WE ENDED OUR JANUARY ISSUE SPEAKING OF HOW ZECHARIAH 10:3-4, IS BEING FULFILLED RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES AS WE SIT WATCHING OUR TELEVISION SETS; SO THAT IS WHERE WE WILL PICK UP.
Let us again read those two verses, before making any further comments. (3) “Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the Lord of hosts hath visited His flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as His goodly horse in the battle. (4) Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together.” Truly God has used the Jews that came back to the land of their father’s from Europe, (which were basically the two Southern tribes called by the name Judah) to get things ready to receive that element of the ten Northern tribes which would be coming out of Russia and other parts of the world, coming back to the land for various reasons of their own; but for the purpose of God, they are coming back there to prepare for the coming of their Messiah. God does not deal with the Jews as a nation anywhere except in the land of Israel; therefore the twelve tribes must be sufficiently represented in the land, before that last week of years prophesied to Israel by the prophet Daniel can begin, for its end time fulfillment. In Revelation 12:6, John wrote of this woman (Israel) fleeing into the wilderness, to a place prepared of God where she would be fed (and protected from the evil forces of the Antichrist) for a period of 1260 days; which of course is the full duration of the great tribulation period of time. Daniel spoke of it (12:1) as a time of great trouble. “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: (Daniel’s people were Jews.) and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people (Spiritual Jews) shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” As we have already stated in the first part of this message, the 144,000 servants of God, of Revelation 14:1, will flee to the nations of the world, preaching the everlasting gospel; and the woman element will flee to this place already prepared of God for her; until the time of trouble has ended; but let me add this, In 1948 Israel was in no way capable of flying away. She was in the beginning of first being restored to the land, from where somewhere in future time she would fly away. Therefore let us watch time; and the prophecy; and see how it is applied. To you young people, I realize that when you go to school, they care little about prophecy of the Bible; but you can know what to expect as the days come and go. They (the secular element of modern society) think this Bible is a book of myths; but in my honest opinion, before not too long a time, some of our school professors might have to hang their head and say, Something is going on in Mt. Zion. Hallelujah! They will not be saying it though, until God does something to awaken them to reality.
ZECHARIAH LOOKING TO THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
Notice verse 3, of Zechariah 10, “Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds.” That is speaking in past tense. That is how God looked upon the rabbis, the scribes, the priests, the leadership of the people of Israel, that were responsible; and held accountable by God, that caused Him to do to her, (the nation of people) what He did. “And I punished the goats: for the Lord of hosts hath visited His flock the house of Judah.” Brothers and sisters, if He punished the goats, we have to look backward to the time when He did it. That does not apply to the Middle Ages, nor anywhere else in time other than when that tribe was carried out of there into dispersion. Therefore we must look back to 69 and 70 A.D., when the Roman army was sent (by God) just like it was prophesied by Jesus. In that time the Roman army came against Jerusalem, tore the city down, demolished that beautiful temple which the Jews thought was so magnificent; and took them away into captivity. That was what fulfilled the words of Jesus, (Matthew 24:2) “And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” From that time, the Jews were there, were scattered. This was basically the Judah tribe that became scattered into Europe and eastern Europe, to remain there for the durations of time until this prophecy would resume its fulfillment. Notice how God said this, as He has punished them, He also follows up and says, “and I punished the goats: for the Lord of hosts hath visited His flock. (As WW2 ended, God began to look upon an element of Jews that were established in the areas of Europe. We are not going to get technical with it; but we are dealing mainly with the tribe of Judah; because it is prophesied that Judah has to be moved first, for this beginning of national restoration, and the eventual climax of what it must come to.) and hath made them (the tribe of Judah) as His goodly horse in the battle.” That language structure is very mysterious; because the average person today, knows we do not fight wars with horses any more. That is so far in the past, it is not even written about anywhere in books, to really know how to relate to that; but in here the prophet speaks of Judah being like the goodly horse in the battle. How could Judah possibly be associated with anything related to by that likeness as spoken in this prophecy? We have to go back to 1948. As I touch this phase of her beginning, do not forget, No sooner did the U.N. say, We will partition that land and give it to these displaced Jews of Europe, did her boats begin to arrive at Haifa and wherever else they landed, and the Arabs in that land began saying, We will not let any more Jews come here. They sensed trouble. As long as it was a few at a time, buying up land, most of the Arabs were not saying very much against it. England was still the controlling power of that area. However when England gave it up, in order to allow the U.N. partition to go into effect, the Arabs took over England’s military equipment she left behind, and became possessed with one thing, killing every Jew that landed on shore in the land of Palestine. All you have to do is go back and study whatever histories are now written about it; but You will have to do it by the Jewish writers. When you read of the conflicts that began to take place as those Jews kept coming, you cannot help but thank God for the fact that you were born in a nation where you have not had to grow up under such conditions as those young Jewish people that lived to go from Europe to Israel. Some of those young people never even lived to see their dreams come true. As they landed there, war broke out. That was the war of 1948, you have heard about. Remember though, God said He has made Judah like His goodly horse in the battle; so if He had brought Judah back home eating ice cream and angel food cake, without any resistance, you can rest assured, she would never have known how to survive all the other wars she has had to fight, 1956, 67, 73, 80, 82, and all the other resistance she has had to face. I have read some of what the various writers have written, telling of the hostilities that took place at night. When they heard on the short wave radio, that the U.N. had partitioned a certain amount of land to be turned over to these Jews, that very night Arabs in many major cities throughout the land of Palestine, went on a rampage, shooting and killing. The Jewish underground army was the only thing Israel had, that they could look to for help; as they fought for survival. With that in mind, let us look at this goodly horse in battle, because we have to go back and pick up some story to relate this to. I have in my possession a booklet, that tells about the British occupation in Burma, back in the colonial period, back when they used horse cavalry, and horse drawn artillery. In her records of warfare, they wrote this outstanding article about this one particular horse in a certain unit, and the troops only had this one gun unit being pulled by these two horses; but this one horse had been in Burma for a long time. He had been under fire. He was a horse that knew how to conduct himself under fire. Instead of going mad, crazy, and going every which direction, he seemed to use his horse sense. That is what we have to see in this scripture. God likens Judah to a goodly horse in battle. He could either go wild and carry his rider into a trap, or else he could keep his cool and carry his rider to victory. It told how, as this British unit was moving along the Burma road, naturally it was in jungle like, heavy foliage. All of a sudden they were fired on from both sides of the road. The footmen immediately jumped to the bushes; but it left the riders on this gun carriage, and this gun, and the article stated how there was a bank there they thought was entirely too steep to even try to get the gun carriage to go up. Therefore the troops that were on this gun carriage just bailed out and went up the bank into the bushes, leaving this team of horses with the gun. That one horse, instead of him becoming wild, he had been under shell fire before, the one horse took a look at that bank and that is where you can say God let extra adrenalin come into that horse. Because as he looked at that bank, he made one leap and took the other horse, gun, carriage and all, and climbed the bank into the bushes. The men set the gun up, and the fact that it was saved, enabled them to keep from being massacred. In other words, that one horse was credited with saving those men; so that is what we are looking at, in this scripture pointing to Judah. As Judah came back to the land in 1948, if she would have looked at all this Arab hostility, and given herself over to fear, (because she was so overwhelmingly outnumbered and had so very few weapons) the history books would be telling a completely different story about the rebirth and restoration of Israel. I read one story in the book; called, The Exodus, telling how in a northern city there was a Jewish quarter, where Jews at the beginning of the century came back and settled. It was in that part of the mountain city of Safad. As this Arab hostility broke out in the Arab quarter, they lived in the hill population overlooking the Jewish quarter. As the hostility grew very bad, they knew that somehow or other, if some kind of aid could not be reached from the underground army supply systems, then in all probability the Jewish quarter in Safad, could possibly be overrun by the Arabs. One man volunteered to travel through hostile territory by night and make his way to Jerusalem, to the Haganah people, asking if they had any kind of weaponry, supplies, explosives, or anything. When he got there, he was completely refused, because the Arabs at Jerusalem had caused the Jews there to have to expend so much of their supplies, they had nothing to spare. In that book it tells how they were left with so many sticks of dynamite. That was about all the weapons they had. Well that man went back; and there is where God took a little and made a lot out of it. You know the song, little is much if God be in it. The Jews in that Jewish quarter of the city of Safed said, Then we have to take what we have, and devise some way to frighten these Arabs it. They gathered up all the nails, and all the small pieces of scrap they could find, and devised a contraption they named Goliath. They fixed up a launching instrument of some kind. Then they fastened knives onto the end of sticks, like spears. They had a few old rifles with just a few rounds of ammunition left. They were saving them for the last go around. They were mainly depending upon that one giant explosion to do something for them though; and in the book it says that when the Arabs started their attack, the Jews launched this Goliath contraption. When it went off, the Arabs began yelling, They have the atomic bomb! That broke their spirit, and they fled. Has not that always been the strategy God has used on behalf of Israel? Read it in the Old Testament. He will take a simple little something, and put fear in the heart’s of the enemy; and then just multiply it. I am bringing all of this in, just trying to explain how this scripture applies. Verse 5, says, “And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the Lord is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded.” Judah started out as she was being brought back into the land to start the reconstruction of this nation that would eventually be recognized, with very little to protect themselves with; but having the favor of God made the difference for them. God has always used strange devices to make His power known to Israel.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A GENERATION MAKES
