Conditions Coming Together for the Day of Jacob’s Trouble

I just read in the Emet Report that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was so exceedingly angry with Obama following his last conversation with Obama that he may have had a heart attack.

The Emet Report said:

[Saudi King Abdullah and Barack Obama] had a serious falling-out on the Egyptian crisis which so enraged the king that some US and Middle East sources reported he suffered a sudden heart attack. Rumors that he had died rocked the world financial and oil markets that morning and were denied by an adviser to the ruling family. Some Gulf sources say he has had heart attacks in the past. [The Emet Report is a subscription only news service]

King Abdullah is a strong personal friend of Mubarak, and he did not intend to sit idly by while Obama sold Mubarak down the creek calling for him to step down. King Abdullah informed Obama that without waiting for events in Egypt to play out or for America’s response, he had ordered the process set in motion for raising the level of Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic and military ties with Iran. Invitations had gone out from Saudi Arabia for Iranian delegations to visit the main Saudi cities.

There are a couple of Bible prophecies that bear on these events. One says, “All thy [Israel’s] lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not” (Jeremiah 30:14). In the past two weeks, Israel has lost its allies of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and the current US regime has demonstrated that it is no friend of Israel and has no commitment to Israel’s security.

There are several prophecies that deal with the Iranian invasion of Israel, but the one that I want to look at particularly is the one in Psalms 83 where it says,

Psalms 83:2  For behold, Your enemies make an uproar, And those who hate You have exalted themselves.
3  They make shrewd plans against Your people, And conspire together against Your treasured ones.
4  They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation, That the name of Israel be remembered no more.”
5  For they have conspired together with one mind; Against You they make a covenant:
6  The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites;
7  Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8  Assyria also has joined with them; They have become a help to the children of Lot. Selah.

The Bible uses the ancient names for these places, so it is instructive to lay out the ancient places with their modern counterparts.

Tents of Edom is the people that live around the southern part of the Dead Sea. These would be Bedoins and the Southern Jordanians.
Ishamelites are the Saudis (Ishmael was the father of the Arabs)
Moab is the Palestinians and Central Jordanians
Hagarites are the Arabs in the eastern part of Jordan and Southern Iraq. These people are the descendants of Hagar, Abraham’s concubine.
Gebal is Hezbollah and Northern Lebanese.
Ammon is the Palestinians and Northern Jordanians.
Amalek is the Arabs of Saudi Arabia in western Saudi Arabia near the Gulf of Aqaba.
Philistia is Hamas of the Gaza Strip.
Tyre is Hezbollah and the Southern Lebanese.
Assyria was a large empire that included what is today Iran, Iraq and Syria.

Egypt will not participate in the Iranian alliance because the Egyptians will be too busy fighting among themselves.  Isaiah 19:2 says, “Isaiah 19:2  And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom.
3  And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof”

Those that are in the list in Psalms 83 are identical to those that are enemies of Israel today.  These all conspire together and say, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.” They will almost succeed, but God will intervene and destroy their armies. Israel will then inherit the land from northern Lebanon to the Red Sea and from the Mediterranean to the Euphrates.

It appears to me that it is no longer possible for Israel to attack Iran without going on a suicide mission. The Saudis and Jordan are now joining the Iranian confederacy, and will therefore not offer Israel help in attacking Iran. The US will not grant Israel the IFF codes that would get them through Iraqi airspace or across the Persian Gulf. They don’t have enough planes in Georgia and Afghanistan to stage a successful attack against Iran. These planes are now landlocked and will not be available to defend Israel when they are attacked. I do not see any way they could carry out a successful attack and not basically blow out their entire air force. It now is a just of matter of time until Iran invades Israel and almost destroys it.

Posted in Day of Jacob's Trouble, Israel, Prophecy | Leave a comment

The Limit of the Firebird

The Sibylline Oracles predict the time of Antichrist will arrive when “the limit of the time of the Phenix” comes around (Sib Orc 8:184, http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/sib/sib10.htm).  The complete number (“limit”) of the firebird is 7.  The first century Roman historian Tacitus reported the 4th Phoenix/Firebird appeared in the days of Tiberius in AD 34 (Annal., vi, 28).  The story of the firebird is this:  The firebirds live 500 years and then they return to Egypt, hatch another bird and die.  The young bird burns his father to ashes, and then rises from the ashes and flies away, not to be seen again for 500 years. 

I know the firebird sounds crazy, and Tacitus, being the careful historian that he was, felt the same way.  In Tacitus’ account of the phoenix he is apologetic for even mentioning it, but he says that he does so because he heard it from so many ancient sources including intellectuals in both Egypt and Greece, and he included it for completeness. Apparently, it caused quite a stir in Egypt because it was so extremely unusual and was witnessed by so many people.  The return of the firebird was very obvious because the firebird came “with a multitude of companion birds marveling at the novelty of the appearance” (http://classics.mit.edu/Tacitus/annals.6.vi.html). 

Tacitus’ report of the 4th phoenix gives a firm date with which to do computations for the origin of the firebird. Tracing the firebirds backwards (assuming the 3rd one ended and the 4th one began in AD 34), then the first one began in 1466, coincidentally with the time that Israel began its trek to the Promised Land.  A sheer speculation could surmise that the first firebird began by rising from the ashes on Mt Sinai (Dt 4:11).

