I wrote this article some two years ago, and wish to post it to the blog, as its timeliness becomes more profound given the current Israeli-Gaza conflict.
Gaza and Israel in The Last Days: By Garrick Augustus, November 17, 2012
“For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up. Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the nation of the Cherethites! the word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be no inhabitant.” Zeph. 2: 4, 5.
What do the verbs “forsaken,” “desolation,” “driven out,” and “rooted up,” especially when joined with the phrase, “there shall be no inhabitant,” all have in common? You guessed it, the markings of a war, a terrible war, the formation of which leaves in its wake such scenes of catastrophe, that cities are left without inhabitants! Shortly, we will examine these verses to see if they were fulfilled in ancient times, of if they are timed for the latter days, the times in which we live.
“On Monday, militants fired several rockets toward Eshkol in southern Israel. One hit a school that has been closed since the conflict began, the IDF said. Several more rockets fired at Ashkelon — which has been repeatedly targeted by militants in recent days — were intercepted by Israel’s missile defense system, it said.” http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/19/world/meast/gaza-israel-strike/index.html?hpt=hp_t1
As believers in the Three Angel’s Messages, when we hear of earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes, famines, plagues among a host of other natural and man-made disasters, we echo the chant that “these are signs of the Coming of the Lord.” Truly, when we see movements of the Vatican, letters from the Pope, or international engagement with the Papacy, we also proclaim, “the man of sin is being revealed as the world wonders after the beast.” We are also conditioned that these are warning signs, and that the time of trouble is not far off, a time when we will need to run to the rocks and the mountains, in an effort to survive the punishing persecution, we envision to come upon Christians in general, and Seventh-day Adventists in particular. But when we see war and bloodshed in the Middle-East, especially as it relates to Israel and her neighbors, it confuses us. It causes us to act as though we do not know what this trumpet blast means, for theologically speaking, we have not been prepared to look into the existence of an Israel in the Last Days, a prophetic oversight which will cause our Revelation Seminars, and other teachings on latter-day prophecies much theological embarrassment, as the conclusions we make fall out of line with both history and reality.
Why am I writing on Gaza now? The answer is clear, Gaza and Israel have been the focal point of many world news coverage over the past sixty years, and although the Bible is pregnant with teachings on a Middle East conflict involving Israel, Gaza, Jerusalem, Syria, Egypt, and an host of other Muslim and non-Muslim powers, within and outside of that region, a conflict which will be the warning sign of the long expected “time of trouble” (Dan 12:1, 2), as well as the final signal of the cleansing of the Church (1 Pet, 4: 17), by Christ Himself (Mal. 3: 1-3), from all who seek not the complete robe of His Righteousness, our theologians have been very dismissive of these parts of the Holy Scriptures, denying their eminent fulfillment in the latter days. Yet, the Bible does teach the reality of a general Middle Eastern military campaign centered in Jerusalem, Israel. A military showdown in the Middle East is not one which can be easily contained or dismissed, as it will involve America’s strongest international ally (apart from Great Britain)—Israel, and whichever nation touches Israel, will, as it were, touch “the apple of America’s eye,” and will thus draw her(the USA) into full battle array in defense of Israel. The Muslims also have their international nation block which supports their cause, and their growing need of political statehood, and this block includes nations such as Russia, China, Iran, Turkey, Syria, and Jordan, to mention a few.
Prophecy does speak of a Gaza in the latter days, a political State of Israel, as well as a conflict between these two ideologies which will foment into the ultimate military fall of Israel and the United States while they are engaged in a gigantic Middle Eastern battle. I can speak with certainty on this topic, because the Bible has been very clear as to its development and outcome, and it speaks even more clearly than it has spoken of the rise and fall of the two—horned beast in Revelation 13. Let us now hear from one who has written some 2,500 years ago, and prophesied of these very places calling them by their recognizable political names in the latter days with geographic specificity:
“Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD’S anger come upon you.” Zeph. 2: 1, 2.