Before we read Zechariah 10:6, I just want to refresh your memory on what verse 4, says. God likens Judah as His goodly horse in the battle. In other words, Judah has been through it, he is experienced. After all, where did those Jews come from? Out of Europe. They had already been through a living hell. They had nothing to lose. Therefore verse 4, is talking about Judah. “Out of him came forth the corner.” What is a corner? It is a beginning point. That is what the tribe of Judah is. It is God’s beginning element, which He would use to start rebuilding that nation. If you are erecting a building, you must have a beginning point. You must have a corner to start with. That is why God referred to Judah like that. “Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail.” In other words, if there is something to be held together, Judah is going to be the tribe that God will use to do it. “Out of him the battle bow.” We are talking about a military instrument. Judah came back with no military equipment to speak of. No nation wanted to sell to those Jews going back. They were willing for the Jews to go back and be settled there; but no one ever stopped to think of all the hostilities they were facing when those Arabs had threatened to kill every last one of them. I have read in various writings, that through underground means, they bought obsolete rifles from any source that would sell them. That was their way of surviving, holding on, and establishing a foothold back in the land of their father’s. It was the beginning of God’s restoration and rebirth of a nation that one day would climb to be the fifth greatest military power in the world. That is what she (Israel) is today. Israel today, does not have to purchase her arms through the underground system. She is making many of her own weapons. Well we ought not be surprised; it is right here in prophecy. She brought the French Mirage fighter. She used to buy some of the British Spitfires. Finally Britain and France cut that off. Then it was the United States alone that would sell to them the various jet fighters. Finally, as the United States began to sell them the more sophisticated models, Israel and the United States launched a program of working together. The United States began to realize, that if some of her own military equipment was ever going to be tested, it should be tested in the fields of future Middle East warfare. Therefore we sold them the Phantom jets. Then Israel took them, modified a little of this and that; and now you know what they are capable of doing with them. They did the tanks the same way. She modified everything to fit desert warfare. Out of that, Israel began making a tank all of her own. While all other conventional tanks have to be entered from the top, Israel has her own model, that is entered from the back. That way, if the front end is blown off, the crew does not have to escape from it in view of their enemies. They can escape out the rear. She realized it is to her betterment, to save the crew rather than the hunk of iron. I am not going to dwell too long on these things; but I want to show you, that out of her (Judah) has come the battle bow. From nothing, Judah, in the forty some years she has been back there, has become a competitor, now manufacturing weaponry to sell to other parts of the world. She has made one of the best automatic rifles in the field of warfare. With that, she has made a pilotless plane. She tested it; and it proved successful in the war of 82. She has what they call a drone plane, maybe about six feet long. It has a TV scanning camera in it. She can fly it 100 and some miles away from base. She can fly it over enemy territory. One article told how a camera in it could pick out a spot on the top of a car, and show it back. In the 1982 war, they could spot an enemy moving through heavy foliage and so forth, and it would send the data back to a ground base; and from a ground to air rocket launcher, they would fire that rocket and hit that tank right where it was spotted. The United States was also working on building some of these type planes; but according to the article I read, the United States had not brought hers to a successful test. She wound up, if I remember correctly, she wound up buying approximately two thousand of those drone planes from Israel. Then Israeli technicians along with our native technicians, would experiment with these things together. There are many other things in the military line I could bring in right here; but I feel that this is enough for us to realize, that here is a prophecy right here in Zechariah, that we have seen fulfilled in the last forty years. Judah come from nothing, you might say, to where she is today; and now she is able to make way for the ten Northern tribes to come home. Verse 5 shows us that by the time Judah has reached a potential of being the precise instrument God wants to use, she is in a place to be used. Let us read it again. “And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the Lord is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded.” That of course, is talking about her enemy, if they were on horses. We know modern day warfare has no place for horses. It would be foolish to bring horse flesh against all the gunfire of modern day weapons; but it takes that language to give the thought God wants us to receive, because it lets us know God will put such bravery, and such a strong gallant fortitude in the people of Judah, that her enemies, when they would try to oppose them, would be like foolish people on untrained horses in battle. In such cases everything goes berserk. With this little view of what has already taken place, we can see that verse 6 brings us to the time we are living in right now. Notice, “And I will strengthen the house of Judah.” He has already done that. She is there in her homeland; and she is not to be taken lightly. Let us just look back twenty some years. When we look back to 1967, the Jews had only been back in that land nineteen years. They were constantly harassed by the Arabs, because the Palestinian motto was, no concessions, no giving in. Israel must be destroyed. King Nasser of Egypt, in June 1967, along with the other Arab states, was bent doing that one thing. They threatened to drive Israel out of that partitioned land into the sea. An Israeli general we were privileged to meet in 1968, on a flight to Israel, was in the armored corps that went through the Sinai, that helped push the Israeli line to the sea. He said to us, Before the war started, we were contemplating ten thousand citizen casualties. We were in the process of building wooden boxes to bury our dead in. Yet when the war started, in six days it was over. There was not one civilian casualty in the whole six day war. All casualties were military casualties; and that was very few. I have said all of this to show how God has strengthened Judah. From that time, look what she did. She pushed the borders from the U.N. partition, all the way to the Jordan River. She even pushed all the way to the Golan Heights in Syria, where she has built settlements. Syria does not like that; but she is there anyhow. She pushed on down into the Sinai Desert on the other side; and she is building villages there. Bro. Jackson, they have no right to do that. If you disagree with what they are doing, maybe you had better talk it over with your heavenly Father; for verse 5 says, “And they (Judah) shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the Lord is with them.” God is enabling them to reestablish their old borders; and it is very unique, the way it is being done. Their enemies attack them; and when they repel them, they just end up with a little more of the land they are supposed to have; and God is with them. God is reestablishing the outer territorial, rural settlements of Judah first, before He does very much of anything about bringing the other ten tribes back home. Therefore when we read here, “He will strengthen the house of Judah,” and we see what happened in the six day war the tribe of Judah was forced to fight, we can very well see what these prophecies were pointing to. As we have already said, the tribe of Judah, is the tribe we see back in the land, doing the fighting that is fulfilling these prophecies. When she pushed the borders to the Jordan River, she took the old city Jerusalem, which is called eastern Jerusalem; and three fourths of its population is Arabs. There is only one Jewish quarter, which Jews actually live in. Everything else around the old city is called new Jerusalem. Keep in mind though, that is not the New Jerusalem that is to be the capital for the Messiah. We have to look at old Jerusalem for that; because that is where God put His name. That is where God’s eye is looking to; and that is where we have got to look to in the next few months, as prophecy is in the process of being fulfilled. As we watch developments in the Middle East, we need to realize that Judah stands ready to do her God ordained part. Yet through all of her trials, she has done her best to work favorably with the world. She realizes the world gave her that partitioned land; but she also realizes she does not have all of the land God Gave her forefathers; so when the world is saying, Israel, if you want peace, you have got to give up so and so, I say, Israel will never give it up. Let me say it like this, Judah will never give it up. She was the beginning. She knows why she is there. Why should she give it up? You must realize though, she does not want any more outside hostility toward her, than what is absolutely necessary; so she is trying her best to weigh the issues, play it cool diplomatically, and try to go along as far as possible, with what western negotiators are saying. Let us try to follow this prophecy, and see what else the Lord says. In verse 6, God says, “And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the Lord their God, and will hear them.” Joseph is one of the names the ten northern tribes were known by. One of the offspring of Joseph was the father of the tribe of Ephraim. That tribe became a major tribe, in the north. It was a major tribe in the north, just like Judah was in the south. Rather than the ten northern tribes being referred to as Simeon and Ephraim, they were basically called by the name Ephraim because of its outstanding characteristics, just like Judah in the south. One time it says Joseph, and another time it will call it Ephraim; but whichever it is called, it is talking about one and the self same thing, the ten northern tribes. First it is Judah, then Joseph. “And I will bring them again to place them: for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the Lord their God, and will hear them. And they of Ephraim (notice now, He brings in the word Ephraim) shall be like a mighty man.” God has opened the door in these Communist countries, so those Jews that have been there for centuries may have the opportunity to go home. He is not going to make them mighty men in Russia. No. That is not where he is going to make them mighty. It is when they come into the land of their father’s, that He will make them mighty. That is where the mighty part comes into the picture. Just as soon as Russia began to allow those Russian born Jews to go home, the Palestinian Arabs began doing exactly what they did in 1948, when Jews were given that partitioned area of Palestine for a home land. They immediately set up a protest. They sent word to Russia, Don’t let any more of them come here, until we get this statehood question settled. Well I have news for them; This is a work of God. Gorbachev cannot stop it until God gets His quota out of there. That door of opportunity is like every other door God opens up, He is the only one that can close it. I will say this though, That door will not stay open for one hundred years. God has it marked. However as God creates the conditions and sets the agenda, and determines the pace and magnitude of this thing, do not think the Arabs at home are going to set back and wait until they all get there, before they start their campaign of hostility toward them. They are going to do exactly like they did in 1948. We are already seeing it in the News; but it will get worse. Let me read the rest of verse 7, and verse 8, then I want to show you something in chapter 12. Notice this, “And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord. I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased.” God said He would hiss for them, and gather them; and this is the very hour that prophecy pointed to; so no matter what the Arabs do, and regardless of what the United Nations may try to do, God is gathering His quota from all twelve tribes of Israel, getting them ready to hear the message of the two prophets that will soon come upon the scene in Israel. Saints, this is a work of God; so do not be surprised at what you may see take place in that area of the world very shortly.
