ZION MINISTRY - BIBLE PROPHECY
YOU WILL BE PERSECUTED!Again and again, Christ warned his disciples that they would be persecuted. And indeed they were! But Christ also spoke of horrific persecution in the endtime against Christians. During the entire 20th century there has been no persecution on the scale spoken of by Christ. Will Christ's prophecies be fulfilled? If so when will it happen and what can we expect? You need to know the truth!
By Neville V. Stevens
New International Version used throughout unless otherwise specified
In recent years false prophets have arisen and deceived many! They have promised you protection in a place of safety if you will follow them! How easily the lies roll off their tongues! According to their debauched reasoning persecution is a punishment. How out of tune they are with the teachings of Christ and the Apostles.
Did Christ ever say that if you were good, really good, then you would NOT be persecuted OR put to death? Christ said the exact opposite!! Even of those whom Christ and the Father chose as apostles, Christ said: Luke 11:49 "Therefore also said the Wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute." He told them they would be killed. Of all the true Christians who have ever lived, you would expect the 12 apostles to have received a free ride to safety and salvation, which appears to be the doctrine taught by these despicable false prophets. Instead we find they were hunted from city to city and persecuted terribly. And most, if not all of them, died in martyrdom.
There are literally hundreds of scriptures that tell us to expect to be persecuted if we obey God. The clear message is that you will NOT be persecuted if you DON'T obey God. Those who have the Holy Spirit of God, who refuse to acknowledge the testimony of Jesus, and choose, instead, to be a part of this world's madness will surely die! But not as martyrs! And when they arise in the resurrection, it will be to everlasting shame and contempt (Dan 12:1-2). Don't let anyone tell you differently! They are liars and frauds! They are the instruments of Satan the devil!
The true Gospel is a bitter/sweet message. The final outcome is sweet and glorious, but the interim period between now and then will be bitter and hard to take. All that is prophesied is about to descend on the world. The angels in heaven rejoice to see this day and the final result. Notice what they say: Rev 16:4 "The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: 'You are just in these judgments, You who are and who were, the Holy One, because You have so judged; for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.' And I heard the altar respond: 'Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.'"
The literature put out by the false prophets would have you believe that these 'saints and prophets' were the bad guys who never made it to the 'place of safety.' Let's make it really plain: the bad guys are those who refuse to be martyred! They are the ones who have a preoccupation with going to the 'place of safety.'
There is an avalanche of scriptures that tell us that we should prepare to be persecuted if we OBEY God, but only one that speaks of this 'place of safety.' In this endtime there will be a persecution unparalleled in history. It's no secret! The Bible spells it out in no uncertain terms! Each and every one of you will be tested! It involves a certain scurrilous beast who will force his religious fervour on the world. He will demand obedience to his perversion, and the world will respond to him - all the world - with the exception of those whose citizenship is not a part of this world (John 17:16, 18:36, Rev 13:8). Only God's faithful servants will resist him (Dan 11:32) - even to the point of death. They won't love their lives so much as to shrink from their obligation to their Creator (Rev 12:11). They will willingly go to their deaths rather than offend God.
This despicable person - the second beast or false prophet - will set up an image - just as Nebuchednezzar did - and require all to worship it, or die! Isn't it amazing that the false prophets believe the account of Daniel, when Nebuchednezzar set up the image and required all to worship it - yet they don't understand that the 21st century 'beast of Babylon' is to do the same thing! The Bible plainly tells us this! Rev 13:11 "Then I saw another beast, coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he spoke like a dragon. He exercised all the authority of the first beast on his behalf, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose fatal wound had been healed. And he performed great and miraculous signs, even causing fire to come down from heaven to earth in full view of men. Because of the signs he was given power to do on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the inhabitants of the earth. He ordered them to set up an image in honour of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived. He was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that it could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed. He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no-one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name."
Daniel also spoke of this abominable image that is to be set up and worshipped: Dan 11:31 "His armed forces will rise up to desecrate the temple fortress and will abolish the daily sacrifice. Then they will SET UP the abomination that causes desolation. With flattery he will corrupt those who have violated the covenant, but the people who know their God will firmly resist him."
Daniel has more to say about this, and says that the people [armies] of this ruler who comes will destroy the city and desecrate the temple: Dan 9:26 "The people [armed forces] of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The END will come like a flood: war will continue to the END, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven', but in the middle of that 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And one who causes desolation will place abominations on a wing of the temple until the end that is decreed is poured out on him." These verses give us the sequence and timing of these events. The 'seven' is further described as seven years in Dan 12:11 "From the TIME that the daily sacrifice is abolished and the abomination that causes desolation is SET UP, there will be 1,290 days. Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days."
There are two time periods mentioned here. A 1,290 day period, and a 1,335 day period. The 1,290 days is the period from when this beast abolishes the daily sacrifice and the time when he actually SETS UP the image or abomination. The second period of 1,335 days covers the period of the Great Tribulation which begins immediately after the image is set up (Matt 24:15-21). The temple will require three years to build. Building will start in the beginning years of the 21st century - probably in the next five years. The daily sacrifices will again be commenced and will probably continue for six months before the beast puts an end to them. It's not clear what this covenant is that will be confirmed by the Beast. If the covenant is to build the Temple, then the sacrifices will be ended 6 months after the Temple is completed. The 1,290 day period covers the first half of the 'seven' and the 1,335 days covers the last half. From the time that the sacrifice is taken away to the establishment of the Kingdom of God will be seven years and 105 days. Daniel foreshadowed this: Dan 12:12-13 "Blessed is the one who waits for and reaches the end of the 1,335 days. As for you [Daniel], go your way till the end. You will rest [in the grave], and then at the end of the days you will rise [in the resurrection] to receive your alloted inheritance."
Speaking of this time when the beast will set up the image (the abomination), Christ had this to say: Matt 24:15 "So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation', spoken of through the prophet Daniel - let the reader understand - then let those who are in JUDEA flee to the mountains." V21 "For then there will be great distress, unequalled from the beginning of the world until now - and never to be equalled again."
Christ's warning to those living in JUDEA is to flee when Jerusalem is surrounded by armies: Luke 21:20 "When you see JERUSALEM surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near." One false prophet spells JUDEA as P-a-s-a-d-e-n-a. Contrary to what this man teaches, Christ knew what He was talking about when He said JUDEA. And why did Christ say JUDEA? The answer should be obvious! That's where the Jews live! Christ was warning His special group of faithful followers to prepare to flee - toward the mountains! The book of Revelation takes up the rest of the story: Rev 12:1 "A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth." V4 "...The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a Son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron sceptre. And her child was snatched up to God and his throne. The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days."
