IN TODAY'S NEWSLETTER...
The Total Destruction of Babylon - By Pastor Mike Taylor - https://pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com/2022/03/the-total-destruction-of-babylon.html
18 “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
2 And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” (Revelation 18:1-3)
Judgment is coming to a closing end, and the destruction of this rebellious world is nearly to its completion. Here again in this chapter it again speaks of Babylon. Is this the same Babylon that was spoken of in Chapter 17? Many believe that the Babylon of these two chapters are the same, but are they? Note that there are two divisions of end times concept of the Babylon that rises to rule the earth. The first is Mystery Babylon. She is considered a harlot, a whore which is signified by a woman in a religious order that deceived the world and has for the last nearly 2000 years. She is identified with Rome and is shown to be an adulterer, a woman that is defiled and worships false gods and leads other people into sin. She has held sway over kings and nations at different intervals of her history and in these last days, she rises from the ashes of oblivion, much like the Phoenix bird and retakes her glory lost in the past, but it is short lived. She rules with the Beast power for a set and pre-determined amount of time, before the political power of this time destroys her completely and burns her with fire.
Then there is secular, political, and commercial Babylon that is identified with a coastal city. Be she Mecca, New York City or some other powerful center of this ruling abomination called the Beast power, we are not sure, nor will we be sure this side of the coming of our Lord for the true Church of the Living God. As we have pointed out, this great city is the center of world economics. She is a marketplace that has grown ever more greedy and has lust for power. She is self indulgent and in the end, God Almighty destroys her completely for her sins and abominations.
Through a great portion of the coming Tribulation these two portions of Babylon are intertwined with each other. One having power over another to lead one as much as horse is led by a bridle. But it is an uneasy alliance, as they are not the same, but antagonist of each other, both lusting for supreme power. The coming Beast power has need of this religious power to forge the chains of those who it wishes to follow him and use this false religion as an agent of conquest, much as it was in the Middle Ages. But the Beast that rules the earth will need this false religion for just so long. Her usefulness will run out in the near future during the midpoint of the Tribulation and she will be burned with fire as we saw in Chapter 17.
15 “And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:15-18)
This harlot religion has temporal power over the Beast, as the Bible shows that she rides the Beast, and controls him to a point and rules over all nations in religious affairs. Only one religion has more than a 1.5 billion people from all over the globe of all people, multitudes, nations, and tongues. She has spread her tentacles to all points of the globe and in the past, no one was able to withstand her. But this Tribulation power she holds over the political Babylon is short lived.
Mystery Babylon seems to be destroyed when the Anti-Christ comes into the Temple of God in Jerusalem at the mid point of the coming tribulation and proclaims himself as being God in the flesh. Then this religious portion of this unholy alliance will be needed no longer, as the dragon, Satan the devil, who has entered into the last dictator of this fallen world known as the Anti-Christ, will desire complete worship of himself (Satan) through a mortal man that he has possessed. It appears from scripture that a charade either real or manufactured is fostered upon a rebellious and evil population that believes this lawless man has been resurrected from some type of wound that brought him to near death. It will be a false resurrection to mimic what Jesus did 2000 years ago by the power of God, whether this resurrection of the Anti-Christ is real or a charade. Satan is very good as counterfeiting what God has done to make the unrighteous believe a lie.
BABYLON, REAL OR SYMBOLIC?
But as we study the concept of this great city called Babylon, are they literal cities or is she symbolic? That is a question we have to ask ourselves, as many believe that Babylon will be rebuilt again on a desert sands found in the backward country of Iraq. Note that any city built on the ruins of ancient Babylon would not completely fit the description of her having a sea faring port able to handle large merchant ships. Saddam Hussein had the mad notion of rebuilding ancient Babylon thinking that he was a modern king Nebachadnezzer and ruler of the Middle East and we know what happened to him. Many people believe that the New Babylon will be built on the Euphrates River and with the wealth of the Middle East oil, that could happen, but to be an economic power house that God speaks of, leaves large holes in that theory. Although, no one has stepped forward to attempt such a city, but from my viewpoint, being so close to what I feel is the season of our Lord's return, I don't see that kind of time being allowed for another city to emerge as a economic powerhouse for all the world to coincide with the description of her destruction in coming verse of this chapter.
As briefly mentioned in the recent past of past messages, our Lord equated the known world that hated Him and cautioned that it would hate those who follow Him, just as much to what this world will become.
