WE ARE PRESENTING THIS MESSAGE TO YOU IN AN ATTEMPT TO CALL TO YOUR ATTENTION, SOME THINGS IN BIBLE PROPHECY THAT MUST SHORTLY COME TO PASS WE WILL DEAL WITH THE LAND, THE PEACE NEGOTIATIONS, THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES, GOD BEING SANCTIFIED IN THE EYES OF THE HEATHEN, AND MANY OTHER INTERESTING EVENTS THAT ARE JUST AHEAD. AS YOU READ THIS ARTICLE, PLEASE BE AWARE OF THE FACT THAT ALL OF OUR REMARKS ARE BASED UPON THE WORD OF GOD WHICH WE BELIEVE TO BE INFALLIBLE. WE BELIEVE THAT IF GOD SAID HE WOULD DO A CERTAIN THING, THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH DEMONS IN SATAN’S GREAT ARMY TO PREVENT IT; THEREFORE WE INVITE YOU TO READ WHAT WE HAVE TO SAY, AND CONSIDER OUR REMARKS IN THE LIGHT OF THE SCRIPTURES, RATHER THAN HUMAN FEELINGS.
TEXT EZEKIEL 36:7-35
The Camp David Summit Meetings may, or may not produce a number of agreements between Israel and Egypt; that remains to be seen, but I feel that I must deal with this subject today, regardless of what these nations may do later. I preached this message in Norway recently, and touched on it here at Faith Assembly, and also at Bloomington, Indiana, but I feel that I should preach it and print it at this time while we are awaiting the outcome of the Summit Meetings. I realize, for whatever they do will no doubt have to be reversed in order for the word of God to be fulfilled. Men can do things to try to postpone that which the word of God teaches is just ahead, and men can also do things with the idea of speeding up that which is prophesied, but I personally believe that world affairs, or events are moving right on time with the word of God. I see time moving right with the Bible. It is true; there are still many things going on that we just do not understand, but remember, God is the manipulator of time, as well as events. In other words, it is all in Him. He puts up whom He will, and when they have served their purpose, He takes them down.
ISRAEL MUST TAKE MORE LAND
If there had not been a Begin in leadership, in the Israeli government, there never would have been a Camp David Summit. for I believe that without his leadership, the rest of Israel’s government officials would have done as they did concerning the Sinai, after the war of 1973: they would have made concessions. Just ahead of us is something that all of these summit talks and maneuverings are building up to, and we can get a preview of it from the word of God, (the Bible). A lot of people are saying, those things are for Israel; the church ought to be hearing something else, but brother, let me tell you, the time you are living in right now, is comparable to the days just before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. God’s dealing with Gentile people is running short, and we can see the evidence of it everywhere we go, for there is very little God fearing conviction left in this old world today. Men have played politics with the gospel while they built their great empires, and just about the time many of them begin to feel that they have almost attained their goal, God will shatter their empire, by bypassing it completely, and moving among His bride people who are living in simplicity, with their hearts set on doing the perfect will of God. This bride church will not be caught off guard when the wheels of prophecy begin to line up perfectly with the age, marking the time for the gospel to go back to the Jews, for they will be watching the scriptures fulfill themselves right up to that point. That is why no Bible believing Christian wants to see Israel give up anything in all of this negotiating, for we realize that, instead of giving up land, she must take more very soon. Do not think she will be taking land during the millennium; she will take it all before the week of Daniel starts.
THE ANTI-CHRIST — 666
There may be some who will read this message, not knowing anything about the week of Daniel. For them I will say, that is the last 7 years of man’s rule on this earth. You can read in Daniel 9:26-27. of a prince that will confirm a peace covenant with Israel and many other nations, and the time allotted to such a covenant is 7 years which is the seven years commonly referred to as the last week of Daniel, the last week of 70 weeks of time which the prophecy of Daniel covered concerning Israel. As we have said many times, the prince who will make the covenant with many, for one week of time, (7 years) and then break the covenant in the middle of the week is the Antichrist, a false prince, the son of perdition referred to in 2 Thess 2.3 which is also known to be the beast-man of Revelation 13:18, whose number is 666. Israel will sign the covenant, entering into agree-ments of peace with the beast system of Western Europe, and the main head of that beast (the Antichrist) will break the covenant after 3 1/2 years, and set himself up to be worshipped, as God. He will be allowed to hold that position for the remainder of the seven year period of time, but then, Jesus will come back to earth in physical form, taking vengeance on all the ungodly forces of evil, and closing that period of man’s rule. When time has progressed to that point, Israel will never have to take another foot of land. She will already have, back in her possession, all the land that God gave to Abraham for an everlasting possession. There will be no more Camp David meetings, with men trying to work out plans that God has had worked out since before the world was created.
A PERFECT PEACE PLAN
It is true that both men (Mr. Begin and Mr. Sadat) want peace, but Mr. Begin is a Bible oriented man, whose heart is yearning for the re-establishing of the Biblical promises of the word of God to the nation of Israel. While it seems that the rest of our world leaders care very little about what the Bible has to say about such things, they seem to have the attitude, away with the Bible, we want peace now, but if they would just read and believe that old black covered book, they would realize that there can never be any permanent peace until the Prince of Peace (Jesus Christ) is back on earth in physical form. The earth will then have permanent peace when Jesus, along with the saints from every age, is ruling and reigning for a one thousand year period of restoration. Natural man, depending upon carnal wisdom, can not design a peace plan that will satisfy everyone, no matter how serious they may be about it, nor how bad they want peace. They have criticized the Bible, and those who believe the Bible, not realizing that in its pages, are recorded, a perfect peace plan. Ezekiel presents us with a most beautiful setting for our day in chapter 36, and we are going to talk about it in this message. The Camp David talks are built around provision 242 (I think that is the number of it, but you know what I am talking about), of the U.N. charter, which requires Israel to give up the old city, (Jerusalem) the West Bank, the Gaza strip, and the Golan Heights, because they are all outside the area, petitioned to Israel by the United Nations after WWII. We realize how the world in general looks at such things: they say. Israel, such and such an area of land was given to you, but that is all you are supposed to have, you must give up all the rest. That is man’s viewpoint, but the word of God does not stop there. God’s word is not determined by what the U.N. says. If we, as Christians, have been privileged to get a little glimpse of how perfectly the word of God describes what is going on right here in our day; it ought to thrill our souls. We will open our Bibles to Ezekiel, chapter 36, in just a moment, but let me say this first, whatever agreements come out of the Camp David talks, may prolong certain situations for a few months yet. If so. it can only be looked upon as God’s way of allowing time for something else that He desires to accomplish, but when the time is right, everything that was put together at Camp David will fall to pieces. None of these things that men do, can actually prevent, or even hinder the plan of God: they are the only means that God allows for the purpose of bringing certain things into focus, things that we might not have seen otherwise. We are basing all of our remarks on this 36th chapter of Ezekiel’s prophecy. This is a chapter dealing with the land of Israel itself. The leaders of practically every nation is concerned about what to do in connection with the land of Israel, and the United Nations tries hard to deal with the situation, but so far, they have not found any way to resolve their problem.
THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES
Ezekiel was in Babylonian captivity (being of the two Southern tribes that was carried into Babylon ) when the Lord appeared to him at a time when he had been wondering about the future state of the nation of Israel. The final phase of the Babylonian captivity occurred somewhere around 600 B.C., and at that time, the Ten Northern tribes had been out of the land for about 100 years already, having been captured by the Assyrians over a period of time. The whole land of Israel is entering into the long period of time when it will be completely under Gentile rule, or Gentile lordship. In other words, the times of the Gentiles was now in effect, Luke 21:24. Ezekiel being troubled, and pondering the destiny of his people, God let him see a vision of future events that would take place, and in this 36th chapter, God is speaking to him concerning our day. This chapter is dealing with a time after the Gentile armies have tramped through the land for centuries, after the land has been controlled by many different Gentile powers, and has come to the time of restoration. We see here that God is beginning to set His plan in motion, a plan that will eventually put every inch of the land of promise, back under the control of its rightful inhabitors. We have been privileged to be the generation that would live to witness the fulfillment of these promises of restoration to Israel. We know how the wheels were set in motion in 1948, when the U.N. petitioned a certain area of the land to the Jews who desired to live in the homeland of their ancestors. This gave the Jews in dispersion, a place where they could migrate to in the land of their forefathers; in the land of their heritage. This was the beginning of a long process of restoration, but the land granted to them by the U.N., was not sufficient to fulfill the word of God; they must have it all, in order for God to restart His clock for the week of Daniel. The war of 1967, an attempt by the Arab nations to push the Jews back out of the land again, gave Israel an opportunity to gain possession of a great deal of the land that is rightfully theirs, which was still occupied by other nations at the time. When they tried to push her into the sea, Israel retaliated, and in just 6 short days, her borders were pushed to the Red Sea, to the Golan Heights, and to the Jordan River, where her soldiers stopped, and because of the land they gained, world leaders have bick-ered around conference tables ever since. They even had a war in 1973 where, even though in the first few days they took a terrible beating, and lost much equipment, they turned the tide and fought one of the greatest armored battles of history, between the Red Sea and the approach to Cairo, Egypt. If Russia had not threatened to enter the conflict, causing the leaders of the major world powers to pressure Israel into halting the battle, the Star of David would be flying over Cairo, Egypt, right today, for they would have taken it. They had Egypt’s 3rd army, cut off in the desert without food or water, and the only thing that prevented them from going into Cairo, was the pressure put on them by other world powers in an effort to stay off a conflict that would introduce atomic weapons and bring about a major catastrophe. The United States threatened to cut off supplies to Israel, unless she stopped the war. What else could they do, but stop, when their guns, tanks, and ammunition were coming from the U. S.? Nevertheless, the world had an opportunity to witness a masterpiece of outflanking, when Israel came in behind the Egyptian army, cutting them off from all their supplies.
WHAT WILL ISRAEL DO?
