Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Prophecy Series - the Last Crusade

‘the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, …” (Daniel 11:40) “’For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. …’” (Matt. 24:7) – the last crusade – represented by a Middle Age knight in armor. The coming war between Catholic Europe (king of the North) and the Islamic Middle East and North Africa (king of the South).
by Michael C. Garrett

I mentioned the Roman Empire, in its relationship to our modern world, and its significants in Biblical prophecy. And as we read in our history books, Rome established itself as the dominate military power in the Mediterranean in 202 BC. With their victory over the Carthaginian general, Hannibal. That victory was a few miles away from Carthage, and by 146 BC the areas under Roman control, included Carthaginian, North Africa, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Spain, Southern France, the Greek peninsula, and indeed, Italy. Well, in the first century BC, under the leadership of men like Pompey – you’ve heard that name, he had a city named after him. The city did not have a good future. It ended up beneath a pile of ash from Mount Vesuvious. Julius Caesar – you’ve heard about him. He got murdered by his colleagues on the Ides of March. And then, Mark Antony, he was fairly famous because he had this relationship with Cleopatra VII Philopator, the Queen of Egypt. Anyhow, in that period of time, their empire really grew, it took control of modern day France, which they called Gaul. And Egypt, Asia Minor, the Middle East. And the Middle East was the area where Jesus Christ, the disciples and the apostles, in which they were born. Which is why there is much of Rome’s history in the Bible and the significants of Rome.

Well the Roman Empire reached the apex of their power from about 69-100 AD. Rome was fortunate to have in this area a series of emperor’s with an extra-ordinary capacity of leadership and competence. However, by the end of the second century, the Roman Empire began to encounter problems that it was unable to solve. Increasingly it became apparent that there were basic weaknesses in –

1. the government. 
2. the military. 
3. the economy. 
4. the society.

Marcus Aurelius (the Philosopher)
7 March 161 - 17 March 180
And at the height of its power, the Romans had established the Rhine river and the Danube river, as the northern boundary of their empire. And, during the reign of Marcus Aurelius – you’ve probably heard that name in the movie Gladiator. But Germanic tribes crossed the Danube, they ravaged the border provinces, and some of their bands penetrated as far south as Italy. Well, Marcus Aurelius himself commanded an army to repel these invaders. It was a difficult campaign, but he finally conquered them. But he actually wanted to annex their lands, but he didn’t have the military strength to do so. So instead he invited limited numbers of Germans into the empire, he gave them land, and he enlisted them as mercenaries to defend the Roman borders against their fellow tribesmen. This precedent of allowing non-Romans to join the army and to move into the empire, was to have a major and profound impact on the very makeup and nature of the Roman military, and Roman society, and Rome’s future. By the fourth century the empire had enlisted so many Barbarians (as they called them) from the north, that Roman armies composed of foreigners were more valued than those composed of Roman citizens. And from the fourth century on, wave after wave of Germanic tribesmen inundated the Western portion of the empire. Some of these names you’ve heard – the Visigoths, the Ostrogoths, the Vandals, the Franks, the Burgundians. Also, the Anglo-Saxons began to raid into Britain. The Romans had neither the troops nor the will to stop these invaders. However, in most cases the Romans did reach accommodations with the non-Romans. Maybe they called it a comprehensive accommodation!? Well, as a side, one could probably make a presentation to the American people and to our leaders that there are lessons that could and should be learned from ancient Rome and its decline and fall. Uncontrolled and unregulated immigrants that are immigrating into our country could indeed change the very basic makeup of who we are and the direction of our society! It happened in Rome, and it could, in time, happen to us!

Near the end of the third century, the Roman leader Diocletian attempted to reverse Rome’s decline by instituting new ideas and changes. He reorganized the imperial government, and he divided the empire into two divisions – the west, which was Italy, France, and Spain. And the east, which was basically the Middle East, Asia Minor, and Egypt. Diocletian abdicated in 305, and ironically became one of the few Roman emperor’s to die peacefully.