18 “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:18-19)
So there are two possibilities, as we have investigated and looked at different cities as being the center of the Beast power, either Rome, Mecca, or even New York, as New York is the center of world wide commerce at the present time. At this present time, the economy of the world is centered on the USA and its economic engine found in New York City, but that could change. It's possible, but highly unlikely, as another city would take years to achieve what the investors on Wall street and the New York economic hub of the world has become. Another possibility is that Babylon is symbolic of what Jesus spoke of as the end time world that revels in their rebellion and unrighteousness. The entire world is a combination of religion and commerce, so the symbol of Babylon “could be” this end time Beast power that covers the entire earth we now live on. In portraying the destruction of a city (Rome?), John describes in Chapter 17 God’s judgment on the great satanic system of religious evil that has corrupted the earth’s history. In chapter 18, the context seems to indicate that Babylon here is viewed in its political and economic character rather than its religious aspect. Although both portions of the Babylon the Great are mentioned in various detail, jumping from one power to the other.
Looking at the opening verses, this “angel” which can be interpreted as “messenger” has a great shining appearance. Either the light He cast is from being in the presence of God, or this is Jesus Christ proclaiming that Babylon has fallen and will not rise again. It is a matter of a great moment, whether by this angel we understand as Christ, or a created angel; the description agreeth to Christ, but most likely agrees to a created angel.
The term ‘another’ (Gr.,allon) makes it clear that this angel is the same in kind as the angel of 17:1. So this most likely is one of the 7 angels that have the bowl judgments. Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen: He announces that Babylon is fallen, fallen and the phrase is “repeated like a solemn dirge of the damned.
Becomes a dwelling place of demons: A sad fate for a once-great city.
Abundance of her luxury: Babylon’s sin was not only idolatry (referred to with the term fornication), but also pride, greed, and selfishly held wealth.
The concept is of man ruling himself and being blessed for his work on this earth for a “great economic city” either a location or speaking of the whole world has come to an end. This is “a prophetic picture of absolute desolation where the proud achievements of man become the demonic haunts of unclean and horrible creatures
4 “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
6 Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.” (Revelation 18:4-7)
COMMAND TO LEAVE BABYLON
This is a call to God's Tribulation saints to come out of those places where they should not be. It is akin to what God told Lot and his family to depart from the city of Sodom and flee to the mountains before God destroys her. The tribulation saints are in a place ripe for destruction. Those who are living during this time, are subject to the temptation and the evil that is perpetuated in the end time world that is headed for oblivion, and God commands His own to separate themselves from everything that pertains to the evil influence of these end time Gentile nations. Note that the inference is that those who believes on Jesus Christ at this time, are susceptible to loosing their salvation and ability to commit sin in God's sight and they could be caught up in the judgment that is coming. They are not sealed with God's Holy Spirit as the 144,000 Jewish evangelist were, but are in danger of falling back into the world system that God says depart from it. This is not true of the Church, who cannot lose their salvation, but those in the tribulation have no such guarantee.
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:10-14)
The church of the Living God has an irrevocable promise of being kept in His grace for any sin, past, present or future. What God has drawn to Jesus Christ and those who have been put into God's Hand cannot be removed.
27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
30 I and my Father are one.” (John 10:27-30)
Tribulation saints must guard their salvation until the very end of this horrific time. So God is talking about a different set of people who are also called saints, which is another indication that the church is not here, as the Church was sealed and had a deposit of future glorification that is promised. The call to come out of Babylon and its sinful and worldly living has been repeated many times in scripture:
“Depart! Depart! Go out from there, touch no unclean thing; go out from her, be clean, you who bear the vessels of the Lord.” (Isaiah 52:11)
“ Flee from the midst of Babylon, and everyone save his life!” (Jeremiah 50:8)
“ My people, go out of the midst of her! And let everyone deliver himself from the fierce anger of the Lord.”(Jeremiah 51:45)
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.”(Ephesians 5:11)
But who is this “messenger” of God speaking of? Who are they to come out of? I believe He is speaking of religious and political Babylon that their sins have piled high as the Tower of Babel. There will be an end time false religion that has deceived mankind throughout the history of the world since Jesus ascended back to heaven and the right hand of the Father in glory. God has remembered her iniquities and has passed judgment upon her. This is more detail that John gives to report the destruction of the Harlot Church who has deceived the whole world to worship the image of the Beast.
The description of this Harlot Church is verses 6-7 is most telling of who this woman is and where she has had her headquarters for the last near 2000 years. Note her delicacies and her riches and how she has rewarded others by dealing treacherously with those who did not bow the knee to her. She will be rewarded double for what she has done. I see the complete destruction of this harlot church in flames, as God will use the political power of this earth to destroy her.
--Render to her just as she rendered to you: The ancient Greek word for render (apodidomi) means literally “to pay a debt” or “to give back that which is due.” God will give Babylon exactly what she deserves.