Now, as we begin to consider the contents of our text chapter, may God help us to realize that this is a prophecy concerning our day. We have the greatest book in the whole world right at our constant disposal, if the world could just accept it. If Mr. Carter and his negotiating team would take this book, (the Bible), with them into the conference room, they could come out with a plan that would not have to be torn to pieces shortly. They could avoid a lot of the fussing and stewing, for there is a promise in the book (effective for the millennium), for the blessing of Egypt and Syria. We will read it in Isa. 19:23-25, “In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptians shall come into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.” Naturally we can only say these things by looking on out into the future through the word of God, and we realize that all of these nations must do as they are doing, for it is already recorded in prophecy that they will. The big questions in the minds, as well as on the lips of the whole world today is, What will Israel do? Will she give up to the pressures of the world leaders? Will she tear down the settlements on the West Bank and back off from the land, or will she hold on to her deed and fight? We do not know exactly what will transpire between now and the starting of the week of Daniel, but we know what the outcome will be, Hallelujah! Let us begin to read from this chapter now, keeping in mind that it is a prophecy to the LAND, not the people, the land. It was written, almost 600 years before the first advent of Christ, and it is definitely for the last days. We are reading verse 7 to begin our message from this chapter. 7, “Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I have lifted up mine hand, Surely the heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame.” The word heathen refers to Gentiles, unbelievers in respect to what the Jewish nation believes. 8, “But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come.” Did you pay close attention to that verse? Speaking to the land, God says, “Ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people Israel.” The fruit is not for the Arabs, nor the Greeks, nor the Persians, Romans, nor the British, but strictly for ISRAEL. Now notice the rest of the verse; “For they are at hand to come. 9, For behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown.” When God spoke like that to the land of Israel, the ten Northern tribes had been out of the land for more than 100 years, and had been sold on the slave markets throughout the Black Sea, the Caspian Sea, and who knows where else. That is why we say that many of these Jews heard the gospel, for we know that St. Thomas went to India, and through the centuries they had continued to be scattered over the nations. Just think what 7 or 9 hundred years of selling and trading a race of people could do, in the way of scattering them over the world. With the Southern tribes in Babylon, the land of Israel is left in a heap of ruins. All the ancient villages that the children of Israel had built and enjoyed through the years, were now lying desolate. There was no more dancing and merrymaking in the streets of them, only rubbish and wild growth. It doesn’t take long for weeds and brush to begin to grow, when there are no people stirring around to keep it down. Of course certain parts of the land were inhabited through the years of the Jews dispersion. The Babylonians sent in a few people to colonize certain areas’ then there was the Persian period, and then the Greeks had their period as well as the Romans, but the Jews are the only ones that have a deed to the land. Yes, they do have a deed, and it is very specific. We will see very definitely as we read this 10th verse, that it is the purpose of God to have all twelve tribes fully represented in the land of their fathers. Notice, now (still speaking to the land). 10, “And I will multiply men upon you, ALL THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded: 11, And I will multiply upon you man and beast:and they shall increase and bring fruit AND I WILL SETTLE YOU AFTER YOUR OLD ESTATES.” Brothers and sisters, if there has ever been a question in your mind about whether Israel will get back all of the land that God gave to Abraham and his seed, let these verses settle the question for you once and for all. In verse 10 He says, “I will multiply men upon you.” We all know that God is not talking about multiplying Arabs, nor Greeks, Persians, Syrians, nor Babylonians upon this land. He Is talking about multiplying Israelites upon every acre of land that lies within their ancient boundaries. You may say, Who knows where the old boundaries were? God knows, and lie is the only one that needs to know. He will work circumstances to get every tribe in their proper place. Every one of those little cities will be rebuilt to fulfill the word of God. Many of them are nothing more than a pile of rocks right now, but those people are constantly searching for old landmarks. They are very careful not to waste their agricultural land. but they will take the Bible for their road map, go out there to one of those piles of rocks and start digging. When they find evidence that proves a village once stood there, they set up camp. You ask why? It is because they have to do it the Bible way. They have to come back and do just exactly what the Bible says they will do. It says the cities shall be inhabited, and that is referring to the cities that stood when the Israelites were in their land in days of old; not just the cities that are known today. How do I know? It is very simple. Verse 11 says, “And I will settle you after your OLD ESTATES.” In other words, “I will settle you according to your ancient boundaries, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings, and ye shall know that I am the Lord.” Every word of this is so beautiful, for we are the generation that is living to see it all fulfilled. The Arabs do not have the deed to that land, for they do not have the book that tells where the boundary lines are. The Jews hold the deed book, and they have a little man over there that knows how to read it. Mr. Carter and the rest of the world may kick and squeal. but this is God’s Urban renewal project, and no man can stun it.
DO NOT TAKE HIS SEAT
When I was in Norway recently, I preached from this chapter. and used a simple illustration to establish the main point of the message. That is. that the land belongs to the Jews, and must be fully restored to them. I realize people have a natural tendency to become very sentimental about certain things, so I took a man out of the congregation, and told the rest of the people not to take his seat. I said, that seat belongs to this man; when he returns, he must have it back. It was just to get their attention on the fact that we are dealing with a land whose rightful inhabitors were taken from it against their will, and scattered to the four winds of the earth, but that did not change the deed. You remember reading in Deuteronomy how God spoke to the children of Israel while they were on their journey to the promised land, saying, “When ye come into the land that I sware unto your fathers, Abraham. Isaac, and Jacob, if ye will keep my commandments, and walk in all my statutes, I will take great pleasure in blessing you, but if ye turn after other gods, and do not keep my commandments, and my statutes, I will take great pleasure in cursing you, and will cause your enemies to come and carry you out of the land, and the land shall become a desolate waste.” God went ahead in the same prophecy to tell them, if they would repent and turn back to Him, he would return unto them, and would restore them back into the land. They are the only people who can legally own that land in the eyes of God, but as we read in the Kings and Chronicles, we see how the people conducted themselves, and we see that God did exactly as He said He would do. He sent a nation of people to take them and scatter them to the four winds of the earth, but He never did tell any other nation that the land now belonged to them. He just left them alone, to do whatever they wanted to do with the land until it was time for Israel to come back to it. What then? What about those people who have taken possession of the land while the rightful owners were out of it Here is what I told those people in Norway., (of course I would not literally do it, but for the sake of my illustration I made the statement), if any of you take that seat, when I get through with this man, I am going to remove you from it, and return him to it. That is exactly what God is doing with Israel. He has been doing that for the past 30 years now, slowly bringing them back and re-establishing them in the land. That is a perfect natural parallel to lay alongside of what God is doing with His church. When the church did spiritually, what Israel did in the natural, God let the church go off into Babylonianism. That is why we have so many denominations in the ranks of so-called Christianity in the world today. The church has been in spiritual captivity, (scattered among the denominations) just like Israel has been in natural captivity. When you trace it back, you will find the same reason in both instances, they both departed from the revealed way of worshipping God. When Israel turned to worshipping idols. God raised up a nation to capture them and carry them out of the land. The land lay desolate, and the people remained in dispersion until the hour that God had determined to start bringing them back into the land. That is the same pattern that the New Testament church followed. They began to get careless with the Word of God after the apostles passed off the scene: therefore God let them go into spiritual captivity to remain there until such an hour that He had determined to raise up a prophet to call them out of those denominations, back to the revelated word of God. Just as there is a promise in the scriptures that Israel will be completely restored to their land in the last days, so is there a promise that the church will be restored back to its original inheritance. When you hear people saying, I can be in the bride, and still be a Baptist, or I can be in the bride, and still be a Presbyterian, or this, or that, or something else, you are listening to a person who, definitely, has not been restored back to the word of God. You cannot be a bride saint, and remain in those apostate systems. Now I know how some of you will react to such a statement, but your reaction will not change the word of God one bit. God’s word still calls for total separation from everything that would keep us from being like those early Christians. You may say, Now Bro. Jackson, there is no sense in us being fanatic about things such as this. I am not being a fanatic, for when the church started out in the apostolic age, there was no such thing as a denomination. They were all called Christians. The term was first applied to believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, at Antioch. It meant they were followers of Christ. They were Christ-like in word and deed. That means their character, their moral standards, the way they believed and handled the word of God, and everything about them was patterned after the life of Christ Now we readily admit that we are living in the age of restoration of the word of God; therefore it ought to be plain to see that we must come back to the original pattern in every area of our Christian lives. Can you picture Jesus, or any of His apostles, starting up, or joining a denomination? You know that is ridiculous, yet because of certain family members, or friends that are still in those places, many of you want to include them in, but you cannot do it God is calling His true seed out of those places, and they will not return to them.
The apostle Paul, speaking to the Ephesians said, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; (now notice this), Endeavoring to keep the UNITY of the Spirit, even as ye are called in ONE HOPE of your calling: ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM, ONE GOD, and FATHER of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” You would certainly have a hard time dividing a group like that, into denominations, and you would have a hard time getting a trinity out of such words as this, (Eph. 4:1-6). Here is what it all adds up to, you cannot exemplify Christ in your daily life unless you have the Holy Ghost dwelling in you. Then we will say: if you have the Holy Ghost in you, He will separate you from everything that is unbecoming to a son of God. That is what God has been doing for the past 30 years now, separating His true people from spiritual bondage, as this Gentile dispensation closes out. The separation does not take place in 30 minutes, nor 30 days, and not necessarily in 30 months, but God gives every individual a certain potential, and if they begin to reject what is being offered to them, it will not be long until it becomes obvious that the Spirit of God is no longer dealing with them. That is how God cuts them off; He just stops convicting them by His Spirit, and when He does, they are automatically cut off, just like Esau was. The Bible says that Esau found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. (Heb. 12:17). Why could he not find a place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears, (Heb. 12:17). Why could he not find a place of repentance? It is very simple; he sold his birthright for a little bit of food when he was hungry, putting his natural appetite ahead of the blessing of God; therefore God rejected him, and withdrew His Spirit from him. That is what happens when people reject the Holy Ghost. They are rejecting their birthright. That is why we see so much evil coming back into this Gentile society. God is withdrawing His Spirit from them, allowing them to return to the spiritual state of their ancestors, who were looked upon as dogs before the gospel changed their lives. Now, what are we looking at? We are seeing the Jews restored to their land, and the church restored to the apostolic truth of God’s word. When Israel is fully restored to their land, it is reasonable to believe the church will be fully restored to the word, or maybe we should say, the word will be fully restored to the church. Nevertheless, Israel will be ready to receive the gospel. and the church will be ready to go up.
