DAMASCUS SHALL BECOME A RUINOUS HEAP
By Doug Krieger
Our first articles on the Oracle or Burden of Damascus were written back in 2005 - in 2006 the SIXTH phase, according to President Shimon Peres of Israel, of the Arab-Israeli Conflict was waged ostensibly between Hezbollah and Israel (Major Conflicts: 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, 2006). Was Peres alluding to the SEVENTH and final phase of this interminable conflict when he declared before the Jewish Federations of North America back in 2006 that Israel had just finished the "sixth-phase" of the Arab-Israeli Conflict - I think he may have been an unwhitting prophet!
Given the fact that in March, 2011, initial Syrian protests, commensurate with the substantial outbreaks occurring throughout North Africa and the Middle East - known as the Arab Spring - were relatively nondescript...all that changed as the toll wrought by the full-blown Syrian Civil War some 27 months later has risen past 100,000 with 1.5 million Syrians fleeing the conflict to neighboring countries and, according to the United Nations, 6 million people inside Syria were in desperate need of assistance and about 4 million Syrians have been internally displaced in a population approximating 20 million. These figures are expected to accelerate from the 10,000 per day average of refugees fleeing the fighting (300,000+ per month - July, 2013)...it would glaringly appear that the ruination of Syria is at full throttle.
Meanwhile, the military has taken over the reigns of government in Egypt from President Morsi - nothing but chaos appears her lot in the land of the pyramids - "until further notice." Turkey - herself a refuge for fleeing Syrians - remains in a state of suspended animation as an Istanbul Court revoked a permit to build in virtually the only green area left in Istanbul - a project strongly supported by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan - the "standing man of Turkey." Whenever the people are upset - they take to the streets in massive numbers - witness the fact that last weekend (June 29-30, 2013) some 14 and now 33 million did so in Egypt, bringing down the Morsi government.
The Middle East has always been a seething caldron of discontent - but nothing like this. Syria is now at the forefront of a major proxy war between the West (with America "leading from behind") and Iran, with Russia and Lebanon (in essence) siding with President Bashar Assad, who has vowed to fight to the death to remain in power and bring down Israel with him if his efforts wane. The stage is set - as we have forcefully argued and debated for the nearly 10 years now, that the "END OF THE WAR" (the Arab-Israel Conflict) found in Daniel 9:26 looms ever closer - leading to the Treaty of Hell and Death found in Daniel 9:27.
I apologize to the dear lady who was irate with me before the outbreak of the March, 2011 conflict in Syria. In 2006 I wrote the Oracle of Damascus - following it up by a piece in Conservapedia with the same name (some 4,200 have accessed the article since 2011) - and she was outraged that I would dare write such an inflammatory article predicting Syria's ruination and the destruction of one of the most beautiful cities in the Middle East - Damascus is considered the oldest continuously inhabited city on the planet! At the time I was about the only "character" willing to stick my head out there and yell "FIRE!" I vehemently warned her that, if she could, get out of Damascus post-haste before hostilities broke out - I have no idea what she did - but carefully notice, no one dare stone me! One of our older charts clearly indicates that our forecast is spot on - please note that number 1 circled is the Oracle of Damascus BEFORE the start of the Seventieth Week of Daniel:
I'm not sitting here gloating that I was right and continue to be so...but if you are within ear-shot of this article and know someone still left in Syria - get out and GET OUT NOW! On the other hand - and if any Christians in Syria are able to get this blog - you are at the vanguard of the End-of-Days persecution - the recent beheading of Syrian Bishop Francois Murad (you must be 18 years of age or older to see the video here) is a most gruesome scene but a prophetic portent when the "blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church" (see this most excellent article here) shall, as you will read below, immediate revival in those nations surrounding Israel shall break out as the Oracle of Damascus exhausts itself.
The "prophetic facts" remain the same. Our immediate adjustment appears that Psalm 83 has played a major role in the prophetic saga of the Arab-Israeli Conflict over the years and, so it appears, that Jordan - who we had originally thought was not involved in this final seventh-phase struggle - may very well be...being added to Lebanon/Hezbollah, Syria, Gaza/Hamas and, most certainly, the Palestinian Authority known in prophetic Scripture as the "Stronghold of Ephraim."
I want you to attest to the biblical accuracy of the Burden of Damascus by reading hereunder our previous prophetic prognostications (carefully reflect upon the given dates) - that it will take place in its intensity during the four blood moons, with a full eclipse of the sun the middle of the four, which will rise over the Middle East in 2014 and 2015 - for it will be at this time, we affirm, that the magnitude of the conflict in Syria will reach its apex...signaling a major precursor when "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD" (Joel 2:31). But SIMULTANEOUS to this prophetic phenomenon we find immediately following in vs. 32: "And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved" (Joel 2:32).
In our TIME'S UP article we go into details as to the 2018, the most probable date/year of the commencement of the 70th Week of Daniel's prophecy - we had initially concluded that these four blood moons could possibly predict the coming of the Lord and the commencement of the 70th Week; however, that was before we went into extensive chronological research in reference to the full 6,000 years of human history - suffice it to say...2018 is not that far from 2015, is it? And, wouldn't you know, there will be what they call a BULL'S EYE BLOOD MOON in 2018 and on a date, July 27, 2018 (Luis Vega's chart below gives an excellent target for 27 July 2018) - that is utterly incredible in its timing!
A “prophetic map” - as shown below – would have military planners viewing it going out of their minds. It is wholly designed, however, to interpret eschatological warfare ostensibly centered in the Middle East – yet, as in ever-expanding concentric circles ultimately enveloping the whole earth (i.e., The Oracle of Damascus commences with Israel vs. Lebanon (Hezbollah), Syria and Gaza (Hamas)/the West Bank; then, after the commencement of the Seventieth Week of Daniel the Gog-Magog War envelopes both the King of the South (Egypt, Libya and Sudan) and the King of the North (Gog-Magog – or principally the peoples of modern-day Turkey and Iran) juxtaposed to Israel and her “commercial allies” – i.e., the “Merchants of Tarshish” (the West—led by the USA, currently pre-positioned in the Middle East) and the modern states on the Saudi Arabian Peninsula (ancient Sheba and Dedan); and, finally, the Willful King (Antichrist—the overt leader of the West) attacks the far East and North to commence the final conflict known as the Armageddon Campaign which ultimately brings all the nations of the earth into the “prophetic black hole” of Jerusalem itself.
No, this is not the vain imagination of a disturbed mind – a sort of geographical nightmarish psychosis…it is, we affirm, the precise intent of the Almighty to declare His foreknowledge and wisdom in the unveiling of His plan and purpose for humankind. Prior to this time we have emphasized "Three Primary Prophetic War" in our immediate future: (1) The Oracle of Damascus - the conclusion of the present Arab-Israeli Conflict and seventh phase of that war...now taking place; (2) The "Gog-Magog War" which shall commence during the first 40 days of the Seventieth Week of Daniel, yet future; and (3) the Armageddon Campaign ensuing hard on the heels of the Gog-Magog War and concluding at the final Battle of Armageddon or the Supper of the Great God/My Sacrificial Meal. However, there are, in point of eschatological fact, eight (some say seven) primary conflicts which we will decisively go into greater detail in latter publications - but for now they are as follows (brief Scriptures will be omitted for now to validate these conflicts....):
7/8 PROPHETIC WARS
- "Wars and rumors of wars" - Matthew 24:6 - These wars have already occurred during the lead up to the 7-year Tribulation period...specifically, the "wars" mentioned here are World War I and the interim period known as "rumors of wars" up to the outbreak of World War II.
- "For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom" - Matthew 24:7 - These wars were primarily "ethnic struggles" and wars based on ideology (Fascism, Communism) and are specific to World War II and subsequent conflicts, including the Cold War. (Note: Some find that Matthew 24:6-7 constitutes but one prophetic war in that World Wars I and II and the subsequent struggle between these wars and following WW II are but one war with multiple phases.
- "The end of the war" as mentioned in Daniel 9:26 - the Arab-Israeli Conflict - culminating in the Seventh-phase known as the Burden or Oracle of Damascus found in Psalm 83; Zechariah 9; Isaiah 17; Amos 1; Obadiah 1 and Jeremiah 49:23-27 - this prophetic conflict commenced at the birth of the State of Israel in 1948 (in earnest) and has endured six immediate phases: 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973, 1982, 2006, with persistent on-again, off-again, conflict during each of the major phases of the conflict - the current Syria Civil War is the aggressive prelude to the ultimate "Damascus shall be a ruinous heap" (Isaiah 17:1). Although this war has involved virtually all of the Arab states - the final and seventh phase will involve: Syria, Lebanon/Hezbollah, Gaza/Hamas, the Stronghold of Ephraim/Palestinian Authority and, in all likelihood, Jordan vs. Israel.
- "The Gog-Magog War" - this prophetic war will take place within the first 40 days of the Seventieth Week of Daniel's prophecy, yet future - Ezekiel 38, 39:1-16; Daniel 11:40-43.
- "The Campaign of Armageddon to the Battle of Armageddon or unto the "Day of the Lord"" - Ezekiel 39:17-20; Daniel 11:44-45; portions of Joel 2-3; Zechariah 14; Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 16:16.
- "War in Heaven" - Revelation 12:7-9 - We affirm that this "heavenly struggle" casts, via Michael the Archangel, Satan and his ilk to the earth resulting in the "War Against the Saints"
- "War Against the Saints" - this war pits the latter-day saints against the Devil's Wrath in the latter half of the Seventieth Week of Daniel's prophecy of the 70th Week: Portions of Daniel 12; Revelation 11-13.
- "The Final Rebellion of Gog" - Satan loosed to once again deceive the nations at the close of the Millennium - Revelation 20:7-10...prelude to the Eschaton and/or the EIGHTH DAY after the SEVENTH DAY of the Millennium.
A TIME-LINE SCHEMATIC OF THE THREE PROPHETIC WARS
Now, with this backdrop in view of the overall prophetic wars as detailed in portions of above Scripture - let us examine more carefully the THREE PROPHETIC WARS aforementioned.
A time-line in relationship to the Seventieth Week of Daniel is not a vain attempt at date-setting, but it is one of “prophetic sequence.” There will be three major prophetic wars in the latter days. The onset of Antichrist, his ultimate revelation and subsequent metamorphosis into the Beast of Revelation 11 and 13, his final “strife in the sanctuary” – as well as Israel and the Church’s final overcoming victory (i.e., the Two Witnesses of Revelation 11) - all demand a distinct presentation to our readership. Today’s constellation of nations and ongoing conflict are as prophetically relevant as ever.
