Friday, August 2, 2019

God's Promises To Abraham - a seven-part series Part IV

by Michael C. Garrett

Good afternoon everyone. Welcome to Owensboro, Kentucky. And, welcome to the weekly Church service of the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ. My name is Michael C. Garrett. I’m glad you’re with us. Whether it’s a week from now, or a month from now, or a year from now, or a decade from now. Whenever you come across this message – be it computer on our website - or a YouTube channel, or our blog site -, or even with many of our sermons on DVDs. And, if you would like the DVDs, you can request them and we send them out free. Just go to our home page and there’s a tab on the right which says, “Contact Us,” look up that information and send us an email and Deacon Trevor at would be happy to put you on the mailing list and make you a regular. And some of you either watch our sermons or read our articles on a regular basis on your computer. And again, on our home page at, there are eight tabs which have sermons on them. Now, presently, we’re on the tab “Holy Day Sermons – 2019.” And, we’ve been on that since January 5th. And obviously, we’re now into July.


And this article is a continuation of a series entitled God’s Promises To Abraham – a seven-part series. And, we started this series in the aftermath of the so-called Brexit vote – June 23rd, 2016 -when Britain voted as a nation to leave the European Union. And we’re trying to point out from the pages of your Bible how it seemingly was inevitable that the United Kingdom and the continent of Europe – and that European Union (whatever it might be called in the future) – were destined, according to prophetic Scripture, to migrate away from each other. And, I know it came as quite a shock to most of the people of the world, and leaders in many countries – in Europe and in America, they’re just bemoaning, “O’ why have they done this! Why have they done this!?” And yet, it seems, the British people were becoming frustrated with losing their own unique sovereign identity. Which had been established for a thousand years! 1 And in attempting to comply with all of these European standards, including the mass migration of foreigners – especially those from war-torn areas of the world, especially the Middle East and North Africa. The influx of these immigrants has just begun to change the nature of Britain. The same phenomenon is taking place in Europe. But they are more committed – at the present time – to this Socialist idea that we’re all going to join hands and be one people. Except there’s a flaw there – the people who are coming from these other nations who are Islamic or Muslim, seemingly, show very little desire to want to integrate into the societies and the cultures of their newfound countries. They want to hold onto their old ways – and so you hear stories throughout Europe, in the major cities, these pockets of Islamic people – Muslims – who basically have nothing to do with the host country. And eschew learning the language, the customs, and they want to hang onto their old Islamic ways including practitioners of Sharia law. And quite frankly, Sharia law and democracies are incompatible with one another – they just won’t work together. And so, I think, most good-hearted people in Europe, England, and even in America, would willingly say, “Well, we don’t mind helping people out – we don’t mind having people even find a new home. But once you come to our country, you must strive to become a part of our country, and you must leave the past behind. And, you must now start to figure out how to get along in your new country.” And yet, the Islamic people, seemingly, are unwilling or unable to do such a thing. And it’s causing a lot of problems! We’ll talk about some of that here in just a little while.

‘I will even appoint terror over you’

Now, July 14th, 2016 a 19-tonne cargo truck was deliberately driven into crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France, resulting in the deaths of 86 people! And, Mohamed Salmene Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Tunisian resident of France – a French national – committed this horrific and appalling thing. Tunisia, right across the Mediterranean Sea over in North Africa is a long-time Islamic country. And we heard reports how ISIS was spending a lot of time developing training camps and recruiting young men to come to join their cause. Prosecutor Molins said that Lahouaiej-Bouhlel had a "clear, recent interest in the radical jihadist movement." 2 I had heard reports how his family members said he was just one of the worst people they had ever known. This is his family! He had been married with three children. And, had been known to beat his wife on a regular basis. Had a long criminal record with different assaults, and bar fights, and road rage. He was supposedly Muslim – but his Muslim family members said he ate pork, he drank heavily. He did the things that Muslims are not supposed to do. And, you know, it’s just tragic how many times you hear the story – the people in San Bernardino were having a training event and Christmas party when these terrorists – this married couple - Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik armed with semi-automatic pistols and rifles, fired five shots, killing two people outside the building. Farook then entered a minute later and opened fire on those in attendance, followed quickly by Malik. 3 The people in Orlando were just out for a night of entertainment. The people in Paris were just out enjoying concerts and dinner – just totally innocent activities. And because they’re easy targets – they’re so-called “soft targets” – they are murdered! A true tragedy! And, in addition to the 86 people who died – 434 people had been injured! So, there is a real sadness about all of this.

And, you know, the first thing I heard commentators say – some of the commentators I heard was from England and the American people who began to comment – how you know within the underbelly of France at the dining room tables, at the bar-rooms, the restaurants, the office watercoolers, you know that more and more French people are starting to say, “We have a problem! We opened our arms to these immigrants, and now these immigrants, and some of the children of these immigrants, are trying to destroy us!” And the same thing is happening in other parts of Europe! And you just know that the natural-born native Europeans – and the government leaders aren’t yet willing to say it, because they’re very Left-wing Socialist types and we’re all are going to hold hands and sing Kumbaya – and we’re all going to be together types – in the privacy of their own homes or with friends are starting to say, “We have a problem! And the problem is the enemy which we have brought into our neighborhoods – we attempted to befriend them and now they are lashing out – some of them are trying to destroy us!” So it’s a growing problem! Not just for Europe, not just for England – but the same thing will happen (and has already started happening) in the United States of America! It’s a very sad story. 

