The End Times - Biblical & Contemporary

PROPHETIC, Biblical, Contemporary, hatikvah1.org

'HATIKVAH'  MAGAZINE:          2012  EDITIONS

NB.  2013 edition in due course...we have moved - a major event - so are behind on the website, amongst other things! 

 

HA TIKVAH  -  THE  HOPE

HOSEA 2v14-15                                   UNITED WATCHMEN                                   ROMANS 8v24-25                            ISSUE No. 121

‘O God our Saviour,   the hope   of all the ends of the earth’ (Psalm 65:5)          ‘Christ in you   the hope   of glory!’   (Colossians 1v27)   

 THE    HARRINGTON’S    TEACHING   NEWS   &

PRAYER PAMPHLET  2012  SUMMER/AUTUMN

<><  <>< <><  <>< <><  <><  <><  <><  <><  <><  <><  <><  <><<><  <><  <><  <>< <><  <><  

This pamphlet is distributed in our local area, other parts of the nation, abroad. & our website.

 Have you changed address, phone  or email address? Please let us know 

                  <>< <>< <><  <><  <><  <><  <><  <><  <><  <><  <><  <><  <>< <>< <>< <><  <><  <><  <><  

THEME:   IDOLATRY

 1. FAMILY NEWS

2. ELIJAH’S ALTAR

3. A MESSAGE FROM HEAVEN

4. PRAY THE WORD (2)

5. IN THE SPIRIT AND POWER OF ELIJAH

6. HUMAN TRAFFICKING & OLYMPIC GAMES

7. ONLINE PETITION

8. FURTHER GOG/MAGOG CONSIDERATIONS

9. I HAVE A DREAM                   

                                         This teaching pamphlet is published by Hatikvah publications:

Email: hatikvah@hotmail.co.uk

Website: http://www.hatikvah1.org

 

 1. Family News.   

My family and I recently met up together abroad. Cyprus& Israel trip:  Cyprus: Very interesting that theclosest church in spirit to the Cypriot fellowship at which I preach, and which we attend, has a new leader and he shares our vision for Israel, and havens in Cyprus. The Lord has done what seemed the impossible in bringing this ‘replacement theology’ church onboard - hallelujah!

In Cyprus, we know a family staying there who are asylum seekers from Egypt. They have just discovered they are Jewish through the wife's great grandmother, and so have now applied to make 'Aliyah' to Israel....the application is being viewed with favour! I was also able to encourage local church leaders  to ‘stand together’ into the future.

Israel: The trip to Israel proved significant. Having been several times before, we went this time to support a friend, working for a season with a church there, and also to allow the Lord to bring us into ministry situations. We met the leaders of her messianic church at the Shabbat meal and at the Shabbat service the next day. We visited a Women’s Refuge and the children who are cared for. We also stayed with an Arab believers’ family at his house just down the road.

We joined a party visiting the site of Elijah’s confrontation with the false prophets of Baal (see following article). We visited the port of Haifa (and its beaches!) and Haifa Zoo, taking others with us. We had a meal and fellowship with another worker in Israel whom we know well, and prayed together. We shared in the team meeting at the local church, and then drove to Jerusalem and then to the great concrete security wall and towers, bordering Bethlehem, where we had to leave the car. We progressed through the security wall and were picked up by a friend. First we met an Arab pastor and then other leaders. Friends joined us on an expedition to Tiberias and the Sea of Galilee, where we swam, and took a boat out on the water. Whilst on the water, we read aloud the scriptures: Matthew chapters 5 6 & 7, since we were in view of the Mount of Beatitudes! On our last day we visited Tel Aviv, and loved the marina there and the beautiful beaches. We have returned confident in the ministries  with which we are linked.

 

2. Elijah’s altar    (The Altar of the God of Israel)

On our recent trip to Israel, remember, we went with a group to the place where Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal is commemorated. It is one of the highest points on the Mount Carmel range, and we climbed to the top of the viewpoint there to see the whole Jezreel valley set out before us, some 30 miles of rolling plains, North to South. This is the place where the battle of Armageddon will be fought...the final battle. We learned from one of the leaders, a bible teacher, some facts about the confrontation which I noted and explored, and want to share with you as important.

This gripping biblical account is found from 1 Kings 16v29-33 & 17v1; 1 Kings 18v1-2 & 16-20; and 1 Kings 18v21-46. Try reading it through first. First the background: (1 Kings 16v29-33 & 17v1)...the altars of the true God of Israel, where the people came to get their needs met, had been neglected and abandoned. (Psalm 66v13-15 describes how the people used to come with their offerings to God’s temple (or altars in Israel) to make sacrifice and to fulfil their vows, and have their needs met).

King Ahab had married a foreign queen who had brought into the land with her foreign ‘gods’ and foreign priests and prophets for her religion. Baal worship and the worship of the goddess Asherah had swamped the true religion of Israel...the worship of Jehovah (Yahweh). God was not pleased at the way Ahab had turned from Him to false gods and false religion, because the people were prostrating themselves to a demonic deception, and also that their true needs were not being met. The altars of God were established in the land so that people could travel up to an altar and meet with God....to do business with Him through sacrifice and resulting answered prayer. They only went up when their needs were not being met through their family, community or nation. They went when they knew they needed a miracle! So, as King Ahab had turned from God and set up a new national religion, God sent His true prophet to confront Ahab by sending a drought on the land with its resulting economic disaster for Israel. God knows how to get our attention!

Secondly, the challenge: (1 Kings 18v1-2; 16-20)....After over 3 years, Ahab and the nation are desperate. Elijah explains in no uncertain terms that Ahab’s actions have brought disaster on the nation. He challenges Ahab to gather the rulers, priests, prophets and the people to meet him on Mount Carmel. They would know that this was in order to do business!

Thirdly, the demonstration: (1 Kings 18v21-46)....Elijah begins by challenging the people as to whom they will serve. He then proceeds to teach the people and the rulers, false prophets etc., just who is God over Israel, by a great demonstration of His power. In v21-29 Elijah sets up the demonstration....the prophets of Baal use their altar to call upon Baal (the god of fire) to set fire to their sacrifice, but to no avail. Now (v30-36) Elijah calmly repairs the neglected altar to God, at the time of evening sacrifice. Note that Elijah is prepared to sacrifice his own life, not just the bull now on the altar which has been drenched from the local springs on Carmel. He knows that if God doesn’t turn up, the onlookers will kill him!

From now (v37-46) Elijah is concerned for the Lord’s name and that the people would repent and turn again to the true God of Israel. The fire fell and the people cried, ‘The Lord, He IS God!’ The false prophets suffered judgment on their own lives and the rain began to fall on Israel again, as the people, rulers, priests and false prophets witnessed who was the true God of Israel. A national revival came forth from this which lasted generations, with schools of true prophets being set up in the time of Elijah’s successor.

Now, how does this apply to us?  God has not changed. He required a living sacrifice from His only Son, to gain salvation for mankind. Elijah risked his own life to gain a national revival. We are to be ‘living sacrifices’ to God (Romans 12v1), presenting acceptable offerings to Him.

We offer our praise and worship, but also there are times when God requires of us a costly sacrifice. Certainly in my own life there have been milestones when God has spoken to me, and gently asked of me something where I had to die to myself. Sacrifice is the precursor to blessing! When that grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it then brings forth! God is our Father, and loves to answer our prayers and meet our needs – but He also wants us to mature in our faith, and in dying to ourselves, and in living for Him.

How better than to set up a situation where no-one else can meet the need, no family, friends, church, community or nation? So God will allow such times in each of our lives. Will you approach Him on such an occasion with just your request, or will you bring something which costs you to His altar? It may be a promise to help someone, it may be financial, it may be a commitment before God, and it may be something else. Next time you are in real need, why not ask Holy Spirit whether God requires of you an offering before your needs are met. He may not, but this approach honours Him and shows Him great respect, so that we do not approach Him with a light-hearted snap of the fingers when we want something. As the hymn puts it....’all on the altar we lay’. Maybe you could pray this through?