Most of you by now are aware of our writings on these topics (Antichrist and the Gog-Magog War, The Road to Damascus, and excerpts from The Prophetic Sequence (viz., Part VI, Three Wars and One Peace Treaty). The purpose of this tome is to clarify the sequence of these three prophetic wars in light of Daniel’s Seventieth Week(especially its “Progressive Dispensational” segment) and the events which lead up to its commencement. Allow me to highlight the somewhat complicated graphic/diagram by yours truly and then I’ll follow it with a graphical schematic …however, the three prophetic wars are herein elucidated within the context of Daniel’s 70th Week.
Now, allow me to highlight these Prophetic Wars in a graphical schematic…
Or simply put:
My apologies for the expanse of these graphics; however, it behooves us to present the most biblical graphic possible with what little technology this author possesses:
“ARMAGEDDON THEOLOGY” DOES NOT MAKE ONE A FIRE-BOMBER
Having foreknowledge of man’s inhumanity to man and/or of Satan’s orchestrations against the purposes of the Almighty (i.e., embracing “Armageddon Theology”) does not constitute a fiendish acceleration of the same (i.e., aggressive support for the military-industrial complex). Knowing the prophetic schematic of these pending, even on-going, conflicts does in no way plow up the killing fields in anticipation for the inevitable – and even forecasting the criminality of Hitler, Mao or Stalin (for “reasonable people” could easily have wrought such forecasts) does not make them an “accomplice to the crime” in any way, shape or form. Churchill knew full-well the naivety of Chamberlain’s announcement – as well as the cataclysmic consequences of Hitler’s subterfuge!
Knowing the Eternal’s rendition of End Time’s conflicts neither implicates God Almighty – Who knows our frame and, therefore, knows evil’s final demise – nor insinuates that they who possess such foreknowledge embellish self-fulfilling “gloom and doom” by the very fact of this divine-originated understanding. Personally, I’m up to here with the Sam Harris philosophical bombasts who trumpet their “new atheism” (along with the likes of Phil Zuckerman’s Society Without God—as if the Swedes who commercially compromised with the Nazis had any claim to “reasonable atheism”) – denying any mention of “divine origin” and ipso facto excluding God from the public square, along with delimiting all those who adhere to faith under the banner of illogical and unreasonable hogwash and, even worse, they who ascribe to belief (especially “prophetic belief”) are therefore exceedingly dangerous to the point of banishment by lethal annihilation (especially eliminated are “moderates” whose predilection for allowing these “absolutists” any legitimate platform merits their own suffocation – i.e., criminal tolerance of absolutists makes moderates the more dangerous of the two).
Now - some of you have read the material below - but imagine what has been written over the past 10 years and you get the idea that somehow, in all humility, we're sitting in some war room or cat bird seat figuring this thing out before it happens!
WHEN THE SYRIAN DEATH TOLL WAS BUT 20,000
Appealing to the supernatural in the midst of violence and civil war does not a warmonger make. I don’t suppose any of you saw the memorial service in Aurora, Colorado void of the supernatural – did you? Don’t think so…Jesus, God – the entire community – including government officials in abundance and even President Obama showed up – and to the person we’re crying out to the Almighty for intervention!
What is it about massacres that drive us to reality like this? Well, man’s inhumanity to man brings out the worst and the best in us. I tell you the truth – it takes more courage and “blind faith” to believe there’s no supernatural than to affirm there is…especially revolting is the notion that since there is no right nor wrong no good nor evil – and all is relative – then matters of this awful magnitude can just slide on by as if God never existed and if He does, WHY DID HE LET THIS HAPPEN…but I didn’t hear anyone blaming God, did you?
By the way – there’s no middle ground…you’re either playing you’re God or you’re believing there is One! Now, if your playing god – I wish you well – otherwise, like Richard Dawkins – famed atheist – you believe them aliens made us and we’re currently under some form of observation whereby we’re occasionally snatched for closer examination, etc.
Meanwhile – THREE Prophetic Wars needs a SUPERNATURAL update – an update you won’t get from Dawkins – so, hang on…
Again – Churchill knew if England acquiesced to Hitler’s demands, Czechoslovakia would be doomed and cheery ‘ole England would reap the whirlwind…so, does that make Churchill a warmonger or a realist? Knowing that there’s a hair-pen curve up yonder some 200 feet with blinking signs galore telling me to slow down does not make the local transportation department a bunch of alarmists – they’d be remiss not to warn!
Here’s the immediate prognostication. Either that BOOK tells it like it is and will be or it’s a bunch of fables. So – WHY IS IT SO SPECIFIC regarding the Oracle of Damascus? Get over it – we’ve now got tens of thousands fleeing the wrath of Bashar al-Assad (2012 - now some 1.5 million refugees in summer, 2013) – who keeps killing his own people. Furthermore, he’s telling us that “if they do have” (thanks for the assurance) chemical weapons of MASS DESTRUCTION (thanks Saddam Hussein, et al) they’d never use them (unlike Saddam – again, very reassuring). Note: Absolute proof by 2013 that Bad Boy Bashar has repeatedly used them - see here!
Sorry about that – the inevitability of the Assad Regime using chemical weapons of mass destruction on its own people is just that – any Ba’athist in their right mind would tell you the same. Blame it all on al Qaeda, the Islamic Brotherhood, Sunni insurgents and the left-over remnants from Iraq’s on-going killing sprees – but folks, we’ve got Hezbollah, Hamas, Russia (preserving their last stupidity in the Middle East) and a whole pot load of folks enthralled with an instant entrance into heaven via martyrdom (especially during this very month of Ramadan - 2012)…and you’re telling me that these weapons won’t be used nor fall into the hands of the highly organized and richly-funded Hezbollah!
Listen – 20,000 are already dead (Note - this was back in 2012 - at least a year ago) – thousands more seriously wounded – every major city in Syria exploding – the UN utterly paralyzed – the Arab League passing stupid resolutions through the General Assembly – and the Obama Regime standing on the corner watching on the babes in burkes go by.
The Prophetic Scriptures are absolutely clear:
Zechariah 9, Isaiah 17, Psalms 83, Amos 1 – and there are others – but all attest – tragically and due to man’s inhumanity to man – the following WILL NOT SLOW DOWN – THEY WILL HIT THE WALL – they won’t make the turn no matter how much the flashing lights and slow down curve ahead signs tell them to – instead THEY’RE SPEEDING UP!
Who: SYRIA (Damascus) – LEBANON (Tyre and Sidon – now Hezbollah) – GAZA (Hamas – now fueled by Egypt’s turn to the Islamic Brotherhood – altogether predictable – what on earth was Obama-Biden-Hillary thinking?) and the fourth belligerent in the final and seventh conflict with Israel – you guessed it, the Stronghold of Ephraim, known as Ramallah, the HQ of the Palestinian Authority.
Now – I didn’t say this – the BOOK said it and said it big time. No, this is not the infamous Gog-Magog War that the rabbis talk about – it’s what will precipitate the final stage of the rebuilding of the Temple – i.e., the Third Temple – in Jerusalem. And, no, the Almighty doesn’t care if 99.9% of the Israelis think this is a cockeyed idea – the vast majority of Jews thought it was nuts to have a State of Israel in the first place. It’s never a biggie majority in that makes things like this happen – just a few good men and women – period.
Will such an Oracle of Damascus be a “short” conflict? It sure as the world will be if Israel figures out that Assad can’t either (1) control his substantial arsenal of chemical weapons or (2) uses them on his own people (which if he’s anything like Baathist buddy Saddam Hussein, he will).
Scripture – and we’re not talkin’ about Nostradamus here – is altogether pointedly clear what the immediate consequence of this awful and final phase of the Arab-Israeli Conflict will generate:
(1) Israel – the “glory of Jacob will fade and the fatness of his flesh grow lean” (Isaiah 17:4) – it goes on to state that a few “good olives” will be left in the upper branches – that’s it! Obviously, Israel survives, but secular Zionism will be defunct!
(2) Immediate Surrounding Arab States – the “remnant of Syria will be as the glory of the children of Israel”…”in that day a man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel…he will not look to the altars, the work of his hands; he will not respect what his fingers have made, nor the wooden images nor the incense altars” (Isaiah 17:3, 7) – A revival of true faith will break out in the Arab countries surrounding Israel.
The consequence of the above with the bankruptcy of secular Zionism will be a decided revival of belief in Israel – notwithstanding, they will begin in earnest looking for “international protection” and find with the IMPOSITION of a Defense Pact in their “trusted ally” – the USA (certainly not the UN, nor Europe, et al) – but simultaneously, and sadly enough, the Bible predicts a more awesome conflict involving – from the North – Turkey-Persia and from the South – Egypt, Northern Sudan and North Africa (ancient Libya) will “come up against him” – and who is the “him?” Sadly, this is the next conflict.
Daniel 11:40-45 discloses this conflict (as does Ezekiel 38-39); moreover, the “him” mentioned in Daniel 11 wherein the Kings of the North and South have in a massive pincer movement (in this next conflict known as the Gog-Magog War) is none other than the leader of the Western Alliance (not some Islamic guy from Turkey – sorry, Joel Richardson who just wrote a book on it).
Furthermore, if there’s any credibility as to who this end-time Antichrist-Beast is, according to Revelation 13 it is BOTH a kingdom and a king – it’s beastly appearance is the reverse seen in Daniel 7-8 – he/it has the appearance of a LEOPARD, the claws of a Bear and the Mouth of a Lion with iron teeth – in Daniel the leopard is mentioned first and guess “out of where” it comes? THE WEST…the third empire (the leopard – Alexander the Great – GRECO) is the same “male goat …from the" - you guessed it: THE WEST” who knocks out the “ram pushing westward” with two horns (i.e., the Medo-Persian Empire) – and that is precisely what happened.
The imagery seen in Revelation 13 has the overall appearance of the leopard – FROM THE WEST and is the culmination of Gentile World Powers all wrapped in one!
That is precisely the geo-political reality of today and those who say otherwise simply do not know their history – the world of colonial Europe is dead – the ascendency of the United States of America is altogether pervasive and to think it is not one simply discredits themselves – the Antichrist is NOT a New-Age Joke, Islam, the Papacy or some Jewish guy – HE AND HIS KINGDOM ARE FROM THE WEST! And I can assure you much further west than Greece or Italy (i.e., the Old Roman Empire) - try sailing with the Phoenicians beyond the Pillars of Hercules and keep rowing until you hit the next land mass!
What we have not calculated is how much Damascus will destroy itself before the full furry of the Oracle of Damascus takes place … will it be as the armies of King Sennacherib wherein some 185,000 Assyrians were slain…thus was their plot to destroy Israel foiled (II Kings 19:35-37)?
