Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Isaiah 23:4-5

Verse 4-5 “Be thou ashamed, O Zidon: for the sea hath spoken, even the strength of the sea, saying, I travail not, nor bring forth children, neither do I nourish up young men, nor bring up virgins. As at the report concerning Egypt, so shall they be sorely pained at the report of Tyre.”

Zidon, Tyre’s “mother,” is told to be ashamed. Zidon is now childless (which was a shame in the ancient world). The strength of the sea (which Tyre was - she not only was the queen of trade, but protected that part of the seas from pirates and such) will not be bringing forth any more children (no more colonies or settlements) nor raise children up to herself. Tyre did eventually rebuild, but it was never the glorious city it once was and it was probably not the original inhabitants who settled it.

As Zidon would have been pained at a report just recently received about Egypt, they would be even more pained at the report about Tyre. The report from Egypt which had just preceded the report about Tyre had to do with a war at Carchemish which virtually ended Egyptian power. As Egypt was such a major client in their shipping business, the loss would be substantial. The loss of Tyre would be even more so, as now their port of trade was destroyed.

Just as Tyre was the strength and protector of the seas, so is America. We are told in Revelation that modern Babylon will no longer hear in herself the sound of musicians, craftsmen, workers, brides or bridegrooms, and in Isaiah 14 we are told that the name, remnant, son, and nephew would be cut off. The same basic thing is said here, so we again have a connection between modern Babylon and ancient Tyre, indicating that this prophecy is probably also talking about America.

As to what the modern report of Egypt might be, the prophecies on Egypt are yet to be studied, but I believe that a piece of the answer may be found in the last few chapters of Daniel, which I was not able to totally decipher at the time that was studied. As the prophecies in the Old Testament prophets are covered, it may come to light what the news about Egypt will be. I suspect that Egypt may be one of the three horns that is said to fall before antichrist in Daniel 7:20. Daniel 11:42 says that Egypt will not escape the hand of the vile ruler or as we commonly refer to him, antichrist.

America's mother is England, who has filled the same roll in America's birth and life as Tyre did in Zidon's. Just as a report of Egypt being overrun and destroyed at the hand of antichrist would shock and dismay England, our destruction would devastate England. They rely on us to be an ally and the USA is Britain's largest export market.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Isaiah 23:1-3

This chapter does not refer to Babylon, as in ancient Babylon, however as one goes through the prophecies, one finds that many of the prophecies seem to speak to the same entity although they are seemingly addressed to different recipients. This is because the first fulfillment was to the actual Biblical recipient mentioned, and the second (usually end times fulfillment) is aimed at the recipient described. Therefore while the name may not be same in all cases for the first fulfillment, if the prophecies seem to be saying the same thing, it is an indication that it is aimed at the same entity for the future fulfillment. For instance, we have ascertained that Babylon the Whore must refer to America, as the description only fits America in this day and age, at least to date. As the prophecies are examined with that in mind, one finds more prophecies aimed at Babylon the Whore, although it may not be speaking directly to ancient Babylon. One must remember that the whore rode many beasts through the ages - Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, etc. So depending on the description, if it is clear that the prophecy is an end time prophecy, it may be that it applies to America whether or not Babylon is mentioned. We will see as we go through this chapter that it does refer to the end times, so it must be looked at to see how it fits with the Scriptures we have already studied.

As this prophecy is aimed at ancient Tyre, it is needful at this time to give a little background on that city. Tyre was a Phoenician city and was known as the queen of the seas. It was an island city of unprecedented splendor. She grew wealthy from her far-reaching colonies and her industries. That also made her a target of jealous nations. She originally consisted of a mainland settlement and an island city that lay a short distance off shore. In the first millennium BC it experienced a golden age. In the 10th century BC King Hiram connected two islets with a landfill. Later he expanded the city by reclaiming land from the sea. Its colonies spread around the Mediterranean and Atlantic bringing prosperity and power. In the sixth century BC Nebuchanezzer laid siege to it for thirteen years and while the city stood firm, the people abandoned the mainland settlement for the safety of the island. Tyre gave Babylon’s king a modest tribute to keep him happy. They were more of an ally than a subject of Babylon. In 332 BC Alexander the Great blockaded the island for seven months but they held firm. He ended up using the debris from the mainland to build a causeway out to the island and finally conquered them. The town’s residents were either massacred or sold into slavery. Zidon was the first great city of Phoenicia and the “mother” of Tyre. As Zidon’s greatness waned, the prosperity and power of the “virgin daughter” Tyre began to grow.

Verse 1 “The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Chittim it is revealed to them.”

The burden or divine judgment is being pronounced on Tyre. The term Tarshish was used in two ways in Scripture. It denoted either the city itself (which scholars sometimes argue over as to who it was, some saying a city in Spain, some saying a city in Asia Minor) or it could in general be said to refer to large merchant ships. I believe that is the way it should be applied here, especially for the future fulfillment of this prophecy. The island city of Tyre will be laid waste so that not a house will be left upon it. The great merchant ships will howl for this is the major city of commerce for them. They will lose a major source of their income, because of the destruction of Tyre. No one will be able to enter into it. The city will be gone. The land of Chittim originally referred to the islands of Phoenicia and later came to simply mean the islands along the coasts. The ships get the news via the other islands.

This prophecy is almost an exact duplicate of what we read in Revelation about Babylon, therefore we can make the connection that it might apply to modern Babylon. In looking at this as a prophecy yet to come, we see that the great trading ships will howl at the demise of the modern day "Tyre", when it is laid waste. No one will be enter into the harbor or the city. This exactly corresponds to what we read in Revelation 18:15 “The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torments, weeping and wailing.” As the description given is the same as the description of Babylon in Revelation, we must look to see if there is further evidence that possibly this passage in Isaiah is another prophecy that applies to the entity who is modern day Babylon.