I WILL MULTIPLY MAN & BEAST
Coming back to verse 11 of our text now, we will say, there has always been camels in the land of Israel whether there were any Jews there or not. There have been donkeys and goats there all through the ages also, so what did God mean when He said, I will multiply upon you MAN and BEAST? We said already that the main part of that verse could apply to no one other than Jewish people, but now I want to show you where the beast part fits into the picture. Since there have always been beasts upon, or in the land of Israel, this will have to pertain to something that is going to be different from that. Here is what it pertains to. Those Jews who are returning to the land are going back to an agricultural way of life, as it was in days of old They are also going into animal husbandry, depending upon the particular type of soil in each area. One thing is sure; they know how to utilize the land that they have. If the land is good grazing land, they raise dairy cattle. In other areas they raise nothing but chickens. You are made aware of this, especially, as you visit the different Kibbutz settlements. Do you know where they learned to utilize everything they have, so that they may reap the highest potential from every endeavor? They learned it from the Gentiles in the various countries where they have lived. They go back there with the knowledge of Gentile technology, and they just apply it to their particular environment. The reason they can make an acre of ground produce so much, is because the land has been rested, and they are using modern technology to achieve the highest production level possible. Arabs have lived in the land at various times through the centuries, but when the Jews are out of the land, God causes it to withhold its blessings. Those Arabs were just squatters anyhow, so God caused the land to rest. Now the Jews are back, and whatever they choose to raise, God is blessing their efforts. Whether they choose to raise cattle, sheep, chickens, or whatever. God is certainly fulfilling His word, and multiplying beast upon the land. The point that stands out in that verse though, is where He says, “I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings.” If you want to know what their old estates were, (meaning their boundaries) you can read it in the 13th chapter of Joshua. My, this is thrilling, just to watch the plan of God unfold it right before our eyes, and to be able to see it already foretold in the Bible. Hallelujah! Her beginnings were way back there hundreds and hundreds of years before Christ, (still speaking of d the land), and God says. “I will do better unto you than at your beginnings. Remember, this is a promise of God, and He cannot fail in any promise that He has ever made, and we are the generation that is being privileged to watch it all transpire. Verse 12, “Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, (notice this now), EVEN MY PEOPLE ISRAEL; and they shall possess thee, (the land that Carter and Sadat are saying, you cannot have), and thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt no more henceforth bereave them of men.” World leaders are trying to give the preeminence to world peace, but the Bible makes it very clear that the world is not going to have permanent peace until after certain other things take place, and the full restoration of all of Israel’s ancient land, back to her, is one of those things that must take place before God will honor their peace efforts. I could not help but notice President Carter, as he addressed the Washington politicians, after the Camp David meetings had ended, as he explained why he had chosen this particular setting as a means of extending peace, or the opportunity of obtaining peace. He said he realized that the world has come to an hour, that the major powers could face each other in some kind of confrontation. Little does he realize that this is exactly what God is moving the world into place for. I realize of course, that man in his carnal makeup is going to do his very best to avoid such a calamity, for he is looking at things from the standpoint of what he, himself, stands to lose in such a world conflict, but if he does not see what God has said about it, he will come out a double loser in the end, when he refuses to play the part that God would have him play. That is exactly as it was with King Zedekiah when Jeremiah told him that he could prevent Jerusalem from being destroyed by submitting to the King of Babylon, opening the gates and letting the Babylonians in, but old Zedekiah was full of pride, and would not take heed to the word of God, as He spoke through his prophet. He said, No, we are going to fight them, and that is exactly what they did. He had them to close the gates, and they tried their best to fight off the Babylonians, but he had failed to take heed to the word of the Lord, and therefore did not have God fighting for him. What happened? When he realized that he could not stop the invasion by such an army, he tried to escape, by night, only to be captured in r the plains of Jericho. His own sons were killed right before him, and his eyes were gouged out; all because he would not listen to what God’s prophet had told him. If he would have just listened to what Jeremiah told him, he would not have lost his sons, neither would he have lost his eyes, but failure to pay attention to the word of God always brings added heartache and sorrow.
BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS
If Mr. Carter (who claims to be a born-again Christian) would just do things the Bible way, he would not have to have the hand of God fall upon him, on in the future somewhere. I thought, as I heard him reading from the Bible, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God,” Yes, that is true, but that verse has to be applied in the whole light of all the word of God; you cannot go around all the other scriptures, trying to apply one verse. A true peacemaker must use all the scriptures in establishing peace, and leave no room for a compromise, or all the efforts will be in vain. A compromise may produce a temporary peace, but it will never last very long. Instead of just harping on being a born again Christian, men ought to do things according to the way God’s word shows they should be done, and then it would not be necessary to run around telling people that they are born again. “By their fruits ye shall know them,” Matt. 7:20.
LAND OF MANY WARS
In the last part of Ezek. 36:12, we read, “And thou shalt no more henceforth bereave them of men. 13, Thus saith the Lord God; Because they say unto you, Thou land devourest up men, and hast bereaved thy nations: Therefore thou shalt devour men no more, neither bereave thy nations any more, saith the Lord God. Neither will I cause men to hear in thee the shame of the heathen any more, neither shalt thou bear the reproach of the people any more, neither shalt thou cause thy nations to fall any more, saith the Lord God. It is hard to tell how many wars have been fought on that little area of land through the ages. History records that ever since world powers began to rise, (the Babylonians, the Persians, the Meades, the Greeks. the Romans and such like), the land of Israel has been a battlefield. The city of Jerusalem has witnessed many invasions, and thousands upon thousands of men have died, fighting wars in that land because of some covetous, jealous motive that someone had. It has happened over and over again, but right here, God says that He is going to multiply Israelites upon the land, and cause all of that to cease. We are seeing men multiplied upon the land already, but does that mean that there will be no more wars in that land? “Absolutely not.” This is a long range prophecy, and we are sure that there are yet to be wars fought in that land, but the fulfillment of this whole prophecy is close at hand.
FACE LIFTING FOR OLD JERUSALEM
I subscribe to a little magazine that comes out from the land of Israel, dealing with the archaeological excavations. It is called BAR, (Biblical Archaeology in Review) and it keeps up to date on all the different excavations of the Holy Land. Many people are digging, trying to find evidence to harmonize with what history has recorded in its pages about that controversial land, and they are filling the museums full, with what they are finding. Many of these places have been rebuilt right over the levels of ruins of what stood there before, but in every level of their diggings, they are establishing the fact that the whole land was once controlled, populated and lived in by Israelites This in itself makes the Bible stand out as the most authoritative book on the face of this earth. Roman history tells of the Jews being led away, captive. Other histories tell what Rome did in connection with the land of Israel, and the city of Jerusalem. Now the Jews are back there, digging up the ancient past, and the world can no longer deny the fact that the Jews have roots there that date back farther than any other claim that can be laid against the land. Now the old part of the city of Jerusalem, where the temple stood, is a very run down, dilapidated old place, portraying the setting of its ancient past. This part covers about four square miles of area, and the rest of the city of Jerusalem has a Twentieth Century appearance. You have heard me say that I believe the old city will be reconstructed to portray a more desirable appearance somewhere in the future, for as you read Ezekiel, chapters 40, 41, 42, and 43, and Isa. chapter 60. You will come to the conclusion that if there is to be a temple built, there will surely be a beautification of its surroundings along with it. Many of the Jews who own certain buildings in it, are already renovating, especially those buildings which face what is called, the wailing wall. Anyhow, I just cannot see an old dilapidated, run down looking place, like the old part of the city is now, being left like that to go into the millennium. Realizing that the temple area of the city of Jerusalem will be the hub of activity in the millennium, (for that is where the subjects from all nations, of those who are left alive, will come once a year to worship the Lord of hosts), it will require a drastic face-lifting for that old city to portray a millennial setting. I hope you can understand what I mean; there is so much to look at these days, as we see things falling into place for the fulfillment of the scriptures. I had a little book handed to me recently, and as I read it, the 60th chapter of Isaiah began to stand out so plain. We all know the Jews have too much respect for other people’s religion, to do anything about destroying the Moslem Mosque that now stands on the temple grounds, but if an earthquake or something like that, would suddenly destroy the Mosque, the Jews would never let the Moslems build another sacred place there. That was just an example; I do not believe it is an earthquake that will destroy it. I believe it will be a rocket, but it will take lime, for tempers to get worked up to that point. As we see international tension building up, it leaves little doubt in my mind that someone will press a button that will set the final phase of God’s preparation in motion, and this is what I expect: the Arabs, I which I believe are already realizing that they will never get the old city back again, when war breaks out, will try to destroy as much of the city as possible, as well as other Israeli cities. Realizing that they cannot get the old city back, they will try to wipe out as much of the new city as possible, for that is where you have thousands of Jews living. But I believe God will direct those rockets so that they will miss the new city, and fulfill His objective by tearing that old part of the city all to pieces. Why do I say that? God is turning back to His chosen people, Israel, and I believe He will work circumstances so that the Jews can point their finger to those Arabs and say, We did not tear your sacred place down; you did it yourselves. Actually the old part of the city, even though it is controlled by the Jews, is populated mostly with Arabs. Because of their ancestral background, they have been there for several hundred years. There is one sector of the old city that is populated by Jews. They call it the Jewish quarter, but for the most part, the homes and businesses are owned by Arabs. The Jews respect them in that way, but let’s just suppose there was a situation to develop, that would leave that section lying in shambles; the Arabs would never rebuild it. They have nothing to rebuild it with. That will leave it strictly up to the Jews to rebuild the ruined places to finish fulfilling prophecy. That is where Isaiah 60 will come into the picture, for this will have the stage set for the rebuilding of the temple, as well as the city and so forth. People of the world who would read this will naturally say, Oh, that would take a long time for all of that to happen. I will say this, if it had to go through all the legislative channels of this western world, it would take a long time. But keep in mind that prophecy is not governed by our legislative processes. Furthermore, if we had a prophecy hanging over our nation, like Israel has over them, it might not take our politicians so long to act upon certain things.