Forty years later in 70AD this woman did flee to a place that God had prepared for her, and stayed there for 3½ years to foreshadow this prophecy (which was written by John in 96AD). They returned after the destruction of Jerusalem. This same chapter again speaks of this woman, not fleeing but being transported, but this time it speaks of a period much later. Following the war in heaven when Satan and all his demons are cast down (V7-9) the Bible says this: Rev 12:10 "Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: "NOW have come the SALVATION and the POWER and the KINGDOM OF GOD, and the AUTHORITY OF HIS CHRIST." This is the time when Christ is empowered to act with full authority from the Father. This is the time that the KINGDOM OF GOD is established as a MUSTARD SEED (Luke 13:19). And notice what happens after this, continuing in V10 "For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the Word of [His] Testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you that dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is FILLED WITH FURY, because HE KNOWS THAT HIS TIME IS SHORT." When Satan is cast down, his time will be very short, and he will know that all his sovereign rights will be gone. The beginning of the Kingdom of God will be established and eventually fill the whole earth! And now we learn what happens after this: V13 "When the dragon saw that he had been HURLED TO EARTH, he pursued the WOMAN WHO HAD GIVEN BIRTH TO THE MALE CHILD. The WOMAN was given two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times, and half a time, out of the serpents reach." God has a very great purpose in transporting the WOMAN, which is a fledgling nation with national responsibilities to the whole House of Israel. And this WOMAN has some OFFSPRING: V17 "Then the dragon was enraged at the WOMAN and went to make war against the rest of her OFFSPRING those who obey Gods Commandments and hold to the TESTIMONY OF JESUS (Rev 19:10)." And here we see two separate groups, and one of them is the offspring of the other. Both keep the COMMANDMENTS OF GOD, and both have the TESTIMONY OF JESUS.
The seven Churches spoken of in the Book of Revelation were already established in Asia Minor. They had no involvement in the flight to the desert place that God had prepared for the 'woman' before the dragon is cast to earth and loses his right to rule.
Who was this woman? Was it Mary the mother of Christ? A woman means a tribe or nation. In this case it means the tribe that wore the crown of 12 stars. The twelve stars represent the twelve tribes of Israel. The prophet Joseph detailed this in a dream: Gen 37:9 "Then he [Joseph] had another dream, and he told it to his brothers, "Listen," he said, "I had another dream, and this time the sun and moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me." When he told his father as well as his brothers, his father rebuked him and said, "What is this dream you had? Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow down to the ground before you?" His brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind." This prophetic dream was a parable, and Jacob perceived the meaning of it, and identified himself and Rachel as the sun and the moon. This prophecy was fulfilled in part in Egypt many years later. This was an early physical fulfillment of a prophecy that would have a spiritual fulfillment in the latter days. It's significant that Rachel had already died (Gen 35:17-19) during the birth of Benjamin, and had been buried in Bethlehem, before Joseph had this dream.
The pointers and markers are all there that tie everything together. In Rev 12 we find that the dragon was waiting to devour the child as soon as it was born. Matthew the apostle said that Herod's attempt to kill all the babies under the age of two (Matt 2:16) was a fulfillment of Rachel weeping for her children: Matt 2:17 "Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." Why Rachel? Rachel was the mother of Joseph, who was the father of Ephraim and Manasseh. Why was she crying for the children of Judah? They weren't her children. They were the children of her sister Leah. Yet the scripture says she was weeping for her children, and Matthew confirms that Herod's murder of the babies fulfilled this scripture. We need to examine what Jeremiah said when he originally wrote this verse. Sure enough, we find the whole chapter of Jer 31 deals with the return to the promised land of the clans of Israel, and Ephraim in particular. And right in the middle of this chapter is Jer 31:15 "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." When Ephraim returns from captivity, there are descriptions of those who return: the blind, the lame, expectant mothers - but no children are mentioned. Jer 31:8 "See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labour; a great throng will return." Children are always the first casualty of wars, famines, and disasters - but the whole truth is more sinister than that! Little wonder that Rachel weeps for her children that are no more! And just so we know to whom this refers let's go back to V6: "There will be a day when WATCHMEN cry out on the hills of EPHRAIM, "Come let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God." This is what the LORD says: "Sing with joy for Jacob; shout for the GREATEST OF THE NATIONS. Make your praises heard, and say, 'O LORD, save your people, the REMNANT of Israel." Continuing in V9: "They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel's Father, and EPHRAIM is My firstborn son."
Christ was the firstborn of many brethren. We know what that means because Christ was the first born from the dead and raised up incorruptible. The Bible speaks of a resurrection where many people will be raised from the dead and will enter God's Kingdom. God says 'Ephraim is My firstborn son' and this is fulfilled when God leads them back from captivity. God also tells us that He will redeem Ephraim from the grave: Hos 13:12 "The guilt of Ephraim is stored up, his sins are kept on record." V14 "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death."
In Ezekiel chapter 36, God speaks of the 'mountains of Israel.' He is speaking of the physical land - the land that He gave to the fathers: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It's very important to understand this!
Other scriptures give a more graphic insight into this, but the point being established here is the contents of Rev 12:1-6. In these verses it's the woman that wears the crown of 12 stars which are the 12 tribes that ruled over all the house of Israel, and gave birth to the male child - and that woman is JUDAH! This chapter goes on to describe a much later event that occurs just before Christ begins to rule (V10). Michael and his angels fight the dragon and cast him to earth. V12 "Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them. But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short." Immediately following this great heavenly battle, Satan goes looking for the woman. After nearly two thousand years this 'woman that gave birth to Christ' is still around! No one in his right mind would suggest that the Church of God gave birth to Christ! (Although one foolish shepherd did!). It's speaking of JUDAH - the tribe that wore the crown of 12 stars, and gave birth to the male child! Rev 12:13 "When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent's reach." Notice that God has prepared everything for this woman, and He will take care of her! Just as Hiram, king of Tyre, provided fabulous wealth to Solomon to build the temple of God, so will Tyre do so again. This time she will do it as a 'hired' prostitute for the Great Harlot: Isa 23:16 "Take up a harp, walk through the city, O PROSTITUTE forgotten; play the harp well, sing many a song, so that you will be remembered. At the end of seventy years, the LORD will deal with Tyre. She will return to her HIRE as a PROSTITUTE and will ply her trade with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. Yet her profit and her earnings will be set apart for the LORD; they will not be stored up or hoarded. Her profits will go to those who live before the LORD, for abundant food and fine clothes." As promised, God has made provision for those who will live before Him at the end of the seventy years. The seventy year prophecy will be explained in other articles. So when Christ gathers His priceless possession in JUDEA, He tells them to flee to the mountains and not to bother to go back for their clothes (Matt 24:18). God has provided all!
