Bible Believers' Newsletter 311
"We focus on the present Truth – what Jesus is doing now. . ."
Christian greetings in the precious Name of our Lord Jesus Christ; thanks for joining us for fellowship around God's unchanging Word.
To update one of last week's editorial comments, According to (Australian) ABC Radio February 4, 2004, 29,000 GIs have now been repatriated from Iraq, either wounded on duty or from self-inflicted injuries. And a further 40,000 US servicemen whose period of enlistment has expired are not being permitted to return to civilian life.
This Newsletter serves those of like precious faith and whosoever will receive the truth is welcome to feed their soul from the waters of the River of Life. Everything presented should be confirmed personally in your own Bible.
Mind Switch: Brain Wave Activation of Electronic Devices
Researchers at the University of Technology in Sydney have discovered a way to activate electronic devices using nothing more than brain waves. The Mind Switch is unique in that it doesn't need biofeedback control. The switch relies on the increase in alpha waves which occurs when the eyes are closed. Sensors in a cap worn by the person detect this increase (or decrease when the eyes are opened again) and send radio-frequency signals to a microprocessor. The appliance needing to be adjusted is selected from a menu displayed by the computer, and then controlled as required. The great advantage with the Mind Switch is that it can be operated with very little training. Once a person is familiar with the technology, switching the television, lights or other electrical device on or off becomes quick and easy . . .
Full story: ats.business.gov.au
Comment: The name is Bond . . . James Bond.
War against Citizens
In a recent quote by Dr. Johannes B. Koeppl, Ph.D., former German defense ministry official and advisor to former NATO Secretary General Manfred Werner, we find an alarming admission. Dr. Koeppl reportedly said, "The interests behind the Bush Administration, such as the CFR, The Trilateral Commissionfounded by Brzezinski for David Rockefellerand the Bilderberger Group, have prepared for and are now moving to implement open world dictatorship within the next five years. They are not fighting against terrorists. They are fighting against citizens." We must also consider the words of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan when he said, "A world government can intervene militarily in the internal affairs of any nation when it disapproves of their activities." Considering all of the above, we can understand more clearly what Time Magazine (September 17, 1990) meant when they said, "The Bush Administration would like to make the UN a cornerstone of its plans to construct a New World Order." Full story: lasttrumpetministries.org
Russia plans Imitation of Nuclear Attack on the US
Moscow, January 30, 2004 Russia's nuclear forces reportedly are preparing their largest maneuvers in two decades, an exercise involving the test-firing of missiles and flights by dozens of bombers in a massive simulation of an all-out nuclear war.
President Vladimir Putin is expected to personally oversee the maneuvers, which are apparently aimed at demonstrating the revival of the nation's military might, and come ahead of Russian elections in March. . . Analysts describe such an exercise as an imitation of a nuclear attack on the United States. . .
Kommersant said Moscow had notified Washington about the exercise, describing it as part of efforts to fend off terror threats even though it imitates the Cold War scenario of an all-out war. . . Full story: rumormillnews.com
Ezekiel 38 and 39
We'll take our text from Numbers 35 and Ezekiel 37.
Numbers 35:33-34, "You shall not pollute the land wherein you are: for blood defiles the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it. [An eye for an eye and a life for a life]. Defile not therefore the land which you shall inhabit, wherein I dwell: for I the Lord dwell among the children of Israel".
Ezekiel 37:21-28, "Tell the twelve tribes, "THUS SAITH THE LORD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and One King shall be King to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more: Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be My people, and I will be their God."
"And David My servant shall be King over them; and they all shall have One Shepherd: they shall also walk in My judgments, and observe My statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they and their children, and their children's children for ever: and My servant David shall be their Prince forever."
"Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them and multiply them, and will set My sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when My sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore".'
This takes Israel from their restoration to the Land in unbelief to their conversion and the Millennium. However, the 144,000 must first go through the Tribulation. This-evening we'll study Ezekiel 38 and 39 which leap ahead to the time of Daniel's Seventieth Weekafter the ending of the Gentile dispensation.
Israel, restored to the L and, is threatened by an invasion from the north. Some of the historical nations take part in the attack, but the invaders are remote barbarians, from outside the ancient civilized world.