JERUSALEM A BURDENSOME STONE
I want to read a few verses from Zechariah 12, to let you see how vain it is for other nations to try to negotiate a settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. In verse 2, just think for a moment what that actually means. “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. (3) And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” In any negotiating process between the Middle East nations, Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinians, let us just watch this prophecy, how it speaks out. Judah is there. They took the old city in 1967. It is true that even though the Israelis control the police force, and they do the governmental administrative chores, three fourths of the population of the old city is Arabs. Therefore since three fourths of the old city of Jerusalem is Arabs, those Arabs are not going to stand idle, and allow Jerusalem (the old city) to become the prophetic spotlight the word of God speaks of, and them not do something about it. There has been much said, and Israel is being pressured to give those Palestinian Arabs living in the occupied areas voting rights. That puts Israel in a very tight spot with all the others who think they have a say in the matter. Will they allow the eastern Jerusalem Arabs to vote? If they do, Israel is faced with the possibility of defeating their own purpose. As long as three fourths of the population are Arabs, you can rest assured that this three fourths element is not going to let Jerusalem be the Messiah’s capital in the Millennium. Now some may say, What does that have to do with prophecy? It has a lot to do with prophecy. There are other prophecies that tell us the rest of the story. Isaiah spoke of how God will remove the inhabitants of it, afar off. I wonder why God talked that way such a long time ago? It was because He looked right down through the twentieth century and saw this very hour. He saw how hostile the world would be, and it is even mentioned right here in Zechariah, how it will be. The point is, sooner or later old Jerusalem will become a focal point, as we get closer to the time when old Jerusalem must be peopled by Jews. Why is that necessary Bro. Jackson? Because in Isaiah you have a prophecy, how the city of Jerusalem is talking, as she sees the immigrants in the last days coming back to possess her place, the city of Jerusalem will cry out, Whence came these? That is not the Arabs crying out, whence came these? The children of the later shall be greater than the former. The old city remembers when her children were taken away from there in 69 A.D. That is a prophecy of how Jerusalem will feel when the Arabs have been far removed and the Jews are coming from the ends of the earth to resettle her dwelling places. The hour is coming when God will cause old Jerusalem to become a trouble spot, right in the spotlight of international world affairs. That is why He said, “Behold I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about.” Right now that is the Arabs; they are the ones who want to keep the land for themselves. They are the ones who want to live there. They are the ones who do not want prophecy fulfilled. No, they want Mohammed. That is why we preached the message asking, Is it Isaac or Ishmael, Jesus or Muhammed? They want Muhammed. It is not going to be Ishmael and Muhammed. It is going to be the descendants of Isaac that God will place in that promised land; and Jesus will one day soon be recognized as their Messiah they have longed for down through centuries of time. What does God mean, “I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about?” What is a cup of trembling? Did you ever see a cup in the hands of a drunk person? Such a person reminds you of someone who is scared half to death. When this issue of what is to be done with Jerusalem gets so hot, so important, anyone who sticks his hand out to get involved in it, God will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling for them. Would that not be embarrassing, to reach out and take hold of something that has already become a hot potato, too hot to hold? It comes your turn to make your assessment and you hear these words, What do you say about it? You stick your nervous hand out and take it, but oh how humiliating. It becomes obvious to everyone, that you are scared too. Sure you are. You are scared. That is why God likened it to a cup of trembling to them round about. That is the Arabs. They are the ones that are round about. They are the ones that are kicking up the fuss. Just listen, “When they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.” This combines the two together, Judah and Jerusalem. Keep this in mind, and watch my illustration. Jerusalem is right here. (Bro. Jackson is pointing to the chart) See that dot? Jerusalem is right there. That is the ancient capital of the entire nation of Israel. Jerusalem was also the major city of the tribe of Judah; so you have two things that stand out as important. As we look at this city, it lets us know that when the time comes that the city becomes an important issue, so also will the ancient territory of Judah become an important issue. “And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: (this is pointing to the international picture) all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.“ Politically the cry is Give it up; but God says keep it. In the past forty years it has not been the major issue. Israel has played it along. Every time it has come up for discussion, they have always been able to shove it on a little further on out into future time; but time is running out. Prophecy must be fulfilled. Immigrants are coming home; and they are going to need to go somewhere. The Arabs say, Do not put them in there. The Arabs could not care less if they stacked them end on end; just as long as they do not put them in what they call occupied territory. I see a different picture in God’s word though. In the prophecy of Isaiah, concerning this great influx of Joseph or Ephraim that comes back, the immigrants coming in will get so crowded, the prophecy brings out the cry that the people will begin to have, It is too straight here for me. In other words, it is too crowded. In the past, through the years of normal immigration procedures, that has never occurred. Everything has been absorbed in a slow gradual process, as God built Judah up, saved her, and established her as a tribal territory first. Now comes the time to bring the other tribes home; so we see the issues that are at hand. I want to read a few verses from Isaiah 49, before we continue with these in Zechariah 12. Here is the picture as it was shown to Isaiah. (Isa. 49:17-22) “Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee. Lift up thine eyes round about, and behold: all these gather themselves together, and come to thee. As I live, saith the Lord, thou shalt surely clothe thee with them all, as with an ornament, and bind them on thee, as a bride doeth. For thy waste and thy desolate places, and the land of thy destruction, shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away. The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell. Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been? Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.” I just wanted to refresh your memory on this prophecy; because it is already being fulfilled; and it will necessitate the fulfillment of these others very soon.
BIBLE LANGUAGE MADE UNDERSTANDABLE
In Zechariah 12:4, God says this, “In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, (That means Israel’s enemies, and it pertains to their military capability.) and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.” Brothers and sisters, I believe I told one time, about my uncle and I riding a blind mule right into a sink hole. We thought the earth had opened up and swallowed us. It scared us so badly, it seemed that our heart’s were right up in our mouth’s. Anyhow that experience helps me see a picture, as God describes how He will smite the horses of Israel’s enemies. Naturally an army on horses in ancient times, was superior to the army on foot. However for instance, if God for some reason, should smite a horse with madness and blindness, that the horse could not see where it was going, then the rider on that horse had better get off as quick as he can. God uses language that seems strange to us; but it is not so strange it cannot be understood. Verse 5 gives us a little insight of what God, in the near future, will no doubt do to the political leaders. Just think about it, for the last 20 some years since the six day war, they have done nothing but bicker and fuss, bicker and fuss about this situation between the Jews and Arabs in the Middle East; and none of them ever stop to ask, What does the Bible say about this? How can prophecy be fulfilled when you have leadership pulling in every direction. There are Israelis there in the land today that are so void of spirituality they say, Peace at any cost, we do not need to fight. Well if it is peace at any cost, that means they are ready to give up the capital. Well if that happens, you have prophecy going in reverse. That is why it is up to God to do something to settle that stalemate, calm those leaders down, and make them all see alike. “And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God.” Saints, we have to realize, that up until this very hour, the leaders of Judah and Israel cannot say that. They cannot say that now, because three fourths of its population are Arabs. However somewhere in front of us, as this great ingathering of the immigrant Jews continues, we have to realize it is God’s time to really settle Jerusalem with Jewish people, to get the city in its prophetic relationship to time and to the word of God. He will then move upon those leaders, to get them to begin to see things His way. At that time, those leaders will look at those Arabs that have carried on so; and that have made life impossible for them, and they will say, Look, we have tried to negotiate with you, we have tried to compromise, we have tried to present you with the opportunity to live in this land with us; but you are determined to destroy us. Therefore we have no choice but to deport you. We cannot continue on like this. This is just my way of making a point. I do not know exactly how it will come about; I just know that it will. I have already touched on this next verse, but I have a point or two more to bring in, to show its meaning; so let us read verse 7. “The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.” In this one verse you see Judah; then you have Jerusalem mentioned. I will have to take you back to ancient times for the illustration I want to use, because that is how God’s word speaks of it. When God said He would save the tents of Judah first, what was He talking about? Ever since the six day war, it has been out in these remote regions of the ancient rural areas of the tribe of Judah, that they have been building the little country villages. No, they are not living in tents today; but in ancient times the rural people did live mostly in tents; because they were like nomadic people. That is not necessarily so any more. However for the past twenty some years since the six day war, when they took this area for Judah, all the way into the Gaza Straight, the Arabs do not want them to keep it. They are going to keep it though, because it said it will be dwellings for the tribe of Judah. During the years since Israel regained control over that area, they have been slowly building villages, small settlements in the remote, rural areas of the ancient territory of Judah. That is why it reads like that. He would save the tents of Judah first, or establish her rural dwelling. Do you know why? Because if He would have established the Jew to live in Jerusalem first, and if any of them had a Messianic hope about them, they would have had no interest, nor would they have cared what happened to the rural area; just as long as they could be in Jerusalem. It is like that everywhere today. Some people could not care less about what the country side looks like; just as long as they have a nice place on Main Street. That is what we are looking at right here. Nevertheless I am happy to report that God is putting this thing together the way it fits His plan and purpose. That is why it is worded like this. As He establishes the tents of Judah first, this lets me know He is not going to give up any of it. Well when He starts working His way toward Jerusalem, then, is when He will begin to show His power in such a way that people will know for sure that it is God Himself, that is doing the regathering, the reestablishing of that nation, and that they are truly approaching the time of their Messiah. Brother, I am one that will not protest what is taking place; for it is all leading right toward what I am looking and waiting for, the coming of the Lord. Hallelujah!