Here the prophet speaks of an undesired, or shameless nation, one who is to marshal herself and “gather together,” an indication of her unifying herself both economically, militarily and ideologically, and this gathering must occur “before” the day of YHWH’s anger comes upon the earth. Thus, sometime in the latter days, sometime before the great and dreadful day of the LORD comes, a “nation” of shameless people will emerge to power. The fact that this nation is to “gather” together suggests that at the time when the prophecy meets its fulfillment, the people comprising this nation were scattered, hence the need to be gathered. Which nation could this be? The context is clear that this nation, resides in the Middle East, and has cities with names such as Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Ekron. While some of these names might not be readily familiar to our minds, we will shortly see that they are centers of population in the modern-day State of Israel. Let me be clear, the need to be gathered, is strong indication that this nation was once scattered—thus another compelling reason to direct our attention to political Israel who has been “gathering together” her citizens from all quarters of the earth since she declared independence in 1948. Hence, we see the prophetic announcement of this nation state as she emerged from the various corners of the earth to be recognized by the United Nations in 1948 as the independent State we now know called Israel. And ever since her establishment in the middle of the 20th Century, Israel has been engaged in bloody wars with her Muslim and Arab neighbors.
One would hardly be candid to suggest that Israel’s statehood has not been of Divine guidance. Consider the war of 1967, the six-day war, when the young state was attacked from her three sides: Jordan in the East, Syria in the North, and Egypt in the South. Though outgunned and out manned, in only six days, Israel routed her enemies so completely, that her borders more than quadrupled! Egypt lost the Sinai Delta and the entire Sinai desert including Gaza, Jordan lost the West Bank, and Syria lost the Golan Heights. Because of international negotiations to stave off the cold war, Egypt has signed a peace accord with Israel in return for the Sinai Delta and the greater Sinai desert—Sinai Peninsula, up to the border of Gaza. Jordan has since signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994, which has given greater autonomy for the Jordanian Palestinians in the West Bank to now seek for independence and Statehood. This has been a centerpiece of American and European diplomacy for nearly two decades to date. Also, Syria and Israel have been negotiated a peace settlement, in which the greater part of the Golan, excluding a military “buffer zone,” has been handed over to Syrian rule, in an effort to sweeten the deal. While these negotiations provide temporary relief from a state of overt aggression, they are in the background working through other means to bring down Israel’s military strength. There has been the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization), The Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah, to mention a few of the more extreme gorilla organizations whose sole aim is to “drive Israel into the Mediterranean sea.”
The prophet continues: “Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.” Zeph. 2: 3.
While on the one hand the Almighty speaks of this rejected, undesired, shameless nation, declaring that they would be gathered together, before the day of His wrath pours forth, He simultaneously, on the other hand, speaks of another nation, one simply known as the “meek of the earth,” beckoning to them to seek His meekness, to seek His righteousness, that they may be “hid” when His “anger” pours forth. Who are “the meek”? A quick search of the Bible identifies them as the righteous:
“The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.” Ps 25:9
- “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” Ps 37:11
- “When God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth. Selah.” Ps 76:9
- “The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.” Ps 147:6
- “For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.” Ps 149:4
- “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Matt. 5:5
- “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” 11:29
From these Scriptures, we can clearly see that the “meek” of the earth shall inherit the kingdom, because they are followers of Him who is “meek and lowly in heart” giving rest to the souls of the weary pilgrims. So while on the one hand, the political nations will be engaged in a gigantic military war in the Middle East, the true followers of the Lamb, will, on the other hand, be taking on His likeness, and seeking more to be wrapped in the robe of His righteousness, His meekness, so they can be sealed as ones with the Lamb, and thereby be “hid” in the day of YHWH’S anger.
“Gaza will be abandoned and Ashkelon left in ruins. At midday Ashdod will be emptied and Ekron uprooted. Woe to you who live by the sea, you Kerethite people; the word of the Lord is against you, Canaan, land of the Philistines. He says, “I will destroy you, and none will be left.” Zeph. 2: 4, 5, NIV.
In unmistakable language, the Bible declares that the entire Mediterranean coast will be wasted with the ravages of war, to the extent that none of its inhabitants will be left! The fact that this is a very densely populated part of the world, one whose population is realizing increasing growth, further indicates that the days of her emptying with “no inhabitant” is yet future, which makes this teaching a message of present truth, meat in due season. Gaza as described by the CIA is “slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC,” with a total land area of 360 sq-km, and boasts a population of 1,710,257 (July 2012 estimates), with a population growth rate of 6th in the world! To set this in perspective, Gaza is 3.3% the size of Jamaica, and has a population 59% of Jamaica’s. This means that the need for food, housing and economic survival is increasingly high, as they all compete for the same diminishingly scarce set of resources.
