The Successive Devastations of Jerusalem

The Sieges Continue

 

The only secure Jerusalem lies in the heavens ­ in the new kingdom that God has built far beyond the stars to replace the city on this earth that bears the same name.

Thunderclouds have gathered now all around this earthly city and threatened the whole earth. War, famine, pestilence. All seem to have coalesced in synchrony. Enemies are building nuclear plants, on the wings of birds, the threat of devastating pandemics are circling the planet. Wars are raging. Violence has risen to the point of urban chaos. Can famine and economic chaos be far behind? All these things are more than gentle reminders that there is only one escape. That escape is easy; it is fast and it is surefire. Eternal life is only a baptism away. The message is this: turn to God today. There is little time left. Do not delay. The time is at hand.

 

"...they have misled my people by saying: Peace! when there is no peace. Instead of my people rebuilding the wall, these men come and slap on plaster. Tell these plasterers: It will rain hard, it will hail, it will blow a gale, and down will come the wall. Will not people ask: Where is the plaster you slapped on it? Well then, the Lord God says this: I am going to unleash a stormy wind in my anger, torrential rain in my wrath, hailstones in my destructive fury. I mean to shatter the wall you slapped with plaster, to throw it down and lay its foundations bare. It will fall and you will perish under it; and so you will learn that I am God. When I have exhausted my anger against the wall and those who plastered it, I shall say to you: The wall is gone, and so are those who slapped it over with plaster, these prophets of Isreal who prophesy about Jerusalem and have visions of peace for her when there is no peace." (Ez.13:10-16).

 

Caught up in Israel's hard-line clammoring for an expansion of an Israeli presence in the Palestinian communities of the West Bank are legions of Protestant Christians.

Many Evangelicals feel it is their God-given duty to help the Israeli's drive the Palestinians out of the Holy Land in order to make way there for a united Jewish state, free of the contaminating influence of those they see as a humanity "foreign" to God. How they can even think such thoughts in the name of Christ is beyond understanding.

Yet they have buttressed their influence with cash ­ sending large sums of U.S. funds to these settlers, lobbying heavily the necessity for their continued (if not expanding) presence in the occupied lands.

Why are so many evangelical Christians caught up in the militant politics of the current Israel? The reason relates to a growing number of fundamentalist ministers who have over the last few decades convinced themselves and their congregations that Jesus will return only to a militarily powerful and fully united Israel. They look for an Israel whose borders stretch to or even beyond the limits of Solomon's ancient empire, i.e., from "Dan in the north (near Mount Hermon in Syria) to Beersheba in the south."

It is their assertion that Jesus will not return until this Israeli empire is in place.

Is this claim true? No. They just made it up in the name of political expediency. There is nothing in scripture to even remotely suggest such an Israeli empire on this earth at the end. Just the opposite.

One has only to look at the scriptural prophecies themselves: These verses predict war after war, famine, economic ruin, a Jerusalem invaded and invaded again in the last days by a people from the east called the Medes ­ a military alliance of ten eastern nations strong enough to bring Israel to its knees and force the country into a hated political marriage ­ almost certainly with Palestine.

Israel in the last days will be a people, not fighting to expand an empire, but struggling to survive an onslaught of enemy soldiers that number as the sands of the sea ­ soldiers who have encircled Jerusalem, invaded and occupied a portion of the city and poised themselves to deliver the final lethal blow that will end forever the existance of the House of Israel on this planet.

On what soil will all these encircling armies stand? Outside the distant borders of an Israeli empire? No. They will occupy Megiddo, Galilee, the West Bank, Samaria, Jericho, Bethlehem, Sinai, Gaza, the Mediterranean coast, Mt. Sharon, and even a part of the Holy City itself. Jerusalem, God tells us,.will be surrounded, one half of it even occupied by enemy troops, armed to the teeth, and ready to drive the final stake into the heart of the city of God on earth.

The prophecies of scripture tell us in clear terms that these barbaric warriors will have long since torn down the wall, killed all the settlers in the occupied territories, and ripped the current regime in Israel to shreds. There will be only a small Jewish contingent left when God and all the angels intervene.