A Coming Edict of Toleration

A series of civil wars ensued, five different generals controlled different parts of the empire. And the strongest of these contenders was a man – who was probably one of the most significant personalities in the history of the world. A man by the name Constantine the Great. After his victory at the Milvian Bridge near Rome in 312, Constantine I established his rule over the Western half of the empire. And a few years later he gained control over the entire empire. Before this decisive battle at the Milvian Bridge, Constantine I is said to have had a vision of a cross up in the sky, ¹ surrounded by the words in Latin “in hoc signo vinces,” which means, “in this sign shall you conquer.” And Constantine I became convinced that the so-called Christian God had helped him to victory. I would dispute that! But that’s what he thought. And he offered his troops to carry Christian insignia, or mainly crosses, from that time on. And, as I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again: in my opinion, the Mark of the Beast, as mentioned in the Book of Revelation, is indeed, the sign of the cross. ²  From the time of Constantine I through all of the six revivals of the “Holy” Roman Empire – which have already occurred; including Hitler’s Germany and his infamous swastika, a crooked cross.

Political and military leaders from Europe have adorned themselves and their military with the sign of the cross – the prophetic Mark of the Beast.

In 313 Constantine I issued the Edict of Milan, ending the persecution of Christians and allowing people to choose whatever religion they wanted. It is said that Constantine I received baptism only upon his deathbed. However, he supported the church – the Roman Catholic Church – throughout his reign, therefore enabling it – the Roman Church -  to supersede the other religions of the empire during this time period. He also institutionalized  Sunday as the Christian Sabbath – a rest day. And that’s where the rest of our world gets that from! From a man who was a Roman general. He urged, and encouraged, and supported, financed, the building of many church buildings. And they sprang up everywhere! He began the process of blending and of merging the Catholic Church and the Roman Empire. And the military spirit of imperial Rome entered into the Catholic Church. And the Roman Church was made into the image of the Roman Empire. Indeed, the Catholic Church became the image of the ‘beast.’

Constantine I’s prestige was so huge that for several decades following his death, members of his family retained the imperial throne, and it was during their rule in 346 that Christianity (the Christianity of the Catholic Church) was established as the official religion of the empire.

Well, Constantine I did one other thing that was a major impact on history. He changed the location of his capital. He moved from Rome, and he picked a little ancient Athenian colony called Byzantium to make into his new capital. He called it “New Rome,” however, indeed, after his death, they called it Constantinople. And now, in our world today, it’s called Istanbul. And, as the Western empire continued to slide into obscurity, Constantinople grew to become the leading commercial and cultural center of the Middle East. And in 476, a leader of German mercenaries, deposed the so-called last emperor, and declared themselves the rulers of Italy. All Roman territories west of the Adriatic Sea were now under the control of so-called Barbarians (or non-Roman rulers).

The Eastern Roman Empire 

This removal of the last Western emperor in 476 is often referred to as the ‘fall of the Roman Empire.’ However, in actuality, this is a meaningless phrase. There was almost nothing left to “fall” in the West by that date.

Well, in the East, Constantinople, and around that area, grew up and became a major empire – became known as the Byzantine Empire. That’s what the historians call it. And it continued as a powerful force for centuries to come. And eventually the Greek language replaced Latin, over in the Eastern Roman Empire. And the Roman Church and the Greek Orthodox Church slowly drifted apart.

In this splitting, or the dividing, of the Roman Empire, into West vs East, Rome vs Constantinople, and the dividing of the Roman Church and the Greek Orthodox Church seems to be alluded to in Daniel’s prophecy of Daniel chapter 2. I spoke of that in the first of the series – The Final Empire! We read there in Daniel chapter 2 that King Nebuchadnezzar II had this great dream, and in Verse 41 Daniel proclaimed, ‘the kingdom,’ referring to Rome, will be ‘divided.’ And the statue has two legs, and two feet – obviously divided. These two legs, or these two divisions, I think, suggested, that one day the Western Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire would indeed split and that you would have Rome vs Constantinople and that you would have the Roman Catholic Church vs the Eastern Orthodox Church.

A Middle East Conflict

Well, around 570, a child was born in Mecca, in Arabia, that founded a religion that spread more rapidly than Christianity and an empire that was larger than that of Rome at the height of Rome’s power. That man was to become known as Muhammad. And that religion, Islam, which means “the submission to the will of God.” His followers became known as Muslims, which means “those who submit.” And his “holy” book, the Quran, is a collection of his revelations, as he went into these deep, dark, trances -and babbled forth.