The Bible, while depicting this area of war and bloodshed, lost no time in familiarizing our thoughts with the ancient land of promise, Palestine, thus it is here described as “Canaan, land of the Philistines,” in an effort to cause the mind of the reader to reflect on the warrior-like tribes of that region, and fast forwarding them to our times where the same spirit survives. This land, friends, is not the heavenly Canaan, which all true Christians long for and will one day possess, but we are here learning of a latter-day Canaan in the Middle East, built on the ruins of those ancient cities. We are now to brace for the greatest of all global conflicts, yet to be fought in the Middle East, with Jerusalem as its epicenter, and Israel’s allies and enemies as the forces in conflict. To this the Bible has further warned:
“The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. 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 that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, 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.” Zech. 12: 1-4
Observe that in outlining this prophecy, the Creator has laid out His credentials as the One who “stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.” In other words, the inerrant YHWH is here speaking, and declares that He “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.” A “siege” is the language of warfare. Right there in Jerusalem and the nations “round about,” will be a cataclysmic battle, which will attract the attention of the rest of the military world, for the infallible One declares, ”all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” It is often necessary to remind the reader that this is not the New Jerusalem after the millennium, but a latter-day Jerusalem which will be pummeled by her enemies before she is delivered by her Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
Going back to Zephaniah, we read: “And the sea coast shall be dwellings and cottages for shepherds, and folds for flocks. And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah; they shall feed thereupon: in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening: for the LORD their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity.” Zeph. 2: 6, 7.
As though the vision has changed, we see the very “sea cost” which was once destroyed “without inhabitant,” is now inhabited, but with people of a different character. They are now inhabited by shepherds and their flocks. Think not that this is a return to agriculture, no indeed. This change of occupants, indicates a change of heart, a changed character, that the true future dwellers of this land will be the “meek of earth.” Now, this might appear to some, who are stuck on ignoring the prophecies, as fanciful Evangelical teachings, but to those who believe in “every word’ which proceeds from the mouth of YHWH, this is present truth—meat in due season. We are living in a changing world, with changing seasons, but there is more change to come, and in the Middle East which has been ravaged by the terror or war, the Prince of Peace is about to reckon with, and make Jerusalem the center of the everlasting gospel once again, before probation closes.
Do realize that it is the United States which will lead the world in making an image to the beast, and during those terrible times of trouble and persecution, the headquarters of the gospel will no longer reside in the USA, or for that matter, in the domains of the two-horned beast’s, but rather it will be relocated by the Creator Himself, to the land that he has chosen and forever placed His name there, thus, “Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen me to put my name there” (1Ki. 11: 36), is an of repeated phrase throughout the Scriptures. Another such instance is here seen: “Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all tribes of Israel, will I put my name forever.” 2Ki 21:7.
Have you ever thought that there are only two Jerusalem’s in the entire Universe? There is a Jerusalem on earth, which is in bondage with her children, until now, and there is the new Jerusalem in heaven above, and one day both Jerusalem’s will kiss. Where now there exists historic, or “old” Jerusalem, will, after the millennium, reside the metropolis of the New earth, and thus of the whole Universe, the very throne of the eternal Majesty of Heaven, YHWH Himself. Why? Because Jerusalem is the place where His name dwells forever. The very name Yah-rushalayim, Yerushalayim, [Jerusalem], means “city of peace.” In spite of its peaceful name, Jerusalem has been everything but peaceful! But those days are coming to an end. Here is what the Bible says:
“But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” Micah 4: 1, 2.
Here Micah, in unmistakable language speaks of “the last days” and declares that the gospel will emanate from that place, during a time when sinners can be saved, for said he, all peoples shall flow unto it. “And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth.” When “the law goes forth,” it will be under the auspices of the Loud Cry of the Third Angel’s message, when a people who keep the commandments of YHWH and possess the faith of Messiah, shall preach the everlasting gospel as a witness unto all nations before the end shall come.