Turkey in Bible prophecy

And then, I turned on the television on July 15th, 2016 and heard about an attempted coup in the nation of Turkey. And, that prompted me to change the first part of this article to help accommodate that. I have an internet news story here, it’s from the Reading Eagle. And it reads – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says government working to crush coup attempt. And I’m not going to read the whole article, just a few highlights.
Dateline ANKARA, Turkey - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the nation Saturday that his government was working to crush a coup attempt after a night of explosions, air battles and gunfire across the capital that left at least 17 dead and scores wounded.
And I heard on the television at that time that almost one-thousand soldiers were arrested – apparently soldiers that were implicated in being a part of that coup d'état attempt.
Government officials said the coup appeared to have failed as Turks took to the streets overnight to confront troops attempting to take over the country. However, the sounds of huge blasts continued to ring out in the capital, Ankara, and Istanbul throughout the morning, including a bomb that hit the parliament complex.
And, the article goes on and on.

Turkey is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Turkey is not a member of the European Union. Turkey literally sits at the crossroads of civilizations – and always has. You go north and west of Turkey and you end up in Europe. You go south and east of Turkey and you’re in the Middle East. And you’re right on the edge of the former Soviet Union. Turkey borders Syria and Iraq. All of these major players in the news are located in that area. And Turkey is also mentioned in Bible prophecy – which is why I’m spending a little time talking about it. Turks are not Arabs. Turks are Turks. And we’re going to talk about that. Very quickly, if you would turn to Genesis chapter 16.

Now there are two progenitors which we have spoken of in this series – God’s Promises To Abraham – a seven-part series. One is Ishmael. Ishmael was the first son of Abraham, and he is believed to be the progenitor – the father of the Arab people. And then, a brother of Jacob, who is named Esau (twin brothers) also called in the Bible, Edom, is the progenitor – the father of the Turkish people. And even though they are related, they are not exactly from the same gene-pool. And, as it says in Genesis 16 – we covered this in part one of this series – verse 8 – speaking about Hagar. And Hagar remember – Sarai’s wanted her husband Abram to have a child, and she convinced her husband to have sex with Hagar so that he could have a son. Well, they did, and they did have a son, and as it says in verse 10 – “Then the angel of the LORD said to [Hagar], …” – this mother-to-be – “…’ I will multiply your descendants exceedingly so that they shall not be counted for multitude.’ 11) And the angel of the LORD said to her: ‘Behold, you are with child, And you shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, Because the LORD has heard your affliction.’” – and we believe that Ishmael is the progenitor of the Arab people.

And it went on to say – this prophecy – verse 12 – “’ He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, …’” – saying, things are always going to be stirred up! ‘Wars and rumors of wars’ as Jesus said about the end-time. Always having a hard time getting along with people. “…’ And every man’s hand against him. And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.’” – so, that’s the first time we hear about Ishmael.

Now, chapter 17, verse 19. Here is the beginning of the announcement that Abraham and Sarah were going to have a child together – the future Isaac – which we’ve been talking about in this series.

Verse 18 – “And Abraham said to God, ‘Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!’ 19) Then God said, ‘No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him …’” – and we’ve been talking about the promises God made to Abraham. And these promises were passed on to Isaac, and Jacob (who had his name changed by God to Israel), and then these promises were passed on to Joseph, and then Joseph’s two sons – Ephraim and Manasseh. And we haven’t gotten all the way through the story – yet. But that’s where we’re going. “…’ I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. 20) And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes [twelve different tribal people], and I will make him a great nation.’” – and I’ve often said – and I don’t really know that much about Arab history and Arab cultures – but if you went through North Africa and the Middle East (just from this prophecy here) you would probably find twelve distinct tribal groups all who claim Ishmael to be their forefather. And so the prophecy was announced and - according to the will of God – the prophecy has come to pass. “…’ and I will make him a great nation. 21) But My covenant …’” – this very special relationship with these special promises, that, “…’ I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.’” – like 9-months later.

So here we hear about Ishmael.

And then, if you would turn to Genesis chapter 25. We talked about this in part III of God’s Promises To Abraham – a seven-part series. And I think it’s amazing so much of what is written in the Book of Genesis - the very first Book of the Bible – which literally goes back to approximately 1440 B.C. - and the things which we’re reading about in our newspapers and hearing about on our nightly news, we first find out about – we first have hints about the future - concerning the things which we hear about every night on our world news channels, computers, and radios. Is says in verse 21 – “Now Isaac pleaded with the LORD for his wife, because she was barren; and the LORD granted his plea, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22) But the children [twins] struggled together within her; and she said, ‘If all is well, why am I like this?’ So she went to inquire of the LORD.” - she probably said, ‘Why are these two babies fighting all the time!?’ “Struggling.” They were fighting – in the womb! Verse 23 – “And the LORD said to her: ‘Two nations [two groups of people] are in your womb, Two peoples shall be separated from your body; One people shall be stronger than the other, And the older shall serve the younger.’”

So here we have the introduction of who would become known as Esau – or Edom.

Now, we’re actually going to pick up a part of this story later on in chapter 26 – because this is about where we left off in part III of God’s Promises To Abraham – a seven-part series.