GOD USES NATURAL MINDED MANKIND TO ACCOMPLISH HIS WILL AND PURPOSE
When God gave the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, this fulfilled the prophecy of Amos, of how God would come among us Gentiles, (in that interval of time between verses 5 & 6 of the 12th. chapter of Revelation). It was also prophesied in Hosea, “that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.” While Israel was in dispersion, God has been working among the Gentile people of the whole earth, redeeming an element of people to be called by His name. Then, after that, He is to return again and rebuild the tabernacle of David and close up the breeches thereof. That is what is just ahead for the Jews; and we Gentiles are living right now in the closing months and days of this interval of time. Saints: All the signs are right, for these various prophecies to be fulfilled in our day and hour. Therefore remember what I said earlier, If the woman of Revelation 12:6, is definitely destined to flee into the wilderness, she cannot flee from Russia or the United States, or from Europe, that is not the setting. She must flee from the very ground that is her heritage; because it was from that land that she was scattered into the nations of the world, to fulfill the scriptures of the Old Testament prophets, as to how God would chasten them. God has used dictators over and over again and again, in His dealings with the nation of Israel. Let us now read Revelation 12:6, and realize that in the light of what we have been looking at in these other scriptures, the hour for the fulfillment of this verse is close at hand. “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, (In other words, it has already been determined in the mind of God where that place will be.) that they (the people of that place) should feed her there (Her is the Jewish people that will flee. This wording is not by chance.) a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” That is exactly 3 1/2 years of prophetic time, the exact amount of time allotted to the Antichrist. That is the same as a time, times, and half a time that you read in Daniel. Before this can take place though, something has to pressure Israel enough to get her to reach out and occupy all of the rest of her geographical heritage. Do not look for those two prophets to show up in Israel before she has accomplished that. Everything has to be in its proper order. God takes no short cuts. When the woman (Israel) flees, she will be fleeing from her own heritage, all of it, fleeing from the wrath of the old Antichrist, that by that hour, will have brought his international police force into the nation of Israel, broken the peace covenant, and set about to slaughter every spiritual minded Jew. As I have already stated, This will be the time of Jacob’s trouble. Daniel 12:1, speaks of it as a “time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time.” The bride Church will be gone by then; but there will be a great multitude of Jews and of Gentile foolish virgins martyred in that hour of time.
A NEW WITNESS FOR THE LORD OF HEAVEN
Let me take you to Jeremiah 16:14, for a prophecy that first began to be fulfilled even before WW2; and we are witnessing the final phases of it even as I speak of it. This is a prophecy pointing ahead somewhere in time, when God would do something to start the gradual regathering and restoration of this nation of Israel. Here is how this prophecy reads, “Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that it shall no more be said, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither He had driven them: (That prophecy has a collective, universal application.) and I will bring them again into their land that I gave unto their fathers. (This next verse tells how He will start the process.) Behold, I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord, (He did not mean He would send literal fishermen, as we think of fishermen.) and they shall fish them; and after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain, and from every hill, and out of the holes of the rocks. For mine eyes are upon all their ways: they are not hid from my face, neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes.” Do you wonder how God fulfilled that? It is in the past tense, His starting the process of regathering the nation. Well, I hold in my hand a book that I have had for many years. I have never even taken the time to read very much of it until now. It is called “The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.” It is the minutes of the Zionist movement. It starts around 1905. The book was written about 1906. This particular copy is just another printing of some of the earlier editions. This book was destroyed completely, in Russia, by the Communist government, when they took over. Just in case a Jew would see this video or eventually hear this message, I want you to know that what I am including in this message, is meant only to furnish a bit of vindication for the prophecy we have just read. I mean to convey no personal feelings whatsoever. There are some people who could read this, and immediately hate every Jew upon the face of the earth. I read it knowing that after being dispersed for 1900 years, and suffering the things they have suffered, out of impatience, and the knowledge of what they have the ability to do, some began to take a carnal approach to solving their dilemma. As I read certain portions of it, I saw two lines of thought. One is a carnal thought and objective which an element of the Zionist will try their best to perpetuate. However as time goes on and they try to manipulate certain things for their objective, God only lets certain spiritual things that will serve His purpose, be allowed to function; So that when it is all said and done, His purpose has been behind it from the very beginning. First, the Zionist movement had a message to get out. In 1968 I was privileged to talk to a Rabbi in Jerusalem. He told us a little about the early Zionist rabbis and elders, (as they were called) how they began to go throughout the world, gathering the Jews into their various synagogues and community centers, to present their message. The message they present to the people was this, Brethren, it is time for us to prepare to go home. This rabbi told us how many times those rabbis were booed in the very audiences of Jews they were speaking to. However they were the fishermen of this prophecy. Some would bite, and wanted nothing at all to do with such a thought. Nevertheless He sent fishermen. That effort covered the years through WW1 and WW2; and the average person that even heard of it, had no idea at all of what would eventually come of that effort. Through that number of years, those fishermen caught the attention of enough Jews to initiate their first objective. As they set about universally, to apply many of the conditions and bring about changes in national structures, it was with the idea that they would eventually have enough money to buy up, control, and gain possession of the land of Israel. They said, We realize this is not going to be done in a short time. They even stated in this article I read, how this could go on as long as a century; but they said, it will eventually succeed. The Zionist message, urging the average Jew to go home, was as far as I know, responsible for some of the early kibbutz settlements which were first established there in that land. The land was bought. They did not just land in Israel and fight those Arabs for it; they bought it from Arabs that were glad to sell it. They went in there, one by one, two by two, families and such like, and made deals with Arabs that owned this land, and what they bought up, looked to the Arabs just like wasteland, unwanted, good for nothing. They (the Jews) knew what they could do with that land though, once they had a sufficient foothold. They built their kibbutz’s and set up their communal system of living. They are one people that can do it and survive, while others will get angry and destroy each other. By the time the WW2, years came, many of the carnal and political approaches of the Zionist’s message they were in the process of bringing in among the Gentile societies where they lived, had backfired. I will not mention to you why it backfired. You just have to believe me. If I let you read it, you would see point blank why it backfired. What they intended to create in Europe, if it had succeeded, you can rest assured, the world no doubt today would have been ruled by a people of such financial influence, we would not be a bit better off than if Hitler had conquered the whole world. What they were attempting to accomplish in Europe, as the fishermen of this prophecy, when they became ineffective, God raised up Hitler. The very thing they did not expect, is the very thing that happened. Hitler sent his Gestapo, the hunters, and hunted them out of every hiding place they had in Europe. From Poland to Austria, and to France, they rounded them up by the thousands. Remember though, we are looking at Judah, that remnant of Judah that had to be back there to start the fulfillment of all those other prophecies. Therefore by the time WW2 was over, the hunters had done their job. After all that had taken place there was then an element of Jews in Europe, that could no longer stay in Europe, and perpetuate the carnal Zionist message. All of that was completely destroyed. Therefore we just have to say, God uses those carnal approaches to get certain things started; then He reaches out and cuts it off, right in a place where it fits into the fulfillment of scriptures. The God we serve, is a wonderful God. We never want to forget how the unseen hand of God can intervene in the affairs of men; to fulfill His own purpose. That is why, out of a chaotic condition in Europe, those Jews were compelled by necessity, to go home and begin to do what the fishermen had failed to get them to do. They did not know why God sent such a bunch of hunters to hunt them; but one thing is sure, when it was all over, Europe was no longer a place where they wanted to stay. There are other things I could say along that line; but being a Gentile I am fully aware there are Gentile Christian churches today, that are just as carnal in their ways of doing things as anyone can be, and in the end, they will wind up being tools in the hands of the antichrist. They will be as anti-semitic as anyone you have ever seen. If they were to read certain things in this book, they would just simply spend their time propagating hatred for Jews, not even seeing the spiritual side of anything that has taken place. The year 1988, was Israel’s 40th. birthday. During that 42 years they have been back there as a nation of people, you need to realize that they are basically the tribe of Judah, and that God has used them to bring the nation to a point in time for the rest of the regathering prophecies to be fulfilled. We have already read how God said He would save Judah first, and that He would first establish the tents of Judah, (That would be the rural areas of the dwelling places of the tribe of Judah.) before He would establish the inhabitants of Jerusalem. If you look at the prophecy right, in the tribe of Judah, there is a certain line of Jews they are the literal descendants of the royal line of King David. It was the King David lineage that basically made up the population of ancient Jerusalem. Even right here in the Protocols, as they would set about to establish a Millennium (a kingdom rule) whereby they would bring a Messiah on the scene, (Remember, this was all from a political standpoint) once the time had come that they would have this land in their possession, including Jerusalem, they would seek out those people who were the descendants of King David, and from that element, they felt that the God of heaven would choose one who would literally be their Messiah, rather than one coming directly from heaven. Their vision was that it would be someone chosen from heaven of the earthly realm. Saints, please understand that my reason for bringing this in, was just to let you see how people can get a carnal picture in their mind’s, with the idea of fulfilling prophecy of the scriptures. When we talked to that Rabbi in 1968, we asked him how he viewed the coming of the Messiah. He said, We, (and when I say we, I am speaking of myself and certain types of Jews) believe our Messiah will literally come from heaven. That was our chance; but we did not say to him, Well Jesus was that Messiah from heaven you speak of. That is just not the way you talk to a Jew. You must talk to him on his level. He then said, However there are many Jews that are looking at the Messiah as maybe just an era of time wherein man has somehow or other brought about a better system and way of life on earth. This would be the Messianic kingdom. He injected this remark then, “If that would be true, I might be justified in saying that the Messiah is a computer.” That is the way he said it, The Messiah could be a computer. At least that let us know he did not believe in that type of foolishness. He is definitely looking for a true Messiah, one that will come from heaven, ordained of God, not chosen by man. Nevertheless in their movement, Jerusalem would eventually be peopled by this particular line of Jews, those who are the descendants of the royal, kingly tribe of David. when you link that with the prophecies we read in Zechariah, you can better understand why, after the six day war, they were not allowed to take full control over Jerusalem. They took the administrative control of Jerusalem; but they did not touch the holy temple ground. Had they done so, they would have set about to establish some kind of temple worship. They would also have endeavored to make Jerusalem a dwelling place for Jews; and as we stated already, three fourths of the population of old Jerusalem is Arabs. Furthermore if God had allowed that, the Jews would all be huddled together in the city; and only a very few of them would have ever been willing to live outside the perimeter of Jerusalem. They would just say, Let the outer territory go to the dogs, this is where I want to live; and Zec.12:7, would not have been fulfilled. Remember, it says, “The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.” The tents of Judah speaks of that outer territory. It is easy to see now, why after the six day war it was important to establish the Judaean territory, geographical, the inhabitants, the tents, the outer dwellings of the rural places. Judah is the main tribe God will use to get the land ready for the rest; yet Jerusalem is to be the capital city of the entire nation. Well they truly could have had a beautifully restored city, after twenty three years; but God did not intend for them to have a beautiful rose sitting in a field of thorns, so to speak. If the Jews had just went to work on Jerusalem, that is exactly what they would have today. That is why the prophecy required it to go that way first.