This is NOT a World Mystery – this is a foregone conclusion ending the Arab-Israeli conflict – and YOU ARE THERE watching this spectacle unfold. You may not have come to terms with is that it was clearly prophesied over two thousand years ago! So – go about your anger over Israel’s materiality – SHE’S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THERE – therefore, deny these are ancient Israelites, Jews – try to make them something they are not – it won’t work – they are the same Israelites who witnessed the armies of Sennacherib perish and they are in the land surrounded by hoards of haters hell-bent on their destruction – nothing’s changed!
And there is no mystery that the USA will sit this one out – or they’ll keep Russia and Iran from fooling around “in there” – no, soon enough they’ll be involved…SLOW DOWN…MANY CURVES AHEAD!
The words found in Psalm 2 irritate the hell out of some:
“Why do the Gentiles rage, and the people plot a worthless thing? The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Messiah, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.’ HE WHO SITS IN THE HEAVENS SHALL LAUGH; the Lord shall hold them in derision, then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: ‘Yet I have installed My King upon My holy hill of Zion.’ ‘I will declare the decree; the LORD has said to Me, You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ Now therefore, be wise, O kings, be instructed, you judges of the earth, serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.”
…and so the supernatural either is or it isn’t…but as Joel the Prophet once said and saw: “Multitudes, multitudes in the Valley of Decision, for the day of the Lord is near, in the Valley of Decision…the sun and moon will grow dark and the stars will diminish their brightness. The LORD also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake, but the LORD will be a shelter for His people, and he strength of the children of Israel.” (Joel 3:14-16).
Zuckerman (Strife in the Sanctuary) and Harris (The End of Faith) are both Jewish – agonizing over “chosenness” amongst Jewish liberals is not a new phenomenon – nor is their despite toward Orthodox Jewish absolutism (especially its “Messianic” longings). At least their honesty finds “prophetic fulfillment” with “logical friends” amongst the Richard Dawkins evolutionists of our day and their utter hatred toward all things relative to “creationism” and the likes of Ben Stein (a self-loving Jew who in the scheme of Harris’ brain should be given short shrift so that the world can survive without religion of any sort (i.e., Project 2061 anyone and a total banishment of God from the public square under the guise of “amoral enlightenment” along with science and technology at their finest?)). What a relief to get rid of religion and its God of Destruction! Now, if we can just convince “irrational Maoists” and “Stalinists” to temper their hatred toward the divine and those who embrace the same. Let’s at least next time around convince these socialists that the trappings of religion should be once and for all banished from their ideology (whoops, about 150,000,000 deaths too late)!
I had meant to delve into the new “Tyranny of Tolerance” (espoused by Harris and Zuckerman) – as the dominant, emerging philosophy of American Empire (i.e., the “new religion” of the Empire or seizing the “aggressive middle” and replacing absolutist religions with god-inspired meditation, couple with drugs to open our inner-creative-self) – but, alas, events have once again overtaken us with Israel’s “war to the bitter end” against Hamas!
THE PRESENT DISTRESS AND THE BLOOD MOON COMMENCING DANIEL'S 70TH WEEK?
Each day (January, 2009) the attacks accelerate – the killings get exceedingly personal with top Hamas leaders being targeted for liquidation. Charges of indiscriminate bombing by Israelis are common; while Hamas spews rockets into nearby Israeli towns and villages. We’re not here to analyze who started what, when, how and where—we most certainly know why! Things just don’t happen all at once…there’s a lead up to the climax of “the war” – the current Arab-Israeli Conflict. It will be brutal and it will be determinant. The Burden of Damascus leaves that city in utter ruins (i.e., “a ruinous heap” – Isaiah 17:1)...Please Note: The January, 2009 date when this article was written preceded the March, 2011 commencement of Syria's Civil War by some 27 months.
Originally - and as you go further into these prophetic outbursts - you will see the we, in accordance with the Scripture, have fairly and accurately pinpointed the Oracle of Damascus. Initially, however, we had no idea that Syria itself would be its own worst enemy and that the commencement of the "Oracle" would be a Syrian Civil War - even so, a proxy war pitting Shiite Moslems vs. Sunni Moslems and the West vs. Russian interests with Russia on the side of Bashar Al-Assad's regime. Also, that the four up-coming blood moons (found on Vega's chart below as 4, 5, 6, 7) do not signal the immediate commencement of the 70th Week - as we explain in our next article but amplify the very Oracle of Damascus with the "Bull's Eye Blood Moon" occurring on July 27, 2018 (show as 9 between 8 and 10) some 120 days into the most probable date of the beginning of the 70th Week of Daniel forecasting the events commencing the 70th Week itself. Luis Vega's chart, although fairly busy, is, nevertheless, an incredibly accurate forecast of the 27 July 2018 date (again, more of this will be seen in our next article: TIME'S UP - ADAM TO THE SECOND COMING - 6,000 YEARS OF HUMAN HISTORY):
I have been excoriated by Christian and Moslem (even Jews) for extrapolating the texts in Isaiah 17 regarding the destruction of Syria’s beautiful capital – but when it proclaims “Behold, Damascus will cease from being a city” (yet today advertises its persistence as the world’s oldest inhabited city) one could logically conclude that either Isaiah was under one of his grand delusions or his literary license is about to be proven...either he is or isn’t a prophet…I think we’re about to find out.
Syria’s matrix of terrorist headquarters is renown—to be duly noted as the world’s foremost haven for such nefarious pursuits. Although there are numerous splinter cells unaffiliated, there are roughly 44 high profile organizations that our State Department considers “foreign terrorist organizations.” Nigh 70% of these terrorist organizations are Islamic in nature.
Foreign Terrorist Organizations – Syria at the Helm
Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) are foreign organizations that are designated by the Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended. FTO designations play a critical role in the fight against terrorism and are acclaimed an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities and pressuring groups to get out of the terrorism business.
Current List of Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations (April, 2008, US State Department)
- Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)
- Abu Sayyaf Group
- Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade
- Ansar al-Islam
- Armed Islamic Group (GIA)
- Asbat al-Ansar
- Aum Shinrikyo
- Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA)
- Communist Party of the Philippines/New People's Army (CPP/NPA)
- Continuity Irish Republican Army
- Gama’a al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group)
- HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement)
- Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B)
- Harakat ul-Mujahidin (HUM)
- Hizballah (Party of God)
- Islamic Jihad Group
- Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU)
- Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) (Army of Mohammed)
- Jemaah Islamiya organization (JI)
- al-Jihad (Egyptian Islamic Jihad)
- Kahane Chai (Kach)
- Kongra-Gel (KGK, formerly Kurdistan Workers' Party, PKK, KADEK)
- Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LT) (Army of the Righteous)
- Lashkar i Jhangvi
- Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)
- Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG)
- Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM)
- Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK)
- National Liberation Army (ELN)
- Palestine Liberation Front (PLF)
- Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ)
- Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLF)
- PFLP-General Command (PFLP-GC)
- Tanzim Qa'idat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (QJBR) (al-Qaida in Iraq) (formerly Jama'at al-Tawhid wa'al-Jihad, JTJ, al-Zarqawi Network)
- al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (formerly GSPC)
- Real IRA
- Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)
- Revolutionary Nuclei (formerly ELA)
- Revolutionary Organization 17 November
- Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C)
- Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso, SL)
- United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC)
Precisely, according to the US State Department, Syria is one of the most vociferous supporters of State-sponsored terrorism:
What groups has Syria supported which Washington regards as terrorists?
Syria gives the Lebanese militia Hezbollah political, diplomatic, and organizational aid, according to the State Department. Iranian arms bound for Hezbollah regularly pass through Syria, experts say. Syria, which effectively occupied and controlled neighboring Lebanon from 1990 to 2005, also let Hezbollah operate in Lebanon and attack Israel, often ratcheting up regional tensions.
In late 2006, Syria and Iraq ended a twenty-five-year long break in diplomatic relations, entering into a five-year agreement to cooperate on increasing border control and combating terrorism. Previously, the United States had accused Syria of letting militants supporting the Iraqi insurgency to easily pass through its border. Since the agreement, some have accused Syria of not applying stringent border control.
Syria has also provided training, weapons, safe haven, and logistical support to both leftist and Islamist Palestinian hard-liners. Syria allows several regional terrorist organizations—such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command—to have external headquarters in Damascus, according to the State Department. The Syrian government contends that these headquarters are for political and informational mobility only and that these groups “represent legitimate resistance activity as distinguished from terrorism” according to a 2007 Congressional Research Service report (PDF). (CFR, Feb. 2008)
Forever on the table in that Syria is still in a declared “state of war” with Israel, is, of course, “taking out Syria first.” These are not some weirdo-style armchair Zionists talking here…not with the likes of author Max Boot, Jeane J. Kirkpatrick Senior Fellow for National Security Studies (and Senior Fellow for CFR), calling for more aggressive policies toward Syria. Though written in 2006 – I’m quite confident that the Council on Foreign Relation’s Boot is still prepared (without a lot more ammunition) to give Syria the “boot” at a moments notice – I think you need to read what the “Neo-con psychosis” on a hot war with Syria is all about…
ISRAEL SHOULD HIT SYRIA
August 23, 2006 Los Angeles Times
“We are walking with open eyes into our next war.”
The pessimism of a senior Israeli official who made that comment on Aug. 13 (2006) was striking because he had just finished telling a group of security analysts brought to Israel by the American Jewish Committee that the United Nations-brokered cease-fire had achieved many of Israel’s goals. But he had no illusions that this would represent anything more than a temporary halt in the fight between Israel and the Quartet of Evil seeking to dominate the Middle East—Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah.
The war (the 2006 war with Hezbollah/Lebanon – (the “sixth major conflict” of “the war” - Daniel 9:26) - wasn’t a total loss for Israel. But it was far from a victory. Hezbollah lost more than 500 fighters as well as most of its medium- and long-range missiles and its bunker network in southern Lebanon, while inflicting scant damage on Israel. Israeli intelligence analysts are convinced that Tehran isn’t happy about this turn of events because it was holding Hezbollah’s rockets in reserve for a possible retaliatory strike if Israel or the U.S. hit Iran’s nuclear weapons complex.
But rockets are easily replaced (Editor’s Note: Hezbollah now has 30,000 to 33,000 such rockets of which 10,000 can now penetrate deep into Israeli territory—taking “out” Tel Aviv!), and Iran and Syria will now undertake a massive effort to make good Hezbollah’s losses, and then some.
From the perspective of the Quartet of Evil, this conflict demonstrated the power of their rockets to blunt Israel’s military superiority. Antitank missiles inflicted substantial losses on Israeli armor and infantry. A cruise missile badly damaged an Israeli warship that didn’t have its defensive systems turned on. And Hezbollah was able to keep firing hundreds of Katyusha rockets a day into northern Israeli right up until the cease-fire.
Israel had managed to defeat the terrorists’ previous wonder-weapon, the suicide bomber, by walling off the Gaza Strip and West Bank. But a fence won’t stop missiles. Israel will now be loath to retreat any further from the West Bank. Hamas, for its part, will have strong incentive to stockpile rockets in its Gaza redoubt and launch a “third intifada,” as suggested by a columnist in the Hamas newspaper Al Risala.