Verse 2-3 “Be still, ye inhabitants of the isle; thou whom the merchants of Zidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished. And by great waters the seed of Sihor, the harvest of the river, is her revenue; and she is a mart of nations.”

This tells us that the hustle and bustle of business taking place on Tyre will be no more. There will be silence and stillness in its place. The mariners that did business came from the mother city of Zidon. They kept the city supplied with its needs and carried out the goods from the mainland to the colonies and other trading cities. The “seed of Sihor (which means dark colored and is a reference to the Nile which is blackened from the mud that it drags down when overflowed), the harvest of the river” refers to the produce of the Nile delta region. Egypt was the greatest producer of corn in the ancient world. Tyre was a large and profitable exporter of Egyptian goods in exchange for wine, oil, and a variety of other products. Tyre was the mart or great trading center of all the nations of her day.

To apply it to the modern counterpart we would have to find someone who fits the following: “Tyre” would be one of the world’s biggest ports of commerce and trade and the queen of the seas. It is the daughter of another “city” who was also once the queen of the seas and trading. It is a supplier of corn to the world from the world’s greatest supplier of corn, whose corn fields are along one of the world’s major rivers, and more specifically a large, long river that ends in a delta. Does this fit America? Well, New Orleans, Lousiana, is a port of commerce and trade in the world for corn. We are the world’s greatest producer of corn and our corn fields lie adjacent (so to speak) to the great Mississippi River (also known as the Muddy Mississippi), which is known for its delta as is the Nile. America is the present queen of the seas and she is the “daughter” of someone who was also once the queen of the seas - England. So far it all fits very well. This is as perfect a description of America as it is of Tyre, right down to the "muddy" river delta, so it looks as if this is a prophecy that is aimed at modern Babylon, as the similarities are too much to be a coincidence.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Isaiah 21:6-10

Verse 6 “For thus hath the Lord said unto me, Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.”

The prophets of old were the watchmen who warned their leaders of what was coming. They were ultimately more important watchmen than the watchmen on the walls, yet they were pretty much dismissed and ignored, or worse run out of town or killed. Today there are Bible teachers and preachers who are trying to warn people of what lies ahead. We are not quite like prophets of old in that God does not speak to us quite as directly, but we do forewarn of what is coming based on God's Word. For the most part we are dismissed as being crazy, ignored, mocked, or kicked out of churches as being some sort of heretic. So far nobody has tried to take my life, although I have been forced out of churches, but who knows how far people will go when these things start to come to pass. People always blame the messenger. It goes without saying that today's watchmen certainly are not listened to by politicians. America’s president has made it no secret that he is aligning himself with the Muslim world against Israel, in spite of the warnings from Christians who know the consequences of such an action. Concerning the American Church, the Church would rather listen to false prophecy teachers who preach peace and safety for them, than listen to the few of us who are saying that the Church will suffer and die at the hands of both the whore and the beast. That they can look around the world and see Christians being persecuted and killed, and still believe what these false prophets say about how they will never have to suffer, borders on a level of ignorance and blindness that staggers the imagination. They are sheep being led to the slaughter.

Verse 7-10 “And he saw a chariot with a couple of horsemen, a chariot of asses, and a chariot of camels; and he hearkened diligently with much heed: And he cried, A lion: My lord, I stand continually upon the watchtower in the daytime, and I am set in my ward whole nights: And, behold, here cometh a chariot of men, with a couple of horsemen. And he answered and said, Babylon is fallen, is fallen; and all the graven images of her gods he hath broken unto the ground. O my threshing, and the corn of my floor: that which I have heard of the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, have I declared unto you.”

The watchman sees the troops coming and shouts the warning. He sees the demise of Babylon and announces that Babylon is falling to the enemy. Because of the size of Babylon and communications of the day, one end of Babylon would be under the control of the enemy before the other end knew what was happening. All of her graven images and icons are destroyed. One of the practices of the day was to destroy the gods of the nation being conquered, so as to make them accept the gods of the conquerors and assimilate them into the new nation. This is why Antiochus Epiphanes erected a statue of Zeus in the temple as well as slaughtered a pig on the altar when he conquered Jerusalem. There is some debate among scholars as to whether the threshing is speaking of Israel or Babylon. In this case, as Israel was in Babylon, it actually applies to both. As to the application of this verse to the future, it should be remembered that before God poured out His wrath on Babylon at the very end of the bowl judgments, it had been announced by an angel, before the rapture, that Babylon had fallen. At that time it was surmised that the fall would be one of economic and power status, but now we can see that it might encompass much more than that. It would appear that the Muslims are going to do as the Mahdi directs and rampage through America killing and plundering and committing terrorist acts. Naturally this will cause America to fall in every way, economic, power-wise, militarily, etc., while still leaving the country alive, to some extent, for God to pour out His wrath upon.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Isaiah 21:3-5

Verse 3-4 “Therefore are my loins filled with pain: pangs have taken hold upon me, as the pangs of a woman that travaileth: I was bowed down at the hearing of it; I was dismayed at the seeing of it. My heart panted, fearfulness affrighted me: the night of my pleasure hath he turned into fear unto me.”

Isaiah was filled with pain in his inward parts that was so extreme he compared it to the pains of childbirth. He was literally doubled over and fell down (probably to his knees) at hearing the terribleness of what was going to happen. His heart was beating rapidly and he was seized with fear. What had started out as a pleasant night had now become a nightmare for him. Israel was still in captivity in Babylon when Persia conquered it, so this was going to affect Isaiah’s people as well as the Babylonians. He did not know what the consequences would be for his people. If we were to truly understand what awaits America, we too would be overwhelmed with intense pain and fear. What awaits America is going to be very, very bad.

Verse 5 “Prepare the table, watch in the watchtower, eat, drink; arise, ye princes, and anoint the shield.”

