Never since the close of the Cold War between Communism on the one hand, and Capitalism on the other, has the world seen the threat of an all-out war that can easily spill over into another Global War with the great military powers of earth. And never since the birth of the Nuclear Age has so many countries’ militaries invested their interests in obtaining a nuclear bomb at every cost, and have successfully added them to their repertoire of weapons of mass human destruction. Just as “the Arab Spring” has taken political leaders, prognosticators and military strategists, on the blind side, similarly the rapid technological leaps in North Korea’s nuclear expertise and weapons systems has equally taken the international community of nations by surprise. Notably so, too, has the appraisals of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) been out dated as to the expanse of North Korea’s nuclear advances, as well as the amount of missiles they have weaponized. The CIA has had to do some fast catching up to realize that not only has North Korea advanced in enriching bomb-grade uranium for its military, but it has also miniaturized these deadly weapons to deliver them by Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM’s).
We have seen in recent months, as well as over the past decade that North Korea has supported its threats by actions, and has repeatedly flouted the enforcement of the US’ and UN’s tougher sanctions, with more flexing of its military muscles, begging, as it were for a war with the West—a war which they believe they can easily win with a nuclear first strike.
The CIA and other key U.S. intelligence agencies agree with the assessment that North Korea has miniaturized a nuclear weapon to place atop a ballistic missile, U.S. officials told NBC News.
The disclosure adds to the emerging picture about a new intelligence estimate that has significantly ratcheted up tensions between the U.S. and North Korea…
U.S. officials have also been pushing back on the idea that they were surprised by the development, saying that it had been expected for some time. But outside experts… have said that it appears intelligence officials did not anticipate the speed of North Korea’s advances.
Now that the North Korean Crisis has caught most world leaders by surprise, and with the prospect of a third World War increasingly becoming the unavoidable path to neutralizing this threat, the central question at this time is whether or not this has caught YHWH by surprise as well. The Bible is clear that Christians who are walking in the light of Present Truth, are not sleeping, or ought not to be sleeping, but must instead by wide awake, knowing that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God to the pulling down of strongholds of evil, the pulling down of principalities and powers of darkness, for the glory of God, and the liberation of souls trapped in despotic systems of darkness.
“1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.” 1 Thess. 5: 1-7
This Inspired passage has vividly portrayed for us the need to be, and remain awake, and to rightly understand the “times and the seasons” in which we now live. We need to understand them for at least three reasons:
- Prepare ourselves individually with the Robe of Christ’s Righteousness in readiness for the coming Kingdom of our God.
- Warn the world of the coming geo-political events that will change the order of the world, yet with the assurance of the outcome, and which side will prevail.
- Vindicate the surety of God’s Word, that He sets up kings and puts them down, in His own way and time, as best advances the cause of His coming kingdom, and the consummation of the reign of sin.
The troubling reality though, is that at just such a time when Christianity should be at the forefront, helping those in darkness to see the great light beaming from the glory of the Cross, the Churches, in general, have capitulated to the worldliness around, and have largely imbibed the same rebellious spirit, by showing indifference to the Torah (Law of God), leading many today to be calling light darkness, and darkness light. Many are running the reckless path of telling sinners veiled lies, with words to the effect that “you must just come to Jesus as you are, and remain as you came—once saved always saved! Don’t allow anyone to tell you that you must keep God’s laws to retain a saving relationship with Christ, as salvation is a free gift—undeserved, and unearned—and all you need to do is to accept the free gift and that settles it!”
While there is a grain of truth to the veiled lie above, we can all attest to the fact that this sort of doctrine has yielded more atheists in the church and Christian homes in recent times than at any other time in the history of the Church.
IT IS TWO AND A HALF MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT ON THE DOOMSDAY CLOCK[i] 2017:
For the last two years, the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock stayed set at three minutes before the hour, the closest it had been to midnight since the early 1980s. In its two most recent annual announcements on the Clock, the Science and Security Board warned: “The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.” In 2017, we find the danger to be even greater, the need for action more urgent. It is two and a half minutes to midnight, the Clock is ticking, global danger looms.
Bible Prophecy and a Thermo-Nuclear War
Over the centuries since the birth of the Christian Church, Satan has blinded the eyes of Church leaders to relegate the most eye-opening prophecies for our times, to events which have already occurred in the distant past. He has helped them on this path principally because his greater purpose is to blind their understandings of the kingdom of glory, Heaven’s ark of safety amid the raging cataclysms of the last days—the hiding place for the saved, during the last fleeting hours of human probationary time, prior to the glorious Second Advent of our Lord and Saviour, Y’shuah the Messiah (Jesus Christ). Let us now hear from the Voice of the Spirit of Prophecy:
“9 Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: 10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.” Joel 3: 9, 10.