Based on the Tacitus observation of the 4th firebird, we can also compute the end of the firebird.  If the 4th firebird started in AD 34, then the 5th firebird started in 534, the 6th in 1034, and the 7th in 1534.  The limit of the 7th and last firebird will be at the end of its 500th year in 2034. When the 7th firebird reaches its limit, the Sibyls say the Antichrist/Beast will destroy Rome.  That is about 3 years before the end of the world. 

There is a compelling correspondance with an end of the world computed based on an AD 33 date for Jesus’ resurrection and the death of the last firebird.  Jesus’ resurrection was 4, one-thousand-year days from creation.  Like the physical creation took 6, 24-hour days to create, Barnabas says the world will only last 6 of these one-thousand-year days until the Lord brings all things to an end (Barnabas 15:4, http://earlychristianwritings.com/text/barnabas-lightfoot.html).   The end of the 6th day is around 2033, depending on exactly the year in which Jesus was crucified.

Before the Antichrist burns Rome (Rev 17-18) at the return of the last firebird, there are to be a series of four plagues that preceed it (Rev 8:1-13).  The second of these plagues is where a “great mountain burning with fire” is cast into the sea.  Sure enough, an asteroid, Apophis, appears to be on a collision course with the earth in 2029 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2005/dec/07/spaceexploration.research).  Looks like it’s all coming together for an end of the 6th day.

Posted in Antichrist, End Times | 1 Comment

All Power to the Lamb Is Now in Print

After 10 years of work my commentary on Revelation, All Power to the Lamb, Volume I, arrived from the publisher. It is the only commentary that I know of in the two hundred years of the Restoration that takes a literalist, futurist approach to understanding Revelation. My commentary seeks to avoid telling God what He should have said and strives to understand what God actually meant. My commentary takes the position that God wrote Revelation in such a way that with sufficient effort and intellectual honesty, readers can understand it. Certainly there are symbols in Revelation, but when God does use symbols, He provides inspired interpretations of the symbols. This commentary seeks to avoid the mistakes of the views that use the symbolical approach to Revelation (preterists, continuous historical, spiritualist, and idealist). These approaches suffer from two basic flaws: assuming the text is symbolic when it is not and making up meaning regarding the text based on stream of consciousness word association, much as one would do looking at Rorschach inkblots.

Of all the approaches to understanding Revelation, this commentary is most closely aligned with the dispensationalist view in that it views Revelation from a literalist, futurist perspective. It is different from the typical dispensationalist schema in that it views the seven seals as the powers of the Lamb, understands the exercise of the powers of the seven seals to be simultaneous processes, and casts chapters 8-22 as three parallel prophecies of the Lamb’s power over the course of the histories of Israel, the nations, and the saints. This commentary also makes use of many of the non-canonical works that provide insight into the spirit world and detail regarding the course and end of the present age.

See for more information click here: http://bit.ly/gFPCvy .

Posted in Angelology, Archeology, Biblical Studies, Canon, Eschatology, Hermeneutics, Personal, Resurrection, Soteriology | Leave a comment

The “Last Days” of Isaiah 2:2 Versus A Parallel in Revelation 11

Don Preston argues that the “last days” in Isaiah 2:2 defines the context of all of Isaiah 2-4 to be the “last days”, which Preston then further defines to be the Destruction of Jerusalem. In the list below Preston takes scriptures from Isaiah 2-4 and finds what he takes to be parallels in Revelation. Then, Voila!, he concludes Revelation is merely a highly symbolic book describing the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem. There are a couple of problems with Preson’s approach. First, the context of Isaiah 2-4 is not continuous, and the list of scriptures from there therefore does not speak of a single prophetic event but refers to various times and events. Second, the parallels he draws from Revelation are often not parallels at all, as we show in the comments. Since the prophecies in Isa 2-4 do not pertain to a single event, the comparison with Revelation is relatively meaningless. The context shifts from the “last days” referring to the last 2000 years of the earth (Isa 2:1-4) to the sordid moral condition of Isaiah’s day (Isa 2:5-9) to the Second Coming (Isa 2:10-22) to the day of Jacob’s trouble (Isa 3:1- 4:6).

Isaiah 2-4 compares to

Revelation “Parallel”

James’ Comments

Prophecy for the “the last days” (2:2) 

John was in the last days (Acts 2:15f)

The argument appears to be, John lived in the last days, therefore his Revelation is for the last days. I don’t have a problem with this, except that the “last days” only defines a time subsequent to one half of the total duration of this age. “The last days” does not require fulfillment of all things in John’s day. In fact, most of the events Isaiah mentions that are in the 3000 years of the last days are clustered toward the end of that time.

 

 

What are the last days?
The last days are the last 3, 1000 year days. Starting from Pentecost (the 5th day) and including the millennium (the 7th), there were 3 out of 7 days left. The “last days” cannot be limited to the time just before the coming of Christ, because the Lord’s house does not descend until after Jesus returns at the close of the 6th day. The coming of Christ is the end of the 6th day and the beginning of the 7th (“very early in the morning”, cp Mk 16:2). The Lord’s house descends on the 7th day, but the 7th day is one of the last days.