Well, the Qurans basic creed, and you can hear this quite often now from the last decade or so – “there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.” And that empire became known as the Islamic Caliphate. Having started in Medina and spreading to Mecca and eventually all of Arabia, this new movement overtook the Middle East, and to the east, it overtook the lands we now call Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and regions near India. At to the west, that religion – that movement – took over Egypt, took over the entire northern coast of North Africa. And, in 711, Islamic forces took control of Spain. And in Spain the Muslims were called Moors. And eventually they passed all the way into Southern France. In 732, an army assembled by Charles Martel, the grandfather of King Charlemagne, blocked the Muslims from occupying Northern France – that finally stopped this religion and this cause.

Most Americans have a limited understanding of history. And especially when it is the history of people and places far from our shores. Most Americans tend to believe that the problems and the difficulties between the Western world of Europe and America, and Israel, and the world of the Muslim people are a relatively new phenomena. Just limited to just the last decade, or a few decades. Well, there are advocates on the political Left that say quite boldly, and I think quite naively, that if it were not for the offensive policies of America and Britain, and Israel, the Muslim world would be our close friends – and our trusted allies. Well, the truth of history is distinctly and dramatically different.

From the womb, Joseph and Esau struggled. And, after they were born we read in Genesis chapter 27, verse 41 – “…Esau hated Jacob…” and he went on to say, “…I will kill my brother Jacob.” Folks, nothing has changed! The Islam and the Islamic caliphate were established and advanced at the point of a sword. Basically, “You convert, or you die.” They had a very unique proselytizing technique. If you want to live, become Muslim.

Well, since the Muslims and the Moors invaded Spain in 711, and pushed farther north into France, the world of Islam and the world of Catholic Europe have been at severe odds with one another.

The Moors ruled Spain for over three-hundred years! And it took the Spaniards centuries to completely remove them. As late as 1492, Ferdinand II and Isabella I, does that ring a bell!? Well, after they took care of this problem with the Moors, they had a crusade – to finally expel the last Moors from Southern Spain at an area called Granada. It was then when they turned to Christopher Columbus and said, “Alright, now our domestic problems are over, go out and find us new land and new gold.” Well, in 1478, Pope Sixtus IV was persuaded to authorize Ferdinand II and Isabella I to set up the dreaded and the infamous Spanish Inquisition. And it was set-up for the express purpose of persecuting Jews, and Muslims. A lot of people don’t know that. Even the Spanish Inquisition is related to that Muslim problem. The tension, the mistrust, the hatred, between Catholic Europe and the Islamic Middle East are also illustrated by the Crusades. A series of military expeditions by French, German’s, and Britain’s, and others who had the blessing, the encouragement, and the support of the Roman Catholic pope, to invade territory held by Muslims.

The First Crusade was called by Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont in 1095. And his appeal for an army to fight the Turks and regain control of Jerusalem met with an astounding response. And the crowds, when they heard him speak, would yell out, “God wills it! God wills it!” this idea of going over and attacking the Muslims. The largest number of crusaders came from France and the German provinces near France. However, countries from all over Western Europe were represented. And, in 1099, they took control of Jerusalem, they set up a series of crusading states, from Antioch in the north, all the way down through Jerusalem and down to the Dead Sea. The region around Jerusalem became known as the Kingdom of Jerusalem. And a dynasty of Christian kings descended from the crusader Baldwin of Boulogne, held Jerusalem and most of Palestine for almost a century. But in 1187, the Muslim general named Salah ad-Din Yusuf, also called the sultan of Egypt, overran the Kingdom of Jerusalem, seized control of the so-called holy city. And, as a side, did you know Saddam Hussein – the former leader of Iraq – fancied himself a modern day Salah ad-Din!? Which meant what!? He wanted to take control of the Middle East, meaning Jerusalem.

King Richard I, the Lionheart 
Statue outside the House of Parliament
London, England
Well, the loss of Jerusalem sent a shock wave throughout the Western Empire, and the three greatest kings of the era, Frederick Barbarossa of Germany, Philip Augustus of France, and Richard the Lionheart of England - probably you’ve heard that name – agreed to unite their forces and launch a counter attack! And this Third Crusade, as it’s called, experienced only limited success. King Frederick I’s horse slipped, throwing him against the rocks; he then drowned in the river. Philip II, after seeing a little combat, high-tailed it back to France. And Richard continued on to fight with bravery and great ferocity, however, he was not able to recapture Jerusalem. He did, however, become a legend among the Muslims as a great fighting man. And in the West his reputation grew to epic proportions – almost that of mythology – and became known as A Paragon of Chivalry. But in fact he was a bloody, bloody, bloody, man.