This attack comes between Ezekiel's prophecy of the restoration of Israel, described in chapters 33-37, and his picture of ultimate harmony between the Temple of the Lord which is His Elect, and the Land, with which the Book closes when the Lord returns in chapters 40-48 to dwell in Israel.
In chapters 38 and 39 we shall see how God will 'bring forth Gog;' and without human help defeat his vast armies, and crumble every possible refuge with divinely induced panic as fell upon the army of the Midianites when Gideon's soldiers smashed their pitchers and shouted the cry to battle (Ezekiel 38:19-23; Judges 6-7). This is the time of the Sixth Seal: men shall implore the mountains, "Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sits upon the Throne and from the wrath of the Lamb". The details are omitted from the description of the victory for it permits no spectators (Genesis 19:24-26; Isaiah 17:12-14), and the plunder from Gog's defeat is not treated as riches for Israelite soldiers but as belonging to the real Victor, our Lord Jesus Christ. It is therefore cherem and destined for fire (Ezekiel 39:9-10; Isaiah 9:4-5; Psalm 46:9-11), and as a feast for God's non-human creation (Ezekiel 39:18-20; Isaiah 34:1-8). Israel's only participation is burying the dead and destroying the weapons. We have to pray the Lord to bless us with understanding and grace to see the sequence in which these events unfold.
Ezekiel 38:1-7, 'And the Word of the Lord came to me, saying, "Son of man, look northward, toward the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech (or Moscow), and Tubal (Tobolsk or Siberia)". (Magog represents the Scythians from whom after intermarriage with the Medes, came the Russians. According to the Table of Nations in Genesis 10, these are descendants of the sons of Japheth. In Ezekiel, 'Gog' is their "chief" or principal man, the Czar or President of a union of several lesser princes, however, in Revelation 20:8 Gog is a people).
"And prophesy against him, And say, 'THUS SAITH THE LORD; Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will put hooks into your jaws, and draw you from your own land, and I will mobilize your troops and armored cavalry, and make you a mighty host, all fully armed: Persia (Iran), Ethiopia, and Libya (these last two, according to Genesis 10, descended from Ham): shall join you with all of their weapons: Gomer, and all its troops; the armies of Togarmah from the distant north with all its troops, as well as many others.
(Gomer and Togarmah are the peoples of the eastern boundary of the old Roman Empire in the area around Mount Ararat where the borders of Turkey, Iran, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Russia meet with Syria and Iraq). Be prepared, stay mobilized, you and all your companies that are assembled unto you. You, Russia, are their leader'."
Ezekiel 38:8-12, 'After many days you will be summoned; in the latter years you will swoop down upon the land of Israel that is restored from the sword, whose inhabitants have been gathered out of many nations, to the mountains of Israel, which have been a continual desolation: but its people have been brought out from the Goiim or nations, and are all living securely.
(Ezekiel says Israel is restored from the sword at this time, and her citizens gathered out of the nations. Yet Jesus stated emphatically, 'Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles until the times [not dispensations] of the Gentiles are fulfilled' (Luke 21:24).
Jesus described the time after the Gentile dispensation as a period of extreme and universal terror (Luke 21:25-26). With the United States reeling from an earthquake sinking Los Angeles, and her NATO allies preoccupied supplying emergency relief to their former dominions, Israel will be invaded after an earthquake splits the mount of Olives and demolishes "es Sakhra," the Dome of the Rock (Zechariah 14:4). Taking this window of opportunity Russia will invade the United States, and attack Israel in union with the Moslem states, insensible to the fact this prophetic catastrophe signals her restoration to God's favor, and consequently their fight is against God).
'You Russians shall go up and roll down upon them like a storm, and cover the land like a cloud, you, and all your troops, and many peoples with you.'
'THUS SAITH THE LORD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into your mind and you shall devise an evil plan: And you will say, "Israel is an unprotected land of unwalled villages; I will march against them that are at rest, and dwell safely, all dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates." To capture spoil, and to seize plunder; to turn your hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have acquired cattle and goods, who live at the center of the world.'