 

 

What happens in the last days?
1. The mountain of the Lord’s house is fixed above the top of the mountains (YNG) and above the hills (Isa 2:2)
2. People from many nations will come to it (Isa 2:2)
3. The people from many nations will come to learn of the God of Jacob and to serve Him. (Isa 2:3)
4. God Himself will judge the disputes and settle the differences of these various nations. (Isa 2:4)
5. The time of God’s rule will be peaceful, and war will be a thing of the past. (Isa 2:4)
6. People will enjoy leisure and reap the benefits of their labor. (Micah 4:4)
7. There will not be threats from any source (Micah 4:4)
8. The law of the Lord and His word will go forth from Zion and Jerusalem. (Isa 2:3)
9. God will pour out the Spirit upon men and women. (Joel 2:29)
10. Before the day of the Lord comes, the sun shall be turned into darkness and moon into blood. (Joel 2:31)

 

 

11. Before the day of the Lord comes, there will be portents in the heavens and on the earth–blood, fire, and vapor of smoke. (Joel 2:30)
12. God will send deliverance to those that call on the name of the Lord. (Joel 2:32)
13. Mt Zion and Jerusalem will provide deliverance in the last days. (Joel 2:32)
14. The remnant of the Jews will provide deliverance (Joel 2:32)
15. The dishonest gain of the rich men will witness against them when the Lord of Hosts returns in the last days to avenge all injustice against His people. (Jas 5:3)
16. Jesus spoke in the last days after He had been made heir of all things. The things Jesus spoke during His ministry were not of Him, but were of the Father. (Heb 1:2)
17. Lustful scoffers will come before the day of the Lord. (II Pe 3:3) 18. They will ridicule the idea that Jesus is coming again. (II Pe 3:4) 19. They will be willfully ignorant of the creation and the judgment of the Flood. (II Pe 3:5)

Israel guilty of blood-guilt, shedding blood of prophets  (4:4)

Babylon guilty of blood of prophets (16:6f)

Isa 4:4 says not one word regarding the shedding of the blood of prophets. No match here. Rev 16:6 speaks of the third bowl of wrath. This plague is the same as the third trumpet plague in Rev 8:10-11 that involves the Amazon basin polluted by fragments of a poisonous asteroid. Babylon is not mentioned until the seventh plague. There is no logical connection between Babylon that is mentioned in the 7th plague and the blood of the prophets in the third plague of Rev 16:6. The connection between the plagues only exists in the DOJ scenario, but that is the issue to be proven. You can’t assume a conclusion, and then use your assumption to prove your point!

Day of Lord to punish blood-guilt (2:19f; 4:2f)                     

Day of the Lord to punish blood-guilt (6:9-17)

Isa 2:19ff and Rev 6:9-17 are actually parallel. However, Isa 4:2ff is not. God is the Avenger of Blood (Rom 12:19), and on the day of the Lord, He will do just that. Isa 4:2 has a different context. There are several things about Isa 4:1-6 that do not fit the context of the DOJ, the coming of Christ, or the new earth.
1. There are many more women than men, and they are so desperate for children that they are willing to support themselves and their children if the men will only take away their reproach. This event is probably the one that was foreshadowed by Pharaoh’s murder of the males during the days of Moses. At the antitype event described in v 1, like the time of the Exodus, men will be scarce because of their deaths related to protecting the country from the Assyrian invasion. Like it was when Israel left Egypt that Israeli men had multiple wives, so it is here in Isaiah 4 that multiple women will attach themselves to one man.
2. It is time of escape for Israel. That did not happen at the DOJ. Israel was conquered, but Isa 2:2 shows an Israel that escaped the assault made upon them. This verse also does not talk of the Second Coming or the New Earth, because it talks about “survivors”. At the Second Coming, everyone will die.

 

 

3. There will be people that remain and that are left and that remain among the living. At the DOJ everyone fled, was killed, or was captured. At the Second Coming, there will be NO survivors or fugitives. All will die (He 9:27, Isa 13:12)
4. The purging of blood from Jerusalem by judgment and burning happens when there are people left in Zion and Jerusalem. That did not happen at the DOJ, and nobody will remain after the Second Coming. The earth will return to primeval silence for 7 days after Jesus comes again.
5. No literal sense can be made of verse 5 with respect to the DOJ. The description of a cloud and pillar of fire also does not describe the new earth, for then floating city of New Jerusalem will be above the earthly Jerusalem. The pillar of cloud and fire are what happened to israel in the wilderness. Isaiah’s description here shows that at some point in the future before New Jerusalem descends, God’s visible presence returns, just like it did before the Exodus when Israel gathered at Raamses to come out of Egypt.

 

 

6. No cloud protected or lightened Israel at the DOJ. Also, New Jerusalem will be the light of earthly Jerusalem on the new earth, not a pillar of fire. Verse 6 describes an event that is yet to be when God sets His visible presence over Israel. It will remain there until He comes again. The pillar stood between Israel and the Egyptians before Israel crossed the Red Sea. It will stand between Israel and the nations before God’s people cross into the new heavens and new earth. This time instead of crossing a sea of water, God’s people will cross a sea of fire when Jesus returns to redeem the earth and rescue His people.

