Goodnews Christian Ministry
"Jeremiah answered: 'Remnant of Judah!' the Lord himself tells you, 'Do not go into Egypt'. Understand this clearly: today I have given you solemn warning. You were playing with your own lives when you made me your envoy to God and said, "Intercede for us with the Lord our God; tell us what He orders and we will do it."
More than twenty-five centuries ago, after numerous warnings from the prophets of the Bible about their behavior, the Jewish people were captured by the Chaldeans and taken prisoner to Babylon. In what seemed to be perfect fulfillment of the prophecies which predicted it, the entire nation was led away in the chains of slavery. The duration of their exile was set in the stone of scripture: "Seventy years", it said, they were to remain prisoners of their Babylonian captors.
Yet, for a few, that captivity was rescinded. In the Book of Jeremiah, God allowed a codicle to cut the duration of captivity short. A small contingent of army leaders, begging for permission, were allowed to return from the "Diaspora" ahead of schedule, but with strict orders from God that they were to follow Jeremiah's instructions regarding this Return to the letter.
Only two conditions were imposed by God on that first wave of settlers (the army people) that God allowed to return from Babylon before the seventy years had ended. These were:
1. "If you are willing to remain peaceably in this country, I will build you and not overthrow you...I will move the king of Babylon to take pity on you and to allow you to return to your native soil." (Jer.42:7-14).
2. "But if you say: We do not want to stay in this country; if you disobey the voice of Yahweh your God, and say: No, the land of Egypt is where we want to go...in that case, remnant of Judah...the sword you fear will overtake you, there in the land of Egypt." (Jer.42:14-18).
Peacefulness and borders. These were the two divine conditions imposed by God on that early return.
That was in the long ago, and of course, every Bible student knows what subsequently happened. Both instructions were violated wholesale. As a consequence disaster befell this contingent, a catastrophe that decimated those involved in this untimely attempt to foreshorten the divinely imposed days of exile.
As a result, the Jewish people that remained in captivity had to await the conclusion of the full seventy years. Not until the Persian decree that prophecy said would free them was finally issued would they be allowed to return as promised. They had to await the decree of Cyrus.
We now know that all the prophecies regarding that first exile to Babylon applied to another time. It was not into Nebuchadnezzar's hands that the House of Israel would be placed, but into the hands of Rome. These prophecies were all symbolic. The prophets had foreseen events, not of their time, but far into the future. The true Diaspora came after the crucifixion of Christ, not before it.
True to that understanding, all the circumstances of that expulsion have been repeated, but this time, on a grand scale. The seventy-year exile has stretched into scores of centuries, almost two millenia. And now, just as in former times, we see an early return led by Jewish army combatants from the Second World War. It is not a return based on the edict of a Prince of Persia as directed by the Book of Chronicles. Instead, just as the prophecies foresaw, it is a decree issued, in this case, by the united kings of Babylon, moved by the holocaust to rescind the longstanding terms of exile in advance of that Persian decree.
However, the terms specified by Jeremiah still hold true. It is an early return, signalling that Jeremiah's instructions must still be followed. If not, this group too, will meet the same fate as those in whose footsteps they trek. The twin commands of peacefulness and strict border adherence still apply. Yet both have been dramatically violated. Not by minor infringements, either; these violations in our time have reverberated in bold headlines all across the planet for years. Israel, now an army of occupation, has journeyed into the world of ordinary nations; to guns and armies and the establishment of new frontiers.
"You must not behave as they do in Egypt where you once lived; you must not behave as they do in Canaan where I am taking you. You must not follow their laws. You must follow my customs and keep my laws; by them you must lead your life." (Lev.18:3-4).
In the current Israel, that goal has been sacrificed in a rush to be like the other nations. The Bible calls this abandonment of God in favor of massing weapons and armies, i.e.,'going down to Egypt', and warns of dire consequences as a result of the misdirection.
"They carry out plans that are not mine and make alliances not inspired by me, and so add sin to sin. They have left for Egypt without consulting me, to take refuge in Pharaoh's protection" (Is. 30:1-2).
"Pharaoh", in this instance, is metonymic symbolism for the United States under whose military umbrella Israel is able to sustain its fascinaton for battle. Taking refuge in the profanity of the nations, Israel has abandoned all quests for sanctity. Peace is now a shattered dream. The search for Godliness a forgotten aside.
Jeremiah has devoted several pages of prophecy to Israel's transposition of purpose. His words reverberate with the consequences of the warfare they now pursue (Jer.42-44). Because of God's command, militarism itself is a sign of this rebellion. Violating divine orders, Israel has rejected God's ways of peace, surrounding themselves, instead with tanks and armaments in the way of the nations of the world, and has made these their new gods (Jer.44:12-14).
It is not Old Testament prophecy alone that uses the term "Egypt" to refer to a worldly Jerusalem, New Testament prophecy does the same:
"Their corpses will lie in the main street of the Great City known by the symbolic names 'Sodom' and 'Egypt', in which their Lord was crucified." (Rev.11:8)
When John declared the Jerusalem in Palestine (i.e., the city in which Jesus was crucified) to be symbolically identical to Sodom and Egypt, he made clear that they may be considered mutually reciprocal locations as far as Bible prophecy is concerned as well. In all cases they underscore populations fully disinterested in or antagonistic to the goals and desires of God.
The Bible tells us that the Jewish nation will be divided into two camps. One will be peaceful. The other will be zealously militant. Only those who pursue peace, scripture says, will constitute the true Judaism which God means to save. The militants will not be saved. Jeremiah predicts they will be destroyed in their entirety, because the commandment of God is, "those who live by the sword will die by the sword".