Israel had hoped that this conflict would reestablish its deterrence, but, if anything, the unsatisfactory outcome will only embolden its enemies. The problem is that wars of attrition against fanatical jihadists who do not fear death and who hide among civilians negate to some extent the Israeli Defense Forces’ superior firepower. Additionally, Iran, the ultimate source of terrorist money and arms, is too far away for effective Israeli retaliation.
Syria, however, is a weak link in the quartet.
Syria’s importance as an advance base for Iran—the two countries concluded a formal alliance on June 16—cannot be exaggerated. It (Syria) is the go-between for most of the munitions flowing to Hezbollah. It is the sanctuary of Hamas honcho Khaled Meshaal. It is also, according to Israeli intelligence sources, the home of a new Iranian-Syrian intelligence center that tracks Israeli military movements and relays that information to terrorist proxies.
State Department optimists dream that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad can be weaned from Iran through concessions from the United States and Israel, such as the return of the Golan Heights. But since the early 1990s, the United States has tried repeatedly to strike a deal with Syria and never gotten anywhere. More economic pressure, especially from Europe, would be helpful, but it could probably be offset by increased subsidies from Iran.
History suggests that only force, or the threat of force, can win substantial concessions from Syria. In 1998, Turkey threatened military action unless Syria stopped supporting Kurdish terrorists. Damascus promptly complied. Israel may have no choice but to follow the Turkish example.
Indeed, Shlomo Avineri, a former director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, argues that his country fought the wrong war: Instead of targeting Lebanon, it should have gone after Syria. The Syrian armed forces are less motivated than Hezbollah, and they offer many more targets for Israeli airpower.
It is, of course, hard for a liberal democracy such as Israel to contemplate war if it hasn’t been attacked directly—and Syria has been careful to avoid direct attacks on Israel. (It prefers to fight to the last Lebanese.) Israelis naturally prefer peace. But the choice they face isn’t between war and peace. It is between war sooner and on their own terms, or war later and on the enemy’s terms. Ignoring the threat and hoping that it goes away isn’t a serious option. That’s the mistake Israel made with Hezbollah over the last six years.
HEZBOLLAH’S FORMIDABLE OPPORTUNITY TO ATTACK ISRAEL
Under Syria’s watchful and supportive eye, Hezbollah’s rocket capabilities are a major concern for Israel—far more formidable than the Hamas peashooters flying in from Gaza. Her “warriors” have dug their holes and caves like an ant hill akin to what the Japanese did on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima—that cost the USA nearly 7,000 dead and 20,000 wounded. Considering the Japanese lost some 20,000 with a force of 22,000 and the USA had a force of 110,000, I’d say attacking ant hills needs further consideration. Numbers meant little when it came to fighting to the death—and that’s when Americans could and would fight!
Now, as of this writing (July, 2013 - and sorry to meander all over the map here date-wise but this is a moving target - so, like most "prophets" there's a kind of flashback going off here and there) - Hezbollah is fully engaged in the Syrian Civil War on the side of Bashar Al-Assad and I mean big time! The interests of the USA are generously served as Iran, Hezbollah and Russia are sucked into the vortex of this ever-widening/deepening sinkhold.
But what happens when Hezbollah gets fed up with "lead-from-behind" armaments pouring into the "opposition forces"? Here's a possible forecast: Rockets flying in from Hezebollah and guess where they're headed? Don't think for one minute that Iran would not provoke such a stupidity - not only would they, they are itching for the chance to suck Israel into the conflict - dumb, but, nevertheless, cats when cornered do the strangest things - especially, Islamic cats.
Although the Israelis airforce has bomb several sophisticated rocket shipments headed from Syria into Hezbollah regions of Lebanon, that in no way can compensate for the vast stockpiles of rocketry now held by Hezbollah and aimed at Israel:
Lebanese Hezbollah has a diverse modern arsenal that contributes to its political power in Lebanon and adds credibility to its threats against Israel. Hezbollah’s recent acquisition of Fateh 110 missiles, which can strike Tel Aviv, has increased the danger it poses to Israeli security. Recent reports indicate that the group is continuing to expand its ballistic missile arsenal by acquiring Syrian Scud missiles. Hezbollah’s possession and continued acquisition of weapons is in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which required that all Lebanese militias disarm following the July 2006 war in which Hezbollah displayed its anti-ship, anti-tank, and UAV capabilities. It has not, however, claimed credit for any rocket attacks on Israel since the ceasefire. (Source here)
Syria is fully collaborating in these fortification efforts of Hezbollah…As Israeli Defense Minister Barak declares:
“Barak says that Hezbollah is also setting up positions in 150 villages deep inside southern Lebanon.
“The terrorist organization is not acting alone. Even as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (sorry about the dates flashing all over the place - but it does give you some idea that this was then, but now it is much worse) works toward giving Syria the Golan Heights, Syria is supplying Hezbollah with arms. ‘The Syrians are working in intimate cooperation with Hezbollah, and they are in large part responsible for the transfer of weapons and supplies to Hezbollah,’ said Barak. ‘The ultimate responsibility, as far as we’re concerned, lies with Hezbollah on the one hand, and with the Iranians and the Syrians on the other.’” (Barak: Hezbollah Establishing Fortifications in Southern Lebanon – June 4, 2008, from TheTrumpet.com)
The Israelis are more than aware of the frightful prospect of sending their citizenry to the shelters…
“In total, Hezbollah rockets have killed 55 Israelis, 43 of whom were civilians. More than 250 Israeli citizens were left severely wounded and thousands more were injured. The injuries were often caused by rockets packed with shrapnel and metal ball bearings, a tactic used to ensure as many civilian casualties as possible. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis were forced to flee for their lives and approximately one million Israelis were confined to bomb shelters.“The Israeli government's defense measures to the terrorist group's bombardment - including communal and individual underground bomb shelters, reinforced rooms in apartments and houses, as well as an early warning system designed to alert residents of incoming rockets - saved the lives of innumerable Israeli and Arab civilians.“Iran and Syria, two of the world's chief state sponsors of terrorism, are the main suppliers of Hezbollah's lethal rocket arsenal. Over the course of the war, most of the rockets fired at Israel were manufactured in Syria, which supplied Hezbollah with the majority of its shorter-range rockets.
“Hezbollah's upgraded arsenal since the 2006 war currently includes:
Iranian-made Sayyad Misagh 2 and Shahab Tagheb surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles.
“Long-range Fatah-110 rockets, which have a 201 kilometer (125 mi.) range and can be equipped with a 227 kilogram (500 lb.) warhead.
“Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which can be used for aerial surveillance or remotely piloted terrorist attacks.
“A new air defense wing was formed in spring 2007. Selected Hezbollah militants are trained in Tehran to use air defense missiles in combat.
“Rebuilt bunkers as deep as 70 feet, the width of a football field. The underground bunkers are equipped with sophisticated communications equipment and connected by tunnels, which limit Israel's ability to destroy the bunkers by air.
“Hezbollah is rebuilding its fortifications and new missile sites north of the Litani River.
“At the commencement of the Israel-Hezbollah War on July 12, when the Iran-backed terrorist organization Hezbollah abducted two Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers and killed three in a cross-border raid into Israeli territory, Hezbollah was estimated to possess an arsenal of 13,000 rockets. Throughout the 34-day Iranian-sponsored war, approximately 3,970 of those rockets struck Israel at an average rate of 130 per day. On Aug. 13, the last day of military hostilities, Hezbollah launched 253 rockets, its severest attack during the war.
“Hezbollah is known to possess both the long-range, Iranian-made Fajr and Zilzal missiles. Hezbollah's Iranian stockpile includes about 100 Fajr missiles and several dozen Zilzal missiles.“The Israel Air Force (IAF) succeeded in destroying the majority of Hezbollah's long-range Iranian rockets at the onset of hostilities. The longer-range Iranian rockets provided to Hezbollah include:
240 mm Fajr-3, with a range of 43 km (27 mi.)“July 16: In an Iranian-designed and Syrian-produced Fajr-3 missile struck a train depot in Haifa, killing eight people.
320 mm Fajr-5, with a range of 75 km (47 mi.).“If fired from the Israel-Lebanon border, the Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 are capable of striking Haifa and cities further south.”
(The Israel Project)
With literally thousands of long and short-range rockets bearing down on Israel in the same-style war Israel faced in 2006 (no matter how prepared for such a conflict Israel may boast) – the SAMSON OPTION would be in full furry…
On occasion – and this is what we at the Tribnet foresee as a realistic and tragic conclusion to the Arab-Israeli Conflict:
THE ULTIMATE OPTION – THE END OF THE THIRD TEMPLE
A gripping tale of how close Israel came in the 1973 War with Egypt and Syria is something everyone should read…now, with rockets on the ready to bomb Israeli civilian centers and the Iranians close to producing “the bomb” – well, read this and know…THE ORACLE OF DAMASCUS is a reality, right here and now!
“The Samson Option states that Moshe Dayan gave the go-ahead for starting weapon production in early 1968, putting the plutonium separation plant into full operation. Israel began producing three to five bombs a year. The book Critical Mass asserts that Israel had two bombs in 1967, and that Prime Minister Eshkol ordered them armed in Israel's first nuclear alert during the Six-Day War. Avner Cohen in his recent book, Israel and the Bomb, agrees that Israel had a deliverable nuclear capability in the 1967 war. He quotes Munya Mardor, leader of Rafael, the Armament Development Authority, and other unnamed sources, that Israel “cobbled together” two deliverable devices.
“Having the bomb meant articulating, even if secretly, a use doctrine. In addition to the ‘Samson Option’ of last resort, other triggers for nuclear use may have included successful Arab penetration of populated areas, destruction of the Israeli Air Force, massive air strikes or chemical/biological strikes on Israeli cities, and Arab use of nuclear weapons.
“In 1971, Israel began purchasing krytrons, ultra high-speed electronic switching tubes that are ‘dual-use,’ having both industrial and nuclear weapons applications as detonators. In the 1980s, the United States charged an American, Richard Smith (or Smyth), with smuggling 810 krytrons to Israel. He vanished before trial and reportedly lives outside Tel Aviv. The Israelis apologized for the action saying that the krytrons were for medical research. Israel returned 469 of the krytrons but the rest, they declared, had been destroyed in testing conventional weapons. Some believe they went to South Africa. Smyth has also been reported to have been involved in a 1972 smuggling operation to obtain solid rocket fuel binder compounds for the Jericho II missile and guidance component hardware. Observers point to the Jericho missile itself as proof of a nuclear capability as it is not suited to the delivery of conventional munitions.