 

3. A Message from Heaven

Following on from the previous article, doing the rounds is an audio of ‘Maggie L’ sharing her experience of dying, going to heaven, experiencing wonderful things, and receiving a message from the Lord Jesus Christ to share with His Church. It is a very powerful message and not what you might expect! What she experienced of heaven was wonderful, and I will not summarise that – writing about it would simply not do it justice. I would strongly urge you to listen to this short audio by typing the link below into your computer address bar (at the top of the page when on the internet.)

www.clangathering.org.uk/media/CLANLothians_MaggieL.mp3

A brief summary: Maggie had a drowning experience similar to that found in Jonah chapter 2... worth a read. Note Jonah 2v8 ‘Those who worship idols forfeit the grace that would be theirs.’ During her amazing experience of heaven, she was given a message / revelation that she (as with so many in the Church) had an idol in her heart. In her case it was food. She then said, ‘Anything that has a higher priority than God in our hearts is an idol. Anything that we give our time or money to which is not of God is an idol. Food is not bad in itself, it is a gift, but it had become an idol.

Jesus said that she had stopped believing that, ‘My grace is sufficient to deliver you from this, to break this habit. The Lord then revealed to her the root of the habit...to do with hospitalisation as a child, and the soothing that food brought....comfort eating. This was real truth to her. He explained that He wanted to be her comforter, and was going to clean her body of all the food that had spoilt it.

Then Jesus explained that there was idolatry in His Church...a host of idols badly affecting the people of God.  The current homosexuality issue, for example, was but one amongst many. The Lord revealed compassion for those with a homosexual orientation...a wave of love, not judgment. Then there was the issue of pornography in the Church....leaders, pastors teachers....at every level of the Church, where erotic love enticed but never delivered. Then there was materialism: possessions, shopping, ownership. If God were to ask you to give something up, what would hurt the most? 

The Lord spoke of other areas of idolatry in His Church, such as spiritual pride, love of gossip, slander, self promotion, lovers of selves...entrenched in our hearts but we are not aware of it!

Idols are what we live for, what we lie awake at night and think of, what we spend our time, money and energy on. In society, changes in the law cannot deal with these issues. Individual rights have become paramount. Maggie didn’t hear condemnation or judgement in Jesus’ words about the Church and the nation...just love, and compassion. The Father’s hand is poised over this nation, waiting to heal it and pour out His measureless love. He is waiting for His Church to repent and turn away from the idols which have wormed their way into our lives. His grace and love is for His people and for the lost.

The Church’s call is to share the Gospel but she is distracted from this by all of these things. The people of this nation do not know their right hand from their left, what is right and what is wrong. The Church has forfeited the grace available to her (Jonah 2v8). However, the famous verses below are still true: (2 Chronicles 7v14-15): 14 ‘If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.’

We pray and plead with God to do something, for His hand to move, but He wants intimacy with us, for us to seek His face. He wants His Church back, pure and clean. Jesus charged Maggie to tell the Church to cast down their idols and then He would hear their prayers and heal this land. For the full transcript of the message:  http://www.prayforscotland.org.uk/?p=1434   (or just copy & google it)

 

4. Pray the word (2)

Following on from part (1) in the last edition, the principle of a promise of God stands for all eternity….1 Peter 1v25..’The word of the Lord stands forever.’ Because God is eternal, His word endures forever, and so His promise stands for every generation, and can be claimed in every generation. Where God has made a promise, you can bring that promise in His word before His throne and ask Him to fulfill that promise in your life, or the lives of others. ‘I am the Lord who heals you’, ‘By His stripes we are healed’, ‘I am your Provider’, ‘Give and it shall be given to you’, ‘He is our wisdom’, are some examples.

God spoke, and it came to be (Gen.1v3). God’s word is powerful and creative. Jesus is designated as being the Word of God: John 1v1: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’ John 1v14: ‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.’  Rev 19v13: ‘He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.’  When we pray, being led of the Spirit, we will use the word of God, the scriptures, to back up our prayers. Jesus, the Word of God, will be infused in this process! The promises of God in His word are very many…and often can be applied to a situation in prayer with accuracy and relevance. The sword of the Spirit is the word of God (Eph.6v17) and is to be wielded in prayer.

As the Spirit leads us, we can plead with God in our intercessions on the basis of what He has said in His word. It really helps to be familiar with the bible! Reading it through regularly year by year, memorizing scripture, and studying it will all strengthen us to pray effectively. If we have taken the trouble to get to know the scriptures, then Holy Spirit can bring back to mind what we have read or studied or memorized in the past, and apply it to the present situation in prayer. Let the word – not your words – do its work. Pray the word.

Similarly, we need to speak the word when in daily life and situations arise. Luke 7v7: ‘Say the word and my servant will be healed.’ We can speak God’s truth into, and claim His promise in the situation. Finally, write the word.  This publication, for example, often uses the words of scripture to back up the comments made in articles. When we do such things, we are acting as sons of God, following in the way of Jesus. Amen!

 

5. In the spirit and power of Elijah.

Elijah was ‘taken up’ to God by a whirlwind and in a chariot and horses of fire (2 Kings 2v1-11). ‘Enoch walked with God and then was no more, because God took him away.’ (Gen 5v22-24). ‘He did not see death’ (Heb 11v5). These two men are the only two in Scripture who clearly did not die in the normal sense, but were taken up to God somewhat mysteriously, and definitely supernaturally. Some suggest that they will be the two ‘witnesses’ of the book of Revelation (ch.11v3). That be as it may, I have been arrested by the phrase, ‘in the spirit and power of Elijah’, found in Luke 1v17.

1. An instance of the power of God’s Spirit being somehow connected to this figure, Elijah, was when he called down fire from heaven to burn the sacrifice, to reveal to all who the true God of heaven was…the God of Elijah. He had a powerful spirit-led ministry as a prophet of God in his day. He called many to repent and be restored to God, including kings.

2. An angel of the Lord spoke to Zacharias about the son he was to have - John the Baptist, thereby linking John’s ministry to that of Elijah:

(Luke 1v17) ‘…And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous--to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." 

As we know, John did indeed prepare the way for the Lord Jesus by calling people to repent and return to the Lord God and to His ways. There was a spiritual restoration in people’s lives which led to changes in practice, honouring God and others.Yet not without price for John, who was beheaded, and for the most part unrecognized for who he was.

3. Later, after John’s ministry, at Jesus’ transfiguration, Moses and Elijah appeared on the mountain top with him. Peter and John witnessed this, and evidently asked about Elijah. They, as practicing Jews, would know of the ‘seat of Elijah’ traditionally kept vacant at the Passover meal in readiness for his return. Matthew 17:11-12: Jesus replied, "To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands." 

 

So, Jesus himself acknowledged that John came and ministered in the spirit and power of Elijah. Yet he also spoke of a future time when ‘Elijah’, that is someone operating in that anointing, as with John the Baptist, would come and restore all things. What does this mean? Well, restoring things in the true power of God, for a start. Let’s look at the operation of prophecy for a moment.

When God releases a prophetic word in the Scriptures, it often had a fairly immediate fulfillment, yet also had a further fulfillment some time later, and even a prophetic sense of a fulfillment still yet to come at the End Times. I believe this is such an example…of a prophetic anointing which operated immediately, on Elijah, and later on, through John the Baptist, but is yet to be fulfilled to completion at the End Times.