SILVER AND GOLD FOR ISRAEL
When the hour arrives for old Jerusalem to take on a face lifting, God will set in motion the necessary events to bring it to pass. In this 60th chapter of Isaiah, verse 9, we read “Surely the isles shall wait for me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them.” This sounds like there is going to be an exodus of Jewish people, from somewhere, at some time, going back to the land of Israel, and when this group goes back it will not be like it was with those poor souls who returned to the land from Russia. They just barely got out of Russia with the clothes they were wearing, but when this group goes back they will be taking silver and gold back with them. God has His ways of getting silver and gold and other wealth out of the nations. Now you ask, Why would God do such a thing? Here is why: when Jesus sits in the millennial temple, and all nations go there to worship, it will be a setting of splendor, as in the days of Solomon. When Solomon built that first temple, there were professional tradesmen from all the nations roundabout, that contributed their skills to the task of building the temple. The timbers, the stones, and everything that was used in that building were pre-planned, and prepared some other place, so that when it was brought to Jerusalem to be assembled, there was not a hammer nor a saw, heard at all in the city. They had skilled professionals, out in the rock quarry, cutting, polishing, and marking the stones that were to be used. By the same token, the timbers and other items were prepared in the same manner; it was not a haphazard affair, throwed together by just anyone who came along. Every man knew exactly what he was to do, and it all fit together when the time for assembling came. If all that was done then under Solomon’s reign, then I believe it was a true type of what we have described in part, right here in Isaiah 60. In the final years of the Jews returning to the land from other nations this picture will come into focus. Wealth from other nations will be poured into Israel, and the whole area will be rebuilt in such a manner as to show the presence of royalty there. Just think, the king of all the earth is to dwell there. That is why I believe the whole environment, as you would approach the city, will give the viewer a feeling that he is coming into the presence of royalty. Because of that, if every nation is going to be represented in this, then God will cause nations to yield their wealth to the endeavor. Otherwise, it truly would take little old Israel a lifetime to get it done. I will not try to tell you how God will go about accomplishing such a thing, but since all nations will be participating in the use of the area in the millennium, I say God will compel those nations to contribute to what is to be done there. That might sound foolish if it was presented to Congress today, but when the hour comes for it to be fulfilled, it will probably come about in such a way that it will not sound foolish after all. Alright, let us read the rest of those verses, “To bring thy sons from far, their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the Lord thy God, and to the Holy One of Israel, because he hath glorified thee. 10, “And the sons of strangers (now notice this), shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee.” As I said before, the most excited people on earth today, when it comes to the subject of rebuilding the temple, is the Jews, themselves. Within the ranks of Judaism, you have that spirit of fervent orthodoxy, those who have a scriptural expectancy burning in their souls, just waiting for the day when they receive the report that the temple is going to be rebuilt. Until that hour comes, they have no more interest in migrating back to the land of their fathers, than anyone else would. Why would any of them want to leave their riches, in New York City, or wherever they may be, to go back there? They will stay where they are, tending to their stocks and bonds, and their various stores, and just shell out a few hundred dollars every now and then, or a few thousand to help contribute to the cause, but when the day comes that they hear work is to begin, on the rebuilding of the temple, brother, they will go wild, for that is where their heartbeat is. Naturally, they associate the building of the temple with the soon coming of their Messiah; therefore, when they hear such a report, it will cause a stirring among the nations. Remember, it is not just the Jews who will get excited about it, but there will be a great host of Gentiles who have been so affected by the gospel, that they will be in sympathy with the Jewish people, and in agreement with what is being done. Even though America has a large element of people who are so modern in their feelings, and their sentiments, they say, If Israel wants peace, they ought to give up that questionable land, and accept the world viewpoint on what is right, there are still thousands of Gentiles in North America who will say, “It is the Jew’s right, to have his land. The Bible has prophesied that they should have that land; therefore, they should have it at any cost.” I guarantee you one thing, if Israel suddenly announced that they were going ahead with their plans to build the temple, while the Mosque of Omar is still standing on the spot where it is to be built, every television would be tuned in on the national news broadcast tomorrow night, for that would be like a short fuse on a keg of dynamite. It would absolutely excite humanity the world over, and opinions would fly in every direction. Nevertheless, Isaiah prophesied that the sons of strangers shall come, and shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee. That lets me know that we are living in the days of Ezekiel 36, when everything that God has prophesied about the land of Israel is being fulfilled.
GOD TO BE SANCTIFIED BEFORE MANY
When the final, climatic hours of these prophecies such as Ezekiel 36, and Isaiah 60, are reached, God says, “I will be sanctified before the eyes of many people.” That does not mean that a great host will repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, accepting Him as Savior and Lord in their lives. It only means that whatever God does to cause these scriptures to be fulfilled, will be so contrary to public opinion, that people will say, that had to be an act of God. In other words, when God said He would be sanctified in the eyes of the people, He simply meant that He would get the credit for having accomplished such a thing. In spite of President Carter’s opinion, and in spite of the opinions of the Arabs, the things we are talking about are soon to come to pass, and it will not be a long, drawn out affair, no more so than their taking the old city in just a few short hours. Brothers and sisters, if Israel gets into a war, and such an event takes place, so that the old city is laid in ruins, there will be two things done in very short order; there will not only be a temple built, but there will be a city to rebuild also, causing these words to become a reality, “And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favor have I had mercy on thee. Therefore thy gates shall be open continually; (There is your millennium setting) they shall not be shut day or night; that men may bring unto thee the forces of the Gentiles, and that their kings may be brought.” That simply is speaking of the fact that all nations shall come to Zion, to Jerusalem to worship the Lord of hosts in the millennium. All these other things that we have been talking about, build up to that, for according to Zechariah 14, and verse 12 in 1sa. 60, “The nations and kingdoms that will not serve thee, shall perish. They shall be utterly wasted.” Now notice verse 13, Lebanon cannot escape her role in the fulfillment of prophecy. “The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.” When we were in Lebanon a few years ago, we heard that there are still, I believe it was 500 of those huge cedar trees, still standing on top of the Lebanese mountain range. They claim that they are more than 3000 years old, and that they are left of those that Solomon did not get when he built the first temple. Lebanon has made this a national park area, and will not permit any of those cedars to be cut, but can you not see that God has, no doubt, caused Lebanon to do that to protect those trees for the very hour when they will be needed for the rebuilding of the temple which will stand during the millennium. Does it not fit the picture here? “The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir tree, the pine tree, and the box together. (what for?) to beautify the place of my sanctuary; (that is the temple), and I will make the place of my feet glorious.” When you connect that with Ezekiel 43, you have a perfect picture. 60:14, “The Sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the Lord. The Zion of the Holy One of Israel. Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an I eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. 16, Thou shalt also (now this is prophetic. Biblical terminology, notice how it speaks), suck the milk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breasts of kings.” That does not mean that they will buy dairy products from the West. It is pointing to the very source of life of any nation. That which the economy is based upon, is in reference here. Suck the milk of the Gentiles, and suck the breasts of kings, simply means that God will cause Israel to find a soft spot in the hearts of Gentile world leaders, those in places of authority among the nations of the world. Out of their bosoms will they grant to Israel that which they require. Israel will not be the only manipulator of the affairs of that hour; God will have men in authority among the other nations of the world, as that hour approaches, who can be moved upon to say, Yes, Israel you can have what you want. Even though they will bend to the Antichrist later, in the months leading up to that hour, God will let Israel milk them. God will let Israel milk from them, wealth that they could not have gotten at any other time in history. “And thou shalt know that I the Lord am thy Saviour and thy redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.” Right now, all nations are waiting to cut off all aid to Israel, feeling that she is unreasonable in her stand for certain areas of land, but just let a confrontation, put Israel in a place where it looks like she is a goner, and God bring her out on top of the situation, making the other great world leaders look like a bunch of nincompoops, then God will be respected. That is His way of forcing mankind to acknowledge that He is God. It will make many of those unbelieving Jews who have gone back there as agnostics, not believing anything, to look up and say, yes, the God of Abraham. Isaac, and Jacob, did this. That will get the hearts and minds of those Jewish people ready for the hour of her two prophets who will step on the scene shortly after that. In other words, that will be God’s way of softening many hearts.
GOLD SILVER BRASS —IRON — WOOD — STONES
Notice verse 17, now, “For brass I will bring gold.” That means that things which were made from brass in times past will be made from gold instead of the brass in these last days. Brass has a beautiful shine to it when it is first cleaned, but it does not have a lasting effect in its usage. Before very long it must be shined again, and even though it shines up to be very beautiful, so that it looks like gold from a distance, its value is very cheap, compared to gold. Therefore God says “I will bring, or cause to be a brought, gold instead of brass.- For what purpose? That which is brought will be used for the reconstruction of the temple, and the part of the city that is going to be destroyed. Remember, the King of Glory is to occupy this temple; therefore it must be a thing of splendor. It will surely outshine the first temple, and we have descriptions of its beauty in the Bible. All nations must contribute their part, one way or another, and those that will not. will have to answer to God. Instead of brass door knobs, there will be gold door knobs, and so forth. Also, if there are any other government buildings built, they will reflect the same splendor and beauty. I just use these illustrations to get your thinking on the right track in order for you to catch the picture. He goes on to say, “And for iron I will bring silver, and for wood brass, and for stones, iron.” You see. He follows right on through with the thought. Where certain other buildings may have iron or metal window locks, pull chains and things on that order, they will use silver instead of the iron. For the things formerly made of wood, brass will be used instead, and then He comes to iron instead of stone. Brothers and sisters, In Israel’s ancient society iron was for structures, as it is almost everywhere today. For the foundations they had to use huge stones. That is why many of those buildings have stood through the ages, they had such a foundation of huge stones laid down, that they could withstand earthquakes, and tremendous shakings from wars, but God says, “For stones I will bring iron.” In other words, they are going to have foundations prepared with steel pilings, just like our modern skyscraper buildings. As long as that iron and steel are encased in stones and concrete, it will last as long as its casing remains intact. This is a much faster way of putting up a huge building, than the old method of placing stones of such an enormous size for the base. But, brothers and sisters, the thrilling part about all this is that God prophesied it more than 2600 years before the time for it to be done. What a God we serve; He has everything laid out so plain and perfect, if we just have eyes to see it. He says, “I will also make thy officers peace, and thine exactors righteousness. Violence shall be no more heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.” The rest of that chapter leads right on into a millennial setting, and we have actually covered the contents of it when we printed the message dealing with the New City, in Revelation, chapter 21, but I wanted to get these verses which deal with the rebuilding of the temple and what we believe concerning the rebuilding of the old city, in this message which is dealing with the land of Israel, and who and what is to inhabit that land when God gets everything and everyone positioned where He wants them.