But I just want to give you some hints about the prophecies concerning Esau’s future – or Edom as he is also called.

And, if you would turn to the Book of Amos. In the Book of Amos, the first couple of chapters goes into many prophecies about people who live in the Middle East. And the time setting of these prophecies is ‘the latter days,’ the end-times. And in this article specifically, I want to turn to chapter 1, verse 11 and 12. “Thus says the LORD: ‘For three transgressions of Edom, and four, I will not turn away its punishment, …’” – He’s saying EDOM – remember Edom and Esau, they mean the same thing. “…Because he [and we believe that to be the Turkish people] pursued his brother with the sword, And cast off all pity; His anger tore perpetually, And he kept his wrath forever.’” – and God says in verse 12 – “’ But I will send a fire upon Teman, …’” – now in the Book of Obadiah, we hear the word ‘O Teman.’ Again, referring to the same group of people – Esau, Edom, Teman, and O Teman, or Ottoman. Now some of you who are history buffs or are very well aware that from circa. 1299 to 1923 the Turkish people were a powerful empire – called the Ottoman Empire! The Ottoman Empire officially began in 1299, and it eventually took over the capital of Constantinople. Now, Constantinople was a part of the Eastern Roman Empire. As the Roman Empire gained great strength, and eventually when the West began to decline, a lot of the rulers and the wealth moved to Constantinople and it became known as the Byzantine Empire. And the Byzantine Empire had a powerful grip on world history and world culture for many centuries. But on 29th of May 1453, the Turkish people overtook Constantinople – named after Constantine the Great – and they renamed it Istanbul. And that’s the name it is today. And the Ottoman Empire was at the height of its power from 1453 to 1566. For about a century they were at the zenith of their power! And the Ottoman Empire finally ended with the conclusion – basically of World War I. The Ottoman’s made the mistake of allying themselves with Germany during World War I. And so when the allied forces – mainly by the United States of America and England, the United Kingdom. Remember, “…’ He shall be a wild man; His hand shall be against every man, …’” – saying, things are always going to be stirred up! Well, eventually the British forces – basically freed Jerusalem from the Islamic influence of the Ottoman Empire. And this set the stage – eventually because the British people took over control of Jerusalem – for the reemergence of Jewish people starting to move back into Jerusalem. And following World War II you had the establishment of Israel as an independent nation – or the people of JUDAH – the Jewish people – May 14th, 1948.

So, it’s amazing how many of these stories in history intertwine and have a common thread.

And so, the Ottoman Empire – destined to be great. And here in the Book of Amos, chapter 1, it’s referring to – “…’Teman, …’” – or O Teman, or Ottoman – the Turkish people – “…’ I will send a fire …’” – basically, ‘I’m going to devour and destroy you!’ And, this prophecy gets more specific if you turn over to Obadiah. Now, this is in a section called the ‘minor prophets.’ That’s what Bible people has called this section of the Bible. And sometimes people think – well because you hear the phrase ‘minor prophets’ it sort of means the prophecies aren’t all that relevant. That would be a mistake to assume that. They’re called the ‘minor prophets’ because the Books are relatively short – as compared to the ‘major prophets’ which are people like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel. Those Books are much longer. The Books in the section called the ‘minor prophets’ are short in comparison, but they are jam-packed with information! Quite frankly when I was a student at Ambassador College out at the headquarters of the Worldwide Church of God many decades ago there was virtually nothing discussed about the ‘minor prophets.’ Quite frankly I don’t think they understood it that well. And the years intervening since then I have discovered that nine out of the twelve ‘minor prophets’ – 75% - deal with material, with events at different moments of the prophecies – of the end-times! So, you’re really not going to understand the ‘minor prophets’ unless you understand the Plan of God. And, as I’ve said here – we here at the Owensboro Church of Jesus Christ – our main theme is to understand the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God. And even now – we’re talking about the promises of Abraham and the prophecies of Turkey. And later in this series – Europe in prophecy. The Plan of God as revealed in the Bible. And the only way you can truly make sense of today’s news – including an attempted coup in the nation of Turkey. Which - I think is significant.

This President Erdoğan was elected by 52% of the vote. 4 And the Turkish people – over a century – have basically been a secular type of people. Although they’re Muslim – they really haven’t jumped into it very aggressively. And the military – I’ve heard in those reports – has always viewed itself as ‘the keepers of the secular way of life’ in Turkey. Now, this Erdoğan came into power and he has increasingly shown the signs of being a dictator. He has cracked down on newspapers and television. He’s tried to blot out social media. He has eliminated a lot of the Turkish military leaders – or retired them – if he didn’t like their attitude. He’s claiming for himself more and more power – all the reports I’ve heard say. And he has started to push a very pro-Islamic agenda. So Turkey whose been so secular – so secular that NATO had no problem allowing Turkey to become a member. But now – under this President Erdoğan – Turkey is apparently becoming more and more Islamic – as in Sharia law and more stringent in its regulations. And most people thought that this attempted coup d'état wasn’t as organized as well as it could have been. But the military personnel was probably objecting to Erdoğan and his policies and his pushing of his Islamic agenda.

