I WANT TO DEAL WITH THIS MESSAGE IN THE LIGHT OF WHAT WE NOW SEE TAKING PLACE IN THE WORLD. I FEEL IT IS VERY TIMELY IN THE LIGHT OF THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN TRANSPIRING IN THE WORLD, TO BRING OUR THINKING UP TO DATE. I DO NOT CLAIM TO BE ANY MORE OF AN AUTHORITY ON WHAT IS TAKING PLACE IN THE WORLD THAN ANYONE ELSE, BUT THERE ARE THINGS TAKING SHAPE THAT WE SHOULD BE VERY INTERESTED IN, ALERT, AND CONCERNED ABOUT THE OUTCOME.
With the government of Yugoslavia splitting, Russia making such drastic changes, and the Middle East in such a turmoil, it behooves us to be concerned about certain Bible prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled. Those of you who know anything about history, especially Bible history, know the ancient area of Greece, which was the third world empire, sprang from what is Biblically called Mesopotamia. That covered Yugoslavia, Belgrade, and Greece. At the end of WW2, Marshall Tito formed an independent Communistic government that was unaligned with Russia. He lived to be quite old. All the rest of that area outside of Greece went strictly Communistic under the influence of Russia; but now, at the end of forty years since WW2, we find this Communistic area collapsing. What does this tell us? As they collapse, they have to become aligned with some kind of system to bring about world trade and commerce among themselves. No nation, especially in Europe, can exist independently. Our nation did exist very much independently for a long time; not having to depend too much on the rest of the world for anything. However, as we see the world moving toward the hour of time when the beast of Revelation 13, is definitely going to come to the forefront, and prophecy once again set in motion, you can rest assured, this nation will never again be like it was back then. The hand of God is striking every nation in one way or another, getting things in line for the end time wind up. As He breaks down the great Communistic empire, this religious element that has preached Communism as the antichrist for the last forty years, is going to have to look for something to take its place. This does not end Communism. It just ends its existence as a major, world, influential ideology. The end of Communism will definitely be God’s judgment, when the time is right. First, things must be put first though; so Ezekiel 38 will have to be fulfilled before some of these other things come about. Until then, Russia will go on being Russia. She will no doubt have her internal problems, for we see it already going on, but that in no way keeps her from playing her role in the fulfillment of Ezekiel 38. We just have to realize, for such a long time now, many people have thought the Ezekiel 38 fulfillment would be masses of Russian troops coming to the Holy Land to be destroyed, but let us read it again. Yes I say, Let us read it again! Look at the nations that will be aligned with her for that hour. Libya is one. Just think of Khadafy. He has an army of Russian equipment, rockets, paratroopers and so forth, just clawing the earth, awaiting an hour that they can carry out his mischievous goal. Then there is Ethiopia. As Haile Selassie and his old monarchy fell a few years back, it brought in a Marxist government to take over. Now Ethiopia has the largest Russian equipped army in the Middle East. Yet according to the Jerusalem Post, Ethiopia is wanting to carry on certain types of trade in an agricultural way, because they have suffered severely from droughts in the last few years. You have seen on the News how Chad, eastern Kenya, and Ethiopia have suffered from these massive droughts. Hundreds and thousands of people have died. Ethiopia has tried to increase its agricultural potential, but it is still not able to meet the needs of the people. More than 15,000 Jews of the lost tribe of Dan are there yet, according to estimates. Now Ethiopia has agreed to let them go, if Israel will help them with technology in the agricultural realm. Israel will do that. She has already started to do it. Will that keep Ethiopia from playing her part in Ezekiel 38? Not at all. The hand of God just moves these things back to get His complete picture filled in. The middle East is being gradually brought into position for an eventual chaotic blow of some kind. As the Communistic world began to fall, Russia and these other nations willingly agreed with Israel to begin a process of letting the Jews of their territories go home. Israel has been sending their people into Russia to fill out the applications for the Russian Jews, trying to figure out how many really are wanting to come home to the land of their forefathers. Hundreds, even thousands, are desiring to go. It is even estimated that as many as a million of them will be brought back within the next 5 years. I will read part of an article I have, which was taken from the Jerusalem Post, because it fits right into our message as we try to look at all of this for the future. We know that America