The amplified version of Matthew 17v11 says that Elijah ‘will get everything ready’. In the same way that John was not recognized in his role, nor Jesus for that matter, it may be that the restoration Jesus speaks of will be through those not recognized…just normal people of the Church, sharing, preaching, caring and calling people to God….God’s ‘kingdom of priests’ (Rev.5v10). The difference to normal would be that the spirit operating in Elijah was anointing them in an unusual way, too! Up till now, we do not see that degree of power operating. Also that same spirit would be working in the two witnesses of Revelation…be they actual people, say Enoch and Elijah, or the Gentile Church and the Messianic Community of Jewish believers, as some suggest, c.f. the two olive trees (note: ‘sons of fresh oil’) and the two lamp stands. Of course this spirit would be the Holy Spirit, anointing people for the task.

4. Revelation 11 speaks of the two witnesses, with the power to prophesy God’s ‘now’ word to the nations, calling the people to repent and get right with God, and the power to demonstrate by whose authority they were operating.

5. What does the phrase Jesus used: ‘will restore all things’ mean, though? Certainly we see that those operating in the spirit and power of Elijah will be calling people to repentance, and demonstrating the power of the Kingdom. We also know that the ultimate restoration of all things will be at the end of the age when Jesus returns, and in due time takes His Bride, His beloved Church, to be with Him in heaven…be that on a renewed earth (and the New Jerusalem), or above, according to your theological view!

         Does it mean that nations and kingdoms will be restored so as to be completely Christian? Does it mean that we can do nothing to bring restoration until the spirit of power given to Elijah moves on the two witnesses?  Malachi 4v5, and Mal 3v1-4, v7 may give us some clues. Malachi 4v5: "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes.’’   The last prophet and the last book of the Old Testament speaks from God regarding the End Days….the ‘Day of the Lord’. Malachi 3v1-4: "See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the Lord Almighty.  But who can endure the day of his coming?  Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire or a launderer's soap.  He will sit  as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord as in days gone by, as in former years. 

Malachi 3v7: Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says the Lord Almighty." But you ask, 'How are we to return?' 

So, we have a ministry calling people to repentance, showing them how to get right with God. John the Baptist began this, and the Church worldwide has continued this. Marry this with Luke 1v17: ‘…And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous--to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." 

                       John the Baptist fulfilled his part of this calling, and the Church continues to fulfill this. Through the Church, many families are being restored, and many people are being restored to their heavenly father, knowing Him as Father. So, we have a ministry of power, challenge and non-compromise, yet also of mercy and grace to restore those willing. We can anticipate the restoration for many, of relationship with God, and with others, and the hope of unity and healing, leading to the final completion of salvation of true believers, and the final judgment of the wicked.

As with so many areas of Biblical teaching, it is not an either/or situation, but a matter of balance of scripture. One wing of the Church looks askance at the ‘restoration churches’ believing them to be sometimes presumptuous, and even arrogant.  Equally, there are those in the restoration movement who look down on the conservative wing of the church which is realistic in its approach to the state of the nations, yet which can sometimes be bound by fear or a sense of inability. The following verse allows for repair and restoration of society….a vision held by and acted upon by Lord Shaftesbury, William Wilberforce, etc.  

Isaiah 58v12: Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. Hebrews 11 encourages faith, yet Jesus’ own words regarding the end days cause us to recognize that the end days will be marked with a great falling away, (and the arising of the antichrist system), as well as worldwide testimony to the faith, and persecution.  Matthew 24:7-14: Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. 

We have to be realistic about the arising of Islam, the gay movement, the worldwide financial system paving the way of the antichrist. We have to count the cost of real persecution, and be prepared and strengthened in our faith. The need is to keep these truths in balance. For myself, I am wary of presumption, yet am wary of letting fear destroy faith! Let’s move on, prepared to challenge people to realism and repentance, yet to believe for lives and relationships to be repaired and restored. Pray that God would move upon the Church by the power of the Holy Spirit, that we may move ‘in the spirit and power of Elijah’ in these end days.

 

6. Human Trafficking linked to the Olympic Games

God has been leading believers both in the UK and overseas to be more actively involved in fighting against the modern scourge of human trafficking. On our frequent trips to Cyprus, for instance, human trafficking is rearing its ugly head. Northern Cyprus is fast becoming the sex tourism destination for the Eastern Mediterranean. Many young women from Eastern Europe are bought and sold for prostitution. Not only young women are being trafficked for illegal purposes but also children. A child can be purchased for as little as 15,000 Euros.

Prostitution, trafficking and sexual exploitation in the UK, although often hidden and unnoticed, is widespread and happening in every town and city in this country; you do not have to look far to discover it. Even the Olympic Games may be exploited to become a veil for abuse and slavery.

There is a growing networking with other Christians also involved in this ministry through EFN (European Freedom Network). Prayerful, practical solutions and initiatives to the problem of human trafficking are needed.

Gathering Voices – A Journey of Prayer (Website: www.journeyofprayer.com) is an exciting initiative aiming to gather a network of voices, young and old, to intercede into the injustice of prostitution and human trafficking, running up to the Olympic Games. This resource is based on the prayers of women who have been directly affected by this issue and we are inviting you to join with their prayers. The question arises: when confronted with an issue like prostitution, what can the Church and Body of Christ do to make a positive difference? On numerous occasions the Church has been accused of throwing away its street cred (ibility) by trading in its relational mission to the poor and marginalised, for a seat of power.

                The 2012 Games is an opportunity for the Church to engage once again with some of the most marginalized in society through committing to pray faithfully for those affected by the issues. Pray that God expands our hearts and increases our vision to see a country where people are free from sexual exploitation. Based on a simple liturgical rhythm, this resource will have seven daily prayer responses each focusing on issues of sexual exploitation and the 2012 Games. At the heart of the daily responses will be prayers of intercession written by women who have exited prostitution. Each day will focus on a different theme. These are: International Trafficking, The Exploiters, Prostitution in the UK, Projects, Protecting children, Sex Industry, A Loving Church - putting Justice into Action. I hope that you will be able to use this resource as a platform for interceding on behalf of those affected by these issues, and that you will gather with other voices around this country to unite in this journey of prayer. This resource has been designed to be used as a regular cycle of weekly prayer, however please feel free to use it as you feel led; this may be in your own devotional time, with a group of others, or in a completely different way altogether. (Luke 4v16-21)  The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. 

Example prayers: (1) Lord God, You made us lovingly. You formed us to be like you. You gave us each a soul to know you, and a mind to think. You gave us each a will to dare with, and a heart for love. You gave us arms to be waved, legs to run races, feet to stride and jump. You gave us hands to hold. You gave us eyes to see. You gave us ears to hear. You made us lovingly. You formed us to be like you. You did not give us souls to trample underfoot, nor minds to batter out of sense, nor wills to be ignored, nor hearts betrayed. You did not give us arms to be pinned down, legs forced apart, feet chained. No, Lord, you made us lovingly. You formed us to be like you. Lord you made us for love, for laughing, for races and for games; for dancing, for each other, for life. Open now our eyes and ears. Strengthen up each soul and will. Let us recognise with open eyes: the arms forced to embrace, hands forced to caress, mouths forced to kiss in evil games, against their will - against Your will! Lord God, you made us lovingly. You formed us to be like you. Pledge us to stop this, Lord; in your name, who lovingly made us, in Jesus’ name, who lovingly died for us. Amen. (Lucy Berry)

(2) Citius, Altius, Fortius - Swifter, Higher, Stronger

As people travel from around the world, to unite in the spirit of fair opportunity and to celebrate human achievement, we pray for those who will find these Olympic Games exploited to become a veil for abuse and slavery. Remember the family, so trapped by poverty; they dare not question an offer of help. Remember the girl, taken from her parents, her oppression disguised as an opportunity. Now she is a captive, alone and abused. We pray for a swifter end to the suffering of those who are trapped in this modem day slavery. Lord, grant us the courage to go swifter, higher and stronger in our struggle to end human trafficking, and bring justice to all Your people. Remember the gang, who close their eyes to the suffering they cause; they don't see a girl, just financial rewards. Remember those working to bring an end to human trafficking, often facing danger or difficult decisions. May each one find guidance to do the right thing. We pray that by working with our Governments and in our communities, our voices may be raised higher to speak out for all victims of this modem day slavery. Lord, grant us the courage to go swifter, higher and stronger in our struggle to end human trafficking, and bring justice to all Your people. Remember the girl who is rescued - she thought her ordeal was through. But she still lives in dread, remembering those left behind and what she has been forced to do. May she find compassion and freedom from fear. We pray our resolve grows stronger each day, to bring justice and restore dignity to all those hurt by this modern day slavery. Lord, grant us the courage to go swifter, higher and stronger in our struggle to end human trafficking, and bring justice to all Your people.