Will that small remnant of Israeli citizens assist God in trying to beat back the attacking forces? No. They will march out as ordered, but there will be no battle that day. The Book of Chronicles tells us that Israel will not fire a single shot. God will settle matters with the invaders by Himself. He will not accept, nor will He need any human help.

"The Lord says this to you,
'Do not be afraid, do not be daunted by this vast horde;
this battle is not yours but God's.
March out against them tomorrow;
they are coming up by the Slope of Ziz
and you will come on them in the Valley of Soph, near the wildernes of Jeruel."

"You will not need to fight there.
Take your position, stand firm,
and see what salvation the Lord has in store for you.
Judah and Jerusalem, be fearless, be dauntless;
march out against them tomorrow and the Lord will be with you." (2 Chron. 20:1-17).

God's offer of peace to the human race started in Jerusalem and proceeded from there around the world. God sent His angel to mark a cross on all who deplored the violence and were willing to choose peace ­ the "Prince of Peace" as their savior.

The tribulation and judgement will come the same way. These, too, will start in Jerusalem. They have already begun. That is why the battles we see raging in the Holy Land today are so important. They signal the beginning of the violence that is now about to encircle the earth. Here is what scripture tells us about these days:

"You must drink! Since I am now making a beginning of disaster with the city that bears my name, do you think you are likely to go unpunished? You certainly shall not, for I will next summon a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth." (Jer.25:14-29).

Enemies are coming from a distant country, shouting their war cry against the towns of Judah; they surround Jerusalem like watchmen round a field because she has apostatized from me -- it is God who speaks." (Jer.4:16-17).

"God will gather all the nations to Jerusalem for battle. The city will be taken, the houses plundered, the women ravished. Half the city will go into captivity, but the remnant of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then God will take the field; he will fight against these nations as he fights in the day of battle."

On that day, his feet will rest on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem from the east. The Mount of Olives will be split in half from east to west, forming a huge gorge; half the Mount will recede northwards, other half southwards. And the Vale of Hinnom will be filled up from Goah to Jasol; it will be blocked as it was by the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. The Lord your God will come, and all the holy ones with Him." (Zc.14:2-5).

 

"Let the nations muster round you in a body, and then return, high over them." (Ps.7:7).

"God will appear above them and his arrow will flash out like lightning, (The Lord) Yahweh will sound the trumpet and advance in the storms of the south." (Zech. 9:14).

 

The Israel we see today in and around Palestine is not the nation God promised to form in the last days to end the 2000-year long dispersion of the House of Israel to Babylon. The true Diaspora can only end as it began ­ in Christ.

The current Israeli nation did not come to be in the way the Book of Chronicles predicts it must: as a result of the proclamation of the Prince of Persia. No. Instead, today's Israel is the nation Jeremiah petitioned God be allowed to form in advance of that directive. It is a nation authorized by the rulers of Babylon, not the prince of Persia.

Today's Israel is a nation formed around the army leaders ­ Ariel Sharon and his superiors.

This advance Jewish return from exile before its time has been built on two conditions according to Jeremiah. Israel must remain peaceful and not make a military pact with "Egypt" (metaphore assured), and it must stay within the borders the king of Babylon prescribes. Under God's strict orders, it cannot build Israeli settlements beyond those borders. The current Israel has disregarded both directives.

According to the words of prophecy, the petition by the "army leaders" to Jeremiah for an early return from the exile to Babylon was allowed by God on these conditions:

"If you are willing to remain peaceably in this country, I will build you and not overthrow you; I will plant you, not tear you up. For I am sorry for the evil that I have done to you. Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon any longer; do not fear him for I am with you to save you and deliver you from his hands. I will take pity on you, and move the king of Babylon to pity you and let you return to your native soil." (Jer.42:1-12).

"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 land of Egypt is where we want to go, where we shall not see war nor hear the sound of trumpet, nor lack for bread; that is where we want to live; in that case, remnant of Judah, listen to the word of the Lord:

God the Almighty, the God of Israel, says this: If you are determined 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, the Lord Almighty, 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 objet of execration and horror, a curse, a laughing-stock; and you will never see this place again." (Jer. 42:13-18).

Hearing Jeremiah's warning, the army leaders did not believe his words had truly come from God. They accused Jeremiah of lying (Jer.43:1-3).