But now that Erdoğan's government managed to reassert effective control in the country – the very next day supposedly 5 - his forces are in control. I had heard some observers at that time suggest that Erdoğan is going to become increasingly more and more Islamic. 6 It’s going to force that nation into more and more of the Islamic corner of the world. Where it has sort of been neutral before, now it’s going to become very much more hardcore Islamic. Which is sort of interesting. The two nations which are ‘pushing’ the Islamic agenda most aggressively in the Middle East are not themselves Arab. And we’re talking about Iran – which biblically speaking is Persia. The Iranian people in the eyes of the Bible are Persian people. Now, they are not Arab’s – it’s a different tribe of people. And the Turks – who are related to the Arab’s – it appears as if this Erdoğan is now becoming more and more aggressive in his Islamic thought.

Now, keep in mind – the Turkish government June 27th, 2016 signed an accord with Israel to restore ties and formalize an agreement for regional stability. And I don’t know all the details – but it looked like maybe Israel and Turkey were going to be sort of ‘friends’ or at least neutral with each other. However, I heard suggestions that Turkey will probably become more and more anti-Israel – anti-Jewish. 7 Now, this is a very important point here! Because in the end-time we are told – Jesus Christ said, “’ But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near.’” – Luke 21:20. The ‘time to get out of Dodge,’ to get out of town – He said, “’ Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, …’” – leave! Don’t even wait, don’t even slow down – just get! Because some really bad things are going to happen in Jerusalem – in the nation we now call Israel. And it will probably be a combination of both Arab and Islamic armies alongside a United States of Europe – which will be making aggressive military inroads into the Middle East! And at the time of the end many of the Jewish people, when they are about to see their country overran by foreign armies – and I hate to say that. I truly hate to acknowledge that, but that’s what the Bible prophecies say - that Jerusalem and the nation we call Israel and the Bible calls Judah will be subjected to a horrible plight during the end time! And many of the Jewish people in an attempt to escape with their lives will travel to the north hoping to get to Europe and some form of safety, but in order to do so, they must make passage through Turkey. Bible prophecies say that Turkey will not accommodate them. But in fact, the implications are that they will round up the Jewish people and turn them over to their enemies. Now, with that in mind – let’s read this prophecy of Edom, Esau, Teman, and O Teman, or rather the Ottoman people in the end time.

Obadiah 1:1 – “The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom …” – talking about modern-day Turkey.

“… (We have heard a report from the LORD, And a messenger has been sent among the nations, saying, ‘Arise, and let us rise up against her for battle’): 2) ‘Behold, I will make you small among the nations; You shall be greatly despised. 3) The pride of your heart has deceived you, You who dwell in the clefts of the rock, Whose habitation is high; You who say in your heart, ‘Who will bring me down to the ground?’” – ‘Hey, I’m tough! I’m number one! Nobody’s gonna bring me down!’ An attitude of arrogance. Verse 4 – “’ Though you ascend as high as the eagle, And though you set your nest among the stars, From there I will bring you down,’ says the LORD. 5) ‘If thieves had come to you, If robbers by night – Oh, how you will be cut off! – Would they not have stolen till they had enough? If grape-gatherers had come to you, Would they not have left some gleanings? 6) ‘Oh, how Esau shall be searched out!’” – meaning, they will be closely examined and pillaged. “…’ How his hidden treasures shall be sought after! 7) All the men in your confederacy Shall force you to the border; The men at peace with you Shall deceive you and prevail against you. Those who eat your bread shall lay a trap for you. No one is aware of it.’” – saying that Turkey – in the end – will receive the same deceit and treachery which they have handed out to other nations.

And here it really gets powerful – verse 8 – “’ Will I not in that day,’ says the LORD, ‘Even destroy the wise men from Edom, …’” – the ‘wise men,’ the leaders. Military leaders, political leaders. “…’ And understanding from the mountains of Esau? …’” – and here you see where Edom and Esau are synonymous terms. And down in verse 9 we here the next term – “’Then your mighty men, O Teman [or Ottoman], shall be dismayed, To the end that everyone from the mountains of Esau May be cut off by slaughter.’” – now when God inspired the original Hebrew, I don’t know if ‘everyone’ means every single person – but it seems to me that is what it means! So, does that mean the overwhelming vast majority, or does it mean what it says – everyone!? Verse 10 – “’ For violence against your brother Jacob, Shame shall cover you, And you shall be cut off forever.’” – once again, to me, it sounds like Turkey’s fate is just doomed. Verse 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 pretty clear to me what He’s saying! When the people of Jerusalem were trying to escape, you stood in their way, and you teamed up with their enemies. Even though deep inside you are related to them! Remember – Isaac had two sons, Jacob and Esau. They were twins. And God has not forgotten that heritage – even though Turkey in the end-times will forget it.

Verse 12, again, a very powerful verse – “’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 In the day of their destruction; …’” – now this is yet to come, folks! This is a prophecy for the near future! “…’ Nor should you have spoken proudly In the day of [their] distress.’” – or ‘their destruction!’ Verse 14 – “’ You should not have stood at the crossroads …’” – remember, Istanbul – the ancient Constantinople is that gateway between Asia Minor in the East and Europe. And that’s where these Jewish people will be fleeing! They will be trying to leave the area because they know they’re facing death and destruction. “…’ To cut off those [who were attempting to escape]; Nor should you have delivered up those among them who remained In the day of distress.’” – so, not only do they block them. They help round them up and return them to the enemy!