'Sheba, and Dedan, (descendants of Ham who established what we call Yemen in Southern Arabia), and the merchants of Tarshish, shall ask, "Have you come to capture spoil? Have you gathered your company to carry away silver and gold, to drive away their cattle and seize their goods, and impoverish them?"
God is sovereign. He examines the motives and objectives of every heart. In addition to contemplating aggression against those who are defenseless and complacent, dwelling securely without walls, bars, or gates, Russia covets Israel's mineral wealth and strategic position 'at the center of the earth'.
Isaiah 60:5, 'Then you shall see, and be radiant, and your heart shall rejoice at your glorious return; because the abundant wealth of the Dead Sea shall be yours, the wealth of the Gentiles shall come to you'.
Since the State of Israel has been restored, the deserts have been made to produce abundantly; the Dead Sea holds important chemical salts, the estimated total value of which is four times the wealth of the United States. Brother Branham said, "Russia will come down and say, 'We've just got to have that stuff. That's uranium and everything down there, we got to go get it'. And as they go down, then will be the battle of Armageddon. That will be when God will stand like He did in the valley for the children of Israel and fight again. But that will not take place until the Gentile dispensation will be finished. And when that time is finished, she's cut off" (C.O.D., 77:111; 294:530; Daniel, 122:157).
But not for several years after this invasion.
Armageddon (Revelation 16:16) is the place of slaughter in the struggle of good and evil as suggested by that great Old Testament battle plain of Esdraelon, which was famous for the victory of Barak over the Canaanites, and Gideon over the Midianites; and for the two great disasters, the death of Saul and Israel's defeat before the Philistines (I Samuel 31), and good king Josiah's death in battle with Pharaoh Necho (II Kings 23:20, 30). Hence in Revelation the scene of a terrible retribution upon the wicked. Armageddon means the hill or city of Megiddo. Both this and the valley of Berachah or 'Blessing,' where Jehoshaphat defeated the Gentiles (II Chronicles 20:26; Zechariah 14:2-4) may be figurative phrases for the scene of the final conflict between Christ and Antichrist. Joel 3:2, 12-14 prophesied, 'I will gather the armies of all nations into the valley of Jehoshaphat (which means 'Jehovah has judged), and punish them there for harming My people, for scattering My inheritance among the nations, and dividing up My land'. That's Armageddon.
Moab, Ammon and the Edomites, whom God did not allow Israel to invade on their journey to the Promised Land, came to invade Israel in the days of Jehoshaphat. God anointed a Levite, who prophesied that "the battle is the Lord's" so when Israel goes to do battle, they should once again find their enemies have fought themselves to death (II Chronicles 20).
What a perfect type of God's prophecy for the end-time. Zechariah 14:13, 'It shall come to pass in that day that Russia will be seized with great panic from the Lord; and they will fight against each other in hand-to-hand combat.' In II Chronicles it was Moab, Ammon and the Edomites who attacked the Land of the Covenant, here Russia and the Islamic nations will attack.
Ezekiel 38:14-16, 'Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Russia, "THUS SAITH THE LORD; in the day when My people Israel live securely, won't you know it? And you will come from your place out of the remote north, you, and your vast host of cavalry will come up against My people Israel, like a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days, that I shall bring you against My Land, in order that the nations may know Me, when I shall be sanctified in your defeat, O Russia, before their eyes'.
'THUS SAITH THE LORD; "Are you he of whom I have spoken in old time by My servants the prophets of Israel, which prophesied in those days for many years that I would bring you against them"?' (Deuteronomy 32:43; Isaiah 5:26-29; 34:1-6; 63:1-6; 66:15-16; Joel 3:9-14).
God calls Israel "My people," and the Land "My Land," signifying the Gentile dispensation is over, and He is dealing only with Israel. So an offense against Israel is an affront to God.