I AM FOR YOU
We left our text chapter. Ezekiel 36, after reading verse 15, but we will return to it now, and finish the thought there. I have stressed the point that in these early verses of this chapter. God has been speaking to the land of Israel, not to the people, but to the land itself. As we return to this chapter, I would like to direct your attention back to verse 12, where God said, “I will cause men to walk upon you, (notice who) even my people Israel: and they shall POSSESS thee, and thou shalt be their INHERITANCE, and thou shalt no more henceforth bereave them of men.” That means men will no longer be fighting over the land. There will be no more men killed for the sake of that land. 13, “Thus saith the Lord God. Because they say unto you. Thou land devourest up men, and hast bereaved thy nations.” If we just had some way of knowing the thousands and thousands of men that have lost their lives in some kind of a conflict over that little strip of land, it would stagger our minds. The whole area of the land of Israel would fit into the state of Texas without even hardly being noticed. It would be just like a little garden spot. We have seen a slogan on postcards which reads. The sun has risen, the sun has set, and I am in the state of Texas, yet. You sure couldn’t say that about the land of Israel, unless you happened to be riding on a camel, for it is only 50 miles wide, at its widest point, and about 200 miles long. It is small, but it is a land well worth traveling to see. Not only does it make the Bible a lot easier to read, by being able to visualize the various places that are mentioned, but you stand amazed at the productivity of that land, now that it is back in the hands of its rightful owners. God gave that land to the seed of Abraham through Isaac, and He called it a land of milk and honey. To the Israelites, it truly is such a land, but when the Jews were out of it, God caused it to withhold its blessings, so that it became a barren wasteland through the years of Gentile dominion. It just goes to prove that God can bless a people, or He can withhold His blessings: whichever suits His purpose. In verse 9, God said, (speaking to the land) “For, behold, I AM FOR YOU, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown.” It doesn’t take a person very long to realize that this part of Ezekiel’s prophecy has already become effective when they take a tour down through the Jezreel valley, and see all those fertile fields producing their crops. Brothers and sisters: I am so thankful to be living in this hour of time, to witness God’s fulfillment of the things He instructed His prophets to write about so long ago. We are truly a privileged people. Praise His wonderful name.
EZEKIEL, YOU MUST KNOW THIS
As we approach verse 16, we find God’s prophecy through Ezekiel, turning from the land to the people. Let us read some of it now, 16: “Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land. They defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman.” You can turn back to chapter 16, and read where God spoke to the people before they were taken into captivity. Because of their idol worship, God looked upon them just like you would a woman that is unfaithful to her husband. He told them exactly what was going to happen to them because of their whoredoms, and He made them to know that it was His great fury that was falling upon them. He says, Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols where-with they had polluted it And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.” God is talking to Ezekiel, explaining to him, why his people have been driven from the land, and reminding him of their conduct, even in the lands of their captivity, verse 20. “And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of his land.” The Jews had their own ideas, religious-wise, and those ways were an abomination to God. He called it, profaning His name: therefore He had them driven out of their land, and placed in captivity among nations that would inflict much pain and misery upon them. God used these nations to chastise them for their evil ways, but notice verse 21 now, as we continue to read, how God begins to speak concerning the people to speak concerning the people and their captivity. In verse 21, He says, “But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel profaned among the heathen, whither they went.” God had pity for what reason? Why would He talk like that? He let them be taken out of their land, and He knew what would transpire, but He is working out a master plan that will cause him to be sanctified before the eyes of heathen people. Yes, He allowed them to be taken out of their land, but He also promised to restore them, therefore His name is at stake in the issue of the restoration of Israel. Some of you are old enough to remember the days when a man would go to any extremes to honor his word, for his name was at stake. There was a day when a man who had a good name could go into a bank and borrow money just on the strength of his good name. In those days men considered it important to keep their word. When they promised to do something, they would do it if there was any way possible to get it done. Now I ask you, what caused men to be like that? That is an attribute of God. That is what He is explaining in the next verse we will read, how that He is going to restore them, not for their sakes, but because His name is at stake.
He said He would restore them; therefore nothing that Mr. Carter, and the Arab nations can do will be enough to prevent God from keeping His word, He is God; He cannot fail. Carter may send word to Mr. Begin just any day now, demanding that they withdraw from the West Bank and forget about building any more settlements, but when he does, he is in more trouble with God than he will be able to handle, for God said, “I will do these things for my holy name’s sake.” In the final analysis it boils down to one of two things, will God keep His word, or will He let world opinions sway Him from it? We all know the answer to that. Listen while I read a few verses from Isaiah 44 – Verse 6, “Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. Verses 24-28, Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish; That confirmeth the word of his servants and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: That saith to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up the rivers: That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid.” The same God who spoke those words through His prophet Isaiah, and fulfilled everything right to the letter, spoke to Ezekiel concerning these last days. Why would He not be just as precise in that which is yet to be, as He was in those things that have already become history? Every word of God must be fulfilled right to perfection, or He would cease to be God. With that in mind let us go back now and read verse 22 of our text. “Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I DO NOT THIS FOR YOUR SAKES, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.” All those individuals whose sins caused God to deal with the house of Israel in such a way, have already rotted, and their bodies have returned to dust, but God made a promise to Abraham, giving that land to the descend-ants of Isaac for an everlasting possession, and He has reconfirmed His word through His prophets down through time; therefore the land of Israel must be completely returned to the Jews; not for their sakes, but for the sake of the word of God which has His great name behind it. It is because of that, I say we are living in an hour when we are going to see one of the greatest contests that this world has ever known, develop right before our very eyes. Naturally, world sympathy is with those Arab people who lived in that land before the United Nations petitioned a certain part to be given to the Jews who desired to return to the land of their forefathers. But you must keep this in mind as you consider the issues, those Arabs were squatters. The land never did belong to them. How could it, when God had already given Abraham a deed to it, specifying that it was to his seed that should come through Isaac. I know we have used this scripture in other messages, but for the benefit of newer people on our mailing list, and because some of them may not understand what is involved in the conflict between Israel and the Arab nations, I would like to read a few verses from the 17th chapter of Genesis which could clear up any misunderstanding if people would just take the Bible as a book of authority, instead of a book of myths.
WHY JEWS INSTEAD OF ARABS?
Beginning with verse 4, let us hear what God said to Abraham, “As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name be called Abram, (that is what Abraham’s name was before God changed it) but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee. And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an EVERLASTING COVENANT, to be God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee. AND I WILL GIVE UNTO THEE, AND TO THY SEED AFTER THEE, THE LAND WHEREIN THOU ART A STRANGER, ALL THE LAND OF CANAAN, FOR AN EVERLASTING POSSESSION; and I will be their God.” Now let us skip on down to verses 15-21 for the rest of the scriptural proof we need to nail this thing down. Brothers and sisters, the scriptures say it so perfectly, we only need to get them together. They leave no room for the opinions of carnal men. 15, And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. And I will bless her, and give thee a son also of her: yea, I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations: kings of people shall be of her.” Now notice this next verse; see how all of what God was saying finally overcame Abraham to the point where he just fell down on the ground and laughed. Listen, “Then Abraham fell upon his face, and laughed, and said in his heart, (this was his thoughts, not his words) Shall a child be born unto him that is an hundred years old? and shall Sarah, that is ninety years old, bear? 18: “And Abraham said unto God. 0 that Ishmael might live before thee!” You see, Abraham would have bestowed the blessing upon Ishmael, but God said no. If people would just read these verses they would realize that they are fighting against God. 19: “And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed: and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.” Do not miss that, THOU SHALT CALL HIS NAME ISAAC: AND I WILL ESTABLISH MY COVENANT WITH HIM FOR AN EVERLASTING COVENANT, AND WITH HIS SEED AFTER HIM. Now listen to these last two verses, “And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly: twelve princes shall he begat, and I will make him a great nation. BUT MY COVENANT WILL I ESTABLISH WITH ISAAC, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.” Anyone who has any respect at all for the Bible could get their minds straightened out if they would just take the time to see what the Bible says about these controversial issues in the news of our day. That is where the big trouble is though; for the world over, people are slipping and sliding back from the reality that there even is a God, much less to pick up the Bible and try to find out what the mind of God is on such and such a thing. Many young students go off to college in this age, only to come home four years later, brainwashed to the point where they will even laugh at the very mention of God. They have been fed carnal theories of evolution, and taught that all this stuff about God is nothing but a hoax, perpetrated by a bunch of fanatics who do not know anything about this modern age of science. In such an age as this, when people have slipped so far from the reality that there is a God who controls His creation, God is forced to do something that will at least cause people to acknowledge that there truly is a God. We will see such a thing in this very chapter as we proceed. God is going to do something in fulfilling this very prophecy that will come to the world to realize that it was done by the hand of God. Alright now, as we read verse 22 – you will immediately notice that this is to the people. First God spoke to the land, then to Ezekiel, and now He is speaking to the people. 22, “Therefore say unto the house of Israel, this terminology encompasses the whole house of Israel, all twelve tribes) Thus saith the Lord God, I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.” It did not matter whether it was the ten tribes scattered throughout Russia and Siberia, or the two Southern tribes scattered throughout Europe and Central Asia – this prophecy was to the whole house of Israel, and it was for the end time. God speaks in this way, making it clear to them that they are no better than anyone else, but because He made a promise to Abraham. He is doing it to keep His word. Four thousand years have rolled by since God made that covenant with Abraham, but with God, time is not even a consideration. With Him, a thousand years is as one day according to 2 Peter 3:8. God said, “I did not make this promise to Ishmael; I made it to Abraham and his seed through Isaac, and because I made such a promise. I am going to keep it, not for your sakes, but for mine own name’s sake. You have profaned my name in every place you have been, but I will still keep my word.” We are seeing the fulfillment of a prophecy the apostle Peter made in the chapter just mentioned, also. When God does not do things according to the schedule some men have laid out for Him to work by, many times they will become discouraged and give up, saying, We have been hearing that, for years, and it still has not come to pass. Peter said it like this, “In the last days there shall come scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” Of course that particular scripture is dealing with the second advent of the Lord Jesus Christ, but I call it to your attention for the simple reason that the same principle is involved; the word of God is in question. Peter says there, that they are willingly ignorant, for everything is hinged on the word of God, but God cannot be locked up in time. Whatever He has said He will do, He will do it, but He will do it in His time, and He doesn’t have to consult anyone about it.