As they still do today, they quoted this scripture:

"See, then, that the days are coming when people will no longer say, 'As God lives who brought the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt!" (Instead they will say), "As the Lord lives who brought the sons of Israel out of the land of the North and back from all the countries to which he had dispersed them'. I will bring them back to the very soil I gave their ancestors." (Jer.16:14-15).

But not this scripture a few verses later:

"Despite this, Johanan son of Kareah and all the army leaders and all the people would not obey the voice of the Lord and stay in the land of Judah. Johanan son of Kareah and all the army leaders led off the entire remnant of Judah, those who had come back from all the nations into which they had been dispersed...and so, disregarding the voice of the Lord, they reached the land of Egypt..." (Jer.43:4-5 & 7).

"Woe to those who go down to Egpt to seek help there, who build their hopes on cavalry, who rely on the number of chariots and on the strength of mounted men, but never look to the Holy One of Israel nor consult the Lord."

"The remnant of Judah who resolved to come to the land of Egypt and to settle there, I will remove: they will all perish in the land of Egypt; they will fall to the sword or perish of famine, from least to greatest; by sword and famine they will die...of the remnant of Judah settled in the land of Egypt, not one survivor is going to escape to return to the land of Judah where they long to live once again. For none of them are going to return, except for a few refugees." (Jer. 44:12-14).


The proof of all that is to come:

"And here is the proof for you ­ it is the Lord who speaks ­ that I mean to deal with you in this place: so that you may know that the words with which I threaten you will come true. The Lord says this: I will hand the pharaoh Hophra, king of Egypt, over to his enemies and to those determined to kill him, just as I handed Zedekiah king of Judah over to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, his enemy who was bent on killing him." (Jer.44:29-30).

"Peace! Peace!' they say, but there is no peace." (Jer.6:14).

 

Psalm 74

"God, have you finally rejected us,
raging at the flock you used to pasture?
Remember the people you long since made your own,
your hereditary tribe whom you redeemed,
and this Mount Zion where you came to live.

Pick your steps over these endless ruins:
the enemy have sacked everything in the sanctuary.
They roared where your Assemblies used to take place,
they stuck their enemy emblems over the entrance,
emblems we had never seen before.

Axes deep in the wood, hacking at the panels,
they battered them down with mallet and hatchet;
then, God, setting fire to your sanctuary,
they profanely razed the house of your name to the ground.

Determined to destroy us once and for all,
they burned down every shrine of God in the country.
Deprived of signs, with no prophets left,
who can say how long this will last?

How much longer, God, is the oppressor to blaspheme,
is the enemy to insult your name forever?
Why hold back your hand,
why keep your right hand hidden?

Yet, God, my king from the first,
author of saving acts throughout the earth,
by your power you split the sea in two,
and smashed the heads of monsters on the waters.

You crushed Leviathan's heads,
leaving him for wild animals to eat,
you opened the spring, the torrent,
you dried up inexhaustible rivers.

You are master of day and night,
you instituted light and sun,
you fixed the boundaries of the world,
you created summer and winter.

Now, Lord God, remember the enemy's blasphemy,
how frenzied people dare to insult your name.
Do not betray your turtledove to the beast,
do not forget your wretched people for good.

Respect the covenant! We can bear no more --
every cave in the country is the scene of violence!
Do not let the hard-pressed retreat in confusion,
give the poor and needy cause to praise your name.

Rise, God, say something on your own behalf,
do not forget the madman's day-long blaspheming,
remember the shouting of your enemies,
this ever-rising clamour of your adversaries. (Ps. 74:1-23)

 

Psalm 79

"God, the pagans have invaded your heritage,
they have desecrated your holy Temple;
they have reduced Jerusalem to a pile of ruins,
they have left the corpses of your servants
to the birds of the air for food,
and the flesh of your devout to the beasts of the earth.
They have shed blood like water throughout Jerusalem,
not a gravedigger left!" (Ps. 79:1-3)

 

The Book of Daniel is about the end of the world. It tells us what is to come. It catalogs not only the future invasions of Jerusalem but the war on Christianity and the desecration of the communion sacrifice as well:

"Understand this: the vision shows the time of the End." (Dan. 8:17).