HOW GOD SEES MOUNTAINS-HIGHWAYS
We have already read part of Isaiah 49; but I want to go back there, and start with verse 11, which deals with a present phase of what is to be accomplished in respect to dispersed Jews coming home to Israel. As we have already stated, Those Jews which returned to their home land following WW2, were basically the tribe of Judah and those related to Judah, which was Benjamin.
A BEGINNING-TWO TRIBES-IN THEIR LAND
They were the European and eastern Europe dispersed Jews; but what we are looking at now is basically the remnant of the ten tribes. They are scattered to the ends of the earth; and the overall goal through these restoration prophecies, is that the entire nation be regathered and restored; not just one particular tribe. The beauty of it all though, is that it has a beginning and a consummation; and everything has to be done in God’s order. He is the One that works circumstances to bring it all into being. In verse 11 of Isaiah 49, the Spirit is speaking of our day, as this prophecy begins to have its introduction in time. Look at the world scene today. Communism is falling apart. Russia is no longer a world power to be reckoned with. That could not have been said two years ago. What has caused such a drastic change? Did man do it? No. God did it. Why did He do it? Because the time has come, for Him to fulfill something else written in His word. Up until this time, Russia was locking her heels when it came to letting very many Jews go from there. Every time they let a plane load go, the Arabs in the land set up a cry, Don’t let any more of them come in here. However the United States just kept pressuring Russia, You have to give those people a chance to travel, a free choice to go and come wherever, and whenever they choose. Gorbachev eventually took the idea, not even realizing what it would eventually lead to. Since that change on the part of Russia, we now have a completely different situation. In every one of those Communist nations the door is now flung wide open. Those Jews can leave just as quick as they can get things processed and the means of transportation to take them out. What prophecy spoke of such a condition, one might say? Well let us look at Isaiah 49:11, and notice the wording of it. “And I will make all my mountains a way, (Now saints, do not literalize this, He is not talking about literal Pike’s Peak, or any other literal mountains. He is talking about kingdoms, governments, and world powers.) and my highways shall be exalted.“ Again let me stress the fact that this is not to be taken literally. He is not talking about Interstate Highway systems of the world. What is He talking about? He is talking about the ways He is going to open up, to bring these Jews from the ends of the earth. That is the way you have to see it. Mankind with their carnal ways of looking at everything, will read scriptures like these and imagine vain things; but when God begins to bring it to pass, spiritual minds see the picture clearly. Let me take you back to the time when God brought Israel out of Egypt. He never touched one mountain. Such a mountain, is an obstacle to human progress, or to the way we want to do things. Even Isaiah 40:3-4, when we see how it was fulfilled, we realize that geographically, nothing was changed, when John the Baptist fulfilled that prophecy. “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain.“ Every word of that prophecy pertained to something spiritual. None of the landscape in Israel was changed, as John fulfilled that prophecy. All of that, pertained to something spiritual that was being done in the hearts of the people in Israel. That language speaks of how God sees society, or mankind, or kingdoms. God made a highway in the desert for the children of Israel, coming from Egypt to Canaan land, but if you had been there, you would not have seen a paved road. He made a way for them to come out. He made a way for them to survive. We are living right at the threshold of a great change. As we see these political systems fall, it is the hand of God preparing a way. For what? God is going to fulfill the end part of the prophecies dealing with getting that woman of Revelation 12:1, back in her land, and in a position where she can hear the message of those prophets that are eventually to come on the scene. I think often, of how God looks upon these Gentile missionaries who are always trying to convert the Jews to their trinity of Gods. If they only knew how God looks upon their systems of religion, I wonder what they would say then? In the eyes of God, they are nothing but a bunch of spiritual whores, prostitutes. God despises the whole bunch. Oh Brother Jackson, you ought not talk like that. Why not? If I am going to present the scriptures to you in truth, I have to talk like this; for that is exactly what the word of God calls these systems of religion. That is why it plainly tells us that the 144,000 servants of God in the book of Revelation, chapter 14, are virgins; simply because they have not been defiled by these Gentile harlot systems of religion. That is what it means, when it says they have not been defiled by women. In other words, Protestant, denominational missionary endeavors. God keeps the hearts of those Jews free from all of that; so they will not have to sort out what they hear from their prophets, from some Trinitarian doctrine. Isa.49:12, “Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, (Now He is not just pin pointing Europe now. This is a universal picture.) these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim. (The closest any one knows what that word Sinim, means, is in the Scofield Bible footnotes. It is believed to be the land of China). Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord hath comforted His people,” I am telling you brothers and sisters, while the Arabs are presently the antagonistic aggravators and agitators in the midst of the Jewish population, God is getting ready to do something in that Middle East realm, that is going to be just as dynamic and outstanding, as the fall of Communism has been in the past year. Just think of it, what the Bolshovike revolution attained, where men fought and died to establish an empire, in just a few months of time it has just crumbled and fallen all to pieces. That just goes to show, that when the time comes for God’s word to be fulfilled, He moves every obstacle out of the way. Is it not written in the book of Revelation concerning the ten horns, that they will give their power unto the beast, until the word of God is fulfilled. Rev.17:16- 17, “And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.” That is greater Europe. That is what is taking place today; God putting in the heart of men to fulfill His word. They are doing it blindly, not realizing that prophecy is being fulfilled by what they are doing. The world is ignorant to the true purpose of what is taking place in the world today. However the true children of God are not ignorant, nor blind; we see it coming about, even before it gets here. Is it not written, that the wise shall understand but the wicked shall not? They are led into a trap. As greater Europe comes to the forefront, rising up out of the sea, she is rising with all the particular identities she went down with in the Middle Ages. She is coming alive again, for her end time role in fulfilling the scriptures. The pope is an outstanding figure in world diplomacy today. He outshines all other temporal heads. Each year he will grow more important, until his hour finally arrives.
IN OUR SERIES OF MESSAGES TITLED FROM THE BEGINNING TO THE END, WE WOULD BE DEALING WITH THE BEAST AND THE FALSE PROPHET LATER ON; BUT IN THE LIGHT OF WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE MIDDLE EAST RIGHT NOW, AND BECAUSE THE BEAST OF REVELATION CHAPTER 13, IS SO DIRECTLY CONNECTED TO THE DRAGON OF REVELATION 12:3-4, WHICH WE HAVE BEEN LOOKING AT AS WE IDENTIFY THE WOMAN OF VERSE 1, WHICH BROUGHT FORTH THE MAN CHILD AND LATER IS SEEN FLEEING INTO THE WILDERNESS, WE FEEL THAT IT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE AT THIS TIME, TO INSERT SOMETHING THAT WILL BRING ALL OF THIS UP TO DATE, IN THE LIGHT OF PRESENT HAPPENINGS.
WHERE ARE WE TODAY IN THE SCRIPTURES?
Before we go into Revelation chapter 13, for our text scriptures, let me just say this, This world is going to go berserk. Out in the streets today, especially in our major metropolitan cities like Washington D.C., and many others, there is a category of people thinking they are doing something great, by standing out there acting like foolish people. You hear the cry, Stop the War. Come Home. We do not need this, and we do not need that. Why were they not carrying on like that when dope gangs, perverts, and demon possessed people were first found creating conditions that have led this nation to the place where we have such a sick society? Why did they not demonstrate just as enthusiastically about all of that? Saints: if this war in the Middle East should last four weeks longer, and especially if we were to have a thousand casualties, there will be people demonstrating, climbing walls, and ready themselves to tear up something. Yet an awful lot of those same people have nothing to say about unborn babies being killed by the thousands, and little children being kidnapped, abused, and left to perish in a dumpster somewhere. I remember a time when it was not like that. It is a shame, that so many people will allow their mind’s to be used like that. They will say, I am an American; I have this right to protest. Well I say, If the people that founded this country and fought for freedom from the British Empire, could come up out of their graves and witness what this freedom is being used for, they would chase a lot of you out of the streets with their old musket rifles, and let you know for sure, that such as this was not what they fought for. They knew what they were doing. You ought to thank God every day, that we are not still a part of what was once the old British Empire. I do not hate the British; but you need to realize, the system of government back then had a certain objective; and that was to drain the excess. That is how the British Empire existed for so long as such a great thing. It was her colonial territories that fed her, kept her going, and made her great. Like you have heard said, The sun never sets on the British flag. She had a navy that covered the seven seas, until World War 2. When it struck, it was just like the hand of God reached out and put an end to some things. The Dutch people came home. The French came home. The British came home, giving up, and giving back. The world has had nothing but problems, economic, social, political, and militarily, ever since. God always knows how to set things in motion, when the time comes. That is why I want to go into Revelation chapter 13, and sort of bring things up to date scripturally. We are going to take a look at this prophecy today; and try to understand it in the time factor we are now living in. I pray that this will help some of you to have a better picture of what is going on in the world; and then I hope you will say, God help me in whatever time we have left, to get my life made ready for your return.