To appreciate the truths of this passage, we must seek to understand the people to whom it was written: Have these words ever been fulfilled? When are they to be fulfilled, and upon whom are they to be fulfilled? Are they simply conditional prophecies, dependent on Israel’s obedience or disobedience, to determine if God will honor His word, or are they absolute declarations from the “God, that cannot lie?” (Titus 1: 2).
A brief survey of the Chapter will certainly align us with the time and the people to whom the predicted events will be realized.
“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem.” Joel 3: 1.
This verse makes clear that “in those days” and at “that time,” when the prophecies of Chapter 3 are fulfilled, that YHWH will “bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem.” Judah and Jerusalem have been captive entities to Gentile powers, since 70 AD, from the birth of the Christian era, and speaks of a time when this captivity shall be overturned by the Most High. As this has never occurred in the past, it is clear that if the Scripture will ever be fulfilled, it must be in the future. Further, since Jerusalem was for the first time, since Roman destruction of the Holy City under Titus’ army in 70 AD been defined as the Capital of the State of Israel, since 1948, it provides added proof that we are approaching the times when this prophecy will meet its consummate fulfillment.
Further, the expression “in those days, and in that time,” reaches back to the events that were previously discussed in Chapter two; there we read:
“28 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: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. 32 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
Clearly, from this passage we see that “those days” have to do with when God pours out His Holy Spirit again in Pentecostal power, under the order of the Latter Rain, as He has done under the ministration of the Former Rain, at the First Pentecost which opened the gospel dispensation. Further, too, we see that “in those days” (v. 29), there will be signs in the cosmos—sun, moon and stars. These events are to transpire not in the former days, but just “before the great and terrible day of YHWH” comes. Hence we see that the prophecy speaks with specificity to the last days of this earth’s history. Going back to Chapter three, we again read of the times when these events will transact:
“Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great.” Joel 3: 13.
This verse tells us, in vivid details, that the man with the “sickle” will conduct “the harvest” for it is “ripe” and overflowing. It projects the time as one of great wickedness upon earth. This is similar to the days of Noah, before the flood, when the Bible declared that “GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Gen. 6: 5.
This wickedness precipitated into the great and dreadful day of the LORD in that day—the Noactic Flood, and in a similar way, the great wickedness of earth’s inhabitants in our day, will likewise precipitate into the Great and Dreadful Day of our God—the time of separating the wheat from the tares, first with the Church (1 Pet. 4: 17) and then in the world. It was Jesus Christ Himself who declared that “the harvest is the end of the world.” Matt. 13: 39. Hence, this time of harvest spoken of in Joel 3: 13 is slated for “the end of the world,” or more appropriately, the time of the end of this old world. When we see the events shaping themselves to restore the captivity of Jerusalem to its rightful heirs—the true seed of Abraham’s and geopolitical as well as cosmological movements threatening our earth, then may we know that the time is near at hand. And is it not true that all who can read and reason, no matter their theological or political persuasion, can broadly agree that these events are yet unfulfilled, and that the signs of the time for their fulfillment is right upon us?
The Middle East’s Tinder Box And The “Axis of Evil”
In as much as North Korea is an immediate and near imminent threat to the world order of relative peace and security among the nations, the central nervous system of these wars is pointing to the Middle East, with the Jerusalem question at their epicenter. It is a well-known fact that Hamas and other Islamic terrorist groups around the world obtain their arms from North Korea Iran, and Russia. These countries are both hostile to the Western powers, and are seeking to gain a larger share of world dominance.
Currently, Russia has assumed ownership of Ukrainian Crimea, by the show of military strength, while all the great powers of Europe stood by and did nothing. At the same time, China has been expanding its borders to include the Spratly Islands, thereby claiming most of the Sea of China as its domestic territory. Even while China is angered and angering the competing claims to these territories by Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei, China and Japan both lay claim to ownership of islands in the East China Sea, known respectively as the Senkaku or Diaoyu islands. This hostile strategy of land-grab is not unique to just Russia and China, but to other military-controlled nations states as well. For example, Iran is now seeking to, and is rapidly gaining control of a larger share of the Middle East, setting its footprint in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Yemen, even while it still funnels military aid to Somalia’s al-Shabab, and Nigeria’s Boko-Haram.
War historians have accurately recorded the state of world affairs prior to World War 2, and it began with Germany’s strategy of land-grabbing. Today, in the shadows of World War Three, the world is again seeing the strategy of land-grabbing, by other military controlled nation states.
