventually truth is no longer recognizable.
Even after the disciples saw all these things, they were still uncertain of what to expect. They knew there were plans in place to establish the Kingdom of God, but they were uncertain when this would occur. Even after the vision of the transfiguration, they again started their ĎIím greater than youí contest (Matt 18:1-3). This probably had something to do with the fact that Jesus only took Peter, James and John up the Sacred Mountain, and the others became envious after learning that something happened up there. It was then that Jesus showed them the guilelessness of little children and advised them to take note.
At the start of Jesusí ministry, He traveled from Galilee to the region of the Jordan, and there He was baptized by John the Baptist. Afterward, He returned to Galilee where He began to choose His disciples and to teach the people. At the beginning of His ministry in the Holy Land, He moved to live in Capernaum to fulfill a prophecy ofIsa 9. For reasons known only to themselves, the translators of the Bible inserted a chapter break between Isa 8:22 and Isa 9:1. They interrupted a contiguous instruction. This is what it says: Isaiah 8:20 Ė Isa 9:1-3 "To the Law and the Testimony! If they do not speak according to this Word, they have no light of dawn. 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. Then they will look towards the earth and see only distress and darkness and fearful gloom, and they will be thrust into utter darkness. Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past He humbled the land of Zebulon and the land of Naphtali, but in the future He will honour Galilee of the Gentiles, by the way of the sea along the Jordan Ė ĎThe people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder.í"
Jesus even said that the people living in Galilee would see a great light. It was in the land of Galilee that Jesus set about to fulfill an important prophecy of Isaiah. Itís very clear that Isaiah was speaking of a more distant era that the first century. They will see a great light all right! And they will wonder what it is! You donít enlarge the nation Ė in this case the Holy Land nation and the embryonic Kingdom of God Ė with sissy talk or feigned self-righteousness. In the language of God, severe action is called for, and this means war! God makes it clear:V4-5 "For as in the days of Midianís defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warriorís boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire." Why would anyone doubt Godís Word? Is He speaking of battles or not? Just as the Midianites were shattered in battle, so will it be when the people see a great light, and see the ensign unfurled against the bow, then they will know that deliverance has come from their oppressor. Is this a reference to the start of the Kingdom of God? The very next verse tells us! These verses begin by mentioning that a child is born, and that the Government [Kingdom] will be on His shoulders. This same sequence is used in Rev 12 to describe this Son who is born to a woman, and who becomes the Mighty Christ Ė the Invincible Commander of Armies. Isaiah continues: V6 "For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the Government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [to all His offspring Ė see Isa 53:10), Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His Government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on Davidís throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this."
Does God know how to make peace? You had better believe that He does! He does this by shattering the disobedient and the oppressors. For a long time God has remained silent, and in the minds of most, Godís Will is unimportant. Such people make great pretense that God is going to whisk them away to everlasting pastures for all the nice things they said about Jesus. But these people refuse to see Jesus as the Christ Ė the Invincible One, the Mighty Commander of Armies, the Champion of Justice Ė and this, according to Bible definition, makes them the antichrist (1John 2:22). In denying His many titles, they have insulted the Lord of Glory Ė the First Lord of the Universe! That anyone should assume the name of Christ by calling themselves Christians, while denying His great power as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, is a gross insult to God. They have insulted the One who can rescue them from the hands of their enemies (Luke 1:69-71). If they were truly Christís people, then they would believe 1Cor 15:24-28, which clearly details Christís intentions. Furthermore, they should tremble at Godís Word! But instead, they teach lawlessness, and sneer at the Laws of God! Apparently, they believe that the Kingdom of God will have no laws, and they will be able to do as they please. And isnít this exactly what all the kingdoms or nations of the earth are doing right now? How then, is mainstream Christianity any different? Is it because they get together and foam at the mouth saying nice things about Jesus, while teaching disobedience to Godís Law? What makes these people so identifiable is their fanatical rejection of Godís Law, and their vile outbursts towards anyone who obeys the Law that God gave to His servant Moses (Mal 4:4) and which He instructs to be remembered. They of course, demand that everyone forget all about it!
Well, the greatest nation on earth, and the greatest Christian nation Ė the United States of America Ė has spawned thousands of these lawless Christian groups who sneer at Godís Law, while demanding excessive rewards for doing nothing. Isaiah wrote the indictment as a prelude for all that we have quoted here from his writings. We only need to go back a few verses, and we will see what happens that causes men to become enraged and, looking upward to curse their king and their God. And this is what he wrote:Isa 8:9-10 "Raise the war cry, you nations, and be shattered! Listen all you distant lands. Prepare for battle and be shattered! Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us [Immanuel)." Who is Ďusí that God is with? He answers in V16 "Bind up the Testimony and seal up the Law among my disciples. I will wait on the LORD who is hiding His face from the House of Jacob. I will put my trust in Him."
Isaiah continues his indictment against the whole House of Jacob:V11 "The LORD spoke to me with His strong hand upon me, warning me not to follow the way of this people. He said: "Do not call conspiracy everything that these people call conspiracy; do not fear what they fear, and do no dread it. The LORD Almighty is the One you are to regard as holy, 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 men to stumble and a Rock that makes them fall. 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." So this is the indictment against both Houses of Israel. And the fulfillment of this indictment is now in progress!
For a long time, God has remained silent and has hidden His face from the House of Jacob Ė all 12 Tribes! The 12 Tribes have seen Godís enemies proliferate and become worse and worse. These treacherous swine have plotted and schemed against the House of Israel and rejoiced at blowing up innocent people, but they have yet to be indicted! What is more, they have yet to be accused! To be sure, many people are awaking to the fact that all terrorism emanates from Islam but they are forbidden by Ďpolitical correctnessí to say it.
Continuing on inIsa 9:8 "The LORD has sent a message against Jacob; it will fall on Israel (see Note 1). All the people will know it Ė Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria Ė who say with pride and arrogance of heart (see Note 2), ĎThe bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig-trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars.í But the LORD has strengthened Rezinís foes against them and has spurred their enemies on (see Note 3). Arameans from the east and Philistines from the west have devoured Israel with open mouth (Note 4)."
There are a number of points to consider here:
Isa 48:1 "Listen to this, O House of Jacob, who are called by the name of Israel, and come from the line of Judah, you who take oaths in the Name of the LORD and invoke the God of Israel Ė but not in Truth or righteousness Ė who call yourselves citizens of the Holy City and rely on the God of Israel Ė the LORD Almighty is His Name: I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass." God stresses to the Israelis that they will be called to duty. More about this further in this chapter.