Though Gog stirs himself, comes from his place, and goes up like a cloud against Israelthree verbs implying his own self-propulsionthe real controlling power behind his attack is solely God: "It is 'I' Who will bring you." Ezekiel 38:4, "I will put hooks into your jaws, and draw you from your own land . . ." And by bringing Russia to the Land for judgment, God will prove to the nations His Own holiness. Clearly, therefore, Ezekiel 38-39 describe "a time of trouble" that commences with an invasion of Israel after the Gentile dispensation, followed by three and a half years of 'peace' under Judaeo-Roman one world government during which two prophets minister to Israel, after which Rome breaks her covenant and the so-called Jews and their Black Nobility switch allegiance to Judaeo-Communist Russia then bomb Vatican City State and the United States, initiating Armageddon.
Ezekiel 38:18-20, '"And it shall come to pass when Russia comes against the land of Israel", declares the Lord God, that My fury shall explode. For in My jealousy and blazing wrath I declare in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel; And the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all men upon the face of the earth, will shake at My Presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, cliffs shall tumble, and every wall shall fall to the ground".'
Haggai 2:21-23, 'Speak to Zerubbabel, (the representative of the Davidic monarchy and covenant, in the lineal ancestry of Jesus Christ), governor of Judah, saying, "I will shake the heavens and the earth; And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, everyone by the sword of his brother. (Russia and her allies will slaughter one another).
In that day, says the Lord of hosts, will I take you O Zerubbabel, My servant, the son of Shealtiel, says the Lord, and will make you (through Messiah, your descendant) My signet (or Seal of Redemption): for I have chosen you (with whom to renew My covenant to David's line), says the Lord of hosts'.
The earthquake follows and marks the Presence of God (Isaiah 2:19-21; Jeremiah 4:23-26; Joel 2:2, 21; Zechariah 14:3-4). It sinks Los Angeles, and splits the Mount of Olives, destroying the Mosque of Omar on the Temple mount. Russia for mercenary and strategic reasons, and the Moslems through religious fanaticism, grasp their opportunity and invade Israel, but God stands for His Land and His people.
I Kings 19:11-12, 'And God said to Elijah, "Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord". And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before Him; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice".' God will not be found in the earthquake or the strong wind, but in the still small Voice of Israel's two witnesses.
Ezekiel 38:21-23, '"And I will call for a sword against Russia throughout all My mountains' says the Lord God: "every man's sword shall be against his brother. With disease and with blood shall I fight him; and I will rain upon him and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain of fire, and with hailstones of brimstone. Thus will I magnify, and sanctify Myself and I will be known in the sight of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord".'
Like my sermons, much of the Scripture is recorded in shorthand, as it were: a few words can say a great deal. Unlike my sermons, Scripture is inerrant. I don't wish to seem uncertain as if I am preaching guesswork; I rely upon the Message of Brother Branham to place and unfold these Scriptures. Although his Message finished the mystery of God, I have got to find the quotes that identify what they are saying. Ezekiel 38 and 39 cover all of Daniel's Seventieth Week, from the end of the Gentile dispensation and the earthquake to the consummation.
I find it interesting that unlike the Book of Daniel, these chapters don't deal with Romanism and the beast. They deal with Russia and the Islamic people. Rome does not become involved until after this battle when they form an alliance with the USA and the international Jews, and the Pope restores peace. Verses 21-23 would appear to be a summary of the judgment of God upon Russia and its Muslim allies throughout the seven-year period of the Sixth Seal. The climax: rain of fire and hail of brimstone, is reminiscent of the judgment upon Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19:24-28). The chapter concludes with a triple assertion of God's purpose: "I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself; and I will be known in the sight of the many nations who witness Gog's fate, so they will recognize that I Am God". In thus exercising His wrath against the world powers, God proves His true identity and implies that His people shall be saved as in the Exodus. And as Joshua took seven years to conquer the land, so now Israel will be seven years in allegory destroying discarded weaponry after God defeats their invaders.
Ezekiel 39:1-16, 'Therefore, you son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, "THUS SAITH THE LORD; Behold, I am against you, O Russia, the Leader of Meshech (Moscow) and Tubal (Tobolsk): And I will turn you around and drive you from the remotest parts of the north, and bring you against the mountains of Israel. (In the KJV we also read, 'and leave but the sixth part of thee' which is a misinterpretation and should read: 'drive' or 'forcibly march'). And I will smite your bow out of your left hand, and cause your arrows to fall out from your right hand.'