No one wanted war. Yet, when Germany attacked Poland on September 1, 1939, other European countries felt they had to act. The result was six long years of World War II. Adolf Hitler wanted more land, especially in the east, to expand Germany according to the Nazi policy of lebensraum. Hitler used the harsh limitations that were set against Germany in the Versailles Treaty as a pretext for Germany’s right to acquire land where German-speaking people lived. Germany successfully used this reasoning to envelop two entire countries without starting a war.
In recent years, Russia used Hitler’s strategy in the name of protecting Russian citizens living in Crimea, Ukraine, as the catalyst to annexing that territory to herself. With only economic sanctions levied against them, the Russians are now seeking to take Eastern Ukraine, and perhaps have an all-out war to take the entire country of Ukraine, a member of its long-time breakaway Soviet-era republic!
The Ukrainian territory of Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation on 18 March 2014. Since then, the peninsula has been administered as two Russian federal subjects—the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, which, until 2016, were grouped in the Crimean Federal District. The annexation was preceded by a military intervention by Russia in Crimea, which took place in the aftermath of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution and was part of wider unrest across southern and eastern Ukraine.
The greatest challenges for the United States and her allies today are all centered in US policy towards Israel, Russia, Syria, North Korea, and China. If this delicate geo-political and military balance is not carefully worked out, and systems of checks and balances not quickly set in place to build trust and confidence, then the only and unavoidable path will be war. At the focus of this war, of course, is the nation State of Israel.
Recognizing the inextricable nature of the opposition in theater, the Israelis are also taking notice and fingering the new axis of evil players on the world scene:
Pointing to Iran’s alliance with Kim and Assad, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman recently told the Israeli news service Walla that North Korea, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah make up an “axis of evil.”
Russia has, for its part, threatened that if the US should engage in any further illegal military strikes in Syria that they (Russia) will be obliged to react proportionately in defense of Syria’s sovereignty! Israel has long seen this theater as a nuclear tinderbox in a sort of Game of Thrones maneuver, and daily the sleeping ticking time bomb of a Middle East military conflict is ticking louder and louder, hastening towards the zero-hour.
The political climate of the Middle East and the Far East, are both concerning strategic impasses that can independently or jointly easily spill over into World War Three, for the same players are involved in both political theaters.
As for North Korea, the outlook is rather grim, and the options increasingly slim. Taking a look at the map of this reclusive Nation, for example, we see that it shares borders with two countries to her north that are both hostile to the US: China and Russia, both of which are nuclear powers, and both of which are heavily invested in the Middle East, while to the south is her counterpart, South Korea, a staunch US ally. It is not hard to see that a Nuclear strike against North Korea can and will lead to radiation fallout, at the least, in China and Russia, as well as South Korea. This would most likely lead to these two northern hostile military countries to respond in kind to the US strike, and of course Japan further east would be impacted, or by default, will be automatically drawn into such a military conflict. It is for this and other untold reasons why policy makers are staying up late at nights, seeking to find a peaceful resolution to this growing problem. Political and Religious governments, respectively, are world-over scratching their heads, so to speak, in search of the best alternative solution to war, and daily the available non-war options are dwindling smaller and smaller, as the window of opportunity to avert a nuclear holocaust grows ever so slim.
Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Tuesday that ramping up the “military hysteria” around North Korea’s escalating nuclear and missile tests could lead to a “global catastrophe.”… “In this situation, pressing on military hysteria will not bring anything. This may end up in a global catastrophe and huge amount of human life lost,” Putin told reporters during a visit to China. His comments came two days after Kim’s government detonated its sixth and largest nuclear test.
With all of this backdrop firmly established, it is now helpful for us to look into God’s Word to see what it actually says about these events, and how believers will survive the calamities that are coming upon the earth.
Evil Shall Go Forth From Nation To Nation
“(30) Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. (31) A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD. (32) Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.” Jer. 25: 30-32.
Sometime before the Almighty, YHWH, sits in judgment “against all the inhabitants of the earth,” and treads them like the reapers of grapes at harvest time, He will allow “evil to spread from nation to nation,” “even to the ends of the earth.” This tells us that the whole world will be embroiled in conflicts of one sort or another. Each nation will have its own share of internal political instabilities to contend with, as well as external ones, such that they will have little time to address, in a focused way, other matters which are simultaneously happening around the globe. It is at such as time that the prophecies of Joel will be activated for fulfillment.
If your house is on fire, you will seek to save your house first, before saving your neighbors’. Similarly, as this “evil” spreads from nation to nation around the world, each nation will be so hunkered down with its own share of troubles, that it cannot give sufficient time and commitment to managing global changes and internal/external conflicts between other far-away countries will only worsen, as is the case with North Korea today. Such was the attitude of the United States prior to WWII; they were “an isolationist” nation, only minding their own business, while the rest of the world was boiling over into war. America has learned the painful lesson, that neutrality has no safety when the bombs begin to fall!