“On the afternoon of 6 October 1973, Egypt and Syria attacked Israel in a coordinated surprise attack, beginning the Yom Kippur War. Caught with only regular forces on duty, augmented by reservists with a low readiness level, Israeli front lines crumbled. By early afternoon on 7 October, no effective forces were in the southern Golan Heights and Syrian forces had reached the edge of the plateau, overlooking the Jordan River. This crisis brought Israel to its second nuclear alert.
Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, obviously not at his best at a press briefing, was, according to Time magazine, rattled enough to later tell the prime minister that “this is the end of the third temple,” referring to an impending collapse of the state of Israel. “Temple” was also the code word for nuclear weapons. Prime Minister Golda Meir and her “kitchen cabinet” made the decision on the night of 8 October. The Israelis assembled 13 twenty-kiloton atomic bombs. The number and in fact the entire story was later leaked by the Israelis as a great psychological warfare tool. Although most probably plutonium devices, one source reports they were enriched uranium bombs. The Jericho missiles at Hirbat Zachariah and the nuclear strike F-4s at Tel Nof were armed and prepared for action against Syrian and Egyptian targets. They also targeted Damascus with nuclear capable long-range artillery although it is not certain they had nuclear artillery shells.
“U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was notified of the alert several hours later on the morning of 9 October. The U.S. decided to open an aerial re-supply pipeline to Israel, and Israeli aircraft began picking up supplies that day. Although stockpile depletion remained a concern, the military situation stabilized on October 8th and 9th as Israeli reserves poured into the battle and averted disaster. Well before significant American re-supply had reached Israeli forces, the Israelis counterattacked and turned the tide on both fronts.
“On 11 October, a counterattack on the Golan broke the back of Syria's offensive and on 15 and 16 October, Israel launched a surprise crossing of the Suez Canal into Africa. Soon the Israelis encircled the Egyptian Third Army and it was faced with annihilation on the east bank of the Suez Canal, with no protective forces remaining between the Israeli Army and Cairo. The first U.S. flights arrived on 14 October. Israeli commandos flew to Fort Benning, Georgia to train with the new American TOW anti-tank missiles and return with a C-130 Hercules aircraft full of them in time for the decisive Golan battle. American commanders in Germany depleted their stocks of missiles, at that time only shared with the British and West Germans, and sent them forward to Israel.
“Thus started the subtle, opaque use of the Israeli bomb to ensure that the United States kept its pledge to maintain Israel's conventional weapons edge over its foes. There is significant anecdotal evidence that Henry Kissinger told President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, that the reason for the U.S. airlift was that the Israelis were close to “going nuclear.”
(Please see all footnotes, if interested here…THE THIRD TEMPLE’S HOLY OF HOLIES: ISRAEL’S NUCLEAR WEAPONS, Warner D. Farr, LTC, U.S. Army, The Counterproliferation Papers, future Warfare Series No. 2, USAF Counterproliferation Center, Air War College, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, September, 1999)
Oh, don’t think that Israel hasn’t targeted DAMASCUS with nuclear weaponry before – and that was 35+ years ago – imagine what’s happening today? “Nuclear capable long-range artillery?” Come on now – after 235 rockets rained down on Israelis, the war of 2006 suddenly ended - amazing what “options” could have been placed on the table by the Israelis? Friends, this scenario is not as vulgar as it appears. There’s not a whole lot of time to preserve the “Third Temple” when 10,000 long-range rockets bear down on your cities. And, what if Tijuana drug lords decided it was time to rocket San Diego – bizarre, I know – but when eight to ten are dying daily in this southern exposure…who knows what idiot could pull a trigger in some form of retaliation. Now think of Israel getting plastered by indiscriminate rockets going off all over the “Third Temple” – well, if this were happening to San Diego, I can assure you that a huge hole several hundred feet deep and perhaps a mile wide would be all that’s left of our beloved Tijuana (With, of course, appropriate notification that we had decided to blow her to smithereens so the innocents couldvamoose.).
No – the seventh and final conflict of the Arab-Israeli Struggle will not be house-to-house fighting by the IDF amongst the ruins of Gaza (although there most surely will be some of this)– nor blow torching Hezbollah in her bunkers…it will be Samson in all his “option” that will go to the heart of the problem: SYRIA! Iran is simply not a viable option – besides, an attack on Iran would trigger an assault by Syria in any event and visa versa. It’s just that those missiles pointed at Israel by Hezbollah are what infuriate . . . and there’s little time to decide. It will be mandatory to take “life into our own hands” and dispense with diplomatic maneuvering, delaying tactics (truces, public opinion polls and marches, US restraints, and, most definitely, EU, French, Russia meddling in “our affairs” – you name it) – interference to the wind! At this stage Egypt will be cowering and the Saudis imploding (diplomatically). Talk about short, sweet and to the point!
WHERE’S CHURCHILL WHEN YOU NEED HIM?
Interjecting Sir Winston Churchill into this quagmire seems only too appropriate—given Israel’s pending exhaustion and will to fight on amidst a world whose opinions of her daily diminish and as peaceniks within abound. Churchill’s frame of mind, after Chamberlain’s inane declarations of “peace in our time,” is a prime example of the prophetic spirit whose birthplace should reside among the Hebrews at this critical season of uncertainty:
"You were given the choice between war and dishonor.
You chose dishonor and you will have war."
“Churchill made this prophetic pronouncement in a House of Commons speech in 1938, just after Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain signed the Munich agreement with Hitler. Chamberlain returned from Germany with the signed agreement in hand, proclaiming that ‘peace in our time’ had been achieved. Churchill attacked Chamberlain's ‘politics of appeasement’ in this and many other speeches.” (Masters of Chiasmus: Winston Churchill (Part 2))
Churchill knew full-well that Britain could have stood up to Hitler in his early program of intimidation. Unbelievable – after the war we discovered that leading military commanders in Germany had a complete coup in place to overthrow Hitler the very day he met with Chamberlain in Munich! Yes, they concurred with Germany’s aggression…but Hitler was moving too fast before she could adequately rearm. Then, this Chamberlain rolled over – while the Generals stood down at the Fuhrer’s tactical brilliance.
Churchill arose on Parliament’s floor in a prophetic outburst that would resound throughout WW II…if only England would have listened. It does us good to ponder the import of the prophet of Britain:
“One pound was demanded at the pistol’s point. When it was given, two pounds were demanded at the pistol’s point. Finally the Dictator consented to take 1 pound, 17 shillings and sixpence and the rest in promises of good will for the future.
“No one has been a more resolute and uncompromising struggler for peace than the Prime Minister.... Nevertheless, I am not quite clear on why there was so much danger of Great Britain or France being involved in a war with Germany at this juncture if, in fact, they were ready all along to sacrifice Czechoslovakia. The terms which the Prime Minister brought back with him could easily have been agreed [at any time]. And I will say this, that I believe the Czechs, left to themselves and told they were going to get no help from the Western Powers, would have been able to make better terms than they have got after all this tremendous perturbation. They could hardly have had worse.
“All is over. Silent, mournful, abandoned, broken, Czechoslovakia recedes into the darkness....
“I do not grudge our loyal, brave people, who were ready to do their duty no matter what the cost, who never flinched under the strain of last week, the natural, spontaneous outburst of joy and relief when they learned that the hard ordeal would no longer be required of them at the moment; but they should know the truth. They should know that there has been gross neglect and deficiency in our defenses; they should know that we have sustained a defeat without a war, the consequences of which will travel far with us along our road; they should know that we have passed an awful milestone in our history, when the whole equilibrium of Europe has been deranged, and that the terrible words have for the time being been pronounced against the Western Democracies: `Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.' And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year unless, by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigor, we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” (Winston Churchill)
Mussolini’s Foreign Minister gloated over Chamberlain’s appeasement in his secret diary, found shortly after the war:
“These men are not made of the same stuff as Francis Drake and the other magnificent adventurers who created the Empire. They are after all the tired sons of a long line of rich men.” (The Secret Diary of Mussolini’s Foreign Minister)
Churchill’s rail on appeasement included such literary prose as these:
“If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”
Even so – Churchill’s uncompromised foresight should awaken Israel to her vigilant need – or what Chamberlain-style pressure from her peaceniks shall await her ultimate demise? Will she be forced to exercise the Samson Option and stave off the final denial of the Third Temple? Perhaps a “prophetess of Israel” has inherited the Churchillian spirit in the midst of “peace at any price”….We’re close – oh so close…
“Delight in smooth sounding platitudes, refusal to face unpleasant facts, desire for popularity and electoral success irrespective of the vital interests of the State, genuine love of peace and pathetic belief that love can be its sole foundation….utter devotion of the Liberals to sentiment apart from reality [all these things] constituted a picture of … fatuity and fecklessness which, though devoid of guile, was not devoid of guilt, and though free from wickedness and evil design, played a definite part in the unleashing upon the world of horrors and miseries which, even so far as they have unfolded, are beyond comparison in human experience.” (Peace in Our Time, From Naomi Ragan, October 6, 2000 – Quoting from Winston Churchill’s “The Gathering Storm”)
Since this tome’s design depicts “The Rise or Fall of American Empire?” – Then, where, pray tell, does the “land shadowed with buzzing wings” abide in all this?
Frankly, the USA-Israeli Strategic Alliance is very much alive and well (Please see: US-Israel Strategic Alliance). Notwithstanding this complicated relationship between the USA and Israel – they, nevertheless, find themselves facing similar enemies. Regardless of the depth of the current alignment of interests (military, commercial, religious and social), there has never been a full-blown formalization of a “Defense Pact” wherein if Israel is attacked, the USA considers it an attack against herself…but that day is fast approaching (i.e., the formalization of such a “defense pact”).
The Bible’s clarity of another nation’s security over Israel’s protection is the fire that will light the final chapter of human history as we now know it. America’s role seems one of both collaboration and interference—at this stage of things. However, AFTER the Oracle of Damascus, according to Isaiah 18, there will be a nation and people who are wholly engaged in a major diplomatic effort…a land “beyond the rivers of Ethiopia (Cush)” (Isaiah 18:1).
Every British Israelite and his brother have imbibed in these interpretations to substantiate the Anglo connection to Judah. This is not my emphasis—to the contrary, and although I concur that the description of those who offer such aggressive diplomacy can be none other than the United States of America, they are by no means linked to the so-called “lost tribes of Israel.”
Their ambassadors travel by sea in vessels beyond “the rivers of Ethiopia” – and “beyond” connotes a land in ancient times beyond the immediate prophetic environs of the known world (however, below—some disagree, but their arguments are bewildering, confused)…
“Go, swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth of skin, to a people terrible from their beginning onward, a nation powerful and treading down, whose land the rivers divide” (Isa. 18:2).