Day of Lord time of war against Israel (3:13-26) 

Day of the Lord against Babylon, where the Lord slain (11:8)

Isa 3:1-26 also contains things that do not fit the DOJ, the Second Coming, or the new earth. The term “the day of the Lord” does not appear in this chapter. Isaiah uses the term “in that day”, and you have to determine from the context what day it is. The day of which Isaiah speaks is a day when Judah has fallen and Jerusalem is ruined, but the Israeli people remain in the land and in control of their ruins. On the day of Jacob’s trouble, the Assyrian invaders actually overrun northern Judah and get as far as the suburbs of Jerusalem (Isa 10:24-34) before they are turned back. Only on the day of Jacob’s trouble do you have a situation where Judah falls and Jerusalem is ruined, but somehow Israel survives and remains in control in the land. This is not true of any other historical or prophetic event regarding Jerusalem. 1. Children will rule in Jerusalem (v4) 2. People will live in Jerualem among ruins (v6) 3. Women rule in Jerusalem, even as Isaiah 4:1 describes a population in Jerusalem that is disproportionately women. (v12) 4. Clothes are destroyed, but people survive (v17, 6, 7, 24) 5. Baldness and scabs on the heads of young women is a symptom of radiation poisoning, not the DOJ or the end of the world. (v24, 17) 6. The men are destroyed in the war (v25). At the DOJ everybody died, fled, or was taken captive. At the end of the world, everyone dies. Only on the day of Jacob’s trouble do you have an event where a disproportionate number of women survive.

Tabernacle follows day of the Lord (4:4-6)

Tabernacle follows day of the Lord (21:2f)

Again, nowhere in Isaiah 4 does Isaiah use the term, “The day of the Lord”. He uses the term “in that day”, and the day to which he refers must be determined from the context. The context of “that day” is a ruined Jerusalem where women outnumber men 7 to 1. It is a day when God’s visible presence has returned to Israel after many days (Hosea 3:4-5). It is a day when Israel at last seeks the Lord and their Messiah, David their king (Hosea 3:5, Jer 30:9). Like Jesus was in the cloud that protected Israel in the wilderness (I Cor 10:4), so Christ will return in the cloud in Israel, and Israel will finally recognize Jesus’ claims.

 

 

I agree that the mountain of the Lord’s house in Isa 2 is New Jerusalem in Rev 21, but the preterists do not believe either Isa 2 or Rev 21 is telling the truth. They do not believe it is literally a house, but is a symbol for the church. I don’t know how this helps their case that Revelation is all about the destruction of Jerusalem. I do not agree that either of these passages has any reference to the Destruction of Jerusalem. This is another of Preston’s hodge podge of scriptures that he erroneously applies to the DOJ. Acts 2:16-17 says the day of Pentecost was in the last days and thus defines Pentecost and after as being in the last days. Joel says The law of the Lord went forth from Zion and from Jerusalem went the word of the Lord, and that happened with the preaching of the gospel. Preston reasons that since Isa 2:2 is in the last days, the fulfillment of Isa 2:2 follows Pentecost and refers to the DOJ. I agree that the Spirit was poured out on all flesh in the last days (Act 2:18), and the word of the Lord went forth from Jerusalem as fulfillment of Micah 4:2. These things happened in the last days, and the day of the Lord follows Pentecost, but Preston goes on to conclude that not only did the last days arrive in AD 30, but the day of Lord also arrived in AD 70. Preston’s view is excluded by a consideration of Joel’s requirement that the moon is turned to blood and sun to darkness in the last days but before the great and notable day of the Lord will come. Those things did not happen at or before the DOJ. So, Peter says we are in the last days (Acts 2:16-17), but the harbingers of the day of the Lord have not yet arrived.

 

 

Preston says the descent of the tabernacle from heaven follows the day of the Lord and cites Rev 21:2ff. John does indeed call New Jerusalem the “tabernacle of God” (Rev 21:3), and its descent follows the day of the Lord, but it is no help to the preterist position that tries to make the DOJ is the day of the Lord. The day of the Lord comes after the moon is turned to blood appearance and the sun to darkness appearance (Joel 2:28), and the day of the Lord is the day Jesus returns (I Th 4:14-5:3, II Pet 3:10). The tabernacle of God comes down from heaven after Jesus returns, cleanses the earth with fire, and resurrects the dead (Rev 20:9-21:3). If Preston is correct, the DOJ would have to happen after all these things. There are three equal periods of earth history: 2000 years of the dispensation of the Patriarchs, 2000 yrs of the dispensation of the Law, and 2000 years of the dispensation of Christianity. The last days are the 2000 years of the dispensation of Christianity. The mountain of the Lord’s house will be established above (YNG version) the top of the mountains. The mountain of the Lord’s house and His tabernacle is New Jerusalem. New Jerusalem literally will descend in the last days at the end of 6000 earth years.

Fulfillment far off in last days (2:2) 

Fulfillment “must shortly come to pass” (22:6, 10, 12, etc.)