Babylon was partying at the time of her invasion. While they had watchtowers, they were so sure of their position in the world, and the safety of their geographic location compared to other nations, that they did not worry very much about keeping watch on the home front. Does this sound familiar? It is certainly an accurate description of America. Our country is consumed with consumerism and love their enjoyments in life. Our culture is obsessed with watching celebrities party, while the rest of the world is suffering. We think that we are untouchable by virtue of our geographic location, although people are starting to wise up to the fact that technology has now made that idea obsolete.

The princes were told that they should be watching for treachery and getting their shields ready for battle, but instead they were arrogantly thinking they could not be overrun, so were busy engaging in more frivolous pursuits. Our politicians and leaders seem to spend more time having love affairs behind their spouses backs than worrying about our country. Our military is peace keeping in other countries while our country is housing multitudes of foreign troops which could overwhelm and conquer us at any time if so ordered. While this attitude and behavior may have fit ancient Babylon, it certainly does not sound like modern day Iraq. They have war going on in their streets daily, so for those who believe that Babylon is still ancient Babylon or modern day Iraq, these verses would not bear that out.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Isaiah 21:1-2

Chapter 21

As will be seen as we go through this chapter, this passage is also about Babylon.

Verse 1 “The burden of the desert of the sea. As whirlwinds in the south pass through; so it cometh from the desert, from a terrible land.”

There is a divine judgment given to the desert of the sea. This is Babylon. The country around Babylon was overflowed by the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Semiramis (Nimrod’s wife) had dams built and drained the land creating a desert land. Cyrus removed the dams and the land became a quagmire of marshy barren desert again, thus the desert of the sea. This is the original Babylon. Now how does this apply to America? We are a land between two seas, so we are a wilderness in the vast sea, and we have much in the way of plains and desert lands. Until the last few hundred years, this land was a wilderness and barren of much human habitation, except for the small Native American tribes.

The winds come from the south to this original area, and as the winds blow through, so the Medes and Persians blew through the land the first time. More importantly is the idea of the Medes passing through as a whirlwind, coming from a terrible (frighteningly fearful) land, one that is a desert land. We know that today the reference to the Medes is a reference to Iran and more specifically to the fundamentalist Muslims. They will be the ones behind this conquest of modern Babylon, although Iran most probably will not be the only Islamic country involved in the Muslim invasion of America. They will go through the country as a whirlwind in a terrifying way.

Verse 2 “A grievous vision is declared unto me; the treacherous dealer dealeth treacherously, and the spoiler spoileth, Go up, O Elam: besiege, O Media; all the sighing thereof have I made to cease.”

A seriously frightening vision is given to Isaiah. The treacherous dealer is the Medo-Persians. They are going to deal treacherously with Babylon. They (the spoiler) are going to spoil (ransack and plunder) Babylon. God gives the order to Elam and Media to go ahead and besiege Babylon and take her. All the sighing that she has caused others due to her oppression is now going to cease. We know that Medo-Persian conquered Babylon, and in the same way God is going to give permission for modern Babylon to be destroyed. They are carrying out His plans for Him by doing so. He wants to stop her from oppressing and destroying the rest of the world with her whoredoms.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Isaiah 14:21-23

In chapter 14 of Isaiah we find a lot about the king of Babylon, but that is for a different end times study. We are now studying Babylon the Whore, so we will start with verse 21-22.

Verse 21-22“Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities. For I will rise up against them, saith the Lord of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the Lord.”

The slaughter that God intends for the children of Babylon, for the iniquity of their fathers, is that they will never rise again, nor posses the land again, nor leave and fill the rest of the world with their cities. God will not leave a remnant, not a single son, nor nephew of Babylon to carry on their name. Babylon and her people (those who do not leave, as told to do in Revelation) will be entirely and eternally cut off.

Verse 23 “I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water, and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the Lord of hosts.”

Again it says that Babylon will be made a habitation for animals, this time the bittern, which is a bird, is the animal mentioned. God will sweep through the country with a broom (besom) of destruction. A broom sweeps fairly clean and does not generally leave much behind.

So in these verses, we again see that Babylon will suffer a destruction that is complete and permanent. God is consistent with His prophecies no matter to whom He gives them. The fact that all of these prophecies always say the same thing throughout all the prophets and Revelation is part of the evidence that the Bible is inspired by God. These prophets all came at different times, from different backgrounds, and yet their prophecies are always in harmony and state the same things in words that are almost identical. How could this happen if God were not the author?

The rest of chapter 14 has to do with the “Assyrian,” which again is another name for the antichrist, so we will leave those verses for the further study of the antichrist.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Isaiah 13:20-22

Verse 20-22 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged.”

In Revelation we were told that nobody would ever again inhabit Babylon. This is true for the original Babylon, except for the American troops who are stationed at that location at present. So no Arab pitches a tent there, nor do shepherds take their flocks there. When prophecies have dual fulfillment, not every part of the prophecy has to apply to both fulfillments. That is why it can become confusing sometimes when trying to see how a prophecy fits a present day situation. Some of the prophecy fits the first event, and some fits the second. Unless you know exactly what happened the first time, it may be hard to filter out what happens in the second. And then sometimes the prophecy will fit both events. This is what makes understanding prophecy so difficult.

The first fulfillment took care of the part of the prophecy that referred to Arabians, so it does not necessitate that because an Arabian is mentioned that the present day Babylon must then be the original Babylon or Iraq. It is certainly an accurate statement that no Arab will pitch his tent in America after a nuclear holocaust, so it still would hold true even with Babylon being America. The land will only be inhabited by wild beasts. It mentions that wild beasts of the islands will live there. It is probable that after all the upheaval of the earth, and the nuclear holocaust, that America will no longer be a nation undivided, but that some of it will exist as islands, having been overrun by the ocean and rivers after earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes do their worst.