Having started in 1095, the Crusades continued for almost five centuries! The last true Crusade was launched in 1578 against Turks who were in Morocco.

It is reported that in 1917, during World War I, the British general, Sir Edmund Allenby, entered Jerusalem after the city had been captured from the Turks, and as the general walked through the city, he proudly declared, “Today, the wars of the crusaders are completed.” And the British press celebrated this victory with cartoons of Richard the Lionheart looking down upon Jerusalem with the words, “At last my dreams come true!”

Have we seen the last crusade!? Or does the future hold one more!? There have been centuries of antagonism and animosity, mistrust, hatred and hostility. And, I don’t really have time to talk about how the Ottoman Empire grew in Turkey, pushed all the way up through France and to the Balkans, to the southern areas of what we now call Austria, Hungary, and southern Poland. And that was another threat that the European people went through.

One Last Crusade

And now TODAY we hear about Islamic terrorism. We hear threats about militant Islam, Islamofascism, whatever phrase you want to use! And now we have the threat, the very real threat of nuclear weapons someday being launched from Islamic states, or by Islamist terrorists. And we already know that Pakistan has nuclear weapons. We know Iran has missiles which can reach Europe, and we know their working on the nuclear bomb, despite whatever their saying. As I’ve said before: 1) the seventh and final revival of the “Holy” Roman Empire – a united Europe – will occur as Europe attempts to defend and protect itself from the threat of militant Islam. 2) that coalition will be inspired spiritually, emotionally, just like Urban II, by a man, who leads the Roman Catholic Church. A man who will be given “miraculous” power from Satan himself. I spoke of this in the second part of this series – End-Time Babylon. I believe that the prophecies of the Bible reveal that there will indeed be one last crusade. If you would, turn with me to the Book of Daniel.

Daniel chapter 11. Daniel 11 is the longest running prophecy throughout the Bible. It’s always hard to figure out who’s on the score card, who’s who!? But there is one consistent theme in Daniel 11. There’s this constant antagonism and animosity, and pushing back and forth, between the ‘king of the North’ or kingdom of the North, and the ‘king of the South’ or kingdom of the South. And, different historians would try and say, “Well, this is that, and this was that.” And I’m not talking about that here today. Notice that verse 31 does talk about ‘the abomination of desolation.’ We know that when we’re in this part of the prophecy, we’re talking about end times.

But if you would, turn to Verse 40 King James English– “’And at the time of the end shall the king of the South push at him: and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.’” – you know, with the phrase from the King James Version, “push at him,” the people of the Church has wrestled with that, some have said, “Well, that will be a future oil embargo.” Maybe. Or, something this, something that. Well, I’m gonna offer today an idea maybe you’ve never thought of. And this is just a thought – just a possibility. And with time, we’ll know. But I’m asking you to sort-of consider the possibility. What if this ‘pushing’ of this Islamic confederation at the king of the North – what if it were indeed attacks by Islamic terrorists upon Israel and Britain, and the United States!? You know we really don’t appreciate the fact that Europe really is our ally! And we have close ties with them! And I know in the old days, there was always this idea that Europe and the United States would come to hate each other! But I don’t know that that is necessarily true. I’m just offering this as an idea – what if this ‘pushing’ were a series of Islamic terrorist nuclear explosions, electromagnetic pulse weapons, explosions which would wipe out our infrastructure!? And what if then, the Islamists said, “Europe, now we’re coming after you!” Maybe that is the pushing, maybe that is the threat!? But we do know for sure – it says the king of the North will come at him with powerful military forces! Verse 41 – “’He shall also enter the Glorious Land, …’” – meaning, the Middle East, meaning Jerusalem. “…’and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: …’” – it specifically says that Edom (which we believe to be Turkey), Moab (which we believe is sort-of Syria and Iraq), and the chief of the children of Ammon (or Jordan). It says these people will not first incur the wrath of Europe! And so back in the old days, the minister’s and college professor’s liked to talk about this future invasion coming down through Greece, or Turkey. But, many of their crusades, came by land and by sea. However, it says they will not come down through Greece or Turkey, but instead, Verse 42 – “’He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape.’”