(3) Compassionate God.  Lord, how will the London 2012 Olympic Games be remembered - a festival and celebration of the human body - or a time when the bodies of the women of the poor are physically insulted, their spirits broken? Compassionate God, enlighten us by your Spirit to act wisely and with courage. The peoples of the world with all their empty temples are smashing, like vandals, God’s temples of the body. Compassionate God, enlighten us by your Spirit to act wisely and with courage. Slavery inches through our streets, through the world’s thoroughfares, through a hundred thousand bedroom gaols.  Compassionate God, enlighten us by your Spirit to act wisely and with courage. Commit us to our education, to the sad lessons of evil, that pulpits, peoples, and parishes may ring with compassion. Compassionate God, enlighten us by your Spirit to act wisely and with courage. Should we not weep when Christ is weeping? Send up prayers for the commodity women of the world? Compassionate God, enlighten us by your Spirit to act wisely and with courage. Should we not act when Christ suffers in them, with them, for them?  Strengthen them with the love of God and the friendship of humans. Compassionate God, enlighten us by your Spirit to act wisely and with courage. Jesus, with you all things are possible. Never let us lose heart in difficulty, sadness, setback. Work us tirelessly in love, witness, activity, to free these most poorly treated poor of all the world. Compassionate God, enlighten us by your Spirit, to act wisely and with courage. Amen.

 

7. Internet pornography (Online petition)

This is the write-up on a petition supported by Premier Christian Media and Safer Media:  ’Did you know that that one in three 10 year olds have watched pornography online? Or that the single largest group of viewers of pornography are children aged 12-17? Or that four in five 14-16 year olds regularly access explicit photographs and footage on their home computers? This situation has got to stop. That is why we are calling on the Government to force Internet Service Providers to make pornography an adult-only opt in service. This will give adults the freedom to view such content but, more importantly, ensure our children are free to surf the web safe from harm. ‘Make your voice heard.’   Would you consider signing this petition...very simple to do so. Go to:      www.safetynet.org.uk

 

8. Further Gog/Magog Considerations

Following on from the Spring Edition of ‘Hatikvah’, article 4 on Damascus, the Gog/Magog war, and the Third Temple, someone may want to study Ezekiel 39:11. It has always fascinated me. (Ed - DH). Here it is: "Then those who live in the towns of Israel will go out and use the weapons for fuel and burn them up... For seven years they will use them for fuel." (Ezekiel 39:11)  The above passage indicates that during the seven years after the Gog/Magog war, the Israelites will burn the weapons of the multinational alliance. This brings up some questions: Does this seven-year period continue through the final half of Daniel's 70th 'week,' or does it end before the 70th 'week'. In considering the prophecy concerning Israel's burning of Gog/Magog weapons for seven years, note that several prophecies indicate that a remnant of Israelite people will go into exile in the wilderness during the final half of Daniel's 70th 'week.' This may indicate that the Israelites will be unable to "go out and use the weapons [of the Gog/Magog armies] for fuel..." during that exile. The most famous prophecy predicting this exile is in the book of Revelation, and reads: "The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days." (Revelation 12:6)

Another possibility is that the seven year period for burning weapons after the Gog/Magog war concerns a second Gog/Magog war that happens after the Messiah's millennial reign. "When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God's people, the city he loves." (Rev.20:7-9)

                  ‘After Two Days: Someone may also want to study the following two prophecies:  "After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us; that we may live in his presence." (Hosea 6:2) "For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by..." (Psalm 90:4)   The passage above from Hosea mentions two things God does for us so that we may live in his presence: He revives and restores us. The portion that states, "…on the third day he will restore us,” was probably fulfilled when Jesus was resurrected on the third day. Perhaps the part that states, "After two days he will revive us,” combined with the above passage from Psalms indicates that He will resurrect ("revive") us after 2000 years from a start-point that needs to be determined. Could that start-point be the day Jesus ascended into heaven?  Or perhaps "after two days he will revive us that we may live in his presence" refers to the time when Jesus reigns on earth and we physically live in his presence here on earth. In trying to determine a start-point and end-point for a possible 2000-year interval, you may want to consider the following: around the Spring of AD 31, Jesus ascended into heaven. This event may have marked the beginning of a 2000-year period before the Messiah's physical return when we will live in his presence on earth. Of course, based on the words of Jesus, nobody but the Father knows the day or the hour in which Jesus will return. But it’s fun to speculate.

 

9. ‘I have a dream’

Martin Luther King made this phrase famous in his fight for black people’s rights in America. Found in the bible, (Genesis 37v6), Joseph said, "Listen to this dream I had.’’ The dream of Martin Luther King was really a vision of what was to be accomplished. Joseph’s was prophetic of what would be. When God is in a dream or vision, however it comes, His power is available to accomplish it.  Recently, I woke up with the impression of being in a preaching situation where, following the word, the Spirit of God was upon the congregation in utter peace, order, quietness, and yet tremendous depth. The bible passage had been about the prodigal. In the congregation, the hearts of fathers were being turned to their children, and those of the children to their fathers. In ones, two’s groups small and large, people were quietly getting right with God and one another. Repentance, and forgiveness towards others, was the norm. It was so easy, so deep, so utterly beautiful! As I considered this, I realized this was a form of moving in the ‘spirit and power of Elijah’ (Luke 1v17). Have you had a dream? Do you have a vision of something to be accomplished for God? Good! May He equip and enable you for the task, and may you go for it, trusting in Him & drawing upon His power to fulfil it.   God bless you!            DH       

 

   

 

 

                                          (NOW SEE SPRING EDITION BELOW)        

 

HA TIKVAH               THE  HOPE

HOSEA 2v14-15                                        UNITED WATCHMEN                                        ROMANS 8v24-25

‘O God our Saviour,   the hope   of all the ends of the earth’ (Psalm 65:5)

‘Christ in you   the hope   of glory!’   (Colossians 1v27)       Issue No. 120

 

THE  HARRINGTON’S  TEACHING, NEWS &

PRAYER PAMPHLET  2012  WINTER/SPRING EDITION  

<><  <>< <><  <>< <><  <><  <><  <><  <><  <><  <><  <><  <><

This pamphlet is distributed in our local area, other parts of the nation, abroad. & our website.