The last days probably began at the resurrection of Christ. That was nearly 700 years after Isaiah wrote. However, Isaiah said nothing about the last days being “far off”. Preston injects that idea into the narrative. He attempts thereby to cast the idea of the relative time statements like “must shortly come to pass” in terms of a human lifetime. We have already shown that is not valid through a consideration of the mountain of the Lord’s house that must come to rest above the hills in the last days. The mountain of the Lord’s house does not descend until after Jesus’ Second Coming and the Judgment (Mt 25:31, Rev 20:11, 21:1-27) in the beginning of the 7th day. The present age lasts 6000 years or six days (Barnabas 15:4). Since the end of the sixth day does not come until 6000 years of earth history, and the descent of God’s house does not come until after the sixth day, then the “shortly” terms in Revelation must be evaluated in this light. From a consideration of the fact that we are in the “last days”, from God’s perspective, the time is less than half of the whole 6000 year age of the earth, and from that perspective 2000 years would be “shortly”.

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Is There a Parallel Between Lk 21:20-24 and Revelation 11

Don Preston tries to make Lk 21:20-24 in Jesus’ discussion of the Destruction of Jerusalem parallel with Revelation 11 that describes the Beast taking Jerusalem and killing God’s two witnesses at the time of Jesus’ Second Coming.  He compares a list of features from Luke 21 with a list of features from Revelation 11 and tries to conclude that both passages refer to the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem.  He tries to make both Luke 21 and Revelation to refer to Babylon when neither one refers to Babylon, for “Babylon” is a description of Rome and its apostate religion (Rev 17:9, 18). 

Luke 21 Revelation  11          James’ Comments
Indictment  of Jerusalem (Lk 21:22) Indictment of Babylon Nothing in Rev 11 says or implies “Babylon”.  There is no link here.
Persecutor of the saints                            Persecutor of the saints Rev 11 describes an invasion of Jerusalem in which some people there are killed.  Killing people during an invasion is not the persecution of the saints.  There is no link here.
 
Doomed to destruction at hands of Gentiles Doomed to destruction at hands of Gentiles Jerusalem was not destroyed in Revelation 11.  It was captured. Also  Egypt, Edom and Tyre are doomed to destruction at the hands of the Gentiles.  Does this prove that Egypt, Edom, and Tyre are Babylon and are the same as the Destruction of Jerusalem?  There is no link here.
 
Judgment after world mission (Mark 13:10)
 
Judgment after world mission (14:6f)
Mk 13:10 and Rev 14:6 are parallel.  One is a type of the other.  Mk 13 was where the gospel went forth during Paul’s day (Col 1:23).  Rev 14:6 happens at the end of the age.
Trodden down until times of Gentiles fulfilled Trodden down for 42 months How can you say all prophecy was fulfilled at the DOJ when this prophecy goes on for centuries after the DOJ before it is fulfilled?  No link here.
That generation                                        Shortly and at hand  What generation?  The expression “this generation” follows the parable of the fig tree where He speaks of the fig tree budding.  THEN He says, “This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.” The fig tree is Israel.  The budding is when they show signs of life after long dormancy.  No link here.
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Is There a Parallel Between Zechariah 14 and Revelation?

Don Preston created the first two columns of this table in which he presumes Zech 14 is the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem.  He then picks verses from all over Revelation, no matter the context,  in an attempt to show  that all of Revelation matches Zech 14.  He thinks this shows Revelation is just an extremely figurative account of the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem. 
Zechariah 14                                   Revelation James’ Comments
Destruction of Jerusalem (1 f)           Fall of city where the Lord was crucified (11:8) Zech 14 is not the AD 70 destruction of Jerusalem, but the capture of Jerusalem at the end of the world.  Zech 14 and Rev 11 are parallel prophecies, but they speak of  the capture of Jerusalem at the end of the world when God splits the Mount of Olives in half, and God did not do that in AD 70.
———————————————————————-
Escape possible (5)                          Come out of her lest partake of plagues (18:4) Escape was not possible at the DOJ.  Fugitives were crucified.  Those remaining at its fall were led captive, the city was burned and then leveled.  The captives did not escape after an earthquake at the DOJ.
 
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Coming of the Lord (5)                     Coming of the Lord (14, 19) Yes, these are parallel passages of the Second Coming, not the first.  I am glad you agree that the coming in Rev 14 is the same as the one in Rev 19, but this coming is when Christ destroys ALL NATIONS, not the Jews at the DOJ (Rev 19:19-21)
Time of light (6-7)                             No need of sun (21:23) ———————————————————————-
The Hebrew in Zech 14:6 is very difficult, and the translators have redered it in widely different ways.  

“It shall come to pass in that day That there will be no light; The lights will diminish.” (NKJV)

On that day the sources of light will no longer shine, (NLT)

On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. (NIV)

And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the light shall not be clear, [nor] dark:
  (KJV)
 
Zech 14 describes the coming of Jehovah and the end of the age.
  The Sibyls say that when the age ends that the earth will be shrouded in dust, and the sky will be left without a single star (Book III:710).  IMO, Zechariah 14 is the Sibyls’ twilight at the end of the world  (Book III:993-1001), and the KJV’s idea that the light on that day is diffuse and dim is probably right.
 