"In the first year of his reign I, Daniel, was perusing the scriptures, counting over the number of years­as revealed by God to the prophet Jeremiah­that were to pass before the successive devastations of Jerusalem would come to an end, namely seventy years." (Dan. 9:2).

"Know this and understand: from the time this message went out: "Return and rebuild Jerusalem" to the coming of an anointed Prince, seven weeks and sixty-two weeks, with squares and ramparts restored and rebuilt, but in a time of trouble. And after the sixty-two weeks an anointed one will be cut off -- and the city and the sanctuary will be destroyed by a prince who will come." (Dan.9:25-26).

"His end will come in catastrophe and, until the end, there will be war and all the devastation decreed. He will make a firm covenant with many for the space of a week; and for the space of one half-week he will put a stop to sacrifice and oblation, and on the wing of the Temple will be the disastrous abomination until the end, until the doom assigned to the devastator." (Dan.9:27).

"...there will rise a wretch: he will not be given royal honors, but will insinuate himself into them in his own time and gain possession of the kingdom by intrigue. Armies will be utterly routed and crushed by him, the prince of the covenant too. Sitll conspiring, he will go from treachery to treachery, ever growing stronger despite the smallness of his following. In his own time he will invade the richest provinces, acting as his fathers or his fathers' fathers never acted, distributing plunder, spoil and wealth among them, plotting stratagems against fortresses ­ for a time. (Dan. 11:21-24)

From one of these, the small one, sprang a horn which grew to great size towards south and east and towards the Land of Splendor. It grew right up to the armies of heaven and flung armies and stars to the ground, and trampled them underfoot. It even challenged the power of that army's Prince; it abolished the perpetual sacrifice and overthrew the foundation of his sanctuary, and the army too; it put iniquity on the sacrifice and flung truth to the ground; the horn was active and successful." (Dan. 8:9-12).

"In those times many will rebel against the king of the South; men of violence will also rebel from your own people, thus fulfiling the vision; but they will fail. The king of the north will then come and throw up siege-works to capture a strongly fortified city. The forces of the South will not stand their ground, its picked troups will not be strong enough to resist. The invader will treat him as he pleases, no one will be able to resist him: he will take his stand in the Land of Splendor, destruction in his hands. He will consider conquering his entire kingdom, but will then make a treaty with him and, to overthrow the kingdom, give him a woman's daughter; but this will not last or be to his advantage. He will next turn to the islands and conquer many of them, but a magistrate will put a stop to his outrages in such a way that he will be unable to repay outrage for outrage." (Dn.11:14-18).

"In due time he will make his way southwards again, but this time the outcome will not be as before. The ships of Kittim will oppose him, and he will be worsted. He will return and take furious action against the holy covenant and, as before, will favor those who forsake that holy covenant." (Dn.11:29-30)

"When the time comes for the End, the king of the South will try conclusions with him; but the king of the North will come storming down on him with chariots, cavalry, and a large fleet. He will invade countries, overrun them and drive on. He will invade the Land of the Splendor, and many will fall; but Edom, Moab, and what remain of the sons of Ammon will escape him." (Dn.11:40-41).

"He will pitch the tents of his royal headquarters between the sea and the mountains of the Holy Splendor. Yet he will come to his end -- there will be no help for him." (Dn.11:44-45).

Forces of his will come and profane the sanctuary citadel, they will abolish the perpetual sacrifice and instal the disastrous abomination there. Those who break the covenant he will corrupt by his flatteries, but the people who know their God will stand firm and take action. Those of the people who are learned will instruct many; for some days, however, they will be brought down by sword and flame, by captivity and by plundering. And thus brought down, little help will they receive, though many will be plotting on their side. Of the learned some will be brought down, as a result of which certain of them will be purged, purified and made white ­ until the time of the End, for the appointed time is still to come." (Dan. 11:30-35).

"...and all these things are going to happen when he who crushes the power of the holy people meets his end" (Dan.12:7).

 

"When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive all the nations in the four quarters of the earth Gog and Magog, and mobilise them for war. His armies will be as many as the sands of the sea; ·they will come swarming over the entire country and besiege the camp of the saints, which is the city that God loves.

But fire will come down on them from heaven and consume them. ·Then the devil, who misled them, will be thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet are, and their torture will not stop, day or night, for ever and ever. (Rv.20:7-8).