Note 1: The LORDíS message is against Jacob Ė all 12 Tribes Ė but it will fall on Israel (as opposed to the House of Israel and in this God makes a distinction). The Israelis are of the House of Jacob, just as all the other eleven Tribes are, but as the coming saviours of the world, God demands very high standards Ė standards, which up until now, have not been met. And God makes a clear distinction between the Israelis and the rest of Jacob:
Note 2: Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria. And who was it that occupied Samaria long ago? It was Ephraim who separated themselves from the Holy City of God and became a separate nation, calling themselves the House of Israel. These were the northern ten Tribes, while the Jewish people Ė the House of Judah Ė remained faithful to the Holy City and the God of Israel. But who occupies the region of Samaria today? Itís the enemies of God Ė the former enemies Ė who once allied themselves with Ephraim to fight against the House of Judah. And who is Ephraim aligned with today? Some people think itís the Israelis, but in fact, they are determined to give the Holy Land to Godís enemies Ė the Philistines of Gaza and the Moslem degenerates from Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and of course, the Edomites and all the hogs that call themselves Palestinians Ė as their own state. Ephraim is of the view that the most important consideration in the region is to give the Palestinians their own state in order to bring them peace. Ephraim has forgotten the lesson of long ago, but God hasnít! Those who now occupy the former Ephraimite homeland Ė the Palestinians Ė have become the source of their ardent desire for which to provide a homeland. And happily, Ephraim will support Samaria of the Gentiles against little Israel; based on the premise that Godís enemies can be induced to live in peace if they are given Godís Holy Land and Godís City Jerusalem. Ephraim and the rest of the world couldnít be more mistaken!
The word ĎPRIDEí used here in relation to Ephraim is a pointer toIsa 28:1 "Woe to that wreath, the PRIDE of Ephraimís drunkards, to that fading flower, his glorious beauty, set on the head of a fertile valley Ė TO THAT CITY, the PRIDE of those laid low by wine. See, the LORD has one who is powerful and strong. Like a hailstorm and a destructive wind, like a driving rain and a flooding downpour, he will throw it forcefully to the ground. That wreath, the PRIDE of Ephraimís drunkards, will be trampled underfoot." That CITY, of course, is the Capital of Ephraim Ė Washington, DC.
Note 3: Rezin was the Syrian king who aligned with Ephraim to attack the Jewish state anciently. Syria today has a great interest in seeing the Palestinians overrun the Israelis and slaughtering them. They donít want any Jews, Christians, Americans or any of the Tribes of Israel in the Holy Land, and they have plainly said so! Syria will certainly align themselves with America over the issue of statehood for the Philistines and the inhabitants of Samaria. God is telling us what happened anciently, and how it came about, and how He acted to make sure it did. King Rezin of Syria was intent on destroying the Jewish state in those days, and was aligned with Ephraim to achieve this. They failed on that attempt. But then God brought the Arameans Ė the king of Assyria against Rezin (Rezinís foes), and took Damascus and killed Rezin. The Kurds today are the ancient Assyrians. They still remember that they are the nation of Ashurbanipal, their famous king. They are known in history as the Medes who aligned with the Persians (Iran today) to conquer the land of Babylon, and made the city of Babylon their capital. Jointly, they were the Medo-Persian Empire. Ezra made it clear that the King of Persia also had the title of King of Assyria(Ezra 6:22-7:1). It kept the Medes happy that this king of Persia was also their king, though they are clearly an entirely different people. But they have one common factor today: they are both Shiite Moslems, whereas the majority of Moslems in the world are Sunnis. If there is a distinction to be made, then the Sunnis are by far the most treacherous. The world population of the Shiites is tiny compared to that of the Sunnis.
In that day, the Assyrians overran Syria and killed their king, and established the southern Kingdom of Judah as a vassal state. This is the result of Judahís treachery by King Ahaz, who robbed all the silver and gold from the Temple to buy the favour of Tiglath-Pileser, king of Assyria (2Kings 16:8). Itís not a good idea to buy favours with Godís enemies, and certainly not with His silver and gold from the Temple. But it did buy time for Judah from the enslaught of his brother nations in the north Ė the people of Ephraim. In fact, Ephraimís treachery against Godís Holy City and the people that bear Godís Name (Dan 9:19) resulted in them being destroyed by the Assyrians and sold into captivity a few decades later.
Note 4: God uses Rezin, King of Syria as an example of what happens when Ephraim sides with Gentile degenerates to plot against Him and the Holy City. He throws out the challenge to all not to touch the apple of His eye Ė or face severe consequences! Thanks to Ephraimís stupidity, Arameans from the east, and Philistines from the west will overrun little Israel in a bloodbath. Ephraim, like the Moslem world, is continually linking the Ďplight of the Palestiniansí to the general unrest of the Islamic world Ė which is absolutely farcical! What possible inference can be draw from the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in relation to the Palestinians? With all of Bin Ladenís millions, he never did anything for the Palestinians, and what is more, he couldnít care less about them! And neither does the rest of Islam Ė itís just a carefully orchestrated excuse for killing Jews and Christians. Islam can provide no excuse whatsoever for their murderous and lying ways, nor any excuse for the indiscriminate killings linked to them. But the Ďplight of the Palestiniansí continues to get them milage from the brain-dead, looney-left of the Western World Ė and increasingly from the drunkards of Washington!
According to the Geneva Convention, military combatants out of uniform can be shot on the spot or executed by firing squad. Has anyone been observing the military combatants among the Palestinians lately? These arenít uniformed soldiers Ė theyíre terrorists! They fire guns, and if they donít have guns they throw stones, or Molotov cocktails. All are terrorists and all should be shot forthwith and die without mercy. Apparently though, the Geneva Convention only applies to Westerners.