'You and all your vast armies will die upon the mountains of Israel and I will give you as food to the birds of prey, and wild animals will devour you.'
'You shall not reach the city, but fall upon the open fields: for I have spoken it," says the Lord God. "And I will rain down fire on Russia, and on all your allies who live safely on the coasts: and they shall know that I am the Lord.'
'Thus will I make My holy Name known among My people Israel; and I will not let them profane It any more: and the nations shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
Behold, that Day of Judgment will come, and everything will happen just as I have declared. And they that inhabit the cities shall go forth, and gather the weapons, and they shall burn them with fire seven years: They shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for these weapons will furnish all the fuel they require: and they shall use the possessions of those who despoiled them, and rob those who plundered them," says the Lord God.'
'And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give to Russia a vast graveyard in Israel in the valley of the travelers, east of the Dead Sea: and it will block the path of the travelers: there Gog and all his multitude will be buried: and they shall call it "The valley of Hamongog" (or Gog's Army).
It will take seven months for the house of Israel to bury them, in order to cleanse the Land.
"Everyone in Israel will help bury them; for it will be a glorious victory for Israel on the day I glorify Myself," says the Lord God. "And at the end of seven months they shall employ men to systematically search throughout the land for any skeletons and to bury them, to cleanse it: And the travelers who see a man's bone, shall set up a sign by it, so they can be located and transported for burial in the valley of Hamongog. The name of the city there shall be Hamonah (Multitude or Army). Thus shall they cleanse the land".'
Ezekiel 39:1-16 restates the previous chapter with variations in detail. The first five verses announce Gog's defeat. In verses 6-8 we are told that Gog's defeat is extended to his homeland and that of his allies. The Fire of God's wrath will rain upon Magog and his allies "living securely" in distant lands. An ironic note, since Israel's own defenseless "living in security" had prompted Gog to launch his attack.
Gog's defeat and the destruction of his homeland will be followed by the burning of his weapons. A number of other Biblical passages use the motif of weapons to emphasize God's superiority over the nations, or the foolishness of trusting in, or fearing weapons.
Of Israel's restoration to the Land, Christ's 'parousia' to Israel, and the Millennium, Isaiah 9:4-7 says, 'God has broken the yoke of Israel's burden, and the staff on their shoulder, the rod of their oppressor, as when He destroyed the vast host of the Midianites on the plain of Esdraelon (which is Armageddon) by Gideon's little band. For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall all be for burning as fuel for the fire.'
'For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. There shall be no end to the increase of His government and of peace, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to establish and to uphold it, with judgment and with justice from henceforth forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this'. (As Revelation 19 confirms).
The people themselves destroy the weapons; in fact, this task and the burial are their only real participation in the whole contest. As the account makes clear from beginning to end, Gog's invasion and his defeat are totally under God's control. So much weaponry will be abandoned it will provide sufficient fuel to supply Israel with domestic fuel seven full years. If this is a literal period to be fulfilled, it must be placed at the START of the seventieth week as we have been teaching.
The promise they will despoil those who would despoil them, and take booty from those who would rob them, turns the tables on Gog. Further irony is seen in that God gives Gog a burial place in the Land, rather than the Land itself. The burying of the remains of the dead keeps the Land pure from ritual pollution, and since it proceeds for seven months, emphasizes the enormity of Gog's defeat and God's glory.
Ezekiel 39:17-21, 'Son of man, THUS SAITH THE LORD; Call all the birds and animals and say, "Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves from far and near to My sacrifice which I am going to sacrifice for you, upon the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh, and drink blood. You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, as though they were rams, lambs, goats, and bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan.'
'You shall eat fat until you are glutted, and drink blood until you are drunk, from My sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. Thus you shall be filled at My table with horses and charioteers, with mighty men, and with all the men of war," says the Lord God. "And I will set My glory among the nations, and all the nations shall see My judgment that I have executed, and My hand that I have laid upon them".'
The animal guests at the feast eat the fat and the blood, normally reserved in a sacrifice for Jehovah for these sacrifices are 'unclean'. The victory over Gog will be an occasion for the nations to see Jehovah's glory and to realize His justice. However, like pharaoh, their day of grace has expired and their hearts have been seared by the hot iron of unbelief.