And this is when the Great Tribulation begins long after the WOMAN is transported by God.
The Book of Revelation speaks of a woman that flees at a certain time. Rev 12:1 "A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to be give birth."
We will shortly see who it is that gives birth and the meaning of it for this endtime.
In the book of Genesis, God makes the distinction between two groups of offspring - the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. Gen 3:15 "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will bruise his heel." And so began the great division of humanity - the good 'seed' and the 'bad' seed.
This good and bad seed is further described in Jeremiah. It concerns a parable about figs - some were good and some were bad. Jer 24:2 "One basket had very good figs, like those that ripen early, the other basket had very poor figs, so bad that they could not be eaten." V4 "Then the word of the LORD came to me, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from JUDAH, whom I sent away from this place to the land of the Babylonians. My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart." The bad figs are then described as those who refused to go into exile (Jer 24:8-10, 29:17).
Throughout the entire siege of Jerusalem, Jeremiah consistently told Zedekiah that he had to serve Nebuchednezzar, that he had to submit to him. Because he refused, Zedekiah suffered horribly. His children were slaughtered before his eyes, then his eyes were put out, and he spent the rest of his life in a dungeon.
God decides who goes into captivity and who dies. Speaking of the time when God hands all the saints over to the beast for their final trial: Rev 13:5 "The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months [32 years]. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander His name and His dwelling-place and those who live in heaven [pointer:Dan 7:25]. He was GIVEN POWER to make WAR with the SAINTS and to CONQUER them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast - all whose names have NOT been written from the creation of the world in the book of life belonging to the Lamb which was slain. He who has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints."
Daniel also spoke of this time: Dan 7:25 "He will speak against the Most High and oppress His saints and try to change the set times and laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time [3½ years]."
Of all the tribes of Israel, only one tribe had a crown of 12 stars - this was JUDAH! Only JUDAH ruled over all twelve tribes. In the Kingdom of God they will again have a king over them; King David of JUDAH! Eze 37:24 "My servant David will be king over them, and they will have one shepherd. They will follow My laws and be careful to keep my decrees. They will live in the land I gave to My servant Jacob, the land where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children's children will live there forever, and David My servant will be their prince for ever."
As a background to this event, most of you know that the 12 tribes of Israel split into two kingdoms at the time of Solomon's son, Rehoboam. The dominant tribe of Ephraim ruled the north, and Judah ruled the south. When all the tribes are brought back to the land that God promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, they will again be ruled by Judah, and David their king, whom God will raise up to them. This is further clarified in Eze 37:15 "The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, 'Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.' Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, 'Ephraim's stick, belonging to Joseph and all the house of Israel associated with him.' Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand. When your countrymen ask you, 'Won't you tell us what you mean by this?' say to them, 'This is what the LORD says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph that is in Ephraim's hand - and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah's stick, making them a single stick of wood, and they will become one in My hand.'" V22 "I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. There will be one king over all of them and they will never again be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms."
In these verses the Bible has deliberately recorded that the stick that is in Ephraim's hand will be joined to Judah's stick - and not the other way around! Ephraim is the United States of America today! Within its borders are descendants of all the lost ten tribes. When God speaks of the house of Joseph or Israel (where the scripture also mentions Judah in the same verse in order to distinguish them) it refers to the whole land occupied by Ephraim. Ephraim represents all of the lost ten tribes - all of which have descendants living in Ephraim's borders. The whole, final wrap-up of all prophecy will center on two nations - modern Israel (Judah/Levi) and the U.S. (Ephraim and all ten tribes).
Why Judah? God explains! Isa 40:1-2 "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 LORD's hand double for all her sins." This speaks of the time when God will turn His hand to redeem His city of Jerusalem and Judah. God further identifies that He is speaking to Judah: Isa 66:7 "Before she goes into labour, she gives birth; before the pains come upon her, SHE DELIVERS A SON. Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a COUNTRY be born in a day or a NATION be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is ZION in labour than she gives birth to her CHILDREN. Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?" says the LORD. "Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?" says your God. "Rejoice with JERUSALEM and be glad for her, all you who love her, all you who mourn over her. For you will nurse and be satisfied at HER comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in HER overflowing abundance." Who is the woman that gave birth to a son? Read it again! Then notice that this woman - which is ZION, and which is also JERUSALEM, gives birth to not just a son, but also a whole nation! It then describes who these people, her children, are! Notice the words 'Rejoice with JERUSALEM and be glad for her, all you who love her, all you who mourn over her'. Which is the only tribe on earth who loves Jerusalem so much that they will fight to the death for her? Which tribe has special prayers about Jerusalem? Which tribe mourns for her? ONLY JUDAH!
Notice again who the woman is that gave BIRTH TO A SON! It's ZION! You need to understand this clearly otherwise all other prophecy becomes blurred!
It's true that several of the beloved Apostles of Christ traveled to Europe and Britain and established the glorious Gospel there. And the Church flourished even amidst horrific persecution. But Satan chose to concentrate his efforts elsewhere! He set up his palace and his throne in Asia Minor (Rev 2:13) where seven Churches were established. Many of these Christians were the remnant of the lost ten tribes. He immediately set out to pervert and corrupt them. When they finally migrated throughout Europe and Britain hundreds of years later, they took with them a corrupted doctrine that was scarcely recognizable. Only two of these Churches held to the basic doctrines - all the rest were corrupted! What we see today is a proliferation of doctrines spawned by these corrupted Churches.
Of the seven Churches only the Church at Smyrna and the Church at Philadelphia were not listed with faults. But both of these Churches had people among them who claimed to be Jews but were lying. Many of those in the Churches of God claim to be 'spiritual' Jews but speak disparagingly of the true Jews. They seem unwillingly to accept that they must be joined to the Jews and become as Jews to understand the truth. There is nothing in the teachings of these Churches during this entire 20th century that indicates that they love JERUSALEM - the ZION of God. But many of them have claimed to be Zion and Jerusalem! They have even taught that their Church is 'Zion' and 'Jerusalem' even though many of them speak disparagingly of the Jews. It will be JERUSALEM, the beloved city of ZION that will provide the greatest test of all time to the Church of God, the tribes of Israel and the world. You had better believe it!