Ephraim has been deceived and senseless (see Hos 7:11) in trying to bring peace to Islam at the expense of the Israelis. They should know better! At the moment, Manasseh (Britain) and Ephraim (U.S.) have allied in the common cause of defeating Saddam Hussein and his regime. They, like the rest of the Western World recognize that there is something inherently evil about this man. Heís a sadistic, brutal killer, and a merciless tyrant who wants to rule the world. Many of the Europeans have been trading with him behind the curtain, and making profits from their transactions against the UN sanctions. Most donít want their cash-cow to disappear, and seek to side with him in the hope of continuing trade. As recently as six weeks ago (Feb, 2003), France was still providing Iraq with spare parts for their Mirage fighters and French-made Eurocopters Ė and against the UN sanctions! These are the weapons Saddam plans to use against the West. It would seem unconscionable for Ephraim and Manasseh to turn against Judah, but God says it is certain, and again, this is confirmed in Isa 9:21 "Manasseh will feed on Ephraim, and Ephraim on Manasseh; together they will turn against Judah. Yet for all this, His anger is not turned away, His hand is still upraised." And the next verse: Isa 10:1 "Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees, to deprive the poor of their rights and rob my oppressed people of justiceÖ" Of course, most of the Western World have forgotten who Godís most oppressed people are! God hasnít! He mentions them very favourably as the ministry of the modern-day John the Baptist begins Ė the Levite who becomes Elijah. He has this to say about the Jewish people: Isa 40:1 "Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORDíS hand double for all her sins." (The next verse (V3) is the starting point of John the Baptistís message in the Holy Land).
But there is trouble ahead Ė serious trouble for Ephraim and Manasseh. Continuing inIsa 10:3 "What will you do on the DAY OF RECKONING when disaster comes from afar? To whom will you run for help? Where will you leave your riches? Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives or fall among the slain." Yes, the DAY OF RECKONING has come, and God makes it clear whom He is going to reckon with: Hos 5:9 "Ephraim will be laid waste on the DAY OF RECKONING. Among the Tribes of Israel I proclaim what is certain. Judahís leaders are like those who move boundary stones. I will pour out my wrath on them like a flood of water." When Ephraim is laid waste, as God proclaims is certain, Judah will be very vulnerable. God mentions the moving of boundary stones Ė and this is exactly what Judah did by conceding Jerusalem and the Temple Mount to the Moslems. They drove them out in victory, and then let them back in again! No true son of God would allow this to happen! Notice that it was Judahís leaders who did this, but with some coaxing from Ephraim! Judahís leaders have yet to learn how the sons of Jerusalem conduct themselves, and what true strength means (Zech 12:5-6). V11 "Ephraim is oppressed, trampled in judgment, intent on pursuing [baals]. I am like a moth to Ephraim, like rot to the people of Judah." These will be serious desperate times, and Ephraim and Judah will have nowhere to turn for help. So they will try to attract support from their enemies Ė rather than their God! V13 "When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah his sores, then Ephraim turned to Assyria (Iran and the Kurds) and sent to the great king for help. But he is not able to cure you, nor able to heal your sores. For I will be like a lion to Ephraim, like a great lion to Judah. I will tear them to pieces and go away; I will carry them off, with no-one to rescue them. Then I will go back to my place until they admit their guilt. And they will seek my face, in their misery they will earnestly seek me." And a few verses on God warns that they should have listened to His messenger: Hos 6:5 "What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do for you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist, like the early dew that disappears. Therefore I cut you to pieces with my prophets, I killed you with the words of my mouth; my judgments flashed upon you. For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings." There will be plenty of sacrifice and burnt offerings among the soldiers who have been sent to fight a half-hearted battle. Because they wonít go out and utterly destroy Godís enemies, God will turn on them like a great lion and tear them to pieces. Did God sent His prophets to speak soothing things? Did they cozy up to everyone with flattering words? Did they need instructions from all those so-called Christian Ďbrain-surgeonsí who teach nonsense and who are constantly denigrating God? Didnít Jesus Himself command the lost sheep of Israel to go and learn what these things mean? If you had followed Christís instructions, you would have turned to Hos 6 and received these instructions. This is what Jesus said: Matt 9:13 "Go and learn what this means: ĎI desire mercy, not sacrifice.í For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." No, the so-called Ďrighteousí canít see their faults, and this was true even in Jesusí day. Their self-righteous arrogance has made a mockery of all that God said. But God predicts that those who come to their senses in a time of great misery will seek him early. Then they will know that God has not spoken in vain. The self-righteous, megaphonic deceivers who say ĎDonít prophesy! Ignore what God has said, and speak only of Jesus. Godís Word is not important, Jesus will forgive everyoneí will lead everyone down the path to destruction. God has spoken! And if you did go and learn, as Jesus instructed, then you will soon know that God brings to pass all that He has said! Everything God has said is certain!
Ephraim has walked into a giant trap from which there is no escape. Theyíve sent their armies into heartland of Islam Ė the Ďbaal-worshipersí and enemies of God Ė and even sought allies among them. God has made Ephraim the only super-power on earth. When Ephraim speaks, men tremble:Hos 13:1 "When Ephraim spoke, men trembled; he was exalted in Israel. But they became guilty of Baal worship and died." Baal worship is the worship of Satan Ė Satan is Baalzebub (Matt 12:24-27) the prince of demons. Whenever anyone follows the instructions of Satan (Baal) they become his servants, and you cannot serve both God and Baal! God also makes the point that they sin more and more in V2. Yes, they will serve Baal and his image when all hope is gone and itís demanded of them by satanic forces, but if they do, they will be burned alive (Rev 14:10-12), and their fate will contrast markedly with those who refuse to worship the image of the beast or receive his mark (Rev 20:4). So you can see that you donít get a second chance on this score! Itís all or nothing!
In the past, the nations of the earth have tended to behave themselves for fear of the mighty Ephraim. Theyíve bent to Ephraimís wishes rather than provoke him. Only the craziest of nations would risk a fire-fight with him, and none were prepared for all-out war. Satanís brood are provocateurs, and love to hurl abuse and insults and accusations, but always stop short of provoking war. But all this is about to change.
Ephraim has become enmeshed in Baal worship by trying to bring peace to Baalís forces. Ephraim has been listening to Baal like drunken fools, and believing that his brood are really peace-loving people. There is no point in human history where Islam displayed any sign of peace. The only time any form of peace descended on them was when they were crushed by force, and were incapable of any resistance.
So the Great God of Heaven is ringing the curtain down on Ephraim! Theyíve had their last chance and theyíve failed! This is the same judgment they have given against Babylon and Saddam Hussein in relation to weapons of mass destruction. But Ephraimís plan is not to crush Babylonia with all its territories, but to bring them peace by removing one man. This is totally unacceptable to God! Ephraim plans to expose his armies in the heartland of all Babylonia in order to kill one man. God has determined that this is the last time they will go out to war as Ďthe armies of the Living Godí. They have chosen to act like drunkards against all commonsense, so they will die like drunkards in the heartland of Islam.