It says that satyrs will dance there. A satyr is only mentioned twice in Scripture and both times it has to do with the Day of the Lord and the result of His wrath. The satyrs will dance in the wilderness that is left after the land is destroyed. A satyr is a he-goat and more specifically a faun or he-goat devil, such as the Greek god Pan. Azazel, who is mentioned in the Bible is most likely a faun also as he is a desert devil. According to the Book of Enoch, (which is not scriptural, but may be somewhat historical, and some of it was quoted in the Bible, so some of it was inspired), Azazel was one of the original rebels against God. He was banished to the desert, and it is he to whom the scapegoat of Yom Kippur was given each year.

Note that it is mentioned that dragons will dwell there. While people who believe in evolution believe that dinosaurs died out millennia ago, the Bible tells us differently. When God was speaking to Job (chapters 40-41), He asked him about Behemoth and Leviathan. In reading the descriptions, we see that it clearly describes a dinosaur and believe it or not a fire-breathing dragon. Job was expected to know to what God was referring. These creatures must have still existed then. Dragons are not mythological. They were real. The legends of knights fighting dragons may be, like all the other myths and legends, far more real than people realize. Many of these creatures may still exist. Reports have come from New Guinea, deep parts of Africa, and other remote places, of creatures whose descriptions fit those of dinosaurs - land and flying ones. I have personally seen a picture taken in the frontier west back in the 1800's that was in a newspaper of that day. It showed a group of cowboys standing around the dead body of a "thunderbird" as the Native American's called it. I had to laugh as the person describing the picture referred to it as a large unidentified bird when it was so clearly a pterydactyl. One could clearly see the head, and the wing span was enormous. Because evolutionists cannot accept that these creatures still exist, they denied the very evidence of their own eyes, as a picture from the 1800's could not possibly be photo shopped. Nor was the creature a dummy made by the cowboys. It was too perfect, and I do not think they would know what a pterydactyl looked like to even try to make up a fake one. Sea monsters may also still exist. While the stories of creatures like the Loch Ness Monster, and Champ over here in America are treated as jokes by most, there may be some large sea creatures that still exist in the deep fresh waters. God tells us that dragons or land monsters, as the Hebrew definition defines the word, will live in Babylon. So apparently dragons will either make a comeback, or they still exist somewhere where man does not live. God does not lie.

Finally it is stated that Babylon's time has come, and her days will not be prolonged. As this is speaking of the end times, we can assume that America's days are numbered.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Isaiah 13:17-19

Verse 17-18 “Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them, which shall not regard silver; and as for gold, they shall not delight in it. Their bows also shall dash the young men to pieces; and they shall have no pity on the fruit of the womb; their eye shall not spare children.”

In the case of ancient Babylon, the Medes referred to are the Medo-Persians. In the case of the future, what is being referred to are terrorist Muslims, not only from Iran, but from the entire area over there. We have already seen in Revelation that the beast is Islam, the antichrist is the Muslim Mahdi, and the ten horns are the Islamic nations that surround Israel. America, as well as most other countries, now has a huge Muslim population. While at the moment most live in peace with us, when the Mahdi declares jihad, it is the duty of every Muslim to take up arms against the “infidel” and they will. Americans who believe they are safe because the Muslims are currently peacefully living among us, will be taken completely by surprise. The jihadists will do exactly as these Scriptures say they will. They will dash children to their deaths, they will rape women, they will plunder households, they will kill young men and pregnant women with the children in the womb. Parents need not expect their children to be spared. Even though they will plunder, they are not doing this for the gold, silver, and booty. They are doing this for the glory of their god. If anyone questions this, they need only look at the history of their actions toward their "enemies."

Verse 19 “And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees’ excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Now we have more information on the identity of Babylon. She is the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of her people’s arrogance, which is another definition of the Hebrew word that here is translated excellency. This description certainly fits America. She is thought of as the glory of kingdoms in this day and age. Everyone wants to come to America for the American dream of wealth, fame, and supposed happiness. Her people are certainly some of the most arrogant in the world. Even American Christians do not think they will ever suffer, when they should know better, if they were to study their Scriptures. They believe they will be raptured pre-tribulationally. I guess they think they are somehow better than the rest of the suffering Christians around the world. I can't imagine why. They are the Laodiceans that are told they are materially rich, but spiritually poor. The persecuted Christians around the world are dying for their faith while they sit enjoying the good life. They are in for a big surprise, along with the rest of the Americans. (I would include myself in this category of American Christians, as my quality of living standards are quite good by comparison to the rest of the world, however, I will not be taken by surprise, nor do I think I deserve to be let off the hook and not made to suffer.) Our location away from the rest of the world has protected us from much, but it will not in the future. We have sat as a queen saying “who can hurt me,” just as Babylon says in Revelation. God will take away that arrogance. He will overthrow Babylon with fire just as He did Sodom and Gomorrah. Nothing was left of those cities and nothing will be left of Babylon.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Is. 13:6-16

Verses 6-13 have been covered before when studying the Day of the Lord, and can be referenced in my blog under the heading of the Day of the Lord, so it will merely be mentioned that, as the Day of the Lord is the context of this chapter, it clearly is a reference to a future prophecy regarding Babylon. Just a quick recap of these verses, it is a day of anger to destroy the land. The stars and constellations (not just our solar system, but the constellations) will go dark, the sun and moon will go dark, and man will be scarce from so many dying. The heavens will be shaken and the earth's orbit will be moved to a different location.

Verse 14 “And it shall be as the chased roe, and as a sheep that no man taketh up: they shall every man turn to his own people, and flee every one into his own land.”