 

"Monstrous things are happening in the land: the prophets prophesy falsely, The priests teach whatever they please and my people love it! But when the end comes, what will you do? (Jer.5:26-31).

"Peace! Peace!' they say, but there is no peace." (Jer.6:14).

"All those caught are slaughtered, all those captured fall by the sword, their babies are dashed to pieces before their eyes, their houses plundered, their wives raped. See now, I stir up against them the Medes, who think nothing of silver, who take no pleasure in gold. The baby boys all cut to pieces, the baby girls all crushed. They have no mercy on the fruit of the womb, no pity in their eyes for children." (Is. 13:15-18).

"Now I am knocking down what I have built, tearing up what I have planted: I am going to strike the whole earth...For I am now going to bring down disaster on all mankind -- it is the Lord who speaks." (Jer.45:4-5).

"I will rise, he said, and drown the earth; sweep towns and their inhabitants away!...Now this is the day of the Lord God, a day of vengeance for his revenge on his enemies...Yes, the Lord God Almighty has a sacrifice to make in the north country, by the river Euphrates." Jeremiah 46:8-10

"See how God lays the earth waste, makes it a desert, buckles its surface, scatters its inhabitants...for they have transgressed the law, violated the precept, broken the everlasting covenant. So a curse consumes the earth and its inhabitants suffer the penalty, that is why the inhabitants of the earth are burnt up and few men are left." (Is.24:1-6).

"The wine is mourning, the vine is pining away, all glad hearts are sighing. The merry tambourines are silent, the sound of reveling is over, the merry lyre is silent. They no longer sing over their wine, the drunkard finds strong drink revolting.

"The city of emptiness is in ruins, the entrance to every house is shut. There is lamentation in the streets: no wine, joy is quite gone, gladness banished from the country. Nothing but rubble in the city, the gate is smashed to pieces; and so it will be on earth, among the peoples, as at the beating of the olive trees, as at the gleaning of the grapes when the grape harvest is over."

"They lift up their voices, singing for joy; they acclaim the majesty of God from the sea. Therefore in the islands they give glory to the Lord, in the islands of the sea, to the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. From remotest earth we hear songs, 'Honor to the upright one'. But 'Enough, enough!' I say. 'Woe to the traitors who betray, to the traitors who treacherously betray!' Terror, the pit, the snare for you, inhabitants of the earth..." (Is.24:10-17).

"Suddenly, unexpectedly, you shall be visited by the Lord God Almighty with thunder, earthquake, mighty din, hurricane, tempest, flame of devouring fire." (Is.29:5).

"I will make men scarcer than gold, human life scarcer than the gold of Ophir. This is why I am going to shake the heavens ­ and make the earth reel from its place, before the wrath of the Lord God Almighty, the day when his anger flares." (Is. 13:12-13).

 

The peace treaty Christ made with Babylon is to be broken by the desolating sacrilige. Those who bear witness to Jesus are despised. Both houses of Israel, Christians and Jews alike, will be in mourning. The earth will lie in ruins. The two houses of Israel are in mourning. Jerusalem is lamenting in the streets. The Christians weep bitterly:

"Look Ariel (Jerusalem) is lamenting in the streets,
the ambassadors of peace weep bitterly.
The highways are deserted,
no travellers use the roads.

Treaties are broken, witnesses despised,
there is respect for no one.
The land mourns, it pines away,

Lebanon is withered with shame,
Sharon is a desert,
Bashan and Carmel are stripped bare.

'Now I stand up', says the Lord
'Now I rise up to my full height'." (Is.33:7-10).

 

"Woe, Ariel, Ariel,
city where David encamped.
Let a year or two pass,
let the feasts make their full round
then I will lay siege to Ariel,
and there will be moaning and bemoaining.

Yes, you will be an Ariel for me,
like David I will encamp against you,
I will blockade you with palisades,
and mount siege-works against you.

Thrown down­you will speak from the ground,
your words will come muffled by dust.
Your voice will rise from the earth like a ghost's,
you will speak from the dust in a whisper.