The Great God of Heaven, who reveals His Plan to His servants the prophets, has decreed this:Hos 7:11 "Ephraim is like a dove (trying to make peace!), easily deceived and senseless Ė now calling to Egypt, now turning to Assyria. When they go, I will throw my net over them; I will pull them down like birds of the air. When I hear them flocking together, I will catch them. Woe to them, because they have strayed from me! Destruction to them, because they have rebelled against me!" V15 "I trained them and strengthened them, but they plot evil against me. They do not turn to the Most High; they are like a faulty bow. Their leaders will die by the sword because of their insolent words. For this they will be ridiculed in the land of Egypt." God Himself has Ďtrained them and strengthened themí to become a mighty power and to fight as the Ďarmies of the Living Godí, but their efforts have been insulting to God. Notice the words Ďlike a faulty bowí. Ephraim has a nasty habit of turning back on the day of battle: Ps 78:9 "The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle; they did not keep Godís Covenant and refused to live by His Laws." This is Ephraim all right! Nothing much has changed! Even in the Gulf War they stopped at the gates and refused to finish the job. They were Ďarmed with bowsí Ė massive armaments and weapons capable of leveling all of Iraq, but they turned back.
Are they going to do the job right this time? They have already declared that they wonít! So God has decreed that He will pull their birds out of the sky and destroy their men on the ground with overwhelming destruction, and Ephraim will be shattered as a nation, and they will end their days in terror:V32 "In spite of all this, they kept on sinning; in spite of His wonders, they did not believe. So He ended their days in futility, and their years in terror. Whenever God slew them, they would seek Him; they eagerly turned to Him again." God knows how to get Ephraimís attention! And when He slays them, they will wake up to themselves and repent of their sinning. After they have paid the penalty in full, God will rescue them and bring them back Ė but this time to the Holy Land that He gave to their forefathers, the Patriarchs.
God knows a lot about Ephraim, because He has nursed them along from infancy:Hos 11:1-8 "When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me. They sacrificed to Baals and they burned incense to images. It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking him by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them. I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love, I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them. Will they not return to Egypt and will not Assyria rule over them because they refuse to repent? Swords will flash in their cities, will destroy the bars of their gates and put an end to their plans. My people are determined to turn from me. Even if they call to the Most High, He will by no means exalt them. How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel?" Ephraim is presently at their greatest strength, and they view with pride their overwhelming military might. This great power, which God Himself gave them, and which transformed them into the Ďarmies of the Living Godí has been needlessly squandered by lack of resolve and determination. As an adopted son of God, and one who became a true son (Jer 31:9), God expected more of Ephraim, but Ephraim has failed his quest.
A true son never expresses love for Godís enemies. Insincere lunatics who want everyone to believe they are full of love do this all the time. Being totally void of Godís Holy Spirit, they think this is pleasing to God. The true sons of the Kingdom donít conduct themselves like drunken or drugged lunatics by exhibiting disloyalty to God. They welcome the Kingdom of God knowing that the Greatest Son of all is going to put down all the rulers of the heavenly realms, and wipe out the offspring of the evil one (1Cor 15:24-25). God considers those who suck up to His enemies to be traitors. God considers those who refuse to believe Him, and those who ridicule His Son Ė the Word of God Ė worthy only of being gathered and burned. When the Mighty Christ arises to act, His enemies, including all those who deluded themselves into believing they were speaking in Godís Name (Matt 7:22-23) will be cast into the Lake of Fire.
The days of lying deceivers is about to come to a crashing end, and when it does, you will know by their actions that they have always been insincere. As we have just read in the Psalms, God intends to destroy Ephraim because they never believed Him, they kept on sinning, and now they will end their years in terror! If these people must die; many of whom probably never ever opened their Bibles and have no idea what Godís requirements are, how much more those who set themselves up as teachers and proceeded to teach lies in Godís Name? Should such people escape? No, they will die like the dogs that they are, with no hope of any form of mercy, and they will be dead forever! Unless, of course, if they once tasted the Heavenly Gift of the Holy Spirit (Heb 6:4-6), then they will be raised and face judgment. In which case, donít rely too heavily on Godís mercy either, because: Matt 12:37 "For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." From what I have seen of these lying deceivers, there will be very few acquitted Ė most will be condemned! They knew what they were doing, and did it anyway in defiance of Godís Word. They are without excuse.
The Mighty Ephraim has come to his end, and will end his days in terror. Donít you remember what Paul wrote to the Thessalonians about the secret power of lawlessness, and how the one who holds it back will be taken out of the way? Paul studied the Scriptures that Christ used, the Old Testament, and he knew of these perilous endtimes, and all that would occur before Christís glorious and triumphant return, when a certain beast would be captured and thrown into the lake of fire. This is what he wrote:2Thess 2:7 "For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work, but the one who holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the Lawless One will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the splendour of His coming. The coming of the Lawless One will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the Truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the Truth but have delighted in wickedness." And Paul got it exactly right, and according to the Scriptures. Those who refused to love the Truth will perish. And Paul is speaking of the time just before the glorious return of Christ with all the saints when every eye will see Him. (The splendor of His coming is mentioned in Hab 3:3). The secret power of lawlessness is already at work convincing people that they must not obey Godís Laws. Like rabid animals they ostracize anyone who obeys God and teaches others to do so. These conduct the work of Satan Ė as Paul said! And he also says that those who refused to love the Truth will all be condemned because they didnít believe the Truth but delighted in wickedness Ė and lawlessness!
No one needs to be told today whom it is thatís holding back the forces of evil and restraining the nations! Everyone knows that itís the U.S. Ė Ephraim of the Bible. Heís the one Ė the son of God (Jer 31:20) Ė appointed for this very purpose.
And didnít God warn us long ago who the father of lawlessness is, and from where his lawlessness would emanate? God says this:Hab 1:6 "I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwelling-places not their own. They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honour." The Babylonians are all the nations that Nebuchadnezzar conquered, and which formed part of his kingdom. In other words, the entire Middle East Ė the birthplace of Islam. Of the Babylonians, Habakkuk wrote: V12 "O LORD, you have appointed them to execute judgment; O Rock, you have ordained them to punish." At no time in the past did the Babylonians sweep across the whole world, but they are certainly doing it now.