Now the time setting of this is – the Day of the LORD! I have spent much time talking about the Day of the LORD! The Day of the LORD is that moment of time – in yet future history. Now, how far away is it!? I don’t know. Could it be three or four years away!? Yes, it could! Could it be ten or fifteen years away!? Yes, it could! Could it be twenty-five or thirty!? Yes, it could! It will be a horrible day! A day in which God – with Jesus Christ – directly intervenes in the affairs of humankind. And the days which proceed that – in which just all-out worldwide chaos ensues – all throughout the world! Through North Africa, through the Middle East, through Europe. And, you don’t even hear about America at this point anymore! It’s apparent that America and England have already been subdued, or tamed, or neutered, by this point in time – where they’re no longer a factor in these end-time events! The Day of the LORD – the single most horrific time in the history of mankind.

Verse 15 – “’ For the day of the LORD upon all the nations is near; …’” – and this is God speaking to TURKEY! “…’ As you have done, it shall be done to you; Your [reward] shall return upon your own head.’” – the way you have treated your brothers – even though you don’t like to acknowledge that – so you will be treated in like manner. Verse 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.’” – to me – it once again sounds as though the nation which is known as Turkey simply ceases to exist – and the people of Turkey. The punishment from God is so strong – they cease to exist. Verse 17 – “’ But on Mount Zion [referring to a future Jerusalem and the city of God] there shall be deliverance, And there shall be holiness; The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.’” – and I have talked about this theme before which has very seldom been seen in the Bible – that upon the return of Jesus Christ the people of Jacob (the people of America, the United Kingdom and the former colonies) who physically survive – who are not a part of the Kingdom of God; they have not been resurrected into the Family of GOD – apparently at the very beginning of the Millennium join forces, led and protected by God Almighty and Jesus Christ and by the resurrected King David, and they regather in the Middle East and they wreak vengeance upon all the nations which have surrounded Israel. And they come back to Zion – to the holy city! To New Jerusalem! And they engage in physical warfare causing mass destruction – under the direct command of God the Father and Jesus Christ and the resurrected King David! This is a tremendous story which very few people have ever heard! Most people don’t have the slightest iota of a clue that this story is contained in your Bible! “’ For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.’” – Isaiah 28:10.

But it says, verse 18 – “’ The house of Jacob shall be a fire, And the house of Joseph a flame; But the house of Esau [Turkey] shall be stubble; They shall kindle them, And no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau,’ For the LORD has spoken.” – and that’s the majority of the Book of Obadiah – and it’s directly pointing to the future of Turkey!

And I think this failed coup d'état attempt has emboldened Erdoğan to become more and more Islamic, and we have seen a change in Turkey 8 to where it’s sort of pro-West, turning to a more pro-Middle Eastern Islamic type nation. Setting up the stage for the events of the end time.

So again, what happened July 15th, 2016!? Probably – and I can’t say with absolute certainty, because as Paul says, ‘we see through a glass darkly,’ that the events which took place in Turkey will have a bearing on the unfolding of prophetic events not far into the future.

If you would turn to Ezekiel 35 – there’s another short prophecy and Esau, Edom, O Teman – Ottoman.

Verse 1 – “Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2) ‘Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir …’” – Mount Seir is another name for Esau.

Now, keep your place here in Ezekiel, but turn back to Genesis 32, verse 1 – again, isn’t it amazing we’re going back to the Book of Genesis to help get a FOUNDATION of an understanding about prophecies which appeared to have been taking shape before 2016. Folks, understand, we’re not in the end-times – and don’t let anyone fool you about that – but we are perilously close, we’re on the cusp, we’re on the edge of the end-times! Again, how far away – I don’t know! Could it be three or four years away!? Yes, it could! Could it be ten or fifteen years away!? Yes, it could! Could it be twenty-five or thirty!? Yes, it could! If it is, then most of us need to worry about it! If it’s fifty-years away – then don’t worry about it! Because you and I aren’t going to be around – most likely. “So Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 2) When Jacob saw them, he said, ‘This is God’s camp.’ And he called the name of that place Mahanaim [meaning ‘double camp’]. 3) Then Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom.” – just to get the connection. Seir is yet another name for the people of Esau. Esau, Edom, Teman, O Teman, Ottoman. And there’s yet another name we’re going to cover in Ezekiel 35.

Going back to Ezekiel 35:3 – “’ and say to it, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Behold, O Mount Seir, I AM against you; I will stretch out My hand against you, And make you most desolate; …’” – remember what we have just previously read!? We read in Obadiah, seemingly, that Turkey is destroyed and apparently just laid waste! And that no one survives! Now, this is just a stunning prophecy! Verse 4 – “’ I shall lay your cities waste, And you shall be desolate. Then you shall know that I AM the [ETERNAL]. 5) Because you have had [a perpetual] hatred, and have shed the blood of the children of Israel by the power of the sword at the time of their calamity, when their iniquity came to an end, …’” – talking about the end-time! Verse 6 – “therefore, as I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you; since you have not hated blood, therefore blood shall pursue you. 7) Thus I will make Mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it the one who leaves and the one who returns.’” – again, it sounds to me, like a complete and total eradication of the Turkish people!