I think this implies that the invasion of the Middle East by the European power will be across the Mediterranean and onto the shores of Egypt. Verse 43 – “’He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall [be at his sides]. 44) But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; …’” – so let’s set the scene – this vast armada crosses the ocean, lands on Egypt, comes up from the south, enters into the Palestinian area of Jerusalem (Judea), and then it says, ‘news from the east and the north shall trouble him.’ Well, to the north you have countries like Syria, Turkey. And to the east you have like Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. What if Europe comes in, sets up control in Jerusalem, and then those other Islamic states counter attack!? “…’therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many.’” And then it talks about planting his palace between the seas – meaning Jerusalem. And then at the end, he comes to his end.

Well, over the years, we’ve sort-of struggled with this – what does it mean!? But if you would, turn to Revelation chapter 9 – let us try and weave another prophecy into this scenario. Verse 13 – “Then the sixth angel …” – remember you have the seven seals, the seventh seal being seven trumpets!? And the sixth trumpet – “…And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, 14) saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, ‘Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates.’” -  and throughout the Bible, especially in prophetic terms, angelic beings are often said to be in charge of countries. Back in the Book of Daniel we read about that - these angelic beings or demonic beings were in charge of certain states. What if the FOUR ANGELS or the FOUR COUNTRIES that’s spoken of here in Revelation chapter 9, verse 14 – what if they’re places like Iraq and Iran or Afghanistan, Pakistan, and even India!? You know there are 172 million Muslims living in India (2011 census)!? What if this right here is describing a counter attack from these other Islamic countries trying to get at the European forces!? Verse 15 – “So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. 16) Now the number of the army of the horsemen was two hundred million; I heard the number of them. 17) And thus I saw the horses in the vision: those who sat on them had breastplates of fiery red, hyacinth blue, and sulfur yellow; and the heads of the horses were like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and brimstone. 18) By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed – by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone which came out of their mouths.” – ALL OUT WAR! Verse 19 – “ For their power is in their mouth and in their tails; …” – makes you think of missiles! You think about a missile, the power is up on top, and fire coming out of the end. “…for their tails are like serpents, having heads; and with them they do harm. 20) But the rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, DID NOT REPENT …” – they refuse to repent. Well, maybe that’s a counter attack!?

Then, Revelation chapter 16, verse 12, it mentions another concept. I have a feeling that this counter attack gets very bloody, very chaotic, and then – “the sixth angel …” – this is the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES. This is just getting near to the end. “…poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.” – and I believe those kings of the east might be, logically, China, countries like Korea, Japan, maybe Indonesia – it has a huge Muslim population. I think this is the final counter attack that sets up what we’ve often called the great battle of Armageddon, as he says in verse 16 – “And they gathered them together to the place in Hebrew, Armageddon.” This final attempt at ALL OUT WAR! We know that graciously, and gracefully, Jesus Christ intervenes and stops it right there.

Notice Luke chapter 21, if you would. Some more ideas to think about. So, I’m throwing spaghetti up on the wall today, just giving you some things to think about. The historic animosity between Catholic Europe and Islamic Middle East is an absolute historic fact! These other ideas, as Paul says, ‘we see through a glass darkly.’ But trying to make sense out of what all that is happening and how it’s happening.

Verse 9 – “’But when you hear of wars and commotions [rumors of wars], do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.’ 10) Then He [Jesus Christ] said to them, ‘Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.’” – well, this ‘nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom,’ I’m willing to accept the possibility that this is Jesus Christ suggesting about the prophecy of Daniel 11. The king of the North vs the king of the South. Also, Verse 20 – we have read this for a long time, and I must confess I’ve read it - just sort-of passed over it and maybe lumped two ideas together that maybe I should not have lumped together. “’But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation [or ‘the abomination of desolation’] is near.’” And we all just sort-of presumed, “Well, that’s the European army surrounding Jerusalem” – because we know Daniel 11 says they’re gonna be there. But, not necessarily so! I even heard Mr. Ted Armstrong say it one time – maybe these will not be European armies! Maybe they’ll be Muslim armies! Well, you know, I think Mr. Ted was right when he said that. He just hit on it one time and then got off of it. Because so many people have this idea of Europe.