When the apostle John, in 96 A.D., had been caught up in the Spirit and shown things that were at that time, centuries into the future, he told how he heard a voice say, (in the fourth chapter ) “Come up hither and I will show you things which must be hereafter” (meaning far beyond 96 A.D.). When we come to this, (actually it is a vision) it relates to the world, and world conditions, and governments of the world, somewhere in time as we get close to the end time. John was caught up in the Spirit, into the future tense of time. That is what this type of prophecy is, something looking to the future. As he was taken off into time, into the future, it says this, (John speaking) “I stood upon the sand of the sea, (In other words, he was standing right in the same situation in his vision, in the spirit, that Daniel was in, over in chapter 4 of his writing.) and saw a beast, (which means a world power, or empire) rise up out of the sea, having (it already had this when John saw it) seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast (going back to the territorial, geographical makeup of this monstrosity of a world system) which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon (which is the devil, not God) gave him (the beast) his power, (that means authority) and his seat, (his seat would be the position from which this authority is derived) and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; (Please understand this, It did not just come up, and immediately receive a wound. What he saw, was that the head had already been wounded somewhere in the past tense of time; and it was a wound that looked like it should have been unto death.) and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: (It is the devil giving that system life, power to be active, to function, and the position from which the authority is motivated.) and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?“ Brothers and Sisters: If I know anything at all, when the day comes, that this old beast is doing the talking, giving authorization for what is to be and not to be, this gang that stays in the streets so much of the time, protesting, will be the first ones to climb aboard his vehicle, and ride with him to damnation. In other words, take the mark of the beast, which we will speak more of later. It is people with their kind of attitude, that will be quick to say, “Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” Listen to verse 5, “And there was given unto him (this beast) a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” This mouth that does the speaking has to be symbolically related to how a certain man within this beast system will speak, when his hour comes. Daniel saw the same thing in chapter 7 of his prophecy. Daniel and Revelation, written hundreds of years apart, go hand in hand. Daniel was the prophet of God in the Old Testament, five hundred years before the advent of Christ, pointing forward in time. John, the apostle to the Christian, Gentile Church, in 96 A.D., was caught up in the Spirit and projected into future time, and allowed to see the things that would be for that hour of time that he was projected into. Which of course we understand now, that he was looking at events taking place in this very hour of time. Everything is so uniquely portrayed in our Bible. “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” That sets a specific duration for this beast man to be allowed to do that. It specifies that it will only be for a period of forty and two months; no more, and no less. The point is, What John saw was not something new; it was something that had been in existence previously, was wounded unto death, but was healed; and now it is back in position to continue on. That is why I am going to title this subject “Continue Thou On.” We have read it time and time again; but do we really know what this word continue, is really implying? Before I read the dictionary definition of what this word continue, means, I just want to refresh your mind a little. In so-called Christendom today, we have tens of thousands of voices saying, Well the Bible says there is going to be a ten horned beast. Others will say, The Bible says the Roman Empire is going to be restored. Well technically all those references are truth; but just to say that much is not much benefit, if you do not know how to apply those references. It leaves one void of knowing how to understand what is going on in the world today. If you hear things like that all the time, you can get a very distorted picture; and become terribly confused and troubled. Well saints, my little message is not meant to confuse anyone; but rather to help you get above the natural thinking of carnal mankind, and see the reality of some of these prophecies of the Bible. The beast that we see with our natural eyes, by world events and every day news, is up out of the water today, ready for its end time role in world affairs. Somewhere just in front of us, it is going to go into motion. Therefore we have need to understand how to identify it. The beast that John saw had already been a beast, very active, very alive, very influential in the world. It is not something new. It is something old, being restored and brought back to prominence to continue on a little space of time. Let me read to you the words, it says right here, and power was given unto him to continue. That lets us know it is not something new, just starting out. It is the continuing on of something that has already been. It is important that you catch the word CONTINUE, or you will not understand how it fits into this prophecy. I will read Webster’s dictionary definition; just to give my point emphasis. Naturally Webster’s gives you different definitions of the word; so for our purpose let us just think of it like this. Suppose you have been writing a story, and you lay it aside for a while: when you get back into it again, you are continuing. Well in this case, there will be a continuing on, of something that was interrupted. Therefore by the help of God, I want to show you how that old beast that was there in the past, came to a non existent, dead, or unrecognizable state; so that generations were born not knowing how it had previously functioned, and affected mankind; but is now very much alive and ready to CONTINUE on for an allotted time. The interruption in its history was definitely an act of God; and during this interruption God has restored the original revelation of His word, back to the true Church; and now the world stands at the threshold of the completion of God’s restoration plan for His creation.
REVELATED PEOPLE WATCHING GOD WORK
Now that time has progressed to the point when Revelation 13, is a present day reality, there is a generation of people on the scene that just simply do not know how to understand it; but as God allows the devil to restore this thing back to a living, functioning beast again, restored back to its original status, He has some people upon earth that do understand it; and they will be watching it very closely. Once it has fully reached that restored status, and the head that had been wounded unto death, (This wounding is what brought about the interval of interruption) is restored back, meaning, completely healed, then God will again permit the devil to activate the thing; and it is going to continue on with the same motives and ungodly actions that it had previously. That is what it means, “And power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” I have said this, When WW2 came, there were preachers who began to preach, Oh beware of Communism, it is the beast, (the Antichrist). That was during the time when Mussolini, set about to try to bring territories back under the scope of his power. Mostly because he was a Roman, people began to say, Mussolini is the Antichrist; because he comes out of Rome. Well, he is dead, hung by his heels, and the world moves on, still looking for the Antichrist. Back then, time had not progressed to the point where God wanted the identity of the Antichrist to be made known. However by the time his hour arrives, there is going to be an element of people on this earth that will understand; and they will be able to see the whole picture; just as there were people in the days of the first advent of Christ, that the Spirit of God dealt with, to enable them to recognize what was taking place. He dealt with the shepherds and the wise men in a supernatural way, enabling them to be participants in what was being fulfilled in their day. They were among those that began to see and understand how the prophetic scriptures pointing to the Messiah were being fulfilled. John the Baptist came on the scene later, right at the precise time to prepare the people for, and to introduce Israel’s Messiah to them; using nothing more than the written scriptures that foretold it. The prophecies are all already written; but in each age the Holy Spirit reveals to spiritual people that which they need to know, to be witnesses in their hour of time. When John the Baptist came out of the wilderness preaching with such authority, some thought he might be the expected Messiah; but he quickly answered, I am not He; but I am one sent to prepare the way for the One who is to come. Those that went out to hear John preach, and were baptized by him, were given an understanding of how to look forward to the soon appearance and manifestation of their long awaited Messiah. That is what John was doing. He was preparing a way. He was preparing their hearts to understand and accept events that were applicable to their generation. Then when they stood there and saw Jesus baptized, and saw that great display of the Spirit of God, how it came down upon Him, and how the voice spoke saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” they knew they were living in a very great hour of time. That did not change the religious hierarchy at the temple; but the things that were taking place were destined to shake up their comfortable little religious routines for a long time to come. The high priests, and all those scribes and Pharisees were just as head set in their own stubborn, apostate, religious ideas as they always had been. That is why when Jesus come out of the wilderness in the power of the Spirit and began to preach, He had so many confrontations with them. They knew He had authority they did not have; but they could not humble themselves to accept anything from anyone that had such a humble background. They looked upon Him as an illegitimate child, that could not possibly have anything they should humble themselves to submit to. Therefore the only thing they knew to do, was try to get rid of Him, before He ruined their religious setup. It is always like that. What God uses to enlighten one element, blinds another element of mankind; and the blind ones are always the ones that are so set in their own ways, they are not open to further enlightenment. Do you think it will be any different in our day and hour? I am here to tell you, It will not be. The world has lived through the period of this interruption in the old beast system of rulership; and to a lot of people that beast was not just wounded; they believe it is dead forever; but if that were true, then it would be impossible for the Roman Empire to ever be restored. Remember though, we are not talking about the rulership of the old Caesars; we are talking about the last form of Roman rulership, when the Roman Catholic Popes cracked the whip. Therefore we need to take a look at time, history, and prophecy.