has the largest Jewish community in the world. I think the last estimate was somewhere around 7 million. They are the Wall Street type that really have no reason to leave America. Here is what this article says. “With the American Jewish community leadership readying itself to raise 420 million in 3 years for Soviet immigrant absorption in Israel, there were doubts about the prospect of any sizable grant from the U.S. administration. (Here is why it states that.) A statement last week by Prime Minister Shamir that immigration figures that large, will require that Israel be large as well, caused consternation in Washington.” Notice how the Western nations jump to conclusions. We need to realize that in the six day war of 1967, Israel succeeded in taking a certain amount of territory reaching all the way to the Jordan River. All of that is now called the West Bank. The Jordan River flows below sea level and the mountain regions lead to it. That is why it is called the West Bank. The Russians and the Arabs, as well as a lot of others, do not want Israel to occupy that west bank area they took. They want them to eventually give it up to the Palestinian Arabs. However, since the six day war, Israel has slowly moved out into those areas and rebuilt ancient villages right where the ruins of the old ones were, when the people were taken out of there captive, 2000, and 3000 years ago. The Arabs in there, as well as Russia, know if Israel holds all that land, unwilling to give it up, they have no other alternative but to shut the door and say, We will not let these Jews leave. In other words, you have got to work with us. “The United Jewish appeals tentative new goals supersedes an earlier commitment of 350 million over five years. The campaign is to be called Operation Exodus, and is part of a world wide effort to raise six hundred million in the coming three years. The fund raising drive parallels an approach to secure additional U.S. governmental aid; and Senator Daniel of Hawaii is considering a proposal for a one time five hundred million grant to help Israel absorb the up to one hundred thousand Soviet immigrants expected this year. Informed sources say this will be extremely difficult due to the budget cutting mood in Washington.”
SEALING OF 144,000 SERVANTS OF GOD
In Revelation, chapter 7, we will read a few verses that show where the 144,000 men seen in chapter 14, following the Lamb, actually come from. The little chart we are using to call attention to the setting in Revelation 14, would not mean much to anyone if it could not be established where such a picture originated. Let me say to you who will never see the chart: It is meant to illustrate the scene chapter 14 opens with, where it speaks of a Lamb (We all know who the Lamb points to. It portrays Jesus the Christ, who is also pronounced in the Bible to be the Lamb of God.) standing on mount Zion with a great host of men standing with Him, having His Father’s name written in their foreheads, and three angels seen flying in the heavens. Let us read in chapter 7, where we will see who these men are and where they will come from. (7:1) “And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.” This is not the north pole, south pole, eastern hemisphere and western hemisphere. The four corners of the earth definitely points to the Middle East. That is where north ends and south begins, where east ends and west begins. That is where the Bible started and where history started; and that is where it all cycles around back to at the end time. Time started in relationship to secular history from the Middle East, so that is where the four corners of the earth is pictured to be, if you can follow my thought. There are four angels seen standing there and another angel flying through the heavens is crying out something to them. (7:2) “And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” Of course we need to realize that these four angels mentioned here are the same four angels referred to in the 16th chapter of Revelation, which is the picture of the Middle East when the week of Daniel is coming to a close. There, one of the vial angels pours out a vial and it is said that the four angels that were bound in the Euphrates were loosed. That does not mean they were bound hand and foot with literal chains lying there in the river bed. You have to understand the language. They were hindered by this command, Hold back, don’t let the winds blow. Don’t create a universal disturbance “until.” When we come to the 16th chapter, the until has passed. The 144,000 have already been sealed and they have done their job. We know it also says in the 16th chapter, in relationship to those four angels, that he saw the Euphrates River dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. Brothers and sisters, prophetic events in the world are coming about in such a way, 20th century Christendom is unaware of what is taking place right before their very own eyes. I mentioned the article I read in the paper which stated