THE SEVEN CHURCHES IN ASIA
Beloved brethren in Christ - wake up! Shake the shroud from your eyes! Doesn't logic alone tell you that there were many other Churches [Ecclesia] established throughout the earth by the Apostles? The Churches in Ephraim believe and teach that only the seven Churches in Asia were the true Churches. They say that the Church in Ephesus was the first Church and represented all the Churches scattered around the world in the first century. They believe that successive eras produced each of the seven Churches consecutively, until finally the Church in Philadelphia emerged. And all of them claim to be the sixth one - the Church in Philadelphia! God has told you in advance and is now telling you again of the pitfalls and the inadequacies, as well as the strengths and weaknesses, of the Churches in Asia Minor, and warning you not to emulate their bad habits. God is going to draw 12,000 of each of the tribes from the coasts of Ephraim. Rev 14:3 "And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No-one could learn the song EXCEPT the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever He goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as FIRSTFRUITS to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths, they are blameless." Rev 7:4-8 makes it very clear which tribes these people are purchased from. These, and only these, will be the Bride of Christ! Other articles cover this in greater detail, but notice that only the 144,000 'could learn the song', and only these are offered as FIRSTFRUITS to God and the Lamb. Only these receive the special seal of God (Rev 7:3-4). Only these have made themselves ready (Rev 19:7).
God is also going to draw an innumerable multitude from every nation, tribe, people and language to participate in His Kingdom. They will be invited to the wedding of the Lamb by the Father, and they will be GUESTS of the wedding feast! (Matt 22:1-3). They will be invited after the Bride has made herself ready (Rev 19:9). Don't believe anyone who tells you differently! They are liars!
The 12 tribes of Israel were the bride of Christ before they became HARLOTS and were given a bill of divorce. Now they must again be re-united with Zion (Jerusalem) and become one: Jer 2:1 "The word of the LORD came to me: "Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: 'I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a BRIDE you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown. Israel was holy to the LORD, the FIRSTFRUITS of his harvest; all who devoured her were held guilty, and disaster overtook them,'" declares the LORD." Is this speaking of all the 12 tribes? Notice V4 "Hear the word of the LORD, O HOUSE of Jacob, all you clans of the HOUSE of Israel. This is what the LORD says: "What fault did your fathers find in Me, that they strayed so far from Me? They FOLLOWED worthless idols and became worthless themselves." So the 12 tribes of Israel were the bride, and the Logos was the husband (Jer 3:14). The Book of Zechariah speaks of shepherds - worthless shepherds, and the KJV refers to them as IDOL shepherds. So Jeremiah's comments about worthless idols is also a reference to worthless, idol shepherds whom the people FOLLOWED! Those who FOLLOW worthless, idol shepherds fulfill this category!
Many of you have sat for years in the congregations listening to the worthless shepherds drone on with their lies and distortions of the scriptures. Some of you ignored the obvious perversions of God's Word. Others of you, out of Bible ignorance, failed to notice. All of you were willing to listen to anything they dished out to you - and believe it! Those who had the courage to question their teachings will be aware of the ferocious response they received. Dire maledictions, threats of excommunication, personal attacks, were the status quo. And to further the humiliation, these pariahs of deception had other methods they employed to further ostracise. One of these was to assign the garbage disposal 'opportunity' at the Feasts - year after year - to those who challenged their authority. They were not interested in the Bible teachings, but only Herbert Armstrong's opinions. Invariably, in response to a hard question, they would answer 'I've heard Mr. Armstrong explain it this way.' The Bible wasn't the final authority - Herbert Armstrong was! Any questioner who further challenged what 'Herbert Armstrong had said' became a 'marked' man even though the challenge came from the pages of the Bible. Perhaps, to your shame, many of you have never experienced these things.
You members of the Body of Christ have some decisions to make. Do you FOLLOW the teachings of God's Word, or do you FOLLOW the worthless idols? The Bible leads to life and the other leads to destruction! The choice is yours!
The Apostle Peter stayed in Jerusalem. He was the apostle to the tribe of Judah. Three times Christ told him to 'feed my flock.' It was the flock that Peter fed that was taken to the desert place for 1260 days.
The Apostle Paul had some contact with Ephesus, and after that he was forbidden to have further contact with them. God gave them over to Satan's influence to be tested. Hence, five were foolish and were thoroughly corrupted! Many of you, dear brethren, have unknowingly been involved with a corrupted doctrine. Yes, God did call a shepherd - a worthless shepherd - who didn't really care about God's flock (Zech 11:17). But he was a true shepherd - howbeit a corrupt one! Read the article "Who is the Flock Marked for Slaughter?'
After nearly two thousand years of horrific persecution, God has decreed that the tribe of Judah has been punished enough, since they have received a double penalty. Remember Christ saying 'Who will love him most?' and they replied, 'he who was forgiven most.' This is a true saying! Those who have been forgiven most will love God the most! Now notice what God says concerning the repentance of His chosen people: Zech 12:10 "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look to Me, the One they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for Him as one grieves for a firstborn son." This is real repentance!
The next few verses clarifies who this is speaking of. You will notice that it refers to only a PART of JUDAH - only the line of David! That is the linage of David through all of his sons. So again, the true seed narrows again from all of Judah to just the linage of David and all of his sons - and all of the tribe of Levi! V11 "On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great, like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves, the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan (son of David) and their wives, the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei (son of David) and their wives, and all the rest of the clans and their wives." Zech 13:1 "On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and iniquity."
God will cleanse Jerusalem with an overwhelming scourge and prepare it for occupation by the clans of the house of David and the Levites. This will be the first of two scourges which we will see in our lifetimes. Then He will bring back His Bride - the 144,000! Jer 3:9 "Because Israel's immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood. In spite of all this, her UNFAITHFUL sister Judah did not return to Me with all her heart, but only in pretence," declares the LORD. The LORD said to me, "FAITHLESS Israel is more righteous than UNFAITHFUL Judah. Go proclaim this message towards the north: 'Return, FAITHLESS Israel,' declares the LORD, 'I will frown on you no longer, for I am merciful,' declares the LORD. 'I will not be angry for ever. Only acknowledge your guilt - you have rebelled against the LORD your God, you have scattered your favours to foreign gods under every spreading tree, and have not obeyed me,'" declares the LORD. "Return FAITHLESS people," declares the LORD, "for I AM YOUR HUSBAND. I will choose one of you from every town and two from every clan and bring you to ZION. Then I will give you shepherds AFTER MY OWN HEART [pointer to David: Acts 13:22], who will lead you with knowledge and understanding." Yet another reference that shows that the endtime shepherds are to come from the group of people identified in Zech 12:10-14 as being of the line of David and the tribe of Levi.