“1 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, 2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. 3 And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink. 4 Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head; 5 Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things: 6 The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border.” Joel 3: 1-6
In these verses we learn that sometime after Jerusalem has been defeated by the Roman powers of nearly two millennia ago, and before the great and dreadful day of our God, that He is to “bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem.” This act of “bringing back” the captives, is another way of saying that Jerusalem will again be the center of the gospel work in all the world, before the end comes, and at that time “all nations”—this is a worldwide event—will be brought to the valley of Jehoshaphat —the proverbial “valley of decision,” to meet with their Creator and thus their destiny. This is an expression forewarning of a time of judgment to be carried out upon the living, to determine who will and who will not see God’s face in peace, at the Second Coming of Christ, at the absolute end of the world. The very “name Jehoshaphat carries the meaning, ‘Yahweh has judged,’ or ‘Yahweh judges, hence the name the valley of judgment—the valley of decision.
The internal evidence from the Scriptures also attest to the truth that this valley of Jehoshaphat is a place of judgment, for it says, “Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.” Joel 3: 12.
What we are seeing then is that as the nations gather themselves to war, as in World War Three, our God will set an appointment for them to meet in the Middle East, and this will be a signal to the wise virgins that the time has come for YHWH’s Judgment to commence upon the living inhabitants of earth. Before the nations are so punished, however, there will be a cleansing in the church.
“17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” 1 Pet. 4: 17, 18.
Since this judgment has not yet convened upon the living church, it is safe to further conclude that the events of Joel 3 are yet future, and that the signs all around us are actual warnings of this approaching day of decision.
“6 The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border. 7 Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompence upon your own head: 8 And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the LORD hath spoken it.” Joel 3: 6-8.
Verse six introduces the fact that Judah and Jerusalem have been scattered among “the gentiles,” by force, in that they were transacted—sold—for political gain. This Rome did after demolishing the Old City in 70 AD, and finally in 132-135 AD at the Bar-Kokhba Rebellion.
The Bar Kokhba revolt marked a time of high hopes followed by violent despair. The Jews were handed expectations of a homeland and a Holy Temple, but in the end were persecuted and sold into slavery. During the revolt itself, the Jews gained enormous amounts of land, only to be pushed back and crushed in the final battle of Bethar.
Verse seven is clear that just as surely as the seed of Abraham was prophesied of to have been “sold into slavery” among the gentiles, and it did happen, so surely also are they promised a return to statehood, and on the authority of God’s Word, it will happen. Let me hasten to say that the gathering together of unconverted Jews (Zionists) to Palestine, since 1948, is not the fulfillment of this prophecy, Zeph. 2: 1-4, accurately describes the regathering of the undesired nation, who if they do not seek YHWH, will perish in the land of Canaan. At the time when Joel 3: 7 meets its fulfillment, however, we are told by Scripture that our God will punish the Gentile nations for their acts of violence against humanity, which includes sex slavery and human trafficking, as well.
Verse 8 also projects the truth that the tables will be turned against the nations of the world, and the ones who were formerly the servants—the true Christian Church—to world governments, will then be the true leaders of the world. In the act of selling “them to the Sabeans, to a people far off,” is indicative that the current rulers of the Holy Land will be driven out, and God’s true people will take over and possess all those territories. At that time shall be completely realized fullness of the words of Y’shuah (Jesus Christ):
“And they [the seed of Abraham] shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” Luke 21: 24.
We have already seen that the Jewish people were driven from the Holy Land and would be scattered among the Gentiles, not forever, but “until” the times of Gentile reign in Palestine should come to its end. At that time shall the true seed of Abraham return, not as unbelievers in the God of Abraham, but as converted Christians—a righteous nation that keeps all the statutes, Judgments, and commandments of our God—they will be Christians indeed. “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Gal. 3: 29.
At this restoration of the true Israel of God to the Promised Land, shall also be fulfilled the words of Isaiah:
“1 For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob. 2 And the people shall take them, and bring them to their place: and the house of Israel shall possess them in the land of the LORD for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.” Isa. 14: 1, 2.
What a Mighty God we serve, He makes servants of rulers, and rulers of servants, all in an effort to save lost and wayward sinners!
“9 Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: 10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.” Joel 3: 9, 10
So, in the day when the true Israel of God is to be restored unto holiness and again planted in the Holy Land, we see that there is to be a mustering of war among the nations. This mustering of war is not merely a lip service to violence, but a gigantic arms race and build-up to war will be realized. The great nations and the small, the strong nations and the weak, will alike join in this global titanic weapons program, in preparation for World War Three.