--Repay her double according to her works . . . mix for her double: Double restitution was required in the Old Testament in cases of theft (Exodus 22:4-9). This perhaps is a commentary on how Babylon has made her wealth – through dishonest dealings.
--Repay her double according to her works: This passage presents a three-fold sin. First, self-indulgence (lived luxuriously). Second, pride (glorified herself . . . sits as a queen). Third, avoidance of suffering (am no widow, and will not see sorrow). All these things are characteristic of worldliness and materialism.
--Therefore her plagues will come in one day: The destruction of religious Babylon will come suddenly and with completeness (utterly burned with fire).
8 “Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
9 And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
11 And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
14 And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.” (Revelation 18:8-14)
John goes back and forth speaking of the two Babylons that are mingled together in this chapter. He speaks of religious Babylon and then commercial or political Babylon. Both receive judgment from God and in these preceding verses, you have the vision of a city of commercial marketplace that has dealt with the merchants of the world in what was valuable in John's day, as that is all he could describe, as our technological day was beyond his understanding. You also see a religious portion of Babylon who has deceived the whole world to worship the image of the Beast and to take his mark in their forehead and their right hand.
John witnesses the destruction of these great powerful cities in flames and their destruction in one hour. In your mind, you must separate the two Babylons and not confuse one with another. The religious Babylon will be destroyed by the Beast power under the will of God, and the final political portion of the Beast power, God will destroy Himself. I can think of no other man-made weapon of destruction than a nuclear weapon, which is what many believe happens to these religious and political cities, which could level a city in one hour. The merchants of the earth stand at a safe distance from her destruction, as the heat and flames, and not to mention the radiation if this be a nuclear weapon that destroyed her, and they wail because the city is destroyed. That is one reason I have explored the one city in the USA, New York who is the economic hub of this modern world now and in the coming future and the city which could be Rome destroyed by the Beast power as he burns her with fire..
The political Babylon sounds eerily similar to what a person would see standing on a boat a long distance from the harbor of the New York City, who has the only port large enough to accommodate large merchant ships. This could come from a nuclear exchange or a pre-emptive nuclear strike from another country. We can only hypothesize of who this great city is, if she is indeed an actual city or a symbolic representation of God's divine judgment on the center of the Beast power and his government. Obviously, God is more than able to replicate a nuclear strike much as He did on Sodom and Gomorrah. Either God uses man to do His will, or completes the prophecy in Divine retribution for her iniquities with fire and brimstone raining from heaven. Thankfully, I won't see any of this to determine which is true as I'll be with Jesus in heaven awaiting the return to the earth of the saints of God, known as the Church of the Living God. Will you?
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."(John 3:16-18)
8 "But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:8-13)'
As we continue to read to the end of the chapter, the angel describes the death knell of Babylon and likens it to a mill stone thrown to the bottom of the sea, never to rise no more. The descriptions show that the center of commercial trade will never be found again.
20 “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
21 And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
22 And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;
23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.” (Revelation 18:20-23)
This is either a complete destruction of an actual city or applied broadly to a worldly commerce found across the globe during this time of the coming Tribulation. But I find it telling to who and where this prophecy is directed at, as was mentioned, the political and the religious Babylon have been intertwined up to this point.
24 “And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.” (Revelation 18:24)
In verse 24, if this is an actual city, then I can think of only one city in this world that has all the attributes that have been described. Some will point a finger at Jerusalem as she has killed prophets and saints also, but she does not fit the description of a harlot religious system that has ruled the world, drowned herself in luxuries of gold, jewels, and much wealth, and has been the center of apostasy in the past ages and into the modern world. Only one religious organization has more gold in her vaults than even Fort Knox. And if you think hard enough, you will come to the conclusion that fits all points of the prophecy.
The chapter describes the complete destruction of the two Babylons: the religious portion and the commercial or political aspect of the ruling One World government that is a mixture of church and state, much as it was in the Middle Ages. Coming in the next chapter, the beginning reveals the coming victory of our Lord God, Jesus Christ over the Beast Power and its final death blow that will decimate all who come against a Living God. The beginning of chapter 19 is a continuation of the end of chapter 18, as the bible has no actual chapter breaks, as that is man's doing, but the end is near and we will discuss that next time, when we see Jesus coming back to earth in power and great glory. We are nearing the start of the coming Millennium and the reign of Jesus Christ for 1000 years to restore the earth to what was lost in the Garden of Eden, the complete beauty of His creation revived and made perfect. We have much to anticipate for and we await anxiously for the coming of our Lord to make this earth what it was in the time of Adam and Eve. Many things will change. The earth will not be subject to pollution and the evils of mankind. War will be no more, and the weapons of war will be changed into plow shares to become a agricultural society. But who will be those who populate the coming Millennial reign of Christ? We will discover that when we explore chapter 19 and 20 of the “Return of Jesus Christ and His Millennial Reign.” See you then.