Notice the distinction made here! Israel is without faith - that is, FAITHLESS! Judah, however, has the knowledge of faith but is UNFAITHFUL! They know better, but choose to be UNFAITHFUL to God. And just to ensure that this is understand, God performs mighty miracles in their presence. God will make them an invincible force against their enemies: Zech 12:3 "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding nations reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves" Note: the NKJV gives a better translation of this, because it's the surrounding nations only that this is speaking of. Continuing: V4 "On that day, I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness," declares the LORD. "I will keep a watchful eye over the house of JUDAH, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. Then the leaders of JUDAH will say in their hearts, 'The people of JERUSALEM are strong, because the LORD Almighty is their God. On that day I will make the leaders of JUDAH like a fire-pot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume right and left all the surrounding peoples, but JERUSALEM will remain intact in her place."
Judah will know in their hearts that this is the hand of God! But they will still allow a despicable person to corrupt them with flattery, and their armies will rebel in his favour. This person will set up an idol in the courtyard of the temple, and cause the whole world to worship it. Only those in Jerusalem who know their God will firmly resist him.
At this time the Almighty God will step up: Zech 12:7 "The LORD will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honour of the house of David and of Jerusalem's inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah. On that day the LORD will shield those who live in JERUSALEM, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the HOUSE OF DAVID will be like God, like the angel of the LORD going before them. On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack JERUSALEM."
The final assault will occur against Jerusalem in the Day of the LORD: Zech 14:1 "A Day of the LORD is coming when your plunder will be divided among you (see V14). 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. Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as He fights in the Day of Battle (against an army of 200 million). On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north, and half moving south." This will make the Megiddo valley suitable for the Battle of Armageddon. This vast valley will be the great winepress - the walls of the valley will close again on the advancing army crushing them like grapes in a winepress. Their blood will flow to the depth of a horses bridle (Rev 14:20).
COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE
When you were baptised, you symbolically surrendered your life to God. This was not just a cute little ceremony - it was an absolute commitment that you have placed your life in the hands of God to do as He will! It was never intended to be an alternative to physical death. Paul recognized this, and said that he, himself, had already died - and that Christ lived in him. As Christ was the One that God called on to die for the sins of the whole world, it was of no consequence to Paul to follow his Lord and Saviour in martyrdom. When Paul said that he had finished his course and kept the faith - he knew that he was going to his death. His vision of the Kingdom of God was greater than his fear of the destruction of his flesh. Tradition indicates that Paul was beheaded.
Christ said, "Come out of her my people." What did He mean? This was a reference to the Great Harlot. What would Christ's people be doing in cahoots with the Great Harlot? The truth of this matter is astonishing!
Christ told Peter that Satan had desired to have him to sift him like wheat (Luke 22:31). But God refused. Satan makes some strange requests, thinking that he can deceive God. At one stage he wanted the body of Moses (Jude 1:9). Satan once ruled Babylon as the Great Harlot! He will again! God refused Satan's request for Peter, instead he granted him a seat of power in Asia Minor - in the city of Pergamum (Rev 2:13). It was here that he enjoyed unfettered licence to corrupt Christianity. Five of the seven Churches were corrupted. God had already planned for this to happen, just as God planned to send the tribes of Israel into the realm of this Great Harlot - before they were even born. God told Abraham in advance, that his children would be denied access to the promised land for 400 years and they would be enslaved in a foreign land: Gen 15:12 "As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him. Then the LORD said to him, "Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and ill-treated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterwards they will come out with great possessions. You, however, will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the AMORITES has NOT yet been reached in FULL MEASURE."
The tribes of Israel were thoroughly corrupted in Egypt, and they were harshly treated. After 315 years (400 years after Abraham's death [1876BC], and 30 years after Jacob settled in the south of Canaan), they were finally liberated and began the sojourn in the wilderness of Sinai (1446BC).
For 40 years they had righteous rule under Moses and the Levites, because their leaders listened to, and obeyed God. Then the leadership changed to a system of judges. For 390 years, each tribe, with the exception of Reuben, Gad, and Simeon had a ruling judge. And this 390 years was completed in the promised land. There were moments of glory during this period, but only when a righteous man was the judge. In the main, it was a time of turmoil and suffering - because everyone did what was right in their own eyes: Jud 21:24 "In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit." They had no concern for the will of God.
In order that people can understand the lessons of this period of time, God planned a repeat of it. Following the break-up of the Kingdom of Israel into two kingdoms - the northern kingdom with Ephraim in control, and the southern kingdom with Judah in control, the whole land was eventually conquered. After many years, Ephraim established themselves in a land that the earliest settlers recognized was a gift from God. As all of the tribes again filtered through to this land - the United States of America, they set up their own system of judges - not a kingly line, but a democratically elected system. Under this system of government, everyone does what seems right in his own eyes - not what is right in God's eyes! And so began a 390 year period that Ezekiel prophesied about (Eze 4:4-5). Just as the sin of the AMORITES had NOT reached FULL MEASURE then, neither have they reached FULL MEASURE among the tribes of Israel - yet! But that day is fast approaching! And just as God finally destroyed the Amorites, so also will He destroy Ephraim - but not for the same reason!
The history of the Amorites has special significance. Israel encountered seven mighty nations in the land of Canaan when they went in to possess it. Chief among these were two kings: Sihon and Og. Josh 13:16-22 speaks of the entire realm of Sihon and refers to 'princes' who were allied with him. The KJV calls them 'dukes' or puppet kings. God also said to the entire nation of Israel: "I am the LORD your God; do not worship the gods of the Amorites, in WHOSE LAND YOU LIVE." (Jud 6:1-10). Even the Gibeonites were the remnant of the Amorites (2Sam 21:2). The preeminence of Sihon and Og is reinforced in Ps 135:11 "He struck down many nations and killed mighty kings - Sihon king of the Amorites, Og king of Bashan and all the kings of Canaan - and He gave their land as an inheritance, an inheritance to his people Israel." These two kings represented the might and power of all seven nations. Sihon, king of the Amorites, lived in a city called Heshbon in a land parallel to the land of Canaan on the other side of the Jordan River. The significance of all this will be revealed in future articles. In the meantime, it's worth noting that following the poem recorded in Num 21:27-30 we find that two other players appear in Num 22. These are Balak and Balaam who are also mentioned in Rev 2:14. Those who are wise will understand the significance of these things.