Suddenly, unexpectedly,
you shall be visited by the Lord God Almighty
with thunder, earthquake, mighty din, hurricane, tempest,
flame of devouring fire." (Is. 29:1-6)

 

Israel chooses armaments instead of peace. (Is.22:8).

"You turned your gaze that day to the armoury of the House of the Forest.
You saw how many breaches there were in the Citadel of David." (Is.22:9)

"You collected the waters of the lower pool.
You counted the houses of Jerusalem,
and you pulled down houses to strengthen the wall." (Is.22:9-10)

"In the middle you made a reservoir between the two walls
for the waters of the old pool.
But you had no thought for the Maker,
no eyes for him who shaped everything long ago." (Is.22:11).

"The Lord God Almighty called you that day
to weep and mourn. to put on sackcloth.
Instead there is joy and amusement...
let us eat and drink for tomorrow we may be dead." (Is.22:12-13)

"For this, a day of panic and rout, is from the Lord God Almighty.
In the Valley of Hinnom a wall is thrown down,
they are shouting for help on the mountains.

Elam (Persia) takes up his quiver,
Aram mounts his horse and Kir fetches out his shield,
Your fairest valleys are filled with chariots
and the horsemen takes up positions at the gates;
thus falls the defense of Judah." (Is.22:5-8)

 

"Tell us, when is that going to happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the world?" (Matt.24:3).

"...for this is something that must happen, but the end will not be yet, for nation will fight against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes here and there.

"All this is only the beginning of the birthpangs. Then they will hand you over to be tortured and put to death; and you will be hated by all the nations on account of my name. And then many will fall away; men will betray one another and hate one another...and with the increase of lawlessness, love in most men will grow cold; but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved. " (Mt.24:6-10-13).

Then This Good News of the kingdom will be proclaimed to the whole world as a witness to all the nations. And then the end will come." (Mat. 24:14).

"So when you see the disastrous abomination, of which the prophet Daniel spoke, set up in the Holy Place (let the reader understand), then those in Judaea must escape to the mountains; if a man is in the fields, he must not turn back to fetch his cloak. Alas for those with child, or with babies at the breast, when those days come!

Pray that you will not have to escape in winter or on a sabbath. For then there will be great distress such as, until now, since the world began, there never has been, nor ever will be again. And if that time had not been shortened, no one would have survived; but shortened that time shall be, for the sake of those who are chosen." (Mat.24:15-22).

 

"Since John the Baptist came, up to this present time, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence and the violent are taking it by storm...and by violence is everyone getting in." (Mt.11:12, Lk.16:16).

"Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, the moon will lose its brightness, the stars will fall from the sky and the powers of heaven will be shaken.

And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven;

"...then too all the peoples of the earth will beat their breasts; and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet to gather his chosen from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Mat.24:30-31).

"This Good News of the kingdom will be proclaimed to the whole world as a witness to all the nations. And then the end will come." (Mat.24:14).

"When I extinguish you I will cover the skies, and darken the stars. I will cover the sun with clouds and the moon will not give its light. I will dim every luminary in heaven for you, and cover your country in darkness." (Ez.32:7-8).

"The sun will be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the day of Yahweh dawns, that great and terrible day. All who call on the name of the Lord will be saved, for on Mount Zion there will be some who have escaped, as Yahweh has said, and in Jerusalem, some survivors whom Yahweh will call." (Joel 3:4-5).

 

"Prepare for battle against her! To arms! We will launch the attack in broad daylight. Despair! The daylight is fading already, the evening shadows lengthen. to arms! We will alunch the attack under cover of dar and destroy her palaces. (Jer.6:4-5).

"But this is your hour; this is the reign of darkness" Luke 22:53

'Work while you have the light, darkness is coming when no one can work!' (Jn.9:4-5)

"As long as the day lasts I must carry out the work of the one who sent me; the night will soon be here when no one can work. As long as I am in the world I am the light of the world." (Jn. 8:4-5).

 

"Trouble for those who are waiting so longingly for the day of God! What will this day of God mean for you? It will mean darkness, not light, as when a man escapes a lion's mouth, only to meet a bear; he enters his house and puts his hand on the wall, only for a snake to bite him. Will not the day of God be darkness, no light? It will all be gloom, without a single ray of light." (Amos 5:18-20).