Habakkuk was perplexed as to why God would allow such evil creatures to swallow up nations more righteous than them (V13). But Habakkuk was a true prophet, and he stood at his watch, like the good watchman that he was (Hab 2:1). V2 "Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits the appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay." And in V14 God confirms "the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea." So the revelation has a good ending, and Babylonís rule will not last forever. What is more, God gives us some details in the Book of Habakkuk of how it will all unfold: Hab 3:3 "God came from Teman (Saudi Arabia today), the Holy One from Mount Paran (east side of Sinai desert near the border of Saudi Arabia). His Glory covered the heavens and His praise filled the earth. His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from His hand where His power is hidden (see Isa 31:8 and note the words Ďa sword, not of mortalsí). Plague went before Him, pestilence followed His steps. He stood, and shook the earth; he looked, and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains crumbled and the age-old hills collapsed. His ways are eternal." V11 "Sun and moon stood still in the heavens at the glint of your flying arrows, at the lightning of your flashing spear. In wrath you strode through the earth and in anger you threshed the nations. You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed one. You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness, you stripped him from head to foot. With your own spear you pierced his head when his warriors stormed out to scatter us, gloating as though about to devour the wretched who were in hiding."
And just so there is no confusion over who this Mighty One is, Isaiah gives us this description of the One who arrives from Edom (west coast of Saudi Arabia where Mecca [Makkah] is, and the eastern side of the Sinai Peninsular).Isa 63:1-6 "Who is this coming from Edom, from Bozrah, with His garments stained crimson? Who is this, robed in splendor, striding forward in the greatness of His strength? "It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save." Why are your garments red, like those of one treading the winepress? "I have trodden the winepress alone; from the nations [of Israel] no-one was with me. I trampled them in my anger and trod them down in my wrath; their blood spattered my garments, and I stained all my clothing. For the DAY OF VENGEANCE was in my heart, and the YEAR OF MY REDEMPTION has come. I looked but there was no-one to help, I was appalled that no-one gave support; so my own arm (see Isa 31:8 again, and note the words Ďa sword, not of mortalsí) worked salvation for me, and my own wrath sustained me. I have trampled the nations in my anger; in my wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground." Yes, this is the same God that Habakkuk describes as coming from Teman and Mount Paran. This is the Invincible Christ Ė the Champion of Justice and Vengeance! Didnít Habakkuk mention that His ways are eternal? (Hab 3:6). Why then, didnít you recognize Jesus as the Mighty Messiah, the Great Conqueror, and the Commander of Armies? What do you think He is? A humble carpenter? You wish! Jesus the Mighty Christ is everything He said He was, and when He deals with His enemies, He will pour their blood on the ground, and in his wake, plagues and pestilences will consume anyone else who is left Ė man, woman or child. Christ knows you donít leave the breeders of vipers alive! Sure, youíre shocked, but youíll get used to it. You will see plenty of this sort of thing going on all around you shortly, and life will be very cheap.
Isaiah spoke of the Day of Vengeance and the Year of Redemption in the above verses, but he also speaks of what leads up to all this in the very next verse:V7 "I will tell of the kindnesses of the LORD, the deeds for which He is to be praised, according to all the LORD has done for us Ė yes, the many good things He has done for the House of Israel, according to His compassion and many kindnesses. He said, "Surely they are my people, sons who will not be false to me" so He became their Saviour. In all their distress He too was distressed, and the angel of His presence saved them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. Yet they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit. So He turned and became their enemy and He Himself fought against them."
Youíve seen what is happening in the world. Youíve seen what God expects of you as your Saviour, and this means that if you are to be His sons, then you will not be false to Him! What you did in ignorance in the past, God will overlook; but what you do (and say) from now on you will be judged for. This is the time that all the prophets spoke of, and itís destined to be the most horrific period in history. You canít escape, but you can repent of your falsity and your arrogance towards God. If you donít fear God now, then be assured, you soon will! If you think that God has been fooled by your sanctimonious nonsense, then readMatt 7:22-23 again. If you think I am a false prophet, then just wait Ė what I have said will not prove false!
If you plan on waiting around for me to make a big impassioned plea to you to join us, then donít waste your time. You can only join this Brotherhood when you desire the Kingdom of God with all your heart, and believe that this is the only solution for the redemption of all the House of Israel. In other words, you must believe God and support His Coming Kingdom with all your heart.
I wonít kid you! God tests every son He receives, and so He is going to test you just like He does all the Levite Brotherhood, and you must endure and pass the test. But donít try to fool God because He reads the heart, and if you are false, then you are toast. But you can be assured that God will not test you beyond what you can endure, but Godís enemies will if you fall into their hands! So the choice is yours.
And read the wholeBook of Malachi, because this is the Levite Book. Study it carefully, and you will learn the difference between those who serve God and those who donít.
Either you serve God or you serve Godís enemies. God has no interest in half-hearted weaklings who donít know their own minds. Remember what the two angels said to the Apostles as they watched Jesus depart:Acts 1:11 "Men of Galilee," they said, "Why do you stand there looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven." Youíll recall that this same Jesus appeared to them just after the resurrection, and He was the same Jesus that they knew Ė together with the wounds of His ordeal. This is the same Jesus that will return to the Men of Galilee. And this is the same Jesus that will be drenched in the blood of His enemies when He goes out to fight the Arabians and to destroy Mecca. If anyone doubts that this Mighty Jesus is a great warrior, then you have denied Him and have earned the classification of an antichrist (1John 2:22). You saw in Isa 63 where Jesus spoke of the Day of Vengeance and the Year of Redemption. It might surprise you to know that Isa 61 also speaks of it, and Jesus quoted this Scripture during His ministry. He opened the scroll of Isaiah, and found the place where it was written and read it out. But He stopped in the middle of a sentence and sat down again. This is what He said: Luke 4:18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the Year of the Lordís favour [Redemption]". This is when He closed the scroll and sat down. The scroll of Isaiah however, continues on: Isa 61:2 "and the Day of Vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and to provide for those who grieve in Zion Ė to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of the spirit of despair. They will be called [trees] of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the DISPLAY OF HIS SPLENDOR." Jesus proclaimed the Year of the LORDíS Redemption, but He stopped short of proclaiming the Day of Vengeance, because it was inappropriate at that time to proclaim it. This was for another time, a distant time, the time of the end Ė as Habakkuk put it, who also said, wait for it, it will come and not delay. Well no one has gob-smacked Mecca (Makkah) in Saudi Arabia yet, and this is something that the Mighty Christ is keen to do Himself Ė with or without help from the nations of Israel. Itís a prime target, and one that should have been demolished one day after September 11, 2001, when everyone knew that this treachery was caused by Islam (13 of the hi-jackers were Saudis!)