that the country of Turkey, in the water shed regions of the Euphrates and Tigress Rivers, has built a dam, and a hydroelectric dam system, to divert the Euphrates waters into that. I believe the article stated that it will take about two years to eventually fill this giant lake to capacity. I think it said they would only do this for about two months, and then they would start releasing. It said in the article that they have already suffered a drought situation for seven years, causing the Euphrates to flow at a very low level. Then, when you put a man made contraption like that across it to control the flow, to generate electricity, what do you think that does to the areas, the villages and cities below? In ancient times it was a fact, the Euphrates, at certain times of the year, in many places was impassable by an army of ancient means; which was horses, ox drawn carts, and such like. Therefore, it served as a barrier for world empires. However, in this 20th century, we know there are no such barriers to modern warfare. The river takes on a symbolism here, a sign to take note of, as other things develop. There definitely will be a fulfillment of this setting in the oncoming years. Whether it is eight, ten, twelve, or fifteen years in the future, the Euphrates will gradually come under the fulfillment of this prophecy. It will no longer be a barrier at any time of the year. Therefore, becoming a sign that when Revelation 16, at the end of the week of Daniel has fulfilled its course, there will be a war in the Middle East called Armageddon. Almost everyone anymore, will speak of this war, no matter where they stand spiritually. Let us read one more verse here in chapter 7, because time wise, this lets us see where we are since God is leading this element of Jews back into the land of Israel, that He may have a full representation of all twelve tribes back there when it is time for this next verse to actually be fulfilled. (7:4) “And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” When WW2 came to a close, it was basically the two southern tribes that occupied that certain territory allotted to them that came back to the land out of Europe. In the prophecies, God said He would bring Judah home and save her first. Why? To use her as the beginning of the restructuring and rebuilding of the nation of Israel, to fulfill prophecy. Then He would come on and save Joseph. You will remember that Joseph is one of the names, along with Ephraim, that the ten tribes of the north were known by. Therefore, after forty years of regathering, basically and primarily the two southern tribes that went by the name Judah, it is time for the other ten tribes to be brought back to the land for the end time wind up. Judah in the south stands out predominately because that is where the old city Jerusalem is. That is why it stands out in the problems of the world today. We know once Judah has established herself and the nation, the territories, to begin the fulfillment of prophecy, before this 7th chapter can come into play, there will have to be a sufficient representation of all the other ten tribes gathered from the ends of the earth, back into the land of their forefathers. That is precisely what is going on right now. It is God’s hour for the ten tribes to come home, and they will not be forty years coming home, like Judah was forty years getting home and getting established, and growing in population. I believe their population is now running about 3.1 or 3.2 million Jews. That is not counting the Palestinian Arabs within the same territory. They are the ones causing the Jews all that trouble the News people are always speaking of. These other Jews are in the plan, but they did not have to come home and work to build cities, houses, and so forth. There is that urgent need to build houses to house these Jews that are coming back now, but we need not feel frustration in the matter. God is bringing them home to get them back there and get them ready for their end time role, because Gentile time is running out. As I see this beginning to take shape right in front of us, I do not believe we Gentiles have another twenty five years to make up our minds, Am I going to be a Christian or not?. We Gentiles have had the gospel for 1900 years; but you rest assured, The Jews will not be brought back to their homeland to mill around there a hundred years before God does something for them. Prophetic wise, as we look at the Middle East, the buildup of all this tension and pressure, something will eventually blow. When it does, it is going to bring an earth shaking situation that will supersede anything the world has ever known before. They have had wars before, but none of them were the one this scripture is alluding to. The Arab nations keep massing their armament for an eventual onslaught that one day will have to be fulfilled. It all goes with this end time picture. With that in mind, as we continue with this thought, we will move out of the 7th chapter; and get to the 14th.