This nation of Ephraim, the ruling tribe of the 'lost' ten tribes of Israel, has also had rulers (Presidents) over the tribes of Israel, just as they did in the days of the judges. The kingly line of ancient Israel started with David, of the tribe of Judah, even though Saul, of the tribe of Benjamin, was the first to be coronated. Saul was an offensive person who had no regard for the will of God. He soon became demon-possessed. David supplanted that demon ruler, and ended the 390 years of sin by establishing a righteous kingdom. The turning point of Saul's reign was when he spared an evil monster - King Agag. Against God's express instructions to utterly wipe out the whole nation of this evil brood, he spared the king! Samuel the prophet and priest, was horrified to see this. And in the presence of Saul, Samuel took a sword and hacked him to pieces. He then informed Saul that the kingdom was taken from him.
During the 390 year period of the Judges God decided that He would no longer drive out the Gentiles but would leave them there to live among the tribes of Israel. He did this to test them. Jud 2:20 "Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and said, "Because this nation has violated the covenant that I laid down for their forefathers and has not listened to Me, I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died. I will use them to TEST Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the LORD and walk in it as their forefathers did." And did Israel pass the TEST? This is what happened: Jud 3:5 "The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, AND SERVED THEIR GODS."
THE FULNESS OF THE GENTILES
Millennia ago, the third Patriarch Jacob pronounced a blessing on the tribe of Joseph through Joseph's two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. On these twin boys, Jacob pronounced the blessing, making the second born preeminent over the first. From that time on, Ephraim was considered to be the firstborn. And God, Himself, acknowledges this. Speaking of the time when God will redeem the tribes of Israel, Jeremiah had this to say: Jer 31:6 "There will be a day when WATCHMEN cry out on the hills of EPHRAIM, "Come, let us go up to ZION, to the LORD our God." V8 "See I will gather them from the land of the NORTH and gather them from the ends of the earth." V9 "They will come with weeping; they will pray as I bring them back. I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am ISRAEL'S FATHER, and EPHRAIM is My FIRSTBORN."
When Joseph saw his father's right hand on Ephraim's head, he tried to move it to Manasseh's head, but his father refused. This is the blessing that Jacob pronounced on the two sons: Gen 48:19 "But his father refused and said, "I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a GROUP OF NATIONS." The words 'GROUP OF NATIONS' is translated from the Hebrew words 'melo' [Str. 04393] and 'goy' [Str. 01471] and literally means the 'FULNESS OF THE GENTILES.' The Hebrew phrase is 'melo goyim' and means 'fulness' or 'full number' of the Gentiles.
We might have been left to ponder the meaning of this, and to put our own interpretation on it as some have, concluding that it's a reference to the British Commonwealth. But God forbids private interpretation of the scriptures. Only the Bible interprets the Bible. Lo, and behold, what do we find? This verse points to the book of Romans. Here the Apostle Paul refers to it: Rom 11:25 "I do not want you to be ignorant of this MYSTERY, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the FULL NUMBER OF THE GENTILES has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob.""
It's important to note that Paul is speaking about all of Israel. God has hardened all of Israel until the full measure or number of Gentiles has come in - to the tribes of Israel - not the Church! The deliverer will come from ZION. Which deliverer? This is the deliverer that turns godlessness away from Jacob. And who does this? The Book of Malachi explains: Mal 4:5 "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will TURN THE HEARTS of the fathers to [the] children, and the hearts of the children to [the] fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse." Luke also describes this when speaking of John the Baptist: 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 - to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." Notice the word used here is 'DISOBEDIENT' not 'ignorant.' It speaks of Israel - all Israel!
The Apostle Paul very accurately describes the 'FULL NUMBER OF THE GENTILES'. They will be among God's holy nation - the tribes of Israel! They are all the trouble-making degenerates who have infiltrated the CITIES of Israel. They will spearhead the descent into the 'godlessness' that Paul speaks about! Anyone with an IQ above his hat size will recognize that these degenerates are the Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites and Perizzites that troubled Israel anciently. They are already staging the greatest betrayal of all time. They will be at the forefront of the wholesale conversion to Islam. They will fanatically support the beasts of Rev 13. The foolish, stupid nations of Israel will observe their crazy 'politically correct' idealogy and follow along with this madness - and they will accept the 'mark of the beast.'
YOU whom God has CALLED OUT of this madness, had better listen to what God is saying to YOU, otherwise YOU will be sucked into the spiralling vortex that is beginning to engulf your nation! When the avalanche strikes, you will be bewildered. You will have no answers for it all - unless you are going to the source of all knowledge for your understanding. That source is your Bible! If you have been listening to, and reading the rubbish written by the fakes and the frauds, you will understand nothing! Horrific persecution is just around the corner! The Bible reveals all in great detail. There is no need for ignorance.
Stop the preoccupation with 'Satan's so-called secrets' (Rev 2:24) and 'mysteries' and start concentrating on the MYSTERY mentioned by the Apostle Paul that relates to the 'FULL NUMBER OF THE GENTILES.' Read Rom 11:25 again. You are commanded to COME OUT of Satan's realm of deceit and to enter the Godly realm of REVELATION and understanding! For too long you have sat and listened to these spiritual cripples who promise peace and safety, who teach appalling lies, who understand nothing! Now as never before you need to listen to what God is telling you in the pages of His Word. If you took the time to merely read through the books of the prophets you would know that they are speaking about the endtime, and recounting events that are totally contrary to all you have been taught.
Most of you who are reading this have not had to deal with these disgusting jackals, these pariahs of evil as this writer has. You only see them in their 'form of godliness' role - not in their role of 'denying the power of God.' To counter the truth of the Bible, they surreptitiously offer a scripture that they believe contradicts another in mitigation of their denial. These people don't love God's Word, they treat it as an adversary that must be tamed to their own logic. They have a repertoire of 30 or 40 verses from the Bible which represent their unassailable position in regard to God's truth. The rest of the Bible is irrelevant to them. Their appalling ignorance is evidenced by the childish, silly articles they publish. You need to recognize these things!
Most of you have been in spiritual slumber for many years. You have listened to the lies and distortions; you have watched the Catholic Church and Germany - with great expectations that haven't materialized. You've witnessed NONE of the great power of God or the promised spiritual gifts. There are vast sections of the Bible that you have ignored because you didn't understand them. You've been mesmerized by every word uttered by the fakes and frauds and utterly failed to reverence God's Word. You know the Day of the Lord follows after the SIX DAYS. And you know that those SIX DAYS are now almost complete. You have great expectations that something is about to happen - but you don't know what! This is because you are not attuned to the source of all knowledge! But God has told you in advance of the need for two endtime prophets to lead you into all truth.