But of course, the nations of Israel have no real resolve to tackle the source of the problem. They ferret around the edges looking for the smoking gun in the hands of the culprit. But the sons of God will! The sons of God are also called the sons of Jerusalem, and they have been taught by God (John 6:45, Isa 54:13).
Since the nations of Israel have failed dismally to deal with the enemies of God, God intends to invoke a different strategy to achieve the same purpose. There are three mountains of Israel: there is the North American continent, the Western Europeans, and a much smaller mountain Ė Australia. All three just happen to be the prime targets of Islam. Little Israel, the Israelis, is distinguished from these three in that this is Godís Land, and will be forever more. And this is where all the other mountains of Israel will be moved. Moving mountains is Godís specialty. But this takes a lot of faith in God, and this faith is a gift from God.
And now, God has determined to call an eagle from the east to fulfill His purpose. God is speaking of the small Israelite mountain east of the Holy Land Ė Australia. Godís purpose firstly, is to get little Israel (the Jewish Israelis) on board, and then to rescue Ephraim from all the lands to which they will be driven. God begins firstly with a stinging attack on the rebels who have foolishly tried to thwart His Plan, by failing to act according to His instructions:Isa 46:8-10 "Remember this, fix it in your minds, take it to heart, YOU REBELS. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me. I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, WHAT IS STILL TO COME. I say: My PURPOSE will stand, and I will do all that I please." V11 "From the east I summon a BIRD OF PREY; from a far-off land, A MAN to fulfill my PURPOSE. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have PLANNED, that will I do." V12-13 "Listen to me, YOU STUBBORN-HEARTED, you who are far from righteousness. I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed. I will grant my salvation to Zion, my splendor to Israel."
In the past, God has called some unusual people to service, and at one stage, He called a ruler of the heavenly realms to service. His name was Cyrus Ė the ruler of Persia and Assyria. His empire was called the Medo-Persian Empire. When it was told him that God had mentioned him in the Book of Isaiah, he determined to obey God and to restore the Jewish people to their land and to facilitate the building of the City of Jerusalem and the foundations for the Temple. At this particular time, God has appointed two servants to fulfill His purpose. One of these is a ruler of the heavenly realms (this is Cyrus ĖIsa 44:28, 45:1), and his service to God is to punish the House of Israel. The other servant is appointed to bring salvation to the House of Israel after God has punished them. And Cyrus will cooperate with Godís servant. As in ancient times, Cyrus will perform his tasks, even though he doesnít acknowledge God (Isa 45:4-5). To Cyrus, God says this: V3 "I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places." Cyrus will be given the treasures and wealth of the Middle East.
Cyrus will be a different Ďcut of the clothí from the rest of Islam, in that his people are Shiite, not Sunni Moslems. This wonít stop him from vaporizing the cities of the House of Israel, and spurring the rest of Islam on to do the same, because this is what he has been appointed to do. And God has even pledged to give him Babylon and all its territories, and Babylon will be the seat of all commerce in the world Ė a great behemoth that will reach all around the world and control all trade.
God links Cyrus to the starry hosts and says he will rebuild Godís City Jerusalem:Isa 45:12 "It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts. I will raise up Cyrus in my righteousness, I will make his ways straight. He will rebuild my City (Jerusalem) and set my exiles free, but not for price or reward, says the LORD Almighty." In the Book of Daniel, Cyrus is of the starry host, that is, he is a ruler of the heavenly realms, and Darius is his human host. It was Darius who killed the ruler of Babylon, and seized his empire. He was 62 years of age when God appointed him to rule as a man Ė with the help of Cyrus Ė the real ruler of the starry host of the spirit realm. Cyrus has been appointed, and God will open the doors for him to achieve all that God has said (Isa 45:1). As an interesting aside, Daniel was proclaimed the third highest ruler in the Babylonian Kingdom (Dan 5:29) the night that Darius the Mede killed the ruler (V30). This was a clear case of one ruler of the heavenly realm killing the host of another spirit ruler and seizing his kingdom.
King Belshazzar of BabylonĖ and the writing on the wall. This is the night that Darius the Mede killed him, and took his throne.
Priorto God calling Cyrus to service in Isa 45, God speaks of another who will do very much the same thing as Cyrus. Isa 41:1-4 "Be silent before me, you islands. Let the nations renew their strength! Let them come forward and speak; LET US MEET TOGETHER AT THE PLACE OF JUDGMENT. Who has stirred up one FROM THE EAST, calling him in righteousness to service? He hands nations over to him and subdues kings before him. He turns them to dust with his sword, to windblown chaff with his bow. He pursues them and moves on unscathed, by a path his feet have not traveled before. Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD Ė with the first of them and the last Ė I am He." Who has called one from the east in righteousness to service? Who has placed in his hand the weapons to destroy the Ďgenerations from the beginningí Ė the age-old enemies of God? Itís the LORD who has done this! His servant will fight in territory his feet have not traveled before, pursuing and destroying Godís enemy and moving on unscathed.
Babylon and all its territories will fall into the hands of Cyrus and he will rule Ė but only for a time. During this period, an eagle will be hovering over the Holy Land and cleansing it of Islamic vermin and dogs. The power of the eagle will be noted by Babylon, and offers of rebuilding the waste places will be given as a kind of tribute to a mightier nation and one to be feared. Cyrus will have enough sense to tread lightly, and not provoke the Sons of Jerusalem. And all will go well for him as long as he remembers where the borders are. Any incursions will be instantly and harshly dealt with, and with overwhelming force. God tells us that the rescuers of Israel, the sons of Jerusalem, who are also called Ďthe womaní, will be transported on the wings of the eagle and will fly to a place specially prepared by God (Rev 12:14). There they will be trained in Godís warfare, and in the weapons that are not of mortals.
But Cyrusí rule will come to an end when the Greco-Macedonian kingdom is forged together by a powerful ruler, who begins to view the prize of Babylon Ė the virtual control of the worldís economic resources. He will marshall his forces and come like a whirlwind crushing everything before him, and seize the entire Middle East Ė with one notable exception Ė Jerusalem.