Babylon will be left defenseless, just as a sheep without a shepherd. It will be as a roe that is being chased or hunted. Nobody is going to worry about anyone else, it will be every man for himself. They will run to their own people and land. This is an interesting verse that would seem to point to America as Babylon. America is the land where a great multitude do not originally come from this country. It is made up of people from other countries. If Babylon were Iraq, as discussed as a possibility in Revelation, they would not run to another land, as the land is their land. This indicates people fleeing the country back to their original native lands. That clearly would seem to point to America.

Verse 15-16 “Every one that is found shall be thrust through; and every one that is joined unto them shall fall by the sword. Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.”

Fleeing will not help save people. Those that are caught will be killed by the sword. Even those who try to help them will suffer the consequences. Notice the use of a sword. Who uses swords today to kill? Islamic people use them for execution. The children are dashed to pieces before their eyes. This is a repeat of the prophecy in Psalm 137 where the little ones are dashed on the stones. It is of note that the word dashed is used in both of these cases when referring to children. How horrible for a parent to see their child killed in this cruel manner described. It implies being brutally beaten and torn limb from limb. Houses will be plundered for booty and women will be raped. This raping of women is quite common among these particular terrorists who use the sword. If there is any doubt as to whom this is referring, the next verse will tell us.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Revisitng Babylon in the Prophets Ps.137, Is. 13:1-5

As promised, this study is not finished with end times information. Babylon has been the topic of discussion two different times in the course of this blog. Once when she was encountered in Genesis, and then again in Revelation. Her beginnings and history was given when covering Genesis, and her possible present location and manner of lifestyle was discussed when studying Revelation. There is more to discover about Babylon and her demise in the Old Testament, so that is where the next study will take us.

While Babylon is mentioned in the historical books of the Tanakh, or Old Testament, those verses tend to be about the Babylon of Daniel’s day. What is going to be covered here are the prophetic passages found in the prophets. Actually the first prophetic mention is in the Psalms. In Psalm 137:8-9 we read, “O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.” In this Psalm or song, the children of Israel are remembering how Babylon mocked them in their captivity. Then the punishment that will come upon Babylon for their sin is pronounced. They tell how God will reward her the same way she treated them. Indeed, in Revelation it was said that he would “reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works.” Rev. 18:6. Then a specific act that will be perpetrated upon her is given. Her little ones, her children, will be dashed against the stones. The one who takes out God’s vengeance upon her (the beast and his cronies) will not spare even her children. They will slay all in the most cruel, horrible way.

The next mention of Babylon is found in Isaiah chapter 13 and 14.

Chapter 13
Verse 1 “The burden of Babylon, which Isaiah the son of Amoz did see.”

A burden was a divine judgment. What is about to be given by Isaiah is the judgment that God has declared on Babylon.

Verse 2 “Life ye up a banner upon the high mountain, exalt the voice unto them, shake the hand, that they may go into the gates of the nobles.”

A warning is given to lift up the banner, which is a signal flag to warn of impending disaster. They are told to raise their voices and wave their hands. All of these things are things that people do to get the attention of someone when there is danger at hand. They are given this warning so that they may go into the gates of the nobles. Unlike today when cities sprawl out or people live on their own individual acreage in the country, back then the nobles owned the land and the people worked it for them. The cities were walled and when there was danger the inhabitants would run inside the gates where the palaces for the nobles and the villages were located. Then the gates would be shut against the invading forces.

Verse 3-5 “I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness. The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle. They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land.”

In the first fulfillment of this prophecy, we know that the Medo-Persians were the ones to conquer Babylon, and they are mentioned in verse 17 as being the conquerors. I do not think, however, that this particular verse applies to them in the context of the future fulfillment. This has a more specific group in mind, and it refers to more than just the destruction of Babylon. If one looks at the verse carefully, it would not seem that this description fits Persia/Iran at all. Let us take a closer look at what it says. “I have commanded my sanctified ones.” This multitude has been set apart especially for this occasion. Not only set apart, but sanctified implies being set apart as clean or holy. Persia was hardly the latter, being a pagan nation, and Iran certainly is not as they are Muslim. This group rejoices in God’s highness or majesty. This would imply that they believe and worship God. Again, this does not describe Persia/Iran. They are a multitude, a great people who make a tumultuous or roaring, destructive noise. The word Hebrew word for “great” implies much more than their quality. It also implies great in quantity, size, number, and interestingly, age. The Lord “musters” (or in Hebrew “visits”) this host or army, meaning He personally appoints and charges this group with their task and sends them into battle. They are the weapons of the Lord’s wrath or indignation and they are charged with destroying the whole land. Again, this particular verse would not seem to be referring to the Medes or Persians back then or to the Medes (Iran) of today, even though later verses make it clear that Babylon’s initial destruction comes from the Medes both times. This verse is speaking of much more than Babylon’s destruction, although that is also a part of the Day of the Lord. This, as will be soon seen, is speaking of God’s wrath on the entire world during the Day of the Lord.