IDENTIFYING WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT
First we need to ask ourselves, Why is all this trouble centered in the Middle East, all of a sudden? The main scope of attention has turned from the Baltic states, and the Russian Empire, to the Middle East. Think of it. In just two years time, God has smashed that great iron curtain and broken its wall all to pieces. That did not destroy old Russia, which was known in many centuries of the past. It is just simply a fact that the great perimeter of her empire, God has caused to come to an end; and it is for one specific reason. Better than two million Jews were detained there by political means of Communism; and God wanted them out of there. What did God want them out of their for? To bring them back to the land of Israel, for the restoration back to Israel all the things she had lost. First He brings Judah, then He brings the ten tribes, which is referred to either as Ephraim or Joseph. Now they are coming in mass numbers. The Jerusalem Post told how they even found a small congregation of Jews in the country of Albania, which was a strong communistic part of that Russian perimeter. Actually there was between 350 to 500 of them. They finally got their opportunity to come back to the land of promise. That has been their hope. Why is it necessary for Gentile people to know about these things that are just for the Jews, you may say? It is through the understanding this picture, that we learn to prepare ourselves to be ready to go to be with the Lord, for that interval of time when He will have His bride Church away from what is going on in the world. When we read in Genesis, how this area of the world was the area that was first populated, and that this is the portion of the world where the Bible was written by the Jewish people, we have to realize that what takes place here, is important to the Creator. God separated Abraham from the inhabitants of ancient Mesopotamia, and took him to the land of Canaan, giving him all the land between those rivers and so forth, for an everlasting inheritance. You can read it in Genesis. Abraham’s seed are the rightful owners of all of that land, no matter who may be living in part of it at this present time. The Bible was written by those seed of Abraham, that were his seed through Isaac. That is where the great squabble over land in the Middle East gets hard for outsiders to reconcile their thinking to. Those Arabs throughout that land readily admit that the land belongs to Abraham’s seed; but they are also Abraham’s seed; and they feel that it belongs to them. They will never accept the fact that Abraham’s inheritance went to Isaac and his seed after him; because they do not accept the Bible we get our understanding from. Therefore before I go further, I will read a few verses that make the main points we are dealing with; and you can read the verses in between, at some other time. God said to Abraham, (Gen.15:7) “And He said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it.” Now I want you to notice the covenant. (Gen. 15:18) “In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” (Gen.17:8) “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.” In this next verse we get the God appointed heir of that land given to Abraham. (Gen.17:19) “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.” Ishmael was not forgotten, nor ignored; God made Abraham a promise concerning him also; but he was given no inheritance within the boundaries set forth in the promised land. (Gen.17:20) “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 beget, and I will make him a great nation.” God kept that promise also; and all of Ishmael’s seed are Arabs; and you know how they feel about Isaac’s seed, the Jews; but none of their feelings can change the word of God, nor the purpose of God. I have one more verse for now. (Gen.17:21) “But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.” Regardless of how you or anyone else may feel about Jews and Arabs, and about who should be where, the word of God answers it all; and God is not going to change His mind. It is forever established.
A WORD ABOUT LAND DIVISIONS IN THE MIDDLE EAST
The red dot you see here marks approximately the spot of the ancient city of Ur. (Bro. Jackson is pointing to one of the charts.-Editor) Abraham came from that region. This was called Mesopotamia. That is why Saddam Hussein looks back in time, and wants to model his future from that ancient Mesopotamian society and power. The next red dot is on up the river Euphrates, approximately where the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon lies. We have a large map of this area, that we have used to design our charts. It shows the geological ruins of these two cities. We do know this, right in here between Iraq and Saudi Arabia is the little country of Kuwait. Right in here on this map, (you could look in your Bible map and find it) is the plains of Shinar. Now look what we have in here; we have the valley of two rivers. Where do they come from? Way up in the north, from Turkey and Armenia. We know this, to show you how Biblically centered this spot of the earth is, up to the time of the flood of Noah’s day, this was where the majority of civilization existed. Geographically this is the land of Eden, as you may discover by studying in the book of Genesis. Right in here, you can see the two rivers on the east, the Euphrates and the Tigris; and over here is the Nile, on the west. Down in here, is the dried up river bed of Havilah. Why is it that way now? Because we are living beyond the flood. A lot of things have changed since the time of the events in the early chapters of Genesis. It is very possible that what we now call The Mediterranean Sea, was only a small lake back then. The regions of the land of Eden continued right on up into these gradual slopes. However since we now have so much water here, the whole topography of the continents look very different now, than before the flood. Nevertheless the point is this, That region still remains to be the apple of God’s eye. When the waters of the flood receded and the ark rested on Mt. Ararat, (which is up here in Turkey) Noah and his family came out of the ark and followed the water routes back down south; and ended up right back down in the plains of Shinar. Right in this delta region, is where civilization (after the flood) began to rise up and spread out. It was right in here, in the regions of old Babylon, that their language was confused. When they all still spoke the same language, they huddled together and decided to build a tower to heaven. Of course they were not intending to name the tower Babel; it is called Babel because of what God did to them as a result of building that tower. After God confused their language, a name was given to the tower to illustrate the condition of mankind after such a catastrophe. What God did to their language, brought an end to the Babylon tower. They could no longer communicate with each other. Why did God see fit to do that? Because they were failing to carry out His commandment to them. To Noah and his three sons God said, (after the flood) “And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, (Gen.9:1) Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.” They never would have fulfilled that command, if they had all remained together in the Plains of Shinar. That is why God did something to defeat them in their efforts.
BEASTS OF THE BIBLE EXPLAINED
The point I am endeavoring to bring out as we get acquainted with this area of the world, is that in this very vicinity, these beasts of Daniel and Revelation had their origin. Over the centuries, from the time Abraham was called, there was a city that began to develop. I suppose there had to be a reason why that city was named Babylon. In other words, they named it that, because somewhere they could still see the ancient ruins of the tower of Babel. People of that area were called Chaldeans, and Mesopotamians for a period of time. However as we come into around the eighty century B.C. it began losing its Chaldean identity, and Mesopotamian identity. Assyrians, the people of what is now called Syria, somehow had managed to gain control of a vast area up in the northern section of what we are looking at. They rose up first, to become an empire. You do not read very much about a major city as being the center of their civilization. However we do know that Damascus is one of the oldest cities in the old world. It was there when Abraham came moving out of this part of the country on down here. I am giving you this background because I know a lot of you, even though you may have studied it in school, did not find it interesting then; but now it is very interesting, because of what is taking place in that part of the world. When all of a sudden the social structure of the world begins to rock to and fro, a lot of people really get shook up. What is going on? The thing is, As long as it was going on and did not disrupt our economy, nor our future stability in any way, we did not care whether Nebuchadnezzar lived before Christ or after Christ. When we begin to see our future plans affected by what is going on in the world, at least some of us begin to be very interested. We want to know what is going on, and what to expect, if there is any way to find out. Well I am happy to inform you, We do have a source of completely accurate information; if we are willing to accept it as the infallible word of God. I am giving you this background; because we are going into a study of these beasts, which one’s were where and when, and how recognize the hour of prophecy we are living in. This will help you understand the things going on in the world at large. The whole world is going to be affected in one way or another.
It was the Assyrians that took the ten Northern tribes of Israel into captivity. That left only the two Southern tribes called by the name of Judah. Finally the Assyrian territorial empire began to break up because of the rise of Babylon. I have the history of the rise of Babylon. It first began to come into being approximately 800 B.C. However not until about 600 B.C. did Babylon attain unto the magnificent city it came to be. By the time the Babylonians came in, things in this region (the Middle East) really began to change. The two Southern tribes of Israel were carried away captive into Babylon around 600 B.C., and the prophet Daniel was among those captives. It is through his writings, that we are first made aware of the beast terminology associated with ruling empires. Therefore let us go to the book of Daniel, and take a look at what is recorded there concerning the things we are now interested in. In the seventh chapter, we learn where Daniel was when he had this experience he recorded. He was a Jewish prophet that had been carried away from Jerusalem to the ancient of Babylon. As the Babylonian Empire rose up, its territorial domain eventually encompassed many territories and peoples of that area of the world. It was an empire named after the city from whence it was ruled. That is one difference between it and the Assyrian Empire. However it did not gain its preeminence for several years. When the time did come, the Babylonian Empire came right straight through here, taking everything in its sweep. That is when it conquered the whole land of Israel, the tribe of Judah that was still there, and carried Daniel, along with Ezekiel and many others of the children of the royal families of David, back to Babylon, to exist in captivity. The city of Ur, by this time, was beginning to become a city forsaken. The area was no longer being referred to as the Assyrians. It took on identity as Syria. The city of Damascus began to stand out in preeminence. Everything was changing; and God had a purpose in every bit of it. Let me read about 4 verses from Daniel, chapter 1, to acquaint you with the setting, before we read in chapter 7, to see these beasts of his visions. (Dan.1:1) “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it. (1:3) And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes; (1:4) Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans. (1:6) Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah.” That lets us see what had transpired, to put Daniel in the position he was in. While he was there, somewhere in the beginning of their captivity, the God of heaven gave Daniel this dream. Let us read it now, in chapter 7. “In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar had gone off the scene. This Belshazzar that had taken command was going to be the man that would be in power when this Babylonian Empire, a city oriented empire, would meet its doom.) Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.” If you will pay attention to this, it will help you better understand what we will be looking at over in the book of Revelation later. (7:2) “Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.” He was standing, in his dream, looking at a great panoramic scene. Let me say this. He was actually standing on the sea coast looking at what would be the Mediterranean; because in ancient times this was called the Great Sea. That Great Sea is symbolic of where time was, at that particular time, pointing to the masses of people. We can say that, because all around the Mediterranean, is where the wheels of prophecy turn. It started in the eastern realm. It will eventually wind up in the western realm of the Mediterranean; at Rome Italy. (7:3) “And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. (They were all four different.) (7:4) The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.” I do not have time to go into all the details of the history related to that verse. I will say though, Belshazzar, mentioned here, which is the king that ruled Babylon after Nebuchadnezzar’s period, was the man that turned the nature of that lion beast empire, from that of being like a lion in nature to its latter state when a man’s heart was given unto it, and stood upon its feet like a man. That did not happen over night. It was a gradual transformation. Belshazzar’s reign eventually caused the Babylonian Empire to loose its conquering power. How does a thing like that happen? It became a pleasure seeking society, living in luxury to the point where it lost its lion-like conquering and subduing attitude. We will see more of what followed as we continue with the beast; but let me clarify something first. There are times, when we get to dealing with prophecy, that one could get the idea that I love war. That is not true. I wish there was some way to avoid ever having another war anywhere in the world; but as I read my Bible I am made aware of the fact that there are certain wars that have to be fought before we will ever get out of here to our eternal reward. The God that created us is a God of war. That may sound strange to you, if you think of Him only as a God of love and peace; but I want you to know, there are wars that take place in the world, that absolutely serve a purpose of God. You may as well make up your mind to the fact that this war going on over in the Middle East today, is something God has allowed to come about because He is going to re-shuffle some things through it. He is going to put some things in positions where they have to be for the end of the age. He is going to put some men down; and raise some others up. There will be some get real angry, climb walls, pull their hair out, and do everything they can to repel or reverse what is coming; simply because they could not care less about God nor what He is working out. As far as I am concerned, they can go jump in the same green pond they believe their ancestors came from. If you are that evolutionary minded, go take a look at that pond; and see if you can get something out of it that is wiser than the omniscient God I present to you. Listen to me saints, Spiritual blindness is absolutely the worst thing any person could ever be bound by.