Language could not be more descriptive of the war in this prophetic focus, and where it will largely be fought! This preparation will cause even the “weak” nations to begin flexing their military might, declaring to more powerful nations, “I am strong,” and ready to teach you a punitive lesson. Does this not sound strangely similar to a country such as North Korea, who cannot feed its population, but boasts the world’s 4th largest army, and is now flexing its military muscles threatening to use Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM’s) and Nuclear warheads on the USA or its allies? This is exactly what prophecy is teaching us, and we can now see these words literally fulfilling themselves before our very eyes on a daily basis!
Even Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledges the hunger crisis in North Korea, and its insatiable fixation on weaponizing an ICBM with a nuclear warhead, capable of striking the US mainland. On the heels of North Korea’s most recent and most powerful nuclear bomb test to date, the Russian government has acknowledged that North Korea would much rather to starve than to negotiate itself out of possessing its nuclear weapons arsenal.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would allow his people to “eat grass” before he ever gives up his nuclear and missile defense programs, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday at a news conference in China.
These words form Putin, are actually very prophetic, as he was actually speaking from the unction of the Holy Spirit, so that those who are standing in the light of Present Truth and are not sleeping at their post of duty, can realize that the time is near, and indeed that the time is here for these fast-fulling prophecies to be consummated! The thought of turning plow shares into spears and pruning hooks into weapons of war, and realizing that a country such as North Korea is under severe threat of starvation, while its military war machine is getting larger and larger funding from the government, evidences to times in which we live. Regarding the stark hunger crisis confronting North Koreans, the news reports from London declare the following:
[North Korean] Officers are ordering their troops to supplement their meagre food rations by plundering local fields, in order to keep up their strength for battle, according to a report in the Daily NK.
“The military officers are instructing their soldiers, exhausted after training, to eat corn in the fields because war is imminent,” a source in North Hamgyong Province told the news website.
“They are even threatening their soldiers, saying: if you become malnourished despite permission to eat the corn, you will face difficulties.”
“Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD.” Joel 3: 11
This prophetic convergence or assembly” of “all” the nations “together,” is, as has already been stated, the suggestion of a World-Wide event in which all the major militaries of the world will have an appointment to gather in the Middle East. At that time, and in this way, our God will commission His “mighty ones”—the angels who excel in strength—to come down. Again, this is for the execution of divine judgment on the despisers of His love and His grace, thus they retained their “heathen” heart in stubborn defiance to the appeals of the Torah that will be internationally proclaimed by the true Church in that day.
Inasmuch as the nations will be preparing for war when these prophecies are being fulfilled, it is plain to see that atomic weapons will not bring peace.
When Mr. Houteff penned these words in 1947, it was just the very dawn of the atomic age, yet he saw far ahead that nations will be using “atomic weapons” as a coercing tool for world peace, but the pen of Inspiration shows that they “will not” stand. World Peace can only be achieved through the Prince of Peace, and the road to that state of tranquility is to recognize the sovereignty of YHWH’s Laws, as well as the redemptive grace proffered through the shed blood of His Son on Calvary’s cross. Hence, the way of the Cross is the path to world peace and security; all else will fail, and will be summarily destroyed in the valley of Jehoshaphat.
Isa. 13:3 — “I have commanded My sanctified ones, I have also called My mighty ones for Mine anger, even them that rejoice in My highness.”
Two groups are here mentioned: (1) His “sanctified ones” — His sanctified ministry; and (2) His “mighty ones” — the unfallen angels. In other words, He is here telling us that He is recruiting His church and His angels for His anger.
Isa. 13:4 — “The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.”
Joel, speaking of this event, says that the heathen will be brought to the Valley of Jehoshaphat where the Lord is afterward to judge them. When this happens it is the great day of the Lord.
“Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.” Joel 3: 12
This awakening of the heathen is the divine alarm that sets in operation the system of circumstances that will precipitate in the nations of earth mustering for war and gathering in “the valley of Jehoshaphat,” during the day of the judgment upon the living. It is in this context, and in that setting also that Daniel proclaimed, “the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” (Dan. 7: 10).
The phrase “there will I sit to judge all the heathen,” is synonymous to the words of Christ when He declared, “31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” Matt. 25: 31-34.
The truth of the kingdom is real, for it is taught by all the Holy prophets since the world began, and also by Christ Himself, the original Author of these revelations. Also, in the heart of the prayer Christ taught His disciples, He drove home the kingdom concept in a very clear and unambiguous way, declaring: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Mt 6:10.
Hence, as verily as God’s will is being done “in heaven,” it will as surely be accomplished “in earth” so that all men shall see it together. What a grand and glorious day that will be!
“13 Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. 14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” Joel 3: 13, 14.
The “sickle” is an instrument of harvesting, hence it is indicative that the time of earth’s history herein considered, when these “multitudes” shall be coming “in the valley of decision,” is during the end of the world—the harvest time. The “sickle” is the everlasting gospel of the Third Angel’s message which either saves or condemns men.