There were several things above which were skipped over in this verse that must now be addressed, and this is going to require people to consider things that seem far outside their normal realm of experience. Know that the following is purely speculation based upon a study of the meanings of the words in Hebrew and it is asked that before dismissing it as crazy that it be thought and prayed about. The verse speaks of God calling his “mighty ones” who come from “a far country, from the end of heaven.” The word “mighty” in Hebrew is “gibbor”. This word was used in Genesis when it spoke of the offspring of the fallen angels and human women. They were the “mighty men of old, men of renown,” and referred to as giants. It is true that occasionally this word is used in the Tanakh to refer to a single individual who is rich and powerful, but for the most part when used, it refers to the armies or people that Joshua and the Israelites had to go against to claim and enter into the promised land. We know from the initial reports of the spies that the land was filled with giants and that even in David’s day they still existed, (although they seemed to have gotten smaller with the latter generations) as he killed Goliath, who was one. They still existed in David‘s day, because of the lack of obedience on Israel’s part to completely annihilate these nephilim offspring (of the fallen angels and human women) that again came to exist after the flood. In Gen. 6:4 we are told that there were giants before the flood and also after the flood. If one tracks the mythology and legends of “gods” and giants, (the nephilim) one finds that the legends began in Babylon, then they are found in Egypt, then the stories appear in Greece and Rome, which would show a northern migration of this people. From that area they are then later discovered to have been a part of the Norse legends. We then find legends of these people in the Americas. This geographical migration of the myths tracks with what we know of history from the Bible. We know that Babylon was the root of all paganism after the flood. Then the Babylonian gods are found (under different names) in Egypt when Israel lived there. Hieroglyphics show giant-sized Pharaohs and we know that the Egyptians believed in gods who were only part human. Then the Bible tells us that when Israel conquered the promised land, the land was filled with giants. While Israel killed most of them, there were some who escaped that fate. We can start hypothesizing, based on the legends, that at least some of the remnant of giants, having seen God’s power, decided to migrate north away from Israel. We then find the "gods" appearing in Greece (and later Rome), and then the Norse countries. The myths while slightly different, all have the same basic stories underlying them, as well as many of the same characters or gods, only by different names. One of the legends that seems to prevail for both before and after the flood, is that these beings were technologically advanced. While many archeologists cannot accept that fact, one of the “mysteries” of the Egyptian hieroglyphics (not to mention the Mayan and Hindu carvings/drawings/hieroglyphs) is that there are repeated drawings of what appear to be planes, jets, and the like. This is not acceptable to archeologists, since they accept the idea of evolution and therefore cannot believe that early man had this level of technology. Christians know otherwise. Man was created with much more intelligence than we have now. In fact, we have devolved, not evolved. Man today cannot even begin to understand how the pyramids or places like Machu Picchu were built, or other inexplicable artifacts. Understanding things from a biblical viewpoint, that giants existed and that they had the knowledge of the fallen angels at their disposal, makes everything that the world finds a mystery easily understood. If we assume (and it is an assumption even though much points to it being quite probable) that the nephilim migrated north, making themselves god-like to the humans they encountered along the way, it would explain the development of the curiously similar myths that exist. Knowing that they had technological abilities, it is not far-fetched to assume they used them, as man spread over the world, to continually move on and keep themselves separate and hidden from mankind, possibly traveling out into space. (It was discussed previously that the tower of Babel reaching to the stars may have been a place that was being built to enable travel into space. It is not beyond the technological capability of fallen angels to provide this information to their half-breed offspring.) It would appear that not only did they move north, (Who built Stonehenge if not giants?) but the evidence shows that they moved to the Americas. We know the giant ruins and pyramids in South America were not made by men of our stature. The blocks are cut with a precision that does not even exist today, and the weight of them is literally impossible for us to consider moving them, not to mention moving them to the tops of mountains (where they are found). The Native American Indians of North America have legends of giants who were so big that they could chase (on foot) the buffalo of the plains and wrestle them to the ground. From where would they get these legends of giants if they did not exist and had not been seen? And these legends are not that old. Who really are the Bigfoots, the Yetis, the Sasquatches of the world? Are they apes? Or are they possibly nephilim? If so one would wonder if they are degenerate nephilim in some cases (too much inbreeding) considering the descriptions. Who or whatever they are, they live far from man in the mountains and keep to themselves. Native American Indians told the frontiermen to stay away from these creatures as they were dangerous, and also cannibals or rather man-eaters. The Book of Enoch, while not inspired, was accepted as a historical book by Jews, and it says that the nephilim or giants were indeed man-eaters. One of the mutant genetics that occurred with the nephilim (according to Scripture, 2 Sam. 21:20) is that they are said to have had six fingers and six toes. This from what I have read is part of the legend of the NativeAmericans. It is said that while Hollywood made a mockery of the raising of the hand and saying “How” when a Native American met a white man, that the practice of raising the hand was indeed a way of greeting another person (the “how“ part was Hollywood). It was a way of checking to see how many fingers a man had, as part of their legend of these strange people was that they had six fingers. (Not all giants were tall enough to wrestle buffalo. Goliath was tall at 9 feet, so not all nephilim would be immediately discernable by their height, as the generations seem to get smaller with each ensuing generation, therefore the checking of the number of fingers to be sure the person was human.) The word "great" when referring to this host also has the concept of age. The nephilim would probably grow to old ages due to the angelic blood they possess. Of interest is a recent report that came out of Tennessee that a man living in a cabin in the rural area had a man (not an ape or beast) ten feet tall come onto his property. He chased the giant away, but not before noticing that he had beautiful long hair and six fingers. The news people mocked the man as being crazy, but I saw the interview and from watching the man I believe he was telling the truth. The six fingers was like a bell ringing. Coincidence? I somehow doubt it. These people obviously still exist, although they do not mingle with mankind as a rule.

So what is the point of all this discussion of nephilim? It would seem that if the word "gibbor" means the giants, that possibly the Lord has a group of nephilim or giants, who may actually believe in God (the Bible is not overtly clear on whether they can get salvation or not, being only part human, so it is hard to say). It says they come from not only a far country, but from the end of heaven. This might indicate that they (at least those nephilim who believe in God) have used their technological skills to find another place to live in this universe. Maybe that explains some of the UFO sightings, although I attribute those more to the fallen side of the angels and nephilim than I would to the good guys. If this is a possibility, then God is telling us here that we should expect a so-called UFO alien invasion, which people will believe anyhow when the fifth and sixth trumpet judgments happen. God seems to be calling in all of the non-human/half human creatures that exist for this end times scenario. We have no idea how many of these legendary creatures are real and not myth. I am believing now that few to possibly none of them are myth, from what I have been learning about the activities of these fallen angels and nephilim in the days of Babylon and Egypt. It seems they were capable of more horrific genetic experiments on humans than Josef Mengele was in WWII. Why, after an Irishman claims to have seen the “little people” (leprechauns) in a forest in Ireland, did the European Union, of all organizations, declare it a protected area for “little people?” Really? The EU? They have time for such nonsense? Or is it not nonsense and they know something we do not and wanted people staying away from the area?