RAY STEDMAN’S ON THE RIGHT TRACK BUT IS CONFUSED ON WHO MAKES THE COVENANT
The notion that Americans are tall and clean shaven MAY merit feasible description; however, there is unquestioned veracity to the remarks of the prophet that “from their beginning onward, a nation powerful and treading down” could possibly allude to the USA. (I find it farfetched to say this describes Israel herself.) Furthermore, the phrase “whose land the rivers divide” compounds the evidence as to whom this “mystery land” speaks. I am persuaded by the likes of Ray Stedman’s commentary on these passages that he was on to something more profound (and this goes without saying that I am not altogether put off that the ultimate Gentile World Power alluded to here in Isaiah 18 is the USA)…but let Stedman’s commentary shed further light on this “mystery nation.”
“Some say the ‘land of overshadowing wings’ is a reference to the American eagle, the symbol of the United States. It is described as ‘a nation tall and smooth [they do not have beards] ... whose land the rivers divide.’ These interpreters say that, since Isaiah did not know of the western world, he could only describe it as ‘beyond the rivers of Ethiopia,’ i.e. to the west of Ethiopia and is a reference to the new world, probably to the United States. This illustrates the ease with which such prophecies can be misused and misapplied.
“Actually, as I have pointed out before, Hebrew is a difficult language to translate because many Hebrew words can be taken in various ways. A careful comparison of the words used here as they are used elsewhere in the Old Testament, results in an almost entirely different translation.
“In the first place, the word that is translated ‘Ethiopia’ is the word ‘Cush.’ The ancient name of Ethiopia was Cush, but the problem is, there are two Cushes in the Bible. One is in Africa, which we identify as Ethiopia, with the Nile River as its great river. There was another Cush, however, in Asia, north of Palestine, around the headwaters of the Euphrates. That Cush would be identified with Assyria, and the great river running out of it was the Euphrates. So that this ‘land of overshadowing wings,’ which is ‘beyond the rivers of Cush’ (the Nile on one side, the Euphrates on the other) would be a land that protects or in some way influences another nation.
“Adopting that translation, the area of the globe referred to would be the Gentile powers of earth. They will ‘overshadow’ by a covenant, a treaty of protection, with a nation which is described as ‘a nation tall and smooth.’ ‘A people feared from its beginning’ is a better translation. It is also ‘a nation under the line’ literally, under the judgment of God, a disciplined nation, a nation chastised by God, ‘whose land the rivers [the Nile and the Euphrates] divide’ among themselves.
Historically this describes the nation of Israel. Caught between the great superpowers of the day, their armies crisscrossing it often, this nation has been divided between these great powers. But in the end times there will be a covenant made with it (we read of this in the book of Daniel), and that covenant will be with the great Gentile nations of the world of that day. The result will be an invasion (which Ezekiel describes) from the north that will eventuate in the destruction of the great world powers (called by Ezekiel Gog and Magog) on the mountains of Israel. There is a reference to that in Verse 6 of Isaiah 18:
They shall all of them be left to the birds of prey of the mountains and to the beasts of the earth. And the birds of prey will summer upon them, and all the beasts of the earth will winter upon them. (Isa 18:6 RSV)
“But the last word is that there will be a final restoration.
At that time gifts will be brought to the Lord of hosts from a people tall and smooth, from a people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering, whose land the rivers divide, to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the Lord of hosts. (Isa 18:7-8 RSV)
“Again, this is a picture of the restoration of Israel to its land and the tribute of the Gentile nations.” (Why Do the Nations Rage?, Pastor Ray C. Stedman, pbc Library)
Stedman’s interpretation is a bit skewed, even confusing. How is it that the ancient Israelites are “a nation tall and smooth…feared from its beginning?” Also, if this be a “land the rivers (both the Nile and Euphrates – as rivers would depict nation states – Egypt, the Nile and Assyria, the Euphrates), then they could, under Stedman’s analysis, be those peoples who “divide” the land of Israel between them (i.e., between these great powers). Then he jumps to those latter-day nations (or “nation”): “But in the end times there will be a covenant made with it (we read of this in the book of Daniel) (Note: Stedman is perhaps referring to Daniel 9:27 and the “covenant with the many for one week”), and that covenant will be with the great Gentile nations of the world of that day.”
He then concludes that “The result will be an invasion (which Ezekiel describes) from the north that will eventuate in the destruction of the great world powers (called by Ezekiel Gog and Magog) on the mountains of Israel.” I do not deny that the conclusion of Isaiah 17:12-14 appears to allude to the aftermath of the Oracle of Damascus wherein “the nations will rush like the rushing of many waters; but God will rebuke them and they will flee far away” – this, most definitely fits the Gog-Magog War which follows in the train of the Burden of Damascus.
However, that said, it appears that Brother Stedman is fuzzy about this “mystery nation.” I concur that we are dealing with a Gentile World Power (not “powers”), but Stedman’s analysis of locating this prophetic mystery is a bit out there. Stedman has confused the “Oracle of Damascus” with the Gog-Magog War and has somehow mixed in “great Gentile nations of the world of that day” (i.e., Egypt/Nile and Assyria/Euphrates) who apparently participate in this “covenant” with Israel…whereas, Daniel 9:27 is strictly an agreement imposed upon Israel in the form of a defense pact orchestrated by “the coming prince” (i.e., the Antichrist). It is Antichrist who shall effect such an imposition; thence, Isaiah confirms this to be “A covenant with death, and with Sheol” (Isaiah 28:15, 18). This “covenant” is between “the coming prince” (Antichrist) and “the many” (Israel’s majority)…it is not a “covenant” between a group of Gentile World Powers and Israel (i.e., between Gog-Magog and Israel), but the imposition of a virtual unilateral defense pact between Antichrist and Israel, which inadvertently or purposefully protects Israel from Gog-Magog.
Needless to say, we concur with Stedman’s pronouncement that Israel shall be involved in such a subterfuge (i.e., defense pact or “covenant”) at the end of days—but with whom? The consequences of Isaiah 18 are a direct result of the previous war mentioned in Isaiah 17: The Oracle of Damascus. It is that war which generates the feverish diplomatic activity – which in vain seeks to avoid Gog-Magog or assure Israel that if attacked, it will equal an attack on Antichrist. Stedman is correct, however, Gog-Magog is present in the texts he cites; notwithstanding, his “mystery nation” is not Israel sandwiched between Egypt and Assyria (his two rivers) but it most definitely is a Gentile World Power separate and apart from Israel who shall seize the opportunity for full-scale diplomacy following the Oracle of Damascus, leading to the infamous defense pact or “covenant” mentioned in both Daniel 9:27 and Isaiah 28:15 and 18.
Where Stedman’s analysis becomes blurred is not in the timing of the Gog-Magog War (i.e., after the “covenant” is made with the many or after the commencement of the Seventieth Week of Daniel) but the participants involved in the “covenant.” Stedman says “that covenant will be with the great Gentile nations of the world of that day. The result will be an invasion (which Ezekiel describes) from the north that will eventuate in the destruction of the great world powers (called by Ezekiel Gog and Magog) on the mountains of Israel.” It appears that Stedman’s covenant is made not between Antichrist and Israel but between “great Gentile nations” who in turn will invade Israel (i.e., “break the covenant”?) from the north (Gog and Magog). No, the “defense pact” is not made with Stedman’s “great Gentile nations” (e.g., Egypt/Nile/King of the South and Assyria/Euphrates/King of the North) and Israel but between Antichrist who is allied with Israel against these “great Gentile nations” – which protection is formalized by Antichrist’s “Treaty with Death and Hell.”
Gog-Magog – King of the North and King of the South – attack Israel in Ezekiel and Antichrist in Daniel 11:40-43; therefore, it is illogical to think that Gog-Magog et al affirm such a covenant with Israel and then turn on her—nothing of the sort is mentioned in Scripture. Whereas such a defense pact made between Antichrist and Israel would generate antagonism from the constellation of nations and principalities represented in both Ezekiel 38-39 (Gog-Magog—attacking Israel) and Daniel 11:40-43 (King of the North – King of the South—attacking Antichrist).
Stedman is correct in that “this is a picture of the restoration of Israel to its land and the tribute of the Gentile nations.” But how can such a tribute (Isaiah 18:7) come from the same people who are “tall and smooth of skin, and from a people terrible from their beginning onward, a nation powerful and treading down, whose land the rivers divide” (i.e., Israel is the “mystery nation” who attempts major diplomatic maneuvers and eventually submits to the divine order, according to Stedman…she sends out her emissaries and sues for a collective peace with the “river nations” of the Nile and Euphrates, only to have them turn on her as Gog-Magog)? The problem in all this is Stedman’s total omission of just who is orchestrating the covenant—it’s not Egypt and Assyria or “Gentile World Powers” but Antichrist who enforces his treaty upon Israel. “The land the rivers divide” is not Israel but the Gentile nation whose very land is divided by those very rivers—rivers divide that Gentile Nation, terrible from their beginning.
Carefully note we’re speaking of that same Gentile World Power which shall bring such a gift “to the LORD of hosts” at the final Millenarian restoration. This GENTILE nation is described as “a people tall and smooth, etc.” On the other hand, Stedman argues that ultimately the “land (i.e., Israel) the rivers (Gentile nations) divide” is Israel herself; therefore, all the other descriptions fit Israel, not a Gentile nation. Stedman states that the “land shadowed with buzzing wings” are “Gentile nations” who allegedly “overshadow by a covenant, a treaty of protection, with a nation (Israel) which is described as ‘a nation tall and smooth’.” Stedman’s interpretation is convoluted. The “land shadowed with buzzing wings” is the land beyond the rivers of Ethiopia (Cush). It is this land (Israel) which “sends (‘Israeli’) ambassadors by sea” to these “buzzing winged Gentile nations” (according to Stedman) – they in turn make a covenant with Israel and later break it; turns out these Gentile nations are none other than Gog-Magog who are in Stedman’s estimation mentioned in Daniel as making a covenant with Israel. The “truth is out there” – but not in Stedman’s interpretation – and I believe I’m being fair in this analysis.
THE MYSTERY NATION…
At this point a review of my previous efforts to excise the true “mystery nation” from these obscurities (taken from the Road to Damascus, by Doug Krieger) would be appropriate:
After Isaiah elucidates Cush’s involvement, he describes an UNNAMED PEOPLE or NATION . . . almost like a riddle, designed to help one discover who that nation might be:
“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” (Isaiah 18:2 NIV)
or . . . let us consider the NKJV:
“Go, swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth of skin,
to a people terrible from their beginning onward,
a nation powerful and treading down, whose land the rivers divide.”
Here we discover that Cush is prepared to settle, as one of the members of the Southern Confederated nations aligned with Gog, directly with this mystery nation—no doubt some form of peace.