The dichotomy between these two groups is well documented in the prophesies, and we have covered it extensively in Chapter 13, "Jerusalem Under Seige", in the book, 'The Last Days of Babylon').
Among its population, a peaceful coalition still exists in Israel today. But at this point they can barely be seen. They were much more visible a few years ago before an Israeli militant assassinated the leader of the peace movement, former Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzak Rabin. The candlelight peace vigil Rabin was attending (and directing) at the moment of his assassination, showed a camp of Israeli's now virtually invisible.
That assassination reversed the peace process and plunged Israel back into the spiral of warfare that has brought it to the nadir we now see there under the militant leadership of the current Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon.
Not only have the Israeli's turned their back on the pursuit of peace by embracing warfare and the militant ways of this world, the army people have orchestrated the building of hundreds of settlements throughout the Arab countryside. Leaving the borders assigned, they have sent their people down in enormous numbers "to settle in Egypt" in circumstances so literal it is heart-stopping.
As far as God is concerned, the entire Bible is about Jesus. The Old Testament was designed by the Holy Spirit to predict His coming and the New Testament is the blueprint for the eternal salvation He came to bring. The new Testament is the way of God. For this reason, it is also the paramount way to understand the prophecies of scripture.
All the prophecies in the Old Testament have dual meanings, the prime one always being the way they are fulfilled in Christ. As it says in scripture, "all the works of God go in pairs by opposites." The Old Testament and the New Testament are opposites.
Therefore every prophecy exists in two parts -- one tells us what the vision appears to say on the surface and the other, what it was designed to say by the Holy Spirit. That design always relates to Jesus and to His era.
According to the Bible, when Judaism rejected Jesus, they were made blind and sent into an exile which we now call the "Diaspora". That exile is the symbolic recapitulation of the dispersion of the two Houses of Israel from the Holy Land thousands of years ago. Paul described it as an enforced dispersion and blindness commanded by God for the sake of the conversion of the pagans. He added that at the end of the divine period set aside for pagan conversion, the Jewish people will be returned to Jerusalem where sight will be returned to their eyes and they will see Christ.
With this strategic goal in mind, God has allowed the House of Judah to return to Jerusalem for only one reason redemption so that they can wed themselves to His holy purpose for the sake of the eternal life He has offered them through Jesus.
The meaning of Israel's return is entirely religious. It was orchestrated by God Himself for purely sacred reasons. Peaceful behavior is an absolute!
Who is there in Israel to listen to this scripture? Where are the Rabbi's who guard the flock?
"If you are willing to remain peaceably in this country, I will buld you and not overthrow you; I will plant you, not tear you up. for I am sorry for the evil I have done you. Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon any longer; do not fear him it is God who speaks for I am with you to save you and deliver you from his hands. I will take pity on you, and move him to pity you and let you return to your native soil.
But if you say 'We do not want to stay in this country'; if you disobey the voice of the Lord your God, and say: 'No, the alnd of Egypt is whre we want to go, where we shall not see war nor hear the sound of trumpet, or lack of bread; that is where we want to live'; in that case, remnant of Judah, listen to the word of God. The Lord God Almighty, God of Israel, says this: If you are determended to go to Egypt, and if you do go and settle there, the sword you fear will overtake you, there in the land of Egypt; the famine you dread will follow on your heels, right into Egypt; you shall die there.
All the men who are determined to go to Egypt and settle there shall die by sword, famine and plague: not one survivor will escape the disaster I mean to bring them. Yes, Almighty God, the God of Israel, says this: Just as my anger and my fury have been poured out on the citizens of Jerusalem, so will my fury be poured out on you if you go to Egypt: you will become an object of execration and horror, a curse, a laughing-stock; and you will neer see this place again." (Jer.42:10-18).
When the curses these prophecies herald are ready to come to pass, God will release the eastern angels which He has held in bondage at the Euphrates (Rv.9:14-15 ). This unchaining will remove the divine impediment that has blocked eastern forces for the last 2000 years. As soon as those chains are removed, the "kings of the east" will pour across the Euphrates river (Rv.16:12) -- the first devastating wave of an invasion that will ultimately topple Babylon (world civilization) forever.
The eastern invasion has its inception at the Euphrates because that is the location where God has kept the angels of the east in chains. It also marks the spot where the Babyon of history and the Babylon of symbolism unite. Overrunning that location carries with it the same kind of symbolism the fall of the world's towers did.
Like the chimes of a clock sounding now and then again, these are all events that define the hours of the End.
This eastern incursion into Jerusalem, when it occurs, will mark the first entrance of the east into a Jewish Israel. All former invasions occurred in relation to the Diaspora when the Jewish people were locked out. It seems certain the United States will force them to leave, but, as Daniel has shown, there is much more to come and the portent is grave. Truly, Jerusalem will be surrounded by armies once again, but this time, the prophecies of Matthew will apply. When the day arrives for these events to unfold, it will be a clear signal that the millenium of Christ has given way entirely to the tribulation and that the world has come very close to its end.
These are visions written in the prophesies of Jeremiah and Daniel. They have resided in the Old Testament for thousands of years, awaiting a time identical to our own. We now know that that time is this time.
As God has made abundantly clear, the circumstances and pattern of these prophecies when they are fulfilled will stun us with surprise. No one can guarantee they will happen as we have described them, probably not; but whatever pattern God chooses to weave history to follow, it's threads will embrace completely the scriptures we have listed.
When that happens, those who read these very scriptures will stand in awe of them and praise our God who presented them to us with such precision in advance.
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