The majority of the translations view this text as happening in a time of semi-darkness and not eternal day as Rev 21:25 describes.
  Besides if this event is supposed to be the DOJ, how in the world do you get eternal day out of the destruction of Jerusalem? 
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Lord shall be king (9)                       God on the throne (22:3) These two passages do refer to the same time, but both of them refer to the condition that follows the day of the Lord when Jehovah shall have taken unto Him His great power and reigns over all the earth (Zech 14:9).  Jehovah did not do that at the DOJ.
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No more curse (11)                           No more curse (22:3-4) To apply these passages to the destruction of Jerusalem is willful ignorance.  The curses include death, pain in childbirth, weeds, nettles, thorns, mute animals, and vicious wild beasts.  All of these curses are still in effect.  These verses cannot possibly refer to the DOJ.
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River of life flows from Jerusalem (8)   River of life flows from Jerusalem (22:1f) Tina says, “Zechariah 14:1-8 says the river of life would be opened as a result of Jesus’ coming against JERUSALEM. Therefore, Babylon HAS to be Jerusalem!”

Zech 14 makes no reference whatever to Babylon.
  There is no relationship between Zech 14 and Rev 18 or any other Babylon verse.  There is no chain of logic to link between Zech 14 and Babylon, so there can be no “therefore”. 

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Nations come to Jerusalem (16f)         Nations come to Jerusalem (21:26f) Rev 21 shows New Jerusalem coming down from heaven.  Did this happen at the DOJ?  Rev 21 describes a city 1500 miles on a side in which only the kings of the earth may enter.  Was this true at the DOJ?  Both Zech 14:16 and Rev 21:26ff describe a situation that has not ever happened.  This cannot possibly refer to the DOJ.
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Our Fearless Leader and the Day of Jacob’s Trouble

The social aspect of Obama’s wrecking crew is what worries me the most. By the time Obama is done, homosexuals will be the accepted ones and Christians will be persecuted. To oppose them in any way will be hate speech whereas their death threats and actual violence will be excused. I am also thinking Obama is likely to stand quietly by while Iran and the Arabs attack Israel. Israel will be severely injured, but her enemies will be destroyed. I wonder what will happen in this country when Obama stands idly by and lets Israel take it on the chin from the bullies that surround her. Israel will be abandoned by men, but not by God. Here is the scenario.

[Israel’s enemies want to destroy her]
Psalms 83:2 For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head.
3 They have taken crafty counsel against thy people, and consulted against thy hidden ones.
4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.

[God is petitioned to personally intervene for Israel]
Psalms 83:11 Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb And all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
12 Who said, “Let us possess for ourselves The pastures of God.”
13 ¶O my God, make them like the whirling dust, Like chaff before the wind.
14 Like fire that burns the forest And like a flame that sets the mountains on fire,
15 So pursue them with Your tempest And terrify them with Your storm.
16 Fill their faces with dishonor, That they may seek Your name, O LORD.
17 Let them be ashamed and dismayed forever, And let them be humiliated and perish,

[Here is the prediction of what will happen to these invaders. Notice the specific predition that these invaders will be confounded even as the prayer requested in Ps 83:13, i.e. they will be chased like chaff and the whirling dust]
Isa 17:11 13 The nations rumble on like the rumbling of many waters, But He will rebuke them and they will flee far away, And be chased like chaff in the mountains before the wind, Or like whirling dust before a gale.
14 At evening time, behold, there is terror! Before morning they are no more. Such will be the portion of those who plunder us And the lot of those who pillage us.

A very intersting point to me is the prophecy that when Israel is surrounded by enemies and without a helper and these enemies attack to take away God’s people (Ps 83:4), God will fight for them (Ps 83:15, Isa 17:11-13). The Psalmist asks (obviously with God’s permission to put the request into the psalm) for God to pursue the enemies with His storm and His tempest. It sounds to me like that though Israel will be forsaken by men that God will intervene with some visible stormy manifestation, even as He did in the days of Joshua (Josh 10:11). When this thing with the Day of Jacob’s trouble is over, God will have unmistakeably shown Himself to be the Savior of Israel. Israel will be severely injured (Isa 17:6-9), but her enemies will be destroyed (Jer 30:8), and she will live in peace until the time of the end (Jer 30:10, Rev 11:3-7, Ez 38:8, 11-12, 14).

I know a lot of people believe that Ezek 38 will come into play shortly after the time of Jacob’s trouble. I do not believe that is the case, however. I believe Ezek 38 to be the Battle of Armageddon at the end of the world. To determine the context of Ezek 38, we need to look at the complete account of the Gog/Magog invasion, and that account covers all of Ezek 38-39. There are several things that make this lengthy passage highly unlikely to be describing a scene before the end of the world.

Consider Ezekiel’s description of the invasion as being one of men mounted on horses (Ez 38:15). That does not correspond to a modern invasion by Russia with tanks and planes.

Ezekiel also promises that Israel will know that the Lord is their God from that day forward (Ezek 39:22). Whenever the Gog/Magog event takes place, Israel will uniformly thereafter serve God, but such a thing would not happen before the establishment of universal righteousness upon the earth, and that does not happen until the end of the world (Isa 11:1-9, Hab 2:14).