 

Have you changed address, phone  or email address? Please let us know 

      <>< <>< <><  <><  <><  <><  <><  <><  <><  <><  <><  <><  <>< <>< <>< <><  <><  <><  <>< <>< 

THEME:  RENEWAL OF THINKING  (See further below)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. A RENEWED MINDSET 

2. OUR NATION, GOVERNMENT & CHURCH (for prayer)

3. ISRAEL, IRAN & THE NATIONS (for prayer)

4. THE POWER BASE OF THE ANTICHRIST

5. DAMASCUS, GOG-MAGOG, & THE THIRD TEMPLE

6. PRAY THE WORD (1) 

 

This teaching pamphlet is published by Hatikvah publications.   Email: hatikvah@hotmail.co.uk

NB.PRAY into Coalition for marriage issues (pages 3-4); & Israel & Iran (p4-5)

 

1. A renewed mindset   Isaiah 56v7: ....for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations."

It is fascinating to look into the context of this well-known quotation from the book of Isaiah. One of his missions was to prepare the way for fresh revelation from God to the people in Babylonian exile. The exiles had lost their sense of God amongst them. Their thinking had been darkened by the influences of pagan Babylon. These exiles were to receive the news, through Isaiah, that God was going to deal with Babylon, and set His people free to return to rebuild Jerusalem and ultimately to become a light to the nations. The new community to be re-established in the homeland was to include foreigners as well as eunuchs. The rabbinic regulations from the Mosaic code regarding God’s house of prayer were to be over-ridden.  Isaiah must therefore prepare their minds for this fresh revelation during chapters 40-55.

Isaiah also realised that his work would not be fully successful, and that the Messianic task would have to be personified before the complete breakthrough could be birthed. (This took place through the birth, life, message, demonstration of the kingdom, death and resurrection of the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, Jesus Christ, and through the birth of the Church, embracing both Jew and Gentile in due course.) Even then, there would be many stuck in the old mindset - for instance the Pharisees of Jesus’ day – and many are to this very day, for example, the Ultra-Orthodox with their fierce opposition to the name of Jesus. 

Sadly, the message of Isaiah was never fully understood and embraced. When Ezra, the orthodox priest, returned from Babylon, one area of reform was to recognise the sin of the intermarrying of Jewish men with foreign women. Their understanding and mindset was to get rid of those foreign wives. Look up & read all of Ezra 10v10-12; 16-19 ...esp.v11:  11 Now make confession to the Lord, the God of your fathers, and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples around you and from your foreign wives." 

Note also v18:  ‘among the descendants of the priests’ -- From the names of so many men of rank appearing in the list which then followed, some idea may be formed of the great and complicated difficulties attending the reformatory work. Wives and children were driven from their homes and separated from the community of Israel. This would have involved the renouncing of marriage vows, and disowning of parental commitment by Jewish men. Their orthodox mindset would applaud this solution.  They did not recall or research the words of Isaiah 56 which allowed for God’s way of dealing with such a situation.  

Isaiah 56 v 3-8 (excerpts):  This is what the Lord says..... 3 Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the Lord say, "The Lord will surely exclude me from his people." And let not any eunuch complain, "I am only a dry tree."4 For this is what the Lord says: ........6 And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to serve him, to love the name of the Lord, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant— 7 these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations."

How much better to have taught these foreign wives and the children of these mixed marriages the word of God, and so included them in the purposes of God for Israel. That mindset would have better reflected the mercy and kindness of God. This was more fully revealed in the person of Jesus, and by the inclusion of Gentiles in the emerging New Testament Church. We are believers by that mercy!

So, what am I saying? Simply that religious mindsets can be a stumbling block to what God is revealing and working out in His purposes for both Israel, the nations, and the Church in the nations. Take the fact that believing churches in a locality often operate as individual groups, instead of seeing themselves as part of the ‘Church at….’ (whatever your town is), c.f. the ‘Church at Ephesus’, for example. 

Response: Now is a good opportunity to seek the Lord, and ask Him to reveal any inappropriate mindset in your life. May He prepare you for what is to come, and enable you, through His Word and by His Spirit, to receive fresh revelation, leading to Spirit-led activity born of a fresh mindset.

 

 2. Our Nation, Government & Church (and a renewed mindset)

Following on from the above article, our own nation has enjoyed the benefit of having her culture molded by foundational values rooted in the Christian faith. Through the British Empire, these values were transmitted to one third of the world’s population, and influenced the molding of Western civilization.

However, atheism has been undermining these moral foundations for some time, with the result that greed and corruption have become rampant, and the whole global economy is at risk. Furthermore we have allowed the elevation of other religions and their values and teachings to the detriment of Christianity, in our so-called ‘Christian’ nation.

Extreme sections of Islam have a vision to take all the nations of the world into their religion, - by force, or by use of fear and terrorism, and by enticement into the faith. (Do not be surprised if we see in Britain ‘hot spots’ of Islamic uprising breaking out on the streets of Britain in the near future). Also, the homosexual lobby its flexing its muscles over the whole issue of same sex marriage.

 A note for prayer on this: The Coalition for Marriage petition has been signed online by many Christians and others to safeguard the nature and understanding of marriage. This is in response to a Government consultation document which is advocating the re-defining of the nature of marriage to include same-sex relationships. This would seriously undermine family life in Britain. The homosexual lobby is very powerful on this. If this discussion document moves on to become a Parliamentary Bill, the pressure on MPs standing for no change in the nature of marriage would be strong. It is proposed to become law in 2014. Already, some who have signed up to the Coalition for Marriage, which opposes any change in the law, have received threats against themselves and family members. One even received a death threat! Many feel intimidated at present. This is supposed to be a democratic country! Behind all this of course, the enemy is at work deceiving people and stirring them up. The intercession level needs to be upped over this very serious issue, especially for the protection of Christian MPs and for the safeguarding of marriage as it has been recognized for centuries. Pray that God holds back the demonic forces behind this assault on marriage. Pray for courage for MPs, pray the Church makes a real stand over this, at whatever the cost, pray for God’s love for the people involved though. Let the watchmen rise up! 

  

Now, back to the matter in hand: British (and other) politicians have recognised the need for us all to stand together and take a reduction in income, but have not considered the effect on the poor and the powerless, who are suffering the most. Street protests in major cities across the western world have highlighted this.

However, at least, our Prime Minister has called for the Church to lead a return to the moral code of the Bible (Daily Mail Dec 17th), and the Queen’s Christmas address to the nation included the Gospel message….though the Archbishop’s New Year message did not, concentrating on the youth of the nation alone.

The word of God, when read both in homes and publicly, when taught in schools, when preached in most churches, had and has a powerful effect in renewing people’s minds and thereby their mindsets:

 2 Tim.3v16-17: All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.    Rom 12v2:   Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

   

Pray: That further inroads to reducing the input of the Christian message and the scriptures may be overcome, and that rather there will be a thrust of new initiatives and opportunities to take the and teachings of the Bible into schools, communities, into parliament and places of influence in our society…let’s USE the opportunities presented through the government vision of the ‘Big Society.’

As one brother put it: ‘So much of charismatic lifestyle and order of things is superficial. It’s a ‘blessed me’ type of religion almost. Yes, God does bless us in wonderful ways but few are prepared to pay the cost of deep prayer travail that changes nations. Blessings to all of you out there who do the stuff - well done, but I realise I have done little in my own life to halt the decline. The more I study the revival in Lewis, (no praying in tongues, no healings but a saturation of the community with the Spirit, even non believers were coming to the manse asking what was happening.) They said you could feel His presence in the very air you breathed. I am calling on every church leader in the land to start prayer meetings that would cry out for revival in our towns and cities. For many, we need to forget our programmes that produce so little for so much effort, and ask the Lord that He would rend the heavens and come down, that our communities change so much that the temporary pleasures of the world begin to fade rapidly and the fullness of his glorious kingdom is shown among us.’ (Mike Robinson).    Pray!

 

 

3. Israel, Iran & the Nations

There are more than 200,000 rockets and missiles pointed at Israel at present, according to IDF military intelligence Chief Aviv Kochavi. In view of the serious nature of the situation in Iran, which currently has the capability to prepare four nuclear weapons of mass destruction – for use against Israel, and bearing in mind the fact that Israel is not going to stand by whilst they bomb Israel, prayer is vital over the issue. Iran’s leadership is vehement in its desire to ‘rid the world of the Zionist entity’ (quote from Iran’s president). Syria is likely to be controlled by Iran in view of the current uprising, which could lead to control of Gaza and the West Bank if the EU allows, being supportive of a Palestinian state.