The Masoretic Text gives even a more detailed analysis of this mystery nation/people; to wit:
“. . . 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.” (Isaiah 18:2) (Hebrew Masoretic Text accessed via: Bushell, Michael S., Bible Works for Windows. Big Fork, Montana: Hermeneutica Software, 1996.) (Also, special appreciation for the wonderful work of Paul Robertson of Portland, Oregon)
Thusly, this unnamed, mystery nation is known and described as follows:
- A nation whose will has been usurped.
This strange and unusual description goes beyond normal bounds of human description. First, they are a nation . . . clearly a nation that has caused Cush to be concerned for its own sovereignty.
She is a nation, who by the time of this description, has lost her freedoms and are somehow “led along according to someone else’s will” –we affirm that “will” to be none other than that of Antichrist; to wit:
“23When these rulers have become as evil as possible,
their power will end, and then a king who is dangerous and cannot be trusted will appear.
24He will gain strength, but not on his own, and he will cause terrible destruction.
He will wipe out powerful leaders and God's people as well.”
The sheer force of his will shall lead many astray:
“Through his cunning he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule;
and he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity.
He shall even rise against the Prince of princes”
How readily are we reminded of the WILFUL ONE found in Isaiah 14:12-14:
12"How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer,[a] son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
13For you have said in your heart:
"I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.
Surely, the WILL of this nation has been usurped by this despicable one whose frame we are well aware! Finally, we confer this verse to his charge;
“Then the king shall do according to his own will:
he shall exalt and magnify himself above every god,
shall speak blasphemies against the God of gods,
and shall prosper till the wrath has been accomplished;
for what has been determined shall be done”
- A “smooth-skinned” (or clean shaven) people.
This phrase/word (i.e., “smooth-skinned”) is derived from the Hebrew word “morat” and connotes “smooth” or “hairless.” Therefore, we conclude that they have purposefully removed their facial hair and/or body hair. The history of a people who has done this is most fascinating. The art of barbering dates way back; however, in the modern era, it is the USA that laid claim to the earth’s first schools of Barbering (1893) and to this day prides itself as a nation of the clean shaven! How odd to describe this mystery nation as CLEAN SHAVEN! Of course, this custom is highly prized by the US military and is, almost across the board, REQUIRED BY THE MILITARY. The Egyptians were clean shaven, but certainly not the ancient Israelites. From “Aaron’s beard to Samson’s Hair” – the Israelites are hardly Stedman’s hairless mystery nation.
- The third “clue” as to this nation’s identity lies in the phrase: “feared from himself and beyond.”
Although it appears from the Hebrew that this nation’s people could be “afraid of its own government,” it is far more likely that she is a nation feared throughout the world and obviously, therefore, she is a WORLD POWER of the foremost order! No doubt, those “within her” are fearful, on the one hand, but on the other hand, everyone “outside her” is also full of terror at this nation’s leadership and people.
These verses of Antichrist’s power come to mind:
“A king shall arise, having fierce features . . . he (i.e., Antichrist) shall destroy fearfully . . . so they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” (Daniel 8:23, 24; Revelation 13:4).
- “A nation that stretched measuring lines and subjugated”
Rarely has there ever in the history of humankind been an emerging nation state that measured its conquered landsand then, subjugated its native peoples like that of this nation! In point of fact, the very art of surveying on a massive scale was literally founded by this nation! And, what of its subjugated peoples . . . the tragic history is unparalleled in the annals of human history!
- “Whose land the rivers have plundered”
This phrase comes from the Hebrew word “bazu” and is singularly found only in this passage of the Bible. However, the word is similar to that of its noun form: “baz” (to “loot” or “plunder”). Therefore, the verb “bazu” means “looted” or “plundered.” Apparently, this land which is divided by rivers is literally FLOODED by these same rivers and that flooding is extensive!
The legendary dividing of the USA by its formidable currents is known throughout the world. Furthermore, the incessant flooding of those same streams is without precedence; especially, because of the many cities which line their banks and are exposed to the ravages of their floods!
DO WE HAVE A VERDICT!
Is the mystery nation Stedman’s Israel or the final days’ Gentile World Power? I believe it is the conglomeration of evidence that convinces this author, and many others, that Isaiah’s description of this end-times’ nation and people, can be none other than these United States of America—not Israel, nor ancient Assyria or Egypt, and certainly not Ethiopia (Cush), nor Assyria (Cush).
Purposefully it is UNNAMED! Why? Because it wasn’t even in existence at the time of Isaiah’s writings—so its peculiar and convincing description is given.
One nation, and one nation alone, can command the fear of all the other nations of the globe! This people’s will is being usurped as we speak. Blindly do they follow their leadership until all will is subservient to their commander. They are a militant people whose clean-shaven character fits their military motif. They are today’s SOLE SUPER POWER. Their land was surveyed and their native populations were subjugated. Indeed, their rivers may have wrought massive flooding but by dent of their imaginative will have they overcome their adversities.
Listen now, listen and see who is this nation:
“All inhabitants of the world and dwellers on the earth: When HE (this nation) lifts up a banner on the mountains, you see it; and when HE blows a trumpet you hear it” (Isaiah 18:3).
The transition in Isaiah 17 is now completed. Damascus is destroyed. Gog and Magog gather together against “him” at the close of Isaiah 17. But this fearful and terrible nation, and its awesome and fearsome leader, shall defeat mighty Gog and his allies, Magog (those inhabiting the “Land of Magog”).
And, how shall HE defeat his foes who have mounted such a massive assault against HIM? Daniel 11:40-45 spells out his tactics and strategies. At this stage, Israel’s foes are vanquished AND “In that time a present will be brought to the Lord of hosts from a people tall and smooth of skin, and from a people terrible from their beginning onward, a nation powerful and treading down, whose land the rivers divide—to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, to Mount Zion” (Isaiah 18:7).
This finale, this conclusion of Isaiah 17 through 18 is most remarkable . . . or is it? Imbedded within these mysterious and strange descriptions is a final depiction which amplifies the Almighty’s sovereignty over all things earthly and heavenly. Could we be witnessing the Lord’s USE OF HIS FOE FOR HIS OWN ENDS? Absolutely!
This “nation powerful and treading down,” this one “which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, treading it down and breaking it in pieces” (Daniel 7:23) shall yet be used by the Almighty for His Own designs!
THREE WARS FOUND IN ISAIAH 17-18
Thus, America’s role – the world’s leading Gentile World Power – seems unequivocal, relentless. She will be thrust into a major diplomatic effort at the conclusion of the Oracle of Damascus. Antichrist is seen in Revelation 6 as riding upon a white horse, with a bow, but no arrow, signifying his abilities to “conquer through peace.”
But Isaiah 17-18 goes beyond the Oracle of Damascus; beyond Gog-Magog; and reaches into the Armageddon Campaign. Indeed the conclusion of Isaiah 18 can be compared to that of Ezekiel 39 and Revelation 19 in relationship to Armageddon – leaving little doubt that neither the Oracle of Damascus, nor Gog-Magog, are now in view – the FINAL CONFLICT is, but so is what Ray Stedman says: This is a picture of the restoration of Israel to its land and the tribute of the Gentile nations
They will be left together for the mountain birds of prey and for the beasts of the earth; the birds of prey will summer on them, and all the beasts of the earth will winter on them (Armageddon). In that time a present will be brought to the LORD of hosts from a people tall and smooth of skin (Note: Imagine – that “terrible nation” must now come to Jerusalem in millenarian submission.), and from a people terrible from their beginning onward, a nation powerful and treading down, whose land the rivers divide—to the place of the name of the LORD of hosts, to Mount Zion.
And as for you, son of man, thus says the Lord God, ‘Speak to every sort of bird and to every beast of the field: Assemble yourselves and come; gather together from all sides to My sacrificial meal which I am sacrificing for you, a great sacrificial meal on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink blood. You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams and lambs, of goats and bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan. You shall eat fat till you are full, and drink blood till you are drunk, at My sacrificial meal which I am sacrificing for you. You shall be filled at My table with horses and riders, with mighty men and with all the men of war,’ (i.e., Armageddon) says the Lord GOD. (Note: Ezekiel 39:21-29 reveals Israel in full millenarian bliss.)
‘Come and gather together for the supper (i.e., Great supper or God) of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.’ And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh. (Note: Immediately following this Revelation 20:1-6
These parallel passages confirm Armageddon’s appearance at the end of Isaiah 18 (in perfect sequence are found The Oracle of Damascus (Isaiah 17:1-11); the Gog-Magog War (Isaiah 17:12-14 and Isaiah 18:1-2); and the Armageddon Campaign (Isaiah 18:3-6); and, finally the Millennium and the Rule and Reign of the Son of David (Isaiah 18:7).
WHO’S IN WHAT PROPHETIC WAR?
Perhaps the most convincing differentiation of the three wars can be found in the constellation of nations found in Scripture – i.e., those involved in each of the wars (particularly the first two – the Oracle of Damascus and the Gog-Magog War).
The chart below will assist:
Oracle of Damascus
Israel’s Immediate Neighbors
Of Israel Proper
All Nations of the Earth
Land of Hadrach
“Multitude of many people” – Isa. 17:12-13
“All inhabitants of the world and dwellers on the earth” –Isa. 18:3
PA – Palestinian Authority – “The Stronghold of Ephraim”
The “mystery nation”
“My Sacrificial Meal”
“Supper of the Great God”
Lebanon – Tyre & Sidon (Hezebollah)
Principalities – Gog, of the land of Magog – the chief prince (Rosh) of Meshech, Tubal
Ezekiel 38:14-16, 18
Ezekiel 39:1, 6, 11-16
The Gentiles (general)
And the House of Israel
Ekron, Ashkelon, Ashdod, pride of the Philistines, a mixed race, Ekron
Persia (Iran), Ethiopia (Cush), and Libya
Gomer, house of Togarmah
Sheba, Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish
“Him” “he” – the Antichrist/Willful King
Israel – the Glorious Land
Ezekiel 38:8, 11-12, 14, 16-19; 39:7
“All nations” – “the nations”
Joel 3:2, 9-13
Edom, Moab, and Ammon (escape Antichrist)
“The Captives of Judah and Jerusalem” – the Children of Israel
Joel 3:1, 16
King of the North
King of the South
Kings of the East
“Him” “he” – the Antichrist/Willful King
The Dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet
Kings of the Earth (and their armies) and of the Whole World
Kings, Captains, Mighty Men, all people, free and slave, small and great
FURTHER PROPHETIC WAR CONSIDERATIONS
Now, as of this writing, the Israeli ground assault has begun (January 3-4, 2009). Is this the lighted fuse to the seventh and final stage of the Arab-Israeli Conflict: The Oracle of Damascus? No, in sum and substance the current Gaza infraction is not the Oracle of Damascus—but most certainly it can light the fuse. It is when Hezbollah begins its identification or a “loose cannon” fired by Palestinians from Southern Lebanon…frankly, any number of events can set this “thing” off!