"Sound the trumpet in Zion, give the alarm on my holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the country tremble, for the day of God is coming, yes, it is near. Day of darkness and gloom, day of cloud and blackness. Like the dawn there spreads across the mountains a vast and mighty host, such as has never been before, such as will never be again to the remotest ages." (Joel 2:1-2).

 

"Let the nations muster round you in a body, and then return, high over them." (Ps.7:7).

 

"Therefore, expect me -- it is God who speaks -- on the day I stand up to make my accusation; for I am determined to gather the nations, to assemble the kingdoms, and to pour out my fury on you, the whole heat of my anger." (Zeph.3:8).

"God thundered from heaven, the Most High made his voice heard; he let his arrows fly and scattered them, launched the lightnings and routed them." (Ps.18:13-14).

"Son of man, say, The Lord God says this to the land of Israel: Finished! the end is coming for the four quarters of the land. Now all is over with you; I mean to unleash my anger on you, and judge you as your conduct deserves and force you to answer for all your filthy practices...The Lord God says this: Now disaster is going to follow on disaster.

The end is coming, the end is coming for you; it is coming now, Now it is your turn, you who live in this country. The time has come, the day is near; no joy now, only tumult, on the mountains. Soon I am going to pour out my fury on you and exhaust my anger at you; I will judge you as your conduct deserves and call you to account for all your filthy practices. I mean to show you neither pity nor mercy, since I am going to call you to account for your conduct and for the filthy practices which you parade; and so you will learn that I am the Lord, and that I strike. (Ez.7:1-14)

"Here is the day! It has come; your turn has come, the scourge is ready, pride is at its peak. Violence has risen to become the scourge of wickedness...for anger rages against all alike. The trumpet will sound, all will be ready; but no one will go into battle, since my anger rages against all alike." (Ez.7:10-14). (see also Chronicles)

"Outside, the sword; inside, plague and famine. Anyone who is found in the countryside will die by the sword; anyone who is found in the city will be devoured by famine and plague. Their fugitives will run away and make for the mountains; I shall slaughter them all like doves of the valleys, each for his sin.

With limp hands and quaking knees, they will put on sackcloth; and shudder all over. All their faces will be red with shame and every head will be shaved. they will throw their silver down in the streets and their gold will fill them with horror.

Never again will they have enough to eat, never again will they fill their bellies, since this has been the cause of their crimes. They used to pride themselves on the beauty of their jewellery, out of which they made their loathsome images and idols. That is why I mean to make it an object of horror to them. I intend to hand it over to be the plunder of foreigners and loot for local brigands, who will profane it. I shall turn my face from them; my treasury will be profaned; barbarians will force their way in and profane it." (Ez.7:15-22)

"Forge yourself a chain; for the country is filled with bloody murders, the city is full of violent crime. I am going to summon the cruellest of the nations to seize their houses. I will break the pride of their grandees; their sanctuaries will be profaned.

Anguish is on its way: they will look for peace and there will be none. Disaster will follow on disaster, rumor on rumor; they will pester the prophet for a vision; the priest will be at a loss over the law and the elders on how to advise. The king will go into mourning, the prince be plunged into grief, the hands of the country people tremble. I mean to treat them as their conduct deserves, and judge them as their own verdicts merit; and so they will learn that I am the Lord." (Ez.7:23-27)

 

 

The Lord says this against the prophets who lead my people astray: So long as they have something to eat they cry 'Peace'. But on anyone who puts nothing into their mouths they declare war.

Man in his prosperity forfeits intelligence: he is one with the cattle doomed to slaughter." (Ps.49:1-20).

And so the night will come to you: an end of vision; darkness for you: an end of divination. The sun will set for the prophets, the day will go black for them. Then the seers will be covered with shame, the diviners with confusion; they will cover their lips because no answer comes from God." (Micah 3:5-7)

"Now listen to this, you princes of the house of Jacob, rulers of the House of Israel, you who loathe justice and pervert all that is right, you who build Zion with blood, Jerusalem with crime. Her princes pronounce their verdict for bribes, her priests take a fee for their rulings, her prophets make divinations for money. And yet they rely on the Lord. They say, 'Is not the Lord in our midst? No evil is going to overtake us.' Because of this, since the fault is yours, Zion will become a ploughland, Jerusalem a heap of rubble, and the mountain of the Temple a wooded height." (Micah 3:9-12)