Another verse that shows the end times context is Ezek 39:25. God will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel (Ezek 39:25). At this point in our modern time, only some from Judah and Manasseh have returned to Israel, but the text promises that when God destroys Gog, He will gather Israel from all the nations. He will not leave ANY of them in these lands any more (Ez 39:28). There are currently Jews living all over the world, and probably will be until the end of the age. Having remnants of Israel scattered all over the world does not fit Ezekiel’s prophecy. The Bible describes the reunion of the 12 tribes in Hosea 1:11. Hosea recounts a reunion of Judah and the children of Israel at a time when they appoint a common leader. After this historic reunion of the 12 tribes and the selection of a common leader, instead of uniting to build up Israel and living happily ever after in the land, they incredibly immediately leave the land! The most plausible explanation for this incredible action is that the Antichrist is invading and these reunited tribes retreat to Bozrah where scripture foresees the beginning of their eternal victory at Jesus’ return (Micah 2:12-13, Zech 12:7, Isa 34:6, 63:1, Jer 49:22).

I want to notice several characteristics of Ez 38-39 and compare them to passages in Revelation to show that the context of Ez 38 is the end of the world. The comparable passages in Revelation are clearly linked to the very end of the world, because Jesus comes, defeats His enemies and casts them into Gehenna hell (the lake of fire–Rev 19:20, 20:10). Since Ez 38 and the Rev passages are parallel, then Ez 38 is also the end of the world.

To understand my arguments regarding the Battle of Armageddon passages in Rev (Rev 16:13-16, Rev 19:17-21 and 20:8-9), I need to explain my analysis of Rev 8-22. My view of Rev 8-22 is that this large section of Revelation deals with Christ’s power over the course of history that He obtained when He opened the 7th seal (Rev 8:1). These chapters 8-22 are a prophetic description of God’s plan between Pentecost and the Second Coming for the three major groups of people on earth: Israel, the nations/Gentiles, and Christians. The prophetic plan for the course of the history of Israel is in Rev 8-14. The prophetic plan for the history of the nations is in Rev 15-19, and the prophetic plan for Christians is in Rev 20-22. Each of these major sections has a coming of Christ to the Battle of Armageddon. Hence you have several accounts of the Battle of Armageddon (Rev 16:13-16, Rev 19:17-21 and 20:8-9) and the events in preparation for it (e.g. Rev 9:13-19, 11:7-13).

Now lets look at the Gog/Magog invasion in Ezek 38 and compare the characteristics of the Ezekiel invasion with the Battle of Armageddon that happens at the coming of the Lord. We notice that Ezekiel’s invasion happens in the last days (Ez 38:16). It comes from the north (Ez 38:15). There will be so many of the invaders they will be like a cloud covering the earth (Ez 38:9). During their invasion there will a severe world-wide earthquake (Ez 38:19-20). God comes and fights for His people (Ez 38:18-19, 21-22). The invaders will fall and God will call the animals and birds to eat them (Ez 39:17-18). God will set His glory among the nations and ALL the nations will see the judgment that God has executed (Ez 39:21). God’s servants will thereafter always know that the Lord is God (Ez 39:22). These descriptions of Gog’s invasion include the same details as found in Revelation regarding the invasion of the Antichrist/Beast/Man-of-Sin. There are parallel accounts of this last invasion in Rev 16:13-16, Rev 19:17-21 and 20:8-9. The Gog/Magog invasion happens right at the end of the world (the Beast captures Jersusalem in Rev 11:9-12, but it is just before and at the Second Coming and the resurrection of the dead). In these accounts we find that the invaders first gather at Armageddon (Rev 16:16) in the north of Israel and ride from there south to Jerusalem (Rev 11:7-8, Joel 2:9, Zech 14:2). The heavens and earth will quake before them (Rev 16:18, Joel 2:10). Christ and His armies return and fight for their people (Rev 19:13-14). Jesus and His armies kill the hordes of the Devil and the birds eat the slain (Rev 19:21). After God’s victory at the last battle (Rev 20:8-9), He brings New Jerusalem down from heaven and sets His glory in the midst of the nations (Rev 21:10-11). Thereafter the servants of God will KNOW that the Lord is God, because they can see His house and see His face (Rev 22:4). The descriptions of the last battle as described in Revelation match the characteristics of Ez 38-39, but the events in Revelation are obviously the end of the world (Rev 19:20-21, 20:8-10) because of the resurrection and final judgment.

The day of Jacob’s trouble is a highly significant event in God’s plan. The plight of Israel being surrounded by the nations and having no one to help but God is a type of the end of the world when the remnant of the forces of righteousness will be shut up at Bozrah (Micah 2:12) where they will be surrounded by the forces of the Devil. God will fight for Israel on the day of Jacob’s trouble, and His deliverance will be spectacular. It will be clear to all that it was God that delivered Israel from their trouble. No man was able to help them, but God will gloriously deliver them. God’s deliverance on the day of Jacob’s trouble will be a type of the end of the world as when Jesus comes to deliver His people from the army of the Devil (Rev 19:19-20, 20:8-10, Jer 48:40, 49:22). After the day of Jacob’s trouble, Israel lives in peace and prosperity until the very end of the world (Ezek 38:11-12). That is a type of the peace and prosperity that God will bring to His people forever when He sets up the new heavens and the new earth (Mi 4:4-5, Isa 65:17-19, II Pet 3:13).