The Son of man, Jesus Christ, has come down in His 'parousia' and made His Word so real it has united the Bride as one with Him and she has been taken Home. We go to the wedding supper, not to the marriage. Because "the marriage of the Lamb has come to pass. . . And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, Come! Gather yourselves together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, and captains, and valiant men, of horses and riders, and the of all humanity both small and great, bond and free" (Revelation 19:7-9,17-18; Ezekiel 39:17-20; William Branham, Proving His Word, p. 44:236).
Ezekiel 39:22-23, 'So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day and forward. And the nations shall know that the house of Israel went into exile for their iniquity: because they dealt treacherously against Me, therefore I hid My face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: and all of them fell by the sword'.
Through Gog's overwhelming defeat the 144,000 elect Israelites will return to Israel. The cleansing of the Land symbolizes renewed zeal for the Mosaic Law and ordinances. As Malachi 4:4 says, 'Remember the Law of Moses My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments'. Before the prophet with the Elijah anointing can introduce the elect to the New Covenant of Ezekiel 36, their Moses must take them back to their foundation in the Old Covenant whence they have fallen.
This is no indication of repentance. Revelation 22:11, 'He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still'. The time for repentance among 'the nations' has passed. Those who are "the saved" must lay down their lives for their principles, or take the mark of the beast and have their names removed from the Book of Life.
Brother Branham said, 'For three and one-half years while the retributive wrath of God is poured out, His Bride will be in the great Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Then will He return, leaving His Bride in "His Father's house," while He makes Himself known to His brethren. At this very time, the antichrist covenant that the Jews have made with Rome will be broken. Rome and her allies then send their troops to destroy all the God-fearing, Word-abiding Jews. But as they come against the city to destroy it, there will appear in the heavens the sign of the coming of the Son of Man with His mighty armies to destroy them who have been destroying the earth. With the enemy repulsed, Jesus then comes and presents Himself to the 144,000. Having seen His mighty acts of salvation, they have come to know His power. But also seeing His wounds and knowing that they had rejected Him even to that moment causes them to cry out in the agony of terror and fear, even as did their brethren of old when they stood before Joseph, being sore afraid that they would be killed. But as Joseph said, "Don't be angry with yourselves. It is all right. God was in it all. He did it to preserve life." Even so will Jesus speak peace and love to them' (William Branham, An Exposition of the Seven Church Ages, p. 40:2).
Ezekiel 36:21-29, 'But I had pity for My holy Name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say to the house of Israel, "THUS SAITH THE LORD; I do this not for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for My holy Name's sake, which you have profaned among the heathen, whither you went. And I will sanctify My great Name, which was profaned among the heathen, which you have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, says the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.'
'For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.'
'And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My judgments, and do them. And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be My people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses. . .'
From the time of God's great sacrifice of Gog's army, the nations will learn it was because of iniquity and rebellion that Israel went into exile, and not God's weakness or His inability to defend them. But they will only harden their hearts for they have come to a place of no more repentance.
Ezekiel 39:24-29, 'According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I dealt with them, and hid My face from them. Therefore THUS SAITH THE LORD; Now will I restore Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for My holy Name; Their time of treachery and shame shall all be in the past, when they live safely in their land, with no one to make them afraid.'
'Once I have brought them back from the peoples, and gathered them out from the lands of their enemies, My glory will be evident to all nations; then Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into exile among the heathen: and then have gathered them to their own land, and left none of them there any longer. Neither will I hide My face any more from them: for I have poured out My Spirit upon the house of Israel, says the Lord God'.
Restoration will lead to serious reflection among the elected on the reasons that led to their historic departure from the Land. Ezekiel uses the account of God's defeat of Gog's invasion in chapters 38 and 39 to underscore once more the finality and irreversibility of the divine promise for the future of Israel.
May the Lord use these words to clarify our understanding of things to come.
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Brother Grigor-Scott is a non-denominational minister who has ministered full-time since 1981, primarily to other ministers and their congregations overseas. He pastors Bible Believers' tiny congregation, and is available to teach in your church.