If those to whom you have listened were teaching truth, what would be the purpose of God calling two independant witnesses or prophets? When Elijah stood alone and believed that all of Israel had deserted the truth, God told him of seven thousand people whom He had reserved who had not succumbed to Baal worship. Closely associated with the second Elijah, John the Baptist, were the Essenes of Qumran who also numbered around 7,000 (Josephus says 4,000 men). God has also reserved 7,000 people who will soon have the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY (Rev 19:10) and will be called PROPHETS and will be a part of this final endtime work. They will replace the Baal-worshiping fakes and frauds that have offended God with their lies! God's true people are those who will SEPARATE themselves from the deception of the world. These people will be those who exercise the Holy Spirit to discover the REAL truth! And these people will know the NAME of the beast - and the number of his NAME! All of these articles contain clues to this NAME. Two of these articles very strongly indicate that NAME. Again and again the Bible indicates its identity. If you are studying God's Word, then you will have the WISDOM to understand.
Here's a test for you! Why don't you ask the minister whom you have been following for all these years to tell you the NAME of the beast? He won't because he can't! To those who are truly God's priceless possession, don't be too concerned right now about that NAME, and don't try to guess it. Study your Bible, check all the scriptures mentioned in all these articles, learn the truth from God's Word, and God Himself will reveal it to you! The fear of God is the beginning of Wisdom (Mal 3:16, Pro 9:10, Ps 111:10)
WHO ARE THE TRUE SAINTS?
In the book of Revelation we find a 'woman' who sits on the first 'beast' - the one that has seven heads and ten horns (Rev 17:3). V5 describes this 'woman' as Babylon the Great. This 'woman' holds a gold cup in her hand: Rev 17:4 "The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries." V6 "I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the SAINTS - the blood of those who bore THE TESTIMONY [OF] JESUS."
Take special note of the words 'THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS'. This is the key for understanding who the 'SAINTS' are. You must be told that if you are a part of this great endtime Work that will shake this earth, then you are one of the SAINTS that this Harlot will seek to persecute. Yes, and some of you will be murdered. And what is 'THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS'? Here it is: Rev 19:10 "At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow-servant with you and with your brothers who hold to THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS. Worship God! For THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS is the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY."
Think back, brothers in Christ, how many saints do you know in this present century that have truly had the SPIRIT OF PROPHECY? There are probably millions of pretend Christians who think they are testifying for Christ - but do they have the 'SPIRIT OF PROPHECY'? If you've been around for a while, you will be aware of the joke in the Worldwide Church of God where they used to say they were a 'non-PROPHET' organisation. And truly they were!
Other articles prove that the two endtime prophets are from the southern kingdom - of the tribes of Judah and Levi. And God tells us that He will not reveal His glory to any other: Isa 48:1 "Listen to this, O house of Jacob, you who are called by the name of ISRAEL and come from the line of Judah...." V2 "You who call yourselves CITIZENS of the HOLY CITY and rely on the God of Israel - the LORD Almighty is His name." V6 "From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you." V7 "....so you cannot say, 'Yes, I knew of them." V10 "See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, for My own sake, I do this. How can I let Myself be defamed? I WILL NOT YIELD MY GLORY TO ANOTHER."
These are the people whose nation is called ISRAEL. Only one nation today is called ISRAEL. This is the nation of Judah - the former southern kingdom which comprised the tribes of Judah and Levi. These are the 'citizens of the Holy City'.
God has not refined them in a melting pot like silver, but in the furnace of affliction - severe persecution over many centuries. They have never forgotten who they are! Not like the other ten tribes who even deny their heritage today!
God says, 'How can I let Myself be defamed?' The miserable false prophets have done nothing but defame God for centuries. They've lied, twisted and perverted His truth in every possible way! Why would God yield His glory to these people of the northern tribes - and Ephraim in particular? He says He won't! Instead He says, 'I will yet choose Zion.' He says: "I WILL NOT YIELD MY GLORY TO ANOTHER."
Speaking of this time now, God says He is going to ensure that He gets the attention of His people: Isa 30:8 "Go now, write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness. These are rebellious people, deceitful people, children unwilling to listen to the LORD's instruction. They say to the seers, 'See no more visions!' And to the prophets, 'Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions. Leave this way, get off the path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!" Therefore this is what the Holy One of Israel says: "Because you have rejected this message, relied on oppression, and depended on deceit, this sin will become for you like a high wall, cracked and bulging, that collapses suddenly in an instant.""
This last verse is a pointer to Eze 13, and a description of the devastation of this cleansing period. When God gets their attention, He will turn to help those who live in Jerusalem to establish them as a holy nation. Isa 30:19 "O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious He will be when you cry for help! Although the LORD gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." V25 "In the day of great slaughter, when the towers fall, streams of water will flow on every high mountain and every lofty hill. The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the LORD binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds He inflicted."
In the 1967 war, when Israel drove out the Philistine degenerates from their land, Ephraim stepped in like a silly dove (Hos 7:11), masquerading as an envoy of peace, and made Israel give back their land to the enemies of God. God has recorded their sin and will bring it down on their heads. Ephraim failed to recognize the mighty hand of God at work. They have forgotten that God's instructions to all the tribes of Israel is to drive out the evil brood from the land that He gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Because of this great sin, God will bring Ephraim's armies to the Holy Land and conquer them! When they side with the evil degenerates against Judah and Jerusalem, it will not be a cake-walk like the 'Desert Storm' episode in Kuwait against Babylon (Iraq today), and the 'King of Babylon' will remind them of their sin! Eze 21:18 "The word of the LORD came to me: 'Son of man, mark out two roads for the sword of the King of Babylon to take, both starting from the same country. Make a signpost where the road branches off to the city. Mark out one road for the sword to come against Rabbah of the Ammonites and another against Judah and fortified Jerusalem. For the King of Babylon will stop at the fork in the road, at the junction of the two roads to seek an omen. He will cast lots with arrows, he will consult his idols, he will examine the liver. Into his right hand will come the lot for Jerusalem, where he is to set up battering rams against the gates, to build a ramp and to erect siege works. It will seem like a false omen to those who have sworn allegiance to him, but he will remind them of their guilt and take them captive." And who is this speaking of? V25 "O profane and wicked PRINCE of Israel, whose day has come, whose time of punishment has reached its climax, this is what the Sovereign LORD says, 'Take off the turban, remove the crown, it will not be as it was. The lowly will be exalted and the exalted will be brought low. A ruin! A ruin! I will make it a ruin! It will not be restored until he comes to whom it rightfully belongs; to him I will give it."