This is Pastor Mike Taylor, praying that you see none of this noted above and are found in Jesus Christ at His coming for His Church that could come very soon. I pray if you need prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear then email me at email@example.com . Or visit me online for more biblical messages to help strengthen your faith in the times we live in at www.pastormiketaylor.blogspot.com , God bless you all, TILL WE MEET AT JESUS FEET
Is Psalm 83 a Possible Key to Ezekiel 38:8? - By Dave Hubley - https://www.raptureready.com/2022/03/16/is-psalm-83-a-possible-key-to-ezekiel-388-by-dave-hubley/
In the past few weeks, there has been a considerable uptick in interest/speculation, etc., about the Gog/Magog invasion of Israel spoken of in Ezekiel Chapter 38 and 39. Given recent activities, it is no surprise.
I have been a student of Bible prophecy for over two and a half decades, and in that time, I have read much in the way of different interpretations of the “when,” not “if” about these verses.
While I am in the camp of those who believe this invasion will not happen prior to the Rapture, this article will deal with a rather intriguing verse dwelling in the midst of Ezekiel 38. That is to say, verse 8.
Ezekiel 38:7-9 “Get ready; prepare yourself, you and all your company gathered around you; you will be their guard. 8 After a long time you will be summoned. In the latter years you will enter a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and all now dwell securely. 9 You and all your troops, and many peoples with you will go up, advancing like a thunderstorm; you will be like a cloud covering the land.”
I think it is clear that Israel has not been “dwelling securely” since the time of the height of Solomon’s kingdom. Neither has Israel ever fully recovered from war. In fact, they must be constantly preparing for that very reality. If you were to travel there today, you could not help but notice that the Israelis are ever on a war footing. In worldly terms, Israel is under a constant existential threat.
Every day, every night, every minute. Even since the rebirth of the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, there has been no respite.
Since the time of Solomon, the warning the Lord gave to the Hebrew peoples in Deuteronomy 28:64-67 has continued unabated, with varying intensity, depending on world conditions.
“Moreover, the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth; and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone, which you or your fathers have not known. Among those nations you shall find no rest, and there will be no resting place for the sole of your foot; but there the LORD will give you a trembling heart, failing of eyes, and despair of soul.
“So your life shall hang in doubt before you; and you will be in dread night and day, and shall have no assurance of your life. In the morning you shall say, ‘Would that it were evening!’ And at evening you shall say, ‘Would that it were morning!’ because of the dread of your heart which you dread, and for the sight of your eyes which you will see.”
The Lord indeed has, and is still, bringing about all that He promised due to the intransigence of His people.
It should be carefully noted here that while this discussion relates to the Jews, by no means would ANY OTHER PEOPLE have behaved any differently or any “better.”
Now let us examine verse 8 of Ezekiel 38 as it may be seen in light of Psalm 83: verses 1-8.
Psalm 83:1-8 “O God, be not silent; be not speechless; be not still, O God. See how Your enemies rage, how Your foes have reared their heads. With cunning they scheme against Your people and conspire against those You cherish, saying, ‘Come, let us erase them as a nation; may the name of Israel be remembered no more.’ For with one mind they plot together, they form an alliance against You—the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites, of Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek, of Philistia with the people of Tyre. Even Assyria has joined them, lending strength to the sons of Lot.”
There are many who believe that this imprecatory prayer is simply that. But there are many who believe that this is a war yet future.
It is from the position that it is an actual future war that this author will seek to pose a consideration that makes some sense of verse 8 in Ezekiel’s prophecy.
The “nations” specifically mentioned in verses 6 and 7 above are, for the most part, immediately surrounding the modern-day state of Israel. While the names have changed, the various origins, ethnic groups, etc., that comprise the countries that are Israel’s modern-day neighbors still exist today, along with the mindset that has always been present throughout history. In the hearts of the leaders of these countries (not every citizen), there is a burning hatred for the Jews, and the conditions described in verses 2-5 above are alive and active. Nothing has changed. Politically, things may occasionally seem peaceful, but nothing has really changed.
If – and I emphasize IF – a war was to break out between the Psalm 83 nations and Israel, and Israel was to achieve a complete victory with the perception that they “did it by their own power, technology, and skill,” and they were to annex these lands and feel that they (Israel) were “invincible,” would it be possible that they might feel that they would finally be secure? That they might drop their guard?