Turn back, if you would, to Amos chapter 1. Keep in mind, armies are going to surround Jerusalem BEFORE the ‘abomination of desolation.’ Jesus said, ‘when you see the armies surround know that the desolation is near, but not yet.’ And, I want to give you the time setting of the Book of Amos. Chapter 5, verses 18-20 it specifically talks about the Day of the Lord. That’s end-time prophecy, getting near the end of the end-time prophecies! Verse 3 – “Thus says the LORD: ‘For three transgressions of Damascus [or Syria], and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because they have threshed Gilead [the Holy Land] with implements of iron. 4) But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, Which shall devour the palaces of Ben-Hadad. 5) I will also break the gate bar of Damascus. And cut off the inhabitant from the Valley of Aven, And the one who holds the scepter from Beth Eden. The people of Syria shall go captive …’”  And then He goes on in Verse 6 to Gaza – Gaza is obviously what!? Palestinian. “…I will not turn away its punishment, Because they took captive the whole captivity To deliver them up to Edom [or Turkey].” Verse 7 – “’But I will send a fire upon the wall of Gaza, Which shall devour its palaces [its buildings]. 8) I will cut off the inhabitant from  Ashdod [another Palestinian held territory now], … from Ashkelon; … Ekron, And the remnant of the Philistines [Palestinians] shall perish.’ Says the Lord GOD.”

And then He talks about Tyrus, which is also a Palestinian held area now. He says, “…’I will not turn away its punishment, Because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom [Turkey], And did not remember the Covenant of brotherhood.’” – how ironic! We in the West and the Arabs are ancient brothers! We really are, and yet, there’s been hatred and enmity from the very beginning. He mentions in Verse 10 – “’But I will send a fire upon the wall of Tyre, Which shall devour its palaces [its buildings]. 11) Thus says the LORD: ‘For three transgressions of Edom [Turkey], and for four, I will not turn away its punishment, Because he pursued his brother with the sword, And cast off all pity; His anger tore perpetually, And he kept his wrath forever. 12) But I will send a fire upon Teman [or old Teman, or Ottoman – as in the Ottoman Empire – Turkey], … 13) …I will not turn away its punishment, Because they ripped open the women with child in Gilead [or the Holy Land], That they might enlarge their territory.’” Then Chapter 2, verse 1, He talks about Moab [Syrian people and some Iraqi people] … I will not turn away its punishment, Because he burned the bones of the king of Edom to lime. 2) But I will send a fire upon Moab, And it shall devour the palaces … Moab shall die with tumult, With shouting and trumpet sound. 3) And I will cut off the judge from its midst, And slay all its princes with him,’ Says the LORD.”

So, it seems to me He’s talking about a whole lot of Palestinian and Arab people who attack the Holy Land and God says there will be severe punishment! Remember, the king of the South will ‘push’ at him!? Earlier attacks maybe on Israel, the United States, Britain. Israel becomes a crippled country. And eventually the Arabs, the Palestinians – apparently ransack great parts of what we now call Israel. Well, the prophecies don’t end there!

If you will, turn over a page or two, and you end up in the Book of Obadiah. And, just for a reference – a time setting – note verse 15 ‘the Day of the LORD upon all the nations is near.’ This is an end-time prophecy! Let’s pick it up at Verse 8 – “’Will I not in that day,’ says the LORD, ‘Even destroy the wise men from Edom [remember, Edom, Esau, Turkey, they all mean the same], And understanding from the mountains of Esau? 9) Then your mighty men, O Teman [Ottoman], shall be dismayed, To the end that everyone from the mountains of Esau May be cut off by slaughter.’ 10) ‘For violence against your brother Jacob, Shame shall cover you, And you shall be cut off forever. 11) In the day that you stood on the other side  - In the day that strangers carried captive his forces, When foreigners entered his gates And cast lots for Jerusalem – Even you were as one of them.’” – it’s VERY CLEAR what He’s talking about – the sack of Israel (modern-day Israel) and Jerusalem, forces being carried off, and Edom (Turkey) has a direct hand in it!!

Verse 12 – “’But you should not have gazed on the day of your brother In the day of his captivity; Nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah [modern-day Israel] In the day of their destruction; Nor should you have spoken proudly In the day of distress. 13) You should not have entered the gate of My people In the day of their calamity. Indeed, you should not have gazed on their affliction In the day of their calamity, Nor laid hands on their substance In the day of their calamity. 14) You should not have stood at the crossroads To cut off those among them who escaped; …’” – and if you think about it, if you were in Israel when Palestinian Arab forces overran your country, how can you escape!? You can’t go down to Egypt, you can’t go to Saudi Arabia. Your first chance might be to go north through Turkey, and get over into Europe. Apparently this happens. And, apparently Turkey has a direct hand in saying, “No, we’re not even going to let you cross over!” “…’Nor should you have delivered up those among them who remained In the day of distress.’”