Getting back to the Scriputres, God may be telling us in this verse that there is a multitude of what may be righteous giants/nephilim who are going to show up from the heavens to take out God’s vengeance on the world. This comes from a straightforward reading of the verse taking it quite literally, not a crazy off the wall interpretation, in spite of the fact that it sounds like a crazy off the wall interpretation. Sometimes God’s Word is stranger than fiction.

The mention of kingdoms of nations could mean several things with this interpretation. It could mean that this group comprises several different groups of these types of beings. It could also be a reference to a different group, the nations of this world, who might be the opponents in the battle.

This is just a possible and highly speculative interpretation, and admittedly quite a rather bizarre and out-there one, as the expression goes. It is wise to be prepared for something of this nature though, as to believe that there is nothing between man and the angelic realm is to then be left open for deception should "aliens," as they are currently choosing to present themselves, arrive on the scene. The Scriptures have already told us that there are beings besides man and angels, so we need to realize that anything is possible.

There is another possible interpretation which is far less bizarre and far more palatable to most people who do not like to leave the comfort of their tangible world. The gathering of the nations is reminiscent of what will happen at Armageddon, and we know that the Church follows Christ into that battle, and that they are a host of sanctified ones. The problem that this interpretation presents is that the Church never has any part in that battle according to Revelation. Christ simply destroys everyone by Himself with a word. The Church is not said to have been assigned the job of destroying the world.

The problem presented by the use of the word "gibbor" in this context could be reconciled if one accepts that it possibly means the mighty warriors that Christians become after the rapture/resurrection. But again, they do not seem to actually enter into the battle, and this word is more often used to refer to the nephilim breed than normal people. The Church at this point would certainly come from the ends of heaven, so that would fit. This clearly is the easier interpretation to accept, but I do not know if it is the correct one, even given that the other is extremely difficult to believe and accept. I do not know what the answer truly is, but I do know that I want to be prepared for any eventuality, so that I will not be surprised or deceived. Life at the end will become very different from what we know it to be now, and we must be mentally prepared to accept as fact what most now believe to be myth or legend, as the evidence is beginning to show itself that they are not the make-believe stories we have so long thought them to be.

Friday, December 3, 2010

To Christmas or not to Christmas that is the question.

We are coming into the holiday season where some Christians are coming into conflict with each other. Is Christmas a holiday that Christians should be celebrating or not? Right now my family is in the week of Chanukkah, as being in the process of moving into a Messianic style of Christianity, we now are learning to celebrate some of the Jewish holidays. This is not required of Gentile Christians according to Scripture, in fact it is not even encouraged, but it is allowable for those who would like to do so. We have found that it helps us to keep our focus on God when we celebrate holidays that God originated, or that celebrate an act of God, and that have no pagan associations (except for the pagan traditions man has added to them, which I personally try to eliminate). 1 Cor. 7:18-20 tells us that if a person is called in uncircumcision, in other words, if a Gentile is called to be a child of God, he should not seek to be circumcised or become a Jew. We are only to keep God's commandments, by which He means the Ten Commandments, not the 613 civil, health, kosher, and etc. laws (except for the exceptions outlined in Acts). This also includes not having to keep the Feasts of God. It however does not include the Sabbath. That is one of the Ten Commandments and we are still obligated to keep that. We are, however, allowed to celebrate these Jewish holy days if we so choose. Rom. 14:5-6 tells us that if a man esteems one day as more important than another and is doing so for the Lord, and is convinced in his own mind that he is doing correctly, he may do so. If he prefers to consider every day the same, he is also allowed to do that. The festivals are not a requirement, but they are allowed. If one does choose to celebrate the Jewish Feast days, one should keep in mind that it is permissible to not celebrate them the way Judaism does. That is because many of the traditions are not ordinances given by God, but simply man-made traditions that have evolved over time. One should check the Scriptures to see what is required. Chanukkah is not one of God's mandated holy days, even for Jews. It is simply a celebration of a miraculous historical event. More importantly, many of these Jewish traditions are also of pagan origin, just as many of the traditions of Christian holy days are, and should probably be eliminated from the Christian celebration of these Jewish holidays, if we are to be consistent in removing paganism from our lives.

As to whether or not we can or should continue to celebrate Christmas, first one must consider that the day to which the Christmas celebration was assigned back in Constantine's day was originally the birthday of Mithras, the bull-headed god. Constantine was responsible for reassigning many of the holidays, statues, traditions, etc. that belonged to paganism to Christianity by putting a Christian facade over them. Naturally this was a bad idea, and some of these things are explicitly forbidden by God, such as idols. However, every day of the year belongs to God, regardless of who else would like to claim the day for themselves. If we are to take the Scripture in Romans at face value, it says that if we celebrate a day unto the Lord and esteem it more important than other days, as long as we are celebrating it unto the Lord, and are convinced that it is all right, it is all right with God. Satan may want to lay claim to days as being his, but he is really only usurping them from God. God owns every day and we can honor the Lord any day of the year no matter what Satan's followers are doing on that day. So, is it all right to honor God on a day when Satan wants honor? I think it is even more important to honor God on a day when Satan is claiming worship. The problem comes in with whether or not Christians are honoring the Lord on that day. If the gifts and Santa Claus are the object of the day, then I think it would probably be better to not celebrate it. If however you have made the day all about the Lord, and you are convinced that you are honoring God, then I think you are probably just fine in celebrating it. For our family Christmas has always been about having a day to gather as an extended family and rejoicing in the fellowship as Christians. Gifts are relegated to a back seat in importance. We view the holiday as a special time to see family members that we do not often get to see. We also do not always celebrate it on December 25. We choose a day that is convenient for everyone and we get together on that day. As my husband has always had a job that usually required that he work on Christmas day, it became just one more day on our calendar, and our focus was on whatever day we had the family gathering. This has been good for our children in a number of ways, one being that they do not feel that the day is the most important day of the year as some people seem to feel. I have seen families torn apart by the treatment of newly married couples when one family insists that the newlyweds spend the day with them every year and the other in-laws get angry, as they never get to share the holiday. This will never be an issue with my children, as we will get together whenever it is convenient during the holiday season. They will never feel caught between two families. The day has not become an idol for us as it has for some. For a while we did have some problems with a new member of the family, as she felt that if we did not celebrate the day on the date it was on the calendar, then there was no point in getting together. She missed the whole point of our gatherings. She had made an idol of the day rather than being grateful for the opportunity to think of the Lord's first coming and for enjoying a family gathering.