This precedent has existed before. After the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel became complacent, even overconfident, and was almost overrun in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War. They had dropped their guard. Their enemies pounced, and they were in serious trouble at the beginning of the war.
I spoke with an IDF soldier when I visited Israel back in 2012, and he said that they (the IDF and the Israeli people) were tired of the constant daily pressure and threats of annihilation. “We just want peace,” he said. I believe him. I can see where they would almost accept peace without careful examination of the conditions around them and even fail to consider the prophecies present in their own Old Testament scriptures.
I would suggest that this condition, were Psalm 83 to become a reality, would be one of the only situations that could explain this seemingly mysterious verse (38:8) residing in Ezekiel’s prophecy.
It also might explain why the countries listed as the allies of Magog in the Ezekiel prophecies do not appear to include any of the countries that immediately surround Israel at present.
It might also offer an explanation for one other prophecy that I have pondered over the years.
Isaiah 17:1 and 14) “1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap…. 14And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us.”
This prophecy appears to indicate that the destruction of Damascus will occur in a single night.
Could this prophecy be encased in a real Psalm 83 war as a result of Syria (or Iran through Syria) employing chemical or biological weapons? Could Israel annex all of Syria, resulting in the loss of the warm water ports that Russia has invested so heavily in, as well as massive Russian casualties? Could this, along with Israel’s vast, newly discovered resources, constitute the “hook” of Ezekiel 38:4?
I have wondered about these things for many years. In the closing chapter of the book of Daniel (12:4), we read: “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”
This can mean both general, technological knowledge (which is certainly true today), but as with many prophecies in God’s Word, it can have a dual meaning. That is to say, it can also indicate a more complete understanding of hitherto unclear prophecies like a lifting fog. I suspect that we will soon see.
A word of caution: We can speculate and wonder about these prophesies, but we must always remember: God is the final arbiter of prophecy fulfillment. It is His signature.
Isaiah 46:9-10: “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure.'”
A parting plea: For anyone who may read this article who has not come to salvation in Jesus Christ, I offer this plea in hopes that you have come looking for answers to the blitzkrieg of uncertainty regarding everyday life that surrounds us all in this period that is the end of the end of days.
You can be saved from the consequences of ignoring God and denying that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life by coming to Him under His terms.
And what are His terms according to His Word?
Confession of sins
Belief that Jesus Christ paid your death sentence for you on the cross
To acknowledge that you are unable to pay that debt
To believe that Jesus is the Way, the only Way, that God has established by which humans may be saved from the consequences of their sin and rebellion
If you do this and you genuinely mean it, you will receive the free gift of eternal life guaranteed by God’s own Word.
John 5:24: “Truly, Truly, I say to you that he who hears my words and believes the One who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned. He has crossed from death to life.”
Pro Salvator Vigilans
To contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Siege And Squeeze: The Mainstream Media In The West Doesn’t Understand Russian Military Tactics In Ukraine - by Michael Snyder - http://endoftheamericandream.com/siege-and-squeeze-the-mainstream-media-in-the-west-doesnt-understand-russian-military-tactics-in-ukraine/
The Russians are employing the exact same tactics that we witnessed in Syria and during the two Chechen wars, but the mainstream media doesn’t seem to understand this. Up to this point, the mainstream media has used the fact that many major Ukrainian cities have not yet fallen as evidence that the war is not going too well for Russia. But the truth is that the Russians did not intend to recklessly send their forces into dense urban areas immediately. That is something that western military leaders do way too often, and it is a way to get thousands of troops needlessly gunned down. Instead, the Russians are encircling the largest Ukrainian cities. A perimeter is established which cuts off all food and supplies, and then the circle is slowly but surely squeezed tighter as the “cauldron” is relentlessly pummeled by Russian firepower.
It is essentially ancient siege warfare adapted for modern times, and the Russians have previously used such tactics with devastating effectiveness…
The siege is a military tactic popularized in medieval times and designed to crush a population through starvation and violence, allowing an attacking force to spare its own soldiers the cost of entering a hostile city. Instead, civilians are the ones left to die, slowly and painfully.
Putin has refined the tactic during his years in power, first in the Chechen city of Grozny in 2000 and then in the Syrian city of Aleppo in 2016.
By the time those two sieges were over, Grozny and Aleppo were both totally leveled.