Verse 15 – “’For the Day of the LORD upon all nations is near; As you have done, it shall be done to you; Your reprisal shall return upon your own head. 16) For as you drank on My holy mountain, So shall all the nations drink continually; Yes, they shall drink, and swallow, And they shall be as though they had never been. 17) But on Mount Zion [New Jerusalem] there shall be deliverance, And there shall be holiness; …’” – eventually Jesus Christ DOES return! Eventually Jesus Christ DOES protect the remnant of those people who do survive and brings them back and sets up His people – His kingdom!

“…’The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. 18) The house of Jacob shall be a fire, And the house of Joseph a flame; But the house of Esau shall be stubble; They shall kindle them and devour them, And no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau,’ For the LORD has spoken.” – I don’t know if that means what I think it means, but I think it means exactly what it says! It seems to be that God’s anger is so great with Esau – for his complicity in how Israeli people are treated, and among those many American’s and Britain’s, that His sentence upon the people of Turkey is ‘there shall not be any remaining.’ It seems to me the people of Turkey will be completely and totally eliminated upon the face of the earth. That is God’s judgment! His will be done!


Well folks we live in a time that I just don’t think people understand how serious things really are. I sometimes wonder if the people of God take their calling as serious as they should.

As I said before – we’re living with a fantastic storm on the horizon! Just like the people in New Orleans just before Katrina struck! It’s going to change everything you’ve ever thought about society, about our lives, our homes, our country, our future. And yet, this tremendous trauma is on the horizon, yet so many of our countrymen don’t know it. We have politicians which are playing games that just make you scratch your head. But even within the Church of God there are people who simply don’t seem to understand – IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP!

If you would, turn to the Book of Romans chapter 13. The final thoughts I want to leave with you this day. It says in Verse 11 – “And do this, knowing the time, …” – do you know the time!? Do we know the time!? If you don’t understand it folks, grab yourself by your bootstraps and pick yourself up! We are living on the edge of the end! “…that now it is high time to AWAKE out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.” – I first heard Mr. Ted Armstrong when I was sixteen years old. I am now fifty-two years beyond that! O’ I hate to admit that! Fifty-two years ago I heard Mr. Ted. And the first time I heard him I was traveling down Indiana Route 66 on my way to Evansville, Indiana on my way to attend and participate in  a karate class. And I turned on the radio because I was a little bored, and I went through the dials and I thought I came across the voice of Paul Harvey. Now at the time, in the late 60s, Paul Harvey was very popular, and my Dad always listened to him – and many times I was with my Dad, and I listened to Paul Harvey. But on this particular night I was somewhat confused, because Paul Harvey – instead of talking about news events, world events and different newsy ideas – was talking about prophecies and reading from the Bible. And he spent much of his time reading from the prophecies of Isaiah 9 and Isaiah 11. And this person who turned out not to be Paul Harvey, but in fact Mr. Garner Ted Armstrong, was talking about the Return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God sometime in the near future on this earth. And we read here, ‘for now our salvation is so much nearer than when we first heard!’ When we first began to believe! Verse 12 – “The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, …” - the works of gloom; the works of frustration; the works of emptiness; the works of hatred, and animosity, and jealousy, so much of it has covered the Church of God over the years and it’s hurt us so badly! “…and let us put on the armor of light.” – the armor of the Spirit of God and the fruits of God’s Spirit! Verse 13 – “Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not is strife and envy.” – now, don’t we continually hear about it!?  Somebody’s upset over this – somebody’s upset over that! Folks, get your head out of the sand and realize that on the horizon the most dramatic events in the history of mankind are quickly approaching us! And we can’t escape ‘em! We have ONE safety valve, and that is the protection of God Almighty and Jesus Christ and His angels! Without that protection you will be chewed up like the chaff in the wind! And with His protection nothing can happen to you! You have a tremendous choice to make! It says in Verse 14 – IT IS NOW TIME TO “PUT ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!” One of the great meaning’s of the days of Unleavened Bread. Putting within you the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, and putting within you the unleavened bread of Jesus Christ – the very Spirit of God! PUT ON JESUS CHRIST! Put on His protection. Spend time with God in prayer and Bible study. And pray that you may be accounted worthy to escape all of these things. And to stand before the Son of man. A resurrected child and member of the Family of God!

Second Part in the series - End-Time Babylon


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