Now, God – what one word describes God!? If you had to come up with only one word!? L O V E. “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” – 1 John 4:8. A very simple Bible statement. And I’ve often tried to say that another synonym of the word love is loyalty. God is love and God is loyalty. And God highly prizes loyalty. And you can see that He does not take kindly – remember He said to Abraham, one of the promises – ‘I will bless them that bless you, and I will curse them who curse you.’ – Genesis 12:3. And here in this situation, Turkey turns treacherous and vicious and cruel towards the descendants of Isaac and Jacob. And in God’s Book, that’s just about the lowest down thing you can do! And He says, ‘I will repay you according to your deeds!’ One of the most consistent principles in the Bible – ‘according to your deeds, you will be repaid.’

And because of the treachery that Turkey hands out to the Jewish people attempting to flee for their lives, He says, “’ Thus I will make Mount Seir most desolate, and cut off from it the one who leaves and the one who returns. 8) And I will fill its mountains with the slain; on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines those who are slain by the sword shall fall. 9) I will make you perpetually desolate, …’” – it doesn’t sound like it’s just a battle, and then it’s over. It sounds to me like a permanent curse upon the land that is now known as Turkey. “…’ and your cities shall be uninhabited; then you shall know that I AM the LORD.’” – and that, ‘I have spoken. And that I have exact upon you a terrible punishment for your treachery and for your disloyalness to your brothers.’ And even church people should keep that in mind! This is a powerful WARNING for everyone! If you turn your back on your brothers, you’re not going to be well received by God on the day of judgment. That’s just the plain simple short form of it! Verse 10 – “’Because you have said, ‘These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess them,’ although the LORD was there, 11) therefore, as I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I will do according to the envy which you showed in your hatred against them; …’” – one again, ‘I’m going to repay you – the anger that you showed, the hatred that you showed to My people – My covenant people – I’m going to show you the same type of anger!’ “…’ and I will make Myself known among them when I judge you. 12) Then you shall know that I AM the LORD. I have heard all your blasphemies which you have spoken against …’” – against WHO!? “…’ the mountains of Israel, …’” – now, who is Israel!? Who are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (who had his name changed to Israel), Joseph, and Joseph’s two sons – Ephraim and Manasseh? As he says in the Book of Genesis, ‘upon these two lads shall my name be placed.’ Ephraim – the founding stock of the people of the United Kingdom. Manasseh – the founding stock of the people of the United States of America. ‘Because you have spoken these blasphemous hate-filled things against My people – America and the British people!’ “…’ saying, ‘They are desolate; they are given to us to consume.’” – once again, an implication that in the end-times the United States of America and England are no longer players. That’s the implication throughout all prophecies. That in the end-time, they are not substantial - been reduced basically to nothingness. Verse 13 – “’ Thus with your mouth you have boasted against Me and multiplied your words against Me; I have heard them.’ 14) Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘The whole earth will rejoice when I make you desolate.’” – when will the whole earth rejoice!? At the blowing of the SEVENTH TRUMP at the RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST at the RESURRECTION OF THE SAINTS! At the very beginning of the establishment of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD upon this earth! That’s when the whole earth will rejoice! This is an end-time event! This didn’t happen in the year AD 67 or 68! This is yet to happen! And at that time – at the end-time – and in the early days of the Millennium ‘I will make you desolate.’ Verse 15 – “’ As you rejoiced because the inheritance of the House of Israel was desolate, so I will do to you; you shall be desolate, O Mount Seir, as well as …’” – now, this next name Idumea – another name for EDOM. So, biblically speaking – the people of Turkey in prophecy are referred to as Esau, Edom, and Teman, and O Teman, Seir or Mount Seir, and Idumea. There are six different names, but they all mean one thing – modern-day Turkey. “…’ as well as all of Edom – all of it! Then they shall know that I AM the LORD.’”

Those are some powerful prophecies folks! And the story which broke July 15th, 2016, I just felt compelled to share this part of the story with you. It’s a story which most people don’t know. Most people of America just don’t have a clue. If you were to walk up to the average man or woman on the street and go, “Can you tell me who Esau is!? Or Edom!? Or Idumea!? Or Seir!? What does the Bible say about them!? And, who are they!?” Well, people would look at you like you’re drunk! “What are you talkin’ about!? That’s all gibberish to me!” And yet, we have just read it in your Bible!

you can’t “sell” this religion

Again, I try to say to everyone – we here at Owensboro are about one thing – we’re about proclaiming, we’re about understanding, we’re about learning, everything we can about the Word of God, the Truth of God, and the Plan of God. We are not about trying to build some massive organization. And, one of the reasons I say that is – the biblical doctrines of which I speak can’t be given to people unless God is calling them. The religion of which I represent is a religion which is almost impossible to “sell.” You cannot proclaim this religion and have most people believe it! Now, if I got on a street corner and talked about Christmas and Easter and puppy dogs and rainbows and love and ‘all come together, we’ll all love one another,’ yes, you could “sell” that religion! I couldn’t do it – but theoretically. But that’s not the religion of the Bible! The religion of the Bible is – as I’ve said before – a promise made to one man. It’s the story of one man’s family – Abraham. Both physical descendants of Abraham - and as it were - the spiritual descendants of Abraham. Abraham was the very first person that got – as they say – the New Covenant! He understood it! And he is praised in the writings of the New Testament – Abraham believed God! And it was accounted to him as righteousness! Abraham did not care what the local people thought. Abraham was told – ‘Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house To a land that I will show you,’ and Abraham didn’t argue with God. He didn’t say, ‘But, I’ve got to honor my daddy!’ ‘Now, that’s one of Your commandments, God – I’ve got to honor daddy!’ Abraham didn’t argue with God on this! Abraham as it were – just saluted and said, “Yes Sir!”