Now “siege and squeeze” is being employed against a number of the largest Ukrainian cities simultaneously, and that includes the capital of Kiev…
As the number of people driven from the country by war eclipsed 3 million, large explosions thundered across Kyiv before dawn from what Ukrainian authorities said were artillery strikes, as Russia’s assault on the capital appeared to become more systematic and edged toward the city center.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said barrages hit four multi-story buildings in the city, killing dozens of people. The shelling ignited a huge fire in a 15-story apartment building and spurred a frantic rescue effort.
The good news for the Ukrainians is that Kiev has not been entirely encircled just yet.
But the situation is much more dire in Ukraine’s second-largest city…
In Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, time is elastic. It’s close to the border with Russia and the nightly shelling from Russian artillery and warplanes gives no rest. The past two weeks have seemed like an eternity, yet peace can be remembered as if it were yesterday.
In a frozen landscape on the city’s north-eastern edge, 21-year-old Lieutenant Yevgen Gromadsky stands with hands outstretched. There are trenches dug in nearby. “Outgoing,” he says, lifting his right hand to accompany the thump of fire from his positions. “Incoming,” he says, and his left hand ticks up. With a crump, Russian shells are fired from their positions 900m away across snow-covered fields.
Let us pray for peace in Ukraine, because countless more people are going to die in the weeks and months to come if this conflict drags on.
Perhaps the best example of “siege and squeeze” right now is the southern city of Mariupol…
Russian forces have successfully encircled Mariupol and are conducting daily assaults on the western and eastern outskirts of the city. Russian air, missile, and artillery strikes continue to target residential areas and civilian infrastructure to force the city to capitulate. Russian forces have encircled the city to a depth that will likely prevent the defenders from breaking out and prevent Ukrainian efforts to relieve the defenders. Russian forces will likely be able to capture Mariupol or force it to capitulate despite strong Ukrainian defenses. The Russian capture of Mariupol will free up Russian forces, likely including large portions of the 8th Combined Arms Army, to threaten Ukrainian defenders along the line of contact in Donbas with encirclement or alternatively reinforce a Russian offensive toward Mykolayiv and Odesa. This assessment assumes that the defenders in Mariupol will run out of ammunition and/or water at some point in the relatively near future.
I think that the Russians feel a particular sense of urgency to “finish the job” in Mariupol because of the Azov Battalion and other forces that are based there.
If you have been following the situation in Ukraine for an extended period of time, then you know exactly what I am talking about.
If the Russians are planning to agree to a ceasefire in the not too distant future, it is likely that they would like to wipe out the Azov Battalion and their allies before that happens.
And right now Mariupol is being pounded like no other major city in the entire country…
Each airstrike and shell that relentlessly pounds Mariupol — about one a minute at times — drives home the curse of a geography that has put the city squarely in the path of Russia’s domination of Ukraine. This southern seaport of 430,000 has become a symbol of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s drive to crush democratic Ukraine — but also of a fierce resistance on the ground.
In the nearly three weeks since Russia’s war began, two Associated Press journalists have been the only international media present in Mariupol, chronicling its fall into chaos and despair. The city is now encircled by Russian soldiers, who are slowly squeezing the life out of it, one blast at a time.
The Russians said that one of their goals was to “demilitarize” Ukraine, but way too many civilians are dying.
Millions upon millions of Ukrainians are deeply suffering because of a war that the politicians started, and that isn’t right.
And ultimately this conflict in Ukraine could spark a much broader war between the western powers and Russia.
If that happens, it would be way too easy for things to “go nuclear”. In fact, even the Secretary General of the United Nations is warning that nuclear war is “now back within the realm of possibility”…
U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said Monday that the prospect of nuclear conflict is “now back within the realm of possibility” after Russian President Vladimir Putin raised the alert levels of the country’s nuclear forces last month.
In remarks to reporters, Guterres called Putin’s move a “bone-chilling development” and said further escalation of the war in Ukraine would threaten all of humanity. “It’s time to stop the horror unleashed on the people of Ukraine and get on the path of diplomacy and peace,” he said.
Stopping a nuclear war is in all of our interests, because a nuclear war would mean the end of civilization as we know it.
But instead of pursuing peace, leaders on both sides just continue to escalate matters.
This didn’t have to happen.
Politicians on both sides should have been able to sit down and find a diplomatic way out of this mess.
But now war is here, and nothing will ever be the same again.