“14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. 16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. 17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. 19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.” Rev. 14: 14-20
I will not attempt, in this presentation, to give a verse-by-verse explanation of the passage cited, but will direct the reader to observe that there are two different “angels” which bore sickles: one was “the Son of Man” (v. 14), and the other “another angel” (v. 17), who had power over fire and proclaimed with a “Loud Cry, ” that the harvest of earth is “fully ripe.” Hence there were two harvests (two sickles), upon the living in the last days, indicating two groups of righteous saints to be garnered into the fold of God.
It is of great importance that the reader takes care to realize that the other angel with the sickle “gathered the vine of the earth” for the fierceness of “the winepress of the Wrath of God,” and not the clusters of grapes themselves, for destruction! This would have been a divine contradiction. Most Bible commentaries, including the SDA’s, teach that it is the “fully ripe grapes” that are thrown in the winepress of the wrath of God, but this is because they do not understand the truth of the pre-Advent Judgment of God upon the living—first in the churches, and then in the world. In their own words, the Adventist theologians declare:
[Revelation 14] Verses 15–20 describe the great harvest at the end of all things. The harvest comprehends two distinctive events. One is described in vs. 16, 17, and the other in vs. 18–20. The first refers to the gathering of the righteous, represented here by ripened grain, as shown in the Greek by the word translated “ripe.” The second refers to the wicked, represented by the clusters of “fully ripe” grapes.
One can easily spot the error that the SDA theologians ran into, for they have misstated the Scriptures by inventing their own division of the crops being harvested. They contend that the first harvest was of “ripened grain” rather than “ripened grapes,” while they hold that the second harvest was of “fully ripe grapes.” Let us be clear, the Bible positively states that both harvests were of “grapes” (Compare Joel 3: 13). At the first passing of the sickle the harvest of grapes was only “ripe,” meaning there were some crops that were still on the vines, but not yet ripe, or we may say they were still “green.” In the second passing of the heavenly sickle, the grapes were not just “ripe,” but now “fully ripe,” suggesting that the entire crop was now ready for harvest. This in actuality is how the harvest in Israel was conducted: the first fruits harvest which ended at Pentecost, and the Second fruits or “greater harvest,” which ended at Tabernacles.
 Nichol, F. D. (Ed.). (1980). The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary (Vol. 7, p. 834). Review and Herald Publishing Association. [Italics added]
“15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. 16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. 17 So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.” Joel 3: 15, 16.
We are to experience strange solar and lunar eclipses, bringing darkness upon the earth, similar to the eclipse of August 21st, 2017, only on a more expanded and enduring scale. The darkness won’t simply pass after two minutes, but shall be long-lasting. The entire solar system will be impacted in a strange way that will even startle earth’s Astronauts and Cosmonauts. In those days shall the everlasting gospel be proclaimed from earthly Jerusalem, for then the city will be restored to holiness, and the very presence of YHWH will emanate from that place once more. While the heavens and earth are shaking at the destructive judgments of our God, as during the times of the great flood, the saved will know that “LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.”
The fact, too, that the Scriptures take pains to tell us that the saints will know that “the Lord [their] God [is] dwelling in Zion,” combined with the added truth that “Jerusalem shall [then] be holy,” is indicative that this is earthly Zion and Jerusalem, for His presence has never departed the heavenly ones, whereas the Bible very clearly teaches that God holy presence has previously departed from Zion and Jerusalem, but that in the restitution of all things, the Holy Shekinah will again be manifested in that divinely appointed place, which then will be housing the purified and sanctified Headquarters of church of God on earth.
“18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim. 19 Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. 20 But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. 21 For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.” Joel 3: 18-21.
The Winners And The Losers
In the forthcoming war that we have been studying, there will be no true winners, in the purest sense of the word. All political and military entities will suffer painfully, at home and abroad. Enter the age of ICBM’s, weaponized Robots and Artificial intelligence. These tools are the preferred delivery methods of warfare these days. It starts with cyber-attacks and then expands to the land-based operations and installations. No amount of “Iron dome” or anti-missile batteries can stave off the threat that the world now faces, and no amount of preparation is enough to survive and endure a nuclear winter. Military leaders on all sides know this, and only a fatalistic last stand pose of a sinking military will ever deploy the Nuclear option. For if one nuclear power fires on another nuclear power, that’s all it takes to get the ball rolling, for retaliatory measures will be taken, most likely in greater proportions that was received! Knowing the irreversible state of a nuclear war has kept the world in a fragile state of balance and fear, because whoever strikes first has the preliminary advantage.
“Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” Ps. 127: 1.