And he left. We read about that in Genesis chapter 12. And, I’ve brought up before - “To what Church did Abraham belong!?” Who was Abraham’s Church leader!? Where did Abraham go to Church!? Or, what about Isaac!? Or, what about Jacob!? What about Joseph!?” Was he a Methodist, a Baptist, a Catholic, was he Jewish!? No, he wasn’t any of them! Did he belong to the Worldwide Church of God!? No. Did he belong to any descendant of the Worldwide Church of God!? Not one of them! Didn’t even know about them, and didn’t even care! And neither did God! It wasn’t important to God! The one thing that was important to God – was Abraham’s loyalty to Him! ‘Abraham obeyed My voice.’ ‘Abraham kept My commandments.’ ‘Abraham did what I wanted him to do.’ He didn’t care about anybody else. He didn’t worry about what his neighbors thought, what his relatives thought. He had one goal – to do what God wanted him to do. And when we say God, let us be very clear – the God with whom he was dealing is the One we now call Jesus Christ! You go, “Well Mike, how can you say that!? Jesus Christ didn’t exist until the birth of Jesus.” No, Jesus Christ lived long before!

the Word and Melchizedek was and is Jesus Christ

Turn with me, if you will, to John chapter 1. And I’m saying this because there are some Protestant people who I don’t think know the difference. I don’t think they’ve ever been taught or ever been shown. Now, some Protestants understand this, but a lot of Protestants think that Jesus Christ didn’t exist until He was conceived in the womb of Mary. But it says here – John 1:1 – “In the beginning was the Word, …” – a Greek word, which is Logos, which means Spokesman. “…and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” – He’s the God of the Old Testament. Verse 2 – “He was in the beginning with God. 3) All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4) In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5) And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

6) There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” – we call him John the Baptist. Verse 7 – “This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light [Jesus Christ], that all through him might believe. 8) He was not that Light [John was not the Messiah], but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9) That was the true Light [Jesus Christ] which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10) He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.” – except for just a handful of people. Maybe after His entire life as a human – only 120 people truly believed in Him and about Him. Verse 11 – “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.” – Jesus Christ was born of the tribe of Judah. And yet the Jewish people – by enlarge – rejected Him when He was a physical human being, and almost two-thousand years later, the Jewish people still reject Him. Which I have asked the question – and I have nothing against the Jewish people and I wish them no ill will. But there are people within the environment of the churches of God – the former Worldwide Church of God tradition - sprinkled out through these descendants, which actually have this idea that if they become more Jewish they’re somehow more pleasing to God!? Now they could not be further from the truth! You cannot please God by being Jewish, or by being Jewish-like. And the very last sermon I gave in Tyler, Texas on March 9th, 2013 was one entitled Look To Jesus, Not Moses.

But, Jesus Christ is the God that Abraham spoke with. And you say, ‘O’ Mike, how can you prove that!?’ ‘How do you know that!?’ Well – for one we just read it in the Book of John. But out of curiosity, let’s turn back to the Book of Genesis, chapter 14. This is after Abraham rescues his nephew Lot. Verse 17 – “And the king of Sodom went out to meet him …” – because he rescued a lot of people. Verse 18 – “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; …” – almost like a little Passover ceremony. “…[H]e was the priest of God Most High. 19) And [H]e blessed him and said: ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20) And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.’ And he gave [H]im a tithe of all.” – Abraham presented tithes. 

And then I think we pick up the story in Hebrews 7. You read about Melchizedek – just what we read in Genesis. Verse 1 – “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2) to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, …” – remember Abraham gave an offering. “…first being translated ‘king of righteousness,’ and then also king of Salem, meaning ‘king of peace,’ …” And now notice verse 3 – this Being – “without father, without mother, …” So, how can you be a being and not have a father or a mother!? Well, there are only two such Beings – and I guess you could throw in angels and demonic spirits – but in this case, we’re talking about Jesus Christ. “…without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, …” – and even angelic beings and demonic spirits have a beginning. At one point they didn’t exist, and at one point they were created. “…but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.” And then it goes on to say, verse 4 – “Now consider how great this [M]an [really] was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils.” Melchizedek, king of Salam, without mother, without father, without beginning or end of days – the One we now call Jesus Christ! ‘One made like unto the Son of God.’ Abraham knew Jesus Christ! Abraham was taught by the One we now call Jesus Christ! Abraham believed the One we now call Jesus Christ! And Abraham was the first person to understand the concept of the New Covenant. Abraham inherited the promise of eternal life!