The Bible has quite a bit to say about the day of Jacob’s trouble, but I don’t know what happens to the USA under Obama. If you believe George Washington’s prophecy (http://www.civil-liberties.com/pages/prophesy.html), there will be a remnant of us left when Jesus comes. If you believe the USA is the 7th head of the beast (Rev 13:1), then we recognize that the 7 headed nation beast is under the control of the Devil (Rev 13:2). That would mean the USA goes over to the dark side. That’s the way it looks to me at the moment, which is bad news for Christians. The power to tax is the power to destroy.

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The Cycle of the Time and the Emergence of the 7th World Empire

Martin Armstrong has released an article in which he expands upon his theory of cycles. He believes the cycle-time of the public ascendency has now given way to a time of the private ascendency. He sees a time of stuggle and chaos as the governments strive to maintain their power.

Armstrong does not believe there is any conspiracy, but if the public gives rise to the private, by necessity there is a conspiracy to overcome the power of the states. They will not give it up of their own volition. The history he presents from the 1300s till the present is rife with conspiracies of all sorts, yet he denies there is one today. Either Martin is a co-conspirator fallen into disfavor, or he is as blinded by the web of deceit of the elites as those he seeks to enlighten. His denial of a conspiracy does not make any sense.

I believe in cycles. The Bible says, “To every thing there is a season” (Ecc 1:3-8), and then describes various cycles. In another place Ezekiel shows that God operates with wheels within wheels (Ezk 1:16-21), that is, He uses cycles of various sorts and lengths. So, cycles are to be expected in a world He created, and Armstrong’s presentation of the 309.6 year cycle that alternates between public and private dominating forces makes sense from the aspect of the way things work.

IMO, what we are seeing is the emergence of a 7th world empire. Armstrong says it will be private rather than public. How does that work? In the times when the private dominated, the power was focused in private enterprise rather than the kings. During the Middle Ages it was the barons and their baronies that were the centers of power. Central government was rather weak. During the great period of exploration in the time of private ascendency from 1400-1600 there were great companies that arose and wielded great power throughout this era. During the last 300 years we have seen the rise of great nation-states and they have now consolidated power to the point that they threaten the very economies on which they depend.

The empire that is emerging is one controlled by private corporations rather than the state, and that fits well with Armstrong’s cycle . An important point that I think he missed is that the rise of the private force does not equate to personal liberty and good for the people. The corporate tyrant can be as ruthless as any monarch, and the fact that these corporations are the beneficiaries of the cycle of history does nothing to lessen the malevolent motivation behind them. The corporations may well return to sound economic policies, but they seek to have the freedom for themselves with the people as their serfs. The good of the people is not their agenda.

This is not to say that capitalism is evil; it is not. Capitalism is the freedom of individuals to make their own choices and to live with the consequences. Each individual making the choices in accordance with law results in the most efficient utilization of resources and the best results for society as a whole. It is the unlawful abuse of capitalism that is evil, and this evil destroys the personal freedom of the individual and his ability to choose economically and thereby damages society as a whole.

I say there is a conspiracy, or the time of government ascendency would not end, but the private power that arises will not be to the benefit of the people. My hope is that the US of A by virture of its residual faith will escape some of the ravages of this hostle private force that is being unleashed against the world.

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Goodness Can Prevail in Individuals

Good will ultimately triumph in the world to come. However, in this present
world, good will only triumph in individuals. A few years before Christ
returns, evil will completely overwhelm the world (Rev 13:7, 15, Dan 7:25,
II Thes 2:11, Rev 20:8-9). Christ will destroy evil for ever when He
returns to exercise His dominion over the earth (I Cor 15:25-26, Lk 19:27,
Rev 19:19-21, 21:3-4).

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Will Goodness Prevail before the End of the World?

A correspondant wrote:
Perhaps I have too much faith in the Hope of humanity. I guess I believe that Goodness will prevail over Evil. I do believe there are good people all over the world. I think that goodness cannot be enslaved forever. I do believe in Justice. Perhaps the good people of the World may surprise us.

James replies:
People from the beginning of the world have been pretty good as long as they were left alone. The problem is that there is an evil power that was not willing to let them alone. That power is still working today. It is working harm on men to bring about the last of 7 world empires, as has been advertised. This power subverts or attempts to subvert every good institution of man.

IMO, these 7 world empires were designed to show that no form of government will work in a world where man is left to himself. You know; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps. When it becomes obvious that all attempts of man to govern himself in whatever form bring disaster, then God will step in and provide good government forever, but that will not happen until all forms of self-government have been shown to be abject failures. The abject failure of all forms of government of the present age will serve as a lasting object lesson for all future generations to show that government from man alone is runaway locomotive on a mountain railway. God will fix it, but not until it descends into a bloodbath of total oppression and moral destitution.

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