Where Do You Walk? - Nathele Grahams - email@example.com
Without light there is darkness. I know, that’s a no brainer. But I’m not sure we can understand just how dark the world was at first. On dark nights, we still have light. The moon reflects the sunlight and stars twinkle. There was no light until God created it. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” Genesis 1:1-3. By just speaking, God created light. We know from other verses that the one who created light was Jesus Christ. The Apostle John wrote about it in his Gospel. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:1-5. The light of the sun is necessary for things to grow, and to illuminate our way and allow us to see clearly. The sun’s reflection also lights up the night because the moon reflects sunlight. This is a picture of the more important Light…the Light of the Son. The true Light of Jesus is in us, and if we allow it to shine, people around us will be illuminated by His light. Without Jesus we will stumble around in the darkness of sin. Satan is the cause of the darkness.
As Christians allow ourselves to be silenced and water down Scripture, the world is becoming darker. Sin seems to be winning, but if you’ve studied Scripture, you know that Jesus wins in the end. You’ll also know that this darkness and dumbing-down of Scripture was predicted in Scriptures and is a sign that we’re approaching the end of time. In His second letter to the young pastor, Timothy, Paul was concerned about this. “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:1-4. I see this strong with many pastors today. Pure Scripture is seldom taught, but the failure of pastors shouldn’t stop you from studying God’s word. We all have choices, and too many Christians choose to fill their time with secular movies, music, and reading, rather than studying Scripture. What you choose to do with your time will fill you with the Light of God, or with the darkness of Satan. This isn’t something I’ve made up, but Jesus said it. He’s the authority. “The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light: but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.” Luke 11:34-36. Is the light in you darkness? Does anger rule your thoughts? Does lying come from your lips? That’s darkness, and isn’t of God. It’s important for Christians to turn from sin. Instead of watching movies that honor the darkness of sin, pick up your Bible and study. Let your eyes read God’s word and fill your mind with the things of God. There are many temptations in our world today…much darkness. That doesn’t mean we have to partake of that evil.
The prophet Daniel was young when he was taken captive to Babylon. It doesn’t take much looking to find out how evil and sin-filled Babylon was. Daniel made a choice. He had his feet firmly planted in God’s law, and nothing would turn him away from serving God. Not even the threat of being thrown into a den of hungry lions. A decree had been issued stating “…that whosoever shall ask a petition of any God or man for thirty days, save of thee, O king, he shall be cast into the den of lions.” Daniel 6:7b. The men who followed darkness kept an eye on Daniel, because they knew he wouldn’t bow before any false god nor any man. Daniel didn’t disappoint them. He continued his habit of openly praying to the one true God. Although Daniel lived hundreds of years before Jesus, he served the God of light, not of darkness. He is an example to us. He did get thrown into the den of hungry lions. Everyone knew that Daniel worshiped the God of Abraham, Jacob, and Isaac, and the decree was meant for evil against him. Even King Darius knew of Daniel’s faith. Just before casting Daniel into the den, he said “…Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee.” Daniel 6:16b. And God did deliver Daniel. Do you bow to evil decrees? Do the people around you know that you serve God Almighty? What light shines in you? If you serve Jesus, then let His light shine for all to see. Don’t let the light within you be darkness.
As Christians, we have accepted Christ for salvation. Therefore, we need to follow Him. “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” John 8:12. If you choose to walk in darkness, then you probably need to question if you’ve truly given your life to Christ. You cannot belong to Christ but continue to walk with one foot in the world. It’s easy to go astray when you walk in darkness. “But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.” John 11:10. Jesus said that so we know it’s true. The things of darkness can easily become a habit. Jesus had many confrontations with the Pharisees. One such confrontation happened when the Pharisees had challenged Him about not following tradition. Jesus and His disciples didn’t wash their hands to the liking of the Pharisees tradition. Keep in mind that “church tradition” seldom has anything to do with God’s ways. The Pharisees chose to walk in darkness, and refused to come to Jesus and follow Him in light. After the confrontation, the disciples asked Jesus to explain. “And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” Mark 7:20-23. Those who do such things are walking in darkness, and haven’t come into the light of the Lord. Are you walking in the light of Christ, or are you stumbling in the darkness of sin?
It's our faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that brings salvation. That faith comes when we realize we are sinners and walking on the path that leads to Hell. Darkness covers that path and we stumble and get hurt when walking in that dark way of life. Too often when we get hurt on that path of destruction, we blame God. “If God is so good, why did He allow me to get AIDS?” or “Why did God allow my marriage to end just because I had an affair?” A better question is, why are you walking the path of darkness? Jesus died so our sins can be forgiven and we can live eternally with Him in Heaven. Instead of living a life that follows the path of the darkness of evil thoughts, adultery, fornication, murders, and the other evils Jesus mentioned, turn your life over to Him. If His light shines in you, those sinful ways will be outshone by the light of God. We all have a choice as to whether we stumble in darkness or walk in the light of Christ. Sometimes we might wander into darkness even if we’ve given our life to Christ. That failure can sometimes make us believe we’ve lost salvation or aren’t really saved. The thing to do is confess your sin and return to the light. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. It’s easy to stumble back to the dark path of sin if we continue to be in fellowship with those who haven’t found the light. “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” 2 Corinthians 6:14-15. The name “Belial” is another name for Satan and means “worthless or wicked”. We are in the world and have dealings with non-believers. The light of Christ within us should outshine the darkness in the world. Until a non-believer gives their life to Christ, we aren’t to be best friends with them. The darkness that shines in them, may overtake the light that shines in you, and before you know it, you’re walking in darkness.