The 'princes' of Israel were the leaders of the individual tribes (Num 1:44). This is speaking of the 'PRINCE' that rules over the dominant tribe - Ephraim! Ephraim will lead all the 10 tribes of Israel to their doom. This is clarified in V12 "Cry out and wail, son of man, for it is against My people; it is against ALL the PRINCES of Israel. THEY are thrown to the sword along with My people. Therefore beat your breast." Notice the distinction between all the tribes of Israel - who are indeed God's ancient people, and the other group of God's people: 'THEY are thrown to the sword ALONG WITH MY PEOPLE.' Yes, God's people are thrown to the sword. They will be handed over to the King of Babylon. This is the king that arises after the kingdom of ten kings in the final days: Dan 7:24 "The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom (Greece, Macedonia and others in the region). After them another king will arise [pointer: Rev 13], different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress the saints and try to change set times and laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time."
His cohort, the leader of the ten nations (Rev 13:1) will also make war with the saints: Rev 13:7 "He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them."
Ezekiel 13 speaks of the day when the prophets of Israel presume to speak in the name of God: Eze 13:1 "The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination. Hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow THEIR OWN SPIRIT and have seen nothing! Your prophets, O Israel, are like JACKALS AMONG RUINS." What do you suppose this reference to 'JACKALS AMONG THE RUINS' means? Most people view such comments as extraneous to the meaning and ignore it. Everything in the Bible has meaning and purpose. This is a good example! So what is meant by this comment?
In this instance, the word 'jackal' means a burrowing jackal or a fox (Str. 07776). Some versions of the Bible choose to use the word 'jackal' because of similar references elsewhere in the Bible. A different word is actually used in other places, particularly in the major prophets, when dealing with those who set themselves up as teachers or prophets of God. The word used is tanniyn (Str. 08577) and means a preternatural beast. The word is derived from Str. 08565 tan and means: Strong's entry: [A monster (as preternaturally formed), i.e. a sea-serpent (or other huge marine animal); also a jackal (or other hideous land animal):- dragon, whale. Comp 8577.] A preternatural beast is one that exists outside of the realm of the natural. It's a supernatural beast totally devoid of logical decency and is satanically influenced. In most occurrences in the KJV, the word is translated 'dragon' or 'serpent.' The intensity with which it is used is occasioned by the obvious reference to the supernatural - that is, demons!
The Psalmist was keen to illuminate its meaning in an endtime prophecy: Ps 44:9 "But now You have rejected and humbled us; you no longer go out with our armies. You made us retreat before the enemy, and our adversaries have plundered us. You gave us to be devoured like sheep and have scattered us among the nations. You sold your people for a pittance, gaining nothing from the sale." V17 "All this happened to us, though we had not forgotten you or been false to your covenant. Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path. But you crushed us and made us a HAUNT FOR JACKALS (Str. 08577) and covered us over with DEEP DARKNESS. If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god, would not God have discovered it, since He knows the secrets of the heart? Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." Notice the last verse! The Psalmist is speaking nationally, of a time when the house of Israel will be deserted by God and defeated and plundered and handed over to the nations for destruction. But the Apostle Paul quotes this last verse and identifies it as a prophecy for our time: Rom 8:35 "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.""
God is just! Whatever He does is for a good reason. The Psalmist tells us that even though "All this happened to us, though we had not forgotten you or been false to your covenant" God found it necessary to hand His people over to destruction. The Apostle Paul counsels us to be courageous even in the face of hardship, nakedness, persecution, famine and war - and says that God's people - his TRUE people are as SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED! During this century, the Church of God has taught that all this applies to the Laodiceans. Nothing could be further from the truth!
We all know the story of Job and how he suffered. Yet God says he was a righteous man! Job 1:8 "Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered My SERVANT Job? There is no-one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."" So why did Job have to suffer at the hands of Satan? Why did God turn him over to Satan? Even in those ancient days, God was preparing us to understand that He has a purpose for everything. Job was the archetype of all those who fear God and keep His instructions. When Job had descended into the depths of destruction he had this to say: Job 30:26 "Yet when I hoped for good, evil came; when I looked for light, then came DARKNESS. The churning inside me never stops; days of suffering confront me. I go about blackened, but not from the sun; I stand up in the assembly and cry for help. I have become a BROTHER OF JACKALS (Str. 08577), a companion of owls."
Don't think for one moment that anyone has ever explained to you the true meaning of the Book of Job - they haven't! In the account of Job, God was hostile towards his three companions for failing to understand the whole meaning of Job's suffering. Only ELIHU (means: 'He is my God') was able to console Job with the truth! God wasn't punishing Job! Why would God punish a righteous man? God called Job to serve Him as a SERVANT, to prepare all who would follow afterward to understand what SERVICE to Him means! In the overall scheme of things, and according to God's great plan, He requires His servants to go as 'sheep to be slaughtered.' For this service you will be greatly rewarded!
At the depth of his despair, Job became a BROTHER OF JACKALS! Job was actually living out the events of the endtime. The JACKALS are his BROTHERS. And the endtime JACKALS are the demon-inspired madmen who have sought the stewardship over God's flock of sheep. They are satanic beasts! Voracious carnivores who devour the flock. And you, God's flock, have been listening to them - and believing them even though they don't teach according to the Word of God. And for your information, most of these have had opportunity to hear the Word of God and to repent! They refuse! They are utterly hostile to truth! Their immediate reaction is to attack the messenger! The DARKNESS that Job and the Psalmist spoke of, has descended on you, and will lead you to destruction unless you repent! There are no soft options. You are either whole-hearted or you are not! It's no good shopping around for the group that has the most attractive 'plan of salvation.' There is only one group of people that God is interested in, and they are described in Mal 3:16. These are the people that FEAR God. They are the ones which talk to each other - ABOUT GOD'S WORD! They are the ones that God is recording in the SCROLL OF REMEMBRANCE. These will be the ones that will make up God's TREASURED POSSESSION. They are the ones who can distinguish the difference between the RIGHTEOUS AND THE WICKED - those who SERVE God and those who DON'T!
If you are actively supporting their 'WORK' (sic) and promoting the lies of those whom God calls 'WICKED' then you too, are the ENEMY of God. You need to get your mind in order and your priorities right, shake the scales from your eyes and wake up! THE LAST CALL IS ABOUT TO GO OUT! - then you will know the difference between the RIGHTEOUS and the WICKED - those who SERVE GOD and those who DON'T!
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