 

"So when you see the disastrous abomination, of which the prophet Daniel spoke, set up in the Holy Place (let the reader understand), then those in Judaea must escape to the mountains; if a man is in the fields, he must not turn back to fetch his cloak. Alas for those with child, or with babies at the breast, when those days come! Pray that you will not have to escape in winter or on a sabbath. For then there will be great distress such as, until now, since the world began, there never has been, nor ever will be again. And if that time had not been shortened, no one would have survived; but shortened that time shall be, for the sake of those who are chosen." (Mat.24:15-22; Dan 9:27; 1 Mac.1:54).

 

"That day, the Lord will punish above, the armies of the sky, below, the kings of the earth; they will be herded together, shut up in a dungeon, confined in a prison and, after long years, punished. The moon will hide her face, the sun be ashamed, for the Lord God will be king on Mount Zion, in Jerusalem, and his glory will shine in the presence of his elders." (Is.24:21-23)

"Let your prophecy to them contain all these words, and tell them: 'God roars from on high, he makes his voice heard from his holy dwelling place, he roars loud against his sheepfold, he shouts aloud like those who tread the grape. The sound reaches all the inhabitants of the earth, to the far ends of the world.

"For God is indicting the nations, arraigning all flesh for judgement; the wicked he abandons to the sword - it is God who speaks. The Lord says this: See! The disaster spreads from nation to nation, a mighty tempest rises from the far ends of the world. Those slaughtered by God that day will be scattered across the world from end to end. No dirge will be raised for them; no one will gather them or bury them; they will lie on the surface like dung...No escape for the shepherds, no escape for the lords of the flock! for God has laid their pastures waste, their quiet sheepfolds are in ruins.." (Jer.25:30-38).

 

"To his servants God will reveal his hand, but to his enemies his fury. For see how God comes in fire, his chariots like the tempest, to quench his anger with burning, his threats with flaming fire. For by fire will the Lord execute judgement, and by his sword, against all mankind. " (Is.66:14-16).

"Yes, the sluicegates above will open, and the foundations of the earth will rock. The earth will split into fragments, the earth will be riven and rent. The earsth will shiver and shake, the earth will stagger like a drunkard, sway like a shanty; so heavy will be its sin on it, it will fall never to rise again." (Is.24:18-20).

"I looked to the earth to see a formless waste; to the heavens, and their light had gone. I looked to the mountains to see them quaking and all the heights astir. I looked to see no man at all, the very birds of heaven had fled. I looked to see the wooded country a wilderness, all its towns in ruins, at the presence of God, at the presence of his burning anger. Yes, thus speaks the Lord, 'The whole land shall be laid waste, I will make an end of it once and for all; at which the earth will go into mourning, and the heavens above grow dark. For I have spoken and will not change my mind, I have decided and will not go back on it." (Jer.4:23-28).

 

"Thus the labouring of the peoples comes to nothing; the toiling of the nations ends in fire." -Jer.51:58.

 

Does anyone see in all this (and there is much more besides) a mighty Israeli nation stretching from Dan to Beersheba? No. Nowhere. That Jerusalem is safely hidden in the skies where Satan and his forces cannot touch it.

"They are choosing to forget that there were heavens at the beginning, and that the earth was formed by the word of God out of water and between the waters, so that the world of that time was destroyed by being flooded by water. But by the same word, the present sky and earth are destined for fire, and are only being reserved until Judgement day so that all sinners may be destroyed." (2 Peter 3:5-7).

Will Jesus return to a mighty Israeli nation, powerful in God and dominant in the Middle East? No. He will come to a militant and godless world, bathed in the smokey darkness of its own violence, and fully deserving of the fate God has in store for it. "For he has snatched us from the underworld, saved us from the hand of death, saved us from the burning fiery furnace, rescued us from the heart of the flame." (Dan.3:88).

"The Day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then with a roar the sky will vanish, the elements will catch fire and fall apart, the earth and all that it contains will be burnt up. Since everything is coming to an end like this, you should be living holy and saintly lives while you wait and hope for the Day of God to come." (2 Peter 3:10-12).


 


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