So, ask yourself “Where do I walk? Am I walking in the light of Christ, or am I walking in the darkness of the world?” No matter what your answer is to that question, study Scripture and apply it to your life. That will keep you walking in the light and away from darkness.
God bless you all,
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All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed.
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Daily Jot: Perilous times indeed - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
Much of what is carried by the news media about the Russian invasion of Ukraine is propaganda controlled by either side, or by the military industrial complex and their puppets who sadistically want war for profit. The rhetoric spewed from the mouths of leaders is far more telling about the perilous times in which we live. Russian President Vladimir Putin has hinted at the use of nuclear weapons. Reuters reports that former Russian President and now Russia’s Security Council Deputy Secretary Dmitry Medvedev said the US has stoked “disgusting” Russophobia and that “Russia has the might to put all our brash enemies in their place.” This is very similar to how the Soviets ran their mouths during the Cold War.
MEMRI TV carried a January 14 interview of Russian Duma member Yevgeny Alexeyvich Fyodorov saying that the US thinks Putin is bluffing when he makes tough statements. He said, “Until there is a physical demonstration of (Moscow’s) determination, America will perceive the positions of Russia and (Putin) as a bluff. So they need a demonstration. The most convincing demonstration would be the physical destruction of America’s defense Department facilities…we could demonstratively strike the test range in Nevada with a ballistic missile…If we create risks for US territory, say, a risk of 10,000 casualties, from a strike of even a weak missile, then the US will perceive this as a threat of 10 million casualties.” He said there would be no retaliation strike because of America’s weak mentality.
Putin further said during a televised video conference that he will conduct a cleansing of Russian enemies within the country. He said, “Any people, and particularly the Russian people, will always be able to tell apart the patriots from the scum and traitors and spit them out like a midge that accidentally flew into their mouths. I am convinced that this natural and necessary self-cleansing of society will only strengthen our country, our solidarity, cohesion and readiness to meet any challenge.” The words of Russia’s leadership are chilling reminders of Soviet-era communists, when communism was responsible for the deaths of over 100 million people during the 20th Century. They have an appetite for death.
Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy Wednesday appealed to the US Congress for more aid to fight off the Russians who he labeled terrorists. He said, “This is a terror that Europe has not seen, has not seen for 80 years and we are asking for a reply, for an answer to this terror from the whole world.” He received a standing ovation and a commitment from Joe Biden to send $14 billion to Ukraine in aid and arms, calling Putin a “war criminal.” Given the rhetoric of the leaders and the aggression of Soviet era communists, escalation of this war is unfortunately inevitable. People will push for more American involvement and US leadership is not equipped to navigate these rough seas. 2 Timothy 3:1 says, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” Indeed, Pray and fast for peace. Evil minions are working hard toward destruction.
Daily Devotion: Curse or Blessing? - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! —Deuteronomy 30:19
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/cure-or-blessing/ - Listen
After God gave Moses a special blessing for the priests to pronounce over the children of Israel, He said, “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them” (Numbers 6:27 NKJV).
The Lord was effectively saying to the spiritual leaders, “You have spiritual oversight. I want you to pronounce this blessing on the people, and I’m going to live up to it in their lives. In other words, don’t make excuses for Me. Don’t be afraid that I won’t back it up. You tell them I will bless them, I will keep them, I will make My face shine upon them, and I will give them peace. I want you to tell them this again and again.”
If you’re a believer, you can have the assurance that wherever you are, God is smiling on you. He’s gracious and attentive to you. He wants to give you His peace.
But this promise is only for the child of God. The blessings of the Bible are only for those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus was cursed so that we could be blessed. He died so that we could live. And He was forsaken so we could be forgiven.
The Bible says, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’)” (Galatians 3:13 NKJV).
The choice is yours. Do you want to face the curse of your sin? Or, do you want the blessing of God in your life? God says, “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. . . . Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” (Deuteronomy 30:19 NLT).
God has made it clear. He wants to bless you. He wants to come into your life.
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