 Israel’s Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, has a good biblical understanding and background, and is also a very practical man. Pray that he be strong and consistent as he speaks to national leaders and the UN over the issue of Iran, preparing them for the necessity of a pre-emptive strike by Israel on Iran’s nuclear facilities if necessary.

PRAY:  that the USA and GB assist Israel.

Pray for Israel’s new air force commander, Amir Eshel, that he employs the right strategies, and knows supernatural alertness, courage, and wisdom in leading those under his command.

Pray that God would keep the Straits of Hormuz open should nations try to throttle the supply of oil and gas if there is a pre-emptive strike by Israel on Iran. Negotiations may be out of the question at that point.

Pray God continues to protect and provide for Israel on the basis of His word. E.g. Psalm 3, 10, 17, 18, …Psalm 91, etc. Reading the book of Esther may also be of help. (NB The ‘Joseph Storehouse’ is a good means of practical support – Google it).  There is also the question of the de-legitimisation of Israel, both amongst the nations and within the Church, through ‘replacement theology’. Regarding the nations, the European Coalition for Israel has produced a short DVD, ‘Give Peace a Chance’ which brings to the forefront the legal status of the re-formation of a homeland for Jewish people in Palestine called Israel, agreed in the 1920’s by the League of Nations and later by the UN.

Pray as we speak to our own MP, who is a member of the Cabinet, about this issue, (and about marriage).

Pray that many Christians have their eyes opened (as they read the Scriptures) to God’s word and promises to the Jewish people. Our and their futures are intertwined!

Pray for continued rain in Israel to fill the reservoirs.                                                            Thankyou.   

 

 

 4. The power base of the antichrist.

Whether it be a worldwide system whereby ten zones are created for administering the rule of the antichrist, or an E.U. based system, or some other confederacy, remains to be seen. In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the gold statue, which Daniel interpreted (Daniel 2) he saw the feet of clay mixed with iron in this way (v40-44):  40 Finally, there will be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron—for iron breaks and smashes everything—and as iron breaks things to pieces, so it will crush and break all the others. 41 Just as you saw that the feet and toes were partly of baked clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom; yet it will have some of the strength of iron in it, even as you saw iron mixed with clay. 42 As the toes were partly iron and partly clay, so this kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 And just as you saw the iron mixed with baked clay, so the people will be a mixture and will not remain united, any more than iron mixes with clay.

 This has been interpreted by some as being the E.U. and its strength yet frequent disputes. Certainly France and Germany are seeking to dominate the E.U. Maybe those spirits which dominated both the French Revolution and the rise of Nazi-ism will actually give rise to the ‘man of lawlessness’ (2 Thess. 2v3). Hitler had the ‘Seat of Satan’ erected in Berlin c.f. Rev.2v13. The world is looking for a leader with answers to the international crises. Hitler came to power because he had answers in his time. NB. Later, one of his answers was the holocaust, to get rid of the Jews! He first removed anyone who opposed him, then the gypsies, the disabled, and then the Jews, step by step. He first removed their businesses, their homes, to the ghettos, to the death camps. The church for the most part stood by.

 However, the group who stand in the way of European plans at present are the Evangelical believers….even in GB, we stand in the way of legalizing homosexual marriage, of one world religion, etc. (However, Britain, outside the primary group of the E.U., could still be preserved from this enslavement, and be used to bring the Gospel to the world again.) Money has become devalued in society, with debts crippling many nations and individuals. The ‘chip and pin’ card will probably lead in the end to the chip on the hand or forehead (Revelation 13v16-17; Rev 14v9-10…the ‘mark of the beast’.) The cry in Europe at present, battling economic crisis is, ‘Give us a man!’ The E.U. lacks real leadership. The USA is virtually paralysed during the run-up to the presidential election. Militant Islam is taking control of Arab nations since they are leaderless after the overthrow of their historic leaders. This could be paving the way for the emergence of the antichrist.

 One prophetic requirement of the antichrist figure is to sit in the temple as Messiah! (2 Thess 2v3-4)....[see article 5.] Added to this, Moslem tradition speaks of the coming of the 12th Mahdi, ruling from Jerusalem for 7 years. Jewish groups are determined to rebuild the temple and have all the materials already prepared. Moslems could agree to such if they could worship their Mahdi on the site. Masons believe they built Solomon’s temple. One aim of higher degrees of Freemasonry is to rebuild the temple, seeing it as the centre of Freemasonry & worship of their Supreme Being! Powerful financiers belong to this group. The new temple could be built directly in line with the Golden Gate – the East Gate (Ezekiel 44v1-2) without affecting the present Dome of the Rock!

Keep watch over Israel!                     

 

5. Damascus, Gog-Magog, & the Third Temple  (an in-depth article)

[ After seeking the Lord and receiving input on a recent retreat, and having also used some research by Paul Robertson on this subject, (adapted and modified), the following article has been written. It was an interesting exercise. It is good to keep one eye on the Bible and the other on world events, whilst seeking to hear and see what the Spirit is revealing. Ed.]

Bible prophecy: Please note that with perfect accuracy, the Bible predicted such events as:

The 70-year Babylonian captivity of the Jews. (Jeremiah 25:11)

The military campaigns of Alexander the Great. (Daniel 8:5-6 & 20-21)

The crucifixion of the Messiah. (Psalm 22:16-18)

The destruction of the 2nd Temple after Messiah's first appearance.(Dan 9:26)

The international exile and dispersion of the Jews. (Ezekiel 36:19)

The spread of the good news of the Messiah to all nations. (Isaiah 49:6)

Jewish persecution, the Holocaust, and related events. (Jeremiah 29:18-19)

The dispersed Jews' return from the nations to the land of Israel. (Ezek. 38:8)

 

FIRST EVENT: Damascus: The biblical prophet, Isaiah, gave the following prophecy about Damascus approximately 2800 years ago. It could be significant for our day. Many of his prophecies have been fulfilled - to the letter. Those which have not yet been fulfilled refer to the end days. Currently in the news, the Syrian uprising could lead to full scale civil war in the land. Damascus may be threatened. Its destruction was prophesied by Isaiah in chapter 17v1-14 (see extracts on next page). However, it should be noted that the prophecy about Damascus was only partly fulfilled, in 732 BC - when the king of Assyria, Tiglath-Pileser, attacked Damascus (2 Kings 16v9ff). But the city was only captured, not fully destroyed, and its citizens deported. Isaiah’s prophecy makes it clear that Damascus continued to function after the attack. Perhaps this prophecy of Isaiah is another example of partial fulfillment in the immediate future, yet a further prophetic fulfillment down the time line. The NASB version for Isaiah 17v1 says: ‘Damascus is about to be removed from being a city.’

That was the more immediate view, and in a sense, it was certainly not able to function as the city it had been, after its capture and the deportations. But, as we look at the current world scene, and events in Syria in 2012, the complete fulfillment of this prophecy may be imminent.

 

(NB.  Places referred to in Isaiah’s prophecy below: ‘Aroer’ is in south central Jordan. The land of ‘Ephraim’ is the central West Bank, where currently, Palestinian Arabs populate this area. ‘Aram’ refers to the Syrians. 'Jacob' represents the Israelites...who have forgotten their God.) Towards the end of the prophecy, there is an uproar of many nations and God's judgment on those nations (v12-14). A multinational alliance rises against Israel to "loot and plunder."