SANCTIFYING GOD’S GREAT NAME
Coming back to Ezekiel 36:23, we read, And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.” When President Carter, Prime Minister Begin, and President Sadat walked out of their Camp David conference room, and made their speeches to the world, it was made to look like Begin is going to give up, give up, and give up, and like Sadat was saying, We are going to get all the Sinai back, and we are going to get the Gaza Strip, and so forth. To me it sounded like the world is being led to laugh in the face of God, as if God would not fulfill His word. Brothers and sisters, when the world is crying, If we don’t do this thus, and so, we are going to have war, or if this doesn’t work we are going to have war: They may do some of these things to try to prevent a war, but they are going to have a war in spite of all they can do; I guarantee it. I will read you a scripture from Zechariah, directly, that will furnish light upon the subject, but let me say this first, when all of their negotiating was finished, they still had two very important, unresolved questions before them. One was, What will the Jews do in regards to the old city, Jerusalem? The other one is, What will Israel do about the settlements on the West Bank? Sadat says that, for King Hussein’s sake, the Jews must give up the old city. Mr. Begin says, never. I agree with Mr. Begin, for I believe, like I said earlier in the message, if they gave up the old city it would be reversing prophecy and putting the city back under the times of the Gentiles. I do not see any way for them to do that. On the other great issue, Sadat says, you must vacate all occupied land, and tear down those settlements. It sounds like Israel has agreed to vacate some of the settlements, but I read in the paper, that some of those settlements have more than 10,000 people living in them, and many of those Jews have migrated from out of other nations, all because they felt a call of God to go home. Those who have gone back there believing that God was calling them back to the land, and have toiled, some of them, for more than 15 years, are not going to give up, and forsake all their labors without a fight. They are no more likely to give up that land through negotiation, than I am to go back into the Methodist church, forsaking the teachings of this end time truth. Fifteen years spent in building up an area of land requires some kind of motivation, and regardless of what their motives may have been, it would not be easy to drop everything and walk away from it. The world calls it occupied land, but the Jews call it liberated land. Nevertheless, we have a great parallel here, one viewpoint lying right alongside another, and it is just like watching two race horses as they come down the home stretch towards the finish line; if we did not have the word of God to guide our thinking, human emotions could very easily sway us to the wrong side. Oh, how I praise Him for His precious word. It lets us know that God is not doing what He is doing, because the Jews are such holy people, but He is blessing them because of a promise He made to their forefather. The Bible would not be very much of a benefit to us if we could not have complete confidence in every word that the Lord has spoken throughout its pages. Some will say, But the Bible is full of contradictions. Let me ask you first of all, Why are you reading it? What are you looking for? Are you searching for contradictions, or are you searching for the perfect will of God for your own life? If you are studying the Bible with a proper motive, you will not be finding contradictions. It will guide your life into the way of righteousness, and you will appreciate the accuracy of it more and more as you grow in the likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ.
WHAT IS A HEATHEN?
I want to return to the verse about the name of the Lord being sanctified in the eyes of the heathen, and try to clarify two words in that verse. The word heathen, applied to anyone out-side of a particular religion, by those of that religious belief who worshipped the true God. In the case of the Jews, the term applied to all Gentile people, and the word sanctify, in its more common usage, means to set apart, or to consecrate, but in this particular usage, it pertains to recognition; therefore when God said He would SANCTIFY His great name in the house of Israel, before the eyes of the heathen, He did not mean to imply that all Gentiles would fall down in repentance, and ask Him to save their souls. It simply means that He is going to work on the behalf of His chosen people, Israel, in such a way that even people who have never professed to believe the word of God will be forced to say, That had to be an act of God. In other words, that was beyond man’s ability. Take for example, the six day war in 1967; I did not hear of anyone getting saved because of the outcome of that short war, but world leaders and military men, one right after another, were heard to say, That was a miracle. That had to be an act of God. You do not hear them saying much about it these days, but at the time, God was sanctified in their eyes in the same sense that it is referred to here. It was the same way when that tornado swept through this Ohio Valley in 1973. Many communities were completely destroyed, but with very little loss of lives. Everyone knew that if it had happened at night there would have been hundreds of lives lost, but it happened at a time of day when many people were away from their homes, and of those who were at home, it seemed that many of them came within inches of being killed, but were spared: thereby giving them occasion to say, That had to be a miracle of God, or It was only by the mercy of God that we were spared. God was sanctified in the eyes of those who made such statements. In other words God got the credit for their lives being spared, even though those same people may go through the rest of their life without ever being converted to Christianity. This is just a couple of examples to help you see what God is talking about here in these verses of our text. We are living in an age when the world has forgotten that there is a God in Heaven, and many of those who still hold some concept of God in their minds, do not think of Him as being able to fulfill this book. They are more prone to think of Him as a weak God that is depending upon the decisions of brilliant men to work out His program for the ages. People such as this are going to be suddenly awakened to the fact that God is moving men to fulfill His word. He is causing people to do things that they never would have dreamed of doing. That is why Revelation 17:17 says, “For God hath put it in their hearts to fulfill His will.” God is not waiting for the week of Daniel to start, before He puts it in the hearts of men, to fulfill His will: He has been doing it all along. That is how prophecy gets fulfilled so precisely. It does not happen by chance.
One of the things that can trigger an explosion in their peace plans, is for Sadat to insist on the return of the old city to the Jordonians. There is a group of compromisers there in Israel who are willing to give up whatever is necessary to obtain a peace pact, but they are not Bible believing Jews. They are just like a lot of these compromising church members who claim to be Christians until some trial or test comes, then they immediately give up to the devil, claiming that what they were standing for wasn’t really that important anyhow. While the Camp David meetings were in session, this bunch of compromisers, numbering into the hundreds, and maybe even into the thousands, were demonstrating in the streets, with slogans such as, Give it back, we want peace, or Peace is more important than the land. With that kind of a spirit on those Jews, it makes it hard for the Jew who is loyal to God, and to His word, to hold out for what they believe is right. Doesn’t it? Saints, this is not an hour for compromise. Hold to what you know to be right, look the devil straight in the face, and tell him to be-gone, you are going to stand for what is right. If you will do that, you will have God on your side in all of the attacks Satan makes against you, but God has no delight in compromisers regardless of your excuses. The principles of every situation the only things that God can be glorified in, and therefore, right principles and motives are the only way we can please God. When we find out what the Bible says about certain things, then let us stand for that, regardless of what world opinion may be. We all want peace; that is normal, but if we believe the word of God, we know that there can be no lasting peace negotiated, regardless of how sincere the negotiators may be. In verse 24, God says, “For I will take you from among the heathen, (the Gentile people) and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.” He will bring them from all over the world, back to the land of their forefathers, and here is what He is going to do, once He has enough of them back there, (this will be after the week of Daniel starts) 25, “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you.” Hallelujah! This thrills my soul. God spoke to the land first, and said, “I am for you, and I am going to multiply men upon you, men from the whole house of Israel, all twelve vibes. Then He begins speaking to the people, telling them what he is going to do. Oh, brother, that can Carter do to stop it?
STICK AROUND – YOU WILL SEE
Some will say, Bro. Jackson., what are you going to say if Mr. Begin gives up the Gaza Strip, or something else that they are demanding he give up? I am going to say, Stick around a little while, it is all going to backfire; For I have more scripture to back up that statement, than you do to criticize it. In order for the whole chapter to be fulfilled, God will have to let things build up to what seems to be a breaking point, in order to get the attention of the whole world focused on it, before He makes His move. God will intervene when the situation really gets tough for Israel. I will never forget the days before the six day war started. You did not hear anyone saying, Israel is well able to handle the situation. Everyone was saying, Poor little Israel. Just look at the guns, planes and tanks those Arabs have; if God doesn’t do something Israel is a goner. Well, God did do something. He ran those Arabs off in every direction, and the whole world was made to recognize the hand of God in it all. You do not hear people saying, Poor little Israel any more. They still talk about little Israel, but it sounds more like this, little devil, little agitator, and such like. Now they are saying that Israel wants everything they can get their hands on, and they really play for keeps. You know what changed their tunes; they were made to realize that God is with Israel, and that she is capable of handling any military situation. That is why Mr. Begin could say to President Carter, We do not want your troops over here; just be sure you keep us supplied with guns and ammunition; we will handle the rest. Do you know why he feels safe in talking like that? It is because he believes the Bible account of Gideon’s army. Gideon started out with an army that numbered into the thousands, but God had him cull them until there were only three hundred men left, then God said to Gideon, By these three hundred men, I WILL DELIVER THE ENEMY INTO YOUR HANDS. Gideon had three hundred men, a bunch of old pitchers, and trumpet for every man. Brother he scared that bunch of Midianite: until they slaughtered each other in the dark of the night. We are living in days when a similar situation is just ahead, and I get excited just thinking about it. When the smoke clears away, and God has the attention of the house of Israel, and of the whole world, then it will be time for verse 25, which we started to read, to be fulfilled. Verse 25, takes us to Revelation, chapter 11, where the two prophets will be sealing the 144,000 servants of God in their foreheads. The seal will be the baptism of the Holy Ghost, and that is what verse 25 is referring to when it says, Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. Of course we do not know how much time is left between now, and the time those two prophets come on the scene, but this one thing I do know, and I have said it already, the Jews will have every inch of their promised land back in their possession by then, and there will be enough people from each of the twelve tribes to fulfill Rev. 7, and Rev. 11, which, as we said, deals with the sealing of the 144,000 servants of God. Clean water speaks of the Holy Ghost, and God says, I am going to sprinkle clean water upon you. Then you will be clean from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, and religious ideas. Jerusalem will be their capital, and King Hussein of Jordan will have nothing to say in the matter.
God says, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, (meaning, that old hard hearted arrogant, Jewish attitude that they have carried for so long, through centuries of time and I will give you an heart of flesh. (one that can be moved with compassion and express love) And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes. and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Like we said earlier, that part will not be fulfilled until the two prophets. or witnesses of Revelation chapter 11, comes on the scene. Between now and then, however long it is, they will be getting the rest of the land that goes to make up their inheritance. Their spiritual awakening comes, only after they have possession of every inch of their land. 28 “And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers.” The big question among many who believe in the complete fulfillment of this prophecy is, How will they know exactly what land they are supposed to have, since it is all divided up like it is? That is no problem; the same God that gave Abraham that land is on the scene to direct it back into the hands of its rightful owners, and He knows every square inch of it. When the shooting stops, and five-sixths of the Russian forces are lying dead. Israel will no doubt have the land that it takes to fulfill this prophecy, in her possession. There is no other way for her to reclaim all of her land, in this age when most of the world is against her, except for her to take it in some kind of a conflict. Yes, “Ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleanness; and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. And I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that ye shall receive no more reproach of famine among the heathen.” Brother, you talk about blessings, this old world has never witnessed anything like they will see, when Israel is completely restored to her land. This world has never witnessed anything like they will see when God really starts blessing that nation. Ships will be leaving her docks loaded with all different kinds of commerce, like this world has never witnessed before. God says. “I will call for the corn and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you.” There is not another spot of ground anywhere in this old world that can out-produce this little plot, once those Jews are fully restored, and walking in the will of Jehovah. It is not just corn that they are raising; they are also raising cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, radishes and you name it. They are also producing huge, delicious, fruits, and what they are doing now is only a little preview of what is to come. They are also growing barley, oats and cotton.