This is the King of the North! After many years he will come. He is the most feared and ruthless of all Satanís rulers. Fresh from incarceration in the Abyss, he will be ready for anything. Vicious and cruel, but with all the subtlety of Satan, he will convince everyone that he is the very essence of God. He will have as his confederate a false prophet who will insist that everyone worship him. God speaks of him in this manner:Isa 41:25-29 "I have stirred up one FROM THE NORTH, and he comes Ė one from the rising sun who calls on my Name (and emulating God Himself Ė see 2Thess 2:4). He treads on rulers as if they were mortar, as if he were a potter treading the clay. Who told of this from the beginning, so that we could know, or beforehand, so that we could say, ĎHe was rightí? No-one told of this, no-one foretold it, no-one heard any words from you. I was the first to tell Zion, ĎLook, here they are!í I gave Jerusalem a messenger of good tidings. I look but there is no-one Ė no-one among them to give counsel, no-one to give answer when I ask them. See, they are all false! Their deeds amount to nothing; their images are but wind and confusion." In V21-24 God taunts all the self-proclaimed prophets to produce some form of enlightenment, and concludes by saying: V24 "But you are less than nothing and your works are utterly worthless; he who chooses you is detestable." God despises those who presume to speak in His Name, and then pervert everything He has said. He challenges them to bring forth some great utterance to show they have some form of understanding of prophecy. But instead their works are utterly worthless, and neither help nor warn anyone! But God does uphold the words of His messenger, and He was the first to tell Zion ĎLook, there they are!í No-one else knew or understood because they donít have the Spirit of Prophecy! Wild guessing doesnít help anyone, and this is all you hear from the desecrators of Godís Word. And this makes them less than nothing and equal to all the nations of Satan the devil (Isa 40:17).
It should come as no surprise that the most evil of all deceivers claim to be God. The King of the North will actually claim to be God:2Thess 2:4 "He opposes and exalts himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, and even sets himself up in Godís Temple, proclaiming himself to be God." There have been many people claiming to be Christ Ė the Rising Sun Ė the Sun of Righteousness, and all of them are lying deceivers and should not be listened to! The King of the North will be the consummate master of deception, and like all deceivers he will entice people to violate the Covenant: Dan 11:32 "With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the Covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him. Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end (See 1Cor 15:24), for it will still come at the appointed time." Flattery is the name of the game for all those who like to violate the Covenant and do Satanís work for him. They see it as a touch of class to claim they are God, and many believe them. Ever so subtly they corrupt everyone to believe them. The King of the North will use the whole range of Satanic tools, like appearing as an angel of light, to destroying everyone who opposes him. All this will occur after massive and bloody wars have been fought and the City of Jerusalem is secured.
Isa 48:14"Come together, all of you, and listen: Which of the idols has foretold these things? The LORDíS chosen ally will carry out his purpose against Babylon; his arm will be against the Babylonians. I, even I, have spoken; yes, I have called him. I will bring him and he will succeed in his mission."
Everyone gets a crack at Babylon. Firstly, Saddam Hussein rebuilt it, and now plans to set it up as the substitute for the World Trade Center. He plans to box in all the Middle East and dictate to whom they supply with oil and to whom they may not. But waiting in the wings is Iran (Persia, up until 1925 when the name was changed), Saddamís enemy, and they are allied with the Kurds (formerly Assyrians and Medes). And these are destined to be big players in world affairs when Saddam passes into history. Then the King of Greece Ė the King of the North will come and violently overthrow everything in the Middle East, setting up his own boundaries and parceling out territories to anyone he pleases:Dan 11:39 "He will attack the mightiest fortresses with the help of a foreign god and will greatly honour those who acknowledge him. He will make them rulers over many people and will distribute the land at a price (or for reward)." The Greek-Macedonians have worshiped the God of heaven in the past, but this beast will worship a foreign god Ė Satan the devil.
And finally, Babylon will fall Ė literally! It will be split in two by a giant crevasse and will be pushed off the cliffs and covered forever; never again to be found. The detail of these things will all be in the final chapters.
I have the greatest respect for the armies of the Living God, as long as they act in accordance with Godís instructions. Itís distressing to me that they have chosen to do things their own way without consulting God. God intends to destroy them in the air and expose their vulnerability on the ground.
Does anyone know what happened to the spacecraft Columbia? Has anyone figured out what happened? Theories abound, including one that says it could have been hit by space-junk. What space-junk? Any space-junk at that altitude would have been burned up. There were three cameras transmitting to the control center from inside Columbia, including a hand-held one that was being used. All went dead instantly. The pilot was communicating on the radio, and his transmission ended abruptly, with no warning of anything going wrong. The entire left wing separated from the body of the aircraft Ė there was no gradual burning through of the wing section Ė as theorists have tried to claim. The latest theory is that in the last few seconds the pilot shut off the automatic pilot. The last few seconds? What would that do and how would it remove the entire left wing? Obviously, no-one knows! Theyíve exhausted all possibilities,
Columbia entering the atmosphere over Texas.
Left wing is detached and all communications are ended.
and they havenít got a clue. NASA just wants to forget about it and press on. Theyíve just announced that they are planning the next mission this fall. Theyíll probably put some extra bolts to hold the wings on, to prevent them from being knocked off. Unlike the plane that went down on Manhattan Island just after 9-11, when it lost its tail section and both engines, the spacecraft Columbia has no engines to knock off.
At the time when Ephraim is shattered as a nation, you will be reminded of what God said long ago when He confirmed the whole House of Israel as His people. He warned them to live as He had instructed them, or to face the consequences of their actions. Periodically, and throughout history, the Tribes of Israel had to face the full force of Godís previous warnings. But all these examples were relatively minor in comparison to the time of trouble that is just ahead. This is a time unlike anything that has ever been, and God confirms, it will be the worst time of all human history. A time so bad that it will never be repeated.
The Exodus from Egypt Ė 1446BC. On the first night they stopped at Succoth, and on the second day were led in a northerly direction onto a promontory where they were trapped. They couldnít go forward because of the Red Sea, and they couldnít go back because of Pharaohís armies. On the third day they crossed the Red Sea and saw Pharaohís armies drown in the great sacrifice. I seem to recall one lunatic claiming that the Israelites crossed the entire Sinai Peninsula in one day and then crossed the Gulf of Aqabah into Saudi Arabia. Too bad this man doesnít believe the Bible! He seems to have plenty of followers though.