Isaiah 17v1-14 (extracts)   1An oracle concerning Damascus:  "See, Damascus will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins. 2 The cities of Aroer will be deserted and left to flocks, which will lie down, with no-one to make them afraid. 3 The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim, and royal power from Damascus; the remnant of Aram will be like the glory of the Israelites," declares the Lord Almighty .4 "In that day the glory of Jacob will fade; the fat of his body will waste away……10 You have forgotten God your Saviour; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress. …..12 Oh, the raging of many nations— they rage like the raging sea! Oh, the uproar of the peoples— they roar like the roaring of great waters! 13 Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters, when he rebukes them they flee far away, driven before the wind like chaff on the hills, like tumble-weed before a gale. 14 In the evening, sudden terror! Before the morning, they are gone! This is the portion of those who loot us, the lot of those who plunder us.

 The Book of Daniel enlarges:

Daniel 12v9-10:  "Go, Daniel! For the matters are obscured and sealed until the time of the End. They will be elucidated and clarified and refined by many [people]; the wicked will act wickedly, and none of the wicked will understand; but the wise will understand."  

 Whether Isaiah’s prophecy is already partly fulfilled, or indicating still more for the future, some people think that if Syria offensively attacks Israel one more time, God will destroy the city of Damascus. Those people think that Syria's offensive attacks against Israel in 1948, 1967, and 1973 are the first three sins mentioned in the bible passage below by the prophet Amos: Amos 1:3-5: "This is what the LORD says: 'For three sins of Damascus, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath. Because she threshed Gilead with sledges having iron teeth, I will send fire upon the house of Hazael that will consume the fortresses of Ben-Hadad. I will break down the gate of Damascus; I will destroy the king who is in the Valley of Aven and the one who holds the sceptre in Beth Eden. The people of Aram will go into exile to Kir,' says the LORD."

 Isaiah 17 gives clues that link the prophecy about Damascus to Ezekiel 38-39, the prophecy of the 'Gog/Magog war,' a multi-national attack against Israel. Ezekiel, in turn, seems to have written chapters 36-43 in chronological sequence. That sequence indicates that the third Temple will be standing (i.e. rebuilt) after the Gog/Magog war. Some would say that these events appear imminent in our day.....so, let’s take a closer look.

 

 Second Event: The multi-national attack (Gog/Magog war)

(Ezekiel 38:1-6): "The word of the LORD came to me: 'Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army--your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops--the many nations with you.' "

 Let us understand that ‘Gog’ is a man. He is the political leader of the leading nation of the multinational alliance. [ It is also interesting that an Israelite of that name was a descendant of Reuben (1 Chronicles 5:4) ]. Ezekiel describes Israel's condition at the time of the invasion, through God's prophetic words to Gog.

"Get ready; be prepared, you and all the hordes gathered about you, and take command of them. After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade 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 now all of them live in safety." (Ezekiel 38:7-8)

 The people of Israel now seem to fit the above description for the first time in history, but with one major exception: they do not yet live in safety. Terrorist attacks continue, and hostile neighbours border Israel. However, if the threat of invasion by Israel’s neighbours ceased, and if the Palestinian unrest ceased, Israel would probably fit the above description. (This may be Israel's situation after the prophecy in Isaiah 17 is complete....other nations being reluctant to take on Israel because of the consequences unleashed on themselves.)  However, Gog, the leader of the multinational alliance, devises a scheme and will say:

"I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the centre of the land." (Ezekiel 38:12)

 The reason for Gog's multinational attack is to plunder and loot Israel. At the time of Gog's attack, Israel will have recovered from war. After the war in Isaiah 17 in which Damascus is destroyed, many nations will rise against Israel to loot and plunder. These clues may indicate that Isaiah 17 transitions into Ezekiel 38 and 39. After Damascus is destroyed, the Gog/Magog war may happen next.

 Isaiah 18 gives further insight into the Gog/Magog war. (Jewish commentators agree that Isaiah 18 concerns the Gog/Magog war.)  After Isaiah summarizes the Gog/Magog war at the end of Isaiah 17, he further explains the war in chapter 18, discussing two nations involved. One is along (or beyond) the rivers of Cush (Ethiopia). This could be the Sudan. "Woe to the land of whirring wings along the rivers of Cush, which sends envoys by sea in papyrus boats over the water." (Isaiah 18:1-2)

 Cush is the upper Nile region, south of Egypt. The Sudan and Ethiopia are located there. Cush is an ally in the Gog/Magog war: Ezekiel 38:5: "Persia [Iran], Cush [vicinity of Sudan and Ethiopia], and Put [Libya] will be with them..."    (brackets  [ ]  added. Ed).

 

Isaiah then describes a mystery nation to which Cush will send messengers. Although the mystery nation is not named, a riddle is given that helps us deduce the identity of this nation. Isaiah 18v2: "Go, swift messengers, to a people tall and smooth-skinned, to a people feared far and wide, an aggressive nation of strange speech, whose land is divided by rivers."  [Now, translated by exhaustive computer cross-reference of the Hebrew Masoretic Text:  Isaiah 18v2: "...a nation led along according to someone else's will, smooth (or hairless), a people feared from himself and beyond, a nation that stretched measuring lines and subjugated, whose land the rivers plundered." 

 Let’s try to identify this 'mystery nation.' From the Hebrew words ‘mushach’, ‘morat’, ‘nora’ ‘min-hu vahalea’, ‘kav-kav’ & ‘mevusa’, and ‘bazu’ appearing in the text*, the mystery nation has the following characteristics:

           The nation is not a free (or democratic) society.

          The nation's people are smooth-skinned (have little or no facial and body hair).

          The nation is a world power.

          The nation stretched measuring lines and then subjugated or subdued [people].

          The nation will have just experienced massive river flooding.

(If this prophecy is imminent, China may be the modern nation that best fits the Biblical description of the mystery nation of Isaiah 18.)   

 Isaiah 18 continues, giving further insight into the Gog/Magog war.  Isaiah 18v3-5:

  • "All you people of the world, you who live on the earth, when a banner is raised on the mountains, you will see it, and when a trumpet sounds, you will hear it. This is what the LORD says to me: "I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place, like shimmering heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest." For, before the harvest, when the blossom is gone and the flower becomes a ripening grape, he will cut off the shoots with pruning knives, and cut down and take away the spreading branches." (The sentence above may give a clue to the time of year of the Gog/Magog defeat.)

     Continuing the bible passage: (Isaiah 18:6-7)

    "They will all be left to the mountain birds of prey and to the wild animals; the birds will feed on them all summer, the wild animals all winter. At that time gifts will be brought to the LORD Almighty from a people tall and smooth-skinned, from a people feared far and wide, an aggressive nation of strange speech, whose land is divided by rivers— the gifts will be brought to Mount Zion, the place of the Name of the LORD Almighty.")

    So, in summary, Isaiah 17 begins with a prophecy about Damascus, but transitions into the Gog/Magog war at the end of the chapter. Isaiah 18 continues, giving further insight into the Gog/Magog war and also describing a nation that may be China, who some consider will be very much involved in the End Times. (However, we must be careful to recognize speculation in this, not certainty.) 

     

    Third event: The Third Temple: The prophet Ezekiel described a Jerusalem Temple in chapters 40-43. The passage opens with a vision. (Ezekiel 40v3-4):

    "…I saw a man whose appearance was like bronze; he was standing in the gateway with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand. The man said to me, 'Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears and pay attention to everything I am going to show you, for that is why you have been brought here. Tell the house of Israel everything you see.' "

     As the vision unfolded, Ezekiel saw and described, in detail, a Temple that had never been built, nor has it ever been built…yet. Two temples have been built in Jerusalem to date—Solomon’s temple, and the post-Babylonian exile temple that King Herod later renovated. Ezekiel had a vision of the third, future Temple. Modern Jewish Temple movement groups are currently planning to build this 'Ezekiel Temple' when the opportunity arises.

    In chapters 36 – 43 of the book of Ezekiel, the prophet gives a chronology of three major future events in Israel. The first is in Ezekiel 36-37. These chapters describe Israelite people coming out of all nations and returning to Israel. This prophecy has already happened and is still happening as Jews return to Israel.