The commencement and ending of the Oracle of Damascus will result in a major “peace initiative” as well as “spiritual revival” among peoples surrounding Eretz Israel. The “peace initiative” will be “exploited” by the leadership of the “mystery nation” of Isaiah 18 (whom we affirm is the undisputed Gentile World Powerbroker of the West – i.e., the Willful King of Daniel 7:7-8, 11, 24-25; 8:9-12, 23-25; 9:26-27; 11:22-45). Secular Zionism as a viable ideology ostensibly will be bankrupt (Isaiah 17:4). This vacuum will give rise to a fervent desire on the part of religious Jews to initiate the rebuilding of the literal Third Temple—now that her immediate neighbors have been silenced.
This in turn will enflame the passions of heretofore out-of-reach belligerent peoples and nations—including Egypt, Libya (ancient Put) and Sudan (ancient Ethiopia or southern Cush—not the northern “Euphrates Cush of ancient Assyria” as some claim) or the King of the South; along with the King of the North under the banner of Gog and his allies (in the land of Magog). The King of the North is constituted not only by spiritual principalities (Gog, the chief (Rosh) prince of Meshech and Tubal) but of peoples and nations, most notably Persia (Iran); along with “Gomer and all its troops; the house of Togarmah from the far north and all its troops” (both domiciled in modern-day Turkey—Ezekiel 38:6). As in a monstrous pincer – from the north and south of Israel – shall Gog descend and ascend upon Israel.
In Ezekiel’s account of the Gog-Magog War the attack is upon Israel—Israel is the subject of the antagonists; although “commercial interests of both the West and the Saudi Arabian Peninsula states view the conflict as an imposition to their interests and wealth. In Daniel’s accounting of the Gog-Magog War (i.e., King of the North and King of the South coming against HIM) the obvious center of the antagonists is the Antichrist himself. Hence, it appears that Israel and the Antichrist are in some “league” or “covenant.” This is understandable in that Israel occupies the thinking of the prophet Ezekiel in the Gog-Magog War, whereas Daniel is dealing in the main with Gentile World Powers and most assuredly highlights throughout his latter text the role of the Willfull King: Antichrist. It is more “spiritually logical” in that Daniel alludes to this covenant’s inception and ultimate termination in several places (Daniel 9:27; 8:12-14; 11:22-24, 31-32)—Antichrist is central to Daniel’s thinking.
Daniel 11:40-43 makes it abundantly clear that nations and peoples mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39 are herein mentioned as well, with the notable addition of Egypt found in Daniel 11:42-43 (Note: “Libyans and Ethiopians” are mentioned in Daniel 11:43 and also in Ezekiel 38:5 – they are key in linking the two passages in Daniel 11 and Ezekiel 38together as the same conflict, the Gog-Magog War; furthermore, all other belligerents mentioned in Ezekiel 38-39:1-16are embraced within the context of the King of the North and the King of the South found in Daniel 11:40). The veiled allusions to the Western Mercantile nations (the Merchants or Ships of Tarshish “and all their young lions” whose concerns are wholly commercial in nature insofar as the invasion of Gog’s King of the North and King of the South upon the Beautiful Land, Israel) will take umbrage, along with the peoples of the Saudi Arabian Peninsula (Sheba and Dedan – Ezekiel 38:13), against the forces under Gog’s banner. Hence, the “house divided” will contest its own efforts to destroy.
Likewise, connecting the Merchants of Tarshish, and all their young lions, who find themselves in an adversarial role with Gog, et al, is not a quantum associated leap to affirm that their contestations with Gog are most similar to Antichrist’s (the Willful King—Daniel 11:16, 36) pre-positioned resistance to the same (i.e., “at the time of the end the King of the South shall attack HIM; and the King of the North shall come against HIM like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and HE shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through…HE shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall follow at HIS heels” Daniel 11:40-45, excerpts). We affirm that all these pronouns (capitalized for emphasis—HE, HIM, HIS) all refer to the aforementioned Willful King, the Antichrist, who finds himself and his pre-positioned forces, as a result (no doubt) of the infamous “Treaty with Death and Agreement with Hell” so defined in Daniel 9:27; 11:22-24and alluded to in Isaiah 28:15, 18), at the center of these antagonists.
Antichrist’s usurpation, through intrigue, deceit, payoffs and cunning (Daniel 11:21-24, the Vile or Despicable Person), has placed him into the “religious equation” of the Third Temple in the latter days, and as Antiochus IV Epiphanes (prototype of the Antichrist) installed his High Priest (Jason and then Menelaus, who outbid Jason for the position), assassinating the legitimate High Priest (Onias III) during the Maccabean Era (thereby claiming title to “prince of the covenant” – Daniel 11:22) – even so, Antichrist, the false messiah, shall calculate the same by politicizing the Third Temple to the extent that it appears his approval and “inspiration” for the erection of the Third Temple will ultimately find him declaring himself “as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (II Thessalonians 2:4).
Whereupon, he shall fulfill not only the desecration of the future, literal Sanctuary (for he is destined to “break the defense pact/treaty” in the midst of the Seventieth Week of Daniel some 1260 days into the final week—Daniel 9:27), but his apparent assassination by Jewish militants (“the wound in his head” – Rev. 13:3-4, 12) shall result in the parody of the resurrection of the true Messiah, Jesus, and the desecration of the human spirit. This vile act – BOTH the desecration of the literal Sanctuary, and the defilement of the human spirit (for as Satan entered into Judas to commit the despicable act of betrayal, earning the infamous entitlement as the “son of perdition” – Luke 22:3; John 17:12) – shall also reveal the “Man of Sin, the Lawless One” (II Thess. 2:3, 8-9). Furthermore, through this duo-desecration he shall earn the title as the SON OF PERDITION (i.e., Son of Destruction) (II Thess. 2:3) for he will have entered into the “sanctuary of the Antichrist” and turned him into the BEAST (Rev. 11:7; 13:1-10; 17:3, 7-13; 19:19-20; Daniel 7:11, 21-22, 25; 8:11-14, 23-26; 9:27; 12:7-12) – a “being” without redemption, without any hope or design to fellowship with the Almighty. (Note: We affirm this entire desecration as the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION or the “Transgression of Desolation” spoken of in Daniel 8:11-14; 9:27; 11:16, 32, 36-37; 12:11; Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14; II Thess. 2:3-10.) (Note: Jesus clearly gives Daniel’s “Abomination of Desolation” credibility and futuristic implications…this is NOT something fulfilled in the Maccabean time frame.)
Also, it is our understanding that 210 days (7 months or 30x7 = 210 days of “cleansing the land”—Ezekiel 39:12—of the Gog-Magog aftermath) shall bring us to the 250th day (40 days of the Gog-Magog War at the commencement of the 70th Week of Daniel added to these 210 days of cleansing of the land or 40 + 210 = 250). We have every reason to affirm that the commencement of the Seventieth Week of Daniel shall ensue on Passover. If so, one simply adds the 250 days bringing us on the Jewish calendar to Hanukah/Feast of Lights/Feast of Dedication (started under the redemption of the Maccabees and their consecration of the cleansed temple). Then we add 1010 days to arrive at the mid-point of the Seventieth Week (1260 total days or 250+1010=1260 days). These are the 1010 days of “sacrifice” (Daniel 8:13-14).
Then at mid-point will be the Abomination of Desolation (or, precisely on the Jewish calendar, the Feast of Tabernacles/Ingathering). Remember, the Armageddon Campaign shall have commenced from the 41st day of Daniel’s Seventieth Week until the final day of desolations or 1220 days + 1290 days = 2510 days). Now, counting an additional 1290 days (or 30 days beyond the final half of Daniel’s Seventieth Week, we will arrive at the final day of desolations (Daniel 12:12). This in turn completes the “math word problem” wherein there are to be 2300 days of BOTH “sacrifice and desolations” (Daniel 8:13-14) or 1010 days of sacrifice + 1290 days of desolation = 2300 days of both sacrifice and desolation. It will also be on Passover (the end of the second set of 1260 days) when the Two Witnesses are “raised from the dead” (Rev. 11 – the close of Daniel’s Seventieth Week) – the final 30 days (or the 1290th day) will be the intense climax of the Third Prophetic War, the so-called “Battle of Armageddon,” or the period known as the Wrath of the Lamb, Wrath of God, resulting in the return of Messiah or the Second Coming of Christ (Revelation 19:11-21)
“REVIVAL” IS ALWAYS A RESULT OF THESE CONFLICTS
It must be kept in mind that God’s mercy and grace; His call to repentance through the Two Witnesses; and a host of reconciling appeals are made throughout these conflicts. We have termed these as “revival” – preparing the way of the Lord. We find these appeals for repentance and reconciliation – of salvation and deliverance, as follows:
ORACLE OF DAMASCUS
“But he who remains, even he shall be for our God, and shall be like a leader in Judah” –Zechariah 9:7
“So that the nations may know Me, when I am hallowed in you, O Gog, before their eyes.”
“In that time a present will be brought to the LORD of hosts from a people tall and smooth of skin, and from a people terrible from their beginning onward, a nation powerful and treading down, whose land the rivers divide—to the place of the name of the LORD of hosts, to Mount Zion.”
“In that day a man will look to his Maker, and his eyes will have respect for the Holy One of Israel. He will not look to the altars, the work of his hands; he will not respect what his fingers have made, nor the wooden images nor the incense altars.”
“Thus I will magnify Myself and sanctify Myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations. Then they shall know that I am the LORD.”
“I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day forward. The Gentiles shall known that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity…Now I will bring back the captives of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for My holy name--…and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, then they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations…and I will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the House of Israel, says the Lord GOD.”
“So I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore. Then the nations shall known that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel”
“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision…The LORD also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the LORD will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel…So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy.” Joel 3:14, 16-17
May the Lord open our eyes to see His plan and purpose for the ages. In all three conflicts there is the preparation of Israel to meet her Messiah – there is the mercy upon the nations to know the Lord – and there is the purification of His people. To Him, the Son of God and Son of Man may there be glory forevermore – He is altogether righteous to judge the nations – to rule and to reign upon the throne of David – to reward His servants – and to claim His full inheritance among the saints!
“I watched till thrones were put in place,
And the Ancient of Days was seated;
His garment was white as snow,
And the hair of His head was like pure wool.
His throne was a fiery flame,
Its wheels a burning fire;
A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him.
A thousand thousands ministered to Him;
Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.
The court was seated, and the books were opened…
I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed.”
(Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14)
“But the court shall be seated,
And they shall take away his (Antichrist’s) dominion,
To consume and destroy it forever.
Then the kingdom and dominion,
And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven,
Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High.
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.”