WHO OWNS THE WEST BANK?
Verse 31, “Then shall ye remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations.” The next verse is a repeat of verse 22, in part. “Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord God; In the day that I shall have cleansed you from all your iniquities I will also cause you to dwell in the cities, and the wastes shall be builded.” Israel is fulfilling the words of this prophecy as they build those settlements, and the world in general is screaming, Stop! You can’t do that. That land doesn’t belong to you. You must return it to those poor homeless Arabs that you chased out of it. Let me tell you something, Israel did not run those Arabs out of the land. They left when the Arab army retreated, hoping to come back, when their army recuperated enough to drive Israel into the sea, but their armies have never recuperated enough to do that, and those Arabs would rather live in those refugee camps. than to live under an Israeli government. Otherwise they could have continued to live in the land. 34 “And the desolate land shall be I tilled, whereas it lay desolate in tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, “This land that was desolate is become like the Garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are become fenced, and are inhabited.” Any of you that have been to Israel in recent times, can surely testify to the fact that those wastelands and desolate and ruined cities are truly fenced and inhabited. You may say, Yes, but what are the fences for? They put up those fences and electrify them, as a safeguard against guerrilla attacks. We all know that chain link and barbed wire fences will not stop bullets, nor rockets, but they will help to prevent the enemy from sneaking into the cities at night. Livestock is not much of a consideration, as far as to the fences, for most of these villages are adapted strictly to growing vegetables. These people are farmers, and they do their farming with their weapons by their side. They take every precaution against terrorists, especially at night where they are likely to try to sneak into the villages from across the river. We are talking about the stretch of land that lies along the West side of the Jordan valley, called the West Bank in your national news broadcasts. There is no need to build stone walls around their cities as in days of old, for the walls in days of old, protected the people against the enemies’ attacks, for in those days, battles were fought with spears and swords, but in our day when guns and rockets, and bombs are the weapons of warfare, stone walls would be of very little benefit. A big old army tank would just go right on through, but let us rejoice, because we are living in the days the prophets spoke of, and we are seeing scriptures fulfilled almost daily. There is no reason to be sad, nor bitter about what is happening in politics, and economics around this world today, for these conditions had to come first, before the blessed event we are all looking for, the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
CUP OF TREMBLING
Turn with me now, to the 12th chapter of Zechariah, and let us read a few verses there, to go with what we are talking about. “The burden of the word of the Lord of Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people around about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.” For you who are sitting here in the congregation. I am going to illustrate with this glass of water. I PICK IT UP, AND MY HAND IS NOT TREMBLING. That which is in the glass is not disturbed by my picking it up, but here is what we want to see from this scripture, Jerusalem is Israel’s capital; therefore when the world points a finger at Israel, and says, Give it up, God is going to let it become a cup of trembling. Someone is going to get nervous. and that is exactly what God wants, for there is some conditioning to be accomplished in all of this. Those who take hold of that city will become nervous, and they shall tremble because of the fear that suddenly grips them when they are made to realize that they are fooling around with God’s property. Be careful! Don’t spill that. I am illustrating; the very thing the world does not want to get tangled up with, God has a way of causing their carnal maneuvering to place them right in the middle of it, for look at the next verse. “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for ALL people; all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” This verse lets us know that all d these people who want to have a s voice in what to do about the city of Jerusalem, whether it should be j given back to the Jordanians, made an international city, or whatever, are going to be in trouble with God for even allowing themselves to become involved in the matter. All that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces. Do you see what heartache people could spare themselves, if they would just read and believe what is written right here in this old, time tested, book? Regardless of what agreements may have come out of the Camp David meetings, the city can not go back, and that may be the very issue that will trigger their next war, for when those Jews put their foot down and say no, after all the negotiating that has been done, tempers will likely get out of control and some will take measures to try by force what could not be accomplished by negotiation. Once a war starts, whether it be over who should control the city of Jerusalem or what, it will likely cause those Jews to say, Since you want to fight about it, we will just fight about some other issues also; we will not give up the settlements either. Israel has everything working in her favour, for Mr. Begin did a good job in his diplomacy. He counseled with them, and I believe God gave him wisdom to say everything just right, so that on out in the future, conditions, themselves, will work so that he will not have to do everything he was coerced into agreeing to do. Three months can make a lot of difference in the way things go, and Israel always reacts to protect what they have, against those who would take it by force. At any rate, it looks like Mr. Begin has things going his way, whether the rest of the world leaders can see it or not. Let me read verse 9 now, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.” They want to get involved, but they are not going to enjoy the consequences of their involvement. Now when it comes to the Antichrist, we all know that he definitely will set up his kingdom there in Jerusalem, but it will only last for three and one half years, and that will not adversely affect this prophecy. It will not affect this prophecy at all, for his final estate is already settled, and he will just be doing his part to fulfill other prophecies that fit right in with these. Right now the Moslems have their temple, the Catholics have a sacred shrine, and the Jews have only a wall, and the world powers are thinking in terms of making it an internationally controlled city, but God says, No! Never, that is my city. It belongs to my people, and I will make it a cup of trembling, and a burdensome stone to all who allow themselves to become involved in the issue. In other words God is saying, Alright. so you want to carry it: Go right ahead and try, but it is a burdensome stone; it will break your back, crush your toes, and leave you crippled, it is heavier than you think. Yes, in that day, I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon ME whom they have PIERCED, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” This is after the land issue is settled, and their spiritual revival takes place. The one whom their forefathers pierced, will be revealed to them through the ministry of the two witnesses of Revelation, chapter 11, and it will be a time of repentance and mourning for Him who has promised to return unto them in the last days, after the fullness of the Gentiles is come in. Scriptures like these should really get hold of our hearts, knowing that the time is at hand when God shall soon lift the spirit of grace from the Gentiles. and begin to pour it upon the Jews. You may say, But with all that must be accomplished first, it seems like there should be quite a bit of time left. First let me say this, Do not ever think God is not able to make a fast work of all that is to be, once the conditions are right, and secondly, I will say this, If you take a wrong attitude about it, you may not be able to repent when the time is plainly at hand. It pays to be ready, for we do not know what the Lord may require of us as individuals, before this thing is all wound up.
Let us turn to Jeremiah 32:36-42, and watch how he brings it all up to date. “And now therefore thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning this city, whereof ye say. It shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, and by famine, and by the pestilence; Behold, I will gather them out of ALL countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my fury and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place and I will cause them to dwell safely: And they shall be my people, and I will be their God: And I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me forever, for the good of them, and of their children after them: And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul. For thus saith the Lord; Like as I have brought all this great evil upon this people, so will I bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.” You see what a span of time was covered in those few words; it just goes to show that God is not bound by time, yet He regulates time so that every generation moves right along in harmony with His word. The thing that has always been hard for some people to reconcile, is that God always deals with the people of Israel as a nation, where, in the case of us Gentiles, it has always been on an individual basis. We either stand, or fall, as individuals. No one else can receive our reward for obedience, and neither is anyone else held accountable for our deliberate rejection of God. Israel sinned as a nation, and God turned from them as a nation. We do not have the space to go into all the details of why Israel has been dealt with by the Lord, as she has, but I am sure most of us realize that God’s severe dealings with them have been a result of their committing spiritual adultery by worshipping idols, like the heathen round about them, instead of holding to the worship of Jehovah as they had been fully instructed to do. They were without excuse, for they had the testimony of how God had delivered their forefathers from the hands of their oppressors. and how God had fed them and given them water to drink, all by a miraculous means. They knew how God had dealt with their forefathers in the wilderness when they had Aaron make them a molten calf from the golden earrings among them, how that God would have destroyed every one of them right there, if Moses had not intervened. Of course we know that God knew the outcome of it all from before the foundation of the earth, but certainly, this episode gave them a chance to find out what God thought about idol worship. We find the account of it in Exodus 32, and in verse 7, we read, And the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down, (this was when Moses was up on the mountain with the Lord) for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiff-necked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them. and I will make of thee a great nation.” God hates idolatry, and He was ready to kill everyone of them, but Moses interceded for them, and reminded God of the covenant He had made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and of what the nations would say about Him not being able to finish what He had started. The whole house of Israel knew about that episode, and how God hates idolatry, yet they allowed themselves to be influenced toward idol worship, until their cup was full. The nation had been split into two separate kingdoms, with the ten Northern tribes under one king, and the two Southern tribes, Judah and Benjamin, under another. God sent prophet after prophet to prophesy against those Northern tribes but they did not take heed to the warnings; therefore around the year of 728 B.C., God allowed the Assyrians to come against Israel, (which is what the ten Northern tribes were called by) destroying their capital, Samaria, and led them away into captivity. By the time another hundred and twenty eight years had rolled by, Judah, which is what the two Southern tribes were called, had reached a place in their rebellion against God to where they must be chastised also. The difference here is that God said He would have mercy upon the house of Judah, where He had said He would have no mercy upon the Northern tribes, but would utterly take them away. They were never allowed to come back into their homeland, as the tribe of Judah was allowed to do, for the purpose of making things ready for the first advent of Christ. God kept those Northern tribes out of the land for 2700 years, not showing any mercy to them, but the kingdom of Judah which was carried into Babylonian captivity, primarily for their failure to observe the Levitical sabbaths, set forth by Moses according to the word of the Lord, in Leviticus 25: 2- 7, which required the land to rest, 1 out of every 7 years. For some selfish reason, they had allowed 490 years to slip by without observing this law; therefore around 600 years B.C., God allowed Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon to besiege Jerusalem, killing scores of Jews. and destroyed the city and the temple, and carried the people who remained alive, and all the treasures and vessels of the sanctuary to Babylon. This captivity was to be for a period of 70 years, and the land was to lay in desolation through all of those 70 years, enjoying her sabbaths according to 2 Chronicles 36:21, which declares this to be a prophecy of Jeremiah. You can also read it in Jeremiah 25:11 which reads like this, “And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.” God used those nations to chastise the Jews for their rebellion, but when the chastening was over with, God dealt with those nations for their wickedness in doing such.