For many years, our theologians have held that “old Jerusalem will never again be rebuilt,” citing support from Early Writings, pp. 74-76. In recent years, however, in light of the fact that Israel has become a nation, an event which was not seen in any of the visions of Sister White’s, the White Estate has been placed in the position of apologists, and have since written a seventeen page document entitled “The Gathering of Israel, A Historical Study of Early Writings, pp. 74-76,” in which they explain that Mrs. White was not suggesting that Jerusalem would not ever again be build up, but that the purposes of the Zionists of the mid-18th century (her times) would not be realized, a view which held that during the millennium, there would be a peaceful reign of Christ on earth, and that the gospel would be preached to all nations, and Jerusalem would then be the center of the gospel. This view Ellen White opposed, and spoke out against. Specifically, they conclude:
But the Seventh-day Adventist doctrine of the millennium precluded accepting the age-to-come views: With all the redeemed in heaven and no human being left alive on the earth, there is simply no room for either probation after the Second Advent or a “Judaizing” millennial kingdom on earth.
Like the Millerite “anti-Judaizing” view, the Seventh-day Adventist belief had nothing to do with the Jews or with their religion or national status. It opposed one specific Christian prophetic interpretation, namely: the application of certain prophecies to an expected gathering and conversion of the Jews, and to their place in a “Davidic” kingdom on earth during the millennium. (An opinion for or against the “Judaizing” Literalist interpretation of the prophecies no more makes one pro-Israel or anti-Jewish than does the acceptance or rejection of the British-Israel claim make one pro-or anti-British.)—Julia Neuffer, Former Assistant Book Editor Review and Herald Publishing Association. [Emphasis mine.], Ibid.
To clear matters in the reader’s mind, let me repeat, the prophecies nowhere teach a millennial reign of peace on earth, but that the saved will reign with Christ for 1,000 years in the Holy City above. What it does teach, however, with great lucidity, is that the gospel work on earth will be closed when Jerusalem becomes the headquarters of the everlasting gospel. Here is the prophet Joel:
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” Joel 2: 28-32.
We have long been told by our theological forefathers that there will be a final outpouring of God’s Holy Spirit, far exceeding the manifestation realized on the Day of Pentecost (Acts. 2), which event is here partially described. What we were not told, however, is that the Middle East will be included in this final shower of grace on the waiting church of God. “For,” says the prophet, “in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” This call on Zion and Jerusalem, in connection with the “remnant,” clearly bespeaks the final evangelical thrust of the 144,000 (the true remnant), earth’s final evangelists, as they make the final thrust on the battlefield of sin, to warn a dying world of our loving Saviour’s return. Regarding the promises given in Joel, Ellen White also provides insights, declaring:
After the wonderful manifestation of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, Peter exhorted the people to repentance and baptism in the name of Christ, for the remission of their sins; and he said: “Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Acts 2:38, 39.
In immediate connection with the scenes of the great day of God, the Lord by the prophet Joel has promised a special manifestation of His Spirit. Joel 2:28. This prophecy received a partial fulfillment in the outpouring of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost; but it will reach its full accomplishment in the manifestation of divine grace which will attend the closing work of the gospel.” The Great Controversy, p. X (Introduction)
Let’s realize that the “partial fulfillment” of the prophecies of Joel, are to meet their consummate fulfillment in “the closing work of the gospel,” the Loud Cry of the Third Angel. That additional light and power will attend the Third Angel’s message, is evidenced in Rev. 18:1, where another angel was commissioned to unite his voice with that of the three angels’, lending power and force to their message, by calling a people out of Babylon, to the true worship of the one and only Majesty of the Universe, YHWH Himself.
The angel who unites in the proclamation of the third angel’s message is to lighten the whole earth with his glory. A work of world-wide extent and unwonted power is here foretold…The work will be similar to that of the Day of Pentecost. As the “former rain” was given, in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at the opening of the gospel, to cause the upspringing of the precious seed, so the “latter rain” will be given at its close for the ripening of the harvest.
The great work of the gospel is not to close with less manifestation of the power of God than marked its opening. The prophecies which were fulfilled in the outpouring of the former rain at the opening of the gospel are again to be fulfilled in the latter rain at its close. Here are “the times of refreshing” to which the apostle Peter looked forward when he said: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; and He shall send Jesus.” Acts 3:19, 20.