People today donít fear God. They demand that God act according to the standards that they have established. They believe that God should never punish them, but continue forever to appeal to them to change their attitudes. France and the U.S. Democrats have been trying this strategy on Saddam Hussein without effect, but believe itís the right thing for God. They donít believe that God is entitled to act at all to enforce all that He has said Ė and they couldnít be more wrong! The time has come and is on the very doorstep when God will act and everyone will know it. And when people begin to realize that God foretold it all, and when it suddenly comes to pass, they will curse their God and their king. Then they will know what it means to fear God, and God will give them plenty of reason to fear Him. At that time, all the curses that God mentions inDeut 28 will come on them, hour after hour, day after day, until they are completely shattered as a people. Expect to hear more of this at the appropriate time.
God has a timetable and a strategy, and the final strategy will result in the House of Israel being returned to the Holy Land that God gave them long ago. But this wonít be automatic, and neither will it be quick. Many battles will be fought, and wars will continue to the end, but God will free the captives Ė the remnant of the House of Israel. This will be on-going for many years, even after the saints of His salvation are rescued and settled in the Holy Land. There will still be many to be saved, and they will be rescued, and it will all be done by force:Isa 11:11 "In that day the LORD will reach out His hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of His people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, from Cush, from Elam, from Babylonia, from Hamath and from the islands in the sea. He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; He will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four corners of the earth." God intends to rescue all survivors who have learned the lesson of obedience to Him under all circumstances.
When the nations see the banner unfurled against the bow, they will know that the mighty hand of God is upon them. If you think the U.S. AC-130 Spectre Gunships are impressive, then you have seen nothing yet! The nations of the earth will not give up their slaves willingly, because their father is the devil, and the devil never lets his prisoners go peacefully (Isa 14:17) particularly at the very end when his destruction is inevitable. He will hold them as hostages to the very last moment, just as Pharaoh did anciently.
When his entire realm is a shattered ruin, and Satan can no longer prevent it, the captives will return. Bible students will remember the story of the exodus from Egypt as Moses led them out. You will recall that Moses spoke to Pharaoh of a sacrifice that had to be made on the third day of their departure from Egypt. And what happened on the third day? Did the House of Israel offer a great sacrifice? Well, if you check your Bible you will find no mention of it. But there was a sacrifice! A great sacrifice! And the sacrifice was the Egyptian armies that were pursuing the Israelites, and they died in the midst of the Red Sea. This trip through the Red Sea is described as a baptism for all the Israelites in the1Cor 10:2. But it was a baptism of death for Pharaohís hordes. Similarly, God speaks of a great sacrifice in Eze 39:17-20 when He will kill all the hordes of Gog with his armies of soldiers of all kinds (V20). God will gather them for slaughter and it will be a great sacrifice just as if they rams and lambs, goats and bulls (V19).
Referring back again toIsa 11:11 God identifies the nations by name who will have these Israelite slaves, and they are in the Middle East Ė the world of Islam! Read if for yourself, and believe God! And this is precisely where the armies of Israel are right now Ė in the heartland of Satanís territories, and this is where they will fall. If the rulers of the heavenly realms are listening to me to know when to act (and they are!) then I wanted to leave it to the last possible moment in order to deny them any advantage. The final straw came when President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell announced they have been consulting with Egypt and Saudi Arabia for developing a Ďroad-mapí for a Palestinian homeland. They had taken it upon themselves to negotiate with Godís enemies for the purpose of giving Godís Land to Baal. The strategy behind this, of course, is to calm down the Islamic hordes who keep trying to attack U.S. forces in the Middle East. These incidents are occurring almost daily now, and Washington is becoming alarmed.
Roadmap for peaceĖ for Islam! Itís dťjŗ vu. Weíve heard all this before. Islam has fought four major battles with the Israelis and lost every battle, so now they want the spoils of war handed to them for nothing. Baal can always rely on Colin Powell!
Picture credit: Fox News, Friday, March 14, 2003.
Having listened to Satanís hordes, they have become convinced that the solution to everything is to give Islam anything it wants, at the expense of the Israelis, and what Islam wants is Godís land and the extermination of all Jews. And so the appeasement has begun, according to the master plan of Colin Powell, and President Bushís accession to it, and Washington will pay a heavy price for this outrage. Baal must be appeased at all costs, and if it means giving Godís Land to him, then so be it.
Washington knows that the whole Islamic world is showing venom and hatred for the Western World, and itís scarcely concealed anymore. Terror has become Satanís most important weapon, and he uses it against all who fail to fall in line with him Ė even his own people if they become recalcitrant. He knows heís running out of time, and heís lost all patience. He knows itís now or never, and heís willing to take any chances necessary to achieve his goals. What he doesnít realize is that God is going to help him. God warned Ephraim in this manner:Hos 10:12 "Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the reward of unfailing love, and break up your unploughed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until He comes and showers righteousness on you. But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the FRUIT OF DECEPTION. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors, the roar of battle will go against your people, so that all your fortresses will be devastated Ė as Shalman (Shalmaneser Ė 2Kings 18:9) devastated Beth Arbel on the day of battle, when mothers were dashed to the ground with their children. Thus will happen to you, O Bethel, because your wickedness is great. When that day dawns, the king of Israel will be completely destroyed." Well, that day has dawned, and God plans to act against Ephraim. Bethel was anciently Ephraimís capital, and is the equivalent of Washington today.
But of course, you probably donít believe God, but you do believe the false prophets that have told you otherwise. And if you do continue to believe your false prophets, then expect no mercy from God! God is no longer winking, and neither will He remain silent.
Now is the time for everyone, who has challenged and ridiculed Godís Word and His prophecies, to remain silent so that their words will not condemn them. To their shame, many have already condemned themselves, and they now face disasters of such magnitude that the human mind is incapable of comprehending it.
At that time, you will have a whole new appreciation of the Great God of vengeance, who says, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay!"
With special thanks to our beloved sister Edna for reminding me, Iíll include the penultimate Psalm so that you may understand the duty of all the saints (the saints are those who have the Holy Spirit of God):
Praise the LORD.
Sing to the LORD a new song, His praise in the assembly of the saints.
Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their king.
Let them praise His Name with dancing and make music to Him with Tambourine and harp.
For the LORD takes delight in His people; He crowns the humble with salvation.
Let the saints rejoice in this honour and sing for joy on their beds.
May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands,
To inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples,
To bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron,
To carry out the sentence written against them. This Is The Glory Of All The Saints.
Praise the LORD.
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