The only pathway to salvation that you have is by following Jesus Christ, by looking to His sacrifice, and by following the precepts, the concepts and the principles of the New Covenant – which He established. THE NEW AGREEMENT! The old agreement couldn’t get you eternal life. No promise of eternal life in the Old Covenant – none. But the New Covenant – this new Way, this NEW CONTRACT – it does have a promise of eternal life which is the promise that God gave to Abraham. Abraham was the first seeker, follower, of the principles of the New Covenant! And he believed God – he didn’t believe what human beings said. He didn’t believe family tradition. And so many people – you start to talk to them about religion and they sort of like what you say and they know that you know something and you can back it up – because you’re turning to Scripture’s – and they sort of get semi-interested for a few moments, and then they go home and they share it with their wife, or husband, or family members, or friends and co-workers, and immediately they get scared off. Or when they find out that Sunday is not the official day of worship – that scares a lot of people. Even though most people don’t even go to church on Sunday anymore.
I mean I know this – they say, “Well Mike, can you do this or that!?”
“Well, no. I’ve got to go to Church.”
“Well, it’s Saturday!”
“I know.”
“You mean you go to Church on Saturday!?”
“Well, why!? Sunday is the day you go to church – everybody goes to church on Sunday!”
“No. Not according to the Bible. Saturday – or what the Bible calls the Sabbath is the day you go to Church.”
And they look at you, and they think – well Mike seems like an intelligent fellow, seems like a pretty normal guy, but man is he weird on this one! And then it comes to Christmas – and I say, “Well, I’m not interested in Christmas.” And it’s really hard for my family members and friends to follow me. However – classic Christmas songs I like! And that just throws my relatives for a loop! But you see, classic Christmas songs don’t talk about Jesus Christ being born on December 25th. They just talk about the fact that Jesus Christ was born. Which is biblically correct. I have no problem with O Holy Night. If you wanna know the truth – the most beautiful song I’ve ever heard in my life – especially when sung by David Phelps of the Gaither Vocal Band. I love the classic Christmas music – but I have nothing to do with December 25th – as far as being the birthday of Jesus. Jesus Christ was most likely born on the very first day of the Feast of Tabernacles – a celebration the Bible talks about! And, Jesus had nothing to do with Easter – or rather Ishtar. Ishtar/Easter was an ancient pagan sex goddess. Which is why you have bunny rabbits, eggs – they’re all signs of fertility in the spring. But Jesus Christ was not born in the beauty of the lilies. No, Jesus Christ was born in the beauty of the falling leaves – in autumn. And He lived for 33 ½ years and He died in the spring of the year – what the Bible calls Passover! That’s the correct biblical term. And He was resurrected right in the middle of what the Bible calls the Days of Unleavened Bread! That’s what the Bible talks about! And He offered His Spirit to all humanity on a day which we call the Day of Pentecost – featured in the opening chapters of Acts.

So, people say, “Well Mike, can you umpire this game on Saturday!?”
“No. I’m busy.”
“Well, what about tomorrow?”
And it just plays with their mind. They get all screwed up. But, you can’t “sell” this religion. If you had money and said, “I’ll pay you $50 dollars if you come to Church.” You might get somebody to take your $50 dollars, but trust me, when they go home they’re gonna go – I like that guy but he’s weird! He’s all screwed up in the head! Well, that’s alright – you can think I’m screwed up in the head – I’m a sports official, I have been accused of being screwed up in the head by a lot of people over my lifetime!

And, we’re going to continue this story in the next segment of God’s Promises To Abraham – a seven-part series.

So I thank you for being with us. And I want you to come back again. We’re going to continue talking about the promises that God made to Abraham and to his descendants – both his physical descendants and as it were, his spiritual descendants. Because in those promises is a pathway for eternal life to all of you and to me. And that’s a really beautiful story! That’s the Gospel! That’s the Good News! That’s the good news of eternal life, the great hope of the resurrection, and is all based upon the foundation of Jesus Christ! So, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Look To Jesus, Not Moses. He is the Author and the Finisher of your faith. Who is the gateway to salvation, who is the anchor of your soul.

Jesus Christ – to Him be eternal praise, honor, and glory. Thank you again for being with us. We love you and ask that you come back and continue reading – and share this information with your church friends, with your relatives, with your neighbors. Share these articles – please. So, until next time – goodbye my friends.

1 “England was finally united under the kings of Wessex in the 10th century. … in 1016, Canute (1016-35), the King of Denmark and Norway, became the first king of a fully united England.” BRITISH HISTORY AND CULTURE. Nangonová, Stella. Ostrava 2008. Page 6. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
2 "Nice attacker had 'clear' interest in radical Islam". The Local. 18 July 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
3 Daly, Michael (December 4, 2015). "San Bernardino: The Most Twisted Terrorist Plot Yet". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 19 July 2019.
4 "there were even those who did not like the Prophet. I, however, won 52%." "Düşük oy eleştirilerine "Peygamber"li yanıt iddiası". Retrieved 24 July 2019.
5 Levin, Ned; Candemir, Yeliz (16 July 2016). "Turkey's Erdogan Reasserts Control After Attempted Coup".
The Wall Street Journal. Istanbul. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
6 “Reports continue to pop up in Middle East publications that Turkey’s leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is seen within his ruling AK Party as more than just a president.” WND. Muslims Praise Key Mideast Leader ‘Like God’. Hohmann, Leo. 5 April 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
7 In December 2017, President Erdoğan threatened to break off diplomatic ties with Israel if the United States formally recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital. "Turkey's Erdogan threatens ties with Israel over Jerusalem issue". Jerusalem Post. 5 December 2017. Retrieved 25 July 2019.
8 President Erdogan ranked first place in the World's 500 Most Influential Muslims in 2019. Anadolu Agency. President Erdogan ranked world's top influential Muslim. Mehmet, Hafiz, Fatih. 22.10.2018. Retrieved 25 July 2019.

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