Servants of God, with their faces lighted up and shining with holy consecration, will hasten from place to place to proclaim the message from heaven. By thousands of voices, all over the earth, the warning will be given. Miracles will be wrought, the sick will be healed, and signs and wonders will follow the believers. Satan also works, with lying wonders, even bringing down fire from heaven in the sight of men. Revelation 13:13. Thus the inhabitants of the earth will be brought to take their stand. The Great Controversy, pp. 611, 612.
The First Exodus and Jerusalem
When Israel left Egypt in the first exodus, Palestine was filled with a terror-dealing warlike people, and it has not changed much even after three millennia, but things are about to change for the better, however, it will get worst before it gets better. The worst is that the last world war will be fought in that place, and the USA and her allies will suffer a stunning military defeat. This fact is more directly stated in the prophecies of Daniel:
“And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him. And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: 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 shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Dan. 11: 45 – 12:1
The power here identified as “he,” is the “king of the North,” the United States and her allies, including her religious ally—the Papacy. They will seek to make Jerusalem an extension of their headquarters by planting “the tabernacles” of their palace “in the glorious holy mountain,” Jerusalem, but will soon realize that the coalition which aided them in this take-over is no longer standing in their favor, and as the coalition breaks without hands, through direct divine intervention, the once great military engine, and the floating armada of the seas will suffer her most humiliating military defeat. And this the Majesty of heaven will do in order to save both groups of belligerents, for they will finally see that were it not for divine intervention, the coalition could not have been broken, much less the Muslim and Arab nations stand as victors. I cannot say exactly the circumstance which will lead to the breaking of the coalition, but here is what the Bible does teach regarding the demise of the King of the North, under his prophetic title, Assyria:
“Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire: And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err. Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the mighty One of Israel. And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones. For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.” Isa. 30: 27-31
“Turn ye unto him from whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted. For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin. Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a mean man, shall devour him: but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited. And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the LORD, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem.” Isa. 31: 6-9.
As clear as language can describe, we see the allied Assyrian power of the last days being crushed “through the voice of YHWH,” and that further he will not be humiliated by the sword of a “mighty” nation nor that of a “mean” nation, but only through the “voice” of Michael, when he stands up. Thus, “Assyria will fall by a sword that is not of man; a sword, not of mortals, will devour them.” Isa. 31: 8 NIV.
In Dan. 12, we also saw that while Assyria, under the title of “the King of the North,” is being humiliated with no one coming to his aid (Dan 11:45), that Michael simultaneously stands up and delivers his people, those whose names are found written in the Lamb’s book of life. What a wonderful moment that will be! This standing up of the Prince of Peace, is not at His second advent, but sometime prior thereto, a time when the everlasting gospel is being preached and people can be saved. This time also known to be the Mark of the Beast system, as described in Rev. 13.
It makes perfect sense that the Saints’ Deliverer intervenes in the affairs of earth at such a critical time, for at that time there shall be a time of trouble, one in which His waiting remnant cannot buy or sell, except they subscribe to the despotic system engendered by the two-horned beast, a global religio-politico-economic system which restricts the liberty of conscience, and dictates how and whom to worship. It is for this reason that we see the great multitude of saints being saved (delivered) during the Immage of the Beast system. Thus the prophet declares:
“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number…These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Rev. 7: 9, 14.
As on the day of Pentecost, the 120 disciples received the former rain of power and proclaimed the eternal gospel under the anointing of the Holy Spirit wherein some three thousand plus souls per day were saved, (a great multitude), similarly, on the day of Pentecost to come, during the times of the latter rain, the divine Christ will abundantly pour out His Holy Spirit in power on his remnant—the 144,000, who will in turn preach the everlasting gospel under His special anointing, and gather in a great multitude of believers in the latter days and closing hours of earth’s probation.
The Faithful and Wise Servant
So, the saber rattling of war in the Middle East are to be taken seriously, because they are closely linked with the escalation of the Mark of the Beast system, and the closing work of the Third Angel’s message in the Loud Cry. The call is now being delivered to “seek meekness” all ye meek of the earth, that we may be hid (delivered) in the day of YHWH’S anger. Further, Daniel confirms that only those whose names are found written Michael’s Book of Life will be delivered. The greatest urgency at this moment is that we purify our characters through the indwelling Christ, that our names may be retained in the Lamb’s book of life. There is a latter-day fulfillment of the covenant promises given to ancient Israel, and they will be fulfilled through the goodly remnant in the last days of this earth’s history. Due to time and space limitations, I will encourage each reader to take a fresh look into the two classes of servants (Matt. 24: 45-51), and the two classes of virgins (Matt. 25: 1-13), and learn the parable of the fig tree, for the time is at hand.