TRANSITION OF DANIEL’S BEASTS
The lion-like beast, in its territorial outreach, has been all the way into Egypt. Under the rulership of Nebuchadnezzar it truly was like a lion, conquering and bringing down other rulers. The Babylonian Empire ran its course; than another beast took its place. We will take a look at that beast now. (7:5) “And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between the teeth of it: (these three ribs are speaking specifically of the three great kings that lifted it to its greatest power in that which is related to Jews and prophecy.) and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.” This of course was the Medes and Persians. In history, this is referred to as the Persian Empire. What united these two lines of people, was a royal marriage between King Cyrus of the Persians, and the daughter of Darius of Media. That empire did not have the name of a city; like two of the others did. It is referred to in the Bible as the Persian Empire. That terminology takes on a people identity. Why was that? Why would it stand out like that? Well when you consider the Babylonian Empire, it was named after its city because of its origin. The people of Babylon enlarged the city, and eventually moved out and conquered smaller tribes, Bedouin type people. This kept on until they had accomplished their goal, to become a great empire. That whole territory was ruled from Babylon; as long as it was known as The Babylonian Empire; but when the Meades and Persions came to power, there was no city powerful enough to give the area a name. Yet we do know this, In Nehemiah’s writing, the major city was Shushan. That is where the king’s palace was, in the days of Nehemiah. The ruins of that city is not too far from what is known as Tehran Iran today.
THE PERSIAN EMPIRE
The Persians were great warriors. When this empire ascended to a place of great power, they came sweeping down through this territory, destroying the Babylonian Empire. They went right on through this whole territory. They gave the freedom to a number of Jews, to go back from captivity to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem. Cyrus made the decree. We find that in the book of Ezra. (1:1) “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 also in 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 an 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.” (I just put this in to give you a little insight of the kind of man Cyrus was.) Cyrus went on into Egypt and conquered it; while Darius set up a seat, temporarily, in Babylon. I cannot take time to put in a lot of history concerning what these empires did. We are just going through Daniel,s vision, getting to the last beast of the four; before we go into very many details. However the Persian Empire lasted many centuries until finally they were defeated by another empire that had come to be a power to be reckoned with. It was called the Grecian Empire. That is the way it is written in history.
THE GRECIAN EMPIRE
Athens is the Capitol of Greece; but nowhere in history do we ever read anything about an Athens Empire. The Grecian Empire was named after the people; because Alexander the Great, was a descendant of a line of Macedonian kings; and they were gallant warrior type people. Those Greeks that came from that line, were the ones that finally defeated the Persians; as they began to enlarge their empire. The Grecian people were mighty warriors; but they did not become such until time for the Persian Empire to subside. When Alexander the Great came upon the scene, he was a king that did not just sit down and established his throne in any one particular city. He was always where his army was. This is why you have to view the Grecian Empire as a people empire. Naturally I am not telling you Alexander The Great did not go back to Athens once in awhile. He probably did; but history attached no importance to it. The important thing is, the Grecian Empire was described as the leopard. Let us read it here in Daniel 7:6 “After this I beheld, and lo another, (BEAST) like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.” This is how God showed the Grecian Empire to Daniel. Remember, it was the 3rd world empire; and it had its period of time in history. Alexander the Great rose up, crossed into Turkey, and after many conflicts finally subdued the Medes and Persians, which were mainly called Persians by then. He came around from the back, through Babylon. When he came through Babylon the Jews heard about it; and they were afraid of what he might do to them, coming through that route. (I want to call your attention to something very interesting, at this point.) As Alexander the Great, was moving toward Jerusalem with his army, the Jewish high priest, thinking Alexander the Great was a pagan king, and having heard stories about what he had been doing in other territories, thought, We will not open our temple. The temple, and the city had been rebuilt; because it was the Medes and Persians that let the Jews go back home to work on that project, in 500 and something. We are now dealing with events of 300 and something B.C., when Alexander the Great was leading his troops toward Jerusalem. I just have to rejoice in what I am about to relate to you. (I would to God we had some political leaders today, that God could talk to. Our leaders the world over, do not want the supernatural God to talk to them. They do not believe He can talk to a human being. They call that fanaticism. To them, it is a disgrace, and very humiliating for a leader to stand up and say, God told me thus and so this morning; or God showed me in a dream last night, to do such and such. What would our news media do with something like that today. We are living in a day when most people do not want God in anything they are doing; unless they end up in some serious situation they cannot handle. Then they will cry, God help me!) It is true, Alexander the Great was a pagan. He was moving toward Jerusalem at the head of an army that no power or people has been able to stand before. The day came that the Jews closed the gates and waited for their worst expectations to be realized. They did their best to prepare themselves for what was coming. They did not intend to open the gates of their city. However, the night before Alexander and his army reached the outskirts of Jerusalem, the high priest had a dream. (It is recorded in secular history, written years ago. Our fathers, 70 and 80 years ago, read it; even though you would probably not find it in our schools today.) In the dream, he saw himself, the other priests, and the people, all decorated, and carrying flowers out to meet this approaching army. Dressed in his high priest robe, he opened the gates and was leading his people out to meet Alexander the Great on the outskirts of the temple area. As they approached Alexander the Great, sitting on that military horse, and as the high priest was about to speak, Alexander the Great dismounted and bowed before him. Naturally that took him by surprise. He thought Alexander might draw his sword and cut his head off. As he looked up, Alexander looked at him; and the high priest asked him, Why did you do that? Alexander said, So many days back, as he contemplated his advance toward this city of the Jews, he did some sacrifice, (as was according to pagan practise) to ask the gods for their guidance. He said, In a dream I saw you and your people. I saw myself bowing to acknowledge the God of the Jews. With that introduction, Alexander the Great, and the high priest turned and led the vast host into the city of Jerusalem. The people of the Jews prepared all kinds of delicacies for the Greek soldiers to eat; an it turned out to be a pleasant experience for them. Instead of the Jews having to fear the Greeks, the Jews were blessed by Alexander the Great. Alexander, in his endeavors to gain complete territorial conquests, gave the Jews much liberty. As he gave them the liberty, the Jews respected him; all because it was brought about by a divine act of God. Alexander the Great went on toward Egypt and finally conquered that whole area, bringing all of that vast scope of the Mediterranean under his power. He built a city at the mouth of the Nile River; and called it Alexandria. Young people, listen to this. Around 300 and something B.C., Alexander the Great built that city and is was the beginning of secular learning; because from then on, way on up into the second and third century A.D., young people, or anyone that wanted to learn, made their way to Alexandria to study. There, is where the various, professors, or teachers of secular learning had made their profession accessible. The city of Alexandria, at the mouth of the Nile, for centuries, was the center of human learning and growth, in the secular realm. It surpassed Athens by a long shot; even though Athens was referred to as the capital city of the Grecian Empire. As Alexander the Great left this area, he slowly made his way as far as the country of India. He had extended his empire. It is said, that when he came to the sea coast, he bowed down and wept. His soldiers asked him, Why do you weep? He answered, There is no more world to conquer. He had just turned south too quick. He died with a terrible disease. I will not even mention that part. The point is this, After his death, to make the four heads of the leopard and the four wings of a fowl stand out, that is when this area all began to break up. The Egyptians, the Syrians, and the areas of Turkey and Greece, finally ended up like this. The city of Damascus, which is the capital of the country we call Syria, began to stand out in the remaining period of that duration. From about 180 B.C., on down to the advent of Christ, the Jews existed in very troubled times; because the great territorial empire of the Grecians began to break up, and the Jews fell in the crossroads, of what they began to call the hammer and the sickle. Egypt and Syria. Damascus was the city that Antiochus Epiphanes came out of, and did what he did in the time of the Maccabean Jews in Jerusalem.