This passage is clear that neither the KGB nor the CIA can protect a nation from destruction, no amount of spy satellites and intelligence gathering devices can avert the coming judgments upon nations, but when YHWH is the keeper of a Country, it can sleep with its gates wide open, its borders un-guarded, and terrorists will not cross-over therein, for “He that keepeth Israel slumbers not, neither does He sleep.”
“12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. 13 The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. 14 From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. 15 He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works. 16 There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. 17 An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. 18 Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy; 19 To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. 20 Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.” Ps. 33: 12-20.
These promises indicate that it is vain to trust in our great military strength, such as the trusting in one’s horse (armored battle tank in Bible days), or Nuclear ICBM’s in our days. In all these thee is no safety, but when a nation seeks YHWH’s face and respects His Word, even the sharp arrows of the mighty will never fall within its borders. “When a man’s [or nation’s] ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Prov. 16:7.
The world today is terrified with fear: we can hear that fear sounding abroad from Washington DC to Sidney, Australia, from Moscow, Russia, to Berlin, Germany, from London, England to Pyongyang, North Korea, from Seoul, South Korea to Beijing, China, from Montreal, Canada to Mogadishu, Somalia, from Tehran, Iran to Tel-Aviv Israel, and the list goes on and on. The greatest existential threat to life on earth is the fear of an all-out nuclear war. Then to compound this fear there are ISIL (ISIS) and the other Islamic Jihadist groups around the world, who all aspire to get their hands on even a “dirty nuclear bomb,” in an effort to punish the West, and all other infidels. It is at such a time as this that those who know the thoughts and the intents of the heart of our loving Creator, can take comfort that He will not allow sinners to annihilate that which He has created for man’s good.
It is at such a time as this, also, when world leaders are sitting on the horns of a stupendous dilemma, that the missionaries of today are called to take to the field, and the Gospel of the Kingdom is to be preached.
“9 Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces; and give ear, all ye of far countries: gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces. 10 Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us. 11 For the LORD spake thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, 12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. 13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.” Isa 8: 8-13
In verse 9, we see that the nations even from “far off countries” shall come together on three separate occasions, and they shall summarily be broken in pieces on each such occurrence:
- “Associate yourselves…and ye shall be broken in pieces:”—The first association of the nations of earth for war came under the auspices of World War One (1914 – 1918).
- “Gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces:”—The second “girding” of the nations of earth for war came at the beckon call of World War Two (1939 – 1945).
- “Gird yourselves, and ye shall be broken in pieces:”—This third and final “girding” of the nations of earth for a war will occur under the cataclysmic thunderhead of World War Three!
Yes, prophecy does teach that there will be another World War—the Third, and this will not be the final war either, for after it comes the apocalyptic Battle of Armageddon—when the armies of earth shall make their last stand by taking aim at the army of heaven, at the final consummation of our age, when Christ shall come the second time in power and great glory, to receive unto himself His purified kingdom-church, which he will transport back to heaven on a 1,000-year vacation, while the earth lays fallow and lifeless, enduring her Sabbath of rest from the savagery and tyranny of sin.
According to Isaiah 8: 10, which we cited above, the nations are to seek counsel among themselves twice, in an effort to defuse an international conflict, and in each instance it shall not stand. As prophecy foretold and time alone would reveal, the first time ever that the nations convoked in an effort to stave off war was after World War One:
The League of Nations was an international organization, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, created after the First World War to provide a forum for resolving international disputes…
Speaking before the U.S. Congress on January 8, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson enumerated the last of his Fourteen Points, which called for a “general association of nations…formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.” Many of Wilson’s previous points would require regulation or enforcement.
It is marvelous how history and prophecy work like a needle and shuttle, for who would have imagined that at the first forming of a league (association) among the nations, that the leader of the free world would coin the phrase a “general association of nations!” Reader, please go back and re-read Isa. 8: 9, 10 to see how clearly the prophecy has spoken to this very day and age! On January 10, 1920, the League of Nations was formed as an outgrowth of the Paris Peace Conference that officially ended World War One.
In verse 11, Isaiah, speaking metaphorically as a representation of God’s people—the righteous—His Church, declared, “the LORD spake thus to me [the church] with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, 12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. 13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.”
Could it be that prophecy forespoke of another “association” among the nations, whose founding ambitions were again intended to stave off the possibility of a Third World War? If yes, when was such a league formed? Let the historian again speak the revelations of prophecy as though the prophet were alive and speaking in their assemblies:
The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization tasked to promote international co-operation and to create and maintain international order. A replacement for the ineffective League of Nations, the organization was established on 24 October 1945 after World War II in order to prevent another such conflict.
The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.