CYRUS — SERVANT OF GOD
When it came time for God to show His mercy upon Judah as Hosea 1:7 declares that He would, He did not have them delivered from their oppressors by force. He just raised up a king, Cyrus by name, who would allow the Israelites to find favor in His sight. In so doing, the remainder of verse 7, in Hosea chapter 1, was fulfilled. The whole verse reads like this. “But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.” We said earlier that God puts it in the hearts of men to fulfill His will, now let us watch how God moved upon Cyrus, king of Persia, in the first year that he was in power, to fulfill the prophecies of Jeremiah, and Hosea. Turn to Ezra 1:1-4, “Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it into writing, saying. Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia. The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is there among you of all his people? His God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord God of Israel, (He is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, besides the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.” That is why Cyrus is referred to as a servant of God, and even as God’s shepherd. God stirred him in his spirit to perform all the will of God in this matter. That got the tribe of Judah back in the land, and the temple rebuilt, but it did not get the city built; that came later, under the leadership of Nehemiah, and during those years of building the walls of the city, they experienced a great revival, but by the end of the 49 years of their work, they had drifted back into apostasy. The revival fires burned out and the years drifted on. Malachi had prophesied against their apostasy: then they went 400 years without a prophet until John the Baptist came on the scene. John gave his voice in the preparation for the first advent of Christ, but he prophesied to a stiff necked and hardened generation When Christ came, everything was all wrapped up in legalism and formality, and the Scribes and pharisees rejected his teaching; Nevertheless, that was a very important time from the standpoint of Biblical history, for it fulfilled, by the time Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the donkey, 69 weeks of the 70 weeks of years that the angel Gabriel, spoke to Daniel about when he. Daniel, had been fasting and praying, and confessing the sins of his people before God. That 70 weeks of years, (490 years) has been the subject of much disputing and controversy among the people who follow after this end time message delivered to this age by God’s seventh church age messenger, Bro. William Marrion Branham. The big dispute is whether there is still 1 full week left to be fulfilled, or just 3 1/2 years, which would be 12 of the 70th week. Before going into that, let us turn to the 9th chapter of Daniel, and read a few verses. Daniel had been studying the scrolls, and learned that the captivity of Judah was only to be for a period of 70 years. according to Jeremiah’s prophecy. Realizing that the time of their release was drawing nigh, Daniel set his face to inquire of the Lord on behalf of his people. By prayer and fasting, and supplications, he sought the Lord in sackcloth and ashes, and we will pick up in the 20th verse to begin our reading, “And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God; Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning.” Let me stop right here and bring you up to date on what Daniel had been seeing in his visions. I will say this first. If anyone doubts that the Roman Empire was the beast with 7 heads and 10 horns – that is described in Revelation, chapters 12,13 and 17, let them read chapter 7 of Daniel. and especially verses 15-25, where the angel explained to Daniel that this particular beast was the fourth great world kingdom upon the earth; surely we all know the fourth great world kingdom was Rome; therefore if the 10 horned beast was Rome in Daniel’s vision, it was Rome in John’s vision also. Now, Daniel had visions in which he saw four great beasts come up from the sea, each one different from the others. The first one was like a lion, which we know was Babylon, for the angel told Daniel that these four beasts are four kings, or kingdoms, that would rule the earth. The second was like a bear, and that was the kingdom of the Medes and Persians. The third was like a leopard, which history shows to be the Grecian Empire. but the one that troubled Daniel the most was the fourth This one, he described as being dreadful and terrible, and exceedingly strong. Having great iron teeth: it devoured and break in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet. It was different from all the other beasts before it, for it had ten horns, and while Daniel watched, another little horn came up from among the ten, which plucked up three of the ten by the roots. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man, a mouth, speaking great things. Daniel kept watching that one until the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit. In other words he watched the actions of this one until the end of the age came, then he saw the Ancient of days sitting on His throne, wearing a garment as white as snow, and having hair like pure wool. He goes on to speak of the great judgment, the books being opened, and of the beast being cast into the fire, but when we get down to the 15th verse of that chapter, (Dan. 7) we find these words, (we will just read right through them, they are very plain, and specific.)
“I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. The great beast, which are four, are FOUR KINGS, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom (in the millennium) and possess the kingdom forever, even for ever and ever. Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of the horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; (during the great tribulation) Until the Ancient of days came. and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High: and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. Thus he (the angel) said, The Fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: (kings of common market nations, which in former times made up the nations of the old Roman Empire) and another shall rise after them: (the pope of the Roman Catholic Church) and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time (one year and times (two more years) and the dividing of time, (one half year, making a total of 3 1/2 years.) But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. That is all we will read of this, even though he goes on in the next chapter with more elaboration on that fourth beast. Our purpose in reading this much, was to identify the fourth beast for what we will say about the ninth chapter. Verse 17, of the eighth chapter tells us that the vision was for the time of the end; that is where we are now: right at the end of this age. We stopped in the middle of verse 21, in chapter 9, when Daniel spoke of Gabriel whom he had seen in the beginning, “being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation, 22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved; therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.” Now here is the part we want to look at, for it will explain something of God’s dealings with the Jews through the years. Verse 24. “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city. (Do not get these seventy weeks confused with the seventy years of Babylonian captivity. This seventy weeks are weeks of years totaling 490 years.) to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins (notice what all is to be accomplished during these 70 weeks of years) and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to SEAL UP THE VISION and PROPHECY, and to ANOINT THE MOST HOLY.” This tells us that God is going to be dealing with the Jews a total of 490 years, (70 weeks) which, time wise, will end with the start of the Millennium, with the anointing of the Most Holy, (the temple.) Now keep in mind, they have already been in captivity almost 70 years, and this 490 years is to begin at a later time, a time in which there are 6 specific things to 3 be accomplished among the house of Israel. (1) To finish the transgression, (2) To make an end of sin, (3) Make reconciliation for iniquity, (4) Bring in everlasting righteousness, 5) Seal up the vision and prophecy, and (6) To anoint the Most Holy. This 70 weeks became effective when the commandment went forth to restore and to build the city of Jerusalem; not the temple; it was finished around 519 B.C., in the 6th year of Darius reign, but this is referring to the commandment to restore and to build the city itself, which became effective 445 B.C., in the 20th year of the reign of Artaxerxes Longeminus, King of Persia. Now let us read Danie19: 25 and see where God stopped the clock on those 70 weeks of years. 25 “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the MESSIAH THE PRINCE (Jesus Christ) shall be seven weeks, (49 years) and threescore and two weeks; (434 years) the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks, (62 plus 7 equals 69 weeks) shall MESSIAH BE CUT OFF, (Jesus was cut off at the end of the 69th week; not in the middle of the 70th, as some believe. Now notice,) but not for himself: and the PEOPLE of the prince that shall come (keep your mind on this prince, and you will see that he is a prince of the people who destroyed the city of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” History reveals tha Titus, the son of Vespasian, emperor of Rome, in the year of 70 A.D. took his army and destroyed the city of Jerusalem fulfilling the last part of verse 26, and establishing the fact that the people who destroyed Jerusalem were Romans. This same verse also declares that a prince of these people (Romans) shall come. For what purpose? Let us read verse 27 and we will see. “And he (the prince that shall come, the Antichrist) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (that will be the 70th week of Daniel’s 70 weeks.) and in the midst of the week (THE MEDDLE) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, (in other words he will stop the Jews from using the temple and the altar) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, (for how long?) even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Of course we do not have the space to go into this seventy weeks of Daniel and cover it fully, for it is a message itself, and we have it in print already. If anyone is interested in making a study of it, you may request the article, which All! be sent free of charge.
RESTARTING THE CLOCK
Our main purpose in calling these particular scriptures to your attention (Daniel 7, and Daniel 9) is to make you aware of the fact that God has not been dealing with the Jews for the 6 reasons stated in Dan. 9:24 since the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ, but the time is close at hand when He will finish that prophecy. In other words God just stopped the clock when Jesus was crucified, like they do between plays in a football game, and the clock stopped at the end of the 69th week, but as we have tried to point out in this message, it looks like all the players are just about in position, and we believe it is just about time for God to start the clock for the last week of Daniel’s prophecy. Do not let a statement like this cause you to forget everything else we have talked about in this message, for there are yet a few things to fall into place first. Ezekiel’s prophecy in chapters 38 and 39 must be fulfilled first. Also, according to Paul’s revelation in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, the man of sin ( the Antichrist) must be revealed, (to the bride) and the ten Common Market nations must be lined up in their proper role. It will not necessarily require a lot of time, but we know by the scriptures that the starting of that week of time is still out in the future a little way. Knowing this, does not leave any room for slackness on our part though; For there is no guarantee that any certain individual among us will ever wake up to see another day. The only thing that we can say for sure is that this generation will not pass away until all the things we have talked about, which must take place this side of the millennium, have been fulfilled. We have to leave it like that, lest we be accused of setting dates, but keep your eyes on Israel. Do not worry about these peace negotiations, for God is not slack concerning His promise. Israel was blinded for our sakes, in order that we Gentiles might be partakers of the gospel, but when the fullness of the Gentiles come in, God will turn back to Israel with the gospel and that will be when Ezekiel 36:25-27 will be fulfilled. “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh, And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” In the book of Romans we read these words, “And so all Israel shall be saved: As it is written. There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the elec-tion, they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes. (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and those who believed and trusted in the word of God) for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” That means He will not change His mind just because the descendants of those men failed to walk in the footsteps of their father’s. Does that mean every Jew will believe the gospel and be saved? Absolutely not, but there will be a nationwide revival under the ministry of the two witnesses of Revelation, chapter 11, and all those who believe the message of the two witnesses will be sealed with the Holy Ghost. God will not overlook unbelief from anyone. Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness; therefore only those who believe will be counted as the seed of Abraham, and become heirs of the promise. Those who take the mark of the beast will be destroyed, with the beast, at the coming of Jesus Christ with His saints from glory. God is setting the stage for the rapture of the bride of Christ and for His final dealings with the house of Israel, this side of the millennium, so as children of God, let us be appreciative to Him for His word of truth in this last hour. Amen.