“The lord of that [foolish] servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matt. 24: 50, 51.
Note carefully that this coming of the Master to the “servant” is his coming in judgment to His church (1 Pet. 4:17), and not at His Second Advent. This coming, therefore, finds believers unprepared, because they were “not aware of” the Master’s visitation, due to their not having partaken of the “meat in due season”—present truth, served by the “faithful and wise servant.” That the Lord will come to His church in judgment, is not a silent thought in the Scriptures:
“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.” Mal. 3:1-3.
Ellen White On The Rebuilding of Jerusalem
Let’s now contrast Ellen White’s historic statement with conditions presently unfolding on the ground in Jerusalem:
|Ellen White in 1848||News on Jerusalem in 2012|
|“Then I was pointed to some who are in the great error of believing that it is their duty to go to Old Jerusalem, and think they have a work to do there before the Lord comes. Such a view is calculated to take the mind and interest from the present work of the Lord, under the message of the third angel; for those who think that they are yet to go to Jerusalem will have their minds there, and their means will be withheld from the cause of present truth, to get themselves and others there. I saw that such a mission would accomplish no real good, that it would take a long while to make a very few of the Jews believe even in the first advent of Christ, much more to believe in His second advent. I saw that Satan had greatly deceived some in this thing and that should all around them in this land could be helped by them and led to keep the commandments of God, but they were leaving them to perish.
“I also saw that Old Jerusalem never would be built up; and that Satan was doing his utmost to lead the minds of the children of the lord into these things now, in the gathering time, to keep them from throwing their whole interest into the present work of the Lord, and to cause them to neglect the necessary preparation for the day of the Lord.” (Early Writings, p. 75, 76. Emphasis added)
Israeli PM: No limits on Jerusalem construction; AP foreign, Sunday October 21, 2012
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s prime minister vowed on Sunday to continue building in east Jerusalem, despite objections from Palestinians who claim the territory as capital of their hoped-for state. Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Sunday after the European Union’s foreign policy chief criticized plans to build 800 new apartments and a military college on contested land.
“We are not imposing any restrictions on construction in Jerusalem” Netanyahu told his Cabinet. “It is our capital.” A top aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas promptly accused Netanyahu of deliberately destroying prospects for peace.
The Israeli leader’s comment “comes in the context of the continuing destruction of the peace process and the two-state solution,” Nabil Abu Rdeneh said. The fate of Jerusalem lies at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinians refuse to negotiate while Israel continues to build settlements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, areas captured by the Jewish state in 1967. Netanyahu has rejected the notion of partitioning the city. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/10493285
Given the reality on the ground, that general construction is being conducted in “Old Jerusalem,” we can now choose to either stick our heads in the sand, so to speak, and pretend that this is not happening, or wake up to the fact that it is occurring differently than our Adventist theologians have predicted, and wake up to the reality that they are acting like blind leaders of the blind. When we realize that Old Jerusalem has been and continues to be built up, then statements such as Early Writings p, 76 will not confuse and confound students of Scripture and history, but will lead them to allow the “context” to drive the author’s conclusion, now that she is dead. Personally, I am quite confident that this is a very embarrassing statement for our church to confront, given the history-making declaration of the State of Israel’s emergence exactly one hundred years after Ellen White definitively stated that she “also saw that Old Jerusalem never would be built up.”
Once ago our Church leaders were quite proud of this “proof statement” from our prophet, and would readily whip it out this statement to “disprove” the so-called erroneous teachings of the divine restoration of Israel to the Promised Land, but with history, prophecy and reality not in her favor, she has launched a face-saving campaign in a seventeen-page apologetic, in which she tries to sanitize this vision of Ellen White’s and restore credibility to the purported inerrancy of her writings. No other statement of Mrs. White’s has warranted such historic research and verbose assessment than the one at hand, and for good reason, it shows that our church leaders are not being guided by the Holy Scriptures as our rule of faith and doctrine, but are wholly leaning on statements from the pen of Ellen White to establish such doctrines, without even giving credence to the historical setting in which her statements were given.