Moving on from the question of should we even celebrate or not, we come to the whole Santa Claus issue. Obviously this has nothing to do with Christ, therefore if we are truly celebrating the day unto the Lord, we should not have this be a part of it. Next we have the Christmas trees, mistletoe, and holly berries. Some look to Jeremiah 10:3-5 to say that Christmas trees are forbidden, but that is not exactly to what Jeremiah is referring. "For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman with the axe, they deck it with silver and with gold, they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good." This verse is not actually about trees. The pagans would cut down trees and carve large statues of their gods out of them. Then they would overlay them with silver and gold, nail them upright to a palanquin (a carrying device similar to a litter) and parade them around town. It does say in the verse that they carry it because it cannot move on its own. In fact, Catholics in many countries still continue this practice with the Virgin Mary statue. This is a verification of this explanation versus it being a Christmas tree, as this custom, which carried over from paganism into Christianity, still exists. Nobody carries around Christmas trees now, nor did then do it then. They carried statues of the gods.

Notice that the verse mentions that the object, which some like to think is a Christmas tree, does not speak. Why would the pagans expect a tree to speak? They wouldn't. However they might expect a statue to speak. Scriptures also say not to be afraid of them as they can do neither evil nor good. A tree would not be expected to do either, but a statue of a god that people believed was real would be expected to do either good or evil. Next, pagans believe that all of nature has a spirit and they worshiped the trees, therefore while they did sometimes hang idols of their gods on live trees, they would probably hesitate to cut them down and bring them inside and decorate them as we do. I believe given all of this evidence, it is clear that Jeremiah was not speaking of a Christmas tree as we know it, rather of the idols they carved, covered in gold and silver, and paraded around town on a palanquin.

Lastly, people do not put up Christmas trees to worship them, at least most people do not. They are seen as a decoration for the season and nothing more. I put up seasonal decorations for every season. In the spring I put around lots of spring flowers. In the fall I have lots of decorations using leaves, gourds, berries, pine cones, etc. I also put pumpkins around. As I live on a farm and we grow corn, I also put cornstalks around. I see no reason why I cannot enjoy and be thankful for the beauty of the fall harvest and the changing colors of the leaves that God has given us. I see nothing pagan in enjoying God's creation, and that attitude follows into the winter season. I like putting up what little greenery can be found at this time of the year to bring some of the beauty of outdoors inside, as I do all the rest of the year. It is merely bringing the beauty of the outdoors, which I love very much, inside to cheer me. I do not worship the greenery, so I do not find anything wrong in having it around my house. But again, it is a matter of personal conscience. If someone feels it is wrong, as Jehovah Witnesses do, then for them it is wrong. The same goes for mistletoe and holly berry. These are plants that God created, nothing more. If they are in season and all that there is that I can find to bring some color into the house, I will use them. Everything God has made is good. Satan has tried to corrupt whatever he can and use it for his own purposes, but that does not make the object itself bad. It is what you use it for that counts.

So, given all the above Scriptures and reasons, I see no reason why, if done in the right spirit and way, a Christian cannot celebrate Christmas or even have a Christmas tree, even though it is the wrong time of year to celebrate Yeshua's birth, but this is my conscience. You all have to wrestle with your own conscience and come to your own conclusion.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Revelation 22:21

Verse 21 “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.”

John adds his own benediction to the revelation that Yeshua has given him. Then he closes out the last book of the Bible with the final word, which as said before means “so be it.” All has been decided. The future has been written in stone. What will be will be. There is no more to be said.

There is a whole study of a something called the Bible codes. It is a numbers game on the same idea as Gematria. Supposedly there are all these secret messages written in the Bible by counting so many letters or words and creating new letters and words from the ones that are equidistant from each other. The funny thing about this is that they can only “find” these clues after the event, which should seem suspicious to anyone who thinks things through. (This has also been found to work in Shakespeare.) One of the conclusions that these “experts” in this study have come to is that there are multiple futures from which we can choose by changing the way we behave. This alone should tell an intelligent Christian that there is something wrong with this. Just like Gematria is an occult practice, I have a feeling that this may also have its roots in some sort of pagan practice. While it is not impossible that God has hidden things in His Word, anything that gives hidden information that is totally and clearly in opposition to the clear, understandable, and open Word of God is obviously wrong. There is one future and one future only. There are not multiple possibilities open to us. It has already happened from God’s point of view, which is why He gave it to us in an open fashion in the book of Revelation (not to mention all the prophets, gospels, and epistles).

At this point in my Bible it says, “The End.” This indeed is the end of the Book of Revelation, and literally the end of the Bible, but it is not the end of my blog study on the end times. Now I need to go back and discuss more about the identity of the antichrist, the identity of Babylon, the millennium, the battle of God and Magog, and other subjects which were not thoroughly covered before. There is literally no end to all that one can study on this subject of the end times. It covers the entire Bible. So we will begin again.