In bold relief, based on the evidence produced from both history and prophecy, we can all now clearly see the divine precision of the pen of prophecy, tracing the developments of world history down through the ages, to our day, and beyond! Since there are to be Three World Wars, and the first association (league) of the nations occurred after the first war, then logical reasoning alone is sufficient to tell us that between the first and third World Wars, there are to be two Associations (leagues or coalitions) of nations, organized to prevent the next war! Is this what the founders of these associations (league) of nations have aspired to? The answer is a deafening, yes!
The rest of the prophecy is filled with hope and assurances for those who know Christ as Lord and Saviour: “neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. 13 [But] Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.” (Isa. 8: 12, 13).
The great fears of the world today are:
- The fear of Islamic Terrorism
- The fear of a nuclear war
- The fear of the negative effects of Climate Change (Global Warming)
- The fear of the threat of communism and its expansionary ambitions around the world
From a purely humanistic existential point of view, all of these fears are legitimate and well grounded in reality, and it is for this reason that Heaven has admonished the righteous pilgrims of earth not to fear. But simultaneously, while we are told not to fear the fear of the heathens, we are still admonished to “fear!” What are we to “fear?” Clearly there must be a message of hope with “fear” as its hallmark, for the “sanctify YHWH of Hosts.” What message could this be? It is the Everlasting Gospel of the Three Angels—The Third Angel’s Message. The very first among these three angels’ messages carries the testimony of reverential fear of YHWH:
“6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Rev. 14: 6, 7.
It is not hard to see that both Isaiah’s prophecy and John’s Revelation are speaking of the same “fear” that sinners must have before a holy Creator. This is not the fear that will drive us away from his presence. Such fear [terror] was manifested in the heart of Adam and Eve after their fall into sin, but the fear we are to possess is the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom, a fear which invites sinners into unison and true worship of Him who created the universe and all that therein is, and Who has required, as a matter of reverence, true worship from His creation. This, indeed, is the life-calling of mankind:
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear [reverence] God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Eccl. 12: 13).
In the end, then, the true winners in this coming war, are the purified and restored kingdom Church of God—the righteous saints—beginning first with the 144,000 evangelists, and culminating with the “great multitude” thereafter. While the prospects of war are very real and imminent, the blessed assurance to the Christian is that our Saviour will keep us in perfect peace in the midst of this storm. We will be safe in the hands of Him who has calmed the troubled waters and the foaming billows, He Who opened the Red Sea and made a path in the depths, Who stopped the Jordan River in the height of her glory, locked lions’ jaws when they were famished though in the presence of humans as food, turned raging incinerators into chilling Air Conditioners, sent His angel to destroy 185,000 enemy’s soldiers without the firing of one arrow, shut the heavens that they rain not, caused cool waters to gush out of a barren rock in an arid desert, with many more miracles besides. He is the only one to be reverenced and feared, the only one to be worshiped, for He is our Creator only Saviour and King.
“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” Isa 54:17.
What a joy it is in knowing that our God, YHWH, is still in control! He will not allow Satan-inspired humans to destroy His creation and His Church, but will step in at the right time to bring order to this present impending chaos, and to set at liberty them that are bound and destined for destruction. Let us be “wise virgins” dear friend, by obtaining the extra oil of Truth today that will illuminate our path during these dark and uncertain tomorrows, while bring light to those who are still sitting in darkness, both in the Church and in the world●
—Author: Garrick Augustus, September 4, 2017
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List of References
 New York Post, August 24, 2017; http://nypost.com/2017/08/24/meet-the-new-axis-of-evil/
 NBC News, September 5, 2017; https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/north-korea-crisis-russia-s-putin-warns-global-catastrophe-n798666
 Nichol, F. D. (Ed.). (1977). The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary (Vol. 4, p. 948). Review and Herald Publishing Association.
 Jewish Virtual Library: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-bar-kokhba-revolt-132-135-ce
 Newsweek, September 5, 2017; https://www.yahoo.com/news/north-koreans-apos-eat-grass-135156269.html
 The Telegraph, 31 AUGUST 2017; Hungry North Korean soldiers ‘ordered to steal corn because war is imminent’: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/31/hungry-north-korean-soldiers-ordered-steal-corn-ready-war-kim/; [Added]
 V.T. Houteff, 1947, Timely Greetings, Vol. 2, No. 8, p. 25
 V.T. Houteff, 1942, The Symbolic Code, Vol. 12, No. 1, p. 12
 Office of The Historian; https://history.state.gov/milestones/1914-1920/league; italics and bold emphasis added.
[i] The Doomsday Clock is a symbol which represents the likelihood of a man-made global catastrophe. Maintained since 1947 by the members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board, the Clock represents an analogy for the threat of global nuclear war.– https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomsday_Clock