    Ezekiel 37:21-22:  "For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land." (Ezekiel 36:24)  "…'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they have gone. I will gather them from all around and bring them back into their own land. I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel…'"

    The second major event is in Ezekiel 38-39. It is the Gog/Magog war, discussed previously. "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal…" (Ezekiel 38:2)

     The third major event is in Ezekiel 40-43. In these chapters, Ezekiel described the future third Temple in Jerusalem. Based on Ezekiel's chronology, Israelites will return to Israel (this has already happened and continues to happen), then the Gog/Magog war will be fought, and then the third Temple will be standing.

     

    In chapter 2 of the prophet Joel, he further describes the Gog/Magog invasion. Joel indicates that before the Gog/Magog war ends, two components of the Temple will exist: the porch and the altar. The altar is the brazen altar used for sacrificing animals. "Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar..." (Joel 2:17) This passage indicates that efforts to rebuild the Temple may begin before the Gog/Magog war ends.

     

    How Imminent Are These Prophecies?

    In the 20th century, with the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, came the beginning of the fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy that the Israelites would be gathered from the nations and would resettle the land of Israel, which had long been desolate (Ezekiel 36-37; Ezekiel 38:7-8). Now that this prophecy is being fulfilled, the following prophecies appear to be upcoming events. Here they are, in their probable chronological order:

    Damascus will be destroyed (Isaiah 17).

    The Gog/Magog multinational war will be fought against Israel. (Ezekiel 38-39, transition at end of Isaiah 17, Isaiah 18, Joel 2).

    The third Temple will stand in Jerusalem  (Ezekiel chapters 40 - 43).

    Before Israel can hold ceremonies in the third Temple, an unblemished red heifer must be sacrificed when it is in its third year of life (between its 2nd and 3rd birthday). (See Numbers 19:1-2): 

    "The LORD said to Moses and Aaron: 'This is a requirement of the law that the LORD has commanded: tell the Israelites to bring you a red heifer without blemish and that has never been under a yoke…'"

    The red heifer's ashes must be mixed with water, and this mixture must be sprinkled on Temple priests to purify them.  [Note that in the late summer of 1996, a red heifer was born in Israel to a black and white cow and a brown bull. This red heifer was not born as a result of red heifer breeding efforts. Its birth was a surprise. Later it proved slightly flawed. Israeli Temple movement groups later set their hopes on a herd of Red Heifers bred in Nebraska, the United States. Are red heifer breeding efforts an indication that Temple construction is imminent? ]

     The Temple Institute. In the mid 1980s, the Temple Institute was founded in Jerusalem. This institute has built a collection of artifacts required in the Temple service.  Of the 93 needed, 60 have already been recreated, and 33 are currently being re-created. The Temple Institute expects the 93 artifacts to be used in the third Temple once it is built.

    The Dome of the Rock. At present, Israel cannot build the third Temple without sparking a war. This is because the third holiest shrine of the Muslims sits on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. That shrine is the Dome of the Rock. However, if the military forces of many Muslim nations are severely weakened, there will be little, if any, resistance to keep Israel from building the Temple. The Temple Institute was asked whether the Israelis now had the capability to construct the altar. The representative answered, "No problem." He also said that a metal replica of the future altar is currently being used for rehearsals.

    Conclusion: You may argue that the prophesied destruction of Damascus, the prophesied Gog/Magog war and the prophesied erection of the third temple may be chronological events. If recent movements in Israel to prepare for the construction and dedication of the third temple indicate that its erection is imminent, then the destruction of Damascus and the Gog/Magog war may also be imminent. Perhaps these events will take place soon. Perhaps they will not take place for centuries. No one knows for sure.Keep an eye on the Middle East & pray.

     

    Israel's Neighbours. (For further research): Some may want to study the chapters in Isaiah which surround Isaiah 17, giving a better context. Those chapters prophesy against several of Israel's neighbours. Amos chapter 1 and Micah 5:5-6 also prophesy against several of Israel's neighbours. Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt are not mentioned in Ezekiel's prophecy in chapters 38-39 of the Gog/Magog multinational attack. However, Ezekiel, in chapter 38v5, mentions Libya (‘Put’), Iran (‘Persia’), and what appears to be the Sudan (‘Cush’), all of which now have one or two nations between their borders and Israel. In Ezekiel 38:8 and 38:14, Israel is described as living in safety before the Gog/Magog war. Can this be possible unless Israel's hostile neighbours’ military forces are neutralized? Why didn't Ezekiel mention Israel's immediate neighbours? Perhaps the chapters surrounding Isaiah 17 and Amos 1 give clues.       (For more information on prophecy and Damascus, browse the Web, using appropriate key words & places, or try websites such as truthresearch@hotmail.com.   &  links.  Ed.)

     

    6. Pray the Word (1)

    There are several ways in which we gather to pray…..individual prayer, or corporate prayer in twos, small groups and large assemblies. We also pray in many ways and styles. Remember James chapter 5v13-18:    Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.

    One way of praying which I believe is very effective is to ‘pray the Word.’ By that I mean using the words of scripture as a basis for our prayers. For instance, we were praying this morning at the 6am prayers at church, using Job 29v7-25 as a basis for prayer. It was a discourse on how Job had gained respect and influence in his community because of his actions in that community. For example, in v12, he ‘rescued the poor who cried for help.’ So in our prayers for our locality this morning, we were able to ask God to use us and others to rescue the poor who were in need in our community, who were crying out, whether aloud or deep within…only God would know. We asked that He would send us along their path and reveal them to us, so we could get involved and be an instrument in His hands.

    The ‘poor’ in this case may be those with few financial resources, or poor in spirit.  I like the ‘Horsham Matters’ project which takes in household items large and small in good condition and then sells them at a low price. Whole houses can be furnished! Those wishing to help others obtain goods by taking them along on a visit and paying for the items chosen, or those only able to afford low prices, can procure needed items. It is a bit like the ‘Thrift’ shops we visit in Cyprus. The ‘poor’ may also be those who are emotionally deprived, those who have been robbed of family love, for example. Other aspects of ‘poor’ come to mind.  Do you see….just one phrase from this passage has already opened out much food for prayer? Also in v12 we see the needy orphan or the ones with no father in the home, or with step father who does not relate, perhaps.

     In v13 we have representatively the dying, the elderly, the widow. Then in v14 we have Job acting in righteousness to bring justice into people’s lives. Justice needs to be done, and seen to be done in a society. This gives rise to all sorts of intercessions for the courts, police, community leaders in acting justly for those in their care or jurisdiction. Moving on, v15 could be about those who are there to help the spiritually blind have their eyes open to the reality of God and His kingdom. Our church’s visits to the Gatwick detention centre come to mind in v16 where the case of the stranger was taken up.

     Finally, in v17 it speaks of breaking ‘the fangs of the wicked, and snatching the victims from their teeth.’ As you read that, you could pray into local (or wider) issues where wicked people have captured victims in their grasp in one way or another….perhaps greedy employers denying employees in some way, or squeezing them, or, on a wider plane, human trafficking for instance.

     At a spiritual level, you could be praying for believers to be sharing the gospel in the workplace, with neighbours, in the community, through friendship evangelism, and praying that God gives them revelation of who He is and their need to be saved from the consequences of being in rebellion against the Almighty. In this way, those prayers are contributing to the salvation of souls - snatched from the jaws of hell itself!  Many portions of scripture lend themselves to this kind of use in feeding our prayer, e.g. the promises of God, of which there are so many. Be blessed as you use these.  DH 

     

  • Google Translator

    eBible Search

    Enter a verse or keywords
    (John 3:16, love, sword of the spirit)

    Recent Videos

    569 views - 0 comments
    593 views - 0 comments
    582 views - 0 comments
    551 views - 0 comments